Open Discussion: Week of February 18, 2018

Pitchers and catchers began last week in front of a small audience at the Carpenter Complex.  Monday their first full squad practice will be held, and the Phillies’ baseball world will return to normalcy for seven months.  #Phly Phillies Phly!

Another opinion on signing Arrieta.  This time from the Shredder!

The Phillies continue to sign players to minor league contracts who might help the team if they make the major league roster.

Organizational News and Changes

Eric Fryer, who had signed a minor league contract with the Phillies this off season and received an invitation to spring training,  announced his retirement on the eve of “pitchers and catchers”.  The Phillies extended a spring training invitation to Nick Rickles to fill the catching void.

Earlier in the month, the Phillies had signed OF Colin Cowgill (with an invitation to ST) and 1B Joey Meneses.  Cowgill was also assigned to the IronPigs.

Later in the week, the Phillies secured some pitching help.  First, they signed right-handed starter Drew Hutchinson.  Then they signed left-handed reliever Fernando Abad.  Both received invitations to spring training and were assigned to Lehigh Valley.  Abad’s deal includes a $2.5M salary if he makes the Phillies, a mutual option for 2019, and an opt out if he isn’t on the roster by March 22nd.  Hutchinson’s deal included a hearty, “Welcome to the organization”.

Every player on the spring training roster has been accounted for.  All the recent non roster invites are in town.  The Phillies held a team dinner Sunday night.

The latest rumor circulating among us at the Complex is that the Cubs are looking to replenish their minor league system with some major league ready players.  In the wake of the Yu Darvish signing, speculation is that the Phillies are seeking LHP Mike Montgomery. The package would include 1B Tommy Joseph, a AAA starting pitcher, and an A level starting pitcher.  So, think of the most painful pairing.  Would you make that trade?  Not if it includes Sanchez.  But, what about Anderson and Mills?  They would cause some pain. But, they would also be an enticing package (with Joseph) for an “extra” starter.

Spring Training

The Phillies’ spring training has begun. Their first spring game is at home on Thursday, February 22 v. University of Tampa.     

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

More Jake Arrieta

Last week, I reported Jake Arrieta’s declining numbers.  Here they are again.

  • 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
This week, MLB’s Brian Kenny put Arrieta through the shredder.  I expected the shredder and the four-man panel which included two former players to be solidly behind Arrieta. Instead, this is what was presented.
  •                     WAR    Avg FB    HardHit%   GB%
  • 2015    –      8.7         95.2            24.8            56.2
  • 2016    –      3.4         94.4            29.8            52.6
  • 2017    –      1.9         92.2            32.2            45.1

As his fastball lost velocity, he relied on it more.

  •                              2014-15   2016-17
  • Fastball%   –       49.4           64.7
  • Alider%       –       29.1           16.1
  • Curve%       –       16.4           13.1
  • Change%   –          5.1             6.1
  • ERA                –       2.08           3.30

In light of these numbers, the panel questioned Arrieta’s current and future value.  Both former players would still want him on their team, but at what cost.  Only Kenny waffled, calling Arrieta a 3 WAR player in spite of the indicators.

Yes, Arrieta might be an effective pitcher in 2018.  And, maybe 2019.  But, in 2017, Arrieta was a two win pitcher (actually 1.9 WAR).  As his key indicators drop, it is likely that his WAR will continue to drop.

This year, a win is valued at $9.0M, and Arrieta is projected to lose value.  No matter what his past performance was, why would an organization invest in the expensive long-term contract he and his agent want?  The 6-year, $126M contract in which he supposedly was not interested is probably a big overpay over the life of the contract at this point in his career.

Even if Arrieta and Boras were to drastically reduce the years he is seeking, some of the suggested contracts I’ve seen here seem like an overpay  for a 2 war pitcher on the down slope.

Key Dates:

  • 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)

  • 2/17/18 – LHP Fernando Abad assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 2/17/18 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Fernando Abad to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training
  • 2/15/18 – CF Collin Cowgill assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 2/15/18 – RHP Drew Hutchison assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 2/15/18 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Drew Hutchison to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training
  • 2/14/18 – C Eric Fryer retired
  • 2/13/18 – C Nick Rickles assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 2/13/18 – Phillies invited non-roster C Nick Rickles to spring training
  • 2/8/18 – 2B Ryan Flaherty assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 2/8/18 – Phillies signed free agent CF Collin Cowgill to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training
  • 2/2-6/18 – Phillies signed FA 1B Joey Meneses to a minor league contract
  • 2/1/18 – SS Adam Rosales assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 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 FA 2B Ryan Flaherty to an MiLB contract and invited him to ST
  • 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
  • 2/1/18 – Phillies signed FA SS Adam Rosales to an MiLB contract & invited him to ST
  • 1/31/18 – Phillies signed free agent SS Ellian Rondon to a minor league contract
  • 1/28/18 – RHP Francisco Rodriguez assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 1/28/18 – Phillies signed FA RHP Francisco Rodriguez to an MiLB contract & invited him to ST
  • 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
  • 12/23/17 – 1/3/18 – Phillies sign FA C Nick Rickles to a minor league contract
  • 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 – Phillies sent LHP Kevin Siegrist outright to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 10/4/17 – 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 FA 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 LHP Alberto Torres 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.

230 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of February 18, 2018

  1. Montgomery is a valuable player to have at 2.4WAR last season, 130 ip as swing/long man. Not sure Cubs would give him up for less than top prospect(s), with or without TJ in the package.

    1. I would trade for Montgomery for joseph, mills and Anderson. AT some point you have to start thinning out the back of the rotation like starters because there isn’t enough room for them all and they block advancement of better prospects. you’ll end up losing some in rule 5 next yr.
      that trade would do that while adding to major league team.

      1. One concern with Montgomery…..according to Brooks, from the start of 2016 to the end of the 2017 season…he has lost 3 mph off his FB. not sure what that is all about.He also turns 29 in July.
        Is he starting a downward slide with just 1200 innings pitched already?
        Just might be an anomaly.
        I would still take a chance….but less offering…..maybe ToJo and one pitching prospect.

        1. Romus – Montgomery was largely a reliever in 2016 but threw more innings as a starter (than a reliever) in 2016. Could be a logical explanation for varying velocity averages

            1. Ok…thanks for that info Steve.
              Makes sense now.
              So I guess he would be a 91-93 guy as a starter with his two FBs and little less velo with his cutter..

  2. Tillman is reportedly close to either signing with Detroit or returning to Baltimore. There’s supposedly another team’s offer. Let’s hope it’s not ours.

      1. Forgetting for a moment the years and dollars involved, my pitching preferences right now are Cobb, Arrieta, Duffy, Montgomery, and Lynn.

  3. I think the people like myself who want to see the front office upgrade the starting pitching aren’t necessarily clamoring for Arrieta at a huge contract. They just want to see the front office address the issue in some manner. We’ve seen Ordinazzi ( sorry for spelling) , gerad cole traded. we see arrieta, lynn and cobb available, Plus we see a front office that talks about growing arms and buying bats and yet has taken 2 high floor low ceiling outfielders in the last 2 drafts with high picks.
    where is the emphasis on starting pitching?

    1. make it 3 high floor OFs under Johnny Almaraz and the college guy (Haseley) might turn out to be the best of them.

