Open Discussion: Week of November 5, 2018

The Hot Stove Season officially began Friday at 5:00 PM when the deadline for teams to  extend qualifying passed.  All free agents are now free to bargain with all teams interested in them.  “Let the fun begin!”

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

The Phillies had a lot of players qualify for free agency.  Four major leaguers were among the first to elect free agency – 2B Asdrubal Cabrera, C Wilson Ramos, RF Jose Bautista, and  LHP Aaron Loup.

Twenty minor leaguers also elected free agency – INF Trevor Plouffe, OF Ryan Goins, 1B Zach Green,  C Matt McBride, LF Danny Ortiz, C Nick Rickles, SS Dean Anna, RHP Pedro Beato, CF Collin Cowgill, RHP Ranfi Casimiro, C Logan Moore, 3B Jesmuel Valentin, RF Jiandido Tromp, 2B Heiker Meneses, RHP Mario Sanchez, RHP Harold Arauz , C Gabriel Lino, 3B Will Middlebrooks, RHP Alberto Tirado, and C Kevin Martir.

Pedro Florimon was outrighted to Lehigh Valley (off the 40-man) and is expected to also elect free agency.  Joey Meneses was released so that he could play in Japan.

Malquin Canelo is a mystery to me.  He was signed on May 31, 2012 and began playing that summer as a 17-year-old with the then DSL Phillies.  He just completed his seventh season in the minor leagues and should be eligible for free agency, but I haven’t seen his name included on any minor league free agent lists but my own.  Maybe he has already re-signed with the organization.

If I’m right that Florimon and Canelo become free agents then Lehigh Valley will have a roster made up of 10 pitchers – 8 healthy pitchers, Brandon Leibrandt, and Mark Appel.  The quantity and quality of AAAA players the Phillies sign will give us an idea of how many of our guys are going to be promoted this season.  Those signings usually come later in the off season, though.

Nationally, seven “lucky” free agents were extended qualifying offers by their former teams.  They have until 5:00 PM on November 7th to accept/reject these qualifying offers. Should they decline to accept, they get to enter free agency with disadvantage of having draft pick and international money concessions by the signing team attached to them.

  • Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals
  • Patrick Corbin, SP, Diamondbacks
  • Dallas Keuchel, SP, Astros
  • Craig Kimbrel, RP, Red Sox
  • Yasmani Grandal, C, Dodgers
  • A.J. Pollock, OF, Diamondbacks
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP, Dodgers

Josh Bonifay,the new Director of Player Development, was at the Carpenter Complex earlier this week.  My friend Steve Potter and I spoke met and spoke with him.  Nothing to report.  We kind of did most of the talking.  At that moment, I think Steve and I knew more about his new charges than he did.  He’ll be back later in the month, and will probably have lapped us by then.

The Phillies are bringing small groups of players to Clearwater for work out sessions.  I think the current ones focus on speed and agility.  Later, after Thanksgiving I think, a strength and conditioning session will be held.

The GMs will attend their yearly meeting this week (Nov. 6-8) in Carlsbad, CA.

Key Dates:

  • 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. This year’s QO is $17.9M.
    • This is also the deadline for organizations to exercise any club/mutual options.
  • November 2, 2018 – Free agents become eligible to sign with any team.
  • November 2, 2018 – Opening Day for the Columbian Winter League (LCBP)
  • November 6-8, 2018 – GM meetings, Carlsbad, CA.
  • November 12, 2018, 5:00 PM – Deadline for players to accept/reject qualifying offers.  Those who decline will become free agents.
  • November 14-15, 2018 – Owners Meetings in Atlanta , GA.
  • 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
  • November 30, 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.
  • January 11, 2019 – Salary arbitration filing deadline
  • February 1-20, 2019 – 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)
  • TBA – Minor League Spring Training begins
  • 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)
11/2/18 – Phillies sent SS Pedro Florimon outright to Lehigh Valley 
11/2/18 – OF Ryan Goins elected free agency
11/2/18 – 1B Zach Green elected free agency
11/2/18 – C Matt McBride elected free agency
11/2/18 – LF Danny Ortiz elected free agency
11/2/18 – C Nick Rickles elected free agency
11/2/18 – SS Dean Anna elected free agency
11/2/18 – RHP Pedro Beato elected free agency
11/2/18 – CF Collin Cowgill elected free agency
11/2/18 – RHP Ranfi Casimiro elected free agency
11/2/18 – C Logan Moore elected free agency
11/2/18 – 3B Jesmuel Valentin elected free agency
11/2/18 – RF Jiandido Tromp elected free agency
11/2/18 – 2B Heiker Meneses elected free agency
11/2/18 – RHP Mario Sanchez elected free agency
11/2/18 – RHP Harold Arauz elected free agency
11/2/18 – C Gabriel Lino elected free agency
11/2/18 – 3B Will Middlebrooks elected free agency
11/2/18 – RHP Alberto Tirado elected free agency
11/2/18 – C Kevin Martir elected free agency
11/1/18 – Phillies signed C Victor Cairo to a future services contract
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
10/29/18 – Lehigh Valley released 1B Joey Meneses
10/25/18 – DSL Phillies Red activated 1B Maximo De La Rosa
10/25/18 – DSL Phillies White activated RHP Jose Brazon
10/10/18 – Reading activated RHP Mario Sanchez from the 7-day disabled list
10/10/18 – Reading activated LHP JoJo Romero from the 7-day disabled list
10/10/18 – Reading activated RHP Alexis Rivero from the 7-day disabled list
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

347 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of November 5, 2018

  1. A guy named Dan Zielinski runs a blog called 3rd Man In, referenced by last night’s MLBTR blog report. In his latest, he proposes that LAA is better off moving Trout sooner than later and that the Phillies make the ideal trade partner. His proposal has Sixto, Haseley, Moniak, Pipkin and Crawford to LAA. I think that package is one of the fairer ones I’ve come across.

    Bearing in mind that Trout is 2 years from free agency, his return won’t be nearly as much as if he were 4 or 5 years away, but more than if the Angels kept him and either waited until the deadline in ’20 or let him walk after that season. While you can argue the Phillies should have to offer more for 2 more years of Mike Trout’s prime (which is my point: urgency – in free agency when he turns 29, he would still command a 10 year deal where the last 4-5 years could quite possibly be a regressive period under a behemoth contract).

    Anyway, likely or not, it’s worth Klentak calling his former employer and gauging their temperature. LAA should also consider putting Andrelton Simmons’ name out there. That organization is in need of renovation. Those two would restart the process in a substantial way.

    I agree it won’t happen, mainly because either one or both clubs don’t have the foresight to at least explore it.

    Meanwhile, as the Eagles enjoy their bye week, guess which two buds went hunting together?

    1. It is of mummy opinion that’s the Angels should trade trout this offseason to maximize their return, or … they need to sign Harper or machado to help trout out he next two years. The first route makes the most sense to me, with the 2nd being more to satisfy their fan base.

      For the Angels FO, all they have to do is look at BAL and WAS… especially BAL … they got very little for MM vs what they could’ve trading before. Smart Teams maximize return on valuable pieces vs hanging onto long in a unrealistic playoff push … it is what prevents long down years between the winning seasons

      1. I have a serious dislike for autocorrect … forgive me for my 4th grade (maybe 1st) grammar errors 🙂

        But I wanted to add, I’d do that trout deal, it’s a little painful, but I’d make that trade.
        Sixto hurts, but we have Medina still. Hasley is replaced by trout, no loss, Moniak … hurts but we have enough depth. Crawford I can let go of for trout, we have Kingery. With Crawford gone, I’d hold onto Santana or Franco longer now

        1. Tac3….do not see the Angels doing that deal as constructed.
          First person they want is Nola vs Sixto……Haseley and Monjak would be redundant….probably Moniak as a SoCal kid and maybe Doobie as a current guy to step in right now …..Alfaro may be what they would want ilo of JPC, Andrelton Simmons will be there for awhile, and catchers are always a hot part of any deal…..then finally, more than likely I’d think, Spencer Howard vs Dom Pipkin, since Howard is about two years out and further along developmentally with a higher ceiling right now..

            1. I tend to agree, Nola is out of a Trout deal due to the 2 year contract. Unless somehow a sign and trade agreement is worked out but I don’t think that is how baseball works

              I’d be ok with those player as well. I was a big fan of alfaro, but his swing and miss needs to change. I’d gladly give him up, especially with the FA catchers out the market. Ideally this trade would happen before they are signed.

              I hope Klentak is pulling a rabbit out of his … Sign MM and trade for trout. It is nice to wait for trout, but it could work out not too. This is the FA class to do it with.

              I’m starting to prefer Harper over MM, but the way this team is constructed, it makes sense to get MM vs Harper, with the prospects coming and possibility of trout

          1. I also read that proposed deal. Everyone (except the Angels) would do that.
            There’s no way Arte Moreno is trading Trout this winter. However, if he would even consider it, that deal would come up way short.
            If you want the Angels to even consider a Trout trade, you’d have to include either Hoskins or Nola. Here’s my opinion of something that could work:

            Angels get: Hoskins, DLS, Sixto, and Bohm
            Phillies get: Trout and Pujols

            1. Hinkie, you’re a creative guy and I love ya, my brother. BUT there is no way in hell either Nola OR Hoskins is included in an offer for 2 years –
              that’s TWO years of Mike Trout – nor would any MLB team offer anything equivalent. Fine, let’s wait for two more years (that’s TWO years of Trout’s prime!), sign him as a FA and give him $450M for 10 years, 4 or 5 of which may very likely be regressive. He’s a big dude who’s already had a few bumps and bruises. Also, let’s sit back and watch Moreno be stupid AGAIN. And you mentioned Pujols’ salary dump to boot? Nah! What a waste of the payroll flexibility we now boast about!

            2. You also don’t eat the Pujols contract. The team is ready to compete, the time for taking on $60 million worth of bad contract for a better return is over.

          2. I’m very sure the Angels would prefer Nola, but they won’t get him from us, nor is any team going to trade them a young ace for two seasons of Trout. If they make that trade. I think Romus’s proposed trade is fair IF Sixto proves himself to be healthy. Since he had to bow out of AFL, that proof of health may have to await ST to satisfy LAA, although perhaps a private workout or their scouting in instructional league will suffice. I’ll guess they don’t accept Sixto as head-liner in deal until they see him in ST. Haseley has value, but all the others in deal are among our iffy prospects, for one reason or another.

    2. @8mark – good opening salvo to start this week’s open discussion thread. there’s a lot of things I like in your post.

      #1 – “one or both clubs don’t have the foresight to at least explore it.” ==== this is funny but true. while I like to trade for Mike Trout now, I will just sit and wait until Arte Moreno screw this us up like Angelos and drive Trout’s trade value down. Trout will also “impliedly” express that he prefers to go home bound with the Eagles and Sixers stars acting as the silent recruiters. The other GMs will pick this signal up and will not offer a lot and Moreno will trade Trout to the Phillies next year for no more than 50% of the price.

      #2 – “guess which two buds went hunting together?” ==== i like to post the tweet yesterday that Carson invited Mikee, but i don’t like posting on Sundays since the thread will turn over the next day. As I said above, the Wentz and Ertz (will be Eagles for a while) will be the biggest recruiters and Joel Embiid will not be denied and will be part of the recruiting too offering unlimited Shirley Temples to Trout and his love ones and front court seat at the Farg.

      #3 – proposal has “Sixto, Haseley, Moniak, Pipkin and Crawford to LAA” — Haseley and Pipkin wasn’t drafted that time but I did suggest a trade proposal similar to that (Sixto-Moniak-Doobie +++) more than a year ago. One poster shoot it down because he said Sixto (70-grade FB) and Moniak (70-grade Hit tool) don’t grow on trees and one poster loves Doobie because of his WAR thing.

      I did also mentioned before that if the Phillies will only consider to include trading Nola, it is only for Mike Trout. Some view Nola only as MOR more than a year ago and think that Moreno will just hang up the phone — fast forward one year, now Nola is a must have for Trout. ==== this just happened to Doobie and Cesar? Last year, they are untoucheables and now they are literally are given to be traded away.

      1. by the way, while i said that I will trade Nola just to get Mike Trout — I will change my mind too just like most of us too. I do think that the Phillies have enough depth in the farm to compensate not including Nola. If Moreno will ask what the Phillies will offer for 2-years of Mike Trout – I will suggest === Sixto, Bohm, Haseley, Nick Williams and JPC.

    3. Everybody imagining an off-season trade of Trout should reflect on the truth that while for fans and writers baseball is a sport, for owners it’s a business. Therein lies the reality that Trout will not be traded until every/every re-signing option is exhausted and Trout becomes a sunken asset. Under no scenario can I imagine Trout being traded until every season ticket in Anaheim has been sold for the 2020 season. Reality sometimes disappoints me, too, but there it is whenever I choose to face it. Others should face it too.

  2. Sure hope Jhailyn Ortiz is a part of that group who will be participating in that strength and conditioning program at the Complex after Thanksgiving.

  3. Great article about JP in the Athletic today. Seems like Klentack will move him. Shame! After his 1 for 25 start he was injured and boy genius gave up on him. Not sure why they have so much Scotty love. Good luck JP. You will play 10 years with a 350 OBP

      1. Yes, if you’re going to throw out a comment like that it would help to understand what those deficiencies are since I’ve never heard anything but positives about him as a person and player?

  4. I’m just torn. I don’t want to get my hopes up for either manny or Harper but I like the chances. Biggest threat for Harper May be the Giants and Yankees for Manny.

    1. I’m sure the Phillies don’t want to pay any more than absolutely necessary for either BUT should it come down to dollars, they should be more than able to blow the rival suitors out of the water.

