Open Discussion: Week of September 17th

This week the Phillies posted a 4-2 record.  They swept a three-game series from the Miami Marlins but dropped two of three against the Oakland Athletics.  They have a 58-91 record and a .369 PCT.  They are no longer the worst team in baseball.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in town for a four-game series and then the Phillies go on their final road trip, three games in Atlanta.  They return to CBP to close out the season with two, three-game series against the Nationals and Mets.

The Phillies have been officially eliminated from both the division and wild card races.  It is still possible but not likely that they finish above fifth place in the division. The Phillies young line up has been more than competitive this month, and they have moved out of the basement in the overall race.  The San Francisco Giants have played badly for most of the season, have finally overtaken the Phillies, and seem a lock to lose one hundred games.  The same cannot be said about the Phillies.  They play nine of their remaining 13 games against divisional opponents.  Weak divisional foes may be their biggest obstacle to the 1:1 pick in the 2018 draft.

Now, the race we still have a chance to win –

  • the Giants are 58-93 (.384) and are now the worst team in the majors,
  • the Phillies are 1.0 game back (with 91 losses, and 2 games in hand),
  • the White Sox (60-89, .403) are 3.0 games back (2.0 behind the Phillies),
  • the Tigers (62-87, .416) are 5.0 games back (4.0 behind the Phillies),
  • with 13 games left, the Mets, Reds, Padres, and A’s are probably out of the race. 

Rhys Hoskins, Rookie of the Year?

The Phillies rookie, first baseman has had quite an impressive start to his major league career.  For a while there, he was being compared to some of the greatest players in baseball history as he set records for the quickest to reach 10, 11, 12, …, 18 HRs in history.  I even heard him mentioned in the same breath with the immortal Ted Williams for most HRs by a rookie after August 1st, or some such #fakerecord.

So, what about Rookie of the Year?  Well Hoskins has played in just 37 games.  He has caught everyone’s attention with his torrid start.  Even after an 0-11 in the A’s series, Hoskins is slashing .287/.415/.736/1.152 with 18 HR and 39 RBI in 129 AB (159 PA).  If he plays the remaining 13 games, Hoskins will have played in only 50 games.  He is projected to finish with a .277/.397/.667/1.064, 21 HR and 48 RBI in 177 AB.

Not enough, right?  Well, in 1959, Willie McCovey won the National League Rookie of the Year Award and only played in 52 games.  He slashed .354/.429/.656/1.085 with 13 HR and 38 RBI in 192 AB (219 PA).  He had a 3.1 WAR.

He was the unanimous selection receiving all 24 votes.  Other players who lost their rookie status that year included Bob Gibson, Jim Perry, Vada Pinson, Maury Wills, Johnny Callison, Ron Fairly, Bobby Allison (the AL ROY), and Don Demeter.

Of course, the competition has something to do with who wins the award.  McCovey’s stiffest competition probably came from the Reds’ Vada Pinson.  Hoskins is up against Cody Belinger’s 38 HR and Jose Martinez’ balanced slash.

I’m not advocating that Hoskins should or will win the award.  But, there seems to be precedent for him to garner a few votes.  Nick Williams is deserving of some consideration, too.

Top 30 Poll

You can start e-mailing your top 30 prospect rankings to me at prospectpoll@yahoo.com.

The “Best of Polls” will start in a day or two.

Key dates remaining:

  • The end of the regular season and end of the championship season trigger dates for transactions.  I’ll begin posting them next week.
  • December 10-14th – Winter Meetings in Orlando
  • December 14th – Rule 5 Draft

Last Week’s Transactions: 

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

 

360 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of September 17th

  1. I started my top 30 poll by downloading the stats from baseball-reference.com. I put some criteria in about age and also sort out the LA leagues. I’ll sort those LA leagues a little later to see if anyone deserves top 30 consideration and in past years the answer was no. I also try to determine who should have major league status. Hoskins and Williams are now major leaguers. They’re out of minor league consideration for me. Crawford is not quite there yet. Alfaro will be just under 130 major league ABs so he’s still in the top 30 consideration.

    My next step for hitters is to sort best OPS. Interestingly, Jhailyn Ortiz wins the award for top OPS guy this year with a .961 and he’s 18 yo. Kingery was right there with him and an .889 OPS. He’s 23 yo. I like to line them up based on OPS and see how everyone stacks up. Some move out of top 10 consideration like Walding. Walding has the 4th best OPS but with a .242 BA so he drops down the list considerably. He hasn’t been included in my list the last few years so when I get to my last 5 for the top 30 list, I’ll bring him back in for consideration. Darick Hall is 3rd on the list and I have a soft spot from him. He won’t be in my top 10 but he’ll start to enter consideration after that.

    I’ve downloaded pitching data too and I’ll use similar rules for them. I’ll try and rate them for top 30 consideration and then eventually merge the two lists into one top 30.

      1. 8mark…why not Alfaro?
        Right now Alfaro has less than 130 ABs in the majors and he may not get that in the next weeks since he is currently at 98.

        1. The criteria for rookie/prospect status is 130 plate appearances, not at bats.

          I recommend including Alfaro. He has 104 PA. If he reaches 130 PA by the end of the season (which is by no means a given under Mackinon), I’ll just drop him from the prospect list, and everybody will move up one.

          He has 13 games to get another 26 PA.

        2. Romus, I get the numbers. My point is he’s not going to be DFA’d back to the minors (thus resuming his minor league career as a prospect) without another club grabbing him off the waiver wire. My assumption is that the polls regard minor league players with options remaining.

      2. I got through my merged top 30 and realized I didn’t include Alfaro. I’d like to leave him out and maybe I’ll just say he has Major League standing.

  2. As of today, the Phillies max possible win total in 71. This means that the Phillies are guaranteed to pick no lower than 12th in next year’s draft.

    Realistically, they won’t end up with less than the 4th pick with SF (58 wins), CWS (60 wins), and Det (62 wins) as the only real contenders for worst record..

    1. My sense is they probably pick 2nd or 3d, most likely 3rd (call it a hunch), which is fine.

      This is the first offseason that the GM and President (let’s all be honest, I think Klentak and MacPhail work as a team with MacPhail exercising heavy veto rights, and Klentak probably taking general instruction as to goals and doing all the leg work and making proposals) must really figure out what to do other than assemble talent and acquire some expiring, no long-term-risk contracts. They will have to make decisions and hopefully they will do a lot better than Saunders and Buchholz who were among the most dreadful acquisitions I can recall (right up there with Adam Eaton, Danny Tartabull and Lance Parrish). While it’s true that neither busted signing really hurt the team, it raises serious questions about the team’s talent evaluation skills. Although, admittedly, Neshek and Kendrick were solid or better acquisitions, Saunders and Buchholz were the headliners.

    2. Still at 4th or 3rd the money and selections should be good.
      The top ten draft allocation bonus money-2017 Rule 4 draft
      I assume it will go up a little.
      1. $7.8M
      2. $7.2M
      3 . $6.7M
      4. $6.2M
      5. $5.7M
      6. $5.3M
      7. $5.0M
      8. $4.8M
      9. $4.6M
      10. $4.4M

      Bonus Pool:
      $14,156,800
      $13,658,400
      $12,528,100
      $11,839,000
      $11,407,500
      $10,447,700
      $10,135,900
      $9,905,900
      $9,881,200
      $9,375,500

    3. The Phillies actually still hold their draft selection fate in their own hands. They trail the Giants by one game. They have played two games fewer than SF. They’ll make up those games this week (tonight and Thursday). If the Phillies lose both of those make up games, they’ll have the same record as the Giants. Because the Phillies own the tie-breaker with SF, they would retake the lead for the 1-1 pick.
      My prediction: the Phillies will be back in the lead for the 1-1 pick by Thursday night. This race will come down to the final weekend. Phillies host the Mets, while the Giants are home against the Padres.

      1. You do know the Phillies play the braves ,wash , then the Mets. SF play Colardo, LA, then Zona yes the San Diego. The Phillies play to more games then SF , 13 to 11.SF div record 23 and 42 . The Phillies div record 34 and 33.

    4. Romus … the selection will be really good. The difference in total pool money will probably only be 700-thousand dollars. However, the new draft slot allotments are now closer in value. In 2016, the Phillies 1-1 pick was worth 9 million dollars; the Reds 1-2 pick was worth 7.75. As you posted above, the difference between those picks has now narrowed by more than half. If the 2017 draft is any indication, the new slotting numbers have made it harder for teams to save money with their early pick. Of the top eight drafting teams, only the Twins (owners of the 1-1 pick) got their selection (Royce Lewis) inked for below slot money. Picks 1-2 through 1-8 signed for full slot or more than full slot. Minnesota used the one million dollars they saved on Royce Lewis to draft and sign Blayne Enlow (one of the best HS pitchers in the draft) for well above over-slot money in the third round. So … while coming up short in the race for the 1-1 pick won’t cost the Phillies a great prospect in the first round, it probably will cost them a really good prospect later in the draft.

  3. Bellinger has the ROY all locked up. Short of Hoskins hitting 12 or 13 homers in his last 13 games, I don’t see any way he could pass Bellinger, but that we’re even having this conversation given how well Bellinger has done and how briefly Hoskins has been in the majors, is pretty amazing.

    1. Hard to believe all the rookie power guys that came on the scene this year….Bellinger, Judge, Hoskins, Olson of the As, and even Nick Williams, and to some degree Nicky Delmomnico (CWS).
      I do not think Gallo qualifies for rookie this year.
      Perhaps Cozens’ name will be on a list like that in 2018.

        1. I really don’t think the ball is juiced – I think players are just bigger and stronger and are selling out for homers (almost to the point where it is counterproductive – like with the Orioles). Guys like Aaron Judge don’t need to do much to hit a baseball out of a stadium.

  4. I am a big JP Crawford fan. But I would shop him in the off season to see if we could get a young, good SP in return. Someone like Archer or Cole. I would be fine with Freddy at short.

    I think JP is a better player, but we need pitching badly.

    1. My concern with keeping Freddy….is the manager, if Mack continues on for the foreseeable future.
      He will bat him second in the lineup….I can live with Freddy in the 8-hole, not in the 2.

    2. I think, in the long run, we would likely regret that.

      J.P. is going to churn out 3-5 WAR output year after year after year for like 15 years – there’s a ton of value in that. You get a pitcher and he probably won’t give you that much value over time and, even if he does, he’s more likely to get injured.

      You don’t get cornerstone players that frequently, so when you do, I think you have to bite the bullet on the immediately need and hold on for dear life.

      1. I meant to say that even if the pitcher gives you that value for the short run, he’s more likely to get injured.

        The more I think about this, the more clear it becomes that the guy who provides value who should be surrendered is Cesar. And I really like Cesar. He’s good and cost-controlled, so I think he would generate interest, but I don’t think there’s a great chance that he becomes a star, so I’m okay with moving on from him IF the return value is fair. Other players that could be flipped (with varying amounts of value) are Altherr, Galvis, Rupp, Joseph, Alfaro, Williams, Franco (unlikely because his value is too low now) and any pitcher not named Nola.

        1. sudden change of heart with Cesar? I can still remember clearly your heartfelt support for your 2B in the future. I agree with Romus and others that Cesar will not bring that much – a Beau Burrows might be a generous return. GM’s just don’t see Cesar like the way his supporters see him.

          Nola is the only untouchable (in 40-man) for me unless it’s for a Mike Trout. And Doobie probably is the best trade asset that can bring back a young MLB stud or some high end prospects.

          1. Not really. I always said that I thought Kingery was the second baseman of the future. My concern was selling low on him. There’s no way I just move him to move him – he’s way too good for that. As for how he’s perceived by other GMs, I suppose we will all find out.

            1. market dictates the trade value that’s how CWS capitalized on their trade assets and the NYY for the pen arms last year. LAD is the team that wouldn’t mind giving up talent for a position of need. I’m not sure why they pass on Cesar when looking for their 2B despite of the overflowing WAR arguments (that you keep on highlighting) that supports Cesar.

              i don’t remember you saying the Kingery is the future 2B in one of our discussions in the past.

            2. Yeah, I did. I can find it if you want. I think I called him the face of the franchise for the next decade or something like that (and I’ve been nuts about him since like ST), so I wasn’t vague about my feelings on him and haven’t been at any point during the year.

    3. A wise trade normally operates in a position of strength address a position of need. The Phils biggest strength right now is their financial capability and super low payroll commitment. The Phils should just go after a legitimate MLB in Darvish or Lynn and a young arm with superstar potential Otani. I understand that the Phils will be in a tough competition with Otani, but they can be major players with Darvish and Lynn. The Phils has been absorbing “dead $$” with no long term gain, why not just start using $$ for real MLB players.

      And JPC will not bring a Cole or Archer type — any GM will ask for you a young arm like Sixto to starting talking about trading their young and controllable TOR arm. Better wait a year.

      1. KuKo … yesterday, I mentioned 8mark probably posted the best idea for winning the Shohei Otani Sweepstakes. What could the Phillies offer that no other MLB team could? The answer: the ability to play with his idol Yu Darvish. If the Phillies did some investigating and discovered playing with Darvish is a really big deal for Otani … then why not offer Darvish a ridiculous amount of money on a short term deal. I’m talking 3 years @ 135 million dollars. If ManKlentak were confident that Darvish would seal the deal with Otani, then you would really be getting two TOR starters for 45 million dollars per year (averages 22.5 million per pitcher). That is really good value !!! Sign Darvish and hire Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto as Director Of Clubhouse Food Services. These are steps that might move the Phillies right to the front of the Shohei Otani destination list. You’d run out a rotation of Darvish, Otani, Nola, Eickhoff, and Velasquez or a LHP you acquire in a Cesar Hernandez trade. I’d go hard after Tyler Skaggs. Offer Hernandez, Roman Quinn, and a pitcher (maybe Lively, Jose Taveras, or Elniery Garcia) for Skaggs and 18 YO RHP Jose Soriano.

        1. @HInkie – good idea and I will co-sigh with that. I always agree with you except with your overly obsession with comp picks. The Phils should even consider opening a Japanese restobar in CBP (which I will love since I love sushi and sashimi) and have Otani pinch hit and play LF as long as he is performing also as a batter.

          1. KuKo … I’d be at the new CBP Japanese restobar for every Darvish and Otani start. I love me some shrimp tempura roll.
            Also, don’t sell those comp picks short (especially for a loaded 2018 draft). They not only mean more (pick your own) prospects, but they come with additional pool money.

            1. Hinkie – I’m not selling the comp picks short. Johhny A. has his own method of ranking and drafting his players. When you say load, i assume it’s loaded with high risk high upside talent. That’s not Johnny A.’s MO.

            2. and it’s not really the comp picks that i detest, it’s the $$ that they need to absorb that comes with it. I think the Phils need to allocate $$ to hire the best coaches available, if not, use those $$ in get more lottery picks in the international market.

            3. KukO…monies for amateur talent acquisition and monies for operational expenses may come out of different pots. So the allocation money from the comp picks or the int’l spending may not be affected by an increase in scouting.
              Look at the new DR academy…..that was costly might did not interfere i their drafting or int’l signings…in fact they signed over 60 last year to help fill the 88 available slots in the academy….that was their highest signed int’l number.

            4. @romus – i understand that the $$ comes from different pot but they will be coming from the same “Master Budget” — the owners also watch the bottom line and cash flows otherwise the business will cease to exist, so adherence to this Master Budget is crucial.

