How Do You Like Them Transactions?

The baseball off season went from tepid to boiling this week.  Prior to Baseball’s Winter Meetings in Orlando, the free agent and trading markets were stagnant.

Shohei Otani’s surprise decision to begain his MLB career with the Anaheim Angels and the New York Yankees’ pilfering of Giancarlo Stanton from their AAA affiliate Miami Marlins (too much? AA?) kick started some hot stove activity during the meetings as the market for free agent relief pitchers heated up as well as some trades involving position players.

For all intents and purposes, the meetings had appeared to end Thursday with the major and minor league’s Rule 5 Draft.  At that point, the Phillies had signed two right-handed, free agent relievers – Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter, lost OF Carlos Tocci in the Rule 5 Draft, selected and flipped RHP Nick Burdi from the Twins to the Pirates for some international bonus money, and finally announced the final piece of their coaching staff Jose Flores.  Not the type of winter meetings that Phillies’ fans had counted on.

Then all hell broke loose on Friday, especially for Phillies fans.

First, the long-awaited trade of one of the Phillies’ incumbent  middle infielders was announced when SS Freddy Galvis was shipped to San Diego for RHP Enyel De Los Santos. Before the dust could settle on that announcement, the Phillies were reported to have signed the first non-catcher, position player, free agent 1B Carlos Santana.

Now we get to debate 1.) what this means to the everyday line up and 2.) what can we expect during the next couple of days, weeks, months.

First, let me say that I would have really liked for these two big announcements to have occurred while I was in Orlando.  But, at least they happened.  And, second, apologies to Matt Damon’s character in Good Will Hunting for the weak paraphrase used in the title.

Okay, and this shouldn’t really matter in how we fans receive the news of all these transactions, but all the comments and analysis that I’ve seen on the Phillies’ moves by industry types has been positive.  Some thought that they overpaid slightly for the relievers and later for Santana, but sometimes that is the cost to get a player to come to a losing/rebuilding team.  I have to admit that I don’t so much care about the dollars spent, but I am happy with the length of the contracts negotiated.

Now, a look at the transactions and the players involved.

  1. Pat Neshek –  First reported early in the week on December 13th, finalized Friday.  $4M signing bonus, $5.75M in 2018 and 2019, with a $7M club option in 2020 or a $750K buyout and a $500K each time he is traded.  Neshek pitched well enough for the Phillies in 2016 to warrant a trade to the Rockies for their playoff run.  The 37-year old returned SS Jose Gomez, RHP J.D. Hammer, and RHP Alejandro Requena  in the deadline deal.   In 62.1 IP, Neshek posted a 1.59 ERA, with 6 BB (0.9 BB/9) and 69 K (10.0 K/9).
  2. Tommy Hunter – Reported after an earlier announcement of trade for Addison Reed was erroneously reported, also on the 13th, and also finalized Friday.  $6M signing bonus, $6M  in 2018 and $6M in 2019.  Hunter posted a 2.61 ERA, 2.1 BB/9, and 9.8 K/9 in 58.2 IP. The 31-year old turns 32 in early July, so the 2018 season will be his age 31 season.
  3. On Thursday, the final day of the meetings, the Phillies announced that they had hire Jose Flores as their first base coach and baserunning/infield instructor.   Flores had previously served as the Chicago Cubs’ minor league infield coordinator for the previous five years.  He also served two years as the manager of Puerto Rico’s national team.
  4. Long-time Phuture Phillies’ discussion topic, Carlos Tocci, was chosen by the Chicago White Sox with the fourth pick in the Rule 5 Draft.  The Sox promptly flipped Tocci to the Texas Rangers for cash.  Tocci was signed by the Phillies in 2011 for a reported $759K signing bonus.
  5. The Phillies selected RHP Nick Burdi of the Minnesota Twins with the third pick in the Rule 5 Draft.  They traded the 24-year old to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a reported $500K international bonus money.
  6. Enyel De Los Santos – The Phillies traded SS Freddy Galvis to the San Diego Padres for RHP Enyel De Los Santos.  The 28-year old Galvis was entering his final arbitration year and is projected to earn $7.4M.  And, he blocked Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford.  De Los Santos pitched for AA San Antonio in the Texas League.  He was the Padres #13 prospect (MLB) and projects to be the Phillies #9 prospect (MLB).  He made 24 starts in 26 appearances, posted a 10-6 record in 150 IP, with a 3.78 ERA, 2.9 BB/9, 8.3 K/9, 1.193 WHIP,  and a mid 90s FB touching 97 mph.
  7. Carlos Santana – This was completely under the radar.  The deal is for a reported $60M for three years with a $17.5M club option for a fourth year.  1B Santana is a career .249/.365/.445/.810 coming off a .259/.363/.455/.818 2017 season.  He hit 23 HR and 79 RBI in 154 games/667 plate appearances.  He posted a 3.4 WAR.  Since becoming a full time player in 2011, Santana has played in fewer than 152 games only once, 143 in 2012. He has remarkable plate discipline, walking almost as much as he strikes out – 592 BB to 650 K  in 3952 PA the last 6 seasons.  He has made over 600 PA in each of the past 7 seasons.  Much will be made of the DH expanding Santana’s stats, but he was used as a DH in only 7 games last season.  He also played RF 7 times.  Santana broke in as a catcher but hasn’t played the position since 2014 due to concussion issues.  The deal will cost the Phillies their 2nd round pick (and the bonus money assigned to the pick) and $500K in international bonus money.

