Open Discussion: Week of December 26th

Merry Christmas to the Phuture Phillies community!  Here’s the open discussion for Phillies’ talk and other topics.

The Phillies had a modicum of activity this week.  The big move was the acquisition of Boston RHP Clay Buchholz for minor league infielder Josh Tobias.  The Phillies also officially announced the signing of FA catcher Bryan Holaday, a move that was leaked last week.  Recent waiver claim David Rollins was claimed by Texas when the Phillies tried to slip him through waivers, his 4th team in a month.  The remaining 8 transactions involved house keeping, assignments and a DFA.

GM Matt Klentak confirmed that Clay Buchholz will join the Phillies’ rotation.

A couple weeks ago, the Phillies signed LHP Wander Perez out of the American Association to a minor league contract.  The 31-year old Dominican last pitched in a major organization in 2009 when he was in the Chicago White Sox system.  He advanced as far as their A+ Winstom-Salem affiliate.  He has pitched in Independent ball and Winter Leagues the past 6 seasons.

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

The Reader Top 30 will continue with additions selected by you.  The results of the poll and schedule of additions are included in 2017 Top 30 Additional Prospects Poll Results. Thank you to all who took part.  While creating this poll, I discovered the “Copy Poll Option” that will make the remainder of the Top 30 and any other polls easier to conduct.

Cumulative transactions: 

  • 12/23 – Reds claimed Richie Shaffer off waivers from Philadelphia Phillies.
  • 12/21 – Texas Rangers claimed David Rollins off waivers from Philadelphia Phillies.
  • 12/21 – SS Hector Gomez assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 12/21 – SS Pedro Florimon assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 12/21 – RHP Victor Santos assigned to GCL Phillies.
  • 12/21 – OF Wilbert Garcia assigned to GCL Phillies.
  • 12/20 – Philadelphia Phillies designated 3B Richie Shaffer for assignment.
  • 12/20 – Boston Red Sox traded RHP Clay Buchholz to Philadelphia Phillies for 2B Josh Tobias.
  • 12/20 – C Bryan Holaday assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 12/20 – Phillies signed free agent C Bryan Holaday to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 12/19 – LHP Sean Burnett assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 12/19 – LF Daniel Nava assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 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.
  • 12/2-9 – Phillies signed LHP Wander Perez to a minor league contract.
  • 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.
  • 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 close to up to date.


73 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of December 26th

  1. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. Also a Happy and Healthy New Year to all. Valentine’s Day for Pitchers and Catchers? Sounds appropriate.

  2. Merry Christmas everyone. One of my favorite stops every morning! Thanks Jim! And thanks to all the fellow Phuture Phillies contributors. Happy Holidays!

    1. Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year to all the great folks on this site. You and Jim are truly delights.

  3. Merry Christmas to all I made out great this yr. I still have a roof over my head,food in my stomach , plus the health of my family. Now Tuesday at 9 am I get my hip replaced. God bless every one let’s get 1 more bat.

  4. Happy holidays to all. This has the potential to be a fun year, especially if we get to see some of the high level prospects get their first shots at the major leagues. It could very well be that we’re getting the first glimpse of the next chapter of contention.

  5. I hope for 2 of the young guys to make it to the Majors by July, JP and Alfaro, maybe?, Hellickson and Bucholz become trade chips and better plate discipline from Franco. Is that too much to ask for?

  6. what do you guys think about aaron brown trying pitching again? i dont think he’ll pan out as a OFer but maybe he can make the majors as a lefty pitcher?

      1. rocco….he may have a very good high-velo arm, you never know, and as a lefty that would come in handy. The Phillies do not have many in the system and he did pitch for two years in college throwing almost 200 innings. Why not!
        What does he have to lose at this point..

    1. Matt: Wholeheartedly agree. His future as an outfielder as a hitter is buried….he has shown next to nothing in that role. At least a year ago I was asking the same question. When he was drafted the question was whether he’d be nurtured as an of-er or pitcher….since he then threw left handed and reached the low to mid 90s. Certainly this is now the time to convert him to the mound—especially since the system is way low in lefty pitchers. It would be disappointing to me to see him playing the of in ST.

