Open Discussion: Week of November 28th

I hope everyone enjoyed a Happy Thanksgiving.  Here’s the open discussion thread for Phillies’ talk and other topics.

Just before Thanksgiving, the Phillies released David Buchanan and traded Jimmy Cordero to the Nationals for cash considerations or a PTBNL.  They also signed a couple international free agents, RHP Victor Santos and OF Wilbert Garcia.  They assigned LHP Anton Mikhailovich Kuznetsov to the DSL Phillies.  Kuznetsov was signed back on September 8th and is from Moscow.

Key dates remaining during the off season:

  • 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.

Extra Innings

In an update here last week, I reported that the new CBA would likely be agreed upon with out a work stoppage.  Then the stuff hit the fan when Ken Rosenthal broke a story that several ball players were prepared to suffer through a work stoppage (read lockout) if topics couldn’t be resolved to their satisfaction.

The biggest point of contention seems centered on an international draft.  In response to MLB’s offer to drop draft pick compensation in return for the MLBPA not standing in the way of an international draft, one player posed the question “Why would we give in on something that affects 30% of major league players and 50% of minor league players in exchange for something that affects maybe 20 players a year.  And they get $17M if they accept the QO?”.

Buster Olney and Jayson Stark have posted ESPN Insider articles that are optimistic that an agreement can be reached.  John Heyman also posted an informative article on CBA negotiations

Under present day circumstances, I favor a draft.  Not because I side with the owners, but because that is how domestic players enter professional baseball.  You can have separate drafts for domestic and international players, or one draft that includes both domestic and international players.  One avenue into professional baseball instead of two distinct paths (whether by two drafts or one draft and a separate international signing period) seems a better option.

However,  I personally think all drafts should be discontinued.  In what other business other than sports are graduates (or non-graduates) limited to only one employer, an employer who selects them and limits them to that employer.  The player’s only recourse is to play in another country or choose another field.  Abolish the draft, and revoke baseball’s anti-trust exemption.  Then let’s watch baseball in a true free market environment.

If MLB owners impose a lockout, here’s what clubs cannot do during a lockout –

  1. Enter into new contracts with Major League players.
  2. Trade or assign Major League player contracts.
  3. Waive or claim Major League players.
  4. Terminate Major League player contracts.
  5. Exercise options on Major League players.
  6. Release Major League players.
  7. Exercise reserve rights on Major League players.
  8. Sign International players to Major League or Minor League contracts.

Cumulative transactions: 

  • 11/23 – Phillies released RHP David Buchanan.
  • 11/23 – Phillies traded RHP Jimmy Cordero to Washington for cash or a PTBNL.
  • Signed RHP Victor Santos, OF Wilbert Garcia
  • 11/20 – LHP Anton Mikhailovich Kuznetsov assigned to DSL Phillies.
    • 09/08 –  Phillies signed free agent LHP Anton Kuznetsov to a minor league contract.
  • 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.


224 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of November 28th

  1. Looking ahead over the next five years, we can see the light coming up over the horizon.

    2017 – the theme is the development of key prospects like Crawford, Alfaro and further down, Moniak, Randolph and Ortiz, while the starting rotation establishes itself. Big league club should win 74-78 games.

    2018 – the first year of the new regime’s big free agent spending. Top young arms like Kilome and Sixto are climbing steadily. Otani, anyone? A .500 record is a reasonable goal.

    2019 – BIGGER free agent spending, while not just throwing $$$$$$$$ at anybody, to compliment the young core already here. 84-88 wins.

    2020-2021 – BINGO!!! The 3rd wave of young talent should have arrived, bats and arms together. Deep system is as strong as ever since trading from big league surplus talent. Contenders are we. 90+ wins. Move over, Nats and Mets. Hello, Cubbies!

    1. Sure, you can take that viewpoint, you can also question why a team in a market this large with the resources the team possesses takes 8 seasons to rebuild themselves into being a contender again.

      1. I believe the answer is because money alone does not make up for all mistakes. There were drafting issues and also sticking too long with an aging nucleus. Those 2 MAJOR issues set this franchise back many years. It is not because they are a big market team, but because they lacked foresight to get moving sooner than they did. It’s a shame this fall happened, but it did and I prefer to look forward to what is coming, with an eye toward what happened so that hopefully it gets avoided again in the future.

        1. They still don’t spend internationally, which is a way big market teams can retain a competitive advantage. This was the season they had an opportunity to spend way over slot and add elite talent to their system and they didn’t do it incredibly disappointed by that.

          1. Ironically, though the Phillies were one of the few large market team not to incur the penalty for over spending their allocation, and being very frugal for al arge period of time…the Jhailyn Ortiz, $4.4M, still ranks high in the top ten for a 16-year old.

            1. Actually it was $4M by BA’s guide….and number 5.

              1. Lucius Fox….2015….SS….SFG….18….Bahamas….$6 million
              2. Nomar Mazara…2011…OF…TEX..16….Dominican….$4.95 million
              3. Jairo Beras…2012….OF….TEX….17….Dominican….$4.5 million
              4. Michael Ynoa…2008….RHP….OAK….16….Dominican….$4.25 million
              5. Jhailyn Ortiz….2015….OF….PHI…..16….Dominican….$4.01 million

      2. Old regime is out. New regime is a year into their plan. Your point would be valid if status quo. Otherwise irrelevant.

      3. The eight years, counting from the time they got serious about rebuilding (2015, early), wouldn’t occur until the 2012 season. (That’s assuming your post is in response to 8Mark’s post.) I have observed that people who have axes to grind have difficulty in getting numbers correct – and the mistakes are always in the direction that supports their particular point.

        FWIW, 88 wins, included in 8Mark’s scenarios for 2019 scenario – five years after the starting point – would have put the Phillies in the NL post season this past year.

    2. 8mark – and I thought I was a fairly patience guy – from my perspective, they better at least be flirting with a playoff gig in 2018

  2. So who will be non-tendered later this week? My guess is Asche with the amount of OF already on roster.

    1. if the Phils cannot unclog the young SPs and forced to move some to the Phillies pen (i.e.Asher, Morgan), Gomez can be non-tendered. Asche can survive because: a) he’s LH bat; b) can play multiple position; c) cheap; and most importantly, d) has options left.

      1. Asche, L. Garcia, Mariot, Klein get non-tendered. They pick-up a catcher (A.J. Ellis ?), a utility infielder (Andres Blanco?), a left-handed bat (Colby Rasmus or Michael Saunders ?) and a left-handed bullpen/spot starter option (Trevor Wood ?). No Rule 5 choice this year. That’s my prediction.

        1. Neither Mariot not Klein are Arb eligible. They would be DFAd with the possibility of being outrighted to the minors if they aren’t otherwise claimed by another team.

          I think Asche will be tendered, but it’s not a certainty. I posted on another thread that I think Asche will struggle to maintain his spot on the 40-man from now until end of spring. Absent a breakout season, it’s nearly impossible to see him on the roster by June-July 2017

      2. If Asche survives I don’t think his left-handedness should factor into the equation. The Phillies have more LH bats on their 40-man than RH bats in the OF (4 left, 3 right, and 1 switch). Three of 5 infielders are switch hitters, one of three catchers is a switch hitter.

        I think multiple positions is a stretch. He was barely adequate at third base and not quite adequate in LF. We can assume that he might be functional at 1B, but we have to rule out 2B, CF, and probably RF.

        Yes, he’s cheap but will likely get a raise after going through arbitration.

        If he survives, it will likely only be until one of the prospects earns his way to the majors. Trading for/signing another corner OF (not likely) or bringing in some AAAA outfielders to compete for the 4th OF position might provide a cheaper/better option.

        I like the guy, but if he can’t crack the line up of a second division team, how much value can he have?

        1. Jim – agree, nearly word for word.

          Separately, is there a whole lot of activity at Brighthouse in December. My brother may be traveling down from NE PA but I can’t recall if Brighthouse is completely inactive in December

        2. Well stated. Very much agree. I think his versatility has been overvalued on this board. He shouldn’t be taking a roster spot from anyone with better potential.

