Open Discussion: Week of January 2nd

Happy New Year to the Phuture Phillies community!  We are now in the same calendar year of the next baseball season.  Pitchers and catchers report in 6 weeks.  The first full workout is only days afterward.  I can hear bat hitting ball.  Just one more milestone for me, Phantasy Week.  I don’t participate.  But I go watch for a baseball fix to hold me over for the final three weeks of the off season.  Here’s the open discussion for Phillies’ talk and other topics.

The Phillies had a single transaction during the week, assigning recently signed FA LHP Wander Perez to the IronPigs.

In a recent article, Todd Zolecki opined that assuming all arms are healthy, there are four locks for the Phillies starting rotation – Jeremy Hellickson, Clay Buchholz, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velaquez.  He allows that Aaron Nola is a strong contender for the fifth spot, leaving Jake Thompson, Alec Asher, Zach Eflin, and Adam Morgan trying to beat out Nola.

This is what I personally didn’t like about the Buchholz acquisition.  I would rather see one of the players he’s blocking – Thompson, Asher, Eflin, Morgan or Ben Lively for that matter.

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.

New Year’s Resolutions

I resolve to complete posts timely so that I don’t make the late night mistakes I have made recently.

I resolve to continue reporting as objectively as humanly possible.  I will be sure to make sure that my opinions are noted as opinions and not necessarily fact, although they may be rooted in the facts as I interpret them.

I resolve NOT to be thin-skinned when my opinions are questioned.

I resolve to ease one of the language restrictions (and just monitor the use of the word). It’s part of the vernacular and even its correct usage blocks a lot of posts.  It is being used in a baseball sense and not derogatorily.  And the reason the word was blocked in the first place was to prevent one guy from trolling the site.  Continuing to block it just prevents our baseball discussions.

And finally, I’m trying the Nero rating (thumbs up/down) for comments.

Extra Innings

Cord Sandberg recently tweeted that he was ready to get back to baseball.  I remember the incident in the attached but didn’t realize it was so serious.  This happened duriing a game in Daytona on August 28, 2016.  It was his last AB of the season.

Cumulative transactions: 

  • 12/28 – LHP Wander Perez assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 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.


125 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of January 2nd

  1. If healthy, Nola at #5 behind VV? Your concern for failure to add another newbie instead of Clay is well founded. It may be their viewpoint that each other near-ready guy…..Thompson, Elfin, Asher & Lively needs 1/3 of a season at AAA to complete his readiness. You watch what happens, wonder why, and try to figure out how their minds are working.

  2. First of all, Jim, Happy New Year to you and your readers. I cannot imagine that there is a better site in all of MLB than yours. We are spoiled by your thoroughness, humor, and your humanity. Would that the world and this country be so unifying.

    If you slip once in awhile re your resolutions, consider yourself forgiven with a pass.

    Finally, I am not as vexed as you and some commenters on the Buchholz acquisition for the following reasons: 1. Two seasoned vets in a rotation is good for the W column. 2. It puts less pressure on the kids in the rotation. 3. Those kids waiting in the wings will not be hurt in their development by getting more experience at LV. 4. Injuries will occur for certain, providing opportunities for those kids. 5. 7/31/17 could very well mean two openings in the rotation. Gotta think big picture. Let’s worry about other matters, such as improving the outfield production.

    1. Mainer,

      The thumbs system creates some conflicts for me in a post like yours where you have one comment that I agree with completely — the kind words for Jim — and another on another topic like the young pitchers were my reaction is more mixed.

      Having said that, spring training might help clarify the Great Convergence of pitchers.

    2. 1. This year still isn’t the year to worry about wins and losses.

      2. Less pressure how so? CB hasn’t thrown a season of 180 plus innings since 2012 (and it hasn’t exactly been close), same w Hellickson, last year was his first 180plus inning year since 2011 (however he’s gotten closer). If you think about it doesn’t it put more pressure on Nola to stick in the 5th spot or more pressure on the kids in AAA to do something to make it back up?
      3. You are correct they aren’t going to lose anything but they won’t gain anything developmentally. They’ve already been there and had GREAT success there.
      4. You are 110%.
      5. Who knows? That’s what people said last year with Hellickson as well. I think a lot of us are thinking big picture when talking against this move. This isn’t a big picture move.

