Open Discussion: Week of February 6th

Let the countdown begin.  Ten, nine, eight, … just a few more days until pitchers and catchers on February 14th!!!  The first full team workout is three days later.  Until then, here’s another open discussion for Phillies’ talk and other topics.

Several sports outlets have reported that the Phillies have come to an agreement on a minor league contract with outfielder Chris Coghlan that includes an invitation to spring training.

The Phillies came to a contract agreement with Cesar Hernandez and avoided a salary arbitration hearing.  Hernandez’ filing figure was $2.8M and the Phillies had countered with $2.2M.  The two sides agreed to $2.55M.

Key dates remaining during the off season:

  • 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.  Schedule here.
  • 3/6-22 – World Baseball Classic.
  • 4/2-3 – Opening Night/Opening Day.

Extra Innings

Early last week, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Phillies lost an opportunity to move Jeremy Hellickson at the trade deadline last season.  When the Marlins deal with the Padres looked like it was going to be rescinded, Miami had struck a new deal that would have sent 1B prospect Josh Naylor to the Phillies for Hellickson.  Bowing to the perceived wishes of the commissioner’s office to salvage the original trade with San Diego, Miami opted to a 5-player version of the original 7-player trade.  Naylor went to the Padres.  This announcement came three hours before the the trade deadline and the Phillies who had told other suitors for Hellickson that they had a deal in place were left with no time to effect a trade.  Hellickson went on to accept a $17.2 million qualifying offer in the off season.

Cumulative transactions: 

  • 1/25 – C Ryan Hanigan assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 1/25 – Phillies signed free agent C Ryan Hanigan to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 1/25 – LHP Matt Imhof retired.
  • 1/25 – Lakewood BlueClaws released 2B William Cuicas.
  • 1/25 – Lakewood BlueClaws released 1B Brendon Hayden.
  • 1/25 – GCL Phillies released RHP Luis Gonzalez.
  • 1/24 – Phillies traded RHP Severino Gonzalez to Miami Marlins for PTBNL.
  • 1/19 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Ruben Aponte to a minor league contract.
  • 1/19 – Phillies signed free agent LF Michael Saunders.
  • 1/19 – Phillies designated RHP Severino Gonzalez for assignment.
  • 1/12 – LHP Gabriel Yanez assigned to GCL Phillies.
  • 1/12 – Ramiro Soto assigned RHP to GCL Phillies.
  • 1/12 – RHP Santy Prada assigned to GCL Phillies.
  • 1/11 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Gabriel Yanez to a minor league contract.
  • 1/11 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Ramiro Soto to a minor league contract.
  • 1/11 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Santy Prada to a minor league contract.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Victor Arano to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster 2B Scott Kingery to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster LF Andrew Pullin to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster C Logan Moore to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Colton Murray to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster C Chace Numata to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster LF Cam Perkins to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster SS J.P. Crawford to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster 1B Rhys Hoskins to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Michael Mariot to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Dalier Hinojosa to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster 2B Taylor Featherston to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster 1B Brock Stassi to spring training.
  • 1/7 – Phillies signed FA RF Christian Marrero to a minor league contract.
  • 1/6/ – RHP Pedro Beato assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 1/6/ – RHP Jesse Beal assigned to Reading Fightin Phils.
  • 1/5 – Phillies signed FA LHP Cesar Ramos to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 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 and invited him to spring training.
  • 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.


85 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of February 6th

  1. Hellickson for Naylor is only ok at best. Naylor would be hard pressed to be better than Joseph and Hoskins. Though he is in A ball he would provide depth further down the road. Hellickson for Naylor and another prospect would have been much better since prospects are not guaranteed to contribute in majors. Another option is Hellickson for a higher rated prospect.

