Open Discussion: Week of November 9th

The Phillies’ first week of the hot stove season started just as we anticipated.  Aaron Harang, Jerome Wiliams, Chad Billingsley, and Jeff Francoeur became free agents. The Phillies activated Cliff Lee from the 60-Day DL then declined their $27.5M team option, deciding to pay the $12.5M buyout and making Lee a free agent.  The Phillies activated the remaining players on the 60-Day DL – Elvis Araujo, Mario Hollands, Matt Harrison, and Cesar Hernandez.  And finally, the Phillies took advantage of their waiver position when they claimed RHP Dan Otero off waivers from the Oakland A’s.  This first addition of the Klentak era brings the 40-Man Roster to 32 players.

The Phillies have four players under contract for the 2016 season – Ryan Howard ($25M for 2016, $23M club option or $10M buyout for 2017), Matt Harrison ($13M for 2016, $13M for 2017, $13.5M club option or $2M buyout for 2018), Carlos Ruiz ($8.5M for 2016, $4.5M club option or $0.5M buyout for 2017), and Miguel Gonzalez ($4M for 2016, and a vesting option for 2017).

The Phillies have three arbitration eligible players remaining on their roster – Andres Blanco, Jeanmar Gomez, and Freddy Galvis.  None are projected to receive more than $2M from the arbitration process.  This fun begins after the new year.

Matt Klentak was interviewed by the backup Hot Stove staff on the Friday morning show – Ron Darling, Fran Charles, and Sweeney Marti.  If you missed it, here’s what they covered.

  1. They started with the sound bite from his opening press conference at CBP where he said “… believe me, I would not have left Mike Trout in his prime to come here if I didn’t believe we could win…”.
  2. Charles used that as a lead in stating that Klentak must believe the Phillies “are close to turning the corner with a lot of good young talent on this Phillies squad”.  Klentak responded that the future is “very, very bright”, “we are going to have to be disciplined”, “the core of young talent that’s here, some of which is in the big leagues, some of which is not that far away, and some of which frankly we haven’t yet drafted or have not yet brought into the organization“, “… I think the opportunity is real here and I’m very excited.”.
  3. Darling then asked about the movement of core players out of the organization and specifically what Klentak thought about the return for Hamels.  Klentak responded that Amaro and his staff did an “awesome job under difficult cirumstances”, “… not just Hamels, but moving Chase and Jimmy before that”.  He respects what that group meant to the Phillies including Howard and Ruiz (and he mentioned Victorino here, too).  He said it is “… never easy to recognize where you are, and begin to break that down”.  He also said “…they did a really solid job of looking at the market and trying to identify the most motivated buyers … and making some good baseball trades.”
  4. Charles jumped on Klentak’s reference toward Howard and Ruiz and asked “…how much longer will they be members of the Phillies?”  Klentak’s response was  “Well they’re both under contract for one more year.  I would think that.  But that remains to be seen.  That’s part of my job, that’s part of our job this off season, to assess exactly how all the pieces are going to fit together.  I’m a big believer in giving players, giving people opportunities and I don’t want to come in here ten days into the job, I don’t necessarily want to come in here professing to have all the answers and knowing exactly how its all going to fit together…”
  5. Darling then asked about the young players in particular Maikel Franco.  Klentak said that even from 3000 miles away they were very aware of Franco and he is hoping he is one of the building blocks for years to come.
  6. Charles asked about Nola and his impressions of him.  Klenntak said he was among a group of pitchers the Angels were watching when they picked Sean Newcomb (with the 15th overall pick).  He said Nola is as advertised, polished and fills up the zone.
  7. Marti finished up with a silly question about Klentak spending a summer sleeping on a couch in a friend’s apartment in NY.  Klentak did point out that he grew up in Boston and lived in both New York and Baltimore.  That he is basically a kid from the north east.  Aside from four years with the Angels, he’s lived back here all his life. He’s comfortable on the east coast and sees moving to Philadelphia as a homecoming of sorts.
  8. Charles finished with the obligatory question about the Philadelphia fans, how patient does he think they will be.  Klentak replied, “… you can’t fool the fans and you shouldn’t even try.  There’s an element of honesty that goes into this job that I think is absolutely critical.  Shane Victorino has expressed to me multiple times there are no better fans in baseball than the fans in Philadelphia.  (He talked to Victorino a lot after the Angels acquired him this summer.  This explains why he included Victorino above.)  They are as passionate, as loud, as knowledgeable as fans in any sport”.  He finished up speaking glowingly about the stretch from 2008 through 2011 and how he hopes to bring back that kind of enthusiasm.

Andrew Knapp entered the AFL Fall Stars game as a pinch hitter and remained in at first base.  He struck out twice.  He missed fastballs early in both at bats and went down swinging over sliders both times.

Edubray Ramos entered the game in the top of the ninth and pitched to two batters before he was lifted to allow the remaining pitcher in the bullpen to enter the game.  Ramos made the most of his appearance striking out both batters.  His FB was 94-96.

During Instructs, I spoke with a couple of scouts.  They were from different agencies.  They told me that their groups had raised the upper range of a 50 grade FB by one MPH from 91 to 92.  So, if we have a couple lefties who are only high 80s, I guess their FBs would have to be graded below 50.  Sorta makes you think, doesn’t it?

