Open Discussion: Week of December 17, 2018

The Hot Stove Season continues.  But, a woefully boring Baseball’s Winter Meetings came to a merciful end with the Rule 5 Draft Thursday morning (PST).

There was very limited action during the week, practically none among big-name players.

  • 12/10 – Tigers signed FA RHP Tyson Ross
  • 12/11 – Pirates traded RHP Ivan Nova to the White Sox for RHP Yordi Rosario and future considerations; Royals signed FA CF Billy Hamilton; Rangers traded CF Drew Robinson to the Cardinals for 3B Patrick Wilson
  • 12/12 – Nationals traded RHP Tanner Roark to the Reds for RHP Tanner Rainey; Phillies signed FA RF Andrew McCutchen
  • 12/13 – Rangers traded LHP Alex Claudio to the Brewers for future considerations; and a three-way trade – the Indians traded DH Edwin Encarnacion and future considerations to the Mariners,  the Rays traded 1B Jake Bauers to the Indians, the Mariners traded 1B Carlos Santana to the Indians, the Indians traded 3B Yandy Diaz and RHP Cole Sulser to the Rays, and the Rays traded cash to the Mariners

The meetings ended with the Rule 5 Draft.  The Phillies made no selection in the major league phase and didn’t lose anybody.  They selected an infielder from the Dodgers in the Triple-A phase and a pitcher from the Yankees.  They flipped the infielder for international money and assigned RHP Gilmael Troya to Lehigh Valley.

The 40-man roster stands at 38.

With the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft in their rear view mirror, the Phillies have begun moving players off the protection of the Lehigh Valley Roster.  I’ll go into those in a little more detail in the Minor League discussion.

The Red Sox were hit with the harshest of luxury tax penalties when their first pick in the 2019 amateur draft was moved down 10 slots for going over the $197M limit by more than $40M.  In addition, they were penalized $11,951,091.  Their projected #33 pick will slide down 10 slots to #43.  The Nationals were the only other team over the $197M threshold.  They were penalized $2,386,097.  The top six payrolls were –

  1. Boston $239.5M
  2. Washington $205M
  3. San Francisco $195.7M
  4. Dodgers $195M
  5. Cubs $193.3M
  6. Yankees $192.98M

The Dodgers had exceeded the threshold the previous 5 years and had paid a cumulative $149.6M in penalties.  The Yankees had paid $341.1M in penalties the first 15 years since the threshold was put in place.  This was the first year they avoided a penalty.

The luxury tax threshold includes a team’s payroll by average annual value, earned bonuses, adjustments for cash transactions and option buyouts, and a little more than $14M in benefits.

According to the CBA, the first $13 million of this year’s $14.34 million luxury tax bill goes towards the Major League Baseball Players Benefit Plan. Half the remainder is used to fund player retirement accounts, and the rest is distributed to non-luxury tax paying teams. The 28 other teams each received roughly $24,000 in luxury tax money this year.

The luxury tax threshold rises to $206 million in 2019, $208 million in 2020, and $210 million in 2021.

The Red Sox’ President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski, suggested that baseball needs to build in some “down-time” for baseball’s front offices.  Baseball has become a year-round business and it’s schedule allows no time for vacations or time off.  He recalls a time when trades and deals had to be completed by the last day of the winter meetings.

Of course, after another slow week at the winter meetings, all the baseball personalities on MLB were in favor of this.  It would certainly give them something of substance to talk about instead of the silly games and discussions with which they filled their air time.  Since this would certainly have an effect on the players, I’m sure it would have to be negotiated with the MLBPA.

Last week, I suggested a deal that might have been offered to one of the two top free agents.  This week, I suggest that it is off the table.  Location preferences by both players are reforming the  market.  But, preferred cities can’t (or won’t) necessarily pony up the same offers that the Phillies can.  The Phillies “stupid” offers might not have to be as large as originally projected.  However, a player’s preference to play in a certain city WILL come into consideration.  In one case, fan treatment of family members may trump any offer.  Discussions may become a game of chicken.  I can see the Phillies signing both, one, or neither.  Machado visits this week.  This is as much for him to sell himself to prospective buyers (in the wake of his post season) as it is a chance for the team to sell itself.

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

Key Dates:

  • 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)
12/14/18 – Daniel Brito assigned to Clearwater from Lehigh Valley
12/14/18 – Edgar Cabral assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
12/14/18 – Garrett Cleavinger assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
12/14/18 – Grenny Cumana assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
12/14/18 – Juan Escorcia assigned to Lakewood from Lehigh Valley
12/14/18 – Jose Gomez assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
12/14/18 – Luke Leftwich assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
12/14/18 – Oscar Marcelino assigned to Lakewood from Lehigh Valley
12/14/18 – Alejandro Requena assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
12/13/18 – Phillies select RHP Gilmael Troya (NYY) in the AAA phase of the Rule 5 Draft, assign to Lehigh Valley
12/13/18 – Phillies sign free agent INF Raulyn Blanc to a 2019 minor league contract
12/13/18 – Phillies traded SS Drew Jackson to Orioles for Future Considerations
12/13/18 – Phillies selected SS Drew Jackson (LAD) in the Rule 5 Draft
12/12/18 – Phillies signed free agent RF Andrew McCutchen
12/7/18 –  Phillies signed free agent C Adony Mejia to a minor league contract
12/6/18 –  Phillies traded RHP Luis Garcia to the Angels for LHP Jose Alvarez
12/3/18 – Mariners traded SS Jean Segura, RHP Juan Nicasio and LHP James Pazos to the Phillies for 1B Carlos Santana and SS J.P. Crawford.
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

622 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of December 17, 2018

  1. This is the week many of us have been waiting for. I expect MM to sign with Phillies, even though his preference is to play for NYY. I expect this because the players association needs him and BH to push the salary ranges for all players up, because the top offer wins the vast majority of the time, MM is coming to Philly after NY visit, and Most of all – everyone who knows what a baseball is … knows Middleton will make the top offer. In this case, it just won’t take 40mil AAV to sign one.

    MM signs in the next 10’days, then it is on to BH tonsee if it makes sense to grab both.

    A journey of a thousand miles … ends with the biggest offer 🙂

    1. Hope you’re right. I want to have hope for this team. Philly needs to be great again. Top Free agents used to want to play in Philly.

    2. The Bryce Harper/Manny Machado market is really like a game of musical chairs. If the music stops and the Phillies are no longer negotiating with you … you lose. In other words, both guys need the Phillies to drive up their price.
      That said … things could move at warp speed this week with Manny Machado reportedly visiting CBP. If Manny accepts the Phillies offer (assuming they extend him one), Harper is screwed. The Yankees, Dodgers, and White Sox aren’t spending stupid money. Does Boras try to get something done before Machado arrives. I think that’s possible.
      Neither Harper/Boras or Machado/Lozano want to be left standing w/o a chair when the Phillies quit playing music.

      1. Completely agree on first come, first served, musical chairs scenario. By virtue of clearly being the club with stupid money to spend, the Phillies have leverage they haven’t had in quite some time. All the other story lines about preferred destinations is a load of garbage. If Machado’s visit on Thursday leads to a deal, any notion of a Boras/Harper record setting contract goes out the window. Neither LAD, NYY nor CHW (who IMO aren’t that serious yet) won’t have to pony up that much. Just enough to out bid the others. Conversely, should Manny balk at the Phillies offer (or sign with NYY or CHW for less), both of their markets becomes even smaller. If the Phillies don’t land one of them, something wrong would really have to happen.

        What will be interesting is how the contract will be structured, it’s length and AAV for either.

        1. And if Harper signs elsewhere, Brantley may be standing by. He could still get bigger bucks from the Phillies as their plan B than as another team’s plan A.

        2. Harper may also be more inclined to re-sign with WAS and/or take a much shorter, higher AAV deal….which may also play into the Phillies hands.

      2. I’ve wondered the same thing. It’s a class in negotiations. If the Phils sign Manny, two of Boras’ clients are hurt – Harper and Moustakas

      3. just because the Dodger’s FO didn’t announce their intention to spend “stupid” money doesn’t mean they are not planning to do so. I still think LA is the favorite to land Harper

  2. Was a little disappointed to see a report that W. Ramos is signing with the Mets. I believe the report also indicated that he would he the Mets #1 catcher

      1. Agreed. I thought our lineup was materially better with Ramos in over Alfaro.

        But Alfaro took a big step forward last year and hopefully he takes another step forward. If he can somehow reduce his K rate, he has a chance to be a top catcher.

        1. I would have really liked to to see Ramos back? Especially at the contract he got from the Mets. He and Alfaro could’ve duked it out for starting C, like ramos will do on NYM with our old C prospect Travis D’Naurd.

          Would have been a great hedge against Alfaro taking that next step. Hopefully he can cut down on those K’s and stop getting dizzy in between strikes. Never seen a player circle back around the ump as AlF. Pressure is on, showtime for Alfaro

        2. My optimism for Alfaro is always equally matched by the horror of his plate discipline numbers. His swinging-strike rate improved last year starting in July; even then, his 23.8 SwStr% was the highest single-season rate for anyone with at least 200 PA since 2005. He won’t be able to ride the coattails of a .400 BABIP forever. Even if his true-talent BABIP is in the .315 to .325 range, he needs to put more balls in play to survive the eventual regression. He’s still young and will improve; I just wonder if we underestimate the extent to which his plate discipline profile needs to improve.

          1. Agree……his BABIP is not sustainable, even with his speed. But as you stated….that 24% s swing and miss in the zone is very poor….that is a tale tell sign he is due for a decline.
            But the offensive bar for catchers is set pretty low anymore and he can maintain a middle of the pack production if he can cut that 24% rate down.

            My main objection with Alf…is defense.
            SABR SDI ranks his at 21st.
            -Led league in PBs with 10
            -Near top in throwing errors with 11.
            -Arrieta and Seranthongy with double digits WPs when he caught since he cannot block their spiked sliders
            -One of the leaders in allowing staff with the most WPs…with 49
            All of this with only catching 108 games…..for a guy with over 650 plus games caught in his pro career I expect better results.
            I have seen infielders moved from the infield to behind the plate , in a vast shorter time and develop into plus defensive catchers…Bob Boone and Carlos Ruiz for two in the Phillies past.
            The only metric that Alf has produced well is in is framing….or stealing strikes as i remember.

          2. I hear you, I’ve been a fan of his potential, but he absolutely needs to make more contact, when he he does, good things happen. Beyond the numbers, I’m more troubled by the eye test. He looked overmatched at times, very late swings on FB from what I remember. He looked really lost, and at times I got the sense that he was becoming automatic out. I hope to see growth in the offensive output. He needs to develop his defense as well, but that should be come if he puts in the time/energy to improve.

            Having an offensive catcher to me, moves the wins total up. Hated to see the Mets get stronger there and I’ll be real upset if Realmuto goes to the Braves

          1. That is, the need for offensive improvement aside, Alfaro needs to improve defensively. Harness all of that talent, Jorge.

        3. V1 – agree – Alfaro is still just a young catcher. It can take years to improve and let’s face it – we did see him get better as the year went on. My only regret about Ramos is that he went to the Mets – so we now have to see him punch the ball into right field 19 times vs. the Phils. He is one heck of a hitter – but he is also a base clogger and dp candidate – never mind his defense which is adequate, but the hitting !!!

      2. Agreed. I thought this was an easy upgrade and big miss. There is a large gap between the floor of what Alfaro might be and the likelihood of what Ramos will be. I don’t see why you risk that – it’s just way too uncertain and, guess what, if Ramos and Alfaro are both good, it would be easy to move the Ramos contract at the trade deadline. Second big miss by this team in my view (the first was Morton).

  3. With Manny scheduled for Thursday’s visit to CBP and Philly…Scott Boras will, I am sure, react to this.
    Just do not know how.
    He cannot afford to have Manny sign on with the Phillies…it takes one large suitor out of his Harper Bizarre sweepstakes bidding war since he realizes the Phillies may not lean to try to sign both, with the Phillies probably having an eye on a ;possible Trout get in less than 24 months..
    Scott Boras…..your move.

    1. I’m confident the Phillies will offer the most, all signs point to that, as well as the agents looking to give the Phillies the final Chance to top any and all offers. NYC is great, but I think most people would take the 50 extra mil and visit when convenient.

      If MM can get signed before Harper, I bet it makes Harpers decision a lot harder.


      I’m sure Harper is thinking what it would be like to swap out Herrera for himself, plus trades and other FA signings

    2. This is where Middleton just might get his way. Boras pulls a desperate measure, contacting Johnny Cigars before Manny arrives. I can see Machado taking less from NYY before I see Boras/Harper settling for 2nd best deal on the market.

      1. Either way, i believe the Phillies get 1, and they pivot from there. The Phillies can really bully the other teams involved financially, even a 1st grader could see it, I’m sure the agents definitely do.
        I’d be shocked if we don’t get one at this point. Could it happen? Sure, but I think it is very doubtful … like a fat kid winning a marathon doubtful.

        All roads lead through Middleton, and he is waiting with the power of a blank check … that can be cashed.

        I feel LAD,CHI,And NYY are trying to drive the price up. If LAA is smart they’d try it to

    3. If you look at the average annual luxury taxes some of the teams paid, it equals signing one of these superstars.

      1. True, I think I saw the redsoxs at 236million. These teams have relief in site, adding a 30 mil player for 10 years is a different story, makes flexibilty a lot less imo. Again it could happen where the Phillies get neither, I just think it’s doubtful. Once the bidding war starts (and it will), Middleton can put the KO on NYY by pushing them in the penalties sphere, they multiply etc. I think that makes them think twice

  4. With the Mets signing of Ramos, I wondering If A J Ellis might be the best choice for the back up catcher.

    1. Just brought back the original header with an updated Phuture Phillies logo. Al the guys on the other header are either current or former Phillies.

  5. When Scot Boras preemptively contacts John Middleton before MM’s visit to CBP, Middleton and MacKlentak should ask about the package deal. The one that involves Harper, Britton, and Kikuchi.

  6. If the offer is off the table as jim suggests, that means, to me, that the FO has a clear belief that the player wants to play elsewhere, and is only using us to get a better deal elsewhere. This has been my fear all along. I don’t believe the Player’s Association is going to dictate to either of these guys where to go, and I have less belief that we will sign either than at any time in this process, no pun intended! And as much as Mike Trout loves this area, and his hometown and the Eagles, there has never been any indication that he wants to leave LA, and play here. There are all sorts of extra stresses and responsibilities playing in your Home town, and he may be perfectly happy making this his off season home and playing on the West Coast. Any plans that involve wishing for Trout are wasting the next 2 years, when we, as fans, deserve their best efforts to win this year. So, Plan B in the event we don’t sign either better be some big trade and other signings that move the needle on this team.

    1. Wondering if that deal was for Harper. I also believe Boras was trying to drive the price up for Harper. Good for the Phillies to pull their offer so they wouldnt be used.

    2. Matt, what you say could be true, but I’m on the opposite side of the camp/thinking. I interpret the offer is off the table differently. 1 – it was probably placed on the table in first place to eliminate all this nonsense/waiting game, and move quickly through their offseason plan. Phillies tried to force their hand, and the players are taking it for granted that it was there. The market is set, neither player will get 40mil AAV for 9 or more years. I think it was put out there for the players association, can claim collusion etc. If MM accepts a 10/300 vs 9/360 … i believe the P.A. Will definitely have something to say to MM/BH. That’s speculation on my part of course, but hx tends to support that viewpoint. Lastly, the offer is off the table simply because the Phillies won’t bid against themselves. No other team has been rumored to be in the same hemisphere as that offer, so it will probably only take 325/330 million over 9/10 years to get it done, maybe less. The offer being off the table is good thing imo, increases the chances of signing both. Money rules the day, haven’t you see. “Indecent proposal” ? Lol :$

      1. Tac3 – you bring up good points but if its 10 years at $320…maybe Harper takes that nationals deal that is still on the table (or assumed to be). Phillies need to be way higher IMO. I am holding hope for sure.

    3. I respect Jim’s opinion/sources, but no matter how much consideration the superstar FA will give to location/destination, it will boil down to money. It sure appears to me that the Phillies are the only team willing to spend stupid money on Harper or Machado (when you get a chance read Ken Rosenthal in the Athletic today). As I mentioned above (and dozens of times, previously), John Middleton is going to sign one guy and the other is going to see his price fall through the floor (probably have to settle for a shorter term contract).

      Matt … in reference to your plan B … what player is available on the trade market (other than Mike Trout, who will not be traded) that you think will move the needle for the average Phillie fan ?

      1. Also … when Jim says, “the offer is off the table”, I believe he is referring to that 9 year/360 millon dollar proposed offer he mentioned last week. I doubt he means the Phillies no longer have interest in a certain guy (Harper). Jim can correct me if I’m wrong. This is probably because (and this has been reported in a couple of places) the Phillies were bidding against themselves. Why offer 360 million if nobody else is even offering 300 million?
        I know Jim Salisbury has been reporting Klentak likes Manny Machado, but I still believe John Middleton prefers Harper because he would “WOW !!!” the fan base more than Machado. He would also add a LH bat to the lineup.

        1. Oh, yes! Sorry for not being clear. I meant that the years and dollars were off the table because they likely wouldn’t have to go that high based on recent movement in the market.

          1. Said player is probably wishing he took that offer (if he settles for less). Thats part of the FA gamble. You are betting on yourself. Well, the agent is betting I suppose.
            This week could be exciting.

      2. Hinkie, I really don’t have a Plan B that moves the needle significantly. Brantley is next on my lit if we don’t get Harper, and Moustakas for 3B if we don’t ger Machado. I thinl Moose, hitting left handed is a better option than Franco, and contrary to what a poster says below, Franco DRS is much worse than Moustakas’. But, to your point, that is precisely why I have hoped your were correct all along and we get a Star in FA. I think one of the RPs, Britton or Miller, does move the needle.

      3. @hinkie – I agree with what you said. I can see location/destination becomes a factor only if the $$ are close. also, fan treatment is always overblown especially by national outlets who doesn’t even go the watch games at the ballpark. I watched a lot of games with my daughter and almost half of the fans watching are women, kids, grannies and 99% not drunk. CBP is not the same as the Linc. The meanest dude in CBP is probably the Phanatic who trolls people regardless of gender or age.

        i’m sure that someone will bring up a phillies fan puking at a mets fun without acknowledging that there’s fans who actually beaten up to death in LA of fans cursing at the players family in NYY —- and both LA and NYY are always been the trendy choice for everybody but Philly always got the bad fans rep because of booing and snow balls being thrown at Santa. I’m actually waiting for some national media to say that Philly fans beat up horses too.

        1. And not just any horses – those adorable miniature horses that you just want to hug and bring home.

  7. Manny meeting with white Sox today.
    Yankees are trying to trade their 3B, Miguel Andujar.
    Sounds like the Yankees are going to find a way to get Manny on their team.
    When that happens, Phillies should trade for Andujar.

    1. Andujar is a waste of asset and should stay in AL. He can’t field and will be a future 1B/DH despite of his cannon arm. I hope that people who wants to trade prospects for Andujar is not just looking at his SSS stat line – Andujar can easily projects to be a player that the Phillies already have in their roster — Maikel Franco.