  2. The Josh Naylor story is interesting. What if the Trade of Hellickson for Naylor went through? Naylor is a former #1 draft pick, 12th overall. He was 19 and ended the season playing in A+ last year. 3.4 years young for A+. He’s on a fast track. The Phils have Joseph trying to earn long term rights to 1B in the Majors. They have Hoskins starting AAA next year trying to make a lot of noise for a call up. Naylor will probably start in A+ next year but he’ll be pushed to AA as quick as possible. So if he was on the Phils, Joseph, Hoskins and Naylor would be all in a line pushing each other. It would have been, may the best man win and it could be 3 years before that was resolved. Naylor is a lefty so he might have become #1 on the long term depth chart. But it’s all for naught. Coulda, woulda shoulda will be nothing more than a pipe dream.

  3. I’m ok with not getting Naylor either. I just don’t see him becoming much. I’m pretty amped that we have 6 lottery tickets for this July. As long as they play up to their potential, they all (with the exception of Kendrick) should bring back something interesting. And let’s face it, they’ll help us be competitive for 3-4 months as well.

    1. Andrew – I suspect your talking

      1. Hellickson
      2. Bucholtz
      3. Saunders
      4. Benoit
      5. Neshek
      6. Kendrick

      I think Kendrick is actually one of the more interesting pieces. He was already a bounce back candidate prior to playing half his games in Philly where he will also receive a good deal of PAs from the middle of the lineup. I think Kendrick is just as likely to fetch a good return than any of the remaining five (assuming I have your six correct)

      1. I do believe Kendrick will have a nice bounce back too. Playing everyday. Hitter’s ballpark. Middle of a lineup. All things that he didn’t have last year. However, what is his realistic bounce back? A .285ish hitter who lacks power… Not the ideal outfield trade piece. And who knows how good he would be as a second baseman. Having said that, if we got the same type of deal we got for Fausto Carmona, Arano and Valentín, I’d be pretty pleased.

  4. FWIW, Naylor is limited defensively to 1B where he is not even passable as a defense-man. Think a grade below RHoward during his worse years as a defense-man. No joke.

    And then there’s this – which supplements other anecdotal reports regarding player make-up.

    While I’m not necessarily knocking Naylor, I’m highly suspect of his chances of making it to the show. I’m happy to have Hellickson in the rotation if that was the best we could get in return.

    1. Reminiscing of years past, the ‘grade below RHoward’ comment was probably a stretch. But Naylor in terms of defensive prowess at 1B is certainly comparable with Howard’s.

  5. What irks me most isn’t whether the Hellickson-for-Naylor trade was the best value for the Phillies, but rather both the ineptitude of the Marlins (their version of the Freddie Garcia fiasco here) and the slight of hand tactics by SDs GM Preller. We don’t know (and may never really) if the Phillies’ brass pleaded the case to the commissioner. With virtually no time left at the deadline, we’re left holding on to somebody who may or may not be getting us a good return. If we got Pivetta for a hot potato like Papelbon, a highly regarded lefty 1b prospect for Hellickson isn’t bad if not great. This is probably nothing unless Naylor becomes a good major leaguer. Then we’d relive this sour taste a few years from now. But, we should be rejoicing over our bucket of gold by then anyway.

    1. 8mark…when it comes to return value for the six aforementioned players, I am with Hinkie. I’d rather get small market teams Competitive Balanced picks between the first and second round AND international money to tack onto the Phillies current base of $4.75M
      I do not want another team’s prospects, but rather have the Phillies own scouting department go out and accomplish their mission with extra relatively higher picks with respective added slot monies, and also more international money.

        1. 8mark….the small market teams that have the Competitive Balance picks between the first and second round are:
          31- Tampa Bay Rays …32- Cincinnati Reds …33- Oakland Athletics…34- Milwaukee Brewers …35- Minnesota Twins …36- Miami Marlins.
          It would appear the only teams with a shot at playoff contention before this season starts would be the Marlins….perhaps the Rays, but they are not favored to finish high in their respective divisions. Most are in their respective rebuild modes.
          That will make trading the six players more difficult as these teams may not want to trade with the Phillies since they have no need for the Phillies players come July.