And finally, I saw all the Tocci talk last week.  I have met Josh Norris on a couple occasions at the Complex during ST and XST and in the press box during Threshers’ games.  He likes a lot of our young players, Tocci among them.  I would suspect he had a lot of input into Baseball America’s latest ranking of Phillies prospects and Tocci’s placement in the 10th spot.  This is from his recent chat about Phillies prospects regarding Tocci, “We’re talking about a guy is less than two years older than Cornelius Randolph but is on his third full professional season in A-ball. The guy is still young and being challenged. He has to continue to get stronger, but he has the tools to be a center fielder and there’s plenty of ability to hit in there. It’s a slow burn for sure, he’s plenty intriguing.”.

Well, I watched Tocci play in Clearwater.  Forty games.  Over 150 AB.  Too small a sample? Regardless, I saw a kid start out slow in June, then hit his stride in July, only to fade in August.  Some might blame his late season swoon on the length of the season, but this was his third season of full season ball.  Some might blame it on his body type, that he needs some more weight to withstand the rigors of a full season.  That has merit.  And it lends itself to what I saw in Clearwater.  After one time through the league, teams adjusted and started positioning their outfielders shallower.  They were willing to risk an extra base hit into the gaps to take away his soft singles that were dropping in front of their outfielders.  This doesn’t necessarily explain his late season slumps in previous years, but I think that it had a direct bearing on his 2015 August.

Sure, he’s an intriguing player.  But, I don’t see him being successful unless he gains some weight without the gain inhibiting his current tools.

 

117 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of November 9th

  1. And Dugan elects free agency http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/sports/phillies/Kelly-Dugan-elects-to-become-a-minor-league-free-agent.html

    Dugan had talent and showed it in his 7 partial seasons. Therein lies the rub. He couldn’t stay on the field. Seemingly insignificant injuries became 20 or more game stints on the DL. I was waiting for a trip to the DL because of a hang nail.

    In any event, I wish him luck. If he can stay healthy, just might see him in the MLB… at least for a cup of coffee.

    1. Interesting. It would seem that his best path to the majors would be with a team that doesn’t have corner outfielders blocking him. You would think that the Phillies would be that team. I don’t know what team offers a better opportunity. But, he has always had health issues. Maybe a move to a west coast franchise would benefit him. I guess John Lovitz won’t be at Grapefruit League games this spring.

  2. Did something happen to Astudillo? He stopped showing up in the Philly Winter League stats. Her isn’t listed on the CLW roster anymore, although that sometimes happens when they move guys around. He’s not on LKW roster or Reading either. He seems to have disappeared.

  3. Looks like Herrera will not be a finalist in the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards:
    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/25357307/rawlings-announces-2015-gold-glove-award-finalists

    I was wrong in assuming he had a chance to ‘show’, but though his metrics were outstanding, it would seem his breath of experience…being only a year in CF…and unknown quantity as to national exposure, plus playing on the worst team in the majors may have been detrimental to his being nominated as one of three finalists.
    Andrew McCutchen, on the other hand and surprinsingly was negative in all advanced metrics outside of fielding percentage where he was outstanding.
    But Herrera’s metrics stood out and hopefully he can carry that defensive posture and a more experienced bat into next season.

    SDI: Hamilton-8.0, Herrera-7.3, AJ Pollock-5.4, AMcC minus 5.4
    dWAR: AJ Pollock-1.8, Herrera-1.3, Hamilton-1.1, AMcC minus .6
    UZR: Hamilton-14.5, Herrera-9.9, AJ Pollock-6.5, AMcC minus 4.5
    DRS: AJ Pollock-14, Herrera-10, Hamilton-8, AMcC minus 8…..(FanGrStandards-+15=Gold Glove…+10=Great…+5=Average)

    Basic measurements:
    OHerrera-IPed-CF-1065…Asst-5 …Err-5…FldgPct-.986 (push)
    AJPollock-IPed-CF-1304..Asst-5….Err-3…FldgPct-..992(+..006)
    BHamilton- IPed-CF-976 ,,Asst-8…Err-0…FldgPct-1.000(+.014)
    AMcCutch-IPed-CF-1375…Asst-7…Err—2…..FldgPct-.994(+.008)

    1. The Gold Glove has long been a joke. How many did Derek Jeter win. Cutch is considered the third best CF on the Pirates and that is with Marte’s and Polanco’s penchant for bonehead plays. Cutch is the starter out of respect for what he means to the Franchise.

      1. It is an award, sponsored by Rawlings, that has garnished negative reviews of the years. Some feel it has incorporated some of the Silver Slugger parameters in the selection process. Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats sponsors the Silver Slugger.
        I remember the year Bobby Abreu won it as a Phillie and all the critics voiced their opinion that he was undeserving. Sometimes the competition has to be taken into account also.
        Derek Jeter’s four GGs were in his prime, well at least his first three, maybe the fourth was on reputation. But not sure who his main competition was at shortstop a decade ago or so.

        1. Even in his prime when he was winning GGs Jeter was considered by many to be a below average to poor fielder. His defensive metrics were generally negative. He got similar reviews with the eye test.

