Open Discussion: Week of January 21, 2019

The ‘Hot” Stove Season remains tepid.

The Phillies finally confirmed the start dates for spring training.  Pitchers and catchers report on February 12th and have their first work out on February 13th.  All other players report on February 17th and the first full squad work out is on February 18th.

Minor league camp starts on February 27th.

Attendance at CBP for prospect orientation last week swelled to twelve – Edgar Garcia, Adonis Medina, Mickey Moniak, Austin Listi, Adam Haseley, Cornelius Randolph, Mauricio LloveraTyler Gilbert, Deivi Grullon, Connor Seabold, Kyle Dohy, and Jose Pujols.  A thirteenth player, Arquimedes Gamboa, was absent due to visa problems.

Andrew McCutchen joined the growing group of players in Clearwater.  Those already in town also include Alec Bohm, Nick Matera, Carlos De La Cruz, Kyle Young, Ben Brown, Tyler McKay, Seth McGarry, Jake Kinney, Adam Cox, Sandro Rosario, Jose Alvarez, Odubel Herrera, Colby Fitch, Raul Rivas, Jose Tortolero, and Nick Pivetta.

The 40-man roster stands at 39, the entire organization stands at 357.

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

Key Dates:

  • February 1-20, 2019 – Salary arbitration hearings
  • February 12, 2019 – pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training
  • February 13, 2019 – pitchers and catchers first workout
  • February 17, 2019 – all other players report to Spring Training
  • February 18, 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)
  • February 27, 2019 – 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)
1/14/19 – Phillies signed FA OF Lane Adams to an MiLB contract
1/11/19 – Phillies invited non-roster C Deivi Grullon to spring training
1/11/19 – Phillies invited non-roster  LHP JoJo Romero to spring training
1/11/19 – Phillies invited non-roster non-roster OF Mickey Moniak to spring training
1/11/19 – Phillies invited non-roster SS Malquin Canelo to spring training
1/11/19 – Phillies invited non-roster LHP Tyler Gilbert to spring training
1/11/19 – Phillies invited non-roster OF Adam Haseley to spring training
1/11/19 – Phillies invited non-roster LHP Cole Irvin to spring training
1/11/19 – Phillies invited non-roster OF Austin Listi to spring training
1/11/19 – Phillies reached 2019 contract agreement with OF Aaron Altherr ($1.35M)
1/11/19 – Phillies reached 2019 contract agreement with LHP José Álvarez ($1.925M)
1/11/19 – Phillies reached 2019 contract agreement with RHP Jerad Eickhoff ($975K)
1/11/19 – Phillies reached 2019 contract agreement with 3B Maikel Franco ($5.2M)
1/11/19 – Phillies reached 2019 contract agreement with 2B César Hernández ($7.75M)
1/11/19 – Phillies reached 2019 contract agreement with LHP Adam Morgan ($1.1M)
1/11/19 – Phillies reached 2019 contract agreement with RHP Hector Néris ($1.8M)
1/11/19 – Phillies reached 2019 contract agreement with RHP Vince Velasquez ($2.249M)
1/11/19 – Phillies signed FA INF Gift Ngoepe assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/11/19 – Phillies signed FA INF Andrew Romine assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/11/19 – Phillies signed FA LHP Edward Paredes assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/11/19 – Phillies signed FA INF Gift Ngoepe to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
1/11/19 – Phillies signed FA INF Andrew Romine to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
1/11/19 – Lehigh Valley assigned RHP Gilmael Troya to Lakewood
1/11/19 – Phillies signed FA LHP Edward Paredes to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
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

430 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of January 21, 2019

  1. With same last name and birthplace acquired milb free agent Hermes Astudillo seems likely related to Willians. Does anyone know if he is as good a hitter?

  2. Understand Doobie is looking good….physique wise.
    He must have really took to heart Gabe;s instructions on being ready and in shape.
    And Nick Pivetta getting an early jump also.
    Very encouraging.

    1. Pivetta could become what Rick Porcello is for the Red Sox. A solid #3 who flashes #2 stuff on occasion.

      Counter intuitive to my own judgment, I am on board with giving Odubel a fresh slate. The raw talent is undeniable. Hopefully a fresh clubhouse culture will enhance his game along with his own rededication.

      1. Agree with Herrera.
        He has to be more than the hot start April/May guy, then go into those long funks.
        Who know he could be seeing his last year with the Phillies this season.
        He will have two years remaining on his contract after 2019 and see fairly young and valuable, and it would help if he can hit like he did a few years ago.

          1. I think that OBP is a bit aggressive because he’s never walked at a high rate besides the first month of the 2016 season, but I’m definitely looking forward to what Doobs can do this year, because I still think highly of him. I have him peggedlower than these numbers, but I think a .280/.340/.465 season with positive defense in CF would be a “everything went right” season for him. That’s an All-Star, 5ish WAR CF type of season if things go his way.

  3. What about Lane Adams Jim, did he sign on the 14th aa reported or did someone jump the gun.

    1. reported Lane Adams signing. I haven’t seen it elsewhere. I’d assume he would get an invite to big-league camp, but that hasn’t turned up anywhere yet either.

  4. So, after yesterday’s second playoff game (where Tony Romo predicted almost every NE play before the Patriots actually snapped the ball), Bryce Harper sent out a couple of tweets. and Philly fans were very quick to respond.

    Harper also tweeted this:

    1. The Phillies winter caravan starts this week (I believe I read that). How can they conduct such a promotional event and not even know (or address) whose going to be on the roster? They might as well have an elephant in the room.

      1. From what I understand, the team is bringing a cardboard cutout of Bryce Harper along with them.

      2. This is painful. It almost feels like a players strike. 4 weeks to ST … it’s as if BH/MM think they are the last 2 moves of the “offseason”. It could turn out that way, and the fallout might not happen until the season actually starts. Stupid crazy the sides can’t reach an agreement to move the offseason forward. What are the FO’s doing? Lol they must be so bored waiting for this end. I can see FO’s denying false rumors quickly to help speed the signings up, if there is such a thing…

  5. Something tells me that hungry young players, eager to make their mark and get some big money, would provide a team much more than overpriced FAs who have it in the bank. Wouldn’t be a Godsend, if Cozens, Herrera, and Williams gave much more than the flashes they have shown. A team of hustling hard nosed players gives you something to really root for. The Phillies championship teams had those guys.

    1. I take exception with Herrera being on that list. He hasn’t just shown flashes, he’s been a consistently above-average player. He’s shown flashes of even more than that, but you can’t honestly be upset with a player that settles in as a first division starter. Especially when that player was acquired through the rule 5 and signed an extension that was more than reasonable.

      Also, pretty much every one of the worst Phillies teams in history also had those guys you mentioned. Hustling is good, but it doesn’t magically make talent appear; and don’t get it backwards, you need talent to win. Nola and Hoskins look like the guys you’re looking for either way. Tremendously talented and committed to playing the “right” way. Arrieta is on the back side of his career but is also outspoken about playing that way and leaving it all on the field. We’ll just have to see how the new wave of players coming up reacts to it.

  6. This is Moniaks first camp with the Phillies? Looking forward to seeing him Medina and Cornelius in some ST action.

    Pulling for Cornelius as well. Will be a nice story for him to have a “complete” year. Even more interesting to see who wins out the OF job from the 3 top picks over recent years. Will be nice to see if C.R. Can make it interesting

    1. Randolph may turn out to be a decent major league bat but he doesn’t rank in my top 10 OFs. His ceiling is LF/DH with moderate power at best. Don’t see how he projects on a NL roster unless they adopt the DH soon. His status as a first round draft pick has followed him longer than his apparent talent and skill set warrant.

    2. Don’t blink, they’ll be sent out on the first cut as soon as the minor league games start.

  7. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, 10 year contracts in baseball, or any sport for that matter, make no sense. At most you get 3-5 years out of those players and the rest of the time the team rues the day. As the saying goes, “sin in haste, repent at leisure.”

    1. Depends. Frankly Arod was well worth the money of his contract and same with Cano. If you’re signing a 31 year old free agent to that kind of deal (Pujols) then yeah it’s a bad gamble.

    2. I do actually think a 10 year contract starting with a player at 26-years old will get you more bang for your dollar than a 10 year contract starting with a player at 31-years old.
      These two have to be the exception to the rule for 10 year contracts.

  8. OK everyone, was Harper signaling a return to Washington with his tweet to Tony Romo last night or was he merely messing with a populous of Phillies phans who are pretty much going crazy right now? Please share your thoughts.

    1. Bryce is bored with the MLB offseason so he is just having fun on twitter. Bruce will take the biggest contract most likely from Middleton and the Phillies.

    2. Yeah Harper is messing. Tim Dierkes of MLBTR thinks there’s no reason why Harper won’t sign with the Phillies.

  9. Win totals/Caesars Open…..Jan. 17…Phillies with a Harper signing
    Houston 97.5…95.5
    Boston 95.5..96
    L.A. Dodgers 95…94
    N.Y. Yankees 94.5…96
    Cleveland 91.5…91.5
    Chicago Cubs 89… 91.5
    St. Louis 88.5…89…
    Washington 88.5…88.5
    Tampa Bay 88.5…85
    Atlanta 84… 85.5
    Minnesota 84…84
    L.A. Angels 83.5…84
    Milwaukee 83.5…87.5
    N.Y. Mets 83.5…84.5
    Phillies 83…87

    1. The NL.East is going to be fun to watch. Look at these predictions, all
      The teams are a game or so apart, will be a bang bang finish. Looking forward to it, just need MM or BH to make the hype train official.

  10. OK, here is another question for Jim, or anyone else? Remember, we are in a vacuum now and space in a vacuum always needs to be filled! If the Phils offered Harper 9/360 early on, before the madness, and then withdrew the offer, why would they not simply offer it again? Or does anyone think they have?

    Look, I understand this is a game of chicken and of not wanting to pay $1 more than they have to but….at some point a team like the Phils, who desperately want and are expected to make a splash, should simply want to finish this off for either Harper or Machado and move on to other business since time is money.

    Personally, I can’t help but feel the Phils have 2 [trade Franco, sign Keuchel or Kimbrel] other moves that are first predicated on knowing which of the two players they sign. Or, and perish the thought, if the Phils fail to sign either of them, several other moves need to be made.

    Again, I am not suggesting they give either player an ultimatum, I am pretty sure that won’t work. BUT, if they offered 9/360 before and that likely beats any other offer, why wouldn’t they simply offer it again.

    Or, and here is another thought…if they really do want Machado and feel he is better than Harper, fine, why not offer him that deal? Look, I understand the “why pay $1 more than we have to” argument but if they offered it to Harper and think MM is better, then why not offer it to Machado? I suspect he would sign quicker than you can say Ed Ott and he still has the shortest name in major league history!

    1. Great question, CD. My guess is it’s all about the player’s particular market, but yes, logically it makes sense. Now they may consider Harper a far greater impact on tix sales as well. That may offset on the field performance. But who really knows….

      1. see that yanks and Reds have a deal for Sonny Gray that includes a draft pick in the high 30’s. Since when is that possible????

          1. It’s true that competitive draft picks have always been allowed to be traded, but to my knowledge, until this season, they were only able to be dealt in season. This is (at least) the second time that one has been used in a trade this offseason.

            1. Hinkie…agree.
              Somewhere along the line they changed the dates.
              Use to be right after opening day if I recall.
              Perhaps it was in the last CBA the change was made.
              But this year was the first time I have seen these off-season CBA trades made and consummated before opening day…

    2. Still comes down to when Boras says is correct the time to sign.
      Do not think his train leaves the station early.

    3. Here’s 2 cents …

      I believe the offer was made, 9/360 – 40AAV to throw the weight around,etc show seriousness
      I believe it has since been removed because MM value has dropped more than expected from his playoff shenanigans. This has deflated BHs value as well in someways. It may return, and I think THAT is what the hold up is. I believe the Phillies will ultimately sign BH, basically in the bag, and can’t really do so until MM is signed for a fair market valuation

      We have to keep in mind that these 2 Contracts impact the entire league. Other players are starting to speak up about being ok with them getting what their worth/value. The players union is watching closely, and I’m sure they are injecting their pressure

      At this point, I think it’s safe to say that MM understands he will not top BH, because of his own actions. His camp is trying to drive his price up, so he can accept and offer but that is hard to do so with really only 2 teams. Mystery teams can only do
      So much. I think the stalemate is squarely on MM’s camp
      Right now. Once he signs, the dominos will drop. Every team
      Better be ready to fly once it does.

      So basically MM postseason antics cost himself, BH, and the rest of the upcoming FA money. He devalued himself, and it is a domino effect. If he would’ve played the right way kept is mouth shut, pretty sure this would have been over long ago… probably is MM thinks he’s worth pre 2018 MM valuation vs post 2018 MM valuation.

      1. I don’t buy the comments actually hurting him at all. Sure it’s a interesting talking point but if you are offering someone 200 plus M, a dumb comment (that is prob true for MOST players) isnt in the back of your head.
        It’s not like they are saying, “well we will offer 30m but 35m no way, he said he doesn’t hustle all the time”.

        1. Let me clarify, I agree partially. I do believe his value has taken a hit, in terms of AAV, but mainly the # of years. Manny is holding out, for himself and the players union. IMO, he hurt his brand tremendously, and yes he will get crZy money, but he won’t get as much crazy money. His team and players union are holding out to get as close to the pre 2018 playoffs values as they can for the rest of the players. He took a hit, no doubt in my mind. That also hurt BH’s market a bit as well, guessing closer to 2 mil in AAV.

