Open Discussion: Week of October 22, 2018

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

When this posts, I should be back in Clearwater.  I travelled to Philadelphia for a funeral and a wedding.  While there, a second passing occurred.  Now that I’m back home, I’ll be able to spend time on our stuff.

I’m still collecting your post-season top thirties.  (E-mail your personal season-ending top 30 to me at prospectpoll 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.

Transactions (newest transactions in bold text) – all injured players have been activated except three on Reading’s roster.
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
9/22/18–Phillies signed free agent LHP Joel Valdez to a minor league contract.
9/14/18–Phillies signed free agent RHP Hermes Astudillo to a minor league contract

268 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of October 22, 2018

  1. Yes, the Phillies are going to spend wildly in free agency this winter, but Matt Klentak will also be wheeling and dealing. In anticipation of a very active offseason for the Phillies, I spent some time putting together my ranking of the team’s most tradeable assets. To be clear, I’m not endorsing trading all of these guys. I’m just listing the club’s most valuable trade pieces. (If you want to post your own list, I’d be interested to read the way everyone else sees it).

    Phillies Trade Value Chart/Rankings

    1. Aaron Nola (25 YO) … He’s an all-star. He’s an “ace”. He’s a Cy Young contender. His 2018 season was one for the ages (over 200 IP, 10.5 WAR [according to Baseball Reference]). Just as importantly, he’s under team control for three more (arbitration) seasons. The Phillies could trade him for “almost” any player in baseball.

    2. Rhys Hoskins (25 YO) … Had another good year (34 HR, .850 OPS) this season. He racked up 3.4 oWAR. Of course, that was cancelled by his -3.6 dWAR; not his fault he’s being forced to play out of position (infact, I give him mad props for his willingness to move to LF for the good of the team). Hoskins has 5 years of team control (2 at the league minimum).

    3. Sixto Sanchez (20 YO) … He’s the #21 prospect in MLB and (as a famous Phuture Phillies poster recently pointed out) a controllable, affordable potential ace. His arm injury/injuries this season are a red flag for me, and I’ve already posted I don’t believe he’ll pitch in a game again until he either has PRP injections or TJ (hope I’m wrong). He’d still be a prized trade piece in a potential deal.

    4. Nick Pivetta (25 YO) … He started out like a house on fire before fading in the second half of this season. Ended up a 2.3 WAR pitcher. For me, he has elecric stuff that could allow him to grow into a TOR starter. At the very least, he has the floor of a future closer with his big FB and inpressive CB. More good news … Pivetta is under team control for five more years (two of them at the league minimum salary).

    5. Scott Kingery (24 YO) … He certainly had a dissapointing debut season. However, IMO a lot of Kingery’s struggles can be explained by the total mishandling of him by the organization. If anything positive came of forcing him into a super utility player, it’s the fact that he (eventually) showed he can handle some time at SS (in addition to 2B). I’m not saying he’s the team’s future SS going forward. But I will say he’s capable of moving over to SS for a limited period of time in case of injuries or in-game substitutions. Obviously, Kingery’s team friendly contract (through 2026 if the phillies pick up his options) make him an even more attracrtive trade piece.

    6. Adonis Medina (21 YO for two more months) … He’s a top 100 prospect, and for me, he’s the “surest best” thing they have in their farm system (read my worries about Sixto’s injuries above). with the exception of Aaron Nola, no other pitcher in the organization makes the ball move the way Medina does. He’ll be throwing in CBP at some point in 2019.

    7. Odubel Herrera (26 YO until the end of the year) … Yes, he’s flaky and he’s coming off a down year. However, his past recent history shows he’s a good/very good CFer with the glove and the bat. Any team in MLB could fit his extremely club friendly contract (5 yrs@47 million dollars left … only three of those years guranteed at 23 million) onto their payroll.

    8. JP Crawford (23 YO) … It’s hard to imagine how so many fans/posters have given up on Crawford after less than 200 MLB AB’s. The kid has a history of a solid glove, strong arm, and elite control of the strike zone. If he comes anything even close to that, he’ll be a valuable glove first, 8-hole hitter. I’m not ruling out more. The Phillies still have lots of time to evaluate. Crawford is under team control for 5 more seasons.

    9. Ser Ant’ny Dominguez (23 YO for another month) … He needs a little more time, but he has a chance with his power FB and plus SL to become one of MLB’s top closers. With SIX years of team control, Ser Ant’ny would be very valuable on the trade market.

    10A. Vince Velasquez (26 YO) … At this point, he is what he is. Velasquez is a proven, solid MOR starter with pretty good peripherals (K/9 usually above 9, BB/9 around 3.5, and FIP usually in the mid to upper 3.00’s). He comes with three arbitration years of team control.

    10B. Zach Efflin (24 YO) … He doesn’t have as long a track record as VV, but he looks like a #4 starter. He’s still very young and possibly still has some upside (this was his first year throwing with two healthy knees). In addition, he’s still under team control for four more years. For these reasons, I’d trade Velasquez before Eflin (if the return was equal).

    12. Luis Garcia the SS, not the P (18 YO)
    13. Alec Bohm (22 YO)
    14. Maikel Franco (26 YO, 3 arb years of team control)
    15. Jorge Alfaro (25 YO, 5 years of team control)
    16. Jhailyn Ortiz (19 YO for one more month) Roman
    17. Roman Quinn (25 YO, 5 years of team control)
    18. Nick Williams (25 YO, 5 years of team control)
    19. Enyel De Los Santos (22 YO until Christmas)
    20A. JoJo Romero (22 YO)
    20B. Adam Haseley (24 YO)

    1. How the mighty Cesar had fallen!! From “do not trade” to “almost no trade value” in just a year.

      The trio of Pivetta-Vinny-Eflin are the once who are easier to swing since all are young, cheap and displayed good potential. I will trade Eflin anytime, but I like to see Pivetta and Vinny in the pen unless Klentak can flip them to young bay/arm with potential.

      1. I disagree….I’d prefer to keep Eflin…the youngest with the most potential, IMO.
        We may differ there on that regard
        Pivetta may very well be a pen guy eventually.
        Vinny…he has value as a starter now with plenty of that raw material stuff that is attractive, but inconsistent…..I’d move him for the best return Klentak can get.

        1. @romus – we can agree with Eflin. He’s is the youngest but he doesn’t have the most potential. The FB amongst the trio are at par. But Eflin is behind Pivetta and Vinny when it comes to the secondaries. As a floor, both Pivetta and Vinny have better stuff suited in the pen compared to Eflin. IMO, Pivetta > Vinny > Eflin.

          1. I’d say Pivetta has the higher floor, Velasquez the higher ceiling, and Eflin most suitable as a SP, bearing in mind that SPs will trend toward shorter outings as pitching staffs as a whole are evolving by the day.

            1. 8mark….Eflin economizes his pitches.
              Has done it for the last 5/6 years thru the minors…..he will get himself to the 7th inning a lot more easily than both VV or Pivetta.
              And now he uses his 4Smr more, whcih will help him.
              And during the regular season going deep t is muy importante.
              In the play-offs things change.
              But during the regular season he can save a bullpen by going deeper into games.

          2. @romus – i should say “agree to disagree” with Eflin…I omitted the “to disagree” in my post above.

      2. KK – The Phillies, Hinkie, and I all think highly of Pivetta. He’ll be in the rotation next year as the #2 starter. Eflin is most likely to be traded, but VV to the bullpen is a possibility. Somewhere Eickhoff fits into the equation, but where? A team may be willing to take a chance on him having a bounce back year. If he’s still with the team in the Spring, a decision will be made at the end of spring training.

        1. @Wawa – a lot of people think highly of Pivetta, not just you and Hinkie. It is also obvious that Pivetta will be in the rotation next years since nobody in the team other than Nola and Arrieta proved that they are steady and reliable starter. In 2019, the Phillies might end up with the same projected starting rotation they have when they open 2018 season —- Nola, Arrieta, Pivetta, Vinny and Eickhoff.

          I like Pivetta too and his future will all depend on the FO decision on who they sign in the FA this year and next year.

          1. The Phillies have 6 starters with MLB expeience, and four have yet to reach their ceiling. Theoretically, all five of the Lehigh pitchers could be ready by July. I don’t see adding another starter as a priority. If it takes a VV or Eflin to bring in a top notch reliever, I’d pull the trigger.

            1. Wawa…..I’d prefer a LHP in the rotation. Almost every WS winner has had a LHP in their rotation…some two.

            2. @Wawa – on “I don’t see adding another starter as a priority.” — this will depend on the “quality” of the SP that they will acquire. The team just NEED to acquire better talent whether it’s a bat or an arm. If the Phils can sign Corbin (miss likely to NYY) and Keuchel without overpaying, then the Phillies have to do it.

              Not because the team have “6 starters with MLB experience”, you don’t need to make a start a priority. Out of the 6 starters that you mentioned, it is only Aaron Nola who established himself as a reliable starter.

              If the Phillies will roll with the same team next year, forget about contending.

  2. Phillies offseason “To Do” list:

    * Sign Manny Machado (or Bryce Harper) in free agency.

    * Austin Hedges might be had in a Maikel Franco to SD trade
    * James McCann (Tigers) is in the same situation as Justin Bour. They’re both in their second year of arbitration. Both are projected to make ~3.5 million dollars. McCann and Bour are also both in danger of being non-tendered. Not only do the Phils need a backup catcher, the Tigers need a 1Bman. Matt Klentak and Al Avila could/should swap them.
    * Kurt Suzuki is an option as a free agent.

    * Yusei Kikuchi or JA Happ are available as FA’s

    * Zach Britton as a FA is both left handed and a closer.
    * Jake Diekman could come full circle and return to the Phillies as a FA.
    * I like Matt Strahm as another possibility in a Franco to SD trade.
    * I’ve previously proposed a trade that would send VV and Odubel Herrera to Seattle for Edwin Diaz and Logan Gilbert.
    * Felipe Vasquez (dominant LH closer) would be a perfect fit for the Phillies. Promlem is, I doubt the Pirates will now trade him after acquiring Chris Archer. Here’s my darkhorse alternative: give up a few prospects to the Rays for Jose Alvarado. Alvarado is a really good looking, young LHRP so Klentak will have give up a few good prospects. Maybe Enyel De Los Santos, Ranger Saurez, and Kyle Dohy gets it done. Or maybe it takes DLS, Spencer Howard, and Kyle Dohy. I’d probably even flip Zach Eflin for him.
    I love Alvarado. Watch the wicked movement on all three of his offerings (97-100 MPH FB,SL, and CB).

