Open Discussion: Mid-Week November 1st

Congratulations to the Houston Astros.  Now, let’s get the off season rolling.

This is a special mid-week edition of the weekly open discussion.  This week’s discussion auto-published before I could edit and manually post.  I had some things going on and which were compounded when the internet was unavailable Sunday night.  So, a couple things I wanted to include were left out.  So, here they are.  

Juiced and Slick

This season there were more home runs than in any season in baseball history.  This led to speculation that the balls were” juiced”.  Comparisons were made and many believed that the stitching was different.  Now, we have a story by Tom Verducci where he reports that many pitchers believe that the balls used in the world series are made with a different material (or a differently treated material) than regular season balls.  With the new, slick covers, pitchers who throw sliders are experiencing difficulty gripping and controlling the pitch they have thrown all season.  Among those who are apparently most egregiously affected are Ken Giles, Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish, and Kenley Jansen.

The Ender Inciarte Myth

The Phillies did control Ender Inciarte for a little over 100 days after the 2012 Rule 5 Draft. But, it’s a little simplistic to think that they sent him back just to make room for Ezequiel Carrera and ultimately Delmon Young.  It’s also a little misguided to blame the manager or accuse the front office for not evaluating properly.  Here’s the accurate timeline with comments.

  • On December 6, 2012, the Phillies drafted Ender Inciarte from the Arizona Diamondbacks with the tenth pick in the Rule 5 draft.
  • The same day, the Phillies announced the trade of Vance Worley and Trevor May to the Minnesota Twins for Ben Revere.  (IMO, at his point, Inciarte was a long shot to make the opening day roster.)
  • Inciarte played well during spring training, albeit against the minor league players on the other teams.  I saw him play several times that spring and was duly impressed. However, he rarely faced major league pitching.
  • Regardless, on March 30th, the Phillies announced an opening day roster that included five outfielders – starters LF, Domonic Brown, CF Ben Revere, RF John Mayberry, with Laynce Nix and Ender Inciarte on the bench.
  • On April 2, 2013, the Cleveland Indians tried to pass Ezequiel Carrera through waivers and the Phillies claimed him.  
  • The Phillies then tried to pass Inciarte through waivers and when 28 other teams passed on him, he was offered back to Arizona on April 4, 2013 for $25K.
  • If the Diamondbacks had turned down the offer, the Phillies would then have been able to assign Inciarte to one of their affiliates.

The Phillies were coming off an 81-81 season.  They still had a veteran team with Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Jonathan Papelbon.  They went out and acquired Michael Young, Ben Revere, Delmon Young, Mike Adams, and John Lannan.

This was a team that the organization thought could still compete before  Halladay didn’t return to form and only pitched in 13 games, Howard went down at mid-season, Ruiz started the season on suspension and spent two stints on the 15-day DL, and Adams pitched just 25.0 innings before being put on the 60-day DL after 2 trips to the 15-day DL.

The outfield didn’t produce that well – Revere hit .305 and it was Brown’s All Star season (.272).  But Young only hit .261, Mayberry only .227, and Nix just .180.  The Phillies tried a bunch of suspects named Michael Martinez, Roger Bernadina, Casper Wells, and Steve Susdorf.  Darin Ruf chipped in at .247 with 14 HR and Cesar Hernandez hit .289 and started 22 games in center field.

Whether Inciarte could have done better is open to dispute.  However, he likely wasn’t ready to face major league pitching and the Phillies weren’t prepared to have him spend the season on the bench.

In 2012, Inciarte had split his season between Full A and Advanced A in the Diamondbacks’ system.  Inciarte spent the entire 2013 season in AA in the Arizona system. He started the 2014 season in AAA and was called up April 30, 2014.

That the Phillies liked him is apparent by their attempt to pass him through waivers.  That he was not major league ready is apparent by the fact that no other team claimed him off waivers.  Not even those clever Atlanta Braves who could have had him for the same $50K if they had claimed him in 2013 instead of having to trade for him during the 2015 off season.

Hindsight is always 20-20.  Inciarte is putting up peak Revere numbers with a little more pop and a better arm.  Revere was better on the bases, but is already on the down side of his career.  But, when both these acquisitions were announced on that December day, I don’t think Inciarte had a chance of playing on any major league roster in 2013.

Organizational News and Changes

Looks like a wrinkle in the Otani posting has arisen.  Jeff Todd of MLBTR discusses the points laid out in a Joel Sherman article.

Todd Zolecki opines that Dusty Wathan could still end up on the major leage coaching staff.  Personally, I think it would be awkward to have the guy you beat out for the job on your staff.  If it was me, and it wasn’t a condition of employment, I would resist any overtures from the front office to add the coach to my staff.

Winter Ball

J.D. Hammer and Cornelius Randolph were selected to take part in the AFL Fall Stars game. This game is not so much about rewarding good seasons as it is about getting maximum exposure for featured players.


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 (no changes):

  • 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 (dates dependent on the completion of the series have been amended):

  • November 2, 2017, 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”.
  • November 6, 2017,  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.
  • November 6, 2017, 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?).
  • November 6, 2017 – 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)
  • November 16, 2017, 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.


158 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Mid-Week November 1st

  1. Congrats to former Phillie, Charlie Morton. And no, re-signing him would not have helped the Phillies.

    1. You could say that about any player they might have acquired since they were much more than one player away from a playoff spot.

      But should they have signed him over, say, some stiff like Clay Buchholz? Of course they should have, if only to have had a valuable trade piece at the deadline.

      It was a bad decision – but it’s over and now we can all move on.

      1. There was no guarantee Morton was going to return to full health or even be a useful player. They took a gamble and it didn’t work out. Or maybe Morton expressed a desire to be put back on the open market.

        1. We don’t know but we do know that Morton said he liked it hear a lot and we know the Phillies didn’t pick up his option and we know he performed extremely well this year.

  2. Wow, the Otani situation got a whole lot more interesting if that’s possible. If the many parties involved get moving to remedy this impasse, it could turn out to be more favorable for teams with the considerable resources like the Phillies…or not. What a boondoggle!

      1. It’s called fodder. The idea that the Nippon Fighters will get more guaranteed money than Otani will disturbs some folks at the MLBPA.

    1. Otani is not coming here unless he was a traditional free agent and we grossly outbid everyone forcing his hand. He’s not choosing Philadelphia. Why would he?

      1. After the 2019 season he may become a traditional FA once his two-year minor league contract terminates…..unless the losing MLB team in 2019 signs him to an extension prior to Nov 2019, and then MLB may start some sort of another investigation.

  3. I’ve been away for a while. I wanted to plant the seed or kind of go on record saying I am not a Kapler fan. If you think Shilling is a pretty bad human being Kapler is right there with him. The difference is Kapler cares so he is very savvy to conceal that fact.

    Let me just say I know the Francona’s a little bit from around my hood and the kids were regulars in an office that my wife used to work at.

    Nick’s claims probably aren’t far off the mark and if you trust the MLB to have investigated this thoroughly remember they didn’t catch the Cardinals in their hacking scandal until the FBI got involved.

    My take is that Kapler viewed Nick as a threat. Nick was a war veteran and a Wharton School of Business Grad and son of a very popular guy/manager in the game right right. Kapler is your run of the mill narcissist who is likely to take out any perceived threats.

