Hot Stove: Winter Meetings, Monday Afternoon of news coming from the Winter Meetings in Nashville. Here are the topics that are catching our eye:

Center Field: Looking to Trade?

Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly is reporting that the Phillies have maintained their interest in Dexter Fowler and Peter Bourjos as trade targets. With the departure of Torii Hunter, Bourjos is now projected to be a starting outfielder for the Angels.

… or maybe a signing? Not Pagan.

Scratch Pagan off the list. Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Giants are close to re-signing Angel Pagan. UPDATE: The Giants have re-signed Pagan for four years, $40 million. Rosenthal was reporting that the Giants and Phillies continue to vie for Angel Pagan. Rosenthal believed both clubs see Cody Ross as a possible fall-back option even though Ross and Pagan have different skill sets.

Of note, according to Jon Heyman, Shane Victorino is being pursued by at least seven teams and has several multi-year offers on the table, including some three-year offers and one four-year offer.

Ichiro Update

Salisbury confirmed in his reporting that Ichiro and the Phillies have engaged in talks but it is unclear who reached out to who.

Swisher Waiting

Rob Bradford of is reporting that Nick Swisher may wait until Josh Hamilton signs before committing to a club.

Getting “Young”er at Third

Salisbury noted that Michael Young is being looked at by the Phillies as a possible solution at third. Young has statistically been one of the worst third baseman in the Majors and has not provided positive defensive value in the infield since 2006. Young was worth -1.4 WAR and hit .277/.312/.370 with 8 HR last year and is scheduled to make $16 million in 2013.



  1. Don M

    December 3, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    According to Yahoo Sports …. Pagan has reached a 4 year/ $40 M deal with the Giants.

  2. Ken Bland

    December 3, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    It’s really starting to amaze me that Ryan Ludwick can’t get so much as a mention in all these rumors. Hadn’t thought about or of him for weeks, did so about a week ago, and it felt like I thought of Rip Van Winkle. I mean Soriano is getting more rumor play than Ludwick? C’mon!

    Didn’t I see somewhere on MLBTR today that Jason Bay might actually stir interest on a big league deal? That’s Bob Ryan lecel SHOCK waving through the community, but if he’s commanding that degree of interest,which isn’t necessarily robust, I wonder if the Phils are among those kicking tires with the old due dilligence..

    I believe Mike Young has a no trade clause. Could be wrong. He’s dragged this far through the Rangers being associated with divorce intentions, it’s tough thinking of him moving. On the other hand, he can play 3rd base, which all 57 MLB clubs could use.

    I think we need to keep an eye on the Yanks and Josh Hamilton. Figuring Kuroda, Rivera and Pettitte come off the books after this year, Hamilton might be more affordable than the “propaganda” about the Yanks wanting to slash payroll seems necessary to believe. That’d figure to add The Grandy Man to the list of centerfielders.

    Troy Renck tweeted today that he’s sure the Rox would want Vance Worley, or let’s rephrase, he’s sure they’d ASK about Vance Worley for Fowler. I’d guess the Phils wouldn’t be too keen on that.

    • schmenkman

      December 3, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      “he can play 3rd base” – Young hasn’t played much 3B since 2010, and even then he was pretty bad. But at least he can’t hit any more either, so he’s got that going for him. At $16M Texas would have to eat $10+.

      Agree on Ludwick, although at 33 the Phillies probably think that he’s not enough of an improvement in the corners to block Ruf/Brown/JMJ, and can’t play center, which probably explains why he’s not high on the Phillies’ list.

    • EricL

      December 3, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      As much as I don’t particularly like Dexter Fowler, I’d be okay with a Vance Worley for Dexter Fowler trade.

      As much as I like Worley as a personality, I’m not sold on his long term viability as a quality starter. He doesn’t pitch deep into games and doesn’t have particularly dominating stuff. He’s probably a nice 4 or 5, but I don’t see him as more than that, and I think that’s about what Folwer is probably worth.

  3. Dave

    December 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Is it just me, or is anyone else getting discouraged? To be honest, I’m not overly thrilled with any of the available candidates…at 3rd, or in the OF. I’m really hoping that Ruben has something magical up his sleeve…maybe even something we haven’t mentioned or thought of. That would be why he gets paid the big bucks.

    • Ken Bland

      December 3, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      First of all, something IS gonna happen. I’d almost promise you that. But as you are probably aware, a lot of times, these winter meetings lay groundwork for eventual action. So you might wanna psychologically brace yourself for more patience.