    * Sign Garrett Richards to a TJ rehab deal.

    1. Good stuff as usual, Hinkie.

      My general summary for the Phillies “to do” list regarding the position player portion of the roster is to bolster the lineup with TWO bats, not just one, while realigning the defense to maximize Kingery’s impact and to minimize Hoskins’ detriment with their respective gloves. Should Manny sign here, and get his way to play SS, that would not improve the left side of the infield. However, his bat would offset. But I think it becomes a matter of whether they trade Santana (which I doubt but endorse) or not. Again, I believe this team needs Harper as much, if not more, than Machado. Let’s hope Middleton pushes for both and gets them at a favorable price while the several opt outs will help sort out the potential payroll issues later. Because as you know, Trout’s arrival will be here before you know it.

    2. Hinkie – I will like to double down on the impact bat — sign both Machado and Harper. Klentak has a very simplistic approach so I doubt he is comforatable to think and enter into multiple trade scenarios. What you posted above is similar to what I have on mind but what I think if going thru McPhail-Klentak are:

      a) Acquire impact bats – get the best bat(s) via FA
      b) Acquire rotation help – see who fell of the cracks (similar to Arrieta approach)
      c) Acquire bullpent help – get via FA and check the recycle bin.
      d) Open some roster space – trade those who are deemed not part of the future (Williams, JPC, Franco, etc.) and get the best return available.
      e) Plug the holes – check the recycle bin and waiver wires

      I love to see Klentak start the offseason swinging and I want Klentak to prove me wrong about his approach. Also, I have some reservations on Klentak’s ability to look for hidden talents in other team’s farm. Maybe he can get away with another Galvis-delos Santos trade, but for the other team’s really good prospect, I’m not optimistic about Klentak’s ability to be creative and get a trade done.

    3. Hinke good list there.
      I also see impact bat of Harper or Machado with Brantley or others as plan B.
      I add another fielder/bat may be Marwin Gonzalez or similar.
      LH SP I would also consider Kershaw and Corbin
      Another catcher
      LH RP
      and Closer

      Free Agency could address 3 to 5 of those spots but it would be costly.
      Trades to address some of these areas would be wise.

      Adding players on the cheap such as rebound players would be wise for depth.

  3. From Heyman’s notes:
    — 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.

  4. Maikel Franco and Adonis Medina to the padres for Franmil Reyes, Austin Hedges, and Luis Torrens

    1. Might have to add another piece to the equation to get the Padres to move on it ….their experienced MLB depth at catching becomes very limited.
      Maybe Knapp as their back-up.

      1. I would normally agree that we would have to add another piece. But then I keep thinking about freddy Galvis for Enyel. Padres have a 40-man crunch and they may be over valuing maikel franco if they tried to get him last year.

        1. I think getting Reyes would be a huge steal alone…..he was not even in their top 30 in 2017 His splits outside Petco are very good…power wise 8HR home and * HRs away. In CBP he could be another 30/35 HR guy waiting to happen.
          Luis Torrens was an original Yankee signing from that big class back in 2012 or ‘133 I think.
          He also could be a very good get since his defense is plus….but the Phillies have plenty young catchers in their system…could be one of their strengths.
          I would try to get one of their LHPs…..they ain’t giving up Gore/Morejon or Weathers….so Allen might be available also.
          But I like the idea of trading with the Padres….Hedges alone could be a big factor.

          1. SD is a good trade target since both Phillies and Padres have players that they value. But it will all depend on the Padres targeted timeline. If they are still in the rebuild, they will not trade their young high end prospects because why will the Padres do that trade? But it they intend to contend starting next year, like the Phillies, then they can be looking to trade their prospects for MLB players.

            Austin Hedges is definitely a target because of Francisco Mejia. SD has a need for 3B so there’s a fit for Franco. Another area where the Padres has need is the rotation — maybe sending Eflin back to SD can fetch of the young they have.

    2. The Phillies doesn’t need to give up Medina in a trade with the Padres. Once the Phils Hedges, no need for Torrens since the Phillies have a good depth at C (Alfaro, Knapp, Grullon, Cabral, etc). I think Reyes is a good player but Klentak should see if Harper is available to sign. Harper fits better and can instantly bring people to the stadium and the Phillies will get more national coverage.

      1. Torrens could be used in another trade. I don’t see why we can’t have Reyes AND harper in the same outfield.

        1. So Klentak should trade for a marginal player just to trade him?! Klentak cannot ever trade Ben Lively or a Leiter for a $50K IFA then you expect him to think about multiple trade of a same player? If Klentak need to worry about trading a C, he has both Alfaro and Knapp to think about. Torrens will just occupy a much needed roster spot. This is a bad move in all angles.

          Having Reyes (with or without Harper) is nice. But the issue is not Reyes – it is the price you want to give up to get Reyes — Adonis Medina. The Phillies are in dire need of close to MLB high upside arms and you want to give up their best arm available (Sixto is injured so he is not available) for an OF who just make it hard for Klentak to find a place.

          1. 9 times out of 10 big ticket pitching prospects will break your heart. Medina still needs to master 3 levels before reaching the bigs. I’ll sell high on him now.

            1. Medina for Reyes is actually not selling high and Medina’s value is actually not at its highest right now.

              The Phillies made an effort to clear payroll and it will be time to flex the financial muscles. If prospects break you heart, that’s on you. These MLB players are prospects before and as successful teams in the decade showed that good prospects from the farm are integral in winning the World Series.

  5. I am not moving Medina unless he is part of the package for Blake Snell. And, I don’t believe we get Snell. I have a hard time envisioning Matt Klentak and “wheeling and dealing” in the same sentence, but I will be thrilled to be wrong.

    1. @matt – as i posted above, I agree with you about Klentak’s comfort in wheeling and dealing —- it is good and bad though. It’s good that it means that Sixto and Medina can stay, it’s bad because it limits the means to produce the needed talent.

    2. Matt13…..for every Carlos Carassco…there are plenty of Kyle Drabeks, Trevor May, Jason Knapp , Jared Cosart et al
      It is a roll of the dice.

    3. Snell is the type of pitcher that you build your staff around. It’s nice to dream, but he’s not going anywhere.

      1. Agree, Wawa – we need to start perceiving Snell (market wise) as the next Kershaw. And the Rays probably do already.

      2. TB is also notorious to be budget conscious. Unless they can fleece a GM, they will not trade their young good MLB players. Just wait for TB to exhaust the control years and the Phillies will get Snell via half-year rental or FA.

    4. Sixto is what it will take for blake snell. Not everyone is in love with medina. Everyone loves sixto.

  6. Romus, I agree with you. And, I agree with you most of the time. But, if I get a Closer under years of control, like Dombrowski did with Kimbrel in Boston,or Hinkie proposed during the season, or I get the equivalent of Blake Snell, although I don’t know how many Snells there are, then I will talk about Medina. Knapp and Carrasco for Cliff Lee, sure every day I do that. The Package for Doc? Sign me up. I wanted Lee and Doc in 2009 when Ruben refused to include Brown or Taylor in the Doc deal. We would have beaten the Yanks for back to back WS wins. Instead, we made the same trade in the off season, and RAJ was forced to trade Lee, one the the dumbest moves ever. But, I digress. If I trade Medina, or even consider Sixto, it is for the modern equivalent of Doc or Cliff Lee, and never a rental. Not in a mediocre deal that moves the needle very little. Franco for Austin Hedges is an overpay, in my opinion.

    1. Matt13….”Franco for Austin Hedges is an overpay, in my opinion.”……perhaps.
      But I can tell you …the value of a defensive catcher in the play-offs is unsurmountable.
      Looks at all the WS teams…winners and losers over the last 15 years…..the Gold Glove candidates and many eventual winers is staggering.
      What a plus defensive catchers does for a pitching staff is priceless….just look at the Phillies own Chooch.
      IMO, Alf will need an upgrade going into his age26 season and quite frankly, do not see it happening to that extent.. I mean after 650 pro games behind the plate, something has to get better…

      1. Romus, I completely agree on the value of a plus Defensive Catcher. No question. My Franco for Hedges comment is based on my belief that there are Defensive Catchers available around the league, and throughout the Minors. I think we can, and we should, acquire one. I think Franco has more value to the Padres, so I would want a prospect back, but I am not downplaying the need we have for a Defensive Catcher.

      2. Romus – If the Phillies decide that they’re better off without Franco’s 25 HR and 75 RBI’s, they’ll trade him for the best offer. If that happens to be Hedges, then pull the trigger. One of Franco/Santana will go, and if the Phillies sign Machado, both must go.

      3. That’s one way to consider it. Another way is that Chooch didn’t even reach the majors until he was 27. Catchers take longer to develop. Often times it’s the hitting that takes a while to catch up, but nothing says it can’t be the other way around.

        Maybe he gets better, maybe he doesn’t. But he’s made progress every year thus far on defense. And we all know what the bat can be.

        1. Yeah…he can certainly get better behind the plate. So if they plan on straying with him the long term, then he will need to continually improve.
          Granted his framing was good….but that is so fluid with many catchers from year to year.
          His PBs at 10 led the league and the 11 errors, mostly throws, were in the top five and his 49 WPs were the most by catchers.
          What you will see is the better catchers have fewer WPs counted against their pitchers, Phillies’ staff was 5th in the league.
          So will have to see how he does.

          BTW…Chooch did not start catching until he was 21-years old, and only had 431 games behind the plate in the minors. So his late age MLB debut as a catcher was actually a testament to his abilities and his pretty rapid development when you see how limited his experience was behind the plate.

  7. Crawford is a “valuable glove first, 8-hole hitter.”…..if that is all he turns out to be then his value was wasted. Should have traded him last off season while he had value. (same with Cesar) Glove first 8 hole hitting shortstops are easy to find. Freddy Galvis is a free agent.

      1. What do you think Crawfords ceiling is? Obviously I think he can improve upon what he has done but I don’t see him as a middle of the order hitter and while he gets on base, I don’t think he hits enough to be a top of the order hitter either. I think he can be better than what he has been but I still think he profiles like the other guy said “glove first 8 hole hitter that gets on base”

        Now, there is nothing wrong with that and he could be useful but when you are a top 5 prospect in baseball at one point, then come up at the end of last year and show flashes, his value was high and they could have gotten a nice return for him if they were honest in their ceiling assessment. (unless other teams see him as an 8 hole hitter as well)

  8. i may be in the minority but even with all his talent, machado reminds me of alex rodriguez, pompous, stretches the rules, lack of hustle…likes to do the stroll to 1st base.. do we really need that attitude on this team? long term and that expensive?

