Open Discussion: Week of March 4, 2018

The Phillies continue to play games on their Grapefruit League schedule.

Minor League camp had its first full squad work out on Sunday.

Free agent talks maintain their recent ebb and flow.

#Phly Phillies Phly!

Organizational News and Changes

Apparently the Phillies slipped a few free agent signings past us, albeit at the minor league level.

The Phillies resigned catchers Gabriel Lino and Wilson Garcia.  They also signed free agent pitchers Tim Berry and Patrick Frazier.  I saw Garcia, Berry, and Frazier.  A friend I share information with told me he saw Lino.

The Phillies are still playing musical chairs at several positions.  It’s spring training, this is the time to do it.  With a short bench, it’s probably a moral imperative (name that movie) that find out who won’t embarrass himself when playing out of position.  Plus, utility roles require a player be able to play multiple positions.  FWIW, assuming a 13-pitcher staff, my bench would be Alfaro/Knapp (whichever one wasn’t the starter), Altherr/Williams (ditto), Quinn, and Valentin.  IMO, none of these guys needs to be held back to play everyday in Lehifg Valley.  And I prefer our own guys over the AAAA guys signed over the winter.  If they start the season with a 12-man staff due to open dates, I would lean toward Joseph for his bat or Florimon for his flexibility (if he’s 100%).

I still detect a troubling and common thread, reminiscent of previous seasons.  But, it’s early.  It’s spring training.  I’ll wait another week or two to claim the sky is falling.  Besides, I have the minor league guys to distract me from the big club.  But how about Seranthony Dominguez!  Kirsten Karbach nicknamed him “The Knight” when he pitched in Clearwater.  If he continues to be effective out of the bullpen, we can modify that to “The Good Knight” since it would be “good night” for the batters he faced.

Lots of guys are having some good individual outings.  Kingery continues to impress. Joseph keeps hitting.  As are Alfaro, Crawford, and Qunn.  Mark Leiter had a 5-strike out, 2-inning appearance.  Jose Taveras followed up a shaky outing with a .2 inning relief appearance where he entered with the bases loaded and stranded all three runners.  Now, if they can just string some wins together …

Spring Training

The Phillies spring training schedule is available here.

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

Free Agent Talk

Jon Morosi broke a story regarding the Phillies efforts to sign at least one free agent pitcher.  I have heard or made up the following –

  • Middleton has approved the attempt to acquire up to two FA pitchers.
  • By this I mean that I think he was approached and presented a general plan that would net them pitchers like Arrieta at a specified cost and length and possibly Lynn (or Cobb) at a specified cost and length.  Whatever was proposed  without the specifics I added, that is what I believe Middleton might have approved – an okay to proceed without concern about the dollars.  The other stuff is my speculation.
  • Arrieta is the key.  If he will modify what we perceive as his contract demands, a deal might be reached.  If one is reached, they will attempt to sign a second FA pitcher.  If a deal can’t be reached with Arrieta, the second pitcher isn’t as attractive since he isn’t enough of a difference maker.
  • I think the second pitcher would receive a better offer if Arrieta signs.  Say, a front-loaded 2-year contract with an opt out (25 + 17).  If Arrieta doesn’t sign, then a lower AAV and no opt out.
  • I don’t think the Phillies care about losing their third and fourth round picks if they can sign the pitchers they seek.
  • If something doesn’t happen, it won’t be because the Phillies didn’t try.  It will likely be that somebody has a higher belief in his value that what the market seems to dictate at this time.
  • Okay, this is mostly all stuff I made up.

Key Dates:

  • 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, unsubstantiated signings in italics)

  • Tim Berry
  • Patrick Frazier
  • 2/19/18–Phillies signed free agent LHP Maikel Garrido to a minor league contract
  • 2/19/18–Phillies signed free agent C Edward Barboza to a minor league contract
  • 2/16/18–Phillies signed free agent Gabriel Lino to a minor league contract; assigned to Lehigh Valley
  • 1/30/18–Phillies signed free agent Wilson Garcia to a minor league contract; assigned to Clearwater
  • 1/9/18–Phillies signed free agent Juan Escorcia to a minor league contract; assigned to GCL Phillies West
  • The organization’s rosters 
  • 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.

301 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of March 4, 2018

  1. The Phillies have been playing American League baseball (DH) all Spring. Will that continue through the final game? I’d like to see Kapler and co. make the moves that a National League must make.

  2. Hmmm. That Arrieta plus Lynn or Cobb scenario is very interesting. It sounds like their “all or nothing” approach regarding the starting pitching search is the hinge on whether they can go for a WC berth this season.

    I’m in agreement with Jim that the bench will be made up of the guys he named. IF a FA arm (or 2) was signed, they might go with one less in the bullpen, making it a 5-man bench.

    Interesting story line to follow from here out….

    1. Well I figure they are waiting to see how their own pitching pans out before they pull the trigger. Its not a bad idea. So far I think the rotation is Nola and probably Eickhoff. Pivetta, VV, Eflin, and company still need to show they can go 3 innings or more and very soon.Lively may have the inside track for a spot after his last start. But if they all start faltering then we may see 1 or even 2 of those pitchers signed.

  3. went to game yesterday a little disappointed in Alumni day and overall feel around the park. no BP, players not out as much as in past years. Definitely a new era with Kapler etc.
    Clearly analytics rule the day with santana batting 2nd. Interested if anyone has heard about B games or intrasquad games 3/6 or 3/8.

    1. I was there also, Alumni day was a total bust, heard the BP was done at complex makes me mad didn’t stay there to start of game because the Minor League players were there also. One usher thought maybe BP wasn’t done at the stadium because of safety of the fans waiting in line for autographs and not paying attention to field. He said it was his opinion and not the official word.

  4. Great stuff Jim. I totally agree in your bench comments, both 4 and 5 man options. I also agree on Dominguez, he’ll be in philly in September, he’s that good. The comments on the FAs makes sense too. Lynn alone won’t move the needle enough but Arrieta could and both of them certainly would. I know our manager likes batting Santana 2nd because he takes a walk but I’d prefer JP and his high OBP 2nd. Maybe in time. This is the kind of manager who might bat Quinn or JP 9th with the pitcher 8th. We’ll see soon when the pitchers start batting in another week or so.

    1. Has the decision been made to convert Dominguez to a reliever full time or will they give him another try as a starter?

  5. Hah…a young Val Kilmer from the 80s… get even its a .moral imperative…. ‘real genius’

  6. Keith Law was in Alabama to scout Auburn’s Case Mize on Friday night. http://www.espn.com/blog/keith-law/insider/post?id=8098 He says Mize is in the broad mix for 1-1. So, obviously, Mize will in play for the Phillies at 1-3.
    More from Law on Mize:
    * showed five distinct pitches, including a fastball at 91-96 mph, a cutter, a slider, a splitter and a true changeup, three of which are clearly plus — the fastball, cutter and the splitter.
    * Mize’s splitter is one of the best pitches in the draft class this year, a 70-grade pitch when he hits it to go with 60s for the fastball and that cutter. He throws it at 88-91 mph and it is devastating against right-handed hitters.
    * has top-of-the-rotation stuff and a delivery that looks right for that role, with control there now but below-average command.

    Also … Shane McClanahan had another strong outing this weekend … 6 IP (90 P), 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 12 K. For the season, the LHSP is 18 IP, 0 ER, 8 H, 7 BB, 32 K, .129 OBA.

    1. Phillies will have plenty of choices to make….though could be a tough one.
      A HS hitter like Gorman vs a few distinguished HS pitchers vs 3 or 4 college arms.

    2. Mize health is a ticking time bomb and the usage of the splitter will just increase blowing his arm. Mize can be a good choice in the back end of the Top 10. But at 1.3 – the Phils should have a better choice between Gorman, Singer, McClanhan, Liberatore, de Sedas, Kowar and Turang.

      1. HaHa … KuKo … Law must have read your mind.
        From his report on Mize: “You don’t see many amateurs who throw a splitter at all, because of the unproven belief that it can cause arm problems. (Mize did miss time last spring with forearm soreness, but it never morphed into elbow trouble.)”

    3. Mize is interesting. I definitely would prefer a top of the rotation arm (though still best to go BPA) and 3+ pitches is nice. However, for MIze the fact that none of the plus potential pitches are a true breaking ball or change up (spitter is debatable), is concerning. Also I remember hearing somewhere there has been concerns about the long term effects of a splitter on arm durability.

      For McClanahan my concern are the walks. I will have to keep an eye out because if I recall correctly most of those walks came in one start. If that was an aberration I can look past it but if it is a more common occurrence that is more of a concern.

      1. You are correct on Shane McClanahan…for his collegian career…88 innings…41 walks. He will need to rectify that.

  7. Personally, I’m somewhat OK with both paths but I prefer to “hedge” this year. I think moving forward, payroll flexibility is important, in terms of not having large contracts/low performance value. Granted you can have some, but I’m remembering 2011/12 … it catches up. Just looking for the FO to be smart with the absolute gift they have themselves in. A strong farm, at least perceived, at minimum provides trade value and low contracts/high performance players which is needed to off set the “finishing touches” players. Added with their bankroll… I expect to see a mini dynasty. If it doesn’t happen… a lot of misteps and mistakes were made. This is a golden opportunity to get a few trophies over the next 5-7 years if done correctly.

    So all that said, my preferred plan is to now sign arrietta for 3or4 years, stand pat til the deadline, then make a painful prospect trade for a young controllable pitcher. Go to battle with what you have as you wait to develop and sign additional talent.

    Going arrietta and Cobb/Lynn to me Is overkill on speeding the rebuild. Unless the FO decides to stand pat at the deadline for that young controllable pitcher. I guess will see how much true confidence they have in their farm system this year.

    1. Nola is the only sure guarantee so the future Phillies rotation (other than Nola) is playing with the team yet so signing 2 SPs will not hurt as long as it is not > 3 yrs. If there’s a 4th yr, it should be a team option and should be based on certain performance metrics.

      The success of the 2008 Phillies stalled mainly due to the lack of talent coming from the farm — the Domo Brown, Kelly Duggan, Basti Valle, Colvin, Savery, Collier, Hewitt are supposed to come up and contribute but did not. The current Phillies will have that covered especially with the recent diversion of capital to the international market and a solid local draft philosophy.

