Open Discussion: Week of October 22nd

The world series participants became set when the Houston Astros defeated the “evil empire” Saturday night.  They joined the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fall classic.  The first time 100-win teams will face each other since 1970 – Baltimore (108) and Cincinnati (102).

Actually, I don’t find the Yankees to be so evil anymore.  While I still hold the franchise in a modicum of disdain (old habits ARE hard to break), these aren’t the old Yankees I grew to hate years ago.  And, their fans whom I meet in Florida are nice.  They don’t have the air of entitlement that the fans of another American League East team have.  You know who.

Organizational News and Changes

Mitch Walding and Ranfi Casimiro opted to re-sign with the Phillies rather than test minor league free agency after the end of the world series.

The Phillies, among the first to fire their manager, have seen two potential candidates sign with other teams

Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora has agreed to a contract with the Boston Red Sox.

Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway has reportedly agreed to a contract with the New York Mets.

An MLBTR article by Steve Adams breaks down a list of candidates for the Phillies’ managerial position.  He adds Mariners third base coach Manny Acta, Giants third base coach Phil Nevin, and Athletics’ bench coach Chip Hale to the list of coaches who have already interviewed for the job.  Internal option Jorge Velandia is considered a strong candidate.  Adams’ October 21st article posted before the Red Sox and Mets deals were announced.

The Stanton to Philadelphia rumor still persists as mentioned in another MLBTR article by Connor Byrne.  Stanton still has a full no-trade clause and was reportedly prepared to use it to nullify any trade to Philadelphia during the season.

Winter Ball

Winter ball stats are available here, but include only the Arizona Fall League, and the Dominican, Mexican, and Venezuelan winter leagues.  The Puerto Rican Winter League has been cancelled.  Foreign players report to the Colombian Winter League on October 27th and they begin League play on November 3rd.  Rosters not available.  The Nicaraguan Winter League begins on Tuesday, October 24th.  I see no Phillies’ farm hands on their published rosters.  The web site for the Panamian Winter League is a cluster____.

Edgar Cabral is hitting a respectable .308 in the AFL.  Trevor Bettencourt, Garrett Cleavinger, and J.D. Hammer have yet to allow a run in relief.  Elniery Garcia has a 2.57 ERA in two starts.  Jonathan Mayo breaks down the Phillies’ AFL participants in an MLB article  on the Phillies’ site.  It includes video interviews with Cornelius Rodriguez and Hammer.

Cameron Perkins has a .350 batting average in the DWL.  Mitch Walding has 2 HR in the MWL and a .257 batting average, but also has 9 strike outs and 8 walks in 38 plate appearances.  Zac Curtis and Tom Windle have not allowed a run yet in multiple appearances.  Daniel Brito is hitting .323 in the VWL.  Andres Blanco is hitting .462 but becomes a free agent after the world series.

Spring Training

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.

Incomplete list of tentative dates:

  • Friday, February 23rd at Toronto in Dunedin
  • Saturday, February 24th v. Baltimore at Spectrum Field
  • Sunday, February 25th v. New York at Spectrum Field
  • Friday, March 2nd at Tampa Port Charlotte
  • Saturday, March 3rd v. Baltimore in Sarasota
  • Sunday, March 4th v. Toronto at Spectrum Field
  • Thursday, March 8th at New York in Tampa
  • Friday, March 9th v. Pittsburgh at Spectrum Field
  • Sunday, March 11th at Baltimore (night)
  • Friday March 16th at Detroit (in Lakeland) AND v. Toronto (split squad)
  • Sunday, March 18th at Minnesota at Fort Myers
  • Friday, March 23rd at Pittsburgh in Bradenton
  • Saturday, March 24th at Detroit in Lakeland
  • Sunday, March 25th v.Baltimore at Spectrum Field

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 13, 2018 – earliest date for pitchers/catchers to report to Spring Training
  • February 18, 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: 

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


241 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of October 22nd

  1. The funny thing about the Phillies managerial search is I believe they already have their hitting and pitching coaches picked. I think they’re just looking for the best data driven candidate who’s ok with having Matt Stairs (hitting) and Jim Benedict (pitching) on his coaching staff. I’m starting to think it’s going to be either Jorge Velandia or Gary DiSarcina. Both guys have experience as assistants in the dugout and in a front office.

    1. BTW … the Phillies had interest in Benedict four years ago, but he turned them down. That’s when RAJ hired Bob McClure.

    2. If they were to hire Ausmus, I think it would have happened by now. I would agree (and hope) it’s DiSarcina since he has experience as a big league coach. Velandia will likely be on staff in some capacity, perhaps bench coach.

      Nevin is a Bochy boy which looks good on the resume but might be relatively old school for what Klentak is looking for. Hale and Acta seem a little stale and filler for the interview list.

      1. Wathan should also be in the coaching mix, perhaps 3b coach, since he’s been integral in the development of the future core group of kids.

        Going by Hinkie’s reasonable post above, I’d like

        DiSarcina mgr
        Velandia bench
        Benedict pitching
        Stairs hitting
        Wathan 3b
        Samuel 1b (Lopes will likely ride off into the sunset)
        Chooch bullpen

        1. I truly believe that a really good coach for the catchers would have a tremendous impact on the catchers and in turn the pitching

          1. That would probably be Ausmus…a former catcher…2500 games between minor and majors…may know a thing or two..

        2. Come to think of it, maybe they could give the new skip a choice of pitching coach between Benedict and Doc.

  2. My hope for the draft with pick #3 is to actually take the best prospect available. They have in the past taken a slightly lower ranked prospect for cost saving to grab high end talent later on in draft. But if one or both of the teams picking in front of them do that and pick to save money the Phillies could be taking one of the top 3 best prospects.

    1. MLB changed the slotting figures after 2016 (when the Phillies saved 3 million dollars on Mickey Mo at 1-1). In 2017, the bonus numbers for the top picks were more closely bunched.
      2016: 1-1 (9 million), 1-2 (7.75 million), 1-3 (6.5 million)
      2017: 1-1 (7.77 million), 1-2 (7.2 million), 1-3 (6.7 million)
      As a result, teams with high picks weren’t able to save money. This summer, Of the top eight drafting teams, only the Twins (owner of the 1-1 pick) saved money. The Braves (probably by cheating the system with illegal gifts deals to lower picks) went 1.3 million dollars over slot to sign Kyle Wright at 1-5.
      So, your wish for BPA is probably what you’re going to get.

  3. I’m originally from NY and I’ve never liked the Yankees. I’m pleased that they’re eliminated. Although I think the Astros win, it would make me happy to see Chase get another ring.

    Truth is, I just want to get past the Series and into the off season and hot stove talk / action.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the recent positional and top 30 list. Thanks Jim.

  4. The Phillies are now heading into what is probably the most difficult portion of the rebuild.

    The early portion involved getting rid of contracts, stocking up on young players and trying to make long-term value moves. So far, it’s gone according to plan and the overall plan seems to be very solid.

    But now the team’s management needs to make very critical value judgments. Who to keep, who to sign long-term, who to trade, who to acquire. This is the tough stuff and they need to do a lot better than choosing a guy like Clay Bucholz over Charlie Morton. You could argue that this wasn’t a choice, but of course it was. Also, I’m not trying to kill them for this (although it was a bad combination of moves) because I know a lot of moves just don’t turn out well no matter how well one plans. It’s just an example of how critical making the correct move can be.

