Open Discussion: Week of October 15, 2018

This is the Phuture Phillies Open Discussion for Phillies and other baseball topics.

I’m still in the Philadelphia.  I’ll be here for another week.  The more depressing reasons for the trip have been attended to.  I hope to be able to accelerate the publication of recent polls.

I’m still collecting your post-season top thirties.  (E-mail your personal season-ending top 30 to me at prospectpoll @yahoo.com. I will compile and report back.  A large number of submissions make the results more accurate.  An outlier submission will have less impact on the outcome.  I have received fourteen.

I see you asking about option years and such in the comments section.  I published an article that information about free agency, Rule 5 eligibility, and remaining options. Here’s the link.

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

  • 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 30th.

Transactions (newest transactions in bold text) – At this juncture of the season, teams begin recalling the remaining 40-man roster players who they haven’t recalled.  Since the Phillies have already recalled all of their 40-man players, we will see no recall translations.
10/8/18–Phillies signed free agent RHP Carlo Reyes to a minor league contract.
10/5/18–3B Trevor Plouffe elected free agency.
9/27/18–Phillies signed free agent RHP Cristofer Adames to a minor league contract
9/25/18–Lehigh Valley activated LHP Brandon Leibrandt from the 7-day DL
9/25/18–Clearwater activated LHP Nick Fanti from the 7-day DL.
9/25/18–Clearwater activated 3B Will Middlebrooks from the 7-day DL.
9/25/18–Clearwater activated LHP Garrett Cleavinger from the 7-day DL.
9/25/18–Clearwater activated C Gabriel Lino from the 7-day DL.
9/25/18–Clearwater activated RHP Sixto Sanchez from the 7-day DL.
9/25/18–Clearwater activated 1B Kyle Martin from the 7-day DL.
9/25/18–Lakewood activated LHP Will Stewart from the 7-day DL.
9/25/18–Lakewood activated 3B Cole Stobbe from the 7-day DL.
9/25/18–Lakewood activated RHP Victor Sobil from the 7-day DL.
9/25/18–Lakewood activated CF Jesus Alastre from the 7-day DL.
9/25/18–Williamsport activated RHP Kevin Gowdy from the 60-day DL.
9/25/18–Williamsport activated C Kevin Martir from the 7-day DL.
9/25/18–Williamsport activated CF Malvin Matos from the 7-day DL.
9/25/18–GCL Phillies East activated SS Jose Tortolero from the 60-day DL.
9/25/18–GCL Phillies East activated LHP Anton Kuznetsov from the 60-day DL
9/25/18–GCL Phillies East activated RHP Tyler Hallead from the 7-day DL.
9/25/18–GCL Phillies West activated C Juan Mendez from the 60-day DL.
9/25/18–GCL Phillies West activated RHP Sandro Rosario from the 60-day DL
9/25/18–GCL Phillies West activated RHP Waylon Richardson from the 60-day DL.
9/25/18–DSL Phillies Red activated LHP Yefferson Mercedes from the 60-day disabled
9/25/18–DSL Phillies Red activated RHP Joan Hernandez from the 60-day disable
9/25/18–DSL Phillies Red activated 1B Ryan Asencio from the 60-day disabled list.
9/25/18–DSL Phillies White activated OF Cesar Mata from the 60-day disabled list.
9/25/18–DSL Phillies White activated RHP Santy Prada from the 60-day disabled list.
9/25/18–DSL Phillies White activated RHP Jeison Blanco from the 60-day disabled list.
9/22/18–Phillies signed free agent LHP Joel Valdez to a minor league contract.
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
9/14/18–Phillies signed free agent RHP Hermes Astudillo to a minor league contract
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

326 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of October 15, 2018

    1. Right now, after salivating over the depth of the organization for some time, I am now of the mind to make whatever moves will shake out and shape up this tree. I certainly see no point in trading Aaron Nola but everyone and anyone else is on the table. If moving Hoskins gets us a TOR while upgrading 1b at the same time (Goldschmidt for instance? – I know he’s only under control for 1 yr but we can deal with that later), I’m in. For TWO (2) seasons of Mike Trout, I would offer without equivocation Sixto, Jojo, VV, Haseley, Ortiz, Bohm and Cesar OR any comparable combination of high risk/high reward prospects with an established major leaguer or two. Likelihood? I get it. But my point is – I want Klentak to channel Dave Dombrowski, if only for this off season.

      Anyway, I say GO! on Andrew’s trade proposal above.

      1. That’s the kind of offer it would take to get in on the Blake Snell sweepstakes.
        I’ve been lusting for Snell since last year. This summer (before Snell went completely off and made himself into a Cy Young candidate) … I proposed Sixto, JoJo, Alec Bohm, Jhailyn Ortiz, and a lottery ticket for Snell. I’d prefer to do that than include Hoskins. But, as I mentioned earlier, It would probably take Hoskins to get Tampa’s attention.

        1. Dombrowski even said, regarding the Sale trade, that there’s no way around feeling the pain of giving up something of value.

      2. 8, don’t shake the tree when the fruit ain’t ripe. Trout is going nowhere this off-season. And if you were the Angels, if you put Trout on the market you would still need to put asses in seats. Start with young current All Stars, maybe 2 for starters plus fillers. Then look at the deal you proposed. It doesn’t get off the launch pad.

    2. No thanks. Great teams don’t just trade away affordable potential aces. Add Hoskins to that and – ugh! The good news is I don’t see them attempting such a trade.

      1. Hoskins’ value as a hitter was largely hidden by his awful fielding in left. Let him grow, put him back at first and you have middle-of-the-order slugger for the next 7-8 years, 4 or 5 of which will be very affordable. He’s a really good player and you add a potential lights out ace to that mix and – yikes! Boy does that ever have a chance to backfire and I’m taking nothing away from Snell, who is excellent.

          1. They wouldn’t be interested Cesar or Alfaro. No one is. Hoskins is a .250 hitter who isn’t speedy, isn’t defensively gifted no matter where you put him, and hit for decent power. 34 homers ain’t exactly 50.when cesar hits 14, and Freddy galvis knocks 20 in a year, 34 isn’t that impressive. Let’s not over do it with Hoskins love. He’s great, but he isn’t untouchable.

            1. Hoskins has an extraordinary combination of power and plate discipline and he was a second year player. He is already a middle of the order hitter – don’t kid yourself, Hoskins is really good and is probably only going to get better for a while.

      2. I guess it comes down to how confident you feel about small framed, fireballers. The Pedro’s and Oswalt’s are a rare breed. And Sixto still hasn’t exactly been “cut loose” from his bubble wrap. Worries me.

      3. catch … I hate to be the guy who keeps (mostly) disagreeing with your posts … but … when you say, “Great teams don’t just trade away affordable potential aces.” I disagree (again).
        I’d call the Red Sox a great team. They gave up Michael Kopech (the aforementioned affordable potential ace), Yoan Moncada (the #1 prospect in the game), and Luis Alexander Basabe (a high end lottery ticket who looked great in this year’s Future’s Game) for Chris Sale. Hell, Boston even forked over Anderson Espinoza (another affordable and very highly ranked affordable ace) for Drew Pomerantz. Last summer, the Yankees handed over James Kaprilien (another top ranked, affordable potential ace) for Sonny Gray.
        Sometimes the trades work out. Sometimes they don’t. But great teams do trade away affordable potential aces.

        1. Fair point, but, when the Red Sox made that trade they were awash in first tier young and experienced talent. Of the trades proposed, Snell makes more sense than others because he has so many controllable years. So, the real question becomes a balancing act of whether the upside is worth the cost. I actually don’t think we disagree that much on this one.

        2. I don’t mind that you disagree with my posts – I disagree with a lot of yours too. It’s all good-natured debate.

    3. I guess my biggest issue w this is how bad our offense was last year and removing probably our best offensive player from that lineup.
      Now if i knew that Machado or Harper werr coming, I’d feel a little differently. If you sign, say Harper, and make that trade it turns into essentially a 2nd rounder (for Harper), Sixto, Hoskins, Moniak, and Eflin for Harper and Snell. I think most people would do that in a heartbeat.

  1. Wawa Mike:
    Las Vegas, Nevada…..Mandalay Bay, Dec. 9-13, 2018 – Winter Meetings
    Will you be heading over to mix and mingle?

  2. I spent part of the weekend handicapping the Phillies odds of trading excess parts this winter:

    * Maikel Franco is a good bet to be dealt. It shouldn’t be difficult to find a team willing to give up something meaningful (either MLB talent or prospects) for a still young 3Bman with three years of team control and coming off a solid/good season. The Padres make sense. I’d do a Franco, Deivi Grullon, and Jhordany Mezquita for Austin Hedges and Matt Strahm swap. The Rangers also make sense.

    * Even though Odubel Herrera is coming off a down year, he is still worth at least a decent return because of his past success and team friendly contract. The Rangers (again) make a whole lot of sense. Right now Delino DeShields and Carlos Tocci are their top two options for CF in 2019. I have previously posted my two thumbs up for an Odubel and Vince Velasquez package to Seattle for Edwin Diaz, Logan Gilbert, and J2 dollars.

    * The most difficult guy to trade this winter is easily Cesar Hernandez. Not because the Phillies don’t want to give him up, but because there really is no trade market for him. There are very few teams that need a second baseman. For those that do, they can get one for just money in this year’s bloated FA class. What would two arbitration years of CeHe be worth? Realistically, nothing more than what Tampa got for two years of Logan Forsythe and Baltimore got for 1.5 years of Jonathan Schoop. Those guys brought back pitchers who were once fairly well ranked, but had fallen because of injury or waning performance. Tampa received Jose De Leon from the LAD and Baltimore took back Luis Ortiz from the Brewers. If your Matt Klentak, you’re looking at a guy like Braden Shipley from the DBacks (if they don’t go into rebuild mode), David Paulino from the Blue Jays, Grant Holmes (who barely threw this season because of shoulder issues) from the A’s, or Tyler Jay from the Twins. He’s not a pitcher, but the LAA would probably hand over one time Atlanta top prospect Kevin Maitan (who has seen his status take a precipitous fall) for CeHe.
    Nothing really makes any sense for the Phillies. However, for me, if Detroit (who is in the middle of a rebuild) would be willing to take Hernandez (and his ~9 million dollar 2019 salary), I’d be willing to “buy low” on Daniel Norris. I’ve always liked Norris. He was, at one time, a top prospect with Toronto so he fits the blueprint for this CeHe trade. His career has been tormented by injuries over the past couple of season. Unlike Holmes, Norris’ injuries haven’t been arm/elbow/shoulder related (as far as I know). Norris has had to deal with cancer and back issues.

    * The Phillies should easily be able to trade either VV or Zach Eflin (I would not deal Nick Pivetta) if they can bring back a top closer. Their spot in the rotation could be filled by Jerad Eickhoff, DLS, and/or a FA arm.

    1. Man, getting Edwin Diaz would be a coup.
      Jerry Dipoto would be hard press to give him up but ViVe and Doobie would be a good attractive package

    2. Hinkie – Franco still has the biggest upside of those mentioned. He’s still young enough to be attractive to a rebuilding team, and experienced enough to help a team that’s one or two players away from contention. A lot will depend on whether the Phillies can sign Machado or Harper.

    3. Franco – not been a big fan of his. No need to make it complicated – Franco for Hedges swap. The Phils can include Altherr (who the Padres showed interest before) for a RP.

      Cesar – I’ve been proposing to sell high since 2 years ago since I expect that that he will eventually lose value. Klentak should be happy if he receives anything of value.

      Doobie – another player that I’ve been proposing as a sell high candidate given that the Phils drafted Moniak and Haseley as their pick rd picks. Like Cesar, another lost opportunity for Klentak.

      Edwin Diaz/Felipe Vazquez – closers are normally the last piece of the puzzle. The Phils already have a capable closer in Seranthony. If they want to add another back end pen arm — no need to trade assets, just move Pivetta and Vinny to the pen and they will dominate. You the $$ to fill in Pivetta and Vinny’s spot in the rotation (unless Sixto and Medina are ready).

      Pivetta/Vinny – no need to trade them for closers. Just move them to the pen outright and form a triumvirate of power arms with Seranthony! Nola + Arrieta + Eickhoff + Irvin + FA signing should hold the fort until Sixto and Medina are ready to join next year and JoJo and Howard move closer to the majors.

      1. KuKo….maybe the Yankees would be a taker on Cesar….they are looking to move on from Sonny Gray.
        Gray is still cost controlled and probably comes in 2019 at $8/10M range.
        With a 4 FIP and 1.5 WHIP in 2018 and has not done as well as he did for the As three years ago, how he would pitch in CBP is anybody’s guess however.

