Open Discussion: Week of October 5th

Here’s an open discussion thread so the minor league posts don’t get cluttered with Phillies’ talk and other topics.

  • Well, the drama ended Saturday night.  The Phillies will have the first selection in the 2016 Amateur Draft.  They will also select first in the Rule 5 Draft and receive the largest portion of International Signing dollars.  You can all take solace in the fact that you didn’t suffer through this season for nuthin’.
  • The Phillies’ 63 wins  and .389 winning percentage were their lowest since they won 59 games in 1972 and posted a .378 percentage.  Four years after that nadir, the Phillies won 101 games in 1976.  So there’s that.
  • The Phillies have made their first offseason decisions when they decided the fates of several members of the coaching staff.  Bench coach Larry Bowa, hitting coach Steve Henderson, pitching coach Bob McClure and first-base coach Juan Samuel have been invited back.  Bullpen coach Rod Nichols and third-base coach John Mizerock were not retained.  Coach Jorge Velandia’s status is not clear.  Congratulations to Bob Stumpo!
  • Interim GM Scott Proefrock offered some insight into the Phillies’ offseason plans. Really nothing different from what Andy MacPhail stated a couple weeks ago.
  • And, how about we accept the fact that Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz are going to be on the 2016 roster and not spend a lot of time speculating on trades involving either player.  Or releases. Or line ups.  Platoon means platoon.  Let’s just accept that for now.
  • Damn!  Jesse Biddle can’t catch a break.  The tail end of the Proefrock article mentions that Biddle is having Tommy John surgery on October 14th.  There was a time when news like this would have been announced under it’s own headline. Good luck, Jesse!
  • Since December 10, 2014 when the Phillies went into rebuild mode and started to dismantle the roster in earnest, the Phillies traded away a lot of players –
    • Antonio Bastardo to the Pirates, and
    • Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers in December,
    • Jonathan Papelbon to the Nationals on July 28th,
    • Cole Hamels and
    • Jake Diekman to the Rangers on July 31st,
    • Ben Revere to the Blue Jays also on the 31st, and
    • Chase Utley to the Dodgers on August 19th.
  • I’m sure a lot of Phillies fans are gratified that from the above list of players, all are in the playoffs except Papelbon.

187 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of October 5th

  1. What a time to be alive, best of luck to Walding and the rest of the minor league squad in 2016!

  2. All season you heard Matt Stairs and Mike Schmidt talk about hitting. They see things and aren’t afraid to say something about. Makes me wonder do the Phillies agree with them or fail to see it? Are there too many people offering suggestions. Are they the right suggestions?

    I have all the respect in the world for Rod Nichols. He was the mechanic in the minors. Fixed a lot of pitchers in this system. Wonder why he was let go? Never understood this two pitching coaches or two batting coaches thing on major league staffs today.

      1. rocco…a real puzzler, though maybe the young pitchers, Nola, Eickhoff and Morgan and the young bullpen guys, could use some continuity going into 2016. That is the sole reason I see as the offered extension

      2. The old saying in human resources explains it:

        “A” players hire “A” players. “B” players hire “C” players. This was what I was railing against last week.

          1. Not sure if you are kidding, but B players hire B and C players. They tend to never hire people more talented then themselves because they are typically insecure about losing their jobs. It has been proven over and over again.

  3. Now that Bill Eppler is the LAA new GM…..I can see Asst LAA GM Matt Klentak now teaming up again with Andy MacPhial as Phillies new GM.

      1. Yes he would be a good one for sure….just think Andy wants to rehire Matt Klentak again….very familiar, knows him well
        MacPhail hired Klentak as Orioles director of baseball operations in 2008, making him one of the youngest executives in baseball.

  4. Number 1 overall pick is great. There are probably going to be 4 or 5 guys who deserve to be picked. They could pick a guy who will take a little less money and use the excess created on a harder sign later in the draft. Maybe there will be a couple of tough signer later in the draft. The Phils could get 3 or 4 really good players out of the Rule 4 draft plus a few guys like Kingery. The international signings should also be pretty darn good. In 4 or 5 years, we might have a murderers row plus a pitching staff to die for. It’s all about the choices. Please choose wisely.

    1. if everythin goes within expection – the murders row (possibly in 2019 or 2020) your probably thinking includes Williams (CF-LH), JPC (SS-LH), Franco (3B-RH), Randolph (LF-LH), Hoskins (1B-RH), Cozens (RF-LH), Alfaro (C-RH), Kingery (2B-RH) and a pithing staff of 2016#1 (LHP), Thompson (RHP), Nola (RHP), Kilome (RHP) and a combo of Eflin/Pinto/Eikhoff (all RHP) to complete the rotation. I hate the Mets but the Harvey-Thor-deGrom-Matz-Wheeler combo is still better. so the Phils should hire the best hitting coach to get our hitting prospects achieve their potential.

  5. A fast rising pitcher could be #1, but the 2nd round pick around #40 should also provide opportunity to select another really good prospect. The rule 5 draft could actually produce a really good player that could not be protected on one of the deep farm systems out there. Usually a pitcher who can be stashed in bullpen for a year is what we see, 2014 was an exception as Herrera was one of them that stayed (plus had a good year).

    International signings I have a feeling they have set themselves up to blow through the spending limits next year. It also seems that 2017 we could see an international draft

    1. Bob D….I thought Eddy Martinez, Cuban OFer would be a guy to target, but the Giants got him yesterday and at only $2.5M…which would have been well within the Phillies limit to avoid the penalty for next year….but he copunts against this years signees so they would have to incur the penalty.
      The Giants already penalized could care less and decided what else can they do to us…we will just pay the luxury tax..
      IMO, the next guy on the list would be 19-year Yusniel Diaz, another Cuban OFer….and it appears the money is not as large as expected , they could get still get him below the first pick allocation that the D-backs had in 2015.
      Will they….who knows.
      I do know Ruben wanted to sign Yas Tomas last year but Pat Gillick nixed the idea and leaned more toward and in favor of the $4M to Ortiz.