      1. Agree, he isn’t a significant enough upgrade over Franco to give up the kind of assets the Yankees would want.

    2. Whitesoxs are being used imo, and happily so. They are trying to fire up their fan base, but this is a dog and pony show if their ever was. This is a weak tactic to make PHI,NYY sweet. End of story

      Yanks need payroll room, they are right up against it. They can move parts but what does Andjuar make? MM visits NY, gets a sense of their best offer, and then sits down literally with Middleton, and it gets done. I bet they don’t even tour the city

      1. Tac3…Yanks are saddled with that Stanton contract….then in two years there will be a Judge explosion….Cashman had a momentary lapse when Ohtani stood him up for the Angels last year , and so he then and went and made that deal for Stanton with his buddy.
        I think Machado wants the Yankees more than they want or need him.

        1. @ Romus–agreed. I wouldn’t say that the Yanks’ interest in Machado is just due diligence, but I also wouldn’t say that it’s 350million dollars interested. If the Phils need to pay that, I think they do. Yanks, as you mention, have to worry about Stanton, Judge, lux tax penalties for BLOWING past it, so I’d be very, very surprised if Middleton is outbid. But, they are the Yankees and it seems odd to think that they wouldn’t get one of MM/BH, as they have the money and everyone seems to want to play for them. Overall, I’m still confident in my Machado-to-Phils and Harper-to-Dodgers prediction, though

          1. Yes…that is how i see it also…Machado-Phillies….Harper-LAD.
            Dodgers are desperate to trade Puig right now, so as not to put out anything more for him after next season when he is a free agent, and save that little bit extra (maybe $10-12M) for the icing on Harper’s cake.They however may have to eat Kemps $21M for this season (2019) …his last on his contract.,

  8. Per Ken Rosenthal, LA Dodgers dont want to sign Harper to a long term record breaking contract. So do they give him less years but higher contract value?

  9. You can’t say it’s not fun being a player in the FA market. So much potential. Meanwhile the NL East is going to be strong in 2019, like the old days. I love those big division series when you have a legit chance, not so much when you get rolled over. We need to close the deal with one of these two plus get a SP and a closer. We need to buy our way back into contention. $$$$

  10. Don’t know why any team would have to bid $40M per year to get Machado or Harper. Here is a good recap of the largest deals in baseball history:

    Largest contract – $325M to Stanton for 13 years ($25M per year)
    Largest annual value contract – $34.4M to Greinke – 6 years (pitcher)
    Largest annual value contract – $31M to Cabrera – 8 years (position player)

    If a teams offers 10 years @ $35M per year to Machado or Harper, it will set the record for both largest contract and largest average annual value in history. Why would a club that is willing to offer the highest contract ever in history need to go to $40M per year? I can’t see it happening.

    I could see Manny signing 1st with a record breaking contract and then Harper signing after at a slightly bigger deal because Harper/Boras egos both require that kind of “win”.

      1. Trout is at that right now on his extended contract @ $34M AAV until 2020..
        So Manny may want somewhere around $35/37M AAV. to play third and to play outside NYC.

  11. Here is my take on things. Lozano intentionally scheduled the meetings with the Yankees on Wednesday and Phillies on Thursday because he knows the Phillies have the record setting cash to get a deal done. If MM was hell bent on being a Yankee, I would believe they would have the Phillies on Wed and Yankees on Thurs. This puts Boras in a difficult position in that he wants BH to get the biggest contract. If MM is signed by the Phillies, BH’s market changes significantly, because the “stupid” money is no longer available and according to sources, other teams aren’t willing to pony up the cash. I would think Boras should be all over Middleton/MacKlentak to try and get something done in the next 3 days. If he does not engage with the Phillies brass and MM is signed, BH’s market is affected, as is Brantley and Pollock. Then the Phillies can sign one of Pollock or Brantley for less money to fill an OF need. Leave the SP the way it is and sign one of Miller or Britton.

    Just one fan’s opinion.

  12. Anyone know what time the Machado and ChiSox meeting takes place? Haven’t seen any reports on how it went.

    Its only 138CST but I am surprised on how quiet it is on the FA front for all teams. I’d imagine by Friday teams will start taking off for the holiday. maybe not, who knows.

    1. My understanding for one of these tours is that the player mingles and dines with two or three team reps including the GM, probably lunch with his wife or gf present. Usually a 3 to 5 hour visit. The agent will usually be present for any negotiating dialogue while the player steps out of the room. This may vary depending on the player/agent relationship. I doubt Boras wants his big ticket clients anywhere near him but that is ultimately the player’s call. Not sure how Lozano operates with his guys.

      1. Thank you! So it’ll be tomorrow.
        Yankees we will find out in the middle of the Phillies visit lol
        I am starting to like our chances

  13. Without getting too scientific, here is what I see as the likeliest scenarios for each of the 2 stars:

    1 Phillies
    2 Yankees (perhaps a short term, high AAV deal)
    3 no other team is remotely close, including the White Sox or that supposed mystery team (maybe LAA?)

    1a Phillies on a record deal after Boras scrambles to beat Lozano to the stupid money.
    1b Nationals up the ante a bit, possibly a pillow deal after Boras proudly holds his ground against himself.
    1c Dodgers on a short term deal.
    2 no other team is remotely in the picture, including the NYY.

    1. My ever changing prognistication is Harper will be a Phillie, Machado will be a Yankee, and an outside shot of ALSO signing with the Phillies.

      1. Mentally, I’ve sort of moved to Harper and I’m good with that. I enjoy the idea of Harper and Hoskins terrorizing the NL East for the next half decade or so and I am so tired of watching a boring team. I mean, truly, I’ve had it.

  14. I have myself too confused to keep guessing, so I can admit I have no clue how it plays out. But, I am surprised that more hasn’t happened regarding the other players. I can see Pollack and Brantley might be waiting for the Machado/Harper deals to happen, but I would think their markets don’t overlap all that much. I don’t see anyone but us being in on Harper that might want Pollack or Brantley as a fall back.

  15. I think the current market is very telling. I’m assuming reports coming out of Chi will say how “impressed” MAchado was, and has seems to even possibly preferring to play for chi! We all know it will be bull, but it’s par for the course.

    I think it is looking more and more that MM is a Phillie. Having Tuesday off seems very planned, to make each teams FO make a move,show a hand.

    Middleton’s on Deck!

  16. After Macphails comments, I’m feeling doubt again.
    Basically stating signing a free agent isn’t the only way to go and they have other ways to improve

  17. I know, I was reluctant to complain again, but he also said “there will be pressure for us to improve next off season and the one after that.” I prefer to think he is just trying to keep the cost of Machado and Harper down, and not believe anything that MacPhail says.

    1. You’ve wisdom beyond your years, Matt. Disregard anything execs or agents have to say. They have one agenda. To minimize cost/maximize value.

      1. I do believe both of you. It’s the attitude that we don’t need them that he is portraying that worries me.
        Remember when Mcnabb said that about Owens during the super bowl run?

  18. Looks like Brantley will be off the board and heading to Houston.I kind of thought a lot of players don’t want to wait for the 2 big deals to come down and know where they are heading before the Holidays. Let’s wrap up Britton or Miller this week!

        1. I like Cozens a lot and believe with an extended look he can do great things. The Phillies havent used him as much as I’d like.

          1. Because he’s a been a mediocre minor leaguer in AAA and has not shown he can play in the big leagues. I’m not saying it’s impossible that he grows into a big league platoon type lefty, but he hasn’t earned a promotion yet – not even close.

      1. Troll – Me too. I wanted Harper all along, but if he decided to go elsewhere, I wanted Brantley. If the Phillies land Machado, I’d be happy with McCutchen in RF. That leaves Herrera, Quinn, Altherr, Williams, and Cozens. I have very high hopes for Cozens, and feel that he can help this team next year.

  19. If the reported deal for Brantley is accurate, I have to imagine he’s taking a discount to play for the Astros. Gotta figure most teams in baseball would take him at 2/32.

  20. I agree Dan, that seems to be a really nice signing by the Astros. I am not a big Pollack guy. If I am going to bank on an injured player, I simply play Quinn. Without Harper, then I am looking at a Doobie, Quinn, McCutcheon OF, of course Klentak and Kapler are probably looking at it differently. But, Cutch, Doobie and Nick Williams does not do much for the defensive improvement we need.

  21. Cutch is the best OF in that scenario, and I don’t want to minimize the fact that I like his signing. I just felt that it would be an additional piece to the main acquisitions.

    1. If you take the outfield as a trio (4-some) – Cutch, Doobie/Quinn, Williams – sprinkling Quinn in CF and RF– it is vastly improved defensively – not because of Cutch, but because Quinn will see more innings and just putting Rhys at 1B improves it alone. A 5th OF doesn’t even have to be a hitter but a defensive whiz to fill in ? That’s if Altherr does not make it. I would submit OF has already been upgraded by attrition and Quinn.

  22. Brantley is a good signing by the ‘Stros for his “bat to ball” hitting. He got about what was predicted but not the years due to his injuries, and his platoon splits I suppose. Still think Cutch is the better (safer via injury issue) player at this point. Whatever, Brantley is a good player and now I wonder how that plays into the Harper sweepstakes et. al. ???

    1. With Brantley off the board, I am really hoping they sign Harper now, along with Moustakas. Add some left handed power to the lineup.

  23. Sean Bradley
    Big News: per source inside the #Phillies organization, Machado is very closely considering signing with #WhiteSox after today’s meeting. GM Klentak was contacted by Machado’s agent to inform him of this. Sounds like there’s going to be a deal unless someone ups the offer

      1. Lol … for real? Ya no way he signs in CHItown … no way. They were said to not even be serious at the end of the winter meetings. Posturing, and trying to milk more out of NY & PHI … please. If you recall, lol, I even called it earlier, look at one of my earlier posts. Negotiations 101 – check. Let’s move on to the serious bidders now

        1. Do you think the Sox changed their minds and decided to be a player for manny?
          If not, this is definitely one heck of a negotiation tactic

        2. TRollU: the Phillies got this, no way MM doesn’t go to all 3 locations. Middleton is last up, he’s on deck. No worries.

          I called it earlier, Chi is being used, a dog and ping show if there ever was. If I’m wrong, we can expect to see a deal
          Tomorrow right? …. you know , for those mysterious off day inbetween chi and NY? He will be a philly for somewhere between 330-350mil

          1. Love the confidence.
            No sarcasm – but I sometimes forget there are posters on here who have ears close to the Philly org and area than most websites
            I’ve never seen that Sean Bradley guy before

  24. The possibility is increasing that the Phillies need to have a Plan B (no MM or BH). Here is one idea: 1) sign Pollack and Moustakas; 2)Offer Franco and Alfaro to the Marlins for Realmuto.

  25. The only Sean Bradley I’ve ever heard of is 7’6″ tall and knows nothing about Manny Machado. I’m going to bet Troll is being trolled. Just like I promised you guys there was no way Machado would ever agree to any sign and trade this season, I can guarantee you with as much confidence, There is absolutely NO WAY he will sign with Chicago and pass on meeting with the NYY and the Phillies. That’s just a ridiculous tweet.
    In fact, Jim Duquette (cousin of O’s just replaced GM Dan Duquette) said just hours ago he’s more convinced than ever Manny will be a Phillie.

      1. LOL. Look at Sean Bradley’s pinned tweet.

        His old account was deleted for personal reasons. C’mon, I’m betting this is you trying to “troll” us. Good effort by you (if it is your Sean Bradley account). I give you props for creativity. rocco would be jealous. BTW … have you and rocco ever been seen in the same room at the same time ?

        1. I created a twitter solely to browse twitter for free agency.
          I’m trying to be part of the conversation and instead get accused of being someone else. I don’t come to this site to get accused and bullied.

          1. Not really bullied but you know what I mean.

            I’ve been using the same email address I’ve had for 15-16 years and my handle is not associated with grumpy rocco.

        2. If anyone noticed, Jim did post on another thread a couple days ago, admonishing one unspecified commenter to stop using two handles. Until it’s been clarified who that is, I have decided not to respond to TrollU (or sr) from this point on indefinitely. We don’t need any more out of the blue, offbeat posts. If I’m mistaken, I will gladly and humbly apologize later.

          1. 8mark – you’ll be apologizing
            I’ll be happy to verify my identity with Jim.

            I’m being defensive because people jump on my for having opposite views.

            I’m also not sr.

            1. TrollU, if you or anyone needs to contact me you can do so at I was guilty of not checking this e-mail account once the polling season ended. But, I check it more frequently now. Most of my “deep throat” info arrives via this account.

              FYI, The Phuture Phillies account on Twitter is not mine. I tweet, albeit infrequently, under jim peyton (@jimpeyton19).

              For the record, people owe TrollU apologies if they have accused him of posting under various other names. Get in line, guys.

          2. I took care of the guy using two different names. I marked his comments as spam and they disappeared from the thread (as they were supposed to). I left the message for him to see if he came back to admire his work. He was a first time commenter under both names.

            Rocco (roccom) has tried posting periodically and his comments are auto-routed to trash. All, stop accusing people of being roccom. He hasn’t been here under any name in months.

            I would have hoped that his mistake could have been forgotten when I grant “amnesty” to all on the black list after Christmas.

            1. Thank you, Jim, 8mark and Hinkie

              Ironically I used to argue with rocco because he was the negative one. Perhaps I could look at things from a more positive light so there is no confusion.

    1. Let me reiterate (for probably the 300th time) … it is all about the money. End of story. Who will pay Machado and Harper the most money. The White Sox just traded for Manny’s brother-in-law (Yonder Alonso). Even that won’t move the needle for Machado if John Middleton offers him more cash than Chicago.

      1. All signs are pointing to Manny being a phillie, in fact… the signs are starting to point towards the Phillies having an opportunity to get both than none.

        I said earlier today MM would go to CHI and reports would surface how “impressed” he was with CHI, and is now heavily considering signing in CHI. Of course it is a bluff negotiating tactic to get NY&PHI to up their offers. Tomorrow’s down time is no coincidence either, it is to make everyone stir. Chi was the appetizer, Wednesday starts the main course. If he leaves NY without a deal, for sure he is a Phillie.

        We just need to relax, Middleton has this … Like Nick Foles in big games. We are good

        1. Speaking of Foles. That was a great game. Crazy what happens when you throw the ball to someone besides Ertz lol

          I’m hoping to admit I’m wrong for doubting the Phillies FO and relaying rumors (apparently getting duped) that I see on the Twitter.

          If Phillies get both, I’m going to go poor on Harper and Manny shirseys lol

          1. TRollU, it’s going down Thursday. The Phillies meeting is going to put pressure on Boras, and have a chain reaction. If he takes longer to decide, he’ll really be mulling playing for the yanks, but ultimately he’ll sign for the money, which will be the most on a piece of paper with the Phillies logo on it. I say Thursday it happens, if not, Sunday to try to squeeze Middleton for more

            1. If they’re going to do it Sunday, I’d rather have it on Christmas Eve. Would be a nice Christmas present.

          2. @TrollU – I don’t agree with you with the Foles game. Eagles won because the defensive team played like they want to save Schwartz career in Philly and Doug employed a simplified play calling that cater’s Foles limitation. And who see Wendell Smallwood finally show up?

            1. Foles didn’t win the game, I agree. Foles threw more deep balls than Wentz typically does and that definitely helped.

              Smallwood had an amazing game that the defense almost gave up at the end

              Need a similar game plan against Texans. They will need a good spy for Watson as he is a running threat.

            2. what?!? Foles only threw 2 deep balls to Alshon and the 50 yards was more on Alson than Nicky. Other than the defense, the thing that helped is the running game that opens up the lane for Alshon, Tate and others. Doug run a balanced offense of 30 runs vs 31 pass. I suggest you better stay in baseball talk.

            3. KuKo – Foles threw 4 deep targets and Wentz averaged 1.6
              These aren’t stats I am making up.
              This is a baseball site and we were making small talk regarding the game but really no reason to jump down someones throat because you think you know more.

            4. @trull – i don’t intend to be condescending but the deep ball argument that you have is totally worthless. The Eagles don’t have a deep threat since DJax (Wallace and Smith are supposed to be deep threat but they stink and Agholor is a slot not an outside receiver) and smart QBs thew deep threats to big receivers when the match up calls for up (see what Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin did against the 49ers when their top CB Witherspoon went out).

              Most football folks will tell you that to win the game, you have to win the trenches (line of scrimmage) and the Eagles won both (offensive and defensive). See how Fletcher Cox (with only 1 good hip) outplayed the supposed to be fearsome Aaron Donald and the DL (Cox, Bennette, Ngata, Long) dominated the line of scrimmage that gives Schwartz an option to play the DBs and LBs coverage nullifying Goff’s arm.

              The OL also hold the pocket (unlike the last 10 games when they collapse in 3 seconds) that give enough space for Smallwood and Adams to run. Everything went right for the Eagles that’s why they won it is not necessary Foles throwing 2 deep balls.

            5. Kilo – understood and agreed. We probably should have worded things differently.

              Btw – I appreciate your baseball knowledge and commentary on here.
              You and Hinkie usually provide some good fact based information.

            6. TrollU…please…do not butter up KuKo and Hinkie anymore than they need….they are just doing the job they are paid to do. 🙂

    2. So your telling me that MM is going to pass up meetings with the Yankees who he wants to play for, and the Phillies who have the most money to offer him, and sign on with the WSox?!?!………….not happening. Lazano is very crafty….. and by very crafty I mean predictable as one can be. And, btw, where are the WS in the rebuild? There is no way they are ahead of the Phillies. Why would he want to play there?

      1. Well to be fair, the WS have a pretty decent rebuild underway, offensively from what I recall. I’d imagine the two teams rebuilds could collide in the playoffs in a few years

  26. If the Phillies do indeed sign Machado, Which id put it at an 90% Chance now, I’d take a shot at Pollack for the OF. Typically I’d worry with him and quinn in the OF, being healthy, but with some combo of Williams, altherr, and soon to be Hasley, I’d take that gamble for the often injured quinn&pollack. Herrera and McCutchen can hold the fort when the injury bugs hit, plus you go throw super sub Kingery in the mix .. if he starts hitting

    1. Quinn and Pollock are injured a lot but maybe they’d be injured at separate times.

      The Phillies do have extra Intl money they could stand to lose for signing a QO player

      1. You’re foolishly forgetting about Dylan Cozens. He will go to ST and the LV Iron Pigs, tear it up and be on the roster, playing this time.

        1. DC just cannot hit the breaking ball…doesn’t matter lefty or righty throwing it.
          He tries.
          If he only would go into the Joey Votto/Anthony Rizzo two-strike approach….choke, stroke and poke mode….he could develop into a very good MLB player.

        2. Denny – someone mentioned on a prior thread that you are Dylan’s dad. Is that true?

          If so, that is awesome that you have a son so athletic that he can get to the highest levels of the minor leagues. you must be so proud to watch his ascension. It must be a really cool life experience that you will always share with your son.

