Open Discussion: Week of February 11, 2018

Finally.  The light at the end of the tunnel.  Pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater early this week, and their first workout is on Wednesday, February 14th.  Four dozen players have been seen at the Complex.

Yu Darvish came off the free agent board.  And, NO!  The Phillies shouldn’t run out and sign Jake Arrieta.  I’ll explain why.  Again.

The Phillies signed a couple more journeyman position players, a few minor league free agents, and another young player retired.

Organizational News and Changes

The Phillies signed free agent 2B Ryan Flaherty to a minor league contract, invited him to spring training, and assigned him to Lehigh Valley.  Flaherty has played parts of six seasons in the majors with the Orioles. He has a .215/.284/.355/.639 slash in 1142 career at bats.  He has logged 245 innings at corner outfield, 1428 innings at 2B, 391 innings at SS, 751 innings at 3B, and some at 1B.

According to the Twitter account of the Ottawa Champions of the CAMA, OF Adron Chambers was signed by the Phillies and assigned to Lehigh Valley.  Chambers played parts of three seasons in the majors with the Cardinals from 2011-2013.  He got into all 5 games of the NLDS between the Phillies and Cardinals, and went 1-2 with an RBI and a K. He played 175 innings in the outfield – 68.2 in CF and 106.2 in the corners.  He spent 2014-15 in AAA for Toronto, Houston, and the Cubs before playing Indy ball in 2016-17.

The Phillies signed a couple of 17-year old free agents to minor league contracts – SS Ellian Rondon and  OF Felix Negueis.  And, signed 28-year old free agent LHP Josh Tols from Australia to a minor league contract and assigned him to Reading.

Catcher Kipp Moore retired.  He was signed in 2017 as an non-drafted free agent out of Murray State.  He played in 32 games for the GCL Phillies and slashed .250/.344/.339/.683 in 56 career at bats.

The players already in Clearwater were joined by seventeen new arrivals, bringing the total up to 48 – Aaron Nola, Hoby Milner, Rhys Hoskins, Jorge Alfaro, Tommy Joseph, Brandon Leibrandt, Andrew Pullin, Matt McBride, Austin Davis, Drew Stankiewicz, Jiandido Tromp (MIA on Friday, wondering if his sighting was correct), Nick Williams, Hector Neris, Luis Garcia, Andrew Knapp (sans moustache), Will Middlebrooks, Dalton Guthrie.  Cole Irvin flew in Sunday night.

Winter Ball

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

Puerto Rico won the Caribbean Series.  Damek Tomscha went 2-4 in on game, and Jesse Valentin played in 6 games and went 10-27 (.370).

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.

The Darvish Trade

Yu Darvish agreed to a 6-year, $126M deal with the Cubs.  This should not trigger Phillies interest in Jake Arrieta.  First, Arrieta will cost the Phillies their 3rd round pick in the June Amateur draft (and the accompanying slot money).  Second, Arrieta and his agent are looking for Jon Lester money (6-years, $155M).  And third, Arrieta’s numbers have started a slow decline since his 2015 Cy Young season.

Year    Age    W-L     GS   CG   SHO      IP          H     R   ER   HR   BB   SO
2015     29     22-6    33      4        3       229.0   150   52   45    10    48   236
2016     30     18-8    31      1        1       197.1   138   72   68    16    76   190
2017     31    14-10  30      0        0       168.1   150   82   66    23    55   163
Year    Age   ERA    ERA+   FIP     WHIP   H9    HR9   BB9   SO9    Awards
2015     29    1.77     215     2.35    0.865    5.9     0.4      1.9      9.3     CYA-1,MVP-6
2016     30    3.10     135     3.52    1.084    6.3     0.7      3.5      8.7     AS,CYA-9,SS
2017     31    3.53     123     4.16    1.218    8.0     1.2      2.9      8.7
There are a lot of things going in the wrong direction.  Home runs jump out.  Imagine him in CBP.  His MLB page shows that his go/fo is rapidly approaching 1.00 which means he’s serving up more fly balls.  His IP are alarming.  In 1 less start last season, his IP dropped 29 innings from the previous season.  Sure he might keep his numbers respectable in the first year of his contract, but the progression suggests that he is already on the down-side of his career.  If he sticks to his demand of a 6-year contract, remember what Cliff Lee’s age 35, 36, and 37 seasons were like, and Roy Halladay’s age 35 and 36 seasons.

Key Dates:

  • February 13, 2018 – Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training
  • February 14, 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)

  • 2/10/18 – LHP Josh Tols assigned to Reading Fightin Phils
  • 2/9/18 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Josh Tols to a minor league contract
  • 2/8/18 – Phillies signed free agent 2B Ryan Flaherty to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training
  • 2/8/18 – 2B Ryan Flaherty assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 2/7/18 – Phillies sign free agent OF Adron Chambers and assign him to Lehigh Valley
  • 2/7/17 – C  Kipp Moore retired.
  • 2/3/18 – Phillies signed free agent OF Felix Negueis to a minor league contract
  • 1/31/18 – Phillies signed free agent SS Ellian Rondon to a minor league contract
  • 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.

343 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of February 11, 2018

  1. I agree Arrieta is a bad choice. That being said, unless you think the current crop of starters can develop into a full rotation behind Nola (no evidence of that to date) or want to wait 2-4 more years (and yes, it could be 4 years), for Sanchez, Medina etc to reach Philly and become established pitchers, you are going to have to make an investment in dollars or prospects for starting pitching. All pitching acquisitions have risk.

  2. Darvish was the most talented pitcher out there, and I didn’t care about the money, but the years are crazy. The Cubs are built to win now, so it might work out for them. Lynn and Cobb could be a fit for the Phillies on a three year deal with maybe a fourth year option. Trade options include Fulmer, Stroman, Archer, and possibly Duffy, but the asking price is way too high. The reason that I like Duffy is that KC needs help in so many places, including the cashbox. They have stated that they want to keep Hosmer, so maybe they’ll take Williams and a boatload of cash.

    1. Duffy would be my choice to go out and trade for.
      Still fairly young..late 20s and as a LHP he would fit in nicely to give some balance to an all righty rotation as it stands now.

  3. Arrieta on a 5 or 6 year deal is too risky.

    But Arrieta on a one or two year pillow contract might be fine. This Phillies team could score a lot of runs, so what looks like a silly pillow contract in February could be a fine acquisition come the middle of July either for a wild card contender or for a team looking to execute a trade. With Arrieta it’s all about the contract length.

    1. Jon Heyman reports that the Brewers, Phillies and Nats are 3 most likely landing spots for Arrieta, with the Twins and Cards the next in line.

      There’s absolutely no way I give him 6 years at any rate. 3 years at $75M would be my max offer ($30M-$25M-$20M) with a vesting 4th yr option. Otherwise I sign Cobb or trade from our depth.

      My guess is he signs with Milwaukee for 5 years. The Nats want to re-sign Harper and won’t have wiggle room.

      1. My guess is nats at 4 yrs 120 million with club option for 5th year. or they could do a 4 yr front loaded with 50 million first year. 40 next year ,then 15 and 15 like they did with others. I read he wants to go to nats If possible. cant find the article or quote.

  4. chambers was suspended 50 games a couple seasons ago for a drug of abuse.

    Arrieta did pitch much better after the all star break last year, but still gave up alot of homers. No way on 6, and i don’t like giving up a draft pick to sign a guy for 1-2 years.

    Darvish might not have wanted to come here anyway, but wonder if Phils could have front loaded the first couple years while the team payroll is low- 28-28-25-20-18 get you within 7 mil of the Cubs contract in 1 less year, and could have offered opt out after year 3 or 4.

    1. Front loading really doesn’t help for MLB contracts since, for luxury tax purposes, each contract is assessed on AAV – average annual value.

      1. There are other factors involved also for the lux.tax issue:
        ….bonuses are counted as payroll the year they trigger and not part of the AAV ….deferred money is part of the total contract value, and is included in the luxury tax calculation. Only the years during which the player is signed to play count for the denominator, though.
        …..option years are diffferent animals. Team and mutual options are not considered guaranteed and not factored into the AAV, but player options are treated as if they’re guaranteed years for the purpose of calculating AAV (unless there’s a gigantic buyout). This prevent teams from offering no-brainer options in an attempt to circumvent the luxury tax.

      2. the only value of front loading , I guess, is it makes the player more tradeable at the back end of the contract which would have less money left.

  5. Sorry , don’t mean to rant but I find the topic of acquisition of starting pitching for this team right now very frustrating.
    the other point is that we heard a few years ago that this team was going to ” grow pitching and buy bats and yet in the last 3 drafts, they have taken high floor low ceiling outfielders with 3 top ten picks ( Randolph may have been 10 or 11, I forget)
    in that time, they could have selected starting pitching.

    1. Well, you’ve pointed out something that, to me, is the most serious concern in this organization and that’s domestic (i.e., draftable) talent evaluation. We will see how those three picks are going to pan out, but early returns range from disappointing to nearly disastrous. Johnny Almaraz, who was an Amaro hire, is not on the strongest footing right now. For as much as we lambasted Marti Woelover, it is he, and not Johnny, who is responsible for Nola and Hoskins and Crawford and Altherr.

      1. Agreed. At this point ( granted its early) but none of the last 3 top ten first round picks that we have made look like top level major league talent. ( obviously there is time for that to change)

      2. I agree with you about Almaraz. Of course you have to let things play out and develop, but as a fan and follower you can also grade things out in the short term as well. That is the beauty of it all. Or lack thereof so to speak. I was an early advocate of Almaraz but I am thinking this will be his last season to give himself some footing. Otherwise he is a goner.

        1. I think you are correct.
          It really is unfair to judge Almaraz without letting it play out.
          I just look back at someone like Ed Wade.
          Ed Wade, asst GM ‘89 thru ‘97, GM ‘98 thru Nov 2005. is credited with drafting the core of Philadelphia’s 2008 World Championship team, including Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, Brett Myers, and Ryan Madson. He’s also credited with hiring the organization’s all-time winnings manager, Charlie Manuel, and signing superstar free agent Jim Thome.
          In the seven-year span from 1996-2003 the Phillies drafted and signed Hamels, Jimmy Rollins, Pat Burrell, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Marlon Byrd, Michael Bourn, Brett Myers, Randy Wolf, Ryan Madson and Gavin Floyd and signed Carlos Ruiz and Carrasco internationally.
          Of course some of his trades were horrific..but when it came to drafting and signing he seem to be ahead of the game.
          And now……it will be up to their current active group of homegrown players, to step up in the next few years, to match that ‘96-‘03 group.
          Almaraz should be given a few more years at least to see what transpires.

          1. I think I’m more concerned about the organizations approach to pitching at this time: 1. don’t want to overpay in free agency ( understandable). 2. don’t want to overpay in prospects ( understandable). 3. don’t use high draft picks on pitching because its too risky.. Other than international signings , I’m not sure where they intend to get playoff caliper starting pitching from then.

            1. “3. don’t use high draft picks on pitching because its too risky”….IMO, only risky if is a HS pitcher.
              Otherwise someone like a college guy Nola falls thru the cracks.
              There will be the HSers like Kershaws, Bumgarrners and the few notables….but a majority never make it as they were projected.

            2. the best way to approach the Rule IV is to draft the best player available regardless of age, position and bonus slot. the only exception to this is when a prospect has an option to go back to college and threatens the team on not signing with then.

              BPA sounds easier said and done, but the teams spend a tremendous amount of resources in evaluating prospect eligible for Rule IV and there are other sources for scouting information. Each team have their own checklist and grading system and who (prospect) check the most boxes, should be drafted.

              IMO, Randolph and Moniak are not the BPA when it is Phils turn to draft. Haseley might be based on rankings available to public.

              Johhny A.’s philosophy in scouting players is sound and fundamentally solid – players who can control the strike zone. But Johnny needs to diverse its approach too and pulling the trigger on certain high upside players despite of the risk.

          2. Drafting amateurs is something upper management tends to defer to the baseball people in the organization. Bad trades often develop from pressure by big brass to get rid of or avoid paying big bucks to ascending talent. Giles-Montgomery are primarily the route issue to past debacles of deals like trading Lee instead of wearing big boy pants as a big market club and having both him AND Doc giving us a better shot in 2010. Wade and Amaro, albeit flawed in their own judgment, weren’t much more than puppets at the whim of voices not yet influenced by Middleton who only recently has made his presence felt.

            1. If Middleton was at the helm back when Lee and Halladay were on the roster, I gotta believe that awful trade to Seattle never happens. I’m loving Middleton, he is going to get job done for the phans. Need some more faith and time. With that said I will hold him accountable when the time comes, but all signs point to him doing his job, it will just be up to the players at that point

            2. Tac, if John Middleton wanted to keep Cliff Lee so badly why didn’t he pony up the money needed to keep him in 2009? Now it is apparent that our current starters (other than Nola, maybe Eickoff and Velaquez) are not even average MLB starters so the Phillies need to sign someone with a proven MLB record. Our on field team looks good so now it is time to upgrade the Starting pitching and Middleton will have to spend money to do it.

