Open Discussion: Week of January 4th

Happy New Year!  This is the first open discussion of 2016.  Another slow week, no transactions.  But the Phillies raided the Orioles front office to sign Ned Rice as an assistant general manager to Matt Klentak.

Regarding last week’s discussion where I took the time to research and report the meanings of a lot of baseball and scouting terms, it appears I still didn’t get through to everyone.  These are baseball and scouting terms used throughout baseball.  They are NOT up to individual interpretation.  This is a prospect site, so when I use those terms, I will be using them in the same way that all of baseball uses them.  I assume most readers will be doing the same.

Omitting Zach Eflin was an oversight on my part.  I don’t know how I missed him.  If I can find a place to add a modified form of the article on the menu, I will be sure to include him in the update.

Since the Phillies haven’t signed anyone recently, I combed through Matt Eddy’s most recent Minor League Transaction Report on Baseball America from December 10th thru the 22nd and found that –

  • the Cubs signed Kelly Dugan,
  • the Tigers signed Nate Schierholtz,
  • the Royals signed John Lannan,
  • the Dodgers signed Liaslverto Bonilla,
  • the Twins signed Darin Mastroianni,
  • the Yankees signed Sebastian Valle,
  • the Rays signed 1B Kyle Roller (I watched this kid pound Threshers’ pitching a couple years ago when he was with the Tampa Yankees),
  • the Nationals signed Stephen Shackleford, Zach Collier (out of the Independent Atlantic League), and Cutter “son of Lenny” Dykstra.
  • Additionally, I read this past week that the pitcher most of you love to hate, Kyle Kendrick, has signed a minor league deal with the Braves that includes a non-roster invitation to spring training.  He will earn a $2M base salary if he makes the roster with another $4M in incentives.
  • And finally, Cliff Lee is drawing interest from half the teams in baseball.  Yeah, really. MLB Trade Rumors story here with latest updates.

In winter ball –

  • Rhys Hoskins .307/.382/.500/.882 with 5 HR and Cord Sandberg .296/.364/.392/.756 are tearing it up in Australia.
  • Logan Moore has posted the best Phillies’ slash in the Dominican League, but it is a very small sample size of 51 AB.  He has 2 HR, 14 RBI and 12 walks, but also has struck out in 17 AB (33%).  His Licey team is 5-1 with a 2-game lead in the round robin portion of their playoffs with 12 games remaining.
  • Odubel Herrera is raking in Venezuela with a .426/.440/.468/.908 in 47 AB.  He is 2-8 in the playoffs with a HR, 3 RBI and 2 BB.  His team has a 2-0 lead in the best of seven first round.
  • Dylan Cozens .275/.333/.407/.740 with 3 HR, 8 BB, 19 K in 91 AB and Jesse Valentin .270/.307/.319/.626 with 10 BB and 21 K in 163 AB will go into the Puerto Rican League Playoffs where they are 0-2 in the Round Robin portion.
  • A lot of young pitcher have pitched well in the Caribbean Leagues including –
  • Victor Arano (4-0, 0.72, 21 K, 3 BB, 25.0 IP)
  • Daniel Stumpf (1-0, 1.00, 10 K, 5 BB, 18.0 IP)
  • Hoby Milner (1-0, 1.32, 9 K, 8 BB, 13.2 IP)
  • Reinier Roibal (3-1, 1.58, 27 K, 9 BB, 40.0)
  • Jimmy Cordero (0-0, 1.93, 10 K, 7 BB, 9.1 IP)
  • Gregory Infante (0-1, 2.41, 18 K, 6 BB, 18.2 IP)
  • Austin Davis (1-1, 1.12, 46 K, 6 BB, 40.1 IP)

I would like to thank everyone for the concern and kind thoughts regarding my brother. He was released from the hospital Friday afternoon.  The fine medical staff of the Mease Hospital cardiac unit identified and stabilized his problem.

