Open Discussion: Week of January 9th

Just 37 days until pitchers and catchers have their first workout.  The first full team workout is 3 days later.  Here’s the open discussion for Phillies’ talk and other topics.

The Phillies had two transactions during the week, the assignment of a couple of under the radar minor league, free agent signings in December – RHP Pedro Beato to Lehigh Valley and RHP Jesse Beal to Reading.  Neither was invited to major league spring training.

Beato was a 17th round selection by the Mets in the 2005 draft, but he elected to attend St. Petersbuerg College and re-entered the draft the following year.  He was selected by the Orioles in the first round with the 32nd pick.

Beato made 60 relief appearances with the Mets in 2011, but only 24 appearances with the Mets, Red Sox, and Braves from 2012 through 2014.  He spent all of 2015 and 2016 on the Orioles AAA team, posting a 2.65 ERA in 128 appearances.  Beato finished 63 games and saved 20.  He had K/9s of 7.4 and 8.2, but also had a BB/9 of 3.0 or higher both years.

Beal was selected out og high school by the Orioles in the 14th round of the 2008 draft. Beal never advanced past Advanced A.  He missed all of the 2011 and 2015 seasons due to injury.  He spent two other stints on the DL during seasons, and has had both shoulder and elbow problems.  He posted a 2.96 ERA in Independent ball last year, although only throwing 24.1 innings.  He had an 11.5 K/9 and a 3.0 BB/9.

A deal between the Phillies and LHP Cesar Ramos was reported on Twitter but hasn’t been reported by the Phillies, yet.  And, OF Christian Marrero is reported to have re-signed a minor league contract.  Also no word from the Phillies.

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

Recently, several former Phillies and farmhands found homes –

  • Cody Asche signed a minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox,
  • Steven Lerud signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers,
  • Gavin Floyd signed a minor league deal (plus invite to spring training) with the Toronto Blue Jays,
  • Jimmy Paredes signed with Japan’s Chiba Lotte Marines, and
  • Brian Bogusevic signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox.

I got tired of the MLB Network’s relentless updates on the status of old, right-handed, corner bats.  So, I checked in on Matt Gelb’s live chat Thursday and learned among other things that –

  1. the Phillies are NOT considering Chase Utley as a platoon option with Joseph,
  2. the Phillies aren’t necessarily considering a platoon for Joseph, but Stassi is a reasonable internal alternative,
  3. Gelb doesn’t think the Phillies should pursue another OF bat, instead play and stick with Quinn,
  4. Knapp has the inside track as Rupp’s back up (answer to my question),
  5. a .500 record is unlikely,
  6. Buchholz deal was a good risk taken,
  7. Gelb believes that Rupp will start less than 100 games,
  8. Gelb has a hunch that Crawford will be called up by the All Star break,
  9. Gelb provided a lengthy opinion that Cesar Hernandez will NOT get traded – “Not yet. Remember, the Phillies have four more years of control on him. If you go by WAR, he was one of the better second basemen in the National League last season. I know that is difficult to reconcile because of the many mental mistakes he made, especially on the bases. Maddening. But the coaches implored him to make a change at the plate in May, and he really took to it. The Phillies want to see if it sticks. He is an on-base machine. They do not have many of those, last time I checked.”,
  10. Andres Blanco IS the emergency catcher (also in response to my question),
  11. in response to Scott Kingery as the second baseman of the future – “That’s possible. But why not Cesar Hernandez? Again, he’s signed through 2020. If he improves on what was a solid 2016 season, you are looking at a productive second baseman. The defensive improvement looked real last season, didn’t it? He got to so many more balls.”,
  12. the Phillies have not announced their internal NRI to spring training yet,
  13. Alec Asher is already working out in Clearwater,
  14. 2017’s breakout guy like Joseph or Neris in 2016?  Victor Arano,
  15. Moniak, Randolph and Ortiz in Lakewood?  Ortiz is a longshot,
  16. Best shot of becoming a genuine ace? Velasquez, Sanchez, Kilome.  But, again, there are *so* few aces in baseball. Do not use that term lightly, and
  17. Phillies of fseason grade – “A”; “For real. They bought low on Howie Kendrick and Clay Buchholz, surrendering nothing but money and flotsam. They bolstered the bullpen with one-year deals to Benoit and Neshek. Easy area to upgrade. The Odubel Herrera extension is a team-friendly deal that could pay dividends later.
    They have had a quality off season”.

The Phillies are extending their netting to protect fans.

