Trade Rumors

Hot Stove: Black Friday Edition – Ruf, Fields, CF

With No Door Busters to be had, the Phillies signed Fields this Black Friday after the crowds had passed.

The First Signing

The Phillies signed their first Minor League contract for the 2013 season: Josh Fields, 29, signed with the Phillies today. Fields was last seen in the Majors with the Kansas City Royals in 2010 manning the Hot Corner in just 13 games. Fields was once a promising up-and-comer, selected 18th overall by the Chicago White Sox in 2004 out of Oklahoma State, where he set passing records as a dual-sport star. Fields burst on to the scene in 2007 for the Chi Sox, hitting 23 HR in 418 PA. Injuries and the return of Joe Crede kept Fields off the Big League field in 2008 and he has since bounced around quite a bit, including a trip to Japan in 2011. Fields hit .322/.392/.488 with 13 HR for the Dodgers Triple-A  affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes, in 2012 in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League with below-average defense. Barring injury, Fields will likely start the year in Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Much like shoppers who were not phased by the lack-luster Black Friday deals this year, the Phillies did not hit it big with any bargains this year. The day is not over yet but I don’t see them being able to score the 70″ LED-TV with a 240 Hz refresh rate, with matching surround sound and 3D Blu Ray.

Ruf Earns High Praise

Charlie Manuel did an interview today. Manuel spoke with Jim Duquette and Mike Ferrin on SiriusXM Sports. During the interview, Manuel said he viewed Upton and Bourn fairly equally and gave high praise to Darin Ruf. Manuel said “He’s a pretty good chance; he might make it 50/50 or something. Going into Spring Training, he’s going to get to play.” Manuel likes Ruf’s “surehandedness” and the ability to make the plays he’s supposed to in left and is aware of his hot bat in the Venezuelan league. “As an offensive player, I really like him,” said Manuel. You can listen to the whole interview here. (Huge thanks to Ken Bland in the comments section for bringing that to our attention).

Amaro Speaks

Finally, Jim Salisbury of Comcast SportsNet sat down with Ruben Amaro Jr. and discussed off-season plans. Notable from this are the following points from Amaro:

  • Amaro views John Mayberry Jr. as having a spot on the team, believes “he may be better than what (collective Phillies’ brass) has seen”, but that he is not their solution in center field. Amaro thinks Mayberry may have a shot to play regularly in the corners in 2013 but hints that he sees Mayberry like as the fourth outfielder no matter who they sign.
  • Amaro confirms that the team has met with B.J. Upton and that he is a candidate. Amaro lists Michael Bourn, Angel Pagan, and Shane Victorino as other candidates and also notes they may explore trades.
  • Amaro would not say whether they are “close” but did say there are situations where the Phillies are waiting for someone to “say yes” and other situations where there are “other teams waiting for us to say yes”. Whether or not that means the Phillies are “saying yes” to trades or pulling the trigger to sign players is unclear.

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