    2. @troll – all big market teams and contending teams will be a threat to both Machado and Harper and that is expected. This will be a staring match and whoever blinks first will be out —- if there’s anything I will worry about is on how far Middleton is willing to go to flex his financial muscle and bully the competition. I don’t think Middleton will be denied — he will get at least 1 or 2 top FAs this offseason.

      1. Denny – I think the Phillies will announce a major FA signing by Thanksgiving. Just a hunch, but I think a lot of fans will be getting season tickets for Christmas.

  5. I’ve been vocal about my lack of confidence on McPhail and Klentak. Yeah, I don’t know both of them but their actions and words consistent so I have a reason to really doubt them. But my distrust is only towards McPhail and Klentak and not to the whole FO. I trust Middleton. He is not shy to let everybody know that he is willing to spend and I do believe that Middleton forced himself in his current position with the 2018-19 offseason in mind. Middleton wants to be in-charge to ensure that the Phillies will be in the position to acquire the best young FAs available. I hate everything about Klentak and his non-committal rhetoric makes it worst —- but I’m optimistic that the Phillies will be involved in any big FA available this offseason.

    My prediction will be — Phillies sign Machado long term and they will swoop in and sign Harper too in early March. The Phillies will lose in Kikuchi market but they will sign one of the available SP (not Corbin) —- the Phillies will be monitoring Keuchel market and will check Pomeranz, Miley and Anderson in the clearance bin.

    1. I’ve been letting the GM/Pres do their molding, to me, this team is still Amaro’s (Franco,Herrera,Cehe,Hoskins, Nola,Eflin, picetta, Alfaro, Williams, Kingery,Crawford … etc
      Eickhoff is a big one imo, looking for a breakout season for him next year, under the radar as well

      It is time for a Klentak to put his stamp on the team. Mcphail guided or not. You can argue that Santana and Arietta are bad moves, but I’ll wait until I see what they do this offseason, what I expect

      3 significant moves in the form of 2 FA signings and a Trade that clears logjams with a player between superstar & abover average replacement

      I expect one of MM or harper, anything less … he better pull a trout move. Their is no hiding for the FO this offseason, the entire baseball world knows they are looking to spend

  6. While we wait for Matt Klentak to start signing FA’s and swapping players, here’s a fun/astonishing fact I stumbled upon while doing some research …
    7 of the current 35 players (20%) on the Phillies 40 man roster share their first name (spellings) with no one in the history of MLB:
    * Rhys Hoskins
    * Seranthony Dominguez
    * Odubel Herrera
    * Enyel De Los Santos
    * Ranger Saurez
    * Edubray Ramos
    * Yacksel Rios

    Incredibly … two other Phillies just missed making this list.
    Jerad Eickhoff was kept off by Jerad Head, who appeared in just 10 games (24 career AB’s) with Cleveland in 2011.
    Maikel Franco didn’t make the cut because of Maikel Cleto, who pitched 45 innings with the Cardinals and CWS between 2011-2014.
    Also, Jesmuel Valentine (who was dropped from the 40 man last season) is the only Jesmuel in MLB history.

    I doubt (and I haven’t checked) any other team in the history of the sport can make this claim.

    BTW … if the Phillies sign Marwin Gonzalez, he would also join this quirky list.

    1. I can’t believe there’s not another Seranthony – it seems like every third kid in my neighborhood is named Seranthony.

    2. Hinkie…good work on the name game.
      Good trivia information.
      BTW…Odubel…..is not his real first name …its David….David Herrera! 🙂

  7. I know comments about the majors and trades do belong in the general comments section but I, for one, am a little disappointed how much the comments (but not really the content) of this site has really focused on the major league team and major league transactions with minor league issues being secondary. I sort of expect this (a little) during the off season, but it’s been like this all year.

    1. Catchman,
      Partial apologies from me, I’m guilty of this. I think we’ve reached that stage in the rebuild where the minor league players are no longer prospects but trade chips or have reached core player status. The fallout from this offseason will impact just about every level. There are two many logjams imo, especially in the pitching dept. the depth in the system is unprecedented for my fandom. Never seen it like this, just waves of prospects coming.

      I think this offseason for the big club is obviously the main topic, but I’m sure many of us will talk about any topic/player…. just put it out there.

      1. No need to apologize, it’s just not the main reason I’ve always come on the site. And, yes, I get the interest right now and get that we have some MLB ready guys (actually not really, we do however have a lot of young major leaguers) but there are tiers of younger prospects too and those who at least a year away (in fact, most of our top 5 is at least a year away), so it’s not that either. It’s just become a trade and FA site – really mostly major league type talk with minor league stuff filtering in only because of trades. Like I said, some of the focus is understandable – but not all of it is.

          1. Good old Hinkie – just like you to take my comment out of context and just to post something different as if to say “gotchya.” I know that you post some minor league stuff, I get it, but the site has become just too Major league slanted for my tastes – most of the comments are about the big leagues and trades and that’s intensified over the last year or so. Some of it is understandable, but the degree to which it dominates discussion on the site all year is not what I am looking for here.

            1. I hear what you’re saying, Catch. But this a hot stove season we haven’t seen around here in quite some time. It’s kind of like a release of all our pent up frustration over being a 2nd division team with wads of cash, like kids in a candy shop.

            2. Yeah, like I said, I get the focus in the off season and this year, but this is a trend that has overtaken the site. We will see if things change next year, but if they don’t I think we should have an MLB/Trade comments section because some of us really want to talk mostly about minor leaguers and skip the arm charm trade/FA GM stuff. I can read about that elsewhere.

            3. I thought I’d chime in on this. As the father of a player of course I’d rather read about the prospects but I get it. This is Phuture Phillies Open Discussion and that should be a broad discussion but maybe there should be a separate forum for FA/Trades as it is obviously a big topic right now (as it should be). Also – I’m a life long Dodgers fan and watched almost every game with MM. He is a great player but the arrogance is toxic. I hope that neither the Dodgers or the Phillies sign him. That’s just my take…..

            4. Catch, I’ll second you comments specifically as it relates to the repetitiveness of the trade, FA talks. The conversation seems to be a continued rehash of same proposals over and over again.

              For the other side, I expect most of the off-season discussion to be focused on the big club since prospect happenings at this time of the year are rather limited..

        1. If the first four months of this past season were not such a good start, i think there would have been more minor league chatter on the Open Discussion thread.
          But since they started out so well, with many of the minor league prospects we had been following just a year earlier, it evolved more into the major league subject lines.

  8. Tac3, my assessment of the farm isn’t as favorable as yours. Yes we have good pitching throughout but no studs except Sixto, and his tenuous health is a branch of damnic leaves hanging over our heads (that’s an old 3 Stooges reference, btw😆). Bats? Maybe 3 or 4 who might turn out without being difference makers. Overall, I think ours is barely among the top 15 MLB systems.

    1. Our system could be anywhere between the top 6 or 7 or around 20 by the middle of next year depending on how key prospects develop. But around 15 right now sounds about right – it’s not as good as one would hope with a ton of top 10 picks in the last 4 years.

  9. Given all of that, I would propose, in addition to general comments (which includes anything other than what is directly relevant to the post under which the comment is made) we have a trades/MLB discussion post each week. I’ll steer clear of that latter topic – I’ve grown tired of the MM and Harper FA discussions and the Trout trade talk and why we should trade Odubel and Hernandez, among other repetitive topics that don’t advance the ball much or at all on a minor league discussion.

    1. catch, do you realize how many opportunities you squandered on this particular thread by not initiating the type of discussion you would like to see occur. We get it. You don’t like the hot stove. You’ve said it multiple times. Why not address whatever you feel to be missing?

      1. Seriously? I’m just replying to what other folks are saying in reaction to my posts. It’s a philosophical discussion about where such posts should go on a minor league site. And it’s not true that I don’t like hot stove but this isn’t a hot stove/MLB site.

  10. Tac – I’m an old guy and I’ve never seen so many pitchers waiting for a chance. There’s Nola, Pivetta, Arrieta, Velasquez, Eflin, Eickhoff, De Los Santos, Suarez, and Irvin. If the Phillies sign a starter this winter, he’ll be guaranteed a spot in the rotation (whether he’s good or bad). I’d rather spend the money on the bullpen, and let the kids compete for jobs in the spring.
    I like Ottavino and Britton for the pen, and Harper in LF, and Brantley in RF, but that probably won’t happen. Trade Santana, and go with Franco, Crawford, Kingery, and Hoskins, with Suzuki as the back up catcher.

    1. I’m middle aged, with 93 being my favorite year as a Phillies fan… young,dumb, and unaware of how money rules the world 🙂 2008 was obviously nice too.

      I agree, I’d like to see the Phillies solidify the bullpen into a top 3-5 pen. The SP is a strength to me. Nola is for real, and I expect big things from Eickhoff. I feel like he has been forgotten about, but if Alfaro keeeps swining and missing, Eickhoff is the best prospect in the hamels trade. I think he can be put into the 3 or 4 spot of the rotation, to win a lot of those battles. Pivetta and VV are developing into at least a top 4&5 options. Will know more after this season. Jury will be out on them. We then need Medina or Sanchez to be a 1B or 2A. Nola,Sanchez,&Eichhoff need to lead the early charge into playoff window.

      Del, Romero, Anderson, Medina,Sixto, and Irvin are my focus this year pitching wise. Saurez didn’t look like a major leaguer To me in his callup. Looked very hittable, surprised he didn’t get lite up more. My guess is his second time around the league would expose him. That said, I hope he proves my couch potato opinion wrong.

      1. Tac – I expect big things from Eickhoff and Pivetta next year. I also think that Velasquez has the right stuff to be a closer/late inning reliever. Suarez is only 23 and will probably start out in Lehigh. Even if the Phillies have no interest in Corbin, I hope they bid enough to make the Yankees pay top dollar for him.

        1. Good point on Corbin. In fact, the Phillies should be that thorn in the sides of many teams as the X-factor club that drives the market way up, only if to make it a little more painful for their rivals. That’s also why they are (and should be) the one team to have the biggest impact on the off season market, aside from their own actual additions.

      2. Eickhoff impressed with his last start. Quite a SSS, for sure. But having 2 healthy big league seasons under his belt, he has promise as a guy with exceptional pitchability, despite the lack of velocity. I wouldn’t count on him as higher than a back of the rotation guy but he poses as a more reliable arm than the less seasoned pitchers like Pivetta, Velasquez and Eflin. With #1-Nola, #2-Arrieta, #5-Pivetta and a #3-new acquisition via trade or FA, he is my #4 as of today. We’ll see how the winter and spring shake out on the rubber.

  11. Braves get 3 players on Gold Glove winners list with Freeman tying with Rizzo. I know that GG voting is not always indicative of the best actual defensive players, but I don’t think we had any one even close. Actually, I am positive no one was close. Our D is a huge problem. I think Quinn will be as good as Inciarte defensively. I move Doobie without question. I really want Machado as a 3B. But, who knows how it will play out. We have to improve our C defense, and that may be the most important improvement we need. A back up to play 50 games will help. And, catch, I think a lot of us got excited by the Major League team at the start of the season, and were so disappointed by the end that we spent a lot of time bemoaning the collapse. Also, this off season has been targeted for 21/2 years, so we are more invested than before. I don’t think it is due to any lack of interest in our prospects.

    1. Matt13…Phillies defense may have been the worst in baseball….maybe near the bottom in MLB history for all we know.
      DRS was negative 62….last in baseball.
      UZR…last also…negative 32.9
      …some of that was the Kapler effect…..position changes and shifts, some was just plain less than average skilled players.

      https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=of&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=0&type=1&season=2018&month=0&season1=2018&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=11,d

      1. In a way that is good news, if they can improve it. It should help our pitching staff with run differential, it’s not like the offense helped last year.

  12. Where is the trade value in our Farm system?

    SP vs Bullpen vs INF vs OF ?

    Don’t mix and match’em. If the FO decides to wheel & deal, what

    Hasley,Moniak,Ortiz,Cornelius
    Vs
    Sixto,Medina, Romero, Del
    Vs
    Bohm, Crawford, (kinda cheating but for arguments) Gamboa..
    Vs
    Bullpen could go a billion ways , pick your tops.

    I’m sure i missed a few, trying to see what we think is the most valuable section of the farm

    For me, I believe out OF come around

  13. “For years, the Phillies have looked upon this offseason as an opportunity to add a franchise hitter. In fact, they have the payroll capacity to add two, if the market breaks in their favor.

    The Phils made the second-best trade offer to the Orioles for Machado in July, and their key front-office officials — president Andy MacPhail and general manager Matt Klentak — have known Machado since the earliest days of his pro baseball career.

    Harper has enjoyed playing in Philadelphia during road trips to the city, and it shows in his production: His career .930 OPS at Citizens Bank Park is his best at any stadium in which he has played more than 20 games.”

  14. Trade value is clearly SP. Sixto, Medina, Romero, etc. are much more valuable. Now, I am hoping that Haseley continues to hit well and develops some power and Bohm shows he was worth a 1st Rd pick. “C” is not a valuable chip at all, and I have very little hope. I am expecting/hoping for a break out year for Moniak. I think the next level of SP is more valuable than our hitters. I am leaving Garcia out of the equation only because of his distance from the Majors.

    1. Garcia is my #1 prospect so with regard to him being distant from the MLB let’s keep in mind that Lindor is only 24 he made it to the MLB at 21.

      Juan Soto at 19 Acuna at 20. It could happen!

    2. I can see the lean towards SP. Sixto is supposed to be Legit, but so was Kilome. Ok maybe that’s not fair since he was basically hurt. My point is, well we tend to think the SP is the strength, I can just as easily see Moniak,Hasley, and Ortiz switching this thought process by the this Time next season. Heck, Bohm, Gamboa and Garcia could make a run as well.

      We don’t have the true sure fire prospect in system … say like Harper or Strasburg was going through the Minors, but eventually he will emerge, one of those prospects will surprise us for the better.