      1. KuKo……”the Domo Brown, Kelly Duggan, Basti Valle, Colvin, Savery, Collier, Hewitt are supposed to come up and contribute but did not.” ( Larry Greene)
        ……..in reality, they were all picks ( near the end of the first round and further down the draft cycle) that had very little probability chance of impactful success.
        That being said……one or two should have at least blossomed into something more than what they finally ended.

        1. @romus – i will be more specific – the old regime did not a good job in producing talent from the farm that should replenish the major league team. regardless of where the phillies drafted, they will draft 30-40 prospects every year and allowed to sign IFAs – but they did not acquire and produce any legitimate MLB player during that 5-year run.

          Nobody should blame health and father time for their failures since they are inherent to the game. So it is up to the front office to address those inherent risk which with hind sight we know they failed.

        2. Dom Brown and Biddle really hurt. Killed the team. The lack of prospects coming up hurt but so did the dead weight contracts to be able to compensate. It’s a balance. The nationals are a good example. They should really be adding arrietta, and going for it while they have Harper for sure. I wonder how much they hate themselves for shutting down their young ace in their early

          For the phils, everyone is saying “only Nola”, fine, but Eickhoff is there to me, and VV if he can turnt he 5th inning corner, I’m sure we’d all be hyped about him. Put in Pivetta, taking the next steps … that 4 ain’t as dreadful as the naysayers want them to be. Put in arrietta, it could be an above average rotation with efflin, Eshelman, lively, Anderson pushing them/injury depth .. while sixto, Medina, and Kilome make them expendeble soon

          It’s not the 4 aces but I’m not so the sky is falling the group either. If the group takes reasonable steps forward in their progression, it can hover at or above .500 near The deadline. Making the 2nd WC within striking distance. The offense has to do its part

          1. Eick is a solid #4/#5 in a good team. If Eick is not in the projected future rotation, then that rotation is loaded. So “only Nola” is what should this team should aspire for. People are still sentimental about good complimentary players.

            Based on pure projection with no FA signing – Nola, Sixto, Medina, JoJo and the 2018 1.3 Pick is what i hope to see in 2020 with Ranger, Howard, Morales and hopefully SP trade returns from Cesar and Doobie coming up to replenish the majors. Eick, Eshelman and Irvin are basically “insurance” if some of the higher end arms hit a snag.

            Seranthony, Arano, Anderson, Pivetta, Vinny and Kilome will anchor a hard throwing bullpen.

            1. I see a higher ceiling for Eickhoff, based off his early returns in majors. The league adjusted, and now he needs to counter, i believe he will. Your 2020 projection would be a nice problem to have. Before then, I think Nola, Eickhoff, Pivetta, VV , Thompson etc will be serviceable enough to keep this team interesting (.500/2nd WC)

            2. Eickhoff… Seen as a 4/5 major league starter as a prospect. Comes up and does well with his two pitches. Plays a little above 4/5. Next year, he falls into what you would expect from a 4/5. I’m willing to say he’s a 4/5…. So yes, we only have Nola.

    2. The direction with the pitching staff is a real conundrum. Next off season there are not any free agent starters that are particularly exciting. Then again there were none this year that were particularly exciting either.

      I liked Darvish the best but even 5 years was pushing it. I don’t really want anything to do with Arrietta. The velocity decline and increased fastball usage are huge red flags. He could be in for a Halliday-esque decline. I would predict a 1.5 WAR season this year and worse after that. Granted any one could be had for the right yeas/AAV but I just don’t know that even two of the available pitchers would make a difference in the WC race. Too many players need to break in the right direction.

      Trading for a TOR would be better but you are not going to get a young controllable TOR without a lot of pain (Kingery/Sanchez). Sorry, as much as I like CeHe he doesn’t get it done as the headliner of a package. Do you want to know what CeHe value is? Josh Harrison is still on the market. I’m not saying JHa is better than CeHe, but if I’m a GM I’ll take JHa for money over CeHe for anything above a low ceiling major leaguer or AAAA player every day of the week.

      1. What about Drew Pomeranz as a FA next season?….and a lefty to boot.
        He has turned his career around and will be 30 as a FA in 2019.

        1. I don’t know much about Pomeranz. Looking at his stats the K/9 and BB/9 with the low innings total strike me as middle of the rotation not top of the rotation. He will be 30 and has yet to throw 180 innings in a season. But, yeah, anyone at the right price of years and AAV. I just don’t want to be paying him TOR money for his year 5/6 of a contract.

          I might put Pomeranz in the same group as Patrick Corbin. Pomeranz has had slightly better results but is a year older.

        1. For Kuechel it depends on how he does this year. I don’t know what has caused the declining in innings the last two years but that is concerning and he will be on the wrong side of 30. Also he has/had a foot injury this winter I don’t know what his current status is.

          I highly doubt Kershaw will be available, both sides are saying “Dodger for life.”

  8. I agree with the 4-man bench of Rupp/Knapp, Williams/AA, Quinn and Valentin or 5-man with ToJo. Flaherty is the only NRI journeyman that might interest me but he’s no big deal.

    Seranthony really look good and I hope he can stay healthy and can still start. Taveras CU is filthy. Taveras and Lively are cut from the same clothe – IP eating back end starter but Taveras’ CU will give him more success that Lively. For a big guy, Taveras showed good command in the minors, hopefully he can replicate that in the majors so he can follow a Hendricks-like projection.

    I also liked what I see with Anderson. Another healthy season for him will jump his FB back to mid-90s and the BB rate will go down.

    I don’t see Klentak having the creativity and guts to pull a trade maximizing the excess back end arms. BAL will be once again the beneficiary of the Klentak’s “goodwill” of of some arm (i.e. Jake Thompson) for PTBNL or cash.

    1. That would depend on if the computer analysis tells Klentak to have creativity or guts. He has shown none on his own

    2. KuKo…season starts March 29th….after that date the Phillies could get the O’s CBA pick and also int’l monetary credit for one or two of the arms.
      I am sure Matt Klentak and also Johnny A knows that scenario.

      1. crossing my fingers. to date, i haven’t seen any creativity from Klentak. Klentak’s temperament is suited more as an analyst than an executive.

        1. That’s what people said about Howie Roseman 4 or 5 years ago.

          He’s had a mixed track record, but I’m almost certainly he hasn’t been “set loose” yet.

          We shall see soon enough.

    3. Flaherty is interesting. I understand he has an opt out if not on the roster by a certain date (Rosales, too). If/when released/opt out, Flaherty may end up on the Orioles’ 25-man roster.

  9. how do we expect things to shake out at catcher? cant see them sending down Rupp and doesnt appear to be a trade in the works, so Alfaro and Rupp on roster, and Knapp playing everyday in LV?

  10. Why wouldn’t they send down Rupp? He has shown little. Knapp gets on base and is a Switch Hitter and Alfaro is the Starter.

    1. Rupp still has option so I think Klentak rolled the dice and see if Rupp’s power shows up in the ST and make him a viable trade candidate, if not just option him to LHV.

      Rupp has no future with the Phils, he will be a DFA candidate soon.

      1. there’s nothing to miss with Rupp. He won’t return that much even in his best years.

        Doobie and Cesar are the ones that Klentank might miss the chance to get something substantial in return.

        1. basically rupp to a contender that needs a reliable back up for a little international money . Maybe 250,000?

        2. Going off memory, during the 2016 tradedeadline, I remember decent rumblings that he could have bought back something decent, nothing earth shattering but was more than expected. A different story now, little value

    2. id send rupp down but was thinking the Phils wouldnt because he’s been in the big leagues the last 3 years and is about the most veteran guy with the team. plus they have to promote Ruppapalooza.

  11. I’ve been having this debate with people for weeks and then yesterday during my annual live fantasy baseball draft (mostly Phillies fans) the debate was brought up again when Arrieta was drafted.

    The question is, if the Phillies sign Arrieta and one of Cobb/Lynn or make a play for another pitcher (Archer, Fulmer, Duffy, etc), how do the Phillies fare this season?

    I think the Phillies are a serious playoff contender if they get two more pitchers. I think they can push for the division and are in the mix with Brewers, Cards, Rockies, Diamondbacks for one of the 2 wildcard spots.

    I say the Phillies do go for Arrieta plus another SP as I don’t think Arrieta by himself would be smart.

    1. whether its the right decision long term or not, I think Arrietta and cobb or a trade puts them in the WC discussion.

      1. That’s if you get Arrietta of at least a couple of years ago and not the Arrietta of last year or the Arrietta a year older than last year.

    2. To be a wild card contender, in addition to pitching you would need: 1) Two of: Franco to turn it around, CeHe to at least maintain if not grow, and Kingery it hit the ground running. 2) At least one of Williams and Altherr to prove to be long term 3 WAR players. 3) One of Alfaro or Knapp to massively improve their defense, pitch framing, and game calling while contributing offensively 4) everyone else (Santana, Hoskins and Herrara not to regress. 4)the bullpen to hold together. Every time we think we have a good bullpen half of them seem to regress. and 4) Arrietta to be the player he was three years ago.

      That is a lot of if’s

      To get an Archer/Fuller you are giving up Kingery or Sanchez with additional pain. CeHe and Herrera don’t get that done. CeHe and Herrera maybe get you Duffy (I don’t know what KC needs), That seems like too much to give up. but I don’t think much less gets it done.

      1. For sure, by themselves, those additions don’t take them to WC contention. they will need continued improvement in all their position players and for the bullpen to be as effective as we hope it will be.

      2. Yeah, and IF tanakas arm holds up, IF Judge can solve his strikeout woes, IF Aaron hicks can give you something, IF CC holds up, IF Severino pitches better, IF Gary Sanchez can sustain it over a full season, IF Montgomerry can be a decent major leaguer, etc., etc.,. There were a lot of “IF’s” surrounding the Yankees last year and they got to Game 7 of making the World Series.

        You have to hope things progress and make adjustments as you go. If the Phillies add two pitchers, they will be in the mix.

        Check out fangraphs’ latest article on the Phillies and about going for it.

          1. i read the article. I’d say that if the phils win 70 games this year, this many years into a rebuild , it leaves me very concerned. I’m willing to wait but I don’t want to be a playoff contender again for first time in 2023.