      1. I totally agree Romus, but I think those trades for picks are going to be a little tough. How many teams picking in the comp rounds will be contending and willing to give up their picks?
        COMP A
        31. Rays
        32. Reds
        33. A’s
        34. Brewers
        35. Twins
        36. Marlins

        COMP B
        68. Diamondbacks
        69. Padres
        70. Rockies
        71. Indians
        72. Pirates
        73. Royals
        74. Orioles
        75. Astros

        I think we can safely assume nobody from Comp A will be willing to take a two-month rental for their pick. Maybe there’s an outside chance the Marlins need to make a move. And I’d love to trade with the “genius” Billy Beane, he loves giving up a lot. But for the most part, I don’t see a match for the first set.

        Comp B might yield a potential partner. Rockies might be knocking in the door and get desperate for a chance at playoffs. Indians should be willing to deal. The Astros too. The Orioles miiiiight be hovering around a playoff spot.

        The Phillies have yet to try this move, while the Braves have done so a few times and they are in a similar position, especially with Dickey and Colon on one-year deals.

        So while I’m not holding my breath, I’d like to see the Phillies employ all three strategies for this deadline. Pick up some extra international money, maybe snag another team’s draft pick and trade for some talent in return.

        1. AndrewR…..even the approx slot money for a Round B pick would be ideal in a trade scenario:

          1. Best case scenario … Miami starts the season with bats on fire and they struggle (once again) on the mound. They stay above .500 for the first two months of the season. A package of Hellickson and Buccholtz (Phillies eating their salaries) should net the Marlins #36 pick and international slot dollars. Miami has no history of spending big in the international market market, anyway.
            If the Marlins start the season slowly, then the teams with competitive balance picks after the second round would be my trade targets. Baltimore makes the most sense. Colorado, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Houston are also possibilities. If Hellboy and Buccholtz are both pitching well, maybe you can sell them separately for two comp B picks.
            I like the idea of adding draft picks and international money because the Phillies already are headed towards a 40 man roster crunch. These deals would have to be made before June 12th (the beginning of the rule 4 draft).

      2. Comp picks could not be traded last summer due to the uncertainty with the new CBA, they were actually awarded until this winter.

  6. On the near trade of Hellickson – this is what happens when you hold out to the very last few hours to make a trade – you might get caught with your pants down. I’m not saying they made a mistake, just that it’s an established risk of proceeding like that. That’s life in the big city, folks. It’s not a huge deal – Hellickson can be traded this year if he’s doing well. If not, it’s one and done.

    1. Catch – while I don’t disagree, I also realize that it was appearing more and more likely that Hellickson would be one of the top FAs available in a historically bad free agent class for SPs. I still think Hellickson lands a 3-yr deal had he rejected, but certainly at a much lower AAS than the QO equivalent. Still, a guarantee of $30-40mm isgreater than a guarantee of $18mm.

      From Hellickson’s point of view, it must be nice to have ‘rolled the dice’ on a lengthier contract at the same time putting a $18mm guarantee in his back pocket. That’s a fortunate position to be in

      1. Yeah, I wasn’t critical of them for trying to maximize the return for Hellickson – stuff like that happens. As for the free agent signing, I was one of the people on this site (we were the minority) saying that I thought there was a good chance Hellickson would take the QO, in fact, I thought it was more likely than not since I didn’t see the AAV of a longer term deal coming close to the QO money. But I’m not critical of them for this either – he’s a nice guy to have around and he still has trade value. In fact, if he pitches well he might have more trade value than last year since I think some GMs viewed his season to be an aberration. If he pitches well this year, they probably won’t view this to be an exception. Honestly, some teams made a mistake not trading for him – he’s not a sexy pitcher, but he’s nice and consistent and on a good hitting team he could win a lot of games.

        1. It must have been only you and I than bc I def don’t remember anyone saying he was going to accept. However I just didn’t see why he wouldn’t accept, to me it made so much more sense to him to accept than decline. Also it’s hard to critize bc even tho we know a little bit, Im sure we don’t know 97% of what actually went down.

  7. Has anyone taken notice that 18 of the first 24 games are against the NL East? Also with Freddy in the WBC we should get plenty of JP in the month of March.

