Open Discussion: Week of January 7, 2019

The ‘Hot” Stove Season took up a spot on the back burner as the Eagles took some of our minds off the lack of free agent signings and dearth of trades.  We may not get a Machado or Harper announcement this week, but we will have an Eagles game next weekend.

The Phillies did sign a free agent this week.  They added RHP David Robertson to their bullpen.  They also added 32-year-old, LHP Edward Paredes to Lehigh Valley’s pitching staff.

The 40-man roster stands at 39.

Phillies brass flying to Las Vegas to meet with Harper.  Yawn.

This 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)
1/4/19 – Phillies signed LHP Edward Paredes to an MiLB contract, assigned to LHV
1/3/19 – Phillies signed free agent RHP David Robertson
12/21/21 – Phillies signed FA SS Gregorio Petit to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
12/21/21 – Phillies signed FA 2B Phil Gosselin to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
12/21/21 – Phillies signed FA C Rob Brantly to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
12/21/21 – Phillies signed FA LHP Jeremy Bleich to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
12/21/21 – Phillies signed FA RHP Josh Martin to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
12/21/21 – Phillies signed FA C Matt McBride to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
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
12/21/21 – Phillies signed FA LF Shane Robinson to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
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

577 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of January 7, 2019

  1. 37 days until pitchers and catchers report.

    YAY!!…..I think.

    That seems like enough time for a lot of roster movement. However, MLB has gotten so constipated from each team waiting for another to go or get off the pot, and neither Boras nor Lozano will reach for his six shooter in their standoff.


  2. Wonder if that was a hint that Machado and Harper won’t sign this week. (Jim’s comment).

    I’m pumped about that eagles game. Let’s hope Foles continues the magic against that tough Saints team.

  3. other than agent ego, I don’t understand what’s holding up MM. Harper atleast makes some sense. he is still meeing with people and is waiting possibly to see if the cubs or dodgers free up more payroll to jump in with a big offer but MM doesn’t seem to have more to consider. its the Phillies, white sox or yankees

    1. I’m thinking that Harper and MM are playing a bit of chicken as well wanting the other guy to sign first and set the bar they want to then jump over. Both guys want to be the highest paid guy…

      1. I think that the longer MM waits, the likelier the Phillies are his choice. If the offers submitted were close enough, you’d think he’d opt for NYY by now. Otherwise why the wait. Besides, the Yankees need him as much as eskimos need ice cubes.

  4. Jim, with the possibility of signing one of these big FA, it would seem to mark a new era in Phillies baseball. Any chatter about a uniform update/refresh/change? It’s been 25+ years I believe. I know they tweaked the logo this offseason.

    Personally I like the unis, but I can see it being time, and rolling in one of these superstars would be a good time to do so.

  5. Oh goodness….now Boras wants to have this ridiculous ‘Swellopt’ clause linked to contracts…probably those offers he does not get and wants to entice teams to follow suit on his proposal..

    “For the club, if the player performs well, the club can opt in (contract swells). For the player, if the club doesn’t opt in, the player has the choice to continue with contract (swell) or opt out. It’s a swell option for both,”

    Duh…..but not a mutual option.
    ‘If the player performs well’….. is such a nebulous trick/bait phrase.
    But what if the player performs poorly…the club cannot opt-out.
    What defines ‘player performs well’?

    Boras sees the handwriting on the wall….teams and analytical GMs are low balling players on these long term contracts they want, since they prove fruitless in their tail years.

    1. Yes, Romus – it’s nice to know that Boras is looking out for the best interests of the clubs. He must walk up to people and ask them if they have two 20s for a 10.

      1. The guy is absolutely amazing!
        So far have not heard the word ‘collusion’ yet from him, directed to the owners….but I guess give it a few more weeks and if Harper is not signed, then I suppose it will spill out.

        1. basically the players love boras because he does a great job for them as a whole but the rest of the world hates him. LOL

          1. ironically, Machado left Boras and went to MVP Sports…Dan Lozano and Manny Paula’s firm….a few years ago. But Boras negotiated his first contract and introduction into professional sports back in 2010….with Andy MacPhail as the O’s GM.

    2. Gentlemen… I think for the first time in our lives (well def. mine), we are seeing the ceiling for a professional athlete. Might be the first time these guys are going to be told “No” your not worth it. Pretty amazing, the market finally pushing back. It should benefit the fans as well with our total cost to be a fan.

      I bet Manny is really kicking himself now with his comments/post season behavior. It wreaks of a person who feels untouchable/rules don’t apply. Well… perception is a part of a long term contract, he’s learning that now. It should be easier for these two “superstars” to get the money they wanted.

    3. Romus – “… analytical GM’s are low balling players”. Welcome to the world of Scott Boros, where $300 million for 10 years is a lowball offer.

      1. Is it possible that the market could now be fortuitous enough for the Phillies to “double doink” Machado and Harper?

          1. I’m not sure it’s going that far. I should rephrase what I said, Analytics has maybe brought some common sense back into negotiations, but also a stronger counter argument against agents&players when they say “I’m worth this”

            I can’t see both dropping to a $500mil commitment.

            I also think that 10 years is a really long commitment for the players. Depending how the opt outs work, they could be worrying about how many years they’ll be in contention.

            I can see Bryce getting 9/360, maybe 8 at 37.5 AAV. Machado i believe ends up below 300m because he’ll take less years, and he has to reset his market. He probably signs a 6 yr deal with a realistic opt out at 4. That’s the only way he gets a 40AAV imo.

            Trout lingering it the background is figuring into these negotiations imo, I bet they are bouncing off what is expected value would be, and that is suppressing their ceilings. Trout is pretty hands down the best player in MLB. So his stats I’m sure are being used against Harper & MM

            1. Tac3, I was thinking MM @ 5-6/@$225M, BH @ 7-8@$300M. That’s actually over $500M combined but ballpark….

    4. Right. Do you really think that rich, powerful, billionaire owners are going to get swindled by an agent using sleazeball, salesman’s tactics?

      The fancy term is for the media. There’s a reason why the owners are still collecting more money than they are handing out…..

      Phillies get $100M from Comcast, $50M from BamTek sales to Disney, and $10M from the Fox tv deal with mlb. That’s $160 MILLION going into Middleton’s pockets without anybody buying a single ticket!

      That’s why I laugh when people say Machado and Harper on the Phillies is unreasonable because the luxury tax is prohibitive. Oh please.

    5. How many reasons do we need NOT to sign these guys?! It’s becoming a joke. Why is anyone surprised that there aren’t more suitors for this “once in a lifetime market”?!

  6. you wonder if there was a way to offer them both the same exact contract so that they both can claim victory and use the creation of a superteam with the two of them together with trout as a selling point?

    1. sr….not sure the Boras Company and MVP Sports Group… see eye-to-eye on many things as competitors..

    2. I’m sure we’d all lose our …. (fill in). That would be on par with the Football bouncing off uprights&crossbars.

      There is a chance, but I’m not counting on it. Financially speaking, I believe it can be done. If it was, you’d have to think Hoskins would need to be traded at some point if he continues to perform/reach ceiling.

  7. Bob Nightengale
    Bob Nightengale
    The #Yankees are either playing it coy, trying to gauge the Andujar trade market, or simply have no intention of offering Manny Machado a $200 million-plus contract. The Chicago #WhiteSox and Philadelphia #Phillies remain the most aggressive teams for the prized infielder.

    1. I really believe that MM wants to play for the Yanks but he doesn’t want to give away so much money. He’s waiting for their offer to increase but it’s not happening. The Phils are meeting with Harper to pressure MM. “First one to accept”….

  8. It’s still “First one to sign gets the deal”. We’re not signing both, not happening. If we sign MM, do we then chase an OF or go with what we have? Have the Padres been waiting for Franco? For what? How can we get one more SP?

    1. Strahm from SD, as per Hinkie. I think a potential swing/long reliever/MOR lefty like him or Mike Minor are what Klentak and Kapler are looking for, unless Keuchel’s price drops low enough closer to spring training.

      1. 8mark – I think that if the Phillies sign Machado, they trade Franco for a young outfielder with an upside. The pitching staff is set.

      2. Hinkie – You’ve advocated trading Franco for Strahm all winter. Does the addition of Robertson change your line of thinking? Honestly, I wanted Britton, but I’m happy with Robertson.

        1. Roberston should not preclude the goal of improving depth in LH pitching. However. SD will not give up Strahm straight up for Franco, otherwise, this is already a done deal. Klentak will have a better a better chance of getting Hedges for Franco unless he includes Jojo Romero or Francisco Morales to acquire Matt Strahm.

          I agree with Hinke that SD and Strahm is a good target to unload Franco. But Klentak needs to offer more.

  9. What do you think these guys are going to do with the money? What would you buy with 30m-40m salary? Do you go out and buy a house,car, boat,plane, island, or take a top tier vacation first?

    Wish I had the problem, but what I do doesn’t dictate that kinda salary lol

    I’d start a business nowadays, a pretty selfsustaing, back then I’d of def. bought a new “whip” as they say.

    1. Personally, as soon as the check cleared, I’d buy a fairly big house with a huge fenced in yard and get a bunch of dogs.

      His love of dogs is just another reason why Chase Utley is the man.

  10. Tac – You have to remember that these guys are already rich. A lot of players from the Phillies past teams have bought houses in Clearwater,

    1. True, More or less asking what we peasant folk would do. No right or wrong answers. I think that is part of the delay, lol, they are already ready rich so it’s basically just more money, with a lot of it “dying” in the bank.. or they’ll do an A.I. And go broke.

  11. As relatively sexy as Harper and Machado are in terms of marquee FA names, let’s bear in mind that there are several players who most baseball people would value considerably much higher in the next few years, two of which are Betts and Trout, both of whom will command contracts well north of $400M, even in the evolving financial state of MLB. Others like Arenado and Rendon may even challenge these 2 current FA stars in terms of true on field impact.

    As for Trout, I think the Phillies FO needs to be considering some type of lifetime contract. Pay him for services beyond his playing days. Considering his profile as a good citizen/teammate/ambassador for the game (regardless of what the commissioner says), I can see him securing the local love deal for well beyond $500M. In its scope, his contract will dwarf that of any so-called superstars, including those which MM and BH will eventually sign. Boras would do well to keep this perspective. His “record setting” deal will only be so for less than 2 years, and just another bullet in the analogues of professional sports, long after he’s gone and another hot shot agent has come along to break the mold.

    1. Well put 8mark.
      The next round of free agents could be more enticing then MM/BH right now.
      You did not even mentioned the two third baseman coming out after next season….Rendon and Arenado.
      The only difference between the reaminign free agents coming out and the MM/BH duo…is the relatively youthfulness of the contract start date for the two…both 26.
      The others will be late 20s…so MM/BH in all livelihood will give you more bang for your dollar in the prime years. Betts will be one of the youngest at 28 at the start of his free agent season.

  12. And names to tuck away in the back of our minds for next year’s FA market: 3B Arenado and Rendon (especially if we miss on Manny), RHP Gerrit Cole, and RHP Ryan Pressly.

  13. We need to win this year, guys, and if we won’t go the extra year for Corbin this year, why does anyone think we will get Cole? And, if we fail on Machado and Harper, then the idea that highest bidder wins, is debunked, so even if Arenado and Rendon make it to FA, why are they coming here? I don’t want to absolve the FO of not getting it done this year with the “there are more FAs next year and the year after.” That was MacPhail’s little bucket of water on our enthusiasm this year. Why won’t next year be more of the same incremental additions like we have seen this year? Yes, I like Cutch, Segura is an upgrade, and I love David Robertson. But we stand as only 4th in our own division as of today, and did not get the Pitching over the years we would commit, lost out on Miller, we had pursued him first, so why are we going to be successful with the top FAs next year, if we were not this year?

    1. FAs is all about the $$. The only reason why the Phillies didn’t sign any of the big FAs it is because they are not willing to give the best offer.

      Arenado, Cole and Rendon can be a Phillie if Middleton will offer the best $$ — regardless of what the Phillies did this offseason.

      Just look at the Patrick Corbin scenario to understand how FAs work. Corbin just followed the best offer without considering whether WAS will or will not resgin Harper and ignoring his (and Corbin’s family) preference to play for the NYY.

      I don’t have any knowledge of what are the actual offers to Machado and Harper but what I know, Machado and Harper will sign the most financially rewarding contract.

    2. Matt13…you sound desperate…to the effect, its now or never.
      You don’t want to peak too early in the dynasty build…slow and steady.
      Machado and Harper could be rushing things…understand they may also tie in nicely with the rebuild…but that is not what they want to come here for anyway.
      Just look at the Cubs now…they were going to be a dynasty in the making two years ago….now a team on the cusp of an aging ailing pitching staff and a team trending down in their division…thank goodness for the Pirates and the Reds.
      Brewers have passed them by and soon the Redirds could also…
      Theo screwed them up with those FA signings..Heyward, Chatwood, Darvish….now the hope is for Bryant to stay healthy….and will get paid handsomely if he does.
      Klentak must be very meticulous in his strategy and planning.

      1. Romus, you could be right. And, I admit that I expect a Playoff team this year. I don’t know if that would be the definition of desperate, but let’s assume we don’t get either, you are ok with another year without success? And “meticulous in his planning and strategy” is a great plan, until you have to be bold and aggressive. That time always comes. You are willing to wait a couple more years for that, and that is your right. They told me that they were looking to this off season to get good, and I am simply holding them to it. I did not force Middleton to make his “stupid money” quote, I just expect him to follow through.

        1. Also, I fully acknowledge that long term FA contracts often do not pan out. Machado and Harper can both fail. But, this team has not done a good enough job in drafting, so the need is more to acquire star players in FA. That is the team they have put together. If we had home grown stars other than Nola and Rhys, then the need would be much less. But, we don’t.

          1. Matt13, how do you know we don’t?
            You would not have considered Nola a star after his first full year (actually 1.5 yrs of service).

            I still fully believe in the potential greatness of Kingery.
            I remain bullish on Pivetta. (not fully home-grown but close enough)
            And I would love to see Roman Quinn play every day. He will be a star on another team if we do not give him a chance.
            …And there’s more to come folks.

            1. John K. – You make a lot of sense! That’s why I’m against trading Franco and signing Markaksis. Bohm may be ready in another year.

      2. Romus, God bless you! You’re preaching my thinking. The FO has been great this offseason, and it’s not over.

    3. Why? Sooner or later our stupid money will win the day, odds are in our favor on that front.

      This scenario reminds me exactly of why the saying “be careful what you wish for” is said so often … Harper really has a chance to significantly underperform the contract, based on his current track record. Sure, the Phillies are paying for “future” performance, but there is no guarantee it happens

      I’ll be happy if they sign, but I’ll also be Leary at the same time. I remember a lot of Phillies fans wanted the Orioles Chris Davis at one point. What a blessing that has been. Imagine if the cards retained Albert P. Back then?

      1. The appeal in MacHaper is that both are considered elite and are in their physical prime (you can’t say that to most FAs including the examples you enumerated). MacHarper can easily beat their contract in the next 4-5 years — a window enough to be competitive and win the WS.

        The next 4-5 years of MacHarper is going to be expensive because of the prime years —- these prime years will be at least $200M!

        1. Kuko, I agree with the youthful aspect of their respective terms. It’s quite probable that their contracts will be weighted accordingly. Between $40-$50MM AAV for the first several years perhaps? Plus signing bonuses and other such creative stuff.

    4. I don’t want our GM to make mistakes. So far he hasn’t. Sometimes you need to stay patient and make smart decisions. I love the Robertson signing, especially considering what Miller and Britton got and what Kimbrel will likely get. I like the Cutch signing because he’s still a decent player, he’s definitely a good clubhouse vet, and he plays lots of games. You can’t be sure that the other guys can play more than 100 games, Cutch will. Corbin for 6 years is more than I would be comfortable with. As for the big two, neither prefer to play in Philly but because of our offer we’re still in play. That’s ok for now. If we miss out on both, that will be very frustrating however. I’ll look to see what they do next.

  14. Not criticizing the Phillies in any way, but the MLB offseason has become the biggest snorefest ever. I get that teams are being smart, and agents and players are just trying to get the best deal. I don’t think anyone is doing anything wrong but my gosh is this a snoozer. Somebody change the system!!!!

      1. Changes? To what end? Anyone looking for action or excitement via the baseball offseason is bound to be disappointed.

  15. Phillies need to move on past Harper and Machado.
    Put those funds towards something else, ie extension for Nola & Rhys.

    1. ‘Phillies need to move on past Harper and Machado’..if saying they do that, then they shoud try to sign a player like a Moustakas for third….he would be around $12M AAV for 2 maybe 3 years…and start the domino effect and move Franco.