Cumulative transactions: 

  • 1/6/ – RHP Pedro Beato assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 1/6/ – RHP Jesse Beal assigned to Reading Fightin Phils.
  • 12/28 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Jesse Beal to a minor league contract.
  • 12/28 – LHP Wander Perez assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 12/23 – Reds claimed Richie Shaffer off waivers from Philadelphia Phillies.
  • 12/21 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Pedro Beato to a minor league contract.
  • 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.

 

137 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of January 9th

  1. I can see Hernandez staying at least until Kingery shows he is ready to replace him or not. Could go either way. Valentine could also play into that scenario but unlikely. No trade unless its a can’t refuse type.

      1. If both are on the team Cesar has to play – but you’re right that one or the other will be moved as there is not room for both in the long haul. If they get a good offer for Cesar, he could be the one to move and Galvis would play second until he’s displaced. He has his challenges at the plate but he would probably be the best fielding second baseman in the majors as he’s quite the wizard with the glove.

        1. It can work out as Crawford at SS, Hernandez at 2B, and Galvis would bump one of the backup players such as Blanco or Valentine. But there is a lot of IFs that would have to happen first.

  2. I would love to see the Phillies trade for, and extend Eric Hosmer. He’s due about $13M in arbitration for 2017. Give him a hefty raise, plus a solid signing bonus, and make it a 5-year deal. That way, he’ll reenter the market at 31 or 32, his last three years of the deal would overlap with the beginning our future Machado signing and we can enjoy a strong 3-4-5.

    I’m all for letting Joseph and Hoskins play, but I’m not a believer just yet. I’d like to see some solid, core pieces settle in. Hosmer would also provide gold glove caliber defense, which is going to help his other infielders, pitchers, and save some runs.

    1. According to Matt Swartz’ of MLBTR, Machado could very well be signing a multi-year deal soon with the Os…so the anticipated Machado signing with the Phillies may have to wait 5/7 more years from now depending on the length of the Os deal..

      1. I read that too.. He doesn’t mention machado signing an extension, rather most guys in his situation have already signed an extension. I think that ship has sailed for the Orioles. Right now machado has the highest earning power of anybody.

      2. The Orioles would need to have the money to sign him long term, and, I am pretty sure, they don’t have much of that available.

        1. Andrew R./Jeff……IMO, the Angelos family will not let the face of their franchise walk. They will sign him or eventually trade him if he is too expensive.
          The last option at their disposal would be a great trade return which could be equivalent to a Trout return, and that could happen in December a year prior to his FA status.

          1. That’s still a tough call. What team is going to give up a bundle for one-year of Machado. I really think he’s unlikely to accept an extension with one year to go. It’s all conjecture at this point, but I see him playing the odds and reaping a huge payday in 2 years.

            1. Andrew – I can’t agree with you more. Baltimore does not have the $$$ to sign him, if they had wanted to extend him it should have been undertaken 3 years ago. He is a far better player than Harper who is widely believed to be looking for 400 million 10 year deal “etc.” I simply can’t believe his agent would not be telling him to test the market. Meanwhile, Orioles have young pitchers who will command more $$$ and they hog-tied themselves with Davis, among others.

        2. The Orioles have virtually nothing committed to their payroll beyond 2019. They’ll have Davis and his $23 mil and they will have to decide on Jones and Manny.

  3. Things I think:
    I think Morgan will move to the pen and compete with Burnett and Ramos for the last bullpen spot and a 40 man spot.
    I think the Phils will sign a 1b/OF bat for the bench. Moss and Logan Morrison are the two most likely targets. This will require a 40 man spot from Garcia or Sev.
    I think the bench will ultimately be Knapp, Altherr, Valentin, 1b/of signee, and Blanco.
    I still think 81 wins is the goal for this season

    1. @murray – agree 100%. i posted my 25/40 man and i have Knapp (C/1B), AA, Valentin (UTIL), Blanco and a LH FA OF (i.e. Moss) as the Bench, Morgan to the pen and Garcia gets the boot.

      @Rob – Stassi is an option, but probably after the Trade Deadline unless he explodes in AAA like TJ last year. FA signee can be a trade bait which is the current MO of a rebuilding team like the Phils.

  4. Jim, thanks for posting Gelb’s stuff. He seems to be the most informed AND informative baseball writer locally IMO.

    I agree that Arano could be a real bullpen piece of the future.

    1. Yeah. Gelb is a good writer too. One time last year I wrote an email to him saying he was a good writer. Then he replied and said thanks.

