Open Discussion: Week of September 24, 2018

No sense recapping the past week.  I’m sure that you don’t need my observations to stir up discussion below.

This is the Phuture Phillies Open Discussion for baseball topics.

With the end of the minor league seasons, I’ll start off season programming.  I’ve already posted the results of the first post season polls.  There was a considerable drop in  participation.  So much so that if I hadn’t spent so much time creating the other polls, I would seriously consider not posting them.  Since they’re done though, I’ll run them in one or two posts this week when the Instructs games are on the road.

Looks like we aren’t going to have a post-season top thirty.  So far I haven’t received even one response.  (I had requested that if you e-mail your personal season-ending top 30 to me at prospectpoll @yahoo.com, I would compile and report back, IF I got enough responses to make it worthwhile.  Looks like there’s no interest.)

I’ve begun the Key Dates section (below).  It includes transactional dates, contract dates, dates dependent on the end of the world series, dates that haven’t been announced yet, and spring training and Instructs game dates.

Rosters and Lists have been moved over from the Recaps as well as Transactions.  I’m thinking about adding the links to my Rosters and Lists to the menu bar above.  I’m also considering an overhaul of the menu bar as well as changing the banner photo back to the original since all the guys depicted have moved up or on.

I’ll revive the Organizational Changes section to follow the myriad of changes expected during the off season.  I’ll do not quite daily reports from Instructs for the next three weeks.  And, I may do something with the winter leagues.

I pulled the breakout players post and I expect to do an article on how that went.  I’ve also posted a 40-man roster article that includes free agency, Rule 5 eligibility, and remaining options.

And then, right after Christmas, I’ll start our annual Readers’ Top 30.

Key Dates (some dates become set with the conclusion of the World Series):

  • September 24 – v. Toronto
  • September 25 – at Baltimore
  • September 26 – at Pittsburgh
  • September 27 – Camp Day
  • September 28 – v. Pittsburgh
  • September 29 – Camp Day
  • September 30 – Sunday Off Day
  • October 1 – at Pittsburgh
  • October 2 – v. Baltimore
  • October 3 – Camp Day
  • October 4 – at Baltimore
  • October 5 – v. Atlanta
  • October 6 – v. Baltimore
  • October 7 – Sunday Off Day
  • October 8 – at Atlanta
  • October 9 – v. New York
  • October 9 – Arizona Fall League Starts
  • October 10 – Camp Day
  • October 11 – at New York
  • October 12 – v. New York
  • October 12, 2018 – Opening Day for the Mexican Winter League (MPL)
  • October 12, 2018 – Opening Day for the Venezuelan Winter League (LVBP)
  • October 13, 2018 – Opening Day for the Dominican Winter League (LIDOM)
  • October 22, 2018 – Opening Day for the Nicaraguan Winter League (LNBP) 
  • October 15, 2017 or on the fifth day following the last day of the World Series, whichever is later, of the last year of a player’s Minor League Uniform Player Contract, the player’s Minor League Uniform Player Contract shall expire and the player shall become a ‘Minor League free agent’ unless the player’s Major or Minor League club has remaining options to renew the contract.  (Major League Rule 55)
    • According to Major League Rule 3(b), “All Minor League Uniform Player Contracts between either a Major or a Minor League Club and a player who has not previously signed a contract with a Major or a Minor League Club shall be for a term of seven Minor League playing seasons.”
  • The day after the last game of the World Series, 9:00 AM – “Following the completion of the term of his Uniform Player’s Contract, any Player with 6 or more years of Major League service who has not executed a contract for the next succeeding season shall become a free agent.”  Organizations began an exclusive five-day negotiation window (referred to as “the quiet period” in the CBA) with their own free agents. During “the quiet period” any Club representative and any free agent or his representative may talk with each other and discuss the merits of the free agent contracting, when eligible; provided that the Club and the free agent shall not negotiate terms or contract with each other. The following subjects are among those which may properly be discussed between any Club and such Player:
    • (i) the Player’s interest in playing for the Club, and the Club’s interest in having the Player play for it;
    • (ii) the Club’s plans about how it intends to utilize the Player’s services (as a starting pitcher or reliever, as a designated hitter or not, platooning, etc.);
    • (iii) the advantages and disadvantages of playing for the Club including the nature of the organization, the climate of the city, availability of suitable housing, etc.;
    • (iv) length of contract;
    • (v) guarantee provisions; and
    • (vi) no-trade or limited no-trade provisions.
    • Notwithstanding the foregoing, the free agent and his former Club may engage in negotiations and enter into a contract during “the quiet period”.
  • The fifth day after the last game of the World Series, 5:00 PM – Deadline for organizations to submit qualifying offers to their free agents. Last year’s QO was $17.4M.
    • This is also the deadline for organizations to exercise any club/mutual options.
  • November TBA – GM meetings.
  • The fifth day after the last game of the World Series – Free agents become eligible to sign with any team.
  • Tenth day after the end of “the quiet period”, 5:00 PM – Deadline for players to accept/reject qualifying offers.  Those who decline will become free agents.
  • November 2, 2018 – Opening Day for the Columbian Winter League (LCBP)
  • November 15, 2018 – Opening Day for the Puerto Rican Winter League (LBPRC)
  • November 15, 2018 – Opening Day for the Australian Baseball League (ABL)
  • November 20, 2018 – Deadline for roster expansion to 40 players prior to the Rule 5 draft.
  • November 26-29: MLBPA Executive Board Meeting, Dallas, TX
  • December 2, 2018, 8:00 PM EST – Deadline for teams to tender contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters, including arbitration-eligible players.  Non-tendered players become free agents.  Tendered players who are arbitration eligible who do not accept the tender proceed to the arbitration process in February.
  • December 9-13, 2018 – Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • December 13, 2018 – Rule 5 draft.
  • TBA – (last year on January 9th) – Salary arbitration filing deadline
  • TBA – (last year on January 12th) – Salary arbitration figures exchanged
  • TBA – (last year on January 29th – February 16th) – Salary arbitration hearings
  • TBA – (last year on February 14) – pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training (tentative: report on 2/13, first work out 2/14)
  • TBA – (last year on February 19) – all other players report for full squad workouts (tentative: report on 2/18, first work out 2/19)
  • February 22, 2019 – Phillies’ 2019 spring training opener at Tampa Bay (TBD)
  • February 23, 2019 – Phillies’ 2019 spring home opener v. Pittsburgh (1:05 PM)
  • February 24, 2019 – at Detroit (1:05 PM)
  • February 25, 2019 – v. Detroit (1:05 PM)
  • TBA – (last year on February 27th) – tentative start of minor league spring training.
  • February 26, 2019 – at NY Yankees (TBD)
  • February 27, 2019 – v. Minnesota (1:05 PM)
  • February 28, 2019 – Split Squad v. Baltimore (1:05 PM), at Toronto (1:07 PM)
  • March 1, 2019 – v. Pittsburgh (1:05 PM)
  • March 2, 2019 – at Tampa Bay (TBD)
  • March 3, 2019 – at Minnesota (1:05 PM)
  • March 4, 2019 – off day
  • March 5, 2019 – v. St. Louis (1:05 PM)
  • March 6, 2019 – at Toronto (1:07 PM)
  • March 7, 2019 – Split Squad v. NY Yankees (1:05 PM), at Detroit (1:05 PM)
  • March 8, 2019 – at Atlanta (6:05 PM)
  • March 9, 2019 – v. Toronto (1:05 PM)
  • March 10, 2019 – at Baltimore (TBD)
  • March 11, 2019 – v. Tampa Bay (1:05 PM)
  • March 12, 2019 – off day
  • March 13, 2019 – at NY Yankees (TBD)
  • March 14, 2019 – Split Squad at Pittsburgh (1:05 PM), at Tampa Bay (TBD)
  • March 15, 2019 – v. Toronto
  • March 16, 2019 – v. Houston
  • March 17, 2019 – v. NY Yankees (ss)
  • March 18, 2019 – at St. Louis
  • March 19, 2019 – at Houston
  • March 20, 2019 – v. Detroit
  • March 21, 2019 – v. Toronto
  • March 22, 2019 – at NY Yankees
  • March 23, 2019 – at Pittsburgh (ss)
  • March 24, 2019 – v. Baltimore (ss)
  • March 25, 2019 – v. Tampa Bay
  • March 28, 2019 – Phillies’ 2019 season home opener v. Atlanta (3:05)

The rosters and lists are up to date as of September 23rd.

Transactions (newest transactions in bold text)
9/18/18–Philadelphia activated LHP Aaron Loup from the 10-day DL
9/15/18–Reading activated CF Adam Haseley from the temporarily inactive list
9/15/18–Lakewood activated RHP Ismael Cabrera
9/11/18–Philadelphia recalled RHP Enyel De Los Santos from Lehigh Valley
9/11/18–Philadelphia recalled LHP Ranger Suarez from Lehigh Valley
9/11/18–Philadelphia recalled RHP Drew Anderson from Lehigh Valley

373 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of September 24, 2018

  1. According to John Heyman, The Phillies, Dodgers, Padres, and Royals are among the teams most interested in Yusei Kikuchi. https://fancredsports.com/articles/jon-heyman-meet-yusei-kikuchi-the-next-big-impor

    And Ken Rosenthal confirms what I’ve been posting for months … Matt Klentak will be wheeling and dealing this off-season. Other than Aaron Nola and Rhys Hoskins, anyone could be dealt. https://www.foxsports.com/mlb/video/1326890051624

    Here’s what I believe will happen:

    * They sign Manny Machado to a monster contract. They look into Bryce Harper but don’t get him.

    * Machado plays 3B. Franco is dealt to the Padres for some combination of LHR Matt Strahm, (backup catcher) Austin Hedges, and prospects (Cal Quantril [he’s always been a favorite of mine, Anderson Espinoza, or Tirso Ornelas are possibilities).

    * CeHe is sent somewhere for a prospect (maybe to the Angels for Jose Soriano, or to the Dodgers for Mitchell White [another favorite of mine]).

    * They sign a LHSP (Yusei Kikuchi or JA Happ) and sign or trade for a closer (could be Zach Britton as a FA, but I’m hoping they can still package Zach Eflin and a prospect or two for Felipe Vazquez or even Edwin Diaz).

    * Marwin Gonzalez is also a possibility as a FA.

    * Go with Kingery and Crawford as the teams’ MIF duo going forward.

    1. Unless someone has inside info to indicate otherwise, my gut tells me that Harper is a more likely acquisition than Machado. Whether either one signs here may largely be dependent on the clubhouse situation and more specifically, the manager. That would concern me. And if MacPhail and Middleton sniff that the big fish aren’t drawn to Philadelphia for that reason, both Klentak’s and Kapler’s standing becomes tenuous at best.

      And what became of that kid who was playing right field regularly earlier in the season. What’s his name?….oh yeah, Nick Williams. Is he banged up? a touch of leprosy? Corrosion from sitting in deference to two sub-.200 hitters in Altherr and Joey Bats?

      1. An add of Machado would likely indicate a trade of at least 2 infielders. An add of Harper (or other OF) would likely result in a trade of at least 1 OF. Any way there seems to be an abundance of IF/OF on the roster and the team will likely attempt to use that to upgrade another area on the roster.
        They have already stated the untouchables are Nola and Hoskins. I would imagine the next group of ‘you have to offer a lot in a trade’ would be Alfaro, Quinn, Crawford, and Kingery (just position players). Just about everyone else would be considered and someone will be traded its just a matter of who the other teams are interested in and willing to trade for.

      2. 8mark…I agree.
        The manager may a deal killer.
        I would think former teammates Machado and Arrieta have discussed a little about the manager’s philosophy.
        My pipe dream…if Buck S. is available next month…scoop him up, adios to the current guy, and then make the play for Manny with the money…i believe he and Buck had a fairly amicable relationship in Baltimore for 6 years.

        1. Romus, I’m not sure how tight Jake and Manny were(are still), but the brain trust definitely needs to sit down and map out the landscape and firmly address the impact of Gabe’s current clubhouse culture.

          1. As for Buck, the one thing I’m certain is that whoever’s the manager, analytics are staying. Kapler’s more a question of style than decision base. I don’t have a problem with analytics. The application of it is another matter.

            1. 8mark…still comes down to the owner on who stays or who goes.
              Not sure he is happy with a 15-28 record since August 5th.
              Will tell you this…..next season if after the first 40 or so games, around the third week of May, and the Phillie are in 4th or 5th place with a losing record, ..Honest Gabe is probably a former Phillie.

            1. 8mark…better hope Thomson sticks around as the bench coach after this season. He may take other offers if they come his way. I hope he does stay however..

          2. I seriously doubt Kapler is let go that soon. Middleton is smart enough to know that perception is reality. Potential free agents and fans alike can smell organizational instability. If he moves to fire Klentak and/or Kapler, despite our longterm preferences, it’s not a good look for the whole.

            1. Just lets hope they do not falter early.
              The ‘hang-over effect’ from the end of the previous season happens in pro sports.

        2. Romus … Kapler is not going to be a deal killer for Manny Machado coming to the Phillies. The only possible deal killer would be if John Middleton were to go broke (bad stock decisions?) over the next three months. LOL !!!

      3. On the telecast the other night they said that Nick Williams has an injured finger, that he’d been hitting with that finger off of the bat (because of the pain), and that the Phils weren’t going to put him back in the lineup until he could hold the bat normally. Jim Salisbury twitter has some more info on the injury and how it occurred.

    2. imo it would be a mistake to trade either franco or eflin. both have good futures.

      this off season will be the most interesting one in a long time.

      1. I agree jimhg! Haven’t both Franco and Eflin demonstrated excellent improvement and coachability – and I would throw Cesar H in that category as well? With Eflin it is possible the Phils could be “selling high” but with the others not only could we be potentially missing out on potential as you point out, but likely “selling low”.

    3. Yeah, it could end up going down in a manner similar to that. I think they will look into trading CeHe and whether he goes or not will depend entirely on whether they think they can get fair value in return. Ultimately, I think/hope Kingery will be the better player but right now there is an enormous performance gap between Cesar and Kingery.

      By the way, Gabe isn’t going anywhere (this is not a direct response to your comment). If Gabe were a Chip Kelly like authoritarian who believed his way was right regardless of evidence to the contrary then he might be doomed. But I don’t think he’s that way at all. I think he’ll keep what works and discard what won’t work, but that process won’t happen overnight. I don’t want to get rid of him while he’s in the learning curve and then have him settle in as a HOF manager for someone else like Francona did. Kapler’s first year was mixed, with some good interesting stuff and some bad stuff, I expect his second year to be much better and his third year (yup, get used to the idea) to be better still. Long term, I don’t view Kapler to be the problem – it’s the team’s youth and roster that is the bigger problem.

    4. It could end up playing out in a manner similar to this.

      And responding to the musing of others – Gabe isn’t going anywhere this year. He will have at least another year. I’m not too worried about him – I think he’ll figure it out. I’m much more concerned about what Klentak does or doesn’t do.

      1. “He will have at least another year”….the Phillies better not be under .500 and in 4th or 5th place by the third week of May 2019. Then we will see the patience of Middleton tested.

    5. Hinkie – In your opinion, who is the better fit for the Phillies (Harper or Machado)? For me, it’s Harper because Manny would be coming into an already crowded IF situation. As it stands right now, Franco looks like the odd man out, with Santana moving to 3B.
      Last winter I suggested that the Phillies trade Herrera and Hernandez, and I got killed on another Phillies site. What a difference a year makes!
      Eflin is a sell High candidate this winter because the Phillies are still confident in Velasquez and Pivetta.
      As I see it, the Phillies don’t need much in the way of players. One bat in the starting lineup, one SP, one lefty in the bullpen, and a backup catcher (Ramos) should do it. I don’t consider either Alfaro or Ramos as a backup, but they could split the time. Should the Phillies sign Ramos, or should they sign a FA backup?

      1. Mike … IMO, Machado is the Phillies #1/must get at all costs target this winter. After they sign him, they’ll move their attention to Harper (I think they’ll be outbid for him), Yusei Kikuchi, JA Happ, Zach Britton, Andrew Miller, Jake Diekman, and Marwin Gonzalez. Not saying they’re going to sign all of these guys. Just saying they’ll be considering all of them.

        BTW … about Harper: If Harper and Boras can’t find a deal long enough and rich enough for their liking, that’s when Middleton could step in with an overwhelming short term pillow contract. Something like 10 years/220 million

        year 1 … 42.5 million
        year 2 … 42.5 million
        opt out
        year 3 … 20 million
        year 4 … 20 million
        opt out
        year 5 … 15 million
        year 6 … 15 million
        year 7 … 15 million
        year 8 … 15 million
        year 9 … 15 million
        year 10 .. 15 million

        This would encourage Harper to walk after 2020, when Mike Trout could hit free agency.

