Open Discussion: Week of November 30th

Not much on the Phillies’ front this week.  Next week they’ll be prepping for Matt Klentak’s first Winter Baseball Meeting as the GM of the Phillies.

MLBTR’s Brad Johnson profiled several possible top Rule 5 picks by the Phillies in a recent article.  Interestingly enough they are all outfielders or first basemen.

For those of you who travel to Clearwater for spring training, the opening of the sports bar that replaced The Tilted Kilt finally occurred a week ago.  So, there’s that.  I’m going to check it out this week and will provide a review if we suffer another slow news week.

One last thing.  Is anyone else bothered that Andrew Knapp only started 8 games at catcher in the AFL?  I understand the dynamics that there are a lot of prospects attending and that J.P. Crawford would probably have been featured in most games at shortstop if he hadn’t gotten injured.  But I don’t care about other teams’ prospects.  Only playing 8 games at a position he needs improvement seems a waste to me.

With nothing else to do, I included all the Phillies’ off season transactions in this week’ s posting.  I’ll continue to add to it and update the roster as transactions are reported.

Off Season Transactions

  • 11/20 – Claimed RHP A.J. Achter off waivers from the Minnesota Twins
  • 11/20 – Selected the contract of Roman Quinn from Reading
  • 11/20 – Selected the contract of Jimmy Cordero from Reading
  • 11/20 – Selected the contract of Edubray Ramos from Reading
  • 11/19 – Signed FA RHP Leonel Aponte to a minor league contract
  • 11/19 – Signed FA 2B Angelys Nina to a minor league contract
  • 11/18 – Signed FA 2B Emmanuel Burriss to a minor league contract w/invite to ST
  • 11/18 – Signed FA RHP Frank Herrmann to a minor league contract w/invite to ST
  • 11/18 – Signed FA 2B Ryan Jackson to a minor league contract w/invite to ST
  • 11/18 – Invited non-roster RHP Chris Leroux to spring training
  • 11/18 – Invited non-roster RHP Reinier Roibal to spring training.
  • 11/14 – Traded RHP Sam McWilliams to Arizona for RHP Jeremy Hellickson
  • 11/12 – Signed FA LHP James Russell to a minor league contract w/invite to ST
  • 11/7 – OF Destin Hood elected free agency (signed w/MIA on 11/12)
  • 11/7 – C Koyie Hill elected free agency
  • 11/7 – RHP Colin Kleven elected free agency (signed with CWS on 11/20)
  • 11/7 – Ethan Martin elected free agency
  • 11/7 – RHP Steven Inch elected free agency
  • 11/6 – C Willians Astudillo elected free agency (signed w/ATL on 11/24)
  • 11/6 – RHP Stephen Shackleford elected free agency
  • 11/6 – C Rene Garcia elected free agency (signed w/MIL on 11/19)
  • 11/6 – 2B Brodie Greene elected free agency
  • 11/6 – 3B Cord Phelps elected free agency
  • 11/6 – 2B Tyler Henson elected free agency
  • 11/6 – SS Edgar Duran elected free agency
  • 11/6 – 3B Russ Canzler elected free agency
  • 11/6 – LHP Anthony Vasquez elected free agency
  • 11/6 – RHP Jason Berken elected free agency
  • 11/6 – 2B Tyler Pastornicky elected free agency
  • 11/3 – Claimed RHP Dan Otero off waivers from the Oakland Athletics
  • 11/2 – RHP Jerome Williams elected free agency
  • 11/2 – RHP Chad Billingsley elected free agency
  • 11/2 – RF Jeff Francoeur elected free agency
  • 11/2 – RHP Aaron Harang elected free agency
  • 11/2 – LHP Cliff Lee elected free agency
  • 10/19 – Outrighted Tommy Joseph to LHV
  • 10/19 – Outrighted Kelly Dugan to LHV (elected free agency on 11/6)
  • 10/19 – Outrighted Domonic Brown to LHV (elected free agency 10/20)
  • 10/19 – Outrighted Brian Bogusevic to LHV (elected free agency 10/20)
  • 10/16 – Signed FA RHP Luis Ramirez to a minor league contract
  • 10/15 – Signed FA LHP Jeff Singer to a minor league contract
  • 10/15 – RHP Kevin Correia elected free agency
  • 10/14 – RHP Seth Rosin elected free agency
  • 10/14 – RHP Dustin McGowan elected free agency
  • 10/7 – Outrighted Adam Loewen to LHV (elected free agency on 10/12, signed w/ARI on 10/30)
  • 10/7 – Outrighted Jordan Danks to LHV (elected free agency on 11/6)
  • 10/7 – Outrighted Chase d’Arnaud to LHV (elected free agency on 10/9, signed w/ATL on 11/5)
  • 10/7 – Outrighted Erik Kratz to LHV (elected free agency on 10/9)
  • 10/7 – Outrighted Justin De Fratus to LHV (elected free agency on 10/9)
  • 10/7 – Outrighted Jonathan Petttibone to LHV (elected free agency on 11/6)
  • 10/5 – RHP Sean O’Sullivan elected free agency

The following is an update of the Phillies’ offseason roster status, which currently stands at 37 players –

Free Agents (5)

  • Cliff Lee, Aaron Harang, Jerome Wiliams, Chad Billingsley, and Jeff Francoeur

Guaranteed Contracts (4) – contract information from COTS

  • 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)
  • Miguel Gonzalez ($4M for 2016, and a vesting option for 2017).

