Open Discussion: Week of February 23rd

Pitchers and catchers reported Wednesday and took to the field Thursday  for their first official practice.  Position players are scheduled to report Monday and the first full practice will be Tuesday.  A week later the Grapefruit League season begins at home against the Yankees.

Cole Hamels answered honestly that he hopes to play for a team that has a chance to win, and that (as already admitted by upper management) winning wasn’t going to happen here.  This, of course, pissed off Phillies fans.

The rotation is set thru #4 – Hamels, Lee, Harang, Williams – only #5 appears to be up for grabs with Gonzalez, Billingsley, and Buchanan vying for that spot.

Have a go at these or anything else that interests you.

182 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of February 23rd

  1. Why did Hamels’ comments piss off fans? He didn’t piss me off at all. The GM and team president just announced that the team won’t win, what’s the player supposed to think? Every fan agrees that they won’t win by the way. Hamels wants to win badly, I hope he gets to win again somewhere.

    1. I’ve always admired Hamel’s honesty, such as when he confessed he threw at Brice Harper…not the same old BS. I wasn’t pissed by his comments, but the average fan feels, since he’s being paid a boatload, he should go all positive.

    2. It seems that Hamels is backtracking a bit from his USA interview comments. Perhaps the writer wrote what he wanted to hear not what Cole said.

    1. rocco….one way or another, Cole will be pitching opening day…whether it is a ‘P’ on his hat or a ‘B’.

    2. rocco…I was wrong on Phillies getting Moncada….Sox have him. Now maybe they will let Betts go in a Hamels deal!

      1. Romus here is my trade, at trade deadline. if lee is okay. we offer lee. hamels and pap plus 35 million to cubs for Bryant and two lesser prospects.

  2. Not sure Billlingsley will be ready by April….he is only throwing 40/50 a session with two off between. Do not think they are going to rush him. But when healthy he can be a stud in that rotation.

  3. Moncada to Boston, $30Million. Those of you who did not want the Phillies to sign him, why? Why shouldn’t the Phils do everything in their power to acquire talent? Why shouldn’t we be pissed off that they are not using their only weapon, Money. It doesn’t matter if he turns into Cano or Cesar Hernandez, it is the effort by the team’s Management that I want to see. If you don’t try, he can’t help you at all. And, by all accounts, the Phils were not even in on him. No Castillo, no Moncada, no Tomas, why?

        1. Spending $31.5 million is crazy money. Boston had better hope he turns into an All-Star.

          For contracts, you can say Howard, Byrd (term and options), Pap, Lee, and Roy were all bad contracts for different reasons.

      1. The only really stupid contract went to Howard and only because it was 2 years too soon. No need to have done it. But, the real cause of the current problems is the failure to spend on amateur talent. Overseas, in the draft, wherever you pick. That it more responsible for the state of the franchise than Howard’s and Papelbon’s contracts. Very few teams had the Phillies resources and they failed to use them.

    1. Here’s the argument, and frankly, the more hear it, the more I’m on board with it. The rumors are that the Phillies are planning to be aggressive in the next international signing period — sort of like the Yankees this year (going hard after lots of the highest ranked youngsters). On top of that, the Yankees, Red Sox, Anges, D-Backs, and Rays will be frozen out of the bidding because they exceeded their pools for this period. If the Phillies actually do that and exceed their pool, then you would expect them to be competitive for the next Yoan Moncada available in the next signing period.

      1. That assumes that there is a high caliber prospect available. But, if they sign 10 mediocrities, for the same money, rather than having signed 1 top prospect, they did not make a good judgment. Have you heard that the upcoming International pool is supposed to be outstanding?

        1. so true we will have one 400 or less thousand signing, and then a bunch of hundred thousand kids who never make it. disgrace.

            1. Great Article, the fangraphs article that is provided within is also good.

              After reading these articles its pretty clear that the plan is to sign a lot of guys from L.A. after July 2. I argued for signing Moncada, but after seeing some of the talent that will be available in the summer I am glad we passed on him.

              Bringing in the guy from the Braves to head our scouting in L.A. was a great decision IMO. The Braves have been doing well in that market recently. Tehran has emerged as a very good SP, Bethancourt has been a top prospect and has a chance to be a pretty good catcher, and Peraza is on his way to the bigs with above average speed, glove, and nice hit tool. All he does is make contact and hit. He stole more bases than he struck out last season at 20 years old. The Braves also have 4 other prospects they signed from L.A. in their top 20 behind Bethancourt and Peraza.

              Between the draft in June and numerous potential signings in July, this summer could leave us with a lot of names to be excited about. I really hope they sign Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He is a big kid with power potential. There is a video of him hitting in a home run derby where he finished with 33 home runs in 60 swings.

            2. I thought I read somewhere that Vlad Jr. has a deal in place with Toronto, but I hope I’m wrong. I would love it if he signed with the Phils. His dad used to torment our pitchers!

            3. Within the GoodPhight article there is a Fangraphs link to the top LA international free agents for July 2. Many will command $2 to 3.5 M signing bonus according to the author.
              For the life of me, I have doubts that the Phillies, for the first time, ever go that high for a 16-year old. Granted the two Koreans 15 years ago was extremely high, so they still may surprise.

          1. I think the Phillies need to spend more on Cuba and LA amateurs, but this is a silly comment, as we know the Phillies spent $1 Million on Encarncion in 2013 and $900K on Gamboa in 2014, so the $400K or less barrier on the top LA signing of the year has been left in the dust. Then, there also was MAG. I can absolutely guarantee that the Phillies top bonus in LA will be well above $400K this signing season.

    1. Trading him!
      Who then pays the approx. $30M tax penalty?
      I am hoping that now the Sox could possibly let Betts go in a Hamels package.

      1. I LOVE to hear one person on here tell me why we couldn’t sign this kid? I will tell you why. Giles again doesn’t want to piss off the commissioner. We have the money, and with a weak farm system really could have used this kid.

