One more winner from the Howard contract: Domonic Brown

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Domonic Brown.jpgI’ve not yet seen any statements from the Phillies on this, but in light of the Howard extension, is it at all likely that they’ll be able to sign Jayson Werth once he hits free agency this fall?

As of now, the Phillies’ contractual obligations for 2012 are $87 million for a mere eight players (thanks to Crashburn Alley for the figures).  Are they really going to go over $100 million for just nine guys? Because that’s what signing Werth will require.

This is not a rhetorical point. I really don’t know enough about the Phillies finances to know if all the success and full houses these past few years has placed them into a new, higher-budget reality in which they can justify such things.  Worth noting, though, that the Cliff Lee trade was motivated in part by the realization that, no, the team cannot simply sign whoever they want to. At least as of this past winter, it was determined that choices must be made.

And a big choice is coming this offseason. Jayson Werth is a hell of a player.  The team’s success these past couple of years has had a lot to do with him. Hardly any player is a must-sign kind of guy, and Werth isn’t one of them, but he is important, and if he goes, there will be a hole to fill.

The guy who will be called on to fill that hole is Domonic Brown.  He’s an impressive prospect to be sure. I had assumed that he’d be called up next year as a part time player/Ibanez fill-in and eventually would take over left field.  But if the Howard extension means that Werth leaves town, he’s going to need to be more than a prospect. He’s going to need to be a key contributor to the Phillies 2011 offense as its starting right fielder.

Cardinals activate Adam Wainwright from the disabled list

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The Cardinals announced ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the Reds that pitcher Adam Wainwright has been activated from the 10-day disabled list.

Wainwright, 36, has been absent since mid-August due to a right elbow impingement. The Cardinals plan to use him out of the bullpen through the end of the season. Prior to the injury, the right-hander posted a disappointing 5.12 ERA with a 96/44 K/BB ratio in 121 1/3 innings.

Wainwright is under contract for one more year at $19.5 million before becoming eligible for free agency.

Yankees decide to keep Luis Severino on regular rest, give Twins potential Wild Card preview

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Yankees starter Luis Severino pitched last Friday, putting him on track to start Wednesday’s series finale against the Twins. The Yankees mulled the possibility of pushing him back to start on Friday against the Blue Jays after an off day on Thursday so that the Twins wouldn’t get an early look at Severino in a potential AL Wild Card matchup.

However, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports that Severino will indeed start on Wednesday against the Twins instead of Masahiro Tanaka. Hoch adds that Severino’s preference is to pitch on regular rest.

Severino, 23, has been the Yankees’ best starter this year and would be the most reliable arm in a must-win game. The right-hander is carrying a 13-6 record with a 2.93 ERA and a 218/49 K/BB ratio in 184 1/3 innings.

Entering Tuesday’s action, the Yankees hold a five-game lead over the Twins for the first Wild Card slot. The Twins hold a 1.5-game lead over the Angels for the second slot. The Yankees are also very much in the AL East race, trailing the Red Sox by only three games with 12 games left in the regular season.