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Friday, November 30, 2018

New rumors have shortstop Jean Segura possibly headed to Phillies

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Could Segura be bringing his speed and shortstop play to the Phillies soon?

The Seattle Mariners are easily the busiest team in Major League Baseball to this point in the Hot Stove season. Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto has already pulled off two deals, and is now reportedly on the verge of at least two more.
On November 8, Dipoto sent catcher Mike Zunino and two others to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for outfielder Mallex Smith and a prospect.
Less than two weeks later he traded away pitcher James Paxton to the New York Yankees, receiving pitching prospect Justus Sheffield as part of a three-prospect package.
The big story over the last 24 hours has been the finalization of a deal between the Mariners and New York Mets. In that trade, reports have the Mets new GM Brodie Van Wagenen sending veteran outfielder Jay Bruce, reliever Anthony Swarzak, and a pair of recent first round draft picks in outfielder Jarred Kelenicand pitcher Justin Dunn to Seattle.
Headed to the Big Apple in the deal would be veteran second baseman Robinson Cano along with the best relief pitcher in the game last year, Edwin Diaz.
Numerous reports are now saying that the deal could go down this weekend at some point, but certainly by Monday at the latest. The two teams apparently have settled on the players involved. Now they are sorting out financials, such as whether and how much money would be exchanged to help alleviate contract concerns regarding Cano, as well as player physicals.
The Mariners are also rumored to be involved with the Phillies in trade talks involving shortstop Jean Segura. In fact, a heavy Mariners follower on Twitter, Trent Hadler, tweeted early on Friday morning that a Segura to the Phillies deal could come down soon.
Colome to the White Sox, Segura to the Phillies, and Cano/Diaz to the Mets all could be announced tomorrow, according to a insider for the Mariners

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How good Hadler’s information is, if at all, and who is the “insider’ providing it remains unknown. I contacted him today, and Hadler told me that he had information from someone inside the Mariners organization who had previously been reliable. That source was stating that the only holdup to the deal was the prospect(s) going back to Seattle from the Phillies in the deal.
MLB insider Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweeted later this afternoon that the Phillies could still be in on Segura. If there is any credence to it, there would be major ramifications for the Phillies.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Phillies still discussing trade for Edwin Diaz with Mariners

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Diaz was baseball's top closer and will be just 26-years-old in the 2019 season

If you’ve been outside over the last few days here in the Philadelphia area then you know it’s been pretty cold and windy. While winter doesn’t offically arrive for nearly a month (December 21), it is effectively here already.
But go inside and turn on a TV or your PC or laptop or just tap your phone. That warmth you feel isn’t just from your heater working its magic. If you’re a baseball fan, the Hot Stove is fired up, and the rumor mill is heating up the internet.
One of the hotter stories over the last few days has been the Seattle Mariners willingness to trade young stud closer Edwin Diaz. It was exactly one week ago that our Tim Kelly first reported the news that the Phillies were interested in not only Diaz, but Mariners infielder Jean Segura as well.

Just yesterday, Kelly was back into the story, hinting that Seattle might try to pursuade the Phillies to take on the enormous Robinson Cano contract obligation in any deal for Diaz.
Now as a further update, MLB insider Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has reported that the Phillies are indeed in on Diaz. However, it appears that GM Matt Klentak has no interest in eating that big Cano deal as a side dish.
Sources: 2B Jeff McNeil in play for as well as Kellenic/Dunn in potential Cano/Diaz trade with . also talking to SEA, possibly just for Diaz, as @JoelSherman1 said. NYM names would seem difficult to top, but hard to judge without knowing $, full details.

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I believe that making a move on Diaz is a good one for the Phillies in theory. The right-hander will turn just 25-years-old as spring training draws to a close in 2019, and he cannot become a free agent until after the 2022 campaign. So he fits perfectly in with the plan as the Phillies put together a long-term contender.
However, the price is going to be exorbitant. Serious rumors are floating around that the division-rival New York Mets are deep into talks with the Mariners involving Diaz and Cano, possibly with someone like Jay Bruce going to Seattle.

