Open Discussion: Week of October 29th

Just one or two more games left in the season and we can officially start baseball’s hot stove season.  Then we will get a welcome break from all baseball stories centering on the Dodgers and Astros, and we we will return to baseball normalcy where all the stories are about the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, and Cubs with a smattering of releases about the Rangers, Cardinals, Astros, and Stanton.  And of course, those cheatin’ bastards, the Braves.

I tuned in to game three in time to hear the announcer repeat ad nauseum that the Astros’ reliever was striving to become the first pitcher to record a 3.2 inning save, the longest in post season history.  I was willing to bet the reliever wasn’t even aware of such a record.  I was right.  During a post-game interview, when asked about this “record”, the pitcher stated that he was unaware of any significance to his outing until the interviewer brought it up.  Baseball prides itself on its ability to quickly produce these “records”, but for gods sake, stop trying to create fake news during an event.  There’s plenty of time to revel in an extraordinary feat after it occurs.

Organizational News and Changes

The Phillies are set to announce the hiring of Gabe Kapler as their new manager.  Though he has minimal managerial experience, Kapler was narrowly beat out for the Dodgers’ manager position by current incumbent, Dave Roberts.

Matt Stairs assumes position as Padres’ hitting coach.  “A bird in the hand …”  With no guarantee that the Phillies new manager would offer him a position, Stairs was right to bolt for the west coast.

In fact, it is my opinion that all the scenarios where Stairs, Wathan, Halladay, Ruiz, et al would have positions on a new manager’s staff were optimistic.

Freddy Galvis was nominated for the NL Gold Glove for shortstops.  His competition is the Giants’ Brandon Crawford and the Dodgers’ Corey Seager, from teams with the worst and best records in all of baseball.

Since the Golden Gloves are generally assigned on merit unlike the MVP, it seems to me that Galvis is the presumptive NL GG at SS.  Frankly, I don’t see how Seager qualified over Trevor Story and Jordy Mercer except that he’s on a 104-win team.  Maybe Galvis is doomed to finish second.

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 reported to the Colombian Winter League on October 27th and they begin League play on November 3rd.  Rosters not available.  The Nicaraguan Winter League began 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____.

Oh, it appears that the Australian Baseball League has allowed teams to contract with MLB teams again.  But, not Phillies as of this report.  Players from the Pirates, Rangers, Astros, Padres, Blue Jays, Rays, and Delmon Young have signed to play in 2017-18.

Edgar Cabral has raised his average to .385 in the AFL.  Trevor Bettencourt and Garrett Cleavinger saw their ERA’s sky rocket after a bad appearance, but J.D. Hammer have yet to allow a run in 6 relief appearances.  Elniery Garcia had a rough week and sports a 5.79 ERA in four starts.

In the DWL, Cameron Perkins has a .308 batting average.  Angelo Mora is hitting .300.   in the DWL.  Zac Curtis has a 1.17 ERA and a 2-2 record in 8 appearances.  Looks like the guys following him are allowing inherited runners to score.  Kilome and Windle have ERAs under 3.00, and I heard that Roman Quinn has gone home for the winter.  If so, he left with .118 avearge on on 2-17 with 5 K and 0 SB attempts.

Mitch Walding (.245) has 2 HR in the MWL, as does Brock Stassi (.304).   In the VWL, Daniel Brito is laying regularly and is hitting .282.  But, he has struck out 11 times in 39 AB. Walding is also whiffing, he has 15 in 49 AB.  And Zach Green has 10 in 32 AB in the AFL.

Spring Training

Teams are beginning to release their tentative spring training schedules.  So far, the Phillies haven’t. But the Tigers, Athletics, Astros, Nationals, Orioles, Rays, Pirates, and Giants have.

Incomplete list of Phillies 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 in Port Charlotte
  • Saturday, March 3rd v. Baltimore at Spectrum Field (split squad)
  • Saturday, March 3rd at Pittsburgh in Bradenton (split squad)
  • 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)
  • Monday, March 12th at Atlanta in Orlando (night)
  • Wednesday, March 14th at Atlanta in Orlando
  • Friday March 16th at Detroit in Lakeland (split squad)
  • Friday March 16th v. Toronto at Spectrum Field (split squad)
  • Sunday, March 18th at Minnesota in Fort Myers
  • Friday, March 23rd at Pittsburgh in Bradenton
  • Saturday, March 24th at Detroit in Lakeland
  • Sunday, March 25th v.Baltimore at Spectrum Field
  • Monday, March 26th at Pittsburgh in Bradenton

Key Dates (new entries are in bold/italic text):

  • Oct. 26, 2017 – Freddy Galvis announced as one of 3 finalists for NL Gold Glove
  • 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.


139 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of October 29th

  1. Wake up, everybody! We have a new Phillies manager, yo!

    I believe the main thing that prolonged the search was composing a staff, the collateral damage of which, unfortunately, was Matt Stairs. I hope Kapler has just the guy. Maybe Raul Ibanez (who’s been a LAD exec himself recently) will join him in some capacity?

    In any case, glad it’s over.