      Signing Moustakas also makes Boras happy since it clears the way for Harper to come to the Phillies…doesn’t hurt either, that Moustakas is a client of Boras also..

      But doing what you believe, by ‘moving on past’…..then you would not sign Harper.

      Now that would piss off both Boras and not offering Machado…his agent Lozano

      You do not want to burn too many bridges.

  16. So let me get this straight???? “The Phillies need to move on past Harper and Machado.” Oh, that would certainly cause a now Eagle and 76er heavy Philadelphia sports crowd to get on their phones and book their Phillie season tickets before they sell out.

    Maybe its just me, but I have been under the impression for maybe the last two years or so that this off season was always going to be about getting either Machado or Harper. Not Kimbrel, not Moustakas, not Cutch, not Segura, not the second coming of JD Drew. I don’t know about anyone else but as me, give me Machado or Harper or give me a great big reason to consider this off season a complete failure. Sorry about that but this is what I have been told, this is what I believe and this is what has carried me through far too many losses over the past 5-6 years.

    Look, I get that no one can force MM or Harper to sign, I understand that. And maybe a promise of great seats to see Hamilton on Broadway for MM or season passes to Disneyland will be offer Harper cannot refuse but if it ends up being about money and the Phils don’t lap the field I will be very upset.

    Of course they should not move on from MM or Harper. Rather they should double their efforts to reign in one or the other and besides money they need to let either of these two players they simply want and need them more than the Dodgers, Nats or Yankees do. Athletes love money…and they love to feel needed and desired. This is no time for playing hard to get. This is the time to close the deal.

    Get it done already!

    1. Like I said before…if the Phillies are the only club to offer the combination of the longest contracts and the most $$$ AAV…a player would be a fool to reject that..
      CWsox and Dodgers are offering great AAVs but of a shorter duration.
      Yankees cannot afford to go to high $$$ but could go long.
      The Nats , I’d would assume can go long like the Yankees, with the deferral option, but not high AAV
      The Phillies may be able to match all four of those teams’ offers.
      At least, that is what it seems everyone has been led to believe with Middleton’s comments last month.
      The players have subtly let people know Philly may be their last resort to play in, so it is, but I guess the money will talk.

    2. Well said, Cal Dream. As if there is anything resembling a Machado or Harper after them. Oooh, let’s sign Markakis! And Moustakas is appealing only if Harper signs with the Phillies. The reality may be that MacKlentak are strongly advising Middleton to wait out the market until they are beyond the point of bidding against themselves. That may require patience we as a fan base are unwilling to exercise but nonetheless. The agents are most likely scheming left and right by the hour, planting a rumor here and a fabrication there. Some are buying the lies or false hopes. But in the end, what will be known is whether Machado and/or Harper walked away leaving lots of money on the table. $tupid money at that.

      1. 8mark…IMO, I think the agents are dragging this out using the Phillies as the bargaining tool, to drive up the length and money from the teams the players really want to go to…Yankees (Machado) and Dodgers or Nats (Harper).
        If not….one of them would have already signed on with the Phillies by now.

    3. Concern and questions. So, I feel baseball economics are changing again, and I feel like the Phillies will be on the wrong side of the ledger again. So with howard, they paid for past performance/loyalty. Now teams have moved away from this and pay for future expected performance. With the Hamels trade, the value of top 100 prospects skyrocketed imo just enough before the deal, where I feel they could have gotten more for him. That was before the no-no. Look at Chris Sale haul, it seem like the value of prospects came down a tick or two. Now I feel the Phillies will be one of the last to offer these long term deals vs a short high AAV deal. I feel a change coming from the players as they feel thr shift from the FO analytics.

      Really hoping that MacHarper doesn’t turn into a 4-5 year albatross. I hopefully since they are younger, but I’m more skeptical of harpers performance than I will be Machado’s, with MM you hope he doesn’t mail
      It in all day

  17. CD, you said it better than I could. We are a big market team with 7 tears of losing. I am not expecting the WS, but I am expecting a Playoff team.

      1. Reading between the lines……the Phillies fans will boo him in Washington…as well as they did in Philly. Thus the excitement for him to barrel the ball over the RF fence.

  18. Well I’m glad to hear that Johnny Cigars is joining Klentak for the rendezvous with BH. Bring the largest suitcase you have, fellas!

    1. Do you think that’s it 8Mark? If no decision by Sat from MM or BH… Does Middleton get it done? Or do we think it drags past the weekend as BH & his buddy Boris shop around the Phillies offer?

      1. I think the meeting will give the Phillies a real sense of whether they have a legit shot at Harper. Soon after, if Machado is off the market, Harper will sign for the record deal, possibly 9/$360M.

  19. My suspicion is that Harper will give the Nats and/or the Dodgers to match or get close to any offer the Phillies make on Saturday. As an agent, he owes it to his client to explore all possibilities. Boras will shop offers all the way up Tom the car ride to the press conference announcing the signing

    1. I really prefer a spot in the rotation for Eickhoff, to me he will be as effective as these high priced signings. I’d rather give Eickhoff the opportunity, see how the season plays out, if they are in contention, make an upgrade at the deadline

      1. I like Eickhoff as much as you do, but after he missed the entire season last year, he is a big question mark heading into a 2019 season in which you want to be as competitive as possible. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I advocate a Keuchel signing, but he would provide much more of a known quantity and opens up the possibility of a trade of Eflin/VV for an outfield upgrade…

  20. I feel we will know by late Saturday or Sunday’s AM if Phillies are out of the Manny and Harper sweepstakes

    1. Troll … I may have mentioned a few (hundred) times already, the Phillies are never out of the Harper/Machado sweepstakes. As a matter of fact, the Phillies own all of the winning tickets in the Harper/Machado sweepstakes.
      And no one is signing a contract this weekend. Although, things begin to simmer this weekend.

      1. I think it’s wise if the Phillies are in fact pursuing both players independent of where each other is in their respective markets. Or so it seems to me. The reported activity this week however seems to indicate that the Phillies are now pressing in to determine which is most feasible to close a deal sooner, especially since they need to address contingent matters of their roster.

      2. Let me correct myself: Bryce Harper is not signing a contract this weekend. I guess it’s possible (though, not likely) Machado blinks.

        1. I think Boras and Harper are using this meeting to get LAD or Washington to up the ante and make a move worth signing.

          As for the Phillies preparing a second offer for Manny – I’m not buying it. For such a tight lipped organization, I’m not sure how the preparing a second offer leaked. Smells like Mannys agent trying to get the Yankees to up their ante as well.

          1. UTroll, in either case you’ve laid out, the Phillies are the highest offer. The yanks/dodgers/Nats would then still need to actually increase their offer, and increase it enough for the player to walk away from the Phillies. With the changing economics of the game, the Phillies are really the only team “smartly” positioned to give what these guys are asking for.

            They will sign one of them. The Phillies can financially bully anyone of those teams this offseason, it will happen. Harper and MM are in denial, they will be getting Boo’d by us soon enough! Lol

  21. Jim Salisbury says Phillies are preparing a 2nd offer to Machado this week. Things appear to be progressing steadily if not speedily.

  22. If you are expecting Harper to sign this weekend, you have not been a long time follower of Scott Boras. There is absolutely no way he would allow his client to sign after merely one meeting, not a chance. Boras will milk this for all its worth and will undoubtedly give the Dodgers and Nats a chance to beat the Phils offer. Even if Boras and Harper leave the meeting singing “Philadelphia Freedom” they will not let the Phils know they have won the battle. Just won’t happen.

    What this meeting will do is give the Phils a change to gauge the interest of Harper in actually signing with the Phils, all else but money being equal. I believe that was why Salisbury was so non committal about the Phils even making an offer this weekend. This is a get to know you, discuss parameters of a deal type meeting, very similar to what they went through with Machado in December.

    I agree with Hinkie, doubt Machado signs by this weekend either, Phils will likely increase their original offer to MM and conduct their meeting and due diligence this weekend with Harper. It will be then, and only then that they will likely get their collective heads together and decide on A] their best, very best offers and B] which one is more likely to accept.

    If this were a baseball game I would surmise that we are rounding second base and heading for third. Not yet the beginning of the end, but definitely the end of the beginning.

    Buckle up.

  23. I posted a few months ago that someone with second hand knowledge (a relationship with someone with first hand knowledge) told me that Mike Trout was the Phillies end game. The team would be aggressive (sign one of BH/MM this offseason) but not reckless (will not sign both) because they want to leave the financial flexibility to reel in Trout after 2020.
    The Good Phight has a piece on why waiting for Trout is stupid. Many on here have already posted similar thoughts. It would be foolish to not be ready to bring the greatest player in the sport home to play for the Phillies. I’ve compared it many times to bringing LeBron back to Cleveland.
    Anyway, the opinion piece by John Stolnis includes quotes from Bill Madden from the NY Daily News and Mike Scocia.

    Madden … “while Phillies owner John Middleton has been talking about flexing his financial muscles this winter, there is said to be a new line of thinking among the Philly high command that, with an eye on Mike Trout, who hails from nearby Millville, N.J., becoming a free agent in two years, it is best not to tie up too much money and years in a Machado or Harper when a much bigger (albeit much more expensive) prize could be just two years away.”

    Scocia … “Mike’s an east coast guy. But I know he’s gonna take his time and make a decision. I think he’ll look at what improvements are happening with the Angels and go from there.”

    I stand by previous prediction: Phillies sign their favorite FA superstar (BH or MM) this month and then wait for Trout. I believe a Trout-Harper-Hoskins lineup makes more sense than a Trout-Machado-Hoskins lineup.
    I’m almost certain Mike Trout will not consider a LTX with the Angels for at least another year. He’s already got plenty of money in the bank. In fact, signing the first LTC will end up costing him many millions. Also, waiting another year puts more pressure on Arte Moreno to do more to get the Angels into the playoffs.

    1. The reasonable expectation is that the Phillies will sign one of the two. My guess – today – is that Manny drags his feet, allowing Harper and Boras to warm the cockles of Middleton’s heart and generosity. I predict they have a deal by Jan 20. The Trout situation will play out on its own. Scioscia isn’t analytically inclined and doesn’t make sense for this current regime unless Klentak is shown the door by 2021.

    2. This makes logically sense, very odd from a message board standpoint!

      I agree, using common sense, it really would be a huge financial error imo for Trout to sign a LTC, I’m sure his agent agrees. He obviously cares about winning, no one wants to be the baseball version of Dan Marino (No SB wins) Trout would be wise to wait till until FA to sign, or even resign. Waiting will prove Arte’s word true or false on the teams improvements.

      I believe he leaves LAA, and lands somewhere else. My highest probablity is PHI (75% probability) . I’m sure the NYY will be considered as well. The pieces just fit together for PHI for once

      I used to have a 2nd hand contact at the Phillies, I’ve fallen out of touch, might be a good time to drum up a “Hey, how have you been” call. It would be nice to reconnect.

      I’ll leave with … “when” Trout signs, who will be more beloved … Utley or Trout?

    3. Agreed that any long term contingency plan will be created to permit for the possibility of a Mike Trout contract.

  24. CD, I agree with you. I think this is an opportunity for Middleton to see if Harper has any real intention of signing here, regardless of high bidder or not. I am not convinced, with all due respect to Hinkie, that he does. They can then choose to up their offer to Machado to get so far ahead of the Yankees that he has to take it. Middleton is a smart enough businessman, I hope, to sense if he is simply being used to get a better offer elsewhere.

    1. If Harper is merely using the Phillies to pump his market, and they get that vibe from Saturday’s meeting, his market will shrink significantly. Meanwhile, Machado will have a second offer, certainly modified to reflect what he’s looking for – maybe more in the way of opt outs and the like – which we should have a clue as to whether he will ever bite by then as well. So, again it boils down to who says ‘yes’ first. Or is that too simplified?

    2. But here’s a plot twist – what if Manny accepts the Phillies new offer on Friday? What becomes of the Harper visit on Sat? I’m sure they follow through but how awkward that meeting would be, no? I mean, “Hi, Bryce. Hi, Scott. We just stopped by to wish you both well…oh, by the way, Scott – are you getting any action on Keuchel? Oh well, nevermind. We should probably leave now. It was nice meeting you, Mrs Harper.”

    1. Money talks for sure.
      Rhetorically speaking, between Harper, Machado and Trout …of the three, who really wants to wear the red pinstripes and play in Philly.
      Push come to shove in this elongated negotiation process, any player whose heart is not in wearing the Phillies uniform and has to ‘settle’ to come to Philadelphia,
      I do not want him.

      1. Romus, while I won’t deny Philadelphia is neither’s preferred destination, I think that part of the picture is overplayed. It’s not like they’re considering a third world country to go play baseball, and for hundreds of millions of dollars, by the way. Let’s keep our eyes on the ball, which is money. And the inevitable multiple opt outs included in a deal for either will sooth their angst about living in South Jersey for 7 months of the season.

        1. 8mark…..yes that opt-out.
          They will more than likely want it at 3 years and invoke it I am sure, if they get it……Phillies may want to extend that to them in the offer at the 4 or 5 year mark.
          If they get it at 3 years……that can be a real damoer in long term planning for the FO….especially if prospects do not materialize as projected.
          So even if one signs…and gets the opt-out….he is a three-year ‘rental’ so to speak, better hope the team gets to that WS by then….and with Harper there are no QOs that can be tagged onto him

          1. I have no problem with opt outs from after 3 yrs on. Actually, with the real possibility of Trout signing in 2 yrs, my heart wouldn’t be broken. I think the offers will be (or are) front loaded, let’s say $40M+ per first two to three years, with Harper’s likely being a Boras special “swellopt” or whatever. I don’t, however, see either being signed for anything less than $300M (Machado) or $325M (Harper) by the Phillies in total value.

            1. Jim Duquette, Dan’s brother, mentioned on MLB that he thinks Harper is back to the Nats and Machado to the Phillies, for the right amount of money and years.
              Have to see.

            2. The 2 by far likeliest outcomes are:
              Harper to PHI and Manny to NYY
              Harper back to WAS and Manny to PHI.
              Any other outcomes are difficult to conceive at this time.

            3. Agree…WSox will not go over 7 years from what I heard, and the Dodgers even less of a length, and to only Harper.
              Now their AAV’s will be fairly competitive with the Phillies or maybe slightly more, but seems the length is critical to both agents.

  25. While we are on everyone’s favorite topic, Trout, do you guys think Nola&Hoskins have been relaying messages to Trout from Middleton about his “End game” plan?

    My understanding was that 2 Phillies were at a recent home game that Trout attended… sounded like some messages could have been relayed, not sure if that is “officially” tampering, but when your ready to state to the world that you have “stupid money” to spend to get your “bleeping trophy” back … I wouldn’t discount it very easily, especially since it’s not a regular attendance for the phillies players. Seems to coincidental me. Lebron does it, I can see Middleton being smart enough to do this covertly.

    Cheers fellas, better Phillies games are ahead again. Good time to be a Phillies phan

    1. Middleton already got the best Mike Trout recruiter without facing the risk of tampering —- Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz!!! Those Eagles studs can bring Mike Trout home so Middleton better offer 2 suits (with free food and drinks) in CBP for Wents and Ertz friends and family. And I’m certain that social media darling like Joel Embiid can join the recruiting team too!!

    1. ….and yet another example of too many talking heads running out of angles on the free agent market. Uncle!

  26. I am totally on board with the 3 year opt outs for either one. It doesn’t affect our pursuit of Trout, and helps us win while we wait for him. If either won”t take the most $ to play here for 3 years, knowing they can opt out, then there is something wrong with them.

  27. I don’t get the Boras hate . . . he’s only doing what’s best for his clients. I guess I can understand why it’s annoying but at the same time he’s doing his job. And he’s obviously better than anyone else at what he does.

    1. Agree that he’s the best but it’s the dog and pony show he puts on publicly that gets under the skin.

    2. Tell that to Ryan Madison who lost the contract of his career because Boras screwed around. He’s good but far from perfect.

      1. He’s the best in the business. You can point out an outlier but I would say he’s been successful 8x outta 10. You’d take that any day. And I get the dog and pony show comment but again, he’s doing it to get top dollar for his clients.

  28. So many subplots also going on with these MM and Harper negotiations. To wit, the ChiSox just signed Jon Jay last night, he is one of Machado’s best friends and work out partner in Miami. Add to this the Sox have MM’s brother in law, Yonder Alonzo and this adds a twist to the end game. And of course the report yesterday indicated MM’s wife really likes the night life of New York.

