Here’s the open discussion thread for Phillies’ talk and other topics. (Link to the Phillies’ tentative spring training schedule included below.)
With the completion of the Chicago Cubs’ comeback from a 3 games to one deficit in the World Series, the off season officially began at 9:00 AM Thursday morning. The Phillies started their off season by activating Zach Eflin, Matt Harrison, Charlie Morton, and Aaron Nola from the 60-Day Disabled List. They followed those transactions by declining their club options on Ryan Howard and Morton. On Friday, the Phillies took the first step toward bolstering their bullpen when they completed a trade with the Houston Astros for RHP Pat Neshek. The Phillies will relinquish a PTBNL or cash in the deal. The Phillies then exercised Neshek’s $6.5 million club option for 2017.
The 40-Man Roster stands at 37 players. But that includes five impending free agents – Andres Blanco, Peter Bourjos, A.J. Ellis, Jeremy Hellickson, and David Hernandez.
Key dates during the off season are as follows:
- 11/3, 9:00 AM – Organizations began an exclusive five-day negotiation window (referred to as “the quiet period” in the CBA) with their own free agents.
- 11/7, 5:00 PM – Deadline for organizations to submit qualifying offers to their free agents. This year’s QO is $17.2M. This is also the deadline for organizations to exercise any club/mutual options.
- 11/8-10 – GM meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz.
- 11/8 – Free agents become eligible to sign with any team.
- 11/14, 5:00 PM – Deadline for players to accept/reject qualifying offers. Those who decline will become free agents.
- 11/18 – Deadline for roster expansion to 40 players prior to the Rule 5 draft. (Since Nov 20th falls on a weekend, it is likely the Friday prior becomes the final date.)
- 12/1 – The current collective bargaining agreement expires.
- 12/2 – Deadline for teams to tender contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters, including arbitration-eligible players. Non-tendered players become free agents. Tendered players who are arbitration eligible who do not accept the tender proceed to the arbitration process in February.
- 12/5-8 – Winter Meetings in National Harbor, MD.
- 12/8 – Rule 5 draft.
- February – Salary arbitration hearings.
- 2/14 – First workout for pitchers and catchers.
- 2/17 – First full-squad workout.
- 2/23 – Phillies’ spring training game v. University of Tampa.
- 2/24 – Grapefruit League games begin. Tentative schedule here.
- 3/6-22 – World Baseball Classic.
- 4/2-3 – Opening Night/Opening Day.
(Pinned Reminder: One transaction that cannot take place is the release of Matt Harrison. He has a guaranteed contract and cannot be released until he has demonstrated that he has rehabilitated from his injury. So, when contemplating the make up of the 40-man roster, remember that Harrison will be a member of the 40-man roster at least until the end of spring training when he can be added to the 60-day disabled list, if necessary. If they release Harrison, they will will lose the insurance money on his $13M salary )
This link will take you to a roster page provided through a link at MLB Trade Rumors. It’s projections are based on the current roster (Pat Neshek is already listed in the bullpen). It doesn’t take trades of FA signings, but is pretty interesting. I think the five bench players would cause apoplexy among Phillies’ fans if these projections came to fruition. Frankly, Jesse Valentin seems like the most likely among the five, I expect Alfaro and Goeddel to play full time in AAA and Ruf and Asche to be elsewhere. They project levels for most players, and even speculate on starting pitchers. FYI, they project four of Williamsport’s starters to be Kevin Gowdy, Nick Fanti, Mauricio Llovera, and Sixto Sanchez.
Matt Stairs was hired as the Phillies’ hitting coach.
It was leaked to MLB.com that John Kruk and CSN are discussing a deal that would bring Kruk to the Phillies to join their broadcasting team in some capacity.
Charlie Manuel was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.
Carlos Ruiz will be playing ball next season in Seattle. He was traded by the Dodgers to the Mariners who will exercise his $4.5M option.
Other decisions involving big names include:
- The Nationals picked up Gio Gonzalez‘ option, and declined Yusmeiro Petit’s.
- The Mets exercised options for Jay Bruce and Jose Reyes, and declined Jon Niese’s. They will QO Neil Walker. Yoenis Cespedes has officially opted out of the remaining two years of his existing contract.
- The Indians‘ exercised Carlos Santana’s option, declined their option on Coco Crisp, and exercised their option on manager Terry Francona for the 2019-20 seasons.
- The Rangers exercised Jonathan Lucroy’s option and will QO Ian Desmond.
- The Giants exercised Matt Moore’s option.
- The Royals picked up options for Wade Davis and Alcides Escobar. Edison Volquez and Kendrys Morales have declined their halves of mutual options. The Royals declined their options on Kris Medlin and Luke Hochevar.
- The Red Sox have exercised their option on Clay Buchholz and declined Ryan Hanigan’s.
- The White Sox declined their option on Matt Albers and released Daniel Webb. James Shields will not exercise his right to opt out of the remaining two years of his existing contract.
