Archive for the 'Winter Meetings' Category

Halladay’s Retirement

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013


The first big news of the Winter Meetings came on Monday when it was announced that Roy Halladay was retiring after 16 years. He signed a one day contract to retire as a Blue Jay after spending four years with the Phillies.

The reason that we’re mentioning this on this blog is of course because of Halladay’s rehab appearance at FirstEnergy Park on August 20th, when he allowed two runs in six innings in front of a sell-out crowd of 8,000.

We wish Halladay the best in retirement and fully expect we’ll see him in Cooperstown in a few years.

You can see a full photo gallery from that night from by clicking here. Halladay was on Mike and Mike this morning on ESPN Radio and you can listen to that here.

Greetings From Orlando

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

We should have gotten this up sooner, but…we’re heare in Orlando at the annual Baseball Winter Meetings at the Swan & Dolphin Disney hotel. The BlueClaws have eight staff members on hand and have been conducting business, going to seminars and meetings, and other general prep for 2014, which, as you know, is 119 days away.

By the way, they call it the Winter Meetings, but you know better.


Castillo, Mattiar Taken in Rule 5 Draft

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

castillo-mattair-blogTwo 2011 BlueClaws, RHP Lendy Castillo and IF Travis Mattair were selected in today’s Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings. Castillo was taken in the Major League portion by the Cubs and Mattair in the Triple-A phase by the Reds. Here is the full list of drafted players from

Castillo joined the BlueClaws in June and went 4-2, 2.54. He struck out 46 hitters in 46 innings pitched. He pitched across three levels (Dominican Summer League, Gulf Coast League, and NY-Penn League) in 2010 after three years as an infielder. He hit just .239 in those three seasons so the Phillies tried him as a pitcher and it certainly worked out. He’s considered somewhat raw (expected considering he has only thrown 111 professional innings) but throws in the low to mid 90s with excellent movement. Now he’ll have a chance to make a big league roster out of spring training.

Mattair was a 2nd round pick of the Phillies in 2007 and was with the BlueClaws in 2008 and 2009. After taking a year off to pursue college basketball, he returned to baseball this year, which he split between Lakewood and Clearwater. This year with Lakewood he hit .266 with 2 HRs and 18 RBIs. You may remember that it was nearly 3 HRs and 21 RBIs but his apparent walk-off grand slam on July 4th was changed to a single. Mattair played 288 games in a BlueClaws uniform, more than anyone else (the second highest total is 205 by Carlos Rodriguez). His 256 hits are 72 more than Greg Golson.

Steve Roadcap, who managed Mattair here in 2008, is now a scout for the Reds, which could be the connection to the Cincinnati organization.

What It Means
In Castillo’s case, he will now have an opportunity to make the Cubs Major League roster out of spring training. If he does, and is with them the entire year, the Cubs carry his rights into 2013. If not, he must be offered back to the Phillies, who would probably take him back.

In Mattair’s case, he will now go to the Reds where he will have a great shot to make at least their Double-A roster out of camp. Travis is as good a guy as you will ever meet and we wish him nothing but the absolute best.

Good luck to both guys!

From the Winter Meetings

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

BlueClaws Director of Sponsorships Zack Rosenberg is part of the BlueClaws contingent in Dallas at the Winter Meetings and checked in with this new blog post. Thanks Zack…

DALLAS, TX – After three full days in Dallas, here’s a quick recap of the BlueClaws involvement in Baseball’s annual gathering.

– Sunday Night is always one of the events for us to look forward to. The Phillies host a great evening for all of the affiliates to get together to share some time together. They go above and beyond to make sure we feel like part of the parent club and insist that we mingle amongst our counterpart at the other teams.

– Monday is promotional seminars all day. This is sort of the must attend day for the MiLB guys. A productive docket of all day roundtables, breakout sessions, and networking to share best practices and ideas. We always come back with a few new tricks to add to our promotional plans for the new season.

– Tuesday for us this year was all about the Trade Show and interviews. The trade show is one of the most unique of its kind. You can hop right from the hot dog vendors to the entertainers to learn what new offerings are out there. My personal favorite booth is the championship ring display. On one side of the glass sit back to back BlueClaws rings as samples, on the other side some serious bling from their Major Leagues and NBA.