    This is my opinion of course as I do not have all of the facts. But it is formed in what I have gleaned from some of the people in the game that have come into contact with this guy.

    That’s not to say there aren’t some who really like him. Some people are easily fooled, easily charmed. I won’t be one of them.

    1. My first post here. Long long time reader and love the site. This response made me want to post as after finding out about the Kapler “investigation”, I must say I have to agree. Red Flags big time for me, and I’m the eternal phillies optimist.

      1. Could be Chip Kelly.2… food, smoothies and bed-checks et al….and also the arrogance and condescending attitude that may go along with that…who knows right now. But he better just win…bottom line. I assume his leash and Klentak’s are the same length.

        1. Comparing football coaches and baseball managers is futile. They are completely different. Kapler isn’t installing a whole new organizational approach. He will be the on the field manager for Klentak’s vision.

        2. I doubt it. The GM’s leash is typically at least twice as long as the manager’s and here it’s probably even longer because he’s Andy MacPhail’s boy and Andy is calling most of the shots. Klentak’s job is far from being in jeopardy.

          1. catch, didn’t MacPhail already say that Klentak put more risk on himself because he let Mackanin go right after giving him an extension, and say that a Manager only gets a limited number of chances with hiring a Manager, and mentioned those things specifically in his chat with the media. MacPhail’s contributions are going to be a new scoreboard. I believe that shortens Klentak’s leash.

          2. Not according to Andy…..said GMs have so many managers in their hiring.
            He questioned Klentak on the Mackanin ‘firing’ so soon after the extension.

        3. Sad new romus. They are closing 70 dairy queens, I cant keep this weight on if they used organic food and close dairy queen. help me

      2. Welcome Phils330. It also took me many years before I started posting. You will find at least 99 percent of posters here are friendly – as long as you are too. I agree with you. There are big red flags waving here. Be prepared Dusty.

        1. That may be why Kapler’s deal is only 3 years. I agree it’s a risky move but it’s better than running a member of the good old boy network out there again. Those days in MLB have just about faded into the sunset along with Dusty Baker. I like the hiring although I admit I have reservations about all the peripheral aspects of Kapler’s history “profile”. And naturally, he’s not a blue collar, Philly born kid. In fact, he was literally born and raised in Hollywood. So let’s not expect anything else, but instead evaluate him by his in-game decisions, wins and losses, and handling of this current youth movement. This all about baseball and getting back that “effin trophy”.

          …and wasn’t it great of Howard Eskin to show up at the presser with his irrelevant contribution?

      3. I didn’t want to be negative, but since you guys have brought it up I will chime in:

        Huge red flags. DMAR’s point about MLB “investigating” is a good one. Awful track record on this go. It’s a big enough red flag that I wouldn’t have gone near Kapler even if MLB is convinced he’s cleared.

        Nick Francona is extremely open about this, putting his name out there, his issues and is the son of an extremely well liked and credible baseball guy. He’s not just some guy looking for a settlement (Dodgers offered two settle two different times and were rejected by Francona). If even 10% is true, it is far too much and shows extremely poorly on Dodgers.

        1. I didn’t want to be that guy either but it pains me in this day and age that people don’t want to dig for the truth or tell the whole story.

          Or maybe worse those that do know and don’t want to say for fear of some kind of reprisal.

          I applaud Mr. Heyman for putting some of it out there.

          I promise not to spend a season railing on the guy either.

        2. Dad,

          I agree. As a guy who has hired lots of people over many years, one thing I finally learned the hard way — watch for red flags, and then respect what they say. If you don’t, they come back to haunt you.

    2. I’m not a pro-Kapler but I’m open to what he can bring to the table. I’m a output oriented person and for Kapler, the end will justify the means.

      Also, Kapler is hired to be a skipper (and unlike in NFL where coaches can get the keys to the car) so he is mainly a game manager. Kapler is not tasked to make important decisions unlike Klentak. I think the a sound philosophy has been set — the Phils prefer plays who control the strike zone. The hiring of Kapler will not change that.

    3. Mike Missanelli had Gabe Kapler on this afternoon.
      * He’s a very savvy communicator. He obviously did his homework prior to this interview because he begins with love for Penn State’s uniforms (Missanelli is a PSU grad).
      * I was relieved to hear he has the opposite views of Curt Schilling.
      * Thinks he’s in a great position to win in Philadelphia because of current roster, farm system, and financial resources.
      * Gabe Kapler and Pete MacKanin are polar opposites.

      1. Just listened to the Missanelli Kapler interview and read Matt Gelb’s piece posted earlier this afternoon on, I’M IN!!

        1. Just a thought – I recall Mike Keenan with the Flyers in the’80s. Kapler may last only 3 years but might take us to the brink before he goes. Hopefully he lasts much longer, of course.

        2. 8mark,

          I wish Kepler well, but I am concerned about the square-jawed high school football captain’s presentation of his.

          Baseball is a game of individuals. It is not regimented like football and I think this guy risks being a big disaster if he comes on with the Chip Kelly approach, as so many so quickly mention.

          I’m reminded of a story I told earlier on this site. In Jim Bouton’s book Ball Four, he recalls how the downtrodden Astros began winning and how they interacted with manager Harry “The Hat” Walker, who was known for being overbearing with players.

          On the team bus after the game, and with Harry Walker in the front seat, the players would sing “What the F can Harry Say when we win our game each day. It makes a feller proud to be an Astro.”

          I can’t imagine that happening with Kapler. Yet, it is the baseball ethos.

          Or, as somebody said on another site, it won’t take long for John Kruk to show his disdain.

    4. Same thing I was hearing about Kapler no man is a island thing . He likes things his way . I’m waiting to see what type of coaches are around him . The good thing is you call tell pretty Early if he can coach.

  4. “little simplistic to think that they sent him back just to make room for Ezequiel Carrera and ultimately Delmon Young” — this might be simplistic, but this is still an accurate statement. RAJ (who subsequently admitted that he is too slow/late to move one from the older non-performance players) has preference over know commodity over unknown commodity and this lead to a lot of short cuts in player evaluation and development within the organization. with high sight, RAJ’s approach has been short sighted since he relies on players who performed in the past who is contrary to what McPhail and Klentak are doing right now.

    “It’s also a little misguided to blame the manager or accuse the front office for not evaluating properly” — FO are paid to make decisions like this. And as I said earlier. RAJ’s preference to WIN NOW and rely on known commodity over unknown commodity bypasses the patience and time needed to properly evaluate a young talent. I think RAJs actions and decisions speak louder than any one of us can say.

    The only time that RAJ took time to evaluate talent is when he started to dismantle the old core with Hamels in particular.

    The Phillies spent a lot of $$ during RAJ regime and it is not unfair to assume that the RAJ FO has the resource and support of the top management to do their job – which is acquiring talent to win baseball games. Regardless how you slice it, RAJ’s FO need to take responsibility on why the farm is one of the weakest in the league and a lot of the veteran FA signings (big or small) did not work out.

    1. Kurdt, you always like to blame RAJ but for the hundredth time it was the owners who held up the rebuild until it was obvious. John Middleton was part of that ownership group so he should not escape his decisions.

      1. @philalbaltanfan – for the 100th time? how can you say that? there’s an article here about RAJ and I’ve never posted anything there. Like most here, I have my own criticism of RAJ but it’s not that i say it all the time or for 100th time like you say it.