      1. agreed.
        if your philosophy is not to overpay on the market for pitching in trade or FA ( a good philosophy) then you have to use your high draft picks on pitching ( and there were options in the Moniak draft even if none was a guarantee).

  4. Jim – I don’t think I’d give up interesting but unproven prospects for an interesting but unproven veteran. I’m also not convinced Montgomery has better than no. 3 upside. He’s ERA has outperformed his FIP by nearly a full run over the past two seasons. In my view much of his effectiveness the past two seasons can be largely attributed to the manner in which he was used. Mostly as a reliever, and when as a starter, he seldom faced a lineup a third time.

    Drew Anderson on the other hand put together a truly eye-opening campaign at Reading in 2017. I want to see more.

    I think it’s a reasonable proposition, but I’d pass

    1. im more with you- if the Cubs dont want him as a starter, why would we?
      yes, he’s a lefty, and under control for a few years, with starting/long relief flexibility, but low inning, low strikeout guy- if its depth pieces we’re giving up without any more upside then montgomery, sure, otherwise, pass.

  5. Monty’s trade is OK with me. But I like Anderson since pre-injury. Offer Jake Thompson instead and Mills with ToJo.

  6. KuKo, I like Drew Anderson as well. I think Montgomery is a nice swing Pitcher, exactly as the Cubs have been using him. I aim higher than him. I will pass. I have no interest in Lynn, and only interested in Arrieta on a short term deal.srussell said it perfectly. We are looking for the FO to be creative. Clearly, since they have said so, the FO knows SP needs to be addressed. They haven’t done so. That is, simply put, the reason for disappointment.

    1. I agree Matt, but ToJo, Rupp, Alvarez, Leiter, Jake will eventually be victims of the next purge so might as well get something that can be useful or serve as a future trade asset for them rather than lose them nothing or get some cash or PTBNL.

  7. Sorry Anthony Rizzo. Looks like you need a day off. Plus, we want to get Tommy Joseph some at bats. -said no one ever.

    1. Story time:

      I remember I was at Jimmy Rollins 1999 career hit game, hoping he’d hit 2000. they were playing the cubs, and I was heckling the crap out of Rizzo all game. I was lucky enough to grab free 1st base ticket seats, never sat so close before, right up against the railing. Anyways …. I was yelling riz-Zzzzooo … while he was at playing defense. You know, giving him the old 700 level treatment. Rizzo was pissed/annoyed for sure,
      No doubt. Eventually He winded up getting the go ahead hit, probably thought that would shut me up…. not a chance. People were cracking people up.
      He would look back every inning or so looking super annoyed. The security “guard”was loving it, even encouraging it. I bet rizzo was relieved not to learn I wasn’t a season ticket holder. I bet If I said “ri-zzz-oooo” once he would instantly remember me. Philly phans gotta Earn their keep!

      Btw … the voice is easily very loud, and irritating … my family can verify.

      1. I really need an edit feature … you guys can figure it out, sorry for the errors – at work hiding from the big wigs

      2. Huh – this doesn’t seem like a story I would be proud of. Hopefully you simply forgot to include the sentence “man, I was young and dumb. I wish I could go back and act more civilized, and not have made a fool of myself.”

        We’ve all sat next to “that guy” – I would be upset if I spent $100 per ticket and had to sit next to “that guy”.

        1. Wes …. not a chance 🙂 … no regrets. . others joined in, we all had a good time. .. minus Riz-ZzzzOOOOO

          Good chance you could hear me heckling through the tv … 🙂

  8. We have quite a number of guys who need to be addressed in this next year. You just mentioned 5 of them that I don’t want to lose for nothing. I am not saying they have high value, but all can play in the Majors. TJ can help an AL team simply as a platoon DH. There are back up Cs worse than Rupp. They will probably be included, with higher rated guys, in trades. But, that will one of Klentak’s many jobs coming soon.

    1. Terrible, how can Klentak keep refusing to spend money to improve the rotation. He could have easily outspent the O’s for this pitcher.

      Oh wait, another 5th starter at best… Never mind 🙂

  9. Definite “YES” on a ToJo + AAA + A pitcher for Mike Montgomery … of course, depending on who the pitchers are. The Phillies need to deal some of their surplus upper level arms. A LHP who can start with four years of team control is exactly what Matt Klentak should be shopping for. Even if Montgomery doesn’t end up a long term rotation answer (and I believe he could), he will be a useful LH bullpen arm who can be flipped at some point if the team wants to.
    I’d offer ToJo, one of Efflin/Thompson/Taveras/Lively, and one of Llovera/Rosso/Fanti/Seabold/Mills.

      1. I’ve posted numerous times already, on March 29th (the start of the regular season) Klentak should deal from whatever Epstein leaves on the table (Efflin, Thompson, Lively, Taveras, Arauz, etc.) for competitive balance draft picks. How about Zach Efflin and Jake Thompson or Jose Taveras for Baltimore’s comp A pick ??? Klentak needs to also use some of that league leading cap space to eat bad contracts for more competitive balance picks and J2 money. Cut some of the fat from the upper levels to keep the lower levels replenished.

        1. its certainly a better plan than losing guys for nothing ultimately. Atleast its a thought out plan not a sit on your hands and do nothing plan

        2. Hinkie…..I agree the CBA picks would be a prime aspiration if it were up to me.
          The Os have traded theirs often in the past , maybe even try to get the Royals also.
          Marlins have done it in the past with the former ownership….do not Jeter/Hill doing that anymore.
          He should also look to replace the Santana signing forfeiture by making trades..
          And agree on J2 int’l money acquisitions.
          Most teams want arms….Phillies have plenty in their system.

      2. @hinkie – that move might be an over action and will be unnecessary since Mike Monty will NOT make the Phils a legit contender. Mike Monty will probably add 2-4 wins and in the bigger picture, it’s marginal. A good year from Anderson and delos Santos can either help the contending Phillies team or will serve as a valuable trade piece for the needed MLB player.

        While Klentak’s very methodical approach starts to get disappointing, panic moves can be detrimental to the current direction.

        1. KuKo … We have too many AAA/AAAA arms (as a matter of fact, we have a glut of pitching throughout the system; not saying that’s a bad thing). Klentak needs to deal the upper level arms before they run out of value, are lost to rule 5, or end up getting in the way of younger, higher ceiling prospects. I think Anderson and De Los Santos are better/more valuable prospects than Thompson, Taveras, even Lively and Efflin, but chances are Anderson and De Los Santos will never end up being as successful as Montgomery has been/will be. Anderson’s velo was down last year, and (when I saw him) he lacked movement on his pitches. At the very least, IMO … Montgomery would make a better trade candidate down the line than any of the Phillies arms I’ve mentioned in this post.

          1. @hinkie – i agree that there’s influx of back end arms but I’ll jettison the likes of Leiter, Thompson, Lively and Taveras than Anderson and Eflin.

            2017 was the 1st time that Anderson pitched for a full season. His IPs jumped from 70 IP in 2016 to 116 IP in 2017. Seeing Anderson pitched a full year without any health issues is the story for me and the numbers are secondary. That’s why, giving Anderson another year is imperative. The FB may not touch 96-97 but it can can regularly reached 93-95. The CB is a good swing and miss pitch and Anderson always do a good job in controlling his pitches.

    1. I’d be ok with Montgomery. Prefer Arrieta at 2-3 yrs, then Cobb 3-4. My preferred trade target is still Duffy but not holding out hope for it to happen.

