Phillies brace for flurry of moves at trade deadline
The underperforming squad appears ready to several veterans before Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Shane Victorino, clad in a Phillies T-shirt and white tights, leaned back in his chair and put his hands on his head. This was Saturday in Atlanta, after yet another Phillies loss, and the center fielder appeared resigned to his fate.
The day of reckoning is Tuesday, with the Phillies primed to make a flurry of moves before the 4 p.m. trade deadline. Monday, apparently, was the calm before the storm because the Phillies are holding out for the biggest returns possible.
The trade that appeared to have the most legs Monday night was right-hander Joe Blanton to the Baltimore Orioles.
A report from MASNsports.com Monday night said the Orioles had asked the Phillies to fax them Blanton's medical records. A baseball source said the Phillies have asked the Orioles about infielder Jon Schoop, the team's third-ranked prospect, according to Baseball America.
Schoop, a 20-year-old righthanded hitter from Curacao, has played this season at Class AA Bowie in the Eastern League. Through Sunday's games, he was hitting .244 with 17 doubles, one triple, 12 home runs, and 43 RBI. Schoop, 6-foott-1 and 195 pounds, has played primarily at second base this season, but has also played shortstop and third base.
Landing Baltimore's No. 3 prospect for Blanton would be a nice score, but the Phillies may have to eat some of Blanton's remaining salary in order to do so. Blanton, in the final year of a deal that is paying him $8.5 million this season, will make a little less than $3 million the remainder of the year. The Orioles apparently do not want to take on all of Blanton's salary.
The sense around baseball was that the Phillies could do quite a bit before Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline.
"Ruben is going to make a huge splash," a baseball source said, referring to general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. "I'm feeling it. A huge overhaul is coming."
• Dan Haren is expected to miss his next start for the Los Angeles Angels because of back stiffness.
The right-hander went on the disabled list earlier this month for the same problem, which has apparently hampered him all year. He was set to pitch Wednesday against Texas.
The Angels also announced that outfielder Mark Trumbo would miss Monday night's game at Texas because of back spasms. He felt pain during batting practice on Sunday.
• The Milwaukee Brewers fired bullpen coach Stan Kyles following another meltdown by its relievers.
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said Monday that the change was necessary to improve a bullpen that has recorded the most losses and blown saves in the major leagues.
Kyles had been the bullpen coach since 2009. He will be replaced in the interim by Lee Tunnel, who is in his fourth season with the Brewers as minor league pitching coordinator.
Brewers' relievers have gone 15-26 with a 4.80 earned-run average this season.
• Orioles designated hitter Jim Thome is headed back to Baltimore to have tests on his sore neck.
Thome said Monday, before the Orioles played the New York Yankees, that he will have an MRI on Tuesday morning because the spasms in his neck are not subsiding. He said he is having the scan to make sure there is nothing structurally wrong.
Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said the slugger was given a pain injection and trigger-point treatment on Sunday. The 41 year old Thome, who has hit 611 career homers, hasn't played since Friday night. He left the Orioles clubhouse around 4:30 p.m. to make a train back to Baltimore.
The Associated Press
contributed to this report.