Open Discussion: Week of October 8th

The playoffs are in full swing.  And, in true Phillies-centric fashion, I don’t care.  Guess I’m less of a baseball fan and just a Phillies fan. 

Organizational News and Changes

The first of many roster moves have occurred.  Henderson Alvarez, Kevin Siegrist, Ty Kelly cleared outright waivers and elected free agency.

FanRag’s Jon Heyman wrote that one reason the Phillies might’ve made the decision to remove Pete Mackanin just months after giving him an extension was that the play of recent call ups accelerated the rebuild timeline, that Mackanin was never more than a caretaker manager, and that they wanted a new manager for their next phase.  All points we arrived at when the decision was announced.

In a recent radio interview (episode 80, minute 23:30), Andy MacPhail stated his and the organization’s position on a myriad of subjects –

  • He expressed support for Matt Klentak’s decision to replace Mackanin.
  • He noted that as the 2017 season progressed, “The younger we got, the better we played”.
  • He made that observation as he dodged the question, “Would the Phillies compete for a playoff spot in 2018?”.
  • They hoped to have the new manager in place before the GM meetings (Nov. 13-16) so he could participate in the discussions and understand the decisions made by the front office.
  • He would like to add starting pitching, but so would 29 other teams.
  • He doesn’t want to pay for past performance.
  • He won’t commit to signing a FA pitcher, unless the deal is right.
  • He admits that JM is driven and wants to invest in free agency, but has listened to the front office and has taken a realistic stance for the upcoming off season.
  • He recognizes we have a surplus of good players at some positions, but he will not trade players for the sake of trading players.  (So, Galvis and Hernandez aren’t necessarily on the trading block.)
  • He said that “You can’t have too many good players”.  It’s a problem they will gladly solve.

Joe Jordan was interviewed by Jim Salisbury and had a lot to say about our young prospects –

  • He had nice things to say about both Williams and Crawford.
  • Hoskins was the best hitter in the org the past 3 seasons.  Said he made a small change at Instructs in 2014, and things just took off for him.
  • Kingery needs to improve his 2-strike approach, work a handful more walks, and work on his stolen base approach.
  • Quinn is ready to go and will participate in winter ball.
  • Ortiz has the best hit tool/power in the organization, power to all fields, but still has a long way to go.
  • Haseley has a superior hit tool, good 2-strike approach.  Over the winter he needs to Add strength and focus on being a position player only.  Expects him to start 2018 in Clearwater.  Said they’ll look at him in “big league” camp.
  • Moniak had a disappointing year, but people focus too much on numbers.  He has added strength but needs to be a better hitter, better 2-strike hitter.  He could start 2018 in Lakewood or Clearwater.
  • Randolph improved each month.  He’s their “priority player” in the Arizona Fall League, guaranteed to play at least 4 days a week.  Reading in 2018.
  • Cozens had a disappointing season.  Has displayed all the tools, needs to make the necessary adjustments.  Needs to be a better hitter, swing at good pitches, better approach.  As I have pointed out here before, Mr. Jordan Jordan brought up Cozens’ 2015 season in Clearwater when they told him to forget about HRs and just swing at good pitches.  He struck out less than 100 times after 147 at Lakewood.  They know he can do it, but “It’s up to him”.
  • Hall has good bat speed but needs to cut down on the Ks.
  • Gowdy is talented but had TJ surgery.  He expects Kevin to return to his previous talent level.
  • Appel had a disappointing season.  When he returns from season-ending injury, they’ll stretch him out in the bullpen and see where it goes from there.
  • The Phillies have waves of pitchers coming through the system.  Expect very good rotations in Lehigh Valley, Reading, Clearwater, Lakewood, and even below that.
  • Romero sinks his FB at 93 and throws his 4-seamer at 94-96, has a plus change is improving on a back door cutter.
  • He had a lot of good things to say about a lot of pitchers and by his own admission missed several.  Give a listen.

I’ve heard that the Phillies are contemplating a dormitory at the Complex.  Sounds like it will extend out from the existing complex on the north side.  It might fit between Carlton and Roberts Fields.

You guys may get one of your wishes.  The Phillies are considering adding a second GCL team.  Looks like I’ll get no days off next season and have close to 60 day-night double headers.

The Polls

All polls have been closed except the catchers poll.  I expect to accelerate release of the results this week.

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: 

  • 10/6 – Henderson Alvarez opted for free agency
  • 10/6 – Ty Kelly opted for free agency
  • 10/6 – Kevin Segrist opted for free agency
  • 10/4 – Phillies outrighted Henderson Alvarez
  • 10/4 – Phillies sent 2B Ty Kelly outright to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 10/4 – Phillies sent LHP Kevin Siegrist outright to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 10/3 – DSL Phillies Red released RHP Alessandro Ciarla
  • 10/2 – Phillies recalled 2B Jesmuel Valentinfrom Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 10/2 – Phillies recalled RF Dylan Cozens from Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 10/2 – Phillies recalled RHP Alberto Tiradofrom Clearwater Threshers
  • 10/2 – Phillies recalled 2B Eliezer Alvarez from Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 10/2 – Phillies recalled RHP Drew Andersonfrom Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 10/2 – Phillies recalled RHP Mark Appel from Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 10/2 – Phillies recalled CF Roman Quinn from Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 10/2 – Phillies recalled LHP Elniery Garciafrom Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • The organization’s rosters are up to date.
  • The organization’s injury list is as up to date as I can make it.
  • The organization’s Rule 5 eligibility list is as accurate as I can make.

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

 

224 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of October 8th

  1. Time for Phillies analytics department to shine: find some starting pitching other teams may not see, that is attainable for a reasonable price.
    Find the next Kyle Hendricks or Trevor Bauer, not Shelby Miller or Jordan Zimmerman. VERY DIFFICULT to do.

    1. It’s not that it’s just difficult to do – much of it is random. That’s why you want waves of prospects. You really don’t know who will make it and who will not, so you get as many of them as you can and improve your odds of having some “hits.”

    2. ‘Find the next Kyle Hendricks or Trevor Bauer, not Shelby Miller or Jordan Zimmerman’….they probably already have that in place with Pivetta, Eflin, Thompson and possibly even Lively and Eshelman…..all that is required is patience.
      Just take a look at Corey Kluber’s history with the Padres at first, then the Indians.

  2. Who is Eliezer Alvarez and why is he on the 40 man roster? He’s 22 yo and played in AA for 54 games this year. Appears he was injured for most of the season. Anyone know anything about him?

    1. He was the return in the Nicasio trade. #25 of Phillies Top 30 on MLB.Com and Was #10 in Cardinals system according to BA prior to the trade. Injured for part of this year.

        1. Henderson Alvarez, the RHP, was signed from the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League. Eliezer Alvarez, the 22 year old 2B, came from the Cardinals in return for Juan Nicasio.

  3. I think that they Should have 2 GCL teams for Young Caribbean Players and High School Draft guts. Even Moniak and Randolph could use the Time to Develop rather than Jumpibg into a Full a Season (Lajewood their First Full Season. These High Schoolers Have alit Of Baseball to get Used to less than a Year From graduation from Hugh School. Slit if Adjustments Pkaying night after night for 5 Months.

  4. Pardon me for not Spell checking;My First Post. Extended Spring Training is Not the Worse Thing From Spring Training TIL Middle Of June; for these High Schoolers and This From the Dominican&Venezuela(Columbia-They All go to the Dominican To Play now).

