Post Season Report Card–Starting Pitching, High A, AA, AAA

A look at Starting pitching in the upper portion of the organization. A reminder that grades are based on expectations against that particular player pre-season, as opposed to each other.  Next up: Third Baseman


David Whitehead, 23, Phils 34th round pick in 2013; 25 starts, 9-11 with a 4.44ERA; 135.2IP 152H 51BB 94K; 10HR allowed; .291 opp avg; 1.50 WHIP; 1.50 GO/AO; 3.4BB/6.2K per 9; .292 vs LHH, .290 vs RHH, .316 last 30 days; Double bumped after a successful 2014 in Williamsport, Whitehead was simply “ok” this season.  He showed he can pitch a full season which is a plus after injury issues years ago, but he was pretty consistently hit.  Grade: C;  2016: Whitehead may get caught in the numbers game.  I see him being kept in the Extended Spring awaiting roster shake ups in the Spring.

Victor Arano, 20, Acquired from Dodgers in 2014; 24 games 22 starts; 4-12 with a 4.72ERA; 124IP 131H 26BB 69K; 7HR allowed; .276 opp avg; 1.27 WHIP; 0.75 GO/AO; 1.8BB/5.2K per 9; .350 vs LHH, .239 vs RHH, .298 last 30 days; At times excellent and more often brutal, Arano was up and down, getting absolutely crushed by left handed hitters and running out of gas at years end.  Only 20, there is still time.  Grade: C; 2016: Back to Clearwater

Brandon Leibrandt, 22, Phils 6th round pick in 2014; 17 games; 7-3 with a 3.11ERA; 101.1IP 83H 21BB 67K; .227 opp avg; 1.03 WHIP; 0.84 GO/AO; 1.9BB/6.0K per 9; .213 vs LHH, .232 vs RHH, When healthy, Leibrandt was outstanding.  That said, he missed three plus weeks in June and the last month of the season with arm issues.  He generally has excellent command, which is his bread and butter.  When off, even a little he will be hit hard.  Grade: B; 2016: Reading

Matt Imhof, 21, Phils 2nd round pick in 2014; 18 starts, 8-5 with a 3.94ERA; 77.2IP 72H 45BB 59K; .249 opp avg; 1.43 WHIP; 0.79 GO/AO; 5.2BB/6.8K per 9; .250 vs LHH, .248 vs RHH, .281 last 30 days; .247 with RISP.  Imhof averaged just 4.3 IP per start and had significant control problems this year combined with missing 7 weeks on the DL.  Add that together and it was a disappointing campaign.  He has the talent but needs to be far more consistent at High A before a move up.  Grade: C-; 2016: Clearwater to start

Mark Leiter, 24, Phils 22nd round pick in 2013; 27 games (21 starts) between Clearwater and Reading; 8-7 with a 3.09ERA; 142.2IP 135H 34BB 121K; .251 opp avg; 1.18 WHIP; 0.80 GO/AO; 2.1BB/7.6K per 9; For Reading: 8 starts; 2-6 with a 4.79 ERA and .303 opp avg.  Overall, you have to consider Leiter’s year a success.  He was excellent for Clearwater in multiple roles, however struggled when called up to Reading in their rotation.  Grade: B; 2016: Reading bullpen

Ricardo Pinto, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2011; 24 starts, 15-4 with a 2.97ERA between Lakewood and Clearwater; 145.1IP 129H 37BB 105K; .244 opp avg; 1.14 WHIP; For CW: 13 starts, 9-2 with a 2.87ERA; 78.1IP 64H 19BB 45K; .231 opp avg; 1.06 WHIP; 0.85 GO/AO; 2.2BB/5.7K per 9; .220 vs LHH; .237 vs RHH, .202 last 30 days.  Pinto was outstanding all year and is likely to win the Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Year.  There were no issues with his mid-season transition to Clearwater and was still very strong at year’s end.  Grade: A; 2016: Reading

John Richy, 23, Acquired from Dodgers in 2015; 24 games (20 starts); 10-4 with a 4.07ERA all in High A; 137IP 153H 35BB 115K; .281 opp avg; 1.37 WHIP; 1.44 GO/AO; 2.3BB/7.6K per 9; .285 vs LHH, .278 vs RHH, .261 last 30 days.  Only 2 starts for Clearwater after his acquisition in the Chase Utley deal for difficult to pass judgment but decent numbers from a guy with a real big frame.  Grade: C+; 2016: I see another half dozen High A starts before Reading


Ben Lively, 23, Acquired from Reds in 2014; 25 starts; 8-7 with a 4.13ERA; 143.2IP 160h 45BB 111K; 14HR allowed; .290 opp avg; 1.43 WHIP; 0.81 GO/AO; 2.8BB/7.0K per 9; .320 vs LHH, .267 vs RHH, .298 last 30 days.  Mediocrity for Lively in 2015.  He was hittable and the home run ball hurt him, mixing in starts here and there where he would show his true potential.  Grade: C; 2016: Reading

Zach Eflin, 21, Acquired from San Diego in 2014; 23 starts; 8-6 with a 3.69ERA; 131.2IP 136H 23BB 68H .268 opp avg; 1.21 WHIP; 1.08 GO/AO; 1.6BB/4.6K per 9; .298 vs LHH, .239 vs RHH, .296 last 30 days.  A good year for Eflin who struggled towards the end of the season after competing in the Pan Am games.  When you watch him, he clearly is advanced in the “knowing how to pitch” category.  Grade: B-; 2016: Lehigh Valley

Nick Pivetta, 22, Acquired from Washington in 2015; 25 games (24 starts) between High A and AA; 9-8 with a 3.96ERA; 129.2IP 121H 57BB 103K; .252 opp avg; 1.37 WHIP; 0.91 GO/AO; 4.0BB/7.1K per 9; In AA: 10 starts; 2-4 with a 7.25ERA; 43.1IP 51H 28BB 31K; 5.8BB/6.4K per 9; .302 opp avg; 1.82WHIP; Pivetta pitched real well for High A Potomac but his success didn’t translate at all to AA, both in Harrisburg or Reading.  There is some legitimate fear of injury after Pivetta left his last start of the season after 4 pitches.  Grade: C; 2016: Reading

Joely Rodriguez, 23, Acquired from Pittsburgh in 2015; 32 games (21 starts) between Lehigh Valley and Reading; 7-10 with a 6.12ERA; 129.1IP 162H 57BB 74K; 11HR allowed; 4.0BB/5.1K per 9; .312 opp avg; 1.69 WHIP; 1.71 GO/AO; .296 vs LHH, .304 vs RHH; .307 last 30 days.  Simply awful  Grade: F; 2016: Rodriguez is likely to removed from the 40 man roster at which time he will need to clear waivers if he is coming back to the organization.  Based on his performance, clearing waivers shouldn’t be an issue.  He probably has a couple months in Reading next season to prove he is worth keeping around post June,

Jake Thompson, 21, Acquired from Texas in 2015; 24 starts in AA; 11-7 with a 3.73ERA; 132.2IP 127H 42BB 112K 10HR allowed; .255 opp avg; 1.27 WHIP; 1.11 GO/AO; 2.8BB/7.6Kper 9; .283 vs LHH, .227 vs RHH, .211 last 30 days; For Reading: 7 starts, 5-1 with a 1.80 ERA; .217 opp avg; 1.00 WHIP; 1.07 GO/AO; Admittedly, I didn’t watch him before his arrival to the Phils organization but he was outstanding in his starts for Reading.  Clearly knows how to pitch, keeps the ball down and keeps hitters off balance.  Grade: B+; 2016: Lehigh Valley to start; likely Philadelphia by mid season if progress continues