      1. He has been rumored to become Phils hitting coach candidate but it is way early for any serious consideration until the manager is chosen. He may name his coaches pretty quick once that happens. Dusty could be a prime candidate as a coach maybe dugout coach

        1. Ibanez would bring a high level of character to the dugout/clubhouse like he did as a player. It would be good to have guys like him and Wathan, in case…you know – the Hammer doesn’t work out. (As manager, I mean)

    1. Hope they keep Dusty Wathan in the MLB dugout somehow to help the future core players.

  2. I stayed up late last night to watch (all five hours and 17 minutes of) game 5 of the WS. WHAT A GAME ! A few points:
    * I’m really looking forward to the Phillies competing again (starting in 2019).
    * Jeff Luhnow has made a lot of smart moves to get the Astros to within one game of their first WS title. Letting Pat Neshak go to save 6.5 million dollars is not one of them.
    * I was hoping last night’s game would go a little longer to see at what point AJ Hinch would swallow hard and call for Ken Giles to pitch.

    1. But his best move may have been made only 62 days ago when on the last day of the August trade deadline, only minutes before the waiver trade deadline on August 31, 2017…..he got Justin Verlander from the Tigers, all he has done in the last two months is go 9-0.

    2. when you extend your DVR 2 hours and it still runs out before the game ends…

      it’s too bad they can’t pull an ump, or show an ump between innings how far off the plate he is calling a strike, as that was ridiculous last night.

      Neshek did pitch in the playoffs for Colorado and gave up a 2 run triple to a pitcher, so who knows about that one.

      1. I guess no need for the catcher to do any ‘framing’ last night with Bill Miller behind the plate.

  3. Keeping up with Phuture Phillie Mike Trout …
    You would think he would be getting ready for his November wedding. However, Mike was having none of that (that I’m aware of). Instead, Trout was again in his front row end zone seat for yesterday’s Eagles win. As a matter of fact, Zach Ertz handed Mike a football after catching a TD pass.

    Apparently, Mike was home in Millville enjoying the Penn State – Ohio State tilt on Saturday.

    1. Hinkie, maybe the FO informed the Hebrew Hammer of their intentions to acquire Darvish, Otani, Machado and the Millville Meteor….and he said “I’m in!!”

      1. I’m sure all of that helped, but the soon-to-become-reality Iron Chef Morimoto hire most likely got the negotiations across the finish line !

  4. I’m ok with the Kapler hiring. Hopefully, Wathan stays with the organization and will be part of the coaching team (as some of us suggested). I believe in the value of a good relationship and Wathan know the young core (Hoskins, JPC, Kingery, Williams and others) as he coached them while they struggle and develop thru the system. I hope that both the FO and Kapler see a value in that connection between Wathan and the young core.

    1. He does have some coaching experience….Kapler coached for the Israeli national baseball team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier in September 2012 and as Director of Player Development. with the LADs, he had all the affiliates in the Dodgers farm system, as well as the major league team, switch to serving entirely organic food, and take junk food out of the clubhouse.
      Who knows…smoothies mught be bext on the menu…and maybe sushi for Otani! 🙂

      1. @romus – i’m not sure if taking organic foods has something to do with a player’s performance. i will not even put emphasis into that organic thing unless the Phils will play baseball bare chested and show how ripped they are because of the organic thing they take. I believe in value of nutrition but it is not necessarily need to be fully organic. My bet is that Kapler guy owns some stocks with a company selling organic that he wants to promote it to increase the value of his stock.

        At least the Japanese food is supported by studies on why the Japs has a longer life span.

      2. Missanelli just told a story of when he crossed paths with Kapler a few yrs ago on some Sportscenter type show. He says Gabe came across condescending and know-it-all. (Sound familiar, Eagles fans?…though Chip’s muscles never impressed like Gabe’s)

        I’m sure there will be more detracting tales about our new skipper but in the meantime, I whole heartedly approve of the hire. He’s been around long enough after his playing days to piss enough people off yet he’s still highly regarded and comes out of good stock with the Dodgers organization. Call me a sucker for type-A guys who at least know what they’re trying to do. Hopefully, Mikey Miss will have him on one day soon and revisit their set-to.

          1. Yes- and Missanelli calling someone else a condescending know-it-all is a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black.

  5. I have no opinion of Kapler right now, other than he’s OK (because he came from a winning organization). My 1st impression of him will be based on how he will assemble his team/coaches. I like his background on player development and use of analytics. But the organic thing should not be overblown. I’m sure that the Phils have a reputable Nutritionist in their organization to take care of that area. Will Kapler ban junk food and throw all the vending machines in the locker room? Probably. To me, this is petty because none of these junk foods and vending machines are related to winning the WS.

    Kapler should just focus to do his main task – player development, analytics and managing the team to win games. Teach the kids to appreciate the importance of advance stats and not just focus on RBIs, Wins and other basic fantasy baseball stats. On the organic thing, try to influence the kids the value of healthy living but don’t impose on ditching everything for organic. Let the Nutritionist do their job.

    1. Don’t be so sure that the Phillies have a reputable nutritionist in the organization. Although, I think the new CBA requires a chef at the major league level, I see the types of meals that are delivered to the Complex to feed the minor leaguers. I’ve heard the stories of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the minor league club houses. I have a friend who has been nagging the Phillies about getting a nutritionist in the minors. Seems they are finally beginning to listen. Kapler could be what is needed to finally get the idea converted to fact.