    1. I wonder how a talent like Manny would fair on a team like ’93’s Macho Row. Dutch, Dude, Kruk & Co wouldn’t let his persona simply fly under the radar. It’s certainly another age we’re in nowadays. Few teams are constructed with accountability between players within the clubhouse. Or at least that appears to be the case.

      1. And that 93 team promptly cratered. Dutch was injured, but Dude proved himself to be an awful excuse for a human being and made a lot of comments about all he cared for was the money. He manipulated Giles through the media to get a big extension and then flat out stank and had about as awful an attitude as you’ll ever see. Go back and re-read some of his mid-90s comments. Later, it turned out that Bill Giles wasn’t the only guy whose money Dude was willing to walk off with for very little in return.

    2. this team needs elite talents. as long the lack of hustle doesn’t affect his ability to produce in the field, then the FO should acquire these talents. how many time we’ve seen Doobie’s antic and Cesar’s boneheaded plays?

      The lack of hassle to 1st is always overblown. If the Big Piece did a J-Stroll in 1B during the last STL game, maybe he did not torn his ACL and save his career. I don’t expect that a player with the caliber of Machado or Harper will just slack around the base paths when it’s crunch time.

    3. You express a peculiarly Phillies fan attitude. I’d rather have a slightly-below-average scrappy player who always hustles and sets a marvelous example, because I don’t expect the team to win anyway. A-Rod — let other teams with a loser attitude take that pompous, non-hustling, stroller to first. I don’t know, perhaps a team that never wins, like say the Yankees.

  9. Love everyone’s comments. If I was a GM. With respect to everyone. Richards, Aiken, Ian Anbderson short list of TJ or Arm issues Hhy would take a chance on Sixto. Cannot take chance on potential. No one has ever won a game on potential. He is physically small for durability. Baseball America loves potential and velocity and MLB. But look and success rate of TJ. Just a viewpoint from afar. Phillies are loaded with arms

    1. If I’m reading this correctly, you’re saying it’s better to trade Sixto because there’s risk? While that’s true, you’re wrong that no one wins games on potential. Not trading away prospects with potential is what put the Cubs, Braves, BoSox, etc. in the position they’re currently in.

      You need big time talents to come through the system and help out the big club t have success.

      1. True but they need to keep the right players, which requires both evaluation and development – two areas the Phillies have not proven strong throughout the organization with the exception of some international arms and a few secondary draft picks.

  10. On another topic, our defense. The Red Sox, let’s forget that they have better hitting for a moment, have 3 plus Defensive OFs. In fact, both Benintendi and Betts can play an excellent CF. But Bradley is so good defensively, that they moved the other 2 to corner OF spots, thereby having the best dWAR in all of Baseball. Compare that to us, with Doobie, who has gotten worse and worse the past 2 years in CF, Nick Williams who is below average in RF, and should play left, and Rhys, our best player who was moved out of position for the Santana experiment, and who, despite working as hard as anyone, plays LF at such a negative that it equals his offensive pluses. So, my question is, “where does the improved Defense come from”? Let’s say we get Machado and he demands to play SS. We have no choice but to put Quinn in CF, pray that Alfaro improves, and we are still lacking D around the rest of the field.

    1. We don’t necessarily need to have gold gloves at every position. But if you build up the middle with a D-first catcher to compliment Alfaro, JPC and Kingery at the keystone, and Quinn in CF, you improved the defense significantly. Add a gold glove caliber 3b with an agreeable(?) Machado, and we can live with Hoskins at 1b, and Harper and either Williams or a solid glove in Altherr at the corners and we’d be fine, perhaps among the top 10 defenses in baseball after dwelling at the bottom.

      1. When it comes to defense…has to start with the catcher first , then ss, 2nd base and CF and so on. All in line with their positional value.

        FanGraphs Positional Adjustment…Position Full Season Adjustment
        C +12.5
        1B -12.5
        2B +2.5
        SS +7.5
        3B +2.5
        LF -7.5
        CF +2.5
        RF -7.5
        DH -17.5

        Just getting a back-up defensive catcher who will catch 40% of the time may not be enough to raise the bar for the team to be considered a truly plus defensive team.
        Phillies were last in DRS, so they will need to bring that number up.

    2. Matt, If Machado “demands” to play any position, we don’t want him. And his “demand” to play shortstop when he’s just average there but gold glove at third base further emphasizes the point. We want team players, not greedy players.

      Like Catch, I have lost my interest in Machado.

  11. Eduardo Escobar re-signed with Dbacks @3yrs/$21M. That’s already one plan b option off the board.

  12. Romus, I think that Quinn in CF and Kingery at 2B significantly moves us up from last. And, in addition to a defensive C, I believe that a dedicated Defensive Catching coach, like Chooch, will have a positive impact. That is 3 of the 4 “up the middle” spots. I don’t know what the exact numbers are, but I believe both Cesar and Doobie were negative factors in DRS.

  13. Does anyone have information on how each player is spending his time in the off season? Is Crawford on a strength and conditioning program? Ditto Quinn? What’s Alfaro doing? Williams and Altherr?

    1. 8mark…”how each player is spending his time in the off season?”….catching NFL football on the living room couch with beer and pizza.

      1. Crawford. Don’t know what to think of him. On one hand, we hear that he might not be among the good soldiers. On the other, he flashes special aspects of his game.

        My biggest concern with him is simply his conditioning. He appears to need added weight, which may come as he ages. But he also seems a tad fragile. I would like to know who’s “handling” him regarding these issues. This isn’t a new development.

        1. Crawford was advertised as a plus D SS. The Phillies seem to regard him as suspect defensively. He has had plus bursts offensively, extending to a couple of months, but since his rookie GCL season, never extended success. His minor league career OPS is .754, although he does have a .366 OBP. If he can be a plus defensive SS that’s good enough. If he can’t be at least an average defensive SS, that’s not enough bat.

  14. Speaking of talent evaluation, Cavan Biggio was the Eastern League MVP and Rookie of the Year. He was a Phillies 29th round draft choice in 2013. Many of us were very high on him back then but the Phillies chose not to pony up the bucks to sign him. While I realize that there are other highly thought of prospects that are signed and never pan out, this was a big whiff.

    1. I think it’s hard to call it a whiff when he didn’t sign and they are limited by bonus pools. Without knowing if they chose a different 11+ round prospect over him to spend bigger on and who that was, it’s hard to say. He also would have to be willing to sign. . .

      1. That year they drafted 16 HSers…they signed eight ….JPC, Cord Sandberg, Jan Hernandez, Trey Williams,and Jake Sweaney from the top ten round area….then after 10th round…Keys, Viza, Biters.
        Agree….so many factors play into whether or not a low round HSer will sign….money demands and respective team restraints, desire for college , parental influence, et al.

      2. MLL … not to throw cold water on your Cavan Biggio expectations … but … I have read lots of not too glowing scouting reports on the one time Phillies draft pick. Here’s the latest one from Keith Law at the AFL:

        • Cavan Biggio is also here, but he has looked even worse than he did in the second half of 2018, to the point that he appears to barely be a major league prospect. He has no position at all. He misplayed a routine grounder at first that cost Pearson at least one out and probably two runs and had an awful read on a line drive to him in right field in a different game. He doesn’t have the speed or athleticism to obviously profile anywhere. He drew a slew of walks this season, but it’s because he’s passive, not because he’s disciplined; I saw him strike out looking four times this week, always on pitches that were clearly strikes, at least two of them fastballs from right-handers that he should have seen better than he did. I know his superficial line this year has some fans thinking he’s a future regular, but I see an up-and-down guy.

        1. I bet his father and mother will not be sending any Christmas greetings to the Law household this holiday season.

          1. I saw Biggio with Dunedin when he was in the FSL with Bichette and Guerrero. He was clearly the inferior player among this son’s of former players group. Toronto probably sent him to the AFL to see if he was worth protecting.

    2. It’s not a whiff. They physically could not sign him. The reason he fell that far to begin with is that he made it clear he was going to play for Notre Dame.

      1. Dan K – that is exactly the way I remember it also. He was adamant about attending ND. No amount of $$ was likely to change his mind. No whiff.

        1. Yes. Cavan Biggio was set on attending ND so he could play with his older brother, Conor, who was already on the Irish baseball team.

  15. I hope they will let Hoskins know soon if they plan to play him at first base. He is not solid defensively there either and will need time even before Spring Training to practice playing the position. If they stay with the multiple position philosophy for each player, most of the players presently on the roster and players in the minors (Listi) will be traded before long. The business of this off-season will have to include new personnel who can handle multiple positions. I don’t think they have the luxury of a rebuild. They will have to go the free agent route to get what they need. Hoskins may be traded.

    1. This is a very disconcerting matter. The FO should know by now what their plans for him are. And yes, I have had the same thought about the prospect of trading him. Unlikely as of now, but under the right domino effect of transactions…???

  16. The whole positional flexibility thing is putting the cart before the horse. You first need guys who can hit the ball. Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner and Mookie Betts help their teams by moving all over the field. They help more by hitting the ball really well. It was unfair to Scott Kingery to try to learn to hit Major League pitching while also trying to learn a new position. JP Crawford can play 2B, SS, 3B and the OF, but unless he hits, he cannot help the team. Get me hitters, then let’s be innovative and move them around the field.

    1. Matt13…….the middle defense of Quinn/Altherr (CF)….Kingery (2nd) and JPC (ss) is more than adequate defensively I do think Kingery will hit, and Quinn when healthy can also….JPC hit the seond half of 2017 in LHV, he can do that again if given consistent ABs and not yanked around.
      My concern is catching….all three current occupants are below par defensively.
      The bar for catchers to hit is not set high…..but the bar for defense is the highest of all positions. When yup sit at the bottom of the barrel in the majors on defense from there, then it is time for a change.