    Can’t wait!

  8. Hellboy is also bummed with what happened. If he was traded to the MIA, then he is not qualified for QO and teams will sign him into multi-year contract considering his age. The attached draft pick is what drove Hellboy’s market value down this off season.

    As for the Phils, they just need to negotiate for the best value they can get from Hellboy. Sam McWilliams cost the Phils to acquire Hellboy, so it’s not a high price to recover. In fact, even if they don’t get anything from Hellboy, the IP pitched and stabilizing the young pitching stuff is already a good return from what the Phils gave up.

    1. McWilliams is gone – they can’t measure trade value going backwards especially since he gave them quite a bit of value by pitching well. I think they are just going to see what’s out there at the trade deadline.

      1. @catch – on “they can’t measure trade value going backwards” – this is common sense. I throw in McWilliams just to give a baseline on how Klentak measure the trade value of Hellboy going forward because I think Klentak tried to outsmart himself last year (which he has a sound basis) in dealing Hellboy.

        Recouping value when giving up asset is a prudent practice of a successful business (or teams) and a rebuilding team like the Phils following this concept to the so most of their moves are predicated on adding value. While the McWilliams trade is already historical, the Phils did gave up something of value (a high risk potential #4/#5 starter in McWilliams) to acquire Hellboy. If they can get something of similar value, the Phils should just pull the trigger and move on in developing the younger arms.

        1. But my point was they recouped the value (or most of the value) last year when he pitched to a 3 WAR. That alone was probably worth the trade. If he pitches even okay this year, they will probably get back something that is worth more than McWilliams was worth when they made that trade.

          1. @catch – i’m not sure if you even read my whole post before you react, but your point is basically the gist of what I said.

            “In fact, even if they don’t get anything from Hellboy, the IP pitched and stabilizing the young pitching stuff is already a good return from what the Phils gave up.”

        2. So you give up a low chance for a 4/5 starter in return for a 4th starter for now 2 years? Sounds good to me.

          1. Hellickson was a satisfactory “3” last year – he outperformed expectations and stabilized the rotation.

          2. @rei – that’s correct. that’s what catch and i are trying to say. i think Klentak see an opportunity to really cash in from Hellboy last year. With a thin SP market and Boras effect, the chance of Hellboy not signing a QO (which gives the Phils a comp pick) is really good. I think the potential value of the comp pick is Klentak’s baseline in negotiating for a Hellboy trade last year. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned.

            I’m with Hinkie and Romus to send Hellboy and plus (i.e. Buchholz) to MIA (or any team) for comp pick and/or international $$.

      1. @romus – where do you think McWilliams will land in this year’s poll/ranking? I can see him in Top 35-40 range.

        the point of my post (which catch misunderstood) is basically saying that if the Phils can get (a) prospect(s) that a) will rank in their 30-40; and b) same potential as McWilliams, they should just pull the trigger and move on.

        I’m not saying that the Phils should not explore all trade scenarios, but the Phils should just not try to be overly greedy (and hold Hellbody to the last minute) considering that Hellboy is not in their future plans.

        1. KuKo… are spot on….he would be in the 30s somewhere near 40.
          As for Hellickson or any of the other four or five tradeable-chips they acquired recently… stance has always been, try to get a pick Round A or B, and more international money…and do it early on in the deadline process.

          1. I think it will be much more difficult to trade for international money due to the new restrictions. Teams will covet that money.
            However, a few teams may be locked out for a year or two leaving some options for Phillies.
            I doubt many teams will give up a pick for average starters but maybe Phillies can sweeten the deal with a fringe youngster.

            1. Agree…that is what Ruben did in 2015 with the two A level pitchers he sent to the D-Backs.
              As for the teams who would be willing to part with money….ten teams are currently unable to sign any player subject to the pools for more than $300,000.
              Now those teams—including the Cubs, Dodgers and Yankee and the Angels, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Giants, Rays and Royals are the other teams currently under the $300,000. Also the Red Sox, are banned from signing international players during the current 2016-17 signing period until July 2.
              So the Phillies could deal with some of those teams for one of their four slot international monies.