  3. Looking forward to a great new season. The Majors have some talent that could really impress. There are some guys who could bring back more talent at the trade deadline. The minors are stocked with talent. A lot of our top prospects in the organization will start at AAA or higher. Finding space for them is the hard part. If they fail, there’s another guy ready to step into most spots. Decent talent plus depth makes this organization fun to watch. It also helps to be a life long Phillies fan who tries to see the upside before looking at the downside. The weighted average is still achieved but the good gets a long look before the bad comes into play.

    Jim, you are the #1 asset in the Phillies minor leagues. These prospects would be nothing more than a stat line or numbers on a spreadsheet, if it weren’t for you and Gregg and many commentators on this site, we’d be blind rats in a sewer hole.

  4. Jim – while you’re at it, resolve to give yourself credit for providing readers some of the best of coverage of the Pharm available.

  5. Happy New Year to you and your family Jim, and to all of the Phuture Phillies readers who make coming to this site so often so much fun. I see the logic of adding Bucholz in the hopes that he has value as a trade piece in July. That still gives plenty of time left in the season for Thompson and Eflin, etc. to make their cases for promotion while pitching every 5th day at LHV. Eflin is coming off injury as is Nola, but I am counting on him, Thompson did not appear to be quite ready and the others will not be harmed by more seasoning. Morgan and Asher both have a chance to stick in the BP for the Phils, and there will be the inevitable injury and/or poor performance to give everyone a shot.

  6. Happy New Year Jim, and thanks for all of the hard work you put in keeping the site up and running- it shows in the final product, for sure.

    I’m not concerned about Bucholtz blocking a prospect. Of the 10 guys who were in the Phillies and Lehigh Valley rotations to start last season, five of them (Nola, Morton, Appel, Eflin, and Asher) missed significant time due to injury or suspension. Injuries will happen to starters so if the AAA guys are pitching we’ll, they will get to the big leagues.

  7. Okay so these are possible Lehigh Valley starters: Nola, Thompson, Asher, Eflin, Morgan, Lively, Pivetta, Appel, Pinto, and Leiter. Does Lehigh Valley use a 6 or 7 man rotation? Are there rules about how many players can be on Lehigh Valley’s roster? I can see that as a possible benefit of the Buchholz trade. We take some of the innings off the younger guys arms. I don’t know if it will take the pressure off. If anything the pressure will go up because there is one less major league spot to compete for.

  8. Saw this posted about Buchholz on and found it intriguing from a Phillies perspective.

    “Also from Olney, he opines that “it seems inevitable” that the Red Sox will be looking for (ironically) a Clay Buchholz-like pitcher in trade talks, if not necessarily re-acquiring Buchholz himself from the Phillies. Boston dealt Buchholz two weeks ago in order to get his salary off the books for luxury tax purposes and to alleviate a seeming rotation surplus. With Eduardo Rodriguez suffering another (apparently minor) injury to his surgically-repaired right knee and Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz also carrying injury concerns from last year, there are certainly some questions about the last two spots in the Red Sox rotation.”

    Is it possible for the Phillies to eat most of Buchholz’s salary to flip him back to Boston for a better prospect? It would open up the rotation spot for someone like Eflin, Thompson or Lively and bring in a prospect who is a hitter, maybe a corner OF guy.

  9. Altherr, in his defense, no pun intended, is a much better defensive player than those 2, and can legitimately play CF. So, he does have the chance to be a 4th OF. I don’t have much hope for him to hit enough to play every day. But, I don’t have enough faith in Quinn staying healthy to count on him every day either. Looking forward to the next off season, my hunch is that corner OF will be a big need to fill.

    1. 100% agree. There are a lot of people who think Altherr will come around and be a 20-homer guy. I really don’t see it. And we all hold our breath with Quinn, waiting for the next injury to come along.

      I understand letting the kids play and not blocking spots. But running out Howie Kendrick and the revolving right field door does nothing to improve this club that scored the fewest runs in baseball last year. I bet a few more moves are up Klentaks sleeve.

      1. Andrew,

        I think the hope with Altherr stems back to 2015 when he hit so well at Lehigh Valley and then when promoted to Philadelphia.

        I doubt he can sustain that success to become a regular, but he might hit well enough to be a defensive oriented Number Four. Meanwhile, I’ll agree with Matt13 that he’s better defensively than Jr or Ben Francisco. And maybe offensively, too.

        1. That’s fine. And I don’t necessarily disagree with that. I just want to see the team get better, and running Altherr out there for 400 at bats is not the answer. He has a role, and it’s as a reserve. And he’ll be a good one at that. But I don’t like the standard, “Oh we’re rebuilding and now is the time to give him that extended look” blah, blah, blah.

