Open Discussion: Week of February 4, 2018

Pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater in ten days.  Over a couple dozen players are already here.

The hot  stove flame went out again, and collusion talk has turned to boycott talk.

The Commish has a another new plan for pace of play.

The Phillies signed a utility man, and a pitcher appears to be voluntarily retiring.

Organizational News and Changes

The Phillies signed Adam Rosales to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.  Rosales has played all infield positions as well as some outfield.  He has logged over 1000 innings at 2B, SS, and 3B.  He has a career .974 Fld% at SS.

A day after it was reported that Mark Appel was going to the bullpen, he announced that he was stepping away from baseball for the foreseeable future.  I don’t believe these two items are in any way connected.  Bleacher Report had a nice story, but whoever came up with the title to the article and whoever approved it are jerks.

The players in Clearwater were joined by nine new arrivals, bringing the total up to 31 – Vince Velasquez, Tom Eshelman, Adam Morgan, Mark Leiter, Pedro Beato, Roman Quinn, Edgar Cabral, Mitch Walding, and Jerad Eickhoff.

Pitchers threw from the three mounds between Ashburn and Schmidt Fields on Tuesday. But, moved to the Seven mounds behind the clubhouse on Friday.  Three of the rehabbing pitchers threw off flat ground – Mario Sanchez, Grant Dyer, and Kevin Gowdy.

Phillies’ new bench coach, Rob Thomson, and manager Gabe Kapler were present on Friday.  Several other new faces among the coaches and trainers were also on hand.

Winter Ball

Winter ball stats are available here.  The winter leagues do not include playoff stats or the Caribbean Series.

The only Phillies’ players active in the series are Ranfi Casimiro (DR), Damek Tomscha (PR), and Jesse Valentin (PR) who went 2-5 on Saturday.

Spring Training

The Phillies’ spring training schedule has been released. Their first spring game is at home on Thursday, February 22 v. University of Tampa. Their last game is on Tuesday, March 27th v. Pittsburgh, also at home.  There are two open dates, March 6th and 15th.    

The Phillies’ minor league spring training schedule is available here.

Transactions

Last week, a reader named Calvin asked why Nick Rickles, Carlos Vargas, and Alberto Torres weren’t on my organization and Rule 5 spreadsheets.  He presented Baseball America links that stated that the Phillies had agreements with the players.  I explained that I generally use BA’s info to start my verification process of transactions.

Well, my explanation bothered me enough that I researched further.

Nick Rickles posted on Twitter back around December 23rd that he was looking for accommodations in Clearwater for a time period that matches spring training.  I’m going to consider that verification enough, and won’t wait for his MiLB page to catch up.

I verified through BA’s Ben Badler that the Catlos Vargas he had listed in his article was indeed the Victor Daniel Vargas whom I had listed in my files.

And, the Alberto Torres transaction showed up Friday on the July 2017 Transaction List.

The only other player I can’t verify is Orangel Lopez.

Thank you Calvin for fueling my interest in these player mysteries.

Collusion, Boycott, and Pace of Play

Not tonight.  I deleted the 450 plus words I typed about the above three topics.  Too much negativity after the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory.  What a pressure cooker from beginning to end.  I got my walking for the next two days out of the way just pacing around the room watching this great game.

Did you see Bradley Cooper sitting next to Jeff Lurie again?  John Middleton was a row behind just above Lurie’s shoulder.  And of course, Mike Trout was in the stands.

As I watched Darnell Green carry the Lombardi Trophy through a gauntlet of Eagles’ players and fans, I noticed this little man trying to talk his way past a very large bouncer at the bottom of the steps to the trophy presentation ceremony.  Kevin Hart.  Anyone else see him?

The shots of fans looked fairly tame as they walked up Broad Street (?) before television coverage cut off.  Be safe Philadelphia.

Key Dates:

  • February 14, 2018 – Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training
  • February 15, 2018 – Pitchers and catchers first workout
  • February 19, 2018 – Position players report to Spring Training
  • February 20, 2018 – First full squad workout
  • February 22, 2018 – Exhibition v. Tampa University
  • February 23, 2018 – Grapefruit League opener at Blue Jays
  • February 24, 2018 – Grapefruit League home opener v. Orioles
  • March 29, 2018 – Opening Day for the 2018 season
  • March 29, 2018 – Phillies opening game in Atlanta
  • April 5, 2018 – Phillies’ home opener v. Miami
  • April 5, 2018 – Reading’s home opener v. Erie
  • April 5, 2018 – Clearwater’s home opener v. Dunedin
  • April 5, 2018 – Lakewood’s opening game at Kannapolis
  • April 6, 2018 – Lehigh Valley’s opening game at Pawtucket
  • April 12, 2018 -Lehigh Valley’s home opener v. Louisville
  • April 12, 2018 – Lakewood’s home opener v. Delmarva
  • April 17-18, 2018 – Twins v. Indians at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, PR
  • June 4-6, 2018 – 2018 MLB Draft
  • June 15, 2018 – Williamsport’s home opener v. State College
  • 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 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada

Off Season Transactions (recently reported transactions in bold): (40-man stands at 40)