            3. @8mark absolutely doesn’t happen. That was a mandate by Dave Montgomery. It was in that book by Salisbury and Zoleki a few years ago.

  6. The SP has to come from somewhere. They need to take the risks involved whether it is FA or trades. Either way is risky. I hope at least one of the guys we have pans out, but expecting the whole rotation to come from them is more risky than throwing money at FAs. That is why I was all in on Darvish. Next year’s best options are rehabbing guys or JA Happ. Wouldn’t it be nice to be a destination place again? The idea that we will just overpay for whoever we want is not much of a plan. We need to be a team that a FA feels is going to win. I have a problem with letting the Brewers and Twins be better than we are. I think with SP the Phils can compete for a WC this year.

    1. @matt13 – i agree, Darvish is all i want too with Cobb as distant 2nd. I will try to stay away from Arrietta or Lynn unless it’s a 1-yr pillow contract. I still want the Phils to sign at least 1 FA and my target will be:

      1) LHP Jason Vargas, 35 – $22/2 yr, 1-yr base $12M + 2nd yr mutual $10M
      2) LHP Jaime Garcia, 31 – $25/2 yr, 1-yr base $14 + 2nd yr mutual $11M
      3) RHP Andrew Cashner – $30/2 yr
      4) RHP Henderson Alvarez, 27 – $32M/3 yr
      5) LHP Hector Santiago, 30 – same as Jason Vargas

      The Phils can include additional incentives based on innings pitched, games started, WAR, stats and throw in signing bonus of $1-3M.

    2. Free agents aren’t that risky if the term is short – they have cash – worst thing is they blow their own money. Trades are much more risky if the player has upside. They have cash – but they don’t have talent to burn.

    3. Totally agree. That’s been my point for a while. You have to take some risks to build a rotation especially until sanchez, medina etc ( the better pitching prospects arrive in 2020-2021.)
      you cant play it safe in free agency, the draft and trades.
      MK worries me because he seems adverse to any risks ( paralysis by over analysis) and thus only takes small or safe chances.
      even his moves, 2 yrs for RP , 3 yrs for Santana are all safe moves.
      I’m not saying you have to be reckless but being a Gm does require some risk taking.

      1. I think this tradedealine you are going to see him take his risk, which imo he will have midigated by getting a longer look at these prospects. Part of the rebuild is selecting the correct players to stay, all while rebuilding better than your division, the NL and so on.
        Will see. I’m happy to have what they have now, and trade away to upgrade the team before the big FA next offseason.

  7. You will not get a quality FA SP without investing in 4 plus years minimum.
    They are usually late 20s or 30 and looking for that LTC for their last harrah.
    Trading for one, can get you both youth and a good arm… you have to be willing to sacrifice key assets as the Sox (Sale), Astros(Verlander) and Yankees (Gray) have both done recently

    1. @romus – what you said is true. but that’s not the current reality that the Phils are facing. The current FAs are not worth the money they are asking for and teams put so much premium on their really good controllable starting pitchers making the price prohibitive.

      With the Phillies resources on had, they rather use their $$ and payroll flexibility than surrender some top end prospect which took them 5+ years developing — therefore, they will now look at the 2019 FAs to use the $$ and payroll flexibility and keep their top prospects (JPC, Kingery, Sixto, Medina, Ortiz, Haseley).

      The mechanics will change if some prospects (Ranger, JoJo, Anderson, Kilome, Gamboa) or MLB players (Vinny, Pivetta, Eflin) showed tremendous improvement in 2018 since it will provide the Phils additional trade assets they can use to acquire a controllable SP.

  8. I know a lot of us want to sign a FA pitcher, or two, but I’m feeling the SP take a big step forward this year. Need Nola to stay healthy, but out of VV, Pivetta, Efflin, Eickhoff, eschelmann,and Thompson… I think two or take a big enough step forward that it’s a non issue. My gut feeling is Efflin emerges as a solid 3, we see a top tier #2in Eickhoff, and Pivetta and Eshelman round out 4&5. I think this is the year VV goes back to the pen. By mid season if he can’t get out of the 4th 🙂
    No real science behind it, more my gut after seeing their positive flashes at the mlb level (minus Eshelman)
    I’m seeing above .500 ball for this club. Calling my bookie now!

    1. Hopefully youre correct. That’s clearly the organizational approach for 2018. Not against the idea of giving these guys a full 2018 chance and then reassess. Its just hard to build an entire playoff level rotation from in house options only.

      1. I agree that is tough, but remember, they also have Kilome, Anderson, Sixto, Medina, and others coming down the pike in a year or 2. I’m not against handing out contracts, i just think this rebuild has one more “be patient” campaign before the FO can confidently go full force. It’s not what we want to hear, but I think that’s the way it is. I still see a .500 record for them with the improved offense and bullpen. Couple that with trades and player development,
        I’m itching for the season to get started.

        1. well-stated, tac…agree 100%. 2018 will be a pivotal season in which the in-house options will have plenty of opportunities to push themselves into the Phils’ pitching plans for 2019 and beyond. Is this always going to be exciting? Probably not. But this is exactly the kind of assessment period that the Phillies need before they enter next off-season ready to do battle on the FA market. The time is not ripe for an Arrieta signing right now, and neither Cobb nor Lynn are worth writing home about, either.

    2. I’m with Tac3. I wouldn’t sign Arrieta, Cobb, or (especially) Lynn. I’m all for giving our young pitchers (Pivetta and Efflin) another chance to show what they can do.

      1. I have no issue with that.
        Just hard to build a rotation entirely from in house candidates. ( not too many examples of that, maybe the METs). I also think you have to assume sixto and medina ( both in SIngle A) are atleast two years from major leagues and you have to factor in atleast one or two years to get settled in major leagues. SAme with Kilome. This year in AA, not year in AAA ( maybe a sept 2019 call up).

        I’m not advocating for a particular signing or trade. Just the point that they are going to have to at some point invest dollars ( above a comfort level) or prospects ( above a comfort level) in starting pitching

      2. You guys are the exact opposite of the posters on The Good Phight. I still think they’ll acquire a pitcher by signing or trade, and I’m kind of leaning on 1- Duffy or 2- Cobb (3 yrs and a 4th year option).

        1. I like Duffy or Cobb myself.

          If the Phillies go north without an acquired SP, Klentak will look pretty impotent as a GM, what with all the cash and young talent at his disposal.

    3. @tac3 – you are looking at the best case scenario which will just result to disappointment. Seeing the Phillies at 0.500 is doable. But Eickhoff at “top tier #2” and Eflin at “solid #3” is being a homie. Eickhoff is almost a finished product and his CB is the only pitch that is a plus. Eickhoff can pitch #2 behind Nola. but his ceiling is a #3 based on his abilities.

      Eflin’s FB and CU has the makings of at least above average but after 2 years pitching in the major league, the CU is decent, the SL is inconsistent and the FB is a border average to above average. Eflin is back end starter and maybe a move to the pen is better to give him change to throw and command his FB at mis-90s and improve his CU from decent to above average.

      1. Kurdt, I agree. Too many homies here. We have 6 guys who have had opportunities and have not delivered. Most of them have never even sniffed a top-100. Most of them can’t stay healthy. What makes people thing we can survive going forward with these pieces?

        Now, I’m not saying it can’t click for one or two of them and they can be serviceable for the future. But for right now, Arrieta immediately becomes our second-best pitcher. And that’s a HUGE upgrade.

        Another point here. Remember when Hamels struggled in 2009 after throwing over 260 innings in 2008? Maybe Arrieta struggled a little bit after throwing many innings and pitching into November in 2016. Why would we make the excuse for Hamels, but not for Arrieta?

        1. Comparing Arrieta now to Cole Hamels in 2009 is “apples and oranges”. Hamels was 25 YO with 940 IP’s (minors and majors) logged. Arrieta will be 32 YO in three weeks and has double the IP’s (1,857 between NCAA, MiLB, & MLB) Hamels had in 2009.
          You can call it being a “homer” to want to see our young SP’s given another shot to produce. On the other hand, some might say it’s a “homer’s” point of view to think this team is going to win anything this year with or without a FA pitcher signing. IMO, I’d rather pay for an arm when the Phillies are ready to contend, and their window for contention opens in 2019. If you want to pay Arrieta three years at an inflated AAV salary, that just doesn’t make sense to me. Especially because the first 200 innings he’s going to pitch aren’t going to make a dent in the Phillies possible WS chances. By 2019, at age 33, Arrieta (IMO) stands a very good chance of regressing even more.
          Klentak would be better off buying a FA pitcher (Garrett Richards) next winter.

          1. I kind of remember they said the same thing about Lackey and he had some up and down periods after he signed a big deal with Red Sox at age 31 but he sure as heck battled every start for them and his best season at 34 when they won the WS. And again in 16 with the Cubs

            that’s the difference between a front line organization and us.

        2. The difference in their ages would be one reason,

          Didn’t you notice the downward progression of Arrieta’s numbers above? He’s trending down and is entering his age 32 season. Sure, he might post a sub-4.00 ERA this year, but a 3.90 ERA (as good as that would be on our staff) would still be trending downward.

          We don’t get to but one or two years of Arrieta, we have to swallow a long-term contract. It was suggested in a report (by Heyman, I think) that he wasn’t even interested in Darvish money (6-yr/$126M), and wants Lester money (6-yr/$155M).

          I think the following is a concerning trend. In 2015, his CYA year, Arrieta averaged 6.9 IP per start. In 2016, 6.4 IP per start. And in 2017, 5.6 IP per start.

          And this, in 2015, Arrieta’s GO/AO was 1.76. In 2016, it was 1.75. In 2017 it cratered significantly to 1.19. Increased fly balls in CBP is a concern.

          With regard to pitching into November, you’re comparing Arrieta’ age 29-31 seasons against Hamels’ age 24-25 seasons. Hamels had youth on his side and bounced back to pitch well in 2010 through 2016. Arrieta is entering his age 32 season and more likely to continue to trend downward.

      2. I’m more optimistic than most, you can call it “homie”, that’s fine. For me, I’ve seen Eickhoff perform at a #2 level for a good stretch. The league since has made adjustments, but I’m thinking he can make his as well, and it results in a nice push for him and the phils. Efflin has had flashes,
        And ultimately I believe he can sustain them. For him, it think it’s injuries, it tweaks his geek&mechanics.
        Players do improve, and have blips from their precieved finish products. For example J.A. HAAP, or Charlie Morton from last year. It doesn’t always happen, but it does happen.

        Again, my “prediction” is not based on analytics, I’m more a mix, I throw in some gut feelings too. I see good things for those guys,
        Will see.
        Either way I respect all the opinions, so let’em rip!

        1. @tac3 – i guess it depends on how you define #2. Eickhoff has a really good start in his career in 2015 and that’s probably what you are looking at.

          While it can still be subjective, the grading of the SPs are based on their stuff. And based on the guideline below, Eickhoff is #3 – plus CB, average FB-SL, average command and make up. I can see Eickhoff as a reliable SP who can pitch 200 IPs yearly, but I don’t see him throwing complete games, shut outs of no hitters. Nola is probably the only SP in the team who has the ability to do that on a sustainable manner. I see Nola as #2 than #1 and I’m a really big Nola guy in this site.

          https://phuturephillies.com/prospectprimer/the-20-80-scouting-scale-or-why-the-phillies-dont-have-a-1-and-maybe-not-even-a-2/

          1. It’s fair, if I’m being honest I went high on Eickhoff and was bouncing him back and forth. I didn’t read that article, I will. Lol you guys are more technical than I’m used to. All in all, my hope is Eickhoff can be a #2 but is probably more fair to say he is a #3 with stretches where he can pitch like a 2. (Meaning beating other teams #2 matchups,having great results in era,so, B.B. rates etc)

            I’m just ready to get the season started to see how this all Shakes out.

          2. I heard a member of the Phillies’ organization discuss their starting rotation on one of the shows on the MLB Network. When asked about the large number of #3 pitchers on the 40-man roster, the Phillies’ guy agreed and included Aaron Nola as a #3 although a very good, upper side of the range #3.

            I was surprised at this. I guess it is representative of the number designation being about stuff (a factor with which I agree). I’m not trying to protect the identity of the org guy. I just don’t remember, I was catching up on a lot of MLB shows, interview, and Phillies’ video.

  9. Arrieta is the next best choice. He will immediately be an upgrade to our rotation and maybe we can be pushed into wildcard contention come July.

    To worry about losing a draft pick is silly. Go out and trade for a good pitcher, see what you give up. And look at Moniak and Randolph, those were first-rounders that haven’t exactly been tearing it up since drafted. So a third-rounder? Come on.

    And again, who cares about spending our owner’s money? It makes no sense! Now having said that, I would be ok with going 4 years, with a lot of easy incentives, much like what Arrieta got, probably based on innings and starts.