          Five years and we haven’t been at least .500. Now I’m supposed to buy into 2 more years of being crap to see what we have? No thanks. Look at the talent of the Cubs. And they keep adding pieces. Having too much talent is a good thing. These things will sort themselves out. Don’t keep trotting out garbage. It’s frustrating and embarrassing.

      2. Altherr had a wrist injury, even when he came back I’m sure it played a role in diminished offense. Now with a full off season of rest he could come back strong and perform much better. Jason Werth had a similar injury and was picked up off the trash heap as he was another teams after thought. Now I really doubt he will break out like Werth did but putting up 330+ OB% will help him to be at least a role player. 2017 will likely be the year the Phils will either consider him as part of future (whether starter or bench player) or he will be cast away to allow one of the many prospects to advance.

  10. Anyone see the Olney column that said Red Sox want a “Buchholz-type starter” maybe even Buchholz himself?

    1. Wondering if Phils could deal him back to Boston, eat salary to help a Boston stay under luxury-tax threshold, in exchange for position prospects. It would allow someone like Eflin, Thompeon or Lively – or even Appel or Pivetta – to stake claim to a spit in the rotation

      1. I feel the commissioner’s office and the rest of the league would get annoyed with the luxury cap circumvention, if bucholz was just traded back to boston with the Phillies retaining salary.

  11. Happy New Year! And many thanks for this site – I don’t get a whole lot of Phillies information here on the West Coast

    I am not all that concerned about the Buchholz transaction. . I figure it’s at least 10-1 that neither he nor Hellickson will be on the Phillies roster in a year, and it’s about 3-1 at least one will be dealt during the season. (I hope it’s both, since that would mean they were pitching well enough that other clubs are interested).

  12. I think if Quinn can stay healthy he may become an above average center fielder with 40+ steals and a solid (.340ish) on base %. That said there is indeed a huge problem with his ability to stay healthy. To me he feels like the kind of player that will be a nice complimentary piece to a package that will get us a bat next offseason. A high risk, high reward guy. It would be great to get value out of him, even if it means through a trade!
    I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for a baseball season to start. 2017 will truly be the season where we will get a solid glimpse of the future of our club. By 2018 we may look like:
    1. Herrera (OF)
    2. Crawford (SS)
    3. Hoskins (1B)
    4. Franco (3B
    5. Alfaro (C)
    6. Williams (OF)
    7. OF bat (OF)
    8. Kingery (2B)
    9. Pitcher (P)

  13. Ryan Lawrence lists the Phillies possible trade partners as Brewers (Braun, unlikely), Rangers (Gallo, don’t want him) and Tigers (JD, my personal preference). We’ll see if anything happens.

    1. Ryan lists Gallo?
      That really doesn’t make much sense to me.
      Not sure what he is thinking with guys like Williams and Cozens already at the corners….and TJ/Hoskins at first and Franco at third.
      Unless Mendez is part of the return, agree with you….pass on that deal.
      And until the Tigers decide what they are doing with Kinsler looks like JD Mart stays there. And there is probably only another two weeks in the window left for trades, before teams want to get their teams structured for ST

      1. It’s a toss up for sure on Gallo you have to ask what do they want in return. I agree Between Cozens and Williams you kind of need to take a wait and see approach.

        I think Cozens equals Gallo’s raw power so it comes down to who can hit lefties better and who can come up with a better 2 strike approach. I’ll gamble on the bird in hand.

        Braun is interesting for a philly second then you consider his age and injury history. I also wonder why he isn’t a dodger by now.

        1. Braun hits well in CBP, but have to agree his age/injury history are concerns.
          I would pass on him also.
          The one guy I wouldn’t mind having for LF, but he is unattainable I would think, is Michael Conforto of the Mets. After a sophomore slump he may be ready this year for a break out.

            1. DMAR, we gave up virtually nothing for Kendrick. While he’s not a future piece, he provides some flexibility as far as trades and prospect maneuverability. At worst it’s of little consequence.

              By the way, if Williams should have an impressive spring, he’ll go north in April….to CBP, not Lehigh. That’s what I get from Klentak. He’s eager to move the kids up.

          1. Romus, there seems to be a push for a lefty bat. Gallo doesn’t make sense since we’ve 2 lefty power bats in Williams and Cozens who are essentially in the same boat except Gallo has MLB experience and not productive at that.

            Braun is too old and doesn’t fit what Klentak has been saying.

            JD’s only strike against him is he’s a righty bat. If LA bites on Kinsler, let’s watch and see.