  • 2/1/18 – Phillies signed free agent SS Adam Rosales to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training
  • 12/23/17 – 1/3/18 – Phillies sign FA C Nick Rickles to a minor league contract
  • 7/2/17 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Alberto Torres to a minor league contract
  • 1/28/18 – RHP Francisco Rodriguez assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 1/28/18 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Francisco Rodriguez to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training
  • 1/23/18 – Reading Fightin Phils released 2B Derek Campbell
  • 1/23/18 – Clearwater Threshers released RF Carlos Duran
  • 1/22/18 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Jordi Martinez to a minor league contract
  • 1/20/18 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Hernando Mejia to a minor league contract
  • 1/19/19 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Rafi Gonell to a minor league contract
  • 1/19/18 – Phillies signed free agent OF Johan Rojas to a minor league contract
  • 1/18/18 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Engel Estevez to a minor league contract
  • 1/18/18 – Phillies signed free agent OF Rafael Franco to a minor league contract
  • 1/17/18 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Tom Eshelman to spring training
  • 1/17/18 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP J.D. Hammer to spring training
  • 1/17/18 – Phillies invited non-roster LHP Cole Irvin to spring training
  • 1/17/18 – Phillies invited non-roster LHP Brandon Leibrandt to spring training
  • 1/17/18 – Phillies invited non-roster C Edgar Cabral to spring training
  • 1/17/18 – Phillies invited non-roster 2B Scott Kingery to spring training
  • 1/17/18 – Phillies invited non-roster LF Andrew Pullin to spring training
  • 1/17/18 – Phillies invited non-roster Enyel De Los Santos to spring training
  • 1/10/2018 – IF Austin O’Brien assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws
  • 1/8/2018 – Phillies signed free agent IF Austin O’Brien to a minor league contract
  • 1/8/2018 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Kyle Glogoski to a minor league contract
  • 1/3/2018 – Phillies invited non-roster 3B Mitch Walding to spring training
  • 1/3/2018 – Phillies invited non-roster C Logan Moore to spring training
  • 1/3/2018 – Phillies signed FA 3B Will Middlebrooks to MiLB contract/invited to ST
  • 1/3/2018 – Phillies signed FA RHP Pedro Beato to MiLB contract/invited to ST
  • 1/3/2018 – Phillies signed FA C Eric Fryer to MiLB contract/invited to ST
  • 1/3/2018 – Phillies signed FA C Matt McBride to MiLB contract/invited to ST
  • 1/3/2018 – Phillies signed FA OF Danny Ortiz to MiLB contract/ invited to ST
  • 1/3/2018 – Phillies signed FA 3B Heiker Meneses to MiLB contract/invited to ST
  • 1/3/2018 – Phillies signed FA RHP Steve Geltz to MiLB contract/invited to ST
  • 1/3/2018 – Phillies signed FA CF Pedro Florimon to MiLB contract/invited to ST
  • 1/3/2018 – 3B Heiker Meneses assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 1/3/2018 – 3B Will Middlebrooks assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 1/3/2018 – C Eric Fryer assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 1/3/2018 – C Matt McBride assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 1/3/2018 – OF Danny Ortiz assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 1/3/2018 – RHP Pedro Beato assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 1/3/2018 – CF Pedro Florimon assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 1/3/2018 – RHP Steve Geltz assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 12/20/17 – DSL Phillies Red released 1B Enny Rondon
  • 12/20/17 – DSL Phillies Red released RHP Ludovico Coveri
  • 12/20/17 – DSL Phillies White released 3B Leandro Medina
  • 12/20/17 – DSL Phillies White released LHP Alfredo Benitez
  • 12/20/17 – DSL Phillies White released RF Rusbel Vasquez
  • 12/20/17 – DSL Phillies White released RHP Carlos Salazar
  • 12/20/17 – SS Yeremy Nunez retired
  • 12/19/17 – DSL Phillies Red released RHP Moises Nolasco
  • 12/20/17 – Phillies signed free agent 1B Carlos Santana (lose 2nd round pick and $500K international bonus money)
  • 12/15/17 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Tommy Hunter
  • 12/15/17 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Pat Neshek
  • 12/15/17 – Phillies traded SS Freddy Galvis to San Diego for RHP Enyel De Los Santos
  • 12/14/17 – Phillies traded RHP Nick Burdi to Pittsburgh Pirates for Future Considerations ($500K international bonus money)
  • 12/14/17 – Phillies claimed RHP Nick Burdi off waivers from Chattanooga Lookouts
  • 12/11/17 – Mariners claimed CF Cameron Perkins off waivers from Philadelphia
  • 12/11/17 – Pirates claimed SS Engelb Vielma off waivers from Philadelphia
  • Phillies placed Cameron Perkins and Engelb Vielma on outright waivers.
  • 12/12-22/17 – Phillies signed FA catcher Abrahan Gutierrez.
  • 12/12-22/17 – Phillies signed RHP Ryan Etsell
  • 11/27/17 – Phillies sent Alberto Tirado outright to Lehigh Valley
  • 11/27/17 – Phillies sent Mark Appel outright to Lehigh Valley
  • 11/20/17 – Phillies claimed SS Engelb Vielma off waivers from San Francisco Giants
  • 11/20/17 – Phillies selected the contract of RHP Franklyn Kilome from Lehigh Valley
  • 11/20/17 – Phillies selected the contract of RHP Seranthony Dominguez from Clearwater
  • 11/20/17 – Phillies selected the contract of LHP Ranger Suarez from Clearwater
  • 11/20/17 – Phillies selected the contract of RHP Jose Taveras from Reading
  • 11/20/17 – Phillies designated RHP Mark Appel for assignment
  • 11/20/17 – Phillies designated RHP Alberto Tirado for assignment
  • 11/20/17 – Phillies sent LHP Elniery Garcia outright to Lehigh Valley
  • 11/14/17 – Williamsport Crosscutters released CF Juan Luis
  • 11/6/17 – RHP Jesen Therrien elected free agency
  • 11/6/17 – CF Herlis Rodriguez elected free agency
  • 11/6/17 – 1B Brock Stassi elected free agency
  • 11/6/17 – C Nick Rickles elected free agency
  • 11/6/17 – LHP Cesar Ramos elected free agency
  • 11/6/17 – SHP Pat Venditte elected free agency
  • 11/6/17 – RHP Michael Mariot elected free agency
  • 11/6/17 – 3B Hector Gomez elected free agency
  • 11/6/17 – SS Angelo Mora elected free agency
  • 11/6/17 – LF Christian Marrero elected free agency
  • 11/6/17 – RHP Colton Murray elected free agency
  • 11/6/17 – RHP Miguel Nunez elected free agency
  • 11/6/17 – 1B Harold Martinez elected free agency
  • 11/6/17 – C Chace Numata elected free agency
  • 11/6/17 – 1B Wilson Garcia elected free agency
  • 11/6/17 – RHP Jesen Therrien elected free agency
  • 11/6/17 – CF Pedro Florimon elected free agency
  • 11/6/17 – Phillies activated RHP Vince Velasquez from the 60-day disabled list
  • 11/6/17 – Phillies activated RHP Jerad Eickhoff from the 60-day disabled list
  • 11/6/17 – Phillies activated RHP Zach Eflin from the 60-day disabled list
  • 11/6/17 – Phillies sent RHP Jesen Therrien outright to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 11/6/17 – Phillies sent CF Pedro Florimon outright to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 11/2/17 – RF Hyun Soo Kim elected free agency
  • 11/2/17 – LF Daniel Nava elected free agency
  • 11/2/17 – 3B Andres Blanco elected free agency
  • 11/2/17 – RHP Clay Buchholz elected free agency
  • 11/2/17 – Phillies activated RHP Jesen Therrien from the 60-day disabled list
  • 11/2/17 – Phillies activated CF Pedro Florimon from the 60-day disabled list
  • 10/30-11/6/17 – Logan Moore re-signed with the Phillies
  • 9/30-10/13/17 – Ranfi Casimiro re-signed with the Phillies
  • 10/13/17 – Pedro Beato elected free agency
  • 10/5/17 – Kevin Segrist elected free agency
  • 10/5/17 – Ty Kelly elected free agency
  • 10/4/17 – Philadelphia Phillies sent LHP Kevin Siegrist outright to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 10/4/17 – Philadelphia Phillies sent 2B Ty Kelly outright to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 9/16-29/17 – Mitch Walding re-signed with the Phillies
  • 9/13/17 – Phillies signed free agent CF Junior Ortega to a minor league contract
  • 9/12/17 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Luis Candelo to a minor league contract
  • 9/12/17 – Phillies signed free agent CF Jefferson Encarnacion to a minor league contract
  • 9/11/17 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Daniel Vilchez to a minor league contract
  • 9/5//17 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Efrain Morales to a minor league contract
  • 8/2/17 – Phillies signed free agent LHPJhonny Palma to a minor league contract
  • 7/19/17 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Adrian Marin to a minor league contract
  • 7/17/17 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Cristian Lima to a minor league contract
  • 7/14/17 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Andy Reyes to a minor league contract
  • 7/14/17 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Luis Gomez to a minor league contract
  • 7/9/17 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Cristian Hernandez to a minor league contract
  • 7/7/17 – Phillies signed free agent OF Pedro Ramirez to a minor league contract
  • 7/7/17 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Joan Hernandez to a minor league contract
  • 7/6/17 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Roger Parraga to a minor league contract
  • 7/6/17 – Phillies signed free agent OF Cesar Mata to a minor league contract
  • 7/3/17 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Cristofer Cruz to a minor league contract
  • 7/2/17 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Diego Tamariz to a minor league contract
  • 7/2/17 – Phillies signed free agent C Oscar Gonzalez to a minor league contract
  • 7/2/17 – Phillies signed free agent C Cesar Rodriguez to a minor league contract
  • The organization’s rosters are up to date.
  • The organization’s injury list retains the injuries at the end of the 2017 season.  All are expected to be okay by the start of spring training.
  • The organization’s Rule 5 eligibility list is as accurate as I can make it FOR 2018.

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

215 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of February 4, 2018

  1. Jim, you are so much appreciated! Love these updates. And you are always classy. Great choice to stay positive and celebrate the Eagles win! Fly Eagles Fly! I had so much fun tonight!
    …But I know I’ll have even MORE joy when our Phillies are champs again! Phillies are my #1 and this site has made me love rooting for these kids! I believe in the Phillies future!

  2. Can’t wait for phillies baseball. Still think the magic in 08 beats this tonight, just seemed different hard to explain. Lets go phillies

  3. For tonight I’ll have to say fly eagles fly. I can’t wait for the Phillies to become contenders again. Jim, do you mean Kevin Hart?

  4. yes, Kevin Hart. he managed to barge onto the nfl network set, drunk, later. not sure what could top last night, with all the emotion packed in one night, the incredible story of Foles and others stepping up, and defeating the evil empire.
    just makes me want to see the Phils playing emotion packed games again.

  5. What a great win and awesome season for the Birds!
    I will say, however, that when our baseball team wins it feels different. Probably because to win they must play upwards of 175 games to get there (not counting all the milb games we follow on here!). Eagles only 19 games. As a fan, you put in so much time in baseball and feels so much more rewarding.

    Either way FLY EAGLES FLY!!! and LETS GO PHIGHTINS!!

    1. A dynasty is born! The Eagles beat the Pats despite Brady playing the best game of his career. They won with Sproles, Wentz, and Peters on the bench. They won with John Middleton sitting behind Lurie in the owners box. I wouldn’t be surprised if Middleton calls Klentak this morning and tells him to “Make it happen NOW”.

      1. Well there are 4 top starting pitchers still out there. 3 have draft compensation attached. All would likely be signed to at least a 2 year contract with an option year or longer contract. The question is – is it worth it to reduce next years available money to sign other players (notably pitchers) by about $20 million to sign someone this year who may be around 2 to 5 years? I can still see them diving into FA next year and sign at least 1 top hitter (Harper/Machado) and 1 top pitcher (Kershaw) no matter what they do this year. However there are 30 other teams who may try to.

        1. The Phillies could sign Darvish for $30M per however many yrs and have plenty to sign a big fish next winter. They shouldn’t have to grab another IMO. Let’s wait and see how this young crop fares and keep track of the Millville Meteor, the Eagles’ most celebrated fan, come winter of ’20-’21. Meanwhile they should extend some of the young talent already here, like Nola and Rhys.

          1. Exactly, 8mark. Darvish at $30M per, machado and Harper at $40M per year each adds $110M to our payroll, putting still very much under the luxury cap.

            1. i prefer to have Machado and Harper at $70M and use Doobie and some prospects to acquire a starter. Haseley can replace Doobie at CF next year.