          1. v1 … That was me who referred to Denny as Dylan’s father. I was being facetious. As far I know, Denny is just an uber Dylan Cozens fan. Sorry to mislead anyone.
            BTW … here’s a fun fact: there is a Dylan Cozens (same spelling) who is projected to be one of the top picks in the 2019 NHL draft.

    2. I stated the same thing in an above post. Play Lazano against Boras and sign MM. Then look at one of Brantley or Pollock(Brantley is now off the board so Pollock is your man). Then go after Miller or Britton. I don’t want any part of the Kimbrel 6 year 100 million dollars he is seeking(give me a break on that one,btw). Leave the starting pitching as it is. We have depth and some nice pitchers advancing in the lower levels.

      1. I’d be really happy as a phan with that outcome. Even with out Pollack. We should know soon, I still think there is a possibility we get both MM
        & BH. It depends on how much the market changes after MM signs for Harper. As it stands now, the # of truly serious bidders stands at only 3 for 2 superstars, with the Phillies being in on both. Will see.

  27. If Brantley is signing with Houston for 2 years at $32M, then the Phillies must have been leery of his injury history OR confident they can bag Harper. Or both.

    1. Very well could be both.
      Looking back at his injury history, he reminds me of Grady Sizemore. Mainly because he’s an OFer who played on the Indians, has a ton of potential , but a lengthy injury history.

    2. I agree. If they can get MM on a discounted deal(and when I type this, I mean less than he could have received prior to his “Johnny Hustle” comments), then I still believe BH is in play because his market will somewhat reduced.

    1. LOL – that’s hilarious. He’d shake your hand, look you in the eye and, in an arrogant little way he’d say “notwithstanding that we’re neighbors, I’d prefer if you not walk on my lawn . . . and that includes your dog. Don’t make me call the authorities.”

  28. At the start of offseason, I agree with Hinkie and predicted that the Phillies will sign one of Harper and Machado (Middleton will not be denied!!!) and posted here that the Phillies will sign at least 3 FAs – a superstar (Machado), an established vet FA (i predicted Brantley who turned out to be Cutch) and another FA (i think it’s Britton).

    I still believe that the Phllies have close to 95% in signing one of Harper or Machado and > 50% change to land both. Those are good odds and I can’t understand the lack of confidence and optimism by most when the current FA market is ripe for the Phillies taking. My heart had been broken by the Phillies a lot of times in the past and I don’t need to employ the “reverse psychology” tactic to restrain my disappointment if the Phillies end up with nothing.

    The pursuit for Machado and Harper will be like an old school courtship and not a modern day hook up. Enjoy your Holiday season and good things will happen when then calendar flips into a new year!!

  29. I don’t like AJ Pollock as an option since he will cost $$, draft pick and some IFA $$. The Plan B for Harper in the OF should be Marwin Gonzalez.

    CarGo (33 yo) and Gerardo Parra (32 yo) are 2 LH OF allowed to walk by the Rockies. CarGo has been on a downward spiral for 2 years now so Parra is the better option, unfortunately, he plays LF not RF.

    1. KuKo… Marwin Gonzalez is a good get.
      But his demand is also out there with a few teams showing interest…I wonder if the Yankees would show interest in him..

  30. I wonder if Middleton ever says to MacPhail, “Hey Andy, we do need to sell some tickets! Maybe dial back your constantly putting the brakes on!” One headline I saw says Phils’ President hedges on Machado/Harper, worrisome for Phils’ fans? Great stuff. I have convinced myself that he is just playing the business game, and we will get 1 of them, but just so we are clear, failing to do so is a major failure for the FO, and his “there are other ways to get better” and “there are future FA years” and “no one will care if we are winning on May 15”, are a lot of nonsense. Right now we are the 3rd, and maybe the 4th best, since we cannot seem to beat the Mets even when they are awful, team in our own Division. Adding Britton or Miller helps a good deal, but without that bat in the middle we will not be good enough. And, there is no Plan B.

  31. the Alfaro + Franco for JTR trade proposal is ridiculous. If i have to make a bet, i can see JTR going to HOU with Kyle Tucker + some prospects going to MIA.

    While Jeter doesn’t want to have an intra-division embargo, he’ll make sure that NL East will surrender a heavy dose of talent to give JTR to them. Jeter wants Bellinger from LAD which is not going to happen since LAD need their younger guys to keep the payroll in check.

    I thought that an Eflin + Alfaro + Bohm for JTR is a fair deal but since the Phillies is in the same division as the Marlins, Jeter will ask the cream of the crop only to turn around and give JTR to the Yankees for some change.

    1. Jeter, however, is being pressed against the clock now.
      The longer he waits, the less return he jeopardizes in getting back for JTR..
      Plus teams can use the leverage that JTR will not be cost controlled after next season, so there is that aspect of upcoming free agency with him
      And to top it all off…JTR wants out of Miami.

      1. that’s why i said that Jeter will give JTR to the Yankees for some change (although i said it with sarcasm, but i think this is half true) — if Jeter will eventually sell low on JTR, it will be to the Yankees.

        But my prediction will be HOU whose core is in peak, they might lose Gerrit Cole next offseason and Verlander is aging.

        1. KuKo….’lose Gerrit Cole next offseason and Verlander is aging.’….you bring up a good team that really needs to look into SP.
          Losing Morton and Keuchel…and then the uncertainty with Mccullers’ and his injury…..Astros need to make a move soon in the pitching area for their future….Phillies may look into offering Pivetta or, hate this , but Eflin or even Luhnow may take back Vinny…for someone like Kyle Tucker.
          They have 3/4 pitching prospects , but they are still prospects.

          1. Josh James in good in SSS and I can see him making the HOU rotation. Whitley will probably promoted in May and July. Cionel Perez will probably stay in the pen but HOU might give Valdez a chance in ST to make the rotation.

            Like what they did with Morton, HOU can possibly do their “recycling magic” again and take a low risk chance of signing Martin Perez or Shelby MIller.

            I don’t see a match between HOU and PHI unless Klentak will accept below AA prospects since HOU will not give up Whitley and Pivetta or Eflin may not be enough to get Tucker.

  32. MLBTR has a poll and their readers feel we overpaid for Cutch. I think I would have liked them both, but if I can only have 1, I take McCutchen. He is much more durable, has some more power, and adds a real top notch presence in the clubhouse. I also think he is a better OF, overall, and can still play CF in an emergency that Brantley cannot. The $ does not stop us from doing a thing. So, I voted that we got the best deal.

    1. Apparently a lot of readers doesn’t know how to interpret numbers. Cutch got $600k/year more than Brantley since he is projected to play more based on the injury history (and position flexibility) so if you calculate the per game $$, it’s probably close. For WAR people, the contract value is where WAR can be beneficial and Cutch WAR per $ is better than Brantley.

      I think it is more on Brantley accepted less to play for a WS contender in HOU than the Phillies overpaying for Cutch.

  33. Today I believe anything can happen. I see numbers coming way down. 9 months ago I was totally convinced that we could take the Stanton contract and add 20% to that for these two. It doesn’t seem there is even a 10 year deal out there for either player and the Yankees appear more disciplined than ever to not go into those waters.

    I guess what I am saying is that if the Yankees and Dodgers don’t want to play this hand we have a really good shot at landing both players or at least one.

    1. The Phillies are definitely going to sign one of Harper and Machado. They are almost assuredly not going to sign both.

      1. Still cannot understand the thought from some fans, that the Phillies should sign BOTH.
        I still think the FO can see the possibility of Trout on the horizon and need to be prepared to land that catch, and having monstrosity contracts of both MM and BH makes that surely prohibitive

        1. @romus – i for one, can see the possibility of the Phillies signing both — one with LT contract and the other with high AAV pillow contract. Harper and Machado are young enough that they can bet on themselves and re-enter the FA market again in 1-3 years. The probably may not be high, but there’s a window.

          And also, assuming that Middleton will sign both, that can be a good hedge in case Trout decided to sign extension with LAA (i personally believe that Trout will test the market).

          1. KuKo……this pillow contract mentioned on numerous occasions thru the year…..what free agents have actually signed these contracts of late?
            Naturally you will have the rehab pitcher off surgery to build value again….but position players in their mid-20s?
            My impression is that the opt-out clauses were the closest thing to a pillow contract.
            And usually they are most times 3/4 years from the signing date.
            In any case…having them both still hampers any Trout signing who will undoubtedly get $40M plus I would think….if it is two years from now….or maybe 5 years if he elcts to re-sign with the Angels and also has his own opt-out clause.

            1. @romus – the “pillow contract” is the terminology that we throw here around here. A front loaded contract with early opt outs or a 1 year high AAV can fall in that definition.

            2. Ok ….got it.
              I did find one position player in his midp 20s that got something akin to what we are talking about…Jason Heywood of the Cubs,

        2. Romus … that is correct. The Middleton and MacKlentak motto is “Be aggressive, but not reckless”. Get their face of the franchise now. But still be able to rock Phillies universe by bringing home Mike Trout after 2020.
          Signing Machado or Harper is a must, but Mike Trout is their end game.

        1. I enjoy reading Hinkie’s posts, but it doesn’t seem like he has any real connections…Just seems to be speculations as a fan with an over-confidence in his abilities to read what the owner is thinking.

      2. The image I have is that of Johnny Cigars clutching a really deep suitcase with the ‘P’ embroidered on it, extending it out at a finish line as Manny and Bryce wait for the starting gun to sound 40 yards away. First one to reach for it, gets the key to open it.

    2. IMHO, I don’t believe the market is shaking out in favor of the players/agents. Part of it is due to MM comments/play, and the other part is Harper’s inconsistency. When we first saw this class, I think most people figured harpers stats would be better. Machado crushed his value imo. If this was Trout, I think you’d see a whole different market develop, and I believe FOs see the difference. I think 330mil would get either for 10 years. I believe the yanks honestly won’t go above 300, and pumping a shorter AAV doesn’t make financial sense for them either. The Phillies are in the driver seat.

      I can honestly see Middleton sitting at his desk, spinning chair turned away from the incoming player … spins around smoking his cigar with a pen in hand… telling them to sign here.

  34. there is so much misinformation and posturing at the level of the clubs, agents , press etc I don’t think any of us have any idea whats going to happen until I happens. it could range from us signing harper, MM, miller etc vs no further signings.

    btw, I would never put Macphail on the sales team, no one can throw cold water on excitement of the fans better than he can

    1. He could wrestle Pat Gillick for that award. These guys are battle tested and are understandably afraid of prematurely raising expectations. Who can blame them? If the team is good next year, he’s banking on the fact that fans will notice and, guess what, they will!!!

  35. There looks to be some real push back against these accelerating baseball contracts, especially for older players. Is analytics the reason, or is it just plain common sense? Either way, it’s looking like the mega stars will still get crazy paid (just not crazy, stupid paid), and the rest are more or less getting as much as they could to fit under the luxury tax threshold.

    1. Under the new advanced metrics, teams realize how quickly a player’s value goes down (and risk of injury rises) after the age of about 30 or so. It’s making older players less sought-after and younger stars(MM and Harper) more sexy and valuable than ever.

      1. Agreed. Even for the team that “wins” the Harper sweepstakes, has a good chance to “lose”. Very hard to predict performance 10 years from now

        1. Tac – On the other hand, ten years from now Harper could be the Phillies all time home run leader. You just never know.

        2. The 10 year deal many assume (though I don’t think it will be necessary to sign either) could be weighted in the early years of the contract so that, should the player’s production wane, it wouldn’t be such an albatross. I agree that the Phillies will wind up paying $300M. The Phillies? Maybe $325M as an overpay to outbid NYY. There’s no way LAD comes anywhere near what we offer Harper in years and dollars if he’s the one.

          1. The 10 year deal many assume (though I don’t think it will be necessary to sign either) could be weighted in the early years of the contract so that, should the player’s production wane, it wouldn’t be such an albatross. I agree that the Phillies will wind up paying $300M. The Phillies? Maybe $325M as an overpay to outbid NYY. There’s no way LAD comes anywhere near what we offer Harper in years and dollars if he’s the one.

          2. Sorry, some content was lost when I hit ‘post comment’ and again when I tried to repost the correction – “I agree that the Phillies will pay less than $350M for whomever.” If Manny chooses NYY, he will get much less than $300M. The Phillies would probably pay close to $325M for him to outbid NYY.

    2. Since the advancement of testing for PEDs the game has returned to how it used to be where players aren’t better at 36 than they were at 26. Front offices with the use of analytics have seen that and the contracts being offered has reflected that changeover.

  36. catch, the difference with Gillick was that he proved he would take a risk, and felt that you couldn’t let a mistake stop you going forward. He made a couple of big ones. An injured Freddy Garcia was a bad trade and Adam Eaton was not exactly a good deal. But, that never stopped him. MacPhail is lacking that risk taking gene.

  37. Let’s lock Boras in a room at CBP, hold him there until there’s an agreement to package Harper along with Kikuchi and Moustakas. Doable😎

    1. Lock him in? I’d assume he wouldn’t mine being there, his commish would be through the roof on those 3. Btw, if leabe mous out. At this point I’d continue with Franco, hoping his upside comes through

  38. Hinkie, Middleton’s motto might be aggressive, not reckless, but we have not seen any of the aggressive part from MacKlentak. So far, they have signed contracts that fit within what the numbers would say is reasonable, even if it may be slightly above. Arrieta, Santana, now Cutch, and taking on whatever Segura makes, all fit within that “reasonableness”. And, for the most part, that is a fine philosophy. But, 12 years and $400 Million will make the computers explode, and a deal like that can’t fit into the metrics, and needs the Owner to realize how much a Star brings to a team and its fan base over and above the numbers he produces on the field. Without that, none of those kind of deals would ever make sense. So, they will always be a little short on years when talking about SP, and we will see how far Middleton is willing to go to not be outbid for Harper and Machado. Let’s face it, the whole notion form the start that we are going to get one of them is based on Middleton’s willingness to not be out bid. No one is predicting that if the numbers are equal we will get either one.

    1. Today, my gut says Manny to NYY, Harper to PHI. The rationale to be offered at the introductory press conference will be that yes, while it’s antithetical to give such a large contract even to elite talent, Bryce Harper stands for something the organization (read John Middleton) felt it needs – a transcendent face of the franchise. Scott Boras will be beaming in his seat at the end of the dais.

      1. After hearing that Harper has been discussing Philly environment with Hoskins, I am also leaning Harper. They share Boras as an agent so that is a plus.

        Right now Philly is the betting favorite for Harper while Manny is a betting favorite for NYY.

        The saga continues.

  39. I know it’s regular practice but I was encouraged to hear Bryce and Hoskins discussing what it’s like playing in Philly.

  40. You beat me to it TrollU, I figured I tend to be negative, only out of self preservation, I really want them to sign everyone and win multiple WS, but I thought that was good newws. Today, I am leaning towards Harper as well. I felt all along that Machado would go to NY. While Macahado at 3B is a better fit because of his defensive skill at 3B, I think the one that takes the highest offer is Harper.

    1. Personal opinion.
      If Phillies get Harper and have to keep Franco:
      Franco feels less pressure and thus continues to improve from the offensive side
      Franco has defensive shortcomings,however, having Harper, Segura and Cutch in the field will still be an improvement over last year.

      Color me crazy:
      Quinn/Doobie – CF Combined 20 HR
      Hernandez – 2B 10 HR
      Cutch – LF -15-20 HR
      Harper – RF -30-35HR (maybe more because of CBP)
      Hoskins – 1B 30-35 HR
      Segura – SS 10-15HR
      Franco – 3B 25HR
      Alfaro – C 10-20HR

      That is some serious power and would make for some exciting games.

        1. That would mean a Franco trade.
          Who holds who hostage?
          If Phillies sign Mous, other teams may not be willing to give up as much for Franco.
          If Phillies trade Franco first, Boras May up the ante for Mous.

          1. Padres liked Franco this past summer… about LHP Matt Strahm coming back for Franco…add a few more pieces with Franco and maybe also a defensive plus catcher like Austin Hedges to help to balance out Alf’s defensive woes

            1. Denny – I’d keep Franco anyway. Franco, Machado, Segura, and Hoskins would be a killer infield.

          1. Why not Moose
            ….Bohm may be 2/3 years away…at least with Moustakas we get veteran leadership, glove and a stick akin to Franco’s already.
            He has been to the WS….players like that lead men.

            1. I’m saying no to him if Franco is still an option. It just doesn’t make sense, where is the upgrade?

            2. ‘It just doesn’t make sense, where is the upgrade?’…if Franco brings back Strahm and Hedges in a trade to the Padres…..great Scott!
              …the upgrade is tremendous.
              Pitching and defense are two ingredients to win championships…Phillies have no defense right now….you upgrade third base defensively…and catching.
              You get one of the best defensive catchers in the game and a lefty that is in his mid-20s and gets plenty of swing and miss, especially vs other LHBs.
              Plus Moustakas career average of wRC+98 is still four points higher than Franco’s career average.

        1. Dylan seems to be trying too hard to impress. McCutchen could have a great influence on him, and get him to concentrate more on contact, especially with two strikes.

        2. No. If Cozens is with the big club to hit 15 HR then something either went seriously wrong with the Phillies or seriously right w Cozens, nothing points to the latter happening.

          1. With an OF of Harper, Dobbie and Cutch with Quinn (also IF) & DC backups. MM, Seguera, Hernandez and Hoskins in the IF with Kingery as supersub and anither IF naybe Franco for 3B and 1B, then Alfaro and Ellis at C. Pretty good team that makes out pitching more than capable and much better than 2008’s.

  41. McCutchen has been a Sheetz guy for a long time, but he says he really is starting to get use to and liking Wawa. He should be a fan favorite, similar to how JRoll was enamored..

  42. Matt Strahm has been Hinkie’s guy for Franco since the season ended. I think the addition of a lefthanded bat, if Harper is the guy, would encourage the FO to sign Moose after a Franco trade. And, unless I am wrong, in DRS for last year, Moose was a plus 2, and Franco a -12.

  43. And, Cesar was a -12, and people wonder why there are those of us happy to move on from him? Rhys in LF, terrible defense from C, and mediocre in CF, no wonder our D was awful.

        1. While the outfield defense was attrocious last year I’m not sure McCutchen-Herrera-Harper is that much of a defensive upgrade. Harper’s UZR was -14.4 which was surprisingly worse than Hoskins -11.3.

    1. Catching was the worst in the league also.
      The total team DRS…negative 149, last in the majors …..and one of the worst in MLB history since they started keeping track..

        1. Also phillies pitching staff in 2008 was:

          – Hamels
          – 45 year old Moyer
          – Brett Myers
          – Kyle Kendrick
          – Adam Eaton
          – Kyle Kendrick
          – Joe Blanton

          And we are worried about our current staff.

        2. Denny – Chemistry matters a lot more than the average fan thinks. I honestly don’t believe that the 2008 Phillies were the best team in baseball that year. They had great chemistry, and everybody picked everyone else up.

  44. Denny, regarding our SP. The 2018 team had the best 1B, 2B, SS in team history on it. The best home grown Left Handed SPs, one of the best Cs, and 6 guys who could hit 20 plus HRs, 3 of whom walked 100 times. So, we have none of that now, which is why we need an upgrade. Clearly the team is counting on the 3 young guys, so I will hope they all pitch well. But, the feeling that we need more from our SP is a real concern.