Arbitration Eligible Players (4) – salary projections from Tim Dierkes of MLBTR

  • Jeremy Hellickson ($6.6M)
  • Andres Blanco ($1.0M)
  • Jeanmar Gomez ($1.5M)
  • Freddy Galvis. (1.9M)

(29) Remaining roster players – Elvis Araujo, Alec Asher, Jesse Biddle, David Buchanan, Jerad Eickhoff, Luis Garcia, Ken Giles, Severino Gonzalez, Dalier Hinojosa, Mario Hollands, Adam Morgan, Colton Murray, Hector Heris, Aaron Nola, Nefi Ogando, Joely Rodriguez, Jorge Alfaro, Cameron Rupp, Maikel Franco, Cesar Hernandez, Darin Ruf, Darnell Sweeney, Aaron Altherr, Cody Asche, Odubel Herrera, A.J. Achter, Roman Quinn, Jimmy Cordero, Edubray Ramos

Fall Ball

No change in the VWL by Miguel Gonzalez.  He stands at a 4.13 ERA in 7 starts – 12 BB, 19 K in 32.2 IP.

Rhys Hoskins has rebounded (.276/.340/.517, 3 HR) and Cord Sandberg has cratered (.230/.329/.311) in Australia.

The AFL has completed its season.  Drew Stankiewicz (.483/.531/.621) responded well after his call up following J.P. Crawford’s thumb injury.  Tom Windle (1.74 in 10 appearances) pitched well.  Yacksel Rios (2-2, 5.14) got lit up in his final start and saw his ERA jump by about 3.00, however he pitched well in his other starts.

Maikel Franco made his DWL debut.  He homered in his first game and has 2 in 5 games.  His slash is .263/.391/.579.  he has only struck out once in 19 AB and has walked 3 times.  Roman Quinn is struggling he is hitting .212 and has struck out 27 times in 99 AB.  Newly signed Angelys Nina has a .270/.323/.357 in 115 AB.  Joely Rodriguez has a 2.95 ERA in 6 appearance/4 starts and 20 K in 18.1 IP.  Ranfi Casimiro has posted a 1.89 ERA in 4 starts.  Relievers Ulises Joaquin (2.70, 9K in 10 IP)and Jimmy Cordero (2.16 ERA in 9 appearances, 9 K in 8.1 IP) are throwing well.  As is Nefi Ogando (2.70 in 8 appearance).

Victor Arano is killing it in Mexico with a 3-0 record and 0.86 ERA in 20 appearance, 18 K in 21 IP.  Dylan Cozens made his debut and is hitting .318/.348/.500 with 1 HR in his first 7 games.  He has 5 K and 1 BB in 22 AB.

In Puerto Rico, Jesmuel Valentin continues to put up a respectable .27362/.326/.341 in 88 AB.  Hoby Milner has posted an ERA of 0.00 in 9 appearances (5.0 IP).  Reinier Roibal has a 1.69 ERA in 4 starts – 16 IP, 12 K, 6 BB.

There is winter baseball in Nicauragua.  Austin Davis, Harold Guerrero, Jairo Munoz, and Will Morris are all on the same team.  Davis has a 0.99 ERA, 36 K in 27.1 IP.

180 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of November 30th

  1. Heard Blash was suspended for recreational drug. I’m cool with that – I mean who isn’t, right? Could the Mariners have buried him after the suspension & he’s a legit talent who deserves a shot?

    1. He’s older, but he is big and has a sweet swing. Kind of a cross between Aaron Altherr and Kyle Blanks. I wouldn’t hate Blash as the pick.

      1. Yeah I’m not feeling Blash’s profile if we are taking a position player out of this bunch I would lean toward Goeddel based on age and ability to make contact.

        1. DMAR…..if it is an outfielder Goeddel would seem to be the one. he has a lot of the defensive tools with a plus arm and speed for the OF.
          Though I have a liking for Becerra as a long-term prospect, but his 2016 production would be probably pretty poor, and in ’17 put him at Reading or LHV to develop.

            1. I didn’t eat breakfast yet my friend 🙂 This kid looks very enticing. Definitely a risky move but when you’re the worst team in baseball these are the types of gambles you have to take.

            2. DMAR….just one small issue with taking someone who is long term and who plays the one year then dwon to the minors for another year of development…..the Nov 2016- 40man…..next year you will need to protect , Quinn, Williams, Cozens, Tocci and Becerra if selected…plus MLB guys like Herrera, Altherr and who knows if Asche and Sweeney are still here. Normally teams reserve 6/8 OF slots for their 40.
              So GM will need to do some juggling. Unfortunately, you cannot protect them all

          1. I’m surprised pitchers weren’t mentioned in the article. I fully expect the Phils to go that route. Especially since our new GM has only targeted pitching thus far.

          2. I’ve only begun reading Rule 5 commentary, but Berra appears to be the most promising candidate thus far. As I read it, he has the possibility of becoming a top 50 prospect in a year or two. If they think he has the ability to become a first division regular, they could probably hide him for a year as a 5th outfielder, although it will be painful at times. If they don’t think there’s a decent chance (35% or more) he could become a first division regular, I think I’d pass. But thinking this through make me fairly convinced that nobody will take Tocci – the ceiling just isn’t high enough to take up a roster spot for a year, even on a pretty bad team.

          3. Romus: yes there are other guys to protect in the 2016 Rule 5, but there are also a ton of marginal guys on our 40-man. The 2016 season will shake out a lot of these guys, especially the middle reliever types. Then Howard leaves the roster, along with Ruiz, and something has to be done trade-wise to get something out of Asche unless he turns the development corner and shows us a lot more than he did in 2015. There really aren’t all that many ‘gotta haves’ likely to be on our 2016 winter 40-man. A lot of interesting, iffy prospects, but not a ton of really top prospects.