Interviewing is intense for us, but more so for the job seekers. Hundreds of aspiring baseball professionals descend upon the meetings for the chance to work for a team and just knock out one interview after another. As we make our final push to fill our full time assistant positions, I think we’ve found some solid candidates. (It’s one more interview today and then decision time! (editor’s note – good luck to the poor soul that has to interview with Zack*)

– Now here we are at Wednesday and we’re very much looking forward to checking out the Cowboys stadium thanks to the Legends Hospitality group that is offering tours. Right after that, we hop across the highway to the gala at the Rangers Ballpark. Should be great additions to the list of stadiums visited.

Of course the meetings do provide time to catch up with past colleagues and folks at other teams. Always great to walk through the lobby and run into some friends we used to work with or have met at prior meetings. As a matter of fact, we just had a good time at breakfast with former BlueClaws AGM Rich Mozingo.

Hope this gives you a sense of things down here. Now we’re just looking for a little warmer weather so we’ll head back north to Jersey tomorrow! (Seriously.)


Thanks to Zack for providing a great rundown for the readers of BlueClaws Blog.

Quintin Berry to Mets Organization

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

quintin-berryQuintin Berry, who stole 55 bases with the BlueClaws in 2007, the fourth highest total in team history (behind Anthony Gose, 76; Chris Roberson, 59; Michael Bourn, 58), was selected by the Mets today in the Double-A portion of the Rule-5 Draft in Orlando.

It’s Berry’s third organization in the last year. He was put on the Phillies 40-man roster this time a year ago, but was waived in July, being claimed by his hometown San Diego Padres. He played for their Double-A team (San Antonio) for the last two months of 2010, but his just .209.

Minor league Rule 5 Draft eligibility:

Each club can shield 78 players from the draft altogether—40 on the big league roster and 38 at Triple-A. An additional 37 can be placed on the Double-A roster and be protected from the big league and Triple-A phases of the draft.

The Phillies picked three players today.

In the major league portion, they selected utility infielder Michael Martinez from the Nationals. Martinez can play 2nd/3rd/short and all three outfield positions. He hit .272 between Double-A and Triple-A this year.

In the minor league portion, the Phillies nabbed OF Chris Frey from Colorado, who hit .273 in Triple-A in 2010. They also took RHP Justin Friend, who went 3-3, 3.76 with Double-A Midland in the Oakland system.

Remember last year in the Rule 5 Draft, the Phillies lost 2007 BlueClaw Carlos Monasterios, who had a solid year with the Dodgers (stats). He went 3-5, 4.58 but had only thrown seven innings above Hi-A before being selected.

Sanchez, Flande Off the 40

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Jesus Sanchez (pictured), a BlueClaw in 2008 and 2009, and Yohan Flande were released by the Phillies yesterday, freeing up room on their 40-man roster in case they want to sign a free agent or select somebody in the Rule 5 Draft which is tomorrow at the Winter Meetings in Orlando.

The Phillies recently added five to their 40-man roster (Matt Rizzotti, Justin De Fratus, Freddy Galvis, Harold Garcia, Cesar Hernandez) to protect them from the Rule-5 Draft.

Sanchez, who was a reserve catcher with Lakewood in 2008, with Joel Naughton and later Travis d’Arnaud, was converted to a pitcher in 2009 and went 10-6, 3.44 with Lakewood. This year, he had a 2.99 ERA with Clearwater.

Flande, who skipped Lakewood in 2009 after starring in the GCL in 2008, played in the Futures Game last year but struggled this year with Reading. He went 10-8, 4.38 but struck out just 84 in 158 innings.

The Phillies could sign both back to minor league contracts.

Two of the best organizations in baseball are going to be loaded for bear in the 2011 draft.

The Phillies, after losing Jayson Werth to the Nationals, will receive the top compensatory pick in the supplemental first round, plus Washington’s second round pick (their first, #6, is protected, as are the top 15). So the Phillies will pick 30-34 and then roughly 50-55.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, will have two compensatory picks for losing Victor Martinez to the Tigers and then two more for Adrian Beltre, who, now that they have added Adrian Gonzalez, will not be re-signed.

These two teams typically spend money in the draft and it’s no coincidence they typically have good farm systems (and farm systems that can be pierced to go get good players via trade).

Monasterios to Dodgers

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Carlos Monasterios’ time as a Met didn’t last long. Not long after the Mets took him in the Rule 5 Draft, he was traded to the Dodgers, where the same rules apply (he must be on the 25-man roster all year or be offered back to the Phillies).

Through the beauties of the internet, we can find that the Dodgers had been looking at him for a little while, scouting him down in the Venezuelan League. Here is a story in a Venezuelan paper (I think).