  5. Here’s an outside the box idea: Would Toronto be more likely to part with Marcus Stroman if the Phillies were willing to take on Troy Tulowitzki’s contract? The Phils could even try him out at third and see if a return to the NL could rejuvenate his career.

    1. TOR will be one of the most interesting teams to follow by next years trade deadline. I can still see TOR retooling (rather than rebuilding) and continue to compete in the tough and young AL East in 2018. If they end up trading some of their key MLB players, it will be for near-MLB ready prospects (with 3B Vlad and SS Bichette coming up very soon) – which means that will be Kingery and Sixto.

      Kingery and Sixto are the only prospects I like the Phils to keep unless its for Mike Trout.

    2. If Stroman is the objective for the TOR, and aTOR is the key to the future….why not just offer Doobie and any other pitcher in the system other than Nola or Sixto. They may bite with that proposal.

      1. Are you serious? Really? If somebody offered that for Nola, you would laugh in their face, and then slam the the phone down, in that order.

        1. So lets see…..Christian Yelich and Trevor Rogers for Nola, or George Springer and J.B. Bukauskas for Nola, or Nomar Mazara and Yo Mendez for Nola
          Have to think about it.

    3. Besides the fact that the Blue Jays are looking to contend in 2018, the Blue Jays are not hurting for cash. So trading Tulo is not a priority. Also, Tulo has mentioned that he still thinks of himself as an everyday player. So having Tulo at 3B (if he’s even willing to do that) would mean Franco to the bench (along with his trade value). And even with all that, I still think Sixto would have to be part of the deal.

  6. I think Toronto would be more willing to deal veterans this summer if they’re out of contention. They want to please fan base (large # of season ticket holders) and compete.

  7. I feel it is not so much of who the Phillies will trade away but more of who they will trade for.
    Its time in the rebuild to acquire a good young controllable starting pitcher or 2 if the opportunity presents. Also adding a back end reliever could be key. The teams trading these players will dictate what they want for them. Some will only look to add prospects while some may be interested in the Phillies infield and catching depth.

    There is a lot of depth (quantity) now for team, now its time to add better quality players at positions.

    1. sure the Phils have depth but they lack impact talent except for 1 or 2. To acquire a good MLB talent, especially a cost controller SP (who normally cost a premium), it will mean losing the top end of the farm – like Kingery, Sixto, Haseley and possibly Ortiz. Other combinations might only get mid-level MLB talent.

      It will take a lot of creativity and good scouting for Klentak to acquire a cost controlled very good MLB talent without losing their top prospects like Kingery, Sixto, etc. Cesar and young MLB players (in trading block) may not bring back a top player.

      1. That will be up the Klentak to decide if it is worth giving up some good prospects or not for a good pitcher. Now there is a decent chance at least 1 top prospect will get moved but we will see.

  8. i have no rooting interest between LAD and HOU but i think believe each teams deserve the WS. Both LAD and HOU employed very good people to scout and develop talent and use those talent in the pool to strike and acquire the needed pieces they need to go further in the playoffs.

    On HOU Altuve and McCullers caught my attention. Altuve is a multi-tool player who contributes in a lot of ways. Made me more excited about the prospect of having Kingery as the 2B. Not saying that Kingery = Altuve but Kingery can hit and hit for power, have good speed and defense and play with grit. On McCullers, maybe the Phils can play Vinny similar to McCullers – not as a started but a long inning man with the ability to pitch in high leverage innings.

    1. I know that it will a tall order for the Phils, but i will refuse to accept until it’s official.

      i hope that Tanaka opts out and the Phils signed both Darvish and Tanaka and lure Otani to join the Phils. The Phils can already trade Leiter, Thompson and Tirado for bottles of Sake to open roster spots to the japanese trio.

      1. Put the Mariners in on the Otani chatter also. Japanese players do like going to Seattle Must be the climate….or maybe Starbucks’ .

          1. Thats true…….and if the games start at 7PM in Seatlle, the people in Japan can watch it as a lunch hour game at 11AM.

            1. I am reminded that there is a large Japanese contingent of news media covrage and Japanese investors,in Seattle. So this would transcend more than baseball but I recall seeing numerous Japanese tv stations etc. covering the Mariners.

              If the Yankees are even vaguely interested it is over. They have had a history of signing Japanese players which has been where many (other than Darvish) former Japanese stars go to play. Given the makeup of the Yankee team and innumerable future playoff appearances in the future, the dh, and the legends who have played there pretty much means the tailor is taking Otani’s measurements now.

            2. Probably comes down to Yankees. Rangers, Mariners and even a NL team like the Dodgers maybe.
              That team will have him for the two year minor league contract, then he becomes a FA and that is when the bidding really takes off right after the WS in 2019 ….if he performs as advertised.

        1. Might be that besides Hawaii, Seattle has one of the largest Japanese populations in the US.

    2. Romus … The Yankees, Cubs, Padres, Mariners, Dodgers, Rangers all think they have Otani signed, sealed and delivered.
      It’s not too late for the Phillies to carry out my plan. Hire Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto as Director of Clubhouse Food Services. Put together a recruiting team of Morimoto, Charlie Manuel, and Pat Gillick. And sign (Otani’s idol) Yu Darvish to a bloated (3 yr/135 million dollar) contract.

      1. Hinkie…so you think Bull’s BBQ is not enough to sway Otani to CBP….we have to get Morimoto!
        Perhaps if the Bull imports some Kobe beef…maybe that will work. 🙂

        1. Maybe bring in Kobayashi the hot dog eating champ to replace the Phanatic with the hot dog gun, George Takei to change the Phillies uniforms in to a Star Trek theme for the year, and Yoko Ono for singing each night

  9. I would love to get Otani, but I don’t think we are anywhere on his list. The Phils have never been a player in that market, and I know John Middleton will spend $, but I don’t think there is any network set up. NY, Seattle, LA, Texas, all have been active for years. Has anyone heard of any inroads made by the Phils? Has Charlie, who was a star in Japan, been there recruiting, making contacts? I haven’t heard a single word like that. It is like these HS Basketball players. You may not be able to speak with the kid, but you need contact with the AAU coach and other people around them. I have never heard of a Phils presence in Japan.

    1. There’s no chance Otani could understand even one word coming out of Cholly’s mouth….

    2. When the time comes for the Phillies to sign FAs they are going to come up with one and perhaps even two really big surprise signings. Like really big surprises.

      1. catch … when they sign Manny Machado, I am not going to be surprised. I’ve been calling that for a year and a half. ☺

  10. Why would Benedict come here with mess of a pitching staff ? I mean you have Nola and everyone else. I mean you could say we’re going to sign or trade prospects for a proven Tor pitcher this yr. Coaches want something to work with. The Phillies hitters are better not great but better.

    1. Maybe Chris Bosio since Maddon let him go.
      But then again he is friends with Paul Molitor and may end up with the Brewers.

        1. Nope I stay with my teams the Los Angeles Rams lost 13 seasons in a row . the Flyers More both of them are really showing a winning way . Penn St , Villanova, heck even the Nets won . The Phillies are still the only team still rebuilding. While the Dodgers, Yanks ,Boston , all reload same big markets as the Phillies . However I do think the Middleton’ s will change that.

