Winter Meetings End
The winter meetings are history. Ruben indicated it might be a quiet time for the Phillies and it turned out that way. Oh, Gillick being a Hall of Famer was great news but on the player front, it was quiet.
Other teams went bonkers with some of the contracts but that’s their business.
The Rule 5 draft ended the meetings this morning and the Phillies took a versatile infielder, Michael Martinez, from the Washington organization. He will need to stay with the big club the entire season or be offered back to the Senators.
A year ago, we grabbed reliever David Herndon. He stayed the entire year and now, if he doesn’t make the big club in spring training, can be sent to the minors for further schooling.
Martinez is a switch-hitter who can play the middle infield positions. Going into the draft, Wilson Valdez was a lock as a spare middle infielder and then the door was open for a second such type player. So, Martinez will get a good look in Clearwater.
The Phillies have had some success in drafting players during the Rule 5 draft. Shane is the most current and prominent player to come to Philly that route. Third baseman Dave Hollins was another.
For you Senior Citizens out there, reliever Jack Baldshun and catcher Clay Dalrymple were drafted in the same draft.
Ruben is still working on beefing up the bullpen. Right field appears to come from within.
Wirth is gone and a couple other right-handed hitting outfielders are off the free agent market, so Ben Francisco heads the candidates to replace Werth. Jayson was a talented player with multiple tools and he will be missed. But, time and the game marches on.
Prior to coming to the Phillies, Werth’s last year as a “regular” was 2005 with the Dodgers: 102 games, .234 average, 22 doubles, 7 homers, 43 RBI, 114 strikeouts. The 102 games were the most he’d played in the majors.
Francisco’s last season in which he played over 100 games was 2008 with Cleveland: .266, 121 games, 32 doubles, 15 homers, 54 RBI, 86 strikeouts.
When someone exits, it opens the door for someone else.
First baseman Art Mahan, the oldest living Philies player, died yesterday ag age 97. He played one season with the Phillies, 1940, and hit .244 in 146 games.
Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the Mahan family during this sad time.
Outfielder Alex Pitko, 96, is now the oldest living Phillie. He played one year with the Phillies, 1938.