Open Discussion: Week of October 29, 2018

Congratulations to the Red Sox!  Now we can start the hot stove league.  With the end of the world series, a whole bunch of major leaguers can declare free agency.  On Monday morning at 9:00 AM any player with 6 or more years of Major League service who has not executed a contract for next season shall become a free agent.

A five day “quiet period” begins, prohibiting teams other than the player’s former team from negotiating.  The Phillies have four such free agents – Wilson Ramos, Asdrubel Cabrera, Aaron Loup, and Jose Bautista.

By the end of the week, 21 minor leaguers can become free agents – Dean Anna, Harold Arauz, Pedro Beato, Malquin Canelo, Ranfi Casimiro, Collin Cowgill, Ryan Goins, Zach Green, Gabriel Lino, Kevin Martir, Matt McBride, Heiker Meneses, Joey Meneses, Will Middlebrooks, Logan Moore, Danny Ortiz, Trevor Plouffe (who has already declared free agency), Nick Rickles, Alberto Tirado, Jiandido Tromp, and Jesmuel Valentin.

The Phillies completed their search for Joe Jordan’s replacement when they hired Josh Bonifay as their Director of Player Development.  I’ll have to begin camping out at the Complex to meet him.  I expect he’ll be down during one of the off-season clinics they hold during the off-season.

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

Sorry I haven’t been monitoring the comments much this past week.  I’m a contributing writer to a book about the Phillies’ minor league system, and I spent the week writing my portion.  I’ll be free until I do the final edit of the whole book before the author submits for printing and publication.

I received a couple more post-season Top 30s.  I’m ready to finish compiling the submissions and posting the results.  If you want your two cents included, e-mail your personal season-ending top 30 to me at prospectpoll @yahoo.com.  The larger the number of submissions, the more accurate our results.  An outlier submission will have less impact on the outcome.  I have received sixteen.

I published an article that contains information about free agency, Rule 5 eligibility, and remaining options.  It’s still current.  Here’s the link.

Key Dates (the dates dependent on the conclusion of the World Series are set):

  • 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 29, 2018, 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”.
  • November 2nd 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.”
  • November 2, 2018, 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.
  • November 2, 2018 – Free agents become eligible to sign with any team.
  • November 2, 2018 – Opening Day for the Columbian Winter League (LCBP)
  • November 7, 2018, 5:00 PM – Deadline for players to accept/reject qualifying offers.  Those who decline will become free agents.
  • 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

364 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of October 29, 2018

  1. The fun begins Friday at 5pm. Somebody light the stove….

    A big question is whether the Yankees want/need Manny as much as Manny wants them. I tend to think we’re going to find that out first. Then we’ll see how much more, if any, Middleton will have to exceed their offer, if any. The Yankees MUST address their pitching concerns and won’t sit idly as the Red Sox bask in postseason glory. In any case, I think NYY should be a team Klentak keeps tabs on as a potential trade partner. Should they sign Manny, we might target the “excess” talent from their position players.

    November 20 – 40 man rosters set for rule 5.

    1. “The fun begins Friday at 5pm”….and lest we forget, Nov2nd….Día de Muertos….hope that is not in store for the Phillies this off-season.

    1. Then we can sign either Donaldson or Machado for third. I’d go for Donaldson on a one-year, sign harper, sign marwin Gonzalez. Keep in mind Arenado will be available next year and he wobt bnbcommand as much as Machado.

      1. While I’d love to have Andrelton Simmons, he’s not going anywhere. The Angels will be looking to supplement the talent around Mike Trout … not sell it off. They’ve got two seasons to make the playoffs or risk losing Trout to free agency.

        1. Hinkie – Generally, most fans agree that the Phillies need two professional hitters (at least). Signing Harper will sell more season tickets than Machado, IMO. If the Phillies decide not to go after Machado, is Wilson Ramos a possibility? They can afford to offer him an absurd amount of money on a one year deal. That offers him the option of proving that he can stay healthy, and he can entertain offers next fall. It would give the Phils a respectable catcher who could play 60% of the games, and would improve our bench when he doesn’t start.

          1. Mike … I just don’t see any way Wilson Ramos is re-signed. He’s going to most likely get at least three years (maybe four) and at least 40 million dollars. As I’ve mentioned a few times, the chance Ramos remains healthy in his age 31 through 33 (or 34) seasons playing the the most rigorous position in the sport isn’t great. IMO, Jorge Alfaro should continue to progress and give the Phillies almost the same production over that same time for ~40 million dollars less.
            I think the Phillies pick up a veteran (defensive minded) backup catcher this winter. A few possibilities are: Austin Hedges (in a Maikel Franco trade with the Padres), 35 YO Kurt Suzuki (will cost a lot less than Ramos is free agency), or James McCann (could be non tendered by Detroit).

            1. I don’t see anybody going three years, or longer, given Ramos health history, and I don’t see Franco being traded for a back up catcher. Suzuki is a possibility, but McCann is no better than Knapp.

            2. Hinkie, I’m an Alfaro fan but I am a bit bewildered based on past performance on how you determine that he would provide almost the same production as Ramos. Would you mind explaining?

          2. Wawa, I’m with you, assuming we sign only one. Ramos for 1 yr at a high rate (say north of the approx QO of $18M) is good value and gives us another year to evaluate Alfaro as a future core piece. Marwin for 3/$36 might be enough. His 2018 wasn’t spectacular. Boras basically said straight out that Harper isn’t signing until after the winter meetings. So we might as well assume we’re not signing both and aggressively make those supplemental moves, including Hinkie’s Garrett Richards suggestion. And move quick before the shelves are picked over.

            1. @8mark – i agree with Hinkie. Wilson will sign a 3-yr contract this offseason around $40M. Will the Phils sign Wilson Ramos for 1-year $40M?? That’s crazy! They can do that to Harper but not Wilson.

  2. The BoSox had 91 losses in 2014 and 84 in 2015 before reeling off 2 90 plus win seasons and then winning the WS. So, I don’t give us any leeway when Klentak talks about how quickly teams rebuild. The only advantage that Boston has over us is a better ability to evaluate talent. Sale, Price, JD, Kimbrel, all acquired outside of their farm system. This is our off season to make the team a 90 win team. I hope Klentak is up to the task.

    1. Preach!

      In fairness, this redsoxs team has had Mookie, Bogerats, and Delaux(sp?) developing since the days years before Hamels was traded to the Rangers

      What are our equivalents? Dom Brown, Jesse Biddle, and … we had nothing back then.

      Regardless … training wheels are off, time to raise the bar

      1. I did some research and yes, Red Sox had a better farm system.

        2012 Top 2 prospects
        Red Sox – Bogarts and Barnes
        Phillies – Biddle and Colvin

        2013 Top 2 Prospects
        Red Sox – Bogartz and Bradley (Betts was #16)
        Phillies – Biddle and Franco (Cozens was #16)

        2014 Top 2 Prospects
        Red Sox – Owne and Swihardt
        Phillies Crawford and Nola

        2015 Top 2 Propspects
        Red Sox – Moncada and Devers
        Phillies – Crawford and Appel

        There is the difference
        Clearly Nola is great. Franco is decent. Crawford might turn it around but doesn’t look like a guy who the organizations top prospect for two years.

        Bogarts, Barnes, Bradley, Swihart and Devers all played for the Red Sox World Series team and Moncada helped them get Price.

        Is Crawford Bogartz? Is Moniak Bohm and Hasely Bradley, Betts and Devers? (hopefully Sixto is a stud whenever he gets healthy and can pitch.)

        This farm system has had nice depth but aside from Nola and Hoskins no stars top prospects like the Red Sox had and developed.

        1. You are missing the main point. The difference between BOS and PHI is that BOS are fully committed in acquiring talents in IFA and FA. BOS don’t shy away from getting their hands dirty (i.e. IFA penalty) and will not hesitate handing out big $$ to the best FA available in the market.

          Granted that luck played its role in finding Mookie Betts, etc but the Bogaerts, the Moncada (used to acquire Sale) and signing of Price, Panda, Hanley, etc. are big time financial investments that most posters here will never agree too.

    2. @Matt – BOS is already not afraid to take risks and getting burned from Hanley and Panda signings and IFA penalties did not even deter them. BOS front office is built to win at all cost. For the Phillies, Johnny Hustle scares them and prefer to deal with nice guys like Cesar and Doobie and settle with marginal talents because they are cheap.

      This mind set needs to change this offseason. Hire the best coach(es) and acquire the best talent(s).

  3. A few thoughts on the WS:

    * I am in awe of the Red Sox. What a complete team: relentless/clutch hitting offense, super defense (especially the OF and behind the plate), and a deep collection of power arms (both LH and RH, both starters and relievers).
    * I’m scratching my head to make sense of the fact that the Phillies went .500 against the BoSox this season.
    * The moral of the Red Sox success is (and this is very important) be able to evaluate your own young players/prospects !!! Know which ones are keepers and know which ones can be dealt. Don’t be afraid to trade your excess prospects for pieces to help you win at the MLB level.
    * How badly would Gabe Kapler get roasted if he had removed a starting pitcher who had only given up 1 hit and no runs in a WS game, and the Phillies went on to blow a 4 run lead (not to mention the game). Forget about it !!!!!!

    Now … let’s get this party started !!!!! We’ve been waiting three years for this historic FA class. Let’s make some bold and aggressive trades.

      1. Tac – Unless we sign Manny, I’m not going to trade Franco. Who’s going to replace his 25 HR’s and 75 RBI’s? Putting Hoskins in LF was a mistake, but replacing Franco with Santana is stupidity.

      2. The chances of Franco getting traded are very good (probably 90% chance).
        The chances of Odubel getting traded are average (55% chance).
        The chances of CeHe getting traded are ??? interesting. It just depends on how little Klentak is willing to accept in order to open 2B for Scott Kingery.
        I also believe one of VV or Zach Eflin stand a decent chance of being traded.

        BTW … John Heyman (in his notes column) brought up the name of a guy that I didn’t believe would become available. According to Heyman, the Mariners may look to deal James Paxton. Sign me up for that. Paxton still has two years of arbitration. I’m sure the bidding for Paxton will be very competitive if he is put on the trade market.

        1. Hinkie…I am with you on Paxton, just like to know if there is something else there with him health wise. Paxton was on a pitch count in his last game vs the Rangers, who were out of it anyway…., but he threw well enough that the Mariners let him get through six- 91 pitches, which is a few more than what I understood was expected. His standard metrics for 2018…. 11-6 -3.76 ERA– 28 GS…average Games Scores of 58 with 6 bad games and 15 plus games, so he really did overall well. he has the talent to win the Cy Young, but it’s unclear whether he’ll ever stay entirely healthy and put it together…his injury this season was pretty flukig getting hit by a line drive off his pitching arm and missed 3/4 starts.

          1. Romus … I think the Mariners may look at the rest on the AL, and see at least three teams (Red Sox, Astros, and Yankees) that they cannot compete with over the next couple of years. Paxton has just two years of team control left. He’s already 30 YO and coming off another strong season (threw a no-hitter; also had a 16 K game) so his trade value will probably never be higher. And … Seattle may have the worst farm system in MLB. I guess all that could push the Mariners to sell Paxton.
            The injury history could help to keep the cost in check somewhat … but … like I said … I’d be willing to spend some of my young players/prospects on Paxton. Then again, other teams like the Yankees, Nationals, Braves, Brewers, and maybe even the Padres will be willing to do the same.

            1. Hinkie, who would you offer for Paxton and Diaz? We’ve already discussed Doobie and VV. It would take more, I assume.

        2. I actually value Herrera over Williams in OF as they are both left handed but Herrera the better fielder, faster runner, and can play CF along with corner OF. If the team goes with Quinn in CF right now they will need a back up plan and Herrera in LF would be great insurance. Altherr and Cozens also posses the ability to play CF and I would think Kingery could learn the position and probably be very good out there. So If I was GM I would be more willing to trade Williams before Herrera and not be afraid to trade both of them. Even Quinn could be traded but I would like to see him play a whole year.