      1. i’m not sure if i’m more pissed that the phillies did not sign eddy or it is because the giants (and not team) signed him. i’m hoping that the $10M sticks and phils can sign him in july 2016

        1. No reason to be pissed we didn’t sign Eddy. That was the right decision. It would have been really stupid to be penalized next season for signing one guy this year, when we have the largest allocation next season. If you are going to exceed the limit and take the penalty, it is really dumb to go $2 mill over allotment. If you go above your limit by more than 5% and must pay penalty, then the only wise approach is to utterly shatter the limit, spending at least 3x your allocation.

          1. @allentown – i’m aware of the penalty that’s why i said to sign in “july 2016”. i’m for busting the international $$ in 2016 but not this 2015.

          2. So Allentown…….you would give up the opportunity for a top 75 player at age 20 for the opportunity to sign one, maybe two 16-year olds?
            And to top it off……do you realize how many LAs in the majors and also in the Phllies farm system were signed for $300K and less…….what was Kilome, Canelo, Pinto, Edubray Ramos, Tirado, Cordero all signed out.
            Still have to see how the biggies likeTocci, Pujols, Encarnacion and Grullon pan outEven the Rangers signed Herrera for a lot less then 4300K.
            Plus……..the opportunity to trade money for already “A’ level prospects is available.

            1. Yes. You don’t lose your ability to sign over $300K players for a year (and likely lose our top pick the following year if a draft is established) to sign one 20-year old for $2.5 mill. It makes no sense. There will be other 20-year olds this coming season.

            2. Everyone has an opinion on this.
              I see what Theo Epstein, Cashman, Cherington (did), Daniels, Sabean and whoever the Dodgers GM is these days, did these last 2/3 years and their farm systems are well fortified…..and the ability to pay the luxury tax for them is no obstacle.

            3. Yes, but they did not take a two-year ban on big bonuses for one player. When they went over, they blew the allocation away. They also went in big on over-23 international FA, for which there is no limit or penalty and for which the guys are closest to major league ready.

      2. You realize that Tomas and Ortiz were not either/or, the Phillies could have done both without penalty, since Tomas was over age 23.

        1. @ allen – not sure what you want me to realize. i said in my previous posts (here and other threads) to do the signings in 2016 not 2015. i’m aware of the penalty that’s why i don’t want the phils to break they pool in 2015. what sense to trade a oliver and taylor if they will just bust their pool.

          i’m hoping the phils buy all the top 10 LA prospects if they can.

        2. Understand, but ..Gillick did not want Tomas…he overruled Amaro…so its a moot point. Tomas like MAG, was just money spent without incurring the penalties.
          A guy like Moncada was not and the Red Sox paid the penalty.

    1. it was in MLBTraderumors.com yesterday. was really pissed when I read it. but i was more pissed with the eagles that i couldn’t move anymore.

      1. Just one question, why did Eddy Julio Martinez’s value drop from 10 million to 2.5 million? Did something happen?

  6. Larry Bowa to talk with Marlins about being their manager. While this signals they are seeking a taskmaster type, surprised they would consider someone his age.

  7. This team is perfectly set up for a rebuild:
    – top 10 farm
    – top overall pick
    – massive salary cap room with no long-term, horrible contracts on the books
    – a few extremely talented and young players at the MLB level

    1. agree. that’s why it’s a dream job for an up and coming GM. 2013 to 2015 drafts appear to be a hit and LA signings in the past few years are looking good too. i hope to see the new FO to invest more in higher end international prospects/players (still pissed that giants got EJM for cheap $), analytics and player development. i think the phils can afford more to hire better pitching coach than mc clure.

    2. I generally agree.

      I made the point earlier that this assignment is a perfect GM job – people should be climbing all over themselves to get the Phillies GM job. Why? Here are the reasons (some of which you’ve articulated).

      1. Very good farm system
      2. Young talented players already on the team
      3. Upcoming first pick
      4. Salaries coming off the books – almost all will be off soon. Probably the best salary scenario in baseball outside the lowest budget teams.
      5. Huge TV contract
      6. Big ballpark with known ability to draw droves of fans
      7. Owner who clearly wants to spend money
      8. Very, very stable leadership at the top – there are no crazy “nut jobs” there – they want to take time to build this the right way.
      9. Low expectations, which means a reasonable ramp up time will be assumed.

      This is a DREAM job for the right candidate. I’d argue that it doesn’t get much better than this unless your dream is to be GM in a glamorous town. Philly is a lot of things, but it’s not NY, LA, or Chicago.

  8. The Phillies must build up their starting pitching. They have two legitimate starters for next year: Nola and Eickhoff. Eickhoff has been a delightfully unexpected bonus in the Hamels trade. Thompson, assuming he continues his progression, will join the rotation in May. I see 40+ wins from these three next year. Morgan is at best a #5 but I don’t see him being a long-term addition to the rotation. Their #1 draft pick must be a college level pitcher: Puk or Hansen. Eflin or Kilome could round out the rotation, and almost definitely they sign a stud free agent for 2017.

