Winter Meetings and Rule 5 Draft Discussion: Mid-Week, December 9th (updated post-Giles trade)

The Phillies made a major trade Wednesday when they sent Ken Giles to the Astros.  I figured that we would need a thread to discuss the impending Rule 5 Draft and had intended to post this tomorrow, but the Giles trade has accelerated the publishing of this post.  I’ll include the draft news as it occurs tomorrow.

The Phillies’ week started off slowly as they outrighted Joely Rodriguez off the 40-man roster on the 7th.  They followed that up with the FA signing of right-handed, relief pitcher David Hernandez early on the 9th.  And then, the rumors that had buzzed all week around Ken Giles came to fruition when a trade of the closer was announced to Houston for RHP Vincent Velasquez, LHP Brett Oberholtzer, OF Derek Fisher, and RHP Thomas Eshelman. An apparent irregularity in Derek Fisher’s physical led to some additional bargaining until the deal was concluded and announced Saturday.  The Astros will receive Giles and minor league SS Jonathan Arauz in exchange for Velasquez, Oberholtzer, Eshelman, Mark Appel, and Harold Arauz.  Daniel Otero was designated to create room on the 40-man roster.

Velasquez possess a mid-90s FB and has started and pitched out of the bullpen for the Astros this past season.  Oberholtzer has a sub-90s fastball.  Fisher hit 22 HRs and posted a .275/.364/.483 across A and A+ ball last season.  He also saw some action in the Arizona Fall League this year.  He was ranked as their #8 prospect by MLB.

Before the Giles trade, I read on Twitter that Todd Zolecki confirmed that the Phillies will definitely select OF Tyler Goeddel with their first pick in the Rule 5 Draft.  If true, I don’t think acquiring Fisher would change that.

The 40-man stands at 39.  The addition of the 2 Rule 5 selections will require another move to bring the 40-man roster to 40.

Rule 5 Draft Selections

  • Tyler Goeddel – a right-handed 3B/OF from the Rays AA affiliate
  • Daniel Stumpf – a LHP, reliever from the Royals AA affiliate

Transactions During the Winter Meetings

  • 12/10 – Selected Tyler Goeddel in major league portion of the Rule 5 Draft
  • 12/10 – Selected Daniel Stumpf in major league portion of the Rule 5 Draft
  • 12/10 – Manaure Martinez selected by the CWS in the AAA portion of the Rule 5 Draft
  • 12/9 – Traded Ken Giles to Astros for RHP Vincent Velasquez, LHP Brett Oberholtzer, OF Derek Fisher, and RHP Tom Eshelman.
  • 12/9 – Signed free agent RHP David Hernandez.
  • 12/7 – Outrighted Joely Rodriguez to LHV.

The following is an update of the Phillies’ offseason roster status, which currently stands at 39 players –

Guaranteed Contracts (6) – contract information from COTS

  1. Matt Harrison ($13M for 2016 and 2017, $13.5M club option or $2M buyout for 2018
  2. Charlie Morton
  3. Carlos Ruiz ($8.5M for 2016, $4.5M club option or $0.5M buyout for 2017)
  4. Andres Blanco ($1.0M) – reached arbitration agreement for 2016 at $1.45M
  5. Ryan Howard ($25M for 2016, $23M club option or $10M buyout for 2017)
  6. Peter Bourjos (1.8M) – reached arbitration agreement for 2016 at $2M
  7. Miguel Gonzalez ($4M for 2016, and a vesting option for 2017). Not on 40-man, outrighted to LHV back on 4/1/2015.

Arbitration Eligible Players (3) – salary projections from Tim Dierkes of MLBTR

  1. Jeanmar Gomez ($1.5M)
  2. Jeremy Hellickson ($6.6M)
  3. Freddy Galvis (1.9M)

Remaining roster players (31) 

  1. Elvis Araujo,
  2. Alec Asher,
  3. Jesse Biddle,
  4. David Buchanan,
  5. Jimmy Cordero,
  6. Jerad Eickhoff,
  7. Luis Garcia,
  8. Severino Gonzalez,
  9. David Hernandez,
  10. Dalier Hinojosa,
  11. Mario Hollands,
  12. Michael Mariot,
  13. Adam Morgan,
  14. Colton Murray,
  15. Hector Neris,
  16. Aaron Nola,
  17. Brett Oberholtzer,
  18. Edubray Ramos,
  19. Daniel Stumpf,
  20. Vincent Valequez,
  21. Jorge Alfaro,
  22. Cameron Rupp,
  23. Maikel Franco,
  24. Cesar Hernandez,
  25. Darin Ruf,
  26. Darnell Sweeney,
  27. Aaron Altherr,
  28. Cody Asche,
  29. Tyler Goeddel,
  30. Odubel Herrera,
  31. Roman Quinn,

179 thoughts on “Winter Meetings and Rule 5 Draft Discussion: Mid-Week, December 9th (updated post-Giles trade)

  1. @jim – you mentioned that the roster stands @ 39. Does MAG counts a spot in the 40-man? I thought the Phils taken MAG out of the active roster.