  15. Tac – Starting pitching is most valuable for my money. Lehigh, for instance, Irvin, Anderson, Eshelman, De los Santos, and Suarez. Reading, Romero, Seabold, Medina, and possibly Parkinson. If Sixto is healthy he could be at Reading by the fourth of July.

  16. In all fairness to Catch’s point the end game for prospects is the MLB so the conversation or content is pretty much always going to “go there”.

    Take JP for instance the first legit 1st rounder we had in some time. He comes into the system 2013 and takes off moving through every level with ease. We had a lot vested in him with prospect talk so isn’t it natural to want to continue that into his big league career?

    Fast forward to the 1:1 year and the MM we do have locked up. That prospect talk went sour fast did it not? Let’s add that Alfaro, Hoskins, Kingery and Williams were all prospects we ranked who played together this season at the big league level.

    It is a really fine line we walk here and that line is constantly shifting but I still love coming here. Yes some days the conversation seems stale. I certainly don’t hold Jim accountable for that nor do I get riled by you guys talking trades.

    1. Well, I’m not riled about it either and I certainly do not blame Jim – he’s not a hall monitor. What I would hope, however, is that we can find a place (like an MLB/trades thread) for this talk that is truly segregated from the minor league talk because it’s sort of taking over the whole site. And it’s not just this offseason.

      1. That’s fair and I didn’t mean to imply that you specifically were blaming Jim although I acknowledge it sounded that way.

        1. It’s hard to have too many threads. We will just back and forth in the discussion. Honestly, I love to talk about the result of the prospect rankings submission but it is on the other thread.

          I like the current set up — “Open Discussion” for any talk including the Phillies and “Box Scores” for purely prospect talk. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot to talk about in the minor league offseason other than the Winter Leagues and some major transactions.

      2. During the season, we have Jim’s daily minor league report. That is not present now except for the periodic poll or special article that he posts. So, the open discussion thread is our main avenue. Perhaps Jim might agree to offer a separate weekly thread (also beginning on Mondays) that would be parallel to the other. Just a suggestion, and no presumption on Jim to take on more work.

      1. Yeah…overall I think he is lower across the board for the majority of his 50 that crosses over to MLBTR’s 50 list.
        I will like to see if MLB.com or BA puts out their projections.

  17. Gabe Kapler has styled himself as an innovative ‘new school’ style of management. Yet the significance of the playing guys out of position, the shifting/over-shifting of players on the playing field, the unconventional batting order, etc. pales in comparison with making effective use of pitchers in the batting order. Concentrate on making all pitchers except closers good bunters and develop those with potential into decent hitters. That would be an innovation I could get behind. Effective use of the 9 hole surpasses what passes for innovation in Kapler’s book. Obviously this doesn’t start at the major league level and so is a fair discussion topic for any site dealing with player development.

  18. @catch – i already love talking prospects. However, the main issue is the lack of coverage locally an nationally. that’s why we are very fortunate to have Jim, MattWinks, Jeff Israel, Mitch Rupert, etc doing the field reporting since there’s no way for fans to go to the stadiums in LHV, REA, CLE. LWD, WIL to get a glimpse of the prospects and their progress. I spent a good amount of time watching the games live in LHV, REA and LWD and share some of my observations here. I’m also glad that there’s social media so I can follow news and reports about prospect play.

    I’m not sure how many of us here really go and see the prospects play and evaluate them objectively. Without seeing the prospects play, it is really hard to have a very educated discussion.

    1. Oh, come on, that’s silly. We get stats and reports and follow box scores and even see some of these guys on Milb.TV. So what you’re saying is “well, we really don’t know much about these prospects to evaluate them so let’s talk about major leaguers and trades and the like.” That’s a rejection of the entire premise of this site AND I disagree with you that there’s not enough information to discuss prospects. Of course there is.

      1. @catch – sorry, and Jim will probably kick me out, but i have to call you out on you lack on comprehension on my post. Half of our lengthy discussion is based on your false understanding of what I’m trying to say or you basically put wrong words into my mouth.

        “the main issue is the lack of coverage locally an nationally” — this is what I said.

        milb.tv? how many of us have access to it? boxscores? There are a lot of things more important to discuss than the boxscores.

        when it comes to prospect discussion i prefer to talk about abilities and projections. Using Adonis Medina as example, i rather talk about the quality of Medina’s pitches (velocity, grade, pitch mix, etc) than the Ks, ERA, WHIP.

        1. No, I fully comprehend your post – I just strongly disagree with you – particularly this statement “I’m not sure how many of us here really go and see the prospects play and evaluate them objectively.”

          As for milb.tv – everyone can have access to that. It’s a pay access through the milb website. If you have the internet, you can get it. And they are running a special now so it’s $14.99 a year. So you’re wrong, you can easily get access to that and watch all AAA and AA games and many lower level games as well. Any game you can’t catch live is archived so you can watch as little or as much of the game as you want.

          But we have an incredible amount of statistical reports and scouting reports on these prospects to the point where we can have very meaningful discussion on their performance, even those we can’t see.

  19. If there’s one person who HASN’T tried to hijack the content of this site it’s Jim who acknowledges stuff that is going on at the major league level, connects it to the minors and then dives into minor league content. Look, I don’t care that you folks like the hot stove league, I do too, but it’s not what this site is about. I don’t even care that much that you want to discuss it on here, but I am merely suggesting we have a separate major league/trade discussion for MLB type issues because the MLB content on this site has gone from being a trace of what is discussed to like 85 percent of what is discussed.

  20. I, for one, have never allowed not seeing the players, in any way, tostop me from having an opinion! I understand what catch is saying. Let me just give my viewpoint. I came here all those many years ago to chat with and learn from the other guys on the site. I learned most of what I know, albeit I still have a lot to learn, about analytics from being here. I love to read about all of our prospects and get too high and too low when things go well or poorly, like most fans. I am also a big fan of the Major League team. And, what I have found over the years, is that I enjoy discussing the big team much more on this site than others. As I do with prospects, I look forward to all of your opinions on the Phillies players, so I come to this site much, much more than any other. So, if others are like me, what we are getting is a lot more Major League talk than was here when the site started. I still check other sites, but when I see “freeeac”, I check out. Although I do miss larrym.

    1. I didn’t always agree with larrym but he provided some of the finest and best-reasoned opinions in the history of the site. We miss his contributions for sure.

  21. For what it is worth, I enjoy this site. Most of the comments are thoughtout (minus my own), and people can usually disagree… unless your not a fan of analytics:)

    Anyways, I come to this site as much as any, and I enjoy discussing the stat lines Jim puts up. Sure I can go to Milb, but there is no one to discuss the . Prospect Videos are awesome too, since you usually don’t get to see them until they get a spring training invite.

    I’ll keep coming here unless that one crazy poster is on here. The fact that Jim has kept him out … kudos to you! Honestly, that is a huge win for many of us. Appreciate the work Jim

    1. Ironically this is the ONLY website I visit that I feel I can bring up analytics since Crashburn shut down (gone but not forgotten, RIP). But I hope people who aren’t analytically inclined don’t feel dissuaded from sharing their point of view.

      There’s always a place for a different set of eyes. The numbers don’t tell us everything just like scouts and writers don’t.

      And yes, good job on moderating but not over-moderating, Jim. Outside of the occasional automated hold on replies, I haven’t had any complaints. If you think you need or want help with the site (whether content related or technical), feel free to outsource some of it. I’m sure there are many visitors (myself included) who would be happy to chip in.

  22. I checked this year’s content vs. last November’s content and found what Catch has pointed out is true – we have become an Open Discussions and Polls site in the off season.

    I agree this needs to change.

    I’m not going to dissuade anyone from posting in the Open Discussion. After all, it is the proper location for any and all non-prospect talk.

    But, this is Phuture Phillies. There should be a place to discuss prospects separate from other discussions.

    The daily box score reports filled this need during the season. Something will need to take their place.

    I have season recaps for the Threshers and two GCL teams in draft mode. I’ll finish them and post them. I also have an article on the projected placement of selected GCL players that I withdrew from the book to which I supplied content. I can also finally post my opinion of Luis Garcia. It’s probably too late to influence any of the exalted opinions of the young man, but I’ll give it a go.

    When I run out of topics (and maybe before), I’ll begin a weekly minor league discussion.

    Thank you, Catch, for pointing out this short coming. I would have published the articles I mentioned above eventually. But, now I see that there is a real need for them.

    1. Correct me if I am wrong, but the Readers Top 30/40 voting will also incorporate some minor league discussion time , and I assume, they will be after the holidays starting in January?.

    2. Awesome – thanks, Jim. Like I said I don’t oppose hot stove talk but just wanted a prospect focused forum during the off seasons

  23. Yusei Kikuchi hired Boras as his agent. That might work in our favor, especially when we assume he would just gravitate toward the west coast or maybe NY.

    1. I’ve felt Kikuchi was a real possibility for the Phillies for almost a year now. This, to me, just ups the chances. The Phillies/John Middleton have/has made huge inroads with Scott Boras over the last year. Boras reps four Phillies: Arrieta, Hoskins, VV, and Nick Williams. Harper and Kikuchi (and even Marwin Gonzalez) could join that list.

  24. Let’s keep it rolling….with the GM meetings in California Tue-Thu, the Phillies and Reds are reportedly speaking with Corbin’s agent to drive his price up so if the Yankees want him, it may take more $$$ to sign him and that much away from what they might need to go after Manny, if they are so inclined.

  25. There is an overload of 2B available either through trade or FA. I don’t know what we do with Cesar, but the return will be very little. Of course, a lottery ticket does pay off sometimes. But he is better than what we will get, but not good enough to get more. Could he be the back up utility guy? If he stays, for instance, and Franco gets traded, JP at 3B, Kingery at SS, Cesar at 2B, he cannot be the lead off hitter any more. I am not discounting the FO keeping him. That’s not what I would do, but they might. And, maybe Middleton has been silent because he has been in Japan meeting Kikuchi’s friends, and planning on his sales pitch?

    1. Cesar is what he is; a serviceable second baseman. Even though Kingery has a bad year, he still has a greater upside. Sometimes you add by subtracting. Best of luck to Cesar.

      1. And Kingery will continue to have more upside, while Cesar will probably be the guy capable of putting up the larger WAR in 2019. Kingery might well benefit from some AAA time to start 2019. He certainly would benefit from the Phillies reaching a definitive conclusion whether he is to be a SS or 2B going forward. Perhaps they really aren’t that super high on him and see him as a utility guy. A ton of IF questions to be answered this winter.

    2. I said last off season that the return for Galvis will be greater than the return for Cesar and people thought I was nuts because he is a “top 10 second basemen the league”

  26. Our very Bright Spot, Aaron Nola, is officially one of the 3 finalists for the Cy Young. Scherzer and DeGrom, of course, are the other 2. I believe he finishes 3rd, but what a great year!

    1. Matt13…..wonder now with his emergence as a top MLB pitcher, if the Phillies will soon do a Kershaw early signing with Nola.
      I do not expect it this off-season but I can see them doing something like that after next season his first arb year.

        1. Hoskins will be interesting. The team has control over him for another 5 years. He is a Boras client and he’s an older “young” player so, even as is, he’ll only have a year or two of prime free agency. So if they do it at all, it will be a longer term deal that significantly overpays him for his early contract years and pays him a bit less than he might get when he hits FA – maybe a 6 year deal (win-win for both sides – that would be my prediction – he would still hit the FA market at 32) or a slightly longer deal with a decent buy-out at the end. I also wouldn’t discount the possibility of a 5 year deal just taking him to the end of his pre-free agent years. He could hit the market at age 31 if he wanted that.

      1. Romus … this (2019) is Nola’s first arbitration year. He’s projected to make 6.6 milion dollars. The Phillies would be wise to look to do an early, long term deal with him now.

  27. Heard the Yankees GM interviewed on radio and when asked what his goals were for the winter – PITCHING, in the order of 1, 2, and lastly, – try and find a stop gap middle infielder to shore up SS until Didi comes back. Manny – ? maybe they won’t be looking there after all ?

    To 8mark above – I agree with you. Boras will look for the best deal no matter where it is for his Japanese client. So it may not be on the west coast as usual ??

  28. Very interesting …

    1. That’s exciting, Hinkie. Every now and then, things just click into place. Opportunities that are just waiting to be taken. Acquiring top talent doesn’t always secure a championship but man, Middleton could singlehandedly regenerate the buzz we once enjoyed every single night at Citizens Bank Park. I want to see this front office be both aggressive and creative. Let’s strike early and often. Go sign a recovering yet promising Garrett Richards, and invest ahead toward 2020. Go trade for a JT Realmuto and drop that anchor we need behind home plate. Woo Yusei Kikuchi to the tune that no other club will match. By then, Manny and Bryce may be so impressed, they’ll want to join the party that lasts until the wee hours of late October 2019.

  29. This might be the time for the Phillies to take me seriously and finally adopt the Hinkie plan to hire Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto as the team’s Director of Clubhouse Food Services. How is Yusei Kikuchi going to say “no” to Morimoto’s shrimp tempura roll after every game ???

  30. Here’s the breakdown/predictions for Machado and Harper contracts:

    MANNY MACHADO

    RotoWorld … 10 years @ >350 million
    John Heyman … 10 years @ 300 million
    John Heyman’s annonymous expert … 10 years @ 325 million
    Keith Law … 10 years @ 300 million
    Kiley McDaniel … 9 years @ 279 million
    Jim Duquette … up to 10 years @ 300 million
    MLB Trade Rumors … 13 years @ 390 million

    BRYCE HARPER

    RotoWorld … 10 years @ 350 million
    John Heyman … 11 years @ 330 million
    John Heyman’s annonymous expert … 11 years @ 374 million
    Keith Law … slighty less than 10 years @ 300 million
    Kiley McDaniel … 10 years @ 330 million
    Jim Duquette … up to 10 years @ 300 million
    MLB Trade Rumors … 14 years @ 420 million

    And Yusei Kikuchi has gotten a couple of prognostications:

    Kiley McDaniel … 4 years @ 40 million
    MLB Trade Rumors … 6 years @ 42 million

    If Middleton and MacKlentak can pull this Triumvirate off, and trade excess pieces for a LHR or closer (Matt Straham or Jose Alvarado), defensive backup catcher, prospects, and/or J2 money, it’s a grandslam offseason.