              Nola can anchor the rotation with SP (from Doobie/prospect) and 2 will emerge from Sixto-Medina-JoJo-Ranger pool and Eickhoff and/or Eshelman will round up the rotation. If the Phils can get Singer or Kowar in the 2018 Rule 4 draft, that prospect will be ready in 2 years time too.

              The above rotation may not look good on paper now, but they can be the best cost controlled rotation in 2 years time.

  6. 2018 will be critical for Dylan Cozens. If he still can’t hit lefties and K’s too much, he may not make it to the bigs. Like Appel, Cozens might take a break and clear his head. But unlike Appel, Cozen has the tools and age to play for the SB Champs Eagles and fulfill his dream to become a pro athlete.

  7. The one attribute the Eagles had above all else was character. All championship teams must have that. Talent is indispensable to get you there, but character takes you over the finish line. Great players don’t always win. Winning players will. Congrats to the Birds! Let’s go Phils!! Let’s not sell ’18 short, fellas.

  8. Last night was great for the City of Philadelphia. Born and raised in Bucks County and having spent time in the AF and living in other parts of the country this is and always will be home to me. I love how a championship team has the ability to bring people together from all walks.

    The other great thing about the SB is now it can be onto baseball my first love and the sport that will always have my heart.

    The owners should watch their step. If they are going to take it away from players in their 30’s they better wise up and make sure they give it to them in their 20’s.

    I’m not a huge union guy but I hate to see people being taken advantage of. There are parts of me that respect that owners have often worked very hard to accumulate their wealth and they often payroll 1,000’s of people

    Players work hard at their craft and it’s generally not an accident when they make it to the big leagues even if gifted with god given talent.

    But the one and only most important component in the entire scenario are the fans that watch and pay for tickets and merch. We show up to watch the talent on the field. It’s that simple and to me (even though I do believe it’s absurd the money these guys make) they are the product and they should be dealt with fairly.

    So despite the narrative that GM’s are smarter and now all on the same page to no longer pay for past performance they should recognize they are ripping off and taking huge advantages on the backs of the games young stars.

    1. John Middleton was happy there in the owners suite last night with fellow owner Luire.
      I am sure he will invite Lurie to the CBP owner’s suite when the Phillies can bring in their next championship….and also Bradley Cooper.

    2. That’s a very thoughtful perspective, DMAR. I agree that if big obscene contracts are to be handed out, let it be to the truly elite young talent as owners and GMs deem worthy. This is getting stale on both sidesof the issue.

  9. What a night for Philly. I’ve suffered long enough, and it was such an awesome way to win, putting some crow into perfect Brady’s life. Nicky Foles forever!
    This city is going to bring experiencing this a lot more in the coming years. This is not a fluke. All the teams are peaking, buckle up because this Eagles win is just the first turn. The Phillies are coming, the flyers are coming, and the so are the Sixers. The Eagles have 2 more in them over the next 5 years. It’s philly’s turn to look down the mountain.

    With all the said, to me, nothing like the World Series. Others on here have said the Phillies felt different. I agree. The anticipation is just killer in between pitches, each pitch becomes more and more
    Important, the cumulation of 162 games. It’s crazy. I love both, but damn baseball is just more intense to me, spread out. Football is more intense in a shorter period of time. I prefer the 7 games playoff series.

    Time for Alfaro to be a beast behind the plate, Crawford to grind his OBP, hoskins to make everyone forget about trout. Bring in the season! O … and Middleton is probably so excited he is going to go grab us big picture

  10. The last 5 years has been a dreadful time to be a Philly sports fan. We endured the nothingness of Andy Reid and the destruction made by Chip Kelly, the tanking of the Sixers, the smugness of Amaro and the continued insignificance of the Flyers.

    I have the jerseys and shirt-seys of the players in that era and wear them proud!!

    All the Philly teams are trending up and the Eagles just open the floodgate to Title Town. While I’m not a fan of the Colangelos and the McPhail-Klentak duo —- i will remain to be the ultimate optimist for all of my Philly sports team!

    1. I’m beginning to think the Colangelos are a disaster. They can squander assets faster than Sam Hinkie could acquire them.

        1. I don’t care that much about the nepotism, it’s the seeming incompetence (combined, of course, with the requisite amount of arrogance) that is disturbing.

          1. it’s the Colangelo’s nepotism that clouds their mind, thus, limiting the Sixers ability to hire a true competent GM. When it comes to Colangelo’s everybody should be worried about nepotism.

            1. Well, my sense of this is that once Jr. was hired Sr. generally stepped away, which I think is probably right.

              There is one saving grace in this, however. Josh Harris is nobody’s fool. If things look like they are regressing under the Colangelos (which, frankly, is inexcusable given that they were handed two franchise players [actually, one plus a no-doubter 1/1 draft pick], a boat load of other top picks and the low salary base around), they will be gone in a heartbeat.

              You have to wonder if Josh is regretting allowing Tom and Jerry to run his little circus. The amount of assets surrendered for Markelle Fultz alone is pretty staggering and all of the neat, creative moves Hinkie pulled off are a distant memory.

              I’m really concerned they are screwing this up in a big way.

    2. KuKo….btw, Ruben Amaro spoke this morning on the radio .
      Congratulated Eagles players, Lurie, Howie and passionate fans of the city…..he has been an Eagle fans since he was a boy growing up in the city.
      And in all that congratulatory rhetoric…..did happen to say Howie did something he wished he could have accomplished as a GM.

      1. taking a world series team probably did not help amaro because he just basically ride the success of that team resulting to his smugness.

        unlike howie (and now Klentak), Howie has the opportunity to really work from the very foundation of the team. but unlike Klentak, Howie showed some creativity and bold moves in his team building moves. the Eagles landing Carson Wentz said it all. Hinkie did the same (in landing Embiid, Simmons, Saric and future draft picks) although in a more non-conventional way.

        1. Perhaps we have not seen the rather aggressive Klentak in action yet.
          The Giles trade started to show me something right away after only approx. 45 days on the job. But since, very few if any big splashes in the pond, more like ripples.

          1. yeah, it looks smart until Klentak “safe-bet” instincts got the best of him. Even without hindsight, the 1st version of the trade is already an win-win. HOU got the closer they need while the Phils addressed to key issues in their roster – pitching (Vinny, Esh, Obbie) and OF (Fischer) — all of them are ready to contribute to the majors in <2 years time.

            Then he got scared of the Vinny situation (whose arm is a walking time bomb regardless of how you cut it) then push for another arm in Appel for a price of Fischer and Jon Arauz.

            Maybe the Kapler hiring and Santana is Klentak going out of his safe-bet comfort zone. I need to see more.

        1. true, but not all downward spiral are the same. you can go down hard (like what happen to Amaro) or go down but go back up again (like most winning teams do).

          1. Kurdt, if the Phillies hit at all in 2010 and 2011 we would have had another WS trophy and parade. Why do you and others give Charlie Manuel a free pass when he was totally out managed by Boche and Larussa in those series? Charlie also screwed up Dominic Brown royally and would not use the younger players on a regular basis. The GM can only give the manager the players he wants but he can not play the game.

  11. Congratulations to the Eagles on their SB win which is equal to the 1980 Philiies parade (first time WS) in my opinion. Don’t expect to leave Philadelphia soon on the day the parade is. If the 2008 Phillies WS parade shut down SEPTA for awhile (I was there) then you should expect the same if not worse.

  12. What a night !!!! Lot’s of cheering !!! Lot’s of crying (tears of happiness) !!! I have no voice today.

  13. What a great win for the Eagles and the City! Coming into the season, I thought it was a 9-7 team and didn’t think it was time for a run. All of those key injuries later, and look what happened. That brings me back to the Phils. There is an opportunity to acquire a SP this offseason for only $. I do not believe there is any chance that Kershaw does not go back to the Dodgers. That makes Darvish, and even Arrieta, the best SPs on the market for this year and next. Maybe it is a year too soon, but why not take the chance and aim to win and contend this year? Any $ that Darvish makes will not stop the team from going after anyone else next year, MM, Harper, both, both and Andrew Miller, whatever they need. I say sign Yu today.

    1. a nonsequiter, and likely an incorrect one since I am no subject matter expert, but before Doug Pederson this year I can not remember ever, teams doing things like go for it on 4th down in their territory – except at desperation time. By the end of the year comments were common on all teams how not going for it in similar situations decreased (or increased) win percentage due to some incomprehensible-to-me calculation. But, my point is that Pederson apparently incorporated analytics in a way that seems to have changed the game mentality of much of the league in just one year, and it would be interesting to see what might result if for the first time the Phillies similarly incorporate that type of approach creatively

      1. And with the new approach that Kapler and Klentak will employ, we should expect the usual initial backlash from the nominal baseball fan (and often reactionary like Cataldi) until the team starts to win consistently. They don’t suffer change well. Most people don’t, really. But this will be sizemic shift from what we’ve been used to. And I can’t wait!