    1. What are you talking about with this statement “The 2018 team had the best 1B, 2B, SS in team history on it. “? Really? I think Howard, Rollins and Utley would disagree – vehemently!

  45. What go wrong with this signing? The LAA annually lose four-fifths of their rotation to arm injuries. Harvey is an arm injury waiting to happen.

  46. Angels make a “splash” in FA, sign Matt Harvey. Every time they don’t make the team better gives us more hope that Trout has enough and comes home.

    1. eh…they gotta start somewhere. Is there really a player out there that could bring a mediocre-at-best Angels team into contention? No. They are in trouble. Smart baseball says to trade Trout but the ramifications of that move would alienate that entire fanbase for years to come. They are just in a terrible position here, with the best player on the planet on such a meh team. I do not envy them.

  47. Was up in NYC today, lotta driving, so I got a chance to listen to NY fans (barf 🙂 … surprisingly no Machado hype, but a lot of Mets fans are very happy with their offseason, they love Ramos signing, to pair with D’Abaurd. We’re looking to bring back Murphy, but that was shot down

    As a side note, many NY Giants fans are eyeing up our boy Foles …or Bridgewater over Eli next year

  48. BREAKING —– the Phillies have just announced the signing of….journeyman infielder Phil Gosselin, 30, to a minor league contract. And the obligatory spring training invite. Ho hum. And why?

  49. If Manny won’t play 3b for the Phillies, don’t take him. The Club doesn’t need that kind of selfishness. I am skeptical about both Manny and Harper and what two prima donnas would do the chemistry of a young team. Cutch was a solid move. I would make a serious offer for Realmuto and then develop our young talent. Save the big money for Trout — a real Philly guy.

  50. Well today is one of the big days in the offseason. If Manny makes is out of NYC without a signed contract, IMO, he will be a Phillie. So if he truly wanted to be the 1% of athletes who take less money to play where his heart is … todays the day to show everyone. If not, he’ll be taking the offer with the most cash, and that is coming tomorrow

    1. I have been looking forwards to tomorrow but you bring up a good point; today is big because if Manny leaves with no contract we should be good to go.

      1. He could drag it out over the weekend, but id suspect he is going to make a decision before 12/24. Dragging it out will try to pull more money out of the yanks, but financially, they can’t match the escalators that the Phillies can. To me, if he leaves today without a deal, he is a phillie, just a matter of time … unless after meeting him they get the sense he truly is “Johnny hustle”

        I think they get him, very very high percentage. Then it’s on to kick the tires on Bryce, and by kick I mean drive his rate/years down

        1. while I share your excitement and optimism on Machado coming here, I personally don’t read too much into the fact that he left NY without a contract. We have no idea what they offered, but even if it was 350million I still think he comes to Philly for pure negotiating reasons. Why automatically take a big player out of the competition? All he has to do is pay lip service to the Phils but it makes it look like he’s really weighing his options… I would have been shocked if he signed that deal directly out of NY without finishing his tour. I do think he signs with the Phils.

      2. Or just maybe Lozano and Machados decide to think the three offers over, weighing the pros and cons of each, Friday and Saturday and decide over the weekend.

    2. I doubt a final decision will be made today, Tac3. Or tomorrow. I find it difficult to believe he wouldn’t invest one day in Philly (tomorrow) to at least make sure he isn’t missing something bigger. The “conversation” he’s supposed to have with Steinbrenner may influence either him or NYY or both. Remember, Manny wants them more than they need him. That’s huge in the bigger picture.

    3. The bigger question I have is – will this be the day Boras makes a move before Manny arrives tomorrow?

      1. Yes, the chess moves are being made. If Machado really wants to sign with the yanks, I believe he’d do it today. He doesn’t need to tour the stadium/City … he’s been playing there for several years already. It’s really… will you meet my asking price, has the meeting with Philly scheduled to pressure the yanks FO. He is thinking “make me an offer I can’t refuse” … if it doesn’t come.. he’ll head to Philly and from there I think it is over for the yanks. Phils now know the offers they have to beat, and they do so. So he either signs today (boo), tomorrow, or drags it out over the weekend to try and pull more money out of the yanks but doesn’t get it … and he’s a Philly. At the same time boras is stepping up their game, as Harper needs attention.

  51. The phils are working the Yank’s angle. Gosselin is the half-brother to harper’s Great Uncle on his Mother’s side. Take THAT Bronx Bombers. i think they still might get both.

  52. Probably nothing more than due diligence but the Phillies had reps to watch Tulo’s open workout yesterday. At $555K, not a bad idea in case, you know…

        1. I live in China. I’ll find the Majestic factory and camp outside–just like those people waiting to get into Star Wars or whatever.

  53. Love the Phillies chances.
    My worries remain
    Harper takes higher value with multiple opt outs to play in LA
    Manny takes less to play in New York

    Those are low probability but I have prepared myself.

    I do believe the Phillies are committed to improving the team and have some back up plans.

    Sunday will be the day we get one of the stars. I can feel it.

    1. TrollU…I think you are spot on…one star will be in south Philly on Sunday afternoon for sure…..Mike Trout will be in the east end zone boxes.

      1. Lol, brutal Romus. It’s going down, Phils are getting MM if he doesn’t sign with Yanks today. If he leaves, he’ll have to turn down Middleton’s offer, and I don’t see that happening, or at least I feel really good about the odds of him not turning down the money.

  54. Can I just say if we do get Harper I hope they ban the shift to some degree. I think the analytics show it definitely hurts left handers more than RH.

    I’ve yet to see them play a short left fielder and throw a guy out from that position.

    1. Well I mean it’s fairly obvious why this is the case . . . how many guys are you throwing out from that deep on the left side of the infield (or shallow OF)? Not only does the runner need to be on the slower side but the defensive player needs a strong arm not to mention the ball needs to be hit fairly hard.
      I’m for banning the shift. Make it where you have to have 2 players on either side of 2B. If you don’t want to ban it completely, have it where if you have 3 players on one side, they HAVE TO stay on the dirt, takes away playing shallow RF and puts more pressure on the defensive players due to the ball getting on them quicker.
      I’d be curious to know where Howard’s career avg would jump to without the shift, or how about D. Ortiz?

      1. EricD…the shift then and now.
        2012…..5,000 play per batter
        More emphasis now.

        1. Interesting how much more, didn’t realize it was THAT much. I’d love to know how many times in his career Howard came up with 3 infielders on the right side. I still feel like it was prob 40-50% of his ABs.

          1. here it is in a brief sampler between 2010-2016 for Ryan Howard …2010-2016
            NO SHIFT SHIFT
            BA… .424 …………..282
            SLG….. .553 ………..361
            Ave wRC+….162 …..71
            Runs above average….+17.1……-52.4

          2. Teams almost always shifted against him. From 2010 (the first year for shift data) to 2016, Howard had only 224 plate appearances where he did not face the shift, compared to 1699 with it on

          3. I think there was an article on ESPN a few years back that mentioned that the shift really hurt Ryan Howard’s career.

            1. Shift hurt him more than the usual LHB….because he was so slow out of the box.
              Those balls to RF most LHBs would have legged out or gone thru since the 2nd basemen would have been more shallow for them…Howard they were able to cheat and move back further into the OF since he was so slow to first base.
              Howard is probably one of the extreme outliers when he played, to be hurt by the shift.

            2. Romus, thanks for the info. It used to be so frustrating seeing him lace one in the hole thinking it’s a hit only to see the 2B playing shallow RF. God he was good for those few years . . . Still remember driving to Ocean City Maryland for a Labor Day softball tournament listening on the radio to Phillies vs Braves, Hudson was on the mound . . . Howard had a ok game 😉

  55. My preference is Harper as our OF corner OPS has been horrid for some time now. Franco for all of his short comings has been pretty decent over there and if you check out his batting order splits the further down you hit him the better his OPS.

    1. When I did the OPS numbers, Harper is lower than Machados, but swapping Harper out with a corner OF raises the team OPS more than swapping MM in for Franco.

      I’m looking forward to them signing so we can move on, either way. Next up, Trout tracking. Once both BH and MM sign, I think will know how Trout feels about a long term deal with LAA. Hopefully he refuses to sign.

        1. I don’t think that’ll be necessary but yes, I don’t think too many people would turn that down. I’d break my wrist trying to sign it quick enough.

          1. I’m not convinced he’ll leave LAA to be honest. They’re cultivating some young talent with Jo Adell, Griffin Canning, etc. Plus the Houston Astros should start to lose some pieces starting next season with Cole and Verlander. The AL West could be the Angels in the future.

            1. I don’t see LAA becoming anything of playoff relevance anytime soon. Their organization from the top is not one of the better ones.

            2. That is likely to be answered this season. Once Harper and MM sign the ground work will be laid for a Trout extension. If Mike signs it you will have your answer. If he doesn’t you can bet the house he will be moving on.

      1. You also have to look at the defensive aspect of the comparison. The improvement of defense going from Franco to Machado is far greater than the improvement of going from Williams to Harper.

  56. Machado at 3B makes him the better fit as his D is GG quality. Machado at SS makes Harper the better fit.

  57. One strategy that big market teams like NYY and LAD may be taking with regard to Harper and Machado – let the Phillies overpay for both of them, tie up a big chunk of their payroll that will restrict them in the years to come. Or let the remaining player realize his limited market and get an Arrieta type deal for him in spring training. Neither NYY nor LAD really have any driving need for either player. Just a thought….

    1. I could see this, but I think the opt out clause will save them. I can’t see one not being in there before or at year 6.

    2. All the more reason why they need to hit on draft pics, will allow them to trade MM or BH and pay part of the salary, Bring up the prospect and let the team traded to make it to the opt out clause

  58. It’s a quiet day so far in Machado… you’d think the agents would be making this seem like a coronation … a paradeesque entrance into Yanks stadium. Well if he doesn’t sign today, I believe our odds go up to sign him.

    1. I don’t think him not signing today increases our odds at all. Not that they’re bad to begin with, but it’d be silly to take the biggest players out of the equation. At worst, meeting with the Phillies is a bargaining chip for considerations other than money (opt-outs, no trades, incentives), and at best it forces the Yankees to match any offer. The Yankees might make a “take-it-or-leave-it” offer during the visit, but his agent can literally look them dead in the eyes and say, “You know the Phillies will give us this if you take it off the board anyways.”

      There is no threat these two come away empty-handed until the Phils are out of the running, so they’re gonna use that free leverage for as long as they can.

      1. I wrote a reply as a new comment, but I think it does. It’s a huge “tell” at this point in the game. Time to poo or get off the pot. By not signing, he is saying the money is more important to me, if it wasn’t then he’d sign. Everyone in that room already knows the Phillies will offer more. He has them following, to put the pressure on each side. The longer he waits to make a choice, the more he is thinking about taking the most money … get it while you can.

  59. Meeting is over, it lasted 90 minutes and I believe most of that meeting was all about Manny talking about what he meant with his October comments. The Yankees are in the catbirds seat, they believe Manny wants them more than they want him. Look, I am holding on to Hinkies comments also and hope he is right.

    But Andy Martino, a NY sports writer who covers the Yankees, just tweeted “the Yankees will not be surprised if the Phils offer is larger than theirs. They will also not be surprised if he chooses New York anyhow.”

    I think there is no team in baseball that values and wants MM more than the Phillies do. I am sure MM knows this. I hope that this desire [athletes do have egos and want to be loved] and the larger contract offer tip the scales.

    Philly so needs something like this to happen, we have not been a chosen location since the days of Halladay/Lee.

    1. Everyone should think about their best job they have had or have and if they had an opportunity to get more money at that job would they? Same with the free agents; its the bottom line.

  60. Just a thought. After Arrirta, the ages of the other 5 starters are: Eickhoff 28, Pivetta & Velasquez 26, Nola 25, and Eflin 24. With the exception of Eickhoff (injury), the other 4 starters showed marked improvement over previous years. I see no reason to believe that they won’t be better next year. When you add in an improvements on defense, and the batting order, the Phillies look solid for next year. The bad news is that the Braves, Mets, and Nationals have made major improvements. Middleton may feel more compelled to sign both (Harper, Machado) now, than he was a month ago.

  61. Buster Olney thinks the Yankees are trying to sign Machado and then trade Paxton and Andujar for Kluber. Of course, Buster Olney is a Yankees fan and everything is tilted towards them. But, I have no doubt that the Yankees feel that Machado may sign for them for less $ than we offer. We will know very soon, I think. There is that chance that he signs for less, I am not disputing that. I think the one that takes the most $ is Harper.

  62. And, going forward, we are not going to be handicapped no matter how much it takes to sign either one. $40 Million a year does not stop us from signing anyone that we want in future years. We have a long way to go to $207 Million, and we will exceed the Luxury Tax if we have to. I am being Hinkie here, there is zero chance that we turn down the chance to sign Mike Trout in 2 years no matter what our payroll looks like, the compensatory picks we lose, or the amount the overage on the Luxury Tax costs, zero chance.

    1. Don’t you think that the Player’s Union is going to have some say in the eventual signing spots?

      1. If MM takes a meaningful discount to play in NY. Team Boras will be very unhappy, the Phillies or any team could offer more than MM signed for and say that’s the Market!!!

      2. Neither the players union nor other agents can say anything BEFORE a deal is struck. But there is inherent pressure on the player’s agent to get the player to take the highest/longest offer. It makes the agent look weak in his ability to persuade his client.

  63. To add on to the comments about MM meeting with the yanks being over …
    Did he sign a contract? You have to ask why or why not at this point. If he wants to play so badly in NYY, then I’m sure the offer is enough. I’m sure he could say … give me this, and I’ll sign, and the yanks FO will have a contract typed up in 5 minutes or less. If he didn’t sign a contract, or doesn’t tonight at a potential dinner, what does that say? I want to respect the Phillies meeting? Nope, no one has time for that. He’d start spending his millions In NYC, where he wants to be. Everyone knows Middleton’s offer is going to be more, and that includes the NYY FO… so if he takes the Phillies meeting, he is saying Money matters more than my playing preference. There is no reason to go to philly. He could easily say … just give me $X, with blah blah bhah and I sign now. Again, if he makes it out of NY without a signed contract, he is a Phillie, period. He’ll mull all offers and ultimately end up taking the most cash. Athletes are very transparent.

  64. Andy Martino…….@martinonyc…….. 40m
    More…….It would not at all be Brian Cashman’s style to make Manny Machado an offer today. Agents say he is one of the toughest GMs to extract an offer from. No one has yet said a word from that meeting, but knowing the GM I’d be surprised if offer made.

    1. Bullturkey. He maybe the hardest to extract an offer from, but all the cards are on the table at this point. MM has already seen/played in the park many times, already been to nyc many times, their agents talked right after the WS, inbetween tHe winter meetings, AT the winter meetings, between the W.M. And this meeting … when would he present an offer? lol like they haven’t talked numbers at this point … please
      Cashman doesn’t want to ruin the yanks image. He knows he doesn’t have that the top offer. Serious primadonna negotiations going on if not.

  65. Manny was never going to sign before visiting and leaving all three (four?) teams. This is how this negotiating works. The agent will push the numbers up until all three teams say too much and then he’ll start to come down. This deal will be very painful for us. But I do think we’ll sign him, in a week or so. We’ll have to pay for his love of the Yanks and for him to play 3B. 9/$350M sounds about right. After that, we won’t have money for Harper. We will still try to find a SP and a closer however. And trading Franco will become necessary too.
    As for Trout, I don’t believe there’s any way he signs an extension. No amount of money will be offered that won’t be exceeded by what he eventually will get. Yes, the Phillies want him and yes they will will save money for that possibility.

    1. ‘As for Trout, I don’t believe there’s any way he signs an extension’……I will take you up on that..
      IMO, he will be offered an extension by Moreno after Harper and Manny..and will sign.
      I see him signing that extension with opt-outs after the second or third year.
      Trout will not stiff the Angel fans…initially anyways.

      1. He already signed one extension. How many do they get before it’s no longer considered stiffing them?

        If it were me at work and my boss told me that things would get better, I wouldn’t give them a full decade to turn things around. Trout has given them 7 FULL seasons (and one partial) and they’ve made the playoffs once… coming up on 5 years ago this season.

        Now this is not to say he won’t sign an extension. But if making the playoffs matters to him, or playing for the Phillies matters for him, or if he just doesn’t like LA, he no longer owes them anything. No one in that organization or any fan of the team has even one little iota of a reason to be upset with him at this point. He’s done his time, he’s been historically great, and it hasn’t mattered one bit. If anything, the LAA are proving they’re simply incapable of building a team around him. If they couldn’t do it in 7 years, why would they be able to in 2-3 more?

        1. Fair points.
          They bought out his 0-3 negotiation rights which was a plus for them and a concession to Trout.
          However, the team has not accomplished what they set out to do by signing Pujols, along with Trouts AAV under the arb years and et al…and of late Ohtani.
          But like I posted above, still think Trout will sign with them again with the clause this time included.

          1. Trout owes the LAA squat. They have talent at the major league level but Moreno can’t get out of his own way. Bad owners are organization killers. Not saying he isn’t a nice guy, but his biggest advantage is being located in southern California. That’s about it.

            1. But really that is a Philadelphia Phillies fans thoughts…..that may not be what Mike Trout thinks.

      2. I can’t think of why he would do that. Why would he leave money on the table? I can guarantee that he’ll make more money when exposed to the open market. Simple economics. He’s already rich and I don’t believe he’s worried about an injury. Loyalty? That’s why players have agents.

        1. Mike Trout will always play hard…and is getting injured, so the thought that he does not worry about injuries may be true…but they have happened the last two years.
          And he does have his money…close to $150M come after 2019.
          And with that…I do not see the prideful greed i his make-up.
          I think you may under estimate his loyalty in his character make-up.
          I could be wrong for sure….and he could just say mo to Moreno and the Angels when they make, I assume the somewhere maybe north of $40M AAV extension, depends on what harper/Machado end up signing for.
          Moreno I am sure will want to top their contracts in his offering to Trout.
          You can see that, correct?.

          1. I can certainly see the potential of that scenario. I just think most of the position players aren’t taking the quick cash, opting to wait for the big payday. Time will tell.

          2. Trout should name his contract, similar to LeBron. He is probably best player if last 30years (except steroid Bonds).

            If I were Trout I would ask for 40M plus 2M per year for 15years with opt out each year and full no trade clause. If LAA says no, then head to FA.

  66. With the recent trend in free agency, it’s becoming very apparent that the owners are gaining leverage in their dealings with the players and their union. Neither Harper (with LAD) nor Machado (with NYY) have any traction other than letting it be known where they prefer to play/get paid. If the team’s interest is mutual, they still aren’t pressed to meet the players anywhere in the middle. And with analytics now winning the day, owners and GMs have just cause and numbers to support their seeming lezee faire stance. Elite talent will still get paid, but nobody is kissing their butts like they did 10 or 20 years ago. Last year’s free agent market was weak, true. But nonetheless, it was also a true indication of whose direction the bargaining power is leaning. Harper may just eek out a $35-36M AAV deal so Boras can pump his chest and say it’s the biggest contract of all time. YET the years may fall gloriously short. As for Manny, you get what you get and you don’t get upset. At least you get to play for your childhood heroes. We’ll see….