  2. We’ve seen many changes in a short time. Getting much younger overall…Who is the 4th guy they (we) are getting? Also, do the upgrades at SP mean that they will feel less cOMPELLED to choose a pitcher at the #1 pick in June? I hope they stick with getting a pitcher but these changes may leave the door open for a very compelling choice otherwise…

    1. it’s supposedly thomas eshelman, the college pitcher who the Astros drafted in second round last year- guy who knows how to pitch but projected as back of the rotation guy.

    2. It’ll likely still be a pitcher in June. If we take Groome, odds are he’ll still take at least 3 years in the minors. A lot can happen in 3 years.

  3. I love the thought of getting a diamond in the rough out of the Rule 5 despite the long odds and wanted to post my opinions.

    Blash seems like the best option to keep a starting job in LF for Phillies in 2016. He has power and very high walk rate with likely very good corner defense due to his speed. The K rate will be quite high but I doubt that would be a big deal given his other benefits. If his BA was better his OPS would be vastly improved. As others mentioned his age of 26 seems to limit his upside but a 15+HR, 750OPS could be possible. I figure his likely outcome is similar to John Mayberry.

    Goeddel has scouting reports of being a good hitter that may grow into more power with still excellent speed. Ex-3B may indicate his OF defense still needs some development and his walk rate was okay. Due to advanced bat he may be able to handle the majors but hopefully the current CF profile of low power/high speed transitions to a much needed corner profile. I think he has best mix of possible production now and upside to be my preferred choice. However, I figure his outcome is similar to Cody Asche.

    Teoscar Hernandez could be another option with power and speed with CF capable defense but his poor BA in AA would likely lead to another prospect being a better choice. However, if scouts still like the upside he would have a chance to stick in LF for the year. This profile reminds me of Greg Golson.

    Becerra has upside, mostly since he has not reached test of AA. Results last year were excellent but he is likely to have no production at the Major League level and then will need at least two more years in the minors before seeing what they actually have. Since I have no idea, how about his outcome of Dom Brown.

    On the pitching side, from reports I like Perdomo, but the Cards rarely give up useful talent. However he could just be left out of an excellent system. Relievers are easier to hide as Rule 5 and he could work on his best pitches in a reliever role before going back to minors to retry as a starting. It is so hard to find a mid-rotation quality prospect in Rule 5, I’d be willing to take the chance. If not, maybe he becomes a usable middle reliever. How about a Brad Lincoln outcome since I have no idea.

    Any hard throwing lefty makes sense since LOOGY is a need for Phillies. I guess Guduan who throw near 100mph would be worth a try. If he sticks, great, if not just return him.

    I would take Goeddel then Perdomo/LOOGY to fill starting LF job and a bullpen slot.
    (Note: just read info that Goeddel was reported as the choice. Obviously makes sense to me.)

    1. Jim Salisbury mentioned Tyler Goeddel as the guy he heard they were interested in at 1.1. If so, that would really be a plus defensive OF next season.

  4. I like this trade. Velasquez is a little raw, but he has really good stuff and good command. His minor league k and bb rates show a ceiling of a #2 starter. Also, he is 2 years younger than Giles and almost has as many MLB innings. I also really like Fisher. He is no throw in. His power, speed and walk rates are awesome. A bit of a high k rates, but he is legit. Excited to watch him next year in Reading. IMO, he has a legit opportunity to be a very productive MLB player. And I am excited to learn the 4th piece. Oberholtzer is an Org filler IMO.

    I like Giles, but he is a very high risk reliever IMO. I like the deal.

    1. Not too bad a for a former 7th round pick. But I agree, Giles is high risk. His career walk rate in the minors is over 5 per 9. I was always wondering if he could eventually lose the strike zone.

    1. the part about worrying about disrespecting Luke Gregorson was funny.

      seems like one of those deals that makes sense for both teams- for Houston, they want the certainty that Giles brings in exchange for Velasquez, and the other 3 come from positions of strength where they won’t really miss those guys, but the Phils get 4 guys they can use.

      1. Exactly….Houston’s farm system does not suffer and the Phillies farm system got a boost from the Giles return. I will be looking forward to the farm rankings from BA, BP and MLB when they come out.

  5. I like Velasquez for Giles (Starter with 6 years of control for a reliever with 5 years control). The rest of the package… Eh… I guess Derek Fisher slides in as the Phillies #9 prospect. Overall I think it’s a very fair trade.

      1. MLB never moved Knapp up. MLB only adds/subtracts from trades. They don’t re-rank until the spring.

  6. so, what do you do with VV in 2016? only 33 AA innings before the promotion plus about 150 innings total in last 2 season, with 124 in 2013 being the most he’s thrown- no real need to thrown him into the ML rotation, so place him as a starter in Lehigh Valley (with thompson and eflin) and see what happens?

        1. Matt Eddy ‏@MattEddyBA ·

          #Phillies Rule 5 pick LHP Daniel Stumpf limited LH batters to .167/.289/.250 batting line with 31 SO% at Double-A NW Arkansas.

          1. remember him from the prior season with the Blue Rocks; worth taking a look for the second lefty spot in that pen.

      1. It really was quite unlikely that Tirado would be selected. Until he improves his control and BB rate, right now he would pretty much be a wasted roster spot on a MLB team. That’s really hard to justify unless there is at least a decent chance that the player will have some long term value. And Tirado is more of a lottery ticket type prospect at the moment.

