Open Discussion: Week of December 3, 2018

The Hot Stove Season continues.  Nothing scheduled between now and the start of the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas next week.  The MLBPA Executive Board Met and announced the extension of executive director Tony Clark through 2022. 

This past Friday, teams announced their contract non-tenders.  The Phillies had 11 arbitration eligible players and 11 pre-arb players.  They non-tendered in-season additions Luis Avilan and Justin Bour.  Both became free agents.  Any of the arb-eligible players who decline the team’s tender will enter the arbitration process.

In addition, the Phillies concluded a slew of minor league transactions that won’t show up in the transaction logs or the affiliate’s home page rosters.  I’ll go into depth on those in the this week’s minor league discussion in an attempt to divert some discussion away from this post.

Somebody wondered if last week’s total comments was some sort of record.  No, but it was the among the highest in the history of Phuture Phillies.  As I type this Sunday afternoon, last week’s 716 comments rank third.  The “Open Discussion: Week of December 10th” published on December 11th last year ranks first with 824 comments.  And, Brad’s “General Discussion – Week of November 26. ‘That Week Between Thanksgiving and Winter Meetings’ Edition” published November 27, 2012 ranks second with 746 comments.  It’s not surprising that all three are right before that year’s winter meetings.

Arb eligible players who were tendered – Cesar Hernandez ($5.1M in 2018, 3rd of 4 arb years), Luis Garcia ($1.2M in 2018, 2nd of 3 arb years), Aaron Nola ($573K in 2018, 1st of 3 arb years), Maikel Franco ($2.95M in 2018, 2nd of 4 arb years), Vince Velasquez ($559K in 2018, 1st of 3 arb years), Hector Neris ($582.5K in 2018, 1st of 3 arb years), Jerad Eickhoff ($568K in 2018, 1st of 3 arb years), Aaron Altherr ($561K in 2018, 1st of 3 arb years),  and Adam Morgan ($559K in 2018, 1st of 3 arb years).

Non-arb eligible players who were tendered – Edubray Ramos ($554K in 2018), Zach Eflin (unknown in 2018), Nick Williams ($553K in 2018), Jorge Alfaro ($547K in 2018), Rhys Hoskins ($552.5K in 2018), Victor Arano ($545K in 2018), Roman Quinn ($545K in 2018), Seranthony Dominguez ($545K in 2018), Edgar Garcia, Adonis Medina, and Arquimedes Gamboa.

The 40-man roster stands at 36.

Looks like the Phillies and Mariners have reached agreement on a deal that would send SS Jean Segura to the Phillies for SS J.P. Crawford and maybe Carlos Santana.  I have a separate article for discussion on this trade specifically.

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

Key Dates:

  • 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
  • February 13, 2019 – pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training
  • February 14, 2019 – pitchers and catchers first workout
  • February 18, 2019 – all other players report to Spring Training
  • February 19, 2019 – first full squad workout
  • 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)
  • TBA (last year on February 27th) – Minor League Spring Training begins
  • 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)
11/30/18 – 1B Justin Bour elected free agency
11/30/18 – LHP Luis Avilan elected free agency
11/29/18 – Phillies signed free agent OF Shane Robinson to a minor league contract
11/29/18 – Phillies signed free agent INF Erick Brito to a future services contract
11/20/18 – Phillies selected the contract of RHP Edgar Garcia from Lehigh Valley
11/20/18 – Phillies selected the contracts of RHP Adonis Medina from Clearwater
11/20/18 – Phillies selected the contract of SS Arquimedes Gamboa from Clearwater
11/16/18 – Phillies signed free agent 3B Ali Castillo to a minor league contract/Reading
11/16/18 – Phillies signed free agent RHP 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

572 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of December 3, 2018

  1. I agree with this tweet from John Heyman.

    It’s looking more and more like Bryce Harper will be a Phillies as early as next week. That would then set up a dream lineup of Trout-Harper-Hoskins after 2020 !!!!!!

    1. Just a reminder that Segura can play 2B also.
      I think the Phils will chase Manny first because Harper with Boras might not sign for months.

    2. What’s your thinking on why Harper will be a Philly next week?
      I wouldn’t be entirely shocked if there was a framework and Harper/Boras were told the Segura trade needed to be completed first.

    3. I think there is a nice back up/alternate plan, if say the Phillies miss out on harper/MM. next offseason is Arenado (Rockies star) and the year after is Trout. Land one of Harper and MM, and the FO can pivot if needed. You can make a decent argument that gettting Segura play harper is like the FO signing Harper and Manny lite.

      I wonder what Corbin is thinking, maybe Segura can swing the tide towards Philly.

      1. @tac3 – Middleton will not miss out on Harper or Machado. Only a major negative publicity stunt will hold Middleton back in acquiring one of those stars.

        Arenado is LAD bound. Despite of LAD’s success with Machado on board, LAD is vocal of not pursuing Machado since they have their sights on Arenado. LAD will lose about $65M of contract commitments after 2019 — big part of that savings will be thrown at Arenado. Arenado is a SoCal boy and a lifelong LAD fan. The fit and $$ are there. Turner is a FA after 2020, so Turner is a good trade chip and not blocking Arenado.

        As for Mike Trout – he’s either a Angel or a Phillie after 2020. Arrietta and (soon to be ex-Phillie) Santana’s contracts are structured with Mike Trout’s FA in mind and I’m certain that if Machado and Harper are signed, their contract structure will be designed that the Phillies can still maintain financial flexibility when Mike Trout hits the open market. The only think I will be watching is — how Mike Trout handles Arte Moreno’s attempt to lock him as Angels for life. If Mike Trout will not sign an extension with LAA within the next 12 months, the probability that he becomes a Phillie after 2020 goes up to 90%!!!

  2. I guess I’d rank last weeks number of comments 2nd all time. I see there were 733 comments in the open discussion but also 31 in the Minor League Discussion blog. since the Minor League section was split off a few weeks ago, there would have been 764 posts last week. It doesn’t move it to #1 but passes #2.

  3. Jim – that was me asking about comment records. Thank you for verifying! Once the hot stove gets cooking I expect the new discussion hits first. No pun intended.

  4. Just wanted to let you guys/gals know, my sources are reporting that Segura is heading to Phillies, more to come, stay tuned!

    🙂

      1. mea culpa. It is good to have these different threads but it makes it easy for someone as easily distracted as me to miss one.

  5. WIP just announced that Jim Salisbury said that a “pitcher or two” would be included from Seattle. Hopefully, that includes Logan Gilbert.

    1. it will be a player to offset $$ if Mariners will accept Santana. Don’t get too excited. Dipoto is reloading/rebuilding so he is not expected to give away young controllable talent.

  6. KuKo, I am already excited by the deal as long as we kept Spencer Howard. Aside from Machado/Harper, Salisbury thinks we are still in on Corbin and in pursuit of Britton or Miller.

    1. @Matt – I’ve been very critical of Klentak since he was hired but if he pull the Segura trade off without giving up any young studs and prospects that most here care about and without absorbing albatross contracts —- then I will tip my hat to him.

      I always believe that Klentak (with Middleton’s pushin) will make big splash in FA (Machado and/or Harper, Brantley, Britton and potentially a SP) so this trade is really a smart GM move. As i posted earlier, I like the trade (assuming no top prospects are included) since Rhys goes back to 1B and it simultaneously improve the D for 1B-SS-LF. The only downside with Segura is the “questionable attitude” attached to him.

  7. Phils should trade for Seager and Haniger next. Trading for Seager with Haniger makes that deal like the Cano/ Diaz deal. It will make the prospects dealt easier to part with.

    Then get Merrifield and go all in for Harper (8/400?). Then sign Britton (2/30m) and Happ (2/40m) at whatever amount gets it done for 2 years with each of them.

    Segura
    Merrifield
    Harper
    Hoskins
    Haniger
    Herrera
    Seager
    Alfaro/ McCann

    1. As i posted in the other thread, absorbing long term contracts is not Klentak’s MO so forget about Kyle Seager’s $72.5M contract — with that $$ Klentak can already sign a combination of Britton/Miller and Happ/Morton addressing 2 key weakness in the line up. Klentak inquired about Haniger and possibly moved on due to high asking price. Dipoto is looking for young arms so if Dipoto will find a landing spot for Mitch Haniger, I can see it in ATL or SD. Segura was initially rumored to go to SD in a trade involving Will Myers. Dipoto can revisit than by offering SD Mitch Haniger for Will Myers and one of their young arms.

      Klentak will splurge in FA since Middleton is already vocal about it.

      1. I agree about the contracts and Klentak. Its a shame tho. That roster would be guaranteed to win 90 games and you could argue they would win 95/100. AND it would not really cost much to make those moves happen.

        Too easy in my eyes to trade for Haniger and Seager. Conservatively, Haniger will have a surplus value of 50m until he is a free agent based on WAR. Seager most likely will be negative 30m til his contract is done. These are the types of moves the Phils should be making with all their money.

        Klentak definately did a good job with the Segura trade. The value is all but equal for the Mariners and Phils (I have -5m for Phils) plus he got a lefty for the bullpen that should stick around for a while unlike fringe leftys Morgan and Avilan.

  8. I know there’s a separate thread about this Segura trade, but I feel like this is a more open-ended topic that hasn’t really been discussed yet. Does anyone else feel that the Phillies are moving on from JPC a little bit too quickly/selling low on him?

    I get that he hasn’t shown much in the majors yet, but this was a guy touted as one of the top prospects in baseball (let alone in our farm) not too long ago.

    Not saying I’m opposed to this trade necessarily, but just wanted to get input/thoughts from the guys who have been here awhile throughout JPC’s progression within the system

    1. Max…..JPC still has the value it appears if Dipoto wants him.
      GMs/scouts are not as quick to judge a prospect as a ‘bust’ label, when there is a lull in a prospects career, but many of the analyst seem to do just that.
      GMs probably see projection and value.
      Plus it helps that JPC is financially a very good asset on their balance sheet..

    2. I view it as similar to the Paxton/Sheffield deal. At his best Crawford profiles as have an overall value that Segues has now (although the defensive/offensive profiles are different). And Crawford is a couple of years from that in any reasonably scenario.

      Moving from Seattle to Philly may return Segues to 20 HRs. Unless this deal includes Sanchez, Howard, or Medina it will be a win in my book.

    3. @Max – sometimes “value” is relative so it’s hard if Klentak is over or under selling JPC. If Klentak can acquire Jean Segura for JPC and a secondary prospect — that’s not selling low since JPC fetched Klentak a good value in return.

      IMO, the presence of uber prospect Luis Garcia made JPC expandable and Jean Segura fits into the timeline when the Phillies can compete while continuing to complete the development of Luis Garcia who many believes will be a stud. JPC can be Segura in 4 years, but in 4 years, Luis Garcia can be J-Smooth!

      JPC has been the crown jewel of the Phillies farm for a while that’s why some fans developed some attachment. But the JPC for Jean Segura swap is a trade that the Phillies need to do.

  9. I view it as similar to the Paxton/Sheffield deal. At his best Crawford profiles as have an overall value that Segues has now (although the defensive/offensive profiles are different). And Crawford is a couple of years from that in any reasonably scenario.

    Moving from Seattle to Philly may return Segues to 20 HRs. Unless this deal includes Sanchez, Howard, or Medina it will be a win in my book.

  10. To celebrate Klentak & the Phils deal tonight, I’m going to cook some Cx Parm, wash it down With a beer. It’ll make Peyton jealous. Once Middleton OKs the FO move for MM or Harper, signaling to end of the rebuild, I’ll fire up the grill, put a nice steak on there, ribeye, wash it down with a Bourbon, old fashioned.

    Make it happen!

  11. Has there been any rumors about Trout signing an extension? I know the Angels said it was their top priority this off-season so surprised not to hear more on it.

    1. Moreno and Trout (and his agent) will probably wait for Machado/Harper contract before they start actively negotiation any extension.

  12. Looks like Patrick Corbin choices is between the Yanks (obviously) or Nationals (he has close relationship with Rizzo). I think Klentak stand pat of not offering >$120M/5 years. I don’t see NYY overpaying Corbin so the only way Corbin chose WAS is because he received an offer with high AAV and more years.

  13. Is anyone on here under the impression that they sold low/gave up on JPC too quickly? I know he hadn’t shown much yet in the majors, but he was a top 5 prospect in baseball (let alone in just our system).

    1. Somewhat; since I wouldn’t consider Segura a low return. But when you are looking to accelerate the timeline, going into the season with JP as the starting SS is a huge question mark. Rosenthal is reporting now that no other prospects are in this deal and Nicasio is coming here

    2. No, the FO did well imo. When you factor in that JPC was still trying to develop into what Segura already is … in the timeframe

      Once one of the major FA signs with Philly, that’s it, the rebuild is over. Sadly, JPC is not ready to go. His injury last year played about in this, but to me it is not only good value, it is better than I thought they could get for J.P. and Santana. It hedges the bet of whether J.P. would develop into Segura. How would you feel if it is 3 years from now, the pieces are in place, but J.P. is a bust? Or you can take that feeling and trade it in for a player like Segura, who’s power numbers I suspect will return at CBP.

      I’m sad to see him go, really, but this is a good move by the FO

      1. (ADD) … do you think JP’s ceiling is higher than what Segura is? I don’t, at least not anymore

        Segura hit for average, power (40 doubles and 10-20hr) while SO very little. The walls are the only area Crawford is better at than Segura, but that hasn’t shown up yet in him mlb game

        I wish JP the best, I’ll be following from afar, but at this is the correct deal to make.

        1. I have to think JPC’s ceiling is a fair amount higher than Seguras, why else would the Mariners trade Segura + take on Santana’s contract for him if no other prospects are involved?

            1. Financial responsibilities exist due to how much is still remaining in your wallet after you pay. Middleton has more $$ at the end, he wins.

    3. There were rumblings this off-season that the Phils were growing disaffected with Crawford. It could be a player not following an off-season regimen or any one of a number of things fans wouldn’t know about and a team wouldn’t discuss publicly. A previous indication was the time at SS given to Kingery. This could have been writing on the wall regarding who might fit in the team’s long term plans. It’s hard enough to see how a team evaluates development on the field. Off-the-field stuff is opaque unless it reaches a certain level.

  14. If harper doesnt go to Phillies and manny goes to the Yankees, who else will the Phillies pick up?
    It’s imperative they trade for or sign a top FA pitcher and another top bat

    1. Klentak will definitely explore trade possibilities for Doobie and/or Williams and hope to land a SP. With Rhys moving to 1B, I can see Klentak pursuing an OF with Harper as the main target and Brantley as plan B. Klentak can check out the Rule V too for possible OF help.

  15. Well .. you can all be thankful that I’m not the GM, I’m not sure how the FO got Segura with only giving up Crawford & Santana… no money, no more prospects … but I certainly would have overpaid compared to what Klentak and his thieves did.. only thing I can think of is his old boss did him a solid

  16. In reading Jim Salisbury’s comments after the trade, I think he was pretty clear that Machado is the target ahead of Harper. I don’t know if that is what Jim meant, or if it was some personal thing with Harper that may preclude him from coming here. Machado and Brantley would work!

    1. I’m sure the Phillies have already been in contact with Machado’s agent about Seguero. They know already if MM will go to 3b or if JS will play 2b.

  17. Jim whats the stuff you heard about Harper? Don’t take my next few sentences too seriously, don’t mean them to come off as snarky but/will via writing it out . . . what’s the point of you having sources if its only for your ears? It’s not like this is a forum that will expose your source.

    1. On the contrary, anything you post on the internet is potentially detrimental. When you work in journalism, even as an amateur (which I’m not saying Jim is), you DO NOT give up your sources that want to remain nameless. Period. But it’s especially true on the internet.

      How many people do you think visit PP on a daily basis? Most of us are just average Joes. But there are a few “VIPs” that come here. There are other journalists, there are family members of people in the organization, and there are even some organization members that visit here from time to time.

      Plus, you don’t need to be all that important to spread a story. How many of us around here follow the “big” sports reporters on social media? All it takes is one tweet from someone who just happened to see what Jim posts to blow up. Maybe it won’t happen, but you don’t risk it.

      Not meaning to sound harsh or anything, but it’s an important lesson for some people (not necessarily you) to learn, so may as well put it out there. Especially for any aspiring journalists. Just don’t do it.

      1. I never said anything about telling us who said it, I can understand why he wouldn’t want to share that. I’m only talking about what was said, and again, I wasn’t trying to come off as snarky.

        1. “It’s not like this is a forum will expose your source.”

          And I get what you’re saying, and I trust your intentions are good. I’m just letting you know that this site has more visibility than you seem think. If you’d be wary saying something to one of the big journalists or someone in the Phillies org, don’t post it here. There is a legitimate chance it will reach their eyes if it’s important. If Jim doesn’t post something, it’s because he has legitimate reason to be wary of doing so.

          And again, this isn’t all necessarily directed at you. It’s something everyone here should be aware of. I’d rather people not have to regret posting something if it can be avoided.