        1. We absolutely could sign him. But the reason we didn’t is very likely that the Phillies already have a number of handshake agreements with players they will be signing come July 2, in which they are rumored to be going big. Signing Moncada and being forced to dishonor those agreements would burn a lot of bridges and hurt the Phillies in Latin America for some time. Also, Yadier Alvarez, the 19 year old Cuban pitching stud, now can’t sign till July 2. While not Moncada, that’s a big time prospect the Phillies won’t have to compete with the Yankess and Red Sox for.

          1. Did you see MLB Traderumors reporting that the Dodgers offered him 35 Mil. but he had to wait until July 2 to sign, because they want to go wild during the next signing period. I still question whether the Phillies will engage in that kind of approach of throwing enormous amounts of money on the Cuban market,

            1. The part I believe is that they didn’t want to go back on the agreements they already have in place, and there certainly is merit in that. The idea that they’re planning on spending big is just pure speculation based on rumors. I’d like to think they will, and it would be a sound strategy with the new CBA around the corner, so I’ll reserve judgment. If they don’t blow through their bonus pool come July 2, feel free to lambast them for being the only big market team to play by the commissioners rules.

              Signing Moncada is certainly a sexy move, but it’s not a lock to alter the franchise. He’s still a 19 year old prospect. Would you be willing to pay $63 million, forfeit all your high dollar international signees next year, and burn more than a few international bridges for years to come, in order to put a Carlos Correa in your system? It might be a risk worth taking, but it’s certainly an expensive one in both dollars and future assets.

            2. Timber…the Sox are in the enviable position that they can afford to sign a Moncada, not so much money-wise, but in their pipeline they still have plenty of yuong skilled LA free agents , plus in the Rule 4 in june they pick near the top…another impact player.
              So 2/3 years of the ‘well running dry’ is not going to affect them one way or another.

            3. Romus…Agreed on your point. The Sox have a good enough team and deep enough system at this point to take that high risk, high reward shot.

              The opportunity cost was also much lower for the Red Sox since they had already gone over their bonus pool. For them, the cost of signing Moncada was solely money. For the Phillies, there was money, next year’s crop of international talent, and burnt bridges. And the Phillies aren’t alone in thinking that was too much. The Dodgers were apparently willing to dish out more money if he would have waited for July 2 to sign. As he wasn’t willing to wait that long, they decided to pass. That’s pretty telling.

    2. If they traded him, the acquiring team would likely only be responsible for paying his salary (i.e., not the $30M bonus or tax). That said, because they just signed him as an amateur free agent, I believe he technically can’t be traded for a year, and since PTBNLs must be named within 6 months (?), they couldn’t trade him yet anyway. In other words, don’t get your hopes up. He ain’t coming in a Hamels deal.

      1. They got locked out of the international market before they signed him, but still, I can’t imagine they’d have ponied up $80M for him just to trade him. If anything, this makes a guy like Betts or Bogaerts more tradable, though.

    3. His salary is the standard minor league salary. If by some miracle he made it to the major leagues this season, he would earn the major league minimum. He wouldn’t even be arb eligible in 2016. He’s not 23-years old yet. He cannot sign a major league contract. The money he’s getting is all signing bonus. Boston signed him, Boston pays the whole bonus. There is no way to spread the bonus out over time. I

  4. I really do not care about the $ because the Phils have drastically underspent in acquiring amateur talent. If Moncada signed here, he would, I believe, be in the top 2 or3 in our system. Come July 2, what are the chances that the Phils sign someone who makes the top 20? I think zero.

    1. I think 80% chance. I also think if we signed Moncada he would have been ranked no lower than #2 on the farm and probably #1. Of course, if you spend $60 mill to get a guy, he damned well better rank that high on the Phillies farm.

  5. I hope those of you who believe that they will spend big in the July signing period are right. And, that the quality of prospects is high. Forgive me for doubting the organization, but I will believe it when it happens. They need to do that, but their willingness to spend that kind of $ hasn’t happened before. Who in the organization is going to decide to pull that trigger?

    1. Your point is well taken. History speaks for itself with this organization.
      I think they may spend close to their allocation…which is some cases like Vladimir Guerrero’s son projected value, is a good percentage of their allocation.
      But can understand your reluctance in accepting that they will explode with their check-book.
      But you may also want to add…..they may be just willing to wait for the draft to be established.

      1. There are multiple reports of “inside information” from the organization that they are set to go well over the limit. These reports are all stated at a high degree of certainty. Not “maybe” not “possibly.” People in the industry – and almost certainly people from within the organization – are telling reporters and bloggers that the Phillies have deals already in place that will put them well over the limit (for the year which starts in July).

        Now, this could be disinformation (but for what possible purpose?), but at this point NOT going over the limit would be the surprise.

        1. Yeah the rumors of the phillies spending money in next years IFA market exists because there are deals already in place. I mean it shouldn’t be hard to believe.

        2. Remains to be seen if they will exceed their allocation.
          Hope they do. But they are going after 16-year olds I assume, maybe the Cuban pitcher, but for the DR and Ven prospects the wait until MLB fruition is probably 2019 or so. .

        3. I don’t care whether they’re going over the limit or not. The fact of the matter is, most of these July 2 signings would be high school sophomores in the states. Moncada has already filled out, and played with grown men in Cuba. Tomas, Castillo, Soler, Abreu, all fully developed physically, all available, and all somewhere else. Best case scenario, a 16 year old is five years away, even to play on a crap team. If Franco somehow starts the season with the big club, that’s five years. Moncada would realistically need one or two years in the minors. As exciting as 16 year old baseball phenoms are, let’s just take a moment to imagine Crawford and Moncada coming going through Reading this year, and spending half of next season in LHV, before the call up to join Franco in one of the brightest young infields in the majors. But no, I guess we’ll just wait for them to spend hypothetical money on 10th graders that might be Franco, or might be Tocci, because they’re not even done with puberty yet, so there’s no way to know.

            1. Moncada tools graded plus across the board.
              Didn’t Mike Trout’s tools grade similar 4 years ago…or was his plus-plus?

  6. If the Sox signing Moncada does indeed free up the Sox to trade prospects – what is the return on Hamels that people would accept? Betts, Owens, Vasquez, and 1 low A player?

    1. Betts and Vasquez or Betts and Owen are worth more than Hamels. Really, a strong argument can be made that unless we are throwing in a substantial pile of $ that Betts straight up is worth more than Hamels.