      If you think about it, who have they missed out on that you really expected to come here? Maybe your expectations are diufferent than mine.

      Lastly, although I fully and completely expect some action, and I’ve got time on my side to be right, is it really the end of the world if they don’t do much of anything? It’s not like they are gonna get anyone (realistic expectations applied) that makes you feel warm and fuzzy similar to when they got Oswalt, or when Cliff re-signed. And the club’s pretty competitive as it is if 1-2 guys surprise and overachieve, and good health prevails.

    • EricL

      December 3, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      Not really. There’s still a lot of time left and plenty of possibilities, including trades that we haven’t really even considered yet.

    • hk

      December 3, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      I’m actually encouraged that they haven’t overpaid anyone in dollars or years yet. There are a lot of ways to improve the OF, whether with a corner OF like Swisher and a cheaper route in CF (i.e. platooning JMJ and the likes of Ryan Sweeney) or with a trade for a CF.

  4. George

    December 3, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    I just saw that Pagan signed myself. It doesn’t surprise me. The Phils’ options in CF are dwindling. Amaro needs to do better real quick; he seems ultra-conservative with the purse this year.

    I also think that Young isn’t the answer at third if his fielding is really that bad.

  5. Don M

    December 3, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    I read the Rockies asked the Braves for Mike Minor in a trade for Dexter Fowler (not sure who else they may have asked for) . . . but i’d give up Vance Worley for Fowler any day of the week- pretty sure the Rockies would laugh at us if that was our offer though

    • Rick

      December 3, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      I would not trade much for Fowler. He’s got Coors Field product written all over him- he’s under .700 OPS for his career away from there. Fowler will not be the answer to CF (he’s not even good at defense) and I hope RAJ has better sense than that. At this point I will take Victorino on 3 years with presumably less AAV than Pagan.

      • Don M

        December 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm

        The thought is that if you trade for a CF … you can then use money to upgrade somewhere else, perhaps a corner OF spot … (Cody Ross, etc. ) ….

        I’m on record as wanting Nick Swisher, but I don’t think the Phillies are even looking at him

  6. Chuck A.

    December 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I would take Vic as well on 3 years (maybe 3/24 or something like that) but 1) it seems as though they want a fresh start in center and 2) Vic already is reported to have been offered four years from one team. I seriously doubt that he comes back here.

    Worley for Fowler? Doesn’t exactly excite me but I’d probably do that deal.

  7. Ken Bland

    December 3, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Sidebar stuff….

    good read, taking the Amaro family’s baseball roots back before Ruben, Sr.

  8. betasigmadeltashag

    December 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    First 4/40 is too much for a guy like Pagan, and please stop with Cody punk Ross he is not an upgrade. And RAJ can not win. Last two years he signed guys to quick for too much or too many years, now he is not signing guys fast enough. Both the guys that were linked to Philly have signed but I do not like either of those deals for the Phillies. I like Swisher, I think he would be a good club house guy. I really think you are going to see Ruff in LF to start the season. I see the posibility to Sign Hamilton to play a corner and JMJ in center. Brown and some other guys going somewhere in a trade for maybe some pitching or 3rd base. Can you get Headly for Brown-Worley-and one of the AA catchers.

    • Don M

      December 3, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      I don’t think that would be enough to get Headley, but more than enough to get Fowler I’d think.

  9. betasigmadeltashag

    December 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    One thing I would like to mention, when I say I think Pagan, and Upton, signed bad deals for the teams that signed them. It really depends on what Bourne, Hamilton and other guys get signed for, to determin how good or bad those deals are.
    I truly think the Phillies believe in Ruff that is why they are not all out for outfielders this off season.

  10. Chuck A.

    December 3, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    beta – JMJ is not an everyday player.

    • Ryne Duren

      December 3, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      hey the only thing everyday about jr is that practically everyday he doesn’t hit!

  11. SouledOut1

    December 3, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I’d love to see a trade for Justin Upton – make Galvis part of the package to the Diamondbacks bc they need a SS. Platoon Brown/JMJ/Ruf in CF and LF

  12. Chris Slater

    December 3, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Who would really want to see Vic back here for 3+ years? He is a solid player, but anything more than 1 year is too many. I think teams are massively overpaying for second tier talent, and am glad to see the Phils not get caught up in it. Players are asking for too many years, and the Phils have seen how that can bite you later on. No Youk, Hamilton, Swisher, etc. Either trade for young talent at 3B or OF, or put your money into the pen and give this crew one more shot at the division – but with Ruf and Brown getting a full shot. It either works, or next year they blow it up as big contracts are coming up.