  6. Update BA Top 10 for the Phils:

    1) JPC
    2) Sixto
    3) Kingery
    4) Medina
    5) Haseley
    6) JoJo Romero
    7) jhailyn Ortiz
    8) Alfaro
    9) Moniak
    10) Kilome

    Best Hitter for Ave – Kingery
    Best Power Hitter – Cozens
    Fastest Baserunner – Quinn
    Best Athlete – Quinn
    Best FB – Sixto
    Bet CB – Kilome
    Best SL – Edgar Garcia
    Best CU – Taveras
    Best Control – Eshelman
    Best Defensive Catcher – Edgar Cabral
    Best Defensive INF – JPC
    Best Defensive OF – Quinn
    Best OF Arm – Jose Pujols

    Projected 2021 Lineup by BA

    C Alfaro
    1B Hoskins
    2B Kingery
    3B Franco
    SS JPC
    LF Williams
    CF Herrera
    RF Haseley

    SP Sixto
    SP Nola
    SP Medina
    SP Kilome
    SP Ranger
    CL Seranthony

    1. Overall, agree with BA’s evals, however, ‘Best Athlete – Quinn’…interesting , a player who has not played more than 92 games in one season yet.

      1. @romus, agree with you. it’s interesting that the best athlete is also the most injury prone. hard to reconcile both.

        as for the tools, i have Ranger as the Best CU, Arano’s SL (since he’s done it at higher levels) is slightly ahead of Edgar Garcia (whom I really like) and Franklyn Kilome as the most likely shut down closer than Seranthony. I like Seranthony (and Anderson) a lot, but Seranthony will be valuable as a MOR than a closer.

        1. BA does a good job of getting people around to see players at all levels. But, it’s easy to miss some players. Having seen Kilome and Jakob Hernandez this summer, I think that Hernandez curve might be better. And as strong as Pujols’ arm is reputed to be, he’s not always accurate. Jan Hernandez was tied for the team lead in outfield assists with 5 in just 23 games.

          1. Jim … you are my “go to” guy for Jakob Hernandez scouting reports (thank you for them). As you know, I’ve liked Jake the Cake since the Phillies drafted him in the 21st round this summer. I asked Ben Badler about him in yesterday’s Phillies prospects chat. While he did answer my JoJo Romero question, he avoided my Hernandez inquiry. Do you think Hernandez has any chance to start in 2018 or will the Hefty Lefty get squeezed out of both the Williamsport and Lakewood rotations (and be relegated to the pen) ?

      2. I have the following as the top Closer candidates by 2021

        1) Kilome
        2) Arano
        3) Edgar Garcia
        4) Jakob Hernandez
        5) Will Hibbs
        6) Grant Dyer
        7) JD Hammer
        8) Jake Kelzer

    2. Thought Ortiz could be ranked higher but perhaps they see him still as raw and young. Can’t argue with the rest. Medina at #4 is a nice call and tells me his ceiling is yea high! He, Sixto and Kilome should provide us with ONE stud from among them. I’ll take it with TOR additions coming via FA or trade.

    3. Kurdt,

      Thanks. In effect, the Number One prospect is Sixto since JP and Kingery will be wearing red pin stripes next season.

      Who is best baserunner after Quinn? If he’s on the DL again, or gone to another organization, he won’t be the best base-running prospect.

      I’m fast getting the impression that Edgar Cabral should be moving up the lists.

      1. I think either Juan Luis or Zach Coppola will be the Best Baserunner after Quinn. As for Cabral, he can be the next Chooch. I don’t see Cabral jump in the prospect list unless he starts hitting above 0.300 on a regular basis but he can be an under the radar catching prospect and follow the career of —- Chooch.

          1. Jim,

            Thanks. Williams seemed to steal every time he got on base. Now, if he can just get on base (more often).

    4. Disappointing that Moniak didn’t crack the top 10, but not surprising. Really hope he figures it out this offseason and lights it up come Spring.

      1. Moniak is #9. Other than the JPC and Alfaro (who already played in MLB), the 6 other prospects ranked above Moniak had a very good 2 year stretch. Being #9 for Moniak is still nothing to worry about same thing with Kilome dropping to #10.

        On the positive, it is good that youngsters like Kingery, Sixto, Medina, Haseley, Jojo and Ortiz are in the top since these prospect have high ceiling and can be the game changers that the system desperately needs.

        By the way, the Phils officially name Gabe Kapler as the next manager.

        1. BA puts high value with projection left. Moniak at 19 yo means that untapped potential are still coming in the eyes of BA. So youngsters with loud tools normally ranks high by BA.

    5. Those BA line-ups are hilarious. Yeah, sure, the Phillies won’t sign a free agent between now and then or acquire anyone in a trade. At least half of these guy will probably be gone by 2021 – perhaps even more than half.

      Personally, unless they take huge steps forward this year, I don’t see Alfaro or Williams being around in 2 or 3 years.

  7. Fangraphs ranks the NL shortstops Crawford, Seager, Galvis on their defensive metrics. Not sure Freddy has much of a chance for a gold glove if that is the case. Crawford seems the most likely choice based on metrics and the conventional wisdom of who writers already think is the best.

  8. I really like the hire . . . He’s in touch w the analytics and he’s old school as well and what I mean by old school is he played the game the right way, hard. I’m hoping that translates into the way he manages as well. Just a few small reasons I like it. Count me as a fan of the hire.

    1. It would be a real surprise and disappointment, but in three weeks from now he could be a DFA victim.

      1. I suppose it’s possible, but he still has too much talent and is still too young for them to do this. But with Mark Appel, I think it could happen. Quinn didn’t perform well because he didn’t play. Appel didn’t perform well because he kind of stunk.