    1. They’ve been doing it for almost 100 years. The players who can play make it and the ones that can’t don’t.

      You actually had a better shot at that 50-60 years ago. Today as MLB has become big business “they ain’t got time for that”

      1. DMAR, 50-60 years ago organizations had more minor league teams than today. B-Leagues, C, D, even E-leagues, plus rookie leagues. They stockpiled players like Ebenezer Scrooge piling up his money.

        1. I would note also that the Yankees have two teams in the DSL, two teams in the GCL, and two teams in short-season A. So even if the Phils add another team in the GCL, the Yankees will still have more.

  5. A few observations I made from games attended: JoJo Romero has a good pick off move
    C Randolph has some serious power and a good line drive swing
    Mark Laird may not be a top prospect but he is a very good player

    I fully expect the Phillies to add a good young controllable pitcher this offseason. Watch for teams that need to start a rebuild. A lefty is preferable. This would be someone who they can pair up with Nola in rotation.

    1. Good to hear about Randolph. I took another look at his statistics and given his age (almost 3 years younger than league average) and the league he was in, he actually had a deceptively solid season. He’s going to be going to be in AA in his age 21 season and will be in a better hitting environment. He’s actually doing just fine, although we still await the big breakout year and next year could be that.

      1. I watched Randolph hit a ball out of the park in Clearwater in August to right center – very impressive. Not just a homer but over the berm and the fence beyond that. But he also hit several other line drives making solid contact.

  6. Carlos Carrasco with a solid 6 innings last night for the Tribe. Entering the 2007 season, Carrasco was ranked as the top prospect in the Phillies org and the 37th best by BP.in baseball. Both teams benefited from that trade.

    1. That was a fair trade for both sides and, more importantly, achieved the objectives both sides had before the trade. It could have been a windfall for the Indians had Jason Knapp not gotten hurt. The Phillies got a lights out starter for the stretch run and post-season, and the Indians got a guy who eventually evolved into a legitimate #2 and who is providing them with a ton of value. Very fair trade for both teams and, along with the Halladay trade, one of the best trades of the Amaro era.

  7. i love lefty’s with a good CU – like Mr. Colbert and once good prospect Yoel Mecias. JoJo’s heater can go up to mid 90s that works with his good SL and CU. If his CU is indeed a plus and the SL is not that way behind, that’s a potential #2/#3. Another potential gem from the Yavapai College.

    I’m starting to think that Randolph will be used as part of the trade package for a starter especially if the trade partner is a AL team. If he continues to improve his hitting, Randolph will be a solid DH/LF. A small market team will be a good fit for him.

  8. Teams in need of managers are currently requesting permission to interview prospective candidates yet Dave Martinez (Cubs bench coach) hasn’t for some reason. Even though he hasn’t got MLB experience, it seems he’d have a pedigree being under Joe Maddon for so long.

      1. Don’t think so, Romus. Not if it’s an upward move. It’s been done before. Candidates have met with interested clubs between playoff rounds.

            1. I believe that paragraph does not absolutely forbid such discussions – but the current team can deny permission – which most, if not all, probably would

            2. It does leave it with somewhat of a vague interpretation.
              I have not gone thru the rest of the handbook, where it could be more explicit concerning that situation..

        1. Are you sure about that?
          MLB’s tampering rules, stipulate “there shall be no negotiations or dealings respecting employment, either present or prospective, between any player, coach or manager and any major or minor league club other than the club with which the player is under contract”
          You may be mixing up the NFL with MLB.
          I cannot recall a MLB coach being interviewed during the playoffs when his team is still alive.
          I could be wrong. The NFL may done that.

    1. Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway is in the same boat. He’ll get interviews after Cleveland wins WS or is eliminated from playoffs.

      1. The intriguing candidates to me are Ausmus, Martinez, Callaway with Wathan, Velandia and Ibanez as ideal bench coach material.

  9. Ausmus and Martinez for me, so far, and I would think Dusty Wathan has to have a job with the team. Can we just end the rumor of RAJ being a candidate right away!

    1. RAJ is not coming back as the manager. Given the direction of the team, who in their right mind would think they would entertain this possibility? IT’S NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.

  10. “Romero sinks his FB at 93 and throws his 4-seamer at 94-96, has a plus change is improving on a back door cutter.”

    Wow.

    1. And he supposedly has like 60/65 command. He’s a top 10 prospect in our system, arguably top 5. He’s a big deal and a great pick.

        1. The trio will probably start in CLW but at some point next year we might see a rotation of Kilome, Seranthony, Jojo, Sixto, Ranger and Mills in REA. That’s a darn good stuff.

        2. I think Romero perhaps starts in Reading. It’s pretty amazing but next year is his age 21 season – he’s way ahead of the curve. Again, it was a GREAT 4th round pick. A complete heist.

          1. Kudos to Johnny A. I remember a lot of us on the draft day thread here dropped a collective “Huh?” when that pick was announced. That’s why the scouts get paid.

          2. Not sure about that…he only pitched 52 innings at CLW…Joe Jordan mentioned him on his podcast with Jim Salisbury 3 weeks ago…I will have to listen again and see what he had to say about Romero. .
            I would think he starts at CLW , hopefully does well, and gets the mid-season promo to Reading.

            1. Joe Jordan on Jo Jo Romero …..32:45
              Said he could have startedt him at LHV in the playoffs if he wanted.

          1. possibly especially if Klentak can unclogged the young SPs in the 40-man.

            assuming that Nola, Eickhoff, Vinny, Lively and Pivetta made in the starting rotation (I believe that there will be at least 1 new starter not in the team yet). that leaves Eflin, Jake, Anderson, El Garcia, Eshelman, Leibrandt, Taveras, Irvin, Wags and possibly Leiter and Viza (total of 11) to compete for LHV/REA rotation. Kilome, Seranthony and Mills (total of 3) looks like lock to start in REA – so 14 SPs to be assigned in the upper minors.

            I expect at least 3 you SPs will be traded – Leiter, Taveras and Lively this offseason.

            1. who do you prefer to get traded? Wags, Leibrandt, Viza have zero trade value. Eflin and Jake are selling low. these 5 are pretty much “throw ins” if they are part of a bigger trade.

              Eshelman, Kilome, Seranthony, Anderson have mid-rotation upside and should only be part of the package if a stud is coming back. The other leftys – Irvin, El Garcia and Mills, I’ll just keep them since no teams will offer a lot from them (for now).

            2. Agree with KuKo. I would be looking to deal any of Leiter (don’t think he has much value), Taveras (his value may never be higher than right now), Lively, and Jake Thompson. They need to deal a couple of these guys to be able to promote younger pitchers who have surpassed them as prospects.

            3. I think Leiter is going to be a good long man in the bullpen. Lively I would keep, for now. Agree on trading Taveras. The main guys I would dangle as trade bait though are Eickhoff, Velazquez and Thompson. I think they’re all as good as they’re going to get. Better pitchers coming behind them. Look for the Phils to pick up two SP via trade or FA to go with Nola, Pivetta and Lively.

            4. @Hari S – i’m sure that there will be multiple teams that will talk to Klentak if both Eickhoff and Vinny are on the trading block. But their trade value are on the downward slope. I actually don’t see both as part of the next contending Phillies team, but I will still exercise patience but to opportunistic to try to unload both. Both Eickhoff and Vinny have good upside that can hurt the Phils if they miscalculated the trade market.