          1. I am the opposite.
            Williams is two years younger…smarter….better athlete IMO…better arm, hands down…and is improving overall. His power is legit …and Doobie has started to show his at the expense of his overall hit tool
            Also Doobie’s dWAR has regressed the last four years now into a negative status.
            His overall WAR and also his oWAR has regressed the last three years.
            His attitude needs fine-tuning.

    1. The Phillies SP shut down the vaunted BOS offense. I do think that the Phillies roster has talent which is a better than average team — but coaching is not. The better than expected wins is more on the players particularly Nola — Kapler lost more games that he actually won. And that politically correct B$ will do nothing in winning the WS.

    2. good points-
      we think of the stars but this series was also a reminder of getting the right role players- the one game Boston had Moreland and Brock Holt hitting in the 3 and 5 spots.

      in the blowing of the 4 run game, it was pulling Hill for another lefyt to face a lefty, then pulling that lefty for Ryan Madsen ( with obviously nothing left), allowing Cora to go lefty/lefty Bradley/Moreland on him; just awful.

      besides the obvious concerns with Machado in the lack of hustle and stepping on first baseman’s feet, and in Odubel like fashion almost getting thrown out going first to third on a ball thrown into the right field corner, his approach at the plate was just awful after Game 1. a lot of good players have struggled in the WS, but he just kept swinging for the fences no matter the situation, and had no shot those last couple game.

      by the way, after the 5th inning of game 2, i believe the only runs scored by either team not by home run, or error, was Boston’s 4 in Game 4 top 9, when with their season on the line, Dave Roberts put Dylan Floro on the mound.

      1. Roberts did not manage well in the series…or maybe he was instructed to make some of those questionable pitching changes and line-up constructions by his boss.
        In any even…two years in a row and they came up short…like the Yankees and the Sox, Dodgers are measured on titles….and ’88 is getting to be a long time ago in a distance galaxy…

        1. I think good soldier skippers will last longer now that more GMs are becoming more and more shy of rock star, autonomous types.

            1. Klentak doesn’t carry the cachet that most GMs do. In fact, I perceive him to be easily influenced by the trending voices within the industry. Kapler seems to be in step with Klentak BUT not beholden to him. Kapler is a face, a personality that the ball club wants up front. It would not surprise me if he rises to higher levels of power. He’s safe so long as he’s toting the company line, analytically. He will always find a job somewhere because he’s well polished

            2. I think you nailed it.
              In fact, I see Klentak deferring to his subordinate often on player personal decisions.

      2. RAEF, Sometimes these new-age managers just out-smart themselves.

        I like the description of Cora as someone part new-age part old school. We need to rebalance all of this new-age stuff and get back to baseball once in awhile.

    3. You said one thing I totally agree with and is my biggest concern about the current group – I have no abiding confidence in their ability to evaluate their own players and prospects, let alone someone else’s players and prospects. Without that discerning eye, all the money in the world isn’t going to buy them a championship here.

  4. The addition of Josh Bonifay completes the Kapler-ification of the organization, an attempt to execute Gabe and I suppose Klentak’s vision to mold the entire organization in Kapler’s effigy. I hope they’re successful. I doubt they will be.

      1. Why would my post not be allowed? Do you disagree with my assessment so strongly that it shouldn’t be allowed?

  5. Phillies are very likely to use free agency to add 1, maybe 2 hitters (OF/3B/SS) and 1 starter, plus a reliever or 2. This would create a lot of trade able players for Klentak from the current roster to supplement the team even more. There would be enough depth to trade an outfielder, 2 infielders, a starting pitcher, a AAA starting pitcher, a reliever, and of course prospects are always in play. I would expect at least a few to be moved but not likely all of them plus depending on which team your talking trade with the name will change.

    1. There are so many question marks regarding this team and very little answers. I’m sure they’ll make a ton of moves but evaluating talent (including their own) is what concerns me.

    2. The importance of Starting pitching is diminishing every year. We can’t get by with Morgan and Garcia in the bullpen anymore. They both need to be replaced by top notch relievers. Too many people are judging the starters on the last 2 months, instead of the first 4. With a league average offense, defense, and bullpen every starter would have won 2 more games last year.

      1. Morgan and Garcia both are likely to be non-tendered as the team looks for a left handed pitcher and a closer to add via either trade or free agency.

  6. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m literally peeing my pants with anticipation, I’m trying to focus on work, not going well, I’m sure I’m not the only one

    This is the offseason we have been waiting years for, it can correct the mistakes in evaluations the team has made, and give us the boost out of the “rebuilding” phase.

    The team needs a big bat, really 3 imo. It needs smart trades that yield winning players … and on
    Top of that, whatever team they field, they need to retake the lead over the Braves in the rebuilding race. They can sign big names, but who cares if we are behind the Braves rebuild? My worst nightmare is being the “Mets” of 07,08,09 … vs the Braves.

    Get it done Phillies! It’s time to rise!
    I’ve been patient looooong enough. No more excuses, I want a 90 win team on the trajectory of moving to 100+ in the following 2 season, with legit WS contender expectations. By that, I want to see Champs in the next 4 years.

  7. It is possible that neither Machado nor Harper come to Philly. Then what? Where is the punch in the line-up. For insurance, why not sign Joey Meneses? How much could he possibly cost? If he hits close to what he did in AAA, then Hoskins stays in LF (hardly the end of the world). With Hall and Lifti struggling in the AFL, Haseley may be the only OF that could be ready sometime in 2019. Why just let Meneses go?

    1. “What have you done for me lately” strikes again!! Too much love for Joey Meneses!! He is a FA and was not released, DFAd, kicked out or whatever. The Phillies (like other teams) did not sign Joey Meneses to a long term contract because he is a marginal talent. There are bigger fish to fry than Joey Meneses and the roster spot that Joey Meneses will occupy is more valuable that his perceived contribution to the team.

      If the Phillies want offense, sign Harper and/or Machado not Meneses!

      1. KuKo,a little bit of an apples and oranges argument with timing issues thrown in. Harper and Machado won’t get signed anywhere till December at which point Meneses is long gone. Meneses is a depth/bench bat while Harper and Machado are strength of the batting order additions. To me, the question is whether Meneses warrants a spot on the 40 man roster. To me he does unless the Phils go heavily into the free agent market. The current Phils just aren’t that deep.

        1. @fighterflea – the Phillies has a lot of holes to fill and need infusion of talent. if we are talking of talking of roster spot – this is not apple and orange since stars and scrubs occupy the same number of roster spot in the 40-man. If the Phillies have legit elite talents in the starting line up, then they can afford to have a marginal player in their bench – but they don’t. focus on acquiring the best talent available before even thinking of giving roster spot to secondary players. i still don’t get the love for average players, particularly Joey Meneses.

      2. Menesses could have been brought up at any time by the Phillies this past season, if they were willing to take up a 40-man spot. They weren’t. Menesses can certainly hit, but the Phillies had Santana and Hoskins. They didn’t even choose to bring him up to DH when they played in AL parks. I think that answers the question what they will do with him this winter.

    2. Rob … No. It is not possible the Phillies strike out on both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper (I’ve already promised to ban myself for 6 months if that happens). They have manipulated their payroll for the past few seasons to attack this FA class. They also know they need a star player(s) to lead this lineup, drive attendance, and make the team relevant again.

        1. I guess, technically, it’s possible we get 6 inches of snow this week. However, we’re definitely not getting 6 inches of snow this week. This team needs one of Harper or Machado more than any other major market club, and they are not going to be outbid.
          BTW … if we do get 6 inches of snow this week, I’ll give myself another six month ban.

    3. Boston didn’t settle for plan Bs as a normal course of action. Klentak needs to get an aggressive approach, take risks (some which won’t pan out) and look to win trades. Signing either Machado or Harper or both takes little vision beyond negotiating the most valuable contract over the long term. It’ll be the other moves that define this winter. Now, if they’re end game is Trout as Hinkie’s source suggested the other day, then that’ll change the pace of aggressive moves between this winter and ’20.

      1. Risks can get you fired. So can complacency. Klentaks hands are forced at this point. He might be risk at verse, but he can’t hide anymore. Time for him to prove his worth, one way or the other. I see big attempts from Klentak this offseason in FA and trades. No one is untouchable, minus Nola in a trout trade – but I’m not expecting that

  8. The Red Sox post season was very interesting from an offensive standpoint. Pearce, Holt Moreland and JBJ had the SSS of their careers. JD was there but Betts was almost non existent in his own slash but surely had a profound effect from the on deck circle for JBJ.

    As did whoever Cora decided to bat in front of Martinez. How many times have we seen it. The Cody Rosses, the David Freeses coming alive on the biggest stage.

  9. Who guessed Steve Pearce would be WS MVP? Just a crazy ride for the journeyman. It’s a funny sport, ordinary guys get very hot at a very special time.
    As for the Phils, I’m worried that Klentak won’t be able to do what needs to be done. They absolutely need a big bat in the middle of the order. Either of the two obvious guys would be great but they’ll never sign both, it would restrict them from future moves. I would love Harper, Eovaldi, and Britton but the odds of getting all 3, let alone any of the 3, are not great. You only trade assets to get other assets. I would like to trade Santana, Cesar, and Odubel and bring back a SP, a 4th OF, a back up Catcher, and a top reliever. I would keep Franco at 3b and put Hoskins at 1b with Kingery and JP in the middle. I would love to bring back Galvis if he accepts a back up role. He’ll try to get a starters role initially. Harper, with Boras, won’t sign before January. It could get ugly. I’m not on the Ramos bandwagon, I’m for letting the guy we’ve got grow and develop. They need a defensive pairing for him though. Don’t trade a SP! They’re too hard to find. Put VV into short relief. Please!

  10. My opening day lineup (not Kapler’s)
    Quinn CF
    Kingery 2B
    Harper RF
    Hoskins 1b
    Wiliams LF
    Franco 3b
    Alfaro C
    JP SS
    Nola SP (with Eovaldi, Arrieta, Pivetta, Eflin)

    1. I like Kingery but I hope they allow him to change his approach. He needs to be aggressive early in the count. He saw too many 0-2 counts. I do like all that speed at the top of the order. It’s old school but I love to 2003 Marlins lineup and if I were managing that is how I would look to construct a lineup. (although I know thats not the trend now)

    1. That’s a significant change from earlier before the regular season ended. Harper is even odds to sign here with Cubs +300, while Manny is +150 to sign here. Oddly, LAD is 2nd at +225 according to Bovada with NYY 3rd at +300.

      1. I find the Harper report doubtful, unless he isn’t really good friends with Bryant.

        I also don’t think mm takes a 100 million dollar nose dive, but we will know pretty soon

        1. Harper to PHI, means he has to play WAS a lot. CHI with Bryant seems like a likely destination to me. Especially if his total dollars is lower than expected

            1. @8mark – i already explained this in last weeks thread. here’s what i said last week…..

              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. Kuko, I didn’t have my coffee today but I still don’t understand from that post why Harper would take discounted $$ from the Cubbies….???

            3. @8mark – the reasons why I don’t expect Harper to accept significant discount are Boras and Harper themselves. Harper, not long time ago, said that don’t undervalue him (when asked about the possibility of a $400M contract) and Boras has a reputation of getting the most $$ possible. If CHC is the only team that will bid for Harper, then maybe — but it’s not. WAS, PHI, NYY. SFG can easily outbid any offer CHC will make.

              MLB is not NBA when superstars are OK to accept discounted $$ to form a superteam and win a championship.

            4. Oh, Kuko – your post above my “Why?” read “Harper should be willing….” You meant to write “shouldn’t”, right? Got it. We’re clear and agreed, he won’t nor should he.

