Open Discussion: Week of November 19, 2018

The Hot Stove Season continues.  Tuesday is the deadline for organizations to expand and submit their 40-man rosters prior to the Rule 5 Draft.

This does not mean that a 40-man roster can’t change before the Rule 5 Draft.  Free agent signings and some types of player trades will require that players be added to a team’s 40-man roster.  So, in some cases where there isn’t an empty spot on a 40-man roster, a player might find himself designated for assignment.

The owners’ meetings were held last week in Atlanta, GA.  As expected, no specific free
agent signings or trades were announced.  However, John Middleton made news when he confirmed the Phillies’ intention to spend big money during offseason, telling USA Today Sports that “We’re going into this expecting to spend money. And maybe even be a little bit stupid about it.”  He quickly added, “We just prefer not to be completely stupid.”

That is good news for Phillies’ fans as the Phils are linked with every big name abvailable on the free agent market – guys like Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Patrick Corbin, J.A. Happ, and Craig Kimbrel.

The owners extended Commissioner Rob Manfred’s contract through the 2024 season.  As commissioner, Manfred concluded a new collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the MLBPA through the 2021 season.

Manfred went on to announce the new multi-year rights agreement between MLB and Fox Sports for the post-season and  all star games thru 2028.

No rule changes were disclosed.  Perhaps those will come just before spring training after leaks so that union, media, and public reaction can be gauged.

The Phillies announced an addition to their coaching staff.  Lehigh Valley’s Dave Lundquist will be the Phillies’ assistant pitching coach.  He fills the spot vacated when Chris Oliver was promoted into Rick Kranitz’s position earlier this week.

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

Key Dates:

  • October 9, 2018 – Opening Day for the Arizona Fall League (AFL)
  • 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 17, 2018 – Last game of the Arizona Fall League (AFL)
  • 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)
11/16/18 – Phillies signed free agent INF Ali Castillo to a minor league contract/Reading
11/16/18 – Phillies signed free agent P Camilo Brazoban to a future services contract
11/12/18 – SS Pedro Florimon elected free agency
11/10/18 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Carlos Valero to a future services contract
11/8/18 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Jose Guaramaco to a future services contract
11/7/18 – Phillies signed free agent OF Derek Escobar to a future services contract
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

268 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of November 19, 2018

  1. There was a report in Spanish stating the Phillies are no longer interested in signing Manny.
    Also read that Phillies offered Brantley a contract.
    So no Harper either? Or… am I missing something

    1. Wouldn’t surprise me, but it is in spanish… so it would be hard for me to gauge the source. “If” true, This could mean the phillies have settled on Harper, with the combo of Donaldson/trade, and additional pitching. Not sure how I feel about Corbin, haven’t see too much of him. Always sounds good to sign big FA pitcher, but .. we are supposed to have this covered in the minors/SP is strong imo.

      1. Actually if they trade arrietta, I’d like it a lot more. Really believe Eickhoff will bounce back, if his FB is backup to speed. Thats my call for the year.

        1. Apparently the source is questionable but still worth a thought.

          Has Harper picked the Phillies? I don’t think they should put all of their eggs in one basket. I hope they sign him.

    2. I would think they are interested in adding 2 OFers if the plan is to move Hoskins to 1b.

      As for Manny, I’m guessing they are concerned that his stated opinions about hustling won’t mesh well in a city that can be notoriously hostile towards players who appear to be lacking effort. Even star players like Schmidt and Rollins had issues with the press and fans at times over lack or apparent lack of effort and they were home-grown players.

      Bring in a big $$$ FA who doesn’t seem to be giving a full effort all the time and the criticism will be worse.

      1. I have problem with Machado.

        How can you build a winning team, try to bring in veterans to show the youngsters how it’s done, and then hand hundreds of millions of dollars to a player who decides when to hustle and when not to.

        “Okay, kid, bust your butt, be a team player, earn your pay, but see that guy over there? He’s making almost 100 times more money than you and he does what he wants to. He also decides where he’s going to play and he’s picked shortstop even though he’s average there and a gold glover at third. So be a model player, not selfish like Manny. After all, he’s just making $300 million (or whatever). So selfishness doesn’t pay.”

        If Manny Machado were such a game-changer, the O’s wouldn’t have had the worst record in MLB. If one player made such a difference, the Nats with Harper, Angels with Trout (or two, adding Pujols) and Yankees with Stanton would have been in the world series.

        Let’s build a team.

    1. Hinkie,

      The story basically describes Middleton’s impatience and growing assertiveness and Klentak’s more methodical approach and asks how or if they can be reconciled.

      McPhail is described as hands-off, allowing Klentak to be the true GM and not just a protege with a title. It also says Klentak has had free rein up to this point.

      Also raised is the question of whether Klentak might want to pass up this year’s free agent class and wait for Goldschmidt, Trout and others.

      The last paragraph sums it up:” Until now, Klentak has operated without much interference. Two years ago, in an interview about digging for the next great competitive advantage, Klentak said: “I think the teams that are the most willing to stick to their plans and maintain their discipline are teams that will be rewarded.” The owner’s plan is clear. Does Klentak share it?”

      Finally, yes, The Athletic has intelligently written stories.

    2. Hinkie, I highly recommend a subscription, it is well worth it for the quality of coverage provided.

      The article itself essentially speculates about the internal dynamics of the Phillies management. We know that Middleton wants his effing trophy back and is now on record that they expect to spend and perhaps be stupid about it in order to do so. It paints MacPhail as detatched from the day to day dealings of the front office, allowing Klentak to make his own mistakes. It also questions whether Klentak is aligned with Middleton that spending “crazy” money is the best way to build a winner.

      Importantly, it questions whether Klentak will be comfortable signing a player like Harper or Machado to a nine or ten year deal, and whether Middleton will simply bypass Klentak if he balks at such a deal.

      Even more interesting to me is that the article talks briefly about the perception, both inside and outside of the organization, of the Jordan resignation and Kranitz firing, as well as the signing and subsequent attempts to dump Santana. Seemingly this paints the Phillies in a negative light.

      Honestly, it reads to me like there may be some discord (or potential for discord) between ownership and the front office, especially as it relates to how to accomplish the ultimate goal of winning a World Series.

    3. Hinkie – here goes : the gist of the article is this – does Klentak’s vision of the team match / coincide with Mr. Middleton’s ???? Point being – clearly K thought that the team was not 1 player away from a title at the July deadline – nor was it 2/3 players away either – hence his playing it close to the vest. Middleton’s view is – get out there and bring in the free agents, i.e. – get that one or two players who will make you relevant again. There are questions about which path will be followed ?? There was some mild criticism of Santana’s signing as a short term good contract fit – but perhaps not a fit on the field. This is emblematic of K having most of the say on transactions (McPhail was characterized as being somewhat of a passive president – let K do his thing as opposed to being micromanaged). The writer makes reference to Middleton being one of the most attentive owners in the game but does say, it is still questionable whether he was involved with the Arrietta (Boras) signing ? (I would totally disagree with that). Basically the article puts out the suggestion that the Phillies are changing (see some of the recent signings/firings- Kranny, Santana, Jordan) and the inference is that management is closing down the number of people who are consulted on these decisions and actively changing what they think is important. In the end – will Middleton’s decisions carry the day or will Klentak’s ??? To sign a player to a 10 year contact is a signing that will outlast the GM – not an easy decision to make.

      1. RU….what Matt Gelb really should have addressed in more detail is the influence Kapler had on Klentak on many of the last years’ personnel decisions.
        IMO…too much.
        From the Santana signing, to the Arrieta signing and then Kingery brought north on a five year deal. Then there were those dubious July/August acquisitions of Bour and Bautista…pure illogical nonsense.
        Klentak is tied to Kapler in so many ways now….hopefully the team turns it around from the last 7 week collapse.
        However, too often carry-overs happen.