      1. Allentown. I am coping that statement. Betts is not right now a better player then hamels. he has a chance. to be great but remember 70 percentage fail.of top 100.

        1. The top 100 includes guys all the way down the list to #100 and guys all the way down the organization to rookie ball and I’ve seen guys ranked in top 100 who have even played a game in the minors yet. More to the point, Betts is not a top 100 minor leaguer, he is a major league player — Boston’s projected lead-off hitter for 2015. Guys can have sophomore slumps and fizzle out, but… he did well in his 189 MLB AB. That gives him a lot more value than just a guy on the top 100 list.

          What really gives him value, compared to Hamels, is that he is cheap. Surplus value is expected WAR value – salary. Over the next 6 seasons, Betts has a lot of surplus value, while Hamels’ surplus value is just about zero. He’s worth his contract, but he’s not a bargain.

          I don’t think other teams value Hamels as highly as the Phillies and we fans do. His contract is risky — he led the majors in abuse points last year, despite missing close to a month with arm soreness. His W-L the past two seasons has not been good — I know, not a good measure of pitcher quality, but it has to at least look odd to an acquiring team. His BR WAR the past three seasons has been significantly better than his Fangraphs FIP-based WAR, so depending upon how an individual team looks at FIP, he could take a ding there.

  7. I don’t understand how people can imagine that the Moncada signing changes at all the likelihood that Boston will trade their top prospects. I especially don’t get how people can possibly imagine that it will put Betts in play.

    No, actually, I do get it. People are either ignorant of, or don’t accept the “real” motive, the obvious reasons why Boston doesn’t want to trade their top prospects for Hamels. That despite the fact that those reasons are not remotely opaque. Thus they invent imaginary reasons, and convince themselves that the Moncada signing will change their calculus.

    What will be fun to watch (assuming that Hamels remains healthy, and a contender feels the need to trade for him at the deadline) is the screams and curses from the fan base when Amaro finally DOES trade him, even assuming that he gets a very good return.

    I mean, Betts, Owen, Vasquez and a low A player? Talk about delusional.

    1. You have convinced me through your reasoning and the fact that, for the most part, you have been proven right. I would say that the Addison Russell deal is an exception. I disagree with you, that for many of us, it is ignorance or delusion driving the debate, but something much more benign. That is the hope that, by some miracle, the Phils acquire the talent that will put them back in contention. And, as Hamels is the only piece to trade, those hopes have transferred to a Hamels return. Sure, some on this site want to argue with you about the value of an Ace vs. Prospects, and we can do that, but you are attributing negative things to some of us who are simply wishing for the best. A Hamels trade is it for hope that the rebuild happens sooner rather than later. By not acquiring any of the Cubans, and hoping that the Phillies find gems in July in the International market, and get lucky in the June Draft, to me, is just as much wishful thinking as hoping for a return from Hamels.

      1. I think that all you wrote is true, but you are really providing the explanation for the ‘delusional thinking’ not showing that it isn’t delusional. “Hope that by some miracle’ pretty much is the definition of delusional thinking.

        1. Allentown, it is not delusional if you don’t believe it will actually occur. That is the difference between hope and delusion. I hope the Phils get good quickly despite believing the contrary. That is not delusional. Did Samardzija get Addison Russell? Well, none of the rumored offers for Hamels equal Russell. So, maybe there is hope for a return for Hamels bringing at least a top prospect. far from delusional. The return may be Lee-like, an absolute disaster. That is a more likely outcome when you consider the track record of this management group. the ‘hoping for a miracle’ was a little hyperbole, a return of Rusell would not be a miracle, but a lot more than what has been offered so far.

          1. I think what you’re missing is that – at least in the eyes of Boston – Betts is a heck of a lot more than just a “top prospect.” One can hope for a “top” prospect – even I think that that is possible! But Betts is delusional.

            Russell … now, IF one considers Russell as he was regarded then (his stock, high then, is higher now) … then yes, that kind of return is probably possible, though not likely. The reason why I’ve been so down on analogies to the Russell deal isn’t because that’s an impossible return, but because:

            (1) People make the argument that we should get a BETTER return than that because Hamels is better than Samardzija. That’s where you get “Betts AND Owens” absurdities;
            (2) People act that we can EXPECT that return, that is, they equate the best possible return with the EXPECTED return, and
            (3) People misunderstand what was unique about that particular deal.

            But Betts is probably worth … twice as much as Russell at this point. At least in Boston’s eyes.THAT’S what I think people still aren’t getting about Betts. He’s much more than a ‘top” prospect.

            1. I agree with you there. And the Betts and Swihart or Betts and Owens crowd, I am not part of. And, what I would “expect” Hamels to be worth is different than what the marketplace shows is an expected return. I value an Ace like Hamels too much in today’s marketplace. I don’t know who that player is, but Hamels should bring an every day player on a contending team and a rotation SP more than the 4-5 SP that are easy to come by. Is that unrealistic? If it is, then there is no reason to trade him. Less than that does not help the team at all. For instance, I do not consider Asche to be an every day player on a contending team.

      2. anon, it’s not going to be a quick return to contention. Period. But it’s not wishful thinking to hope a good draft or two, some increased spending in LA (which seems likely to be in the cards), decent luck with current prospects, and an eventual return to the FA marketplace when the team again has a core of young talent, could lead the team back to contention by, say, 2018.

    2. You are entitled to your opinion.
      Lets see what plays out.
      Interestingly, if Hamels does go to the Red Sox for any of the aforementioned prospects….will you opine?

      1. Of those guys, only Betts is absolutely out of the question. What makes it absurd is Betts PLUS Owens. Betts alone is IMO very unrealistic, but imagining that you get Betts PLUS a guy like Owens is absurd.

        1. And if somehow a deal like that happened then of course I’d admit being wrong. But I’m pretty confident that I won’t need to do that. Why? Even if I’m wrong about a lot of this (and obviously I don’t think that I am), I think it’s pretty clear that the Phillies would take Swihart plus 2 or 3 lesser prospects. That’s the max that is conceivable, even if Boston blinks.