Dodgers preguntan por Monasterio
Los Dodgers de Los Ángeles observarán este miércoles al novel Carlos Monasterio, cuando lance contra Magallanes en el estadio “Nueva Esparta”. Uno de sus scouts preguntó por su próxima salida. “Queremos observarlo”, expresó el cazatalentos. 

Run that through a translator and you get a rough equivilent (though the point is made)…

Dodgers ask for Monastery The Dodgers of The Angels will observe this Wednesday to the new one Carlos Monastery, when throw against Magellan in the stadium “New Sparta”. One of its scouts asked for its next exit. “We want to observe it”, expressed the cazatalentos.

Rule 5 Draft on the Fly

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Quick Rule 5 Thoughts

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

This morning is the annual Rule 5 Draft, which basically wraps up the Winter Meetings. Basically:

Players who signed at age 19 and older in 2006 (i.e., most college 2006 draft picks) or 18 and younger in 2005 (most 2005 high school picks and international signees), had to be protected on 40-man rosters or be subject to the draft. Selected players cost $50,000 and have to stick on a major league 25-man roster (or disabled list) for the entire 2010 season or be offered back to the original organization at half the price.  

You can follow along here.

Last month, the Phillies added three players (OF Quintin Berry, RHP Jesus Sanchez, and LHP Yohan Flande) to the 40-man roster to protect them from being picked today.

We were surprised Sanchez was on the list, less so with Berry and Flande, particularly Berry, who has stolen over 150 bases in the last three years and is very good defensively. No question he would have been able to hang on the back of a big league roster.

Who could be taken?

Tim Kennelly…Useful utility guy can play multiple positions, which is valuable if he’s going to be the 25th man on the roster.

Edgar Garcia…Once-promising right-hander missed some time this year (visa problems) but sometimes an organization just falls in love with a guy and a few years later they have a chance to get him.

Harold Garcia…Mentioned by Baseball America. Still, he’s never been above Low-A, but the BlueClaws starting 2B this year did get positive reviews from several scouts we talked to.

Update: Here’s last year’s Rule 5 post…remember, both Brett Harker and Andy Barb, who combined for 35 saves on the ’06 BlueClaws were taken in the minor league portion.

Early Winter Meetings Thoughts

Monday, December 7th, 2009

wintermeetings2009b1Some early thoughts as the Winter Meetings are underway in beautiful Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Here is a great blog post from the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham, who remembers a past Winter Meetings when Brian Cashman left some fake notes on the table and watched with glee as the writers tried to read them while not being conspicuous about it.
  • One thing caught us a little bit off-guard with David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News last week…If (Cliff Lee) is going to get a contract that pays him what his market value is, I don’t think the Phillies will be the team that gives it to him…While the Phillies are normally conservative when handing out contracts to pitchers, he was too good to let walk, plus there were obviously issues with Cole Hamels during the post-season.
  • One more from Murphy…Michael Taylor, I never get the sense they view him as a 30-100 guy, and there’s not an overwhelming anticipation of him getting to the big leagues…then you wonder if they would move him to fill some other need (maybe late-inning reliever-plus). At some point you’re going to have to make a decision on Taylor, who just turned 24. He’s very valuable heading into his prime and under control until he is 30.
  • For better or worse, the formation of the Players Union dramatically changed the game of baseball, leading to free agency, ultimately arbitration, and the high player salaries we see today. Yet, Marvin Miller, According to this in the Boston Globe Extra Bases blog, was not elected to the Hall of Fame today by the executive committee. Why? I’m told that Miller received the votes of both players and all three writers. So only two of the seven executives voted for him…There’s a stunner. Who got hurt most by Miller? The executives.
  • Andy Pettite is negotiating with the Yankees about coming back for one more year. It’s hard to see the Yankees not bringing him back. And if they don’t it’s probably off to the cattle ranch in Texas for the lefty.
  • Here’s a blast from the past…According to Joel Sherman in the NY Post, the Mets could end up with Pat Burrell, getting him from the Cubs for Luis Castillo if the Cubs trade Milton Bradley to Tampa Bay for Burrell. The Mets would then sign Orlando Hudson to play second base.

Winter Meetings Preview (on field)

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

In our last post, we gave a quick preview of the off-field aspect of the Winter Meetings. But the part of the whole week that gets the most attention annually is without question the wheeling and dealing that is done on the big league side of things. Some notes to keep an eye on over the next few days.