    1. At CBP? Not a chance. Even if he rakes in ST, he’s going to see a lot of time in Lehigh Valley this year. I’d be shocked if he’s up before late August or early September. If he does get called up early it means he’s figured it out and, if that happens, watch out. Otherwise, he’s playing in AAA this year and let’s not assume away that he will dominate at AAA – the IL is a very hard hitters league; just ask J.P. Crawford and Andy Knapp.

      1. That’s the way I see it also Williams has very little chance to break with the big club. Knapp has the best shot and then I would put Crawford at 50/50 with a really good Spring.

        Ultimately though I think Crawford is more likely to come up in May/June.

        1. I agree DMAR – the Phillies are going to want to see Crawford excel at AAA before bringing him to the majors and the fact that his FA clock won’t start ticking is a nice side benefit. But I will tell you this, even an “average” Crawford will be a big upgrade over what we currently have. If you hit Cesar, Crawford, Odubel in the 1-3 slots in the line-up, the team is going to score a lot more runs. And, geez, if you added Bautista in the 4th slot (who also gets on base a ton) – you are going to see a huge bump in scoring, especially with Maikel and Joseph batting behind them. As I write this, I am slowly convincing myself that they should try to sign Bautista.

          1. Bottom line….giving up the 45th pick vs if they use him as a trade chip in July to recoup the prospect loss of the 45th pick and/or possibly more value in a deadline trade. No doubt to do that, would mean picking up his salary in 2018 also, I would assume, since Joey Bats will probably not want a one year deal.
            I would take that risk.

            1. Don’t want Bautista’s attitude put with a bunch of young players. There’s a reason he’s widely considered the most hated player in baseball.

            2. Did not realize that….thought only Rough Odor had it in for him.
              But then again in acquiring him…..I would have hoped he only be in town for three months and then moved to a contender for a prospect or two, that may have more value than a 45th pick prospect.
              But with the baggage you mentioned, he could be hard to move in July if the Phillies did sign him.

          2. right on catch 🙂

            Just a few things I’m having trouble with when it comes to Klentak

            Kendrick and his 691 OPS last year not really a true OF. So did you get him with the intent of trading a proven everyday player who you can control for another 5 seasons who was also one of your best OBP guys with no split problems at all because he switch hits?

            Next you sent RH out to the 4th hole in roughly 112 games where he produced a 710 OPS…flat out atrocious and it made Franco’s development that much more difficult.

            Your LF and RF OPS numbers were so bad how could a beefed up analytics department come into the offseason with no plan (at the time of writing this maybe something else happens) to get those spots to a respectable 750+ OPS?

            This all goes into the development of this fine young pitching staff you put together. Jimminy Christmas scores some runs this season would you fellas.

  14. Happy New Years all, I look forward to coming to this site every day. Six weeks until P and C report. Jim – Fantasy Camp was a great time by the way, did it three times.
    I think a healthy Quinn could improve our lineup all by himself, he manufactures runs. I’m excited by what the August line up and rotation will look like. And I still say the goal is 81 wins this year and it’s not that far fetched. Matt Stairs, we need you to work some miracles. It’s time for Franco to be a legit 30/100 guy in the middle. 6 weeks…. spring training will really be a treat this year. Can’t wait.

    1. If everything breaks just right,…the Phillies could easily be a .500 team, maybe 85 win team.
      Heck , the Indians went from 68 wins in 2012 to 92 wins in 2013.
      So anything is possible.

      1. that is possible especially with a surge of top prospects for 2nd half (provided they show they deserve a promotion). Lots of depth and competition for rotation usually bodes well too

      1. Yes, the fields are open to all. It’s a great time to watch or play. The former players manage the teams and are very easy to talk to. The range of players is 30-80 so you can have quite a range.

          1. The real fun is spring training, especially the last two weeks when multiple games are played at one time at the Carpenter Complex in the morning. It’s minor league fan nirvana. Even my wife, who is a very casual baseball fan, loved it.

            1. Been there for that we left the Phillies spring training game to go back to Carpenter complex because my 12 yr old likes it there better.

      2. Yes, it is. Games are held at the Complex and DiMaggio Field. If DiMaggio is unavailable later in the week, a Saturday game may end up at Spectrum Field (formerly Bright House Field). Sunday each team plays a 2-inning game against the coaches at Spectrum Field.

  15. Within the last hr, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports the Phillies are seriously considering Joey Bats as a FA option which would cost them a 2nd round draft pick.

    1. 8mark…that 2nd rounder will probably be around the mid-40s area. And if they do sign him, he could be a reasonable trade chip in July and bring back better value.

