Bill BaerBill Baer

Recent articles by Bill Baer

 

Phillies Trade Jesse Biddle to the Pirates

Update: The Phillies got pitcher Yoervis Medina in return for Biddle. Medina is 27 and has four years of team control remaining, meaning he’ll be eligible for free agency after the 2019 season. The right-hander had a pair of solid years pitching out of the Mariners’ bullpen in 2013 and ’14, posting ERA’s of 2.91
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Phillies Hire Former Google Analyst Andy Galdi

In an effort to bolster their analytics department, the Phillies have hired former Google analyst Andy Galdi. During the past three years, Galdi was a quantitative analyst for YouTube, which is owned by Google. He’ll now serve as the director of baseball research and development for the Phillies, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports.

 

Phillies Sign David Lough to a Minor League Deal

The Phillies announced yesterday the signing of outfielder David Lough to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. The club’s outfield is essentially set already with Aaron Altherr and Odubel Herrera starting in left and center field, respectively, and Peter Bourjos tentatively slated to start in right field. Rule 5 pick Tyler
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Looking Forward to the 2016 Season

In what is now an annual tradition for baseball stat nerds, FanGraphs has projected the standings for the upcoming season. It should come as no surprise that the Phillies are expected to once again put up the worst record in baseball, though they are at least projected to improve by three wins over last year at
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Phillies Avoid Arbitration with Remaining Three Players

As Corinne noted on Monday, the Phillies had three outstanding arbitration cases ahead of Friday’s deadline. They’ve agreed to contracts with all three players. Shortstop Freddy Galvis, in his first year of arbitration eligibility, settled for $2 million with the Phillies on Wednesday, per Jon Heyman. On Thursday night, reliever Jeanmar Gomez settled for $1.4
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Roy Halladay Doesn’t Want Bonds, Clemens in the Hall of Fame

Ahead of Wednesday’s Hall of Fame balloting results being announced, former Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay tweeted his thoughts on the controversy surrounding Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and their candidacy: he’s against both being allowed in. When you use PEDs you admit your not good enough to compete fairly! Our nations past time should have
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Ryan Howard Named in Al Jazeera PED Investigation

Al Jazeera is airing a documentary tonight called “The Dark Side”, which is described as a “monthslong investigation” in which an undercover investigator exposes the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports. Ryan Howard is among those implicated as having used PEDs, as well as Peyton Manning, Ryan Zimmerman, and Taylor Teagarden.

 

On the Phillies and Tanking

Recently, ESPN’s Buster Olney criticized the Phillies for tanking, or in other words, intentionally losing. That prompted a response from John Stolnis of The Good Phight, and that prompted a follow-up from Olney.

 

Astros, Phillies Agree on Ken Giles Trade

Say goodbye to Ken Giles, Phillies fans. Giles is headed to the Astros in exchange for Vincent Velasquez, Brett Oberholtzer, Derek Fisher, and Thomas Eshelman.

 

Phillies Likely to Select Rays’ Tyler Goeddel in Rule 5 Draft

J.J. Cooper of Baseball America hears from two sources that the Phillies are likely to select outfielder Tyler Goeddel from the Rays with the first overall pick in the Rule 5 draft on Thursday. That’s right: not only does one get the first overall pick in the amateur draft for finishing with baseball’s worst record,
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Phillies Sign Reliever David Hernandez

Sources: #Philies agree with RHP David Hernandez, pending physical. Drafted by Phils execs MacPhail, Jordan during their time with #Orioles. — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 9, 2015 (Update: 7:05 PM EST) — Per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the Phillies will pay Hernandez $3.9 million on a one-year deal.