    1. If they can get him on an affordable one year contract I could see the Phillies signing Saunders. He had a bad second half (really, a bad two months), so they might get a good deal for him. He would be an interesting gamble for them. Not much downside but some intriguing upside – basically the hitting version of what they’ve done with starting pitchers.

      1. Exactly how I see it.
        I am wondering if the bad two months at the end of the season had anything to do with his left knee issues and the long grind of the season wore him down, and he just could not do what he wanted to do. Trying to push off with a gimpy back knee can be difficult.
        But he does look like one of the few favorites to sign.

      2. I prefer Moss as a platoon guy who can some outfield and some first base. Tommy Joseph is no sure thing. What if he turns out to be an absolute bust by the end of May? Will we be happy with Andres Blanco playing first? He is no guarantee. Moss can handle the righties as much as possible and pop off 25 homers.

        I also think Moss could be had on a one-year more so than Saunders.

        1. I feel like I’ve watched TJ for 10 years now. TJ will not be a bust and probably not be an All-Star..what he will be is a guy that gets you 25-30 HR over a 225-250 BA with not much in the way of OBP as a floor.

          Maybe a slightly better Mark Reynolds type of career…

    2. Romus, in light of the fact that there really are no compelling lefty bats to add, I’m with Gelb in just letting the kids play (starting with Quinn out of camp). If they go ahead and acquire one, so be it, I won’t kick and scream since it’s only a transitional move. Can’t get too excited about Moss, Saunders, Morrison or Rasmus. I’d rather see what Stassi brings after his torrid winter. Now’s the time. I’m resigned to not going for a righty power bat like JD or Joey Bats at this point.

  5. Michael Saunders’ injury history is of concern. The “blow-up” in Seattle seems more like personality clash. Good first half of 2016…and tanked in the 2nd half. Risky move, of course. Are there any physical limitations that would prevent him from playing RF….making it only conceivable that he play LF ???

  6. Give me Moss at 2yrs if he does good then yes trade him after the first yr. Why 2 yrs let’s say Moss as a OK first half. Then he gets white hot in second half after the trade deadline. I believe ,We see do have the secret weapon this yr in Matt Stairs.I do think Mosses power will play up in CBP. Moss career ops against rhp .791

    1. I think it’s possible that Moss gets signed by the Phillies, but if he does, I doubt it’s a 2-year deal unless the second year is a team option year with no buy-out or a low buy-out number. Moss is getting up there in years, his offensive numbers have been gradually declining and he’s a below-average defender. So maybe you bet on him for a year on a cheap contract, but two years could create some problems.

  7. I thought that Saunders would definitely get a multi year deal so thought Moss and Rasmus were more likely to be targeted. But, as February gets closer, I may be wrong. I think MacPhail was pretty clear that a LH bat was on their agenda. You can add Logan Morrison to that list also.

    1. When he came up, I thought Logan Morrison would turn into a perennial all-star – he just looked so darned good at the plate and had a really hitter’s approach and body. But he kind of morphed into something else. The Phillies, I think, are looking for a player with some positional flexibility that can definitely play outfield and perhaps also first base. And they are looking for someone (I believe) who is not a complete liability in the field. Unfortunately, Morrison is now pretty much just a weak fielding lefty first baseman. I know he has power and a good eye – but I think they want someone who can capably play right field too and that’s not Morrison. If they are resigned to having a lefty first baseman, I’d rather give Stassi a try than gum up the works with Morrison.

    1. LMAO-Ok so this guy hates Joey Bats. At this point in time I agree he doesn’t fit but not for all of the reasons this guy states.

      Of all the FA’s and OF bats left out there none of them really touch what Bautista has done in this game. Yeah he rubs a lot of guys on other teams the wrong way and he plays with a swagger that not a lot of people like

      ….but don’t take away from his career .368 OBP and the fact he has one of the best Oswing % in the game.

      We can talk about Matty Stairs all we want but let’s assume Jose is the type of team mate that would love to share his knowledge of hitting with young players. He would have a far greater effect. These kids don’t remember Matt Stairs playing days but I guarantee they’ve seen quite a bit of Joey Bats.

      1. Normally, the “effect on teammates” argument is not very strong, but here, there might be something to it. Apparently, Jose Bautista’s unexpected and extreme development as an elite hitter was a direct result of things that Vernon Wells taught him about how and when to begin swinging at a pitch. And I think this type of advice might have also helped Encarnacion and even Saunders. So, yeah, there might actually be a net benefit of having him mentor the younger hitters. Very, very few people hit the ball as consistently hard as Bautista does.