      1. True I guess there waiting for the manager first. I Remember the Los Angeles Rams picked Mcvay he said he could get Phillips as the d cond . What a difference a new coach can do .

  11. Chase Ultey with the possibility of a Another WC. Funny Ryan Howard up in the booth with JRoll ,while Ultey is still playing. Never bet against the dude.

  12. Matt Gelb has interesting insights on the managerial search in his column today, worth a read at or probably tomorrow’s paper.

    He seems to think Gabe Kapler (no, not the Welcome Back Kotter guy – is he still breathing?) is an intriguing candidate. Kapler’s been overseeing the Dodgers’ farm system the past few years and is big into nutrition/sports medicine for injury prevention.

    Gelb also mentions how secretive the small circle within the FO has been about the deliberate process. I have to think that if they’ve been so secretive that only a few names of the interviewees have been leaked out, maybe the actual manager to be will be someone like Ausmus or DiSarcina, both of whom NOBODY can confirm have had a sit down with them yet. My win, place and show are DiSarcina, Velandia, and Ausmus, respectively. But my dark horse is Kapler. I’d be comfortable with any of them but I’d rather have Velandia as bench coach before he becomes a skipper.

      1. Not sure he’s a Klentak guy although he’s been around the org for ten yrs. I’d peg him as 3b coach but wouldn’t be surprised if he’s bench coach. He coached 3b as manager of Lehigh and Reading, I believe.

        1. Yes he did do that at both Reading and LHV…but not unusual, many manager do that in the minors these days. SO he could handle those duties i the majors if not a BC.
          Other teams are progressing in hiring….Tigers, Mets, Sox….time for the Phillies to fall right in line.

    1. 8mark … I’d be more than fine with Gabe Kapler. Even if they don’t tab him as manager, I’d offer him some sort of FO promotion to hire him away from LA. The Dodgers are the best organization at identifying, acquiring, and developing talent. It could produce a Dallas Green type of situation when he fleeced the Phillies of Ryne Sandberg because of his familiarity with his old farm system.

    2. Yes, Mister Kotter (Gabe Kaplan) is still breathing. The Brooklyn-born comedian is a professional poker player now. He plays for nose-bleed stakes and has been a commentator on several poker shows.

  13. I am not sure about Velandia, probably because I know nothing about him, and would like someone with Managerial experience. I thought he was on a GM track, so his inclusion as a possible Manager was a real surprise. He may be too far out of the box. I hope it is a fun WS, but I can’t wait for it to be over, and for Klentak to start doing things.

  14. Phillies keep getting connected to Stanton. I think we have more than enough to get him, but he doesn’t seem to want to play here. I also think right now is the time to go get Mike Trout in his prime.

    What about some kind of three team trade with Marlins and Angels? Phillies prospects to Marlins for Stanton; then Stanton (Phils eating some salary), Caesar, Odubel, Sixto etc to Angels for Trout? Angels get a superstar in return plus two quality MLB players and whatever prospects needed, not leaving our cupboards bare.

    There are numerous things our payroll flexibility can allow us to do absorbing a Pujols or some high price contract from the Marlins to help facilitate. Then you either cut these guys or eat salary and trade.

    Not saying this exact scenario would even work, but I am hoping the front office is exploring all their options. I think Stanton is a great ballplayer but if we are going to trade for a player signed for 10 years, I want someone who excels at all 5 tools, and a history of good health.

    Anyway just something that has been lurking in my mind I had to get it out. Maybe the only way to ever get Angels to deal Trout is to lessen the loss of the face of their franchise by sending another superstar back.

    1. That is probably the best trade scenario for Trout that i have read so far, that could have some basis of reality.
      A three-way with the Marlins with Stanton headed out there and Trout back east.

      1. Wow! Never occurred to me but yes, that 3 way trade is something worth exploring. Let’s hope MacKlentak are brainstorming about these types of bold moves…or at least that they’re reading Phuture Phillies.

        1. ….however, perhaps the biggest of the hitches to getting such a massive deal done would be Stanton’s opt out after ’20. The Angels could theoretically be without both Stanton and Trout at that point. Someone would have to remedy that in the already complex negotiations.

          1. 8mark….I can only assume, if a trade like that were to ever occur, that Arte Moreno and Billy Eppler would modify Stanton’s contract…with his agent and his approval of course….to push that opt out date, further out….. or if have it at all.

    2. the 3-team trade sounds good on the surface but LAA see what others know and can see about Stanton. LAA is a losing team without Trout and Stanton will not go to a losing team – even to an up and coming team like the Phillies. Will Doobie, Cesar and Stanton make LAA a better team? Probably in the short term, thus, LAA is facing a risk with an Stanton opt out. As good as Doobie and Cesar has been with the Phils, both are complimentary players. Stanton will prefer to join a team with studs (LAD with Kershaw, Seager, Bellinger is an example).

      The teams that will get Stanton right now are the ones close to winning because with all of the baggage ($$, health, cost to acquire via trade) that Stanton brings, Stanton is a short term solution. LAD is the logical choice for Stanton and possibly SF who will make that one last run with MadBum, Posey, Cueto, etc. before they blow their team in 2 years time.

      I love the Trout man and i’ve been advocating for the Phils to acquire him ASAP. Although I accepted the fact that FA is the most logical way unless Trout force his way out (which will reduce his price tag and give Moreno a reality check) which is unfortunately not on Trout’s character to do.

  15. I think the Phillies will sign Tanaka then trade a group of players . Most likely Ceaser, Galvis , a couple prospects .

  16. That is not a bad idea, except I believe that the Angels will wait until the last possible moment to trade Trout. It is such a franchise changing move to trade the best player in the league, and they will not believe they cannot re-sign him until it is the very end. They have him under contract for 2018, ’19 and ’20, and I don’t think they entertain trades until July of 2020 unless Trout tells them after the 2019 season that he will not sign with them for any number. And, I hope we are contending by then even without him.

    1. @matt – i agree with you. I’ve been a “trade for Trout advocate” for a while now, but I know Trout will deplete a team’s resources to acquire him to force Moreno’s hand. The only way to lower the asking price is for LAA to continue to suck and Trout asks to be traded.

      as i mentioned earlier, Stanton is a short term fix for a team. i don’t think that matches with LAA timeline considering that HOU, CLE, BOS and NYY are expected to dominate the AL for the next 3-5 years.

      also, Stanton was only linked to the Phils because of the possibility that the trade might bring Yelich with Stanton.

      1. If LAA did not sign Trout to an extension, Trout will be a FA this offseason!

        With the other Philly teams trending upwards with legit superstar athletes — Trout will be a Phillie as long as Middleton is willing to open his wallet.

        Hopefully by the time Trout is available, Philadelphia already had Superbowl and NBA ring(s) and the orange and the black guys are a good bet to be a very good team in the next coming years.

        1. I want Trout as much as the next guy but I wouldn’t bet on him becoming a FA again. Moreno is a bone head with a lot of money. If he goes to Mike this season or next and says I want to extend you and guarantee you $500 million it will be hard for Mike to say no to that.

