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MLB Trade Rumors: Can and Should the Philadelphia Phillies Trade Raul Ibanez?

The Philadelphia Phillies left-fielder Raul Ibanez may be on the trading block. 

At the finish of the general managers meetings, Ruben Amaro Jr. has not made any significant moves.  There are no good signs for Philadelphia fans related to Jayson Werth and the team has yet to add a proven left-handed reliever. 

However, Jim Salisbury of is reporting that Amaro may be attempting to trade Raul Ibanez

The Philadelphia general manager was talking up Ibanez and compared his numbers to those of Werth’s. 

Is Ruben trying to downplay the potential loss of Werth?  Or is he attempting to make Raul look more appealing to other MLB teams? 

“He was still a pretty productive player and when you look at his numbers, they’re not all that different from Jayson’s last year. What did he have, 83 RBI? Jayson had 85. He didn’t have as many opportunities as Jayson did to drive in runs. Clearly Jayson had more runs scored and his on-base percentage and stuff were better, but [Ibanez] had 37 doubles and five triples. The difference in their production was not all that great.” 

These comments may be directed to Werth’s agent, Scott Boras.  Several general managers and Boras are most likely having heated discussions about how much his client is worth, so it makes sense for Amaro underemphasize the importance of retaining Werth. 

Ibanez did have a great second half of the season.  In the 70 games after the all-star break, Raul hit .309 with nine home runs and 44 RBI.  Although, he did not play well in the playoffs.

Clearly, Ibanez has been a valuable piece to this Phillies lineup the last two seasons. Ruben just needs to compare that value to other needs on the team and decide whether or not to move him.

Should the Philadelphia Phillies Trade Ibanez?

Ibanez is due $11.5 million next season and the outfielder will turn 39 years old next summer.  He got off to a very slow start last season, but finished the second half strong. 

Which Raul should Philadelphia fans expect to see next season? How much will his production and skills diminish, if they diminish at all? 

Trading Ibanez could be beneficial to the Phillies in a couple ways. 

One, the team could use the now available $11 million to added left-handed relief and possibly a solidified No. 5 starter. 

Two, the Phillies could anticipate the loss of Werth and sign a right-handed outfielder that could play left field or platoon with Dominic Brown in right field.

Three, Amaro could use the extra money and attempt to sign Jayson Werth.  Boras is seeking a seven-year, $120 million contract for his client.

The ideal scenario would be to have Werth, Victorino, and Brown in the outfield next season.  Brown replaces Ibanez’s left-handed bat and the team still has Werth’s right-handed power in the middle of the lineup.

However, do the Phillies necessarily want to give Werth a seven-year contract?

If Ruben could pull off a miracle, he would trade Ibanez and sign Werth for a three or four year contract worth more money, especially in the first year.

I may be dreaming right now, but hopefully Werth feels some loyalty to the Phillies.  

The future of his career as a MLB player looked doomed before arriving in Philadelphia, as he has benefited from Philadelphia’s strong lineup that includes Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.

Raaaauuuullllll would certainly be missed by Philadelphia fans, though.  He is a great, hard-working guy whose performance has never lacked in effort.  

Which Teams Will Trade for Ibanez?

In Salisbury’s article, he mentions the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, and San Francisco Giants as possible suitors for Ibanez. 

Once again, it will be a difficult task to move the 38-year-old outfielder.  He is due $11.5 million next year and he also has a partial no-trade clause. 

Ibanez can play in either the National League or American League.  He is not the fastest, most athletic outfielder, but he is still solid out there and hardly makes errors.

If he is moved to an AL team, he could switch game-by-game between either starting as the DH or in left field.

It should be pointed out, that Ibanez may be more much valuable to other teams than to the Phillies. 

Philadelphia does not need another left-handed power bat.  In fact, too many left-handed bats has been a liability.

However, other teams would kill for a player like Ibanez in the middle of their lineup.  His value should not be under-estimated, as he did hit for 16 home runs and 83 RBIs last season.

It would be a great move to trade Ibanez, as long as Amaro can re-sign Werth, add left-handed relief, or a solid, younger right-handed outfielder.