    • EricL

      December 3, 2012 at 9:25 pm

      The Phillies have a massive TV contract coming up after the 2014 season. There will be no “blow[ing] it up.” Until 2015 at the earliest.

  13. Lefty

    December 3, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    The Angels have Trumbo, Trout, Wells, and in a pinch, Kendrys Morales as OF’s. They also have three young guys on their 40 man, and probably a few more young OF’s on the way. They don’t need to keep Bourjos.

    But they won’t give him away either, why should they?. IMO- Ruf, JMJ, or more likely Brown would have to be part of the deal and a young arm, probably someone like Aumont.

    Would Bourjos be worth that? He’s pretty good, but who really knows, I’m not sure.

    Don M.- I’m all in on Swisher, I hope they go that direction.

    As far as Victorino, I get the feeling Chuck A’s intuition is right- for some reason we don’t know about, I don’t think they want him back- but I do.

  14. Allen Thornburg

    December 3, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    With Pagan off the market, I would now send Brown (Angels could used a LH bat) and one or two pitching prospects to the Angels for Bourjos. If they wouldn’t bite on that, I’d consider throwing Worley in too and signing someone like Edwin Jackson in FA. Then I’d go all in on Swisher; there should be enough cash left out of that for a minor bullpen piece.

    What Rube will probably do, though, is overpay massively for Bourn and try to get by with a Ruf-Bourn-Brown outfield and Fransden at 3B; that’s not going to be much good against the Nats, particularly if they get Shields or Hellickson (as is being rumored).

  15. SouledOut1

    December 3, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    I can’t believe I’m reading all this garbage that people are writing about seriously trading decent young players for Peter Bourjos. Bourjos is nothing special at all. Might as well bring up Gillies now and let him learn on the job instead of trading homegrown talent for Bourjos.

    • chuck schreiber

      December 3, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      Agree with you on Bourjos, Souled,,,, Same with Fowler..RAJ should have outbid the Nats on Span. He’s the one who would have been our CF & leadoff hitter for a few years to come. Trade for Justin Upton and sign Ichiro who can platoon with Mayberry in CF. DO NOT sign Ross, Bay or Ludwick.

      • rc

        December 4, 2012 at 3:18 am

        Suzuki in CF lol.

  16. Psu joe

    December 3, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    If I’m raj I don’t sign Ipton for 5/$75 or Pagan for 4/$40.

    Hold firm Raj, but make sure u get a setup man! Biggest need.

    • Ryne Duren

      December 3, 2012 at 10:47 pm

      i’m with you joe! upton and pagan aren’t worth that money!!

  17. Mazinman

    December 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    It is amazing how different this off season is from the other one. I get the impression that the Phillies were not really all in on Pagan and Upton. I think Ruben has something else in mind and all the bidding so far has been for leverage in negotiations.

    • Ryne Duren

      December 3, 2012 at 10:48 pm

      yea maz i think so too!

    • Brooks

      December 4, 2012 at 9:11 am

      Mazi, I don’t recall in recent history anyway the team in so much need. OF (at least 2 of 3), RP, 3B – key is the OF though. For anyone that has entertained thoughts of JMJ starting for the Phils, trash that idea.

  18. CS

    December 3, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    My Shopping List

    Hameliton, screw it give him 5yrs with two vesting option years for 6/7

    Youklis, 2yrs
    Chris Perez, trade for
    S.Choo, trade for
    Ichiro, 1yr
    Cody Ross, 1-2yrs

  19. medalistebailey

    December 4, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Tired of all of the retread names being promoted out there, name the last big name free agent outfielder that doesn’t look like a bad contract today. Here are some guys that are young, cheap and could help us next year;
    Brandon Snyder – FA – right handed power bat, high OBP, could play right, has had some injuries, former first round pick of the O’s, sound like someone we know?
    Derrick Robinson – FA – switch, speed and won a minor league gold glove last year, only 25.
    Kenny Wilson – Rule 5 Draft – Toronto, played through a labrum injury, once repaired, was outstanding last year, speed, arm, fielding
    Chris McGuiness – Rule 5 Draft – Texas, power, great swing, great athlete, rbi machine
    Julio Borbon – trade, Texas, lost his job due to injuries to Gentry, great defense, speed, avg

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