    As for Harper, a little discussed but very real situation is that the Nats are attempting to get Rendon to sign a long term deal as he is eligible for FA next year and his agent is also Scott Boras. Washington does insist they can sign both players to long term deals but, gosh, it sure seems like they are in danger of entering luxury tax lunacy if they give Harper $35 mil a year and Rendon $25 mil per season.

    While I am sure there will be no Harper signing any time soon, regardless of how this weekend goes, it is imperative that Middleton make it clear he will not be outbid because money is the most powerful tool the Phils have to offer.

    Oh, one more thing. As someone who lives in SoCal [Orange County] please allow me to suggest that this idea that Harper will somehow become a Hollywood megastar is simply pure poppycock. It will not happen and the only reason that many believe Lebron is such a Hollywood hero is because ESPN tries to tell you this. The simple fact is that Southern California people have, oh about, a million things to do other than romanticize the area’s athletes. In fact, most believe Lebron will always be in the shadow of Kobe Bryant, regardless of what he does.

    Heck, people yawned when there was talk that Kershaw might leave and he is as close to a Dodger hero as anyone. If Harper truly wants to become a city mega hero its Philadelphia all the way. Other than perhaps Boston, there is no city in America that loves its athletes more than Philadelphia and Harper could become an Utley like figure should he come to the Phillies and help them win a title. In LA??? Yawn, take your place behind Koufax, Drysdale, Garvey, Hershiser, Gibson, Ramirez, Wills, Cey, Lasorda and Kershaw.

  29. Not sure if it has been mentioned on here but Harper’s wife and Kevin Frandsen have had several twitter exchanges. Can’t really see much as the tweets have been deleted but just thought it was interesting.

  30. Jon Morosi suggests that the Phillies haven’t been more aggressive in pursuing Keuchel until after they settle the Harper/Machado situation. They and the Reds are reportedly the most interested in him. If they can do an Arrieta type deal, I’m fine with it. And with Arrieta’s agent on the case, it could happen. At least one quarter of the Phillies 2019 roster could be represented by Scott Boras. That was unthinkable 5 years ago.

    1. And if Machado does pull a surprise, and take the lesser money with the Yankees….may have another Boras client on the Phillies payroll…Moustakas

      1. Segura ss
        Harper lf
        Hoskins 1b
        Moustakas 3b
        McCutchen rf
        Herrera cf
        Alfaro c
        Nola p
        Hernandez 2b

        ….isn’t far from reality. Have my druthers but it’s still a competitive lineup.

  31. The reports out of NY have the Yankees’ offer under $200 Million. Much shorter term, and if he is has been our FO’s favorite all along, and he is turning down $300 Million, then there is something really wrong with him. Bryce Harper’s wife is a Mormon, Andy Reid loved it here, and, Vai Sikahema is still around. That should give us a boost!

    1. matt13….any idea of the length of the contract the Yankees are offering him?
      If it is 5 years, or there abouts, the AAV is pretty much close to the Phillies.

    2. I can see the Phillies offer 8/$280M, that’s $35M AAV, maybe front loaded with early opt out(s).

  32. Romus, that article suggests 7/270M as the far end, “therefore pricing the Yankees out of Machado’s market.” I have to think we are looking at $50 Million more than that to get him, and if the Yankees are only going to $200 Million, we would far surpass the Yanks. The folks tied to NY, like Salisbury is here, seem to think the Yankees are not willing to go much higher. He has to leave a ton of $ on the table to go to NY. Of course, we are only guessing what our offer is, or what the alleged new offer will entail. We can only guess that it eclipses $300 Million.

    1. matt13….that is an AAV of $39M……Phillies would need to get arond mid-40Ms for 9 years to convince him …I just do not see that happening.

      1. Romus, I think Matt13 is saying that the Yankees are NOT going over $200M (whatever the yrs…5? Maybe 6 tops?) If the Phillies offer say, 8/$280M as their reported revised offer, Manny would leave a load of cash on the table to join the Bombers if what’s being speculated is anywhere close to the truth.

          1. Right Romus, 8 mark is correct. What I read was that the Yankees are about $200 Million and speculation is that Machado will get $270 M, pricing the Yankees out. I am not arguing that Machado may take less, just saying that it is crazy to do so. If we are the team at the $270 # and he takes $200 to play in NY, then his Agent and the Player’s Assoc will have a big problem with him. He may not care, but still that’s nuts!

            1. Only Manny and his agent know what their game plan is….but after 6 years in NY, at age 32….he may then sign another contract with them or go elsewhere…and make up the difference that the Phillies would have offered him for those additional 2/3 years. And perhaps banking on the fact after six years inflationary measures would kick in and he would get more than this year’s current offer from the Phillies for those 2/3 years.
              We just do not know what he and his agent are thinking.

            2. In 6 years….

              There will already be a new CBA in effect which, while it will likely redefine many things in the players’ favor, the owners are definitely cutting back on paying for past performance. The trend is already underway, last year’s free agent market and this year’s as well are evidence. Promising young talent may be the beneficiaries but not guys in their early 30s.

              The DH will likely be adopted by the NL by then, giving aging players who can still hit another role as an option.

              In 6 years….now that’s a long time in this industry. Lots can turn against a player on the back 9.

            3. Probably still comes down to how much future risk he is willing to take by playing where he desires.
              With the Phillies long term security of a contract is right the on the table.

  33. short term high AAV will be the smart play for the GMs since they know they are basically paying the “peak years” of MacHarper so it makes all the sense for the GMs. However, tMacHarper and their agents recognize this too so they will leverage the peak years to guarantee some $$ towards the back end of the decline years.

    I agree that the Phillies will reward one of MacHarper the long term financial security —- whoever lose the Phillies lottery will have a lower leverage and may end up accepting a high AAV with the then to opt out next season to re-enter FA again. GMs play of lowballing MacHaper is playing well for the Phillies.

  34. Although I wouldn’t mind between Harper and Machado, Harper is a better fit than Machado in the Phillies lineup. And more importantly, signing Harper will keep him away from WAS (who is reported to up their contract) and basically weaken the Gnats in the next coming years as a threat in the NL East. IMO, if Harper will not sign with the Phillies, he will go back to the Gnats.

  35. Sounds like teams throwing in the towel:

    Jon Morosi
    Jon Morosi
    Sources: #Phillies, #WhiteSox monitoring Mike Moustakas market and will consider contract offers if/when Manny Machado signs elsewhere. Moose also could fit in San Diego — if #Padres clear space with another move. Latest story: (link:…


    Mike Moustakas likely to sign after Machado
    Last winter, Mike Moustakas remained on the open market until returning to the Royals in March on a one-year, $6.5 million contract. Once again, Moustakas is a free agent. Once again, his search for…
    7:28 PM · Jan 8, 2019 · Twitter Web C

  36. A phone conversation, say early January 2019….

    Matt Klentak: Whaddaya say, Billy! Happy new year.
    Billy Eppler: Same to you and yours. Got your message. What’s on your mind?
    Matt: How’s the old man?
    Billy: Heh…well, he’s a little cranky these days.
    Matt: And why might that be?
    Billy: Promise me this won’t leak out?
    Matt: Scout’s honor.
    Billy: The big fish…but you knew that, right?
    Matt: You talk extension yet?
    Billy: Yep, and it ain’t happenin’.
    Matt: What’s next?
    Billy: You tell me. You called me.
    Matt: What’ll it take?
    Billy: You tell me. You called me.
    Matt: Well, as you know, we have some pretty urgent business to take care of first.
    Billy: How’s that going?
    Matt: I think we’ll nab one. Afterward, we can talk about the big fish.
    Billy: I’ll be all ears….

    So, what’ll it take before it’s too late for Eppler and Moreno to redeem Mike Trout’s last two years of his contract?

    1. Hinkie, the guy sounds like he should be on ESPN doing schtick with Stephen A or Skip Clueless. Never once mentioned the money factor. Made it all about LAD or WAS.

  37. Time to find out Mouse’s and Pallock’s asking price. Or look to sign Mouse and Dallas. Can probably get both for what Manny or Bruce will command for a year. Save the money for Trout. Machado to Yankees or Sox
    Harper to Nationals or Dodgers

    1. A Moustakas signing opens the door for the Franco movement and added pieces.
      But Matt Klentak would have to move fast since it appears that Cashman will deal Andujar if Machado does sign with the Yankees.
      The Padres would appear to be the fit for Franco as they were looking for a third baseman.
      The only snag with Moustakas…..Boras is his agent and the Phillies cannot afford to have him drag the process out.
      I would think a 2 year $25/26M contract (approx $12/13M-AAV)would be more than a generous offer….though suspect Boras will push fort 3 years with an option at 4

      1. Imo they’re being held hostage by Manny’s inevitable decision to go elsewhere. Same with Harper. Phillies need to trade Franco NOW.

        1. That seems to be the issue…the timing.
          —Trading Franco now and going after Moustaka makes Boras happy and probably closes the the door on Machado, forcing his hand to take the WSox or Yankee offers.
          —Or trading Franco now, and not doing anything and waiting leaves them with a big hole to fill at third with Machado wavering….and the Phillies lose some leverage with Lozano.
          The pair with their prolonging this process leaves the Phillies in limbo..where you do not want to be with February and camp coming up fast..

      2. Romus, it seems like Franco to SD is a fete a comple. Contingent on Manny or Moose. I have to think that Klentak and Boras have discussed this scenario and the latter knows he can get more for Moose from PHI than other interested teams if Machado goes to NYY. He just has to wait, which Boras has shown he has no problem doing.

        Timing is everything. My question is what happens to the Harper meeting in Vegas on Saturday if Manny says yes to PHI on Friday?

        1. Not to argue your point but there is zero evidence Manny would say yes. We don’t even know if this second offer is legit.

        2. The White Sox would be in on Franco if they miss out on MM. Probably quite a few teams would be in on Franco.

        3. 8mark….Cashman will get to Preller before Klentak if the Phillies balk.
          It all comes down to the Machado decision..

          1. Romus, I believe our 3b on opening day will be either Machado or Moustakas, with or without SD’s help in taking Franco. He’s gone.

      3. Romus – Moustakas is the same player as Franco. Look it up. He’ll cost more, and probably be on the books for 3 years, thus blocking Bohm. I say keep Franco, and if he sucks, replace him at the deadline (possibly Arenado).
        P.S. If the sign Manny, I’d trade Franco in a heartbeat.

        1. Wawa…Moustakas is a quality defensive third baseman…at least better than Franco. A LHB power bat with also low OBP like Franco.
          BUT……he has been thru the rigors of pennant fever and fervor and has come out on top in 2015…..too valuable of an intangible quality that the team needs more of ….Cutch will help and Hoskins and Nola have the temperament to also do it.
          He is for 2/3 years a caretaker for hopefully Bohm.

  38. Anyone catch the Big Piece on MLB network last night? What a pleasant insightful and congenial young man he is. Hard to believe he is going to be 40. Retirement days lined up for Jimmy Ryan and Chase this year should be amazing nights for each.

    1. I just don’t get the take that the Phillies should punt this off season on the top talent because Trout could be available in 2 years. And don’t get me wrong, I want Trout in 2 years if not sooner.

      Now as for Harper/Machado, I stand by my prediction that if Manny signs with NYY, Harper will be a Phillie by Jan 20. His only market would otherwise be WAS. The Phillies need to press on and address the rest of their roster before camp opens.

      If Manny agrees to taking the most money and years, then of course Harper is no longer an urgent matter. This should be resolved by next week. The markets are small enough that even the best agents can only be so creative and conniving. And the risk of playing games at this point in this case is too great.

  39. Mike, I hate to disagree, but Franco plays subpar D, Moustakas is significantly better, hits lefthanded, and will only need a 2 year deal, so if Bohm can actually play 3B, he won’t be blocked. Wouldn’t Markakais be an upgrade over Nick Williams? He can be had on a shorter deal as well. This is assuming, however, that Machado goes to NY and Harper goes back to DC

    1. Moustakas is a consistent, fairly reliable player who provides power from the left side to bring balance to a righty heavy lineup. Franco is a different player from month to month, or even week to week.

      1. Does anyone here do any research? To your comments about consistency…

        Moustakas – wOBA/wRC+
        March/April – .381/141
        May – .328/105
        June – .289/79
        July – .291/80
        August – .363/127
        September – .306/89

        Franco – wOBA/wRC+
        March/April – .326/104
        May – .303/88
        June – .312/95
        July – .403/156
        August – .308/92
        September – .254/56

        From month to month, each player experienced the same ups and downs at around the same points of the season.

        Also for the season…
        Moustakas – ISO .208
        Franco – ISO .196

        Moustakas – wOBA .329
        Franco – wOBA .328

        You’re talking about virtually the same player here.

        1. You got me good with that. I still prefer Moose over Franco because who we can get in a trade for Maikel would improve the overall roster and Moustakas only costs money until a cheaper Bohm arrives within 2 yrs. Plus the lefty power at CBP. I should have just made that my argument and bone up on my research. Good post.

          1. Bingo! It’s about managing assets. Use our money to buy Moose (or Pollock I suppose) and then trade Franco (or Herrera) for a different asset we need. I could see Franco swapped for Renfroe.

    2. Matt – Franco’s defense is not optimal, but he’s got a great, accurate arm, and he fields bunts as well as anyone. His range sucks, and is exposed when Gabe applies the shift. Markaksis is 35, and is projected to hit .269 next year. With McCutchen in RF, Herrera (hoping for a bounce back year) in CF, I’d take my chances with Quinn, Altherr, and Williams in LF.
      It all boils down to what Machado and Harper do. Signing either one will dramatically change the dynamics of the team.

      1. Word locally is that the Phillies will go with a 4 man outfield. Cutch, Quinn and Doobie, from reading the tea leaves, will be on board. If Harper signs with the Phillies, then Williams may be optioned or traded while Altherr may be traded or possibly DFA’d.

          1. The plan may be to use Kingery as a “5th” as the utility guy. I hate the idea of him not starting at 2b, Wawa.

            1. 8mark – I like Kingery too, and I think he’ll beat out Hernandez if given the opportunity. I like what Williams has done as a pinch hitter.

        1. It depends, someone has to be a back up at 1b plus possibly 3b if Kingery doesn’t play 3b. The bench will include Quinn/Williams, a catcher, and Kingery plus what I described above. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Williams play some 1b in ST, maybe Altherr too.

      2. Franco’s arm…9 throwing errors in 2018…15 total errors
        Moustakas arm….3 throwing errors in 2018….12 total errors
        Still have to have some accuracy.

    3. I would prefer Williams over an aging Markakis. Williams, if left alone, is a 280/25/85 hitter with less than average defense. And he’s cheap! What’s wrong with that? Put him in LF and leave him alone.

  40. New report – Momentum growing for White Sox.
    Jay signing with the Sox helps apparently.
    decision coming soon per article
    Its not on MLBTR yet but once it gets on there, it’ll be legit.

      1. It’s a report that came on my Bleacher Report Team Stream. It’s just the opposite of people on here saying Phillies will sign so and so because they have the most money (they have no sources other than Jim).

            1. You don’t have to agree with me. I’m allowed to have an opposite opinion than 8mark and friends

            2. Hey, Troll – you are more than welcome to express your opinion on this site. It’s not your opinion I take issue with but the relentless use of random mongerers and insisting that they have a trace of credibility. If you need thicker skin, by all means. But neither I nor my “friends” will stop challenging each other or anyone who posts the nonsense you’ve been sharing and apparently swallowing hook line and sinker.

            3. I rarely post (maybe 15 times in the 9 years following this site), but am an avid reader of the discussions. 8mark, I 100% agree with you about the nonsense sources TrollU puts out. If its not blue checkmark verified on twitter, don’t post it. 90% of the random tweets you send out are from nobodies. Chris Jones, is the only non verified twitter account that i remember recently breaking anything phillies related (Corbin visiting CBP). There’s Philly Talk Radio if you’d like to discuss nonsense.

            4. @troll – then mention the actual (or original) source rather than the referring a junkyard like Bleacher Report – i don’t know it all but i’m making effort to be more factual without buying rumors from unverifiable sources.

  41. At the beginning of this offseason I predicted the Phillies would miss on Manny and possibly Harper. My prediction is looking to be true.
    IMO it’s not such a bad thing. It would be nice to have a superstar but it wouldnt be so bad spreading the funds around.
    As mentioned earlier, Moose would be a good fit, as would Pallock or Dallas.
    In two years there is enough free space for Millville’s finest.
    And not signing Manny or Bryce and signing the others perhaps allows some space come trade deadline time.

    1. Polllocl blocks Haseley in later part of 2019 or 2020.
      is that what yuo want?
      Also time for Quinn to get a full look and opportunity while still healthy in the spring and thru the summer..