After all the above, the 40-man roster stands at 40 players: 38 + Neshek + Hunter – Galvis + Santana.

So, while we wait for the proverbial other shoe to drop (one or more starting pitchers in this case), what does this mean for the 2018 Phillies.

I expect that the Santana signing means that Tommy Joseph’s days are numbered. Barring a trade, I don’t see how he starts the season anywhere other than Lehigh Valley.

Recent talk has hinted that the Phillies might go with an 8-man bullpen.  But even if they continue with a 7-man pen, there are only 5 spots on the bench.  Let’s assume a line up of either Knapp or Alfaro as the starting catcher, Santana at first base, Hernandez at second, Crawford at shortstop, Franco at third, and an outfield consisting of Hoskins, Herrera, and Williams.  That leaves Alfaro/Knapp as the back up catcher, a back up middle infielder (say Florimon or Valentin if either is healthy), Altherr as the fourth outfielder. Since Hoskins and Knapp can both play first base, the first base only Joseph is in jeopardy. One of the two remaining spots will likely go to a player who can play both infield and outfield.  The final spot has long been rumored down here to be for a veteran third catcher to help with the young pitching staff.  A guy like A.J. Ellis.  His name kept popping up, but he has signed with the Marlins.

Note that the contracts of Neshek and Hunter front load bonuses in the 2018 season. This will keep “cap” space free for Machado and Harper when calculating AAV after the 2018 season.

Most of the speculation above will be rendered moot if/when a starting pitcher or two is acquired.

As for speculation on starting pitchers, the Phillies are being associated with every FA pitcher who has two arms as long as the Phillies have deep pockets.  A trade would hopefully bring a controllable pitcher or two to the team at the cost of Hernandez and some of our surplus prospects.

129 thoughts on “How Do You Like Them Transactions?

  1. Love the moves! Also love how you put Altherr as our 4th OF’er. I love Williams as a starter. Ready for the season!! Hopefully with a new SP or two! I think VV makes an intriguing bullpen piece.

  2. Disagree on Altherr. Much better player than Williams who, along with perhaps Cesar and maybe Alfaro could be flipped as soon as immediately.

    1. Love the Santana signing. I was secretly hoping they might add a bat at first and shift Hoskins to left. Just does wonders for the line-up. Wow!!!

      1. I was shocked. We normally are quite reluctant to sign any high priced position players. This allows Rhys ‘Bull Luzinski’ Hoskins to move to a position for which his skills are more aptly suited. I think it’s a good signing, now, we need to do that same kind of deal, but with a starting pitcher.

        1. I disagree that Hoskins is better suited to play LF than 1B, but I suppose he carries on the organization’s proud tradition of placing lead-footed power hitters out there.

          1. one of the guys on mlb tonight last night picked Hoskins as his 2017 breakout player, and they were showing video of him playing left- i realize they have had guys out there like that before, but you dont see it very much today. for that reason, im not as excited about the Santana move as many others are.

    2. Agreed, much better hitter and defender. Even if he regresses he has value as a 4th outfielder next year when Harper, Pollock, etc are free agents.

      Just looking at the context clues with this front office, they want guys that control the strike zone. Williams isn’t that guy. Now, this obviously all depends on the market for SP but I’d imagine they try to trade him for a Archer, Fulmer, Duffy, or Cole while including multiple starters not named Sixto Sanchez or (probably) Kingery.

      My line up for opening day looks like (as of now)


      With a bench of:

      Florimon (can fills backup infielder/5th outfielder role)
      Valentine (UT infielder)
      Quinn (4th OF/def replacement for Hoskins) could be swapped out for a power lh bat like a Seth Smith

      1. Meanwhile i would have Kingery in AAA getting reps at 2B, 3B, and all OF positions and bring him up in May/June and use him as a Ben Zobrist/Ian Happ type role (baring a trade of Cesar during the off-season that forces him into a starting role on OD).