      1. It sounds like the Royals are open for business now that Hosmer turned them down. Maybe Duffy is more attainable at a fair price.

        I think they’ll have a better shot at the deadline, especially if guys like Moniak and Haseley have good showings. I think some of our guys may have higher value as well.

  10. Drew Anderson is painful to give up. I’d try to hammer out a deal with other AAA pitchers. He was reported by some to have one of best arm in the phils minors, maybe even the best. Yes he has had major surgery but I’d pass if he is the key piece, especially for a potential bullpen piece.
    You gotta pay to get good arms so i had rather hold out for archer to have him included. Tojo is a no brainer, and I’m good with mills.
    Admittedly it will be hard to trade some of these prospects away. I just want to see more of Anderson post surgery, which included SO mike trout. If he is traded, that will be mentioned in the receiving teams write up

    1. Understandable though I have to admit from the little we saw of Anderson ( understanding super small sample size) , I didn’t see anything in his stuff or command that makes me think he is anything more than a fill in starter or long reliever.
      we do ultimately need to consolidate some of these players at the higher levels into players for major league roster, players for trade for pieces to help major league team and players to trade for draft picks or international money

      1. This is true, a few have pointed this out. I’m more certain on the positional players I want to keep vs the arms. An interesting poll would be to see who the phans want to keep at each level vs the top 30. I’m sure sanchez is unanimous, but other than that it gets really dicey

        1. Yeah
          its really hard at this point other than nola ( as probably a 2) and knowing eichoff is probably a 4-5 given his lack of fastball velocity or movement, whtether the other guys are going to work out
          need to see VV, pivetta, Anderson, Eislman, efflin , lively, tavaris, etc against more major league pitching
          tough task but honestly that’s what MK is getting paid for. otherwise, LOL, any of us could do that job

      2. You need to understand the bigger picture than look at the stats. While Anderson did not dominate and falter towards the final stretch of 2017, this is more of a case of getting tired. Anderson’s load increased by 50% from 70 IPs in 2016 to 116 IP after a series of FL stints in 2016.

        In the case of Anderson, pitching for 100 IPs is the success of his year because it proves that he is healthy. The FB-CB is better than league average and Anderson always has the feel for pitching.

        Arano (and his REA stats) is also in the same situation. Arano got hurt, so when he return to pitch REA – the FB velo is still down and the SL doesn’t have the bite. Some people here point to the 38 IP pitched in 2017 and say that Arano is not good.

        I’ve been following Anderson pre-surgery that’s why i have better appreciation for him.

        1. Actually I wasn’t using Stats at all but the old fashion eye test on how hitters reacted to his stuff. But I do understand your point and appreciate you may have a better feel for his ceiling than I do.
          Arano I do like as a low cost reliever over next few years

      3. Agreed. My enthusiasm for Anderson dimmed quite a bit after seeing him pitch. Maybe he was worn down by the end of the year, but I saw nothing special when he was on the mound. I thought Eflin and Pivetta have better stuff than Anderson – at least based on what I’ve seen.

  11. I think the Phils stand pat. Not enough gains with any arms out there right now, and if you factor in the years and $ better off to let our young guns develop. Then you have treasure to buy some better arms when their teams tank and need to sell off.

      1. I read the Giants were impressed with his workout. I’d place SF as the most likely landing spot for Lincecum (again).

    1. I hope not. We can’t win with our current staff, we can’t get close to 81 wins without more pitching. What are the odds that VV, Eickhoff, and Pivetta all pitch well, let alone Lively, Eflin, or Eshelman also. We’ll need at least Nola plus two, maybe three, good seasons from the group. Another veteran decent arm would make things so much easier. I don’t care about the money per year, it’s just the number of years.

      1. Exactly.
        I think most all would agree with you on that.
        This staff as it performed last season will not bring any playoff berths.
        And counting on all six pitchers you mentioned to all step up to be quality starters is probably a dream.
        I just hope 2, maybe 3, of them are able to bring it this season.
        Thus the need for that one more quality veteran MLB pitcher.

        1. @romus, any of the FA SPs will not push the Phils to the playoffs. Arrieta will probably be a 3-5 game improvement. The success of the Phillies will really depend on a healthy Nola and the performance of the top youngsters (Hoskins, JPC, Williams, Alfaro, Eickhoff, Vinny, Pivetta). If that’s the main driver, might as well roll it this 2018 and if they fail, the Phils have the next offseason to reload and push the higher end prospects close to the majors.

          1. KuKo……I am not liking Arrieta anyway…..but when you say a 3-5 game improvement….that is basically the WAR ceiling projection for him
            I am not sure you can use that, in that sense.
            That does not take into consideration the other tangible benefits a quality TOR can bring to a team’s overall success…..for example, the increased and length of innings pitched per game , in turn strengthens the bullpen,

            1. @romus – the IP pitched is basically why I’m concerned about the FA SPs in general and Arrieta in particular. IMO, rather than focusing on the “TOR” aspect – which is hard to find and not available this offseason, Klentak just need to focus on SP who can put up innings without imploding too much. A Nola-type is preferred and a 2016 Eickhoff is acceptable.

        2. I don’t think anyone expects all of those guys to pan out but 2018 is the year to throw all of the out there and see which ones sink/swim. There is nothing left in the FA market that is a significant improvement over in-house options and any of the trade candidates are only going to make them marginally better..

  12. Any chance that JD Martinez signing with the Red Sox leaves the Diamondbacks in need of an OF? With an excess of pitching to trade…

  13. It seems like the Twins and Brewers are now our biggest competitors for starting pitching now that the Orioles are out. I’m really excited to see how this plays out.

  14. Food for thought. The new pitching coaches have seen the pitchers throwing for a week now. Maybe they believe that they can “fix” Velasquez, Pivetta, and Thompson.

      1. Hinkie, couldn’t agree more. I’ve been high on Pivetta awhile (picked him as my Breakout in the poll last year) and I still believe there’s SP upside for VV too. Thompson though I have had little hope for. I’d include him in any pkg that can get us something of value.

        1. That’s fine. Let’s just not assume other clubs will more highly value players we prefer to discard in some package for “something of value”. Players like Thompson and ToJo will add virtually nothing to sweeten a deal for any impact player except for the fact that they’re inexpensive and young.

  15. Martinez gets 5/$110 Million, hardly earth shattering. The only wrinkle, after 2 months of negotiating, is the opt out which is becoming normal. I read an article, I think by David Murphy, about a 9 man BP, with guys with options going back and forth to LHV. I think only Morgan, Neshek and Hunter can’t be moved back and forth like that. I know the ‘Pen is more and more important, but I believe, in addition to a strong Starting Rotation, not in place of one. I think we will need 2 SPs, not just one, to get back into the Playoffs, which is one of the reasons I wanted to start this off season.

      1. I wonder if Lynn or Cobb would take a similar deal. Maybe 4 years $60 million. $17.5 million in the first $17.5 in the second $13 in the 3rd, 12 in the 4th with an opt out after the 2nd season. Might have to raise the dollar amount but I’d try to copy this contract structure.

  16. Not much talk about break-out players. My eye will be on Edgar Cabral. I’m not sure if the term break out will apply, but I’m hoping he can make the kind of progress where he looks like a future major leaguer. Defensive catcher who started to hit last year.