              Thompson is more expendable than the 2 but his value is also down compared to when he was traded for Cole Hamels. Teams will point out to the early struggles and loss of velocity to buy low.

              Leiter, Taveras and Lively has shown that they can pitch with success so they are probably pitching above their projected value. This trio’s upside is limited to back end rotation type which the Phils has in abundance.

  11. Some people think the Baseball Manager is not that important. These playoffs have shown how wrong that is. First, Girardi fails to call for a replay challenge, now Hinch panics and puts Verlander in for the 5th Inning. Worst case, tied 2-2 and he has Verlander to start against someone that is not Chris Sale. Terrible move!

    1. I’m not necessarily agreeing to what HOU did, it looks like a calculated risk since BOS played Sale (making him unavailable to start in GM 5) in the 4th inning and HOU still have Keuchel (vs Pomeranz, Fister or Price) in case Game 5 is needed.

  12. I hope the Astros win vs. Boston, but I would have, without question, not gone to Verlander there. What do we know about Eric Wedge and Charlie Montoya, 2 more guys supposedly on the list? MacPhail allegedly liked Wedge for the O’s job before Showalter.

    1. Giles could be soon closing in an Astro World Series championship.
      Can just imagine the comments on philly.com if that happens on that Dec 2015 Klentak trade.

  13. The idea was a good one, don’t you think? Now, the return? that is still TBD. However, Fisher instead of Appel looks much better, and Eshelman may be the key piece. Still hoping for VV, but it may be in the BP. Klentak needs to do much better with his trades going forward, that is for sure. I will root for Giles, he was one of ours, if he makes it to the WS, but I want to see Klentak do something we can be excited about this off season.

    1. Interestingly, MacPhail mentioned the other day that when Klentak told him he was removing Mack as manager, MacPhail told him to be prepared to feel the heat more or less, and he would have to live with the decisions…..GMs only get so many mangers to hire before their number is up.
      Now if Giles goes on and closes out a WS ring for the Astros….Klentak will be well aware of what the fan base will be saying…..so he may be more opt to pull the trigger on something big..

    2. For the most part, that was a very well-conceived and well-executed trade. He got a good mix of players for a relief pitcher, but there’s always some luck involved. I do that trade every time and it is probably still going to work out just fine.

  14. MacPhail also said that Klentak was unafraid and was sure of what he wanted to do, conceptually, Manager wise, which I took to mean a more analytics type, but I want him to use that fearlessness to do something bold talent wise. They want that cost controlled younger SP that they can trade for, but I don’t know who that might be. Trading from prospect depth without sacrificing the top prospects is what MacPhail hinted at, but the usual names are going to bring back a much bigger haul than that.

    1. Sometimes you have to take a risk.
      One of his comfort zones has been signing a boatload of AAAA level relievers or going after post -injured low tier FA pitchers. You can only do that for so long.

      1. Romus … I’ve believed (and have been posting) for months now that the Phillies are not going to be handing out any multi-year contracts to any FA’s this year. However, I do believe Matt Klentak will be the hub of the winter meetings at Disney World. He’s showing up with established MLB players (CeHe, Rupp, ToJo, maybe Freddie Galvis, and a few young SP’s), prospects, and the ability to eat lots of unwanted contracts. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t make at least one big trade. I’m kind of expecting multiple deals.

        1. Agree that it promises to be an active trade season. The Phillies are positioned to be active in free agency BUT this year’s market doesn’t hold much appeal when next year’s looks to be historically top heavy.

          These are teams I see as being their likeliest trade partners:

          1 Miami – despite being inner division rivals, there is so much compatibility here.
          2 Baltimore
          3 LA Dodgers
          4 Toronto
          5 Tampa
          6 Detroit
          7 LA Angels
          8 Pittsburgh

  15. AFL Kicks-Off Tomorrow.
    Tuesday, October 10
    Glendale Desert Dogs at Peoria Javelinas………………..12:35 p.m (MST)

  16. Assuming no trades, league minimums, arb cases, and Odubel, Saunders $1M, and a little bit for Hamels, Phillies have $40M payroll. What’s the negative on signing JD Martinez? He’s in his prime, nobody will go more than 5 years in him, he cannot be offered a QO, so no loss of picks. A big deal won’t cripple us going forward.

    Yes, we need pitching. But adding a polished, middle-of-the-order bat wouldn’t be a bad idea. What if Altherr is hurt again, and nick Williams takes a step back? We’ll be crying for an outfielder. Adding to depth isn’t the worst idea.

    1. You don’t sign a JD Martinez to add depth. He would be playing everyday and taking at-bats from Altherr, Williams, etc.

      Not sure that’s the best plan at this point since they need to find out if Altherr, Williams, etc. are truly everyday players.

      1. It would free up Williams (who’s a free swinger in a FO that values plate discipline and controlling the strike zone).

        If you can sell high on him and get a Archer or someone of that ilk back I’d be all for it.

        Hernandez
        Altherr
        Martinez
        Hoskins
        Herrera
        Franco
        Crawford
        Knapp
        Pitcher

        Would be very, very potent. I also like the idea of trading Williams for Stanton. With the juiced ball he’d hit well over 60 in our park.

        1. I’d be surprised if they traded for Stanton. Too much money for too many years, all the way through 2028, his age 38 season. Didn’t the Phillies have that situation just recently with another big slugger who they signed for too much for too long and couldn’t give away in the final years of his contract? How soon we forget.

          1. i don’t think that the $$ is the issue for Howard. That $125M/5 year is just right for a premium run producer. the issue with Howard is his Mike Tyson-like very steep and sudden decline in production. Also the Howard contract didn’t hinder them from competing, it is the lack of talent coming from the farm. The Phils didn’t produce a plenthora of high end prospects from LA unlike they have now, and their domestic scouting is poor. So the Howard and Stanton analogy are not comparable.

            I might consider the Stanton trade if it is only for a salary dump deal – meaning no major pieces are being traded to absorb that kind of $$.

            1. It depends on your definition of “major”

              I don’t see guys like Williams as major losses but if they want guys like Ortiz or Sanchez or even Kingery with real star potential I’d pause.

              I don’t see there being a huge market of teams willing to give up talent for Stanton, kind of like Hamels when we were trading him. Contract isn’t awful but why absorb the contract AND give up a haul when you can just sign JD martinez

            2. @JL26 – not sure if there’s any other synonym for major (adjective) other than “important”. so in the phils world – those are the elite prospects and key players making the next core not only for next year but for the years to come.

    2. I brought up JD Martinez as a target probably 6 months ago. With Altherr and Nick’s strong 2017, I rather use the $$ to look for bigger fish – absorb Stanton’s contract or go hard on Harper.

      Harper fits better because he can compliment Hoskins in the heart of the line. If McKlentak get away with a coup and sign both Machado and Harper – we are looking at a production top of the order of:

      1) Kingery (RH)
      2) JPC (LH)
      3) Hoskins (RH)
      4) Harper (LH)
      5) Machado (RH)

      1. Harper concerns me. Thus far, between missed time and inconsistency, he’s been roughly half as valuable as Mike Trout over the same period of time. But he’s not going to get paid half of what Trout will get paid – he might only get paid a little less and I am also concerned he might break down in his 30s, like Josh Hamilton. For those reasons, I probably pass on Harper.

        1. this is a valid concern for the amount of financial commitment a team will have to acquire Harper. it is good that the Phils have another year to assess internal options (Altherr, Williams, Cozen), check the market and further evaluate Harper as a viable high $$ commitment.