 

The Latest on the Phillies at the Winter Meetings

A hodgepodge of news from the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee…

 

The Phillies Should Pass on Kenta Maeda

The Hiroshima Carp of Japan’s Central League will post right-hander Kenta Maeda, as Jason Coskrey pointed out on Twitter on Thursday. Interested teams will have to submit a $20 million posting fee for the right to negotiate with Maeda. Teams which fall short in the bidding war will have their posting fees returned. The $20
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Phillies Discussed Ken Giles with the Astros

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported earlier today that the Phillies and Astros discussed a potential trade involving closer Ken Giles. The Phillies asked about young pitchers Lance McCullers and Vincent Velasquez. Crasnick adds that the Phillies have received a lot of trade interest in Giles and that trade talks are likely to intensify at the Winter
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Phillies Have Four Decisions Ahead of Non-Tender Deadline

Update (5:20 PM EST): The Phillies avoided arbitration with Andres Blanco and recently-acquired outfielder Peter Bourjos, agreeing on one-year contracts worth $1.45 million and $2 million, respectively, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that the other three players — Hellickson, Gomez, and Galvis — will be tendered contracts. We should hear
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In the NL East, the Phillies Smell Like Roses

The Phillies’ front office had become a national laughingstock, starting in 2013 when the effects of former GM Ruben Amaro, Jr.’s decisions were finally being realized. The trades to acquire starter Roy Oswalt and outfielder Hunter Pence cleared out the minor league system, Ryan Howard‘s $125 million contract extension returned almost no value, and free
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Phillies Acquire Jeremy Hellickson from the Diamondbacks

MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that the Phillies are finalizing a trade with the Diamondbacks for starter Jeremy Hellickson. MLB.com‘s Steve Gilbert reports the Phillies are sending pitcher Sam McWilliams to Arizona. CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury was the first to break news of the trade.

 

Phillies Reportedly Interested in Marcell Ozuna

Christian Moreno of ESPN Deportes reported on Thursday that the Phillies have interest in trading for Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna. Ozuna struggled in the first half of the season before being demoted to Triple-A New Orleans in early July. There’s more to Ozuna’s demotion than performance. Team owner Jeffrey Loria didn’t want to play Ozuna
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2015 Phillies Report Cards Anthology

Since the beginning of October, we’ve been posting a report card for nearly every player to don Phillies red pinstripes in 2015. At long last, the list has been exhausted (as are we). If you missed any of them, use the convenient list below. Each author’s name is a link to his or her Twitter
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Phillies Willing to Trade Ken Giles

Yesterday, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that the Phillies have made closer Ken Giles available in a trade. GM Matt Klentak confirmed Heyman’s report, per Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News. Giles is 25 years old, under team control through 2020, and has put up back-to-back stellar seasons. That teams might be interested,
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Free Agent Pitching Targets for the Phillies

Despite having made several headlines in recent months as the front office has molted, the Phillies portend to have a relatively quiet off-season. Nearly all of their trade candidates have already been moved — Cole Hamels to Texas, Chase Utley to Los Angeles, Jonathan Papelbon to Washington. Many roster spots are now spoken for by
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2015 Phillies Report Card: Pete Mackanin

The first half of the Phillies’ season was remarkably poor, considering their intent when the schedule kicked off at home against the Red Sox was to lose as often as possible. Chase Utley suffered an ankle injury, performed poorly for two and a half months, then landed on the disabled list for a month and a
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Looking Back on the Cliff Lee Era

The Phillies officially ended the Cliff Lee era in Philadelphia on Tuesday, buying out the lefty’s contract for $12.5 million rather than picking up his club option for $27.5 million. As Justin Klugh pointed out at The Good Phight, that transaction has become something of a joke, as many have responded with a joke to
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2015 Phillies Report Card: Chase Utley

In 2014, for the first time in five years, Chase Utley was able to play a full season. The oft-injured second baseman had been diagnosed with degenerative conditions in both of his knees, then suffered a strained oblique in 2013. Though his numbers were down quite a bit compared to previous years, that Utley accrued
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Phillies Claim Dan Otero Off Waivers from the Athletics

#Phillies have claimed RHP Dan Otero off waivers from the Oakland Athletics. — Phillies (@Phillies) November 3, 2015

 