  17. If Randolph would start hitting in the AFL it would be great to see. Only 28 PAs so far so he has time.

  18. Not a good week for the MacKlentak team so far. The Houston Astros are being repaid in kind for the prior trades from 2008 to 2011 which gave us our WS. The Phillies let Charlie Morton go (and traded for Clay Bucholtz) and then traded Ken Giles for five prospects(three are left) that could help us. Then Mickey Calloway the pitching coach from Cleveland gets signed by the Mets so look for the Mets pitching to be better this year. I sure hope the MacKlentak team gets their act together soon or we are all in for a disappointing year.

    1. i don’t think the HOU success is at the expense of the Phils. The Charlie Morton move looks bad against Klentak (considering how Buccholz did a Morton like bust) and Ken Giles is not the main reason why HOU is winning.

      The success of HOU was mainly due to good scouting and player development resulting to: a) strong young foundation players (i.e. Correa, Bregman, Altuve, Springer, Keuchel, McCullers); b) trade assets to acquire other key pieces (i.e. Verlander, Giles, Gattis); and c) smart FA signing (i.e. Gurriel, Beltran).

      Can Klentak get a better deal if he did the trade at the deadline? Probably, but the Ken Giles is a deal that the Phils need to make. Ken Giles cannot single-handedly save the 2016 and 2017 seasons for the Phils. Even if Vinny and Appel busts with the organization, the development of Eshelman as a solid MOR starter makes up the loss of Ken Giles.

      I also think that Jim Benedict is equally capable as Mike Calloway in developing young pitchers assuming the Phils hire Benedict (who the Phils liked before).

      1. Kurdt, the success of Arano, Eshelman or Velasquez are far from guaranteed with the Phillies. I do hope that all three become major contributors to the Phillies future in some regard. The point was that none of our prospects have been major successes and Giles solidified the Astros bullpen longterm. Also, the Astros rise shows how having very high draft picks for a long period of time and wise investment in Latin America can build a strong team. As far as Benedict is concerned, one has to ask if Ray Searage and him are better as a team than apart.

        1. @philbaltfan – the Ken Giles trade was made to help the Phillies team at some point in the future. There are no certainties when you deal in the future and GMs know that that’s why they learned to embrace uncertainties.

          Klentak’s “future Phillies team” has not arrived (yet) but it already started. So it is premature to judge the returns the Ken Giles trade since the “future Phillies team” that Klentak envisioned when he made the trade is not complete yet. However, we can already see a glimpse of what Eshelman, Vinny and Appel (who may end up as a bust) can contribute to the future Phillies team either as a part or as a tradeable piece.

          Yes, Ken Giles solidified the Stros pen. But with a young core present and a deep farm, the Stros WILL find that stabilizing pen arm from other teams even if Klentak hold on to Ken Giles.

    1. I understand the knocks on Cesar, believe me but the FO seems to like him so why not Kingery as a Bregman type fit at 3b. Similar players to me other than Kingery might run a tad better. He has some power and is good defensively. Why not? Anyone?

      1. In a vacuum, that makes some sense. However, when you consider other factors, the best plan is to trade Cesar this winter. The major “other factor” is the historic free agency class of 2019. The Phillies (IMO) are a near lock to sign Manny Machado. Next winter’s FA class is also loaded with 2Bmen (Murphy, Kinsler, LeMahieu, Forsythe, Dozier). CeHe will be very difficult to deal if Klentak waits until next offseason.

      2. My understanding is that Kingery doesn’t have the arm to play 3B regularly. I haven’t seen him there, but I’d imagine the org would look at it very carefully before giving Cesar away.

  19. Never too early to get ready for the 2021 draft !
    Check out 14 YO (he was actually still 13 YO & in 8th grade at the time of this HR Derby last year) Blaze Jordan !! Two of his HR’s traveled over 500 ft !!! Jordan has super-human strength. My favorite part of this video happens at 8 seconds in after Jordan’s second swing. Listen to a kids voice say, “Holy Mother of God” !

    1. Good for him … hope he keeps it up! This totally reminded me of those stories about Prince Fielder as a 12-year-old at Tiger Stadium:

  20. Regarding the Giles trade, Appel may still provide value out of the BP. We haven’t see what VV will be, or what he may get back if he is part of a trade. The same with Eshelman. So, I don’t have a big problem with that trade. The Phils may still end up with value and/or part of the net Playoff team from that deal. But, Klentak’s future deals will need to be much more productive. He will have to “win” a trade or 3.

    1. matt13…concerning Velasquez, the one aspect of his Phillies employment, that is a real plus, is his current contract status.
      He isn’t eligible for arbitration until 2019 and controlled thru ’22.
      And he is entering into his age 26 season in 2018 with only 2 years MLB service time..
      So it will be up to him to get it all together when he is healthy for him to exact a financially fruitful career. The incentive is there and it has to happen soon.

  21. He may very well find his spot in the BP. His stuff is really good, but, and of course there is always a but, he has to stay healthy and develop better command. We have talked about this before, where the return is a number of prospects that you hope hit a certain ceiling. VV’s was higher than Eshelman’s, at the time, and his health concerns swapped Fisher for Appel to get another Pitching prospect. Eshelman being the better SP down the road would have shocked everyone, I am betting. Prospects are always a crapshoot.

    1. prospects are definitely lottery picks. i will the trade differently if Ken Giles is traded as a SP and not a RP. Closers are luxury to a non-contending team. While closers are a key integral part of winning a game, closers are normally the last piece of the puzzle. Teams get their closer if they are certain that their teams are winning games.

      As a GM, Klentak’s main responsibility is to ensure proper evaluation (scouting, health, etc) of the players to be acquired. IMO, Klentak’s decision to trade Giles is a good decision and HOU is the perfect partner to swing the trade. but with hindsight, the possible mistake is when Klentak revised the trade return and switched Fisher and Appel and lose another prospect in Jon Arauz.

      1. Fisher would certainly have added more substance to this OF, which though it’s deep, lacks star power. I think that evaluating the Giles trade is different for the contending team with a greater urgency to win than for the rebuilding one with a longer range to develop the prospects in return. In other words, Appels and oranges (I couldn’t resist).

  22. Among the external managerial candidates, Phil Nevin and Chip Hale are reportedly no longer in the running. That leaves Gabe Kapler and Manny Acta as the top candidates known to have interviewed, along with Jorge Velandia as the strongest internal candidate. From what I read and hear, I predict Kapler gets the job based on his profile and his most recent work in the Dodgers organization overseeing their developing young talent. Phils FO is said to be copying the LADs model.

    1. Let’s hire Gabe Kapler, retain Matt Stairs, and sign Jim Benedict, extend Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, Aaron Altherr, and Rhys Hoskins, deal Cesar Hernandez and a prospect(s) for a young LHPSP, and eat bad money for another good, young player … and get ready for Manny Machado and the rest of the 2018 FA class !

      1. I’m with you on all of that Hinkie, with one exception. Jerad Eickhoff. I don’t get the love for this guy. He has ranged from mediocre to disappointing to on the DL again, with a few good games sprinkled in here and there. I see him as an “also included in the trade” type of guy.

        1. Eickhoff’s first two seasons 1.8 bWAR(projectable 7.2) and 2016’s 3.5 bWAR still seem to resonate in memories dismissing last season struggles to the on-set of the injuries…upper back in June then the nerve irritation in August.
          He could still go back to his 2016 form if he remains healthy.
          On the flip side he will be 28 next summer, and things may be gradually fraying physically for him.