        1. Hinkie – Best case scenario: Phillies sign both Harper and Machado. That leaves the Phillies with a dozen trade options on their roster to get another #1 starter.
          Worst case scenario: The Phillies don’t sign either one. They still have a truckload of money, and they sign #3,#4, #5, and #6 on this winters FA list.

          1. Mike … there is absolutely ZERO chance that the Phillies sign neither Machado or Harper. Don’t even sweat that. This FO/Middleton and the Bucks understand the Phillies need a star player, and will outbid anyone for at least one of those two.

        2. Also … I don’t think the Phillies will re-sign Wilson Ramos. He’s probably going to get something like 4 years @ maybe 60 million dollars. That would include his age 31 thru 34 seasons. His rash of injuries over the past few seasons makes me question how he will hold up behind the plate during that time. IMO, Ramos will give the Phillies about the same production Alfaro will give. However, Alfaro will cost ~ 50 million dollars less. Stick with Jorge, and find a cheaper, defensive-minded back up.

          1. I disagree and feel that Ramos should be a priority and fairly easy to re-sign in an off season where there are other free agent catchers available such as Grandal, Mesoraco, Lucroy, Wieters, Suzuki, possibly McCann. I don’t see the precedents for a 4 year deal with the kind of money you suggest. Further, Alfaro made few strides this year and I know no one who would back you up that he can offer comparable production with Ramos.

    6. @Hinkie – agree with all your suggestions. Except for the Marwin Gonzalez signing, I think I’ve posted the same and/or concur with your suggestions. Although I don’t think Klentak can cash that high on Franco and Cesar. I can see a Franco for Hedges swap outright. For Cesar, I’ve been suggestion to trade him for years now. Cesar will only fetch Klentak a couple of A/A+ prospects.

      1. Actually KuKo…Hedges for Franco would be an ideal trade for both parties.
        The Phillies finally get a defensive catcher, that will do wonders for Pivetta and maybe even Velaquez, and the Padres get a power guy for third….unless they decide to put Tatis over there ilo of shortstop.

        1. The Phils want Alfaro to start. I expect them to sign a veteran defensive guy to get 40 starts. Alfaro has really improved and is only going to get better. You don’t trade a starting 3b for a back up C.

          1. Alfaro led the league in PBs…..also starters had over 30 WPs….he also had 11 errors….mostly throws.
            CS% was good but also allowed 56 runners to steal..which in most cases is the reflection of the pitcher’s ability to hold a runner and delivery time to the plate.

            As for Hedges…..back up ..where do yuo get that nonsense?
            He was out for an extended period on the DL……https://www.mlb.com/news/austin-hedges-has-setback-in-injury-rehab/c-278300758

        2. The Padres had expressed interest with Nick Williams and Aaron Altherr in the past. Nick’s solid 2018 and years of control can fetch a good pitching prospect from the Padres. Altherr will be the perfect 4th OF as he can play all OF positions and can pinch run.

          Neris rebound should be an opportunity for Klentak to get a solid return from him. Neris is basically written off early in the season. I agree with the suggestion to acquire a top young bullpen arm — as long as it will not cost Sixto or Medina. Klentak should be able to assemble a good package out of Eflin, delos Santos, Cole Irvin, JoJo Romero, David Parkinson, Ramon Rosso — a combination of these players should get Klentak a solid MLB player.

        3. KuKo … Jose Soriano (for CeHe) is an 18 YO, single A pitcher. Mitchell White is in AA, but coming off a down year (but I still like him).

          Also … I wasn’t suggesting Franco go to SD for all of the players/prospects I listed. I said some combination of them. IMO, Hedges alone isn’t enough. I like Strahm. I’d deal Franco for Hedges and Strahm … or Strahm and Quantrill.
          BTW … after re-reading my first post, I made the mistake of listing Anderson Espinoza instead of Adrian Morejon. Espinoza needs to be added to the 40 man this winter. That’s no good for the Phillies. Morejon doesn’t have to be added until after 2020, and is LH.
          Franco should be the easiest guy for Klentak to deal. His metrics are pretty good, he’s still young (just turned 26) and under team control for three more years. He can play 3B, 1B, or DH (for an AL team).

          I’d also look to Seattle for a closer. They have both Edwin Diaz and Alex Colome. I love Diaz. I’m not so high on Colome. I’d trade Odubel and a young pitcher (DLS) for Diaz and a prospect. Or … here’s a wild one … Vince Velasquez and Odubel Herrera for Edwin Diaz and Logan Gilbert !

          It’s going to be a wild ride this winter !

          1. @hinkie, I like Mitchell White too (and Dustin May). LAD is a shrewd FO when it comes to talent evaluation — but I will not complain if Klentak can pull that thru.

            I read somewhere that LAA is hell bent on holding on both Chris Rodriguez and Jose Soriano so it might take some additional sweetener for Klentak to get Soriano for Cesar considering Cesar’s down year. Maybe it’s time again to revisit the Cesar for Skaggs swap.

            I like you idea for Vinny + Doobie for Diaz and Logan Gilbert. Jerry DiPoto is a gunslinger and always like to wheel and deal and look to contend. However, I doubt Klentak’s heart with this kind of a transaction. I can see Klentak blinking first even before DiPoto thinks about it.

            I never liked Klentak as a GM. But this offseason if the best chance for Klentak to win a lot of doubters including me.

            IMO, the must haves at a minimum are legit bat (Machado and/or Harper) and another SP. The expectation for 2019 should be higher for this FO.

            1. KuKo … the LAA have to get to the playoffs in 2019 or 2020 to increase their chances of keeping Mike Trout. In order to do that, they need to keep Tyler Skaggs (one of Trout’s best friends), and instead deal some prospects for proven MLB talent.

            2. If only LAA had prospects to trade for MLB talent, Hinkie. Their system is among the worst in baseball. Trout will be wearing red pinstripes on opening day 2021.

            3. BTW … not saying the improved farm system is going to be enough to keep Trout. Just saying the Angels do now have some quality minor leaguers who can bring back MLB talent to help get them to the post season. The truth of the matter is … it’s very unlikely they can pass the Astros before 2020. One of the two WC spots will go to the NYY or BoSox. That leaves one WC spot for the Angels over the next two seasons. I lean to Trout joining the Phillies in 2021.

    7. There is no evidence that either Kingery or JP are anything beyond below replacement level mlb players. Sure they have tools, but are completely unproven. Zero chance they are our MIF combo next year and I don’t think MK will start the year with either as a starter.

      1. I generally agree with this. The bigger issue is that I don’t see either “owning” the position to start the year. As for second, if Cesar has value on the market, I could see the team trading him and opting for a one-year fill-in such as Brian Dozier while Kingery develops. But, man, to trade Cesar, you’re really going to have to get some decent value in return. He had a bad year by his standards but was still a good player and is still young and cost-controlled. He would be a big upgrade for a team like the Dodgers. People on this site maintain that he has no trade value – I don’t believe that for a minute.

      2. Sadly I agree with this take. We clearly over-valued our own guys and now that they’re playing/ facing MLB pitching, they’re quite simply overmatched.

  2. Just wondering here, what is the lesser of the two evils?
    A, Hoskins in LF with Santana at 1B ~or~
    B, Santana at 3B with Hoskins at 1B?

    *This assuming Santana is not traded

    1. Great question that highlights a huge blunder from last off season – signing Santana to a $60 million contract and moving Hoskins to LF. Now they’re handcuffed with the remaining 2 years of that contract with the realization that Hoskins can’t play LF even at replacement level. Just brutal.

  3. I’m wondering if the Phillies front office is satisfied with the job that Gabe has done? Was Klentak pulling the strings on the many whacky decisions made, or did they let him make his own choices? With a more veteran team next year, will Gabe manage the team differently (better)?

    1. Wawa…IMO…Kapler did all the play calling and Klentak obliged….from 5 weeks after he was named manager to the signing of FA Santana, which is still questioned by many, all the way thru the Arrieta, the Kingery push for a LTC and an immediate 25 man spot, thru all those older vets that …Bats, Loup, Avilan and Cabrera…made very little sense in hindsight.

      1. Romus – The biggest problems that I have with Gabe is the lack of continuity with player positioning, batting order, and the shifts. The only player who never had to check the lineup card was Hernandez.

  4. I think we have to look at it the way the ownership does. Regardless of the collapse after August 5, they view the season as a success because there was “meaningful” Baseball in August and September. I disagree, But, I don’t get a vote. So, Kapler is safe. No way Klentak pulls the plug on him, not for Showalter and not for Joe Maddon. MacPhail told him he only gets so many Manger hires. It is on Klentak and MacPhail to succeed in the off season and bring a star here. So, if Machado wants to play SS, they let him do that. I think they make a bunch of moves, I just hope they are the right ones. If this off season is a failure, and next season’s result is like this one, then I think the whole FO can go.

    1. That is where we differ.
      Theo wasted no time transitioning from Renteria to Maddon four years ago.
      There in lies the difference between Klentak and Epstein…..ironically…being bold.

      1. Theo had quite the resume before arriving in Chicago. Klentak is trying to get his legs under him. Two different animals no matter how much the Phillies FO aspires to follow Epstein and others’ path. MacPhail will play the pivotal role. If Kapler goes, Klentak is tethered to him, if only because of the dramatic shift in style.

        1. Also, though it is early in his career MK IMO is not at the level of Theo or (and I use this as a compliment( machiavellian in the manner of Hinkie. On the other hand, in all the organizations maybe only BC measures up to Theo and of course he has much more financial “firepower”

          1. Theo inherited a team in Chicago, a lot less skilled than the Klentak inheritance from the Amaro regime.
            Theo’s first three years they lost 286 games…or an average of 95.
            Theo endured very bad seasons in his first 3 years where they were ready to run him out of town by the Cub fans as a fraud.
            So i give no leeway to Klentak now entering his 4th season as GM….2019 has to be pivotal.

      2. Romus, do you differ with my assessment that Klentak does not axe Kapler no matter who is available, or do you differ with the team? I am not suggesting their approach is the right one. I fully count Theo’s move for Maddon as one of the main moves he made to make the Cubs WS winners. I just don’t see a Theo anywhere close to the Management hierarchy of the Phils.

        1. Matt13…my take is that Klentak will never let Kapler go and have to admit a mistake in hiring him.
          MacPhail said as much, when he laid that out for him when he and Klentak talked last October about letting Mack go and thinking of hiring Kapler.
          .
          I just do not know how Middleton takes the end of year collapse.
          He and MacPhail will have their interviews with Jim Salisbury probably in a few weeks after the season is over.
          Though MacPhail hired Showlater onetime in 2010 and so he is very familiar with him….and he knows he is a very good manager, who ahas been working with a very fiscal oriented ownership.

          Like I said earlier….next season’s start will be pivotal.
          if by the third week of May and the Phillies are 20-30 after say 50 games and sittin gin 4th or 5th place in the NL-east, ….Kapler probably is a goner before Memorial Day.
          I just do not think Middleton has the patience to wait any longer

    2. We all can blame Kapler for his crazy moves but the real blame for the collapse lies on the players. The starting pitching fell apart, and then the pen fell apart, and the offense went stone cold. Our defense was awful because Kapler had to hunt offense. I can’t blame him for that. He told the truth, he had to sacrifice to get offense because we didn’t have good offensive players who could also play defense. Let’s face it, Hoskins was terrible since August 1. He faded when they needed him the most. He wasn’t alone though. They didn’t have a hot hitter after Franco got hurt. Also, the way Franco played in the 2nd half before he got hurt was enough to save him from getting traded. Too much potential. Manny wants to play SS anyway. Cesar and Herrra can go and so can Santana.

    3. Matt13 – Last winter, signing Hunter, Neshek, Santana, and Arrieta looked like the right moves. They may, or may not, be the right moves depending on what happens next year.

      1. Wawa Mike, I was totally on board with Neshek, and I think he had a good year. He is eccentric, sure, and has limits, but as a 7th/8th Inning guy, a good move. I was not as high on Hunter and thought they paid him too much. I thought Santana and Arrieta were more stabilizing players and still don’t have a big problem aside from having to move Rhys to LF. Santana batting 6th or 7th can definitely play for a Playoff team. but, those moves were made to get the team a little more competitive and reach .500, not to make the Playoffs. This is a whole different ballgame this off season, trying to put a Playoff team on the field. I see 5 critical moves. Machado/Harper, acquiring a good Left handed SP, BP help, moving Cesar and moving Odubel. So a lot for Klentak to get right

  5. Klentak will earn his money this offseason. What will our lineup look like on April 1? Any rotation additions? I’m worried neither Harper nor Manny will come here. What then? It’s such a huge difference for the future of the team if one of them signs with us. I also definitely think we’ll sign another starter but I really want a 2 because Arrieta is really a 3 at this point. It will be next to impossible to find a 2.

    1. Whether you call him a 3 or a 5, Arrieta is basically now a .500 pitcher (and not because of his w-l record). IMO they should make him a 5 and fill in 2 through 4 accordingly.

      As for Santana, I got excited when news broke that we signed him, only to realize that his addition was unnecessary. Ken Rosenthal says it’s unlikely they trade him this winter since it would appear to be an admission that they were wrong.

      1. He didn’t have a very good year, but the velocity is fine and the guy is a very motivated and hard-working player. I think he’ll bounce back fine next year and that it would be a mistake to dump him. If he was throwing junk up there, I might feel differently, but he’s still got plenty of mojo – just an off year as far as I’m concerned.

        1. It is ironic, however, that all they needed to do was retain and resign Morton when the could. I really worry about their talent evaluation skills, including the ability to scout their own players.

  6. Murray – I got what I expected out of Arrieta this year, and I expect the same from him next year. I think that Velasquez and Pivetta will be the #2 and #3 pitchers next year unless the Phillies sign a top starter. All of the starters ran out of gas this year, and that’s kind of a good thing for next year. They will (or should) adjust their offseason conditioning so it doesn’t happen again next year.

  7. Okay, I do have something to add. Consider this. Relief pitcher has recently appeared to be the quickest route to the majors in the organization. Next year, RPs who finished the season as low as Advanced-A could reach the majors in some capacity. Options as well as ability could be an important deciding factor. Guys like Neris and Ramos who are out of options may be traded since options allow you to extend your bullpen past the traditional 7 or 8.

    1. That’s a good point, Jim. Edubray Ramos could be dealt as part of a larger package.
      Also … I sent you my top 30 (actually top 50) this morning.

    2. Converting a SP to a pen role should be explored. I suggested at the start of the season that if the Phillies want to fix their bullpen, all they have to do is pitch Pivetta and Vinny from the pen.

      Anderson is one SP that will benefit by converting to a multi inning pen arm. Anderson can throw up to mid-90s with a good looking CB. Mauricio Llovera should be pitching from the pen too with his mid to high 90s FB and a decent SL. The LH pen arm that I like to be fast tracked is Keylan Killgore.

      1. Maybe Hinkie’s boy from Vineland country , Zach Warren, can be forced-fed thru the system next year from CLW to Reading to LHV and eventually to Philly by August or September….he is ar Josh Hader type pitcher.
        And as a 14th round pick, your gambling on him with house money.
        Plus he is not a kid….he is entering his age23 season next year….take the gamble

        1. Similar to Kyle Dohy who got burned in high minors, Zach Warren needs to address his command of his pitches as his BB/9 is high for a RP. Both Dohy and Warren have good arms but their stuff is not “yet” high leverage grade.

          1. Yes the 4.4 metric is high…..and plenty of lefty relievers have had high BB/9 metrics……but not many have had his K/9 metrics.
            But what also is in his favor hte hitters cannot hit him…in low A, so have to see how he does vs Hi-A and AA hitters next season.
            Also he was a SEC pitcher so the pressure should not be a factor when he starts his climb up the ladder.

  8. Big offseason for sure. I’m worried we end up with a Sixers result. Big talk but no action.

    There were some improvements this year compared to last but I think we need a huge offseason to have hope for next year.

    Hinkie suggested some great trades

    1. I don’t think so. The Sixers basically needed one thing to happen that was already against the odds – the signing of one elite free agent. Even if one of the big free agents doesn’t sign here (and I think one probably will), they still have a ton of work to do this offseason – in fact, I can’t ever remember a more critical offseason in the history of the team and I’m serious about that.

      1. …and I believe the reason why has little to do with either of the 2 top FAs, but all the very important peripheral moves that must not only be made, but made wisely.

    2. The Sixers situation is not comparable. It’s no longer an open secret in the NBA that a superstar player can dictate which team he wants to play. The LeBron decision is about family and business. The Kwahi is about keeping Embiid or Simmons. Paul George never gave any team a chance to sign him. Jimmy Butler already indicated where he wants to play. The Sixers should rightfully stay away from giving up good players and future assets if Butler will not commit to resign long term.

      Unlike the Phillies, both Machado and Harper are expected to test the free agency and potentially looking for the biggest contract ever. Also, the MLB farm is way valuable than an NBA G-league so Klentak has more resources to acquire good players via trade.