              My point is, rather than allocating $$ in dead money (salary absorbed), management can just re-align these $$ to other areas of need like scouting, player development, infrastructure, personnel (coaches, analytics) and additional talent (small $$ signings in IFA where SA is making good success).

              the Phils were able to re-align some of their costs savings from contract commitments (which become marginal in years to come) to the IFA market (thus the highest number of signings), DR academy and building their analytics team. This is an example of re-aligning costs within the Master Budget.

              That’s why I don’t make send of Hinkie’s recommendation of absorbing Trumbo’s contract for a comp pick. With reduced revenue stream from the past years (due to non-winning), the Master Budget is lower compared to the glory years of 2007-2011.

              You are just looking at the pot but these costs are part of a bigger picture in a running a business like a baseball club.

      2. I’m with you on Ohtani, Kuko.

        My plan would be to overpay Darvish (say short term 3 year deal with a vested option year, salary base of $100M) in order to lure Ohtani. His first 2 years are critical, but when he becomes a FA at age 25 in 2019, this club should be playoff contenders. (Hey, we have to have a plan, right?) So, let’s make Charlie Manuel our liaison to Ohtani’s camp – why not? He speaks Japanese better than he does English. And finally take Hinkie’s brilliant idea by making that local restaurant owner – Morimoto(?) – as clubhouse chef. (Mmmm, I can taste the tuna roll already.)

        Now, even if we only get one of EITHER Darvish OR Ohtani, then with Nola as our #2, we can manage a trade package for a legit #3 much more easily. Give Eickhoff another year to rebound as #4 and let our dirty dozen battle it out for #5.

        1. …and yes, if we have to tell him he can play LF (or DH in interleague road games), so be it. Desperate times….

          1. 8mark…….as for Otani and his desire to bat as a positional player while also in the pitching rotation, a poster from another site who lives in Japan posted the following:
            ………………………..
            “I keep hearing people talk as if Otani hits every day he isn’t on the mound, but that isn’t the case, and never has been. Japanese teams play a fixed six-game-a-week schedule, and pitchers start one game a week in a six-man rotation. Otani has had six days in-between starts, and he usually plays DH in 2-3 of those games. Last year was the heaviest workload of his career (104 games out of 144 scheduled), and his weekly schedule was usually:
            SP, off day, DH, DH, DH, rest, rest, then back to the start.
            ….Three full days of rest per start, with his DHing made possible by the fact that he only pitched every seventh day. And it’s worth noting that after that workload, he was injured most of this season. People talk as if he DHs every game he doesn’t start, but that’s never been the case.”

    4. Since the Phils remain two or three years away from being a good team, regardless of what they do this off-season, I would continue to focus on building the team’s young talent for the next couple of years. Of course, I would try to nab one of the big-name free agents, but, IMO, that effort is likely to be unsuccessful.

    5. V1, that would be one way to go. Interestingly enough, while preparing the “Best of” Polls, shortstop looks like a position of some depth in the organization. We’ve got Gamboa, Guzman, and Guthrie in the low minors. I would expect Guthrie to vault ahead of the other two being a college kid who was hampered by an injury when drafted. A couple more years of Galvis and then the next wave of SS are ready? Could happen.

      1. JP – i honestly think that the Phils (Middleton in particular) will aim to contend by 2019 (8 years after their last playoff) – and I don’t see any of the SS in low minors to be a JPC right now and join the Phillies, while a JPC in 2019 is the right fit for contending team trying to make a run. The next wave of reinforcements when the Phils will contend will be arms – with Eshelman, Kilome, Sixto and Medina already in the 40-man joining whoever is left in the rotation (most probably Nola and Eickhoff) and a to SP FA signing and one (or two) of Anderson, Dominguez, El Garica, Irvin, JoJo hopefully panning out.

        JPC’s moving up the minors level with Kingery, Hoskins, Williams and some of their REA/LHV comrades carries some “intangible” that will make this core similar to the last great Philles team.

        If the Phils really need an arm when they contend (which I believe in 2019/2020), i think it can be done by FA and developing the next wave of arms coming up in the next 2 years. I like to see the SS prospects in the low minors perform above A+ before I decide to move on from JPC.

  5. Looking at the contending teams’ remaining schedules, the Phils still have a good shot at getting the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft. I can see their losing five games against the Dodgers and Nats and three more against the Mets and Braves. Their final record would then be 63-99. That should be enough to eke out the No. 2 draft spot ahead of the Tigers and Chisox. Given their schedule, the Giants may get to the 100-loss mark. Although the Giants are the current favorite for the No. 1 spot, both the Giants and Phils have the same number of wins. For teams at the bottom, wins are hard to come by; so, there’s a reasonable chance that both teams finish with the same number of wins, which means that No. 1 goes to the Phils.

    Where my thinking falls short is that, with their current strong line-up, the Phils are no longer a terrible team. Hence, they could just as easily win seven more games and finish at 65-97. That could mean the White Sox slide to No. 2. I cannot see the Tigers winning only two more games and finishing below the Phils.

    My prediction:
    1. Giants: 62-100
    2. Phils: 63-99
    3. White Sox: 64-98
    4. Tigers: 66-96

    1. @catch – agree with you 100% although i can the 65-97 (and possible 1 more win) as the better possibility with the young guns playing almost all the remaining games.

      1. With 13 games left and nothing to gain, I’m on board with that – but I don’t think it will happen. I think they win 6 or 7 of the remaining 13 games.

      2. rocco…..isn’t important to win these ‘meaningless’ Sept games!
        Isn’t that what you said a few months ago? 🙂

  6. Early indication is that there is no can’t-miss pick in the 2018 draft.

    This may be another example of the luck not going the Phils’ way. Instead of getting a Harper and a Strasburg when we’re bad, we end up with Moniak and whomever.

    1. It was incredible how the Nats were able to grab generational talents with obvious 1/1 picks two years in a row. The Nats have had more than their share of good luck.

        1. Yeah, but they also lucked out.

          Got to give them a lot of credit, however, for the Murphy signing and the Turner trade.

        2. I must have missed something. How many WS trips have the Nats had? They got lucky picking #1 overall when a generational talent was available (Harper, Strasburg)

          Beyond that, they’ve had some good high picks (Rendon, Giolito maybe) and some bad ones (Detwiler, Crow, Marrero). Fans from other teams tend to notice the good ones but never remember the misses..

          1. Yeah, but they’ve been pretty unlucky. With 2-3 rounds of playoffs before the WS, it’s a lot of luck as to whether you get there. They’ve had one of the best teams in baseball for about 5 years running – let’s give credit where credit is due, as much as I hate those bastards.

            1. Well the Nats window of opportunity could be closing soon…Zimmerman had a great year, but he is closr to the end then in starting his prime.
              Strasburg turns 29 next season and is almost 1000 innings pitched since TJ surgery and seems to have so many ailments every year with DL visits, so he could iffy for the future. Scherzer is going to be 34 with over 2000 pro innings pitched and he could also fall off the cliff, ala Roy Halladay /Cliff Lee.
              And then is Murphy (FA 2019) and Werth who are aging.

            2. Oh I agree that they have been one of the best teams for the last 5 years just as the Phillies were one of the best teams for the 5 years before that but their ownership/gm were a disaster according to some.

              My only point is that too many in the Phillies fan base have problems recognizing that ever team has hits and misses. They just don’t fixate on the misses of the other teams..

  7. This is a very crucial off season for MacKlentak. They have to make some serious decisions about what the team looks like going forward. Cesar should bring back a nice return, in a perfect world, based on his ability and controllability. But, there are so many 2B choices that his return is watered down. If JP starts the year in LHV, how does that impact a return for Freddy? Isn’t it better to trade him during the Winter? Or is v1 correct, and the play is to move JP, although I would not be in favor of that. Are we looking at the Bobby Abreu situation where letting JP and Kingery take over and not care about the return in trades for Cesar or Freddy? I don’t think Middleton sees 3-4 years away as the time to move forward. I think he is ready now.

    1. matt13…when it comes to choose between JPC and Freddy…..I think the MacKlentak team eventually chooses JPC. All I have ever heard coming from Jim Salisbury…..’make no mistake JP Crawford will be driving the bus’…and he gets those subtle messages in his listening ‘between-the-lines’ and talking with Phillies personnel.

  8. I would build around Hoskins, Herrera, Hernandez, JPC, Kingery, and Nola. Another strong year out of Knapp and Williams and I’d add them to the list.

  9. Getting a young TOR always sounds nice. But looking closer, Gerrit Cole is UFA in 2020 at age of 29 yo while Archer is UFA in 2022 at age of 33. Cole fits better and the better option however the Phils will have to pay him by the time they are competing. So why not just wait until Cole is UFA in 2020?

    As for Archer, he’s 29 but with better $$ structure (which should not matter that much to the Phils). Is he the same pitcher in his 30s when the Phils start to contend?

      1. which means that the more they need to stay away from Cole via trade since Boras might make it hard for the Phils to sign Cole into an extension. If the Phils trade for Cole (which will cost them Sixto, JPC and more), it’s like shoot themselves in the foot if they will not be able to sign Cole in 2020.

        1. They would shoot themselves in the foot even if they COULD sign Cole. The package you just mentioned is a lot better than Texas received 2 years and 3 pennant chases ago, when he was a younger, better player with a long contract ahead of him. Right now, he’s a 3 and who knows if he will bounce back. I’d pass.

    1. Catch, they mean Gerritt Cole not Cole Hamels. I’m from Pittsburgh and here are my thoughts on Gerrit to Cole. The things that often separate a #1 from a #2/#3 is command and makeup. Cole has amazing stuff but he really does have the command or makeup to be the ace of true contender.

      1. “Cole has amazing stuff …BUT…. he really does have the command or makeup to be the ace of true contender.”
        …should that be AND, or did you leave out ‘not’ between ‘does’ and’ have’

  10. Would the Phils take a shot on Matt Moore, assuming the Giants are looking to get out of his contract or a James Shields? Not that I necessarily want them. I am just trying to guess at what SPs may be available, assuming the Phils do not get Arrieta or Darvish and strike out on Otani, and maybe they take on a steep contract without having to give up too much.

    1. I used to be a big fan of Matt Moore, but I saw him pitch this year and he was awful – he’s a bad deal at any price. Moore is an example of how hard it is to predict a player’s (and especially a pitcher’s) career arc. He was one of the best young arms I had seen when he came up. I was convinced he was going to be a perennial all-star and his first two years were great. Then he lost about 4-5 MPH on his FB and, well, now he’s awful. That’s why I’m awfully nervous about trading JP for a pitcher – it sounds good now, until that guy tanks and JP goes on to be the best SS in Tampa Bay’s history. No thanks.

      1. Got hurt inApril ’14, Moore tore UCL, required TJ, and miss all ’14 also e began the 15 season on the 60-day DL still recovery from TJ did not start until near all -star break in’15…has not been as consistent since the TJ

        1. It’s not just consistency. He used to light up the radar gun sitting 94-97 – how he’s just average with his velocity. He’s kind of a bum right now to be honest with you.

          1. Yeah…Brooks has him this year at 91-93T94…and has fallen as the season progressed. In ’11 he was at his highest velo at a consistent 95-97

    2. i think i read weeks ago that there’s already a mutual agreement between SF and Moore about the contract option and stay with the Giants.

      Lynn and Cobb will be my target after Otani and Darvish or possibly look at Tanaka if he opts out of his contract with NYY.

  11. If the Phils will look into a young, controllable SP – Marcus Stroman will be my target (26 yo, UFA 2021). The price will be prohibitive (so is Cole and Archer and possible others), but the Blue Jays are in situation where they need to rebuild and restock immediately to keep at par with BOS and NYY and their young studs. Getting a young TOR requires a potential TOR in return – this is the hard part, which basically means Sixto will be asked in return (although I will try to sell Kilome plus another arm like JoJo). With number of cost controlled MLB players and deep farm and ability to absorb some high $$ contracts, the Phils can probably arrange a package without giving up their core of Nola-Hoskins-Kingery-JPC and possibly Doobie.

    A trade package of Kilome, Cesar, Alfaro, Haseley and any bullpen arm TOR wants for Stroman plus Joey Bats an his $37M contract. If TOR wants another arm, I’ll offer Irvin or El Garcia – both should be up in 2018.

    1. Stroman also has very good HR rate of <1 per 9. TOR's ballpark is almost similar in size as CBP, so there should be no concerns that the <1 HR rate will be greatly affected by the ball park.

    2. Ugh. No way.

      Why, the minute the Phillies start to improve, do people want to trade away all of their long term assets and, in so doing, cannibalize the very thing the team has been building?

      I don’t get it and I don’t agree with it. At all.

      I often wonder where this mind set comes from and I think it’s the desperation mind set of the Philadelphia fan. The Philadelphia fan thinks “we never are good, so when it looks like we might be good, we need to pounce on the opportunity, push all of our chips into the middle and go for it all, the future be damned.” It’s the Ruben Amaro approach and it is extremely, extremely ill-advised.

      Take a look at the Dodgers, the Cubs and the Indians (and, heck, even the Yankees).

      Did any of those teams trade away boat loads of young prospects in order to put themselves in the position they are in today? Absolutely not. While they made trades, even while they were good, the trades were about obtaining value. In fact, while the Dodgers were pretty good, they unloaded Matt Kemp for a younger Grandal and somehow identified and acquired Justin Turner. They were always value oriented and that’s why they are sitting pretty now. The Indians are the same way – they tried to jump start their rebuild a few years ago by signing guys on 3 year contracts, but were careful not to trade away the young players they were trying to develop.

      I hope and believe that Klentak and MacPhail, halting and slow as they may seem, are much more value oriented than the posters here.

      Look, I’m not saying they shouldn’t make any trades – sometimes they are needed, even if you trade some young players. But the team always has to have a huge pipeline of talent that they use to fuel the team of the future.

    3. First, Joey Bats will get bought out and be a FA for 2018. The 2 bad contracts that the Blue Jays are desperate to give up are Tulo and Russell Martin. The problem here is that these players expect to be starters. They will not be happy being backups.

  12. I like Phils to make a 2nd look of Henderson Alvarez. Still young at 27, arb eligible (so he can be cheap), can jack up his FB to 94-95 and he has a nice CU. If only he throws from the left side, but unfortunately, he’s not.

    Alvarez can be someone that’s young (but experienced) arm that the Phils can keep, flip at the deadline or dump (since he’s expected to be cheap) with not much $$ loss.

      1. If the Phils keeps him he better hope the Phils can sign Darvish so Darvish can teach him how to strike a batter out with an eephus.

  13. I get the sense from reading the comments that some of you think that, by picking up a pitcher or two, the Phils can do some serious damage in ’18. I disagree with this sentiment.

    If all of the players doing well this year, in this the very early stage of their careers, continued their success in ’18, that’s one thing. The likelihood, however, is that some will flop in ’18 a la Franco. There are many question marks.

    Right now, the Phils should keep their powder dry. By this time next year, they will have a better sense of which players are likely to be successful over the next several years. Next off-season would be the earliest point at which the Phils should start making big moves, and that’s assuming that the team can identify a solid core of players already in the system. I maintain that, at present, we cannot assume with any degree of certainty that Hoskins, Nola, or Crawford will be a star, less so regarding the others.