        1. Romus – actually article stated Klentak is between a manager with strong opinions and the owner – so somebody could be displeased – or that was open to conjecture.

          1. RU…of the three, Matt Klentak is probably the least ‘alpha-dog’ between J.Midd and Kapler….probably in the general direction of an ‘omega’.
            Not a good place to be
            He could get tactfully tugged from both directions.

    4. It basically just says MacPhail is hands off when it comes to Klentak (that is, he lets Matt do his job and doesn’t micromanage) and questions whether the front office has the same mind set as Middleton. Nothing really definitive either way, just a thought piece.

  2. As for credible sources of timely and reasonable rumors, informed speculation and insight to whet my appetite, I tend to find the most reliable to come from Jeff Passan of Yahoo/NBC Sports (with Jim Salisbury locally), Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Ken Rosenthal (and locally Matt Gelb) of The Athletic, and Jon Heyman of Fancred. Nobody here bats 1.000 but those names carry more weight than most fly by night blogs which seem to sensationalize.

    1. Nightengale has been off on a lot of things over the years. The others I agree with, though Heyman sometimes just throws stuff out there. Morosi has good info too

      1. Morosi is okay. He and Todd Zolecki are MLB guys who have credibility but rarely get it first. Seems like their spoonfed any angles they get. Just my perception. Could be wrong…

  3. Hinkie, Frank’s synopsis is correct. It pretty much states that Klentak has free rein, unless MacPhail absolutely opposes something, and poses the question of when Middleton’s patience may run out should neither Harper or Machado sign here. Nowhere in the piece is Klentak described as an “aggressive, risk taking GM”. He is the reason my confidence level is low. The actions at the trade deadline indicated that he did not feel that we are one player away, and there is no reason to believe that he thinks any differently now. I can’t disagree with that, but we need that one Star to bring in fans and more players to contend. I was not rushing out to buy a Harper Philiies Jersey after reading it, but as you know, I was a little worried about what Klentak does this off season before I read it, so maybe that colored my reading?

    1. Whether Middleton and Klentak jive or not, what Klentak does had better jive with what Middleton has already pronounced. Otherwise, fanbase uproar!

    1. The Braves could put a really good package together to get realmuto imo, but you’d think the Phillies would stand a great chance to snag him since they could send Alfaro back in the deal. Of course, this is if the marlins want to trade him within the division

            1. Sorry …. I take that to mean … we’d prefer not to, but would if the offer was the best

              By the time Miami is back up and running the Braves will be near the end …. doesn’t make sense to take a lower/less valuable offer imo

  4. Okay, now this is really getting annoying. Somebody (I don’t even care WHO at this point) posted that the Braves may be players for Harper. Why can’t these desperate snoop and blabbers just ignore whatever Boras’ web of vipers put out there.

    This off season, intrigue and all, is crawling up my spine. Enough already. STOP IT!

  5. FWIW….MLBTR posted its results of the top 10 FAs and predicted destinations from the contest which closed last night.

    Voters had Phillies taking both Harper 34% (to LAD in 2nd place at 13%) and Machado 46% (to NYY 37%).

    1. See, I think they should do it now. I would. Tough call, but it has to be made, you can’t lose a player like trout for peanuts.

      Hearing the Braves connected to trout … not good

      1. MLBTR reports…”….Yanks now appear unlikely to pursue more than one additional starter”
        So I guess Corbin is their one more guy.

    1. Dipoto may have sold low IMO…Paxton , a proven mid-to-upper rotation lefty for Sheffield is good, but the other two prospects may have been a low sale.
      Swanson, ranked 22nd in their system at 25-years old does not move the needle
      too far….and the OFer is probably 2/3 years away right now.
      Even Sheffield may not be a sure thing but he still is only 23-years old next season so he goes straight into their rotation.

            1. Klentak apparently not of General George Patton’s school: Better a good battle plan executed immediately than an excellent plan executed a week from now.

      1. That deal was a major win for the NYY, and once again, shows why Brian Cashman is the best GM in baseball. Paxton is a TOR LHP with two years of team control. Cashman sold “high” on Sheffield. The Yankees, internally, had concluded Sheffield was mostly likely going to end up a back end starter. The other pitcher (Swanson) will throw for Seattle, but was never going to find time in New York. Also, I’ve seen Don Thompson-Williams play a lot in college at S Carolina. He was a nice player there, but is probably never going to be a starting MLB OFer, and may never play in the big leagues at all.
        Paxton would have looked great in red pinstripes. I would have tried to beat the Yankees by offering Eflin and Odubel.

        1. Infuriating that the Yankees keep moving and shaking AND WINNING while Klentak sits on his lap top waiting for who knows what. Are you kidding me? We couldn’t package a better deal for Paxton and Segura and Diaz or any of the three players who would make more than a difference to this roster!

  6. I agree Romus, Underwhelming return for Paxton. Yes, Sheffield is a top prospect, but the others are not great. A win for the Yankees. They may have felt the market for Corbin was too high, and their next move may be Happ. We, obviously, have to wait to see what Klentak does, but I want to see aggressiveness from him. Great, if we sign Harper or Machado, but that is a $ thing. I want something bold and aggressive besides spending $.

    1. Matt13….agree. Paxton still has years of control.
      So Cashman need not worry about breaking the bank on him for awhile, then he will be 32 years old.
      I still think they go for Corbin also since Paxton may only cost them $10M AAV next season under Arb 3 year..

    2. Others may disagree but I would not have been happy had the trade been Paxton straight up for the Phillies #1 pitching prospect, with Paxton’s lack of historical durability…. i.e. potentially less than the Yankees paid.

  7. I think that is wishful thinking on their part. Maybe, on our part also, if we think they have some insider scoop. Everyone around Baseball believes that we are spending this off season, FAs, or taking on a big contract, or both. If they, and we, are mistaken, I am not sure that Klentak and MacPhail are clued into the vitriol they will face. It will make our reaction to Kap’s decision to pull Nola opening day seem like cheering.

  8. Someone tell Klentak he has more than just FA signings to do this offseaon. I’m going to give him some rope, but I’d really like to see some aggressiveness in the trade and FA market. The phillies have logjams throughout the entire organization, time to poo or get off the pot. I’m tired of losing prospects for nothing, due to spacing issues. Flip the prospects for at least a lottery ticket prospect. IF the big club gets good, you are going to need the farm team to produce somehting when your draft position drops

  9. Another quote from The Athletic article today was Klentak’s when he spoke about those who get rewarded when they have the patience to stick with their plan. His “plan” is to spend when he believes the team is ready to win. Neither he nor MacPhail have given any indication that they think we are ready to win in 2019. If it wasn’t for Middleton, I would be convinced they are punting until 2020. Making some minor moves they try to sell as “improvements.” The question is whether Middleton’s impatience will be driving the bus this off season.

    1. Patience isn’t going to sell seats.
      The Phillies are several big FA signings from a deep playoff run.
      There were some positives this year. It’s time to build off of those.

  10. Let’s pull off our own trade. Odubel, Cesar, de los Santos, Haseley and Velasquez to Cleveland for Kluber and Kipnis.

    They need a lefty hitting outfielder, a second baseman, and to cut payroll. This accomplished that. De los Santos and Haseley being included stings, but we would be getting a perennial CY candidate. Put him in the NL and you can add almost 90 outs from the pitcher spot, and the Marlins and Mets are pathetic.

    Kingery takes over second base, and Kipnis becomes the super sub for one year.

    Sign Morton and that’s a pretty formidable 1-4 with Pivetta as #5. I’ll take that.

