BY SHAY RODDY
Yesterday, the winter meetings kicked off in Indianapolis at some fancy hotel with a lot of TV cameras and ball scribes lurking around looking for anything remotely resembling a storyline. Back here in Philadelphia we sat, anxiously waiting for our lobby trolling beat writers to report back the big news.
Only thing is, it never came. General manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. kicked off his second career meeting as a GM, leaving no noteworthy things to report.
The winter meetings have a certain hype to them that isn’t exactly warranted. Rarely, something big happens during them. Sure, occasionally a major trade or signing goes down, but usually it’s just teams figuring out where they stand and what they need to do to set up the off-season to come and put themselves in a position to compete for baseball’s ultimate honor.
This year the Phils will look to focus on shoring up their bullpen.
To do this they are eying two pitchers- Chan Ho Park and Brandon Lyon.
Park is a familiar name, being a key contributor to the Phillies ’09 run to the World Series. You might recall he entered Spring Training in competition for the fifth starter spot. He won the spot and started for a little over a month, before manager Charlie Manuel and company wisely decided to make J.A. Happ a starter and send Park to the pen. When he got there he became an instant success and was the rock, along with Ryan Madson, of a shaky, to say the least, group of relievers.
Only problem is he still thinks he can start, and the Phillies aren’t making that an option. Park seems to want to look around a bit, to see if he can get a job as a starter. I don’t doubt though, that if the price is right he’ll be back and happy in the pen in no time.
Lyon is a name a bit less-known around the Phillies fan community. He had a strong season with Detroit in 2009, recording a 2.86 ERA in 65 games. His agent, according to CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury [Ed. Note- Welcome to the interwebs, Jim. Rough Loss for the Inky, but you sure did look dapper in your TV debut.], says talks are preliminary and he’s not sure about the Phillies level of interest.
Salisbury’s sources tell him that the Phils like Lyon, but are a bit leery of the cost. He made $4.25 million last season and is looking for a raise and a multi-year deal, according to reports.
The meetings certainly create something to talk about. This, folks, is the hot stove season at it’s finest. The fun is just getting started.
Some information every fan must know from day one of the Winter Meetings:
- John Finger, CSNPhilly.com “Ruben says bringing back Pedro Martinez is something that could ‘develop later.’
- Pat Burrell said he has not heard anything about a possible trade involving the Mets to Comcast SportsNet’s Leslie Gudel.
- Rumor: Brett Myers to Houston Astros.
- Ruben said that if Placido Polanco was a Type A free agent the Phillies would not have signed him.
- Ruben declined comment on rumors regarding trading Joe Blanton.
- Jayson Stark, ESPN.com: “Phillies have quietly let teams know they’d listen on Joe Blanton. Trying to free up $ for bullpen upgrades.”
- Andy Martino, Philadelphia Inquirer:”Phils done meeting with Park’s agent Jeff Borris, person familiar with talks characterized negotiations as ‘ongoing.'”
- Martino: “No decisions yet on tendering Durbin and Condrey, but Amaro said ‘those are guys we will probably count on.'”
- Todd Zolecki, MLB.com: “Amaro on Park/Eyre: ‘(Talks) haven’t moved particularly quickly … I may go sign somebody else because they’re waiting around.'”