    1. I can’t speak for others but from my view, adding a couple of pitchers will not make them contenders in 2018 but it will put them in place to start contending starting in 2019 with a couple of more additions.

      At the end of this season they have only 1 player under contract (Odubel for $3 million) and another $3 million due to players who were released (Harrison and Saunders). In addition, they have only a couple of additional arbitration eligible players so they are sitting on $100+ million in spendable cash. They need to start using that financial flexibility to build a competitive roster.

      This is not unlike the Nationals who overpaid for Werth while they were still in transition as a message to other FA’s like Scherzer, Span, etc. that they are ready to compete and their young core of players were almost ready.

      They are not going to build their entire pitching staff in a single season so they need to get started in 2018.

    2. 3up already sad it well. one approach is to wait until 2018-19 FA class and go full blast NYY-style signing of top FAs. The risk in this approach is that most top teams and big market teams are also preparing for that big splash and also the top FAs will most likely sign with the teams with $$ and closer to winning.

      my preferred approach is to lay down the ground work before the 2018-19 FA class. this involves creating a young core and start playing them together in the big leagues and supplement them with proven MLB talent via FA while still maintaining a deep inflow of talent from the farm.

      A young core of Nola-Hoskins-Kingery-JPC-Doobie is starting to evolve and with a stable of cost controlled complimentary players (Altherr-Williams-Arano-Morgan-Neris, etc) and near MLB ready talents (Kilome-Eshelman-Kilome-Anderson, etc) and better prospects coming from the low minors – a solid team foundation is already forming. A couple of big FA signings this offseason can set up the 2018 Phillies to be an appealing FA destination next offseason.

    3. I look at this year’s Rockies as a model for what the Phils could hope to become in ’18. Good off-season moves improve their depth up and down the lineup and improvement in the pitching make them — I’m not embarrassed to say it — a WC contender in ’18. I put forward a week or 2 ago my moves for improving pitching, adding a left handed power bat and upgrading the farm at the upper level. Face it, the NL East is not that strong below Washington and that is where the Phils play a good chunk of their schedule.

  14. You have to go after pitchers now you have Nola then that’s it . Next yr you Darvish I don’t see him leaving LA can afford anyone they want . Lynn could be had , if you can you also go after good pitching. You can always get batters .

  15. Alther a grand slam tonight off of Kershaw. Only 350+ ABs this year 17 HR 55 RBI’s. Can you imagine a full season of production in this lineup?

    Hope that a package headlined by either Doobie or Cesar can return a decent SP & they just leverage the tremendous pitching depth in the minors.

    KC & Cleveland utilized great depth in the BP to offset rotation to get to the WS.

    I believe this team can stay competitive with BP depth while developing the longer term rotation.

    This means the likes of VV, Appel, Thompson, & Efflin move to the BP, while Echelman, Pivetta, Lively, & Leiter get there shot in the rotation.

    If Kilome is lights out in Reading by mid-season & the major league rotation continues to falter, I would be in favor of a call up to the majors.

    My end of 2018 Rotation:
    Nola, Eichoff, Kilome, SP via trade, Best of Lively, Pivetta, Leiter, Thompson, Echelman

    1. This Bp was one he off the worst all year. Really it started to turn around when Milner came and Adam Morgan turnover. I mean Neris have given up 4 hr in last 5 outings. My guess next yr. Milner, Morgan, Arano, Garcia, Neris , Ramos ,Lieter Maybe Siegrist maybe 2 FA . I think Neris or Garcia are traded . I mean the Phillies claimed 3 relief pitchers traded for 3 more in minor league deals . So maybe they weren’t real happy with what they had.

  16. I think KuKo said it well. My target to contend for the playoffs is 2019. I don’t see the Phils getting everything they need in the ’18 offseason, and we are not getting FAs solely because of $. Or, at least, all that we need. I believe they start that process this year. I have no problem with a full year of Williams/Doobie/Altherr. I see a FA SP and some BP help.

    1. also, with limited contractual commitments going forward, the Phils has another advantage. so tendering a shorter term but high AAV can be appealing to some older FAs. We have to admit, known commodity (player recognition) put butts in the seats of CBP, thus, increasing revenue stream (tickets, parking, concession, TV share, etc). Higher revenue equals higher budget $$ which means more resource and capital that can be used by the FO to make the team better (i.e. signing top FAs, hiring better personnel, etc) when the time to strike is needed – 2019.

  17. SP doesnt matter if you can trade for a really good starting pitcher it doesn’t matter when. Most of the 2019 fa players might be traded at next yrs trading deadline . Phillies might have too lock horns with the Yanks, Boston, LA in trades . I mean Machado might be on the block at the trade deadline so might Harper.

  18. From MLB Trade Rumors mailbag https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/09/mlbtr-mailbag-martinez-orioles-nicasio-phillies.html :

    “Not that the Phillies will get much in return, but what type of market could they have this winter for Cameron Rupp and Tommy Joseph? — Michael H.

    Agreed that neither is going to bring them a huge return, though I think Rupp comes with quite a bit more value than Joseph. As a part-time/platoon catcher, teams could do far worse. He’s hitting .261/.387/.432 against lefties in 2017 and has a career .283/.365/.506 slash against them. He’s not a good framer, and he’s not as good at preventing steals as he once was (though some of that could be on an inexperienced Phillies rotation), but three arbitration years of a lefty-mashing catcher isn’t without value. The Rockies, Orioles, White Sox, A’s and Giants are among the teams that could conceivably poke around for backup catching help this winter.

    As for Joseph, I just don’t see much in the way of interest. His power is way down (.248 ISO in 2016, .190 in 2017), his strikeouts are up and he’s not an above-average defender at first base — his only feasible position on the diamond. That’s not to say he couldn’t end up as a bench/platoon bat in an organization that happens to like him, but it’s hard to imagine a significant trade return.”

    KuKo … I know you’ve mentioned you don’t like eating money for comp picks. The question you need to ask yourself is do you want to give ToJo away for organizational filler or do you want a real prospect(s) ? IMO, I’d rather the Phillies (with a boatload of payroll flexibility) send ToJo to the Orioles for Mark Trumbo’s bloated contract (2 years left @ 26 million dollars), a prospect ( I’d take Gray Fenter), and Baltimore’s 2018 comp A pick. The pick will land roughly at 1-38 and will come with almost 2 million dollars of slot bonus money. The player chosen with that comp pick would immediately become at least a top 15 Phillies prospect (could very well be a top 10 prospect). This deal would have to be made at the start of next season because comp picks can only be traded in season.
    This will be the Phillies last year with this kind of payroll flexibility. They’ll start spending lot’s of money next off-season. MacKlentak should have other opportunities to eat money for prospects. Because of their financial situations, the Phillies and Marlins make perfect trade partners. I’ve already suggested Edinson Volquez (out next season with TJ and owed 13 million) for Miami’s comp B pick. Also, Wei-Yin Chen, Brad Ziegler, and Trevor Rogers for Brandon Liebrandt and Jacob Waguespack.

    1. @Hinkie – we are looking at 2 different comp picks for BAL. I can see BAL trading their Comp B (similar to Matuzs trade ranging in 65-85) and not their Comp A (can you already know if they will have one this early?). If my assumption is correct (Comp B), then I’ll pass. I rather use that $27M to sign a legit MLB player this off season and starting putting the pieces together. With that Comp B pick, Johnny A. will just draft a prospect outside of Top 100 anyway. If it is Comp A, then I might reconsider.

      My approach with ToJo will be to watch and see what happens in KC and Hosmer. If they can’t sign Hosmer, then ToJo can be an appealing option for a small budget team. Ashe Russel is currently not in they Top 30 right now, that can be a decent target from KC. TB, PIT and COL can be targets too. I will not be greedy with my return with ToJo. The Phils almost written him off almost 2 years ago. I’ll take a reclamation project or a couple of A-level and below lottery picks for ToJo.

      I like the MIA approach because I think it’s doable (Comp B) although I don’t see the new management giving up their best prospect (Trevor Rogers) in their year 1 of control – maybe Garret or Kolek. Plus, new management will want some player recognition in their trades to start their relationship with the fans in a good way so Lebrandt and Wags won’t cut it. Maybe in the lines of Eshelman, Cozens, JoJo, Seranthony. I can see MIA asking for Eickhoff or Vinny if the Phils ask for Trevor Rogers.

      1. KuKo…low revenue teams only get one competitive pick a draft…Round A or B.
        Alternate every year….O’s had a ‘B’ pick in 2017, in 2018 it is an ‘A’ pick…so in the 30s in 2018

        1. thanks Romus, that I didn’t know. it’s less likely that BAL will trade that Comp A. considering the status of their farm. But if Klentak can do it, that should be a smart move. Johnny A, will likely draft a higher upside prospect at 35-40 than 65-85 range. Although I can see that happen less likely, that will be a good approach for Klentak to try.

    2. I think if the trade value is that low for ToJo, you are probably better off keeping him. He can be a bench player & be traded when the market opens up some.

      But I can’t help but think there are team that can utilize him as DH/1B & be packaged with another player to better the return.

    3. KuKo … I’m proposing two separate trades with Miami.
      Trade 1 … send a non prospect for Edinson Volquez and Miami’s comp B pick. This is very uncomplicated; the Phillies would essentially be buying a late second round pick (comes with roughly 800-thousand dollars in slot money) for 13 million dollars. This is safer than trading for a guy like Clay Buchholtz (who made 13.5 million this year) and trying to trade him at the deadline.
      Trade 2 … send Waguespack and Liebrandt for Wei-Yin Chen, Brad Ziegler, and Trevor Rogers. Chen comes with elbow woes and 60 million dollars in future salary. Chen missed a huge chunk of the season with a fatigued pitching arm which was later described as elbow soreness. Chen opted against surgery and has come back this month to pitch only out of the bullpen. Ziegler (38 YO next year) is on the books for 9 million dollars for 2018 and has been awful this year. Maybe Jeter can rid the Marlins of Ziegler by forcing him into a deal for Dee Gordon, but that would diminish the return for Gordon. Chen is almost untradable at this point. That is why I feel it is fair to ask for Rogers. Probably no other team (not run by Tony LaRussa and Dave Stewart) would deal their recent first round pick (especially a 19 YO LHP) to shed payroll. However, the Marlins reportedly need to slash 30+ million dollars (not including Stanton’s money) to be profitable in 2018. Waguespack and Liebrandt aren’t in the Phillies’ future plans, but they may (?) be able to help a pitching needy team like the Marlins. The Phillies considered Rogers with the 1-8 pick this June and were exploring ways to force him to their pick in the second round.

      As far as my proposed Baltimore trade … the Orioles have a history of trading their comp pick to rid themselves of salary. Before using this year’s comp B pick, Baltimore had traded their pick three years in a row (2014, 2015, and 2016). Believe it or not, the salaries they were shedding were a lot less than Trumbo’s 26 million dollars. That is why I would insist on another prospect (Gray Fenter) in addition to the comp pick.

      1. Hinkie……not sure about where the Os philosophy is currently in regards to amateur acquisition.
        This year for the first time they decided to not sign any int’l players that would be considered premium signers. In fact not sure if they signed anyone, They instead started to trade some of their int’l money. for other team’s prospects.
        However, now with this noticeable change in philosophy, will they still trade their comp picks as they have done in the past on occasion?
        They may elect now to hold them and draft North American Rule 4 players.

        philabaltfan would probably know more about their new direction and how they want to go, since he lives in the Baltimore area.

        1. Romus … I posted a couple of weeks ago that I don’t really remember Baltimore ever being big players in the international market. Other than Jonathan Schoop, Eduardo Rodriguez, Jomar Reyes, and Ofelky Peralta, I can’t really think of any other international (LA) signings they’ve made. I did some research. During the three straight years (2014, 2015, and 2016) the Orioles traded their comp pick, BA reports they only signed one J2 prospect of any note. That was 18-year-old Dominican righthander Miguel Gonzalez for $400,000 during the 2014 cycle.
          I would post the three references in this post, but Jim once told me the site sometimes holds your post for moderation if you list more than two links. I’ll split the references up between this post and the following post.

          http://www.baseballamerica.com/international/team-team-international-signings-tracker/#EcCukd2S0ohBBTix.97

          1. Hinkie…that only goes to my point.
            They may be more apt to trade int’l money than CBB picks.
            And did notice in 2015 they had two first round picks of the first 36 selections, so they may have thought they could afford to trade their CBB that year.
            As for 2014…..they had no first or second round (or CBB) picks not selecting to the 90th selection…so not sure what happened there.
            But the realization is…to your point …they have been willing traders of both CBB picks and also int’l monies for current prospects.

          2. Hinkie……you have to remember…that the Competitive Balance Picks have only been in place since the 2013 draft, the last five drafts….so there really is no long term history of what a team intentions are every year. The Compensatory Picks have been going on for a longer period of time..However, both types of picks are tradeable assets for low revenue small market size teams.

            1. Hinkie……saw this and just thought that assumption:
              “A team that goes 15 percent over can lose its next two first-round picks, in addition to the “luxury tax”. These excess picks will go to smaller-revenue teams via a yet-to-be-reported formula. Uniquely, these compensatory picks can be traded—marking the first time MLB has allowed trading of draft picks.”

        2. Romus … I’m saying that the Orioles not signing any J2 prospects this year is not a “noticeable change in philosophy”. Whether they sell off their J2 money or just let it whither on the vine, I don’t see a difference in how it shapes their strategy in trading comp picks. The fact that Baltimore is acquiring prospects by way of selling J2 money should make them more willing to trade their comp pick (I would think). At least their now supplementing their farm system by trading their J2 money. They weren’t doing that in previous years when they were forking over comp picks.
          I can’t say with certainty the O’s will trade their comp A pick. I can definitely say they have had no problem handing over their comp picks in recent years for a whole lot less than the 23 million they owe Trumbo, even during years when they weren’t acquiring J2 prospects.
          In 2015, Baltimore traded their comp B pick to the Dodgers so LA would eat 2.75 million dollars of Ryan Webb’s salary. The Dodgers sent the Orioles two non-prospects in return.
          In 2016, Baltimore traded their comp B pick to the Braves so Atlanta would eat 3 million dollars of Brian Matusz’s salary. The Braves sent the Orioles two non-prospects in return.
          If Dan Duquette is willing to fork over comp B picks to dump to 2-3 million dollars worth of salaries (even in years when they didn’t dip into the J2 market), I gotta believe he would be eager to give up a prospect and their comp A pick for the opportunity to replace Mark Trumbo and his 23 million dollars of bad salary over the next two years for Tommy Joseph at league minimum over those same two seasons. As a matter of fact, Gray Fenter probably should be replaced with Zac Lowther as the MiLB prospect included in the deal.

          1. Hinkie…….I like to think that would be a good plan.
            Now if Philly org would do something like that, I think that still remains to be seen.

      2. @Hinkie – i agree with you on MIA Trade #1, but less optimistic on MIA Trade #2 because of the new management (if it is still Loria, he might sign that trade ASAP) and that $60-69M is huge – add $40-50M, then the Phils could have a legit MLB arm in Darvish, Lynn or a Cobb for 3-4 yrs.

        As I said, MIA might ask one of the young SPs (Eickhoff or Vinny in particular) for any Rogers deal. Rogers is the only bright spot in MIA’s farm, they will hold on to him unless they will get a real MLB player in return.