    2. A statement is simplistic and inaccurate when it only presents the facts that you want it to present. I see this often here and step in only occasionally. I saw Inciarte play in spring training, did you?. As good as he looked against other minor league players, he was still just coming out of A ball. He wasn’t ready to be on a major league roster. This is supported by the fact that no other team claimed him off waivers before he was offered back to Arizona.

      Hyperbole doesn’t change the fact that in this case they evaluated properly. If you want to blame the front office for starting the rebuild too late or other decisions you don’t like, that’s fine. But, in this case they evaluated the player and situation properly.

      1. @jim – no disrespect to you but the fact that i just mentioned is not based on what i think everybody should believe. the chronology of the transaction/player movement verifies the management intent.

        i didn’t imply that RAJ and the FO err in their player evaluation – which is your point. But i did imply that RAJs mindset (his WIN now attitude and preference over name recognition and MLB experience) lead to that decision – a decision on giving up on Inciarte in favor of a more experienced player in Carrera then ultimately Delmon Young.

        I agree with you that Inciarte is not MLB ready at that time. The fact that also support to move on to Carrera then Young.

        This is the reason why i say that the Phils send back Inciarte to make room for Ezequiel Carrera and ultimately Delmon Young — because this statement is consistent to the intent of RAJ regime.

  5. I am hoping that the Kapler choice is a good one. But, like all of us, I have no idea what went on. I hope Klentak did due diligence, but I salute anyone who has served our country, so would not even suggest that Nick Francona did not feel there was some problem. All we can do is hope. For the team to be back to where we want them, and demand them, to be, they will need to get a high level of production from Crawford, Nola, Randolph, Moniak, and/or Haesley. Nola has done a good job already. The Astros just won a WS behind, among others, Bregman, McCullers, Correa and Springer, 4 1st Rd picks they acquired while they were awful. Unless we get similar production, the Manager and the GM will be gone before the team contends again.

  6. I do not have a strong opinion on Enciarte. Great find by Phillies, was not major league ready and upside was defense, with speed and little power. Because of that profile he likely could be have used sparingly on that club (pinch runner, defensive sub, pinch hitter in blowout). Due to his more advanced approach he may not have suffered from missing a year of development but would have needed 40man spot.

    I think Tocci is similar. Not large upside but could play into 4thOF or lower level starter.

    Does any think Phillies gave up on Goeddel? He was much higher pedigree prospect. They kept him for control, but the cut him from 40man. To me he had upside to develop power to become a starter.

    Herrera was an off radar pick who has been outstanding. Another good hit with speed guy. Due to limited upside (Ben Revere) often these types of players are available.

    1. Goedell was squeezed out of the 40-man due to better players and prospects ahead of him. Too bad for Goedell that the farm gone so deep during his tenure with the Phils and a lot of OF prospects with better tools are close to the majors. Goedell is a collateral damage that the Phils can afford to take unlike during the RAJ era where the OF (both majors and minors) are crap.

    2. Basically many of these guy are those who become available before they mature enough to be held on a roster for a whole season. 2013 the Phils still had hope to be a contender and Incairte had little chance to survived the whole year let alone spring training. Basically these are players who are AA ready but a team can take them but have to stash on ML roster.

  7. The new manager’s intensity and conviction pretty much stand out in the presser this afternoon. His persona appears to be DI all the way. Put a ‘smokey the bear ‘ hat on him,with camouflages and even I am ready to drop and give twenty.

    1. Kapler sounds stiff (but not Ryno-like stiff) and Klentak is the only one sitting with Kapler (JM and Andy are sitting in the front row). Looks to me that the Kapler hiring is all on Klentak.

      1. Kapler and Mack are 180 personalities…of course some of that may be age related also since they are 25 years apart..
        Will be interesting to see how him and Doobie interact after the inevitable happens next season.

  8. MLBTR predicts Phillies sign FAs Tanaka(5years @$100M) and Chatwood (3yrs@$20MM)for the rotation.

    1. if the Phils will sign Tanaka, they should try to sign Darvish too (who might come cheap due to his poor WS performance). Tanaka and Darvish can make it easier to acquire Otani.

      1. Might as well get Kurt Suzuki for a back up catcher and battery mate?
        He is American but may know Japanese language a little, if parents/grand parents had influence on him in Hawaii.

    2. I was surprised by that Romus. But I like – they need to start acquiring SP assets. Chatwood for me is worth the risk of overpay

      1. Steve…………Chatwood may not really be that much of an overpay, well compared to Tanaka anyway.

  9. Another Stanton trade proposal involving the Phils.

    Teams involved: LAD, MIA and PHI

    Players involved:

    LAD – Gonzalez, McCarthy, Ryu and Forsythe (option), Pederson – total cost of $50.7M in 2018
    MIA – Stanton, Prado, Gordon, Volquez – total of $62.8M in 2018 and about $365M total contract left.
    PHI – Lively, Leiter and a random throw in

    Prospects involved (to lose):

    LAD – Yaldier Alvarez, Mitchell White and some
    MIA – Trevor Rogers, Tyler Kolek and Comp pick
    PHI – no major prospects involved

    Trade proposal:

    LAD – gets Stanton, Gordon and Leiter (for roster squeeze). LAD will have a net savings of about $15M in 2018 which they can use to add another piece and continue their run while addressing the need for power (Stanton) and speed (Gordon).

    MIA – gets Pederson, Forsythe, Ryu, Lively. Ryu is FA after next year and the 3 others are relatively cheap. MIA saves about $46M in 2018 and about $365M in total contract obligations.

    PHI – Prado (as bench UTIL), Volquez (DFA) and McCarthy – total cost of $38.5M in 2018 but both Volquez and McCarthy are FAs after 2018. For the $38.5M costs and some B-level players – the Phils also acquire Alvarez, White, Trevor Rogers, Tyler Kolek and MIA Com pick in 2018.

      1. If I knew for sure he wasn’t going to opt out after 2020, I might be willing to offer a top prospect or two for Stanton. But in NO WAY do I offer our future keystone combo plus for him.

      2. @roccom – with Stanton’s remaining contract obligation – the Phils can sign a Kershaw and another solid arm for that kind of $$.

        If the Phils will absorb that amount of $$, no need to surrender their top prospects.

      3. roccom – you just curdled my blood. Stanton isn’t even worth his long-term salary, so why would we give him three of our best young players too? That trade would make the Marlins for the next 10 years.

  10. I have to say I’m worried about Gabe Kapler as the manager. The line from the Jon Heyman story that scared me the most is he is a “persona and not a real person.” As a manager that is not good. Hope it’s wrong, but the blog posts and the way he conducted today’s interview could very well be that persona.

    1. Really? I loved what I saw of him in the press conference. He’s a smart aggressive guy who knows what he wants and who will others to follow him. He needs to get the right coaches now so we can chase our next effing championship. I loved that… he did some research.

      1. So the one on one with Rob Ellis and Jim Salisbury on Sports Talk……very energetic. Very unusual but since he was a player at one time…he knows a thing or two.
        More than analytic and said will not force nutritional values on players….just suggest what they may want to consume to maintain physical energy and perhaps efficiency.
        Luis Garcia was one of his bullpen guys that he glowed about.
        Also JPC.
        Keeping my fingers crossed.

  11. Ugh, from Keith Law chat today:

    Ryan: Has Randolph progressed at all for the Phillies? For someone drafted for his pure hitting ability, he has struggled.

