Open Discussion: Week of December 19th

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

Busy week for the Phillies as they completed 12 roster moves including an extension, FA signings, a waiver claim, a release, a DFA, an outright, and a completed trade.

The Phillies ended the week by extending Odubel Herrera with a $30.5M contract that included 2 club options that could net Herrera another $24M.  The Phillies 24-year old was a 4 WAR player in his first 2 seasons (3.8 in 2015, 4.2 in 2015).  He reigned in his aggressiveness at the plate a little and dropped his K% from 24.0% to 20.4% and raised his BB% from an anemic 5.2% to a respectable 9.6%.  By buying out Herrera’s arbitration years and first free agent year, the Phillies have extended cost control over a productive player.  In future seasons, Herrera’s contract could be a very attractive trade option.

The Phillies began the week by announcing the signings of several players to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training – 3B Hector Gomez, OF Daniel Nava, LHP Sean Burnett, and 3B Pedro Florimon.  Then they completed the Jimmy Cordero trade with the Nationals when the received RHP Mario Sanchez as the PTBNL.

The Phillies outrighted Michael Mariot to Lehigh Valley when he cleared waivers.

The Phillies made some roster moves to accommodate new players on their 40-man roster. They released RHP Phil Klein to follow opportunities in Asia and DFA-ed LHP David Rollins. Their roster spots were filled with waiver claim Richie Shaffer (from the Mariners) and FA Andres Blanco.  Blanco signed a 1-year, $3M contract.  His versatility will anchor the infield, especially the middle infield positions.

It was reported Saturday that the Phillies came to terms with another free agent.  MLB Trade Rumors released a story that the Phillies had come to terms with FA C Bryan Holaday.  The report states that he signed a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

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.

I’ve noticed a lot of people here and on other sites referring to Nick Williams’ work ethic and in-game hustle.  During a discussion this week with a friend, it occurred to me that maybe Williams was being treated a little harshly.  After all, he’s still with the organization. The manager who he had trouble with (Dave Brundage) has been replaced.  Brundage piloted the IronPigs to their best season in several years, however several players did not continue to progress under his tenure – Williams for one, J.P Crawford for another. Andrew Knapp and Logan Moore also showed some regression.  (I wrote this section Friday and later found that the same or similar sentiment had been expressed by one of our commenters, Catchman22 I believe.  So this isn’t exactly an original thought on my part.)  So maybe, we shouldn’t be too quick to punish Williams in the Poll.  Hopefully, he returns to form in 2017 under Dusty Wathan.

Extra Innings

I’m posting the weekly update a day earlier so that I can devote 4-5 consecutive week days to the poll.  I’ll go back to Sunday night posts for the weekly when the poll is completed.

I have received requests to add Logan Moore, Harold Arauz, Austin Bossart, Jordan Kurokawa via e-mail; and Rafael Marchan, Jesse Valentin in the Comments section of the polls.

In the Reader Top 30 article before the first poll, I indicated that the remainder of the MLB top 30 would be the first prospects added then the remainder of eligible prospects from the 40-man roster.  Valentin will probably be in the third group added, probably between 10-15.  I haven’t decided the order how I will add the “Bunch of Guys Who had Nice Summers, Winters, or Maybe I Just Like Them”.  I will get the other 5 requested above into the poll among that group.  I’ll do the best I can to accommodate requests, but there are only 27 polls remaining.  But be advised though that I see little point in adding a prospect who is only going to get one vote each poll.

And, I decline extending the poll out to a top 40 or 50.  Too much work and it would extend the poll too close to the start of spring training.  Although I got a kick out of the suggestion of a top 247, pretty funny.  Thanks, Fritzerland.

Cumulative transactions: 

  • 12/15 – Phillies extended Odubel Herrera with a 5-year, $30.5M contract with 2 option years.  The Phillies have bought out Herrera’s arbitration years plus his first year of free agency.
  • 12/14 – Phillies signed free agent 2B Andres Blanco (1 yr./$3M).
  • 12/14 – Phillies claimed Richie Shaffer off waivers from Seattle Mariners.
  • 12/14 – Phillies released RHP Phil Klein.
  • 12/14 – Phillies designated LHP David Rollins for assignment.
  • 12/13 – Phillies sent Michael Mariot outright to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 12/12 – Potomac Nationals traded Mario Sanchez to Reading Fightin Phils to complete the Jimmy Cordero trade
  • 12/12 – Phillies signed free agent 3B Hector Gomez to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 12/12 – Phillies signed free agent OF Daniel Nava to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 12/12 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Sean Burnett to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 12/12 – Phillies signed free agent 3B Pedro Florimon to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 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.


