Open Discussion: Week of December 12th

Here’s the open discussion for Phillies’ talk and other topics.

Baseball’s Winter Meetings came and went with just one transaction by the Phillies.  They signed FA reliever, RHP Joaquin Benoit.  As a result, Michael Mariot was designated for assignment.

The meetings ended Friday with the Rule 5 draft.  The Phillies didn’t participate, but saw LHP Hoby Milner selected by the Cleveland Indians during the major league selection process.  During the AAA portion of the draft, the Phillies selected SS Jorge Flores from the Dunedin Blue Jays (FSL) and lost Clearwater’s RHP Jairo Munoz (FSL) to the Tampa Rays.

During the meetings, I was most impressed by the Chicago White Sox.  Their trades of Chris Sale to the Red Sox and Adam Eaton to the Nationals, completely overhauled their farm system.  Of the seven prospects they received, six were slotted in their top ten by MLB.  Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech, and Reynaldo Lopez took the top 4 spots; Luis Alexander Basabe and Dane Dunning were ninth and tenth.

I was also struck by the ineptness of the Nationals.  Yes, they acquired a CF in Eaton, but it sure looked like an over pay in response to their failures to trade for or sign any of the big ticket players they were vying for.  The Nationals came up empty on trades for Sale and Andrew McCutchen.   They whiffed on closers Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen.  They watched their closer Mark Melancon sign with the Giants, while division rival Mets re-signed their own FA, Yoenis Cespedes.  And the Cubs got stronger when they acquired the Royals’ Wade Davis.

I was able to watch most of the meetings on MLB.  I started off watching live, but quickly switched over to DVR-ing each show and watching the recorded shows so that I could fast forward through the seemingly quarter-hour updates and analysis of Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, and all the other right-handed power hitters available, as well as the constant conjecture on the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Nationals, Cubs and Rangers.  I also FF-ed through all the spots devoted to the WBC.

Key dates remaining during the off season:

  • 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

Get Ready!!!  The Reader Top 30 is coming this week!

Cumulative transactions: 

  • 12/8 – Lehigh Valley  claimed Jorge Flores off waivers from the Dunedin Blue Jays.
  • 12/8 – Cleveland Indians claimed Hoby Milner off waivers from the Phillies.
  • 12/6 – Phillies designated RHP Michael Mariot for assignment.
  • 12/6 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Joaquin Benoit.
  • 12/2 – LHP Jose Palacio assigned to DSL Phillies.
    • 10/13 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Jose Palacio to a minor league contract.
  • 12/2 – Phillies claimed David Rollins off waivers from Texas Rangers.
  • 12/2 – Phillies designated LF Cody Asche for assignment.
  • 12/2 – LF Cody Asche elected free agency.
  • Phillies signed free agent RHP Moises Nolasco to a minor league contract.
  • 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 – C Ronald Torrealba assigned to DSL Phillies2
  • 11/20 – LHP Anton Mikhailovich Kuznetsov assigned to DSL Phillies.
    • 09/08 –  Phillies signed FA 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.

 

125 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of December 12th

  1. 6 years ago today, I can clearly remember the feeling of waking up early like a kid on Christmas morning, to hear “I’m back!” The Phillies were that ‘mystery team’ which stole Cliff Lee away from under both the Yankees’ and Rangers’ tree.

    Matt Gelb’s article in Saturday’s philly.com took me back to the glory days. While he didn’t cover new ground regarding the team’s future big spending, I am much more grounded as a vested fan with “putting a ring” on 2019 as the target year for our playoff resurgence. Not only is the free agent list full of worthy talent, but our own top prospects will be that much further along in their development. Moniak and Ortiz might both be in their rookie seasons. I’m in!

  2. 2018-19 offseason could be interesting, but if 3 of Cozens, Williams, Quinn, Herrera, and maybe even Moniak, Randolph, or Ortiz show they deserve to start in the majors then signing Harper or another OF to a 10 year 1 billion dollar contract will not be needed. And that would be a good thing.

  3. At the end of last thread, Steve (Tampa) gave a pretty good list from 1 to 36.

    I was surprised to see Gowdy at 10, and no one mentioned it as strange. Could someone convince me why he’s that high, above Sixto, Medina, and Pivetta?

    1. Rei…IMO, comes down to the chicken or egg. …or in rankings, ceiling vs proximity.
      As for Pivetta, he has a better chance to get into the majors right now, possibly as a mid-rotation guy, than Gowdy with 3/4 more years left for him to develop. Then again he may get injured with shoulder issues and not make it.
      I guess Pivetta has so far passed thru that phase unscathed for the most part and may reach the majors some time in 2017.
      OTOH, Gowdy could be the TOR guy if he progresses and stays healthy.
      So he is looking more at ceiling vs proximity I would think.