          1. I like Eickhoff – especially how competitive he is. But I’d wait on signing him because he might be hurt and his velocity is iffy to begin with. But he’s a great guy and if he can healthy he’s a real nice 4 or better – a guy who will fight and keep you in games. If Eickhoff only threw a little harder (like sitting 92-94), he could be one hell of a pitcher.

      2. It’s funny, I’m the opposite. I just don’t get all of the criticism of Eickhoff. When you say “he has ranged from mediocre to disappointing to on the DL” are you talking about this year or are you referring to his time in Philadelphia ? For me, Eickhoff was very good in his first two seasons (2015 and ’16). This season, he was disappointing, but I think he was dealing with nagging injuries. I’m more of the belief he is what we saw in 2015 and 2016 (MOR, workhorse, 3.5 WAR pitcher), and will get back to that in 2018. Now is the perfect time to offer him a team friendly deal. He’s coming off a down year and he is still 12 months away from his arbitration years.

  23. The Phillies managerial search may be coming full circle. Dusty Watham was one of the early mentioned favorites.

  24. I would have preferred Ausmus, but I’m ok with Wathan because of his background with all the players who are now the core of the team.

      1. I am with you…prefer Ausmus first, then Manny Acta or Kapler, and then when the dust settles, Dusty as the BC.

  25. WOW!!! After all that, it’s Wathan?!?! Like him a lot but didn’t foresee such a tedious process only to come to that decision.

    1. I think they like the idea of hiring their guy, who gives instructions to him and who is beholden to them. You don’t need another guy like Mac who bats Freddy second because, you know, HE’S THE MANAGER. I don’t blame them for wanting a guy who is with the “program.” That same thinking has worked out pretty well for the Eagles thus far.

  26. Bernie Pleskoff of Fanrag has this scouting report on Cornelius Randolph:
    Pleskoff calls Randolph a patient and smart hitter, and knows how to work the count and accept walks. However, Pleskoff isn’t convinced Randolph will live up to his 1-10 draft selection. Amazingly, he thinks Randolph could reach CBP by September of 2018. That’s highly unlikely since he won’t have to be added to the 40 man roster until after the 2019 season.

    1. The only tool I care about, is the hit tool…especially if he is targeted as a future LFer..
      And it would seem Randolph could have a 55/60FV hit tool judging by some of his narrative. The power will come, as he displayed it in the tough FSL tis past season…
      All those other tools, if 50, then IMO will not adversely affect his long term outlook.

    2. So Pleskoff sees him as a leadoff or two-hole hitter, with below average defense and not a stolen base threat. Hmm . . .

      1. Yes rocco..prayers for Mary Salisbury.
        McGee Rehab is one of the best.
        I believe former PSU player Adam Taliaferro rehabbed for eight months there and has a foundation set-up for spinal cord injuries.

  27. I think it’s entirely possible (maybe even likely) Ken Giles could experience a Mitch Williams moment to lose this WS for the Astros.

  28. Been thinking about this managerial search. Joe Giglio’s piece in paints a pretty radical and provocative picture of Gabe Kapler. It seems like a balancing act the FO may be negotiating between maintaining a measure of continuity with the emerging young blood on this roster vs breaking the stale mold of the old school ways of the previous regime.

    Hinkie, if they hire Morimoto as the new chef, he’d better have an organic menu because the Phillies have begun to employ some of the methods of the Dodgers’ organization, the farm system of which has been overseen by Kapler the past few years.

    Whether they were to hire the Hebrew Hammer or not, I’d hate to see them take half measures in embarking on this new chapter. I understand the dilemma and see the benefits of keeping Wathan in the fold with these kids, but this isn’t a veteran club set in their ways with heavy long-term contracts….YET. So why not grow the fresh philosophy of analytics and nutrition while the boys are in the formative stage of their careers.

    My preference is to hire Kapler with Wathan as bench coach. And if they don’t, then they should find a way to incorporate the balance as gracefully as possible. That makes this decision a huge one.

    1. 8mark … Iron Chef Morimoto can do it all. He’s the Mike Trout of the kitchen !!! IMO, he’s a 10 WAR chef. If the Phillies take me seriously and hire Morimoto as their Director Of Clubhouse Food Services, add him to their Shohei Otani recruiting team (along with Charlie Manuel and Pat Gillick), and sign Yu Darvish to a bloated three year contract, they’d be the top contender for Otani. BTW … I would, at least, interview Hideki Kuriyama for the Phillies managerial position. Kuriyama is on an expiring contract as manager of the Nippon Ham Fighters. He’s managed Otani for the last five years. At the very least, Klentak could pick his brain on what it would take to land Otani (what is important to Otani).

      1. I am curious….what percent do you see the Phillies actually signing Otani to that minor league contract? Naturally, the obvious is one of thirty (3.3%).

      2. Hinkie, if we were to acquire Otani (with or without Morimoto), it would be a very merry Christmas around here. Tuesday December 12, 2010 – I woke up to find Cliff Lee under the tree as an early present. Otani would be just that X3!!! But until it happens, I can only hope MacKlentak have been reading your posts. There’s no way anybody can predict what will win his services, what with money being marginalized for two years until he’s a FA. Maybe then they pull out all the stops.

      3. Romus … until MLB (in the new CBA) upped the age from 23 to 25 for true free agency for international players, I believed the Phillies were one of the top three teams to land Otani. They could certainly offer him as much/more than any other team. Now, they can’t win him over with dollars. If they negotiate in a normal (vanilla) way, their chances are slim. MacKlentak and the rest of the FO should be brainstorming on a daily basis trying to come up with out-of-the-box ideas to land this phenomenal talent. If they use my ideas (Morimoto, Manuel, Darvish, Hideki Kuriyama), I believe they’ll stand out from the rest and may be able to still forge their way into Otani’s top 3 !

          1. My Stanton prediction … Jeter sends Stanton (and at least most of his money) to the Cardinals for Alex Reyes, Stephen Piscoty, and 19 YO RHP Johan Oviedo.

            1. Cardinals have as good a chance with their farm and MLB talent, and resources to land him, as anyone does.
              Though the Giants want him also…they have the money, but a weak farm and MLB ready talent to really have Miami consider them.
              Then there are the Yankees……Stanton in LF and Judge in RF…whoa. They have the farm talent and the money.

          2. Note that Stanton said he doesn’t want to be part of a rebuilding program. Nix Philadelphia.

        1. @hinkie – i agree with you. Otani sweepstakes cannot be won $ for $. Middleton and company need to get out of their comfort zone to up their chances in acquiring Otani. My concern is that Middleton, McPhail and Klentak have no clue about international culture and how these international people are wired to think. it is only here in the US where $$ is the undisputed king.

          The front offices from LAD, NYY and BOS have shown in the past that they are creative enough to land talents. Unfortunately, i don’t see anything out of Klentak other than his derp face.

          1. past is not indicative of future results my friend especially today where the CBA is drastically different…

            my opinion is that Otani is going to choose based region that he feels culturally comfortable in so I’m betting west coast…

            1. @DMAR – “past is not indicative of future results” — this is only about 10% correct than incorrect. in almost all situations, people look at the historical factors to assess a situation (whether is it an event a person or whatever). people change, but they don’t just suddenly change and depart from who they actually are (unless they intend to deceive or just plainly trying to BS). even statistics used historical data as a baseline to establish predictive numbers.

              credibility and respect are also established based on what you did in the past.