    1. I didn’t consider Asher; seems to have #5 or 4 upside…obviously needs more developing.

        1. Yeah I see Asher as a mop up guy in the bullpen. But that’s not the worst thing in the world from a throw in.

      1. i can see asher and lively as “throw in” pieces in case a trade will be made. considering the flux of higher end RHP prospects in the pipeline, both asher and lively are lower in the depth chart.

        the one that i hope will pan out is Imhof since i don’t a LHP prospect that can compliment the RHPs the Phils have. but his lack of velocity concerns me.

    2. I’m just splitting hairs here but if Morgan can get his fastball back up to 91-92, he’ll be at least a #4. Right now, Morgan had a decent rookie year. The Phillies are going to give him every chance to stick in the rotation.

      Kilome is still 3 years away from the bigs. A lot can happen in that time.

      I don’t know why you must have a college pitcher, unless you want them to advance quickly. For the #1 pick, I’ll trust the Phillies scouts. Sure, we got Nola from the college ranks but we got Hamels out of HS.

      1. Guru,

        We definitely want to advance this club quickly. If the Rangers can go from 95 losses to division title in one year, and the 72 Phillies to 101 wins in 76, then why not this group become a contender in two or three years?

        Lots of good young players on the Big Club, promising prospects on the farm, and lots of money for the right free agents, say in time for the 2017 season.

        1. The 72 team had a future HOF on the roster in Carlton, another future HOF on the way the following year in Schmidt. Bowa, Doyle, and Luzinski were already on the roster, Boone came up with Schmidt, and lots of other good young players. They used some of them, Hisle & Money to aquire more talent. I don’t think they’re holding a future HOF player right now, but they need to stay the course. Somehow, some way, they need a couple of stars from the current group, or added in the future.

          The Rangers are a different story. Tons of injuries last year, and Darvish will be back next year. They will be a force next year too.

        2. To advance the team quickly, the Phillies need to sign the best non-comp FA starting pitcher they can this winter and the best over-23 international player. There are no caps on what they spend in those arenas, they have the money to do it, and the bump to wins over the next several years could be large.

      2. Guru…you’re not splitting hairs. Morgan at least showed he knows how to pitch without optimal stuff. If he regains those lost 2-3 mph on his fastball, he could be better than a #5.

    3. Why does it have to be a college pitcher? Several people have speculated that Groome could be a fast tracker. I disagree with taking a college pitcher, just because he’s a collge pitcher.

      1. Baseball guys are traditionalist….maybe a little different now with the metric guys on board…..but how many HS pitcher taken 1.1 ever succeeded?
        Even the metric guys may look sideways on that.
        Only three were LHPs….Clyde, Taylor and Aiken.
        And only five were LHPs…three HSers and two college guys..Bannister (Arizona) and David Price (Vandy).
        So not much of a sample size.

  9. I was glad that they got the #1 Pick and agree that the Rule V will offer a good player as well. I also am glad they did not lose 100. I watched Cole pitch for Texas, after watching that Eagles disaster, and was very happy for him. Didn’t Romus predict Tommy John for Biddle right after they shut him down? Was that a good guess or did you know something?

    1. Blind squirrel/nut syndrome.
      But remember this time last year he had to leave winter ball because of elbow tenderness…..then the should strain this past summer.
      Some reports I read, they said sometimes when the tendons of the arm below the elbow begin fraying it can also affect the whole arm up through the shoulder tendons.
      Good luck to him…Mario Hollands has began throwing now and it has only been 5 months since his surgery, maybe Jesse biddle will also have a successful surgery and rehab.

  10. Let’s assume for a minute Puk and Groome have similar ceilings and floors. Unlikely, but let’s just assume for this point.

    In that case, I still can’t decide whether I want the high schooler or the college pitcher.

    High schooler:
    – fresher arm that doesn’t have the wear and tear of a college pitcher that throws a lot of innings.
    – arguably a year or two more of prime
    – higher risk because hasn’t pitched against elite competition like the SEC.
    – more projection

    College pitcher
    – far more experience (and thus scouting) against quality opponents should mean lower risk.
    – closer to majors

    Thoughts?

      1. you don’t trust 6’7″ pitchers or you don’t trust taller (6’5″ and up) pitchers in general? not considering the skills sets and everything (i.e side arm throwing), i thought taller pitchers have natural advantage of downward trajectory.

      2. JoeD…all four are tall…two 6’7″s, one 6’6″(Jason Groome and growing) and a 6’5″ (Riley Pint and still may grow yet also)

      3. You want a tall pitcher all things being equal. You can’t teach leverage and the ability to drive the ball downhill.

        1. You want tall, but only to a point. Eventually, they become too tall to repeat their mechanics reliably. 6’4″/6’5″ is ideal to maximize downward plane, endurance and repeatability of mechanics.

    1. The history of Phillies pitchers drafted first round out of HS as well as the history of HS pitchers taken 1.1 are both really ugly. No matter how good a HS pitcher is, the odds of falling victim to injury are just way too high during the extended period of time spent in the minors. The Phillies made out very well taking Hamels in the middle of the first round, but there have been a ton of first-round failures. The injury rate on pitchers is just too high and you have to wait 4 years or more for them to work their way through the minors.

      1. All things being equal, I’d prefer the Phillies stay away from a HS pitcher, that high in the draft. I’d prefer the college pitcher with easiest delivery and the most upside.

        1. VOR…Groome may have the easiest delivery from what I’ve read. Everything is supossed to be effortless.

      2. There have been a lot of first round pitchers from college who have flamed out. We focus on Chris Sale but we forget about Deck McGuire. Or even worse: Greg Reynolds, Brad Lincoln, Brandon Morrow, Andrew Miller before Clayton Kershaw. College or HS, I want the best player.