          I used the Cordero trade as an example. Understanding his injury history, but a buy that can throw 100 mph and is 25 years old should have a chance on club like this.

      3. KuKo, here’s why Asche won’t survive – a) he has no skill set, b) a veteran lefty bat will soon be acquired, c) he has no skill set, d) he can’t hit, e) he can’t field, f) he can’t run, g) he has little power.

        1. 8mark…wow.
          So for a grade for Asche in 2016.
          I assume you would give him a D minus or maybe a F?

        2. Who do the Phillies have to play 3rd if God for bid Franco gets hurt. Blanco might go to a winner , that leaves Galvis and Cesar and maybe Valentin. Asche might be better under matt stairs.

          1. Kendrick has played a bit of 3rd base (18 games in his career, 15 as a starter). And if Franco is down for a significant amount of time, the season is likely down the tubes anyway, and we should be focusing on who would be a good draft choice.

        3. Jim P and 8mark – agreed to all what you said and that’s what I will do if I’m the GM, and Asche probably did not survive my 1st cut. I mentioned this in the past that I think both Asche and SevGon will make it in the 25-man because of their “options left” but their leash is short (so I’m not expecting them to last throughout the 2017).

          I made this conclusion not based on Asche (and SevGon) skill set but because of of Klentak’s (current) let’s wait and see approach. I expect Asche to start from the bench – while Jim P,’s said that there are bunch of LH and swith hitters in the 40-man, how may of them will start from the bench to serve of the LH pitch hitter? I assume most of them will start in the minors. I understand that there also LH in the market. But why Klentak hasn’t signed any of them if they have 2-4 scrubs that they can DFAd, released and non-tendered?

          Some will say that they like Asche but he doesn’t have the skill set to survive. Well I don’t like Asche but I think he will be tendered (*but with short leash) but will be traded or DFAd once Williams or any of the prospects will be called up.

  3. Hey Jimmy I want to address the point you made about eliminating drafts altogether. You mention owners and players but what about the fans? The fans are oft overlooked in the entire scenario of what the business of sports is. Are they not?

    And for the majority of fans and the health of the game that means making sure every team gets equal access to new talent entering the MLB.

    If you are going to have free agency and no salary cap then this is imperative to creating true competitive balance.

    1. Do fans prefer competitive balance over superteams? I thought they liked those old Yankee teams with Gehrig and Ruth. Those are the teams that were remembered.

      1. Rei……different times-different circumstance… was the only emotional fan passionate sport…college football was its chief competitor NHL, NBA and the NFL were not even in existence or mentioned from the 1880s thru WWII…and the population of the US was heavily centered in the Northeast thru Chicago.
        So those Ruth/Gehrig era teams had a larger following around the NYC ‘territory’.

      2. I think fans like having “superteams” whether to root for or against. In other sports, the hated Cowboys, the Packers, the Celtics, the Lakers all had strong national followings. Recently, we’ve seen the building of superteams in basketball in Miami, then Cleveland, and now Golden State. I don’t like it, but I think enough fans do that the leagues won’t stop it from happening (even if they could).

    2. Completely agree. To believe for one moment that teams like the Royals, Rays, A’s and Brewers could compete with teams like the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs and Red Sox in a completely free market is foolish and short sighted.

      Scott Boras would gobble up most of the top amateur talent and would send most of them to the big market clubs. Frankly I have never understood this minority but oft times vocal calls for the elimination of the draft…never. Baseball has never been healthier than now when it comes to different teams making the playoffs and I believe the draft is a major reason.

      Now….if you want to advocate for being able to trade draft picks, I am all ears and in fact believe it would add much intrigue and excitement to the June draft. But to suggest that baseball would be better without a draft is flat out wrong in my view;

    3. DMAR,

      What about the fans? Do you think the owners and players care about the fans? Sure they pay lip service toward the fans when trying to sway public opinion, but I don’t think they care past their wallets.

      I understand the equal “access to talent” argument, but America is a capitalist economy. Stronger businesses don’t have to directly support their weaker competition. Let the weaker or cheaper franchises fail and new ownership will still rush to move in to take over. If a salary cap will help level the field, by all means have one. But the players have fought caps in the past.

      I know that eliminating the draft is never going to happen. There’s no need for the owners to entertain the idea as long as they have antitrust protection. But, I find in inconsistent that an athlete doesn’t have the right to seek work with any company he wants, in any city he wants, just like any other citizen in a capitalist economy.

      1. No Jimmy I don’t believe owners or players care about the fans by and large. At the end of the day the owners care about their clubs valuation and the players care about that one big guaranteed contract that will set them and their families up for life by doing nothing more than playing a game.

        I don’t begrudge either…

        I do believe in capitalism to the extent the playing field is level for everyone. I don’t believe a free market economy works when single entities can and do become so large that it muscles out the competition and then exploits the community at large.

        Who’s fault is it? It’s ours! As consumers we continue to consume the product 🙂

    4. Since when has the current system given teams equal access to talent? Certainly not under the old soft slotting for the draft, where many wealthy teams went well beyond slot. Certainly not when the rich teams could offer arb/QO and get comp picks, while the poor teams could not. Certainly not when the rich teams were able to negotiate with agents and cause players to fall in the draft because of signability concerns. Certainly not when the Cardinals get extra charity draft picks. Certainly not on the current international slots, where some teams have shattered their allocation and MLB has abetted by allowing them to sell their allocation in the years they are penalized. Certainly not when certain teams have monopolized the Japanese and Cuban 23+ market. Through all of this, the large market Phillies have mostly acted as a small market team in acquiring amateur and international talent. The rich teams have been able to dominate the MLB FA market as well. At least this is a market where the Phillies have competed many years. Fans are not blessed by a system which gives all teams equal access to talent. Doing away with the drafts and all MLB guidelines will likely have modest impact, at best.

  4. Subject: Doing away with the draft.
    When alluding to letting young players deciding to ‘choose their employers’, I just go back to baseball prior to 1965…..the start of the draft and one of its intentions of it….equitable distribution of talent.
    The preceding 40 years , a wealthy team like the NY Yankees finished 1st or 2nd, 33 out of 40 years loading their team with the best that money could buy.
    Now a majority of the time that was at a time when there were only 16 total teams and none west of the Miss. River. the late 50s saw additional expansion.
    How would this not differ now if a draft is eliminated……the Yankees, Sox, Cubs, Dodgers, Rangers would now get first crack at the best talent.
    You do realize the Dodger TV contract is $*.3B over 25 years….the Phillies pale in comparison with a $2.5B over 25 years.
    So who has the money to sign the Harpers, Machados and Trouts of the world?
    Enforce a cap… they pay the luxury/cap fine…they have the money.

      1. Dodgers are now in debt and are facing MLB action/sanctions until they can comply , hence will sign no one this off season

        1. Phillysf….they have already stocked their farm system and active roster. And from what I have read, they also have a contingency plan in place for their debt service The days of the McCourt’s running the show are long gone…….this happen stance just did not occur overnight for them. Freidman is a shrewd executive.
          I do not expect any fire sales of their top players. Plus look at all the contracts that come off the books for them in two years.

          1. I saw that too Romus. I think Joel Sherman said last night after 2018 if Kershaw opts out they have only $15 million in committed salary.

            1. Apparently now they will get 92 percent tax on there payroll and lose a 2nd and a fifth round pick as well

              Also thought I’d add in the Phillies missed there chance to spend big on the international talent

          2. So they lose their closer and starting third baseman, and some how even without the McCourts they are now facing sanctions again, I wasn’t saying that they are in trouble but just the fact they will not sign there own two free agents who were integral part of there success last season

            1. Phillysf……it does look like they are tightening their money belt. And Turner and Jansen were key for them, but letting them test FA does not mean they are running low on money. Perhaps trying to avoid going deeper into the luxury-tax hole.
              And, I am not aware of any sanctions that are coming down on them, what do they entail? The commissioner said the other day he thinks they will be fine getting to their established goal.

