Open Discussion: Week of October 1st

The Phillies closed out the season with an 11-0 pasting of the hated New York Mets.  They posted a 4-2 record over the final week with series wins over the equally hated Washington National and the Mets.  The Phillies finished with a 66-96 record and a .407 PCT.  They posted a 71-91 record in 2016, but showed promise after the All Star break this year when the went 37-38 after the infusion of several of their young prospects – Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro, Rhys Hoskins, and J.P. Crawford and some improved second-half pitching from guys like Victor Arano, Jake Thompson, Ben Lively, Adam Morgan, and Hoby Milner.  

The Phillies finished in last place in the division, 4.0 games behind the Mets and 31.0 games behind the first-place Nationals.

The Phillies finished with the third worst record and will have the third pick in next year’s Rule 4 draft.  The Detroit Tigers will have the 1:1 pick.

  • The Tigers finished 2-8 and tied the Giants for the worst record (64-98, .395).  They get the first pick by virtue of their inferior record in 2016 (86-75, .534).
  • The Giants finished 5-5.  Their 2016 record (87-75, .537) relegated them to the second pick next year.
  • The Phillies finished 5-5 and were 2.0 games back.
  • The White Sox finished 6-4 and were 1.0 game further back with their 67-95, .414.
  •  While the Phillies “blew” a lead over the final weeks, they were busy looking at young players who figure to make an impact next year.  The Tigers and White Sox blew up their rosters with deadline trades, and the Giants were just a real bad team this season.

Organizational News and Changes

The Phillies “transitioned” manager Pete Mackinon to an advisory role under GM Matt Klentak.  We’ve been having our discussion here.

Top 30 Poll

Last chance to submit your top 30 prospect rankings to  I’m going to shut it down mid-week.  I have received 38 responses.

The “Best of Polls” will continue until their completion sometime this week.  I’ll catch up with the results as quickly as I can.

Key Dates (newly entries are in bold text):

  • October 24th – World Series begins.
  • The day after the last game of the World Series, 9:00 AM – “Following the completion of the term of his Uniform Player’s Contract, any Player with 6 or more years of Major League service who has not executed a contract for the next succeeding season shall become a free agent.”  Organizations began an exclusive five-day negotiation window (referred to as “the quiet period” in the CBA) with their own free agents.  During “the quiet period” any Club representative and any free agent or his representative may talk with each other and discuss the merits of the free agent contracting, when eligible; provided that the Club and the free agent shall not negotiate terms or contract with each other. The following subjects are among those which may properly be discussed between any Club and such Player:
  • (i) the Player’s interest in playing for the Club, and the Club’s interest in having the Player play for it;
  • (ii) the Club’s plans about how it intends to utilize the Player’s services (as a starting pitcher or reliever, as a designated hitter or not, platooning, etc.);
  • (iii) the advantages and disadvantages of playing for the Club including the nature of the organization, the climate of the city, availability of suitable housing, etc.;
  • (iv) length of contract;
  • (v) guarantee provisions; and
  • (vi) no-trade or limited no-trade provisions.
  • Notwithstanding the foregoing, the free agent and his former Club may engage in negotiations and enter into a contract during “the quiet period”.
  • The fifth day after the last game of the World Series,  5:00 PM – Deadline for organizations to submit qualifying offers to their free agents. Last year’s QO was $17.2M.
  • This is also the deadline for organizations to exercise any club/mutual options.
  • October 15 or on the fifth day following the last day of the World Series, 5:00 PM Eastern Time, whichever is later (MLR 55(a)) – a player whose Minor League Uniform Player Contract expires becomes a Minor League free agent  unless the player’s Major or Minor League Club has remaining options to renew the contract.  As a Minor League free agent, the player may negotiate and enter into a contract with any Major or Minor League Club beginning on the first day that year that a Major League free agent is eligible to sign with a different Major League Club upon expiration of the player’s Major League contract (usually, the fifth day after the conclusion of the World Series.  I guess the inclusion of an October 15th date is for a year when a World Series might not be held – strike, natural disaster, terrorism?).
  • The fifth day after the last game of the World Series – Free agents become eligible to sign with any team.
  • Tenth day after the end of “the quiet period”, 5:00 PM – Deadline for players to accept/reject qualifying offers.  Those who decline will become free agents.
  • November 13-16 – GM meetings in Orlando.
  • November 20th – Deadline for roster expansion to 40 players prior to the Rule 5 draft.
  • December 2, 8:00 PM EST – Deadline for teams to tender contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters, including arbitration-eligible players.  Non-tendered players become free agents.  Tendered players who are arbitration eligible who do not accept the tender proceed to the arbitration process in February.
  • December 10-14 – Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida.
  • December 14th – Rule 5 draft.
  • January 9, 2018 – Salary arbitration filing deadline
  • January 12, 2018 – Salary arbitration figures exchanged
  • January 29 – February 16, 2018 – Salary arbitration hearings, Phoenix, Arizona
  • February 14, 2018 – earliest date for pitchers/catchers to report to Spring Training
  • February 19, 2018 – earliest date for all other players to report for full squad workouts
  • February 26, 2018 – Tentative date for the start of Grapefruit League games
  • March 29, 2018 – Opening Day for the 2018 season
  • June 4-6, 2018 – 2018 MLB Draft
  • July 17, 2018 – 89th All Star Game, at Nationals Park
  • August 19, 2018 – Phillies v. Mets in the Little League Classic in Williamsport.
  • December 10-13, 2018 – Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada

Last Week’s Transactions: 

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


247 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of October 1st

    1. I’d be more than excited for Ethan Hankins, but I doubt the Phillies pick a HS pitcher at 1-3.

      I put together an early mock draft:
      1. TIGERS ………… Nander De Sedas HS SS
      2. GIANTS ………… Brady Singer Fla RHP
      3. PHILLIES ………. Ryan Rolison Ole Miss LHP
      4. WHITE SOX ….. Nolan Gorman HS 3B
      5. REDS …………… Casey Mize Auburn RHP
      6. METS …………… Jackson Kowar Fla RHP
      7. PADRES ………. Ethan Hankins HS RHP
      8. BRAVES ………. Will Banfield HS C
      9. A’s ……………….. Nick Madrigal Oregon St MIF
      10. PIRATES …….. Jarred Kelenic HS OF
      11. ORIOLES …….. Jeremy Eierman Missouri St SS/3B
      12. BLUE JAYS ….. Matthew Liberatore HS LHP
      13. MARLINS …….. Griffin Conine Duke OF
      14. MARINERS …… Brice Turang HS SS
      15. RANGERS ……. Kumar Rocker HS RHP
      16. RAYS …………… Logan Gilbert Stetson RHP
      17. ANGELS ………. Jordan Groshans HS SS
      18. ROYALS ………. Tim Cate UConn LHP
      19. CARDINALS …. Mike Siani HS OF (Penn Charter)
      20. TWINS …………. Shane McClanahan S Fla LHP
      21. BREWERS ……. Seth Beer Clemson 1B
      22. ROCKIES ……… Austin Bergner UNC RHP
      23. YANKEES …….. Kendall Logan Simmons HS SS
      24. CUBS ………….. Luke Bartnicki HS LHP
      25. DBACKS ……… Konnor Pilkington Miss St LHP
      26. RED SOX …….. Austin Becker HS RHP
      27. NATIONALS …. Carter Stewart HS RHP
      28. ASTROS ……… Xavier Edwards HS SS
      29. INDIANS ……… Tristan Pompey Kentucky OF
      30. DODGERS …… Matt Mercer Oregon RHP

      * Rolison was the best pitcher in the Cape Cod League this summer. Has very good command of 92-95 MPH FB and better than plus breaking ball. He is a draft eligible soph.
      * Seth Beer to the Brewers just makes too much sense !

      1. My top four college arms right now if available at 1.3—Singer, Rolison, Kowar and Mize in that order. Rolison would be ideal as a LHP…..Phillies did not start one LHP all season…first time in a century that has happened.
        Phillies sure to get one of them and hopefully in the Philly rotation by end of 2019.

      2. I need to check out more of Rolison and some other guys on this list. I know Almarez is kind of conservative when it comes to the draft but that kid’s fast ball is just electric, and he still has room to grow! Has to be the top HS arm at this point.

      3. Alvarez likes hitters. He drafts Conine 1-3 underslot and takes an overslot HS pitcher 2-3.

          1. Well if that ends up the case, then that about goes 180 on what MacPhail said exactly two years ago this month, “we will grow the pitchers and buy the hitters” and they then have decided to change their somewhat basic philosophy or move oft-centered a bit I would think..

            1. Looking at the draft pattern the last three years, there is a hitter in round one followed by two college pitchers and a HS pitcher somewhere in the next four or five rounds separated by an infielder or two. Conine seems like the safest hitter at this point, but we’ll see.