  18. Does the $1 million Segura got to waive his no-trade clause count against the salary cap? With Santana gone, Bour released, and Meneses in Korea, who’s the back up 1st baseman?

    1. It would, but 1) it’s negligible (remember that it’s 1M divided by the number of years left on his contract), and 2) it sounds like the Mariners are paying it so it goes under their cap.

      Backup 1B could be a number of people. Basically anyone, really. If Cozens breaks camp with the big club, I’d bet on him. But there’s still moves to be made, and we might be seeing a super utility man signed, in which case that would be the backup 1B.

    2. The team as currently constructed will have Knapp and Cozens as the back up 1B. If Klentak can create a roster spot, I like him to sign Jordan Patterson as a LH bat from the bench complimenting Hoskins.

  19. We need Harper. I want no part of Machado. I think that could turn out to be a train wreck in philly by the time his 2nd year is done here

    1. I know Jim Salisbury has been reporting that he feels Matt Klentak prefers Manny Machado (and I’ve been posting for two years now that MM would be a Phillie), but I suspect John Middleton wants Bryce Harper. Guess who’s “want” is going to win out ? In Middleton’s universe, the Phillies are trotting out a lineup featuring a 2-3-4 of Trout-Harper-Hoskins beginning in 2021 and selling out every game again, and winning more titles.

      1. He can’t force Harper to come here. It seems like he prefers LA or NYY first and if they make a competitive offer the Phillies would REALLY have to out bid it to get him here. Which they can but at a certain point it’s not worth it.

        1. @JL – it’s true, Middleton can’t force Harper to come to Philly. But a big amount of $$ and financial security can make anybody go anywhere including outer space.

          i think the current market is to the Phillies advantage. No GMs deemed Harper and Machado worth >$300M guys. Middleton thinks so especially with the new Comcast contract kicking and the potential of having a big jump in revenue stream from ticker sales, cable feeds, etc.

  20. Well, with Harper already being schmoozed by Magic and an LAD contingent, Jim’s comments above seem to resonate all the more. At this point, regardless of whether Middleton prefers Harper while Klentak prefers Manny, I am beginning to settle myself for Machado. And this assumes that NYY aren’t interested enough in him to get into a bidding war with the Phillies if they already have their sites fixed first on Bryce, along with LAD and perhaps CHC, his other place of choice.

    So, let’s focus on signing Brantley unless there’s a trade for a primo OF. Perhaps LAD would entertain the idea of trading Bellinger if they did sign Harper? (MLBTR did predict LAD would be his landing spot.) Or maybe NYY would try to move Stanton, which has been speculated. My point, without getting too specific on who and how, is that one advantage the Phillies have now is that even should they miss on either Harper or Machado, they have the market in their favor to trade for someone who may actually (perhaps likely) be a better value over the long term.

    After the Segura trade, my confidence in Klentak to navigate these waters increased. Let’s see who he catches.

    1. I think I read somewhere the Yankees would prefer to wait to take a run at Arenado next year. I hope that’s the case. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if Middleton asks Machado to name his price to play third and just offers him it.

      1. JL26@ …………….if your statement above is true on Harper, “Which they can but at a certain point it’s not worth it.” it is also true for Machado. Despite all that has been written about Middleton’s purse strings, I haven’t seen him to be extravagant in his spending, at least as of yet!

        1. I don’t think so based on their positions. On the OF market you have Pollock, Brantley, among other potential fallbacks. It’s easier to find an outfielder.

          On the infield market you have Machado and then Moustakas. If the Dodgers and Yankees offer Harper 10 years $350 million and the Phillies need to offer $400 million I’m not convinced he would take that.

  21. I have found that Jim’s “sources” are usually pretty accurate. So, if there is something off putting, is that a word? about Harper that would affect Middleton wanting to sign him, then that could be part of Salisbury’s feeling that we are after Machado as a primary star attraction. Evem with Magic Johnson there, LA has not won any bidding wars for FAs. They could certainly afford to, but that has not been there inclination. I still think Harper and Boras pick the place that offers the most $. I could ceertainly be wrong. But, Machado at 3rd is a real coup, if that occurs, and there are OFs to go get.

    1. I missed Jim’s comments on Harper vs MM, but I’m fine with either. I believe they can win with either. Harper wins the intangibles (marketing, influence, all out play etc) vs MM. Both deals have a chance to go bad, and I think we can agree on that Harper has a greater chance to go bad vs MM due to his inconsistent play. With Harper you are still paying for potential. To me MM you are paying less for potential, and more “realized talent”.
      Again, I’ll take either, both would be nuts, but I wouldn’t totally dismiss it.

      If they somehow miss out on both, they can bid their time until Arenado and Trout. If all that falls apart, well then will be watching a lot of Braves Division titles again. I don’t see that happening .

      Bottom line, Phils have a few different ways of getting back into WS contention, will have to see how it shakes out

      1. Tac……I have been saying the same thing in regards to them missing out on MM and BH. Sign one of Brantley or Pollock and then go all in on Arenado and Trout in the next 2 years.

  22. If the Phillies can’t sign Corbin, it maybe a good thing. Settling for Happ on a shorter deal won’t block Medina, Howard, or Sanchez. I could live with Nola, Happ, Arrieta, Piveta, and Eickhoff starting and Velasquez moving to the bullpen.
    The Phillies priority list at this time is: add a professional hitter (Harper, Machado, Brantley), a LH starter (Corbin, Happ, Kikuchi), and a top LH reliever (Britton, Miller).

  23. Apparently Sixto was part of a package for Diaz and Segura. Luckily the Phillies decided to pluck him out deciding to not empty the farm. Interesting.

  24. I suspect the Phillies bullpen will be very strong this year. They have a lot of bounce back candidates
    Niarcso(sp) hunter, Neris, Neshak, Morgan, and others. I would expect the law of averages to give us 2 of these guys to have very good years, add in the FA & Ser Anth. – looks like e can stop having Mitch Williams type nightmares this year.

    1. Hitting is important. We won with Brett Myers, Cole Hamels, Jamie Moyer, Joe Blanton and didn’t with Doc, Lee, Hamels & Oswalt.

  25. I’m back lol , I have to comment on the trade.The Phillies did well everyday SS that can hit.
    Bonus is RP and now they can get an outfield with defensive value.
    The big moves yet to come.

    1. I’m not sure if this actually is Tim or rocco (or is rocco actually both Tim and rocco?).
      If this is the real Tim, answer this question: Who was the catcher on the 2008 WS team? I’ll know if it’s you by your response.

  26. About some of the comments above concerning the Phillies, Bryce Harper, and Manny Machado …

    * Harper and Machado (like almost all FA’s) are going to sign with the team offering them the most money. Corbin may be an exception. He may take a little less from the Yankees because of geography and lifetime rooting interest.

    * Middleton isn’t just signing Harper of Machado for what they’ll bring to the Phillies on the field. Just as importantly (maybe more importantly) he wants them for what they’ll bring the team off the field. This club is desperate for a marketable “face of the team”. They need a superstar to drive attendance/draw more TV viewers/make the team relevant again.

    * Guys like Segura, Brantley, Pollock, are good players, but are not going to move the needle for average Phillies fans.

    * Is it really a surprise that the Dodgers, Yankees, and maybe ten other teams are visiting with Harper? Guys like him (and MM) rarely ever hit the open market as 26 YO’s. Don’t worry about who is visiting Harper. Worry about who is offering him the most money. Is anybody else offering “stupid money” (BTW … I believe Middleton made that statement to intimidate other teams).

  27. In light of Jim’s recent revelatory comments, my revised wish list is Machado, Michael B., Morton, Marwin, McCann, and Matt Strahm. I would also like a LHP via trade, and his initial doesn’t have to be an ‘M’.

  28. @Hinkie – i agree with you on the above. Before Middleton gets stupid with money, I think both of us are pretty crazy beating the “road to contention and Mike Trout” drum and encircled this offseason as the start of the Phillies timeline to compete. Granted we lost on Ohtani, there are still big names that we believe will be part of the next WS winning Phillies team.

    On Corbin, it is interesting that he hasn’t signed with NYY yet given his market is only down to NYY-PHI-WAS. To me, Corbin giving some time to think of his options means that the big $$ is not there in NYY. With Paxton on board, this lessen the need to go hard on Corbin by Cashman. I think NYY offers $100M/4 yr and PHI probably around $120M/5 yr and Corbin is waiting to see if WAS beats both.

    On Harper and Machado – it’s 1A and 1B and with Boras it is already expected that the Harper signing will be dragged into next year. Like what you said, both Harper and Machado signing will be mainly due to financial opportunities. I don’t see the “Magic appeal” is the same in MLB vs NBA. Vegas is not far from LA and everybody loves to visit Vegas so Magic is probably thinking “why not check in with Bryce while I’m there?”. LAD may not be a strong competitor for Harper and Machado but if LAD can help in driving the Harper/Machado market up which will make the Phillies and NYY to bleed some $$, LAD can minimize the Phillies and NYY financial capability for the secondary targets. LAD is in financially tight in 2019 and they will prioritize their ARB guys. I’ve said this before but LAD main target is Nolan Arenado and not Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.

    Klentak started his opening salvo. The next steps will be the tricky part and Klentak will navigate thru facts and smoke screens. One thing that I’m sure will happen — the Phillies will sign at least one superstar, one established player and another FA.

  29. Ill say it again after reading a lot of these posts. I think Harper needs to be the guy. Machado already had stuck his foot in his mouth and i think over the course of the contract, could be a problem in philly with “re-igniting” the fan base. I think Harper should be the play. Plus, he hits left handed. Him and Hoskins and Segura, followed by Trout in 2021 is devastating lineup for years to come.

    1. I’ll go Harper, but … MM is the better player. I’m taking Harper for potential, and intangibles over MM. I just see Harper being a better leader/clubhouse presence if the team gets off to a slow start, or is down 3-0 in a playoff series .. harpers attitude plays better to me.

      Machado is the better payroll allocation than Harper, which is why klentak is leaning MM vs Harper. Harper will sell more tickets for Middleton, more marketable.

      In the end, I think they can win with both players, but Harper will be the more entertaining team to watch. I can’t stomach a 350 mil lazy stroll to first, I just can’t. Plus, I truly believe Trout is coming to Philly. If I didn’t, I’d bite the bullet and go MM.

      Last thing I’ll say …. I see Harper taking that hard slide into 2nd to Breakup a double play in a playoff series, I see MM peeling off and assuming he’s out. I don’t care if it’s the regular season as much, but you do that in the playoffs, it tells me you don’t like baseball, going through the Motions…

  30. I don’t understand why the Phillies have to pass on Machado and/or Harper and wait on Arenado instead. Arenado when he becomes FA is 28 yo and 2 years older than Machado and Harper when teams signs him. Second, Machado and Harper will dictate the new “high contract” this season so there’s a chance that Arenado’s contract is similar if not, higher next year. Third, Arenado similar to Trout and Corbin, is a life long fan of LAD and loves to play for this home team LAD! And lastly which most probably don’t realize that LAD is financially tight in 2019 but will lose about $65M in contract obligations when Arenado hits the open market next year. If LAD cannot win a financial bidding with Phillies this year, it will be the opposite next year.

    If the Phillies have a strong chance to land a “elite talent + prime years = Superstar” (the more the better), they should do it without hesitation regardless of what name in the back of that jersey.

    Also, I don’t understand why signing “secondary players” on the wrong side of father time is considered as a “smart” investment vs acquiring one (or two) of the young best talents long term.

  31. Please don’t worry about who the backup 1b will be. That’s so far down the list of issues. They’ll sign someone who plays 1b along with other positions.
    I’m still pulling for Manny plus Brantley plus Britton. I’m also looking for a trade of Cesar (to the Brewers for Santana?) and a trade for a SP if they can’t sign one (Hererra and Vinnie plus a low prospect?). Brantley fits what they want, let’s get him signed.

  32. So new Mets GM Brodie Van Wegenen is now mortgaging their future because they’re worried about what the Phillies might do.

    1. Yeah pretty much agents turned GM’s don’t have a good history of working out but that’s good for us.

      That said he should get a pretty nice haul of young players for Noah

    1. I am getting a warm, reverse Cliff Lee-ish vibe on this Corbin situation. If nothing else, force NYY to pay out the freaking nose.

      1. It does appear that is part of each team’s strategy – to limit resources of every other MLB team. More apparent this year via social media.

  33. IMO – A trade for Cervelli to help with framing and backing up Alfaro would be a good get. Or Ramos would be a good as well – if price drops. Catcher cannot be over looked.

    1. No need to waste a prospect for Cervelli (1 year rental earning $11.5M), Klentak can sign James McCann who is 4 years young, might be cheaper AAV.

      1. KuKo…yes, that would be the smart move.
        McCann was one of the better defensive catchers in the AL last season according to SABR rankings:
        Mike Zunino…SEA…6.8
        Salvador Perez…KCR…5.4
        Sandy Leon…BOS…4.1
        Martin Maldonado…HOU…3.4
        Max Stassi…HOU…2.8
        Austin Romine NYY…2.8
        James McCann….DET…2.7……*
        Yan Gomes….CLE…2.6

  34. I heard last night a stat that has been at the heart of our problem for many years. Only two teams had a lower OPS at SS than the Phillies one of them was the Marlins.

    The Phillies as a team ranked 22 in OPS. All the playoff teams were top 11 in OPS and Boston the WS champ was #1.

    Only one team that was in the top 10 in OPS didn’t make the playoffs the Nats.

    OPS is as near a perfect offensive stat as you can get indicative of winning games and winning an MVP.

    Our LU as it exists today must have 2 additional bats that are capable of a 900 OPS or really close. One is not going to move the needle much.

    1. Quick look on topic of OPS/Team. Hoskins best on team -.850ish. Swapping Seguara with Kingery bumps the OPS near 100 points. His career high was near Hoskins level, so possibility it could go up another 100 points. Safe to say +.100 for SS. If Kingery goes to 2B, he’ll need to improve, he is below MLB average, and drops the OPS -.112 from herndez. So the trade is a wash until Kingery improves. Machado adds +.100 over franco ad Harper adds +.200 over any OF we had las my year. TROUT would do the same if not +.250.
      If OPS is indicative a runs scored… the. Harper should be the choice with Segura already in place. I did not do the OPS+ comparison

        1. True, but by the numbers, if “team OPS” is predictive of runs scored, which I know is debatable, then the FO should sign Harper over Machado, to get a higher “team OPS”. Harper and Trout both push the team OPS +.200 each, if everything stayed the same, which is obviously doesn’t. But you get the point. Best way to improve team OPS is to improve the OF by first signing Harper, then Trout. Keeping Hernandez over Kingery would keep the OPS higher as well, but I’m guessing they move on from Hernandez. A

          1. I was pushing OPS as a metric to justify the Phils going after Cano when Seattle was keen to dump salary. Folks here pilloried Cano for reasons I’ll never get. Cano would have instantly become the Phils’ 2nd best hitter. I’m happy with how things worked out with Segura and love the trade.

  35. I like Eovaldi but I don’t see the Philies being a big player on Eovaldi with or without Corbin. If Klentak lose on Corbin, he will look to trade (involving OF and young SP) or consider Happ/Morton as alternatives. I’m hoping for a Kikuchi miracle but the affinity to west coast cities of the oriental players is hard to overcome.

    1. ‘affinity to west coast cities of the oriental players is hard to overcome.’…with the exception of New York (Yankees only) and Boston

      1. and both BOS and NYY are not considered to be a big player for Kikuchi this year unless Kikuchi comes is cheap which is unlikely. Although, Kikuchi being older than Ohtani when he eventually move to the US, might be more adventurous and open to the idea that there are other MLB cities other than SD, LA, SF and SEA who can be a good home for him with access to top end Japanese restaurant and willing to pay him big $$!!

    2. Elovaldi is to risky for me, I’d pass. The arm injury, lack of track record. Corbin is near the same, one great season, but he has nice movement, top tier swing and miss stuff. I really hope they don’t have to go 6 years, but that is what the rumors are saying. Maybe they can do higher AAV for less years trick, will see

      1. Pop past in July he was on hospice I had my hands full. I moved back to my nieghbor where I grew up . My health is ok ty for asking Romus.

  36. Apparently. Magic denies he met with Harper. A smoke screen from Boras as expected. LAD will wait for the Phillies to spend before they strike.

    1. Was about to send what I read, thanks KuKo

      This could be smoke and mirrors.

      Guess no one really knows except for Boras and Harper

        1. @Troll – $126M is the base like Darvish. Corbin will probably get some signing bonus. I predicted last week that Corbin will sign with WAS since I don’t see NYY and PHI offering >$120M.

  37. So Corbin was a lock to the Yankees but Phillies “wont be outbid” yet he goes to the Nationals. This offseason is slowly starting to feel like a failure.

    1. TRollU – We need to let this play out. Corbin to WAS hurts over the yanks, since will now see Corbin/Scherzer frequently, but with our pitching staff, I’d rather add Harper. The OPS stats back that. The Phillies can still add others.