  67. Reading a lot of doubt. There’s a real chance Manny takes less. Tomorrow may be just s courtesy meeting for Manny to Mcphail.

    1. TrollU…cheer up…MacPhail and Manny go way back to the beginning.
      Twill be like old times in the meeting..

    2. Will know soon enough, he left nyc without a deal, that is a great sign. It’s not the nfl where that is a really bad sign, but this is also a top fa of the last 10 years, you don’t let them walk if A) they want to play for you … and you actually want them & B) you have the money to pay them … aka the most. He’s heading to philly to get the highest offer. End of story.

      1. Tac3, MLB doesn’t operate in negotiating free agent deals with one and done meetings. Manny leaving the Bronx today without an offer or signed contract means absolutely nothing either way. The same tomorrow with the Phillies. In his case, he and Lozano may discuss their next step this weekend, narrow their sites or focus on their goals as to destination, dollars and duration. Perhaps he wants to make a decision before Christmas. Perhaps he’s comfortable waiting until into January. I think it doesn’t really matter which star player they sign. It’s simply who’s the first to say yes to John Middleton’s $300M+.

        1. I believe this situation is different. This is not the “first” meeting/ round of negotiations with interested teams. This is the final dance. When you say you want to play for a team … and you’re at this stage of the negotiating process … you sign. You don’t need to hear the highest offer, unless of course … you do care about the money. At this point he absolutely knows who he is going to play for, it’s down to the dollars and cents now. He is trying to get more out of NYY or Phi. My money is on phi. Sure it’s opinion based, but I’ve seen enough of these over the years to make an educated guess. He will sign will Phi on Sun. He’ll use Phi high offer to see if NYY will match, they won’t, so he’s a Phillie. Book it

  68. Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels were in CA today with chase utley to celebrate Chase’s 40th bday. They all wore T-shirt’s Old men rule! Great stuff!!!!

  69. If you are Yankees and you won 102 games or whatever it was – do you really think they need to spend 300 million$$ to win 105 games ???? That team still needs at least 2 relievers, and a quality starting pitcher….doesn’t mean they won’t sign MM, but what it does mean is they better be prepared to fix all the other holes too. Do they really want to use MM temporarily as the SS, and then have Didi come back, only to then have to trade the great rookie, Andujar. to put MM at 3B ? That’s alot of activity ? Doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but just sayin’……I can’t figure out why they just don’t use Adeiny Hechevaria, or pick up Iglesias who played for the Tigers to fill in at SS until Didi returns. Do they really need to spend that $$ ? We will find out. But the NY radio stations were opposed to signing MM – whatever that means ?

    1. I’m leaning Manny to Yankees
      They’re enamored by him and believe he is a perfect fit for their franchise.
      I don’t believe this is media BS to drive the price up
      Sure hope Phillies have their plan B ready

    2. And what do you say once Cashman stops laughing? Listen I like. All three pitchers as back end guys with potential for more but none are mlb tested veteran starters. They are guys who have a single season where they were wildly inconsistant that graded out too average. That dissent being back Frazier much less Frazier plus a pitching prospect.

      We keep hoping they will turn it on like Jake Arrietta did but only VV was nearly as highly regarded as Arietta and he can’t make it out of the fifth inning. I highlt doubt they are not as highly regarded around the league as they are here.

  70. Alright boys, today the chess match continues with Middleton making the most impactful move, he is going to put Machado into checkmate. He may sign today, but I believe he will drag it out into Sun/Mon before taking the largest offer. He’ll try to put pressure on the Yankees to match but they won’t, and MM is a Phillie. One twist I can see is, a little bullying from Middleton. You have x amount of time
    To decide, if you not, I’m withdrawing the offer, and going after another prized FA…

    Will see, of course this imo, but I deal in negotiations frequently for my work, and you can start to get a sense how things will shake out. The bottom line is that one of the 2 will go for the most money, if it both. From that, I don’t see how the Phillies don’t get one of them.

    1. Tac3…yes , it would appear that money may be the final outcome for both, they seem to have that prideful greed in their make-up.

      1. I’ve read up on some thoughts from BAL fans, and if he does sign, which I think he will with phi, he probably won’t be a fan favorite. I’ve seen a trend we’re the orioles fans say they were glad to have him but he doesn’t feel genuine, full engaged. He’ll say the right things about team etc, but it feels insincere. After the playoff performance and not having the team have the same control over him, lol … his Johnny hustle comments came out. A little bit telling if you ask me

        So what I’m saying, parents, buy your kids Nola or Hoskin jerseys… leave Machado on the racks

        1. We were fine with how many years of Rollins not running everything out? I’d be fine with another stud SS saying and doing the same.

        2. Tac3…agree.
          He will need to just put up the stats.
          Not sure he will have the love that the past guys from ’08 team had from the fans.

  71. Good column in ATHLETIC this morning by Mr. Rosenthal about the Phillies and their need to sign MM. He pushes them to make the signing – not for all the baseball reasons, but for the fan contentment and the need to keep pace with the rest of the division. “You mentioned stupid money, ” NOW is the time to spend it, he tells Middleton. Also points out the conservatism of the McKlentac FO vs. the “old style whip lashing” owner who wants action, now. There is no reason to save money for next year or Mr. Trout – who may sign an extension, he further states.

  72. All of the analysis of the Division, that I have read, has us 3rd or 4th right now, but always with the caveat that “the Phillies aren’t done yet.” As I have said before, if the last vote was Andy MacPhail I would nave no hope, but Middleton, I believe wants badly to win again. That doesn’t mean we get either, there is still the possibility that they take less elsewhere, but I do believe we will be the high bidder. But, if we don’t get one, I wonder if they do include Sixto to get Kluber and get better that way. I don’t see Pollack as a Plan B, he gets hurt too often. It is one thing to give Quinn a shot despite his health issues, but to pay the $ for Pollack doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

  73. Either way, we need 1 of Miller or Britton, and I wish they would make that deal already. Maybe while Machado is in the meeting to show him how committed we are to win? That was tongue in cheek!

  74. Expecting Machado to sign any contract today is completely unrealistic. No chance. Today is for one purpose…for the Phillies to sell their team and facilities to Machado and hopefully show him around the Philly area.

    Expect bids to be sent in from all three teams by Friday and him to spend the weekend analyzing them. His agent will likely go back to the leading candidate for a few more goodies. Likely to sign by late next week.

    I continue to believe that Phillies need to be materially higher on cash guaranteed deal to be in consideration. The only question in my mind is how irrational the WSox will be.

    1. Agreed. I read a good point on twitter, the Mariners were able to sway Cano by offering him 3 years and $65 million more. This is probably what it’s going to take to get Machado, a significantly higher guarantee and a few opt outs.

      The Yankees seem to view him as more of a luxury that if they can get on their deal they’ll do it.

  75. Ok v1, Let’s assume that we get neither one. How do we get better other than hope for internal improvements? I play Quinn in CF, Williams in LF and Cutch in RF, trade Doobie and Sixto for Kluber, sign Britton or Miller, trade Franco for something and sign Moustakas. Not quite Machado or Harper, but better than what we look like today.

    1. Can you explain what you like about Moustakas that Franco can’t give you? And at a lower cost and younger . . .

      1. Moustakas is pretty much the same player in April that he is in August. Franco? Who knows from month to month or week to week? He doesn’t make the manager’s job easier in making the lineup.

      2. Eric D….Franco vs Moustakas.
        SDi SABR -2018
        Mike Moustakas…..2.2
        Maikel Franco……-7.0
        In short…defense

    2. If we lose out on Machado, Harper and Corbin in this offseason, I do not believe that there is anything that we can do to truly be a contending team.

      But to be clear, the path that I would choose is to over pay BOTH Harper and Machado and friggin go for it!

      All in baby!!!

      1. More on this:
        1. Our payroll is basically nothing right now. we can ABSOLUTELY handle $70m per year tied up into Manny and Harper. It should not affect us at all long term.

        2. Acquiring pitching is extremely expensive. The way to combat this is to have an elite lineup. Adding MM and BH to our lineup would make it one of the best in the game.

        3. Waiting for Trout in 2 years is a stupid plan. First, no guarantees he gets to FA. Second, even if he does, you make room for him anyway. Third, putting all of your eggs in one basket 2 years away is dumb.

        4. Getting both gives us depth to acquire a pitcher

        1. I tend to agree. The Angels aren’t letting Trout walk. If Harper/Machado sign for $400 Mil they’ll offer Trout $500

        2. While it would be exciting to sign both Machado and Harper, it’s not happening.

          1. Adding 70 million (as v1 suggested) would shoot the Phillies well into luxury tax land. As I post this, the team sits at an estimated 148.5 million towards the cap for 2019.
          When you add one of Britton/Miller (they will sign one), the Phillies will stand at ~160 million. Even if they trade Maikel Franco (expected to earn 5.1 million next season), the Phillies payroll would be at 225 million. That’s just not happening.

          2. Agree that adding established pitching is expensive. That is why Klentak needs to hold on to most of his high end pitching prospects (Sanchez, Medina, Romero, Howard, Morales, Gowdy, Pipkin, Llovera, etc) and hope they hit on a couple/maybe a few.

          3. Waiting 2 years for Mike Trout is the furthest thing from stupid. Not only is he the greatest player in MLB since Barry Bonds, he’s a local guy. Trout to the Phillies is the equivalent of LeBron to Cleveland. I don’t know what the percentage is, but there is a real chance he hits free agency in two years, and this team would be derelict in their duties to be unprepared to make him a Phillie in 2021.

          1. Hinkie:
            Number 1….Luxury tax payrolls are based on the AAV of all 40-man roser contracts and also,includes $14M in benefits plus all the earned performance bonuses attached to some of the contracts, ie innings pitched, all-star selections, games played et al.

            1. McCutchen has a $100K bonus if he is WS MVP for the Phillies….so looking forward for him to cash in on that bonus feature….along with league MVP: $100,000 ($50,000 for 2nd, $25,000 for 3rd) and then there is also
              LCS MVP, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger: $50,000

            2. Romus … You’re right. MLB uses AAV’s to calculate luxury tax numbers. The Roster Resource site I used, and linked (twice by mistake) uses AAV’s to estimate payrolls.

  76. Somebody (above) mentioned this tweet.

    Where do you think Andy Martino got that info from? Does anyone believe Brian Cashman (or another person in the NYY FO) would tell Andy Martino they’re not planning to outbid the Phillies, but still think Manny will sign with them. That sounds like info floated by Dan Lozano intended to get the Phillies to bid against themselves.
    I’ll say it one more time … the Phillies are going to sign one of Machado/Harper. I’m not clear which (I think Klentak and his staff prefer MM, while John Middleton likes BH). The Phillies will meet with Machado today to work out the Johnny Hustle comments, and let him know they want him as a 3Bman (he’ll be fine playing there), and may even discuss the length of a potential contract. Most of all, Manny is going to want to know how much stupid money the Phillies think he’s worth. However, he may be disappointed because the Phillies could tell him, “keep us informed where things stand with the Yankees and White Sox, and come back with your best offer so we can beat it”. That could indicate the Phillies like Harper as much or more. Nothing will surprise me.

    As far as Mike Trout goes … Arte Moreno will wait until Harper and Machado reset the market before he approaches their superstar CFer later this winter. Trout has no incentive to sign a LTX this winter. He’s got plenty of money in the bank already, the offers are not going to get smaller if he puts it off, and waiting forces Moreno to work harder/faster to make the Angels a playoff team. The Mike Trout situation will most likely play itself out next winter.

    1. They were talking about this on the radio tonight and apparently the guy has solid sources. And that’s Philly radio saying that.

  77. Who ever takes less money for the same job/career? You know who does that … The peace corps, military, and public service … not MLB superstars. He will be a Phillie. Machados nephew doesn’t understand the power of money yet. At this point in the negotiations, you have to feel really good about the Phillies chances on mm, but especially getting 1 of the big 2. Harper sitting in the background is telling, he WANTS the biggest contract in MLB hx, or he wouldn’t be so inactive.

  78. can someone please explain andy macphail and MK to me? they are given a mandate to spend money if needed to attract top talent ( if we are to believe middleton , which we have no reason not to) but they don’t seem to want to spend it

    what president and GM doesn’t want to have more money to spend on players?

    its different if they’re positions were lifetime appointments but one day they will be fired if they don’t win. whenever that time comes for middleton.

    1. I think they could be fired, should be actually, if they don’t sign one of the two big stars. If they can’t get it done, what good are they.

      1. They’d have to make up for it in killer trades, even then im not so sure that would save them …. when Middleton sees the season ticket numbers…

        I know his name is probably taboo around here, but Amari was good at FA signings, he could get it done. Drafting not so much.

  79. I still think we’ll get Manny but the deal will be excessive. We will be buying him for sure.
    After that deal is done, they’ll close on a deal with Miller or Britton. Then they’ll trade Franco. And then they’ll trade for a SP. Kluber will cost a lot as will Robbie Ray. Minor doesn’t excite me at all. Do we take a chance on Miley or Gio instead? Still lots to do. First step though is to sign Manny with stupid money. Be Bold!

    1. The more “stupid money” it takes to get Machado or Harper the more prospects you will see traded for “cost controlled” players. Depending on how things turn out getting Machado could actually lead to a sustained period of mediocrity after a couple of contending years when the pipeline has less coming thru because of moves made after signing Machado.

  80. Moustakas is a left handed bat who is more consistent than Franco and gives you better D. Franco actually has some value as a trade chip. Moustakas signs for a short term, and hopefully, Bohm is the real deal and plays 3B. That is why I like Moustakas. Not saying he is a huge upgrade, but he is netter than Franco. I am still hoping for Franco. Hinkie, I know it does not seem logical that someone takes less $, but if his heart is set on the Yankees, and our offer is not substantially higher, then he may very well sign for less. Is there any question that if the $ is equal he goes to NY? I don’t think so. So, the question is how much more will it take? And, if the premium is 20%, does Middleton pay it?

    1. Yeah I mean you raise a good point. This FO group took Bohm a college 3B #3 in this past draft. What does it say if you overpay MM to play 3B.

      I get that you never ever draft for need but still Madrigal was there and likely more versatile.

    2. Matt13….if it is third base….the Phillies could be looking at Arenado next year, if they lose out on Machado.

      1. Romus, my big problem with the notion of future FA classes is if we lose out this year, why would we do any better going after Arenado? There will be other bidders. He is a California guy, so there is the desire to play there, similar to Machado and the Yankees. What will change in our organization that they fail to sign Machado or Harper and then succeed on Arenado?

        1. This is really the big part. They’ve hyped this offseason up since this regime took over in 2015. If they can’t deliver one of the two big guns who’s to say they will in the future?

    1. The worst thing that could happen did happen. It happened to the Phillies who painted themselves into this corner. I’m not trying to be negative on purpose but you have to walk it all back and ask the question did they approach this rebuild the right way.

      Did Middleton in his haste to distance himself from the Montgomery Dallas Green influence act prematurely in hiring McPhail.

      IMO there were better more experienced candidates available than McPhail/Klentak.

      I guess what I’m saying is if we go back to 2015 Middleton should have taken a more measured approach. I don’t know the facts around the hire but it seemed to me they stayed inside their 4 walls and let Gillick pick McPhail who in turn picked Klentak.

      I would have been interviewing others from other organizations with demonstrated track records. Heck we could have nabbed Farhad Zaidi to be President of Baseball operations instead of McPhail.

        1. I don’t know Romus I’m not the billionaire owner so that’s way above my pay grade LOL.

          What I do know using the benefit of hindsight is that Friedman another analytics whiz nabbed him for the Dodgers and Billy Beane is quoted as saying “he is absolutely brilliant”

          I think the A’s melded as good as any org the scouts with the analytics. So the fact that FZ didn’t play college ball should be irrelevant.

          1. DMAR…you do understand Zaidi got to the Dodgers with a Kershaw, Turner, Bellinger and Seager already drafted, and Puig previously signed….so does make things easier.
            He brought in Grandal .
            So lets not crown him the king yet.

  81. Noticed they made Manny sit at the door. They should have been out there waiting for him.
    I think the Yankees nab him. My needle leans Yankees.
    Lets focus on Harper.

    1. TrollU….as for Harper and Boras…still think Middleton remembers what Boras did the Phillies six years ago with Ryan Madson..the Phillies had the deal with their offer, and then took it and shopped it and the Reds just barely topped it.
      Boras claims Ruben reneged on the the offer, the total years I think was the hold-up, and the Reds gave him a little more on a one year deal.

    2. TrollU…with all due respect, my friend, your views on what and where MM will play next year has been harder to follow than watching two world class ping pong players. Sheesh, now you think MM will decide to sign with the Yankees because the Phils made him sit at the door??? How do we know he wasn’t 2 hours early? Or that Middleton wasn’t crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s on a 10 year/ 320 million dollar offer? The fact is that we don’t know anything.

      As a phan who first followed the Phillies in 1964, I have ample reason to suspect we as Phillie phans are doomed to be disappointed again. Visions of the “64 Collapse, Black Friday, Joe Carter, Carpenter beating his fishing mate Halladay, Howard tearing his Achillies tendon which ended the last Phillie dominance…yes there are ample reasons to doubt this turning out well.

      But I am holding on to Hinkie’s guarantee here…he has been too convincing, seems too positive about the inner workings of the Phillies, and probably because I don’t want to think of how gloomy things will be should the team fail to sign MM or Harper after all these promises.

      1. @CaliDream: at this point, I believe the odds are to high that we get 1 Of them. It is more of a question of which one.

  82. Rosenthal’s article was a good one. It makes no sense for a businessman like Middleton to talk about spending $ and then have his FO fail to sign any major FA. That is worse than what the Angels are doing, which is to be in on nobody, and simply shop in the dented can aisle. There was a #1 SP, and we gave up over the extra year. There was a #2 SP and we gave up over the extra year. There are 2 top Lefthanded RPs, and we will see what happens. And, there are 2 Superstars that we are in on. There is no true back up Plan to signing 1 of them, and failing to do so would be an embarrassment to Middleton.

  83. Pretend for a minute, you grew up in Miami. And you had two job offers where the lower priced offer came from:
    – a better team
    – a bigger market = more advertising opps
    – a less pressure situation because you are not THE SAVIOR but just another top player in a loaded lineup with a loaded pitching staff and a loaded bullpen.
    – a better chance to win multiple World Series
    – your favorite team growing up
    – the most storied franchise in baseball

    I think that is what we are up against. And an extra $1m per year is not going to win the day.

    The difference between $300 million over 10 years and $310 m is 3.33%.

    To put that in percentage difference into perspective. That is the same percentage difference between $50k salary and $51,667. And keep in mind, on that extra $1,667, you pay out agent fees and about 50% taxes. It just doesn’t move the needle. It does not overcome all of those other things.

    Our offer needs to be MATERIALLY higher than the Yankees.

    Our offer has to be staggeringly

    1. Patrick Corbin grew up a Yankees fan/couldn’t wait to wear those pinstripes. What happened when the Yankees wouldn’t pay as much as another team (Nationals)? Manny Machado is no different. If the NYY want him, they’re going to have to out bid John Middleton.