      1. i’m wondering if they’ve had discussions or if he’s thought about it personally because i think the AFL would have been his last test and he hit poorly there. I remember when he was drafted there was some confusion because it was mainly thought that he would be drafted as a pitcher and to most he performed better as a pitcher at pepperdine.
        the last guy we tried a switch with was i think savery but then he was switched back to a pitcher but as a reliever.
        brown’s best bet would be as a left-handed reliever and he would be able to progress quickly too if he shows success.

        1. Don’t forget Tim Kennelly. After years of trying to find a position for him, the Phillies tried his supposedly 95 mph arm as a pitcher in 2012, his final year with the Phillies.

          Savery actually had a career .290 and batted in 2008 thru 2012, although he only got 2 AB in 2012 (1-2 in Lehigh). He only played the field in 2011 (1B and LF for Clearwater).

  7. By the raw metrics, Alec Asher did well this off-season in the DR league.
    Inn. pitched-42
    Have to think he has picked up where he left off in September, and is progressing well with the 2Smr

    1. Glad to see Asher’s good work there. We all hope that he could bring his pitching up a level. One thing I remember from the few late starts he had with the big club– the hitters frequently hit his pitches to the outfield requiring quite a few excellent catches. He needs to get the ball down, develop a good breaking pitch and an effective change up. The potential seems to be there……….he just needs to make these adjustments which he should at Lehigh Valley to start 2017. We could see him up mid-season IF he can beat out the several very good other starting pitchers there.

      1. Yeah, I’m not too bullish on Asher either. I view him largely as a AAAA taxi-squad type of guy right now. He’s going to have to develop some type of special pitch or approach to show he’s more than that. But right now, he’s just another guy.

  8. Re: Cesar Hernandez—–>article of recent vintage says that 4 MLB teams are after 2nd baseman Dozier of the Twins (42 HRs, .250 BA).They each seem to have a hole there. Perhaps after that is settled, the losers could then turn their attention to Cesar. Maybe Klentak is watching and waiting…………

    1. I think the Dodgers are interested in Cesar if they can’t get Dozier. In that scenario, we would then sign someone like Saunders or Rasmus.

    2. I think we’d still get a decent prospect package from the Dodgers in return for Cesar without demanding a “top” prospect. Their system is strong enough. Move Kendrick to 2b and yes, acquire an OF bat.

      1. Would you sign Jose Bautista for one-year @ $19/20M, forfeit the 45th or so pick and then hope to trade him at the deadline to a contender for a better prospect close to the show than what you could get at 45 in the 2017 draft?

          1. I think I may also lean that way……as long as the Phillies would truly move him with his remaining salary, for a really premier prospect—a top seven or so prospect from an organization.

        1. Thought provoking, Romus. I doubt he would opt for a 2nd division team but I’d have to consider the short term, fan appealing investment as worth it.

          1. 8mark….he did say he will take a one year deal as long as it is north of the QO marker. Now a 2nd division team is another thing, unless, I assume, he is guaranteed the opportunity to play with a contender down the stretch thru a trade in July..

          2. Bautista and his agent really read the market wrong. It’s not likely IMO he signs for the QO offer type money unless TOR agrees to it.

            The two teams that need him the most hate his guts and that’s the Rangers and Orioles.

        2. Not now Romus….I would have done that instead of the Kendricks move. Now it feels like it would make us too right handed.

          I much rather have some Pop from the Left Side

          This way Quinn can still get his PA’s in left and right.

          1. Trading Cesar would change the scenario. But don’t hold your breath. I’d rather have JD Martinez if you’re going righty bat. Let’s see if Dozier gets moved. He seems to be a lynch pin right now.

  9. Looking ahead to 2017, I think these are the top developments within the Phillies organization to follow:

    ■ What will be the starting lineup and rotation come August?

    ■ Will Pete Mackanin receive a contract extension?

    ■ Will Nick Williams’ development advance him to CBP sooner than later, if at all?