        1. If the Phillies draft a bat, I think it will be Nolan Gorman or Jeremy Eierman. Both will end up as 3Bmen. Gorman has huge power. He won every HR Derby at the HS showcase events this summer. IMO, Eierman can be a Nick Senzel with more power. Pitching is very deep in this draft. If Johnny A drafts Gorman or Eierman at a discount with the 1-3 pick, he can still accumulate high end arms in rounds 2 and beyond.

  1. 37-38 after the all star break is very encouraging. We just need some starting pitching to move this thing forward. Yesterday’s lineup could easily be the same lineup, or very similar, to opening day 2018. I expect a trade for a starter plus a free agent starter signed. Would the Giants trade MadBum to start over? What would that cost?

  2. I’m disappointed about Pete. Thought he did a nice job developing the young core. Name one think little Ivy League boy has done?? neshack maybe!

    1. The number one thing Klentak has done is not rush the rebuild. He hasn’t traded any prospects for older players. He’s kept the Phillies payroll the most flexible in MLB by not handing out multi year contracts to aging veterans. He’ll be judged for what he does this and (mostly) next off season. I’d be happy if Klentak deals CeHe this winter (preferably for a LHP). He should also ink Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, Aaron Altherr, and maybe even Rhys Hoskins to long term, team friendly contracts (like the one Odubel Herrera signed last off season). He also, of course, needs to find the right guy to manage this team going forward.

      1. Agreed. Just don’t give the Ce He Kid away for nothing. If the deals are underwhelming, Kingery can wait a little longer in AAA.

        1. Mike … One thing to know about this situation: this might be the last best chance to trade Cesar. Not only will Hernandez have one less year of team control next winter, but the market will be flooded with 2Bmen. Daniel Murphy, Brian Dozier, Ian Kinsler, DJ LeMahieu, Logan Forsythe, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Jed Lowrie could all be FA’s in 2018. The Rays got a top 35 prospect (Jose De Leon) for Logan Forsythe last season. I’m pretty confident Cesar should (at least) bring back a similar return. Klentak should be open to adding a pitcher (maybe Thompson or Taveras) to sweeten the return.

          1. I agree that he should be traded, and getting a prospect like DeLeon would be ideal. I’m more afraid of trading him for a reliever or utility guy (think Polanco for Uggie Urbina).

    2. Big d, you act as if Klentak spent his time at Dartmouth sitting at a computer filling spreadsheets and picking pimples. Dude was a three year starter and a captain on the school’s Division I baseball team. He’s got more baseball pedigree than “little boy” suggests.

  3. This was the most enjoyable losing season I’ve witnessed as a Phillies Phan. This was season 31 for me

    1. Enjoyable for the most part after the Williams promo and subsequent promos of Hoskins, Alfaro and JPC.
      Also surprised to see Pivetta make 25plus starts….wow….did not realize that.
      He could really be a pitcher to watch going forward. He has durability and the raw stuff to excel.
      I am willing to bet there are GMs out there that could see a future Arrieta in him and want to take him off the Philies hands for cheap.

      1. I’d keep running Pivetta out there as a SP and hope he lowers his BB%. If he’s eventually overtaken by some of the Phillies younger SP prospects, I could see him as a late inning reliever. He reminds me a lot of Ryan Madson. Great job by RAJ to get him for Papelbon.

          1. I really like Nolan Gorman and Matt Liberatore (in addition to Hankins). Mike Siani (Penn Charter) and Alek Thomas could be second round targets. Thomas (also a football star) reminds me of Lenny Dykstra.

            1. Hinkie…remember roccom’s bet years ago…better retract that, you never know anymore.

      2. True. Even so, I was looking forward to them getting promoted. A lot of that excitement I had for this team came from this site. So kudos to those that make it a nice place to gather for us baseball junkies.

        This offseason could be real darn exciting too. I see them keeping all of the INFs, after determining their value on the trade market is below their expectations. I hope they can either get a FA pitcher and or trade for one.’ Without sending my fav prospects out the door. This team is heading it the right direction again. Klentak has a cake job, even a monkey could get it right from here on out 🙂 by that I mean, he could make a few mistakes and still get this team the players it needs. They have set themselves up nicely.

        Really looking forward to kingery’s promotion, and watching Kilome and Sixto rise in the ranks next year.
        2018 can’t get here fast enough!

  4. We knew that Pete was not here when the team got good again. He is a good guy, deserved the ovation he received yesterday which was very classy by the fans, and has a front office job making good money. The target is squarely on MacKlentak starting this off season. They could have bought themselves another year by keeping Pete for 1 more, but by “transitioning” him they announced that the time has come to win. Now they have to make moves that, quite frankly, need to be better than the ones they have made so far.

  5. Just reported that Braves GM is moving on (fired or quit ?) – team being investigated for “perhaps improper international market” discretions. Others in front office also implicated. Maybe they will have to give up some of their signees ???? There goes that No. 1 minor league status ??

    1. Could you imagine if Atlanta has to let go of Kevin Maitan ?
      He would be a nice consolation prize for a team not able to land Shohei Otani. Might be another Simon Muzziotti situation. Maitan keeps his signing bonus from the Braves and then accaepts another contract from a new team.

        1. Hinkie… might be the players they signed in this current signing period that may have to be relinquished…as Muzziotti was in that respective signing period in 2015…this signing period is still going on and goes thru June 15, 2018
          Here are the Braves currnet signings as of the BA tracker:

          Atlanta Braves
          Asmin Bautista, of, Dominican Republic, $300,000.
          Oscar Nunez, rhp, Dominican Republic, $185,000.
          Geraldo Santana, of, Dominican Republic
          Estarlin Rodriguez, rhp, Dominican Republic
          Joel Reyes, of, Dominican Republic
          Henry Quintero, of, Cuba
          Kimberling Encarnacion, of, Dominican Republic
          Eudi Asencio, rhp, Dominican Republic
          Edwin Jimenez, lhp, Dominican Republic
          Eric Jimenez, rhp, Dominican Republic
          Juan Lozano, rhp, Colombia
          Jose Hernandez, of, Venezuela
          Charbel Hadad, of, Venezuela
          Angel Rojas, ss, Dominican Republic

  6. Given this city’s recent tanking reputation, I’m glad the Phils put together a better showing in the second half. The promotions of the younger players have given some hope for optimism for the next few years.


  7. I wonder if the Phil’s would be players for Carlos Santana to play first, with Hoskins in left? Sanatana would bring 20 homers, 30 doubles, 90 walks, and would be a decent piece, batting 6th or so. Hoskins would then add to the glut of outfielders to be used as trade pieces for pitching,

    1. I rather keep Hoskins at first. his natural postion and find a outfielder if you don’t think they have three now.

  8. My preference would be for the team to draft a college pitcher with the first pick & run him through the system quickly. It would be a more cost effective move than overpaying for Arrieta or Darvish.

    As much as there is appeal to drafting another hitter possibly at 3B. Stobbs, & others are developing nicely to focus on pitching first.

  9. I would be happy with either Shane McClanahan or Casey Mize for the first pick, but preferably the lefty.

  10. On the draft, it is way early. Also, expecting a draft pick to be a #2 Starter within 2 years of being drafted is a massive expectation. Appel should be a warning.

    Still should draft best available. Pay money for pitchers since “the kids” are not producing yet. Could be exciting if some prospects are traded.

    No way Otiani comes to Philly. The reason to grow pitchers is very few FA pitchers make it worth their massive contract.
    Maybe risk Cobb, Cueto in FA. I could see Hammel or Smardizja on trades if they cost little in prospects.

    Not sure what Phillies could get for package of Hernandez, Lively, and Kilome or Alfaro.

        1. Because he’s a huge upside player at a premium position who is already contributing at the major league level. I like Knapp as much as the next guy, but I don’t think he’s performed to the point where you trade a potential star and hand him the job.

    1. Like Hinkie’s idea….trade ToJo to the Os and pickup their contract with Trumbo, plus added value in their CBA pick at 35 or so, and maybe even get some int’l bonus allocation, since they seem to be willing to deal that.
      Perhaps try Trumbo in LF whenever he plays or back-up Rhys Hoskins at first base.
      Os may be wanting to save some money for a Machado offer.

    1. Romus … this looks like a laundry list of infractions by the Braves. They’ve been cheating in almost every avenue when it comes to obtaining talent. This is from Jeff Passan’s article on Yahoo

      “The anonymous complaints levied with the league, according to sources, included accusations of bundling in Latin American, under-the-table benefits given to at least one draft pick and pre-draft deals struck months in advance – the latter two of which the league continues to investigate.”

      Coppolella was also tampering with MLB players by calling agents of players who were under contract with other teams and trying to prearrange deals with them months before free agency.

      There’s a pretty good chance Atlanta loses Maitan, Abraham Gutierrez, and some other J2 prospects. Not sure if the league would do the same with the rule 4 draft picks the Braves tampered with.