  17. Last year was a success and a failure. The improved record was a plus (though I had the Phils at 85 wins), but the final two months were painful to watch. Of all of the FA pitchers that were signed last winter, I think Arrieta had the best year. The Santana signing was a calculated gamble on Klentak’s part, and it failed to a degree. I have no problem with the offensive numbers that Santana put up, and a large part of the signing was to replace the Latin American leadership after trading Galvis. That part of the gamble worked out okay, but playing Hoskins in LF was a mistake that couldn’t be undone during the season. Hoskins wasn’t a butcher out there (I’ve seen worse), but lack of speed, and running bad routes cost the Phillies quite a few runs. To be honest, I expected this in April and May, but thought he would improve in the second half.
    The plan for this year is to move Hoskins back to first base, and trade Santana or Franco. Trading Santana would mean the Phillies would have to pay a large part of his salary (it’s only money). I say keep Franco. He’s younger and still has an upside, and I don’t have a problem with his defense. He makes the routine plays, and some spectacular plays as well. Playing Santana at third base is a gamble I don’t want to take.

  18. Mike, I don’t think that they trade Santana and admit that they made a mistake. I also think Franco is gone. I am not disagreeing with you in terms of what should be done, necessarily, simply what I think the team will do. When GMs and team President’s talk about their players, they go out of their way to boost the value of that player. Rarely do you hear a person in MacPhail’s position say “maybe the other team will unlock it,” referring to Franco’s inconsistency. I am not so sure that Rhys moves back to 1B this year. Clearly, this is his best position, but I only envision Santana playing 3B if Machado goes elsewhere or he comes here despite demanding to play SS. In that case, we could have Santana at 3B, with JP Crawford as a late inning defensive replacement

    1. Matt – Everybody makes mistakes; we’re human. Trading Santana would mean that we tried an experiment, and it didn’t work. If he tries another experiment with Santana at third base and fails, it will cost him his job. My comfort level with Franco a 3B is 8, and with Santana it’s a 4. How about you?

      1. I actually thought I saw progress from Franco last year. I certainly think he is better at 3B than Santana, but I also think Franco has real value in a trade. Maybe,as others have suggested, if we contribute some $, Cleveland would have interest in Santana. They have a few pieces I would take back for Santana.

  19. Whatever you might consider a successful off season, I believe the Phillies will sign either Machado or Harper (although I certainly champion signing both, I will keep a realistic optimism) if only because Middleton won’t/can’t be outbid for one or the other.

    I also believe a blockbuster trade will go down, either for a TOR or a 3B. In the longer view of the next 3-5 years, I don’t see anybody at the hot corner. IMO, Bohm will not stay at 3b and the FO will be looking to secure that long term guy either this winter or no later than next.

    I also believe Franco and Herrera have played their last games in red pinstripes. They are probably the two position players with trade value. Cesar will be moved once they’ve settled who the SS is. (It might turn out to be “I don’t give a darn”…from Bud Abbott’s roster?)

    1. I agree with everything you said except for Bohm. Third base is his position, and with determination and hard work, he’ll make the routine plays.

      1. Phillies are gong to give it their best shot to fit him in there.
        Instructs I understand, he did not look all that comfortable.

        1. I wasn’t there but I was told he worked at the position extensively every morning and showed improvement and added a step to his range in either direction.

  20. I really will hold off on any thoughts on Bohm. He was not my choice to be picked 1st, but now that he is ours, I want him to succeed. His value diminishes, significantly, if he cannot play 3B. But, I want to see him hit like he was purported to be able to. He gets a fresh start from me next year, and I will be rooting hard for him.

  21. I dislike both teams but I pick the Sox in six. Neither team is very deep in pitching. Boston’s lineup has more fire power. And besides, Chase isn’t even on the LAD post season roster.

  22. I root against Boston, 8mark. They are the franchise that I compared ours to. I accept that the Yankees have certain advantages, and someone like Corbin is automatically presumed to be going there. I don’t like it, but it has been so long, I accept it. Not with Boston. If they are successful, then I accept no excuses that we are not. So, if they win, I am even more disappointed in the people running our team.

  23. Romus, I don’t understand. We have plenty of scouts looking at these kids. Bohm played 3 years at a high level College program. He was a 1st Rd pick because of his power, and because he, supposedly, would stay at 3B. How can he look uncomfortable? I am not questioning your report, but the scouting.

    1. Matt, if Bohm hits, I would worry later about where he plays. By the time he reaches the show, the DH may be in effect in the NL.

      1. I assuming that Bohm will start at Clearwater, and move up to Reading around Memorial Day. If he hits 30 HR’s across two levels, nobody will be talking about his defense.

    2. Matt13….maybe ‘uncomfortable’ is the wrong adjective to use.
      He , from some of the reports I read, did not make all the expected plays one should expect from a player, like you said, that has been at the position for three years thru college..
      Also, do not forget, it was not unanimous thru the scouting arena, that he would stay at third. Most were sceptically leaning he would eventually change positions….and some came out and said to first base only.

  24. Very true, 8mark. I had said earlier to just give me hitters, and we can be creative with where they play afterwards. BTW, our old friend Alec Asher took his FA from the Brewers system.

  25. As things stand today, just thought I’d share my players to watch – by position – come 2019. I already submitted my top 30 prospects to Jim. These aren’t based on ranking but rather on who I find intriguing as phuture Phillies:

    C Rafael Marchan – he may have the biggest upside among catchers in the system, may be versatile enough to play other positions, switch hits, and moves well for a C. And he’s a little guy like me.

    1b Austin Listi – dude can hit. He can also hit. Oh yeah, and he can hit. May be just a trade piece but should be valuable to an AL club unless we get the DH rolling here sooner than later.

    2b Scott Kingery – hope to see Jetpax again real soon. Let him grow at 2b, stop the nonsense of ss. 2019 is his year to remind us of Chase Utley.

    SS Luis Garcia – if only we had a few more potential studs anywhere in the system. Hopefully, he arrives in the Show by age 20 (at the latest).

    3b Alec Bohm – mainly because hey, there ain’t anybody else to get excited about at the hot corner.

    Corner OF Matt Vierling – he’s that middle rounder, the diamond in the rough that I’m cheering on.

    CF Mickey Moniak – from what he’s been through as the former #1 pick, original expectations aside, how cool it would be if he became a player. Probably not a Yelich, okay. But maybe much more than what we dreaded back in May.

    Pitchers Spencer Howard, Kevin Gowdy and Cole Irvin – these three could give us a foretaste of a formidable young rotation behind Aaron Nola and hopefully Sixto Sanchez within the next two years. The Braves may be ahead in many areas, but we might be developing the next Maddux, Smoltz and Glavine. How exciting could that be.


    1. Phillies could always move Logan Simmons over to third….he has the raw tools and the exceptional athletic ability to play there, especially if the Phillies think Luis Garcia will move thru the system as a shortstop..
      Do you think that would be an alternative….though Simmons is 4/5 years out from his MLB debut, if it ever comes his way?.

    2. 8mark, Good post. Marchan has exciting potential. O’Hoppe, too.

      But the truest words are about Kingery. The club totally mishandled him, from the premature multi-year contract and promotion to the Big Club all the way through playing every position but 2B. Enough, already. Let him be the second baseman.

      I like Vierling, too, and look forward to seeing him live in 2019 at Clearwater.

    3. As expected, Howard, Gowdy and Irvin will be closely monitored next season. Both Howard and Gowdy have stuff to be TOR/MOR and Irvin has the ability to be successful in the MLB. I also expect that a group of bullpen arms will emerge — Dohy, Warren,Killgore, McArthur and McKay are possibilities and development of young SPs in low minors will be monitored.

      But the one SP arm that I will closely look at next season is Bailey Falter. I liked Falter since he was drafted — good size, natural ability to pitch and good command of his 3-pitch arsenal. Falter will be pitching mostly in AA and will be exposed to Rule 5 next year if not protected. Falter’s pitching arsenal is solid but still raw and work in progress. The K/9 and BB/9 are actually good but I’m not sure if there’s still much projection left in the velocity. Falter’s CB and CU will be crucial to succeed in AA level.

  26. I think the team made a big mistake by drafting Bohm if he does not stay at 3B, so for argument’s sake, let’s say he can be coached to stay there. Who is the Infield Instructor for the system? Isn’t there someone referred to as a “Roving Instructor?” And, who would be the instructor at Clearwater? Our developmental performance has not exactly been stellar, and Rhys, who was not a highly regarded prospect for quite a while, and I don’t think he ever made any Top 100 list, is a success story. But the guys he credited with developing him into a Big Leaguer were just let go.

    1. Matt13…..Larry Bowa use to be one of the coaches who did a lot of work with the young infielders at the Complex ….not sure if he does that anymore.
      As for Rhys and the BA/fangraphs/MLB Top 100…..he was a right handed batter first baseman….they get little if any respect,so to speak,. Paul Goldey never made the top 100 anywhere….Rhys did come in at #88 I believe in 2017.
      It is just something BA/Fangraphs analyst and sometimes MLB analyst do.
      They do not rate them too high.

      1. Thanks Romus, I know they have a set up for the younger guys, but a guy like Bohm is already Clearwater bound, so I hope they get him whatever work he needs to stay at 3B.

        1. Agree…..i would really like to see him prove the critics wrong and at least become a serviceable third baseman that needs no defensive late-game replacements.

  27. For instance, he is a big guy, so I would think he first needs to be training his body to be more flexible, and he needs to be working on his quickness. We have the advantage of Mike Schmidt, the greatest 3B to ever play Baseball, and I would have Bohm working with Schmidt on the technical aspects of the position. I would have a staff that has specialists at every position. I don’t know what we have as a developmental program, but I don’t think we have had enough successes. Does any of this sound crazy?

  28. MM watch update. – interview before WS GM-1, said he loves wearing this uniform, that he couldn’t be happier planning for this team, and can’t wait for things to come….

    Could be posturing after he stated his allergy to hustling, or he could be saying, sorry philly/ny should’ve made the tradeline deal for me

  29. I don’t see the Dodgers in on Machado with Seager, who they love, coming back. I think they make a play for a SP and BP help. They haven’t really been the team that outbid other teams in FA frenzy spending.