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MLB Free Agent Rumors: Justin Upton Trade Affects Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford

Multiple sources are reporting that the Arizona Diamondbacks are willing to trade right fielder Justin Upton for the right price.  The best free agent outfielders are Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford, and an Upton trade would seriously affect where they may end up. 

Some of the teams that may be interested in trading for the former No. 1 pick are the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, and Atlanta Braves.   

The 23-year-old outfielder was the first pick of the 2005 amateur draft.  

For his career, his 162-game average includes 23 home runs, 80 RBI, and a .272 batting average. 

His best season came in 2009, where he had a .300 BA, hit 26 home runs, 86 RBI, and recorded 20 stolen bases. 

Reportedly, the Diamondbacks’ GM Kevin Towers would have to be blown away by a deal in order to trade Upton. 

The Cardinals would be able to offer center fielder Colby Rasmus in a deal with Arizona.  Boston may be willing to trade one of their first base prospects in addition to right-hander Casey Kelly.  The Yankees have some pitching prospects that could get Arizona’s attention as well. 


How much of a better deal is Justin Upton compared to Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford? 

Maybe the biggest advantage that a trade for Upton compared to a free agent signing for one these teams is the price and length of his contract.  

He just signed a six-year contract last March, which is relatively cheap in the beginning years.  Upton is only due $4.25 million next season, but his salary increases towards the end of the contract. 

One other important aspect is that he is only 23.  Carl Crawford is 29 years old, while Jayson Werth is already 32-years-old.  Both of these free agents will be looking for a contract for three or more years, as their play will likely diminish as they get older.  

However, Werth typically delivers more power than Upton. Over the last three seasons, he has averaged 27 home runs, which includes a season of 36 home runs and 20 stolen bases. 

Crawford is a better overall hitter than both Werth and Upton.  In five of the last six season, Crawford has batted for an average of .300 or better. 

When comparing each of these outfielders, they are pretty much dead even.  However, Upton’s age makes him the much better catch. 

It comes down to whether a team would rather pay a lot of money over the next few years, or part with their best young talent.  


How interested are the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox in Justin Upton? 

There have been some reports that both teams have already talked to Arizona about trading for Upton.  However, the talks have not been that substantial. 

The Yankees may just wait and see if they can sign Cliff Lee.  If not, it would make sense for New York to concentrate on either signing Werth or Crawford, or maybe trading for Upton.  

My opinion is that even if the Yankees do sign Lee, management should still pursue an Upton trade instead of signing a free agent outfielder. 

Boston may negotiate with the two best offensive free agents and see how much a deal would cost.  They could then weigh the amount of money that would be spent in a free agent signing against a possible trade with the Diamondbacks.   

A trade for Justin Upton looks a lot more appealing to me than signing Jayson Werth or Carl Crawford.  

In fact if a team does trade for Upton, it would seriously increase the Philadelphia Phillies’ chances of resigning Werth. 

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MLB Rumors: Possible Landing Spots for 3 New York Yankee Stars

New York Yankees stars Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte are all free agents that will most likely stay in New York. 

However, there is always a chance that each of these players could end up in a different uniform next season.  

Hal Steinbrenner was quoted as saying that negotiations with Jeter “could get messy.”  However, most sources are now saying that New York is willing to overpay for the shortstop. 

There is probably less chance of Mariano River changing uniforms.  If Mariano suddenly decides he wants a longer contract than two or three years, though, the Yankees may be willing to let the iconic relief pitcher go. 

Andy Pettitte is in a different situation.  The 38-year-old pitcher is likely to either stay with New York or retire.  On the other hand, there are plenty of teams that need to add a veteran starter to their rotation and may offer Andy an expensive one-year deal. 

If these stars do not play for the New York Yankees next season, here are some possible landing spots Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte.  

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MLB Rumors: 5 Possible Replacements for Philadelphia Phillies Jayson Werth

The Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Jayson Werth becomes a free agent at 12:01 AM ET this Sunday.   

While there is still a chance that Werth may remain in Philadelphia, many doubt that the Phillies will give him the contract that him and his agent Scott Boras are looking for.

Philadelphia’s talented outfielders currently include Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino and the young Dominic Brown.  

The problem is that Werth provided a right-handed bat to a lineup that is lefty heavy.  Brown, his likely replacement, bats left-handed as well. 