        1. But I do agree that Quinn is rapidly approaching the point of no return.

          Having watched sports for over 45 years, I now conclude that staying healthy, while not a skill, is an attribute that is as important as a skill.

          1. In the past, Quinn’s biggest supporters were Mack and Bowa.
            Last year they couldn’t say enough about him and what he brought to the table with his speed and OF defense.
            Needless to say, they are not around in the field operations part anymore and I have the suspicions that Klentak will start more so now,doing things his way with his sole signature on moves.
            I would think 2018 will be Quinn’s probation year to finally show up…but still would not put it past Klentak to DFA him a day before Nov 20th.
            In a way, all teams have finalized their 40 man and Klentak could think Quinn would get thru waivers, and then became a minor league invitee…similar to what happened with Tommy Joseph after the 2015 Nov 40 final.

    2. I dnt think Quinn was hurt I heard he was batting at the bottom and not getting playing time I thought they would have played him more since he was there to get his at bat i also see that the coach from america left also

      1. That is the most likely scenario. There are rarely guarantees of playing time for import players in the Latin American leagues. Too bad he did not play better but they only gave him like 5 games before they moved on.

    3. analytics may have shown he was due for an injury, or they want to put him on Kapler’s nutritional regimen before they put him out on the field again.

    4. Murray, I didn’t hear hurt. My first thought was that he got his swings in and went home after a pre-set number of at bats or games or days to start his off season program. #fingers crossed

      1. Thanks Jim, fingers crossed. I really think a healthy Quinn makes the club as 4th OF. As for 40 man decisions, there is no chance he’s not on the 40.

  9. I found it interesting that Quinn is the best defensive OF. I thought it has been Tocci. I still don’t see the Phils parting ways with Quinn, and I think they still keep Appel, and try to see if he develops as a BP piece.

    1. I think it’s probably the most likely scenario – but between Quinn and Appel, I think it’s more likely Appel is released unless Quinn suffers another serious injury, which may even be probable given his history.

  10. My coach before and my current boss now keeps saying – the best ability is availability. Quinn is basically traveling the Kelly Dugan way and he has 2018 to find the exit and jump start his career again.

    while the 40-man is tight, i can see the new regime giving the younger prospects with tool longer leash. Rupp. ToJo, Perkins and Curtis are average players that are easily replaced and Tirado is the youngster that will most likely clear the waivers.

    I will still both Appel (and move him to the pen) and Quinn but I’ll be starting to shop Quinn and see if they are any GMs who is willing to pay for Quinn’s high ceiling.

  11. I love the idea of the Kapler signing.

    They keep trying to do the right things for the right reasons. Sooner or later, hopefully, the good plan and the good management personnel decisions result in a good team. In any event, this team should be a lot of fun to watch and we won’t have to agonize about JP Crawford sitting on the bench while Freddy bats second 5 days a week. That would have been infuriating.

    And since I’ve been the one signing the praises of the Dodgers player development efforts on this site, I could hardly pick a better guy than their former player development expert.

    I’m a little bummed out about Matt Stairs moving on but, oh well.

    1. catch … I’m with you. Nobody identifies, procures, and develops talent like the Dodgers. The fact that Kapler was part of that is a major plus, for me. Maybe he pulls a Dallas Greene and helps the Phillies steal an under the radar, lower level prospect (I like 18 YO Melvin Jimenez) like Ryne Sandberg.
      I believe the Phillies will have some say on Kapler’s coaching staff. I could see Dusty Wathan as 3B coach. I still believe the team would like to hire Jim Benedict as pitching coach, but maybe Kapler tries to talk Orel Hershiser into leaving the Dodgers TV booth to become his pitching coach. Hershiser would be a great fit for Aaron Nola. I think Nola has a lot of Hershiser in his game (near identical deliveries, ball movement, and body types).

      1. Hinkie – sharpen your pencil. MLB Trade rumors just came out and identified the Marlins desire to trade Stanton, Prado, and Gordon to be 50 million less in salary. They are interested according to sources of removing all of Stanton’s salary so the prospects coming back are not expected to be meaningful. They – right now – do not want to trade Yellich and the other valuable assets (Realmuto, Bour, Ozuna) but concede that in order to get rid of the three above they will have to part with something of value to move those contracts in their entirety – notably all of Stanton’s. They will begin to sit down with Stanton next week to determine where he wants to go given his full no trade contract.

        1. Not sure how much I want Stanton but acquiring Yelich along with him and his full contract is intriguing. If Jeter can convince Stanton – hey, you’d have an opt out in three years with a sleeping giant of a club. Now that would also cut into who Miami got in return. And besides, following 2020, we’re all in for Trout season.

        2. I gotta’ be honest with you. Not even Christian Yelich (and his extremely team friendly contract) would be enough for me take on Stanton (and that eventual Miguel Cabrera-esqu albatross of a contract). I’d take on Wei-Yin Chen (3 yrs @ 60 million), Martin Prado (2 yrs @ 28.5 million), and Edinson Volquez (1 yr @ 13 million) to flip Nick Williams and Ben Lively for Yelich, Trevor Rogers and/or the Marlins comp B pick.
          If that’s not going to get it done, then so be it. Jeter is the desperate party in this scenario. It’s so bad for the new Marlins ownership group, they’re asking senior club advisors like Tony Perez, Andre Dawson, and Jeff Conine to take pay cuts from 100-thousand dollars down to 25-thousand dollars. That is embarrassingly cheap. If Klentak can’t get Yelich at a reasonable deal, I’m fine with having the most payroll flexibility in MLB next winter for that star-studded FA class.