          If im an owner,
          I’m looking to keep players salaries down, for several reasons. MM antics are a good excuse to use, even if it’s 2.5 mil in AAV, it will have a major ripple effect on the rest of the payrolls throughout the MLB, which is why players are getting upset.

          That’s My two cents … Ok no more BH/MM till they actually sign … nothing is going to change from today and when they actually do. I don’t care if 20 mystery teams come out of the woodwork, Middleton has already claimed his star. He won’t be outbid … & “surprisingly” both stars all the sudden want to sign the highest contract they can over City preference. The money will speak. This is very anticlimatic at this point for me. Surpise the athlete is going for the money grab. BH to the Phillies … MM will sign somewhere, not my concern unless it’s Atl or NYM.

          Apologies for the novel.

  11. Tac3 – interesting viewpoint – thanks.

    Off topic – I apologize ahead of time – it appears very likely Doc Halladay will be elected to the HOF – deservedly so. Question – do the Phillies retire no. 34 ? or do they ice the number for another day ? Lastly, if Harper was to sign – what is his number if 34 is retired, or iced pending eventual retirement. Thoughts ?

    1. If Franco gets traded, Harper might take #7 since (from what I read somewhere) Mickey Mantle is his childhood idol. But that’s conjecture on my part.

  12. Seems like Harper and Muchacho are waiting for some team (any team) to offer more cash than our boys in red pin stripes. Neither one wants to really play in Philly.

    Maybe TrollU is right: the Phillies won’t sign either one of them. A lot of guys on this site love ragging on TrollU but he does a great job of playing “devil’s advocate”.

        1. But the Phillies have the most money so Harper or manny have to sign with the Phillies 🙄
          Phillies are also being held hostage as they’re used to drive up a price. My opinion.

  13. This whole thing is becoming a mockery

    Tony Romo
    Well… looks like you’ll be playing for the Texas
    opening day 😉
    Quote Tweet
    Bryce Harper

  14. Can we talk about Aaron Nola? I’ve represented the Ironworkers union several times at arbitration hearings in the past, and these things can get nasty. Do the Phillies want to take that chance? Are they willing to sit down with Nola and his agent and explain why he’s not worth $6.75 million? The Phillies should not let it get to that point. Pay him the $6.75 million today, and avoid arbitration.

    1. there is nothing saying the Phillies have to argue a negative position.
      they can go into the hearing and just say, ” we love aaron nola, we trust the arbitration decision based on past precedent” and accept whatever dollar amount is offered

      1. …..or just try to extend him on a LTC thru his arb 0-3 and a few years added…let him reach free agency at age 31…5/$110M may be acceptable to him and his agent…who incidentally is not Boras.

  15. Nick Foles falls 4 snaps short of a bonus. Eagles restructure to get him that bonus.

    Nola asks for pennies more (remember Phillies have unlimited funds) and he has to fight for it.

    Silly example but I firmly believe this penny pinching exercise by the Phillies is WHY they WONT sign Harper or Manny. They’re waiting for an Arrieta type deal. Meanwhile some other team will pounce. This is in no way like JDM where the Red Sox were his only market.

    If you think the Cubs, Cardinals, Yankees are all truly out, I have an island I’d like to sell you.

    1. TrollU…how do you not know if the Roseman/Foles occurence was not a quid pro quo of good gesture with a handshake…..just do not listen to Daniel Snyder in the next few months..

      1. I’m sure it was a handshake but contract still had to be restructured. This is the second year they’ve done Foles right.

        1. My point, before coming down hard on the Phillies over being tight-wads or ‘penny-pinching’ with Nola…sometime there is more to this process than thinking an org’s is being cheap to the point of absurdity …..have they been cheap in the recent past with their players?

          1. Not necessarily but why wouldn’t they just pay Nola.
            Romus, Phillies have the most money to spend, therefore, two million dollars should matter. They have the money!! 😂

    2. I remember people saying Cole Hamels would leave as soon as he became a FA because the Phillies didn’t give him enough before he hit arbitration and they could resign him as their price.

      1. Flybynite is correct. Cole Hamels was angry that the Phillies didn’t give him a major raise in one of his pre-arb years. There was a lot of talk that he would hold it against the team when he hit free agency. Hamels chose to bypass free agency (sign a LTX with the club) just months before he could hit the open market.
        Also gotta’ remember this is Nola’s first year thru arbitration. Whatever he earns this year will help set the mark for his 2020 and 2021 salaries.
        I still believe the team will try to work something out with Nola before his February 14th hearing. They’ll offer something closer to the 6.75 million (Nola’s number) than 4.5 million they have offered. If they don’t, I’m pretty confident Nola is going to win his case.

    3. That is about as lame a take on any situation I have read here. And then you can’t resist attaching some connection to signing Harper/Machado. And then you wonder why you are taken to task for your baseless posts.

      1. You literally feel the need to comment on everything. If you don’t agree, don’t respond. It’s my opinion that I’m entitled to.


        1. I have to confess that yes you are an itch I feel like I need to scratch, Troll. For the sake of the other participants and readers here, I will refrain from responding to your future inane comments. If only someone could compel you to refrain from posting them. Thanks.

          1. You are like a zit that wont go away.

            again, I am allowed to have an opinion that differs from other people. I have stated why I dont believe the Phillies will sign either superstar. I have also stated who they should sign.

            You also pick and choose what you respond to. I comment about other subjects and usually provide great commentary.

            K, thanks bye.

  16. You all want to just pay Nola but you need to understand the history. Yes Keuchel got paid $7.25M after his Cy Young season but no one else ever received anywhere near that amount. The Phils offer was fair based on the history if they excluded Keuchel. Nola’s camp is of course focused on Keuchel only. They’ll resolve this without lasting problems and I’m sure a long term deal will be done soon, maybe by opening day.

    1. I agree that the Phillies should go ahead and try to buy out Nola’s arb years, however not out of fear that we might lose him sooner to free agency. As long as they are clearly communicating their plans with him and his agent (in light of the bigger picture) and respecting his importance to the team, that should suffice.

  17. On Nola, Id hope they will negotiate a LT deal, and this arbitration meeting is setting a baseline. I can’t imagine the Phillies being stupid enough to argue hard against, not when they are spending stupid amounts of money. Nola is key to this whole thing ending in a championship, with multiple shots at it.

    This is one of the draw backs of announcing that, now the players can all smell bigger paydays.

    Looking forward to the season. Watching Quinn speed around the bases, Kingery taking the next big step in his progression and marveling at Hoskins pitch recognition. It is still refreshing to watch a player who can actually lay off the low and outside pitch after years of fan abuse from Burrell and Howard. Heck he should be an automatic lock for Phillies HOF just for that.

    1. totally agree
      I cant possibly imagine that they will say anything negative about Nola except that the historical precedent for a player of his time in service is what they offered but they wont complain one bit if the arbitor gives the higher amount.
      I’m sure they will discuss a long term deal

  18. Here’s Tom Verducci explaining why I believe John Middleton prefers Bryce Harper, and will eventually pay the man.

    I think Harper and Hoskins hit 80+ homers between them if the Phillies sign Bryce.

      1. I think it would be reverse….bat Harper 2 or 3 in front of Rhys…..then the opponents may not want to pitch around Harper as they were doing last year….his o-zone was above average…thus the poor BA…..but also the high OBP with the walks, whenever he didn’t get antsy and swing at outside the zone pitches.

  19. Agreed Hinkie – I think further — they will play off of each other – 200 walks out of these guys too ! Heaven only knows how many RBI the hitter(s) behind them will have ?

  20. I think the Phils’ offer was too low for Nola, but Nola’s ask may be a little high. The arbitrator can only pick one. He can’t split the difference. They would be smart to do just that before the hearing.

    1. Have the Phillies ever tried in the past to financially ‘screw’ a player…be it signing bonus or arb 0-3? Always been above board and rarely confrontational….even Hamels was not that way.:
      1..Jan. 18, 2009: Signs three-year, $20.5 million contract through the 2011 season.
      2. Jan. 17, 2012: Avoids arbitration by signing a one-year, $15 million contract.
      …six months later….
      3. July 27, 2012: Signs a 6yr/ $144M contract extension with an option for 2019.

  21. Funny to think about … just how long this saga has dragged on …. to put it into perspective … think about how long you’d have to wait for your food at a restaurant, if you converted the time passed into a scalable conversion …. how annoyed would you be! Not one person would actually wait to receive their food … my guess is if you showed you for an early dinner, you get your meal by the end of the following days lunch shift.

    This really needs to end soon. It’s not good for the game imo. At what point does continuing to wait becoming diminishing returns for the first year? I don’t think 1 team has their ST roster set for 2019, which id assume is odd for this time of year.

  22. Rangers sign Asdrubal for peanuts to play 3b. That may take Franco out of any trade possibility to Texas.

  23. For those of you who were Phillies phans back in the mid 1980’s I believe you will agree with me that this seems so eerily similar to the Lance Parrish saga. To relive for those not around then, Lance Parrish was a power hitting catcher who had played spectacularly for many years with the Detroit Tigers before becoming a free agent at the conclusion of the 1986 season.

    Rumors everywhere were that he was a natural fit for the Philadelphia Phillies, a team that had finished strongly in ’96 and had such stars as Mike Schmidt, Von Hayes, Juan Samuel and a right fielder named Glen Wilson. Wilson also happened to be Parrish’s best friend and told everyone how much he wanted Parrish to come to Philadelphia and that the feelings were mutual.

    In fact, I specifically recall the night that Schmidt accepted his MVP award that he talked more about Parrish than he did himself. Everyone wanted Parrish in Philadelphia, it seemed a natural fit and yet it dragged on and on and on…

    Finally, after spring training was already in full swing, maybe two weeks in, Parrish and the Phils finally reached a deal and he reported. Of course it turned out to be a disastrous signing and a good case can be made that the Phils might have been better off just continuing to platoon Darren Daulton and John Russell at catcher. But thats not my point.

    My point is that the story ran so long…simply lasted so indeterminately so long that by the time he signed it was almost past the point of being exciting. Phillie phans had waited expectantly in December, January and February with nothing but Paul Hagen writing about it in the Inquirer that when it did happen all the potential good will of selling tickets, promoting Parrish as a Phillie…all that fun off season stuff was lost.

    I could see the same thing happening here. Sure I get that Harper, MM and their agents want and expect the best deal. I understand this is all part of the process. But I also understand that there will only be one off season in their entire careers where they get to be newbies on their teams and respective cities and that should mean something to everyone, including major league baseball.

    My sense from reading all the different Phillie websites of interest [philliesphans, philaphans, backshegoes, here] is that with every passing day with no news, no signing, no nothing, that expectant excitement is diminishing, just like it did with Parrish.

    I doubt that it matters to Harper, Machado, Boras and Lozano…but I believe it should. A very real good will opportunity for all involved is being lost forever with this seeming non action. Maybe its simply me but I find this very short sighted and sad.

    1. CalDream – Agree 100%. I was to young back then to be following the offseason, but this current chase is reaching the point of an apathetic celebration when the signing does happen. My eventually excitement is about at 20% of what is would have been back at beginning. The 2 best FA chases were Jim Thome and Cliff Lee. Thome was perfect, tense and the pursuit was reasonable. cliff lee was very unexpected but many of us were hoping for it to happen.

      This chase is reaching the Boredom level for me. The worst part is … what has changed since Harper met with the Phillies over 10 days ago? Imo, nothing has. We are all waiting on MM.

  24. Cal-Dreamer – your point is well taken and I already believe some of the lustre is off the gem as we all wait ad infinatum. I had forgotten about Parish – and that long wait, and he turned out to be a massive bust in all regards ! It was like he completely forgot how to play ? For all we know he may have been the first of the PE players who after five years in the league went from an ordinary muscled player to THE HULK. ! Good grief, what a disappointment he was.

    I responded last week that as interminable as this is – last year alot of these shenanigans weren’t resolved until second week of February…..looks like we have a sequel.

  25. 1 FA I’d like to the Phillies to take a stab at is Gio Gonzalez. Unless he is being held up by Keuchel, Gio could be a good bounceback candidate.

  26. As I have always been on the side that Harp or Mann wont be in Philly; Nola and Hoskins both predict the Phillies get one or the other.

    But until the dotted line is signed, I will believe it when I see it.

    1. Feels like the longer we wait the worse our chances are, but my head tells me it will work out in our favor

        1. 8mark … how many times can I post the same thing? Some people just don’t want to believe it.
          The Phillies will absolutely sign one of Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. If they don’t, I’ll ban myself for 6 months. BTW … I’ve got a Harper vibe.

          1. Yeah I’m not sure what the hold up is, but I agree – I think the structure of a deal is in place. They could be mapping out the plan for where and when it’s officially announced. You know Boras has to set the stage.

      1. The wait has zero impact of the Phillies chances, at least so far.

        The impact will come when teams in the market for Harper/MM decide they are tired of waiting and move on. MLB network yesterday was talking about the Dodgers looking at Pollack which would be a good thing for the Phillies. Or maybe the Dodgers were trying to scare Harper/Boras into making a decision 🙂

        There is no downside to the Phillies being patient in the process as long as nothing else is happening. Fan impatience will not matter once a deal gets done.

        The Lance Parrish analogy is meaningless. That signing was a stinker not because it took too long but because Parrish was a dud. IF Parrish has played for the Phillies like he had for the Tigers no one would care when he was signed.

  27. What are the big questions for the season?

    Bored waiting for you know who to sign …

    What percent of the lions share does Quinn get to start this year? Assuming he’s healthy

    Who pairs with Nola as the best 1-2 punch the Phillies can throw at teams this year?

    Can Kapler resist batting the pitcher 8th this year?