        1. What you say makes sense, but based on history, there are many examples of HS pitchers taken in the top 5 being disappointments. There have been Kershaws and Becketts taken out of HS, but they are the extreme exeptions. Your just as liable to get a star HS pitcher in the teens as the top of the draft. HS Pitching is like throwing a dart at the wall.

          1. I have always said that the baseball draft is the biggest crapshoot of all the sports. College or HS, it doesn’t matter. You will find bombs in every draft. Do I think there is less risk in college players? Yes. But if the HS player is so electric, we can’t just automatically say no to him as the #1 pick. Brien Taylor was all-world in HS. He had a 95-98 MPH fastball. But I think the Yankees were too aggressive with him as they started him at high-A the following year. And then he got injured in that fight and the rest is history.

            1. Someone, I believe it was Allentown??? said it best, 1 of these pichers will get hurt and 1 will flame out. I just hope they do their homework and due dilligence and pick one of the other 2, college of high school.

    2. I think it is fairly clear that we will go with a pitcher at 1-1. That out of the way based on history alone I think you have to go with a college kid. There are too many variables with high school arms to warrant the risk at 1-1. There are far more “misses” with first round high school pitchers vs 1st round college pitchers.

      Now if Groome were willing to sign way under slot that could change things. I like Groome a lot and if we were at 1-2 he would be my guy.

      All this said hopefully Hansen (or Puk) take that Strasburg type leap this year and make this decision easier.

      1. Picking first, they could negotiate with their choice to leave money to offer overslot to a second or later round high school choice as the Astros did with Daz Cameron..

    3. v!again, from some Baseball America articles I have read Puk has also played quite a bit as a position player – and for that matter is considered a good hitter. After that, they remarked “that he has a relatively fresh arm” due to being a position player for a fair amount of time. Just sayin’

    1. You go for the best player. Right now, the best players are projected to be pitchers and some of them could be legit #1s. That could change of course if a batter has a crazy year.

  11. At least at this juncture, there does not seem to be a hitter with the upside that Pint, Puk, Groome or Hansen have. That may change as they play this coming year, and 1 of the SPs can jump out way ahead of the others. I think the guy who was the Cape Cod league MVP, whose name I do not remember, may be the top hitter right now. There are those who think Hansen should go #1, so we will have a lot of interesting discussions as they get closer to June. There won’t be much happening at the trade deadline involving the Phils, so the Draft is our focus for next year.

    1. Was it OFer Andrew Calica of UC-Santa Barbara college this year who you are thinking about from the Cape league?

  12. I say we need a big corner outfield or first base bat…. Must be able to hit for contact! Or a pitcher would be nice 2017 Playoffs

  13. VOR…this is what I was talking about last week with BA and rating first baseman who only hit right handed. have to assume they base many of the decisions on past results:
    —————————————————————————————————
    BA Top 20 By league…as of Oct 4th, 2015
    Ten leagues rated. First basemen ranked….12 out of 200
    Nine hit left handed , one-switch-hits, two hit right handed (Rhys Hoskins and Trey Mancini)… ..for the most part, BA prefers left hitting first baseman.
    1. Carlos Munoz-APP-20th
    2. Josh Naylor-GCL-14th
    3. Chris Shaw-NRWT-8th
    4. AJ Reed-CAL-3rd
    5. Cody Bellinger-CAL-13th
    6. Jake Bauers-FSL-10th
    7. Dominic Smith-FSL-14th
    8. Ryan O’Hearn-SAL-19th
    9. Rhys Hoskins-SAL-20th——–R-R
    10.Josh Bell-EL-20th-switch
    11.Trey Mancini-EL-18th———-R-R
    12. Greg Bird-EL-16th

    1. I don’t get your point or why you direct this towards me. What shortcoming are you trying to show?

      1. BA overlooks or under-rates right handed bats, no matter what their metrics indicate. IMO, it would at first glance, appear to be a fault inherent in their grading system. But I have to assumed they have the historical stats to back it up
        Last week the discussion focused on the Hoskins’ ranking at 20 by BA’s John Manuel and I argued that I thought it was lower then it should be

        1. I think the downgrading of the RH batting 1st basemen is pretty obvious. 1B value is entirely tied to the bat. There are more RH pitchers than LH pitchers. It’s reasonable to guess that LH hitters have an assumed advantage. When you asked BA this question in their SALLY league chat last week, they answered you. They said the player has to be a 60 bat, 60 power 1B, if he’s RH in order to have a chance. Obviously they don’t think there are that many 60-60 RH bats at 1B in the minors.

          1. They must have the metrics to back up their premise.
            And understand 72-75%, in any specific year, of pitches thrown are by right handed pitchers and LHBers have that advantage.
            But the 60-60 hit-to-power scenario in order to get a sniff to the majors may be a bit hyperbolic IMO.
            Next season at Reading will be another test for Hoskins and hopefully he makes BA alter their opinions a little.
            They did the same with Paul Goldschmidt 3/4 years ago …..R-R weakness, high K rate and playing in favorable confines of the CAL league. Never made their top 100.

            1. 60-60 expectations for a 1B is not hyperbolic. The 60 grade means above average. If you aren’t an above average bat or have above average power, then you can’t be a MLB 1st baseman. In fact, I can’t think of one RH 1B in the league that isn’t WELL above average in both categories, let alone just above average.

            2. Well let me see..
              Here are a few who currently do not meet the 60hit-60power tool.
              Either one or the other at this point of their careers.
              But mostly only 60power now and some are limited to playing first base.or DH.
              Chris Carter….Billy Butler….Mark Reynolds….Allen Craig….Darin Ruf……..Albert Pujols…even part-timers like Kyle Blanks and Mike Olt

            3. There are four who top the list from my viewpoint of 60-60…Goldschmidt, Cabrerra, Abreu and Encarnacion….most all the remaining are lefties.

