Bobby & Sal, Together at Last

Bobby & Sal, Together at Last

If you look at the players involved in the trade the Phillies made on Sunday with the Yankees, you would think the Bronx Bombers saw the Phillies as the little kid in the candy shop.  The Yankees got an All Star right fielder in Bobby Abreu and a starter in Cory Lidle who will have a huge impact on the extremely shaky bottom half of the Yanks rotation.

If you are a Phillies fan, you know this deal wasn't as simple as the players swapping teams.  This is a trade which signifies the dark cloud of Ed Wade's tenure finally passing.  Not that Bobby was necessarily part of that, but this move signifies a real change.  Bobby Abreu was the centerpiece of the Phillies line up for the last decade.  He will now go to a real contender and join Sal Fasano in a different color pinstripes with a legitimate chance at a ring.

Was this a good trade for the Phillies?  Like most deals you won't be able to tell for years down the road if the Phillies got the kind of value in return for such a great player as Abreu.  But the fact of the matter is that Bobby Abreu's huge contract and no trade clause (thanks Ed!) made Abreu almost untradeable.  I'd be surprised if there was more than one other team who really could have pulled off a deal for Abreu.  The Yankees knew they were the only team interested and therefore didn't have to give up their top prospects.

So it was more of a salary dump than a great trade for the Phillies.  It could even turn out to be a horrible trade a few years from now.  The Phillies haven't made the playoffs in decades.  Sure, they could have made the playoffs next year with Abreu and his huge contract but I think Philadelphian's have come to expect the worst out of the current squad.  Gillick's sentiments seem to show that he believes the team as of Sunday night still needs a lot of work.  And it surely does.  But with 3 expensive, aging veterans out and 6 young prospects in, the Phillies have new life.

I don't think anyone expects miracles out of this bunch.  But with Utely, Howard, Rollins and company around for years to come the Phillies have some stars in place.

Maybe we'll get lucky and one of these prospects will end up being a diamond in the rough which could help the Phillies make the playoffs.. ever.  Don't hold your breath Philadelphia.  It feels a bit weird to think Abreu will no longer lollygag in right at Citizens Bank Park.  At least we don't have to listen to Abreu haters anymore.

Shady McCoy hung up on the Pittsburgh media after party question

Shady McCoy hung up on the Pittsburgh media after party question

Eagles fans likely yearn for LeSean McCoy's days in Philadelphia. Not only is Shady still beasting on the field for the Buffalo Bills this season, he's also entertaining per usual off of it.

The latest instance comes thanks to the Bills matchup this week with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the pro team in the city where Shady spent his formative years.

A Pittsburgh reporter on Wednesday's conference call, for some reason, decided to ask Shady about that infamous "females only" party he was going to host. You remember that one, don't you? The "no weird orgy thing" one?

Shady would eventually go on to cancel that party and plan another one DJ'd by Donald Trump -- the dude was ahead of his time.

But that doesn't mean he wants to talk about it all.

To be fair, who really wants to talk to the media anyway?

Phils lose LHP in Rule 5 draft, exit winter meetings balancing present with future

Phils lose LHP in Rule 5 draft, exit winter meetings balancing present with future

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – The winter meetings ended Thursday morning with the Phillies sitting out the Rule 5 draft. The Phillies’ roster was at the 40-man limit and that prohibited the team from making a pick.

The Phils did lose one player in the draft as reliever Hoby Milner was selected by the Cleveland Indians. 

Milner, who turns 26 in January, is a left-hander who recently switched to a side-arm delivery. He had a 2.49 ERA in 49 games at Double A and Triple A in 2016.

Milner was eligible for the draft because he was not protected on the 40-man roster last month. The Indians selected him for $50,000. He must stay in the big leagues all season or be offered back to the Phillies for $25,000.

Andrew Pullin was a player the Phillies feared losing, but they hung on to the lefty-hitting outfielder. Pullin, 23, hit .322 with a .885 OPS between Single A and Double A in 2016. A late-season elbow injury prevented Pullin from playing in the Arizona Fall League and factored into the Phillies’ decision to leave him unprotected.

The Phillies selected one player, infielder Jorge Flores, in the minor-league phase of the draft. Flores had been in the Toronto system.

The Phils lost one player, 25-year-old pitcher Jairo Munoz, to Tampa Bay in the minor-league phase. Munoz pitched in the low minors in 2016.

With the winter meetings behind them, Phillies officials will head back to Citizens Bank Park to complete the construction of their 2017 roster. So far this winter, the Phils have re-signed starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson and added outfielder Howie Kendrick and relievers Joaquin Benoit, Pat Neshek and David Rollins.

Remaining on the Phillies’ to-do list is adding a backup infielder – Andres Blanco could return – and deciding whether to pursue a veteran hitter to play a corner outfield spot or give an opportunity to a young tandem such as Roman Quinn and Aaron Altherr. 

General manager Matt Klentak spoke often during the week about that balance he is trying to strike between improving the 2017 club while keeping intact long-range goals.

“Successfully balancing the present and the future is the single greatest challenge that a baseball operations department faces,” Klentak said. “We’ve talked about it all offseason. The decisions that we are making right now about giving playing time to a young player that has cut his teeth in Triple A and needs that opportunity to take the next step as opposed to a shorter-term solution from the outside – that’s one of the main challenges that we’ve run into this offseason.”

Time will tell which way the Phillies go on this matter.