    1. Jeanmar Gomez and Freddy Galvis also playing for Venezuela and Michael Saunders for Canada, Jorge Alfaro for Colombia, Nick Fanti for Italy.

  9. Jim, I read that Roman Quinn and Doobie have been down there for 2 weeks already working with Matt Stairs. Have you been able to see them? Are any of the facilities open before the official start of ST to the public?

  10. I’ve been in ClearH2O for 2 weeks and have talked to a few scouts while watching some workouts, and here are some things I’ve seen/heard:

    1 Phils are looking at 3 high profile, young big leaguers and dealing 3-4 prospects for one. At this time, nothing is imminent, but Phils trying hard to land OF or 1B or SP prospect. All 3 teams are AL teams

    2 Several players look different – Tocci more muscular and Quinn in better shape in terms of mobility (scout predicted 500+ ABs for him this year)

    3 Bucholz here throwing early, FB looks like a changeup (yikes)

    4 Scout believes Galvis and Cesar progress is so significant that Phils will consider moving JP in trade (found this shocking and I disagree)

    1. Mike,

      Thanks for the report. Seems a number of guys are reported bigger and stronger: Tocci, Crawford, Pullin, Moniak. Maybe they’ll all generate more power than has been expected in the past.

        1. Romus,

          I did not see a report that his physique had changed, but did see a report that he finally hit the weights this past winter, something he apparently gave low priority to in previous off-seasons.

  11. Help me out here, gentlemen. I’m of a double mind when it comes to the value of keeping your top prospects vs trading a package of them to acquire bona-fide big league talent.

    Mike’s hearsay above (whether it’s well based or not) stirs the conversation. Now the only guy I’m trading my top prospects for probably isn’t available anyway. But as deep as we supposedly are, can we overvalue our maybes and hopefully’s? I know there’s two schools of thought here. I’m just not sure one side carries more proof until the rings are handed out. All the same, it’s a fun debate.

    1. I’d be really surprised to hear a scout say Freddy means JP is expendable in fact you might have to give me CPR afterwards.

      1. In workouts, I’m sure Freddy and Cesar look impressive, but the organization knows that JP is a potential franchise player. It’s always possible for any player to be traded, but I cannot see JP being traded now because Freddy and Cesar have finally nailed down their slots. And in any event, Cesar is not blocking JP.

        Freddy’s problem isn’t fielding and it isn’t power. It’s hit tool and plate discipline – you’re not going to see those things in batting practice.

        Cesar’s issues are power and on-the-field judgment (he fields fine, has good plate discipline and a good hit tool). The judgment we won’t know about until the season gets underway. I suppose it’s possible for a scout to see the increased power – but I don’t know if that’s what impressed the scout.

        So, when you hear a comment like the one that is attributed to the scout you know why scouts don’t make front office decisions. I wouldn’t give it any weight.

    2. If both Freddy and Cesar make good progress — that’s should be a good bonus for the Phils since they can get more value from them. At least one of Freddy or Cesar will be traded to give way to JPC. Unlike Freddy and Cesar, JPC doesn’t have a big red flag written over him so I’m not sure why the Phils will easily let go of a legit top prospect unless they are targeting a real stud like Machado and Trout.

      I acknowledge our own bias towards the Phils prospects. Despite of the struggle in AAA in 2016, JPC is almost a consensus Top 10-20 prospect in all MLB and we already followed him for 3 yrs + now that we should know the real facts vs alternative facts.

  12. Only reason to move JPC would be as part of a package that returns a YOUNG, front-line MLB level player. The Scouts comment about Galvis/Hernandez would simply mean that they think they those guys are good enough to make the trade possible.

    Personally, I doubt that JPC would/will be traded…

    1. Exactly. A young, front-line player, or TWO or more younger minor leaguers, each with the clear potential to be cornerstone players.

      But I don’t see that happening. I think J.P. is going to stay right where he is and that, in the long run, we will be very happy about that.