      1. Harper would be out of his mind to seek a long-term FA contract coming off his worst healthy season. He should take a pillow deal in a good situation and hit the market again next year.

      2. Next season is an odd year for Harper…..he has his best season’s in odd years over the last six years…’13, ’15’ and ’17.
        He would be wise to take that one year pillow if he follows his past trend.
        But also shows the roller-coaster consistency in his performances.

        1. Agreed – which is why there is no way I would commit to Harper long term. Too much inconsistency for a guy who is going to want $450 M over 10 or 12 years. No way. When I say they shouldn’t commit to him long term people say, yeah, but he’s going to have opt out clauses. Yeah, I get that, but that is for HIS benefit, not the team’s – they team can’t opt out. If he underperforms (which I feel he will over time) then you’re stuck with that albatross of a contract. I like Bryce Harper a lot, but not on this type of deal.

          And I go back and forth on the pillow contract. Doing that means you surrender a draft pick. This team really shouldn’t need a mid-first round draft pick right now, but we all know they do because, for whatever reason, they are not flush with minor league talent and it is now really creating problems for this rebuilding team. I mean, there’s a chance that they might not get a single first division regular out of four consecutive top 10 picks and if that happens, it’s a disaster and means that the rebuild might not, in the short and medium terms, be a success.

          They are far behind where teams like Atlanta, Houston and the Cubs at a similar point during their rebuilding processes.

  9. Again, a rational realignment of the defense should stabilize the roster. Signing both Machado and Harper would serve that end, along with the trading of Santana, which would allow Hoskins to return to 1b, and Crawford and Kingery at the keystone. Let’s not overplay Manny’s “preference” to play ss. Once the negotiators spell out their vision for the infield, I’m sure Manny would defer considering his potentially historic contract offer. And besides, there are no secrets in baseball. Everybody knows that he’s simply not a good ss.

    I like Alfaro. Yes, most catchers take longer to form. A good defensive backup is certainly in order. After further thought, I agree that we should pass on re-signing Wilson Ramos. He’s an ideal fit for an AL club and besides, that money could be allotted elsewhere.

    Outfield. Assuming Doobie’s days here are numbered, and Quinn will likely be given the opportunity to secure the anchor, this may be Klentak’s biggest challenge. Hoskins in LF can’t be their longterm plan. But the Santana situation boggles up the works. I would ideally love to see Williams given a real shot as the regular LF with a possible platoon with Altherr vs LHPs. If they don’t sign Harper, then another major league established OF needs to be acquired.

    I also like Hinkie’s idea of acquiring Marwin Gonzalez as THE super utility guy, especially if we miss on either Harper or Machado. (We really don’t need more than one super U, Mr Positional Flexibility.)

    Also glad to hear the FO is interested in Kikuchi, but let’s pursue Corbin first.

  10. 8mark – The domino’s (players) are starting to fall into place in the minds of fans. The biggest question I have is, “Will Gabe continue to put square pegs into round holes”?

    1. Wawa, that is probably THE top item on the agenda for the higher ups to discuss with Kapler. Continuity. Players can’t (nor do they want to) go from day to day wondering if Gabe is going to pinch hit for him in the 2nd inning. Absurd, but that is one thing I’m certain he and he alone has created within the clubhouse. I don’t think Klentak instructed him to impulsively tinker like he has, especially after the trade deadline.

  11. Nick Speaks Out …from The Atletic:

    “You know, the way that the game has been going and the way that Gabe has been coaching, at the end of the day, the most I can do is just go as long as I can,” Pivetta said. “It’s up to him when he takes us out.”

  12. Does anyone have any evidence or ideas how much of an impact the bench coach has on the everyday game decisions the Phillies make. In retrospect I think (maybe I am wrong) that a lot of credit was given to the bench coach on the last Phillies championship team but is there a way to determine whether decisions on positioning, substitutions, pitching changes etc. are a collective decision by the coaches, partitioned between them, solely the call of the manager, etc?

  13. Off topic (actually WAY off topic) but….

    Not sure if this is even a top item within CBA talks but I hope there comes a dramatic (but sensible) league/divisional realignment once the DH becomes universal AND as expected, two more expansion teams which Manfred seems bent on sooner than later. I would propose the following based upon regional/traditional rivalries. Eight 4-team divisions, split East and West to replace National and American leagues:

    EASTERN CONFERENCE

    NORTHEAST
    Boston
    Montreal (expansion)
    NY Yankees
    Toronto

    GREAT LAKES
    Cleveland
    Detroit
    Milwaukee
    Pittsburgh

    MID-ATLANTIC
    Baltimore
    NY Mets
    Philadelphia
    Washington

    SOUTHEAST
    Atlanta
    Cincinnati
    Miami
    Tampa Bay

    WESTERN CONFERENCE

    NORTH
    Chicago Cubs
    Chicago White Sox
    Colorado
    Minnesota

    MIDWEST
    Houston
    Kansas City
    St Louis
    Texas

    PACIFIC
    Oakland
    Portland (? expansion)
    San Francisco
    Seattle

    SOUTHWEST
    Arizona
    LA Dodgers
    LA Angels
    San Diego

    This would allow for schedules to be even with no 19 games(!?!?) vs division rivals, or odd series vs different teams than the disjointed formula is in place currently.

    1. This is very interesting analysis, although Major League Baseball should not be thinking about expansion and further dilution of its product from a quality of play standpoint.

    2. I don’t see that type of expansion (not because of talent dilution but because a franchise won’t thrive in a place like Montreal) and I do not envision any scenario where there is no American League with the NY Yankees. History means a lot in baseball. There is going to an American League and there is going to be a National League and the Red Sox and Yankees, among others, are going to be the in the American League and the Dodgers, Giants, and Phillies, among others, are going to be in the National League. This ain’t the NHL.

  14. I don’t understand the ideology confirming that Franco is the odd man out this offseason. He’s consistently hit 20-25 HRs over the past 3 seasons, plays stellar defense and hasn’t even hit his prime yet. He’s the only promising infielder the Phillies have that has done something on the stat sheets.

    I’m over the Carlos Santana experiment. His phenomenal OBP (despite having a BA near the Mendoza line) is not worth the trade off of having to play Rhys in LF, where he’s a clear liability in the field. Ship him off to anyone for a bag of balls and as much cash as you can get, play Rhys at 1st and keep Franco at 3rd.

    If they can sign Machado, they should go for it and play him at SS, but I don’t think they will get him/also think he’s mediocre in the field at short. Harper should be the primary target IMO.

    1. I don’t think Franco has turned the corner. The vast majority of his home runs came before the all star break. Yes, he is making better contact but he never did K much. However, his power has been compromised by the adjustments he made to make better contact. My biggest concern about Franco isn’t his skill set, but rather his body type as he nears age 30. He’s already prone to lesser injury now. If Machado is signed by the Phillies, Franco will very likely be traded. For what? Not as much as some suggest here. SD has a couple good relievers. Get one of them for him, along with perhaps a midlevel prospect.

    2. How promising is Franco? His WAR in 2018 is 0.2. That’s someone we can’t move on from?

      And what “stellar defense” are you referencing? He’s below average across the board to the tune that he’s cos the team about 1.2 wins this year with his glove.

  15. Let’s say, just for argument’s sake, that we sign MM, and he plays SS. We have to keep Franco. I don’t move Kingery there and I don’t play JP there. I can trade Odubel and Cesar regardless of signing Machado, but any Franco decision can’t happen until Machado decides where he is playing. And, just a hunch, but I don’t see Harper signing first. Not with Scott Boras as his Agent. More like February.

  16. How many bats do the Phillies need to sign/trade for? To have a top tier offense next year?

    Even If they can sign machado,&harper… I still feel like it might not be enough. Here is why:

    If those guys sign, Herrera,cehe, and Santana … are probably traded – 2 of the 3.

    To me, that looks like we are down a bat

    Quinn – CF
    Kingery – 2B
    Hoskins – 1B
    Machado – SS
    Harper – RF
    Williams/Altherr
    Franco/Crawford – 3B
    Alfaro -C

    Never mind that Gabe would never use my lineup in this order, just look at position wise. Is this good enough to beat the Braves/Mets/was/ Marlins for that matter?

    Kingery and Crawford/Franco would need to prove their bats are for real the mlb level, stop living off prospect hype. They have time, but they need to develop. IF not, I’d say they’d still need some help to be a top offense… which one would expect when you sign 2 megastars . Sure it’s a combo with the pitching, but I’m focusing on having an offense tht can average more than 5 runs a game.

    1. To have a really good offense, the Phillies need to sign Machado and Harper and trade for Realmuto. But even without Realmuto, the Phillies offense will be good as along as they sign Machado and Harper and for Kapler to stop “effin” around the line up and let the players on their strength. With Machado and Harper on board, the line up will look like:

      #1 Quinn (S) – LF/CF
      #2 Machado (R) – 3B
      #3 Harper (L) – RF
      #4 Hoskins (R) – 1B
      #5 Williams/Doobie (LF) – LF/CF (either one can be traded this offseason)
      #6 Alfaro (R) – C
      #7 Kingery (R) – 2B
      #8 Crawford (L) – SS

      With Machado and Harper signed and a healthy Quinn available, there’s no need to force Kingery and JPC at the top of the order. The bench will consist of:

      C – a defensive C (either Grullon, Cabral or FA)
      INF – Bour (L) – 1B
      INF – FA (or flex player like Florimon). Canelo, Valentin can still be candidates.
      OF – Altherr (R)
      OF – one of Quinn/Williams/Doobie – OF (if none is traded)

      1. As much as Klentak and Kapler value their pocket knife/can opener/screwdriver pIayers, I think Marwin Gonzalez may be a FA target, and actually one worth getting. With an 8 man bullpen, there will only be 4 men normally on the bench – Altherr(-type) 4th OF, backup catcher, super U (Marwin?) and a lefty power bat (Bour, though he may be traded as well). I really hope they agree to expand rosters to 27 or 28. Dress only 25. This 10day DL is a bore ass classification.

  17. The Phillies will never be a serious contender until they do a better job of developing talent from within. Look at the Braves—Acuna, Camargo, Albies, Freeman all czme from within. Other than Hoskins, the Phillies have not developed one position player worthy of being mentioned in that group. I’m not certain if it’s a development problem or a talent evaluation problem, but the results of this so called improved farm system are not being seen at the major league level.

    1. Franco was Albies three years ago…and has since of late come around this season.
      JPC and Kingery just need to be played steady in their respective positions.
      I do not see their minor league metrics as mirages.
      Phillies, to many, seem to have a promising catcher in Alfaro…that is Braves’ weak spot now.
      And have to hand it to the Braves on the Acuna find.

    2. By the time Luis Garcia arrives as the future ss, Manny would either be our 3b or he’ll have opted out. Other than him (and that’s being hopeful since he’s only 17 now) they have nothing remotely close to a stud position player on the rise. Haseley and even Moniak may become decent major league players. Ortiz has serious obstacles to overcome. Bohm may not even be able to hang at 3b in the long run. After them, were hoping for a few diamonds in the rough. Vierling and Marchan are 2 kids that intrigue me. But they are not imminent stars by any stretch.

  18. With all the losing this team has been doing of late, the Phillies have put themselves in a position to realistically draft as high as 1-15 next summer. That could put Johnny Almaraz in position to redraft Logan Davidson or take a high upside prep player who often slide to that part of the first round.
    On day three of Almaraz’s famous/infamous 2016 draft, he took Davidson in round 30. The switch hitting HS SS declined to sign, and went on to play with Seth Beer at Clemson. Despite good, but not great numbers at Clemson, and two bad summers on the Cape, Davidson is still projected to be a first round pick in 2019 based on projection.

    As I mentioned above, highly ranked prep players often last to this part of the draft. Over the last three years, guys like Jason Groome, Joshua Lowe, Will Benson, Alex Kirilloff, Forrest Whitley, Blake Rutherford, Shane Baz, Trevor Rogers, Nick Pratto, Jordan Groshans, Connor Scott, Cole Winn, and Matt Liberatore have all gone between 1-12 and 1-18.
    Bobby Witt, jr was once considered a candidate for 1-1 in 2019. Fangraphs updated their Draft Board today https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2019-mlb-draft , and now have Witt at #9.
    The last guy to keep an eye on/I would like to draft is Carter Stewart. The Braves selected the prep RHP this summer at 1-8, but low-balled him and failed to sign him after he was diagnosed with a wrist injury. He’ll be pitching for a JUCO in Florida this season and will be available again next summer.

  19. Hinkie, If he had “good, but not great numbers at Clemson, and 2 bad Summers on The Cape”, why would we want him?

  20. Hoskins is going to finish the season w a war of around 0 . . . def a disappointing soph season, I expected more esp when we needed him. And whats interesting is that when they were winning Santana was at his “worst” and then when he picked it up (2nd half) we started losing like no other. Personally, I’m not calling him a failure, was it his best season? No. But to act like it was the worst ever is just not true. For the WAR ppl I believe he had the highest on the team for offensive players, think about that for a second.

      1. Part of it for sure, but his bat was sitting on his shoulders way, way too many times, on very hittable pitches. That happened to be a chronic issue for much of the team.

      2. His D was def part however hitting .200 for 3 months of the season didn’t help either. And i’m sure Santana’s D hurt his war as well. I’m just saying the hate that Santana gets us crazy to me.

  21. I am a big Rhys Hoskins fan and fully acknowledge that he needs to improve. I see a guy who can hit .270 and hit 40 HRs, and I also see a guy who is determined to get better in LF. He talked about one of the reasons he signed with Boras was the training programs that Boras has, and they are putting together a plan with the Phils to increase his agility, flexibility and speed. He thinks that will go a long way to improving his D. That kind of thought is why I am confident that he will improve all around. his war this year does not bother me at all. Meanwhile Odubel’s D dramatically getting worse, and his poor season does bother me a lot.

    1. When I first heard Boras I was like crap but after reading your post I feel better about Hoskins partnership with B

    2. I love Rhys Hoskins, but I don’t ever see him becoming anything close to an average left fielder. But I certainly hope I’m wrong about that because if he could play left competently it gives them flexibility at first.

      As for his being a 0 WAR, first of all, that must be bWAR, because even with the horrible fielding in left, he’s a plus 2.6 fWAR. Also, if he were even an average left fielder, he would roughly be a 5 WAR player this year – that’s a star. So, we are looking at a very formidable middle-of-the-order hitter who should continue to improve for a few years. He’s a building block player for sure – he just needs to settle in as a fielder somewhere – and his emergence as such (showing that 2017 wasn’t a fluke), was, along with Aaron Nola becoming a legit ace, a huge development this year.

  22. Ouch, Altherr’s collision with the fence was wall shattering. I never saw someone hit it at a dead run like that. Hope he’s ok.

    1. wow, hadnt seen that until now. That Tampa bay defensive back hit a wall much harder a few minutes later, but he had the benefit of helmet and shoulder pads.

  23. Well, here we are again, now hoping for a higher draft pick in 2019. At this rate we should be able to reach #13 if the Angels can win just a few more. No better place than Coors Field to get swept while the Nats trample the Fish and take 2nd place in the division. There is absolutely no pulse on this roster. 40 cold cadavers. I have tickets to Sunday’s fan appreciation day. Spare me. I would give them away but that would be cruel and inhuman. You would think that some of the young kids would at least be playing with next season in mind. Gabe probably told them how well they’re already playing.

    1. You are exactly right I’d call them listless, but comatose is probably more accurate. Any effort at all, could win you a job next year on this team!

  24. I think Harper will count on a big season in ’19 to launch his free agency. I can see him accepting a 1-year pillow contract to remain with the Nats.

    The free agents I want (and they can fit under the luxury tax threshold): Machado, Patrick Corbin, Wilson Ramos, A.J. Pollock, Andrew Miller and Garrett Richards (2-year deal counting on his successful recovery from Tommy John surgery so he can perform in 2020.

    Trade Odubel Herrera to Seattle which needs an outfielder with some pop and, if/when Machado is signed,trade Franco to San Diego.

    There is no market for Santana so keep him and bat him 6th in the resulting improved lineup. There probably is no market for CeHe unless/until an injury creates a need for him elsewhere once baseball starts again.

    Nola, Corbin, Arrieta, Eflin, Velasquez, Miller, Dominguez, Arano, Hunter, Neshek, Pivetta, Neris/Eickhoff/E. Ramos/Avilan,Richards (DL)

    Ramos, Alfaro

    Santana, Hernandez, Crawford, Machado, Kingery, Bour

    Hoskins, Pollock, Quinn, Williams, Altherr

  25. If Hoskins starts next season in LF, that would mean Klentak failed to address a major issue. Santana must be moved, and NOT to 3b. Offer to eat some (a lot) of his salary, add a good (but not a top) prospect, to a AL club for a respectable return, maybe a veteran pitcher on the last year of his contract, or a high ceiling/high risk prospect. Enough with the square pegs in round holes. And if it looks like Klentak is admitting he’s wrong for signing Santana in the first place, who cares. Fix it and let’s move on.