            The interesting thing on Becerra (Mets’ #10 prospect) is that he’s about the same ceiling/risk prospect that we exposed in Tocci (our #10 prospect). If we take Becerra and lose Tocci, we’re to the bad, because Tocci doesn’t need to be on the 25-man. Same with some of the flame-throwing pitchers available. They really aren’t an upgrade on Tirado, so if we sign one and lose Tirado it is a net loss.

            1. Yes Allentown, the 40 man (or 38/39 if the Phillies decide to do the Rule 5 again) next season can be rimmed quite a bit from the marginal guys. Teams normally do allocate slots per category , ie catchers 2 maybe 3, INfers 7 or 8 and so on. But there are so many marginal pitchers , plus Howard and Ruiz coming off that is not an issue.
              Asche in 2016 is on the bubble in my estimation, and leaning to pop.
              And you hit the nail on the head with Becerra and Tocci.
              As for Tirado. Not sure how much of a loss it could be. Certainly, it would make. in retrospect, the Revere trade as selling low, but then again have the Jays tendered Revere?

              A little trivia on the Rule 5.
              If Luis Perdomo is selected next week…..he will be the second Luis Perdomo pitcher selected from the Cardinals organization in 7 years. The first was selected in 2008 by the Giants.
              Now that is weird!

          1. After reading about how the Mets fans are freaking out about the prospect of losing Becerra, I want him! It does go to show the angst of all MLB Minor league fans over losing THEIR guy. Let’s stick it the Mets.

            1. I agree with you. I really do not understand why a team like the Phillies or Braves would pass up the opportunity to larceny a rival of a top 10 prospect. Teams that know they aren’t going to compete should select the highest ceiling prospect possible, IMO.

    2. You are “cool with it”? Really? It shows how stupid he is. He knows it a suspendable offense, but does it anyway.

  2. Knapp caught 8 out of the 15 games he played in the AFL
    McGurie caught 10 of the 14 games he played.
    Both top catching prospects from their respective teams, Phillies and Pirates
    Apparently sharing duties was the order of the day for the catching position on the Glendale Dogs.

  3. Jim, I remember last year during the offseason there were a few prospective signings announced by the news medias that did not show up anywhere in the Phils websites, either on there MLB MiLB rosters or non-roster invitees. Greg Burke is one so far this year? I remember some in the past, I think Wandy was one, where he was thought to be signed and then not. What is up with those type of players and why don’t they show up on any rosters if they are signed?

      1. Yes, non-roster invitees are listed on the Phils MLB website as I explained above, but there is usually a handful that are not listed anywhere i.e. Burke. My question to Jim was why are there some that don’t show up anywhere, even though signed in the offseason, until spring training?

        Not a big deal but since he took the time to list the transactions, including non-roster signings I thought I would ask the question about players like Burke.

    1. Wandy was never actually signed. He agreed to a contract in late December 2014, but failed the physical that the contract was contingent upon in January 2015. So, the signing never happened.

    2. Regarding Greg Burke, I only remember a story by Phil Anastasia that other outlets picked up, nothing from the Phillies, or MLBTR, or MLB, or MiLB (which is why I didn’t include him). Maybe he hasn’t passed a physical yet?

  4. Apologies for beating a dead horse, but the BJs signing Happ makes our trade for Hellickson look ever better.

    Happ was often mentioned–not only by people on this board but the national and local media as well–as someone whom the Phils could target as a veteran stop-gap SP.

    And he signed for 3 years/$36 million. Had the Phillies signed him for that length and value, there would have boos on this board, including from me. Hellickson, on his 1-year, roughly $7 million deal is much more what the Phillies need now.

    1. I don’t think anyone really expected Happ to go for a 1 year deal or even 2 year deal. Bud Norris is a guy the Phillies could have got on a 1 year deal for less then what JH is making (and the prospect cost) and also has more upside then JH. There zero reason to think we can move JH for anything worth the future at the deadline.

    1. Better draft and grow our own pitching. Zimmerman 5yrs for $110M. And Cueto turned down 6yr/$120M. When we r ready to contend in 2018 what will prices be??

    2. I watched the Miami games often down here, especially when they played the Phillies. I enjoyed their broadcast team largely because of Hutton. Maybe he could be hired to replace one of the worn out faces on the MLB Network. Boy, am I tired of the “pollyannas” they have doing their shows.

    1. They are probably playing percentages that somebody will rise from the ashes to fill a spot on MLB roster? I guess if you find someone better you can always designate them as well.

  5. The Non Tender Candidate list is out on MLB Rumours and there are some interesting names in the list. Peter Buorjos, our friend Ben Revere and Nolan Reimold are some of the hitters available to be signed . The pitchers are headed by Steve Cisheck, Jeff Locke and another friendly face Vance Worley.

    1. Some of those players may still be tendered in the next two days but there are a few interesting names on that list,.

    1. There are a couple of guys on the list that are surprising. Hoskins is on the list, though I wouldn’t call him a true surprise. His numbers, even considering age/ level, are quite good.* He gets dinged (correctly or not) because of scouting concerns.

      *As I stated a few months ago, the age IS relevant, and is why some of the most enthusiastic projections around here are a little on the optimistic side. But even taking age into account, the stats were good enough that, if the scouts are wrong, he does project as a major league player. Just not as a star.

      1. LarryM…interesting, but Chris Mitchell’s formula for KATOH has little bearing on the ‘BB rate’ in play under the AA level…as he writes…..”walk rate doesn’t matter very much at the lower levels of the minors. In fact, it’s not predictive at all for players in rookie ball or Low-A. And even as high as Double-A, a one percent change in strikeout rate affects a player’s projection by about 1.5 times as much as a one percent change in walk rate”.

