SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 21: J.C. Romero #16 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch against the San Francisco Giants in Game Five of the NLCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at AT&T Park on October 21 2010 in San Francisco California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Phillies Re-Sign J.C. Romero

For more on the Phillies check out The Good Phight.

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MLB Free Agency: Phillies Re-Sign J.C. Romero

According to CSNPhilly’s Leslie Guidel, the Phils have hooked up once again with J.C. Romero. Contract details have yet to be released, but since the Phils just declined his $4.5 million option, you would think it would be for significantly less than that and about a year, maybe with another option. Update: Matt Gelb tweets it's for $1.1 million.

After the Dennys Reyes signing fell through, Ruben Amaro was rumored to be in the market again for a left-handed reliever. Not satisfied with the prospect of going into the 2011 season with Antonio Bastardo as the only lefty in the pen, it was speculated that he was looking at guys like Will Ohman and Ron Mahay to fill the void. A few days ago, Romero was floated as a possibility.

J.C. still has very good stuff when he’s healthy and can harness it. His control has been especially poor the past two injury-filled seasons, where he’s walked 42 in 53.1 innings. His strikeout numbers going down and his home runs allowed going up are also indicative of his dwindling career. Somehow though, his ERA was still a respectable 3.68 and should help Bastardo ease into the job of being a dependable LOOGY.


Charlie Manuel And Ruben Amaro Jr Talk About Cliff Lee Signing

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, & GM Ruben Amaro Jr joined 610 WIP to talk about the teams’ signing of Cliff Lee. Charlie Manuel said he reminded Amaro before the offseason “Don’t forget about Cliff.”

"When the season was over we talked about it in the office. I remember bringing it up and I think I said something to him, ‘Don’t forget Cliff.’ And he says, ‘Charlie believe me, we will do what we can. I will definitely watch that.’ When the money started getting big with the Yankees and Texas, I didn’t know that we had a shot or not. I think Cliff… evidently he showed today how much he liked us and he proved that he wanted to pitch for us. He let guys know that it was definitely on his mind from the start. He said that today in his conference, which was great. Our city and our team and our players they are the ones that really kind of won Cliff over and I think of course he did such a great job for us and he is a huge addition to our rotation."

Amaro discussed a bit about how tough it is be a big league GM.

"Well you know naturally everybody is human. To a point, sure, but at the same time I have to look at the big picture here and, listen, we are not going to make the right decisions all the time. We are going to be criticized. That is the nature of this job. If you are not tough-skinned enough to handle it you shouldn’t be in this business. Fortunately for me, I was a terrible player, I got booed all the time. So I was already for this, ‘Ruben you stink! Why are you back in Philly?’ Does it bother you? Sure it does, but everybody is human, but at the same time that is occupational hazard. You have got to kind of live with it. Me personally, I just have to know that we are not going to make the right decisions all the time. It is not going to happen. We are human beings just like the players. They are not going to make the pitch all the time, they are not going to get a hit all the time. This is part of the nature of the beast, so hopefully you make more of the right decisions than the wrong ones."

Read the rest of the transcript over on Sports Radio Interviews


Cliff Lee: "I Never Wanted To Leave In The First Place"

Cliff Let met the Philadelphia media today just a few hours after passing his physical and signing his 5-year $120 million deal with the Phillies. He began by saying he never wanted to leave.

"From the moment I got here, I knew it was something special…getting a chance to be part of this team was a no-brainer". It feels great to land back in Philly….I never wanted to leave in the first place"

He also admitted that the lure of the National League helped draw him to Philadelphia, "I prefer National League baseball over the American style of baseball," said Lee. "I like to hit. I like to face the other pitcher instead of the DH."

Lee said the Phillies had not been major contenders for his services until the very end. "This kind of developed in the last 4 or 5 days" he said. He indicated that there had been some preliminary talks early in the free agency period but until the very end he as facing a decision between only the Rangers and Yankees. Lee said of the Phillies involvement, "I was always hoping that was a possibility but I didn’t know how much of a possibility it was."

Phillies GM Reuben Amaro followed up that question saying that the team felt the deal was dead until Cliff, his wife, and agent came to the Phillies and indicated that Philadelphia was where they wanted to be. That motivated the Phillies to get back involved in the process and ultimately led to the signing.

Amaro was asked whether if Jayson Werth accepted the contract he was offered, whether it would have precluded their signing of Lee? "Not to slight our former right fielder but we believed this would have a greater impact. I believe in pitching and defense and if this was a choice, then I’m pretty comfortable with the decision we made"

Speaking of Werth, Cliff Lee said "When he found out I was coming here, he wasn’t the happiest person in the world is all I’ll say."

