Did the Phillies Really Almost Get Bobby Abreu Back to Use as Burnett Bait?

Did the Phillies Really Almost Get Bobby Abreu Back to Use as Burnett Bait?

The Phillies' Joe Blanton, who sounds as though he spent the entire offseason on the trading block, has reported to Clearwater with the rest of the pitchers and catchers.
The funny thing is, he almost didn't make it.
ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted Sunday night the Pittsburgh Pirates weren't the only team interested in beleaguered tattoo enthusiast A.J. Burnett. Prior to the Yankees closing the deal with the Pirates to send Burnett and just under two-thirds of his remaining salary to Pittsburgh for two minor leaguers and a bag of baseballs, it is alleged that the Phillies nearly made a play to acquire the now-former Yankee's services.
We knew the Yankees were interested in Abreu. And we knew the Phillies were interested in swapping Blanton for Burnett. But did both things nearly happen in concert?
An alternate reality after the jump...
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@Buster_ESPN
Buster Olney What the Phillies tried to do last week, sources said today, was trade Joe Blanton for Bobby Abreu, then flip Abreu for Burnett.
Feb 20 via web Favorite Retweet Reply

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@Buster_ESPN
Buster Olney The Phillies' hope was that Burnett for two years would've provided at least a bit of a safety net in the event Hamels walks away as a FA.
Feb 20 via web Favorite Retweet Reply

That's right, the Phillies nearly traded Blanton to Anaheim for former Phillie (and former Yankee) Bobby Abreu, who would have been promptly sent to New York in exchange for Burnett. Granted, it would have made sense for the Yankees, who would have both unloaded Burnett and got the designated hitter they've been shopping for, but would it really have made sense for the Phillies?
Though Olney does great work, it's tough to believe the Phillies front office could view Burnett as any kind of safety net for a potential Cole Hamels departure. Honestly, over the past two seasons, Hamels has averaged a 2.93 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. On top of that, he was one of only three starting pitchers in the Majors to a post a sub-1.000 WHIP in 2011. The 35-year-old Burnett, on the other hand, well...he hasn't posted an ERA under 5.15 in the past two seasons. Really, the guy gave up five earned in six innings in Game 4 of the ALDS against Detroit and they nearly threw him a parade in the Canyon of Heroes.
We're not arguing Olney is wrong, we're just hoping the Phillies brass wouldn't have actually seen this as, again, "a bit of a safety net."
All that said, if you remove Hamels from the equation and look only at Blanton, it's not all that crazy. Rather than paying Joe Blanton $8.5 million in 2012, the Phils could have opted to pay Burnett $13 million (total) over 2012 and 2013, assuming they would have gotten the same price break as the Pirates. Coming off a milieu of injuries in 2011 and 4.82 ERA in 2010, Blanton is far from a sure thing in his own right.
As for the Yankees, indications were last week that they would be using the cash freed up from the Burnett trade with the Pirates to re-sign Eric Chavez and close a deal with another former Phillie -- Raul Ibanez. That deal, according to the Associated Press, was to be valued around $1 million ($11 less than the 39-year-old left fielder made last season). If such a plan is still in place, Ibanez would presumably DH for the Yankees in 2012.
Sure, the deal is dead now, but how would you have reacted to the Amaro & Co. dealing for A.J. Burnett (or to the mere mention of Bobby Abreu back under contract in Philly)?

[h/t 6ABC for the story]
>>>ESPN sources: Phillies tried for Burnett via Blanton, Abreu trades [WPVI.com]

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

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Wilson Ramos' dominant Phillies debut wakes up offense in win over Red Sox

Wilson Ramos' dominant Phillies debut wakes up offense in win over Red Sox

BOX SCORE

Wilson Ramos made a big impact in his first game with the Phillies.

Make that a huge impact.

Ramos, acquired in a trade deadline deal two weeks ago and activated from the disabled list on Wednesday afternoon, had a career-high three extra-base hits to help the Phillies come from three runs down to beat the Boston Red Sox, 7-4, at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night.

Ramos had two doubles and a triple on his way to three RBIs.

Ramos started a game-tying, three-run rally in the fourth inning with an RBI double.

Two innings later, he led off with a triple – just the second of his career and first since 2011 – and scored the go-ahead run on a pinch-hit sacrifice fly by Scott Kingery.

In the seventh, Ramos drove in two more runs with his second double of the game. The Phils sent eight men to the plate in that inning and scored three runs.

The Phillies’ bullpen was outstanding with 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball.

Over the course of two weeks, the Phillies played the Red Sox four times. The Phils won two and lost two, a more than respectable showing against baseball’s best team.

In those four games, Phillies pitching allowed just eight runs.

The Phillies, who entered the day two games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East, are 66-53. They have matched their wins total from last season with 43 games remaining.

Vince Velasquez struggled for the second straight outing. He lasted just 2 1/3 innings and gave up three runs, all of which came in the third inning.

Velasquez’s wounds in the third inning were largely self-inflicted. He issued a one-out walk to the pitcher then hit Andrew Benintendi with an 0-2 pitch before the Red Sox loaded the bases on an infield hit by Brock Holt. That brought Mitch Moreland to the plate and he unloaded on a 1-1 fastball, sending a line drive to the wall in left-center to clear the bases. The ball got by centerfielder Odubel Herrera, who may have saved a run if he could have cut off the ball.

After Moreland’s hit, Velasquez walked the next two batters to re-load the bases. Hector Neris came on and got two outs to stop the damage.

Neris’ work in his first action since returning from Triple A was important because it kept the game close and the Phillies were able to tie it with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Rhys Hoskins reached base on an error to start the rally. Nick Williams singled and Ramos launched an RBI double off the right-field wall for a run. Herrera drove home the second run with a ground ball to first and Carlos Santana tied it with a pinch-hit single to right.

Santana did not start as manager Gabe Kapler went with Justin Bour at first base (see story). Santana essentially filled Bour’s pinch-hitting role and came through with his 67th RBI.

Bour made a big contribution on defense to stop a Boston threat in the top of the sixth. The Sox had runners on first and second with two outs in a tie game. Reliever Tommy Hunter got pinch-hitter Steve Pearce to hit a ground ball to the right side. The ball had a chance to get through the hole because Cesar Hernandez was shifted toward second base. Hernandez was able to halt the ball and make an off-balance throw to Bour at first. Initially, it looked like Bour was not able to hold the bag as he stretched for the throw. But replays showed he did hold the bag for the third out and that prevented the go-ahead run from scoring.

In the bottom of the inning, the Phillies rallied to break the tie on a pinch-hit sacrifice fly by Kingery. Ramos scored on the play after opening the frame with a triple.


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