  42. I agree, Pollack is a good player, with large injury concerns. For a lot less $, I give Roman Quinn a shot. I definitely am interested in Keuchel on an Arrieta contract, and I have a feeling that Klentak is not dismissing that idea either. Probably more a post for the Prospect ranking site, but this is a huge year for Bohm. He needs to play a full year at 3B and show he is a 3B and can hit. If he does that, we can feel better about not getting Machado.

    1. Agree on Pollock who I believe is a QO guy so it will cost the Phils a draft pick and some IFA$$. IMO, the Phillies have a solid OF crew between Cutch, healthy Quinn, improving Nick Dubs and a potential bounce back candidate Doobie. Bryce might end up joining the group very soon. Adam Haseley and possibly Listi (at LF) are almost MLB ready.

  43. In regards to TrollU’s Bleacher Report indicating there is momentum building for a Machado to Chicago deal, I will add that a guy [definitely a White Sox fan] who goes by, ironically enough, BHarper3407 was reporting last night on philaphans that he had heard there was going to be a big announcement in Chicago today about something [Bears kicker retires?, Michael Jordan returns? Machado reunited with his buddies?] and he believes its about Machado signing with the White Sox.

    When questioned about why no reporter or writer had said one word about this he suggested that the White Sox are famous for keeping things quiet till they announce something. Guess we will see…could be a very newsworthy day or could simply be yet another unfounded rumor.

    One funny thing was a Phillie phan just posted the question, “what time is this surprise announcement going to take place so I can clear my calendar?”

    1. Cal Dream, how easy it is to get a twitter account and pronounce “inside information” just for kicks, like some bored, unemployed thirty year old living in his mother’s basement. Bad enough agents are already planting false info out there.

      1. And what exactly does “gaining momentum” mean? Sounds like agent talk for “trying to pressure NYY and PHI to cough up more”. Although I can see Manny making his decision come Friday before Harper meets with the Phillies on Saturday. That’s a big chunk of his market at risk of disintegrating over the weekend.

        1. A Chicago newspaper soure said Mannys sections most likely happens this week, I believe it is cited on csnphilly article.

          I agree, the agents are going to get a 3 way conference call and say … this is it, what’s your final offers. Done. The agent will smartly has the lowest, then next, and if it doesn’t beat the highest offer already the call will “suddenly” get disconnected. Shennigans will happen 5 minutes before the official “edoc signature file” … the fax machine is dead for those whose who don’t know yet 🙂 …

          I’d say Friday it’s coming, because once Philly meets with BH, their leverage takes a hit, and the mind games get deeper. Also… the waiting games don’t really seem to be making the Yankees move. Their offer is what it is. Time to pick MM. play for your fake hometown team and walk away from millions or grab the money…. before you spike another player

          1. LOL …..’ before you spike another player’.
            Manny to Yainee…”Well honey, I guess we are going to Philly…oh please baby, don’t cry, I heard the cheese steak grinders are great”

  44. These clowns need to sign already. I almost don’t even care if it’s with Philly or not, I want the offseason to heat up vs the snooze fest it has become.

    Given the choice, I’d go after Harper. I think MM will have the more consistent batting stats vs Harper, but keeping Harper from the Nats is a win imo, of course unless you think Rendon is more valuable to them. If the Nats get Harper back this year, they will be a dominant team imo. Would remind me of the Phillies 2011 season results. They should whoop the East if so.

    1. And they (ESPN) hedged at 50/50 on Harper to LAD. Nats are more likely to bring him back if the Phillies swing and miss or sign Manny instead.

      1. Agree that Harper will be WAS bound for $300M+++ guaranteed money if he can’t get the biggest contract from the Phillies. I said the same thing about Corbin when most think and speculate that Corbin is almost certain to be a Yankee. FAs follows the $$ —- and Harper will only cash out of at least $300M guaranteed $$ from 2 teams – PHI and WAS.

        1. If the Nats to do that with Harper….then Rendon’s situation becomes very sticky for them…unless they are willing to go over the lux tax.

          1. I just don’t understand how the Nats can afford so many huge salaries
            without going deep into the luxury tax
            according to their payroll was 192 million before Harper
            deferred money still counts against the luxury tax

            1. They probably can’t. It’s a lot of smoke and mirrors from Boras. Plus it benefits the Nats to at least force the Phillies to pay more and more. The perception that the Boras/Harper-Lerner working relationship is so strong helps to that end. Oh well, so be it. That’s what stupid money is for.

            2. If Manny signs with NYY, don’t be surprised to see Harper finally get that 9/$360M, give or take a little.

            3. It would seem that MLB. Would have some limitation on to how much a team could pile up in “future liabilities”. Actually I think they do, it becomes a balance sheet issue

            4. sr,

              To me, it is somewhat puzzling, the fear of going over the luxury tax. Especially in a case like the Nats. They have been knocking on the door for a decent amount of time, their window is can only stay open so long … so the Pentalties for going over imo (granted not my profits) don’t seem to be that huge a deterrent . Losing draft picks hurt, but they are in the 3rd qtr of their window. Time to go for it. So to me, I’m assuming they still make a profit going over the “threshold”, just not as much, and they probably add a year or two to the eventual rebuild… a championship or two
              Smooths a lot of that post pain away. If they come out empty handed, that’s a lot of second guessing and a fan base in the wrong mood for a long time.

  45. Newest Bleacher Report blurb is “Nats have momentum with Harper and Phils now pursuing Machado.” I am so tired of all of this and cannot wait for it to be over.

    1. I would stay away from Bleacher Reports when it comes to sources of rumor. Their opinion pages aren’t all bad but news wise, forget it.

    2. Isn’t it interesting that the “momentum” (whatever the hell that is) is always with teams other than the one with the most money to spend.

      1. You notice that too.
        Phillies rarely get any positive mo reports.
        Probably because they have all their discussions on the two..’locked in the vault’
        Even Mick Jaggers loose lips cannot sink the Phillies ship.

    3. Odd how a Meeting with the Phillies got momentum to swing to The Nats… who were technically out of the BH race…

      And, supposedly, the Phillies are now pursing Machado … as if they didn’t have 2 offers on the table with a wine and dine session in the books.

      Anyone on here want to start a rumor site/blog … our guesses seem to be as educated as anyone else. All donations can go to a spring training and season ticket fund for the “bloggers”

  46. Romus, thanks for the article, its a clearer now. I guess if enough is deferred, they could sign harper and stay under the luxury tax for 2019.

  47. deferring money not really a bad idea if youre allowed to pay it off anytime. example, if the phils had deferred money, they could have paid to off during these last few years when their payroll was so low
    basically just write a onetime 50-75 million check and pay it off

    1. It’s like the Mtg crisis, there was no limit to LTVs, because as everyone knows house values go up forever

  48. Btw
    I’m not saying that going over the luxury task is necessarily a poor franchise decision.
    its just that so few teams are willing to run a 220 million payroll that it just seems strange that the Nats are willing esp since they don’t have lots of money coming off their books after next yr and will need to pay Rendon , who will be in line for 25 million ( LOL, probably from us).
    and eventually Turner.

    1. sr…Rendon, Turner, Taylor all 0-3 arb guys now…..probably will cost them total of approx $25M this year alone for the three of them combined..

    2. 25 million over the luxury tax just means and extra 5 million. I’d just look at it as adding 1 million to my top 5 players salaries. So instead a 25mil, Rendon now costs 26mil. It does spike to 7.5mil and 12.5mil if they don’t get the salaries down, but that gives them a 3 year window to win a WS and have their fan favs signed to attra

      Not the greatest plan, but if your owner wants it bad enough, it should be doable. Unless of course these mlb team owners only make 20 mil off the team a year, then it’s prohibitive. That’s the missing link here in the isnit doable equation. For the Phillies, they have the tv deal, so they should be able to go above.

    3. It’s not just the money for the tax that’s the problem. The tax continues to increase every year and the team also starts to take hits on international signings and draft order. That is the reason even the Dodgers and Yankees were unwilling to go over the tax threshold in 2018.

      Going over for a year or two isn’t much of a problem but eventually no team wants the penalties associated with staying there..

  49. Jon Heyman tweeted that neither the Phillies nor White Sox have approached the $300M asking price for Manny. The Yankees have yet to make an official offer.

    1. Pfffff …. please.

      I didn’t read anything that changed my mind. So what if other teams have owners willing to spend money, Other teams would want to best player on decades to sign with them … Pretty sure Mike Trout will get to “decide” where he wants to play, which Ethan White conventially ignores.

      It will happen. Trout will def. play for the Phillies before the end of his career. No doubt in my mind. The question is when, not if.

      Unless the lady screaming in the tweet is Trout’s Wife or Mom… I don’t pay attention to the haters.

      Trout to philly in 2020, clear as day.

        1. Romus … I’m so positive about it, if Vegas has odds on Trouts FA signing …. id drop a lot of my money on it being in Philly. The stars are aligned perfectly, it’s going to stay that way.

          Once the dust settles from these 2 wannabes :), we should know by the end of the offseason/ST if Trout intends to sign an extension. We all know that’d be gross negligence by his agent, but no telling that to “Ethan”

          It is happening … haters. don’t worry guys, we are moving up the ladder on most hated mlb teams. Soon will be #3, and will easily bump the redsoxs when Trout signs the real record deal.

          1. Tac3 & Romus, if Arte and Eppler approach Trout about an extension and he indicates that he’s planning to explore free agency (not that they would want that leaked out), it would be sports administrative malpractice for them not to invite and entertain offers from clubs willing and able to acquire 2 years of the best player in the game. Regardless of what PR hit they suffer for it, 1) everyone knows what LAA needs to do for the longterm well being of the franchise, and 2) everyone knows about he’s Philadelphia born and bred, and he’s never shied away from that fact in any way, shape, or form. Sure, LAA can hold out hope that somehow he’ll yet take them to the promised land. But being they are perpetually 3 yrs away from being 3 yrs away, why would they?

            1. 8mark…..that is a rationale approach.
              Everything you post is true…it would better they move him now for a haul if that were the case in his refusal to sign the extension..
              But, Arte Moreno may not be that rational.

          2. Tac3 – too bad we couldn’t get Chase to come back and do a takeout slide into all these wimpy players and fans – that would seal the Hate theme !!!! Ha !

  50. I really believe that the Luxury Tax issue is a made up excuse for owners to cut costs. Boston just won the WS, spent a ton, paid the LT, and now allegedly are trying to trade Bradley, move $, not sign Kimbrel, not budget for a Closer, but still made a substantial profit last year. I bet they still find room for Kimbrel when his price comes down to 3 years. I bet the Nats can sign Harper and still re-sign Rendon, and we can sign either one and still gladly pay whatever it takes to get Mike Trout. Teams just got $50 Million each for the Disney streaming deal, have a huge Network deal, local cable deals, and that is before a single fan shows up. Boston brought in $180 Million from there regional cable company in 2017. I bet that was higher in 2018, sell out every game, receive a ton from ancillary income like merchandising, got the Disney money and the Network TV money, and spent what?, about $260 Million on players? I really only care what we do here, but I have long held the belief that we are equal to the Red Sox, the only difference being the talents of the FO. It is why I give them no slack about putting a playoff team on the field this year. We could have added Corbin, still sign one of the “Stars”, still have future room for Trout, still sign our core of Rhys and Nola when the time comes, and still make $. Plus, what have they done with all the $ saved by being a lousy team the past 7 years?

    1. In really wish the Phillies would’ve stuck it to Comcast more on the tv deal, I feel like they let them off the hook a bit, gave a huge discount

      See comments above, I don’t believe a big market team like the Phillies is scared of the luxury tax, they will go over when the time warrants. Teams must have a hand shake agreeemrn to stay under it. That’s the agreed upon rules of fair play vs they can’t/won’t.

        1. Going off memory, rumors were saying it would almost double what they got, regardless it should be enough to allow for another golden era of baseball for the city, so thank you to Comcast for ponying up.

          Time for the FO and players to do their part.

          1. Yes…should be plenty of ‘stupid’ money going forward.
            But sure wish they would move some of that into parking, and lowering the fees.

  51. Sorry for venting, Romus. I just think the luxury tax as it pertains to us is meaningless. If we are good, we can easily add a million more customers through CBP. We have plenty of $, as has been discussed innumerable times, and an owner who publicly said he wants to spend it. I guess I take all of the $ talk and talk about future FA years as excuses for not winning again this year. Look, I will be pissed at the FO if we don’t get one of the two, but I will still hope for a trade, still root for them, as I have every year since 1961, and still convince myself that something good is going to happen. I can’t help myself. But, I still expect them to make the Playoffs this year, with or without Machado or Harper.

      1. I really do not see the Phillies going over $40M….even if they ever went over to begin with.

        “Beginning in 2018, clubs with a payroll $40 million or more above the Tax Threshold shall have their highest selection in the next Rule 4 Draft moved back 10 places, except that the top six selections will be protected and those Clubs will have their 2nd highest selection moved back 10 places.”

    1. Matt13….you make a good point.
      Of all the so-called large market teams….the Phillies may be one of the few that NEVER went beyond the threshold and incurred any sort of Tybalt….international or domestic.
      The org has been the poster boy of a good club.
      And what has it got them….one WS ring in the last 25 years.
      Though they have been to the play-offs on a number of occasions over that span.
      Perhaps Middleton feels the same way and the stupid money comment.

  52. All this talk about Manny and Harper is getting so old I’m beginning to look back fondly at the days of debating whether Tocci would ever reach 165 pounds…….

  53. Anything to be made of MLB The Show having Brycephanatic? Anyone see the ad showing Bryce as the MVP of the Phillies in the NLDS? Before I get blasted – it is on the confirmed twitter page for MLBtheshow

  54. Good Lord, TrollU my friend, it would appear you have entirely toooooo much time on your hands!!! That said, I do appreciate you updating all of us on the latest tweets, blogs and mental meanderings.

  55. There was another twitter report that says the Yankees are out for Manny and its now a 2 horse race . . .

    1. Jon Heyman seems as reliable as anyone….still nothing earth shattering it appears.

      2h2 hours ago

      More specifically, Machado camp still believed seeking something “north of Stanton.” (325M plus). Great player, very young for a free agent (26) and doesn’t hurt to ask. Still, very hard to see him getting there (or even close) on non-deferred, true-value deal at this point.

      4h4 hours ago

      Word is, Machado camp still seeking 300M plus. ChiSox, Phillies not believed to be close to that ask (though exact current offers aren’t known, and can change). Meanwhile, Yanks, believed to be preferred destination, have yet to make official offer. Still no word of mystery team.

      1. Hector Gomez (@hgomez27) was the report I saw, “The race for Manny is down to two teams – the Phillies and the White Sox”. No clue who he is but he does have 70k followers and apparently was the first to report the Nelson Cruz to the Twins (or one of the first).

          1. If the Phillies play this right, they could conceivably sign both players for 75c on the dollar, so to speak. Manny’s market is 2 teams, one of which is about to woo his FA ‘record contract’ rival in 3 days. Harper’s market is 2 teams, one of which has to mortgage its future to sign him. What am I missing? Sign Manny for 8/$280. Sign Harper for 10/$370. That $650M with opt outs early on to at least potentially if not probably alleviate their future (3-5 yrs) financial burdens from these two players.

            1. ‘Sign Manny for 8/$280’ …that is exactly what I had in mind.
              With the first 2 years at 40….next 2 at 38…then give him the opt-out and the boot….and if he refuses to go, the last four at 31M each year

            2. Romus, brilliant minds….huh, brother? I had the same idea about front loading both contracts, especially the 1st 2 yrs before we need to make some room for you know who.

            3. 8mark… much as I want Harper or Machado now …i really sour on them for the long term….5 years and out that is.
              I like to think our prospects will keep coming up the ladder and perhaps the best position FA soon and also other FA pitchers, where the winning really occurs..

      2. With all the hullabaloo over these two star players, geez! The actual markets for both of them together is 4 (count ’em) FOUR teams – PHI, WAS, CWS, and NYY (we think though that is currently debatable w/o a reported offer to MM). Until it’s credibly verified, LAD for Harper is nothing but agent fabrication at this point. And it’s clear to me that MLB owners/GMs are not going to so readily facilitate long term contracts when players are so insistent now on opt outs anyway. When the next CBA is bargained, things will change. I hope that promising young players (meaning those in their early 20s) will be able to cash in earlier in their careers should the arbitration process be dramatically (and IMO necessarily) modified to make that happen. With the money owners are taking in, the players’ salaries should reflect in that revenue increase, but NOT aging players passing their prime. That shift needs to take place. Pay Soto, Judge, Hoskins, Acuna and the like NOW. They are the future. Pay them accordingly. And I really think the trend of this off season and last is driving the point home.