            4. Darin Ruf isn’t a starting 1B in the league. He’s a back-up in the worst team in the league. Albert Pujols has been a 75-75 hitter for 15 years. Using him as an example makes you look like a fool.

            5. VOR…please enough with the snarky condescending attitude…..Pujols this year has an OBA of barely over .300.
              Maybe you consider that 60….I do not.
              If you can comprehend my post…..I specifically mention ‘currently’.
              I am quite aware of Pujols historical metrics and his place in the HoF someday.
              .

  14. The Cubs are in the payoffs and had 101 losses in 2013. So, in year 3. I know they had a lot in the system, but Epstein also got lucky with Rizzo for Cashner, Bryant and Schwarber wwere as good as hyped, and Jake Arrieta, came off the floor to turn into an Ace. Baltimore had given up on him. So, acknowledging that luck is a factor in all of this, I expect the Phils to be back, at least close to contention, by 2017, going into 2018. Is this a fair assessment?

    1. matt13…yes I think that is a real possibility. In the division, still have to contend with the Mets and a more determined Nationals team in the next few years. Braves could also be a factor, maybe not in 2016 or ’17, but there after.

    2. That’s a decent call. Assuming that the young guys like Franco, Herrera, Nola, Eickhoff continue to progress, that should be a decent core. Add Thompson, Knapp, Nick Williams in 2016. Crawford should be close behind. Alfaro taps into his power. Pinto continues to rise. I think we can hit 70-75 wins in 2016. And by 2017, make some serious noise.

    3. I would hope so. It’s easy to forget because some of these guys played last year, but Nola, Eikhoff, Giles, Herrera, Altherr, Rupp, and Franco were all rookies this year. That’s a pretty good start. Combined with the talent in the upper minors, the (hopeful) international spending spree next year, and the salary available, the team should be a playoff contender very soon.

  15. I just cant believe how good a hitter Schwarber is. Bryant can be pitched to, he swings at a lot of bad pitches, not schwarber on the occasion I have seen him

  16. I agree all my only concern is SP.. I mean I’m hoping Nola, Eichoff, Thompson, and ? and ? in 2017? What will there starting rotation look like in 2018? When do you think Pinto and Kilome will be ready? Do you think they need to get a top end FA SP in the next couple years to make some noise in 2018?

    Sorry for all the questions just wondering what everyone thinks the rotation will look like in 2-3 years and if it will be mostly to all (4-5) guys from our farm?

    1. Just spitballing here on some moves I’d like to see. It involves some sense of ‘sell high-buy low.’

      The Phils need depth in the rotation and in the pen. It’s too early to say where Nola, Thompson and Eickhoff will slot into the rotation. I’m not ready to spend heavily on an ace under a long term deal. I think De Fratus and Gomez suffered from heavy use early in the season and the team would benefit from an arm able to log upwards of 80 innings in relief and spot start if necessary.

      The Phils could use an outfielder with pop, able to defend in CF and the corner outfield slots. Bonus points for experience at the MLB level at 1B.

      My long shot is moving Ryan Howard in a salary dump assuming the Orioles lose Chris Davis to free agency.

      to the Padres: Odubel Herrera, Luis Gomez and Brock Stassi
      to the Phils: Wil Myers and P Odrisamer Despaigne
      (before challenging, compare WAR #’s Herrera vs. Myers)

      to the Brewers: Domonic Brown and Shane Watson
      to the Phils: Matt Garza and a system #5-10 prospect

      to the Orioles: Ryan Howard and $25 M for OF prospect Quincy Latimore (Latimore a borderline 40-man roster candidate)

      Free agent signings: Wei-Yin Chen and Ben Zobrist.
      (Chen tops the rotation to start 2016. Zobrist is versatile enough not to block a promising talent at any of the 4 positions he played this year.

      1. Maybe Scott Kazmir instead of Chen since signing Kazmir won’t cost a draft pick. Conventional wisdom has Baltimore offering Chen a qualifying offer.

      2. I question Wil Myers wrist problems which caused him to miss a good portion of the season. Herrera stayed healthy all year and would prefer him over Myers.

      3. “to the Padres: Odubel Herrera, Luis Gomez and [b][u]Brock Stassi[/u][/b]
        to the Phils: Wil Myers and P Odrisamer Despaigne”
        😮

      4. I roll my eyes every time somebody does a mock Eagles draft with trades. Now I’m looking at potential baseball trades? And those last 2 trades are borderline “not gonna happen” deals. Why would anybody want to trade for our garbage?

        The first deal boggles the mind. Wil Myers is going to turn 25, has battled injuries, and has a total WAR of 2.1 in 3 years. Herrera is going to turn 24 and coming off a 3.8 WAR season. The only negative against Herrera is that he’ll be super 2 in 2017. But since the Eagles have cash, I don’t think they will mind giving him extra money.

        1. Actually, the Phillies could use a younger power hitter and I think Myers is one of those guys who could break out in a huge way (if he’s healthy). The problem is that he’s statistically a horrible outfielder, so unless you think he’s going to play first base (possible)

          By the way, there’s no rush, but I like the idea of selling high on Herrera. He has a lot of value, but I don’t think he’s going to get much better and I think they will have other very good players to replace him.

          1. Why are we trying to trade Herrera anyways? Because Roman Quinn (who’s still at AA) can come in and deliver better than 3.8 WAR in 2017? In 8 seasons for the Phillies, Victorino had only 2 seasons better than 3.8 WAR. And we’re trying to push him out the door?