    1. I’ve said this that Paxton lessen the need to go hard on Corbin and predicted that Corbin will sign with WAS since WAS will make sure to get Corbin out of the Phillies hand. This points to me that WAS don’t expect Harper to resign with them and they will build their team thru pitching.

      1. Signing a pitcher to a 6 year deal is so not what Mcphail and Klentak want to do. A 2/3 year deal for Happ is more their speed, or a trade for a guy with 1/2 years left on his deal (Bauer, MadBum)

  38. I made these predictions in last weeks thread. So far #1 and #2 are done and partially #3 for Santana. We’ll know the fate of Franco and Cesar after or during the winter meetings. As for the FA signings, that will be within the next month unless it’s Harper who I expect to sign close to March.

    CLE is said negotiation with Carrasco for the contract extension. If they can’t come up with the extension, Klentak should inquire and offer Eflin + Williams for Carrasco.

    =======================================================================

    Hre are my current predictions:

    1) Diaz + Cano will go to the Mets for Jay Bruce and some prospects.

    2) Corbin might eventually go to WAS especially if they can’t resign Harper. I don’t see both the Phillies and NYY offering more than 5 years to Corbin. WAS will offer 6-7 years to get Corbin out of the Phillies reach.

    3) Franco, Santana and Cesar will eventually traded with minor returns (i.e. low level minors, bench players or bullpen arm).

    4) Klentak will sign at least 3 FAs – with at least a superstar and another establish player.

    5) Klentak will have a lengthy discussion with CLE at the Winter League discussing a SP for OF swap targeting Carlos Carrasco. Eflin, Vinny, Williams and a prospect (not Sixto or Medina) will be discussed.

    1. I’d be interested in reaction to a trade of Odubel, Eflin and a prospect like JoJo Romero for Trevor Bauer. Is there a bigger market for Bauer elsewhere since Cleveland seems intent on moving starting pitching? Is there a better market for the older, better-established Carrasco?

      1. @Fighter – i find this trade fair for both sides, although I can see Klentak pushing back on JoJo and possibly offer Ranger, Anderson or Irvin instead.

      2. I just saw it suggested where a team could scale back its return for Bauer by taking on Jason Kipnis’ salary. Just not sure how much I want Bauer.

  39. Losing out on Corbin hurts. Unless the Indians move one of their guys (and there’s going to be heavy competition from the Dodgers on Kluber) I don’t see where they can trade for a TOR starter. Happ would be an upgrade but they need more.

  40. 6 yrs/$140 Million. I think those “Phils will not be outbid” was made up by the Agent. He joins Scherzer and Strasburg to form a pretty formidable top 3, and the Division got better. If he was worth $140, then he was worth $150 to keep him out of Washington, but we will never know where we stopped bidding. It is always possible that he took less to sign in Washington, but I doubt it. We need a SP. We can dream on VV and Eflin and Pivetta all we want, but we need better. And, it would be nice if better was also Left handed.

    1. @matt, I’m glad that Middleton has limit to being stupid. The Corbin contract is an overpayment. WAS is in win-now mode so I can see them overpaying the same way they did to acquire Easton and bolster their bullpen via trades.

      If the Phillies sign both Harper and Machado, there’s no rotation in the league that they should be afraid of. It probably hurts more on NYY since they are almost a lock to sign Corbin especially after the wedding stunt made by Corbin’s brother.

      The expectation is for the Phillies to land Harper and/or Machado — as of now the odds just increased in the favor of the Phillies.

      Also, Eflin is almost certain to be move for another piece. Unlike Pivetta, Vinny, DLS, Anderson — Eflin doesn’t profile well in the bullpen. If Eflin is not projected in the starting rotation, he will be traded.

      1. I think Eflin will stay in the rotation. He has lots of upside, more than Eickhoff who will be his main competition for a spot. I think Vinnie might be traded for a SP.

        1. Eflin will stay in the rotation only if Klentak decided not to acquire a SP via FA or trade. As currently constructed, the Phillies may start with the same 2018 rotation of Nola-Arrietta-Pivetta-Vinny-Eickhoff with Eflin in AAA. Not sure if Eickhoff still has option, but his value is low to be traded.

          Eflin is the safest SP to trade since he has very good trade value (due to size, age and upside) and has nothing to prove in the minors anymore.

          Since Klentak intends to acquire a reliable veteran arm, I can see Eflin good as gone.

            1. @Murray – on a personal capacity i can agree with you since Eflin seem to be better than Vinny and both are expandable. But as a GM, Klentak will weight which one yields the better value and decide on that – and Eflin may most likely yield a better return than Vinny (who GMs see the health and control red flags).

            2. And also, I’ve been on record in this site that I prefer to move Vinny in the pen. The Phillies a stock pile of MLB ready RHP starters with Nola as the only untoucheable so Klentak will eventually need to make a decision on some of them. To me – Eflin and delos Santos will be the targets by other due to their size, age, upside and decent price (Pivetta will be expensive).

  41. Last July before the trade deadline, a good number of posters felt the Phils should trade for Derek Dietrich. He’s 29, had 16 HRs, 45 RBIs, and batted .265. He’s a free agent because the Marlins non-tendered him.

    People are interested on this site who the Phillies will use as a left-handed hitter to back up Hoskins on first base. Dietrich played mostly LF and 1B last season with pretty good results. He made just under 3 mil last year.

  42. I view WAS as the most serious threat to Harper. With the Corbin $$ and some bullpen arms to fix, WAS is almost out of the Harper sweepstakes. NYY with the OF logjam is not a threat and BOS, LAD and CHC have young superstars to pay which basically leaves the Phillies with the biggest odds to acquire potentially both Harper and Machado or at least one of them.

    I expect NYY to sign Happ and Kikuchi signs with SD or any west coast team, Eovaldi to BOS or HOU, Keuchel to an AL team so Klentak will be down to Morton or Drew Pomeranz. It will not be a popular choice, but i like Klentak to explore the low risk high reward of signing Shelby Miller or trading for Sonny Gray. I start by engaging Cashman and see if he’s interested with Vinny and discuss what it will take to acquire Sony Gray and Clint Frazier.

  43. …. damn… how they snuck this one by me, I’ve be distracted at work all day from MLB news …

    I don’t know how to feel on this just yet, part of me feels like we dodged a bullet, another is feels like I’m jealous of the Nats rotation. With the emergence of Soto … they can afford to lose harper. I think they got better, even with losing Harper vs their continuous shot at the playoffs.

    Looks like the Phillies need to find the 4 aces 2.0

  44. I was wrong not to include Eickhoff, but we need a #2. Scherzer is slightly better than Nola, but Corbin and Strasburg are quite a distance ahead of Arrieta and whoever we deem as our #3. Segura is a big help and Machado or Harper is a huge help, but Pitching is an issue.

    1. The NL East just woke up. The Phillies has a great year agains the rest of the NL until they fell on their face…. the Braves only mopped up against the NL East teams. It might only take 87 wins to take the division with all the beating up the teams are going to do to one another

      This makes the Mets blocking of Diaz hurt a bit more too. The Phils need to gain separation. The only way I see that is if they say “€%#¥ it, we’re signing both MM and Harper” and going the offensive route

      1. I like Kikuchi even though he is more of an unknown. But Corbin really has had only 2 good years and is in his prime. Nats may not like the signing come years 4-6 but for the next 3 years it makes them really good at SP. NL East has every team except Marlins making big steps to improve.

  45. If we get Happ I won’t feel so let down. I thought all along 6/$138 was a good number for Corbin from the Phillies.

    That said I’m more concerned about adding two more legit OPS bats

    1. Happ will sign with the Yankees since Happ is not the player that Middleton feels he can get stupid with.

      I agree with you that the top priority will be elite bats!!

  46. I have to wonder if the whole Dodgers meeting with Harper story was fabricated by Boras for the Phillies benefit. If the Nats are out on Harper, and logic says they are out now with Corbin plus 3 OFs ready to start, and Harper doesn’t really fit for the Yanks, it’s only the Phils and the White Sox left, and I don’t see him going there. Harper doesn’t really make sense for the Dodgers but they gave money and are a sexy choice but Magic said the meeting never happened. The agents are slime and use the writers for their benefit. Did Harper just fall into our lap?

    1. are you just browsing at his stats or did you actually see him pitch?? Eovaldi has a good arm and electric stuff – similar, if not better than Pivetta and Vinny. Eolvaldi has a mid-90s FB, hard Cutter and SL and SPL as his bet out pitch.

      1. I did see him pitch, but when the results do not follow what looks to be good stuff, you have to scratch your head a bit. Something is missing then I assume. I am in no way a baseball scout either. Just asking. Appreciate the input.

        1. When Evoldi first came up he threw very hard but everything was pretty straight and his off speed pitches came from a different tunnel in other words he was at one time easy to hit once you had him timed.

          Injuries and set backs obviously contributed to lack luster numbers over the following years but if someone wanted to pin their hopes on what he did in this years playoffs its because they noticed that he has made some adjustments to his arm angle.

          His FB has a little more life and everything is now coming out of the same tunnel.

          The key with Evoldi is deploying him correctly. I don’t think he is a guy that holds up for 30 starts.

  47. I wonder if the comment attributed to the Phils about not being outspent was just agent BS to get the Nats to spend more. You never heard the Phils say a word and it would have been very out of character for them to go 6 years on a pitcher.

    1. Remember the 2011 Phillies staff….Hamels/Doc/Lee and Oswalt as the top four….Nats trying something similar it appears.

      1. They can try, but it ain’t happening. Scherzer is in the same tier as Doc and Lee, but no one else on that staff is. Stras is kinda between Hamels and Oswalt (Roy had the higher highs than Hamels, but was less consistent). Corbin had a great year last year, but usually sits 2-3 WAR rather than 6 (I’m actually being generous with that 2-3).

        No one else on that team should even be mentioned in the same paragraph as the 4 aces.

        So if we had 1, 2, 3, 4, they have 1, 3.5, 4.5, 6. To match the aces they’d 1) need to get last year’s production from Corbin, 2) get Stras to pitch like his peak self rather than his average, and 3) sign another pitcher that’s as good as prime Hamels/Oswalt.

        Possible? Maybe. Likely? Nope.

  48. If the Phils sign Manny first where does Harper go now? What if the Dodgers’ supposed interest was all agent BS to get Phils to raise their offer.

    1. Middleton will sign both. Boras will play it around like he always do (and justify his extremely high fee) but eventually settle with the highest bidder —- Phillies!

      1. Part of me feels like the chances of the Phils signing both MM and Harper just went up, I’d say it’s at a 30% chance. When a player Corbin is raking in 25 mil per year, it makes Harper and MM’s contracts look like a bargain

        1. This offseason will be owned by the Phillies. They waited and prepared for this and the everything is falling into their liking. When NYY traded for Paxton I have a gut feeling that Cashman will not be implementing a “buy the WS” strategy and Corbin is Exhibit 1. The Agents will try to drag the signing to indicate that there’s some market but the other teams will be smart to know that they cannot outbid the Phillies knowing that the Phillies is looking to buy the bats.

          The Machado and/or Harper sweepstakes is almost a lock to go thru Phillies.

          Like the Segura coup, the critical part of the offseason is how to improve the pitching, address key positions and clear the logjams in the roster.

      2. I understand the thinking as to why the Phillies should NOT sign both (if they even can). I am more inclined now to say to hell with it, worry about Trout….(which is presumptuous to think he’ll be available in two years anyway, more like a hedged bet, as much as I want him)….later. This is an opportunity to make the team relevant now and with Machado, Harper, Hoskins and Segura in this lineup, we’re talking offensive juggernaut. And with the upsides of Kingery and Alfaro, a lot for rejuvenated fans to park their butts in otherwise empty seats.

        1. A lot can change in two years. DH and the salary “cap” could bump up another 15 mil, all make it easier to fit in Trout then. A good creative GM can make it work. It would be great if one of the big two had a 4 year opt out, that makes it work.

          Middleton has decided to be a showman, signing both puts him in the hx books, no question. They win a WS with them … he’ll always be talked about … the agents need to play up that ego, and it could very well happen, more so than before Corbin to the Nats

            1. Honestly, I can’t see them .. not … signing one after all this planning and hype. The hype has not only come from the media, but the FO in the form of trade deadlines, quotes from the owner, and generally every FO personel in the industry. Sure they might not get one, but I doubt that. WAS basically signed off against Harper, and the NYY neeeded pitching, if they wouldn’t spend on Corbin, the Phils can push them past their limits for a player considered to be overkill.

              I’m reacting, will see how it sorts out, but the opportunity is there for them to sign both, more so than before. Who is left to afford either? CHI? LAD? That tells us the $ is decreasing if they are jumping in.

            2. I assume Troll means reliever Andrew Miller and not SP Shelby Miller. Phils could go for Happ and Bauer if someone like Eflin is going to Cleveland.

  49. Klentak should monitor ARI. If the Snakes trade Goldy and Greinke, it means Robbie Ray can be had. I don’t expect Klentak to absorb Yasmany Tomas’ contract but Eflin, DLS, Jojo, Williams and Jhailyn can be part of the package. DLS , JoJo and Jhailyn are Top 10 in some rankings and Efin and William are young and controllable players with good MLB experience.

      1. @8mark – here about this, a swap of 2 players you don’t like Robbie Ray for Adonis Medina?! Is that acceptable to you? lol!! 😉

        seriously speaking, i try to hold on to Sixto and Medina unless it involves a young stud like Hinkie’s boy Blake Snell. I’m not really that high with Robbie Ray but I doubt Klentak can find the top arm via FA (Kikuchi is still my pipe dream). Other options i like are Shelby Miller and Sony Gray are not necessarily sexy but can yield rewards.

        1. Ha! Kuko, I like Medina. It’s just that I like Howard, Gowdy, Morales and Irvin more. I see consistency issues for Adonis much like Kilome. IMO, though not mine alone, he and Sixto may very well translate to becoming relievers sooner than later, which is why I would be more inclined to sell high on both of them even sooner. I know I am in the minority.

          1. @8mark – don’t worry about Medina. His mechanics are so sound that any command issues experienced by young pitchers can still fixed. And Medina’s pitchability and command is not comparable to Kilome. It is like crossing the Ben Franklin bridge – Medina (command) being Philly and Kilome (command) is Camden.

    1. One year of MadBum – his contract year, mind you – might boost the Phillies’ chances of contention.

      Question???
      What do we give up for him?
      How healthy is he now?
      Can he regain his velo from around 90 currently?

    2. I would offer Odubel even up for Bumgarner. This way, we’re not giving up top prospects. Doobie may be a better value, contract-wise, than MadBum but I roll the dice that the lefty turns in a contract year season, re-energized to be with a playoff relevant team, and if he doesn’t seem inclined to re-sign here next winter, then he could be a valuable trade chip at the deadline. Plus he can hit.

        1. 8mark…that is the most logical alternative with the MadBum exchange value.
          Giants need OFers with some offensive ability and Doobie fits the bill.
          And I would hope the Phillies are not in that position to trade him at the deadline -July 2019…that would mean they are out of the play-off running.
          The other positive for him, he only pitched 130 innings last season and missed April and May due to that fractured hand from a line drive…and the pitch registered 101 mph on the gun, if that was correct at all…..so the injury was not really shoulder/elbow related….so he should be ready for a major rebound and not over-worked from 2018.
          But still can QO him, if he decides to not sign on with the Phillies long term.

          1. Romus, to me making trades is like making wagers that what you’re giving up will be at least offset by what you acquire, if not exceeded. A few weeks ago, I agreed to the idea of trading Doobie to Oakland for Puk. My Bumgarner proposal has less risk in that MB will likely be an above average LHP in 2019. Trading Herrera alone (without coughing up any young arms or OFers) makes sense. He’s a known commodity at this point of his career. It’s a matter of how the other team views his debits vs credits. Would they be getting the hot bat that can carry a team for a few weeks? Or the lame brain that just quenched a rally with his thoughtlessness?

  50. We are now in on MadBum. Still a good Pitcher but not the guy he was. So, no Sixto to get him. I don’t know how real these talks are. And, no way would I want to give up Sixto for Diaz. I know how good he looked, and Sixto missed a whole year, and prospects are always a risk, but I see him as a Stud. MadBum 2019 is not MadBum 2010. We need Pitching, though.

    1. The one added plus with MadBum….Kaper can finally make a case and justify hitting the pitcher 8th in the lineup…or for that matter with MadBum, higher up in the lineup..

  51. Phillies did the right thing in not going six years on Corbin. I posted a few days ago the Phillies are not giving a six year deal to any pitcher other than one of their own arbitration aged/pre-arbitration guys (Aaron Npla or Nick Pivetta).
    Definitely not surrendering any of their top arms (Pivetta, Eflin, Sixto, Medina, JoJo, Howard, Morales, Gowdy) for one year of Madison Bumgarner.
    They’ll focus on JA Happ and Yusei Kikuchi. BTW … Kikuchi could be the exception to the 5 year rule I just mentioned for pitchers. Because he’s just 27 YO and may only top out at 15 million AAV, a 6 year/90 million dollar deal is possible for the Japanese LHSP. I’d be happy with that. Although, I think Happ at two years with an option is most likely.