    And whether Kingery and Crawford are below replacement or not, let’s put them in their natural positions for once. I’m not overly concerned with their offensive production (or lack) just yet. Let’s stabilize the middle infield defense first and fill the corners with the bats. A healthy Quinn merits a long look as the starting cf and leadoff man. And if I’m paying Manny Machado $450M, I get to tell him he’s playing 3b.

    I don’t think Harper signs a pillow contract with anybody. I would simply offer him all the opt outs he wants and front load the deal. Trout will be here in ’21. That leaves the other corner OF spot. Get creative, Matty. Personally, I’m okay with Williams and Altherr as the platoon for now but if a better bat is available, then go get him.

  26. 8mark….”Trout will be here in ’21.:….doubt it, unless Phillies are willing to sell the farm to the Angels up until that time.
    1. If Moreno offers him a LTC this off-season…he will sign it.
    2. But more than likely with opt-out clauses after 2 and 4 years.
    3. So, I see him here in 2023.

    1. Romus, I think Mike Trout wants to make those nearest and dearest to him happy. The Angels may be nearest right now, but not dearest. This is a life decision, not the most immediate.

      1. His loyalty and character are probably at the heart of any of his decisions I assume
        Will have to see what he does when the time comes….if a LTC is offered to him, Which my guess will occur within a year..

    2. @romus – Trout will be a FA after the 2020 season so it’s possible that he will be a Phillie in 2021. Ohtani may need a TJ surgery and will be out in 2019. None of LA’s prospects are ready for the big role so I can see Mike Trout not signing any LTC with LAA this offeason.

      I do believe and agree with 8mark (and I feel that Hinkie will feel the same way) that Trout will be Philly bound in 2020-2021.

  27. While they revamp this roster for next year how about a base running and base stealing coach? Quinn gets picked off last night. And, I am not blasting him like I would Odubel simply because I don’t see mistakes like that from Quinn in the future, I see him as a kid who will get better. I have given up on Odubel correcting his mistakes.The playing with no pulse is the most troubling thing I am seeing now. That is just unacceptable, and earlier, one thing you could say about the team is that they kept plugging away. They seem as worn out as we are as fans.

  28. I don’t know Mike Trout. I do know how great he is. But, has anyone considered that he may not want to play here? That, maybe the added responsibilities of tickets and appearances he would have by playing at home would be a distraction? I think that may be a consideration. Aside from that, any thoughts of trading for him that does not diminish the core of the team dramatically is a pipe dream. Maybe, as a FA, maybe, but in a trade, he would be coming to us with the same chance of winning as he has in LA, after we trade to get him. That makes no sense.Zero chance Moreno accepts a trade of the best player in Baseball until the last possible second. We don’t have the high end prospects other than Sixto to get him. That means Hoskins or Nola. A pu pu platter of Cesar and Odubel and Haseley and Medina and eating Pujols’ contract does not get it done. And the ” what is he worth with just a year or so on his contract” argument to lessen the price for him makes no sense from the Angels’ perspective. They will go all out this off season to build a team that can make the Playoffs. We need to worry that they are competition for Machado and Harper and Corbin and Keuchel and the Japanese pitcher and anyone else that we want, rather than counting on Mike Trout playing here.

    1. The Angels biggest problem heading into Trout’s last 2 yrs of his contract is this – you build a winning team, you can’t buy one. LAA can add all the star power but it’s been proven that championship teams become so in a yearly progression, especially in baseball.

    2. Matt13…..Angels will still have to eventually pay Ohtani….and he will be another $25M plus minimum guy in a few years, but if he both hits and pitches there could be two contracts rolled into one for $35M AAV
      And they still have Pujols on the payroll also….so it will get tight for them with a LTC offer for Trout which probably starts at $40M plus AAV for a lengthened contract.
      Not sure they can handle a big price FA right now.

    3. Matt, you make thoughtful points. And true, it’s easy to assume the popular narrative that Trout comes home in fairy tale fashion and sweeps Philly off its feet like his pal Carson. However, in today’s social media world, there will literally be a campaign to woo the Millville Meteor back to his hometown as 2020-21 nears.

  29. This offseason is a make or break for McPhail-Klentak duo and Middleton should be ready to open his wallet…

    1. Been saying that all along.
      Kapler’s rep can be harmful in the long term.
      Started with Williams in April, then Arrieta, then Neshek, then Eflin, then Kingery, then Pivetta the other day….where there is smoke there is fire.
      Middleton better heed the warnings.
      For Honest Gabe’s sake….Phillies better get out of the gates next spring on fire with a winning record and percentage of say .600 for the first 50 games.
      If they are buried in 4th place or lower…forgetaboutit…he will be gone.

      1. I was never been a fan of McPhail-Klentak duo mainly due to philosophical reasons. Part of me wants Middleton to fire the duo with Kapler at the end of the season. But it will just create a vacuum where it will be harder for the Phillies to attract the top FAs.

        Jim implied in previous threads that the top management likes Klentak so I assume that his job is safe. I don’t take Eskin’s tweet at face value but I do believe there’s truth into that. The damage control move is to fire Kapler. Hiring Buck Showalter after he’s fired might help the Phillies in signing Manny Machado.

        1. A player friendly manager is a bonus IMO for any potential FA. No one wants to come into a chip Kelly/Bowa scenario … unless you are winning like belicheck… even then players probably wrestle with the alternatives.

          If Kapler grades on players, I’d cut bait. Will see, it was a pretty horrific collapse. At this point you might wonder if the players will tank the rest to help push him out. 20 years ago, no issue, but now, players will definitely do so.

          Offseason decisions
          Franco vs Crawford, someone has to go.

          Santana should be traded, even if it’s pennys on the dollar, unless a DH is implemented for 2019

          For the OF
          Herrera vs Williams vs altherr – who leaves the island first? I’m thinking Herrera, followed by Williams, due to value.
          Their is potential for hasley to push 1 of the remaining 2 of the Island.

          What is boards thoughs on Corbin?
          Get’em or wait for Medina/Sixto to develop?

          The offseason can’t get here fast enough, way too much uncertainty/questions I’m dying to have answered. See which prospects they count on vs importing FA talent

          1. I like Corbin a little I would make a strong play to get him here. I also believe he is an East Coast guy so that might help.

        2. I’m okay with their philosophy. But all the philosophy in the world won’t help you if you don’t know _hit from shinola when you evaluate a player. And there’s the rub.

    2. Let’s be honest … Howard Eskin is one of the last people we should be going to for baseball real inside info. When he says he’s heard from “baseball people”, he most likely means Mike Schmidt and Pete Rose.

      1. @HInkie – i agree that Eskin is not the best source but looking at the substance of FA being turned off by Kapler has some meat into it regardless of who tweet or said it. fans, local outlets and Phillies players have seen enough of Kapler to back that claim as well.

    3. Eskin is trying to be relevant. He blatantly propagates his own agenda regularly. You can always tell who he hates and whose shoes he shines. Always defending people he likes (usually anyone who’s given him the time of day) and ridiculing the people who don’t validate him. Schmidt, Barkley and Reid pretended to be in his social circle. The guy has zero credibility. When he’s right, even blind squirrels find an acorn every now and then.

  30. I don’t think they fire Kapler for the reasons I went into yesterday. But rather than Showalter, playing devil’s advocate, how about Joe Girardi?

    1. Matt, Bobby Evans the Giants GM was fired today so we could have a candidate for GM if Matt Klentak is let go.

        1. He also was there assisting Sabean when they drafted Lincecum./Posey/Bumgarner and won three rings.
          As his bio has it:
          Sabean hired Evans in 1994 as a minor league administrative assistant. Evans was later promoted to director of minor league operations in 1998, director of player personnel in 2005, and vice president of baseball operations in 2009.
          ….so he was there 25 or so years
          Do not think he was solely responsible for running them into the ground.

  31. And while I am on the Eskin piece, why has Rhys said nothing but nice things about Kapler? He has all the leverage now with Boras as his Agent. Boras reps Harper and Keuchel and other top guys. Who are the FAs who don’t like Kapler? I was unhappy with a number of the things he did, and I usually agree with Romus, but I wonder if Kapler has a different roster, and a complete roster, if some of his thinking may skew more traditionally. And, I cannot blame Kapler without blaming Klentak. And, I can’t blame Klentak without blaming MacPhail. I thought MacPhail’s “a GM gets only so many Mangers” comment was more of him covering his own butt. I am a Theo guy, and I think Brian Cashman is as good, and Andrew Friedman in LA, and I think our crew, starting with MacPhail, falls far short. I hope I am wrong and will gladly admit so, but they inspire me very little.

  32. I think Johnny A will be the first to go if there is a blood letting and this could happen as soon as this fall. He’s not a Klentak/MacPhail guy and his record on top picks is highly suspect. He’s an obvious candidate to take the fall. Unless players revolt (I don’t see that) or don’t have a real fire next spring, Gabe will probably get at least another year.

    1. As I’ve mentioned before, Johnny Almaraz won’t be going anywhere this fall. First of all, he’s done a good (not great) job. Secondly, you normally get rid of your scouting director soon after the draft (after he gets his picks signed). You don’t let him begin working on the following draft.

      1. Perhaps you’re right, but I’d have to think the leash is short. It’s not clear how much of this is his fault, but while he’s done okay after the first round – yikes, the first round has not been his friend and that’s where a scouting director is supposed to get his impact players.

        1. Johnny did sign Acuna, Albies and Teheran when he worked for the Braves international dept.
          Maybe he is best suited in the international scouting area.

  33. Does anyone know what Raul Ibanez is doing right now? Last I heard he was with LAD in some exec capacity. Always thought he profiled well as a future manager. Gentleman, great clubhouse presence. He’s never managed at any level but hey, is that a prerequisite anymore?

  34. I would go after Jed Hoyer, who is Theo’s right hand. Technically the GM, as Theo holds the Title of President of Baseball Operations, and I offer that Title to Hoyer. He can bring in the guy who takes the GM role. Again, I hold them both, MacPhail, and Klentak, responsible for whatever happens to this team. If Klentak fails, then MacPhail failed.

  35. Just looking at the difference from ToJo to Carlos was:
    Tommy Joseph-2017:
    Slash…240/289/432….PAs-533…ISO-.192….K-24%….BB-6%….22HRs…69 RBIs….wRC+- 85….fWAR-1….bWAR-1.2
    Carlos Santana-2018:
    Slash…229/.353/.414…PAs-655…ISO-.185….K-13%…BB-16%…23HRs…83 RBIs…wRC+- 109…fWAR1.9….bWAR1.6

    …Carlos provided a higher WAR for sure

      1. LOL…..hopefully not.
        I cannot believe what they are doing to Franco these last few weeks, unless the injury is still bothering him..
        But they must know what they are doing.

        1. I actually think there are deeper concerns about Franco’s longterm, Romus. As I mentioned above, his durability/body type going forward. He’s already a load on the basepaths. He may turn out to be a DH candidate as he ages. Now, if the NL adopts the DH this winter(!), that changes the landscape for both Franco and Santana. Stay tuned….

          1. ….although the DH will not afford Gabe quite as many double, triple and quadruple switches as he’s accustomed to make.

  36. Braves 101 plus run differential, us minus 10, now 10 games out and looks very much like a losing season. Nola, and no one else exceeded expectations. Let’s add Eflin who I had no expectations for coming off knee surgery. Neshek performed about what I thought. Williams showed some ability but I wouldn’t say exceeded what was expected. Does that sound like a good season, one that sounds like we should be so excited for next season? Not at all, this is the most crucial off season I can ever remember.

    1. Agree, Matt – I am almost certain that 2018 and 2019 opening day’s lineups will be completely different. No starter will be at the position they held last April. That would be one serious turnover.

  37. This tidbit that Matt Gelb just tweeted: the Phillies have gone 576 regular season games without a player being ejected. And they are the ONLY major league team without a coach or player ejected in 2018. Hmm….someone needs to inject a little fire in that clubhouse going back to Ryno. What up!

    1. Really hard to get thrown out of a game anymore.! You can argue balls and strikes and you are automatically gone, other than that you have to mug someone or discuss their ancestors because everything else is handled by providence in NY over headphones.

      1. Replay reviews have taking some of the bark and sting effect out of discussion about difficult calls as in the past.

      2. Yeah, but the only team in baseball all season! And going back 576 games! Nobody got tossed for a bean ball or high cheese around the whiskers? On-field altercation? Nothing?! Man, we’ve had choir boys wearing red pinstripes these past few years. Wouldn’t mind a message pitch every once in a while. When was the last one? Back when Cole plunked Bryce? It’s not like opposing lineups haven’t embarrassed our pitchers plenty of times. Where’s the fight been? Or even a little frustration?

  38. I don’t expect the Phillies to contend until 2019 so missing the playoffs is just fine with me. But the downside of 2018 season is a full year lost in the development of the young position players like Hoskins, Kingery, Williams and JPC who should be learning the MLB ropes playing the position of their strength rather than being goofed all over the field.

    After the circus exercise that Klentak-Kapler implemented in 2018, I’m hoping they are in the right state in mind that:

    1) Hoskins overall value is being a 1B
    2) Kingery is not polished and developed enough to be super utility — he’s at best at 2B.
    3) JPC is the SS not Kingery
    4) Williams displayed multi tool to deserve more opportunity to continue his development.

    1. Kuko, I think it reasonable to expect the following from the 2019 lineup:

      C Alfaro .265/.310/.480, 20 HRs, continued improvement behind the plate, especially on balls in the dirt.

      1b Hoskins .265/.375/.545, 35 HRs, 110 rbi

      2b Kingery .260/.340/.450, 12-15 HRs, gold glove caliber defense

      ss Crawford .270/.365/.425, 10-12 HRs, GG caliber defense

      3b Machado😎.305/.380/.550, 40 HRs (CBP effect), 110 rbi, GG caliber defense

      LF Williams (primarily vs RHPs) .265/.325/.475, 20-25 HRs, continued improvement in plate discipline

      CF Quinn .280/.350/.450, 10-12 HRs, 20+ triples, 50 stolen bases

      RF Harper .270/.390/.575, 40-45 HRs (again, major CBP effect), 120 rbi

      Now I don’t expect each and every one to reach these figures, but a few might over achieve while a few fall short. QUALIFYING STATEMENT: This is my best case scenario.

        1. Then we are all in agreement and ready to charge forward with the grand scheme. Let’s hope Middleton passes the memo on to Klentak.

          1. I agree, just let me know where to sign. As you and Hinkie mentioned earlier, Marwin Gonzalez should be a good pick up. Manny, Bryce and Marwin is probably what the Phillies need to fix the offense.

            As for the pitching, this is where Sixto and Medina comes up and prove that they are legit and move Pivetta and Vinny to the pen and make the bullpen rock solid.

            1. Ditto on Marwin. As for Sixto and/or Medina, let’s set our sights on 2020. But either one might fly up the system in 2019 and get a taste of the show next September. Although Sixto’s 40man/rule 5 status would determine that.

          2. 8mark, The problem with your scenario is that it makes sense. I’m not sure that decision-a-minute Kapler will show enough self-discipline to put it into practice, and Klentak is tied to Kapler.

      1. I can’t imagine Machado and, especially, Harper doing quite that well next year should they sign with the Phils. Not because they’re bad, but because offensive FA signings typically have a down year their first year on new teams. I have a theory that it’s because it’s harder for hitters to figure out pitchers initially than the other way around. Especially in this division it has to be tough, facing Scherzer, deGrom, and Syndergaard often.

        If my theory is correct, then Harper wouldn’t struggle because he’s been in this division and would only be facing Scherzer for the first time. But getting re-acclimated to any team environment leaves hitters prone to slumps and Harper is more of a hot/cold hitter than Doobie is. Granted he typically alternates good and average years, so he’s due a good one next. But I don’t see his first year in Philly being the second best of his career (second to a 9+ WAR season).

        Similarly, I can’t see Manny putting up career-bests across the board. He’s a super star headed into what is typically the most productive age bracket, so definitely possible. But I’d see it happening more in the second or third year of the contract.

        I’m thinking .275/.350/.480 with 30 HRs and 12 SB for Machado (increase in walk rate because new pitchers will pitch him more cautiously) and .260/.370/.490 with 36 HR and 9 SB for Harper. The slug would be low for him with that many HR, but that’s because CBP is bad for extra base hits that don’t leave the park.

  39. A month or so ago we, not really seriously but with a giant maybe, speculated that every position opening day would be different in 2019. Hoskins, Kingery, Machado, JPC, Williams in left, Quinn, Harper, Ramos at C. I don’t think Ramos comes back, but 7 out if 8 would be remarkable also.

  40. Altherr out for season with torn ligament in right big toe. Cozens gets a look in LF. Gelb suggests AA will be an interesting arb case come November.