  14. Matt13 – I agree 100%. I can’t see the Nats letting Harper go either. Get Darvish signed today. Season ticket and walk up attendance will go up for sure.

    1. Yep, very good read.

      If the MLBPA really want’s to take care of its players moving forward in the next CBA they need to focus on shortening the amount of time a team has control of a player, both in the minors and in the majors. The sooner a player gets to arbitration, the faster their salaries will rise.

      Post PED era, the game has moved back towards a player’s prime being 26-31 and not 30-36 which is when they are hitting free agency. I understand players/agents aren’t happy they aren’t getting the same contract players like them were getting 3-5 years ago but the market has changed. No collusion needed..

      1. “….the sooner a player gets to arbitration, the faster their salaries will rise”….and that is workable the owners will counter…..just give up guaranteed contracts.
        If there is one thing in negotiations that the MLBPA and agents will not discuss is that.
        And I am willing to bet …the control time status and Super Two authentication process are subjects the ownership group will not want to put on the bargaining table

        1. I agree Romus that the owners want to keep as much player control as possible. If I’m part of the MLBPA, I use the issues like pace of play, the international draft (logistical nightmare anyway) in exchange for things like increased base salary amounts (including for minor league players) and earlier arbitration.

          I’m not really a union guy but for years, the MLBPA has given much away in exchange for trivial things like clubhouse chefs, travel perks, etc. which cost very little in the overall scheme of things. The 25 players on the active roster could easily create a system where each player pays into a fund to get those things for themselves.

          I don’t doubt that the larger issues like earlier free agency vs. guaranteed contracts is probably a non-starter from both sides. For me, the biggest issue for the MLBPA should be to gain representation of minor league players and I expect the owners would fight hard to prevent that as well.

          1. I think that is one thing both sides should, in theory, agree upon, raising the base salary/per diem for all the minor league players. Especially for the 4A players who have made the most sacrifices of their time to an organization.

      2. 3up,

        Before the MLBPA can shorten the amount of time a team has control of minor league players, it has to receive the responsibility to bargain for and protect those players. Until now, the MLBPA has been quick to screw over minor leaguers to get concessions for its major league rank and file.

        1. I agree Jim, the MLBPA has chosen to focus on the star players and has bent to the will of agents at the expense of the rank and file professional player, including in the minors.

          The biggest issue for the players shouldn’t be whether or not Yu Darvish is stuck taking $100 million for 5 years vs. getting $125M for 6 but rather why can’t a player in the minors make enough money to eat.

          I work with a man who’s son was drafted last year in the later rounds of the draft and is currently in low-a ball. They are sending him money on a monthly basis so he can afford to have a place to live and buy food.

          The MLBPA’s goal should be to represent all professional players under MLB team control, not just the rich ones.

          1. Minor League pay should be increased due to a major league team wanting to better develop players.
            I assume the Phillies can ‘overpay’ their minor leaguers so they can focus on baseball. Some team is going to realize that and then other teams will follow, just like teams ‘broke’ the rules for international signings.

  15. Seven Phillies prospects make BP Top 101 https://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/article/37535/baseball-prospectus-top-101-prospects-2018-top-mlb-prospects-ronald-acuna-victor-robles-vladimir-guerrero-jr-eloy-jimenez/

    13 Sixto Sanchez
    14 JP Crawford
    31 Scott Kingery
    36 Jorge Alfaro
    46 Adonis Medina
    68 Franklyn Kilome
    92 Arquimedes Gamboa

    The Phillies farm depth has really showed in the different prospects making the different off-season lists.

      1. About Gamboa – it’s good to see that he start to gather national attention. I post this comment in PMT:

        “Gamboa’s (who I don’t expect in any Top 10 rankings) offensive development in 2017 is a surprise to see especially the BB% and the K%. I’ve watched him 3 times in 2017 in LWD and he is solidly built so he can have a sneaky pop like J-Roll. Gamboa’s development is crucial as he can be a good insurance for JPC and Franco if not, an important trade asset.”

    1. Haseley and Moniak interesting omissions. Moniak I can see, but Haseley deserved the benefit of the doubt for the first time eligible..

      1. @Romus – agree about Haseley. BP didn’t even have him in their Top 10:

        1. Sixto Sanchez, RHP
        2. J.P. Crawford, SS
        3. Scott Kingery, 2B
        4. Jorge Alfaro, C
        5. Adonis Medina, RHP
        6. Franklyn Kilome, RHP
        7. Arquimedez Gamboa, SS
        8. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF
        9. Mickey Moniak, OF
        10. Daniel Brito, 2B

        1. I suspect by their mid-season ranking , if he does as expected at CLW, he should sneak in their somewhere in the 80s or 90s. Plus there will be those on the this list who will have graduated to the majors anyway that will come off the list…like JPC, Alfaro for two and maybe Kingery just from the Phillies..

        2. I never take the stats too seriously when a player is coming off a full college season, especially a player who was a pitcher and has not had a full offseason of position player training. Let’s withhold judgment on Haseley for a while.

          1. Adam reminds me of another Adam in Eaton. Haseley’s best tool is supposed to be his command of the strike zone/plate discipline so I don’t really worry that he will be a big league CF.

            For me the only question is how much of an impact player will he become. He actually reminds me a lot of Chase.

            1. DMAR…I think you are correct.
              Though he has about a half-foot height and about 15/20 pounds on Adam Eaton, and he may be able to drive the ball with the added strength.
              Read a Mitch Ruppert report that he was a workaholic in the cage…and also studying all his video clips of his batting mechanics.
              So he does have that Chase Utley determination going for him also.

            2. Yeah, people forget that Chase Utley’s first year in Clearwater especially was kind of forgettable. He was a much better major leaguer than minor leaguer.

              Haseley needs some time and could easily end up being the best of Johnny A’s first three first round picks (so far, not that good).

      2. Scouting reports weren’t very kind to Haseley in pro ball. Hopefully it was just a case of him being tired but his bat speed apparently wasn’t the same as he showed in college.

      3. Guys should not make a top 100 in baseball based on ‘benefit of the doubt’. If anything, rankings are already too much slanted toward the big bonus babies. Even for those going by benefit of doubt, Haseley wasn’t a primo enough pick to get much benefit. Moniak was, but his performance really slipped — to the extent that the quality of his hit tool is being questioned legitimately. Missing this year’s top 100 isn’t a big deal at all. A good summer and both can be on the list. In our logical minds, I think most of us realize that at this moment in time, neither of them earned their way onto the list. Haseley’s swing may have been slow, because he was fatigued, but a slow swing for a guy touted for his hit tool is legit reason for a current season downgrade. Better luck next year.

  16. Four Phillies prospects have made Fangraphs top 100 https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2018-top-100-prospects/

    19 Sixto Sanchez
    25 Scott Kingery
    29 JP Crawford
    73 Adonis Medina

    On Sixto Sanchez … “Hitters like to shorten up against Sixto after he’s blown well-placed, sinking, upper-90s gas past them for strikes one and two, which leaves them vulnerable to any of his three viable secondary offerings later in at-bats. Sanchez sits 95-99 and has touched 102 with advanced command. He has a long, cutting slider in the mid-80s and a two-plane curveball, both of which flash above average, but his best secondary is a ghosting, mid-80s changeup that embarrassed hitters five years older than Sanchez in High-A last year.

    He’s just 6-foot so you’re not projecting on the fastball, but it’s already so hard that it doesn’t matter. Scouts want to see release consistency deeper into games (and, in general, when Sanchez throws his breaking balls), but he’s athletic and has only been pitching full time for three years, so there’s reason to believe he’ll improve.”

    On Scott Kingery … “A minor mechanical tweak unlocked some of Kingery’s previously undiscovered raw power last year, and he hit 26 home runs between Double and Triple-A. Some of that was due to the hitting environment in Reading, but scouts think the power uptick is real. Kingery already had a chance to be an everyday player because of his superlative bat-to-ball ability, speed, and plus-plus defense at second base. With the power folded in, he’s a potential star. Whether or not he debuts in Philly this year could depend on a Cesar Hernandez trade, but he’s probably ready.”

    On JP Crawford … “Crawford’s first month of the season was such a disaster that scouts thought he was either hurt or extremely bored. He hit well in July and August and earned a September call-up, during which he played great defense all over the infield. Crawford has issues getting to balls away from him and probably won’t hit for much power, but he’s very patient and could reach base enough to hit at the top of a lineup. He’s only an average runner, but he’s also a very gifted athlete with a plus arm and a quick transfer. Crawford can make strong throws to first from all kinds of difficult platforms and projects as a plus defensive shortstop. Table-setting defensive wizards are pretty rare. He could go .270/.340/.400 with 12-15 homers. The Freddy Galvis trade paves the way for playing time immediately.”