Lee was asked what it was about Philadelphia that was so attractive to he and his family, "The intensity you can feel when you get in the game. Every game has an excitement to it. I don’t know what the fans do to create that much more volume and excitement but there’s something extra here. They don’t need the teleprompter to tell them to get excited. The feeling of playing on the field feels different than anywhere else."

Lee said that his family’s love of Philadelphia when they were here was a big part of the reason he decided to come back. "We decided that this is where we were going to be the happiest and where we had the best chance to win" he said.

He concluded, "Hopefully this is where I end my career."


Full Details Of Phillies Contract With Cliff Lee

The full details of Cliff Lee’s deal with the Phillies are out. At a minimum Lee’s deal is for 5 years and $120 million. He has a vesting option in the contract that could extend it to six years, $135 million. The deal also includes a partial no trade clause. Any guesses as to who might be on that list? learned the details of the vesting option.

The 2016 option kicks in if Lee throws at least 200 innings in 2015, or if he throws at least 400 innings between 2014-2015. If he reaches those innings he makes his full $135 million or the Phillies have an option to buy him out for $12.5 mil.

As Jeff Sullivan points out, Lee has thrown for over 200 innings five times in his career. He’s also thrown for 667 innings over the last three years. The guy is a horse and he goes deep in to games. So barring an injury down the road, it’s not unlikely that he’ll reach that vesting option.


Reports Differ On Possible Joe Blanton Trade To Red Sox

Earlier this morning Jon Heyman, who appears to have been the guy who broke the Cliff Lee story, was reporting that the Phillies had a deal in place with the Boston Red Sox for Joe Blanton and his $17 million contract. Ken Rosenthal was also reporting discussions between the teams.

However, local Boston sports station WEEI is saying no deal has been finalized, while the Boston Herald is reporting that there isn’t even any serious discussions between the teams about the righty.

After taking on upwards of $120 million in salary as part of the Cliff Lee deal, the Phillies are understandably looking to shed some salary. Blanton, who is making a lot of money and would be no better than a fifth starter in the Phils rotation, is clearly the guy considered “surplus to requirements.” Between guys like Vance Worley or Kyle Kendrick, the Phillies have arms in the organization that would make for a perfectly acceptable fifth starter on the cheap.

Blanton, who is due about $17 million over the next two years and is considered a decent #3 type rotation pitcher on an average team isn’t a bad option for teams now that the starting pitching market has been all but gutted. The righty becomes even more attractive if the Phillies offered to eat some of his salary.

If a deal did happen with Boston, it would be a sneaky move by the Sox to more or less help the Phillies steal Cliff Lee from the Yankees. In an offseason where they already got Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, helping to keep Cliff Lee away from the Bronx might be their craftiest move yet.


Cliff Lee Phillies Contract Reportedly Worth $100 Million

The details of Cliff Lee’s deal with the Phillies are starting to emerge. He certainly took a discount to play in Philadelphia, but that’s doesn’t mean he isn’t getting paid.. The word is that he will sign a five year, $100+ million deal that reportedly also includes a vesting option for a sixth year.

The rumors were that the Yankees had a 7 year $150+ million offer on the table. So while the Phillies deal certainly falls short in terms of guaranteed money, the per year money probably isn’t far off from the Yankees deal. The question now becomes how the Phillies pay for this deal. The Phillies ownership is nearly anonymous and not much has really ever been known about their finances. Certainly they’ve been making a ton of money over this recent Phillies run (128 straight sellouts) so it’s possible that they’ve just decided to up the budget. However, there are likely to be some other pieces that fall in the wake of this deal. Most of the speculation is centered around Joe Blanton, who is owed $17 million over the next two seasons. The Phillies could look to move his contract now.

The Phils also have a good chunk of money coming off the books in 2011, so it’s certainly possible that a lot of this Lee money is coming form there.


Ruben Amaro Working on Joe Blanton Trade

According to Jerry Crasnick, the shiftiest man in baseball and GM of the Philadelphia Rotations, Ruben Amaro, is looking to move his 5th starter, Joe Blanton. After getting Cliff Lee for what appears to be 5-6 years for over $100 million, Blanton is now very expendable. It’s hard to imagine what teams would be really interested in helping the Phillies unload some of their salary, which has ballooned to Yankees/Red Sox levels in recent years, after the biggest coup of the offseason, but if anyone can do it, it’s Amaro.

Seriously, in less than three years, Amaro has acquired Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cliff Lee again. And that’s only in the rotation. Has anyone ever had more control of the pursestrings of the Phillies ownership than Amaro? He is hell-bent on winning another World Series, and right now, it looks like the Phillies are on pace to do that. Vance Worley is in line to take the 5th starter’s job if Blanton does, in fact, get traded.

But where’s Zack Greinke in all of this?


