Ruben Amaro was like a dirty mutt, walking around Las Vegas sniffing every free agents' and GM's butt searching for the right deal to land. He landed us a disgruntled, underachieving back-up backstop in Ronny Paulino for a Quad A catcher in Jason Jaramillo. Paulino will challenge Chris Coste for a roster spot in spring training, this is if Coste is still with the team by then. This move allows super prospect Lou Marson to catch a full season at Triple A Lehigh Valley. More importantly, Paulino now gets added to the illustrious list of Phuccos (Phillies/Bucco). Paulino fell out of favor in Pittsburgh (how the hell do you do that?); and he'll be 28 next season, and is a lifetime .278 hitter in the bigs with a .713 ops while playing adequate defense.
A new leftfielder is being added to the roster in the form of 36 year old Raul Ibanez. Ibanez is a good player, but just isn't a good fit for the Phils in my opinion. He's old, slow, can't field, bats lefthanded, and comes at an expensive cost of 3 years $30MM...why not just re-sign Burrell for a similar contract? Don't get me wrong, I'm going to root for the guy, but we've got a lineup with an extreme tilt to the left now, with Werth being the lone RH power threat. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised as he puts up numbers like the ones he's posted in Seattle the past few seasons (.291 avg, 22.6 hr, 85.4 r, and 97.8 rbi over the past 5 seasons with the Mariners), or maybe I'll be grossly disappointed like I am with Geoff Jenkins. Career splits: vs. RH- .293/.849, vs. LH- .268/.733. Cherry on top- Ibanez is a Type A free agent and we'll now lose our 1st round draft pick...yeah Amaro!!!
Amaro is also reportedly very close to snatching up Chan Ho Park as rotation insurance/bullpen multi-inning worker. Park used to be good (1996-2001), then sucked for 6 straight seasons (2002-2007) before having a comeback year with the Dodgers in 2008. Last year he worked 95.3 innings for LA with a 3.40 era and 1.40 whip. However, before that his lowest era was 4.81 in the previous 6 seasons and often topped out in the high-5's. Park should not be trusted to hold down a rotation spot, just ask the Texas Rangers about that awful mistake, and should only be delegated to long relief duties or mop-up situations (meaning he essentially replaces Rudy Seanez).
Amaro continues to make head-scratching moves, selecting pitcher Robert Mosebach in the Rule 5 draft. The guy is a 23 year old righty out of the Angels organization and hasn't pitched above Double A, yet is expected to stay on the 25 man roster? Mediocre record, era, and whip throughout minors...no reason to pick this guy up! No way in hell that this dude sticks on the defending WFC Phils roster all season. This poor fella's MLB dream will soon be dashed with the likes of such stellar names as Ryan Budde, Jim Ed Warden, and Lincoln Holdzkom.
According to Todd Zolecki- "The Phillies are expected to sign righthander Blaine Neal to a minor-league contract." Neal last pitched in the bigs in 2005 with Boston and Colorado. He owns a 5.08 era and 1.71 whip. He did have an outstanding year in Triple A Toledo with Detroit's farm team last season, racking up 26 saves with a 1.21 era and 1.10, but he's nothing more than Lehigh Valley roster fill.
So it seems Lil' Rube has been a busy boy, linking the Phils to Derek Lowe, Mark DeRosa, the Hairston Bros. (Jerry and Scott), John Parrish, Delmon Young, Jason Marquis, Randy Wolf, Andy Pettitte, and probably others. He's also made it publicly known that the Phillies are willing to eat $8MM of Adam Eaton's contract (meaning acquiring team is on the hook for $1MM) and he wants essentially nothing in return (meaning no-name no-talent minor leaguer). Jamie Moyer remains unsigned, Charlie Manuel got a contract extension, and Pat Burrell is gone. Eric Bruntlett and Clay Condrey agreed to contracts for 2009, terms were not disclosed. Meanwhile the Mets rebuilt their bullpen and purged themselves of the atrocities known as Aaron Heilman and Endy Chavez.
102nd Reason to Love the Phillies:
Here are the finalists for the 101 Reasons to Love the Phillies book giveaway contest...
*Dollar Dog Days- $1 Hatfield hot dogs...that's what I'm talking about!
*Joe Roa- 'nuff said.
*The Schmitter- where else but in Philly can you get a sandwich with one letter removed and in a drunken slur that can remind you where a lot of our seasons have gone?!
Thank you for all the entries, but it's time to choose a winner, so let the voting begin (Polls close Monday at 6:30 am).
For all you losers (ouch, harsh!) there will be another contest next week for "The Perfect Season" DVD narrated by Mr. Perfect himself Brad Lidge. It is the perfect DVD for any Phillies fan and is an exclusive DVD made by Phillies for the Phillies fans. The Perfect Season gives fans the chance to relive all the excitement, drama and intrigue that made Philadelphia a world-champion city once again. It includes the journey from spring training through the World Series with exclusive player footage and interviews, as told by the words and deeds of the Phillies team.
On an unrelated note, David Wright wears guyliner. Wow, really? Hamels was right, the Mets are "choke artists", he just didn't specifiy what they're choking on...