Philography: Richie Ashburn

Ashburn was a part of the Phillies organization
for 47 years as a player and broadcaster
Four years ago, I began writing a series of Philadelphia Phillies mini-biographies. The series was inspired by my twin interests in the Phillies ball club and the subject of history in general.
What I decided to call my “Philography” series was never meant to present a comprehensive life story on each player. I just wanted to learn for myself a bit more about each player’s background and accomplishments, how they fared either before coming to or after leaving the Phillies, and share that with other fans.
In the beginning this off-season series was scattershot, covering a wide range of players across the team’s now 136-season history. In the winter of 2015-16, I keyed on shortstops. Last year it was the catching position.
What has now grown to an 18-chapter series will extend by five more over the next couple of months. This year, I have chosen to cover some of the most important players in Phillies history. The five players who have both played with the team and who also have actually had a uniform number retired by the club.
Those five ball players will be presented in numerical order, beginning with this piece on Richie Ashburn. During December and January, Philography stories will cover the careers of Jim BunningMike SchmidtSteve Carlton, and Robin Roberts.
Donald Richard “Richie” Ashburn was born on March 19, 1927 in the small town of Tilden, Nebraska. Tilden lies exactly in the middle of nowhere, about 150 miles northwest of Omaha. He had a twin sister named Donna, and so their dad Neil and mom “Tootie” began calling him by that takeoff on his middle name.
Ashburn’s father was a huge influence on his early life, particularly on his gravitation towards sports in general and baseball in particular. In a fine piece for the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), Seamus Kearney describesthe relationship as follows:
Ashburn’s father…played semipro baseball on the weekends…Neil Ashburn had a very close relationship with his athletically-inclined son – he encouraged Richie in his boyhood activities and steered the boy throughout his developmental years. Ashburn tried to play all the sports – except football; his father ruled that out because of the threat of injury, but baseball and basketball were his favorites. He began playing baseball in 1935 as an 8-year-old in the Tilden Midget Baseball League under the tutelage of Hursel O’Banion. He played catcher because his father thought it would be the quickest way to get him to the major leagues, and he batted left-handed because his father said his speed would give him a better jump to first base…

Richie played both baseball and basketball for his high school team and also played American Legion ball. Even out in the sticks of Tilden, talent like Ashburn’s didn’t escape the eyes of baseball scouts. He was signed three different times by big-league organizations.
The Phillies were fortunate that those first two signings didn’t work out. The Cleveland Indians first inked Ashburn at age 16, but that deal was nixed by the Commissioner as teams were prohibited then from signing high schoolers. He then was signed by the Chicago Cubs, but that deal was also shot down due to an illegal contract clause.
In 1945 at age 18, Ashburn had a contract approved with the Phillies. Kearney’s SABR bio quotes the Phillies scout who finally signed him, Ed Krajnick: “Something tells me this is about the most important deal I ever made."

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Rival Braves make big moves to put pressure on Phillies

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The Braves announced Josh Donaldson as one of two free agent signings

If I’ve seen it once then I’ve seen it a hundred times or more as the days roll along in this current MLB off-season. When are the Philadelphia Phillies, publicly self-proclaimed as wanting to spend big and heavily-rumored as a link to most of the big names, going to actually make a move?
Well we don’t have to wonder that same thing about the defending National League East Division champion Atlanta Braves. Already loaded with young talent, the Braves struck twice today to improve their lineup.
First, Atlanta brought back long-time catcher Brian McCann as a free agent. McCann will turn 35-years-old just as he is due to report for the club’s final spring training in Kissimmee. He’ll then join them as the Braves later move to their new spring facilities in North Port, Florida.
McCann slammed 176 home runs during his first run with the Braves from 2005-13. One of baseball’s most dangerous offensive catchers during the 2000’s, he was an NL All-Star for six straight and seven overall seasons and won five Silver Slugger Awards, including four in a row at one point.
In December 2013, McCann signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees. In 2015 he won the AL Silver Slugger Award at catcher.
The Yankees dealt him to Houston in December 2016 for a pair of prospects, and McCann helped the Astros win the first World Series championship in franchise history in 2017. He caught every inning of that Fall Classic as Houston won in seven games over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It is expected that the lefty-swinging McCann will form a LH-RH catching platoon in 2019, teaming with the righty-hitting Tyler Flowers. McCann missed two full months in the middle of this past season after undergoing knee surgery but is said to be 100% ready to go for the 2019 campaign.
Later in the day, the Braves struck again to shore up another weak spot in their lineup. This time Atlanta announced the signing of third baseman Josh Donaldson.
Donaldson will turn 33-years-old in December. He was the American League Most Valuable Player in 2015 as a third baseman with the Toronto Blue Jays after starting his career with the Oakland A’s as a catcher. In addition, he finished among the top 4 in AL MVP voting twice, was an AL All-Star for three straight years, and won a pair of Silver Slugger Awards.
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McCann returns to Atlanta, where he was one of the top catchers of the 2000’s.
The Blue Jays dealt Donaldson away to the Cleveland Indians this past August 31, enabling him to be placed on the Tribe’s postseason roster. He would go just 1-11 as the Indians were swept out of the ALDS by Houston.
Like McCann, Donaldson’s 2018 season was injury-marred. He missed three-and-a-half months due to an injured left calf muscle. He appeared to be healthy once activated by Cleveland in mid-September, slashing .280/.400/.520 with three homers and seven RBI over 60 plate appearances in 16 games.
Both McCann and Donaldson are aging veterans who are injury risks playing past their prime. However, the Braves got each on just a one-year contract, so there is no long-term commitment involved.
If either or both play healthy and closer to their career norms it will add just that much more firepower to an already solid Atlanta lineup that includes first baseman Freddie Freeman, three-time Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, and 2018 NL Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuna.
The Phillies and the rest of the National League East Division are on notice. The defending division champions have every intention of not only repeating, but they intend to improve on their 92 victories registered in the 2018 season.