        For BAL, if Klentak can get a Comp A, then do it. Even if he need to add one of the fungible SP (Lieter, Jake) in the deal. Comp B – nah! I’ll just use that $27M to sign a reliable bullpen arm.

        1. Hard to justify spending $13 million to get a comp pick and there is no way to justify spending $70 million to get a 2017 draft pick who’s shown absolutely nothing at this point.

          $85 million will buy some significant talent from the FA market or just blow up the international market in 2018 and take the penalty…

  19. “it doesn’t matter when” — i don’t fully agree with this. Timing is everything. It takes time to build a competitive team and the challenge for FO is put together a group of players that will perform almost at the same time to maximize overall team performance. That’s why teams can do crazy things when they are close to winning and during the trade deadline because that’s when they can assess if the team is performing or not and if so, they will target another performing player(s) to get them over the hump.

    But I agree with you that most of the FAs will be in the trading block come deadline. Although WAS might want to make their run last with Harper and take a chance on resigning him with a backloaded contract or settle with a comp pick.

    Kershaw will probably opt out to get a longer term contract with similar AAV so he can be a good target at the age of 31.

    1. Nobody will enjoy watching Washington crash and burn at some point more than I will. In professional sports, there are only two teams (the Cowboys and the Celtics) that I hate more than the Nationals.

        1. Sorry, grew up in NY as a Mets fan. Don’t like them anymore, but could never bring myself to hate them – same goes with the football Giants.

    2. I mean Phillies should be getting Sp this yr and next . Don’t wait for the FA market in 19 too make all your moves .

  20. I have to admit, I haven’t watch a lot of baseball lately. But last night I watched the phillies for a couple of innings. Hoskins is really something to watch. What a at bat against baez. It was great. even if he didn’t get a hit, he worked that guy, not afraid to hit with two strikes, amazing I am now thinking he is the guy to build around and pitching will be the key. Getting a good starter to go with nola and I am still think nick pivetta will be good. I just hope we don’t have to wait three years for pitching help from lower minors. I know top of rotation guys are hard to find, I just am not in love with our gm, and don’t know if he can be the guy to build a pitching staff.

    1. rocco…remember what you posted a few months back…. ‘watch the Phillies will win meaningless games in Sept and lose out on the number one pick’…you are prophetic.

      1. Romus its our history. We win a meaningless game and the bills get oj and we get Leroy keys. We win another meaningless last game of season and don’t get jim Plunkett. remember/?? Or one of my favorites losing out and getting Shaun Bradley with second pick over Chris Webber.

        1. rocco….you have the Philly sports history down pat.
          And we run out of town a GM who structured the current Sixers….but glad now he is posting on PhuturPhillies.
          Again ‘tank’ you for reminding me of Philly sports hysteria.

    2. That ing was nuts Baez was all over the place. He hits Alfaro ,walks Ceaser walks Herrera on 4 pitches , then Hoskins at bat the first 5 pitches weren’t stikes so that was 9 pitches out of the stike zone. What in the world was the Dodgers thinking. My friend who’s a LA fan said there trying,To get Baez going he been having problems with control. Really ????

  21. Very encouraging games vs both Kershaw and Darvish. Hoskins had great pivotal ABs in both games. What a beast! Fearless approach at the plate. I strongly believe that both he and Crawford will affect change throughout the lineup heading into’18. Not that everyone will have comparable plate discipline as these two but the collective mental approach (much like those good St Louis and Boston clubs) bodes well for these Phillies moving forward. Finally, after all these years of poor ABs game after game, something to take stock in.

    It’s still those games against the Joe Bag-o-donuts of the world that make my thinning hair turn grey.

    1. IMO, like to see the infield and top four lineup as…Kingery, Crawford, Machado and Hoskins. The next four, put them in a hat and draw them out as they may.

        1. sorry i didn’t get what you mean. you want Doobie to replace JPC at SS? If the Phils don’t see Doobie as their CF, might as well just trade him and they might get some talent back. Roll the dice on Kingery-JPC and use $$ in FA case any of these guys didn’t pan out.

          1. Think he means hitting Doobie second in the lineup after lead-off hitter Kingery.
            I think JPC can still he hit you a BA of . 275 with another added 100 points of OBP.

            1. Amazing….I never seen a Phillies three year 11WAR player with so much consternation revolving around him. Maybe Bobby Abreu at one point near the end of his time in Philadelphia.

            2. 8MARK did you watch tonight’s game HERRERA JUMPED INTO THE CENTER FIELD WALL TO MAKE A GREAT CATCH TO END THE GAME.

          2. Herrera bats in the top of half of the line up. It’s pretty bad to replace a All Star maybe GG, CF that Has an ops around .800 at the age of 25 . The Phillies never said anything about Herrera .

            1. Deja Vu all over again with this argument, Tim. He’s not a good outfielder. He’s not a good base runner. Amazing how Bobby Abreu won a gold glove while having an allergic reaction to RF walls. With all his natural ability, he wasn’t a winner. Nice guy maybe but…. I can’t help what I sense about Herrera. Sorry.

            2. Herrera defense
              FP 99.7 5th in baseball
              FR 2.47 4 TH in baseball
              Errors 2
              Herrera offense he’s increased his iso ,ops every yr . Since the all star break
              .346 .408 .593 1.000 ops that’s 2nd in all of Baseball.

    2. Darvish pitch 5 ings gave up an unearned run. They pulled him at 97 pitches the Dodgers are trying not to get anyone hurt. The really not playing for anything major more then 100 wins. I mean they play SF and SD too.

  22. I am with you. And, I am one who wanted the 1.1 and the $ that goes with it. But, I have enjoyed watching these guys so much lately, that I cannot root against them. Watching Hoskins take ABs the way they should be taken has been a treat. Williams’ improvement from what I thought he was in AAA, JP coming up and being fun to watch, Altherr’s ability, Nola’s progression, Pivetta’s stuff, have all been enough to make a truly terrible season worthwhile. As everyone else has said, we need to go get SP this offseason.

  23. What would we need to offer to get Cole from Pirates? I want to sign Cobb and trade for Cole and then let Eickhoff, VV, Eflin, Pivetta, and Lively fight for 2 spots. I can see Eickhoff and Lively winning spots with VV going to the pen, to be part of Neris, Garcia, VV, Siegrist, Morgan, Milner, and Leiter. Pivetta and Eflin will pitch at LHV with Eshelman, Thompson and Liebrandt and maybe Taveras. Alvarez is an interesting possibility too.
    As for Cole, how about Kilome, Knapp, and Hall? Kilome, Irvin, and Brito?

    1. It starts with a couple of Top 5 prospects (in the MLB Top 100) – possibly Sixto and one of Kingery and JPC and some high leverage prospects like JoJo and one of the latin infields (Brito, Gamboa, Guzman, Gonzalez) for (a possible only) 3 years of Gerrit Cole and his low salary (which is nothing for the Phils).

      CHC gave up Jimenez and Cease and some for Quintana, PIT will not expect less than that.

      The Phils would rather go hard on Otani or sign Darvish, Lynn or Cobb.

        1. True, the odds are against the Phils. But if the Phils wants to be a key player in the FA in the future (2018-19 class in particular), they need to portray that they are a willing party to commit to a big FA signing. It’s better to try and fail than to look impotent (showing the ability of not doing anything). The Phils building a core of young players and being a key player in all fronts will portray better as a FA destination of choice rather than just sitting in their desk and let BOS, NYY, LAD, CHC, etc grab all the talent available.

          1. I heard that the Phillies DID NOT send a contingent to scout Otani in Japan. That tells you all you need to know about the Phillies signing Otani.

            1. Otani is already good as advertised they said. no need to go to Japan. Just send a leased private jet with cheerleaders inside and wire some $$! lol!

    2. @Murray – none of your trade package is in MLB Top 100. Just look at the Quintana and Sonny Gray trade package as a starting point.

      1. Cole had not performed as well as either of the two you mentioned. He clearly has gotten worse the last two years.

        1. Murray – GMs are not like most fans who have that “what have you done lately” mentality, they look at historical and future projected value. Sure some GMs will try to buy low and see it PIT will let go. But I don’t think most GMs and baseball people do not value Cole, Quintana and Gray based on the last couple of years only since they’re been playing pro baseball now for about 8-10 years and probably another 6-8 more.

          I’ve always been saying that trades are economics. Market dictates value. Regardless how the players are performing, the demand and supply affects the market value . If Quintana and Gray are playing like what you expect them to be, they will not be in the market, and if the are, the trade return will be more that what CHC adn NYY had given up.

        2. @Murray – if Kilome, Knapp, and Hall or Kilome, Irvin, and Brito is what Klentak will offer, NYY will blow that offer away even without offering Torres or Frazier. A NYY package (combination of) Chance Adams (#54), Sheffield (#82), Acevedo, Albert Abreu and Dillon Tate will sound more appealing to PIT than any of the 2 trade packages you propose.

      1. The thought of this offer makes me want to puke. Crawford alone will be more valuable than Cole over the next 5 years. Offer rejected.

    3. You need to give talent to get talent. Sixto will certainly have to be part of the package. Expect Sixto, Kilome, Cozens to start.

      1. Exactly. This is why we need to BUY the TOR arm (or 2) and trade for a lesser #2/#3 starter. I think you can achieve that by offering Herrera and/or Cesar along with lesser younger talent. In other words, not Sixto, Kingery or JPC. If we trade any or all of them, you better be acquiring an ELITE major league arm. (a Chris Sale type)

  24. I hope that 2018 will be the last year to draft in Top 10 and I believe that the Phils can really contend starting 2019 especially if WAS will lose Harper via FA. Drafting high picks and making a WS run normally goes in the opposite way and I will take the latter over the former anytime. At some point, the Phils need to start focusing on winning, it’s been 6 years since they made the playoffs.

    As most are hoping here, the next core of Phillies appears to be falling into places. But the Phils needs to realize that not everything can be have via the farm (minors). Major pieces are needed via FA, and being a big market team that should not be a hindrance to for Middleton and company.

    I’m still hoping to see a Quinn-JPC-Kingery top of the order line up (with Hoskins and hopefully a Machado/Harper to drive them home) although i’m starting to lose hope on Quinn. I want the Phils to make a run for the wildcard next year with playing 0.500 baseball as a fallback. This will not happen unless the Phils augment their starting rotation with legit MLB arm. I see Neris more as a trade asset rather than the future close – his arm will blow up sooner than later. I prefer to see an established closer in the mold of Davis, Britton, etc while transitioning some starters as potential closer arm (Vinny, Appel, Pivetta) and further developing closer arms in the minors (Arano, Hammer, Quinn, Dyer, Hibbs, Kelzer and Edgar Garcia).

    My wish list this offseason are: a) sign a Top 3 FA starter to a high AAV contract; b) sign a proven bullpen arm; c) start drafting high ceiling arms in the Rule 4 draft; and most importantly, d) go hard on Otani!!!

  25. Shocked that Marco Estrada signed a 1 year, $13M extension to stay with the Blue Jays. I think he could have easily gotten a multi-year contract. He must really like it in Toronto.

    1. It has already been said that the Blue Jays want to compete in 2018. And they just raised ticket prices so they want to keep fans in the seats.

    1. Personally I think Autograph seekers themselves are turds. These are just human beings like you or I. So what they can play a game and be on TV blah blah blah

      Beyond that they put their pants on 1 leg at a time just like us.

    2. Sounds like Greinke IS a real creep. But I have to also say that Neshek is also being a turd by creating a media circus out of the entire situation.

      Hey, they guy blew you off… Write it off as him being an ass and move on.

  26. Ok Hoskins has played 40 games, so his 160 game projection is kind of funny.
    544ab 136runs 160hits 72hr 172rbi 124bb 136k. Can we start comparing him to Albert Pujols? I am really getting pumped about a Ahlterr, Odubal and Williams outfield.

    1. Me too….the only thing missing for me right now is that LH Power guy…a guy you can pair with Hoskins that can take advantage of all the walks Hoskins can draw out of that 4 hole.

    2. Williams is playing well right now but I’m not sold yet that his play isn’t a bit of an illusion. I need to see him sustain it for awhile longer before I’m on-board.

      I do think the Phillies are developing a pretty solid core of position players. The pitching staff needs some work but they have turned a corner..

      1. @3up – i’m with you. while I’m glad that Nick is doing better than expected, I still have some concerns on his plate discipline. Nick is a naturally aggressive hitter who literally swings at everything he sees thrown at him. Nick might take some time (at least a couple of years) to be what Altherr (who is also a free swinger early in his career) is starting to become right now. A slight regression in 2018 and/or a possible demotion to LHV in 2018 is not out of reality for Nick.

        I’ve been singing Machado’s name now for a while because Franco is becoming a real concern for me. 2 years after being promoted to the majors, Franco’s approach remains the same and not showing any real capability to adjust. I’m amazed that Franco hasn’t broken his back everything he swings the bat. Franco is starting to become an automatic out right now.

        As for the rotation, the next wave of really good arms are coming soon – probably by 2019. 2018 can still be a stop gap – another year to further evaluate the young arms and decide if these pitchers can stay in the rotation, moved to the pen or play somewhere. I like the potential of Anderson and Seranthony as part of the rotation, which can make Eickhoff a good trade asset. I’m still hoping that Klentak sign a reliable start this offseason – $100-125M/4 yr contract (or go for broke if Otani) and the 2018 rotation can look as follows:

        Starters (Apr 2018) – FA (Otani, Darvish, Lynn, Cobb), Nola, Eickhoff*, Vinny**, Lively*
        Starters (Aug 2018) – FA (Otani, Darvish, Lynn, Cobb), Nola, Pivetta+, Eshelman, Anderson

        * – traded if no problems in the development of Anderson, Seranthony and Kilome
        ** – moved to the pen or traded

        + – Pivetta will be the enigma for me next year. I really like his arm but he is starting to look like he’ll be joining Vinny and Appel in the pen. One of the lefty arms (El Garcia, Irvin) might be called up if Pivetta moved in the pen.

        Ranger and Taveras are likely to be included in any trade package this offseason or in 2018. Mauricio Llovera will be converted to the pen and will become the latest high leverage bullpen arm following Arano.

        By 2019 the Phils can have a pool of young arms in the 40-man consists of – Nola, Pivetta, Anderson, Seranthony, Eshelman, Kilome, Medina, Sixto (mid year promo) and more younger arms knocking in the door in 2020 (Morales, JoJo and some of the young LHPs and possibly Gowdy and 2018 Top 10 Rule 4 pick). I like to see Howard and Seabold for one more year.

  27. does anyone have access to Keith Law’s blog about Nola and the Phillies (vs. the Dodgers) they could post from ESPN.com insider? Thanks!

    1. Law wasn’t wowed by Yu Darvish. His summary of Darvish:
      “Darvish pitches too much like a finesse guy for someone with his stuff.”
      “If I were a GM looking at him this offseason, I’d value him as a league-average starter with a small chance of providing more than that, even if the market ends up paying him like a No. 2 or more.”

      1. Good assessment of Darvish. I’ve always wonder why a guy who can throw consistently in the upper 90’s with movement wastes so many pitches trying to fool hitters with off-speed pitches.

  28. Law like a lot of what he saw. http://www.espn.com/blog/keith-law/insider/post?id=7680

    In watching Yu Darvish and the Dodgers on Tuesday night, I also had a chance to scout the Philadelphia Phillies and Aaron Nola. The right-hander has emerged this year as the Phillies’ nominal ace, and not too far from a bona fide one as his changeup has gone from a non-factor to a legitimately above-average pitch in about a year.