  41. Odubel since his on base streak ended in May – .216 BA, .267 OBP, .636 OPS. This may be another case of waiting too long to move a guy who doesn’t figure into the future of the team. What is a reasonable return for him? Someone on here suggested Seattle may give us a SP. That would have to involve a package of prospects along with him if we expect to get anything of value. Herrera may be a flame out. If other teams perceive him as such, oh well.

    1. I would offer him to Billy Beane straight up for rehabbing LHP prospect AJ Puk.
      Herrera has the raw talent, the great contract which Beane loves, and they can use another bat in CF.
      I look what the Nats gave up for Adam Eaton ..prospect pitchers Giolito, Lopez and Dane Dunning and perhaps Beane would do the same on a lot smaller scale.

        1. Agree….there is risk however based on the TJ and control issues previously…Puk’s ceiling could be a Sale or Happ…..or somewhere in between or maybe even a Ty Blach.

  42. Last night was the first I sensed the team quitting. Not running hard to first base is a major no-no, and instead of his usual platitudes, Gabe gave us “I need to look at the tape.” Now they have to win 4 of 5 to finish with a winning record, almost inconceivable from 15 games over .500 on August 5. Anyone wagering we win 4 of 5? Look at what the A’s have done in a shorter period of time than our rebuild. We are running a serious risk of not been attractive to FAs, regardless of how much money Middleton throws at them. The whole purpose of this season was to learn about the young players and make ourselves an attractive destination. With 5 games left, I can say that the season has been unsuccessful. Again, I can’t see them admitting that and firing Kapler. To me, if Gabe gets fired Klentak has to. And, if Klentak has to go, so does MacPhail. Does John Middleton do that? I don’t think so.

    1. Matt13…the entire staff is coming back for 2019 as announced last night.
      The start of 2019 is critical to the manager’s long term tenure…they start 15-31, as they finish so far this season….he probably is gone before the end of May.
      Unfortunately, many times, not always however, in professional sports, non-playoff teams that usually finish one season on a down note, start the following also on a down note when bringing back many of the same characters.
      And vice versa with teams finishing on a high note, and starting the next season out of the gates on a winning note
      Hopefully the 2019 Phillies will be an exception to that.

  43. 8mark, I think it is too late to get any meaningful draft slot or finish in the bottom 10, so we don’t lose a draft pick for signing a FA. I think the losing out ups the embarrassment meter.

    1. Matt13…Aaron Judge was picked 16 slots after JPC in 2013 at 32…then there is the Mike Trout draft. So a few slots may not make much of a difference.

  44. Didn’t we just lose picks for Santana and Arrieta? If I am mistaken, I still see no value in losing out and I was responding to the ” not that there is anything wrong with that” comment. For Gabe to announce all the coaches are coming back would seem to indicate he knows he is coming back. At this point, it is all about the off season. Even Jim Salisbury said he dismisses the idea that Gabe can turn off FAs, because “it is all about the Benjamins”. I still feel that there are numerous teams with the “Benjamins”, and we are not automatically going to be getting any FA we want. And the “young talented core” that Gabe thinks we have is Rhys and Nola. Who else can we count on? I am a Kingery fan, but I can’t count on his success. They are overrating our core of players and overrating the posiiton we are in money wise. The Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, Angels, Rangers, Mariners all have our resources, and some of those teams have gotten under the Luxury tax for the express purpose of this off season. That is not to bid on Marwin and Gio Gonzalez, that is for Harper and Machado and Corbin and Miller and Kimbrel.

    1. There s always next year. as it will be the spin, if they miss out on the top two FA this year…….and that rabbit to be chased will be Arenado.

        1. If they fail to sign either, and if it’s discovered that FA perception of Kapler isn’t favorable, then what…??

    2. As of this morning, the Phillies are locked into a pick between 1-12 and 1-18 for next year’s draft.
      The fact that Manny Machado was traded this summer will save the Philles their second round pick when they sign Machado this winter. Kikuchi, Britton, and Happ would also come with no draft compensation. Harper, and maybe/probably Andrew Miller would cost the team a second round selection.

        1. 8mark … the Phillies are currently #15 because the Braves get the 1-9 pick for not signing Carter Stewart this year. It’s still mathematically possible for the Phillies to catch the Angels, Mets, and Twins. And it’s still mathematically possible the DBacks, Nationals, and Pirates could all pass the Phillies. http://www.tankathon.com/mlb

      1. BTW … as I mentioned earlier in this thread, that 1-12 to 1-18 area is the sweet spot for high ceiling HS prospects to fall as college bats rise near draft day. Over the last three years, guys like Jason Groome, Joshua Lowe, Will Benson, Alex Kirilloff, Forrest Whitley, Blake Rutherford, Shane Baz, Trevor Rogers, Nick Pratto, Jordan Groshans, Connor Scott, Cole Winn, and Matt Liberatore have all gone between 1-12 and 1-18.

  45. I don’t see a reason why Joey Bats needs to play. Among the in-year additions, Wilson Ramos is the only player that I think that should play to give the Phillies more look and decide if they like to offer him a contract or not.

  46. It certainly appears that the team has mailed in the last few weeks of the season. Fortunately, this roster will be significantly overhauled by the spring. The most important thing that should happen is that John Middleton – not MacPhail nor Klentak – should sit all the brass down (including Kapler) and say “YO! Here’s what needs to change and right now….” While I don’t expect Kapler to get fired, he has to face the music regarding his style, outside perception to prospective free agents, and an ultimatum for next season’s goal the playoffs, and not merely a wild card. Minimum 90 wins, especially with Machado and/or Harper plus a top LHP.

  47. 8mark, please correct me if I am wrong. I thought we lost the 2d and 3rd rounders because we were a bottom 10 team, and therefore, kept our #1 pick. This year, even with losing out, we draft about 12 or 13, and if we sign someone who gets a QO, we lose our 1st rd pick.

    1. Matt13…here is the read under the new CBA:
      if your team signs a qualified free agent, it still has to surrender a draft pick. However, that’s no longer its top unprotected pick by default. Instead, here’s what your team will give up:

      • If your team exceeded the luxury tax last season, it will forfeit its second- and fifth-highest picks and will have its international bonus money pool reduced by $1 million; an additional qualified free agent will cost the team its third- and sixth-highest picks. In other words: All first-round picks are now protected, and the highest pick a team can lose is from the compensatory sandwich round immediately following the first round.

      • If your team received revenue sharing last year, it will forfeit its third-highest pick. An additional player will cost the team its fourth-highest pick.

    2. Yes you still lose picks for signing a QO FA however no one loses their 1st round pick anymore even those teams outside of the top 10 draft order.

    3. Could be, Matt. I’m not well versed in the QO rules. I just know we lost 2nd and 3rd picks for Santana and Arrieta.

    4. The Phils will potentially lose their Rd 1 pick (if outside Top 10) + IFA $$ if WAS QOd Harper and the Phils sign him. Machado has no draft pick implication. Corbin is a potential QO guy so the Phils can lose Rd 2 pick + additional $$ again. Klentak list doesn’t need to be long, but it should include these targets:

      Target #1: Manny Machado
      Target #2: Bryce Harper (lose pick and IFA $)
      Target #3: Kikuchi guy
      Target #4: Britton or Diekman
      Target #5: Garrett Richards (2 years buying out year 1)
      Target #6: Cole Hamels (if Cubs didn’t pick up the team option)
      Target #7: JA Happ (if Hamels and Kikuchi are not available)
      Target #8: Marwin Gonzalez
      Target #9: Corbin (I expect that NYY will be all over him, target him is he slips)
      Target #10: Keuchel (if he slips)

      As for additional veteran RP, Klentak just need to monitor the market and be opportunistic.

      1. Kuko…were are you getting the Phillis will lose their first round pick?
        No teams lose their first round picks anymore under the latest CBA.
        Read DMAR’s link on QO Implications.

        “All first-round picks are now protected, and the highest pick a team can lose is from the compensatory sandwich round immediately following the first round.”

        1. @romus – i stand corrected. I think you are correct. Jeff Israel confirmed that Rd 1 pick is protected from QOd FAs.

      2. My money is on the Phillies signing Harper, Kikuchi and Marwin Gonzalez. Perhaps a lefty reliever. Manny and Corbin to NYY.

        1. I also think that they will keep in reserve enough $$$ to sign Trout in two years, as well as extend Nola and Hoskins.

  48. I think I figured out I was wrong. I think we would give up picks if we had exceeded the Luxury Tax,which we didn’t. Now, I have no clue if we give up anything, so please help me out.

    1. Matt13….sign machado..lose no picks.
      Sign Harper…probably lose the 2nd rounder.
      Or sign Patrick Corbin also…since he and Harper will probably get a QO from their respective teams.
      Sign Corbin and Harper, and no Machado….same as this year…lose both 2nd and 3rd rounds, along with int’l monies.

  49. Thanks Romus, I appreciate it. I read the rule and got more confused. I couldn’t find where a team who did not exceed the Luxury Tax fell. Machado is #1, even if he demands to play SS. Then Harper, possibly, in addition to rather than instead of. Then Corbin or Kikuchi or Happ. Cole is #4 to me. I don’t know the limits of where they will spend, so I have Diekman on my list, rather than Britton on Kimbrel.. The problem with Kikuchi is, when have we ever been in on a player from Japan unless they were already in the league?

  50. My money is on the Phillies being the second or third choice for the top tier free agents..The poor second half is against them,plus the manager,Gabe Kapler.
    To sign Machado and or Harper,they will need to pay a LOT more than the Yankees and some other top franchises.
    Money aside,players want to play for a winning team.
    I hope I’m wrong…we will find out!

    1. The needle on my confidence meter in signing Machado or Harper is pointing towards the far left at this time….because of the two reasons you stated…the collapse and the dugout leadership.
      Now come December things could change so have to hope in the next three months the Phillies are viewed in a more positive light.
      A nice blockbuster Klentak trade atthe winter meetings in Vegas might help bolster the expectations.

      1. A blockbuster trade would more than likely require the Phillies to cease overvaluing their talent, even a top prospect or two. We didn’t get Yelich last year (OUCH!!!) Should they continue to be in hoard mode, we won’t see any star players here anytime soon.

        1. Two I would try right away after the WS ends.
          1. Doobie for a LHP….maybe a Puk or a Logan Allen of the Padres
          2. Velasquez to the Yankees for Clint Frazier….who they will be trying to move anyways due to their excess position of OFers…unless they move Hicks or Gardner, but do not see them doing that..

        2. Phillies didn’t have a prospect to offer that was better than Lewis Brinson, the player at the center of the Yelich deal so I’m not sure it was a matter of them overvaluing anyone.

          There is no evidence that they didn’t get Yelich because they won’t trade any of their prospects for him..

  51. Matt13…”when have we ever been in on a player from Japan unless they were already in the league?”…correct. Never for a ‘first- time- to- the- states’ Japanese player
    Though does look like the Phillies are going into China and Taiwan for talent….I guess that is good.

  52. I don’t have a subscription to the Athletic but I saw the header for Matt Gelb’s piece today on how players and players alone influence FAs on prospective destinations. If anyone has read it, please post the main gist and whether it sounds encouraging or not for us Phillies fans. Thanks….

    1. Cross your fingers that Arrieta and Machado have not spoken.
      Jake strikes me as a guy who was not totally on board with the manger’s game day maneuvers this season

      1. I think you are right Romus and I don’t think Jake is the only one not on board. I’ve noticed during these late season game day maneuvers what seemed to be irritations in body language at first, has now given way to indifference (like do whatever you want I don’t care).

      2. Gelb’s first paragraph (which fades as you scroll down) alludes to Santana’s interaction with Manny when they played each other prior to the deadline. But that’s where it stopped…

      3. Romus, the only guys who had no need to check the lineup throughout the season were Cesar, Hoskins and Santana. Almost everyone else is eligible to be a mutineer.

        1. I do not think Gabe has reached Capt Bligh status just yet on the Phillies’ Bounty….but then again Jake did take the Christian Fletcher stance very early on into the season with the defensive metric shifts.

      4. Romus – Jake is a fierce competitor who never wants to be taken out of the game. I’m sure he may have been angry at the time, but that stuff goes away the next day. If Jake complained about the defense and lack of run support, Manny’s ego will think, “I can help with that”.
        At the end there will be three comparable offers for Manny’s services, and he will pick the one where he has the chance to have the biggest impact.

        1. Mike…..Manny may also want the money first….the Benjamins as Jim Salisbury has said.
          But who would you sign with….the Yankees or Philies….money being the same in both situations?
          A favorite team with national exposure and stacked with bats and in the playoffs….or a team that is rebuilding and just collapsed losing 31 of their last 46 games….and a manager who plays , in 8mark’s words, ‘Lincoln Logs’ (still think that is great) with the lineup construction every night.

  53. The one problem that I have with the Machado scenario, if the Phillies convince him to play 3B, we lose Franco’s .270 avg., 25 HR’s and 75 RBI’s. Manny would still be an upgrade, but not as significant as Harper.

    1. Mike…Franco is gone already.
      Honest Gabe has seen to that.
      He rarelt played him down the stretch….Santana at third still…sheeesh.
      Then he has patience with Doobie!
      Go figure..

      1. I hope you aren’t right on Franco, but my guts tell me you are! We wait a couple of years for this guy to figure it out, then he does and we sit him and prepare to move him.🤔

    2. I am not convinced Franco has turned the corner completely. He has never had a big K% anyway. He seems to have become more of a singles hitter of late. How many homers has he hit since the all star break?

      1. I’ll say this … making trades is really about projecting what players will do in the future. Not basing decisions on what a guy’s stats look like this season/month/week. While it’s possible Franco has figured it all out, IMO going forward, he’s likely not as good as he’s been this season (.270/.314/.467), but not as bad as he was last season (.230/.281/.409). In other words … Maikel Franco is a perfect “sell high” candidate. I believe Klentak deals him after they sign MM.

  54. Looks like the players have figured out a way to cramp Kapler’s style re: in game moves. I heard down here that a handful of players went to him individually and said they were too hurt to play the past two games. Has anyone up in Philly heard this? I find it hard to believe that the WIP crew wouldn’t have used a topic like this to further excoriate Kapler for an “apparent loss of control”.

    A couple of the guys that people here have been lobbying to get starts are among those who claim injury. Now, if these guys were veteran players, I would be concerned about the manager’s losing control. But, no they are among the younger guys on the roster. A couple are probably legitimately hurt, although I know that Quinn, Hernandez, and Herrera are playing through their injuries, as are others I am sure. Rather, I think that one or more of these guys may have punched their tickets outta here.

    1. You know the old saying “You can’t trade the whole team, so you fire the manager”. I think the Phillies are about to prove that wrong. Kapler will/should be back. A lot of these guys are “outta here”.

    2. I’m not sure what you’re hearing down there but these aren’t fake injuries. Guys are really hurt. I’m sure they would rather be playing. Kapler has not lost control. However, the team has just completely run out of gas and thankfully the season ends soon. At least our draft position improved at the end. Yes several guys on this team will not be back but it’s never as many as you think.

  55. Here’s a random thought. I’ve seen a lot of trade talk here. Most seems to center around Herrera, Santana, Hernandez, and to a lesser extent Franco. Now, if you got your wish and they were all traded, AND after Ramos, Bautista, and Cabrera are lost to free agency, that would leave Alfaro as the lone LA position player on the team, unless you guys want to trade him too. So, riddle me this, why would Machado want to come to Philadelphia, a team where a prominent former all star stated that a LA player couldn’t be a team leader here. Just spit ballin’.

        1. Jim … I don’t think Santana is going to be traded, and I don’t believe playing with Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco really moves the needle for him. IMO, MM would be more excited to play with Rhys Hoskins (and maybe Bryce Harper or Marwin Gonzalez) than either of the other guys. Most of all, the chance to play with the most money almost always wins out. Middleton is not going to be outbid.
          Also … how many Latin teammates did he have in Baltimore? I don’t believe that was ever an issue. If the Orioles were willing to pony up the big bucks, he probably would have re-signed with them.

          1. Yeah….back in Jan/Feb 2014 the Orioles made their offer to Machado to extend him long-term well beyond 2019…..but they went cheap according to his agent Dan Lozano. So I guess right then he decided 2018 would probably be his last year with them.

          2. …I would add being that Manny is Miami-born, and while he certainly represents the Latino community to a degree, does he necessarily carry the burden of those South American born players who have risen up the ranks of pro baseball? Anyway, I think he lands in the Bronx. Glad to be wrong there.

    1. For the life of me I don’t know why Machado would want to come to Phila. and I don’t believe he will. We need too many pieces to be competitive and other teams with dollars will be closer to post season play next year than we will, IMO.

