Dec 312011

Philadelphia Phillies logoIt’s New Year’s Eve, and what better way to ring in 2012 than with some nice Phillies news and rumors? 

We’ve compiled here some of the most recent Phillies free agent and trade rumors and general news from PSC’s rolling, 250+ page MLB Hot Stove Offseason Transactions thread, diligently updated by our own Barry Jeffrey, Jr (aka Crowhuck on the boards), both through scouring the web for info and via his own personal sources.  The thread actually contains updates and rumors regarding all MLB teams, not just the Phils.  It’s a great source for both information and relevant conversation. 

Read at your own risk, and don’t forget to check out the PSC Phillies message board for the latest discussion.  These updates cover just the past couple weeks or so, from the oldest down to the newest:

* Phillies are still in on both Soler and Cespedes. As are the Cubs, Marlins, possibly the Nats (on Soler).

* Sounds like Hamels will not be giving the Phillies any discount in any attempt to re-sign him.

* Phillies have lost SS-3B Carlos Rivero to the Nationals on waivers. He was waived to open a spot on the 40 for Rollins. Phillies have also signed utility IF Hector Luna and outfielder Luiz Montanez to minor league deals with ST invites.

* Phillies lose Juan Perez. Signed with the Brewers

* Phillies have some interest in bringing back Gavin Floyd, but not at an steep price.

* Phillies have been in contact with Jorge Posada.

* The Phillies – David Wright rumor has several “professional” writers in a small uproar and saying us amateurs should shut up and leave things to the “experts”. While I do not believe there really is any deal in place for Wright (still haven’t heard anything saying there will be), I feel these so called writers themselves should pipe down. If some of these “pros” were half as good as they think they are, then us amateurs wouldn’t need to take up the slack. Just because you write for some rinky dink fishwrapper in Newark or Delaware and have a fancy degree doesn’t mean you are automatically a better writer nor does it mean that some of these people who aren’t getting paid do not have good sources. Some of these bloggers actually do have sources, some of them have talked to players since they have been in rookie ball, some talk daily to professional scouts. While this is looking like a major disaster for Philly Phans, a few people I have talked to have said these guys have been accurate on things in the past and probably would not post something just to cause an uproar. BTW I remember a few time the “experts” reported things that turned out to be false. LeCharles Bentley anyone?

* A’s are also one of the teams now pursuing Jorge Soler, Phillies are another one. Soler is being said to have a Hanley Ramirez body type without the crappy attitude, plus arm and speed, and a “high energy” player. Most think he is better than Leonys Martin whom Texas signed last year and will most likely be a part of Texas’ outfield picture. Some are even saying he has an even higher upside than Yoenis Cespedes.

* Joe Blanton is not guaranteed a spot in the Phillies rotation. Kyle Kendrick, one of the depth starters signed in the offseason (extremely highly unlikely as Dave Bush is really the only one who has any chance), or a free agent starter (Paul Maholm, Brad Penny, Armando Galarraga) not with the team yet might be options. Much of this depends on Blanton himself, coming into camp in shape and his arm being sound.

* Phillies have talked to Chad Durbin to gauge if he is willing to sign a minor league deal with a spring training invite for more bullpen depth. So far Durbin wants a major league deal. So far he is unsigned.Mets still have interest in Eric Young Jr. and are willing to trade Justin Turner for him. Phillies have minor interest in the utility man.

* This one I was told about but can’t get any confirmation on it at all and have doubts to it’s validity. Yankees talked to the Phillies about sending Nick Swisher and cash to the Phillies with Dom Brown going to the Yankees in a package deal. Supposedly it was early November when this took place. Bit skeptical but we did hear Swisher’s name a few months back so maybe there was something to this.

* Phillies are looking for a 5th outfielder. Looking at Johnny Gomes, Scott Hairston, Cody Ross, and Ryan Ludwick, though Ross and Ludwick’s price probably means it won’t be them.

* Phillies may be out on Cespedes and Soler due to price as well.

* Somehow Dillon Gee made Baseball Digest’s All Rookie team, but Vance Worley did not.

* Still hearing everyone talking about Madson to the Angels, but Blue Jays have some interest as do the Rays, Rangers, and Reds. Madson has been labeled the “biggest loser this offseason” by just about everyone following baseball. Madson can thank Scott Boras for totally railroading his offseason. No word on whether Madson’s wife is whining about all of it yet.

* Anthony Rizzo is most likely going to be traded soon, according to some. Possible destinations are the Cubs (Matt Garza), the Rays (Wade Davis+), Mariners (Michael Pineda or Jason Vargas+), Dodgers (Chad Billingsley), Cardinals (Jake Westbrook+), Astros (Wandy Rodriguez), & Phillies (Wilson Valdez). Cleveland has interest as well.

* Phillies are working hard to try and extend Hamels and Carlos Ruiz, however they think Ruiz isn’t totally irreplaceable as Yadier Molina will most likely be a free agent and could possibly sign here after next season. Molina is thought to be a bit unhappy Albert Pujols left and Jose Oquendo wasn’t hired to be the Cards manager.

* Phillies have interest in some bullpen depth but don’t want to pay top price for relievers now that Papelbon has signed with them. If Ryan Madson wants to come back, they want it to be for less than his arbitration price, making his return doubtful. Chad Durbin, Dan Wheeler, Juan Cruz, and Miguel Batista are relievers the Phillies are looking at if their price is right to add depth to the very young bullpen. Batista could help push Blanton and Kendrick as he can do long relief or starting. Durbin is a Charlie Manuel favorite and Wheeler is a ground ball pitcher who has filled many different roles and was very durable until last season. Another name that intrigues the Phillies is David Aardsma but he would have to prove he is healthy. Phillies may have interest in bringing Taylor Buchholz back as an Iron Pig.

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