The rumors flying about all week in regards to Roy Halladay have been worse than a group of middle-aged women sipping coffee and debating who in their neighborhood may have slept with Tiger Woods. The non-stop barrage has included the Phillies being ready to part ways with pitchers like JA Happ, Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton to clear up salary space. With as many times as each of these players has been supposed trade-bait, the imaginary frequent flyer miles are piling up.
Still, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. continues to downplay the rumors and perpetuate the idea that they have no money to spend. This is either posturing to put people off the scent of a trade or in reality, the Phillies cannot find a way to work out a Halladay trade without breaking the minor league prospect bank. Either way, I feel bad for all these guys whose futures seem so up in the air right now. What actually happens may turn out to be a great big nothing.
The Phils have also expressed interest in John Smoltz as a possible bullpen guy. Why? Well, Smoltz is likely a future Hall of Famer with a proven track record and, at this stage of his career he may be very cheap. Oh, and also, the Phillies love senior citizens ;o) I kid…
As for the young folk, the Phillies picked up two of them in the Rule 5 draft which, for those unaware, is where players like Shane Victorino came from. Right-handed pitcher Kenneth David Herndon went 5-6 with a 3.03 ERA and 11 saves in 50 appearances last season with the Dodgers AA team. And right-hander Angelo Sanchez, from the Twins rookie club, went 5-1 with a 5.52 ERA in 12 starts.
For Spring Training, the Phillies have invited seven non-roster players. Infielder Andy Tracy, who has been with the Iron Pigs for some time and was a September call-up, will join the team. And you may also be familiar with catcher Paul Hoover, also from the Pigs and spent a short time with the big club this past year. The others are outfielder Chris Duffy (Milwaukee), infielder Cody Ransom (NYY), outfielder DeWayne Wise (CWS), infielder Wilson Valdez (NYM) and lefty Bill White (Texas, 2008). Interestingly, 6 out of 7 players are in their 30’s. Mr. Duffy is the youngest at 29.
Will any of these players actually make the team? Probably not. But hey, they get a free trip to Florida and can hang out with people like Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins. I would totally take that. Seriously…please pack me in your suitcase. Thank you in advance :O)
Player photos by Jenn