Colin Kleven, 24, Phils 33rd round pick in 2009; 18 starts; 6-6 with a 4.42ERA; 97.2IP 98H 31BB 72K; .271 opp avg; 1.32 WHIP; 1.07 GO/AO; 2.9BB/6.6K per 9; For Reading: 5 starts; 1-3 with a 8.65ERA; .323 opp avg; 1.62 WHIP; Kleven’s 2015 started with alot of promise, conquering Clearwater after three years but came crashing to a halt with ineffectiveness and injury in Reading. Kleven was on the shelf for the last six weeks of the season. Grade: C; 2016: Another organization

Lehigh Valley

Anthony Vasquez, 28,Signed as a free agent in 2015; 28 games (22 starts) between Lehigh Valley and Reading; 9-8 with a 4.10ERA; 1 save; 134IP 125H 51BB 76K; 7HR; .253 opp avg; 1.31 WHIP; 0.99 GO/AO; 3.4BB/5.1K per 9; .302 vs LHH; .243 vs RHH, .308 last 30 days; Vasquez did whatever was asked of him in both Reading and Lehigh Valley.  Bouncing between the rotation and long relief in two locations, Vasquez had decent results.  Grade: B-; 2016: Another organization

Severino Gonzalez, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2010; 16 starts, 2-7 with a 5.11ERA; 87IP 101H 18BB 45K;7 HR allowed; .291 opp avg; 1.38 WHIP; 0.60WHIP; 2.0BB/4.4K per 9; .276 vs LHH, .301 vs RHH; For Phils: 7 starts, 3-3 with a 7.92ERA; 30.2IP 44H 7BB 28K; .346 opp avg; 1.66 WHIP.   In a perfect world, Gonzalez would have spent this entire season in the ‘Pigs rotation continuing his progression through the minor league system, however the beginning of the 2015 season marked a far from perfect world for the Phillies and they needed a “live arm”, which resulted in Gonzalez’s pre mature trip to Philly and disastrous results.  He was awful in the majors and his progress in the minors was stunted with the yo yo between AAA and Lehigh Valley.  Grade: D; 2016: The hope would be Lehigh Valley for a full season and a September call up.

David Buchanan, 26, Phils 7th round pick in 2010; 10 starts for Lehigh Valley; 4-2 with a 2.80ERA; 54.2IP 58H 20BB 30K; .274 opp avg; 1.43 WHIP; 1.46 GO/AO; 3.3BB/4.9K per 9; .198 vs LHH, .321 vs RHH; For Phillies: 10 starts, 2-7 with a 9.00 ERA; 49IP 75H 21BB 26K; .355 opp avg; 1.96 WHIP. Buchanan was supposed to solidify the back end of the Phillies rotation this year and that clearly didn’t happen as he was consistently ineffective in the majors.  A significant ankle injury limited his minor league season but in his starts with Lehigh Valley, Buchanan was very good at times and poor on other occasions.  Grade: D; 2016: Lehigh Valley.  Looks like another Tyler Cloyd at this stage which is a AAAA pitcher.

Jesse Biddle, 23, Phils 1st round pick in 2010; 24 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 9-6 with a 4.95ERA; 125.1IP 147H 61BB 89K; 11HR allowed; .295 opp avg; 1.66 WHIP; 1.06 GO/AO; 4.4BB/6.4K per 9; .279 vs LHH, .317 vs RHH, 9 starts for Lehigh Valley, 2-4 with a 6.25ERA; .305 opp avg; 1.88 WHIP; 5.4BB/6.4K per 9.  Just another awful season for Biddle who was unable to conquer the issues that began in 2013.  His solid April is what keeps him from an “F”.  Grade: D; 2016: Lehigh Valley to try to figure it out (again)

Sean O’Sullivan, 27, SIgned as a free agent in 2014; 9 starts, 5-2 with a 3.20ERA; 56.1IP 48H 19BB 41K; .227 opp avg; 1.19 WHIP; 0.68 GO/AO; 3.0BB/6.6K per 9; For Phillies: 13 starts, 1-6 with a 6.08ERA; 71IP 95H 20BB 34K; .322 opp avg; 1.61 WHIP.  What to take from this is simply that there is a BIG jump from AAA to the majors and O’Sullivan does not currently (and likely wont) have the stuff to be a major league starter.  He has been and will continue to be an effective AAA starter but really cant be counted on to even “eat innings” at the major league level.  Grade: C; 2016: Another organization

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, 29, Signed as a free agent in 2013; Gonzalez missed the entire year other than the final two weeks of the season injured and was crushed in his two outings with Lehigh Valley.  The only people that know the true extent of MAG’s medical issues are the Phillies medical staff.  What seems clear is the $12M man should not be depended upon anywhere for help in 2016.  If he does, it will be a very nice surprise.

Alec Asher, 23, Acquired from Texas in 2015; 24 starts, 6-10 with a 3.97ERA between Rangers and Phils AA/AAA clubs; 133.2IP 137H 40BB 109K; 20HR allowed; .263 opp avg; 1.32 WHIP; 0.68 GO/AO; 2.7BB/7.3K per 9; 0-2 with a 10.61 ERA in 2 starts with the Phils.  Asher threw well and has bottom of the rotation potential in the majors going forward.  May be running out of gas a bit as he reaches 150 plus innings on the year.  2016: Phils #5 starter.  The home run ball is an issue that must be addressed.

Jared Eickhoff, 25, Acquired from Rangers in 2015; 23 starts, 12-5 with a 3.85ERA between AA/AAA Rangers and Phils organizations; 133.1IP 119H 39BB 126K; 15HR allowed; .238 opp avg; 1.19 WHIP; 0.54 GO/AO; 2.6BB/8.5K per 9; For Phls: 1-3 with a 4.70ERA in 4 starts.  I watched Eickhoff live twice and like him a lot. He curve ball is a true “out pitch” and he uses it very well, and consistently pitches ahead in the count.  2016: Phils #4 starter



92 thoughts on “Post Season Report Card–Starting Pitching, High A, AA, AAA

  1. Clearly you’re saying Nola’s moved on to Philly. I agree. He might be their only solid starter next year. A lot of promise in the bunch and many are close enough to smell the MLB coffee. That hasn’t happened in a while. The biggest upside surprise will be Imhof. Next year will be his year. I feel it! I wish it! I hope it!

  2. As with most positions, the pitching gets more intriguing as you make your way down the organization, with little up top. Reading’s guys disappointed me a little, but it is a hitters park. I could see Lively and/or Eflin coming back strong next year, Eflin especially. Love what Pinto did this year, he has earned himself prospect status.

    AAA is just ugly, but that will change as the org guys leave and are replaced by some of these young intriguing arms.

    One think ill say: I would make it a point to bring Joley back. I think this was a nightmare season, but he has stuff and could end up alright. Whereas other guys like Biddle I am closer to writing off. A change of scenery is really wahts best for him at this point.

    1. agree with joely. phils need to protect him this year since Ramos, Cordero and Quinn (IMO Jairo Munoz should be protected too) are the only locks to be protected this year. next year will be a challenge for joely since the top prospects are eligible for rule 5 next year.