Cliff Lee Signs Five Year Deal With Phillies

This is undoubtedly the coup of the offseason. Multiple sources are reporting that Cliff Lee has will sign a five year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. SI’s Jon Heyman has confirmed it. Evan Grant from the Dallas Morning News confirmed it. Now even the Texas Rangers are confirming it... This is real.

Rumors started to gain steam as a “mystery third team” entered the bidding for Lee late. Before then, it was seen as fait accompli that Lee was just deciding between the Rangers and Yankees. The news that the Phillies were the mystery team broke this evening.

Then it got crazy. One MLB writer after another started saying Lee was leaning toward the Phillies and would reportedly even be open to leaving as much as $50 million guaranteed on the table because he and his family enjoyed their previous time so much. Even then though, you had to wonder whether it was just his agent looking to get some extra money out of the Yankees… A modern ballplayer can’t possibly take less money to go somewhere he loves right?

Turns out that was wrong. Cliff Lee is a Phillie once again and he immediately gives the Phillies the unquestioned best starting rotation in baseball. Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, & Roy Oswalt.

For once, a player is going to stand at a podium and say it wasn't all about the money... and he's going to be telling the truth. Remember what Cliff Lee said when he was traded away?

"I enjoyed my time there. I had as much fun playing baseball there as I ever have in my whole life. So that’s how strongly I feel about it. It was an unbelievable situation, it was a lot of fun, and I loved everything about it.”

Congratulations to Lee for doing what he thought was right, congrats to Reuben Amaro for being the sneakiest SOB in baseball and pulling off the coup of the offseason, and congrats to us for being lucky enough to be Phillies fans right now.


Phillies Agree To Deal With Lefty Reliever Dennys Reyes

The Inquirer's Matt Gelb has confirmed that the Phillies have reached a one year deal with former Cardinals reliever Dennys Reyes. He'll make $1.1 million this season with a club option for a second year. The option becomes mutual if he appears in 70 games next season.

The book on Reyes is that he's a groundball pitcher who gives up too many walks.

Phillies GM Reuben Amaro seemed resigned that Reyes was the best they were going to get out of the winter meetings this year, despite the fact that they explored some major moves.

"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."

2010 - Dennys Reyes 3-1 59 0 0 0 1 3 38.0 34 15 15 2 21 25 3.55 1.45


MLB Winter Meetings: Phillies Rumored To Be Closing In On Jeff Francoeur

With Jayson Werth officially gone, the Phillies are stepping up their efforts to add a right handed bat to the outfield. The general consensus seems to be that the organization is looking for a platoon partner for top prospect Domonic Brown. The name that keeps popping up is former Brave/Met/Ranger Jeff Francoeur.

Jayson Stark is reporting that Royals and Phillies are "picking up the pace" on the right handed outfielder. He says Francouer would have to weigh playing versus winning in that deal. He’ll start for the Royals but be on a terrible team. He’ll platoon in Philly, but have a chance to be in the postseason. Another attraction for Francoeur could be the chance to work with Charlie Manuel, who the player has reportedly said he admires. Apparently the admiration might be mutual because Cholly has reportedly been asking people he knows in the Braves organization about Frenchy and has told people that he thinks he can "fix" the getting on base challenged player.

Our pals over at the Good Phight hate the idea of platooning Domonic Brown to keep him away from left handed pitching.


Jayson Werth Says He Signed With Nationals Because "Winning Is The One Thing That's Very Important To Me"

Ok, stop laughing at the headline… Of course Jayson Werth didn’t sign with the Washington Nationals because he wanted to win, he signed there because they offered him far more years and money than another other team in baseball was willing to come even close to… But what Werth said is really no different than what any athlete in that position says. We know it’s total nonsense, but they’re saying the “right things.”

Philly fans will remember Asante Samuel saying he cam to Philadelphia because the Eagles gave him his best shot to win a Superbowl. He’d spent the previous season with the undefeated New England Patriots. So Jayson Werth just gets to be the next in a long line of guys who chased the money and claimed it was all about winning. And don’t take “chase the money” as a negative. This is his job and you do a job to make money right? So there’s nothing wrong with going for the most money, but oddly enough in sports it apparently is wrong to admit that.

Here was Werth’s full statement.

“They gave me assurance that they’re going to go out and get the type of talent that we’re going to need to be competitive and to win. That was one thing that’s very important to me: Winning. I went to Philadelphia in 07, I signed as a free agent because I said we’re going to win. I wanted to go somewhere where we were going to win. I went to Philadelphia and we won. I signed here in Washington with the same aspirations. I signed here to win, and I believe we’re going to win. It’s going to be a challenge. It’s going to take some time, but that was one thing the Lerner family and the organization was willing to give me: time to win and to help this thing along. I’m looking forward to to the task. I’m looking forward to the challenge. It’s something I’m passionate about. I love the game of baseball. I come from a baseball family, and I think I’m in the place that is very suited for me.”