    1. I know they are 26 years old, but I’m hoping they stay in the 10 year range with and opt out at 6. I’m probably dreaming but you’d think they would bet on themselves and see that a lot can change in 10 years, especially salary. For most we’d take the 13/14 year deals, but these are ball players here we are talking about. It will be interesting to see what comes of it, because it will impact Trouts next deal

      1. Secondly, getting locked into any one team for that long, also goes against the grain of athletes these days. It could be a lot of losing … or winning (unlikely), they would have to think long and hard about those extra years

        1. Tac3…tend to agree, like most would I assume…long term deals do not result in greater production from a player as they age, in the out years of the contract.

          And they will surely want an opt-out…but not at 6 when they are 32, but at 3 when they are 29……but if they are injured or struggling in that opt-out year, they will not invoke it but instead stay in the commitment, and then the team is left with maybe 3 or more years of a player who may be in decline..
          Until the owners get more leverage or maximize their genitalia, and insist on ‘mutual’ opt-outs, the player will have the complete control and the team and the fans will be the ones to take the burden.

          1. I agree with you guys. Long term deals pay for past performance not compensation for future performance. That is why most contracts with aging superstars do not balance the beam. Either it was a good deal for the player (mostly) or a good deal for the club (rarely). IMO most times the club gets the short end of the stick.

          2. If the Phillies attempt to sign both Machado and Harper, I believe each guy will get really big money in the first couple of years, with declining yearly values as the contract ages. If they ink both, I also believe one will get his first (of multiole) opt out(s) after year two to coincide with the possibility of Mike Trout hitting the FA market.
            If the team signs just one of Harper or Machado, I think they won’t get their first opt out until after year four.

            1. Hinkie, that sounds about right with the opt outs. Interesting thought about annual values being higher early on. That’s a creative way to lessen the risk of a long term deal, though a potential motivation for the player to opt out sooner if he continues to be productive.

            2. Yes. Believe it or not … opt outs can be a good thing for the team, also. In this case it could allow the Phillies to reap the benefits of Machado’s prime years (at huge salaries) and then allow him to walk after maybe year four. At that point, he would be 30 YO and likely entering the end of his prime years. If you’re the Phillies, you’re hoping Alec Bohm has developed into Machado’s replacement. I think there’s also a good chance the Phillies draft another 3Bman with the 1-14 pick in 2019. There’s a pretty good chance one of Bobby Witt jr, Bryson Stott, Josh Jung, or Drew Mendoza fall to that spot in the draft.
              Here’s an example of a contract (9 years @ 300 million) that could work out for the Phillies and MM:
              year 1 – 40 million
              year 2 – 40 million
              year 3 – 35 million
              year 4 – 35 million
              opt out
              year 5 – 30 million
              opt out
              year 6 – 30 million
              year 7 – 30 million
              year 8 – 30 million
              year 9 – 30 million

            3. Yeah, I guess you can get lucky on the opt out being okay, but typically, it unilaterally helps the player, giving the player optionality but the team none and it also can deprive the team of trading a player on a favorable contract the way the Marlins traded Stanton. These are designed to help the player and not the team and that’s how it typically plays out.

    2. Most of the MM numbers are, I believe, way too low. It’s hard to imagine his AAV being much under $35 M and it might exceed that amount. As for Harper, I still think he might end up with a pillow contract of sorts – if he has another monster year next year, he’ll get paid a lot more even though I’m sure he’ll get some ridiculous offers.

  31. I think the over/under on opt outs for each of them is 2.5. I think at least 1 is a given. 8mark, sign me up for your plan, please. And, aren’t the numbers a little low for Kikuchi? I would think 20 teams would be in on him at 4/$40 Million? I think when 4 or 5 teams get bidding on Machado and Harper, the numbers will end up closer to the MLBTR guesstimate. I have a feeling that teams like the Cardinals and the WSox will join the fray, at least up to a point. So, us, the Yankees, BoSox, Cubs, Angels, Giants, Astros, Dodgers, Mariners, Braves, Nats, and a couple of mystery teams are going to send those numbers to record-setting highs. Not all will be in it at those levels, of course, but enough to drive the prices out of sight.

    1. The thing about Kikuchi is although he’s been heavily scouted, he’s essentially an unknown at the major league level. And he’s not a phenom talent but has had success in Japan. So making him an extraordinarily high offer, especially in years, is probably not going to happen. But from video I have seen, he strikes me as a cool, tough customer on the bump.

  32. What minor league talent is being offered in trades? To get an arm like Paxton or Ray fir 2 years, what would it cost in prospects? Medina plus a lesser 11-20 ranked guy like Listi or Hall?

  33. I don’t know Murray, that is a good question, as both should be available. I have said before, unless I am getting Trout or Blake Snell, Sixto is unavailable, and I don’t think we get either this off season. Medina was offered for Realmuto, and I really would like to keep him. I think he can pitch in CBP this year, and I don’t mean in an exhibition game. There is a lot of discussion about platooning and positional flexibility. To me, that only works if everyone can hit. That has to come first. But I am sure someone here knows: How much platooning and moving positions do we do at the minor league levels? Is that something that we do much of? Who would be an example of a prospect that we are high on that plays multiple positions well?

    1. The Mariners could make a nice trade partner with the Phillies (and a lot of other teams). James Paxton and Edwin Diaz would look good/great/spectacular in red pinstripes.

      1. And Hinkie, if the Phillies miss on signing Manny, how would Jean Segura look in red pinstripes? He’s another veteran player who might be desirable in a blockbuster trade.

        1. The reason John Middleton will pay Manny Machado and Bryce Harper big money is because they will make this team relevant again. Jean Segura may be a very good player, but he isn’t going to create any buzz among Phillies fans.

          1. Heyman now hears that Diaz is likely off the table due to service time and a wealth of closers on the FA market.

            Also tweets that NYY is talking to Cleveland today about Kluber and Carrasco. Also interested in Paxton, and FAs Happ, Corbin and possibly bringing CC back.

          2. Hinkie, you make a good point. I was just thinking Segura would be a plan b.

            Also, just wondering if Middleton instructed Boras and Lozano to get back to him after all other suitors have made their pitch…???

          3. If The Phillies can sign Harper, I think he puts butts in the seats, if they sign both, and make decent trades … they will get back to 3 mil attendance for years to come. The hype will be real. If they can put harper, MM,
            And realmuto on this team, it will be hard to get good tickets

  34. On fixing the big club to get over the hump, I have good faith in our SP Prospects turned early major leaguers, along with Medina and Sixto on the way. To me, it is the teams strength. I’m not sure I’d go heavy into the trade market or FA for SP with what we have. I believe they can be good enough to accomplish the goal. I think the sure fire way to get this team better is to sure up that adefense, ramp up the offense, and strengthen the bullpen. All of those upgrades allows the SP to give up more runs and not take a step backwards (therorectically) Now if you tell me they are going to move one of Pivetta/VV to the pen… well I’d sign a SP or trade one to swap out one of Efflin,P, or VV. Arrietta to me is already falling into 5th starter status. Would not mind swapping him out for a FA/Trade. Don’t see it happening though. I get the sense Arrietta is washed up after watching his second half. Eickhoff I believe will have a big year. I also don’t want to beat against pivetta or VV taking that last big step towards their projections. Beefing up the offense can safe guard against a decline in SP production, with defense and a top bullpen can push this team into an area of being a serious post season contender (not to be confused with a legit WS contender)

    So, I’m not liking the idea of upgrading the SP. personally I’d allocate the money toward everyday offensive players that can field a lick. Then get a top 5 bullpen.l adnride the SP again in 2019.

    1. I don’t think Eickhoff, who I love as a person, has the velocity to be anything more than a 4/5. If he comes back throwing 92-94, watch out. If he’s still 90-92 (which is the most likely scenario), he’s just another guy.

      Arrieta appears to be in an adjustment period. The velocity is still pretty good so he’ll figure it out I think.

      Pivetta seems so close to being a dominant pitcher. He needs another solid breaking pitch and to improve his command, but dammit, the stuff is there.

      VV – a total mystery to me. I don’t know what to make of him and I think we’re all guessing how it will turn out. It doesn’t help that he’s lost a little velocity. Not a ton, but enough that it makes a difference. Maybe he really would be good out of the bullpen. I have no idea. with him – just no clue.

      1. I’m higher on Eickhoff than you, which is fine. My opinion comes from the eye test vs his stat lines. He is K/9 is 8, era is good between 3-4. Remembering from 15&16’ compaigns, he looked liked he knew how to pitch, has a nice angle of getting the ball to the plate. I seen him taking the next step, that I thought would come this year before the injury. Velocity loss is a legit concern, but I’d guess it is back by ST. Will see.

        Hoping I’m right on this one. Eickhoff has schilling like mechanics, nice poise on the mound

        1. He does know how to pitch and he does have a very good curve, but as soon as he lost the edge on his FB toward the end of 2017 he became a different pitcher. It’s unbelievably hard to be an effective righty starter throwing 90-92 – even if you’ve got a good curve and decent command. That’s not enough because batters can foul off the curve waiting to feast on a FB.

        2. Tac3….you may see a change in his repertoire next season, or maybe I sg=hould say an addition……he experimented in the 5 innings and almost 100 pitches in Sept with a cutter for the first time in live action.
          He could add that to his 2 and 4 seam FBs……he will need it to be effective since his FBs velo in the low 90s, on a good day, will probably not move the needle much on his productivity. Hopefully it will be something he is comfortable with using.

          1. The velocity loss is concerning, i agree with that. I’m figuring he is young enough,that the velocity should return. His 12-6 curve is nasty, and was the workhorse of 2016. Id like to see more of him in a Phillies uniform, I think/believe he turns the corner. That curve is too good imo. If he adds a new pitch OR can crank up his fastball into the 93+ range again, I think he can be very effective for the Phils. Just watched some highlights of 2016, he was hitting 93 on the gun. The curve was at 85-88. They need him back, could def push VV to the pen if VV struggles himself… team has so much pitching, they need to field a second starting rotation.

            Not saying he is schilling, but he reminds me a lot of him. Angle of his fastball, and the curve. If he could bump his fastball to 95, I’d think we’d be in for a treat.

  35. More and more sounds like Carlos Santana may be heading back to the AL…..my guess, Indians, they could be a possibility since Tito really likes him.

        1. ROFL…..that was good.
          8mark/Tac3….latest was from John Kincaid, from the area (Great Valley) but now a radio talk show host in Atlanta. His reliable source say Carlos is headed back into the AL…..my guess was Indians since Tito did not want him leaving last year anyway. I also assume Hoskins is at first base for good in 2019 if that happens.

    1. Hey Romus, I heard the Indians are willing to listen to offers for most of their star players. Doesn’t sound like a team that would be interested in a player we overpaid for like Santana. Or does it?

  36. I dont always buy in to social media hype, however, HARPER has followed Hoskins and Emibiid on IG. He doesn’t follow a ton of people.

    1. Coming from a username “TrollU” …. hmmmm 🙂

      I’m torn on which player. If I were to build a franchise around one of them, it is harper. For the current Phillies team, I think machado fits better, but if insists on playing SS, I would lean back towards Harper. Now of course, signing both to high leverage contracts makes it an easier decision.

      1. Hopefully the following is a hint. How recent were the followings? If it is months back I would say it means little vs him following them in recent days. Embiid seems worth following, if you’re into that kinda stuff. Hoskins is a real good sign if it is recent .

        Sure takes a long time to sign one of the 2 riches contracts in mlb history … you’d think their pen would be magnetized to the dotted line..

        1. Tac3, just a play on words, I dont actually troll.
          The article was from today and they show as the most recent followers.
          It was on sports talk philly
          Also interesting a link within that article states that Harpers agent and Middleton are buddies

          1. Well… that is some good detective work whoever found that info. This info raises my hopes a bit. Thanks passing it along.

      2. I’d go Machado as a SS. We don’t have a SS. Kingery isn’t a SS, nor is he likely to become one. Phillies prefer Crawford D at 3B vs SS.

  37. Santana could also end up with the NYY – they have very few left handed hitters – and imagine him walking in front of the big guns ? Never mind – he is a better fielder than anybody they currently have. I see Santana, 5MM cash + a young pitcher for Sonny Gray ?

    1. Man, Gray’s metrics have been declining ever since 2015.
      Plus, when a RHP is barely 5’10’ that can be a concern.
      I sure hope Matt K. gets a little more added in the deal, than just with Gray coming over.

    2. Depends on how the offseason unfolds. If they can sign Donaldson (not to crazy about, feels like a bad contract), machado, id do it. Santana in a lineup with Harper,hoskins,machado, and realmuto … sounds (fantasy) a lot better than Santana in the 2018 verison of the Phillies. Again to me, the biggest boost in wins comes from supercharging our offense. The SP is good enough to get us into the playoffs. Scoring more runs will add wins and eliminate the snooze fest 2018 was

    1. Carrasco …. the only prospect trading away during the last era worth missing. 1 out of 15+, maybe 2 players. Not bad at all, I hope Klentak can repeat, on whoever he eventually trades away

      I’m out. Working from home
      Is not productive during the hotstove season This year.