  13. Though Andrew Pullin will likely start at Reading this year, Jim Salisbury’s article in today’s BA says hitting coach Matt Stairs loves him. Gonna be really interesting following all the outfielders from top to bottom in this organization.

    1. 8mark……if you could compare Pullin’s basic hit tool to Nick Williams, I tend to lean that Pullin has a better grasp to it Less swing and miss and does have better BB metrics. Obviously he does not have the physical raw tools that Williams’ possesses, but at the plate he seems to be able to hold his own with him.
      I am interested in seeing how Pullin will eventually react to AAA level pitching.

  14. Plus I recall reading that his upper body has filled out, Romus. That’s the best news I’m hearing, that some young kids are arriving beefed up.

  15. The system has about 50 prospects that would have been Top 25 a few years ago. Part of the rebuild is going to include the trade of some of them to get a single better prospect. Who does the scouting of other teams’ prospects in the organization? I know Joe Jordan is in charge, but who are the AL and NL scouts responsible for reports on potential targets, like there is at the Major League level?

    1. Joe Jordan is the Director, Player Development. I don’t think he would be involved in scouting other organizations’ prospects. I think it would fall under Mike Ondo’s purview. He’s the Director, Professional Scouting. Gordon Lakey is the Director of Major League Scouting which I think would entail scouting major league teams. Sal Agostinelli is the Director, International Scouting. And Johnny Almaraz is the Director, Amateur Scouting.

      1. Chris Cashman,
        …..if it comes to metrics, he may do what matt13 is asking as the advanced analytics scouting guru.

  16. Jim Bowden (ESPN) has handed out his offseason grades for each team. He gives the Phillies a C

    Philadelphia Phillies — Grade: C

    Offseason goals: Time, patience, discipline and setup relief

    Key acquisitions to date: Clay Buchholz, Joaquin Benoit, Howie Kendrick, Michael Saunders, Ryan Hanigan, Bryan Holaday, Cesar Ramos

    The Phillies have shown great discipline by not getting involved in free agency and not trying to win before their time. They brought in several veteran players this offseason who are all signed to short-term deals and talented enough to help them get some wins. It also gives them trade bait for prospects come July.

    The best moves were trading for Red Sox starter Buchholz (a deal in which they gave up a non-prospect), signing free agent Benoit, who will probably close for them, and trading utility players for Kendrick, who will improve their offensive production from left field. The downside to their offseason is the Phillies didn’t acquire any top prospects for their future.

    BTW … The Phillies received the lowest grade in the NL East:
    Braves & Mets …B
    Marlins … B-
    Nationals … C+

    1. By whatever standards Bowden grades a team, that’s up to him. I disagree, however, that the Phillies did the least within the division to improve the organization. We didn’t acquire prospects? Is he kidding? We’re trying to figure how to keep the ones we have.

    2. “The downside to their offseason is the Phillies didn’t acquire any top prospects for their future.” — Jim Bowden… Jim got the goal right, but his conclusion is not related to that goal. Example of another lazy reporting with lack of substance.

      Teams doesn’t easily give up top prospects unless they’re getting a young established stud (i.e. Chris Sale). Teams might over reach (i.e. HOU for Giles, ARI for Shelby, WAS for Eaton) but this more of the exception and not the norm. I’m pretty sure that the Phils will be happy to receive any top prospect, but the reality is, they don’t have any tradeable assets that can command that kind of haul unless they will let go of their young core which is counter-productive in what their doing.

  17. They deserve a B, even by Bowden’s own words. And, they certainly did not do the least among the NL East. I can’t wait until the Ps and Cs report because I am reading too many national articles. It is time to see these guys show us something.

    1. Wes….thanks for this.
      He really soured on Nick Williams….down to 13.
      And must really like Brito at 14.

    2. Excellent list, not withstanding Williams at 13 and Randolph at 20?!?! Not that he’s far off on that assessment right now but jeez! CRan HAS to rake this year or he’ll drop much further. El.Garcia and Brito in top 14 and Arano at 22. That’s more like it.