            1. ‘WAR no a great way to judge players’…….do yuo know of a better way?
              Trying looking at the WAR of HoF players sometimes, then compare them against players on the ballot but do not get selected..
              Mike Schimdt is the highest WAR in Phillies history….but lets not judge his baseball production by WAR!

            2. @Guru: I realize you have to use some tool, but I doubt teams and GMs consider WAR when making trades. WAR is very imperfect, especially for certain positions. I rarely consider it, personally. I’d rather just check players advanced stats, and make my own analysis, rather than look at one all-encompassing figure.

            3. Actually it’s a combination of things. But, really, it all depends on what they can get for him. Let’s put it this way. Say a team like the Oakland A’s or Tampa Rays approaches you and they have financial constraints, so they are willing to give you a player or two who could end up as a potential front line star (like, for example, another player like Noah Syndegaard, who has ace potential, but is in A ball) so they can have a very good centerfielder now who is cost controlled for another 3 plus years. Again, depending on the package, I might do it. I like Herrera, but I think he may be near his peak in value (his fielding might get a little better and his power could improve, but overall, he’s at or close to his ceiling). But, yes, the fact that both Quinn and even Altherr could be replacements definitely is a factor in why you might be willing to trade Herrera.

            4. Catch, you’re talking about trading Herrera for an A ball pitcher who you think may become the next Noah Syndergaard? That’s plenty risky. Wasn’t Jason Knapp the center piece of the deal that brought Cliff Lee to Philly? So you would trade Odubel Herrera for Tyler Kolek right now?

    2. A lot can happen in 2-3 years. Heck, who would have thought our 2015 rotation would look like this if you asked that question back in 2013.

      Kilome is going to need at least 3 years. Pinto is an interesting case. If the Phillies want to be aggressive with him, they could start him at Reading. But I’ll say less than 2 years for Pinto.

      1. Frankly, I don’t understand the excitement about Franklyn Kilome. Many of you read the hype and see the stats, but have you actually seen him pitch? He was at best the #4 in the Williamsport rotation this past season. I see potential but 3 more years of development is wishful thinking. Based on what I saw, IMO he should repeat in Williamsport next year.

  17. I see Doug Fister being on the Phils radar. Either MacPhail or Proefrock said in one of their interviews while talking about SPs, that they needed to add not only innings eaters but someone to go against the #1 on other teams so it is not always Nola. Not that they are going to get a top FA, but a veteran who they can slot there. They also need a veteran Reliever who can eat up innings. We saw how DeFratus was worn out by May. And, what do we think of trading Giles? Is that dumb, or the kind of smart move an Epstein would make and we get a young guy who turns into a Rizzo? Giles is under team control until 2020, and I expect to see them contending by 2018.

    1. For a team like the Phils that is no longer a tear down and instead in the process of building-up, a rule of thumb I would use is to trade for players with skills not available or plentiful in the Phils’ system and avoid trading players not readily replaced internally. By that reasoning, I would not trade Giles and, doing so, would not expect a great return, a pillar for a re-built team. Closers and relievers generally tend to perform unevenly and induce only short term team commitments as a rule.

    2. Fister, still relatively yuong, IMO, on a one or two year contract would be a smart move. he needs to rebound and could be flipped at the trade deadline to a contender, and Fister has play-off experience. He probably only would want a one-year deal from the Phillies at $12/13M, but if I were the Phillies I would try for a two-year deal, that makes him more attractive in July. But he needs to rebound and avoid injury.

      1. I know people are betting on a rebound for Fister but I’m not sure I’m buying it. He’s going to be 32 and his velocity dipped down to 86-88. That wouldn’t be bad if he was a lefty. But as a RH pitcher, he’s coming close to Tyler Cloyd territory, and we know how well he did. Put it another way, Aaron Harang has a better fastball.

        1. Well he never was a 90plus velo guy, so his days as a Tiger he must have pitched with some other repertoire or arsenal of mixed pitches or more command of his 4 and 2 seamers.

          1. There’s a huge difference between topping out at 89 and now dipping down to 86. Suddenly, you can sit offspeed and react to the fastball.

            1. Yes…..but most all pitchers experience decline in velos as they age into their 30s. Further, his command and control have been superb and he will not walk his way into trouble.
              IMO, I would take the risk with him for a year or two-year contract and hope to get a July contender to bid.

  18. I never thought of it before, but Salisbury made a good point today on CSN. Kenny Giles is a very good trade chip that could be moved for something substantial. People over-value and over-pay for Closers. The Phillies aren’t ready to win. They don’t need a closer. They could could get something really good for a 100 mph closer with 4 years of control left.

    1. There is no doubt that there is value in Ken Giles. But what do the Phillies really need?

      C: Knapp/Alfaro
      1B: Hoskins/Alfaro
      2B: Kingery
      SS: Crawford
      3B Franco
      RF: Altherr
      CF: Herrera
      LF: Nick WIlliams

      We need to give some of the players listed above the chance to fulfill their potential and take those positions. Out of the above, I think Kingery has had the weakest season. But I doubt Giles brings back a stud at 2B. And there’s always Josh Tobias.

      Starters: Nola/Eickhoff/Morgan/Pinto/Eflin/Kilome/Thompson

      Clearly the Phillies have some depth here and any team can use pitching. But can Giles bring back a #2 pitcher or even a #3? I doubt it but who knows.

      So for me, I’m only trading Giles if we can get back at least a #3 pitcher. It’s doubtful that we’ll get anything more than that. And if we’re not getting that, he’s the closer, especially with the Phillies having nobody close to being a decent setup guy.