        1. That’s actually an interesting thought (CeHe for Sonny). However, even as low as Gray’s value has dropped, I don’t think the Yankees would settle for Hernandez. Pitching is always in far greater demand than 2Bmen.

        2. @romus – I also view 2B with the lease trade value (exceptions will be the Utley, Pedroia, etc type) that’s why my insistence to sell high on Cesar. I agree with Hinkie that SPs generally holds more value than a 2B so I’m not optimistic on any Cesar for a SP swap (i.e. Stroman, Gray, Skaggs, etc).

            1. Ordinarily that would be true….but the Yankees may see things differently…since Gray is really not in their plans and he is really not what he once was…and they need some middle infield depth until Didi is back again.

              Now selling high on Cesar intrigues….what is high ?
              When he could not be moved last year since teams did not meet Klentak’s desires…..and Cesar trended down this year, so his value has lessened.

            2. I put up the sell high discussion after the 2016 season after Cesar had a solid back to back seasons at 26 yo with 4 years of control.

      2. I feel differently about Cesar than I do about Odubel.

        Cesar, while by no means perfect, is a very dedicated and hard-working player. He had an off year for him, but was still quite good. If you can’t get fair value, keep him, at least until Kingery shows he’s a better player.

        Odubel needs to go because, as talented as he is (and he definitely is), he approaches baseball like a knucklehead and I think he’s really hurting the mojo of the team. If you want a serious baseball team, you need serious players. He hasn’t shown himself to be that, so I think he may need to move on even if you don’t get fair value. And it’s a shame because he has near MVP talent.

      3. KuKo … not sure how you see Ser Ant’ny as a “capable closer”. Could he become one? Yes. However, IMO, he hasn’t proven it yet. Too inconsistent and hasn’t yet showed the ability to throw on back to back nights.
        This team needs reliable, power arms in their pen. I’d rather add a Zach Britton, Edwn Diaz, (especially like) Felipe Vazquez, or even Jose Leclerc (in a trade with the Rangers). Give Ser Ant’ny more time to get adjusted to life in the BP.

        1. @Hinkie – we are always on the same page except for the Snell trade. I think we still agree in acquiring a reliable power arms but where we disagree is the “priority” of when to acquire the power arms. IMO, the priority should be:

          Priority #1 – Acquire legitimate bats (i.e. Machado, Harper, MarGo, etc)

          Priority #2 – Acquire or develop a stable SP

          Priority #3 – Stabilize the back end of the pen via FA, trade or farm.

          I agree that the pen should be addressed if the Phillies want to go deep int he playoffs. You mentioned to give Seranthony time to get adjusted to the BP life, but I will counter that the Phillies should address Priorities #1 and #2 before you think of Priority #3. Dealing the bullpen now without addressing Priorities 1 and 2 is like putting the cart before the horses.

          To answer the question if Seranthony is a “capable” closer —- a pitcher with 2 plus pitches with good command is a “capable” pitcher to close games. But is Seranthony a “proven” closer — this is where I will agree with you that Seranthony needs time to adjust and perform to be a proven closer.

    4. I think you are spot on in your assessment of the marketability of players the Phils might seek to move. Seattle could be a destination for Odubel. Cesar just won’t bring much since he’s not top drawer for a contending team and getting to be expensive for non-contenders.

  3. They will trade Franco. Kapler and his buddy Klentack hate him. Franco goes on to hit 30 homers and drives in 100. They screwed with him all year. He is the one guy I don’t take my eyes off when he is at bat
    Cesar has no value this year with 150 beautifully executed (Kapler) strikeouts

    1. No, Cesar still has value – maybe not as much as he should, but if someone gets Cesar for a song, they are going to make out like bandits.

    2. Don – I agree, but I don’t want to keep Franco because I don’t think that Kapler will ever give him a fair shot.

    3. Right or wrong, Kapler wants players in shape. Franco doesn’t strike me as the health conscious type. His body looks to be given to becoming even more sluggish as he nears 30.

      1. Even alluded to Doobie coming back in shape for 2019….hopefully it is with another team.
        MacPhail did mention Franco may have to see his return to form with another team
        Easy to read between the lines there.. So I assume he is gone.

  4. Doesn’t mean a whole lot, but unless I’ve missed it, Phillies pitchers in the AFL haven’t allowed a run yet. I think Phillies hitters only have 4 hits (2 for Listi, 2 for Hall with a dinger)

  5. The Mike Trout watch is on. Sign a FA (Harper,MM) and trade the farm for Trout. Give up anyone other than Nola. With that said I still think they can and should hold onto Hoskins. to me, 2 years left on contract doesn’t warrant Nola and Hoskins, but I’d do it if they can sign MM.

    MM and the Harper watch will be early, but don’t forget about the Trout “decision” … if does not resign, I expect the Angels to deal him. Writing is on the wall at that point, and no way you pass up on the haul you’d get now vs at the deadline. Then Angels can see what is happening with Orioles and Nate. You can’t let a player like that walk off your team when trading him could strengthen the entire team as a whole. Angels would be fools to let him walk

    1. “trade the farm for Trout.” And then we can become the Angels and never make the playoffs. Nah – he’s a free agent signing.

      1. I’m assuming after the trade, we’d have a respectable roster. They can’t take everyone
        CFQuinn or Herrera
        2B-Kingery or herndaez
        SS machado
        RF Trout
        C- alfaro or Knapp
        RF William or altherr
        1B – Hoskins or Bour

        Sixto, Crawford, hasley, Medina, Franco, Bour, Moniak/blom, Ortiz … mix and match with Alfaro.

        It’s good enough to get it done.. mix is efflin,VV, Pivetta, eickhoff … whatever gets is done. Probably ends being a 6 for 1 or 6 for 2 player deal.

        If not, keeping building until he is a FA. What we really need is for him to not resign/extend his time with the ANGELS … or any other team other than the Phillies. He’ll be in red pinstripes someday, just hope it’s before he Jamie Moyers age

          1. For TWO years of Mike Trout (NOT 5 to 10), what would get the deal done? Why would it take the “farm”? He won’t come cheap but it’s not like it’ll be a sign and trade. If he declines the LAA offer this off season, they HAVE to take that as advance notice of his plans to explore the FA market following the ’20 season. In fact, if Eppler was shrewd enough, he would contact Klentak and at least say, “Hey….” What MLB team will really give up the farm for 2 years of anyone when they aren’t certain they can re-sign him? And which team has more reason to be confident in re-signing him than the Phillies? Again, I can wait if necessary, but who wouldn’t want 2 more years of Mike Trout’s prime if it was possible, AND at a time when that club is about ready to strike, contention-wise?

            1. Do you understand the significant to that franchise of trading away the next Willie Mays? I don’t care if it’s just two years – the demand will be a king’s ransom and it HAS to be to justify the worst public relations hit the team will likely ever have.

            2. In 1959, you’d be right. 1979, you would still be right. 1999? Likely still. But in 2019? The only legit PR move is to build a winning team which LAA hasn’t come close in the 7 years of the Trout era. And they are no closer now. Nor do they have the wherewithal to change course dramatically in a division that is spoken for, and for the next several years, thanks to the Astros.

            3. Yeah honestly it would probably take Hoskins/Sixto/Crawford/Kingery/Medina something like that. If the Phillies trade for Trout it’s not going to be until his walk year.

            4. 8mark. Wrong again. Arte Moreno has proven that he is willing to pay a luxury tax and field a sub-.500 team. Why would he trade mike trout? He even talks about Albert pujols’ homeruns and rbis and still calls him a great producer and great asset. Mike trout is not going anywhere, regardless of what the Phillies offer. You don’t trade away “the next Willie mays” even in 2019.

            5. Then in this case, Andrew, I’d rather be wrong. You may be right about Moreno, but how that thinking will make any team competitive is beyond me.

            6. I have to disagree with you on the cost of the Trout and the ridiculous PR hit the Angels would take. It’s going to cost more than you can imagine and, because of that, it seems unlikely he’s traded anytime until his walk year, if it all. My guess, given the Angels’ history is that the double down again and try to sign or trade for established players. I’m not saying they SHOULD do this – only that I expect that they will.

            7. Catch, they probably won’t do what I suggest but the PR aspect is the mentality Monty had, told Ruben to keep the aging core players in the name of keeping asses in seats, and it set the Phillies franchise back nearly a decade. I don’t argue that that is how Moreno thinks. I just don’t validate it as good PR.

          2. Respectfully, I disagree. It is mike trout, but it is only 2 years of mike trout. His WAR of 10 is crazy, and I’ll pay the price to get him, I just don’t think realistically, it is going to take both Hoskins and Nola. Heck .. even sixto might be off the table. Just reviewing what has been traded recently.

            If trout does decline to sign an extension, the angles have 2 options …. sign machado or Harper and Corbin, and go for it or realize you have a 10 war player and you still finished 2 games under .500 … and deal him for the best package. Which realistically the Phillies can offer. As much as another team would love to have him, I think they realize the odds are greater than 50/50 he picks philly over any place given the FA choice. Gut the farm for 1.5 yrs? Doubtful. Back in the 90s, sure, but not in this age of baseball. Holding onto unproven players is worth more than proven expensive players. We learned this from the Cole hamels trade, and its only gotten worse.

            Ill wait if needed, but when you can trade for him and get 2 extra years, for this player I would. The price won’t be cheap, but I don’t think it will be as painful as some are suggestions

            VV
            Sixto or Medina
            Moniak or Hasley
            Franco
            Alfaro
            Ortiz

            That is groundwork to start discussions

            Add Kingery or Crawford to it as well.

            If the Angels didn’t take a deal like that from a mlb team, they’d better sign mm/Harper and Corbin and whatever rp they need to be a top 5 mlb team,
            BecUse they would do their fan base a tremendous disservice to not retool, even it it means trading trout. This is sports, you have a window and if it doesn’t get done in that time, you need a FO that can cut loose … if not they’ll be like the 2011 -2017 Phillies

  6. I think his numbers are well off. If Machado or Harper took a 10 year $250 Million contract, 20 teams in the league would take them. He is $100 Million short. The Angels have to try and play in the FA market, the Cubs will and the Yankees will. So will the Dodgers. Then you have teams like the Giants and Seattle who can spend money. We have to get one of them. Every national article you see, even this one, mentions Middleton and his willingness to spend, and his desire to get the team back to the Playoffs. Regardless of what MacPhail says, do we think Middleton will try to sell failure in the FA market to this fan base?

  7. I would not hesitate to trade any outfielder. Now if the Phils get Harper who hits lefty, I dont see them keeping both Herrera and Williams and have an all lefty OF. Quinn is a switch hitter and should be lightly penciled in as CF with preferably Herrera in LF. Add Harper or another offense first type in RF then I would say Nick Williams may be the odd man out. Keeping Herrera makes more sense as he would be insurance for Quinn in CF. Also Altherr (righty) and Cozens (lefty) play a better OF than Williams and they can battle for 4th/5th OF spots. Cozens also has options so he can be stashed at AAA plus he has potential to become a big power bat. Its also not out of the question another OF gets added to the mix to either start or bench role.

  8. I know this is off topic … but … has anyone else noticed that rocco and Tim both left this site at the same time. Was rocco actually also Tim ??? rocco was really funny, but was he that shrewd to pull that off ???

    1. I miss Rocco, but his alter ego Tim, not so much……he couldn’t spell and proposed some lousy trades.

  9. The only bullpen arm that intrigues me is Felipe Vazquez — because he is a lefty. I agree with Hinkie’s proposed trade package of Eflin ++ for Vazquez where a lot reacted negatively. I liked that trade proposal before and it looks better know. I actually liked what I saw from Austin Davis — he is not a back end type but Davis can be a solid LH from the pen. The LHP trio of Kyle Dohy, Zach Warren and Keylan Killgore will be something to watch next season. The trio can see the fast lane to the majors.

  10. I agree that we will need a closer, and Ser Anthony is not ready. But, I don’t see that happening until the trade deadline, assuming we are in a Playoff position. I am just trying to think like I believe our FO does. There are higher priorities in their minds. Unless we trade Doobie or Franco or Cesar for a prospect who comes in and wins the job as closer, I don’t see them expending capital this off season to get one. I cannot see Doobie staying here unless they start him. They will not play him as an extra OF at his salary, and I don’t believe he would be a good soldier in a back up role. Altherr is the back up CF, IMO, as the 4th OF. I think Franco and Doobie are the closest to “definitely will be traded” guys on the team.