    1. Love it as well.
      I read Morton has received a contract offer from Astros but Morton’s preference along with the Astros is to be by his wife’s family in Delaware. Hello Phillies!

      1. I think we should be aggressive with Morton. I really think he wants either Phil’s or Nats. Houston would be his fallback. I for one would hate to see him go to Washington. 1 year and $18M should be enticing enough. Throw in a second year player option at the same rate.

  11. Andrew, not bad! I am convinced that there is a trade to be made with Cleveland. They really like Santana, and by “they” I mean Tito. So, if we eat the $ that gets the contract down to what they wanted to pay him last year, he is a real asset. Also, I explore what the price is for Greinke. He may not be what he once was, but he is still really good. If we take on all the $, I bet our loss of prospects isn’t that great. At least, it is worth a shot.

    1. 8m interested in Greinke too. However, I am pretty sure that I read somewhere he has no desire to play in philly and they might be on his 15-team no trade list. He has anxiety and places like Philly and New York are a no go.

      Sending over Santana, with us eating $10M a year should certainly be palatable for the Indians. I guess he’d be owed $7.5M per if we did that.

  12. I’m sorry but the comments that Manny made in the playoffs are so over blown. There are really people that don’t want him bc of that? Insane to me. We didn’t mind Jroll for how many years. He didn’t exactly run EVERYTHING out, and Manny is better than Jroll, maybe not light years better but you are still talking a higher level player. I’m taking Manny any chance I have and not even thinking about his comments. A lesser player, MAYBE I think about it.

    1. Patrick Corbin is a Syracuse NY kid….Yankees are the favorite team of the community and all games are televised in Syracuse. I think the Yankees have the inside track but sure would like to see him in the Phillies rotation

    2. Agree completely. Saying you don’t want Manny in a Phillies uniform is like saying you refuse to date the supermodel because she farts every so often……….give me a break.

      1. Chin,

        You’re analogy isn’t quite right. The question would be would you marry a supermodel if she were a beautiful but potentially destructive person?

    3. Eric,

      My concern about Machado isn’t just the comments he made in one interview. It’s about whether the Phillies are building a team and whether they are going to set the standard of effort for all of their young players by handing hundreds of millions of dollars to, and make the centerpiece of the team, a player as selfish as Machado appears to be. The idea that he wants to play shortstop, regardless of the team’s need and in the face of the reality that he is a much better third baseman is a tangible example.

      Also, after his comments, someone circulated a column from a Baltimore sports writer saying that now the nation sees what O’s fans have had to endure for years, so his issues aren’t from just one interview.

      Jimmy Rollins late in his career did to the JStroll, but he was a hard-playing spark plug throughout his career.

      I’m reminded of someone, it might have been Theo Epstein, who said the biggest mistake he had made earlier in his career is paying too much attention to metrics and not enough to team chemistry when assembling a team.

      1. Frank….unfortunately Klentak may see it differently.
        He said , if I may paraphrase, ‘not all great players are a prince in the clubhouse’.
        And was referring to Machado in that interview.
        I think he sees Machado as an asset because of his metrics on the field and not the the other stuff.
        Which could be a mistake at some point down the road.

  13. Don’t worry about rumors or lack of rumors. The agents and reporters float stories (ie. fake news) but the teams are not putting stuff out there. Patience!

  14. We will be seeing some necessary activity today across MLB as well as around here. If not, we’ll need someone to check on Klentak, hold a mirror under his nose, feel his pulse, something.

    NYY reportedly also asked SEA about Segura along with Paxton, but talks didn’t advance beyond Paxton. Interesting because that would have take Manny out off the Yankees radar. Perhaps they are looking elsewhere to fill in for Didi?

    1. I wonder what it would take for Segura. He’s on a very friendly deal and he’s an elite talent. Probably looking at Crawford/Bohm/Sixto but not sure that wouldn’t be worth it, especially if you can add Harper and/or Machado in addition to acquiring Segura.

  15. Jeff Passan of Yahoo tweeted the other day that one exec with whom he spoke mentioned the likelihood that there will be a larger than normal number of non tenders by month’s end, leaving quite a few potential bargains for teams to consider before pursuing bigger fish. Altherr could be one of ours. I hope Klentak doesn’t merely play cheap as a way of minimizing his risk. I’m all for a bargain if it’s still a value, but it’ll be interesting to see who will suddenly become FAs. Teams may be waiting just for that market first.

  16. I’m really hoping the front office has a good master plan here, and from the fans perspective… everything should’ve been in place by now. For instance, I really hope that this isn’t a learning moment for Klentak, he needs to be up to speed by this point.

    Bold moves: Trading Arrietta, signing Corbin to replace. There should be enough fire power in the SP to get to the deadline and assess, or a young gun steps up.

    Phils need to win one of the Japan player sweepstakes by now, I say we are due, get it done Klentak. There is your rotation, with more players to be traded to restock the farm for a prolonged run

    On offense, I better see Trout in that lineup in the next 2 years. It is pay back for watching this franchise through the years, I’m not one to feel entitled, but they owe us 🙂

    Sign Harper, deal with Herrera’s shenanigans a bit longer, move Hoskins to first, gamble on Donaldson, no more that 3 years, and let Crawford, Kingery and Hernandez duke it out for 2nd and SS. Trade the loser. If possible, pay the high bill and trade alfaro to fl for realmuto. Alfaro, Romero, Hernandez, and Neris. Sign bullpen arms

    I’m done, carry on

    1. I don’t see a reason to trade Arrieta. He probably would’ve been better if we had a better defense behind him. He’s a solid mid rotation option and he only has two more years on his deal. You’re only marginally improving the rotation if you sign Corbin in this scenario.

  17. Cesar stands to make $9M in arbitration this year. If they can’t find a trade partner for him, I would non tender him. That sounds cold and to many here, even stupid. I highly doubt any other MLB club would pay him $9M AAV in any future contract he signs. Let’s move on. We can’t and won’t find out about Kingery without committing to him (which Klentak already has contractually) at least through 2019.

    1. Poor Cesar. So underappreciated and unfairly criticized.

      First, he’s worth at least $9 m. Second, as much as I love Scott Kingery, his future is far from set and I don’t think you get rid of an above average player for a guy who was quite a bad player last year, even if you think he’ll improve eventually. Third, Abreu was traded because he was sort of an indifferent bad influence. That’s not Cesar. For all his flaws, he’s a team guy and never a problem. Fourth, I disagree that great teams don’t have good players. They do.

      That said, there is a guy who I think has an Abreu-like effect on this team and that’s Odubel. He is falling in the Abreu category for me right now.

      1. Look, I’m not saying they shouldn’t field offers for Cesar or trade him if the price is right – they should. But giving him away or letting him go for nothing is very foolish in my view.

        1. Nobody is making offers for Cesar. He’s a secondary option in a market saturated with 2b. His value isn’t in how productive he is but in how in demand he is. For $9M, I pass. If Klentak gave him the extension instead of Kingery, I might agree with you. He isn’t a difference maker, nor a leadoff hitter on a decent team. He still lacks baseball acumen after several seasons in the big leagues. I am not saying he’s a bad player. He’s adequate defensively. He’s a vanilla player. I’d rather discuss Machado and Harper 😉

          1. His market value is how greatly he is in demand. His intrinsic value is how much WAR he can produce. When a player’s intrinsic value greatly exceeds his market value, you generally stand pat because if you make a trade you’re not going to receive fair value. We can beat this one to death but I just see this differently than everyone else does. Maikel Franco is a problem (because he’s not very productive). Odubel is a problem (because his approach and attitude are not urgent or helpful). Cesar is not a problem. Cesar is a very good player. If this team wants to compete in 2019, then Cesar should be on the team unless they get fair value in a trade and until Kingery outperforms him.