  30. This may be the most active offseason in my long memory. There will probably be a dozen teams that will take a shot at Harper and/or Machado. Ten teams will be resorting to Plan B. There are only about 5 players, after the top two, who are impact players, and they will be scooped up next. Then we move to Plan C, which are trades. There are about 10 teams that are rebuilding, and they will be looking to add as many prospects as they can. For the teams that feel they are one player away from being a World Series contender, they will overpay to get “their” guy.
    The Phillies need a right fielder, and some have suggested that Herrera can fill the role. At his very best Herrera cannot have the same impact as Harper, and I don’t think he could handle being a backup. Keeping Herrera, at this point would be like Plan Z.
    We’ll never know what was offered for Hernandez last winter because Klentak (asking for a starting pitcher) failed to pull the trigger.
    We can probably get a couple of low prospects with an upside if we trade Hernandez and Herrera to a team , or teams that needs position players, and are willing to take the risk on a bounce back year.
    It’s going to be a winter for the ages, and I (honestly) can’t wait for the World Series to end, so we can get on with it.

  31. I think this team’s future talent reaches its collective peak by 2021. By then, we will have signed the Millville Meteor. Howard, Gowdy and Irvin (as I mentioned above) should have already joined the rotation behind Nola and Sixto (many are high on Medina but I think he follows Seranthony’s path as a reliever, perhaps reaching the majors by late summer of ’19, and that’s IF he’s not included in the blockbuster trade they will make this winter) and Luis Garcia will be enjoying his rookie season.

    This doesn’t diminish my concerns about the organization’s shortcomings in talent evaluation, development AND deployment (i.e. players out of position). Nonetheless, they are in a favorable position for success due mainly to payroll flexibility and a fairly rich pitching pipeline.

    1. …and if Harper signs here and sticks around, his BFF Kris Bryant may join him following the ’21 season as a FA.

      1. Then again…Theo, by some financial luxury tax magic may want to get Bryant’s BFF to the Windy City

    1. Agreed. I think it would be a bad move. If I were LAD I would call his bluff. The lack of separation between his FB and Slider is troubling to me if I’m an executive.

    2. Kershaw may not have to opt out. The Dodgers will probably be willing to guarantee another couple of years (four total) at ~35 million per year (140 mil over 4 yrs) before he can hit free agency. If the LAD don’t do right by Kershaw (and I’m almost sure that they will), he would either skip across town to the LAA or head home to play in Texas. I’m sure the NYY’s would also be willing to pay him large sums of money to throw for them as well.

  32. I’ve been traveling for awhile but am back home now. I have a few comments to what I’m reading here.
    I’ve always thought Harper will get more money than Manny because of his intangibles. You want a guy who hustles and goes all out? That’s Harper. I’d love him in Philly. But I’d take Manny too… if we get neither, the road ahead will be tough. We really need a middle of the order hitter.
    I really have little confidence that Klentak can make the trades necessary to turn this team around. I’d still rather not trade Franco unless the return is significant. I want a back up catcher with defensive skills badly. Suzuki would fill that role nicely. While I would trade Cesar in a minute, I wouldn’t give him away either. Kingery showed me that he wasn’t ready yet and should have spent time at LHV. If Cesar doesn’t get traded, I’d send Kingery down for a month or two to show he’s ready. I’d try to bring Galvis back as a utility guy. He’ll consider it If he doesn’t get any offers to start. I’d also love to trade Herrera but only if the return is significant.
    I’d sign Harper and go with an OF of Williams/Altherr, Quinn, and Harper. They need to turn Herrera into a starting pitcher and also sign a FA starter like Eovaldi or Morton (who might want to play near his Del home). I’d put Vinnie into the pen and try to sign Britton and a lefty.
    Can Klentak pull all of this off?

    1. Murray, I’m not sure how it will all shake down this winter but the roster needs to be turned over. With a few exceptions, we pretty much know what the players are at this point. I prefer Harper over Machado for the same reason you gave, but I would rather have both and make a statement to both MLB and the local fanbase. I don’t want any retreads like Galvis. Eovaldi would be a target, perhaps Morton if the price/yrs are right.

  33. Fangraphs’ Paul Sporer has published his list of MLB’s top 100 starting pitchers
    Aaron Nola checks in at #6 (behind Sherzer, Sale, deGrom, Verlander, and Kershaw)
    Nick Pivetta #46
    Jake Arrieta #63
    Vince Velasquez #92

    Some other pitchers of note:
    Patrick Corbin (FA) #21
    JA Happ (FA) #30
    Charlie Mortin (FA) #34
    Nathan Eovaldi (FA) #36
    Cole Hamels #41
    Hyun-Jin Ryu (FA) #45
    Dallas Keuchel (FA) #55

    1. Somewhat surprising (pleasantly) to see Pivetta in top 50, Corbin as low as 21 – thought he’d be top 10-12.

      1. I think Corbin is right where should be, at most 2-3 higher but not the Top 10-12 that you are thinking. The list should give Klentak a good reference who to go after this offseason whether via FA signing or trade.

        I’m happy that Aaron Nola is already receiving his due recognition. Enough with the RHP not throwing >95 mph. Nola’s FB velo is not bad, if facts, his average 4S is probably above average. Nola’s FB should be highly graded due to movement and command.

      2. As I mentioned in the first post of this thread (my trade value list), I really believe Pivetta has the chance to develop into a TOR starter. That possibility is the reason I would hold off (for at least another season) on transitioning him into a dominant closer.

        1. @hinkie – i think we agree on Pivetta, although my leash is shorter since I can see good options at SP coming up via farm or FA. Also, since the Phils need to address the pen, they can just fill the need internally thru Pivetta or Vinny.

          I don’t agree with 8mark that Medina is bound to the pen — among the young SP prospects, I can see JoJo transitioning to the pen instead of Medina.

          1. JoJo is their top LHP prospect. They’ll want to give him every opportunity to remain a starter. If it doesn’t work out for him as a starter, then … yes … he should be a pretty good LHR. But that’s probably at least a couple of years down the road.

            1. And I definitely see Medina (even more so than Sixto) as a starter.
              And I’m not saying Sixto ends up a reliever. I just think Medina is a lock to be an MLB starter as soon as summer 2019.

          2. @hinkie – i didn’t intend to say that Jojo transitions next year. I’m just comparing Jojo vs Medina profile and think the JoJo profiles as bullpen more than Medina. Medina’s 3-pitch mix (all potential to be at least above average) is too good to be just a bullpen arm.

            The SP that I expect to transition to bullpen next year is Drew Anderson. I like the guy but Anderson cannot carry his stuff deep into the game. Another one is Mo Llovera, who I think is a bullpen guy from the beginning.

          3. Kuko, I may be wrong about Medina but either way, I see him as the one top prospect that gets moved in a trade for either a TOR or a 3b or OF.

            1. 8mark…agree.
              Of all the pitching prospects in the system (farm), he may have the most trade-exchange value… today.
              Once Sixto comes back and is able to pitch that should change and then the other pitcher with high value upside may be Spencer Howard.

              If Adonis were involved in trade talks….Matt Klentak must sell high.

            2. If will be strange to sell high on Medina —- selling high on Medina means that he is playing as a potential TOR, so if he is playing like a potential TOR, then why trade him when the Phillies need more TOR arm?

              The real sell high candidates are Doobie and Cesar in the previous years when people are so fixated with their WAR rather than their physical attributes and actual abilities. The Domo Brown after the HR streak is also a good sell high, or a Maikel Franco getting hot is another.

            3. Kuko, the Nats got Eaton for Giolito who could be a Medina comp. His higher value (in a larger package, of course) could get us a 3b like Bryant (just saying) who in turn should make the Phillies a more attractive destination for Harper, other things being equal. Beginning with Sixto, there’s enough on the farm that may very well become major league impact arms, but who don’t have the market appeal that Medina has RIGHT NOW.

            4. @8mark – I’ve already said this numerous time before === it’s the market who dictates the trade value unless one GM get’s crazy and start to be trigger happy. The Eaton to WAS trade was brought up a lot of time as example and people like to compare the Eaton trade returns without understanding the rationale behind why GMs decided to make the trade.

              Unless you can provide a specific trade scenario for Medina, it is hard to make a discussion because you’re just speculating and shooting the moon.

              The Rizzo-Cashner type of trade are not normal, so if Medina will be traded it will be most likely for an established MLB player. So why Klentak will trade a near MLB prospect with a good upside when what he needs (3B, SP, RP, RF) are all available in the FA market? If Klentak likes to emulate HOU in building a team, he should understand that HOU acquired Verlander and Cole without giving up their top prospects.

              Also, Klentak never showed inclination to sell high. Trading Doobie and Cesar are “taboo” in the previous year, and with hind sight, Klentak could have sell them high but he didn’t.

            5. @8mark – you gave me an impression that you are not impressed with Medina. It’s either you want to trade him or move him to the pen.

              I also have a prospect that rubs me in a wrong way === Jose Gomez. I want to trade Jose Gomez for free. Adonis Medina is not Jose Gomez. Jose Gomez is a scrub.

              I’m also persistent in trading Doobie and Cesar in the past since I view Quinn and Kingery are better options. I don’t know why you want Medina traded when the Phillies need as much as high upside arm that they can get.

            6. Kuko, I don’t dislike Medina. I just tend to not trust what I perceive to be high reward/high risk arms, as opposed to position players. Same for Sixto though he currently is in a holding pattern until his medical status is resolved. Your points are well taken and I agree about Klentak regarding his unwillingness to sell high.

            7. I agree with you about the high risk/high reward on pitchers/arm — the more reason I want to keep as much as I can in the pipeline. This is consistent to what McPhail said —- grow arms and buy bats. This is why I like what ATL is doing during their rebuild, they acquire a stock pile of power arms in their farm and play with the law of averages to get the better odds of landing an elite arm that can help the team.

  34. Hinkie – I don’t understand why people keep saying that we need 1 or 2 more starting pitchers. Was I watching a different team than they were? Klentak could sign Koufax, Gibson, and Seaver in their prime, and they wouldn’t win without DEFENSE, and good HITTING. If you looked at the number of quality starts last year, I’d bet that the Phillies were in the top half. The Bullpen is another story. They must have blown over 20 saves and holds last year.
    The game has evolved to the point where starters only go 5 or 6 innings anymore. Did the Phillies have a complete game last year from any starter? How many games did a Phillies starter pitch 7 innings? The emphasis is on the bullpen now. We can’t afford the luxury of a Morgan or Garcia on the roster anymore. We need for every arm in the pen to be top notch because Kapler has an itchy trigger finger.