          1. DMAR…I am wavering on wanting him or letting him go his way. And some of that uncertainty comes from what may his re-sale value come July. With an outstanding three months he will be in demand in July , and just the opposite if he falters.
            And as a mentor….whether her or not he will be able to teach hitters anything is hard to gauge, if he is only going to be here a year or less..

            1. I’m not wavering Romus you just can’t do it now with Kendrick on the roster. You’d be too right handed.

  8. I’m guessing the Orioles have to decide on Trumbo. Moss is their backup plan. The Phillies want Moss and Saunders is their back up plan. Everything hinges on Trumbo decision. We should know something soon.

    1. Orioles are out on Moss after their trade for Seth Smith…that was a solid pick-up for them. I thought he would have been really good for us.

      Orioles are in a pickle. Trumbo wants 4/$72 they stepped up for Davis last year after they lost Nelly and now of course dealing with the real cost of Manny.

      1. This is a no brainer – Trumbo had about as good of a season as he could have had and he’s still just average (homers aren’t everything – if they were, the Phillies would have had a great first base platoon last year, but they didn’t). They should walk on that one.

        1. They would have been better off keeping Nelly on the deal Seattle gave 4/$57 Granted Nelly got that deal at 34 and Trumbo is 30.

          They (Orioles) don’t have much choice. Their only hope is to mash their way through the NL East. Their starting pitching is a mess.

  9. Catch, you are right on Morrison and his D. My preference is Rasmus, then Moss. Rasmus because of his D capabilities. But, there is so little talk on him that I think he might not be recovered. There seems to be have been virtually no talk about him.

    1. Rasmus had a horrid ops+ of 76 last season he would be the last of the bunch you want.

      D shouldn’t be a big factor for who ever they bring in. You’ll be bringing in a defensive replacement in in most games.

    2. I realize now that the Phillies don’t want a starting OF type, they want Quinn to start. What they want is a lefty hitting bench player who plays 1b and OF. That would seem to point to Moss and Morrison and not Saunders or Rasmus (who I wanted initially also). Others?

      1. I’m not sure they’ve decided that and, in any event, I think Quinn needs some time in AAA.

        I think they want someone who can be flexible and might play well enough to be flipped for good prospects in July if he plays well. The outfield version of Buchholz.

    3. Rasmus made $15.8 M last year with the Astros. His price tag is a different order of magnitude than Moss, Saunders or Morrison.

  10. My opinion they want Quinn to be on the 25 man but they want to limit his exposure to see if they can keep him healthy through an entire season. They can’t do that if they send him to AAA he’ll be out there every night.

    In Philly you can get him enough starts between the 3 OF spots and also PA’s as a late inning defensive replacement.

    At this point you’re show casing him to the rest of the league. He’s not a corner OF he is a CF and since you’ve hitched your Wagon to Odubel for the next 5 years and Mickey is in the pipeline then Quinn smartly is the guy you hope to flip.

    1. DMAR…that makes sense, and the talk in September was to get Quinn as much playing time as possible and he was moved thru-out the OF positions.
      So what you said may be their ultimate plan for him this season..

      1. Hey Tim glad your back and posting and I can actually understand your sentences without all the spell check jargon.

      1. LOL…..the pessimism is filtering through.
        I guess with Moniak, Randolph, Ortiz and Stephen at the lower end of the pipeline, they may feel there is no need to add anymore to the OF at the lower levels.

        1. @romus – i can of see this going thru the FO’s mindset. Like what Klentak did in previous years, they will use the available $$ in improving their scouting and analytics and spreading whatever $$ bonus left to multiple low $$ IFAs.

          1. KuKo…….I guess that is their plan. Though would be nice to see them break the mold just one time and go after the bonus guy. Ruben waited until 2015 with Ortiz. So far this regime has hesitated in doing that.
            In fact, did you notice, most, if not all the six figure players in July 2016 signings, were from the Ven, none from the DR…what goes there????

            1. Has anyone ever done a study on what percentage of int’l FAs have actually performed well at the major league level? All star selection might be a good criterion. Just out of curiosity. Rank Cuban, LA, Asian and ‘other’ to get an historical perspective on why big league clubs pursue big ticket internationals, or not. Perhaps the Phillies don’t see that effort worth the investment based on past %….??? Don’t know myself, just throwing it out.