    1. I’m with you, Romus. Sports leagues need drafts to allow true competitive balance for all teams. I prefer MLB use one draft for all players (domestic and international). Giving the worst team the top domestic pick and the top international pick is too much of a reward (?) for finishing with the worst record. This works well in the NBA and NHL. In addition, MLB has to allow teams to trade draft picks. Finally, count me in as a proponent for a hard cap. At the very least, use a cap that only allows teams to go over by resigning their own players (like the NBA uses).

      On another note, I think everyone can agree MLB and the union should dedicate some resources to increase MiLB salaries.

      1. Hinkie….I think MLB is leaning towards that but after the next CBA since their proposal from what I understand is to raise the inter. draft eligibility from 16 to 17 this time….and eventually to 18, closely resembling the current Rule 4, in 2021 or so. I would assume at that time they can try to convince the MLBPA to agree to have a draft that can be merged.
        I personally would prefer two separate drafts…..a two-round (60 player)draft for the international aspect with the same slotted money as the Rule 4, and then all signed players after the 60th pick or after the draft’s completion, be classified as UDFAs and slotted no more then the 61st slotted money….which was approx. $375K for 2016. The trainers(buscones) would be happy I would think and the Latin players also.

    2. Well, the Yankees did not do so much by cornering the market on pre-draft amateur talent. They basically bought established players from cash-strapped teams, going back to Babe Ruth.

      1. Well if you are going to throw Babe Ruth in the pot, I will throw in the two biggest buys of HoFers Joe D and Mickey Mantle … bought before they even reached MLB stature. And lets see…Lou Gehrig out of Columbia also. Those three alone helped shape a few winning seasons for them.

  5. Abolish the draft? Whether you think it’s a good idea or not, it’s not going to happen.

    Professional sports leagues make money when there is fan interest. There is fan interest when, among other things, a lot of teams have the ability to make the postseason. In order to maximize the number of potential playoff teams, it is best for leagues to have a lot of parity. The draft ensures a significant measure of parity. That’s why all American professional sports teams have drafts and it’s not going to change and I don’t see a good reason to terminate the draft.

    The real issue is how to fix the baseball draft which is probably the worst of all major sports drafts for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the baseball players have the strongest and most powerful union and the owners in baseball are, in my view, a little more regressive and slower to change. That said, another reason the draft is unwieldy is due to the unique nature of baseball and the number of rounds/players selected compared to other sports. It’s a lot easier to control a process when a draft has only 7 rounds (NFL) or two rounds (NBA).

    So, how do you fix the draft?

    To start, they should permit teams to trade draft picks – even if it is a limited right. Why is baseball so scared to do this? Trading picks would offer teams a much faster and more interesting way to improve. So what gives? If the concern is that rich teams could more easily acquire picks than poor teams (a legitimate concern), there are a number of ways to deal with this. The team acquiring additional picks could be forced to carry the slot amount on its big league payroll and have that count against its big league payroll. The team acquiring the picks could also be forced to pay a tax directly to the team who surrenders the pick. You could also impose a draft hard cap for slot amounts so some team couldn’t obtain, say, the first 5 picks in the draft. In any event, while there are challenges, those challenges could be addressed, but it’s no reason to prevent draft picks from being transferred and acquired. It will be good for all teams and good for the sport.

    1. I think the fear of trading draft picks was exemplified by the fiasco when agents found a loophole in the contract and several players, incl. future Phillie Travis Lee, were declared free to sign with anyone, because they weren’t tendered a contract proposal within the deadline time. The $10 million bonus demonstrated that teams were willing to pay far above the draft slot $ to gain an additional top prospect. I think baseball might be equally embarrassed by how much value traded first rounders returned. One reason MLB wants an international draft so badly is the present embarrassment of the best international under-23 talents (largely 16 year olds) signing for more than they would get if covered by the domestic draft. Top draftees are now receiving considerably less than market value and MLB knows it.

  6. abolishing the draft without imposing a salary cap will be to the advantage of big market teams. the 3 other major sports still have annual draft to infuse talent, so I assume that having draft is still a fair way to distribute talent across the teams.

    I think the Rule 4 and 5 drafts are working alright except probably for the competitive balance picks that needs a second look. in the international front, that’s needs some work. MLB can start looking at the imbalance spending and ridiculous amount of $$ to sign an international player.

  7. Reasons league parity shouldn’t be the end-all goal for the good of baseball:

    Most diehard fans are of big market teams.

    Most casual fans are of big market teams. This is even more important, because when their team is doing well, they watch and buy more.

    Fewer big underdogs, so fewer big underdog upsets.

    There is still parity between the big market teams.

    Just look at college football – that has the least parity of any team sport (except women’s college basketball). People haven’t stopped watching it.

    By the logic “people only want to watch leagues with parity,” nobody should be watching college football, with their recruiter powerhouse schools dominating half their games 49-0. But people like to see their team win, and never get tired of it.

    Parity doesn’t help anybody except those teams who can’t/won’t spend enough to compete on a level playing field. And those teams always have the fewest fans, so why should they be catered to?

    1. But professional sports are different from college sports. People root for college sports, in large part, based on affinity (having gone to the college, location, etc. . .). Also, not all colleges are in the game to be D-1 national champions.

      A healthy league permits teams that are down to compete more easily. In the long run, better run and better funded franchises will still prevail, so I don’t think we need to worry about that. In fact, if draft picks could be traded, the smarter teams could do even better.

      But it wouldn’t be good for baseball to have the Dodgers, Cubs, Yankees and Red Sox winning 100-110 games every year and have the Padres and Twins and a bunch of other teams lose 115 games. Nobody needs another Washington Senators around.

      1. Why do people root for professional sports if not affinity based on location? The only other reason is they like the players and the team is good, which would draw MORE fans to the big market teams, not less.

        Our point of disagreement is would it be good for baseball to have superteams, some in the middle teams, and some really bad teams.

        What is our metric for what is “good for baseball?”

        I would assume the best measurement is the amount of revenue baseball brings in as a whole.

        To that, I believe less parity would create more revenue, since the teams with large fan bases are rewarded, while the teams with few fans are not rewarded.

        Do I have the wrong metric, or do you think more parity would create more baseball revenue?

        1. Rei,

          Interesting thoughts.

          My caveat is for no pendulum to swing too far and then get stuck. Small market teams need a chance at success to maintain fan interest. And having perennial very weak teams would hurt attendance and TV ratings for big market teams when the patsies come to town.

          In all, I think parity is good, but I agree that it doesn’t hurt to have some super teams, and that robust big markets are better than robust small markets.

            1. Percent wise based of total MLB teams ….how many different teams won World Series’ titles the 51 years prior to ’65 and how many the 51 years after ’65?

            2. Maybe I don’t understand the word parity but haven’t the Astros, Royals and Nats built their teams thru the draft? Those being teams that weren’t good and used the draft to help them become contenders.

        2. Your metric works Rei if you want to cut the league in half or at least cut the 5-10 really bad market teams…

          It sounds like you want to marginalize the fans of clubs like the Pirates, Royals and I’ll throw in Padres.

          1. DMAR…that theory could possibly work that Rei espouses if MLB is divided into two leagues….large conference and small conference teams….and each have their own playoff at the end of the season, and then each conference plays against each other in the WS

          2. But remember, if you get rid of those really bad teams, interest in those regions also begins to diminish. If you’re not careful, over time, baseball becomes a niche sport. I can’t imagine that MLB wants baseball to become a secondary sport. That’s the opposite of what I think they want.

            1. Spot on Catch…

              But Rei you do raise some interesting thoughts. I’ve long thought there are a few teams that really don’t belong in the league and this just isn’t true of baseball its true of all the major sport franchises.

            2. I think people have been losing interest in baseball anyway, and it’s even starting to happen in football a little. We don’t seem to have the star power we used to, and I really have no idea why.

              Like Charlie Sheen said, “Baseball was better with steroids.”