  7. JJ Cooper ‏@jjcoop36 12m12 minutes ago
    Phillies select Royals LHP Daniel Stumpf. Potentially lefty one out guy who did real well against LHH in 2015.

    1. Stumpf looks like Papelbon’s younger brother. Let’s hope he pitch like a young Papelbon and trade him before he becomes a knucklehead.

      Kidding aside, i’m hoping that Perdomo will be available in the 2nd rd, Surpised that Guduan was not selected.

          1. Pedermo was traded from Colorado to the Padres. The Padres picked up four Rule V selections – two they selected themselves and two acquired in trades (Perdermo and Jabari Blash).

      1. I guess Guduan wasn’t selected for the same reason Tirado wasn’t selected. Walking too many guys. Glad that they get to keep Tirado though.

  8. I think, overall, we should be pleased with the 1st Winter meetings effort by Matt Klentak. He has added to the prospect pool, gotten a couple of hitting prospects, a potentially high end SP, and Bullpen depth. The hard part, of course, will be the acquisition of potential star level talent, and the 1st 2 picks in June need to garner them. It will be the most interesting season watching the farm than any I can remember in a long time. And, a fun discussion of our Top 20/30 Prospect Rankings starting about 6 or 7.

  9. Phillies Minor Leagues was fun to follow this last year, even better this coming season.

    However there could be 10 or so players who may push for a big league promotion. There is a lot of good players making their way up.

  10. Phillies make no selection in AAA phase of Rule 5 Draft and suffer the loss of only one player – pitcher Manaure Martinez a RHP from the Reading Phillies.

    Draft lasted 6 rounds. 48 overall players selected.

    1. Interesting. Seems like Martinez has been around forever but he’s never really pitched above Lakewood. He’s supposed to have a great arm and I think is a sidearmer, but has poor control.

    1. kind of surprised we didn’t participate in minor league rule 5. No risk involved just small chump change

      1. Perhaps, with the addition of so many new prospects from other organizations as well as the new prospects drafted and signed during the Rule 4 Draft and International signing period, the Phillies didn’t see a need for more new faces. The AAA and AA phases are really just the reapportionment of org filler.

  11. Nice job everyone. I appreciate coming on here and getting every morsel. The MLB club will still be hard to watch at times but I’m excited for 2016 for seeing how everyone develops!

  12. Great job as well on all blogger’s part. Jim’s site has become a “go-to” for Phillies info because the participants provide more information than even those devoted to baseball information and the Phillies’ own site. Kudos to Jim for the forum and to all those who dig out the reports within other organization’s minor league files. Invaluable.

    1. I think the 40-man roster (as updated by Jim) is now full including the 2 players from Giles trade and 2 from Rule V.

      Not sure when they can assign Biddle and Harrison to 60-day but that should open up roster space for a potential veteran SP and another FA. I can see that a additional 1-2 players will be release before the start of 2016.

      1. The Phillies still have to make a roster move, when the trade is made official.. They had 37 spots before they signed David Hernandez. That’s 38. They traded for Velasquez and Oberwhosit. That’s 40. They traded away Giles. That’s 39. They selected 2 players in the Rule 5. That’s 41. Someone will get released from the 40 before the trade becomes official.

        1. They May have released someone as early as yesterday evening when the trade was going down. Is it 24 hours to clear waivers? If so the trade and the assignment maybe “official” tonight.

  13. Fisher will most likely start in LF at Reading, adding to the OF talent there with Cozens in RF and Quinn in CF, probably. They’ll probably have Pullin or Aaron Brown as the 4th OF and DH but one of them just lost his job at AA yesterday with Fisher’s arrival. Also, with Tocci safely staying in the organization, he’ll start in CF at CWater with Sandberg and Herlis fighting with Brown or Pullin for at bats.
    Reading should have Hoskins, Valentin, JP, Harold Martinez (the only weak link), Alfaro and the OFs and DH above. That is quite a starting 9 every day. That will be a fun team to follow. Guys will certainly have a chance to earn their way to AAA too.

    1. couldn’t agree more and can’t wait for the season to start in reading. what would your batting order be?

      1. One guess – Quinn, JP, Fisher, Hoskins, Cozens, Alfaro, Brown (DH), Martinez, and Valentin 9th. There’s lots to like in that lineup. With Pinto, Pivetta, Lively, Imhof, Richy, and Liebrandt starting.

    2. The best part is that reading was really strong last year and it figures to be just as strong this year.

    3. I think it will be interesting to see how Reading and Lehigh Valley are handled under Klentak’s leadership. I don’t know who had the final say in placement decisions previously and who does now. It may be Joe Jordan for both, and if that’s the case, maybe not much changes. We’ll see.

      If Ruben were still in charge, I agree that JP and Quinn would likely start the year at Reading once again, but it’s possible with new leadership that one or both of them is pushed more aggressively to LHV right out of the gate. LHV has essentially been a long major league/AAAA bench for the past few years. I think with all the prospects in the system starting to block each other, we’ll have to see some more aggressive promotions into AAA.

      For the outfield, I think I’d rather see Williams, Quinn, and Dugan/Perkins in LHV; Fisher, Brown, and Cozens in Reading; and Pullin, Tocci, and Herlis in Clearwater. I’d like to keep all of these guys on the field as much as possible.