123 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of December 19th

  1. Cordero for Mario Sanchez? I’m sure this will draw some ire on this site. Sanchez will play this coming season as a 22 y/o. He’s reached A+ and is a reliever. He held his own in A+ where he is 2 years younger than the average age. He isn’t a big K guy (7.2 per 9 IP) and he averages 2.5 BBs/9. I’ve never seen him in person and I don’t know anything about him but he doesn’t have to be added to the 40 man and appears to be durable (78 IP last year as a reliever). He won’t be in the top 30 list but he could place in the top 200 of Fritz’s list.

    1. Washington has a lot to win and basically nothing to lose you would think.
      Jimmy Cordero, however was out all of ST until mid-July with the biceps strain, then he was back for about a month then he had the right shoulder strain. Only got in 27 innings for the entire year and was not effective and his velo dropped.
      If he regains his health fully he could be a real steal for the Nats.

    2. Sanchez is an org reliever, can do a lot of things. Fastball tops out at 90-91, good curveball, fringy changeup. He is better than the nothing the Phillies would have gone had they lost Cordero on a waiver claim. He just did not fit onto the crowded 40 man roster after his injuries.

      1. This. Trading Cordero was strictly a numbers crunch on the 40-man roster. Klentak knew that Cordero would not clear waivers, and would be claimed by a poor team with an early choice in the waiver process. So instead of losing Cordero to a bad team for nothing, Klentak traded him to a good team and at least got a modest return.

    3. Hated the trade. Cordero had more upside and was worth keeping. Given organizational depth, you can backfill him easy if he gets hurt again. No reason to make the trade.

  2. The Phillies essentially have one position they need to fill on the major league roster – extra outfield lefty bat. Who might that be?

    Just an aside, look for the Piece to sign with the Rays (just a sensible hunch – a stop gap veteran presence on a rebuilding team).

      1. Romus, I see where Detroit is having difficulty finding a trade partner. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. I would love to have him as a short term /possible longer term piece.

        1. Agree.
          He is in his age29 season…and could be a real fixture in LF for 4/5 years.
          Always been a hitter and splits show actually a tick better hitter vs RHPs in 2016, and at CBP he could be a real explosive bat in the middle of the lineup.

        1. Before dismissing such a trade, I think you’d have to consider what return he might get you at the deadline. If he lights up CBP the first half of the season, you’ll at least have a big trade chip. It’s not just one year of JD. He’s bringing value that will translate to acquiring value should he not sign on for an extension.

    1. Or they could just go with Valentin. Every body they add costs them another pitcher and they only have three left – Morgan, Garcia, and Sev and one of these three will have to go for Burnett, who I think will make the pen. 40 spots are very much effecting the bench. Knapp, Valentin, and Quinn all have spots because of it (Quinn might earn his). Shaffer will fight to keep his spot against Stassi and maybe others but he has a spot for now. Knapp, Blanco, Shaffer, Valentin, and Altherr is the bench with a bullpen of Neris, Gomez, Benoit, Ramos, Nestak, Joeley, and Burnett and with Eflin, Thompson, Asher and Lively fighting for the 5th spot with the losing three going to LHV to pitch with Appel, Pivetta and Pinto (probably moving to the pen). With only Garcia and Sev left on the 40, some of these LHV starters will probably pitch in relief in Philly.

  3. Considering the Tigers predicament, and assuming they can manage to move Kinsler, I would offer Cesar, Knapp and either Lively or Pivetta for JD. Detroit might have to settle for less at the trade deadline.

    1. J.D. Martinez is a good hitter, but he produced half as much WAR last year as Cesar Hernandez so there’s no way I would make that trade. It would be steal for the Tigers. Martinez for Hernandez straight up I would need to think about.

      1. JD Martinez is a lot better than Cesar imo. If we could get a legit #3 hitter for cesar, Knapp, and pivetta it would be a steal.

        1. Some of you guys over value our guys quite a bit. Cesar is a second division regular. Knapp is likely a backup catcher. Pivetta and Lively are #5 guys. JD is like a 30 hr 300 hitter

          1. That’s where you’re wrong, Cesar was a first division regular last year and given his age, he’s likely to remain that productive (3-5 WAR for the coming years) over what should be his peak years. Does he has his deficiencies? You bet, but so do all players who aren’t stars.

            1. Last year was his only year in which he had an ops+ over 100. His baserunning is so bad it doesn’t add value. He doesn’t have much power. He plays 2nd base on an average level. His only real value is his ability to take walks.