    2. Matt Winkelman destroys this list on Twitter. Does about 15 tweets on it. Explains how it is deeply flawed rating system. Here is one:

    3. I went off about statistical models on minor leaguers on Twitter yesterday (as V1again alluded to), but here are the problems with this specific model.
      – The ranking is done by total expected WAR through age 28, which shifts the scale towards younger players immensely
      – The positional weights are done by position (with all OF grouped together) with no accounting for actual defensive ability
      – Overemphasis of BABIP and K% for young players
      – Stats are regressed to league level, not park
      – Only 2015 starts are used
      – On top of the through 28 part of the ranking there is a heavy weighting on age in the low minors

      Overall doing predictive statistical modeling for prospects is a terrible thing to be doing, especially on an individual level because the data is incredibly flawed. The methodology here made a lot of strange and large assumptions that heavily skewed the data and added the creator’s biases into the system. Overall I think the list itself is a pile of crap and the author could have presented his model in many different ways that would have communicated his point of view better (such as abandoning a top 100 and doing positional groups).

      1. Yeah, but it’s still nice to see J.P. Crawford finish in second. The weaknesses you mention only further highlight his value since he is believed to have a very high defensive upside as well.

          1. Yeah, there is some insane stuff in there. Who evaluates SB based only on rate at which steals are attempted? Why is making it to the majors (injury and reward cups of coffee can really warp that stat) given so much prominence, and why is the next step up >4 WAR, when most of his divisions are 2 WAR units? Just giving a positional award to SS, without even considering if the guy is halfway close to being able to stick at SS is insane. And… if he did not consider actual defensive performance, how does Canelo make top 100 prospects? He’s right on his biggest conclusion: short-season stats don’t matter a lot and are less predictive than scouting.

      1. I’d add that the system doesn’t – can’t – take fully into account the main concern about Tocci, the lack of strength/body type. I think it’s fair to say that if he DOES add significant muscle he will be quite a good prospect. (In that regard note that a plus defensive center fielder does not have to hit much to be at least a decent regular.) The question is whether he will ever add that muscle, and, if he doesn’t, will he be able to hit major league pitching at all..

        1. Yes, Tocci needs to continue to gain strength, but this issue is now a bit over done. He has made strides in this direction, so the concern has mutated from ‘can he add strength’ to ‘how much strength can he continue to add’. He hit fine at Lakewood. He didn’t have problems at Clearwater primarily because of lack of strength. It takes no more strength to hit anywhere in the minors than it does at Lakewood. He had problems at CLW because he was facing better pitchers: better control/command with fewer mistakes, better secondary pitches, better idea how to pitch. So… he needs to improve as a hitter: pitch recognition, tracking breaking balls, learning to hit good pitches rather than living off bad pitches.

          1. Another consideration is that in August, when he really bottomed out, opposing defenses were playing him a little shallower. Balls that were falling in earlier in the season were being caught.

      1. I have no idea what this sentence is attempting to convey. Why is age a factor and exactly how do we underrate that while overrating age. From his words, he seems to be looking at age vs level, although most of terms like AGE and AGE2 not defined.

        1. The point is that being young does not imply future growth, having the physical and mental spots to grow can give room for growth. For example it is less important that Cozens is young compared to his peers because he is physically maxed out. There is experience that he can gain and so we should take his lack of ABs into account. But that is different that looking at Crawford being young and seeing the places that he will grow into with time.

          Hence we overrate that player X is young while not properly rating why it is or is not important that player X is young.

  6. Who’s first to go?

    With 38 on the roster already, it seems there’s a good chance that between now and the start of Spring Training, a player or two will be released.

    My Top 4 (Not including recently added players):

    Colton Murray: He’s number one on my list, by a mile.

    Dalier Hinojosa. I think what we saw last year was a mirage.

    David Buchanan. I know we’re short on SPs, but I think he’s already peaked.

    Luis García. He’ll be 29 to start the season.

  7. Blake Rutherford is currently the highest rated position player eligible for the 2016 MLB draft. One huge knock that I think will brought up as the draft nears, is that he is old for a HS senior. Rutherford will be 19 in May. That means he has been playing with an age advantage on his peers. It also means that he will have one less year of control before being eligible for the Rule 5 draft. He’ll need to be added to the 40 man roster a year earlier than nearly every other HS player selected in this year’s draft.

    1. I am curious about him. Doubt he Beatles out Groome/Hanson/Puk for the #1 pick. But still curious to see an OF ranked so high. Have you seen any reports on him?

      1. MLB pipeline has a short draft video up on Rutherford. It mentioned he’ll be 19 at the time of the draft and that stood out, because I know Groome will still be 17 at the draft. Honestly, I’m a little disappointed, because I think that is an important knock against Rutherford.

        1. It sounds crazy, but especially with a high school position player who is raw, being 19, as opposed to 18 or, better yet, 17, is actually quite a big deal. Anthony Hewitt was 19 when he was drafted and we were told it wasn’t a big deal. Guess what? It was. Pitchers are weird – I am bit less concerned with age on pitchers than I am with hitters, especially where the scouting reports are good and the pitcher does not have serious control/command problems.

          1. OTOH, the league he plays in is perhaps the best high school league in the country (e.g., Giancarlo Stanton, Lucas Giolito, etc.) so it is not exactly an Anthony Hewitt situation. And he has excelled at national events. The age thing is a concern . . . came up last year with Brendan Rodgers, who went 1-3 and turned 19 in early August. With all of the “holdbacks” of athletes these days, it is going to come up more and more.