          He did have a flare for making dramatic postseason plays. He was kind of the anti-Utley that way. He won the GG’s because ARod was moved to 3B out of deference to the Yankee Captain and Garciaparra started getting injured and moved to the NL.Jeter was the last big name AL SS left.

            1. He’s referring to the flawed defensive metrics that always rated Utley as a great defender, but did not get him the Gold glove.

            2. Moreso that Utley was an underrated defender in part because he developed Steve Sax disease in consecutive playoff appearances.

  4. Am I reading too much into this. The MLBTR Transaction Tracker lists Andy MacPhail as the acquiring GM for the Otero waiver claim on November third.

    Additionally, the Phillies Front Office lists 11 execs. Among those execs are a president (MacPhail), chairman (Montgomery), chairman emiritus (Giles), exec VP and COO (Michael Stiles), senior VP, Marketing and Sales (David Buck), and 6 VPs (Bonnie Clark, Kurt Funk, Kathy Killian, John Nickolas, Rick Strouse, and John Weber).

    VP and GM Matt Klentak is the only VP not listed as an exec. Amaro was listed as an exec when he was with the organization.

    Just another of those things that makes me go, “Hmm.”.

    1. If you try to understand the different titles the Phillies use and the significance of those titles, you will slowly drive yourself mad. The Phillies’ “family” environment makes for a lot of titles and accommodations to reflect respect shown to different people, including legacy people. That said, I think it’s pretty clear that MacPhail is following the new President model in baseball – he will be actively involved in all major baseball decisions and not just as a last stamp of approval..

    2. Does seem out of sorts for Klentak not to be listed as an executive.
      Amaro was elevated to Sr VP and GM in Nov ’08, and with it listed in the exec category of the org chart. Prior to that he was Asst GM., but not sure if was listed as an exec.
      Klentak , under the Baseball Administration category, heads up that department.

      Administration:
      Andy MacPhail…President
      David Montgomery….Chairman
      Bill Giles…..Chairman Emeritus
      Michael Stiles….Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer
      Rick Strouse…..Vice President & General Counsel
      Baseball Administration:
      Matt Klentak…Vice President and General Manager
      Scott Proefrock….Assistant General Manager
      Benny Looper…Assistant General Manager, Player Personnel
      Dallas Green….Sr. Advisor to the General Manager
      Charlie Manuel….Sr. Advisor to the General Manager

  5. Carlos Quentin is making a comeback. If I’m the Phillies I’d grab him and hope he can get to 80% of his career norms. Carlos Quentin is the type of hitter that could hit 225 and still get an 800 OPS. He’d be a nice buy low guy that could be flipped at the deadline.

  6. I have a feeling that SPs are all going to get grabbed up, even the Fisters and Vogelsongs before the Phils get one. What does everyone think of taking a shot on Lincecum?

    1. I think he is staying in San Fran. I think there are enough of those types of pitchers available for us to grab one or two though. We could offer some extra cash to the bounce back candidate we like the most and hope they sign. Worse case scenario we end up signing a Jerome Williams, Roberto Hernandez type who can eat innings for us and surprise us with any type of prolonged success.

      Bud Norris and Rich Hill are options that could work.

      1. I like the idea of signing Rich Hill on a one year deal. Though 36, he doesn’t have a lot of innings logged. Mat Latos on a one year deal makes sense as well. A lot of his luster faded this past year but he’s 28 and if he can remain healthy, a problem last year, he could contribute more than some of the signings last winter.

      2. I like both of those ideas, Hill and Norris both could work. I thought, with Lincecum, that the Giants were going to be in the market for one of the higher level SPs, so maybe would not bring him back.

        1. v1….interesting.
          A few months ago didn’t you nix the thought of moving a catcher like Jorge Alfaro to the Reds for their Comp Bal Pick ( number 32/33 pick in 2016) since it was to low of a pick for a prospect like Alfaro…but now for the chance to get an ‘ace’, the 38th/39th (Phillies 2.1) pick is too much to give up!

          1. yeah. completely different scenarios.

            trading a 22 yo catcher with several elite tools who is already in AA for a pick is insane.

            And totally different than losing the same pick to sign a 30 yo pitcher when the Phillies are 3-4 years away from being competitive. If the Phillies were truly an Ace away from being competitive, then I would be more open to it. But the timeline doesn’t work to lose the pick for a pitcher in his prime when the team will stink. Makes no sense to buy big here. 2 years from now is when they go all in on FA IMO.

            1. Ryan threw it out there and wanted to get some reactions.
              Trying to be open minded about….Zimmerman lends himself to being the ‘leader’ –the stabilizing factor, the chemical bond or whatever they call it these days…of the staff as they go forward. Nola , Thompson, Eflin and the 2016 1.1 will probably all be the young core. No one doubts Zimmerman’s talents may diminish in 3/4 years.
              But as to Alfaro…his plus/elite tools are arm and power, all the remaining tools are average. You do realize what his Krate is?
              Power is great when you make contact. As one of the BA guys said…he projects as Frenchy, which I hope is not a correct prediction, since in all likelihood he is moved out from catcher to a corner OF position.
              Hey, everyone is entitles to their opinion, and R. Lawrence just put it in print..