Oh, and finally, my wife bought me a car for Christmas, a 2014 Jetta.  This second family car will allow me to more completely follow baseball at the Complex without her work hours restricting my appearances at spring training, extended spring training, Threshers’ games, GCL games, Instructal League games, etc.  WooHoo!


83 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of January 4th

    1. Roccom, Are you still wearing ties? What are you a car salesman? Maybe Mrs. Peyton bought the Jetta from you?

        1. rocco……I thought you had a Leisure suit you wore on special occasions….you know, weddings, funerals and Phillies opening day

  1. The question is: If Howard is suspended for PED use, will anyone notice? Maybe another question: John Lannan is still playing baseball? The guy’s made $12.6M as a Major Leaguer. That’s a very good career, especially if he saved most of it.

    1. Don’t see Howard being suspended based on media reporting. But I imagine he’ll be subject to frequent blood testing so it will be interesting if there is a further fall-off in his performance. Might have to put his batting average under a microscope for better viewing..

    2. Believe it or not John Lannan was alway a decent pitcher and he’s only 29 right now. From age 23-26 (4 seasons) he was slightly better then league average (according to ERA plus). If he was healthy and pitching the way he was then, he would be a 7-9m a year pitcher. Money in baseball is CRAZY

  2. Great news on your brother.
    And enjoy the Jetta, you will be able to follow the Threshers thru the FSL circuit this summer.

    1. Btw, I’m probably known for three things on this site:

      1) Only commenting on pitchers
      2) Valuing proximity more heavily than most
      3) My appreciation of Kyle Kendrick.

      And I stand by all three!

      1. Fritz,
        I always liked Kendrick, too. He lived up to the Phillies’ expectations, plus he ate innings and never got hurt (until the last 2 weeks of 2013). And, he married that Philly girl who was on Survivor, Stephanie I think.

        I remember Kendrick pitching effectively early in his career then he hit a couple batters and seemed hesitant to pitch inside again. I remember a game against the Red Sox in ’08 where he threw a lot of pitches in a few innings (6/18/08: 75 pitches in 3 IP, Lowell HBP – Thank you Baseball Reference). He hit a league-leading 14 batters that season.

        But, he pitched 9 seasons in the majors, went 74-68, 4.42 in 8 seasons for the Phillies. Not too shabby for a 7th round pick. Here are the Phillies’ other 7th round picks from 2000 – 2015:

        2000 – 1B Antonio Cancio (205th pick)
        2001 – LHP Vincent DeChristopher (200)
        2002 – RHP Robert Read (209)
        2003 – RHP Kyle Kendrick (205)
        2004 – CF Sean Gamble (182)
        2005 – RHP Jermaine Williams (217)
        2006 – 1B Theodore Yarbrough (217)
        2007 – RHP Tyson Brummett (233)
        2008 – 3B Johnny Coy (226)
        2009 – RHP Brody Colvin (227)
        2010 – RHP David Buchanan (231)
        2011 – RHP Kenneth Giles (241)
        2012 – LHP Holby Milner (248)
        2013 – 3B Trey Williams (211)
        2014 – SS Emmanuel Marrero (202)
        2015 – RHP Luke Leftwich (202)

        1. Brody Colvin…wow, name from the past…went in top 5 Readers Poll for a few years, then faded.

        2. I will never forget the Prank played on Kyle when they told him he was traded to Japan for Kobiashi!!!!!!! What a classic. The look on Kyle’s face was priceless. He was stunned. Brett Myers was so funny. He told me that Larry Anderson had originally played that prank on someone in the 80’s. You can still find the video on You Tube.

  3. Good to hear that Hoskins is over his hit by pitch and back playing. Its great to see Sandberg picking his average back up after a hot start and a cool middle. Herrera really is a hitting freak with that ugly stance of his. He somehow covers a lot of the plate and has very quick hands. I’m still high on Roibal and feel he will be in Philly sometime this year. A guy we never talk about but who really came last year is Austin Davis. 46/6 in 40 innings? The guy has something that maybe we need not overlook. I think he needs a spot in the CWater rotation to find out.

