Sandoval, Shields among 121 free agents (The Associated Press)

Baseball’s business season began Thursday when 121 players become free agents, a group that includes Pablo Sandoval, Michael Morse, Jake Peavy, Sergio Romo and Ryan Vogelsong of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants. James Shields, Nori Aoki and Jason Frasor of the AL champion Kansas City Royals also were among the players who became free. Top free agent pitchers also include Max Scherzer and Jon Lester.

Sandoval, Shields among 121 free agents (The Associated Press)
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Philadelphia Phillies Decline Option On RHP Mike Adams – FanSided


FanSided
Philadelphia Phillies Decline Option On RHP Mike Adams
FanSided
May 18, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Mike Adams (37) pitches in the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies won 8-3. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports. MLB …
Phillies decline $6M 2015 option for pitcher AdamsSunHerald.com
Are the Philadelphia Phillies better off without A.J. Burnett?That Balls Outta Here
Scenarios for Phillies pitcher AJ Burnett and free agencyAllentown Morning Call
Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia -MLB Daily Dish
all 13 news articles »

Philadelphia Phillies Decline Option On RHP Mike Adams – FanSided
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Phillies decline $6M 2015 option for pitcher Adams (The Associated Press)

The Phillies have declined a $6 million club option on pitcher Mike Adams. Philadelphia made the move Thursday, allowing the relief pitcher to become a free agent. Adams had a 2.89 ERA in 22 games with the Phillies last season, with 21 strikeouts over 18 2-3 innings. It would have been $6.5 million had he pitched 120 games combined in 2013 and 2014 with 60 games in 2014.

Phillies decline $6M 2015 option for pitcher Adams (The Associated Press)
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Longenhagen checks in from Fall League

This will be my penultimate post here on Crashburn. It’s a run down of the Phillies Fall League players, all of whom I’ve now seen enough to feel comfortable evaluating formally. Let’s get to it.

Roman Quinn
Quinn looks pretty good out here. He’s putting up 70 grade run times and, while it’s not the 80 grade octane we saw before his Achilles injury, he’s still plenty fast enough to make an impact with his legs. Quinn has also transitioned back to the outfield (he played CF in high school) and is already average there. He’ll likely be plus in due time. The arm is average, maybe a half grade below if he doesn’t set his feet properly, and won’t be a weapon but isn’t a horrendous blight, either.

Now, on to the bat. Quinn’s bat path is naturally geared for ground balls. There’s not much of a load to it, from either side of the plate, and Quinn needs to collapse his back side to produce any loft and power in his swing, which he’s been doing more of this fall. He sacrifices bat control for bat speed and hand strength. He’d be a 35 hitter in the bigs right now and I have a future 40 on the bat with a chance to get to 45 if he can BABIP his way there because of his legs. It’s 35 grade power and I’m holding firm on that for his peak as well.
This is a pretty good player, one I think will become a fringe-average regular in centerfield with a chance to be solid average if he hits more than I anticipate. A useful piece.

 

Logan Moore

Moore has struggled mightily with his receiving out here, far too much for me to consider him a viable option behind the plate. There’s not enough bat for anywhere else. He’s an org guy for me.

Adam Morgan
I saw Morgan’s first start of the Fall and things did not go well. He looks a good bit stiffer than he did before his shoulder issues. The fastball was 87-90, down from the 91-94 we saw when Morgan rose to the top of my Phillies prospect rankings a few years ago. His secondary pitches still wink at you from across the bar now and then but not as consistently as before. His changeup will sit 77-79mph with some run and fade. I put a 45 on it, though it flashed 55. Both his slider and curveball were 45 pitches for me and his command was below average. I won’t dare declare Morgan’s future to be as bleak as I just made it sound because he is just coming off f an injury and deserves time to shake off rust. The early returns, however, are not promising. It’s a bit heartbreaking, really. Adam is, by all accounts, a wonderful young man. If I catch him again and things look different, I’ll let you know.