    1. Matt13….Hunter (age32….1.5bWAR…..$9M-2019) and Neshek (age38…..8bWAR…..$8M-2019)) are signings that may be very questionable this past season based on their results. And they were counted upon to strengthen the bullpen
      So for him to go out and get a closer at the trade deadline will still bs a risk IMO.

  11. No question Romus. I am just guessing what Klentak lists as priorities in his mind, and I don’t think trading for a Closer is very high on his list. And to your earlier statement, after we get Machado, I would love to sign Marwin Gonzalez.

    1. Still on Machado I see….ok Matt.
      I hope all the positive vibes that all have on the site here for Machado, to choose the Phillies over his childhood favorite Yankees, bears fruit. That would be a tremendous accomplishment if it happens and further heighten the enthusiasm level for the fan base.

    2. Andrew Miller is a lefty available in free agency who turns 34 during the ’19 season. He’s never been paid closer money so I don’t expect him to break anyone’s bank. His signing would fill needs in Philly and he could compete for the closer’s role.

  12. I feel that a true “lock down closer” is a must. It would take a lot of pressure off Gabe and would allow him to use Seranthony as a “fireman” reliever like Andrew Miller. There would also be less pressure to use him on back to back days.

  13. Notice when I clicked on “Crashburn Alley’ on the right …3. Phillies Blogs…i get an advertisement for HighTech Signs.
    Understand CA has gone black……but did not realize ads would pop up.

    1. Yes, I noticed that yesterday. I read a comment on twitter that included “since CA has been shuttered …”. I was surprised when my CA link went to another site. I can’t even get to archived articles thru WordPress.

      1. Jim…maybe you should contact Matt Winks and see what instructions were given to him prior to his shutting down the site
        Plus….HIgh Tech may need to start paying for ad service…I do not think they could have ‘pirated’ onto CA.

      2. I can’t speak to what the link points to now. I was under the impression that Bill was going to keep the domain name while the hosting went away. I think both Bill and I have archives stored, but I haven’t gotten them up on a free site.

  14. Reading over these comments, I get the impression that too many fans are judging this team based on the final two months only. If the Phillies had played the entire season like they played the final two months, I’d be agreeing that we should blow it up. With the continued development of the younger core players, and adding a couple of good bullpen arms, and two professional hitters, we’ll be much better. Subtracting a few of the bad eggs will help too.
    Right now we have 6 starting pitchers, and a couple more at Lehigh who should be ready by July. I’m willing to let PHIL decide which ones stay and which are dealt.

    1. I think you got it wrong. The current Phils who are mostly being floated around in trade talks are Doobie, Cesar, Franco and Williams and some rumblings on Alfaro, JPC, Eflin, Altherr, Neris. Trading these players are not blowing it up as we’ve seen these players for a while now and have a good feel of what they can and can’t do in the field.

      Looking at the last 2 seasons, the only Phillies who appears to be part of the future are Nola, Hoskins and Seranthony. Quinn will be there if he is actually healthy and we already know that the FO view Kingery as part of the future. Other than these players and possibly Sixto and Medina, every player is expendable so don’t be sentimental.

      The only “gray area” I see is what to do with Pivetta and Vinny (trade? move to pen?) – both showed equally good abilities and liabilities.

      1. … and Morgan, Garcia. I’ve also heard Santana, Neshek, and Hunter’s names mentioned. Not to mention all of the guys that they added at the deadline. That’s more than half the team.

        1. There’s nothing wrong with turning over your whole roster if the change will result to better product.

      2. Pivetta does have slightly better advanced metric than Velasquez.
        Piv’s xFIP was 3.4…Velasquez’s was 4.1…not much of a difference but still a little better.
        Personally i would try to trade Velasquez…his age27 season approaches and his post TJ shelf life could be a factor .But he also has value.

    2. I agree. This is a rebuild, unlike any in Phillies history. A lot of good players, but few great ones have emerged. Nola,Hoskins the core, with a lot of ? To fill in. This team has financial power to plug in some holes, and trade assets to revamp the roster. They can’t stand pat, due to a logjam … lol even for zobrist type utility players. SP is overflowing as well, it’s been slightly thinned out with Thompson,Appel, Asher, and others moved out of the way, but they still have waves coming.

      I can see the half the team being traded or released for reasons listed above. I’m hoping the FO navigates these waters correctly, like the Brewers did for Yelich. If they make
      It to the WS … what a move. That is the type of move this team needs, (all teams really). A great trade mixed in with FA signings to add to the obvious core members and developing prospects … that will get this team bumped into the playoffs. They’ll still neeed time to be favored, but they’ll be in.

  15. In the near future, Fangraphs is going to publish their predictions for this offseason’s free agency deals.

    According to this tweet, Kiley McDaniel thinks the deals given to Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, and Clayton Kershaw together will total ~900 million dollars.

    I’ve already predicted John Middleton will offer Machado as much as 450 million over 12 years. I think Harper gets 320 million across 10 years, and the Dodgers re-up Kershaw for 4 years at 140 million.

    Some other guesses:
    Patrick Corbin … 5 yrs @ 100 million
    Yusei Kikuchi … 5 yrs @ 80 million
    Nathan Eovaldi … 4 yrs @ 60 million
    J.A. Happ … 2 yrs @ 24 million
    Garrett Richards … 2 yrs @ 12 million
    Zach Britton … 3 years @ 30 million
    Craig Kimbrel … 3 years @ 42 million
    Josh Donaldson … 3 years @ 36 million
    Marwin Gonzalez … 4 years @ 48 million

    1. I’m all in on Eovaldi. Corbin will go to NYY and Kikuchi most likely to a west coast team. Richards would be an interesting sign. Not sure Klentak has the chops for such creativity but we’ll see. Marwin should be another target. If we miss on Manny, Donaldson at 3/$36M would be worth thinking about.

    2. @hinkie – your projections are bargains. If the Phillies sign all of them, that’s a big improvement to the team and the total contract commitment to the 9 players only totaled to $432M and short term in nature —- probably this will be the better investment than the $450M commitment to sign Machado.

    3. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dodgers let Kershaw walk tbh. The separation between his fastball and slider would be a major concern for me.

      Granted, they can afford a superstar and a franchise icon of his caliber but they could also sign Harper or Machado instead and fortify their line up.

      LF Pederson
      1B Turner
      SS Seager
      3B Machado
      2B Muncy
      RF Puig
      CF Bellinger
      C Barnes
      Pitcher

      In any order with Kemp, Taylor, a back up catcher, and Verdugo (for arguments sake) on the bench would be the deepest line up in the National League. Bueler emerged as a potential young ace. Likewise they could easily move for Harper.

      They could move some of their prospect capital to go after a starter. Even without Kershaw they still have

      W. Buehler
      R. Hill

      at the top of the rotation. They have the pieces to make a move for a young starter. That could fill a third spot. After that they could easily fill the 4-5 spots with free agents. Not saying they’ll do this but they can.

      1. I think the Dodgers will not pursue Machado…at least that it was what Freidman hinted at back in July when he tweeted that Manny can improve his market value with us over the next two months……plus Manny’s agent’s agency…MVP Sports…. has implicated Freidman and the Dodgers in that human trafficking investigation being conducted by the Feds. It would be a really weird negotiation between the Dodgers and Machado’s camp.

        1. True. I was just using him as an example. Harper could make sense as well if they use Puig to go after a pitcher.

          Either way I could see them walking away from Kershaw and pursuing lower cost options given his decline.

        2. @romus – i posted before that LAD will not sign Machado since they don’t have a fit for him – they like Seager at SS (and they will not trade him) and like Turner at 3B. They traded for Machado just to make a run this season, which the FO likes to do (always try to contend no matter what). Signing Machado will put LAD close to the luxury tax threshold and they have a number of ARB eligible players to sign.

          And also, Machado doesn’t seem to be blinded by the LA glamour. Machado grew up in a culture with close family ties and his family and relatives are in the East Coast. If NYY doesn’t have a lot other priorities, Machado is almost likely a Yankee.

  16. Sign me up right now for Happ and Garrett Richards. I don’t think $900 Million is far off, and I don’t think your guesses are really out of line, Hinkie. Kimbrel and Britton may get an extra year each. I am also looking forward to MLBTR as is Romus. I like to see their $ projections, as well as their guesses as to landing spots.

    1. Everything’s magnified in the post season. The passed balls have come at awful times too. Cost the Dodgers a big run last night.

      1. Yeah…bad catching can be detriment for sure.
        Think about it…a catcher touches the ball more than any other player during a game…unless a pitcher pitches a complete game. So it becomes imperative that a catcher has to be one of the best defensive players on the field.

        1. Dave Roberts mentioned it may be related to framing. Catchers are so concerned with stealing strikes that they put themselves in poor positions to block the ball.

  17. Cross the Braves off the Machado/Harper FA Sweepstakes…..it seems that way anyway.
    Alex Anthopoulos:.
    “Braves GM strongly indicated that fans hoping to land top free agents Bryce Harper or Manny Machado will be disappointed. “There’s the obvious big names up at the top, but I don’t know for our club, with what we have, that the value’s going to be there in the free-agent market,”

  18. Regarding the Arte Moreno thread above (the ‘reply’ option ran out) as an aside. We regularly address the merits of GMs and front offices but IMO nothing cripples an organization like bad ownership. Look at pro sports in general. The Redskins, Cowboys, 76ers are prime examples of how misguided billionaires can ruin a fan base’s hope for something to root for…indefinitely. And they won’t fire themselves. If you’re lucky, they’ll get bored and sell the team to somebody with a clue. Or in our case, the old guard gives way to a more aggressive competitor and progressive mind like Middleton (we hope). So while we scrutinize Klentak and justifiably so – that’s what we do – we remember that he’s a storekeeper who’s boss can enable him or hamstring him, for better or worse.

  19. Middleton has clearly delegated a lot to MacPhail and Klentak. When he becomes more demanding, I don’t know. But, I have to think that someone like Middleton, seeing lots of empty seats in the stands, had to have relished the idea of adding Cole Hamels at the deadline. I think he was talked out of it by his FO, but even with the way Cole pitched before he went to Chicago, he would have added many fans on days he pitched. The way he pitched for the Cubs was a bonus. He cannot let himself get talked out of any FAs this off season.

    1. Not sure about how Hamels or any nostalgic figure would have impacted attendance, Matt. There were dates I was certain they would sell out, and with exception of the NYY series which was at least more than half Yankee fans, nobody showed all season. I think it had more to do with the fact that the team had no identity beside the manager with whose style and personality many were disenchanted.

      1. I feel like they need to make the playoffs before the fans come back. It’s a Football & Hockey town the Phillies and Sixers need to have success more than anything.

        1. I think it’s the Eagles and then the Sixers. The hockey fans are sort of their own group – until the team goes far into the playoffs. I think the Phillies are fight for third right now, but that can change quickly.

        2. I believe that Philly loves them Sixers better than the Flyers especially with Embiid and Simmons in town. Even during the tank years, there are still a good amount of people watching at WF.

          1. If all four were simultaneously winning, it would be the Eagles by far and always first, then Phillies, Sixers and Flyers. Right now with all 4 teams trying to get their legs, not necessarily winning but on the proverbial upswing, it’s Eagles, Sixers, Phillies and Flyers. I actually think the Phillies have the least loyal fan base but draw from a broader population demographically. The Sixers and Flyers each have a harder core following. The Eagles (and more specifically, football) are like pizza. Everyone likes pizza.

            1. “If all four were simultaneously winning, it would be the Eagles by far and always first, then Phillies, Sixers and Flyers.”

              I generally agree unless one of the non-Eagles teams had a transcendent superstar and the Sixers might – in fact they might have more than one.

      2. ………your points well taken and those points coupled with a lack of offensive run scoring ability and good defense generated little enthusiasm to the fan base.

    2. Honestly I don’t know if Cole Hamels would’ve had the impact here that he did with the Cubs. The Cubs are a vastly superior defensive team. He may have put up good numbers but I don’t know if he comes in and puts up a 2.36 ERA

  20. I wouldn’t worry about MacPhail’s end of season comments on potential FA signings. They were made for two reasons: 1) lower expectations in the unlikely event neither Machado or Harper are willing to take the most money to come to Philly, and 2) not to give away the farm before any negotiations take place/come to the negotiating table from a stronger position.

    You’ve got to remember … Middleton and MacKlentak have game planned/manipulated their payroll for more than two years now so that they could cash in on this winter’s historic FA class. They will not be outbid on MM (or Harper if MM turns down their money [which is not likely]).