  3. Getting this a day early is like getting an early Christmas present. Much obliged.

    I’m glad somebody else sees what I see in Asher and Eickhoff. To go from Buchanon as your #5 to Asher is a huge improvement, and I really think Eickhoff has #3 potential. I can’t wait to see him and Morgan hopefully battle for that spot next season. Things should get very interesting if say the Phillies sign Price and then Thompson and or Eflin are up by the end of the year. If Morgan is our #5 starter or even Eflin, that’s a strong rotation right there. Say Price, Thompson, Nola, Eickhoff, Morgan/Eflin. If Eflin doesn’t come up, that’s still a strong rotation with Eickhoff and Morgan/Asher at the back end. All of the sudden there’s a pitching logjam next season after years of being lean on prospects other than Severino, Buchanon, Tyler Cloyd type guys. Or Jonathan Pettibone who would have had a huge opportunity this season.

    1. Oh, and the two guys I’m most high on in the system are definitely Pinto and Thompson at this point. If we don’t include guys we got back in trades then it’d be Pinto and Kilome. I know Kilome has top of the rotation potential but Pinto was very impressive this season. Can’t wait to see how he does at Reading.

      I hope to see Biddle come back strong next season and make a case for a callup. Just to see him get that shot. Then at the very least he can tell his grandkids about the time he pitched in Citizens Bank Park for the team he grew up watching as a kid. He’s got the stuff. Just needs to fix what’s wrong with him mentally and stay healthy.

      I also would keep Joely for another season. He’s not really going to block anybody just yet.

      1. TPhan…I really like Pinto also. Got to see him at Lakewood before he got moved up. I’m not scared off by him only being 6′ as some people are. He throws hard and throws alot of strikes and seems to know what he’s doing out there. I’m really looking forward to seeing how he does at Reading. That will be a big test for him. He should get moved up next spring, hopefully right out of the chute.

    2. You actually believe Price would entertain signing with the worst team in baseball…record-wise…and the only way would be the bestest of all bestest contracts….say north of $30M AAV over 7/8 years.
      IMO, Dec 2016 is when I would go for the best pitching FA signing…..the farm prospects will be another year matured and closer,and current youngsters like Franco, Herrera, Altherr et al also more MLB matured.
      Just cannot image Price turning down a pretty hefty contract from a contending playoof team and signing with these current Phillies…he will be 30 and he already has play-off fever.

      1. The problem with that line of thinking is a guy of Price’s caliber probably won’t be a FA again anytime soon. This is our only shot to sign that power-pitcher, dominant ace to anchor the rotation. If we don’t get Price then we better hope either Thompson or our draft pick is that. I do not want to gut our system again to trade for an ace.

        And yes, I think Price will see that the Phillies have a lot of talent not very far away and guys like Franco, Altherr, Odubel, etc. Not to mention the potential our rotation has next year and especially in two to three years. Plus a dominant closer. The only thing the lineup is missing is power until Franco comes back, and we can sign guys to plug holes. Maybe we don’t make the playoffs or even have a winning record next year but in 2017 we could have a very strong team and one of the best young rotations in baseball. We’re not the worst team in baseball, regardless of our record. Look at how bad our rotation was most of the year. Our lineup. If Cliff Lee was healthy and we had these young guys in our rotation then, and if we had guys like Franco and Altherr here and playing like this, we would have had a winning record. Galvis is one of the best defensive shortstops around and had a great season most of the year, Cesar was great too and is very good defensively. With Brown leaving next year and either Quinn or Williams or both coming up, that’s a good defensive outfield with solid offense. Galvis and Cesar aren’t long-term solutions but both are some of the best young infielders we have had in years not named Rollins or Utley. We nosedived because we held onto aging veterans too long. That isn’t the case anymore. Howard is aging, sure, but he still put up over 20 HRs this year. Other than Ruf, we have nobody who can potentially do that at first other than Franco who I do not want to see moved. Rupp might not be an All-Star catcher but Knapp should start the season at AAA and we’ve seen what he’s capable of offensively. Plus our bench is solid and should be added to. Sure guys like Hanley Ramirez are superior offensively to even JP Crawford but we have some seriously good young players that most teams don’t. And more in the lower levels. Plus pitching. If we add to the bullpen and sign a legitimate setup man, who knows?

        1. Price will go where the money is. But if it’s comparable between a few teams, obviously, he wants to go to a contender. The Phillies will not be contending in 2016. Price will get his share of suitors. So would you give him 8 years, $240M or 5 years, $175M.

          1. But they’re building a contender a lot more quickly than anybody anticipated. I saw this improved play coming this season. I thought that the team would play this way to start but Lee never came back and they started Utley and Ruiz far too long, plus Buchanon just nosedived and Pettibone wasn’t healthy. I thought best-case scenario one of Williams, Haraang, or Billingsley pitches well and you have Pettibone at #4 and Buchanon #5 or maybe Gonzalez at some point. I didn’t expect the bullpen to struggle like this but those never stay consistent year after year. Most of the bullpen guys we were waiting for are up right now, and we have two flamethrowers in the lower levels. If Ogando or Gonzalez fulfill their potential next season and you can add a legitimate setup man, that is a strong bullpen. When was the last time a team with the worst record had this much talent either at or this close to the majors?

            If the choice is between 5 and 8 years, I’d go 5. Very few pitchers earn their contract at 38+ The fact is though if I’m the Phillies, I don’t let anybody outbid me. If he picks a contender over my team then he does but I wouldn’t let anybody come close to me in terms of the offer. You need to swing for the fences on this one. No more “get him only if the numbers make sense for us”. They ruined the team with that philosophy. I’d have no problem whatsoever with them overpaying for Price when the rest of the rotation and the team really is young and controllable. Sign Heyward if possible and the best setup man available and live with the rest. That’s a much better team than anybody seems to think they will be, with only a handful of free agent signings.

            1. Don’t outbid me? That’s how Ibanez got 3 years instead of 2, and how Cliff Lee got a really nice buyout option. You really want to go crazy on David Price?

            2. That’s a ridiculous counter-point. Ibanez was not a top tier free agent. We signed him to replace Burrell.

              What caused us to overpay for Lee was being cheap and trading him in the first place. Otherwise he would have re-signed and we wouldn’t have had to outbid other teams. Lee was a great pitcher but his delivery has always made him a guy who can be inconsistent and has a hard time shutting teams down start after start.

              Guys like Price flat out do not become free agents. The last time it happened was CC in 2009. Instead you get a Scherzer or a Lester who while very good are not the dominating power pitcher type who just go out there and take it right to opposing hitters. And guys of his or any ace caliber are never available without having to give up a first round pick. Except this year.

            3. @TruehPhan – Ogando and Gonzalez are probably to old to get more projection. i think they are who they are. The future of the Phils bullpen might be Tirado, Cordero, Ramos, Rivero and Anderson. Jairo Munoz intrigues me too and i think we have some good relief arms from 2015 draft.

            4. I’m a Heyward fan he’s 26 his power can really come back . He reminds me of Werth elite defense good at bats sign him for 6 yr deal . I really don’t want to offer any pitcher that’s over 30 a contract that’s over 4 yrs. The Phillies really don’t have sure right fielder . Altherr can play both but he is still learning. He could play left field next yr. It’s really up too Macphail what he does with the Coach and GM.