      1. Does Gowdy really have TOR potential? As much as Sixto and Medina? If so, I could get really excited about him, but I just haven’t heard much on him.

        1. BA had this write up on him in the spring and it is as close as you can get to that level as one would expect.
          http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/kevin-gowdy-among-socals-top-prospects/#dopP7g41U4DKh0Uk.97
          And a few others that indicate his potential.
          http://calltothepen.com/2016/11/17/philadelphia-phillies-fall-2016-top-prospects-9-kevin-gowdy/
          And some narrative on him from BDR.
          2.42 – RHP Kevin Gowdy
          A minor injury cost Kevin Gowdy (22) some time in his debut run as a professional, but his out-of-sight first few months in the organization should not diminish any of the excitement Phillies fans had for this guy back in early June. Gowdy is the real deal. The pre-draft report on him sums up why…
          RHP Kevin Gowdy (Santa Barbara HS, California): 86-92 FB with sink, 94-95 peak; plus FB command; average 78-82 CU, above-average upside; well above-average 77-84 CB/SL, plus upside; ample deception; very good overall command; love his delivery; wise beyond his years on the mound, can look like a college pitcher mowing down overmatched competition on his best days; FAVORITE; 6-4, 170 pounds
          …… Likely a top five prep pitcher in this class.
          He wound up as my sixth overall high school pitching prospect in this class. Only Jay Groome, Riley Pint, Ian Anderson (a similar prospect to Gowdy in many ways), Braxton Garrett, and Alex Speas finished higher. Getting the sixth best high school pitching prospect in this class with the forty-second overall pick is a very good thing for Philadelphia………It’ll be fascinating to see where many of the experts rank Gowdy and Sixto Sanchez this offseason on Phillies lists. Franklyn Kilome is pretty obviously the best pitching prospect in the system — this felt obvious to me even before the Jake Thompson promotion, but what do I know — so the real battle will be for second place in the Philadephia pitching prospect pipeline pecking order. I think I might go full hypocrite and give Gowdy the edge based largely on the height/weight bias that I’ve tried to fight for years on this site. Sanchez has the bigger fastball (92-96, 99 peak), the more advanced present changeup (close call), and arguably the more impressive breaking ball (a POWER slider deserving of all CAPS that has been up to 92) at times. He also has the benefit of a season of dominant stateside ball in his back pocket. Gowdy gets the obvious edge in frame (6-4, 170ish), amateur pedigree (though it’s fair to ask how much this matters once pro games begin), fastball command, and mechanics (something I only point out in extreme cases….
          https://baseballdraftreport.com/2016/10/14/2016-mlb-draft-reviews-philadelphia-phillies/

          1. That’s really great info, Romus, thanks. I should revisit my opinion on him and read up a little more.

        2. Add Kilome to that list too. I have Gowdy at 13 after Kilome, Medina, and Sanchez plus Kingery and Hoskins. I actually have Pinto and Pivetta at 19/20 based on a lower ceiling but it’s personal preference. I have Appel at 15 because I think he’s a late inning reliever, as soon as this year. Lots of prospects through 40, that’s crazy. We’ll see

          1. That’s right, we will have some very good and heated debates this offseason for Top 30.

            I left Kilome off my list of objections because Steve’s list had Kilome higher than Gowdy.

            1. There may actually be 30 REAL prospects in the system once we rank the top 30 and even another 10 who are on the rise. Its weird that upper levels have mostly position players while lower levels have a slew of pitchers along with a good number of position players.

        3. From what I gather, it’s Gowdy’s floor that scouts like. He’s a pedigree with an understanding of how to pitch.

  4. Nationals are in full win now mode and are therefore willing to literally trade the farm to try to make the big club as good as possible. I also think they overpaid to get Eaton with is very similar to a Phillies team which tried to extend their WS window for a few extra years…

    Between deferred contracts (Scherzer, Murphy, Strausburg, Soriano), aging roster (Werth, Zimmerman, Murphy), and soon to be $$$ FA’s (Harper, Rendon) their window is closing..

    1. @3up – i agree. in short term planning, management go for the “known commodity (MLB players with years of experience)” vs “unknown commodity (prospects still reached projections” to achieve their goal. Determining the “current value” of Eaton vs Giolito, Lopez and Dunning — Eaton has more “current value” due to actual track record. If WAS intends to win in the 2-3 (short term), this is a move they have to make.

      On the flip side, the Phils is involved in a long term planning since they intend to compete and win in the future (5 years and up) so they should be more concerned on the “future value” as opposed to the current value of their assets.