    The Phillies have the money and payroll space to go after and sign any FA they want. They also have the players and prospects to deal for almost anybody on the trade market. There’s going to be some significant changes to this team over the next few months. They understand they have to put out a better and more exciting product on the field next season to get the fans interested again. They’ll be more than willing to pay (in dollars and players/prospects) to do that.

    1. Agree with you Hinkie. I don’t trust McPhail and Klentak but I have faith of Middleton that he will not just sit down and watch the other Philly team enjoy success. it is almost guaranteed that Middleton will at least sign a legitimate star caliber player and he will not stop there.

      1. The fan base needs a shot similar to the one we got back in 2010, waking up one December morning to hear that Cliff Lee turned down more coin from the Yankees and Rangers to play here one year after Ruben was pressured by Montgomery into trading him. Go figure….

        Middleton could unload both barrels and tell Macklentak, “I want both Machado AND Harper! Make it so.” But I’ll be glad to get one.

        1. I don’t care about the “surprise” factor like in 2010, I want Middleton to “set the tone” in Day 1 of the free agency, Go hard on Machado and a couple of secondary piece (i.e. MarGo, Britton) and let the whole need know that they are ready to play mano-y-mano with the big boys.

      1. Romus … It’s happening. The Phillies signing MM has really been the worst kept secret in MLB for a year now.

        I also asked Kiley McDaniel about Yusei Kikuchi today. He had no answer for where he might sign, but he guessed he would get a 4 year deal worth 40-60 million dollars. He feels it will be closer to 40 million because the team that signs him will also have to pay his Japanese club a 25 million dollar posting fee.

  21. I hope you are all correct. I am disappointed that Middleton did not address the fans after the season. MacPhail always leaves me disappointed and whatever the opposite of excited is. I can’t imagine a top FA being wooed by MacPhail. It is a scary thought. I think Middleton would make the bold moves we all want.

    1. Matt13…I think a lot of the owners do their talking after the WS is completed.
      BTW…Tim Dierkes informed me his projected FA salary predictions are going to be out after the WS also.

  22. $90M/5 years for Corbin is cheap. The Phills can offer Corbin $120M/5 years – $22M AAV + $10M signing bonus.

    1. The Phillies are going to need to take some calculated risks on signings similar to this and hit big on a few. Corbin sure as heck fills a need.

    2. KuKo….he is had two good years….2013 and this year.
      His career peripherals are all average and really not outstanding.
      Being a LHP is a plus for him.
      He doesn’t have the Cliff Lee status yet.
      So he could be in for a regression.

  23. 8mark, I believe that was still Bill Giles that forced the Lee trade to acquire Doc. Right after that, Montgomery assumed the Chairman role,or whatever his title was, and Middleton became more vocal, leading to the Lee signing in December, 2010.

    1. Whoever it was, it was the nice-guys-finish-last contingent of owners, who finally hired an outsider in Pat Gillick to form the championship team, which turned out to be an anomaly for the organization. Once Gillick stepped away from the controls, Ruben entered and answered once again to the beckon call of Uncle Bill & Monty who were big on good will toward the ticket buying fans and took good care of their own but somehow lost sight of the real mission. Middleton deferred to them for only so long and then had to protect his investment and satisfy his desire to win by yelling louder. Good for him. And now, good for us.

  24. In addition to whatever else we do, I want to go the route that secures the rights to Garret Richards for a couple of years. That way we have him for 2020. It is something that I feel Klentak has not taken advantage of so far in his GMship, and that I feel he has missed on.

    1. Matt13…taking on injured arms for year or more is something teams beginning rebuilds will normally do..Rays did it with Eovaldi.
      You do not see teams wanting to compete for play off positions the folowing season do that sort of thing.
      But the Phillies are past that IMO…..and the other aspet that is really a difficult decision that has to be made, is that a 40 slot has to be used during the off season….during the season he can be designated 60-day DL.
      So it will come down to one less pitcher on the 40 that has a serviceable arm.
      Don’t forget they will need to add a few prospects on the 40 for protection next month.

      1. Romus … these TJ rehab contracts aren’t only for rebuilding teams. Last winter, the Twins (a playoff team) signed Michael Pineda to a TJ rehab deal. He made 2 million this season while rehabbing with Minnesota. He’ll throw for the Twins in 2019 for 8 million dollars.
        Signing Garrett Richards (Mike Trout’s best friend in baseball) should be a no-brainer for Matt Klentak, who knows Richards from their time together in LA.

        1. Hinkie….contending teams rarely do it from what i have seen.
          I have not seen the Sox/Yankees/Cubs/Dodgers do it when they are preparing to go onto the next season as contending teams.
          Perhaps it is a large market vs small market thing, since large market seem to avoid employing that strategy. I may be wrong on that since it is just a theory on my part and not researched if that is in fact a true statement..
          And as for the Twins…..last year may have been an outlier for them, as this year they took a severe hit and now looking for a manager.
          And they are also one of hose 12/15 small market designations.

  25. Fact #1 The Phillies defense was brutal this season.
    Fact #2 The Phillies base running was terrible this season.
    Fact #3 At times, Phillies games were boring this season.
    Fact #4 Manny Machado proved tonight he will help fix the first three facts.

    His defense (even at SS) was impeccable. His base running (despite the fact that he almost got picked off 2nd base) won the game in the 13th inning. And say what you want about his antics (kicking out the first baseman’s leg), he makes the game interesting/does whatever it takes to win. Sign him up !!!

    1. One player won’t “fix” everything (and there’s quite a bit to fix) but we get the point, Hinkie.

      I wonder how the ss/3b aspect of negotiations will go down. If Hoskins returns to 1b and Santana stays at 3b, then I guess it’s a moot point. If Santana is traded (which I doubt until it happens) then it becomes a matter to discuss.

      Also, it’s more than likely Machado receives opt outs after 2/3 years and 4/5 years. BUT if he gets say, 10 years/$375M, how much more might he expect to improve upon what he’s already got? And from whom? (Unless things really went south here….)

      1. I saw that too, Romus. I’m afraid it’s the state of things that aren’t going to change. It seems as if his attitude is, “Well I do everything well so if I don’t hustle, you’ll have to deal with it. I have no excuse but no intention of changing.” The new breed. Our next generation.

        1. God I hate that attitude. “I’m Manny Machado, I’m great, I’ll try as much as I want and no more. Screw you if you don’t like it.” What a leader. Say what you want about Bryce Harper, but he respects the game. Honestly, I don’t think I want Machado anymore based on that comment and I’m entirely serious about that because this team is just forming it’s identity. I don’t want him to be someone else’s role model. Sorry, but I don’t. Keep your Manny Machados and Odell Beckhams.

          1. Showalterr had to deal with it for seven seasons….not so much in the first few seasons, but the last 3/4 it became apparent that he needed his bat in the lineup and would tolerate the lapses.
            There are many top players who do bust it…Trout, Betts, Altuve, et al…..so he may be just that one exception

          2. Catch, I agree.

            I’ve been put off for awhile about Machado’s insistence that he play shortstop even though he’s just okay there and a gold glove at third base. The old saying is that the pace of the pack is decided by the lead horse. Machado will be the lead horse.

            The Phillies were tough enough to watch this year. A prima donna star isn’t going to help.

          3. Bobby Abreu 2.0? That was the main complaint Philly fans had with Abreu, he was a talented player but played at his own speed….

  26. Ideally I would like to see the following:

    C Alfaro/Hedges (from SD for Franco)
    1b Hoskins
    2b Kingery (Cesar traded ?? for prospects)
    ss Crawford (his D helps solidify the infield)
    3b Machado (Santana to MIN for prospects)
    LF Marwin
    CF Quinn (Doobie and VV to SEA for Edwin Diaz)
    RF Williams/Altherr (unless another OF can be acquired)

    SPs Nola, Eovaldi, Arrieta, Eickhoff and Irvin (Eflin traded for prospects)
    Bullpen – Diaz, Neris, Seranthony, Neshek, Arano, Pivetta and LHPs Matt Strahm (acquired from SD for Eflin in Hedges/Franco trade; Hunter moved somewhere; Garcia non-tendered) and another lefty other than Morgan.

    I deduce that Crawford, Williams and Franco are among those to whom Jim referred (w/o mentioning names) as feigning injury late in the season. If it’s a matter of Kapler simply not liking them, then I’m sure they won’t be around. Otherwise, it would be good if someone like Wathan can verbally bridge the gap in order to give them a clean slate entering 2019. Franco is as good as gone so I’m really talking about JPC and Nicky Dubs.

  27. From this site I learned Machado doesn’t like to hustle/won’t! (Whhaat). Well if he takes the millions, from Here or NY, I hope he knows the fans do like to boo and point out that you didn’t hustle … after all .. the fans really do help pay that salary but that is a different rant

    I also heard Machado is a dirty player, so I’m wondering if Utley has gotten to him. Could help push the tide to phl vs ny, but can also see manny wanting to stay in LA. He is getting a good taste now

  28. I don’t think he gets the chance to stay in LA, and I think if he wants to play SS that is where he will play. The idea that if we pay him enough $, he will do what is “best for the team” is really wishful thinking. Sorry Hinkie. He will do what he wants to do, and it won’t matter if he gets $300 or $400 Million. That has to be part of the decision to pay him all that $, and may be a reason to sign Harper instead. And, I don’t want Machado and Doobie on the same team. I really can’t believe a player as good as he is thinks “Johnny Hustle” is some kind of an insult. I expect every player, no matter how good they are, to want to continue to improve. Taking the position that not hustling is “just not who I am” is inexcusable. He just did what MacPhail has tried to do. Make me not care if we get him or not.

    1. We don’t have to have a bunch of choir boys on the team but for crying out loud, how about some respect for the game and the paying public. What arrogance!

      1. Here’s a strategy – sign him and boo him once he starts to dog it. He’ll opt out the first opportunity he gets. We get a comp pick for losing him and won’t be stuck with the salary. By then we’ll have Trout, and maybe Harper opts out from wherever he signs and joins him😃

      2. Among other things, once the fans sniff out that this guy doesn’t hustle he will forever be dogged by negativity and boo birds in this town (not that I would blame them!) and it will become ugly. So I’m no longer behind signing this guy as great as he is.

        1. beyond the hustle issue, Machado comes off as an immature jackass, so fans are not going to give him wiggle room when he’s in a slump like they might a Trout if he came here. have some similar concerns with Harper as well.
          Pete Rose and Jim Thome were free agents that came in at key times and beyond the stats were good for the clubhouse and young players, and were players the fans could get behind, and not sure if either Machado/Harper fit that.

          1. One very important thing for the brass to consider is WHO will be the leaders in the clubhouse in 2019 among the position players. Hoskins is a face but is still trying to settle himself as a big leaguer.

    2. I can understand his one statement….not sliding head first into first base….i find that unnecessary, only because it rarely works and more injuries can occur.
      But some of the other things, can really be repulsive to the fan base…especially if the team is losing..

    3. Before I commented, I read the link romus posted about MM hustle/work ethic … I know gasp

      I took it as, he is not chase utley, but he is not trying to be jimmy Rollins. He is in between and will have to live with it if the Phillies do sign him. He identifies himself as more of a skill player that gets it down without hustling every play, but he would like to hustle every play, he just hasn’t figured out how to hustle every play … lmao … OK

      I don’t get the lack of hustle, in any sport. I’m that way when I play(played) of course I do this to cover up my lack of athleticism… to squeeze out as much as possible. Also to be fair, I’m a burner, not Quinn level, but I need to use my primary skill when possible 🙂

      In an age of analyzing every aspect of sports, I hope someone comes up with a stat for hustle vs the trot down the 1B line… and other aspect of the game. Maybe it could open a teams eyes, and we could get some more entertaining games to watch.
      Also a stat for baseball IQ … would be nice. Already know Herrera is last in the league. Go from there.

      End rant, maybe harsh but it’s my opinion.

      1. I don’t know if they factor in home plate to 1b avg speed for infield grounders. That might be a telling stat.

        1. …but then you get the ‘well he might be nursing a slight hammie’ so there’s no clean way of measuring beyond the eye test, which really is enough. We don’t need numbers for everything.