            1. Agree…….signing both Arrieta and Lynn or Cobb gets them closer.
              And the loss of the draft picks for one year….should not be a deterrent in any way, since the farm system is pretty solid…all the way down to the low A and rookie leagues…and talk of Castro the LA pitcher being primed for the Phillies signing in July and also the third pick in June gives them two more excellent pieces for the farm..

        1. Please tell me who on the Phillies have the talent of Severino, Judge, or Sanchez? The Yankees needed everything to fall into place to be 1 game from the world series. Even then I’ll admit I never thought there staff was going to hold together. And they traded a top 50 and two more top 100 prospects for Gray. Everyone here is saying no to any trade involving Kingery or Sanchez. The Phillies need everything to fall into place to be in the hunt for a Wild Card spot.

          1. I suppose it could be argued that there is a chance Hoskins could be like Judge but that would be wonderfully lucky.

            There is the minutest chance that Alfaro could becoming Sanchez. In their last year in the minors Sanchez had a 6.7% BB and 14.4%K Alfaro had a 4.6%BB and 32.3%K rate.

            I love Nola and there is a chance he becomes a Keuchel type ace but Severino has always had Kershaw type ace potential.

            1. Actually when you comp their MiLB metrics…Judge vs Hoskins…there is no comparison….Hoskins has it all over him….even their brief major league debut call-ups…Hoskins last year and Judge in 2016.
              But the tale is in the tape…….when it gets real in April.

            2. Wait Judge is a RF had A 8.2 war yr last . There’s not many LF of 1st baseman that had a 8.2 war in there rookie yr. Judge is a monster a huge man massive power also a very good ball player. Hoskins and Judge still have to do it again .on the defensive side there’s on comparison .

          2. You ask me who has the talent of Severino, Judge, and Sanchez? You ask that question only because you have seen their success. Before 2017, Judge was BA’s 90th prospect with a 40-hit tool. Sanchez lost his prospect shine after being a top-100 guy for so many years early on. And Severino always seemed legit, but he had a 5.83 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 2016.

            You are comparing prospects and top-100 guys. That’s fine. If you want to do that, Phillies are right there. But again, you saw them have tremendous success. That’s not fair. Stay consistent.

            But then, after some thought, you find yourself contradicting yourself. So I guess it’s not far-fetched.

            And don’t ever compare anyone to Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw is pretty much an all-time great who ever played the game. One guy, who had one good season, and one top-5 CY finish does NOT get compared to Kershaw.

      3. Aron, K.C. needs everything. Cesar, Williams, Lively, and Thompson should be enough to get Duffy. That’s two regulars in the lineup and two backend starters.

        1. Royals do not want Cesar…they have Whit Merrifield.
          They want one position player….Herrera to replace Cain, Williams is not a CFer and too inexperienced right now) that alone would get Duffy.

          1. This makes no sense when there are affordable nearly as effective pitchers available for money alone. I’d never do this deal.

  12. Hoskins finally got his 1st HR! Hope that will keep him going.

    Good 2nd inning for Vinny. Gave up a double and a walk but closed out the inning with ground out and a couple of Ks. Vinny just need to consistently close out innings like than. But that’s a BIG wishing thinking.

    1. KK, That second inning reminded me of a good reliever. The pitchers will soon be getting longer innings per start, and that when we’ll find out if Vinny is a starter or reliever.

  13. I just don’t think the Phillies lineup scores enough runs to a WC contender. Even if we add 2 FA pitchers.

    1. There are two ways to win a game. Score more runs than your opponent. Or, prevent your opponent scoring runs. Phillies were slightly below league average in runs scored per game last year. Add a full year of Hoskins, add Santana, add Crawford over Galvis and already, there will be improvement in scoring runs.

      Our bullpen looks like a strength. Add two pitchers and we keep scoring to a minimum. Quite a few pitchers combined for a 5+ ERA last year. Two quality pitchers will certainly help.

      We won’t be far away from knocking in the door. And that’s where we want to be.

        1. If I read the box score correctly, Knapp gunned down 2 would be base stealers today. Sac fly, good ABs. Head and shoulders above Rupp, IMO.

          1. Yes..on the one, great throw on a strike out double play….and JPC made a great sweeping tag coming across the bag to complete the DP.

          2. I’m a big Knapp fan. It’s a no brainer to me. The upside of Knapp versus the mediocrity and lack of upside of Rupp. Easy choice, even if it doesn’t work out.

      1. Crawford maybe better on offense in time but Galvis was GG SS . Crawford will be fine on D but he might need time on O. The other thing Galvis really never was hurt much.

        1. Phillies are fortunate in one respect…..their last three shortstops have been and are currently excellent defenders. And JPC has a chance to be an effective offensive threat….more so than Freddy and maybe just as much or better than JRoll was.

          1. No way Crawford ever puts up 30 hrs or 40 SB in 1 yr. That’s not his strength his power and speed are avg. J Roll also put up a couple 40 double seasons.

            1. He probably won’t hit 30 homers or steal 40 bases and he’ll probably never be quite as flashy as Galvis at short. But the beauty of Crawford is that, notwithstanding this lack of flashiness, Crawford still has a chance to be as good or better an offensive player as Rollins (he’s just DIFFERENT than Rollins – his calling card will be high on base percentage and plenty enough average and on base power) and as good of a defensive player as Galvis (Crawford is smooth, positions himself well and makes all the plays.

            2. What people don’t really recognize is that much of Rollins’ value came from his truly outstanding fielding. As a hitter, other than his MVP year, he was generally around league average. Yes, he grew into quite an extra base hit/homer threat and he was very good on the bases, but his lower on base percentage cut into his value quite significantly. Rollins never had any season where his OBP was .350 (although he was slightly below that threshold on several occasions). Last year, even hitting pretty poorly in his MLB debut, Crawford’s OBP was .356 – which is truly amazing when he had a .214 average.

              Crawford will not be as flashy a player. That’s not his game. He’s going to have very solid power for a shortstop (12-18 homers a year when he is mid-career with plenty of doubles) and he is smooth as silk in the field (he has truly ridiculous hand-eye coordination) and he’s going to be getting on base a ton – somewhere between .350-.400 and batting around .270. He probably won’t be winning any MVPs, but he’ll churn out one 3-5 WAR season after the next, making him exceptionally valuable. And if he develops real power – watch out.

            3. Can JPC eventually produce a career 42bWAR with the Phillies like JRoll did?
              remains to be seen.
              JRoll did produce 9 seasons of 3bWAR or better…that is pretty good consistency and have to mix in his MVP year, which incidentally was his only 4bWAR or better season.
              So he was consistent in that regards.
              But agree…..he is a different type player, especially at the plate, than JRoll.

            4. 10-15 years of production is hard to project with any player. But based on what I see now, could J.P. Crawford be a 42 bWAR player over the scope of his career? Yes, I think he definitely could be.

            5. As I said we will see but saying Jp is as good as J Roll time will tell. Jp is never going to steal alot of bases or have a mvp yr on offense. There’s to many outstanding offense SS that are young . I mean Corey Seager 23, Didi,Carlos Correa 23’Trea Turner etc all can hit 25 HR hit .300 steal 20 bases.plus there all GG defensive SS. There obp is hi too. Jp will be fine on the D the 0 about league avg. If you want a player that avgs 20 hr and 30 sbs GG defense for 10 yrs Kingery your man. I’m not saying Jp can’t hit in the majors you mite be looking at another Cehe.

            6. Tim:
              I would not worry about other shortstops around the league.
              IMO, JPC can be a consistent 3 or 4WAR player.
              I can see a slash at his height of 275/385/450 player…..not super-star but not far off.
              But you bring up steals as some type of barometer of an outstanding player.
              JRoll at 83% success as a Philly, 453 steals in 548 attempts over 15 years…was very high…JPC I am sure will have his share….but maybe not at that percent of success and total numbers.

            7. Romus – you are absolutely correct. For most players, stolen bases constitute a very small percentage of their value. If stealing bases alone made a player a lot more valuable, then we’d all be talking about Billy Hamilton being one of the best players in baseball. But we are not doing that and rightfully so.

              Also, there’s definitely some subtle damning with faint praise in Tim’s post. The argument goes like this. Cesar Hernandez is okay, but not very good. J.P. Crawford is like Cesar Hernandez and therefore, he is also okay and not very good. This argument is flawed on a number of levels. First, Cesar Hernandez IS very good. He’s not great, but he’s very good. Second, J.P. Crawford projects to be a notably better player than Cesar Hernandez and, at 23 is well ahead of where Cesar was at that age. Third, he plays shortstop not second (which has a lower bar for hitting) and he plays it damn well and he does NOT project to be league average. He projects as much better than that both in the field and as a hitter. Fourth, Tim’s post emphasizes stolen bases (again, not the most important stat) and homers, but you can be valuable without have those two elements of the game, such as having a high OBP and a decent slugging percentage and being a good fielder – all things that should favor J.P.

              Okay, I got that out of my system. Can we please talk about something other than someone’s (in my view, misguided) perception that JP is going to be a mediocre player? As you noted Romus, JP projects as a very valuable player just below star level. A really, really good player.

        2. SB shows you have some speed or base running talent . Looking at Jp spray chart he may want to talk to Charlie . JP mite want to start pulling the ball alot more to gain power. I mean Jp has never hit more then .250 above AA ball. Even though he’s walked alot . Everyone betting the power late in AAA will resurface . It didn’t in the small sample of AT bats in the ML level. That’s what I mean time will tell.

  14. Kiley McDaniel says the GM of a team picking in the top five of the draft was in Orlando to see Logan Gilbert this weekend. Probably was either Matt Klentak or Al Avila since the Giants, White Sox, and Reds train in Arizona.

    1. I cannot see Detroit taking another RHP in the draft…they are stacked…I think they will go hitter like Gorman or LHP.

  15. Some ex-phils playing against the Phils today — Brock Stassi, Astudillo and Featherston.

  16. Elvis has not left the building after all…he is back…”Elvis Araujo has impressed thus far (in the Oriole’s camp)
    . “Araujo has shown a couple of pitches,” said GM DanDuquette of the former Phillies southpaw. “He’s pitched three times and he’s looked pretty good each time, so he looks like he’s determined to make the major league club.”

  17. First cuts – Anderson, Hammer and Cabral. That’s not a lot, I expect more prospects not in the 40-man to be included.

