Montgomery returns to Phillies as chairman

Giles becomes chairman emeritus; Gillick staying on as president in the short term

Montgomery returns to Phillies as chairman

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies announced significant changes to their leadership on Wednesday afternoon. David Montgomery will rejoin the franchise as team chairman, not as team president, the role he had held since 1997.

Montgomery took a medical leave of absence in August following jaw bone cancer surgery in May. Pat Gillick replaced Montgomery as interim president, but the team removed the interim tag. Gillick said he will serve as president as long as ownership wants him. Bill Giles has moved from chairman to chairman emeritus.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Bernie Pleskoff

On the Cusp: Philadelphia Phillies

Franco, Biddle among top prospects looking to impact big league club in 2015

On the Cusp: Philadelphia Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies may not have had a deep inventory of Major League ready prospects to begin the season until they selected two good prospects in the Rule 5 Draft. The offseason could continue to see the club move veteran players for younger position players and pitchers.

Maikel Franco | 3B/1B | 6-foot-1, 180 pounds | No. 3
A right-handed power hitter from the Dominican Republic, he has moved up in the organization by showing consistent strength and an ability to drive in runs. In 2013, Franco hit 31 home runs playing for Class A Advanced Clearwater (16) and Double-A Reading (15). Last year, he hit 15 homers at Triple-A Lehigh Valley and his batting average fell against better competition. He's aggressive at the plate and doesn't walk quite enough. He can also play first base.

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Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Crawford No. 5 on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 SS Prospects list

Astros' Correa, Indians' Lindor, Cubs' Russell lead strong contingent

Crawford No. 5 on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 SS Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com's 2015 Top 100 Prospects list will be unveiled on Friday on MLB.com, with the Top 50 revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to that, MLBPipeline.com takes a look at baseball's Top 10 prospects at each position.

The top two players from the 2014 list of top shortstop prospects graduated: Xander Bogaerts of the Red Sox and the Cubs' Javier Baez. So did the last two on that top 10: Luis Sardinas, then of the Rangers, and Chris Owings of the D-backs.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays, Brewers talk potential trade for Papelbon

Blue Jays, Brewers talk potential trade for Papelbon

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies are still talking to the Brewers and Blue Jays about a Jonathan Papelbon trade.

Two sources said on Tuesday evening that the talks are alive, although the seriousness of those discussions is unclear. Yahoo! Sports first reported Friday that the Phils and Brewers were in serious negotiations. FOXSports.com mentioned the Blue Jays' interest.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Pipeline Perspectives: Quinn the top Minor League burner

After impressive AFL showing, Phillies prospect primed to take stolen-base crown

Pipeline Perspectives: Quinn the top Minor League burner

There's a good amount of subjectivity regarding baseball prospects. With the evaluation of talent being in the eye of the beholder, finding consensus is often difficult. Even Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLBPipeline.com don't always see eye to eye. They discuss their viewpoints regularly in a feature called Pipeline Perspectives. Submit a topic for them to debate.

The Florida Panhandle produced several notable speedsters for the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. The fastest of them all was Gulf Coast Community College outfielder Terrance Gore, who rode his quickness alone to a spot on the Royals' postseason roster last fall.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giles aims to build on stellar rookie campaign

Giles aims to build on stellar rookie campaign

LAKEWOOD, N.J. -- Ken Giles lost his job this winter.

Giles said in September that he planned to spend much of his offseason working at an indoor baseball facility near his home in Peoria, Ariz. He said he hated sitting around the house in the offseason, so his weekday shifts kept him busy.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prospect Franco rips through Dominican Winter League

Prospect Franco rips through Dominican Winter League

Third baseman Maikel Franco, the Phillies' No. 3 prospect, was one of the hottest hitters throughout the winter ball playoffs in his native Dominican Republic. Though he saw his hitting streak snapped at 13 games on Tuesday, Franco continued to be a driving force in the lineup for Gigantes del Cibao when the games mattered most.

Franco capped his playoff run Sunday in Game 8 of the Liga de Beisbol Domincano championship series against Estrellas de Oriente with a dominant effort, hitting two home runs and driving in seven runs as Cibao defeated Oriente, 12-5.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Joel set for fourth concert at Citizens Bank Park

Joel set for fourth concert at Citizens Bank Park

The Piano Man is returning to Citizens Bank Park.

Legendary musician Billy Joel will play his fourth concert at the Phillies' ballpark on Aug. 13, which marks the most by any live performer in the venue's history.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cast your votes for Phillies Wall of Fame inductee

Ceremony to be held on July 31 prior to game against Braves

Cast your votes for Phillies Wall of Fame inductee

Voting for the 2015 Phillies Wall of Fame inductee is underway, and it will end at 5 p.m. ET on Feb. 6.

