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News » Philadelphia Phillies Notes, Quotes 2008-12-22

Philadelphia Phillies Notes, Quotes 2008-12-22

Philadelphia Phillies Notes, Quotes 2008-12-22
--LHP Jamie Moyer wanted to keep pitching for the Phillies. The Phils wanted Moyer to stay in their starting rotation. So, what took so long? A negotiation that wasn't expected to drag beyond Thanksgiving finally reached a conclusion Dec. 15, when the Phillies guaranteed the 46-year-old a two-year contract worth at least $13 million. The contract includes enough escalator clauses and performance bonuses to raise the overall value to $20 million.

Moyer held out for a two-year deal, and Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. admitted he was concerned about giving a multiyear pact to the majors' oldest player. Moyer made 33 starts, led the Phillies with 16 wins and posted a 3.71 ERA, tied for 13th among NL starters, last season.

"Negotiations are negotiations," said Moyer, whose 246 career victories are third most among active pitchers behind Tom Glavine and Randy Johnson. "Both sides take a stand for what they feel is right. Having that second year, it pushes me and drives me. After last season and winning the World Series, I was very interested in coming back to the Phillies, and they said they'd love to have me back. But you go through the process. There were other clubs that showed interest. We talked to them. Did I ever think I wasn't going to come back to the Phillies? No. But I've been through this process long enough, you never know where the market is going to go."

--2B Chase Utley hopes to play in the Phillies' season opener April 5, although he recently vowed not to rush his rehabilitation from Nov. 24 hip surgery that could land him on the disabled list until mid-April. Utley has a follow-up appointment in mid-January with Bryan Kelly, the New York-based orthopedic surgeon who repaired his labrum. He won't be cleared to swing a bat or field a grounder until mid-February, and he's hoping to play in spring training games by mid-March.

Phillies trainer Scott Sheridan said the team won't have a true idea of Utley's timetable until early January.

"Things have been progressing very well," Utley said in his first public statement since undergoing the surgery. "I don't expect any setbacks. If there are no setbacks, I feel like I'll be ready to go. But it's something I have to be careful of. (GM) Ruben (Amaro Jr.) has already given me a few lectures to slow me down a little bit. I do want to be ready to go from day one, but I want to make sure we rehab this right. I don't want to have this problem again."

Amaro said the Phillies likely will turn to Eric Bruntlett or top prospect Jason Donald to fill-in at second base if Utley is unable to start the season on time.

--RHP Chan Ho Park reached a preliminary agreement on a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Phillies. The deal is pending a physical, which likely won't occur until January. Park, who went 4-4 with a 3.40 ERA in 54 appearances with the Dodgers last season, announced the deal in a press conference in Seoul. Park said he picked the Phillies over the Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Giants and Royals because they would give him a better chance to be a starter. But the Phillies aren't sure how they will use Park. He could compete in spring training with LHP J.A. Happ, RHP Carlos Carrasco, RHP Kyle Kendrick and RHP Drew Carpenter for the last spot in the rotation, or he could be the multiple-innings reliever that manager Charlie Manuel wants in the middle of the bullpen.

"Our scouts really like him," GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "They like the fact that he's versatile and durable. He really came back this year. He's getting back to the form he showed several years back."

--INF Eric Bruntlett and RHP Clay Condrey avoided arbitration by reaching agreements on contracts for 2009. Bruntlett, who batted .217 for the Phillies last season, will make $800,000 next season, a raise from his $600,000 salary in 2008. Condrey, who posted a 3.24 ERA and earned a spot in the bullpen, will make $650,000, a raise from his $420,000 salary in 2008. The Phillies have eight remaining arbitration-eligible players, including 1B Ryan Howard and LHP Cole Hamels, the NLCS and World Series MVP.

--LF Raul Ibanez won't win any Gold Gloves for the Phillies, but he also is expected to play nine innings. Manager Charlie Manuel said that he doesn't anticipate having to lift the newly signed outfielder for a defensive replacement when the Phillies are leading late in games. Manuel routinely replaced LF Pat Burrell in those situations. Burrell, a free agent, won't return to the Phillies after nine seasons with the club.

"He'll catch what he gets to, and he runs pretty good," Manuel said of Ibanez. "From what I've seen, he's very adequate. Would I call him great? Maybe not. But he's solid. He can play a full nine innings."

--2B Chase Utley was among Burrell's best friends on the team. And although he praised the signing of Ibanez, he said it won't be easy to replace Burrell.

"It's going to be a little different around the clubhouse," Utley said. "It's maybe going to be tough at first. You can't replace the personality that he brings to the field. He really is a special individual. He kind of took me under his wing when I first got to the big leagues and showed me the ropes. But you have to understand this is a business, and the whole point is to continue to win."

--RHP Carlos Carrasco, the Phillies' top pitching prospect, has voluntary cut short his winter-ball season to rest his arm for spring training. Carrasco, who logged 151 1/3 innings in the minors last season, went 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA in 42 innings over 10 starts for Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League. Carrasco is expected to compete in spring training with LHP J.A. Happ, RHP Kyle Kendrick, RHP Drew Carpenter and veteran RHP Chan Ho Park for the final spot in the rotation.

--Ten players signed minor league deals with the Phillies and were invited to spring training. They are INFs Terry Tiffee, Andy Tracy, Mike Cervenak, J.J. Furmaniak and Ozzie Chavez; OF Chris Walker and RHPs Blaine Neal, Mike Koplove, Justin Lehr and Dave Borkowski.

BY THE NUMBERS: 338 -- RBIs over the past three seasons for LF Raul Ibanez, second most among AL outfielders behind only Magglio Ordonez. The Phillies recently signed Ibanez to a three-year, $31.5 million contract.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I would tell kids not to use that word, but if they're 29 and they win the World Series, I think they can say that." -- 2B Chase Utley, on using an expletive during an impromptu speech at the Phillies' championship parade on Oct. 31 at Citizens Bank Park.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: December 22, 2008

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