      2. I assume you expect Knapp to be included in a trade? Alfaro starting at C and Rupp as the bench catcher.

    3. @ Catch and Troll, I didn’t mean to imply that Williams would/should start over Altherr. I thought about going back and typing either or like I did with Knapp and Alfaro before posting but was too lazy. The point wasn’t necessarily the starters, but the bench and Joseph’s lack of a role on it.

      1. So many PAs are available in the outfield. Relatively simple these days to play 4 outfielders regularly, not to mention that neither Williams nor Altherr have earned full time gigs yet.

        I think this roster has a lot of changes coming yet. I still would not be surprised to see Herrera, Franco, Rupp, and/or Cesar moved. Of that group, I’d be most inclined to retain Franco given we would be selling low on a player whose value can be predictably higher 6 months from now. In addition to these players you merely need to peruse the 40-man to see the abundance of fringe starters.

        Klentak certainly made me happy yesterday, but if remaining moves are unsubstantial from here on out, I will have plenty negative to say. I’m predicting many moves remaining – would guess no less than 10 roster (40-man) moves remaining between now and April

      2. Jim – makes sense. I’ve just always liked Williams. AA gets hurt too much. He is a polarizing player though.

    4. Totally agree catch, Altherr is underrated here and much more valuable than Nick. I love having them both as options but Altherr is a better defender, better baserunner, and rhh power that can play cf if needed. his only knock and it’s a legit one, is his ability to stay on the field.

  3. This opens up a ton of possibilities. One of the OFers are def on the move now, I would think. Could package one with Kingery or Hernandez and whatever 3rd (or 4th piece) and bring back a real quality pitcher. That IMHO makes us a wild card contender NEXT year.

      1. Giving MK a solid A- for the offseason thus far. One good, well thought-out move after the next. Love what I’m seeing.

        1. Catch – I disagree with you. I give him a B+. Needs a starting pitcher or two. Also Williams will have a longer and more effective career than AA.

          1. If it gets you Machado then I’ll take the risk that he’ll produce like or better than how he has his past 2 years for the next 3-4.

            1. But if Cesar is that good…..will you be able to pay both Cesar and Manny top dollar without busting the luxury tax??? 😉

            2. You could prob buy out and extend him right now for a reasonable amount 4 years 35m would be a ball park offer.

  4. Jim, I’m elated tonight with White Friday going down today for our Phightins…Santana was my #1 on the wish list!!!! Loved the reliever pickups, happy for Freddie to go play and bring us a prospect SP!!! Love our OF depth now, but understand one will be used as trade bait…80 W’s this year, a run for Harper/Machado, in that order and a wildcard/Div playoff berth in 19′ and then we get Trout in 20′ and win it all!! U heard it here Phirst!! See ya in a couple months buddy!! PS, can’t wait for Kingery to come aboard (Natural Leader)!!!

  5. Great job Jim Macphail always said buy the bats . K think he might have too buy some starting pitching.

  6. Ho! Ho! Ho! Santana Claus is being very good to us all of a sudden.

    As I anticipate the trade for an arm, and all the speculation of positional flexibility, I don’t see Cesar playing anywhere other than 2b – either for the Phillies, Tigers (Fulmer), Rays (Archer), Royals (Duffy) or less likely Pirates (Cole). I see him packaged with an OF and possibly either Joseph or Rupp.

    Have we discounted the possibility of a deal with Texas to bring back Hamels while also signing a second tier FA SP? Just a thought. (Rangers’ GM Daniels loves Doobie and VV.)

    1. You think Daniels would move Hamels though? I know Odorizzi can be had, as can DSalazar. Both have decent upside and Odorizzi in particular is a likely rebound candidate. I think perhaps you can probably supplement Cesar with one of the fringe starters You have can Odorizzi for two years who might become a QO candidate (something Cesar will likely never ascend to)

    2. Odubel Herrera is way more valuable than Cole Hamels at this point. I’d be loathe to even deal Velasquez for him at this point. VV is 25 and one season removed from a 3.67 xFIP and 10.44 K/9. He struggled big time last year, but was fighting injuries. I love Cole, but he’ll be 34 when the season starts and coming off his worst season.

      I’m all for bringing Hamels back as a lefty in the rotation, but not if it costs us anything of value.

      1. I think VV has the potential to be dynamic out of the pen, and we’ve all see how that value of even 7th inning guys has skyrocketed. I’d be happy to let him compete for a rotation spot this spring, but if he can’t earn a spot I would be inclined to pull the trigger on a switch to the pen

        1. I agree. He’s got closer stuff. I still think he can be effective, with some runs of lights-out, in the rotation, however.

    3. I’m all about putting together a package for Fulmer or Cole. Nick Williams, Cesar Hernandez and Kilome/Medina?

      1. Detroit should happily take that exchange for Fulmer.
        You do mean Kilome or Medina……or both Kilome and Medina?