        2. Given how bad the Angels are and Mike Trout’s affinity for all things Philadelphia, while you can’t count on him being available in a few years or signing here, I probably leave open some of the coffers for that possibility. If he’s a free agent, you’d have to reasonably conclude that the Phillies are the favorite going into that negotiation – I think he’d really like to end up here. Of all the things that might happen with free agents, I might give this the highest likelihood of actually happening.

            1. I don’t think so. I think he will have had enough of playing on a bad team and living in Los Angeles at the same time. I think it will be the Phillies and someone else who we’re not even thinking about. But I think Philly will have the edge.

          1. @catch – i’ve been hatching that Mike Trout to Philly for more than a year than a year now and think that the Phils have the best leverage and Trout himself can make it easier for this to happen. Same as the Cesar trade reaction, I got smoked and literally thrown out of this site. I brought up a Doobie + Sixto + Moniak package which made v1again (when he still like Moniak) replied that you don’t trade a pitcher with a 70 grade FB and a hitter with 70 grade hit tool because they don’t grow in trees. But Mike Trout doesn’t grow in trees too – everybody in the current Phillies team is expendable when it comes to Mike Trout. Nola is the current Phillie i like the most and I’m willing to package him for Mike Trout.

            Wentz and the Eagles, Embiid and his Shirley Temples and Trout wearing a Ben Simmons jersey – everything points to Philly.

            8mark thinks that FA is the easiest way, which I agree but I will still explore every year if Trout can be acquired before he hits FA.

            1. KuKo…agree with you on Trout….every year the Phillies should inquire about trading for him before he hits FA….which basically is the next three years.

            2. Trout is a complete “one off” exception in terms of getting him in here. Through the first 5/6 years of his career, he has basically been Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays rolled into one. That’s not hyperbole – he’s on a track to become an inner circle Hall of Famer; one of the 10 best players who ever lived. At least that’s the track.

            3. I mean he has 55 WAR through his age 26 season. That’s INSANE. If he has normal aging for a player of his abilities, you’re looking at like 130-150 WAR – perhaps more. It’s difficult to overstate how great he has been.

          2. Considering the overall quality of the organizations and minor league systems, a reasonable projection for each team would have the Angels being (at best) static over the next few years, whereas the Phillies are poised to climb toward playoff contention with their buying power alone.

            As for prospective top FA acquisitions-to-be, Harper might be a good get but I highly doubt his contract will be anywhere close to commensurate with his actual value, especially as he nears age 30. His body might not hold out that long. I wouldn’t feel too good if he was ALL we got over the next several years. Trout and the Phillies, OTOH? It’s kind of like a couple in love who can’t get married yet because one’s divorce won’t be final for 3 years. And Machado? Just the significant upgrade at our only thin position is worth overpaying him.

            1. Right now, the Phillies is a GM’s dream – a team with $$ and financial flexibility, young core and a deep farm. McPhail and Klentak are too deliberate for my taste, but that might be a safer path to contention.

              If the Phils just continue to develop nice pieces to the core and don’t stay away from any financial commitments, big FAs will come here — especially the one Mike Trout.

              I believe that the RAJ era’s downfall is the lack of adequate coming from the farm to replenish the major league team and RAJ’s inability to adapt timely. It might be slow to our liking, but the current regime already have both “RAJ mistakes” addressed currently.

            2. Kurdt, it is Phillies Management that stopped the International player pipeline when Bill Giles bought the team and delaying the rebuild. Remember RAJ answers to them like us to our employers.

            3. @philbaltfan – I made reference to RAJ’s era not just RAJ – so it’s RAJ and all of his enablers and subordinates. When it comes to RAJ (which means it is only Reuben Amaro Jr.), i mentioned his inability to adapt timely.

            4. Kurdt, we will never know exactly what happened unless someone tells which is unlikely. I just don’t think Ruben/Gillick did not notice the cores decline and really wanted to get younger. Sal A. was a great choice to rebuild our International player pipeline but that should have been started much earlier with Lee Thomas and Ed Wade.

        3. I would be interested to know how many of the last say 10 WS Champions had the highest paid pitcher or highest paid position player appear on the 25 man at the time of winning it?

          And to boot if it did happen how many times was he the WS MVP

          Harper concerns me for the same reasons. He is gets hurt a lot for a young player that trend goes in the wrong direction with age.

          1. Yankees in 2009 had ARod, CC and Jeter…not sure how high they were being paid at the time compared to other players
            But get your point….you will not find many WS champs with that distinction.

  17. These Phillies arb salary projections from MLBTR analyst seem reasonable:
    Freddy Galvis (5.021) – $7.4MM
    Cesar Hernandez (3.154) – $4.7MM
    Cameron Rupp (3.089) – $2.1MM
    Luis Garcia (3.007) – $1.4MM
    Maikel Franco (2.170) – $3.6MM
    Of the approx 240 plus players in the arb salary scenario…Manny Machado looks to be the top of the heap with a projection of $17.3M from the Os..

    1. Luis Garcia at $1.4M is a valuable commodity. The Phils can get a good return from that value if Klentak end up shopping Luis Garcia this offseason.

      I hope Klentak keeps him. And if Garcia continue to produce based on his recent performance his value will triple at the trade deadline. If Garcia becomes the Luis Garcia of old, the $1.4M is marginal.

    2. Unless Freddy pulls off a gold glove somehow, I don’t see the case for that kind of pay day. He would be lucky to sign for Jean Segura $ — $6.2 M.

  18. There is a pretty good chance that at least 1 of those names, maybe 2, will not be with the Phils next year. Even with them all, the payroll is so low that the ability of Klentak to take on salary in a deal is probably the best in the league. Can’t wait to see what he does with that advantage.

  19. What about Jake Odorizzi as a trade target? I don’t see him costing a lot prospect wise coming off a down year. He could add 180-200 innings as a 3 in the rotation. He’s cost controlled so if you want to pursue Cobb (my favorite pitcher on the market) or trade for a salary dump (maybe Brandon McCarthy?)

    I also like Chatwood a lot on a short commitment.

    1. Some more interesting names. Getting an innings eater with upside is not bad idea, but I could also see benefit in getting ‘veteran’ presence to rotation. (Or may want veteran catcher.)

      Odorizzi will still cost a bunch due to his control. TB will likely want to keep him.
      Chatwood walks too many guys, but will just cost free agent money.
      I think Cobb will cost close to price of Darvish and Arrietta due his young age and upside.
      I do not think Giants would do it but salary dump of Smardizja at 3yr60M might be better than Cobb at 5yr90M.

      Jason Hammel was a salary dump I figured would cost nothing but there is no upside expectation with him.

  20. Smardizja would be at the top of my list to get in a salary dump. Giants can move him and be in on Darvish or Arrieta. After those 2, I think the market vastly overpays for Cobb and Lynn. Depending on the cost, I am in on Odorizzi.

    1. My priority will be Darvish since it’s only cost $$ and might be a bait to lure Otani. Cobb and Lynn are my #2 and #3 option, assuming no QOs are tied up to them – I don’t want the Phils to give up any draft picks unless it’s for a bonafide TOR.

      Shark is a good alternative especially if the Giants will not play hard ball for a salary dump. I’ll offer Eliezer Alvarez or Leiter (or Tirado) for Shark.