    1. I don’t mind spending Middleton’s money, I just want to spend it wisely,
      And not get handcuffed into long term
      Deals (think Burrell and Howard) where production is far below market value. I also don’t want to rush the rebuild,
      To me a good example are the Sixers. Trading for Fultz doesn’t look so good right now when then could’ve stayed at 3 and continue to add top tier talent st this year’s draft. Granted different sports, but to me they rushed it a bit, and now the cats out. For the Phillies, I think they had a great offseason, they pounced on Offense and the bullpen. Now the players need to keep up their trajectory and they will be in a great sustainable run. Adding Kingery, Sixto, Hasley, (Ortiz – big hopes for him) and the right FA… is going to equal a lot of playoff opportunities in the next 5-6 years. Misteps could cut that down to 2-3. That is how I see it. Imagine the 2007-2009 clubs with the current farms system. I think we’d of seen a few more good runs out them with Utley retiring a career philly, maybe Hamels too

    2. The Phillies will spend about $150M to sign Arrieta. While the Phillies can afford that, that $150M can be more useful to go after Machado, Harper, Kuechel and Richards next year.

      Signing Arrieta is a “short term” move and the reasons are obvious. The Phils did not endure the years of losing just to waste $$ for a short term gain.

      Without a top FA signing, the 2018 SP can be awful but it also has a potential to be better than expected. Eickhoff should be better than his 2017, so is Pivetta, Vinny and Eflin.

      In addition, there are help coming from the pipeline in 2018. Anderson is 2 years removed from TJ so he should be able to handle the load, Eshelman is MLB ready as Nola-lite and Ranger and Taveras are probably better than the 2nd tier FAs available in the market. Anderson, Eshelman, Ranger and Taveras are pitchers with good feel for pitching and excelled because of the command of their pitches —- these are the type of pitchers that can transition well to the majors and different breed than Vinny, Pivetta, Eflin and Jake who has better stuff but cannot command their pitches well.

      Then in 2 years, Medina, Sixto and JoJo will be at high minors and can jump to the majors if needed. These trio is better than the pitchers I mentioned above since these trio has both the pure stuff and pitching ability to dominate.

  10. I think Pivetta may have a #3 ceiling. Eflin and Eickhoff are #4s and we have a slew of #5 candidates. I love Nola, but they will need another top guy. And, without much improved SP, .500 is not very realistic. Finishing under .500 doesn’t exactly woo FAs. So, we are back to overpaying anyone we want. What are the realistic chances of that all working out? If we were willing to trade Doobie, Cesar, Rupp and 2 of the grouping of SPs not named Nola, I still don’t think that we get back one of the top young SPs. And, I don’t want to trade Doobie. I am not trading Kingery or Sixto, so where is that trade coming from? The trade scenario at the Deadline is a very risky approach. If my risk is only $, that is a much better approach.

    1. @matt13 – based on his pure stuff, Pivetta can be a borderline #2/#3 or at least a solid #3. But I still have concern about his consistency and ability command his pitches. Pivetta’s struggles is similar to prospects jumping from A+ to AA/AAA. But at 24 yo, the time might be running short, thus, the need to transition to bullpen.

  11. I just can’t sit back and assume Phillies are going to clean up in next year’s free agency. The Dodgers and Yankees will bid and out-bid a lot of teams, perhaps us included, to get what they want. They will not fear the luxury tax after this year. Just because it is assumed the Phillies will get machado, it doesn’t mean they will.

    And again, Arrieta this year at $25M per, Machado next year at $40M per will still keep the Phillies at about $130M in payroll… $70M under the cap.

    Arrieta is an upgrade to the staff. He will add wins, which is ultimately what you want to do. It’s not like anybody is saying “go sign Martinez and Moustakas, they’ll make us better.” No. Our biggest weakness is the starting staff. Let’s go get one piece to make it better.

    1. This is the same argument that I had when I wanted us to sign Santana. And all I heard was, we have a first baseman, we don’t need to lose a pick, he’ll cost too much money, Hoskins can’t play outfield, Aaron Altherr will lose at bats…..blah blah blah.

      And yet, here we are. With a gold glove caliber first baseman who will hit 25 homers, 30 doubles, and walk 90 times a year.

      Arrieta, though not the best pitcher, right now, is the best pitcher.

      1. how many more wins do you think Arrieta can give the Phils? Do you think Arrieta can pitch all possible games next year? Arrieta won 22 (of 33) during his peak CY year. Assume Arrieta will pitch 28 games, he can probably go 15-13 which is a good year.

        If you replace Arrieta with Cobb, that can be a 11-12 win, Vargas or Garcia can be a 9-10 win and a combo of Eshelman/Eflin/Pivetta can reasonable give the Phils about 9-10 wins.

        Arrieta will be an improvement to any SP other than Nola, but he will only give the Phils reasonable another 4-5 wins which is not enough for the LT price tag.

      2. I get the sentatment – Poo or get off the pot. For me, it’s not the time just yet, close … but the trade dealing could yield better results imo. But then they will have excess prospects that can be used to beef up as lotto tics to outbid other teams, trade the positional mlb players -CeHe, Williams, Rupp etc with a few top prospects that gets the deal done for a player with less AAV and years, less arm mileage, younger etc

        At somepoint this rebuild will
        Kick into full gear, and tough choices are coming on which players to keep, resign, let go, trade,
        Etc. I like Arrieta, but 6 yrs at 155ish (Lester money) … makes me want to pass. In year 3 this teams payroll will look a lot different, year 4… 5, and 6 could be disastrous in the timeline of losing a home grown players. You can only have so many 25 mil a year players on the books

    2. Action speaks louder than words!!! NYY and LAD making moves this offseason with the goal of going below luxury tax said it all . NYY and LAD do care about the luxury tax and its implications that’s why NYY and LAD will attach good prospects to unload a contract. NYY and LAD might be willing to offer more $$, but the Phils have something that other big markets (NYY, CHC, LAD, BOS) don’t have — payroll flexibility.

      I already did the math in the other thread and the Phils can sign both Machado and Harper to $40M AAV and still go below the luxury tax in the next coming years. I doubt NYY and LAD will be willing to dance the $40M tune for Machado and Harper, moreso, for both of them.

      We talked about the depth of the farm and the depth will be used to ensure that there will be a stream of cost controlled MLB players coming up consistently giving the FO the ability to navigate thru the luxury tax threshold.

  12. Andrew…not sure where you got the memo that Machado is coming to the Phillies but he’s not…he is going to the Yankees. This is one of the worst kept secrets in baseball. He idolizes A-Rod, is a Yankee fan from his youth, and oh, the Yankees are keeping 3rd base warm for him.

    The Phils would be making a HUGE mistake if they base their 2018 decisions on getting Machado in 2019…its not happening.

    1. how much do you think NYY will sign him? I don’t see correlation of signing Machado to the 2018 decision making process. If they Phils don’t want to commit big $$ to the current FA which don’t fit their timeline to contend — that’s a reasonable business decision. Most teams are looking at the 2019 FA collectively and not just on a player or 2. Machado is being thrown around because of the McPhail and Klentak connection. Whateven Machado will decide on his career in BAL is a business decision and not being a fan boy. Machado will want to get paid $$ and not get autographs. If NYY can sign Machado for $40M and some incentives to offset the high cost of living in NY, then NY might get a chance.

      A top professional athlete on his peak will not get a big discount because he is a fan boy. I’m sure that MLBPA will say something about that too.

      1. First, if I’m machado and have to choose between Yankees or Phillies and money is almost the same, I pick Yankees.

        Luxury tax only matters this year because the penalties will reset. They will blow past it again next year. Shoot, they added Giancarlo and still saved money. The yanks have been paying tax for 10 years, they will do it again for the right pieces.

        1. I agree our rebuilding and allocation of resources needs to have a plan b that does not include Machado or Harper because only 2 teams will get them.

        2. @Andrew – I’m almost certain that most athlete’s at their peak are not like you so they will think long and hard before signing to NYY. For up and coming players, yeah maybe they can influenced by the swag of playing in the big apple but a mature player will think differently. Harper is a typical athlete that looks for glamour, thus, the tendency to sign with a team like NYY.

          Assuming the $$ are the same, a top athlete will consider: a) chances of winning (team and the farm talent); b) reputation of the management including the ability to go extra mile to increase winning chances; c) family – access hospital, school, community, etc.

          Phillies has a good chance of meeting those expectations. Unless Middleton develop a reputation of being cheap and a stooge, the Phillies will be a key player to any top FA next year.

          As far as I’m concerned, top FAs signed with NYY only because they offered more $$. And by next year, the Phillies will be right beside NYY in bidding for players.

          1. KuKo…..”they will think long and hard before signing to NYY.”….that makes me chuckle.
            Other than pitchers, goof ball Zach Greinke and then Phillies Cliff Lee……who else rejected the Yankees when they decided to dangle the money?
            Virtually all players who they target with $$$, do not refuse their advancements.

            1. @romus – that’s exactly my point (see my last paragraph). NYY signed the top FA because they just pay more than the next team.

              so in Andrew’s scenario – he is saying that FAs will choose NYY even if the $$ are the same which i disagree.

      1. Phillies, i have seen have been also rumored with married to Harper…which IMO, really clogs the OF situation even more, but I have seen that out there, especially if Machado does do a Yankee signing..

          1. Hoskins will have to be traded, since Doobie is a 10-year fixture in CF and Nick Williams rules RF….so that leaves Harper only for LF. 🙂

            1. @romus – if that happens, it will be NIck and/or Altherr will go. Harper will be play RF and keep Hoskins at LF.

  13. I can’t presume the Phillies will succeed in signing any big ticket FA next winter. I’m certain they will be competitive in the market for both Harper and Machado of only to drive up the competition’s bid, perhaps Donaldson as well, pending Franco’s performance this year. I’m not comfortable making 2018 decisions based on who we HOPE to have in ’19. Again, a good plan today is better than the perfect plan tomorrow….and certainly next year.

    1. LHP Drew Pomeranz, of the Sox now, will also be testing the FA market next off-season.
      He seems to be a late-blooming lefty who turned things around these last few seasons…he will be 30 in the 2019 season..

  14. I’ll agree with those who say the kids were not good last year, Weren’t you better at your job the second year as opposed to your first year? Another thing that I’ve noticed is that nobody mentioned that Bob McClure is no longer the pitching coach. It makes a difference to me. We have three former major league pitchers on the staff now, and I look at that as a major upgrade.

    1. agreed. I think there’s a good chance that atleast one of the young starters will blossom. Its just hard to imagine this group putting together a playoff caliber 5 man rotation.
      I’m happy adding cobb in FA . still gives opportunities for the young pitchers to compete and yet still gives us another piece for the rotation

  15. I would not move on Arrieta, for all of the reasons Jim points out. All of the indicators are going in the wrong way and I fear his HR rate would be abysmal at CBP. Plus, Arrieta won’t settle for 3 years and I can’t see us making a longer offer under any circumstances.

    I would rather see us pursue Cobb or Duffy or settle for Vargas if we lose out on the first two. I wouldn’t want to overpay for Duffy though, and I fear the ask may not be worth it. You might be able to make the trade bearable if you took Kennedy in the trade, but I would hate to do that given our surplus of youngsters at the back end of the rotation.

    Finally, if we don’t upgrade at SP, then I would like to see us trade for Realmuto and give the young sps a quality catcher to develop under. I would trade Alfaro and Williams or Altherr. and a top 11-20 prospect to get the trade done. I would even have the Marlins throw in Prado as a salary dump if it means keeping some of our better prospects. Then, we can try and upgrade for a #2 at the All-star break if we are still competitive.

    My two — or three — cents.

    1. Taking Kennedy from the Royals, along with Duffy in a trade, would indicate to me that the Phillies were wiling to take on a contract the Royals did not want to have on their books.
      I would hope the Royals would pay for that benefit of lightening their payroll load, in the form of prospects or a CBA pick

      1. At the risk of drawing ire from all the Doobie supporters, I would offer him for Duffy, even up. His is a team friendly contract, even for small town KC. If necessary to close the deal, I’d throw in a young #4/5 and of take on unwanted salary.

        1. 8mark….I’m with you on that.

          But with trading Doobie and his abilities and friendly contract, plus one of their 4s or 5s, I would hope the Phillies would get a little more in compensation than just Duffy in return.

      2. Didn’t realize Kennedy had $43M left on his contract. Maybe taking Hammel’s contract, one year at $8M, reduces us enough to get them in the Suarez, De Los Sabtos range for the ask combined with Williams or Altherr.

  16. IM0, I would offer Arrieta up to 3 years with an option on 4th year for $22M per, but I think he’ll end up going to Brewers for 5/$120. Cobb scares him with his injury history, and I think Lynn will get 4/$70 while I would offer 3/$50. I would take Arrieta or Lynn at the numbers I’ve said but I don’t think we’ll get them. That will leave us with a one year deal for Vargas, which I’m ok with. The trade market has gone quiet because teams want so much for pitching. I don’t expect any phils’ trades now other than possible 40 man reduction trades (Rupp, Joseph, Thompson, etc). The Phils have lots of money to spend and while we don’t want them to waste money, I think we’d all like them to spend some of it on pitching right now. Curtis, my current next to go from the 40 man, is rooting for Valentin and Joseph or Quinn to make the bench.

      1. I like Joe Giglio but man, the dude writes a lot of “sky’s the limit” pieces based on opinions of national analysts, usually citing just one and building an iron clad case for it happening. I’ll believe it when it happens.