        1. agreed 100% 8mark–hard to argue against the changes you proposed. Also, with all of the talk about attendance being down and troubles reaching out to the younger generation, I hope there could be some way to level out the playing field a bit. I mean, look, we are complaining a bit because the big two are dragging out this process but the reality is the Phillies can and likely will sign one to improve the team. Imagine, say, a Pirates fan, on the other hand. What the hell does he/she have to look forward to this offseason? I know they have competitive balance structures in place in the MLB, but you still have so many owners unable or unwilling to give the fans a better product. I’m not surprised that under these conditions MLB is struggling to attract new viewers. Aside from this money issue, I think a slightly expanded playoff structure would have a tremendous effect–get rid of that one-game wild card playoff business and let a few more teams compete. In that case, a team like Tampa Bay could have really generated some fan interest and gotten rewarded for an excellent season last year. I just feel like in the NFL training camps and preseasons every player has the confidence that his team can go the distance, because we’ve seen it. But in Spring Training 2019, how confident are any Royals or Tigers players actually going to be? I’d like to see that change, strictly speaking as a fan of the game.

  56. Romus, Hinkie – if Trout is the Phillies end game, they need to be preparing to offer a lifetime contract. Spred the hundreds of millions out over 30 years until he’s 60. Personal services clause after his playing days are over, including lifetime season tickets to the Linc.

      1. Wow…..when it comes to OPM, you have some really grandiose ideas.
        (OPM…other peoples money)

      2. If I were Trout I would ask for 15year extension at $45M per year with opt out every year. That sets his market and will need to be beat for him to opt out for another team.
        Maybe LAA will be desparate enough to give it to him.

        1. When I first read your e-mail I thought “no way, that’s crazy.” But the more I thought about this the more I realized that, if Mike Trout wanted to be unreasonable, he could still get pretty much whatever he wanted. When it comes to possible free agents, Mike Trout is in a tier entirely by himself. Basically, he is every bit the equal of, and perhaps even better than, players like Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle. He is on pace to be one of the 10-15 greatest players who ever lived, perhaps even in the top 5. He’s not a generational player. He’s on his way to being the player of a lifetime.

  57. Dan Clark said Yankees upping their offer and promises to delete his twitter account if Machado doesn’t sign

    1. “Certainly, they have not backed out of Machado sweepstakes….” Huh? Don’t you have to make an actual offer to enter the sweepstakes first before you can back out? Just love how choice of words skews the confidence of a report. Like what, the Yankees are standing in the corner and haven’t left the dance hall but they’ve yet to step onto the floor?

      1. in addition, when was the last time a team announced they were formally backing out of pursuit of a trade or free agent? it doesn’t work that way. everyone is potentially in at the right price.
        the rays are in on MM too for 5 million a year
        that kind of report is useless

      2. Yankees and Cashman are the very quiet type on certain available players, until that last moment, then like cobra-like action they strike….the Stanton deal last year, Britton this year.
        So Phillies best be prepared….make that big AAV offer and either have the Yankees fall short and lose out on Machado….or Machado leave the Philadelphia money on the table.

        1. Agreed. The yanks don’t technically need MM, but they have this divisional rival called the Redsoxs to deal with. They won 100+ games last year, the offense is great compared to the other teams not named the redsoxs. So I would fully expect a last minute push. Not only that, they have a reputation to uphold. Phillies are trying to start one.

          Better put it all on the table. Overpay and limit the chance to significantly improve your team. I wouldn’t mess around. The Yankees have the power to suppress the bid, which they are doing, or they are truly out of it.

          I have a feeling this could go down tomorrow or next Wednesday. The BH meeting will up the stakes a bit for team MM

  58. Grandal makes an interesting move to take a pillow contract at $18.25 instead of a reported $60 million deal with the Mets. But next year he will not have the QO attached to him so he is betting on more suitors.

    1. If I was the mutts, I’d be pretty upset. Says a lot about the 1 year deal vs reported 4.

      See … not everybody likes NYC.
      To boot, the spending power is much less in NYC vs Milwaukee. I’d love to see the cost difference from his MIL pad vs a NYC pad. I’m willing to bet it’s like $6,000 difference a month. Maybe much more, depends on his “taste”

  59. hypothetically, what happens to the Saturday meeting with Harper if MM announces tomorrow he is signing wih philly?

    1. sr, I keep asking the same question and nobody answers. Me? Why cancel? What will it hurt? Call the Nats’ bluff?

      1. LOL
        heck, just go to vegas and see celine Dione , I guess

        even better, go to vegas, sign Harper and come back with both for 2019

        1. Yep plenty to do in Vegas.
          Even those who are more adventurous with the saddles and stir-ups …Mustang Ranch

    2. sr – If Manny signs with Philly, I don’t think the Phillies drop out of the Harper chase. Stupid money, or not, Middleton will be more determined to sign Harper.

  60. I do sense (gut feel/tea leaves) that Manny comes down with a decision tomorrow (Fri). No sources, idiot tweets, just me myself and I.

    1. I think he comes down with a decision tomorrow if its us.
      don’t think they want us to go to vegas, have a great meeting, come to some kind of mutual agreement ( even if not announced) and then MM doesn’t have us to drive up the contract.
      if its definitely not us then the Saturday meeting doesn’t matter to him and his agent

      1. Good point, sr. I amend my comment to agree that IF it’s the Phillies, yes tomorrow. If not tomorrow, my doubts that he’ll choose the Phillies rise.

      2. Another telling sign is that if he is asking for Stanton money, he doesn’t sound like he is going to be giving a discount to play for his boyhood favorite. He’s grabbing the almighty dollar as well, imo. He is probably more inclined to do so after the way the FA market has unfolded again. Salaries are being repressed. The 1 yr deal for the best FA catcher is a wake up call for many middle aged players

        1. Tac3….”Salaries are being repressed”…ownership would, on the other hand, or may say that salaries are leveling at their market value.

  61. Vegas odds are out and we are at 83. Interestingly, they only have the Braves at 84 and the Mets at 83.5. To me, the easiest bet is the Brewers at 83. I don’t understand that at all. Not that I am a bettor, but I find it interesting to see projections from Vegas. As things stand today, we are more than a half game and a full game behind the Mets and the Braves. Of course, I also don’t think we are done regardless of where M/H sign.

    1. As long as Nola stays healthy , I’d take the over on 83 for us
      no one had a career year last yr except him
      many young players will see natural improvement
      the bullpen should be better and deeper and we’ll continue to make additions as you said

      1. I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume the Phils young position players will improve under this manager and coaching staff. Last year almost every single position player regressed at an age when the opposite should be happening.

    2. I get the Brewers. The starting pitching isn’t very good. And when you look at the position players, guys either had career years or are older and should be expected to decline. Maybe 83 is a little low, but I’d be very surprised if they won 90 games next year absent a big acquisition.

    3. Matt – Odds are calculated to insure the most bets. Everybody will bet the over on their favorite team. Let’s say that $50 million is bet on the teams, the casinos will draw interest on that money until October.

    4. Matt13….once they get Bumgarner, as rumored, that could change….they currently have average starting pitching and working the bullpen like last year may not be so favorable for them this year…relievers can be very volatile.

  62. Apparently the Nats are about to announce the signing of Dozier. That will likely cost them 6-8 million. Good Lord, they have got to be close to $200 million in salaries and sure have a lot of players in this day and age of 13 man position player rosters. Just sayin…

  63. Also worth adding that in my mind the Phils are not an 83 win team without one of the two big boys and Harper does live in Las Vegas and so do those odds makers. Again, just sayin…

    1. I think, right now, the prediction of 83 makes sense and might even be a little low. Add a Harper or a Machado and now you’re looking at 87-89 – it’s the difference between being an also-ran and a WC contender and, ultimately, it’s that precise reason that will motivate JM to pay more Benjamins.

      1. I think signing either player jumps you up to 90 at a minimum. Manny was 5.5 war higher than franco according baseball reference. The phils won 80 games with subpar SS play, Santana at 1b and 3b, and hoskins in LF. Segura, Mccutchen and Robertson are big upgrades alone. That’s if no one else improves.

          1. echo – Pivetta, Velasquez, and Eflin all pitched career high innings and ran out of gas last year. I’m sure that all three are working out to increase their stamina for next year. When you factor in better run support, better bullpen, and better defense, the pitching staff will improve.

            1. Wawa I 100% agree, I was saying layer in new additions everyone’s same performance from last year and there is a big increase. Obviously Nola was dominant, but most of the staff and other position players were not. I definitely think there are improvements with the young guys. I didn’t want to assume that for betting purposes though.

        1. You might say 87-92. But it’s very easy to see the current group plus Harper winning only 87 or 88 games. So, no, 90 at a minimum doesn’t sound right to me.

          1. You also have to factor that everyone else in the division has improved greatly, thus making the 83 much more accurate.

            1. He was projecting if they added Harper or Machado which would probably add around 5 wins or so. But 90 is too high.

  64. I get that we’ve made upgrades and Manny or Harper would also be big addition(s) however, 90 wins? The pitching has question marks all over the place outside of Nola . . . I think 83-84 sounds about right even with Machado or Harper. 85-86 on the high end.

    1. I would say from a cost standpoint that if this is an 83 win team with harper or MM then honestly it doesn’t really make sense to give them 300 million dollars.

      1. Why? All the eggs aren’t in one basket for next year. This off season doesn’t end the rebuild and to be honest, the rebuild hasn’t gone that great. How many guys proved that they should be apart of the core? Nola and who? Hoskins? He didn’t exactly have that GREAT of a year either (I get that it was only his first full season).
        I just think you are wearing Phillies colored glasses if you think this is a 90 win team.

    2. Eric – According to Phillies pitching coach, Chris Young, the Phillies don’t need to upgrade the starting pitchers. I agree!

      1. Ehhh – it depends who it is. But yeah, we do need to get better there and sorry but if you want to go far, you need some lefty starter.

        1. Wawa Mike – can you explain to me why you feel like the rotation is good enough? Outside of Nola EVERY OTHER pitcher has question marks, including Arrieta. We have the 4th best rotation in our division … it needs to be better.

  65. Does anyone have a feel for the Pitching Coach change? I heard all good things about Kranitz, and am not all that familiar with Chris Young. Was this another analytics decision? I like our young SPs. I clearly wanted Happ or Cole at he deadline because I felt it was dumb to rely on all 3, but I ever wanted to “get rid” of any of them. I am hoping for at least 1 to step it up, and I like Eickhoff.

  66. With the Brian Dozier signing, Washington has now just about reached the salary tax threshold for 2019. They’re at 202+million. The cap is 206 million.
    This would put the Nationals over the threshold for the second year in a row, and would also mean whatever they offer/pay Bryce Harper in 2019 gets hit with at least a 30% tax. The Nats would also be responsible for an additional 12.5% tax on every dollar they spend over 226 million dollars. And a 42.5% tax on any salaries that exceed 246 million dollars.
    Let’s say Washington offers BH a contract with an AAV of 33 million. In 2019, Harper’s salary would actually amount to more than 43 million dollars.
    The bottom line is … if the Phillies want Bryce Harper, they’re going to get Bryce Harper. The Nationals can’t stop them.

    1. Agreed – it’s almost impossible to see Harper with the Nats.

      I also think there will be very few suitors of Harper who will give him both the years and the aav the Phils will give. I get why Machado is objectively ranked higher (more premium position, etc. . . ) but I have such a good vibe about Harper and the Phillies. He could make that offense a wrecking crew.

    2. Hinkie – it is also typical that Nats (all teams) allow for a little fluff to add a reliever, or a position player at the July deadline – this signing leaves them no margin of error for adding a playoff push player. Figure that margin could be 4 -5 million.

  67. Hinkie…or others. When I first saw the Nats were signing Dozier my first read of it [in my mind] was that the Nats KNEW they were out on Harper and are now intent on filling the few holes they still have in their roster [ie: second base]. Still can’t shake that thought.

    On another Phillie site [philaphans] there are reports that a Harper to Philadelphia deal is already done and the Phils are only going to Las Vegas to make sure Bryce wants to come to Philadelphia. Apparently, Harper is opening up a new video game next week and wants to sign in conjunction with the opening of the new game.

    Who knows? It doesn’t match how Boras has operated in the past unless…the Phils and Boras/Harper have been negotiating quietly for quite some time and this meeting is more to cross the T’s and dot the I’s.

    Also, please note, I am simply the messenger here, not suggesting this stuff is what I necessarily believe. I could still see the Dodgers jumping in at the last minute, same with the Yankees and MM.

    But I can’t shake the belief that the signing of Dozier was an indirect signal that the Nats have moved on from Harper. Thoughts, anyone?

    1. That was a rumor posted on twitter by someone with about 1.5k followers . . . wouldn’t take that seriously at all.

      1. Cali Dream – I saw that too. Guess he broke the news about Demarco Murray.
        Funny thing is people would have given me crap for posting about that tweet 🙂

        1. TrollU….that is correct.
          You have taken your share of that stuff lately.
          it will make you a better person. 🙂

  68. CD, My take is that John Middleton would not have made his best offer unless he already knew that Harper would come here. So, I can’t believe any deal is “done.” I am sure there has been constant communication with Boras, but I believe more the rumor that we offered 9/$360 Million, and Harper told Boras to “make it happen in LA.” We may very well sign him in LV, but I don’t trust any source that says “the deal is done, the Phillies just have to make sure he wants to come here.”

    1. Hector could be a major factor in success of the bullpen so long as he trusts his sinker. Huge!

      1. Hector has the ability to be one of the 5-8 relievers in baseball. The splitter is a nearly unhittable pitch.

  69. Matt13…that was my take on the situation, thanks for that. Anyways, the guy who “broke” the story is named Kevin Matusak, and it seems he is pretty well known among Phillie phans. What that means, I am not sure!

  70. Can we really believe that the Phillies would have Middleton, Macphail, Klentak and Kapler all flying to Vegas to meet with Harper and Boras if Machado is their preferred target? I can’t. I don’t.

    1. Let’s remember that this is more than a baseball decision. It’s also about marketing, season ticket sales, merchandise, TV ratings, etc. The Majestic store at CBP will be flooded and overwhelmed to keep up with customer demand for Harper merch. Nothing close to that if Manny signs with PHI.

        1. I can’t say I ever thought otherwise, Romus. It’s very much a part of doing business today. I don’t buy into branding so much but I appreciate the effort by teams to connect with their fan base.

          1. Yes that is what it is today.
            I guess if John Middleton calls Kurt Funk up Sunday and tells him to get his people going in ordering 50K, number 34 Phillies Harper jerseys for the Majestic store…then we know the ball is rolling .

  71. MLBTheShow is trolling! 75 days to the drop date and the message was ” Better than ’76” with Harper’s pic LOL

  72. Harper:
    One report says rival execs think Nationals have the edge while other reports think the Phillies have an edge.

    one report says white sox have the edge because they have signed all of Manny’s homies. Others say Phillies focused on Manny

    Breaking news: no one knows what the heck is going on

  73. The Realmuto trade rumors are interesting. I don’t want to see him go to Atlanta. He would be a bigger get for the Dodgers than Harper would. I don’t see the Reds being a real possibility. Wherever he goes, there is a big onus on Alfaro to up his game. I know the FO loves him, but he has a long way to go. I hope he spent the whole off season doing hand/eye coordination drills, and I hope that someone devised a pitch recognition app for him to work on.

    1. Matt13……that pitch recog app…forgetaboutit…..he was very poor in MLB in ‘swing and miss’ in the zone(Z-contact%)…73.2 % (Joey Gallo was 72%)….meaning swings thru too many FBs.

  74. See Romus, I count on you. So, I know how he can improve defensively, not saying that he does, but has there been a C who misses the ball with the bat so much who then improves dramatically in the Majors? If not, why is the FO so high on him? 344 ABs with 10 HRs? Hardly very threatening.

    1. Matt13…..’why is the FO so high on him?’.
      I guess the raw skills are the biggest attraction….power plus bat….plus arm….best speed in the majors for a catcher…..also great attitude and work ethic.
      Easy to fall in love with.
      But man those overall defensive metrics…..except framing….are really troubling for a guy who has already caught about 650 pro games…that is no small sampling.
      When he catches….49 wild pitches….11 from each of Arrieta and Seranthony…big spike slider guys that need that ball blocked….his blocking is poor.
      Pass balls are near the top and his errors also in the top percentile.
      Unless he improves on those numbers philiies cannot get tothe main event…..their pitchers will be also be worn.

      1. As a hitter, he also has big swing and miss problems and strike zone judgment issues.

        I think his catching will improve because he’s very athletic and dedicated. The hitting, I’m not so sure and I’m fairly shocked that they don’t seem to have a veteran there to compete with him. The Wilson Ramos non-sign could really come back to haunt them.