    As much as i would love to see more of Drew Anderson, he need to have one full year of pitching healthy and effective.

  18. Is there a chance that Mark Leiter finds a spot in the rotation? He’s looking better than the rest at this point. VV today 2 IP, and 42 pitches. Keeping him in the rotation and Leiter in the bullpen doesn’t make sense. It’s still early, but the clock is ticking on Velasquez.

    1. here what i think how the rotation will unfold:

      LOCK (injury forbid) – Nola, Eickhoff
      LOCK (short leash) – Vinny

      TIER 1 – Pivetta, Lively, Eflin (part of revolving door of SP shuttling between Allentown and Philly)

      TIER 2 – Leiter, Thompson (projected pen but can do spot starts)

      TIER 3 – Taveras, Eshelman, Irvin (have inside track and maybe the 1st call ups)

      TIER 4 – remaining 40-man SP (lock to start in the minors)

      I think (2 of) Pivetta, Lively and a healthy Eflin with complete the rotation but Leiter will make the 25-man as the long man from the pen and push Arano down to LHV.

  19. how does everyone feel about Franco at this point?

    I’m about to stick a fork in him. Not showing me what I need to see. I’ve watched only a handful of games, but the box score – aka results – combined with what ive seen … is alarming. Im getting ready to turn the page.

    How long do the phils give this guy? I’m thinking max – mid season, a continued bad spring and a mediocre start… i can see even at the quarter mark … Kingery is called up, and Cehe is off the trading block.

    1. tac3…Franco did look good yesterday in his one PA when he barreled up that double to the left center field fence.

  20. Sign Arietta and move VV to closer.

    VV can be a game over closer and moving him to pen also gives us pen depth.

    I also like the idea noted above to trade Rupp for international bonus money.

    1. I’m becoming more and more open to a move like that. With VV and Franco, however, I’d like to see if the new coaching makes a difference before we make final pronouncements on what a player can and cannot do. But ultimately moving VV to a relief role make some sense if he doesn’t get traction in the next few months.

  21. Definitely 300 more ABs for me on Franco. And, he does not have to be great. I want to see improvements in the way he handles his ABs. The one game I watched, he took a called strike 1, swung at a high FB for strike 2, and struck out on a pitch in the dirt. Exactly the opposite of what he should be trying to do. I need to see that type of AB severely limited.

    1. I think we’re all afraid that Franco will go somewhere else, find the right coach or just have the lightbulb go on finally, and he becomes a monster for another team.

      I think one more year is a fair chance ( 300 abs is reasonable) at that point if he’s awful then whatever he’s going to do, it wont be here

      1. Nyet, srussell. Franco might go on to a fair to middling career elsewhere, but we’ve options on the very near horizon. No fear here that he comes back to bite us. At this juncture of his development, we’ve all seen enough to know it’s either fly or bye this season. I don’t think a few months will reset his consensus projection.

        1. i think we are saying the same thing actually. I agree with “fly or bye ” this season and whatever happens afterwards just happens.
          the point i was making is he’s probably gotten a longer time to improve despite not making adjustments because of his assumed potential

        2. 8mark…imagine if the Pirates could go back in time and think what they may do now if they knew how Aramis Ramirez and Jose Bautista would turn out after have a few years of abysmal returns as Pirates in the early to mid 20s….then they traded them to the Cubs and Jays respectively.
          GMs have long memories and a certain amount of fear when it comes to this sort of thing. I am sure Matt K. does not want Franco to be of the two mentioned above.
          On the other hand….domoBrown never materialized into a star player…..so Matt K. will need to take a risk one way or another.

          1. Aramis Ramírez was more of a trade him before free agency Jason Bay, Xavier Nady, Gerrit Cole type move. They were not going to have him much longer. Bautista was one that just took longer to figure it out ala Brandon Moss.

    2. I’m ok providing Franco and Vinny one more year for them to determine their future role with the Phillies. IMO, both players have big red flags to overcome that will make it imperative for Klentak to have a good Plan B when things don’t go well as expected.

      3B depth in the farm is week, but FA will be a good option to get the future 3B – Machado in 2018 and Rendon in 2019 and Arenado in 2020.

      Vinny’s vaunted velo is really not that scary. the explosiveness coming out of his hand never really hit its mark consistently. Prospects with good velo and good command will be coming up very soon. IMO, Vinny’s future is in the pen and if he pitch well this year, i will try to trade him as a starter and get something substantial in return. Vinny will not be in the future Phillies rotation.

      1. I think I agree with you. VV has good stuff, but it’s not unhittable and when he can’t command his pitches he becomes very scattered and inconsistent.

        But while we are talking about stuff, let me mention Dominguez – wow!! He has something you can’t teach – an exploding, rising fastball that he can throw 97 MPH or more. His breaking pitches look encouraging too. Definitely has back end of the bullpen potential and I expect to see him in Philadelphia this year. He blows away guys like Pinto and Ramos – just an entirely different class of pitcher.

        1. believing you is like saying that Trout will be in Philly in 2020. Honestly, I don’t even think that Colorado will let him go especially with the young talent they have which will make them a NL West force for the next coming years.

          I like LAD’s scouting team and I don’t doubt their FO’s ability to spend. But it will all depend on their current payroll status if they will go hard on Arenado.

          1. Though they are positioned well with contracts going forward, Kershaw could be the sole largest signing for them.

  22. Based on Jim’s report above, I would love to see a rotation of Arrieta, Nola, Lynn, Eickhoff and Pivetta or Velasquez to begin the season. (Chances are someone will be on the shelf.) Leiter, Morgan, Hunter, Neshek, Neris, Garcia and another lefty would make up the SEVEN man pen.

    1. I would have to think that if Jake isn’t signed (by anybody) by this weekend (3/10) it’s doubtful he’ll be on anyone’s opening day roster. If it even matters at this point…

      1. Most veterans feel that spring training is too long. I figured that Arrieta wouldn’t sign until around now.

        1. I believe the unsigned FAs are in their own spring training regiment somewhere.
          So the ramp up time may be minimal…and they are veterans so they know what they have to do to get ready. Irrespective of live game action…it should not take long for them to get up to speed.

  23. Is there a date when we DO NOT have to provide compensation for Arietta / Cobb? I would hate to lose a #3 / 4 draft pick for an aging Arietta and/or a #3 Cobb

    1. Good to hear that on Castillo…i mixed him up and called him Castro earlier.
      With Vargas, Betancourt and Puello from last year, and Morales the previous signing period…there are five quality RHP arms that could have a large impact for the Phillies in 4/6 years.

  24. Jon Jay got $3M from KC for one year with meager incentives totaling $1.5M?!?!? Geez, I knew the market was low but we’re talking poverty line for MLB free agency here.

    1. This cast next season alone, if all opt for free agency, could top $2 billion in contracts, led by Harper and Machado, who are just 25 years old.
      The free-agent class featuring the likes of Bryce Harper, infielder Manny Machado, Clayton Kershaw, Josh Donaldson, Dallas Keuchel and David Price, closer Craig Kimbrel and Andrew Miller.
      Plus Charlie Blackmon and Brad Brach and even LHP Drew Pomeranz.
      They could be sweating it out also…unless teams are jockeying for them now preparing for a large pay out to them next season

  25. If we get Donaldson and Pomeranz and trade for Cole Hamels that would be a nice off season. Maybe not what people have been hoping for, bu a nice haul. In that scenario Williams or Altherr emerged as a player this year.

    1. matt13….who knows the Phillies still could sign one of the three pitchers out there now, to start that transformation earlier..

    2. Hamels is under a $20M team option ($6M buyout) for the 2019 season. So, what do you trade to the Rangers for one year of a 35-year old pitcher? If the Rangers don’t exercise their option, what contract do you offer a 35-year old pitcher? How long? How much?

      1. 3 yrs 30 mil 3 yr team option . Phillies need a LH starter until either Jo Jo or Ranger, Irvin get to the show. It could be incentive laden package ing pitched etc. I’m mean the Phillies know what there getting.

      2. Hamels needs to show that last year wasn’t the beginning of the end. 35 years old with a ton of innings isn’t s great place to pay $20M

      3. I love Cole but I think he needs to think about re-inventing himself a tad. The Change Up will keep him around for a while a la Jamie Moyer but the FB and Cutter Command would have to be a lot sharper for him to sustain success at his age and as his velo starts to dip.

        He IMO would be worth A Rupp and a Tavares and maybe a Kyle Martin or Darick Hall or Pelletier with about $5-$8 Million coming back.

        1. Darick Hall?
          LOL.
          I believe you will not be posturing for that come June.
          Don’t listen to all the so-called Phillies prospect experts on the other blogs on how terrible a hitter he is.

          1. Funny that you assume that I think he is a terrible hitter. I think he actually has some potential but we have plenty of him in the system

            You can’t keep all your prospects Romus me boy and if you want to get some money coming back for Hamels you have to add something decent to the trade.

            1. Ok DMAR…got your drift.
              He could be an asset, if he does as i expect him to do in Clearwater this season, to be dangled for quality return as you infer.
              But I like to think he is one valuable piece I would keep long term….especially if the Phillies plan on keeping Hoskins in LF permanently.

        2. Man, Cole Hamels was hurt last year and had his first disappointing year since 2009. He may have lost a tiny bit of velocity, but, come on, he may have to tweak things, but does not appear to be anywhere close to the point where he has to reinvent himself.

          1. Guy was an All-star in 2016 and as you note, had injury issues that limited his innings in 2017 but he still had a pretty good year.

            Only concern is he will be 35 years old in 2019 and will have thrown over 2500 innings

  26. I looked at Nick Williams hit chart wow very nice. Some of those players above will be traded at the deadline.

  27. Looks like the Angels nabbed Contreras another guy Hinkie wanted us to get from the Braves debacle.

    If all it was was money why didn’t we grab him…

    Lynn turns down 2/$20 seems really light for his ability. Why not go 2/$36 with an opt out or vesting for a 3rd year.

    1. Angels may feel they can tap into his potential.
      His first year in professional ball the results were very poor.
      He had no control at all and missed few bats
      Probably one reason he was one of the last of the Braves former prospects to sign.

