Phillies quiet heading into winter meetings

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Phillies quiet heading into winter meetings

Major League Baseball's annual winter meetings begin Monday in Orlando, adding another element to what’s already been an interesting offseason.

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is no stranger to the meetings, landing big-name talents such as Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee in the past. But with the Phils remaining relatively quiet so far, does he have what it takes to land more big-name talent?

“This is a different winter for that team, a different winter for Amaro, who is a big-game hunter, loves those big guys,” CSNPhilly.com Phillies insider Jim Salisbury said on "SportsNite" on Comcast SportsNet. “Let’s not forget, he’s kind of obsessed with Giancarlo Stanton down in Miami and they're always poking around on that one, but I don’t see them trading him right now.”

The Phillies aren’t in a hurry to sign upper-echelon talent. They've opted thus far to add mid-range players such as Marlon Byrd, Wil Nieves and Brad Lincoln.

“They kind of cast their die a little bit early in the offseason when they set their sights on a mid-range guy -- Marlon Byrd,” Salisbury said. “Those seem to be the type of guys they’re looking at. They weren’t in it for [Jacoby] Ellsbury, they're not in it for [Shin-Soo] Choo.

“They have a bunch of guys -- Ryan Howard, [Cole] Hamels, [Cliff] Lee -- making $20 or more million. [Jonathan] Papelbon and Mike Adams next year are going to combine in the eight and ninth inning for $20 million. I just don’t think that they have big-ticket free agents on their plate the rest of this winter.”

While the Phils may be reluctant to spend big money this offseason, Amaro still may tinker with his roster via the trade market. His best asset?

“The best trade chip they have is Domonic Brown, 26 years old, still an improving talent, in my opinion,” Salisbury said. “He’s a guy that I hear a lot of rumble about from opposing teams, that he's available, that their ears are open. In the right move, they would like to get back young, productive right-handed bat they could play in the outfield, under-control type of player contract-wise.

"The thing is, teams just don’t really want to move those type of guys. ... I don’t know if it’s likely that they will indeed make that move. I think their ears are wide open, though.”

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick on Saturday night made his fourth rehab appearance in Triple A during Lehigh Valley's 13-1 rout of the Louisville Bats in Allentown.

Kendrick went 1 for 5 with a run scored and three strikeouts. He also grounded into a double play and left two runners in scoring position.

It was his second rehab game playing third base. He played third during his appearance in the IronPigs' 8-4 loss Thursday to the Indianapolis Indians. He was 0 for 1 in three plate appearances with a run scored and was hit by a pitch twice (see story).

The Phillies' plan for Kendrick was to have him play a minimum four games at Lehigh Valley. He played left field in two games and third base twice. Pete Mackanin said Wednesday that Kendrick would also get a game at first base but he hasn't gotten a game at first yet.

There is a chance Kendrick could be recalled Sunday before the Phillies’ series finale against the Cincinnati Reds depending on how he feels.

Kendrick has been sidelined since April 15 with an oblique strain. In 10 games before the injury, Kendrick went 13 for 39 (.333) with five extra-base hits and four walks while exclusively playing left field.

Best of MLB: Trout's 16th home run guides Angels past Marlins

Best of MLB: Trout's 16th home run guides Angels past Marlins

MIAMI -- Mike Trout hit his major league-leading 16th homer, and the Los Angeles Angels reached the .500 mark for the 12th time this season by beating Miami 5-2 Saturday.

Trout's first-inning homer into the beer garden in left field was estimated at 443 feet, which pleased a fair portion of the crowd at Marlins Park.

"Hate Fish Love Trout," read a sign held by an Angels fans.

J.C. Ramirez (5-3) limited Miami to an unearned run in seven innings and benefited from excellent defense. Bud Norris, who tweaked his right knee and left Friday's game after throwing only three pitches, gave up a homer to Marcell Ozuna in the ninth (see full recap).

Strasburg K's career-high 15, Nats down Padres 3-0
WASHINGTON -- Stephen Strasburg dominated San Diego with a career-high 15 strikeouts while allowing three hits over seven innings as the Washington Nationals beat the Padres 3-0 on Saturday.

Strasburg (6-1) singled and scored Washington's first run on Bryce Harper's RBI grounder in the third inning. Michael A. Taylor hit a two-run homer for the second consecutive game.

San Diego's lineup offered little resistance against Strasburg the day after Max Scherzer dominated the Padres with 13 strikeouts in Washington's 5-1 win.

Strasburg struck out the side in the third and sixth and had at least two in the first six innings.

The right-hander previously struck out 14 batters twice including his Major League debut on June 8, 2010. He set a personal best by setting down Franchy Cordero in the seventh (see full recap).

Yankees held hitless into 6th by Cotton, but beat A's 3-2
NEW YORK -- Oakland rookie Jharel Cotton held the Yankees hitless until Matt Holliday launched a two-run homer with two outs in the sixth inning that sent resurgent CC Sabathia and New York to a 3-2 victory Saturday.

Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge was in the right spot for a pair of key catches to boost the AL East leaders, who won with just two hits.

Sabathia (5-2) has won three straight starts for the first time since April 2013. The 36-year-old lefty pitched into the seventh and struck out nine.

Dellin Betances escaped a second-and-third, one-out jam in the eighth, an inning that included the ejections of A's hitter Jed Lowrie and manager Bob Melvin for arguing strike three calls. Betances closed for his fifth save.

Cotton (3-5) was promoted from Triple-A Nashville before the game. He began the season in the Athletics' rotation but was sent down to the minors May 11 to refine his game (see full recap).

Bautista hits 3-run HR, Blue Jays beat Rangers 3-1
TORONTO -- Jose Bautista hit a three-run homer that backed Marco Estrada, and the Toronto Blue Bays beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 Saturday and matched their longest winning streak this season at five.

Shin-soo Choo homered into the center-field party deck on the first pitch of the game from Marco Estrada, but Bautista hit a two-out drive in the fifth, his eighth home run in May after one in April.

Estrada (4-2) allowed four hits in six innings to win for the third time in four starts. Aaron Loup got one out in the seventh, Ryan Tepera finished the inning and Joe Smith worked the eighth. Roberto Osuna threw a perfect ninth for his ninth save, completing a six-hitter.

Darvish (5-3) gave up three runs and five hits in six innings. He had been 4-0 with a 2.54 ERA in six starts since losing April 18 at Oakland. Texas has lost five in a row for the first time this year (see full recap).