    What kind of season can we expect from a Kingery? As we know ST is no meter for him

    McCutchen … what numbers can we expect?

    Don’t worry, I saved all the good ones for when some guy name Harper signs with the Phillies

    1. Yes


      By the 2nd half of the season – Pivetta


      All depends on whether Cesar sticks around.

      .275/.355/.465, 26 HRs, 85 rbi, especially with you-know-who getting on base in front of him.

      1. Interesting to break down potential starts (486=162×3) among 4 OFS:

        Harper ~150
        Cutch ~135
        Doobie ~130
        Quinn ~71

        1. If Harper is signed, that’s as good a breakdown as you might see. I wonder what becomes of Altherr. I’ve always thought he had a breakout year inside of him, but maybe not.

  28. Whoa….never expected this low of a deal for Markakis.
    …… one-year, $6MM deal …. includes a $4MM salary for 2019 and a $2MM buyout on a 2020 club option that’s valued at $6MM.
    These last two off-season have seen so really offerings.

    The irony of it all….the Phillies have been one of the biggest spenders these last two off-seasons…who would have thought that when the market slumbers the Phillies awake.

  29. MLBTR…Tim Dierkes was off on this prediction:
    38. Nick Markakis – Phillies. Two years, $16MM.

  30. 8mark – Bored, no. anxious, very.
    50 – 50 for Herrera and Quinn.
    Pivetta will be the #2.
    Gabe can’t resist showing the league how smart he is.
    Kingery will beat out Hernandez in Spring training.
    McCutchen will replace Santana’s offense, and be a huge upgrade defensively.

    1. Wawa, yes I’m bored. Recently been told that I’m a zit. Just waiting around to be popped. Yuck🤢

  31. After spending 3 seasons in Korea, Wilen Rosario wants to return to the U.S. He will be working out tomorrow in the Dominican Republic for MLB teams. Are the Phillies sending anybody to check him out as a possible back up catcher?

  32. Tac3, too anxious to be bored. The waiting has gotten to me. I keep reading articles negatively discussing the Dodgers’ off season and it resulting in them getting Harper. I have Quinn starting 50 games, so 31%. Dallas Keuchel as the #2. No, Gabe will have to play around. I expect Kingery to be the every day 2B by July. And, I like 8mark’s #s on Cutch.

  33. Congrats to Doc. Loved watching him pitch. So sorry he is gone way too soon. I think this HofF class got it right.

  34. Wonder if just maybe Free agency went silent for a few days to allow anticipation for the Hall of Fame announcements.

    Bet it picks up again tomorrow

    1. I was at that game. One of the greatest sports moments of my life. I couldn’t talk for three days!

  35. 21 days until pitchers and catchers.

    Is it really an oversimplification to suggest that the free agent market is virtually nonexistent than merely slow? Even if the White Sox 7/175 report is off, by how much, really? Manny Machado may be fortunate at this point to get 8/220 ($27.5 AAV). He may get a front loaded deal with early opt outs but the total dollars and years aren’t what he and Lozano originally anticipated, obviously.

    Harper? Boras, as well as Machado’s camp, expected to break the record contract in some form. It’s reasonable to understand why Harper would get more, considering his marketability and Machado’s lack thereof. But no MLB team – including the Phillies – appears willing to bid against themselves. And why should they. And while the market has apparently shrunk this much this quickly, and though the common assumption is that the Phillies will sign one but only one, why can’t they sign both at such a wholesale price.

    Machado at 8/220?
    Harper at 10/330?

    Early opt outs. Front loaded. All for much, much less than the $600M we could never imagine paying while still yearning for Mike Trout? Why not?

  36. Trivia question: Yesterday Edgar Martinez was selected as only the second player to reach the Hall of Fame as primarily a DH. The other played 1310 games as DH and just 971 at 1B. (Hint: a “painful” memory for Phillies fans.) His name…?

          1. Yeah…that ‘painful’ gave it away.
            Phillies past him by in the draft for the HS OFer from Chicago

            1. Yes, another fabulous “tool shed” HS OF pick – Jeff Jackson I believe. But that had to be the absolute worst one given Thomas was there for the takeing.

          1. Yep…..Phillies and Fregosi could have used him in ’93 at first base ….then again Kruk may have never wore the red pinstripes.

    1. And belated happy birthday to Chooch, born Jan 22, 1979 – 40 years to the day before his battery mate Doc Halladay is selected into the Hall of Fame.

      1. Yes, and wouldn’t it be fitting if the signing (let’s face it, it’s almost certain there will be no more than one) was announced on February 2?

    1. He was such a great catcher, teammate, etc. Loved his style of play.

      Another ex Phillies catcher also recently celebrated a bday, Lieby!

  37. 30 year old catcher Willin Rosario is returning from Asia for a fresh start in MLB. Likely to sign a minor league deal with some team. Any interest here as a backup to Alf?

    Also, Cuban ss Yolbert Sanchez is free to sign with any club under international bonus pool rules and the Phillies are among the few teams mentioned with ample cash which are likely to sign him. He’s regarded by many scouts to have above average skill set. Any thoughts or other reports on him?

      1. I don’t know how much J2 money the Phillies have left for the 2018 class … but … I believe they may be waiting to sign LHP Lin An-Ko when he graduates college in Taiwan this spring.

        They may also want to save some funds to go after Dodgers’ prospects who may be declared FA’s by MLB for egregious J2 rules violations (like the Braves received).

  38. Hinkie..they have about 1 million dollar left. Orioles have 6 million, Dodgers and Cards have over 1.5 million left but A] Cards are being penalized and can’t offer more than 3 hundred thousand and B] Dodgers may have been told NOT to sign an international players since they will not be able to keep them once they get punished.

  39. Sixto, Bohm and Garcia are the Phillies prospects on BAs top 100. If anyone with a subscription can provide their actual ranking, it would be much appreciated.

    1. 8mark,

      Sixto 13. Durability questionable but a potential #1.

      Bohm 65. Slow start, but showed hitting potential in college

      Garcia 88, GCL batting champ, but really like his glove.

      It’s interesting to see the number of prospects ranked higher than Bohm, our first, and only, draftee, on the list. Names that were extensively discussed on this site:

      10. Senzel
      18 Puk
      29 Joey Bart
      43 Madrigal
      51 India
      57 Hunter Greene, among them

  40. Just saw a Scott Lauber tweet stating that Doobie worked out in a Miami gym this off season alongside Miguel Cabrera.

      1. If Miggy plans a comeback, he may have to skip a few meals. Maybe Doobie learned how to eat ice cream from Gabe Kapler.

      2. He is ripped… heard also triceps and biceps are defined….guns like Howitzers….waist like a wasp…..brains still scrambled like eggs..

        1. Seriously, Odubel is an amazing athlete with tremendous quick twitch speed, strength and insane hand-eye coordination. If he got his act fully together he has the ability to be an MVP candidate in any given year. There’s almost nothing on a baseball field he can’t do very well.

          1. Last year he clearly lacked stamina, focus and pressed when things went south. To what extent the issue to which Jim has referred earlier this off season was an impediment we may never know. But the kid on his best day on the field is catalytic, there’s no question.

        2. Romus – He needs to eat brain food. Seriously, I wonder if the Phillies have had him tested for Attention Deficit Disorder?

  41. Bobby Abreu will be a first time eligible on next year’s HOF ballot. .291/.395/.471 with nearly 2500 hits and a 60WAR over 18 big league seasons is nothing to sneeze at…..aah….aah….aah…atchooo!! But then we know better around here, aye?

    1. I was a pretty big Abreu fan and I don’t see him as a Hall of Famer and, for me, it’s not close.

    2. I didn’t hate Abreu he was a solid MLB player. Defensively challenged for sure but the rest of his game was well rounded. That said he’s not a HOF player IMO.

      1. Bobby does hold one MLB record for Latin born players….most walks..1476…..and 20th of all MLB players….everyone above him are in the Hall….except Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, Eddie Yost, and Darrell Evans

      2. Fun to watch. Never forget the one year some voters got the gold glove award confused with the silver slugger. Bobby A was the beneficiary. Still a head scratcher, that one.

        1. One year? Derek Jeter’s entire career is an indictment of voters’ abilities to separate offense from defense.

    3. I love Abreu, but he’s no hall of famer. And it’s not like he was popular with the beat writers either.

    4. Bobby Abreu is a perfect example of a superstar who lacked hustle in the field. Definitely a third to fifth ballot HOFer

  42. Romus, your boy Drew Pomeranz signed with SF. $1.5M guaranteed for one year with incentives up to $5M.

    1. Yeah…saw that.
      If he does well for three/four months out of the gate, they will probably trade him in July for prospects.

  43. Many people are surprised that the Dodgers have not done more this offseason, especially in the line of going harder for Bryce Harper. I have wondered if this has something to do with the concern in Dodgertown about what the punishments will be if/when MLB comes down on them for their allegedly blatant illegal international signing practices in 2014-2015.

    For instance, if the Dodgers have been told they will lose their #1 draft pick in the amateur draft they might also have been told not to sign a FA with draft pick ramifications, and Harper certainly qualifies.

    Not sure what all the penalties were for the Braves when they were punished but I know they lost international draft signees and lots of international money. Not sure they were punished with the loss of draft picks.

    Its interesting because Kapler was the head of the minor league department then and I am unsure how much he had to do with international players.

    Does anyone know and feel free to jump in with your thoughts. Like I have said before a vacuum will always get filled and right now the Harper/Machado vacuum is going to be filled with mere guess work and speculation and even less of that now that Lozano has blasted several MLB reporters. Silence has been the norm.

    I am also curious when many of you believe these players would sign. I saw one site where the writer was asked if Machado/Harper would sign before the Super Bowl and he said he thought it would be Machado, Super Bowl, Harper. Thoughts on this??

    1. I will say this again….as long as Andrew Friedman is a Dodger exec, him and MVP Sports (Lozano/Paula) may never get together. So more than likely, Manny can be crossed off the Dodger list. There might be too much bad blood now between the two sides..

    2. “Its interesting because Kapler was the head of the minor league department then and I am unsure how much he had to do with international players”
      .:…could be a factor why Middleton prefers Harper to Manny as many have suggested.
      Manny’s agents have implicated Kapler and Friedman on those RICO charges.
      The Feds need to get this investigation over and resolved…getting convoluted even more now with MLB investigators looking at the Dodgers…Freidman and possibly Kapler’s involvement.
      Braves former GM John Coppolella was banned for life from baseball over the Braves situation.and their President retired.
      Thats all the Phillies need now is MLB coming down and forcing Kapler out as manager.
      That throws the whole Harper/Machado sweepstakes out of whack.

  44. CD, I have been confused all along about the Dodgers. I know that the owners, in their shareholder letter to their Guggenheim investors, specified that they would not go over the Luxury tax for a few years. I can’t imagine why they would do that. Their private equity investment business is doing very well, and I can’t imagine their investors care what the Baseball team spends. Secondly, they have been trying to get under the tax to trigger the “start over provision” of the penalties. There have been stories that Friedman does not like to give LTC to FAs and is still mad at himself over signing Pat Burrell. Maybe they think they can win the Division by not spending more $, or they think they can improve at the trade deadline. Or, maybe your explanation, which makes a lot of sense, is the real reason, and they know that they are facing a big hit for cheating in the International market. I know Arrieta and JDM signed late, but I cannot imagine that a team making the kind of investment it will take to sign Machado or Harper, does not want them, in camp, bonding with the team. So, I pick the Tuesday after the Super Bowl for Machado to sign, and February 18 for Harper.

  45. Romus…I agree with you but the Dodgers, almost from the day they traded for Machado, made it known they were uninterested in signing him long term so while Lozano and Friedman may not be kissing cousins, I am unsure this has anything to do with their interest/lack of interest in Harper.

  46. Romus, I don’t think the Dodgers were ever in on Machado. I did believe, however, that the Puig trade was a harbinger of a Harper move by them, so I clearly haven’t read it correctly. But, if Boras was not trying to get other teams involved, I believe he would have hammered out a deal with Middleton already, to get Harper a bigger contract than Stanton. I think Middleton would have done a deal like that without a problem a month ago.

  47. Does anyone actually know if Kapler ever had any interactions dealing with the signing of International players? I thought he simply got them after they were signed, and his job was to oversee their development into Major League players. That would keep him clear of any monetary wrongdoing.

    1. Matt13…only two names were implicated on the charges..Freidman and Kapler….he must have had some involvement in some way for his name to be publicly announced.
      From a few of the emails that SI had ….multiple Dodger employees were ‘cc’ on the emails. So there could be a few more involved.

  48. SF made a nice signing. Pomeranz is a good bounce back candidate and $1.5 Million is nothing for him. I think, if nothing else, the Giants have a nice trade deadline piece.

  49. FWIW Dept…while I acknowledge that I tend to now only believe about 50% of what I read it is interesting that the Dodgers manager indicated a couple of days ago that what he believes the Dodgers need right now is a right handed hitter. Last time I checked Harper hadn’t taken up switch hitting,

  50. Was Kapler at the Machado get together in December? If not, that might well have been intentional since he was mentioned by Lozano’s agency in the potential Dodger mess.

    1. Actually…..Manny was greeted at the front door by Phillies general manager Matt Klentak and manager Gabe Kapler if I recall.
      But who I did not see was Danny Lozano or the agents…..but maybe the TV coverage just did not focus on them.

    1. Consistent with my view that this is now sort of a “middling” farm system (not horrible and not great) if you took a snapshot of the minor leaguers in the system right now. The overall picture of the team is better because of the number of young players in the majors and the team’s financial flexibility, but we need some production from the current farm group and we need some additional good drafts and signings. Garcia is a very positive development.