      1. I think some are being a little presumptuous that all of those players are long term pieces. Out of that group I’m confident in Franco, Crawford, Nola, Thompson, Eickhoff and one of the Catchers making it. The rest? The Phillies still need a #1 pitcher, probably a #2 pitcher, a power hitting 1B and a power hitting OF, IMO.

        As far as moving Giles, its more a thing of selling high on an overvalued assert. They don’t need to trade him, but they could get a core piece for him, and develop Pivetta, Tirado, Windle, Medina etc, to be back-end bullpen pieces.

        1. I think you misunderstand my list. Those are the guys that I need to give opportunities too. I need to give those guys the chance to take those jobs. I don’t need to trade for somebody to block those guys.

          And realistically, can Giles bring back a power hitting 1B? Because you know he’s not getting you back a 1 or a 2, or a power hitting OF. What core piece do you think Giles can get you?

          1. Given their respective contracts, I think Giles has pretty much the same value as Kimbrel did when the Braves traded him. They got back BA’s #34 prospect (wisler), plus a perceived upgrade (at the time) in CF going from Upton to Maybin, plus the Pads 2013 2nd round pick, plus about $10-$15M in non-Kimbrel savings.

            I think there’s recent precedent for at least getting a prospect who projects to be a core piece going forward.

            1. Money aside…Kimbrel IMO had more value, and at their respective ages Kimbrel had close to 90 saves and a few all-star appearances.
              Just cannot see a team giving up for Giles, as much as the Padres did for Kimbrel.
              One prime prospect may be the extent of it.

            2. Totally agree, Romus about Kimbrel being the better pitcher but I was more looking at it from a trade value standpoint. I was just countering guru’s point about not being able to get a “core” piece back for giles.

          2. I understand your point, but everybody on that list is not a premium talent. Outside if Franco and Crawford, better talent can always be found and you can never have too much starting Pitching.

            1. Nobody thought Franco was a core piece until last year. He was brutal when he came up in September. You gotta these guys chances to prove themselves in the bigs.

              If Giles can bring us back a #1 or #2, I’m all for it. If he doesn’t, then what’s the point? I would rather keep him as the closer. The Phillies have enough depth to have #4, #5 pitchers.

          3. Otero, you’re talking about trading Giles for a core piece. Who’s the core piece? What are talking about here? A #3 pitcher?

            1. “Core piece” is kind of a vague term. I used it because you said it originally. I gave you an example of a trade where a team trading their closer got back a lot of value. Using Phillies prospects as an example, I think a contending team in need of a closer would give us the equivalent of Jake Thompson, Quinn, and Jimmy Cordero. That’s not a bad haul.

            2. Otero, sorry but I don’t think you’re getting that haul for Giles. And if we do, the Phillies should have made that trade yesterday.

            3. Thompson was traded last year at the deadline for Soria, so yes, we are looking at that type of trade. Why do you keep fighting this?

            4. Otero, that Jake Thompson trade was last year. This year, he’s 1 year closer to the bigs and presumably, he’ll be higher up in the top 100 rankings.

            5. Soria didn’t have nearly the value of Giles. Thompson had already pitched the majority of the year when he was traded in that deal. His value then is pretty close to what it is now. And there was also a high floor reliever included in that deal who was packaged with Thompson.

        1. As I mentioned above, those guys on the list are the guys I need to give opportunities to. I am not penciling anybody in, Crawford included. They need to go there and perform, but I have to give them playing time to see if they can do it.

          As for Cozens, I think Williams is ahead of him. But who knows, maybe Cozens goes hog wild at Reading, Williams gets hurt, and Cozens gets the call up. It’s all about opportunity and taking advantage of it.

    2. It’s definitely worth exploring what’s out there for Giles. I would check in with the Red Sox. Dombroski loves power arms. I would also be willing take back Allen Craig’s horrible contract (21-million total over the next two years) if Boston would put together a package headed by Anderson Espinoza and Henry Owens. This would also free up some money for the Red Sox to go after David Price.

      1. Red Sox have loads of cash, they don’t need to get rid of salary. I think their projected payroll is like $140M for 2016? They can afford Price if they wanted to.

        And I don’t think the Red Sox will part with Owens anyways. They need pitching big time. They need depth.

        1. You are correct. They’re not trading Owens for Ken Giles straight-up, let alone both Owens, Espinoza and more.

          1. I Think my head will explode if I hear about owens anymore,. he flat out stinks. I hope for one your right. I wouldn’t trade anyone except howard and choo for owens. only for salary relief which wont happen. I Made this statement before. If owens is anything more than a 5 I will leave this site. I Have seen him a number of times, he stinks. flat out stink.

            1. That’s funny rocco…..he did come close to 90velo with the Sox. And if he gets his BB/9 better, as a lefty he has some value.
              But did anyone actually have him as the top of the rotation guy to begin with?
              I always though they had him pegged as a mid guy.

  19. From BA:
    Jonathan (Syracuse, NY): Which is the bigger hurdle for Jake Thompson reaching his upside: fastball command or changeup development?
    Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Fastball command, but he also needs to improve conditioning. Scouts commented about Thompson’s loss in velocity once he reached 50-60 pitches and that is surely an issue of conditioning and overall health. More than one scout commented on Thompson’s body being “fleshy” and that his velocity and stuff haven’t improved greatly since high school, one reason why he’s been traded at each of the past two July 31 deadlines.

    1. That’s interesting about his conditioning. Hopefully he gets that squared away and maintains his velocity, otherwise he could end up having problems similar to Ethan Martin.

  20. Cin had a nice lineup still with Votto, Bruce, Frazier and Phillips. I wonder what they want for Bruce. They lost that many games with a good line up. There Sp needs to get better.