    1. Nola, Arrieta, Pivetta, Velasquez, Eflin, Eickhoff, Irvin, Suarez, de los Santos. Who am I missing?As of today I count nine starting pitchers projected to enter spring training with an eye on winning a rotation spot. The first 2 are set. My guess is Pivetta remains in the rotation. Velasquez and Eflin are trade candidates. I don’t think any more than one of those 3 starts the season in the 5man rotation. Eickhoff could be the 5th man. I’m not sure where DLS or Ranger fit into the brass’ plans. Irvin may get the call later in the season as an injury replacement or after the deadline. I still think they sign/trade for one established starting pitcher. But no more than one. It’s all about the bats and gloves beyond that.

      1. 8mark…..:”Who am I missing?”
        Who are you missing!
        Kuko’s Drew Anderson….and do not forget perhaps a resurgent pitcher, who has a thing or two to prove in 2019, Tom Eshelman

        1. i expect Drew Anderson to transition to bullpen next season unless Klentak will make a series of trade involving the other young SPs. Eshelman had a bad season but Klentak may still protect him from Rule 5.

  35. Look at those rankings, and you can see why I would be happy to have Happ for the next 2 years instead of paying a lot more, $ and years, for Corbin. I don’t think Corbin is coming here anyway without an overpay, so that is more reason for Happ. 2 years from him bridges the gap until 1 or 2 of our young SPs is ready. I think Hinkie is being over optimistic on Medina, and there may be a battle for # 5, but Happ fits right in as a #2 or a #3 on this staff

  36. Interesting blurb today on from Todd Z – saying that if the Phillies knew they were getting 10 years of productivity from either Machado or Harper, they would prefer Harper, plus he has bigger star power.

    There is some concern internally about the fan base’s acceptance of Manny from the things he’s said/done recently.

    1. Romus, I don’t see anything in that piece that mentions the Phillies as having interest…??

      1. No……they have however started signing China/Taiwan players recently…making me assume they have scouted Wang to some degree.
        Not many other teams have been dipping into that specific Asian market .

        1. Romus is right. The Phillies have been all over Taiwan/China. I wouldn’t doubt they’ve done their homework on Wang. With that said, The Otioles sound like the best bet to land Wang since he’ll be under the J2 rules and Baltimore has (by far) the most international money left to spend.

          Here’s video of Wang.
          Looks to have a compact swing, and he really hits the ball to all fields. BTW … if you don’t have 10 minutes to view the entire highlight package, skip right to the 3:47 mark for the most entertaining clip.
          Also … gotta point out, Wang (in that video) saw nothing greater than 91 MPH.

          1. Speaking of the Phillies connection in Taiwan … Lin An-Ko (LHP/RFer the Phils have been linked to) is playing for Chinese Taipai/team Taiwan in the U23 Baseball World Cup in Columbia. Lin fouled a ball off his knee in the first game of the tournament. As a result, he has not pitched. Too bad because the Phillies are looking to sign him as LHP. Lin, however, has had a few AB’s and looked good at the plate. He’s 3 for 5 with a BB so far.

            In case anyone missed it the first time I posted it, here’s video of Lin throwing from last year.

            1. Hinkie…what other teams have signed players from China/Taiwan?
              Phillies could be a team getting their foot in there very early and have a distinct advantage going forward.
              Though will have to wait and see if the players are MLB caliber at some point.

            2. Romus … I don’t think any one team has hoarded the Taiwanese market. It seems a few of teams have signed a prospect or two. The Phillies (if they do sign Lin An-Ko may be the most recemt active club (? Not exactly certain).

              The Indians have a kid who is near MLB ready

          2. Thanks Hinkie for that.
            And I would think the Orioles with their large cache of J2 ‘monies’ would be a team high on him.

    1. If the Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers, and Phillies are aggressively bidding against each other, then yes $350M/10 is easily the starting point. And I can’t see how any lesser market teams can even think of signing him or Manny.

      1. I still cannot see how the Cubs can sign him.
        Their starting pitching staff of Yu, Cole, Jon Lester, Chatwood, Quintana and Hendricks, alone will be at approx. $100M AAV for 2019.

        1. I can’t count out the Cubs (Harper) or Dodgers (resigning MM). It is not what we want to hear, but I can see the Cubs easily moving Hamels, restock the farm with something, free up space to go after Harper. They need more, but I wouldn’t count out Theo. The Dodgers … then making the WS is going to make it harder for Phils/yanks to get him. If they windup winning the ws because of him, he will be heavily pursued by LA. They can trade players to make room, even seager, since he would command a haul. Those teams most likely don’t beat out Middleton or NY, but I can’t discount them just because their current roster doesn’t look to have a spot/make sense. They are both generational players, and the FA market doesn’t see players like this hit the market very often anymore. I think they put up a hell a fight to keep him/sign him. They can play musical chairs like every other team does these days

          1. The Cubbies are almost right in the luxury tax threshold in 2019 at $179M projected payroll. They can exercise club option to release about $46.5M (Hamels, Quintana, Kintzler and Strop) but they ARB from Kendricks, Bryant, Baez, Schwarber and Russelll will pretty much eat that payroll cut. And there’s Jayson Heyward and his $94M remaining that not team will absorb. The Cubbies have enough offensive firepower, it will be better for them to fix the rotation especially if they exercise the Club option to the 4 pitchers I mentioned above.

            If the Dodgers won the World Series, it is more likely that they will not pursue Machado more since they already got the ring and will be smart enough to keep their young core to make another run. This also applies to Machado, assuming he already got his WS ring, he will pursue the biggest $$ available.

            Yes, nobody can’t discount the Cubs and Dodgers (and half of the league) for Harper and Machado, but the odds are against them,

          2. I just cannot envision Manny and his agent, MVP Sports. negotiating with Friedman and the Dodgers…since MVP and Paula turned evidence against them to the FBI….that would be one weird negotiation. process.

            1. Romus, I don’t think Manny re-signs with LAD but not for the reasons you suggest. His agents work for him, not the other way around. But anyway, I maintain that it’ll be NYY or PHI.

      1. Paraphrase…..they seek to replicate at the minor league level what they have done at the major league level! Wow, holy smoke…….your kidding, right? 😭

        1. It’s Gabe’s team. He probably wishes he could clown himself to just run the minor leagues and the major leagues.

  37. A lot of posts on this site and others have complained about the Phillies ability to develop young players. Perhaps today’s hiring of a new farm director is Klentak’s way of saying, “I hear you”.

    1. Meh you first have to draft well. You can’t make a ruby out of a horse turd. The players performing well for the Astros were for the most part upper echelon draft picks and they obviously didn’t develop JD Martinez.

      So the business of chasing Astro’s personnel can’t hurt it also meets me with a dose of skepticism.

  38. I haven’t been on the site much lately, but I’m happy to see more of this community is recognizing the significant upside of Pivetta! I had felt like his lone cheerleader at times as he struggled through the 2H. His underlying stats have continued to show great potential. Plus, this was only his 1st full MLB season!

    There may come a day soon when a rotation of Nola, Pivetta, Howard, JoJo, and Medina has us giddy and the rest of MLB becoming jealous! (And yes, I realize Sixto is missing. I assume his injury will keep him behind these others. And maybe not too far ahead of other big upside SPs like Morales and Gowdy.)

    1. With regard to Pivetta one can always look at the path of two guys in the WS Evoldi and Kelly and how they are deployed.

      Both started as starters and then struggled for different reasons. I think when a kid has that kind of stuff there needs to be a maturation process before it finally gets figured out.

      Does the org and do we as fans have the patience to let that happen.

  39. John K – Apparently a lot of pitcher ratings are agreeing with you (and me). He would have had a much better year with an average offense, defense, and bullpen behind him.

    1. Agreed Mike. Our poor defense is one of the most important items the FO must fix. A by-product of poor defense includes the impact to development of the young pitchers. Sports is almost as much mental as it is physical.

      1. IMO, one of the root cause of defense are players not playing their normal defensive positions. The players don’t select the position and role they played last season so I put the blame on Klentak/Kapler on making poor decision on player positions and defensive tactics and strategies.

        1. The elephant in the room is……it starts at the catching position.
          The most important positional value defensive position on the field.
          The Phillies overall DRS there was horrific.
          At shortstop Kingery eventually became average ..then Cabrera came .
          Cesar is what he is….and fell this year in the SDI rankings into the negative.
          Same with CF and Doobie.
          But agree players not playing their normal positions….to that regard Kingery was placed out of position…Kapler made that decision due to the injuries and his belief no else could do the job as well as Kingery could.

          1. Romus, the “out of position” factor is in play with regards to Rhys, but the overall problem is that the statistics back up the eye test. Doobie has gotten worse and worse defensively over the past 2 years, and Cesar is just not above average at 2B. C was more of a “learning” problem as Alfaro was never regarded as anything but a project, one with some power and a great arm. He did learn framing, so is coachable, but not having a back up C that was excellent defensively was a mistake that has to be corrected. Kingery at 2B and Quinn in CF makes the team much better defensively right away. I don’t expect all the issues to be resolved this off season, but that is a start.

            1. Agree Kingery at second…one of the best defenders in the minors two years ago, Quinn in CF until he goes down for something, and IMO also JPC at shortstop, based on what i saw from him in 2016 and 2017 as a silky smooth shortstop that may not be always flashy, but reliable and plus …if given the chance to stay there.

            2. The Phillies are looking for flexibility on defense. Last year we found out that Hoskins can play LF in a pinch, but not for an extended period. We also learned that Kingery can play SS in a pinch, and that JPC can play 2nd, SS, and 3rd. Aaron Altherr can play all three OF positions, and Santana can play 3rd base in a pinch.
              Franco, Hernandez, and Herrera are one position players, and may be attractive to an up-and coming team. I don’t know if a NL vote on the DH is even possible this year, but if they went that way the Phils could keep Franco AND Santana. If not, one or the other must go.

  40. Boston up 2 games to none. The end of the WS is getting closer, and I am excited about the off season. I know I am not thrilled with Klentak, but I am hoping I am wrong, and setting myself up for disappointment. But, I can’t wait to see what they do. I really am basing my optimism on John Middleton’s desire to win, his ability to spend as much as anyone, and the need to fill the seats in CBP. I don’t see the Dodgers re-signing Machado, I have believed, since this started a year and a half ago, that it would be us or the Yankees. I really believe that Theo is in on Harper, but maybe not as the highest bidder. We need to add a left handed SP, and I know a lot of you here dream of an all home grown Rotation, but, really, when does that ever happen? So, MM or Harper, Marwin Gonzalez, JA Happ and Jake Diekman, while we trade Cesar, Franco and Doobie for prospects, BP help and a back up defensive C. We’ll see how close I guessed.