        1. Looks like you’re right. I think Dugan declared free agency when he was outrighted off the 40 man roster. If that’s the case, maybe you have Pointer and Perkins rotating there, or one guy like Bogusevic or Danks that can fill in on the ML roster for a short period of time. I just hope they don’t fill the whole LHV outfield with that type of player. I’d like to see our best prospects play, and not just as DHs, as much as possible.

    4. Why the hell wouldnt JP start at Lehigh Valley? What does a kid that walked more than he struck out at AA have to prove there still?

  14. Kudos to the new FO for winning their bet on Tirado and Tocci. Agree with some that not losing Tirado and Tocci is probably the highlight of the Phillies Rule V draft.

    1. It really wasn’t much of a gamble. Tirado was quite unlikely to be selected, and the chance that Tocci would be selected was just about zero.

      Likewise, the Mets prospect (Becerra) that was oft-mentioned on this site as a possible pick for the Phillies in Rule 5 also was not selected. No surprise there, either.

      1. In the end, it just goes to show that all teams want all members of the 25 man roster to contribute. They realize that you cannot get by in this day and age with a 24 man roster.

    2. Though there was little to no chance they would lose Tocci, it still seems like an unnecessary chance to take with Tirado. Why risk a top 15 prospect, when the only upside is they save one option year?

      1. I agree with this – if the scouting reports as to his ceiling are accurate, I would not have exposed him so I could leave some really middling middle relief pitchers (not going to say “fungible”) on the roster.

      2. Good question, and I don’t know the answer. Maybe the risk of any team selecting Tirado (and keeping him on the 25-man roster for a full season) was a lot less than we realize? Or maybe Klentak and company are a little smarter than we give them credit for?

      3. The Phils played it right. They knew there was little chance he would be selected, let alone stick. Your prediction that he had a 75% chance of being selected was simply whimsical.

      4. They save his 40 man roster spot too. There are a lot of guys that will come up before he does.

      5. Because there was nearly a zero chance that he would be taken. You simply overestimated the risk. It was ‘naive’ of you to think he had any chance of being drafted

  15. Now the next two fun questions;

    1) Who closes?

    2) You best guess at the 5 man dujour?

    Here’s my guess at #2

    1) Nola, 2) Hell, 3) Vela, 4) Eich, 5) Morgan Its probably a toss up between 4-5 pitchers for 4 and 5 but this is my best guess.

  16. As of now, the Phils has 14 RPs — Araujo, Garcia, Hinojosa, Gomez, Otero, Achter, Mariot, Hernandez, Stumpf (at least 9 will play to start as part of the 7-man bullpen) and Hollands, Murray, Neris, Cordero and Ramos (5 will probably start in LHV).

    That being said, there will be at least 2 roster spots that will open up before the start of 2016.

  17. 1)TBD FA, 2) Nola, 3) Hellickson, 4)Eickhoff, 5)Morgan. Velasquez starts year in LHV. Hernandez starts the year as the Closer.

    1. For RemH and in reply to matt 13 : I also think Velasquez begins the year at LHV to work on his curveball etc. I think that is why GM MK wanted Oberhultzer and others to soak up innings to keep the boys on the farm. The trick may be how does the team teach the “higher ceiling” players and let them get more experience while integraing those who will eat innings at the ml level without destroying their confidence. To date, the pitchers (starters) acquired are not veteran retreads trying to pick up a paycheck like last year.

    2. This is a transition year. I look at the potential rotation and ask myself who will be here when the team gets really good again. Almost certainly Nola and maybe Eickhoff – that’s about it. It’s not a condemnation, just a statement about where we are in the rebuilding process.

      1. What about Velasquez? Coming into 2015 he was rated well above Eickhoff, and not far behind Nola as a prospect. If he was on the Phillies at the beginning of the year, he would have been our #3 prospect.

      2. Catch, so you think Velazquez will start on the farm as well, and or, are you saying he’s not good enough to be in our rotation when the team gets really good again?

        1. I think he starts on the farm or in long relief – I wasn’t referring to him – he will hopefully become a centerpiece of the rebuild .

    3. Agree with this, although I assume that the FA SP is on a 1-year deadl so Nola and Hellickson as 1-2, then FA-Eickhoff and Morgan or Obbi (if he outplayed Morgan in ST).

  18. Pro scouting director Mike Ondo is high on Goeddel, as he should be:
    “There’s power potential his home runs jumped this year. Especially the latter part of the season, he really started to climb. He hit 12 this year, which is a career high for him. There’s strength in there. There’s good approach and there’s strength in the bat, and I like to think there’s more power to come.”
    …have to assume he may now replace Frenchy as the 4th or platoon with Asche in LF

    1. Romus – was thinking Goeddel merely need to keep his head above water in ST in order to stick. I truly think that if he’s rostered on OD, they will retain him throughout the year if for no other reason than to add more talent into the system. But if he ends ST with a 40% K rate or something similiarly revealing, I could see them returning him to the Rays. I also want to see just how bad his arm is before becoming enamored with his other tools. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a passable throwing arm in the OF

      1. Oops – scratch the throwing arm comment. I realize that actually applies to Fisher, not Goeddel

        I’m also loving the DHernandez signing. He’s still bettering 94 on average with the FB, and is just the kind of guy you can see as a trade-able piece if he could come hot out of the gate. Great signing. Klentak’s moves come off as shrewd to me. I think he’s off to a great start