      2. A month back I was buying the Rutherford hype but I’ve since cooled on him for the very reason VOR states above his age. Not saying he isn’t a top 5 pick but I would be concerned about taking him 1 over all.

        He definitely looks the part at 6’4″ 190 runs extremely well and plays above average CF. Is he above Hanson or Puk though that is the major question.

          1. I question the validity of a NJ prospect evaluator who doesn’t know Jason Groome’s first name. Also, Puk’s ” mischief” is news to me. Immaturity or character issues? I still rate Groome #1.

            1. Puk was arrested for climbing a crane in a marked construction area as a sophmore. Sounds like immaturity to me. I definitely did some immature things at that age. Hell, I’m twice that age and I still doimmature things.

            2. yeah….give the kid a break, he is from Iowa, its in his blood, they either tilt cows or climb cranes for kicks.

          2. The article doesn’t say these players are high on the Phillies radar. It says they figure to be high on the Phillies radar.

        1. Doesn’t matter if he’s above Puk or Hansen bc they all aren’t above Groome. Sorry you won’t hear me say anything then Groome NEEDS to be their first pick.

          I’ve worked with guys who have been drafted and my buddy is the Ray rookie team hitting coach and all have been FLOORED after seeing him throw in person with me. The Rays hitting coach (again rookie league) said he would dominate the hitters he coaches and that was when he was 16.

        1. v1…’Beatles out’…Abbey Road…Paul’s shoeless….died and replaced by a stand in….autocorrect spot on this time….don’t mess with high tech ingenuity.:)

  8. I know we have to see the seasons play out for all of these guys, but the more I read about Groome, his talent and what is described as an easy arm motion for someone his size,and what seem to be those intangibles of leadership and mental make up, would make me want him at 1.1. Of course, that assumes that he has a season commensurate with his talent hype.

    1. I haven’t seen a description that beats the one that has been laid out for him. He checks a LOT of the boxes – basically, all of them as far as I can tell.

      1. matt13/J64….does Matt Klentak feel the same pressure in who to choose and draft at 1.1 as the PhuturePhillie poster!
        Good thing Midd and Mac are not meddlers.

  9. Mike Ilitch: ‘I don’t care about the money,’ wants World Series title/ Love to have a owner who says this and means it. Remember when braman said it. and let reggie white leave over money.

    1. Or when Middleton said it and is now about to go with the Phillies lowest MLB salary budget in a decade? I think guys like White tend not to be kept more over years than over $/year in salary demands.

        1. But they are structured in multiple years with bonus size based partly on years, along with guaranteed $ and all of that spread over the total contract years.

    2. The Phillies literally did this from 2011 on. And yet we still have people complaining. Unbelievable.

  10. 2 years ago he should have traded for Papelbon and he would have 1. Tigers lost 2 seasons because of a lack of a BP. Dombrowski lost his job because for all the $ spent, they never addressed it when they needed to. And, I question whether Zimmermann instead of David Price or Max Scherzer will get him one now.

  11. I just read that the Red Sox signed Price for 7/$217! I know they have a lot of $, but that makes Hamels look cheap! And, I am sorry, and not because we had him, but I preferred Hamels.

    1. That is a ton of money, but I think that is the going rate. Baseball teams are seeing their revenue rise, so more and more teams able to spend significant $. We have to adjust our thinking as to what is top $ for a player.

    2. 217 Million dollars. The part that gets me is he doesn’t have to win one game. He still gets that money. Baseball is nuts with there guaranteed contracts.

      1. Looks like the Yankees may now go out now and try to get one of the other FA top pitchers. Who is left? Cueto Greinke.

      2. Did you read my post in the last gen discussion? It lays how an idea of how contracts could be and it would benefit both players and owner

  12. What does Greinke get now, if Price got that amount? Doesn’t performance in the post season mean anything? I always thought that it did. Doesn’t this just make the Phils pick this year that much more crucial? Not that I care if they pay $40Mill/year for a SP in 3 years, it is that there won’t be anybody good to spend it on. Get that Ace in the draft.

    1. Greinke was 5@97M….but LAD paid him $25M last year. He is older then Price by a few years so he will not get that AAV that Price got….but IMO he may get 4@108M

    2. Greinke opted out early however from his contract.:
      13:$17M, 14:$24M, 15:$23M………16:$24M, 17:$23M, 18:$24M

  13. Romus, With the Dodgers and Giants going head to head for Greinke, don’t be surprised if he gets more than Price’s AAV, but for 5 years. Crazy stuff, but it seems to be those 2 teams battling for him.

    1. Yes matt plenty of heated rivalries with competition for top players….Sox/Yanks…..LAD/Giants…..Rangers/Astros……Cubs/Cardinals….Phillies/Marlins , whoa how that get in there!

    2. It’s not really all that crazy. If anything, relative to the revenue of baseball teams, both top baseball salaries and bonuses to draftees have gone down significantly. It was way back in 2001 that ARod signed his first giant $252 million contract. The record contract for a player eligible for draft was set way back in 1996 with the draft fiasco, which made Travis Lee and 3 others FA. Owners proved willing to pay $10 million to such a player and that wasn’t even for the guy taken first in the draft.

  14. I would like the Phils to start showing that Middleton means what he says and attack the International market. I certainly did not expect, nor want, them to start now with FA, but there will be opportunities to spend and we will see what the Phils do. I was all excited about the Rule 5 Draft, now these teams are making me long for that Cliff Lee signing before 2011!

    1. We have to wait until July 2nd to sign any young cuban players. Do you want them to be making bids on the Korean guys getting posted?