      1. catch – I have to disagree with the “middling Farm system” opinion. Every team except Reading was in the playoffs last year. I would also venture a guess that the Phillies have the best minor league pitching in baseball. The only area of concern is the hitters.

        1. Agree to disagree – this system has a few gems at the top and some decent pitching depth – but it’s not a big impact system – not even close. Lots of potential 4 and 5 starters and weak bats. So we need some of the top guys to really come through.

    2. And where is Adonis Medina ranked? Everyone on this site seems to think he will be a solid #2. I wanted to trade him while he was a shiney, top -75 guy.

  51. Vegas odds for Phillies to win 2019 World Series went from the opening odds of 18/1 on 10/19/18 to currently 14/1, tied for 9th in MLB with the Nats. And we’ve yet to add Harper or Machado and subsequent pieces. Somebody must have the sense that the Phillies will be a formidable team in contention.

  52. Per Jim Salisbury via Twitter, John Middleton sent his private jet to fly the Halladay family from FL to NYC for today’s HOF news conference. Class organization. Doc’s wife said that out of respect for both TOR and PHI, he will not enter the Hall as either a Blue Jay or Phillie.

  53. Jon Heyman reports that’s padres are in on Manny and Harper
    Hmmm I seemed to have mentioned they were a mystery team and got BLASTED for it. Looks like I was correct. Interesting…
    And Heyman is reputable.

        1. Disappointed that you didn’t post this tweet earlier today….

          from C B S (Corey Brewer Stan) @vinfosh 6 hr ago

          Per source: Harper to Phillies to be announced today or tomorrow…

          Sounds like he would be on your regular rotation.

          1. Keyboard tough guy at it again

            You’re funny. I don’t spew all garbage. You just piggyback off of Hinkie lol never add anything of your own

            1. Not sure the Padres “checking in” qualifies them as a mystery team/real threat to sign Harper or Machado.

  54. Does anyone consider SD a real threat? They inquired, and I am sure interested, at a sub $200 Million price. But the only $300 Million nomber is the report that Nats offered that as last season ended. There hasn’t been a report that we have made a real offer. I think it is because we don’t want to bid against ourselves.

    1. Sure do. They’ve got an owner who wants a winning team. They’re a team on the up. I’ve said it a few times but just because the Phillies have supposed stupid money, it doesn’t mean they’ll definitely sign Manny or Harper IMO.
      I would not be shocked if they get outbid last minute because of playing the waiting game.

      1. Then explain to us how they would be outbid at the last minute if they have all the stupid money which doesn’t assure them that the player will sign in the first place, as you suggest?

        1. 8mark – I believe that troll, Matt, and a few others are hoping for the best , but preparing for the worst. It’s a defense mechanism.

      2. I don’t see any mystery team beating out the Phillies for BOTH stars. Sure, a very aggressive bid may win the first star to sign, but I can see in anyway the 2nd star getting past Middleton. Both agents will be calling Middleton right before the player signs … at the very least it would be another attempt to drive the price up on the mystery team. Middleton is in the drivers seat, for both these guys. It probably won’t be like this every offseason, but this year it is, and the rest of the mlb knows it.

  55. Despite all the “stupid money” etc – just want to post – HOF induction for Doc Halladay a moving and altogether deserved approbation. What is also moving – for all Phillies historians is that the family chose to have his “hat” be without signage – to recognize that he loved not just Toronto but Philadelphia – in their words. His finest moments to the media occurred as a Phillie and he will be pictured in both uniforms/as he has been/ since the announcement and his demise. My comment —- is I am certain this honorable organization will retire number 34 – as no other player should ever wear it again. He was – in Phillies history – one in a line of HOF pitchers.and despite today’s free agent issues (he pleaded to come here) – proud to carry on the team’s tradition. Thankful that we all had an opportunity to see/enjoy him.

    For me – and maybe Jim too, I got to stand in the bullpen in Clearwater and watch him warm up in 2012 – he was precise, machine like, and all business – the consummate professional. Truly unforgettable experience ! Looking forward to seeing # 34 retired.

  56. Saw this on twitter today, Bobby Abreu had 8 seasons in which he knocked in at least 100 runs and stole at least 20 bases. Only Honus Wagner had more with 9.
    He may be closer to a HOFer than most would think.

    1. Plus he was a gold glove defender 🙂

      He was under appreciated, possibly because shipping him off was a partial catalyst for the teams beat era.

      His numbers probably hold up better than we remember, and likely deserve a deep look. In additions to the rbis, SB, I believe his walks will be up there. He was tough to strikeout for a good stretch of his career.

      Will be interesting to review

      1. Took a quick glance, he’s got a stretch of 8-10 years of some top tier production, .300+ avg, 100 rbis,100 walks, low SO total, 25+ SB (minus the 22sb season)…. OPS numbers in the elite range .875-1.000. 2,400+ hits, 60+ Career war. Dude could play. The stats show it. I guess the knock could be on # of years it took for some of the totals.

        In LAA, he stole 22 bases, got caught 6 times. Prettt impressive for the tailend of your career. Feels like we Barely see players steal bases anymore…

      2. Took a quick glance, he’s got a stretch of 8-10 years of some top tier production, .300+ avg, 100 rbis,100 walks, low SO total, 25+ SB (minus the 22sb season)…. OPS numbers in the elite range .875-1.000. 2,400+ hits, 60+ Career war. Dude could play. The stats show it. I guess the knock could be on # of years it took for some of the totals.

        In LAA, he stole 22 bases, got caught 6 times. Prettt impressive for the tailend of your career. Feels like we Barely see players steal bases anymore…

        1. Tac3….want a quick reference guide to a HoF status player.
          Look at their Baseball Reference pages…..count the total number of BOLD ITALIC metrics.
          Abreu in 20 years has 3
          Trout in 8 years has about two dozen.

          That will tell you the dominance of a player in their era and whether or not they should be in the Hall.

          1. The question is, how many HOF stats do you need to be inducted? We’re now seeing situational players join the ranks, and while Mo and Edgar are certainly deserving, they’re proof positive that you don’t need to do everything to be a HOF player.

            Players that excel on defense are in, players that didn’t even play defense are in. So which stats are the stats that matter?

            1. Well to begin with……yuo may have to cross out a lot of the old-timers….up thru WWII….different era
              And also offensive metrics do play a larger role than defensive metrics……shortstop may be the only position where the defensive metric my come more so into play compared to the other positions…but guys like Ozzie Smith, Luis Aparicio, Phil Rizzuto and Pee Wee Reese….did hit some but were noted for their defensive abilities more so…but like you say….where do you draw the line on the stats.
              IMO…offensive stats matter the most.
              And when writers are involved…who knows.
              Dan Shaughnessy, of the Boston Globe will never vote Schilling since he does not like what he has said….after he got out of baseball.

          2. Thanks for the link Romus. Overall, his numbers are really good looking back. I’m surprised there wasn’t more outrage when he was basically salary dumped. If he was only a good club house influence.

        2. Yeah man his numbers were REALLY good for awhile there. I was shocked to see it as well. He was a 4.5 tool player, say what you will about his D, it wasn’t horrible at all. But the offensive numbers are extremely impressive. If you looked at his baseball ref page without knowing who you were looking at, you might call that a career that’s knocking on the HOF door.

    2. The Hall is Fame has what I call the Harold Baines Problem (another DH in the HOF). It is debatable if Abreu, Rollins, and Utley are deserving of the HOF but all are more deserving than Harold Baines who is in.

      1. …or a 81bWAR, 80fWAR pitcher, who is in the top ten of almost all categories of MLB play-off pitchers, but who just cannot refrain, to the point of obsessive, from being outspoken on non-baseball subjects.

      2. Utley, like Halladay, won’t blow anyone away with his career totals (in comparison to the hall of fame). But his 7 year peak will get him in.

        Also, he’s second ever in SB% (behind Alexi Casilla who stole half as many bases and played 7 fewer seasons). Probably won’t have much weight in a HOF discussion, but I wanted to appreciate him a little bit because… well, he’s Chase Utley. I’m still waiting for the announcement of his holiday in the Philly area.

        1. If you go by my method of reasoning…Utley will not get in…three bold italics only on his sheet….Halladay otoh, about 30 categories where he led the league during his career..

          1. You mentioned above that people like Ozzie Smith got in on the back of incredible defense while still hitting a bit. Well Utley’s defense wasn’t quite that good, but he’s still in the top 20 of 2B all time in a lot of defensive metrics. And he didn’t just hit a bit.

            Now Utley’s not a slam dunk, I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t get in on his first ballot. But he’s getting in. He’s about 4 career WAR below the average 2B in the HOF, but he’s 5 WAR higher in 7 year peak. Plus he’s absolutely revered among fans and writers alike. No chance he doesn’t get the votes before he’s dropped off the ballot.

            A lot of players get in by being historically great at one thing and good at other things. But Utley will get in because he was great at everything.

            1. will be interesting to see, contrasted with Jeff Kent only up to 18% six years into his eligibility with superb offensive numbers for a second baseman.

  57. Mike, I don’t know how others feel, but here is my Harper/Machado fear. Neither wants to play here. They know we will bid high, but they are holding out for one of their preferred clubs. I know the value of money, but I also know that there is a point where someone will go to a more preferred place to play for some # less than the highest bidder. I don’t know what that # is. If either wanted to be here, they would have already negotiated, especially in Harper’s case, a record setting contract. One still may come, and may come for both of them. But, until that announcement is official I am going to worry. I want both, hope they get either one, and fear that we lose out on both. I don’t think it is an irrational fear. Will anyone really claim to be shocked if we don’t get one? Surprised, sure, and a whole lot of ” I can’t believe we couldn’t beat that deal” hang wringing, but shocked? I don’t think so.

      1. Mike is being rational.
        i would not be surprised if neither signed here.
        The fact that Philadelphia is not their preferred location, along with the delay in signing, signifies something to me.
        I know the odds are one will sign, but anything can happen with some of the other big market teams before the finish line.

        1. I honestly yet respectfully don’t think that fear for fear’s sake is rational, Romus. Anger in this case? Perhaps. Anger and disenchantment with both sides of the table. But the game is what it is. The December winter meetings have become the biggest non-event, probably in all of pro sports. MLB and MLBPA need to smell the coffee.

          1. And with a grand total of 3 teams engaged with both Harper and Machado, I still say it’s conceivable we sign both.

        2. Matt … I would be so shocked (if the Phillies miss out on both MM & BH) that I would need to take a six month vacation to get over it. And … that ain’t gonna’ happen.
          For the 400th time, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper (like almost every other FA to ever hit the open market) prefer to play for the team who offer them the most money. The Phillies are desperate buyers willing to spend stupid money. The other clubs with any financial clout are more opportunistic shoppers this winter. That doesn’t mean the Phillies should be bidding against themselves. When the time is right, John Middleton will sign Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.

          1. Hinkie – If Manny were to sign with the White Sox, it would surely be for the money. Like the Mets, the White Sox aren’t even the favorite team in their own city.

            1. Yes. If the CWS offer Manny the most guaranteed money, he’ll happily sign with them. The fact that the team has already acquired Manny’s brother-in-law and one of his best friends will have nothing to do with it. It’s all about the Benjamins.

    1. Matt I agree 110%. I think the only way we would have them signed right now is if our offer broke a record but without that they are waiting to see if anyone else will get in the mix for at least market value. Looking at it logically says that.

  58. MLBTR this morning does a good breakdown on which teams could be characterized as “mystery” teams, particularly for Machado. The Angels, Brewers, Cardinals, Mets, Padres and Twins have reasonable cause and means to pursue Manny. Teams are either in negotiations with a player or they are not. I also find it difficult to believe that secrets of this type last longer than a few hours what with the saturation of social media these days. I personally think the White Sox and Phillies are the only teams engaged in regular talks with Machado’s camp. “Checking in” on a player doesn’t qualify as being a “mystery team” or a legitimate suitor. The charade that Lozano and company are entertaining offers under the radar is merely desperation. I get it. Save face. I only hope Lozano told Manny that he hasn’t done either of them any favors with his unwise PR stunts at the worst possible time. The stall has probably much to do with why the Phillies have shifted their focus to Harper. Rightly so.

    1. 8mark – As much as I like Machado’s talent, I don’t see him transforming the Angels, Brewers, Cardinals, Mets, Padres, and Twins into instant World series contenders. If he were to sign with one of them, I’d expect something like 3 years, $110 million.

  59. 8mark, I hope I am worried for nothing. Meanwhile, there seems to be no action on the Keuchel market. Would a deal like we gave Arrieta appeal to you? And, I still think we need a backup C who is a defensive specialist.

    1. I’m fine with Keuchel on a 3 year deal with an additional option year. Similar to Jake’s deal, yes.

      1. Don’t want Keuchel. It would be like signing another Arrieta. He projects to be slightly better than a .500 pitcher this year. Roll the dice and stick with the kids.

    2. Matt – The backup catcher will be part of the bench, and needs to be more than a defensive specialist. I still like A J Ellis.

  60. Matt – I (and Hinkie) would be shocked if we got neither. Normal people, like you and me, wonder “How much money is enough”? We’re dealing with huge egos here. Not the players, but the agents have engaged in a pissing war. Both players will receive enough money to last several generations. Manny has played his career in obscurity in Baltimore, and hopes to be signed by the Yankees, not because they were his childhood favorite, but because of the recognition, and a chance to be a World Champion. Maybe Harper would prefer signing with the Dodgers, but only because they’ve been in the World Series for two consecutive years. For the life of me I can’t understand why the Dodgers haven’t been “balls to the wall” to sign Harper. Remember that Corbin didn’t choose his childhood favorite team, despite his entire family urging him on. The years of the contract mattered, but maybe not as much as his desire to be part of a super rotation with Strasburg, and Scherzer. The Nationals have about the same odds of winning the World series as the Yankees.
    When the Phillies sign one, or both, of these players (I prefer Harper), they will become instant contenders. Don’t worry about it, it will happen.