        1. @Steve……Goeddel , IMO, sticks, come hell or high water…has to under the brand new regime in charge. Not sure how it would look for a team with the 1.1, and boosting that this is one valued avenue for asset growth, to have to bite the bullet and return that pick Unfortunately, .Frenchy probably moves on, though he was a good veteran influence.
          Plus, for analytic departments, the Rule 5 is their equivalent of the World Series…they spend 24/7 analyzing the hundreds of players, with at least 4/5 years of minor league data and trying to come up with the next Roberto Clemente.
          I hope he sticks, would be another Phillies Rule 5 success.
          As for Dhernandez….19 saves, 19 blown saves….stuff plays big but cannot understand the disconnect with expected results. They say, prior to the final injury with the UCL, the fraying of the ligament starts well in advance and pitcher’s subconsciously try to adjust to the damage progressing to the arm, perhaps this was the issue with him before the TJ surgery. The second years after pitcher;s are normally better, so hope this is his year.

          1. Romus – I guess its possible the Phillies have already committed to Goeddel. I could understand that point of view. I just wouldn’t go as far as say he is guaranteed for the season. If he gets 50-60 PAs in ST and is flirting with a .200 BA and .500 OPS, I’m not sure they keep him.

            Whatever happens with Goeddel, I am certainly starting to get excited about the Phillies prospects in multiple senses. 2017 is a .500ish season for the big club as far as I’m concerned, and I’m generally pessimistic. I still think they get a protected pick in the 2017 draft, but who doesn’t. Next year’s club will be more exciting by a long shot – they’ll also lose a lot

            1. I think he makes it out of ST regardless of how he performs in ST but if by June he’s still not showing that he can hold his own, he will be offered back..

          2. I would sure hope this isn’t accurate about how the Phiilies would handle Goeddel. He will be given a shot to make the team. If it becomes obvious that he can’t cut it, whether in spring training or during the season, he should be offered back to Tampa Bay. You don’t stick with the guy just for appearances or for public perception. That is just foolish and would be a lot worse than cutting bait and moving on.

            Further, the Rule V draftees are anything but a lock, even for the 1:1 pick, and anyone who thinks otherwise is naive. You use analytics as a tool to help determine who you should pick, but there are no guarantees. Most Rule V draftees aren’t good enough or just aren’t ready yet, and are returned or just fade away. Completely whiffing on a Rule V selection would be disappointing for the Phillies, but would hardly be an indictment of Klentak and the front office.

        2. He doesn’t need to be a world beater out of SP to make the roster. You have to remember he isn’t expected to come in and be one of the better offensive players, he just needs to be passable so that he can stick on the 25 man. He isn’t looked at as someone who has to contribute this year, he just needs to play decent enough to stick around so he can be built up for the future.

  19. I think that VV has the ability and ceiling to be with the Phils when they are good again. I start him at LHV to continue his growth, and like mentioned above, work on a Curveball, or a 3rd pitch. He has options left, so I think it makes sense for him. I still believe that one of the guys we have discussed before, Fister, Vogelsong, maybe Kennedy, or someone like that will be left without a seat, and take a 1 year deal with the Phils. Eat up innings, give them a chance to show they are back from a down/injured year, and maybe have a nice trade piece in July. The VV rationale I have also for Thompson, who I like a lot, but would rather have in LHV, regardless of his ST. I don’t think Harrison will be ready still to contribute, so I look for another SP between now and mid January.

  20. I asked above but don’t think anyone answered. How long is someone on waivers once designated for assignment?

    In other words if they new they were going to be over the limit last night when this trade was going down and they designated someone than how long before he squeaks through to LHV?

    1. A team must return the player to the 40-man roster within 10 days from the date of designation, or place the player on waivers (which can only be done within the first 7 days of the 10-day period) or trade or release him or finally outright the player from the 40-man roster into the minors.

      1. I found something but don’t know if its correct…. If no team claims a player off waivers after three business days, the player has cleared waivers and may be assigned to a minor league team, traded (to any team), or released outright.

        So is this correct that a player has to be on the wire for three days before being assigned?

    1. Not apologists, there records speak for themselves. I’m glad they are still Phillies property. There are others on the 40-man I’d have been a lot happier losing. Teams did not take flier picks this year. Guduan and Becerra also were not picked.

      1. Even though Guduan is a walk machine, I’m very surprised some team didn’t select him. He has to be one of the ten hardest throwing LH pitchers in the world.

        1. Right, but he is not close to being major league ready, primarily due to the control issues. Again, it’s very difficult to justify essentially wasting a spot on the 25-man roster for an entire season, even for a rebuilding team. And there’s no guarantee that Guduan will develop decent control anytime soon.

          But, yeah, his arm is electric.

  21. Ernesto Fieri joins the stable of relievers after a couple of awful seasons. He was once a good RP. Weren’t the Phils planning to stretch out Tirado to try him as a SP again? I also am happy they did not lose him or Tocci, although, I really thought there was little chance Tocci would be picked.

  22. There was talk of a 6 man rotation. The Phils may have the depth at SP, especially if they sign a journeyman SP soon, to run some of these guys through a start or two in the big leagues and then bring up the next guy. The wins and losses don’t really matter this year, so let’s see a lot of these guys in action.