      1. We can only hope that winter and intensive coaching in ST fix WIlliams. The WIlliams of the last 6 weeks of 2016 was not even a top 30 prospect. The start-of-season Williams was a top 10 prospect.

        Randolph earned his 20 with a poor, injury-riddled season and the news that he is limited to LF and not expected to be a plus defensive LF. He needs to be the OBP machine which he was in 2015 AND make himself a plus defensive LF in order to be a top 10 prospect. In two seasons he has shown that he is neither a power guy nor a base-stealing threat. That’s a tough combo for a LF in an organization with a ton of prospects who are LF/1B/DH only.

        1. That’s what I don’t understand about people ranking Randolph. I love kids with hit tool, but his profile is so bad in LF that unless he takes a huge step forward with defense and power, he won’t be that worthwhile.

    3. It’s interesting that Andrew Pullin is getting a lot of attention from all sources. He could easily be our breakout player of the year. Too bad he could not master second – damn he’d fit in well there with his offensive game.

      1. When you start hearing/reading credible voices, you take notice. Didn’t think much of Pullin up until recently. Now he’s among the most intriguing prospects near the big league level.

  18. Todd Zolecki was on 94WIP today and proposed that if we get 3 of our top position player prospects (ala Rollins, Utley, and Howard) to become star players, (not to mention dipping into the upcoming FA pool) that should make us a successful major league team. Any thoughts?

    1. 8mark…the critical positions that successful teams seem to have are all or three of shortstop, catcher, 2nd base and CF….up the middle.
      The Phillies have their best three positional prospects at three critical positions. The three possess plus defensive skills and two of the three have plus hit tools (JPC and Moniak) with Alfaro having the power tool.
      So I assume that may be part of what he is referring to.
      And with Herrera there for the foreseeable future until Moniak is ready, that is one position that has a comfort of reliability already.

      1. We could easily eventually have 3 stars, with JP, Odubel, Franco, Alfaro, or one of the more risky guys like Cozens, Williams and Hoskins.

        Not only that, but Quinn, Galvis, and Rupp make quality backups and role players.

        As for Longenhagen’s prospects, I don’t think anything is far out of the ordinary besides Elniery. And you can’t accuse him of bias because of the statistical method he employs. I was hoping we would have more the 3 >45 players, but alas.

  19. Romus, I couldn’t agree more regarding up the middle. Corner positions should offer some power but yes, the spine of the lineup is critical for a contending ball club. 2b is also looking pretty healthy with Cesar, Kingery, and Brito down the road.

  20. I also have not given up on Galvis. If Bowa can work some magic and teach Freddy some pitch recognition skills, like he did with Cesar, then Galvis’ glove and baseball instincts can make him a pretty good 2B. I know that is a big if, but he is a Gold Glove player. Maybe, Cesar’s ability to learn to run the bases and develop baseball instincts is as probable as Freddy growing his OBP?

  21. Baseball America out today with their top 100:

    12 JP Crawford
    17 Mickey Moniak (encouraging)
    41 Jorge Alfaro (very encouraging)
    80 Sixto Sanchez (extremely encouraging)

      1. Sixto rated ahead of Franklyn Kilome is a bit of a stunner for me.
        With only pitching in the GCL with restricted innings no less.
        He is really a polarizing prospect for the national pub guys.
        The seven BA guys really like him, then KLaw has doubts about his secondary stuff.
        Whereas Fansgraph Eric Longenhagen really likes him and Medina higher than all other pitchers in the system.

    1. Kevin Maitan at 77…..head scratcher for me, since he has a lot of talent but has not seen one pitch of professional ball yet, unless you count fall instructs for the Braves..

      1. Blake Rutherford at #45. Many thought his hit tool alone had him higher in the draft than Mickey Mo. Says a lot about how much Moniak is thought of now. Groome is #43.

        1. Yes, the three best HS hitters from Calif. in the draft were Moniak, Rutherford and Josh Stephen. Phillies were able to land two .

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