          1. Hinkie, remember I put in a good word for you to Klentak. Specifically this very deal. He may be in touch to pick your brain a little more. The best thing about Kapler could be that we also eventually grab some nuggets from the LAD organization. Plus he should facilitate a very aggressive off season as well.

            1. Oh, and Hinkie – Gabe also played that one year in Japan (’06?) Maybe he (along with Charlie, Gillick and Morimoto – man, what an eclectic group that would make!) has insight on how to appeal to Otani with all his American life coaching/wellness advocacy resources. Gotta think of every angle, right?

            2. 8mark … in case I haven’t said it, thanks for the mention to Klentak. Hopefully, this FO takes the Otani plan seriously.

          2. @Hinkie – i agree with you on the Stanton trade. Klentak should not be paying the big contract and the the prospects to acquire Stanton. Stanton should be thrilled playing in CBP to pad his stats for the potential opt out.

            I like your trade idea, but I just don’t think Jeter has the guts to pull the trigger and Klentak has the brilliant mind to even think about it.

      2. Nope why Honeycutt is leaving the Dodgers after the WC. Now if Kapler brings in Honeycutt as a pitching coach I’m in .

  12. I pushed for an “out of the box” hire, so I am happy with the Kapler signing. I think he combines what the team needs, an analytic approach coupled with an ex-player’s feel for the game. His coaching staff is going to be really interesting to see. I would be very surprised if Wathan was not part of it. This has really been a terrific WS, and I am even more excited to see what the team does to add talent.

  13. I don’t think Appel gets let go. With his talent and a new pitching coach coming in, I’d be shocked if they don’t give that new coach one run at helping him turn things around.

  14. Stanton and Prado will certainly at least draw discussion. I want to take a run at Machado next year so you can only consider Stanton if the money doesn’t prevent you from chasing Machado and pitching. My guess is the Phils will back out on him but be interested in Prado if they can get a prospect with him since his salary is more than he’s worth at this point but is only for 2 years. He could be a nice bench piece if there is the belief that his bat has any life left in it.

    1. The Phillies will also be reserving money for the possibility of a Mike Trout signing. It’s years away and it’s no sure thing, but they have to have the best inside track and it’s not often you have a local boy who probably wants to play on your team and who is as good as Willie Mays or Mickey Mantle (it’s not hyperbole – he is that good).

  15. Phillies AFL Stars on the West Team:
    Just the two.
    J.D. Hammer — RHP, Phillies (Glendale)
    Cornelius Randolph — Phillies (Glendale)

      1. Yep…..four other OFers on his West squad.
        He probably was added since he is the Phillies priority player, and Phillies needed more than one rep.

  16. The Birds just traded for Ajayi (for a 4th rd pick). The future Phillie and Milville Meteor is jumping for joy right now (and screaming the same way when the Phils acquired Doc back in 2009) and can’t wait for his contract to end!!

    It Embiid and Simmon will wear a Phillies shirt with Trout on it — twitter will explode!

  17. From Fangraphs’ Eric Longenhagen’s Halloween Chat today:

    Birddog: Which top 100 prospect is the next super utility (i.e. Ben Zobrist/Chris Taylor/Logan Forsyth)?

    Eric A Longenhagen: Hmm, good question. I’ll guess Scott Kingery.

    1. I think he is well off on Kingery, who I think is an every day player for a Playoff team. And, it might not be to start the season, but it will be eventually. Super sub is underrating him.

    1. Hinkie, your mission – if you choose to accept it – is to come up with the missing puzzle pieces necessary to pull off the megadeal of the century…

      Okay, this was actually brought up a week or so ago with little fanfare. However, I’m of the mind that any trade involving Giancarlo Stanton that would maximize his trade value to Jeter & Co. would likely happen as the 3-way variety…and the Phillies are the ideal pivot team in this scenario. Naturally, Stanton doesn’t want to come here nor would he likely approve a trade here. Fine.

      Next, a question – who would like to have #1 Eagles fan/good citizen Mike Trout in his ages 26-28 years if it didn’t “break the prospect bank”? (That’s 3 more baseball seasons of one of the very best ballplayers in the history of the game than if we waited until he’s 29, especially since the Phillies FO smell the rebuild accelerating more quickly than anticipated. And he’s a Del Val native son.)

      So, Southern Cal boy Stanton should (it’s reasonable to think) agree to land in Anaheim (still with his ’20 opt out intact, mind you – that would factor into compensation here, along with the salary dump aspect and how much $$$ we might send to LAA with Stanton.) It’s vitally important to remember that our economic muscle is just as integral to these talks as prospect values. Money can buy established major leaguer FAs at a better value than prospects. Then there’s int’l dollars to consider as well as the other teams’ young talent.

      I’m sure I’ve missed some aspects to this scenario but it’s enough to stir the discussion.

      Okay, Hinkie (and anyone else so inclined) – go to it.

      1. 8mark … even though this is an effort in futility because the Angels are not going to trade Mike Trout, I’ll play along.