    1. With a young team of arms I would love to see a 6-man rotation. But the Phillies will have difficulty finding 5 pitchers to fill innings next year, let alone 6. Aside from Nola, we have no pitchers on the roster who are likely to average 6 or more innings per start. That’s an incredible strain on a bullpen, plus, you’ve used an extra roster spot on your 6th SP. You’d probably need to go down one on position players and have at least two multi innings relievers in the pen.

      As of right now, I’m going to assume that the Phillies will sign an otherwise uninspiring starter to eat innings at the front of the rotation. Fister fits that bill, though I still expect him to attract interest from more playoff destined teams. Assuming an innings eater starter, we have three locks:

      1. FA Innings Eater
      2. Aaron Nola
      3. J. Hellickson

      A 4th very likely:
      4. Jerad Eickhoff

      And Adam Morgan, B. Oberholtzer, and David Buchanan to fill out the rotation. I personally think V. Velasquez breaks with the team OD. He’s a talent who can get guys out at the major league level. Worse case he could get start in the pen and slide into the rotation later in the season.

      I know Adam Morgan had a nice season, but he’s fringy, even on a rebuilding team. He’s also your likely number 5 IF you sign a FA starter. I’m not sure how we get to 6 regular starters without two more FA signings (which is not necessarily unlikely either)

      1. You’ve named 8 guys who could start for us, plus suggested another FA SP. That’s plenty for a 6-man rotation. Having a little more rest increases likelihood of our SP lasting through 6 innings ocnsistently. So does the Phillies’ new instruction that pitchers throw strikes and challenge hitters, rather than nibbling.

      2. I love the idea of a 6 man rotation. You’d have Nola/Hellickson/Eckihoff/Ober/Morgan to start the season and then you could work either Thompson or VV in as the 6th guy. If Morgan is struggling then you can drop him out and have a 6 man of Nola/JH/JE/Ober/Thompson/VV. It will allow the newer guys to pitch a full season and still limit innings. I know on the surface it’s a horrible rotation however what did we really expect this year? Also maybe we have so many of the RP signed this off season because the FO knows that the bullpen is going to be taxed and would rather have these guys taking on the ton of innings over the guys who are actually going to impact the rebuild in the near future.

  23. Hate the Giles trade. They’ll regret that one. Klentak so far has been underwhelming – kind of a combo of Sam Hinkie and Ruben Amaro rolled into one.

        1. A very short-sighted point of view IMO. I haven’t seen one outlet condemn the trade for the Phillies. Velasquez has swing and miss stuff despite an undeveloped arsenal. I caught at least three of his starts with the Stros last season. He had a couple rookie type starts that are forgettable, but many others where he was borderline dominant. And this while never throwing a pitch above AA. Don’t underestimate this kid.

          1. He didn’t rip the Phillies for the trade, but Jayson Stark calls the Astros one of the winners at the winter meetings.
            “Houston Astros: The consensus of scouts and execs I surveyed was that the Astros made a tremendous deal with Philadelphia for the swing-and-miss closer they’d targeted all winter, Ken Giles. The guy they got comes with five years of control and a repertoire, makeup and track record that makes him almost a Craig Kimbrel Lite. And the cost was four players whose exit won’t get in the way of the Astros’ big future in any significant way.”

            1. That’s exactly right. That it was a good and timely deal for the Astros does not preclude it from being a good and timely deal for the Phillies though.

            2. It was a win/win deal to me if Fisher becomes a player. Velasquez has a chance to be a legit SP and Fisher has a chance to be a major league corner OF. The Astros’ system is loaded from all those years of losing so losing these 4 guys doesn’t hurt them badly. Our system will also look very good in 18 months after a good draft and then another bad year followed by another good draft. 2016 and 2017 are going to have lots of guys debuting in the major leagues. At the same time, two good drafts (1st this year and top 5 the following year) in a row with a bad team will keep the minor league talent pool full.

    1. I don’t understand the logic of those who hate the Giles trade. IF both Giles and Velasquez are healthy over the next few seasons, there is virtually zero chance the Phillies lose this trade. Regardless of what the other 3 pieces bring. You just traded a Closer for a major league ready, #3 starter. If Free agent salaries for #3 starters don’t convince you they are more valuable than Closers, then the return the Braves just got for Shelby Miller should convince you.

      Relief Pitching is not hard to acquire. Starting pitching, 1 thru 3, is a premium resource. Even on the chance Velasquez is horrible as a starter, he could likely be put in the Bullpen and still bring the same value as Giles.

      1. I Don’t hate the trade. But don’t like the fact we got two low ceilings pitcher, one is 26. the other cant break a egg. but if fisher is as good as people think, then its a win win. I just think we should have gotten a better third prospect then what we took.

        1. rocco…For sure, ViVe is not a low ceiling pitcher. If he develops into a mid-rotation quality starter, then it is a win win, The lefty can still be a decent pitcher who can be traded at some point later in the year. Fisher will hit, but where he plays is another thing.
          BTW…Cubs getting Heyward and paying big bucks……that NL-Central will be a dogfight.

          1. Pretty sure he was referring to Olberholzer and Eshelman as the low ceiling guys.

            Yeah, I would have preferred a bit more upside from this part of the trade, but overall it’s hard to knock the Phillies’ return for Giles.