  29. Should Machado sign with NYY (and I can’t imagine who else he’d sign with) we should explore other options:

    1 Offer Josh Donaldson 2/$28M or 3/$36M
    2 See if the Cubs would trade Kris Bryant and in so doing appeal to his old pal Harper
    3 Offer Eduardo Escobar 2/$26M

  30. Romus is correct. His statement had 2 parts to it. I have no problem with not sliding into 1st base head first. The overall hustling, and his saying it is just not him, was separate. He was describing that his jump is to smoke the ball off the walls or over them, and instead he hit the ball to the 3B. He clearly wanted to express that people should not look for that “Johnny Hustle” stuff from him. And, BTW, we sure missed a great opportunity when we did not get Yelich. Does anyone think Brewers are ever going to miss Lewis Brinson?

    1. Matt – I know that I sound like a broken record, but Miami was never going to trade Yelich to a Division rival.

      1. Wawa, normally that is a valid point BUT someone else mentioned that Jeter was in full scale sell mode with little or no hesitancy of not trading within the division. Miami barely has any business having a major league franchise for one. The 42 people that show up for games couldn’t care less about who he trades with.

      2. @wawa – you also made us sound like a broken record when we keep saying that it is also possible that Jeter may not have that “NL East Division rival” mindset yet. If Loria is making the call, then you’re point is valid. But everybody knows that it is Jeter who is making the call — his tendencies at that time might be towards AL East teams than NL East teams.

  31. I won’t excuse his comments/lack of hustle on every play. However, I will say MM isn’t the only guy to not bust it on every ground ball. He’s just one of the few to admit it. Obviously, I prefer a guy who runs out every ball like he smells an error (Chase Utley, Carlos Gomez), but with the game on the line last night he ran the bases like no Phillie in 2018. I’m not going to turn my back on a great talent entering his prime because he might miss out on a couple of bases per season because he didn’t run out a ground ball. You also have to remember, Machado never takes a game off.
    He’s a great player who is going to win you a lot more games than he’s going to cost you. How many people on here complain about/want to replace Jorge Alfaro because he K’s too much or racks up too many passed balls ? Nobody hustles more than Alfaro (I’m afraid he’s going to tear up a knee hitting the 1B bag one day). Point is … you want it both ways: not want an all-star/one of the best players in the game because he doesn’t run out every ground ball … and … at the same time … want to replace a promising, young catcher who runs out every ground ball like his career depended on it.
    Maybe Machado’s comments cost him a few million dollars over the life of his next contract (they probably won’t), but he’s still a great player who will upgrade the Phillies offense, defense, and win totals. Of course, Middleton and MacKlentak aren’t going to want him ?

    1. If the reason not to sign an elite talent is because of a certain comment or a few unacceptable plays, that’s a lame excuse. We’ve seen Manny Machado play at a high level for 6 years now and nothing should stop Middleton in signing an elite talent unless that player himself doesn’t want to sign the contract.

      People likes to keep marginal players because they are good soldiers. How many bone headed plays we’ve seen from Cesar and Doobie for the last 4-6 years? Even JRoll sometimes stroll than hustle. Iverson rant about practice. Embiid goofs around and Simmon hooked up with a Kardashian. So what? I can see in Machado that he likes to win and he is the type of player who is capable of turning the switch on when the curtains are up and the lights are on. Harper is a bonafide knucklehead, if the can for the Phillies — i will like that too because he’s an elite talent.

    2. Hey, if I’m going to sign a guy to the biggest contract in MLB history I want it ALL ways. No compromises.

      1. “ALL ways” sounds like a Steve Nebraska to me. Good luck in finding that perfect guy. So I guess Harper is out too since he is jerkyish.

        Machado is playing in the majors for 6 years now and no red flags were reported unless the in-games altercations are considered red flags.

        Machado may not have the Utley-like demeanor that everybody wants, but he is what the Phillies need to contend and win the world series. Machado may not be the ideal start player, but he is not Carmelo Anthony, TO, OBJ, Ron Artest, Dennis Rodman, etc diva-like players who can be locker room cancers to the team.

        1. KuKo….lol…Chris Russo on MLB just called Manny a diva, and wondered what Yankees fans will do when he does dog it, when they lose to the Sox down the road……they still may see ARod revisited.

          1. Machado doesn’t strike to me as a diva. Typical diva normally have issues with the press, locker room, other star players and have off field issues. I don’t remember Machado having those issues. Does he sound arrogant when he made that comment – probably. But he is a darn good player so he brag about the other things he can do really well. And also, English is not Machado’s first language, so i don’t expect him to be the sweet talking-politically correct person when expressing himself in such situations.

            1. KuKo…he is an American citizen and graduated from an American HS and lived in the US his whole life in Florida.
              He, like Velasquez, probably cannot speak Spanish.

            2. @romus – I heard Machado talked. He has a Spanish accent which means he spoke Spanish since he was a child.

              I believe that Vinny cannot speak Spanish. I cannot find and hear anything about Vinny’s heritage and his Hispanic background. Unlike Machado, who grew up in the US but raised by under Hispanic culture, married his Hispanic wife, loves to hand around with his Hispanic relatives and still play for Dominican Republic.

            3. Bottom line KuKo…..do not make an excuse for him not being able to express himself well in English…that is bogus. No matter his heritage….after 26 years in America he knows what he is saying.

        2. To me, it comes down to the clubhouse effect. If there is veteran leadership, and that’s a big IF at this point, I would tend to not worry. Santana and Arrieta are currently the only formidable veterans in terms of respectability. Arrieta is a pitcher and Santana may not even be here come spring training. This can’t be minimized. Teams win through managing adversity over the course of the long season from within the ranks. Who’s going to call a players only team meeting when the time comes?

            1. LOL.
              I cannot wait to see what kind of ‘do’ Doobie shows up with in the spring.
              The treads with the gold tips will be history i am sure….maybe corn rows with a tail.

        3. Of course, nobody is perfect. But when I’m giving a guy the biggest contract EVER – he better check a lot of the boxes – and leadership and a good attitude are some of those boxes.

          1. Machado and Harper are mid-20s – age where most athletes don’t have the “maturity” yet to be a leader. Teams will pay them big $$ for their abilities while approaching their peak. If Klentak wants leadership, they will sign veterans (like Chooch) for cheap $$ to provide clubhouse leadership and mentoring. Klentak can also acquire players with good attitude for cheap $$.

            What the Phillies need now are elite talents!!! — not a players guy or some good foot soldiers. They already have them in the team.

            1. First of all, I DIDN’T say they should ignore talent or just get good soldiers. OF COURSE, they need to add talent. But when you’re paying more than anyone has ever paid a ballplayer, that player better have talent and a good attitude. I’m not comfortable that Machado does and his judgment in saying those things rubs me the wrong way big time. He’s an excellent player, but he’s not Mike Trout or Babe Ruth – I’m passing on Machado for those years and dollars.

            2. @catch – you mentioned Mike Trout and Babe Ruth — those type that comes around every generation and talents that most teams will not let walk away. I’m happy that you set a very high standards, but time and opportunity are something that nobody can reclaim back. Acquiring talents like Machado and/or Harper may not meet your very high standards, but they will provide a window of opportunity for the Phillies to win the World Series and that the time to acquire one if not both of them is NOW! Don’t let it pass!

            3. You think the Phillies are a lot farther along than I do. I don’t see them being a legitimate contender in 2019 and there is always another star looking for money. I’m not giving MM the biggest contract ever – I view it as a long term and even medium term mistake.

  32. Mike, you may be right. Milwaukee has him for some time now, so that ship has sailed. I am watching these games and see guys playing well aside from the Starts. Miley and Chacin for Milwaukee. Muncy with the Dodgers. We had Vic and Jayson Werth. Romero and Scott Eyre were terrific out of the BP. We have beat the Morton thing to death, but the Astros lucked into an Ace. We need Star players and we need that luck factor. Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to dump that kid from LHV that hit so well, Joey Meneses? We can hope for all the known stars we want to, but unless Klentak hits on some luck as well, we won’t win. I bring this up because of some aversion to taking a flyer on Garret Richards. We would just be using our $ to pay him this year, but, healthy, he gives us a real good SP for 2020. Both Eovaldi and Morton were signed while out with injuries.

    1. Lady luck certainly played its role for the winning teams —- but my issue with Klentak is his ability to evaluate talent. I’ve seen him for 2+ years and I’ve never seen any decision making moves that is a stroke of genius in uncovering talent. Klentak is making small steps and he still missed them badly.

      Free agency can mask Klentak’s lack of ability to evaluate talent since all he need to do is buy the best proven talent.

      1. KK – Free agency will not mask Klentak’s ability to evaluate talent because that will be Middleton’s signing. I seriously wonder how much of an impact PHIL will have in the final decision of who the Phillies go after.
        The “Hustling” interview may have cost Manny $50 million, or more. What was he thinking?

        1. @Wawa – i said “lack of” ability….Middleton will open his wallet to acquire elite talent and improve the team but it will look like Klentak suddenly find the talent and win.

    2. Matt – Klentak’s problem is that Meneses is a one position player. He will aready be trying to trade Bour, and possibly Santana. The Richards thing sounds like a good idea, but by 2020 we’ll have about four more pitchers coming up from the minors. The Lehigh starters will probably be ready by next July.

      1. Trading Bour?? Should never have acquired him. What made us think he was a better alternative than giving Meneses an opportunity. If we continue to assume our AAAA players can never contribute than we will never discover the next Muncy. This was a no risk decision. Adding Bour or Meneses to 40 man would have been the same.

        1. I can’t kill them for adding Justin Bour. Bour was a nearly elite power hitter in 2017 (.902 OPS – better than Hoskins) and he’s not old. It was a cheap acquisition with potential upside short and medium term. It was a good idea as was the Ramos trade – it just didn’t work out this time.

    3. Matt13…Morton’s case was a bit different…..he had healed and was rehabbing and would be ready to go in the spring when he signed with the Astros in November 2016.
      Richards will not pitch for awhile after the season has already begun in 2019.
      But I see your point.
      And I go back to my original assertion…for some inexplicable reason, the majority of large market and/or contending teams normally will not ‘redshirt’ a pitcher in cold storage for a year.
      Perhaps they feel comfortable with their starters or their pitcher’s segment of their 40 is filled with what they like.
      I would like Phillies to try something like that…..but Matt Klentak has never given me any past indication that he is that daring or creative to do it.

        1. I haven’t. But, I’m sure he’s aware that right now the Phillies have Santana, Bour, and Hoskins on the 40-man roster, and Hall and Listi primed to move up to AAA. I think he’ll look for a better situation.

  33. On MM lack of hustle – I’m not worried, sign him at all costs.

    On Yelich to Mil – what a great move by their FO. I’m not concerned the Phillies didn’t get him, but we sure need our FO to make a similar move. MVPs Aren’t found everyday, but they need to trade for a player who they believe is about to breakout. The price will hurt, but those are the types of moves that propel your team into the top 5.

    I don’t know how this rebuild will unfold, but I do know that Enough good moves are out their to be made to improve this team quickly with the Middleton’s war chest. If the FO doesn’t get it done, it should be held accountable. It is year 4, not year 1. I’ll give the FO office until the deadline to shake this out, but at that point, fair judgement can be mad e

    1. “MVPs Aren’t found everyday, but they need to trade for a player who they believe is about to breakout”…Clint Frazier of the Yankees is one I can see doing just that.

      1. They need to take a swing at Frazier then, even if it doesn’t workout with him like Yelich has, they need to take that chance. Having mediocre players won’t get them far enough, or just above replacement level. This is where the FO can boost the team, grap a cheap young player who is producing at a high level to supplement the veteran salary.

        I’ll keep an eye on Frazier.

        1. Heard Yankees and Cashman desire more pitching..he will not come cheap, though their OF is pretty crowded with stars, and he is really a young 4th OFer on that team..

        2. NYY is willing to unload Frazier last year to dump Ellsbury. Absorbing contracts seems like not a Klentak MO.

          NYY used to express interest with Vinny so that’s something that Klentak can work on.

    2. Tac – If there happens to be a rebuilding team that has a blue chip prospect that the Phillies covet, they can do the deal. They can offer one of (Velasquez, Eflin, or Eickhoff), an outfielder (Herrera), and an infielder (Hernandez). Throw in a couple of prospects (Medina, Anderson, and Suarez), and you’ve got the makings of a deal. All are young, cheap, and should be attractive to teams like the Marlins and Orioles.

  34. Let’s talk about Alfaro for a minute. He strikes out a lot, but Hernandez and Hoskins struck out more often. Even if he’s a starting catcher for the next 8 years, he’s always going to strike out more than 100 times a year. I have a different train of thought than the majority, who think that he needs better plate discipline. I see a free-swinging , impatient hitter. He needs to improve on his ability to hit BAD pitches. There have been many good “bad ball” hitters in baseball lore.

