Phillies Involved in Peavy Deal? Updates From Vegas Heating Up

Phillies Involved in Peavy Deal? Updates From Vegas Heating Up

Even with starting pitching at the top of the Phillies' self-proclaimed list of priorities this off-season, it was shocking to see the following headline out of the Winter Meetings today:

7:29 p.m. — Phillies enter Peavy fray

Yeah, don't get excited. The report, courtesy of Ken Rosenthal, links the Phillies to a possible Jake Peavy deal as a third party—one that likely sends a package from Philly to the team currently with Peavy, but receives a player from the team that actually receives the ace. In this case, that latter team is the Cubs. Oh goodie! Let's find a way to help improve the Cubs' chances to block our path to a repeat performance by assembling the scariest rotation in baseball.

So what would we get in return?

Rosenthal [originally] had this to say:

The World Series champion Phillies are active on at least two fronts.
They have shown interest in Twins' outfielder Delmon Young and also
have emerged as a possible third team in the ongoing discussions
between the Cubs and Padres regarding right-hander Jake Peavy.

The Padres like some of the Phillies' young minor-league pitchers,
major-league sources say, but the talks are only in the preliminary
stages.

The Cubs continue to seek a landing spot for right-hander
Jason Marquis, whose $9.875 million salary would need to be cleared to
create payroll flexibility for the addition of a left-handed hitter
and/or Peavy.

The Cubs tried to interest the Phillies in Marquis, but received only lukewarm interest.

So, we'd get Marquis' 4.55 career ERA, enabling the Cubs to clear room for Peavy. Something feels... not right. I guess if the Cubs are deadset on getting Peavy, there's no harm in finding a way to benefit. But I'm not sure Marquis fits that description.

And, we hear another mention of interest in Delmon Young today... If ever there were a gift from the blogging gods—some sort of repayment for the lack of sufficient Anna Benson material, Delmon Young would be it. Still... At what cost?

Update: Twins' beat writer on Phils and Young:

It would take more than Jason Donald for the Twins to make that deal.
The Phillies are looking for a corner outfielder to replace Pat Burrell
but because Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz are recovering from injuries,
they feel inclined to hold onto Donald.

Update: The Padres GM says there's a deal on the table, and it's up to the Cubs whether it gets done:

Towers, who had a discussion with [Cubs GM] Hendry earlier Monday,
said he had been in contact with a third and a fourth team - believed to be the
Orioles and Phillies - and has gotten both sides to agree to the players in
play who could be moved in a deal.

DeRosa Update: The Padres are looking at getting Mark DeRosa involved to send him to the Phillies. DeRosa could play 2B until Chase gets healthy, then maybe move to LF. Jim Salisbury confirms the Phils are working on such a deal, and shares these vitals on the righthanded hitter:

DeRosa, who turns 34 in February, hit .285 with 21 homers and 87 RBIs
in 149 games for the Cubs last season. He played six positions during
the season, including 95 games at second base and 27 in left field.
DeRosa is signed for 2009 at a reasonable $5.5 million.

Salibury links JA Happ to the deal, and also says the Phils are still open to acquiring lefty bat Raul Ibanez. Delmon Young, he hears, is lower down on their list.

Pro athletes react to Donald Trump's inauguration

Pro athletes react to Donald Trump's inauguration

A look at some of the reaction around the sports world as Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Friday:

Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Richie Incognito on Twitter
"Today is the first day on the road to Making America Great Again #Inauguration2017"

Memphis Grizzlies forward JaMychal Green on Twitter
"Hope these 4 years fly by ? #TimeToPray"

Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Huston Street on Twitter
"Today we start a new chapter, let's work together, and remember only saying negative without an idea is creating divide, it does not help US"

Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee on Twitter
"Inauguration Day.. Some folks happier than they've ever been.. some folks madder than they've ever been.. what a time to be alive"

Former USWNT soccer player Lauren Holiday , to her infant daughter, on Instagram
"I may not be the president, baby but I'll promise to be your Mom. I'll teach you that your brown skin is beautiful. I'll show you that being a girl and a woman is a privilege. How being incredibly powerful means serving those around you and fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves. I will tell you about Jesus and how he taught us to love unconditionally. We will have many talks about equality and I will always encourage generosity. One day if you ask me what you can be, I will smile and say absolutely anything. I'll tell you whatever it is you choose, be kind. I'll fight for you, I'll cheer for you and I'll love you along the way. But most of all, I'll make sure you're hopeful. So today, baby, I'll choose hope."

Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum on Twitter
"Appreciate you Mr. 44"

Atlanta Hawks guard Thabo Sefolosha on Twitter
"The only President my 2 daughters have known. Feels strange going from them to the new guy. Thanks for the class act Barack and Michelle !"

Former Texas and NFL receiver Jordan Shipley on Twitter
"Heard God's word in the inauguration speech. I care about our country being under God a lot more than I care about politics or parties."

Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul on Twitter
"Thank You!!! #44"

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady when asked on Friday if he called Trump to congratulate him.
"Let's talk about football."

Shayne Gostisbehere was right: Let's not forget the big picture

Shayne Gostisbehere was right: Let's not forget the big picture

Shayne Gostisbehere spoiled us.

In 64 games last season, we were spoiled by his 17 goals, most by an NHL rookie defenseman since Dion Phaneuf scored 20 over a full 82 in 2005-06.

Spoiled by a historic 15-game point streak, the longest ever for a first-year blueliner.

And spoiled by four overtime winners, an NHL rookie single-season record.

With it all, Gostisbehere created a mighty and somewhat unfair challenge. He exceeded anyone’s wildest expectations and perhaps made for even greater ones as an encore.

So, naturally, questions and doubts have swirled around his quiet sophomore season. Speaking to reporters last week after a 4-1 loss in Buffalo, Gostisbehere, for the first time, expressed just a hint of frustration. In the midst of his current 22-game goal drought, he wanted to make a point.

Astutely, he did.

“I’m doing my job,” he said. “I mean, I’m a defenseman, I’m not a goal scorer.”

It served as a reminder of what many wanted to see improve in Gostisbehere’s second NHL go-round — a more sound game in his own end by honing in on the defensive skills to his position.

Yes, he can change a game offensively, but could he be reliable and responsible defensively?

After all, Gostisbehere is a defenseman, like he said. We’ve already seen the offensive potential. From the onset, defensive growth is what head coach Dave Hakstol wanted to see.

“Consistency every day,” Hakstol said in early October. “Just be an everyday worker who is pushing hard to really improve himself as an NHL defenseman.”

Now, not only is Gostisbehere in a malaise offensively with four goals and 15 assists through 43 games, but he also hasn’t been sharp or consistent defensively. That certainly is a part of the concern permeating through the Delaware Valley. The 2015-16 Calder Memorial Trophy (top rookie) runner-up has been benched twice because of it and is a team-worst minus-17 on the season.

However, the positive here is he’s focused on it. Forget scoring goals for a moment. Even with Gostisbehere’s struggles, Flyers defensemen have provided offense among the league’s best. And for a stretch of 20 games following his first healthy scratch on Nov. 17, Gostisbehere was cleaner and more active with 17 giveaways and 24 blocked shots just partially telling the story. In the 17 games prior, he had 19 giveaways and only 20 blocked shots.

“I’m here to help the team in any way possible,” Gostisbehere said last Sunday. “Right now, it’s just getting back to work and doing the little things. It’s not going to come easy. That is something that me personally, and a lot of us have to look at.”

Even some of the all-time great defensemen went through the proverbial sophomore slump. Hall of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom went from 60 points and a plus-36 rating as a rookie to 41 and a plus-7 in his second season. Brian Leetch, also in the Hall of Fame, saw a dip in production across the board in Year 2 after winning the Calder Trophy.

But let’s not draw crazy comparisons. Let’s just understand the important thing here, which is Gostisbehere’s understanding that defense is paramount. He’s learning through his lumps, starting at the end of his breakout rookie campaign in which he looked spent from the NHL grind. He underwent minor offseason surgeries on his hip and lower abdomen, suffered a nasty face cut in the season opener, then a bone bruise on his right hand in December.

We’re just over halfway through the 2016-17 schedule. Gostisbehere is only 23 years old, a 2012 third-round pick with a cap hit less than 16 other Flyers in a season that looks more like a continued rebuild than a jump to contention.

Really, Shayne Gostisbehere should be some of the least of our worries.