    Just 95 plate appearances at Clearwater after promotion, so his 369 OBP and 819 OPS might not hold up for a full season, but the performance is encouraging.

      1. Romus listen to mlb. They say if Harper walks they have a five tool player ready to take his place. I think its ramos or something like that. you heard of him?

        1. rocco…Victor Robles….hard to believe the Nats and Braves, Ronald Acuna, get two 5-tool OFers for about $100K apiece……tells you how exceptional their Latin scouts are for talented positional players like that.

  17. I might be a sucker, but I love all that I read about Kapler and his interaction with the players. The amount of studying he did about all the players, prospects and Major Leaguers and his approach to them has me excited. I wonder if under Jim’s sleeper/breakout poll if Dylan Cozens would qualify as a breakout player? Or, is he too advanced level wise? I still have high hopes that his athleticism and a different approach make him a serious prospect again. Kapler thinks that if he swings with less force he will make more contact and his strength will keep his power intact. Everything I am reading has me a believer in Kapler. I hope I am not disappointed.

    1. “swings with less force” is actually a Charlie projection. He was telling us this before Kapler arrived in Clearwater. Said that Cozens could still hit the ball out of the park with as little as 70-80% of his power. Just want to see Charlie get his props.

    2. I hope I am dead wrong. But Kapler to me is like the guy who gets you to see the bearded lady at the circus. Makes it sound so great. This guy scares me.

      1. Generally speaking, people don’t like change because it scares them. Whether Kapler is a genius or a bag of nuts remains to be seen. Yes, change for the sake of change is pretty empty. But I welcome the break from the old stale routines and cliches we’ve grown numb to. If only the changes provoke these kids out of their comfort zone and lax mentality, it’s worth a shot.

      2. Kapler does have a weird vibe too him. I think this is actually going to work out great or be a disaster. I like that he is trying to find ways for each player to be better and think about things differently. That’s refreshing. As for the manager himself, I can’t tell if he’s genuine or a bit of a “me” guy – but time will tell.

        What I really want to see is how he relates to the team and to the players when they are struggling. Does he stay patient and stand behind his guys or does he start throwing players under the bus? We’ll see. I hope it’s the former and not the latter.

      3. @roccom – i also have the same “chip kelly” vibe with kapler. hopefully, kapler just stays in his own lane and not ask middleton to give him powers on players and personnel.

      4. I’m with you man, I don’t know what to make of him. If he isn’t successful he’s going to be a punchline to a lot of jokes.

        1. EricD……you may not be alone…..even the FO may have their reservations.
          He was the only one of the new handful of managers(Mets, Yankees, Sox and Nats) who did not get the option year on each of their individual three- year managerial contracts.
          So after the 2019 season, if an extension is not in the works….he is probably on his way out.

          1. Me thinks there’s quite a bit of jumping the gun on Kapler. Let the regular season start, for crying out loud.

            Plus Jim P seems to be impressed and he’s down at camp with his own eyes and ears.

  18. I think so Mike, I get the exact opposite vibe than I did with Chip Kelly, who thought his schemes were the bomb, and every player was interchangeable. Kapler seems to be taking an individual approach with everyone. I am not saying he is reinventing the game of Baseball, but I am excited to see what he does with the team.

  19. Thanks Jim, I appreciate the insight you have from being there. Props to Charlie, Do you feel positive about Kapler?

  20. If the Phillies can get a pitcher, they should do it, but I think they’ll be fine without. Far more trade options will be available come July. I think Nola is fine for now as the #1. Eickhoff is a solid, serviceable starter as their #2. Pivetta and VV, good bad or ugly, need to pitch every fifth day to develop. Phil’s don’t need them to be the next late developer elsewhere, ala Happ or Carrasco (not regretting those moves, just saying pitchers develop late). I fully expect that of all the other guys under consideration at least one of them can step up and perform.

    The sky is not falling. I think Pivetta has a breakout year. I think VV also does – but as the Phils closer by August.

    1. If they don’t acquire a veteran pitcher, the guy who might benefit most is actually Eshelman. He’s not flashy, but he’ll go out and pitch relatively effective deep into games and give what appears to be a good hitting team a chance to win. I can see him emerging as the number 4 or 5 guy in the rotation coming out of ST.

      1. I’m interested to see if Eshelman’s stuff which was so effective last yr at AAA translates to the big league level

  21. There is still word that Klentak has been talking a lot to Boras about Arrieta regarding a High AAV, short term deal. I have heard or read zero about Cobb and less about Lynn. catch, I actually like Eshelman and see him as a real contender for the #5 Spot. I really hope VV and Pivetta can stay as SPs because their stuff is terrific, but I fear they are both headed for the BP. But, it is the first day of full squad, so hope springs eternal.

  22. I’m wondering if Duffy would be attainable. I didn’t realize the Royals extended him and at about 15 mil until 2022. He still might be rather attainable though for maybe 1 7-10 system prospect and 2 more around 20 or so. Get a guy like Arrieta, a shorter term deal looks to be discussed, and you have a nice top 3 of Nola, Duffy, and Arrieta with Esh, Anderson, Eick, VV, Pivetta et al rounding out the other spots.

    You get these guys and they’re looking like a borderline playoff team.

    1. I also like Duffy.
      But he will be costly in a trade.
      They need to replace Cain in CF for one , plus losing Hosmer also opens a hole for them….and even Moustakas loss will adversely affect them.
      So they have three holes right there along with replacing Duffy once moved.
      So who do you give up to them, to make it happen?.

      1. I’d maybe try to include Quinn in the deal. Quinn, Cozens, a pitcher like Mills or Anderson? They could realistically have all 3 in the bigs this year if they wanted. Looking at our rankings of the prospects this year, I don’t want to give any of them up for Duffy.

        I’m never good at these things.

          1. I’m not sure how much the added strength will help him, but it’s good that he’s motivated and trying to do whatever he can to become a good player. That’s the mind-set we need and he needs.

            1. He’s really now about the same size as Aaron Judge. People forget that Judge was far from a sure thing in the minors.

            2. Exactly…Judge was a bust in August/September 2016 when the Yankees called him up…Yankee fans were disappointed with him.
              Then last spring he came to spectrum Field in Clearwater and hit that moon shot
              over the Tiki Bar that did not land from what I could tell, and he took off from there.

      2. Eickhoff, Velazquez, Quinn and Joseph to start negotiations. Other pitchers available: Lively, Eflin, Anderson, Eshelman, Taveras, Kilome, Irvin, Garcia, De Los Santos. Other outfielders: One of Altherr, Williams, Herrera, Cozens, Pullin, Randolph or Moniak. I would include Franco only if there was no other combination. Should be able to come up with four players for Duffy from the above.

        1. Hari S….I really liked the idea of trying to get Duffy…fairly young LHP…..but now those two back-to-back DL stints with left elbow impingements last August and when he came back in mid-September he was not all that great… a caution flag now for me. I mean he must have done successful physiotherapy treatment or else he would not have pitched in Sept…..but who knows how long he will last.

    1. While many here aren’t keen oon signing Arrieta, I don’t think it should be minimalized what influence he would have on the younger players. I agree with Jim Peyton that he’d be good for max of 2 yrs, but IMO that kick start would be worth it in the long haul. Just a guy thing….