    1. Most catchers take longer to develop than other positions. If Alfaro hasn’t improved, especially in blocking pitches and cutting down PBs, by end of 2019, I would consider shifting him to RF. His raw power and athleticism count for something in terms of giving him time. His work ethic and hustle are commendable. In the meantime, bring in a D first catcher (like Hedges, if you can get him) as a platoon.

      1. 8mark…..as an OFer his bat may not meet the bar.
        His BABIP is so high I do not think he can sustain that . His K in the zone is probably the highest in the league.
        The power is legit.
        Defensively he is probably a better OFer than catcher and I am sure better than Hoskins was in LF.
        Maybe sitting in LF he does not have to worry about all the pitchers, and catching duties involved …and that could help his bat focus.

    2. I can wait longer for Alfaro to develop, but I’m not sure I buy the he SO less than Hoskins and Hernandez. Without checking the stats, Alfaro would whiff and whiff and whiff on what looked like hittable pitches for an mlb regular. I’m hoping he develops, as to me he was the key piece in the hamels trade. If his season So are less than Hoskins/Hernandez, his K rate per abat I would guess is higher. Unless he saved his SO for when i tuned in. He looked lost at times/overmatched vs Hoskins and Hernandez simply missing the ball. I’m still shocked his avg finished at .255ish with the amount of swing and misses I saw from him.

      1. If Alfaro doesn’t cut down his Ks a lot or raise his BB rate a lot – it’s hard to see him ever developing into a legitimate regular, let alone a first division regular. He has physical talent – but the history of baseball is littered with guys who had physical talent and never amounted to much.

      2. Alf’s swing and miss in the zone was poor…which normally means he cannot hit FBs with any regularity….since in the zone pitches are mostly FBs…be it 4, 2 Smrs or cut.

  35. As Joe Pesci said in Lethal Weapon 2, “….okay okay…”

    Craig Counsell takes Wade Miley out after ONE BATTER(!) and brings Woodruff in. What’s going on with major league baseball? Really. Is every manager trying to outdo the next? Kapler would look like John McGraw compared to some of these guys. ONE BATTER?!?!

    Seriously, there seems to be some kind of super-intellectual cybermetric race to be the smartest man in the room. What’s next? A full infield shift where the fielders drop their pants and moon the batter? This is growing from the ridiculous to the absurd. Otherwise, somebody taste test the water in the dugout water coolers.

  36. After the games yesterday and especially the Bosox/Astro game last night, I was much impressed with the defensive efforts put forth by both teams. Gents, there were bodies flying around out there, they were throwing leather at each other, diving into the seats, crashing against the walls, laying out for line drives! So appreciative of that kind of effort after watching the anemic efforts put forth by our guys all year.

    1. That’s why Chase Utley is beloved in the city of Philadelphia ahead of J-Smooth and the Big Piece eventhough I believed that both #11 and #6 have bigger impact than #26 during that 2007-2011 run.

      1. That style of play is hard to go unnoticed and guys like Utley and Rose who embodied that style won the appreciation of the Philadelphia fan base forever.

        1. that’s not what i said. I love J-Smooth than Chase Utley, but why is it that every time Chase Utley’s effort is brought up a J-Roll apologist will try to shut it down and say something about #11’s defense? I hear/see this all the time whether in the radio, internet and even in casual conversation.

  37. Bob Brookover began a 3 part series today on the farm. Today was IF. Takeaways – Garcia could be a stud, Bohm may not be a 3b and we have quite a few backup players.

    I’m beginning to hope the NL adopts the DH soon. Guys like Bohm or even Hoskins are fits down the road.

      1. Does anyone know Realmuto’s contract status? If he’s under control for a few more yrs, I might offer Sixto, Bohm and Alfaro.

        1. If Klentak will trade Sixto, it should be for a young controllable pitching stud (i.e. Hinkie’s Blake Snell) or a legitimate MLB stud (i.e. Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, etc), otherwise, this might hurt the Phillies long term.

          Klentak can assemble a package without Sixto. HOU acquired Gerritt Cole without giving up Tucker and Whitley. Maybe Klentak can send a package of Bohm + Alfaro + delos Santos + Moniak + Seabold for Realmuto as a starting point.

          1. Exactly KuKo. Astros got Verlander and Cole without giving up their top 2. Sixto is off limits unless it gets me Trout, which is not happening.

  38. Watching this playoff series with the Astros and RedSox also shows how important it is to have flat out hitters. They both have very good pitching. Verlander and Sale are 2 of the best in the game, although Sale has been ill. But they hit up and down the line up and play terrific d. We have a very long way to go.

    1. Yeah, it’s good to imagine a 2019 line up with Quinn-Machado-Harper-Hoskins in the top of the order.

      1. and if Klentak can acquire Realmuto, the batting order can be:

        1. Quinn (S) – CF
        2. Machado (R) – 3B
        3. Harper (L) – RF
        4. Hoskins (R) – 1B
        5. REALMUTO (R) – C
        6. Williams (L) – LF
        7. Kingery (R) – 2B
        8. Crawford (L) – SS

        1. You think Doobie and Franco are part of the package for Realmuto? Or separate trades?

          I could see Doobie being of interest to the Marlins because of the number of cheap control years left on his contract. Same with Williams. Franco, I imagine, would be a trade to somewhere else.

          1. Jeter is still in the payroll shredding mode rebuilding his team thru draft and prospects so he will not accept Doobie and his contract. Doobie is more suited to traded to a contending team. Note that the 5 players/prospects I proposed to be traded are under control for a lot of years – something that a budget conscious GM like Jeter wants. If you ask me, Jeter will prefer Williams than Doobie —- cheaper with higher upside.

            Franco is still cheap but Klentak will get a better return from Franco is Klentak trades Franco to a team who has interest in him like the Padres.

  39. I see Doobie going to a non-contending team, KuKo. Why would a contending team want him? He is an upgrade for a team trying to get to “respectable.”

    1. @Matt – i cut off some few words there…..i should said “Doobie is more suited to traded to a **BUDGET CONSCIOUS** contending team.

  40. Just read an article in the Athletic on Kevin Gowdy. Cannot help but root hard for this kid. Looking for him to be our breakout Pitcher this year.

    1. Yes. Kevin Gowdy is already #10 on my Phillies prospects list. I believe he will be the team’s breakout prospect in 2019.

  41. The U-23 Baseball World Cup kicks off tomorrow in Columbia. The only reason I mention this is because the Phillies have been connected to one of team Taiwan’s (Chinese Taipei’s) top pitchers. Earlier this summer, the Phillies were reported to be one of the leading contenders for LHP Lin An-Ko:

    Here’s some footage of Lin on the mound:

    1. When it comes to the Asian market…the Phillies seem to be leaning more and more Taiwan and China.
      Have not seen anything with them, in any interest in any KBO talent.
      I would hope they still have strong interest in Japanese talent.

    2. Impressive from watching the video, Hinkie. He seems to have some poise, deception and command. And as a lefty, that’s gold. Hope we can snag him.

      As for Gowdy, while he’s done little to report on, I am still encouraged by his initial scouting profile from 2 yrs ago. A kid who knows how to pitch and flash the stuff he did is a good start. Let’s hope the medical issues are mostly behind him. He, Howard and Irvin are three arms I’m looking forward to track next summer. Pitchers with a clue about where the ball is going.

  42. I don’t have a subscription to the Athletic but there’s an article out by Dan Connolly who talked to Machado’s minor league mentor, IF coach Bobby Dickerson. (I only read the beginning of the piece which faded after a few short paragraphs.) But Dickerson said he and Manny had shouting matches back then, but that they also cried together when Manny was leaving Baltimore. “Swaggy” Machado (Dickerson’s nick name for him) seems to be portrayed by his mentor as a dirty player without being malicious, and a guy who won’t change his style. Take him as he is or let somebody else.

      1. Went and read it. As always, I strongly recommend getting a subscription. Ask for it as a Christmas present (it’s how I have mine). By far the best place to read about sports I’ve ever found.

        The gist:

        Manny is a really good guy off the diamond. On the diamond he sometimes does some boneheaded things, and Dickerson is under the impression Manny just does it without thinking about it and feels bad about some of it after the fact. He also says that sometimes Manny would get in arguments with him, walk away, and then realize he (Dickerson) was right and come back to talk about it.

        But the biggest thing he said is that Manny is who he is, and he most likely won’t change. So you have to accept this is who he is when you get him. (He also says that, despite certain incidents, Manny will help you win more games than he costs you. Which is obvious.)

        Not sure how that plays out in Philly. We have a current example in Doobie. No matter how hot he gets, a lot of Philly just wants him gone because they don’t like how he treats the game. (And you can say it’s because he makes too many mental errors, but that’s not the reason. Kingery gets treated completely differently despite having just as many, if not more, mental lapses.)

  43. Jim Salisbury with more on Manny Machado and the Phillies:

    1. Andy MacPhail
      Matt Klentak
      Jake Arrieta
      Tommy Hunter
      Chase Utley
      Buck Showalter (has strong connections to MacPhail)

      The Phillies have at least these resources with connections to Machado to be able to form an opinion on whether or not to sign him.
      For me, I’m still on board the “Johnny Hustle” bandwagon (maybe at a slight discount now) !!!

      1. Hinkie, I just saw your question on MLBTR chat. Yeah, Cesar’s only value is for a prospect or 2. And not top 10 guys, either. He’s better off added to a package for a greater commodity like a SP, even if he’s more or less a throw in. Really. While many people aren’t high on Kingery, they HAVE to find out about him in 2019. The contract they signed him to basically cries out for that. Unless they trade him instead of Cesar but I can’t see it.

        1. the problem, I think, 8mark, is that Cesar as part of a package for a SP requires Sixto as the headliner. We don’t have headliners other than him. Doobie, Cesar and Franco together only get us prospects back

          1. 8mark … I already knew the answer to the question before I asked it. I was more looking for confirmation. I posted near the top of this thread that Franco, Odubel, and Eflin/VV would be easy for Klentak to deal for meaningful returns. Cesar is going to be a problem. Here’s why (from earlier in the thread):

            * “The most difficult guy to trade this winter is easily Cesar Hernandez. Not because the Phillies don’t want to give him up, but because there really is no trade market for him. There are very few teams that need a second baseman. For those that do, they can get one for just money in this year’s bloated FA class. What would two arbitration years of CeHe be worth? Realistically, nothing more than what Tampa got for two years of Logan Forsythe and Baltimore got for 1.5 years of Jonathan Schoop. Those guys brought back pitchers who were once fairly well ranked, but had fallen because of injury or waning performance. Tampa received Jose De Leon from the LAD and Baltimore took back Luis Ortiz from the Brewers. If your Matt Klentak, you’re looking at a guy like Braden Shipley from the DBacks (if they don’t go into rebuild mode), David Paulino from the Blue Jays, Grant Holmes (who barely threw this season because of shoulder issues) from the A’s, or Tyler Jay from the Twins. He’s not a pitcher, but the LAA would probably hand over one time Atlanta top prospect Kevin Maitan (who has seen his status take a precipitous fall) for CeHe.
            Nothing really makes any sense for the Phillies. However, for me, if Detroit (who is in the middle of a rebuild) would be willing to take Hernandez (and his ~9 million dollar 2019 salary), I’d be willing to “buy low” on Daniel Norris. I’ve always liked Norris. He was, at one time, a top prospect with Toronto so he fits the blueprint for this CeHe trade. His career has been tormented by injuries over the past couple of season. Unlike Holmes, Norris’ injuries haven’t been arm/elbow/shoulder related (as far as I know). Norris has had to deal with cancer and back issues.”

            For me … the CeHe situation will be Klentak’s Rubic Cube this winter.

          2. Doobie and Franco have considerably more value than Cesar, if not a lot by themselves. Doobie’s contract alone may be valuable to a club like Oakland (for a TJ rehabbing Puk?) or KC. Franco to SD for Hedges is a very logical scenario.

      2. I’m not deterred. We have short memories sometimes that is good but JROLL had to be benched a few times by Charlie for not hustling. Yeah I hate it when a player doesn’t hustle

        but we had Chase who had a rep for dirty slides and we had Jimmy so let’s just go all in and get them both in 1 package.

    2. …and how many millions has he already lost from the past 48 hours? I also wonder how he and Chase get along. (Although Chase isn’t on the playoff roster…?)

      1. Just read an MLB.com piece on Utley’s perspective on Machado: “….I mean, I don’t care, honestly….Nothing bothers me, really.”