              A lot of this is devil’s advocate stuff. I don’t think any of it would actually come to fruition, and it’s very difficult to show any evidence that parity helps or hurts, so we’re only left with verbal arguments.

              I think it’s food for thought, however; I never like to assume the answer is one way (ie parity is good), and the rabbit hole went deeper than I expected when I first thought about it.

          3. If that’s what it takes to make baseball better.

            It’s all about the goal we set. What would you consider “good for baseball?”

            Every fan having an equal experience would require shuffling players around every year.

            Small market teams having a chance would depend on what chance. Even in the most extreme scenarios, all teams would have a chance, especially in a game as random as baseball.

            A respectable chance I suppose is what we have now. But I would rather baseball grow in popularity, if I had to choose between the two.

            As for what Frank said, yes, when the minnows play the big fish, the ratings will suffer, but I think the ratings increase for when the big fish play each other would at least counteract that.

            But the ratings already suffer when small markets play big markets.

        3. @rei – i agree that affinity between college and cities are probably the same. However, you cannot compare College Football to MLB. College Football is like the best of both worlds (College – where family, traditions and affinity comes togethere + Football = Americana, nothing beats Football in the USA). Why not compare the same sports? College Baseball vs MLB; College Football vs NFL and so on.

          There’s always hard core fans whether it’s big or small city market, big or small college. But parity in the league can be good to capture the non-hardcore audience.

          1. The economics of college sports and professional sports are so different. Comparing college baseball to professional baseball is like comparing apples to oranges. They have almost no economic commonality.

            1. @catch – agree. with salary of the players as the biggest difference between schools and professional teams. in pro sports, teams need to manage the cost of the salary to a) maintain key players that makes the team competitive; and b) run the business afloat.

            2. I’m not trying to compare the two sports, only showing that a lack of parity can still keep a vibrant fan base going for years and years amidst a jungle of other sports with parity.

        4. Yes, I’m pretty sure more parity would create more revenue – I think, historically it has. Also, the thing you need to think about is the failing franchise. If the lack of parity is really bad, you are going to get teams that simply collapse and do not have a good alternate market for a move or just become huge losers where the league has to become the owner of the team. It has happened before and it’s very difficult because the other owners don’t want bankruptcy or failing franchises. A strong league is generally made of economically strong teams.

    2. What is “best for baseball” will depend completely on what will generate more revenue (in other words, fab interest) fortunately AND unfortunately. A purist like myself will likely never realize my idea of “what is best” while somebody else’s might. However, one must be careful for what he asks. I don’t want the poor to stay poor while the rich get richer (like Don Henley sings in the song “Everybody Knows”) but yet all major league clubs should pull their weight and not wait for the powers that be to hand down big favors. Small market teams get to vote like every other and there’s more of them.

      In the end, $$$ talks loudest though bad press lowers the decibel level.

  8. I’m intrigued by Jim’s stance on the draft but I’d like to retain the draft. However, like football and basketball ball, I would like to reduce the number of rounds and greatly increase player flexibility for the guys not getting big money. Ten rounds enough? I also favor a salary cap and some kind of revenue sharing to even the field.

    1. Murray,

      Baseball clearly has too many rounds when you get down to what Jim last year called the friends and family section, the Plus 30s where the Phils two years ago picked Ruben Amaro Jr’s nephew and Tom McCarthy’s son.

      Also, the trading of draft picks, combined with a shorter draft, would give more flexibility for teams and increase public interest.

      1. I don’t think the draft will affect public interest especially the casual fans since most of the drafted players will take 2-3 years before they play in the major stage. In the age of robotics and technology, baseball appears slow as hell for modern casual fans, thus, lack of interest.

        MLB need to cope up with the overall globalization of sports. On a macro level, MLB stars should be marketed and exposed more, best players play together as a team and start to dominate the World Baseball Classic, etc. While on a micro level, MLB needs to speed up the game (use clock, computer technology to call strikes, fouls, etc), improve quality (i.e. strike zone, standardize all fields to hitter friendly), change schedules to weekly match where all 5 starters will compete against the other 5 starters of the opposing teams, etc.

        1. but i do agree to decrease the number of rounds for the Rule 4 – probably 20 rounds should be enough.

        2. There is nothing slower than a soccer match IMO and that is by far the worlds most popular sport.

          I do like the idea of a computer oriented strike zone. Umpire wears an ear piece and gets a tone for a strike nothing for a ball.

          That said there are notorious “pitchers umpires” who call a lot strikes. Those games go pretty fast.

    2. Murray- completely agree. If baseball went to a 10 round domestic and ten round international draft (or better yet, a 15 round all-in draft) and allowed for trading of draft picks, it would be a good start and you could always tweak the process in the next CBA

    3. The worst idea in sports I revenue sharing. Look at Miami, they just take the money and don’t spend it, spend little money. The owner of that club is a disgrace. There I not one good reason to have a team in Miami, or tampa bay.

      1. I’m not a big fan of the revenue sharing either but to make it work, there must be conditions associated with the money that requires a certain level of payroll be sustained.

        Drop below a threshold and the team is no longer eligible. Currently, Miami is not one of those teams although they have certainly gone there in the past…

      2. rocco…Tampa I believe is looking to build a new ball park.
        JimP would know more about that.
        That could draw more interest from the locals.
        But you may be correct that they should not have teams….since fan support for Tampa and Miami, and even Atlanta, is not as fanatical and passionate as the northeast teams and attendance is normally one of the lowest in baseball.

  9. Baseball Prospectus subscriber here and today’s comments report on a trade of Chris Sale with numerous bidders……”with possible landing spots of Indians or Phillies.” What in the world would that look like ? Just reporting……..

    1. I like to steer clear of ever writing the phrase “no chance” but I see no chance the Phillies end up with Chris Sale 🙂

  10. good comments above. obviously sports are unlike any other profession a college student could go into because the competition IS the product.
    if they were going to go to 2 seperate drafts, couldnt they have worked that out before the Phils finished with the worst record? Moniak and Maitan would have had a nice ring to it.
    but 2 separate drafts, if handled the same way with picks inverse of records, seems a little too slanted towards the bad teams.

  11. I think the first change in the draft should be the ability to trade picks. I agree that it would increase interest and benefit teams. And, Chris Sale would have to cost JP, VV, Alfaro, and more. It would be such a high price that I would not want to do it.

    1. If it were a LHP that the Sox would give up and what the Phillies would want…I would go for a 4-year younger Carlos Rodon for a lot less than what a Sale return would require.

      1. Romus likes him some Rodon 🙂 but I don’t think they are ready to move on from him…they’d be selling way low on him at this juncture.

        1. Yeah……probably right.
          He could be a real break out guy soon, perhaps the reason they will move on Sale at the first big offering they want.

  12. Jim, your prescription would (1) end parity to the extent that we have it currently, (2) dilute smaller markets leading to (3) a consolidation of baseball into a 16 team league that some of oldtimers remember and (4) greatly increased ticket prices to pay for the greatly increased labor costs.

    Other than that, yours is a great idea!

  13. If the Mets resign their guy, and I think they will, I think they’ll trade Jay Bruce. He would be a great one year guy for us and possible deadline trade piece. With his high salary, I wonder if we could get him for something like Lively and Knapp. Do that deal?

    1. I would not trade Lively for Bruce or Knapp for Bruce, so I definitely wouldn’t trade both. Wouldn’t bother giving up any prospect to pay $13M for someone who hasn’t been good in 3 years.

  14. IMO, I would not do that deal. Bruce may help the team a little this year, but only marginally. He is a 1 year guy and you would have to be sure of a better return than Lively and Knapp when you trade him in July. I do not have that certainty, so I would rather have to go 2 years to get a FA than trade for Bruce.

  15. Buster Olney reports that if CBA talks don’t progress, teams won’t participate in winter mtgs. Likely? Could be posturing but things apparently aren’t as warm and fuzzy as originally thought.