      1. I think it also says a lot about the system that failed to produce much both for players who were traded away and players who were kept over a very long period of time.

    2. Mariners thinking of an off-season fire sale. Phils have the salary to make this deal:

      to the Mariners —
      Eickhoff, Crawford, Knapp and Herrera

      to the Phils —
      Felix Hernandez (1 yr. $27,857M salary), LHP James Paxton, LHP James Pazos, and OF prospect Julio Rodriguez, C prospect Cal Raleigh.

      Yankees are supposedly ‘in’ on Paxton who could be the Phils’ #2 starter but they couldn’t absorb King Felix’s contract.

      1. There’s two things that don’t make sense about this trade. 1) The Mariners including prospects, and 2) the Mariners not receiving a single pre-MLB player. If they’re selling, especially someone like Paxton, they’ll be rebuilding. You don’t trade a top 5 prospect away in a rebuild.

        Also Knapp has little value and Eickhoff has none at the moment. So yeah, if we want Paxton taking Felix’s contract could help reduce the prospect cost. But we’re not getting him for spare parts. And we’re definitely not getting one of their best prospects along with him for spare parts.

        1. Those are fair points, Dan. A guy like Crawford is not a “pre-MLB player” but is not far removed from that. All but Eickhoff are young and under team control well into any rebuild. An ideal trade for Seattle would involve major young talent coming back and losing the Felix Hernandez contract. I heart it once said/sung, “You can’t always get what you want.”

      2. I love the idea of trading Odubel to a rebuilding team. He is cheap and has upside (which I never think he’ll reach) He is a good player on a bad team which is perfect for rebuilding teams.

        1. How about Odubel, JPC, VV, DLS and Santana (+$10M) to Seattle for Edwin Diaz, James Paxton and Jean Segura (assuming we sign Harper over Machado).

          1. I don’t think if Seattle is in fire sale mode that you can wait on a Machado outcome which could come in January. Segura has a no trade clause while Diaz for some reason is apparently not on the market. I would do the deal you propose (though I prefer my proposal) if it could be done, especially if sooner, in time for the Phils to add another starting pitcher so that you have

            Nola/Paxton/Arrieta/ ??/Puvetta or Eickhoff or Eflin

  38. I don’t have much interest in Sonny Gray. I know his numbers away from Yankee stadium are good, but I don’t think he pitches well here. He needs a big ball park. I see him back in Oakland or with the Angels or in Safeco with Seattle.

    1. Yeah I don’t know that Sonny Gray is a true upgrade over anything we have. Maybe he gets a boost coming to the NL but I feel like at this point in his career he doesn’t have the upside. I’d rather get a more consistent piece.

      Only way I’d work that is maybe a bad contract swap to get Tommy Hunter out of here.

  39. Dale Murphy wrote for the Athletic. First, he was known not only as a terrific ballplayer, but a classy guy. And, I am not a Braves fan. The article was advice to GMs who are trying to win a WS. One of his 4 points is that launch angle is irrelevant. It is the result of a good swing, not a technique for a good swing. The approach should be to flatten the swing so that the bat and the ball are on the same plane.He cites Mike Schmidt and Hank Aaron, both of whom produced a lot of HRs by swinging down and through the ball with a high finish. That created the loft. He cited current players, Mookie Betts and Alex Bregman, as 2 of the 27 players who hit more than 30 HRs. 3 of those 27 K’d less than 100 times. Betts, Bregman and Jose Ramirez. This makes perfect sense to me.

  40. Two weeks away from setting the 40man roster for rule 5 so here’s my thumb nail on the 35 guys currently occupying:

    RHP Drew Anderson – don’t wanna say he’s a dime a dozen, could become useful but…

    RHP Victor Arano – like him a lot, hope he becomes a solid fixture in the pen.

    RHP Jake Arrieta – should remain a respectable contributor but no longer a TOR.

    LHP Luis Avilan – may be a good second lefty in the pen.

    Austin Davis – strong American name, sounds like a founding father, but we can find better lefty options for the bullpen.

    RHP Enyel de los Santos – jury is out. Nice stuff but may translate better as swing man/long reliever OR trade chip.

    RHP Seranthony Dominguez – outstanding talent who needs nurturing to adjust to the league’s adjustment to him. Future core piece of bullpen.

    RHP Zach Eflin – shows flashes, but doesn’t seem like any more than a #5, which isn’t bad. Could get serious international dollars for him.

    RHP Jerad Eickhoff – knows how to pitch, perhaps is valued by another club looking for an affordable, controlled #4/5 or settles into the back of our rotation.

    RHP Luis Garcia – isn’t worth a contract tender at this point. See ya…

    RHP Tommy Hunter – would like to be rid of him and his contract. But Gabe loves him.

    LHP Adam Morgan – I’ve seen enough to know we can find somebody better to get lefties out.

    RHP Hector Neris – he may have rediscovered himself. I wouldn’t be opposed to trade him if the return was significant.

    RHP Pat Neshek – he is still a reliable veteran reliever.

    RHP Aaron Nola – Future Cy Young winner! Lock him up!

    RHP Nick Pivetta – among last season’s 3 young starters, his upside seems to be more certain.

    RHP Edubray Ramos – on again, off again reliever who may be a good trade piece.

    RHP Yacksel Rios – expendable.

    LHP Ranger Suarez – not overly impressed. Biggest thing going for him is that he’s a lefty.

    RHP Vince Velasquez – let’s see what he can do in the bullpen. Otherwise, look for a trade opportunity.

    C Jorge Alfaro – love his makeup and his ceiling, even with the Ks and passed balls, but right now I’ll take Realmuto if we can get him.

    C Andrew Knapp – nice kid, very expendable.

    1b Justin Bour – good lefty power off the bench. Keep him until we don’t need him anymore.

    ss JP Crawford – what to think? You got me. From what Jim has implied and other reports, sounds like he won’t be around long.

    3b Maikel Franco – may be our most valuable trade chip. Time to move on…

    2b Cesar Hernandez – may be our least valuable trade chip. Time to move on…

    2b Scott Kingery – that’s SECOND BASE! Give him 2019 to prove himself under more reasonable circumstances. Still have hope he’ll become a foundation player.

    1b/3b Carlos Santana – his most sensible position is 1b….on an AL club.

    3b Mitch Walding – expendable.

    OF Aaron Altherr – 4th outfielder. Probably has little value on the market. Might as well keep him.

    OF Dylan Cozens – he’s run his course. Maybe a change of scenery will help him find his way to the Show.

    OF Odubel Herrera – only a matter of when and to whom…

    LF/1b Rhys Hoskins – he belongs at 1b. Otherwise, leave him be.

    OF Roman Quinn – wind him up and let him run. Just hope he doesn’t break.

    OF Nick Williams – he still may become an above average player. He might not be here by the time he does. Hope he gets to prove himself once and for all.

    1. I agree with a good chunk of what you have written. I’m not very bullish on Williams or Alfaro, although Alfaro has so much talent perhaps he can break through. I’m not that keen on trading Cesar if the team wants to compete in 2019 – he’s been between a good and very good player and last year Kingery, for all his potential, was a bad player. We could reconsider mid-season if Kingery surges, but remember that Kingery could still be useful at SS if JP tanks and Cesar plays well – I wouldn’t trade Cesar just to trade Cesar.

      I love Odubel’s talent but I think on a team looking for direction, he’s the wrong guy and could bring a permanent sense of complacency to the team – for that reason, he needs to go, as much as it may hurt to watch him excel somewhere else.

    2. I count about 8 expendable pieces, leaving about 13 spots. I am not sure how many we have to protect before the new 40 Man gets posted in time for the Rule V Draft, but I don’t think it is more than 6. So, a lot of room here for moves.

  41. 8mark, I like them both. I think Paxton requires a much bigger haul than Ray, but Ray fits in just fine. The Yanks just re-signed Sabathia. I would go hard after Happ right away, before we have to go the trade route. Happ will just cost $.

    1. I would like to see Nola, Arrieta, Kikuchi, Morton and Pivetta as our rotation to open the season, with Eickhoff as a swing man/long reliever. Add Garrett Richards as a dash of creative foresight and we’re looking set until the young guns arrive.

      If I had to pick between the two big fish, I would have to take Harper (sorry, Hinkie). Then my left side of the infield needs to be addressed. Donaldson would be an excellent stop gap until Bohm (hopefully) arrives. As I mentioned yesterday, the M’s Jean Segura at SS via trade makes sense to me. (for Doobie?) Acquiring Realmuto would make it an exceptional off season, but if not, Alfaro remains a hopeful project behind the plate.

      1. 8mark..agree with almost everything you mentioned, but Alf.
        I’d trade him straight up for Hedges today….well and maybe a cool million of int’l money.
        Rarely do teams ever get to the WS with poor defensive catchers

  42. The Harper offer from the Nats did not contain opt out clauses. I think that, as well as the $, will be big deals for Scott Boras. The Nightengale tweet says $30 Million, but that could have been for 6 or 7 years. I believe the years will be longer than 10 and the $ in excess of $350 Million and will have at least 2 opt out clauses.

    1. Agreed – 10 years and $350 m with opt outs is probably the starting point. If Harper doesn’t get that, he may sign a pillow deal with the hope he gets something like that next off season after he has a big 2019 – if I were him, I’d do that if the money wasn’t what I wanted this year.

      1. Catch, a pillow contract for a player the calibre and star power of Harper poses as both embarrassing to Boras and a significant risk to Harper who as of today, is healthy. By the end of 2019? He’s had his share of bumps and bruises. His durability and physical longevity is at least questionable. I highly doubt – in fact, I would be stunned – if he settled for a pillow when he can demand a “king size bed” and get close to it.

        1. Yeah, I hear you but Boras has no hesitation recommending a pillow contract (and I’m talking about a whopper one year deal – like $37 million) where it will put his player in a better position the following year. That’s what happened with Adrian Beltre.

          Harper had, for him, a bad year and it undoubtedly hurt his market value to some degree – just how much is the question. If he gets the money he wants, he’ll sign. But if he doesn’t he could make way more money in the long run by accepting a pillow contract and a normal year in 2019 and Boras will have no qualms about having him do that.

      2. I know it is not my money, but in terms of payroll allocation, 35 mil is a lot for anyone player (minus trout). If your 35 mil player is underproducing … that is a lot of dead money crippling the team. Imagine if you signed both and they underperformed, Ryan Howard esque. Mlb doesn’t have safe guards in place for such crippling contracts, and they probably should. Even in a dual salary dump trade, you are probably looking at 30 mil still in dead money. I was hoping for both but I think I would pass at the 35 mil season range. If one was 27 and the other 30, still crazy but 70 for 2 players is insanity. You’d also have to have a nice stream of young controllable talent that actually produces as well. Can’t have Kingery doing what he did. They are good, but I’d rather have this Japanese LHP, trade for realmuto, zobrist lite Merrifeld, and sign MM or harper. Fill these rest in with trades.

        1. I think Kingery gets a bad rap, I understand the intent of your statement, but young talent is always a question mark until they get some mlb experience under their belt. There was no reason to give Kingery that contract and rush him in the first place. The FO wasn’t pushed by necessity to do that. Secondly, with the pressure to perform they played him out of position compounding the pressures of a new situation offense and defense. So, when they bring up young controllable talent they need to play them where they have been prepared to play and then maybe they will meet expectations. However, any way you look at it, this sure wasn’t a normal year.

          1. Jim,
            True, Kingery had an unusual handling this year. The phils were bullish on him after a great spring. My point was more along the lines of having two 35 mil everyday players underperforming as you build this team up. For instance, I would say Harper’s 2018 season underperformed. Then Once you pay the likes of hoskins, nola, etc… the payroll flexibility tightens, and the young prospects the Phils bring up will be under pressure to perform off the bat if these big FA signings aren’t living up to what is expected. Harper’s 2018 isn’t worth 35mil anyway you cut it. I can stomach 30 mil, but pushing up against 35, possibly 40 for a LT deal, not sure that is a smart move for longevity. Theoretcially they philliies can afford to pay both, but honesltly, Im not sure any team really can “afford” to pay both these players in a LT scenario. It would be better to go 40mil for a shorter term, but some are sayithing this is the LT yealry value

            Makes you really appreciate upcoming young talent even more. Soto, Acuna, nice examples, is really what the phillies need. Obviously, easier said then done. Come on Moniak, Bohm, and Hasley!

          2. What position Kingery played had nothing to do with his struggles at the plate. Neither did playing in Philadelphia rather than in Lehigh Valley. He started off good for a couple weeks and then failed to adequately adjust as teams scouted him during those early weeks.

            1. I respectfully but completely disagree. Where a player plays defensively, how much time they spend working on that adjustment, and the mental toll it can take are all very real. I’m sure Scott would never admit that or say that, but it’s real, especially for a rookie.

            2. I, too, respectfully disagree. Kingery was completely mishandled this year. IMO, that had a negative effect on his growth/performance.

      1. Not having the opt-out clauses does restrict the player, reducing his options.
        Why would Rizzo even do that…..even to his bud Boras.
        That is strange.

        1. Romus … regarding your posts from earlier this morning … Yusei Kikuchi fits right in (age wise) with what the Phillies are trying to put together. The fact that he apparently is going to be pretty affordable (maybe 5 years @ 50 million) is another plus.

          Also … I would not trade Jorge Alfaro for Austin Hedges. I’d be interested in Hedges as the defensive backup to Alfaro, not as the starting catcher instead of Alfaro.
          As a matter of fact, I’d even prefer Matt Strahm (as a LHP who can start or work from the BP) in a Maikel Franco trade to the Padres.

          If I’m Klentak … I’d be on the hunt for LHP (both starters and relievers). The other reliever I’d make a priority trade target is Tampa’s Jose Alvarado.