      1. We don’t know if he would have any positive influence on the young guys or not. It worked with Halladay because he was a willing mentor. I don’t know if Arrieta has any interest in that role or not. Just being a veteran isn’t enough…

        1. Williams has spoken positively about him. I know there was that story out there that he was buying him protein shakes after workouts.

      2. So long as it doesn’t go past 4 years, I think it’s a good gamble and I agree that having a real veteran leader who knows what he’s doing on the mound and pitches with guts and tenacity would really help this team and its pitchers. I have this sneaking suspicion too, that if Texas is out of the race by early July, Hamels will somehow find his way back here.

        1. I like your take, Catch. Also, as the 2018 season evolves, let’s remember that it wouldn’t be out of character for the brass and Kapler to go with a 6-man rotation. Gone are the days of expecting 200 IPs from most SPs, ace or not. Staying fresh is a term we’ll be hearing a lot come July and August.

          1. Another thing to sell my man, Eshleman. If he can keep down the runs, he can pitch long into games. These days, that, in and of itself, is a special talent.

  23. Heyman says this morning that Arrieta, meaning Boras, is talking to the Phillies. Heyman usually has good intel. I know his, Arrieta’s, stuff is trending down, but for a 3 year deal, I would like him. I think he helps the whole rotation, and the $ means little to me. Whatever the dollars are, we will not be impacted going to get any FAs that we want next year, or going forward.

  24. I think the thing with Arrieta is —- they do need him for this year and next. I understand we’re a rebuilding club but if we want to attract Harper, Machado, Donaldson, Blackmon, or soon after Bumgarner, Sale, Arenado, etc, we need to compete for a Wild Card. Arrieta helps that cause.

    Even if he regresses to a 5th starter in year 3+ of a deal we’re projecting Sixto, Medina, etc will be ready then.

    Hypothetical 2020 rotation:

    Nola Sixto Medina Eickhoff Arrieta with the potential for other guys like Velasquez, Pivetta, Romero, Suarez, etc filling in those spots.

    It’s not like when we had Halladay and Lee eating up our payroll, there’s cheap young guys who can supplement the aging vet.

  25. Likely a front loaded contract with possible opt out for him (Arrietta) may actually do it. Can he be signed for a 1, 2 or 3 year contract? If 1 year he would not get QO next offseason – thus potential landing spots increase greatly

    1. BobD…doesn’t matter if gets a one year deal or any length longer….the new CBA stipulates that a player only can have one QO placed on him in a MLB career….Arrieta already had his with the Cubs. (this is a new wrinkle in the CBA)
      So he is free to walk away from the Philies without them receiving compensation……which is probably a selling point, like you inferred, to get him on a short term deal

    2. Year one – $27M with $5M signing bonus along with opt out afterward.
      Years 2 and 3 – $25M per
      Year 4 – $20M
      Vesting option for 5th year.

  26. I’d take arrietta for 3 at a high AVV, and let the young guys duke it out. Pitchers will get hurt/DL stents, so we should see roughly about 12. 3 years would be Ok with me, it strikes a balance between rebuild and not mortgaging the phuture payroll with dead weight performance. The only issue is, I think this is Arriettas last resort option.

    1. Though I’d prefer a trade for Duffy, Archer, etc. The Phillies gave a lot of pitchers that will be lost for nothing so, decision Time is coming up for a good amount of them. Unless they go with a 6 man rotation (I would like) to figure out who stays and who goes between

      Eickhoff,VV, Efflin, Eshelman, Anderson,Lively, etc …. before the next round of prospects coming.

      Should be fun to see this cookie crumble

    2. As indicated above….Arrieta’s velo has decreased significantly since 2015, and along with his metrics….hopefully he can have a resurgence.

      1. I also like the potential impact he could have on Velasquez and Pivetta. Similar to what Halladay had on Hamels and Kendrick when he came here. He has had a very similar early career to Velasquez, maybe he can help turn it around and be a mentor to him.

  27. I don’t think Arrietta or Cobb are turning point type of signings. A one year prove it deal for him, followed by arbitration, is the best option.

    Duffy hasn’t thrown 200 innings in his career. Not sure why everyone is so high on a career 3.73 ERA guy.

    I can see the Tampa Rays & Rangers waiting until the trade deadline to move Archer & Hamels. At that time, there could be a ransom request for contending teams.

    Seems the phillies are already planning for a 9 man bullpen, understanding the lack of strong SP.

    1. JohnH……..”Duffy hasn’t thrown 200 innings in his career. Not sure why everyone is so high on a career 3.73 ERA guy.”
      —thats 3.7 in the AL….world of difference in the NL facing the pitcher 3 times a game.
      —a 12.4WAR LHP over the last 4 years….thats top ten for AL LHPs
      —he has thrown almost 150 plus innings three of the last four years.
      —and last year only 15 pitchers of the 100 plus pitchers who started games, in baseball, threw for 200 or more innings.

      His red-flags from last year:
      08/26/2017 Left Elbow Impingement 10-Day Disabled List
      08/23/2017 Left Elbow Impingement 10-Day Disabled List
      05/29/2017 Strained Right Oblique 10-Day Disabled List
      ….now if anything, that would be concerns, that could drive down his trade value.

        1. That could be….not sure of all the elbow issues that would lead to TJ.
          He did come back and pitch three games after mid-September….and his metrics declines in each game from outstanding in the first game back, to poor in the third game.
          But his pitch count went from first game back 62 -second game 89- third game 86.
          The longer he pitched in the game the more difficulty he faced.

      1. He would have to pass a physical and probably provide a full review of his medicals I’m assuming. Why not give them Cesar, one of Lively, Thompson and then something of the realm of a Tavares or Pinto.

        Does that do it for Dayton…

        1. The Royals have Whit Meerfield at 2nd who had a comparable if not slightly better year than Cesar.

          Would you trade a controllable LHP for that package? You’d have to give up at least one of the top guys not named Sixto, Kingery, Crawford, or Alfaro.

          1. But the Phillies will still have to see how he pitches this spring.
            If the issues isn’t resolved or they decide to ‘rest’ him for a week or so, then IMO you would have to pass on him.
            Too risky until he can prove he can pitch.

  28. Matt Breen just posted a piece suggesting the Phils may have Arrieta right where they want him. That’s pretty bold from a colunnist.

    1. He must have good sources …. like a drone outside Klentaks window.
      That is chest bumping type of comment.

      I can see:
      35m for 1, option for 30m
      30m p/y for 3yrs
      22-25m p/y for 4

      If that can’t get it done, yikes and no thank you arrietta.
      I’d like to see a 6 man rotation even with arrietta, to weed out the prospects and get the trades going as to.m not lose this surplus of prospects for nothing … like Asher, that bum from the Giles trade, etc. flip them to replace lower levels or fill in with mlb talent

        1. Didn’t mean say bum, just remembered his name started with a B… Brett Oberholtzer. He basically was flushed out due to spots/other prospects. The FO and managers need to see these players at the mlb level to make final/good decisions for trades etc

  29. The trend appears to be the opt outs after the front loading expires. Even though the team wouldn’t get relief from the AAV should the player decide not to opt out they still have a player conceivably earning a salary commensurate with his production.

    They are almost enticing these guys to opt out at an age where the production would presumably drop off and the Hosmer deal interstingly has only full no trade protection for the front part of the deal.

    I’m assuming once his salary drops at the backend of the deal (if he hasn’t opted out) they would have an easier time trading the player.