  5. At first glance it may look like an over pay for Eaton by the Nats.
    But with Eaton and Turner sitting atop of their lineup in front of Harper, Rendon, Zimmerman and Werth for the next few years it may prove what they need to get over the hump in the playoffs Lets hope not however..

    1. No doubt that the move helps the Nats in the short term, the question is at what price. Fans here were critical of Amaro trading the farm to try to win immediately. It appears that Washington is following the same script.

      Eaton is a good fit for their line-up but I think they gave up a lot to get him..

      1. @3up – i don’t agree with WAS decision to give up that much since I like “sustainable” success rather than 1-2 years, but I think WAS intends to win within 5 years when they decided to acquire Scherzer. If WAS will not win in the next 2-3 years, they might start to blow their team apart and trade Harper (before he becomes FA), Rendon, Scherzer, Strasburg, etc to replenish their farm. This is my read why WAS did what they did the past week.

        If I’m the GM of WAS, I’ll get Cutch for a Giolito + another and sign an elite closer + another very good bullpen arm.

      2. Granted Amaro did trade his share of the farm….but winning close to 300 games in a three year span…2009 thru 2011, not counting playoff wins, was the best in Phillies history but for the one Schmidt/Carlton 70’s team’s three year run.
        And who knows Rizzo could move Harper prior to the ’18 season and recoup another bundle of prospects. Amaro was slow in starting the movement of the core

        1. I was not a critical as most with Amaro during that time for the reasons you noted but agree that the Nat’s test will be on when they decide to pull the plug on the current roster.

          I did look it up and Harper and Rendon are FA’s later than I thought they would be..

        2. The big problem was not the prospects RA traded to extend the window, the problem was his refusal to spend the pittance it would have taken to replenish the farm with higher bonus budgets. Had he spent an additional $1-1.5 million a year on the farm, we wouldn’t be complaining at all about the talent he traded away.

          1. People don’t want to hear this but the old Ownership was the problem. Amaro and Gillick were not perfect but I have to believe that they knew this but it took until 2013 for ownership to recognize this and allow a rebuild.

  6. His value diminishes quite a bit when he is moved from RF to CF. His price tag presumes that his value stays the same. I dislike the Nats so I want this to be a bust.

  7. I miss LarryM on this site (I assume he isn’t contributing). I learned a lot from him and mostly agreed with him, but he would typically insist that, with the growing importance of prospects, teams would be very reluctant to get rid of top prospects and we had to temper our expectations in these trades. For reasons having nothing to do with his analysis as to the value of these prospects (he was right about that) he was wrong that obtaining these prospects would be much more difficult to accomplish. The reason? Human nature and, more specifically, GMs desperate to hang onto their jobs and owners pushing for immediate results. I don’t think this will ever change, which means the truly wise and patient teams will always be able to extract excess value if they play their cards right. What the Nationals gave up for a good outfielder was staggering, as was the haul for Sale (more understandable and defensible, but still staggering). And that’s why we got such a haul for Kenny Giles last year.

    1. And, Larry, if you’re reading and I somehow failed to articulate your points accurately, I am sorry, but I think I captured the essence of your argument.

      1. I remember he said he hiked mountains on the weekends to escape……probably now doing the Rocky Mountains.

        1. I remember he said he walked to and from school uphill in the snow. I also remember the look in his eye on Christmas morning. It was wonderful.

    2. For what it’s worth, I don’t think it’s the nature of GMs/humans so much as the nature of business. Once upon a time, prospects were undervalued. Thus they were the market inefficiency and the smart thing to do was to horde them.

      Nowadays, prospect value is much more well-known. They are no longer the market inefficiency and thus can’t be abused by the savvy to gain a competitive advantage.

      All of this just to say, I think the valuation of prospects has changed as it constantly does. The new meta, as it were, is already in the works. Most of us just don’t know enough about all of this to figure out what that is yet.

  8. Catch, I find myself wondering what LarryM would have to say. I did not always agree, but I enjoyed reading his comments and I did learn quite a bit. You are correct. Human nature makes Owners and therefore GMs and personnel people value winning the Championship and where teams, especially those who have not won in a while, see that window, they pay a real premium. Amaro’s problem was twofold. Poor drafting, the excuse that they lost their first pick is nonsense as there are plenty of later round successes, and the Lee and Pence trades which netted very little, no offense TJ. The return on those 2 players, one a TOR guy with a miniscule $9M contract, and an everyday, borderline every year All Star, was really mismanagement.

    1. @matt – agree with in some part about RAJ. Barren talent from the farm due to poor scouting (local and international) and player development (focus on tools and ignoring significant red flags) led to the sudden collapse of the team. Also, the failure to adopt to the changing environment (i.e. use of analytics) and to be in denial mode throughout his term.