      1. I’m not in favor of throwing money away BUT I think we’re in a position to absorb a less than ideal ‘longer’ term contract if the first two years help the cause toward playoff relevance. In other words of I don’t think the latter part of Arrieta’s descension (say, years 3 thru 5) would cripple the organization. Either Machado or Harper, and later Trout, would still be more than viable. Yes, we’ll be needing to pay the Nolas and Hoskins’ their extensions (hopefully) but my point is boiled down to 2018 being a huge year in becoming an attractive destination for those big fish.

  17. Romus, I think it will be Vargas or Garcia. The one thing Klentak has talked about is acquiring another SP. I don’t think he goes North without one. If Duffy or Odorizzi can be had without one of the top prospects, maybe there is a trade, but I think the FA route is what he does.

      1. Sort of agree.
        Does getting a Vargas, Cashner, Tillman or Garcia make this a play-off contending team?
        Maybe all of the position players have career superlative offensive years…..the present day group of pitchers may just benefit from that and be competitive enough to be there in the mix come September.

      2. No way, why? Let the kids out pitch him and then we’ll see. The kids may not be good enough. Vargas was actually pretty good last year.

  18. I had heard that Arrieta worked out during the off season with one of our young outfielders, Williams I think. Our outfielder said, “why don’t you come to Philly” or words to that effect. Arrieta wasn’t adverse to coming to Philly. So that’s half the battle.

    I heard that the Padres new batting coach likes Williams and Altherr and was going to suggest that SD pursue them.

    And, I heard that the Phillies are ready to move on from acquiring any of their desired FA and trade pitching targets and are resigned to signing a Hellickson-like pitcher to a one-year contract. Think along the lines of a *takes deep breath* Chris Tillman.

    1. Chris Tillman…oy vey!
      Not sure what happened to him last year….seemed at one time to be on the track to being a very good pitcher.

    2. From the Camden Chat blog:
      “Tillman’s 2017 season left such a sour taste in the fans’ collective mouths that the idea of him coming back on a free agent contract in 2018 was laughable… at first.
      Now this idea seems to be picking up a lot of steam in January, and why not at this point? I have to admit that there is no excuse for his 2017 season besides perhaps injury that never worked itself out.
      On August 21, 2016, Tillman hit the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder (the one that he throws baseballs with). He has been reported to have right shoulder “discomfort” and right shoulder “soreness” several times since then.
      The lingering injury kept him from making his first MLB of 2017 until May 7th, and it was never pretty for the entire season. Tillman bounced from the DL to the rotation to the bullpen and back in a year that saw him post a combined 7.84 ERA across 93 IP.”

      ….so shoulder issue may be an underlying issue with him.

      1. I get the impression that they are content to go with what they have if they can’t get who they want at a price they are comfortable with either by trade or free agency.

        I also get the feeling that they are adverse to a lengthy contract, but don’t know what their definition of lengthy is. (mine would be 4 or more)

        And, I get the feeling they will “settle” for a one-year contract to a pitcher who can give them 180 plus innings. (if they truly go this route, I hope the pitcher is left-handed)

          1. as far as the lefties, vargas got to 180 innings but had a 6.38 era after the break. Garcia made it to 180 ip once, in 2011, and finished with a 4.82 era in 8 starts with yanks.
            on the righties, Tillman really hasnt been good since May of 2016 but i might take a shot on him being healthier and better getting out of the AL East. would certainly try him before Cashner.

  19. I can honestly say if our choices are Garcia, Vargas, Tillman, I would rather give the opportunity to lively , efflin etc
    those guys do nothing for me and have no impact on this year or going forward and no trade deadline value.
    if we’re not going with atleast lynn or cobb, go with the young pitchers you have

    1. I have mixed feelings about what the Phillies are doing with their starting pitchers this year.

      On the one hand, they have plenty of guys to audition over the course of the year (although it’s unclear exactly how much potential some of these players have) so I understand and respect that. That being said, if I were the Phillies, I would try hard to sign one and perhaps two starting pitchers to shorter, high dollar contracts, assuming they are available and worth an overpay. The reason I say this is that I think there’s a decent chance that this team really comes together on offense and, if there’s just enough starting pitching, they truly might have a chance to contend for a wild card spot. If that’s the case and they don’t have any short to medium term salary issues (and, quite obviously, they don’t), why not obtain that pitching now and give it go? I realize it may involve losing a third-round pick, and I know they would prefer not to do that. However, if they contend for a WC spot, we won’t care about the third round pick (just like we didn’t care that the Eagles sacrificed a 4th round pick for Jay Ajayi) and if we are out of contention and in “sell” mode, we can probably recover close to that value (or maybe even more than that value) at the trade deadline.

      1. I can see them signing one of those short term deals with one of those available pitchers…not sure about two of them, unless injuries start occurring early on.
        In any case, they will need to re-structure their 40 if and whenever they do that.

  20. None of the guys that are mentioned above, including Hellickson and Cashner, really motivate me very much. Instead of looking for the next Hellickson (I think I’ve seen enough), we should be looking for the next Arrieta – a player with some talent, who could surge ahead with some added experience and good coaching.

    All of which brings me to my next point. Talent evaluation. It’s what concerns me most about this team. I’m not saying they are bad at this or there is no hope. What I am saying is that there is a legitimate question about how good they are at doing this and their recent track record (I’m talking about the Klentak/MacPhail regime) is not very strong. When you look at a team like the Dodgers, it’s easy to see the big money being thrown around, but when you scratch the surface, you not only see some superb drafting (Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, Clayton Kershaw) you see players like Justin Turner and Chris Taylor who were below-the-radar major league acquisitions who blossomed into star players. And, as noted above, the Cubs obtained Arrieta for little cost and developed him from a struggling pitcher to a star in very short order.

    The Phillies need to show they can pick up players like this as well and develop them as they did in 1993 (that entire team was assembled almost exclusively through trades and low-profile acquisitions). And they need to be careful not to overlook or discard guys on their own team who might have this type of potential (Nick Pivetta comes to mind – he’s got a very high ceiling).

  21. Catch
    I’m hearing more and more whispers lately that it’s going to be Arrieta. While I can’t say that I’m thrilled about it, he IS the best pitcher available. I don’t care about the dollars or the number of years. We only need him to be a bridge for a couple of years until our kids develop. With so many questions about the ability and health of our young staff, a little veteran leadership can’t hurt.

      1. Boras don’t always get what he wants. Ultimately, he has to deal with the market. The market for this guy is low because his numbers have trended down but I think he’s still a very good pitcher. My guess is that he convinces Arrieta to take a pillow contract for something like $22-27 million to enhance his value for the following year. The Phillies will probably want an option year given that they would be surrendering a pick. Boras/Arrieta might agree to this if the option is in the $25-30 million range and includes something like a $10 million buy-out. I could see something happening along those lines because, otherwise, Arrieta is going to be seeing a lot of 3 year, $55-60 million proposals which may be less favorable to him.

        1. Yes…..IMO, the offer is top dollar at three years….he will be then going into his age 35 season in 2021…..but Boras and Arrieta know he will then become a one or two year mercenary at that age…the LTC will be a thing of the past.
          So offering him very high AAVs @3years, that he will be tempted to mull over, is what I would do.

  22. It is not impossible that Boras sees the lack of SPs in next year’s market and has Arrieta take a 1 year deal. I would do that. My reasoning is that there is a need for a SP, and even though he is not what he once was, he is still pretty good. He is the best one out there and immediately makes the Rotation better. I want to win this year and he helps more than any SP we have not named Nola. And, the $ is irrelevant.

    1. Bottom line is that Boras again holds many of the winter’s best cards. And he’s again going right to the top to shop his clients….John Middleton as he did with Prince Fielder way back when six years or so ago, to 83-year old Tigers owner Mike Illitch…selling an instant ring that his client can help attain.
      He has called the 32-year old Jake Arrieta a “big squirrel with a lot of nuts in his trees”…whatever that means.
      But will he settle for a one-year contract for his guy even with next year’s limited FA class…..that is highly debatable.
      If he can be persuaded to take a three year deal….i may be inclined to go along with that.

      1. I don’t think Boras will want a 3 year deal because it could easily take Arrieta to the end of his productive life as a starter. That said, if he’s willing to discuss 3 years and I’m the Phillies, I’m listening attentively because it’s after year 3 that the Phillies are really going to have to start paying their players.

  23. Romus, I want to see more aggressiveness from Klentak. Arrieta aside, I don’t think they did enough regarding using their $ the past few years to add talent. I would have offered to take Ian Kennedy to get Duffy, which you or someone else mentioned last week, and not have to give up high end prospects. A deal like that I think was possible. With MM, allegedly, wanting to play SS, that lessens our chances to get him. Without him, the grand 2019 plan gets off to a poor start. Klentak is going to have to do much more outside of the box thinking than we have seen. Just writing checks for John Middleton will not get it done.

    1. Yeah, I would think the pieces are going to fall in place by no later than the first week of March – one way or another.

      And I agree that, over time, we are going to have see some more out-of-the-box thinking from MK. He can be excused up to this point by and large, but he’s right on the edge of show time.

      1. I am wondering……do you think Klentak is feeling any pressure to make a move with pitching?
        Of course, the big boss is probably giving his normal innuendos along those lines about spending and winning now, and maybe Kapler asks if any veteran presence will be coming for the rotation.
        But if he is feeling pressure and rushed to make a move before April 2018, that may not be a good thing in the long run

        1. I absolutely DO think Klentak is feeling pressure and I’ll tell you why. John Middleton is no dope and while he wants to do the right thing to build the team in the long run, he has money to spend to improve the team right now. Knowing how big of an Eagles fan he is and how close he is with Jeffrey Lurie, I have little doubt that he is asking himself what the harm would be of trying to sign some guys to shorter term deals now to maximize the team’s chances in 2018 so long as it does not interfere with the team’s long-term plan. Trust me – Middleton must be asking this question of his lieutenants and pushing them on this point and, you know something, he should!

          1. The point missed in this discussion is that he was looking at what the Eagles did in 2017 with short terms deals and wondering why the Phillies couldn’t do that too in 2018.

            1. You’d have to argue that Howie Roseman’s best work was in trades. 2X he fleeced the Dolphins and essentially the first trade put them on the Map as it landed them Carson Wentz which changed the entire outlook of the Eagles.

              I doubt Alshon signs a 1 year with us if Bradford is still the QB

          2. Middleton is like Jeff Laurie was with Andy. Blinded by the guy. I don’t think he will do anything yet. Two more years of development before we start spending.

            1. I wouldn’t draw those parallels yet. Andy had like 14 years before Lurie did anything about him. Klentak and MacPhail are on year 3.

  24. Another possibility to consider. Cleveland is going to ST with a glut of starting pitching. I believe Danny Salazar could be had for a few prospects. He’s a reclamation project, but that’s about all we’re going to get this year. And when Salazar is good, he’s very good.

    1. Good point!! He’s a perfect example of the type of player they should be targeting. The problem is that Cleveland is pretty savvy. They must see the value there too.

      1. In fact, if you had to make a short list of candidates for the “next Arrieta,” Salazar would have to be at or near the top of the list.

        1. A guy I always liked but couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t get a full time roll in the rotation was Brian Johnson of the Red Sox. He’s going to pitch this year as a 27 y/o and I don’t know what the Red Sox needs are.

          I know they have kind of shuffled him back and forth from Pawtucket but the guy is a big lefty and he has some decent stuff.

          1. Would love to have someone of Danny Salazar’s talent on our starting staff. Cleveland may need an outfielder if Michael Brantley does not recover from injury.

      2. They do see the potential, but the buzz in Cleveland is that they are losing patience with him. Also, beyond Kluber, Carrasco and Bauer, they have six other starters (including Salazar) with MLB experience and a couple more who are MLB ready. They’re looking for a left fielder and a 3B. Their minors are also thin on catchers other than Francisco Mejia.

    1. ….Which tells me that since the Phillies are considering bolstering an already strong bullpen, how likely are they to acquire a top SP?

      1. I don’t think the Giants can afford him without going over the limit. He’s certainly a better option than Milner, and once we land our starter, we’re ready to roll..

      2. I don’t think this would stop them, I think it would probably validate the reports they’re looking at Tilman (who I like), or Garcia. Having a deep bullpen keeps guys like them from needing to get too deep into a game.

        I think it also frees them up to use Morgan as a multi-inning weapon.

        1. Can we just pitch Nola and carry a 12 man bullpen and have the other games be bullpen games?
          best chance to make the playoffs

  25. OK, I have to say that although I want another SP, I am really excited for ST to start. There are so many guys I am anxious to see step up. I want to see Rhys maintain what we saw, but among AA, Nick, Franco, and Alfaro, I want to see at least 1 emerge as a legit above average everyday player, and I want to see JP emerge as a future star. With all of the Pitching prospects and the next level of guys led by Kingery, we have an awful lot to look forward to.