      1. With the first pick money allocation, and hopefully tacking on another 50% thru prospect trading….the Phillies could be able to spend without penalty a max approx. value of $7.5/8M (Arizona $5.4M in 2015) on international talent. Pales in comparison to a penalized team like LAD or Cubs, but better then in the past for them.
        But some teams under the penalty currently are Angels, Diamondbacks, Rays, Red Sox and Yankees all exceeded their 2014-15 pools by more than 15 percent, so they won’t be able to sign any pool-eligible players for more than $300,000 during the current 2015-16 period and the 2016-17 period. All the teams going over their pool this year, including the Dodgers, Cubs, Giants, Royals and Blue Jays, among possible others, will also be subject to the $300,000 limit during the 2016-17 signing period. So Phillies do not have to compete with many of the above mentioned this July.

      2. No John, not at all. I don’t want them to waste $, I want to see them spend, and if I have to wait until July to see it, I have to wait. But, I won’t believe that they will until they actually do.

        1. The Phillies do spend internationally. This thought that they don’t spend at all used to be the case but this has changed over the past 5 years.

  15. I’ll say this if that is the cost of an ACE I’m out and i don’t care how much money I have. My feeling is when you tip the payroll scales too heavily in that direction toward a player that can only go out once every 5th day your destined to fall short.

    A few things are at play but the main one being an arm only has so many innings before it gives way to an injury (who wants to start the list)

    Secondly history might suggest at least anecdotally that WS winners have an ACE that was home grown and most likely extended before he hit FA. Or one that was picked up via trade at a modest cost of prospects.

    I guess we’ll see. Scherzer pitched well in the first year of his deal for sure but again he can only go out there for you once every 5th day. Human nature is what it is. I’m sure the other 24 guys start looking at their deals and wondering “where’s mine”.

    1. These days, you need multiple “Aces” to compete. So if you don’t want to pay for an Ace on the FA market, then there are 2 options:
      1. Hope that 1:1 AND Kilome turn into Aces. A very low probability scenario.
      2. Trade a package similar to what we got for Hamels. If you excluded the guys we got, that would be a package consisting of:
      – Nola
      – Knapp
      – Quinn or Randolph
      – Eflin
      – Windle

      Willing to give that up for an Ace?

      1. @v1 – acquiring aces (like the phillies did in 2010-2012) is sure a good way to compete. but it’s hardly sustainable due to the heavy costs in $$ and prospects. as much as i hate the Mets, they hit right in drafting Harvey, deGrom, Matz and trading for Wheeler and Thor.

        IMO, the Royals blue print of solid pitching, lights out bullpen and timely contact is the most sustainable way to compete and win.

        Invest resources in scouting and player development in producing regulars (and hope to land an ace, solid BP arm and stub hitter – i.e. STL) and spend $$ in FA or two if your team is just an ace or hitter away.

      2. Not sure I agree with you V1. Even if we cherry pick this past seasons playoff teams starting with KC where were the high priced FA Ace signs

        KC didn’t have any was Cueto really an ace, Ventura?
        Houston? Keuchel came out of no where

        Jays traded for Price

        Rangers traded for Cole

        Cubs again traded for Arrieta on the cheap when the Orioles all but gave up on him.

        Dodgers had 2 legit aces one home grown and one signed in FA and still fell to the Cubs.

        Finally the Mets…yes they have legit Aces but none were high price top FA signs.

      3. That was the return for not only an ace (Hamels), but also Diekman and absorbing Harrison’s contract. I would also argue that Nola has both higher upside and a higher floor than Thompson and that Eflin and WIndle are both more highly regarded prospects than Eickhoff and Asher respectively. So I think you are talking about a package that doesn’t sting as much as the one presented, but would certainly cost promising young talent.

  16. The Mariners have reached agreement on a major league deal with reliever Justin De Fratus. Hope management gets it right, he was overused and misused, hopefully some of the scrap heaps they have brought in are better.

    1. Though, hitting aside, Altherr, Herrera and Bourjos they will definitely have better defense in the OF.

      1. Defense is sexy too. In all seriousness, I like the pickup. Good outfield depth with guys capable of playing any of the three spots. Gives them a little insurance in case Herrera or Altherr regress too much and get sent down before Williams or Quinn are ready to come up.

  17. rocco……what say you. would Adtro’s RHPs Lance McCuller and Vince Velasquez be a good return for Giles?

    1. if i’m the Phils, i’ll take this deal without thinking and even package another BP arm like Araujo to sweeten the pot. I can even take Appell (if HOU gave up on him) plus another arm as another alternative.

      1. Agree…and everyone wins…Stros get their future Brad Lidge and the Phillies get some mid-90s velo right arms to compete in the NLEast .

      2. The Astros wouldn’t trade that for Giles. If The Astros could just make Mcullers the closer, if they thought he was expendable.

    2. Definitely take that deal. Hell I’d swap Giles for Bergman or Kyle Tucker. Probably Cameron as well. I know they are far away, but those guys are premium draft picks and one is closer to the majors plus he could slot in as the future 2B starter.

    1. I don’t really understand why the Phillies would let a guy with a plus arm go while they stock up on some of the most fungible players imaginable.

      1. Obviously they think Ogando is “fungible” also. More hand-wringing over a non-top 20 reliever prospect…

  18. I concede that Chapman and Kimbrel are better than Giles.

    You can also make the argument that three years of Kimbrel at $38 million is worth more than five years of Giles at $25 million or so (two pre-arb years and three arb years).