      As for the whole FO, getting a win is already enough of a success to them which led to tolerance of mediocrity across all levels in the organization.

      1. KK – while I agree with all that you and matt stated – I also believe that the baseball gods must have been upset as the Phillies were visited by a plague of locusts bringing horrible LUCK – the earliest demise of one of the best pitchers in bb history (Doc); Howard’s collapse, Utley’s chronic knee problems, Lee’s early departure and ultimate career ending injury, and TJ concussed out of his original position (imagine a C who hits 20 hrs in 1/2 season !). These are only the obvious ones. Did RAJ foul up the Papelbon signing – indeed – but how is it they would retroactively change the draft ? and how is it that wasn’t considered by the FO ? In the end, having given the farm away in trades/draft choices – they should have spent 100’s of millions buying every player in LA…! Only now is this so obvious.

    1. I got it…..off his home page:
      PLAYER POTENTIAL RATING
      Scale of (1-10) representing a player’s upside potential
      10 – Hall of Fame-type player
      9 – Elite player
      8 – Solid regular
      7 – Average regular
      6 – Platoon player
      5 – Major League reserve player
      4 – Top minor league player
      3 – Average minor league player
      2 – Minor league reserve player
      1 – Minor league roster filler
      PROBABILITY RATING
      Scale of (A-E) representing the player’s realistic chances of achieving their potential
      A – 90% probability of reaching potential
      B – 70% probability of reaching potential
      C – 50% probability of reaching potential
      D – 30% probability of reaching potential
      E – 10% probability of reaching potential

      1. A very interesting rating scale to say the least, worthy of discussion, while it may be hyper-scientific. The man obviously loves his work. I like the premise of evaluating talent while setting it in context (minor league vs big league contrast). I find it a useful tool as long as we keep using our eyes (and those watching closely) as well.

      1. True. But I would guess the correlation between fantasy value and real life value is extremely high. The exception is a defensive wiz who can’t hit.

  9. This seems to be what is felt nationally about the system. That there is depth, a nice number of near ready prospects, but not that elite player. I have not given up hope that JP can be elite and that Alfaro’s ceiling, from the catching position, makes him close to elite. A long way to go, but these are all projections on upside. They, along with Kilome, Sixto and Gowdy, if they have a #2 upside, can be elite. Or, maybe I think there should be an All Star level category between solid regular and elite.

  10. As someone who values proximately (as a proxy for reaching potential), I also found interesting his use of the letter scale. That said, I disagree with quite a few of his letters:

    8A J.P. Crawford

    8B Jorge Alfaro

    9C Franklyn Kilome
    8C Mickey Moniak
    8C Nick Williams
    8C Roman Quinn
    8C Mark Appel
    7C Scott Kingery
    7C Rhys Hoskins

    9D Adonis Medina
    9D Sixto Sanchez
    9D Dylan Cozens
    9D Jhailyn Ortiz
    8D Corneilus Randolph
    8D Jose Pujols

    B for Alfaro seems generous–I’d say Kingery has a better chance to reach his potential. Albeit his potential is less than Alfaro’s, but, according to the article, Alfaro is the second most likely prospect to achieve his potential.

    C seems very generous for Hoskins, too; especially when Cozens has a D. I’d flip those grades.

    And just based on their injury histories, Quinn and Appel seems like less than 50% bets to achieve their potential.

    If you buy into his letter system, that means Crawford and Alfaro, plus 3-4 of the C grades and 2 of the D grades will blossom. That’s 7-8 solid regulars. I’d like to think that’s accurate but that seems overly ambitious. Rarely does over one-half of any team’s Top 15 make that sort of contribution.

    1. Phils never said that. Maybe people on here said it but not the Phils. The AAA backup is Logan Moore and they’ll probably sign a veteran on a minor league deal to fight with Knapp for major league job with AAA as the fall back. Lino elected free agency a while ago.

  11. I apologize! I reread the breakdown after I saw the grid explaining what the numbers and letters mean. So, I guess I don’t understand how JP, for instance, can have a high likelihood of being a solid regular, but is not possibly an elite player in terms of ceiling, even with a low probability.

    1. matt13…sometimes you can go crazy trying to figure out the rationale behind some of these prospect analysis
      For example….a year ago Cozens would have been, in my estimation by this writer, a 6C….a platoon player with a 50% prob. of reaching his potential.
      And this would have been probably based on four years of minor league metrics.
      And now….he is 9D!

      1. Good point. In reality, you need a tiered system in the sense that he’s a D to reach 9 but he’s probably also a C to reach 8 and a B to reach 7. It’s not like he’ll be a 9 or he’ll be nothing.