      1. This whole discussion is emblematic of the debate between traditional and behavioral economics (The Atlantic just ran a story on the subject recently, “Economics: The Discipline That Refuses to Change”). Do humans act on strictly transactional grounds (e.g. in this case, going wherever they stand to receive the most money), or are they given to other factors that muddy their decisionmaking, and hamper their self-interest?

        1. When speaking of humans don’t paint them with the same brush. While mostly predictable sometimes not.

      2. Hinkie…tend to agree.
        When I look at the Yankees COTS figures for the next twqo years…..$90M alone is tied up with four players…..Stanton, Chapman, Ellsbury and Tanaka……add another $30M plus with Machado and they will be strapped ….then comes the Judge 0-3 negotiation process starting in 2020.

          1. yes DMAR…..they will need a buyer however…..and he only wants West Coast…LA… if I recall.

    2. @v1: ok, let’s go down this rabbit hole. What does move the needle? Would 700k vs 1million move the needle? The standard in NYC is much higher than in Philly&Sub, about 30%. 1 million dollars will barely you get you a 1,000 sqft condo. You pay more for everything in NYC… everything. Nothing is cheaper. So, if you take 300mil offer the yankees, to a 325 million offer from Philly … it’s basically a 125 million dollar difference, with 90 million of it lost to cost of living. If you want to argue that 30% is to high …. I work, travel, and have family in the city, it’s a good estimate. Drop it down to 10%, and Middleton’s over pay… you are saying 55 million isn’t enough to move the needle? IMHO, it absolutely does.

    3. Playing baseball for the New York Yankees is not a less pressure situation than doing so for the Phillies.

      1. Not so sure I agree with that. There is a case to be made for both points. What we do know, is that the “less pressure” comes with less pay . Pressure doesn’t get to all athletes, some love it. Will see, but my money is on MM to the Phillies, if that is who the Phillies agree they want out of the 2. To me, it’s their choice, because of the money

  84. Whatever the reason may be I’m not getting a Machado to Philadelphia vibe. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. Harper is a different story – I think there’s a decent chance he comes here.

  85. I am not getting a good vibe either, but money is king. Don’t forget the difference in ~7% income tax (NYC + NY State vs Philly + PA) difference on 35 million year is ~245K x 10 years is 2.45 million + the additional 50 million offered in the Phillies contract.

  86. Well, I think we covered just about every conceivable way that Machado, and Harper for that matter, will wind up in red pinstripes….or not. Most of us seem to waiver from one day to the next. Gotta love the hot stove season!

    1. I’m set on the Phillies buying their way into MM’s heart …. with a green infection. Then I’m 50/50 on harper. I think they could win the bidding, if they want to go in that direction

  87. The Phillies signed 6 players for their Lehigh Valley affiliate. I won’t go into details here. I posted a lengthy comment in the Minor League discussion.

  88. Todd Zolecki
    Manny Machado is at Citizens Bank Park. A construction worker reminded him the Eagles won the Super Bowl and then told him to “Get that money!”

    Have to love those construction workers…they come out for the big free agents…remember Thome back when.

  89. Phils sign Shane Robinson to Minor League contract. He is supposed to be a good base runner and defensive OF. I don’t know much about him.

  90. I’m a little surprised that TrollU hasn’t chimed in that we won’t sign Manny because it’s a rainy day in Philly. (Sorry, bro. You know how we roll.)

    1. Lol hey it’s better than being called rocco 🙂

      I just thought it was interesting that they made him wait is all

  91. I grow weary of this discussion and the armchair psychology. I can’t wait for this to be over so I don’t have to hear about it anymore.

    1. Same here. I’m sure some agree with me and some disagree.

      At this point, you can make arguments for either point, but my money is on MM to Philly. I think 325 for 10 gets it done, due to cost of living&tax differences between NYC & PHI. Added up, it’s a lot o money to walk away from. Middleton was part of the courtship. I’m sure he mentioned it, and if his agent is worth anything, he’ll explain the true value of the contracts, in comparison to one another.

      If he does choose the yanks, I hope the Phils and Yanks meet in the WS, get swept, and he can think about how he could’ve won and got paid more to do it :$

  92. Jeff Todd of MLBTR (and other national guys I have read) seems to think neither Machado nor Harper signs with anyone until mid/late January. That’s a long time. We’ll all be at each other’s throats by then. Yeesh!

    1. Manny flies out to Miami tomorrow morning….any bets Boras is calling Middleton sometime tomorrow…maybe he will roll into town.

      1. Boras’ end game? To get Harper signed to the record contract, especially in AAV. No problem. By virtue of saying ‘no, thanks’ to Middleton, Manny has shrunk his market to whatever Cashman will offer him, which will be easily beatable for Boras. If Manny gets 6 years @$220M from NYY (perhaps front loaded) while Stanton’s $325 still holds the record, then Harper can count on Johnny Cigars to pony up, say $330M over 9 years with opt outs from 4th year onward. Maybe a sizable signing bonus that totals $340M? That’s approximately $36M-$37M AAV. Whatever. It accomplishes Boras’ end game. He has only so many left at his age.

    2. I guess their reasoning is to think both stars want to see final team rosters? Or as close to it as possible. Ugh, I would think that they both have way more information than they already need, they just need to pick. Did the agents not prepare? I guess that part of the equation wouldn’t surprise me.

      Sign, get it over with already, primadonnas :). Not like they won’t get opt out clauses, so no need to rack their brains. Pen to paper time boys.

      1. I think they are more interested in pictures of dead presidents on green paper than team rosters, Tac.

  93. I disagree with the guys at MLBTR. I think that Machado’s agent will know pretty quickly what the Yankees offer, and whether or not there is wiggle room, and how much higher the Phils offer is. I have no doubt it will be higher. And, then he will choose. I don’t think the WSox are a real player in this. Boras may wait that long on Harper, but I think Machado signs relatively soon. And, part of this is wishful thinking because I can’t stand another month without 1 of them signing here.

    1. Needing to mid jan/late Jan is a ploy to extract more money, which the Phillies fo said they wouldn’t wait forever. Lol … yeah will see about that.

      I do think that he will make up his mind before Christmas. You’d think his family members would like to know where he’ll be playing, etc. the money difference is a lot between NYC & PHI. Once he really lets that sink in, it should be a no brainer.

      How long does one need, it’s not like he hasn’t had time to think about it while he wasted away in BAL, and all the time inbetween. He just needs to pick.

    1. I think the MLBTR guys predicted this one. Sanchez really did have a renaissance-type season last year by effectively working a cutter into his repertoire and getting the best weak contact % in MLB (among guys with at least 100 innings or something…). I don’t think the Phils really “missed out” on this guy, as he could very well be just as effective as our in-house options who I am much more excited to watch improve (Pivetta, Eickhoff, and Eflin especially). For the Nats, though, yea Sanchez represents yet another dude who will only allow 3 hits in a game against the Phils.

  94. Daniel Murphy to Rockies. One of the, seemingly, 2 dozen 2b off the table. He can hit, but his D is really poor.Another Phillie killer. Always seemed to hit great vs. us.

    1. Daniel Murphy is a ridiculously overlooked player – that guy just hits all day long and I think he’s got a few good years in the tank.

  95. Good me: Manny said Philly visit was awesome; we have a good shot
    Evil me: don’t listen to good me, Manny says the visit was awesome so Yankees get nervous and up their offer

      1. I agree that they can’t sign everyone but all they’ve done is traded for Segura and signed Cutch
        Marginal improvement IMO

        1. all they’ve done?!?! haha we’ve just been going crazy, like 400 posts crazy, thinking of Machado scenarios down to the last detail!!! yes, nothing has been DONE on that front yet, but they are working on it!!! Love the offseason so far. Finish the pursuit of Manny (it’s so close to the finish line) and then turn to Borass for a Britton & Kikuchi package deal (would never happen that way but I want them both!)…and then call it a day.

  96. “Miller had multiple 2 year offers”. I bet we were one of them, and we will lose another Pitcher over 1 year. Is this a pattern? We may be in on Britton, but does anyone believe that we won’t be 1 year short on him as well? It makes no sense to me. If a RP can help us and the difference is 1 year, why don’t we sign him? Who cares about year 3? We have enough $ that we can release him and eat the $ if we can’t trade him. It is driving me crazy.

    1. @Matt – don’t sweat on this one. Britton will be the better option. Call me out if Miller plays better than Britton going forward.

      1. Britton could be better if he’s fully healed
        Miller did have shoulder issues last year so you may be on to something Kurdt

        1. signing Miller > 2 years is a disaster. i don’t like pitchers with shoulder problems. Miller can be better in multi innings situations, but Britton can take the closer role while Seranthony gets more experience with high leverage innings.

    2. Think the Phillies want to have some expiring contracts after 2020 in case Trout becomes a free agent. See that pattern with Happ and Miller and also with their reported interest in Minor.

  97. “Yankees believe Manny Machado wants to play for them … but … how often do players leave money on the table? They don’t” This is what I’ve been telling you. FA’s will almost always sign with the team willing to give them the most money. Don’t over-complicate things. When John Middleton determines who the Phillies prefer, he will offer that guy the most stupid money. The player will then say, “Where do I sign?”

    1. I agree with this Yankees discussion. The Phillies will exceed the Yankees offer by $50 million. Who turns that down?

      1. I’m seeing conflicting reports but I also don’t know if the twitter accounts I found are legit

    2. @hinkie – we’ve been on the same page with our optimism in signing one of Harper and/or Harper (although I have more faith that Middleton will get away with both) and i 100% with you that it’s all about the benjamins.

      People just forgot how the Patrick “101% will be a Yankee dude” Corbin turned out.

    1. Hmm. Jeff Evans? MLB? I zoomed in on his home page pic to see a member of the CPB grounds crew watering the infield grass. I think we might be getting hosed by this guy as well.

  98. I’ve wanted Britton all along but I think it will take 4 years. I agree on stopping with 2 on Miller. He’s older and had an arm/shoulder injury this year. Britton’s injury was a torn achillies. Very different situations. Get us Britton.

    1. Machado and Britton was the package the Phillies were reportedly pursuing at the deadline. Too much (or not enough) in prospects to get it done then. Now, it’s all about the Bennies.

      If 10 years/$370M is in fact on the table for Manny, and he still opts for NYY….hey, what are you gonna do? Call Boras and offer Harper the same.

      1. 8mark…..the one person yuo do not want to be held hostage is Scott Boras…I’d let them both go to the AL teams if I found any inclination that they were using the Phillies to get better deals from teams they rather be with, other than the Phillies.
        I’d say…..adios amigos.

        In the words of that great British philosopher….Sir Michael Philip Jagger….”you can’t always get what you want….but if you try sometime you find…you get what you need”

        1. The Phillies would need to be smart about that, for the entire league. If their offer is used to get a better deal from the players preferred city … well they shoot them selves in the foot because they just raised the price on all FA…for all teams.

  99. NY reporters are saying the Phillies making Manny wait and the construction worker greeting Manny seals their fate and makes Yankees the favorites lol the crap on twitter

  100. I agree that Britton is a better option than Miller, but we haven’t signed Britton yet, and based on what should we be optimistic that we won’t fall 1 year short again? I am happy to have faith but the MacKlentak duo has given me no reason to. And, we twist ourselves into a pretzel trying to make them look right, when the extra year for Happ or Miller or Britton simply does not matter. It does not matter if they eat that last year, we are a big market club with big market finances and $14-15 Million in year 3 or 4 will not stop us from doin a single thing. Even if Trout gets $50 Million per year, that extra few million is meaningless. The luxury tax bill won’t be high, and I promise that the team will still be financially successful. If they feel a player can help us for 2 years then the 3rd simply does not matter.

    1. You’re assuming that whoever we sign will be good for the duration of the original contract and the extra year will be a waste? I’m more inclined to think that the last year of the original deal will not be great and the extra year is just more wasted money. So let’s say we gave Happ the 3 years he wanted, I’m expecting 1 good year, 1 average to bad year, and 1 bad year.

    2. There’s been speculation that every move the Phillies make has much to do with Trout come 2 yrs from now. While I understand that thinking, and I certainly want the Millville Meteor to come crashing back home, it’s presumptuous to think he’s a slam dunk. Get what value you can on the field now. Let all the rest sort itself out later.

  101. No, Guru, I apologize if that is what came across. I believe that Happ gives us 2 good years, and I was willing to risk year 3 being a waste. And, that doesn’t mean a total waste, I am just willing to eat the $ in year 3 to get the player, but he may still be serviceable in year 3. Miller I view the same. RPs seem to last a long time, and if I believe that he gives us 2 good years, and I think they did, which is why they offered 2. I am willing to risk the 3rd. I don’t believe that the amount of $ in year 3 is a problem for us to absorb and still be able to do anything that we want financially. And, I feel the loss of the talents of either Happ or Miller or Britton, if we lose out on him also, is much more detrimental to the team, than having a 1 year contract to pay with little or no production in return 3 years from now.

  102. And who I wanted from the beginning was Happ and Britton, with Miller as my back up to Britton. I didn’t want to sign every FA or offer 12 years when 3 was sufficient. And, if we sign Britton, and had we signed Happ, and we get 1 of Machado or Harper, we can compete for the Playoffs. And, we would have no obstacles to signing Mike Trout in 2 years or anyone else in between. And, I don’t want to belabor my opinion on them not spending $ for Happ or Miller. First, all is forgiven regarding Miller if they sign Britton. And, secondly, Ellsbury’s bad contract did not stop the Yankees from winning 100 games, and Hanley’s bad contract did not stop the BoSox from winning the WS. 1 extra year to have secured Happ or Miller and Britton, if they need to, will only help the team.

    1. The Red Sox are a different beast, they are not afraid to throw money around and eat money if necessary: Hanley, Kung Fu Panda, Rusney Castillo (remember him?)

      Jacoby Ellsbury, I believe his contract was from the previous regime where they were willing to throw money around. They are not doing that anymore it seems.

      Remember when the Phillies gave Raul Ibanez that extra year? He gave us 1 good year, 1 bad year, and 1 truly awful year.

      You’re willing to believe that Happ and Miller will give us 2 good years. I don’t think they will. It’s more 1 good year, and you hope the second is good. But more likely it’ll be mediocre to bad for the second year. So adding a 3rd would be a complete waste of money.

      In general, the last year of a FA deal ranges from mediocre to really bad. You’re hoping the player doesn’t fall off a cliff. And history bears this out. You only have to look at Tulo and Jayson Werth for that.

  103. Machado felling friends that he’d pick the Yankees if offers are close
    Phillies better blow the Yankees offer out

    1. Sounds like his friends don’t understand finance. A similar over for the Yanks, will need to be above and beyond the Phillies offer, if it’s not, he would be giving a major discount to the NYY…. leaving money on the table so to speak. I referenced this yesterday, the power of the US dollar is less in nyc vs Philly. Sure you can argue you get more for your money .. but the buying power is much less in nyc vs Philly. I’m estimating, but I’d say a 100k salary in nyc is equaled to a 70k salary in philly. Everything cost more in NYC, and it all adds up. When you are talking that much money, he can obviously afford either place, but if he wants to the highest offer, it will undoubtedly come from the Phillies. If the Phillies offered 350 over 10 years, NYY would need to offer 427.5 million for the offers to be equivalent (350 + 25m for additional taxes + 50m buying power difference). You can argue the buying power, I did it at a 15% difference, and that is a conservative pro Yankee estimate. The point still remains, the Yankees are going to have to offer at least 30mil over their proposed top budget of 300mil, to really even make it realistic … if manny wants comparable offers.

        1. Ha … Hoboken,NJ …. does he want to be late for half his home games throughout the life of the contract? 😆 Also, I would hope that his wife at least prefers Philly over Hoboken!

  104. Well, I was happy with Ibanez, so we will have to agree to disagree. I think that in this marketplace, that is what is necessary to get to be really good. Right now, we are 4th in the Division. This is after 7 years of mediocre to awful baseball. Adding Segura and Cutch are nice, but hardly earth shattering. Praying that all the young guys become All Stars is a fun exercise, but will not prove to be fruitful. We have not drafted great. We are not a “destination city.” We have an advantage monetarily, and if we keep the $ in our pocket, then we will have 7 more mediocre to awful baseball seasons.

    1. Matt, I liken the Cutch acquisition to that of Raul. He could light up the CBP scoreboard early in the season, win an all star berth, and be the veteran team leader that Hoskins may become shortly. His tenure may not as productive in 3rd year of contract but his impact could be significant both on and off the field.

    2. Matt13:
      ” We are not a “destination city.” …bingo.
      Look at the past WS or winners of the WS teams of ’80, ’83. ’93 ’08….many home grown players and basically trade acquisitions….Pete Rose may have been the exception as the national big time free agent signing..

      1. Romus, The ’83 and ’93 teams were a collection of misfits that jelled and had career years. Those were not sustainable. ’80 and ’08 had some of the best players in Franchise history. Let’s look at ’08, the best 1B, 2B, SS, Home grown LHSP, and one of the top Cs in team history, supplemented with Wertz and Victorino and a perfect closer, plus BP help that was crucial om Madson, home grown, Eyre, FA and Romero off the scrap heap. Now, we have Nola and Hoskins, with Hoskins still needing to up his game. We have some young players that haven’t done it yet in Kingery, Alfaro and Williams. I think they are moving on from Franco regardless of who they sign. Quinn is injury prone and Cesar is ok. Segura and Cutch make us better, no doubt. We have Arrieta who will give us innings, and who I believe will re-invent himself to stay effective, and young SPs, none of whom flourished under the microscope of meaningful games down the stretch. So, I equate, and maybe I am overly positive, Segura and Cutch to Wertz and Victorino, I love Rhys but where does this generation’s Utley and Rollins and Chooch come from? Lidge? Burrell? Not the farm system, at least not yet. So, we have to overpay in FA, or let the ownership off the hook. I have no interest in doing that.

        1. Matt13….better look more closely at Rollins/Utley/Howard’s/Ruiz and Victorino’s minor league metrics……they were players never rated as super stars in the waiting.
          Rollins….BA…highest at 31st
          Utley……..BA….highest at 81st
          Howard….BA…highest at 27th
          Ruiz…..and Victorino…never top 100
          Werth……BA…highest at 48
          …no really top ten guys with can’t miss credentials.
          I think you are slightly under estimating the farm system and what can be its future fruits.

          1. Romus, you are completely right. Not arguing about them as farmhands, at all.They became what they were as Major League players, and, certainly, some of our guys may blossom like they did. And, I root for every one of them, but, I don ‘t see that in the next year or 2, and I want to make the Playoffs this year. If Mickey Moniak reminds us of Whitey Ashburn, I will be thrilled. But until then, I want the FO to spend a lot of $. Not hitting $207 Million this year, but really spending. I don’t think that Happ, Britton and Machado/Harper would have stymied a single one of our prospects going forward, and without them, I don’t see a Playoff team.

            1. Well, not much I can say.
              I can understand how you feel about the immediacy of making the playoffs after 7 years of futility.