        Phillies get: Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, and Martin Prado

        Angels get: Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon, Dan Straily, Sixto Sanchez, JoJo Romero, and Jhalyn Ortiz

        Marlins get: Nick Williams, Jake Thompson, and Nick Tropeano

        The Phillies and Marlins would do this … but … like I mentioned earlier, the Angels are not (under any circumstances) trading Mike Trout right now.

        1. Seems a little light on Marlins get. It would be hard for me to give up Ortiz AND Sixto considering our offer to pay a reasonable % of Stanton’s and /or Pujols’ $$$$ to LAA, though I MIGHT bite the bullet and say ‘yea’.

          But where’s Yelich? Or Trevor Rogers?

          Thanks for playing, Hinkie.

          1. 8mark … The Phillies win the trade because they get the best player. Of course, it comes at a price. Pujols and Prado are owed 152 million dollars between them. For Trout, I’d give up Williams, Thompson, Sanchez, Romero, and Ortiz.
            The Marlins get exactly what they want the most … the loss of 50 million dollars from their payroll.

            Again … this is fantasy baseball. The Angels won’t even listen to offers on Mike Trout.

    1. No thanks. Give me Doc (a big sports psych guy) and Chooch reunited as pitching and bullpen coaches. Raul Ibanez as hitting coach (though he seems to like being with LAA org despite NYYs interest in him as their manager). Dusty Wathan at 3b or bench coach, and persuade Davey Lopes not to retire at 72 and coach 1b/base running for two years to grease the skids.

      1. Cannot see Doc wanting to travel the country right now, and be away from his children as they grow up through the summer months.
        I think he is perfectly happy living in Florida and instructing pitchers at the Complex in ST and I thought i read somewhere he may have occasionally and wandered over to help out the Jays in Dunedin

  18. Remember when Woody Woodward was the Phils’ GM for, maybe, 3 days? If Kapler even interviews Schilling, he should be immediately fired. Great Pitcher, not a nice human being. I am being diplomatic in case children read this website.

    1. Just because you disagree with my politics does not mean that I am not a nice person. You can ask any one that I’ve played with, none will call me a bigot or racist. Thank you.

  19. On the other hand, I am very interested to see who Kapler does fill out his staff with. He has been around the game a long time, and I am sure has been preparing for this for a while, and I would think, discussed potential staffs with the Dodgers and now the Phils. I think Dusty is on it, but the rest will be from other organizations I would think.

  20. Revisiting Cesar Hernandez chatter…

    How about this outside the box idea….

    Seems like most folk here think (and I agree) that while the ideal is for the Phillies to trade CeHe to get a quality SP, there’s not a strong market for such a reality.

    So, while he’s not an SP, how about Joc Pederson? He was a stud prospect but has somewhat underachieved in majors, even losing his everyday job in ’17. Possibly a buy-low candidate? Maybe Kapler is a fan of Joc?

    I’m sure the Dodgers still see him as part of their future but if they need a 2B more maybe a deal for a proven 2B can be done. CeHe and Cozens ….for Pederson and A-ball SP with upside?

    I’d also then trade Nick Williams (who I like however I’m afraid may be at a high value point right now) for a AA (or Hi-A) upside Pitching prospect.

    1. I think at this point, Logan Forsythe has done enough for the Dodgers to pick up his 8.5 million dollar option for 2018.

      1. Very possibly, and his .351 obp helps build the case. …Though a .224 ba, .678 ops in 361 ab’s may leave some doubt.

        I’m just a fan if Joc and until thus WS he was looking buried/forgotten.

    2. Trading Cesar for Pederson and a very high upside minor leaguer is actually intriguing. That deal could really help both teams a lot and if Pederson achieves his potential, wow – an outfield of Pederson, Herrera and Altherr could be something special.

  21. Dang, I just saw that he hit another HR. I’ve thought about this scenario for awhile now but his improved showing in the WS (after only a few ABs in first two rounds) may be re-shifting his value again.
    Dodgers have Taylor and Puig, and also have Verdugo knocking on door so still dreaming of the possibility.

    1. Chris Taylor is tremendously valuable now. Can play SS, 2B, CF and there likely 3B and corner OF. He has speed and now power. There is no reason for Dodgers to give up much for Cesar with Forsythe or Peterson current options, plus other OF options.

      1. If the Phillies are still keen on Yelich as has been reported and manage to make a deal with Miami for him, then I would package Cesar and Herrera along with Kilome and Romero to Tampa for Chris Archer.

        1. I like Chris Archer, but that’s an awful lot to give up. Two regulars who are top ten in the majors at their respective positions and two high-upside, relatively proximate arms for a 29-year-old starter?

          1. Theo is looking to bolster the Cubs pitching staff….read last week that they may inquire about Aaron Nola among other young pitchers around the league.

            1. They can ask all they want … I see no reason for the Phillies, finally on the verge of being competitive again, to trade their best (arguably only?) reliable young pitcher.

            2. They can ask and it’s even a possibility, but it will cost them a freaking fortune – well more than he is objectively worth. The price of continuing excellence and plugging a gap in a championship quality time can be excessively high. Let’s ask for the moon and see what happens.

            3. Nola and Rhys are my only untoucheables in the 40-man unless it’s for Mike Trout (i probably said this line at least 10 times now). Cubbies’ farm is probably in the bottom 10 right now due to the series of high profile trades they made and they have nothing of consequence to offer right now unless it’s Kris Bryant. I’ll take Nola over Rizzo (they have Rhys), Russell (they have JPC), Baez (they have Kingery), Hendricks or Quintana.