        1. I always thought of it as top 25%, middle 50%, bottom 25%. It’s simple and fairly comprehensive.

      2. I would take away the top and bottom grades. If someone is 90% to reach potential, that’s practically a floor; the ceiling is too low.

        If 10% to reach potential, it’s so rare that you shouldn’t even worry about it (unless that’s their chance to be a Major Leaguer at all).

        Probably should instead make Crawford a 9B or 9C.

      1. Don’t get it….what is the difference between fantasy and real value?
        Both metric/ SABR based with the final score resulting in the WAR grade.

  12. Phils complete Cordero trade and add Florimon and Gomez to Nava and Burnett with Minor League deals. Florimon sounds like the AA guy they got last week in the Rule V minor league portion. Terrific defender at SS, but cannot hit.

          1. Just as Sev’s velo jumped once he became a 1 or 2 inning guy….probably the same with Mario.
            He does however have a very decent GB rate above 40%, though most of his other metrics are about average, nothing spectacular.

          2. Yeah, I’m not down on SevGon. He was a middling starter, but he went to the bullpen, gained about 20-30 pounds (he barely looked like the same guy) and now he throws 92-96, sitting around 94. In essence he’s a completely different pitcher now than he was in 2015 and since he’s always had good command and solid secondary stuff, I think he could end up being quite the find in the bullpen. Don’t write him off.

  13. The Competitive Balance Picks are out under the new CBA.
    The more things change the more they stay the same..
    Here’s also the 2016 payroll for the teams in need of competitive balance picks (rounded)
    Round A: First Round
    Tampa $67M…31st pick
    Reds: $90M…32nd
    Oakland: $87M…33rd
    Brewers $64M…34th
    Minn: $105M…35th
    Miami: $74M…36th

    Round B…2nd Round
    Arizona $98M…67th
    San Diego: $99M…68th
    Colorado $113M…69th
    Cleveland $96M…70th
    KC $131M…71st
    Pitt: $100M…72nd
    Balt: $148M…73rd
    St. L $145M…74th

    St. Louis has a team valuation of 7th highest in all MLB in Forbes’ rating.
    The Royals showed operating income of $39M, with that budget, the Cardinals $60M in operating income. This whole venture seems like a real farce…and MLB seems to think awarding prime picks for talent makes it an equitable situation.

    1. If Hellickson gets off to a good start, I’d look into a deal with the Marlins for the 36th pick. Also, the Orioles trade their comp bal pick almost every year. Both of those clubs should be looking for starting pitching.

    2. The Cardinals and Orioles getting competitive balance picks is just infuriating. Why don’t they just let the Dodgers, Cubs and Yankees have picks too?

  14. This should have been changes. I know the area that St. Louis is in is a smaller market, but the purpose is to promote competitiveness and they need no help. Also Baltimore needs a better idea of what to do, not an extra draft pick.

    1. Agree….but for some reason this keeps perpetuating itself now, started with the 2012 CBA. You would think revenue sharing could be jacketed up to help the smaller markets…but not giving them access to prime talent.
      And with these selections …they also get the allocated money associated with that slot…brother!
      When it comes to market size…the Phillies are tied as in the 9th slot…with Toronto and Boston.
      The New York market teams are tops (2) teams
      Then the LA market (2)
      Then the Chicago market (2)
      Then the Bay area market (2)
      Then the Philadelphia, Boston and Toronto markets.

  15. For whatever it’s worth, he’s where I’m leaning. I suspect very few changes from hereon out. My Top 10 is fixed.

    2017 Prospect Rankings (Dec 11, 2016)

    1. JP Crawford
    2. Jorge Alfaro
    3. Mickey Moniak
    4. Franklyn Kilome
    5. Nick Williams
    6. Roman Quinn
    7. Dylan Cozens
    8. Cornelius Randolph
    9. Rhys Hoskins
    10.Kevin Gowdy

    11.Sixto Sanchez
    12.Scott Kingery
    13.Ricardo Pinto
    14.Ben Lively
    15.Adonis Medina

    16.Nick Pivetta
    17.Mark Appel
    18.Andrew Knapp
    19.Drew Anderson
    20.Jhailyn Ortiz

    21.Jose Pujols
    22.Cole Stobbe
    23.Jo Jo Romero
    24.Alberto Tirado
    25.Andrew Pullin

    26.Jesmuel Valentin
    27.Daniel Brito
    28.Francisco Morales
    29.Elniery Garcia
    30.Carlos Tocci

    31.Edgar Garcia
    32.Harold Arauz
    33.Bailey Falter
    34.Delvi Grullon
    35.Ranger Suarez