            2. Thats what happens with younger players – they improve – and he has done so consistently. He was a 4.4 WAR player last year, which is just below all-star level and his second half performance was exceptional. He was a MUCH more valuable player last year than Martinez who is also notably older – trading them even up might be okay (Martinez could rebound etc) – adding a lot of other strong prospects will hurt the rebuild before it begins in earnest. Making this type of trade was exactly how the Padres screwed up their rebuild. Fortunately I don’t see Klentak making this type of trade.

            1. Imo its when we are valuing who I believe to be a second division 2b over a player like JD. Cesar had one season where he could be considered a starting second baseman.

            2. Best way I can put it is Cesar for JD only makes sense if you believe Cesar can produce like he did last season every year. Will the Tigers believe that?

            3. WAR is WAR. Its a measurement of past performance – but it does not portend future performance. If using (or misusing) WAR in a vacuum as a means of predicting future performance, I could argue in this scenario that WAR is being overvalued.

              Not all that different from saying that Cesar outproduced JDM in WAR in 2016, therefore Cesar is a better payer, or Cesar will be the better player in 2017. I think we would all agree its a bit more complex than that

            4. You did it again. You’re arguing against an opinion backed by a statistical fact with your “imo”. I haven’t expressed an opinion one way or the other. I cover and report on the prospects in the minors, and don’t follow players once they are no longer Phuture Phillies. But you are arguing against a statistical fact with just an opinion.

              The one stat you offered is inaccurate (“JD is like a 30 hr 300 hitter”). Martinez is a lifetime .281 hitter. He has hit more than 23 HRs once in his 6-year career (2015).

              And you try to support your opinion by pointing out your negative opinions on the other players discussed in the trade, and claiming that the readers on my site over value prospects. Now that may all be true, but it doesn’t make your original opinion factual.

              And it doesn’t make your opinion less valid than the opinion that a multi-player trade for Martinez is an overpay. It just didn’t have as much statistical support.

            5. Fair enough Jim. JD Martinez isn’t a 30 home run, .300 hitter. He is averaging a .900 ops in the past 3 years and no lower than a 139 ops+ in the same amount of time. My arguement is the same. I expressed my opinion because I’m only guessing at what either of them will do the next few years. No amount of statistical fact changes that.

          2. Ahoy – I’m with you, but with a caveat. I would need some sort of notion that JD would be willing to engage in extension talks. If so, I would trade Cesar and one of Knapp, Pivetta or Lively in a heartbeat. If JD is predisposed to entering free-agency though, then I’m not sure I would move on him.

            FWIW, Cesar was a hot start by JP Crawford from being a bach player as recently as last June. Crawford couldn’t get going, and Cesar had a solid final three months. But if Cesar reverts to the player he was in April and May, he’s a non-tender candidate next year. I for one am not ready to assume that he’s an .800+ OPS type of hitter going forward. I would love to be wrong about that

            1. I 100% agree Steve. If JD wants an extention I think you do this trade I’d you’re the phillies. But I’d love to be wrong about Cesar. I just don’t think he is suddenly going to get more power at age 27 or even match what he did last season for that matter. I need to see more

        2. Yes, of course he is, but that’s not really the entire point. But value takes into account production by position and fielding. I’m not saying Cesar was twice as good as JD, but there’s a really good chance that he’s more productive than JD over the next five years.

          If you make a lot of JD for Cesar, Knapp and Pivetta trades, we’re never going to get this thing going and we’ll end up being like the Reds or Padres – no thank you. You don’t build a franchise, particularly in rebuilding mode, by getting back a lot less than you give up.

    2. I think Cesar was talked about just before the meetings as part of that package.
      I hate to see him go, but that may be what the Tigers would want if Kinsler is moved.
      I would prefer to keep Pivetta and see if they would take Lively, who really needs to to prove this ST on some team somewhere, , that he cannot start in the majors. He has done everything he needs to do in the minors now.
      Knapp, at 25, also needs the chance to be more than a back-up, part-time catcher. In Detroit he would also have the opportunity to play LF and DH.

      1. I just think in worst case we can get the equivalent of what we give up at the deadline should we have to.

        Catch, you make a good point. May be too much to offer.

        1. 8mark…still comes down to future projection for the middle infield.
          If JPC is what every expects, then he may be up by June.
          So what happens to Freddy and Cesar? Someone will have to sit.
          I just do not think the Phillies FO/manager want to make that decision in the middle of the isn’t fair to either player. And with Blanco back in the fold for another year, he can easily play 2nd base for April and May. You have options for 2nd base thru June….you do not have them for shortstop until JPC has more AAA time.
          That’s is just a guess on my part.

          1. No problem moving on from Cesar. Kendrick plays 2b. In terms of value/contract/control, Cesar might be plenty to offer for JD as Catch suggested.