        1. One or the other. Not both.

          Add one of those young pitchers and a FA (there’s still a part of me holding out hope for Arrieta or Darvish) and you’ve got a WC contender.


          Nola/Fulmer or Cole/FA/Eickhoff/Pivetta or VV (yes, missing a lefty)

      2. something slightly more than this could net duffy, i would imagine. need a lefty in there to balance this out a bit. i still want the phils to sign liriano; i know he’s not the big, sexy name anymore, but Ive always liked his stuff and his velo is still pumpin at age 34 so…lets do it

  7. Why doesn’t signing Santana also cost the Phillies a 5th round pick in the Rule 4 in June, along with the 2nd round pick…and according to the CBA, it was $1M in it’l money?

    1. Romus,
      My understanding is that the penalty you mention above is applicable for teams who have surpassed the CBT threshold and have had to pay the penalty for such.

  8. Certainly another shoe will drop. This move changes the team’s dynamics. Does anyone know if Santana is a veteran leader type, personality wise? His batting skill of taking pitches and getting his walks will remind us of Werth, good for the young players to learn from. Galvis had to go to free up JP’s mind as the starter. Great move. Cesar can stay for now I guess. More moves to come

    1. According to Dan Plesac or Ron Darling, yesterday….Santana is a leader in the clubhouse…..but that could have been ‘announcer speak’.

      1. Dan Plesac is a horse owner. He loves the trotters. He would bet at off track on packer ave. Nice guy,

  9. It has been years since the Phillies signed a significant free agent. How long have we fans been standing on the sidelines as the mega teams have been making headlines? Seemingly forever. I live in Red Sox Nation and have lived under its cloud since the demise of the 2011 Phillies. A ray of sunshine just appeared.

    Do NOT bring back and oldie but goodie like Cole. I do not want to sniff an iota of 2008 ten years later. A new era has begun.

  10. Odd and intriguing metrics for Santana:
    2017…….14% K rate…….13% BB rate……slash….259/.363/.455
    Career…..17% K rate……15% BB rate……slash….249/.365/.445
    …..looks like he is willing to take a walk…low BA, with low K rate for a power guy, would seem to indicate to me he gets his bat on the ball with two strikes.
    But just to get contact….Werth style I assume, since he has strength, vs Ben Revere style.
    Which is good for the young guys to see.
    However, Santana has one flaw it does appear…one of which is his GDP….he is not fleet of foot.
    His BABIP is almost always less than .300….but his ISO is decent averaging between .190 and .210 over his career,
    ….and his career wRC+ of approx 120/123 is very good.

  11. I love the moves. I crossed Santana off my mental list in the beginning of the offseason, because I thought CLE wouldn’t let him go, and/or the FO wanted Hoskins at first full-time. Goes to show you, that the FO is serious about positional flexibility, which I really like, and agree with. Don’t be surprised if they try to put Santana at 3rd. I don’t see it, but its not out of the question with their philosophy.

    What I really like about the signing is how it sets up Franco. This is it for him. He needs to show he is part of the CORE, or he will be replaced by signing Machado/Donaldson. The pressure just got turned up on him. You can’t slide him to 1st anymore, and he is not OF material, so unless he can play Catcher … he needs a big season, one in which he controls the strikezone. Preferrably, I hope he does well and is flipped, much like one of our OFers and 2nd base will be for pitching.

    A lot of ways this can go… but it makes you think … was that Arrietta chatter real or agent bs? I learned towards agent bs before… but now I am thinking it might not be all bullturkey…

    1. Santana at 3B is a non-starter. Not gonna happen. And I don’t want Arrietta. He will command a hefty salary but is on the wrong end of his career. No thanks.

  12. another note… I’m loving the idea of Hoskins and Santana SO/Walk rates…. If the Phillies could get a lineup like 93 again, where they had 4-5 guys with 100 walk seasons… that would be a fun season… looks like they might have 3 in Crawford, Hoskins, and Slamtana. At the very least… pitchers are going to have fit going through Hoskins and Santana .. if Crawford can continue to develop.. that is will piss a lot of pitchers off in pressure situations.

        1. A fact that is never even mentioned in the movie. (They also had the late Corey Lidle pitch something like four straight scoreless starts during that 20-game winning streak).

          The need for starting pitching is profound. That’s why a FA signing AND a trade for a young starter is very important in the coming weeks.

          1. But if you watch the movie you can pick out which one is supposed to be him pretty easily. The actor actually looks a lot like him. Prob not a credit for “Corey Lidle” tho.

          2. Yea, I always found it funny that the movie never mentioned the real reason that team made the playoff run, Hudson, Mulder, Zito.