    1. matt13……”With all of the Pitching prospects ….”
      Concerning one aspect of that luxury of prospects…..Klentak will soon need to really cull the pitching herd of young starting arms.
      The next 40 he will need to add the following arms or risk losing them in the Rule 5:
      1. Adonis Medina, 2. Enyel DeLos Santos, 3. Tom Eshelman , 4. MacKenzie Mills 5. Cole Irvin(?) and even 6.Edgar Garcia.
      And I am not even including Jake Waguespack or Luke Leftwich.
      I hope he doesn’t wait until after the season is over…GMs will see the surplus and just wait him out.

      1. Exactly Romus, This season, guys need to separate themselves from the pack because 40 Man decisions and trade decisions are going to have to be made. I want to see Eshelman get a shot, and I hope Pivetta finds that missing piece and becomes a 3, and VV stays healthy and doesn’t have to go to the BP. There is a lot to watch. I don’t know if any of it pans out, but I have a lot to check out.

  26. With all the gerrymandering for a FA SP and I include myself in that I do think it is entirely possible that anyone of these guys could push their way into the rotation by June if a door is left open

    De Los Santos
    Eshelman
    Suarez

  27. A little off topic, but I was in Las Vegas last week and was chatting with a Braves fan at the craps table. The 2 main points he made: A) he hated the location of the new stadium. It’s in the suburbs and it’s a crazy commute through traffic just to go to games. B) He’s not a fan of the Braves tanking. He feels that the owner has deep pockets and they are just cheaping out. He wants the Braves to start spending money.

    Also struck up a conversation with a Brewers fan at the Pai Gow table. He’s wondering why the Brewers traded for Yelich AND signed Cain. Feels that Domingo Santana is the odd man out and hopes that Santana can be flipped for some pitching.

    1. The Brewers set themselves up nicely to land a solid young SP or possibly a really good established veteran. They can move Braun, Broxton or Santana for a pretty nice player.

      The Brewers FO made a lot of really nice moves the last few years to expedite their rebuild. Heck just look at what Thames did for them last year. We had a need for 1B left handed power bat last year.

      Nope nah we’ll pass…

    2. I live in Cobb county and I love where the new Braves stadium is! They did a wonderful job around the facility and the ballpark is nice, but CBP is better, honestly. They are still doing road construction around the interstate so that’s a problem but for us out here in the ATL suburbs, the new location is way better than that not quite downtown nightmare Fulton Co/Turner was.

  28. Salisbury reporting that Joseph’s taking ground balls at 3rd, Quinn at SS, and Kingery at 3rd.

    I’d like to see Kingery get some time in the outfield this spring too.

  29. I wonder if we’ll see Santana get some reps at 3rd as well. Would give them the option to move Hoskins to 1st and play Williams/Altherr to give Franco a blow

  30. Quinn got drafted as a SS, I believe, and positional flexibility is nice, so he may make the team as an extra OF and backup SS. But, our boy Kingery does not have the arm for 3B, and is a high level defensive 2B. Why waste him at 3B?

    1. Agree….Kingery will be a superlative secind basemen or maybe even CFer.
      But Klentak did say,the days of one player, playing 162 games at one position are gone.
      And then he moved Freddy!

      1. He moved Freddy because: (a) he had a little value; (b) he was in his last pre-FA season; and (c) Freddy never met a pitch he didn’t want to swing at. The trade was MK’s answer to Pete Mackanin who would have played Freddy every day and hit him second. Honestly, I think MK did a really good job of letting Pete bury himself – he was definitely set up by the front office who obviously wanted him to make those blatant mistakes rather than telling him what they wanted (even though I’m fine with his being replaced).

        1. Yeah…realized why Freddy was moved out.
          My point….Klentak will probably not have anymore ‘Freddy’s’ wanting to play one position the whole season to establish a personal or team record.
          Players better be ready to play anywhere in the field…Joe Maddon does something similar in Chicago with his stars..

    2. I don’t see why he couldn’t play for a year or move Hernandez over there for a season if Franco falters. Is he a long term answer there? No. Even if Franco lights the world on fire if Kingery can play a game or two there a week it allows him a way to get playing time. 1-2 games at 3rd, 1-2 at 2nd, maybe 1-2 in the OF and 1-2 at SS gives him regular ABs.

    3. No, he was drafted as an outfielder in 2012 and the Phillies spent a 2.5 seasons trying to convert him to a shortstop. When Crawford caught up to him in Clearwater in 2014, Quinn was moved back to CF.

      Quinn had a .911 fld% at SS in Williamsport in 2012, and an .878 fld% at SS in Lakewood in 2013. He had played 17 games at SS in Clearwater in 2014 when Crawford was promoted.

    4. Quinn was a high school outfielder who the Phillies tried to turn into a shortstop when they drafted him. The position change was a miserable failure. You could always see his potential at bat and on the bases. Defensively at SS, not so much. He didn’t really start to shine until he was moved back to the outfield. He would only be and emergency option at SS.

  31. The Cubs were successful with that plan because all of their guys could hit. The blunder they made was a big contract for Heyward whose glove they loved. If our guys hit, the team will find spots for them, so they want them to be flexible in the field. They have to hit, however. I loved Freddy. He could not get on base at an even acceptable rate. The Management wants OBP, and will find spots to fill the guys in. That is why I see Rupp in LHV and Knapp on the team.

    1. Agree. Rupp will be optioned or traded by opening day. TJ will also be optioned or traded by opening day barring the unforeseen. These are good soldiers who unfortunately for them don’t fit the plate discipline/high-OBP mold or the high energy poster boy type like Kingery.

      Yes, if the player produces at the plate, it matters little where he plays in the field. Don’t be surprised to see Alfaro in RF on occasion (although he’ll ultimately be judged as a C) to keep him fresh, he and Knapp at 1b from time to time, Santana at 3b or behind the dish, Franco at 1b, JPC all over the IF, Altherr all over the OF, Quinn at SS, Herrera at….well, nevermind.

      1. I don’t think you’ll see Santana catching. He hasn’t done so since 2014. He stopped due to concussion symptoms. He’s more likely to show up in the outfield, he started 7 games in RF last season.

    2. matt13…interesting metric on Santana…..his OBP was excellent in 2017 at .363 driven by 88 walks no less, something the FO is looking for in its players as you say above..
      However, his RISP with two outs was far below the Mendoza line in the .170s and with one or no outs his RISP was only .234
      So his forte is getting on base and being driven in as he scored 90 times in 2017…the highest in his career.

      1. It’s not just an interesting metric it’s one of the main reasons they acquired him.

        They are trying to build an OBP juggernaut in this line-up and l love that strategy. I love it for two reasons.

        First, when you combine multiple consecutive high OBP players you just create tons of runs. The best thing about the 1993 Phils was that they had a bunch of high OBP players at the top and middle of the line-up and my recollection from that year was that someone was always in scoring position and I’ve been waiting for years for them to try to recreate that type of environment. The 2007-11 teams were good at this, but not as good as the 1993 team.

        Second, with the growth of the larger and more effective bullpens, it becomes of greater and greater importance to wear out the other team’s starting pitcher and get into their bullpen as quickly as possible – hopefully by the 5th or early 6th inning when the other team is not going to put in its best relievers.

      2. Well start of training romus m8. I will make my predictions. This team right now isn’t a 500 club imo. Any team who has nola as its ace. imo wont play 500 ball. He isn’t a ace, Nola needs to be perfect to win with his stuff, His best pitch is his curve and he hangs them. I know aces are hard to find. I am hoping we can develop one,

        1. rocco…81 wins is a start to the climb up to contention, and better than the last 4/5 seasons.
          As for Nola…..some games he is dominant like an ace, and some games he gives you serviceable three production.
          He started 27 games last year.
          Seven were below 50 in Game Score….real clunkers.
          Six were between 50 and 59…………what you expect from a #three.
          Six were between 60 and 69……… a true #2
          Eight were a 70 and above…..an ace IMO.
          And his last 11 starts (August and Sept) his average Game Score was 55.
          Basically a three….with many up and down games mixed in there.

          1. I view him as a solid #2 with more potential upside. He finished 12th in the majors for WAR although he had only 27 starts and he’s young and improving. That’s a classic #2.

            1. When I say #3….it was in reference to his last two months of work..or his last 11 starts.
              In that mix there were six great starts…three real clunkers and two very pedestrian endeavors.
              Overall…for 2017….I think he is, if there is such an animal, a 2.5

            2. Well, the thing that concerns about Nola long term is his velocity. It varies a lot and with it varies his performance. When he sits 92-94, touching 95 and 96, he’s a beast. When he sits 90-92 – he’s only okay – a 3/4. And the elbow is always a concern.

            3. I expect to see Kapler give Nola, and all the starters for that matter, skips in the rotation, which may turn out to be an 8 man rotation without all 8 on the 25man roster at one time, especially the second half of the season.

        2. Roccom. I don’t know why you’re so down on Nola. Maybe he isn’t a an ace, but, if he’s healthy, he’s probably in the top 10-20 starters in baseball, which makes him a very solid #2. The problem isn’t a lack of an ace, it’s the depth and consistency behind Nola.

        3. Roccom
          The way this crazy offseason has been, the team could be a .500 or better team by the end of the day. The missing pieces are still available.

          1. A division consisting of the Marlins, Braves and Mets should be enough to get the Phils close to the .500 mark. As far as the Nats are concerned, I’ll take 7 or 8 wins.

  32. So, Romus, do you bat him 2d in this lineup? JP will eventually, I would think, get the #2 spot, but I would bat Santana 2d, Doobie 3d and Rhys 4th.

  33. I’d bat Santana 3rd after Cesar and Herrera with Hoskins 4th, Williams/Altherr 5th, and Franco 6th. Let the two fast guys stay together at the top. If JP, batting 7th yo start, becomes the 370 obp Guy we hope, he could eventually move into the 2 spot with Herrera 3rd and Santana 5th. This would push Williams/Altherr to 7th with Franco staying 6th which would really be a strong lineup.

    1. 1 Hernandez 2b
      2 Crawford ss
      3 Santana 1b
      4 Hoskins lf
      5 Williams/Altherr rd
      6 Franco 3b
      7 Herrera cf
      8 Alfaro/Knapp c
      9 Nola or TBD p

      4

    2. That is what I would also do…Carlos Santana, third in the lineup behind Cesar and Doobie.
      However saw a link that said Santana , when batting 5th was his strongest spot and when batting 2nd was his weakest spot in the lineup.
      Go figure…his OBP was always outstanding.
      Then again nowadays, the traditional thinking is going away….they are batting power clean-up hitters in the second spot….e.g. Stanton.
      The average game shows 38 players per team come to the plate in a normal game……so analytical managers want to make sure their number one and two hitters get that 5th bat per game.

      1. There’s a lot of Randall Cunningham in Odubel Herrera. I think he has the talent to do almost anything he sets his mind to doing. But the focus isn’t always there or, when it is, it can be misplaced. It will be interesting to see how Kapler interacts with Odubel. Personally, I like Odubel a lot. He’s a heck of a player and he’s very entertaining to watch and I sense that he’s a pretty good-natured guy. I just hope he can achieve his potential.

      2. Santana being a Switch hitter is awesome but his OPS against LHP is almost 100 points lower than RHP. I’d lean toward batting Hoskins 3 and Carlos 4 so my LU would be

        Herrea
        Hernandez
        Hoskins
        Santana
        Altherr
        Williams
        Crawford
        Catcher

    3. At times, Herrera has been selective at the plate, but always reverts back to the “swing at everything” guy. Which Herrera will we get this year?

  34. Kapler said yesterday the one athlete he really is excited about is Roman Quinn….and went on to gush about all of his strengths from speed, defense, arm and also hitting…a real game changer. and then said the obvious…. caveat we all know exists…his enduring health issues.
    The second athlete he wants to see more of, and that also excites him is Scott Kingery.

    1. Kingery is going to be Kapler’s guy – mark my words on this. They will be linked.

      On Quinn, the hope is he becomes a swiss army knife for the Phillies and appears in most games in some capacity. I’m all for that! He’s a talented guy.

  35. I hope that our new Mgr. has already started Quinn on the nutrition and flexibility programs that he has preached about! No sarcasm at all, I am counting on Kapler to bring those programs to the team. It may be just what Roman Quinn needs. If so, I think he makes the team.

  36. The Phillies have 3 options. Only three:
    1. Stand pat
    2. Overpay in $ for a FA pitcher on the back end of his career
    3. Overpay in prospects for a younger, top pitcher (See Chris Sale trade)

    Those are the only options in the real world. All have aspects that suck.

    My guess is they stand pat. But I would over pay for an aging FA. Between, time, money or prospects, Money is the least scarce to this team.

    1. Absolutely agree about the three options, v1. However, I would choose option 1. Stand pat (for now). IMO, the Phillies window for contention doesn’t open until 2019. I’m happy to use this season to give our young pitchers another chance to show if they can be real options moving forward (into our contending years). Next winter, I’d look to land Garrett Richards or even fork over prospects for some one like Marcus Stroman or Aaron Sanchez (if they become available). One more season to evaluate our young SP’s, our prospects, and other teams’ younger SP’s isn’t a bad thing.

      1. IMO the Phillies have no chance of landing Machado unless they have a solid pitching rotation. Unless, that is, they pay 50% more than anyone else. He is going to a winner. Not a team with a bunch of #5 starters.

