Buster Olney had some mid-day updates today regarding the Phillies and their pursuit of outfield help. Olney first Tweeted that the Phillies have joined the Orioles and Red Sox in teams seeking to sign Cody Ross. Ross, turning 32 in December, hit 22 HR and nearly matched his career triple-slash when he hit .267/.326/.481 for the sinking Red Sox in 2012. For his career, Ross has been slightly below average defensively in Left and Center while just barely above average in Right. Ross is repeatedly seeking a three year, $25 million deal. Ross is seeking about $3-4 million less annually than Nick Swisher and, given their age and previous production, would be the better buy of the two if the Phillies could add a beneficial bullpen or outfield piece with the remaining change.
Olney’s second Phillies’ related update came in a second Tweet: the Phillies reportedly are fine with matching any annual dollar amount for Josh Hamilton but are concerned about the years. We noted on Saturday that the Phils’ interest in Hamilton had picked up to the point that other executives were noticing. Now, things appear to be getting more formal and serious. Follow this one closely – a lot of similarities to the Cliff Lee situation of two Decembers past.
Finally, it appears Torii Hunter will not become a Phillie. Hunter, who turns 37 for the 2013 season, has been reportedly courted by the Yankees, Dodgers, Phillies, Tigers, Rangers, and Braves but is reported to be seeking a 2-year deal from an American League team. Boston, Texas and Detroit appear to be the front-runners.
Thoughts: As an Italian-American budget conscious consumer who eats a lot of pasta because I am cheap, I’ll use a bit of a self-deprecating analogy: right now, the pasta bowl is boiling and the water is spilling over but the pasta is still hard as a rock. With Ruben Amaro‘s previous history of targeting players, I would not be surprised if that pasta is edible soon. The stove is hot and these rumors went from zero to sixty, much like those of off-seasons previous.