          1. Agreed on Swihart being the likely best case centerpiece. If Boston decides to make him available, a trade will likely be finished within a matter of days.

            1. More the former – well, for the second piece anyway. Though Coyle is a hard guy to figure – statistical projections systems like him a lot, much moreso than the scouts. Who knows how Boston regards him.

              May be academic. I think Swihart may be really off the table. One thing I honestly can’t figure … even I think Boston is bluffing to some extent. But maybe they aren’t – maybe their value calculation is even more “excess value” focused than mine. If so, there isn’t likely a deal to be made there.

          2. was hoping a few people would humor me. Also very interested to see if larry thinks i’m way overvaluing but was wondering if adding quantity might interest the sox more as a recent article i read suggested(they called it a pick six so i added a couple sixers). Which would sox do and which would phils do if any. the number is their 2015 ranking by milb
            5devers5-cechini7-coyle13-b. johnson11-stanky19-kopech17
            6)ball18-kopech17-coyle13-cechini7-margot6 barnes8

    3. Larry, considering I’m not involved in the Red Sox inner circle (and I assume neither are you) everything is just speculation.
      Writers have speculated that Moncada opens the door for the Bosox to trade prospects. See the article by Mike Axisa on CBS Sports.

      I’ll briefly summarize it. The Red Sox are in win-now mode. They have a ton of money devoted to Ramirez/Sandoval and Oritz is up there in years. The Moncada signing allows them to be in win-now mode and long-term success mode. Obviously Moncada starts the year in the minors (and assumingly stays there all year) but the Red Sox’s infield is pretty set with Hanley/Bogaerts/Pedroia/Sandoval. You can give up other top propsects and still have more in the pipeline. That is why the Moncada signing allows them to be more flexible. They no longer need to sell the future for the present because they have plenty of future remaining in the minors (Moncada) + a high draft pick.
      Betts. I guess I have to ask what his ceiling is before wondering how highly the Red Sox value him. Let’s say Bobby Abreu in his prime. High average, good power, decent speed, good glove defense (joke). He is not that right now. To not consider it at all, you are banking on him reaching his ceiling in lieu of a potential championship. Farrell just said 4 days ago that Betts is their backup RF behind Victorino. I’m not saying he’s even touchable but for him to currently hold more value than Hamels – a proven ace on a pretty friendly contract that could put your talented team over the top – is hard for me to understand.
      Let’s move to the “and” part of a Boston package. IF they are able to get Betts or Swihart, I still think the rest of the package should be substantial. Vasquez isn’t top 10 in their system. To get up an ace, you’d have to give up pitching and Owen’s isn’t established. I think you definitely ask for all of them
      I realize this is a prospect site, but there is a tendency for too much prospect love. If you have a chance to win a title, you take it, especially if you have the assets to reload and try again. Having the best farm system doesn’t win you a title. The Rays and their loaded system have yet to win a title and now it looks like they need to rebuild. The Giants seemingly always have a crap system and they win. Point being, if you have a shot, you take it. Particularly when it doesn’t wreck your future. Unless I’m wrong, no one is saying Betts has Trout upside.
      So yes, you ask for a huge return for a left handed ace pitcher on his prime on a decent contract because it is incredibly difficult to develop one

        1. Boston is absolutely in win-now mode. If they weren’t, they would not have signed Ramirez and Sandoval. Ortiz is close to retirement and Pedroia isn’t getting younger.
          It doesn’t mean a trade will happen, but it absolutely makes it more likely that it will. Maybe not significantly, but it does.
          I mean, if you have more knowledge than writers with actual sources, do tell and I’ll take everything back

          1. Those articles are written to elicit a response. There is no actual work put into the articles.

            The sad part is the people that write here do ten times the leg work that the author put into that article.

            They have a good mix of young and veteran talent but in no way are they one of the elite teams in the AL. They may not even make the playoffs this year with the rotation they have and even by adding Hamels they will not automatically jump into contention.

            They are not going to dump a farm system on one pitcher. It is not going to happen.

            The Red Sox got lucky once going from last place to WS Champs. Looking over the roster it will not happen again.

            1. But that’s the point – with Moncada they don’t have to dump the whole farm to get into contention. The system doesn’t take a big drop because it now has another top level prospect. And why can’t Boston be an elite team? They have talent all along around the infield. Decent talent in the OF. I think the Giants have proven that if you get there, elite pitching can win it for you. Their biggest need is an ace. Who’s better in the AL East? Moncada allows them to be in win now – win later mode instead of win now – lose later.
              Yep, professional writers are all about getting a reaction and don’t do any work on stories. Nonprofesional writers are the real pro’s . . . and that’s not a knock against any of the people who work on this site. I think those that run this do a fantastic job but I believe I’ve heard them all acknowledge their limitations. If they have inside access, great, but I’m pretty sure most don’t – maybe with the exception of Mitch Rupert and I would guess his access would be limited as well. Of course some people write to get a reaction, but that doens’t mean that is all it is. Just because someone says something that is in contradiction to you, doesn’t mean they are terrible writers

            2. Moncada will be in the low minors this year and may touch AA by the end of the year.

              Again, his signing does nothing to change the dynamic regarding the Hamels trade or the farm system. They will still allow the young, highly touted guys to come up because they will replace high priced veterans and then allow them to spend on starting pitching.

              I don’t think they are bad writers but it is lazy writing. Extremely lazy writing.

              Here is the thing. The Red Sox don’t have elite pitching to get them there and even if they got Hamels they would need another elite starter.

            3. David…better check the Vegas line for Red Sox over/under….anywhere between 85 and 89, depending on the book…and this is without Hamels in the rotation.

          2. The Red Sox got lucky one year so the popular narrative from baseball writers is that it will happen again.

            In reality, if they were in win now mode, the Red Sox would have made significant upgrades to their rotation this offseason.

            What they are doing is trying to bridge the gap until the young future stars like Betts, Swihart, and others are ready.

            You are buying into a narrative that is popular and easy to write. It elicits a response and hits so they put it out there.

            Narratives like this ignore facts that do not suit the argument which is annoying.