  52. I have wanted Happ all along and I still do. No assets required, just $. He can slot in either before or after Arrieta. I just think the cost, in players, for one of the SPs is prohibitive. And on Corbin, word is, and who knows how accurate “the word” is, that we would not go more than 5 years. Corbin has no opt out years, and some $ deferred, Nats love to defer, so present day value is less than the $140 Million reported. I have mixed feelings. I never worry about the team’s $, but 6 years is an awful long time for a SP. But, if we were committed to 5 anyway, why not go all the way and win the bidding? I don’t know how I feel, except that we need SP, And I hate to see the Nats get better. As things stand today, and I know there is a lot of off season left, can we say we are better than the Braves or the Nats? I don’t think so.

    1. Happtothe Yanks is likely but I’m sure the Phils will talk to him. Phils will talk to teams about trades for pitchers with 1/2 years on their current deal. Happ is the only legit FA who will require a 2 or 3 year deal. Phils will not go longer term for a pitcher if possible.
      I’ll bet they offered Corbin a 4 year deal for $25M per year while the Yanks probably offered 5 years at $22M per year and Nats had to get close to the Phils’ AAV and add a year on the Yanks to get him. He did not come cheap.

      1. Sources on Phillies.com say that both FO’s offered 5 years, with the Nats being the only ones to go 6. So much for wanting to play for your childhood/hometown team… what a crock.

  53. And, Hinkie, when have we ever gotten the highly rated Japanese player? Never, so I don’t think we are in the Top 5 this time either. We should have already made an offer to Happ.

    1. Boras is Kikuchi’s agent. Granted, the Phillies would have to significantly exceed any other rival suitor’s offer. But if they made a creative, aggressive effort to sign him, they would have to be on his radar. 6 yrs @$90M might get his attention. If he ultimately failed as a starter, as a LHP he would pose as a useful pen piece.

  54. I like Happ over Ray. Ray has this year at $3.95 Million, a modest salary, and 2 Arb years, but he will cost players. Happ wants a 3 year deal. Whatever his salary is, 3 years does not hurt us long term, and we give up zero players or prospects.

  55. I don’t know man i’m starting to get nervous about missing out on Harper and Machado. I mean besides money why would they want to come here? We really only have 1 star on the team. The NL east is extremely competitive. If Harper wanted to stay on the east coast I’d take less money to go back to the Nationals if it were me. I’d rather play with Scherzer, Corbin, Strasburg, Soto, Rendon, Trea Turner (still cannot believe the Nats got him for nothing he hit .271 43 SB 19HR 73RBI last year) I read Nats will not be able to sign him now since they got Corbin but im still nervous because i still see Machado staying with the Dodgers or going to the Yankees and Harper going to Dodgers or staying in Washington. I hate Magic Johnson by the way if he gets Harper to LA ill be pissed.

    1. Don’t put aside the effect of $$. If both Machado and Harper don’t care about the almighty $$ they already signed contracts with their teams and don’t test the FA market. WAS offered Harper some $300M and Angelos tried to negotiate an extension which Machado ignores.

      When players decided to test the FA market – it is most likely all about the $$. You should learn that from Corbin himself who is a self confessed life long Yankee fan, dreamed of player in blue pin stripes and whose brother did a Yankee stunt in his wedding but signed with WAS in the name of the mighty $$.

    2. Money is the primary decision maker, not winning, not playing with friends, and not playing in a nice city. The Phillies will certainly try to offer enough money to get one of the big two plus another few pieces as well.

  56. Even though he is a relatively late bloomer at 29, Whit Merrifield is a guy I would like to at least find out what it cost in young talent to get him. As much as I love Kingery as our future 2b, man – Merrifield is already doing it on the field and is versatile, fast, and with enough pop to justify exploring the possibility.

    1. @8mark – I will think about the “secondary players” only after losing on the “primary targets – Harper and Machado. Assuming that Middleton indeed got crazy, Kingery at 2B or 3B is acceptable as long as Kingery play good defense. With Machado and Harper on board, the batting order will be:

      RF Quinn (S)
      SS Segura (R)
      3B Machado (R)
      LF Harper (L)
      1B Hoskins (R)
      CF Doobie (L)
      2B Kingery (R)
      C Alfaro (C)

      The 2018 offense are so bad that it highlights the development and struggles of the young players like Kingery and JPC. Kingery (while developing his hitting skills) is not bad as long as he is hitting in the bottom of the order.

      1. Just a reminder that Kingery was terrible in every way at the plate last year. And while some people will strangely blame his (extreme) struggles on offense on a change in position, Odubel and Hoskins both entered the majors at different positions than they had played in the minors and both excelled offensively.

        1. To go one step further, it sounds like we could’ve substituted Kingery for JP in the Mariners trade and while I liked the trade, replacing Crawford for Kingery would’ve made that a home run.

        2. The Phillies decided to lock Kingery long term and keeps playing him in the field despite of the struggles means that the kid has some skills. I believe that Kingery is better than his stats and he enjoyed good success coming up for good reasons.

          The Phillies could have easily traded Kingery like they did with JPC. The fact that they didn’t it means that Kingery has something that casual fans like us don’t see.

          1. Honestly, I feel like this is complete BS…When the Phillies go against what you (or any of us) want, we call them out for ‘bad’ thinking. When they make a move that reinforces our thinking, we treat it as gospel.

            They clearly like Kingery more than JP. I think that’s idiotic given his putrid full season. You don’t. And that’s okay, I could be wrong. But it doesn’t mean you’re right.

            1. I’m not saying who’s right or wrong. However, overreaction for one bad season and use it as a basis to judge a young players potential is not good either.

              you can agree, disagree and violently express your opinion. just chill.

            2. J.P. was never this FOs guy. By giving Kingery the long term contract before he ever touch CBP that made Kingery their guy. Just like MacPhail told MK when he fired Mackenin after extending him you only get so many of those moves. Admitting that Santana was a sunk cost was an admirable move but moving on from him and Kingery in the same off season is a big ask.

              As far as one bad season, us older fans know that the Phillies have the poster child for not getting too upset over a bad rookie year in Mike Schmidt, but comparing every player with a bad rookie season to Mike Schmidt is like comparing every soft tossing righty to Greg Maddox.

            3. That’s an amazing point Otero. This whole Kingery JPC thing smelled of attitude preference. Kingery is everything you want in a player as far as make-up. I think he does everything right on the field.

              the caveat he can’t hit big league pitching because he has poor pitch recognition skills. He could not lay off that slider away for nothing. Even when you could see he was trying to lay off it.

              That’s my opinion of course and no doubt I could be wrong. I hope I am but you have to be pretty bad to put up a .267 OBP. Peter Bourjos comes to mind.

              Again you can look pretty good in the minors because they don’t have the advanced scouting and video on opposing teams like they do in the MLB.

              The thing JPC had that Scotty doesn’t is pitch recognition. I don’t think you can teach that.

            4. @DMAR – I’ll put my bet on Kingery and believe that he is close to the player he was in the minors than the player he is in 2018. You can call me out at some point if I’m wrong and that’s OK!

              What I saw in the 2018 Kingery at the plate is like any young players who wants to prove he belongs. Kingery is pressing too much to produce and it got the best of him. Once the Phillies signed some premier bats and push Kingery down in the batting order, he will settle down and approach the game as it is and produce not the Pedroia type but something close to .270/.310/.410 — not bad for a 7-hole hitter who can play good defense and steal some bases.

            5. KK – I never “violently” expressed my opinion. I don’t agree with your opinion on Kingery but I said multiple time I could be wrong.

              I’ve just seen way too many posters on this site penciling Kingery in as the second baseman of the future and writing off his struggles to “pressing too much” or needing to play a full season at his natural position, without backing up why that’d make him a league average hitter.

              We’re not talking about a below average hitter who showed signs of life. We’re talking about someone completely overmatched the entire year as a relatively old rookie. We’re pinning our hopes to him hitting well to his 300 ABs at Reading as an older right-handed hitting prospect. That’s burned us before.

              I wouldn’t mind giving him a chance on a team like the 2015 Phillies, who were going nowhere. But we want to win next year, and we actually have a competent 2B, who people seem hell-bent on trading away or non-tendering, I’d just like people to acknowledge that the dropoff between CeHe and Kingery right now is extreme, and if you want to give 700 ABs to Kingery, we should expect a dramatic dropoff in production.

  57. 1-Segura
    2-Brantley
    3-Hoskins
    4-Machado
    5-Doobie
    6-Alfaro
    7-Kingery
    8-pitcher
    9-Quinn

    I say offer Brantley the contract first. Right away. Get it in early. Just as the Segura trade really has very little impact on the pursuit of Machado (he will gladly play 3rd base for 350million), signing Brantley for LF doesn’t diminish the ability of the Phils to spend “stupidly” on Harper for RF. If you wait around for the big two to decide and they don’t end up choosing you, then you’re left kicking yourself for not making safer bets early. That’s why the Segura deal was so perfect; it solves a serious need and it offers a ton of security in case Machado goes elsewhere. To me, the Brantley-Harper scenario is exactly the same. Segura and Brantley, with their high-contact and low-strikeout rates, would give Rhys a chance to knock in 100rbi by the all-star break 🙂

    1. I believe I’ve read that Brantley already has an offer on the table from the Phillies. The OF market is waiting on Harpe,
      And in a way on Machado. If you are a big OPS stat fan, adding Harper over Machado would boost the teams overall OPS more, even though MM has a higher OPS. This is due to the players each star would replace.

      I’d be pretty happy with Adding Brantley and Machado. Getting two guys who don’t strikeout much to add to Machado&Hoskins, the offense should be much improved.

      The impression I got from the Brantley offer, was that if MM signed, the offer was valid, if the Phils signed harper, Brantley could look elsewhere for employment.

      Only issue I have with these FA signings, at some point you need to trust your own evaluations of your prospects, they are going to need to develop talent, or all this spending is a waste. They can go heavy on the Everyday players, but then they need to trust their pitchers to develop. The run won’t be sustainable if not.
      I’m not looking for the classic 1 year contention, 9 years rebuild that Has been my fandom, minus the Utley,Howard, Rollins,&Hamels era.

      So how far is Hasley away? Can VV make everyone forget about not getting Diaz? Maybe use Sixto as a high leverage arm out of the pen, with Seranthony. Add VV and Neris to the puzzle. If Medina can develop, maybe he can hold the fort until Howard is ready

      1. ‘So how far is Hasley away?:….most non-contending teams would probably have him in CF before mid-season this year
        Granted he has to put up close to similar production he did in 2018….however, he does not need to put up a wRC+ of 130/135 for that to happen as he he did last season,, something in the 110/115 range may be all it would take.

      2. Bullpen with Seranthony, Nerris , Nicosia, Patos, Hunter, Arano, Neshack, Ramos, Morgan and Davis is not too shabby. Have some arms in minors too.

    2. Agree. Let’s not worry about contingencies. A Brantley-Quinn-Harper outfield, to go with MM-Segura-Kingery/CeHe-Hoskins infield should not be unimaginable. We’re “stupid”, remember 😉

  58. I remember when Bernie Williams was a free agent with the Yankees. The Red Sox made an 5 year offer that was a little more lucrative than the Yankees. Bernie had a talk with Steinbrenner and he came up with a 6th year. Bernie signed with NY and had a couple of World Series wins for his effort. As it turned out Bernie had 4 1/2 good years left in him and the Yankees had 1 1/2 years of diminishing baseball talents but they also added a few more WS wins. Are the wins worth the overpay? I think they are. We still talk around here about 2008 like it was yesterday. Winning a WS Championship is everything and maybe the only thing.

    To me, the Segura trade was a huge plus for the Phils. Segura adds offense and defense and the Phils lose Santana and Crawford. Plus a few possibly serviceable relievers. Santana almost assuredly will go back to the player he was before the Phils and Crawford could become everything we all thought he was as he moved through the organization. But if Segura makes them better, which he does, then it’s a great trade. Longer term, it’s a lot more muddled but if it gets us to the WS, who cares. We need a few more players to make it all the way but you can’t add everything you need in one fell swoop.

    1. bellman … good point. However, pitchers and hitters are different breeds. Arms are much more volatile. I never believed the Phillies would offer Corbin a 6 year deal. Turns out, the NYY wouldn’t go that long, either.
      Also … that Corbin contract probably puts the Nationals chances of retaining Harper on life support. In the end, this most likely all plays out fine for the Phillies (especially if they sign Happ or Kikuchi).

  59. The more I thought about it, the less I like the idea of missing out on Corbin and Washington getting him. If he was worth 5 years, why not 6 to keep him from the Nats. It now makes them significantly better, and we are struggling to come up with a second choice to him. It is not like we won’t go past 3 years, and a guy got 6. Or, we couldn’t have structured it without deferred $, and given him the same present day cash that Washington did over a 5 year period? And, signing Corbin does not take Harper out of their thinking. The ownership is involved and Harper likes it there. If the Lerners love him as much as advertised, and the numbers become solid to Boras, as opposed to generalizing, the Lerners are going to not want to lose out any more than we think Middleton wants to. We just saw Middleton stop short and losing a bid for Corbin. That would leave us with Machado, who some on here have soured on. I think he needs to agree to play 3B, and there is some word that he and Segura are close, so maybe that is what occurs. But, I hate finishing 2d or 3rd on a player that we were after. Be in it to win it or not at all.

    1. Matt13…IMO, Cornin will eventually be a disappointment to the Nats.
      His velo has decreased and his slider became his new out pitch that gave him success last season.
      If his FB velo further decreases to the keuchel range….that slider becomes less effective, plus he will need to command it liek he did in 2018…tha is never a given with breaking pitches. .
      So, pitchers pitch off their FB….and if his is noting special, then he becomes Gio Gonzalez 2.0

      1. Couldn’t agree more Romus.
        6 yrs/ $140M for Corbin is likely to prove to be quite foolish. I have liked Corbin for years, but I’m sorry, his 2018 smells of career-year/contract-year. Both the back of his baseball card and his drop in FB velo make the contract look like a reach, or at least risky enough that it’s just not worth it.

        1. Nats are putting together something similar to a Phillies 2011 staff…Doc/Lee/Oswalt and Cole…..and when you get older pitchers with a lot of innings under their belt, anything can happen thru a long season.

  60. Well, the Mets blocked us from getting Diaz (along with Segura), the Braves jumped on Donaldson because they heard we were considering him (yeah, I know many here weren’t high on signing him but he is a short term, secondary 3b option). Then the Nats block us from Corbin. Is anyone else getting pissed off enough to say ‘eeyahh’ to the rest of this division by signing both Machado and Harper, regardless of how stupid it might seem (to some).

      1. That can be bad short term but good long term. Jeter will definitely squeeze ATL for JTR being in the same division – potentially 3 top prospects including 2 top arms. JTR will only be a Brave for 2 years then sign his LT contract with a different team most likely BOS.

        As long as the Phillies sign Machado and Harper and Sixto and Medina develops are projected, Phillies should keep up with every MLB team.

    1. I’m with you 8Mark. Time for Middleton to put his baseballs where his mouth is (sorry bad joke).

      The offseason is still unfolding , so let’s give it time, but I’d be good with MM and Brantley or MM and Harper. A lot can change in two years for those concerned about getting trout.

      I believe I see a path to contention, to fight out it out with the NL East. A top rated offense, with a high OPS, and a deep bullpen, coupled with our SP. That should make the games Nola pitches, wins. They ride him to 1-2 wins in a playoff series. The boosted offense should help Arrietta be more productive, same for pivetta, and Eickhoff.

      If sixto does move to the pen, it hurts the SP, but, it would really shorten games with VV, Neris, and Seranthony.

  61. How about this:

    Phillies get: Trevor Bauer, Jason Kipnes

    Indians get: Zach Eflin, Nick Williams, one of Hunter, Neshek, Nicasio

    Bauer has two years of arbitration left (about $11M in 2019). Kipnes is a salary dump. He has $17M left on his contract but only counts as $9M for luxury tax. So about $20M for luxury tax calculation. Indians care about payroll. Phillies should care about luxury tax. Payroll is irrelevant for them with no cap.

    Eflin has 4 years of control. Williams has 5. Salaries are minimal. Relievers each count around $9M for payroll and luxury tax.

    Indians save about $18M in payroll. Phillies pick up about $11M in luxury tax calculation. No long-term commitment.

    Phillies could acquire Bauer and pay for all or most of Happ or Morton with savings vs. what Phillies offered Corbin. Years 4 & 5 would be clear even if you give 3 years to Happ or Morton.

    1. Phillies should absolutely explore taking Kipnis’s contract in a deal for a starter, I like that proposal but I’d think we would need to add more. Bauer was better than Kluber last year.

