Obviously the Phillies content around here has been nuts lately. It’s been driven, of course, by the fact that so many Phillies fans have migrated here in the past few months. They’re active. They shoot me links or give me ideas for posts in their comments. And of course, knowing who’s reading, I’m more likely — quality of the content being equal — to link to something Phillies-related than I may be to link to something Rockies-related, for example. Gotta serve the customers.
But why are they here? What do they want? Sure, we’ve formed some rudimentary basis of communication with these hordes, but it’s mostly just the bare minimum required for us to communicate. “I like post.” “I no like post.” “Cliff Lee sexy.” “Ryan Howard good.” “You biased hater jealous of stuff that happened 30 years ago and you use that to heap scorn upon us.” That sort of thing.
But Jonny 5 — a Phillies reader who has been around these parts long before the recent infestation — has a theory. And it’s not a bad one:
I have a theory of why so many Phillies fans have ventured to HBT daily, like moths to a porch light. They need to be kicked around. Plain and simple. For generations, fans of Philly sports teams have been brutalized by the masses (rightfully so). We had to agree with the sucktitude of Philly sports. There was never a doubt. But now, now that Baseball, football, and Hockey in the city have made an about face they still need to get their abuse. Which comes aplenty here. It’s all just a theory though. An abuse syndrome of sorts…
It’s boring to agree with everyone about how good your team is. Some people can become addicted to a certain kind of friction, however. It used to come naturally from Philly sports outlets because there was so much to complain about. Now it’s all sunshine.
So if what I think Jonny is saying is true, I’m indispensable to you cheesesteak eaters. Deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me to give you hell. You need me to give you hell. You need me to help keep you miserable in the way you have become accustomed.
MASN’s Roch Kubatko is reporting that the Orioles have “some level” of interest in free agent outfielder Denard Span. The Nationals did not make a $15.8 million qualifying offer to Span, which means he doesn’t come attached with draft pick compensation unlike other free agents such as Alex Gordon and Dexter Fowler.
Span, who turns 32 in February, hit a solid .301/.365/.431 with five home runs, 22 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases, but took only 275 plate appearances due to back and hip injuries. He underwent season-ending hip surgery in September but is expected to be ready to participate in spring training.
The Mets and Royals have also reportedly shown interest in Span’s services.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Blue Jays are on the prowl for relievers with closing experience. Ryan Madson is one of the names on their list.
Madson, 35, had a career rebirth with the Royals in 2015. He signed a minor league deal with the club that paid him a salary of $850,000 if he made it back to the majors. Due to a plethora of arm injuries, Madson hadn’t pitched in the majors since Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals as a member of the Phillies. For the Royals, he wound up becoming a crucial member of the bullpen, finishing with a 2.13 ERA and a 58/14 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.
While Madson allowed five runs in 8 1/3 post-season innings, he pitched well when it mattered most, as he hurled three scoreless frames in three appearances in the World Series against the Mets.
Madson has closing experience, with 55 career saves. 32 of them came in 2011 when he took over the closer’s role from Brad Lidge.
After signing Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ, and trading for Jesse Chavez, the Jays have bolstered their rotation but it was reported on Saturday that interim GM Tony LaCava is still focused on upgrading the pitching staff.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent pitcher Trevor Cahill is looking for a one-year, bounce-back deal. The Pirates are one of the potential teams he is considering.
It’s no surprise that the Pirates are on Cahill’s list. Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has garnered a reputation as a miracle worker after turning around the careers of a handful of pitchers, including Edinson Volquez, Francisco Liriano, and J.A. Happ. Volquez parlayed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Pirates into a two-year, $20 million deal with the Royals last December. Liriano signed with the Pirates on a one-year, $1 million contract and turned that into a three-year, $39 million deal. Happ, dealt to the Pirates from the Mariners at the most recent trade deadline, just signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Blue Jays.
Cahill, once a highly-regarded pitching prospect, has scuffled over parts of seven seasons in the majors. The 27-year-old owns a career 4.13 ERA with a 754/427 K/BB ratio in 1,083 2/3 innings. Cahill had some brief success after signing with the Cubs as a free agent in mid-August, compiling a 2.12 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Blue Jays have narrowed their search for a new general manager down to two candidates: current interim GM Tony LaCava, and Indians vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins. Former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos resigned last month.
LaCava was promoted to interim GM on November 2 and has already made a handful of moves along with new president Mark Shapiro. The club acquired Jesse Chavez in a trade and signed pitchers Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ to multi-year deals.
Atkins worked under Shapiro in the Indians organization for 15 seasons, so it is no surprise that he is a finalist for the open GM position.