    1. Well if they don’t go to the meetings…there goes the revenue boost for Oxon Hill, in Prince George’s County, MD

        1. Tim….Eovaldi will not pitch next season due to the surgery…and then becomes a FA in 2018….so unfortunately for his career progression, the timing is off a little.

      1. Romus,

        The 8th is the opening of MGM National Harbor. Opening party starts at 7 p.m. I will be there. Maybe a chance to button-hole Klentak if they don’t cancel the meeting. LOL.

        1. Enjoy Frank.
          The 8th is Rule 5 draft in the AM, last agenda item for the meetings, then they all clear out, you know how that is at the end of a four-night hotel stay at a conference….so better get there early to button-hole Matty .

  16. Looking over some info on the “near” prospects, I took note of two interesting guys who could fit the team in ’17’s pitching staff. We do know that there are 8 guys who will contend for the five….and the pen desperately needs filling in. The pen—> Ricardo Pinto seems a good fit there. Right now he has two good pitches: fast ball 93-95 and “the best change-up in the system. He is working on a slider to complement the other two which if developed to average or better would make him serious candidate for the rotation. However, until that is more fully attained he should be considered for the pen.

    Added to that is the assessment by writers describing him as “fearless” and a “bulldog” on the mound. Aim him for the pen for now while he continues to refine that slider…as a guy who could fill some innings in the 6,7,8 th innings. Hope that happens when they break ST for opening the season.

    The other point concerns Ben Lively. Pundits have fallen all over themselves to describe him as “fringy.” They see that he lacks one dominating pitch; rather he has 4 different pitches he can throw for strikes. All that wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans…were it not for the fact that he had the best season of any starting pitcher of ours from AA through AAA in ’16. That is, except for a short few weeks of poor work, he did extremely well….i.e., all he did was win. His ERA at both stops was about all you could ask for from a guy on the cusp of MLB. Hope he gets a real opportunity in ST.

    P.S. Also very high on Pivetta. Could he follow the same track?

    1. With regard to Big Ben one only need to look at guys like Tomlin and Hendricks and even Marco Estrada.

      Perfect a Change Up and you have a chance with marginal velo at the next level

  17. There should be no reason for phillies to not aim for .500 baseball this year and more in 2018/2019 with the free agents that will be available. Phily is a big market and rebuilding is unacceptable at this point. I keep dreaming Middleton will have the FO go crazy with signings/ trades to try and win world series beginning this year.

    I tried to come up with trades to get Trout. Its depressing seeing end result as sending 9 players for 2 from Angels (Trout + Calhoun). Every time I come up with trades and ask if would do it if I was Angels the answer is no unless receiving team wouls also take Pujols and nobody is taking that contract.

    Here is moves to get to .500 this year

    Rich Hill SP 2/23- perfect fit with what Phils like to do with SPs. Edinson Volquez SP 2/22 8mil for 2017 with 3 mil buyout- possible low risk/ high reward needed with concerns about Nola. Blanton RP 2/12. Blevins/ Dunn RP 2/9

    Justin Turner 3b 5/96- changed approach in 2014 he is for real. Alex Avila c 2/9. Matt Joyce rf 1/5. Eric Thames 1b 2/16. Blanco ut 1/2

    Franco, Velazquez, Joseph, Williams for Benintendi (I like him almost as much as Betts), Pedroia, Groome, +another prospect.

      1. Thames signed a 3 year deal with the Brewers so scratch him from the list. Reportedly they plan is to platoon him at 1B with Carter.

    1. Interesting I don’t think the outgoing brings you back the incoming you’re looking for. Dave doesn’t like to rely so heavily on younger players.

      And I don’t think Henry ever signs off on a trade of Pedroia

    2. You aren’t getting Benintendi, Pedrioa and Groome for the package you offered . . . not even close.

  18. I still say the best idea (for both the players and the owners) is to have a min base salary and max base salary, both with incentives that are uniform league wide. This will allow players who are rookies or say 2-4 years in to actually make what they are worth. It also stops players from making a ton of money without producing . . . you know the phenomenon where players put up career years in their walk year? Well this format would basically have this year in and year out . . . instead of someone playing for a contract the following year(s), they are playing for their contract year in and year out. This also means you won’t have a team paying 180m and losing a ton of games bc obviously if they are losing a lot it likely means their players aren’t preforming on the field. And vice versa. Again this would be a positive for the players and owners.

    1. How is this good for the players
      How is this good for the owners for that matter
      I really don’t follow what your saying.

  19. I’ll give you an example of why it would be a positive to the younger players and why it would be positive for the owners. Corey Seager finished 3rd in the MVP Voting, was an All Star, won the Silver Slugger and ROY . . . He made 510k for that. With what i’m saying, he would make the league min. however would rack up performance money for the season he put up (which i’m sure LA would be fine with paying after the year he put up). Lets stick with the Dodgers, Carl Crawford made 21.6m in a total of 87 PA . . . with the model I am talking about he would have made the max contract (say 15m) but not much else bc he didn’t preform. See how it works on both sides? Obviously there would def be issues that would need to be figured out.

    1. Only problem Eric is that the union is dominated by older players who would never see it the way you see it….

      I don’t even think Cory Seager would agree to it. He sees the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…guaranteed money is what they all seek.

    2. The union will never, ever, ever accept max contracts. Just forget about it – it will not happen. There would be a year long strike before that could occur.

      1. The majority of players are not star players who would be deserving of a max contract therefore it would actually benefit more players than it would hurt. You are crazy if you think Seager wouldn’t accept that . . . he would instantly be one of the higher paid players in the game (Performance part of his salary), being paid for his production. A lot of people on here have made the argument that “In no other business are you relegated to look for work from only one employer, you have the option to shop yourself around”, well than I would say “In the majority of jobs/careers you get paid for your performance, how well you work”, in MLB you can literally not play a game and make millions. NBA has max contracts, contracts in the NFL are not guaranteed, in the NHL there’s a salary cap (realize there are in other sports as well) . . . . MLB is the only one that is crazy enough to have no salary cap (Salaries are getting absolutely insane) and 100% guaranteed contracts. Insane.

        Someone mentioned dropping the draft to 20 rounds . . . this would be a catch 22. Do the MLBPA argue that you are now stopping hundreds of players from playing professional baseball or do they like the idea bc then there should be more money to be paid to players who are drafted . . .

        1. Remember I knew what Hellickson would so w the QO so I obviously know what Seager would say as well 😜

  20. The Eagles are dysfunctionally free falling with a leadership out of touch with its fan base who’ve been given nothing to beat their chests about.

    The Sixers are on a slippery uphill battle just hoping against hope their best young talent can just stay on the court.

    The Flyers keep on spinning their skates, going nowhere fast.

    I’d say it’s time the Phillies reclaim their place as the city’s top sports franchise.

    1. Villanova and Penn st save the day. Fly boys it’s still early they have talent and 20 mil. In cap space next yr.

  21. Bravos acquire the 2014 6th overall pick Alex Jackson from the Mariners….sheesh these guys are taking the off season seriously…

    1. I like the deal for the Mariners. They need pitching depth. Whalen can give them some innings this season, and Povse is a nice prospect for the long term. Jackson, at this point, is just a lottery ticket. I guess when you have the organizational pitching depth the Braves do, Jackson is a lottery ticket worth buying.

    2. not necessarily saying that I like the trade for both sides, but this shows the creativity of the ATL front office — with their depth in the farm, they target a team with a weak farm and basically trade depth for lottery tickets. McPhail is McSlow.

        1. That can be dangerous to the Phils if that happens. from the time McPhail becomes McFly, ATL will call them and offer Colon and Dickey for JPC, Nola, Doobie, VV, Kilome, Sixto, Alfaro and Cozens. If McPhail says NO, then ATL (or any team) will call him “chicken” and you know what happens next….

          1. Never.
            The McKlentak team may be slow movers….but they are not dufuses.
            Fingers crossed however.

  22. Brewers sign Thames to 3 years and Marlins sign Volquez. I think Brewers wasted their money. It is still moving more slowly than I anticipated. Although I didn’t expect much from the Phils until January when the dust settles and they grab a LH bat and a LH RP for 1 year or so.