Fans can select their top three choices from a 12-man ballot. A first-place vote is worth five points, second place is three points and third place is one point. The top five fan consensus choices as determined by total points will serve as the official ballot for a special Wall of Fame selection committee that will choose this year's inductee.

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Sandberg to focus on improving communication

Sandberg to focus on improving communication

LAKEWOOD, N.J. -- The expectations for the Phillies have flipped completely in one year.

They entered Spring Training a year ago still clinging to the belief they could make the postseason, which is why they sunk $16 million into now-departed starting pitcher A.J. Burnett as camp opened. They enter camp this spring still trying to trade veterans Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jonathan Papelbon, who would follow Jimmy Rollins, Marlon Byrd and Antonio Bastardo out the door.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ben Revere might not be the best cheerleader

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Ben Revere might not be the best cheerleader

Ben Revere was more than happy to attend a St. Joseph's University basketball game on Saturday, and he was even excited to cheer. Just not, you know, as an actual cheerleader. 

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Healthy Lee bodes well for Phillies

Veteran lefty could be a valuable chip to have come July's Trade Deadline

Healthy Lee bodes well for Phillies

READING, Pa. -- If the Phillies do not trade Cole Hamels before Opening Day, they could have two aces on the block before the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 31.

Cliff Lee missed much of last season with an injured left elbow, but Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday that Lee has thrown three or four times off a mound recently without any issues. Amaro said the southpaw is expected to be ready to go when Spring Training opens next month.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Holding onto Howard could benefit Phillies

Slugger's trade value would rise if he bounces back from down year

Holding onto Howard could benefit Phillies

At the moment, it is entirely possible -- perhaps even likely -- that the Philadelphia Phillies will have both Cole Hamels and Ryan Howard on their Opening Day roster.

Mere months ago, such a concept seemed preposterous, what with Hamels representing the greatest source of trade value for an organization in need of a rebuild and Howard publicly cited by his own general manager, Ruben Amaro, as a superfluous piece.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Amaro: Nothing imminent involving Hamels

Amaro: Nothing imminent involving Hamels

There is nothing imminent on the Cole Hamels front, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told MLB.com reporter Todd Zolecki on Tuesday night.

Speaking before the club's winter banquet, Amaro didn't write off the chances of a potential deal. But the GM said there's nothing on the horizon when it comes to moving the 31-year-old left-hander.

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Broadcaster Andersen confident Howard can rebound

Broadcaster Andersen confident Howard can rebound

The Phillies have been actively shopping Ryan Howard this offseason, looking for someone to take on some of his remaining salary so they can open first base for someone else.

Many within and outside of the Phillies organization feel the 35-year-old Howard is done. But Phillies broadcaster Larry Andersen told MLB.com's Hot Stove he thinks Howard is capable of having a bounce-back season.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gillick says Phillies are in for challenging '15

Club's interim president sees progress with young prospects

Gillick says Phillies are in for challenging '15

READING, Pa. -- Pat Gillick offered fans some much-needed candor in the fall when he said the Phillies would not contend again until 2017 or '18.

Gillick has not shortened his timetable.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies' Revere points to MLK as inspiration

Outfielder takes time to reflect, greet fans during day of service

Phillies' Revere points to MLK as inspiration

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies center fielder Ben Revere was just a child growing up in Georgia when his family first began telling him stories about Martin Luther King Jr.

"I would always want to learn more," Revere said on Monday before speaking to a crowd and taking pictures with hundreds of people at The African American Museum in Center City.

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Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies clear arbitration slate, ink Revere, Brown

Outfielders sign one-year contracts, receive substantial raises

Phillies clear arbitration slate, ink Revere, Brown

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies agreed to terms with outfielders Ben Revere and Domonic Brown on one-year contracts Friday, avoiding salary arbitration hearings for 2015.

Revere will earn $4.1 million after making a base salary of $1.95 million in 2014. Brown, eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career, will earn $2.5 million after receiving $550,000 last year.

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Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jalaymance. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils' Franco continuing dominance in Dominican

Third baseman extends hitting streak to 12 games, hitting .350 in 16 playoff games

Phils' Franco continuing dominance in Dominican

The finals in all four major Latin American winter leagues are almost set, and asteams battle for a spot in next month's Caribbean Series, several top prospects are playing key roles for their winter clubs.

