The playoffs are further along, and I still don’t care. However, the Washington Nationals saw their window of opportunity close a little more with another early exit from the playoffs.
The Nationals had finished 4th (once) and 5th (5 times) in their first six years after moving from Montreal. After the 2010 season, they signed Jayson Werth away from the Phillies to a 7-year, $126M contract, about $50M more than the Phillies reportedly offered. Except for a deferral of $10M from 2016 to 2018 to lower their AAV, the contractual relatinship between the Nationals and Werth ended with their most recent playoff loss. The Nationals were a competitive team for the length of Werth’s contract.
- 2011 Washington Nationals 80-81 .497 21.5 GB
- 2012 z-Washington Nationals 98-64 .605 – Lost LDS (3-2)
- 2013 Washington Nationals 86-76 .531 10.0 GB
- 2014 z-Washington Nationals 96-66 .593 – Lost LDS (3-2)
- 2015 Washington Nationals 83-79 .512 7.0 GB
- 2016 y-Washington Nationals 95-67 .586 – Lost LDS (3-1)
- 2017 y-Washington Nationals 97-65 .599 – Lost LDS (3-2)
- y – clinched division
- z – clinched division and best record in league
The Nationals had a 635-498 regular season record, 4 division titles, and zero playoff series wins during Werth’s tenure. As an individual, he provided less yearly production than he did in his 4 years with the Phillies.
- PHIL – 543 G, 320 R, 507 H, 95 HR, 300 RBI, 60 SB, .282/.380/.506/.885, 15.7 WAR
- WAS – 808 G, 450 R, 781 H, 109 HR, 393 RBI, 55 SB, .263/.355/.433/.788, 8.9 WAR
I have always liked Werth, even after he signed with Washington. I certainly appreciate his contributions to the Phillies playoff runs in 2007-2010. But let his post-Phillies production serve as a reminder that we shouldn’t pay for past performance. Their window slams shut after the 2018 season when Bryce Harper, Dan Murphy, and Gio Gonzalez become free agents. Hopefully, I can still enjoy the Nationals continued playoff failures.
Organizational News and Changes
The Phillies interviewed three internal candidates for manager – Juan Samuel, Dusty Wathan, and Jorge Velandia.
Larry Bowa was hired as a senior adviser to GM Matt Klentak.
Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway has surfaced as a candidate for the manager’s position.
Since the Phillies’ managerial move has triggered expectations that the Phillies may compete sooner than expected, Todd Zolecki suggested possible solutions to obvious areas that the Phillies have a need in an article –
- SP – Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn, Jhoulys Chacin
- RP – Juan Nicasio, Steve Cishek, Pat Neshek
- Veterans – OF Jayson Werth, 2B Chase Utley, C A.J. Ellis.
I haven’t decided how or if I will cover the Winter Leagues. Winter ball stats are available here, but do not include all winter leagues – Colombia and Nicaragua are not included. Puerto Rico’s season was cancelled. Teams were left scrambling to find spots for players. I heard that Aaron Brown, who lost his PR assignment, is first alternate for the AFL. I have also heard that some young players have turned down assignments to countries like Colombia and Venezuela. I wonder if this would affect the players in season promotions next season.
Teams are beginning to release their tentative spring training schedules. So far, the Phillies haven’t. But the Tigers, A’s, Astros, Nationals, and Orioles have. And some of them play in Florida.
The Tigers begin against Florida Southern on February 22nd and host the Phillies at Joker Marchant Stadium on Friday, March 16th and Saturday, March 24th.
The Astros and Nationals open against each other on February 23rd, but neither hosts the Phillies this spring.
The Orioles also open on February 23rd, and host the Phillies at Ed Smith Stadium on Sunday, March 11th at 6:00PM.
And, of course, the A’s are in Arizona.
The results of all polls have been released. I’ll publish an article on the top prospect polls that were mailed to me this week.
Key Dates (new entries are in bold/italic text):
- October 24th – World Series begins.
Oct. 26, 2017 – Rawlings Gold Glove finalists announced on Twitter (12 p.m. ET)
- 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.
Nov. 6, 2017 – BBWAA Awards Finalists announced (MLB Network)
Nov .7, 2017 – Rawlings Gold Glove Awards (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET)
Nov. 9, 2017 – Louisville Silver Sluggers (MLB Network, 6 p.m. ET)
Nov. 10, 2017 – Wilson Defensive Players of the Year (MLB Network, 6 p.m. ET)
- 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.
Nov. 13, 2017 – Rookies of the Year announced (MLB Network, 6 p.m. ET)
Nov. 14, 2017 – Managers of the Year announced (MLB Network, 6 p.m. ET)
Nov. 15, 2017 – Cy Young Awards announced (MLB Network, 6 p.m. ET)
Nov. 16, 2017 – Most Valuable Players announced (MLB Network, 6 p.m. ET)
Nov. 17, 2017 – Esurance MLB Awards (MLB Network)
- 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 22, 2018 – Tentative date for the start of Grapefruit League games
- March 29, 2018 – Opening Day for the 2018 season
April 15, 2018 – Jackie Robinson Day
April 17-18, 2018 – Twins v. Indians at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, PR
May 13, 2018 – Mother’s Day events, all host ballparks
- June 4-6, 2018 – 2018 MLB Draft
June 17, 2018 – Father’s Day events, all host ballparks
July 13-17, 2018 – All-Star Week
- 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:
- 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.