    36.Nick Fanti

    1. For me:

      1. JP Crawford
      2. Jorge Alfaro
      3. Roman Quinn
      4. Mickey Moniak
      5. Nick Williams
      6. Franklyn Kilome
      7. Cornelius Randolph
      8. Mark Appel
      9. Dylan Cozens
      10. Rhys Hoskins
      11. Kevin Gowdy
      12. Jhailyn Ortiz
      13. Sixto Sanchez
      14. Scott Kingery
      15. Nick Pivetta
      16. Andrew Knapp
      17. Elniery Garcia
      18. Ricardo Pinto
      19. Cole Stobbe
      20. Drew Anderson
      21. Adonis Medina
      22. Carlos Tocci
      23. Deivi Grullon
      24. Ben Lively
      25. Alberto Tirado
      26. Thomas Eshelman
      27. Jose Pujols
      28. Daniel Brito
      29. Arquimedes Gamboa
      30. Andrew Pullin
      31. Bailey Falter
      32. JoJo Romero
      33. Victor Arano
      34. Tyler Viza
      35. Seranthony Dominguez
      36. Jesse Valentin
      37. Cole Irvin
      38. Malquin Canello
      39. Grant Dyer
      40. Josh Stephen
      Honorable Mention (next up) … Rafael Marchan, Jonathan Guzman

      I’m probably (still) more optimistic on Mark Appel than anyone else on this site.
      This is the deepest the farm system has ever been.

    2. I really like the list from The Baseball Draft Report.

      SS JP Crawford
      OF Mickey Moniak
      C Jorge Alfaro
      OF Dylan Cozens
      OF Roman Quinn
      1B Rhys Hoskins
      SP Franklyn Kilome
      OF Jhailyn Ortiz
      OF Cornelius Randolph
      2B Scott Kingery
      SP Sixto Sanchez
      SP Kevin Gowdy
      OF Nick Williams
      SS Cole Stobbe
      SP Nick Pivetta
      C Deivi Grullon
      C Andrew Knapp
      SP Drew Anderson
      OF Andrew Pullin
      SP Bailey Falter
      SP Alberto Tirado
      SP Edgar Garcia
      OF Josh Stephen
      SP Elniery Garcia
      SP Mark Appel
      SP Ricardo Pinto
      SP Adonis Medina
      SP Thomas Eshelman
      OF Jose Pujols
      SS Jonathan Guzman

  16. Mark – the next group I am pulling from – in no particular order:

    Mauricio Llovera
    Felix Paulino
    Jose Taveras
    Luke Leftwich
    Seranthony Dominguez
    Victor Arano
    Cole Irvin

  17. 2020 opening day *if we stay home grown for the most part, and why not since the farm is so rich right now –

    1 JP Crawford ss
    2 Manny Machado 3b
    3 Mickey Moniak cf
    4 Jhailyn Ortiz 1b
    5 Dylan Cozens rf (or Nick Williams)
    6 Jorge Alfaro c
    7 Cornelius Randolph lf
    8 Scott Kingery 2b
    9 Sixto Sanchez p

  18. 8Mark, That is very optimistic, and I hope you get these prospects right, but using your team structure, I bat Moniak 1, JP 2 and Machado 3.

    1. Romus,

      The most interesting projection is Hernandez at 2B in 2020, not Kingery, not Tobias, not Galvis, not Herrera.

      1. Frank…..that would be interesting, but not entirely unexpected. Cesar will be 30/31 and maybe further along in production.
        But Kingery does seem to be what the Phillies will be leaning and maybe even Valentin.

        1. I think the key attribute the FO is evaluating in Cesar H is his mental approach. If he remains static, he’ll be traded sooner than later. Right now that’s a huge ? for him.

          Valentin may very well be that useful roll player that managers of good teams keep in their back pocket.

          Kingery is the guy they’re looking at as a building block and type of player suitable for the culture you want to create.

          We all know pretty much what Freddy is.

          1. Not sure how BA decides the ‘best’ for each category…but I guess they got most of these right:…just did not realize Pivetta had the best curveball in the system.
            Best Fastball -Alberto Tirado
            Best Curveball -Nick Pivetta
            Best Slider -Edgar Garcia
            Best Changeup -Ricardo Pinto
            Best Control -Thomas Eshelman

            1. Funny they gave Pinto best change. I was under the impression Pinto rarely used his change last year by mandate from the org who wanted him to work on his secondary offerings

            2. Also MLB has Kilome’s FB as a 70…and Tirado’s as a 65.
              Pivetta’s CB as a 50…which is average.
              Eshelman did get a 70 on contro with MLB.
              While Edgar Garcia got a 60 FB and a 55 slider.
              So I guess it is very subjective between each publication,

    1. I see Galvis getting traded because he is going to want to start for some team and he won’t have that option here within the next year or so.

