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 –
- Boston $239.5M
- Washington $205M
- San Francisco $195.7M
- Dodgers $195M
- Cubs $193.3M
- 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.
- January 11, 2019 – Salary arbitration filing deadline
- February 1-20, 2019 – Salary arbitration hearings
- February 13, 2019 – pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training
- February 14, 2019 – pitchers and catchers first workout
- February 18, 2019 – all other players report to Spring Training
- February 19, 2019 – first full squad workout
- February 22, 2019 – Phillies’ 2019 spring training opener at Tampa Bay (TBD)
- February 23, 2019 – Phillies’ 2019 spring home opener v. Pittsburgh (1:05 PM)
- TBA (last year on February 27th) – Minor League Spring Training begins
- March 28, 2019 – Phillies’ 2019 season home opener v. Atlanta (3:05)
The rosters and lists are up to date.
- organization’s rosters
- organization’s injury list
- organization’s Rule 5 eligibility list (includes player info, assignments, …)
12/13/18 – Phillies selected SS Drew Jackson (LAD) in the Rule 5 Draft
12/12/18 – Phillies signed free agent RF Andrew McCutchen
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