Dec 092010
Former Phillies CF Aaron Rowand

Former Phillies CF Aaron Rowand

December 9:

Philadelphia Phillies news and stories from around the web…

Phillies likely to leave winter meetings with just Dennys Reyes

December 9 Philadelphia Inquirer: 

“They shot for the moon, Ruben Amaro Jr. said, but in four days at the winter meetings, the Phillies will likely come away with just a lefthanded reliever.

Late Wednesday night, the Phillies and Dennys Reyes finalized a one-year deal, pending a physical, with an option for 2012. Reyes, who turns 34 in April, will become the primary lefty in the Phillies‘ bullpen in the wake of J.C. Romero’s departure.

According to a baseball source, Reyes agreed to a one-year contract worth $1.1 million with a mutual option for $1.35 million in 2012. Reyes made $2 million with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2010.

The move won’t exactly send shock waves through the Phillies‘ fan base, but Amaro said his assistants and he were thinking big when they came to Florida. It just didn’t work out.

“I’m not as creative this year,” Amaro quipped.

Amaro said the Phillies had talked about acquiring what he called “significant players” through trades. But no discussions had Amaro encouraged. He, of course, would not discuss specific names or possibilities, just that he was looking for outfielders and pitchers. One of the bigger names on the trade market is Kansas City ace Zack Greinke, and rumors connecting him to a multitude of teams surfaced all day.

“We’ve done some things where we tried to shoot for the moon,” Amaro said. “We laid some groundwork on some of those. But the possibilities of that happening are remote. We’ve run under the mantra of, ‘If you’re not trying, you’re not trying.’ ”

The Phillies have been trying to solidify their bullpen, the task that Amaro called his chief priority at these winter meetings. In Reyes, they added a lefthander who had trouble getting lefty hitters out in 2010 but has had success before.

Reyes had a 3.55 ERA in 59 games (38 innings) for St. Louis in 2010. He had control issues, though, and walked 21 batters while striking out 25. Most important, lefthanded batters hit .307 with a .862 OPS against him.

For his career, lefties have hit .238 with a .669 OPS against him. In 2009, he was especially tough against lefties, holding them to a .207 batting average and .517 OPS. That’s the pitcher the Phillies are hoping to add.

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Giants GM quashes Rowand-to-Philly rumors

December 9

“Giants general manager Brian Sabean squelched rumors of a trade that would return outfielder Aaron Rowand to his previous club, the Philadelphia Phillies.

“There’s nothing to that,” Sabean said Wednesday at baseball’s Winter Meetings. “There’s nothing going between the Giants and the Phillies with Rowand.”

In fact, Sabean added that Rowand will compete with Mark DeRosa, Pat Burrell and rookie Brandon Belt for San Francisco’s left-field job. Rowand, Sabean said, “has to be given an opportunity to stay on the board.”

Having lost free-agent right fielder Jayson Werth to the Washington Nationals, the Phillies are believed to need outfield depth, though they’d like to see 23-year-old Domonic Brown claim that right-field vacancy.”

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Brown, another Boras client, up for Phillies’ rightfield opening

December 9 Philadelphia Daily News:

“The departure of one Scott Boras client could open up the door for another, with top-prospect Domonic Brown hoping to replace departed free agent Jayson Werth in rightfield at Citizens Bank Park.

Boras spoke about both players yesterday, addressing the Phillies‘ failed attempt to re-sign Werth and Brown’s early departure from winter ball.

The agent echoed the Phillies‘ public comments about Brown’s brief stint playing for Escogido in the Dominican Republic last month, saying the 22-year-old outfielder was simply suffering from fatigue.

Brown, who hit .210 with a .257 on-base percentage, .355 slugging percentage and two home runs in 70 plate appearances for the Phillies last season, went 2-for-29 in nine games in the DR.

“I think he was really tired, to be honest with you,” Boras said. “He played a full season, and then he was in the big leagues in September. That’s the longest baseball season he’s ever had. He went over there and was really, I think, physically tired. We wanted to get him in a training regimen so he has a chance to prepare for the season and get his strength back up.”

Boras then addressed Brown’s candidacy for the Opening Day roster in 2011. Both general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and manager Charlie Manuel have said recently that the lefthanded-hitting outfielder will get a chance to win a starting job in spring training. But Amaro also said Brown is not guaranteed a spot on the big-league roster.

“Domonic’s situation is largely going to depend on Charlie evaluating him in spring training and taking a look at it,” Boras said. “Usually, with those types of players, he’s had enough performance in Triple A to give you a strong indication of whether or not he’s ready to advance. I think they’ll take a look at that in spring training. Again, we don’t know the final result of the team yet either to know what kind of considerations they’re going to make as to the final roster.””

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Art Mahan dies at 97, was oldest former Phillie

December 9 Philadelphia Daily News:

“Art Mahan, the oldest living Phillie, a former Villanova athletic director and an all-star father who could field his own team, died Tuesday of congestive heart failure at age 97.

Mahan was born in Somerville, Mass., on June 8, 1913. He played baseball at Villanova, graduating in 1936. From there, he knocked around in the minors until the Phillies called him up in 1940. In his lone big-league season, he hit .244 with two home runs and 39 RBI in 146 games. After that season, he enlisted in the Navy and became an Air Corps lieutenant during World War II.

“The Phillies send our heartfelt condolences to the Mahan family,” David Montgomery, the Phillies president, said in a statement yesterday. “As the oldest living Phillie, Art’s passing is a loss to our family as well. We mourn his death, along with all who knew him.”

Mahan and his late wife, Helen, were married for 54 years and had 11 children: Arthur Jr., Edwin, Maureen (Schaeffer), Gail, Gregory, Christopher, Jane (Watson), Lois, Julia (DiFerdinando), and the late Joseph and Paul.

He was Villanova’s baseball coach from 1950-72 and guided the Wildcats to a 262-155-5 record. In 1961, he became Villanova’s athletic director, but remained as baseball coach until he was named vice president for athletics in ’73. He retired in 1977.

Among those influenced by Mahan were former Eagles general manager Jim Murray, a one-time sports information director at Villanova, and Larry Shane, who took over as baseball coach after Mahan became AD.

The two said they were with Mahan when he died in his daughter Jane’s home in Rydal.

“It was beautiful that Larry and I were there when he went to heaven,” Murray said. “Art wasn’t just a good role model, he was a good teacher. He changed a lot of people’s lives.”

Murray said it was Mahan who urged him to apply for a public relations position with the Eagles. That move turned out pretty well for Murray, who ended up as the team’s GM during the Leonard Tose-Dick Vermeil years.

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