            1. Not only is all this correct, but what kind of message does this send to young players in the organization? Yes, work hard to make it through the minor league system, improve each year you’re in the majors several years in a row, string together multiple seasons where you’re productive, and play hurt for half a year (the anti-Cesar crowd seems to conveniently forgot Jim said he was playing on multiple broken toes 2nd half of last year).

              Then when you actually get to the first season when you’re making a salary close to your real value, we’ll non-tender you even though we’re nowhere close to reaching our payroll ceiling.

            2. Otero…agree.
              The message it sends to many of the younger players may not be well received if the Phillies non-tender a player like Cesar.
              If however, Cesar is traded to a team, that wants him and is willing and able to exchange quality in return fro him, then the business of baseball takes front and center and players understand.

          2. In no way have I (or anyone else here that I’m aware of) made any comments disparaging Cesar’s character. This is strictly a matter of dissgreement regarding value judgments on a player and whether he is worth X amount of dollars and the timing as to who should be given the opportunity to play 2b in 2019 and beyond. I hold no malice toward him nor do I wish him anything but success. Good kid as far as I know. Let’s not make this what it’s not.

            1. I’m not making it something that it’s not but people analogized the situation to the Abreu scenario. But Abreu had issues that went beyond his productivity on the field that I think caused that move to be made – issues that related to his presence in the clubhouse and influence on younger players. Odubel has some of those issues. From what I can tell, Cesar does not – not even close. So I’m responding to those suggestions several have made.

    2. You’re right, it’s stupid to think they would non tender Cesar. They gave lots of money, they’re not giving up an asset for nothing. Same thing with Altherr. Some not smart postings by people recently…

  18. We have discussed this before, and I believe it is on point. Bobby Abreu was a much better player than Cesar. Maybe not a better guy, but a much better player. Pat Gillick believed that despite Abreu”s talent, the team, to move forward, needed to deal him. They got nothing for him. That team went on to be the great team that won a WS. 2018, we certainly do not have Rollins and Utley and Howard, but the point is the same. We need Kingery to play every day at his natural position, 2B, one where he has excelled defensively. The return for Cesar is not even part of the equation. If Kingery isn’t good enough, we need to know. We already have seen Cesar’s ceiling. I like him, commend him for the strides he has made, but it is time to make this team into a championship caliber team again. You do that by reaching for excellence everywhere that you can, and not settling for pretty good.

    1. River – You do realize that Klentak wanted Yellich real bad last year. For the same reason that Miami didn’t trade Yellich to a Div. rival is the reason they won’t trade Realmuto to a rival. Everybody needs to get off that bandwagon now!

  19. catch, I am not disagreeing that great teams have good players. And, I am not suggesting, at all, that Cesar is not a good guy. The point I am trying to make is that we need to strive for excellence at every position, and Cesar, whether we call him above average or good, is not that. Kingery may be, and unless he gets a shot, we will never know. Cesar is not a lead off hitter. Yes, he gets on base, but he is a below average base runner, not a threat to steal, does not get from 1st to 3rd or 2d to home the way a really good lead off hitter should, and does not excel defensively. Maybe Kingery isn’t that good, but he should get a shot. Look, I wanted him to spend at least another half year at LHV last year, and didn’t agree with anything that they did with him. And, as far as Doobie, I am over him. He has some value, IMO, and I move him as well without question.

      1. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Padres are in talks with Boston and Cubs for separate deals for two of their RH relievers. Red Sox are close to getting Colten Brewer while Cubs like Rowan Wick.

  20. Matt Gelb just tweeted that as Phillies are at 34 on 40man roster, they are positioned to make a trade before the 8pm deadline tonight.

  21. I’m thinking that if the Phillies sign Machado, Harper, Happ, and move Velasquez to the bullpen, we’re set. Maybe trade for another bullpen Lefty.

    1. Wawa……’….if the Phillies sign Machado, Harper…’
      You do understand how difficult it will be then in two years to go after Mike Trout?
      Machado ansd Harper may be together $75/80M AAV….Nola and Hoskins will be after arb years…or maybe before arb years on a buy-out….another $45/55M AAV together.
      Thats just four players possibly taking up 2/3 of the luxury tax threshold.
      Add Mike Trouts’ $45M AAV…wallah….they are playing King and his Court baseball.

        1. JL26…yes can understand that . And in two years anything can happen.
          But not giving yourself the flexibility to fiscally pursue him on the open market because what you did two years earlier, is poor strategy, plus….it could be a PR nightmare in Philly.
          Then again…MacPhail/Klentak and Kapler could all be history by 2021. And it would rest on the new guys to absorb the criticism.

        2. Not only should we not count on him being available in 2 years we shouldn’t count on him being the same player. He gets banged up quite a bit and his body type doesn’t seem to be one that will age well.

          Might be blasphemous to say around these parts but if you can’t get him now you may not want him at least at the kind of numbers you’re talking favorite son or not.

          1. That is a very good point, DMAR. 2019 and 2020 are two of his few prime years as a major league star. The cost to acquire him by trade now may be prohibitive to most, but who knows at level he will be healthy and/or productive at age 29? Don’t get me wrong. I will still take him with a couple extra thousand miles on his body provided he’s putting the numbers up. But we get him on the back nine of his career by 2020.

          2. I agree with this. He’ll be 29 at the start of his next contract. He’ll have maybe 2-3 more prime years left and you’re going to be paying more than what you’d pay for Harper & Machado now.

      1. Romus, I follow the logic. Very reasonable. However, if both Harper and Machado are projected to carry WARs of approximately 5.0 each in 2019, that’s 10 additional wins. Assuming the rest of the big league roster is upgraded as well by April (starting pitcher, bullpen help, etc) that should put the Phillies well into playoff contention. The dilemma comes in not only could they afford Trout in 2 years, but how the respective contracts of Harper and Machado should be structured as to opt outs, weighted AAVs, front loads, etc. John Stolnis and his crew at the Good Phight argue that the Phillies should definitely go after both stars. I want Trout as much as anyone, but are we being presumptuous to think he will be available come the winter of 2020. Let’s execute the best plan today instead of the perfect plan that may not be there later.

        1. 8mark…sounds like a ivory-handle pistol whipping General Patton plan…do it now and not later.
          I just do not think Klentak however will do that…..that is, outbid all the big boys for both Machado and Harper.

        2. Strong points, I’d add that going after both MM and Harper may not produce the best “team” for 2019. Going heavy offense would be nice, but MM and Harper cannot pitch. Stretching that money could turn out better going for Harper, Donaldson (granted I’m super skeptical on him) Britton/Kimbrel, and Happ. A bold move would be to swap Happ out for Corbin while trading arrietta to get salary relief/swap

          1. Don’t see Arrieta being moved. First, he’s a Boras guy and they are probably trying to set the right tone with his camp. Plus, although Jake isn’t the ace he once was, you pretty much know what you’ve got with him. And what would you get in return anyway? The only arms you’re trading are the younger, non-top prospect pitchers like DLS or Eflin.

            1. I’d trade arrietta for salary relief to fit in a FA like Corbin. Return is meh, just looking to get more production from the dollars already spent, so you have financial flexibility to add players in other areas.

            2. Tac3…but who will take Arrieta at that contract…..only the Phillies did last March….so the relief you wanted to get will be partially eaten up by the money you will need to eat from his contract in order to move him.

  22. On the offense, if they add Harper, they are going to need the young players to step up – kingery, Crawford, Williams, Alfaro, Franco – whoever remains after this offseason. That is going to be the key for them.