  61. Further, given last year and the new metrics of free agency we still have no right to expect Boras to have his clients sign before spring training – that’s what he did last year and there is no apparent need to change that strategy. Secondly, Lozano is probably just following the Boras script – both agents are hoping that as time crawls on other big market teams will shuffle the deck chairs to enable them to enter the fray – see Dodgers for example who are in the midst of trading all their outfielders ? I would also suggest Cal Dreaming could tell us more about Boras’ methods.

    The logic that this endless process is an indictment of the Phillies or lessens their opportunity to acquire one of these players is not grounded in any fact.

    1. RU…..the simple fact…they have not signed in a limited market, and where the monetary gains are plentiful with one team’s offering…. is a pretty big fact if you ask me.

      1. Or … maybe Machado/Lozano and Harper/Boras have a number in mind. No team has come close to that number. So … Machado/Lozano and Harper/Boras feel they have nothing to lose by waiting to sign with a team. Sort of like the JD Martinez and Jake Arrieta situations last year.
        Under no circumstance, do either Boras or Lozano allow their client to sign with another team w/o giving John Middleton the final opportunity to win the bidding war.

        1. Looks like the Dodgers are mostly in the market for guys like AJ Pollock, JT Realmuto, and Corey Kluber.

          1. I also find it difficult to believe that while 3 teams are apparently in on either Machado or Harper, almost all the other MLB clubs pose as mystery teams. That takes quite a stretch of the rational mind.

            1. The visits Harper and Machado had with respective suitors were fairly well publicized. No team can hide that activity with all the snoops and blabbers out there waiting to pounce on the news. Which is more evidence to me that the mystery team chatter is nothing more than an agent using smoke and mirror tactics.

  62. Mike, Hinkie, I am counting on you both to be right. Believe me, I am not simply trying to play devil’s advocate. And I am not trying to be negative, either. I really want us to win. I don’t disagree with any of what you have said. Overall, I think that Baseball needs to address the whole FA system. I think the other sports are taking much better advantage of the buzz surrounding Free Agency. These past 2 years have been dull.

    1. Matt – The one thing that worries me is one or two of these guys signing with the Phillies in March (like Arrieta). I want this over with by Feb. 13th.

      1. Mike, this worries me as well.
        I’m a skeptic for sure.

        I will say it’s interesting how Philly media has been very quiet in regards to Manny and Harper. Maybe something is in the works.

  63. This criticism of Philadelphia as a sports city is simply false and is such old news as to be almost completely unfounded now. I agree it still exists but find it ludicrous. I live in SoCal but visit Philadelphia regularly, both as a Phillies phan and as a tour director who explores the cities history with 8th graders. I have found the people friendly, knowledgeable and incredibly passionate. But it doesn’t matter what I think.

    But it should matter to the Harpers or Machados what Brandy Halladay, Roy’s wife thinks since he was a mega star who came to Philadelphia after tremendous success elsewhere. Did anyone see what see said yesterday? She said she loved the city and found it loving, passionate and completely insane [in a great way!] We also know what Cliff Lee’s wife thought, she literally cried when she ran into Dave Montgomery at the 2010 All-Star Game and they were not tears of joy, they were tears of sadness at missing Philadelphia so much.

    I hope the Phillies brass is making sure that Harper and Machado see what Brandy Halladay had to say yesterday. I also hope they saw what Middleton did yesterday in having his private jet pick them up in Florida and fly them to New York.

    Complete class. If these players are fearful of Philadelphia, I believe its misguided, especially in Harper’s case. With the way he plays he would own the city.

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone within the Phillies organization is already researching South Jersey neighborhoods or Center City luxury townhouses for the Harpers to live. The longer the wait, the less time to get settled, especially for the wife. We husbands know all about that urgent domestic instinct that the Mrs needs to satisfy. Although she’s probably done that research herself by now.

      1. As far as I know the Harpers don’t have kids so there is not much to them getting settled and let’s face it folks with that kind of money don’t sweat those types of things.

      2. Yea but there’s a HUGE difference between us normal people and those who have millions upon millions. They will be able to settle in within days if they needed to. When money is no object, most things can be done in an expedited manner.

  64. I’m disappointed that our #2 pitching prospect (Medina) is no longer a top 100 prospect. That hurts his trade value significantly.
    We are in an old fashioned staring contest times two. Who will blink first? If we lose on both, the fans will want heads on the block. The Phils know this too. They will certainly try to get one of them signed but we just don’t know how much money is being requested by these agents. It could be foolish money like way over $300M. Who knows. Patience is required unfortunately because this isn’t getting resolved until mid February

    1. Top 100 lists mean less than nothing to MLB teams. Even the prospect evaluators will tell you it’s purely an exercise for casual fans. Medina’s value will never be impacted by anything other than performance and what each team’s scouts think he’s capable of.

  65. Mrs. Harper is a Mormon. I know there was a strong community that Andy Reid was a part of. I am not sure what part of the City that was in, but I believe it was the Main Line.

  66. RU…as a long time Boras Watcher [ not admirer but watcher] I would be glad to give my views on him. I suspect that my views are a bit more revealing since I am an Orange County neighbor of his and he is quite visible here in OC and at Dodger and Angel games.

    If I could use one word to describe him it would be “ruthless” in his desire to get every last dollar for his client, regardless of how fond he is of a particular owner or team. This is not to say that he doesn’t have his favorites, its well known that he favored Steinbrenner and the Yankees, had a good relationship with Texas for years and now is best buddies with Washington. For years he had a terrible relationship with the Phillies but that was during the Wade/Giles era and it only got a tad better with Amaro/Monty.

    My sense is that he has an excellent relationship with Middleton but that comes from the fact that Middleton is prepared to spend money in order to win and Boras can use that to get his players signed with the Phillies. I also sense he respects Middleton’s business acumen and that is a plus for the Phillies.

    His track record is good, but not perfect. He lost the Alomars as clients, as well as Barry Bonds. He has been embarrassed a few times with his determination to get every penny. Perhaps the one I remember best was when he represented pitcher Andy Benes. Benes was pitching for the Cardinals and loved St. Louis. Boras was playing hardball with the Cards and finally came to an agreement at what he thought was the deadline of 12 midnight on the final night. He thought he submitted the contract at 11:59 and MLB said the time was 12:01 and the contract was voided and Benes could not go back to St. Louis, eventually signing with the Padres. Benes was furious.

    He is also the first agent to coin the phrase “no hometown discounts”, something that was routinely done pre-Boras. He is famous for keeping collegiate players from signing even after their eligibility is up if he doesn’t feel his client is getting enough money. The 3 that come to mind are Collegiate All-Americans Jason Varitek, Ben Mcdonald and of course JD Drew. One player, and I can’t recall his name but he was a pitcher, was actually held out by Boras twice and said player ended up never even making it to the majors, though a major talent.

    Boras is most famous with the Phillies for the JD Drew non-negotiations but I found his dealings with Kevin Millwood and the Phillies equally treacherous. Millwood had been with the Phils for one year and it was a mutually beneficial arrangement. He was hunting when the Phils made a 3 year offer to Boras for the hurler, a deal the agent NEVER told Millwood about. Millwood was furious and the relationship between player and team deteriorated when Millwood wanted to revisit the offer and the Phils refused.

    Then there was Jason Werth, and Boras’s famous “the Phils are Goliaths and can afford a $200 million dollar player payroll if they want.” Amaro scoffed at this, though in retrospect, Boras was probably correct and Werth left for Washington.

    One last thing. Boras often times almost has a conflict of interest because he represents so many players. For instance, if Harper signs with the Phils, Nick Williams is likely out of a job and may even go back to the minors, though he is no minor league talent. Boras represents both of them.

    In summation, anyone expecting a Harper to Philadelphia deal soon is likely to be disappointed. Boras has a figure in mind [probably $400 million on a 12 year deal] and has likely almost guaranteed his client this amount or something close. He is unlikely to cave too much, though I would not be surprised if he has tried to get the Phils original 9/360 offer as indicated by Jim Peyton back on the table.

    Hope this helps. .

    1. Thanks Cal Dreaming for your thorough review !

      Your last paragraph summarized my earlier post, i.e. – as much as we would all like this to end – in a favorable way for Phillies – Boras has no time table and is most likely targeting a specific number. As rosters are altered (last Dodger move today) there still remains no need for Boras to rush unlike what we would traditionally expect ? In fact, I don’t think any of his clients have signed yet ???

      1. Perhaps but keep in mind – this time around, the big stupid money team has another big fish to catch. Boras and all his experience still has to navigate these tricky waters. The Phillies merely have to hold out the money and ask, “who wants it?”.

    2. CalDreamin’…..” One player, and I can’t recall his name but he was a pitcher, was actually held out by Boras twice and said player ended up never even making it to the majors, though a major talent.:……you don’t mean Mark Appel?

    1. Looking, to me, like it’s either Phillies or Nationals for Harper. And let’s not forget this tweet from Jayson Stark from last week:

      1. Not sure what everyone else thinks but IMO Pollock is a huge domino here. It essentially takes the Dodgers out of the Harper hunt and the Phillies out of a plan b outfielder.

  67. I agree with Hinkie, I think the Dodgers next go for Realmuto and that’s it for them. I honestly do not see Harper going to the Dodgers now.

    1. And if Boras knows that the Phillies are IT for Harper, he may have nothing to lose in waiting until whenever….unless the Phillies turn to Manny sooner. In which case, Boras/Harper are scee-rewed!!

      1. If I had a guess on Harpers strategy and patience its that he knows he could always turn to a really nice high AAV 1 year deal and go back on the market next year. If their camp were to signal he is willing to do that I’m sure four or five teams may jump back in.

        If he’s somehow not satisfied with the long terms deals he’s being offered.

        1. That’s a viable option, DMAR
          We are marching to that one year contract territory IMO
          Phillies need to blow away the competition and give in to harpers demands if they want to sign him

  68. I haven’t seen numbers, but it should keep them out of any Harper last minute deal, even if they were ever going to be in one. How much will the Lerners up their offer? Or will they, knowing Rendon is up next? Will it take us to go back to the 9/$360 Million offer allegedly offered? And, who is really our #1 target, Machado or Harper?

    1. To your last question, whichever is most agreeable. Harper has an even smaller market than Machado now. 1 team vs 2 teams.

    2. Matt – One of the reasons for the Phillies to be dragging their feet could be that the Phillies don’t want to be in the Nationals shoes in a couple of years. Harper is the end game, unless Machado signs for cheap.

      1. I would think if they get one of the two…Trout would be the end game.
        One reason the Nats put themselves in their current state was the signing of their two current aces…..Strasburg and Scherzer….which was a necessity if they ever wanted to get to the play-offs.
        The other snafu they made….was bringing Harper six weeks early(end of April)…they would have had him for one more year if they waited until mid-June. ..spilt milk for them now.

  69. 8mark…yep, huge! And I noticed there have already been several signings today…Pollack, Bach and Strickland so with spring training only 3 weeks away it appears that both teams and players are beginning to feel some urgency. But yes, the signing of Pollack would seem to take the Dodgers out of the Harper sweepstakes. I mentioned yesterday that Roberts, the manager, had indicated he wanted his team to get some right handed bats soon…and Pollack [and Realmuto] certainly qualify.

    1. Matt13 – no I don’t think it is the same deal – too many moving parts with opt outs and Boras’ new swelloptions (sp???) so contracts consequently have differing money consequences and AAV’s etc. I meant, maybe somebody (the player perhaps) will tell the agent to “end it, now.” Total conjecture of course…..

  70. The simplest way to describe the Phillies position is that they see no reason or urgency to bid against themselves. I don’t know who received the most recent offer between the two but nobody is going to want to stand before inquiring microphones and say, “well yes the Phillies offered the most money but we wanted to play for… (fill in the blank).” That would be scandalous in these days when union reps, players and agents are complaining about teams unwilling to spend money. Most teams may not but this team has already put its mouth where its stupid money is.

  71. any word from down in Clearwater on the minor league coaching staffs? Pretty late for no coaching announcements

  72. For those fearing the Padres are the “mystery” team in on Machado or Harper, forget it. They just had their fanfest and are basically telling their fans that 2020 is the year they are gearing up for, not 2019. So I see no way they offer a long term 200 million+ deal to either of the premier free agents.

    Now Moustakas is a different story. The Padres are looking for a 3rd baseman, Moustakas is best friends with Hosner and both are playing in a charity baseball game in Malibu this week to benefit the people who lost their homes in the recent fires. Moustakas was one of them, as was Phillie manager Gabe Kapler.

    As for this “mystery” team, the Padres said they were merely “checking in” on Machado and Harper, no contract terms were ever discussed. My gut tells me its still between the White Sox and Phillies for Machado and the Phillies and Nats for Harper, and thats only if the Nats want to go into the luxury tax forever or Harper gets massive deferred money.

    Of course, I do sense that Machado really doesn’t want to come to Philadelphia but I don’t sense the same distaste from Harper. Here is a question worth pondering, only because Boras has done this before…would he keep Harper out past opening day in he hopes that an injury or a slow start by a team like the Yankees or Cubs might encourage them to jump in.