            1. For all we know it could be a done deal pending Detroit finding a partner to trade for Kinsler. If Klentak pulls it off, that and the Odubel signing would make 2 excellent moves this off season.

            2. By the way, just because Cesar is a good player doesn’t mean they shouldn’t move him sooner or later. I think the industry is waiting to see if Cesar’s year last year was a permanent improvement or a blip – if he has another equally good year this year, his trade value will go way up. Similarly, Cesar has improved each year both offensively and defensively and we don’t entirely know his ceiling right now (if he becomes a true standout, they can also keep him). So I like the idea of keeping him around at least for the first part of the year because, I think, worst case scenario is that his trade value stays roughly the same.

            3. Maybe after we’ve chosen our top 30 we can have one final poll to choose 5-10 honorable mentions.

          2. If Cesar tightens up his Baserunning and/or defense, we have a starting 2nd basemen for the next 6-7 years. Galvis, despite his defense isn’t a long term starting option. Why give up on Cesar right now?

  4. I’m OK with moving on from Cesar, but not for one year of JD Martinez, especially when the one year is a rebuilding season. Sign Martinez to a two year extension, then I am good with dealing Cesar.

    For me, Cesar is the toughest player on the team to value- was the second half of 2016 an aberration, or is this the player we will get moving forward? I flip flop back and forth. Since 2017 is another rebuilding season I’ll err on the side of keeping him absent good value in return. I consider JD Martinez, with a two year extension to his contract, to be good value.

    PS- if the Phils trade Hernandez and are looking for a stopgap in 2017 to play second and take some AB’s at first vs. tough righties, there’s a guy that used to wear #26 here that could fit that role- hold the spot for Kingery in 2018.

    1. I don’t think the team should be anchored by the past. Let the guys we have earn their spots and get playing time.

      We’ll see Utley at his wall of fame induction, but no thanks on playing here again.

  5. J.D. Martinez is actually a pretty good example of why not to trade Cesar Hernandez. Martinez had a breakout age 26 season that was out of line with what he had done in the majors up to that point. Would those who advocate trading Cesar also wanted to have traded Martinez after that season?

    Martinez was wretched in the outfield last year. He’s really best suited for a 1B/DH role going forward. Trading Hernandez also makes Kendrick the starting 2B, where he was bad two years ago (not to mention he might be cooked as a hitter). This move wouldn’t be doing our pitching staff any favors.

    Also, it doesn’t make sense for Martinez to sign a two year extension to grease the skids for a trade to an inferior team. This is probably his only chance at a long term deal.

  6. Fully agree with Jim. Let’s give nick williams a chance!!!!
    Sixto Sanches is starting to heat up in this top 30 exercise. Love it. But let s not get too happy he is at the beginning of a 3-4 year process.
    Agree on the 5-6 additions to the survey.

  7. I’d rather look to trade Cesar for prospects – Think a contending team looking for a leadoff hitter.

    JD Martinez is not the future of this club. His hitting would be offset by limited defense. I’m okay if you can get him for close to nothing while maintaining enough major league AB’s for Quinn, Knapp, and Williams (ETA soon), then trade him at the deadline. I don’t think that’s possible.

    Fully agree on Nick Williams, let the man earn his spot on the team and give him time to progress.

  8. OK, two interesting questions I have for everyone are;

    1) Who are the 12th and 13th position players on this team assuming:

    1) Cesar 2nd
    2) Quinn OF
    3) Kendrick OF
    4) Herrera OF
    5) Franco 3rd
    6) Joseph 1st
    7) Rupp C
    8) Galvis SS
    9) Blanco Utility
    10) Altherr OF
    11) Knapp C / 1st
    12) ?
    13) ?

    Also are they currently in the Phils organization now or still to come between now and opening day?

    2) What is the batting order? (Not sure what makes the most sense, but I have 1-8 lined up above). Probably makes more sense to move 1 of the top 4 down in the order…I just like having all of that speed and on base potential at the top. Herrera and Kendrick are maybe 3 hole hitters on this team, but neither is a clean up guy.

    1. I can’t believe I’m saying this after being so tepid on him for so long, but I think Stassi has a chance to take one of these roster spots serving as a lefty option at first, an extra bat in the outfield and off the bench. I think he’s done the improbable and taken his game to another level. I think Williams starts the season in AAA even if he does well in ST. I think the last player comes from another organization.

      1. By the way, back to teams not implementing out-of-the-box coaching strategies, Strassi’s improvement was totally unexpected and tied to the hitting coach who completely turned around Josh Donaldson’s career. Why aren’t more guys encouraged to try this hitting style, especially with guys at the end of the line? Even if they don’t want to risk it for their top prospects, why can’t they just send Mitch Walding or Harold Martinez off to this guy?

