Found July 27, 2013 on
Boston Red Sox
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San Francisco Giants
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Remember how we said the Philadelphia Phillies' games against St. Louis and Detroit this week should determine their approach to the trade deadline?
Well, the Phillies are 0-4 on the road trip. They have lost six straight overall. They are nine games out in the National League East, 10 back in the second wild card.
Logic says the Phillies should reboot an aging roster by trading some veterans. It remains to be seen if general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. will do it.
One thing became clear Friday: Even if Amaro sells, it will be difficult to trade Cliff Lee before Wednesday's 4 p.m. non-waiver deadline. Lee was scratched from Saturday's start against the Tigers because of neck stiffness. He expects to see a doctor once the Phillies return home.
At that point, the Phillies will have only one game left before the deadline. So, Lee probably won't have enough time to prove to suitors that he's healthy. It's possible that Lee could be traded in August, since his contract -- with at least $62.5 million remaining after this season -- is likely to clear trade waivers.
For now, infielders Chase Utley and Michael Young are the most interesting names to watch. Both are eligible for free agency after the season.
Utley told me Friday that he's had a lot of conversations recently with Amaro, in which he has made clear how he feels about the city and organization. It's believed that a contract extension remains possible -- but so is a trade, in the event a new deal can't be reached. Oakland, which could benefit from an offensive upgrade at second base, is one potential suitor.
When asked if he'll still be wearing a Philadelphia uniform on Aug. 1, Utley said, "We'll see."
Young, meanwhile, said Friday that he hasn't spoken with Amaro about the possibility of a trade. That's significant, because he has a no-trade clause. The Boston Red Sox -- who had a scout at the Phillies' game Friday -- would have interest in Young if he's available.
The Texas Rangers -- Young's former team -- have interest, as well, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Young hasn't ruled out a return, despite an occasionally contentious relationship with the front office there. (Young still makes his permanent home in the Dallas area.) While emphasizing his loyalty to the Phillies, Young also said, "I want to win."
As the Phillies' losses mount, it becomes likelier that their roster will have at least a different look by this time next week. Manager Charlie Manuel said after Friday's 2-1 loss to Detroit that the uncertainty associated with the trade deadline has affected his team's play lately.
"Moving forward, I still like a lot of the guys, but I think it could change, and that will definitely make things a little bit interesting," said Cole Hamels, who signed a six-year, $144 million extension almost exactly one year ago. "I don't make the decisions, so I wouldn't know what sort of direction that's going to entail."
-- Friday night crystallized why the defending world champions may need to sell: The Dodgers won a close game against a good team. The Giants lost a close game to a bad team. And it wasn't the first time either of those things happened.
San Francisco is eight games back in the National League West. The way the Giants have fallen behind the Dodgers in recent days should make it easier for the team to shift focus toward rebuilding the once-dominant rotation for 2014.
The Giants have intriguing players to market, including right fielder Hunter Pence and relievers Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez. The Rangers have interest in Pence, while the Tigers are among the teams that have shown interest in the Giants' relievers.
-- After missing out on Matt Garza, the Red Sox are scouting virtually all available (and potentially available) starting pitchers.
Jake Peavy, Ervin Santana, Bud Norris, Yovani Gallardo and Edinson Volquez are among the starters their scouts have seen recently. The odds seem to favor Boston acquiring a starting pitcher between now and Wednesday, in part because the Red Sox farm system is deep enough to make it happen.
-- One mildly surprising name on the Rangers' wish list of right-handed bats: Paul Konerko of the White Sox. It's not clear if Konerko is available, as the White Sox would be reluctant to trade a franchise icon unless Konerko fully embraced the move. Konerko also has full no-trade protection.
-- Executives with teams around the majors have said consistently that they don't expect the Miami Marlins to trade outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. Perhaps more surprisingly, the Marlins have told clubs -- so far -- that they won't move closer Steve Cishek, either.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Philadelphia Phillies, who figure to be buyers, are getting hits on arguably their best pitcher. Teams are making offers for pitcher Cliff Lee, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. The teams interested in Lee are unknown.