      1. Romus, I think Rosenthal may have played up the Bautista angle. Maybe his agent planted the idea in his head. Todd Z says Saunders or Moss are more likely targets with Jay Bruce possibly in a trade closer to spring.

        1. Saunders has some red flags in his past. The Seattle adventure, the nagging injuries…but as a platoon guy at times he may be worth a look.
          Jay Bruce, OTOH, appears to be the logical corner OF the Mets have to move for financial reasons among other things. So if that is the case, the only way I would get involved with the Mets for Bruce, I would then want a pitcher like Tom Szapucki to come along in the deal, no if, ands, or buts.
          But Phillies and Mets rarely trade with themselves, within the division, so that probably is never going to happen.

          1. I do feel the same with Bruce if as you said getting a nice prospect back for taking on the money were to happen.

            I like Saunders better though. While a liability defensively Bruce is also pretty bad. The only Lefty out there that is any good defensively is Rasmus but man his bat really went in the tank.

        2. Good call 8mark Agents are crafty. I might have been one of a small few that said months ago before the Kendrick trade to target Bautista. I don’t think anyone loved him more than me at that time….

          but now subsequent the Kendrick trade it doesn’t seem a good fit since the line-up is pretty right handed.

          I mean imagine for a minute you don’t do that Kendrick Trade and here you are January 4 and Joey Bats is sitting there in a panic looking at the market

          Can you get him at 2/$35? Can you get Saunders at 3/$48 or Moss at 2/$24

          What would 2 guys like that do to your run totals with Quinn available as your platoon option back-up for both of them?

          1. All of these guys should get one year deals. I wouldn’t sign any to a multi-year deal and if that’s the “ask” by the agent, I would move on.

            1. Even so, they can’t tie up their roster for two years. I don’t see anyone signing Moss for 2 years unless it’s a really low dollar deal ($5 million per year?). Saunders might get a sniff and Bautista could get a two-year deal if his “ask” was fair. But the Phillies should not do two years deals with any of these guys.

            2. OK so you and I haven’t bickered in quite some time and we mostly agree they need to add a proven bat but you have to explain better how even a 3 year deal ties up the roster…

              Have you looked at the committed payroll for 2018 and 2019?

              We’re not talking about an arte moreno or Illitch type 10/$200+ deal.

            3. DMAR. First, we don’t bicker – we politely debate :). Second, this is not about salary in any way (hell, they could pay all of these guys without any trouble at all), it’s about auditioning young players for the outfield. What was the biggest problem with Ryan Howard last year? Sure, he stunk and he was expensive, but those things didn’t matter much on a last place team. The biggest problem with Ryan Howard last year was that he was there and he played. And when he played, Tommy Joseph didn’t play, which was a problem. They need to find out which young players can play. If you sign Brandon Moss to a two-year contract, he starts gumming up the works and two years from now, he’s gone and you don’t know who his replacement is going to be and that my friend, is a bigger problem.

            4. I’m glad to hear its not the money and your RH point is well taken. I think though RH got a certain amount of leeway that these guys wouldn’t get.

              Forget the names let’s just take the deal say a 2 year deal. You and I already agree none of the prospect corners are going to be ready this season so come 2018 if either Cozens or Williams emerges there is LF because Kendrick is gone.

              And if the baseball gods were to bestow upon us devine grace that both of these kids are ready in 2018 then its what we pay Klentak to do find a deal for the veteran with a year or two remaining on his deal.

              No? I know I still haven’t convinced you LOL

            5. Yeah, sorry, you still haven’t convinced me. They have a ton of guys who are going to need auditions, including Quinn and Altherr (was recovering from surgery last year). I am somewhat intrigued by having one of these guys on a one year contract – other than that, I would pass.

  16. From Eric Long’s chat today:
    1:11…Erik: Is Domonic Brown a decent comp for Nick Williams? Seems like he has the tools to succeed but also seems likely to just completely blow it. If he busts, will it be in a Brown sort of way?

    1:12…Eric A Longenhagen: I wouldn’t comp them but agree that the way Williams stalled at Triple-A feels ominous in the same way that Brown’s struggles did.
    And I saw Brown’s struggles every day for like two years and still forced myself to love him.

    1. So let’s agree then – these youngsters require more seasoning. Get me Moss and Rasmus (yes, both) and another experienced arm for the pen and let’s go to Clearwater

    2. When I saw him struggle with AAA pitching I had the same thought. Why do we expect him to be good in the majors this year (and some people say make the team out of ST) when he can’t hit advanced AAA pitching? Check back with me when he dominates AAA pitching. Until then, he’s barely on my radar.