    On Adonis Medina … “After spending 2016 focusing on fastball command and breaking-ball transition, Medina finally posted stats commensurate with his prodigious stuff. He sits 92-95 with a late-breaking slider, and his changeup and command have progressed as expected given his delivery and athleticism. He still needs to polish his command and the demarcation between his slider and curve, but Medina has made significant developmental progress during the last two seasons and should continue doing so. He projects as an above-average big-league starter.”

    1. I’m really encouraged by the consensus among major outlets having Jetpax ranked between 25-35, especially for a 2b. Can’t wait to see him in ST.

    2. Little disappointed in Eric L’s list…specifically late 80s thru 100 selections.
      Could have seen a number of other prospects in that range….including a few Phillies’ pitchers like Romero or Kilome.
      But I assume at that area of the rankings the differences are minimal.
      He was a former CA writer and Phillies fan from the past, so can understand having just the four on the list of top 100 may indicate an inclination of his non-biasness

      1. Looks like Sixto, Kingery, JPC and Medina are consensus and legitimate Top 100 prospect from the farm. I think that’s about right and I can see JoJo and Haseley are within the next 20 and Ortiz is just 2 months away to make the list. Moniak need a torrid start – like 1+ OPS to go back into the conversation.

        i think that Ranger is underappreciated eventhough he might be really close to Medina when it comes to ability.

  17. Just got my Spring Training game tickets today. We’re going to the Yankees game on Mar 1 and the game vs. the Jays on Mar 4. The 4th is also Alumni Day. Hoping for some good pictures. Any of you gonna be there?

    1. 8Mark … I can’t believe the top FA are still out there for grabs. It’s like the teams are trying to reset the market. The owners wised or are all waiting till next year to get really stupid. Will see

      1. Problem on the player’s side – like Tom Verducci of SI said, they bargained for luxury, not labor. Now the owners are trying to back trend their “generosity”. Shame the young talent falls through the cracks.

  18. I have a question regarding the two teams the Phillies will have in the Gulf Coast league. Do the Phillies “load one team up”, choose up teams, or what? Are the Phillies allowed to move players back and forth at will?

    1. the only reason i see of loading one team up is to win the GCL title — i don’t know if this title matters to the Phils or not. IMO, the Phils will focus more of player evaluation and development. The 2nd GCL team is created not to win any GCL title but to create a deeper pool where the Phils can cultivate talent that can help the Phillies in the future.

      Shuttling the young players back and forth from GCL 1 to 2 and versa will not do any good unless there’s injury.

    2. Wawa Mike….not sure this answers your questions but from the GCL Asst Dir Baseball Ops You can contact him if you have more questions at his email/mail /tele. address below.
      .
      Thank you for reaching out. Teams are welcome to set their rosters as they wish, but during the last 30 days of the GCL season they must ask our office for approval for players to switch teams. We always pre-approve rehabs to switch teams because they’ll stay with the “home” team each day.
      Thanks for your interest.

      ANDY SHULTZ
      ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, BASEBALL & BUSINESS OPERATIONS
      Gulf Coast League
      9550 16th St. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33716
      office 727.456.1734 | cell 717.380.8566
      AShultz@MiLB.com
      cid:image003.png@01D030B2.1AA2C050

    3. Wawa Mike,

      I think the Phillies will concentrate on development and not worry about loading a team. And really, at that level it’s a crap shoot for most of these kids. Some prospects who are expected to do well won’t (Mitch Gueller, Jan Hernandez, Trey Williams, Cord Sandberg, Jose Pujols, Elniery Garcia, Arquimedes Gamboa, and Jose Jimenez had disappointing GCL seasons). Some were out of the org quickly, some hung a round a few years, and a couple are still working their way up the org ladder.

      And then there are the guys who they don’t necessarily have any established expectations for who surprise them (Sixto Sanchez surpassed all expectations his GCL year, and Nick Fanti probably surprised them too).

      While developing a winning culture is important, player development is paramount. An organization has to determine a player’s value in a shorter period of time with baseball shifting away from older free agents to younger players. And actually, there are not enough innings to go around. The GCL Phillies could have fielded two teams last season. This year they can fill in depth by signing a few more undrafted free agents. Same with their pitching staffs.

      During the year, the Phillies freely moved pitchers between their DSL Red and White teams. The other affiliates made a lot of “paper” moves assigning a pitcher after a start to Williamsport and the GCL team during May and June and bringing him back in time for his next start. That allowed an extra bench person since a starter wasn’t going to pitch between starts.

      GCL teams are allowed to move teams between squads. I checked MiLB transactions last season, and the Yankees moved a lot of players around among their affiliates to prep for the playoffs. Among the moves were a handful of Yankees West guys moving to the playoff bound Yankees East team.

  19. MLB just replied back to MLBPA – basically blaming the agents of not accurately assessing the market value of their players….it’s a direct shot out to Boras and I agree with the club owners. While the players salaries under team control should go up — these FA contracts are franchise killers!!

    1. Like to see what happens next year with Machado, Harper, Kershaw and to some degree Donaldson, all top tier one free agents coming out.
      Things could also be a little more dicier for the bottom tier FA guys.

      1. Despite of the winning the SB and Sixers appear playoff bound, I can’t wait for the MLB season to start (and baseball is behind Football, Boxing, Basketball in my preference) so I’m hoping that this recent development will not result to a strike.

        it is not that the owners don’t want to open their wallets — high $$ are offered to the players, but the players possibly with the advise of their agents overpriced themselves turned down the offers.

        JD Martinez is not worth $200M. He can get an easy $120-140M contract. So replace these expensive agents and save $$ there.

  20. And, it seems that the big obstacle is the length of contracts. Darvish, Hosmer, and JD have very large, plus $100 Million offers, that they are sitting on or have rejected. But, the evidence shows that 6 years and more for Pitchers and the 8 years that Hosmer wants, are analytically detrimental to the teams. And the notion that a team that is not projected to do well should sign one of these guys to win 2/3 more games, makes no sense either. And, these top FAs don’t want to play for any of those teams, they just want them to up the bidding. Eventually, teams were going to stop employing GMs that were significantly less astute than the Agents. The crop is not that good this year. Next year, you will see record breaking contracts by MM and Harper. Kershaw will get more than Scherzer, and Donaldson will get more than whoever gets the top contract this year.

    1. The days of stupid owners giving out tons of stupid contracts is coming to a close. Nobody’s going to give Eric Hosmer a top dollar, 8 year contract. His best year was a 4 WAR year. He’s a very good hitter but a bad defensive player. He could get a big dollar shorter contract (maybe 4 years) or a lower dollar long-term deal, but he probably won’t get both.

    2. matt13……Kershaw is already the highest paid at $33M AAV…..and over $30M since 2015….and he still may not opt out and let his contract continue with the Dodgers thru 2020.

      1. Romus … if he has a healthy 2018, what benefit does Kershaw get from not opting out ? Would he rather be a FA as a 30 YO or as a 32 YO pitcher ? IMO, the only way Kershaw doesn’t opt out is if the Dodgers extend him during the 2018 season.

  21. The Phillies, White Sox, Braves, Twins, Brewers and maybe Padres will be more aggressive in their pursuit of marquee talent next winter as well since they should be closer to playoff relevance if not already in the mix. That will escalate what the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs and Red Sox will be bidding. This winter, there simply aren’t enough teams playing the big market and for sound reasons.

    Steve Adams on MLBTR live chat today suggests that the Phillies are “opportunistically” waiting for a bargain arm and should land one in the next couple weeks. In answering another question about Arrieta possibly accepting a 3yr/$60M offer to return to the Cubs, he quickly cited the Phillies as a team who would easily drop $90M on Arrieta over 3 yrs. Point being the length of these contracts are the bane to owners and GMs, not the AAV.

    1. 8mark…..you really seem to want the Phillies to go after the 32-year old Arrieta.
      If you get the 2014 thru 2016 version of Arrieta, I am for it….but if you get the 2017 version…..the rebuild could be slowed to a crawl, unless the other starters in the rotation, other than Nola, come on big.
      The question is….was 2017 for him, an anomaly, or was it the beginning of the end?.
      Counting his college days….he has pitched just over 1875 innings, and that is getting close to most pitcher’s shelf life
      Now, otoh, if just on a three-year contract ,that is not as detrimental if he begins the slide faster than expected.

      1. I agree with you Romus. Signing Arrieta is very risky. As you mentioned, he comes with a lot of miles on that arm. You’d be putting another (maybe) 200 IP’s on that arm in a year the team isn’t going to win anything (2018) before you really need him to be at his best when the Phillies window of contention opens in 2019. In addition, you’d lose another pick in a very good draft class and another half million dollars of J2 money.
        For me, I’d wait until next winter and go after Garrett Richards if he shows he’s healthy this season. The down side of Richards … he’s had a history injuries (tore up his knee in 2014 and had TJ in 2016) . The up side … the injuries have limited his IP’s total, and (very importantly) he is one of Mike Trout’s best friends !!!

        1. Yes Richards is a few years younger, less mileage and will come cheaper.
          Not sure how high his ceiling will be after two years of relatively inactivity.
          But this year is critical for him.