            5. I say no to Heyward. The Phillies have Herrera, Quinn and Williams poised to be the starting OF by mid year next year. Hayward will command too much money for too little power. I’d rather see them sign Chris Davis to a 3 year deal to add LH power to the lineup and protect Franco. If Hoskins is the te deal, he’ll push for time in a couple of years. Short-term, high AAV contracts on a few FA (LH starter-Kazmir, LH power bat-Davis and LH reliever-?) and call it a day. Potential to catch lightning in the bottle next year and set up the team to succeed in 2017 and beyond.

            6. @Kurdt Gonzalez has been injured. We haven’t seen if he can be anything when healthy. Ogando we haven’t seen at all. He throws hard, and guys like that always get a chance. I don’t think either are the future given their age but if we can get a few years out of them, that’d be great.

              @Tim That was my thinking. I honestly had no idea his power numbers had dipped so low though, which made me rethink things. He’d be a nice get but to me only Price is worth a big contract of any kind. Then we find a setup man, maybe some bench pieces like every year and call it a day unless we feel somebody is say better than Howard or maybe Cesar.

        2. Signing Price this off season means giving up their second round pick and the money that goes along with it. Of course, I would love to have Price at the top with all of these young arms, but I’m with Romus, I think they’ll wait at least another year and see what is out there.

          1. I’d have absolutely no problem giving up a second round pick for a dominant ace like Price. We have pretty much never had a guy like that in his prime, not since Schilling. Plus if we ever decide to trade him, that’s more prospects than one pick.

            1. Price is already 30 and might be 33 when the Phils starts winning. The big thing i like about Price is that he is lefty – most of the pitching prospects are RHP. Zimmerman is probably 20-30% cheaper and a year young. Phils can probably get him for 6 yrs $140-150M range. O sign the 27 yo Japanese pitcher for $20-$22M/yr for 4-5 or even yrs

            2. But you’re talking a tier below Price. The only pitcher I would ever be okay with the Phillies paying that much to other than Price would be Verlander or King Felix in his prime.

              I also don’t think the Phillies will take three years to start winning. We have a good, young team that wasn’t playing most of the time before now.

            3. TruePhan, good for you and your “glass half full.” I would comment however that don’t forget McPhail has a rep of being slow and deliberate on his building teams. I think his demeanor will consist of adding more experienced no. 3-4 type vets (like a Garza, Lohse, etc.) to eat innings while the pitching continues to “cure.” on the farm. If one of them actually does show an uptick, they will look to trade the vets again at the deadline to add more prospects. I believe they are still in the procuring prospects period – figuring that it they have 10 kids for 3 slots (after Nola, Thompson) their odds improve.

              The team is still bereft of power. Howard has been an icon and altogether good professional – imagine being treated like a has-been in the city where you were one of the building blocks – tough for anybody in any situation. He has been a model of decorum – imagine others doing this ???? They are going to have to get others to surround Franco – and quickly.

              In my opinion it is too early for free agents unless they are the 8 mm a year type. Too expensive and the contracts today are absurd for any kind of a no. 1 quality pitcher – too many years. The team is headed in the right direction, but a lot of building still has to be done, albeit I agree with you that the team will be markedly better in 2017.

              I say the best move would be to hire the Pirates’ pitching coach(s) and others who assist him for whatever amount it takes – and that means 5 mm a year.

            4. Normally I would get behind a strategy like that but to me we already have guys who are better than any mid-level FA pitchers we could find so why allow them to take the spot of our young pitchers? The only place I see a spot available is at the top. Morgan, Eickhoff, and even Asher to me are too good to be bumped for somebody who was never all that good and is just an innings eater. I didn’t expect either Eickhoff or especially Asher to be up this season or Morgan to make it back but it happened. Or more accurately, I didn’t expect Eickhoff to be much of anything considering he was a throw-in. But all three of those guys are good enough to be mainstays of the rotation and to make it one of the stronger young rotations in baseball. The only questionmark to me other than Morgan’s health is at the top of the rotation. So you answer that with signing a true ace. Then to me the questions are in the corner outfield so you sign a guy like Heyward, and the setup man, so you sign the best one available. You keep Howard until you find somebody who can replace him unless you think that’s Ruf, and you figure out the deal at catcher. To me you get rid of Ruiz, start Rupp, and maybe call up Lino or keep Kratz around as the backup.

              Then you’ve got Sweeney, Asche, Francouer, and maybe some FAs or AAA guys on the bench. That’s a solid team whose only holes should hopefully be filled with prospects within two years. And it’s a young team with many controllable players.

            5. The Phillies are several players away from contention.signing the likes of Price and Heyward to giant contracts that last past their prime years is a recipe to get the Phillies right back to where they are now.

        3. i like your enthusiasm but i see Price signing with Cubs for at least 7 yrs $200M. The Cubs has ML ready hitting prospects and with Arrieta and Lester already in the rotation.

          1. Maybe he does but you swing for the fences and let the chips fall where they may. Offer him the most money and see if he’s willing to leave that on the table to go to the Cubs or Red Sox or anybody else.

            I’ve been watching the Phillies since they finally got off of Prism and put the games on non-premium channels and following them since ’93. We have never had this much home-grown talent or talent we got back as prospects in trades in that period. Our best one was Padilla who was never anything other than frustrating. We hadn’t had a legitimate franchise third basemen since Scott Rolen, and hadn’t had a franchise CF since we took a risk on drafting JD Drew, other than Victorino who was a stopgap who we held onto too long. We have both. We’ve got the best young players we’ve had in that period at almost every position with the exception of Rollins, Howard, Utley, and Burrell, and have a homegrown closer for the first time since Botallico. I don’t even need to mention the rotation. We flat out haven’t had this in the Giles era. There’s a reason for my enthusiasm. This is the year to sign an ace. If we don’t get one this year then we live with our young guys and draft one in 2016. Price is head and shoulders above the other two FAs imo. He’s like Johan in 2007 or CC in 2009. I didn’t feel that way about Lester or any of the other guys last year. Maybe I should have but to me it’s crazy to spend that much unless it’s on a guy who has dominated since his rookie year like Price has. You have to be pretty special to start as a big game reliever in the playoffs the way Price did.

            1. ok, assuming that Phils outbid the competition and sign Price for 7 yrs $230M. what if your “glass half full” assessment of the players is wrong? or the phils don’t win in 2016 and 2017 and Price’s arm fell off? that’s too much money to lose! IMO, the Phils are better off using 2016 and 2017 to accumulate assets and spend that $200M in signing young international prospects, hire stud pitching coaches, beef up the scounting department, enhance the player development group and upgrade technology to incorporate analytics and modern stuff. that’s what you need to do with your $$$ unless you are only a player away from winning.

            2. You’re looking at things wrong. Price is not the long-term answer. He’s there to take the pressure off Nola and Thompson and eventually be replaced by either Thompson or our 2016 pick. He’s an insurance policy on young pitchers with upside who are not ready to lead a rotation and maybe never will be. You have Price going out there every five days even for just a year, that allows the rest of the rotation to fall into place without added pressure. Look at what Verlander did for the guys the Tigers brought in like Scherzer, Sanchez, and Price. Him going out there every five days and being that ace allowed Sanchez to do very well and Scherzer to reach his potential. Then they bring in Price who becomes the ace and takes pressure off Verlander as he tries to regain his former dominance.

              I’m not glass half full. I’m a realist. We may never have a franchise catcher or second or first basemen. Outside of Giles we may never have another great homegrown reliever. Altherr may just be a bench player, but he could be a good one. Even if Odubel doesn’t turn out to be a .300 hitter, he will terrorize teams with his combination of offensive ability and speed, and his defense is impressive. Again, I don’t even need to mention our rotation.