    1. You are correct…Austin Davis has been an overlooked starter, but has great size for LHP. Him and Imhof seem to fit a certain mold.
      One pre-draft report from 2014 had him as an above average changeup. with an occasional plus FB. However, he needs work on curve and/or slider.
      And yet another from MLB…… “An up-and-down collegiate career that saw Davis ruled ineligible in 2013 took an upturn this spring. He has overcome many obstacles in his college career and has come on strong this spring. Davis will sit in the low 90s with his fastball and hit 95 on occasion, with good, late sink. His slider and curveball will both need work in pro ball, but both have the chance to be average pitches in the future, especially if he focuses on one breaking pitch. Davis’ best secondary pitch is his changeup, which he shows good feel for and has solid deception and fade. He does have some problems repeating his delivery and will need to improve his command at the next level. Davis’ frame and velocity alone make him intriguing, especially coming from the left side.”

      1. Of course, that has to be low level comp, but he was very good in the 2nd half for Lakewood and he’s just carrying it over.

    2. Davis (SP) and deNato (RP) are 2 lefty’s that can go up under the radar considering their age. deNato’s size might limit him to BP role but he can crack the 40-man in 2017.

      I haven’t seen Davis in live games but his high BB rate needs to be fixed.

  4. Kenta Maeda gets 8 years $24 mill guaranteed from the dodgers. Seems pretty cheap considering he’s supposed to be the best international free agent, anyone upset the Phils didn’t go after him?

    1. I’m a proponent of Phillies using their financial muscle in acquiring talent in international market and I liked Maeda since last year. But for $24M per for 8 yrs, I can see the Phils balking on the idea considering how much Mike Leake was signed for.

      1. It wasn’t $24M per year. It was $24M total (now reported as $25M). Although there are probably significant performance bonuses, that’s incredibly cheap.

          1. @mlbtraderumors @MLBONFOX Kenta Maedas deal is for 8yrs 24 Million, + 10-12 million a yr in incentives. 3 million AAV. Creative deal for LA.

            What are the incentives?

            1. EricD, how would incentive laden deals be good for the player? How ould it be better for a player than having the money guaranteed? I’m failing to see your logic here….

        1. i probably misunderstood. i’m out of touch for my annual holiday hiatus so i don’t have a chance to absorb all the news. I’m surprised that Maeda’s camp agreed to that.

    1. Velasquez does not rank as a prospect at this point since he went over the limit by 5.2 innings, but if were eligible he would be on that list since he was a top 100 prospect in the spring…

  5. I agree Romus. He would be ahead of Newcombe and Blair. I don’t want to argue with BA’s rankings, but I am very pleased with the return for Giles. And, I was away over New Year’s, so I would like to wish all of you a Healthy and Happy New Year, and JimP I am very pleased to hear that your brother is doing well. Looking forward to the Top 30.

  6. With Matt Wink about to release his top 50 (and because i’m bored at work), I decided to do my quick top 10.

    1. JP Crawford SS (1st Round 2013 16th Overall) Not much to say here as I’ve never seen any argument that he isn’t the top prospect in the system, let alone one of the top prospects in baseball.

    2. Mark Appel RHP (1st Round 2013 1st Overall) I’m interested to see how he does once he introduces his 2s FB back into is arsenal. He still has the stuff to be a top of the rotation pitcher (FB still sits in the mid 90’s). Consistency will be the biggest thing with Appel (which is obvious)

    3. Nick Williams OF (2nd Round 2012 93rd Overall) Williams brings a little bit of everything to the table. I’m thinking a poor mans Jayson Werth from the left side of the plate. He won’t hit for as much power but I can see him being a 20/20 guy while playing a solid corner OF (Maybe even 25/25 in CBP).

    4. Cornelius Randolph OF (1st Round 2015 10th Overall) The kid can flat out hit and get on base. He had as many walks as strikeouts this year. Not sure about his defense but it doesn’t have to be elite with the way he can hit. He should always hit for average, the power is the part that will be interesting to see. Would 20HR per year be enough or a disappointment?