    Remember, Boras is playing the loooooooooong game here, he wants a long term deal and might convince Harper that waiting a month or so might add 2-3 years to his deal..and get him to a more desirable location than Philadelphia.

    1. No way, teams don’t have that much money sitting on the sidelines. The two agents are waiting for something, who knows what.

    2. The Phillies would need to move on from Harper if Boras pulled the post-opener play. In fact, I would hope they would pick a player and give the other a dateline. Those deliberate delay tactics would poison any goodwill with this fanbase. Once we reach camp, all bets are off. It’s all well and good to get all the money you can but when agents start playing chicken with their client’s livelihood, time to call their bluff.

      1. So when is the launch date for Harper’s MLB The Show? He’s the cover boy. Can’t mess with corporate America.

      2. Grandal turned down a reported $60 Million for $17 million. Why? He says its was a principled decision that the AAV was something he felt needed to be maintained out of respect for other catchers who came before him to set the market

        I don’t agree….As a player on MLB network stated markets fluctuate. Today your house might be worth $400K in 5 years it might be worth $500K or it might be worth $350K.

        But the point is let’s not pin this on agents as players have the final say and every player will have a different feeling about their place in the process. Some will see a bigger picture beyond themselves and some of course will just be in it for themselves.

        That’s human nature

        A sentiment is building however among the players that they are being taken advantage of (it’s hard to feel sorry for someone that plays a game for a living and makes on average 66X the American household income)

        But then there is a part of me that gets it. If you strip away the dollar figures the owners do appear to be taking in more than they are paying out. And that is the rub. What’s fair 40%-50% who knows.

        If I were Tony Clark I would be advising the players to stay out of the public eye with this type of talk and quotes like that of Evan Longoria on the twitter machine are not going to help their cause.

    3. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you are saying but signing one of the stars doesn’t mean you are going after it just for next year, it means that you’re trying to for the length of the contract. So if they Pads said they are looking at 2020 why would that stop them from signing a long term deal to a young star?

    1. I wouldn’t put it past the Dodgers to free up some of their OF depth to land Realmuto and then pounce on Harper with some type of a high AAV shorter term deal.

      They match up really well with the Marlins. they could send Muncy, Pederson, Barnes or Russell Martin, Keibert Ruiz and one of their upper arms and not really feel it.

  73. Good interview on twitter account between Mad-dog Russo and Ken Rosenthal about the Pollack signing and impact on Phillies/Nats with potential Harper signing. Hinkie could set it up here so you could see it – I am incapable of doing that. Gist is – Rosenthal states that indeed there may be only 3 involved with Harper, and in fact – Nats are not in it as much as reported leaving only White Sox and Phils. But he goes on to say that does not mean there aren’t others who are the proverbial “mystery teams.” Russo seems committed on there are only 2 players – Phils/Nats.

    1. I think, not sure, but Rosenthal even goes on to say the WSox are where the Astros where a few years ago…..translation IMO, a team on the verge of breaking through…so not discount them out of the conversation for the free agents..

  74. Even as the cash cow of this off season, the Phillies are certainly aware of what’s happening around the majors with other big market teams yielding to their luxury tax limits. It’s so blatantly obvious. I’m not a big players union supporter but this is clearly a demonstration of owners thumbing their noses and saying we don’t care, we’ll catch you all at the bargaining table. Can’t see how this wasn’t mapped out behind closed doors, almost unanimously at the owners meetings back in November. Harper and Machado will still get paid handsomely but a far cry from what was projected by baseball analysts. All the reports I have seen citing industry insiders indicate that there is a consensus that the Phillies will in fact sign one.

  75. Think Matt Klentak should explore a trade with the Tigers for Nick Castellanos…to play LF.
    He is a FA after 2019 and could be signed at a relatively good rate.
    I’d offer Nick Williams and Enyel DLS for him now, since it looks like the Tigers may have to trade him in July as a rental.

          1. Romus – for some reason I do the same thing any time I’m talking about their 2019 line up. Always have to be reminded we signed him. Weird.

          2. RF in Comerica Park is huge FWIW. Castellanos in our LF would be somewhat better. Assuming we are so great at applying all the data to know where to position a player. If for some reason we miss out on Harper I would try to pry him away from Detroit.

            1. DMAR….his bat plays well for a LFer or corner OFer.
              But like you say…if it is not Harper….but hopefully then Machado……go after him and let Cutch man RF.
              His splits would indicate he could power 15/18HRs…..with 25 plus doubles alone at CBP…he is a .200 ISO guy in the middle of the lineup and feasts on LHP and does very well ve RHPs with a slash last season of 273/.329/.478 in a Detroit lineup without Miggy protecting anyone.

          3. With that bat, Nicky Castles is a kid you try to lock up and hope the NL adopts the DH real soon.

            1. I agree I wanted us to go after him last year at the trade deadline. The ask must have been pretty high because le Tigres ended up keeping him.

            2. That’s a great question 8mark. Romus’ proposed deal seems about right to me but I am horrible at those kinds of things. Maybe they would want a higher upside OFer than Williams.

              It might be easier to ask who I wouldn’t give up for him lol.

          4. Romus……Thanks for doing the research on the Hoskins/Castellanos Defense. You guys do such a good job that I often get lazy and only post what I read:-)

  76. Romus…no, it wasn’t Mark Appel. It was a high school, then college pitcher who kept turning down money, waiting for a better deal and eventually was drafted 3 times without signing. IIRC, he expected to get drafted a 4th time, but hurt his arm and never signed. Baseball America had a story about him and the mistakes he made. I think the Brewers were one of the teams that drafted him. Boras was his agent.

      1. was it something “Bush”, I remember a lot of promise from a top pitching prospect named bush, might be mixing/confusing stories.

        That’s my stab at the mystery player

  77. Late evening ruminations….could CBP become a potential power plant in 2019?

    C Alfaro 15-20 homeruns
    1B Hoskins 30-35
    2B Hernandez/Kingery 10-15
    SS Segura 10-15
    3B Moustakas 30 (or Machado 35-40)
    LF Harper 40-45
    CF Herrera 20-25
    RF McCutchen 25-30

    Somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 dingers with that lineup which is very much within the realm of possibility.

    1. I was dreaming about that not to long ago. Looks like they’d bump themselves into a top 10 team in terms of HR. From last check, they were far off the mlb avg. 200 from
      The starting lineup, with the bench boosting some, of would be fun to watch. Now of course, hopefully the SO aren’t too high with all the fence swings going on

  78. If the union really cares about all the players, they should not be worried whether one or another mega-star gets $300m or $350m. Raising the minimum salary would benefit many more players. The union should bargain for a ceiling on these huge contracts and have the money spread to all the players. I frankly find these mega-contracts obscene. No fan should shed a tear for Manny or Harper no matter what they sign for. My guess it will be for far more than their worth.

  79. I agree Rob with upping the minimum and also shortening the service time requirement to be a FA.It is the younger players who need the protection, not the mega stars. I don’t think they need a ceiling, but having younger players on the market increases the $ spent on them.

    1. This would intern effect the older players, potentially shortening their careers. Teams with developed farms might push prospects earlier they know they have less years of control. That’s one way it could change the landscape, if that assement is close to being correct, I can’t see the mlbpa agreeing to such a change. either way, sounds like it’s going to be tricky

    2. This has been pretty obvious for a few years Matt. The players should understand before they get too upset that it was they (or their agents) who burned more than a few owners which set the precedent that they have today.

      I mean start with the Pujols deal and add Hamilton, Fielder, AROD 2X and a whole host of others.

      Some will say no one held a gun to the owners and forced them to payout that kind of deal but that doesn’t matter. Most will only get burned once.

      If the MLBPA was smart they would get ahead of this and finally concede an International Draft in exchange for a quicker path to FA.

      They would also propose a right to match option in a similar vein as NBA expiring rookie contracts.

      Imagine a scenario where all players are guaranteed FA upon the completion of their age 26 season but the draft team can match any offer or receive compensation.

      Imagine a scenario where Ohtani or Kikuchi aren’t granted complete FA to come here. I harp on this all the time which is why is it that our domestic born players don’t get the option to sign with the highest bidder do we allow International players that advantage.

      It doesn’t have to be 20 rounds heck probably 2 at the most. Its called true competitive balance.

      1. DMAR….’If the MLBPA was smart they would get ahead of this and finally concede an International Draft in exchange for a quicker path to FA”…..not going to happen.

        Everyone wants a draft……except the Latin American Baseball Coalition of players….they represent almost 30% of the current MLB players, plus many retirees.
        They were going to strike if an international draft was instituted….so then Manfred backed-off.

  80. Matt Harrington, that’s the guy. Drafted in the 1st round something like 3 times, kept waiting for more money, and either never signed or signed finally and was a bust.

  81. January 2019 has been a snoozer to talk about baseball. There’s nothing new to talk about and ST is still weeks away!!! I’m glad that the Sixers are done with their tanking years!

    Anyway, I’m glad that the Phillies didn’t lose Deivi Grullon in the Rule 5. I really like Grullon especially if he can keep close to his 2018 hitting stats. Grullon’s arm is not Alfaro-like canon, but he is close and Grullon is also good defensive with ability to stay at C for a long time.

    I like James McCann as a back up C, unfortunately, McCann signed with another team. Knapp is 27 and is a very poor defensive C. Time to move him which he is cheap and get Grullon with the team.

      1. sure, but only for Mike Trout!!! I have a strong feeling that Mike will go home especially if the Phillies can sign one stud (Harper), Nola and Hoskins becomes legit MLB caliber player and Wentz and Ertz are still Eagles —– and all those situations have high likelihood to happen!

        1. You’re speaking my language now. But it might take Hoskins in the package necessary to get 1.5 to 2 more prime years of Trout. Maybe at the deadline?

          1. I just read Matt Winkelman’s top 10 list. There are 4 of the 10 prospects that are age 20 or younger. I’m surprised, and also can’t help wondering if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. Last year 6 prospects were elevated to the Phillies roster. With 6 starters already it’s hard to see De Los Santos, or Suarez except in a spot start. I don’t see a lot of help coming from the minors (Cozens?) is the best bet.

            1. At a glance I feel the system is not as good as it should be at this stage in the rebuild and that’s a big problem.

              A problem that falls on whomever they are trusting to evaluate talent or on whomever is saying “no let’s not go for BPA let’s try and go for value spread across the entire draft”

              We as arm chair GMs don’t get to know these facts.

          2. Mike Trout himself can help the Phillies in the trade. If Trout decides not to sign any LT contract and will only waive his NTC for the Phillies – this basically knock out other teams with deeper farm and basically force LAA’s arm to get the most from the Phillies.

            Bohm + Haseley + Medina + delos Santos plus a lottery prospect like Logan Simmons will be the starting point. If the Phillies can get away without giving up Nola, Hoskins, Sixto, Luis Garcia and Spencer Howard to acquire Trout, that should highly consider that.

    1. Yes KK – am surprised Grullon isn’t getting more support, as a good defensive catcher with power in the Phuture Phillies top 30 poll.

  82. For those hoping that Boras and Harper might be making a decision soon, the players agent threw cold water on that thought yesterday in a phone call to the NY Post. He indicated that if the timing of the signing of Harper were a relay race he believes the second runner has passed the baton to the third runner.

    He also said something else that I have known about Boras for many years and elaborated on at some length on this thread a couple of days ago. Boras is ruthless and always looks at things through long range binoculars. He indicated that in his experience dealing with major league teams they are notoriously cavalier in Nov/Dec/Jan before getting a bit panicky in February when spring training is starting and the season is only weeks away.

    While we assume [and somewhat justifiably so] that a Harper to Phillie union seems completely logical I don’t think Boras believes that at all. I think he still feels that a team that has thus far been uninterested in pursuing Harper will emerge in February [ see Yankees].

    I was telling someone yesterday that I am almost completely agnostic about the eventual signing of either Machado or Harper [one day I think its inevitable, the next day less so] but I still think Hinkie’s Thesis is the most logical one and that in the end the wait will have been worth it.

    1. Good post, CD. I have reached the point of resignation that one or the other will be signed when they sign. What hasn’t changed is that one or both players go through the Phillies as the “archway of free agency 2019” before ultimately signing.

  83. To further elaborate on what I have been saying about Boras, there is a guy on another Phillie site with the online name of 702. Now I don’t know him but he is apparently connected to Harper in some way and has lots of credibility on this site, a site not easily influenced or swayed by supposed “insiders.” I sense that when 702 speaks he speaks the truth has he has heard it.

    Today he wrote that Harper and his family have been prepared to come to Philadelphia since the day they met in LV, that was how impressed they were with Middleton and Co. He said nothing has changed in that regard but indicated the reason it hasn’t yet happened, and this is a direct quote…”Boras being Boras.”

    I believe this. There is no other agent I can think of who seems to have so much power over his clients, its almost nonsensical. And if/when the client doesn’t approve of this, like the Alomars, they inevitably fire Boras. No less than Jayson Stark wrote several times that everything he had heard was that more than once JD Drew wanted to end his holdout and sign with the Phillies, especially before spring training in 1998. Yet Boras was able to convince him to hang tight and once the season started and the June Amateur Draft of 2018 was right around the corner, Drew had little reason to sign.

    I am convinced Boras is determined to wait till Machado signs, he simply will not take a chance of A] Machado getting more money or B] not milking the Phils or any other team of every last dollar, with the assumption that the last player to sign will have the advantage of being the last man standing on the top of the hill.

  84. Per MLBTR – Nationals still in the Harper race:

    “In another Inbox, Jamal Collier writes that the Nationals are still in the mix for Bryce Harper and takes his best guess at how the organization will ultimately act with regards to Harper and third baseman Anthony Rendon.”