  17. Take a look at Michael Saunders lefty hitter for RF and 1b against righties??? Maybe a two year deal would get him….and trade-able at any time. I believe he is a free agent.

    1. Art – like the bat, but he (Saunders) is sub par defensively. Rather Rasmus who goes both ways, or Moss who is multi-positional

  18. I agree Steve, I think the better bet is Moss and the more likely. Saunders wants, and still probably gets, a multi year deal. I would love to have Rasmus but have heard very little on him. I have been on board with a LH platoon bat for 1B and OF but thought Klentak was reluctant. It now seems more likely than not that they will add a bat. I don’t think there is any chance that Cozens makes the team out of ST. Even with a good spring, he gets and needs time at LHV. Let’s see what he does there. He has a very high K rate and terrible splits to overcome first.

  19. You guys have to explain the fear of a multi year deal I don’t get it?

    Bautista/Moss a 2 year deal is reasonable

    Saunders at 30 you’re not getting on a 1 year deal…If Reddick got a 4 year deal he at least wants a 3 year deal

  20. How about a trade my White Sox asked me if he thought the Phillies would be interested in Melky Cabrera. His hypothetical ask was ridiculous and too much for a 1 year rental but I think he could be had for some reasonable B level guys and I think he would be good to have around Maikel.

    After that though I don’t know how much fun it will be coaching that team this year. They easily could lose 100 games.

    1. DMAR…..Melky on a one year remaining contract falls into what the Phillies are preaching these days. As a switchie he fills out the lineup appropriately, plus his last three years have been decent, a little above average.
      But what would it cost in terms of prospect (s)?
      WSox are in their rebuild and assume they will want a positon player in return, since they have loaded up on pitchers in the Sale and Eaton trade. Moncada wpiuld appear the only position prospect that would have an impact.

      1. Yup they are all about Position prospects right now. He said Knapp and Cozens would get it done.

        Quintana is the chip they really hope to cash in on. They like Clint Frazier a lot.

  21. I’m sure Klentak would prefer a lefty bat who plays 1b and the OF. That would include Moss and Logan Morrison in the first wave. Second wave is Saunders and Rasmus. Batista is the third wave and the 5th option. I’m positive Phils are only offering a one year deal to all. Players are still searching for multiyrear deals but there are none to be had. Phils won’t sign Joey Bats if these other guys are still available. Cards are trading Adams also, so the number of jobs is less than the number of players to fill them. The Phils should get one of the 5. Another 40 man spot will be needed. Quinn would then start in LHV and Valentin would be in Philly until JP is ready.

    1. FYI – Saunders is not getting a two year deal from anyone after that 2nd half he had. He has to reestablish his value. He and Stairs are close Canadians. My guess is the Phils are waiting on Moss, who is looking for a two year deal, and Saunders is waiting on the Phillies before moving on in his search. The dominoes will fall soon. Once Moss decides, other things will happen. Mets are going to have to trade Bruce for nothing just to move his contract. The Tigers and JD might have to also. That’s crazy.

      1. Murray I love you but you couldn’t be more wrong on Saunders. He is coming into his age 30 season he OPS’d 815 and hit 24 dingers and guess what else….he is one of the few FA’s that you can sign and not have to give any compensation.

        At the very least he gets 2 years and I’d be really surprised if he didn’t get at least 3 and if you give me good enough odds I’ll bet on 4…

        1. DMAR……not sure about any GMs giving Saunders a 3/4 year contract. He has only 50% of his left knee meniscus intact after his surgery in 2015 and not sure they want to take a gamble on him long term.
          Plus his run in with former Mariner’s GM in 2014 that questioned Saunders work ethic…..but the knee may have been deteriorating that year, so have to give Saunders a pass there, if he was trying to play in pain.

          1. Certainly you and Murray could be very right. I didn’t realize how bad of an injury history this guy had…

        2. You’re certainly right that he’s only 30 but I think that 2nd half could scare off most teams. I think Rasmus is looking for multiple years also but having trouble getting it. In reality, none of these guys are so good that they move the needle. Joey Bats could be the only one where if they signed him we’d be excited to add his bat, if only until August.

  22. Jim…what is your take on smallish LHP 20-year old Denny Martinez?
    His K/9 over 100 innings is 9.6/9, but it was against younger players in the old Ven summer league in 2015, and last year in the DR summer league.