      I want to be excited for the chance to sign Maitan if MLB brings the hammer down on Atlanta, but I’m also a little worried because I read the league is also investigating up to 15 other teams for J2 violations. I know the Phillies have been law abiding when it comes to not circumventing the J2 spending limits; I’m just a little worried they may have had deals in place with kids too early.

      1. Hinkie……I think the league may start looking at all the eams that have busted their allocation ceilings in the past 2/3 years and are currently under the penalty, .at least I hope that is the case.
        These are the teams under the penalty for the current (2017-18) signing period and the next one (2018-19)………2017-18 —-Cubs…Dodgers…Giants…Royals…Astros….Athletics….Braves….Cardinals…..Nationals…..Padres…..Reds……White Sox…………………2018-19…..Astros…..Athletics…..Braves…..Cardinals……Nationals……Padres…..Reds
        White Sox

        Don;t you think these 10 different teams at least would all be under the investigation?
        Plus the team who were under the penalty for the past 2016-2017 signing period.

  11. Best news I have heard in a while. MLB really needs to drop the hammer on the cheating Braves and the Phillies need to be real players with the Braves lost kids. No reason for the Phillies not to pay what they have to pay in this situation.

  12. Must agree with earlier comments that the second half of this year was fun to watch.

    I am pleased that so many young guys did well; Hosk, JP, NW, Alt, Herr, Alf, Knap, Piv, Live, Thomp, Live, Leit, Aran, Mil.

    Even most of their other players who started the year showed improvement like Morgan, Nola, etc.

    Usually you have a few young guys who tank but they had guys like Thompson and Williams who were not lighting it up in the minors actually do better after call up.

    I agree we should get another SP or two but it’s also a concern with Pitchers like Thompson who seem to do better when challenged. Guys like him and Eflin might get buried. I know they might be bottom of the rotation starters but you hate to see them not reach their potential but I guess that’s MLB.

    Oh, hey to everyone here it’s been a while.

  13. High end arms! Arms! Arms and more high end arms! That’s what the Phils need in FA (Darvish, Otani) and in the Rule IV draft. Pitching is vulnerable to injuries but good source of trade returns. It is always wise to stock pile arms for these reasons alone.

    Also some pitchers may take time to fully development and adjust to the MLB level. Vinny, Pivetta, Thompson, Eflin, Anderson, Appel looks good as a starting pitcher, when they are locked in. But they are still young, a really good pitching coach is imperative if not a MUST! Looking down the pipeline, more young arms are coming up – Garcia, Kilome, Seranthony, Ranger. A top pitching guru should be high in the wish list – McClure needs to go!

    The young core of Hoskins-Kingery-JPC-Doobie-Alfaro/Knapp (and Williams, Altherr to some extent) may not be superstar laden, but they’ve shown that they can win together and can stay healthy. If the Phils add one (or two) top FAs (Machado, Harper or Trout) to that core of position players, the batting line top down can be productive.

    I like the McKannin move. It shows that the Phils are now ready to turn the next page. Middleton will start to open their wallets now!

    1. Trout would have to obtained by trade. He’s not a free agent until 2021. I would include both Williams and Altherr in that young core, but not as sure about Knapp. Everything else I think you are spot on. Sign Darvish!

  14. IMO, the jury is out on Klentak, but whenever I have my doubts, listening to MacPhail reminds me that they’ve a pedigree in the FO who’s won with less to work with in the past. MacPhail is humble, realistic and down to earth. He seems to have a handle, or at least he expresses himself in a much more effective way than Klentak. I was also encouraged to hear that he thinks this is the deepest system he’s had, so much that they’re seeking to add a Gulf Coast minor league team. Very cool.

    1. I like the idea of having a 2nd GCL team. Or maybe a team in the Appalachian League.

    2. Maybe the shrewdest thing MacPhail said was regarding everybody going after the big name FAs following the ’18 season. Besides going for a Machado or Harper, the Phils’ significant financial leverage should also allow them to take advantage of teams looking to shed payroll, and acquiring more controllable/better value talent (for instance, getting Yelich this off season along with taking on one of Miami’s bad contracts – but even more so next winter). IF MacKlentak plays it right, we should be sitting pretty for a serious run in ’19 with Sixto & Co. on the threshold.

  15. Sooooo . . . I generally like Andy MacPhail and the program they’ve got going here. I also don’t think this ownership group is cheap – to the contrary, I think they are will to spend money.

    But when you talk about not spending money on players, please don’t tell me that, instead you are going to use it to improve the stadium. As a fan, that’s pretty much the last thing I want to hear – the team will stink more so we can upgrade the suites. That was a dumb thing to say (even if it’s true).

    Also, although I’m glad they are trying to put more money into analytics, please don’t make it sound like you’re going to dump all the money saved on salaries into analytics. That’s just ridiculous. The Phillies are going to save like $50-60 million over an average team next year – forget about an elite team. So how much are they putting of that in to analytics and similar updates for next year – $3 million? $ 8 million? Who knows, but it can’t be anywhere near the amount of money they are going to save by not paying top level free agents.

    1. Catch, agree that watching a winning team could play in Connie Mack Stadium would be better than watching a losing team at Citizens Bank Stadium. I would be willing to sacrifice some fan upgrades for some pitching specifically.

    2. Agree catch. I go to the ballpark to watch baseball. If I get hungry, a hot dog is fine. I don’t need “fan upgrades” (sounds like “price increase even though we stink”). I WANT a better team to watch. Deep six the upgrades and sign a good starter.

    3. The really stupid thing about all of this is that I don’t think the ownership is actually sacrificing dollars spent on players in order to make upgrades to the facility. I don’t think the two are closely connected at all and, unless you’re moving to a new stadium (which the Phillies are not), it’s kind of irrelevant. So Andy said it, I suppose, to point out that the ownership is not cheap and they are spending money. But it made it seem as if he was implying that they couldn’t spend money on the players because stadium upgrades were required.

      What he should have done was to just be honest. The team isn’t spending money now because they don’t feel that this is the best way to maximize the team’s chance to create a powerful, long-term contender who will become a powerhouse in the National League, although that day is coming, and it may be here within another year or two. And, he should also have said that spending the money now could prevent younger players from proving themselves which would be counterproductive.

      He doesn’t need to be evasive if the team is just trying to do the right thing in the long run (which I think it is!). Just be honest. We have one of the smartest and most patient fan bases in the country. People will understand. They waited patiently for the Sixers once they knew things were on the right track. If you’re doing the right thing and being honest about it, people will tolerate and support you in Philadelphia.

      1. And what is surprising…Middleton wants to make the big splash now in free agency…and the MacKlentak team is telling him to hold off for another year.
        Andy MacPhail alluded to the fact they have persuaded him to temporarily hold off until next year some time

      2. catch … you may be missing something. Are we sure “stadium upgrades” isn’t a code phrase for sushi bars in Ashburn Alley and in the Phillies clubhouse ?

        The Phillies’ 4 step Otani plan now in motion:
        STEP 1 … install sushi bar in clubhouse
        STEP 2 … hire Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto as Director of Clubhouse Food Services
        STEP 3 … name Charlie Manuel, Pat Gillick, and Iron Chef Morimoto to a three man recruiting team
        STEP 4 … sign Yu Darish (Otani’s idol) to a bloated three year contract (3 years @ 135 million dollars). Consider this the two for one plan. You get two TOR pitchers for a combinded 45 million dollars or 22.5 million dollars per pitcher (Darvish 45 million/Otani minimum)

        Sometimes, you just need to delve a little deeper to discover the true meaning behind the words.

  16. This Atlanta Braves story is really become explosive !
    This guy, John Coppolella, makes AJ Preller look like Mother Theresa. Among Coppolella’s reported wrong-doings:

    * Paid for an apartment in Florida for Kevin Maitan and another future (maybe Abraham Gutierrez) J2 signee.
    * Bundled international teens so they could sign prospects for more than 300 thousand dollars while the Braves are in the J2 penalty box. This is what the Red Sox lost Simon Muzziotti to the Phillies for.
    * Already have an agreement in place with a 14 YO Dominican SS.
    * Gave 2nd round draft pick Drew Waters “under the table” gifts (including a car) in exchange for Waters agreeing to a below slot signing bonus.

    There’s probably a pretty good chance the Braves will lose Maitan, Gutierrez, and other J2 prospects both already signed and with agreements in place to make them Braves over the next couple of years.
    The last infraction is really intriguing to me. Does MLB declare Waters a FA ? And, (this is where it becomes really tricky) could Atlanta lose first round pick Kyle Wright because the Braves used bonus money they had saved through cheating the system to go 1.3 million dollars over slot on the Vanderbilt RHP.