            Another example is the Winston garbage that came out over the Combine. Everyone talks about the importance of 40 yard dash times for QB’s who run but when Winston runs a 4.9 and is slower than some linemen it gets ignored because 40 yard dash times are not important and we need this narrative that Winston is clearly the top pick. When draft night comes and TB picks Marriota all of a sudden it becomes a shocker that nobody saw coming.

            1. Here is one book’s assessment:
              •Boston Red Sox 86½
              •Baltimore Orioles 82½
              •Toronto Blue Jays 82½
              •New York Yankees 81½
              •Tampa Bay Rays 78½

            2. True or even an Angels 98-win season or the collapse of the 2014 Red Sox.
              But Vegas does seem to have a way of balancing out in the long run…similar to BABIP, 🙂

            3. Sticking with the Winston concept — the narrative has resulted from TB publicly gushing over the guy. What incentive would TB have to deceive the public in this case? They have the #1 overall pick. Nobody can jump ahead of them.

            4. You may be correct in saying that the Red Sox still value their prospects too much to make a legitimate offer for Hamels, but I don’t see how they are not in Win now mode also. Why get Panda and Hanley Ramirez? I think they are planning to go with the mid-level SP that they have, hope a guy like Porcello elevates his game, and then see where they are in July. If they are looking like a contender, then they trade for an Ace. That still doesn’t mean they pay the Phils what Hamels will take to acquire him. I am just saying they will go get an Ace somewhere. I disagree that they are just bridging the gap for their farm to turn them into WS champions.

            5. Re: Winston. At this time of the year it is all about misinformation. Unless they publicly come out and say that he is the number one pick assume otherwise.

              The media can spin the narrative that he is a local guy but as we have seen with Johnny Football character does matter. Go back to the Manning/Leaf draft. Msinformation abounds this time of the year in the NFL and if the pundits are telling me to ignore character after last year’s Rice. Peterson, and others character debacles then I am going the opposite way.

              Re: Red Sox. Remember when everyone thought Lester was coming back in the offseason and that the Red Sox would be signing another ace?

              Don’t fall 100% for the media narrative.

  8. Boston to me isn’t the only team in baseball who will need a starter. I Agree they wont move betts. but so far the package that has been reported for hamels . from boston is a joke. They wants us to take veterans off there hands. I Understand that right now most teams all think they have enough. I LOVE and I cant believe I am saying this, that so far amaro is holding his ground. I hate the market right now. and this isn’t the time to move him, imo. But one thing still in my mind is this 70 percentage of top 100 do nothing special. that is a high number, but right now the teams are riding the wave of we wont move our prospects. I Would rather take the chance on hamels holding up then give him away. To accept marginal guys for him is nuts. doesn’t help us. The funny part is if cliff lee is pitching well and hamels has a good year , we might be buying a bat at trade deadline.

    1. Now, this truly is magical thinking. Hamels and Lee can both be healthy and the Phillies won’t be sniffing the playoffs, so they won’t be buying a bat at the trade deadline. There is a reason this team won only 73 games in both 2013 and 2014. Lee was really good in 2013 and healthy. Hamels was healthy, pitching 220 IP and very good peripherals, but just a 3.60 ERA and only an 8-14 record. So… a healthy Lee and Hamels, even the ace Lee does not necessarily equate to better than 73 wins. Rollins was healthy and gave us 600 AB. Utley only gave about 450 AB, but it was to a better than .800 OPS. Ruiz only half a season, and only .688 OPS, but I’m not sure it’s reasonable to expect more than that. Howard half a year and a .784 OPS — I’m quite sure we won’t get more than that. Revere missed a lot of time, as he did last year. Young was a poor defensive 3B, as Asche was last year, but hit better than Asche. Very importantly, Brown had an .818 OPS and gave about 500 AB — I imagine we’d all be thrilled to get those numbers this year. Ruf was only given 250 AB, but put up an OPS over .800 — I’d like to see him get more AB than that in 2015, but would be thrilled if he matched that OPS. Galvis put up a .668 OPS in half a season — I’d be happy with that from him in 2015. So, both aces healthy and a tolerable year from Kendrick, some hitters doing quite well and we won only 73 games. No… we won’t be in position to add a hitter at the trade deadline.

    2. rocom, credit where credit is due, most of this, the first part especially, is quite reasonable. The last sentence not so much. But I want to comment on is “this 70 percentage of top 100 do nothing special.” That’s fair enough if we were talking about trading Hamels for, say, a back of the top 100 prospect. But no one around here is arguing for that. If you’re talking about top 25 prospects (especially) and even top 50 prospects, the failure rate is a lot lower.

      1. LarryM…….hypothetically if the Phillies and Sox make deal involving Hamels. and the below mentioned players have been mentioned at one time or another, what three of this list will you think will be the return.

        A. Barnes-RHP
        B. Betts-inf/of
        C. Bradley –of
        D. Cecchini-inf/of
        E. Coyle- 2bd
        F. Devers – inf
        G. Margot- of
        H. Owens –LHP
        I. Swihart-c
        J. Vasquez-c

          1. rocco….B.F.I. are probably off the table.
            Then Owens, Vasquez, Cecchini and one of either Margot or Colye
            Bradley and Barnes I would not think the Phillies would want.

  9. I think that the consensus is Owens, Vasquez, Devers or Margot. Not that Boston has offered that or that some on this site would hate the trade. But, just for discussion purposes, what do you think of that return?

    1. I’ve said this many times on here — give me those 4 and i’d be ecstatic. Not only is it a great return, but what other team could come close to matching that?