Nefi Ogando
I’ve written about Ogando here before but here’s where things are now. He throws really hard, 96-98mph and he’s been doing it long enough now that I think it’s safe to say that velo spike he saw after coming over from Boston in the John McDonald trade is going to stick. His slider is usually pretty bad, in the 87-91mph range. It spins but does not move, a grade 30 pitch. However, Ogando has begun working with Ray Burris, who grabbed a hold of Ken Giles and his solid but unspectacular breaking ball at Triple-A last year and did some serious work. Ogando has flashed a better slider recently and it’s possible Burris has made some headway there. You can always dream on arm strength like this turning into something. It’s not unreasonable to think Ogando’s slider will come along enough for him to be a middle relief piece. He’s shown a below average changeup out here as well and has the arm action to think that could also tick pu a half grade or so with reps. Keep monitoring him.

Colton Murray
Murray’s got a relief-only delivery. Very violent, very noisy. That brings about reliever’s command. The stuff is decent, fastball 92-94mph and an above average breaking ball. He could be a middle relief piece.

Ethan Stewart
Stewart looks really good. His fastball coasts in at an unspectacular 90-93mph which is basically crawling when compared to the way other bullpen arms are bringing it lately. But the slider is a diving 84-87mph phantom that has flashed 65 and is, at worst, a grade 55 offering. Stewart’s use of the pitch is especially impressive. He’s shown a good idea of how to use that slider to get RHHs out and immunize himself from potential platoon issues we often see with left-handed relievers. He won’t get a lot of buzz because he doesn’t make the radar guns explode but he’s got a chance to be a setup man with that slide piece working the way it is.

Ryan O’Sullivan
Guys like Sullivan aren’t really prospects but he’s been jerked back and forth between the bullpen and rotation in the minors so much that he provides a valuable skill: Adaptability. While he grades out as an org guy, O’Sullivan might get a chance to wear a Major League uniform in the next season or two because he can pretty much take the mound whenever you need him to. In an organization that has little pitching depth and a bunch of old guys in the Majors, reaching down to Reading or Allentown for a rubber arm isn’t unthinkable.

Longenhagen checks in from Fall League
Author: Eric Longenhagen
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In hindsight, Pence deals drained Phillies prospect pool – Philly.com


CBS Local
In hindsight, Pence deals drained Phillies prospect pool
Philly.com
If you’re a Phillies fan and you are still reading this, congratulations, because we understand it cannot be easy. When you factor in what the Phillies gave up to bring Pence to Philadelphia in the first place and then what they got back when they
Phils Fans Longing For Glory Days As Giants Win Another World SeriesCBS Local

all 3 news articles »

In hindsight, Pence deals drained Phillies prospect pool – Philly.com
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Dodgers, Nationals are early favorites to win 2015 World Series; Giants rank fifth (Big League Stew)

Well, distraught Los Angeles Dodgers fans, here’s something that might cheer you up a tad bit after watching your bitter rivals win the World Series — the Dodgers are the early favorites to win the 2015 World Series, according to online sportsbook Bovada . The Washington Nationals share that honor with the Dodgers. Both teams, who coincidentally were knocked out in the NLDS this season, are listed at 15/2 odds. The San Francisco Giants, whose World Series win hasn’t even dried yet, ranked fifth at 12/1. The Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels are just ahead of the Giants, both carrying 10/1 odds. Here’s Bovada’s complete rundown: Los Angeles Dodgers 15/2 Washington Nationals 15/2 Detroit Tigers 10/1 Los Angeles Angels 10/1 San Francisco Giants 12/1 St. Louis Cardinals 12/1 Kansas City Royals 16/1 Seattle Mariners 18/1 Baltimore Orioles 20/1 Oakland Athletics 20/1 Pittsburgh Pirates 20/1 Atlanta Braves 22/1 Boston Red Sox 22/1 New York Yankees 22/1 Cleveland Indians 25/1 Cincinnati Reds 33/1 Tampa Bay Rays 33/1 Texas Rangers 33/1 Toronto Blue Jays 33/1 Chicago White Sox 40/1 Milwaukee Brewers 40/1 New York Mets 40/1 Chicago Cubs 50/1 Miami Marlins 50/1 San Diego Padres 66/1 Philadelphia Phillies 75/1 Arizona Diamondbacks 100/1 Colorado Rockies 100/1 Houston Astros 100/1 Minnesota Twins 100/1 For context’s sake, we’ll point out that the Dodgers topped the list when Bovada released its day-after-the-World Series odds last year too. There were listed at 7/1. The Giants were 18/1. We all know how both of those worked out. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – – – – – – – Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Dodgers, Nationals are early favorites to win 2015 World Series; Giants rank fifth (Big League Stew)
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Phillies decline option on reliever Adams

As expected on Thursday, the Phillies declined Mike Adams’ $6 million club option for 2015.