      1. Just like Abrahan Gutierrez, you’d sign Contreras for his tools (mid to upper 90’s FB), not for last year’s results.

        1. Gutierrez did have some credible results last year and played the full rookie season for them thru the end of August.
          Contreras pitched his last game Aug 19th and then was shutdown having only pitched 20 innings all season with horrific control issues
          Something did not seem right….plus the fact he was not signed by any other team for such a long time.
          I would have avoided him as the Phillies did.
          As for tools….there seem to be plenty of young Latin arms that throw mid-90s any more….Phillies signed two or three last year in Vargas, Betancourt and Puello..

    2. I just read that too. I wrote several times about Contreras here. Angels end up getting him for $0! Guy throws mid/high 90s! Wanted Phillies to get him pretty badly.

      So does anyone have info on what Phillies have done with the $1M+ international money we still had available (beyond signing ex-Braves catcher Gutierrez) after trading for extra $ near end of the year? I have not seen anything of any significance since. I imagine/hope we got the extra money for a reason.

      1. Can’t give you specifics, but I think they have signed multiple players to smaller contracts. These type of signings aren’t sexy, but some of the organizations top pitching prospects (Sanchez, Kilome, etc.) were once inked to these type of deals.

        1. Very true. And I guess if they thought they needed to pursue more $ to sign more then hopefully they feel there are more diamonds.
          I was hoping for at least one splash or announcement but I trust the strategy they have.

  28. A friend asked me to peek into my crystal ball and lay out the opening day lineup….for 2024.

    Mickey Moniak CF
    Scott Kingery 2b
    Bryce Harper LF
    Jhailyn Ortiz RF
    Nolan Gorman 3b
    Rhys Hoskins 1b
    JP Crawford ss
    Rafael Marchan c
    Sixto Sanchez p

    With the upcoming draft deep in pitching, I think Gorman is an ideal fit – a lefty power hitting 3b. We can still get arms later in the draft, especially after Klentak trades for a couple competitive balance picks.

    It’s a slow day at work watching a nor’easter blow through.

  29. Guys, can we please stop talking about Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp as if they have any trade value? The Phillies are a below average team, why do we think a team is willing to trade anything for guys that aren’t good enough for the Phillies? Everyone knows that neither are likely to break camp with the team. I know we want them to have value, but they don’t. No disrespect to either of them, they are both class acts and I hope they find success but……

    1. The only trade value that I see is if they’re included in a package deal for another player. At best they’re backups, but the Phillies have better backups now so they’re expendable. They have options left, and don’t cost a lot. Are they part of the future? No way, but they’ve been good soldiers, and I think that Klentak is trying to find a team where they can contribute.

    2. Actually, I think Cameron Rupp has some value, but it’s very minimal – he would probably command a grade C prospect in the low minors. The Phillies don’t need another prospect like that so he will remain with the team at least until the end of ST when they have to make a decision. In other words, the option of keeping him around for a month while things play out is more valuable to the team than the prospect they would receive in a trade and, therefore, he remains on the team. For now. It’s entirely logical.

      I believe Tommy Joseph currently has no trade value, but I think Joseph actually might still have some untapped ability. I’m not sure if he has options in the minors, but if I’m the Phillies, I have no qualms about sending him to AAA to allow him to work on things like positional flexibility and, more importantly, plate discipline. Tommy Joseph has legitimate 60+ power – but he has shown like 30-35 plate discipline and hit tool and he is a bad fielder thus far. There’s no downside to that approach because they are not getting talent in return for Tommy Joseph.

  30. Nola pitched well today. Nothing new about the FB and the wicked CB but the CU looks really good. Nola can be and will be a CY candidate soon. If Brady Singer can be Nola-like, I’ll take him at 1.3.

    1. Kurdt if nola ever wins a cy young. I WILL GIVE A THOUSAND DOLLARS TO YOUR FAVORITE CHARITY. Romus knows my address and name so I will not welch. you live in a dream world. he isn’t that good. Three great starts two bad is his mo.

      1. Ehhhhhh – you’ve just encountered some risk there, my friend.

        While I think the odds are against Nola ever winning a Cy Young (excellent pitchers like Hamels, for example, have never won one), it’s more than possible (I’d give it like a 20-25% chance). Nola is a darned good pitcher.

        1. Catch, your key word there is ‘pitcher’. Until they begin to show us otherwise, guys like Pivetta and Vinny Velo are throwers. Nola, from the time he was drafted, has shown a pedigree in actually knowing what he’s doing, even when his stuff isn’t lights out.

          1. Yes, but once up a time guys like Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, Mariano Rivera and Max Scherzer were just throwers too. Some guys develop and some guys don’t and some guys like Andrew Miller don’t excel until they change roles. We’ll just have to see.

        2. While I don’t share roccom’s distain for Nola, his chances of winning the Cy Young aware miniscule. He pitches in a hitter’s park and isn’t a big enough swing/miss guy to put up big strikeout numbers.

          I give him a 20-25% chance of becoming an all-star

          1. Nola is essentially an all-star right now. He was a top 12 WAR starter last year in big leagues even with some missed games. I expect him to make at least a few AS teams if he doesn’t get hurt.

            1. I don’t think giving Nola a 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 chance of winning a CY award once in his career is that much of a stretch. Maybe it’s 1 in 8 or 1 in 10, but I’m not far off. It is still far more likely than not that he never wins one.

            2. As the Phillies improve and start scoring runs, he will begin building the kind of reputation and W-L record that gets guys invited to the AS game.

        3. People are clamoring to sign Arrieta, Lynn and Cobb. Nola will be the better pitcher than any of these 3 FAs in the next coming years. I can’t understand why some will say he is not good.

      2. Winning a CY Young for Nola is secondary to me since it is an individual achievement. I want to the big one – the World Series! But if Nola is in CY Young contention, it means that the Phils has a legitimate TOR for years to come.

        I like Nola the way the I like Cole Hamels. If the Phils will have a Hamels in Nola, that will make me happy with or without your $1k.

    2. KuKo….apparently Singer has regressed somewhat early on in the Gator’s season.

      Schoop of ice cream: Is Singer on the Strasburg level where we could see him up in late 2019?

      Kiley McDaniel: No, not in the top 5 anymore at this point, stuff is down. May not be the best pitcher on the UF staff right now.

  31. How about some power with Darick Hall from a Baseball Betsy video clip from Sunday’s BP.
    Hopefully he has success some day in the majors.

    1. BP Power is awesome… Hall is to be respected for his 27 or so dingers in LKW. But like anything else it has to translate to in game power.

      I keep waiting for Cozens to snap out of it. I’m such a big fan of the young man and want to see him be successful.

      BP always made me think of those guys in golf that hustle at the driving range they can drive the ball great distances but couldn’t shoot a round of 80 if their life depended on it.

      1. Aroldis really tangled up Cozens this afternoon.
        I think DC will have a break out year in LHV.
        Remember how terrible Judge was in Aug/Sep 2016 in his MLB debut….and he turned it all around last year. Sometimes it is above the shoulders that what counts.

  32. I hope you are right Romus. I have always liked Cozens and admire his athleticism. I hope he has a great year.

  33. Just got back from 10 days in Florida. Spring Training games are always fun, watching all the young hopefuls. My impressions: 1. Scott Kingery is ready now. Phillies will want that extra year of control but he’s making it awfully hard to send him to LV. 2. Other than Nola, the most impressive SP has been Ben Lively. Pivetta appeared to be working on mechanics more than competing. He’ll do just fine. Eickhoff isn’t a 4/5, he’s a 5/6. Vinny needs to learn to pitch, not just fire heaters. Eflin may surprise us, but needs to build strength, so should be in AAA. IMHO a starter signing is sorely needed. 3. I will be amazed if gets through the year without a major injury, but Roman Quinn makes things happen. 4. NRIs – KRod is done, despite what the storyline says. Seemed to only get every other hitter out. Flaherty and Meneses are both pushing for one of those bench jobs. 5. Alfaro and Knapp should be the catchers. Rupp looked like a strikeout machine.

  34. Kingery’s major league debut should be April 13, a Friday night vs the Rays in Tampa. With the DH in effect, there’ll be a myriad of possibilities for the lineup that weekend.

    And how about Mike Moustakas taking one year for only $6.5M guaranteed after turning down the $17.4M QO!! He’s a Boras boy. I’d love to overhear the conversation Arrieta is having with Boras after receiving that bit of news. Like, “Yo Scott…what the **** am I supposed to get now?”

    1. At this point, as I’ve mentioned before, the best thing FA’s with QO’s can do is take one year deals for the most money they can find and get set to re-enter the free agency game again next winter. That comes with injury risk, but they won’t be saddled with the QO, and the market will be much more robust. Just about every team has been planning to spend on that historic class.

    2. Boras hs certainly screwed his fair share of players. He totally screwed up Ruan Madison’s chance at a big contract with the Phillies. Moustakas must be pretty livid.

      1. Let’s not forget the $160 mil extension the Marlins offered Fernandez that he didn’t sign. Many have a hard time feeling any sympathy for him since he was coked up and crashed his boat but he left a little girl fatherless and my guess is the families of Emilio Jesus Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25 who were also killed sued his estate big time.

        I tread lightly here because again ultimately the player has to make the decision but if Scott’s advice was don’t sign go to free agency and we’ll double that….well some might consider that malpractice

  35. Fangraphs have put up there top 100 prospects . 19 Sixto Sánchez ,24 Scott Kingery, 29 JP Crawford ,73 Medina. Phillies top prospect coming soon.

  36. I know the Agents work for the players, but Boras is supposed to be the top guy. How does he screw it up that badly? He has the same numbers as everyone, compiles these books on his guys. How does he not see the use of analytics lessening the value of a Moustakas? His only excuse is teams don’t want to win. I want the players to get whatever they can, but Boras’ job is to see the direction things are going.