            5. Cubs eight pitchers… (Lester/Darvish/Quntana/Hendricks/Chatwood/Smyly/Morrow) …and if Hamels comes back…takes up half or maybe even more than half, of their lux tax threshold.
              Theo would need to move a few of them to be able to get Harper’s contract to fit under the tax.

    2. Now is the time to dream:
      Roman Quinn cf
      Manny Machado 3b
      Bryce Harper rf
      Rhys Hoskins 1b
      Nick Williams lf
      Jorge Alfaro c
      JP Crawford ss
      Scott Kingery 2b

      Bench: Marwin Gonzalez, Justin Bour, Austin Hedges, Freddy Galvis

      SP: Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta, Cole Irvin (with DLS and Adonis waiting in the wings)

      Bullpen: Edwin Diaz, Seranthony Dominguez, Hector Neris, Pat Neshek, Tommy Hunter, Victor Arano, Andrew Miller, Jake Diekman

  11. Braves will dominant the NL East for the next 10 years. We should just go into rebuild mode again especially with no real star power/potiential players in the organization.

  12. Aside from the writer saying that Scott Boras represents Bryce Harper AND Manny Machado (ooops), it’s interesting … especially when you consider that MM’s price is currently in a reported freefall.

    What if the Phillies sign Harper to a fat, long term deal (maybe 10 years@ 325 million), and offer Machado an expensive pillow deal (maybe 4 years @ 128 million with opt outs after years two and three) ? It’s the opposite of what I once proposed/felt could happen.

    1. I’d be hesitant signing Harper to that contract just because he was as bad as Hoskins in the OF last year. If you lock him up long term, your two best position player are probably best suited for first base. Short term, it means we have to trade Santana and the Nick Williams experiment would have to be over. We can’t have two of Williams, Harper and Hoskins in the OF at the same time and even having one of them hurts.

      I’d prefer to go after Machado, especially at a potentially discounted price, and spread the Harper money around to cover a few different holes. We could probably get Ramos, AJ Pollock (quality two-way OF), and a top tier reliever for what Harper would cost.

      1. Signing Harper would theoretically put Williams/Altherr-Quinn-Harper across the outfield. Don’t see how it’s necessarily the end of the Williams experiment.

        1. WIlliams and Harper are both among the worst outfielders in baseball. And Altherr has been below average. We’d be putting out probably the worst OF defense in baseball. We saw how that went this year.

          1. based on what the advance defensive metrics – the same defensive metrics who are as flawed as Domonic Brown’s swing? These metrics also said in the past the Doobie and Cesar are all-starts.

            Keep your eyes open. Most of the baseball guys will tell you that defensively – C-2B-SS-CF are the most important defensive positions not LF or 1B – positions where Harper and Hoskins will most likely play.

            1. KuKo…..”defensively – C-2B-SS-CF are the most important defensive positions not LF or 1B” …..actually it in this order:
              Defensive Positional Values and Adjustments:
              C +12.5
              SS +7.5
              CF +2.5
              2B +2.5
              3B +2.5
              LF -7.5
              RF -7.5
              1B -12.5
              DH -17.5
              …lets get it straight. 😉

            2. @romus – i know that. my C-2B-SS-CF is not based on ranking, it is how i see it in my field. otherwise, i will say 1) C; 2) 2B; 3) SS and 4) CF is i want to pertain it based on ranking.

            3. Yeah KuKo….I understand.
              Though defensive metrics , most will tell you, are difficult to effectively compute with any measure of reliability or accuracy….anyway, more so than the offensive ones.
              .

            4. 3B is very important to the Phillies, because with the defensive IF shifts, he will spend a lot of time effectively playing SS. That is just one reason we can’t have Santana at 3B.

      2. If the Phillies are super concerned about Harper’s defense in the RF, he can be moved to LF and Hoskins will play 1B with Quinn covering the RF.

        I will not be concerned about Santana. They will experiment him at 3B, and if that didn’t work, they will absorb the contract and trade him.

        The only reason why the Phillies will NOT consider locking Machado and/or Harper is if they hold a crystal ball and see the future that Machado and/or Harper are not worth the money.

        1. Paying FA huge money rarely works out. Do they bring championships (Sale&Price just did) but Albert pujuos didn’t. Did Arod live up to his deal? Thome ans Trout might be the only ones who have or will.
          I’m guessing that if we sign both, that they both wouldn’t live up to the contact, even with the benefit of having them project one another in the lineup.
          I hate Machados attitude but I’d roll the dice with him. I feel like long term the Phillies have the OF covered with hasley. Moniak still has time.

          What really hurts team planning is not knowing if the DH is for sure coming or not. Would help a lot to know in terms of the fallout after the Phils sign one of the big two

          1. @Tac3 – FA in MLB rarely works out since most of the FAs on the downside of their career. How old is Pujos, Price (Sale is not a FA when acquired), etc? Harper and Machado are not your typical FA. Not only they are one the best in the league, they are not in their peak yet. The Phillies will still over pay in the back end of their contracts, but the the first 5-7 years will be worth it.

        2. Putting him in LF isn’t really going to solve the problem though. He’s going to be awful there too and a player’s defense doesn’t improve with age usually. And Santana is probably going to be worse than Franco at third. I don’t see how that can be their plan going into the season.

          1. I’ve seen worst defensive players in the LF. Burrell is more stiff than Harper in the LF. I will not worry about where to put Santana. Teams prepared for this offseason, now it is not the time to have second thoughts and choke up unless they want to be losers again for the next coming years.

    2. $225-230 M. On what, a six year deal (that would sort of make sense around $38 M AAV)? If they are thinking 10 years, that’s a joke – it will be closer to double that amount.

  13. If the hesitation is that Harper is not a defensive gem, the Phillies need to look at their catching (Alfaro, Knapp) and SS (Kingery) positions first. C and SS are way more important defensively than LF. Make the middle of the diamond (C-2B-SS-CF) defensively capable then insert the power bats in the corners (1B-3B-LF-RF). MLB players who are both offensively and defensively capable don’t grow on trees.

  14. Mike … are you smoking again ???
    Why would Bryce Harper wait six years to hit the open market … only to take a pass just five days from free agency ???
    Maybe you read that Harper is resigned to the fact that he won’t be playing for the Nats again. LOL.

      1. Romus – My brother sent me a message (still no response from him). I couldn’t confirm it so I posted it in the event that someone on here had more information. Being a pothead doesn’t make me a liar.

        1. I believe it was Boras making a joke about Harper already having a deal in place.
          Saw that on another website.
          Oh…btw, who said you were a liar?
          Enjoying a little THC does not make one a liar…in fact maybe the opposite.

  15. I believe the FO is fully intending to shore up the Defense. I think they do that by putting Quinn in CF and Kingery at 2B. I really believe that the time to move on from Cesar and Doobie is here. If they do that, and add a defensive specialist at C to back up Alfaro, the D becomes significantly better. Then, if Machado can be convinced to play 3B, he is a GG player there. Crawford, hopefully, then becomes the defensive SS we all thought that he was. If we don’t get Machado, Harper’s arm in RF alone, makes him better defensively than Nick Williams. Then, maybe Donaldson is signed to play 3B. So, even if we keep Santana and Rhys stays in LF, the D is much better than it was last year.

    1. Matt13…shore up the catching..IMO, move Alf.
      He caught 60% of the innings and 67% of the games, and would have been more if Ramos was not around to catch the other 13% (Knapp-27%)…a defensive back-up catcher would be nice 1.5 games a week, but rather see the team have a full time guy who can get the job done.

  16. Romus, I figure that I will pick my battles. I don’t see the FO having a new starting C anywhere on their radar, so I am happy with a defensive specialist as back up. Also, I believe that Alfaro is coachable. He learned framing, and I think that another year will see him add to his other defensive skills. Or, at least, that is my hope. I really am more worried about him cutting down his Ks.

    1. Matt – You’re wasting a spot on the 25 man roster for a back up catcher who can’t hit. If he’s only going to play twice a week, get someone who will be a bench bat. Suzuki?

    2. It’s possible that $$ will not be enough to bring either MM or Harper to Philly. The money they can get in any event is ridiculous. Both could take less than the Phillies will offer, simply because they want to be with a winner sooner than later. Any contract will make them rich beyond words.

  17. Reports have it that NYY will not be pursuing Bryce Harper and that they have cooled their interest in Manny Machado. Bear in mind, Cashman & Co are cool customers and have played this game before. Laying back, playing dead with no evidence of intending to dip their toe in the big fish FA pool. Next thing you know, they sign Stanton. Harper makes more sense for them than Stanton would if both entered the market at the same time. Lefty power bat in a lefty power park. They don’t need Machado, but like the rich guy with a lot full of classic cars, they like to add to the excess because hey, they can.

    The Cubs would need to do a lot of shucking and jiving in order to make room for Harper but Theo would know how and who to shift around and who to sell.

    These two franchises are the only real competition IMO to the Phillies signing either Machado or Harper or both. We’ll see if MiddleMacKlentak can navigate these waters, regardless of how much more cash is at their disposal. And if Boras will merely use the Phillies to leverage a deal.

    Oddsmakers aside, it’s where the gamblers place their bets. Cashman and Epstein are proven high rollers….

    1. Matt … the Dodgers have the cap space and should (at least) kick the tires on Harper. Also, I think the White Sox and Angels will look to spend in free agency, and could get involved with both Harper and Machado.

      1. The Red Sox World Series title proves that baseball needs a hard cap not a silly luxury tax as the wealthy teams will just bust the cap.

        1. philabaltfan…..there is a want for a competitive balance from the commiss’ office, as they do not want the same teams to win every year, because of concern that failing teams will go bankrupt, making the league’s market smaller.

          There was a study in the Academy of Business Journal back in 2013 shows a relationship between all 30 MLB teams’ winning percentage, team salaries, operating income, operating profit margin, gross profit and team revenue from 2002-2010. This study purports to have proven that there is no difference in profit when there is a payroll increase, but there is a significant increase in winning percentage with an increase in payroll, so therefore teams can spend as they have to help their teams win, and general managers will prioritize wins over profits, allowing teams with more favorable revenue situations to spend more, leading to imbalance. MLB’s luxury tax was justified by a working paper from the University of Zurich. The paper develops a game-theoretic model that addresses the effects of a luxury tax on competitive balance, team profits, and social welfare.

          “This model has half the teams above a certain tax threshold, and the other half below. The teams above would pay taxable balance from their excess amount, and it would be redistributed to the teams below. This research proved that the small teams could have a larger salary than before, and the larger teams would not be affected as much. In other words, the total salaries of the league increased, helping the players, and the competitive balance and social welfare grew, helping the fans”….Dietl, Helmut M.; Lang, Markus; Werner, Stephan (June 2009). “The Effect of Competitive Balance, Club Profits, and Social Welfare in Sports Leagues”. Institute for Strategy and Business Economics University of Zurich.

          We all now know under the 2016 CBA, first time offenders would pay a fee of 20% on the dollar, second time offenders would pay a 30% on the dollar, and third or subsequent time offenders would have to pay 50% on the dollar (These offenses must be in consecutive years for these percentages. If a team falls below the threshold one year the penalty re-sets the next year to the “first offense”)…so that can be dis-incentive for most clubs to try to avoid busting it continually.

      1. Right. Don’t forget, he was on par with Hoskins thru the organization until a year and half ago. They could be the new Bash Brothers.

    1. Taking this further, have a Department of Baseball Motivation with Charlie Manuel as President and Utley, Rollins, Howard and Lidge as VPs then have former players like Victorino, Werth, Ruiz,Moyer, Eyre, and others as members. This group would inspire, train and develop players in all levels of the organization on 360 degrees of baseball.