    1. 2016 was Martinez age 19 season. He turned 20 in November. That is pretty much the average for pitchers in the DSL. Batters are slightly younger, averaging about 18 years and 2 months. So, I would consider him to be age appropriate and not diminish his accomplishments because of his age.

      However, after 2015 in the VSL, he only progressed to the DSL in 2016. He didn’t make it stateside for 2015 Instructs but did in 2016. However, I don’t remember ever seeing him pitch. He pitched an inning during an October 5th intrasquad game, but was one of ten pitchers that day. Most innings started with runners on base. Brett Barbier hit a grand slam early. Marrtinez might have been the victim, maybe not. He pitched an inning on October 12, but that intrasquad game was notable due to the return of Kevin Gowdy to the mound after taking a batted ball of his arm in his previouos appearance, Mickey Moniak returning to the line up for the first time since his injury during the playoffs, and the debut of Francisco Morales. I took a lot of video and didn’t pay much attention to the game.

      So, I can’t really provide a “take” on Martinez based on anything I’ve seen. But, the fact that he saw most of his action in intrasquad games as opposed to games against other teams, leads me to believe that he doesn’t figure into the organization’s plans yet. A good showing in the GCL this year should change their minds.

  23. Good News apparently there is an obscure CA law that says personal contracts can last for no more than 7 years which means Mike Trout could if he wanted to opt out of his deal. This is according to a fangraphs article…

      1. 8mark…from what I read, now.
        It is the first time they sign after drafted to that org as an 18 year old.
        But don’t get your hopes up…the law will not fly…..others affected Kershaw, Posey, Crawford, Belt, etc etc…..all five California teams have players.

        1. But wouldn’t the most recent big league contract supercede any previous ones? (But yes I do get your point, Romus)

            1. Wow! That’s a legal maelstrom if ever any agent tried to call MLBs bluff. Don’t think it’ll ever go to court. The ramifications would be wide and disruptive.

              But a Phillies fan can dream….think about what kind of lineup we’d roll out there with him and the young blood around him.

              Okay…back to earth.

            2. I pretty much just put it out for those that have their hearts set on him. He could invoke it if he wanted to but I think that would be a tough thing for him to put on his conscience

              Although if you ask me they definitely took advantage of him on that most recent deal if they are paying Pujols what they are paying Pujols.

              So many crumb owners in baseball

            3. I read the article and also the statute and believe the conclusion reached by the article – namely, that Mike Trout can get out his Angels contract because he was drafted in 2009 – is likely incorrect. The statute says that the personal services contract cannot be enforced beyond a period of 7 years. But Mike Trout’s existing contract was not entered into in 2009. It’s a six year contract that he voluntarily entered into around 2013 or 14 that binds him through 2020. Although there could be some arguments made to the contrary, I think the Angels would probably win that dispute and I think the fact that the Angels bought out some of his free agent years, when he would obviously have the ability to sign somewhere else if he chose to do so (thus blunting an argument that he had “no choice” but to agree to the contract), helps them with this argument quite a bit.

              That said, I could see other instances where the contracts would not be enforceable beyond 7 years, such as a free agent who enters into a contract of 8 or more years – I think that would be a strong case for the player.

              I could also see a younger player making an interesting argument that the statute is violated where, between minor and major league service, the player has served more than 7 years and has been tendered contracts which he was essentially forced to sign. The argument would be that the team had essentially forced the player to serve what amounted to more than a 7 year contract. The team would argue that each contract was separate and lasted no more than a year. The player would counter that this is just semantics and the purpose of the statute is to prevent an employer from contractually controlling an employee for more than 7 years. THIS would be fascinating case and I could see someone like Scott Boras or another powerful agent taking on a team and trying to set the player free well before the time set for free agency as agreed in the collective bargaining agreement. By the way, speaking of collective bargaining agreements, I believe that one of the arguments raised by the team would probably be that the player is bound by the collective bargaining agreement (which permits the team to retain the player) and this agreement is blessed by federal law and that, in a contest between federal law and state law, under the Supremacy Clause in Article VI of the Constitution, the federal law (collective bargaining agreement) preempts the conflicting state law. As I said, it would be fascinating case.

    1. Romus, let’s channel Harry the K and Whitey – “what can you tell me about that (SAY-sar) Ramos?”

      1. 8mark….”Hard to believe Harry, but the Phillies now have two Cesars… is pronounced (SAY- SAR) and the other is pronounced (SEE-ZER). I sure hope your successor, Tom Mac doesn’t screw that up”.