    1. An agent is a fiduciary like a lawyer or trustee. A fiduciary is supposed to get the best result for each particular client, regardless of what his goals and agendas are for other clients. Unfortunately, I think there may be times when Boras’ never back down, don’t accept arbitration, always goes for the highest dollar amount approach backfires for a particular client even if that approach generally helps the larger stable of Boras clients. Now, I’m not saying that Boras fails to apprise each client of the risks of not accepting arbitration nor am I saying that he refuses to honor a player’s request when he wants to accept a deal. I’m sure he does. However, it does appear he generally pushes his clients to take a very aggressive approach which can work out fabulously, or fabulously backfire. When a player takes an offer that is more than $10 m below the arb number – that is a HORRIBLE outcome. When he pushes a team to try to sign a reliever to a high dollar multi-year contract (Ryan Madson) and that team balks and the reliever ends up having to take a much lower one-year contract with another team – that is a HORRIBLE outcome. Who precisely is responsible for those outcomes (the player, the agent or some combination) is hard to tell from the outside. But it’s worth noting that after Madson’s contract situation concluded, I believe he fired Boras – so draw your own conclusions.

    2. matt13….now exec director of the MLBPA , Tony Clark jumps in and says 1/3 of all MLB teams are ‘not trying to win’….or in layman’s terms ‘tanking’ I assume.
      The Phillies I am sure are one of these teams he is referring to …they have the money….and why don’t they just throw large chunks of it at one or two of the FA pitchers out there, for whatever they want to sign for!
      Not sure I agree with him…teams are rebuilding or retooling as they say…..I think he will eventually be moved out as director…players do not appear to be happy with his performance of late.

      1. He’s definitely no Marvin Miller. Problem as I see it is the agents have too much influence and they are in the ears of these players with bad information and it bit them in the arse.

        1. The current CBA ends after the 2021 season.
          Will the players vote to strike in a few years?
          I hope not….public perception could take a hit on them.
          IMO, wait it out until 2021 and then hold out for what they deem reasonable.
          But the next 3 years the mid-level FAse could be in a bind….though do not see that happening with the tier one FA (Harpers/Machados/Donaldsons et al) after this season.

          1. They need to start laying the ground work for as you say what they deem reasonable

            It’s pretty simple if you ask me. If the new age GM’s all agree we no longer pay for past performance then the players must demand they pay for current performance via a faster path to FA.

            They should demand better MiLB compensation….not everyone gets a 7 figure signing bonus.

            And they should demand a soft salary floor. Just to begin with.

            I would also re-approach the International Draft. Yay they slammed the Braves and Coppolella gets a life time ban for what many other clubs were probably doing as well. Enough is enough.

            All players coming into the MLB need to enter through the same door.

            1. Minor league players are not represented by anyone really, so I don’t expect that situation to change dramatically. In the scheme of things minor leaguers will always be thrown under the bus.

              Owners will fight for their lives to continue the limits on free agency even though, ironically, the more limited supply and demand of free agents does raise all salaries. One of the more interesting tid bits of Marvin Miller’s tenure was how, behind the scenes, Miller actually WANTED several limits on free agency. Miller, who had a strong working understanding of employee side economics, reasoned that the limited supply of free agents and the significant demand for their services would do more to raise salaries than a completely free system where the supply was more ample.

            2. Hey Catch that is really interesting the supply and demand part of Miller’s tenure thanks for sharing that.

              I don’t buy that MiLB players always have to get thrown under the bus. Anything is possible in this day and age isn’t it?

              Greed should always be held in check and that goes for both owners and players.

            3. Things will change for minor leaguers when some overwhelming force causes change. I look at the current system and wonder what that could be. Would it be the owners by themselves? That’s unlikely – they want these guys to be paid as little as possible. How about the big league union? I don’t see why they would start to care since they haven’t for 50 years. Fans? You care, I’m mildly concerned but the average minor league fan could give a flying you know what about what these guys make. So what is the impetus for that change other than the milk of human kindness? I don’t see it right now.

      2. Post Steriod/HGH era, teams are not looking at player in their early 30’s the same as they did just a few years ago. Add to that the financial hits teams took for the contracts given to A-Rod, Pujols, Howard, Fielder, etc. and the market has changed. The players need to realize this and adjust accordingly.

        Some players/teams have started doing deals like Stanton’s where you lock-up younger players by buying out arbitration years in exchange for future FA years. I expect good younger players will start signing long-term contracts in year 2/3 of arbitration rather than waiting until they hit free agency.

  37. So I’m watching MLB Network last night since the game wasn’t on TV. Amsinger and O’Dowd are running down the highlights and they get to the Yankees/Phillies….the Phillies won the game but you would not have known it by watching the cut LOL

    It was all Yankees as usual. I’m not bitter I just think it is poor JUDGEment on their part.

    I’ve said it many times Dan O’Dowd is the best part of that Network. His insights as a former GM are above and beyond. He really likes the Phillies opportunity to strike on one of these starters and believes the next wave of upside starters is in AA or below.

    1. He’s right. One or two of the current crop of guys might work out (Pivetta?) but current group are mostly back-end starters. O’Dowd loves Kingery and Crawford and really loves Sanchez .

      1. If I were a betting man I would bet on Pivetta to figure it out as a Starter and Vinny to become a Dellin Betances type in the BP

        1. My money is on the same bet. Velasquez has that kind of Matt Garza, Brad Penny feel to him. A guy with a great arm who can’t command his pitches and doesn’t have reliable secondary pitches. They should see where this year takes him, but if he doesn’t make big strides this year, the bullpen might actually be his highest and best use.

  38. I agree with the idea that the Phils should sign Arrieta. The problem is that his numbers are going down, and while he improves the team for the next couple of years, any more than 3 hurts the team. The idea that he should get 6 or 7 is crazy, Teams are getting smarter and overpaying for guys that move the needle slightly are not worth it. Fan bases are getting more understanding about the value of a rebuild, so less pressure to throw money away just to pretend a team is contending. There are also the tanking teams, but they all are not. A one year or 2 year deal for Lynn or Cobb helps slightly, but does not make the Phils a WC contender. Next year there will be a lot of very lucrative contracts signed, and Agents that did not see this coming failed their clients.

    1. Theo Epstein is a pretty smart GM right? A few WS titles and a rebuild under his belt right?

      He signed Lester in 2015 coming off a 73 win season to how many years?

      That was pretty dumb I guess.

      1. That’s yet to be determined actually since they still need to pay him for 3 more years but Lester was also not already showing decline in his numbers when they signed him in 2015. However, If you look at his 2017 performance, it was mediocre.

        Compare that to Arietta who’s numbers are already on decline.

        Besides, if Theo is so smart, why did the Cubs make no effort to bring Arietta back for another 5/6 years??

        1. That’s easy 3Up Theo knows his payroll must be balanced. He’ll want to make sure when it comes time he can re-sign the position players he needs to sustain success.

          The better or more fair question is if Theo were our GM now given where we are with payroll and our rebuild would he sign Arietta?

          I don’t think 6 years is needed at this point. I wish I could ask Jake myself if he would take a 5/$107 structured at 3/$75 then years 4/5 for $32 mil unless he wanted to opt out.

          I keep hearing this decline thing with him….he pitched his butt off to win that WS in 2016. It was natural that 2017 was going to be a down year that said he still maintained the same k/9 that he had in 2016.

          1. I don’t want Jake Arietta on the books for 5 years. It’s not the cost per se, it’s the luxury tax with him and other players in years 4 or 5 mostly.

            1. I have to poke you a little Catch in what world are the Phillies going to push into the luxury tax with him and other players in the next 5 years?

              Again I think you are thinking like a small market team.

            2. I’m not worried about the luxury tax nearly as much as I am with the team trotting out a $30M dollar pitcher who’s performing like a 5th starter vs. spending that $30M on acquiring an actual front-line guy.

              I don’t expect Arietta to be a front-line guy for most of a 5-year deal..

            3. I doubt they’ll near the threshold in 4-5 yrs. They will likely sign no more than 3 top FAs in that period while their top young talent won’t be FA status until after 6 yrs. Nola and Kingery would perhaps be early extension candidate. But there will still be many moving pieces over 4-6 yrs.

            4. 5 years is a long time.

              I’m not thinking small market, I’m thinking luxury tax because I know the Phillies and know they are highly unlikely to ever exceed that threshold.

              Also, we are going to sign a couple of free agents to monster contracts – and then one by one the other guys who develop are going to get paid and then we’ll get some guys on trade deadline deals with big money.

              If your team is good, the money will add up fast and you won’t want that payroll puffed up with useless old contracts like one for Arietta.

          2. Yet he chose to pay more for Darvish than what it will cost to get Arietta so I doubt that money alone was the deciding factor. Just maybe Theo saw the decline from close up and thinks its going to continue.

            Citing his WS history is a perfect example of paying for past performance..

            1. Theo is into analytics and it is pretty obvious Arrieta’s metrics are trending the wrong way. His velocity has also declined a a tick or two.

            2. Whoa! The Cubs called Boras/Arrieta just before extending their 6/126 offer to Darvish. They declined. I think Theo backed into the correct decision.

      2. Not every GM hits on every signing. and sometimes its hard to judge what success is. Is Lester’s signing successful if he continues to decline and they don’t win another WS? Is being a major factor in one WS enough for it to be considered a success if it hurts the team long term? I am not saying there is one right or wrong answer to this.

        But the big factor is Lester was coming off of a 4.6 WAR season. Arrietta is a year older than Lester was and is coming off of a 1.9 WAR season.

  39. Time is up, I think the free agents will sign this weekend. Guys are signing today. Arrieta to Phils is highly possible on a short term deal. If so, Lynn or Cobb could follow but not without Arrieta. These moves would at least give us a chance to compete. Come on Matt K, make a deal happen.

  40. I don’t think it would be dumb to sign Arrieta I think years 5 and 6 will be detrimental to the team. If Theo was here he would sign Arrieta, for 4 years. If that does it, fine, but 4 years for Lynn or Cobb is completely different. They don’t move the needle much at all.

    1. I give him three years. at 33 a yr with club option for fourth. Maybe in three years. middleton will fire Sheldon and get a real gm.

      1. LOL – Sheldon is NOWHERE near being fired.

        He has a minimum of two more years and would have to screw everything up to get fired, which won’t happen.

        I hate to break it to you, but they like him . . . quite a bit.

          1. I’m middle aged, but I’m not as worried as you are roccom. I’m not a Matty K hater – yet.

      2. rocco….$33M AAV…thats Kershaw numbers!
        Thats probably $10M over what his yearly value would be…..Arrieta would have to be a real stu-nod not to take that offer.

        1. opps I meant 23 sorry. typo. but that’s all I would do. I just really starting to hate Sheldon.