    1. might be hard to declare Wright and Waters as FAs, but MLB can probably take away draft picks in 2018 as penalty. for Maitan, i give it 50-50. Unlike BOS, ATL has enough $ to sign Maitan. Either some of the above $300K for last 2 years will be declared as FAs and ATL will be banned from J2 signings for the next 2 years.

      1. kuKo….Atlanta would not be allowed to sign Maitan again…Red Sox had to forfeit their bonus money to the prospect and cold not sign them…and Muzziotti got one more year of eligibility with the Phillies (for Rule 5 requirements) and kept his bonus that th Sox gave him and the bonus the Phillies gave him.

        1. Romus – yes I agree that ATL will not be allowed to negotiate and sign Maitan if he’s declared a FA. Although I still see it 50-50 unless ATL did tried to come to agreement way before Maitan becomes eligible. If not, MLB will probably “quantify” all the accommodations made my ATL and treat those costs as part of the signing bonus which can push ATL beyond their limits, thus, the penalties apply.

          1. KuKo… do realize the Braves are under their original penalty (max $300K threshold per player) anyway until June 15, 2019.
            They could be the first team to be penalized for signing period J2-2019- 2020…..and also lose prospects, which to me is a foregone conclusion at this point. Maitan’s signing, along with Guiiterrez ($3.5M), Pena($1M) and Severino($1.9M) pushed them over the top back then.

            1. Romus – yes, i knew that. under the original penalty, ATL can still sign J2 as long as they are below <$300k. So if they are found guilty, MLB can punish ATL for banning any J2 signings even for a $1 until June 15, 2019. BOS i think is only banned for 12 months, so ATL should get at least 24 months.

              We agree that ATL will lose prospects, although IMO, Maitan "might" be excluded in the new FAs.

              I can see multiple future Rule IV draft picks as the best possible penalty imposed to ATL.

          1. RU..yes you are correct….they signed Simon M. to a $750,000 bonus. Where as the Red Sox paid him a $300,000 bonus

          1. Well whatever happens…he keeps the $4.5M that the Braves gave him from their war chest.

    2. Hinkie…the punishment has to be more than what MLB imposed on the Red Sox two years ago… the current CBA was modified specifically to make the int’l talent kid grab, as fair as possible for all teams….and the Braves went beyond pushing the envelope… they may stand to lose many youngsters and int’l money and maybe Rule 4 draft picks.

      1. i can see a) forfeiture of future Rule IV picks, b) ineligibility to sign J2 prospects for 2 years; and c) loss of some J2 signees (unfortunately excluding Maitan) as possible penalties.

          1. rocco…MLB will probably not make them forfeit their first round Rule 4 pick, since that is one less chance for a North American draftee to get a sizable bonus…but maybe a few of their top ten picks.
            A fine definitely.
            Now they had three other top LA kids in Maitan’s class….Severino, Guitterez and Pena….so one or more of them may go ilo of Maitan.

      2. At this point, I would be shocked if Atlanta doesn’t, at least, lose Kevin Maitan and Abraham Gutierrez. This is more than just bundling and early agreements. Coppolella (according to reports) was paying for an apartment in Florida for Maitan and Gutierrez and was buying gifts (including a car) for Waters. MLB is still investigating. There’s no telling what else they’ll find. Just speculating here, but was Coppolella funneling secret payments to these kids’ family members. Whatever he did was bad enough for the Braves to fire him and his assistant.

        1. Hinkie…in Atlanta’s statement on this…..he was forced to resign after the Braves were made aware in the past few days of the severity of an ongoing MLBl investigation into alleged infractions in the international free-agent market by Coppolella and Braves special assistant and international scouting supervisor Gordon Blakeley, who also resigned Monday.

          So the domestic happenings may not have been a part of his wrong doings..

          1. Romus … I think I read MLB is still in the process of investigating the rule 4 improprieties. I definitely read that Coppolella bought Drew Waters a car (and other gifts) in exchange for Waters signing a below slot deal. IMO, that’s probably going to cost the Braves (at least) a 2018 second round pick.

            1. I read that….it was a joke he made to Waters’ and his agent, from what the agent said.
              They were approx 100K apart in the slot money.
              There was nothing mentioned that he actually purchased a car for him

            2. Romus …

              “The major story right now involves Kevin Maitan and there’s a chance that he could be declared a free agent once this is all said and done. Meanwhile, another Braves prospect was mentioned in Passan’s article and that was Drew Waters — Atlanta’s second round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft.

              In the report, Passan says that the former Braves GM resorted to some underhanded tactics in order to bring Waters into the organization’s fold as a draft pick.

              …The anonymous complaints offered a number of threads to investigate. One involves Drew Waters, a second-round pick this season whom the Braves allegedly offered under-the-table benefits to sign for under the slot value. In interviews with the league, Coppolella and Keith Grunewald, Waters’ agent, denied the allegations, saying that Coppolella’s offer of a car to bridge the difference between the $1.5 million he signed for and the $1.675 million slot value was made in jest, according to sources. When reached by Yahoo Sports, Grunewald declined comment.”

              Yes. Coppolella and Keith Grunewald (Waters’ agent) deny the report. Wouldn’t you deny this if you were Grunewald. He could lose his certification and no longer represent players. It’s still being investigated, but you know the smoke and fire thing. IMO, Coppolella seems capable of anything.

  17. Batflips for BB:
    Is Kingery really worth shipping out Cesar for? I tend to rely more on “proven” MLB players.

    Eric A Longenhagen:
    Right but the question isn’t just about which of those two is better, it’s is Kingery + return for Hernandez > Hernandez + return for Kingery. There’s a Door #3 that involves moving one of them to a different position (they’ve tried it with Hernandez already and it didn’t take)

    1. And from what I’m reading, they’re SOLD on Kingery at 2b with the back door being a position shift to 3b as an unlikely last resort.

      1. How good would an infield of Hoskins, Kingery, Crawford and Senzel have looked? And they let it slip right through their hands so they could draft a high school outfielder with marginal power. Hopefully, Maikel rebounds next year.

        1. catch … not as good as an infield of Hoskins, Kingery, Crawford, and Machado. Get ready for 2019.

            1. I have to say it drives me a little crazy when people state with certainty that completely hypothetical transactions WILL happen. It’s ridiculous to conclude that Manny Machado WILL sign with the Phillies. The best you can say is that there is a decent chance he will sign with the Phillies (and by decent, I mean like a 30 or 35 percent chance, which is fairly high).

              What I think you can say is that it’s highly likely that the Phillies will sign one or more top tier elite free agents in the next 2 or 3 years. But who those players are going to be is anyone’s guess.

            2. catch … my guess is the Phillies are definitely going to sign Manny Machado after next season. I’ve been saying this for a year and a half now. I can’t wait for the 2018 season to get over with !

      2. Understand from what I’ve read Kingery doesn’t have the arm for 3B. OTOH – he is given so much credit for being heads up and his “in the game” demeanor (like THE MAN) the team is almost served better by him being in the middle of the diamond.

  18. Maikel Franco Projections.
    March 22nd.

    Steamer: 138 games, 544 ABs, 71 runs, 148 hits, 29 doubles, 2 triples, 26 HRs, 40 BBs, 95 Ks, 2 steals, 2 caught, 5 HBP, slash line .272/.324/.472, OPS .796

    ZIPS: 138 games, 534 ABs, 75 runs, 144 hits, 30 doubles, 2 triples, 23 HRs, 38walks, 99 strikeouts, 2 steals, 0 caught, 5 HBP, slash line .270/.322/.463, OPS .785

    PECOTA: 560 ABs, 67 runs, 144 hits, 29 doubles, 2 triples, 24 HRs, 34 walks, 108 strikeouts, 2 steals, 1 caught, slash line .257/.303/.443, OPS .746

    The reality:
    154 games, 575 at-bats, 66 runs, 132 hits, 29 doubles, 1 triple, 24 homers, 41 walks, 95 strikeouts, 0 steals, 0 caught, 2 HBP, slash line .230/.281/.409. OPS .690.

        1. Honcho….that must have been in my sub-conscience from 30 years ago.
          All Franco needs is one dieing quail a week.

      1. Romus as the biggest Franco fan on here. He stunk all year and if he doesn’t stop pulling off pitches. will never be anything. He just keeps doing the same stupid thing. Pulls off pitches. has talent but no brains imo

        1. rocco…LOL.
          All he needs is a chin strap for his helmet…like the kind they wear in football! 🙂
          Seriously….understand this winter he will be working on things according to reports……Latin players are very passionate and very prideful…..when JPC was over at third that really must have irked him…look at September’s metrics….but one good month does not make a season.
          I have faith he will rebound.

  19. Listening to MacPhail, I get the definite feeling that ownership was prepared to have Pete back for another year. They do not seem to look at FA as an avenue to improve the team in this off season, still gearing up for ’19. I do like the talk about pitch framing and the below average performance of Phils’ Catchers and the increase in analytics. But, I will not be happy unless Klentak does some significant improving of the talent, especially at SP, before next season. I don’t know who fits that trade category, unless they trade for a Shields or Samardzija.