      2. Catch, I’m in agreement. They organization owes it to THEMSELVES to find out finally about Stassi before the dust settles with Hoskins in the horizon. What’s there to lose unless they were to find an established and more permanent player at 1b.

    2. I’d move Quinn down to 7th until he proves to hit consistently and Cesar is traded.

      I see 12 and 13 being filled out by veteran players. Nava and Shaffer are candidates, though a late spring training release could yield another.

      This assumes of course that a Cam Perkins or Nick Williams don’t play their way onto the team out of ST. Someone else mentioned Stassi.

  9. I think you are correct Romus. Unless a Colby Rasmus does not have a job when camps open, I think that they let either a minor leaguer or a ST invitee win those jobs. Unless they keep13 Pitchers and there is only 1. And, it is far from a done deal that Knapp gets the backup C spot.

    1. matt13….unless MattK makes additional moves this week before Friday, it will look like that what is there now , for the most part, stays the same. He had said the dead period is Christmas week, I assume teams prefer not to want to trade players over the holidays and avoid family disruptions. But I guess he could sign a FA out there, that is without a contract however.

    1. No brainer good move for a team looking to add trade chips that wants no more than a one-year commitment and can easily absorb a salary for the coming year. The only criticism you could level at this trade is that it might prevent a younger pitcher from getting innings, but, realistically, if the team sees that a younger pitcher deserves the playing time, I’m sure they will figure it out.

    2. Steve,

      Is this a small vote of confidence in the future at second base with Hernandez and/or Kingery?

      1. hah…very good rocco…….Tobias was your man….sorry dude.
        Sox get under the luxury tax now and Phillies may get a trade chip in July, though he is a little fragile.

    3. This is a hedge against a lack of confidence with some of their unproven young starters, such as the faltering (or just injured?) Nola and uncertainty of VV’s arm/endurance. I don’t like it as Buchholz has a career of inconsistency. Out of the above starters, plus Eickhoff, Eflin, Thompson, Asher, Lively, Pivetta, and Appel, there’s ample potential to back up Hellickson. I know Buchholz potentially can be flipped in July, but I don’t expect him to worth anything and would rather have moved forward with the youth movement.

      1. If he has anything under a 4 ERA, he’ll easily get back more than Tobias in a trade at the deadline. This was pretty much a no-brainer trade.

    4. I’m thinking that Vince Velasquez could be a lights out closer for this team.
      Now that Buchholz is aboard that leaves a starting five of Hellickson,Eickoff,Buchholtz,Nola and Thompson with Eflin,Lively,Asher or Appel as backup.
      Anyway just a thought with an arm like that Velasquez could be dynamite in limited innings.

    1. Buchholz, Hellickson, Nola, Velasquez, Eickhoff, Eflin, Thompson, Asher, Lively and Pivetta are all currently at or near the big league level. There are only so many upper level minor league starting pitching assignments. I would have to think a trade is likely in the offing, no?

      1. 8mark,

        Agree. I think we all know the Phillies want an outfield bat and the way to get one might be a bundle of players, but not a prime prospect.

        A JD Martinez precursor?

        1. He’s one player I would pursue without having to give up a lot since he’s a one year rental or if they overwhelm him with an extension offer.

          If the Yankees are still looking for a starting pitcher (and I keep hearing Velasquez’ name coming up), that’s another story. But I’m not interested in adding more prospects unless one of them is a stud. Let’s find out what we have in stock.

        2. Frank…..shhhh….do not say JD Martinez. That debate, the pros and cons, was the other day…..but Pete Mack may be the deciding factor.

        3. How about Charlie Blackmon or Carlos Gonzalez?

          Would Colorado offensive numbers be comparable to CBP?

          I think there are few deals out there we don’t know about, outside of JDM.

    1. I Don’t hate it, tobias had no future, Its just another starter we might be able to flip at trade deadline/

      1. rocco…agree, that is the prevailing feeling about what the FO is doing.
        Though I do think the Phillies could QO him if he is not traded in July as they did with Hellickson last month. If i remember correctly, Hellickson cannot be QO twice under the new CBA.

  10. I like the trade. Does this give a perception of where the Phillies think Lively, Thompson, and Pivetta are? You never have enough pitching with the amount of injuries during the season. I would be a supporter of a 6 man rotation as well, given potential innings limits of the young pitchers.

    Look for Hellickson and Bucholtz trades for sure. No need for qualifying offers for 2018.