    2. Klentak can probably get Bauer without getting Kipnis. I believe that CLE had enough of Bauer that they will not play hard ball to get their hands off him. An Eflin + Williams + Ranger (or Irvin) + prospect (Parkinson) may appeal to them. If CLE wants to shed more payroll and insist on Kipnis, they will need a 2B in return. So it’s a good opportunity to unload Cesar and ask for a Nolan Jones (just try it) or a Top 15 prospect.

    3. For Bauer and Kipnis. I’d package CeHe, Odubel and Eflin. I assume it might take more and the Phils might have to toss in a prospect like JoJo Romero.

      There is talk that the Yankees could be in on a Bauer + Kipnis package. The Yanks could offer better prospects; the Phils could offer a better package of MLB-ready players.

      If the Phils got Kipnis, I’d dangle him to the Yankees for a blocked prospect like Clint Frazier and let the ‘Kingery at 2B’ era begin.

  62. I had thought that Harper might resign with the Nationals, but with the Corbin signing they’re out of the race. If Harper had accepted the 10 year, $300 million offer, they wouldn’t have been able to sign Corbin. The Phillies should now turn to Happ. A 2 year deal with a 3rd year option/buyout should get the deal done (if the price is right), and Medina, Howard, and Sanchez won’t be blocked. I’m still hoping that they sign Harper because we can slot him into RF. No problems. Signing Manny would force the Phillies to trade Franco, or one of Kingery/Hernandez. I’m still on board with Franco (unless the return is significant), and KIngery, and we learned last winter that Hernandez has no value.

  63. Just want to share a different view here. If the Cubbies is not financially strapped for 2019, I’ll give them the best odds to land Harper. Assuming Middleton opted to pursue Machado and use the remaining $$ to fill other areas of need, Harper will be left with no market and increase the likelihood of going back to WAS for a short term deal.

    If the Phillies cannot have Harper, they should NOT let WAS get him back! Klentak should wear his Hinkie hat and call Epstein and tell him (I skip the ad libs):

    MK: Do you want to sign Harper? I can help.
    TE: Ok, I’m listening.
    MK: Phillies can absorb some of your contract commitments so you have $$ to sign Harper to an acceptable deal. You have 6 starters so we can take 1 of them and may we can swap RPs to free some more capu$h.
    TE: But our farm is poor and I will not give you my cornerstone players.
    MK: Agree. Heyward is immovable and Bryce will take one the OF spot so one of Happ or Almora will go to the bench. We can take one of them and let’s make a deal.
    TE: What do you propose?
    MK: Give me Cole Hamels, Cishek, Happ, Little and we’ll give you Hector Neris and Ranger Suarez. This opens up at least $27M in 2019.

    And so on…….

    To summarize, If the Phillies can’t have Harper block him so he don’t go back to WAS!! The Mutts and GNats did it, so why can’t we?!?

  64. I’m feeling better already about not signing Corbin. If NYY weren’t willing to offer 6 years, why would we? The Nats are aggressive but not very smart with lots of deferred money now that will hurt them later.

    1. @8mark – WAS is in the win-now mode that’s why I’m almost certain on my prediction that they will go crazy and sign Corbin. WAS gamble on Corbin is predicated on the goal of winning the WS within 3 years. Half of Corbin’s contract will be sunk cost and the price they have to pay to stay competitive.

  65. Mark Feinsand of MLB posted a reasonable outlook on the SP market now with Corbin off the board.

    Kuechel to the CIN
    Happ to NYY
    Eovaldi to HOU
    Morton to PHI
    Kikuchi to SD

    I don’t mind signing Morton on a VERY short term deal so long as we acquire a LH SP, such as MadBum. I am of a mind that only Nola, Arrieta and Pivetta are locks for the rotation as we speak. That mean two slots are open. VV to the pen, Eickhoff as swing man/long reliever, Eflin traded, with DLS waiting in the wings should injuries become an issue. I’d rather have the problem of having too many arms than scrambling for warm bodies to take the mound.

  66. Currently, the roster have 23 pitchers – 9 SPs + 14 RPs. It is almost certain that some arms will be traded especially if Klentak intends to sign a veteran SP and LH arm.

    For the pen arm, 6 has no remaining options (Nicasio, Hunter, Neshek, Garcia, Neris, Morgan) and Seranthony will be the presumed CL so Ramos, Arano, Edgar Garcia, Suarez, Rios, Davis and Pazos to LHV?

  67. I don’t pretend to be a scout or GM, so the decision on talent is theirs to make. Corbin may flame out, diminish in his stuff, get old, all of that. But my point is, if he is worth 5/$125 and going to 6/$140 gets him and keeps him from a rival, then how do you not do it? You have already determined his talent is 5/$125 or whatever the numbers are. Now the talent that we wanted is pitching against us. If he is diminishing and losing velocity, then why was he worth the 5 years we offered?

    1. The latter part ain’t happenin’. If he’s half the competitor I think he is, he sees 2019 as his ‘prove it’ season.

      On another note, the Mets struggling to work a trade for JTR. The fact that the Marlins are even discussing a deal with a division rival tells me we should step up. I love Alfaro and I’m in no rush to trade him, BUT if you package him along with a young OF (Ortiz?) and a young arm (Medina? – I know, I know, Kuko, please….😂) both top 10-15 prospects, I don’t think it sets us back drastically.

          1. One thing with MadBum…he has sacrificed a lot of money with the Giants contract he signed five years ago…the Giants made out well.
            Now he will enter free agency, and turning 31 in the first year of his next contract.
            So he will be at a small disadvantage to any contract longer than four years.
            The Phillies may be able to sign him to an extension, if he indeed ends up here fro 2019 AND produces at 3.5bWAR and above.

            1. I expect MadBum to continue downward trend when he signs his next contract. With 3 WS rings in the bag, there’s no hunger to be great anymore. MadBum will spend most of his time with his ATVs and enjoy the rough roads areas in the wonderful state of PA!

              I will look at MadBum closely in 2019 to see if he can still flip the switch before I think of handing him his last big paycheck.

            2. Hey, he’s from the most wonderful state of NC like me and yes you’re right with the analysis. Lets trade for one year and see how it turns out.

  68. I may not Klentak style, but if there’s one thing about him that will beneficial to the Phillies is that he doesn’t act desperate. I can see Klentak approaching the MadBum as purely a 1-year rental and will not be giving up anything of long term value to acquire him. Being a proven LH starter, there will be other teams that will be in play driving the price up and Klentak will just walk away.

    I predict that Happ will go to NYY since Happ is the type of player that Middleton don’t want to be stupid about.

      1. They said they were happy with Santana and they traded him. I would think any opportunity to improve the team would be considered.

  69. I want Brantley but the Braves want him also. The Phils might not want to sign two OFs and they’re not sure about Harper yet. This could make them pass on Brantley which would be a mistake. I say sign him now and we’ll figure things out later.

  70. Guys – catcher is not a focus right now, they’re happy with Alfaro. The focus is on a LHSP, Britton or Miller, and Machado or Harper. I’m hoping that Brantley is also a focus. Lots to do

      1. And can catch….Phillies were one of the worse defensive catching units in the majors last season….a negative rating according to SDI.
        You rarely get to the WS with poor defensive catching.

      2. Yea, while catching could DEFINITELY be upgraded, do you really want to give up the HUGE prospect haul that Miami will require for an intra-division trade? The Phils have other, more pressing, needs. I think that’s what Murray is talking ’bout.

    1. Murray – agree – to me this is a classic case of Phils trying to squeeze Mets into trading Syndergard and more for him. Mets admitted they got Cano and Diaz to thwart the Phills – this is K putting a little pressure on the Mets. Let them continue to run themselves into another Madoff disaster……Strikes me that because there appears to be a coldwar “missile” buildup by all East teams – the team that blinks first and spends grillions and prospects will be the long term loser. I say Nats and Mets are on their way with these last transactions ???

    2. Well I hope our FO can multitask ! 🙂 if they can get Realmuto, they should.

      Quinn
      Segura
      Harper
      Hoskins
      Realmuto
      Franco
      Herrera/Williams
      Kingery/Cehe

      Not a bad lineup.

    1. I cannot understand how the Comp Balance pick was traded before March 31st
      it was my belief, according to the CBA, CBA picks could not be traded until after the opening of the season.
      I will need to see if the latest CBA changed that earlier ruling.

        1. Whoa Nelly…..everybody wants to trade Eflin!
          Does he have leprosy or something?
          Or is his perceived value on the open market more so than Vinny V. or Nick P.?

  71. I caught Jason Stark on the way home from work. Long story short, his opinion is Harper is for the taking, just need to pony up the most money. Apparently 12 teams are in on him, but … money walks … thinks Harper is the better fit for the Phils, especially with segura in fold now. Say MM will get paid, but lost a lot of leverage in negotiations with his lazy talk. If a team says “3B” he”ll be playing 3B now.

    Interesting take, I’m sure you guys will hear/read about it soon enough

    Lastly, he thinks Harper & Happ are Phils. Phils will look into Madbum but won’t be giving up a top 15/20

      1. He said the market for the big 2 is very slow developing. Things should pickup next week with the meetings, but we should be mentally prepared for it to take longer

    1. I listened to him too, his point about the Giants will have a hard time trading him because of who he is. But would the Phillies or really anybody give up a lot for him. For instance I would not give up as much for MadBum as the Cards gave up for Goldy

      1. I’d offer Doobie straight up to Sabean and the Giants…and actually would want more than MadBum in return…I’d be happy with additional mucha $$$$IFA

        1. Odubel and his team friendly contract is too much for one year of Madison Bumgarner. IMO … MadBum is probably worth something like Connor Seabold and Jhordany Mazquita. And the only reason he’s worth that much is because the Phillies can probably recoup a draft pick (after the 2nd round) by slapping a QO offer on him after the 2019 season.

          1. I’d want the money….am additional million can get Sal A.a pretty decent Latin player.
            As far as Doobie is concerned….Quinn and Haseley will be the guys out there anyway going forward.

        1. love it. he’s the lefty I want, 100%. if it means taking on Greinke, even better–much less to give up in terms of prospects.

    1. My first thought when I heard that they had traded Goldy, was here we go this is the NL version of the Mariners, if I am a GM and I like any Dback. I am on the Phone

    1. Matt13…the good thing, have to assume Happ and Middleton already know who each other are, from when he was here 10 years ago.

    1. I’ve got a lot of respect for Eovaldi for what he did for the Red Sox this post season (he was a beast/warrior), but I’ve never felt he was a fit for the Phillies.

  72. Agree Hinkie, I have wanted Happ all along. I prefer a lefthander and he does not require a long term deal. We have to upgrade the SP. counting on Eflin, Pivetta, Eickhoff , and VV to all be more than 4/5 guys is silly. I want a guy to slot between Nola and Arrieta.

    1. Shelby Miller or Charlie Morton are two possibilities still out there.
      The there is also Gio Gonzo..
      And if Drew Pomeranz is not signed by mid-March I definetly would take a chance on him for a one-year deal on a rebound. And if you get the 2017 Drew pomeranz, you hit the jackpot.

      1. I really like Morton, but I think they only will add a left handeder. I disagreed when they did not pick up his option because his injury was a hamstring, not his arm. If anyone remembers in the few starts he had before he got hurt, he was beginning to throw harder and he was throwing an effective curve, of course then he really takes off with the Astros

    2. Are you a converted Yankees fan? Why do you want us to sign literally every free agent? I would have taken Corbin at the right price, but that wasn’t the right price. And Eovaldi isn’t a TOR, historically. Nor is he left handed. He’s a questionable fit at best for us.

  73. But Dan, when you are dealing in FA there is not a right price, there is always an overpay when you want a top player. If we got Corbin we wouldn’t be looking at every FA SP that is available. And if we lose Machado and Harper we will be looking at every other available player.

    1. The overpay in this instance is in the years. The money is of less concern to me. It sounds like the Phils drew a line in the sand at 5 years, and that’s exactly what I wanted to hear. Corbin isn’t the kind of talent that I want us hamstrung by in the future. He’s not at that level. If this were Kershaw, I’d take the gamble because he’s and incredible talent. I’m not inclined to gamble on Corbin’s only good year in the majors being the new norm. Not at those numbers.

      Besides, we SHOULD be looking at every FA. And every trade target.

      1. I apologize Dan, I thought you were saying we shouldn’t be looking at every one. I misunderstood. And, you may be right that, at some point, you have to draw a line. I would have gone the extra year to keep him from Washington. That doesn’t make me right, but I see the other pitchers as below Corbin. Happ I like because a 3 year deal fits perfectly with what I hope to be the rise of Sixto and Medina and the younger guys.

  74. From MLBTR’s chat today, just after the Goldy trade…

    5:38 If the Phillies call the D-Backs and say we will take Grienke off your hands with Robbie Ray what would the Phils have to give up? Efflin? Medina?

    Jason Martinez
    5:39 Sounds about right. Phillies are one of a handful of teams that could probably take on a majority of Greinke’s contract.

    I, for one, LOVE this idea; however, as the Phils are one of the 15 teams in Greinke’s NTC, the trade would hinge on whether or not he would change his mind. If the Phils swung this trade somehow, Klentak again would not have to give up as much prospect talent as he would in a kind of Kluber deal. I was hoping and partially expecting the DBacks to go into sell mode, and now that the face of their franchise is gone, I expect Greinke to be a bit more willing to reconsider his NTC…

    Thoughts on Ray & Greinke? What would the Phils realistically give back to AZ?

    1. It’s certainly an interesting idea. Peralta is another valuable piece still there who teams will be bidding for. It’s about acquiring assets and if their money can help them do it, that would be awesome.

  75. I believe Greinke has a no trade to Philly ? Thought I saw that somewhere. Phils would also have to get rid of Neshek as he hates Greinke – really, a personal issue(s)…….

    1. Greinke’s no trade comes down to whether he just doesn’t want to play in Philly at all, or when he filled out his partial no trade he left teams on that could be interested in trading for him so he wanted bargainning power to waive it

  76. So there’s talk about eliminating the shift which leads me to wonder who would benefit and who wouldn’t. Good story on this on nbc sports philly.

    Basically it helps LH hitters far more than RH hitters. So what do the Phils have a lot of? Hoskins, Segura, Alfaro, Franco, Kingery. Who did they trade? JPC a LH hitter (albeit not a pull hitter). And who’s on the trade block? Cesar, Doobie, Knapp, N Williams.

    And the starting pitching staff is all RHP at this point which faces more left handed hitters, so numbers could suffer.

    As a baseball fan, I hope the shift goes away. As a Phillies fan, I hope it stays a few more years.

    1. Shifts have been around for decades….Ted Williams was shifted upon continually.
      It is a test of a manager’s ability to play chess on the ball field
      Some teams just do it better or guess right:
      Defensive Runs Saved Due To Shifts
      MOST….. FEWEST
      Rays, 24… Phillies, -9
      Yankees, 23… Pirates, -1
      Diamondbacks, 21…Nationals, 0
      Royals, 19
      Joe Maddon said this on the shifts:
      ‘You have three choices: You can try to hit it and beat the shift. That’s going to give you a single, but now you’re doing something against what you’re best at, so the defense wins. You can hit into the shift, and the defense wins. Or you can try not to let the infielders catch the batted ball. No ground balls and no pop ups. Try to stand on second base.’ That’s Option C.”
      And the Cubs are one of the fewest teams to employ the shift.

      1. I’m in favor of 2 IFs on the left and 2 IFs on the right of the 2B bag. If there is a walk off situation and a manager wants to bring in an OF to cover the middle that is allowed,

        1. I agree w this. I wouldn’t mind seeing the change, would welcome it. Think about the BA jump Ryan Howard would have had without the shift. Can’t even imagine how crazier Big Papi’s number would have been.

  77. Just heard that Dylan Cozens is part of the Philllies Caravan. Will be in Reading 1/22. He is still in their plans, hopefully.

  78. I am in agreement on the proposal to keep the shortstop from being allowed to stand on the right side of the 2b bag. (And vice versa although that is rarer.)

    However, like anything else in sports, the trends tend to change as schemes and strategies adjust to whatever the offense has been determining. But I don’t think lefty power hitters will ever shorten their swing and try to punch the ball the other way.

  79. Klentak understands baseball enough to know that keuchel is about as bad of a fit for the Phillies as a pitcher can be right? I sure hope so.

    1. I think the Next Move by the Phillies will be to sign Happ or Kikuchi, in that order. With Corbin off the list, Happ is the next best option in my opinion. I’m wondering who PHIL thinks is the next best pitcher?

      1. @ Wawa– I can’t get too excited about a Happ reunion; Keuchel is a better option in my opinion. As for Kikuchi, you can’t really just say “sign him” as if it’s that easy. I’d like for the Phillies to bring him on board but something tells me the Padres got this in the bag. West Coast team that put in a tremendous effort to get Ohtani and just fell short, and also a team that gives him a year of low expectations to adjust to MLB before the Pads explode with talent in 2020.