    1. Interesting that MacPhail alluded to three HOF managers – Cox, LaRussa and Torre – with 2 things in common:
      1 – they all one a World Series, and
      2 – they were all fired in previous failed tenures as manager.
      He could also have included Francona (OUCH!) in that group.
      Which may or may not have been a hint of who they’d more likely hire – Brad Ausmus who was fired by the Tigers, OR everybody else in the field with no prior managerial experience. Klentak has in effect placed the bulls eye on himself. Will he roll the dice with the latter group?

        1. 8mark….I posted the names earlier….but check out all the WS managers in the last 25 years…most all failed at an earlier manager’s job. Same in most other sports.

    2. All good points and my interpretation of MacPhail’s as well. Klentak now has a bullseye on him, so it is now his endeavor, he gets the credit and he gets the criticism. I too, think that the FO wanted Pete for another year. I think they thought he earned it. He is waiting in the desk job if they need him.

  20. Sorry if this is the wrong thread but I want the Phillies to get Otani so bad. Love the idea, promise a huge contract in 3 years. it gives the lineup so much flexibility along with some trade chips for a major TOR prospect or player
    1. Kingery 2b-or Hernandez if you want to wait a few months while Kingery is in AAA
    2. Altherr or Quinn CF/LF/RF-both are injury prone so have a backup plan if either pan out
    3. Hoskins 1b/LF-Can play 1b when Otani is pitching or needs a day off
    4 Otani 1b-play 1b 3/4 games a week, pitch 1-2 games a week then rest 2
    5 Williams Lf/Rf-can play left along with Altherr or Quinn when Hoskins is at 1b
    6 Franco 3b-hope he develops in 2018 if not try and sign Machado
    7 Alfaro C-hope he can continue to develop
    8 Crawford SS-just get on base to roll over lineup and play above average defense
    Knapp-switch hitting C/1b and pinch hitter
    Rupp-veteran presence, some power off bench
    Galvis-can back up 2b/3b/SS, pinch run and late innings D
    maybe Perkins or even sign a Japanese player to help with Otani’s transition to the US

    A lot of players can play many positions and many roles without a major drop-off. This also allows you to use Herrera, Hernandez and Joseph all as trade chips. You may have to spend on Darvish (even though management said they weren’t going to spend this year) to get Otani

    1. “2.Altherr or Quinn CF/LF/RF-both are injury prone so have a backup plan if either pan out”
      Altherr? How so?
      Broke his wrist on a dive last year…but no where close to missing minor league games as did Quinn, and few if any of all the assorted injuries Quinn had other then the broken wrist.. In five straight minor league seasons Quinn played less than 88 games….and that was the max one tome.
      Altherr – 2011- 112 gm….2012- 110 gm….2013- 123gm…..2014- 127 gm…..2015-150 gm(MLB time included)
      Minors play a 142 game season normally and players are given time off early on in their career as teenagers or 20 year olds.
      Altherr seems to hold his own…not every player will play 162…if he can get you between 145 and 150 that is all you need.

      1. I didn’t say Altherr was more injury prone than Quinn. I like both players a lot, but for playing 83% of his minor league games –Altherr can definitely give him a label of injury prone. Especially since it is consistent every year. Quinn on the other hand is almost on the verge of being an enigma.
        Honestly that position won’t even matter as we have to hope Haseley or Moniak steps up into that roll in a few years

          1. I have a sinking suspicion Haseley will be used as trade bait for pitching this winter.

            1. …or Moniak. What with Altherr, Doobie, Williams and the rumors that Yelich might be had in a salary dump trade, along with the suggested pursuit of FA Bryce Harper next winter….why not?

            2. I like what I have seen, heard and read about Haseley…I hope he stays with the club.
              Would anyone be piqued by a Doobie and maybe a Lively or Eickhoff to the Tigers for Mike Fulmer?

            3. @ Romus: Aren’t the Tigers tearing the whole thing down? I can’t imagine them trading a young pitcher with that many years of control for players that won’t fit their next window of contention.

            4. Yeah….was wondering if the Tigers were looking for a future CFer in Doobie…..then again with that first pick, I assume they would go for the best college pitcher.

    1. 40 man roster space – probably advised as both pitchers can be easily replaced in house ? or from free agents. Surprised about Siegrist, though…….

  21. I think we need to stop discussing Otani. He’s not coming here. Odds have to be very high that he’ll go to an AL team to DH. As for MacPhail, he basically said they’re waiting to spend money in 2019 free agent pond. The Os say they’ll try to extend Machado but he won’t sign with only a year to free agency. Machado will cost 10/$300M. Everyone on board with paying that? I’m in! We just need pitching to show improvement next year first.

    1. Thats the neighborhood with Machado.
      But then again Mike Trout’s contract starting with 2018 thru 2020 is a base AAV of $33M and then becomes a FA in 2021.
      I would think Dan Lozano may decide not to do a Scott Boras and try to price Machado above Trout’s AAV.

      1. 33 million living in new jersey. I think trout still might have trouble paying his taxes. New jersey is a communist state

        1. with the $$ that Trout is earning/will earn, he can hire the best tax accountant to handle his taxes.

          also, there are big open lots along Packer and Philly might be willing to make those parcels of land as “Trout town” and Trout can relocate all his kin and move to South Philly and get away from the communist garden state.

  22. 37 players on the 40, but there are 7 on the 60 day DL and 5 will go back on the 40, so we need to drop 2 more just to get the 5 off the 60 day DL back on the 40.

    1. pending FAs (i.e. Buchholz, Blanco, Kim) will be out of the 40-man after the world series. JDT might be DFAd since he will not play for at least a year and Perkins and Tirado are potential DFA candidates as well.

      Seranthony, Kilome and Ranger are locked to be protected. It will be a tight 40-man but there’s still enough wiggle room to navigate.

  23. I have a feeling that Otani will not live up to his billing as a top flight 2-way player. It wouldn’t surprise if Otani found that learning AL hitters and AL pitchers at the same time is too much immersion for one to manage, particularly for one with limited English.

    Though I can see him signing with an AL team this off-season in pursuit of his dream of doing in MLB what he has done in Japan, I can see the team signing him wearying of trying to slot him into the lineup on some of the days when he is not pitching. The result of this would be his signing with an NL team, in order to get regular abs, once he turns 25 and is no longer subject to the salary limits for young international signings.

    1. Agree especially on his unrealistic aspirations of being a full 2-way player. If pitching is his bread and butter, then his camp needs to sit him down and explain the lay of the MLB land. Otherwise, any team pursuing him is being disgenuous in selling him on the idea that they’ll gladly accommodate his wishes. Would the risk of going all in for him really be greater than the reward? Let him pitch….then over time he can earn the right to be an offensive contributor.

      1. Personally, I’ve been waiting forever for a guy to pitch and hit when he’s not pitching. I just don’t think its that hard for these super athletes to practice both plus DH allows them to hit with little stress on his arm. I definitely root for Otani to be successful. Why can’t MadBum DH in intraleague games? I’m sure there are others.

      2. Scout reports I have read have already rated Otani as a 45/50 hitter with 65plus power… they do not expect him to hit for average.

        1. One of Otani’s biggest advantages is that he’s so young and, essentially, has been playing in a league that’s equivalent to AAA since he was 19. He’s only 22 – so he could still get a lot better. His upside is tremendous. I know pitching and playing the field is a lot to ask, but he’s been doing it for a long time and if they can get him enough rest (probably at least one full game off between starts), I don’t see why he couldn’t be successful at both.

          1. From what one poster posted a month ago….he gets the day off after he pitches …and the day before he is scheduled to pitch off. And then hits in between.
            However……they only pitch once every 6/7 days in the NPL
            So there will have to be some adjustment once he is in MLB.

          2. My opinion Catch is as you said it’s the equivalent to AAA and this is the MLB we’re tallking about. Additionally Japanese Pitchers have traditionally struggled or wore down quickly in the MLB pitching every 5th day without the layer of being in the line-up for 9 innings a night the other 4 days.

            My guess is that an AL team would/could allow him the DH role a few nights a week but I don’t see an NL team doing any more than allowing him the PH role when he’s not pitching.

            Either way its going to be interesting to see what happens.

            1. It is interesting.

              Assuming he plays at least 2 or 3 days between starts, you could make an argument that his highest and best use is in the National League because, when he pitches, it allows his team to essentially field an American League type line-up with 9 bona fide hitters. Having that advantage over 30-33 games over the course of a season could be pretty significant.