        1. Yeah…….I thought Knapp as a switch-hitter would be a help…..but he also has struggled at the plate. Ramos is the bat that would have been the biggest plus for the position.
          But overall…outside of a handful of catchers, the bar is pretty low for hitting in the majors
          Grandal and Realmuto are good hitters and Posey has slipped lately but still very good…. but it is tough to get a guy who is both plus defensively and offensively.

  75. 2019 Opening day lineup …


    Thats my story and I’m sticking to it (for another 24 hrs 🙂 it’s going to happen .. well… some combo of that, not sure what Kapler will all his new parts

      1. All kidding aside, Brewers are reportedly looking hard for infield upgrade. Can we appeal to them for a Cesar deal? Give us a couple of top 20 prospects? We can throw them some cash to cover his approx $9M for 2019.

        1. We could definitely convince them to trade for Cesar.

          The problem is getting anything of value. There’s still a lot of decent options on the FA market that would cost them nothing but money. Our one advantage is the Brewers don’t like to spend money, so it’s really just a question of how much do they (and we) value specific prospects of theirs. Cesar is cheap and I’m sure we can throw them some money to make him cheaper if the (prospect) price is right.

      2. Ha … just for opening day. I’m sure Kingery will be around from position to position with Kapler at the helm. Also, no way Nola doesn’t bat 8th at some point in the year, it might as well be opening day.

        Lastly, I was an advocate for signing mous last offseason, not so much now, Franco has shown enough to fight off Mous. I’d decide on Franco year by year, along with Kingery’s progress. I just think the FO will sign mous if they pick Harper (yes i said pick), they value defense more than i do at third. Plus klentak probably can’t stand Arrietta complaints about the defense anymore

  76. We sign our #5 SP, Jerad Eickhoff to a $975,000 contract. 7 Arb eligible players left. No rumors to do a long term deal with Nola?

    1. Tough decision for them….not sure they will want to buy out all three of his arb years.
      But if it were up to me i would offer.
      He turns 26 in June, so maybe 5 yrs/$90M …tricky since he was a 10WAR pitcher, but first two arb years are really normally upgrades, but not what one would expect for a 10WAR pitcher.
      Not sure what the dollar amount could actually be.

  77. I do not want Moustakas. But I did really want Lowrie instead and not happy Mets got him. He would have been much more useful than many other options as switch hitter and good fielder.
    Trade Franco regardless which should have been done early in off season.
    INF is Cesar, Segura, Lowrie. Kingery backup.

    With Machado then Segura 2B, Machado SS, Lowrie 3B. Cesar is traded for nothing and Kingery is the backup. Or like top teams do, keep Cesar, put Kingery in minors and rotate Lowrie. Stick him in LF if Williams slumps.
    Prefer Manny at 3B with Segura SS and Lowrie/Kingery at 2B but what Manny want Manny gets.

    Lowrie costs the same as Hernandez and could let Manny play SS and still have good infield defense. Lowrie also is great for the lineup as power/walk switch hitter.

    Segura, Hoskins, Lowrie, Machado, Mccutchen, Herrera, Williams, Alfaro, P.

  78. Crazy prediction but I could see the Brewers being a mystery team for Machado. I don’t think they sign him but I think they attempt a run.

      1. I never said they’d sign him. I just said they’d get involved. They’re hot and heavy on some inf help. Hence a crazy prediction.

        Do your “sources” have any info on the Phillies signing Manny or Bryce? Or are we just assuming one of them will sign because of stupid money?

  79. Can anybody find out when and where Johnny and the boys are hopping on the plane to Vegas? I assume tomorrow afternoon? Anyway, it would be nice to have a big sendoff to wish them well.

  80. With the myriad of rumors, speculation, and tweeted “reports” regarding Harper and Machado, I read the terrain and do the math and for the life of me I don’t understand how teams like WAS, CHI and LAD are prominently mentioned as potential suitors. Other than being idyllic destination points for national media attention and local fan rags of those towns, I don’t get how these clubs can manage either roster issues or luxury tax thresholds or both. Are these factors just ignored or minimized by the “source” because they are inconvenient in perpetuating a “good story”? Tiring. Please make it end, somebody!

    1. In any case I agree with Tac3 above who suggested that the Phillies will pick which player they sign, and that by virtue of the advantageous position they are fortunate to be in. Okay, I’m done. Good evening.

    2. @8mark – all roads lead to Philly. Just let things play out.

      I predicted more than a week ago that the Phillies has a 90% to land one of MacHarper and 50% to land both. I still stand with that prediction.

      I expect that the MacHarper contracts will have a series and opt outs which includes trade bonuses. If stars aligned and Middleton end up winning both the MacHarper lottery, I expect that the contracts will be structure to provide the Phillies some flexibility to pursue Mike Trout when he hits the open market.

  81. Well, this is a potentially interesting development. The Phils just announced they have hired Bobby Dickerson as a coach for their staff. Big deal you all say! Perhaps. And its not exactly like hiring Manny Machado’s dog as the team batboy but…Dickerson is a highly valued mentor to Machado from his Baltimore days and just a couple of months ago, when Machado was going through all of that playoff turmoil, it was Dickerson who came to his defense in a great article written by Baltimore Oriole columnist, Dan Connolly for The Athletic.

    It might mean nothing…then again??? Its worth mentioning one more rumor since they seem to be a dime a dozen lately. Zolecki mentioned that internally the Phils are determined to sign one and a guy who goes by the Shadow [on Back She Goes} and is revered on that site for having someone on the inside who gives him info said this is not only true but…he was told that the Phils strategy is to sign one and then leave the offer on the table for the other player. If he accepts they will gladly take both of them though they will not get into a bidding war once they have corralled one of them.

    Who knows about this interesting tidbit? Perhaps only the Shadow knows!!! But I do know that the Phils have added Dickerson to their staff because it was reported tonight by Matt Gelb…who may even be the Shadow for all we know!!!

    The Chinese proverb says “may you live in interesting times.” For Phillie phans the Chinese proverb may indeed be prescient.

    1. Wow, this is getting crazy. While we collectively moan and groan about the glacial pace of the off season, there is much to be said for letting things play out. I don’t know how likely it is that we would sign both players, but it’s sure feeling likelier by the hour. IMO, hiring Dickerson is clearly more significant than signing a brother-in-law and another workout pal, though those were also blatantly recruiting in their purpose.

      Earlier this week, I predicted today (Fri) would be the day Manny chooses PHI if in fact PHI was to be his choice. With the Harper meeting in Vegas tomorrow, there has to be some tension within each camp as to who says yes to the Phillies first. What we don’t know (which is plenty, I’m sure) is what has already been communicated between the parties involved, and perhaps what has already been agreed to.

      Hold on to your caps!

  82. If the Phils could get up the guts to get both Harper and Machado, they will be title contenders for the next 6-8 years with their current core and farm.

    Be bold!

    1. completely agree and completely doable give the current market. having Hoskins, harper and MM at their ages opens up endless trade options to improve the pitching including trading last yrs number 1 pick when his trade value peaks since he is either a 3b or !B

      ” its not what you say but what you do that defines you”

      don’t say “be bold”

      act with boldness

    2. I want to believe that they would be able to sign both, but it would push them over the luxury tax. I believe they are at 154m currently, say they each sign for 30m AAV. They would be at 214m, and that was before arbitration. I see one for sure, both gets tricky. They can shed salary with relievers and trading Cehe, and add on with trading Herrera. Will see, I think today is going to be a big day for Phillies phans

      1. agreed but with boldness comes some tricky maneuvering
        thing is they can take a one yr hit on the luxury tax because they don’t have a lot of longterm commitments
        they have 25 million in middle relievers alone with hunter, etc coming off books at end of this yr
        plus hernandez will be gone at some pt and who knows what happens with Arieta at end of this yr
        in order to get both you might have to take a minimal return for hernandez to clear his salary and commit to kingery at 2nd
        id do that in a second

      2. Two points on the luxury tax:
        1. The penalty this year would be minimal.
        2. They free up a lot of salary next year. No where close to the cap.

        1. Nola will get an extension offer soon to buy out some of his remaining arb years…..probably upwards of $20M AAV over the entire length..
          And if he maintains a 10WAR pitcher who knows what they will offer him…could be $25M AAV.
          Hoskins also….more like $18/20M AAV
          Those two have to be accounted for also.

          1. For Nola’s extension, I see Arriettas salary as a place holder . It will overlap by a year, but essentially long term arriettas place on the books becomes Nola’s, with another young arm taking Nola’s low end salary. If Sixto,Medina, and Howard develop, the Phillies are going to not only be rich talent wise, but payroll wise for SP %/production. {

            Good times coming. If they sign both I’ll be pleasantly surprised, I might even get off the Mike Trout train to Philly for a few weeks 🙂

            1. Rhys…if he turns out like they want and hope him to be….will be getting a bump up in arb 1 in two years….which could be by then $8/10M.
              No way , they let him go all the way out on the scale to UFA before offering a LTC…they are not that foolish.

          2. agreed
            that’s why they cant longterm spend 25 million on 6th and 7th inning relievers, this yr only
            need to develop a core of young cheap bullpen
            arano, ramos, etc

        2. The penalty would be minimal this year, but I’m not sure they free up much salary in 2020. Baseball-Reference has their payroll almost exactly the same ($127M) if they pick up Neshak’s option. They could shed Neshak, and Hunter and Nicasio will come off the books, but their arbitration guys will be more expensive. McCutchen’s deal is more back-loaded than I realized. He’s only making $10M this year.

    3. I thought there would be 0 chance of this happening at the beginning of the off season but if Machado is signing a contract for less than $300 mil it is definitely doable.

      1. I though it was possible at the beginning of the offseason, “if” they both signed, but the recent article describing how the payroll is at 154mil, rolled me back. They can shed salaries, but other GMs won’t make it easy for them, since they know the Phillies want to get under and/or create space.

        From the cap article, there is more that goes into the “cap” than just AAV. So I’m not sure what to believe. I’m sure there is a way to pull it off, but do they want to go that route, being near maxed at the beginning of the contending “window”… will see how they play their cards. Whatever sets them up for multiple runs at a WS title.

        1. We don’t know what the structure of each contract would look like in terms of length, opt outs, “swellopts”, front load, back load, deferred moneys, etc.

    1. Defensively….that probably is one of his best attributes, along with the strong arm and pop up time…..but that did not translate into the % leader in the Caught Stealing area.

      Framing metric… flaw.
      Every catcher did not catch in front of all 68 MLB umpires in an equal amount of games. Each umpire may tend to call strikes a little different.

      And I am just not sure this accurately presents a good valid point in their assumption:
      “Umpires showed a consistent correlation from Double-A to the majors (8-10 percent range). High-A and Low-A were lower, but this may be due to flaws in the ability to accurately extract the umpire names from the box scores. Umpire names are manually entered and manually scrubbed. Strangely, Low-A showed a very strong 15 percent R2 correlation. Anecdotally, this author finds the data at Low-A to be superior to the High-A data for reasons unknown.”

      Framing’s other flaw….does not register drop third stirke/foul tips…another skill in the whole stirke/ball spectrum.

      Finally, if framing were a skill that can be consistently maintained… does Lucroy and Realmuto go from one of the leaders 2 years ago , to now below average…or on this scale below 100 CS%. I just cannot see catchers in theri prime years, losing it that fast.

      Framing or stealing strikes, as it was originally known, is a metric that BP, then Fangraphs followed, that their analtical types began pointing plenty of emphasis on as a pr=imary defensive metric…..I see it as a part of the whole defensive prism and not the primary part.

      1. You would think framing wouldn’t be a skill set that you’d lose. I mean it’s really not a physical thing that you’d lose w age. My personal opinion, framing doesn’t mean much but I guess every little advantage helps.

  83. If the Phillies somehow pull off signing both MM & BH…. I will quite possibly buy my first set of season tickets. You hear that Middleton! (I know hinkie is really Middleton! 🙂 … CBP would sell out just about every game.

    I get the sense that Mlbtraderumors is awfully quiet … today is the day Machado signs.

    1. Tac3……why would you want both?
      That means you forfeit Trout if he becomes available.
      I understand the theory…a bird in the bush and all……but that seems to go against their long term plans that i assume had Trout in the cross-hairs in two years.

      1. Aggressive organizations find creative ways to be bold and manage their resources. We are simply unfamiliar with that type of FO around here, Romus. Get used to it 😀

      2. It’s a tough Choice. Given that the Nats are loaded, it probably makes sense to “wait” for trout. To not blow all your salary cap room at the beginning of your competitive window… but if you think the way the team is constructed with BH and MM gets you more cracks at a WS title than one of them plus Trout (older age) … then my answer falls into what is the greater good for
        The team vs player.

        Let me Throw this out, tell me if it’s idiotic, can the Phillies afford BH,MM,and Trout? I can see Hoskins progressing, and being put into a deal that helps shed any bad contracts or needed monies to fit Trout in. The redsoxs and dodgers have made some crazy salary clearing deals, so I can’t rule it out, even if it is unlikely. I’d hate to see Hoskins go, but that could be an avenue to make it happen.

        I wish I knew more about how to manipulate the salary numbers, because im sure there is a way , I just hope our FO knows how to do it.

        If it can’t be done, I’d sign one, and wait for Trout. Gotta take a chance at that. It would feel like Jim Thome x 100. The Phillies might possibly add more seats to CBP to accomidate the demand.

        Will see, I’m just waiting and stirring like the rest of us.

        1. Good post, Tac3. The single most important thing the Phillies have in their advantage is organization value – major league depth, minor league pitching, and financial viability PLUS. Let’s start thinking and acting like a big market club.

          1. Throwing out ideas, but if our positional players do actually progress … we have a prospect being touted as a superstar in the making in Garcia, along with bohm, Haseley and Moniak.

            You could feasible see a trade including Hoskins and or segura down the line. If you can trade a pitcher like Efflin,VV, or Pivetta, and then slide in one of the young arms that produces at the same low salary, I see this as a way to extend the window, keep it rolling. They will need to keep the young guys developing while actually giving them a chance at the mlb level. Instead of using them as trade chips they can use them as a way to “manipulate” or keep their team salaries down.

            Again just throwing mud at the fan ideas. Either way, I believe there is more than one way for the phillies to get into a serious contention window, I hope the FO pickes the route with the most chances. I’m thinking like how SF got a few titles over a decent sized window.

        2. Tac3…I suppose there are way to manipulate around the lux tax….but when I see a team like the Yankees balk at Machado’s asking price because of financial restraints…makes me wonder why……or even the Dodgers hedge against Harper’s long term deal but rather something short like 4/5 years
          There must be something to the fiscal responsibility angle.

          1. Romus, I’m not sure the Yankees decision not to even offer Manny a contract has much to do with finances as maximizing their assets, namely player personnel. Cashman and his staff may have simply come to the conclusion that while Machado is an outstanding player, they really don’t need him, and certainly not at anywhere near his price tag. If there was a free agent starting pitcher equivalent to his talent still available, then luxury tax be damned. They can’t possibly move their overstocked IF to justify acquiring him. And they keep adding depth at better value.

            The Phillies OTOH? He moves the needle of a club desperate to make an impact in the NL east race AND its own fanbase.

            1. 8mark…..a team does not pass up a talent like Machado with the thought that player movement will be hampered. You make room for him.
              Also the impression I was geting was that Andujar would have been moved to facilitate Machado.
              Then the no offer, and now the DJ signing kind of makes me think it was all about the money.
              Judge’s first year of arb is after 2019…..and he will be 28….so they may try to get him locked up at a contract similar to the Angel’s on Mike Trout’s in 2014 with the adjusted escalation each year..

            2. The Yankees have so many guys that they’ll need to lock up and to be honest, no real need for Machado. Obviously anyone wants a player like him but when you don’t need them you can dictate the terms. I mean Andujar’s numbers weren’t that far off Machado (I get the defense) but again, he’s not needed.

    1. Sorry. Just saw Cal Dreamer already posted it.

      As far as signing both Harper and Machado. I’m pretty certain that’s just not going to happen. You guys can believe it or not … but … this team is game planning for Mike Trout after 2020.

      1. I’m normally an advocate of the Gospel According to Hinkie, and I understand the implications of signing (or trying to sign) both, but this is a unique opportunity for the Phillies to become more relevant and formidable than since I can remember. After the next CBA, payroll structure and increasing tax thresholds and so much more will change the landscape of the economy of MLB.

        1. Again, one of my life philosophies – a good plan today (now) is better than the perfect plan tomorrow (2 yrs).

          1. 8mark – agree 100%. I want Trout but I’m not going to let it stop myself from going after 2 of the best younger players in the league. I think that would be a huge mismanagement.