    2. mattt13…….you are aware Jeff Samardzija has 3 years left at over $50M left on his contract…..2017-2020:$18M annually with a limited no-trade protection (may select eight clubs to which he will accept a trade) and turns 33 in January. So taking on an aging pitcher who however has performed well these last two years with over 400 innings pitched. However, he has close to 2000 innings pitched as a professional. So when does he fall from the cliff?

      1. @romus – on a risk management standpoint, this is a risk that the Phils can take. because even if acquiring Shark becomes a “flop” the $$ has minimal effect in the Phil’s ability to be a premier FA player and no major pieces (minors or majors) are lost.

        The Phils is actually the perfect team to take advantage of this kind of situation (salary dump). They can acquire someone who can help stabilize the young core (i don’t see Shark as a bad clubhouse player) without blocking their development.

        1. KuKo…..lets look at asset allocation.
          I assume you mean JSmar, along with Darvish and Cobb/Lynn as you posted above. Perhaps I am reading that wrong.
          So it looks like you taking on three additional pitchers…..one via trade, two via FA route.
          Assume they all slide into the rotation with Aaron Nola,
          So how do you arrange the pitchers left…….Eichkoff, ViVe, Eflin, Lively, Thompson, Pivetta and Leiter? Also bearing in mind you may have to give an opp to Eshelman and even Kilome sometime next year.

          1. @romus – i not looking to acquire all of them – i only want one – Darvish (or 2 if they can acquire Otani.

            Cobb and Lynn are “options” #2 and #3 (that is if Option #1 is not possible). I also said that Shark is an “alternative” which means Klentak doesn’t like Options #1 to #3.

            I’ve been very aware of the roster crunch and I’ve been clear about it in all of my post. I’m not Joel Reuter of the Bleacher Report who will just throw ideas without being realistic as to the 40-man implication.

            1. Let’s “jump the Shark.” Not interested. It’s like acquiring another Hellickson. No thanks unless we’re getting a compelling pitching prospect or major league ready arm.

            2. 8mark…the Shark ‘s last two years have been very good……a 5WAR player on a bad team and he pitched over 400 innings combined….can’t ask for much more than that.
              But you are correct to the point……what is the return for the Phillies taking the Shark off their hands for the last three years of his contract?

              .

  21. Romus, I understand that, but I am trying to guesstimate the cost of Lynn or Cobb. They get 5 years, I am guessing, and push $100M. Compared to that, Samardzija, makes some sense. He is always in great shape, and I figured we get 2 years from him that compare to the alternatives at a lesser commitment. I can’t really guess what Darvish and Arrieta get, but it will make the Shark’s 3/$50M seem like small change.

  22. I also think that is what MacPhail has in mind vs. the FA market. I see them getting 1 SP and 1 pretty highly thought of arm for the BP.

    1. matt13…I can see adding two pitchers at some point before 2018. And can understand your point, one thru a trade with thegiants, and perhaps yuo can get more than just JSmar, since the Phillies will be taking the salary off the Giants’ hands, and the another pitcher via FA
      But do not see why the need to get another BP arm…..if anything the BP was their strongest part of their corps finishing the year…and all young enough to keep progressing. Is there a need for a closer or set-up guy at this point?
      Any other reliever can be found in the AAAA market as Matt Klentak has been doing for the last two years.

      1. @romus – i’m not sure if matt13 are think of the same thing, but IMO, the Phils need to start the winning momentum this offseason (Hinkie prefers to unload starting next offseason). In my previous post i have a starter and a bullpen as must have and veteran bat.

        The starter i like Klentak to explore is Darvish (or Cobb/Lynn/Shark), bullpen arm is Davis (or Watson/Clippard/Shaw/McGee/Swarzak) and batter is JD Martinez. Klentak doesn’t need to acquire them all but at least 1 starter, 1 bullpen and an OF – so that’s only 3 – and recently I said that JD Martinez is not needed since they can just go for Stanton or Harper.

        Bullpen is the most volatile group in the team so a steady hand is needed to stabilize the younger bullpen arms. Garcia is the most veteran in the pen and he is still not that 100% dependable.

        So I agree with Matt that Klentank should acquire 1 SP (or 2 if he can acquire Otani) and 1 BP. The Phils can do better next season, a realible SP and RP can help them make a run in the wild card.

      2. I see three pitchers, a premium starting pitcher like Darvish to keep, a low-cost starter to flip at the deadline, and a closer. A trade for a good closer will be the no-doubt indicator that the Phillies think they can contend again.

  23. KuKo said it better than I did. I agree that the BP came on at the end of the year and did a very nice job. They have young arms that can also grow. And, the future may have Appel and VV in the BP. But, I was thinking they want a veteran, stabilizer type, that can help the young guys as well. I see them looking to hit that .500 mark next year.

    1. none of the current bullpen arms right now that can give me comfort in high leverage innings. i actually have Arano and Morgan as the most trusted shut down pen arm. Arano has only 10.2 IP and Morgan is still in the process of reinventing himself.

      Neris gives me scare. He is not a shut down reliever as he gives a hit and/or a walk here and there in the 9th inning. He is luck to have a potentially good defensive OF behind him in Doobie, Altherr and Williams.

      VV, Appel and Pivetta have closer stuff but they are still ? unless they actually start pitching in high leverage innings.

      I expect that the Phils will have a lot of close games next season, a reliable pen arm can be handy in this kind of situations and give them extra wins to make a run in the wild card race.

  24. Looking ahead to next July 2, here is the hottest rumor of a Phillie commitment (courtesy of Baseball America)

    Starlyn Castillo, rhp, Dominican Republic
    Castillo has a strong build (6 feet, 190 pounds) and power stuff, with a fastball that already reaches the mid-90s. While some teams shy away from paying big money for 16-year-old arms, Castillo has separated himself early as the top pitcher in the class and should easily push past the $1 million mark. Right now the Phillies are the favorites.
    Read more at http://www.baseballamerica.com/international/10-international-prospects-to-watch-for-2018/#mj0i5la880ir25M5.99

    1. RU posted the Phillies connection to Castillo a couple of months ago. Here is some video of the young RHP. The first video (taken 3 days after his 15th birthday) shows him throwing 93 MPH (touching 94 once out of the stretch). The second clip was taken four months later. It states Castillo went 3 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 5 K. He, again, threw mostly 93, but touched 95. He throws FB, SL. CB, CU. He’s very impressive, especially for a 15 YO.

    2. BTW … BigPhan, I do appreciate you sharing the Starlyn Castillo info. I didn’t mean for it to sound like I wasn’t grateful for your post. Castillo looks another young arm to excited for.

  25. Two top ten kids from this signing period still remained unsigned…very strange.
    Raimfer Salinas an OFer and catcher Antonio Cabello…….both of Venezuela.
    Wondering now if the Braves nefarious actions and them under a current investigation has anything to do involving these two kids.

  26. Farrell out as Manager of the Red Sox. Is there any interest here in him? I remember good things about him when he was hired, wasn’t he a former Pitching Coach?

  27. How ironic would it be if John Farrell became our new manager and brought Ruben back as a coach? I imagine that move would blow some posters minds. Ruben then can help finish what he started with the rebuild.