    1. matt13….next week at the meetings….if they go off as planned…is when I think Matt K. will do his thang.

      1. @romus – other than signing marginal FAs, what moves do you see Klentak doing?

        It might be unpopular but I see him heavily shopping Cesar during the meeting. LAD is the Phils go to trade partner. If the Phils can snatch Alvarez they can absorb Eithier and give them Cesar as their 2B.

        ATL was able to snitch a team needing some arms, can’t believe why Phils can’t do the same. LAA is another team that needs to plug a lot of holes, don’t know why Klentak can’t create opportunities there considering that’s his former team. I also expect (a WIN-now) WAS to be aggressive (another team that Phils does trades very well) – any of Robles, Lopez and Feede can be had for the right pieces.

        1. I think Klentak will be listening on almost everyone. Cesar Hernandez, Odubel Herrera, Cameron Rupp, Vince Velasquez, and Hector Neris will all be talked about. I don’t want to see them deal VV, but if they can land Gleyber Torres and James Kaprelian in a return from the Yankees, I’d make that trade. Hernandez should be the most likely guy to be dealt. His value will never be higher. IMO, he won’t come close to duplicating his 2016 season. The Dodgers make the best trade partner, but there is no chance LAD are including Alvarez in a deal for Cesar Hernandez. I’d take Walker Buehler and AJ Alexy or Mitchell White and Mitchell Hansen for Hernandez. Also, I think there is at least a decent chance Odubel Herrera could go next week.

          1. @Hinkie – agree that Cesar straight up will not fetch an Alvarez. In he past, I mentioned that Diaz + Heredia or Buehler + another prospect is far fair trade. However, with the pressure to address debts and spending, that’s the opportunity that I’m hoping Klentak to explore. Similar to the WIN-now mode of WAS and numerous holes that LAA needs to address. In this way, Phils has the leverage and they can use that leverage to get better returns (better than the straight up trades that everyone should expect).

            ATL exploited ARI’s momentum to contend in 2016 by offering a young MLB ready SP for a haul and they did the same thing with SD (to jettison salary relief). Klentak did the same thing for the Giles trade, but I’m hoping that’s not the last of it.

          2. @hinkie – agree with you about the players that will be talked about for trades:

            Cesar (give him 75% chances to be traded)
            Neris (50%)
            Rupp (30%)
            Doobie (25%)
            Vinny (10%) – with NYY as the only team that can potential sway the Phils to trade away

          3. Hinkie – Just curious to know why you don’t think he can replicate what he did last year? It’s not like his number suddenly spiked, ever since his call up he has improved upon just about all his numbers across the board. Not arguing, just curious. I’m in the camp that he is going to work on his weaknesses and come back even better next year. Remember his weaknesses are more so in the mental aspect of the game, not so much his physical skill set.

        2. KuKo…I hope he does become creative in the roster and system makeup. Next season 7 of the top ten positional prospects will need to be on the 40 or on the active team (sans Moniak, Randolph and Kingery). The Phillies are pretty top heavy there. So he does have some work to be done. He probably does not want to get in to the Ben Cherington dilemma back a few years ago with the Sox, which however turned out well for Dombrowski later on..
          Concerning Cesar, if it is what you think he should do in moving him, then i would also add Knapp and Lively. Knapp is a top ten catching prospect according to and Lively is ready to play in the majors. And all GMs want pitching of some sort.
          What do you get in return?
          Probably nothing sexy to the crowd, but maybe a few low A prospects that do not need to be put on the 40 for two years or more.
          Which for us on this site is salient

          1. @romus – hopefully, this McKlentak duo will surprise us. I believe in “planting the seeds” concept — McKlentak inherited a very good farm with future financial flexibility. if McKlentak intends to contend in 2018/19 and make a sustainable 5-6 years run, they should start planting the seeds now. So far, the Giles trade is the only move that affects the future goal, most moves are calculated low risk moves. The RAJ regime will be credited with the core of the next great Phillies team (assuming they pan) out. But making a sustainable competitive run will be on McKlentak’s.

      1. Will the Mets get the 2015/2016 Cespedes searching for that next pay day….or the 2013/2014 Cespedes? Could end up being something like the Jason Bay signing back 6/7 years with the Mets.

    1. Really interesting comments on Brock Stassi. After being completely underwhelmed by him for a long time, he has won me over a little bit. Unfortunately, I don’t really see a place for him on the big league roster unless they decide they want a lefty platoon mate for TJ and are willing to carry a pinch hitter, but that beast (the semi-dedicated pinch hitter) basically no longer exists in the National League.

      1. Catch, if the 26th man is added, I can definitely see Stassi go north out of spring camp. He could be the feel good story in Philadelphia in ’17. (We’ll need one to start the season.)
        Plus Ozzie Guillen loves him.

      1. You almost have to think this is a borderline salary dump for the low-budget pirates. The guy just isn’t that good. I can’t see us giving up too much if we were to persue him.

      2. You absolutely need to get more back. Hell you can trade just Cesar and get more back you don’t need to include Lively.

    1. I like the thinking, but there won’t be room for him when the prospects start coming up. Question is whether the Pirates would throw in a prospect for the salary dump.

  23. Bad news for the Phillies.
    Owners may have decided to drop demands for an international draft to move discussions along in the latest rounds of the CBA.
    So playing by the rules these last four years may have been for naught for the Phillies, as 13 other teams decided to launch into a money extravaganza of Latin prospects, bust their allocation on top talent, and incur the two year lower threshold moratorium up to $300K

      1. Agree…..but many large market teams after the 2012 CBA decided to take advantage of the ‘loop-hole’ around the threshold and restock their farm systems.
        But now I see draft choices will be part of the penalty under the new CBA….which will keep teams more in-line..

  24. Romus, If there is no International Draft, don’t any sanctions stay in place? So the teams that overspent have to stay out this year and the Phils can spend?

    1. Yes..I would assume it just carries over.
      But look for other measures to try to curb teams from busting their allocations.
      I tell you what……one thing teams do not like to have done, is lose their draft choices in the Rule 4…..start penalizing them that way and they may adhere.

  25. Don’t look now but the Pirates signed former Phils farmhand Lisaberto Bonilla. I can’t wait to see what wonders Ray Searage works with this reclamation project ! Frankly, if I was Middleton I would offer Searage a $5 million a year coaching job !!!! MLB’s best pitching coach right now.

  26. Jon Jay signs with the Cubs for 1 yr/$8M. That was one of the names on my Phils’ short list. Moss, Rasmus, Morrison are left. Of the guys I thought they would target in FA

        1. Not true, Knapp is not ready for the majors, there was never a chance of him being the back up catcher to start the year. Plus they won’t give him away. I agree they could package him in a deal though.

          1. Knapp is 25 years old….his bat should be ready for the majors with perhaps facing 100/150 more AAA pitching PAs behind him.

    1. Frankly Ellis stinks…think to yourself why did the Dodgers want Chooch in the midst of a clear playoff appearance and be willing to dump Ellis for him!

      I know I shouldn’t get aggravated by rumors but every passing day I don’t see them go out and get a legit everyday corner OF and not some Bourjos clown type project is agitating.

      1. The Phillies like AJ Ellis, primarily, as a mentor for their young pitchers and young catchers. For that reason (IMO), he’s a better fit for the Phillies than the Dodgers at this time. I’d be happy to have him back.

        1. Absolutely, he showed me a lot last year. He was helping Rupp and the pitchers immediately. He told VV to go watch Greinke film and copy him. Serious leader, perfect for young team. He’ll definitely be a manager down the road. Unfortunately, it’s another 40 man spot for now though. Klein next man up I think.

      2. Wrong side of the bed this morning, DMAR? Ellis isn’t the future behind the plate but he’s widely regarded as a playing coach. I can bite the bullet with him as either a backup to Rupp or platoon with Knapp until Alfaro is up for good.