        2. I don’t think you paid attention to the details of my deal. It’s 5/$107 AAV $21.4

          He get 3 years at $75 million then if he wants he can opt out. If he wants to stay he pitches year 4 for $16 mil then he can opt out again or if he wants to stay he can pitch year 5 for another $16 mil.

  41. After Moustakas got beans from KC, 3 years at $82M should look like a full course meal to Arrieta. At least that’s what was supposedly offered by Klentak.

  42. Eickhoff has really regressed.
    He is absolutely off.
    Almost every Pirate has barreled his pitches.
    And if JPC does not save him in the third, he would be looking at more Pirates stroking his pitches..

  43. i’ve never seen Eickhoff as part of the future rotation unlike some of us here. Eickhoff is more likely serve as the “bridge” to Sixto and higher end arms. I don’t expect too much of Eickhoff other than average 6-7 IP with 3-4 runs for at least 25 starts. Despite of the lack of upside, Eickhoff will be the better option than Arrieta 3 years from now.

    I will say this again that Nola is the only starter in the 40-man that will be part of the future rotation of the next contending Phillies team. I’ve give Anderson (because I just like him) and Ranger as the other who can stick if not traded.

    1. For those of you who don’t believe in the importance of velocity I present to you Jerad Eickhoff. If he threw in the mid-90s he would be a legitimate 2. When he threw in the low 90s, touching the mid-90s once in a while he was pretty darned close to a 3 most days. But when he sits in the high 80s, touching the low 90s, he’s toast. VELOCITY MATTERS!!!!

      1. this is misleading. Quality of the pitching repertoire is more important that pure velocity alone.

        if SPs do not have a decent 2S or cutter, then velocity in his other pitches particularly the 4S FB is a MUST.

        1. No, it’s not misleading – at all.

          For right handed pitchers, only the tiniest fraction of pitchers can survive at all throwing at around now or below. You either have to have an out pitch (like a splitter – something that can’t be hit) or you have to be the one in a thousand guy who has a ton of deception such as Kyle Hendricks or Chris Young. The rare exception does not prove the rule. Otherwise, you’re basically toast. Even Roy Halladay was toast the moment he could not regularly throw 92 or 93 – he went from being the best pitcher in baseball to a # 5 overnight not because he forgot how to pitch over the winter but because he could no longer throw hard. Right-handed pitchers who throw 90 or below generally end up in the minors or other professions. This is not a new phenomenon. It’s as old as baseball itself.

          But good luck filling a rotation with the Tyler Cloyds of the world.

          1. And by the way, don’t misquote me or say I’m making a different argument. I am NOT arguing that velocity alone is sufficient. I have never argued that and never will. I’m arguing that as a righty, having a sufficient amount of velocity, is, for the vast majority of pitchers absolutely necessary to success.

            1. That’s the way baseball is becoming a LhP or great secondary pitch game . Some of the best rotations in baseball are loaded with LHP. Boston has 3 Sale, Price , Pomeranz. The Cubs have Lester, Quintana, Montgomery.the Dodgers have Kershaw,Rich Hill, Alex Wood,Jin Ryu.Zona has Robbie Ray, Corbin.the Yanks have CC and Jordan Montgomery. SF has Bumgarner etc.

          2. i will agree with you that throwing 90 and below will make your margin of error to minimum. But there’s a difference between a thrower and a pitcher. Velocity is similar to power for the position players. If a pitcher/batter cannot control the strike zone, that velocity/power is neutralized.

            1. Again, you’re missing the point of my argument. I’m not saying that velocity makes a guy a good pitcher. I’m saying if you do not throw hard enough as a righty, for 99% of the pitchers it does NOT MATTER how good of pitcher you are – you just can’t get enough guys out to be successful.

          3. Halladay’s command went to pot as well. If he had maintained that in addition to the movement on his pitches, he would have been one of the guys who was fine at lower velocity.

            But your overall point is correct. A guy like Eickhoff is a good example. I haven’t seen him pitch this spring but when he was going well, he had just enough fastball to let his other pitches work- especially the curve.

            There is a path for RHPs with below average velocity to be successful. Basically, they can compensate with a couple plus secondary pitches and above average command; but there are so few guys who meet the requirements.

  44. Keith Law has listed his Rookies who can make a major MLB impact in 2018. http://insider.espn.com/blog/keith-law/insider/post?id=8109
    This list looks at only potential production in 2018, in light of what he thinks each player’s likely playing time might be with two weeks left before teams set their Opening Day rosters.

    4. J.P. Crawford, SS, Philadelphia Phillies: Freddy Galvis is gone, traded for a low-end pitching prospect, which opens the door for Crawford to take over as the full-time shortstop from the start of this season. That’s on the heels of a September debut that saw Crawford show off some great defensive chops at a new position (third base) and draw more pitches per plate appearance than even wunderkind Rhys Hoskins. Crawford’s glove is ready, and he’ll work those deep counts just as he has through most of his minor league career. How much more he provides the Phillies this year depends on his showing the same kind of effort and intensity that he did after the 2017 All-Star break, when he crushed Triple-A pitching after a poor start and earned that promotion to Philly.

    1. BP’s PECOTA Projections for 2018
      ……….. AVG/OBP/SLG.. . . HR… .. WARP

      J. Alfaro ……..233/.276/.391 …. 14.. . . -0.2
      C. Santana …..244/.357/.438 .. 23…… 2.0
      C. Hernandez .274/.345/.379.. 8 ……. 2.0
      JP Crawford …239/.337/.391 …15 ….. 1.8
      M. Franco …..252/.299/.438 … 22…… 0.0
      R. Hoskins ….257/.352/.522….. 36 …. 3.0
      O. Herrera ….278/.336/.429 …..14 …. 2.1
      N. Williams ….256/.296/.450 …. 20…. 0.6
      A. Altherr ……236/.307/.414 …….11 …. 0.6
      …looks like they are being conservative.

        1. I think Ruben was prepared to take him at ten, but Theo took him at nine and Phillies took CRandolph.

          1. Must be Johnny A/Klentak not Amaro. If it is Amaro, Garrett Whitley will be the pick at 1.10.

  45. A’s signed Lucroy for $8M/1 yr contract. I actually like Klentak to sign Lucroy. $8M is nothing.

  46. Vegas has set the odds on where the top 3 FAs land.

    ARRIETA
    Milwaukee 7/4
    Washington 5/2
    San Diego 11/4
    Philadelphia 9/2

    COBB
    Minnesota 9/5
    Milwaukee 4/1
    Philadelphia 4/1
    St Louis 4/1

    LYNN
    Minnesota 9/5
    Philadelphia 10/3

    If Klentak doesn’t acquire a TOR arm, despite that we’re not favored to sign any one of the three, he will have failed what with all at his disposal. And I mean heading into the regular season. The trade deadline should only be to bolster what we’ve already got. I’m ok with making a trade but that probably won’t happen until July.

    1. Oddly of all the above teams, the two NL-East two are considered the large market revenue sharing teams…Philly and Washington.
      All the rest receive CBA picks in either Round A or B.
      So Philly and Wash stand to lose the most in draft compensation if they sign any of the three since the small market teams can absorb losing a 2nd or 3rd round pick with their CBA in hand.

  47. I mean it’s still early pitchers haven’t gone more then 5 ings yet. However it’s Nola then everyone else. Based on right now
    Nola
    Lively
    Lieter
    Thompson
    VV or PV
    Imo

    1. I put this out in jest of some other posts. The starters haven’t even gone 5 ings plus yet . The Phillies have alot of young starters between mL and AAA . If they don’t sign anyone it’s going to be a merry go round of starting pitchers. VV and PV will start to feeling the pressure . VV is going to have to show he can get over 150 ings and get over 5 ings per start.PV needs to get over 5 ings per start and under 2 hr per start.

  48. Except Thompson will not make the team, Leiter will not make the Rotation and Eickhoff still gets to start X # of games before they make a decision. So, the ST performances won’t matter all that much. They are going to give VV and Pivetta a good number of starts as well, and the only real decision is to sign a FA and if so, that FA bumps Lively to AAA.

    1. Matt, my take is that Leiter makes it as a long man in the pen.

      As for signing an arm or 2, the impression I’m under is that the plan is to sign Arrieta then either Cobb or Lynn. If they don’t sign the first, they won’t bother with either since neither Cobb or Lynn will move the needle enough to justify it.

    2. matt13…….Thompson is looking real good. Pitching from the stretch and now keeping his front shoulder straight aligned with his back shoulder now (not leaning it down toward the ground)
      Velo is 92-93 and even touched 96 yesterday.
      If his slider comes back like yonder years….look out.

  49. I agree 8mark, I think Leiter definitely makes the team and is the long guy. I think he does a very good job, and I just sense that his role has been set in the team’s mind. I think Eflin goes to LHV to allow him time to use his new leg strength to develop his Pitches

  50. It’s funny, I think the news that the Padres were considering Arrieta was floated by his agent. They’re trying to add a last ditch player to get the price higher “for someone”. Are we the “someone”? I think we’ll find out soon. Then we’ll see if the signing Lynn scenario “if Arrieta” was true. If all true, it would sure shake up the rotation.

    1. Would Arrieta still settle for 3 years plus perhaps 1 club (not mutual) option?
      IMO…that is what I would be offering with higher tha average AAV.
      So far he has turned down Phillies’ offerings….but it is getting late and he may be getting antsy.
      I hope Matt Klentak does not cave…and offer him four or more years guaranteed for him.

  51. Big night for some of the players expected to go at/near the top of the draft (aka possible Phuture Phillies) !

    * Brady Singer rebounded from his last average outing. Against Rhode Island last night, Singer went 7 IP (92 P), 0 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 8 K.
    * Logan Gilbert led Stetson past Richmond by going 7 IP (103 IP), 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K
    * Ryan Rolison (maybe the safest pick of this group) was solid in a Ole Miss’ win against Eastern Illinois. The LH went 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 8 K.
    * Flame-throwing LHP Shane McClanahan still hasn’t given up an earned run this season (24.2 IP). Last night vs Central Michigan he was 6.2 (113 IP), 0 R, 4 H, 3 BB, 9 K (15K/9 IP this year).

    THE BEST FOR LAST …. Casey Mize was exceptional in a no-hitter against Northeastern (would have had a perfect game if not for a throwing error by Auburn’s SS). Mize went 9 IP (just 105 P), 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 13 K. His stuff matched the results.