        1. Not sure what the relationship is between John Middleton and Ruben.
          Ruben was in Monty’s camp and Monty one time I remembered, this was many years ago, made a rather backhanded praise remark about John Middleton’s executive nature when he was the ‘silent partner’

          1. @romus – good point about JM and RAJ relationship. JM was never fond of RAJ and indirectly show his displeasure with RAJ in one of the interviews before. The pressure from JM (who is starting to be more vocal than being silent) is what drove RAJ to start dismantling the old core and turning the page. That (trading JRoll, Chase, Byrd, Chooch, RobHen, Cole, Paps and Benny Dribbler) turned out to be one of the better GM moves by RAJ.

    1. The Hefty Lefty is a K-machine !!!!
      I hope he gets the chance to start, but I have been trying to put together possible rotations for all the affiliates, and I’m afraid he’s going to get squeezed out of either the Williamsport or Lkewood rotation.

      1. Hinkie – you are correct. Even if the Phils released the org fillers in the A+ and up and employ a 6-man rotation A+ below, the starting rotation is filled by capable prospects. Assuming both Howard and Seabold are ahead of the Hefty Lefty, the LWD rotation is full with Howard and Seabold joining Young, Rosso, Stewart, Requena and possibly Parkinson or Julian Garcia in the rotation. If Gowdy is healthy, he might get the priority.

        This will leave Hernandez to pitch a cameo in LWD then start in WIL full time with the GCL studs in Morales, Mezquita, Lindow and possibly Andrew Brown and whoever getting pushed down from LWD.

    1. I will take it.
      BTW….Matt Klentak better get his act in gear in hiring the new manager.
      Dave Dombrowski just fired John Farrell uesterday…..and had previously hired Brad Ausmus in 2013, when was the Tigers big-boss…..he may be going after Brad Ausmus again for Beantown..

      1. DD is going to be under a lot of pressure to hire Jason Varitek. If the Yankees fire Joe Girardi, they could also be in the Ausmus sweepstakes.

        1. Don’t see the Yankees firing Joe after now. He really did a nice job after the first 2 games. Held himself accountable didn’t whine and his players stepped up for him after that.

          That is what great leaders do.

        2. Dombrowski’s quotes yesterday indicate that he’s looking for a dugout experienced guy. Varitek doesn’t fit that description in the least since he’s been in the FO since retiring.

          I’m sure the interview process for all clubs in need will take its time BUT you’d think the “favorites” have already been determined. And the highly regarded/high demand candidates (like Ausmus perhaps) can pick from competing clubs. Again, this is where the Phillies can offer “a little more” by convincing him that they’ll spend more money and have a compelling pipeline.

          Having said that, MacPhail made no mention of getting an experienced guy. Velandia has recently been Klentak’s right hand man, analytically versed and an outside the box candidate. My only concern or question is how his leadership skills play in the dugout and clubhouse.

          1. According to Buster Olney, the Red Sox may have a favorite.

      2. The Red Sox and Yankees jobs might present Ausmus with a quicker chance to win a WS, but they would also come with a lot more pressure to succeed right away. Ausmus might find the Phillies job safer. He would inherit a good young team and an owner who will soon spend big bucks on superstar level FA’s, and he would be allowed more time to win.

        1. Any concern that Dombrowski (a former Tiger GM) might have interest in Ausmus whom he left in Detroit? Phils might need to act quickly and aggressively if they want Ausmus.

        2. Hinkle I know if I am offered the three jobs. Philly would be last. Yankees and boston just spend and get talent. better chance.

          1. rocco…..Ausmus might feel more comfortable with Klentak as his boss. But then again…you are correct….the Sox and Yanks are there every year duking it out for bragging rights.

      1. Yeah……the whole situation is cloudy.
        If anything, it gives the opportunity for the smaller revenue clubs to have a chance to compete for his service, at least for two years.

  28. According to Jim Salisbury, Jorge Velandia interviewed Wed and has emerged as a “strong candidate”. Samuel was interviewed Tue. Wathan is the other internal possibility but it’s not known if or when he’s been talked to. No word on outside candidates. Like the GM search 2 yrs ago, those may take place out of town and away from media scrutiny.

    1. Nobody is more tuned in to the Phillies than Jim Salisbury, so I’m sure Velandia is a “strong candidate”. However, I don’t believe he’ll be the eventual hire. Many more (outside) candidates still to be interviewed.

      1. Velandia and Samuel fill the minority interviewing square established under the latest MLB Rules book as the commissioner wanted..
        I seriously doubt they get selected.
        Unless Ausmus is plucked by the Sox and Dave Dombrowski in a NY Yankee second, I still think he is the favorite.

  29. Nothing against Velandia, but I want a guy who has Managed before, even if it was not at the ML level. Velandia was the GM in Venezuela, and has no managerial experience at all. He can go to the Minors and learn if that is his career goal.

  30. 31 year old Japanese rhp Hidaeki Wakui is seriously considering coming over to MLB. He won Japan’s equivalent to the Cy Young back in ’09 at age 23. Might he be a reasonable and sensible signing pursuit? Perhaps a 1-3 year contract to establish his otherwise uncertain value?

    What say ye?

    1. Wakui doesn’t look like an impact arm. Probably a back-end starter. Low BB’s, but low K’s. He looks like he could be an older version of Ben Lively.
      2017 Wakui … 1.23 WHIP, 8.9 H/9, 3 BB/9, 6.6 K/9
      2017 Lively … 1.29 WHIP, 9.1 H/9, 2.4 BB/9, 5.3 K/9
      The video I’ve attached shows a below avg fastball (90 MPH and straight). He looks to get by on his breaking ball and changeup. IMO, A team like the Orioles (won’t spend enormous money on a FA, and don’t have a plethora of prospects to trade for SP) might be a good match for Wakui. https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=wakui-001hid

    2. The next great Japanese pitcher (after Otani) to come over will be Shintaro Fujinami. He’s only 23 YO, and probably will wait until he’s 25 YO (old enough to be a true FA) to come to MLB. Fujinami was, as a teenager, thought to be better than Otani.

    1. Wow, strong opinion from the anonymous exec. DiSarcina a “freakin’ stud”?
      I’d like to know more about him other than his Klentak-Trout connection with LAA from a few years ago, bench coach for the just-ousted Boston manager Farrell, and that he was a marginal player in the ’90s. Anyone have a profile?

      A few days ago, I said “book it” that Ausmus is the man. Since then I must say you can’t speak too soon. However, reading this article (Romus posted link above) gives me pause. Another piece yesterday mentioned that all of the Red Sox staff (including DiSarcina, I assume) were told to seek opps elsewhere. My sense is now that the Phillies may now land one of either Ausmus or DiSarcina.

  31. I wouldn’t mind throwing Chase Utley in the mix for manager if he decides to hang it up after this season. a very good baseball mind and plays the game the right way. he’d do very well with young players.

    1. I dunno…scares me….sometimes great players make unfavorable managers.
      Hitting home close, Ryne Sandberg, is one of the latest examples
      In the past mediocre players, mostly catchers and at times shortstops, for that matter….make better managers.

        1. Nah. Let’s keep him fondly remembered and not risk the glow he helped bring to the glory days. Gut feeling but I don’t think he’s the type for that job, manager OR coach. Besides, I think this regime wants to build their own identity with their own people.

        2. philabalt….that does make more sense.
          But would he be interested in, say, coaching a base?
          Now a hitting coach would be right up his alley the way he is a student of it.

  32. DiSarcina is an interesting name. Close to Klentak, Had various roles with the BoSox, including a stint as a Minor League Manager, assistant in the FO and Bench Coach. Smart player. I would not be opposed to him.