  13. Everyone seems so excited on the Santana signing, maybe it was just the idea of a free agent signing finally by Klentak. I am always just a little concerned on moving over to the NL after all the time in the AL. I understand CS has an excellent OB percentage, walking a ton. Will he be much different though then TJ, especially running the bases? Both GIDP at a high rate. Also, defensively, is he an real good first baseman? I have a lot of questions about this move, 3 yrs, 60 million, for a 32 year old AL player. Just hope we don’t get stuck with a down sided player. I complained previous that Klentak showed little risk ability. I see this as an extremely high risk acquisition.

    1. He is not a burner on the bases but once he gets going he can move.
      His last few years his oWAR has dipped a little from prior to ’15 ,but he does and can hit a lot of doubles averaging 34 over his career….and close to that same average over the last three years were his oWAR has trended down.

    2. I may be mistaken but I think we payed a little more in annual salary to keep the years down.
      most players like Santana would have gotten 4 years.
      id rather go 3 yr at 60
      than 4 years at say 70
      keeps our longterm commitment down
      same with releavers. a lot of releavers got 3 yrs, the ones we signed are for 2

      1. Without a doubt. With all three signings, the Phillies paid a premium in annual salary to save a year on the contract duration and reduce the long term commitment. Smart move, IMO.

    3. The Santana signing reminds me of the Ibanez pickup back in ’09 with the exception that that was not a rebuild situation. The former doesn’t hit for the batting average Raul did but compensates with his OBP. Santana’s power will play up at CBP. Ibanez’ leadership was significant, though he joined a veteran club. Santana’s will be more important on this you get group. I’ll take .265/.375/.485 with 25 homers and 90 rbi. And a steady glove at 1b.

  14. Oh, one final comment. Watching Jim Salisbury this morning, he mentioned with these moves yesterday that a wild card playoff possibility isn’t out of the question. I think there are still more moves on the table before we advance our thinking that far. Putting a team together with so many moving pieces, who knows how this all work out during the season?

  15. The Phils will be connected to every possible pitcher now. Duffy, Archer, Cole, and Fulmer come to mind. The tigers seem like a real possibility to me but so do the Royals. As it relates to FA pitching now, signing one (Cobb, Lynn, Arrieta) would only cost 3rd rd pick, not 2nd since it’s already gone. I’ll bet Phils are offering high salary 3 year deals to pitchers. Imagine the team if we traded for a pitcher and signed a pitcher now.

  16. A note from Jim Salisbury…the Giants showed some ineterst in Maikel Franco over the meetings. I would hate for the Phillies to just give him away….he could certainly be a viable part of the future core if he gets his hitting approach squared away….and Manny does not get here.

  17. Duffy would be fourth on my list of those 4. I wonder what it would take to get Salazar? I have to give Klentak credit. I was waiting for something, and the Santana move was certainly a bold one. The next move could put them in a position to challenge for a WC, assuming the natural progression of the young players and a little luck.

    1. Duffy would be a nice pickup…will not come cheap since he was one of the better LHPs in the AL. He had his elbow cleaned so his velo should pick up, maybe to where it was a few years ago.

  18. Either VV or Pivetta will be in the pen sooner than later. Anybody’s guess which one but you can bank on it. My guess is VV but either will be successful in that role

    1. How about ‘Smooth’? Of course, Rob Thomas’ voice would be heard. But the guitar solo could be used.

    1. Nah. Signed a couple of right-handed relievers, lost Tocci to Rule 5, traded Galvis for a minor league, double A pitcher, and signed a free agent first baseman.

        1. These were no huge overpays. A WAR is worth about $6 milliion or so. All of the players are being paid about what their value would suggest. But the team is nowhere close to a luxury tax so these dollars do not prevent further spending, so whether they get paid a little more or less is almost irrelevant to the fan.

          1. @Catch. I agree wholeheartedly. I was just playin’ along with Hinkie, sort of tongue in cheek. BTW, it’s been a while since one of your comments was diverted to spam. Maybe Akismet was able to find and correct the cause.

    2. They got what I expected for Freddy. I was more than surprised by the Santana signing. I’ve been on here swearing there was no way Klentak would hand out a multi year contract to a hitter.
      On Santana: Definitely brings what Klentak craves (high OBP). Hate losing a 2nd round pick in a loaded 2018 draft, but the fact that they didn’t include a “no trade” makes up for that. Hopefully, Klentak buys a comp pick from a team looking to shed salary or a team in need of a couple of AAAA arms.
      Also, the Santana signing could help the Phillies put together a package strong enough to bring back a really good, young, controllable starter. They can offer something like CeHe, Nick Williams, and a pitching prospect for one of Toronto’s young arms (Aaron Sanchez or Marcus Stroman) either this winter or (more likely) this summer.

