I Hate To See Wilson Go- But That’s Phillywood

Phillies deal Valdez to Reds for lefty Horst

By Paul Hagen / MLB.com

The Phillies have addressed their need for left-handed depth in the bullpen by acquiring 26-year-old Jeremy Horst from the Cincinnati Reds for utility infielder Wilson Valdez.

Antonio Bastardo was the only dependable lefty reliever the Phils had in 2011. Philadelphia has since added veteran Dontrelle Willis as a free agent. Horst, who will be a Minor League invitee to Spring Training, and Joe Savery are also expected to compete for spots.

Dontrelle Willis

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Horst made his Major League debut for the Reds last season and appeared in 12 games for Cincinnati with a 2.93 ERA. In 36 games at Triple-A Louisville, Horst had a 2.81 ERA and allowed 41 hits in 51 1/3 innings with 42 strikeouts and 14 walks. He held opponents to a .219 batting average.

Horst made six appearances of three innings or more for Louisville with an 0.83 ERA in those games.

English: Philadelphia Phillies minor leaguer J...

Joe Savery

Valdez had been a valuable and versatile backup for the Phillies over the past two seasons. As injuries forced Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Placido Polanco from the lineup at various times over the past two years, Valdez started a total of 70 games at shortstop, 68 at second base and 28 at third.

His most memorable Phils moment, however, may have occurred in the early morning hours of May 26, 2011, when he came in to pitch the top of the 19th inning against the Reds at Citizens Bank Park. Valdez retired the side without giving up a run and earned the win when Philadelphia scored in the bottom of the inning.

Valdez, 33, recently signed a one-year, $930,000 contract to avoid arbitration. In the past two years, Valdez batted .254 with a .300 on-base percentage in 210 games. He previously played for the White Sox, Mariners, Padres, Dodgers and Mets.

The most likely candidate to fill his role with the Phillies in the upcoming season is Michael Martinez, the former Rule 5 Draft choice, who not only played third, second and short last season, but also left and center field.

The Phils now have 38 players on their 40-man roster.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Valdez Agrees To 1 Year, $1 Mil Contract

Valdes Agrees To 1 Year Contract

Wilson Valdez has agreed to a one-year contract with the Phillies, Senior Vice President & General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced today.

Valdez’s $930,000 contract includes award bonuses.

Valdez appeared in 99 games for the Phillies last season, batting .249 with 14 doubles, four triples, one home run and 30 RBI.  With runners in scoring position, the 33-year-old batted .370.  Defensively, Valdez made 33 starts at second base, 21 at third base and 20 at shortstop, while also earning the win in his first career relief appearance on May 25 against the Cincinnati Reds.

Right fielder Hunter Pence is the Phillies’ lone remaining player eligible for salary arbitration.

1 Year, $15 Million For Hamels

Hamels agrees to $15M deal, avoids arbitration

Phils remain interested in working out long-term contract with lefty

By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA — Consider this a placeholder for something potentially bigger.

The Phillies and Cole Hamels on Tuesday agreed to a one-year, $15 million contract, which allowed them to avoid salary arbitration. The deal also allows them to focus on a possible multiyear extension before Hamels becomes a free agent following the 2012 season.

Cole Hamels pitching a complete game shutout v...

“We have cost certainty and the player has cost certainty,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “Now we can go from there. This doesn’t preclude us from doing a long-term deal. We can negotiate with Cole from today through the end of November, and then beyond that to get a multiyear deal done. Just because we have a one-year deal in place doesn’t mean we can’t do something long term. As far as Cole beyond 2012, that’s something that’s still very much open for discussion.”

Hamels is line for a major payday, but how large remains to be seen. But think Cliff Lee more than Jered Weaver.

Weaver signed a five-year, $85 million contract extension last summer with the Los Angeles Angels, but Weaver bypassed free agency partly because he wanted to stay in Southern California and play for his hometown team. Weaver and Hamels have remarkably similar career statistics, so it is easy to think Hamels might be paid in that range: Hamels is 77-54 with a 3.39 ERA in 181 career appearances. He has a 1.141 WHIP and averages 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings. Weaver is 82-47 with a 3.31 ERA in 171 career appearances. He has a 1.165 WHIP and averages 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings.

But John Boggs, Hamels’ agent, on Tuesday called the Weaver deal a “non-starter” in negotiations.

Cole Hamels 20:52, 16 November 2007 . . Old ma...

“It would be natural to look at that as a comparison,” Boggs said. “Jered signed for his own personal reasons — and I applaud him for that — but it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to follow the same standard. Everybody is different. For Jered to sign there, it doesn’t mean that’s the template we’re going to follow.”

Lee signed a five-year, $120 million contract with the Phils in December 2010. That certainly seems to be a better measuring stick for Hamels.

“Absolutely,” Boggs said. “If you’re this close to free agency, you start to make comparables of what you have the potential of making as a free agent.”

Lee signed his deal at 32. Hamels is 28. It stands to reason Hamels will be looking for a contract worth $20 million or more per season.

But there is genuine interest on both sides to reach an agreement. Finalizing Hamels’ 2012 contract could be the first step.

“The goal was to get that out of the way,” Boggs said. “I’m sure down the road we’ll have a conversation about moving forward. We plan on keeping the discussions open. It’s a process.”

Boggs said he hasn’t talked to Hamels about setting any potential deadline regarding negotiations, which some players have done in the past.

“At the end of the day, we really don’t have any concrete game plan as far as how long we are going to plan on discussing this,” Boggs said. “That will be decided at some point shortly, or as we get into the process. But there’s definitely a desire to stay. At the end of the day, it really depends on the value we place on Cole, and hopefully it coincides with the value the Phillies place on Cole. That’s the reason you have a negotiation. From a basic desire, yes, he’d be more than happy to stay there. He knows the Phillies. He’s homegrown. That’s what we’ll attempt to do, but sometimes things don’t work out if we can’t agree on the value.”

Philadelphia on Tuesday also avoided salary arbitration with infielder Wilson Valdez, who agreed to a one-year, $930,000 contract.

Outfielder Hunter Pence is the only Phillies player still eligible for salary arbitration, although an agreement can be reached up until the moment the team and player are supposed to meet with arbiters.

Asked if he thinks they will avoid arbitration with Pence, Amaro said, “I have no idea. We stay cautiously optimistic.”

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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