    An Arrieta deal could be 5 years at $107 with the first 3 years at $75 and the opt outs start on year 4 when his salary would drop to $16 mil for the next 2 years.

    1. I can’t see a 35 year old pitcher with declining velocity opting out. If he gets an opt out I think it would be after year 1.

  30. Looking ahead to the draft … the college season is a week old. A few top pitching prospects were on the mound this past weekend:
    Brady Singer vs Siena … 6 IP (89 P), 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 8 K
    Casey Mize vs Longwood … 6 IP (75 P), 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 7 K
    Shane McClanahan vs UNC … 6 IP (113 P “Wow”), 0 ER, 3 H, 5 BB, 11 K

    These are the three most likely college arms the Phillies could take at 1-3. There’s a decent chance Singer could go before the Philies pick. McClanahan is the most interesting. He’s a smaller (6′ 1″, 170 lb) LHP who throws really hard. Against UNC on Friday, he hit 100 MPH in the opening inning. He eventually sat 94 – 97 MPH, and stayed there for most of his six innings. McClanahan is a TJ survivor, and also needs to improve his control (4.3 BB9 last season). I read a scouting report on his season opening outing. The scout put a FV on McClanahan’s changeup at 65 and gave his slider a FV of 55.

    Add Ethan Hankins, Matt Liberatore, Nolan Gorman, Nander De Sedas, and Jeremy Eierman as the other most likely candidates for 1-3. Kumar Rocker, Austin Becker, and Jarred Kelenic would be my dark horses. For me, if the draft was being held tonight, and if Nolan Gorman was on the board, I’d pick him.

    1. Phillies would be taking a big risk with the HS phenom pitchers.
      Do not see that happening with this FO.
      McClanahan fills their needs and also could be the best LHP pitcher there on the board.
      Then again if his coach has him at 100+ pitches a game in only six iinings…that is a bit risky also.
      He could be this year’s version of AJ Puk

    1. I’d like to see it but if the top two go 1-2 I wouldn’t be opposed to a college bat if one’s there.

    2. BPA, BPA, BPA, BPA. Oh yes, did I mention BPA? If that’s a college arm, so be it.

      You greatly increase the chance of a screw up when you either draft for need or draft someone other than the BPA in an effort to do a below slot signing (which, I’m not pretty sure is how we got MM – nice strategy, huh?).

  31. A couple of Phillies 2017 draft picks who went unsigned got their seasons underway this weekend:
    20th round selection Brady Shanuel (U of Iowa) vs Old Dominion 3.2 IP (61 P), 0 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 HBP, 4 K
    28th rounder Billy Sullivan (Delaware Blue Hens) vs Charleston Southern 5 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 9 K

    Shanuel was drafted after his second JC season. He’s eligible to be drafted again this summer. Sullivan looks like the one that got away. I remember Almarez brought him to CBP a few days before the draft to work him out and interview him. He’s from Wilmington, and (like Mike Trout) grew up a Phillies (and Eagles) fan. I thought he was a slam dunk to sign, but he eventually decided to go to college. Sullivan will be draft eligible again in 2020.

  32. Keith Law’s Top 30 Daft Prospects:

    This year’s Rule 4 draft will take place June 4-6, with the Detroit Tigers holding the first pick, followed by the Giants, Phillies, White Sox and Reds. The class looks strong right now, the deepest overall since 2011, although the upper tier is less certain right now and heavier on the high school talent some teams have shied away from in recent drafts.

    1. Ethan Hankins
    2. Casey Mize
    3. Travis Swaggerty
    4. Nolan Gorman
    5. Matthew Liberatore
    6. Griffin Conine
    7. Logan Gilbert
    8. Kumar Rocker
    9. Jake McCarthy
    10. Ryan Rolison
    11. Jackson Kowar
    12. Carter Stewart
    13. Shane McClanahan
    14. Nander de Sedas
    15. Jarred Kelenic
    16. Steele Walker
    17. Seth Beer
    18. Nick Madrigal
    19. Will Banfield
    20. Brice Turang
    21. Cole Wilcox
    22. Brady Singer
    23. Tristan Pompey
    24. Tim Cate
    25. Jeremy Eierman
    26. Mason Denaburg
    27. Tristan Casas
    28. Cole Winn
    29. Konnor Pilkington
    30. Joey Bart

    Others of note: Greyson Jenista, OF, Wichita State; Alec Bohm, 3B/1B, Wichita State; Noah “Bo” Naylor, C/3B, St. Joan of Arc High School, Mississauga, Ontario; Joe Gray Jr., OF, Hattiesburg High School (Mississippi); Anthony Seigler, C/BHP — that’s not a typo, he throws both righty and lefty — Cartersville High School, Georgia.; Cadyn Grenier, SS, Oregon State.

    1. Let’s go with BPA. I’m done with the slot value shifting of picks. Get a stud college arm who’ll be up here in late’19 along with Sixto & Co.

    2. Singer at 22?
      I do not think so.
      Even if he has to have TJ, he will still be a top ten guy.
      KLaw likes to employ the sensationalism aspect sometimes in prospect rankings.
      Will always alwys have that one prospect either tooooo high or toooo low compared to the industry group think.
      Gives him ihat uniqueness.

      1. Romus … Law has been cautioning against Singer as a top of the draft prospect for almost a year now. He has a problem with his inconsistent velo and arm slot. For me … I’ve always felt Singer may have a problem because of injury concern. Toronto wouldn’t sign him after making him a second round pick (out of HS) when something negative showed up on an MRI. So far, Singer has been injury free at Florida. I know drafting pitching at the top of the draft is a real crap shoot (usually because of the rate of arm injuries), that’s why I’d prefer Nolan Gorman. I’m envisioning a Nolan Gorman/Jhalyn Ortiz righty/lefty power combination in the middle of the Phillies line up one day !!!
        If they go pitcher, I have a feeling they take Liberatore.

        1. Hinkie……it will come down to the next three months with Singer. He does what he did last year……KLaw’s prediction will not fly with teams drafting in the top five or six of the draft.
          So far he is ahead of the game with his first outstanding two-hit performance.

  33. ” grow arms and buy bats”. that’s what we were told. This pick needs to be the best pitcher available

    1. If Strasburg and Harper or even Scherzer and Harper are in the same draft and if say Trout and Kershaw are in the same draft who are you picking?

      I’m always taking the guy that plays everyday vs. the guy who plays every 5th day.

      The trick is knowing what you’re looking at.

      1. understandable, but if youre not going to sign pitchers to long contracts in free agency and you’re not going to pay the prospect price in trades , you better draft your pitching high otherwise you have a lot of number 4 and 5 starters like we have at top of the system

    2. The Phillies need to buy pitching and keep growing the bats. Very disappointed with our offseason so far but there is a little time left to fix that.

    3. Sixto, Medina, Kilome, Romero, Suarez, Morales, Irvin, Dominguez etc, they are growing arms. The AAA AA A A- etc teams all have legit prospects on their pitching staffs.

      They don’t have the kind of high ceiling depth that Atlanta has accrued but there’s still talent. Two of their top 3 picks last year were college arms.

      I agree with the sentiment here. BPA. If that’s an arm or it’s Gorman or whomever, I’m fine with that. I’m hoping that this is the strategy they follow since they lost their 2nd round pick and may lose a 3rd.