    2. I don’t see him as a bad fit if they get Machado. The only weak link in the infield in that scenario would be Hoskins. Likewise I expect Herrera to bounce back, Quinn to play an excellent center, and the FO to get another outfielder.

    3. yea, an absolutely terrible fit for the 2018 defense. Looking to 2019 and beyond, however, if Machado is signed to play 3b and with Segura already in the fold, a Keuchel addition seems much more suitable–especially since we’ve already got one 2015 Cy Young winner that would be pitching right behind him!

    4. MK hasn’t always demonstrated that he understands baseball case in point Santana, Morton, Bucholtz, Bautista, Kapler are there more?

      At best a good GM will have slightly more wins than losses. Someone smarter than me could compile the list and we’ll see where we are at.

  80. With Machado at 3B, let’s not forget that he is a GG there, and Segura at SS, Keuchel becomes much more suitable to us. I want a Lefthanded SP. One that is better than our group of 4. That is Happ, Kikuchi and Keuchel. A flyer on Drew Pomeranz is only after all else fails, and I get him cheap. Trading for Robbie Ray just doesn’t so it for me.

    1. Matt13….I like Pomeranz, only if when March arrives and he is not signed…get him for a year, which will be his best offer I assume at that time. He would not be the sole LHP FA I would intend on signing, hopefully one of the others are signed in December…however, he would be a 6th pitcher in the rotation, if Klentak can work the 40 to fit him in.
      If he is healthy as he was in 2017 and as effective…then you got a bonus

      1. I can assure you, he’ll get signed by someone to be in their rotation. He’s the kind of guy who will go to a bad team to get starts and rebuild his name.

      2. If you want a pitcher like Pomerance, because he is a lefty you can choose from Irvin, JoJo, Suarez, David Parkinson, Will Stewart or Kyle Young within our system at minimal cost. Look what Suarez did last year in his first start when we scored some runs.

        All these pitchers from other organizations we are talking about getting are not that much better than what we have now in our top 5 starters. Save the money and buy the hitters, which we don’t have yet; Harper and Machado.

        1. Those LHP prospects are a few years away….if you get the 2017 Pomeranz you get a play-off pitcher, and if Nola and Arrieta hold up their end the team will be there in September..

            1. No, not really…he was17-6 with a 3.9bWAR and had turned the corner in his career, until last season’s spring training forearm issues, then cam back was ineffective, and back on the DL again until late July/early August.
              If he is healthy now he could be a steal ….for a year anyway.

            2. 17-6 was 2017 and right he was injured this year. Arrieta was better previously but …. another injured pitcher we xan waste money on.

            3. He apparently was getting healthier since the Sox used him in relief at the end of their season in September.

          1. Pomeranz is garbage. He can possibly be like Buccholz who is junk when he played in red pin stripes.

            Just get Morton for $16M/1yr and 2020 Irvin and Jojo is probably similar if not better than the 2020 Pomeranz.

            1. 35-year old Charlie Morton was garbage too,up to three years ago.
              But he seems to be in demand lately.
              At least with Pomeranz you get a guy much younger, fills the need for a LHP and regained his health at the end last season…and will come cheap.

            2. @romus – big difference. when the Phils sign Morton now, there are signing the good version of Morton not the young garbage Morton (played in PIT). When the Phils Pomeranz now, they are signing the current garbage Pomeranz not the young good Pomeranz (that played in SD).

              your counters are excuses not arguments.

            3. there’s a big difference between the PIT Morton vs HOU Morton. Nobody expects that Morton late in his career will have a spike in his stuff, the velo in particular. The HOU Morton is throwing mid to high 90s heater, sharp CBs and good command – a profile of at least a MOR!!

              The HOU version of Morton caught everybody by surprise. I think Morton will eventually slow down due to age, but that’s OK since Klentak can have him on a 1-2 year deal.

            4. Morton’s spike in stuff WAS predictable. His stuff was markedly better from the time he was in ST with the Phillies. I wrote extensively about this at the time on this site. You can look it up. The Phillies did a terrible job scouting their own player. Total fail.

    2. Robbie Ray doesn’t do it for me either. Walks too many batters. Only really had one good year. If they get him in addition to a top of the rotation starter and don’t give up too much, then fine. Otherwise I’m not interested.

  81. The SP market is weak after Corbin and Kikuchi. I don’t like the Keuchel option because of the lack of upside – I expect Keuchel’s performance to be lateral and go down ward from there. So basically, Keuchel will pitch like a #3 in YR1 then drop to #4/#5 for the rest of the contract. Middleton should be paying for the pitchers “ability to pitch and get batters out” and not his ability “to pitch with a left freaking hand”. Klentak should just find a pitcher who can regularly go at least 6 IP deep without giving up >2-3 runs regardless of what hand he use to pitch.

    The priority should be top bats, top bats and more top bats!!! Signing Harper, Machado and MarGo is what I’m talking about.

    1. If Klentak can sign Keuchel for 1 yr $20M, then it’s a sound move. Irvin might be at par if not better than Keuchel in 2 yrs time and JoJo (if not traded or moved to the pen) is the higher upside LHP option that the Phillies can use after 2019.

    2. You’re absolutely right about getting the hitting. We already have 6 pitchers that can pitch 5 or 6 innings with a 3 run lead and you could add Suarez, DLS and Irvin to the mix.

  82. As i posted before, I expect Eflin to be the most likely young arm to be traded so there’s sense as to why Eflin’s name will float around the trade rumors,

    But it doesn’t mean that Eflin is crappy or the Phillies don’t like him — Eflin’s good upside (size, age, stuff) will fetch Klentak a good trade return.

    So if Eflin has good upside, then why trade him? Klentak will be “forced” to trade Eflin if he cannot find a place for him in the rotation. Eflin will lose value if he is option back to LHV and Eflin doesn’t project well as a pen arm. Eflin has nothing to gain anymore pitching against AAAA and journeymen.

    Why not trade Vinny instead of Eflin? Most GMs see what most of us saw in Vinny – good stuff but with erratic command that profiles well as pen arm. And by the way, Vinny has some health issues too!! Unless Klentak finds a GM who is a fan of Vinny the #3 SP, most GMs will value him as a pen arm so they will not have to give more in a trade.

  83. Bumgarner is another option that people is willing to overpay because of his ability with his left hand. Bumgarner is not the same MadBum that terrorize teams in the playoffs. Bumgarners passion nowadays is ATVs the same way Todd McCollough loves his Pin Ball machines! Bumgarner can probably pitch as a #2/#3 in 2019 but he goes down from there as most athletes were on the wrong side of father time. So Bumgarner might be just a 1-year rental that can be QOd (as Hinkie mentioned earlier). IMO, Bumgarner to Eflin swap is the most that Klentak should give up but the QO (potential Comp Pick) is the tricky part of the trade return.

  84. I’d rather see Grienke on a salary dump with little prospect cost than a mediocre left handed pitcher though I’m fine with Happ.( understanding the partial no trade as a barrier)

    the key is signing harper or MM.
    that will give them ammunition to trade for a SP if needed
    with Quinn, harper and Herrera, any OF in the system is trade bait.
    with MM and seguira, any infielder except L Garcia is trade bait

    sign Harper or MM, happ, and britton

    that given many options to trade for upgrades at c, infield, of or sp

    sr

    1. Personality wise, Greinke is cut in the same cloth as Papelbon. Unless Klentak is certain that he can flip Greinke with another Pivetta, Greinke can be a cancer with the young players and create disturbance with the vets – Neshek in particular.

      And I think Greinke knows that his personality will not jibe well in big market cities with powerful sports media and with relentless, insensitive fanbase in Philly – Greinke knows he will explode. I don’t expect Greinke to waive his NTC to join the Phillies the same way Adam Jones did last trade deadline.

        1. @DMAR – is that what I just impliedly said? “I don’t expect Greinke to waive his NTC” is the exact word that comes out of my fingers…anyhow, you owe me dinner and some pint of ale for mostly getting my posts wrong…. 😉

          1. LOL I wasn’t replying to you Kuko but if you ever venture up to Bucks county let me know I’ll be glad to spring for a burger and a pint

            1. no worries. save that $$ for next year. we’ll drink together while watching Kingery doing his Pedroia impersonation!!!

    1. and no way the Phillies should sign Keuchel to long term contract because he will not live to it after the 1st year. It is not long time ago when Klentak just gave up a 2nd rounder and throw more $$ while screwing up Hoskins defensively.

    2. the Phillies just lost a 2nd rd and 3rd rd in the recent Rule IV draft and it still turn out fine — and possible the best draft in Johnny A.’s tenure in my opinion. Where it hurts is in the IFA because it lessens the ability of Sal A. to sign more LA prospects.

  85. On David Peralta – yes, he’s a great hitter “against” the Phillies, but is he going to be he same great hitter when he plays “for” the Phillies?? David Peralta is already 31 yo and he can cost some good prospects via trade due to years of control left. Robbie Ray and/or Archie Bradley should be the target if the Phillies will absorb some contracts from ARI.

  86. Greinke is different than Papelbon in that he has anxiety issues as well. Doesn’t like the East Coast, won’t pitch here or NY. I don’t want him, that is just asking for aggravation. I’ll take Keuchel for 3 years, Happ,, Morton, or a trade for 1 of the Cleveland SPs. I would do Doobie for Carrasco.

    1. I would like to sign Kikuchi for an aggressive but not exorbitant deal. However, even in today’s supposedly “progressive” world, he’ll still most likely sign with a west coast team, probably SD or SF. So, after him there is a significant drop off in the FA arms race. Happ would be okay for me but doesn’t excite me much. I would sign Keuchel on a short term because he’s a big GB guy and an innings eater (though that doesn’t seem to be a valuable commodity any longer).

      Therefore, I would prefer to acquire our new rotation piece via trade. But not Greinke, even if he agreed to it. Bumgarner, Ray, Carrasco. They seem to be better fits.

    1. Of course you do. For me, I’ll wait until March to see where they are and then determine if I think it was a good off-season or not…

  87. Carrasco is my target (for Eflin + Williams + some prospects) with CLE. He’s off the market now.

    1. This move is hard to read. Carrasco is 31 yo and keeping a 30+ player long term normally means that the team intends to contend. if not, then why not just trade Carrasco for value? Kluber technically can be 3 years control (2 yr are Club options) which means a Kluber-Carrasco top of the rotation along with Lindor and Ramirez.means it’s a contending team.

      1. The AL Central is so bad the Indians probably have the mindset that they can at least assure themselves of making the playoffs for the next few years with only modest investments by winning the division.

        1. White Sox could be a tean to be reckoned with, thtat is, if all their yutes develop as they hope they will.
          For starters….that Eloy Jiminez could be the latest Juan Soto/Ronald Acuna break-put rookie.

        2. You’re right about the weak AL Central. This can be an opportunity for Klentak to explore trade possibilities with CLE. As discussed here in PP, CLE appears want to move on from Trevor Bauer – I like Klentak to acquire him for Eflin + Williams (CLE wants controlled MLB ready SP and OF). If no Bauer, then I’m interested to see if Klentak acquire any of CLE’s Top 10 prospects.

        3. Looking at Carlos Carrasco’s contract, the financial $$ is relatively cheap — this can appeal to contending teams with limited budget. ATL and MIL are examples of contending teams who needs a legit TOR. With Carrasco’s contract so cheap, CLE can get some ready good prospects in return if the decide to trade Carrasco.

          1. Carrasco’s agent should probably be fired. He is worth way more than that. The only reason to sign for that amount is either a) he just wants to stay in Cleveland, but he would also want a no trade clause included if that was the case, or b) he knows something is wrong medically and wants to get while the gettin is good.

  88. Someone earlier talked about not caring so much about a pitcher being LH and rather just be good. While it’s always nice to have a LHP in the rotation, I agree that the Phils shouldn’t go crazy just to acquire one.

    The frustrating thing about this to me is they basically could have had Cole Hamels at the deadline for a bag of balls. I’m very confident he would have come to Philly and pitched just as well as he did in Chicago. (The results may not have been quite as good because the Phils decided to field the worst fielding baseball team in history last year, but that’s a whole different discussion.) They could have exercised his option for 2019 at $20M and there you go, they have their LHP they want so bad. Now, they are going to have to go overpay someone like Dallas K, or trade more than a bag of balls for someone like MadBum. I just don’t get it.

    At this point, if they can’t get Kikuchi, which I doubt they can, I’d go into the season with Nola, Arrietta, Pivetta, and pick the 2 best from the rest of our bunch – VV, Eickhoff, Eflin, DLS, Irvin, Suarez, etc.

    I know the Phils and the owner want to be immediately WS contenders in 2019, but I hate to break it to them – trading for Segura, signing Harper or Machado, and adding a mediocre LH starting pitcher is not getting this team to the World Series. I’d prefer to see another year of development of the young starting pitchers with a much improved offense via free agency rather than trading for or signing pitchers on the decline who are also going to take innings away from young, developing pitchers.

    I really believe Pivetta is about to cross a threshold and take his performance to another level and be a breakout, all star candidate in the first half of 2019. Having Eflin and one of those other names as the 4 and 5 starters is not the end of the world if you field a good defense and score a few runs.

    1. I only see the necessity for a LHP in the playoffs especially if the Phillies will be playing against a lefy heavy batting order. Most of the batters in the MLB are RH and most SPs pitch once every 5-6 days without knowing if the opponent will field a LH heavy, RH heavy or a balance line up.

      So getting a pitcher who is good in getting batters out and can go deep is the best way to go!

      When it comes to the bullpen, this is where the LH arms is necessary to counter the situational hitting that opponent coaches will employ,

        1. @romus – even if i answer that, that tidbit has nothing to do with winning. I like the Phillies to construct a winning team, not an aesthetically looking team.

          also, you are asking for the playoff teams, did i just said that “I only see the necessity for a LHP in the playoffs…..” — so what’s the relevance even if i answered your question when i already said it.

          1. KuKo….you still have to get to the play-offs…..those teams all got there.
            Personally, if you have five Max Scherzers in the rotation you do not need a lefty….but nobody does.
            The idea is to win as many three-game series’ during the season as possible…and one advantage a team has in 2 out of every 3 three-game series is that a lefty is use to break up the opponent’s lineup construction.
            All managers prefer to have at least one in their rotation.

            1. @romus – teams can win games or series with a combination of good pitching, good defense and timely hitting.

              Any LHP will not guarantee that you can break up the opponent’s lineup construction but a solid pitcher whether its RHP or LHP can. So it should be a solid pitcher not just a LHP. Do you think a Keuchel can break up a RHP line up better than Nola?

              The Phillies can prioritize signing a LHP if it is a good lefty not some garbage pitcher who can pitch with his left hand. Other than Corbin and possibly Kikuchi, Keuchel is probably the most solid LHP but he is a LT risk. Happ is also ST fix and will not make the Phillies a WS favorite because they sign a LHP Happ.

              I believe the SP FA market (both RHP and LHP) is weak outside of Kikuchi,

            2. KuKo….we differ.
              Thats all.
              I agree not any LHP will do, but a meaningful impact LHP….Bumgarner was that at one time.
              Robbie Ray may be obtained from DBacks it seems, he would be a good addition to the rotation.
              Happ cost just money, along with Gio-but he would probably not move the needle much to the right.
              Cubs may or may not look to move Quintana.
              Royals may also look to move Danny Duffy.
              There are possibilities to get a LHP that could be morre than replacement pitchers.

            3. @romus – i agree in a way. the LHP you enumerated are good options. but not necessary “must haves”.

              i’m not adverse in acquiring LHP — i just want Klentak to acquire a really good SP whether it’s RHP or LHP.

    2. John Doe…concerning Cole Hamels at the deadline…unless you are were a clairvoyant…Hamels would have been a big risk….he was a replacement level pitcher with a 1.2bWAR in 20 games for the Rangers with a horrific FIP of 5.2
      The Cubs lucked out…..the true test for Cole will be this upcoming season to see if he can sustain what he did in August and September.

      1. Romus, how is trading a bag of balls for a guy you could let go as a free agent at the end of the year and only spending money they have no use for, a big risk? The bigger risk was not making the move.

        1. JD…..I guess yuo could have looked at it that way…..but at the time the Phillies were still solidly in the race, and Hamels was coming off one of his lowest four months as a MLB pitcher. Klentak, Kapler and Co decided he was not the answer….they judged wrong, nothing new there.

    3. Thank you for the enlightment of the Hamels situation last deadline period. A trade and picking up an option we would not be looking for a lefty stater right now.

      1. So what you are saying is…Hamels would have been just as effective and performed to a 2.5bWAR in 12 games with the Phillies in August and September as he was with the Cubs…..the Phillies who could not hit, catch or throw….who were last in the league in defense…..and 21st in the majors , below the WSox and above the Rangers in wRC+?

  89. I previously mentioned acquiring Robbie Ray earlier in thread and it looks more likely that he can be had. Eventhough I mentioned Eflin in a lot of trade scenarios, he’s young and with good upside and most importantly Eflin has 4 more years of team control.