    Nola is aggressive and pitches off his 90-93 mph fastball, which has some two-seam tailing action but is probably his least effective pitch. He uses it to try to get ahead, occasionally elevating it for a swing-and-miss, but really goes after hitters with the plus curveball and, now, that changeup. He alters the mix to righties (more curveballs) and lefties (more changeups) but uses all three pitches in any count, enough that I don’t think you could truly advise any hitter on what to look for in any situation.

    When the Phillies took Nola eighth overall in 2014 out of LSU, I thought he was the most major-league ready starting pitcher in the draft, but that his upside was limited by his stuff and lack of any reason for projection; his much-improved changeup has rendered that inaccurate and he has already blown past that projected ceiling.

    • This was the version of J.P. Crawford I ranked as the fourth-best prospect in baseball coming into 2017, not the version who struggled badly in Triple-A in the first half and led to universally negative sentiment on his outlook within the industry.

    Crawford, playing out of position at third base, showed off soft hands and a plus-plus arm on Tuesday and that was on the heels of a highlight-reel, barehanded play at the position on Monday night.

    At the plate on Tuesday, he was just as impressive, seeing 22 pitches across four plate appearances, still working the count well even in the two outs he made before he turned on a 96-mph fastball (from Pedro Baez) for a triple to right-center.

    But I don’t think anything was more positive than seeing Crawford run on that triple. He has plus speed, but hasn’t always shown it in games, often running below-average times on ground balls. He flew out of the box on this one. After his poor performance in the first half and so many pessimistic scouting reports, I was concerned I’d been wrong to rank him highly the past few years, but he showed everything I wanted to see on Tuesday night.

    • Rhys Hoskins struck the fatal blow to the Dodgers after a long, disciplined at bat in the seventh, drilling a double to left-center that cleared the bases (and finally woke Dave Roberts up long enough for him to bring a gurney to the mound for Baez).

    Hoskins ran the count to 3-1 — granted, Baez had a large role in that — then took a second strike, then fouled off four straight pitches before delivering the coup de grace. If there’s anything to take from his insane debut, it’s not the unsustainable home run rate, but the incredibly advanced approach at the plate, which should give Phillies fans tremendous optimism about his staying power. I said a few years ago that Hoskins’ upside was “Goldschmidt Lite,” but that was probably still too bearish.

    • Two other Phillies rookies didn’t look quite so good. Right fielder Nick Williams struck out twice and had an infield single, showing plus speed but a poor approach all night long, swinging through a number of fastballs from both right- and left-handed pitchers. He saw 11 pitches all night and took just one for a called ball.

    He also misread a Curtis Granderson fly ball that ended up a double, although the play was not easy (MLB Statcast had the catch probability at just 35 percent) and he may have been fooled by the strong wind blowing across from right field, keeping the ball in the park.

    • Catcher Jorge Alfaro was only slightly more patient, seeing 13 pitches in four plate appearances, one of which hit him so I’m loath to give him too much credit for taking it. All 10 strikes were swinging. Alfaro has strength, power, and a cannon for an arm, but he’s as allergic to taking pitches as any prospect I can remember, with a 2.1 percent walk rate so far in the majors this year and no minor-league seasonal rate over 7 percent.

    At some point, he’s going to have to start to work the count or he’s going to be such an OBP sinkhole that even his power and throwing won’t get him out of it.

  29. Just read that the Orioles have zero intention of trading Manny Machado. So we’ll see if Angelos opens up the bank for him.

    1. I’ve been saying for a while now MM has a pretty good chance of hitting FA next winter having never been traded by the Orioles. Angelos will want to make one more run at a WS with their current group. If the O’s are even remotely involved in a WC race next August, they’ll hold on to MM, Zach Britton, and Adam Jones. Not saying I agree with this plan. Just saying this is how Angelos will handle things.

    2. The Os will have to break the bank for Machado…..perhaps close to $30M AAV for 7 years or more. Cannot see them letting him walk for a 30th something pick in 2019.

      1. @romus – i can see at least a Stanton type contract to keep Machado in BAL. $210M/7 yrs at age 27 looks like a bargain. Big market teams can offer $325M/10 years.

        agree with Hinkie that Angelos will go for broke before they broke the current core (similar approach by WAS), that’s why i never entertained an idea of trading for Machado 1 year prior to his free agency. It will be interesting to see where BAL will be in the standings by July 2018.

        Both Machado and Britton are FA next offseason, both can be targets by the Phils.

        1. MLBTR reports they do not think he will be traded prior to 2018.
          I do not see it that way……once the season starts and he is still unsigned, the Os will see the writing on the wall and hope to move him as a rental in July 2018 for anything they can get. Unless he will negotiate during the season…most players do not like to do that, but he may be different.
          Plus a contender may have to break up a small portion of their starting lineup to get him, along with some prospects…not sure GMs will do that, especially since they will have to resign him also in two months and have already lost many premier players or prospects..
          IMO, if he is not signed before the holidays, he gets moved before January.

          1. @romus – i will just echo what Hinkie said earlier. BAL will try to make a run and settle with comp picks for losing Machado and Britton. A desperate team with deep farm going for broke is the only factor i see turning the tide against Angelos holding Machado till the end.

  30. I’ve been calling for a Cesar Hernandez for Tyler Skaggs trade for a while now. Someone else must have the same idea, and asked about it in yesterday’s MLB Trade Rumors chat :

    EPPLER
    Cam Bedrosian for Ceasar Hernandez have any legs or does Tyler Skaggs for Hernandez get it done.
    Jason Martinez
    I don’t think Bedrosian or Skaggs is a conversation starter for Hernandez. Injury concerns with both players. Could be part of a bigger deal, though.

    I’d swap CeHe for Skaggs straight up. If Klentak could also get a prospect (I like Jose Soriano) that’s just icing on the cake. The Phillies have a glaring need for LHP and it would make room for Scott Kingery. The Cam Bedrosian suggestion is a ridiculous offer.

  31. Open topic so I’ll throw this out. The status of Herrera. He has talent no doubt, and he has is fans and haters. I’m leaning towards accepting his bonehead plays … for now. Tossing this out and see what you guys think. Next offseason is the big year, but what do you think the chances are of the Phillies opening the vault this year? What if the phillies signed the royals Moustaskas and Hosmer to overpriced contracts (assuming that’s what it’ll take as who really signs at fair value these days.). If so, it could create a nice domino effect on the lineup, that carries over to the pitching

    SS – Crawford
    2B – Kingery (after his callup)
    LF – Hoskins (yes, not a typo)
    3B – Moustakas
    RF – Williams
    1B – Hosmer
    CF- Altheer
    C – Alfaro

    Then the Klentak has some bullets to get a nice #2 with Herrera,CeHe,Franco, Galvis,Joseph, Rupp,& or Knapp.

    Hoping that the draft can pluck them the most ready college pitcher, but sounds like they need the #1 pick for that. That way they have another pitcher pushing for a spot right when Kilome and Sixto are busting the door down.

    Team seems like it would be in a good position from there. Then not everything is riding on the following FA offseason.

    Either way… baseball looks like it is heading back to philly, well baseball worth watching

    1. Be patient, Tac3. Let’s roll with a 2019 infield of Hoskins, Kingery, JPC, MM, Alfaro/Knapp. An OF of Odubel. Altherr, Williams. And a rotation of Nola, Skaggs, Haap, Eickhoff, VV.

      1. Is there something I’m missing with Skaggs? I’m not very familiar with him. He appears to be left handed…and that seems to be his only quality. He has a bad injury history and not at al positive peripherals. Does he have great raw stuff? Even if he does he seems like a lefthanded Pivetta/VV. No way I’m giving up an up the middle, top of the lineup 3-4WAR player for that.

        1. Okay I did a little research on Skaggs. He has a fastball that has averaged around 92 MPH this year with good movement. He has not been able to sustain the slight bump in velocity he experienced last year on it. It seems to rate out as average. His calling card in the minor leagues was his curveball which lead to gaudy K/9 numbers however, the latest scouting report I saw on it (from Fangraphs at the beginning of the year) only rate it at slightly above average. To rate his change-up as fringy would be generous. Yeah, no way I’m trading CeHe for that.

          1. Brooks description of Skaggs is a bit comical…’worm- killer’ CB..hah.
            BETA Feature:
            Basic description of 2017 pitches compared to other LHP:
            His fourseam fastball has less armside movement than typical, has essentially average velo and has some added backspin. His curve is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers’ curves, has a sharp downward bite and has slight glove-side movement. His change is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers’ changeups, has surprising cut action, generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers’ changeups and is much firmer than usual. His sinker generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers’ sinkers, has less armside run than typical, has little sinking action compared to a true sinker and has slightly above average velo.

          2. Aron – Skaggs is high risk high reward type of risk that the Phils are taking. I like taking risks and i don’t value Cesar the same way that most here so I’m do that deal especially if Klentak can get some extra prospects. A light hitting 2B only will not fetch a team a good return – that’s like an industry benchmark unless your team is being run by Larussa and Stewart. TB were able to sell an older Forsythe to LAD because he has power potential.

            1. I’m seeing the high risk I’m just not seeing the high reward. Maybe the Skaggs of three years ago but we are talking at best one plus pitch and one average pitch with poor command/control. I get that CeHe value is not what some people would like. He is not getting you a TOR arm.

          3. From today’s Keith Law chat:

            Brian
            If you were the Phillies would you look to trade Cesar Hernandez in the offseason for pitching or look to move Scott Kingery?
            Keith Law
            Make room for Kingery. He’s a stud.

            Sure. I’d love to send Cesar Hernandez to Seattle for James Paxton, but that’s not going to happen. I’m looking at realistic, young LHP as a return for Cesar. The Rays got Jose De Leon for Logan Forsythe. IMO, Skaggs is a better return than a MiLB prospect (even though De Leon was a top 50 guy). Skaggs is a former first round pick. He’s got great size and has had some success in MLB. He’s 26 YO and is just 24 starts back from TJ. I’d anticipate Skaggs will only get stronger. He’s been up and down, for sure; but he’s shown the ability to get good lineups out. A week ago against the Astros, Skaggs went 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 5 K.

            Aron … who do you think is a reasonable trade return for CeHe ?

            1. I’m not sure Skaggs does get stronger his fastball velo is down this year. Daniel Norris is someone I could definitely get behind.

            2. Romus … HaHa !
              I am with you on your proposed deal. Last year, I proposed Odubel for Paxton in a Keith Law chat. Law said the Marinetrs would say “no”.

            3. Hinkie…this year KLaw may change his tune…but you would still need to add a quality young pitcher to that type of deal.

      2. Skaggs is 13 & 21 4.53 he has a hr problem. He’s never ptched more then 139.00 ings . He may be on an ing count for the next 2 yrs. His FB at 92 with A cb . That’s from a Angels fan I know . They want no part of Ceaser they want lowrie next yr.

    2. Hosmer is a very odd player. Odd years he is a very good player. Even years he is a bad player. Moose is going to be in his 30’s coming off of a career year and may not age well. I am not inclined to destroy our payroll flexibility with Machado’s free agency around the corner and pitching being our biggest hole.

      1. Aron – yeah I can see the argument against Hosmer. Possibly a different 1B then. My main point to this “proposal”, since I know klentak is reading the comment section, is that putting all your baskets in the big FA class is a bigger risk than spreading it out over the next 2 seasons, might be less suitors as well, keeping contracts from skyrocketing and eating the payroll flexibility. It is a choice the FO will have to decide. Go big on offense, and fill in or wait for Sixto and kilome. I’m pretty interested to see how this unfolds, hard to wait lol

    3. TAC3………..”Hoping that the draft can pluck them the most ready college pitcher, but sounds like they need the #1 pick for that.”………..Nola was a 7 in ’14 and pitching in the MLB in ’15.
      If Singer or Kowar, noth SEC pitchers like Nola, are as advertised and uninjured, they should be in a MLB rotation in 2019 sometime I would think.

    4. @tac3 – i don’t see the Phils being a major player this offseason in FA. They might open their wallets but it’s going to be for a starter (and a RP) and not for a bat since the 2018-19 might feature 2 top end bats (Harper, Machado) that fits the areas of need for the Phils (3B, RF). I can make sense of Mous signing but not Hosmer (they have Hoskins full time, Knapp/Perkins can back up) and especially NOT signing both.

      Doobie is the only trade asset that you mention that will generate a good return. Cesar maybe, but his market is limited and creativity is needed. The rest will be good for lottery picks, org fillers, PTBNL or cash types deal.

      The position players looks solid now (see they’re started playing well when the ex-Pigs joined the Phils?). A good veteran or club house presence will probably suits the team better than a high $$ non-superstar FA.

      I’m with Hinkie that a starter can be added – whether via trade (using Cesar or Doobie) or FA (my preference).

      And if you think that Mous and Hosmer can be trade baits if ever, it might come back to bite the Phils in the end. This is not the type of creativity that Klentak needs.

    5. Herrera’s CF UZR/150 since 2015: 6.9 (well above average)
      Altherr’s CF UZR/150 since 2015: -4.5 (below average)

      Herrera is a top 10 centerfielder in baseball with an absurdly good contract. Trading him in order to move a below average defender into his place would be a huge mistake, particularly since this plan also requires Hoskins to play LF, further weakening the OF defense.

      We shouldn’t even be discussing Doobie’s status. We should be kneeling to the baseball gods that he somehow fell into our lap in the Rule V draft.

        1. Guru:
          But what if the Mariners were interested and would give up Paxton for Herrera and a pitcher like Lively, Eshelman or Eflin in return?
          Williams can play CF…he has been out there almost 180 games in his career.
          And leave Altherr in a corner….and then there is Quinn , who if he is healthy and still here I assume, can also play CF.
          And then there is Haseley who was drafted primarily to play the OF and probably sometime in 2019 in Philly.
          If Seattle would do that deal…i would do it…you get a TOR and lefty at the same time. And he is still in his prime at 29 years old.

          1. I would do this deal because it looks like Paxton is entering his prime and he’s controlled until 2021.

            However, why would the Mariners even do this deal? The Mariners would keep him for the same reasons why I would trade for him. Mariners have deep pockets, and they’re looking to contend. And their starting pitching outside of Paxton is terrible.

            1. Yeah…they may not want to give up a tOR…..Herrera’s total value package however equates to that level of return.

      1. wow, UZR everybody’s favorite defensive stat on the internet. Few things I note about UZR:

        1) Defensive metrics are less reliable than offensive metrics. Individually, defensive stats are not as reliable as they are sometimes treated.

        2) Infielder’s UZR is more reliable than the outfielder’s UZR since OF see fewer chances than an infielder and various factors to measure the OF defense.

        UZR, DRS, FRAA and Total Zone agree on most occasions and to better assess a defensive metric, better check these 4 sabermetrics as a whole rather than done a stat in isolation.

        1. Glad I could wow you.

          Herrera: DRS 24 (2015-17)
          Altherr: DRS -2 (2015-17) (3 if you count all three OF positions during that span)

          Use whatever metric you like. Herrera’s far and away the best defensive CF on the roster.

          1. Doobie is almost exclusively as CF while Altherr plays all OF positions. Does playing CF gives Doobie more opportunities that can result to better stats in his favor. I think there’s more than just pulling the number out and compare. There should be some kind of comparability in the ARM, RngR and ErrR, otherwise, it will look like comparing apples to oranges.