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Phillies are being linked to numerous deals in this Hot Stove season

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The Phillies are being linked to closer Craig Kimbrel and many other free agents

This past weekend saw the annual holiday shopping season open with the mall-walking and store-hopping zaniness of Black Friday. Today has become known as ‘Cyber Monday’, where the gift-purchasing moves to the internet.
The teams of Major League Baseball are also doing some shopping of their own. New rumor logs are being tossed on the Hot Stove fires on a daily basis at this point, keeping baseball fans warm with thoughts of moves by their favorite teams to put them over the top.
To categorize things down in South Philly at the offices of the Philadelphia Phillies as “hot” might actually be an understatement. The team is being linked on a regular basis with almost every half-decent free agent name and trade candidate available.
We have already covered two big names today here at Phillies Nation with my piece on the GM Matt Klentak’s reported talks with Arizona regarding Dbacks superstar Paul Goldschmidt. And our Drew Rhoades wrote of the Phillies interest in lefty reliever Andrew Miller.
The Phillies involvement in the sweepstakes to land one or the other or both of the two biggest-ticket items this holiday season is well known. Both outfielder Bryce Harper and shortstop Manny Machado are apparently at the very top of the Phillies shopping wish list.
However, as Jon Morosi at MLB.com reiterated today, the club is looking down a lengthy holiday shopping list, and they very well could start checking off some other items first, while still trying to pick-up those top prizes.
“The Phillies aren’t waiting on decisions from Harper and Machado as the team ambitiously pursues upgrades to its roster…sources said it’s possible the Phils will sign multiple free agents before Harper or Machado agree to terms.”
Morosi ticked off some names that his sources have revealed are on that Phillies shopping list including pitchers Patrick CorbinNathan Eovaldi and J.A. Happ. The list also includes outfielders A.J. Pollock and Michael Brantley.
Also mentioned by Morosi was the Phillies recently reported interest in closer Edwin Diaz, who the Seattle Mariners say could be available, but for a price. Our Tim Kelly here at Phillies Nation recently wrote that the Phillies were showing interest in both Diaz and Mariners infielder Jean Segura.
Morosi mentions either of the Phillies top two pitching prospects, Sixto Sanchez or Adonis Medina, as likely having to be included in such a deal with Seattle. He also states that if they fail in that pursuit, the club could be adding closers Craig Kimbrel or Zach Britton to their list.


Suffice it to say that as you are out at the stores or at home (or work) on the internet doing your own shopping, Matt Klentak and his team down at Citizens Bank Park are doing their own.
I think it’s fair to say that if you are a Phillies fan, the GM will be stuffing something into your stocking long before Santa ever has a chance to come sliding down your chimney a month from now. Let’s hope that when all is said and done, that Klentak finds himself on our “nice” list, and not our “naughty” list.

Originally published at Phillies Nation as "Phillies holiday shopping list goes well beyond biggest-ticket items"

Talks fall apart between Phillies and Dbacks on Paul Goldschmidt

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Goldschmidt is one of baseball's most dynamic hitters but may not fit Phillies needs

Another day, another rumor involving the Philadelphia Phillies and an available big name ball player. This time that player is Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
It was earlier this month that I first wrote here at Phillies Nation on the Phillies interest in Goldschmidt. At that time the club was being considered a “best fit” by the staff at Sports Illustrated for such a deal.
Goldschmidt is due to become a free agent following the 2019 season. The Dbacks could wait and see what unfolds during that 2019 campaign before making any final decision on trading their superstar. If they aren’t in contention, they would likely look to move him as the non-waiver deadline approaches next July.


