Recent News

Ryan Howard Can Block Trade to 21 Teams

January 5th, 2015 at 9:15 PM
By Andrew Waltz

Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has made no secret about his desire to trade or “work around” first baseman Ryan Howard. In addition to teams having to take on the remainder of Howard’s five year, $125 million contract – two years and $50 million remain, with a 2017 club option or $10 million buyout – Howard can block a trade to 21 teams. That, of course, leaves nine teams that Howard could be traded to without his permission.

According to sources, those nine teams are: the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox.

Absolutely zero of the teams on the list have a need at 1B/DH and even fewer of those teams would want to commit $60 million to a 35-year-old first baseman in decline. Howard his .223 with 23 home runs, 95 RBIs and 190 strikeouts in 2014.

The Phillies have finally accepted the need to rebuild by shipping Marlon Byrd, Antonion Bastardo and Jimmy Rollins this offseason, but moving Howard will be a much bigger task.

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Philadelphia Phillies Add Veteran Aaron Harang to Pitching Rotation

January 5th, 2015 at 7:34 PM
By Andrew Waltz

The Philadelphia Phillies were rumored to have interest in 36-year-old former Atlanta Braves pitcher Aaron Harang. Obviously, signing Harang only would have made sense to add cheap and reliable labor at the back end of a shaky rotation.

On Monday, the Phillies got half of that formula – as their so wont to do – correct. They added some reliable back-of-the-rotation depth with Harang, who pitched 204 innings for Atlanta in 2014 wit ha 3.57 ERA and 12-12 record in 33 starts. The part they got wrong was offering Harang $5 million dollars.

“Aaron brings a wealth of experience and durability to the rotation. He had a very solid season for the Braves last year and will complement the left-handers in our rotation nicely,” said general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.

Ah, one sentence RAJ, and so much to say. A wealth of knowledge, sure, he’s 36. Five million worth? Doubtful. Durability? Last season’s 204 innings was the first time Harang has gone over 200 innings since 2007. His average innings pitched between 2007 and 2014? 156.

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Curt Schilling’s Hall of Fame Case

January 3rd, 2015 at 10:51 AM
By Andrew Waltz

Curt Schilling pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies for nine seasons during the 1990’s. While with the Phillies, he compiled a 101-78 record in 226 starts with 1659.1 innings pitched, 1554 strikeouts, 415 walks, 3.35 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 126 ERA+ and 36.7 WAR. Over his 20 year career, Schilling compiled a 216-146 record in 436 starts, with 3261 innings pitched, 3116 strikeouts, 711 walks, 3.46 ERA, 1.137 WHIP, 127 ERA+ and 80.7 WAR.

Those numbers alone don’t make Curt Schilling a Hall of Fame pitcher. Luckily for Curt, seasons don’t end in September for great pitchers. Schilling’s playoff numbers in 19 starts: 11-2, 133.1 innings pitched, 120 strikeouts, 25 walks, 2.23 ERA, 0.968 WHIP, three World Series victories and the 2001 World Series MVP. He’s also one of seven pitchers to record a Game Score (as calculated using Bill James’ formula) of 80 or higher three times in the postseason.

Schilling will be on the ballot for the fourth time in 2016, never garnering more than 38.8% of the vote. Post-1945, the list of ERA+ (minimum 2500 innings pitched) has a hefty list of men:

1. Pedro Martinez: 154

2. Roger Clemens: 143

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Philadelphia Phillies Projected 2015 Lineup and Rotation

January 2nd, 2015 at 4:19 PM
By Andrew Waltz

There is still a lot of offseason left before the 2015 Major League Baseball season gets underway, but it's never too early to look at the projected 2015 lineup and rotation for the Philadelphia Phillies. There is still an outside chance the Phillies will make some moves to add outfield and pitching depth (read: Aaron Harang) before the season starts, but no moves are going to drastically change the outlook of the team.


1. Ben Revere, CF

2. Freddy Galvis, SS

3. Chase Utley, 2B

4. Ryan Howard/Darin Ruf, 1B

5. Domonic Brown, RF

6. Carlos Ruiz, C

7. Grady Sizemore, LF

8. Cody Asche, 3B

If the lineup doesn't strike the fear of God in to opposing teams, you'll forgive them. The outfield of Revere, Brown and Sizemore isn't awful, but as we've written about here, Brown isn't exactly an optimal candidate to play major innings. Chase Utley is 36-years-old and his defense isn't going to improve with age, just ask Derek Jeter.

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Domonic Brown Likely Everyday Right Fielder for Philadelphia Phillies in 2015

January 2nd, 2015 at 2:04 PM
By Andrew Waltz

With the trade that sent outfielder Marlon Byrd to the Cincinnati Reds, it appears like there’s a good chance Domonic Brown will be the every day right fielder for the Philadelphia Phillies. Brown was, in a nutshell, very, very bad in 2014.

In 512 plate appearances, Brown hit .235/.285/.349 with 22 doubles, one triple and a measly 10 home runs. He was worth a -1.4 WAR and a 77 OPS+. There is about a dozen other advanced metrics that would continue to make my point, and that’s without getting in to Brown’s terrible defense.

The problem, of course, is two-fold. The first problem is trading Brown becomes impossible. After a 2013 breakout season, you can’t sell a 27-year-old player at their lowest value. The second problem is outfield depth. The market for decent outfielders is slim and the Phillies will likely play Ben Revere in center and Grady Sizemore in left. That leaves Brown, Rule 5 pick Odubel Herrera, and no one else on the depth chart. Darin Ruf could see some outfield time, but he’s more likely to be the “work around” Ruben Amaro Jr. plans on using for also-terrible first baseman Ryan Howard.

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