    1. And now they’ve signed catcher Bryan Holaday to a minor league contract with invitation to camp.

  11. There has to be something in the works, the numbers just don’t make sense. Rotation next year of Hellickson/Clay/VV/Nola/Eickhoff which leaves Eflin/Asher/Thompson/Lively. Those 4 really don’t need anymore seasoning at AAA. Now let’s say they trade one or 2 for an outfielder, that then makes the OF set at Kendrick/Herrera/New OF which means what happens w Quinn and Williams who don’t need the seasoning either (you could argue it wouldn’t hurt). Would they then need to trade Hernandez to get Kendrick in the infield to open up an outfield sport for Quinn or Williams. There just so much that could happen now and so much that to me doesn’t make much sense. Than again maybe I don’t make much sense haha

    1. Eric D… I think you may be spot on.
      Matty K. may be gearing up for something big in the next few days. His phone’s ringtone may be Jingle Bells and it may be continuously blaring away. 🙂

      1. Romus it seems to me Mk trades are all of a sudden type. Lol my phone went dead today it wouldn’t charge plus I broke the charger . I sat at Verzion for an hr and was still 6 peeps before me . Lol I’m down too an 3G model form 4 yrs ago. Anyway Mk did say he was going for another bullpen arm and OF bench bat. that was yesterday I really think his is no more then a salary dump. Although Mk said he will fight for a Sp spot.

  12. All 4 that you mentioned could start at LHV without any problem. Asher is a candidate to make the team out of ST as a Reliever. Both Bucholz and Hellickson should be gone by July, opening up 2 spots for whichever Pitchers have earned the spots. That is also assuming that everyone stays healthy. So, I don’t really see a trade coming. I am taking Klentak at his word that the flexibility to let Altherr/Quinn/Williams/Cozens make the team either out of ST or during the season is important to the team. So, unless the trade brings a big-time high level OF who is cost controlled for the next 5-6 years, there will not be a trade involving any of the SPs penciled into the rotation.

    1. Agreed. Hellickson can’t be QO’d and should be traded either way. Bucholtz has playoff experience that should appeal to a contending team and it’s a contract year for him!

      Half a season in the minors won’t hurt for some of these guys and there will be spot starts for injuries given the long season.

      1. Agreed. In all the time I’ve been watching baseball I cannot remember a single time when a major league team could not somehow make room for a lights-out starter in the minors. It almost always has a way of working out through injuries and underperformance. I know there are a lot of slots here for pitchers between AAA and the majors but it should still sort itself out.

    2. I think at last year’s deadline, Klentak had a deal in place to send Hellickson to Miami. At the last minute, the Marlins wanted a second pitcher included. MacKlentak (at the very least), may be thinking of Buchholz as a second piece to a deal this summer. Bottom line is … they didn’t give up anything to acquire Buccholz, and if one of the young guys out-pitches him in ST, I’m almost certain they’ll still be given the spot in the starting rotation.

  13. Quinn is the only young player I believe in for the start of 2017 but he has too much injury history to rely on.

    Altherr can’t play or let’s say he can’t hit enough to be an everyday OF. He’s Ben Francisco JMJR all over again.

    Cozens and Williams-even with good springs there is no way I break camp with them on the 25 man. They’d both have to report to LHV and show some consistency in their deficiencies for a month or two before I’d even consider them for a call up.

    1. That’s a good option the Phillies Achilles heal Is corner OF and relief pitching for the short term.

    2. You may be right that Altherr can’t play, but how do we know that for sure? Why give up on him at this point?

      He was coming off a pretty serious injury last year, so let’s give him some time to get back on track. I will say this about Altherr, his secondary skills (fielding, running, throwing, plate discipline, gap + power) are so good that he only needs to hit about .250 or so to be quite valuable. In his first trip to the big leagues he produced 1.7 WAR in 39 games while hitting only .241 – that’s really hard to do and speaks well to his ceiling as a player. You may be right about him, but he needs a good half season as a starting outfielder for us to get a decent assessment of him and I think he’s going to get that this year. People may overlook this guy, but they shouldn’t.

  14. DMAR, I agree with you. My opinion is based on what I perceive to be the organization’s position. They want Altherr and Quinn to have a chance to win everyday jobs. They want/hope that Cozens and Williams show they need to be promoted during the year. That is why I never believed JD Martinez was ever a trade target. If no one emerges as a fulltime OF going forward then the time to address their need will be next off season. They may add a platoon LH bat, but that won’t be at the cost of anything more than money.

  15. Somebody help me out here. For another 6-7 mill the Phillies could’ve gotten three years with Travis Wood. They could have given him a chance to start allowing the team to have a LHP in the rotation. If he couldn’t cut it as a starter, they’d have a proven left hander in the pen. Does anyone see it the same way I do?