    2. I would love to see Machado come here. I don’t think he will, despite Hinkie’s insistence. The Yankees will sign him even if Middleton dangles more coin. The Kapler-LA player issues won’t be the deciding factor, IMO. Manny is certainly a safer FA play than Harper, but I see that scenario playing out similar to Arrieta with Boras chumbing it up with JM, but not without the customary drama dragging it out into the new year. I predict, however, that a blockbuster trade for another OF will go down in December at the winter meetings. Hold on to your hats…

      Meanwhile, I wouldn’t be surprised if Santana is stationed at 3b to allow Hoskins’ return to 1b. That idea doesn’t excite me but I can see this regime try it and hope that the offensive upside offsets the risk defensively while they try to stabilize up the middle.

      1. I’m with you 8mark. I think Hinkie’s point is that if the Phillies decide to acquire Manny Machado at all cost this off season, the Phils probably can pull that off. But the question is, on what terms is too much? For the people saying they don’t see why he’d come to the Phils, I couldn’t agree more. There are teams with better talent right now, there are teams with brighter futures, there are teams with locations/cities he’d rather play in, etc. I also don’t believe if the Yanks (as an example) offer him $360M over 10 years and the Phils offer $380M over 10 years, just as a hypothetical, that it will be enough. For the Phils to win this bidding war, I think they will have to exceed the next closest bid by at least $50M, and certainly offer an early opt out after 2 years in case he comes and doesn’t like what he got himself into, i.e. Gabe, losing, etc. My point is that the Phils might have to outbid by so much that it might make the attractiveness of Manny Machado go away a little bit. I know we all want to think about 2007-2011 when everyone wanted to play in Philly and guys took less money to play in Philly, and we had a manager that everyone wanted to play for, and a great veteran clubhouse to be a part of, and standing room only crowds every night, and the playoffs every October, but to someone Manny Machado’s age or Bryce Harper’s age, that was a long time ago and nothing they saw or experienced at the major league level. The 2007-2011 Phillies are the current day Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox, Astros, Dodgers, and Indians.

  56. Well, if this collapse has served a redemptive purpose, it takes the club into the off season without any illusions that the team is ready to win in 2019 as currently constructed. I’m glad Klentak spoke last night and recognizes that while some things might work, some things didn’t. Major roster changes are on the way. Kapler and his staff will all return. If I’m reading between the lines above, a certain young shortstop and a certain young outfielder, and more than likely a third baseman are among those to move on. I had been under the impression that the SS and OF were candidates to get a shot next year, but their developmental history of ups and downs indicates the organization may be ready to move on without them, as well as Franco. I’m feeling kind of sad about that. But hey, looking forward to what’s coming….and who’s coming.

  57. a chance to hurt an opponents playoff chances and you get outscored 34-3- that’s hard to do- but I’m sure Gabe will have them all fired up to play an afternoon getaway game today.

    1. If the Phillies lose today….they may be one of a handful of MLB teams …in history…to lose and be swept in two consecutive 4-game series, which is virtually impossible to do since at one point in the series you will face a team’s 4th or 5th guy..

        1. Fair point.
          Hard to believe worst second half since WWII…1942 Phillies…when they went 42-109 under Hans Lobert for the year…total attendance for that year 230,183 (8th of 8 teams in the NL)…ave attendance per game approx. 3K

          1. Did they keep Hans and the staff for the following year? Is there a record of Hans saying “We are going to keep grinding, playing hard,……etc.”.

        2. this gets to the mixed signals the Phillies sent on what they were trying to accomplish this year.
          want to find out more about young guys, but you sign Arrietta/Santana, giving up draft picks and making fans think you are trying to win. if it was veteran leadership you were seeking, there were cheaper ways to do that. if it was to make the Phils a more desirable destination for 2019 free agents, how did that work out?

          At trade deadline, you say you are fine with our young starters, when it was clear they were all going to exceed prior innings levels and end up gassed. that’s fine if you want them to go through that experience, but then why ad all the veteran position players?

          1. IMO..Kapler requested all those changes…starting with the Santana signing in Dec 2017…five weeks after Kapler was hired.
            Klentak will not make moves without first getting Kapler’s feedback on them.
            Klentak is tied to Kapler for job security.
            The whole thing is one big mess.
            The team’s morale is probably shot and its lowest.
            I just hope one of the young players does not step up and have their agents ask to be traded for more of an opportunity somewhere else…that will not be a good sign.

  58. This one is a “wonder” as a manager as well. I even find myself thinking I “wonder” why he’s doing that and I “wonder” what the FO is thinking!

  59. Nothing about Klentak gives me any confidence. The 2018 becomes a wasted year of development and sets back the timeline to contention by a year. Being a successful businessman, I trust that Middleton has a good nose of sensing if his people is fit to do the job or not.

    With the way 2018 ends including the decision to hire Kapler, may main concern this offseason is when Klentak enters into a “save-my-job” mode where he starts to acquire named MLB vets and trading away good young players and prospects.

    This collapse might be good for the fans since it will definite get the ire of Middleton and demand for more.

    1. “This collapse might be good for the fans since it will definite get the ire of Middleton and demand for more”…..we can only hope.
      I have no enthusiasm going into 2019.
      If neither Machado nor Harper come this way…..and 2019 starts out bad….then the change will probably occur, but yet another lost season.
      .

      1. or at least it will be good for me since I want McPhail-Klentak out since the day they were hired. With the Sixers season coming soon and the Eagles pick up where they left, this will just put some fire in Middleton’s belly to get his “superstar” and start winning. While Klentak assured Kapler’s job security, which he should because Kapler is his call —- I will not dismiss that Middleton will fire Klentak (which will lead to Kapler getting axed too) if the offseason is underwhelming.

  60. 8mark, Are you referring to Quinn and Crawford? I hope not. I think that it is Herrera who has punched his ticket out of town, and I think they are committed to Kingery. And, what Klentak said proves what I believe. He and Kapler are tied together.

    1. Matt, my interpretation – Williams, Crawford and Franco are gone. We all assume Oddball and his negative waves won’t be back, although I don’t think Jim was referring to him as one of the few young players nursing injuries on the bench. He’s been playing, though probably because Kapler’s options are limited, even with 87 players on the roster. Quinn is more likely their hope for cf in 2019.

  61. Sell high on Franco? His massive improvement from last year has produced an OPS+ of 106 this year. That means he’s 6% better than the league average. And his fielding is not plus. He’s not worth a lot. Here’s Franco’s WAR by year:

    2014: -0.4
    2015: 1.9
    2016: 1.0
    2017: -0.2
    2018: 0.2

    Just for reference, a WAR of 2.0 is supposed to mean “starter” and 5.0 or more an all-star. From reading the above comments, it seems like some of the posters here think Franco is . . . GOOD. He’s not. His career OBP is .303. He makes a lot of outs. And he’s a below average fielder and not worth anything on the bases. I’m sure the other MLB teams are aware of these facts about Franco. He’s not worth much.

    1. I’d send him (maybe + a prospect) to SD for a guy like Kirby Yates. I also like Romus’ suggestion of offering Doobie to Oakland for Puk.

  62. I’m glad I’m a baseball fan first and a Phillies fan second. The playoff match ups should be very exciting and I’m looking forward to them.

  63. I sent my top 30 to Jim this morning. I suggest everyone else should send theirs to Jim. I had 20 to 25 names to fill my last 5 slots. That’s why it took so long to send. I almost put the 20 most deserving on a dart board, blindfolded myself and threw darts for the last 5 slots. Nonetheless, It’s a good problem to have.

      1. I just sent mine in. There are a few players I’m intrigued by. I’ll get more excited about Sixto once the bubble wrap is removed and we see how he performs in the AFL. But overall, filling out the top 30 seems like grasping at straws. I included a physical specimen in Carlos de la Cruz who may be a total bust or the next Aaron Judge. Jhailyn Ortiz dropped out of my top 15 due to his inability to break out at Lakewood. Position player wise, let’s hope there are a few diamonds in the rough of the lower levels.

  64. Are we not having a poll this year? Is it just going to be a compilation of readers’ top 30? If so, where do we send the lists?

    1. If I get enough of a response to make it worthwhile, I’ll do a top 30. Send yours to prospectpoll@yahoo.com. However, I’ve only received two. Bellman’s and mine will make four. That’s really not enough to form a consensus on the top 30 prospects in the organization. One oversight or one screwball pick would influence the outcome too much. For instance, I suspect that my ranking of say Luis Garcia would would dramatically lower his overall ranking among 4 respondents, but not have much significant influence among twenty.

      And, shorter lists also have an effect. For instance, the top sevens, top threes, and top ones I received last year propped up some candidates and denied others of points that were reflected in positioning among positions 11 thru 30. So, I will probably disregard a top one that is intended to call attention to someone’s pet player.

  65. Really this entire “rebuild” has been a farce. This organization basically spent 5+ years “building for the future” and all that has really amounted to is a) Aaron Nola, b) Rhys Hoskins, and c) payroll flexibility. I suppose if you are an optimist you could say there is an above average farm system, albeit one with more quantity than quality. And while I know some will say but what about Sixto and Adonis and JoJo. Well the odds are over a long history of pitching prospects, one of them won’t make it to the show due to injuries, one will make it but not be the stud we hoped for, and one of them will and have a chance to be a difference maker.

    Back to the rebuild, we turned Cole Hamels into what? A catcher that has just awful defensive metrics and a terrible approach. An outfielder who can’t get regular playing time which tells me what this FO thinks of him. A starting pitcher who is really a #5 but missed the whole year.

    Aaron Altherr doesn’t look to be part of the future. Roman Quinn played great for a while but has cooled and is always an injury risk. Odubel does not appear to be part of this FO’s plans. Franco and Crawford? Probably not. VV, Pivetta, and Eflin, they certainly don’t seem to be getting any treatment that says they are part of the future.

    What exactly do the Phils have to show for the last 5 years? Aaron Nola, a .247 hitting LF who can’t even pretend to play the position, a high volume of prospects that probably aren’t difference makers outside of possibly 1 or 2, and payroll flexibility. If the solution was to get rid of everyone and buy our way into contention, could the Phils not have just done that 2-3 years ago?

    And one last thing here, I know many have said well heck even if the Phils only win 78-80 games this year, it’s a huge improvement. Has anyone thought about how incredibly fortunate the Phils have been this year as it relates to injuries? The Phils 5 starting pitchers are on track to start 152 of 162 games this year. Does anyone want to place a bet that doesn’t happen next year? Alfaro, Santana, Cesar, Kingery, Odubel, Williams, Altherr, Knapp, and Franco I believe were all healthy the whole year, in terms of not missing significant time on the DL, and Hoskins I believe only missed 2-3 weeks with the jaw injury. If you compare this to the average major league team, it’s not even close, the Phils have had extraordinary luck this year in health. That might alone be worth 5-10 more wins, which means the Phils with typical injuries may have been a 68-73 win team. Not very good.

    1. A very good, very sad summation, JD. Time to get aggressive on the market and hope we strike gold because neither talent evaluation nor talent development are currently strengths of the organization.

    2. Outstanding post. You’ve captured most of my thoughts about this team. Most saliently, the fact that there isn’t a lot of help we can depend on from the farm system. While we have a slew of players who can probably carve out a career in the bigs, we have very few impact players coming up. Even if you add Harper and Machado, this team lacks the quality depth that made the ’08 team so successful (innings-eaters like Blanton and Myers; DEPENDABLE bullpen guys like Romero and Madson and Lidge; hitters outside of Rollins, Utley, Howard who could drive in runs at key moments; and so on and so forth). And that’s why it’s so sad, to me, watching guys like JP and Kingery struggle, because they were supposed to be two of the main cornerstones of the rebuild! We have Nola and Hoskins (kind of), of course, but that’s not enough. We on this site love to project players’ ultimate upsides, but the reality is most of the players we follow daily will not contribute significantly to the ML ball club. Unless the Phillies suddenly get good at drafting and developing quality position players, then I don’t see how the club will be much better over the next few years. They need the likes of JP, Kingery, Herrera, and Hoskins to all make substantial strides, and at least one or two of their high draft picks to pan out (i.e. Haseley and, hopefully, Moniak; I personally thought they should’ve taken Madrigal over Bohm, but we’ll see how it plays out). Sixto reaching his potential wouldn’t hurt, either. But those are a lot of “ifs”. Right now, I don’t see a lot of upside from this team, barring some dramatic additions, additions through subtractions, or a philosophical change in how they play baseball at the ML level.

    3. “Has anyone thought about how incredibly fortunate the Phils have been this year as it relates to injuries? “……..we can at least thank Gabe for that and the healthy eating habits now (tic0….:)

      1. yes, the good health and Nola’s special year and the weak division were why i wanted them to go for it at the deadline.
        following todays game to see if they gave up double digits agian. do the Phils have a chance for the most lopsided 4 game sweep in history?

    4. I think most of these criticisms are relatively fair and cause one to both look back at what was done and forward at what should be done.

      1. THE TRADES
      People skewered me on this site when I was very “meh” about the Cole Hamels trade. My point was, and remains, that you are far, far better off getting two grade A prospects or even a grade A prospect and a really good grade B+ prospect than 3 grade B prospects and a couple of grade C/D prospects, which is what they got because they were trying to fix too many problems in one fell swoop. And this wasn’t the only time the Phillies did this. In all the trades they made, I don’t think they received a single grade A prospect. By contrast, the Braves often received at least one grade A prospect and it shows. Grade A prospects are far, far more likely to turn into Grade A players or even just good players – and that’s just what has happened for the Braves. Some of the trades have been good (I liked the Galvis trade a lot and the Papelbon trade was also good), but when we had the opportunity to make franchising-changing trades – sorry, but we kind of blew it. The Hamels trade needed to yield either one TOR pitcher (a 1 or a 2) or a very good first division regular. It didn’t and I don’t see Williams and Alfaro developing into that type of player – I hope I’m wrong but I doubt it. So, if we do trade some guys this offseason, we need to get grade A prospects in return. I’d MUCH rather have a grade A prospect in the lower minors like Noah Syndergaard was when the Mets acquired him, than another Jared Eickhoff – a 4 who is nearly ready. We have enough 4s and we have enough mediocre big league ready talent. Blech. Load, the system with top end talent and stop settling for OK.

      2. DRAFTS/PLAYER DEVELOPMENT
      The Phillies have two young players who appear to be franchise cornerstones – Aaron Nola, who is already elite, and Rhys Hoskins, who is developing but shows the ability to be a middle of the order hitter and frequent all-star. Both of these players were drafted by Marti Wolever. The new scouting/player acquisition regime has been on the draft clock for 4 years and, so far, the results have been extremely disappointing although many players show potential. 4 years into the Cubs and Astros and Braves new regimes, several future stars had been drafted and several were already playing at a star level. So, going forward, this team needs to develop the guys in the minors and hit on their share of picks. Also, the team needs to be more creative in bringing in talent – like absorbing salaries to bring on players. And every criticism that has been leveled at them for not doing this seems justified.

      The one ray of sunshine has been Sal Agostinelli. His record has been poor in only one area – identifying power hitters. But he’s been great at finding young pitching (not good, great) and really good at finding middle infield prospects. On the whole, he would get a solid B+ from me. He’s not the problem. He’s part of the solution in my view.

      3. TALENT EVALUATION
      The people who talk about the excessive reliance on metrics have a somewhat valid point when it comes to assessing talent. This is definitely not all about metrics – it’s also about first rate scouting. Why do we NEVER have the next Acuna, or Albies, or Soto or Robles or even Bryant? Cornelius Randolph was one of the more bizarre recent top 10 picks I’ve ever seen – a small, non-athletic corner outfielder with no power. Unless you’re convinced he’s the next Tony Gwynn as a hitter (and by the way Gwynn WAS athletic – when he was younger he was a base stealing demon), it’s a horrible pick at its inception. Like drafting a control right-handed pitcher in the top 10 who can’t throw more than 91 MPH – it was a moronic pick the moment it was made. But it doesn’t stop there – it seems most of our major league signings or acquisitions have been fraught with problems – from Michael Saunders on down to Hunter and Buchholz (over Morton, who was already on the team! Yikes!) and even Santana (Arrieta, I think, will be okay, but they paid top dollar for him so it’s not like they nailed that either). Ultimately, this is my biggest concern – if you can’t identify talent, you’re screwed; you’re Ed Stefanski or Billy King. This has to be fixed. It’s a HUGE issue. If this group can’t evaluate talent they have to go or things must change dramatically. It’s that simple.

      4. METRICS
      Unlike others, I’m not that worried about Gabe and the metrics. As for Gabe, he’s a freaking manager. He’s either going to figure this out, or he’s going to get fired. Whatever. There’s always another manager you can find and he is bright so it’s possible he will figure this out before it’s too late for him. As for metrics, look, they are pushing the edges here. They are trying to figure out what is helpful and what is not and they are trying to marry metrics with scouting. It’s just more information and I am glad they are at least trying to do anything they can to get better rather than sitting on their hands and saying stuff like “walks don’t matter” like Amaro did. Do you really want to go back to someone Pete Mackanin who thought it would be a good idea to let Freddy Galvis lead off? Be glad that our management is trying to get an edge rather than settle for the same old stuff – but they need do everything to improve, not just develop metrics.