          1. Rosenthal also stresses the unlikelihood of the deal happening. Whether you think Machado is a realistic target next winter (I’m luke warm myself), this article does little to erase the prospect of him hitting the open market and the subsequent bidding war ensuing.

            1. 8mark….that is correct what yuo say about the implication with the article.
              Machado appears dead set on testing the FA market…of course Cashman may just have the ability to entice otherwise…..to an extension before that happens.
              But what it would also signify, if in fact the trade was done, the Yankees would be, more than likely, out of the Harper/Kershaw/Donaldson sweepstakes bidding wars.
              Which is not a bad thing.

      2. I agree.
        I have some concern that this leadership is going to be hesitant even in 2019 to make any move that has any risk. So far, they have made moves with no or minimal risk ( even trading giles and signing Santana for only 3 yrs were relatively low risk moves)
        I’ve seen no daringness or outside the box thinking or utilizing their financial strength to take on salaries to acquire talent.
        if I’m not mistaken, they have the lowest payroll in baseball this year as of today

      3. Hinke I love you man but I think you are one of those guys that has convinced himself that the sport is actually rebuilding or GM’ing or whatever you want to call it. Kind of like playing with a practice stock trading account.

        Thankfully its a real sport played with the same 90 foot bags most of played. it’s real players, it’s real dollars that fans shell out, it’s real time that fans set aside to watch.

        you can’t be that guy playing around with Windows. I don’t ever want my players hearing or even thinking they can’t win today and that can be balanced with fiscal responsibility.

        Crumb teams play that game and Philly should be better than that.

        1. DMAR … I’m just being realistic. Look at the “superteams” constructed in Houston, NY (Yankees), LA (Dodgers). Throw in the Cubs, Indians, Nationals, and Red Sox and you have your pool of possible WS winners. The Phillies have no chance of beating these teams in 2018 with or w/o Jake Arrieta (or any other FA pitcher available). 2018 is a season best served to do more evaluating of young players, and stay the course of contending beginning next season.
          Also, I believe MM and Bryce Harper are going to sign with the team who offers them the best contract ($$, yrs, opt outs). IMO, Middleton will go all in on signing MM next winter.
          As far as that Ken Rosenthal story (above post), I don’t believe that will happen. Angelos has been adamant about not wanting to see MM in NY, and the Rays could do better for Jake Odorizzi.

          1. I’m just saying you don’t become a super team overnight it starts a year or two before. Sure if you are a bottom feeding team with no real $$ you lay in the weeds and play the prospect game and then watch those propects sign somewhere else.

            but if you’re a big market club there is no excuse, zip, nada and none to not add talent in a suppressed market.

            And let’s keep it real what starters need more evaluation? VV Pivetta…yeah ok but can we please stop pretending any of the others (Eickhoff, Lively, Eflin, Thompson) are anything to speak of.

            And Angelos can be adamant all he wants but he can’t control that final outcome. The point is not the deal in Ken’s post the point is if Manny wants to be a Yankee its going to happen.

            And us overspending for Manny or Harper in the stratosphere those numbers are going to be in is no smarter than outlaying the minimal overpay it might take today to bolster the SP.

            1. I have yet to read anywhere (other than from a few posters here) that MM is dying to become a Yankee. Also … I believe Eickhoff is more like the guy we saw in 2016, and I also think Efflin has the pedigree (and has actually had a couple of noteworthy outings) to be more than a #5 starter. He’s thrown a grand total of 127 innings in MLB. Let’s see what he can do now that he’s supposedly healthy. VV and Nick Pivetta need more IP’s to determine if they eventually end up in bullpen. I do agree that Lively, Taveras, and Eshelman are #5 starters (at best). I do not like Jake Thompson at all.

            2. Seems to be they have already started that process of becoming a “super team”.
              They have:
              1) Cleared the payroll deck so they can spend freely on the top FA targets in 2019.
              2) Created a deep, talented system that will allow them to make trades to fill holes
              3) opened up opportunities for their young players to play in 2018. Question becomes which ones meet the opportunity and which ones don’t.

              Not sure how spending $100 million+ on an old, fading pitcher like Arrietta helps them become that team. Maybe he gets them 4-5 extra wins in 2018 but starting in 2019 and especially 2020 when they are ready to just into that upper echelon, he will be dead weight on the payroll.

              As you note, you don’t become a super team overnight…

            3. $32M for this year with a player option of $25M next year might get Boras to bite as a sort of pillow contract. With Arrieta, 2018 would be to us the most important year to become playoff relevant AND draw interest from the Machados and Harpers. The Phillies must show that they are a definitively ascending club. That’s why getting a guy like Arrieta THIS year is important.

            4. Signing Arrieta to a 1 or 2 year deal isn’t going to convince big time FA’s that the Phillies are a serious contender moving forward. It’s a poor GM that can’t make the sales pitch to those guys in 2019 that the Phillies are ready to compete based solely on the young talent on the team and the big, fat wallet that’s itching to spend.

              Winning 74 games vs. winning 80 games in 2018 isn’t going to move the needle. They just need to demonstrate that they have a good,young core in place and a big time FA or two is just what’s needed to make the jump.

              It’s not hard to see which teams are ascending and which teams are hoping to win enough games to get a wildcard spot..

            5. Ding ! Ding !! Ding !!!
              3up just hit the nail on the head !
              The Phillies are in the first stages of maybe becoming a “superteam”. They have acquired really good young prospects (through the draft, international signings, trades, and even a rule 5 signing). Many of these young players are now reaching MLB. They have also created the most payroll flexibility of any of the “big boy” teams who will be shopping in the greatest FA superstore in MLB history next winter. When they sign a couple of those FA’s that will be step 2 in creating a “superteam”. The final step is making a deadline trade (maybe in 2020) to get the final piece like the Astros did last season with Justin Verlander.

        2. First good thing I have read here this week. Never hint to your players that you have anything less than the highest goal expected of them. Never. You have trained to be champion since you were a young kid…so go be champion. BTW 19 State trophys in my house from my kids play…6 state championships…..2 all American college. NEVER ONCE WAS IT MENTIONED THAT I DID NOT EXPECT THEM TO BE CHAMPION THIS YEAR. Some here assume that this bunch cant do it. See the fight in the dog.

    2. I don’t think that they would have to overpay, in prospects, too much for Duffy. KC needs everything, and the Phillies are overloaded with prospects at starting pitching and outfield.

      1. Supply and demand. As long as the Brewers need SPs and are sitting on 6 OFs, there is a distinct possibility that we will have to overpay in talent to get Duffy.

        Unfortunately, we probably have to wait for Hosmer to decide whether he stays if the Royals or not before Duffy gets moved. If Hosmer does sign with the Padres, I would love to see ToJo go to KC in a trade as he likely will get significant ABs as a 1B/DHer.

        1. ToJo would do better for his career if in fact he is traded to a Royals team that loses Hosmer to free agency.
          But not sure what his value would bring back in return.
          I would hope the CBA pick @38 at a minimum….or maybe some int;l dollars
          And I like Duffy…..he is that LHP the Phillies would need going forward to balance their rotation.
          KC lost Cain…so they need a CFer too sweet who can field and hit.
          And you know who they would want.
          But like you posted….the Brewer crew has a surplus of credible OFers that would satisfy them also….and specifically the CFer position which could be Keon Broxton or maybe Santana or Phillips.

          1. There’s no reason why the Phillies couldn’t offer a more compelling package than Milwaukee. Yes the Brewers have the OFs BUT can’t offer what we have to offer regarding other positions in KCs $$$ range. If Arrieta is out of reach, a trade is IMO the most viable way to get a worthwhile arm.

            1. 8mark…..KISS….keeping it simple.
              KC would probably give up Duffy and maube even more, for Herrera and any one of the other RHPs in the Phillies current MLB stable of either Lively, Thompson, Eflin, or Pivetta.
              Do not think M.Klentak will deal ViVe since he needs to justify that Giles trade still…and also Eickhoff could be a keeper, and someone like Leiter does not have the attractive appeal IMO.
              But trading Herrera, you lose a key cog in the lineup

            2. Romus, I failed to elaborate. That trade might include ToJo if Hosmer moves on. But if he does I heard Duffy would likely stay put. Catch 22…

  37. I will have faith that Middleton keeps his word. I don’t hold out much hope that Machado comes here and I have not been wowed by Klentak, but I expect major acquisitions before the ‘19 season starts.

  38. Off topic question for Jim Peyton. How did we do on our top 30 prospects list and how does it compare to yours? Victor Arano was the only player from my list that didn’t make the list, but the order was scrambled. Luke Leftwich???

    1. I’m not sure what you mean by “How did we do on our top 30 prospects list”. I posted the completed list after Jose Taveras was selected #30.

      If you mean the compilation of everyone’s submitted personal top 30 lists, I only received five. That’s not enough to assemble a consensus so I’m not going to invest the time. One or two “unusual” selections would throw the results out of whack. There weren’t enough submitted to allow the proper “correction”.

      I don’t have a list, per se. I look at prospects differently than the rules we follow doing the Reader Top 30.

  39. Anyone thinking the Phils should grab Moustakas? Not the most ideal fit,but still a pretty darn good one. If contracts are being suppressed, it could be a good alternative to machado, who I want on the phils, but may not win the bidding war for one reason or another. That would basically just leave the starting rotation to be pushed up to championship level.

    1. Moose doesn’t fit the new Phillies mold of high obp types. I like his lefty power but he obviously isn’t the hot commodity I thought he’d be six months ago.

      1. He does not fit the OBP mold, but if Franco craps out and they miss out on Machado … Moose might look pretty good. Id have passed on him for OBP reasons early in the offseason, but now that it has developed, i might start kicking the tires, much like arrietta. The fo needs to be honest with itself on chances to acquire certain players in the near future. Let’s hope they don’t make to many mistakes. If moose
        Can be had on the cheap short term side
        It could be a favorable signing.

        Just throwing junk at the wall… bored at work, wishing I had the skill to play ball. In another life!

        1. Prefer Donaldson , if Machado signs elsewhere.
          Moose has had one good year in the last 7….the year they won the WS 2015.
          And his OBP was elevated than by 13 HBPs and his high point for walks in his career….and he still did not crack .350 OBP.

          1. Donaldson would be a nice addition if the phils strikeout on Machado. Moose looked decent early on before I dug more into his numbers, still not half bad if the other 7 players fit the FO’s
            Desired mode, gotta have someone to blame stuff on when things go wrong

            Just looking to see how ancy everyone is since this has a very unusual offseason.

        2. If Franco breaks out it’s a moot point but I would like Eugenio Suarez as a potential trade candidate. Slashed .260/.367/.461 last year with 26 HR and put up 3.7 B war. Maybe the Reds shop him when Senzel is close. He has the makings of a star player.

    1. Thanks, Romus. It’s the first I’ve heard of him. I do follow the next great Japanese pitcher who will make his way to MLB in a couple of years, Shintaro Fujinami.

      This guy was considered a better prospect than Shohei Otani when they were both in HS.

      1. Yes…..he may be in the best shape of his life…..but we have heard that tune before from the past from different players. And does not always resonate with better production.
        Keeping my fingers-crossed and Maikel comes out and has a monster year.
        His metrics , so far to his current age, almost to a tee parallel former MLB player Aramis Ramirez’ metrics. So hope springs eternal.

        1. I am as you know big big fan of Maikel. but if he doesn’t lay off bad pitches, He wont be here after this year. He has it all , except plate discipline, which is so important to a hitter.

          1. rocco..agree.
            The guy is puzzling. A power guy who Ks less than normal power guys.
            Also walks less.
            Gets himself out when he is ahead in the count with swinging at poor pitch selections.
            Tries to pull too much…then rolls it over to shortstop.
            Stairs said he did well in the cage but could not cross it over to the game.
            So this year may be a probation year for him.

          2. I feel like I’ve seen this plate discipline issue before … I’m have nightmares of burrel swinging and missing and thoss damn looping curves low and outside…. he developed over time, and did well despite the short comings … not sure The Phillies will have the patience for him to develop like Burrell.

            This is why I love hoskins already. Day 1 in the majors i knew he was for real when I saw his pitch recognition, and ability to lay off that low/outside pitch that Howard&Burrell would hack out. I have never seen a player with such good pitch recognition …
            Or at least not in a very long time, with that kinda of power.

  40. I think there’s a good chance Machado does not work out for the Phillies. I am also a little concerned about his inconsistency given that he will want a 10-13 year contract for close to or over $400-500 million with opt out clauses that favor only him. Under those circumstances, paying Donaldson something like $25-30 million per year on a 5 year contract might be preferable. But Donaldson will be going into his age 33 year in 2019, although he is very athletic and showing no sign of decline (we’ll see if that continues into this year). He also fits the Phillies OBP and power profile to a tee and plays outstanding defense. Despite his late blossoming, he really does have an outside chance to be a HOFer; he’s that good.

    It is difficult to overstate the effect that either of these players would have on this line-up, which is already poised to be pretty good in the near future. Assuming other players develop as we expect they will, adding Machado or Donaldson to this line-up in 2019 could easily make them one of the top 3 or 4 offensive teams in baseball.