      1. Then I suspect if that occurs …we will get to l hear more …beeps, beeps , beeps …in a post game interview again.

        1. Romus … about your theory that good teams/big market clubs don’t do TJ rehab deals … Last winter not only did the Twins sign Michael Pineda (2 yrs@10 million), but the Cubs inked Drew Smyly (2 yrs@10 million). Both of those guys rehabbed in 2018 and will throw in 2019.
          Matt Klentak … get that TJ rehab deal done with Garrett Richards this winter !

          1. Yeah there are exceptions all the time.
            But on a whole it does not happen for every large market club every year.
            Of course, for the Phillies…it seems to never happen. so i can understand your point.
            Lets try it at least one time..

  44. From John Heyman’s weekly notes:

    Philadelphia Phillies
    — The Phillies, said one rival exec, are “the one team that might pay the $300 million” for Manny Machado. We will see. But the Phillies are all in this winter.

  45. Hinkie – It’s my stated opinion that the Phillies need two Professional hitters. If they can only sign one of Harper/Machado, Who’s the next best hitter available in a position of need for the Phillies?
    I’s also my opinion that the Phillies don’t need another starting pitcher. After Nola and Arrieta, I’m of the belief that Pivetta, Velasquez, and Eflin made a step up this year, and there’s no reason for me to believe they won’t continue to develop. Then there is Eickhoff, De Los Santos, and Anderson who will try to win a job. The complete game is history, and even the 7th or 8th inning pitchers are getting scarce. Did the Phillies have a game where a reliever pitched 3 or more innings last season. Do you think they have that guy in their system?
    We need two arms in the bullpen that can get lefties out. I’m tired of Garcia and Morgan. They are what they are; Hot and Cold. Who do you think are the two best bullpen arms available either through free agency or trade?
    I also think that Alfaro will continue to develop. I still like Knapp’s bat, and realize that he was awful on offense and defense. I figure that Alfaro will start about 120 games next year. Can we get by with Knapp, or should we move on from him?

    1. On the RP side of things, I’d check in on Andrew Miller. His stock is down, maybe enough that he’s an obvious low-risk, high-reward guy. I dunno if he wants a pillow contract or an incentive-laden one, but I’d give him either.

      Then there’s Kimbrel. Don’t think I’d pay for him at this point. But it wouldn’t be the worst news if it happens.

      Also, I read your comment about being high as Pink Floyd came on my playlist. I laughed at that.

    1. Got it. Hey, hope you enjoyed the box of Oreos that followed.

      On the topic of Machado and/or Harper, I have a thought. The consensus narrative as we approach the free agent market is that Manny will likely decide first – NYY or PHI. His market may be drawn out a bit longer now that his high profile has now gotten deeper. There may be some himmin’ and hawlin’ from front offices to figure how many millions they can now shave off their offers.

      Anyway, if Manny signs with PHI for say, $35M AAV over 10 yrs, it may be more manageable for Middleton and Co to woo Harper and Boras to somewhere between $30-$35 AAV over the same period. Two top talents for under $70M isn’t a bad deal these days. Also, with opt outs sprinkled throughout each player’s contract, what are the chances one or both will still be here, say in 3-5 years? So the risk is certainly considerable but not terribly high on that end, IMO.

      Now, I believe signing both superstars would also help balance the climate and culture of the clubhouse. Why? While Machado is not the leader type (probably by his own admission, it would seem), Harper would be the alpha on this roster, despite his warts. There would at least at the start be a mutual respect between the two. But Manny would not be the only attraction. And he most likely wouldn’t be aware that the Phillies had every intention of aggressively pursuing Harper after he would sign, since Harper may very well NOT be signed until early in the new year, as per Boras’ history. Hoskins would also benefit from not having to be “the Guy” while he continues to establish himself as a major league hitter.

      My conclusion is that we need one but both as professional hitters and it would also be better on different levels, not only on the field but in the dugout and in “the room” as well. However, if I were to choose only one, it would actually be Harper when considering the bigger picture.

      AND FINALLY – imagine how Kapler would be pressed to significantly adjust his style in the presence of two of the game’s elite stars. And they would sure as hell take the focus off him.

      1. My opinion on our chances to get one of these guys changes with the wind. Today 8mark has me excited and believing we will get both. $70M a year AAV is a great deal for these two guys

        and if you front load a good portion of that so that the back end isn’t so scary should you need to trade out of either player it would create years of excitement at CBP.

        I’m willing to bet on some guys coming thru and coming on quick: Enyel, Spencer and possibly Irvin. And to make things really interesting my #BEBOLD moment is Bohm blasts thru the system like a rocket ship.

        Happy Friday

      2. If the Phillies sign one of the two, I can’t say I’ll be impressed. That’s a no-brainer already. Middleton has to strike BIG here. Then Klentak’s mission will be to craft the roster accordingly.

        1. C Alfaro/Hedges
          1b Hoskins
          2b Kingery
          ss Machado or Crawford
          3b Santana or Machado
          LF Williams/Altherr
          CF Quinn
          RF Harper
          Super utility: Marwin (though he didn’t impress me in the post season)

          SPs: Nola, Arrieta, Eovaldi, Eickhoff, Irvin

          Bullpen: Edwin Diaz (from SEA for Doobie and VV), Neris, Seranthony, Neshek, Hunter, Pivetta, Andrew Miller (on a 1 yr buy low), Strahm (from SD in Hedges deal for Franco and Eflin)

          1. Marwin is the type of player that looks good on a team surrounded by super stars. We’re talking about a guy that is going into his age 30 season and just slashed 247/324/733 OPS

            I’ll pass

            1. Interestingly, when you compare Marwin to a Ben Zobrist…thru their first 3/4 years in the majors…they are quite similar Then Zobrist took off and Gonzo more or less plateaued.
              That being said,,,,he will still be courted by teams sinc ehe does provide that versatility and a 12bWAR player over in his career…with the most of it in his last four years.

  46. Mike, What we need is a SP that slots between Nola and Arrieta. And, hopefully, he is lefthanded. I don’t think we get Corbin, and I don’t know that there is one we can trade for. I would take Happ. We need one for the BP as well. My candidate for the professional hitter after Machado/Harper is Marwin Gonzalez. And, we have to get a really good defensive C, and I think that leaves out Knapp. We need a good one while Alfaro is getting better. And, I think he will. I have more doubt about his hitting ability and his chance to cut down on Ks.

    1. Matt – As you well know, I’m for NOT adding a starter. Yes, Happ had a great year, but there’s no guarantee that he’ll repeat it at his age. When you look at the stats of the Phillies starters, Nola would have won 20 games with league average offensive and defensive support. The rest of the starters might have all won two more games, because the bullpen blew about 20 save or hold opportunities. That’s why we need to bolster the bullpen. Baseball has evolved from relying on the starting pitcher to win games for them. A starter rarely pitches 7 or more innings anymore.

    2. Matt13…two lefties that can be acquired in trade…Royals’ Duffy and Dback’s Robbie Ray….not #2s, more like mid-to-bottom rotation arms….but lefties that you may want to have in a series that have good LHBs on the opposition team.
      Ray missed May and June with the pectoral issues but was able to finish out July thru Sept.

      1. If we can’t get a TOR lefty, I would rather give Irvin a shot in spring training.

        Now if the Yankees sign Manny, I would bump up the push for Corbin. Both are reported to have a desire to play for the Yanks, but they can’t have everything….can they?

  47. was thinking about how the Red Sox lost 91 games in 2014, which was 2 games worse than the Phillies. That allowed them to get Benintendi at #7 (LCS participants Houston got Bregman at 2, LA got Buehler at 24, Brewers pretty much whiffed on the draft it looks starting with Trent (Clark)Grisham at 15.
    Red Sox already had Betts,Bogaerts and Bradley though, had Lester/Ortiz walk/retire,then traded elite prospects for Sale, traded Cespedes for Porcello, traded for Kimbrel, signed Price and JD Martinez as free agents, developed Devers, made a great managerial hire, and here they are looking like the odds on favorite to win it all.

  48. RAEF, You bring up a real sore point for me. I refuse to believe that Boston is a big market club in any way more than we are. We waited 3 years too many to start the rebuild, and our record at evaluating talent is much less successful than Boston’s. That is fixable. I don’t know that Klentak is the guy. I will be thrilled if he proves me wrong. But he reminds me more of Ben Cherington, who got fired and Boston hired a risk taker. And now they are in the WS after winning 108 games, and have veteran and young talent better than ours. We are praying that Haseley is our Benintendi. Hasn’t happened yet. We got Santana, not JD Martinez, and we have no Mookie Betts. Who is our Devers? This needs to stop this off season. Our talent going into 2019 needs to be significantly better than it is today.

    1. Matt13…Bogaerts had a very poor Sept call up and the following season rookie year….but they stuck it out with him and it has worked. Hopefully same way with Kingery
      Jackie Bradley…same thing as Bogaerts but worst…six years and only two good ones with the bat…his defensive play is equivalent to OFer Jason Heyward of the Cubs and ss Andrelton Simmons of the Angels…..it carries the bulk of their WAR production.
      Devers….slumped this year.
      So they did have to be patient with some of their players over the last few years…and signing JD Martinez was the move that got them over the top.

      1. Romus and Matt,

        Building blocks. Which ones are building blocks? Hoskins is more or less this team’s Ryan Howard. Who will be the Utley and Rollins? We hope Kingery is one. I was hoping Crawford is another but the jury may be coming to a decision on him. We have no anchor player in the outfield. Again, I’m just projecting young players with some promise through the system. Alfaro has the makeup to be a leader, especially as a Latino rep, but being a catcher, he needs more time. I don’t look only at talent but acumen and at least some measure of character. Somehow, teams like Boston and LA seem to find players who can fall out of bed and perform. Plus, they don’t allow the lag years between playoff runs which the Phillies unfortunately have. That’s an organizational flaw, not a talent issue. I just hate to see the nickel and diming when the risk takers succeed before too long.

    2. @matt – you got that one right — Risk taker!! A lot of posters here are risk averse. One slight concern turns them away. BOS is willing to open their wallets and event get their hands dirty for the sake of getting talent to the team. BOS got burned with the Sandoval and Hanley signing but that didn’t discouraged them. BOS got caught with cheating in IFA and they shrugged it off.

      Both the Celtics and Red Sox tapped throw $$ in FA and set an aggressive mind set to put talent to team which is basically the reverse of McPhail-Klentak philosophy.

      Most GMs prepared for this coming offseason so Klentak be better ready to take advantage of the current flexibility and deep pockets. Elite talents are not normally available in FA and Klentak are currently looking at 2 of them —- Machado and Harper. Both fits their timeline and fill a need!

      1. Middleton has to be the risk taker here because he certainly didn’t hire any. If they sign one of the two, I won’t complain. But I also won’t be impressed. This is a rare chance to make a bold statement to MLB. And I don’t think Kapler would disagree.

      2. KuKo…agree about the Sox…also got burned on the Cuban free agent Rusney Castillo signing.

        As for free agents……if Manny and Bryce get away….I would go for the tandem of Marwin Gonzalez and DJ LeM….probably cost less than $30M total AAV for the two of them over a 3/4 year period….and their versatility is a real plus.

        1. yeah…though when you are hungry,..a peanut butter and jelly sandwich may have to do if the cheese steak sandwiches are not available.

  49. Guys, I like Marwin, but he is in addition to one of the Machado/Harper pair. I don’t think LeMahieu fits here. His best position is 2B. Are any of us looking at Josh Donaldson as a back up plan? I think Franco is, for sure, traded, and I am about 80% on Doobie. If it was my call, I would be 100%, but I don’t discount the ability of Klentak to talk himself into keeping him, rather than risk a mistake. I don’t think he ever plays CF for a Playoff team.

  50. Here’s another name that may return to the trade rumor mill this winter: Whit Merrifield. He will cost a lot in return and KC would go for a haul in prospects. But Klentak should revisit those talks if he had them before the last deadline.

    1. And that will put Matt K. in a small bind….with both Kingery and Cesar..keep them or try to move them?
      Merrifield is also a little older than Cesar…so he may be on a downward decline in 2 or 3 years.

      1. I would be tempted to include my 24 yr old boy Kingery in a package for 29 yr old Merrifield. Cesar doesn’t factor in, Romus. He’s going for a couple of midlevel prospects.