        1. 8mark I love you guys. I love talking baseball with you guys but in what world is Alfaro a lock to be a big league catcher? And I love Alfaro but I’m not betting a solid cost controlled guy like Rupp on him just yet. It’s not like Rupp is Buster Posey and will bring you some great haul of players or player.

          In what world (metrics or eye test) does Kingery look to be anything more than what Cesar is offensively now? If we’re lucky. Some are speaking as if Kingery is Trea Turner or Newman. He’s not.

          Quinn can’t stay healthy so trading Herrera would be foolish

          You all do realize they need to sell tickets to CBP this season. That they need to get real people with real money to pay for those tickets. And the majority of those tickets are bought not by people like me and you who understand rebuilding but instead by casual fans who are in for the excitement of winning.

          1. DMAR, it’s okay. Stay with us, brother. Stay with us. Bigger names won’t put butts in seats. Wins will. Either way will take more time than we’d all prefer. I’m fine with a big acquisition but I’m not holding my breath.

          2. DMAR…thanks for the reminder…..need to pay the 2nd half for the seats. Money is due next week. Somebody got to pay for the management winter meeting extravaganza.

          3. DMAR,

            I’m with you all the way on Alfaro and Kingery. I love Alfaro and am very hopeful on Kingery, but they aren’t done deals as first division MLB starters. Heck, even JP has got to prove himself yet.

            So personnel decisions have got to include an element of probability.

      3. DMAR…..when you see the Braves (Coppollela), Padres (Preller) and even the Reds and Brewers…all rebuilders…making moves and the Phillies more or less watching and waiting… is pretty frustrating to say the least.
        Plus they are considered the small market teams and they are all making moves to enhance their future as well.

    2. I like Ellis – mostly, he has a very solid history of developing pitchers, which makes him a nice match for this young and unpolished staff. He can also provide continuity if Rupp is moved.

    1. This article is so ridiculous to me. They shouldn’t be trying to trade proven young everyday MLB players. Granted these guys may not be super stars but if you inserted for instance Joey Bats in RF and Michael Saunders in LF for what roughly the money Cespedes got (essentially 2 for 1) you have a team to compete in 2017 and no ill long term effects if one of these prospects happens to excel to the point they force their way into a call-up.

      Middleton should tread carefully here. If he is not instructing McPhail to put a .500 team on the field next season and start scoring some runs he risks serious backlash and fan support.

      The non-sense being espoused in this article is what teams do when their names are the Ray’s and A’s.

      1. DMAR!!! Man, you are fit to be tied today. Get some coffee or a nice donut and let’s turn the page. Life is good!

        1. LOL ok catch you’re probably right. Although I need to lay off the starbucks I think. I had two of those this morning and that might have been 1 too many.

          1. I’m kinda lost here . . . i’m pretty sure the team is set right now . . . there might be a small move or 2 here and there but what were you expecting? Signing Ellis means what? They are getting rid of Rupp? Why does it have to go hand and hand? Next year isn’t a year they are going to compete for a playoff spot . . . isn’t this widely known?

  27. I have liked what the Braves have done but this last one is purely a crapshoot. Someone mentioned Anthony Hewitt. That is the performance of Jackson so far. My real frustration with the Phils, and I know it is shared by a number of you, is the lack of spending in the foreign markets. I know there is a new administration and Middleton deserves time, but I am not very confident that they will be anywhere close to getting a player like Otani. Wasting money this year just to say they spent does not interest me, at all, and trading any of our good prospects to get Jay Bruce, and win 77 games this year instead of 75, does not interest me either. If we can get him purely because the Mets want to dump his salary and it costs us Sev or Asche, then I am all in.

    1. That’s a really good question, khoujoh. I’ve been thinking about that, also. He may be the top talent in the draft. However, a HS RHP has never gone 1.1. Assuming that trend continues, he won’t go to Minnesota. The Reds pick second. They may lean towards a safer, college pitcher. Guys like Kyle Wright, Tanner Houck, and Alex Faedo could all be possibilities. The Padres and Rays own the third and fourth picks. Both of these teams like to draft toolsy prep players so I believe Greene will most likely go to one of those two teams. If, for some reason (dollar demands, down senior season), he gets past SD and TB … it’s possible Greene could make it to the Phillies at 1.8. Atlanta at 1.5 may lean heavily towards a bat. Oakland at 1.6 almost always drafts college players or HS shortstops (I know Greene also plays shortstop, but he will be a pitcher in pro ball). Arizona at 1.7 could be afraid of signing demands.
      IMO, unless Greene suffers some sort of arm injury this season (not wishing that on him), the chances of he Phillies being able to draft him are slim. But … they will get a very good player, nonetheless.

  28. Johnny A’s -philosophy seems – draft the best (given what’s left/and signing considerations) position player/batter/hitter available. That seems to be similar to the Cubs who have done just that – content to buy the established pitching (mature) when it needs it. Despite Phils’ management statement about building with pitching I would think these very low draft choices are better spent on position players who have nowhere near the quantifiable risk that pitchers (particular high schoolers) have. I would guess we will see a continuation of that ? In a recent preview I was paying more attention to the hitters than pitchers despite the upcoming draft being spoken about as a good “pitchers draft.”

    1. Johnny A. reserves the 1st 2 rounds for the TOR type pitchers — otherwise, he’ll settle for a hitter with good approach and plate discipline.

      1. I don’t think Alvarez settled for Micky Mo or C . There’s only maybe 10 or 12 # 1 pitchers All of baseball there a very elite breed. # 2 pitchers yea butt pitchers in general are high risk . Plus were last in all of Baseball in runs scored . So if he takes another bat I think everyone would be on board. An OF power type who walks alot.

  29. Jim Bowden has just released his preview of next week’s winter meetings for every MLB team ….

    For those w/o an Insider account, here are his thoughts on the Phillies …

    Status: Rebuilding

    Top target: Prospects and non-arbitration-eligible position players

    The Phillies are staying on course with an eye on their long-term future, and each of their transactions will be made with that in mind. That doesn’t mean they won’t sign a veteran who could serve as a stopgap option and/or could be flipped at the trade deadline. However, they would like to trade for young hitters either at the high minor league level or who are not arbitration-eligible at the major league level. Don’t look for an active winter meetings from them because they’re probably a year away from making a big splash.

    Fallback options: Prospects and non-arbitration-eligible position players

    Romus … notice the line about the Phillies being “a year away from making a big splash” !!!
    I’m letting you know right now … this time next year, Santa Claus is coming to town with Japan’s greatest gift to MLB !!!!!

  30. I like the Japan pitcher also like ” looking to trade for mlb ready hitters for the upper levels”.

  31. Phillies hire Terry Ryan former Twins GM. But looking at his picture he looks like Mr Burns from the Simpsons

      1. Welcome to the Philadelphia Twins Terry! Hope they can follow the 1987 and 1991 World Series wins.

    1. Yeah. I’ll have some of whatever that writer is smoking. He’s got to be a Pirate writer (blogger). There is no way Klentak would do that deal.

    2. I like Cutch but I wouldn’t do that deal. I would trade Thompson but I would find other guys to work in not Hoskins and Sixto.

      Just not a good fit for us. We really should spend money not look to move prospects unless it brings us back a younger cost controlled everyday player.

      I think Cutch will be fine. He was coming off some really hard bean balls to his hands and probably a little put off that he was getting an extension but if you look at his Aug-Oct numbers he was back to opsing over 800

  32. “Only teams that are over the luxury tax threshold will be required to give up a pick to sign a qualified free agent, Jayson Stark of reports.”

    I’m not sure if I like it 100% or not since mostly likely there are around 5 teams that will be over the threshold. Phils might end up trading Hellboy to the highest bidder come July.