    Hard choices indeed.

    1. …and as I keep reminding everybody, Machado says he wants to go back to shortstop. I think that’s a mistake on his part, but that’s what he’s been saying he wants.

  41. Like this signing as Hutchinson was a good pitcher not long ago. At best he pitches for the Phillies and at worst he pitches at AAA or they release him.

    1. How does a pitcher like Hutchinson, go 13-5 while giving up 179 hits in 150 innings and win that many games, his era was5.57 if that is a good pitcher, philadbalfan you got me. I think he stinks.

      1. rocco…you are funny.
        How did he go 13-5 with the Jays!….six players in their lineup that year had 173 HRs total…..remember the blasts at CBP and Rogers Center in the middle of summer….they scored 26 runs in four games….and lost two of them to the Phillies!

  42. According to Mark Polishuk on MLBTR the Phillies are going to “test” Roman Quinn at shortstop. I don’t understand that one. As several of us have noted here, Quinn has already failed that test. He didn’t start producing well offensively until he was switched to OF (where he played in HS) and could get his mind away from learning a new position. This does however, explain the early reports that he seemed “sullen” in camp last week.

    1. Do not get that at all….how many years has it been since he was at such a critical position! And he even struggled, at that.
      I would think they would concentrate on Roman doing yoga classes, stressing Downward Dog and Warrior 1 positions.

  43. What sealed my confidence in Kapler is both Jim Salisbury’s endorsement on WIP this morning AND word that old school Eskin doesn’t like him. Sold!

    1. Glad that Salisbury endorsed him. My view on Kapler is that it’s either going to be a spectacular success or a very sour bust. I’m hoping for the former and I wish he wasn’t trying to be everyone’s best friend – that’s a dangerous road for a boss . . . any boss.

      1. Something to think about…..yjr four new managers…here are their contract parameters….Gabe’s is a tad bit different.
        Phila Phillies: Gabe Kapler………..3 years…no option…
        NY Mets: Mickey Callaway…………3 years (2018-20), plus 2021 option…
        Wash Nationals: Dave Martinez…3 years (2018-20), plus 2021 option…
        NY Yankees: Aaron Boone……….3 years (2018-20), plus 2021 club option…
        Boston Red Sox: Alex Cora………3 years (2018-20), plus 2021 option…

  44. Orioles get Cashner, 2 years/$16 Million. Maybe, this spurs the grouping of Garcia, Vargas and Tillman to find teams next. They also are in the 1 or 2 year contract group.

    1. The Cashner signing may have a direct bearing on whether or not MM gets traded. If Cashner pitches well and helps to keep Baltimore in WC contention through the summer, MM will enter next winter’s free agency as an Oriole. If Cashner is as bad as he’s been the past couple of years, the Orioles may be out of playoff contention by July. That would trigger Angelos to allow DD to deal Machado this summer.

  45. Here’s some news that could eventually have an impact on the Phillies. Toronto (for some insane reason) allowed Marcus Stroman to go to arbitration. The two sides were just 400 thousand dollars apart. Stroman lost his case, and has had his feelings hurt by the things the Blue Jays said about him during his hearing. This experience may/could may make it harder for Toronto to eventually ink their ace to a long term deal, meaning he could be a trade candidate over the next couple of years. http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/news/mlb-blue-jays-marcus-stroman-arbitration-hearing-calls-out-negativity/1d0womayikbdaztf99kvrey3w

      1. Don’t want to debate the definition of an “ace”. For me, I’m looking for a young pitcher(s) who can go head-to-head with other top pitchers and keep the team in the game and allow the offense to eventually score enough runs to win those games. I think Stroman fits that description. He’s just 26 YO, has great movement on his pitches, and has had no problem logging innings (200+ the past two seasons) despite his size (5’8″).

        1. I can see your point on Stroman. However the Jays felt different to some degree.
          I can see what Jay’s FO may have countered with.
          From the analytical side.
          His pluses from just last year:
          —Age 27 for 2018… good
          –Over 200 innings in 33 starts..durability is there.
          –Excellent ERA for AL pitcher
          —Plus HR/9 ..under 1
          –Excellent bWAR of almost 6
          Some negatives:
          –33 starts…..Game Score of 60 and above in only 13 starts.
          —–4 against teams .500 or better, and 9 against teams .500 and less
          –10 games with G.Scores of under 50…poor
          –10 games with G.Scores between 50 and 59….average
          —H/9…pedestrian 1 per inning constituted a very non-ace WHIP of 1.3
          —FIP-3.9 not what an ace should have…most have under 3
          —Height….5’8” RHP pitcher..normally do not make for long productive careers.
          So there are some warts he comes with and he may be looking for that 6 year mega-deal once his arb years are completed.
          I want to see how he pitches this year….he is definitely motivated now.

        2. At this point I would really prefer to acquire a TOR via trade but seeing how squeamish GMs (ours in particular) are in giving up their young talent, I think Arrieta as the veteran guy in the rotation would push the others to step forward. No, he’s not the pitcher he was but there’s more here than calculating extra wins above the Vegas over/under. It’s about getting this young roster to experience meaningful baseball games in September. Why wait until next spring, wake up one morning and decide- “Gee, we’re suddenly contenders.” It most likely wouldn’t work out as cleanly as that, considering somebody (or bodies) will be recovering from one setback or another.

          LET’S GO, PHILLIES!

          1. @8mark – TOR or not, I just want a pitcher who can pitch at least 7 IPs in most games without giving up 3+ runs. Nola have shown he can do that and he is not a true TOR. So I will not be pre-occupied with the TOR or Ace definition because no team will just give up any TOR or Ace without a hefty price tag since these TOR or Ace are rare.

            Honestly, I’m not enamored with Eickhoff’s stuff. But a healthy Eickhoff can go 6 IPs with 3 runs or less. Hopefully, an improvement with his SL can improve the 6 IP to 7 IP and I will be OK with that development.

            I’m no longer interested to sign a LT (3 yrs+) contract with any of the remaining FA pitchers since I don’t see any one of them who can pitch 200 IP with 7 IP and 3 runs in the average.

            Ranger, Eshelman, Medina have shown that they can pitch deep with less damage (Sixto and JoJo will be there too when the IP limit is let go). They are close to the majors so I’m optimistic that the rotation will work it self out without signing Arrieta, Cobb or Lynn.

      2. @Hinkie – I agree with you. I don’t normally tag a player an “ace” unless he already had proven track record. I’m also not caught into the velo game. What matters to me is the pitcher’s ability (combination of pure staff, quality of pitches, mental make up) to go out in the mound and put the team in the position to win. This is the reason why I like Hamels and Nola – despite not having the true “ace” tag, I trust them to go out there night in night out and keep the opposing batters in check for most games. Stroman may not develop as a true ace but I agree he has that ability to give his team a chance to win every time he pitch. There are probably 5-6 pitchers currently players that can be considered an ace.

        1. this philosophy is the reason why I’m concerned with Vinny, Pivetta and Kilome since they haven’t shown me that they can pitch deep into the game with less damage in most of their starts. These trio has TOR stuff.

          1. I think learning to pitch deeper into games is something that can be developed. The knock on Schertzer early in his career was that he had great stuff but couldn’t get past 6 innings because of pitch counts.

            For each of the 3 guys you mentioned, they just need to learn that every out doesn’t need to be a strikeout and every pitch doesn’t need to be on the black. It’s a growing process.

  46. Well, so much for my idea of trading for Danny Salazar. Just saw on MLB Network while watching Russo, the crawler said Salazar experienced inflammation in his right shoulder and the Indians don’t expect him to participate in ST.

  47. Even Todd Zolecki, who has pretty much dismissed the acquisition of a Jake Arrieta until now, is saying ‘perhaps’ to the possibility. He did stress Klentak’s stance of bring disciplined in the FA market, going no longer than 3/4 yrs, but the idea seems plausible as ever. I asked Jason Martinez of MLBTR about it during his live chat today. He thinks the Phillies are as likely as any club to sign Arrieta. I consider him more plugged in among the national analysts.

    1. @romus – i think this is just a normal FO move for LAA as a CYA for the leagues best player. Trout will see how the market plays out this coming off season to gauge his own value and like what most big pending FAs will do, Trout will want to increase his leverage (injury forbid) by not committing to any contract and keep his option to test FA.

      The Trout to Philly pipe dream will be more based on how Phillies FO set up their team to make it attractive for Trout to jump ship.

      1. Yeah, people on this site have to stop counting their free agents before they hatch.

        All the talk about Mike Trout or Manny Machado DEFINITELY coming to the Phillies is nonsense. These things could hardly be less definite. Is there a chance? Sure there is. A sure thing or even highly likely? No way!!!

        1. A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the Bush and I always point to what happened to Jose Fernandez.

          If Moreno pushes a $400 extension in front of Trout it might be very hard for him not to sign it. Tomorrow is promised to any of us.

          1. DMAR…what I gather from the article is Moreno will do just that, but may wait until the appropriate time.
            Now when is that?
            I like to think it will be next season in 2019.
            For sure, Moreno will not want to get into the same situation the Angelos are in with Machado.

      2. The article headline is not what I expected to read in the article.
        Moreno will cross that bridge when he gets to it it appears.

    2. Well of course they are looking to extend Trout, just like the Nats want to extend Harper and the O’s want to extend Machado.

      Question is, does he want an extension?

  48. I’m on the road these past few days and don’t have the change to catch up with some issues I like to join so I’ll just echo the following:

    On Arrieta – I agree with JP’s concern. Arrieta’s average IP is trending down and the HR rate might go up. With Darvish gone, I think the remaining FAs have ST impact which doesn’t fit the Phillies timeline.

    On Superteam – I agree with 3up and Hinkie that stuffing your team with known names or big FAs is NOT the only way to create Superteam. SF just did it but that may not help them reach the playoffs. HOU and CHC just recently showed the blue print on how to create a sustainable contending team which all started in their farm system. Good scouting and player development resulted to top end talents that help the major league team and help in acquiring the proven player(s) to make the run. The Phillies are doing the same blue print so chill.

    On SP designation #1 – TOR, Ace, #1 or whatever. This sounds good and looks sweet in the pitchers resume. If the Phils can have 5 Nola’s – a pitcher who is capable of pitching 7 IP with 3 runs or less in majority of their starts – the Phils will be at least 0.500 with a good chance of getting into the wildcard. With focus on high OBP and hitters that control the strike zone, the Phils can average at least 3 runs a game.

    On SP designation #2 – the designation of #1, #2, etc, is like beauty is at the eye of the beholder. Some correlate the velocity to those #s and some use scouting grades (i.e. 2 plus pitch, average command, etc), some use WARs and like what Romus suggest, others might use game scores. There are of subjectivity and variables in this equation.

    I love Nola regardless of how people view him because of the quality of his pitches. Nola can regularly miss bats with his CB, he can generate a lot of GBs with his 2s and the CU is catching up neutralizing LH bats. And Nola can command all his pitchers too.

    Fans have a normal love with their teams prospects but I have to say that the optimistic that I’m having is based on the fact the the top end prospects/young players (Nola, Hoskins, JPC, Kingery, Sixto, Medina, Ranger, JoJo, Haseley, Ortiz, Dominguez, etc) have very good natural abilities, high ceiling but less risk (other than age), performed in most levels and developed and played in a winning environment. The recent success in the farm helped these kids developed that swagger or winning attitude that will help the Phillies in the long run.

  49. It sounds like Crawford arrived at ST this year stronger and with more pop.

    If J.P. Crawford can hit with even modest power (15-22 homers), he’s going to be a beast, because he’s a superb fielder and he’s going to get on base a ton. Very excited to see him this year.

  50. I am excited about everything that I have seen so far. The umpires being there for BP sessions. The emphasis on framing by the Catchers, which the team has forever ignored. What seems to be genuine excitement from the players. I still would have liked to see another SP added. I don’t know how hard Klentak worked to get one when the guys that just signed did not get crazy contracts. 1/$8M or 2/$16M are pretty modest deals. “working hard” at it has to mean more than offering Arrieta a 1 year deal for $30M. Hey, maybe all of the SP candidates pitch well, but then Klentak should not have said he was looking to add one. It was clear from MacPhail that this is another rebuild year, a year for the prospects to show what they have. Then they plan to spend. The problem is there will be no SP to spend all that $ on. And, why sign Santana? That seems to be the anomaly.

    1. Because he gets on base and produces runs and allows them to put a potentially great hitter in Hoskins in left. That was a great move.

      1. Catch, I completely agree with Santana. Love that move! My question is, why sign him, he clearly helps them this year, and not a SP? Are you not wasting 1 year of him? And, if it is ok to do that, why not a SP on a longer term? Like Darvish, who would then help the team this year also?

    2. matt13…….you may not want to to offer Arrieta and Boras a one year deal. if it is a short term deal that is going to be offered…..in that case, I would push for at least two years, with the first year the bulk of the contract.
      At least, you may be able to do one of three things:
      trade him this later in the year, or QO him in 2019….or re-sign him to an extension.
      Boras, otoh, when it comes to pillow contracts, IMO, is only interested in one year deals I would think so his client can get out there again next off-season and market his wares.