              I’ll offer them Eickhoff and Lively for Ian Happ and Brendon Little.

            4. @roccom – Cubs’ farm system is not as good now. they have nothing of value to offer other than Kris Bryant.

            5. KuKo…I would think Theo would offer one of Schwarber, Happ, Russell or maybe even Baez as the lead dog in the trade before offering Bryant.
              But agree……need a pitcher prospect of some potential in return and according to MLB 6 of their top 7 are pitchers…and would want at least two of them included.
              Little is a local kid from Conestoga and I would want him as one of the two pitchers.

          2. Okay, let me try to explain how bad this trade would be. Odubel Herrera (a cost-controlled 4 WAR, young centerfielder) alone is probably worth more than Chris Archer – a 29 year-old pitcher coming off 1.8 and 1.2 WAR seasons. Now, would I do an Odubel for Archer trade straight up? Probably yes, but before doing that I would likely ask Tampa for some prospects and there is zero chance I would give them anything much more of real value than Odubel.

            But Odubel and Cesar and JoJo and Kilome? That is set up to be one of the worst trades in baseball history, let alone Phillies history.

            1. Catch, you’re probably right. My pedestrian thinking is that we need a TOR SP more than we need Doobie in our OF, so much so that I’d up the ante to get it done. Perhaps I offered too much for Archer (or maybe even Stroman for that matter) but Tampa has little incentive to move him and his team friendly contract unless we give them one. With only my eye and no extensive metrics supporting my point, I simply think Doobie isn’t a future core piece. I don’t care about his WAR or his defensive flair for the dramatic. My hair is turning gray fast enough as it is, thanks.

            2. This is why I listen to catch, he explains in detail. now I hate the move. Come on romus what do you think

        2. @8mark – IMO Stroman is a better option (and fit) for the Phils than Archer – so they should be spending less to acquire Archer than Stroman. Doobie himself can fetch a couple of high end pitching prospects – so Doobie plus one high end pitching prospect should give the Phils a good young SP back.

          McPhail and Klentak are hesitant to spend $$ this season for FAs, so I don’t see them making a big splash in trades as well unless it ‘s for a player that they really like (i.e. Yelich).

  22. I’m really getting a kind of sick feeling about their seeming obsession with Yelich.

    That’s not a criticism of Yelich himself – he’s a very good player, but he’s not a great player and I don’t see him becoming a great player.

    I’m fine if they acquire him, but I worry about a Von Hayes type of situation here – where they go hog wild on some good player and give up too much in return. And the Von Hayes analogy is not made lightly – he’s very similar as a player to Hayes; almost shockingly so.

    1. Disagree. Yelich isn’t a great player, true. But he’s a much sounder, consistent player than “Ol’ 5-for-1” was (with no disrespect to Von Hayes). In fact, the Yelich talk IMO isn’t so much about Yelich as it is about what we could get in return along with him and the peripheral salary dump pieces, as per Hinkie, a very good prospect like Trevor Rogers and/or a comp bal pick. In any case, my money is on something going down with Miami in some shape or form this off season more than any other possibility. Phils and Marlins, despite being divisional rivals, are perfect trade partners as we speak.

  23. I can see the following teams are potential targets to land a SP via trade:

    1) LAA – LHP Heaney, LHP Skaggs. A Cesar + Taveras for one of the lefty’s

    2) ARI – Bradley, Chafin, Godley, Delgado or Shelby Miller (as a buy low candidate). ARI has Greinke, Walker, Ray, Corbin as potential locks – so 4 of the 5 names I mentioned will be relegated to the pen. My main target is Archie Bradley, him, Chafin and Delgado are pitching from the pen right now. Godley has good size and can be like the Phils version of Eickhoff. ARI will be trying to content next season. I will offer Eickhoff (as a reliable rotation arm), Neris + Ranger to get Archie Bradley. Miller is under control for 2 more years – maybe a Thompson or Lively swap can get Miller.

    3) SEA – LHP Smyly, LHP Miranda, Ramirez. Smyly didn’t throw in 2017 and coming of an injury and under control for 1 more year. May a potential buy low candidate who is still young enough (and lefty!). I’ll try to swap one of Eflin, Thompson, Lively (and add Leiter or Rios if needed) for Smyly or Miranda or Ramirez.

    4) DET – LHP Norris, Greene. DET wants to trim payroll and rebuild so there’s opportunity there since the Phils have a lot of cost controlled pieces. Cesar and 1 or 2 of the young SPs for one Norris or Greene plus some contracts to absorb.

    5) KC – is a potential good trade partner not just for SPs since KC might lose a lot of key players from FA. I will inquire what Duffy might cost.

    6) TEX – LHP Hamels!! Yes, I want King Cole back. With the Darvish trade, TEX is poised to have new faces in their staff. Hamels should cost cheaper than the version when TEX acquired him.

    7) CIN – CIN is rebuilding to they are probably open to unload some players that don’t fit their timeline. DeSclafani appears to be healthy and back throwing in the mound. CIN might be a motivated seller so there’s a chance to acquire DeSclafani for less.

    1. I will propose a trade package of Vinny, Ranger (preferred Mills here instead), Tocci (whom TEX likes offer more $$ before Tocci signed with the Phils) and ToJo for Hamels, Profar and Cole Ragans. TEX traded Lucroy for nothing so I don’t think TEX is in the mood to squeeze teams and put them out of the negotiating table.