    2. Chase Utley is a wealthy man and kind of a loner type. I don’t see that he would want a full time gig with the team or any other team, at least not yet. I could see him consulting or going to ST and that would be nice. As for what I expect will be the future clamoring to make Utley a manager, all I can say is that, historically, guys like Utley have made terrible managers so personally, I have no interest in that.

      1. Agree…Utley may not make a very good manager.
        Too intensive and his no-nonsense message may not be communicated to the liking of the current ballplayers.
        Seems like former MLB catchers make up a large contingent of managers anymore.

      2. I agree with you and Romus, I don’t think Utley would make a very good manager. I think as a general rule, good baseball players do not become good managers. The good managers seem to be catchers as Romus said or a mediocre career ballplayer that has spent considerable time in the minors or on the bench in the majors. I was really impressed with Cora! Thought he did a good job as a first year manager.

  18. I love Utley, but I agree, I don’t think he has any interest in Managing. I do want Chooch here. I think he would be an invaluable help to Alfaro. I think the prognosticators are all wrong, and despite the “mishaps” Machado had this Post Season and the less than stellar performance, we are going to see multiple teams in that $300 Million playing field. He and Harper will both exceed that, in my opinion. Hinkie mentioned some, especially the Angels, who have no choice but to put a team around Trout. The Dodgers just lost 2 WS in a row, at home, and are always a threat, even if it seems unlikely. The Cubs will be active, and I don’t discount the Cardinals and the Rockies and the Brewers, all of whom feel they are Playoff worthy. I still go after Machado, and use whatever “leverage” there is not to discount his $, but to convince him to play 3B.

  19. The Phils will not sign Manny AND Harper, it won’t happen. I think Harper with Boras will sign later. The guy who signs last will have more desperate bidders forcing the price higher. I say the Phils will go hard after Manny and if they get him, drop out of Harper talks but if they don’t they’ll go all in on Harper.

  20. Very funny – The SF Giants tweeted congrats to the Dodgers, their enemy, for their two WS “appearances”. In the background are pictures of Posey and Bumgarner sitting with their ‘ship trophies. Nice job Giants

  21. Romus, thank you for that article you referenced. I think some people, not meaning on this site, but in general, think that the teams that are close to the luxury tax will not be spenders this off season. That is not, necessarily, so. Rather, they got under the tax so that when they go over again, it only triggers a 20% surcharge, instead of a 50% one. That was the whole reason for going under. It was not to be cost conscious but to prepare for this year’s off season.

    1. Matt13…agree.
      They more or less skirted the true intention of the tax , by getting under it for a year, then re-sets at 20% which teams like the Yankees/Dodgers/Cubs and some of the other large market teams can easily absorb.
      The system probably needs to be -re-worked to some degree.
      I always felt taking away Rule 4 draft picks in the higher rounds, along with the intl’ money credits would be sizable penalties that teams would look to avoid.
      Phillies were way below the tax, and signing Santana and Arrita incurred pretty steep penalties since they were QO guys.
      Why not do something similar with teams busting the lux tax threshold?

      1. Yankees, RedSox, Dodgers and Cubs. It’s become a 4 team league in terms of fiscal fire power. They act with little to no fear of losing financial viability. (Actually, I wish the Phillies behaved more like the big market club they should be.) Meanwhile, teams like the Pirates, Royals, A’s and Marlins are allowed to sit by year to year, holding out their proverbial tin cups and pleading “No dinero!” If the front office is savvy enough in either case, they make it work somehow to remain playoff relevant. We haven’t found that common ground just yet. This winter should begin to tell us if they will anytime soon.

        1. Every few years a small market team strikes gold and wins a WS ring….Royals in 2015 were the latest.
          Brewers cams close this year.
          Cardinals are considered small market by MLB standards…don’t ask me how or why and they have won it.

  22. Baseball America has posted the Phillies 2018 draft report card earlier today. Anyone with a subscription, please give us their review? Thanks.

    1. 8mark, as per your request:

      Best pure hitter: Bohm. Vierling has impressive feel.
      Best Power: Bohm. Mentions for Matt Kroon and Luke Miller.
      Fastest runner: Corbin Williams. 60-yard dash in 6.25.
      Best defensive player. Maybe a steal in Logan O’Hoppe
      Best athlete: Logan Simmons
      Best fastball: Dominc Pipkin. James McArthur, Tyler McKay mentioned.
      Best secondary pitch: Colton Eastman change up
      Closest to Majors: Bohm.

  23. As long as these are the rules that were set with the CBA, we should take advantage of our financial wherewithal. I have said before that I believe we are equal to the Red Sox in our
    ability to financially compete, and we have waited since 2012 for them to exercise that strength. Middleton promised it, and I expect him to demand that his FO people follow through. We are clearly a big market team, with a big market team’s cable deal, and the fan base to fill CBP. I don’t want to spend on mediocrity, but I expect us to land Machado or Harper along with a Happ, BP help, another player who can hit, and a back up C.

    1. Matt … Steve Adams (MLB Trade Rumors.com) agrees with you. He says the Phillies can compete financially with any other team.

      Rafael
      Do you think the Phillies can win a bidding war with Yankees for either Machado or Harper?
      Steve Adams
      I think they can win a bidding war with anyone and have the means/motivation to sign one of the two

  24. It’s official. Four Phillies’ declared for free agency Monday –
    10/29/18 – 2B Asdrubal Cabrera elected free agency.
    10/29/18 – C Wilson Ramos elected free agency.
    10/29/18 – RF Jose Bautista elected free agency.
    10/29/18 – LHP Aaron Loup elected free agency.

  25. Thanks Jim, I don’t think any of the 4 will be even contacted about coming back. I think Ramos goes to the AL where he can C and DH.

    1. If the Dodgers don’t extend him ASAP, Kershaw would be nuts not to opt out. He will easily make more than the 70 million the LAD owe him. Rangers, Yankees, and Angels would all make lucrative offers.

      1. I do not see him getting his current AAV of $34/35M for an extended time based on his age31 season coming up.
        I do however see him getting an offer at 4/5 years $25/27M AAV…..which could put him at max $125/135M going into his age36 season.
        Now if he resigns with the Dodgers…he will probably get a substantial length to his contract with the substantial end result being more than if he played out the last two years of his current contract and then decided to test the FA market.
        I see his over all metrics and stuff declining along with his health.
        And with that, then there are his constant back issues that he needs to weigh going forward.

        1. If I was Kershaw I’d try and get my self to TX no income tax. CA has the highest top tier income tax in all the US at 13.3%

  26. BTW … the U23 Baseball World Cup ended this weekend. Possible Phuture Phillie 21 YO LHP Lin An-Ko (playing for Chinese Taipei/Team Taiwan) never got to pitch after fouling a ball off his knee in game 1. However, Lin did see time as a PH and 1Bman. He went 6 for 11 with 2 BB’s. I watched most of his games. I found out his father is Taiwanese and his mother is Argentinian. He’s got a nice, level swing (no launch angle) that allows him to hit lots of line drives. I was disappointed he didn’t get to pitch. So for now, this all I’ve got to on.

    1. Saw this comment at the end of one of his hi-lite videos
      CPBL STATS
      ‏@GOCPBL
      May 12

      Kid need a new elbow 😦 Another good young pitcher got overused by his university/ junior national team before turning pro. He was able to hit 148kph with his fastball, now he can barely break 140kph.
      (92 mph=148kph…..87 mph=140kph)

        1. Good stuff, Romus. Lin is pretty athletic (he plays RF when he’s not pitching). Hope the Phillies get him signed this J2 period.

  27. Realmuto’s agent informs Marlins he will not sign an extension. The offers for him will be huge and multiple. I do not see us paying what it would cost in players and prospects, and I believe the FO believes that they can grow Alfaro, But, I do think that JTR gets traded somewhere.

    1. I love Alfaro as a person and I love his physical tools, but I’m not sure he projects as a first division regular.

      His defense was excellent last year according to fangraphs and he played to a 2.1 WAR in 108 games – that’s a solid second division regular. I expect his defense will continue to improve incrementally and he has a great arm, so he should control the running game.

      The real issue is whether he can grow as a hitter. His K rate is so hit and his BB rate is so low that it doesn’t portend well for his improvement as a player. I suppose it’s worth another season to see if he can grow, but I wonder if they are giving Jorge good instruction in that regard. Jorge tries to kill the ball. Why? He’s probably one of the 5 strongest players in baseball, a massively powerful human being. He doesn’t need to do that. He needs to make contact much more often and the homers and doubles will take care of themselves. As for plate discipline he does seem to be improving, which isn’t easy, but he still needs to get a bit better.

      I do agree that Alfaro is worth another year of an experiment, but they should already be thinking about Plan B at the catching position.

    2. Just my opinion but I would be loathe to give up much for Realmuto. The worst thing you can do to a talented offensive player is stick them behind the plate. It shortens their careers immensely in most cases Mauer/Posey…

      I’ll take a solid defensive catcher with a little bit of OBP skills and get my offense elsewhere.

    3. Realmuto’s not signing an extension will drive his trade value lower since teams can just wait for him to be signed in after 2 years. Jeter’s play is to trade Realmuto to get better returns. I expect Realmuto to be traded no later than the 2019 trade deadline.

  28. Too much risk in Harper and Machado. If they are good they opt out. If bad it is a horrible contract. Rather Donaldson.
    Market for Cesar is too weak to trade him. I have no confidence in Kingery’s bat, nor Crawford. Put one of them at SS to start season with Cesar at 2B.
    Quinn will not last a full season so keeping Herrera might be as useful as signing Pollock.
    One of Franco or Santana must go. Possibly both, and keep Bour at 1B with Hoskins getting time in LF and 1B if an outfielder is signed.
    Even for only 120 games Ramos may be worth it. Agree with getting defensive vet if not Ramos.
    Kuechel may be the SP worth getting. Britton or Miller for the bullpen.

    Hernandez, Hoskins, Pollock, Donaldson, Ramos, Bour/Santana, Herrera, Crawford.
    Bench: Alfaro, Kingery, Quinn, Williams
    Nola, Kuechel, Arrietta, Pivetta, Elfin
    Neris, Neshak, Miller, Hunter, Ramos, Arano, etc
    Not sure what trade value Phils could get for Franco, Bour/Santana, Velasquez in above scenario but a Closer would be nice.

    1. “Too much risk”….Well, Klentak’s only move that could be considered anything remotely close to being risky was hiring Kapler. Let’s hope when it’s all said and done, that Klentak’s legacy wasn’t risk aversion. Besides, signing either Machado or Harper won’t be his decision, ultimately. That’s Middleton’s call, and his predecessors in the owner’s box had an allergic reaction whenever there was a risky proposition on the table. Time is now to take a risk, not haphazardly, but to jumpstart an apathetic fanbase. The real test the Phillies face is whether they can add nonspectacular pieces which would realign this disjointed roster, especially defensively.

    2. i agree with 8mark on Klentak’s riskiest move — Kapler! Kingery has been very good since he was drafted. Solid bat with good defense. Nobody will know if his performance suffered because of the way his was mismanaged — but what I know is, in any work place no good things happened is something is mismanaged. Kingery has bigger impact long term than Cesar so it’s time to move on from Cesar and Klentak should just $uck up any opportunity cost by not trading high on Cesar.

      I want to see JPC in SS before I decide to write him off. Like Kingery, JPC has been very good defensively at SS and with solid bat. Another case of mismanagement? I don’t know. If Klentak can find a taker for JPC in exchange of a good trade return – then do it. I have confidence in SS Luis Garcia – Garcia should be up in the major sooner that we expect.

      Quinn should be starting as long as he can play. He’s an injury-risk alright, but Kapler still need to start him rather than putting him in the bench. Quinn’s speed, defense and sneaky good bat can help by starting rather than treating him like Glass Jaw and sit him in the bench.