            1. The GM should be fired if he signs any player that causes the Phillies to lose draft pick compensation. Period.

      1. Romus, that goes back to the argument of whether to take a shot on a top tier SP, thinking that he would be at the top of the rotation when the Phils are back contending. part of that argument is that the next year’s class looks much weaker. The counter is the loss of the 2d round pick as compensation. I am not sure how I feel, but I don’t see the Phils going that way.

        1. matt13,
          Ryan L. was just throwing it out there.
          The new group has already openly hinted that 2016 will probably not see any big FA signings involving long-term big money commitments.

  7. Interesting to see the Twins have the winning bid for Park. According to MLBTradeRumors, Ah-seop Son is expected to be posted this weekend. I don’t think the Phillies will be in on him, but I think they should at least kick the tires on him. He seems like a guy who can do a little bit of everything. I was watching a video of him and I really like how he is able to use the whole field at the plate. He also impressed me with his hustle. He is listed on baseball reference as a left fielder, but is playing RF in the video. If Altherr gets most of the playing time in RF next year Son could give him some rest against tough righties and even challenge Asche for ABs in LF.

    He turns 28 right before the season starts so he is young enough to move forward with if he is the real deal. Any thoughts on possibly bringing him to Philly?

      1. I think they should try to sign anyone who can help them out. I thought they should have tried to get Kang last year bc he was so cheap. It seems like a reasonable way to spend money on a lottery ticket like him.

  8. If we go after any big name pitcher I would want Maeda if he’s posted. 27 years old and no draft pick needed to be given up.

    1. What I’d like to hear but haven’t is, “We are going to use the financial clout from our large market status and new TV deal to give us an advantage in the unrestricted international markets like Cuba and Asia.”

  9. Want to try something fun here . . . I’m going to give you a few trade packages from the phillies system and big club . . Your job is to give your opinion on what player(s) they could get for the package. Let’s assume anyone is available . . . Big leagues or minor leagues. Just to break up serious talk to fun stuff

    Package 1 – Crawford/Knapp/Pinto

    Package 2 – O. Herrera/Giles/Kilome

    Package 3 – Nola/Williams/Medina/Quinn

    I know it’s kinda hard/random but have fun with it.

    1. Package 1 – Crawford/Knapp/Pinto to the Astros for SS Carlos Correa (if the Phils thought Crawford no longer projected as a big league shortstop)

      Package 2 – O. Herrera/Giles/Kilome to the Cubs for LF Kyle Schwarber and P Carl Edwards, Jr.

      Package 3 – Nola/Williams/Medina/Quinn to the Dodgers for IF Corey Seager and P Julio Urias (Franco to 1B?)

      Do I think Correa is basically untouchable? – Yes
      Do I think Seager is untouchable? – Probably

      So why these trades? I’d want nothing but young, cost-controled building blocks back if I were going to winnow the Phils’ farm system so drastically.

      1. sorry but the cubs would laught at the 2 nd trade. Dodgers would be laughing so hard they might hurt themselves. There isn’t any thing in our system worth a seager or correa. Your just reaching for straws.

        1. Your basic premise that you KNOW how other teams evaluate various prospects is something I don’t share. The Braves trade of Simmons helps make that point for me. What you also don’t know are team timelines for when they project their success. A team like the Dodgers could see Nola as someone who pulls them closer to winning now.

          Now these weren’t Phils’ players I would think to move (except maybe Herrera)– someone else put the packages together. I already indicated players I thought were close to untouchable. But till now, I would have put Andrelton Simmons, on a long term cost-controlled contract, on an untouchable list above everybody discussed here but Correa. Stuff happens in the winter hot stove, as we just saw. The more you see, the more one should realize what he doesn’t know or can’t project.

    2. These trades look like the type of return fans from other teams would expect in a deal that involved their Hamels-like pitcher. I wouldn’t make any of these trades for a 31-year old, number 2 pitcher (and maybe an on the fringe 2 at that). Especially now when we won’t have a need for that type of pitcher for at least 2-3 more seasons.

      I agree with Flea. And I like Package #2. I have loved Schwarber since seeing him in the FSL in 2014. Yeah, he finished the 2014 season with the FSL Daytona Cubs. I still think of him as a catcher more than an outfielder, though.

      1. Don’t think Schwarber can stay at catcher, which is part of the reason he wasn’t as highly rated coming into the draft.

        He has a elite bat but is going to struggle to find a position in the NL.

        1. In spite of his pre-draft rating, he was still the 4th overall pick. If he come close to sustaining his 14.5 AB/HR (in 273 PA/232 AB, better than Rizzo’s team leading 18.9 and league average 36.1), I’m sure the Cubs will find a position for him. However, you are right. His standard and advanced fielding metrics at catcher on a SSS are scary bad.

          1. Yes, he was a bit of a surprise at #4 but Cubs appear to have been vindicated.

            I agree that the Cubs will find a home for his bat, just don’t think it will be behind the plate. I expect they will continue to try him in LF hoping that he gets better with playing time.

          2. Schwarber may be my favorite young hitter. He is just a flat out hitting monster; a sort of weird combination at the plate of Jim Thome and John Kruk. He is going to be terrorizing pitchers for years. They will find a position for him. If they don’t I think we can find a position for him right here in Philly :).