    ■ Who among the lower level prospects will break out and put themselves in next year’s top 15?

    ■ Besides the obvious (Hellickson, Buchholz, Neshek, Kendrick), which players will be moved at the trade deadline?

    It promises to be the most intriguing season since 2011.

    1. A big development to watch for me is what happens to the young pitchers. Do some take a step forward? Which ones?

    2. Mackanin deserves another two year pact. He manages the players well….considering the tools he was supplied with. And also for the purpose of continuity. Williams will have to take command of himself; his ‘tude is a question…but he does have a lot of physical talents.

      Since I am an old-timer (83) , I remember back to the 50s when Duke Snider (Dodger CFer) was struggling to swing only at pitches in the strike zone. They set up a device of some sort and made him NOT swing at anything outside of the zone. Maybe they played a “game”—$1000 in the pot which he could earn by failing to swing at “balls.” It did work…as we know from his career.
      I expect that both Hellboy and Clay will be traded at the trade deadline mid-summer for what ever they can get, possibly from the low minors. At that point it will be time to bring up the best pitchers performing at Lehigh Valley. But I don’t expect Crawford to be brought up before then.

  10. Last night MLB TRADE RUMORS ran a poll to size up the contracts between the Braves’ Inciarte and the Phils’ Herrera. At last check, Inciarte’s was up 56% to 44%. Though I’m not as big a Doobie fan as some, I think it was an excellent deal. Any thoughts?

    1. For my $$$ I would take Doobie over Inciarte all day long. I saw the poll too and thought too many Braves were voting. Inciarte isn’t close to Doobie as a hitter and I get the fact that he is Kiermeyer like but that is not enough to make him that much better than Herrera.

  11. Baseball America posted an article by Jim Salisbury two days ago about how the 40man roster consists of so many young players, and that this is reason to believe certain prospects (like Andrew Knapp in particular) will benefit from the inflexibility to make roster moves otherwise. Klentak has even been quoted as saying fans can expect to see younger players earlier. As a fan eager to get a look at these kids, that’s something to look forward to in 2017.

    1. Yes Matt we want to see younger players Crawford tops that list. I don’t want to see Freddy and his hack-a-mole approach any longer.

      I also want to see more of Quinn and I do want to see Knapp. We saw a lot of TJ but it will be really cool to see him in a role where is the everyday 1B through most of June.

      That said we also want to see runs being scored for the pitching staff which means upgrading that garbage that you ran out to LF and RF last year so if that means dipping into the Middleton Vault a little bit this year so be it.

      If one of the minor league guys appears ready to emerge so be it. You eat some of that money and move the veteran.

      1. DMAR….Jodie Mac suggested the Philies try to sign Jose Bautista for 2-years….I assume also to try to flip him in July and eat a good portion of his 2018 salary for a better return,

        1. I’m more inclined to sign Saunders for 4 years no comp associated with him and he is left handed. Now that said he is rumored not to be a not great OF but let’s assume he is at least passable and you are facing RHP

          Quinn LF

          against LHP

          1. DMAR……..normally after 10PM….94.1FM WIP…not sure what nights however.
            And ‘por favor’…..he doesn’t do that segment anymore from what I heard.

  12. We have to give up our 2d round pick. So the return has to be better than that. I don’t care how much money we spend, but I don’t think the couple of extra wins is worth Bautista. TJ deserves a shot and so do Altherr and Quinn. A platoon lefty bat I am on board with, but I would have to be positive that I could get back a haul for Bats at the deadline or would vote no.

    1. Everything I’ve read about Batista is that he’s not able to play RF everyday any longer and needs to go to an AL team do he can DH. Not coming here in any rate. The Phillies aren’t blocking young guys, they’ll only sign an OF if they trade Cesar. They’re looking for a 1B/OF type who hits lefty and would be comfortable in a bench role so I would say that includes Moss and Logan Morrison. Others? The signing will require another 40 spot to go. Morgan’s spot will likely go to Burnett so now we’re down to Garcia or Sev which will only leave them with one extra bullpen arm on the 40 at LHV. I expect some of Appel, Asher, Pinto, and Pivetta to go right to the pen in LHV to be ready to be called up in the event of injury.