    Quinn
    Kingery (needs to hit near projection)
    Hoskins
    Harper
    Franco/Donaldson
    Alfaro/Ramos
    Williams/Alterr
    Crawford
    Pitcher

    Nola
    Corbin
    Pivetta
    Eickhoff
    Trade/Eflin/VV/

    They could put MM in there and I think it changes the lineup and Rotation for the worse. Will see, but that is my two cents

  23. I am not in favor of moving Arrieta. We need more SP, not less, and he is the type of hard worker and competitive guy that will find a way to win by altering the way he pitches. He is valuable even as a 3 or a 4, and we do not need salary relief. If Trout is available after the 2020 season, great, we can go get him. The luxury tax is not a hard cap, teams have exceeded it for years. So, I don’t fail to make a single move because I hope to get Mike Trout some day. If he becomes available, then get him even if it costs $50 Million a year. Having said that, I don’t see Klentak going after both Machado and Harper. I just don’t see him as that guy, and he better worry about making this team better. There is a better chance that Klentak is gone after 2020 than there is that if Mike Trout is available, we cannot afford to sign him.

    1. It may not look like the Phillies need salary relief, but they certainly need salary planning. If you sign one of harper at 35 mil, Donaldson at 15 mil, a reliever at 8 mil, with arrietta 20+ mil, then raises to Hoskins and Nola…. there goes a lot of that payroll flexibility you need. It is one thing to be maxed at the salary cap with productive players, vs maxed with unproductive players. Arrietta is not there just yet, but after this year I would expect his money to be considered dead money/bad contract. This is why I would advocate to trade him now, eat some of the salary if needed and an arm like corbin. In addition to this move, you need to trust the prospects that you’ve been evaluating for 4+ years to be productive major leaguers.

      Maybe I’m just scared from the end of the 10”-13” seasons. You need to rebuild with home grown talent, add in FA, and have a. Farm to keep it going when players get to expensive. A plan to make this flow would help as well. If you can swap out arrieta, I believe you need to make that move.

    1. There’s a lot of variation in that list. No offense but I’m not really interested in a soft tosser like Keuchel, Cy Young notwithstanding. Morton is fine, but he’s just a supporting player for a couple of years. Corbin is very interesting. Eovaldi could be good but scares me with his injury history.

        1. I wouldn’t be opposed to adding two starters. We would have a very deep rotation and you could turn 2 of VV, Pivetta, and Eflin into dynamic multi-inning weapons out of the pen.

  24. Under 4 hours until the deadline. Should there be no trades beforehand, I think they will add Medina and possibly another minor leaguer, and leave 4 spots for acquisitions to come. Assuming they trade from the 40man roster, that would still leave plenty of room.

  25. Todd Zolecki reports on the Big Three:
    The #Phillies announced today they will have retirement ceremonies next season for Jimmy Rollins (May 4), Chase Utley (June 21) and Ryan Howard (July 14).

    1. Should be retiring their numbers. Yankees retire players without waiting to see (or if) the players get into the hall of fame. The Hall of Fame is for what a player does their entire career, regardless of team. Retiring a number should be based on the importance of that player TO YOUR TEAM. Not because a certain number of sports writers voted him into the hall of fame.

      1. I guess the Yankees with all their retired numbers, all single digits
        1 BILLY MARTIN.
        2 Derek Jeter…in 2019
        3 BABE RUTH. Trigger AP. …
        4 LOU GEHRIG. …
        5 JOE DiMAGGIO. …
        6 JOE TORRE. …
        7 MICKEY MANTLE. …
        8 YOGI BERRA, BILL DICKEY. …
        9 ROGER MARIS.

        …. decided 99 was the best number for the Judge.

  26. We have been “thought to be a player” on pretty much everyone out there. I can’t wait until they do something. I don’t think I have that patience that Klentak talks about. Hinkie has to tell me at least once a week to take a deep breath. I admit, Klentak makes me nervous. MacPhail makes me hope he never says anything. I want the Playoffs this coming year.

    1. I’ve been pretty patient during this rebuild, but I’m at the end of my rope, I want to see some good thought out moves. They need to win this offseason, and get Into the playoffs this year. That is my expectations. Then 1 of the next 3 years after, they will need to cash in on a championship. From their I hope they retool faster than before, rinse and repeat without a 7-8 year lull.

  27. Scott Lauber of philly.com suggests in today’s piece that the Phillies should do 3 main things:

    1) sign either Machado or Harper
    2) trade for Greinke
    3) sign either Donaldson (if Harper) or Brantley (if Machado)

    1. Isn’t Greinke making insane money? I hope they kick the tires on Kluber, he would cost a lot in terms of players/prospects, but would be a very nice addition to the rotation to spot with Nola.

  28. Well guys, the Padres are rumored to be close to sending Will Myers to Mariners for Segura and Mike Leake. Sounds like a good deal for them. Franco next? They have the pieces to get him. Has anyone seen Matt Klentak? He is allowed to do something before the Winter Meetings in December.

    1. Segura and Leake both have no trade rights and are supposedly considering the deal. They and Myers are apparently the primary major league players involved in talks.

      1. 22 Pitchers from what i can see
        Drew Anderson … Victor Arano …. Jake Arrieta ….. Luis Avilan
        Austin Davis …. Enyel De Los Santos…. Seranthony Dominguez
        Zach Eflin ….. Jerad Eickhoff ….. Luis Garcia ….. Tommy Hunter
        Adam Morgan …. Hector Neris ….. Pat Neshek …. Aaron Nola
        Nick Pivetta …. Edubray Ramos ….. Yacksel Rios …. Ranger Suarez
        Vince Velasquez Adonis Medina….Edgar Garcia

      2. It looks like Justin Bour is still listed on the roster – that would mean they were at 35 before today’s moves.

        Salisbury reported Bour being placed on waivers last Wednesday. He should be off the roster at this point… but who knows?

        1. When a player’s is DFA — that player is immediately removed from his club’s 40-man roster. Within seven days of the transaction, the player can either be traded or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.
          Has it been seven days when he was officially waived.

  29. Twins in discussions with Goldschmidt. If we think Greinke is not a fit, and I understand the emotional stuff, how about Robbie Ray? Although, I prefer JAHapp, and he won’t cost prospects.

      1. Murray, your posts seem to indicate that you see value in Gamboa and Altherr. Would you explain your thinking? I am not critical of your position, just wondering.

    1. I wouldn’t be. Gamboa is a ss. Machado would be a 3b before long. I’m not high on Gamboa in any case. I think his addition to the 40man roster is based on raw talent alone rather than projection of any advancement to the majors in the near future. 2018 was not a breakout year for him.

  30. Machado’s interview on MLB last night to “clarify” his Johnny Hustle remark was a smart step to re-establish his market. Perception is reality when it comes to public image. He seemed to acquit himself well from the comments I read in the recap.

    His market will likely play out sooner than Harper’s simply because of Boras’ MO. So, the Phillies will probably wait and see if NYY will ultimately go for him because it’s no secret Manny prefers the Bronx, at least until they show that don’t prefer to sign him.

    The notion that Harper will be announced as a Phillie in Vegas at the winter meetings is certainly a reasonable one, but timing is everything. Machado’s camp vs Harper’s Bazaar in a game of chicken will likely dominate the airwaves and headlines, much to our dismay. Our collective patience will again be tested. I just hope it’s rewarded, stupidly or not.

    1. I imagine that Machado’s agent had a near heart attack when he read the Johnnie Hustle comments and quickly let Manny know he could be costing himself millions.

      The ad that Machado ran after the World Series thanking the Dodgers for his opportunity to play post-season looked like the first effort at damage control.Now his “clarification.”

      1. Frank…..a zbra does not change its stripes…..such a phony ‘clarification’….7 years in Baltimore and Buck Showalter says ‘you get what you get with Manny….he does however own up to his lackadaisical mistakes’ ….but he will not change over the long term….eventually his true collors come out….maybe not the first year but at some point.
        So you take the exceptional numbers with the occasional lapses….hopefully the lapses do not occur in the WS.