            1. J64…..what you think of a Northside-Southside trade? Do you think Theo would ever try something like this?
              Schwarber, Castro, ss Torres, RHP Edwards to the WSox for LHP Chris Sale.

            2. Chris Sale’s a great pitcher, and I don’t think the Cubs’ brass cares much about the rivalry issue that bothers so many other teams, but the strength of the Cubs is their youth and cost-controlled roster. I see them going out and buying a pitcher or trying to make due the way the Royals did (picking and choosing and not gutting the team to obtain pitchers), before they trade an insanely talented young hitter like Schwarber (seriously, he really is like a young Jim Thome). If they were going to trade a hitter, they are almost better off trading a guy like Rizzo, who is also terrific, but has tremendous value and will soon be in line for a huge salary, than trading Schwarber who is under control for another 6 years and probably would not (at this point) command the same type of return as Rizzo. And by the way, I’m NOT advocating that they necessarily trade Rizzo, just that I’d be super reluctant to trade Schwarber. There have to be some better, more creative ways to obtain pitching.

            3. Actually that would make more sense in that Rizzo’s value is also high, and will be costly at some point, Schwarber then slides over to first base if LF and catching prove to be too much of a defensive hurdle for him to overcome..
              I am always hesitant to judge highly of a young until he can make the adjustments that will be made against him by opposing pitchers. Schwarber will also undoubtedly be facing quite a bit of deep defensive shifts in the future and if he was more speedier, then that could offset the shift a bit.

    1. only ten years too late. If they thought this way in 2005 or later they wouldn’t have had to make the stupid trade for pence.

      1. rocco…..not sure why Phillies went ‘cheap’ so to speak, in the international market, between 2001 with Seung Lee and Il Kim. The two Korean pitchers received a total of $2 million. And 2011 with Carlos Tocci. The period in between, approx. 10 years, were a few around $100K, but nothing like a million or even a half-million or more.

  10. I need help from some of you who are analytics experts. I just read an article that dealt with how SDI has become much more important in awarding Gold Gloves. Certainly, a change from when Derek Jeter won a couple of years when, defensively, he was maybe the 14th SS in the AL. SDI has Doobie as #1 in CF, Pollack #3 which is not a terrible decision. But my question is, can someone explain how they arrive at their #s in less analytic terminology?

    1. matt13….how about a cut and paste version of a rather entailed formula.
      ———————————————————————————————–.
      ‘The SABR Defensive Index (SDI) draws on and aggregates two types of existing defensive metrics: those derived from batted ball location-based data and those collected from play-by-play accounts. …..The three metrics representing batted ball data include Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) from Baseball Info Solutions, Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) developed by noted sabermetrician Mitchel Lichtman, and Runs Effectively Defended (RED) based on STATS Zone Rating and built by SABR Defensive Committee member Chris Dial. The two metrics included in the SDI originating from play-by-play data are Defensive Regression Analysis, created by committee member Michael Humphreys, and Total Zone Rating”.

      matt…not sure this helps but you can learn more about the SABR Defensive Index (SDI) at …….SABR.org/SDI.

      Though Hererra’s SDI was hire then Pollocks…Pollock still won this years award.
      Billy Hamilton CIN — 8.0
      Odubel Herrera PHI— 7.3
      A.J. Pollock ARI—- 5.4
      So, as you see, other factors are in play in the selection process..

  11. Thanks Romus! I think the article said that it had a 25% factor into the award, but author was posing his opinion that SDI influence was even higher. I was happy to see Doobie as high as he was. First year in CF, can hit the ball, clearly adjusted over the course of the season and seems to be coachable, based on Mackanin’s benching and the way he responded. I am higher on him than before, and makes the bar for Roman Quinn that much higher.

  12. Hey! You guys in the Philadelphia area. What’s going on with the Phillies beat writers. I saw some twitter posts that suggested that some writers are going to be let go. By the time I saw the posts, I couldn’t find any stories related to that news. Can anyone tell me who/what/when? Thank you.

    1. More dwindling of the 4th estate. Pretty soon all information on everything will come from blogs. Good for Phuture Phillies but….

  13. The owners of the 2 papers, Inquirer and Daily News, announced they are merging the 2 papers, so the result will be layoffs of duplicative writers. Some good guys will be without jobs, especially in the Sports department.

  14. Its about time they shut the Daily News down as it is not a very good paper compared to the Inquirer.

  15. Report that the Braves get Angels top two prospects pitchers for ss Andrellton Simmons.
    Not a bad deal for the Braves……they are really building their pitching for the future.
    They get another hot pitching prospect in 2016 right after the Phillies pick.

  16. Romus, I just saw that. One is Sean Newcombe, and Braves get Erick Aybar as well. Moves seem to be happening via trade earlier than FA signings so far.

  17. Jason Groome was in Philadelphia this week to meet with the Phillies . . I realize this doesn’t mean much but i’m so on the Groome train that I get excited whenever I see his named linked to the Phillies. In the same article it said that the Phillies are asking for “3 prime pieces” for Giles, apparently teams have been asking about him. I like it, if nothing else it shows that they are exploring all avenues. I’d check in with the Red Sox who are looking at Chapman as a trade target. Giles is obviously a lot younger, a lot cheaper an you’d be surprised but his numbers really aren’t that far off. Giles actually has a better bb/9 and hr/9 then Chapman. I’d ask for LHP Brian Johnson (#40 on MLB.com Top 100) and LHP Trey Ball and LHP Pat Light. I have a feeling that some may think that is a little light (no pun intended) but you are getting 2 guys who have the ceiling of a number 2 and a back of the bullpen arm in Light.