              This isn’t basketball. You can’t treat it like it is. No “asset” is ever even remotely a sure thing. You have to build your team in every way, otherwise you won’t win. And if you don’t fill holes, it will negatively affect the few good players you currently do have and maybe even ruin them for the future. We’re talking a handful of contracts here. We’re not talking making a big acquisition at the deadline or something like that. It isn’t just contenders that make these signings. Nobody saw the Blue Jays as that or the Marlins or most teams who bring in major players in FA or trades. The Nationals were nothing but potential before they traded for guys like Cahill and Gio or even Wang. And they had sucked for years. We’ve only sucked for maybe three. We’re not the Royals or the Rays here.

            3. TPhan………..Kendrick and Fister…need to resurrect their careers…will sign for a year….sign them to that one-year deal in 2016, keep fingers-crossed, and then flip in July to contenders.
              Harang, Billingsley and Williams never panned out for that investment opportunity…..but roll the die again, as a true gambler would do, on Kendrick and Fister.
              Then go big FA the following year.

            4. “Price is not the long-term answer. He’s there to take the pressure off Nola and Thompson and eventually be replaced by either Thompson or our 2016 pick. He’s an insurance policy on young pitchers with upside who are not ready to lead a rotation and maybe never will be” — TruePhan…..Wow $200M+++ for an insurancy policy and taking the pressure off Nola/Thompson….this argument alone lost any sense in any of your arguments. this is easy to say since you’re own money is not involved. but a $200M insurance policy? doesn’t make any sense!! spending $200M for pitching/batting coach, scouting, development, tech and infra and international talents is IMO the best way to go. it may not contribute ST, but it’s definitely beneficial LT.

            5. Knew it was only a matter of time before the disrespectful BS made an appearance from you based on your prior comments on this site. If that’s how you want it then be my guest.

              I’ve been watching the Phillies for 100+ games for over 10 years now including watching every single game that was televised from 2009-2012. What about you?

              I’ve backed up every single thing I’ve said in my comments with examples and solid reasoning whereas yours have been entirely opinion with a dash of “Because I said so”. Who ever said you have any sense to claim I don’t? Furthermore, when have you ever displayed that anything you have said in any of your comments is sound reasoning or anything other than “Because I said so” or “this guy agrees with me”? In other words, who are you to say anything like that to anybody else? By the way, learn how to spell basic words before talking about sense, and your first sentence in response to me made no grammatical sense whatsoever.

              Oh and by the way, we the fans pay the entirety of the money our teams have with the exception of that which they get from sponsorships. That big TV contract wouldn’t exist without CSN subscribers.

            6. And you know what, no I don’t know baseball as well as I know other sports. But here’s the thing…. neither do you. You have no business whatsoever talking to somebody that way, especially not when I and pretty much every other long-time commenter are pretty knowledgeable about baseball. You’ve yet to prove that you are, yet I’ve seen plenty of comments with that same exact tone from you. I tried to be nice but you decided you wanted to be smug so I stopped with that. People like you are the reason I don’t even want to read the comments on here anymore half the time. Check yourself.

              Didn’t mean to start an off-topic discussion everybody. Just wanted to comment about how excited I am about these young arms and how a true ace would really solidify things. We’ve pretty much never been able to say that in my lifetime. It was nice sharing my thoughts on here again for a bit but I think that’s about enough. Can’t wait to see what next year holds or the year after that. I just hope the FO starts doing things right to capitalize on all of this young talent and add to it.

            7. I was against trading Hamels, with Carlton and the 72 team in mind. The Phillies did the right thing in trading him and it looks like a nice haul in return. What really changed my mind is I just can’t see McPhail throwing out loads of cash on one player right now. I think this was Kurdt’s point earlier and I totally agree with him. I think the bankroll will come out next year with international money. I was not on board with the slower approach, but I’ve bought in when you look at the young kids Hamels bought in. Even if Koufax was available, I don’t think they would pony up all of that money right now. There are too many holes to fill. Great players will come along again. The right people need to be finding them and I think they have some of them right now.

            8. I think where we disagree is on how many holes they have and just how good this young rotation can be.

              I have honestly never seen a Phillies team this young and good. You look at Franco… When was the last time we had a guy like that? Scott Rolen? And other than Victorino, when was the last time we had a legitimate starting CF who was young and talented? Or outfield prospects like Altherr, Quinn, Williams all either at or close to the majors? Without even factoring in the younger guys. Throw in the rotation, a dominant closer, good bullpen arms if you can add a legitimate setup man, and a corner OF to go with Altherr and Odubel. That’s a good team with solid defense. Maybe we need to find a starting 2nd basemen or starting 1B or even a starting catcher one day. But every other position can be improved in one way or another by 2017. I really don’t feel like we’re half as far away as people think, and I think if you add Price, Heyward, and a great setup man then that team is capable of surprising a lot of people.

            9. @TruePhan – i value my own integrity same as most of us here. I don’t understand your reaction and accusing me of disrespectful BS from my comments (present and prior) on this site and doubting my own knowledge of the team/sport i love. just to reiterate – I don’t agree with you to spend $200M++ just to get Price. I think the Phils are not contending in 2016 and 2017 and the Phils should just continue accumulating assets and use the $200M++ that you want for Price should rather be used for signing young international prospects, hire stud pitching coaches, beef up the scounting department, enhance the player development group and upgrade technology to incorporate analytics and modern stuff. I think I’m not alone in disagreeing with you with your suggestion to sign Price at all cost.

              If there are any BS argument that I might posted, I would appreciate if you can show it to me. I’m man enough to admit to my mistakes if there’s any.

            10. You didn’t merely disagree with me. You said my argument had lost all sense based on nothing but your own opinion and assumptions about the team. I gave examples to back up every point I made, displayed sound reasoning, and you decided to get smug so I fired back. I honestly could not care less how many people disagree with me. That doesn’t mean a bit of anything, nor does people agreeing with me somehow make my point more valid.

              So your mistake was talking like your opinion is somehow more valid than mine or is anything more than that. You have your own way you’d like to build the team. I have mine. I don’t see why in reality we can’t act like the big market team we are though and do it all at the same time but the point is your way is no more valid than mine nor is your opinion.

            11. @TruePhan – when you said that Price (a $200M++ FA that you want) is not a LT solution but just to relieve the pressure of Nola/Thompson still doesn’t really make any sense to me.

            12. It might not make any sense to you personally but that doesn’t mean it has no sense. Teams do it all the time, albeit with pitchers they traded for a la the Red Sox. And none of those teams had our young rotation. The only team that does even now is the Mets, and they already have their ace. If you don’t understand how rare this situation is then you must not have been watching the Phillies the past 20+ years. This is a rarity in baseball in general led alone for the Phillies. We know what these kids can do, and we don’t expect any of them to be an ace, unlike with say the Orioles back in the late 2000s or any other situation where a team had multiple young arms in the rotation at once. And none of those teams had a chance to get a guy like Price to add to those young arms and be the staff ace while they figure things out. That’s a big part of why they never won anything, and not having the rest of the rotation penciled out is why Johan didn’t get the Mets into the playoffs and previous a acquisitions of ace pitchers didn’t seem “worth it” in the end. This is an incredibly unique situation that makes it the perfect time to sign a guy like Price.