  10. 1 Jason Heyward, OF, ATL
    2 Stephen Strasburg, RHP, WAS
    3 Carlos Santana, C, CLE
    4 Buster Posey, C, SFO
    5 Mike Stanton, OF, FLA
    6 Desmond Jennings, OF, TAM
    7 Martin Perez, LHP, TEX
    8 Dustin Ackley, CF, SEA
    9 Justin Smoak, 1B, TEX
    10 Jesus Montero, C, NYY
    11 Brian Matusz, LHP, BAL
    12 Starlin Castro, SS, CHC
    13 Neftali Feliz, RHP, TEX
    14 Domonic Brown, RF, PHI
    15 Wade Davis, RHP, TAM
    16 Aroldis Chapman, LHP, CIN
    17 Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, TAM
    18 Casey Kelly, RHP, BOS
    19 Aaron Hicks, RHP, MIN
    20 Brett Wallace, 1B, TOR
    21 Logan Morrison, 1B, FLA
    22 Tyler Matzek, LHP, COL
    23 Jenrry Mejia, RHP, NYM
    24 Michael Taylor, OF, OAK
    25 Zach Britton, LHP, BAL

      1. Sorry didn’t know it went on. I am bad with computers, I am trying to determine if larry statement about prospects is true. He said its lower than 7 of 10 dont pan out. he mention top 25 and top 50 this is a top 25 but I am doing 09-10 so far. and the failure rate is still imo high.

        1. Ok I got it now…this is a list from 2010 BA top 100…..but the top 25 of it.
          About half are marginal or below MLB players it would, at first glance, appear.

    1. This is only one year of data, sure, but I only see 3 that are around Hamels’ value: Strasburg, Posey, and Stanton.

  11. Copying from Jim Salisbury: Phillies outfield prospect Kelly Dugan has suffered another health setback. Dugan reported to camp Monday in a walking boot after being diagnosed with a stress reaction in his right foot. He suffered a fracture in the same foot last season.

    I am sure there are other good examples, but I am struggling to come up with the names of prospects that seem to suffer more ‘non-serious’ injuries (what I mean by that is major surgery not needed, shoulder ailments, concussions).

    I am still holding out hope that he will live up to my ‘breakout’ prospect for this year.

  12. was hoping a few people would humor me. Also very interested to see if larry thinks i’m way overvaluing but was wondering if adding quantity might interest the sox more as a recent article i read suggested(they called it a pick six so i added a couple sixers). Which would sox do and which would phils do if any. the number is their 2015 ranking by milb
    5devers5-cechini7-coyle13-b. johnson11-stanky19-kopech17
    6)ball18-kopech17-coyle13-cechini7-margot6 barnes8

    1. 4. 5. 3. 6. 2. 1

      I’d like to get a pitching prospects back, but I’d still go with 4 then take volume with upside. Remember, the Bosox system is a lot deeper than ours so there mid teen prospects will be higher in our system

  13. I would actually take 2 then 4 slightly over 3 then 6,5, and 1. i’m sure many would take the betts straight up trade but I guess I’m a little less high on him. I’m very
    high on bogaerts

    1. I think you have to value Betts, Bogaerts, and Swihart roughly the same — if they include any one of those, I wouldn’t expect much else. I doubt they would include Vasquez or JBJ with any of those guys, and Ball was a former 1st round pick, so I doubt they would include him either.

      The next tier, imo, starts with Owens and Rodriguez. I could see one of those packaged with JBJ OR Vasquez and maybe a lottery ticket like Margot or Devers, though honestly I think they’d be more likely to part with a guy like Coyle than Margot or Devers in a deal like this.

      1. If the Sox return Vasquez in a packaged Hamels deal….they may want Chooch to bridge to Swihart.
        Just imagine if that is done anytime soon….opening day battery for the Red Sox vs the Phillies!
        Talk about a hard pill to swallow.

          1. You would think….but in the last 5 years he has averaged less then 90 games a year…and like Chooch, he is in his mid-thirties.

  14. Want to know what’s funny, I can’t even drum up the anger to post what I think of this team right now.

    It’s like the 5 stages of grief.

    Denial (2012) – They’re going to rebound
    Anger (2013) – Ryan Effing Howard
    Bargaining (2014) – If they can just sign a bunch of latin talent…
    Depression (2015) – The Phillies are going to suck forever baring a drastic change in ownership.
    Acceptance (2015 and Beyond!)

    So at this point, I’m pretty much mailing it in on the big league team, I accept it and am depressed about it. I love baseball, I love our team, I enjoy following our minor league prospects, and will continue to, but I probably won’t be watching a Phillies Game until something changes.

  15. Betts is a nice player but I’m not sure where he became a star. What is the track record of recent Red Sox prospects? Also, of course the sox are in win now mode. You don’t spend lots of money on guys over 30 and not try to win it. Personally, I hope they suck in April and have to come calling RAJ.

    1. Ha, ha, ha — what did RAJ lay out of Burnett, Byrd, and Ruiz last winter. We had zero chance of winning and certainly were not in win now mode.

    2. Prediction: the Cubs’ Soler proves to be better than Betts. While Betts is a top-of-the-order guy with some pop who may play a premium position, Soler is a middle-of-the-order right fielder whose wOBA advantage over Betts will more than offset any defensive disadvantage.

      Betts looks like a good player, but there are other prospects I prefer.

  16. I really don’t get the Betts thing either . . . If he pans out what exactly are we talking about? I feel like at best he’s Shane Victorino which isn’t bad at all but is it good enough to not grab a pitcher who is one of the best LHP in baseball, would instantly be your ace and would make you a solid World Series pick?

    Also I don’t know why people think others are delusional when they are saying the Moncada pick up makes a Hamels trade more likely. That’s been said by more then just Phillies fans, expect after expert and all over MLB TV that’s the opinion. And it makes sense.

          1. It’s okay romus I cant spell that word either. I just go back two years ago. when we talk about a trade of lee or hamels. I forgot who its was. and they mention boujous from angels. and people said you cant get him for lee or hamels. how that work out. he stinks.

            1. yes, remember the Peter Bourjos clamor.
              I was one who wanting him in CF….no way for Lee or Hamels though even -up, maybe in a package deal…. cannot recall exactly now
              Evidently, the Cardinals also thought he could be something more..

  17. Without going back into a discussion of the “delusional” comment, I think what the meaning is regarding Moncada, is that he does not increase the likelihood that now the Red Sox agree to make Betts available. That also extends to Swihart, the 2 pieces that RAJ, reportedly, wants for Hamels. And, if a “lesser” package, headed by Vasquez and Owens is to be offered, the Red Sox would, allegedly, do that, regardless of whether or not they signed Moncada. So, Moncada does not make the 2 untouchables available, and doesn’t increase the offer for Hamels, so does not increase the likelihood of a Hamels trade.