  31. Should somehow signing both Machado and Harper preclude the Phillies from also signing Trout in 2 years? If so, this potential 2021 lineup may still be pretty exciting. Age in ( )….

    C Rafael Marchan* (22)
    1B Rhys Hoskins (28)
    2B Scott Kingery (27)
    SS Luis Garcia* (20)
    3B Manny Machado (29)
    LF Bryce Harper (29)
    CF Mickey Moniak (23)
    RF Adam Haseley (25)
    (*switch hits)

    1. Hinkie, those talks are, from what I saw yesterday, centered on Segura and Leake to SD for Myers as main players in a potential swap.

      On a separate note, H – now would be a good time to strike early and pursue your boy Garrett Richards aggressively. We can afford it and his upside is considerable and worth the risk.

    2. I would LOVE to land Segura, high contact hitter, and a better value than the mega-deal Manny would likely get. If the Phillies are interested in both him and Edwin Diaz, I think DiPoto would only do 2 separate deals in order to maximize their value. Let’s do it!

      1. Assuming Segura and Diaz would require separate deals, I would offer the following:

        Diaz for Odubel and either VV or Eflin.

        Segura for JPC, Medina and Bohm.

        1. “Segura for JPC, Medina and Bohm” Ugh – big overpay.

          But I’d do Diaz for Odubel. Amazingly, I don’t know much about Diaz but I saw his stats and yeah, he’s obviously a stud and has years of team control. That could be a good trade for both teams but the Phillies would probably need to throw in a good young arm.

          1. Agree with catch. For me, the Segura offer is too much.
            I have previously endorsed a VV (or Eflin) and Odubel for Diaz and Logan Gilbert deal.

            1. If we got Segura, we could tell Manny that 3b is his if he wants. Otherwise, we’re good, his market shrinks a bit. We can still go after another 3b at a infinitely cheaper rate. Meanwhile, all in on Harper.

  32. I was just catching up on some of yesterday’s posts. Romus was on fire/hitting the nail on the head all day.
    * The Phillies are not going to trade Jake Arrieta.
    * And this team will not be signing both Harper and Machado. The one caveat to that would be if MM’s market dries up so badly that he accepts a pillow contract (enormous money for a couple of years/maybe 2 yrs @ 90 million). But don’t hold your breath for that. The Phillies are planning/hoping for Mike Trout to be a FA after 2020. Trout to the Phillies is the most perfect marriage in MLB (think LeBron and the Cavs) and Middleton and MacKlentak aren’t going to do anything outrageously “stupid” to screw that scenario up.

    1. I have always said and thought that the Phillies will have a contingency plan for Mike Trout – if he wants to be a Phillie, they will have a game plan to get that done and well they should. He’s a once every 25 years type of player. A likely inner circle HOFer and possible top 10 player all time. And history has shown that players this great tend to have greater longevity. If you get Mike Trout during his age 29 year, he’ll probably have another 5-7 years of greatness (if he doesn’t get hurt) and several years after that when he will still be good.

  33. According to Heyman, the Mets are serious trade talks with 6 teams about Syndergaard. Might we be in the mix? They supposedly want impact MLB players or close to plug holes. We could oblige.

      1. Okay, I hope everyone is picking up on the issues regarding talent evaluation. Sign three guys one year and shop them the next? Not good.

        1. The current FO’s big league talent evaluation skills, so far, have been well below average. I don’t know how that gets better but it must.

          1. I’m not sure which bothers me more – Klentak and his staff with poor evaluation skills OR how painfully conservative he is in making deals. It’s like ready…aim…. ready….aim…
            ready….aim….Dude, just fire away for once!

        2. catch – Another way of looking at it is that three veterans were brought in for their experience and leadership, and their no longer needed. I think that Arano and Seranthony arrived sooner than expected, and that’s good.

          1. That is correct. Were we suppose to go into the year without Arrieta, Neshek, hunter, and Santana? We’d be awful. Our outfield would’ve been Altherr, Odubel, Nick Williams. Horrible. And who would be in the rotation if not for Arrieta?

            They made moves to make this team better. We aren’t handcuffed for 7 years with a declining Ryan Howard. These signings were not mistakes. We still have room to get out from under these contracts. Let Middleton worry about his money. It ain’t our job.

    1. If the Phillies really want to take a big step forward, they should try to trade for Syndergaard while they acquire their other free agents. I think it would take a package like Odubel, Sixto, Neris, Medina and Alfaro but dammit, a rotation led by Nola and Syndergaard would be lethal and Syndergaard has clear HOF potential. Add a guy like Corbin and it’s one of the better rotations in baseball.

      1. Hmmm…..I would offer either Sixto or Medina, not both. Maybe substitute with someone like JoJo. Alfaro would leave you with either signing Ramos or asking Santana to pad up unless you have another C lined up. My one concern with Thor is that he reminds me a little bit too much of Steven Strasburg. Very good pitcher with durability issues.

      2. Why would the Mets trade Syndergaard to the Phillies? And why would the Phillies send any of its top prospects to the Mets?

      3. Nola and Syndergaard is tempting. But I’d rather have Syndergaard and de grom. Now that will be a 1-2 punch that will win ya some games!! Oh wait….

        1. They can’t win the games with no hitting. This is like the early 70s Mets all over again. They had Seaver and Koosman and Matlack (who was a STUD at his peak) and Ryan and some other good arms but they would win like 85 games because they had the worst offense imaginable.

  34. They will not lose out on Trout over $. They will exceed any luxury tax to get him, so failing to make a move or moves before then simply is not doing whatever they can for this year and next. I am not advocating signing both Machado and Harper, but my decision doesn’t get made because of Trout 2 years from now

    1. Matt, the problem isn’t with having all three – Harper, Machado and Trout – together. The problem is finding space on the payroll as Nola, Hoskins, and other high ticket acquisitions to come are accounted for. The key will be opt outs and keeping the farm ripe with inexpensive talent.

  35. There are serious doubts about Segura’s ability to stay at SS for much longer and he is reportedly a bad teammate, something that is confirmed today in the Seattle Times. While I prefer Harper to Machado, I prefer MM to Seguro since A] he is a better player, B] he is a better teammate and C] he, like Seguro, may not stay at SS much longer, but unlike Seguro, has already shown he is a HOF third baseman.

    No thanks on Seguro, let the Padres have him.

  36. Amazing how the Phillies are in on just about every player, yet … no deals, no signings. Makes sense… sounds like every team is using the Phillies as leverage to me. Sure it is early in the offseason, but sounds a little over the top for this hardened phan.

      1. “Showing interest” … like every married dude at the beach … doesn’t mean anything in my book 🙂

        What is the market projection for Corbin – 25,30, or 35 mil per year? I know I’m out here on my trade arrietta island, but I lm going to look at his sale at again. I’d assume a playoff contender could use him as a 5th starter, if we paid 5 mil per year. Add Corbin to Nola, flex the overage onto Nola’s low salary, trade for a young(we) stud, and let the home grown prospects duke t out for the 4th and 5th spots. I’ll revisit again, but I think this is reasonable. To me it is smart, to limit the amount of unproductive money on the books. Arrietta could interest teams in a lesser role vs needing to be a #2

        1. Tac3, Arrieta will be our $25M #3 in 2019. He may be slotted as #2 on the schedule out of respect (unless we sign Corbin). But that’s ok for now because our Ace Nola is making peanuts, for now. I’m good with him, Jake and Pivetta in the rotation. I do want 2 new upgrades, however. One via trade and one FA.