      2. even if Velazquez doesn’t reach his potential he still profiles as a back of the bullpen arm or a a closer. Worse case scenario is he gives you 85% of what Giles did before we even get to the other guys in the trade.

  24. I think, maybe hope is the right word, that Sielski wrote that article tongue in cheek. Unless he is suggesting that Colangelo run the Sixers and Phils. I think, even if you really like Giles, and I do, there is no need for a Closer like him on a 65-70 win team. In 3 years, the closer may very well be VV or Cordero or someone not yet on our radar. And, if JP and Williams and Corny and some of our guys do not become star players, 3 years may turn into 5.

  25. It seems to me that a lot of articles on the Philly sports site (that get a lot of hits) like to pander to shock journalism and bring out a lot of the crazies who just like to rile people. I go to it to see what’s happening in Philly sports in general but don’t like most of the reporting.

    As stated before this is a much better site to learn about what is going on…Phillies wise that is.

    1. I still have my favorites but some of the writing you see these days is awful. Almost like the ill-conceived rants of the inexperienced rather than a prepared editorial readers would come to expect. If you want good reading though – the comments section is the place to be. Some scary stuff there

  26. I just watched some video on VV, he def looks like he is at least a 3 and if he can be consistent he looks like he can be a solid 2 as well. The fastball has life at 93-94 MPH touching 96 when needed. The change up which is supposed to be plus looks like it. His curveball which is said to be behind his other pitches looked good in his MLB debut, looked like it could be at least average (if not close to plus) which is all he really needs with a plus fastball and plus change up. If he can be consistently like he was in his MLB debut (meaning stuff wise) then this trade was great for us and that’s without the other 3 pieces (or 2 depending on how you look at it)

    1. They say his Fastball is 93-94, but in that YouTube video of his debut, every Fastball they showed was 96.

  27. 1. What does every think of the Charlie Morton for David Whitehead trade? (seems like a win unless Morton has a big salary)
    2. When do we start voting for prospect rankings? (can’t wait)

    1. I love it (the Morton trade). Exactly what Klentak should be doing. Taking on players with higher but short term salaries who other teams may be looking to move for little in return. Morton, very much like Hellickson, gives you another 140 or more innings out of the SP role next season. And if all goes right, could possibly be moved at the deadline for low level prospect. Again, another shrewd move by Klentak. I’m loving this guy

      1. And I hope its starting to become somewhat more reasonable that Tocci and Tirado were left unprotected. The main stream experts panicked on this. Tocci was never a risk. Tirado was very, very small (we didn’t get lucky, we just weren’t unlucky). I’m still expecting two more FA signings so a few more players will be exposed for its all said and done. EJackson is next (I hope)!

    2. It looks like the Phillies aren’t trying to have three 1st year pitchers in the rotation to start the season.


      Iron Pigs:
      1. Morgan
      2. Velasquez
      3. Thompson
      4. Eflin
      5. Asher

      If no injuries, then I guess Buchanan gets cut or Eflin repeats AA.

      1. is there a point to leaving Morgan in triple A?
        i’ll like it more if Morton can actually eating innings, which he didnt do last year.
        i realize the money doesnt matter to the phils, but thats a huge savings for the pirates- so would have liked to see the phils get something for taking the pirates salary dump

        1. Well, its either Morgan or Eickhoff for the #5 spot, more than likely. They could leave Eickhoff in AAA to work on his change-up and let Morgan be the 5th starter. Or if everybody is healthy at the end of spring training, they could always use Morgan for a trade. Teams always looking for lefties.

      2. You should never hinder the development of top prospects to accommodate lesser ones. Eflin to AAA and sort the rest out, with Morgan and Asher and Buchanan having to adapt. I’d like to see a 6-man Phillies rotation. With a little more rest, perhaps guys like Morgan and Morton can go a little deeper into games. No problem at all with a 6-man rotation at Allentown and Reading with a focus upon the starters pitching deeper into games. Limits on IP always an issue in minors and this is one way around it. Unfortunately what starts as a 6-man rotation is always fairly quickly down to 5 as injury/poor performance strike. It’s good to start with extra guys already stretched out to handle 5-6 innings a game, rather than be forced to stretch out a reliever mid-season or grab somebody from the Atlantic league.

        1. Scratch all of that. The Phillies got Appell too. Those guys who thought Giles would pull more than Kimbrel were right!

      3. I don’t find it unreasonable for Eflin to at least start the season at Reading, but regardless, I think Velasquez is with the big club come OD. He’s the perfect spot reliever for the first few months until he slides into the rotation when Hellickson and Morton are traded.

  28. Owed 9.5 Million, I believe. For David Whitehead, I think makes this a very good deal. He can pitch, ERA under 4 for last 3 years, and another good bounce back candidate. After talking to FAs, Phils probably realized that 9Million is inexpensive.

    1. $8M plus $1M buyout on 2017. Great pickup. Love those one year guys that can be traded in July. We have Velasquez, Thompson, and Eflin who will hopefully all be deserving of a call up by August. Spots will need to be created and the July 31 trades of Morton and Hellickson will provide just that.

    1. Hopefully, at that time, all the Phillies will need will be one top dollar FA pitcher. I surely hope all the young positional players in the system from Franco down thru Randolph will be enough to make up the core on the field.