    4. Don’t forget … the Phillies are already set to sign one of the top international pitchers this summer. Starlyn Castillo turns 16 this weekend. He already throws 93-95. Below, is a video of Castillo as a 14 YO.

      1. wow, impressive. though as the dad of an about to be 14 year old im imagining sending my kid out to face a divison 1 college team. crazy.

  34. I would be surprised to see them draft a HS Pitcher. If I had to bet now, and I know a lot changes between now and June, I would say McClanahan. I think KLaw is low on him, and Singer at 22 is just wrong. I agree that you always go BPA, but when do the Phils really do that? I think their Board will have SPs at the top. so, in their minds, the BPA will be a Pitcher.

  35. I still think they add a SP before March. JL26, those names you mentioned are all good prospects, with varying ceilings. Sixto having the highest. JoJo was the highest drafted, however, I think around the 3rd. They have done a terrible job over the past 10 years drafting Pitching in high rounds. Drabek was 10 years ago and was a good pick despite his getting injured. He was the key to getting Doc. So, although they preached “grow the arms and buy the bats” they have not done very well.

  36. My biggest issues with the Phillies draft isn’t so much with their priorities (hit tools, ability to control the strike zone for pitchers and hitters) or whom they drafted (even though in each case I would have selected someone else), Each player was arguably the BPA with only the possible exception of Randolph possibly being a reach). My biggest concern is with their talent evaluation. All three of these players (Randolph, Moniak, and Haseley) were supposed to have advanced hit tools and then when they got to the pros evaluators said they were not as advertised. That to me is very concerning.

    1. That could be a concern.
      Though i caution you on Haseley, that may be a bit premature at this point.
      I prefer to wait until this season plays out for him in hi-A to make that determination on him. I do not let the experts’ analysis of his ‘so-called less than desireable inside-out swing’ deter me in what I think he could be. Not having to spend extra practice time pitching anymore should make him a better player for what he was drafted to do.

      1. By itself I put very little emphasis into someone’s first half season of pro ball, but the fact that evaluators pretty universally were disappointed in how he looked and the aforementioned track record in tools evaluation I will say I’m a little concerned.

    2. Talent evaluation has been my biggest concern too and if you take a closer look you realize that you can focus the microscope closely on Johnny Almaraz and his staff. Johnny’s the one guy in the organization who is on or near the hot seat right now. You cannot screw up multiple high draft picks in succession – it’s utterly unacceptable.

  37. Jason Martinez of MLBTR said he thinks Arrieta signs with the Phillies for 4-5 yrs, front loaded, opt out after two.

  38. I mentioned Phuture Phille Starlyn Castillo earlier today in a post above. Kiley McDaniel got to see him at a showcase in DR Wednesday and posted this very positive report.

    1. I didn’t realize that we were the number 1 team for him. Thought I read somewhere that 2 other teams were the leaders with us checking in on him.

  39. Kiley also reporting Ethan Hankins is injured.

    I’m telling you … I wouldn’t risk selecting a pitcher at 1-3. For me, it’s Nolan Gorman. If not Gorman, then I’d select Jeremy Eierman or Nander De Sedas.

    1. I Love what I am reading about Liberatore. but never saw him. but can be another cole if he reaches potential.

      1. What do you do if Singer drops to 3 and has a great year for the Gators? I think that’s a no brainer.

        1. Agree. Wouldn’t look back.
          Though, if he does what he he did in his first start over his next 16/17 starts….he may not fall to 1.3
          Tigers took his teammate a few years in Alex Faedo and probably will do the same with him if he keeps pitching well..
          Of course his current teammate Jackson Kowar started out crazy also…10Ks in 7 innings pitched…and no walks.
          But want to see how they do in the tough conference SEC play soon…that will be the test.

          1. Scott Bradley is a seriously interesting dude. Currently he is the Manager at Princeton. He also played 9 years in the big leagues predominately as a catcher. If you didn’t catch him on the MLB Network the other day I’d recommend trying to find it. He made appearances on all the shows.

            What stood out to me about his insights was his thoughts on big time college baseball programs and the money that some of those managers and assistants make. He did so in so a way where he wasn’t condescending towards them.

            His main point of emphasis was pitching and winning and arm health. He obviously is concerned about young men and their arms.

            His next interesting factoid was about Mike Hazen. Mike played for him at Princeton and Scott thought he was pretty darn good but no scouts were coming to see him. He made a few calls and finally got him drafted by the Padres.

            Mike didn’t make it obviously at 42 he is one of the younger GM’s in baseball. He thinks highly of Mike of course…how could he not be biased. Mike called Scott after he was released and Scott got him a job working for Peter Gammons.

            Peter said I got $3500 bucks you can scout the New England minor league programs for me. Peter said his scouting reports were so detailed and unlike anything he had ever seen. Peter got him a job in the Indians system and the rest as they say is history to the extent he is finally a GM.

            Mike pulled off a pretty good trade recently. Brian Cashman I believe credited him for coming up with the 3-way package that involved the Rays.

            What’s my point? Simply that maybe MK winds up doing a nice job here. We will see. But studying this store makes me wonder if John properly did his homework and got us the right man for the job.

            Mike’s resume once you dig into is pretty darn good.

            1. A real success story for sure.
              The D-Backs will have to dethrone the Dodgers and their money, along with holding off the upcoming Rockies and maybe Padres in that division so his work is cut out for him.

            2. Klentak was MacPhail’s choice. I don’t think John
              Middleton did much more than take MacPhail’s recommendation. I am not really excited by MacPhail.

            3. This is all on Middleton now. Gone are the days of Monty and Green and their object insistence on dysfunctional decision making and back stabbing.

              So while you are are correct that McPhail picked MK it now all falls on Middleton.

              And I hope Middleton is seeking perspective and feedback from many not just Andy and Gillick. I hope he is questioning every move and not just those that the Phillies make. Privately of course.

              I’m not suggesting he be a meddling owner.

      2. roccom … If I did select a pitcher at 1-3, it would be Liberatore. He does have a similar frame to Cole Hamels. Gotta love Liberatore’s curve ball.

        Update on Hankins’ injury … according to BA, Hankins has shoulder tightness; no tears. He is going to go through physical therapy and hopes to be back on the mound in a few weeks.

    2. @Hinkie – Gorman is my top bat in this draft followed by Brice Turang. I will keep a close eye on Brady Singer since he’ll be my top choice if he’s available at 1.3. I can see SF drafting Gorman at 1.2 if Singer goes to DET at 1.1 and Johnny A. will draft Turang at 1.3. Between Turang and McClanahan, I prefer McClanahan.

      1. If you like Aaron Nola, you’ve got to like Brady Singer. They both have similar arm slots, an can make the ball dance. The only thing with Singer (as I mentioned above) is he may come with red flags concerning his health. The Blue Jays didn’t sign him after making him a second round draft pick out oh HS when an MRI showed a problem. Whatever the MRI unveiled hasn’t been a problem so far. Singer has remained healthy during his three years at Florida.

    3. understandable but
      1. if you don’t want to spend big money and yrs in free agency for pitching
      2. don’t want to trade high end ( painful ) prospects for top flight starting pitching
      3. don’t want to use high draft picks on pitching because of injury risk

      as a franchise, other than getting lucky in later rounds, I’m not sure where you are going to get playoff caliber pitching from

      position players are less risky than pitching but you have to have quality SP

        1. I’m glad that the Phils drafted Nola, but he is the most MLB ready and projected to be the 1st pitcher to be in the majors amongst the 2014 batch so the Nola draft is actually a “safe” move rather than the risky move that you imply and Nola was profiled as a high floor than high ceiling pitcher,

    1. From the Phillies Twitter feed

      We’ve seen your questions, and we now have your answer.