        2. Trout’s best pal Tyler Skaggs are FA on the same year. The Phils can probably get Skaggs when they sign Trout. I like Richards. He can be a good back end reliever if health doesn’t permit to be a starter anymore.

          1. This is where Middleton should tell MacKlentak to jump in the fray, offer the high AAV (say $30M) for 3 yrs, opt out after 3, maybe another year. In other words, if the top offer so far is 5 years @$125M, offer the same total $$ for 4 yrs, include a signing bonus of $10 up front, whatever….let’s get a deal done.

            1. 8mark…..:”a signing bonus of $10 up front, whatever”……whaaaa!..an Alexander Hamilton may not even get a Geno’s cheesesteak anymore! (tic)

              I get your point…….though, for the most part, t upfront signing bonus’ are NFL contract clauses…..baseball I think they tend to lean performance-based incentive clauses.

      2. Romus, I would argue that Arrieta’s 2016 and 2017 years (the years following his CYA) indicate that he is already on his downward track. If you look at ERA, starts, iP, K, HR, ERA+, FIP, WHIP, H/9 – they are all trending in the wrong direction. He gave up 23 HR last season. Can you imagine him in CBP? Plus he’s trending toward more fly balls. I’m not at all comfortable with him as a short-term acquisition let alone a multi-year acquisition.

        1. Yeah……Arrieta is trending the wrong way……though in 2016 he seem to re-energize during a brief spell in August of that year that got the Cubs going .
          But agree…..I would also avoid him.
          More and more it looks like a trade has to be made for the Phillies to get that quality SP.

  22. This off-season is an aberration. FA’s aren’t getting paid what they want because the league has been gearing up for the 2019 FA class for a few years now. The biggest spenders want to reset their luxury tax clocks. The teams already under the threshold realize the big boys are sitting this winter out. As a result, they aren’t going to bid against themselves. The smartest thing 2018 FA’s could do is sign the fattest one year deal they can land and join the 2019 FA class. Even if guys like Darvsh, Arrieta, Martinez, Hosmer, etc. end up in the second tier of FA’s (behind Machado, Harper, & Kershaw) next winter, the money will be flowing more freely by more (maybe all) teams.

    1. Agree. And if the Phillies want to acquire any of the top tier players, they’d better be prepared to significantly outbid the other big market clubs as a necessity. Unless they show in 2018 that they are ready for prime time by winning over 80 games. To do that, they’d better sign a very good starting pitcher.

  23. I actually would like Arrieta on a 3 year deal. He started later in life so his innings are not as much as other 31 year olds. Also, his 2nd half numbers last year were much better than the first half. It’s possible that he started the year slowly due to the long season the prior year when they win it all, but played late. Lots of World Series pitchers start slow the following year. Just a thought….

    1. I’ll take any one of the remaining 4 pitchers because they are all better than anything we have after Nola. Heck Utah give me 2: Lynn and Cobb

    2. Arrieta is probably looking for that one last big contract since he knows that he is trending down. As much as I would love to sign Darvish, I’m being Klentak these past few weeks. I’m leaning towards patiently waiting for the market to go down, if not, roll with what they have in Nola-Eickhoff-Vinny-Pivetta-Lively and see if Eflin-Thompson can bounce back and if any of the other SPs (Anderson, Taveras, Ranger, Eshelman can be a surprise contributor.

      This might sound like a GM not trying to win, but what are you going to do with these arms? Either use them or loose them.

      For Arrieta or Darvish, offer a $90M/3 yr with yearly opt out.

      1. I like Arrieta, but the problem is that his velocity has dropped quite a bit over the last few years from nearly dominant to just above average. With that drop, I don’t think you can take a multi-year chance on him.

        Darvish has been injured but his velocity has been just fine. He’s the better risk, especially since there is no FA compensation penalty associated with signing him.

        1. I prefer Darvish too even before the FA season starts. But he knows his advantage over the rest of the field – he got the best stuff and most importantly he has no pick attached to him so I believe he is a tough sell. Darvish also knows that he has good value since he can be the differential between the contending teams which lowers the chance of the Phils signing him unless they offer $180-200M .

  24. We’ve been tough on Klentak for not signing one of the top four FA pitchers that are available. I’m wondering how many of the four have told him flat out that they have no intention of signing with Philadelphia.

    1. I seriously doubt any of these pitchers have told Klentak that. From all the whining from the agents, it is clearly all about the Benjamins and if we offer the most total $ and weight it up front with a bonus/fewer years, we likely can sign any of these guys.

    2. Wawa Mike makes a fair point. The top tier guys could be telling MK it will take a Strasburg like contract for us to come there.

      I don’t want MK smashing through any glass ceilings for any of these guys but if they are available you have to be aggressive somehow.

      Philly is a tough sell for a pillow contract which is why I’d be more apt to gamble on the 2 lowest tier guys rather 1 of just Arrieta or Yu

      1. I disagree with this. I think players and agents are smarter than you think. I don’t think, as a general rule, they are blowing off this team or requiring them to pay a huge premium. If a player is paid more and made to feel wanted, there’s a good chance he signs.

        1. Hey Catch I’m thinking it might go something like this

          MK: Hey Yu’s agent we like your player we would really like to have him here on a 5/$125 what do you say?

          Yu’s Agent: We have a few other clubs interested and my player has interest in certain cities it would probably take 6/$160 to get him there can you do that?

          MK: Crickets

          I don’t agree these players are smart but they do have heavy conversations with their agents about places they will play and places that are just off the table.

          I love when Dan O’Dowd is on MLB Network. He provides you with encapsulating insight to the process of negotiating with agents and players.

          1. Yes, it may be true for a place like Tampa, but the agents and players know that Philly will be good and spend a lot of money and soon.

  25. I am not really interested in Lynn, and Cobb is way behind Arrieta, who is way behind Darvish on my list. If I can’t get Darvish, I would rather sign Jaime Garcia, save money, and hope the trade market is better in July.

    1. Darvish is going to have a tough season watch he probably ends up on the DL for quite a while. Pitchers coming off those long World Series runs historically suffer the following season.

      Not a fact of course just a prediction.

    2. matt13….Twins now will be pushing hard for Darvish with Santana now out for 2/3 months. The Phillies may not want to get into any bidding wars with the Dodgers or teams like the Twins who have a real requirement now to bolster their rotation.
      But can understand your rationale about pitchers, not named Darvish that are continually talked about.
      Garcia does fill one square…a lefthanded starting pitcher in the rotation.

      1. IMO (and I posted this in October) … Klentak should have went hard after CC Sabathia. The Yankees were prioritizing staying under the salary cap. The Phillies should have offered CC a 1yr/18 million dollar contract (that’s a little more than this year’s QO) and added a vesting option (180 IP’s). He ended up agreeing to a one year contract worth 10 million dollars from NY. Sabathia could have not only served as this team’s only LHSP, but he would have eaen innings and would have brought with him a “winning” pedigree the young pitchers could have learned from. The icing on the cake with CC would have been the ability to flip him for a true prospect this summer if the Phillies weren’t contending.
        The other move Klentak missed out on was inking Michael Pineda to a two year deal. I think I had posted 2 yrs/12 million. Pineda signed with the Twins at 2yrs/10 million. He’ll rehab from TJ this season, but Pineda will pitch for Minnesota in 2019 (his age 30 season).
        I am 100% not interested in Lance Lynn. I would also not surrender a draft pick and J2 dollars for Arrieta or Cobb. I’m fine with a shorter term, larger AAV for Darvish. But … to be honest … at this point, I’d give opportunities to our young SP’s and see Pivetta and Efflin can produce. Garrett Richards (if he stays healthy in 2018) would be a top priority for me as a FA next winter.

        1. Hinkie…yes, it would appear Matt K was ‘a day late and dollar short’ on the insightful maneuvers that other GMs decided to pull the trigger on when it came to pitching needs.
          Darvish is the fan favorite to sign for many reasons. But odds are against it for the Phillies.
          I would have said a trade may be available to be made….but it is rather too late in the off-season for that now.
          Looks like it will be another audition in 2018 for the young RHPs in the system..

        2. Hinkie,

          CC would go over like a lead balloon. And if he showed up at spring training looking like a lead balloon, I’m not sure if the Hebrew Hammer can persuade him at this stage of his career to go vegetarian. Just saying….

          He’s not their type and quite frankly, I’m done with one year veteran arms to bridge the rotation gap.

  26. I believe the Phillies are in a position to get whomever they choose. Question is who do they want? Yes, any particular player may prefer one city over another but money talks loudest.

    1. slyder…adding a 4WAR player to the rotation , that is projected to win 78 games , would appear to place them at 82….but I do not think it is that simple.
      IMO, it could mean more wins than 82, since he would be replacing pitcher (s) that could be negative WAR players. The bullpen gets more rest and less work when he gets into the 7th or 8th more often than the youngsters who struggled just to get thru the 5th inning.
      I think they could reach the 86/88 win area with a healthy Darvish and Nola for 32/33 starts.