          1. I’m concerned that arrietta hit a wall down the stretch. I can’t guarantee it, but I get the sense he has 1 year left in him. If he is at 25 mil, I’d pay 5-7 to have him go elsewhere, and pay Corbin 27.5 mil. Then trade for a Low priced, up and coming SP to add to Nola and Corbin. Between the 3, salary wise they’d be low, Nola and the trade addition salary increases are staggered, and to me, your 90 starts with Nola,Corbin, & trade are better than Nola,Arrietta, and Pivetta. I like pivetta too. I’m like staying ahead of the curve, vs watching it decline. It’s not a bad move in my eyes, but it depends if Corbin is going to get 35mil per year

            1. Nobody is paying Corbin $35M. In fact, since Kershaw signed his last previous deal, I doubt ANY pitcher gets anything close to $35M AAV for quite some time, due mainly to how they are being used these days. I would say Corbin gets 5-6 years but probably between $25M-$28M AAV.

      2. Was discussed earlier, but not too interested in Kimbrel unless he is willing to take a considerable discount from his previous contract of about $12.5M/year, which seems unlikely.. He walks too many batters (4.5 BB/9 innings) and will turn 31 in May. Just looks to be on the down side of his career and would probably be an overpay.

  37. Heyman just tweeted that one “prevalent baseball exec” thinks Harper and Machado wind up with NYY and PHI. But who goes to who? He says Phillies have been more aggressive. Yankees have discussed Harper externally and internally but have downplayed their interest.

    I stand by my sense – we get Harper, MM to the Bronx.

    1. Kikuchi was posted on November 5th (postings have to occur between Nov. 1st and Dec. 5th). He has 30 days to negotiate a contract with any MLB team. Under newly negotiated posting rules, I think this is how Kikuchi’s posting fee is determined (by the value of his contract) –

      25% of the first $25M,
      17.5% of the second $25M, and
      15% of any amount over $50M

    2. The one fact we know is that he signed with Boras. Most rumors are from before he posted and had the Dodgers and Phillies as interested parties with the Red Sox as a less interested suitor. I assume the Yankees are in the mix.

  38. We should have had our list way before the season ended. Showing interest at this point is immaterial, we should be aggressive. We could have Happ signed while Yankees pursue Paxton and Corbin. We could have dealt Franco already, Klentak seems more like the bargain shopper, waiting for the slightly scuffed lamp to be marked down.

  39. Thankful to Jim for maintaining this forum where we can discuss, debate, inform, learn and share from one another. And for the greatest game on earth. Happy Thanksgiving and seasons greetings to all!

  40. When a team is looking to trade at least 3 of their 4 biggest FA signings a year later not dure how that doesn’t make the GM look bad.

    1. Hope the Phillies do their homework on Segura….or get him at a good discount…not sure he is the ‘prince’ in the clubhouse.
      If they get him it will be three trades in less than 4 years for him.
      https://deadspin.com/mariners-brawl-with-each-other-in-locker-room-1828823082

      He has been thru struggles…losing his son a few years ago….and then getting hit in the head a few times, the slumps, but he does have the talent, and as he approaches 30, maybe more maturity.

  41. One of the many games that GM’s play is the bait & switch. Perhaps Klentak is showing interest in Segura to get another team to snatch him up. Thereby taking a team out of the Manny sweepstakes. I would think that the Yankees getting Paxton takes them out of the Corbin race, but they may go harder for Happ now.

    1. There’s also a question of whether Segura can stay at SS. But either way, it would be a move to significantly improve the left side of the infield. Or should Kingery not take flight, Segura can play 2b as well.

  42. No great revelation but Jayson Stark has a piece today on the prospect of Trout and Harper together in red pinstripes come 2021. Again, if anyone with a subscription could provide a thumbnail, much appreciated.

      1. Sign me up for Harper and Trout. Not sure how they afford that, some other good players, another ace, Hoskins and Aaron Nola, but I guess we’ll see. The good news in all this sort of mediocrity is they have the most payroll flexibility right now of any team in the game. I like that.

        1. After 2020 (when Trout reaches free agency), Arrieta and Santana (40 + million) come off the books. That helps. But … to be honest … for Harper AND Trout, Middleton will go over the luxury tax because that twosome would be a cash cow for the organization.

          1. That could become a scenario to dream on. 2021. Trout arriving, joining Harper along with the young crop of SPs and Luis Garcia as “our” 20 year old phenom at SS. Seems so far away but it’ll be here sooner than we think. It must be Christmas time.

    1. I think a Mike Trout in his prime would have more pressure/expectation than prob any player in Philly since the Flyers gave up a ton for Eric Lindros.

    1. Have to assume the Yankees are not going to be in it for Kikuchi now….and also Corbin.
      So that is one team out of the picture for one or the other lefty.

      1. Romus, I prefer Kikuchi to Corbin as a better value. Corbin is likely the better pitcher but not THAT much better, and for twice the cost.

        1. This just in, Jim and everyone – MLBTR just posted that Kikuchi will officially be posted on Dec 5 with the aforementioned 30 day negotiation period to follow. So there’s that….

  43. Jayson Stark has already been a favorite writer of mine. He says that we are the favorite for Harper, not just because we have the money to spend, but we need Star players. And, the owner is well aware of this. And, while stating that we are not 1 player away, and maybe spending money on a few needs makes sense, the need for a Star is huge. We were the only team without a 2 WAR player. And, if that wasn’t bad enough, we are the only team to have that dubious distinction since the 2004 Diamondbacks, who, by the way, were putrid.He starts by saying that “Mantle and Mays never played together.” A bit tongue in cheek, but it is sure an interesting scenario. Also, he does state that the Lerners “are in love” with Harper, and this will not be a GM decision, or a FO decision, but an owner’s decision, but it is widely assumed that we will be the highest bidder. And, he states if you combine Scott Boras and highest bidder, you can see why the smart money, Vegas, has us as the favorites for Harper.

    1. Matt13…..as for Machado or Harper….until I see one of them up on the dais with a Phillies jersey on next to Klentak and Kapler …then I will believe it is done deal.

      1. Romus, whoever Harper or Machado are sitting with, it’s Middleton getting this done, not Klentak. Signings of this magnitude are ownership level deals. It’s all about star power, fan appeal, and becoming relevant again among the big market teams.

  44. Hinkie – Do you think that Kikuchi will be a better starting pitcher than Corbin next year? I don’t care about length of contract or the money spent. I just want to know which will help the Phillies the most, along with Harper of course, next year.

  45. Romus, I agree. I won’t believe it until it hapiens! I need a dose of Hinkie’s optimism on a regular basis. It can’t happen soon enough.

    1. Matt, signing top tier FAs isn’t as big of a concern for me as Klentak’s ability to pull the trigger on a good trade. So far, DLS for Galvis has been about the best one he’s made. That’s not saying much.

      Can he handle the multi-team deal? Is he so conservative that he won’t think outside the box? Who does he listen to (besides Kapler) for input? Klentak has been around (Balt/MacPhail- LAA/DiPoto) long enough to be exposed to both ends of the spectrum of conservative-aggressumive styles. Aside from the free agent market, I need to see him operate creatively and aggressively within the much trickier trade market. I give him this off season, his 4th. This should tell his tale.

      1. Non-comp FA are the route to travel. Preserve our existing talent and add to it, rather than swapping our talent for theirs.

  46. A successful off season to me would look like this:

    Free agent signings – Harper, Donaldson, Kikuchi, Marwin. That would satisfy my expectations of Middleton’s millions.

    Trade acquisitions –

    From SD in a trade packaged around Franco, we get Matt Strahm and Austin Hedges.

    From SEA in a trade packaged around Odubel, we get Jean Segura and Edwin Diaz.

    Finally, I would like to have another SP acquired by trade. Hard to say who might be available at this point.