  41. My plea to Middleton is SHOOT HIGH, AIM LOW!

    Hopefully he sits (or has already sat) his officers down to discuss how creative they can be in signing BOTH Machado and Harper. This is the lynch pin of the off season. Yes, other moves will be crucial to success in 2019 and beyond but aggressive efforts for the top available talent should absolutely be the floor. Let there be no, “well if only…” They have the resources they never had before at a time they should spend them.

  42. Glancing at the market, these teams strike me as potential trade partners:

    NL – MIA (but only for Realmuto)


    1. The JT Realmuto is another missed opportunity for Klentak. I can see Jeter getting smarter in his decision making so last year was the best opportunity to swing a deal with Jeter where there are $40-$80M payroll that Phillies can absorb to lower the prospect return. I’ve proposed multiple trade scenarios for JT Realmuto and none of them involved Sixto or Medina.

      Klentak can offer a trade package of prospects (Bohm, Gamboa, etc) or cheap MLB players (delos Santos, Alfaro) or combination of both.

      1. I don’t see where MIA doesn’t demand either Sixto or Medina when the rival competition for Realmuto will be considerable.

        1. @8mark – all GMs will start with the best players and prospects and that’s should be expected as part of their due diligence. I’m sure the PIT requested one of the Correa’s and the Whitley’s and the Tucker’s for Gerrit Cole before they settled with none of them. TEX did the same for Hamels and so on. I remember TOR asked for Dom Brown in the Doc trade and there will be a millions of examples where GMs will ask for the best prospects in all trades. Greg Popp asked for Embiid or Simmons for a Kawhi rental even though he knows only a fool will do that.

          As long as the team/GM has a valid reason to trade, the negotiation with not stop with the best players/prospects. You’ve mentioned about “opportunity”, GM understand that too. Jeter understand that this is the opportunity to cash in with JT Realmuto to set his team for a quicker turn around so he understands that he need to find a common ground with another GM unless he can find a GM who is desperate to save his job and need to pull the trigger ASAP.

          The same “opportunity” that Klentak forego with Doobie and Cesar in the previous years.

      2. Medina, Jojo, Alfaro, and Bohm might get you JTR since other clubs with deeper farms can offer a lot as well. And not one of these players is an established big league player…

        1. @8mark – what team/referring too? How many of those teams with deeper farm will go hard for Realmuto? Klentak need to play with his strengths — which is deep pockets and payroll flexibility. If Klentak will want to match prospect for prospect with teams with deeper farm, then he is not fit to be a GM because he is showing machismo and not executive level thinking.

          Assuming that Klentak offer Bohm, Alfaro and Jojo for Realmuto and Jeter said no, then he just need to walk away and consider other options like signing Wilson Ramos, trade Franco+ for Hedges, and look at Grandal, Lucroy, etc.

          Phillies need a power bat and a defensive catcher. If Klentak can sign one of the premium bats, he just need a good defensive catcher not necessarily Realmuto.

          1. Houston, Yankees, Braves, Nats and maybe Boston are teams in need of catching, with top young talent and/or deep farms. Off the top of my head.

            1. BOS, NYY and HOU have enough firepower and benefit for having a DH — if they will acquire a C, it will be a good defensive C not necessarily Realmuto so they will not trade any of their top prospects. If these teams will be on the market, they’ll be fighting for Wilson Ramos and not JT Realmuto. If BOS and NYY will tap their farm, it will be for a SP.

              WAS has a need to acquire Realmuto last season but they didn’t and they already given up so much from the farm in the last trades. If they will lose Harper, WAS will not weaken their farm anymore.

              ATL will be an interesting case. Will Jeter deal with a division rival? I don’t know. If I’m Anthoplous, I will trade the excess power arms for Realmuto but it looks like he is playing less aggressive after what he did for TOR acquiring David Price and Tulo. Realmuto may not have the enough star power to convince Anthopolous to pull the trigger.

              Forget about SD, TB and CWS. I don’t see them trading their top prospects for a Catcher.

            2. @8mark – yeah, we did a good job on emulating the 97.5 The Fanatic Midday show. too bad we can’t take phone calls and read tweets!!

    2. …I should probably add HOU since we just hired Bonifay who will have insight on talent within their system.

  43. We all hope l that the Phillies land one or both of the big fish this winter. If they sign for less money with another team, so be it. My Plan B would be to overpay Donaldson and Brantley to a one year, prove it deal. Then use trade chips, and prospects to land two good relievers.

  44. Just saw this tweet from Anthony DiComo, Mets beat guy:

    Bad news for the Mets: pitcher Franklyn Kilome, their fifth-ranked prospect and the prize in this year’s Asdrubal Cabrera trade, underwent Tommy John surgery. He’ll miss the entire 2019 season.

    1. Bad news for Franklyn for sure.
      Looks like he will now make his MLB debut at age 25, maybe….which i thought three years ago, was foregone conclusion he would have been in the Phillies rotation by age 25

  45. He is in my Top 20, and I am looking forward to his adjustments providing a big year at Reading.

    1. Matt13….I have him at 11.
      He could very well push Rhys back to LF in a few years…not sure Hall can play LF, but he has the arm since he was a pitcher at DBU, so assume he can throw with some authority from LF.
      Incidentally….he gets hit by pitches more than any other Phillie in the system and top 20 or so in the entire minors….over 50 in the last two plus years.
      So his BB rate does not get a better percentage on a three- ball cont HBP incident….but his OBP does get some added points. He may have some Chase Utley in him….or maybe he is slow to react to inside pitches.

      1. look at you romus, do i need to be surprised to see Hall at #11? lol!!

        i have Hall in the back end of my Top 50, in a bucket that includes Duran, Vierling, Listi, Scheiner, Parkinson, Dohy. My standards in my prospect ranking favor young arms over older bats especially bats will hit tool (K rate, BB rate) question marks like Hall.

        1. LOL.
          Hall does have a very good k rate for a guy with his ISO average.
          But….come see me in eight months and tell me where in the back end of the 50s you have him rated.

          1. @romus – Hall needs to start hot for him to make my Top 20. Currently, half of my Top 40 are prospects in ROK and A-Short league — showing my preference to remaining physical projection left. Matt Vierling is the tougher prospect to rank for me. He’s currently at #43 (Hall is #41), and Vierling is the older/high level minors prospects that can jump to my Top 20-30 early next season.

            1. Here’s the back end of my Top 50:

              40. Drew Anderson
              41. Darrick Hall
              42. Austin Listi
              43. Matt Vierling
              44. Rodolfo Duran
              45. Jake Scheiner
              46. David Parkinson
              47. Kyle Dohy
              48. Edgar Garcia
              49. Tom Eshelman
              50. Ethan Lindow

              A good friend of mine who I always watch the Claws game with, have Hall, Listi, Vierling and Duran in his Top 20. He gave so much weight in proximity since he believes that the value of the prospect is based on what they can contribute to the MLB team. To him most prospects below A+ are high risk, thus, less valuable.

              My philosophy is the opposite. Prospect = potential so I value the skills and projection and negatively score red flags and age in my ranking. My buddy told me that my ranking for these prospects are too high:

              #13 Marchan
              #16 Pipkin
              #18 Torres
              #27 Falter
              #31 Silva
              #33 O’Hoppe
              #35 Mezquita
              #37 Santos

            2. There you go….I am more in line with the philosophy your friend has when he ranks them….proximity is more of how I look at it,,,,though I have Luis Garcia at 7…so I do make exceptions..

  46. Long time Rays minor league manager Charlie Montoyo finally gets his shot with Toronto. Feel good story. Read about his journey in John Feinstein’s book “Where Nobody Knows Your Name”. Excellent read for those who enjoy following the ups and downs of life on the farm.

  47. John Heyman is reporting the Phillies are still hot for MM, despite his Johnny Hustle comments.

    The funny thing is I spoke to someone today. This person has a relationship to somebody who might be in a position to have knowledge of what the team is thinking (I know this sounds convoluted, but it’s the best way I can describe it). I have absolutely no proof that this is valid info (so you can buy it or sell it), but here’s what they told me:
    The end game for the Phillies is Mike Trout. Even while transforming the club this winter, they’ll be game planning for 24 months from now in the hopes that Trout reaches free agemcy.
    Manny Machado is the better fit on the field for the Phillies (would help shore up the defense on the left side of the IF), but more people in the organization are feeling Bryce Harper may be the smarter/safer sign because of team chemistry concerns. Harper is the more blue collar option. He also has a relationship with Jake Arrieta and Rhys Hoskins through Scott Boras. Boras also represents Vince Velasquez and Nick Williams and may also end up repping Yusei Kikuchi.

    The fact that Harper is a LH hitter to team with Hoskins (especially when Middleton has plans to also add Trout in the future) is another plus.

    Having written all of this … I would still sign MM. Other than the fact that he hits right handed, Machado’s skill set fits the Phillies needs better than Harper’s. Not saying Harper wouldn’t be a big boost to this team. Just saying Machado at 3B helps the Phillies offense, defense, and even their pitching through his defense. Either way, Middleton is signing one of these two superstars in another month.

    1. Hinkie, I was just thinking earlier today that Harper paired with Trout in ’21 as a lefty-righty power combo in the middle of the lineup makes so much sense. As for Machado or Harper, it sounds like the industry expects the Phillies to sign one. While signing both may be little more than a pipe dream, no other team is more likely to pull that off. What your “source” told you also makes sense. It sounds like the Phillies could somehow manage to afford both, BUT they may be more inclined to “pace themselves” for the next two winters as well. That shouldn’t be lost in all the excitement of this winter’s hot stove talk.

      1. ….And while signing Harper (and not Manny), let’s check in with Theo to see what it might take to acquire Kris Bryant.

    2. Hinkie, I think that in a perfect world, Machado is a terrific upgrade at 3B, maybe better than Harper in RF, although there is an argument to be made. But, if Machado demands to play SS, that equation changes. I know you are convinced that paying him enough $ will let the team dictate where he plays, but I am very skeptical that scenario is reality. The closer we get, the more I lean towards Harper. And,it is fine that Middleton looks to acquiring Trout sometime down the line, but Klentak needs to operate under the assumption that Trout is never coming here and make moves accordingly.