              Thinking a 30+ year old is a long-term solution is what makes no sense. You would have to give up a ton in a trade to get a guy anywhere close to his caliber and still offer him that huge extension. Nobody anywhere near his level will be a FA in the future unless he’s got some kind of major flaw that males him a risk. And do you honestly think any of those big free agent pitchers from this past offseason will be long-term solutions? Not a chance. Three, four years tops. And Chicago has some very young players and some major holes still.

        4. True,

          Lots of ifs there.

          The reality is, the ifs weren’t hypothetical. They were real problems.

          I think the young Phils have potential and might surprise to the upside next year.

          But for this past year, the reality is, to invoke the old saying, you are what your numbers say you are.

    3. Price is not coming here. But, the Phillies do need a starter, preferably LH. I think Kazmir would be perfect on a 3 year deal at higher than market AAV. Mid year rotation of Nola, Kazmir, Thompson, Morgan and Eickhoff looks pretty good to me. By the time Kazmir’s deal is done, Puk will be ready!

      1. Fister on a one-year rebound season and trade flip in july….or maybe even Jeff Smard. coming off a mediocre to poor season with the ChiSox.
        Kazmir could stay with his hometown contending power-house Astros now.

      2. Why do you assume he won’t come here? Most of those other rotations are not getting any younger. Cubs have Lester, Arrieta, and Zamarj sure but they could very well lose Zamarj and in two-three years Price will be carrying that rotation. Plus, who do they have after those guys? Boston well we’ve already pointed out their pitching. To me nowhere makes more sense to sign a long-term deal of even 5 years than here. The only other place would be the Mets but again they already have their ace. Most of those rotations he would join will fall apart sooner rather than later. It’s not like with the Giants where they had three young guys and Zito. Maybe the Dodgers if their major pitching prospects turn into something real but they could lose Grienke for starters. Look at how little the Nats had in their rotation when they brought in Gio. It was just Strasburg and a bunch of question marks. But bringing in a seasoned ace allowed them to not put too much pressure on Strasburg. Kazmir is interesting but he’s not young anymore and he’s been inconsistent most of his career. Fister is another guy like that, plus there’s no guarantee he’s ever the same pitcher again. To me nobody is worth a FA contract other than Price. But like I said, this is just our opinions and our preferences. I don’t agree that Price wouldn’t come here though if the money is right.

  4. I think that is awful optimistic TruePhan. I don’t think they are anywhere close to building a contender. A lot has to go right even with those prospects we are “sure” about, like JPC. It is way too soon to start paying $200 Million to free agent Pitchers, and I don’t think there is any chance that Price signs here. And, I want the Phils to spend their money, but not even I can suggest that they start that now. They may take a chance on a Fister type, but Price, Cueto, Greinke types are way out of their reach for a couple of more years.

    1. That’s just really not smart thinking. It works in basketball, sure, but that is a completely different sport that is much more of a certainty. You can tell when somebody is in college how well they’ll play in the NBA so you can go through “rebuilding” and be cheap. But the MLB has too many minor leagues to have a clue about any draft pick or to take any of the same strategies.

      We have multiple potentially elite prospects either currently at AA or who will be there very soon. Even if none of them fulfill their potential, that is a huge asset to have.

      Franco is better than the vast majority of young third basemen both as a natural fielder and as a guy who is just flat out talented. Guys similar to Galvis and Cesar have been part of winning teams, like the Cubs with Blanco for example. They’re just stopgaps but they’re solid on both ends. Not many teams have a guy like Odubel even. But to me what sets us apart from everybody but a handful of teams is our young rotation and our young flamethrowing closer. We don’t need to sign mid or back end rotation guys because we already have them and more in the minors. Not many teams can say that. Here’s the main point though…. This is only the starting point for us. This draft will be huge, and we need to hit the international market in a big way. Then we can start talking about how we stack up because we’ll have had a chance to see. We haven’t been building our team the right way for decades. Three years of building how we should have been and we will be a contender.

      And in three years, whoever is available won’t be worth the big contract. It’s now or never.

      1. matt moore (LHP) and andrew cashner (RHP) will be FA’s next year. they are younger and probably comes cheaper and will be equally effective. plus the phils has 2016 to monitor moore is he fully recovers from his injury

        1. But neither is on Price’s level. Just another “almost ace” signing like every other time for the Phillies. You don’t win that way.

          1. Harvey is available in 2019….but Scott B. and the Phillies do not always play well together on big ticket gaming.

      2. There is a discussion with RAJ / Zolecky about who/what they will draft with the picks from the 2016 draft. There are 4 very good pitchers in the top of next draft. He all but said that they would be taking one of those 4. My guess is, Puk from Fla State. There is your Price – not fully grown, but only 2 years away from where you will need him.

        With the worst record, not only do they get one of the top 4 pitchers, but have a big Intl spending limit (I think they will go through that anyway), but also have the top pick in Rule 5. After adding those pieces, I think one can really get very fired up for the future.

        1. I definitely want to see them draft the best pitcher they can. I just don’t think putting all your eggs in that basket is wise when you never know how long he might take. I say sign Price, draft a future ace, and when the kid is ready or if Thompson shows he can be that guy, then you flip Price for maybe another potential ace but at the very least some solid prospects. And same with Heyward or even a setup man if you can sign one. Then you’ve strengthened your team a lot in the short-term and given yourself a good way to get more prospects in the long-run. Win-win if you ask me, considering you’d have to give up a lot in prospects to get that normally me at the very least a first round or compensatory pick. This is the only year we can sign multiple top tier players and only give up a second rounder.

          1. The point is, you have to put all of your eggs in whoever they draft this year, along with Franco, Crawford, Williams, Thompson, ect. They have to develop and draft stars. You can’t buy a team anymore. The 77 Yankees are a thing of the past, and look at the Dodgers. They’ve spent money like there’s no tomorrow and have nothing to show for it. If 3 of these kids turn out to be stars and 2 or 3 others turn out to be good players, you can then add to that, like they did in the 70’s and early 2000’s.

            1. Why not do both? We’re only talking a second round pick here. We’d still have a top ten first round pick and a lot of money to spend in the draft.

              I would not normally advocate for spending money like this but a) it’s a once in a decade opportunity and b) the rest of our team is young and controllable. By the time we have to pay these kids serious cash, Price and Heyward are gone. Spend it now on a few FAs and spend it later on our young guys. Howard comes off the books next year, and Lee this year. That’s 50 million dollars we don’t have to pay anymore. That plus say 10 million or so gets you Price’s first two years. So you get a dominant ace for roughly what you were paying for an aging starter or a declining first basemen. To me it’s a no-brainer.

          2. I admire your enthusiasm, but spending money on Price is not the way to go right now. I think the Phillies will make noise in 2016, but they won’t be contending. The Phillies will almost surely have to add on another year for Price to get him, around 8 years, $240M. And as you’ve seen already, there is a trend not to trade prospects for veterans. The Phillies could not get any top 50 prospects for Hamels. And Price will likely have more money left and be older when you decide to trade him. The Phillies need to see what they got before they go fishing for free agents.

            Thompson and Nick Williams should start 2016 in Lehigh. Crawford will likely start at Reading again, but you know that he’ll advance fast. Pinto should start at Reading also.

            Give the Phillies one more year, and see where they stand. You’ll also have a clearer picture of Altherr, Eickhoff, Asher, Nola.