    OTOH, five years of Giles is clearly worth more than one year of Chapman, and, all other things being equal, Giles should yield a better return than Chapman. This does not mean, however, that Giles actually will yield a better return than Chapman.

    The trick is to find the right trading partner, one that has an urgent need for a closer and that also values the closer role highly. Finding the right trading partner may require time and patience and luck.

    The Phils have an advantage over the Reds in the sense that the Phils can wait to trade Giles, whereas the Reds probably need to move Chapman now.

    Will the Phils also be lucky and get a great return for Giles? Luck means that, over the next year, there will be a team with a sense of urgency and good prospects. With such luck, the return can be great. Without such luck, the return for Giles should still be pretty good.

    1. ‘The trick is to find the right trading partner, one that has an urgent need for a closer and that also values the closer role highly’, the one team and GM that you may cross off the list is the D-Backs and Dave Stewart.
      He is a very reluctant trading partner it would appear. he nixed the whole closer for prospects idea when he said a ‘back end of a bullpen guy for three prospects…no way’. Then yesterday he nixed the Braves pitch for AJ Pollock in return for Shelby Miller offer. He just comes out says what he feels if he doesn’t like the offer returns.
      Most GMs tend to use a little tact in declinations.

  19. I think I good idea would be to package Giles and see what kinda return you can get with more added. I loved the season Herrera had but I’m also really curious what his trade value is right now. If you believe in Quinn that could make Herrera expendable (or if you believe in Williams as a CF, I think he’s more of a corner tho) . . . What could a package of Giles/Herrera or even Giles/Quinn get. Also be creative, take on a player with a bloated contract w a year or 2 left.

    What teams are in the market for closers?

    1. I’ll pass. Although Bill Badinger says he is major league ready27 y/o he doesn’t do any one thing all that great. Not much power if any, slow footed good OBP skills probably best suited for a team that is playoff ready and just needs to plug the 2B spot.

    2. Yes. The Phillies should be in on any international player that doesn’t interfere with our international allotment. Especially if it doesnt require a posting fee. Even if you think he is too old for the rebuild, he can be flipped later (as the Dodgers did with Oliveras just this past year for their #4 prospect Peraza and Alex Wood).

  20. some stuff from keith law chat: http://meadowparty.com/blog/2015/12/03/klawchat-120315/

    Ian: Early 2016 draft question but who goes #1?
    Klaw: If Alec Hansen is healthy, he’s my bet. Jason Groome and AJ Puk are possibilities too, although I think that’s too much for Puk – if I’m going pitcher at 1-1 I want a better athlete.

    Jeremy: if salary weren’t an issue, would Aaron Judge be a better RF option than Beltran in April 2016?
    Klaw: I thought that would become the case last summer/spring, but now I don’t. Judge would get eaten alive by MLB pitchers working him soft away right now.

    Jeremy: which of the 2016 draft prospects is most likely to crack your midseason top 25 prospects list?
    Klaw: Right now I would guess none.

    Jeremy: for a non-contending Phillies team, would you bring JP Crawford up in June/July 2016? or let him work in AAA until September?
    Klaw: When he’s ready – when the at bats are good enough, when he’s no longer making some of the little mistakes that mar his game.

    1. I want to like AJ Puk because I’d prefer a college pitcher at 1:1, but he seems so ordinary to my untrained eye. Something about his delivery seems kind of stiff and it doesn’t look like any top LH pitchers I can recall. I like what I see from Hansen, but talk about his arm being injured this past summer is a concern.

  21. Wouldn’t Henderson Alvarez be a worthwhile gamble for the Phils by offering him a 2 year deal? He is still plenty young, had terrific stuff, and although he is coming off surgery, he would not be the first to make a comeback. And, if he regains his stuff, he would be a terrific acquisition. That would seem to be perfect for the Phils who can afford the risk.

  22. Maeda is getting posted. He is young enough to be around when we are good and could be a stabilizing force for our rotation next season. Really hoping the phillies try on him.

  23. Hard to believe how bad the Phillies defense was in 2015.
    According to Jake Kaplan, ‘The Phils’ minus-92 scoring in the defensive runs saved metric, according to Fangraphs.com, was by far the worst in baseball. The Seattle Mariners were next-worst, at minus-60.’
    Can understand the Bourjos signing to go along with Altherr and Hererra, and maybe Sweeney, in the OF to shore up the OF defense.
    But the Phillies were also out-homered in CBP, so that is another concern that great defenders may not be able to resolve.

    1. That’s brutal Romus. I’m fine with the Bourjos pickup. Actually I’m kind of meh about it. This team has lacked depth on the major league level throughout Amaro’s tenure, so if Klentak aims at improving in this area I would be all for it. I view Bourjos as unexciting depth in an area of need with a sliver of hope that with semi-regular ABs, he can be moved for a low level minor leaguer in July.

      Greinke to Arizona is crazy. I don’t recall being so blown away by the team who ends up signing a FA. I know they were flirting with Cueto, but Greinke. Crazy. Made me start thinking that the DBacks probably aren’t done. We match up with them for a Giles trade very, very well.

      1. Dave Stewart pulls another out of his hat….’holy crap’!
        Here I thought it would be between the Giants and Dodgers.
        I wonder now if Giles could be on his radar……he can spare a prospect pitcher or two now I would think.

        1. If they’re are all in on winning in the near term, then Giles is a perfect fit. Ziegler is 36, and despite his strong season is best suited as a late inning guy. Giles would fill that role for the foreseeable future. Aaron Blair perhaps

          1. Yeah you don’t pay a starter 34 mil a year to have the bullpen blow his starts at the end of the game. The D-backs are rumored to still be in on Leake and I think they have also been linked to Maeda. Signing another SP would definitely make trading a couple of their pitching prospects for Giles (or another closer) much easier to swallow.