    5. Jake Thompson RHP (2nd Round 2012 91st Overall) Out of all the pitchers I think he has the highest floor which I see as a solid 4 with the potential to be a number 2. He’s a big guy that can be a workhorse toward the top (or middle) of the Phillies future rotation.

    6. Franklyn Kilome RHP (Signed at 17 years old 2013) Matt Wink talked him up, I then saw him in person and see why he is liked by many. His numbers don’t jump out at you however they are nothing to sneeze at. He’s def a ways away however the finished product could be a top of the rotation starting pitcher. Free and easy with room for more. Chapman body type (frame is bigger tho).

    7. Jorge Alfaro C (Signed in 2010) Power and Arm strength for days. One of, if not the best catching arm in MiLB, raw power to all parts of any ball park. Needs to refine his game behind the plate and at the plate . . . if he can even become slightly more selective you could see an all star type backstop. If I recall correctly he has been compared to Pudge, that’s kinda crazy to me but i’ve read it on more then one occasion.

    8. Andrew Knapp (2nd Round 2013 53rd Overall) He is the definition of offensive catching prospect. It’s hard to over look his second half where he hit .360/.419/.631/.1.050. in AA. He will get to the “show” before Alfaro because there is more polished to his game however if Alfaro makes the strides he needs to make, it will make for a interesting decision for the front office on what to do with both.

    9. Zach Eflin RHP (1st Round 2012 33rd Overall) It was either Eflin or Pinto here for me. I went with Eflin because I think he is the safer bet, imo he has the lower ceiling but again the safer floor. I don’t think there is anyway (barring injury) that he isn’t at least a 4 but could settle into a 3. I’d like to see the K/9 numbers go up and I think they will as his fastball velocity ticked up in the second half while using his 4 seamer more.

    10. Roman Quinn (2nd Round 2011 66th Overall) Granted his injuries have been freak injuries, he still needs to show he can play a full season. I truly believe a full season will shoot him back up prospect lists. He was having a solid season before the injury bug bit him again this year hitting .306/.356/.435 w/ 29 SB in 58 games. With Herrera taking CF over in Philly, like Alfaro/Knapp Quinn will also put pressure on the FO (in a good way) if he can perform injury free.

    Next 5 (these will be way different then most)

    11. Ricardo Pinto RHP
    12. Nick Pivetta RHP
    13. Alberto Tirado RHP
    14. Scott Kingery 2B
    15. Adonis Medina RHP

    1. 01. JP Crawford – Clear choice, with little to no weakness
      02. Jake Thompson – In AAA, Plus-Plus slider, Plus Fb and doesn’t walk guys
      03. Nick Williams – Has hit at every level, has power but isn’t a K machine
      04. Cornelius Randolph – BA says he was one of the 2 best bats in the draft
      05. Andrew Knapp – Switch hitter that may stay behind the plate
      06. Mark Appel – Potential for 3 plus pitches. Hope something clicks
      07. Jorge Alfaro – Being generous. Not excited by Scouting reports
      08. Franklyn Kilome – Based on quotes overheard from scouts
      09. Zach Eflin – When I’ve watched him he looks great, numbers don’t inspire
      10. Roman Quinn – Performs when he plays, but he’s got to stay healthy

      1. Here’s a preliminary baker’s dozen subject to change and two dark horses. Dark horses defined as guys who we all pretty much discount, but who might surprise:

        1. JP Crawford, of course

        2. Jake Thompson, a quality starter

        3. C Randolph on sheer hitting talent, though he lacks proximity.

        4. Roman Quinn. Potential is there. Just stay healthy, darn it.

        5. Rhys Hoskins. Just plain professional and power enough.

        6. Mark Appel, maybe finally living up to his draft-year billing.

        7. Nick Williams. Not quite as sold on this guy as some.

        8. Zach Elfin. A smart pitcher.

        9. Jorge Alfaro based on hitting potential and rifle arm

        10. Franklyn Kilome. Lots of potential.

        11. Andrew Knapp. Not convinced his 2H of last year was for real.

        12. Scott Kingery based on all the rave reports but not enough personal knowledge.

        13. Aaron Brown. Solid, all-around athlete who could break out this year.

        Dark Horse I: Brock Stassi might be right when he says he’s always underrated.