            2. Otani wanting to hit, specifically as a DH in MLB raises another concern for a team……AL teams have a roster spot for DH players….and pay them quite well. I wonder how that will sit with a current DH player when his PAs will be reduced probably 25/35%

            3. But as a group, the DHs are a pretty underwhelming and that is not unusual. You have a few very good DHs (Dickerson, Encarnacion, Cruz) and the rest are either meh or actually kind of bad (like Albert Pujols who has become as unproductive as Ryan Howard was, but with an even worse contract). It wouldn’t be hard for them to find a decent player to fill in extra at bats at DH. There is always a decent hitter like Adam Lind floating around and looking for a contract.

  24. I was about to make the same point about salary considerations since DH’s are well compensated and many have nothing other than a hitting role. So a lot of time spent sitting since pinch hitting is so inconsequential in the AL.

    It’s hard for me seeing Otani getting more than 375 abs in a season playing for an AL team.

    On the other hand, I could see him getting about 160 abs a season for an NL team factoring in his use as a DH in interleague play.

    1. it.
      Rolison at 15 and Kowar no where to be found in the top twenty!
      If Rolison avoids injuries and a letdown…. good college LHPs (McKay/Rodon of late) usually go high…but I guess 15 is sort of high.

  25. Okay, okay, I’m bored.

    And I won’t tell you this WILL happen so long as you don’t tell me it CAN’T happen
    …(fade to dream sequence)

    Opening day 2021
    #1SP Shohei Otani (L)
    C Jorge Alfaro (R)
    1b Rhys Hoskins (R)
    2b Scott Kingery (R)
    3b Manny Machado (R)
    ss JP Crawford (L)
    LF Bryce Harper (L)
    CF Mike Trout (R)
    RF Jhailyn Ortiz (R)

    Have fun making that lineup, if it even matters.

    1. WTH are you thinking, 8mark ???
      Ortiz should be in LF and Harper in RF. C’mon ! Get it right !!

    2. @8mark – why not dare more to dream – all the top FAs sign with the Phils and all the prospects developed as projected….

      1) Kingery (R) 2B
      2) JPC (L) SS
      3) Trout (R) CF
      4) Harper (L) RF (not LF)
      5) Machado (R) 3B
      6) Hoskins (R) 1B
      7) Ortiz (R) LF
      8) Alfaro (R) C

      Actually, this scenario have 50-50 chance of happening. Excluding Harper, that will be 60-40 probability.

      Now with the ultimate dream…

      #1 Otani (RH)
      #2 Kershaw (LH)
      #3 Nola (RH)
      #4 Sixto (RH)
      #5 Rule IV 2018 1.3 pick

      Bullpen – Arano (RH), Kilome (RH), Pivetta (RH), Vinny (RH), Edgar Garcia (RH) Ranger (LH), Britton (LH)

      LHV – Medina (RH), JoJo (LH), Gowdy (RH), Morales (RH), Young (LH).

    3. Why not thaw out Ted Williams and throw him in one of the corners while we’re at it? 🙂

    1. Hinkie…do you see how they all differ….Kowar is 6…Ellis had him somewhere after 20. Singer not even top ten.
      Must be because they are both Gators and they should not have two pitchers in the top ten.
      But Rolison at 3 looks decent if it happens.

  26. I know a whole College, and HS for that matter, season has to play out, but I have to wager that the best College SP is the Phils’ pick. Right now that is, in no particular order, Singer, Kowar, Mize and Rolison. Unless you tell me there is Bryce Harper coming out, I will have to get pitching.

    1. Agree……has to be a pitcher….and they want one who will probably be there in a year or so, thus , college.

      I see those you are disappointed in pitchers like Eflin, Pivetta, Thompson and to some lesser degree Lively.
      It only reminds me how disappointed Indians fans may have been with a bust like Corey Kluber…..until his age28 season…..but now he is looking for his second Cy Young. His last 4 years have been off the charts.
      Ejlin and Pivetta have as much raw stuff as Kluber did at his respective age.

  27. Romus, we have seen turnarounds by SPs all the time. Another case in point was Arrieta. I don’t want to give up on any of them, and especially Pivetta, whose stuff I think is terrific. I want to see who the new Manager brings in as the new Pitching Coach, and how much of a difference he can make. I want to see better framing techniques by the Catchers and see if that helps guys like Pivetta and VV. Eflin is another year removed from dual knee surgeries. So, I don’t want to move any of them. I also don’t see how Cesar or Freddy brings even a #3 SP back without offering one of them as well, so it brings me back to me overpaying for an Alex Cobb. That is still the way I want them to go.

    1. People forget what a crappy pitcher Curt Schilling was for the Orioles and Astros before he exploded for the Phillies. You don’t want to give up a good arm too soon and a good arm that has struggled is often worth acquiring.

    2. Oddly…,many of these pitchers had to be traded before they realized their full potential. Even the Padres moved Kluber back 7/8 year ago.
      Not sue what that means, but perhaps sometimes players get re-motivated when they are traded and felt discarded by a team when they are in their relatively young pitching career..

    3. matt13…you mention ‘framing’. I think that is an over blown subject when it comes to rating catchers. As MacPhail said…Lucroy was the one of the best one year and the next season rated as one of the lowest.
      IMO….depends on the human aspect of the umpire crouched behind the catcher.
      Seems many times umps literally miss balls, or should I say ;strikes’, that cross the white of a plate…especially on the outside of a hitter or the lower outside quadrant.
      And happens often when the catcher is set up more inside and the pitch is outside….but over the plate and the catcher has to move his mitt.
      What i sense is happening is that MLB wants to eventually go to a hi-tech stat cast ‘eye’ with the umps just holding a device to see what the outcome of the pitch was.
      The umpires union is fighting that.
      But what that will do is take away the subjective pitch calling and more or less do away with catchers needed to ‘frame’ a pitch.

      1. Romus,

        I hope you’re right. Replay has taken away the Earl Weaver temper tantrums. A stat cast box can now take away the drama from close (and sometimes not close) pitches.

        Meanwhile, it seems to me that framing is the most mechanical and learnable of catching skills, so I am not necessarily down on young catchers who are not good framers yet.

  28. I agree catch, I have no problem acquiring someone else’s under performing Pitchers. I think the FO should be aggressively looking for that type of guy.Let’s have Philly be the place Pitchers come to get rejuvenated. We have heard about the Dave Duncans, Leo Mazzones and Ray Searages for years.

  29. I think I have come up with the best definition of ‘ace’ that I have ever heard of. Not a guy with an ERA below 2.00 or a WHIP below 1.00. Not a guy who logs more than 200 innings pitched every season or who leads the league in strikeouts.

    An ace quite simply is a guy who gives his team a better than even chance to win when he toes the rubber, no matter the opposition. In a 30 team league, he is a top 15 pitcher looking at the W/L record of his team on the night (day) he starts. Ironically, this most important of statistics is not even one pundits keep track of.

  30. Romus, maybe I am overstating that concept a bit. But, what I have seen is the value of a Catcher like Chooch, who handled pitching staffs of diverse personalities and was universally applauded by his Pitchers for his ability to make them better. I think a C of his ability would benefit some of these young Pitchers and help them refine their game. So, the better way to put it is, I would like to see a defensively talented C and a new Pitching Coach work with our young Pitchers. I would also like to see, as I stated before, and many others on this site have as well, Chooch hired as a “Catching Coach”

  31. BA has Phillies taking ss Brice Turang at 1:3 in June. Surprised they don’t have us taking a college arm. If JPC starts slowly in ’18, they may be right.

    1. While I mocked Ryan Rolison to the Phillies at the top of this thread, I really don’t think it’s a slam dunk they draft a college pitcher at 1-3. It’s always wise to select the BPA. If it’s a close call, you consider signing demands. But … even if you wanted to draft for need, I don’t believe the Phillies biggest need is pitching. This system is loaded with arms (try predicting the starting rotations for each level next season). As a matter of fact, they may need to trade a couple AAA/MLB pitchers to allow younger guys to advance. You may argue (outside of Sixto Sanchez) the Phillies are lacking high ceiling arms, but with all of their volume a couple/few are bound to break through their ceiling. I’d say 3B is a much bigger area of need. They have no one who looks like a good bet to make it to MLB, much less be an above average player. Even if they sign Manny Machado next winter, MacKlentak is probably going to have to give him an opt out (after maybe four or five years) in his contract. If this team thinks Nolan Gorman, Nander De Sedas, or Jeremy Eierman can become an above average 3Bman, they (IMO) would be a greater need.
      Again … drafting the BPA is always the best plan. I’m just arguing the point that a fast moving SP is the Phillies biggest need.

    1. Purely hear say…..but I heard Pete told Klentak he would not fire McClure, Pete said it’s either all of us back or none of us back as a unit.
      Which is really not that unusual for older guys who have been around the game for 40/50 years…loyalty and bonds of friendship are more important.
      I’m sure they will find spots for Bowa and the 3rd base coach. But the Phillies brain trust was probably not happy with pitchers developing and rightly so.