  • Andy Martino in the Inquirer notes here that since the Phillies have been pretty insistent that payroll will not increase significantly, they are not certain to go after a big-ticket reliever they need (like Brandon Lyon). But what about Roy Halladay? No chance right? What if the Yankees and Red Sox, widely regarded as the top two suitors for Halladay, both determine that they do not want to give much away for a guy who will become a free agent in fewer than 12 months? There is strong precedent to suggest that will happen, because it happened two years ago with Johan Santana. Both AL East behemoths dropped out of the bidding for the then-Minnesota ace, allowing the Mets to acquire Santana for a bunch of second-tier youngsters.
  • The best position player on the market is Cardinals OF Matt Holliday. Where will he end up? Well, Boston needs a bat in the middle of their lineup, whether it be replacing Jason Bay with Holliday or just bringing back Bay.
  • The best pitcher is John Lackey. As Jayson Stark notes here, while he might not be a CC Sabathia, he is so much the best free agent pitcher that it’s going to be very tough to hold him back financially. Jason Marquis? “I don’t see any starting pitcher in this market who’s going to pull Lackey down,” said one exec. “There’s no comparable pitcher to Lackey that would cause him to sign for, like, three years times $10 million. Somebody is going to give him close to what the established market is for upper-echelon starters.” So who is that somebody? Don’t bet against the Yankees.
  • Here is a good rundown from the NY Post
  • Bill Madden in the NY Daily News writes: Phillies: Credit Ruben Amaro, the second-year Phillies GM, for not resting on his ’09 NL pennant laurels, and moving quickly to upgrade at third base from Pedro Feliz to Placido Polanco. Next up: The pitching. Amaro is in on Halladay but probably doesn’t have the pieces to get him, and is aggressively working to fortify his bullpen. He’s zeroing in on Fernando Rodney as another closer option, and John Smoltz and J.J. Putz as set-up possibilities who could be had for incentives-laden deals.

On the last point, Madden on the Phillies, we disagree that the Phillies don’t have the pieces to make the deal. They have the pieces. They just don’t want to trade those pieces. They had the pieces in July to make the deal, they just didn’t want to give up nearly as many as Toronto did.

Should be a fun week as usual.

Winter Meetings: Quick Preview (Off Field)

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Minor League Baseball logo.jpgIndianapolis, Indiana is ranked the 25th largest media market in the country. It’s airport is ranked the 46th busiest in the country. But today, representatives from 120+ Minor League Baseball teams descent on The Circle City for the annual convention which runs through Thursday. It’s Winter Meetings week.

“We’re trying to make a great business and a great industry even better,” said BlueClaws Assistant GM Rich Mozingo in this ClawCast preview.

“We have the opportunity to go talk to people who might do group sales, or promotions, or marketing better than us, and get a little bit bigger and stronger when we come home.”

The trade show is usually the centerpiece of the event, and features hundreds of contacts and business with everything from tarp covers to giveaway items. Here is a list, from, of all the vendors. It’s a neat read.

While this is the first Winter Meetings hosted in Indianapolis, they’ve been trying to get the meetings for a few years. What was one of their big pushes? How about air tunnels to bridge hotels and the convention center, so people don’t have to go outside in the cold. Good thing. The high temperature in Indy this week is 42 degrees.

Next year: Orlando, where the high temperature this week is 81.

Winter Meetings Podcast Preview

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

wintermeetings2009bNext week, the baseball world converges on Indianapolis, Indiana for the annual Winter Meetings baseball convention. In addition to the hot stove cranking up on the Major League side of things it’s basically a series of annual seminars on the Minor League side of things.

Teams share ideas regarding promotions, tickets, and more, plus it’s home to the annual Trade Show, featuring various equipment and merchandise vendors. It’s quite the show.

We sat down for a podcast preview with BlueClaws Assistant GM Rich Mozingo (on his way to his 17th Winter Meetings), talking about, among other things:

  • The best part about the Meetings
  • Seeing those he’s come into contact with from around the game
  • The size and scope of the event
  • What they hope to learn each year
  • How this year’s meetings will be different from last year’s in Las Vegas

Click here to listen. Enjoy.

Leaving Las Vegas

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Leaving Las VegasAs baseball personnel begin to scatter back to their respective homes across the country, I spoke with BlueClaws General Manager Geoff Brown, still in Las Vegas, for We hit on a bunch of Winter Meetings topics, from the annual Phillies party, to the league meetings, the trade show, the city, and much more. Give it a listen.

With the Rule 5 Draft in the books (full coverage here), that’s basically it for this year’s Winter Meetings. Of course, the hot stove will continue to burn, and we’ll have it all for you right here. Stay tuned.