  105. the work of Macphail and MK has been frustrating. they are losing out on all competitive bidding for FAs. the offseason still has options starting with the big two signing but IF this team makes no more successful signings and this team comes in 3rd or 4th place, Macphail and MK should be immediately fired the last day of the 2019 season.
    they seem to not recognize that free agency is not really free. you alwasys have to go a little longer and a little more than you want when other teams are bidding
    that’s the advantage of being a big market team

  106. He met with The Phillies for 4 hours .. Middleton was there, I think they got him. Per the Eagles players, it’s all about the money… I’m sure Manny has a strong desire to get the most money he can right now. Yeah the NYY would be nice, he can sign there for his next deal, after he gets a ton of moola first.

    I’m confident he is signing with the Phillies. I’m thinking he doesnt need to drag this into the new year once him and his agent realize how much more the Phillies offer is in terms of $ & buying power.

  107. sr – Even though the Phillies kicked the tires on a lot of FA’s, I don’t think they missed out on any of their top targets.

    1. Miller is one of my favorite pitchers to watch, along with Kluber that are outside the org. They’ve both been used like rented miles. I’d been OK with his deal, but I think Britton would be better, maybe even Kimbrel, if he turns into an Arrietta type signing.

      You also have the rumors of Franco being traded for relief helo, so they could be trying to tread water as MM decides

  108. A few things, if he was really worried about cost of living people act like he can’t live in NJ or even Pa and play for the Yankees, however I feel like that’s a minimum concern. I’m w V1 (never thought I’d say that haha jk), the overpay is going to have to be more than some think on here, and that’s years and money. Everyone talks about Trout wanting to come back here and that he would take less to play for his childhood team, why is that all of a sudden different for Manny? I could see the Yankees doing somewhere around 8years 280-290m, maybe push to 300 to sound more appealing. The Phillies will need to come over the top at 360-370 for 10 years. Just my opinion. Oh and to be clear, i’d offer both Harper and Machado contracts of around the same thing. That would also allow them to use Bohm as a trade chip . . What could a package of Sixto/Bohm/Haseley/Hernandez(or Kingery)/Williams/Eflin(or VV/NP) get you? A TOR arm.

    1. I don’t actually recall anyone suggesting that Trout would come to the Phils for less money. I think the general consensus was, all offers being equal he’d choose the Phillies or LAA. Likely the Phillies based on LAA’s playoff history.

      The general consensus also states that the Phillies would not be outbid on Trout in the open market. So if we’re offering the money he wants, yeah it does seem like a match made in heaven. Now of the Phillies aren’t willing to match his market value, then no I do not expect a homecoming. If someone else is offering him 30+M more than we are, that tells Trout that the Phillies don’t value him as much. And everyone wants to be wanted.

      If the Yankees aren’t willing to go to 10 years or over 300M, they aren’t getting Machado. The Phillies will absolutely destroy those numbers.

      Also, if the Phillies trade Sixto, Bohm, Haseley+ for a single player, it better be the aforementioned Trout. I wouldn’t even do it for Trout if you’re throwing Kingery and Eflin in there. Sixto and Bohm are both headliner pieces. As are Kingery and Eflin. Haseley isn’t quite that tier, but he’s got a ton of value right now.

    2. I am not confident in our FO to make a trade, however, they are earning my trust with the Segura trade.

      They need to make some moves ASAP but seems like they are letting Harper & Machado hold them hostage.

    3. Trout won’t come here for less money. People believe he’ll come here if we pay what he’s worth.

    4. I’d imagine a young couple with no kids (as far as I know,maybe even manny) would decide to live in NYC vs anywhere on the border of it. Especially with the money they’ll have. Again, I could be wrong, but I doubt they live on the outside. More convenient to live within City limits to not have to wait in the 30-45minute routine traffic in any of the tunnels/bridges to get inside the city. To me, imo, I think the cost of living comparison is very real once they really start to think about things. For me, I’d make more sense to play for the Phillies and travel to nyc apt when time allows, but that’s me.

      Will see, we all have our opinions, but I think many athletes would consider the total value of the contract between the two cities. Toronto is always bought up in the currency value … why is NYC’s cost of living considered?

      Bottom line, if he really wants to play for the Yankees, he’s going to do so for a very big discount compared to PHI.

  109. I don’t go by what the national reporters say, I trust Jayson Stark, but not a lot of the rest. I do think that when Jim Salisbury and Todd Zolecki say something, they are pretty accurate. So, they both said we were in on Happ. We fell short by a year. They both said we were closing in on Miller. We fell short, and please, don’t tell me St. Louis overpaid. Those of you who don’t like Miller, you can certainly make a point, but my point is that the team felt that he would help them, and if they make that determination, then you sign the guy. Forget Corbin. Now they are looking at Britton and Mike Minor as a trade, giving him the chance to start, with relief as a back up. Go get Britton. We are the rich team, go spend on someone you identified as a big help to the team. Go into the bidding and win, don’t finish second or third. We are only talking about players the FO has identified as targets. I am simply advocating that we act like a big market team.

    1. Happy for Profar… that poor guy has been apart of every trade deadline for the last 10 years it feels like.

      I was hoping he could’ve been included in the Hamels deal.

      1. Profar instead of Nick Williams? Jake Thompson?

        I don’t think there’s any way we would have gotten him, let alone him and Alfaro, but it’s interesting to think how different that trade could have been. If we got him instead of Thompson that would have turned out to be the best Phils trade since Halladay.

        1. He was a prospect I wanted, along with gallo and the OF stating with a B I think. I thought we could’ve gotten 1 of them during the rumor period, but the actual return was not bad. I like having offensive 2B & C, so Profar and Alfaro would’ve made me pretty happy. Thompson seemed good at the fime, but I’d of easily swapped out Profar as I’m sure most would’ve. I feel it’s easier to fill the rest in FA.

  110. If the tweet from The Pinstripe Empire (listed above) was close to being correct that New York offered Machacho that contract (7 years – 210 mill) and he really, really wants to be a Yankee, he’s probably going to take it.

    Sure, he’d be leaving a ton of money “on the table” but by accepting a measly 210 million dollars, I don’t think he and his family are going to suffer all that much. Maybe, just maybe, to him it’s not all about the cash.

    As Tac3 posted above “…if he really wants to play for the Yankees, he’s going to do so for a very big discount compared to PHI”. If he goes that route, fine. Better than having him in PHI second guessing himself and maybe pouting.

    1. …. yeah, starting to look that way, or at least LAD will Have the ability to keep up/outbid Middleton. How is it that the dodgers can dump Puig,kemp and others while the Phillies got stuck with Howard for so long? Not totally fair comparison, but just another badge of honor in our fandom. Puig and kemp got some skills back I know.

      Time for Middleton to go balls out for Machado : 9 years at 360 million might have to be back on the table!

      1. Tac – you were so sure Phillies were signing Manny this week. I appreciate your confidence.

        I’m back on the boat that we aren’t getting either superstar.

  111. Phillies- you better start looking at your Plan B and C because Harper is a Dodger and Manny is a Yankee
    Sorry after this possible failure of an offseason, I may be losing faith in this team and may just write off baseball. Bummer because it’s a game I enjoyed but 7 losing seasons in a row and no end to that in site

  112. This offseason is getting brutal … a lot of teams in the aNL are making significant upgrades. Reds are rumored to be in on Kluber, add him to the mo , that team kicked it up a notch. At this rate they need to sign Machado to keep pace.

    The Phillies are really going to need one of hasley Moniak and bohm to be for real, along with one of sixto, Medina, and Howard … the more the better but, they need to see some hits from those guys. They can fill in with FA but they need some homegrown options too.

    1. They are not signing Machado it appears. It has Yankees written all over it especially if the 7 year $210million is true. What will $5million a year really do to entice him?

      1. Why is the Phillies offer only 7 years now? I know it looks bad to you, but I think money wins this for the Phillies. The FO is have a very high AAV if it’s a short term deal or a better long term deal. If MM goes to the NYY he will have to walk away from very significant dollars. He will lose so much money taking that offer vs the Phillies reported, it’s not even funny. 10 years at 350 mill or the bump
        Back up to 9 for 360, a 40’mill AAV. I can’t see him turning that down… that is not close to 30mil AAV … that would be walking away from 150mil … he would be the first and last human to ever do so

        Just relax until it happens.

        1. Yanks offer was $210mill, sorry. Someone mentioned it on here and it was twitter.

          I doubt the Phillies offer 9 for 360 or 10 for 400

          I tried relaxing but I see Dodgers making room for Harper, Reds improving, Mets improving, Braves improving, Cards improving.

          Sure Phillies have Segura and Cutch, but they still arent a wild card team even with those improvements.

          1. TrollU… ‘they still arent a wild card team even with those improvements.’
            how do even know that now!
            Klentak still has trades to be made I am positive.
            He does get more creative in his off-season trades…..Dec ’15….the Giles/Velasquez trade. Then just recently the Segura deal.
            There are so many variables with the youth on this team.

            Sure getting one of the MM/BH players would have been great…and they still may get one….but that does not guarantee a play-off spot.
            And if both go to the AL…the silver lining, the Phillies do not have to worry about seeing them 19 times a year.

          2. There is no chance the Phillies won’t SIGNIFICANTLY beat 7/210. None. If you think the Yankees get him for that, you’re being negative just to be negative. You really think he won’t beat EITHER of ARod’s contracts? The ones he signed over a decade ago?

            The Phils will give him 300M. They’ll probably give him more than 300M. If the Yankees won’t even approach that number, he’s not going to the Bronx.

            1. Dan – I am not being negative just to be negative.
              say Phillies offer 10 years for $300mil. It is the same AAV than the Yanks offer.
              Phillies will absolutely need to spend stupid to get Manny. Right now, I dont see a team that will make that move.

          3. Anything under 300mil isn’t going to cut it for MM imo, I think the Phillies can easily go 350/ over 9 or 10 to win if needed. The Yankees are trying to get a potential HOF talent on the cheap… I don’t see that working out, even for the Yankees. Whoever gets him is going to have to pay, whether he deserves it or not. Same for Harper.

            I still think the Phillies have MM, Harper looks less likely, but still possible.

            This is how negotiations go, good move by LA, but doesn’t mean Phillies are out on either.

          4. TrollU, you really should change your handle to TrafficLite. I never saw anyone as inconsistent and bipolar in their comments as you.

          5. You can’t blame Cigar Man for Harper we can’t offer anything better than Kemp or Puig to block Dodgers.

          6. Can’t reply to the other message, so I’m doing it here instead.

            In spite of your name being TrollU, I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt and take your posts seriously. But trying to say there’s no difference between 7/210 and 10/300 seals it for me. You’re nothing but a common, uninspired internet troll.

            Have a nice holiday season.

            1. Dan
              It’s $30 mil a year
              Sure Phillies hypothetical offer is 3 more years but still has same value
              I’m not a troll you keyboard warrior

  113. Hinkie?, you are not at all worried? If I had to bet today, Machado to Yankees and Harper to the Dodgers.

    1. Check out the fallout from the LAD\REDS trade, the money exchange sounds like it cancels each side out, it’s basically prospects traded for Kemp/puig. Phils are still in the lead for Machado imo, there’s to lose.

      A big tell to me Is that the meeting lastest the longest of the 3, by a lot, 4 hours to 90’mimutes. When you are selling something, a long meeting like that means they are biting.

      Will just have to flap in the wind until he finally makes a decisionc to me, he should really know which team it is, but that’s me.

      Still confident, money talks and bull$ walks

      1. I know Mike, half of me is bracing for disappointment and the other is hoping I am wrong. Very stressful, I admit. I really believe as we sit here today, we are 4th in the Division. We will see what the next month brings.

        1. matt – As fans we know that Middleton’s money will be there, and it be enough. If Harper and Machado sign for less, It’s an indictment of our beloved City. As I see it, the Phillies need one big bat, one left handed reliever, and one back up catcher. If the Phillies come up short, it won’t be for lack of money.
          We are 4th in our division right now, but the big bat, and top notch reliever will instantly make us contenders. I don’t see Pollack, Moustakes, or Minor as viable substitutes for Harper, Machado, or Britton.
          I’m encouraged by seeing Klentak playing the waiting game, and succeeding last year. Will lightning strike twice? Time will tell.

  114. Before any of us jump to conclusions about the Dodgers signing Harper because they cleared room for him, let’s remember they are much smarter than we are, and many here tend to get fatalistic fast. LAD could opt to pursue Pollock or other more economical options and address other areas of need. Yes they could go for Harper, and maybe that’s what he wants. But in the end, it’ll be a baseball move. The Dodgers don’t “need” Harper any more than the Yankees “need” Manny. This isn’t the NBA where the big ticket players reign. Let’s take a deep breath. Johnny Cigars is our Santa this year. The big present under our tree just may not arrive until after January 1.

  115. just for sake of discussion, where do we go if we lose out on MM and harper? corbin, miller, Brantley off the board already.

    1. I still see them getting MM. I can see them overpaying because it will then push Bohm into a trade chip for a TOR. So their is value in an overpay for MM

      For arguments sake. I would think they move to upgrade the bullpen and increase team OPS of the starters, make a platoon possibly.

      For the pen, they go after Britton and keep a close eye on Kimbrel, if his # is years drop.

      For the OF, pollack might become more attractive, but I can see Klentak calling back Seattle for their Young OF everyone wants. Maybe Puig becomes a target due to his productivity vs 1 year left on deal. Personally I want to go easy on the OF upgrades and let Hasley fight his way to the majors mid season

      For the INF, I can see kingery being moved to 3rd, to trade Franco for bullpen upgrades, to further stock up.

      For SP, I’d say they might cash in some prospect currency for Kluber, Ray, Bauer, or minor.


      As it stands now. Not so bad if the bullpen is beef’d up
      And the SP continues to progress.

        1. I think it could surprise, obviously Alfaro and Kingery developing would lengthen the lineup, I guess it depends if your optimistic or not.

          A repeat of the SP, without the late season fade, and an improved bullpen and defense, will coverup for a weaker offense. I hope they can get MM, with opt outs that project the club long term. One of The biggest benefit to that signing is in a way minimizing the swing and missed prospect selection over the years. They improve the team while keeping their prospect currency.

          Have faith, the Phillies are going to blow the yanks out of the water with their offer, Middleton has us covered.

  116. Honestly? I think we strike out on Britton. Klentak makes a trade for Minor, we hear we are hot after Kluber, but that doesn’t materialize, they laud the improvements and tell us Williams and Franco are on the cusp of stardom, and they have all season to make improvements. “ We will keep being aggressive in making the team better every opportuity we get.” “The World Series is our goal!”

    1. I know many of us feel the Phillies are like the hot looking girl across the bar that can’t overcompensate for her bad breath. It’ll be okay. We need to let things play out. One guy from LA who covers the Dodgers tweeted that their next order of business is acquiring Corey Kluber.

      1. If they get Kluber and Harper I will bf rooting against them for years to come.

        I want your honest thoughts; who can the Phillies realistically sign or trade for that’ll improve the team?
        Not named manny or Bryce of course

  117. Some of you guys have really got to take a deep breath. You do understand the LAD (even after this trade) would still go over the luxury tax if they sign Bryce Harper. I don’t know this for a fact, but I did read about a month ago that some one came across a memo/letter/email to Dodger share holders that said the team was planning to remain below the salary cap in 2019 and beyond.
    Also the Yankees are not going to match Middleton’s offer for Manny Machado. The poster who argued that Machado would take the NYY’s offer of 7 years@ 210 million over the Phillies offer of 10 years@ 300 million because the AAV’s were the same must be drinking heavily tonight or just trying to Troll us. If that were the case, then why don’t the Yankees just offer MM a one year contract worth 38 million? The 38 million AAV is higher than the 30 million AAV.

    The question isn’t “Will the Phillies sign one of MM/BH?”
    The question is “How much will it cost when the Phillies sign one of MM/BH?”

  118. For those who are skeptical of Mike Trout becoming a FA after 2020 or think it’s foolish to be making moves now in anticipation of Trout being available in two years … John Heyman has this in his notes from this week:

    “There’s no word yet on any extension talks for Mike Trout. One rival said that while he’s heard Trout like the Angels very much, there’s industry speculation he could go to his hometown Phillies – he’s from southern New Jersey and still winters there – in two years as a free agent”.

    Middleton and MacKlentak would be nuts to do anything reckless this winter that could interfere with bringing Mike Trout home after 2020. That’s not to say they shouldn’t spend some stupid money on Machado or Harper. They will do that. They’re just not going to sign both, and they are going to continue to hold the line on the length of deals to pitchers (other than Aaron Nola and Nick Pivetta).

    1. You don’t plan years ahead for one player hitting FA, if this year isn’t a blueprint to that I dunno what is.

    2. They would be crazy to put all their eggs in that one basket. The Dodgers trade is yet an other example of teams being able to shed payroll. If Trout hits FA and wants to come home, then they shed payroll or move into luxury tax. Do what they have to do. But hurting current team on the hopes that a player hits FA in two years is crazy.

      1. Yes – just as silly as the guarantees that the the Phillies unequivocally WOULD sign Harper or Machado – yeah there’s a decent chance but a guarantee? Ridiculous.

      2. I/nobody said the Phillies will/should “put all their eggs in one basket”. I’ve been very consistent in posting the Phillies will be aggressive, but not reckless this winter. I’ve emphatically stated (for months) the club will definitely sign one of the two superstar FA’s available. However, any fantasies of the Phillies bringing in both Machado and Harper on long term deals are ridiculous. I posted much earlier in this thread that the 70 million dollars you suggested they invest on MM & BH next season would send the Phillies well into luxury tax land. Look around MLB, Teams are trending the other way. Clubs are scrambling to get/stay under the cap.
        I posted almost two months ago someone with second hand knowledge told me that Mike Trout is the Phillies end game. Middleton and MacKlentak would be aggressive, but not reckless (that’s where I got that phrase) this winter because they need to leave the Trout option open. Manny Machado or Bryce Harper are home run signings (and they’re going to get one). However, Mike Trout is an absolute grand slam !!! It would be like LeBron to Cleveland.

        1. The only definite is that the Phillies will play next season.

          Also we should be glad Boras is his agent – Boras will encourage him to get the best financial deal unless the two packages are whisper close in dollars.

  119. Hinkie, I continue to hope that you are right and we sign one, but I don’t understand the Trout issue at all. If he is available, and he wants to come here, then we sign him. Luxury tax implications will mean nothing. So, we don’t have to “prepare” for signing him, we just will. And, I don’t care what SP we signed, the contract could be 10 years long, and it won’t impact signing Mike Trout. As far as the Dodgers and their letter to shareholders about staying under the Luxury Tax, it is simple. “Folks, we had a unique opportunity to sign one of the premier players in all of baseball. We will continue to be financially prudent, and we think that Harper’s acquisition adds to the overall value of the Franchise, not to mention makes our goal of winning Championships much more realistic.” There won’t be a shareholder with a problem. And, the family that owns the Dodgers is the majority owner of the wealth management/Private Equity group through which they bought the team.

    1. matt13,,,you are correct and this will further explain the Dodgers situation a little more in detail.
      Tucker Kain, the Dodgers’ CFO and managing director of Guggenheim Baseball Management, would not elaborate why the business model presented to potential investors showed that the team does not plan to spend above the threshold in the near future, even as revenues increase.

