Phillies Sign Fabio

Phillies Sign Fabio

Slow news day, but the Phillies did sign a guy named Fabio and some teenagers:

The Phillies continued to stretch their international wings on
Wednesday, signing four players from Brazil and one pitcher from Taiwan.

From Brazil, the Phillies signed two pitchers and two outfielders:
right-handed pitchers Heitor Correa, 16, and Gilmar Pereira, 17; and
outfielders Fabio Murakami, 17, and Bruno Doi, 17. The pitchers
represented their country in international competition.

Random Inklings from Bill Conlin's article today:

Hard to believe the Phillies didn't follow
Tuesday's Ed Wade announcement that manager Charlie Manuel and his
coaching staff will all be back next season
with a ticket-price
increase. Don't worry - all things in due time. To those of you who
responded favorably to my two-headed GM scenario in which Wade returns
to handle the off-field details and managing general partner Dave
Montgomery hires a real baseball man to run field operations:
Fuhgeddaboudit! What you just saw is what you're gonna get more of next
season. I swear that driving past the Money Pit the other afternoon,
the flagpole in center had been transformed into a giant, extended
middle finger.

......

Baseball America's must-have,
best-prospects edition is out and is not particularly kind to the
Phillies. In fact, it has the Phils tied for last among 30
organizations in the number of Top 20 prospects in each league where
they have an affiliate. The Angels rank first, with 20 players
selected. The Braves are second with 19. The Phillies are tied for last
with the Blue Jays at five apiece.

The highest-rated Phils prospect is Ryan Howard, rated No. 4 in the
International League, despite his Rookie of the Year performance with
the varsity. Highest Reading player was No. 18, outfielder Michael
Bourn. Eastern League Rookie of the Year Chris Roberson failed to crack
the Top 20, which is strange. Lakewood's Greg Golson, the 2004 No. 1
draft pick, was No. 14 in the Sally League. Clearwater infielder Tim
Moss was No. 19 in the Florida State League. Batavia infielder Welinson
Baez was No. 15 in the short-season New York-Penn League. "Untouchable"
pitchers Gavin Floyd and Cole Hamels didn't get a mention.

I don't think many Average Joe Phillies fans picked up on the fact that the entire Phillies coaching staff was rehired including everyone's favorite third base coach Bill Dancy.  What does this mean other than the fact that Mets fans will enjoy watching David Bell being waved around to third and being thrown out by 28 feet?  Charlie and Big Ed are assured to be back as well.

I'm thinking of a four letter word.

 

Phillies sign OF Daniel Nava, LHP Sean Burnett to minor-league contracts

Phillies sign OF Daniel Nava, LHP Sean Burnett to minor-league contracts

The Phillies made a couple quiet additions as the winter meetings ended, signing veteran outfielder Daniel Nava and lefty reliever Sean Burnett to minor-league contracts.

Nava, 34 in February, is a left-handed hitter who can play the outfield corners and first base. He came up with the Red Sox and became a fan favorite in Boston in 2010 as a 27-year-old rookie. Some Phillies fans will remember him for hitting a grand slam off Joe Blanton in his first major-league plate appearance.

Nava had a few decent years in Boston, the best of which was 2013, when he had 536 plate appearances and hit .303/.385/.445 with 29 doubles, 12 homers and 66 RBIs. 

Nava's numbers and opportunities have dropped every year since. He was designated for assignment by Boston in 2015, latched on with the Rays, signed the next year with the Angels and was traded late in the season to the Royals.

Over the last two seasons, Nava has hit just .208, albeit with an on-base percentage 99 points higher because of his 30 walks and 10 hit by pitches.

Burnett, 34, has spent five of the last seven seasons in the Nationals' bullpen. He had a 2.85 ERA in 283 appearances from 2009-12 and parlayed that success into a two-year, $7.25 million contract with the Angels. However, he barely pitched in 2013 and 2014 for the Halos because of an elbow tear. He returned to the Nats last season and allowed two runs in 5⅔ innings.

Burnett, perhaps more so than Nava, has a chance to fill a role with the Phillies if he can stay healthy. He's shown he can get outs at the highest level, posting a 2.38 ERA in 2012 with 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings and a 2.14 ERA with 8.9 K/9 in 2010. That was a long time ago now, and Burnett's fastball has dipped from averaging 90-91 mph to 88.

According to Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith, Burnett will receive a $1.25 million salary if he makes the team and can earn another $1.75 million in incentives based on his number of appearances.

Burnett has an opt-out date of March 26, meaning he can become a free agent a week before the regular season begins if it looks to him like he isn't in the Phils' plans.

Nava's chances at cracking the opening-day roster seem longer because the Phillies are expected to make more depth signings between now and the start of camp. They've prioritized finding some offense in the corner outfield and that could come in the form of more minor-league deals, a guaranteed contract or trade. One potential fit I examined last week was Mariners outfielder Seth Smith, a hitter more proven than Nava (see story).

These minor-league deals were commonplace for Phillies general manager Matt Klentak last offseason, when the only free agent he signed to a major-league deal was reliever David Hernandez. 

Last season, three players who were signed to minor-league deals with invites to spring training made the team on opening day: outfielder Cedric Hunter, utilityman Emmanuel Burriss and reliever James Russell.

Others, such as former closers Edward Mujica, Ernesto Frieri and Andrew Bailey, failed to make the team out of camp. Bailey eventually earned a call-up; the other two didn't.

Former Sixer Lou Williams lighting it up with Lakers off the bench

Former Sixer Lou Williams lighting it up with Lakers off the bench

Former Sixers point guard and Meek Mill collaborator Lou Williams is enjoying quite the run off the bench for the Lakers recently.

Over Los Angeles' last four games, Williams has posted totals of 40, 38, 24, and 35 points. 

The six-man is averaging 34.5 points per game over the stretch, and his 137 points are the most off the bench in a four-game span by any player since 1970-71, when stats were first recorded, per Elias Sports Bureau, via ESPN. Williams is now averaging 19.3 points this season, which is 4.4 more than his highest average with the Sixers.

Williams isn’t the only player who used to play for the Sixers that is playing well for the Lakers this year. Nick “Swaggy P” Young, who also comes off the bench, is averaging 13.3 points per game. Just a few weeks ago, Swaggy P stole a pass intended for Lou Williams, and then proceeded to hit a game winner against the Thunder. Swaggy P, however, is currently sidelined with a right calf strain, but is getting closer to a return.

"Lou Will" was also talked about last April during Kobe Bryant’s final NBA game, when he was beefing on Twitter with another former Philadelphia athlete, LeSean McCoy.