Here’s the open discussion thread for Phillies’ talk and other topics.
The Phillies had a busy week culminating in the submission of their 40-man roster before this past Friday’s 8:00 PM deadline. First, early in the week and to the surprise and possible annoyance of a lot of fans, Jeremy Hellickson accepted the Phillies’ qualifying offer. Then the Phillies outrighted Elvis Araujo, David Buchanan, and Jimmy Cordero. Only then did the Phillies add 11 prospects to the 40-man roster.
On Monday, Jeremy Hellickson accepted the Phillies’ one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offer. Hellickson’s free agency was undoubtedly affected by the draft pick compensation attached to him as a result of the QO if he declined. His agent, Scott Boras, had talked to several teams interested in Hellickson in a weak starting pitching free agent market and came to that conclusion. Hellickson’s acceptance cost the Phillies a compensation draft pick and fills a roster spot that they had probably hoped to use protecting a prospect.
On Tuesday, the Phillies decided to cut ties with Matt Harrison. The LHP was a part of the trade that sent Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman, and cash to Texas for Harrison, OF Nick Williams, RHP Jerad Eickhoff, RHP Jake Thompson, C Jorge Alfaro and RHP Alec Asher. Harrison never threw a pitch for the Phillies. His inclusion in the trade was mainly trade relief for the Rangers with Hamels’ contract. In releasing Harrison, the Phillies will eat whatever portion of his 2017 $13M salary and 2018 $2M buyout that insurance doesn’t cover. In return they recoup his roster spot.
On Friday, the Phillies reduced their roster to 29 playerss when they outrighted Elvis Araujo, David Buchanan, and Jimmy Cordero. Araujo was immediately claimed off waivers by Miami. Buchanan and Cordero are currently designated for assignment.
Only then, did the Phillies select the 11 contracts of the prospects they would add to the 40-man roster and protect from the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. The lucky eleven were RHPs Mark Appel, Ben Lively, Nick Pivetta, C Andrew Knapp, 2B Jesmuel Valentin, and OF Nick Williams from Lehigh Valley, LHP Elniery Garcia, RHP Ricardo Pinto, and OF Dylan Cozens from Reading, RHP Drew Anderson from Clearwater, and RHP Alberto Tirado from Lakewood.
John Middleton’s role within the organization was better defined when MLB team owners announced their approval of Middleton as the Phillies’ “control person”, the person who is accountable to MLB for the operation of the team and for its compliance with the rules of baseball. Middleton owns 48 percent of the franchise.
Key dates during the off season are as follows (dates in Bold have not yet occurred):
- 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 was also the deadline for organizations to exercise any club/mutual options.
- 11/8-10 – GM meetings held in Scottsdale, Ariz.
- 11/8 – Free agents became eligible to sign with any team.
- 11/14, 5:00 PM – Deadline for players to accept/reject qualifying offers. Those who decline became free agents.
- 11/18, 8:00 PM – Deadline for roster expansion to 40 players prior to the Rule 5 draft.
- 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.
As currently constructed, the Phillies roster averages 25 years old. Remember when the opening day roster was like 50?
Matt Klentak remains open to any acquisitions that will improve the team. However, any free agent signings will require corresponding roster moves. Still, Klentak has said that this will not prevent the Phillies from pulling the trigger on a free agent signing or trade.
The Phillies protected nine of the 13 MLB Top 30 prospects who were eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. Those nine were Nick Williams (#3), Dylan Cozens (#6), Mark Appel (#10), Andrew Knapp (#11), Ricardo Pinto (#15), Nick Pivetta (#17), Elniery Garcia (#19), Ben Lively (#23) and Alberto Tirado (#28).
The four top 30 prospects the Phillies left unprotected were SS Malquin Canelo (21), CF Carlos Tocci (#22), OF Jose Pujols (#26), and C Deivi Grullon (#29). Outrighted RHP Jimmy Cordero (#25) is also in MLB’s Top 30.
Other notable players left unprotected include Andrew Pullin and Cameron Perkins.
The five players remaining from the Cole Hamels trade are all on the 40-man roster.