  29. Donaldson is such a crazy wild card. If the team signed Harper to a pillow deal (I don’t see Harper taking a medium term deal – it will either be long term or of the pillow variety) and Donaldson to a 2 year contract with a third-year vesting option (he will now be very affordable) and added a lefty like Corbin (the need for a dominant lefty in this rotation is enormous – a guy like Corbin will be well worth what they are likely to pay) – that would be an outstanding off season.

    1. On Donaldson, before doing any deal, they would need a medical opinion that Donaldson is likely to return to full health, but man, talk about a buy low, big upside opportunity. When this guy is healthy he has routinely been one of the 10 best players in baseball. They don’t need him to even be that good – I’d be thrilled if he returned to health and showed a slow decline – even at that level, he’s an all-star caliber player.

      1. How many 36 year olds can miss a year and come back as a similar version of their old self (post steroid era)? I would pass on him.

          1. Strange…Donaldson played in 52 games(219PAs)…Maikel played in 131 games(465PAs) this season……and had a 1.2bWAR….vs Maikel’s .2bWAR

            1. I’ll take Donaldson over Franco now, any day of the week and twice on Sunday. But they don’t schedule doubleheaders anymore. Remember those days?

  30. Yankees have to make a decision on Brett Gardner by tomorrow morning.
    Could determine where they will go with a Harper decision.
    Then there is still Jacoby Ellsbury owed big money for two more years…and Clint Frazier’s future in their OF.
    They may not be players i the Harper sweepstakes.

  31. I am skeptical that we get Manny and/or Harper. Harper has the Yankees or Cubs written all over him. Manny has Dodgers or Yankees. Just my opinion. Would love them but not getting my hopes up. The FO has shown nothing to make me even think they will make such a move.

    1. I’m not a fan of Manny the dude, but Manny the player is admittedly excellent and will get paid and the Phillies may or may not be the team who acquires him. If it’s not them, it could be any of the other big players because he’s so valuable. Somebody will pay enormous dollars for Manny this offseason – record breaking dollars.

      Harper is a weird candidate. I don’t think the Cubs will take him because they are all about metrics and Harper’s metrics are nowhere near as good as his reputation. Harper is a HUGE risk on the type of long term contract he will likely demand. In fact, if Harper produces the same average WAR over the next 6 or 7 years that he has over the previous 4 years, this will be a massive overpay. So what you’re betting on with him is that he stabilizes in the field and becomes more consistent on offense. Do you want to bet $300-400 million on that? Very risky.

  32. Regarding Kershaw, the question is, what’s better:

    2019-2020: $70 million, plus a long-term deal thereafter (say, 5 years, $100 million, ages 33-37) if he continues to perform at his current level and avoids major injury

    or

    2019-2023: $125 million (just a guess at the deal he could get now, ages 31-35), plus whatever he could get afterwards

    I would not opt out if I were him.

  33. How weird are the Mets in that they just hired a guy to be their GM that was blasting them a few short months ago for not extending his client and furthermore one that was accusing the MLB owners of collusion and threatening to have his players boycott Spring Training.

    And until it doesn’t happen I am all in on Harper and Machado. That’s right I’m selling my soul to the anti baseball gods.

  34. I don’t see Harper to the Yankees. I think they spend on Pitching. Not that they can’t do anything they want financially, I am more, if I want Harper, concerned about the Cubs. I seriously consider moving away from Machado if he will not play 3B, getting Harper and Donaldson, who I think takes a 1 year deal to re-establish himself. Then I want Happ and Diekman, after Britton spurns our offer and goes to the Dodgers.

  35. Watching the Red Sox WS parade, brings back memories of ten years ago and Broad Street.
    Hard to believe they now have four rings in the last 14 years…after almost a 90 year drought.

  36. And, Romus, how many GMs and coaches through that span? I think at least 3 GMs and 4 Coaches, in the 5 years. Plenty of mistakes like Panda and Hanley Ramirez, great drafting, trades and FA.

    1. Yeah they had their share of GMs:
      With Theo and Ben Cherington rotating apparently early on
      Dombrowski is Pres Baseball Ops and also does the GM work i guess now
      Mike Hazen-2015-2016
      Ben Cherington-2012 – 2015
      Theo N. Epstein-2006 – 2011
      Ben Cheringon/Jed Hoyer (interim)-2005-06
      Theo N. Epstein-2002-05

    2. I think one constant is Bill James and I really don’t like the guy. I thought the game was fine if not better before SABR became all front and center but I might have to start admitting that its a big piece of their success.

      1. Bill James is pretty amazing and it’s a fallacy to think that James doesn’t care about the beauty of the game or fixing its flaws – I know he does.

        For instance, anyone who watches the game knows that it must be played at a faster clip. I love baseball — love it – and even I can’t watch games that always seem to drone on for 3 and a half hours with endless pitching changes and stoppage. I haven’t read what James says about this but he must see it too. With a little bit of effort, they can have 2:40 minute games again. It’s not that hard. Other sports do it.

        Anyway, the best thing about James is that he is a philosopher on life. To this day, one of the best things I’ve ever read anywhere was James’ description of Brian Downing in his book ranking the greatest players of all time (I forget what precisely the book was called). It wasn’t just a summary of Downing’s career it was an ode to people changing their lives and improving themselves.

        To this day, one of my favorite quotes/paraphrases from James addressed the seeming difference between talent and self-improvement – specifically the difference between an acquired skill and a talent. James said something truly profound – namely, that what you develop as a skill today becomes a talent tomorrow. Very profound and entirely true in baseball and in life.

      2. DMAR….he was a pioneer in the field, and it served the baseball community well….however taking it now, by others, to the nth degree, for example launch angles and exit velocities, adn what players now try to do to enhance those specific measurements, may have jaded the way many had viewed the sport from their youth.

        1. It’s odd and a little funny to me that people feel this way about baseball – but football has always been this way (high schools taping games, everything measured, etc. . . . ) and everyone loves when there’s new stats and advances in football but in baseball it’s as if someone took away their favorite toy.

          I think a bigger problem is that the games are way, way too slow and there is less scoring because the pitching is so much better (the relief pitching is far superior than it ever was in the past).

          So, first, make the games faster – not easy because the players don’t really want a pitch clock and the more pitching changes that occur the more ad revenue is gained. But baseball is losing fans and will start losing more and more because the world is getting faster and the demand for action is huge and baseball is getting slower and already didn’t have a ton of “action” (it’s more complicated than that of course, but not by much). The regular season games are unwatchable after the 5th inning. Make the pitch clock 15 seconds – if the pitcher isn’t set by 15 seconds, a ball is called. That should speed up games by at least 10-15 minutes. Second, limit relief pitching changes and make them happen fast (2 minutes – enough for a commercial break). There should only be one relief pitching change during the middle of an inning unless a reliever has thrown a set number of pitches (25? 30?), or is injured (and if he’s injured he should not be able to pitch for 2 or 3 games to avoid fake injuries). In addition, I’m fine with challenges, but the MLB should do everything they can to make them 90 seconds or less.

          Second, enhance scoring. Curtail the shift (for example, a SS should not be permitted to “set” on the right side of the IF – stuff like that). Lower the mound. You can still have more scoring and a fast game.

          1. Catch, 100 percent agree that games are too slow and unwatchable if it’s not your team playing. And even then, they take too long to fit into people’s schedules, like suburbanites getting off from work and having to get to the ballpark by 7 for games that used to start at 7:30 and, before that, 8:00. Then, how many people can stay til 11:00 or later, drive home and get the kids to bed in time for school the next morning?

            I don’t want changes that take away a manager or player’s decisions, such as limiting shifts, but several other changes can be made:

            1. Reduce the time between innings by at least 30 seconds and in the seventh inning by at least one minute. Less time for commercials, but raise the ad rates to compensate. Fewer commercials will get more viewership and be more valuable so it can balance out.

            BTW, I just learned that five minutes are allowed in the 7th inning. It shouldn’t take that long for the traditional seventh inning stretch and one verse of Take Me Out to the Ball Game.

            2. Implement a pitch clock.

            3. Limit relief pitcher who has been warming up to three pitches off the mound before he starts.

            4. Instruct umpires to issues balls and strikes for inordinate delays. For example, Alfaro doesn’t need to walk away and around the catcher and umpire on every pitch.

            5. Replays. Find a way to speed them up. A time limit or the call stands, for example.

            Another thought, though I’m not sold on it, is to limit the number of pitchers on a 25-man roster to 12. That might, just might, save an occasional pitching change. But, by all means, DO NOT expand the roster to 26 men. That is just an invitation for the manager to make even more time-consuming changes.

          2. I think the difference between analytics in baseball and football is that football is timed. In baseball analytics and the amount of it that needs to be processed by players and coaches in game is what slows the pace of the game down.

            We can go on until the cows come home. The stealing signs fiasco and the amount of cipher that needs to be done when a guy is on 2nd is ridiculous

            And shifts which many seem to hate were born out of analytics. So one has to ask were the games of the 70’s and 80’s more fun to watch than what we have now? I heard them cite during the 18 inning game that game was longer than the entire 1939 WS.

  37. There’s a good chance that the Cubs will decline Hamel’s option due to luxury tax issues. There’s a clamour to sign a LH starter – Happ in particular since Kikuchi will most like head west and Corbin is almost a lock to be a Yankee. Between the former Phillies Happ and Hamels – i prefer to sign Cole Hamels. Hamels is also the owner of one of the best CUs so maybe he can mentor both Vinny and Pivetta on how to develop an awesome CU.

    1. I like Happ, but Hamels is a year younger and even now, is probably the better of the two. I think Hamels lights it up if he comes back.

      1. If Hamels isn’t re-upped by the Cubs (we’ll know by tomorrow) I would definitely take him for 1 yr/2nd yr option. He would most likely welcome a return “home” but I also wonder if the current regime (with no ties to the glory days of a decade ago) would consider that as progressive. Hope not.

        1. 3 years, $54-60 million, call it a day; need filled. Then we don’t have to worry about the lefty in the rotation for a few years.

  38. Not much you can do to really speed up the game from 3.5 hours.
    Only sport not on a clock…other than cricket.
    Oh sure you can shave a few minutes off here and there…but the multitude of TV ad breaks of 75 seconds or so between half-innings is what seems to add to the total length of the game, do they go? ….. the lost revenue from the ads may hurt.

    1. The ads have always been that long. But not that long ago games were 2:30-2:45. They easily could be again. I do not surrender to the ridiculous 3 1/2 regular season baseball game – in the long run, this is going to really hurt baseball which, slowly, is becoming a secondary sport or a summer curiosity. Football is number one and is basketball is fast approaching the popularity of baseball and perhaps even overtaking it. Ratings are horrible and trust me, if they don’t change something significantly, they are going to get worse. A lot worse.

      1. And let me add again, that I love baseball which is the sport I’ve always followed most. But baseball games (and Phillies games especially) have become nearly unwatchable, particularly in late innings. I go to Sixers games now and while, admittedly, its an entirely different experience, the game watching isn’t close, it’s MUCH more interesting to watch even an average Sixers game in person than a Phillies game.

            1. And guess what? It’s going to take a commissioner who has a big set of “_ _ _ _ _” and is willing to make unilateral changes. Someone with a vision. Manfredi has been to accommodating on things that has control over and I don’t mean money stuff. Personally, I don’t care about money disputes between teams and players – that has no effect on me at all as a fan except if there is a work stoppage.

          1. Romus, In my earlier post, I mentioned a number of things that could shorten games without changing the way baseball is played.

            Let me repeat that reducing advertising time between innings is very practical. It is a matter of adjusting rates to make up for fewer ads, and that can be done. The fewer the ads, the more valuable the remaining ones. And, even if it didn’t work financially, eventually going out of business because nobody attends games, anymore, isn’t going to allow for any ads.