Scott Boras Is The Real Winner In The Jayson Werth To Nationals Deal

You have to hand it to Scott Boras, he pulled off one of the great coups in recent free agent history getting the Washington Nationals to cough up 7 years and $126 million dollars for Jayson Werth, who will be 32 to start next season. Just a month ago we were talking about how the Phillies probably only wanted to go five years and debating whether the Red Sox might up it to five to close the deal.. Then Boras suckers the Nats into going seven and making Werth one of the the highest paid players in baseball.

Obviously Washington was going to have to pay a premium to get any notable free agents given where the team has been since it was moved to Washington, but this one is a shocker. John Heyman is reporting that most teams were offering “Jayson Bay money” in the area of 4 years/ $66 million. Obviously Washington blew that out of the water by nearly doubling his money. SBNation DC says the Nationals, who once looked liked they were taking the Capitals route of building a young core through the draft, have suddenly veered in the direction of the Redskins splashing out stunning amounts of money on aging free agents. You obviously know how that's worked out...

The Phillies won’t be happy about Werth heading to the Nats and not because they’ll have to see him in the division. As The Good Phight points out, since the Nats were so bad last year their first round pick is protected. So the Phillies will only receive the Nationals second round pick. Had he went to the Red Sox, the Phils would have taken their first round pick.

The rest of baseball certainly isn’t happy because the Nationals just destroyed the market by wildly overpaying for Werth. If Jayson is worth 7 years, $126 million then what is the younger and frankly better Carl Crawford worth? Surely he can’t accept less than what Werth signed for? What is Cliff Lee going to to demand? The Nats may get some icy receptions at the owners meeting this week. In fact, Buster Olney says that other GMs are livid about the contract.

The Werth contract has had an impact of an 8.0 earthquake. Rival gms, execs are going nuts about the terms.

All that aside, you have to congratulate Werth. The guy played his whole life for a chance at contract like this. He’s a good guy, he battled through injury problems for a good portion of his younger years, but he won himself a ring in Philly and now he’s one of the highest paid players in baseball. Congrats!


Jayson Werth Signs 7-Year Deal With Washington Nationals

As first reported by Todd Zolecki, Jayson Werth has agreed to a free agent deal with the Washington Nationals, of all teams. Scott Boras negotiated for a reported seven years, 126 million dollars. Werth went from being a non-tendered scrap heap Pat Gillick signee to one of the richest men in baseball.

He should start right away in right field for the Nats, batting third in a lineup with Ryan Zimmerman behind him. With Bryce Harper coming up, a move to left field in a few years is a possibility. He’ll be 38 by the time his deal runs out, making $18 million. That’s a lot.

Reaction to come later.


Report: Phillies Offer Jayson Werth A Contract

Philadelphia radio station 97.5 The Fanatic has floated a think sounding report that the Phillies have made a contract offer to free agent Jayson Werth. The report says that they believe the offer is substantial enough to bring Werth back. Of course, why offer any contract at all if you didn’t believe he might accept it?

The report comes from a family friend of Amaro, who claims to have been told directly about the offer. In other words, it’s probably the least corroboration possible for anyone to even run the story… That said, it’s all we’ve got right now so we’re going to put it out there and see what happens. No doubt the beat writers are on alert so if an offer was truly made we’ll likely hear more about it in the coming days.

The question this begs is, if Amaro made an offer where he caved on some of the money and extra years… would we even want Werth to sign it? In 3 or 4 years we could have a roster full of old and very expensive players.


MLB Free Agency: Phillies Sign Jose Contreras to two-year, $5.5 million extension

The Phillies have signed reliever Jose Contreras to a two year extension worth $5.5 million.

The Good Phight is likely conflicted on the deal, after expressing reservations over the rumor. Surely, Michael Levin is on the edge of his seat hoping this is the oldest pitcher to get a multi-year deal from the Phillies this winter.


“Jose was as consistent a reliever as we had last year. We were pleasantly surprised by his durability since it was his first full year in a relief role. Jose has fit in extremely well in our clubhouse and he is a quality, back-end of the bullpen pitcher who showed versatility in a variety of roles in 2010. We’re pleased to have him on board for the next couple of years.”

MLB Free Agency: Phillies Sign Reliever Eddie Bonine

The Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a minor league deal with right handed knuckleballer Eddie Bonine, who has spent the last three seasons with the Detroit Tigers. Bonine was for the most part a long relief man for Detroit last season but made one start.

As the Detroit Free Press points out, Bonine’s first half last season was a lot stronger than his second half.

This past season, Bonine made one start and spent the bulk of the year in long relief. Through July 25, he was 4-0 with a 2.72 ERA. The rest of the season, he went 0-1 with an 8.72 ERA.

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