    Keith Law: Not really. It is disappointing.

    1. I actually think Randolph had a solid year. Played the first two months of the season at age 19 (DOB: 6/2/1997) and delivered a .250/.338/.402 (.740) season including 13 HRs in 122 games while playing in a pitcher’s league as one of its youngest full time hitters. Randolph isn’t flashy – he doesn’t have any tool that necessarily jumps out at you. I would say that’s no different today than the day he was drafted. A lot more barrels in 2017 though – no doubt. Age a big factor here.

      I expect an eyebrow raising year for Randolph in 2018 where his emerging power will play up with half his games at First Energy

      1. That’s what I’m hoping for. Every year we have a hitter break out at Reading. Hoping it’s C this year.

        His year was OK.

  12. Before making any grandiose plans to woo Shohei Otani with Morimoto-San, it might behoove the Phillies to get in touch with Matt Winters in Greensboro, N.C. Matt is the stateside scout for the Nippon Ham Fighters whose duties include finding international talent for the Fighters, and he is a legend in Japan from his playing days with the Fighters. Matt could give the Phillies some insight into what might be effective in courting Otani. With his first-hand knowledge of the Ham Fighters, Japanese culture, and customs, such as gift giving, Matt could provide advice/guidance/mentoring to the Phillies and keep them from committing any social faux pas. You don’t want any embarrassing moments when doing business in Japan. Matt could probably give an honest assessment of the Phillies chances of being a player in the Otani stakes. It couldn’t hurt to contact him. Just sayin…

  13. I literally have nothing to back up what I’m about to say besides it’s just my opinion . . . I liked the Kaper hire as first but to be honest after hearing him talk he seems like a self absorbed, spoke in cliché key terms (“strongest version of yourself” is such a over used term) and well I dunno, he just didn’t seem very likable. On the flip side, most people say what a great guy he is so maybe it was just a bad first impression for me.

    1. EricD…bingo…same with me.
      Amazing how they polars attract…..Klentak must have fell in love with the guy…..Klentak is soft spoken, passive and reserve, measures every spoken word and ‘Kapp”…well he is the opposite.
      I hope Klentak remembers who is the boss in that relationship.

    2. You know, it’s funny.

      On the surface he seems to have everything we want and were looking for.

      But there’s kind of lingering bad feeling with this guy because I think with a group of players you’ve got to keep your own ego and expectations in check. You’re not going to get everyone to buy into your intense approach and, with talented players, you’re still going to have to relate to the player, not appear too aloof or arrogant and get the job done. It’s a long season. It’s not football, it’s a lifestyle. There’s a reason that there are probably no great managers that resemble Knute Rockne or Vince Lombardi. You can’t beat down a baseball player for 8 months and expect good results.

      As I said before, I think this is either going to be a great hire or it’s going to go really badly. And it might be like Chip Kelly, where it goes well for like a year and a half and then goes south really fast when people get sick of his act and start complaining or tuning out. And I could see people really tuning out this guy if he doesn’t keep his ego in check and do at least as good a job of managing people as managing a game.

  14. A couple of things on my mind. I’m sure that a few Phillies players probably use tobacco products. How will Kapler react? I’m disappointed that they didn’t name a coaching staff yesterday. Do the new coaches also need to be analytically minded? Two names that popped up on the free agent list yesterday intrigue me. Tyler Chatwood may only need to get out of the Denver air to become a strong #3 pitcher. I also saw Carlos Ruiz on the list. Perhaps the Phillies can convince him to retire and become their bullpen coach. We need a mentor for our young catchers, who better than Chooch? I read yesterday that the Rays plan to “dangle” Archer out there, and see if any team blows them away with an offer. The Phillies have the players and prospects to make it happen.
    Your thoughts and opinions are welcome.

    1. Both Chatwood and/or Tanaka were listed by MLBTR in their top 50 FAs along with predictions of landing spots. Chatwood should get in the neighborhood of 3yrs/$20M according to their analysts. Tanaka (#5 on the list) might get 5yrs/$100M.

    2. Chatwood is a ground baller, low K and walk machine pitcher. Typical pitcher that teams buy low to flip in the deadline. I hope the Phils move on from this MO.

      My main target via trade is Archie Bradley from ARI. Bradley has stuff to be a TOR guy. Bradley is pitching from the pen and ARI intends to contend so they are not necessarily looking for prospects but rather some MLB help. I’ll make the following offer to ARI for Bradley:

      Package #1 – Eickhoff, Neris and another pen arm (i.e. choice of Garcia, Morgan or Rios) for Bradley.

      Package #2 – Eickhoff, Neris and Cozens for Bradley

      Package#3 – Eickhoff, Neris and Pullin for Bradley and the Yasmani Thomas contract.

      1. I can’t see why Arizona would make this move. If they like Bradley out of the pen, where he was successful last year, why would they trade him for a reliever who is three years older and put up arguably worse numbers last season? Particularly since they really have no use for Eickhoff?

        1. @Mike – this dilemma will also happen to the Phils if they can’t unclog their excessive young SPs and move them to the pen which can lower their value. I’m not sure if agree when you say === “put up arguably worse numbers last season” – i’m not sure who are you referring to.

          I encircled ARI and Bradley as a potential trade target due to the following:

          a) they will contend – which means they need as much MLB ready players (preferable cost controlled in case they need to sign FAs).

          b) they have excess resource – Bradley and Delgado are examples that’s why they are pitching from the pen.

          c) they have openings – Rodney, dela Rosa and Hernandez elected free agency so ARI looks to fill at least 3 RPs this offseason.

          d) they have holes to fill – ARI is thin in OF especially when JD Martinez elected FA.

          e) they have contract to unload – Yasmani Tomas

          Two of Neris, Grcia and Morgan will slot nicely pen and Eickhoff is a good insurance being an inning eater that can put up good numbers. Eickhoff’s FB-CB can also work in the pen if ARI decided to transition him there.

          Greinke, Ray, Walker, Corbin are locks and Miller will probably join as the #5 and they still have Shipley available. So Bradley can be had and the Phils can fill most of the holes that ARI wants to plug.

          1. I was referring to Neris (4.21 xFIP in 74 IP vs. Bradley 3.21 xFIP in 73 IP). The only advantage I might give to Neris is his experience as a closer.

            I guess if I’m Arizona, I’m holding onto the younger guy who has already performed well out of the bullpen, vs. trading him for someone whose older and arguably less effective. I’d do the deal in a hearbeat if I’m the Phillies though.

            1. @Mike – both the Phils and ARI will not look at this based on Neris vs Bradley point of view because it’s no match. Archie Bradley is the best player in this deal, that’s why the Phils should offer more – either in form of other MLB ready players or cost to be absorbed.

              And I disagree with your thought process. Most bullpen arms only throw 1-2 innings. Both Morgan and Neris are capable shut down pen arms and don’t overlook the value of someone like Eickhoff. I believe that Eickhoff is hurt which affects his production in 2017. Eickhoff probably holds more value than Morgan or Neris since he is still capable to be a MOR upside – if his improving SL develops into at least league ave.

              ARI knows that Bradley’s value is as a SP not RP. Unfortunately, ARI have more capable arms ahead of Bradley, thus, they’re force to put his live arm in the pen instead. If the Phis is in ARI’s position right now (as a contending team), I may not give up both Morgan and Neris. But since the Phils are still assembling their starting rotation, the bullpen becomes secondary.