- The Cardinals will not QO Brandon Moss, have exercised their option on Jaime Garcia, and declined Jordan Walden’s.
- The Mariners have exercised their option on Seth Smith and declined Chris Iannetta’s.
- The Tigers exercised their option on Francisco Rodriguez.
- The Angels acquired Cameron Maybin from the Tigers and exercised his option.
- The Astros have exercised their option on Evan Gattis.
- The Blue Jays will QO Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista but not Michael Saunders, and have exercised Jason Grilli’s option.
- The Cubs will tender a QO to Dexter Fowler, and have decided to decline Jason Hammel’s option. Their action on Fowler comes after he declined his half of a mutual option.
- The Dodgers‘ Scott Kazmir has NOT exercised his opt-out clause.
In other sports news,
- Bob Baffert became the first trainer to win three Breeder’s Cups. He has won in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
- Ireland ended one of sports longest droughts when they won a rugby match against New Zealand’s All Blacks. The win was Ireland’s first EVER since the countries began playing each other 111 years ago. Footnote, this was only the 29th time the teams have faced each other. However, the internationally top-ranked All Blacks rode an 18 match winning streak into the match played in Chicago.
- Navy’s head coach, Ken Niumatalolo, became the first in the academy’s history to defeat Notre Dame three times on the gridiron. Notre Dame only had possession of the football six times in their 28-27 loss.
- Penn State whipped Iowa, raised their record to 7-2, and might enter the Top 10 when the bowl committee issues this week’s rankings. Their current #12 ranking is their highest since being ranked 12th on November 6, 2011. They were last in the top 10 on September 20, 2009 when they were ranked 5th.
Winter league baseball has started. (This section will begin appearing in the weekly minor league discussion.)
You can check on the progress of our prospects here. Note that Latin American leagues that aren’t included in the Caribbean Series do NOT get their players’ results listed. That would be Latin American leagues other than the Dominican, Venezuelan, Mexican, and Puerto Rican. So, don’t expect to find stats for the kids playing in Nicaragua.
A weekly Prospect Discussion will begin posting tomorrow. I’ll start the Reader Top 30 after the Rule 5 Draft and before Christmas with the intention of concluding the process before pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater in early February.
Cumulative transactions: (Transactions will continue to be listed here, minor league specific transactions will also be posted in the weekly minor league discussion.)
- 11/7 – Raymond Mora assigned to DSL Phillies2.
- 11/4 – Traded a PTBNL or cash to the Houston Astros for RHP Pat Neshek.
- 11/3 – Philadelphia activated LHP Matt Harrison from the 60-day disabled list.
- 11/3 – Philadelphia activated RHP Zach Eflin from the 60-day disabled list.
- 11/3 – Philadelphia activated RHP Charlie Morton from the 60-day disabled list.
- 11/3 – Philadelphia activated RHP Aaron Nola from the 60-day disabled list.
- 11/3 – C A.J. Ellis elected free agency.
- 11/3 – 2B Andres Blanco elected free agency.
- 11/3 – RHP David Hernandez elected free agency.
- 11/3 – 1B Ryan Howard elected free agency.
- 11/3 – RHP Charlie Morton elected free agency.
- 11/3 – RF Peter Bourjos elected free agency.
- 10/26 – IF Juan Herrera assigned to DSL Phillies2.
- 10/25 – Signed free agent RHP Alexis Araujo to a minor league contract.
- 10/25 – OF Maximo De La Rosa assigned to DSL Phillies.
- 10/25 – RHP Scot Hoffman assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters.
- 10/25 – LHP Casey Brown assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters.
- 10/15 – 2B Emmanuel Burriss elected free agency.
- 10/13 – Signed free agent OF Luis Matos to a minor league contract.
- 10/13 – RHP Frank Herrmann elected free agency.
- 10/10 – RF Jimmy Paredes elected free agency.
- 10/10 – LHP Patrick Schuster elected free agency.
- 10/8 – DSL Phillies activated RHP Gregorix Mateo.
- 10/7 – Outrighted Frank Herrmann, Dalier Hinojosa, Emmanuel Burriss, Patrick Schuster, Jimmy Paredes, and Colton Murray to Lehigh Valley.
- 10/6 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Casey Brown to a minor league contract.
- 10/5 – DSL Phillies activated 3B Leonardo Colagrossi from the 60-day disabled list.
- Re-signed FA RHP Miguel Nunez
- 10/6 – RHP Derwuin Marchan assigned to DSL Phillies2 (Signed July 2, 2016).
- 10/4 – Signed NDFA RHP Scot Hoffman
- 10/3 – RF Cedric Hunter elected free agency.
- 10/3 – LHP James Russell elected free agency.
- 10/3 – Signed free agent RHP Jose Perez to a minor league contract.
- 10/3 – Signed free agent C Ronald Torrealba to a minor league contract.
- 10/3 – Signed free agent RHP Luis Pacheco to a minor league contract.
- Re-signed Chace Numata
- The organization rosters are up to date.