My Fellow Phans,
We have a new Phillie in introduce you too! No, it is not a Michael Cuddyer, but it is another super utility player that can give us nearly everything that Michael Martinez gave us last season plus much better at-bats at the plate.
Say hello to your newest Phillies… Mr. Ty Wigginton
I’m sure you all remember the time when Wigginton was going to be a star with the Mets? Well, it turns out that he only played there for a little more than 2 seasons. Thanks to a roundabout journey from NY to Pittsburgh…Houston…Baltimore…Colorado…He now lands in Philadelphia.
Wigginton was acquired by the Phillies from the Rockies for the always mysterious, “Player to be named later”.
He’s not the star player that we were looking for, but Wigginton functions quite well as the type of player that he is; a super utility player with the ability to start a steady number of games. So, how valuable could this guy be? Well, during his career, he has played 1B, 2B, 3B, LF, RF, and even some SS (albeit that was in 2009).
Offensively, he’s a hitter with solid power and an o.k. average. Last season, he hit .242 with 15 homers and 47 RBIs. For his career, he averages over 20+ homers and 70+ RBIs per season.
Plus, he’s a steal for the Phillies. They will only pay for half of his 4 million dollar salary.
Let’s get one thing straight. He’s not gonna put up blistering hot numbers, but if you look at the Phillies bench last year (Francisco, Gload, Martinez, Valdez primarily), then he is better than any of those listed. The Phillies have upgraded their bench this offseason first with Thome and now with Wigginton and I have to admit that I am a big backer of this deal.
Kee’s Korner: Thoughts on Hamels Trade Rumors
By Kevin K This we introduce the first ever Kee’s Korner. Kee’s Korner will be a weekly blog post (due to full time teaching and part time night work) in which our own Kevin gives his thoughts on Philly Sports News that stuck out to him over the week.
A week ago we posted that the Phillies and Cole Hamels were in talks for a long term deal. Cole Hamels hopes that a deal can be made prior to the start of the regular season.
Only a day after we posted this news, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies were taking trade offers for the young star. The Phillies couldn’t ask for anything better from Olney. Think of it this way, with this report the Phillies scare Hamels a little bit into the “idea” of being traded away so that Hamels can jump to sign a contract.
As Kevin Cooney
put it so perfectly the other day, “To respond to a few people thinking about Hamels deal: if that was really true, wouldn't Phils have picked up Oswalt option then?
The Phillies need offense, yes, but to get rid of starting pitching and lower their depth in that area is sound a bit crazy; especially with question marks like Joe Blanton and Vance Worley in your rotation.
I can tell you this the Buster Olney rumor was likely leaked by the Phillies so that Hamels signs the initial offer that was offered to him.
As we said last week, expect a long term deal for Hamels to be made before the season. The rumor mill my swirl with Hamels rumors, but in the end he will be a Phillie.
Clayton Kershaw: 2011 NL Cy Young. (ESPN)
Last night MLB announced the winner of the 2011 Cy Young in the National League. The recipient of baseball’s highest award for pitching this season? Lefty Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Yes, the same young superstar that finished the season an impressive 21-5 with an 2.28 ERA while pitching for a team that finished 82-80. Winning 20+ games with a team that is “average” is hard to do. Toronto finished 81-81 with nobody over 15 wins. An even more impressive stat, if I did my math correctly, Kershaw won over a quarter of their games.
To many in this area, this was an outrage! a shocker! People were furious that our beloved ace got robbed. As for a small amount of fans in this area, myself included, there was no surprise involved. Kershaw was the best pitcher in the National League this year and earned this award.
I’d like to contribute a lot of this disgruntlement thanks to the bias of so many of these people rooting for Doc Halladay on a daily basis since he does pitch right here in Philadelphia. That’s understandable. It happens everywhere. I’m sure Dodger fans were pulling for Kershaw and Arizona fans would have loved Ian Kennedy’s name up on the list.
Tossing the bias aside, the primary objection that I encountered was the division difference. First off, I’m not sure how playing in a different division can provide one with such an advantage that he should be canceled off of the Cy Young ballot.
Besides that being a ludacris statement in itself, the stats on this matter prove otherwise:
Halladay plays the NL East so he faces these offenses the most (rank in runs scored in NL) Braves (10th), NY Mets (6th), Marlins (11th), and the Nationals (12th). Add those up, the “average” NL East team is about 9.75 in the NL in terms of runs scored.
Take Kershaw’s opponents: Rockies, Diamondbacks are 3-4 in the NL, followed by the Giants and Padres at the bottom two spots. Their average: 9.50.