        Dark Horse II: Logan Moore. Maybe he really has learned how to hit.

        1. The guy on your list who IMO will generate the most controversy is Hoskins. I don’t really know where he should be myself. While not among those totally buying into him, I think I’m somewhat sold. I don’t see him as a potential star, but he’s really looking like a guy who will be a major league average or slightly better regular through his years of control.

          Yes, there’s downside risk – the scouting reports which doubt that he can hit more advanced pitching – which is why I wouldn’t put him as high as you do. But IMO he starts getting into the conversation when we hit the back of the top 10.

          (That said, I don’t think much of your dark horses. Stassi is not a prospect; Moore is maybe a guy who will get a cup of coffee as a backup, but that’s his ceiling.)

          1. I,

            Thanks for your feed back. I agree on Stassi and Moore, which is why they’re dark horses, not on the prospect list. I actually don’t expect Stassi to get beyond AAA and fully expect you are right about Moore stopping off for a cup of coffee.

            I also understand the concerns about Hoskins and they might well prove right, but he has such a disciplined approach and is so athletic for a power guy that he might be able to make up for some of his limitations.

            Putting him that high is almost a provocative act to engender discussion.

          2. I view the invitations of Stass and Moore as the organization doing these guys “a solid” and giving them both a reward and the opportunity to compete and to showcase their talents for other organizations. It’s the right thing to do and Moore is a guy who could hook on to a major league team late and have a long career as a back-up catcher. He’s probably a bit better than we’ve given him credit for, although I don’t see him having any long-term role for the Phillies behind the plate – they have that covered.

            1. Moore’s invite is more than just a “solid”. The Phillies will have 24 roster pitchers and 12 non-roster pitchers in camp. They require enough catchers in camp to allow the pitchers to get their work each day. Even with Moore and Lino added to the group that includes Alfaro, Ruiz, Rupp, Arencibia, and Knapp, there will still be a couple of low-level minors guys helping out, as in past years.

            2. Yes, I understand that. They need backstops to get pitchers’ work. But my point is that people shouldn’t be viewing this as Moore having a likely chance at a long-term future with this club absent some unexpected injuries or sub-par performances. He’s just the odd man out.

          3. I agree with you, Hoskins may not project as a star, but he could be very solid and low cost guy for a number of years, and there’s a chance he could be even a bit better than he currently projects. What’s neat about Hoskins is that, especially for a first base prospect, there’s a lot of things he does well, he has a strong across-the-board profile. I call him Mr 925 – because no matter where he goes he puts up something like a 925 OPS. I see him exploding at Reading and getting promoted to AAA by around July, it’s there that we’ll see how good he might become.

            1. catch…I haven’t done the latest OPS comparison on the 400 plus winter ball MLB affiliated hitters lately, but my guess is currently his OPS is in the top 10 percentile or higher. Back at the beginning of Dec he was somewhere around 5th or 6th.

  7. Here’s my top 50 list . I’m always tweaking it a little for fun.

    1 Crawford
    2 Williams
    3 Thompson (P)
    4 Appel (P)
    5 Randolph
    6 Alfaro
    7 Quinn
    8 Kilome (P)
    9 Eflin (P)
    10 Pinto (P)
    11 Knapp
    12 Medina (P)
    13 Hoskins
    14 Cozens
    15 Kingery
    16 Eshelman (P)
    17 Sweeney
    18 Tocci
    19 Windle (P)
    20 Cordero
    21 Ramos (P)
    22 Pivetta (P)
    23 Lively (P)
    24 Asher (P)
    25 Biddle (P)
    26 Tirado (P)
    27 Grullon
    28 Canelo
    29 Elniery Garcia (P)
    30 Pujols
    31 Encarnacion
    32 Imhof (P)
    33 Richy (P)
    34 Leibrandt (P)
    35 Brown
    36 Sandberg
    37 Arano (P)
    38 Valentin
    39 Martin
    40 Casimiro (P)
    41 Luis
    42 Therien (P)
    43 Williams
    44 Ortiz ($4.2M)
    45 Falter (P)
    46 Gilbert (P)
    47 Leftwich (P)
    48 Tobias
    49 Gamboa
    50 Rivero (P)

    1. Murray,

      I like Cozens, Tocci and Ramos, too and would certainly include them in a Top 20.