      1. He could be taking the replacement into account. Darvish may provide less than 4 wins on his own due to injury and/or poor performance (last year was not a typical dominant performance, especially if you put any weight into the playoffs). Free agents as a whole typically have a down season in their first year for a new team. It seems to be less prevalent for pitchers, but it’s still something to consider. So I’d be happy with 82 wins with Yu as long as the peripherals are still there and there’s no serious injury. As good as he’s been, I still see him as a stepping stone for next year.

        1. Fair points.
          Signing Darvish, coming off a good but not dominating season does have some inherent risk. He does have mileage on his arm….especially from his time in Japan, plus the TJ surgery a few years ago.

      2. It would be great if they did, but I am not convinced that a SP new to the team is going to have the good stuff right away. Always seems to be a warming up period . If arm is as good as before, still be a win or two short. However, might be better in 2019 when I think the team will gel just my opinion. Still a team sport no matter how many individuals play 🙂

  27. Jesmuel Valentin, who may well be on the bench for the Phillies this year, had two hits and scored two runs for Puerto Rico today and put them into the final of the Caribbean Series championship. His single drove in the tying run and he scored the winning run.

    1. Puddinhead…..apparently Matt K is not too thrilled with the utility options available to him currently in the system and decided to take a chance with a now healthy Ryan Flaherty out of the Os org.
      So not sure how much longer Jesmuel Valentin will be in the picture…but if he has a ST like last year, there should be no denying him the opportunist.

      1. I don’t think signing a UTL to a minor league deal says anything about how they feel about Valentine. He almost made the team last year.

        You need depth to succeed (see: LA) and if Valentine gets hurt in the spring you need to have options. They also may want him to get everyday at bats at AAA.

        1. To start…..its not Valentine but Valentin.
          And why else sign Flaherty….to fill out the LHV roster?
          Do not think so.
          Not that I agree with the signing….but Klentak and MacPhail are familiar with him from their days in Baltimore, and he has over 1200 MLB PAs.
          I prefer to let Valentin get the opportunity……but they seem to prefer someone they are more comfortable with with a proven track record.

  28. My bet is that they pass on the top FA SPs and sign one of Garcia (lefty), Cashner, or Tillman. I also think they may swing a deal for another arm but I’m less confident this happens due to the ‘price’ of desirable (quality, young, controllable) starting pitchers.

    If I could have my wish (assuming we can’t secure one of the top four), I’d like to see Garcia fill our #4 spot and Archer be our #1 (I’m hoping a package that includes CeHe, one of our MLB OFs, one MLB ready SP, and perhaps two other modest farm assets gets the deal done).

    On a side note…I’m still not sure what they’ll do with three catchers (Knapp to AAA?) and ToJo (DFA?).

    1. It would be very disappointing if they settled for a third tier pitcher when they might as well just find out about the 4s and 5s already in the fold. And even more disheartening with all the resources at their disposal to acquire a TOR either via trade or free agency. It doesn’t sound like half measures are what Middleton is salivating for. I get the market is slow but this FO had better send a compelling starring rotation north come late March or there will be lots of discontent expressed in these threads.

    2. Big Phan –
      If you’re correct, and they don’t sign any of the top four, it will speak volumes. Garcia, Cashner, and Tillman would all be pitchers they would hope to flip at the deadline. From everything I have read and heard, the Phillies are very high on Nick Pivetta, and so am I. By signing a second tier pitcher, it would show me that they also have confidence in Lively, Eflin, and Thompson. Lively and Thompson have durability, but Eflin has better stuff.
      I think that they are trying to find a good place for Rupp and Joseph to play, They won’t get much in return, but those two guys have been good soldiers.

        1. That’s what I don’t get, why everyone wants to get rid of guys just because they may not make the team. If Hoskins/Santana gets hurt one of the OF’s becomes a regular and Tommy comes up as a bat off the bench. If Alfaro/Rupp/Knapp gets hurt whoever gets optioned becomes a back up.

          Is it unfortunate an MLB caliber player may have to play in AAA, yes, and I feel bad for them but the Phillies need to do what’s best for them, not Cameron Rupp, Aaron Altherr, or Tommy Joseph.

      1. They don’t have any wily veteran goofs, Romus. We may have to bring back Jay Johnstone. (He’s still alive, isn’t he?) Otherwise, Larry Andersen may have to step up.

  29. Anybody follow MLBTR live chats? Man, what an excruciating exercise! Thousands of questions get submitted and they always seem to answer the twenty most nonsensical, non-baseball ones, wasting the reader’s time.

    ….Just venting, rough day at work, sorry.

    1. Maybe if he is the catalyst to get them there….on the team now, the ones I see who have that type of personality for passionate public display of expression, sans the ‘f… bombs’, would be Rupp or maybe Knapp.

  30. I think Romus was envisioning an unlikely Playoff run in 2018. Going forward I agree that Kingery is the guy. If the Phils are to make the Playoffs this year, I think the catalyst is someone not yet here. There is a chance we don’t see Kingery at all this year.

    1. While it’s always possible that we won’t see Kingery this year and I’m pretty sure he will start the year in the minors, if he continues his trajectory, he’s going to be ready very soon and when he’s ready, they are going to promote him and won’t just leave him in the minors all year – he’s just too important to the team’s future to do that. I’d be pretty surprised if he was not with the team by at least the middle of June and it might be much sooner than that. I don’t think the failure to move Cesar will be a reason Scotty stays in the minors, at least in the short term. Rather, if he comes up, I think he’ll see some time a third, he and Cesar will share second, and both he and Cesar could play a little outfield. There will be a lot of mixing and matching going on until things shake out. It will certainly be interesting to follow.

    1. That’s kind of where I had these guys pegged.

      Williams’ future is as a very average corner outfielder unless he unexpectedly improves a lot (2+ WAR) and I think since last year we’ve been viewing Hoskins as a 4-6 WAR player.

      1. You may be right about Williams but even as an average corner OF, he could still produce a lot of runs at CBP. ’18 is a big year for him.

      2. Williams, I hope should realize they will have more data on him and he will need to make his own adjustments.
        The power will be there for him, been there since A ball, and I can see 25/30 HRs pretty easily.
        But that BA/OBP fueled , either good or bad, by his hit approach in regards to his Ks and BBs will determine his final WAR.

        1. His defensive metrics are not good at all – so, unless that changes, it also detracts from his value. Last year, he played to a 0.1 bWAR and .80 fWAR because while he was decent at the plate (1.4 offensive bWAR), he surrendered that value and more in the field (-1.6 bWAR; -5.9 runs or essentially 1 WAR – either way, not good).

          He’s the anti J.P. Crawford. Even when Crawford plays pretty badly, he’s quite good. By comparison, even when Williams plays very well, he’s just not very good – certainly thus far.

          He reminds me a little bit of Jeff Francoeur. The optics (which, on a surface level, are impressive) and the tools (very solid) do not match the player’s value (which is just not good).

          1. Yes…his defensive metrics really were below average. Part in kind since he only played about 70% of the time in the one [position of RF.
            Moving him between all the OF positions, as he was also done in the minors, is not probably a good idea.
            And at least in the minors he got more time in LF than either of the two other positions…go figure.
            When in CF or LF it appears his SDI and Rtot/yr metrics were horrific last season in Philly. At least they were worst than when he played RF.
            I still think those metrics will improve if he is allowed to just stay in one corner
            Will he ever be a Gold glove candidate, probably not, but he should be league average defensively if let to remain in the one corner.

  31. Frenchy was always a pretty good defensive OF, with a rocket arm. Williams has to really improve quite a bit. Not to say that he won’t, but, in a way, this reminds me of the Phils signing Geoff Jenkins and Jayson Werth to platoon. Werth ended up winning it outright and becoming a very good player. Maybe, one of Williams or Altherr will do the same. Hoskins will play most of the time in LF, Doobie in CF. The other 2 need to separate themselves from each other.

    1. I’m on board with KuKo, trade Odubel by the deadline. That’ll relieve the congestion and perhaps Quinn will play a bigger role. I can’t see this lasting into the second half of the season unless there’s an injury.

        1. Probably not (unless he blows up this year – which always possible). Odubel’s biggest value is being a well above average centerfielder on an extremely affordable contract. Every year that goes by the contract length is shorter and, hence, Odubel, the trade chip, is less valuable.

          1. A. The market in July, normally just contenders, will be less than the off-season market that will encompass the entire MLB.
            .
            B. GMs are more ensconced into their long term strategic planning after the season, and will be more inclined to structure their rosters accordingly.

            1. Romus
              C. Teams that aren’t in contention this year but are moving in that direction can add a piece of the future. Hopefully some of the Phillies prospects will get off to red hot starts and increase their trade value.

