|Trade Deadline: Phillies P Cliff Lee reportedly ‘in play’||07.30.12 at 1:04 pm ET|
ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted Monday that the Phillies are entertaining offers for pitcher Cliff Lee.
Tweeted Olney: Cliff Lee is in play in trade talks today. Rangers obviously the most logical landing spot, with 3B Mike Olt as possible centerpiece.
According to Olney’s sources, the price will be steep, as the Phillies are looking for a significant package of prospects in return.
Olney also tweeted that the Yankees are not expected to pursue Lee, as they lack the budget space to take on his sizable contract.
The 33-year-old lefty is due $25 million in each of the next three seasons. He is just 1-6 with a respectable 3.95 ERA in 2012.
|Trade Deadline: Phillies reportedly won’t trade Cliff Lee||07.27.12 at 4:23 pm ET|
The Phillies will not trade starting pitcher Cliff Lee, CBS Sports reported.
Sources told CBS Sports the Phillies are trying to build a team around Lee, Roy Halladay and the recently extended Cole Hamels.
The Phillies will owe the 33-year-old $97 million through the next three seasons if they do not trade him, adding financial stress to a team that owes Hamels $144 million over the next six years.
Philadelphia’s decision further thins the starting pitching market on the trading block, as the Marlins have placed a high price on Josh Johnson and Matt Garza is injured and will not start until after July 31.
Lee is 1-6 with a 3.95 ERA and 15 home runs allowed through 17 starts this season.
|Sunday’s Red Sox-Phillies matchups: Josh Beckett vs. Cliff Lee||05.20.12 at 6:42 am ET|
The wild ride that has been the 2012 season continues for Josh Beckett. The Red Sox ace has been through injuries, short outings, successful starts and a sea of boos, but he looks to make it two wins in a row against Boston’s first interleague opponent, the Phillies.
Beckett recovered from his 2 1/3-inning debacle against the Indians on May 10 by throwing seven innings of four-hit ball, including a season-high nine strikeouts, against the Mariners on May 15. The righty got the win as Boston blanked the Mariners 5-0.
The two-time World Series champion’s rollercoaster season is well represented in his current numbers. Beckett is 3-4 with a 4.97 ERA. In five of his seven starts he’s finished at least six innings, but the off-day golfing controversy and the following ugly performance has consumed his season so far.
Beckett knows the Phillies quite well since his days as a member of the Marlins. He is 8-5 with a 4.18 ERA against Philadelphia but is 2-3 with a 6.52 ERA in Citizens Bank Park and has allowed seven home runs in five starts. Four Phillies have more than 30 plate appearances against Beckett, and out of those four Ty Wigginton has the best batting average at .313.
Getting a win on Sunday will be tough for Beckett, who is going up against the phenomenal Cliff Lee.
Despite having a 1.95 ERA, Lee is an unlucky 0-1 in five starts. Philadelphia has struggled to score for him, averaging 2.6 runs in support. The most notable performance of Lee’s season was against the Giants on April 18. He outdueled Matt Cain by going 10 innings without allowing a run, yet Lee still ended up receiving a no-decision as San Francisco won that game in the 11th.
In the 33-year-old southpaw’s last start, he went eight innings against the Astros, allowing only one run on five hits and striking out a season-high 10 batters. But Lee once again did not factor in the decision in the Phillies’ 4-3 win. Philadelphia is 1-4 in Lee’s starts.
Lee has 11 starts vs. the Red Sox with a 3-4 record and a 3.56 ERA. He is relatively familiar with several of the Boston players, having faced six of them more than 10 times. Adrian Gonzalez is 7-for-13 with a home run and Marlon Byrd is 6-for-18 against Lee. David Ortiz has the most plate appearances vs. the Phillies lefty with 26, but he is only 6-for-25.
|Scouting the Phillies: Position-by-position breakdown||06.28.11 at 11:22 am ET|
This is as exciting as interleague play is supposed to get. The Red Sox (45-32) take on the owners of baseball’s best record, the Phillies (49-30), for a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park to start the week. After an offseason in which Boston acquired some offensive firepower in Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford and Philadelphia inked Cliff Lee to a free-agent deal to give it arguably the best rotation in the game, media and fans alike both predicted that the two teams would see each other again in this year’s World Series. Although the end of June is way too early to be thinking about the Fall Classic, the timing is still right to look at how the Fightin’ Phils have done at this juncture heading into Tuesday’s series opener.
Despite boasting two former MVPs and a perennial All-Star in its lineup, Philadelphia has struggled for the most part at the plate. The Phillies rank eighth in the National League in runs scored, averaging 4.05 runs per game (the Sox lead the majors with a 5.31 average), and are 10th of the 16 senior circuit teams in OPS at .693. That’s led to some speculation about the Phillies looking for a bat before the trade deadline, especially a right-handed one that can play the outfield. But GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told the media not to expect such a move, although he also said that the team wasn’t going after Lee before signing him last season.
Here’s a more personal position-by-position breakdown of the Phillies’ performance at the plate this season:
C: Carlos Ruiz
The 32-year-old Panama native is in his sixth season in Philadelphia and is coming off his best statistical year in 2010 in which he set career-highs in every major offensive category, although his greatest value may have come in his .400 OBP. The walks are there again this season – he’s on pace for 51 this season, which would be only four fewer than a year ago, and has a .360 OBP – but the rest of the offense is not. Ruiz, who bats primarily out of the seventh spot in the order, has seen his average drop from .302 last season to .253 in 2011 while his slugging percentage is the lowest among Phillies starters at .346. When he hit a home run last Tuesday against the Cardinals, it was his first bomb since April 14. Read the rest of this entry »
The Red Sox and Phillies will play the first of a three game series Tuesday night in Philadelphia. This will be the fourth game of a nine game road trip for the Sox, all of which are against National League teams. The Sox are coming off of a win Sunday in the final game of a weekend series with the Pirates, where the Pirates took two of three.