    1. book it. Some lazy content creator who works at spilled the beans. The trip to Vegas is to announce the signing.

      (To be fair, I believe utroll mentioned this as well, no link though)

      1. I think Troll actually referred to the video game (MLB The Show ?) maybe hinting Harper to the Phillies.

  84. Has anyone mentioned that Greg Luzinski has let the cat out of the bag ?

    The water is beginning to boil.

    1. Hinkie – thank you for this. I don’t have a Twitter account, so it is much appreciated.

      I believe this 100%. You can’t get anymore of an inside source than that! He is literally … in the park. This also backs our boy Jim’s rumor earlier. Add in that all the likely figures in a press conference signing are traveling to VEGAS, it’s a done deal to me.

      Bryce Harper signs with the Phillies tomorrow.

  85. Middleton should ball out like the old WWF… have him introduce Harper, you know the whole intro and all, fireworks, arms raised walking to the table. Then while Harper is signing, have Middleton leave the press conference for an important phone call. A minute later, BH phone rings, and BH introduces Machado as the latest Phillies signing. (Crazy fireworks) they can play the villain angle of the NL East. Harper says some mean crAp about Lerner, walks off the stage before Machado can spike him for getting a larger deal.

    Lol … hey, some say baseball is boring .. it’d be one way to spice up the offseason

    1. Matt… it’s a done deal. Bad move for Bull to piss off his only customers!

      This weekend is going to be for the ages … Harper
      Wins the stupid money contest and Nickyyyy Foles leads the Eagles over the Saints in a huge upset to continue the magic

      Philly is going to be hated really soon

  86. I agree that all signs point to Harper signing with the Phils, at least right now. But what does this mean for Machado? I can’t get rid of this nagging thought that the hiring of Machado’s mentor, Bobby Dickerson, portends something happening with MM.

    I know Hinkie said the Phils will not sign both since they are prepping for Trout, but what if one of MM or Harper are given their “out” clause after 2 years? I doubt Klentak and McPhail think its a great financial idea to sign both but I could easily see Middleton, with the urging of Comcast, go for broke, especially if MM comes at less that $300 million.

  87. I predict that Harper will be a Phillie tomorrow for a contract value (including buy outs) of $350M/10 yrs. White Sox wil ramp up their pursuit of Machado and the Phillies will come it close but will not be surprised if they offer Machado a $300M++ contract with close to $40M AAV in the first 3 years with yearly opt outs.

    This will bring the Phillies above the luxury threshold but they will package their controllable players like Franco, Cesar, Rios, etc to unload the contracts of one or two of Neshek, Hunter and Nicasio.

    1. If Harper becomes a Phillie this weekend, I can see a scenario where Machado signs a high AAV 1-year contract with the Yankees and re-enter the FA next year when Didi Gregorious becomes a FA, Machado is a young FA and he is very good. He will get paid big $$ one way or the other.

      1. If he’s willing to take that risk, what with two other top shelf 3Bs in Rendon and Arenado on the market next winter.

        1. 8mark…IMO, if the Nats fail on re-signing Harper…they will not fail on extending Rendon.
          Arenado….will of course be out their in free agency land

        2. Machado is one of the elite young studs in the MLB, betting on himself is a good play especially if he is playing for a contending team with a good chance to win the WS. Serious injury is the main risk in this strategy, fortunately for Machado, risk of serious in baseball is less compared to other major sports like NBA, NFL and NHL.

          If Middleton can pony up the $325M check, he can also get Machado. Having Machado and Harper should not preclude acquiring Milke Trout. There will be options, opt outs and trade clauses that can be included in the contract to put the Phillies in a position to enter the Mike Trout sweepstakes. Assuming that circumstances will let permit it — having a Machado-Harper combo vs Harper-Trout combo is still a good fallback option.

  88. Romus, I usually count on you. Can’t we envision signing both and still being able to afford Mike Trout? I think we can, and I am, in no way, of the belief that we will. Cesar, Nicasio, Hunter and Neshek will be gone in 2 years, and so will Arrieta. I count $60 Million. We can add both Machado and Harper this year without exceeding the Luxury Tax. I also think that we would go over the tax to sign Trout. So, while I don’t think we get both, I think that it is doable and still get Trout

    1. There is really little to no problem going over the luxury tax threshold once, even 2x. It’s the long term managing of the payroll, expiring contracts, shifting weight of AAVs and what not. We’re discussing this now. The FO has been planning this for at least 2 yrs. Let them figure it out. We don’t have to. Enjoy the ride!

  89. Wow it’s unofficially official that NYY are out on Manny. DJ LeMahieu nearing deal with the Yankees. What more need we to be convinced it’s us vs CWS.

    1. @8mark – NYY is not yet officially out. Unless the White Sox or Middleton offer >$325M to Machado, he can still be a Yankee for a 1 year deal.

      For long term contract – its PHI vs CWS but short term/1 year, it will be NYY.

  90. 8mark…you beat me to the punch, my friend. Soooooooooo, if Machado truly wants to stay on the East Coast and Luzinski is not mistaken in his tweet, this could end up being one of the most amazing Phillie news cycles since Cliff Lee signed to become part of the Four Aces.

    1. Cal Dream, I don’t think any of us Phuture Phillies regulars, both posters and readers, know how to feel right now. Disbelief? Is it too good to be true? Is my internal Negadelphian losing his mind? I am merely trusting this current regime enough to show us that we’re no longer in Kansas (City) anymore, Toto. A twister is a’brewin’! The Giles and Monty days of being penny wise and dollar foolish are a memory. Let’s go put a strangle hold on the throat of the NL east!

    2. Yeah it’s heating up. PHI & CHI fans should be getting excited. Odds are each town will sign one… but will one get both? I’m pumped, but reserved as I can still see a late horse to the race, like the dodgers or some other team. I’m very confident will get 1, its for those that are hoping for both. I’m going to say it’s possible, I just wonder if that is the direction the team wants to go in with trout possibly lurking.

      Hopefully having IVY leaguers in our FO means they know how to work the cap. BH&MM&Trout … may not happen but not as crazy as once thought.

  91. The stars really are aligning for a Machado / Harper clean sweep for the Phils without limiting the Trout options in 2 years. The Phils have the possibility of injecting young bullpen arms, young rotation arms, and several young position players into the equation, they’d be able to allocate high dollars to Nola, Hoskins, Machado, Trout, and Harper and still be okay. Here’s to 2020:

    1 Segura SS
    2 Haseley CF
    3 Trout RF
    4 Harper LF
    5 Machado 3B
    6 Hoskins 1B
    7 Kingery 2B
    8 Alfaro C
    9 Nola P

    1. Nola, Hoskins, Machado, Trout, and Harper… lots of trump.
      Could go higher than $150M for the five in totem in three years..

      1. …true perhaps, but also a whole lot of cheap talent like Sixto, Medina, Howard, Garcia, Haseley. If you’re smart, you can always move the “value in the margin$”, as they say.

    2. I believe it can be done. The FO will have to trust their evaluations on the upcoming prospects, by this, I mean live and die by them. Haseley can push McCutchen, Quinn can push Herrera, and you still have Moniak. Garcia can push segura or Kingery. Bohm can push Hoskins at first, make him tradeable, possibly Ortiz. If Kingery develops, the offense should be humming

      Nola is set, his money becomes Arriettas, with Our SP prospects pushing Pivetta, VV, And efflin.

      trade the players getting ready to be paid,
      And replenish the system, with avg to above avg prospects

      With trout,Bh, and MM as the core, you don’t need the greatest supporting cast.

      This is Crazy. Hopefully I’m reading this correctly, but if the Phillies do sign both, I’m not listening to a soul that tells me Trout to Philly will never never never happen. Lol. Exciting times no matter what happens

  92. For (roughly) two years now, I’ve been posting that Manny Machado would be a Phillie in 2019. That changed to Manny Machado or Bryce Harper would be a Phillie in 2019 after Machado’s “Johnny Hustle” comments. I’ve even promised to ban myself for six months if Middleton struck out on both.
    That said … I’m not going to guarantee Mike Trout a Phillie in 2021. However, there is definitely a very real chance Mike Trout will indeed be brought home after 2020. The Phillies are game planning for that possibility. They’d be derelict in their duties not to.

    It is an absolute joke for anyone to write something like this:

    or tweet something like this:

    Let me bookmark both of these so I can maybe bring them back up in the future.

    1. Hinkie…do not think Liz is with TGP anymore…she moved on to greener pastures a month or two ago.

      1. Romus … I don’t care who she’s now working for. That is a stupid tweet.
        Even Dan Clark laughs at Liz Roscher’s tweet.

        1. Yes…not sure what she was aiming at with that…maybe get plenty of responses.
          And she did.
          But she is a Philly faithful follower.
          I think she is with Yahoo Sports now

        2. I’m being patient with the Mike Trout comments. Let’s see what happens this offseason. Arte Moreno has broken the luxury tax in the past to field a mediocre team with no pitching. I wouldn’t be surprised if he spends big to keep trout after Harper and Machado are signed.

          Remember, the guy is a BILLIONAIRE who has made poor investments (Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols). There’s no way Mike Trout is a poor investment.

  93. Dodgers now sign R Martin for one year and 20 million ? Now what does that mean ? Less $$ for Harper on a short term high salary ? Are they stepping back also ?

    1. RU…a trade to replace Grandal.
      And :
      Ben Nicholson-Smith✔
      #BlueJays trading Russell Martin to the Dodgers per @ArashMadani
      Return not yet known, but based on catching market would guess #BlueJays absorb $16-18 million of his $20 million salary in 2019
      2:10 PM – Jan 11, 2019
      ….so Dodgers do not take a big ‘cap’ hit.

    2. RU … I believe the Blue Jays are eating most of that salary. It’s not going to matter, anyway. The Dodgers are not going to be the reason the Phillies don’t land Harper. The only way the Phillies don’t get Harper is if the Phillies don’t want Harper (they choose MM instead).

      1. Aha…moment – did not see the fine print on what they would cover. Toronto throwing $$ away like mad ! Tulo, now this ?

        1. Assume Jays, in their all-out rebuild, are making room on the field for Vlad, Jr, Bo Bichette and Biggio…and whoever else they got ready to come in to the Roger Center.

    3. LAD did not sign Martin, LAD acquired Russell (plus $20M from TOR) via trade for a couple of prospects. I don’t really see LAD as a threat for Harper. It’s between WAS and PHI and WAS is now showing the white towel.

      1. KuKo…IMO, its between Harper and Rendon for the Nats….Lerner and Rizzo will have to make that decision who they think is more valuable to their team going forward.
        I would think, Rizzo cannot defer every major core player..

        1. @romus – i starting to believe that Lerner is seeing the writing in the wall that Middleton not only has deeper pockets, but the Phillies positioned themselves to be in the driver’s of the MacHarper sweepstakes. Middleton not getting stupid yet in throwing his cash is a legit concern for Lerner since he knows that Middleton and Company will travel with that big check that he cannot match.

          As I previously posted here, not only Harper fits better in the batting order it is better to have Harper in your team than compete against him to win the NL East.

          1. Yes…it would appear that way.
            Have not heard anything from their GM yet…though do not expect anything concrete anyway coming forth.
            Still unlike Boras to settle this early in the process for a top tier FA client of his.
            Will see.

  94. Everyone sounds like a bunch of teenage girls.

    “Do you think Bryce will ask us out this weekend?” “I heard Manny was still interested” “Maybe we can double date”. “If I go steady with Bryce now what about Mike next year”…

    I hope the both sign with anyone soon so the drama can end.

    1. lol … its odd to see a group of philly phans happy for once, huh?

      For once…. the target doesn’t seem out of our league …

    1. Hinkie…better tweet him and hold him to his promise….about not tweeting if Manny does not sign with the Yankees…I think he was the one that posted that tweet….or was it some guy named Donnie Trump! 🙂

  95. Who is our leadoff hitter? As I sit here and make up dream lineups, soon to be realty, I’d at least like to get the leadoff hitter correct!

    Herrera,Cehe,Quinn or mystery player?

    1. If Herrera is revitalized as Jim reports, along with Kapler committed to having him in shape come spring, I would lean toward Doobie. Quinn figures to be the 4th OF, late inning secret weapon. CeHe? Please, no lead off! Bottom of the lineup if we can’t move him on.

      1. Don’t forget Cutch. His AB’s as leadoff in NY were exemplary – in 150 AB he had a plus .400 OBP I believe. Now he is not a career lead off hitter- obviously- but has gotten seriously more choosy in pitch selection. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kapler experimenting with that on either.

    2. Gotta go CeHe at the top of the order. He’s a high OBP guy who can run, but can’t steal bases. Roman Quinn (when playing) is better off hitting in the second half of the lineup to take advantage of his speed/ability to steal bases. They’re not going to want Roman/anyone running in front of Harper & Hoskins or Machado & Hoskins.

        1. I’d love for Quinn to win the job, but also stay healthy (obviously). He is entertaining to watch.

          I can live with Cehe, but … I prefer a healthy Quinn.

          I’d go


          Kapler is probably going
          #8 – Pitcher
          #9 – Kingery/Cehe

          I heard Kapler explain the reasoning behind that thought process on the radio, 100% convinced he’ll be implementing it 75% of the time. You can tell he believes it gives the team the best chance to win that night.

          1. Tac – You can’t have Alfaro batting ahead of the pitcher. He’ll never get a pitch to hit. Better to bat KingeryHernandez bat in front of the pitcher.

  96. For a website that is called MLBtradeRumors, they sure are lagging behind on the big news, don’t they know Harper is signing tomorrow? They need to get their act together 🙂 Someone throw them a bone a link the Luzinski tweet for them.

    Also, getting Harper/Machado is going to weaken my bold prediction for Eickhoff getting 15+wins this year… he’s going to have a real offense this time backing him up. Heck, Ben Riveria I think got 15 wins in 93 ….

    1. Yeah I’m convinced that all of them – Middleton, MacPhail, Klentak and Kapler – are going out to Vegas just to chit chat and ask, “Bryce, so what do you think about Philadelphia?”??? NO WAY!! The deal goes down tomorrow, folks!

      1. Wonder, are they all meeting at the Mustang Ranch to put ink to paper? Maybe the Chicken Ranch? 🙂

    1. I tend to inflate the stats from my first taste of winning baseball… that season was amazing … you know, right before the hanging slider. Not even sure if 08 topped it for me. Just amazing

  97. It was mentioned before that Manny might take a pillow contract and re-enter FA next year earlier. I just wanted to remind people considering that; a pillow contract opens him up to a qualifying offer.

    It’s already not a guarantee that next year’s class offers him more of a market. And losing a pick is certainly not a reason to not sign someone of his caliber. But it enters the calculus on how much he’s worth. Of the two, I have to imagine Bryce would be much more open to a pillow contract because he’d LOSE the QO stipulation next year. Plus if he puts up a big year at the plate, he alleviates any concerns teams might have.

    Manny is coming off a huge offensive campaign and has no draft pick compensation attached to him. There’s a lot more risk for him to delay his big pay day than there is for Harper.

    1. All good points, and add in the fact that the economy for players is changing, you get the feeling that they could be one of the last LT deals for a FA going forward. The overall lack of interest in pretty surprising … collusion level surprising. The money is there right now, take it, no one knows what will happen tomorrow. What happened to the Braves prospect? If I understand correctly, he turned down a lot of money to renter the draft, but came down with a pretty bad illness. Things happen, gotta grab the money imo.

      It’s like taking the lotto in a lump sum vs the annuity .. you take the lump sum… lol do you trust the state to pay you out for 30 years? Hell no

      1. The Braves prospect (Carter Stewart) had a slot value of $5MM Braves only offered $2 MM after they found a ligament issue in his wrist. Rules state you must offer 40% of slot to get a compensatory pick for not signing the player in the next years draft

        so it went to a grievance hearing and somehow the Braves won and the Player went to a Juco to re-enter in next years draft. Braves will now get the 9th pick.

        1. DMAR …Braves did offer 40% of $4.98M slot for the number 8 pick.
          From the ruling:
          “Arbitrator Mark Irvings held the Braves made a 40 percent offer to Stewart, which meant he did not have to rule on any of the other issues presented by the case. The union declined to comment.”

          1. It’s pretty cut and dry. I’m sure the Braves put the offer in writing.
            Stewart and the players union, instead, argued that the ligament damage to the wrist didn’t warrant a 40% of slot offer. The arbitrator didn’t buy it.
            The good news is … Carter Stewart could be available for the Phillies at 1-14 next June. He’s going JUCO this season to be able to be draft eligible in 2019.