            2. 8mark…good question. Do not think so, at least I have not seen anything of that lately. I mean you can google LA players making HoF and All-Star teams and a list will come up….but then you have to go and find out their bonus and who the original team was that signed them at 16-years old….lots of work.
              Now the Phillies, on the other hand, over the last 15 years, have had their limited share of success, but when it comes to value per buck they have done well.
              Players like Chooch, Carassco, and Villar have done well. Then there are the current group currently on the team.

        2. Romus, despite the obvious pessimism, I really don’t think that Cuba has much left in the the way of players – and frankly, I am not impressed with all but less than a handful of players who have come from there. I think they are like Yankee prospects of yore – all hype, no delivery. That latter fact may have changed however – in the case of the Yankees. I would forget the Cuban market and concentrate on the usual other LA fertile fields. Can you say, Kevin Maite who the Braves signed. Top 10 player already in their system.

          1. RU…for the most part that is correct…however there have been some success with Cubans….. Abreu, even Puig without the attitude, DBack’s guy the Phillies were interested in Tomas, Cespedes, Chapman, Soler somewhat, Moncao coming along, hechavarria, Kendry Morales, Jose Iglesias, Yunel Escobar…I mean there have been some that have made the majors and produced.

            1. Romus we should categorize those guys by their signing amounts. I would put those that got more than 1:1 pick in a class and measure them first.

              I’m glancing at your list and its a pretty weak list I mean none of these guys at a glance other than Chapman and Cespedes are MVP vote worthy are they?

              If I’m spending $30+ Mil on an amateur (unproven in MLB) I would expect them to be in conversations with Trout, Bryant, Machado, Harper…

            2. dMAR…..but Luis Roberts will not get $30M.
              Under the new CBA, those type of bonus amounts, given mainly by the Red Sox, Dodgers and Cubs and few others were anomalies. And all have incurred the penalty for that spending.
              For a 19-year old like Roberts, the Phillies could go into the $6/7M range and still have money left over for multiple $25/50K signees. That is, if they start trading prospects for international money…Ruben did it for Ortiz at $4.4M.
              As for the list…lets see how Moncada, Soler, Puig, Tomas and some of the others like the Padres Morejon all fare in a few years…they all are under or about 25-years old

  11. Morrison is pretty much just a first baseman and Saunders is a poor fielding corner outfielder. The Phils need someone to play first and a corner. That’s Moss but he is much more expensive and probably wants at least a two year contract.

    1. I’m just curious with regard to Moss what is expensive? and who cares if he wants 2 years eff it who cares if he wants 3 years….

  12. I said earlier that I had heard nothing on Rasmus, so, of course, he is going to sign with the Rays. Let’s say they don’t land Moss, would everyone favor a Bruce trade if it costs something similar to Bucholz? You guys have pretty much talked me out of Morrison and I was never a big Saunders guy, or after Moss, should we call it a day and hope that Quinn is healthy through ST and just play him most days?

    1. matt13….when was the last time the Phillies traded with the Mets? Or for that matter within the division?

    1. With all due respect anyone who believes we should give the Mets anything other than a bag of balls for Jay Bruce is out of their mind.

      The Mets should be giving us a pretty good prospect to take him off their hands.

      I was so happy to see Heyman report last night that the bottom feeding Rays took Rasmus out of the mix. I’d like to think Klentak is a little smarter than that but you never can be too sure.

      The Rays are such a joke franchise I feel bad for the players there and the fans. They deserve better.

        1. At least Loria has show he is willing to spend money to keep his guys. He is an abrasive character no doubt.

          1. I don’t say this about many people, but Loria is scummy guy. If you go down and speak to the people of Miami, they will tell you what you need to know about him. He tricked the city of Miami into financing his stadium on the basis that the club did not have funds when, in fact, the team was making tons of money (now, shame on the city for not doing its due diligence, but still, he duped them . . . ). He has no loyalty to players or the team’s fans. He builds teams and then summarily disassembles them and starts over so he can make more profit. It’s shameful and I would HATE being a Marlins fan.

            He is about one thing – making the most money possible for Jeff Loria and little else. We all know that the owners are entrepreneurs and want to make money. Still, many owners, including some of our own, are truly committed to winning and care about and show loyalty to the fan base. I think the Phillies are like this – sometimes to a fault. Loria, however, is the ugly face of baseball capitalism. I cannot stand that guy.

            1. If you want a close analogy for the type of owner Loria is, think Norman Braman. He’s that type of creep.

    2. I prefer the Phils to go after Moss. I’ll take Bruce for some $$ but not any prospects even the rights to Larry Green Jr. Mets and Braves are the division rivals I hate the most. I will not give those teams anything that will come back and haunt the Phils.