      You can watch today’s exhibition against University of Tampa here:

    1. He came in firing mid-90s.
      Looks bigger than listed 170 lbs.
      And, like the current trend, pitches from the stretch.

      1. First time I’ve ever watched a game on my phone. The website had a weird feed of the video all you could see was beyond the fence

        1. I clicked on the ‘enlarged screen’ icon in the lower right corner of the video feed so I could capture most of all the video portion.

          1. I tried hovering around for that but couldn’t find it. Oh well I am working so I’m more listening than I am watching…

  40. From 830 readers on MLBTR, poll asking which one of 8 rebuilding teams will be first to make the playoffs (oddly Atlanta was left out?!?) –

    1 Phillies 48%
    2 White Sox 29%
    3 Padres 7%

    Looks like we’re having expectations set for us nationally.

  41. I think that is a combination of the prospects and young ML players we have, plus the assumption league wide that the Phils will spend big $. I agree with that poll. Even including the Braves, who, I think, have higher ceiling SP prospects, our future is brighter.

      1. Romus, which means that when it gets down to decision time, they’ll budge one year and get it done.

        1. To expound, I believe that if the Phillies told Boras, ‘hey, you know what? We’ll go four years at $110M ($27.5M AAV), final offer, otherwise we walk away, thanks’, nobody else will top that at the end of the day. They might wait a while but they’ll come back and say ok. Milwaukee won’t pay that much when there’s Cobb and Lynn still available. The Nats have the luxury tax AND re-signing Harper to worry about.

  42. A couple of Q&A’s from Keith Law’s chat yesterday:

    Jack: Would the Phillies be smart to sign Arrieta?
    Keith Law: No.

    Roger: Concern that Ethan Hankins is already dealing with shoulder issues?
    Keith Law: Supposedly just muscular. Of course it’s a concern but let’s see him get back on the mound before we get too alarmed.

    1. I think an Arrieta signing is totally dependent on the length of the contract. A 3 yr deal to bridge the rotation until sixto and some of higher ceiling prospects arrives is hard to argue against

      1. An Arrieta signing does come at a cost beyond just the $$$ for the contract. He was given a QO so he also costs a 3rd round draft pick and International $$$ for the Phillies to sign. Is signing him with the goal of winning 5-6 more games in 2018 worth that trade-off?

        I anticipate that his performance will continue to regress each year moving forward so I don’t expect he will be much better than existing options in 2019 and especially in 2020.

        1. I’m no longer interested in preserving draft picks only to stockpile them. Let’s move some by trading value to get value. And yes, a few more wins in ’18 is worth it, for this year and beyond. It’s about setting the tone.

          1. Absolutely agree mark. Phils have a ton of pitching prospects, but there are only five spots in the rotation (maybe six). They need to trade a few to fill other needs.

            1. They have a ton of pitching prospects but the burnout rate for pitching prospects is quite high. IF they get 3 long-term starters from what they currently have in the system that will be a big success..

  43. Exactly srussell. That is the problem with Klaw. He prefers to be snarky. Of course the Phils would be smart to sign Arrieta if the contract is a favorable one. They don’t have a better SP than him, Nola aside, maybe, and it is always smart to try and get better. A flat out no is just dumb.

    1. matt13,,,,snarky is a good word to describe some of his responses. he just does not go into any details for his reasoning….which is fine based on the limitations he has with publishing but ghe could add a few more words.
      He also goofs up…..Paul Goldey for one, and he admits it.
      Also, I remember his quick analysis of Nick Williams in April 2016….’yes, he is a prospect, just not a good one’
      Perhaps it is that so-called cynical northeast attitude vs middle America, he has acquired residing in the Wilmington, DE area.

  44. Brady Singer pitches against U of Miami tonight at 7:00. You can see it through the Watch ESPN app. I’ve been watching Kentucky’s big (6’11”) Sean Hjelle mow down Oakland (Mich) hitters this afternoon. So far, Hjelle is perfect: 4 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 8 K.

    1. Tim … Hjelle was great. He was removed after giving up his first (and only) hit. He went 7.2 IP (94 P), 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 13 K. Here’s a scouting report on Hjelle from D1
      “Sean Hjelle is a freak of nature. A boy who is 6-foot-11 and 225 pounds should not be able to gracefully repeat his delivery, command four pitches (fastball 91-95, curveball 81-86, slider 83-85, changeup 84-88), and make it look effortless.
      In Kentucky’s home opener against Oakland, Hjelle struck out 13, walked no one, gave up one hit and no runs in 7.2 masterful innings. He controlled the rhythm of the game. One beautiful pitch after another, he drove it forward at a relentless pace. With the longest possible levers, slinging pitches like a finely tuned trebuchet, he demolished Oakland’s lineup. He attacked the Grizzlies with velocity and movement, he attacked them with command, and he attacked them with the pace of his game. When Hjelle was loaded and ready to throw, the batters were still recovering from the last pitch, and for the duration of his start, Oakland had no defense against him”.

      I didn’t tune in until the second inning of the Florida – Miami game. By the time I was watching, Singer had already been touched for 3 R’s on 5 H’s (including a HR). He settled down and allowed a single per inning in frames two through five. Singer’s final line was 5 IP (96 P), 3 R, 9 H, 0 BB, 4 K. Even though the stats weren’t the greatest, his pitches still came with plenty of movement. The telecast (unfortunately) didn’t feature a radar gun so I don’t know if his velo was down.

      1. How did he fare vs the SEC hitters last year….I see he did win SEC Pitcher of the Year, so assumed he was at his best. Nola won it two years in a row.

        1. Romus … Hjelle was great in the SEC regular season last year. His SEC only stats can be found here He was 66.1 IP, 43 H, 24 BB, 61 K, 1.90 ERA, .186 OBAVG.
          His worst performance came in the SEC tournament against (eventual College WS runner-up) LSU. In that game, Hjelle was 5 IP, 9 ER, 11 H, 0 BB, 10 K. I don’t remember that game, but even though he surrendered 11 hits, the 10 K/0 BB was impressive.

          1. thanks Hinkie I heard he curve was a knuckle curve . I like him late last yr he put on 20 lbs of muscle.

  45. Michael Saunders got the Pirates to release him from his contract. He is now signing with the Royals to fight Cody Asche for an outfield slot.
    Featherston fighting for a slot behind Freddy in San Diego.

  46. Arrietta sure is taking his sweet rear time … You think accepting millions upon millions of dollars wouldnt be such a hard decision 🙂

    1. Boras is trying to squeeze more years. He’ll likely get one. He’s trying to sell teams on Arrieta’s “prestige” over Darvish’s analytics appeal, according to reports. In other words, “pay my guy for what he’s done instead of what he’s projected to do.”

  47. 8mark, I don’t see the team that Boras can convince on Arrieta. He has a relationship with the Lerners, but they are not going 6 or 7 years for him with Harper coming up for a $400 Million pay day. I still think that the Phils, with a high AAV, 3 or 4 year deal, will get him.

  48. Gorman should be the Phillies choice at 1-3 (if he’s there).

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