            The statistics in the article you link should be compelling to MLB and the players association.

            Finally, let me suggest that, assuming the owners and players association buy into it, one way to shorten the games is encourage the umpires to enforce pace-of-play through issuing balls and strikes for players — pitchers and hitters — who want to make every between-pitch a mini-drama.

            Enforcement would be difficult, subjective and lead to arguments (Heck, we had wonderful rhubarbs before replay and the games were faster, anyway, and more fun.) But we need to establish that when the pitcher gets the ball, he throws it. And when the batter swings or takes, he’s ready for to try again.

            1. Frank…agree with you on the between the innings commercials….look at the minor league games…faster in every way…..because the half-inning TV/radio ad delays are minimized to the barest second, if any at all.
              Run the ads on the screen during the game as ‘in-pitcher’ at the bottom , between the pitches…like they do in soccer in the World Cup for example.
              I guess it comes down to the money lost,if any, whether or not MLB really wants to lessen the length of games.

        1. Personally, I wouldn’t worry about speeding the game up so much as to make it more entertaining to the fans.

          I’ve got a lot of suggestions to make the game better, without really changing it all too much.

          For one, the game needs new camera angles/view points. I’ve been watching the same damn camera angles the last 30+ years …. put a camera that gives 1st person point of views from the pitcher and the hitter. What they have now is close, but it can be much better. Make the fan feel immersed in the game.
          Slow motion the pitch on the replay halfway through, spin the angle, and let’s see other view points
          Speed up bullpen switches
          Put a tracking device in the ball that the cameras track.

          A lot more they could do.

          They also need to hype up matchups, Trout vs sale, not just aces vs aces. Not just lineups vs aces. To do this, they need to eliminate the intentional walk … or at least allow a player to decline the walk. Crazy how mlb allows it bests hitters to have their bats left on their shoulders.

          Basically, I’m saying that I’ve been watching the same game for the last 30 years on tv with very little change, maybe once every 10-15 years. I’m still love it, but it’s no wonder baseball is losing ground to basketball

          Jim if you got contacts, I’ll give them suggestions lol 🙂

          1. Technology nowadays can really make a fan feel like they are the major league pitcher or batter. Mlb needs to take advantage of this

            Bury some cameras in the dirt/ grass, put them tracking camera on players caps, that all focus on home plate no matter where the players head turns.

            The technology is out there … someone is sleeping on the job

            1. Tac3…..the home based TV fan may not be the whole issue….it is the in-stadium fans that have to be more baited to sit thru a 3 plus hour game.
              I cannot…I am walking around the park after about the 5th inning during a regular season game….play-offs are different for most people when they did occur.

  39. Okay, one more post on length of games. I attend a fair number of minor league games and they move faster than MLB games, in part because of the pitcher clock and mostly, I think, because the players have yet to become prima donnas dragging out each pitch and at-bat.

    Fans seem to enjoy the games just fine. If we can do it in the minors, we can do it in the Majors.

    1. Agreed. There is so much ridiculous wasted time in baseball that is not intrinsic to the game itself. Baseball needs to begin self-regulating. The NFL changes rules all the time that are MUCH more substantive than the things that baseball could change that would make the game go faster but not mess with any or most of the game’s fundamental rules. The objections to making the game go faster are, to me, not persuasive. And I agree about the 5th inning when you’re at a game. Usually innings 1 through 5 or so are fairly fast. You typically get to the 5th inning around 8:15 or 8:20 and then the last 2/5 of the game take forever – another 2 hours typically and it’s not action filled 2 hours in most cases it’s just pitching changes and relief pitchers who typically work even more slowly than the starters.

      It’s ridiculous, its torture for fans and it’s bad for the game. They have a real problem on their hands and they are just ignoring it.

      1. if they get the next generation of players in the minors programmed to a quicker game hopefully things change over time. established players may just be too set in their ways.
        noticed in the world series some quick Coke ads between batters- that may be a way to shorten the time between innings without losing ad revenue.
        maybe some electronic advancements come that allow pitches/signals to be given by electronic/voice from dugout or catcher that could speed up between pitches, eliminate mound visits.

    1. I didn’t watch the World Series and I haven’t since 2009. Before about 2005 or 2006, I always watched most of the WS. But the slow pace and the commitment to lose sleep over two teams I don’t follow means I skip it altogether. And I know I’m not alone.

      1. Since the Phillies have been in the World Series I haven’t watched, I just want it all over quickly so free agency and trades get into gear.

      2. I do catch parts of the game….usually tune in after the 6th/7th inning or so if laying in bed and watch for about a half-hour/45 minutes….which is usually two outs of an inning or two pitching changes.
        MLB would be wise and start night games at 7PM EDT or west coast games at 4PM PST.

  40. MLB Trade Rumors and Keith Law release their FA rankings tomorrow. Kiley McDaniels (Fangraphs) publishes his on Monday. However, we don’t have to wait for Rotoworld’s top 111 http://rotoworld.com/articles/mlb/83462/2/top-111-free-agents
    Here are the CliffsNotes:

    1. Bryce Harper
    2. Manny Machado
    3. Clayton Kershaw
    4. Patrick Corbin
    5. Josh Donaldson
    6. Dallas Keuchel
    7. Nathan Eovaldi
    8, AJ Pollock
    9. Craig Kimbrel
    10 JA Happ
    14. Charlie Morton
    16. Wilson Ramos (probably getting 15 million per year)
    17. Marwin Gonzalez
    21. Andrew Miller
    31. Zach Britton
    34. CC Sabathia
    36. Asdrubal Cabrera
    41. Freddy Galvis
    51. Drew Pomeranz
    57. Kurt Suzuki
    59. Garrett Richards
    75. Jake Diekman

      1. Teams can officially start signing FA’s tomorrow.

        Besides Machado or Harper, I believe the Phillies will bring in a LHSP and a reliever (or two). While the arms could be signed as FA’s, they could also be added via trade. I’m pretty sure they’ll look into Yusei Kikuchi because he’s only 27 YO and they’ve put in the time to scout him. However, because the teams’ young/inexpensive arms are near MLB ready, I think the Phils will end up with a guy like JA Happ (older, still effective) on a shorter term deal.

      2. @tac3 – while i don’t agree with the use of the word “retread”, these “retreads” (except Cabrera) are what the current Phillies team need right now and these “retreads” are better than the options the Phillies have in their team.

    1. Shocking really that Harper is ahead of Machado. For all of his personality issues, based on talent and projection, Machado is comfortably ahead of Harper in my book – by quite some distance.

      1. Yes….just going by their metrics…..Harper- 7 years-27bWAR….Machado-7 years-34bWAR.
        And believe it or not….one game played separates them—-927-926.
        Klentak did say today….the Manny talk over the last two weeks is something that has them thinking about and taking under consideration

        1. That’s one way to measure it. Another way is that Harper had one superstar season and a bunch of other “good but not great seasons.” So odds are you’ll be paying for a superstar but perhaps not getting one.

          1. After his rookie season explosion in 2012…going by WAR, the even years have been down years (’14,’16,’18) and the odd years have been his best so far….inconsistency seems to be part of the package for him.

  41. Since I have younger kids playing sports, I record everything and watch it later. I like the ability to fast forward through commercials, over the top commentary, warm ups, mound visits, replay etc. Football is even better getting through end of qtrs., half time, replay, extra points and on and on. It’s very liberating and doesn’t eat into family time.

      1. the red zone has ruined me, but i love it, especially between 3 and 4 pm when the 1 pm games are coming down the stretch.
        my world series watching involved watching the first hour then dvr-ing the rest and getting up a little earlier in the morning and speeding through it. amazing how often i could use the 30 second button between pitches and not miss anything.
        as much as i love baseball, just hard to watch live anymore, much less stay ups so late for playoff games.

  42. I’m excited to start the FA news cycle. I’m expecting the Phillies to be reported as in on lots of players. Since they have money, agents will throw out their name every chance they get to push ups their player. Let’s go Klentak! Make your mark on this team.

    1. If Manny does sign elsewhere, I’m all in on Donaldson. He might go for a 1yr deal, 3yrs at most. Good clubhouse guy and we need leadership.

    2. @matt13 – i think we are in the same page, my complete wish list includes:

      OFFENSE

      1) Machado AND Harper
      2) Machado or Harper
      3) Marwin Gonzalez
      4) Trade for Hedges
      5) Donaldson – if Machado is not available

      ROTATION

      1) Kikuchi
      2) Hamels (if Cubs declined option and Kikuchi is not possible)
      3) Nathan Eovaldi
      4) Garret Richards

      BULLPEN

      1) Britton
      2) Diekman

      1. KuKo….I like your list also. Though listening this norming to Matt Klentak on WIP i am not sure there will be a lot of wholesale changes.
        Perhaps, however, he is playing it close to the vest.
        He did mention on a few occasions that many of the players in that 24-26 year range….will still keep developing and they do not want to hinder that and they also want to see the results.
        And then there was the Doobie discussion…..not sure what I heard was making sense…something to the effect…..’some layers have week-to-week streaks some have month-to month streaks, and some have year-to-year streaks’…I think Doobie gets another year by that comment? I do not know what he was getting at.
        He did say he evolved with power…which we all saw.

        1. @romus – i don’t see Klentak getting out his comfort zone out of the shoot. Klentak’s MO is basically wait and see if anybody fell of the cracks then he moves in. But I do believe that Middleton will be the driving force to force McPhail and Klentak to get into the Machado and Harper market and don’t wait anymore.

          The SP is where I see Klentak not making any significant move other than his usual MO of trading non-Top 30 prospect for a veteran SP thing.

          What I expect and what I want to happen is not who Klentak is —- so I’m hoping to be surprised!!

        2. Being a fan is frustrating. We have to endure GM speak, coach speak and player speak far to often. I’d almost rather they just not talk.

          I’ve learned a long time ago to not listen to what they say but watch what they do.

  43. I listen to him, and I have to try not to be negative, I am hoping it is just his way of not raising expectations, but it sure sounded like we are being set up for doing this off season something similar to last. That won’t fly. I am pretty sure we know what we have here, and yes, I can see believing that Alfaro will get better, and Kingery will improve. But, Doobie and Cesar, and to a large extent Franco?, we know what they are. And, we know the team needs a Superstar. So, why even try to sell us that Santana is a “great” player? No one buys that. He is ok, he gets on base. maybe he even gave Klentak what he was expecting. But a “great player?” Come on! No one on the planet, including Santana himself, thinks he is a great player. There is such a disconnect between the organization and the fan base. And, of course, we are counting on Middleton. I don’t think anyone is counting on MacPhail. But, not a word from The Owner. And, I don’t want to ever hear again the “we are far ahead of where we thought we were on the rebuild, and it is one of the fastest in history!” Nonsense! We are being set up to kick this down the road for another year, and I don’t want to believe it.

  44. Manny or Bryce? Harper or Machado? Go for both. Let’s knock off the fear of risk posturing. Whether Machado wants to come here or not, go all in. Then target Harper whose market will likely drag on longer into the winter. They’re both imperfect players/people who happen to be by far the biggest talents to hit free agency in some time, together, AND in an off season when the Phillies have the coin to sign them BOTH. Will they? Probably not. One? Probably. But for the life of me, what’s with the debate!?! Again, if Jimmy Rollins hadn’t led us to a World Series championship followed by a other appearance with an arguably better squad, he would have been among the most reviled former talents in this city. But he did, and not because he was the best guy with the media or because he busted it on every play. If Harper and Machado were up for a ministry position, I would say “hold the phone, time out here”, but they are baseball players who may one day be enshrined with model citizens like Cobb and Ruth. I don’t necessarily care for either player as role models. They both shine on the field and have warts on their personalities. Don’t we all…

  45. FWIW, Jon Heyman and his “expert” industry source listed their top 131 FAs and how much they should expect in yrs/$$$. According to them, Manny is 2nd to Bryce in years while they should both get close to the same, with Harper getting the edge in total value. They say he should get $300M-$325/10 or same AAV over 11 yrs while Manny should get no more than 10 yrs @30M per. I tend to agree that Harper’s marketability gives him the edge.