Phillies decline option on reliever Adams
Author: Todd Zolecki
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Phillies have seven nominees for GIBBY Awards

The Phillies have seven nominees for MLB.com’s 2014 Greatness In Baseball Yearly awards. Major League Baseball’s A-listers will take home 2014 GIBBY trophies, based on votes by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research.

Phillies have seven nominees for GIBBY Awards
Author: Todd Zolecki
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Bruce Bochy’s championship resume ranks among game’s best (NBC on Yahoo Sports)

He keeps a pretty low profile. It’s only on nights like Wednesday, when a party erupts in the clubhouse and the Giants are once again kings of Major League Baseball, that you really zero in on what manager Bruce Bochy has accomplished leading this club. With the Giants’ 3-2 victory over the Royals in Wednesday’s Game 7, Bochy became just the 10th manager in history to win three World Series titles. The other nine form a legendary list that spans the decades – Walter Alston, Sparky Anderson, Miller Huggins, Tony La Russa, Connie Mack, Joe McCarthy, John McGraw, Casey Stengel, and Joe Torre. All nine are in the Hall of Fame. [RELATED:  Eight World Series items headed to Cooperstown ] Bochy’s three rings tie McGraw for the most won by any Giants skipper. Since taking over the Giants before the 2007 season, Bochy has navigated the path to World Series crowns in 2010, 2012 and now 2014. In the process, the Giants have dispatched 10 consecutive postseason foes. In 2010, they beat the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers. In 2012, they took care of the Cincinnati Reds, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Detroit Tigers. This fall, they toppled the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Wild Card game, then advanced past the Washington Nationals and the Cardinals before beating Kansas City in seven games for a third championship. Bochy was asked the question that’s likely to generate plenty of debate in the coming days: Are the Giants a dynasty? “The fact that we’re even mentioned like that is an honor,” Bochy said. “We had a couple off-years in there, but you get three (titles) in five years, that says a lot about this club.” Joe Stiglich is CSNBayArea.com’s A’s Insider. Follow him on Twitter  @JoeStiglichCSN .

Bruce Bochy’s championship resume ranks among game’s best (NBC on Yahoo Sports)
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2014 Phillies Report Card: Reid Brignac

A bit more than a decade ago, Reid Brignac began his professional baseball career with plenty of promise. A second-round pick of the then-Devil Rays in 2004, Brignac flirted with top prospect status after an excellent 2006 saw him chip in a .321/.376/.539 line between two levels as a shortstop at age 20. Not bad, huh?

That would be the pinnacle of Brignac’s minor league career and, to spare the details of a long journey in the interim, Brignac wound up signing a minor league deal with the Phillies in November 2013, ostensibly as Chase Utley/Jimmy Rollins insurance. When Freddy Galvis decided to contribute two hits in his first 46 PA with 12 strikeouts, Brignac found himself back in the Majors quicker than he might have pictured.

Things started off great! Brignac had a .258/.329/.409 line in his first 74 PA with the Phils, getting a bunch of starts at third base after Cody Asche injured his hamstring in late May. Things were looking up, at least as far up as this strained neck of a team could manage.

Reid Brignac is unstoppable.

— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) June 12, 2014

A week after that tweet, Brignac proved very stoppable, injuring his ankle in a strange play at first base against the Cardinals. He would miss nearly a month and, after returning, would make only one more start, go 1-for-15 with nine strikeouts and two walks and eventually wound up outrighted back to Triple-A.

Brignac was a depth signing, and contributed as such: he had a few extra base hits, struck out way too much while playing passable defense and, in the end, didn’t make much of a difference on a team that wound up going nowhere. Much more isn’t expected from players who only make the prorated minimum during their stints in the Majors, but unlike some other players whose contributions look palatable in short bouts of playing time, Brignac’s contributions basically boil down to one really good week.

In six games from June 11-17, shortly before his injury, Brignac went 9-for-23 (.391) with three doubles, a triple and a homer. He even stole a base, for good measure. Outside of that week, Brignac contributed -.711 WPA and was an overall negative-win player for the Phils.

That one week was cool, though.

Grade: D+

2014 Phillies Report Card: Reid Brignac
Author: Paul Boye
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