      5. PATIENCE
      For reasons that are not altogether clear (we all have theories), a hell of a lot went wrong this year. Some of it may have to do with player development, but a lot of it also has to do with the players just being young. I do think that players like Kingery and Crawford will develop, but they are just not there yet. While some players have had their opportunity to prove themselves and probably need to move on (Herrera and Franco seem likely candidates), others may just need more time and experience. People forget this, but the Red Sox were actually pretty bad for a few years while their players developed. But the team needs to know which players to keep and which to trade which again involves – you guessed it – talent evaluation. Do you trust them on this? I don’t. Certainly not yet. Show me.

      6. MANAGEMENT
      People are skewering the team’s overall game plan. The game plan actually made a ton of sense. Reduce payroll. Get in as much young talent as possible and let the best players rise to the top. Continue to develop the farm. Make strategic trades. And once the in-house talent settles in, fill in the gaps with high end free agents. That’s a good overall plan that makes perfect sense. But it requires you to trade well and to have a good base of young talent. So far, our base of young talent has been nowhere near as good as everyone hoped it would be so, here we are with money to spend and not just a few holes, but gaping, massive holes. Klentak has had over 3 years, so this is on him and it’s on him to fix it. Can he fix it in time for this team to contend in 2019 or 2020? I don’t know but he has not yet shown the creativity or talent evaluation skills to convince me that he can. I agree that if his moves and decisions this winter don’t turn out well, Klentak should definitely be fired. It’s been long enough. Put up or shut up time, Matty.

      1. Cannot disagree with your extensive assessment.
        Even the Giles trade yielded relatively low value in return…Velasquez has not measured up to expectations….but he did outperform Giles metrically doubling his WAR return over that period of time.
        And I do get the belief…. Giles was a contributing factor in their WS run.
        But to your point…trades did not yield the return expected.

  66. FWIW from MLBTR chat just concluded:

    4:02 Trixie: Do you think the Phillies disastrous finish will make it difficult for them to sign a Machado/Harper?

    4:02 Jeff Todd (moderator): They got two veterans to join up last year. I think they’ll be okay in the recruiting department.

    1. Huh?….think Todd needs to really rethink that answer…..two veterans (Santana and Arrieta) that demand was very very low for their services.
      Machado and Harper will have more callers for their services and competitive demand will not be an issue..

      1. It’s all about the Benjamins. Manny Machado is worth more to the Phillies than he is to any other big market club. Middleton needs him on and off the field and will not be outbid.

  67. I am not as worried about the willingness of FAs to take $. They can get players. Santana was not JD Martinez, and we got Arrieta when no one else offered him the $. And, I am not knocking those deals. But, Machado and Harper are totally on a different level. So, with all due respect to Jeff Todd, are we getting Machado or Harper when we are competing against the Yankees and Dodgers and Cubs and Angels and whoever else? That is a whole different question than signing guys when we are the lone bidder. And, the trade scenarios Klentak spoke of. Does anyone think he is anywhere close to the level of Cashman or Theo? Cashman traded Chapman, got Torres, who would be our best prospect, even though we have Sixto, and pieces, including Billy McKinney, and then got Chapman back. Klentak doing that? Klentak moving the equivalent of Andrew Cashner for the equivalent of Anthony Rizzo? Anyone buying that? I hope I am wrong, but is anyone betting that I am? John Doe said it perfectly. We have waited years, and everything they have done is geared up for this off season, not 2020 or 2021. If they strike out, then MacPhail and Klentak have to go. And, I am tired of hearing the Astros or Cubs did it in 4 or 5 years, and this is only year whatever for Klentak. I count 12 and 13 onward, and count this as year 7 that they have had to put a Playoff team together. So, Middleton has less wiggle room among the fans, and deservedly so.

  68. What amazes me is that everyone on the team – and I mean everyone – is playing so poorly all at the same time. Every pitch looks like a beach ball to the opposing batters and golf balls to ours.

  69. no problem Romus, we are usually in agreement. My lack of faith in Klentak started when the Braves got Toussaint for nothing but taking on a bad contract. We could easily have absorbed that, and we did nothing comparable.If they were not trying to accelerate the winning why sign Santana? Moving Hoskins to an uncomfortable position, why? Anyway, I am done complaining, I hope I am wrong, and I will wait to see what Klentak does.

    1. Klentak speaks:
      https://www.phillyvoice.com/late-season-collapse-phillies-gm-matt-klentak-significant-changes-trade-rumors-offseason/

      “It’s been miserable for just about everybody up and down the organization,” Phillies GM Matt Klentak told reporters, via NBC Sports Philadelphia and Phillies beat writer Jim Salisbury. “Significant changes are necessary. But I think we all need to fight the narrative that it’s a simple fix. There’s a lot of things we can do and we’re going to address a lot of things.”
      “Expectations were fairly modest,” Kapler said of the hiring of the first time manager. “When we hired Kap, we knew that he is progressive. In my judgment, this was a good year to be progressive and try new things because expectations were modest and we had a lot of young players and a new manager. Some of the things we’ve tried have not worked, some of the things that he’s done and that we’ve done as an organization have worked really well. I think this was a good year for us to experiment, try new things, grow forward and we made progress.”

    2. https://www.phillyvoice.com/late-season-collapse-phillies-gm-matt-klentak-significant-changes-trade-rumors-offseason/

      “Expectations were fairly modest,” Kapler said of the hiring of the first time manager. “When we hired Kap, we knew that he is progressive. In my judgment, this was a good year to be progressive and try new things because expectations were modest and we had a lot of young players and a new manager. Some of the things we’ve tried have not worked, some of the things that he’s done and that we’ve done as an organization have worked really well. I think this was a good year for us to experiment, try new things, grow forward and we made progress.”

  70. He also said he has to weigh the long term costs when he was asked if he thinks he has multiple more years to build this. He said he can’t worry about himself, but the future of the Philadelphia Phillies. I will simply wait to see what he does, and what this team looks like going into next year. Harper may take until February, but I think Machado goes early.

  71. Matt Gelb says Arrieta will be instrumental in recruiting FAs this off season as “a part of the growing Boras influence on the Phillies future.”

  72. I have to say one thing about Kapler on a positive note, and as I have said before, I hold Klentak more responsible than Kapler. Rhys Hoskins seems all in as a Phillie, and talked after the game about recruiting FAs. I get no sense that he is being disingenous, and he speaks very highly of Kapler and the positive vibe in the Clubhouse and his listening skills. So, I give Kapler that.

  73. Here’s another thought – what the heck did Phillies ownership do with all the payroll savings of the past 3+ years? Did I miss the big Japanese signing that delivered big results? Was there an MLB ready or near ready big time Cuban prospect that was signed? Did I miss it? Wait, I know, the Phils busted through their international pool budget once or twice in those years to sign a ton of big time younger prospects that have a bright future? Oh wait, we didn’t do that either. Okay, I got it now, they went out and spent $5M plus on a big time, proven winning MLB manager like Joe Maddon or Joe Girardi? Oh wait nope didn’t do that either.

    Where was the money spent?

    1. Analytics software and ballpark upgrades so you can watch the atrocities on the field more comfortably and have a better understanding of why they are so awful.

      1. LOL to that end a tale of caution as we salivate on signing some of the best players in baseball

        The best player in baseball wasn’t enough to get his team to the playoffs in the last how many years…the next 2 up MM and Harper. Let’s get to Harper who was on much more talented teams wasn’t enough to get past a series in the Playoffs and failed to get them to playoffs all together this year.

        and MM well we all know he did the best he could on mostly lousy teams to get a few playoff appearances in an incredibly tough division.

        This organization is still poorly run…IMO. Overspending on 1 guy to get him to come here is only going to conflate the problem.

  74. I think most of these criticisms are relatively fair and cause one to both look back at what was done and forward at what should be done.

    1. THE TRADES
    People skewered me on this site when I was very “meh” about the Cole Hamels trade. My point was, and remains, that you are far, far better off getting two grade A prospects or even a grade A prospect and a really good grade B+ prospect than 3 grade B prospects and a couple of grade C/D prospects, which is what they got because they were trying to fix too many problems in one fell swoop. And this wasn’t the only time the Phillies did this. In all the trades they made, I don’t think they received a single grade A prospect. By contrast, the Braves often received at least one grade A prospect and it shows. Grade A prospects are far, far more likely to turn into Grade A players or even just good players – and that’s just what has happened for the Braves. Some of the trades have been good (I liked the Galvis trade a lot and the Papelbon trade was also good), but when we had the opportunity to make franchising-changing trades – sorry, but we kind of blew it. The Hamels trade needed to yield either one TOR pitcher (a 1 or a 2) or a very good first division regular. It didn’t and I don’t see Williams and Alfaro developing into that type of player – I hope I’m wrong but I doubt it. So, if we do trade some guys this offseason, we need to get grade A prospects in return. I’d MUCH rather have a grade A prospect in the lower minors like Noah Syndergaard was when the Mets acquired him, than another Jared Eickhoff – a 4 who is nearly ready. We have enough 4s and we have enough mediocre big league ready talent. Blech. Load, the system with top end talent and stop settling for OK.

    2. DRAFTS/PLAYER DEVELOPMENT
    The Phillies have two young players who appear to be franchise cornerstones – Aaron Nola, who is already elite, and Rhys Hoskins, who is developing but shows the ability to be a middle of the order hitter and frequent all-star. Both of these players were drafted by Marti Wolever. The new scouting/player acquisition regime has been on the draft clock for 4 years and, so far, the results have been extremely disappointing although many players show potential. 4 years into the Cubs and Astros and Braves new regimes, several future stars had been drafted and several were already playing at a star level. So, going forward, this team needs to develop the guys in the minors and hit on their share of picks. Also, the team needs to be more creative in bringing in talent – like absorbing salaries to bring on players. And every criticism that has been leveled at them for not doing this seems justified.

    MORE TO FOLLOW

  75. The one ray of sunshine has been Sal Agostinelli. His record has been poor in only one area – identifying power hitters. But he’s been great at finding young pitching (not good, great) and really good at finding middle infield prospects. On the whole, he would get a solid B+ from me. He’s not the problem. He’s part of the solution in my view.

    3. TALENT EVALUATION
    The people who talk about the excessive reliance on metrics have a somewhat valid point when it comes to assessing talent. This is definitely not all about metrics – it’s also about first rate scouting. Why do we NEVER have the next Acuna, or Albies, or Soto or Robles or even Bryant? Cornelius Randolph was one of the more bizarre recent top 10 picks I’ve ever seen – a small, non-athletic corner outfielder with no power. Unless you’re convinced he’s the next Tony Gwynn as a hitter (and by the way Gwynn WAS athletic – when he was younger he was a base stealing demon), it’s a horrible pick at its inception. Like drafting a control right-handed pitcher in the top 10 who can’t throw more than 91 MPH – it was a moronic pick the moment it was made. But it doesn’t stop there – it seems most of our major league signings or acquisitions have been fraught with problems – from Michael Saunders on down to Hunter and Buchholz (over Morton, who was already on the team! Yikes!) and even Santana (Arrieta, I think, will be okay, but they paid top dollar for him so it’s not like they nailed that either). Ultimately, this is my biggest concern – if you can’t identify talent, you’re screwed; you’re Ed Stefanski or Billy King. This has to be fixed. It’s a HUGE issue. If this group can’t evaluate talent they have to go or things must change dramatically. It’s that simple.

    4. METRICS
    Unlike others, I’m not that worried about Gabe and the metrics. As for Gabe, he’s a freaking manager. He’s either going to figure this out, or he’s going to get fired. Whatever. There’s always another manager you can find and he is bright so it’s possible he will figure this out before it’s too late for him. As for metrics, look, they are pushing the edges here. They are trying to figure out what is helpful and what is not and they are trying to marry metrics with scouting. It’s just more information and I am glad they are at least trying to do anything they can to get better rather than sitting on their hands and saying stuff like “walks don’t matter” like Amaro did. Do you really want to go back to someone Pete Mackanin who thought it would be a good idea to let Freddy Galvis lead off? Be glad that our management is trying to get an edge rather than settle for the same old stuff – but they need do everything to improve, not just develop metrics.

    MORE TO FOLLOW

    1. 5. PATIENCE
      For reasons that are not altogether clear (we all have theories), a hell of a lot went wrong this year. Some of it may have to do with player development, but a lot of it also has to do with the players just being young. I do think that players like Kingery and Crawford will develop, but they are just not there yet. While some players have had their opportunity to prove themselves and probably need to move on (Herrera and Franco seem likely candidates), others may just need more time and experience. People forget this, but the Red Sox were actually pretty bad for a few years while their players developed. But the team needs to know which players to keep and which to trade which again involves – you guessed it – talent evaluation. Do you trust them on this? I don’t. Certainly not yet. Show me.

      6. MANAGEMENT
      People are skewering the team’s overall game plan. The game plan actually made a ton of sense. Reduce payroll. Get in as much young talent as possible and let the best players rise to the top. Continue to develop the farm. Make strategic trades. And once the in-house talent settles in, fill in the gaps with high end free agents. That’s a good overall plan that makes perfect sense. But it requires you to trade well and to have a good base of young talent. So far, our base of young talent has been nowhere near as good as everyone hoped it would be so, here we are with money to spend and not just a few holes, but gaping, massive holes. Klentak has had over 3 years, so this is on him and it’s on him to fix it. Can he fix it in time for this team to contend in 2019 or 2020? I don’t know but he has not yet shown the creativity or talent evaluation skills to convince me that he can. I agree that if his moves and decisions this winter don’t turn out well, Klentak should definitely be fired. It’s been long enough. Put up or shut up time, Matty.

      1. I enjoyed reading these Catch. I agree with almost all of it. I even agree with the Hamels narrative however in hindsight I wonder how much of Hamels no trade hampered their leverage (We know he blocked an Astros deal) and in hindsight very few of the prospects we didn’t get from the Rangers turned out to be anything. Mazara is merely average al beit just 23…

        I said at the time I would do Hamels for Judge straight up.

        We always agreed on Morton. That was my first inkling that this FO didn’t have a clue.

        You used Stefanski and King. I’ll use Lurie again. He wanted so much to be ahead of the curve that he bent over backwards to get Kelly. Worth a shot and I give him credit for not hanging onto that clown for a 4th season.

        It’s like when you’re dating. You know pretty early on after the courting phase if the relationship has long term potential. Many if they are willing to admit it will say they saw the signs it was never going to work but just pressed on because it seemed easier than dealing with the immediate backlash.

        It wasn’t bad it just wasn’t good that’s how you can 7-8 years into a marriage then end up divorced.

        1. When Lurie first promoted Roseman he said he had taken notes for years and observed that Roseman was always the best evaluator of talent in the organization. So he promoted Roseman to GM and then when Kelly took over, Lurie still recognized Roseman’s value and refused to let him leave the organization because he wasn’t going to jettison a guy who could identify talent and, in the long run, Roseman, as much as Pederson or anyone else, was the difference. And so it is in most sports. We have hope and pray that the new Sixers team has an eye for talent that even remotely approaches Danny Ainge’s insights. But do they? We have no idea whatsoever. Elton Brand could be a genius collaborator or an empty suit. We have no idea. Zero.

          1. I don’t know that I completely concur that Howie knew talent. I think Howie knew the art of deal and as long as someone next to him was able to identify the guy he could make it happen.

            His trades are now legendary but then without Miami being so out of their minds who knows.

            1. As soon as Andy Reid left, Howie had full control of the draft board. The “Howie-only” drafts have been routinely very good to excellent. I think he’s a very good judge of talent and, certainly was right to move up and get his man Wentz.

  76. I am working on my Top 30 to send to jim. Pretty obvious that what is said about our farm system is accurate. Not nearly enough high impact talent. Depth, for sure. Guys who have a good shot at making the Majors, yes. But game changers? Sixto is #1, but he just missed a whole season with an injury. Still an A ball player, and, if all goes well, maybe 3 years away? Maybe 2, if we are really lucky. I have Medina #2, but he has a ways to go. Consistency not there, but I am hopeful. Next is Haseley, but no power yet, so how can we project him as an every day player on a Playoff team without some? I am not going through my whole list, I am still working on it. but as much as I want Haseley to succeed, we need to have a much higher ceiling for our # 3 prospect. And, I can’t put Bohm there. He did nothing, no flash of anything in his short time in the MInors, and more depressing, there are serious concerns about his ability to stay at 3B. Not to mention, I need to see his power. I am hard pressed to have him at 5. So, in short, there needs to be some real changes made in the way we evaluate talent.

    1. @matt13 – as been said a lot in the past, the farm’s depth is notable but not a lot of high end talent on top. That’s why I’m hoping the Klentak should hold on to Sixto and Medina as much as he can. I believe that both Sixto and Medina can be game changers and in fact, I believe that they can pitch in the majors next year. But 2-3 years will be about right for them to show their full potential. Luis Garcia is the prospect that shows game changing abilities.

