Updates on the trade front and looking over possibilities for Thursday’s Rule 5 draft basically occupied the Phillies’ suite today in day 2 of the Winter Meetings.
Pat Gillick and his team met at 8 a.m., scattered on intelligence missions, reconvened at 2:30 to go over potential players they could select on Thursday and then received progress reports on discussions with other teams.
Gordon Lakey, the Phillies veteran Major League scout, says the Opryland Hotel is a tough place to track someone down because of its vastness. Last year in Orlando, there was a gigantic circular lobby that was packed constantly with baseball people.
Teams that don’t have a full 40-man roster can select players for $50,000 on Thursday morning. The Phillies have the 24th overall pick but when you pull out teams with full rosters, the Phillies number drops to 15th. The Phillies currently have space for one player.
Over the course of years, the Phillies have taken different approaches to the Rule 5 draft. Coming off the NL East championship, the Phillies are looking for someone who could slot into the pitching staff or the extra outfielder role. During lean years, the club would considerf a young player out of A ball, someone they could carry on the 25-roster for the full season. A Rule 5 selection has to stay on the big league roster the entire year or be offered back to the club from which the player was selected.
The two most notable Rule 5 draftees for the Phillies are Dave Hollins and Shane Victorino. Their biggest loss: OF George Bell, selected by Gillick when he was with the Blue Jays in the 1970s.
Gillick left the room to attend the minor league awards luncheon at noon and again at 4:30 for his daily press briefing with five Philly writers. Leslie Gudel from Comcast SportsNet is here for the week and Pat did a 1-on-1 interview with her. He also did a solo interview with Scott Palmer for this website.
The informal briefing took place in the corner of the expansive lobby to the Delta Convention Center. That lobby was buzzing. MLB.com had a large studio set; ESPN TV was 100-feet away with another studio and XM Radio was set up in another corner. Inside the large media workroom, hundreds of reporters were knocking out stories for the papers or websites. It is quite an impress scene.
A reader inquired as to the Phillies’ interest in Eric Bedard, the Orioles LHP. I’m sorry, but discussing other team’s players can lead to a tampering charge. It is best I refrain because I don’t want to stick the Phillies with a stiff fine. Hope you understand.