      1. Thanks for finding that article, Romus. I was too tired to look for it last night.

        Also … this thought that the Phillies should just run their payroll past 200 million now on players with long term contracts with the idea that “they can just also sign Mike Trout when he becomes available in two years” is also wishful thinking. Teams with more financial might (NYY/LAD) are struggling to find ways to add Harper and Machado right now because of high payrolls. Yes, the Dodgers found a sucker (the Reds) to help them shed some payroll (I think about 17 million). That 17 million in savings gets them just under the cap. I don’t know for a fact that they won’t blow past it again for Harper, but I’ve read (and Romus posted the story) they won’t.
        The Phillies are no different than all MLB teams. They do long term financial planning. The story Romus linked shows the Dodgers do it. The Phillies manipulated their payrolls for the past three seasons in anticipation of MM/BH this winter. Planning for Mike Trout is no different.

          1. Everything I’m seeing nationally has it unlikely that the Dodgers are scheming for Harper. The lay reactionaries of course jump on the narrative because hey, the Phillies and us, their fans, will once again get screwed out of one of the two superstars. It’s time to chill, enjoy an adult beverage and a Johnny cigar. Happy holidays!

          2. Romus … thanks for posting that. Here are a couple of tweets from Jeff Passan (very reliable guy) that also throw H2O on BH to the LAD:

        1. Hinkie, I have no interest in signing a bunch of guys to long term contracts and running the Payroll to $207 Million this year. My pre- FA wish list was 1 of Machado or Harper, 1 back up C who excels defensively, JAHapp, and 1 of Britton or Miller. We could have and should have done that, and with the Segura trade and signing Cutch, we have a Playoff team with a payroll substantially less than the Luxury Tax. And, leaves us trade possibilties as well. I simply feel going forward that 3 years for Happ and 3 years for Miller or 4 years for Britton does not, in any way, take us out of the Trout sweepstakes, should there ever be one. I think every one of the teams that wanted to get under the Luxury Tax, and most, simply to re-set the penalty, would pay the tax, happily, to add Mike Trout. I want them to do whatever it takes to make the Playoffs this year.

        2. Hinkie I am curious why you feel the Reds were suckers in this deal. The players they received are all free agents after this year, it is true, so what they have is the coming year plus first rights to them. Plus they get rid of the bloated contract of Homer Bailey and they receive 7 million dollars. Rumors are that the Dodgers are just going to eat the 23M contract of Bailey by releasing him so I am not sure why this is a winner for them unless you think the minor leaguers the Dodgers received are better than recent all stars Puig and Kemp and A Wood..

          1. I(heart)PP … that deal makes no sense for the Reds because they aren’t winning anything in 2019, yet they took on three players with one year of team control, and gave up a couple of prospects in the trade.

            1. I think much like Seattle taking Carlos Santana, the Reds are adding future trade assets. I don’t know that either Kemp or Puig will be traded 10 days later like Santana, but I think teams are always looking for bats at the trade deadline.

              Seattle turned Santana into a competetive balance pick and Edwin Encarnacion(who will be traded by July/Aug prob)

            2. Great American Ballpark was made for Kmp and Puig to pad their stats….and look very attractive in July.
              Woods , otoh, may suffer from pitching there.

  120. There are so few occasions where a Superstar signs for less money that most of us can recite them off of the top of our head. The odds that Harper and Machado both sign for less money are astronomical.

    1. Philly had one such occasion, maybe the only one…Cliff Lee a decade ago….spurned the Yankees.

  121. Mike, You expressed my hope exactly. I can see one of them signing for less, Machado with the Yankees, but I think our shot is to outbid everyone for Bryce Harper. Adding Harper, getting Britton, and securing a good defensive Back Up C vaults us to contention for the Playoffs. I think you might have already said that, so if so, I concur.

    1. matt – If Harper or Machado signed before Jan 1st, any bonus money would have to be included in their 2018 taxes. It’s a smart move to wait until 2019.

  122. On a side note, I received 4 pounds od Wawa coffee from my big brother yesterday, Merry Christmas, Tony.

        1. Heartland USA!
          …I lived three years in Oklahoma…Sooner country.
          Sometimes the taste buds have to adapt.

  123. In my mind, the key thing to watch for in the next 7-10 days is what happens to Miguel Andujar. Jon Heyman reported yesterday that he is on the block “for the right price.” My take is if the Yankees get the feeling from the Machado camp that he is headed to New York they will move Andujar.

    I also can’t help but wonder if the Yankees indicated to Machado and IF they can move Andujar soon they will bring Machado in and his agent is giving them time to make a move.

    Look, I hope not and am holding on to Hinkie’s prediction but it certainly is frustrating that in the year when the Phils are primed to try and get 1 of the two superstar free agents, they are competing with the Yankees and Dodgers.

    Speaking of the Dodgers, I live here in SoCal [in Trout territory, Orange County] and the loud buzz today is that the Blue Crew made the deal yesterday so they couldbring in Harper. Again, keep an eye on Kluber, doesn’t seem the Dodgers can have both and its still being reported that the Dodgers have no intention of offering Harper 10 years, they are looking to offer a 4/5 year deal with an AAV of about 35 million.

    Keep an eye on Andujar and you will probably get a sense of where Machado is header.

  124. Ok, So $35M over 8 years is 280 Million. We offer 10 years and $330 Million, $50 Million more. Does Harper go to the Dodgers? In the meantime, the Rangers, allegedly want a lot for Mike Minor. Again, if I need to go 4 years to sign Zach Britton, I do that. If I am moving prospects, then I want in or Kluber or Robbie Ray. Plus Britton is much better than Minor.

    1. I’ve got news for everyone – the bidding for both these guys starts at $35 m aav – either or both could even go over $40 m. The length and opt outs are the real issues.

      1. Agree,,,the length and whatever opt-out clause they can invoke are what will drive it at the end.
        The Phillies are in the enviable position to be able to give them their cake, and let them eat it, all at the same time.

        1. I’d be shocked if the AAV for Harper or Machado is less than $35m. If it’s less than that then someone is getting a good deal. I’m serious.

  125. Phillies should not spend until 2020 to make sure they can sign the top superstar FA. Sounds familiar and how’s that looking to work out lol

    They need to sign Pallock and trade for Kluber or Bauer. Sign Britton. They’ll still have a competitive team that maybe competes for the 2nd WC.

  126. Neither Harper nor Machado strike me as Phillie type players. I think they will go for the big glitz and the celebrity culture. Those mega-10 year contracts hang like an albatross on the neck of the teams that give them. A good Plan B will take us just as far.

  127. I can understand Rob why you don’t view them as “Phillies type players”, but 10 years for guys this talented at 26 are really not the type of onerous contracts that we have seen before. I don’t see a good Plan B at all. I am happy to hear your thoughts. Pollack is not in the league with those 2, and he has injury problems. I don’t see a trade candidate, and unless you are fine with waiting until next year and hoping for more luck with Arenado, I don’t see how we get very far without Machado or Harper, even with their warts.

  128. Blue Jays and Padres in serious talks to send Stroman to the Pads.

    Now, there’s potentially another target off the board.

    1. TrollU….you may want to avoid Stroman…he has been declining…sine July 2017 he has trended downhill …..and he still has not reached 5’9″.

        1. He turns 28 and for some reason has lost something the last year and half.
          The Padres , if they do get him, i think will surprise everyone with the little they have to give up, in order to get him.
          I am not sure he is a TOR anymore as he once was on the track to be.
          In Philly he would be a three…which may be his best these days.

  129. MLB news, via Jon Morosi, is reporting that the Dodgers are actively trying to acquire Kluber for Verdugo and then acquire Nick Castellanos from Detroit, and have indicated they seek a power right handed bat to balance their lineup.

    These rumors would certainly fly in the face of reports that they want to sign Harper. I simply cannot see the Dodgers adding Kluber and Harper and reports that they want a right handed power hitter also would seem to indicate less than ambitious desires to sign Harper.

    Because I convinced we have at least rounded 2nd base and are heading for 3rd in the Harper/MM stories of where they will call home in 2019, I will certainly be following every Dodger or Yankee move with interest between now and the new year.

    I have also read reports today from Dodger officials that their actual strategy for this off season is to acquire financial flexibility for the 2020 season as they believe the 2019 free agent class is deeper than this one.

    I have long been a Boras watcher [since the days of JD Drew] and it would not surprise me in the least if he was floating the Harper to LA rumors, not because he expects his client to end up there, but because he hopes to raise the ante for the Phillies, White Sox and maybe the Nats.

    While not a Dodger fan, I am certainly a Dodger admirer. I admire how they go about their business and seemingly almost reach their off season goals. It is obvious to me that Kluber is next on their list and I suspect they will get him. I actually hope they do because if he come onboard [especially if its for Verdugo] it would seemingly put them out of the Harper sweepstakes.

    1. TrollU, You have posted an excellent article, all of us should read. Manny has had knee problems that could reduce his effectiveness at 3b over the years. In addition even Showalter has detected his attitude problem. If Manny wants a 3-5 year contract OK. But 10 years and $300m — let the Yankees and Dodgers throw that kind of money around. But somehow, I think they are too smart to do that. I hope the Phillies people are too.

    2. That article sounds to me like it was written by someone who just doesn’t think much of Machado. Nothing more. After all this time, suddenly his knees are a cause of concern. He played 162 games in 2018. Granted his contract year, but why clutch for another reason not to sign the top 3b in baseball. The Phillies have geared up for the 2018-2019-2020 markets. Now they’re supposed to have cold feet? C’mon….

        1. Definitely thought it was interesting especially with the knee issues of years past.
          I like 8mark’s idea
          There’s a good chance halfway through the contract the NL gets DH so pivoy Manny to there
          I consider Phillies Nation a good source

      1. At this point, it is down between two “superstars” .. so is Machados knees more of a concern than Harpers all out play over 10 years ?

        I remember At some point during this 3 year pursuit, the talk was that Machado would holdup better than Harper, mainly for the way each play the game. Let’s face it, johnny hustle isn’t going to pull a hamstring lightly jogging to first. Vs harpers all out utley style of play.

        Pick your posion.

  130. I am in agreement with the more objective view that the historically savvy Dodgers are in position to be much more pragmatic in their off season pursuits. Just because LAD and NYY are universally perceived as the baseball magnates of the west coast and east coast respectively (and to their advantage in many cases), second level thinking suggests that these two very strong organizations are trying to accomplish more than just simply buy up the most popular commodity. Again, it seems to me that Harper/Boras and (especially) Machado desire LAD and NYY as destinations considerably more than the teams do, and to each team’s advantage in negotiations.

    Depending on the gap between the Phillies offer and the Yankees offer, yes, Machado may opt for the Bronx. That is largely up to John Middleton. IMO, he prefers Harper. Let’s not allow the Hollywood plot line that many assume ignorantly to be the unrealistic doom to our more reasonable hopes and expectations. Unpleasant as it is more us to wait through the holiday season, the longer it takes for their markets to develop, the better for the man with the deepest pockets.

  131. Phillies in top 1/3 for WS odds.

    1. Oddsharks must be betting the Phillies make some moves.
      Was the collapse last year the real Phillies team? Or just a fluke? If real, there is some work to do which somewhat has been accomplished. If fluke, then maybe they aren’t so far away.

  132. Padres reportedly interested in Andujar. Great. Yankees sign Manny, trade Andujar to SD, and we’re screwed out of a Franco deal

    1. if they lose out on MM and harper, id rather keep franco because it will mean we are incapable of signing top level talent despite a huge financial advantage so we better take every chance to develop it.

      1. That’s nonsense. If you miss out one year it doesn’t mean you’ll miss out other years. People around here are either ridiculously overconfident or full of doom and gloom beyond rationality. RELAX. The team has tons of money. Sooner or later, they’ll find some good players to take that money. It may not be the one guy YOU happen to want but they’ll get plenty of good players. Philadelphia is objectively a great place to play. If your dream as a player is to only play in LA or NY, then, yeah, maybe you’ll pick Philly after that, but for the most part, the team is growing, has money, treats its players extremely well (yeah, they’re human, some of them care about that quite a bit), and can develop a mystique again just as it did circa 2008-11. Plenty of guys will be happy to take their cash. RELAX!!

        1. catch – I’m 68 and my heatlh is failing. Don’t tell me it’s okay to wait a year or two. I want to win, and I want it to be now! “Some good players, NO Thanks. I want a great player this year. I refuse to engage in Trout talk because it’s beyond my lifetime.

          1. Oh well – good luck! Not sure what to say to that. You’re a fan and you can set your own objectives.

  133. Phillies seem to be interested in a lot of FA’s but I’m not seeing the mutual interest from the FA’s

    1. I don’t think the Phillies have the interest in all the FA that websites are reporting, sure, like 60-75% of them are likely accurate, maybe less. I think it’s agents using the Phillies to drive up offers imo. FA interest lies with the money, which is the reason we lost on all the ones we didn’t sign.

      The FO can only afford to overpay so many players before it catches up to them. I think they obviously overpay for mm or Harper. Corbin, happ, and the others, not sure they are all smart overpays.

  134. The problem is that the FO has no interest in closing the deal and simply want the FA at their #, not what it takes to actuaaly get the player. We could have had Corbin, Happ and/or Miller but gave up just short of what it would take. We got Cutch because we were the high bidder. Britton, Robertson, Ottavino, anyone else who is out there we will be rumored to be in on. If we don’t sign anyone then Gio or Pomeranz will be next. Somebody will be left in February to take our money. All I want is to make the Playoffs this year. That is Klentak’s job. Excuses won’t matter. I think they need much more aggressiveness and risk taking. Maybe his way is correct. I do know he has this year and maybe next to get us to a team capable of chalkenging for a WS or he won’t be GM any more.

    1. matt13…for sure Klentak is on the clock now. Anther collapse of the magnitude of last season’s 50 games, carrying over into and thru 2019 would probably seal his fate.
      And if it is WS rings that interest you….signing the biggest FAs on the market rarely ever are the turning point in helping produce the team thru the play-offs and into a WS champ….the Sox with JD Mart maybe one of the few exceptions in awhile.
      Usually it is a majority of homegrown players, a few key trades, and those low profile FA signings.

  135. Romus, I agree with you almost completely. I think we need a Star FA to make up for not having that guy in our systemright now. Maybe the future has one. Machado/Harper help Hoskins and Cutch and Segura more effective. Maybe Kingery blossoms and Alfaro makes contact and learns to ccatch. But, I think we need that big bat in middle.

  136. Help make it should read. And, re-reading my post I sound negative about Alfaro and I didn’t mean to. I think he made strides defensively and will make more and I am very hopeful his batting improves.

  137. If Phil’s come to terms with Machado, would that not instantly kill the market for Harper, since the few teams in the market for Harper will no longer have to bid against the Phils? That’s why I believe if Harper is to become a Phil, it’ll be announced before Jan 1st. Machado says he won’t decide until 2019 and Boras seems too shrewd to give Harper to the Dodgers without the Phils around to bid them up.

    1. To be frank…with Machado relishing the opportunity to be a Yankee and Harper the same with the Dodgers….”The Dodgers stressed leading up to and throughout the Winter Meetings that they didn’t feel pressured to trade from their surplus in Vegas, and it held true. They would love to free up payroll……. Bryce Harper badly wants to be a Dodger, but he’ll have to sacrifice years — and thus, total value — to play in Los Angeles”…..Alden Gonzalez, ESPN Staff Writer

      …..I’d pull the plug and say the Phillies are out of the bidding and will pursue other alternatives. Period.
      Let them sign with whatever those teams offer them.
      Sign the lesser FAs for shorter period of times…and have Klentak use his abilities in trades.

      1. Looks like the Cubs are trying to get in the Harper sweepstakes
        Phillies chance at a superstar is Manny and that looks like a tiny chance

        1. Another comment based on the gullibility of what garbage agents put out on the wire. Cubs my ass.

          1. 8mark are you referring to my comments in general? or just media outlets putting out fake interest from teams? I’m just posting what I read on bleacher report

            1. My advice is to stick with MLBTR. They draw from more reputable outlets and insiders. Otherwise, there’s a lot of agenda driven dribble out there.

      2. Romus – I live in Las Vegas, and I’ve never heard that Harper is “relishing the opportunity to play for the Dodgers”. Can you tell me who reported this?

      3. After all the build up to this off season over last couple of years, that would be very disappointing.
        guess the plan would be to fortify the bullpen?
        not sure if any impact offensve players in free agency that make sense for them
        i’d be hesitant to lose draft picks or internatonal money under those circumstances.

  138. Romus, I agree with you a lot, and since I am weary of the whole Machado/Harper stuff but still demand that the FO puts a Playoff team together, let’s see what could accomplish that. Sign Britton, Marwin Gonzalez, trade for Kluber. Would that work? Is there an every day player I am not thinking of?

  139. The Phils are fine, both players are on the market still, and they are 1 of 3 teams To be considered by Machado. We are rumored and expected to be the highest offer, you can’t really get in a better position than that. It’s just going to have to play out.i feel good about their chances. Harper will be the same way, even more so he looking for the money. after want the Nats did … he should resign with them … but he won’t, because of the money. The whole “I love playing for these fans” at the homerun derby … yeah right. It’s about the money. This isn’t a romantic relationship, this is business.

  140. Personally this class of FA i see was supposed to be the icing on the cake. More where NYY or LAD are. We basically have hosins for the offense. We really need Kingery and Alfaro to develop. Segura and McCutchen def. help, but we need a mix of good young talent that produces on the cheap. If for some reason they strikeout on MM/BH, if Moniak/Hasley develop, and Sixto/Howard does … Garcia? that might wind up being better long term, just because the books will have much more flexibilty with a more built up roster.
    With this said, I’d prefer to grab one now, and let them continue to develop, to kick the rebuild into the next gear.

    I really hope the SP repeats last years performance minus the late season fade, if so I think they will Win more games than most think. Improved defense, offense, and SP. the bullpen produces, I think will surprise again, just without the fade.

    The NL east, soon to play out like the NFC East, no repeat division winners!

  141. I am curious what Phillies can get for Franco. If they have a good deal I say take it give 3B to Kingery through the media.
    Then try to sign either Jed Lowrie or Marwin Gonzalez for 3B if Machado says no.
    Both those guys should be short term and can move to bench f needed (Arrenado).

    1. If Machado continues a balk maneuver at the Phillies to get more from the Yankees..
      Why not just sign Moustakas for two years at $9M AAV!.
      Hope Bohm comes around as planned in 2021.
      And get something worthwhile for Franco and maybe others, ( maybe LHP Strahm and catcher Hedges)….but better do it soon to the Padres, probably the only real buyer right now, before Cashman cashes in and sends Andujar out there.

  142. The experienced accomplished players who came to the Phillies via free agency or trades – Rose, Thome,Rowland, Doc, Lee, Moyer. — played their hearts out for the Phillies. The fans loved them and they didn’t get mega contracts. They also never gave the impression they were doing Philadelphia a big favor for coming here. Are we going to get the same thing with Manny and Harper? I for one doubt it,

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