      1. But all along they’ve said they would buy bats. That was their mantra when MacPhail took control. They’ve actually done almost everything they said they would do. Perhaps not as quickly as some would like, but they are following their stated plan thus far. I absolutely love this signing. Just like that they have a really formidable middle of the lineup with high OBP sluggers. Add the OBP of guys like Crawford to the top of the line-up with either Cesar and Kingery and, man, this team is going to score some runs!

  19. interesting move by the Braves and Dodgers. Essentially, both Kemp and Gonzalez get waived next week. $ is equal, and Braves get Kazmir and McCarthy for doing the deal. Dodgers get under Luxury threshold.

    1. matt13……….’Joel Sherman of NY Post noted there’s a “slim chance” Kemp will actually wear a Los Angeles uniform in 2018, as the team could attempt to sell off his contract in an effort to save something from the $43 million he’s owed over the next two years. However, Kemp has trended down a lot these last few years, but if Kemp remains in Los Angeles after the trade, manager Dave Roberts will have one more player to work into the outfield mix next season. The Dodgers already have Enrique Hernandez, Joc Pederson, Chris Taylor, Alex Verdugo and Yasiel Puig to plug into right field, center field and left field.

    2. Was a financial move.

      Braves take on more 2018 money and get rid of some 2019 money. Dodgers get closer to the luxury tax threshold for 2018…

      1. That Dodgers-Braves trade allows the Dodgers to reset their luxury tax clock and become players in next years’ historic FA derby without costing them the most severe luxury tax penalties (higher tax rate, loss of higher draft picks, and loss of more J2 dollars). The Yankees were in the same boat (multiple years over the threshold). They have also gotten under the cap for 2018, and allows them to also avoid the most severe penalties if/when they go back over next offseason.
        What does all of this mean ? It means MM, Bryce Harper, maybe even Clayton Kershaw at this point, and the rest of the top soon-to-be FA’s are in no way going to be interested in negotiating a LTC now/this coming season. Almost all the fiscal heavyweights of MLB have positioned themselves to be able to spend freely/like mad men next winter. No telling what these guys may end up making when the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Phillies, Cubs, Rangers, White Sox, Angels, Mariners, and Blue Jays start bidding against each other.

  20. Imagine the runs if Santana could play 3rd. Hos at first. I don’t really think it was a great move unless he can. But hey, what do I know, lol I like Cesar at 2B.

  21. Pitcher of choice? Fulmer is the youngest but I prefer Archer because he’s thrown 200 innings several times and is controlled. A package of one of the OFs, Cesar, maybe Lively, and maybe even a young arm like new guy De Los Santos should be very attractive to these other teams. If we can trade for Archer, Cole or Fulmer, and then also sign Cobb, Lynn or Arrieta, it will be a very interesting season.

    1. I’m on board with that, Murray.
      One trade and one FA signing are so doable for Klentak. These are teed up for him. Now swing!

    1. Add Stroman to the discussion. I think Klentak will take his package and offer it around to the various teams with pitchers we’d like and see who bites.

      1. 1.Herrera, 2. Cesar and 3. Kilome or Pivetta should get the Jays at least thinking about it and let them make the decision
        Cardianls have been asking about Donaldson, andoffering some good OFers in the exchange and prospect pitchers…so they will have some decisions to think over whether they want to ‘ re-tool ‘ or just go for it all in 2018 against a loaded Yankees, now adding CC again, and Sox teams..

    2. Romus,

      From the article you posted: “The Phillies have a surplus of major-league ready outfielders, with Odubel Herrera, Rhys Hoskins, Aaron Altherr and Nick Williams all on the roster.”

      Notice the subtle way Hoskins has already become an outfielder?

  22. phils sign liriano and trade for duffy. you heard it here first, hehe. i still dont know where i stand on the Altherr vs Williams discussion, but KC will want Herrera in the deal for Duffy anyway, so AA and NW may both start if Odubel is leaving. i always thought Altherr’s approach and compoition was Lorenzo Cain esque, but i seriously doubt he reaches Cain’s level. Williams’ rookie campaign was nothing to scoff at either, and now with full seasons of Santana and Hoskins ahead of him I think he can take a huge leap forward. So pumped to see how this all plays out!

    1. My preference is Herrera because I don’t think he’s a winning player, but that’s me. Liriano? Why? And Duffy is only a 140-150 inning pitcher. Is that enough for what we’re giving up? Stroman, Archer, and Cole are all 200 inning pitchers.

      1. @murray – i have the same gut feeling about Doobie that’s why I’ve been proposing to trade him since last year since Doobie’s abilities can get some good trade returns. I know that this will drive the WAR people mad, but it’s just my personal opinion.