    1. His days as a starter may be over.
      According to latest scouting reports:
      He has three FBss — a 4Smr- 89–92 mph, a 2Smr- 88–91, and cutter at 87–90. He also throws two breaking balls — a slider (80–83) and a CB (71–75) – and, CU at 78–81. Wood’s pitches to LHBs are most often 4Smrs,, cutters, and sliders, with an occasional curveball. To RHBs, he throws the 4Smr, 2Smr, cutter, and CU.

      Sitting in the high 80s and low 90s not sure he would even be able to sustain that, if he is stretched to start….and its been a few years since he did start…the Cubs had to put him in the pen.
      But one thing he can do…is hit.

    2. That must mean two things:

      1) You think Wood is the better pitcher, and
      2) You think he’s a longer term answer for the team.

      But by the metrics, Buccholz is better. And we have no dire need for a lefty; either as a SP or RP. He’s 29 and isn’t a dominant pitcher. We’re better off seeing what we have in the pipeline. Buccholz is a short term signing that we can flip at the deadline. Shorter contracts are easier to move in those deals.

  16. Does anyone know when Charlie Blackmon becomes a FA? He and JDM are 2 players Klentak and co. should at least be exploring.

    WE NEED BATS AT CBP!! Yes (place qualifying statement here – “you can never have too much pitching”) but even if 2017 is a rebuilding year, how many games are we going to lose simply because we can’t score runs?

    1. 8mark…Blackmon is still under team control through 2018. I suppose he will get an extension deal very soon to buy out his last 2 arbitration years.
      Or gets traded.
      Charlie Blackmon .
      1 year/$3.5M (2016)….1 year/$3.5M (2016)
      re-signed by Col. 1/25/16 (avoided arbitration, $3.9M-$2.7M)..1 yr/$0.5175M (2015)
      re-signed by Colorado 3/6/15….1 year/$0.501M (2014)
      re-signed by Colorado 3/9/14 ($205,379 in minors)….1 year (2013)
      re-signed by Colorado 3/6/13…..1 year/$0.48M (2012)
      re-signed by Colorado 3/3/12…..1 year (2011)
      contract purchased by Colorado 6/6/11
      drafted by Colorado 2008 (2-72) (Georgia Tech)
      signed 6/08, $0.563M signing bonus
      agent: Sports One
      ML service: 4.102

  17. I am not ready to give up a VV plus for Charlie Blackmon. He is 30, and the Rockies want a haul similar to the Eaton return to the WSox. I know we are looking at a painful season, and I cannot wait for the team to spend and get back into contention, but this is not the year. I want Altherr and Quinn to sink or swim and I want to see what the prospects do this year. If none pan out, then we have to move forward. But, one more year.

    1. matt13…….I hear that assertion often…’the Phillies will spend, just right now’. I am trying to figure out who will they spend on?
      The next big FA class names I have heard:….pitchers like David Price, Clayton Kershaw, Dallas Keuchel., Matt Harvey, Zach Brittton, Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, Jeurys Familia, Garrett Richards Craig Kimbrel and Trevor Rosenthal …and position players like Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Adam Jones , Josh Donaldson,, Andrew McCutchen, A.J. Pollock, Michael Brantley, and Adrian Gonzalez are all players that the regular big market teams will be vying for also.
      But when you narrow that list down to what the phillies would need and want if their best prospects do pan out, outside of pitching, you may only come up with with two, maybe three names…Machado, Harper, or maybe Adam Jones.
      And for pitchers only the first two would interest me..Price and Kershaw.
      And when it comes to machado….he will probably be traded next December if the Os cannot afford to sign him beyond 2017, they will not let him be a free agent only to get one late first round pick back for him, so the team he gest traded to will give up their share of prospects PLUS have an agreement to resign him.
      Bottom line….when it comes to spending to get back into contention, the Phillies will need to be very selective and hope that one big piece gets them what they need.

      1. If it turns out that the Phillies field a team that can’t be upgraded through free agency they should invest the money internally. Which honestly is the best case scenario for the Phillies.

  18. Romus, my hope is that a couple of the prospects make it, starting with JP. I am not crazy in thinking a lot of them will. So, I project needing at least 1 OF, maybe a 3B, although I am hoping Franco ups his game, and an Ace. If Franco makes it, then maybe we need a 1B and there are those available every year. From your list, I look at, besides Machado, Donaldson, Pollock, and maybe Jones. And, a closer. I think the Phils can get 2 of those, because I think they will get back to being one of the big market teams. The Ace will require a trade.

  19. Since this analytics age began, has anyone ever done a study of how an organization’s top prospects have fared at the major league level based on how high they were ranked and their highest WAR season(s) in the bigs. That study might inform a front office NOW whether they should just go with their young players or how many they can expect to succeed within a reasonable time frame.