    2. For a team to acquire an elite talent like Machado, the effect of the QO is irrelevant. If a player is elite, there’s is always a market and big $$ for him. The only holdback is how high and how far the player/team want to go,

      The Phillies took the full effect of the Arrieta and Santana (players not comparable to Machado) and the Rule IV draft seems ok and Sal landed one of the best arm despite of the IFA $$ penalty.

      1. I mentioned that. No one is going to pass on Manny because of the QO. BUT, it would be an extra bargaining chip against him. Teams have a value for that pick. They’ll take that amount out of his contract. Maybe it’s a small amount, maybe it’s not. It’s still an extra consideration he doesn’t currently have.

        And the bigger issue is… what if he has a down year with the bat? The only way he becomes more valuable next season is by putting up comparable or better offensive numbers, while alleviating doubts about his attitude and/or defense. And then he has to hope that the big market clubs are 1) not rebuilding, and 2) not trying to stay under the tax threshold.

        If he signs a pillow contract this year, you assume whoever signs Manny is out of the running next year. The Yankees are a gamble because if Andujar takes a step forward and Didi is still there, why would they take him? BoSox already had to pay Betts this year and it’s not getting any lower next year. Dodgers don’t want a SS and Arenado is on the 3B market. Mets? Hah. Nationals have Rendon to worry about and their payroll isn’t about to go down any time soon. Cubs have the same issue as this year. The Giants are rebuilding.

        Who’s left? The ChiSox?Next year is looking like a pretty big gamble for an infielder.

        Granted any team will take him at the right price… but that’s true of this offseason, too. I don’t see a bigger market for him next year. I think it’s this year or bust for coming anywhere near a record contract.

    1. Could just be Robertson, Cutch, or Segura. Teams are constantly stocking and restocking jerseys this time of year.

  98. Yanks just signed DJ lemehieu to a two-year deal, further crowding their infield situation. i will never count them out, but i say this move definitely says a little bit more about their need/desire to sign MM. it has to move that needle just a bit closer in the Phils’ direction, even if by only one degree.

      1. Well obviously but I am guessing the teams.
        Do your sources say when this Harper and manny crap will be over?

        1. I think one (maybe both) sign within a week.
          And when I say both may sign within a week … I don’t mean both sign with the Phillies within a week.

        2. LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  99. Dan Clark has returned for last tweet:

    Not sure whether to laugh or feel sorry for the guy.

    1. Well, like Dirty Harry Callahan said in Magnum Force, “A man has to know his limitations.” Maybe our boy has learned the lesson?

      1. Some seem to think it’ll be tomorrow and coincide with the MLBtheShow announcement
        Part of me thinks that artwork on their twitter page was a major troll job

      2. I can’t and won’t dismiss the possibility that Harper and the Phillies have a structured deal in place. Doubtful anything is announced today. But again, our four horsemen aren’t all riding out to Sin City just to schmooze, either.

  100. Me thinks major troll job by mlbtheshow

    MLB The Show
    MLB The Show
    Quote Tweet
    SI MLB
    MLB Trade Rumors: ‘Momentum’ may be building toward a possible Bryce Harper return to Washington. (link:

    Then they post the Phillies mock up.

    Could still be nationals

  101. Russell Martin on the cheap would have been a nice option for Phillies as well. Vet C, previous All-Star, good walk rate. Seems like great profile to mentor Alfaro.

    1. Realmuto settled arb for under $6M. I’m surprised. His trade market will be very interesting. If Franco goes to SD for say, Strahm and Hedges, I can see the Padres laying out some of their top minor league talent for JTR.

  102. Among the minor league spring training invitees, I think Listi could go north as a bat off the bench if he hits in Grapefruit League action. As things stand, the bench may be Kingery, Quinn, somebody like Listi, and whoever is acquired to be the backup C.

  103. Here’s my mock 2019 Philadelphia Phillies opening day roster 1.0 (1/12/19)

    Odubel Herrera cf
    Jean Segura ss
    Bryce Harper lf
    Rhys Hoskins 1b
    Mike Moustakas 3b
    Andrew McCutchen rf
    Cesar Hernandez 2b
    Jorge Alfaro c

    Scott Kingery
    Austin Hedges
    Roman Quinn
    Austin Listi

    Starting rotation:
    Aaron Nola
    Jake Arrieta
    Trevor Bauer
    Nick Pivetta
    Jerad Eickhoff

    Matt Strahm (L, spot starter/long reliever)
    Jose Alvarez (L)
    James Pazos (L)
    David Robertson
    Seranthony Dominguez
    Pat Neshek
    Victor Arano
    Hector Neris

    Traded from 40 man roster: Maikel Franco, Zach Eflin (to SD for Hedges and Strahm); Nick Williams, Vince Velasquez (along with a couple prospects to CLE for Bauer)

    And though I hold out hope, I take the conservative stance and concede that Manny signs elsewhere.

    1. Bauer still may be a long shot.
      What do the Indians want for him from the Phillies roster/system may still be up in the air.

        1. That is probably more than enough I would think.
          The pitchers would do it along with Williams.
          Depends on how high they have Muzz. on their projected prospect board.

            1. Yeah…Honcho on the other thread brought him up.
              Also another list had him pretty high a few weeks ago….I think v1 posted that list…not sure what the name of it was now.
              Eventually in a few years, will come down to a horse race between Muzz, Moniak and Haseley for the CF job.

            2. To elaborate
              Jake and Eick are bounce back candidates
              That lineup is good for 185 home runs perhaps more
              That bench another 40ish. I think Williams would make a great bench piece though.

              Bullpen looks SOLID

        2. I don’t think that’s even close to enough. And more so mean that bc why would Cleveland want Williams or VV? The same reason why you are willing to give them up is the same reason why I don’t think Cleveland would be interested. I think it would be closer to Herrera/Medina/Eflin.

  104. 8mark – If that would be my 25 man roster, I wouldn’t jump off a bridge, but I wouldn’t be thrilled either. I’ve said many times that Moustakis is the same player as Franco. Franco is younger, cheaper, and on a year-to-year contract. I’m not impressed with Strahm or Hedges, and I’d rather have A J Ellis as the back up catcher. Having said that, I find it interesting that Strahm or Hedges haven’t been linked to any other team in trade talks, so there could be something to it. Bauer is interesting. He projects to have a good 2019, and is only 28, Eflin is 3 years younger, and showed flashes last year. For a #5 starter, he’s younger, cheaper, and more affordable. It’s a toss-up for me.

    1. Wawa, usually you and I are eye to eye. In this case, my projection is based mainly on the perception that the organization has already moved on from Franco. In which case, short of Machado, Moose is my choice as 3b, at least for a couple years.

      1. 8mark – The Padres have wanted Franco for a long time. Based on that, I expect Klentak to do better than Strahm and Hedges. He did better than expected in the Segura trade, and the Luis Garcia trade.

        1. ‘better than Strahm and Hedges’. ???????
          Strahm is a lefty on the rise..and has started and relieved.
          Hedges is heads and shoulder above Alf as a defensive catcher and just a year older….not to mention hitting in Petco is a lot harder than hitting in CBP …his away splits are a lot better than his home splits…..almost 140 points higher OPS.
          Hitting in CBP would be a dream for him.

    2. With all due respect to Eric D (who has vouched for the Indians’ RHP), I want no part of Trevor Bauer. I don’t care what kind of numbers he’s put up, he is not a good dude. I would not want to lob that grenade into this clubhouse.
      Also … I’d really be mostly interested in a LHSP. IMO, Klentak missed the boat on James Paxton. Klentak has a relationship with Jerry Dipoto. He got a deal done for Segura. I would have been willing to put together a pretty strong offer for Paxton and Segura. Maybe something like Eflin, Romero, Crawford, and Williams.
      At this point, it’s Matt Strahm for me. Deal Maikel Franco to the Padres for Strahm. Strahm can start or relieve. I’m also looking forward to seeing JoJo get a shot later this season.

      1. Hinkie – While you have a self imposed ban if the Phillies don’t sign Harper or Machado. I have a self imposed ban on getting “High” until one or both are signed by the Phillies. Good luck to you … and me.

      2. I understand your aversion to Bauer, but under the right clubhouse leadership, a guy like him can mature. But then, I haven’t closely followed his career to this point.

      3. I’m only going off of what I’ve heard from someone who knows him personally. He’s matured.

        1. Also all players have warts . . . Harper blowing kisses when hitting a HR, not running balls out all the time (not an issue for me). Machado, I mean his comments this fall say it all. Yet, like Trevor B, I’d take all 3.
          What specifically has he done in Cleveland that bothers you?

          1. It’s not what he does on the field that makes him a jerk (although, he did say he had a better year than Korey Kluber this year. Who makes a statement like that?). He’s Curt Schilling 2.0 … except … I don’t remember Schilling ever encouraging anyone on twitter to commit suicide.
            I know you said he’s grown up, but just this week, Bauer sent over 80 harassing tweets to a 21 YO girl. He’s a terrible person. I could never root for him, and I think he would be a pariah in the Phillies locker room.

  105. We sign all arb eligible players except Nola. He is not just our best Pitcher, but our best player. We are going to fight with him over $1Million? Why? We are going to take him to Arbitration and say negative things about him, meanwhile we want to be a big market team and spend “stupid $”? He would have been the most important Arb signing for me.

    1. Or they could just keep their mouths shut at the hearing, and with a smile on their faces, agree to his $ figure.

    2. Matt – I think that the Phillies are working on an extension for Nola right now. They are waiting for Harper and Machado to sign so that they know exactly how much money will be available in the next 3 or 4 years. The deal will be done well before the arbitration hearings.

  106. Doesn’t it work where the Arbitrator can only pick one number or the other? They can’t split the difference or come up with their own $? They could have settled in the middle, I am sure. Why they didn’t I don’t know. I think Nola is a bit high in his demand, and the Phils are low on their offer. Keuchel got over 6 Million, but he won the Cy Young. $5.5 would be a good midpoint. Why take a chance on pissing off Nola?

    1. Right. But there’s no protocol that the Phillies HAVE to bad mouth Nola. They can simply tell the arbiter that they will abide by his ruling on good will toward the best player on their team.

        1. Yes they could…his splits away are not very good…or at least not as good as at home.
          They offered him $24M….which is a whole heck of a lot of arb 3 money.
          So you can see where his heart is….and it is not in Denver long term it appears.
          He is walking after this year, so if I am rhe Rockies….I might budge just a little up…maybe $26M….and then plan on a QO offering after 2019.
          They have Rogers, and Hampson, then elker in 2020, all ready to step into their infield with Story, so it is not all that critical if Arenado leaves.

    1. I really want to believe today is the day, but I’m seeing a little bit more runway to travel until it’s official. Middleton gets the feel BH is cool with the Phillies, also playing the Nats a lot over the next 8+ years, he OKs the ridiculous salary request, boras then bounces the offers off every team lol and BH signs a few days later.

      I really hope it happens today but I’m a suppressed negadelphian 🙂

      1. Best case scenario today. Phillies announce an agreement with Harper, and the Cowboys lose tonight.

        1. Nah, I’m pulling for the Cowboys tonight. It sets up an NFC Championship Game for the ages should the Birds pull off the upset tomorrow.

          1. Yeah … I’m very cool with the cowgirls getting lucky to setup a meeting in the NFC championship game. Eagles would be SB bound if so. Too hard for any team to beat the same team 3 times in 1 year. It happens but odds are it will be a 2-1 split

    1. I think I’m at the end of my rope on these guys … please just sign today … take the money Harper!!! You know you want it!!! Just take it already!!!

    1. Chin Music – where did you see that Arenado got $27M? I haven’t seen any reports of an agreement on a contract for Arenado. Could it be that you are seeing something that simply shows $27M as the midpoint between the what each party filed for?

    2. So not just trying to hype up the trout to philly train… but does anyone get a feeling of … Hey, what do you care if Bryce signs with the Phillies?!?! Hmmm He didn’t do it to Machado.

      Trout to Philly, increase the hype!

  107. Hinkie—— you are simply the best !!! Where in the world do you get these clips, tweets, or whatever cyber phenomena you patch into this blog ? It is always uplifting, humorous, and point on ! Thanks and cheers – maybe standing to you- for making my day brighter ! I think I speak for many of us, ——- we look forward to your “entertainment” and prescient comments.!! Thanks again….Rave on……..and no matter who signs, do not sign off for 6 months – it would be purgatory for all of us……..Go Phils !

  108. Jim—just for the record,for me/ and many others I am sure, kudos to you for allowing this blog to exist and continue ! THANK YOU !

    1. My interpretation from body language of two jet lagged execs standing in the cold with flurries falling – like a secretly engaged married couple, they already agreed to a deal (if not signed), only restrained in their excitement because they can’t say anything yet due to other considerations like Harper’s MLB the Show deal and what not. I predict Monday or Tuesday we get the official “breaking news”. Funny, no MacPhail on camera which might have quenched the spirit, nor Kapler who might have been jumping around the hotel like Tigger. If Manny were coming, I think he would have signed before this meeting with Harper.

      1. And with confidence that we are getting Harper, I even got my Bryce cut at the barber shop yesterday! Not that anyone wants to see that on a 56 year old man.

        1. Will Harper continue to wear #34? Or his true favorite #7, and being a Mickey Mantle fan. Phillies don’t have that number retired. Imagine those jersey sales.

  109. Well… I’ll continue to wear my crumbling patience hat a few more days. By the rumors, it seems the Phillies have scored on one of the big FA, possibly Both. Sounds like the FO has reason to delay the announcement, whether it’s because of the playoff game and or a video game cover, it sounds like courtesy is involved. After that is done with, I hope they pass on rotattion upgrades Kuechel … I’m not sure he moves the needle enough for me in the new reality of about flexing team salary numbers. Let the young guys do it.

    Lastly, I’m just looking forward to the signsun being official so I can have my brain back … 🙂

  110. After meeting with Harper yesterday, I expect the Phillies to turn their attention to Machado today. Manny is the choice of MacPhail and Klentak. Harper is the choice of Middleton, Comcast, and the Marketing Dept. I expect the Phillies make a hard push for Machado, and he’ll sign by Wednesday. After that, I expect the Phillies to make a final offer to Harper. Odds of signing one: 100%, odds of signing both 65%.

  111. My thoughts as well.
    Scott Lauber
    Scott Lauber
    At the very least, #Phillies-Harper meeting could’ve been means to both parties’ desired end, as
    writes, with Phils using Harper to turn up heat on Machado and Harper using Phils to boost his market. Story:

    Phillies’ meeting with Bryce Harper might not end in an immediate deal, but optimism builds about…
    The Phillies, according to a source, remain optimistic that they will end the offseason with either Harper or Machado on their roster.
    10:08 PM · Jan 12, 2019 · Twitter for iPhone
    Replying to
    You guys ain’t paying attention. #Phillies will sign #Harper & perhaps Manny too, but #Harper cant announce till March 26 #MLBtheShow.
    Wake up peoples. ? is will they offer a ton of players for #Trout too, that #Angels can’t say no too. Do it! #BeBold

    March 26th???? The season opens three days later. So he will forgo spring training??? Smh
    Show more replies

    1. “#Harper cant announce till March 26 #MLBtheShow”….Whoa Nelly, not sure that will really happen. Harper may want to get acclimated with a new clubhouse…..unless of course if he goes back to the Nats.

  112. Vinny changed his number to 21
    Werth wore 28 as did Frandsen
    Harper is friends with them
    Won’t wear 34 because Halladay


    1. Whatever happens with Machado – if he is signed, Franco will likely be relocated which will free up no. 7 for Harper. Machado wears no. 13 – formerly Freddy’s number – so no conflict there. That assumes that all goes haywire and they sign both players ???

  113. Mlbtraderumors is saying The Phillies are now the clear favorite to land Harper … I’m a bit confused (happens easily) … if I’m reading the tea leaves correctly here … the Phillies are the favorite to land both Machado and Harper .. So the hold up in the market is which FA the FO prefers first. Then, they possibly make a move to take both off the board.

    I would look for them the trade Franco, Cehe, Hunter, and possibly Neskek. That is significant money coming off the books 20mil plus for 3, and 28 for 4. That pays a lot of the “2nd” FA salary.

    We should finally be able to say with confidence that this will be over by the end of Wednesday, Thursday the latest. The ball is in the Phillies court. Well done FO, and it is nice to have a baller owner, feels Ed Snideresque before the NHL added the salary cap.

      1. Sure, but they are essentially the favorites to land both, so they have their pick. Once they pick, then the mystery team can make some waves, for now it’s the Phillies in the Driver seat, it should stay that way until one is off the board and in the Phillies lineup

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