Tuesday night’s game features two of the best pitchers in the respective leagues. Josh Beckett (6-2, 1.86) will take to the hill for the Sox and will be opposed by Phillies southpaw Cliff Lee (8-5, 2.87). Both have plenty of experience as Beckett is in his ninth season, while Lee is in his tenth.
Beckett has not pitched since June 15 as he was scratched from last Tuesday’s start with an illness, and his start Saturday was pushed back until Tuesday.
In his last outing, Beckett had his best game of the season as he threw a complete game one hitter, with six strikeouts in a 3-0 win over the Rays. Beckett’s gem went seemingly unnoticed, as that was the night the Bruins won the Stanley Cup.
The Sox have won seven out of the last eight of Beckett’s starts and Beckett has earned four wins during that stretch. The only loss came on May 29, when the Tigers bested Beckett and the Sox 3-0.
Lee is pitching his best baseball of the season. He has won six of his last seven starts, including four in a row. His last two outings have been complete game shutouts—a 4-0 win over the Cardinals on June 22 and a 3-0 win on June 16 against the Marlins. Lee has only allowed one run in his last four outings combined.
The left-hander is third in the National League in strikeouts with 112. He trails only teammate Roy Halladay and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers.
|Lucchino: Yankees still favorites||01.31.11 at 8:03 pm ET|
Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino, asked his thoughts on Yankees GM Brian Cashman‘s recent suggestion that the Red Sox are the favorites in the AL East, tried to downplay the comment.
“Cashman is a very honest, forthright guy. But he’s also not above playing games,” Lucchino said. “They’re always the favorites. C’mon. They’re the New York Yankees. They’re in the biggest market in the world. We’re happy to be those guys that they worry about looking over their shoulder.
“If it were anybody but Cashman, I might say there’s plenty of gamesmanship,” Lucchino added. “In this case, he was saying something I hope he believes. I hope he has some respect for us. We have plenty of it for them.”
The Red Sox have been praised widely for ‘winning the winter’ by acquiring Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, while the Yankees failed to land their prize target, Cliff Lee. But while Lucchino admitted that there was “hormonal satisfaction” in enjoying the more successful offseason, he also stated that such a feeling would dissipate quickly once games start.
Meanwhile, GM Theo Epstein took stock of Tampa Bay’s offseason, which now includes the acquisitions of former Red Sox outfielders Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon.
“Those guys can probably still hit a little bit, to say the least,” said Epstein. “I think the demise of the Rays is greatly exaggerated.”
|Jayson Stark on D&H: Red Sox could deal Jacoby Ellsbury||12.14.10 at 7:02 pm ET|
Jayson Stark of ESPN called into the Dale & Holley Show on Tuesday to discuss the Phillies’ signing of Cliff Lee and what that means for the Yankees and the Red Sox.
With Lee now heading to Philadelphia with a five-year, $120 million deal, the Phillies have an abundance of starting pitching at a high price. Sports Illustrated reported on Tuesday that the Red Sox and Phillies had a deal in place for Joe Blanton. Stark was asked if Blanton would make sense for the Red Sox.
“Not particularly,” said Stark of Blanton, who has two years and $17 million left on his contract. “I think the Red Sox were willing yesterday to do anything to help the Phillies make this [Lee] deal happen. They would have been a very accommodating trade partner. Joe Blanton doesn’t fit for them. Think about the last time Joe Blanton set foot in Fenway Park. Daniel Nava can tell you all about it. I don’t see Joe Blanton as an AL East kind of guy.”
What is the next move for the Yankees, who now appear to be reeling after missing on Lee? Stark suggests that the Yankees are still trying to figure out what the next step should be, but a move made on Tuesday could lead to a bigger deal down the line.
“The Yankees really haven’t even formulated Plan B,” said Stark. “They were so obsessed, so fixated on Cliff Lee that they were willing to basically put all their resources into him and worry about what happens if they don’t get him later. There’s no doubt that the Russell Martin deal gives them ammunition to make a trade later. Catching is the strongest, deepest part of their system and now they have catching to deal. So I don’t think these deals are disconnected … I think it’s more likely than ever that they’ll make a big deal before the deadline.”
In contrast to the Yankees, the Red Sox have had an extraordinarily productive off-season, adding Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. Stark was asked if the Sox could make another high-impact move.
“I don’t think there’s a whole lot more for the Red Sox to do,” Stark said. “They’re in the tweaking stage right now. I think they are going to listen on Mike Cameron. I don’t think they’re likely to trade him because if you start to look at that outfield and start thinking about how likely it is that Jacoby Ellsbury and J.D. Drew play 140 games each, you’ll see that it’s not that likely. So Mike Cameron still fits for them but he’s an interesting chip. But they’ve spent their money well and they’ve thought and looked over the horizon as they always do and it really showed.”
Is there any chance that the addition of Crawford means a possible deal involving Jacoby Ellsbury? Stark believes the Red Sox are happy with the team they have but won’t shut the door on a potential Ellsbury trade.
“I think it opens that possibility,” said Stark. “No doubt about it. The sense I get is that they are very content with how their team and outfield shapes up right now. But they’ve got four everyday outfielders and an everyday DH, so any time you are sitting in that spot it’s a great place to be. They’re in the driver’s seat now, they can totally call their own shots here and control where their off-season goes from here. Anything they do now, they do from strength. That’s not the case with the Yankees.”
To hear the entire interview, check out the Dale and Holley audio on demand page.
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