  24. I just spent the last week and a half in the hospital then rehab. Hip replacement surgery didn’t go as planned lol. Anyways sign Moss to a sign 2 yr deal see how his power takes to CBP. You can Always trade him after the first yr.

    1. Welcome back, Tim. Hope you’re feeling better. Here’s to Odubel in ’17. Did you know that his name unscrambled is ‘double’?

    2. Ty. Guys hip coming along right leg and knee blow up didn’t like surgery. In rehab walking with a roller leg still swollen . Blood pressure also went waco , so far turning 50 stinks . Lol mark8 I think you were right Phillies are going to spend some. Funny still some very good FA left.

  25. After reading that Joey Bats was returning to the Jays, Jon Heyman reports that Toronto isn’t eager to re-sign him. And the O’s appear to be more interested in Trumbo. Looking like his market is shriveling. He might have to settle for a one year deal after all.

    1. Romus – that’s an exceptionally pitcher-heavy list on the college side. With the 8th OA pick, should be another talent rich draft for the Phillies.

      1. Steve…agree.
        I know Theo in his draft went first picks- position players, and then went FA/trades for TOR (Lester/Arrieta), but I would, if GM go differently since position players abound right now in the AAA/AA levels, and go with a pitcher at the 8th….and of course my fav is LHP Brendan McKay, who also seems to be able to handle the bat very well also.
        Second round, if still there, I go David Peterson from Oregon or Zac Lowther from Xavier, both LHPs. That is just me.

    2. Romus … I know you’re a big Brendan McKay guy. I like Wright and Houck. #23 Corbin Martin is another kid I like a lot. As far as after-round-one picks go … I (like you) love #40 Zac Lowther. I also really like #100 Bryce Montes de Oca. A couple of college bats I like are #26 Joe Dunand (he’s A-Rod’s nephew) and #32 Deon Stafford (St. Joe’s power hitting catcher).
      With the 1-8 pick, the guy I’m liking the more I see and read about him is HS LHP Trevor Rogers. He’s got great size and is a very athletic kid. He is from New Mexico and is just tapping into his potential. Just don’t think he is a Johnny Almarez type of pick. Rogers has all the tools to grow into a TOR LHP. Almarez seems like a guy who will pass on the tools for a kid with good fundamentals (even if he has a lower floor). I can see the Phillies really falling in love with a kid like Hagen Danner.

      1. Hinkie..all makes sense.
        Also agree a kid like Rogers may not be what JA would like, probably because HS pitchers have so much fluidity before they really get to be MLB ready status.
        You would hope however, if they take him , he would go the Kershaw route to the majors.

      2. Almarez seems like a guy who will pass on the tools for a kid with good fundamentals (even if he has a lower floor).” …. meant to say Almarez would pass on the higher ceiling player for a more fundamentally sound (lower ceiling/higher floor) player.

  26. Romus, Theo’s success came from a combination of skill and luck. Bryant and Schwarber are elite level hitters, drafting them was skillful. Billy Beane making a dumb trade and giving up Russell was luck as was the O’s giving up on Arrieta. Maybe VV turns into our Arrieta and Moniak turns into a an elite hitter. That is a little long winded way of trying to say that any success that Klentak has will be from his ability to make decisions on elite level talent, either SP or everyday players. There was a great article on the abundance of young, elite SSs and where they rank. JP has to become one of them, making him an elite player. Otherwise, the farm system takes a hit. There may be a good deal of depth, but until a couple of the prospects become elite, the team at the Major League level will not become a contender.

    1. matt13….yes there was luck for Theo along the way. Also the Cubs trading for Rizzo/Cashner was a stroke of genius, mixed with luck.
      When you look at the 8/9 position prospects at the AA/AAA level, Klentak has to evaluate them, and make some decisions on who stays and who leaves…and he really only has until September for some of them. Hold them to long and they lose value and you have to sell low, so the next 9 months can be very interesting.

  27. You are exactly right on the Rizzo deal, I didn’t even mention that one. I don’t want to diminish what Theo did, at all, by talking about luck. But, luck does play a part. He was very familiar with Rizzo from his Red Sox days. Who can we steal from the O’s besides Machado?

  28. Beato pitched for Norfolk of the International League last year. Philly also re-signed Christian Marrero who played in Reading last year. They also signed Jesse Beal who pitched for Sussex County of the Can-Am League. He is RHP reliever, he only pitched 24 innings with 31 K’s and 5 saves. He has only pitched as high as A+. I imagine they will give him a chance at Reading. He is 26 years old.

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