            2. @Mike – also, ARI in the past has shown that they are willing to trade young players/prospects to get immediate help (Skaggs and Santiago for Trumbo, the Shelby Miller trade) and to dump contract (Touki Toussant and Bronson Arroyo).

              Fans fell in love with their prospects and I get it. GMs operate based on their window of opportunity. I believe that ARI is a willing trade partner.

      2. The Diamondbacks had a different GM when they were trading younger guys for established veterans. Eickhoff’s value is not much right now unfortunately because of the arm issues, His fastball velocity was already a question mark before he got hurt.

        Bradley was a very highly rated prospect, pitched fairly well as a starter in ’16, and then was very good last year. Imagine if Sixto had this career path. Would you be happy if we traded him for a soft-tossing #3/#4 starter with arm problems, a solid reliever who’s 3 years older, and a lefty speacialist?

        1. ARI is utilizing Bradley as a RP not a SP. That’s the point why I think Klentak should explore. And I’m sure that if Sixto arrives in red pin stripes – he will be a starter and not a pen arm.

          i will not be too quick to judge Eickhoff and his arm problems – he has a profile of a durable innings eater and not an injury prone arm. ARI with Greinke is in a WIN NOW mode. Goldy is 30 yo, Pollock is 29 yo and Peralta is 30 yo. JD Martinez is 30 yo is they’ll sign him back. I don’t think Eickhoff, Neris and Morgan will be too old for ARI liking.

          As a mentioned earlier, GM operates based on their window of opportunity. GM don’t last long unless they are making a dynasty.

    3. Kapler’s been in pro baseball for 25+ years. I’m sure he’s seen his share of tobacco use in the clubhouse. (He played in an era where they still spiked the coffee with amphetamines). I’m sure he’ll have input into the team’s recommended training and dietary regimen, etc., but I doubt he’ll be waiting in the bushes outside Tony Luke’s to make sure nobody’s getting a cheesesteak.

  15. I will wait on Kapler to make a determination either way but it reminds me a little of when they replace Francona with Bowa because they wanted more fire in the clubhouse.

    Hopefully Kapler’s apparent personality doesn’t wear out his welcome like Bowa did.

    1. I guess all coaches/.manages eventually get is a matter of how long
      With Kapler. three years could be the magic number….though after two years, after the ’19 season, we will know for sure, that is, if he is not offered an extension going into his last year.

  16. Romus – couldn’t agree more. Managers are like leaves in the fall – one stiff wind and off they go. These contracts are nothing more than term payment plans – rarely do they end up reaching their service expiration. If he doesn’t work out, he doesn’t work out. Move on to somebody else.

  17. On the one hand, Kapler seems to represent all the positive things the management is doing, including being creative and trying to use analytics to win and all that other stuff.

    On the other hand, is it just me or does this guy kind of come off as a bit of an arrogant, know-it-all douche? I hope I’m wrong, but something definitely rubs me the wrong way about him. Man, I really do hope I’m wrong because I do think he’s smart and on top of things.

    1. @catch – take it slow. Kapler is just a skipper so I don’t think he has the power to move players out of the organization unlike what happened to the Eagle and Chip Kelly. If the kids perform as expected and Kapler becomes an arrogant fool that becomes a polarizing personality in the clubhouse – we might see Wathan soon.

      McPhail and Middleton not sitting with Klentak and Kapler during the press con is a good sign to me. It tells me that Kapler is a Klentak hire and they are watching. I think Klentak will not let Kapler be out of control otherwise both of them will be out.

      1. Yeah, I know he doesn’t have the power to move players, I get that.

        But I’ve known a lot of guys in my life who come off the way Kapler does. Many of them have been successful but I don’t recall liking many of them and I don’t recall their underlings liking them either – which, in baseball context, could create a problem.

        We will see. It’s not the end of the world and I hope I’m wrong because I think he does bring a lot to the table.

        1. Agree….arrogance is usually not a good quality in a leader of men…and as the manger, he will need to lead and manage his resources.
          Sometimes their success is quick but short-lived..
          However, I wilt give him the benefit of the doubt.

        2. i also encountered a lot of different personalities in my life. Too bad, the one who stabbed me in the back is the one who i trust the most – so good or bad character doesn’t bother me anymore as long as they get the job done the way i envision it.

          i’m also not fully on board but I’m interest what Kapler has to offer. I want to see how Kapler argues with the umpires — he might start to rip his jersey and do a Hulk Hogan to pump up the crowd.

          1. Jon Heyman and FanRag:
            ” A few of the Dodgers kids did have a negative view of Kapler,……. since some saw him as headstrong or even haughty. He certainly had definite views, and one recalled Kapler, whose diet is strict beyond belief, forbidding him from eating certain foods, including meat. One person familiar with the situation says what annoyed them most was him “acting like he was the dude,” meaning a star player.”

    2. Catch – that’s exactly how he came off to me as well. Not only in the press conf but even more so in the interview on the fanatic. I made a complete 180 w how I feel about the hire after listening to him. Douche is a perfect word. But Winning will def cure the douche bag ary

  18. KuKo, I agree with you. I hope he has that gene that accepts advice, and I did like that he spoke about getting all the information he could and preparing to the max, and what might work one day may call for something entirely different the next. But, I see that he could cross that line into arrogance like Kelly did. I sure hope not. I really am torn on the Stanton issue. It seems pretty clear that the Marlins trade him, and the Phils are in a position to take on his contract, and another bad contract from them, thereby giving up little prospect wise.He would make quite the partner with Hoskins, and I see him being terrific in CBP. I don’t see him waiving his no-trade to come here, however, so I don’t know how much of Klentak’s time should be spent in that direction.SP, that is the area I want him to concentrate on!

    1. @matt – my main concern with Stanton is the opt out considering CBP might pad his stats. I can see him moving to the West Coast for good. I made a trade proposal involving Stanton moving to LAD and the Phils giving up B-level players and absorbing some contracts for really good pitching prospects.

      I agree with you that a reliable SP should be a priority together with clearing some needed roster space. I still like the Phils to sign Darvish despite of the poor WS performance and I don’t get the love for Chatwood unless it’s for 1 year, an approach that Klentak decided to move on.

      I enumerated 7 potential targets with Archie Bradley as my #1 target via trade.

  19. Thanks Romus, I thought that was a great chat. I can’t really disagree with much. Huge year for Haesely to establish himself. Hopefully, he got rest and has been preparing for a big season. I agree that “C” leaves a ,lot to be desired, and I am really excited for some of the younger guys. Look out for Simon Muzzioti this year!

  20. I was reading some draft stuff, and came across this story on what the Angels might look for in 2018 Nothing earth-shattering, but the last line caught me attention. It’s the first time I’ve come across an Angels writer planning for the possibility of losing Mike Trout to FA in three years:
    “No one knows who the Angels will select with their first pick in 2018. However, they would be wise to draft someone that has high potential instead of a high floor, just in case they cannot retain Mike Trout when he hits free agency.”

    1. With HOU, BOS, NYY and CLE expected to dominate AL the next 3-4 years, I honestly believe that Moreno will come to its senses and follow the proven way to success — start harvesting the farm. Moreno has the biggest commodity in all baseball in Mike Trout and he will consider using Trout to turn around his farm like what the White Sox did by a combination of losing and cutting ties with young superstars.