        2. As long as their out of the box ways don’t slip into ATL Braves territory!!!.

          Does he want a car???

          1. as mentioned by Hinkie, the best way is to hire people that will make Otani comfortable. Otani is more mature (and is financially capable since he already played pro in Japan) than the young kids the ATL tried to bribe and exploit.

            Half of my relatives are immigrants and I can personally experience what comfort zone and feeling of being accepted means to them. Otani will get paid wherever he signs – the Middleton and company should look at the other aspects if they want to increase their odds of acquiring Otani.

  29. Phillies weren’t able to sign 34th round draft pick Kyle Hurt. D1 Baseball has him heading up USC’s 17th ranked recruiting class: “The Stars: This topic has to begin with Kyle Hurt, a 6-foot-4 righthander who was one of the most highly discussed high school arms in the 2017 class. Hurt will have the opportunity to lead the weekend rotation right away for the Trojans, and his 91-95 mph fastball, hard slider and above-average changeup will immediately make him one of the most exciting young starters in the country.”

    1. He had that knee surgery 5 months before the June draft, so a lot of baseball people were skeptical upon his return, how he would be.
      He could have been taken in the first 2/3 rounds if he was completely healthy.

  30. Thought of the day

    “everybody is a genius but if you judge a fish but its ability to climb trees it will always feel stupid”

    -Albert Einstein

    1. A few things on Girardi:
      * I’d bet the Nationals offer him the moon to manage in Washington.
      * The Mets have got to be kicking themselves for hiring Callaway so quickly. Girardi would have been their dream manager.
      * Gotta’ believe Ausmus gets Yankees job (and will be under enormous pressure to win right away).

      1. Also, according to Buster Olney, Girardi wanted to stay on as Yankees manager.

  31. According to Todd Z, Kapler and Wathan are the remaining finalists for the 2nd and deciding round of interviews. Again, I go Gabe with Dusty as sidekick,

    1. Concerning Kapler…..does the official announcement on him, if selected, have to wait until the Dodgers are completed with the WS?

      1. Romus … yes, whether it’s Kapler, Wathan, Ausmus, whomever … the official announcement must wait until after the WS is over.

        1. Well I assume Wathan and Ausmus can be officially introduced as hires since they are not employed by any team still playing.
          For example the Mets and Sox made it official:

          But Sox hired Astros BC Cora and they are still playing.

          ….just wasn;t sure if that could be a reason for the delay…or they are just too deliberate and meticulous in their interviewing process.

          1. Callaway and Cora were officially introduced between the LCS and the WS. MLB doesn’t want any news to compete with the WS. It has nothing to do with the new manager’s employment with teams still in the playoffs. If that were the case, the Red Sox wouldn’t have been able to announce the hiring of Cora since he’s currently the bench coach for the Astros.
            BTW … This is also why the Braves sanctions won’t be announced until after the WS.

  32. Freddy named one of three finalist for GG at shortstop… Dodgers’ Seager and Giants’ Crawford the other two.
    Seager probably gets it.
    Doobie was not named a finalist this year for CF….Hamilton, Inciarte and Nats’ Taylor were the three nominated.

  33. I still can’t believe that we had Inciarte, and he only cost $50K, and Charlie cut him for some guy I cannot remember. I thought it was Mini Mart, but it was not him. Not the finest decision they made!

    1. it was for Ezequiel Carrera who was DFAd less than a month after to give way to one Delmon Young. Just one of the personnel moves that show an overall lack of aptitude in talent evaluation during last regime.

    2. How much did obbie cost?> all teams make mistakes. Good teams. make a lot less. that the difference

  34. Also, Cards hire Mike Maddux, a very highly regarded Pitching Coach. To me, that pick is almost as important as the Manager. Some guys, like Maddux, have great reputations that seem to be justified. Still waiting for Klentak to do something that I can applaud.

  35. The idea of the Phillies going after Joe Girardi – as’s Joe Giglio (who I normally agree with) insists is a no-brainer for Middleton to open wide the checkbook for – is kind of like cherry picking in hockey. It’s too easy if you know what I mean. I like the 2 candidates already mentioned as fits for this ball club. I’m not really interested in Girardi, and not because he isn’t a good manager. But just because he was a successful manager in New York doesn’t mean he’ll get the same results in Philadelphia simply because he’s done well with young Yankee teams. There has to be a fit which Klentak, MacPhail, and Middleton must all determine and agree.

    1. I read today that Girardi is not a data guy. Don’t think he fits what Klentak is looking for. I think he’ll end up in Washington.

    2. I like Joe G…..he did well with that group…especially with that pitching they had to deal with these last few years..
      BUT to be clear on Joe G.:
      He did win the ’09 championship with hold-overs from Joe Torre’s regime
      His first year they won 89 and then in ’09 they beat the Phillies.
      Torre’s last year the Yankees in ’07 won 94.

    3. Yes and we simply need fresh legs and a younger guy to work with Klentak. Girardi may be burnt out and might need a break but yes, Washington would be a likely landing spot.

      I also think it’ll be important that they hire a strong personality as a pitching coach, like Doc Halladay. Even though he lacks big league experience as a coach, he’s already been mentoring several of the young prospects. It makes so much sense, IF he wants the job. Along with Wathan as BC, I’d certainly bring Stairs back to pick up where he left off. I can see Velandia as 3b coach/defensive coordinator, and Juan Samuel over at 1b, along with coaching some fundamental base running. Chooch in the bullpen, and we’re ready to go. Question is, would Kapler (if he’s the selection) go along with that crew. Wathan may want Dave Lundquist as his pitching coach.

  36. I agree, and from what I gather from NY, Cashman felt Girardi was worn down. I think fresh legs, an analytics approach, and a new Coaching Staff is what we need. I keep Matt Stairs, and want Chooch to be part of the staff.I like what I read about Kapler, but if it is Wathan, I am ok.

  37. I’d be thrilled with Girardi. I think he’s a better candidate than anyone we’ve interviewed.

    1. Hiring Farrell would be highly disappointing. Olney is a credible source but 2 sources have reported that it’s Kapler and Wathan since Wednesday when Farrell interviewed. I give up.


      1. ….or was that interview a favor to RAJ since Farrell hired him as 1b coach? Or maybe just a smoke screen put out there by the FO who are trying to keep a tight lid on the proceedings?

        1. Local north jersey media likes Phillies to get Girardi – mentions young team of good players and tons of cash to make quick turn around. From what I’ve seen, Joe seems tired, not particularly communicative, and in this day and age – may have become overpaid for a manager when teams of analysts are pumping data to someone who is pulling the levers in the dugout. I suspect the Velandia and Kapler nominations/support are all about people centric communicators who are analytic focused. Kapler has gotten rave reviews for years from the Dodgers system for those kinds of skills. Meanwhile, I also feel the pitching coach is key. Sorry to see MADDUX go – he was a worthy candidate.

  38. Has anyone heard any recent updates on Quinn?

    I keep wondering if the Phillies will listen to offers for Odubel. They should. That contract should make him comparable in value as AEaton was last off season, not to mention the relatively scarce market for CFers.