      Not sure if Klentak is the right GM to get the Phillies to the next level. The lack of creativity, foresight and talent evaluation is really appalling. The FA is the best way to add “real” talent to this organization and we should be glad that Middleton is willing to spend big time $$ to do it. Otherwise, it will be like the Sixers process multiply by 10.

    2. Spencer Howard has that kind of upside. He’s not a sure thing, but if he reaches his potential he could be a TOR pitcher. Luis Garcia seems to have a very high upside as well. But agree that neither is close to the big leagues.

  77. Creativity and killer “win the deal” instinct are two qualities that make a GM successful. That doesn’t mean every transaction will turn out well, but Klentak’s MO seems to be a calculated approach to minimize risk. Nobody likes Danny Ainge, but you sure as hell would like him to run your basketball player personnel dept.

  78. Machado: 10 years/$450 million. Opt out after 5 years.
    Harper: same deal

    Trade Hernandez. Trade Santana. Move Hoskins to first. Outfield is: LF Williams, CF Quinn; RF: Harper. Odubel is the fourth outfielder. Takes over in CF when Quinn pulls a hammy.

    Machado plays 3rd. JPC is SS, Kingery is 2B, Hoskins 1B. Alfaro is primary catcher.

    Not sure JPC is ready — or a good enough hitter — but otherwise I like that lineup.

    1. They shouldn’t give Harper that deal – he is not worth that kind of money and risk. They should give Harper a crazy pillow contract – $40 m for a year should do it. He’s not signing long term anyway since his market value is down. They should sign Ramos – that dude really can hit. No way I go into next year with Alfaro as my catcher.

    2. 45 million a season … that is $277k per game … lol …. crazy money to even think about. Good for them

      My concern about this plan is the payroll flexibility. Part of the benefit in a rebuild is to have good players on the cheap … seems like we got an ace and a hitter in Hoskins with cheap role players. If they can sign both Harper and Machado … it sounds great, excitement would be through the roof, but I’d still be concerned about long term, if Harper stays where he is at now … no team would pay him 45mi for that production. You’d sign Santana instead and be very happy to allocate that money elsewhere. Those are my concerns but that fits the macphail plan .. grows the arms, buy the bats… the catch is I’m not sure he meant 45 mil per year or whatever they get.

      Really looking forward to how this shakes out. At the start of the season I was in the mindset that the rebuild had little chance to fail… but now I can see this ship sinking. I’m still on the positive side, but Hoskins, Nola and a lot of role players is not where I wanted to be.

      A lot of “ifs” but that is a rebuild imo. Players develop past timelines, look at Boston’s prospects from the proposed hamels deal, it can give some perspective. So … I don’t want to toss out Crawford,Kingery, and Alfaro yet, but they need to step up next year, 2 of the 3 do

      1. Tac3….”…… I was in the mindset that the rebuild had little chance to fail… but now I can see this ship sinking. ….”
        I think that is how i feel right now also.
        Trepidation that somehow K and K will screw things up.
        If I hear of one of the yuong players ask to be moved for greener pastures….then i will be really concerned.
        So far, Rhys has come out totally on board with Kapler….so, outside Kapler’s game day tactics, his player inter-relationship skills seem to be excellent, if Rhys is speaking for the whole clubhouse.

    3. I’d say $40M-$42M AAV should get it done. And for both players, that’s $80M-$84M under a payroll ceiling of a little over $200M. The trick is managing the longer term implications of the Nola’s and Hoskins’ along with the other 20 players on the roster. Now I am certain that multiple opt outs for both FAs will factor in no later than 2-4 yrs. But I’m not sure how they cover those contingencies when they won’t know how well either will perform throughout the duration of the contracts.

      1. Over the last 3 seasons, Harper has played to a 1.5 bWAR, 4.7 bWAR, and 0.9 bWAR. Anyone who gives him a $450 M 10 year contract should be fired on the spot. He’s a high variable, high risk player. He has a lot of talent but has been up and down his whole career. An overpay pillow contract is fine. That’s it.

        1. That may be, Catch – but someone dumb enough may very well give him 10 yrs. And with Boras, he’ll certainly get more than an overpay pillow deal.

          1. One exec already mentioned earlier in the season that Harper was not the impact player that the media paints him to be….and probably not worthy of the money being bandied about in regards to his future contract.
            The Nat GM, Mike Rizzo, , naturally, had to pooh-pooh that exec’s appraisal of Harper.
            Point being….if one exec is thinking that…than others may also be thinking that way.
            I seriously do not think a team will give Harper anything close to $45M AAV.
            But I can see more in the $35M AAV area.

          2. If someone decides to give him a long term deal, that’s their problem. For the Phillies, pillow or no deal.

            1. I’d agree, to sign Harper to a deal equal to what machado would get, it would either need to be a pillow contract or a very creative deal that protects the Phillies.

              Getting both would be nice, I just don’t want to see two whale contracts on the books … I’m thinking Howard and Albert pulujos .. those deals kill a deal for a half decade.

    4. I would like to see Crawford and Williams get a shot next season (barring a trade opportunity that Klentak just couldn’t turn down) but my sense is the brass, including Gabe, aren’t high on them moving forward. Shame, too. They aren’t Klentak’s kids. They’re Amaro’s. They won’t get the benefit of any doubt. We’ll see.

    5. I would like to see Crawford and Williams get a shot next season (barring a trade opportunity that Klentak just couldn’t turn down) but my sense is the brass, including Gabe, aren’t high on them moving forward. Shame, too. They aren’t Klentak’s kids. They’re Amaro’s. They won’t get the benefit of any doubt. We’ll see.

      1. Crawford, sooner or later, should turn into a very nice big league player. I’m not sold on Williams at all. He’s not a great offensive player and his defensive shortcomings swallow his offensive value. He’d have to get a lot better to be a keeper, and I’m not seeing that.

  79. The Management has been pointing to this off season for a while, and they have to know the ballpark of the deals these 2 get. Both will get more than the Stanton deal. That is $325M with no year more than $32M. So, they have to know that $350-$400M is going to be what it takes. Maybe Harper takes a “pillow” deal, but that has to be $37-$40M/yr, I would think. I hope Hinkie is right and Machado is coming here, but seeing him with the Yankees and Harper with the Cubs would not be a shock at all. Just very disappointing and depressing.

    1. I agree, Matt. No tampering rules apply until the FA season begins BUT we all have to be pretty naive to think lines of communication in some discreet form have to be already in place. I mean, let’s face it, these 2 deals are humongous in scope of the club’s entire future. It’s not like interested execs are sitting quietly behind their desk twirling their thumbs until the bell rings. We don’t know, but within the industry there has to be common knowledge of the range, or at least a starting point for negotiations, player interest in a particular destination, etc., albeit mum’s the official word.

  80. Looks like the international Latin market will be going thru some changes in the near future….Commissioner Manfred and the MLPA will not want to be further put under the microscope.
    They should have created a separate international draft instead of acquiescing to the Latin MLB Players Caucus 5 years ago and not having any draft…now something may be forced upon them that they may not want to see.

    https://sports.yahoo.com/sources-federal-grand-jury-investigating-mlbs-international-dealings-officials-sides-worried-055827471.html

    1. Sounds like there are too many hands in the cookie jar, Romus. The “buscones” seem to play a complicated role in the development of these kids. Agree there needs to be a draft.

      1. Correct 8mark….too many hands.
        Looks like to me, John Coppolella , former Braves GM ,banned for life….maybe ‘turning state’s evidence’ somewhat in a manner of speaking, against MLB to open up the Pandora’s box on all the scheming that is done. Perhaps helping to clear his name or recoup some $$$$ via a unlawful league termination.

  81. I love checking in on players who were once hot topics leading up to drafts. This season Seth Beer came to mind as once upon a time he was coveted around these parts.

    Houston got him with the 28th pick and sent him to 3 levels of A Ball. He managed 304/389/885 OPS with 12 Dingers; 14 Doubles and 25 BB’s to 49 K’s.

    Those numbers aside he started to get challenged at A+. He’ll be 22 next season.

    1. His stock apparently dropped because of his non-athletic ability to only play the two positions….1st and maybe LF…cannot run nor throw well.
      And then there was an issue with wooden bats I think.

  82. Jorge Alf will end up first in MLB in BABIP with >.400…and 5th in K% at 36%.
    I had assumed mid-season one was not sustainable (BABIP) and the other would have lowered to around high 20%.

    1. Matt, right field? He could focus much more on hitting rather than trying to learn the rigors of catching. Hate to waste that arm and power without finding out sooner or later. He’s certainly athletic and mobile enough.

      1. If he moves to another position, the pressure on his bat goes way up. The fact that he’s a catcher is the best thing he has going.

    2. Yeah……too many defensive weaknesses.
      Fld% less than .990 at .988
      Pass balls were the highest in the league (10) and errors at (11) were very high (mostly throws).
      Plus starting pitchers had over 30 WPs and a total of 48….which really needs a catcher who can front block spiked balls better
      SBs were 59..one of the highest in the league and 21 CS…also very high…go figure.

  83. 14 K’s again, Quinn with a golden sombrero with silver tassle. We need some hitters so bad. Any ideas on how many different guys have worn the sombrero this year?

    1. Romus, Schmidt was pretty strong last night in criticizing the approach by Phillies hitters. When the greatest player in the history of the team publicly rebukes the manager’s philosophy it’s gotta sting a guy like Middleton.

      1. Frank…I know.
        i heard some of his commenting.
        I think the one area that gets under his crawl is the Maikel Franco shunning of late by the manager.
        Schimdt has lauded Franco quite a bit in the past and probably has been hearing the rumors about Franco’s future exit from the team….and quite frankly does not like it..

  84. Not a chance that Middleton is anything but pissed like the rest of us. Wants to know why there has been no growth from these young players. Nola is the exception. Rhys needs to get better, everyone, except maybe Williams, regressed, and Williams is a push. Early success from the young SPs was diminished by an absolute disaster of 2 months when it mattered most. Was there a single good game from any of them down the stretch? Defensive runs saved is the worst in the league and next worst is way ahead of us. Ks at record setting pace. He knows the words we got from Klentak are not convincing a single fan in Philly that they know what they are doing.

  85. Machado or Harper ….or….

    I’d love to have either on my team as much as the next guy, however IMO, we should not sign either. I just do not like these huge, long contracts. They don’t work out well.

    In the best case scenario: the player remains elite, and healthy, and consistent, for years and years, …yet still underachieves the final years.
    Anything less than that and we risk handcuffing the team to some extent for years to come, and then more significantly in the final years with a Howard-like ending.
    Look at ARod.
    Look at Pujols.
    The examples are everywhere and the foolishness was/is obvious.
    Why are we hanging our hopes on shooting ourselves in the foot?

    INSTEAD…. I’d look to Trade UP.
    I would so much rather Klentak be creative. Find the right combinations of multipe good/very good mlb players and ml prospects for one great (not necessarily ‘stud’) player.
    Repeat.
    Find combination and fit to trade a great prospect plus some good/very good players/prospects to get one stud player.

    We are so deep with good/very good prospects that we should leverage it to better stock the system (at MLB level and ML) with top notch talent. Stud or Great. …We have so much very young talent that we’ll still be fine in terms of depth in minors.

    These trades are possible and often available.
    There are always teams with specific needs, …so configure the deal to fit their need and get one better player.
    There are always teams looking to cut contract costs or cut increasing arbitration costs and thus are willing to trade a great player (even young).

  86. Most years, high end prep players fall to that area of the draft. Over the last three years, guys like Jason Groome, Joshua Lowe, Will Benson, Alex Kirilloff, Forrest Whitley, Blake Rutherford, Shane Baz, Trevor Rogers, Nick Pratto, Jordan Groshans, Connor Scott, Cole Winn, and Matt Liberatore have all gone between 1-12 and 1-18. It’s way too early to say with any certainty what HS’ers might fall to the early/mid teens next summer, but here are a few candidates:

    * Bobby Witt jr (SS) has been talked about as a possible 1-1 pick for a couple of years now. In addition, his uncle was just hired by the Baltimore Orioles leading some to speculate that he could go with the first pick. However, Fangraphs has slid him down to #9 in their latest ranking.

    * Riley Greene (LH OF) #2 prep player on Perfect Game, #7 overall on Fangraphs

    * Daniel Espino (RHP) was very impressive on the summer circuit (up to 98 w/big time slider), and has rocketed up draft rakings.

    * Spencer Jones is a tall (6’7″) LHP who also threw well this summer. He also attends the same HS that Mickey Moniak went to (La Costa Canyon) … so there’s that.

    In addition to the top prep players, there’s a chance for Carter Stewart to be available. The RH HSP was picked at 1-8 this summer by Atlanta, but went unsigned after Stewart was diagnosed with a wrist injury. He had the highest spin rate in the 2018 draft (HS or college), and will play for a JUCO and be available again in 2019.

    Here are a few college players who could slide to the Phillies:

    * Andrew Vaughn was the best hitter in the NCAA last season (.402/.531/.819 23 HR’s, 18 K, 66 BB&HBP). He should slide because he is a short (5’11”), RH 1Bman.

    * Nick Lodolo (LHP TCU) was a high pick by the Pirates in 2016, but didn’t sign. D1 Baseball.com has him ranked as the tenth best college player available.

    * Logan Davidson (SS Clemson). The Phillies drafted him in the 30th round in 2016. Obviously, he did not sign. He is currently listed at #13 overall by Fangraphs.

    1. Wouldn’t mind another Spencer as a pitcher.
      But both Carter and Lodolo would also be nice picks.
      Have to see how they all shake out come April/May.

  87. Romus and Hinkie, by next June we will be enjoying watching the exploits of Kikuchi and Machado and Harper on the fields of CBP. We will automatically assume that whoever we get in June will be a terrific talent because Matt Klentak wowed us this Winter. Please do not wake me from my dream!

    1. Matt13…LOL.
      Now Kap and Klen are currently caught somewhere between a nightmare and reality….the Twilight Zone.

  88. Matt … the Machado part is right. I think the Phillies will be players for Harper and Kikuchi. We’ll just have to see how that pans out.

  89. I have been counting on you Hinkiie. Whenever I get depressed about it, I remember that you said you guaranteed Machado. I believe that when we get Machado we will get another SP, and add to the BP.

    1. Matt and Hinkie I think you guys are both in that Twilight Zone that Romus is talking about but if Machado signs with the flopping Phils I’ll send you both cheese steaks and something to wash it down with.

  90. Good job by Nola and the BP……….and on the 2nd last game of the year we discover bunting 101. Never too late in my opinion!😉

    1. How about that? Bunting can win games. Who knew?
      Nola starts: 22-11
      All else starts: 57-71. Yes we need offense but we need better starting pitching

  91. Excellent season for Nola. Not that Ws and Ls are a true barometer of a SPs effectiveness, but imagine if he got regular offensive support throughout the year. We’re talking 20-22 wins and perhaps a more compelling case for Cy Young.

    As for the rest of the rotation, I really see Pivetta, Velasquez and Eflin as essentially the same pitcher. I can see keeping one in the rotation as a 4/5, moving one to the bullpen, and trading one. I’m sure there are metrics to support each specific move, but it would seem to me either VV or Pivetta are better suited for the pen. Best case scenario – we trade for a TOR in the off season AND sign a FA LHP. That would go a long way to fix the problem.

    1. Might be able to bring in Happ or Kueuchel as LHP starters…both FAs.
      Now if Cubs sign Harper…then one of Hamels or Quintana might also be available.
      I also think Danny Duffy could be had in a trade.
      Then again, when all is said and done….Matt Klentak will probably go with the lesser costly Gio Gonzalez.

  92. Well, Nola sure didn’t quit. I watched most of his starts and, no question,he pitched like a 20 game winner. And Bunting is legal? Who knew?

  93. Really hard to stomach:
    Phillies first 17 weeks..winning percentage – >.560%…near the top of MLB
    Phillies last 7 weeks..winning percentage – <.330%…near the bottom, close to the Os.

    This extended collapse may have been the worst I have seen….at least in '64 it was over within a eleven day period…..Sep 21st thru Sep 30th…losing 10 in a row.

    1. And depending on the coin flip with the Angels…Phillies I assume draft either 14th or 15th next June in the Rule 4.

      1. Romus … there is no coin flip. Once the Angels recorded their walk-off win today, the Phillies got the 1-14 pick. Even though the Phillies and Angels finished with the same record, the Phils draft at #14 because they had a worse record in 2017.

        1. Actually, I think we pick 15 because one player wasn’t signed last year (not sure…but Atlanta #9?). Bottom line, we slide from 14 to 15.

  94. Frank, we have so much work to do. This is where Klentak proves he belongs as GM. I will look forward to ST only if he gets the job done.

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