  18. Another hat tip to RAJ for the Hamels deal. He got FAR more for a great 31yo pitcher getting paid $20 mil per year than the Braves got for a 26yo who is the best defensive player in baseball and is under contract for reasonable $ for the next 5 years.

    Seems like he got 2x the package value. I think the Braves rushed the process and got under value.

    1. I think the Braves did rather well in the exchange. for what Schuerholz and Hart are trying to do,..to accumulate pitching.
      Newcombe is a top of the rotation guy, a potential ‘ace’, and Ellis is certainly a plus three.
      Comparing it to the Rangers Hamels deal may a bit unfair, since Hamels is a premier top 5 starting LHP in the game. And Simmons is a defensive gem, but his offensive game slid downward.

      1. Simmons OB% was 4th in all of baseball for shortstops, while having one of the lowest BABIPs. He doesn’t have power, but he is only 25. It will come. He has elite contact ability and a great batter’s eye.

        Newcombe on the other hand has a BB% of 4.8 for his career. Worse in AA, but that was a SSS. To call him a potential Ace, seems like a big stretch to me. He needs to clean up a lot of his command issue to even sustain any career in the majors. Maybe he will do it. But this is not a sure fired Ace by any stretch. Very high risk prospect.

    2. @v. You are correct. Considering Simmons is signed for five years to a relatively cheap contract, its surprising that Atlanta traded him. Simmons will likely provide more value than Newcomb will provide over the next 5 years. Newcomb is a good piece, but I look at it this way: The Angels got Simmons for far less than the Royals got Alcides Escobar a few years ago, and Simmons has way more offensive upside.

  19. Your serious v1. A poor offensive good fielding shortstop and you get a possible ace and that is under value. what a joke.

    1. I agree. I think you have to view this case in isolation on its merits. By that standard, this looks like a very fine trade. On Klentak, he is saying a lot of the right things – things I’ve always believed. For example, he talks about developing prospects in continuous waves and exhausting all possible available markets. I agree with that. He also talks about not dealing in absolutes (such as making an affirmative statement that they will not trade Kenny Giles no matter what). Right again – you have to look at each situation with fresh eyes to see if it makes sense. If someone offers you a potential ace down the road and a top bat for Kenny Giles, it might make sense to move him – it just depends.

    2. I’m with you Rocco Newcomb has some control issues he needs to work out but he misses bats at a rate of 11/9.

      I’d stop short of saying Simmons was a poor offensive SS he was adequate with the bat and not just good fielding but great fielding.

      I actually think its good value on both sides. It’s not like Newcomb is that far away from the 25 man either.

      1. Yeah, I perhaps reacted too quickly. Simmons is an elite defender – not just at shortstop by across all positions. He is a very good player on defense alone even if he is below average at the plate and he does have some offensive ability (and might improve). He’s a valuable commodity. So the trade probably turns on how well Newcomb does. If he turns out to be a 1 or a 2, it’s probably a good trade, but the Angels also got good value there.

    3. If you are going to call me a joke, then you should first get your facts right.

      First of all, Simons is not a “good fielding shortstop”…he is the best defensive player in all of baseball. He played all of last year at 25 years old and he is under contract for 5 more seasons at a very reasonable price.

      As for his bat:
      – Simons was 4th among all short stops in baseball in OB% while having one of the lowest BABIPs
      – He had (by far) the lowest k rate
      – He had the 9th highest walk rate

      We know that players develop more power later in their career. But Simons has already demonstrated great contact ability and great batters eye to go along with ELITE defense. His hitting stats will improve.

      And as for a comp, take a look at the below:
      Player A (age 25 season): .211/.260/.262 with defensive WAR of 23.2 and k/bb rate of 1

      Player B (age 25 season): .265/.321/.338 with defensive WAR of 23.9 and a k/bb rate of 1.2

      Player A is Ozzie Smith
      Player B is Andrelton Simons

      Ozzie’s final career hitting stats: .262./.337/.328 almost exactly what Simons already did in his age 25 season.

      Trading him for a prospect with a history of arm troubles who KLaw says is a #2 starter due to only average command and a potential #3 starter is a joke. Under best case scenario, one of those two pitchers work out to their potential. Even if it yields you a #2 starter, that is a HORRIBLE trade.

      1. I don’t think you can say horrible trade I get that you might be a bit riled up over the joke comment but Newcomb is now rated as the Braves #1 Prospect. Ozhaino Albies a SS is their #2 then Toussaint, Allard, Jenkins and Fried and a sleeper in further down the list in Zach Bird.

        the Bravo’s are building a power rotation for the new ballpark and by then Simmons will be an after thought. Solid player yes but nothing you can’t adequately replace.