2015 Phillies Report Card: Ken Giles

Relievers are fickle. It’s become a truism in baseball, due mostly to the recent ubiquity of analytics. The numbers show that it’s quite tough to predict what one relief pitcher will do from one season to the next. For example, in 2012, Fernando Rodney posted a 0.60 ERA for the Tampa Bay Rays. This past season, he
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Ruben Amaro, Jr. to Join the Red Sox

Not in the front office. It appears former Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr will become Red Sox first base coach. — Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) October 24, 2015 Update: Not so fast… While Ruben Amaro is one of small group of finalists Red Sox talking to for first base coach, source says no final decision has
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Phillies Expected to Name Matt Klentak as New GM

Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe was the first to report that the Phillies are expected to name Matt Klentak as their new general manager. MLB.com‘s Todd Zolecki confirmed the report. Athletics assistant GM Dan Kantrovitz and Rays VP of baseball operations Chaim Bloom were reportedly the two other finalists for the position, per Jim
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2015 Phillies Report Card: Domonic Brown

The Phillies officially closed the chapter on the Domonic Brown era, outrighting him off of the 40-man roster earlier this week. He cleared waivers and is expected to refuse his assignment, which would make him a free agent. For the first time since he was drafted in 2006, Brown will not be associated with the
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The Phillies Outright Four More Players

On Monday, the Phillies announced they outrighted four more players off of the 40-man roster. One of the names is a big one: The #Phillies have outrighted four players off their 40-man roster: OF's Brian Bogusevic, Domonic Brown and Kelly Dugan and C Tommy Joseph. — Phillies (@Phillies) October 19, 2015

 

2015 Phillies Report Card: Jeff Francoeur

In a strict sense, Jeff Francoeur‘s -1.1 WAR season in 2015 with the Phillies was helpful, not hurtful. The Phillies put together one of the worst rosters in franchise history in an effort to finish with the worst record in baseball. Mission accomplished. According to Baseball Reference, only Ryan Howard was worse than Francoeur in
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2015 Phillies Report Card: Jeanmar Gomez

Count Jeanmar Gomez among the Pittsburgh Pirates’ many pitcher reinventions. Pitching coach Ray Searage has aided in the career turnarounds of Francisco Liriano, Edinson Volquez, and J.A. Happ. Even veteran A.J. Burnett enjoyed success in his 30’s only in Pittsburgh, not in New York or Philadelphia.

 

The Pros and Cons of Hiring Kim Ng

Last week, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that the Phillies plan to interview Kim Ng in their search for a new general manager. Ng is one of a handful of candidates along with Larry Beinfest, Ross Atkins, Matt Klentak, J.J. Piccolo, Thad Levine, and Ben Cherington.

 

2015 Phillies Report Card: Cody Asche

Cody Asche wasn’t all bad for the Phillies in 2015. He held the fort at third base until Maikel Franco was called up to take over the position in mid-May, then transitioned to left field in order to make himself more useful to the team. That, irrespective of how he hit or fielded, was valuable.
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Phillies Outright Justin De Fratus

#Phillies have outrighted the following players off their 40-man roster: INF Chase d’Arnaud, OF Jordan Danks, RHP Justin De Fratus (1/2). — Phillies (@Phillies) October 7, 2015 …LHP Adam Loewen, C Erik Kratz & LHP Ken Roberts. RHP Jonathan Pettibone was also outrighted after being activated from 60-day DL (2/2). — Phillies (@Phillies) October 7,
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2015 Phillies Report Card: Chad Billingsley

The Phillies entered the 2015 season with a dearth of starting rotation depth and thus no reason not to gamble on a starting pitcher or two. And so that’s what they did in signing Aaron Harang and Chad Billingsley in January. The hope was that Billingsley would be able to recover from last year’s flexor tendon surgery and
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Crashburn Alley 2015 Playoff Predictions

The MLB playoffs will kick off on Tuesday with the Yankees hosting the Astros in the American League Wild Card game. On Wednesday, the Pirates host the Cubs to determine who makes it into the Division Series. Here are the predictions from the Crashburn staff. Feel free to list your own predictions in the comments
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Phillies Finish Worst Season Since 1972

