Camp Clearwater: Day 2
The second day of workouts at the Carpenter Complex will begin under a sunny but cool 57 degree morning.
For the second straight day, pitchers will take the mound. After Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee got their first official spring bullpen sessions out of the way Sunday, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton and others will follow suit today.
Hamels is arguably the biggest story in camp. He signed a one-year, $15 million deal at the last minute to avoid arbitration last month.
But he is still scheduled to hit the free agent market when the 2012 season ends. And if Hamels does hit the open market, there will be no shortage of teams eager to woo him with a Cliff Lee-like contract (5-years, $120 million would at least be a reasonable starting point).
The Phillies still have a head start on the rest of baseball to get Hamels locked up long term, however. Later today, Hamels will address his uncertain future with the only major league team he's ever played for in a post workout press conference (check back here later for video of that).
Other notable news from camp:
-- A day after GM Ruben Amaro Jr. joked that Jim Thome might be in better shape this spring than the slugging first baseman was when he signed a lucrative, multi-year deal with the team before 2003, Thome admitted that could be the case. "I think I’m right at or close to it. I’m a little lighter now," Thome said.
-- Although I physically have not seen him, Jimmy Rollins has reportedly checked in. With Rollins in camp, my unofficial tally of who's not in camp is a small number of players that includes Placido Polanco, Laynce Nix, Shane Victorino, Michael Martinez, Freddy Galvis, Lou Montanez and Hector Luna.
-- Former Phillies left fielder Raul Ibanez has found a place to check into spring training, and not too far from Clearwater. Ibanez agreed to a $1.1 million deal with the Yankees, who train in Tampa. According to ESPN's Buster Olney, Ibanez can make as much as $4 million in the incentive-laden deal.
If you've been following the rumor mill, there was at least the chance that the Phillies could have blocked Ibanez's path to the Yankees.
Had that complicated, three-team, three-player trade been worked out - which sounds like a long shot since someone would have to be willing to take Joe Blanton's salary in a season after he struggled with elbow issues - Bobby Abreu's reunion with the Yankees would have likely left Ibanez still looking for work.
Since the Phillies offered Ibanez arbitration, they will receive a compensatory pick in June's amateur draft now that he has signed with another team.