            1. I can’t tell if you’re saying Altherr would be a better fit in CF than Herrera. Is that your argument? Or is your whole thing just criticizing people for how they use stats?

            2. both. if you’re opinion if that Doobie is the better defensive CF than Altherr, then I agree since it is already obvious. But it doesn’t mean that Alther is bad defensive CF either.

              stats are supposed to aid you to come into a conclusion, right? since you provide stats as your basis, i just want to know how you come with that. if i agree, then i thank you coz i learn something. but if not, i hope you wont be that snippy to prove me wrong.

              on that stat thing, is it wrong to point out if a stat is being misused? a flawed premise results to a flawed conclusion.

            3. The guy who replied to the original post with, “wow, everybody’s favorite stat on the internet” has no place accusing someone else of being snippy.

              The conclusion of all the stats I’ve looked at, not to mention my eyeballs, tell me Herrera is a better defensive CF. Taking him out of the equation would weaken the OF defense.

              And no, there’s nothing wrong with pointing out when a stat is misused. I’ve always seen UZR as a fairly comprehensive defensive metric. Perhaps I’m wrong. There’s just no need for need for the snark while doing so.

            4. hah! so the UZR as everyone’s favorite defensive stat on the net, rubs you. what’s wrong with that? I’ve been hearing it all the time and even Colin Wyers said that.

        2. KuKo…agree…you have to take them into consideration….but also remember, SABR’s SDI already incorporates DRS, UZR and Total Zone and also STATs Zone’s “Runs Effectively Defended”….BP is separate with their FRAA.
          Whew!

          1. @romus – i cannot be as good as you when it comes to research and data analysis. If I become a GM, i will hire you without thinking!

          2. Romus you sure that SABR’s SDI Zones is separate then fraa dived by his bp time the whew? I always thought bp isn’t separate from fraa or his prat

            1. rocco…at least what I have read in the past. But, for you , here is what is posted from them.
              “he SABR Defensive Index draws on and aggregates two types of existing defensive metrics: those derived from batted ball location-based data and those collected from play-by-play accounts. The three metrics representing batted ball data include Defensive Runs Saved from Baseball Info Solutions, Ultimate Zone Rating developed by noted sabermetrician Mitchel Lichtman, and Runs Effectively Defended based on STATS Zone Rating and built by SABR Defensive Committee member Chris Dial. The two metrics included in the SDI originating from play-by-play data are Defensive Regression Analysis, created by committee member Michael Humphreys, and Total Zone Rating.

              And fyi….
              *************************************************************
              The SABR Defensive Index accounts for approximately 25 percent of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process that was added to the votes from the managers and coaches. Rawlings announced the revised selection process overview in March 2013 at the annual SABR Analytics Conference as part of its new collaboration with SABR. Since that announcement, SABR enlisted an independent committee of experts in baseball analytics and defensive measurement to devise the SDI.

      2. Honcho : Herrera is the only real asset we have, unless you want to part with Kingery and Sixto. I’d rather not. Herrera is expendable due to the depth of OF prospects. You’d hope they could hit on one of pullin, hasley, Moniak, Cornelius, and Ortiz. I like him, his doubles are great, I think his D could be better but whatever, we need pitching, I make the unpopular choice/difficult decision and trade him If we can get back a bonafid #2. I wouldn’t keep the status quo

  32. I’m impressed with JP’s glove. He’s already 0.4 dWAR in a short period of time. As a comparison, Franco is -0.5 dWAR.

    1. How much does positional adjustment play into Crawford’s 0.4 dWAR?

      I’ve always had a problem with the way positional adjustments are done. Shortstops, for example, get a sizable positive positional adjustment without regard to the quality of actual chances handled. My preference is to have no positional adjustment, but rather to give more weight to actual chances than is currently the case. That is to say, a shortstop’s chances should be given more weight than a first baseman’s chances, but neither should be given a positional adjustment.

      The biggest problem with dWAR, though, is that to rate defense properly you have to actually watch the games. The stats work for offense and pitching (and they’re getting better every day), but the eyeball test is still the best for defense.

      1. SABR SDI thru Aug 27, 2017…NL –3rd base.
        For some reason Franco seems to keep falling:
        Byt his eye ball test a;ways appears to make the grade with exceptional plays.
        Third base

        Player SDI
        Nolan Arenado 11.3
        Jedd Gyorko 8.6
        Anthony Rendon 7.8
        David Freese 6.6
        Justin Turner 3.1
        Travis Shaw 2.3
        Kris Bryant 1.2
        Eugenio Suarez -0.2
        Cory Spangenberg -2.4
        Derek Dietrich -4.3
        Wilmer Flores -4.5
        Maikel Franco -6.4

  33. sorry if i have to go back to Cesar and the WAR discussion again.

    It still confuse me why some continue to throw the WAR thing to assess Cesar’s trade value. WAR is suppose to measure a player’s value to his team and not his overall value in the league. WAR is not a means to measure a player’s league-wide performance and/or his actual playing abilities. A 3-4 WAR player from one of the worst teams may not have the same “value (or physical abilities)” of a 3-4 WAR player in a better team – i.e. Simmons (with 6.7 WAR) means he’s more valuable player to his team but not necessary a better overall player than a player with lower WAR (i.e. Arenado 6.5).

    I don’t think GMs consider WAR in assessing players via trade. They might consider WAR to decide if they can be traded/non-tendered/signed to a contract, but if GMs have better options – WAR is thrown out of the window.

    Whether Cesar generates a 3 to 5 WAR this year, Kingery appears to be the better option so Cesar’s WAR should not back Klentak from moving on from Cesar if Kingery is deemed ready by May 2018.

    1. I’m not disagreeing with you on any particular point in this post. I was merely stating that Cesar is worth more even in this current situation than I feel Skaggs provides. I’d rather try to package CeHe for something better, trade him for minor league lottery tickets or even international pool money. Skaggs is like a four year old lottery ticket that match four of the five numbers.

      1. Aron – Skaggs is a definition of a risk. He is supposed to be a high upside arm and nobody will know if he can be. Maybe he can be like Lively or Lieter or O’Sullivan, nobody knows. But at the same time those minor lottery picks or international pool $$ also fits the definition of a risk since you don’t know what you will get out of it.

        So what made you think that the latter (lottery picks/pool) has more value than the former (skaggs)? so the decision will really depend on the risk Klentak is willing to take. For now, there’s a need for rotation arm (preferably LH). So if Klentak decided to take some risk to address a need, then it’s still a sound decision to make (assuming that the decision is between skaggs and the lottery/pool and nothing else).

            1. KuKo, Romus & Hinkie – I certainly wouldn’t underestimate Klentak’s relationship with LAA regarding prospective trades OR (if he’s still running the show come the off season following 2020) the signing of Mike Trout. And Baltimore as well, considering he and MacPhail worked together there when Machado was coming up their system. I’m not saying to presume upon that dynamic BUT I wouldn’t disregard it either. I believe there tends to be a mutual trust when execs move onward and upward on good terms with the former FO. We’ll see…

    2. WAR is a general guideline of how good a player is. A 3 WAR player is not something to be taken lightly. Those guys don’t grow on trees. There are way more guys under 3 WAR than over 3 WAR. That said, 3 WAR players are good, but not elite. Nobody is going to trade crazy talent for 3 WAR players.

      If Kingery is the better option than Cesar, then for me, it’s expected that Kingery will generate more WAR than Cesar. So I’m expecting Kingery to be AT LEAST a 3 WAR player.

      1. Guru – most baseball people don’t believe in WAR because it’s too simplistic. And also just read and understand the definition of WAR. Various outlets may have different ways to calculate WAR but WAR means Wins Above Replacement – it’s a measure of a player’s value to the team if he’s replaced by a AAA/average player.

        The definition of WAR does not intend to measure “how good a player is”. WAR is Wins Above Replacement and it does say anything about skills and abilites. Most baseball people refer to their scouting team in evaluating skills and actual playing abilities. WAR is not intended to measure the players actual skills and playing abilities. There are a lot of advance statistics to measure offensive and defensive capabilities which is normally taken in correlation with one another and not just by a single number.

        1. In the end, it’s all about production. At some point, the player’s talent and skill needs to produce results. Hence, the WAR comes into play. Cesar may not be flashy, but he’s getting the job done at a nice clip. It’s not a coincidence that all the elite players have a high WAR. Now as the GM, you can trade whatever you want. Now I know a lot of people on this board think highly of Nick Pivetta because of his electric fastball. But if an opposing GM wanted Pivetta and was willing to give up say a 3 WAR 28 year old catcher, you would do that deal in an instant.

          1. if it is all about production, then there’s a lot of advance sabermetrics that you can use. these advance metrics are verifiable, doesn’t include a lot of complicated assumptions and have broader sampling size.

            and probably, most, if not all are recognized by Elias and MLB so they are legit.

      2. well, if that’s your view of WAR than that’s you’re take. But anybody who understand the meaning of WAR will know that your understanding is different than what WAR is really intended.

        so i guess my confusion comes from people who redefines the meaning of WAR.

        1. So your beef is that if Herrera is a 3 WAR player for the Phillies, he can’t be a 3 WAR player for another team?

          1. no, my beef is with people who misuse and abuse the use of WAR. that’s it. it’s like asking people to take a pill that works in some part of the world but wasn’t approved by FDA. remember, Elias and MLB don’t recognize WAR as an official stat (yet).

            if i have a beef with Cesar and Doobie, it is more on my preference of type of players i want in a team. it has nothing to do with their WAR.

            1. Even if I am misusing the true meaning of WAR, I know there are a lot of people out there who treat WAR the same way I do. I previously mentioned that I wasn’t a WAR believer in the beginning, but I am now. Is WAR a simplistic view of things? Probably. But it has its place and it’s not going anywhere, so I think it’s in your best interest to accept WAR and move on. I’m not telling you to use it, but to accept that others will use it.

            2. Guru – i do believe in the value of WAR and accepted its limitations. but i will only use it to it’s intended purpose – to measure a player’s value/ contribution to his team. it is not a stat that i made so i have no intention to redefine its intention.

              I do believe that WAR is best to consider in MVP, contracts/arbitrations and ASG considerations. but to measure a player’s performance, I’ll rather rely on those various MLB accepted advance sabermetrics.

    3. A 3 WAR player on the worst team in the league is supposed to be valued the same as a 3 WAR player on the best team. It’s not dependent on what type of team you play on.

      Cesar Hernandez is an above average offensive player, a decent baserunner, and a good second baseman defensively. Why is it so hard to believe that adds up to an above average regular?

      1. Otero – in my discussion with Guru, value is referred as “physical abilities” (which was made clear). so if you pick up a 3 WAR player from a weak team and compared that to a 3 WAR from a strong team – there’s a big change that both players have different physical abilities. I used Simmons (LAA) and Arenado (COL) as examples. Cesar has a 2.2 WAR in 2017 and I’m 100% that there will be many players with <2.2 WAR in other teams that are better MLB players than Cesar. So in measuring MLB players physical abilities, WAR is irrelevant which is consistent with its definition.

        I will not deny that Cesar is a valuable player for the 2016 and 2017 Phillies team, that's why he got one of the highest WAR in the Phillies team. Take that WAR number outside the Phillies team, that number becomes irrelevant.

        And Cesar as "an above average offensive player, a decent baserunner, and a good second baseman defensively" – i will also agree to this. But you don't need to throw WAR to support this statement. There a lot of metrics and advance sabermetrics to prove that Cesar's offense is above ave, his baserunning is decent and defense is ok. It needs to be measured separately and his current 2.2 WAR will not tell you that, so WAR again as a performance measure is irrelevant.

        1. For sure, WAR’s correlation with physical abilities is not direct. That’s why guys with above average physical abilities get 2nd, 3rd, 4th shots in the league. But at some point, production matters. Sure, Pivetta has a big arm, but he’s had an absolute terrible year (-0.9 WAR). Lively has a 1.4 WAR. If there was only 1 rotation spot left for 2018 and it came down to Lively and Pivetta, you’re going to give the spot to Pivetta? How do you justify that? Because he has a big arm? Then you’re not rewarding players who don’t have “loud tools” who produce.

          1. @Guru – my view on Cesar and Pivetta should be taken separately. And also, just remember that i don’t utilize WAR to assess a player’s future projection.

            I think majority in this site starts to believe that the future 2B is in LHV, it just happened that i already said this more than a year ago than most. Having a better option in 2B (Kingery) is the main reason why i propose to move on from Cesar especially after last year’s breakout season. Hating is an easy thing to do, some here just assume that i hate Cesar so i’m blinded with all of these “good Cesar-stuff”. Moving on is not hating.

            I actually post my preferred 2018 starting rotation in this same thread yesterday at noon. I re-posted it below FYI. Looking at my projection, what you think of me is wrong. I did actually have Lively over Pivetta to start 2018 and put some caveat’s on Pivetta.

            Starters (Apr 2018) – FA (Otani, Darvish, Lynn, Cobb), Nola, Eickhoff*, Vinny**, Lively*
            Starters (Aug 2018) – FA (Otani, Darvish, Lynn, Cobb), Nola, Pivetta+, Eshelman, Anderson

            * – traded if no problems in the development of Anderson, Seranthony and Kilome
            ** – moved to the pen or traded

            + – Pivetta will be the enigma for me next year. I really like his arm but he is starting to look like he’ll be joining Vinny and Appel in the pen. One of the lefty arms (El Garcia, Irvin) might be called up if Pivetta moved in the pen.

          2. @guru – and as far as measurement of production, there are a lot of offensive and defensive stats that are readily available as WAR and they have a more direct correlation with the actual performance in the field. They provide better basis rather than using WAR in isolation. There are a lot of sites that uses these advance sabermetrics to evaluate a player’s performance. They will made reference to bWAR, fWAR and stuff like that, but they use it to compliment the other stats they are using. Analyzing stats to formulate a conclusion is not as easy as A>B, B>C, therefore C>A.

        2. I love when someone comes on this site and bases an entire argument either on selective numbers or false numbers. You have done both.

          First, the false numbers. Cesar does not have a 2.2 WAR. That’s a false assumption. He has a 2.8 fWAR and a 2.5 bWAR. So you start with a falsehood and make your argument as if the false fact were true. It isn’t.

          Second, you selectively choose numbers without proper context or explanation to support your argument. First of all, Cesar missed a lot of games this year. If you extrapolate his current fWAR and bWAR numbers to a full season, you get a little less than 4 fWAR or a bit more than 3 bWAR. So, even in the worst of scenarios, Cesar has been a well above average first division regular.

          And you omit last year’s numbers which are entirely consistent with this years numbers where he was a 4.3 fWAR and a 3.3 bWAR. Again, those are numbers for a first division regular.

          Adding to his value is the fact that he is entirely cost controlled for the next 3 years, which makes him significantly more valuable.

          I get your not a big fan of Cesar, but be honest about his performance. It’s been very, very good.

        3. The facts you cite are both false and misleading.

          Cesar has played to a 2.8 fWAR and 2.5 bWAR this year. So, the 2.2 WAR number you cite for support of his value over a given year are just false.

          It’s misleading because: (a) Cesar missed a lot of time, if you take his actual numbers and apply them to a 160 game season, he’s a little below 4 fWAR and a little above 3 bWAR – first division regular numbers; and (b) he was a 4.3 fWAR and 3.3 bWAR last year – numbers entirely consistent with this year’s 160 game projections.