      1. I will trade Doobie and Vinny (plus Thompson) to TEX for Hamels, Ragans, Cody and Alexy! Quinn, Altherr and Nick can share the CF in 2018, then Haseley in 2019-2020 then Trout in 2021 onwards!

        1. KuKo … you know im a big fan of both Roman Quinn and AJ Alexy, but when you consider what the CWS got for Adam Eaton (2 top 50 pitchers and a top 10 organizational guy), this return (IMO) isn’t nearly enough for Odubel and VV. I’d rather roll with Dobie and VV.

  32. With the 40-man roster full and the obvious need for further additions, I was contemplating which players are most at risk. Changes are coming – it’s inevitable given the current makeup of the roster.

    Here’s my submission of those most at risk for losing their spot on the 40 man.

    TJoseph – in my view Joseph is by far the most likely to lose his roster spot. Santana’s signing all but assured this. I give it 50/50 he’s the starting 1B for LV in 2018, else another organization

    Zac Curtis – I suspect the FO would like to see more of the lefty Curtis this spring, but unless he’s seen as a legitimate shot for the OD roster, he will most certainly lose his roster spot. Look for the FO to attempt to ‘sneak’ him through waivers this spring

    Zach Eflin – I wasn’t necessarily thinking of Zach when I began this exercise, but coming off shoulder surgery and with options remaining, I suspect the FO also tries to sneak him through waivers.

    Of the above three, I’d give Joseph a 99% chance of losing his 40-man. Curtis 90%, and Eflin 50%. Ricardo Pinto and Jake Thompson just below Eflin in terms of risk.

    Each of the above players has options remaining, so the FO will be thinking strategically in order to keep them in the organization, but their 40-man spots certainly at risk.

    http://m.mlb.com/phi/roster/40-man/

    1. Steve:
      Eflin did not have shoulder surgery…..he would be out all of 2018 if he did.
      Rotoworld.
      “Eflin is now officially done for the season with a right shoulder strain. He’ll probably have to compete for a spot in the rotation next spring. Tue, Sep 12, 2017 “

      1. Romus – thanks for clarifying. I knew he didn’t have a procedure but typed ‘surgery’ all the same. Perhaps the consequence of a 6:30am post. Thanks

        For what its worth, Eflin had been throwing as recently as September and he’s expected to be ready for spring training. So better stated, with a history of shoulder ailments, unless Eflin is shows early signs of competing for a spot in the opening day rotation (which is indeed a possibility), I would expect him to lose his spot on the 40-man.

        Lots of moves coming between now and opening day

          1. Yes. Eflin has been throwing on Tuesdays and Fridays since January 26th, on the same schedule as the other pitchers. Only Thompson has thrown on a different schedule, more often and more pitches, leading me to guess bull pen with no other info than that available to me.

  33. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com cites a source saying Phillies are “aggressively” shopping for a vet SP on a short term deal. Not likely any of the top 4 FAs (though for me Darvish is the only preference among them). Jaime Garcia or Jason Vargas are two lefties mentioned as possible targets. Meh….if so, go with what we already have in camp.

    1. 8mark – I suspect front office wants someone who can throw 175 innings. I’m not sure we have three guys on the roster who are considered even suspect to do so. I’m with you on the meh though

      1. Steve, would Yu go for one year, $30+M? Maybe a 2nd yr player option? And/or re-enter free agency still as the top arm next winter? (I will assume Kershaw re-ups with LAD.)

  34. 8mark – if we can’t get at least 2 yrs out of a top tier, I’m not sure what the point would be. Would I go 2/60 or 3/85.

    I still think our best bets are via the trade market – Odorizzi and Salazar in particular are great fits. I also like McHugh over Garcia and Vargas.

    Santana was nice, but I think we need to do something else relatively big in the next week or so.

      1. We’d still get the QO for Darvish and a comp pick if he moved on. I think that is worth something. Again, not sure he’ll settle for 1 year but MacKlentak could certainly make him think twice IF they are being aggressive as reported. Otherwise what does ‘aggressively’ mean?

        1. Right. Right now I don’t think either side could speak in terms of acting aggressively. How bout:

          2/60 Darvish
          2/56 Arrieta
          Trade for Odorizzi who can be had without giving up a top 10 prospect.

  35. My feeling on Darvish is that I want him for this year to start winning again and I think he can help the team going forward as they contend. So, for him, I go 4 Years and $120M. Arrieta would only be a 1 year “pillow type” contract, maybe with an option. I don’t think we have enough information on our prospects to trade now. And, I am referring to the higher level ones. Give them all another year to see what is there, and we can better decide who can bring us another SP. I am not ready to give up on Williams or Altherr, and I would want a really good SP to even consider trading Doobie, and Cesar does not bring much back. So. if no Darvish, I am ok with Garcia to eat some innings. He also throws lefty and there is a lack of one in the Rotation.

  36. The feeling of all of our sports team growing into contention is building. Eagles have already reached the summit, Phillies are growing and Sixers are on their way. Joel Embiid is growing into a superstar of the highest magnitude. He made Anthony Davis, a great player in his own right, just disappear last night. I was there – and his dominance was insane. When he and Simmons get a bit better and others fill in the gaps they will be unstoppable. Add Lebron and they are a championship contender next year. It really could happen.

    1. And then there is also the Flyers with plenty of youth and vigor coming along.
      Think the Eagles changed the city mind-set for parade routes in the future….in the past they normally started around City Hall and work their way down to the south Philly sports’ complex.
      Perhaps the steps of the Art Museum will now be he final destinations for future parades….just get more port of potties.

      1. Romus … I acted like I was having surgery the day of the parade; nothing to eat or drink after midnight. The other thing the city can upgrade for the next parade is the sound system in front of the art museum. I was about three hundred yards from the stage, and I had to wait until I got home to decipher Jason Kelce’s “underdog” speech. There was a gigantic speaker on top of a pole near me, but no sound came out of it.

        1. Understand some gals were wearing Depend type undies, discretely slipping off into plastic, then into a brown bag and throwing into trash cans.
          Guys on the other hand, were using empty plastic Gatorade containers, then dumping into the sewers.
          Two thousand people per port-a-potty is not a good ratio when the beer is flowing.

            1. Wonder if we could have signed him for $120M over 4 years. He’s getting $126M from Cubs with potential to reach $150M.

  37. I can shut up about Yu Darvish now. Time to sign Jaime Garcia, and concentrate on ST. I think it is a very reasonable deal for the Cubs with only $126M guaranteed.

      1. Darvish’s agent is not Scott Boras.
        In the past Scott Boras does not let any other signings influence the value he places on his clients.

  38. TBOH proposed TJ to Twins for 3rd rd pitcher Blaine Enlow who pitcher well in A ball last season. Joseph would fill the dh/1b platoon with aging Joe Mauer. Do it.

    1. Would you do that if you were the twins? I feel that if TJ is traded it’s for cash considerations/player to be named later.

      The Twins could just sign Mike Napoli and get an identical player. Plus the could always go out and get a Jose Bautista, Matt Holliday, Jayson Werth, Melky Cabrera, etc type bat that can play OF and 1st.

    2. 8mark … Blayne Enlow was drafted in the third round, but was a first round talent (and got paid like one). He may have had the best CB of any HS pitcher in last year’s draft. The Twins aren’t giving him up for Tommy Joseph.
      I still think the only way Klentak can get any value for Joseph is to flip him to the O’s for Mark Trumbo and his contract (2 yrs/26 million) and Baltimore’s comp A draft pick.

      1. Hinkie…agree.
        TJ;s value is minimal.
        Possibly a CBA pick, or a low A ball lottery ticket prospect or just int’l money, from which a team like the Os seem to relish trading away.

      2. Didn’t realize Enlow’s upside. Name sounded familiar. TJ may start the season in Lehigh as insurance for Santana and Rhys until another club needs a power bat off the bench.

  39. Sunday Perspective’

    As of 2.11.2018,

    Phillies projected payroll for 2018: $65-67mm

    Tampa Bay Rays projected payroll for 2018: $77-83mm

    No joke. Phillies projection includes salaries of Hunter, Neshek, and Santana. Arrieta at $25m AAV over 3-4 years would still place the 2018 payroll at a laughable $90ish mm.

  40. Can we get Arrieta for 4/$100M? Should we? I don’t see the Brewers and Giants as so far ahead that I give up on a WC run. Cards seem pretty good, Dbacks not as good and Giants and Rockies meh, so why not go for it?

    1. I don’t see that as enough unless he truly doesn’t have any other suitors. I think you might have to go to at least $30 million to get him to take 4 years.

      Which I’d be fine with. That contract would be off the books by the time guys like Hoskins and Nola start becoming pricy.

      Chris Tillman intrigues me though. Obviously all the Orioles connections are there and Andy traded for him. 1 year over pay may make sense. I like Cashner as well. Get him out of Texas and see what he can do. To a man it seemed like that whole staff regressed last year.

    2. I Read that Arrieta turned down. The same deal that Darvish got. So he wants more than 100 million. according to what I read.

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