      1. Galvis is under team control, it doesn’t matter what he wants.

        Blanco, Galvis, Hernandez, Rupp, and Kendricks are all trade candidates mid or off-season. Would be great for Galvis to take on the utility role.

  19. The Phillies released Phil Klein and are taking a gamble on Richie Shaffer who plays first, third and the outfield and had a bad 2016, but a very good 2015. I like the idea of bringing him to spring training. This is a good move in my view.

    1. Trying Hoskins in the RF probably not a great idea….he is not the fastest guy and not sure his arm is conducive for a RFer until he can demonstrate showing it. Now LF may be a position that they could dabble in with him as teams seem to do with out of position guys…..now in 2012 as a freshman at Sac State he made 37 of his 56 total starts in left field, the first time he played outfield in his career…also started five games at third base and 14 at designated hitter…
      But since his sophomore season there until thru now he has been playing first base
      I would let him stay at first at the start of AAA level so he can concentrate primarily on hitting better pitching.

  20. It looks like you could do a lot of rotating at LHV.
    Stassi can play LF, 1B, DH, Shaffer can play RF,
    3B, 1B, DH, and Hoskins LF, 3B, 1B, DH.

    1. True, but I think it is preferable to focus upon developing your true prospects at the position they are expected to play. I think Hoskins should get almost every start at 1B. That’s also why I don’t want both Alfaro and Knapp at Allentown. I don’t want to see Alfaro taking 1B starts. Tough on Stassi — he’s a really good defender at 1B, but Hoskins needs to continue working on his fielding. Stassi can DH.

  21. fwiw, hoskins actually last played outfield in the cape cod league following his sophomore season (casey gillespie played first on the 2012 fallmouth commodores, kevin newman short). he played the early part of the season until dylan davis got there, then the rest in left. his few games at third in college were his first ones as a freshman while the coach looked for a way to get his bat in the lineup. he settled in left for the duration of his freshman year shortly thereafter. he is not a third baseman

  22. also, fwiw playing the outfield did not appear to affect hoskins hitting, as he was arguably the best hitter in the league that summer

  23. The Phillies just signed Odubel to a 5-year $30 million contract with two fairly affordable option years that could make the deal as long as 7 years. He’s played to a 3.8 and 4.2 bWAR the last two years and he’s young, so this is a superb contract and the type of forward looking, savvy deal Ruben basically never did. And not only does this contract lock him in, it makes Odubel a very attractive trade target. Such a smart, smart move.

    1. It was precisely this type of deal that caused the Nationals to send the White Sox a boatload of prospects for Adam Eaton. Great deal.

      1. Shrewd move on Phillies part. Not sure Franco will settle for such a team friendly contract, dollar or control wise. I say he plays out the arbitration process unless he lights up the box scores within the next couple years.

    2. I’m not sure how they got him for so cheap. I mean he’s got to be worth almost twice what Phils will be paying him a year, right? Incredible deal

        1. The Phillies bought out 2 years of his Free Agency. He was eligible to be a free agent in 2021 before this deal so smart move on his part. Who couldn’t be set for life with $30.5 million dollars…

          and at the age of 31 assuming he ages well he’ll get another crack at at least that much more.

          1. Based on his first two years of productivity and age…some could say the contract was too club-sided and less player friendly. If he continues to progress, or just keeps his current WAR level, he could ‘outperform’ his contract and prior to his age 33 season receive a grand amount of $54.5M over 7 years. Which in today’s terms would be great for the team.

            1. It absolutely is club sided. Think about it if you are a young player signing an extension it’s always going to be club sided.

              is Mike Trout’s deal club sided? You bet your arse it is.

            2. Not always.
              Opt-clauses are becoming very common…favors the player.
              Then there are the no-trade clauses…. in certain respects,favors the player.
              Doobie’s agent and himself decided against both.
              And probably the worst examples of a player’s favor contract was both Ryan Howards and ARods, injury and age aside.

        1. COTS has it now:
          Odubel Herrera ….5 years/$30.5M (2017-21), plus 2022-23 club options ….signed extension with Philadelphia 12/15/16
          $1.75M signing bonus-
          17:$1.25M, 18:$3M, 19:$5M, 20:$7M, 21:$10M, 22:$11.5M club option ($2.5M buyout). 23:$12.5M club option ($1M buyout)

  24. When it comes to Herrera…he is tied with Dexter Fowler as the 40th best player in the majors by WAR…4.2

  25. Found a very unusual Phils signing. Wander Perez, he is a 31 year old left handler. He is from DR, pitched 4 years in low minors and went to A+, then 2 years of Indy Ball then was hurt for 2 years then 2 years of Indy ball. Was relief pitcher until last year at Joplin where he had 9 starts and 1 from the pen. Found signing at Baseball America, can watch his video on U Tube. Must be going to give him a chance at LHV. His ERA was 4.88 at Joplin.