  24. Think about the ZG contract this way, he’s going to make about 1m per start . . or about 500k per hour of “work”, unreal.

    1. Eric I hope they give him 5 million a start. I just will do what I have done with basketball not go. I don’t pay for cable. so give them 5 million a start, I could care less. Older I get I realize no one cares. paying these guys this type of money , while people starve, vets are on the street is nuts. and screw them.

      1. Ya, its crazy. When I heard about the recent contracts, I felt exactly as you. I guess that’s why I have transitioned in the last few years to watching minors ball more than the majors.

        The rule 5 draft is fun as well as everyone try’s to find a Herrera type guy who may not have seen the majors if were not for the rule 5

  25. Now the Dodgers have to overpay for Cueto and/or Samardzjia, and the Giants are still short pitching. The numbers are crazy. I guess the Dodgers would not pay more than Kershaw, which is understandable, but they are desperate to win. Makes 3/36 for Happ almost reasonable, although I would never pay him that. Vogelsong is a possibility for the Phils if Fister is now outside their price comfort zone,.

  26. The Phils have to get it right at 1.1 in June. We will have a number of pitchers to follow this year in Groome, Puk, Hansen and Pint. I hope when June rolls around there is a consensus #1, so the pick is an easy one. 2.1 Should be a real top prospect as well. At least there are a number of things to look forward to this coming year, amateurs and quite a few farm players, because I have been totally blah going into the last 3 seasons.

  27. May have missed it here, but has anyone been following Jacob Wilson? Is he a possibility for the Phils to pick in the second round of the rule 5. I saw last year 18 homers in 427 AB’s (11 AAA, 7AA). A .305 average the year before if memory holds correct.

    1. Another one of those Cardinal players who are not flashy but are steady, who are well coached and produce…they seem to have a knack of getting the most from those type of players over the last decade or so. He actually could be an upgrade at 2nd base, over both Cesar and Darnell Sweeney.

      Jacob Wilson | Rank: 17 (Preseason: 14)

      Team: Memphis Redbirds (AAA) ETA: 2016 Position: 3B/2B Age: 25 DOB: 07/29/1990 Bats: R Throws: R Height: 5′ 11″ Weight: 180 lb. -Drafted: 2012, 10th (330) – STL

      Scouting grades:
      Hit: 45 | Power: 50 | Run: 40 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45
      Few teams can match the Cardinals’ recent track record of unearthing talent in the later rounds of the Draft. Yet another example is Wilson, a $20,000 senior sign in the 10th round in 2012. He came out of Memphis and is similar to the best player that program ever has produced, Dan Uggla.
      Wilson has more bat speed and strength than a typical middle infielder, giving him at least average power. While he expands his strike zone on occasion, he doesn’t swing and miss excessively and should hit for some average as well. With a little more discipline, he could be a .260 hitter with 15-18 homers per season.
      A third baseman in college, Wilson has divided his time between the hot corner and second base as a pro. He has soft hands and good actions up the middle, and enough arm to play the hot corner when needed.

  28. He doesn’t excite me. He had a poor season with the bat and he has always been a little old for his league, but hasn’t put up the kind of stats that draw your attention. The solution is not to gather other team’s mediocre, low-ceiling prospects, because they have been very well coached. The solution is to improve our own coaching ranks. Perhaps as the second rounder in the Rule 5 to fill the second utility IF spot, but I’d rather take a riskier guy who has more upside, if one is available, realizing that might be a stretch in the 2nd round.

    1. Unfortunately, they all have warts of some kind.
      And for the most part, many are low-ceiling prospects from other teams, if not they would be protected.
      The two postional players I would go for on the first pick would be the OFer Goedell (sp) or Becerra, and on the 2nd pick I would lean to this guy Wilson.
      The Phillies have continually talked pitching depth, so it will probably be pitching next week. Perdomo, from the Cardinals is a talented guy and maybe Guduan, and hope he gains control somehow.

      1. rocco…Hoskins with a OPS of .949. I think that leads all winter league players with 100PAs or more. Now understand according to BaseballRoss, the ABL pitching equivalent is somewhere around High A, it still is a noteworthy accomplishment to date.

        1. rocco…oops….actually he is only first in the Phillies org…..he is 6th in all winter league play with affiliate players, still not too shabby.

        2. Hoskins is sure to be a polarizing player come time to do our off-season rankings (here, not nationally). I could see him ranked as high as 5, probably more commonly around 7-10, and still a few who will rank him outside the top 10 altogether. He’ll be top 10 for me for certain, and Randolph will be top 5.

          1. Yes…also depends on how much weight people put into the BA criteria for R-R positional players. BA analyst , along with some other major pubs, do deemphasize that makeup, especially for 1st baseman, and a lesser degree for other positional players. The hit and power tool , according to their criteria , must have a plus rating or better, for them to rank them at a higher ranking. They have been correct on this, but there are plenty of exceptions, and once some of these players reach the AA level and still produced, then they begin to lighten up their critique.

            1. I see Hoskins as having a Billy Butler-esque career as a ceiling or he could end up the way of Darin Ruf.

            2. DMAR…..that is a close approximation on his projection, though, if you believe in the age-to-level importance, he is one year ahead of Ruf, since Ruf was a 4-year collegian out of Creighton.

      2. That was Hoskins, not Romus. I know Romus has some serious power, but I don’t think it could hit one quite that far.

        No offense Romus

  29. Dodgers trying to land Chapman as their closer, if but for one year as it stands right now..
    Why not try Giles for many years!

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