          Also, Cesar is cost controlled through 2020 – three more years. This adds significantly to his value.

          You don’t like him a lot, I get it. But be honest about the numbers.

          1. @catch – WAR number can be slightly different depending which source you prefer (i.e. BP, FG, etc) or at what point in time you check it, so is my number misleading or to much way off from norm for you to go berserk?

            How can you say that I don’t like him? I value him less that most of the pro-Cesar here but it doesn’t necessary mean I don’t like him. I view Kingery as the future 2B coz I think he’s the better overall player but it doesn’t mean i don’t like Cesar.

            WAR is as an “as of date” stat, you don’t extrapolate, average or use prior WAR to project a future WAR. That’s misapplication of what’s it is intended to achieve.

            I respect your high regards to Cesar so i hope you understand mine, so don’t think that I’m just throwing false info (Cesar current WAR per baseball reference is 2.5) and mislead people because i don’t like a player.

            1. No, I stand by my prior comments. The information you threw out WAS both false and misleading. Also, the “as of date” position you take is also misleading. When you call someone a 2.2 WAR player – everyone takes that to mean on an annualized basis. On an annualized basis, using the two most established sources of WAR – Fangraphs and BaseballReference – he’s between a 3+ and a 4+ WAR this year and last year, which means he’s between an above average regular at the very worst and slightly below an AS level at best.

            2. @catch – then you are standing on a wrong premise. You mentioned FG but their own definition says “to date” (see 1st sentence, paragraph 2 of the link below). Anybody who clearly understand WAR knows that WAR is used as “an as of date” unless they have their own definition of WAR.

              In the statistics world, the use of “true up” or “annualized” number is only used for data that are not volatile on a year-to-year basis. WAR is not like that because it can swing from year to year. A player can have a negative WAR last year but produce a 3-4 WAR this year and he is still the same type of player regardless of the fluctuation of his WAR.

              WAR is calculated based on certain baseline data. You have to project those baseline data if you really need to project a future WAR. You just cannot assume that if a player’s has an as of date of 3 WAR 3/4 of the season, therefore, his end of season WAR is 4. WAR concept doesn’t work that way.

              http://www.fangraphs.com/library/misc/war/

            3. No, I’m not standing on the wrong premise.

              Your argument is like arguing on July 20th that Freddy Freeman has only hit 18 homers and there’s not much of a market for a first baseman who only hits 18 homers. Of course, that’s a ridiculous argument, because his season isn’t close to being over and he has a track record of production that would indicate he will hit a lot more homers on an annualized basis.

              So it is with Cesar – his track record indicates that he should produce between 3-4+ WAR assuming he doesn’t improve.

        4. The Hernandez hate is crazy. You have one of the better 2B in the league on our team and he constantly begs crapped on.

          1. Yes, it’s true. I don’t get it.

            The other thing I don’t get is why people feel as I’m being inconsistent when I praise Cesar but also think he should be traded sooner or later because I think Kingery will be an even better player. I’m not being inconsistent or showing “hate” toward Cesar. I like Cesar a lot. I just think Kingery’s going to be better and so want to market Cesar while he’s especially valuable and controllable.

            I suppose if Kingery could play third, you could still keep Cesar, but that doesn’t seem likely right now, nor is it Kingery’s highest and best use.

            1. @catch – if you will just clear your head, the argument is really the use of WAR not hating on Cesar. Cesar is Cesar, we’ve already seen him for the last 10 years. You and Guru are just attaching this WAR to Cesar, that’s why you think I hate on Cesar.

              I already made clear with Guru that my beef is not with Cesar, it with the people who misused and misapplied WAR.

            2. You speak as if Cesar’s performance has been the same over 10 years and of course it hasn’t been. He improved steadily through last year and has now stabilized at 3-4+ WAR. The WAR number indicates that Cesar is both an above average offensive and defensive player, which he is. I don’t see how WAR has been misused – except your use of a 2.2 WAR number that was both false and misleading in that it suggested he was “just” a 2.2 WAR player – which he isn’t.

            3. @catch – please, move on from the Cesar debate. I’m not hating on him. I’m don’t even say anything bad against him for months now. The trend right now (including you) is for the Phils to move on from Cesar and get ready for Kingery.

              If you want to nit pick on the 2.2 WAR (which i got from baseball reference the other day) and disregard how i use it as an analogy is up to you. You can twist it the way you want to attack me but my posts are clear on what I want to argue about.

              My argument has been the misused and misapplication of WAR. Guru gets it even though we agree to disagree.

          2. Not according to this site. We have ty cobb in kingery and cesar stinks. all we can get for him is international money or a bad arm pitcher or middle relief, Most on here wont say anything if he is traded and kingery isn’t as good.

            1. rocco…it is what the market deems his value. Cesar will be in a market with other second basemen who could be more cost effective, better skilled, younger, at the end of a contract et al. There are about 5/6 other second basemen hitting free agency/or in that trade category…and then there are the new prospects on the scene, like a Willie Calhoun. There may be only 4 , maybe 5 teams that will need to look for a second basemen at the most
              Not that he isn’t worth value.

  34. Estrada signed just a one year extension? He was a target pitcher I wanted for Phillies. He was likely to be given qual offer so he took less money and only for one year…. now I’d really want him as a return for Galvis and Lively.
    I was trying to figure out how Phillies could get him without giving up draft pick. Since it looks like Blue Jays may try to keep their core for another season, maybe Galvis can net a good bullpen arm or recent draft pick.

    1. I think Estrada was really comfortable with the Blue Jays. He’s had his best WAR years with the Blue Jays. Second, looks like the Blue Jays are going to “go for it” in 2018. Donaldson and Happ have 1 year left on their deals, so I’m assuming Estrada took the one year deal for that reason.

  35. Williams is Pace for 200 k’s this yr between AAA and MLB.even thought he’s keeping an avg of around .280 with power. Altherr has to stay healthy for 500 AB . The need to bring in one lhp like a Happ ,JoJo Ranger, etc . I still think Dallas Keuchel can be had for the right trade.

    1. Tim – IMO, having a balance RH-LH in the rotation is nice but for the Phils’ pre-dominantly RH pitching staff’s need for a lefty will only be crucial/important in a play offs match especially versus a team with a LH leaning bats. Most of the batters are RH where the split most probably favors the RH pitcher. So the continued development of the staff’s pitching repertoire particularly a consistent CU (to neutralize LH bats) will be my priority rather than acquiring a LH unless there’s an elite lefty that’s there to be had without costing prospects. The Phils will have a better season in 2018 but they are still not expected to contend.

      Elniery Garcia is in the 40-man, the Phils can try him out this ST and at some point in 2018. Ranger can be a surprise in 2018 and going forward since he might be added to the 40-man this offseason or at some point in 2018 if he continue his current trend. Leibrandt and Irvin, they will have 2018 to show if they can serviceable back-end rotations options too.

      I’ll pass on Keuchel. Last year, I hope that both Kershaw and Price will opt out so the Phils can go after them next offseason, but now, both have injury concerns heading into their 30s so I will pass on both. Hinkie proposed a Cesar trade to acquire Skaggs or Norris if Klentak can make it happen – this option i like.

      1. KuKo….it also helps to break up every other three game series during the season with a lefty in the rotation.

        1. @romus – i can’t really say if that has any implication in the outcome of the game. for me, it’s all about team’s pitcher vs batter match up, that’s why i like the batting stats that splits vs RH and LH pitchers. My preference is to have 5 really good and dependable starting rotation regardless of which hand they use to pitch.

      2. You can’t have all the prospect play on the ml club some have to go. Plus most of the best pitches are lefties Sale, Kershaw, Gio Gonzalez, Robbie Ray,Lester, Dallas .Pomeranz, Co!e Hamels ,Alex Wood , Happ , etc

  36. Nine games to go (10 for the White Sox) and the race for the 1-1 pick could hardly be closer. Four teams are within 2 games of the 2018 draft’s top pick.

    Giants 60-93 –
    Phillies 61-92 1 GB
    CWS 61-91 1.5 GB
    Tigers 62-91 2 GB

    Games left:
    Giants ….. 3 @ Dodgers, 3 @ DBacks, 3 vs Padres
    Phillies …. 3 @ Braves, 3 vs Nats, 3 vs Mets
    CWS ……. 3 vs Royals, 4 vs Angels, 3 @ Indians
    Tigers ….. 3 vs Twins, 3 @ Royals, 3 @ Twins

    The Phillies own the tie-breaker on all these teams, but it looks like they have the easiest end-of-schedule.

    1. Tank you Hinkie for the update.
      I can live with a 2nd place finish…Giants may go position player as the first pick.
      And even if they go pitcher….college most likely, as they have done in the past when they drafted relatively high….there are still 3 or 4 solid ones out there and who knows who could pop up between now and May 2018.

    2. I predicted the Phillies would end with the 3 worst record, but it’s looking now like it will probably be 4th. Honestly, they have so much young hitting talent right now that, unless they intentionally play the worst players or rest starters, it’s going to be hard for them not to finish 4th – they are much better than these other teams right now.

    3. Hinkie doesn’t matter but ty , we will blow it and draft third and miss out on a stud. we will pick a jeff Jackson instead of a frank Thomas. its our history

      1. Missing sometimes is what the draft is all about – it’s unavoidable. What we need to avoid is having a Jeff Jackson or Anthony Hewitt year after year with very high picks. I’m going to hold my tongue on Moniak for now – but it’s not looking good so far. Technically, the old failures shouldn’t affect the new team – it’s a different group of people – but who knows?

  37. Read that ATL fired a number of pro scouts today. This is surprising to me considering how it appears that they are acquiring and stock piling good talent.

    With the exception of Kingery, Johnny A. scouting ability hasn’t provided a good hope of expecting a high end talent. Does McPhail-Klentak need to move on from Johnny A. and have a guru to run the domestic scouting? My answer is I don’t know. Although I have to say that I’m a little disappointed for Johnny A. on no taking higher risk higher reward type of a prospect.

    1. Agree on the high risk/high reward prospects – especially after the first several rounds. You want some Aaron Altherr toolshed guys or big arms like Ken Giles once you start getting to the 7th round and later.

      1. know its very SSS but I’m surprised that Williams,Alfaro, JPC, and even Hoskins are all hitting better than they did at LHV.

        1. It’s true but I’ve been telling folks for years that AAA LhV is a VERY difficult hitting environment. Guys come up from there and tend to do just as well in the majors as they did in AAA – it’s fairly close. That’s why it was so odd to me that Cody Asche never clicked – he killed it in AAA. But aside from him, performance has generally carried very well from AAA to the majors. Not so much, however, with pitchers – for them it’s still a pretty big jump.

          1. Catch, do you think it’s because the pitching styles at AAA are so varied while there are way fewer junk ballers in the bigs? Newly promoted major league hitters are better prepared for pitchers that come right at them, no?

    2. KuKo … to your point … I was watching yesterday’s game and drooling over Walker Buehler. I know the Phillies had a real interest in him before the 2015 (Johnny A’s first) draft, but backed away (as did a lot of other teams) when Buehler missed some time in his jr season at Vanderbilt with elbow pain. The Dodgers gambled on Buehler. They scooped him up at 1-24, and immediately sent him to get TJ surgery. They had to wait a year, but that gamble looks like it’s really going to pay off in a huge way for the Dodgers. He’s in MLB in less than three years after the daft and less than two years removed from TJ. Oh … and BTW … he’s throwing 98 and 99 MPH. He’ll be their #2 starter (behind Clayton Kershaw) beginning next season.
      I know Cornelius Randolph is very young, and I believe he’ll put up great numbers next season in Reading, but it is very, very doubtful he’ll match the prospect/MLB player that Buehler has become.
      Like you mentioned, Almarez hit a HR with the Phillies second round pick (Kingery). He’s also done well with other later picks like JoJo Romero (4th round),Grant Dyer (8th round), Bailey Falter (5th round), Kyle Young (22nd round), and Nick Fanti (31st round). However, his first round picks, so far, have been less than overwhelming, especially when you consider they have all been top 10 selections. In all fairness, those first round picks have probably been more of a team selection, and not just Almarez’s decisions. In any event, the Phillies (as an organization) have to do better at the top of the draft going forward.

      1. Hinkie…the last productive number one…Nola in ’14, under Ruben….and Ruben hired Johnny A that year but not until October…so it was Marti Wolever.

      2. To give Johnny some credit – think of the enormous personal risk he would have taken drafting a guy with a blown elbow with the 10th pick in a draft. He would have had to fought for that pick and it could have ruined his career right off the bat. I’m sure nobody wanted to be the guy to put his professional reputation at risk to plead with John Middleton to take a guy who was hurt. Sometimes it’s good to have a later pick – it’s a lot easier to justify a risky pick.

      3. Romus … that was the year the Phillies went nearly all college players. Marti Wolever’s going away gifts to the team: Aaron Nola and Rhys Hoskins. Nice !

        Catch … you are correct. It would have taken a well established Amateur Scouting Director (and a very supportive GM and owner) to draft Buehler with the 10th pick. However, I hope Buehler ends up at least becoming a lesson-learned by the Phillies. The lesson to be learned is sometimes it’s not a bad idea to gamble on a high upside prospect (especially now with their system so deep). I’m not sure they did take anything away from the Buehler situation because they passed on Shane Baz this year.

    3. Give his drafts some time usually 4 to 5 yrs . Also the coaching means alot funny this group now that’s up in bigs are Amaro’ s players.

  38. IMO, the hot stove league has commensed. Here is my take on what we could see this off season.

    Barring the unforeseeable, Kingery will be up by Memorial Day.
    Cesar will be traded sometime this winter, perhaps in a package for a SP. I think the best partner may be the Dodgers. However, Cesar’s value isn’t very high mainly because the 2b buyers’ market isn’t all that.
    ToJo will likely go to an AL club in a very insignificant trade, perhaps some int’l $$.
    Freddy may appeal to a contending club like Toronto, who appear poised to go for it in ’18.
    JPC’s position flexibility secures him a spot somewhere on the infield to begin next season. Whether Freddy moves on or not, Crawford’s the long term SS.
    IF Herrera is somehow involved in a deal for a TOR arm, Franco may move to 1b while Rhys stays in LF, for the time being.

    As Ruben liked to say, it’s all a fluid situation.

    1. If TJ gets traded, he’s going to go for the ever popular “cash considerations”. Sure, TJ can only play 1B, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he was on the bench for 2018. He could be the primary PH with pop.

      1. @Guru think about this way, if Herrera is traded Altherr is the only One that can play center . Nick Williams stays in Right , Hoskins is there best LF option ToJo plays 1 st base.

    1. I’m beginning to wonder if Otani even comes over this winter.
      Keith Law was asked about Otani’s situation yesterday.

      David: What would the penalty be if MLB discovered an “under the table” deal with Ohtani?
      Keith Law: A fine, and maybe a loss of international pool money and/or draft picks. Probably still worth it. MLB is royally screwing this up. Manfred should just waive the rules for Otani and let him go to the highest bidder. Otherwise, the kid is nuts to come over now, between the restrictions and his impending ankle surgery.

      If the penalty for getting caught having an “under the table” agreement with Otani is going to be a fine, the J2 penalty box, and maybe a draft pick or two, I believe an aggressive team (won’t be the choirboy Phillies) will say, “Screw it. Otani is far more valuable than the international money and the draft picks”.