  46. I am looking forward to the MLBTR top 50 FAs and where they are guessed to land and their salaries. It is fun to see, and really marks the opening of FA season. Although, the Nats already jumped the gun with the Trevor Rosenthal signing. A good one, I might add. I will continue to hope I am wrong about MacKlentak and what their plans are, and will look to see if their actions are more meaningful than their words.

  47. This time tomorrow Machado and Harper “could” be Phillies … pretty nice time to be a Phillies Phan… not every fan base can say that… with that said … you’d better not mess this up Klentak!!!!

  48. I think the Phillies should strike early and sign Garrett Richards, as Hinkie suggested. It would signal that they are going to be aggressive, smart, thinking ahead and outside the box. It won’t impact the 2019 version of the club but it would follow the notion that indeed the Phillies end game is Mike Trout, Richards’ best bud in baseball. Not to mention the prospect of the pitcher recovering his fine form before TJ surgery interrupted his becoming a TOR.

    I’m doubtful the Phillies will sign another FA starter but they may trade for one, perhaps a #3.

  49. 23 minutes of Matt Klentak on the radio https://94wip.radio.com/media/audio-channel/23-minute-convo-phillies-gm-matt-klentak
    Some highlights:

    * Team is open to upgrades at all positions.
    * MM’s “Johnny Hustle” comments got his attention. Perception matters.
    * Phillies players are young enough to believe they’re going to get better.
    * Expects to sign both Harper and Machado … just kidding about this one.
    * He likes Sour Patch Kids, but doesn’t like Whoppers.

  50. It all starts today. My guess now is that we will sign Manny, now for less than 10 yrs/under $300M. Harper to Cubs, Corbin to NYY, Keuchel to Seattle, Donaldson to STL, Kimbrel to ATL, Kershaw stays put.

    1. One thing that encourages me – despite his apparent issues, Machado has led MLB the past 2 seasons in hard hit balls, according to Statcast which has 95mph as the standard.

      1. There you go 8mark….if you hit balls that hard, there is no need to run hard.
        They will either be rolling to the outfield fence and he can stroll into 2nd….or hard hit to an infielder and why bother busting it to first! 🙂
        The guy is analytically logical.

        1. …….and if you bounce one high off the wall you can walk over the first base bag without stepping on the 1st basemen’s calf or ankle and your chances of sttetching your “hammy” is nil. Smart!😎

    2. Nix all that. From what I’m reading, Fangraphs now has the Cubs at highest payroll in MLB, including projected arb cases yet to be settled. Which puts any pursuit of Harper especially more difficult. Wow!

      And if the Yankees are lukewarm on Manny (and they are realistically the only rival suitor, potentially – Machado wants east coast and it’ll take a big market club to sign him) then the prospect of signing both FAs is still unlikely but not nearly improbable. And that’s my end game. Lessen the market, lower the price. I maintain Harper’s marketability gets him the bigger deal, especially now with Manny shooting himself in the foot which he also stuck in his mouth. Dumb. He should write a book on how NOT to prepare yourself for free agency.

  51. Ken Rosenthal
    @Ken_Rosenthal
    #Cubs might make a trade to clear salary before picking up Hamels’ $20M option, sources tell The Athletic. At this point, a long-term deal for Hamels is unlikely. If Cubs decline option and make Hamels a free agent, #Rangers will pay his $6M buyout. But goal is to keep him.
    10:39 PM – Nov 1, 2018

    Cubs need to move someone if they want to keep Hamels, and still try for Harper.
    Or just incur the penalty.

  52. According to Jon Heyman on a NY station, one of the big market clubs is out on Machado, and it is not the Yankees. When one of the hosts asked Dodgers, he said ” I cannot say, but when the other host said Phillies, Heyman was completely silent. Again, means nothing in the real world, or Heyman may, indeed know something, but Klentak mentioned that perceptions are important, and Machado’s actions “caught his attention.” I am on the side that says we get either one at less than 50/50.

    1. Cubs are reportedly trying to move salary before 4pm today when they have to decide on Hamels option. Which raises questions on whether they can go after top FAs, Harper in particular.

    2. The Phillies are still interested in MM. If I had to guess, Heyman was referring to the LAD as the big market team not interested in Machado.

      1. I don’t know they’ve ever had interest. I’ve speculated in a way they could keep Machado by having him play 3rd and playing Turner at first but that seemed unlikely, even moreso after the post season.

        I don’t see who would pursue him other than us or the Yankees. Realistically he would decimate most team’s payrolls. MAYBE the White Sox go crazy and offer him a ton of money.

      2. Or that could be something simply “put out there” by the Phillies in an attempt to lessen the market. Are we going to buy every “ooooohhh!” comment that a national media type offers at face value? No matter how much they’re plugged in, Heyman and his peers get only what they’re told and they won’t withhold it if it’s juicy enough.

  53. The Phillies have a housecleaning to do and they haven’t made any moves yet — I have no idea what is Klentak’s end game is. I’m not even sure if Klentak believes in the #BEBOLD mantra that the Phillies are promoting.

    With 3 FAs (Ramos, Cabrera and JoeyBats), the roster stands at 37. The following are candidates to be non-tendered, DFAd or traded for PTBNL/Cash:

    1) Avilan
    2) Loup
    3) Garcia
    4) Morgan
    5) Florimon
    6) Walding

    That will bring down the roster to 31 — should be enough to bring 5 FAs (Machado, Harper, MarGo, Hamels/LHP, Britton/LHR) and protect Adonis Medina, Edgar Garcia, Mo Llovera and Tom Eshelman.

    The Phillies can push it further by trading the cheap but no upside Andrew Knapp and trade or non-tender/DFA Bour if top bats are signed. These spots will open for a defensive catcher like Grullon or Cabral and another LHP in Tyler Gilbert.

  54. Hinkie, you listened to Klentak. What is your assessment when you hear him? Do you come away depressed like I do? I know how strongly you believe that we will sign one of the 2, but every time I hear him say that the team is going to be much better just with the same cast makes me scream. There is a significant shortage of talent, regardless of the 1st half of last year.

    1. When Klentak said that the Phillies got what they wanted from Santana — this shows how low the bar is to this GM. A good GM can do a lot of good things with the $60M committed to Santana. That $60M can possibly appeal to Jeter (thru contracts absorbed) and help get Realmuto in a trade last year. All hope is on Middleton now.

      1. If he’s trying to move Santana it would be pretty dumb to come out and say he was a massive disappointment and a complete overpay.

      2. I was in the car for most of yesterday. Every caller and host complained about what they heard from Klentak. The thing you have to remember is Klentak doesn’t work for WIP. He works for the Phillies. He is not going to go on the radio and admit they screwed up by signing Santana. He is not going to suggest any of his young players disappointed. He is not going to predict his team will employ MM or BH next year. And he is not even going to utter the name Mike Trout. Doing any of that might tie one of his hands behind his back in trade discussions/free agent negotiations, and land the team in a heap of trouble for tampering (in the case of Trout).

        Behind closed doors the Phillies FO is aware of their deficiencies, and are game planning to address them. Let’s see what Middleton and MacKlentak do between now and spring training. I’m confident we’re going to see lots of upgrades/a more exciting product.

    2. I would ignore most of what Klentak says publicly. Every GM throughout baseball is posturing right now more than any other time except at the deadline. I really don’t know why they agree to do interviews until AFTER deals are made.

  55. Darn! The Cubbies traded Smyly to TEX so they can pick up Hamels option. Smart move for them, just like how a good GM works.

    1. I think the Cubs Front Office is a little overrated. They built their farm system by circumventing the international signing rules. Theo left Boston in a terrible position when he was there, it was Cherrington who go them out of it. I see him as being on track to leave the Cubs the same way.

      They have Heyward and Darvish on the books. They sold their farm. Their core is going to get VERY expensive soon. Did he get them a WS? Yes but Theo’s made a ton of questionable moves, he just has the hardware to back him up when all is said and done.

  56. Baseball oldie, Cubs trade Drew Smyly to Rangers and pick up Cole’s option. I go after Happ right away and let him know he is our #1 SP choice instead of waiting around. Time to be aggressive.

  57. I had a strong gut feeling that Hamels would rebound, per his home and away stats. I’m a bit annoyed that a FO that speaks nothing but numbers passed this up. It is hindsight, but I expect the FO to be able to make moves like this at the deadline.
    I’m not sure Hamels fits well into our plans for this point of the rebuild at this point

    To Plug Hamels in, you’d have to trade one of efflin, pivetta, or VV. Then move one to the pen. I see Eickhoff coming back to reclaim a spot in the rotation.

  58. Editor: “Catch is right as he noted below. This type of article should not be posted word for word. I should have caught this sooner. Since so many comments are connected to this post, I’m not going to delete it. But, I am removing Keith Law’s write-ups for each player. Maybe his list will entice some to subscribe.”

    … and … here are Keith Law’s Top 50 FA’s http://www.espn.com/mlb/insider/story/_/id/25137444/mlb-keith-law-top-50-free-agents

    For those of you who are not Insiders …

    1. Manny Machado, 3B/SS
    2. Bryce Harper, OF
    3. Patrick Corbin, LHP
    4. Michael Brantley, LF
    5. Dallas Keuchel, LHP
    6. A.J. Pollock, CF
    7. Jed Lowrie, INF
    8. Josh Donaldson, 3B
    9. Charlie Morton, RHP
    10. Yasmani Grandal, C
    11. Nathan Eovaldi, RHP
    12. Hyun-Jin Ryu, LHP
    13. Andrew McCutchen, OF
    14. Lance Lynn, RHP
    15. Yusei Kikuchi, LHP
    16. Wilson Ramos, C
    17. J.A. Happ, LHP
    18. Nick Markakis, OF
    19. Nelson Cruz, DH
    20. Jose Iglesias, SS
    21. Anibal Sanchez, RHP
    22. Gio Gonzalez, LHP
    23. Wade Miley, LHP
    24. Matt Harvey, RHP
    25. Mike Moustakas, 3B
    26. Justin Smoak, 1B
    Note: The Blue Jays exercised Smoak’s option
    27. CC Sabathia, LHP
    28. Jesse Chavez, RHP
    29. Asdrubal Cabrera, INF
    30. Derek Holland, LHP
    31. Adam Ottavino, RHP
    32. DJ LeMahieu, 2B
    33. Jeurys Familia, RHP
    34. David Robertson, RHP
    35. Marwin Gonzalez, Super-utility
    36. Zach Britton, LHP
    37. Ian Kinsler, 2B
    38. Kelvin Herrera, RHP
    39. Clay Buchholz, RHP
    40. Craig Kimbrel, RHP
    41. Joe Kelly, RHP
    42. Drew Pomeranz, LHP
    43. Andrew Miller, LHP
    44. Martin Perez, LHP
    45. Tyson Ross, RHP
    46. Jeremy Hellickson, RHP
    47. Ryan Madson, RHP
    48. Cody Allen, RHP
    49. Steve Pearce, 1B
    50. Freddy Galvis, SS

    1. Nathan Eovaldi would concern me with any contract over three years, after two TJ surgeries….2007 and 2016. But the Sox have a choice to make between him and Kimbrel I would think.
      And Freddy at number 50!

        1. Agree….he was not impressive as a Phillie…and now he is on the verge of a TJ , if the PRP does not work.
          A team that signs him, will be a March signing I would think.

    2. Hinkie, I know you meant well, but block copying entire articles or portions of articles presents copyright issues for those who run this site. You’re really not supposed to re-post large verbatim portions of articles or entire articles without permission.