  13. I got bored and went by the Complex today. Nothing going on as they prepare the fields for Phantasy Camp next week. But, a young man in civilian clothes came out of the club house and made the mistake of making eye contact as he approached me. So, I asked him who he is. It was Zach Eflin. He’s down here working out, continuing his rehab. He looks healthy and says he is ready for spring training.

    1. I still like Eflin a lot even though he’ll now have to start at LHV. The LHV team will be so full of prospects, more than any team I can ever remember. They need to have a great win loss record to show our prospects are close and very good. The hitters who come out hot will get lots of attention

    2. JIm – what time of year do you start making more regular trips to the complex? Do you wait until pitchers and catchers report? Can I presume there is some level of activity there in the first days of February?

      1. Last year during Phantasy Camp, I noticed a lot of young players at the Complex. I learned later that all of the guys I saw were players who finished the season on the DL or had surgery or some sort of procedure during the off season. They must come down on their own because a major league franchise cannot require a player to report earlier than 33 days prior to the beginning of the championship season.

        This year the season starts on Sunday, April 2nd, so players don’t have to report until Tuesday, February 28th. Injured Players, pitchers and catchers may be invited to attend spring training workouts no earlier than 45 days prior to the start of the season (February 16th), and all other players may be invited to attend spring training workouts no earlier than 40 days prior to the start of the season (February 21st). These were the rules under the old CBA (ARTICLE XIV (A) (1) and (2)). The earlier reporting dates this year were negotiated with the MLBPA due to the WBC this year.

        I will be at the Complex sporadically between now and the start of spring training workouts. Most of the work the players do is indoors. Any outdoor tossing usually happens in left field on Schmidt Field, too far from the public access areas to even see who is here. Any pitching from the mounds is out of site between the clubhouse and the weight/batting facility.

        I’ll be there most days during Phantasy Camp, I have a friend who participates. Our players usually get their work done earlier than usual during camp.

        I like the atmosphere during spring training workouts, but love when the minor leaguers begin playing their games usually about a week after the Grapefruit games start. Then we’ll have two maybe three games going at the Complex everyday.

        1. Great. Thanks Jim. Any advice on how I could retire 10 years earlier so I can join you on a daily basis?

        2. Is there a schedule of the minor league games during spring training. I rather watch those then the games at Spectrum field because access is better. Also alot more going on.

          1. There will be. Usually, there are five groups (1 thru 5) – AAA, AA, A+, A, and A-. Since a lot of the AAA guys are in the major league camp (and a couple AA guys), there is a lot of trickle up early in ST for the minor league groups.

            Groups 1 and 4 (AAA and A, Lehigh and Lakewood) play at the same venue each day and groups 2 and 3 (AA and A+, Reading and Clearwater) play at the same venue. When one pair is at the Complex, the other is on the road. Group 5 (A-, all the Rookie league kids) will practice, play intrasquad games, or games against traveling college, JC, HS, or foreign junior squads – but always at the Complex.

            Once a week, they have a camp day to work on stuff, usually an intrasquad game – AAA v AA and A+ v A with situational stuff set up to start each inning. So on any given day, there will be two or three games at the Complex, including Sunday.

            The schedule will show the opponent, but it is a crap shoot trying to follow specific pitchers during ST.

            On occasion, players not scheduled to travel with the major league club or guys who aren’t scheduled to get their work in during a game at Bright House (Spectrum Field) will make appearances with the AAA or AA squads at the Complex. In past years, I have watched Halladay, Hamels, Kendrick, Lee, and others pitch in a Complex game while lesser names were pitching over at Bright House. And I didn’t have to pay $30 to see them.

    3. Jim,

      Thanks. This is the kind of intelligence that can only be gathered by being on the ground. Another special quality you bring to this site.

  14. Dodgers are supposedly at an impasse in trade talks with Twins for Dozier. I know we’ve quite a few Cesar fans here but would that open up talks with LA? Howie would move to 2b and one of our young OFers like Quinn wouldn’t be blocked. And we can still acquire the lefty bat to play the other corner.

    1. Best possible outcome IMO – that is, Dozier remains in Minnesota. I’m not sure it significantly increases the likelihood of a Cesar trade, but teams still looking to pursue upgrades at 2b would presumably have him on their radar.