It isn't likely that a deal happens. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro is not giving up hope on the season and plans on getting talent, rather than selling...
Philadelphia left-hander Cliff Lee has been scratched from Saturday night's start at Detroit because of a stiff neck.
Lee will be replaced by left-hander Raul Valdes, who has gone 1-0 with a 7.59 ERA in 11 relief appearances this year.
Lee is 10-4 with a 3.05 ERA.
Detroit's Max Scherzer puts his 14-1 record on the line Saturday.
The Phillies are already without right...
The starting pitching market could be in for a huge shakeup.
Multiple teams are making a late run at the Phillies with offers for pitcher Cliff Lee, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. didn’t discuss the extent of others teams’ interest in his pitcher, but he also didn’t rule out listening to offers.
“I never put any real absolutes...
Multiple teams are making a late run at the Philadelphia Phillies with offers for pitcher Cliff Lee as Wednesday's trade deadline nears baseball sources told ESPN.com Friday.
Although Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. declined to address the extent of other teams' interest in Lee he said he's keeping an open mind on Lee and numerous other Philadelphia players...
Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. on Friday opened the door to trading All-Star left-hander Cliff Lee.
Amaro said he owed it to the organization to entertain offers for Lee. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick citing baseball sources reported that teams are making a late push for the 2008 American League Cy Young Award winner as the Wednesday nonwaiver deadline approaches...
According to Todd Zolecki of Phillies.com Cliff Lee has been scratched for Saturday night's start with a stiff neck. Raul Valdes will get a start. Fun times.
The Philadelphia Phillies have been receiving calls regarding the availability of infielder Michael Young and starting pitcher Cliff Lee. The Phillies had originally been against being sellers at the trade deadline but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said that he would listen to all offers.
“I never put any real absolutes on anything,” Amaro said on Friday. “Although we don’t...
As many could have predicted when the news that Cliff Lee wouldn't be starting tonight broke, the Phillies lost what was easily one of the least competitive game in MLB this season, falling 10-0 to the Detroit Tigers. Raul Valdes, starting in place of the injured Lee, was in trouble...
Philadelphia's assistant general manager says the Phillies haven't necessarily decided if they'll be buyers or sellers heading into next week's trade deadline.
Scott Proefrock spoke to reporters before Saturday night's game at Detroit. The Phillies are hoping to snap a season-worst six-game losing streak, and they entered the night trailing first-place Atlanta...
In their 4th consecutive loss on Wednesday night, I do believe the Phillies finally rolled over and died. They did not just lose 4 games, they were slaughtered in the ugliest and most painful manner possible.
Every problem this team has had this season was glaring in last night’s 3-11 drubbing, courtesy of the Cardinals. It was a proverbial highlight reel of all that is wrong with...
The Phillies have lost six straight games and everything is looking more likely that the Phillies will sell before Wednesday's trade deadline. Last night the Phillies were only able to manage an unearned run against Doug Fister, who held them in check over eight innings. Cole Hamels was solid, allowing...
Philadelphia Phillies (49-54) at Detroit Tigers (57-45)
Raul Valdes (1-0, 7.59) vs. Max Scherzer (14-1, 3.14)
Time: 7:08 PM EST, Comerica Park
Weather: Rain, 68
Media: Twitter and Facebook
Today’s game was all set up to be a real pitcher’s duel. Cliff Lee was expected to start alongside fellow All-Star Max Scherzer, however Lee was scratched due to neck soreness...
With the Phillies seeing a losing streak hit six games to sink the club five games under .500 and having them fall farther back in the NL East and wild card standings, the general consensus is the Phillies should start to recognize themselves as sellers with the trade deadline coming up in just a few more days. But as we have learned, the Phillies are indeed buyers it would seem...
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