          1. I don’t see Tampa selling assets this offseason. I think they may try to add coming off a 90 win season. Jose would be a great get though. Asking price would probably be high.

            I like Strahm as a target as well. Wouldn’t mind a bigger deal for he and Merrifield.

            1. JL26 … that video of Strahm is from a couple of years ago. He pitched for San Diego this year. I’d like to see Strahm come to the Phillies in a Maikel Franco trade with the Padres.

      2. Nationals are setting the groundwork for when Harper leaves. They can make a legit claim that they made him a serious offer that he turned down. They also knew for certain that he wouldn’t accept that offer without opt outs…

        1. Do have to give credit to the Nats and Rizzo for their courage and fortitude by letting their mega-star walk, as did the Cardinals with a future HoFer Pujols..who however was 5 years older than Harper.
          I can just imagine the Phillies fan base reaction if the Phillies were in a similar situation with say Nola at a young age and letting him walk…

  43. Jon Morosi says Phils have strong interest in Craig Kimbrel. Not sure I’m on board. He didn’t blow many saves this year but he seems to allow lots of baserunners and escape most of the time. Debatable case if it’s true.

    1. if Boston isnt over-eager to keep him, that says alot, though i understand their financial considerations. I’d like to see the Phils bring in Britton as he would be cheaper and help solve their lefty problem- and if Seranthony takes a leap forward then you’ve got a lefty and righty option to close, and can use Britton in high leverage non closing situations at times.

      1. I wonder if any lack of eagerness is more of a desire to get under the luxury tax after winning a WS. The Red Sox also need to pay Sale and Boagarts next year.

    2. I love Kimbrel – the biggest issues are the loss of a draft pick and the length of the deal. That said, so far, he’s the elite reliever of this generation. He can help shorten a game in a hurry.

    3. Kimball is on the downside of his career and is not what he used to be. If the price is reasonable, okay, but he’s not worth a top dollar, long-term contract.

  44. Realmuto. Talk is Braves are going hard after him but Jon Heyman says no offer has been made as yet. We have one player who might be the difference in acquiring JTR – Jorge Alfaro. He’s young enough with a high enough ceiling and loud enough tools for Miami to pull the trigger. It would certainly take other prospects – assume either Sixto or Medina would be required in the return, along with one of our young outfielders like Haseley or Moniak. But as much as I have supported El Gatto as our future catcher, this is a doable deal that needs to be made, or at least offered.

      1. I like Realmuto (who doesn’t?) and the trade is hedging on Alfaro developing further. He has great power with bad contact skills. He has great pitch framing with bad defense. He is “fast” for a catcher with low obp. All this said, he could wind up being a cheaper realmuto “if” he comes close to projections. I’d make a deal for realmuto to hedge this, but that trade proposal sounds like a heavy return for the fish, unless the Phils sign Harper. Hopefully his trade market can’t wait till After try signing of either Harper or MM.

        Naturally I’m cheap, and I know it takes talent to get talent, but want about

        Alfaro, VV, and (hasley if Harper signs or Gamboa If MM signs?)
        I don’t like giving up Medina or Sixto in any deal other than a true Ace or Trout. Sixto is hurt and who knows if he makes it back, trading away Medina is like trading away out top pitching prospect

        1. Apparently three teams wanting to get involved in the JTR trade talks with the Marlins….Braves, Astros and Nats.
          There will be more I presume..

  45. No interest in Realmuto here because as an offensive player at a very rough position he is subject to early burnout or instant injury – see a myriad of catchers – Campanella, Posey, Lucroy, and even the great Bench’s offensive production declined as he aged and got beaten up. Realmuto is almost 28 – how many really good offensive years does he have left, 2 -3 ??? ? I also think there are about 10 teams that want him so Marlins can just sit back and evaluate every offer. Absolutely no way would I trade a top 10 minor leaguer for him. Pass. I will take Alfaro and the future then add a defensive expert behind him.

    1. RU…I hear what you are saying and it is correct that many catchers do suffer offensively from the rigors of long term catching.
      However, Alf is only two years younger than JTR and is not even in the same discussion with Realmuto when it comes to offensive prowess and defensive abilities.
      But getting JTR at this stage, as you say, is basically a gamble that he will be the exception to the rule and prosper both at the plate and behind the plate for 5/6 years or more

    2. RU, Roy Campanella is not the example for the point you’re making. He played successfully to the age of 36 before becoming paralyzed from a car accident. So introducing this into a discussion of catcher longevity makes as much sense as relying on Thurman Munson’s death in a private plane accident to make the same point. So I’ll put you down for one of the strangest examples I’ve seen used on this site.

      1. Fighter – if you check his career you will see Roy Campanella enjoyed MVP seasons usually followed by a poor year due to a major injury. His career was HOF without any question– but he often had very high highs but injury plagued lows. I know, because I saw him play. This had a tendency to hurt his offensive production more than his defensive skills. His career was petering out by the time he had that awful car accident. You can look it up as Yogi might say.

        1. RU, so you say Campanella’s career was winding down at age 36? Guess what? You name the position and I’ll cite you the players who flamed out before reaching that age. You handed me a 6 inch putt and said, “Now let’s see you make that one!”

  46. So, how does this all play out? I mean Machado vs Harper, under the presumption that they will not sign both for two simple reasons:
    1. Mike
    2. Trout

    Okay, so the consensus is (and correct me if I’m wrong) Machado’s market will develop sooner than Harper’s if only because of Scott Boras, who never ever seems to be in a rush when it comes to his higher profile clients. If the Phillies (as per Hinkie) are an Iron clad lock to sign Manny, then Harper has SF and STL as his two main suitors, with NYY always lurking on the periphery. And of course, should worse come to worst, back to the drawing board with WAS.

    If Manny signs with NYY, then I have to think the press on Harper quickens with the Phillies urgency to get that ONE BIG fish. And so they should be able to outbid and out-woo his rival suitors with Boras’ boys – Hoskins, Arrieta, VV and Williams.

    But like, when does Machado’s market take form? Before the winter meetings? After Christmas? So I think it bodes well for the Phillies to act sooner than later in making the lesser but just as important deals to impress upon these guys that they are all in, and not just posturing about being all in.

    1. I find it interesting when Todd Zolecki talks and asks about the big guns out there in free agency with Matt Klentak yesterday….MK decides to to name any names in the discussion.
      There is no tampering issues now that FA has started….so it must be adhering to the thought, not letting the agent have any fodder to help him with in the negotiation process…I assume.

  47. Boras had a great line today talking about Florida baseball and how LSU outdrew the Marlins in 2018 attendance – “The fans of Florida have brought the MIA to Miami.” That’s pretty funny.

  48. Bob Nightengale of USA Today just posted that the Phillies will sign…..wait for it….

    Bryce Harper.
    “You can bank on it.”

        1. The more I think about this, the better I feel about it. Hoskins and Harper in the middle of a line-up for at least 4-7 years – damn that’s a great OBP/OPS engine for any line-up. If the deal comes in under $35 m AAV, that’s just fine – I think that means you’re projecting Harper to be a 5-7 WAR player and I think he probably will be if he stays healthy and you’ve got a real chance that he takes his game to a totally different level (it means he could opt out – I think that will in year 4 – but whatever). And I do like the way Harper approaches the game – I’ve never had an issue with Harper, the way he acts or the way he plays. A couple of homers in Ashburn Alley and I’m sure others will soon feel the same.

          1. If the Phillies sign Harper – I don’t expect them to sign Machado too (people say they could, but I don’t see it – too much long term money with Nola coming up for a big payday sometime soon), but they could easily also sign Donaldson and a good lefty starter – if they did all three – they would be neck and neck with the Braves to win the division next year.

            1. Bob Nightengale was on WIP this morning to explain his reasoning for “Banking on Harper to Philly”. Here are the Cliffsnotes:

              * Middleton has become close with Boras. They talk all the time.
              * Harper knows his Philadelphia sports history (has spoken about Mike Schmidt and the Broad Street Bullies)
              * Thinks the signing will come at winter meetings in Las Vegas (his hometown).
              * Believes MM ends up with the NYY.
              * Corbin still a possibility to Phillies

              https://omny.fm/shows/joe-decamara-jon-ritchie/bob-nightengale-bank-on-harper-to-the-phillies

  49. I believe the Nightengale story. But, a lot of free agents have been linked to the Phillies. Every big name is going to be linked with the Phillies. Even the ones we thought we didn’t have a shot at like Corbin and Kikuchi.

    So, if the Phillies don’t sign some of these guys, let’s remember that most of these rumors were started by their agents to light a fire under the suitors for their players. It won’t be Klentak’s fault, necessarily.

    That said, I’ve heard independently through my many sources that the Phillies have met with representatives for Harper, Kikuchi, Corbin, and every choice free agent out there.

    I don’t think I can take three months of this.

    1. I’m right there with you Jim. It’s been a week and my nerves are frayed as to who they’re going to sign. BTW I love this site, you do great work here and I learn a ton from a lot of the posters in here. I rarely post just lurk. Thanks for doing a great job

  50. Matt13,

    A lot of platooning goes on at the lowest levels of the org. Partly because the rosters are larger with more players needing reps, and partly because newly drafted/sighed college and high school players have played a lot of innings with their school teams. Most platoons have ended by the time they reach Lakewood, but it’s not unusual for catchers to platoon. Cabral and Lartigue each played about a 60-40 split in Clearwater..

    As for multiple positions for players we talk about a lot here. I looked at the MLB top 30. Most of the center fielders listed can play right and left. Cozens can play CF in a pinch.

    Among the infielders, Only #16 Jose Gomez has played more than 2 positions – 2B, SS, 3B.

    From the 2018 Phuture Phillies top 30, the only guy who has played multiple positions was #2 Kingery. But in the minors he played mostly 2B with a handful of games at SS and 3B. I heard that he was a natural SS when he walked on at Arizona. He played CF to get in the line up and moved to 2B his final season. I don’t know how accurate that is.

    Starting in the DSL, ST, XST, and GCL, most catchers get time at 1B, as do most corner OF. Except for a Garcia, most middle infielders play both positions for a while. Since most players are signed or drafted as shortstops, a lot have to move to other positions, #b usually (Jan Hernandez, Luke Williams for example).

    The best examples I can come up with of guys who play multiple positions are Grenny Cumana who went from a 3-position infielder to an outfielder this season and Luke Williams who played 6 positions this season (all but SS, P, and C).

  51. Thanks Jim, I too am with you in that I can’t take months of this. Can someone tell me what the problems are that Harper had in the field. I always believed he was a good RF, with a really good arm. Did moving to CF hurt him? Did he get better back in RF? I also know that there are a lot of false rumors this time of year, but Harper to us makes a lot of sense. Can we really see a $400 Million deal?

    1. I think people saying Harper will get more than MM are wrong (just my opinion) – MM plays a more critical position and he’s pretty close to Harper with the bat. I think MM gets like a 13 year deal over $400 M with around a $34-37 AAV. If Harper signs long term (increasingly likely), it will be slightly shorter and slightly less AAV. Just a prediction.

      FYI – Trout will bust through all of these deals by a lot, even if he’s not being a pig about it. He’ll get over $40 AAV and he will be worth it.

      1. I will be interested in seeing if there will be any ‘opt-out’ clauses offered by the Phillies based on any demands by Boras, and at what juncture of the contract.

        1. Romus, I believe there will be at least 2, with the first not before the end of year 3. I think Middleton is willing to go to whatever the $ is to get Harper. But, I would want some stability, as much for the fan base as anything, but the consistency for the team is also really important. I also think there will be extra $ in years 1-3 that will keep him here at least that long. Then, I think after year 5. Only my guess, but I want no parts of a deal like that without him committing at least 3 years.

          1. Matt13….if Macphail/Klentak are any type of negotiators…..then dangling ‘opt-out’ clauses works to their benefit in the overall length and monetary outlay.
            Since the clauses are strictly beneficial to the player then I can see the Phillies not having to lengthen the deal out to 13 years, if the clauses are included.
            Now the AAV…is something I would have no idea how they would arrange that and that would be based on what year the clauses can be invoked by the player or not.

            1. I don’t like opt out clauses. Basically it’s, “If I suck, you continue to pay me $35 million a year, but if I perform up to expectations, you have to pay me more”.

  52. I think the most surprising thing that may happen during this hot stove season :
    -free agents sign sooner than thought
    -teams are proactive in making changes – quickly
    -Donaldson may turn out to be the best free agent signing (short term contract) as he will have 6 mos. to recover from all his injuries etc.
    -if Phillies miss on MM – apologies to Hinkie – sentiment is they sign Harper and others to compensate
    -Boras has his client(s) sign early

  53. If they decide to move Franco and we get Harper, I go after Donaldson. I agree he is a very smart risk on a 1 year or 1 plus option year deal. He is a player the Cards would sign and be lauded for it, as he puts up bid nubers. It would be nice if kudos go our way.instead. I

    1. Donaldson is a guy who literally could be an MVP candidate on any give year and his value is down now. If I sign Harper – he’s the next target.

    1. If the Phillies target and sign both Harper and Corbin, is there a need to replace Franco? Altherr, Williams, Herrera, and Hernandez could be packaged with a couple of prospects to land a lefty reliever.
      Quinn – CF
      Santana – 1B
      Hoskins – LF
      Harper – RF
      Franco – 3B
      Crawford – SS
      Alfaro – C
      Kingery – 2B
      Pitcher

      1. Wow…that can be one helluva lefty reliever you will be getting for Doobie, Cesar, Nick Williams and Aaron Altherr……Hader or Vazquez?

      2. I still think Franco is moved.

        With Harper in the fold I’d be much more comfortable rolling out Kingery/Crawford/Santana at SS & 3B if they can’t move Santana.