Complete winter leagues coverage

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Amaro: Phils may be better off without Howard

Lee nears return to mound as he builds strength in left elbow

Amaro: Phils may be better off without Howard

The Phillies' offseason has been filled with speculation about Cole Hamels' future in Philadelphia, but it was a couple of other left-handed veterans that Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. recently discussed.

Speaking to 97.5 The Fanatic, Amaro talked about a recent conversation he had with slugger Ryan Howard, who struggled in 2014.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Taney Dragons earn PSWA's Team of the Year award

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Taney Dragons earn PSWA's Team of the Year award

Throughout their electric and memorable run in the Little League World Series, the Taney Dragons and their star pitcher Mo'ne Davis earned a lot of supporters within Major League Baseball. In August, the Dragons were honored at Citizens Bank Park in their hometown of Philadelphia.

And Davis, herself, has earned countless awards in the months since.

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Phillies bring in Danks to bolster outfield

Claimed off waivers from White Sox, versatile lefty hitter to compete for backup job this spring

Phillies bring in Danks to bolster outfield

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies added depth to their outfield mix on Friday, claiming Jordan Danks off waivers from the White Sox.

Danks is expected to compete for a backup role in Spring Training. He's primarily been a center fielder over three seasons in the Majors, but he is also capable of playing the corner-outfield positions.

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Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jalaymance. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies look back, forward as anniversaries near

Memories of marquee moments rekindled with the dawn of 2015

Phillies look back, forward as anniversaries near

With 2015 underway, it's time to look back at some memorable moments that will have anniversaries this year. Included is the Phillies' first pennant 100 years ago and a double-headed induction day in Cooperstown, N.Y., 20 years ago. 

A moment as distant as 130 years ago and two as recent as 10 years ago are also remembered, along with the first Major League night game and the final game for one of baseball's legends -- both of which took place 80 years ago and involved the Phillies.

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Rollins gone, heir apparent Crawford not feeling pressure

Top Phillies prospect likely to start season at Double-A Reading

Rollins gone, heir apparent Crawford not feeling pressure

PHILADELPHIA -- J.P. Crawford has been the Phillies' shortstop of the future ever since he joined the organization as a first-round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. The future seems a lot closer now that Jimmy Rollins is out of the picture.

Crawford, who turned 20 on Sunday, likely won't make his Major League debut for another two years. But the label of Rollins' heir apparent won't go away any time soon. He's fine with that, though.

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Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jalaymance. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Offseason overhaul leaves Phillies with big arms in Minors

Nola, Eflin, Windle and Lively bring optimism to club's outlook

Offseason overhaul leaves Phillies with big arms in Minors

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies have preached pitching and defense as their keys to success in the future, and the organization has added a number of talented pitching prospects over the past seven months to further its rebuilding effort.

Of the Phillies' top eight prospects, according to MLB.com, half are starting pitchers acquired since June.

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Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jalaymance This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Herrera turning heads with strong showing in winter ball

Rule 5 Draft pick named Rookie of Year, MVP of Venezuelan Winter League

Herrera turning heads with strong showing in winter ball

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies took a flier on Odubel Herrera in the Rule 5 Draft in December because they liked what he could bring to the outfield with his athleticism and offense.

Philadelphia could use some depth in the outfield in 2015 and beyond, and it's becoming clear why the organization felt it was worth taking a chance on the 23-year-old.

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Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jalaymance This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils ready to retain Howard if deal doesn't materialize

Phils ready to retain Howard if deal doesn't materialize

PHILADELPHIA -- The rebuilding Phillies have already traded the franchise leader in hits, their biggest power bat and a key member of the bullpen over the last five weeks.

Ryan Howard is not on that list, though.

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Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jalaymance This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies sign righty Gomez to Minor League deal

Phillies sign righty Gomez to Minor League deal

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies, who continue to add pitching depth to all levels of the organization this offseason, have signed reliever Jeanmar Gomez to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, the club announced on Monday.

Gomez appeared in 44 games for the Pirates last season, posting a 3.19 ERA over 62 innings. The 26-year-old right-hander is expected to compete for a spot in the Phillies' bullpen in 2015.

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Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils' Franco red hot as winter ball playoffs continue

Third baseman hit two homers in last five games, is batting .348 in Dominican postseason

Phils' Franco red hot as winter ball playoffs continue

The playoffs in winter leagues throughout Latin America are in full swing and the championship matchups in some countries will soon be determined. Even as teams battle for trophies, many prospects continue to play key roles for their winter teams.

Below is a look at how some of the top prospects playing in winter leagues have fared.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.