    I like Odorizzi who I understand can be had. I’ve read twice in recent weeks that DSalazar (Indians) may be available as well. Would love that. Either player can be moved at the deadline if the youngster disappoint to open 2018. As for FA, Cobb seems obvious to me but for good reason. Same with Chatwood.

    While I would agree we do not need to acquire a high-priced FA this off-season, I do think that Klentak needs to start acquiring longer term assets immediately. I expect him to be busy at the winter meetings

    1. Rays are debating whether or not to QO Cobb.
      However, not sure it matters any more with the new CBA rules for QO signees and the change of loss of draft picks.
      But understand Theo may want to jump on Cobb since Maddon has a little history with him. And it may be reciprocal.

      1. I certainly wouldn’t enter into a bidding war for him, but he would otherwise represent a logical target for the rotation

        1. Him or Lynn would be nice additions to the rotation.
          But just like Ian Kennedy’s situation 3/4 years ago…when teams need pitching in a particular off-season, and the quality of the supply is just average, teams will tend to over pay to get their man to fulfill that off-season requirement.

  39. I want nothing to do with Farrell, and I have zero interest in Girardi. I think he takes a TV job and sticks close to home and his family. Player wise, I go all in for Darvish. I don’t know that they can get him, but I try. To me, having him anchor the rotation is similar to the Nats getting Werth. It might be a year early in the process, but the following year, when I expect to contend for the playoffs, a SP of his caliber may just not be available. But, it announces to everyone, including the team, that they are back in the business of winning. You have to overpay no matter what in FA, so rather than overpay for Lynn or Cobb, I overpay for Darvish. The numbers are higher, but so what? Money is not an issue, rather one of the team’s best assets, so use it. And he does not get a QO, so no loss of draft picks.

    1. Your plan short, sweet and simple…get Yu.
      And then everything else will eventually fall into place.
      Maybe even Otani, with Yu in Philly.

        1. Why would they bring Wathan up the last two years in September if they didn’t have plans for him? I see him on the bench all the time.

      1. One of the dangers of being slow to hire a new manager. Coaches in limbo will take jobs offered to them elsewhere.

        1. Agreed. MacKlentak dicking around has cost the Phils their best coach. Really disheartening.

  40. If there’s a picture that’s beginning to take shape with Klentak it would be that he seems to be hesitant to make decisions. Don’t know if its his analytical nature or he’s just overly risk adverse but he struggles to pull the trigger..

    1. Perhaps it is that one downfall of the analytical mind, that anti-analytical types keep professing as one of its disadvantages……..paralysis by analysis.
      Bogged down with so much information he may be hesitant as you suggest…risk adverse as you say.

    2. Agreed. I know he wants the new manager to pick his coaches, but there are exceptions that could have been made. Stairs should have been THE exception. Best coach on the 2017 Phillies. Klentak screwed this one up.

    3. No, analytical people can move fast. Crunch the numbers, get your answer. Some by the gut people can move fast, others are ditherers, with their gut always worried about making the wrong decision, and paralyzing themselves by blowing one negative way our of proportion.

  41. He had all year to formulate a list. And yes, things change, maybe they love Showalter and thought he would get fired. But it would seem that a young, analytical mind would be what Klentak wants. He hasn’t made a bold move yet, and I am still waiting for him to do something, anything, that I can be excited about. I definitely think he whiffed by losing Stairs.

  42. Wathan or Farrell can’t be that hard. In the mean time some very good coaching options are gone.

    1. If it was Wathan, I think they would have announced (or let it leak out) that he was the guy. Farrell doesn’t fit the profile of who they’re looking for – don’t ask me why he’s even in the discussion other than a decoy. My money is on Kapler since they can’t announce it with LAD in the Series.

  43. I think if it was Wathan, he would have had no problem with Stairs as batting coach. I’m thinking it’s going to be Kapler. Maybe Kapler agreed to let the Phillies choose one of his coaches (Wathan either as bench or 3B), but wanted to pick the rest of his staff.

  44. I’ve been convinced for a week or two that Kapler is their man and the NLCS/WS has delayed the final decision. The rumor that it was Wathan surprised me but it was just a rumor.
    I hate to see Stairs go – in fact I’m pretty worried about it. But I like (and can imagine) Hinkie’s thinking… Maybe Kapler let them choose one coach. I could appreciate choosing Wathan as bench coach. I’d love a Kapler / Wathan combo in the dugout!

    Whoever said that they can’t wait till the WS is over for the hot stove rumors to start, I completely agree. … For now, I just study AFL boxscores (Hammer Time!) and all Winter League stats.

  45. The Winter League stats for Phillies players have been “disappointing”. 4 Phillies players have OPS over .800. Blanco, who is very likely to be playing for another team, is scorching the ball. Cam Perkins and Brock Stassi have the next highest OPS. These guys are considered 4A guys and not likely in any Philly long term plans. Mitch Walding is the 4th guy and I don’t see him as a serious long term guy either. One guy who intrigues me is Daniel Brito. He’s hitting .282/.349/.333 with a .682 OPS in the Winter Leagues. He’s already played in LKW as a 19 yo. It wasn’t exactly pretty but it wasn’t that bad either. He could start in CLW next year or start in LKW with a call up after he proves he’s ready. Roman Quinn was a disappointment. It looks like he’s been shutdown but 2 – 17 with a double and no attempted steals has to be called a disappointment for a guy working his way back from another injury. He’s got to come into ST ready to show what he can do — and I’m not talking about another injury.

    1. Read reports from some beat guys, Quinn may be one of the last decisions, if not at all, to be protected next month….which would really be a shocker for me if left unprotected. I would assume he will get one last shot next season.
      But availability is a tool.

      1. Romus – Quinn is already on the 40-man so the beat guys are suggesting he’d be designated? I would think there is next to 0% chance of that happening

      2. FWIW, I think the following players can all but be expected to be designated:

        Appel, Curtis, Tirado, and Kim (Kim would be non-tendered I suppose)

        which would bring the 40-man roster down to 33 (I think).

        But we also need to add our 60-day DL players ahead of the Rule 5 draft, namely Eickhoff, Eflin, Therrien, Velasquez, and Florimon.

        Now we’re at 38. So you start looking around at the roster and it’s easy to see players like Perkins and Florimon at risk of losing their roster spots. And even without these two we’re still at 36. Not a whole lot of flexibility here.

          1. Whether or not to protect Tocci has been highly debated for years here. Hard to believe he just turned 22. While I had maintained in prior years that Tocci had a 0% chance of being selected, I would say that Tocci is somewhat at risk of being selected in 2017, but still on the low end. He’s the type that a rebuilding team can utilize as a 5th OFer, late-inning defender, pinch runner – type. Still, that abysmal small sample at LV will probably discourage most teams.

            I for one would not protect him and I’d guess he be no more than 10% likely to be selected if left unprotected.

          2. They may let Perkins go and have Tocci be the player in AAA that replaces injured player toward mid-year. He can play outfield in the majors and his performance in Venezuela the last two years shows he can hit.

        1. Look from a fans opinion. Why would you protect florimon??? he is not a kid and they really don’t need him. From what I saw of therrien. I am on the bubble with him. There is no reason in the world to keep perkins. he isn’t a big league player.

          1. What’s up roccum? Agree wholeheartedly on both Florimon and Perkins.

            So if Appel, Curtis, Tirado, Kim, Florimon and Perkins lose their roster spots, that should leave us at 36 including 60-dl players but not including unprotected minor leagues who may need protecting.