  20. Well this is interesting. I guess when it comes to SP now we have a bunch of guys who are no longer official prospects, who got there feet wet with the Phils and now will be placed downward in AAA and AA. So if Nola is healthy here are the SP’s on the 40 man







    1. That’s 16 SPs on the 40man. Something has to give. Even if they trade Hellickson and Buchholz at the deadline, what’s Klentak up to until then? You still have promising arms at lower levels too that need room to advance.


      1. 8mark….what’s Klentak up to?
        Neshek, Buchholz and outfielder Howie Kendrick, along with Hellickson and Joaquin Benoit…all five trade chip currency in July.
        He better pull the trigger this July, for whatever is offered, because 2018 may have a gaggle slew of prospects kicking in the door at CBP, and those five will be on their way somewhere else if not moved in July

        1. And it’s not just trading the big league guys on larger one-year contracts, at some point in the year Klentak has to start moving some of the minor leaguers or risk losing them in the Rule 5. My expectation is that guys who are solid, but not outstanding major league regulars or starting pitchers will be candidates for trades as will any big league relief pitcher.

          My view is that he will move some of these guys for big league players who could be with the next Phillies playoff team and others for much younger prospects with a high ceiling.

        2. Matty said he’s been recently talking to agents and teams about getting a bat, Romus. He says they’ll move on it if makes sense so I don’t think they’re resigned to standing pat. 24 arms are currently on the 40man. The 25 man consists of 13 position players. The math….???

          1. Forget about the deadline. We’ve 4 months of baseball to account for until then. They’d have to construct the big league roster sooner than later assuming the top prospects won’t be heading north in April.

    1. matt13….IMO, if it is trading the one-year vets or even surplus MLB-ready prospects…I would say…show me the money….the international money.
      They can go up to 75% now of their allocation or somewhere in the $8M range for the 2017 signing period. There are teams still straddled by the penalties of $300K and the Phillies can avoid the bust by adding more money and still be in play to get that super Latin player to keep their pipeline flowing.
      They are really top heavy in depth now in position players at the AA and above level….and unfortunately one too many with question marks that other GMs can also see.

    1. Yes, excellent article.

      Whether you agree with what they’re doing or not doing this off season, you have to hand it to Klentak. He’s explained each move made so far consistent with what he’s said they’d do and NOT do. Much different from the ‘uh’s and ‘um’s from the previous guy who, accessible as he was, gave nothing but the company line of bull.

  21. Romus, I count on you to tell me the International guys to go after. We know about Otani and when he comes over will be a mystery. I, like you, want to see them hit the International market heavy. We remember when they refused to go overslot in the draft when they were a top team and they could have, perhaps, staved off the length of this rebuild and maybe won another WS. That was purely Bill Giles toeing the Selig line when there was no financial or baseball reason to do so. It still makes me mad, and I want Middleton to erase those bad feelings by spending whatever it takes to win again.

    1. matt13…I count on MLB’s Jesse Sanchez or BA’s Ben Badler to start to identify the top talent in the upcoming signing cycle. Usually that will begin in 3/4 weeks.
      And in the past they were able to also identify the favorite team, not sure if that will now work with the new rules in place.

  22. I read the article, and found it to be a very good one. The Jay Bruce question. If a month comes and goes, and the Mets still have him, I would certainly not be opposed to a Bucholz type deal. The Mets are more inclined to dump salary than the Red Sox, and Bruce may become the Phils biggest trade piece come July. And, I am still not giving up on Rasmus.

    1. Bruce is not a good player and, unlike the rotation where I think things will sort themselves out, having Bruce there just screws up the timing of giving guys like Altherr and Quinn reasonable try-outs before Williams and Cozens are ready. How on earth will there be legit tryouts when Herrera, Kendrick and Bruce are in the outfield? The question should answer itself – I don’t see this happening, nor should it.

      1. I assume the Japanese also have scouts and if they were looking at both of these players last year, I’m sure they saw Klein dominating AAA hitters whereas Buchanan was only so-so. Klein also has better stuff than Buchanan.

  23. I thought Klein was better also but I figured that Buchanan’s agent could get him the same amount as Klein because of his success in the MLB.

  24. I know baseball season is getting closer. I just got my Minnesota Twins Spring Training schedule in the mail. Have penciled in March 21 in Fort Myers against the Phillies.

    1. 8mark…….don’t worry..Ben will not be back.
      But maybe Manny Ramirez will come out of retirement and play LF in CBP! 🙂

    2. 8mark…..your prayers to the angels have been answered…..the Los Angeles Angel’s signed Happy Ben.

      1. Romus, I cut out the Angels and patron saints and go right to the Big Man. I know somebody. (Mark 8:29)

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