      The Phils have the young players and prospects to work out a trade and I hope that Mike Trout make it easier and tip the leverage to the Phils favor by declaring “i only want to play for the Phillies so I can stay close with my family and good buddies in Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz!”

      1. Yankees also have the farm and prospects to entice Arte.
        And New York is a quick drive down the turnpike or up the turnpike or the Parkway.
        However, if it came down to it…I think Moreno will choose the best package offered irregardless of the preferred location of Mike Trout.

        1. Romus, if Moreno trades Trout, the acquiring team would also need to know the likelihood of his candidacy for extension beyond ’20 (unless his extension was in fact part of that trade). A lot can happen between now and 2020, but right now, the Phillies would seem to be in the best position. Besides, Hinkie insists that he won’t be traded regardless (and not irregardless – your spell check should have corrected it – just messin’ with ya).

          1. Yes, 8mark. The Angels wouldn’t even listen to offers on Mike Trout right now. My guess is if Trout refuses to sign an extension by the winter of 2019, they would then start (possibly) considering offers. I really believe Mike, his family, and his friends all daydream of Trout one day living back in Millville (year round) and playing in Philadelphia. Earlier this year, Trout told Greg Murphy, “Obviously I have a couple more years on my contract. Growing up as a kid, you always want to play for your team, but I love it in Anaheim. I can’t say enough about this organization, I was brought up here and we’ll see what happens.” As a Phillies fan, that’s about as positive a comment you’re going to hear from a superstar under contract with another team !!!

  21. Tim Dierkes (top guy at MLBTR) in chat today was asked about likeliest destination for Stanton. He said either Phillies and Dodgers, simply because they can take on the salary.

    I wonder to what extent either team can play their leverage against Jeter & Co. in limiting the prospect return in exchange for his behemoth contract. Obviously the Dodgers have the advantage regarding considerably less risk in whether the Cali boy might opt out following the 2020 season, right?

    Man, this off season is filled with intrigue and fuel for chatter on this site.

      1. Now I can see us going for a guy like Chatwood as a cheaper mid rotation option and trade for a TOR arm. We’ve too much depth to trade from that NOT to would be a shameful waste, especially this off season. Then we spend big $$$ next off season.

  22. I truly believe it will depend on Mike Trouts wife If she likes the west coast, then he will stay in California.

    1. rocco….she also graduated Millville HS …taught grade school down there…her family is in the area also….once the kids come along…grandmothers want to be around them and she will want that also, to be around her mother and family…you know are married.

      1. LOL. Right there with you bro. Trying to convince the wife to sell and then we move to Florida (Clearwater naturally), but she wants to stay in PA near our daughter and grandson.

  23. In light of 3 primary factors:
    1 Miami needs serious salary relief.
    2 Stanton’s ’20 opt out clause.
    3 LAD posing as only stiff competition with both the financial resources and young talent.

    I propose the following:

    Phillies get Giancarlo Stanton and his full salary, Wei Yin Chen and the same, Edinson Volquez out with TJ surgery and his salary, 1st rd ’17 pick LHP Trevor Rogers, and Miami’s ’18 competitive balance pick.

    Marlins get Aaron Altherr, Franklyn Kilome, Jesmuel Valentin, and Drew Anderson.


    1. This of course assumes Stanton could eventually be persuaded and agree.
      I’d also consider adding another upper level prospect should the Dodgers offer somebody like Puig and/or Pederson.

      1. Fine. However, I would think Jeter will play Phils and LAD against each other. If the Dodgers offer more and/or better young controllable players, then we could take on more salary. Stanton’s opt out and approval rights clearly put us at a disadvantage. All depends on how much LAD is willing and able to satisfy Miami’s need for salary relief.

        1. Yes…Dodgers probably have more to offer in a bidding war.
          Puig will definitely be going to the Cuban area of Miami, then there will be one of , Verdugo or Kendall, and one of White or Beuhler, and throw in Alvarez and they will easily get Stanton.

      2. Here’s another go, Romus – (again, Hinkie’s fingerprints are included here):

        We send to Miami:
        Odubel Herrera
        Aaron Altherr
        Dylan Cozens
        Jared Eickhoff
        Vinny Velo
        Franklyn Kilome

        We get:
        Giancarlo Stanton (+all his $$)
        Christian Yelich
        Wei Yin Chen (salary dump)
        Edinson Volquez (out TJ surg.)
        Trevor Rogers (1st rd ’17 pick)
        ’18 competitive bal. pick

        1. 8mark … I’m pretty sure the Phillies do not want Stanton (they’d rather spend that kind of money on Manny Machado). They were, however at some point, willing to take him (and his unwanted contract) if it allowed them to acquire Yelich. I don’t see that happening now because it’s become pretty obvious Miami will be able to deal Stanton (and at least the majority of his money) for a package of prospects. The Marlins won’t have to include Yelich. I think Jeter can get a deal done with the Cardinals to send Stanton to St. Louis for Stephen Piscotty and Alex Reyes or Jack Flaherty. Whether Stanton will waive his no-trade clause for St. Louis … I don’t know.
          I still think Klentak will still go after Yelich this winter, even though Jeter hasn’t listed Yelich as a guy they’re looking to trade. The question is … how much bad salary will Jeter want Klentak to eat and how much will Klentak be willing accept in order to flip Nick Williams and a young pitcher (Ben Lively) for Yelich. If the Phillies take on enough bad money, they should demand Trevor Rogers and/or the comp B pick.

          1. The Phillies and Marlins are definitely “trade partners waiting to happen”. The Marlins are desperate to shed money, while the Phillies have the ability to take on a boatload of salary. At the very least, Klentak should eat Edinson Volquez’s 13 million dollars for the Marlins comp B pick and a lottery ticket.

          2. Hinkie, my trade proposal is merely a ‘what if’ scenario. I did see that the Cards are in on Stanton (and Yelich as well). The speculation that the Dodgers could do a deal presumes their interest. A good organization like theirs may recognize that while Stanton’s skill set is desirable, his contract is far from a good value. And for a team with their blue chip talent both at and below the major league level, do they really need him. For the Phillies, he’d draw interest from both the fan base and prospective FAs in the near future. St Louis has the young talent to offer Miami but not the economic muscle (as Ruben called it) to swing that salary intensive deal.

  24. We can offer any amount of prospects and it won’t matter if he does not waive his no-trade to come to Philly. LA can get him cheap if he will only play there.

    1. IMO … Stanton has always been a means to an end. The end has always been Christian Yelich. MacKlentak was willing to take on Stanton (and his inflated contract) if it included Yelich (and his team friendly deal). It’s pretty obvious now, the Marlins won’t have to include Yelich in a deal to trade Stanton. I think the Phillies still covet Yelich, and would be willing to eat other bad salaries (Marlins have plenty to choose from) in order to flip Nick Williams and a young pitcher (maybe Lively, Thompson, or Taveras) for Yelich. I think Stanton ends up being traded to St. Louis.
      I’m more than willing to tap into the Phillies farm this off-season to acquire a young (preferably LH) pitcher. I’d rather wait until next winter to start spending mad money. That 2019 FA class is going to be loaded. The Phillies will want to come armed with the most payroll flexibility in MLB. Manny Machado has been their target for over a year now. There will also be plenty of arms to buy at that time. Garrett Richards and Zach Britton will each be 31 YO. If they prove they’re healthy in 2018, Klentak could be coming after them.
      *SIDE NOTE … Garrett Richards is one of Mike Trout’s best friends. He’s even in his wedding. Signing Richards would just be another draw for Trout to the Phillies.