      1. If we do well in the draft this summer, we also have our ace by then and are only in need of a plus #2 starter, and I suspect, a third starting OF.

        1. Or a slugging 1B, although I am optimistic that among Encarnacion, Ortiz, and Hoskins, we will have that covered.

        2. ‘a third starting OF’…ye of little faith.
          With all the ones right now in the system, if the Phillies cannot find a third from approx half-dozen or so now there, they may need to restructure their scouting department..

      2. Doubtful that is all we will need. The Cubs are best case scenario and they just went all in on an OF, also signed a solid pitcher and are trading one of their young OF for another SP. that’s after signing Lester to a big contract last year.

        1. One difference IMO…..this FA class in discussion , is three years down the road.
          Three years ago the Cubs did not have Kris Bryant, Schwarber and they just signed Soler.
          And their farm sysem was a shambles as Theo took over.
          The Phillies farm system is in better shape.

    1. I think Velasquez and Oberholtzer compete for spots in the Phils’ rotation. Appel should start the season in Lehigh Valley. Eshelman at Reading would be an aggressive assignment but there could be a slot there for him. Arauz I’m guessing goes to Lakewood.

    1. Keith Law is going to Kill the Astros. They traded 2 top 100 starting pitchers for a Closer.

    2. Appel. Crazy. Was just starting to like Fisher more and more. Curious how poor his throwing arm is as that could have been a glaring flaw even as a LFer. Appel though. I’ll take that gamble. I hate losing Arauz. I’ve spoken about him here throughout the summer. I really like him. Top 25 for sure but chance to be a big mover. Also may be nothing more than Freddy Galvis. Appel and Velasquez. Wow. Good deal

      1. Steve…..’Mark Appel has thrown 101 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2014 and 2015, all of them occuring in Fall/Winter Ball. In 2015, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (97mph), also mixing in a Slider (88mph) and Splitter (90mph)’ Brooks
        He seldom throws a sinker(2-seamer). And his change-up probably needs more refinement. His splits vs LHB is really a problem for him…doubles his BB% and a .390 OBP and .345 BABIP.
        So he needs some refinement at LHV.

        1. If I remember correctly, Appel has struggled the most when pitching from the stretch. Hopefully, the Phillies can correct that in LV this season.

  29. So, where does Appel fit in our Prospect Rankings? And, if VV starts in LHV does he still qualify as a Prospect? And, I know Goeddel has to stay with the Major League club all year, but if he was eligible, where he slot? A lot of fun, and a dramatic difference from this time last year.

    1. MLB slotted him into #2, but I think he will be #4 or #5 when all the sites do their re-orders.
      Velasquez doesn’t qualify because he pitched 55 innings, but if he qualified, he’d be at least #4, maybe even as high as #2.
      MLB has Goeddel at #19, but I’d put him at about #12 on my personal list. He qualifies until he gets 130 MLB ABs.

  30. I just went back and reviewed last year’s list and we did rank Doobie, so based on that, I guess we can rank him. That is up to Jim and Gregg, of course, but I think he is clearly a Top 20 guy. Thank you, anon, for the info on VV. The Top 10 may have 8 new names from last year, thinking JP and Eflin are still on it.

    1. It’s close, but Redsox, Dodgers, Braves, Rockies and Astros (still) have comparable talent to the Phillies. Top 5 is probably about right.

  31. I think that by trading Giles, they confessed to being about 3 yrs from being a contender. I also think there were some retributions against his antics last year. Plus, didn’t his Dad (bill giles) go to the astros?

    1. Giles was dealt because he was far and away the Phillies’ best trade chip. Period. No retribution or hidden agenda.

      And the Phillies had long ago confessed to being years away from contending.

    2. This doesn’t slow it down, it speeds it up. You don’t fail to develop into a contender due to a lack of an unproven closer. At least not if your a team with the Phillies wallet. When the time comes, if internal options don’t emerge sooner, the Phillies will be in position to bring on a top tier closer

  32. All depends on how fast the kids learn and grow . Jp could be up my the all star break I said could. 5 of our top 6 prospects ETA ‘s are 2016 ,2017 with 4 of them being pitchers. Altherr , Herrera, and Glob are better defensively then what the Phillies started with last yr.

    1. I love this statement “Altherr , Herrera, and Glob are better defensively then what the Phillies started with last yr.”

      So important for a young club to be solid defensively, particularly for the rotation. And right now Bourjos stands to see considerable playing time as well. The 2016 squad will lose a lot of games, but they’re going to be substantially more exciting. Now we just need a few of Hellickson, Morton, DHernandez, Bourjos or Asche to have a breakout first four months.

      Don’t be surprised to see this franchise flex its financial might after next year’s World Series. I don’t think they go all in, but the Phillies will be bidders this time next year and will probably ink a top tier FA or two. 2016 is about final auditions. Altheer, Eickhoff and Velasquez need to prove to be contributing pieces to the rebuild, then add Crawford, NWilliams and JThompson during the season and you still have high level wildcards in Appel, Hoskins, Alfaro, Eflin and Quinn. The transformation of this system has been remarkable

      1. ‘A top tier FA or two”
        A 28-year old Stephen Strasburg will be available. And the new regime may have better relationships with the Boras Corp. Of course it will probably take a $200M and north contract to secure his John Hancock.

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