  33. Hopefully, the Phillies have a decent amount of J2 money in reserve because it’s looking more and more likely Kevin Maitan may be hitting the international market again. Ken Rosenthal says sources tell him the Brave’s “violations are unprecedented in scope.” He also reports Atlanta may be facing a substantial fine, a loss of prospects and restrictions on the the international market. https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/10/latest-on-braves-investigation-unprecedented-violations.html
    Someone in the comments section brings up a good point. Are teams who were in the J2 penalty box last year (when Maitan was signed) not eligible to sign him ? That would be a plus for the Phillies. Teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers were all sitting out the 2016 J2 season.

    1. Yes teams in the penalty can sign him…..$300K or less….and since he already has $4M in the bank from the Braves 2016 bonus signing….he may just choose the best team with the best opportunity.
      By my unofficial calculations Phillies have about $5.6M total this period…with the trades ups for money.
      Guesstimates….DR Garcia was $2.5M and pitcher Puelllo $500K, these four Ven kids, catchers Rodriguez and Gonzalez, RHPs Betancourt and Hernandez, also a guess, but somewhere around $1.25M to $1.5M. …Colombian pitchers Vargas and Torres approx $650K…then another dozen at $50K and less.
      So right away it looks like they are almost maxed out.

      1. Romus … I think the Rangers may have the most J2 money. They’re going to be targeting Otani (like everyone else), but they might be in the best position for Maitan if they miss out on the Japanese superstar.

        1. Hinkie…that may be the case.
          I really would like to get Maitan signed onto a Phillies contract…..he would be the third baseman of the future.

  34. Glad I’m not a National fan. Never saw an inning quite like the one last night where they imploded after Scherzer got 1st 2 outs. Tough way to lose. Guess Harper not destined to make WS with Washington.

    1. Playoffs have a way to expose team weaknesses. All season the knock on the Nationals was their bullpen. Then they made a number of deals to bring in relievers and everyone thought they had fixed their problem.

      Apparently, they didn’t 🙂

      Cubs are going to have the same problem moving forward. Their bullpen is not good..

      1. Cubs entire pitching staff is faltering.
        And Lester, at his age, has been used in multiple roles now…not sure what they will get from him.
        Quintana may be the hero if it comes down to it.

      2. I got a kick out of the fact that the best reliever of the night was Madson – and as usual they over managed and took him out probably too soon.

      3. I almost felt bad for the Nationals (maybe for a nanosecond). Their window of opportunity has been open for six years and will probably be slamming shut after next season when Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy leave and back-loaded contracts begin catching up with them.

        1. They have some terrible deferred money contracts.

          They will be paying $30 million a year for Strausburg and Scherzer long after they are gone starting in 2022 (Scherzer) and 2024 (Strausburg).

          1. My mistake, they will only be spending $25 million. Strausburg’s deferred money is $10 million per season not $15 million..

  35. I am with you catch, I cannot stand them, and stayed up after the Birds’ game to watch. Cubs’ BP had a terrible time this series, but Wade Davis gutted out a 7 out save.

    1. Looks like the Nats are part of the swamp that is getting drained.
      And now Jayson Werth…now a FA and going into his age39 season…..back to Philly? Just a joke.

      1. Watch that joke Werth controls the stike zone . He’s one of the best at it not bad for a 4th of 5 th Outfielder or a great pitch hitter.

    2. the baseball started 30 minutes before the Eagles and finished an hour after. Crazy.

      i don’t like either team but ever since the resting Strasburg episode a few years ago, ive enjoyed the Nats being unable to win a playoff series, and how they have managed to lose them.

      these managers just seem to get too cute with bringing starters in as relievers. it was clear Scherzer didnt have it and Dusty didnt seem to know what to do. Maddon was very fortunate Davis was able to extend himself that successfully.

  36. I have never been a Bryce Harper fan. I acknowledge his talent, no question, but I would love to see the Phils get back to prominence without him. Machado or Donaldson, Mike Trout, for sure, any number of SPs and a couple of BP pieces, I can’t wait to get, but let’s pass on Harper.

    1. You’re thinking like me Matt. I don’t want Harper either. Trout now, Machado next year. The Phillies have quite a few expendable, but good pieces that match up well with the Angels needs. Would probably have to trade near all of them to get Trout, but it would be worth it.

  37. I thought the Nationals would make it this year, especially with Madson and Dolittle pitching the 8th and 9th innings. However, their hitting was inconsistent and their early relief pitchers were mediocre. Even then they had a chance because of great starting pitching, but, as the Phillies learned, you need more than great starting pitching at this stage of the season. I thought that neither the Cubs, nor the Nationals would beat the Dodgers, who have had a great season and postseason, so far.

    1. Puddinhead….so far, amazing how many TORs were hit early in games or in relief roles.
      Not sure what to make of it.
      And then a big power bat like Judge whiffs for the record books.

  38. Bowa gets one of those “assistant to the GM” jobs, and doing to work with young IFs throughout system. Gammons wrote a very complimentary story on Ausmus. If he is Klentak’s choice, there will be a lot of competition. Cannot wait for the hirings and signings to begin!

    1. I love keeping Bowa around. He can really help the young middle infielders we have in the minors.
      As for manager – Wathan has never been in the majors before, Velandia and Callaway have never managed anywhere before, Samuel has no shot, Ausmus is a bright guy, a former player, with experience managing. He checks the boxes. Was he a good manager?? Hard to tell. Other bench coaches will get interviews also but with no managing experience. Interesting process.

      1. It’s a matter of whether Ausmus learned from his mistakes and this was his mulligan, like Tito in Philly. Would like an ex-catcher somewhere on the staff to help Alfaro/Knapp so thats an additional reason from my standpoint to have interest in him.

      2. Strictly from what I’m reading/hearing, I’d be comfortable with any one of Ausmus, DiSarcina, or Callaway (who’s getting lots of love throughout MLB). I don’t think the ‘previous managerial experience’ requirement plays as big a factor in this case like it does for Dombrowski in Beantown. Hopefully, Klentak & Co. persuade the new skipper to keep Stairs and Wathan in the fold. Samuel is likely to stick, as would Velandia due to their existing relationships with MacKlentak. (I could see Velandia being named as assistant GM if he’s not assigned a coaching gig.)

        My idea for the staff:
        MGR – DiSarcina or Ausmus (they both should wind up getting big league jobs)
        Bench – Velandia (standing by with the analytical breakdown sheet)
        3b coach/defense – Wathan
        1b coach/baserunning – Samuel
        Hitting – Stairs
        Pitching – ???? (would love Doc but not hearing any buzz)
        Bullpen – Chooch (but again, with a new manager…???)

          1. Just read Ryan Lawrence’s piece yesterday on mgr search. He mentions that former Pirate pitching guru Jim Benedict (just let go as FO exec by new Mia ownership) as candidate to be the next pitching coach here. They tried a few years ago but Pitt rebuffed their efforts.

            1. 8mark…he may be a good hire.
              But wondering if they will announce the manager first before working on the specialist coaches.

      1. Now I wonder who is more senior…Bo or Mack :).
        Before it is all done, Klentak could have plenty of advisors.
        Also Jim will have lots of company next year at the Complex in Clearwater.

  39. Hinkie, good point! I actually agree with you that the chance for a talent boost is via trade. Looking forward to the team’s additions, however they come.