        I’d go with a line up of (with Pivetta and Velasquez)
        CF Quinn
        RF Harper
        3B Santana
        1B Hoskins
        LF Herrera
        2B Hernandez
        SS Kingery (or Crawford)
        C Alfaro
        P

        with a bench of Kingery/Crawford, Williams, a backup C and a back up infielder.
        or with Nola, Corbin, & Arrieta

        CF Quinn
        RF Harper
        1B Santana
        LF Hoskins
        2B Hernandez
        SS Kingery
        3B Crawford
        C Alfaro
        P

        With a bench of Herrera, Williams, a back up C and a back up Infielder.

        1. In an ideal world I’d move Hernandez, put Kingery at 2B, Crawford at SS, and acquire a 3B like Donaldson but I’m not sure if they’ll be able to get enough value to move Hernandez.

          1. I doubt Cesar will be back. He’s a 2b only and doesn’t fit the utility role.

            I doubt Doobie will be back. His persona is antithetical to the new direction of the clubhouse culture they are reportedly seeking.

            I doubt Franco will be back because they know his value may likely never be higher than it currently is. Why not move him to fill another need. I also think Moustakas and Donaldson are reasonable targets.

            I doubt Crawford will be back, especially IF they find a short stop on the market. (Segura could waive his no trade rights…???)

            1. I’d need Odubel to reestablish value before I move him. He’s too good of a player to sell low on like this.

  54. Why would a team President, like MacPhail is, say that he hopes the next team unlocks it for Franco, and still plan on keeping him here? I don’t really think that was for motivational purposes, that is Kapler and Klentak’s job. I believe he said it because they are going to move him. I also think Santana goes back to Cleveland with us paying a big chunk of his salary.

    1. Probably opening a can of worms here but a couple years ago Omar Mineya was changing the culture of the NY Mets to more of a Latino flavor but it didn’t work. With all the talk of trading Odubel, Franco, Santana, Hernandez, etc and the possible avoidance of signing Machado mean that the Phillies are proving Mike Schmidt right? Read into what you might.

      1. Todd Zolecki did come out and say from his sources, the FO wanted to change the culture in the clubhouse.
        He was not specific on exactly how that was to be accomplished and what they were going to do.
        But as you mention…the primary names in all the trade movement have been Franco, Cesar and now I heard Santana.
        I really did not hear Doobie’s name that much but of the group he would have as good as value as any of them fro return value.

      2. If those players are on the block, it’s because they still have value but no longer fit into the team’s long-term plans due to the presence of other younger players or potential free agents. Not because they are Latin American.

        FWIW, here’s the top 10 position players in fWAR on the Phillies last year:

        Hoskins, Hernandez, Alfaro, Santana, Franco, Herrera, Ramos, Bautista, Cabrera.

        Notice any trends?

        1. You would think their value is the reason that their names in trades generate the discussion…but if the Phillies beat writer for MLB.com comes out and openly states that the Phillies want to change the culture of the clubhouse going forard….how would you take that statement?

          1. The term “culture” in sports does not represent nationality. It has to do with work ethic, attitude, personalities, etc. I have no idea what the above mentioned players add to the personality of the clubhouse, but a blanket statement that “change the culture” means “jettison the Latino players” is ridiculous.

            1. Perhaps you may think it is ridiculous, but the manager in this case may not.
              IMO, he would be the one to initiate such a desire upwards to managment.
              Actions speak louder than mere words.
              I want to see who gets moved this off-season..
              Anyway….who mentioned :“jettison the Latino players”…that is something you are inferring.

        2. Yes, but these were almost of the team (mostly Latino on offense), worst offense in league and after they acquired more Latinos they spiralled downward.

  55. I think they really like Doobie’s talent, and every time I hear Klentak or read what he says he has praise for him. He talked about certain players that can have a year long slump, and I could have sworn he was talking about Doobie specifically. But, more than his hitting, I don’t like that his D has dropped significantly. I want Quinn to play CF and bat lead off, So, while I take the comments about Franco to mean they want to move him, I take the positive comments about Doobie to mean they are trying to extract a high price for him. Cesar brings very little. That decision has to be based on what they perceive to be Kingery’s value as a 2B. Otherwise, they may move JP and put KIngery at SS and keep Cesar. I think that would be a mistake all the way around.

  56. All moves involve risk. Throwing big money at MM and Harper could weaken the club for a decade. What about taking a risk with our own farm system. A 2020-2021 line up could look like this: 1b-Hoskins (Hall); 2bKingery; ss-Garcia ( Crawford); 3b- Bohm; lf-Listi; cf-Haseley;rf-Pulous c-Alfaro; sp- Nola, Sixto, Medina, Parkinson. This could set the table for Trout.

    1. Rob, you are a little optimistic on Bohm, Listi Garcia an Pujols. Bohm, for one, hasn’t done a thing yet. When does it ever work out that all these prospects succeed. And, I am not going to give up on next year. There is plenty of financial flexibility to take on Harper or Machado and not impact anything they want to do going forward.

  57. According to Jim Salisbury … “there is a deal to be made with San Diego. The Padres have long liked Franco, who finished first in batting average (.270), second in OPS (.780) and third in homers (22) for the Phillies in 2018.”

    For me, you couldn’t ask for a better trade partner than the Padres. They have the most loaded farm system in MLB. The Phillies got Enyl De Los Santos for one year of Freddy Galvis last winter. They should get at least twice that value for two seasons of Maikel Franco. San Diego’s top 5 prospects (Tatis, Gore, Mejia, Urias, and Paddack) won’t be available, but I’ve always loved Cal Quantril (I wanted him drafted at 1-1 in 2016). Tirso Ornelas, Hudson Potts, and Xavier Edwards are all young position players I’d have strong interest in. Many on this site covet Austin Hedges. However, the guy I’d most want (and I’ve brought him up a few times already) is Matt Strahm. Strahm is a good looking, young LHP who could work as either a starter or reliever for the Phillies.

  58. 1b Carlos Santana just popped a 3 run homer in today’s Japan vs MLB all star game. DH Rhys Hoskins was on base via single. The Phillies need to get them where they need to be in 2019 – Hoskins at 1b and Santana in the AL as a DH/1b. It sounds like Franco will be moved, likely to San Diego. I’d be happy to get Hedges and Strahm in return.

    Assuming the smoke around Boras and Middleton is a true indication of Harper signing here next month, leaving Machado to sign with NYY or some other team, 3b and/or SS becomes the focus of the lineup.

    My first choice is Josh Donaldson. I would be okay with Mike Moustakas on a cheaper, short term deal since he’s also a good clubhouse guy and a lefty bat as well.

    I am on board with giving Crawford the opportunity to nail down SS alongside Kingery at 2b. I would like to hear the lowdown on any reservations regarding JPC by the brass, other than his game which needs time to grow without interruption from injury. Is it his durability, strength issues, or mainly his makeup as a teammate?

    As for pitching targets, I’m glad we’re all in on Kikuchi, especially as a cheaper option to Corbin whose market will be driven higher by the all suitors involved. My guess, however, is Yusei goes where he’s comfortable, most likely the west coast. I’ve cooled on Happ primarily because of his age. So perhaps the most accessible way to get our LHP is by trade. I really like Seattle as a trade partner and hope Klentak strikes a deal with Doobie in a package for Paxton, Diaz and Segura. That would be our blockbuster for the winter. IMO we have the players/prospects to get it done without too much pain. The Dbacks’ Robby Ray is okay but not my preference when we have more to offer for a higher value.

  59. Managing my expectations. I remember when it was a shoo in that Manny was being traded here.
    Until it happens, i won’t even speculate.
    All I can do is hope.
    I like how the Phillies are being linked to major FA. Hope it all isn’t smoke and mirrors though.

  60. This offseason is living up to the hype for me so far. Great sign, as I feel many fans have started becoming apathetic to the Phillies, per the attendance. I hope the excitement can bring in newer younger fans.

    The combo of the Phillies upcoming solid farm team (minus that soto/Acuna player) mixed in with an owner willing to dump out his war chest …. a homegrown Ace … a rising star in Hoskins…. What is going on around here? Like a wave of charma has whiplashed back to our direction for once.

    In any rate, I’m glad I’m not in my elder years, cause this hard on the heart, checking every 5 mins to see if Harper/MM has signed yet, getting tricked by the article headline because your so damn excitable waiting for the news! I really hope it gets done this weekend but I feel will have to wait until the winter meetings

    1. The suggestion that the Harper signing waits until the winter meetings in his home town makes a lot of sense, if protracting our collective anxiety another month. But until then, let’s get down to business on other roster fronts. There’s plenty to chew on in the meantime.

  61. In hindsight Klentak made two mistakes last winter. In overvaluing Hernandez, he blocked Kingery. Trading for Santana blocked Hoskins from playing first base. I wanted to trade Herrera too, but I got killed for suggesting it. Arrieta was the best of all of the FA pitchers last year, and Hunter/Neshek were upgrades for the pen. Win some; lose some.
    Fast forward to this winter, and people are saying that we should trade Hernandez, Franco, and Herrera because they have value. Hernandez and Herrera make sense because they are blocking players that I believe will be better. Trading Franco makes less sense because he’s not blocking anybody, and replacing him with Santana could be another gamble that they lose. He’s also younger and cheaper than Santana.

  62. Let me start by saying I like John Stolnis. I listen to many of his podcasts. I enjoyed Felske Files more than Hittin’ Season because he seemed to have more/better guests on the Felske Files podcasts. However, I’ve got to call him out for something he says in this edition of Hittin’ Season https://www.thegoodphight.com/2018/11/5/18065182/hittin-season-228-could-the-phillies-sign-both-manny-machado-and-bryce-harper .
    At the 59:29 mark, Stolnis throws water on Mike Trout wanting to play for the Phillies. He says things like, “I don’t think Mike Trout wants to play in Philadelphia”, “He doesn’t want to risk failing in Philadelphia and losing his luster”, “I don’t think he wants to come back to Philadelphia, just to play in Philadelphia”, and “Waiting for free agency so he can play for his hometown team isn’t anywhere in the recesses of his mind”. Better yet, Liz Roscher flat out declares, “He’s never coming here!”
    I’ve never met Mike Trout, though I live in Mike Trout country. He was born up the street from my house. My daughter got her braces where Trout got his braces. I’m not going to tell you that Mike Trout will definitely turn down all of Arte Moreno’s efforts to re-sign him to a LTX. However, I will tell you with a good amount of confidence, Mike Trout has thought/does think about one day playing for the Phillies. In fact, he admitted it to Greg Murphy last year. In Trout’s words … “Growing up as a kid you always want to play for your team” and after saying that he does love it in Anaheim, he leaves open the possibility of playing for the Phillies by saying, “We’ll see what happens”. https://www.nbcsports.com/philadelphia/philadelphia-phillies/big-philly-sports-fan-mike-trout-talks-possibility-coming-home-play-phillies
    Listen … he married his HS sweetheart, they’ve built a home in Millville where he lives in the offseason, and he and his wife will probably be starting a family in the not too distant future. John Middleton is going about the business of the Phillies as if he believes/expects there’s a decent chance Trout hits the open market after 2020. To say Mike Trout is “never coming here” is ridiculous/stupid. If the Angels don’t make the playoffs in 2019 or 2020, the chances of Mike Trout playing for the Phillies in 2021 is way better than Stolnis and Roscher make it out to be.

    1. I agree. To be fair… he “maybe” thinking that way now. Let him and his wifey have a baby, and see how fast that opinion can change. Wait until the grandparents start putting pressure on them to see the grand baby in person … more than 1-2 times a year. Then what about their friends etc. not saying it a given he signs with the Phillies, but it’s just about a given he thinks long and hard about playing for the Phillies when the time comes

      1. Tac – I agree. Harper comes home to Las Vegas every winter, and if/when Las Vegas gets a team, he’ll want to play for them.

    2. I kind of agree with John here. If Trout comes here and doesn’t live up to the standards of his contract he’s going to hear it from his hometown team. He’d be miserable.

  63. How about Scott Boras with the glowing report on the Phillies? He says all of his guys (Arrieta, Hoskins, VV, Nick Williams) are excited with Middleton’s plan to add great players to the team. Also says there’s a real positive environment in Philadelphia. Boras is representing Bryce Harper, Yusei Kikuchi, and Marwin Gonzalez (among others).

    https://www.nbcsports.com/philadelphia/video/super-agent-scott-boras-sees-bright-future-philadelphia-phillies

    1. It would be nice to announce the signing of Harper and Kikuchi at the same time. I’m not crazy about Gonzalez because he would allow Gabe to do his super utility man shtick again. I’d rather they had a bench player like Florimon on the cheap,
      and who knows his role, than an expensive guy like Gonzalez.

    2. What would expect him to say about an organization that he hopes will pay his client over $400 m – their city is a cesspool, the organization is a bottom dweller and the team is hopeless far from contention? C’mon!

    1. WaWaMike……”want our everyday players to play every day.”..a very good point…something akin to what Cora did with the Sox….whereas Roberts mixed and matched thru the whole playoffs and may have lost a few players in the game to game changes……….but got them to the WS anyway.

      1. You have to look at the rosters though. Cora had a better line up period. He still mix and matched to an extent.

        Roberts really only had Turner and Machado. Cora had Betts, Benintendi, Martinez, Bogarts.

        If you look at the Phillies you can say “let their every day position players play” but it’s not like when we had Rollins, Utley, Howard, Werth, Victorino every day. Even when Utley came up he platooned. If these guys earn regular playing time they’ll get it. Kapler did his best to match up and give the team a way to win. Can’t fault him. Kapler mostly left Hernandez, Santana, Hoskins, and Herrera alone until they started slumping. When Williams was hot he rode him, same with Franco.

        1. Kapler’s tactics worked the first four months…not so much the last two months.
          What he decided to do during that last period of time (16-32) failed.