Dealing him now would yield a greater package in return. Whatever team was able to obtain Goldschmidt would have his services for the entirety of that 2019 season if they desire and would have a chance to woo him into signing a longer-term deal.
However, there appears to have been a snag in the Phillies talks with Arizona. The report on the potential deal and that snag came from insider Jayson Stark of The Athletic today via Twitter:
You can add the to the list of teams that spoke with the about Paul Goldschmidt.

A source says the teams discussed a package that would have included Zach Eflin & several young players. But the deal fell apart when the Phillies tried to add Carlos Santana

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As Stark stated, pitcher Zach Eflin was one piece in the conversations between Phillies GM Matt Klentak and his counterpart in Arizona, Mike Hazen.
No specific names of the “young players” discussed was made available. You could certainly speculate and not likely be far off to feel that it was some combination of Maikel FrancoJ.P. Crawford, and any combination of outfielders Aaron AltherrNick Williams, or Roman Quinn.

Friday, November 23, 2018

11 with connections to the Phillies have a 2019 shot at the Baseball Hall of Fame

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Schilling (R) has already joined Schmidt (L) and Carlton (C) in the Phillies Wall of Fame

Ballots for nominees to the 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame class were received this past week by eligible voters with the Baseball Writers Association of America.
There are 35 players on the ballot this year. That total includes 15 holdovers from last year’s ballot and 20 newcomers. Among those nominees there are nine who played with the Phillies at one time or another.
Three returning Phillies players on the BBWAA ballot this year are Curt SchillingBilly Wagner and Scott Rolen.
Schilling spent most of his Phillies career from 1992-2000 as a starter, including as the ace of the 1993 NL pennant-winning squad. Wagner was a lights-out closer for the Phillies during the 2004-05 campaigns. Rolen was the 1997 NL Rookie of the Year and four-time Gold Glove third baseman during his 1996-2002 Phillies years.
The half-dozen newcomers to the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot for 2019 are pitchers Roy HalladayRoy Oswalt, and Freddy Garcia. Infielders Placido Polanco and Michael Young and outfielder Juan Pierre also spent time with the Phillies and are on the ballot this year as position players.

PHILLIES NEWCOMERS TO THE BALLOT

Garcia (34.4 WAR), Young (21.4) and Pierre (17.1) are very likely to fall off the ballot after this round of voting. Any player who does not receive support from at least 5% of the voters is removed from the ballot, and it is hard to imagine either player reaching that mark. Oswalt and Polanco each have a chance to receive at least enough support to remain on the ballot for a second year.
Oswalt was part of the 2011 ‘Four Aces’ starting pitching rotation that led those Phillies to a franchise-record 102 regular season victories. The righty had come over from Houston at the 2010 non-waiver trade deadline following a strong decade with the Astros during which he was a three-time NL All-Star and finished among the top five in NL Cy Young Award five times.
Over a 13-year career in Major League Baseball with three organizations, Oswalt went 163-102 with a 3.36 ERA and 1.211 WHIP. He registered an excellent 3.56 K:BB and accumulated a 50 career WAR mark.
Polanco was obtained in a 2002 trade with the Saint Louis Cardinals for Rolen. He would start at second base for the Phillies from 2002 until being traded to the Detroit Tigers during the 2005 season, making way for Chase Utley to take over the position.
With the Tigers, Polanco became an AL All-Star and won two Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2007 ALCS and received AL MVP votes in both 2007 and 2009.
Polanco returned to the Phillies after the 2009 season as a free agent, playing third base from 2010-12. He was a 2011 NL All-Star and captured this third career Gold Glove Award at a second position. Polanco finished with 2,142 hits over 16 big-league seasons with a 41.5 WAR mark.
Halladay has an excellent shot at enshrinement in his first year on the ballot. He accumulated a 64.3 career WAR mark to go along with a 203-105 record, 3.38 ERA, 1.178 WHIP, 3.58 K:BB and a host of signature accomplishments and awards.
The big right-hander was the AL Cy Young Award winner in 2003 with the Toronto Blue Jays and the NL Cy Young Award winner in 2010 with the Phillies. He finished as runner-up for the award with both teams as well.
Halladay was an eight-time All-Star and three-time 20-game winner (won 19 twice) who led his league in innings pitched four times, shutouts four times, and in complete games on seven occasions.