        1. matt13….does appear he may have struck out on what his original intentions were this off season prior to ST.
          .
          I missed his talk this morning with Howard Eskin when he addressed that issue.

    1. wondered why they havent invested some dollars in a proven lefty reliever either last year or this year-
      Abad is more of a mop up guy than- a quarter of his career appearances finishing games- and looking at his numbers you dont want him in a tie or close game.

        1. He’s coming off a bad year but from 2012-2016 he put up a 3.81 ERA in the AL East. Is he an ace? No. But if he’s healthy he can add stability. If he doesn’t pan out DFA him and bring up Eschleman, Lively, Anderson, Tavares, whomever.

          In addition our front office traded for him in a Baltimore. Maybe the analytic approach our coaching staff is taking can help him rebound. I’d sign Arrieta to a 3-4 year deal but if the FO doesn’t want to do that or Arrieta doesn’t want to do that (word is he turned down the Darvish deal), then this is good alternative in my mind.

          Next year they could go out and get a guy. Hamels will be out there, maybe Stroman is available at the deadline, this isn’t their only chance to get an Ace.

  51. I wonder if Boras/Arrieta would accept a one yr deal at $30M, opt out or take 2nd year for $25M. Cobb is my plan b. Don’t want Tillman.

  52. Bob Nightengale of USA Today says “Machado wants to be a Yankee and the feeling is mutual.” We have our work cut out for us if we plan to land top FAs next winter no matter how much cabbage we have in the patch.

  53. I expected to have to outbid the Yankees, but his determination to play SS is a bigger issue. I have no desire to trade JP. The great 2019 FA soending spree won’t be so great if all we get is Marwin and Gio Gonzales

    1. matt13…another LHP will be out there…Drew Pomeranz and he has turned his career around….tall guys take a little longer some times.
      I would take a flyer on him vs Gio.

  54. matt13….me thinks Maikel’s upcoming year will put all the Machado talk on the back burner.
    But agree….his insistence on playing shortstop is a deal breaker IMO.
    JPC is the guy i want going forward at that position.

  55. Romus, Pomeranz is a quality target, you are right. I would love Franco to blossom. He has been compared to Aramis Ramirez, I would take that. We also need a big jump from our Catchers.

    1. Because this front office and ownership is content to talk about rebuilding the right way while having the lowest payroll in baseball and pocketing ungodly tv contract profits. Just wait till we here the excuses when we sign no one of consequence next off season

    2. Matt – I haven’t posted a whole lot this off season, but when I have, I’ve regularly posted to Odorizzi and DSalazar as to potential impact starters with multi-year control who can be had for a modest price.

      The Twins acquired Odorizzi for Jermaine Palacios who by MLB.com standards is ranked as the Rays 22nd ranked prospect. This was a salary dump for the Rays.

      Jose Gomez would have been a comparable offer, and if the Phillies need to add a Jake Thompson or Elniery Garcia to get it done . . . .

      The Rays also designated Corey Dickerson last night. Huh. So in all likelihood, Phillies could have acquired an Odorizzi/CDickerson combo for a modest price of JGomez/EGarcia while assuming $12mm in salaries.

      How in the world we aren’t in on Odorizzi at that price.

      1. Steve, my guess is that the Twins were told, or figured they were out on Arrieta, Cobb, or Lynn and settled for Odorizzi. With each signing, another team eliminates themselves from the Big 3 competition. I’m sure that the Phillies have offers on the table for all three, and would guess that there’s a 75% chance of signing one. By March 1st the picture will look a lot clearer.

        1. I would have to think by now that the Phillies are set on one of Arrieta, Cobb, or Lynn. The fact that Hosmer got 8 yrs@ $144M tells me they’d have to go at least 4 yrs on any one of them, even if they front loaded the contract. I was hoping, given the FA market, that they could swing a trade. We’ll see what shakes from the tree in the next few days.

    3. Why would do the Phillies need another 5th starter? They already have a number of in-house options to fill the back of the rotation, especially right-handed options.

      Their need is for front of the rotation starters and other than Darvish, there weren’t any available..

  56. What kind of job do you think Klentak is doing? Is he busting his ass to get a starter? Is he afraid to pull the trigger? Is he waiting for the perfect time to strike on one of the big 3 pitchers? If he lands a big fish, will that change your answer to question to #1? Just curious guys.

    1. The public statement from the FO that they remain “disciplined” in the FA market could be posturing. But if they wind up signing Chris Tillman or a comparable arm, there will be lots of unhappy campers on these pages, including me. Klentak simply has too much at his disposal to only hook a minnow.

    2. Wawa Mike – I think many of Klentak’s early moves were shrewd, and I mentioned as much in this forum. But I’m seeing more and more opportunities where Phillies could be active where they instead choose to remain inactive. Granted, we don’t have the perspective of the front office, but when I see Odorizzi dumped by the Rays for next to nothing, it’s difficult not to question the inaction on the part of Klentak.

      Odorizzi is a single example, but in more general terms I have progressed to the point where I view Klentak as very passive, and somewhat unoriginal. The ‘turn’ taking place on the major league roster in terms of talent, has very little to do with Klentak. He’s also whiffed on two drafts, including a major blunder taking Moniak over Senzel. He’s also way out on a limb with Kapler (though I am admittedly beginning to like Kapler very much – still early).

      As to whether a big signing would change my view? There’s only one notable starter out there – that’s Arrieta, and he’s getting a 5-yr deal which Klentak would be absurd to go anywhere near. As for Lynn (meh) and Cobb, 3 years tops. If they could get 4 elsewhere, I would be happy to let them sign elsewhere. Arrieta for 3 yrs / 90 – sign me up!

      Not to segue from your question, but meant as an extension. When the Phillies signed Santana, I immediately liked it, even if somewhat surprised given the Hoskins implication. But I also immediately presumed more additions, else I would have difficulty justifying the Santana signing. So here we are first week into ST – and only Santana on a 3 year deal. If you aren’t going to improve the rotation, why the complication (and risk) of moving Hoskins?

      I often get the impression that Klentak feels he is on a destined path by following the model of the Cubs and Astros (who were exceptionally fortunate), and that he needs do little to improve the roster other than staying the course.

      1. Steve…spot on…I should save your post.
        The GM does seem ‘passive and unoriginal’…follows the risk less destined path….not the path less traveled if one can borrow the phrase.
        Fortunately the media in Philly is unforgiven and when mid-season rolls around and then if the Phillies are fighting the Marlins to stay out of the basement…….he will then feel the pressure…the knot gets tighter.
        Ben Cherington followed the Theo model and look what it got him.
        Theo’s first three years in Chicago they won a grand total of 200 games…..an average of 66 per season…the fans wanted him fired in October 2014.
        Then Lester is on the scene and good draft picks with Bryant and others, all the maturing and it changes.
        Perhaps the Philies GM is thinking the same..

  57. I have no explanation for not acquiring Odorizzi at that price. not sure where mk thinks a full starting rotation is coming from

      1. i’d accept that if he hadn’t already passed on every other SP option available in trade or FA too. NOt to mention passing on starting pitchiing with round 1 picks in both of his amateur drafts. Obviously if he signs Arriteta, cobb or lynn at a good deal then i’m wrong but i’m not seeing it.

        1. I think they’ll sign a FA when all is said and done. He’s waiting out the SP market along with every other GM.

          I read somewhere that teams looking to deal with the Phils this offseason were insisting on Medina or Kingery in a deal. If that’s the case, I’m glad they didn’t pull the trigger on anything.

          I’m giving Klentak the benefit of the doubt here. If something doesn’t materialize in the next few weeks, I might revise my opinion.

      2. seems like he could have had him if he wanted to; i guess its the fact that he’s a FA after the season;
        i like Odorizzi more than most of the short term options that have been mentioned. If the Rays asked for Gamboa for 1 year of Odorizzi, do we do that?

  58. The first week of 2018 Spring Training and the Phillies payroll is less than $70mm (depending on how and what you calculate, payroll currently between $63mm – $68mm).

    That’s not just ‘low’, that’s ‘absurdly low’.

    1. The Phillies….a large market team…will be called out on that minuscule payroll by agents like Boras and then also by the MLB network analysts.
      Middleton does not want a bad perception of his organization….and being cheap is one I think he wants to avoid being labeled as.

      1. And that’s acceptable to a degree in this years FA class but what if they come up empty next year also because supposedly the prices are too high.
        at some point, as a big market team, you are what you are . CHEAP

      2. i don’t know; they signed santana for 20 mil and two set up guys for an average of 8 million. they have young guys at every offensive position, and the only big money starter who is a clear upgrade that signed probably didnt want to come here anyway, so i dont think that argument carries a ton of weight.

        1. RAEF…..that will not stop Boras when he sees the bottom line.
          He went into Jeter for his rebuild efforts.
          I am willing to bet his philosophy is that every large market team should be at $197M.

        2. When you are a big market and have cash. You over pay with less years. for darvish. If he got 126 over six you do it over five. give him something to think about. over paid for all the bad draft choices. and bad decision we have made. And if he stinks, we have the cash to eat some of that money.

  59. You have to realistically think its a good situation if one of VV or Pavetta and one of the group of Thompson, lively, efflin and eseilman ( sorry for spelling) works out. that’s essentially the pitching options from within until end of 2019-2020 when sanchez, romero, kilone etc start getting closer

  60. If the Phillies go with another Hellickson, which was fine 2 yrs ago, that shows they’re timid in this supposed advanced stage of the rebuild. 2018 is just as important as 2019, if not more so. Next year’s market is a no-brainer, especially with the wads of cash in the Phillies’ till. Whether they catch the big fish (singular or plural) may be impacted by the progression this season.

    With the all-star game in DC this summer, it would be gratifying to see us well represented both ON the field and in the seats. Bryce might be compelled. I’m not so bullish on Machado as some.

  61. Odorizzi was obtained very cheaply by the Twins. Sure, he wasn’t very good last year, but he us rxactly the low risk the Phils should be taken. They coukd have afforded to part with a dozen guys equal to or better than what the Twins gave up. He automatically is a top 3 SP in tge Phils rotation and a SP like him gets a lot more expensive in July. Zero reason to sit and do nothing. Does anyone have any faith that when Klentak is up against Cashman and Friedman and Theo next off season that he wins?

    1. MK moves make no sense especially since youre going to have to make some guys for next years rule 5 anyway. He seems terrified to move any prospects for fear one may play well for another team.

  62. What is wrong with keeping ones powder dry so one can “opportunity buy” either by extending our own guys who perform well early or when free agents (and their agents) realize that the market is much more sophisticated – hence a shift???

    It has seemed to work out quite nicely for the 76ers who remained disiplined under Hinkie.
    Hinkie always got picks when took back salary, and the 76ers now have two of the top 5 young players in the game and still have the best cap situation and still have high draft picks in spite of Colengelos screw ups.

    The Phillies have slogged through all the bad contracts, have a loaded farm system and insane cap space. Why o why do we want to spend it now unless we are getting true, legit studs in their prime?? We have been patient for the last 4 years, now we are getting impatient???

    I love watching the young guys come up through the pharm. it is even more enjoyable seeing it through the prizm this website provides. I want our team to be able to become star players on our major league roster and be able to keep them for the long term!

    We are getting closer every day. Don’t get “deal fatigue “ now. Enjoy “the process”!!!!

    1. Well said. I’ve been on board with the 2019 game plan. That’s when the Phillies window of contention will open and that’s when the greatest FA class of all time will hit the open market. Stay patient, afford the young guys PT in 2018 so we’ll have a better idea of who we roll with going forward. For those afraid Middleton won’t spend money next winter … RELAX (as Aaron Rogers once said). Middleton will be throwing cash around after this season.

    2. The phillies are being too cautious this off season and not using the resources we have to get stating pitching which is their weakness.

  63. I do not want to be the rain on anyone’s sunny day but the 2019 options are not going to be as great as everyone hopes for. How will we get FAs here if we don’t have a good season this year? I want to have seen Klentak be creative, not pray he can get players here by simply over paying. He was creative with Kapler and I have more faith in him than I do the GM.

    1. Matt – I agree. This reliance on next year’s 2019 FA class is an absurd strategy and certain to fail plan. The FAs themselves will determine where they will sign, and there will be more than just the Phillies as bidders. Would it really surprise everyone if the Phillies failed to land any of Kershaw, Harper, or Machado? Kerhsaw may be extended before then, and we’re already hearing of a potential man-crush between the Yanks and Machado.

      There is a notable fact here – we’re nearing end of February and the payroll is somewhere around $66mm.

  64. I’m sorry Mike, I don’t think it is. All of the analytics and increased scoutingI believe in. ButI think they could be better this year with a little more help and I don’t trust that everything can get fixed next off season.

    1. I agree that the presumption of 2019 is faulty. So much can and probably will happen that affects the fortunes of most, if not all, of the 30 MLB clubs between now and then. Sure, let’s have our ducks in a row and plan to be aggressive next winter. But let’s not be so naive to play it safe this season. If Klentak can’t get one of Arrieta or Cobb or trade for a good starting pitcher, like Pacino said in “And Justice for All” – “then there’s something REALLY wrong going on here”.

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