  85. Are we certain in all of this that our “best” offer has been made? Boras is a terrific agent, most of the time, but Middleton is not a dope. At some point Middleton has to say “let’s make this happen, what will it take to sign today”, and that will be the day that it happens. It makes no sense that our best offer is out there when there is no one we are bidding against, except for an alleged $300M offer at the end of the season. I have no doubt that we will go higher than the Stanton offer, but why offer it until the time comes that he will sign it?

    1. My fear is that the Phillies mess around and try to play that game and Harper says eh I’ll just take a one year deal and try again next year. He will be 27, it’s not like he’s risking a ton.

      1. Little evidence that next year’s market will be any better than this year or the market from last year when JD waited until February before finally taking the Red Sox offer.

        Whether via secret verbal agreement (which I don’t buy) or simply because of a better understanding of metrics and contract history, teams have changed their approach on spending big $$ on long-term contracts.

        Taking a 1 year deal offers almost no upside but does come with risks, including injury or poor performance.

        1. As baseball has morphed from former players being GMs to now more and more college- educated never a MLB player analytic person being GMs….the long term along with the big money contracts may be slowly becoming a thing of the past.
          Billy Beane and Jerry Dipoto may be the two exceptions as former players who quickly adhered to the fiscal restraint system..though have to think Arte Moreno decided to pull the strings on the Hamilton/Pujols deals from the past..

          1. It’s only a temporary issue as it relates to an unwillingness (perhaps collusion?) to not award larger contracts. As long as the players are getting their fair share of revenues, it’s either give out some large contracts or increase the average salaries of all other players. Mathematically it has to work that way. But if the players share continues to decline, and players aren’t getting paid appropriately, the next CBA is likely going to get ugly. So this imbalance is likely only going to last another year or two before the players revolt.

      2. You can put that fear to bed. A 1 year deal when the likelyhood of at least a 5-6 year deal is considered low, would be a major risk for Harper. It would seem more likely he’s do a 5-6 year deal at a high AAV with an early opt out then a 1 year deal. A down year by Harper would hurt his salary much more than an up year. Plus, always the risky of injury.

        I wouldn’t waste my energy on that kinda thinking. Worry about how many wins they are going to Have with .Harper in the lineup!

    2. Yes I would agree that the Phillies are not competing against another team’s offer but rather Boras’ demands for a record setting contract. Could also be true with Lozano and Machade as well, to a lesser degree.

      1. Scott Lauber just tweeted a good point, comparing last year’s Boston/JDM stare down with that of the Phillies/Harper. The Phillies know they are the only legit player for Bryce and may wait like Boston did for Martinez until late Feb. Hope not, but all this other gobbledygook about other suitors is nothing but a boreass to the waiting fanbase.

  86. Bryce Harper or Manny Machado will not take a one year deal. They are each going to sign with the team that offers them the most guaranteed money.
    I’ll say it again. John Middleton, Andy MacPhail, and Matt Klentak have been planning for this FA class for three years by manipulating their payrolls. Middleton was serious when he proclaimed he was ready to spend stupid money. All the other clubs with any financial clout are more opportunistic shoppers this winter. If the Phillies had/have to spend 400 million dollars to get their “face of the franchise” superstar FA they would/will do it. If it only takes 300 million (or even less), they’ll wait out Harper/Machado and pay that. The bottom line is, the Phillies are signing Harper or Machado (my gut says Harper).

    1. Here’s a story from the Washington Post today.
      A couple of highlights:

      * Harper will be funneled to Philadelphia, where I doubt that he longs to play, for less than the $300-million 10-year offer from the Nationals that he rejected in September. He’ll end up with the Phillies because no other team in MLB will make him a competitive offer.

      * The Nats? Some beg them to bid. I hope they do if they can find a spot — consistent with their long-term roster-building needs — to jump into the market as Harper’s price falls. But do we think any team — especially a club that has said Harper probably won’t be back, that they’ve moved on, but they plan a nice video tribute when he returns with a new team — will be such an outlier?

      * The Phillies, without doubt, would offer Harper a good deal of money. They want him. They’ve sweet-talked him for hours in Vegas. They’ve bragged about the “stupid” amount of money they’d offer him. But why should they make an opening bid when there are no other active bidders — out of 29 other teams.

        1. The Nats want to keep the more offensively consistent and the third base defensive specialist Rendon it would appear.

          1. Washington has outfield options that they can use to replace Harper but they don’t have a 3B candidate that can replace Rendon. I expect that the Nationals made their choice a long time ago between Harper/Rendon and decided on Rendon.

            The supposed 10-year, $300 million offer was a PR move that I doubt was actually made..

            1. Yeah.
              Last three years.
              Rendon 14bWAR player
              Harper 7.5bWAR player.
              I think Rizzo knows what he is doing.

        2. We might as well call this the phantom market. It’s visible only to the gullible and fodder for trolls.

          1. Rhys is watching the Boras strategic maneuvering closely I am sure.
            Rhys will hit the FA market entering his age31 season, not 26 like Harper….and as a first baseman.
            He then may want to take the Phillies up on an offer to buy out his last arb years of ’21 thru ’23 and go beyond for a few more years if the team makes the offer after 2020.
            Boras….normally does not like to do that.
            Will be interesting to see how that all transpires.

        1. I actually agree with you 🙂
          they have the funds and have a lot of potential coming up the pike.

        2. WHHYYYYYY do I still want Manny so much more???!!! Padres pursuing Manny–damn, that means another competitor for the Phillies and I don’t like it. Dodgers sign Pollock–damn, that means they are probably out on Harper and I don’t like it. I still just think Manny is going be more productive over the course of 8 years or so than Harper.

    1. The NL East would be nasty if so. Should be 1 division leader and 2 WC coming out of the NL East, but won’t because all the teams will beat up
      On each other. The division winner will be who whoops the Marlins the most

        1. Yes, very hopeful that neither of these two land on the rosters of the Braves,Mutts, or nationals.
          Would be fine if the Marlins picked up one lol

          Really, I have to wonder if the Phillies do sign harper over Marhado, if it will weaken the Nats. People assume Rendon will resign with the Nats, but he could test the market as well, along with the Rockies star. The Nats could lose two decent bats, sure they have some minors coming but nothings guaranteed. Will be interesting to watch that develop from afar as well

      1. Anthopoulos already said in so many words that they aren’t in the market for Kimbrel so they sure as hell aren’t in the market for a bigger fish like Harper. C’mon.

        1. Kimbrel and Harper/Manny are wayyyy different of fishes. Kimbrel is post 30 and declining. The other two are in their prime.

  87. Pads and dodgers are both in advanced talks with Miami for Realmuto.

    Padres are a threat for the two big superstars IMO. They have money to spend (low payroll), a desirable city, and a young up and coming core.

    Phillies Plan B Pollock is off the board. The more they play this cat and mouse game, the more back up plans that fall off the board. Phillies have the supposed financial advantage. IMO they should have made an offer that one of the guys couldn’t refuse. I know this opinion differs than compared to most but this just feels like it’s going to backfire on the Phillies

    1. I think Padres will have to blow away the competition in guaranteed long term money. You are going to play 81 games in San Diego plus another 19 in San Fran & LA. That’s 100 out of 162 games under the highest state taxes in the country.

  88. There are three moves yet to be made by the Phillies this off season due mainly to the FA market gaper delay:

    1. Sign Harper. I believe its a foregone conclusion on both sides, only a matter of how it all goes down, how many years/how much money, staging, official announcement in line with Harper’s MLB The Show deal. Frankly, it matters little to me where Machado lands at this point. He can have SD or CWS. Good luck…

    2. Settle 3B. I’m not certain Moustakas will be the guy. He’s my best bet. The Phillies can overpay him enough to outbid anyone else. Statistically speaking, Franco and Moose are identical, I grant you, but the latter gives you balance in the lineup with his lefty power and stable glove work. Maikel may provide more value in a trade for….

    3. Acquiring a LHP. Either a swing man like Matt Strahm or Mike Minor. A FA agent like Keuchel is quite possible and welcome provided he takes an Arrieta type deal to come here.

    I see no need and have no desire to see the Phillies sign Kimbrel. If they do – at their price – so be it. The bullpen will have then raised its bar.

    18 days to pitchers and catchers! GO PHILLIES AND LET’S GET THIS DONE WITH!

    1. I also have a strong feeling that Moose would quickly become a fan favorite here, even more so than Bryce.

      1. 8mark – I agree that the Phillies need to get this done soon. Depending on who they sign, there will be trades to shed excess salary. Klentak will be wheeling and dealing aging bullpen pieces, an outfielder or two, and a couple of infielders. Unless Knapp turned in jaw-dropping performances in winter ball (I have no idea), we can’t go into the season with him as a back up. At this point, the Phillies have the least settled line up in baseball. They need to move on one of the big fish by the end of this month.

        1. Time is running out on this prediction…today would be the day for Bryce harper
          Jan 17
          Just saw Gabe kapler at a restaurant, asked him about Bryce Harper and he said this, “He’ll be in a Phillies Uniform by next week” #phillies #harper

          1. FWIW, also saw a tweet yesterday from some Joe bagodonuts saying within 36 hours, Harper would be a Phillie. Somebody will eventually be right.

            1. Damn… doesn’t he know …” if it’s frying, your dying” food rule 🙂 thought he was a health nut…. you slipping Kapler!!!

              Nice feedback Romus, hope your info is the one to break the news lol. Could lead to a regular gig for you.

              I would’ve asked him about batting the pitcher 8th … I know he’s going to do it at least 30 times this season

  89. Anyone on here ever frequent while that crazy guy used to comment and make different user handles and would mimkick others? At one point he was arrested and jailed because of hacking into Phillies servers or something like that?

    He used to go on and on about Maitan and how the Phillies should sign him because he was the next big thing blah blah blah. Just saw an article where it talked about each teams overrated prospect (ours was Ortiz) and Maitan was on there for LAA basically saying he went from elite prospect to fringe.

    That guy was wrong about many of things but our lesson here is that all prospects don’t always pan out so I would love to see Klentak start trading some for a TOR arm and/or another bat.

    1. He was wrong about many things he wasted so much of his life posting away about, specifically Middleton. Actually, overwhelming about Middleton. He was all about Moncada too, which from his praise will undoubtedly never reach that level of expectations set.

      He is pretty easy to detect too, he is currently posting under Mlbtraderumors with a few handles. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was “trolling” here either 🙂

      1. I haven’t joined MLBTR. What’s his name on there?
        Ah yes, the Moncado obsession. Forgot about that.

        Do you think the Realmuto trade is the next thing to hold up signings?

        If Phillies were to sign Harper or Manny, I think Harper is better fit because Franco’s market is shrinking.

        FWIW – Kuechel could be headed back to the Stros. There’s another potential FA signing gone. It’s not set in stone but Astros said the door wasn’t closed.

        1. Troll – I think that Manny has reached his ceiling, and should maintain it for at least 6 more years. I don’t believe that Harper has reached his ceiling yet. He should have several years at 50 Homers.
          FWIW – Kuechel projects to be the same pitcher that Arrieta was last year.

        2. He has posted as Scott Rolen and Probably “Casey” to name a few.

          I hope he gets help, seems like he really really needs it.

          1. On he is now….. Oscar Yeager:
            From a wqeek ago:
            “There’s still a chance for a solid regular here, with fringe-to-average offense and defense in center field, and his age vs. level masks his ability a bit, but we’d like to see what changes are made in 2019 before totally buying in.” – Fangraphs on Moniak in report on Phillies system
            Would have been better to mention that Moniak’s favorite player is Bryce Harper (what we were told on draft day).
            Remember Bryce Harper? Remember Manny Machado’s visit?
            What happened to all that “Stupid Money” for signing BOTH Harper and Machado?
            Moniak is rated as the Phillies eleventh best prospect. Remember Enyel De Los Santos, the pitcher the Phillies got for Freddie Galvis? Enyel De Los Santos is the eighth best Phillies prospect.
            Nothing is coming from down there. Manny Machado. Bryce Harper. Give them both the stupid money.

  90. There is not a chance that the Padres outbid us. If they get one of the 2 it is because we chose not to bid or the player took less $. Same with any of the other “mystery” teams. And that goes for Washington and the Yankees. Neither would go to $40 Million a season and we could. So, if we don’t get one, it is because they took less or we chose not to bid.

    1. Matt is right. San Diego is one of MLB’s smallest markets. They don’t have the financial might to compete with the Phillies (or White Sox). If the Padres get Manny Machado (and that’s probably not going to happen), it will be because the Phillies (and White Sox) prefer Bryce Harper.
      IMO, it’s looking like Manny to the CWS. Harper to the Phillies.

  91. Interesting dynamic starting to form. The extreme wait is now being to turn the tables imo, not of where they stars will land, but the actually money they’ll get. As the wait goes on, the market has increased for MM. Well at least altered from NYY,PHI,CWS to CWS,PHI,&SD. Hopefully it pushes the signings, but I feel both are prepared to wait out the offer into ST, and possibly further. The longer that wait is, the more leverage the stars&agents get imo. The Phillies will still land who they want imo, theyll just start having to weigh the opportunity cost of getting the full value of their signing – in terms of ticket sales, production from a limited ST, fan base turning etc. no one wants to have a whimper in terms of ticket sales after signing a star to such a large deal, and then have that “star” have a poop 2
    Months into the season from missing ST. It will be a factor.

    Here’s hoping SD gets Realmuto, CWS lands Machado, Harper to Phillies. Spread the talent. MM to SD imo would prolong the Harper signing as Boras will wait for a similar scenario to open for Harper.