    Finally … the (IMO) best bat in the college class is heating up. Missouri State’s (SS/3B) Jeremy Eierman has 10 hits in his last 17 AB’s, 3 doubles, a triple, and a HR over his last four games. For the season, Eierman is slashing .302/.423/.535.

    And the guy I want the Phillies to pick at 1-3 (if he makes it to them), Nolan Gorman went yard again yesterday.

    1. Hinkie…good information.
      if the Phillies sign one of the three FAs…they may not go college arm in June and could take Gorman…..though i am thinking Detroit gets him at 1.1 since they are already loaded with arms in their top ten prospect list.
      If they do not take at 1.1—then the Giants are the wild card…..not sure how they are leaning right now.

      1. The remaining FA starting pitchers are RH almost all the pitchers Hinkie are showing are LH. Saying I’m paying safe and going out on a limb .LH ,OF Conine I hear he has some power and very polished.

    2. I should correct myself. I have loved Jeremy Eierman for two years now, but Nick Madrigal is the top bat in the college class. Madrigal may be playing in MLB some time in 2019. I know you should always draft the BPA; however, I’m just not sure where a 5’7″ 2Bman would fit with the Phillies with Scott Kingery waiting to unseat CeHe. Eierman (IMO) has always made sense for the Phillies because he can play 3B and SS. Of course, as I mentioned above and in many other posts, Gorman should be the Phillies’ top target.

      1. Romus … I am worried Detroit may draft Gorman. Not so worried about SF picking him. The Giants (IMO) aren’t looking to go long term rebuild. Nock Madrigal makes a lot of sense for the Giants, if they don’t choose a guy like Mize or Rolison.

          1. yeah…that makes sense for them…..i need to stat reading what the Giants’ are preferring….draft is now a little less than three months away.

            1. I’m really hoping Klentak can acquire Baltimore’s comp A pick (for an excess arm(s) and/or eating some bad money). The Phillies would lose that pick (because of the Santana signing), but would allow them to keep their own 2nd round pick. There’s a kid from a small school I really like. RHP Aaron Hernandez (not that Aaron Hernandez) throws for Texas A&M Corpus Christi. He’s 6’2″, 175 lbs. He throws a lively FB up to 96 MPH, a very good CH, and present average SL and CB. He didn’t pitch last season (academic reasons), but was impressive on the Cape last summer. So far this season, Hernandez is 17.2 IP, 16 H, 7 BB, 28 K. He goes against Oklahoma this afternoon. Will be a good test for him. He could be available at the top of the second round. Here’s some video of Hernandez in action against Texas is his frosh year (beginning at :27) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zvskfv0IVAI

              RHP Austin Becker and LHP Luke Bartnicki are also a couple of prep arms I like as 2nd round options.
              For rounds three through five, I love Josh Breaux (C McClennan CC), DJ Artis (CF Liberty), and Bryce Montes De Oca (RHP Missouri). The Phillies drafted Josh Breax’s older brother (Joe Breaux) with a late pick last year, but he didn’t sign. Josh Breaux has a power bat and power arm behind the plate. Artis is an on base machine (.509 OBP for his college career), very good defense and base stealer. Montes De Oca was a stud HS pitcher, but went to college after TJ. He’s big (6’7″, 260 lbs), has high velo (can throw 100 MPH), but lacks control. There’s a lot to work with. With the right tutoring, he could be dominant. I was a big fan last season … I’m an even bigger fan after De Oca refused to sign with the Nats after being picked in the 15th round last summer.

            2. Hinkie…..well I am sure Johnny A is aware of the situation with an ideal situation in acquiring a CBA pick to replace the 2nd rounder they lost…..and probably the Os need for another quality arm to fill out their rotation or be the 6th or 7th.
              As well as Lively or Leiter have been pitching I think Baltimore would give that pick up one of them and maybe tack on a few sheckles of international credit slot monies

  52. Moustakas is signing a one year deal well below the decline QO.

    Arrietta, Cobb, & Lynn need to wake up & smell the coffee beans.

    A one year incentive type deal would be a coup for MK.

  53. Moustakas turned down a $17.5 Million QO and 3/$45M from the Angels to get $6.5M. That was some poor decision making.

    1. the funny things is that 3/45 was probably a fake offer put out there by Boras to try to get someone else to bite, and now Boras has to come out and say there really wasnt an offer from the Angels because it makes it look even worse.
      Phils should not budge from whatever offer they may have made on Arrietta.

    1. Didn’t the Twins offer Lynn earlier in the week 2@$20M and he said it was a no starter?
      So basically he takes a $2M raise for one year and comes out again next season as a FA…..but in 2019 without the QO on him, to saddle his market value.

    2. That’s a steal. Lynn on any given year could be a 3. Honestly, I don’t get the lack of easy, low-cost helpful moves that wouldn’t interfere with the team’s long-term plans in any way and it’s making me a little pissed off.

      1. I find it difficult to believe no other club had enough interest in Lynn to best that deal. Absurd. What up?!

        Anyway, I wonder if Boras will wait to see who signs Cobb and try to gain last minute leverage for his last man standing Jake.

        1. Looks like Matt Klentak is going to pull the trigger on Arrieta.
          I will be a interested in seeing the terms of the contract.
          Anything more than three years Guaranteed would be a head scratcher for me..

  54. Rumors today that Arrieta signing is close, within the next couple of days, and Phils are favorites.

  55. I figured Arrieta deal would get finalized today. Players need to get going to be ready for the season. Cobb will sign soon also. With us??

    1. Now we’ll find out if the Arrieta + another SP plan plays out. Nice work, Sheldon. (Sorry, Roc)

  56. 3 years reported 8mark, have not seen any specifics. Kudos to Matt Klentak. Held his ground and got it done. Credit where credit is due. I know he is trending downward but no question in my mind he makes the teamsignificantly better.

  57. Hinkie…..signing Arrieta could now open up the possibility that Matt K mayl now move another pitcher to the Os for their CBA pick.
    Perhaps Pivetta who goes tonight vs the Os in Sarasota could be on the showcase.

    1. Romus & Riverhorse … only problem now is trading one of our excess arms only nets us our third round pick back. Because of the Santana and Arrieta signings, the Phillies have to surrender their second and third pick this June. That would mean Baltimore’s comp A pick (if Klentak deals for it) and the Phillies second round pick. Those picks are 1-36 and 2-42 and are worth about 3.6 million slot dollars.

      Arrieta is a Phillie now. I’ll root for him, but IMO (while this may be a popular move) I don’t think it will end up being a smart decision.

      1. In a nutshell … Baltimore might be willing to trade the 36th pick for Zach Efflin or Ben Lively, but the Phillies probably wouldn’t be too excited to trade one of those guys for the (approximately) 78th pick. That’s what the Phillies would net from that deal.

        1. Hinkie…….I believe the Phillies if they did obtain the 36th CBA pick via the Os in a trade they would have to forfeit it with the Arrieta signing.
          .(c) Signing Club (i) As set forth below, for each Qualified Free Agent subject to compensation whom it signs, the signing Club (“Signing Club”) shall have its Signing Bonus Pool in the next international signing period (as described in Attachment 46) reduced and/or forfeit one or more selections in the next Rule 4 Draft, as follows: (A) If the Signing Club was a Revenue Sharing Payee (as defined in Article XXIV) and not market disqualified in the Revenue Sharing Year that encompasses the most recently completed championship season, it shall forfeit its third-highest available selection in the next Rule 4 Draft. (B) Notwithstanding subsection (A) above, if the Signing Club was a CBT Payor in the Contract Year (as defined in Article XXIII) that encompasses the most recently completed.
          (B) Draft Selections Subject to Forfeiture. With the exception of draft selections awarded to a Club pursuant to Major League Rule 4(c)(2) or 4(k)(2), all of a Club’s selections will be subject to forfeiture pursuant to subsection 4(c)(i) above, including selections awarded pursuant to subsection 4(b) above. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Competitive Balance Selections obtained through an assignment from another Club will be subject to forfeiture. If a Club’s second-highest, thirdhighest or fifth-highest selection is a selection exempt from forfeiture under this section, the Club shall forfeit its next highest available selection.

      2. Hinkie….sorry to did see your post.
        Does look rather bleak come Rule 4 time now.
        After the 1.3 pick the Phillies will have to wait awhile before drafting in the 4th round.(107 pick)

      3. The obvious trade now or between now and June 1 is Cesar there is no reason he doesn’t net you the equivalent of a 2nd round pick

        1. Klentak is going to have to get lucky (meaning a contending team(s) are going to have to lose their starting 2Bman to injury) to be able to trade CeHe. Teams know they can wait until the season ends and just sign someone from a quality list of FA’s (DJ LeMahieu, Brian Dozier, Daniel Murphy, Logan Forsythe, Ian Kinsler, Marwin Gonzalez, Jed Lowrie)

      4. Hinkie the Phillies are taking a shot at contention . Most playoff teams sign these type of players . Arrieta may out produce any 2 Rd draft pick this yr . The Phillies have a host of AAA pitcher’s in there sys right now. Nola with Arrieta to pitchers that can at least give 7 ings a start.

  58. With respect to having the money to spend, 3 years is a good deal

    But this is an overpay given the market for Arrietta.

    Boras strikes again.

    1. Yeah, even though the Phillies need starting pitching badly, I’m not a big fan of this signing, as Arietta just turned 32 and looks to be trending in the wrong direction. However, limiting the deal to 3 years was a win, even if the average annual is an overpay.

  59. Could be as little as 2 yr deal (opt out) as many as 5 with club options all said and done a good deal for both nice job MK

  60. I want to see the young pitchers get a chance but I like the boldness of this move. Signing one quality SP both strengthens top of rotation and adds veteran presence around the younger guys.

    Losing 3rd Rd pick after losing 2nd Rd sucks. However, truth is, they likely needed to get a proven, quality SP at some point in next 12 months. Losing 3rd Rd pick is much less expensive than trading prospects.

    It’s a big IF, but if Jake pitches well even for next two years, this was a wise move (and patient, calculated one). Yes, it could fail, but I lean towards believing he’s gonna do well! (I’m an admitted optimist.)

    Now, please, please trade a couple of the fringe SPs for whatever you can get.

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