        1. The Padres just got more for Kimbrel (a reliever) than the Braves got for the best defensive Shortstop in the game…

      2. Now I understand your being mad at the comment that was made regarding your position, but let’s not go overboard. You cannot wax poetic enough about Simmons the defensive player (at least to this point) – he’s elite. Almost no players produce close to 4 WAR on defense, and that’s what he’s done. But offensively, he’s no prize. He’s been a below average offensive player, is hitting for less power as he gets older (which is a bit of a red flag – his slugging percentage was only .338 this year) and I don’t view him as having great plate discipline – he drew 39 walks in 583 plate appearances. Now, he IS young, and has shown good contact skills, and could turn it around, but his offense is still a very big question mark.

      3. I think your wrong. But a joke was not the right term. sorry. But good fielding shortstops you can find easy. we have one here. but a potential ace is hard to get your hands on.

        1. rocco…hate to break the news to you….but Freddy G is a muy pobre shortstop according to SABR and all MLB shortstops. …only Ruben Tejada of the Mets and Adsrubal Cabrera rank lower then Freddy in all the majors’ shortstops.

          1. Romus those fielding stats are imo not too accurate. Look at jeter he had no where near the range as jimmy yet he won golden gloves. Freddy can field. I could care less about fielding stats. I know what I have seen. the guy is a good fielder. But the point is you can find good fielding shortstops. What is harder to find a good fielding shortstop or a ace.

            1. rocco……I will give you that…an ace is more difficult to acquire. And when it comes to defensive acumen and grading, sometimes the level of competition makes a difference, especially when Gold Gloves are being awarded. They have to be awarded every year, and theoretically if every shortstop in a league went down for the year in mid-season, someone still gets a Gold Glove in November.

      4. v1…..Simmons potential offensively is still up in the air. In stating his metric peripherals vs shortstops they are plus.
        But, still can you explain his oWAR?
        In three of the last four years…..they really are average and a tad below, and one can argue , as true analytics often do to opine their case, that 2013 was an ‘outlier’
        2012-.8WAR, 2013-2.4WAR, 2014-.2WAR and 2015-1.2WAR…with a trend upward in 2015.
        His defense, there is no denying the plus-plus top of the charts, and he also has comp oWAR similar Ozzie Smith’s first four seasons, but after that.
        Ozzie Smith did trend up after that until his mid-thirties.
        I can understand the Angel’s banking on his offensive game ascending.
        I still think the Braves want more pitching going forward, and they are getting it with Newcombe and Ellis

      5. v1….incidentally, according to SABR…Simmons is the third best shortstop defensively in the majors. But this is only a metric evaluation.
        Brandon Crawford SFG …16.8
        Adeiny Hechavarria MIA… 11.6
        Andrelton Simmons ATL… 10.1

  20. Guys don’t obviously don’t value defense. I would think, after watching the Mets kick and boot the World Series trophy around their infield last week, most would recognize the value the best defensive shortstop in years.

      1. Ya, I have not been following his career past the Red Sox last WS. He is a high character guy like Francour and just wandered if anyone thought he had something to bring as a Francour club house guy. There seems to be talk about binging frechy back for that role and was just wandering if he signs else where is they will go all youth in the OF or bring in a vet like Victorino or Frenchy who would be ok as a 5th OF

  21. Padres seemed to get a pretty good haul Kimbrel. Wonder if Phils could/would’ve gotten that package for Giles.

      1. I would have loved the level of prospects, but I’d have preferred something other than CF and Shortstop, based on needs.

  22. Two years of Kimbrel cost the Red Sox $25 million in future salary, a top 25 prospect, another top 100 prospect plus two other prospects.

    For about the same money, a team can have Giles for five years.

    If two years of Kimbrel is worth that haul, how much is five years of Giles worth?

    1. I don’t believe the Red Sox gives that kind of package for Giles. Boston isn’t the type of market that would “cheap out” on salary to take the less proven player. So while we believe Giles has as much value as Kimbrel because of cost, teams like Boston, LA and NY are still going trade more for the established star.

      1. I agree.

        I do think, however, that Giles has significant trade value now and will be more valuable at the trade deadline if he can further establish himself as a premier closer.

    2. I’ve come of with a name for this fallacy: the transitive property of trades. That is, the notion that you can take the most unequal trade as the standard for all trades.

      There are many reasons why that property doesn’t apply in baseball, all of which have been stated time after time. Those who still believe in the transitive property of baseball trades won’t be convinced otherwise, so I won’t bother tryng. I’ll simply say that: (1) Giles won’t fetch nearly that return; (2) if I’m wrong, they should certainly go ahead and trade him.

      1. Apparently, you didn’t notice the “?” at the end of my last sentence.

        There is a difference between a question and an assertion.

        Will you ever develop the skill of paying attention?

      2. It’s not a fallacy, it’s reasoning. I think VOR touched on it. This was not about value for the Red Sox, it was about acquiring a proven closer. They obviously did not feel Giles fit that bill, and it’s quite possible Giles never entered the conversation for precisely this reason.

      3. That works both ways. Meaning looking at comps does not set the top value either. An argument can be made that with a little more experience, Giles could be far more valuable than Kimbrel. It is true that Kimbrel is worth more today because it is far more proven that his stats are sustainable. But a year or two from now, if Giles maintains stuff and stats, then I would say his value would be higher due to being cheaper and younger.