      1. Just because you sign a guy Murray doesn’t mean you are blocking a young player that’s small market mentality

        If one of the younger guys proves themselves say its Nick Williams then you eat money and trade the signed player.

          1. Also, how is signing an OF now not going to block Quinn from playing? He’s our starting RF, barring a terrible spring or injury. At the moment, due to valuable 40 man roster spots, Valentin will likely get the 25th man spot, although Goeddel has a shot only if the 1b they sign doesn’t also play the OF. Knapp will make the squad for the same reason. It could be a fun youthful season. I could see Valentin and JP plus Knapp and Alfaro swapping spots mid season, plus Williams and Quinn or Altherr could also.

            1. Let’s assume Quinn stays healthy he would get his PA’s platooning in LF and RF and spelling Hererra in CF

              But again there in lies the problem would you ever trust Quinn to stay completely healthy through 162 ever…

          2. It might not but the 40 man spot won’t be the reason you got 2 relievers and 2 OF’s you can drop and not blink an eye if you lose them…

  13. Hellickson, Bucholz, Eickoff, Nola, Vasquez, Efflin, Thompson, Asher? Efflin and Thompson start in minors and Asher as long man? Dont really like Bucholz taking innings from a young guy.

    1. I agree with you Sam didn’t like the move for Bucholz would have been a fine move if Hellboy didn’t accept his QO

      Also seemed dumb that we took all the money and gave a prospect

      We’ll see I don’t think even if he does pitch well through the front half that he brings back any great prospects not when he is a FA after the season ends.

      1. DMAR……if I were in Matt Klentaks shoes or sneakers, I would, in regards to return value for Buchholtz, Hellickson, Kendrick or Neshek go for 18/19 low A prospects that have a few years before Rule 5 eligibility protection and have some quality tools. . Any prospects 21 and older than may require the 40 numbers game play and makes things difficult.
        Or…….money to bulk up the international allocation…..can go up 75% under the new CBA

  14. Pretty safe to say that the August roster will look nothing like the one going north in April. It’ll be as if 2017 is actually 2 seasons. Lot of moving parts and variables. 20% – Hellickson, Buchholz, Neshek, Benoit and Kendrick are near certain trade pieces, not that we’ll get much in return for any or all of them, but they’ll make room for Jake, Zach, Arano, maybe Pivetta or Lively, and Nick Williams.

    1. Agree…..but not so fast on Kendrick…because Cesar is strongly a bet to be traded so Kendrick would then take over 2nd. Cesar SHOULD be traded before ST ends….IMO. soon after the Twin trade Dozier….leaving 2-3 teams still looking for a 2nd baseman. To add—-don’t forget Looking forward to August.

      1. Art, I just saw indications are that the Dozier situation should be resolved soon. Twins are taking final offers for him. Maybe that opens talks regarding other 2b openings?

    1. Interesting….he was offered a QO….are they willing to up the ante on the QO to sign him? Not sure I have ever seen that before. Or he be willing to take a lower AAV then the QO rate for a multi-year contract?

      1. Yeah, Romus. His market has shrunk to the size of a postage stamp. Maybe they structure a contract heavy with incentives but attainable.

  15. Was just glancing over a list of FA lefty bats. Chris Coghlan might be a guy the Phillies try to sign. No inside info, just a hunch. Plays all corners fairly well. Strictly bench/platoon material but useful until he isn’t needed.

    1. 8mark – still holding out for Rasmus. Desmond Jennings maybe on the cheap would be mildly interesting.

      I know I’m in the minority here, but I still believe Quinn is no better than a 50/50 shot to break ST with the big club. If he’s healthy, he’ll need to hit to earn a spot, otherwise Lehigh for a few months.

      For what its worth, I also think there will be two more OF additions to the 40 before ST. Plenty of roster moves remaining the next few months

  16. Does anyone know if they are having the game between the pigs and reading this year I couldn’t find it on either team site.

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