  25. It’s way too early to pass Judgement on Kapler, but I will say that he’s not somebody that I’d like to sit down and have a beer with (I like eating meat). However, the same could be said of Chip Kelly, who was fine until he got too much power. Let’s hope the Phillies learned from Lurie’s mistake. In what was obviously a rehearsed Press Conference, Kapler said all the things that Phillies fans want to hear (hustle, hustle, and more hustle).

    The key to Kapler’s success lies in him getting the kids to buy into it. Hoskins, Alfaro, Williams, Kingery, Altherr, and Crawford are the future of this team, and Herrera and Franco are on the fringe in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong here, I think that Herrera is a rare talent. He’s one of those guys that can roll out of bed in January, and hit line drives all day long. I’m not sure how his antics and lack of self control at the plate will play with Kapler. Franco, I believe, is the reason that Pete got fired. Not because Franco had a terrible season, which he did, because Pete quit on him. In late September, with Franco having his best month of the year, a reporter asked Pete about it and Pete replied, “One good month doesn’t make up for five bad ones”. Yes, it’s true, but you could see the anger in his face, and the venom in his voice. Franco was benched the following game. I knew then that Pete was gone. Will Kapler quit on Herrera or Franco? Time will tell.

    1. Why does Herrera get lumped in with Franco here? Franco has underperformed for 2+ seasons. Herrera has been the team’s best position player. I’m not seeing the connection here.

  26. I think they need a Coach who speaks Spanish. I think, with the fact that they have a number of young Hispanic players, it is important that they don’t rely on Andres Blanco to interpret, but have a Coach who can communicate well. They also need a top notch Pitching Coach, and the quality of the Staff is going to go a long way towards Kapler being successful.

    1. I think that would be a good idea also.
      I assume they have decided something along those lines.
      Almost all the teams now have at least one, if not more, Hispanic coaches on the staff in some capacity. Now I am also incorporating the bullpen guys in the mix, just not line coaches, BS and the hitting coach.

      1. If Chooch retires, he’d check off several boxes – Hispanic, mentor catchers (one of which is Hispanic) and communicates well with pitchers (some of which are hard to get through to no matter what their ethnicity), plus he’s a local fave.

  27. no question 8mark. I think we are all in agreement that Chooch would be a terrific addition as a Coach. He helps the Catchers and the Pitchers, as you just stated. Young guys, and when we get a TOR SP he will be grea with him also. Doc and Cliff and Cole loved Chooch. That would be a great signing.

  28. I think the Phillies should at least look into Machado right now. The Orioles are stupid and they will only receive a draft pick somewhere in the 30-35 range when they lose Machado. How about the Phillies trade for Machado AND Chris Davis? Salary relief would be huge for them. Of course, the deal hinges on Machado signing an extension.

    In lieu of Machado making $17M next year, give him a raise and sign him for 9 more years. I would even offer an opt-out (which I hate) after year 7. That way he will be 32 and hitting the open market again if he chooses.

    By adding Machado on a new contract, plus Chris Davis (who will either be let go after 2018 season, or traded in July with the Phillies eating money), you would be looking at adding almost $60M to next year’s team. Would you rather have those two or a combination of crap like Hellickson, Buchholz, Saunders, Kendrick, etc., like last year?

    1. Agree…..Dan Duquette will not let him go for a lousy 30 something pick in the ’19 draft. I’d like to see Klentak take on Machado and Trumbo’s contract and also receive their CBA pick ..perhaps for Doobie, Franco, Kilome, Alfaro and ToJo ..maybe they will bite.

      1. At least MacPhail and Dan Lozano have worked together in the past on Machado’s first bonus contract in 2010. If the Os are obliging to a Phillies offer, then do a sign and trade.

        1. Romus … The only reason NBA players do sign-and-trades is because it’s a way for them to get the most money allowed under the CBA and still get to play for the team they actually want to play for. MLB has no rules (like the NBA’s Bird exception) that make it monetarily beneficial for players to resign with their current team.
          I can’t think of a single instance of a sign-and-trade in baseball. They would only be a benefit for the teams in MLB. Star players would get no perks by doing a sign-and-trade, and agreeing to bypass free agency.

          1. Yes thats correct.
            But when was the last time every day/position players of this magnitude went into free agency at such a young age, as Machado and Harper are about to be doing.
            Technically, if the Os permitted MacPhail and Lozano to negotiate on a contingency basis in that the Os were acceptable to the offer and would approve the trade, if the agent and other party come to an agreement….., there is no regulation or CBA ruling that will prevent that from happening.
            At least I did not see anything in the CBA in Article IV -Negotiation and Approval of Contracts…..or anything in the tampering area that would prevent that from occurring.
            I have not looked into the MLB Rules so not sure if ti is addressed there.

            1. Romus … your question is a good one: “when was the last time every day/position players of this magnitude went into free agency at such a young age, as Machado and Harper are about to be doing” ? It’s also the reason why no agent in his right mind would ok a sign-and-trade for MM or Bryce Harper. Why allow a young superstar to negotiate with one team, when he can negotiate with every team in 12 months ? As you mentioned, never have superstar players this age hit free agency. There’s no telling how much money these guys can sign for once the Phillies, Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers, Rangers, etc. lock horns for their services.
              It’s not a matter that league rules prevent sign-and-trades. It’s a matter of it isn’t wise for the player to do it.

      2. Nobody believes me, but Angelos won’t let DD trade Machado or Jones this winter. They’re going to make one last run with their current group. If they’re out of it in August, they’ll trade them. It would actually work out better for the Phillies if the O’s deal MM next summer. This way, he won’t cost the Phillies a second round draft pick when he signs as a FA next winter.

        1. And they will get little if any value for him in August…he will be a rental..
          If I were Duquette the bidding would start in 5 weeks at the meetings.

        2. Good point Hinkie

          “This way, he won’t cost the Phillies a second round draft pick when he signs as a FA next winter.”

        3. For what it’s worth, I believe you Hinkie. I don’t think Angelos will trade MM no matter what. He’s determined to win with the team he has. He will hang on to MM for the 2nd rd draft pick.

          1. Yes. Peter Angelos is 88 YO. He probably doesn’t have time for a rebuild. Instead, he’s ordering Dan Duquette to add some pitching and make one more run at a championship with their current core. Is this the smartest path to take ? I don’t think it is. The Orioles should have started selling off their stars (MM, Adam Jones, Zach Britton, and Brad Brach will all be FA’s after the 2018 season) in August. However, I don’t own the team. Angelos does, and he sees 2018 as his last best chance to win a WS.

            1. I believe this too. It reminds me of all the desperate things the Jets tried to do before Leon Hess died. The good news is that it means he will more likely be there and available as a free agent.