  23. I don’t know the answer to this question. But as a outside looking in to trades. its seems the to me like some gm sell there players better than others. I think kimbel is really good. but he is a relief pitcher and his numbers have gone up. Yet they get a real good package for him. Braves last two trades , They came away with two potential aces. l

    1. rocco….Padres did well, but Margot and Guerra are more or less ‘surplus value ‘to the Sox, they would never supplant Betts or Bogaerts, and Moncada looks to be Pedroia’s replacement in a few years, if Guerra was to be tried at 2nd base. Logan Allen has potential, but he is 4 years away at least, and not sure about the last prospect, perhaps utility player.

  24. Cristian Moreno/ESPN
    ‏@CristianMorenoD I’m told #Phillies continue having lot interest as early in 2015 to trade for #Marlins OF Marcell Ozuna, #Miami likely will trade him anyhow

      1. Marlins are looking for a ‘front-line starter’ in any Ozuna deal from what I heard.
        Nola, Thompson and Eflin have to be untouchables.
        Morgan and Eickhoff could be in play as possibilities if the rumor talks are true.
        IMO, I’d offer Morgan straight up……Asche could be icing on the cake for them.

        1. Lol. Morgan and Ache for Ozuna? Hard to tell on the internet, but I assume that’s a joke.

          Asche has literally zero value. He has no defensive position and is a sub-700 ops hitter with no speed.

          Morgan is equally worthless.

          1. v1……as you say to rocco….are you calling me a joke!
            Ozuna, if you haven’t noticed lately my keen observer……is all but out of Miami. His welcome has been worn . With a career slash of 265/ .311/ ./.727 and trending downward in only three seasons, the Marlin org are ready to move on.
            His defense is horrific for a CFer according to SABR …so, in essence, it would be a gamble on any teams part that he could recapture his 2014 season and sustain it.
            He has talent but may need a jump start on motivation..
            Morgan , if you had any sensibilities….is trending upward, but must dispel doubts with his shoulder in the long run.
            Why not offer the least of the Phillies current rotation…since pitching is what the Marlins want and they may bite.
            Nevertheless, since you are are all-wise…….how about this offering, my great one, offer Eickhoff and Thompson for him…satisfied? Think Ozuna is worth that offering?
            No way.
            Now understand why LarryM gets frustrated with your obnoxiousness
            Philly.com await your input.
            Have a nice day gorgeous.

            1. I wasn’t call you a joke. I was asking whether you were joking with that offer. Obviously I upset you. So consider this a virtual hug.

              As for Ozuna, he is one year removed from a 23 homer .770 OPS season as a 24 year old. So saying he is trending down means you are extrapolating one data point. He is clearly a major leaguer with serious tools.

              He is a soft tossing boarder line 5th starter on the worst team in baseball. He has a low k rate and gives up 1.5 homers per 9. He is not a major league pitcher. Oh, and he has a history of arm problems.

              I mean it is not even close to a fair trade.

            2. v1…ok got you.
              Christian Moreno ESPN Deportes does tweet that:
              And if you are on twitter you can see it.
              1. The Phillies are interested since early 2015.
              2. The Marlins are going to move him one way or another, and want ‘front-line starting pitching’
              Why not offer and see if they take the bait.

              IMO, the only starter I would give up from this current Phillies staff as it looks now, for him, would be Morgan…Marlins can probably get something better for Ozuna on the open market..
              However, the Marlins farm system is at the bottom 1/3 of the league, if not the bottom…..I would also offer other pitchers not named Thompson. Eflin or Kilome.
              Their top prospect Kolek still has some developing to be done and they may also be enticed with a Pivetta , Richey or Pinto.
              Concerning Ozuna……..his 2014 could be Dom Brown’s first-half 2013. Both are talented with issues on defense, and perhaps attitude.
              He is a gamble at this point.

            1. I Like to take a flyer on Ozuna. I just wouldn’t know what kind of value I would give up for him. Marliins don’t want him. and its not over money. if I read the story right, so what is fair value for him. Wonder if marlins would take a pivetta , windle, and a ball pitcher for him.

            2. rocco…remember Marlins do want a front line pitcher. I do think the Phillies new GM would be reluctant in dealing MLB pitchers right now. However, I don’t know…MacPhail may think otherwise and could direct it. Marlins could probably get a better offer for MLB players from other teams and maybe even prospects,then what the Phillies could offer..

            3. the thing with acquiring Ozuna is that he will play the season at 26. So he absolutely fits into rebuild timeline. Thus I would have no problem giving up an Eflin for him. Although I doubt that’s enough.

  25. SABR released their 2015 Defensive Ratings. Herrera finished tied for 19th in all MLB.
    AL
    Kevin Kiermaier-29.2
    Kevin Pillar-13.3
    Lorenzo Cain-12.9
    Manny Machado-11.8
    Ian Kinsler-10.7
    Kole Calhoun-10.5
    Yoenis Cespedes-10.1
    Josh Donaldson-9.2

    NL
    Brandon Crawford-15.4
    Jason Heyward-13.4
    Andrelton Simmons12.9
    Nolan Arenado-11.9
    Adeiny Hechavarria-11.5
    Nick Ahmed-11.0
    Brandon Belt-10.8
    Danny Espinosa-10.0
    Buster Posey-10.0
    Paul Goldschmidt-9.8
    Wilson Ramos-9.1
    Odubel Herrera-9.1

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