    If Eflin for Ray swap a good trade? I’m thinking ARI is looking for multiple arms.

    1. Yes, Ray seems to be a good target for the Phils. Eflin or Vinnie plus Irvin or Jo Jo plus Listi could do it. Enough? Ray would slot in ok as our 3.

      1. They are losing Pollock in CF…maybe Hazen would want Herrera alone to start, if not, maybe add one upper minor level pitching prospect.

          1. When pressed on some of these issues this afternoon, Hazen was somewhat defensive, evasive and politely indicated he would not comment.
            Discussions centered around the Goldey trade, and possible a Grienke trade and other moves that could occur.
            Does appear, they are doing something similar to the Mariners in the AL-West….wanting to compete for the division in the future versus 2019.

  90. We need an addition to the Rotation. I would prefer a Lefty, but Charlie Morton works also. I don’t want to overpay for a SP, which is why I want Happ. If we can get Keuchel for 3 years and an option, that is also a consideration. If Robbie Ray costs what the Yankees gave up for Paxton, then that starts with Medina. Ray is not Paxton. And, I much prefer FA than giving up assets in a trade. I am not planning on winning a WS next year, but I do plan to make the Playoffs. And, we need some pitching help. We all have our favorites amongst Pivetta, Eflin, VV, Eickhoff, mine is Pivetta, I think VV ends up in BP and Eflin ends up traded. But anybody else’s guess is as good as mine. We are not getting a good SP for Doobie, Cesar, Franco or any package that gives up all 3. Washington is better today with Corbin. We are not better without him. The Braves were better than us last year, and I don’t think we look better than them as of this moment. We still have a lot of work to do.

  91. Nola-Arrieta-Pivetta looks like a lock in the starting rotation. This gives Vinny, Eflin, Eickhoff, and delos Santos to fight for the last 2 spots. Klentak is looking to improve the starting pitching. “To improve” means Klentak should to find a SP who is better than Vinny, Eflin, Eickhoff and DLS. Most of the current fixes are short term in nature unless he acquires via trade.

    Assuming Kikuchi is not a possibility, I will target Charlie Morton because a) he’s been solid since he came back from injury; b) doesn’t require a long term financial commitment; c) he has local ties which makes it easier for him to sign; d) doesn’t cost any prospects just $$; and e) he appears to be a good guy in the clubhouse.

    Keuchel or Happ as the next options as long as it is not a significant and long term financial commitment.

    My 3rd option will be to look into Sonny Gray and Shelby Miller as potential buy low high reward projects. It’s buy low so no significant assets needed if the project turns out bad.

    1. KK – You have 4 pitchers competing for the final 2 spots in the rotation. I don’t think Ray is a major upgrade. Happ can be signed to a 2 year deal with a 3rd year option/buyout. Velasquez can slide into the bullpen, Eflin will most likely be traded, Eickhoff wins the 5th spot, and De Los Santos returns to Lehigh as the first man up. What do you think?

      1. Wawa…I assume your willingness to trade Eflin is based on the fact that he brings back more in value than either Eickhoff or De Los Santos, and not because he does not measure up to either of them?

        1. I think the consensus is that among Eflin, Eickhoff and Velasquez, Eflin has the highest upside as a starter. Eickhoff has the floor to be a serviceable 4/5. But those projections should compel Klentak to acquire an lefty upgrade, and perhaps a second SP to solidify the rotation. Hopefully Kikuchi’s market forms early so we can move forward.

    2. Depending on how things go with acquiring a LHP and then how that LHP performs early on, I wouldn’t sleep on Cole Irvin. By August, he may be ready for the Show, and as a lefty he may have an advantage as an unknown entering MLB. And we all know that 2018’s virtually injury free campaign to the rotation is the rare exception.

        1. Hey Jamie Moyer, Hey Randy Jones, Hey Tom Glavine, Hey Randy Wolf, Hey Tommy John, Hey Frank Tanana II, Hey Bruce Chen, Hey Barry Zito, Hey Mark Buerhle, Hey Rick Honeycutt, Hey Cole Irvin.

          1. I get it, I hope you’re right that he’s that good. Last year he was nothing special so hopefully he figured something out this year. He’s still not on the 40 so don’t expect him on the 25 for awhile.

            1. Cliff Lee is a soft tosser too, in fact most LHP throws in low 90s. I”m not saying that Cole Irvin is Cliff Lee, but there are similarities in their profile:

              1) Good size LHP
              2) Very good command
              3) Consistently throw all their pitches for strikes
              4) 4-pitch repertoire and mix them well to attack hitters
              5) FB sits in low 90s (Irvin can throw harder) but don’t throw it heavy (about 55%)

              Cliff Lee jumped into the elite level due to elite command and effective Cutter/Cut FB.

              Irvin show good success in all levels he played so I want to be optimistic about him and just don’t completely disregard him because he can’t helium.

            2. We have 3 SP that throw in thr mid to high ’90s and most people are discounting them so why do we make a big deal about velocity? It’s pitching not high heat all the time, Irvin might be good. If he was on another team we would be looking at him as value. We also think the other organization’s prospect or player is better; “The Dog and The Bone” syndrome.

            3. @Murray – Cole Irvin is one of the best SP performers in 2018. Granted that nothing about his stuff jumps out, he is steady, consistent and reliable. If you think that David Parkinson is impressive, Parkinson is a poor man’s Cole Irvin.

  92. 8mark – Surprised to see Irwin’s name mentioned. It seems that a lot of people want to see him included in a trade.

  93. Here’s a question for your consideration. If the Phillies were to sign both Machado and Harper, could we pass on a starter, and just upgrade the bullpen?

    1. We could pass on a high priced FA starting pitcher. But why would we have to stand pat without adding an economical short term upgrade bridge to the young guns?

  94. Murray, I need to be told to relax on a continuous basis. It is usually Hinkie who does it. I count this as upcoming year as number 7 of the rebuild. I count 2012 as so traumatic that we lost, that I give the FO a year off. So, it is way past time to be a Playoff team. I see Washington, who I hate, and the Braves, who have done a better job with their farm system or accruing prospects, however they did it, and I want us to be the best team in the Division. That requires us to spend this off season. I am not worried about Mike Trout in 2 years. I fully believe that Middleton will go into the Luxury Tax to sign Trout, so I would have given Corbin the 6th year, and I want Machado or Harper regardless of the cost and I then want Britton or Miller. So, every time another team does something, especially in our Division, I forget that I am supposed to relax and let it play out.

    1. I never expected Corbin for us and I don’t want six year deals for our pitchers. I was hoping for Morton or a trade. I’ll be patient for another week, then we’ll see

      1. Alvarez has no option left similar to Morgan so it will be interesting to see what will happen to Morgan. I expect Adam Morgan to be traded possible for cash or PTBNL but Morgan having 4 years of control that can throw mid-90s from the left side, Klentak will find takers for him so Klentak might fetch a good prospect in return.

        1. Very nice move. Can’t figure why Eppler wanted Luis Garcia unless he thought he was getting our phenom ss. No wonder the Halos are going nowhere fast. See you in 2 years, Mr Trout.

        2. I read the headline … “Phillies get LHR Jose Alvar … and I got excited thinking that Klentak had just traded for Jose Alvarado. No such luck. Jose Alvarez had a good year (against LH hitters) this year. Luis Garcia … not so much. That said, I’d bet Garcia has a better 2019 than Alvarez. Garcia could end up closing for the LAA. Best case scenario for Alvarez: Phillies’ LOOGY. Worst case scenario for Alvarez: he doesn’t make the team.
          I do understand the philosophy of bringing in as many LHR’s as you can (I’m much more excited for Pazos), and hoping you hit on a couple. I still think they sign Zach Britton (maybe next week), and could deal Maikel Franco for Matt Strahm. And hopefully, some time this winter, we’ll read another headline that gets it right … “Phillies get LHR Jose Alvarado for Zach Eflin”.

          1. @Hinkie – I got excited too but I know that it’s a different guy when I saw it’s from the Angels. And when it says LHP reliever, I cut my excitment since I know it’s not Jose Soriano the young SP prospect I like.

            I’m willing to add some more prospects or MLB ready young players with Eflin to acquire Jose Alvarado.

          2. Your boy Alvarado is listed at 6’0″, 245 lbs. 23 yrs old. That’s a hefty lefty. As he ages, will he maintain?

            But I agree that Pazos could be the steal from Klentak’s trade activity thus far. As for Britton, I would rather continue to scour the trade routes for relievers like Strahm, saving that money for the big bat(s). If not Harper AND Machado, then either one plus either Brantley or MarGo.

            I would also pursue a deal with CLE for Bauer and SF for MadBum. We have the players to trade.

            1. 8mark…..agree with you on Pads Strahm…maybe part of a return on a Franco deal?
              Bauer would also be a nice get….a personality a little more edgier than Curt Schilling and an arm to go with it.
              Bumgarner…depends on who the Giants want in return….they may lose him anyway for a draft pick if they hold him for 2019.

          1. The projected bullpen has 6 (of 7) players (Nicasio, Hunter, Neshek, Neris, Morgan, Alvarez) with no options remaining leaving 1 (up to 2) spot left for young pens who are MLB ready and nothing left to prove in the minors. If Seranthony is the projected CL – then Pazos, Ramos, Arano, Rios will be in the crowded LHV bullpen.

            Realistically, they can keep all the pen arms but it limits the flexibility in the roster space especially if they want to another one legit pen arm like Britton or Miller. Morgan will be easier (and yield better returns) to trade being young and cheap than the other vet RHP. Veteran RHP are normally good trade chips at the deadline, but Klentak don’t want to stall the development of the young pen arms since he’s waiting for the trade deadline.

            Plus, Klentak loves to play the bullpen carousel!! I will not be surprised also if Klentak trades one of the young SP arm.

            1. Arano and Pazos should not be in LHV. They will move some of these guys. I am thinking it shakes out like this

              Closer – Free Agent TBD (Britton?)

              Seranthony
              Neshek
              Arano
              Nicasio
              Neris

              Alverez
              Pazos

              Traded
              Morgan
              Hunter

              LHV
              Ramos
              Rios
              Davis
              ect…

    1. On paper, Klentak has now made two very good trades, IMO. Let’s hope they look as good a year from now and let’s hope Klentak is hitting his stride as a GM.

  95. I want Morton. Should be just short term money… wants to be in location, no draft pick. Could still add lefty or another starter.

    Getting another lefty bullpen makes it a hedge against Britton or Miller. Not sure who I prefer.

    Matt Weiters as backup C?

    Not sure I like Machado over Harper, but he solves 3B. Harper’s better offense is so needed and his aporiach seems to match team better.

    I like McCutchen better than Brantley for similar reason that he has higher OBP.

    What is prediction for Nick Williams? I was not a fan but his improved approach may indicate he could be a quality hitter in the future?

    1. The only thing that Wieters have is the name recognition due to being drafted high. James McCann is the best option as a back up C – cheap, young and very good defensively.

      Brantley is the bigger health risk but Cutch decline is steep! You don’t want that type of player.

      Williams has s decent 2018 and he still holds value as a player and as a trade chip due to the combination of power and speed and being young and cheap. Williams is not the OBP guy but his ISO can be above average.

  96. Mk has made some moves over the last few yrs that are safe in terms of yrs offered or small wins like the recent Garcia trade. The unknown so far is he capable of making a bold franchise changing move like Harper or are all his moves risk free because he’s afraid to take risks
    For better or worse, he wouldn’t take the risk on Corbin now he’s on the nationals and we drop further in the division

  97. I wonder if the Phils would ask for Peralta and Ray. They would likely need to take Greinke’s full salary while trading him to a 3rd team where he’d be happy, like Milwaukee. It would still cost the Phils plenty of prospects. I’m sure they’re talking.

      1. I don’t want Grienke, I’d pass him along to another team, eat some salary, and get prospects that can go to AZ instead of ours.

  98. Jon Heyman says a confidant of Harper indicated that he’s ‘lukewarm’ about Philly as a place to live. Not sure how much that’ll matter but I definitely think he will require a significant outbidding.

    1. I have changed once again…now pass on Harper, go for Machado…only bid on Harper to raise the ante for other teams, ensuring their is a solid floor of money that someone else will have to dish out to him and Boras.

            1. Exactly…….and also Lenny, bare-breakfasted shirtless Danny Jackson, intensified Dave Hollins and Stinky Inky……this version of ’93 will have Gabe to keep them all in check.

    2. Think maybe Harper’s “confidant” is trying to add a little more $$$ to the deal? I always laugh at these stories that use unnamed sources, confidants, etc. to put info out that the player/agent want to be out there. If Harper or any other player ends up getting $300 million from the Phillies he will be able to live anywhere he wants to.

      Where does he live now, in DC?

      1. Agee….if he doesn’t like the city itself to live in…there are the suburbs of PA or NJ, and then there is always revitalized Camden…on the waterfront! :).

          1. It is always about the money……..period! I always laugh when someone states that Arenado will sign with the Dodgers because he is from Cali and it was his favorite team growing up. If someone were to offer him 5 million dollars more per year, he follows the money. If it is a 6 year deal, that is an extra 30 million dollars. No one on this board would allow their son to turn down that type of money

  99. Bryce Harper has been researching the possibility of playing in Philadelphia for many months. He’ll have no problems playing and living here … if … as Bob Barker used to say … the price is right (meaning the Phillies offer him even one dollar more than any other club).

    Jim Salisbury has been reporting he thinks Matt Klentak prefers Manny Machado. I believe John Middleton has visions of a Trout-Harper-Hoskins lineup (in 2021). I also believe Middleton gets what he wants.

    1. @Hinkie – I believe Haroer also followed Hoskins (and another one, not sure if he followed Embiid) in Twiter. In the age of social media, connections becomes a facto and players can talk behind the scenes without being accused of tampering.

  100. I do believe the reports that NYY are waiting for Arenado next winter. If so, that takes Manny off their radar. His ARod endorsement and $1.80 will get you a 20oz coffee at Wawa. So one less big market team in his market which isn’t huge to begin with. I think we will get Manny. Since his market is weaker, his destination will be decided sooner.

    As for Harper, I think it comes down to how much Middleton is willing to overpay. If Klentak convinces him that Brantley is a better allotment of funds, we may see Harper opt for NYY, LAD, CHC or possibly returning to WAS. If Middleton tells him ‘no’, then we may very well see lots of hootin’ and hollerin’ this holiday season.

    That’s my take.

    1. I have Arenado lock to go to LAD next season. NYY will better pursue Machado now than go head to head with LAD next year.

    2. If Harper will opt for NYY, LAD and CHC – it will be for betting on himself for 1yr $40M contract. Even with 1 yr, CHC and LAD might balk so Harper might end up going back to WAS.

  101. The FA pitchers want too many years for the Phils. Happ and Morton might be the shorter term options but I think they’re both after three years. I think the Phils are working hard on a trade. The Indians, DBacks, Tigers, and Giants could be possible trade partners.
    As for Machado vs Harper, I don’t care which one just get one. Keep working on a deal for both and the first deal agreed to gets our money.
    I still think they’re after Britton or Miller also but again the term could be an issue.

            1. Hitters?
              Remember the adage every manager spouses, except possibly Gabe….”to win it, you need good pitching, good defense AND ‘timely’ hitting”
              It is always timely, and not good hitting, but hits at the right time.

            2. Yes…we need hitters to hit when they need to.
              And Machado or Harper, and also Brantley would come in handy in the lineup..
              Hopefully Segura and Hoskins deliver as they did last season.

  102. As long as both Harper and Machado are not reported to be close to a deal with any team other than the Phillies, I will not be worried and be fumed with Klentak and Middleton. I expect that their agents will take its time for best leverage. If they can’t get the max $$ they expect, both Harper and Machado can negotiate for early opt outs and re-enter the market while they are still at their physical peaks. The Phillies will sign one if not both of Harper and Machado early in 2019.

    Next week will be crucial for Klentak as far as the trade possibilities are concerned.

  103. I think a trade is the way to go for a TOR pitcher – that is what they need. I like Ray from Arizona (Up and coming) or Kluber/Bauer + Kipnis for Nick Williams, Hernandez, and Eflin. They can always add Happ as well for the lefty the need. But I think a TOR arm is just as important as MM. I believe not getting Corbin really hurt.

  104. Progress has been slow, but the Phillies have upgraded their LF defense by trading Santana. They have upgraded the SS position offensively and defensively. We’ve added three arms to the bullpen, and subtracted Luis Garcia. We still need a top of the line lefty reliever (Britton, Miller), a right fielder (Harper, Brantley), and a lefty starter (Happ, Kikuchi). That’s my Christmas wish list.
    However, I’d be fine if the Phillies sign Machado to play 3rd base, and Brantley for RF. I’d have to get a top 5, and a top 20 prospect for Franco.