      I think we’ll know a lot more about Cozens and Tocci my mid-summer. If Cozens 2H at Reading holds, he moves up. Tocci is hitting well in winter all. If that continues he also moves up. Maybe include Codero, too.

    2. Tommy Joseph is my 2016 dark horse, on the idea that he’ll remember how to hit and adjusts to getting out from behind the plate.

      1. My breakout player is viza. I just never seen a kid get hit around like he has, and keep pitching. I Have to believe there is some potential there, that the club sees.

  8. Curt Schilling misses HoF again……52.3%…230 votes.
    Three writers of total of 440 did not vote for Ken Griffey!

  9. How can any writer not vote for Griffey? He was in the minors only 6 months out of high school. I think they should question the writers on what they believe the hall of fame. players should be like. This guy if he didn’t get hurt would have imo the homerun record. and many others

  10. SI’s Phillies Winter Report Card:

    “…..Ken Giles to the Astros for a five-pitcher package headlined by rotation prospects Vince Velasquez and Mark Appel, who was the No. 1 pick of the 2013 draft. With that move, Philadelphia swapped one pitcher who is locked into a role in which he’s likely to max out around 70 innings a year for four pitchers with the potential to contribute to their starting rotation. Don’t shouldn’t expect more than two of them to be a part of the next contending rotation in the City of Brotherly Love, but by the time that team arrives, Giles will be growing increasingly expensive in his arbitration years. …..”

    …..the last sentence of Cliff Corcoran’s piece with double negatives confused me at first glance.

    1. I think he contemplated while typing whether to use don’t or shouldn’t, and then intended to lead one with a pronoun, e.g. I or we. I’ve done it before, that is, considered two words for one fit and consequently wrote both of them down. I suspect the author just failed to edit in this case

      1. So what did he say to you?
        Expect two or more to be in the future contending rotation, or only one of the five will be in the future rotation?

        1. Not to expect more than two of them to be part of the next ‘contending’ rotation. I could agree with that. Oberholtzer, Appel and Velasquez will probably overlap at some point this season – likely immediately after the trade deadline if one or more of Morton or Hellickson is moved. Still, if two of the acquired pitchers become mainstays in the next contending rotation, even at the back of the rotation, that trade will go down as a major success.

          1. I disagree that the trade will be a success if two pitchers end up in the back of the rotation – in other words as 4s or 5s. Under those circumstances, the trade, in my view, will be an utter failure. The Phillies have the money to add 4s and 5s whenever they want – they did it this year with little trouble when they acquired Hellickson and Morton – and I see them having the money and residual talent to get those back end pieces whenever they want. What the Phillies need is talent and, so, if they don’t get at least one 3 out of this trade and another useful piece, I think the trade is a failure, not so much because Giles was traded (which, in isolation, makes sense) but because the return did not generate players who would be important pieces in a future playoff team.

            1. That said, I like what they got in return for Giles. I think, it’s fairly like that at least one of Valazquez and Appel (and they both could end up as their with potential for more) will end up as a mid-rotation piece and Oberholzer is a already a 4/5. I’m very curious about Eshelman. Like others, I’m not too much of a fan of soft tossers, but this guy seems to have a unique ability to command the ball. I have no idea how far he’ll go or how good he’ll be, but he’s an interesting guy to follow.

