February 12th, 2014 at 12:18 PM
By Ryan Beagle
The Philadelphia Phillies added a big arm to their rotation today, signing veteran righty AJ Burnett to a one-year deal worth $16 million. Burnett, who is 37 years old, pitched the last two seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he re-established himself as a solid, top of the rotation starter.
MrAnathema / photo on flickr
In 2013, Burnett started 30 games, going 10-11 with a career best 3.30 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. He pitched 191 innings, striking out 209 and walking 67. This comes on the heels of a resurgent 2012 for Burnett, where he amassed a 16-10 record with a 3.51 ERA. From 2009 to 2011, Burnett pitched for the New York Yankees, and seemed to crack under the pressure of the big stage, posting an ERA of over 5 in two of the three seasons. He did, however, shut the Phillies down in Game 2 of the 2009 World Series, allowing just one run in 8 innings – one of his best starts as a Yankee.
Before heading to New York, Burnett pitched with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Florida Marlins, which is where he began his career. The Phillies saw their share of Burnett in the early 2000's, as he spent 7 seasons with the Marlins from 1999-2005. Burnett won the World Series with Florida in 2003. Read more... Join the Conversation...
January 25th, 2014 at 4:06 PM
By Ryan Beagle
This past week was a rather active one for the Philadelphia Phillies. Last weekend, the team signed starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick to a lucrative $7.6 million, one-year deal. Early last week, they decided to offer a minor league deal to Phillie Bobby Abreu, who is now 39 years old. And finally, on Friday, the team avoided arbitration with center fielder Ben Revere by signing him to a one-year, $1.95 million deal.
jwalter522 / photo on flickr
Revere, who started extremely slow in 2013, picked his game up in May and June before going down for the season with a foot injury in July. Revere led the Phillies offense for a number of weeks, and provided a spark to the top of the lineup. He was eligible for arbitration heading into 2014, but was able to come to terms with the Phillies, and will remain the team's starting center fielder for the upcoming season.
The Abreu signing was rather surprising to some, as General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. continues to stack his roster with aging players. Abreu's deal is currently just a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, but Abreu will make $800,000 if he does make the team. Abreu did not play in 2013, and split his time in 2012 between the Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers. He played with the Phillies from 1998 to 2006, and was eventually traded away.Read more... Join the Conversation...
January 15th, 2014 at 2:37 PM
By Ryan Beagle
After being fired as the team's manager in mid-August 2013, Charlie Manuel will be returning to the Philadelphia Phillies in a new role. It was announced on Wednesday that Manuel will accept the senior advisor to the GM position he was offered when he was let go last summer.
lakelandlocal / photo on flickr
Manuel previously held this role for the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Following the 2004 season, he was promoted to the team's manager, and led the Phillies to a 780-636 record over more than eight seasons, winning the 2008 World Series and the 2009 National League Pennant.
Manuel was fired in August 2013 after falling short of expectations and after a long period of losing that lasted from mid-July until his firing. Ryne Sandberg was hired as his replacement and will continue to serve as the Phillies' manager in 2014. Read more... Join the Conversation...
January 13th, 2014 at 1:57 PM
By Ryan Beagle
The Philadelphia Phillies have added some veteran depth to their aging infield. They have agreed to a minor-league deal with 30-year old Venezuelan shortstop Ronny Cedeno, who has played for six teams in nine major league seasons.
jmd41280 / photo on flickr
While the contract is only for the minor league level, it does include an invitation to Spring Training with the club, which begins on February 18th. Cedeno offers some veteran depth in the infield, and primarily plays shortstop, but can fill in at first base and second base as well.
In 868 career games over 9 seasons, Cedeno has owns a .246 lifetime average to go with 40 home runs and 239 RBI. In recent years, he has been used in many platoon and injury replacement situations. He did log 139 games in 2010, but has not amassed full season statistics since early in his career.
Cedeno was drafted by the Chicago Cubs, and spent three seasons there before moving onto the Seattle Mariners. He would later go on to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets, Houston Astros, and San Diego Padres. In 2013, between the Astros and the Padres, Cedeno played in 89 games and hit .242 along with 3 home runs and 21 RBI while drawing 14 walks in 288 plate appearances. He is expected to compete for a back-up spot with a number of younger infielders in Spring Training.Read more... Join the Conversation...
January 10th, 2014 at 2:39 PM
By Ryan Beagle
Earlier this week, the Philadelphia Phillies signed a huge $2.5 billion, 25 year television contract with NBCUniversal and Comcast SportsNet. In addition to being locked in to the deal for the next quarter-century, the networks let go two familiar faces in the Phillies' broadcast booth for the last few years. Both Chris Wheeler and Gary "Sarge" Matthews will not be returning to the airwaves when the Phillies begin the 2014 season.
dbking / photo on flickr
Wheeler was the longer-tenured broadcaster, having been a part of the broadcast team for the past 37 years. "Wheels", as he is affectionately known, spent many years alongside the legendary Harry Kalas in the broadcast booth. However, his departure is not much of a surprise, as some fans were becoming annoyed over his increasingly rambling nature and opinionated commentary. Despite this, Wheeler had been a celebrated part of the Phillies broadcast team for multiple generations of Phillies fans.
Gary "Sarge" Matthews, who routinely worked the fourth through sixth innings alongside main broadcaster Tom McCarthy, was perhaps the least favorite of any of the TV broadcasters among most fans. Matthews had also had a tendency to ramble, trip over his words, and rely his commentary heavily on reminiscing to personal experience as his time as a major leaguer. Matthews joined the team as a broadcaster prior to the 2007 season. Read more... Join the Conversation...