  105. Interesting tidbit – John Middleton’s son posted “one down this week, but a few more to go!” #tbt a pic of Harper and Macahdo… hmmmm

  106. My 7 steps to a more successful off season –

    Between now and mid-December:

    1 Sign Michael Brantley

    2 Williams, CeHe and Eflin to CLE for Trevor Bauer and Jason Kipnis (salary dump, utility man)

    3 Sign Manny Machado

    4 Franco to SD for Strahm + a lottery ticket

    5 Sign C James McCann

    After the New Year:

    6 Sign Bryce Harper

    7 Doobie to SF for MadBum

        1. Tough crowd on this board. Guy can dream. It doesn’t sound like most views here either support or believe in the “stupid” money Middleton mentioned. I’m only taking Johnny Cigars at his word.

  107. I’m confident that Middleton already got Harper in the bag. NYY is the only threat I can see but if NYY will spend big $$ – Machado is the better for them with mutual interest for both parties. I can see Middleton offering about $350M/10 yr to get Harper.

    I’m still optimistic with Machado although I can see Middleton offering Machado a short term but high AAV and have the flexibility to open some payroll when Mike Trout hits the open market.

    I’m with Hinkie that Middleton is excited to see theTrout-Harper-Hoskins heart of the order hitting machine on the road to WS!!

    https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/nationals-bryce-harper-dont-expect-return-re-sign-rumors.html

  108. With the possibility of a 10yr 350million dollar contract on the table, I think the MLB needs to eliminate the shift. It is the equivalent of the nhl eliminating the trap. You can’t have these players sign these deals, only to have the player neutered from this shift. Time to real in the intentional walk as well, call it the Barry bonds rule. They really need to not take the bat out of the hands of the good players. 1 int walk per game per team. It’s time for the DH as well, and I hate it. But you can’t give Corbin that deal and have him hurt in the box, or on the base paths.

  109. It’s funny on here – half of you think we won’t get either and the other half thinks we’ll get both. I’m in the camp that I think we’ll get one of them. Other pieces to follow… it really starts next week at the meetings.

    1. When you think about it, how much will one of them alone really move the needle? 5 wins? So why not try to sign both if you’re considering either?

      I would have to think that significant talk has already taken place between Middletak and Boras & Lozano. Find it difficult to believe, for as huge as these 2 signings pose and for as much money is in the coffers, that little has been determined by now. In any case, we won’t find out until it is reality.

      1. They can’t affird to spend $600M that’s why. They want money for next year and the year after that. It seemed pretty clear to me from what Klentak and McPhail said.

        1. Murray, it’ll come down to number of years and opt outs. Blow Manny away on AAV with short term deal so he can still join his beloved NYY when he’s still 30. Give Harper the face of the franchise deal. Keep tending the farm and allow for high turnover as young talent becomes more expensive. Let’s guard our hearts and not grow too attached to these kids. The DH will eventually change the roster structure dramatically as well.

    2. I will predict Harper gets:
      10 years @ $365M, opt outs after 3rd year (2021) and 5th (2023), options for 11th ($25M) and 12th ($20M) seasons. Plus a $10M signing bonus.

      Machado will get:
      4 years at $150M, opt out after 2nd year (2020)
      2019 – $40M
      2020 – $40M
      2021 – $35M
      2022 – $35M
      No signing bonus, but incentives for MVP awards each year.

        1. But the one glaring difference between Machado/Harper faction and the future Bryant situation…is age.
          Bryant will be 30 going into the ’22 season…four years older than MM/BH are now
          So he will not command the length of a contract that either MM/BH will get now.

  110. I predict that on Wednesday, December 12th, the Phillies will announce on the same day that they’ve signed both players (Harper and Machado). I believe they will both include opt outs in different years, one after 3 years and the other after 4 years.

      1. I agree with Murray, however, I disagree that we will get both.
        There are limits to stupid money. The limit will be years.

    1. Both players…yes…probably Morton and Britton.
      Machado and/or Harper could go to just before the christmas break..a week later.

  111. I’m not sure why they are worried about saving a lot of money for next offseason
    if you sign MM and harper, you have 2 superstar players at age 26 to go along with players you develop in your system and trades
    there really shouldn’t be a need to add high prices free agent position players until trout becomes a free agent and I would not pass on having MM and harper for the next 5-6 to worry about trout 3 yrs from now
    if you cant build a lineup around seguira, Hoskins, harper and MM thru your system and thru trades, its time to find another line of work

    1. “worry about trout 3 yrs from now”…..my guess five years from now.
      I honestly can Trout will not turning down the Moreno extension …completely. I see him taking an opt-out with the extension after 2 or 3 years.
      He respects and loves the fan base and they in turn give it back….IMO, he will not do a Manny Machado to the Angel fan base….he is that much of an upstanding loyal individual.

  112. 1b Hoskins
    2b kingery
    ss seigura
    3b machado
    rf harper
    cf Quinn
    lf Herrera
    c alfaro

    available for trade Williams, hernandez, franco
    also remember you can trade an IF in your system other than L Garcia
    probably any OF in the minor system
    you could even trade last yrs number 1 pick in the right deal since he would be blocked at 1st and 3rd ( not that you would)

    the point being, you have more than enough ammunition to fill in the pieces and your farm system alreadyhas a number of pitching options to supplement
    that was the whole idea behind, ” grown your arms and buys your bats’

    1. Not sure if this posted, but I can see the Phillies getting one or both superstars. Getting 1 is in the bag imo, so here is how we get two.

      Their markets will play off each other. I believe Harper will sign first. He will set the market. The Phillies will purposely overpay Harper, beating other teams by 15-20mil over the deal. Phillies act as if they are now out on MM, with harpers contract. Machado now has the framework to try and beat harpers deal, or imo, drive up his short term deals AAV. MMS ego+ agent want the prestige of largest contract. MM realizes he can’t get what he wants, opts for short term high AAV deal… dropping the number of years brings in more bidders, and now the Phillies swoop back in and bully others out with the highest AAV, slightly over the next highest bidder.

      Phils get both, MM will sign long after Harper imo

      1. Tac3, we agree that getting both is plausible if not probable. However, I think Machado’s limited market will force a decision sooner than later, and before Harper whose super agent Scott Boras may characteristically stretch things out into the new year. I hope not. I do agree with ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian who sees Harper’s top 3 suitors as PHI, LAD and CHW (no, not the cash strapped Cubs but their cross town neighbors).

        For me, the more intriguing part of the winter meetings will be the trade market. That is where Klentak will do or die. So far this off season, so good. But there’s more to get done.

  113. Nice to see Cam Rupp land a minor league deal with SF, same for “Whitey” Blanco with ATL.

    And tomorrow evening the hot stove fun really ramps up….Christmas comes early this year!

  114. Browsing twitter. Not sure the legitimacy but Dodgers have made an offer to Harper and are considered favorites and Phillies now considered a long shot
    Twitter that said it – @ashdodgers35

    My hopes have never been high this offseason
    Harper to Dodgers and Manny to Yanks is looking more and more like a reality

  115. Alf headed to Miami in a JTR deal????
    Jim Bowden…..@JimBowdenGM
    Sources: Still “in” on J.T.Realmuto: NYM, PHI, SD, ATL, TB….not as aggressive but “in” are LA, COL, Milw, Hous, CWS
    4:40 PM – Dec 7, 2018

      1. 8mark…I am sure, if it were ever to happen, it will have to be Alf plus two….one position player and one pitcher.
        The pitcher…..I assume a minor league prospect pitcher, ie DLS, Irvin, Suarez or Medina…hope not Sixto or Howard…. or one of the three of Eflin/Pivetta/Velasquerz.

        With all those other teams in on it…the offer has to be attractive. Astros can really blow the Marlins out of the water with their stacked farm system possibles.
        But in Alf….Phillies may have the best looking catcher to offer.

        1. Romus, don’t say Medina. Kuko may check in at any moment and disapprove. (I jest, of course)

          If it’s only 3 players, the position player would also have to be a top 10 like Haseley or Bohm.

          1. Or Gamboa or Brito.
            I had wondered why Klentak decided to add Gamboa to the 40….maybe inflate his value and use him in a trade.
            Marlins have the OFers in their system…Victor Mesa or Vic Vicr Mesa…then there is Conner Scott and Monte Harrison…so OFers are probably not on their wish list.

            1. I highly doubt either Gamboa or Brito would raise the Marlins’ eyebrows as they consider rival GMs’ offers for MLB’s premier available catcher.

          2. @8mark – na!! of course, I suggest to arrange a package not involving the top arms (Sixto and Medina) since the Phillies are thin in elite arms, If you’re going to ask me, I’ll rather offer a trade package of Alfaro + Bohm + Eflin (or delos Santos) for JT Realmuto.

  116. Guys, don’t overlook AJ Pollock as a great consolation if they don’t get one of the big two. IF the Dodgers and Yankees get BH and MM, then I believe the Phillies would still be in fine shape to get AJ! He’s underrated IMO. I know his name won’t immediately draw fans & merch sales the same as the other two, but Pollock has shown flashes of being among the elite, just not consistently healthy. There’s risk but there’s also high reward, and we’ll get him for much, much less years & dollars (so we can spend more in other areas too)!

    1. John K, I like Pollock. The issue I have is that an OF consisting of Quinn and Pollock… There is a good bet that you won’t see them playing together after the first series. You will need keep Herrera and Williams for replacement time. Pollock has missed close to half his teams schedule over several years. Pass, or trade Quinn. can’t have both IMO

      1. Not bad
        Noticed on milb pipeline that Atlanta has 11 in top 100 and Phillies have 3.

        Need to start spending to win.

        Love our Bp top ten tho

          1. We will sign Bryce Harper next week at start of meetings to kick off festivities in LV. Soon after Machado will sign too. Then let the “games begin”!

          2. Doesn’t matter, Phillies will send the most, so they’ll get which one they want, possibly both. A few ways to look at it, but I’m sure one of the mystery teams just want the publicity that goes with chasing such a star, knowing the Phillies will outspend them. Whoever offers the most, gets the superstars, just like we saw with Corbin. Hosmer did it last year. Heck… if a dude like Jim Thome chases the gold … MM and Harper certainly will.

            1. Hope you guys are right
              I am just not feeling confident
              I picture Klentak pulling some crap like oh we just don’t feel like we can compete this coming season or we didn’t want to go an additional year in contract

    1. This recognizes what I’ve been sensing – Howard could easily end up being the best MLB pitcher of our prospects. And there’s not much separating him from Medina. Ranking these three above Bohm is very telling.

  117. My prediction is the team signs ZERO free agents this off season because in each case the analytics wii say it’s a bad investment

    1. I’m going to agree
      I also think they’re going to hold a line at the amount of years on contracts
      Example 1 – Corbin

    2. Now THAT would be THE story of the off season. C’mon. It’s one thing to be a contrarian for the sake of it. But let’s bring some rationale to the discussion.

      1. Sadly, I’m giving my honest opinion. Ok, in fairness, they made add a few bargain players but no significant dollar or year top free agents because free agency is all about gamble, risk and paying more than you want and this front office style won’t do that

        1. I think John Middleton has some pride…and when he said what he wants to do with the money…..he probably is not going to back down.
          What kind of embarrassment would that be for him in this town and thru out the nation, since the ‘stupid money’ quote has been around all over.
          Now if it is on Machado or Harper…who knows which one.

          1. In my defense I gave my reasoning
            I used Corbins 6th year as an example
            I think Harper or Manny will want too many years
            Harper to Dodgers
            Manny to Yankees

            There’s a large drop off from there
            Pallock has a QO as per Jim
            Brantley May be a Brave

            1. I disagree. It sounds like your Negadelphia is shinning through 🙂 … this is a new era, Middleton is here, the tv contract revenue is here … this team NEEDS a superstar. They will offer the most, hands down, therefore they will get 1 of the big two.m, possibly both. Be confident, it is going to happen. Which one I’m not sure, but I’d say Harper is in the lead for Middleton’s mind, MM for the FO.

              This team needs one of them, to fill the seats and make the tv contract hum.

              Lastly, buy the bats, grow the arms. Corbin was a luxury, Harper/MM is a neccessity.

            2. Not being a Negadelphian
              Feel like I’m being a realist. Middleton can be all talk for all we know
              Until they make a big Splashing signing, I’ll hold my ground.

  118. Romus – I agree with you. Every Sirius mlb radio show, every major baseball news outlet, every baseball pundit/editorialists have the Phillies as 1) team under the most pressure ; 2) having the most $$ to spend by far; 3) and an owner who is motivated to make his team better. I can’t even imagine the howls of derision and the public relations disaster doing nothing would create. To that extent —- it would set baseball back in Philly forever.

    OTOH – there is no such thing as finishing 2nd in the free agent market. You win the player or you don’t. Management better know that. Any deal always looks like a painful obligation – which they are – you only win them when they really really hurt..

  119. Acquisitions hurt most when you give up players. FA is a way for us to make up for drafting that has been less than exceptional. If Middleton were not the owner, I would agree that MacKlentak are risk averse, and can talk themselves out of anything. It is Middleton that I am counting on. Rich people do not like to be embarrassed. If he wasn’t sure we will get Machado or Harper he would have gone 6 years for Corbin. I think we should have anyway but that’s for another discussion.

    1. 6 years for Corbin was too much for Cashman and the Yankees, who are as astute an organization as their is in MLB. I was hoping to get him but when I heard that WAS got him, I felt less disappointed.

      Now, I have warmed up to Keuchel. He’s a durable GB pitcher, not the dominant one he was but a good fit for CBP. I’m not holding my breath for Kikuchi. I would try to buy low on MadBum. Bauer+Kipnis is an intriguing trade possibility I hope they are exploring. Makes sense to me roster wise. If we open 2019 with Nola, Arrieta, Keuchel, Bauer and Pivetta, I would be happy. There are enough younger options on the way to monitor their arrival to the Show.

    1. Scott Boras at his best:
      In the end, Boras predicts, there likely will only be three serious suitors. Maybe two. That’s the way it works in high-stakes poker.
      “When it ends,” Boras says, “someone is going to be very, very happy. They’re going to get a rock star.”
      It’s Vegas, baby, where everyone’s fantasy can be fulfilled.

      1. Since it is Vegas more likely someone wakes up the next day hungover with huge regret at how much money they blew the night before.

  120. The Phillies brass have arrived in Vegas, and I’ve got questions. I’d guess that Middleton is a High Stakes blackjack player. Klentak could also be a blackjack player. but at the $25 minimum tables. There’s a good chance that Klentak also plays the slot machines, but at a $1 a spin area. Whatever success, or failure the brass has on the gaming floor, I predict that the Phillies organization will be big winners by the end of the meetings.

  121. Jon Heyman on Twitter an hour ago:
    “Just saw all the Phillies people check in. It appeared they had not one but two suitcases full of stupid money.”

  122. With 37 right now on the 40…it looks like Matt K will be selecting in Thursday’s Rule 5…my guess another lefty pitcher…maybe two..
    And also he has room to add another player in a trade.

  123. From BA: Rule 5 Draft zeligibles
    “There are nine first-round picks from 2014 and 2015 who will be available to be picked in the 2018 Rule 5 draft on Dec. 13.
    Tyler Kolek, the No. 2 pick in the 2014 draft and the highest drafted player from that draft to sign, will be available in the Rule 5 draft as the Marlins opted not to add him to the 40-man roster.
    Tigers outfielder Derek Hill, Royals lefthander Foster Griffin and Braves outfielder Braxton Davidson are the other 2014 high school first-round picks who were left unprotected in their first year of Rule 5 eligibility. That’s 27 percent of all Rule 5 eligible prep picks from the 2014 first round who teams opted to leave off of their 40-man rosters.
    Twins lefthander Tyler Jay, Brewers righthander Phil Bickford (a Giants first-round pick), Athletics shortstop Richie Martin, Yankees shortstop Kyle Holder and Blue Jays righthander Jon Harris were the five college first round picks from 2015 who will be Rule 5 eligible. That means that 27 percent of all eligible 2015 first-round picks were left unprotected.”

    …Twins Tyler Jay just a few years ago was a top 100 prospect across the board
    BA…Pre-2016….#80
    MLB.com….Pre-2016….#60
    BP….Pre-2017….#98

      1. If that’s our only move this week then this is truly a lost year in Philly sports

        Super Bowl doesn’t count as it was last season*

  124. MacPhail pretends to play and just wants the comp show tickets! There is no reason to go 5 years on Corbin and lose out because Wash goes 6! Don’t be in the game at all.

    1. We will lose out by a year on most FAs except for the bargain ones

      Need some good news after this crap eagles and cowboys game

  125. 8 mark, Why would you be less disappointed Corbin went to Wahington? We need to be better than them. We are not. Braves are better too! Losing to the Yankees is disappointing but less of a problem. Nats have 3 SPs equalto our #1, and 4 SPs before we get to #2.

    1. What’s one more year. Nats deferred some money too. Phillies want shorter contracts with higher AAV. Sometimes players want longevity too.

  126. Couple of interesting blurbs coming out of Vegas:

    NYY reportedly won’t go past $300M for Manny.

    Meanwhile, Boras said one owner has talked to him about Harper without his GM’s knowledge.

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