Ibanez is not getting any younger and it is hard to predict his production next year.   

If the Phillies lose Werth, they need to sign or trade for another right-handed outfielder because Ben Francisco is not the answer.

Here are the best five possible fits for the Philadelphia Phillies if Jayson Werth signs with another team.  

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2010 ALCS & NLCS: The Phillies Have a Better Chance To Comeback Than The Yankees

The New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies avoided elimination by winning Game 5, as both teams trailed 3-1 in their respective series. 

The New York Yankees down travel down south to play the Texas Rangers in Game 6 of ALCS Friday night.  If the Yankees can stay alive, Game 7 will take place on Saturday night. 

The San Francisco Giants must head back east to play the Philadelphia Phillies in Citizens Bank Park in Game 6 of the NLCS.  The game will either be played on Saturday afternoon or night, depending on the outcome of Game 6 of the ALCS. 

In order for there to be a rematch of the 2009 World Series, New York and Philadelphia must win three games in a row (two now).  Both teams have a pretty good shot to force a Game 7, but the Phillies have a better chance of advancing to the 2010 World Series. 

Here are five reasons why the Philadelphia Phillies are more likely than the New York Yankees to comeback and advance to the World Series.  

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ALCS 2010: Do The New York Yankees Still Have a Shot?

The New York Yankees are now trailing 3-1 in the 2010 ALCS against the Texas Rangers. 

C.C. Sabathia will start against C.J. Wilson in Game 5 at 4:07 p.m. in New York. 

Anytime time that Sabathia is on the mound, especially at home, the Yankees have a great shot to win the game. 

However, it’s just one game. The New York Yankees have to win Game 5 at home, then win both Games 6 and 7 in Texas.  

Do they have a shot to win the series? Absolutely. It is the New York Yankees that we are talking about. 

At this point, though, it would be one of the greatest comebacks in baseball history, requiring tremendous play and a bit of luck.   

Here is how the rest of the 2010 ALCS may play out.  

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2010 NLCS: 5 Keys for the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 3

Due to timely hitting and a dominating pitching performance by Roy Oswalt, the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the San Francisco Giants 6-1 in Game 2 of the 2010 NLCS.  

Cole Hamels and the Philadelphia Phillies now need to focus on how to defeat the Giants in San Francisco in Game 3.   

Matt Cain will get the start for the home team, as he will try and lead the Giants to a 2-1 series lead. 

With the series tied 1-1, Game 3 may determine the winner of the series.  The losing team will face some daunting questions.  

If the Phillies lose, will Roy Halladay get the start in Game 4?  If the Giants lose, will Tim Lincecum get the start in Game 4? 

If the San Francisco Giants can defeat another member of “H2O”, the series may take a turn for the worst for the Phillies.  

Here are five keys for victory for the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 3 of the NLCS.  

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2010 NLCS: Another Fall Double-Header in Philadelphia

At 1:00 PM on Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles will host the Atlanta Falcons at Lincoln Financial Field. 

At 8:00 PM that same day, the Philadelphia Phillies will play the San Francisco Giants in Game 2 of the NLCS. 

The city of Philadelphia is growing accustomed to these Fall double-headers, featuring the Eagles and Phillies.  Twice during Philadelphia’s World Series runs in 2008 and 2009, the Eagles and Phillies have played on the same day at their home fields. 

This Sunday should bring back memories to Philadelphia fans.  Both good and bad.  

Will the history of these double-headers in Philadelphia repeat itself this Sunday? 


Double-Header 2009

On November 1st, 2009, a war between New York City and Philadelphia took place.

Last year, the Eagles hosted the New York Giants in an early afternoon game, the same day of Game 4 of the 2009 World Series between the Yankees and the Phillies.   

The Eagles, many would say, upset the Giants that Sunday and won the game in a blowout, 40-17.  Donovan McNabb threw for three touchdowns while Philadelphia’s defense forced four turnovers.  

The Eagles moved to 5-2 on the season and NFC East title was in their sights…

It was a good start to the day, but the Phillies had lost Game 3 the previous night and now trailed in the series 2-1.  Could Joe Blanton shut down the New York Yankees lineup later that night?    