      1. What some people fail to understand is that this is a excellent signing even if Herrera never improves. Based on his current production, he would far outperform that contract. And if he improves, it’s one of the great deals in baseball and makes him a tantalizing trade target (or just a great value).

    1. Yes he is, Tim … and that new (extremely team-friendly) contract makes him an even more valuable trade chip, eventually.

  26. Know thy self Franco would be wise to do a similar deal. Tomorrow is not promised today a lesson that should be learned with Jose Fernandez and Oscar Taveras. Granted those two were responsible for their own demise.

  27. Another surprise nugget from the latest 5-Year CBA…….the first overall pick will have a slot value of $7.4 million in 2017. In 2016, the slot for the first overall pick for the Phillies was more than $9 million. The rest of the slots have not been announced yet….but also expect a decrease The Phillies pick 8th, last years slot was $3.6M…..look for that to decrease.

    1. That would be nice. Let’s get a fast tracker to the big leagues and expedite the rebuild. Callis and Mayo think the Phils will go college early since last draft they went heavy on HS kids.

      1. College arm I would think..
        Right now, I would lean LHP Louisville’s McKay if he does get by the As but Houck would be a good pick if he is still there.

  28. Plenty of interesting players remaining, but I’m going to stop at 40.

    2017 Prospect Rankings (Dec 17, 2016)

    1. JP Crawford
    2. Jorge Alfaro
    3. Mickey Moniak
    4. Franklyn Kilome
    5. Nick Williams
    6. Roman Quinn
    7. Dylan Cozens
    8. Cornelius Randolph
    9. Rhys Hoskins
    10.Kevin Gowdy

    11.Sixto Sanchez
    12.Scott Kingery
    13.Ricardo Pinto
    14.Ben Lively
    15.Adonis Medina

    16.Nick Pivetta
    17.Mark Appel
    18.Andrew Knapp
    19.Drew Anderson
    20.Jhailyn Ortiz

    21.Jose Pujols
    22.Cole Stobbe
    23.Jo Jo Romero
    24.Alberto Tirado
    25.Andrew Pullin

    26.Jesmuel Valentin
    27.Daniel Brito
    28.Francisco Morales
    29.Elniery Garcia
    30.Carlos Tocci

    31.Edgar Garcia
    32.Harold Arauz
    33.Bailey Falter
    34.Delvi Grullon
    35.Ranger Suarez

    36.Nick Fanti
    37.Mauricio Llovera
    38.Kyle Young
    39.Luke Leftwich
    40.Jonathan Guzman

    1. Tyler Viza, Seranthony Dominguez, Cole Irvin, Josh Stephen, Arquimedes Gamboa should easily make the Top 40. Rafael Marchan is a better prospect than Morales and Guzman as of now.

      I also have Juan Luis and Josh Tobias in my Top 40.

      1. KK – so much depth in the system. Part of the reason I stopped at 40.

        Is Marchan a better prospect than Morales and Guzman? Perhaps – I’m particularly high on Guzman from what I have read, but Marchan and Guzman have barely played 100 professional games between them, all of which have been played in the DSL, and Morales hasn’t thrown a single pitch as a professional. I haven’t seen any of the three in person.

        I wonder if a guy like Badler was asked to rank Morales, Guzman and Marchan, how he would rank them. I’d be curious to hear his thoughts.

        For what its worth, here is the refined list I was pulling from that had yet to be ranked (in no particular order). I had Seranthony Dominguez, Rafael Marchan and Jose Taveras queued up next :

        Thomas Eshelman
        Malquin Canelo
        Felix Paulino
        * Jose Taveras
        * Seranthony Dominguez
        Victor Arano
        Cole Irvin
        Mark Leiter
        Tyler Viza
        Josh Stephen
        Arq Gamboa
        Kyle Martin
        Mitch Walding
        Shane Watson
        Cord Sandberg
        * Rafael Marchan
        Lucas Williams
        Brandon Leibrandt

        1. Steve……Ben Badler on Morales from Dec 14, BA chat forum:
          …Francisco Morales,
          Ben Badler: Huge frame, huge fastball for a kid who just turned 17 last month. It’s hard to talk upside and ceiling on a player being evaluated at 16 years old, but aside from the more advanced Cuban pitchers like Adrian Morejon, Morales was one of if not the best pitching prospect available for July 2 last year

            1. Have not finalize the bottom half…..happily, a little too difficult right now with the numbers But if I had to guess….25-30 range. Pitchers are so unpredictable with arm issues a big concern.

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