        Haseley is not my preferred draft pick (I prefer Shane Baz) and I think Haseley can provide the same value as CF by the time the Phils are ready to compete. And I forgot, I’ve been calling for Mike Trout too as the future CF.

      1. Toguh to compare aposition player to pitchers, esspeciallyy starting pitchers.
        But by WAR, if that is what you derive to judge their valued comparison with.
        Dufffy …starting inly 24 of perhaps 33 games, and with a 9-10 record in 2017, had a 3.2bWAR….and since he has been in the rotation with KC from 2014…..12.4bWAR with an average 3.9FIP over the last four years
        Doobie was a 2.2bWAR in 2017 and three career of 10.3bWAR….with just an average wRC+ of 100 for 2017 and a career three year average of 107.

        I think KC would reject Herrera straight up for a starting LHP like Duffy.

        1. whoa many mistakes. anyway
          tough….especially….only….three ‘year ‘ career.
          You get the drift.

        2. Actually, I went and looked at Duffy’s contract situation, which is okay, and he’s controlled but will cost a lot more than Herrera who has similar value. Also, Duffy is going to be 29 next year which diminishes his value. With that, I’d say Herrera is not WAY more valuable, but he is more valuable, although an argument could be made for a straight up deal (which I don’t favor). But adding other truly valuable players (I’m not talking about guys like Jake Thompson and Ben Lively – I mean guys like Medina) in addition to Herrera? No way.

          1. Just read KC may want prospects with higher upside….I assume pitchers like Kilome, Medina or maybe even an Eshelman…..also if the Phillies were to take on Ian Kennedy’s contract in that exhcnage, it would be to Philly’s benefit .
            They are a small market club so their CBA pick would be attractive with its slot money to go along.

    2. i’ll give to you that you say it first, if you want. and I hope that it’s the last time i hear about it. Doobie’s value can fetch at least (or minimum) 2 top arms in terms of prospects. An effective Liriano is basically a Morgan (lefty pen who can pitch multiple innings). Duffy is a good option and the Phils don’t need to give up a valuable piece in Doobie to assemble a trade package to get Duffy. KC will try to acquire Doobie and possible another top arm, but Klentak should just walk away.

      KC can potentially loose Hosmer, Cain and Mous this offseason so there will be holes to fill and being a small market team, KC may prefer cost controlled players. Klentak can just offer AA (of Nick), Franco and ToJo (or a SP like Ben Lively) for Duffy.

      1. They’re not trading Franco. He still has a chance to be good and trading him now would be at his lowest.

        1. We also tend to assume he’ll get better. He might show up at spring training with a new body as has been reported, but he better show up with a new approach at the plate as well.

        2. I think they might trade Franco if he’s the last piece needed to get a player they want, but they probably are not looking to deal him for the reason you mentioned.

    3. The smartest approach to me is to keep all 4 OF and alternate them and Santana at the 3 OF positions and 1B, with a primo PH available in every game and injury insurance. We need a pitcher, but I’d sign Darvish or the second Japanese pitcher as a FA.

  23. Dodgers now owe Kemp 38.5 million over the next two years. What would LA give up to get rid of that contract ? If I’m Klentak, I’d definitely eat that money for Walker Bueheler (though the Dodgers would probably never do that). The other Dodger prospects I might eat 38 million dollars for are Mitchell White, Dustin May, and Keibert Ruiz. I’d also try to steal 18 YO RHP Melvin Jimenez as part of any deal. Gabe Kapler would be a great resource in getting something done, if the Phillies chose to eat Kemp’s money.

    1. @Hinkie – I co-sign with this proposal. I might even sweeten the pot and offer Cesar plus Ben Lively for Kemp (and his $43M contract), Bueheler (or Alvarez), Diaz (or Heredia plus a combo of White, May, Ruiz and Jimenez.

        1. no not enough, maybe for Cesar-Galvis DP combo but Klentak already missed the opportunity when he traded Galvis to the Padres

  24. OF & 1B. Four positions to be filled by five players = 130 games per player, more or less. You have a similar deal between 2B, SS & 3B. My thought is that this is the positional flexibility Klentak is talking about. If one of those outfielders is traded, or is relegated to a bench outfielder, I expect it to be A-Aron. He is the most injury prone of the bunch and has always been undervalued by Phils management. MK has already hinted the bullpen will be at eight, so the other bench pieces look to be Valentin who can play 2B, SS & 3B and Florimon who is IF/OF utility guy.

    1. HariS…..Quinn looks to break camp in March with the team, probably as the 4th OFer….so he is another OFer in the mix…oh, if he is healthy, he will break camp.

      1. Until the Santana signing he was the 4th outfielder. That signing changes everything. I can really see them holding on to Hoskins, Hererra, Williams and Altherr, with Quinn back in AAA or traded. That is, if he isn’t injured (again). No, I don’t see Quinn in the mix at all unless one of the above four is traded.