    1. If you want a slightly under the radar guy who could go on to have a superlative major league career, keep your eyes on Spencer. I am a huge Spencer Howard fan – I think we are possibly looking at a dominant major league pitcher in 3 or 4 years – at worst, he’ll probably be a 3 if he doesn’t get injured or lose serious velocity. That was a great, great pick by Johnny A.

  59. My minimum needs to be addressed: 2 bats (1 IF, 1 OF), 1 SP, a high leverage reliever, a lefty reliever, a defensive C and a super utility. That’s seven players to be acquired by FA or trade.

  60. I think the Phillies and Yankees will go head-to-head for JA Happ.

  61. What do you all think of Brantley? He was a really good player. Then injured. Cleveland did not offer him the QO, nor did they Allen and Miller. I heard Jim Salisbury on the radio. He believes that Franco and Cesar are gone. He thinks the team is still intrigued with the talent of Herrera, and will not give him away. He also thinks that despite not wanting to go into FA for a SP, they do feel that they need a SP, but not a closer.

    1. Howard Eskin mentioned last night that herera is also gone….and they will not have an issue selling low he alluded.
      I do not agree with that….but then again getting $1 or $2M int’l monies in return…or a top prospect…is a worthwhile deal to me for Doobie

    2. From what I read, he’s a professional hitter with the approach the Phillies like. Good guy in the clubhouse too. Despite the injury history, I’m in IF we miss on Harper.

    3. Personally I will take what I can get for Odubel and Cesar at this point. Klentak missed that ship…twice. We should get value for Franco, However. I like SD as a trade partner.

  62. I think the guy who runs MLBTR is out of somewhere 2 hours behind us, so I expect it in the next hour or so. I have been looking for it all day.

    1. Tim Dierkes is the fellow doing it for them.
      And you must be correct…he is not on any other by-lines today, and so must be holed up getting it completed.

      1. While we’re on the subject, I like MLBTR because they usually draw from the most credible sources and beat writers throughout the country. They don’t speculate unless there is reasonable cause. The writers seem to thoroughly lay out stories, are balanced in their positions and are well versed in both analytics and the good old eye test. And they are familiar with the more obscure players which we would not even as ardent baseball fans.

  63. Anyway we wait….but last year’s off season moved at a glacial pace for two primary reasons – the talent level was relatively low and more importantly, all teams have been gearing up for this year’s market. I think there will be wheeling and dealing early and often. Nobody wants to be left out in the game of musical chairs, so a sense of urgency should define the next couple months. And I definitely think the Phillies should strike early by signing or trading for a top SP in order to attract the bigger fish.

  64. Kershaw’s new deal with LAD – an additional 3rd yr, total $93M guaranteed with bonus incentives. Now that he’s no longer a FA, the MLBTR top 50 should be out momentarily….

  65. Everyone has their own dream sequence. For me, the dream would be to sign Harper, Marwin Gonzalez, Britton, Familia, and one of Happ, Eovaldi or Morton. Then trade Herrera for Merrifield and trade Cesar for a backup catcher and young relief arm. I’m not sure about trading Franco but I’d probably move him also and then shift VV to the bullpen after getting a starter. Kingery and JP would compete with Merrifield and Gonzalez for playing time.

    1. I like the names you mention, Murray. But I don’t like the ‘compete for playing time’ part. Merrifield is a versatile stud who will play every day, but I wouldn’t mess with Kingery and Crawford at the keystone. Merrifield would be either a 3b or corner OF and a fallback should Kingery struggle early on in ’19. Positional flexibility is a good team quality but in Kapler’s hands, yeesh!

  66. Houston is not expected to make Charlie Morton a QO. He wouldn’t be my first choice but depending on how the rest of the off season shakes out, he might be a good fit as a MOR. He prefers to be near his wife’s Delaware family as well.

  67. Just posted! I didn’t read all the specifics, I just checked us. Machado, Morton, Markakis, interesting mix. Dodgers get Harper, Yanks get Corbin. Happ to Angels

      1. Agree….but I do think the competitive market will drive his price up.
        Those West coast teams, like the Mariners/Dodgers may bid higher.

      1. FYI – I’m fine with Morton – I advocated for him never to leave – but the dudes in the front office didn’t know how to scout their own pitcher.

  68. Garrett Richards, 2 years/$10Million. No way I don’t bid more than that for him! I am not thrilled with Markakis. Would prefer Brantley or Marwin Gonzalez who can play all over and seems to be what Kapler would want.

    1. Apparently, a dozen GMs have the same idea as us (sign Garrett Richards to a TJ rehab deal). Hopefully, Klentak (who should have a relationship/first hand knowledge with/of Richards from his time with the LAA) is among the 12 who have called.

  69. Cleveland will reportedly listen to offers for Kluber and Carrasco who will become FAs following next season. That certainly sweetens the pool of available starting pitchers. Not sure what one season of either would cost but Klentak should find out.

    1. matt13…may have to wait a few more days at least until GM meetings are completed, I think the FO will fly out on tomorrow afternoon/Monday morning, for those who are going…….Nov. 6-8: GM meetings in Carlsbad, California

        1. Jerry Crasnick (earlier this summer) was the first to mention the possibility of John Middleton reeling in both superstars.

  70. I think Passan is spot on. Last year’s action will cause any marginal free agent player to sign quickly to avoid musical chairs game – again. See the early signings already (Escobar-AZ , and even Kershaw for that matter). Hang on….Imagine any lineup with Brantley and Cubs’s Murphy in it ?? !!! Just a shame Murphy can’t field !

  71. mlb.com lists 5 teams ready to define the off season. We are #1, the Giants, Yankees, Dodgers and Braves follow, with a brief explanation for each. I would love if the short blurb about us was our “smart, fearless GM”, rather than the amount of $ we have to spend and the collapse after August 5.

      1. That’s what I’ve read. CBS Sports posted 5 “bold” predictions for the off season. #1 was Harper and Machado both signing with the Phillies (which isn’t the first time that’s been suggested). If we don’t get Harper, I sure hope Klentak’s sights are set higher than Markakis. Brantley is ranked closer to the top 10 and would be my plan B target.

        1. Todd Zolecki today mentioned if Machado is signed…then Kingery goes to 2nd and Cesar moved. That seems to be obvious
          Also, Maikel all but gone ….and they take a Flyer on Moustakis from the Brewers.
          They need his clubhouse leadership
          And he also mentioned what Eskin had said the other day….Doobie is also headed in another direction most likely.
          He said they will listen to offers for Santana with helping in the cost of the contract.

          What was telling in what Todd Zolecki said…the Phillies want to change the clubhouse culture….and looking at what they are doing….translation, they seem to be trying to move many of the Latin players….they must think the mix may have been too one sided and apparently they want a more balanced mix it appears…who knows.
          Zolecki may have been guessing or he may have had inside information.

            1. Earlier this summer, Jerry Crasnick was the first to mention the Phillies could sign both top FA’s.

            1. Zolecki says they are looking to change the culture of the clubhouse.
              Perhaps tweet him and ask him what he means by that comment or if he had sources revealing to him what they meant.
              He was on yesterday while talking with Ray Didi and Glen Macnow on their Saturday morning show.
              And btw…Machado is of Latin descent, but an American citizen born in Florida.

  72. I know that Klentak does not let the fans in on his personal thoughts. In sports you almost never get an honest answer whether it’s the Owner, GM, or Manager. Do you believe that Klentak was satisfied with the way Kapler handled the Phillies last year? How critical, or on-board was he? Like it or not, Klentak and Kapler are tied to each other. Both will either be rehired or fired at the end of next year. The players say that Gabe has good communication skills, are they serious, or blowing smoke? Even though I’m an “old school” guy, I recognize the importance of analytics. The past two World Champions relied heavily on them. Did Gabe go overboard with them? Did he fail to strike a balance between the analytics and the fact the he was dealing with humans? Did they win for 4 months despite Kapler, or lose for 2 months because they didn’t have the talent?
    Did anyone expect the starting pitchers to carry the team for 4 months? All five, except Arrietta exceeded their previous highs in innings pitched. They all tired by August, no doubt about it, but the offense and defense certainly didn’t help either.
    The Phillies need a right fielder, and Harper is available. Middleton will be the highest bidder, but he still could come up empty. He must also sell Harper on the City, the fans, and the desire to win multiple Championships.
    Did we ever see Crawford at SS and Kingery at 2b in the same game? If it happened, I missed it. I’ll sacrifice some offense for stellar defense from the Keystone combination next year. Kingery can bat 7th and Crawford 9th.
    To say the bullpen was inconsistent is putting it mildly. We do have about 5 good arms out there, but we need to add three more. I’d like a lefty who can be counted on to get lefty hitters out, and another late inning pitcher to mix in with Seranthony and Neris. The Phillies have 3 pretty good relievers in the minors (Dohy, Warren, and Singer) who could be ready for a midseason call up.
    In conclusion, the Phillies are young, still developing, and will be better for having gone through August and September, and that includes the Manager.

    1. “The past two World Champions relied heavily on them”…not so much the Sox…..they do not strikeout or swing for the fences, even Betts and Martinez put the bal in play with the HR as the dessert…but the new analytical theory for hitting approach apparently is, a player has three options-HR, Walk or K.
      Cora said they want to avoid the Ks.

      1. well i think he meant more than the launch angle, three true outcome stuff.
        but by the way, Astros went from basically leading the league in strikeouts 5 straight years, before having the fewest k’s when the won it all in 2017.they lowered their strikeouts by 2.2 a game in 1 season.

    1. Might he have made his mark as either a bat to keep on the 40man roster or a trade chip that would enhance a package for some serious talent in return?

      1. 8mark…Listi and Hall did not have great AFL seasons, nor Gamboa either…Hall blasted three HRs tied for 4th or 5th, but their overall batting metrics were low.
        But to your point as for the 40…Listi needs no protection for another two years…so he does become that attractive since another club will not need to protect him on their 40 if he is included in a trade package.
        GMs like to get prospects that have a few years before having to make decisions to construct their 40 with them involved.

  73. Murray- One of the things that I couldn’t understand about the Phillies last year was Joey Meneses. After Lehigh’s season was over, why the Hell couldn’t the Phillies reward him and bring him up. Instead, they released him without ever getting a ML at bat.

    1. I hope the guy gets to the majors one day but it’s off to Japan now. I expected the Phils to reward him with a call up and a 40 spot but it didn’t happen.

      1. But why? Since he’s heading to Japan, his agent had to have done a lousy job of not marketing him as major league worthy, no?

        1. He was the IL MVP this season….but looks like he is strictly a first baseman….or maybe a LFer.
          So options are limited with most teams .
          Of course, AL teams utilize a DH which should have helped his marketing….but most AL teams have the one high paid guy to handle that duty.

      2. Well-run teams don’t casually reward veteran non-prospect minor leaguers with 40-man roster spots and a call-up. Doing that loses you somebody from the 40-man, who likely gets claimed by another team. I thought at one point that he would be called up to DH when we played the inter-league games in an AL park. That would have made some sense, as it would have increased our chances of winning those games. When that didn’t happen, it was clear that he wouldn’t get a call-up. With Santana and Hoskins, he never really had a chance.

    2. He’s a guy the Braves gave up on. He signed a minor league contract with the Phillies knowing that he was blocked by Santana and probably Hoskins. The Phillies traded for Bour around the deadline. Where would he have gotten get ABs? Plus, he couldn’t be brought up because he wasn’t on the 40-man roster. He was released and is going to Japan. Apparently, none of the other 29 GMs see him as a major leaguer, either.

    1. In what year? Not this one. Bossart will likely back up Grullon at LHV next year but Reading is possible for him as well. Where will Knapp be? He could be at LHV too

  74. I feel like we could land both Manny and Bryce.. if only we had some construction workers around the ballpark to introduce them to.

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