7/29/2014 8:04 P.M. ET
Phils hold private workout for Cuban outfielder Castillo
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- The Phillies held a private workout Tuesday in Clearwater, Fla., for Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo.
Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said he had watched some older video of the prospect and liked what he saw.
"A Marlon-Puig combination for a center fielder," Sandberg said, referring to Marlon Byrd and Yasiel Puig.
Think the Phillies could use somebody like that?
"He looked pretty good," Sandberg said. "Kirby Puckett was the other one who came to mind."
The Phillies could find themselves in a bidding war, if they liked what they saw. The Red Sox, Mariners and others are also having private workouts with Castillo.
Sandberg opts to give Byrd a rest against Mets
NEW YORK -- Power-starved contenders have had plenty of interest in Phillies right fielder Marlon Byrd.
He still might be dealt before Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
It raised a few eyebrows Tuesday afternoon when the Phillies posted a lineup without Byrd against the Mets at Citi Field. Byrd went 4-for-5 in Monday's 7-1 loss, and was hitting .273 with 20 home runs, 60 RBIs and an .803 OPS. It seemed unusual that Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg would not play Byrd, considering the circumstances.
"I was looking for a day coming into this series for Marlon," Sandberg said. "I was talking to him about it. I was thinking either today's game or the early turnaround tomorrow. Just so happened that in his last at-bat [Monday], he took a ball off his [left] foot, the same foot he took one off in the last three days. He was hobbling on the bases there, and then hobbling after the game. So I just made the decision to let him get that taken care of today and get him back in there tomorrow."
So it has nothing to do with an impending trade?
"No, not at all," Sandberg said.
Sandberg said he thinks Byrd will be back in the lineup Wednesday.
Amaro: Talks picking up as Deadline nears
NEW YORK -- The Phillies have a host of players available to trade, but many of those players are owed big-time money.
The money has been an issue for teams.
But Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday morning on Sportsradio 94WIP that things have picked up before Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"Well, I never believe in anything being close until it's actually done and there's an agreement, but we've had a lot of dialogue, and actually some new and intriguing stuff has popped up even in the last 24 hours and maybe even in the last 15 hours," Amaro told WIP. "There's a lot of different things that are happening. That said, I still view us as a team that could be very active. At the same time, you just don't know whether you can get to the finish line."
A.J. Burnett pitched poorly Monday, but has generated some interest, including from the Royals. Marlon Byrd and Antonio Bastardo have been getting good looks. Cole Hamels is available, but it is nothing new that the Phillies are asking for a major haul to get them to even think about trading their ace.
One thing to remember: Most of the Phillies' high-priced veterans are under contract through at least next season, which gives them the flexibility to trade them before the Aug. 31 waiver deadline, assuming they clear waivers, or in the offseason. So the Phillies don't feel pressured to pull the trigger by Thursday.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.