      I’d certainly be open to a Cesar trade, but I’m also thinking that if he could hit for the first three months like he did last season (or latter last season), his trade value should increase significantly. I don’t think anyone in the industry, including those in the Phillies organization, are assuming Cesar as a .760 OPS kind of player moving forward. Another four months of that kind of production might change everyone’s mind though

      1. Good thought, Steve. Yes, this could be something that plays out through July and not necessarily before camp opens or breaks. I keep thinking that there yet moving parts (Kendrick as starting LF?) to the whole roster equation and positional depth within the organization. The dust has no where near settled and won’t until late ’18 or ’19.

  15. Howie Kendrick’s days at 2B are over unless in an emergency. His defense is just not good enough there any more. At least CH plays an above average 2B.

  16. Chat today with Fansgraph Eric L.
    ManBearPuig: You have a favorite, under-the-radar, breakout player of the Phillies’ organization this year?
    Eric: Maybe not a breakout guy but Tyler Viza keeps pitching well and climbing. He deserves some love.

  17. Michael Saunders is a close friend of Matt Stairs, according to Salisbury. Not sure what effect that has on signing him over Moss.

  18. I have a question on the lineup. I acknowledge that Cesar did a very good job of getting on base and becoming a selective hitter. But, he makes bad base running mistakes, and does not seem to have a very good base stealing instinct. Isn’t he a better #2 hitter? And let Doobie lead off? Now, if Quinn makes the team, maybe not right away, but eventually, he is my leadoff hitter.

    1. matt13…it is virtually impossible for Cesar to make the same boneheaded base running mistakes he made last season. No baseball player can be that unsound two consecutive seasons.
      And if you recall, after the Twins series in Minnesota Target Field, his focus/concentration and overall game picked up and changed 180 degrees. Led by Larry Bowa, coaches and team leader for the Latin players , Blanco, he was able to see the light from July thru the end -of-the-season.
      I am betting he is not the same this season as his first half last year.

      1. I seem to remember Victorino being chastised a bunch for bad base running but he somehow still was a fan favorite enough to get the monker flyin hawaiian

        1. DMAR…yes indeed. Vic had his share of lapses….but not all in one season.
          And, I can also still remember Astros’ Brett Myers sticking his tongue out and picking Jayson Werth off second base

    2. Matt, assuming Moss is added, the opening day lineup looks like

      Cesar H 2b
      Herrera cf
      Kendrick lf
      Franco 3b
      Moss rf
      Joseph 1b
      Rupp c
      Galvis ss
      Eickhoff or Hellickson p

      1. I like this line-up 8Mark. I like Cesar leading off because he switch hits so when you need to pinch hit for the pitcher the opposing manager doesn’t get the platoon advantage for 2 hitters in a row.

        I’ll like it even more when Crawford’s name replaces Galvis.

      2. What do you think of a 3-4-5 with this group of Franco-Moss-Kendrick to start the season? Take the pressure off Franco a little until he gets some traction after last season’s regression in AVG and SLG, and to a lesser extent his OBP.

  19. I hope you are correct Romus. And, I hope there is someone on the staff who teaches base stealing like Davey Lopes used to. I hope to see better fundamental baseball all around this year, and I think their taking extra bases and stealing bases are an important part.

    1. I’m not big on stealing bases. I’m more into having guys who can go 1st to third and score from second on a single.

      Situationally of course stealing bags is good. Like when lester is pitching you gotta take it…

      1. DMAR, I agree with you that going from 1st to 3rd and 2d to Home is more important, but the threat of a genuine base stealer has an affect on the Pitcher. A good base stealer at the top of the lineup, I think, really helps the team.

        1. You just said it Matt “a good base stealer” those aren’t easy to come by. Speed doesn’t necessarily make you a good base stealer Chase had one of the best success rates at swiping bags I ever saw not not really a burner.

          Just don’t think you try to force a square peg into a round hole and if that’s not Cesar’s thing then just let it go.

          Quinn on the other hand is super fast and a great base stealer that said those head first slides and all the diving back take a toll on the body so pick your poison.

          Lots of teams win and go all the way without the base stealing model. Simply get the top of your line-up on base and let the guys behind them move them over and get them in.

  20. Invites posted: Crawford, Featherston, Hoskins, Kingery, Stassi, Perkins, Pullin, Holaday, Moore, Numata

    Pitchers: Arano Beato Hinojosa Mariot Murray Ramos

    1. Glad to see Arano and Hoskins on list though not surprised. Bodes well for them getting a call up later this season.

        1. His slash splits vs LHPs in 101 PAs in 2016………355/.406/.933.
          And in 2015………274/.315/.653 in 169 PAs
          He certainly seems to be able to handle the bat vs LHPs.