    1. I’m not going to pretend to know anything that happens behind closed doors, I’m just saying that a bunch of “experts” have said that it DOES increase the likelihood of Betts being moved. I mean think about it, if we say somehow traded for Russell . . Wouldn’t you say that Crawford could be moved now for another piece to a WS caliber team? I know I would say that. Sure you could say well we can make one a 2b and have that combo but I’d rather have a piece that I KNOW could help win a WS.

      1. I wouldn’t say that at all. Middle Infielders are the most likely to have the ability to play all over the diamond so one of Russell or Crawford could slide to 2B or possibly LF.

        With regard to those experts that say Moncada makes it more likely the sox will trade Betts I disagree. In a year or two possibly but not today.

        I don’t think the Sox are worried at all about their rotation quite frankly. While everyone else might be I think they believe Owens or Johnson could step in at some point if needed otherwise a deal would have been done by now.

        1. Agree of course.

          The fundamental error people are making are assuming that Boston (a) values players, and (b) evaluates its current roster the same way that the commenters value players and evaluate its roster. It’s apparent that they don’t. Now, there’s SOME room for doubt as to precisely how Boston evaluates talent and its roster, but the basic contours are apparent.

          Boston will never make the absurd offers some people around here hope for. They may at some point make a good enough offer for the Phillies to take – but that likely won’t happen until some point in the middle of the season.

          On the value issue,just to sum up the three moist fundamental differences between how Boston evaluates value and how a certain segment of the commenters around here do so:

          (1) Boston takes salary into account. Even a below market Hamels (in terms of contract length, NOT AAV) is going to cost tens of millions more than a pre-FA prospect.
          (2) Unlike the fans around here, Boston discounts the value of veteran players because of risk going forward. They aren’t trading for 2014 Hamels, or 2010 to 2014 Hamels, they are trading for 2015-2019 Hamels, and the “expected value” of Hamels is lower than his past value. How much lower is open to debate, but discounting his value 20% going forward is, if anything, quite optimistic.
          (3) While Boston is aware of the risk factor on prospects, on a few specific cases (Betts and Swihart, specifically) Boston believes that the risk factor is a lot lower than many around here believe. (Nowhere near a 70% flame out risk for either player).

          I’ve seen a lot of convoluted analysis arguing that salary is not relevant, that you shouldn’t discount Hamel’s value, that even guys like Betts and Swihart are very risky … I don’t buy any of it. But none of that means anything, if Boston doesn’t see it that way. As to that, all we get is a lot of hand waving about “none of us really know Boston’s thinking.” Which of course is true to an extent, but the evidence – direct and, more to the point, circumstantial – is pretty compelling that I’m right. If not, as deal would have been done by now.

          1. Interesting comments from a Red Sox TV Commentator.


            “It’s about the prime years. When it comes to pitching I think there’s more of a concern from 31 to 35 with the pitchers than there is with position players,” said Lou Merloni on Arbella Early Edition. “When it comes to Rusney Castillo you’re buying those prime years at 26. He’s kind of like the risk.”

  18. Larry the flame out rate so far on top 50 is high too. in the four years I did. But you keep saying boston. There are other teams. My point from day one was and still is. Hamels stays unless we get value. that it. and value isn’t two lower level prospects. I will take a risk on two top tier, knowing the flame out rate on these prospect is high even on top 25 or 50.

    1. Part of the problem roccom (based upon the list that you submitted, and your subsequent comments regarding that list) is that you seem to consider “flame out” as “not becoming a star.” There’s value – a lot of value – in solid regulars or better (but not a star), especially in their pre-FA years. Another part of the problem is that few teams other than Boston even have two top tier prospects. One of the few teams that does – the Cubs – have a GM with the same philosophy as the Boston FO.

      But the bigger problems are what I identified above- you refuse to take salary into account, and you refuse to discount Hamel’s value for injury/decline risk. If you ignore those factors,then 2 top tier prospects does seem a fair return. But I don’t think there’s ANY major league organizations that thinks that way. At least not in 2015.

      Fortunately even the Phillies FO does not appear to think that way, so they will likely pull the trigger if they are offered a good return – a top prospect, another good prospect, and a lottery ticket or two.

      1. I am not arguing with your points. You have, for the most part convinced me. I would just like to add that a top prospect, another good prospect and a lottery ticket or two, I believe, gets the trade done. I have not heard about any offers that have included those pieces. I don’t know that the Red Sox ever do. I don’t think the padres have the pieces or any inclination to trade for Hamels after getting Shields. But, what about a Giants offer centered around Beebe and Susac? Realistic? not?

  19. I Just look at the prospects and I guess I am the only one who thinks like this. Why give up a star left hand pitcher for marginal talent. a marginal regular on this team isn’t worth hamels, money isn’t a issue when you have the kind of capital this team has. I know right now at this moment teams are overvaluing there prospect. that is a fact. The injury thing to me is silly. anyone can get hurt. But I have followed this team since the sixty, and you know how many aces they have drafted. hamels. Marachial. who they traded. and I cant think of any more ace. pure aces. schilling was a trade, Aces are hard to find. and a team going for a pennant will pay to get one, that is my opinion, not now , cause these teams all think they have enough, let the cubs be in the race come trade deadline, and you tell me they wont pay dearly for a ace. sorry I don’t buy that.

    1. You may not be the only one who thinks that way, but no one – no one – who works in a professional capacity for a major league organization thinks that way.

      I’m at work, and have already procrastinated too much. So I’ll simply make a conclusory statement that will convince no one: I count at least 4 obvious errors in basic logic in your post. And they are logical errors that no major league FO will make.

    2. I think u mean f. Jenkins not marichal, but your point is well taken. Maybe Nola changes that. We sure need him to be at least a two even if that’s unlikely

    3. If you get back three “premium” prospects in a trade for Hamels and only one of them pans out, that’s still one more premium player that the team otherwise wouldn’t have had going into it’s next phase of contention, when Hamels wouldn’t have helped the team anyway.