    2. Why not target Fulmer if you’re calling Detroit? I’d rather give up a few more prospects and get a young guy you know is going to be a fixture in the rotation for a number of years. (Gerrit Cole would be another name I’d try to work a deal around).

      1. @Mike – Fullmer is nice, but he will cost a lot same with Gerrit Cole, Stroman, Archer and alike. Stroman is the one I like, but I know the price is prohibitive.

        None of the Phils prospects are in consensus Top 20. Teams will start with Sixto, Kingery, Jhailyn Ortiz and Haseley as a minimum if the Phils want a top young arm. My proposal above will not cost the Phils these high end prospects.

        My preference for an ace is via FA. Archie Bradley (a TOR potential) is a trade target that I can see that will not cost the Phils a number of their top prospects since ARI will contend next year and will prefer MLB ready talent in return – Eickhoff, Neris and an up and coming (with potential) like Ranger will help ARI in their hunt and relieve the Phils the roster space that they need.

      2. And Fulmer may come a tad bit cheaper due to the injury/surgery.
        Though he is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for ST.

        1. Fullmer is basically DET’s Nola – PHI will only trade Nola for a legitimate MLB stud or a heavy load of prospects.

        2. I don’t think anyone knew who Fulmer was when he was in the minors true or false? My point is those are the guys you have to go out and and find from other team’s systems.

          1. .Fulmer was a top Mets prospect two years ago, so he didn’t come cheap…. the guys that yuo wan to find are the top prospects in the other teams systems…the Honeywells, Kopechs, Reyes, Kellers of the world….they are costly also.
            Now if you want to g down to the A levels (rookie leagues or short-season)…then you have so many unknowns and the long wait until they are ready for prime time.

            1. Wasn’t it basically 1 year of Cespedes? You’re right that is not cheap but the mitigating circumstances at the time were that the Met’s were pretty deep with Young Pitchers and the move did get them into to the WS in a season where not many even thought playoffs were possible for them.

              I’m not inclined to go for anything in Low A or rookie ball but heck if a scout can convince the FO that there is this kid who is the next Kershaw or Verlander just give him 3-4 seasons and he’ll burst onto the scene …

              go for it….

            2. I guess what i am trying to say… will pay even for the next Verlanders/Kershaws…since they have already been identified in the lower minors as well, virtually since they may have been high draft picks or top dollar int’l signings.
              OTOH, look at Sixto…a cheap signing…but after only two stateside seasons is a top Phillies prospect.
              And then you have the ones who have had TJ early on in ther developmental progression….Gowdy of the Phillies.
              it is such a high risk with pitchers so far out….thus the expression TINSTAAPP evolved.
              Would you do a Doobie for Tiger’s Manning trade?
              Because that may be what it would cost to get a potential, no guarantee, future ace who still has 2/3 years in the minors and to overcome the hurdles that await him..

          2. @DMAR, nobody may not know Fulmer personally, but anybody who follows the minors (whether in the field or online) closely should come across Fulmer since he a part of the loaded Mets pitching prospects at that time. Jacob deGrom is one prospect that came under the radar and so is Altuve.

  24. LAD’s president said that the farm director is the hardest job in baseball. AND he spoke very highly of Kapler, saying that his progressive influence impacted the entire organization.

    (I guess you could also say Gabe has given a new meaning to ‘AB’…ok, ok, that’s a bad joke.)

    Also, Todd Zolecki mentioned a highly regarded hitting coach named Wooten (first name escapes me) in the Dodgers’ system who tweaked Bellinger’s stance and has a chance to be the new Matt Stairs.

    1. Okie City’s (LAD’s AAA) hitting coach is Shawn Wooten. Seager also sings his praises, talking to him throughout the season. When Zolecki mentions it (and he doesn’t go out on limbs) it has some traction.

  25. Back to the Caesar chatter. How about a Hernandez plus something for Urias. I know Urias is coming off shoulder surgery but maybe a buy low TOR LH prospect

    1. LAD will hang up the phone without picking it up unless that “something” that comes with Cesar Hernandez is Sixto, Jhailyn and Kingery.

  26. If you told me a week ago a former Phillie would close out the WS for the Astros, I would have assumed you were talking about Ken Giles … not Charlie Morton.

    1. We can only hope the back room quants who originally suggested the Phils sign Morton in 2015 ( before he blew out his groin) continue to unearth broken pieces that turn into a pitcher throwing 96-98 last night with a wicked change. That is my take away – and, please – Chase, retire and forego another couple of million. Its time.

      1. Morton’s contract with the Phils in 2016 contained a $9.5MM mutual option, and that was bought out by the team, allowing Morton to hit the open market in search of a new deal. So a few days after last year’s WS victory by the Cubs….the Phillies bought him out and then the Astros a week later signed him for TWO-years, not the typical one year flipper deal.
        But durability has constantly been an issue for Morton, last year’s hamstring operation he had TJ surgery (2012) and surgery to repair a hip injury (2014). Charlie had never made more than 29 starts in a season and has topped 150 innings just twice in the Majors, with 2011’s 171 2/3 frames representing a career-high.
        So the Phillies gambled and pretty much lost.
        This probably goes into the detractor portion of Mattt Klentak’s ledger.

  27. The way Darvish pitched in the WC it may take a couple Of dollars off his price.I hope Kapler can bring Honeycutt over with him.

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