  48. I do t get the top 20 love for Vierling, he looks like a 4th OF to me. I have him in my top 50 but near the end of the list. Where’s the high ceiling potential?

    1. “Where’s the high ceiling potential?”
      Really not sure how that can be answered…..speed, arm, contact ability, size , strength, pedigree…2nd Place Mizzou HS Player of the Year in 2015,
      did well vs ACC pitching for three years…and also pitched,
      And of course seem to do well at both short ball and Lakewood…..even after a college season, which is not that easy. And in 50 gannes at LKW hit 6 HRs,,,,3 at FirstEnergy

      When you go down for spring training check him out on the back fields and see what you think.
      I hope he keeps his stroke when at CLW….because he could be a fast mover if he does and Johnny A may have have picked another 5th round nugget..

      1. Thanks, I’ll definitely check him out. He seems like a good but not great player to me. I see a corner OF with a 280/15 homer potential. Starter?

        1. it will come down to Double A pitching eventually, the crossroads so to speak……will he be able to hit it.
          Keeping my fingers crossed that he can.

      2. Unless I’m missing someone, I have among the system’s outfielders:
        1 Haseley
        2 Moniak
        3 Ortiz
        4 Vierling

        There’s not a lot of outfielders in the top 30.

        1. I don’t have Vierling (yet) in my Top 30 – but I have #21 Muzziotti and #28 Randolph.

        2. Ben Pelletier is gaining traction in some prospect rankings (MattWinks have Big Ben in his Top 30) and the big swinging Carlos de la Cruz brought some excitement (particularly to Romus) who can eventually knock in the Top 30.

          I hope the Phils jump CF Yerwin Trejo to LWD since he’s already 21 yo. Trejo has really good speed/defense with good contract ability and plate discipline.

          1. I posted my Top 50 back in late August and had Ben Pelletier #15. Probably a little high I admit, but I’ve been a fan since we picked him.
            I’m also intrigued by Carlos de la Cruz. Need to see more of him though.

          2. KuKo….yes I like Carlos DLC….but no more than Hinkie, who I am sure has him rated in his top 40 for sure.

    2. I liken Vierling to a Kingery type in the outfield. Sound player. Does that give him a high ceiling? Can’t say, but in an organization starved for well rounded position players, he’s high on my list. Definitely top 20.

    3. @murray – i have Vierling currently at #43 but did say that he can easily jump to Top 20-30 early next year. The stats look good but I mostly stay away from the “new toy” factor. I haven’t seen him play and did get a lot of scouting reports to get a good feel about him.

      STL drafted him as HS prospect in 2015 and Johnny A. drafted him earlier than most expect so the upside about Matt Vierling must be really there.

  49. I like him not because of a high ceiling meaning a future All Star. I like him because he has shown the ability to hit the ball and I see his ceiling as a regular on a Playoff team. Hitting is my #1 concern with this team. We have arms throughout the system, but we have very few with the hit tool.

    1. I agree that we really need the bats to step up. Hopefully Bohm and Vierling have good springs and start at Cwater together and hit there.

      1. Coincidentally……Vierling was 2nd in Missouri’s HS player of the year in 2015….and Bohm was first in Nebraska’s HS player of the year for 2015.
        Though Mizzou and Nebrasjka may not be hot baseball states for high school competition. And both could be in the lineup in CLW.

        1. The Phillies have cornered the market for Nebraska’s top HS player. I believe Cole Stobbe took home the honor in 2016.

          1. Maybe Nebraska isn’t too bad of a baseball state, isn’t the college world series there, Ruf & Diekman? Bob Gibson, Whitey Ashburn? This was off the top so if I’m wrong I’ll capitulate.

            1. Correct you are.
              Also Cornhuskers are good people…went to a Sooner-Cornhisker football game in their hey day, in Norman, OK………nicest people you ever want to meet.

  50. I used to like the Redsoxs, back before the 3-4 wins in 15 years, I’m over it now. I hope they can sweep the Dodgers right out of the WS so the offseason can get started! Come on Sox’s

  51. Unrelated to anything we’ve been discussing of late, but I see that Raul Ibanez opted not to interview for any managerial openings this time around. He’s said to be enjoying his position as an assistant to the Dodgers GM Zaidi. But word is he’s highly regarded as a future managerial candidate somewhere. Always thought he should have gotten a shot here, and maybe he will once Kapler’s tenure ends. Or maybe the role of skipper in this new age of baseball lacks the appeal it once had, since they are becoming less and less autonomous in the decision making process, both on and off the field. More like keeping the clubhouse in order and handling the media has become their primary tasks.

    1. 8mark…I thought he was asst to the Prez…Friedman.
      But he could be taking the reins over as Prez or even GM if the FBI finds Friedman or Zaidi had any involvement in that human trafficking incident with the Latin players.
      Maybe that is the reason he pulled out of other opportunities….he has only been with the Dodger org since 2016, well after all this nefarious stuff was suppose to have happened

    1. I would say he’ll max 3/$36M with possibly a 4th yr club option/buyout. I don’t think the Phillies would offer him 1/$24M. That’s a bit steep.

      1. 8mark – Why not? It comes off of the books after one year. Instead of picking someone off the scrap heap to be a backup for a year, you get an excellent hitter/pinch hitter, double switch option.

    2. I am a little hazy on the rules for QOs. Can they offer him one (approximately $18M) or not since he was acquired midseason?

  52. Well “Johnny Hustle” hit one within 5′ of going out and got a single out of it tonight. Granted the bat flip and the HR trot had a lot to do with it! I’m not sure that will play in Philly, it will in NY.

    1. Well, whether we sign Manny or Bryce or neither, who’s going to be our Max Muncy? We need unsung talent to rise up the ranks and cement the roster.

    2. Bat flips and premature HR trots may not irk NY fans like it does here because Philly fans are more provincial. Even if a player isn’t from the area (and the vast majority are not) we judge them as if they should be – blue collar, work-a-day, whatever. To NY fans, it’s merely “did you win?” regardless. To us, it’s how you present…until you win. Then it doesn’t matter. I don’t care for Manny’s primadonna style nor his apathetic attitude. But let’s get off our high horses and stop pretending we haven’t seen this act before. If Rollins hadn’t led the team to 2 world series and won 1, he’d be reviled by most in this city.

  53. I’ve held back from commenting on the constant “MM or BH or bust” commentary, but I can’t hold back any longer.

    I don’t want them. Never really have. Sorry, but while I fully understand why most of you do, I disagree.

    Of course I’d love to have that kind of talent as much as anyone, however a) I do not like the huge, long contracts because they almost never work out well, and b) I don’t care “how much younger these two are, blah, blah, blah”, I struggle to believe that either of these guys are worth anywhere near the value in years and dollars being suggested.

    Watching MM this offseason, I flat out do NOT want him for the type of contract he’s supposedly likely to get.
    And BH has been an on-again-off-again superstar year to year and he’s an oft questioned clubhouse guy.

    At this point, given Phillies’ circumstances and my opinions of the players, I’d sign Harper if Middleton is absolutely, positively going to sign one.

    So what would I do if I was GM? …Make trades!

    Every year my strategy would be similar to how I repeatedly win my keeper rotisserie league.
    >Find the right combinations of multiple good/very good (but not great) mlb players and ml prospects to trade for one great (not even ‘stud’) player.
    >Find the right fit to trade a great prospect plus some good/very good players/prospects to get one stud player.

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

    And there are always a couple teams willing to give up young talent as they are becoming more expensive and before losing them to F/A. Whether the team is about to rebuild or they just don’t have the finances, they are out there.

    1. John K…you make good and valid points.
      Those long term contracts do rarely work out, especially the last portion of them.
      And trades, and more so, astute drafting, do seem to be the ultimate way of reaching the pinnacle.
      I just hope someone like Matt Klentak is able to do that.

    2. Nope. We’re actually thin in plus prospects on the farm. Who among the guys on the farm do you see as plus talents? Which are excess? What stud or great player will another team give us for them?

  54. How many times can you fall asleep on the couch for two hours, wake up at 1:30, and still see the last 7 innings of a WS game ?
    Nathan Eovaldi (who will be a FA in about a week) has made himself a ton of money during Boston’s playoff run. What he did last night was unreal. After throwing in each of the first two games of the WS, he goes out and pitches 6+ innings (97 pitches) in game three. He was still hitting 98 MPH in the 18th inning, before finally surrendering Max Muncy’s HR.

    1. Hinkie, Eovaldi is on the top of my FA pitcher list. He may be now just entering the sweet spot of his career. Not sure how much he’s going to command on the market but I don’t think it’ll be prohibitive from the Phillies standpoint.

      1. 8mark – agree with you – he is clearly the best pitcher available right now. Problem, the rest of the free world has seen his 2nd coming out (or is it his 4th ?) and everybody is going to be all over him. Don’t forget also, he has an extensive resume with other teams – who have $$ — Yanks, Dodgers, Bosox and don’t think for a minute the Cubs won’t be standing in line. He is an absolute lights out bullpen pitcher besides !

  55. John, You make good points. However, this team does not draft well enough to simply go the trade route. We don’t have enough highly regarded prospects to land the Star player we need. And, make no mistake, this lineup is still in need of the “Star”. I am a Rhys fan, and believe we have some talent, but not nearly enough. And, talent wins. So not landing MM or BH is a massive “fail” for the organization. That is, if the goal is to contend for a WS and fill the stands.

    1. Agreed. We need star talent to become a top team. We don’t have any star hitting prospects in our system, NONE. I also agree the line will be long for Eovaldi but I expect we’ll be in the mix. Let’s go Red Sox, start the off season already.

  56. Buster on Manny:
    Buster Olney

    There is a strong undertow of reaction from within the MLB community about Machado’s effort in this postseason, and his comments about effort. He’ll be paid plenty in the end, but his play has created a lot of questions. The volume of high-end bidders might be diminished.
    6:00 PM – Oct 27, 2018.

    …Phillies and Andy MacPhail may be in a very favorable bargaining position.

    1. There is class even in horse shoes, but MM doesn’t have it. He got the 1st baseman again last night! Wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Bosox put this in the bag early and MM gets some rawhide stitching in the ribs. I don’t think I want that kind of player.

      1. Jim, not my favorite style of player, but the Phillies should have a very strong clubhouse. They have played in many levels together, I would hope that they could absorb the impact of mannys worst behavior, and keep it in check enough to win and get to where the Red Sox’s are about to be. I’d take the body of his work vs just this postseason.

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