              By the way, on an unrelated point, my reservations about Gable “Welcome Back ” Kapler are all with the caveat that I hope I’m wrong about him and I love what the team is trying to do and I love that he is all about developing talent. I am not complaining about the hire. I think they need to try this and I hope that Kapler can keep a cool head as he grows to realize that all of his pushing and prodding aside, he’s only going to change the way players think and prepare so much and being an MLB manager means there are going to be things he doesn’t like a lot that he’s going to have to live with or compromise on. That said, his presence almost guarantees that hard-working, aggressive players like Kingery are going to get their shot and be featured on this team going forward and that’s a good thing. The sooner the next generation of Phillies’ stars is established, the better.

      3. Romus…, if we take Davis in lieu of Trumbo, we can get Machado for much less. I’m thinking Franco, Williams, Thompson, and maybe serathorny Dominguez, or nick Fanti.

        1. Andrew…..taking on Davis’ contract thru 2022 is really risky and what do you do with him?
          Trumbo may not be a lot in return value but it is only for two more years and he has played plenty more OF corners then Davis has.
          Both are the same age

          1. I know it’s risky. You would have 3 options. Let him play 2018 and if he continues to suck, cut him. Let him play, see if he does well, then flip him in July, eating a portion of contract. Or lastly, if he does well, he plays.

            But the main reason for taking on that contract, is to soften the blow of who we have to give up for machado. We can probably nab their comp pick as well as international pool money too.

  29. I honestly don’t think the Non Spanish speaking Manager is a big deal . . 2 summers ago I coached a kid who knew little English however it was actually fairly simple to communicate with him in terms of baseball conversation. I don’t think that’s a big deal. There have been plenty of teams who won the WS w a heavy LA presence that wasn’t coached by someone who spoke Spanish.

    1. Correct me if i am wrong….but a majority of MLB teams have at least one Hispanic speaking coach on their staff of 8 or 9…..and I think most times the coach is Latin American born. There are probably 3/4 who don’t…White Sox and Reds are two I am aware of, maybe a few more…but many teams must see the value with that.

  30. Interesting discussion on language. I don’t think language is a big deal. I agree that all teams have a sufficient number of people who speak Spanish on their teams. They have also paid a lot of attention to English instruction for the Latino players. What a manager must be aware of is the different cultures among the Latino players. Baseball is played mainly in the culturally Caribbean areas of the world. In that sense the islands in the Atlantic and the Caribbean have always loved baseball and it is their main sport. You can include Venezuela because it is also influenced by Caribbean culture. Most Colombian players come from the Caribbean coast of that country. Very little of Mexico touches on the Caribbean. In Mexico the main sport is now soccer; however, it has long been influenced by US culture and loves baseball also. To lump all Latino players as one group ignores the fact that each player is different in some ways outside of baseball. Managers need to know those differences. It is not necessary for them to speak Spanish, but they should be consulting their Latino coaches and advisers, who understand the differences and can make them aware on the best way to treat players. I hope I see Latino coaches in the new staff assembled by Gabe Kaplan.
    I played on a Class A amateur team in Puerto Rico for a year. I was a teacher and spoke Spanish, so my experience was probably different from players who come here from other Spanish-speaking countries. It was a richly rewarding experience and I enjoyed it immensely. Our manager made sure that we bonded as a team by having dinner on the Saturdays before Sunday double-headers to make sure that everyone got a good share of rice and beans and chicken while we watched Mexican movies of the 40s and 50s. I get the impression that the Phillies take this into their approach to their Latino players. That is comforting.

  31. I don’t see the Phils trading for Stanton, I don’t see the Orioles trading Machado (even though they should), and I don’t see any Japanese pitchers signing with Philly. I do however believe the Phils will trade Galvis and Hernandez. They’ll want JP (and everyone else) to know the SS job is his and that the 2B job is Kingery’s in June. I think they’ll try to sign a starter like Cobb or Chatwood plus get one in a Cesar trade, by adding in one of our top minor league pitchers (Medina, Kilome, or Romero). It wouldn’t surprise me to see them bring Neshak back either. Otherwise, that’s it, no other moves. We’ll see but with the Eagles winning, and the Sixers pointing upward, it’s time for the Phils to start winning next year.

    1. I’m buying most of what Murray is selling:
      * Phillies are not trading for Stanton (and that contract). Better to spend that kind of money on the 2019 FA class (Machado, and Garrett Richards and Zach Britton if they prove they’re healthy in 2018).
      * No way the Orioles trade Manny Machado this winter.
      * I would way overpay Darvish on a short term contract (3 yrs @ 135 million) if I gathered intel stating Otani would really love to play with Darvish.
      * Cesar has to be traded this winter. Next winter’s FA class includes Daniel Murphy, Ian Kinsler, Brian Dozier, Logan Forsythe, and DJ LeMeheau. Good luck get any value for CeHe then.
      * I would start the season with Freddy Galvis as my starting 2Bman before bringing Kingery up. Galvis can be used as a deadline trade chip (not saying he’ll bring back a lot) if the Phillies aren’t in contention for a playoff spot.
      * The Phillies system is really deep in pitching prospects. I would have no problem with including one/a couple/a few in a CeHe deal for a young (preferably LH) MLB arm. What prospects I would be ok with trading depends on who is coming back. I would only include Romero or Medina for someone like Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Chris Archer, or even Blake Snell. I don’t like Fulmer, but do like Daniel Norris and Tyler Skaggs (but not enough to include Medina or Romero).

      The other thing Murray didn’t mention, but should be done is extend Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, Aaron Altherr, and even Rhys Hoskins to team friendly extensions. Many posters here cringe at the Eickhoff extension after his down season. I see it as the perfect time to get a team friendly contract signed with a guy I feel is the pitcher we saw in his first two seasons in Philly (dependable, MOR, workhorse).

      1. I would only sign Nola of that list of guys and Otani will almost definitely sign with an AL team so he can hit, with money being about the same. Everyone needs to accept that fact. Also, Cesar and Kilome are not getting you any of the pitchers you want. You have to look for a notch lower guy and a last year of contract guy. I hope I’m wrong.

        1. AL clubs may tell Otani they’ll let him DH, but I doubt they’ll actually risk injury to him DH’ing and running the bases. At least by signing with a NL club, Otani is assured of batting every fifth day. NL clubs can also promise to let him be the primary PH for the pitcher in games he does not start.
          Also, I think you misread my post. I said I would include Romero and/or Medina in any deal for Stroman, Sanchez, Archer, and even Snell. I also said I like Skaggs and Norris, but would not make Romero or Medina available in a deal for either of those guys.

            1. Glad to know you’re positive Otani will sign with an AL club. No one else seems to have any idea where he’ll end up. The universal opinion is … Otani’s future is on the mound. He’s a superstar pitcher, but he projects to be an average hitter (at best) in MLB. DH’s are big bats. They are run producers. If you believe: A) Otani is going to hit enough to justify using him as a DH, and B) an AL team is going to risk his health letting him run the bases as a DH, then I can understand your certainty that he’ll end up with an AL club. The SF Giants won’t even allow Madison Bumgarner to participate in HR Derbys out of fear he could injure himself. That’s just the mindset of the people signing the paychecks. I’m not making any predictions where Otani plays next season. I’m just saying there’s a good chance he’ll end up getting more AB’s as an NL pitcher than an AL pitcher.

    1. Curt Schilling needs to just go away. Nobody cares what he thinks.The hatred he vomits is disgusting. He would only be an embarrassment to MLB and any team who would hire him.
      Not to get too political, but the only place Schilling might find employment, at this point, is the WH.

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