Buried in today’s Seattle daily paper is this bit about right-hander Brian Lawrence, leaning toward Philadelphia employment. [Link]
The 30-year-old right-hander did not pitch in 2006 and is recovering from rotator cuff surgery. The former Padres hurler was part of the Vinny Castilla trade, but was shut down in spring training and was released after the season.
Lawrence has been working out in front of scouts this winter and has been offered several deals, including serious offers from Pittsburgh and Colorado. Seattle and San Diego have also offered deals. He is expected to decide where to sign this week.
In five seasons, Lawrence, who turns 31 in May, is 49-61 with a 4.10 ERA, averaging about 200 innings and 120 strikeouts in each of his full seasons. If this report is true, the Phillies could be looking at him as a sixth starter, further implying that Jon Lieber will be moved. The starting rotation appears set with Cole Hamels, Freddy Garcia, Jamie Moyer and Brett Myers, although Myers, who’s nearing abitration, is reportedly unhappy with the Phillies’ one-year offer.
Provided he's healthy, or even if he needs a little more time to recover, Lawrence might be an ideal swingman and represents a better answer than anything down of the farm. Considering the age and health of the starting rotation, the sixth starter could play a vital role this season.