    2. Agree about Franco. He does deserve another shot. Also about Walding. I’ve watched him since Williamsport. I know exactly what he is. And no, we don’t know for sure if Machado will be signed. BUT, do you take the gamble to get a good pitcher? Walding, or maybe a free agent would only be a placeholder at 3B. If Machado doesn’t sign you go elsewhwere. For the 2018 season are we better with another top pitcher or with Franco. I like Franco, but I would go for Archer.

      1. Franco doesn’t DESERVE another year. He’ll likely get another year since the hunt for Machado won’t begin for another year. Otherwise I would trade Franco to any team willing to bet on his upside/resurgence. That means a respectable return though nothing game changing.

  25. According to Connor Byrne, Evan Longoria is drawing interest from Yankees, Mets, Giants and Cardinals. Chris Archer is being pursued by the Phillies and Astros. So, Maikel Franco and a couple of pitchers for Archer? Could add a 1B or C or another P to the trade if necessary. Lets the Rangers trade Longoria. Phillies could use somebody like Walding as a placeholder 3B for one season.

    1. Giants also need a third basemen,…..and it was reported by JSal. that they have inquired a little about Franco this past week.
      I’d prefer to keep him….he really is changing himself around this off-season from what was reported by Matt K.

      1. im only trading Franco if Machado is coming, but im only slightly optimistic, as I’m always dubious of the “best shape of my life” stuff, and while the OPS was good in july and September, just 9 walks in 50 games after July.

    2. Walding at 3rd would be a disaster. Would make no sense to sign Santana if that was their intention especially when 1 year guys like Frazier, Headley, and even guys like Kendrick and Phillips out there.

      I can’t see them trading Franco. He showed enough in the second half to warrant one last look. If he faulters you can play Kingery or Cesar there and take the defensive hit for a season.

      1. #$% My reply didn’t post where I thought it would. See above. I basically think for a top pitcher it’s worth the risk, whether you use Walding or a FA as your stopgap. The Santana signing IMHO doesn’t make sense unless you also get a good starting pitcher.

  26. Todd Frazier is an excellent FA . He came up as a 2nd baseman so he could be a utility player . I still think Franco can play much better . The pressure is off hm this yr which mite be good.

  27. I am not a big fan of Santana signing. Hoskins in LF for 3 more years is frightening for our crappy pitchers. I do like Carlos’ consistency, but not his age and loss of draft pick. $20M is a bit high but not my money.
    I wanted Hoskins and Crawford to lead the team but I figure Santana will not clash and could help by example, as well as in clubhouse.
    Happy with about any Galvis trade. Had to transfer to JP. Would like to see Kingery get some time at SS in AAA to make him a super-sub.
    Would have preferred McGee to Hunter. I think a cheap Rondon would be better since I’d rather have closer other than Neris. Like Neshak as vet in bullpen who enjoyed Philly. Overpays for both were paid by bonuses, which was creative and smart.
    I think I’d prefer to send Williams, Alfaro, Kilome as trade pieces. Potential is there for each but I like Altherr, “other position guys”, Medina better. I’d also try to throw in Lively as a potential 5th starter to replace the pitcher we try to get.
    In order I’d prefer Archer, Stroman, Cole, Duffy, Corbin, Fulmer. Archer has best salary. Stroman may be best pitcher. Cole most likely to be traded. Corbin would cost the least. Fulmer injury scares me. I’d actually like the Phillies to take analytics risk on some lesser known pitcher and try to get lucky like Cubs Hendricks, Dodgers Wood, Astros Morton.

    1. When it comes to Stroman, and though he sits at 93-94 and has a decent BB/9, my concerns are first his height for a RHP at a generous listing at 5’8″ and secondly, the fact that when he faces the first six batters in the batting order for 2017….the average OBP for those first six batters was .353. with a FIP of jusyt an average of 3.9
      And with all that being said, he had a career high with a 5.8bWAR.
      Go figure.

  28. When they signed Santana they lost 2nd round pick with slot money and $500K international money (awash after trading for $500K earlier). Now my thoughts and hunch goes towards they will be more likely to entertain signing a FA starting pitcher a bit more since the penalty would be the 3rd round pick with slot money. So Arrietta or Darvish could be possible but they are also seen as a risk long term due to age and health issues that could become highly likely towards end of contract (4 or 5 years down road). My preference is to trade for the young controllable starter.

    1. The transactions that involve international money are not a true wash. The $500K they received has to be spent this signing period, a signing period when most of the top prospects are already signed, and goes off the books if not used before the next signing period. The $500K they lost when they signed Santana comes from the next signing period, a signing period where none of the top prospects has signed (although one in which deals may have already been made).

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