            2. catch…who knows , someday the Phillies rotation could be dubbed the ‘North Houston Five’! 🙂

            3. Health questions on Velasquez, performance questions on Appel, but I can see both of them being #3s. Given Nola and Thompson also solid #3s, we need one of the four to jump up and be a #2 and add a #1 in the 2016 draft and we are looking at a very solid rotation.

  11. It’s said that Justin Upton could look for a 1 year deal. Would it be worth looking to sign him on a 1 year deal at bigger money then others are offering (may need to in order to get him to sign with a team who won’t contend) and then look to move him at the deadline? You could get back a very good prospect or 2 for a career .270/.350/.470 close to 30 HR a year (4.4 win player last year) maybe 2 top 100 guys. Or you hold onto him and get a comp pick, OR you resign him for his 29-33 yr old seasons which SHOULD be a part of the next winning team. The things you have to ask is 1. will this hurt your draft position for 2016? (are you even thinking about that?) 2. how much are prospects worth? is it worth giving him a 1 yr 18m a year deal for 2 good prospects at the deadline? 3. How much will he help get butts in seats? Owners def think about this at least a little bit.


    1. Hererra CF
    2. Crawford SS
    3. Franco 3B
    4. Upton RF
    5. Hoskins/FA(Encarnacion) 1B
    6. Williams LF
    7. Knapp
    8. Galvis 2B

    Also i’m starting to think that a good comp for Hoskins could be Eric Hosmer (Obviously from difference sides of the plate). Not so much comparing their minor league numbers or anything but size wise and I could see Hoskins being the same type of hitter at the MLB level as Hosmer.

    1. Not sure why I typed 18m, Should have been 20m . . . then I go over to and see their first article is about the Upton idea. They have it at 1yr 35m which seems insane to me.

      1. 1 and 35 is insane. 1 and 25 may come close provided Upton truly does not have any 3 years or lengthier offers on the table at AAV of 20mm or more. I really don’t see Upton’s market being so lacking of interest that teams wouldn’t go 3/60 or more. Perhaps this was Corrine’s point over at Crashburn Alley – i.e. that it would take an inordinate offer in order to sway Upton away from otherwise ‘normal’ market offers.

        Let’s say the number is $26-28mm under the presumption that Upton’s market remains relatively weak. The question then becomes, how much of this contract am I willing to eat to better dictate my return? You’re going to pay $10mm in advance of the deadline anyway, and I would guess that you to kick-in another $10mm in order to better the return. Eating salary is key here – because its not worth the risk for nothing more than a comp pick at the end of round 1 (if Upton receives and rejects a QO).

        1. Of course if Upton is signing a one year deal for something to a range of $26 thru 35M, he is, in my estimation, looking to sign as a 3-month audition for a contender come July. The high one-year AAV has to outweight the risk to an an injury for him to forsake a market deal of 6 years or more. Then there is the factor of the popular ‘opt-out’ feature that fits right in with his age bracket.

          1. I’d be shocked if Upton gets more than $25 million on a pillow contract. I’m guessing more in the $21-23 million range.

          1. What type of a Cuban player….a 16-year old like Lazarao Armenteros….or one of the older 23-year old plus players? Either way there are uncertainties as to major league ability…with Upton he is proven.
            Plus with the 16-year old they could incur the penalty which I think the Phillies org tries to avoid.

            1. The upcoming signing period beginning July 2 is very important for the Phillies to take advantage of. With all the big sharks out of the market, it’s essentially the Braves vs. the Phils in a shopping spree. The Braves reportedly already have a deal with Maitan, so the Phils have a chance to throw a ton of money at multiple guys: Lazarito, Jorge Ona, etc. and incur the penalty before the international draft is in place. In short, they need to sign everybody they can this period.