          1. Romus – I’m wondering. What if the final 51 games were in April and May and the other 111 after that. would your perception of the season be different?

            1. Wawa…yes entirely….my perception of the manager would have been…either he adjusted or the players adjusted or developed more.
              But the season would have ended on an upswing which is good to carry over thru the off-season into the new season.
              As it stands right now……the team is under pressure to come out strong, Anything less than .500 thru April and May means trouble and most likely disappointment..

    1. I agree….give them the opportunity full time.
      I do not think JPC may have been thrill with the way he was handled when he was healthy down the stretch.

    1. JL26, I think Harper will sign regardless of whether or where his childhood friend plays. I would like Bryant to be here because he’s a serious upgrade to what we have currently at 3b and is athletic enough to play a corner OF.

  64. So I guess after waiting to win a World Series after 100 years or whatever it was — the Cubbies are now : no longer going to hire the “best” manager in baseball to a contract past 2019 ; and now admit that they are willing to dismantle the team ? And we all thought Theo was the GM of all GM’s and was already enshrined in Cooperstown ? What are we missing here ? Is this some sort of a ploy to make us all feel sorry for them and ship them our collective Sixto Sanchez’s for Baez’s broken bats ? Bryant is available – yea, for the Brooklyn Bridge, and your top 9 prospects ! Smoke screen…….

      1. Trade talks about Bryant begin with Sixto and Bohm. Add a couple more top 20 prospects. That wouldn’t deter me. However, a Darvish dump? No thanks. Defeats the advantage of having our own current payroll flexibility.

  65. I believe that Theo is, in fact, one of the best baseball guys around. Best? Well, Cashman has earned some supporters as well. Point being, I doubt very much that Kris Bryant gets moved at all. Back to what Mike said earlier. Certainly if the way the season played out was in reverse would have us looking differently at the team. But, the old adage that “wins count just as much in April as August and September” is true, they are harder to come by in August and September. It is not always just fatigue. There becomes a book on guys, the pressure mounts, and players need to kick it up a notch. Some of these guys may not have another notch to get to,

  66. Josh Donaldson. Can we sign him at $30M/2 yrs, with a 3rd yr option? Good thing for us is that on shorter term situations, we can overpay a little more than the rival suitor.

    1. If the Phillies add Bryce Harper, I think they’ll also sign Mike Moustakas. That would then allow Klentak to send Franco to the Padres.
      I also believe/think they should hold on to Carlos Santana.
      The CeHe situation is the most interesting thing to follow, IMO. He’s not going to bring back much of value. Does Klentak move him (for probably a once promising prospect who has fallen due to injury/age/lack of performance) to open the MIF for a Kingery/Crawford duo? Or does Klentak keep Hernandez, play Kingery at SS again, and waste another season of (or trade) Crawford?

      1. Hinkie, why do you like Moose over Donaldson? I don’t think it is really close between the 2. And, you bring up what I think is a crucial decision. I move Cesar, knowing full well that we get little back. But, they could very well give up on JP and keep him.

        1. I can’t speak for Hinkie…..but Donaldson is older and has been breaking down these last two years. Last season was the lingering calf issues.He may have reached his limit.
          OTOH, the Phillies could get him on a one year deal that would not be such a gamble and he may want to prove himself to the league again.

      2. Wow, Hinkie you can be my next GM. I’m the owner, so I’ll take care of signing Harper. If you’re trading Franco to the Padres, I want a substantial return. Keeping Santana, and signing Moustakas, doesn’t make sense. What’s the plan? That’s mighty expensive depth. Is Rhys going back to LF? I don’t want Hernandez on my team, period, and stop playing musical chairs with the middle infield.
        The Phillies should “adopt” a rebuilding team and be their fairy godfather. Trade a couple of players that we want to get rid of, throw in a couple of prospects, and trade for their #1 prospect.

        1. I am with you, Wawa. Cesar for a bag of balls or a lottery ticket prospect. Doesn’t matter.

          If we’re acquiring a backup C (instead of signing Ramos or trading for JTR) then I want a guy who can handle 40% of the time behind the dish. That means good D and some pop in his bat. Hedges fits that description.

          If Santana stays, it likely means 3b. I don’t see that as a season long proposition. Of course they could move him at the deadline but still, come on. In any case, I won’t be receptive to any scenario where Hoskins is anywhere but 1b.

          I’d like Donaldson on a 1 yr show me deal.

        2. Mike … Franco to Padres is a dream scenario. They have plenty of young talent to shop from. I’ve already posted numerous times I’d like to get Matt Strahm (Klentak should be hunting for quality LHP this winter) in a Franco deal. I also really like Cal Quantrill and Tirso Ornelas from their farm.

          I think Harper (if he’s signed) and Hoskins can hit 80 HR’s between them. That’s why I’m ok with keeping both Santana and CeHe (both high OBP guys) to bat in front of Hoskins and Harper. Two and three run homers are better than solo shots.

          1. I could see a lineup of:

            2B Cesar Hernandez
            1B Carlos Santana
            RF Bryce Harper
            LF Rhys Hoskins
            3B Mike Moustakas
            CF Roman Quinn
            SS Scott Kingery
            C Jorge Alfaro

        1. They won’t all be on the roster, let alone the lineup.

          By the way, did anyone else know that Middleton met with Boras in London when the Eagles were over there?

        2. Look at that lineup I posted:
          3 RH hitters
          2 LH hitters
          3 switch hitters
          It doesn’t get much more balanced than that.

          Also … you’re assuming Odubel and JP Crawford are going to be on the team. In any event, 5 LH bats on a roster are not too many. MLB is overrun with RHP.

  67. If we don’t sign Machado, 8mark, I really think Donaldson is a great acquisition. Someone said earlier that a healthy Donaldson can be an MVP candidate any year. I am actually now on the forget Machado, sign Harper and Donaldson band wagon. A lefty in the Rotation and one for the bench and a back up C, and we are good to go. I know there will be trades, but I am not expecting them to bring back anyone for the current rooster, with the exception of a Bullpen piece.

  68. By now the Phillies should know who’s getting cut from the 40 man roster. Throw us a bone and announce a couple of minor moves every couple of days.

    1. matt13….I am with you on that, but right now less than two weeks before the 40 decision time, the market has been squeezed a little since probably 13/14 teams will only carry 39 players on their 40 in preparation for the Rule 5 draft next month.
      And some of the other teams are probably looking to trim down for the same reason the Phillies will be doing.
      Unless you trade a prospect who needs no protection yet, it will be hard to find any buyers.

  69. Most of the deals that I’ve been reading about are not upgrades in my opinion. We have to keep telling ourselves that this is the winter that we’ve been saving for. We need a right fielder, get the best one available (Harper). We need a left handed starter, get the best one available (Corbin). We need two good bullpen arms to upgrade our pen, get the best two available (sign one & trade for one). Finally, we need a back up catcher. Someone who is willing to catch a couple of days a week, mentor Alfaro, and be a good bench bat (Suzuki).
    We have the money to make this happen; let’s do it.

  70. MLBTR’s Connor Byrne on Phillies and Paxton Trade Scenario:
    “…. Phillies saw their top five starters amass at least 24 outings apiece in 2018, only one of them, Aaron Nola, actually offered front-line production. Paxton’s not better than Nola, but he’s certainly superior to Arrieta, Pivetta, Velazquez, Eflin and 2018 injury case Jerad Eickhoff. Aside from Nola (untouchable) and Arrieta (he wouldn’t be of interest to the Mariners), perhaps any of those other starters could involved in a Paxton deal. After all, they’re somewhat established in the majors and come with a few years of control each. Switching to the position player side, the Phillies have Scott Kingery, who could be part of a Paxton trade. On the farm, they have three of BA’s top-100 prospects – righties Sixto Sanchez (No. 16) and Adonis Medina (No. 100), third baseman Alec Bohm (No. 40) – though their system ranks a below-average 18th.”

    ….noticed he ranks Phillies farm at 18th

      1. He’s also another and definitely THE biggest consideration as to what moves the Phillies do AND do not make this winter and next. Mike Trout is our end game, as it was suggested here a week or so ago.

    1. Romus – saw this article too – I think the writer is using BA’s rankings – he makes reference to that in the Yankees trade scenario where they are ranked # 17.

      1. Yes agree.
        It would cost Preller plenty, especially of his pitching’s farm arms for that to happen.
        Whereas Franco costs less…in return and salary for them….of course the drop off in production is significant to a Maikel Franco from a Suarez.

        1. But we could also sweeten our offer beyond Franco. I think Velasquez figures to be in some form of a trade package heading somewhere. Maybe SD would welcome DLS back?

  71. I’m not saying the Reds would trade either, but if they did, I’m pretty sure it would be Senzel instead of Suarez. Suarez is already established/doing it at the MLB level on an extremely team friendly contract for seven more years . They’ve had Senzel playing 2B, SS, and even the OF in the minors to try to eventually fit him into the big league lineup.

  72. The Astros are reportedly hot after Paxton. Losing Keuchel and Morton to free agency certainly gives them motivation as a WS contender. I propose Doobie and Velasquez as discussion starters for Paxton. All suitors must have at least some pause regarding his health history but their should also be no shortage of interested parties. Let’s join in and find out…

    1. Romus and 8mark … I (and you) have always liked/loved James Paxton. I have recently suggested a VV and Odubel Herrera for Edwin Diaz and Logan Gilbert swap. I would also do:
      Phillies get … James Paxton
      Mariners get … VV or Eflin + Odubel or Nick William + Knapp or Deivi Grullon
      I would not give up Nick Pivetta or Scott Kingery for two years of Paxton. I’d pay Kikuchi or Happ before forking over Pivetta or Kingery.

      1. Agreed. I did read Scott Lauber of philly.com state his sense that the Phillies will trade for that one key bullpen arm. Not sure how available Diaz is. I’ve heard conflicting arguments either way.

  73. Regarding the 3B situation mentioned above – absolutely no way Cincy trades Suarez – he is simply the cornerstone of that franchise after signing him to a long term deal, sorry Votto ! I suspect Franco will be moved to a team who thinks they can change him into the player we all think “he might have been.” I don’t think the Phils get alot for him but I do think it will be a player of similar “he has disappointed” stature of a promising top 15 prospect or two.

    I also think Hinkie is spot on with – Kikuchi and Happ are worth paying for rather than trading young players for Paxton – who remains no more than a 20 – 24 start pitcher – albeit, flashy statistically.

  74. Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com names the Phillies as one of the teams who will fire up the hot stove https://www.mlb.com/news/the-most-interesting-hot-stove-teams/c-300537546

    “The 2018-19 Hot Stove season was scripted to be the Phillies’ domain years ago, and nothing has changed. They are the Vegas favorites to sign Harper and Machado, for whatever that’s worth. And if they don’t sign either guy, how much do you want to bet their famously fervent fan base, which is already worked up over a second-half slide of not-quite-1964-but-not-far-off proportions, won’t take it well? Harper or no Harper, Machado or no Machado, there will be action in the Phillies’ universe this winter, because they have enough needs, enough resources and enough incentive to get better.”

  75. 9 days until Nov 20, deadline for 40 man roster to be set for rule 5. The next week should provide us with MUCH to discuss. DFAs, trades for prospects not needing protection or international money. Gonna be fun!

  76. More than a few people have suggested that Moustakas would be an upgrade over Franco. Let’s compare. In 140 more AB’s Moustakas had 27 more hits, 6 more HR’s, and 27 more RBI’s. Moustakas struck out 41 more times than Franco, had a .251 average to Franco’s .270, OBP .315 to Franco’s .314, and a .774 OPS to Franco’s .780.
    Basically they are the same player except that Franco is younger and much cheaper.

    1. All good points. However, you fail to mention Moustakas has been a positive defender every year but one. While Franco has been a negative dendender every year but one (his rookie season). That’s not a small thing on a team with the worst defense in MLB last season.
      Franco’s .270 BA is more an outlier. He’s a career .252 career hitter. That makes him a good ‘sell high’ candidate.
      Moustakas is also a LH hitter, which helps offset a lineup that has been predominantly RH of late. And, you are discounting the extra piece(s) (LHP/backup catcher/prospects) trading Franco (after signing Moustakas) would bring the Phillies.
      You also have to project. Do you have a lot of faith that Franco will be able remain at 3B ? Look at his body. IMO, the clock is ticking on his future as a 3Bman. He’s likely headed to 1B or DH.

      1. Hinkie – Harper will help off set the lineup balance too. Franco 118 games, 15 errors, .949 FP. Moustakas 128 games At 3b, 12 errors, .966 FP. We’re looking at a difference of .017 in FP. They are the same player! You’re paying more for what we already have.
        Do you remember Moses Malone’s body, or Charles Barkley?
        I have as much faith in Franco being the same, or better,this year, as you do in Moustakas being the same or better

    2. Wawa…look at their defense also and overall bWAR.
      Maikel………negative 1.1dWAR (.949%)…overall bWAR was 0.2
      Moustakas..positive .4dWAR (.966%)……overall bWAR was 2.5

  77. I still want DonaldsonnotMoustakis, andI have no problemtrading Maikel. If Cesar stays, I cannot bat hom lead off any more. I know he walks but he can’t steal and is not a good baserunner. I am all in on Quinn

  78. matt – Donaldson is a gamble that the Phils would have made during the rebuild. Hopefully, we’re beyond that point. We’re already gambling with Quinn’s health.

    1. I’m not thrilled about either mous or Donaldson for a FA over Franco. I’d rather ride Franco another year, don’t tell their output will be significantly different from the 3. Donanldson seemed close to being washed up. I was on board for mous last year, I’d prefer him over Donaldson, but again I’d just give Franco another year to figure it out and use the money elsewhere to beef up the team, possible resign Ramos if realmuto can’t be had in a trade. Obviously I’d give up Franco in that deal, to be part of the package to get him.

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