Let’s just say New York lost the battle, but went on to win the war. 

The Phillies trailed for most of the game, but managed to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth on a Pedro Feliz home run.  Then Brad Lidge entered the game in the top of ninth and was one strike away from pitching a scoreless inning.  A Johnny Damon single, two stolen bases, and an A-Rod single would give the Yankees the lead, as New York would score three runs in the ninth.  

That game pretty much wrapped up another World Series title for the Yankees.  


Double-Header 2008 

This Sunday would be a much better day for Philadelphia fans.  

On October 26th, 2008, the Eagles played the Atlanta Falcons, an appetizer before Game 4 of the World Series. 

Brian Westbrook was the star of the game, rushing for 167 yards and two touchdowns. The Eagles defense forced the inexperienced Matt Ryan to throw two costly interceptions as Philadelphia would go on to win the game 27-14.   

Heading into Game 4, the Philadelphia Phillies led the series 2-1, so this was crucial game for the Tampa Bay Rays. They decided to put Andy Sonnanstine on the mound.  

The Phillies crushed the Rays, winning 10-2 and taking a commanding 3-1 series lead.  Sonnanstine would only last four innings and give up three earned runs, including a based-loaded walk in the first inning.  

Ryan Howard was an absolute monster: two HRs, five RBI and four runs.

Philadelphia fans knew things were going their way when pitcher Joe Blanton hit a home run in the fifth inning.  


Double-Header 2010? 

So what will happen this Sunday in Philadelphia?  How many fans will be in the parking lots from 11 in the morning until 11 at night? 

History bodes well for the Eagles.  They are 2-0 in the double-headers, winning by double digits on both occasions. 

History also bodes well for the Philadelphia Phillies.  Why exactly? 

In 2008, the Eagles hosted the Atlanta Falcons.  After their win, the Eagles and Falcons both had the same record, 4-3.

In 2010, the Eagles will host the Falcons once again.  After the Eagles win, they will have the same record as the Falcons.  Both teams will be 4-2.

Coincidence? I think not.  

Sunday will go down in history as another great day for Philadelphia sports.


Looking Ahead 

If the Philadelphia Phillies advance to the World Series, Game 1 will be at 7:57 PM on Wednesday, October 27th. 

It is the same night as the Philadelphia 76ers’ home opener, which is scheduled for 7:00 PM.  Not a big deal?  Wrong. 

It is the debut of Evan Turner and not to mention, some team called the Miami Heat. 

Will the 76ers management be rooting for the San Francisco Giants?

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2010 NLCS: Looking Back at the Phillies-Giants Regular Season Series

The Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants split their season series this year, 3-3.

In order to better preview the NLCS, it is important to look at each of those six games. 

Which pitchers dominated?  Were the Phillies able to hit Lincecum? Were the Giants able to hit Halladay? 

Game 1: Lincecum vs. Halladay.  It is a matchup that baseball enthusiasts dream of.   

Game 2: Sanchez vs. Oswalt.  

Sanchez has earned two wins against the Phillies this year, but how well did he actually pitch? 

Here is a breakdown of the six regular season games between the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants.  It should give us a better picture of how the NLCS will play out.  

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MLB Playoff Predictions: Five Reasons Why Philly Will Not Win the World Series

The Philadelphia Phillies are the favorite to win the 2010 World Series.   

Oddsmakers in Las Vegas have called for a rematch of the 2009 World Series since the beginning of the season. has the Philadelphia Phillies as 21/10 favorites.  The New York Yankees are 7/2 and the Tampa Bay Rays are not far behind at 9/2.     

Let me preface this article by saying that I DO believe that the Phillies will win the World Series.  

Philadelphia is not only the best team in baseball, but also the hottest team.  

No team wants to play in Citizens Bank Park.   

No team wants to pitch to Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jayson Werth.  Not to mention Carlos Ruiz, a .302 number EIGHT hitter.   

No team wants to start a series by facing Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels.  

Charlie Manuel’s team should win their second championship in the last three years.  

However, it is possible that the Philadelphia Phillies will not win the World Series.  

Any one of or a combination of these five reasons will be a fine explanation of what went wrong.  

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