The Houston Astros placed 1B Jon Singleton on outright waivers. If he clears waivers he will be off the Astros’ 40-man roster. Once the centerpiece of the Hunter Pence trade that included Jarred Cosart, Josh Zeid, and one of the most controversial PTBNL Domingo Santana, Singleton has struggled to make contact, even in the hitter friendly PCL.
The Astros also traded for C Brian McCann. So much for his return to Atlanta.
The new CBA is still being negotiated. Although the current agreement expires on December 1st, it is unlikely that either side will look forward to a work stoppage. Key topics being discussed include –
- Length of season. It’s likely to remain 162 games with a possibility that 4 additional off days are included, extending the length of the season from 183 to 187 days.
- Roster size. It’s possible that rosters could be expanded from 25 to 26 players. It’s also possible that September’s roster expansion is severely limited to 28-29 players.
- Luxury Tax Threshold. It’s very likely that the $189M luxury tax threshold is increased.
- International Draft. The owners want one. This one issue gives the MLBPA a big bargaining chip. International players are no more a concern of the MLBPA than high school and college players. The MLBPA can screw international players over as they have domestic players to gain concessions from the owners for their members, as they should, I guess. (Note: most of that was my skeptical opinion and not fact.)
Things That Make Me Go Hmm.
- The current roster construction screams that more actions have to occur. Right now, the Phillies have FIVE infielders.
- Cesar Hernandez seems to be the team’s current lightning rod for discussion. I didn’t watch many Phillies’ games last season, but I’ve read the comments here. It seems that there are two main camps. One that just doesn’t like him and wants him gone – traded, released, demoted, kidnapped. And another that thinks he has room for improvement (maybe) but if he has peaked, trade him while he has high value (or any value). In either case, what makes anyone think the Phillies can get any substantial value in return. At best, he could be classified as a second division regular. Other organizations know this. Who can the Phillies trick?
- Their are 8 outfielders on the roster. How did Cody Asche survive? Among Herrera, Quinn, Kendrick, Altherr, Cozens, Williams, Goeddel, Asche, he’s got to be bottom two, right? Kendrick is currently penciled in LF. Herrera in CF. Altherr in RF. Prospects Williams, Quinn, and Cozens ahead of him. Goeddel has youth and projection on his side. All the guys Asche has to compete against play multiple OF positions. Asche plays average (?) LF and, in an emergency, less than satisfactory 3B. His LH bat is made redundant by Herrera, Williams, and Cozens. The Phillies are a team that values pitching. When the time comes to make room for a reliever, infielder, or corner OF bat (assuming the Phillies are still in the market, I’m not 100% sure), Asche may be headed back to AAA. Note: He was optioned in August and not recalled until mid-September last season.
- 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Mark Appel from Lehigh Valley.
- 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Ben Lively from Lehigh Valley.
- 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Andrew Knapp from Lehigh Valley.
- 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Nick Pivetta from Lehigh Valley.
- 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Jesmuel Valentin from Lehigh Valley.
- 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Nick Williams from Lehigh Valley.
- 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Elniery Garcia from Reading.
- 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Dylan Cozens from Reading.
- 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Ricardo Pinto from Reading.
- 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Drew Anderson from Clearwater.
- 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Alberto Tirado from Lakewood.
- 11/18 – Marlins claimed Elvis Araujo off waivers from Phillies.
- 11/18 – Phillies designated RHP David Buchanan for assignment.
- 11/18 – Phillies designated RHP Jimmy Cordero for assignment.
- 11/15 – Phillies released LHP Matt Harrison.
- 11/11 – Dodgers traded LF Howie Kendrick to the Phillies for 1B Darin Ruf and 2B Darnell Sweeney.
- 11/10 – RHP Luis Pacheco assigned to DSL Phillies
- 11/10 – RHP Jose Perez assigned to DSL Phillies2.
- 11/10 – RHP Jonas De La Cruz assigned to DSL Phillies.
- 11/07 – 3B Carlos Alonso elected free agency.
- 11/07 – LHP Anthony Vasquez elected free agency.
- 11/07 – RHP Gregory Infante elected free agency.
- 11/07 – DH Jake Fox elected free agency.
- 11/07 – C Gabriel Lino elected free agency.
- 11/07 – RF Christian Marrero elected free agency.
- 11/07 – SS KC Serna elected free agency.
- 11/07 – IF 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.