    1. They should get Nola, Eickhoff, Altherr, and maybe even Hoskins signed to team friendly extensions (like the one Odubel agreed to last off-season).

  32. I generally like Heyman and this article seems dead on, but why did he have to end it with the tired “Philly is a tough town as many (including Santa Claus) well know” cliche? That horse died decades ago but national media types have no other reference points?

    1. It’s very frustrating. People don’t know a damned thing about Philadelphia and its fans, so they pull a stupid incident out of the hat that happened approximately 50 years ago. 50 years! More than anything, it’s just moronic and cliché.

      But I have a bigger problem with guys like Colin Cowherd who insists that Philadelphia is the dumbest sports town in the country.

      I have lived and been a number of places and I can assure you that not only does Philadelphia not have the dumbest fans in all of sports, I think it probably has the smartest fan base in all of sports. Fans who pick up on nuances in a game like those in no other city.

      Let me give you what is, to me, the best example – the Walk Heard Round the World. As you recall, in 2008, the Phillies were playing a home playoff game against the Brewers and the then-best pitcher in baseball, C.C. Sabathia. Everyone in that crowd knew that the Phillies’ best strategy was to wear down Sabathia and get him out of the game and they immediately appreciated the significance of the pitcher, Brett Myers, fouling off pitch after pitch – as the fan base grew delirious with joy – and then topping it off by drawing a walk. Ultimately, that walk led directly to the Victorino home run and a win. In most towns, fans would not have been keyed in like that, but in Philly they got it while it was happening, which I thought as extremely unusual and something that would have happened only if: (a) they understood the significance of the event (they did); and (b) were passionate enough to show their support (they did).

      I could give numerous examples of how good and smart our fans are (and loyal – we sell out when our teams are good, not draw half-full parks like the Nationals) so when I hear that Philadelphia or its fans are dumb, that makes me irate.

    2. LOL I read that last night and thought the exact same thing. Whats funnier is that half of his readers weren’t even born when that occurred.

      Conversely I thought the article was weak and I like John but no real substance to it. I feel these guys most of the time are churning out an article just to have something out there.

      And quite honestly click bait is ruining good Journalism.

    3. I just posted a discussion on this, by like so many posts that I try to publish here with no profanities or foul language, it never shows up (kind of frustrating).

      Anyway, even if the Santa Clause thing is 50 years old (yeah, it’s that old), it will never go away – so let’s just ignore it. Just more evidence of the ultimate lazy reporting. It would be like saying southerners are all racist because they used to enforce segregation 50 years go. Seriously, it’s that old.

      But what really pisses me off is some moron in another part of the country insisting that Philadelphians are the dumbest sports fans in the country? He has ZERO clue about this town and its fans who are, in my estimation, the smartest fans in the country. You cannot fool them and they know exactly what is going on down to the smallest nuance. My best example – there is no other city where the fans would have appreciated and understood something like the Walk Heard Round The World as it was developing. There are countless other examples, but this guy is an idiot. Philadelphia fans are loyal, they show up when they are given any reason to do so, they travel with their team to far flung places like Los Angeles, and they GET IT – you cannot fool them.

      1. Agreed! The guy is a loser. Andy Reid needed to go a year before he finally left… he needed a fresh start. All good. Back to baseball.
        At #3, do we go pitcher or batter? Almarez seems to like the batter route but I really want a pitcher with TOR potential and thus draft seems to gave a few. Thoughts?

        1. I think if it’s close, they go with a pitcher. If the BPA by far is a hitter, they will go with a hitter, as they probably should.

          1. According to BA the hitter is shortstop Brice Turang that the Phillies will select.
            At three you will probably get the BPA no matter what position the player is on the field. If Singer is still there, though BA thinks Detroit will take him, he would be my pick. Then there are pitchers Rolison, Mize and Kowar, one of which should be there also at three.

      2. The Philadelphia fans are not the smartest fans but really no fan base is. Agree that John Heyman crossed over the professional line with the Santa Claus incident reference. How about national writers write about the two opposition 1B coaches beaten up by fans in Chicago, the NY Jets fan murders in New York, the racism in St. Louis and Boston by their fans. There are others I know I missed some but basically your average sport fan is not a model citizen.

        1. Yeah, I don’t agree. Not all fan bases are the same.

          Just ask any northeastern transplant how disinterested and passive the professional fans are in Atlanta. It’s like night and day. And how about the Nationals? They have one of the best teams and like 25,000 show up for a game in September. And the fans in Miami are awful too. Trust me it’s different.

          Also, I don’t agree that your “average” fan is a jerk or exhibits poor behavior. Your average fan is your average person, so I don’t accept that explanation. If you want to argue that there are jerks that stand out everywhere you go – well, I agree with that.

          1. Philly, Boston and NYC are not like any other fan base in the country. Northeast bias? Yes but I truly believe it (as foes JJ Redick who gets to play here now).

            1. No, some of the Midwest fans are great too. The Chicago and Green Bay fans are awesome.

              And the fans in Seattle are insane about the Seahawks – even before they won anything.

            2. LA is a funny fan base……they love their Dodgers and Lakers, but NFL teams seem to starve for love.
              But USC and UCLA football is top notch and have no trouble drawing.
              Actually there may be more Raiders fans in LA than Rams and now Chargers fans..

        2. Agree…the Giants fan who gets sent into a coma at a Dodger game by Dodger fans 4 years ago.

          1. Catch all green bay has is football. so they are good. Chicago is a great sport town. look at how many titles they have in Chicago. 6 basketball. I superbowl. hockey titles, now a baseball title. more titles then us. in fact giants have more sport titles. dodgers too, so we are the best fans with not having a superbowl. 2 baseball championships two Stanley cups back In the dark ages. and 2 basketball titles so lets add that up 6 titles. dam Chicago has that with just the bulls. so we are the best fans with the worst owners ever, and we still fill up stadiums.

            1. The people in Chicago have been rewarded for sure, but they would be great sports fans even if their teams didn’t win. But Philly hangs with everyone, including New York. I grew up outside New York and went to college in New York and I think the Philly fans are more sports crazed – especially with respect to football.

            2. The only sport where I would say New York beats Philadelphia is pro (but certainly not college) basketball. The Knicks are a really big deal in New York, even when they are terrible. The same cannot be said of the Sixers, as popular as they are at the moment.

              You could argue that baseball is bigger in NYC than Philly, but it’s not the case. When the Phillies are even okay, they are wildly popular here and Yankee stadium never sells out the way CBP did (and will again!).

            3. NY baseball is split between Mets and Yankees…tough to gauge one city with two teams vs a one team city.

            4. It is different, but it’s why this city is more intensely behind the Phillies. Trust me, if you’re a Mets fan, you likely hate the Yankees and if you’re a Jets fan, you hate the Giants (Giants and Yankees fans don’t really hate the Mets or Jets – they just consider them to be irrelevant; same is true with the Knicks and Nets)

            5. Now thats funny and odd in a way……Giants fans and Yankees fans consider Jets/.Mets fans to be irrelevant, but I guess when you have more rings as Yankees and Giants vs Mets and Jets they can have that attitude.

  33. I think, in all fairness, Boston is the equal of Philadelphia in terms of fan intensity although, admittedly, they have had a lot more to cheer about over the years.

    Historically, Boston was not much of a football town and New England just isn’t that big of a football hot bed (I NEVER watched a college football game as a kid growing up Connecticut – nobody – and I mean NOBODY – except for alums of specific schools – gave a damn about college football there) so the Patriots really were not that big of deal until the current run – they were just another NFL city. Boston was crazy about hockey, baseball and basketball and football was an afterthought until the Evil Empire began.

    1. That city is hockey nuts. I went into a bar up there and the fans are nuts for bruins. There accents is great. I really like boston nice city.

  34. Professional (and most certainly college) sports in New York, LA or Chicago don’t define their city’s culture any more than unicycle jugglers dominate a three ring circus. Whereas cities like Philly and Boston are more characterized by their fan bases. Therefore, these two “sports towns” are by far the most provincial, passionate and personally invested in the successes or failures of their local teams.

  35. I’m LA rams fan there fan base is getting back to where it was . The Rams didn’t leave LA because they didn’t draw. There stadium was in Orange county which went bankrupt .

    1. Tim LA People aren’t fans. They leave games in 7th to beat traffic. same with all there sports. They aren’t fans like other cities

      1. Roccom that traffic is horrible the 1 o’clock games here are 10am in the morning there . My nephew who was born and raised on guyer in Philly . He said ” Philly has nothing on Cali per traffic . It’s takes him 4 hrs to go 22 miles on a good day . He’s outside of SF on a bad day 6 +. In LA it’s worse you could leave the game at 1pm get home by 6pm .

        1. Yet another thing I love about Philadelphia (and, mind you, I did not grow up here).

          I know exactly where to park at CBP. I can get from my seats in section 146 to my bed in Haverford township in 30 minutes. You can’t beat that!