            That’s a tight roster. I expect Klentak to be active in the trade market and active from the major league roster

            1. Then there is Pullin asa another who can be protected or not, along with Tocci…..they were really high on Pullin in 2016.Last season he had to adjust to LHV.

            2. I think Florimon will be the utility guy, he can play 7 positions and hit right or left and has good defense and can steal a base.

            3. From the current 40-man, I anticipate trade packages involving Cesar, Freddy, Joseph, Rupp, Thompson, Lively, Leiter, perhaps Pivetta and Velasquez as well. Herrera would only go in a package for a TOR starter, as suggested before – he and Cesar together should get you a Stroman type, maybe Archer if you up the ante a bit. Williams and/or Altherr might go in a deal with Miami for Yelich plus salary dumps. Gonna be velly, velly intelesting (as Sgt Schultz used to say).

    1. Romus, even though he wasn’t vintage Yu last night, I’d still go after him to lure Otani via the full package Hinkie plan which he’s clearly laid out here so many times, the FO must have gotten the memo by now. If not, shame on MacKlentak/Middleton.

  46. Anyone have a list of Phillies minor leaguers who are vulnerable to Rule 5 selection? Just scanning the upper levels and I could only come up with three names who I’d add:

    I’m protecting Kilome, SDominquez, and Pullin.

    I’m designating (or not tendering) Appel, Curtis, Tirado, Kim, Florimon, and Perkins

    That would leave us at 39 (without Tocci)

    1. It’s easier for a team to “stash” a rule 5 pick in the bullpen, so I’d protect Appel and Tirado. Both Tocci and Pullin are singles hitters, and I don’t see anyone taking them. If they do there’s Moniak and Haseley right behind them.

      1. So much should hang on who we get in return in off season trades. Too much is made of Tocci and Pullin, agreed. Their ceilings are 5th OFs on a good team. Besides, nobody will select a singles hitting OF in rule 5. Goeddel had some pop and even he wasn’t ready for the bigs just yet – another head scratcher from Klentak – and Pete sitting him to rust on the bench potentially ruined his career. In the end, must we really worry about the 40-man? There’s way too much going for this rebuild. Rule 5 may be as overrated as any major league personnel decision making, notwithstanding the occasional Flyin’ Hawaiian or El Torito – maybe once every 10 years?

        1. Here is the latest list of 50 years or so of somewhat notables sans Vic and Doobie:
          1959: C Clay Dalrymple (1950-68). Behind the plate for 100-plus games six straight years starting in 1961, he was also a heavyweight boxing champ in college.
          1960: RHP Jack Baldschun (1961-65). He won 39 and saved 59 for the Phils. His out pitch was a screwball.
          1989: 3B Dave Hollins (1990-95; 2002). A switch-hitter, he was an All-Star in ’93, the year the Phillies won the pennant.
          1991: C Todd Pratt (1992-94; 2001-05). He played on 1993 NL championship team, and he was there for both the closing of the Vet and the opening of Citizens Bank Park.

      2. ? Pullin has the most extra base hits in philly org and second most in minors . After looking at Romus comments, I would pick Pullin in rule 5 , I would stash him and work him back into an infield position and make him the next Daniel Murphy.

          1. Also Pullin has 48 HRs in the last three years…he is more than a singles hitter I would think.
            Tocci i can see that however.

    2. Steve, Jim’s been including the Rule 5 eligibility list for a while now. It’s at the end of his post at the top of this piece.

    3. After looking at Jim’s above eligibility list, I think we would also protect Ranger Suarez and Jose Taveras (along with Kilome, SDominquez, and Pullin). Harold Arauz an interesting name. I doubt I see Tocci being protected. System is very top heavy right now –

    1. Remember that segment on Sesame Street, Romus? Which of these things don’t belong with the others? Farrell in no way fits the profile of what they have claimed to be looking for. Don’t get it AT ALL.

      But anyway, I don’t interpret from this Zolecki MLB article that he’s THE leader in the club house. If so, I’m not interested.

      1. For me …
        #1 is Kapler (sounds like MLB’s version of Chip Kelly … and I mean that in a good way. The fact that he’s overseeing that Dodgers farm system is another plus)
        #1A is Wathan (makes sense because of his relationship with all of the Phillies young players. They all seem to love Wathan)
        If it’s Farrell I”ll throw up. Farrell ? Why not just keep Pete MacKanin ?

  47. Romus, Remember when the Phils traded Baldschun for Jackie Brandt? The story was “Phils get a screwball for a guy who throws one!”t

  48. I don’t think they cut ties with Appel just yet. He makes the 40, IMO. No need to belabor the Tocci argument. We will know soon enough. I can’t believe that the Phils hire Wathan and didn’t convince him to keep Stairs, so I am going with the Kapler theory with Wathan as 3b or Bench Coach. and, I will be happy with Kapler.

  49. Hinkie, You hit it exactly right. I want nothing to do with Farrell, and will be very unhappy with him. Roccom said it perfectly, “which one is not like the others?” If it is Farrell, they should just fire Klentak and bring RAJ back to be the GM.

    1. Please don’t make me look as smart as 8mark. the site would close. if I made a good comment

    1. Bobby Cox won a WS, 3 pennants, and 14 division titles … and I wouldn’t want him as the next Phillies manager, either.

  50. What’s wrong with Farrell ? Proven winner . I like Wathan but he might need a yr as a bench coach. Kapler only coached 1 yr in 2007 and Nascar black eyed history so to speak.

    1. Please either explain the “Nascar black eyed history” reference or don’t mention it. You obviously don’t like Kapler even a little, Tim.

    2. I think hiring Kapler IS risky. Which is largely why I like the idea. I’m long tired of the old boy network and vanilla base-to-base philosophy. Baseball clubs, like any sport, are political in their organizational hierarchy and promoting, so it’s refreshing to see the Phillies FINALLY break from the stale old school mold IF they hire a progressive second level mind as manager who at the same time is plugged into the FOs long term strategy. Kapler may turn out to be a bust (like Chip Kelly) but if Farrell gets the job, we’re back to the Monty-Ruben days of no risk no reward which only led to a ball park filled with fans masquerading as empty seats.

  51. On the pitching side of the Winter League’s short season stats everywhere. Cleavinger and Bettencourt look like never-will-be’s but they had one bad outing each. With very few innings, it’s hard to draw anything near a conclusion. Hammer looks like the HAMMER, giving up no earned runs in 7+ innings. Kilome also has 7 innings and his two outings look pretty good. He also has 7 Ks in his 7 innings pitched so that’s a step forward but again it’s 7 innings over 2 games.

  52. Phils still moving at a snail’s pace. The issue is also losing opportunities to hire the best Coaches. WS will be over this week, then all the offseason fun starts player wise. It would be helpful to have a staff in place first.

    1. I wonder out loud – has MacKlentak already made their decision and now piecing together a coaching staff as we speak? Find it difficult to believe they’re still undecided at this stage, just waiting for the WS to end to announce it. I hope that’s the case.

  53. Kapler in but I wonder why there waiting . 1 The New bench coach , Pitching Coach or hitting coach are still involved in the WC. 2 . I have no Q why it would take this long to pick Kapler.

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