            1. A year ago, I was proposing a Cesar for Tyler Skaggs trade. Keith Law told me the Angels would not do that. He was right. It’s a year later. CeHe is now more expensive and has one less year of team control left. In addition, the few teams who actually need a 2Bman can get one for just cash in this winter’s bloated FA class. Hernandez is probably worth a once promising prospect who has fallen in status due to injury or regression in performance. After doing research, the best case scenario I could come up with is sending Cesar and some part of his projected 9 million dollar 2019 salary to Detroit for Daniel Norris. Norris is a guy I have always liked. He’s a former top 50 prospect with Toronto who has been demoted to a LH swing man with the Tigers because of injuries (cancer, back and groin issues) and poor performance as a full time starter.

  51. Todd Zolecki lists many of the same names I did earlier in this thread as sources the Phillies can use to do more homework on Manny Machado. Zolecki feels the team is probably still interested in Machado even after his “Johnny Hustle” comments.

    As I mentioned yesterday … I’m still all for signing Manny Machado/Johnny Hustle !
    Who knows, as 8mark mentioned above, maybe Manny becomes so less expensive, it allows the Phillies to make a more earnest move on the Machado-Harper daily double. Not saying it’s going to happen. Just saying MM’s comments & actions this week may make it a bit more plausible.

    1. Hinkie….agree the cost might not be as prohibitive as once believed.
      Then again….when you think about it, Manny’s market was not the entire league anyway, but probably 6/7 teams max., that either need him and/or can afford him.
      So it still is apparent that the Phillies will still need to put themselves in a position to be able to financially compete and better the best offer from teams like the Yankees, Braves, DBacks, or even the Cubs.

      1. Romus … I don’t see the Braves or DBacks as players for Machado.
        The Phillies will be the most motivated team to sign him. The Yankees, Cardinals, Angels, White Sox, and Rangers could make serious offers as well.
        I do believe his “Johnny Hustle” comments have probably lowered (to some degree) his cost.

        BTW … I was thinking about what could happen with the Phillies if they get cold feet about investing big money on MM after what has happened this week.
        Step 1 … They go all in/outbid every other team for Bryce Harper.
        Step 2 … They make a big push for Nolan Arenado via trade. The Phillies would give up a lot for just one year of Arenado with the thought that they will pay him big bucks to re-sign after 2019. Here’s a potential trade:
        Rockies get: Sixto Sanchez, Maikel Franco, and Nick Williams
        Phillies get: Nolan Arenado

        1. Hinkie, getting neither Machado nor Harper is absolutely no option for Middleton. Like I said earlier, getting one or the other is a no-brainer. I’ll be impressed if he goes all in for both. Machado’s value will be diminished only marginally. Say from $350M to $325M, if that much. But every little bit helps.

        2. That trade doesn’t make sense for only 1 year of Arenado. Maybe if the Phillies were only one big bat away from being a serious contender for a deep playoff push, but that isn’t the case. There is zero assurance that Arenado would resign, and the Phillies could pursue him in free agency without making the trade.

          1. First … the Phillies need to be not only the talk of baseball this November/December, they need to be the talk of the entire sports world. Middleton and MacKlentak need to rock this town to make the Phillies relevant/drive fans again.
            Under the scenario I posted, the team will already have Bryce Harper added to their lineup. That alone should elevate the Phillies to a playoff team. Acquiring Arenado’s bat and glove makes the Phillies a WS contender.
            I’m going to assume you have a problem with dealing Sixto. That’s understandable. Maybe they try to substitute Sixto with another young arm, but that probably won’t be enough to outbid other clubs. Maybe I’m alone on this, but I have serious concerns about Sixto’s health. The guy I don’t want to deal is Adonis Medina. I believe Medina will pitch for the Phillies at some point in 2019.
            It’s true, there is no guarantee Arenado will re-sign with the Phillies. However, trading for him this winter gives the club all year to sell him on the city/team, and it guarantees the Phillies a second round draft pick if he signs elsewhere.

            Anyway … this was only proposed as a possibility if the team gets cold feet/turned off with Manny Machado after his “Johnny Hustle” comments this week. I don’t think that will be the case.

            1. Hinkie – I’m more than inclined to trade Sixto now because he’s no longer the only blue chip pitcher in the system. If that’s what it takes to get Arenado for a year, do it! You and I both have a warm and fuzzy feeling about Gowdy for next year. He should be able to replace Sixto in the organization. If they are in the running for Arenado, they MUST trade Franco and Santana first in order to get top value for both.

            2. Harper (or Machado) will help, but neither is a silver bullet and neither one alone makes the Phillies a playoff team. Now Harper (or Machado) PLUS Arenado may get the Phils into the playoffs, but doesn’t make them a WS contender IMO. So, while I like your optimism, not sure I buy into it.

          2. I would contact the Cubs to inquire about Bryant. He may currently be just a notch below Arenado but I believe he’s under until ’21. Then a full court press on signing Harper, assuming of course Machado signs elsewhere. And Bryant also provides versatility since he can play a corner OF. In which case, I would offer a package centered around Sixto, who despite being a tantalizing talent, is IMO about as high risk as they come – already in bubble wrap at age 20, a small frame who throws fire. Any blockbuster worth making involves risk to both sides.

            1. ….this would also precipitate a trade of Santana, even if we have to eat some of his contract.

              A core of Harper, Bryant and Hoskins with Quinn at the top of the lineup. Allow Alfaro, Kingery, Crawford and Williams 2019 to earn their right to become parts of the future. Add Marwin to the veteran mix. The defense would settle down and at least improve significantly from 2018.

            2. And best of all, any rumblings involving the 3b trade market would definitely cut further into Machado’s stock. Just sayin’…

  52. My thoughts on the Phillies developmental staff.
    On the pitching side, they’ve been brilliant. The Phillies are loaded with quality starters at every level, and next year they will add Gowdy to the mix. They also have several relievers who are being groomed for the bullpen.
    On the hitting side, I don’t care for their philosophy of trying to turn singles hitters into HR hitters. Both Herrera and Hernandez suffered because of it last year. The goal for Kingery, Crawford, Quinn, Randolph, Moniak, and Haseley next year should be to score 100 runs, and not hit 20 HR’s.

    1. As Mr Schmenkman of TGP writes….when it comes to Herrera or H\hernandez or even the majority of baseball today, the bottom line now is TTO….Three True Outcomes…..the HR, the walk or the strikeout.
      And as for example Cesar….he was a total TTO max out for his career….15HRs, 95 BBs, and 155 Ks….max across the board in one year.

  53. I do not see the Rockies trading Arenado this off season. They are more likely to be active in FA thinking they are a Playoff team. We think all of these teams are simply giving up like the Marlins did. There are only a few teams that accept they have to rebuild each year, and the Rockies are not one of them. I know Sixto is injured. But, he is, by far, our top prospect, so he is either going to pitch for us, or I am going to lose his value. Because he is our blue chip guy, and I disagree that we have others. Medina is a good prospect, I have hopes for Gowdy, we have Romero and Suarez and the gang. We have good Pitching prospects. Blue Chip, not so much.

  54. And, I hope Hinkie is correct. I think that Middleton wants to make that splash. I really believe that. I would, for sure, if I was the Billionaire owner of the team. But, does anyone listen to or watch MacPhail and Klentak, and get any sense that they are bold, aggressive, risk taking guys? I sure don’t, and it worries me a lot. It is more likely, in my opinion, that they are preparing more excuses why the time wasn’t “just right” for a big splash than they are preparing for moves that will “make them the talk of the Sports world.” I am sorry, I wish I felt differently. I will continue to hope that I am wrong. I can’t wait to find out.

    1. Matt – It’s time for MacPhail and Klentak to be “bold and aggressive”. Their jobs depend on it. Last year they signed Santana, which meant moving their stud first baseman to LF. It didn’t work out like they had hoped, but they were bold and aggressive.

    2. We have the good fortune of being in a division with only one organization superior to ours, which at the moment has to prove it can navigate the next few years successfully. Following the Marlins fiasco and Mets GM search is like watching the Keystone Cops and the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. The Nats are suffering the consequences of significant misjudgments and their inability to maintain a winning clubhouse. Only the Braves have been steadily progressing in recent years and have a long track record of developing baseball players. We’ll be okay so long as Middleton doesn’t allow his FO to linger on in mediocrity, but rather urge them to be aggressive risk takers.

  55. Well Middleton will be on notice if he doesn’t open the fault, when I win the 1.6 billion lottery, I’ll be buying the Phillies 🙂

        1. Romus – I could buy a weed store and hire “down on their luck” people to staff it. Ironically, most of the pot shops are owned by some of the most respected people in Las Vegas. My Attorney owns the one that I frequent.

          1. Maybe you could run an “edible” shop, Wawa…for those who don’t want to smoke. Heard those brownies are scrumptious.

          2. I’d still buy the Phillies, profits can go to the homeless, and all home games would be weed friendly. … weed give away promotions 🙂

  56. Possible Phuture Phillie prospect Lin An-ko had a good debut in the U23 Baseball World Cup. The Phillies are interested in Lin as a LHP, but (like Shohei Otahni) when he’s not on the mound Lin plays RF. Yesterday, for Chinese Taipei (Team Taiwan), Lin (playing RF) went 2 for 2 with a BB. Both hits were line drive singles (one to CF and one to RF). You can see the game here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obqU84mcGXM . Lin An-Ko wears #22 in blue. His first AB comes at 35:35. His second AB is at 1:07:50. His third AB can be seen at 2:01:20.
    Chinese Taipei takes on Japan this morning. I’m not sure if Lin will pitch. That game can be seen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ang7uYrEjoM.

    1. Hinkie, how close do you think the Phillies are to signing An-ko? And when exactly does he become a FA/get posted by the Chinese league.

      1. I read he will come to the USA after he graduates from college (Culture University). I think he’s now in his senior season.

  57. When do we hear more about your other favorite, Hinkie, Kikuchi? I don’t see us as a potential landing spot for him. We have not been one of the teams that cultivates Japanese players before they come to the States, but it will be interesting to see where he lands.

  58. Can not see how Matt Klentak will be able to get any value for Cesar this off season in a trade. He will need to be included in a package I would assume.
    It is a buyers market with the abundant supply of 2nd basemen available.
    That is practically the majority of baseball teams starters this season….sans Altuve and Gleyber Torres i guess! 🙂
    MLBTR lists the following:
    DJ LeMahieu, , Brian Dozier, Daniel Murphy, Ian Kinsler,Jed Lowrie
    Josh Harrison, Logan Forsythe, Daniel Descalso, Asdrubal Cabrera, Neil Walker
    Dixon Machado, Gordon Beckham, Ryan Goins, Eric Sogard, Sean Rodriguez, Brad Miller, Andrew Romine
    And those up for grabs as possible trade candidates:
    Whit Merrifield… Scooter Gennett… Starlin Castro… Kolten Wong… Ketel Marte… Cesar Hernandez… Joe Panik… Jason Kipnis… Devon Travis

  59. What can we do Romus? He should have been moved last off season. The ask was way too high. I would say a couple of prospects, but which team wants him vs. one of the other guys they can get? Cesar is a good player, not very good, not an elite Defensive player, does not run the bases well, cannot steal bases, should not bat leadoff. Kingery’s best position is 2B, and I, respectfully, think Kapler was blowing smoke. I think Franco has some value, and I definitely see Doobie having some, but I, quite frankly, move on from Cesar for whatever I can get. Similar to Abreu. I think Cesar plays harder, but Abreu was clearly a much better player. He brought back zero. The return for Cesar needs to be measured by the performance of Kingery.

      1. And yes, Kapler’s answer to which position was Kingery’s best was sheer posturing until they move Cesar. It should be taken with a grain of salt.

    1. Victor Victor is supposed to be a nice prospect. He gets Albert Almora comps. His younger brother … not as good.

      The other Cuban still available, Sandy Gaston (a pitcher), has been compared to the Phillies Starlyn Castillo. The Marlins had a deal in place with him this summer, but backed out when Gaston tested positive for PED’s.

        1. LOL….one of the Airplane movies,
          Roger that?
          No clue on the actor…..Leslie Nielsen …Robert Stack?

            1. Right on, Wawa gets the extra credit.

              “Surely you can’t be serious.”

              “I am serious, and please don’t call me Shirley.”

    1. He must be pretty pissed today … not what we need from the Eagles when Trout is considering extending or not, that 21 point collapse in 10 minutes of the 4th qtr could be more damaging than we thibkn

  60. I noticed that several of the Winter Ball leagues have started, and Jay Floyd has a breakdown of how the prospects are doing in Phoul Ballz. Are there any members of the Phillies playing Winter Ball this year?

    1. As for Phillies……in years past, many really did not start playing until after the holidays in their respective country leagues.

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