  20. I have a problem with Paplebon. its not that he hasn’t pitched well, he has. But in this case they have a couple of stud closers. and don’t need to commit 13 million in 2016. There is no way he doesn’t get his innings if they don’t release him, I would rather spend the 13 million for a bat or Cuban player. at this point. Romus I have a question. Have you ever saw a gm go from 102 wins to 73 and still keep his job from 09- 2014 all down hill yet he still is here, I am just amaze.

    1. rocco….little story. Last year at a game, my buddy sitting in his seat, and on his one side was Claire Betz’ grandson….Claire Betz has passed, but was heiress who owned a portion of the team.
      Well the guy, who by all accounts was very well-off and just like to just talk thru the game about every which nonsense, looking around a waving to people he knew, and was getting to aggravate my buddy who was concentrating on the game.
      Finally, after one of the innings was over, my buddy turns to the guy and says, ‘you know buddy, this team really sucks these last few years, Ruben ought to be fired after this season’.
      Well Claire Betz’ grandson, looks at my buddy and says, exact words…..’Ruben will never be fired’
      ….that revelation was something of an eye-opener. Thats why i think eventually he gets Monty’s old job and Gillick’s current job..

          1. It can’t be bad. Also, they said they’ll be going in creative directions, so maybe they’ll find something new. Who knows. When you spend money on intelligent people, lots of good things can happen. Even with all the statistical advancements in baseball, there are sure to be new frontiers that have been overlooked.

      1. Romus, Ruben has taken a lot of bullets and flak for the Phillies for some decisions that were not his especially the second Cliff Lee trade(which does not fit his MO at all). He is only doing what the ownership is telling him to do for the most part so lets hope Mr. Middleton gets control. At least Ruben knows much more about baseball than David Montgomery.

        1. philabaltfan…..yes, realize that Ruben has taken a lot of flack. However, his position as GM has to be one of the positions that is held responsible for the outcome of the team. Now granted in ’09 and ’10 the teams regular season records were pretty darn good and they experienced playoff disappointments, but he has had ample time to try to right the ship.
          Prior to Gillick, Ed Wade, another friend of the ‘Phillies family’ was also given a long-leash.
          Nevertheless, Ruben is here to stay…….probably GM for another year or two then onward and upward. I guess it depends on Monty’s health at this point. Since Gillick will probably go out within two years when he gets close to 80.

    2. I think about a guy like Brian Sabean. He was GM for the Giants for 19 years now longest tenured that means some where around 1996. He won his first WS as GM in 2010 that’s 14 years rocco.

      His winning percentage over that span is 518. He had 7 really bad seasons including a stretch where he only won 75,76,71, and 72 games when just the two years prior they won 100 and 91. He probably should have been fired there right? Two years after that he won his first of 3 WS.

      Take a look at Bean’s career. He has never won a WS over 18 seasons but has won .533 percent of his tenure. He has a stretch beginning after a 91 win season of 75,75,81 and 74 probably should have been fired there right?

      Amaro in 7 seasons sits at .534 percentage. He has gone 93 97 102 81 followed by 73 and 73. Likely there about this season.

      Bottom line is it really doesn’t matter who you have in your front office you’re franchise is going to have its ups and downs but I think continuity breeds better long term success than trying to change it out every 5 years.

  21. Everyone is focused on the Red Sox as s trading partner but check out Catdinals situation. Hamels would look great in their rotation and Wainright is having more problems. Carlos Martinez and an OF could get a deal done.

  22. Phillies have $7M allocation in the Rule 4, and $3M in the international.
    Will they exceed either? Will they trade with one of the five ineligible penalized teams for additional bonus allocation monies?
    I am curious what Ruben, who preaches about opening all avenues to secure talent, will do.

  23. There are a lot of rumors of the Phils having deals in place once July 2 opens up. Supposedly, they are going to be aggressive. Has anyone seen any names linked to the Phils? The Cuban train has left them at the station. Can we hope on anyone in July? I know they are 16 year old kids, and I would have loved Tomas, Castillo or Moncada, but faint hope is better than none.

      1. Trust and money.

        Perhaps Ruben in dealing with the Sox in a Hamels trade , also ask, besides prospects, for their $3.7M international allocation, since they can only sign players less then $300K for a few years that doesn’t count against their pool monies.
        That would put the Philles at a whopping $7M. or so…think of all the LA prospects that can bring to the system!.

  24. Can The Red Sox, who are being punished for exceeding Cap, allowed to trade their allocation? I thought it was wiped away.

  25. I’m not sure it matters much if they eventually concede to a International Draft in the next CBA which expires the end of 2016.

    I think that is finally gaining traction and you’re starting to see some players like Fister (I think it was Fister) assail against the Moncada signing.

    1. They need , in this last year before the draft, to , for lack of a better expression, ‘shoot their wad’.
      Garnish as many outstanding 16-year olds as possible.
      They are hampered by the penalty like the teams above, so go for it.
      The draft could still be delayed another year or they may even up the age eligibility requirement to 17-year olds.

        1. I guess my question is did the sox gamble that they would collectively bargain an international draft to begin say June/July 17 and if that happens how will the penalty carry over to that seasons signs?

          Would they make them forfeit their pick or just limit their bonus pool money in that draft.

          1. By no means do I know anything about these hypotheticals, but I would expect since the CBA runs out end of 2016, any LA draft would not occur immediately, but probably around the time the next signing period would have come around.

            Also I severely doubt any penalties would carry over from one agreement to another, due to the nature of those agreements.

  26. Chances are they will model it after the US Draft with respect to signing bonuses, etc. and fold all of the LA operations under one umbrella.

    It would not make any sense for Boston to have a LA developmental system only to see a prospect drafted by the Yankees.

    1. If MLB does not roll the developmental systems together a team that spends very little could throw lots on money into scouts who do nothing other than poach prospects in the draft.

      It will likely take a couple of years to implement but will be better in the long-run.

  27. Comment From keith
    Who goes bigger on July 2: Dodgers or Phillies?
    Kiley McDaniel: Looking like Phillies right now

    1. Wish they would give a monetary forecasted figure…. right now the .pool for Phillies is approx. $3M
      Will they go over that allocation or just meet it?
      If they go by past history, they will not ‘bust’ the allocation.

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