The total runs scored by the 4 remaining teams in the East was 2608 (652 per team). The West teams – 2629 (657 per team).
I thought the East was much harder to pitch? That’s why Doc Halladay was the clear edge in the Cy Young voting? The west average per team when it comes to runs is higher than 3 of the 4 East teams.
So, from the looks of this: The East has 3 mediocre offenses and 1 solid hitting team. The West has two great offenses and 2 crap shoots. I think that evens out ladies and gentleman.
Plus, don’t forget that for every Petco and AT&T park that Kershaw got to pitch in, he also had to pitch in Coors and Chase Field (2 and 5 respectively in Runs and 2/10 in HR Rate in the MLB amongst ballparks. All higher than any NL East park).
So, what have we learned?
I don’t think either pitcher had a serious “advantage” this season. Both pitchers had incredible seasons and both could have won this award.
Oh and if you don’t like hearing Clayton Kershaw’s name in Cy Young running. I suggest you guy used to it. The guy just turned 23 in March. Not bad for a guy only months older than most college graduates.
Schneider is back in Philly. (ESPN)
My Fellow Phans,
As you may have already heard. The Phillies have resigned backup catcher Brian Schneider to a 1-year deal.
The lefty struggled offensively last season and he hit .176 last season, but his noticeable work with the younger pitchers is what prompted the Phillies to bringing him back.
His contract is a steal for the Phillies. Schneider will make $800,000 this season with a chance to total his earnings to a crisp million.
Madson out, Papelbon in
The Phillies made headlines on Friday when they announced that they signed star closer Jonathon Papelbon (formerly of the Red Sox) to a 4 year $50 million contract. This of course after Phillies fans were told by beat writers and those close to the situation that the Phillies were close to signing Ryan Madson to 4 years $44 million, with a 5th year option.
Of course people went crazy after hearing that it is not Madson returning, but Papelbon signing, pending a physical. As we said on our Facebook page it is actually a better move for the Phillies to add Papelbon because he is a proven closer (3 blown saves last year with under a 3.00 ERA) and one of the best closers in the game.
Then there was news that the Phillies were never close to a deal with Madson and that they never offered the money to Madson that was reported. We, however, found out differently from a source close to the situation. The source tells us that the Phillies were indeed close to signing Madson, so much so that Madson was ready to re-sign with the Phillies until at the last minute, Madson's agent, Scott Boras, rejected the deal without Madson's knowledge. Boras was likely thinking that he could get more money out of the Phillies for Madson's ability.
The Phillies and Cole Hamels are in talks for a long term deal. Both sides hope to get a deal done before the start of the season. There has been offers sent to Hamels, but no deal has been reached.
The Phillies still believe that Jimmy Rollins will be their short stop next season. We are hearing that no team has offered Rollins a 5-year contract, like he wants. Rollins asking price will go down and the Phillies will be interested.
Also, Jimmy Rollins has tweeted pictures of himself in Paris, France in the last week (the first week of free agency). We are not saying that Jimmy is not taking his Free Agency seriously, but signs seem to point right to the Phillies as it looks like he has not visited any other teams.
The Phillies have been in talks with Michael Cuddyer. They are still interested, but no contract has been offered as of yet.
Ryan Madson is close to returning to Philly. (SI)
My Fellow Phans,
Jon Heyman of SI is reporting that the Phillies and Ryan Madson have agreed to a 4-year contract worth 44-million dollars. However, the deal is still waiting the approval of David Montgomery.
The deal has been held up for over a day now and there is no reason for this holdup. It may be nothing or may turn out to be something big, we’ll keep you posted.
There are many closers out there on the market, but the Phillies seem to be looking to keep their hometown guy. The price may be a little steep, but the price on closing talent seems to be rising year after year.
In 2011 with the Phillies, Madson went 4-2 with an 2.37 ERA and 32 saves.
Until we meet again Phillies fans; happy readings and go Phillies
Jim Thome is back! (dailyphiladelphian)
My fellow Phans,
The reports are pouring in and people are ecstatic over the news that the Phillies have reached an agreement on an 1-year deal with former first baseman Jim Thome. There are no terms released as of yet.
The lefty hit .256 with 15 homers and 50 RBIs last season in just 93 games with the Twins and Indians. This signing likely ends Ross Gload’s tenure here as he is also a free agent this off-season.
Thome became a fan favorite during his time in Philly where he played from 2003 to 2005. During that time he his .260 with 96 homers and 266 RBIs.
This deal is pending a physical.