New York Yankees

Phillies looking toward the Bronx in future-shaping week

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AP Images

Phillies looking toward the Bronx in future-shaping week

Phillies officials begin an important work week Monday, one that will have a significant impact on the team's future.

On Monday, the club will host Joe Girardi at Citizens Bank Park in a second interview for the team's open manager's job.

Girardi met with team officials last Monday in the New York metropolitan area. He is the third candidate to receive a second interview for the position. Dusty Baker and Buck Showalter visited Philadelphia for second interviews on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

The Phillies have a narrow focus in their search for a new skipper; they are seeking someone with previous big-league managerial experience. Girardi, Showalter and Baker, with 53 combined years of big-league managing experience and seven manager of the year awards, are the only candidates for the position and it is possible the team could make a hire this week. Thursday could be a target for an announcement as the World Series pauses for an off day between Games 2 and 3.

The Phils could make another important announcement this week. Multiple sources around baseball say the Phils have completed their search for a new amateur scouting director and that Brian Barber is the guy they are locked in on. Barber is a highly regarded national scout for the New York Yankees. His hiring by the Phillies could be announced this week. Barber will replace Johnny Almaraz, who last month stepped down as the Phillies' director of amateur scouting.

Of course, Barber isn't the only man with Yankees roots in the Phillies' sights. Girardi won four World Series rings with the Yankees — three as a player and one as a manager — and is believed to be the Phillies' preferred candidate for manager. 

In addition to having a wealth of experience in running a game with his instincts and intuition, Girardi is well versed in the use of analytics in roster building and game management. Phillies ownership has committed millions to building an analytics department and the club is looking for a manager who can blend a traditional approach to running a game and a team with an approach that uses data and analytics. Girardi managed the Yankees from 2008 to 2017 and in that time the team became an analytics powerhouse.

Girardi is also a candidate for the New York Mets managerial opening. It is not clear if the Mets are prioritizing previous big-league managing experience like the Phillies are. The Mets have interviewed Girardi as well as a number of candidates who have not managed in the big leagues, such as Carlos Beltran and Eduardo Perez.

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Phillies sign first baseman Logan Morrison to minor league deal

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Phillies sign first baseman Logan Morrison to minor league deal

The Phillies have signed Logan Morrison to a minor league deal, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury confirmed Saturday. 

The New York Post's Joel Sherman first reported the signing. 

Morrison, who opted out of his minor league deal with the Yankees, hit .289 with 15 home runs and 37 RBIs in 43 games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. The 31-year-old first baseman has slashed .239/.325/.427 and hit 137 home runs in nine major-league seasons with four teams. He appeared in 95 games for the Minnesota Twins in 2018, batting .186 with 15 homers.

The Phillies haven't gotten much from their bench this year. As a team, they're 24 for 141 (.170) with five home runs in pinch-hitting appearances. Though Morrison doesn't have much of a pinch-hitting track record — he's 11 for 61 (.180) for his career and has four pinch-hit homers — perhaps he could end up being a power bat off the bench. As a minor league signing, it seems to be a low-risk move regardless. 

More significant transactions are likely to come for the Phillies before Major League Baseball's July 31 trade deadline, though team president Andy MacPhail said Friday that he does not believe the club is close enough to World Series contention to justify blowing up the farm system (see story). The Phillies currently sit at 47-44 and in third place in the National League East.

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Phillies trade for INF Brad Miller from Yankees for cash considerations

Phillies trade for INF Brad Miller from Yankees for cash considerations

The Phillies on Thursday acquired infielder Brad Miller from the Yankees for cash considerations to help bolster their depth.

Miller, 29, has played in almost 700 big league games. He hit 30 homers in 2016 but has struggled to stay in the majors since. He’s played 13 games with the Indians this season and hit .250/.325/.417 in 40 plate appearances.

He’s been hitting the ball very well with New York’s Triple A affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, with a slash line of .294/.399/.596 with 10 homers and 29 RBI in 41 games. Miller has spent parts of seven seasons in the majors and has played first, second and third base and also some shortstop.

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