            1. You’re making statements as if they’re foregone conclusions when in reality you don’t actually know what will happen in the future. You feel this team is too far away from the playoffs to bother with spending money on a guy like Price. I disagree. I see holes in the bullpen, corner outfield, and at the top of the rotation and acceptable stopgaps at second, short, first, and catcher. If you sign Price, Heyward, and a legitimate setup man then you have improved an already promising team exponentially. Price at the top of our young guys plus a dominant 8th and 9th inning bullpen plus a guy like Heyward equals at the very least a winning record.

              Hamels is not Price. I love Hamels, big fan, but there’s a reason Price brought back more. As long as he’s healthy and he stays David Price, he’ll bring back a good haul. It’s better to risk money and a second round pick now than either money and a first round pick later or our prospects or young players. This is a once in a decade opportunity here for us. Big market teams don’t usually get high draft picks like this, especially not when they have young talent at the MLB level. It’s a major opportunity for any free agent to take advantage of. Get paid more than you would elsewhere to pitch in a major market with passionate fans, do your best in the first year and try to get to the playoffs, and by year two you should have a real shot. I really think you’re way too down on this team and its immediate future.

            2. TruePhan….how much $$$$$ to sign 1. Price, 2. Heyward and a 3. legit set-up man?
              Would you believe close to half- BILLION over the next 7/8 years.
              Holy cow!

            3. For TruePhan, I don’t think I’m that pessimistic. When I say that the Phillies would make some noise in 2016, I’m thinking close to a .500 record. This team has talent. Personally, I think you’re way optimistic on the Phillies. You think we’re 1 pitcher and 1 hitter away from making the playoffs. You’re ready to break the bank for Price and Heyward after we’ve just shedded most of the bad contracts.

              The reason why Price got back Norris was that Price had no crazy money attached to him. If Price had $80M left on his contract, teams wouldn’t be so willing to trade for him.

              Listen, I’ve been a fan of the Phillies since the last 80s. I’ve seen the 93 team in its glory, and the crap that came after. I want my Phillies to win big time. But now is not that time. There will be other #1s on the market in the future.

            4. Half a billion? Price+ Heyward I can see being between 40-50 million a year, maybe more. When I said a legit setup man, I didn’t mean a guy who will cost a ton over a lot of years. More like how Urbina was in ’05 or Gordon. That is entirely dependent on who’s available, and there might not be anyone. We just need somebody who will consistently hand a lead over to Giles because that is a huge hole right now. We have 7th inning guys and plenty of other good arms. We need that setup man to solidify it. No way I’d fork over that kind of money to one though.

            5. Price…8years ….$28M-AAV….. .$224M
              Heyward….8yrs….$24M-AAV…. .$192M
              SetupJohn Doe….3yrs…..$7M-AAV…..$21M

            6. @The Guru: I don’t think I’m too optimistic but that’s where we disagree I guess. I don’t feel we’re an ace, a corner outfielder, and a setup man away from being a contender but I feel that with those three things we’re then making decisions not based on what young guy we need where but based on what’s best for that player.

              I am only advocating signing Price because it won’t cost us a first round pick and our team is so young and controllable. Nobody else will come close to him in salary other than Howard unless we sign Heyward. You add a setup man, then all of the sudden you can find where your bullpen pieces fit best if they fit at all rather than trying to make them that. Then you trade the setup man and replace him with a young guy when the time is right. Same with Heyward if Williams and Quinn both come up. And when your ace is ready to replace Price, you trade him. Teams will always need a guy like that as long as he’s the same pitcher. They don’t grow on trees. This is what the Red Sox have done since ’07 albeit through trade. We can’t do it via trade though because we need our prospects. Teams do not usually have the young pitching talent we do right now all up at the same time. We are an ace away from a strong rotation next year, and especially in 2017. We’re also a setup man away from a strong bullpen. We’ve got a pretty solid lineup if you add in Heyward and eventually one of Quinn or Williams. We’ve got JPC already at Reading, and if we can find legitimate franchise 2nd and 1st basemen that’s a contending lineup in a year or two.

              Not many teams can say that, especially not teams who are picking high in this year’s draft.

            7. @Romus- If I’m being honest here, I think Heyward is a risk. His power numbers are not what they were before, and we already have guys who can hit for average. Price is the only guy I feel we legitimately need, with Heyward just being a stopgap. Though with that contract, maybe he’s not worth it given how difficult it would be to trade him. So scratch Heyward. Let’s say Price and a setup man. That’s around 35-40 mil a year to fill two major holes and improve the pitching enough to have at the very least a winning record. With a rotation and bullpen like that, we don’t need a murderers row to make the playoffs. Then by the time our best talent is eligible for free agency, we’ve traded Price.

              Barely anybody on this team has MLB experience prior to this year, especially our pitchers. That wasn’t the case with our previous team with the exception of Victorino. The only young players were Cole, JA Happ, and Kendrick. That’s not the case here. We’ve got young pitchers who are as good or better than Happ and a lot better than Kendrick, and Morgan and Eickhoff are the only two above 23. In 5 years they’ll be 30 but we have Thompson and Eflin among others waiting to take their place. We sign Price now, pay whoever out of our guys is worth it when they become eligible and replace those who aren’t. But that’s years down the road, for most of our team. It’s the kind of opportunity we will probably never get again.

            8. To truephan, you make it sound so easy to trade guys when the time comes, but it’s never that easy. The Phillies are a prime example with their dealings. Also, if you get Price and other guys, and then you get good, you will almost never trade the guys who got you there. That’s like the blue jays trading Bautista because dalton Pompey is ready or trading dickey because stroman is ready. Not going to happen. I don’t remember any good team trading a veteran that got them there just so a rookie can take his place. In fact, you would likely get a clubhouse riot if that happened.

              We’ve already seen large contracts given to pitchers not working out too well like cliff lee, Justin verlander, cc sabathia. And mark my words, I think that sherzer deal is going to be downright ugly the last few years of the deal. Heck, sherzer’s second half era is over 5. Let somebody else overpay for Price.

            9. You keep making the same point but it’s entirely based on a false narrative you’re pushing. The Phillies have never spent money when the time was right to do it other than with Thome. The only times they traded for a pitcher at the right time were Carlton, Schilling, and Cliff Lee. This is the right time to get Price. It’s now or never. He will only be at this level a few years more at most, and nobody else you can get now or in the future for a comparable price (and don’t forget the importance of getting an ace and only giving up a second round pick) will be anywhere near his level. The Mets did it with Johan, the Nats did it with Gio and Fister, and the Yankees did it with CC. None of those teams had a young rotation like ours at the time. Nobody does, really. You put Gio or CC or Johan on top of our rotation for those teams at that time and you’re talking a huge impact. It pretty much never happens.

              RA Dickey is not David Price. Period. He can’t carry Price’s jock strap. I never saw Scherzer as worth the money, and who would trade Bautista unless you know the guy you replace him with has that kind of power? Your examples are ridiculous and it makes your argument intellectually dishonest. And CC got the Yankees a World Series. He earned that money. And Verlander? He almost three a no-hitter the other week. How is he not worth the money exactly?

              Let’s say Halladay or Felix Hernandez were free agents at 30. You wouldn’t sign them when all you have to give up is a second round pick? That’s what this comes down to, not ridiculous examples of players who were in many cases not top tier. I would sign Price in a heartbeat regardless of what it costs. You wouldn’t. But just because you say things like “the Phillies won’t contend until x amount of years”, “Price won’t sign here”, “You can’t trade him at any point” doesn’t make any of those things true. It’s nothing more than your opinion, and we’re both just making our cases for our own opinions.