      1. KLaw is guessing on the penalty.
        Under this new CBA and the specific int’l restructuring to make it as fair and equitable as possible, and then, the first thing out of the gates is a violation…my guess the penalty will be steep….loss of first round Rule 4 draft CHOICES (plural)….and the obligatory fine to fill the coffers.
        Look what they did to the Red Sox and that was before the new CBA was in place.

        Why not just do a lottery among all 30 teams, for Otani for a two year commitment to that one winning lottery team, but also under a non-tendered minor league contract!.
        Then he becomes a free agent at 25.

        1. Romus … better yet, why not just grandfather Otani (and any other international player) who is 23 or 24 YO. Just say these players would have qualified under the previous CBA. Avoid the potential for scandal and financially reward a rare talent.

          1. Hinkie..I do not think they want to do that….setting a precedent that alters the basic agreement of the CBA. If they wanted to do that they would have lowered the age to reflect that in the negotiation process with MLBPA prior to the Dec ramification.
            There is a reason 25 was the agreed upon and selected age for that purpose.

            1. Having Otani the grand prize of a lottery is even more unfair to the Japanese superstar. You’re forcing Otani to fall under all the same provisions (i.e. same money) as every other J2 prospect, despite the fact he’s 6 years older than most of them and will already be one of the top 5 pitchers in MLB when he gets here. The only difference is all the other J2 prospects can choose the team they want to sign with; Otani gets his new team picked for him.

              I have no idea why MLB decided to up the J2 age from 23 to 25 (especially months before Otani had plans to emigrate here). Do you know ?

            2. Otani does not have to come over then….the rules of the CBA are meant for everyone that falls into those specific areas…no exceptions should be allowed.

            3. You’re right. Otani doesn’t have to come over. He’ll actually be taking a financial hit playing in MLB now. The guy wants to compete in the world’s best league. What sense does it make for MLB (Rob Manfred) to take steps to try to dissuade one of the most talented and exciting players in the world from coming to MLB as soon as possible ?
              I still have no clue why MLB upped the true free agency age for international players from 23 to 25 just months before Otani was planning to come over. In what world does it make any sense that Lourdes Gurriel can sign (last November) with the Blue Jays for 22 million dollars, while Otani may only be able to land a contract worth four or five million dollars ? Gurriel (who slashed .229/.268/.339 between A+ and AA) is only eight-and-a-half months older than Otani, yet he’s allowed over as a true FA while Otani has to abide by the J2 rules. Like I suggested above … just grandfather all international players who are currently 23 or 24 years old since they were directly affected (in a negative way) by the new CBA.

            4. Hinkie…..that is a good question however.
              Why didn’t they just grandfather those born in that period , not sure is it maybe ’92 or ’93, since , like you said, prior to that, 23 was the cut-off age..

        2. I Think the penalty should be you lose your best player, he becomes a free agent and goes to highest bidder. His contract money from the club who loses him goes to major league baseball. So if the angels do it they lose trout, if trout would get less with new club then major league baseball makes up the difference and you lose two first round choice, and no international money for three years none. cripple a cheating club. Just like they should have done with the patriots. If the patriots lost brady over cheating think of what club in there right mind would cheat.

  39. If the reason why we’re trading Herrera is for pitching and we can afford to do so because of our OF depth, how come nobody is talking about trading Altherr? Altherr is 26 (older than Herrera and Williams), he’s been injury prone, and he’s poorer defensively than Odubel.

    1. Correct if i am wrong…but a Herrera brings back more..perhaps a TOR pitcher.
      What value would you place on Altherr at this point in return value?
      Herrera will have more of a three years of proven track record of production and health than Altherr.
      .

      1. Plus Herrera’s contract is very appealing to an interested team. While I believe Altherr has higher upside since his faculties above the neck alone seem more sound than Doobie’s, he’s injury prone and hasn’t been able to establish himself yet as a bonafide starting OF rather than a very solid 4th floater. So AA would not bring back the upper echelon arm as the central piece in a trade package, whereas Herrera might.

      2. @Romus Herrera alone wouldn’t bring a Chris Sale . 1 Which TOR Pitcher are you talking about ? 2 Hoskins , Jp , Nick Williams are all ML ready even cheaper then Herrera . Say Zona came around with Ray said they wanted Jp, Hoskins , Herrera , Medina and Gowdy. Would you do it ? 3 most of the Teams that have Tor Pitching are vg teams.

        1. Tim:
          No…for Ray, for that amount of talent.
          But I would think about Cardinal’s Alex Reyes for Herrera or maybe Pirate’s Mitch Keller….they would also have to add another pitching prospect (top 15 or 20) from their respective system

          1. Just Herrera never ever happen ,Wasn’t Reyes hurt . No Gm in baseball would do that. Niether would the Phillies.

            1. Reyes is healing well.
              He will be a TOR in two years.
              Will be pitching again in 2018.
              Not sure how many GMs would pass up an opportunity like that….and Herrera whether or not, he would be enough, do not know until he is offered.

            2. Alex Reyes 23 yrs old never pitched more then 111 ings in any season . Why well 2015 shut down because of shoulder stiffness . 2016 tested positive for WEED suspended . 2017 TJ surgery your looking at maybe 2020 at the age of 26 before he see’s 200 ing clearance. That’s if his shoulder and elbow hold up and he doesn’t test positive for WEED. Keller was shut down last yr for stiffness. His yr back issue’s has a FB 92 – 94 plus CB weak CU.

          2. No Pirates have a Meadows, Marte, Polanco outfield next yr . St Louis has a Ton of top 20’0utfields in there sys. I mite have stated the Question wrong @Romus Mlb proven TOR pitches that could be traded for Herrera .

            1. Polanco very poor year….also Marte PED guy, he will slump..Meadows is still a prospect that still hasn’t hit Indianapolis for MLB promotion .No way they would pass on herrera for Meadows.
              Herrera is proven.
              Keller is about the only hope of a TOR that the Phillies could get.

            2. 1 St Louis doesn’t need Herrera that bad plus there not stupid . Meadows is top 20 prospect he’s still young .Matre is fine and Polanco is young and plays RF where Marte and Herrera can’t play. you just said it ” the Phllies only shot at getting a TOR Pitcher is in AA ” . I’d take my chances by sighing Darvish and Lynn . I like some of our Pitching Prospects over Keller . Funny our own Jose Pujols is 6 for 11 with 0 k’s off of Keller.

    2. Guru … you answered your own question. “Altherr is 26 (older than Herrera and Williams), he’s been injury prone, and he’s poorer defensively than Odubel.”
      Not saying Altherr wouldn’t bring back a SP. Just saying he won’t bring back a SP really too much better than the guys the Phillies have competing for spots now.
      BTW … other than part of a James Paxton deal (and I don’t believe Seattle will trade him), I would keep Odubel at this point. The Phillies are on the verge of competing again. Herrera should be an important cog in their lineup.

      1. Paxton may not be the one your looking for. Just read on mlbtraderumors.com that
        Seattle is trying to figure him out. They are going to do blood testing on him and try to find him a good diet and also a good workout plan.

  40. This ToR pitching everyone talking about, would Herrera bring them back alone . You need to throw in at least 2 top prospects. Tor Pitching Sale, Kershaw, Kluber, Scherzer, Dallas Keuchel. .

  41. Couple of points on tonight’s broadcast:
    * Greg Murphy seems like a really nice guy, but he is not capable of handling play-by-play duties. He makes Tom McCarthy sound like Harry Kalas.
    * Call me spoiled, but there is nothing worse than watching a game w/o radar gun readings.

  42. On MLB story line – Phillies allow Ed Wade and several other senior scouts to leave or be relieved of their duties. Wonder what that is all about ?

    1. Did any of the guys who got fired work under Johnny Almaraz in the amateur scouting department ? If so, I would blame KuKo. He was complaining about Almarez & Co’s recent drafts earlier in this thread. Way to go, KuKo – there are going to be kids out there who will now go hungry because you called for their fathers to be fired !!!

  43. That’s why there’s cell phone apps. Plus you can actually look at there delivery, movement and location of the pitch .

  44. A lot of discussion has been focused on which players could be dealt to acquire pitching. I think there are deals to be made out there, but you’re not going to get a 1 or a 2 without surrendering a few major league players as well as some of our valuable prospects in the lower levels. I’m wondering why we’re not discussing utilizing our MASSIVE payroll flexibility by buying some arms on the open market. With all the young position players on the roster, and a CF with a very affordable extension, we could afford to overpay a few guys and become more competitive in 2018.

    1. Top priority would be Otani, although there doesn’t seem to be much buzz about the Phils signing him. Not something I’d count on. (Maybe give him the opportunity to play a corner OF position on his off days?)

    2. Make significant offers to Arrieta and Darvish. Sign them both if you can. You’d likely surrender a first rounder to the Cubs to get it done, but you’ve got two big-time arms you can team with Nola three games out of five. Are they going to age and become more expensive than their worth after a few seasons? Sure. But at that point you’ll hopefully have an infusion of youth with Sanchez, Medina, Kilome, Romero, etc. graduating to the bigs. And again, the Phils have money to spend.

    3. Trade Cesar Hernandez and a few other pieces for No.3/4 starter. If none are available, hold onto him and keep Kingery in the minors to start 2018.

    4. Give Freddy Galvis the majority of reps at 3B to start 2018. Rotate Franco in by giving Hoskins/Galvis days off at 1B and 3B. If Franco starts to figure it out, make more time for him to play, but at this point he’s done little to expect a starting job.

    2B: Hernandez/Kingery
    SS: Crawford
    CF: Herrera
    1B: Hoskins
    RF: Altherr
    LF: Williams
    C: Alfaro/Knapp
    3B: Galvis

    Darvish
    Arrieta
    Nola
    Eickhoff
    Velazquez/Pivetta (Personally, i think both would be much more effective out of the pen).

    I think this is a team that could at least compete for a Wild Card in 2018. Thoughts?

    1. I don’t see them signing Arrieta and Darvish. Not because they are being cheap or philosophically opposed to giving out multiple big contracts at the same time, but because I don’t see them risking having two bad contracts about 4 years from now when those pitchers start to decline – big contracts to over 30-year-old pitchers is expressly what they said they would try to avoid. But I could see them signing one of these guys (probably Darvish) and then adding another starter on a one or two-year over-pay contract.

      I also am not a fan of trading Cesar for a 3/4 UNLESS it’s a young pitcher who has a lot more upside – such as the type of trade Detroit pulled off when it traded for a young Max Scherzer.

      Galvis at third is a mistake – he’d play the position just fine but he’d be an offensive black hole out there. Honestly, the more I think about it, the more hopeful I am that somehow you could try Kingery at third and keep Cesar at second.

      Don’t be surprised if the Phillies look at the metrics, find that Hoskins was just A-ok in left and sign a first baseman to provide more offense and trade Williams. I like Williams, but I think he may not get much better than this and his trade value is high now.

      Don’t trade Knapp. Please don’t trade him. Call it hunch. I think there’s a lot of offensive upside there and his defense has been surprisingly good. He hasn’t shown it yet, but I believe the offensive potential is there.

    2. I would be okay with that, Mike.
      My hopeful 2019 opening day lineup –
      Kingery 2b
      Crawford ss
      Hoskins 1b
      Machado 3b
      Williams rf
      Altherr lf
      Haseley cf
      Alfaro/Knapp c
      *TOR starter*(Ohtani in my dreams, who knows….we might wake up one December morning with a Cliff Lee 2.0)

      1. Opening up the wallet in 2018 makes Machado a much better possibility in 2019. He’d be much more likely to sign with a team that’s knocking on the door than one with potential but major rotation holes.

    3. Honcho you hit it on the head. A 7 mil payroll you have to spend on some TOR Pitching. they need a closer and another RP. I would do a Darvish ,Lynn, Nola , Eickoff, Tarveras . I wouldn’t be surprised if Garcia and Neris are gone.

  45. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies remain interested in Yelich (and possibly Stanton), Rays’ FA RHP Alex Cobb, and that Freddy will be dangled to address another area of need.

      1. No, Tim – you’ve got the wrong post by an MLBTR writer. Ken Rosenthal was cited in a post later in the day. A little quick with the trigger just to contradict what you’d rather not hear.

        1. I don’t care if they trade Yelich I want Stanton I don’t care for who. I mean so far from the internet I’ve Jason Werth , Matt Garza, are coming to the Phillies which one should I believe ? Please help

    1. Read where the Os may be looking for a defensive -first shortstop or maybe utility guy….Freddy would do well there. But they already have Tim Beckham which kind of surprised me, and though he is not a complete liability in th field…he scored middle of the pack for SABR SDI, but his bat did play better than Freddy for 2017.

  46. according to espn pitch by pitch broadcast of Phils vs Braves, Sept 23 8th inning, L Garcia is dialing it up for the Phils at mostly 98 MPH. He can do that?

  47. Yes and Garcia was just hit around and lost the game for the Phillies. Garcia can totally lose control at any given time ,when He does it’s Bp practice .

  48. Just when you start to give up on this team’s chances of winning the draft’s top pick … they show you the resolve of a true 1-1 team !!! Seven games to go and the Phillies are back on top (or is it back in the bottom?) thanks to Madison Bumgarner.

    Phillies 61 – 94 – own the tie breaker
    Giants 61 – 94
    Tigers 62 – 93
    CWS 62 – 92

    Gotta watch out for those Tigers. That’s a hungry bunch (for that top pick). They haven’t won in a week !

    1. Hopefully the Nats have something still to prove this week. But they probably cannot catch the Dodgers being 4.5 games behind….but maybe keep momentum going into the playoffs.

      1. Romus … in a best case scenario, the Giants beat the Dodgers again today. That kills two birds with one stone: bird 1 – another SF win, bird 2 – keeps alive Nats hope of best NL record.

  49. In watching Phils in last ten games I am struck by Alfaro NOT being the answer at catcher.
    His hitting approach is both walks and strikes phobic. Admittedly, when he connects it is with terrific power – but in the meantime he is a black hole and it appears to me that it will only continue. He seems to also have trouble handling throws from the outfield in front of oncoming runners. I would include him in any trade for a “somewhat” proven pitcher.

    I have always liked Knapp’s obp and his ability to take a walk. With more defensive work I hope he is the ultimate winner of the competition. Besides, I still think the team would be best served by a senior defense only backup old timer – ala Ellis or his ilk.

  50. Maikel Franco:
    “He has hit .348 (16 for 46) with two doubles, three home runs, eight RBIs and a .949 OPS in the 12 games he has started since Crawford started three consecutive games at third base from Sept. 5-7. He (Franco) has started 10 games at third, and two at first”
    …..perhaps he is turning the corner into a better 2018..

      1. Agree. I don’t think the FO has a clear picture of how the off season will play out but depending on who gets traded, we might see Franco at 1b at some point in ’18. If he becomes offensively relevant again, then we may hear his name in the rumor mill. OR he could hit his way back into our hearts. However, more than anything, it will likely be about how well Crawford is doing if Galvis or Herrera are still in the picture. It’s conceivable that if Doobie was moved, Hoskins could become your LF especially if guys like Williams or Altherr are moved, but less likely if we signed Harper (which I doubt if Machado is FA target #1). In other words, we’re in for a pretty competitive game of musical chairs over the next 15 months.

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