The Phillies avoided ignominy in Sunday’s season finale, beating the Miami Marlins 7-2 to finish with only 99 losses. It’s their worst record since the 1972 Phillies went 59-97.  They would have been the first Phillies team to lose 100 games in a season since the 1961 squad, which finished 47-107. The Phillies’ .389 winning
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Phillies Clinch #1 Overall Pick in 2016

After the Phillies dropped Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Miami Marlins, they needed the Cincinnati Reds to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates or a loss to the Marlins on Saturday or Sunday. Either result would clinch the worst record in baseball, which means they would pick first in the 2016 draft and secure themselves
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Jeremy Affeldt Pans Philly Fans in Farewell Article

San Francisco Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt announced on SI.com that he is retiring at the conclusion of the 2015 season. The 36-year-old is a veteran of 14 seasons, the last seven of which have come with the Giants, so he’s earned three World Series rings in the process. Affeldt wrote about the five things he
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Jerad Eickhoff: Hidden Gem of the Cole Hamels Trade

The Phillies ended months of conjecture at the end of July by sending ace Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers in a trade that also involved reliever Jake Diekman and brought six players back to Philadelphia. One of them, Matt Harrison, offset some of Hamels’ salary and three were highly-touted prospects — pitcher Jake Thompson, outfielder
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The Ethics of Tanking

During last night’s series opener against the New York Mets, a brief debate emerged on Twitter about the ethics of tanking. It’s no secret that the Phillies had no designs of being a winning team in 2015, and though no one involved with the team will openly admit it, every loss has been good for
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Somehow, There Are Jonathan Papelbon Defenders

At FOX Sports, former major leaguer C.J. Nitkowski wrote a most mind-numbing defense of Jonathan Papelbon for his attempt to choke teammate Bryce Harper on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park. Fisking has been out of style for a while now, but that’s how I’m going to respond to Nitkowski’s points here. His quotes in bold,
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Phillies Finish Their Worst Season Since 1972

The Phillies avoided ignominy in Sunday’s season finale against the Miami Marlins, winning 7-2 finish with only 99 losses. They’ve been around for 133 seasons, dating all the way back to 1883. Their last 100-loss season came 54 years ago in 1961, when the team finished 47-107.

 

Jonathan Papelbon Tried to Choke Bryce Harper

The Phillies scored eight runs in the ninth inning, including five against closer Jonathan Papelbon, to break a 4-4 tie in Sunday’s win against the Washington Nationals. That wasn’t the big story during and after the game, however. Outfielder Bryce Harper flied out to start the bottom of the eighth inning and he didn’t run
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Aaron Altherr Hit An Inside-the-Park Grand Slam

Aaron Altherr gave the Phillies a 4-1 lead last night when he hit what turned out to be an inside-the-park grand slam against Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann. The outfielder hit a sinking liner in front of center fielder Michael Taylor, who made an ill-fated dive. He never touched the ball, which skipped past him towards
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Crash Bag: Season 3, Episode 1

Welcome back to the Crash Bag! It’s been a long time. Unsurprisingly, a lot of you had questions about the Phillies’ minor league system as opposed to the major league roster. Let’s jump into it.

 

Phillies Want Jeff Francoeur Back in 2016

CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that the Phillies and outfielder Jeff Francoeur have mutual interest in a reprisal role in 2016. Francoeur signed with the Phillies on a minor league deal in November and made the Opening Day roster out of spring training, earning a $950,000 salary.

 

The Phillies Should Explore Trading Cody Asche

Third baseman Cody Asche hit a pair of solo home runs in Tuesday night’s 6-2 win against the Miami Marlins. It’s the first multi-homer game of his three-year career. Surprisingly, it was also his first multi-hit game since August 14. Asche currently holds a subpar .303 weighted on-base average. The National League average for third
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Phillies Extend Pete Mackanin Through 2016

News from the Phillies: #Phillies have extended the contract of Pete Mackanin as manager through the 2016 season. The extension includes a club option for 2017. — Phillies (@Phillies) September 22, 2015