    1. Tac while I normally might agree with you the fact that there are two big free agents changes the dynamics. Especially paired with the fact that some of the potential suitors (even if it’s more of the agents propping teams up) are taking themselves out of the market for these players like the dodgers just did. The bottom line is the Phillies can and/or have made the top offers to both players and everybody knows it so what incentive do the phils actually have to increase their offers.

      1. Phils will still have that leverage, just they’ll get squeezed for another 15-20mil over the life of the contract, to just get it done. The incentive will be to get the star into ST, ready for the season, sell more tickets, get the merch going etc. it’s opportunity cost vs gettting the best possible deal from the teams perspective. Nothing earth shattering. I just really hope mm doesn’t sign with SD, if so I think it makes Boras play the waiting game even longer … like say if a major injury happens to a certain playoff team it could change the dynamics but not likely

  92. Man, things are so quiet for us. It’s very hard to just keep waiting but the agents are counting on fan unrest to drive the teams to raise their bids. It won’t happen.

    1. The agents are counting on fan unrest to drive up contract values for free agents? C’mon. That seems pretty lame, and I’m rather skeptical the agents would be that naive.

  93. Living in South Orange County, it sure seems like I am in the Perfect Storm area [Boras to the North, Padres to the South] to at least add some conjectures to what is going on right now. I won’t delve much more into the Boras Factor, I believe I have more than given my 2 cents on his objectives/plans but I will say that I can’t help but believe the Padres offer was leaked by Machado’s agent because he wants to get the ball rolling with the White Sox or Phillies.

    I doubt the Padres leaked the news unless they are trying to drum up fan interest but if that was their goal, it seems to have backfired, the Padre fans have mostly been negative about bringing in Machado. Another reason they might have leaked the info is to possibly convince Realmuto, a guy they are trying to trade for but only under a longer contract extension, to buy into their long term ideas. Lets face it, right now Realmuto is probably going to either San Diego or Los Angeles and if you were he, which team would you choose? I thought so.

    Bottom line…lots of moving part, right now and remember what Boras said this week, its February when teams, players and agents get serious. I am sure Lozano feels the same way. Next week is February, spring training is in less than 2 weeks and I have to believe that Machado and Harper would like to bond with their new teammates for at least part of spring training.

    I think things heat up next week and I would not be surprised if Machado signed with 10 days.

  94. The Marlins are not allowing teams to talk to Realmuto about an extension, so that makes it harder for the Padres than the Dodgers. I don’t really want him to go to the Padres because I want to trade Franco there. But, I don’t want the Dodgers getting better.

  95. I’d say SD interest is legit
    They’re working to arrange a meeting in Miami as they’d like to meet him before getting more involved

    1. So you’re very eager to post any publication of the Pads’ interest in Machado. How come you’re not posting any of the writers that have described them as, “longshots” to sign either super star?

      1. I hadn’t seen that article yet. Literally posted it as it came across my feed.

        Padres are a legit threat.
        Open payroll
        Strong farm
        GM ready to make some moves
        Desirable city

  96. TrollU…with all due respect, it sure seems like you are almost hoping the Phils don’t sign either of the mega stars, judging by your posts. The Padres are “considering” the possibility of setting up a meeting with Machado, which is much different that “working to arrange” a meeting. One is contemplation, the other is confirmation. Big difference.

    Look, I live 60 miles from San Diego and go there often. The weather is fantastic, Sea World and Wild Animal Park are great, the Gaslamp District is fun.

    But sports wise??? They have no basketball team, they lost their professional football team and there are as many Dodger fans in San Diego as there are Padre fans. Now, and this is a very real possibility…maybe Machado really doesn’t like the big city lights of a team in a major market, his performance in LA was not nearly as good as his performance in Baltimore. And he did very poorly in the biggest lights of the world series.

    So, if he is looking for another Baltimore, the Padres are his team. He would likely become a perennial All-Star since SD has to have at least one representative and MM would be their biggest star. But the Padres are always going to be the 3rd most popular National League team in California, behind the Dodgers and Giants and it just seems to me that he would aspire to more than that.

    Still, Hinkie as always insisted that in the end, this won’t be about brother in laws, best friends, father figures as coaches or even loyalty to our nations capital. The only Founding Father these guys are likely to care about is Benjamin Franklin, the green one.

    So perhaps the Padres will outbid Philadelphia, Chicago, New York and Mr. Mystery Team. But I doubt it.

    1. AJ Preller wants to make a big cannonball splash in the GM pool’s deep end, in the worst way.
      I think he is running out of patience.

      1. With all due respect, just because Hinkie insists it’ll happen, it doesn’t mean it’ll happen. His argument has been about the Phillies having the most money. I haven’t seen substantial evidence that the Phillies WILL sign one. It’s been a suggestion. No offense to Hinkie at all.

        I’m offended by your post. Sure I’d love for the Phillies to sign one of them but I’m not going to have false hope and keep saying yes the Phillies will sign them because they have the most money.

        San Diego is like LA…a desirable city. San Diego has one of the top farms and a GM who is ready to make a splash.

        People give their reasons why phillies but I just don’t agree. I haven’t seen anything besides the Phillies pocketbooks that say a signing will happen.

        I love the Phillies move so far but I fear this thing about the Phillies waiting it out, could be a bad thing for the club.

        I wish nothing but success and championships for this team and I want a superstar to play alongside Hoskins and Co but if the Phillies money ruled, Boras would’ve already given Harper the green light. They’re holding out for a more desirable situation IMO.

      2. Romus – AJ Preller – is like a rap singer who has a hit ………………………..waits 3 years and bets the ranch on another gritty single. The man is simply manic – see history. If he wants MM – he will likely sell the SD zoo to get him – or make every attempt to do it. This is all about——, if you no one is really interested, we will pay Manny 30 million a year to live in the best place in America for 2 years while our farm system matures —- or whoops…… it doesn’t…..want to opt out at 3 years ?
        This is a farce…..SD doesn’t have the $$$$ firepower to play with the bog boys – despite the good weather and the homeless…..hope they are fans too….

        Your, move, TrollU….

  97. Supposedly Nick Williams has been working out and trying to improve.

    He showed some improvement last year. If he can build upon that, perhaps that adds several wins. Could also be a summer trade bait.

    1. Nick Williams can flat out hit….never mind the computers. He has a great quick swing……and he will be successful.

      1. Williams has some tools, but good hitting is a lot more than having a quick swing. Hopefully his plate discipline and pitch recognition will improve.

      2. Thanks for the constructive response, RU.
        It’s a sweet swing for sure.
        I was reading about his improvement in his stance that he hopes will lead to some improved results.

        1. I’ve always hated his stance. Too many parts to it. Hopefully his new stance is more simplified and he’s quicker to the ball. That should allow him to see breaking balls better. I really think Williams can hit. Give him 600 abs and watch him hit 30/90. I’ll take it.

    2. Wow, that’s great that Williams has been working out and “trying to improve”. Shouldn’t the entire roster be on that same program?

      1. What’s your point? Its a discussion board. There was an article about Williams. Im discussing it

  98. My only concern with this market’s holding pattern is how and when 3B will be settled. Franco’s trade market is limited but very real. The longer the Phillies wait to sign Harper, which is directly related to the Machado/Moustakas option for 3B, the musical chair effect could impact their ability to move Franco. I realize that trading Franco before the big signing wouldn’t benefit them in terms of leverage in dealing with other parties who of course are aware of their intentions and need at 3B. So, the Harper situation IMO is an urgent one regardless of how the brass postures themselves.

    1. Agreeing here. One point though – Franco’s market dwindled a little bit when the Rangers signed Cabrera. Perhaps their interest rekindles during the season.
      I think the big domino is Machado as well. If he goes Padres, Phillies more than likely keep Franco and Mous is out another suitor. If Manny goes ChiSox, market opens for Franco and Mous.
      With Franco, I’d only seen interest from Padres and Rangers.

    2. They can’t trade Franco unless they sign one of Macgafo or Mous. They can’t “assume” they’ll sign one of them. You’re right, the price would jump up.

    3. They can’t trade Franco unless they sign one of Machado or Mous. They can’t “assume” they’ll sign one of them. You’re right, the price would jump up.

  99. No offense guys, but we know nothing. The only thing that we do know is that the Phillies have been shedding high salaries, and signing placeholders while waiting for this particular offseason. It’s incredible to me that some people think they will pass, or miss the boat on Machado and Harper.
    The day after the season ended the front office got together and decided on where the team needed the most upgrades. Segura, and McCutchen are significant upgrades to the starting lineup. In the bullpen, Alvarez, Robertson, and Pazos represent a significant upgrade in the bullpen.
    Here’s where we get into the gray area. Maybe the Phillies decided that Corbin was the only starter who would improve the rotation. The only alternatives now are lateral moves. For the most part, the starting pitching was pretty good last year. The bullpen blew 20 holds or saves, and the offense went into the toilet in the last 2 months. I’d be surprised if the Phillies acquired another pitcher, but if they do, the best remaining choice is Robbie Ray.
    Every other possible move is predicated on the signing of Harper, Machado, or both. Obviously, Harper and Machado are significant upgrades, and would make Franco, Altherr, and possibly Williams expendable. Contrary to what we believe in Philly, Franco would be an upgrade for about 10 teams at 3B. What rebuilding team wouldn’t take a chance on Williams, and even Altherr could be a cheap placeholder for a team that’s rebuilding?
    As the waiting game continues the only move that the Phillies can, and should make, is for a back up catcher. Can we forget about Realmuto? The Phillies, who tell us nothing, have repeatedly said that Alfaro is their guy. Believe it! We need a back up a) who will accept the fact that he’ll only start about 30 games, b) be a productive member of our bench, and c) teach Alfaro the tricks of the trade. My choice is A J Ellis.

    1. Wawa Mike……”Franco would be an upgrade for about 10 teams at 3B”….not sure about that with 10 teams.
      Other than the Padres, Mets, and maybe the Angels or DBacks (Jake Lamb)….who else needs a 3B?
      Look at the list below …..all the teams are pretty much set o they have a minor league prospect ready and cheap to come on up.
      …… Jose Ramirez, Indians….Alex Bregman, Astros….Matt Chapman, As….Anthony Rendon, Nats…..Nolan Arenado, ROX….Matt Carpenter, Cards….Eugenio Suarez, Reds….Travis Shaw, Brewers….Brian Anderson, Marlins….Johan Camargo, Braves…..Jurickson Profar or Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Rangers…..Miguel Andujar, Yanks….Jeimer Candelario, Tigers….Matt Duffy, Rays….Yolmer Sanchez, WSox
      Kyle Seager, Ms….Evan Longoria, Giants…..Yangervis Solarte or Vlad G. Jr, Jays….Devers, Boston…….Bryant, Cubs…..Colin Moran, Pirates…….Turner, Dodgers

      Then there is Moustakas still sitting out there.
      The market for a Franco, IMO, is very limited.

      1. Also I forgot Os and Royals, to add to the Padres, Mets, DBacks and Angels…..who may be able to use Franco at third.
        So any of those six could be a landing spot for Franco if Klentak decides to move him.

        1. Yes……but still what value can you get in return, and there are only few of those teams out there who need a third basemen.
          Crossing off the Mets…because of the in division fear…..five teams basically.
          Now you have to get them to buy off on Franco at the price they want to give if some level of persuasion is needed to move him..

          1. Romus … For me, if/when Franco is traded, it will be to either the Padres or Rangers. Texas dealt Jurikson Profar to the A’s about a month ago. Isiah Kiner-Falefa is mostly a utility player. And Asdrubal Cabrera is not an every day 3Bman. Franco for Mike Minor has been rumored. Of course, I’ve been on record as begging for a swap of Franco to SD for Matt Strahm.

            1. Willing to give up Franco for a guy with only 63 innings of Major League experience? I know you’ve been beating the Strahm drum non-stop here, and I don’t doubt that he would be a good addition, but man I’d still have to think Franco could fetch more than that

            2. raltongo … IMO, the best deals are made when you can recognize a talented young player before he starts putting it all together on the field. For me, that’s Strahm. A year ago, I proposed trading Sixto Sanchez and a couple of other top prospects for Blake Snell. A year later, and Tampa wouldn’t even consider that.
              For me, Matt Strahm is just about to break out.
              The other LHP I’d love to see the Phillies get in on the ground floor for is Tampa’s Jose Alvarado. I’ve mentioned a Zach Eflin swap for Alvarado. Most other posters have thought that would be nuts, but I’d definitely do that.

  100. Mike I am all in on AJ Ellis, who is another “good clubhouse guy.” If Machado gors to the WSpx, I see Moise to SD. I still think he is an upgrade over Franco. Regardless of Machado/Harper I find it hard to believe we haven’t done more trading.

    1. I really don’t see Moustakas as a clear upgrade over Franco, though. It really is a coin flip as to who is going to have the more productive season in 2019 and beyond, in my opinion. Sure, Mous has consistency on his side and provides a bit of balance to a right-heavy lineup, but Franco’s got age and upside–especially if you’re like me and think 2018 was an encouraging sign of Franco’s growth as a hitter rather than an outlier year. So, I’m not super concerned with trading him out unless Machado comes on board.

  101. I can live with franco at 3rd base. he’ll probably be 6 or 7 in lineup so I don’t see an urgency there though id prefer signing moose and trading franco. the bigger issue is do they then pursue kuechal and or Kimbrel and back up catcher

  102. Can you hear it now?….

    Dan Baker: “Now batting, #34 (…though some think #28 since VV took #21, his old pal JDub wore 28, or Doc’s 34 might be retired though I doubt it…) leftfielder Bryce Harper.”

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