            10. Like to take about 50 million or more and sign some Cuban kids and latin players. and build this thing the right way. Price is going to get a ton. and its not in the best interest for this team, at this moment to go that route. Could you imagine if we can bring in a top 5 draft talent plus two Cubans with big upside and a couple of latin signings. screw the commissioner. it would make our system really good. Then you fill in the need in fa if you really need to.

            11. TruePhan, last response to this because to be honest, I’m tired of this conversation. I don’t know the future and neither do you. You think it’s the right time to go ALL OUT on Price, I don’t. Maybe the Yankees don’t regret Sabathia, but you better be certain that the Tigers are regretting Verlander. And if you can find me an example of a good team replacing a veteran with a rookie because the rookie is better, I’m listening. And also, you should tone your defense on your points. People are going to disagree on this board. There’s no need to make attacks like being “intellectually dishonest”. I don’t agree with your points, I made my argument, that’s it.

            12. My “defense” is in response to your absolute statements based entirely on your opinion and using really bad examples to try to prove a counter-point. And in response to smugness from the other commenter. You’re righ in that as I said neither of us know the future, and like I said it’s just our opinions and our preferences. So there’s no need to be dismissive or talk like one is more valid than the other. And I wasn’t talking about a rookie replacing Price. I was talking about after that kid has become an ace, which takes at least a year or two, if not more. It depends on if that’s Thompson or if that’s our draft pick. If neither then we keep Price and replace Morgan and Eickhoff unless they pitch well when they’re approaching 30. There are a lot of uncertainties in baseball. And as I have said countless times now, it is only because of the unique situation that I am suggesting signing Price. Only this offseason, and only Price. I’m tired of this conversation as well, and especially tired of having to clarify my point after somebody has put words in my mouth or twisted what I actually did say around in order to respond to that.

          3. Keep in mind Price was traded mid season and does not require compensation in the draft by whomever signs him. That only makes his price tag even higher because other than $$$ he has no cost in a ” lost pick .” I would imagine the Dodgers going all in on him and that means he is $30mm + each year – ala Scherzer – whose contract I agree with you is going to be a very ugly after one or two more years !

        2. @smitty – agree. Phils needs to be in the Top 4 preferably Top 1 so they can control who they want. Puk interests me the most because of proximity vs Groome (which i also like). But if Groome will sign below slot, then that’s an intruiging situation. UNder Middleton, I hope the Phils will start to flex their financial muscle and spend wise in draft (US and international) and invest in analytics — on top of hiring top scouts and coaches too!

          1. Internationally I would go for Eddy Julio Martinez, no relation to Michael I do not think.
            A Cuban 21-year old OFer in 2016 with plus tools across the board.
            Now…….do you break the bank and take the two year penalty of the future $300K signing threshold like the Cubbies, Yankees, Rangers and Sox did.
            That will tell me something….two years is not that terribly devasating…since they will still draft high for a few more years in the Rule 4.
            Plus with the pipeline of LAs in the system, it can be handled.

            1. @romus – EJ Martinez is eligible to sign for 2015-2016, right? if so, phils may not sign him. but i can see the phils busting their international slot for july 2, 2016 to 2017. get the worst record can help get extra slot $$ and i hope the phils can trade some of the org fillers for additional slot $$.

            2. Yes he can be signed in this period….but signing 16-year olds are a real gamble and a 4/5 year development period.
              Martinez, goes to the top of our system with JPC…starts at CLW/Reading…can be at CBP in 2/3 years.

  5. I’m really interested to see what Pinto can do in AA next year. I thought he had a good chance to dominate A-ball this year based on the strength of his fastball-changeup combo, but he’ll need an effective slider to do the same in Reading.

    Looks like a bit of a logjam awaits the rotations next year. Usually injuries clear those up, but for now:

    LHV: Thompson, Biddle, Asher, Eflin, Sev, Joely, Lively
    RDG: Pinto, Pivetta, Imhof, Richy, Liebrandt, Whitehead
    CLW: Arano, Viza, Tirado?, Rivero?, Casimiro?, Gilbert?, Leftwich?

    1. Closer to home, I want to see what Pinto, Thompson, and Eflin do in their first playoff starts. I want to see these guys ramp it up and be dominant when the team needs them.

    2. I see Lively as starting back in Reading with Whitehead staying in CWater. I also think Asher will start in Phill and I believe Garcia will be in CWater with Viza, Casimiro, Davis and Morris. Moving Tirado and/or Rivero to starters would change my thinking. Also, I think Arano will stay in the pen while Gilbert and Leftwich will start at LWood.

      1. I could see that with Whitehead, Lively and Asher. Asher will likely have to win a spot in ST though and if he makes the MLB club then I’m thinking Buchanan will not.

        I doubt that Davis and Morris will both remain starters. Maybe one of them will but they mostly moved into the rotation by necessity. As for Arano, he has good upside as a starter and was young for his level this year. He seemed to figure some things out as the year went along, so I would hate to throw in the towel on him so early. I think he headlines Clearwater’s rotation next year.

        1. I see your point with Davis and Morris, I don’t think they’re seen as serious prospects. Tirado and Rivero might both become starters and that would really change things. Arano just screams reliever to me but he is still young and has a great arm to dream on so you might be right. The good news is that there will be serious competition for spots next year.

    3. Asher in Philly, Lively in Reading, Whitehead and Imhof in Clearwater. Tirado is starting next yr he mite be in extended spring training or Williamsport for awhile .Rivero the same, it’s nice to have depth some could also be traded.

        1. Depends on what hoagie a Carmen’ s Turkey & cheese for Harvey with his mom oh I mean his agent Boras . What a head ache A power arm that’s ings controlled.

  6. I think Joely season was awful but he was also the victim of unrealistic expectations. He was a reliever with mediocre stuff who had a sub 2.0 K/BB ratio. He does win an award this year. The Zach Collier Unrealistic Expectations based off of SSS AFL Results.

  7. Notice that when Thompson became part of the Reading staff, his first several games were low scoring but with few strikeouts. Then, a big turnaround. His recent games have had few BBs and much more Ks. It seems that the Phils plan was to first work on his command before they “turned him loose” and his Ks up and BBs down and the ERA as low as 2.00.

    He is listed as 21. I expect him to be very good at LV in ’16 and move up to the big club no later than mid-season. He will then be in contention with Nola for the #1 designation.

    Add TWO superior potential #1s in the draft first two rounds…at least one of them a lefty…and the near future staff looks like a first division one.

    When we are working near a first division challenge we can fill in any missing pieces…in the field and/or pitching, both starters and relievers. Before any FAs would think it worthwhile to come to Philly they’d have to be convinced that there is a legitimate chance to gain the post season near ahead.

    I’d rather go into the upcoming LA free agents class and do our “pharming” there…like the Cubs did to produce this years potential gain of the playoffs. They then added Boston’s #1 starter who was convinced that the Cubs were legitimate. THAT was/is a good and effective plan. And get those early draft picks. And in ’17 we probably will be picking within the first 10. Another chance for a superior athlete.

  8. Morris and Davis put some numbers up I think Morris a ground ball pitcher . Davis hit per 9 is vg plus he’s big guy he had some control issues . Roccom Harvey was rocked hard tonight by the Nats seems like he was out gas. See what with Imhof does this off season.

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