Rumors are the coin of the realm during baseball’s Winter meetings and Hot Stove League, so what follows should be considered in that light.
Add Kevin Brown’s name to the list of pitchers the Phillies are allegedly eyeing. The attraction? Brown, like fellow geezer and malcontent David Wells, will likely only demand a one-year contract, some of which the Yankees might pay according to the Jim Salisbury of the Inquirer. Remember, now, at this point these are just rumors; there’s little to gain by taking the Phillies to the woodshed yet. That said, what in the world would they even be thinking here? Brown is a vagabond 40 year old who is notoriously prone to injuries, some of them self-inflicted!. On top of those liabilities, his fastball has lost a foot or two recently. Need we remind the Phillies that velocity doesn’t tend to increase as pitchers cross over into their fourth decade?
Heck, if they are interested in Wells and Brown, maybe the should take a run at John Franco or inquire whether or not Jesse Orosco would consider coming out of retirement.
Salisbury also reports that from the Phillies’ perspective the most appealing aspect of signing two aging veterans to one year contracts is that it would allow more time for Gavin Floyd and Cole Hamels to develop. Translation: the Phillies might already be giving up on 2005.
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There don’t appear to be many more mountains for Scott Boras, the super agent everyone except his clients loves to hate, to climb. All that might remain is for him to buy his own team. Having amassed millions, one wonders why he doesn’t acquire a team, stock it from his own roster of free-agent clients, and sign them all to 10-year contracts. Surely they would have given him a discount.
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The other day I heard a clip from an ESPN radio interview by Dan Patrick of Larry Bowa. As expected, Bowa cited injuries as one of the chief reasons the Phillies failed to make the playoffs last season. Bowa also labeled Citizens Bank Park a “complete joke”. It is hard to imagine why any free agent pitcher who doesn’t throw 90% sinkers is going to sign with the Phillies given the ballpark’s reputation. Any hurler considering an offer from the Phillies is going to look at the experience of pitchers like Mike Hampton in Colorado and conclude, justifiably or not, that no amount of money would compensate for an unfriendly environment.