          1. I’m thankful every time I go to a Phillies game that they didn’t go through with plans to build in Center City.

    1. Romus … I posted earlier in this thread the hysteria for the Phillies to draft a fast moving, TOR college pitcher next year is somewhat overblown. This farm system is busting at the seems with arms. The Phillies are bound to hit on a couple/few of these guys. Earlier this week, I was trying to put together rotations for all the affiliates. Klentak is going to have to deal a couple of AAA/MLB arms to be able to continue to advance younger prospects who are deserving of promotions. Any of Mark Appel, Jake Thompson, Jose Taveras, even Ben Lively are pitchers who could be dealt. For me, these guys are all about to be passed by younger prospects in the Phillies organization. However, they would be nice additions for many other clubs who are seeking arms, but have weak farm systems (Marlins, Angels, Orioles, Royals, etc., etc., etc.).

      1. Hinkie……I like to think Klentak will be doing just that.
        One of the downfalls of Ben Cherington in Boston was his reluctance to move on some of their prospects…and it cost him his job and Dave Dombrowski came in right away and start culling the system for proven MLB players.
        However, when you draft third…you better hit on that pick, and pitching is at a premium and when you can get a TOR at three, I say go for it.
        Epstein and the Cubs did it different and they succeeded so they are different ways to skin a cat.

  36. I disagree with the notion that the Phils shouldn’t overpay for pitching right now. If anything, now is the time to pay for a few good years of Darvish or Arrieta, while the rest of the lineup is on rookie scale. By the time the FA pitcher is stealing money, you’ve got Sixto, Medina and the other guys you didn’t trade ready to go – on rookie scale contracts/

    1. Cubs went out and got Lester that way for 2015 at his age31 season.
      And in 2014 they finished with a 73-89 record….but a slew of prospects.

      1. Exactly.

        The comparison between those Cubs and these Phillies isn’t bad. They had a young Rizzo, we have Hoskins. They had a logjam of middle infielders (Baez/Russell/Castro) like ours (Hernandez/Crawford/Kingery). The Cubs had a few more pieces at that point (Bryant, obviously), but the point is the same: They recognized they were ready to compete, and spent some dollars to help usher it along.

  37. Appel is already penciled in for the BP and there is still time for Thompson to turn it around. Lively may be part of a trade, but I am with Mike Honcho. If they can get Darvish or Arrieta for 4 or 5 years, I do it. Even if they are only going to give you 2 good years they help you win next year and in 2019 and make the team more attractive for FAs after the 2018 season when they want to go strong into the market. The payroll is so low that they can frontload the first 2 years of the contract, making the deal even more appealing.

    1. Hell, I’d sign both Darvish AND Arrieta (I know that won’t happen). There are so many rookies and second year players on the roster right now, the rest of the team will be relatively cheap the entire length of the contracts. They could still throw money at one of the big fish (Machado, Harper) in a few years.

    2. I don’t see them signing a FA pitcher. It’s much more likely they trade for one. They can deal CeHe or a couple of prospects … or both.

      1. Lesser FA pitchers like Cobb and Lynn could be signed for relatively smaller contracts vs Arrieta and Darvish..

      2. Right. MacPhail said as much in his comments to the press. I’m not saying what I think they’re going to do … I’m saying what they should do. If you can add a TOR starter without giving up any assets other than the mountain of cash they’re sitting on, why wouldn’t you do it?

        Or, why not do both? Sign Darvish to whatever 5-6 year deal the market dictates, then trade Hernandez + Haseley and another piece not named Sixto for, say, Marcus Stroman or Michael Fulmer. Suddenly, your rotation looks pretty solid:

        Darvish, Nola, Stroman/Fulmer, Pivetta, Eickhoff

        I’d feel pretty confident that the Phillies’ young hitters and that rotation could compete for a wild card in 2018.

        1. I’m on board with Honcho.
          2018 is a huge season for priming the FA pump next winter. Half measures on the pitching front will only make this club a 75-80 win team at best, assuming the young bats pick up where they left off this year.

          1. 8mark…..Cobb if he regains 2013/14 metrics is close to a TOR….and now he will be more than two years post TJ
            But agree…..trying to get one of the biggies like Arrieta or Darvish does show a new initiative n the Phillies part.
            I think sign one of Cobb/Lynn and also sign one of Darvish/Arrieta.

            1. I’m fine with either Cobb or a comparable arm via trade, aside from Darvish (pref. with a front loaded deal) or Arrieta for less yrs.

            2. I’m not someone who believes Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson, or any other FA is going to decide to sign/not sign with the Phillies based on their record in 2018. They’re going to choose their next team based on the size of the contract they’re offered. If Harper wanted to play for a winning team, why not just re-sign with Washington ? “Show me (them) the money” !!!
              The Phillies have shown patience in this rebuild. They’ve been building for the 2019 season all along. It’s true, they have the financial might to sign anyone they want. That doesn’t mean they should. Personally, I don’t like Lynn. Cobb is just ok (reminds me of Jeremy Hellickson). Arrieta is a huge risk for declining performance going forward. Darvish is a guy I would be willing to throw fist-fulls of money at if I was certain Shohei Otani wanted to play with him.
              Klentak should be a popular guy at the winter meetings. He’ll be shopping with MLB players (CeHe, Rupp, Lively, Thompson), prospects, and the ability to eat money. I have no idea what pitcher he’ll be targeting. but … beyond the search for an arm … something tells me Klentak still wants to make a run at Christian Yellich.

            3. A Yelich deal would be the first shoe of a tandem. The second would send Doobie to Detroit or Toronto in a package for a SP.

            4. I think they would keep Odubel. They would probably include Nick Williams in the Yellich trade.

            5. Hinkie…I do not think it is who the Phillies want to keep…it is who they want.
              If Yelich is their guy, then the Marlins will choose between Doobie or Williams or whoever from the Phillies OF.
              The Marline can just walk and shop Yelich to another buyer if the Phillie do not accommodate..

            6. Romus … I don’t know of another team who can/will eat as much unwanted salaries for the Marlins as the Phillies. The shedding bad money is the only reason Miami would trade Yelling in the first place.

            7. Yes, the Phillies would jump to trade their grade B players, including Williams and Alfaro for grade B+ or A- talent like Yellich. I don’t think the Phillies will be looking to trade Odubel, nor should they. At worst, he’s going to churn out one 4 WAR season after the next as a low cost centfielder. At best, he becomes a minor star. Why would a rebuilding team be looking forward to trading a guy like that absent a trade package they couldn’t refuse?

            8. Hinkie…..IMO, the only bad contract Jeter wants to rid himself and the Marlins of is Stanton’s….if he can accomplish that prior to 2018, then all other contracts are manageable.
              Yelich contract and Odubel’s are relatively similar with Doobie being about a million less AAV..
              Odubel Herrera cf
              5 years/$30.5M (2017-21), plus 2022-23 options
              Christian Yelich cf
              7 years/$49.57M (2015-21), plus 2022 option

              Right now, Yelich has a favorable contract for the Marlin with the club option in ’22 and also the Phillies with two years of club options for Herrera in both ’22 and ’23.

    1. De La Cruz looks like another interesting prospect. However, being that tall, he’s going to have a lot of strike zone to cover.

      1. He does look athletic and perhaps the ability to put on more weight.
        He could be a real steal..

  38. No great revelation here but CBS Detroit quotes one Howard Eskin’s tweet that he hears Ausmus is definitely”in the mix” for Phillies mgr.

    1. LOL ! Howard Eskin is about a week late for that tweet. Even Romus was posting that before the “King”. It’s OK, Eskin will still claim he broke the news.

  39. Mike Redmond is in the mix too . Btw the Flyers are loaded I mean loaded. There minor league club.coukd beat a couple of NHL teams. Stanley Cup with in 3 yrs .

    1. Does anyone know where Redmond has been most recently?

      NYY fans are talking up Girardi as being out as skipper. Would he be a candidate?

        1. Doesn’t grab me. I’ll go with Ausmus or possibly Dave Martinez since he’s been under Maddon. If Wathan isn’t hired by another club, I’m guessing he gets a coaching slot here.

          1. Agree….Ausmus for me…and Wathan as bench coach since he knows all the players and current MLB ready prospects.
            Bowa at 72/73 probably hangs up the uniform and heads down to the Complex and does his thing down there.
            Sammy…the Latin connection is a plus…but there are plenty of Latin coaches out there already.
            Mickey M…….not sure if he remains.
            Bob McClure and Rick K probably move on.
            Stumps and Tiano stay in the bullpem or somewhere in the org.
            And Matt Stairs… this could be a real sticky situation with the new guy coming in…he may prefer his own HC.

          1. Remember, the coaches have agents also, who get paid to make sure their clients’ names are in the press. There are no favorites yet.

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