  21. John Sickels on Franklyn Kilome..one of his ‘High Ceiling Alert’ eleven pitching prospects:
    “Franklyn Kilome, RHP, Phillies: Age 20, signed out of Dominican in 2013 for just $40,000, posted 3.28 ERA with 36/21 K/BB in 49 innings in New York-Penn League. Positive reports on fastball and general projection, secondary pitches (curve, change) draw mixed reviews. The latter issue is reflected sabermetrically in his low strikeout rate although he was effective overall.”

    1. Performance was only fourth best in Williamsport’s rotation. No mixed review from me. He can’t control those secondary pitches. Another Ethan Martin in the making. Will have to blow his arm out before he learns to pitch in stead of just trying to blow his fastball by the hitters.

      1. According to his splits…he only had troubles with left handed batters….and that was with BBs. Perhaps he was trying to be too fine an careful.
        But as an eye witness, and I respect that, you probably have a different and maybe better perspective on him.

  22. rocco……Chris King with Matt Winks, PMTs Qand A….
    RE:.Lucas Williams.
    “………Lucas Williams certainly impressed and has tools that will allow him to have a legit chance as big leaguer down the road. He’s athletic at 3rd base with an above-average arm. The bat started slow, but as the season went on, he started putting some very impressive swings on the ball and was able to string together some solid AB’s. He has a very quick bat and should start to hit for some power”

    …initial stages looks like the new director made a good choice with Williams.

    1. It’s almost as if the people who are getting paid to scout these players know more than some people on the internet. who woulda thunk it?

      1. Segura you so right in the case of teams like the cardinals and giants. But the Phillies don’t. still have to prove they can find talent. I guess your remark was just a jab at us. who state opions on talent. The thing is this lucas Williams is in gcl , which is high school ball. so lets wait before we anoint him a player.

        1. The Phillies don’t find talent at all? Such a blanket statement. Have they been deficient over the past 10 years? Yes. Do they not find talent at all? Of course not.

          No one anointed him a player. Just proving that scouts know a lot more than people who spout off on the internet. Is that disagreeable?

      2. LMAO our great scouts got us how many losing seasons in a row? Right now even with high picks. we have two postion players on team and two pitchers. Wow great scouting. I Am amazed, by the lack of knowledge of people on here. All they know is saber. I really believe they never played the game, or watch baseball.

        1. Also, where did I say “great” scouts? And why do you make the assumption that all I know is saber? Please answer these questions. I was trying to have a discussion and you made some crazy assumptions that have nothing to do with what we were discussing.

      1. rocco…’If he has above average arm I will run naked down broad street.’……on New Years Day? 😉

  23. A very encouraging reminder that the ’72 Phils were a juggernaut four years later.

    Less encouraging — the No. 2 overall draft pick that resulted from that horrid season was … John Stearns. (Picks 3 and 4 were Robin Yount and Dave Winfield). Ugh.

    (Ponders how many more championships the Phils might have won in the late ’70s with Winfield playing RF instead of Jay Johnstone or Bake McBride).

  24. J.DeFratus and J. Pettibone, last of the Baby Aces,..former Phillies now.
    Hope Pettibone can regain his health to pitch in the majors again.

    1. De Fratus was never all that good on the Phillies. We had reports of his throwing in the mid to high 90s but since he’s been on the big league team he’s rarely thrown harder than the low 90s and he doesn’t have any above average breaking pitches. For a while it looked like his slider would be difference maker, but that hasn’t happened. He’s just another guy.

  25. It’s obvious that I’m a Groome fan so I’m bias at times but let me give you guys a look into his mental make up. He decided as a HS Soph to go down to Florida IMG Academy to play against the best he could, he dominated. That’s a kid going away from home at 16 years of age AND performing. That’s very impressive to me. Now add this, he’s coming back home so he can win a state championship with the guys he grew up playing with. If this doesn’t show you what you are getting in terms of Jason Groome the person, I dunno what will. Oh yeah he throws an absolute effortless mid 90s fastball from the left side. Sign me up!

  26. Everything that I have read about him is nothing but positive or glowing. I hope the Phils have someone at every practice he has this year, not just the games. It is still a big risk taking a HS Pitcher 1.1, but he may well be worth it. On another point, when do the 40 man Rosters have to be finalized. With DeShields playing very well for Texas, and Doobie here, I have high hopes for a player in the Rule V Draft. I am sure some guys here have a list of a potential Phillies pick or 2.

    1. Approx two weeks prior to the Rule 5 draft…..which is the Thursday, usually first week of December, which happens also to be the last day of the Winter Meetings.
      So 40 should be finalized 20 November.

  27. omg Phillies to interview a women for gm. I quit I just cant take it any more. Romus have a nice life. This team is going backwards

    1. Get used to it grandpa. Last time I checked the GM didn’t have to take the field, just be smarter and more insightful than the next person. By all accounts Kim Ng, who has paid her dues, is fully qualified and but for the type of prejudice you’ve shown here, would have gotten her shot like 10 years ago.

      1. Actually Jean Afterman and Elaine Weddington-Steward are AGMs …..Yankees and Sox, respectively Both were hired many years ago and now they are into their 50s.
        What separates them from Kim Ng….they are both attorneys with now many years of contract administration experience and every base of legalese that general managing requires these days to stay above water. Kim Ng, does have plenty of contract administration experience also with the Dodgers and Yankees, and being a PR person handles the other duties well.

  28. Last night we got a reminder why the Phillies were great during 2007-2011. The Mets also reminded us by their reaction why they will not win anything while their team leader is David Wrong (oh excuse me is name is David Wright)

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