            2. I don’t think there will be an international draft. This has been talked about a lot — it was supposed to occur with the last collective bargaining agreement, but didn’t. The rich teams don’t want it, the Latin American players in MLB have stated their opposition, the Latin American governments are opposed, the buscados are opposed, MLB has never developed a set of workable detailed mechanics for such a draft. Also, people simply assume that an international draft wipes the slate clean for those who have exceeded their international allocation. I doubt it does. It seems reasonable to assume that we would lose our international first round pick for the first two years of the draft, if we blew through our allocation. I think the best approach is to trade for an additional 50% allocation, as we did this year, and make the best signings we can, with that considerable pile of $. We are bound to have a good draft position, if there is an international draft in 2017 and would likely be able to draft a higher-rated player than we’ve signed in any of the recent international signing seasons (the ranking of Ortiz had slid quite a bit by the time 1 July actually rolled around)..

            3. What is better to pay for one year of uptown on a bad team. and hope he has trade value. Or blow away the international market and sign a lot of guys.?

            4. Also on the international draft….the large/rich market teams threw a bone to the small market teams, or a bribe, depends on how you see it, and voted in favor of awarding them Competitive Balanced Picks after the first round of the Rule 4.
              Though it was done with the intention of equalizing the major league player FA signing market. So, some small market teams may not want an international draft as long as the Comp Bal picks are still around.

    2. How about A’s Mark Canhu as a comp for Hoskins? Mike Napoli also, though his minor league metrics were lower then Hoskins, he also was a catcher most of the time.

    3. I don’t think this makes any sense for the Phillies. It is a one-year artificial bump of several wins to a still awful record. I am in favor of a FA signing, but I want a multi-year deal to someone young enough to help us when we can be good or better than good in 2017-19. It would need to be a FA at a position where the guy doesn’t block one of our better prospects. To me, that was pitcher or 1B. I also would limit the FA search to non-comp FA, since we can get quite a good prospect with our second-rounder in this draft. Given the choice of signing or not signing a 1-year FA who can give us 3 more wins in 2016, I would avoid him and take the better draft slot.

  12. Hoskins just keeps raking. On Saturday he had two home runs and a walk-off double. I have a very, very good feeling about him.

    1. He could be the one. We have gone a little against the grain and used moderately high draft picks on a number of RH college 1B. Hoskins may be the success from that gamble. Still less than 50-50 odds. We need to watch him patiently and see how he does in Reading (and hopefully part of a season in Allentown) in 2016. We are quite a few years from anyone bubbling up behind him on the farm, so he certainly has a clear path to the 1B job in Philadelphia after Howard’s contract finally expires after this season. I don’t know how well he’ll do in MLB, but think he likely gets a 1-2 year shot to show what he’s got.

      1. Hoskins OPS’ing .948 now with Sydney and over 1.000 since the ASB. I’m comfortable ranking Hoskins at no. 11, but I admit to had considered him for a higher ranking. The first real consideration at no. 8 before landing just outside my top 10. What a huge lift to the rebuild he would be if this continues though. He’ll be 23 by the time the 2016 season begins, so he really doesn’t have a development year left if he’s to be considered a more serious prospect. Still, an OPS of .950 at Reading in 2016 coupled with the graduation of a few of our upper tier guys would likely find Hoskins comfortably in our Top 5 at this time next year

        1. Please remember that the league had Jeremy Barnes as its leading hitter two years ago. It is a nice place to experience summer in January, but no place to prove you are a great hitter. Let him do it here against AA competition; then repeat it against experienced pitchers in AAA. We should be sure of him by this time next year.

          1. I don’t think anyone is contending that his performance in Australia serves as some form of confirmation. It doesn’t – else he would be universally ranked higher. AA next year will bring a good test

  13. I’ll start this by stating that I would not necessarily condone this, but I pondered what the 2016 season would look like in terms of wins and losses if the Phillies were to sign Cespedes, Upton and Desmond. That would be a fun team –

    1. I’m not much of a Desmond fan, but it would be interesting if the team signed even one of Cespedes or Upton. I think you might get an interesting outcome if you did that. Add a solid first baseman on a one or two year contract and I think this team could surprise us. As it is, I don’t think this team is going to lose more than about 90-92 games and it might finish something like 75-87. I think the young pitching and defense is going to be a pleasant surprise. For the first time since 2011, I believe this team will actually be fun to watch – a new surprise or two almost every week.

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