  33. Regarding the just settled CBA – it’s been reported that possibly the qualifying offer compensation will be tied to the size of the FAs new contract. Interesting….but all these new angles are hurting my brain. A lot of you guys are good at parsing this stuff out. Me? Yeesh

    1. 8mark…bottom line….Phillies would probably receive a pick after the first or possibly second round….my guess second round since it is a large market team.
      And the $50M contract line…..must pitchers should get that the length of their contact. Look at Ian Kennedy and Mike Leake.
      But the Phillies again gambled and loss.
      The draft is out….so these last 4 years of playing by the rules limited their farm systems pipeline in the lower levels.
      And Hellickson gets no more QOs…he already has had his one for his career….so he is moved or is loss without compensation after the 2017 season.
      Two strikes for this management group already.

      1. The chances for a midseason Hellickson trade has just increased greatly for 2017 since he wont receive another QO.

        1. BOBD…and guess what…he has to be sold low because every team now knows he walks after 2017 …Phillies receive nothing and signing team does not lose a pick.
          The MacKlentak team’s foresight in looking ahead and anticipating…seem to be blurred.

  34. McCutch to the Nats trade is getting some strong traction…Pirates wants Robles in the deal.

    I mentioned this earlier (and got one-star), that WAS will is in a WIN-now mode and will be aggressive (which Klentak should explore – but might be too late now). Turner and Giolito might be untoucheable but Lopez, Robles and Feede can be had. It Cutch happens, Phils should to consider offering Neris if WAS cannot sign Melancon.

    1. KuKo……if I were the Nats Robles would be the sole prospect i would offer to the Pirates.
      But I ask you….why deal within the division (Neris to the Nats)?
      Most teams shy away from that.

      1. @romus – it will be hard to deal “studs” to division rivals — but Neris I think will not hurt the Phils (especially the concern about his usage of splitter and he’s not Mariano Rivera). Plus Phils faced a bunch of ex-Phils in Nat’s uniform and it’s just alright.

        For me, the Phils just need to maximize the value of their assets. If WAS will provide the best value for Neris so why not take the opportunity. Same also that Phils should not shy away from dealing with division rivals (even though it’s not a common practice) — Jay Bruce comes to mind.

      2. Romus we will start our rebuild in six more years. Middleton needs to wait until he is 59 to cash in his ira ,

          1. romus pennstate just go commitment from Justin fields. Top dual threat qb in 2018 class. WE ARE

  35. Braves get Jaime Garcia for what appears to be a couple of middle level prospects. They have been very aggressive so far. Adding prospects and veterans. We are, by far, the worst team in the Division. I am all for not spending stupidly, but I would like to see a better effort than what we have gotten so far to put a better product out there next year.

    1. matt13…Braves need some vet arms….going into the new ballpark in 2017, and want to be competitive and want to bring in the fans.

  36. I know Romus, but I am still, partly, mad that the rebuild took so long to get started. I don’t think we will be very good, again, and that will make 6 years in a row. I was hoping that we could continue the rebuild but still be significantly better next year. Howie and Neshek are not doing it for me.

    1. matt13…Monday meetings start….MattyK may want to do business there. The Giles trade was pulled off right after the meetings last year.

  37. The Dodgers have to move some salary and the Phils certainly can add salary so I see trade partners. The Dodgers need a cheap 2B which we have. What might work could be Ethier plus a top Prospect. The Dodgers would want to give us two B prospects but I would hold out for an A prospect for taking Ethier’s salary and Cesar. Then Kendrick would play 2B at least until JP is ready and Ethier and Altherr could platoon. I still think Quinn has a spot if he’s healthy due to 40 man spots

  38. I don’t get why so many people on here (and people who are knowledgable, I consider all of us more knowledgeable than your avg Phillies fan) are surprised we have only made small moves so far and aren’t looking to make any big moves. Now isn’t the time to do so . . . I’m of the belief that the team is pretty much set (minus maybe a 4th OF type and pen arm). Only big move we should make would be for a young ML controllable player.

    1. Eric D…agree to a point.
      While many of the rebuilding GMs of the Braves, Brewers, Reds and Twins are churning a lot of action, I think MK is waiting to see what happens after the meetings next week.
      Though there are 5/6 rebuilding teams….each have their own set of circumstances.
      Phillies may have the most MLB-ready prospects…more or less top heavy from AA level up who will all be here before mid-2018. So I guess he has to see who will stay and who he can move since there are surplus prospects at some of the same positions.
      That is how I read it.

      1. There also just isn’t much out there and they are more than one player away from competing. This year is (IMO) the biggest of the rebuild. Yes we had a ton of guys come up this past year however this year should give the FO a better idea of what needs to be addressed in FA. Plus there will be guys coming back from injury, inning limits should be lifted on some guys and there are more AAA/AA guys who should see ML action this year (Knapp/Lively/Appel, Williams, Quinn/Crawford, Alfaro, Pivetta). This year should be fun and next off season should be as well.

  39. Phils have until 8PM tonight to tender contracts to the following players.

    Galvis – est $4.4M
    Cesar – est 2.5M

    Both are 100% guaranteed to get their contracts

    Gomez – est $4.6M
    Asche – est $1.3M

    Both have 50-50 chance to be tendered. I give Asche a better chance than Gomez to make it if the Phils needed to clear roster space. With Neris, Ramos and Neshak as better RHP option (and other RHP in the 40-man), Gomez is expendable unless the Phils can find a trade partner.

    1. Your guess is as good as mine, but I would flip on those two players.

      I’d have to look at Neshak’s long term history, but not sure the Phils have any sure bets for this year. Yes Neris looks like a solid bullpen arm, but I can think of dozens of young guys, heck Giles for example, who had hiccup years after a freshman rise. Ramos is still unproven and …. the wheels fell off Gomez due his first year of a lot of high stress situations, but he is a good 7th inning guy and can now swing 8th and close. The Phils are looking for someone like that to help what was a dreadful bullpen last year (except Neris). 4.6 mil is not bad for a Gomez.

      Asche is a utility guy at positions where you could use a better bat. He also not very good or versatile in the OF.

      Could they tender Asche a contract and then outright him at some point if they find someone better before the season starts? I mean 1.6 mil is not bad insurance?

  40. There was some great stuff here, I could only read half way and it took most of my lunch and now I have to go back to work, but one thing I always wondered: If a guy has a 16 year old kid who is a beast, Bryce Harper like prodigy, why not move to a foreign country, become a citizen, and when the kid turns 18 let him test the free agent market instead of the draft limitations? That can be done, no?

    1. Yes…was done with Cardinals’ hot prospect pitcher Alex Reyes…moved from New Jersey to the DR in Dec 2011, and avoided the draft. And then signed for a whole lot more money from the Cardinals

  41. Braves picked up Jaime Garcia from Cards for what I consider 3 mid range prospects at best.

    1. When he is healthy he is a good pitcher, but that is a big if. He also did not have a great year last year, never has pitched over 200 innings and has 1 year left on his contract.

  42. Asche gone, DFA’s. Phils sign David Rollins off waivers. I have no problem saying goodbye to Asche, but Rollins seems to be a terrible waste of a spot. He is the best Lefty RP that was gettable?

    1. I will admit to being dead wrong on Asche. I was one of the guys who thought Asche would hit 300 one day, possibly even challenge for a batting title. Boy was I wrong. I’m sorry to see him go because he’s hard working and seems like a really good guy but he looks like a guy in need of a fresh start. Bye Cody!
      This new guy throws left handed. As far as I can tell, that’s his only value. Plus the team will still need 40 man spots for the 25. Interesting week to come

      1. Lefty with decent, no great, peripherals and options left. That’s actually the kind of reliever that you tend to grab at this point in the year. If he sticks all winter, fine. He’s as good a bet as anyone to put up a ~4 ERA over a season. If you get someone better, no tears will be shed when he’s waived or optioned.

        And more to the point, if he’s still around by the time one of the AAA pitchers is ready to come up, he has options. So you don’t lose an asset in the transaction.

    2. He has options left. Very valuable for the Phillies who are probably more concerned with placeholders while they wait and see who is ready to be promoted.

      That being said, it’s entirely possible they snatched him with the intention of trying to sneak him through waivers themselves. It obviously hasn’t worked for anyone so far, but maybe fourth time’s the charm.

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