    2. Matt Klentak likes his guy Featherston.
      This will be three years in a row they have teamed up together.
      I suspect as long as MattK is a Phillies employee , Featherston will also be employed in the org somewhere.

        1. Does seem that way.
          I soured on him a little at LHV, not sure if I am correct in my thinking, but at that infamous Buffalo blow-out win in July when William and JPC were dressed down on the third base line by the manager for bunting back-to-back for hits with that 10 run lead late in the game..
          Then when they went into the dugout and sat down together. apparently trying to gather themselves, he proceeded to go over in front of them and started talking to them in a demonstrative way….now he could have been encouraging them and move on or just carrying on what the coach had just told them a few minutes earlier…I do not know.
          But he could develop into a very versatile player since he seems to be able to play multiple positions….not sure how good defensively he is at any of them however.

          1. Funny you bring that up Romus Nick put out an image on twitter last night of him and JP getting that talking to with a caption “Remember this night”

            Pretty funny actually

            1. DMAR……how about that….I am hoping TF was encouraging the lads in the dugout and not extending the dress down.
              Have to assume with TF getting the invite and the Williams tweet…the timely connection, would indicate to me he was trying to lift their spirits.
              My perception changes on TF.

            2. Meh it’s much ado about nothing IMO. I’m old school so nothing wrong with a little dress down. I did 4 years in the AF and basic training was one of the best things that ever happened to me as a young man.

  21. While looking at my Top 50 and re-assigning players, looks like we will see a solid SP rotation across the all level at the start of the 2017 minor league season.

    AAA – Jake, Eflin, Lively, Appel, Pivetta (possibly Morgan, Asher and Pinto)
    AA – Pinto, El Garcia, Eshelman, Viza, Leibrandt (Leiter)
    A+ – Anderson, Tirado, Kilome, Arauz, Leftwich, Gilbert (Dominguez, Watson)
    A – Taveras, Medina, Irvin, JoJo, Falter (Suarez, Paulino)
    A Short – Sanchez, Fanti, Carrasco, Stewart, Llovera (Gowdy and college R4 draftee)

    Even the bullpen looks stack as well.

    1. matt13…IMO, he is in EST and then goes to Williamsport in June. Same route Kilome took.
      I believe, Sanchez had less than 70 innings pitched last year, counting the playoffs, so not sure they want him coming out of the gate in April in Lakewood.

      1. Romus – Sixto had 54 regular season innings with the GCL Phillies, and I believe only the 7 inning playoff start against the GCL Braves in September. That would be 61 innings, so you would have to think the brass would be plenty comfortable if he threw upwards of 90 innings in 2017. Agree with EST as well.

        I”m not sure why I’m posting. I agree with you. Where’s my “What he said” button?

    2. matt13 – i agree with what Romus said. I think the Phils will also like to see what they have in Suarez, Paulino, Leiter, Taveras, Watson, etc and decide by around May who they want to keep or not.

      But there’s a big possibly that Sixto might finish the year in LWD (which I will watch the 1st game he will pitch).

      1. rocco…come on!
        You as well as I know, that really is not a prohibitive amount in the baseball world.
        Freddy with $4M and Jeanmar also….but what is interesting….Cesar and Octagon rejected the Phillies offer.
        I assume, slightly more that Freddy’s and Jeanmar….maybe around $5M and they may want somewhere near Jean Segura’s number of $6M…….AND they are not lost in the fact, rumors have been made over the last month of teams maybe wanting Cesar’s services. And I can only assume, like most players, Cesar does not want to go anywhere, so why not reject the offer wait for arbitration hearings…..I believe a player cannot be traded during that period, which is only normally a week to 10 days, have to find out what the new CBA reads on that.
        So a whole lot surrounding this stand-off.

        1. You’re way off, Phils offered $2M and Cesar asked for $2.8M. It’s based on years of service time, Galvis has more. Cesar and Phils will likely meet at $2.5 and call it a deal.

      2. I like Jeanmar, but he’s a 7th inning pitcher. They leaned on him too hard and for too long last year and he finally snapped. Not that I blame them – he held up pretty well for most of the year. Jeanmar’s unexpected role and meltdown helped overshadow Hector Neris, who was superb last year. He has one of the best splitters I have ever seen and if he can stay healthy, he’s going to make a lot of money.

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