  40. The Marlins payroll for 2018 is projected to be $140M. Management wants it down to $90M. Currently, the Marlins already have $95M in contracts and that’s before Bour, Ozuna, and Realmuto getting arbitration raises. The Marlins farm system is not great either. It’s going to get interesting.

    1. NO. Just say NO. No Stanton. No Yelich, If you want an OF other than what we have, go Trout fishing. If you want a deal with the Marlins, go for a pitcher.

    2. Guru … funny you bring this up. I was going to post something similar.
      Hari … the Angels are not trading Mike Trout.
      I’ve been posting the Phillies and the Fish make perfect trade partners this winter. From what I’ve read, Derek Jeter may be looking to reduce payroll by 50 million dollars if they keep Stanton, and by 75 million if they trade Stanton. Right now, their 2018 payroll is scheduled to be north of 140 million dollars.
      In this article http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/barry-jackson/article177698496.html, former GM’s Jim Bowden and Dan O’Dowd list Edinson Volquez and Wei-Yen Chen as “impossible to trade”. They list Martin Prado, and relievers Brad Ziegler and Junichi Tazawa as “very difficult to trade”. Volquez, Ziegler, and Tazawa have one year left on their contracts at a total of 29 million dollars. Prado is on the books for 28.5 million over the next two seasons. Chen makes 18 million next season, 20 million in 2019, and 22 million in 2020. Volquez will not play next year (TJ surgery). Chen pitched only 33 innings this season and may or may not need TJ. Ziegler and Tazawa totaled ERA’s of 4.79 and 5.69, respectively, this year. Martin Prado hit .250, is 33 and missed all but 37 games due to injury this season.
      Matt Klentak could make Derek Jeter’s Christmas “very merry” by taking four of the aforementioned Marlins. What could Jeter do to reciprocate the holiday cheer ? Here’s a plan:
      Klentak gets Volquez, Ziegler, Tazawa, Prado, Christian Yelich, and Miami’s comp B draft pick.
      Jeter gets Nick Williams, Ben Lively, Zach Efflin, and Yaksel Rios.
      The Rios for the comp B pick would have to wait until the start of the 2018 season to be made because MLB rules only allow those picks to be dealt in season.
      The loss of Volquez, Ziegler, Tazawa, Prado, and Yelich would save the Marlis 49.5 million dollars for 2018. That’s exactly what Jeter is looking to shave from his payroll. Williams would replace Yelich in Miami’s OF. Lively and Efflin should both be able to earn spots in Miami’s rotation. The Phillies get their dream player in Yelich (and his career .800 OPS) on an extremely team friendly contract (5 more years @ 43 million dollars). If Prado gets healthy, he could be a useful bench player. The Phillies could DFA Ziegler and Tazawa. And, of course, I’m a big fan of those comp picks.

      There are many deals that could be made between these two clubs. The simplest is just take Edinson Volquez’s 13 million dollar salary for Miami’s comp B pick (and maybe a lower level prospect). Or … replace Prado with Wei-Yin Chen in the above proposal and add Trevor Rogers (Marlins 1st round pick this year) to the Phillies’ return. The point is, Miami has too much payroll and the Phillies can eat plenty of money for the right price !

        1. When you boil it down, you’re suggesting we get an established OF plus the extra draft pick for the a promising OF plus a few #4/5 ‘maybes’. Everything else is basically a wash, talent wise. For one year of adding empty but affordable salary, it’s a compelling trade proposal.

      1. Yep, I’m pretty sure they won’t trade Trout either, but trying to get him makes a heckuva lot more sense than actually taking on Stanton’s contract, or getting Yelich when you have three younger, pretty good OFs, who likely will end up as good as him. Trout though is a whole ‘nother story. The Angels have needs at C, 1B, 2B, SP and RP that the Phillies could fill, and the hole that would be created in their lineup could be filled by including Herrera in the trade. You never really know until you ask.

      2. Yelich’s contract isn’t that team friendly considering you are proposing they spend $120 million to acquire it. Don’t think Yelich and his .800 OPS is worth 160 million for 5 years.

        They can just keep Odubel and his .774 career OPS in CF instead..

        1. The 120 million dollar figure you’re complaining about is misleading. Half of the money the Phillies would take back would go to Yelich (58 million over 5 yrs).the other 57 million would go to Volquez, Zeigler, Tazawa, and Preado. The 29 million the three pitchers are owed is either dead money or close to dead money. While Prado will be overpayed (28.5 million over 2 yrs), he would still be a useful player for the Phillies.
          To give this some context, consider the Dodgers-Red Sox trade of August 2012. In that blockbuster, LA ate 61.5 million of Carl Crawford’s bad money and 31.5 million of Josh Beckett’s really bad money to acquire Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez was on a contract that would pay him 130 million over 6 yrs.

          1. Yea and it has proven to have been a bad deal for the Dodgers. Making a bad deal because another team did so before doesn’t make much sense to me.

            The Dodgers have managed to get less than 10 war from Gonzalez over the live of that deal..

            1. So, you’re against eating 29 million dollars to swap Williams, Lively, Efflin, and Rios for Yelich, Prado, and a draft pick ? Gonna’ have to agree to disagree.

            2. What, now Prado isn’t overpaid and is an asset in the deal? Yes, we will have to agree to disagree since I’m against trading 4 ML caliber players and $57.5 million dollars for Yelich and a draft pick.

              Prado is 34 and coming off a significant leg injury so I don’t consider him a plus in the deal…

            3. If they are to use their assets in both $$$ and players it needs to be for pitching, not for a player to fill a position that they already have adequately filled.

            4. Prado will be 34 all of next season. He had arthroscopic knee surgery. Far from a career threatening injury. Yes, he’ll be overpaid, but who cares ? His salary will have no effect on any of the Phillies plans.
              Look … this comes down to your opinion of Yelich vs Nick Williams. If you think Williams will be close to an .800 OPS level player then I can understand you not liking this deal. If you believe in Lively or Efflin, then maybe you replace one of them with another pitching prospect. The money shouldn’t be an issue when considering this proposed trade. The Phillies paid Michael Saunders and Clay Buchholz 23.5 million dollars this season and got nothing for them. Means nothing for a big market team with all kinds of payroll flexibility.

  41. Hinkie, I am all on board. That is exactly the type of deal that utilizes the Phils’ greatest asset, $. Now, can we find another team and do the same type of thing and get a SP?

    1. Dodgers, Tigers, Blue Jays, Rays, for starters. Would anybody care to strike a deal with the NY Mutts for one of their young arms? Is Harvey beyond the point of no return or worth another shot, especially if he should be let go.

      1. Rays may tender Alex Cobb a QO, so if Phillies sign him they will probably have to forfeit their 2nd round pick.
        I think that is the same rule as before this latest CBA..

  42. Baseball Betsy video of Adam Haseley at last of 2017 FIL:

    With some luck and more than enough timely hitting….this guy could be in Philly next season….maybe August /September.

    1. That seems highly unlikely unless he starts hitting like .360 at AA with lots of power. 2019 is much more realistic.

    2. I see Haseley as our biggest trade chip this offseason. He’s a high draft pick who performed well in his first pro season. He’ll move fairly quickly and has a good chance of being an above-average regular.

      If I’m Klentak, I’m approaching Detroit, Toronto and Pittsburgh about a deal involving Haseley, Hernandez and other pieces for Fulmer, Stroman or Cole. The Phillies would get a young starter to pair with Nola (and hopefully a FA such as Darvish) without upsetting the young lineup in Philly.

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