      1. 8mark…..’Santana to an AL club for a couple worthy prospects.’…i suppose the only ones who would be happy with a million or so in int’l credit money would be on this site.
        But that would be fine with me to sign potentially another Luis Garcia/Franciso Morales or Starlyn Castillo with an extra million..

        1. Considering how cheaply $1 mill in international allocation has been available the last two seasons, I’d rather take 8mark’s prospects and deal a lesser prospect for the international allocation.

          1. I prefer placing my eggs in the basket of Sal A. and his team of international scouts to come up with a 16-year with potential.
            But certainly depends on the prospect and what level he would be at….and also have to consider when he will need 40 protection

  47. I just read through Machado’s explaination for his Johnny hustle comment. Sign Harper, then…. Absolutely pass. On MM. The comment is the least of the worries, it is the actions throughout the playoffs. If trout wasn’t a realistic possibility in a few years, I would consider it. But I like the makeup of a team with Harper (yes gotta sign him first) Hoskins, Kingery (he has to inprove) and trout. I save the money for the possibility of adding Trout.

    A W.S. Trip is on the line… and you still can’t play the game the right way, hustle for your teammates, your owner, your teams fans, and baseball fans in general? That tells me all I need to know.
    The only reason why he is sorry is because it cost him 50-75mil & the distinction of the largest MLB contract ever. Sorry, hustling does matter, in a lot of different ways. Sure he is talented, but trout is on the way, and even more talented. In addition, Harper in combination with other FA, is better than Harper and machado. He made his bed with his actions and words

    1. I’m on your side of the ledger Tac3, probably no explanation came to him on why it is necessary to step on your opponents 1st baseman’s heel and calf! Class matters and he doesn’t have it!

  48. I don’t think we’ll give up what Diaz would cost, nor should we. I’d rather pay up for Britton. However, I do think we could get Segura. I think JP plus Medina gets us close. Maybe add in another minor league piece. I’d be ok with most of the proposed San Diego trades for Franco but we’d need a 3b. Maybe we can trade Santana for a 3b or maybe we could just sign Dietrich as a placeholder at 3b. Manny could still be signed to play 3b even with a Segura trade although signing Harper might be the better move then. I used to think they’d trade Odubel but I’m not sure anymore. They really like his potential and you hate trading low. Need to sign a SP!!

  49. G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB – K AVG OBP SL+OB
    Santana 161 679 82 128 28 2 24 86 110-93 247 363 766
    Desmond 160 619 82 131 21 8 22 88 55-146 236 307 729

    Overall, Santana’s numbers appear better.
    Both are around 33 years old.
    Both are owed about 40 mill for the next two years.
    Santana plays 1B and in a pinch 3B.
    Desmond plays 1B, LF, and SS/3B in a pinch.
    Hoskins would be able to move back to 1B.

  50. If you are suggesting a trade, I am not interested. Biggest numbers on those 2 Stat lines, 110 BBs vs. 55 BBs. I have no interest in Desmond, and would rather go with the Hoskins/Santana 1B/3B/LF rotation, even though I have very little interest in that. Donaldson is my back up plan at 3B, if there is no Machado, and Moustakas is my back up to the back up plan. Brantley for the OF if we get Machado instead of Harper, but not getting either is a major failure. I really have little faith that Klentak makes up for losing 1 of them by some terrific trade.

  51. Does anyone think the Phillies can really be a division winning team, much less World Series worthy team without an order of magnitude improvement in defense? For that reason, as charismatic as Harper may be and capable of hitting home runs, I would choose Machado over Harper 10 times out of ten. For the record, I would have taken ARod in his prime despite similar problems exhibiting “class”.

    1. The NL East will most likely be more difficult in 2019. While the Marlins are locks for the basement, the Mets have talent sprinkled throughout the roster and pitching, if healthy, should keep them at least respectable. The Phillies starting pitching should be even better once an addition is made but the defensive alignment must be sensible while a couple of run producing bats (and not just guys who get on base only to be left there) will give the lineup a boost. The Nats, even without Harper, have a good balance of veteran and young star players. If they add another TOR, they will again be tough to beat. The Braves have much in their advantage, rising young stars, and now some playoff experience. Their starting pitching is a question mark at this point. I can’t say the Phillies will win the division but they are among four teams that could conceivably make a run for years to come. Which is why this off season is HUGE.

      1. Imo, the Braves are here to stay; especially if their farm is as good as people believe
        It to be. I’m watching their catching situation, and that is key. Looks like they will lose Markakis, but they will be adding good young pitching. They scare me, as do the Mets. The Mets could be awakening. They should be coming out from their financial woes soon. DeGrom and Synenard is better than Nola and Arrietta. If they signed a top SP, it think it would cause fits in the NL east for the rest of the teams.

        Again, broken record on this, going through a full blown rebuild is not enough, you need to rebuild better than the other teams rebuilding …. like the Braves,Mets, and the retooling Nate. The nl east is going to be wicked competitive in the coming years … thankfully we have war chest Middleton and TROUT on the horizon

        1. Tac3…been hearing rumblings the Mets may dangle Thor for a boatload of MLB ready prospects….San Diego being one target team for them.
          Syndegaard is arb elig next season and so he has the three advantages of value going for him….control, a TOR pitcher and youth (26 years-old).
          The Mets could make out very well if they deal him.

  52. We’re spending way too much time speculating on trades to make the Phillies a better team. The real difference makers will be the FA signings. Harper/Machado, Happ, and Britton should be worth 10 more wins, at least. The front office (and PHIL) is faced with the task of adding 4 or 5 more players who could win a few more games. Is Alfaro the main man behind the plate, or do we go after Ramos and give him 60% of the starts next year? I think they’ll go with Alfaro and sign an experienced backup. Contrary to popular belief, Santana has a lot of value to an AL team. Klentak should not play hardball, and settle for player(s) who can help the team in the future. What to do with JP Crawford? He has some value and we’ve waited so long for him, but I get the impression that Gabe will play musical chairs with him again. If that’s the case, I’d rather see him traded. I’m okay with our outfielders and starting pitchers, if need be, but I’ve got no problems with major upgrades at both spots. I read somewhere that the Phillies bullpen blew 20 saves and holds last year. That needs to be cut in half next year. We need to sign or trade for at least 2 stud relievers.
    Perhaps the biggest question that I have is who the Hell is running the team? Last year Klentak gave Kapler free reign, and I saw a lot of questionable moves. Once the umpire says, “Play ball” it’s Gabe’s team, but 25 year old players don’t need days off in April and May. I’m not sure how much Gabe has learned from last year, but for my money he wasn’t much of an upgrade over Pete.

  53. In Kapler’s defense, and I am not anointing him a Great Manager, but he did what Klentak wanted. That is a team that used analytics to the max, that relied on stats. Even Klentak admitted that some worked and some didn’t. How much did they learn? Nola, for instance, will not be pulled opening day while pitching great and throwing minimal pitches. But, did the “flexible” positioning result from a lack of talent and more experimenting? Or, are they intending to do that regarflessofthe talent they acquire? I think we have to look at Klentak andKapler together. Nothing beats talent. Let’s see how Klentak does in acquiring some.

  54. We are in on Andrew Miller along with Mets andCards. We are in on everyone, so it seems. It is time to start actually doing something.

    1. Matt, I think we will see the Phillies being linked to every FA but 1B, unless they can play 3B. Reasoning, leverage and driving AAV for the FA. Middleton’s comments opened this up, which may have been a strategic move, we are seeing the phillies names everywhere, lets hope they sign the good players to fair enough deals.

      But yes…. a lot of talk, we are all waiting for the shoe to drop. My guess is that it will happen during the winter meetings. Rough for those wiithout patience, but it is good for baseball to have an active winter meetings

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