The Hot Stove Season continues. The big week is finally upon us. Baseball’s Winter Meetings begin in Las Vegas this week.
A couple weeks ago, I would have expected a big Phillies’ announcement this week. Expectation has turned to hope. I still expect them to make announcements, just not as quickly as I would like.
Last week the Phillies acquired SS Jean Segura, RHP Juan Nicasio, LHP James Pazos, and LHP Jose Alvarez in separate trades with the Mariners and Angels. The cost for the Phillies was 1B Carlos Santana, SS J.P. Crawford, and RHP Luis Garcia.
Segura will provide an immediate lift to the offense and an upgrade at whichever infield position he ultimately plays. Nicasio, Pazos, and Alvarez will add depth and a couple lefties to the bullpen. The subtraction of Santana allows Rhys Hoskins to return to first base. Crawford’s short tenure ends after his promising career was stunted by speed bumps the past three seasons. Garcia was popular with team mates but not so with fans. Most readers here had him as the first or second DFA off the 40 as the off season progressed.
The Phillies have been busy all off season. They withdrew from Paul Goldschmidt when they were unable to convince the Diamondbacks to accept Santana as part of the deal. They couldn’t compete for reliever Edwin Diaz when the Mets agreed to take on Robinson Cano’s contract. They were dismissed by the player when 3B Josh Donaldson opted to negotiate with just one team, the Braves. And, they lost RHP Patrick Corbin to the Nationals when the length of contract became too stupid for the Phillies.
The Phillies are still in on a lot of players. We all hope that negotiations culminate in announcements sooner rather than later. But, if nothing transpires next week, let’s not wallow in disappointment. The signings and more trades will come. (We hope.)
I know we have all expected the Phillies to sign one of the big free agents – Harper or Machado. The Phillies have the most money to spend and our owner says we will spend stupidly. We have been led to believe that all we have to do is offer the most money and we will sign whomever we want.
That may be true in most cases. New York state resident, Patrick Corbin was considered a lock to sign with the favorite team of his youth, the Yankees. He was apparently swayed by big money when the Nationals offered a 6-year/$140 million contract. That bested the top offer from the Yankees, reported to be 4-5 years at 17-20 million per year. The Phillies were reported to have balked at more than 5 years and rumored to have gone as high as $110M (I heard they may have approached $130M). So, maybe money does trump all.
However, if that were true, Bryce Harper might already be a Phillie. He ended the season turning down Washington’s 10-year/$300 million offer. He and his agent Scott Boras surely expected to see that offer topped during free agency. So, let’s say the Phillies offer a 9-year/$360 million deal. And let’s say the Dodgers, Harper’s preferred landing spot, only offer a 10-year/$320 million contract. Would it be so remarkable that Harper might prefer the lower offer to play in the city of his choice? Forty million dollars is a huge difference in Corbin’s case (the Nationals’ $140M v. the Yankees’ $100M). But, it’s not as critical when you are in the stratosphere where Harper’s contract is likely to land.
Manny Machado is in a different position. Due to his “Johnny Hustle” comments during the playoffs, experts think he may not command as long or as high a contract as Harper. Machado is known to prefer the Yankees. Given the Yankees’ thriftiness regarding Corbin, a commodity they actually wanted, they may try low-balling Machado. This would play into the Phillies’ and other suitors hands. The Phillies should actually be able to be the highest offer for Machado. However, if the Yankees enter the bidding war seriously, the length and dollar amount may become high enough that Machado plays at a small discount to join the Yankees.
The above scenarios may not be likely, but it is possible that the Phillies have to seek improvement via the next tier of free agents and trades.
Speaking of trades, I read where the Phillies untouchables start with Aaron Nola and end with Rhys Hoskins. Personally, I would suggest that even Hoskins could be had in the right deal. But what this should make apparent is that the whole farm is available in trade. If Sixto Sanchez could be considered in a deal that would have landed Jean Segura AND Edwin Diaz, then certainly anybody could be traded. So, if the Phillies are to be taken seriously in a deal for a top player like J.T. Realmuto, it’s not unreasonable to see Sanchez included. Especially when you see the players the Marlins are seeking from the Mets.
When you are suggesting trades in the comments section, consider this. If you bundle several of our guys for a star player, if it doesn’t hurt, it’s not likely to be accepted. We aren’t going to get a Realmuto for out spare parts and fading prospects.
The 40-man roster stands at 37.
This is the Phuture Phillies Open Discussion for Phillies and other baseball topics.
- 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.
- organization’s rosters
- organization’s injury list
- organization’s Rule 5 eligibility list (includes player info, assignments, …)
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