Open Discussion: Week of February 4, 2019

Nine days until pitchers and catchers take to the fields at the Carpenter Complex February 13th).  Fourteen days until the first full workout (February 18th).

Sorry about the false alarm last week.  I and my sources feel a little embarrassed about that.  We don’t know what didn’t happen, an announcement could still happen, but we think we were a little to hopeful that the free agency stalemate would end, and put too much stock in the wrong leads.

I still expect the first announcement of a deal to come from the signing city’s beat writers.  Along with some other things. I mistook he relative quiet leading up to my post to be a sign that something was imminent.  My bad.  I suggest we watch our local beat writers.  They will get the news before everyone, even the national guys.

Think about that.  How many times do you see Rosenthal and Heyman announce a deal or trade without giving credit to the local guy who broke the story.

The Top Thirty will continue tomorrow.  I didn’t want to post the next poll on Friday and leave it open for two days as I had been this year.  That was an invitation earlier for ballot box stuffing.  We have just three polls remaining.  I wanted to continue when there were no other posts.  Monday night seems good to me.

I’m also starting a weekly draft discussion.  You guys can start posting video and scouting reports there on the guys you like in the upcoming draft.  I don’t have anything to offer to these discussions, so the lead each week will be very vanilla.  I count on you guys to steer the commentary.

Just one transaction this week, although the Phillies haven’t announced it yet.  They signed Jhongel Malaver as an international free agent out of the Roberto Vahlis Academy in Venezuela.  He is a 6’1, 159 pound RHP.  He is an 18-year-old who was born on January 27, 2001.  In the Venezuelan Winter League, he posted a 1.17 ERA and 1-0 record in five appearances and 7.2 innings.  He walked six, struck out ten, and had a 1.17 WHIP.

The 40-man roster stands at 39, the entire organization stands at 358.  Even with ten rosters to fill, there are too many players in the organization.  Don’t forget that there are 34 players on future services contracts who have to be added to rosters this season and invited to spring training (for a minimum of two weeks).  I think spring training at the Dominican Academy counts.

In previous years, the Phillies announced releases the week before Christmas and by the second week of January.  Other teams are beginning to release players, mostly from their Dominican Summer League teams.  Of course, maybe the Phillies think they can manage 357 players.  But, geez, their GCL East and West teams and their DSL Red and White teams have full 35-man rosters AND the 34 future contract guys still have to be placed.

There should no longer any stigma to being left back in XST.  Josh Tols began the season in XST and ended the season in Reading.  He even started a game on September 3rd.  (He went 4.0 one-hit innings, allowing a single run, walking one, and striking out five.

Daily participation remains consistent among the early reports in Clearwater.  Alec Bohm was the first player to arrive.  Odubel Herrera and Jesus Alvarez were the first roster guys to report.  We also have position players Andrew McCutchen, Carlos De La Cruz, Raul Rivas, Nick Matera, and Jose Tortolero; and pitchers Drew Anderson, Nick Pivetta, Kyle Young, Ben Brown, Adam Cox, Tyler McKay, Seth McGarry, and Sandro Rosario.  Rivas is taking part in all but BP.  All pitchers have begun throwing from the mound except Rosario who is rehabbing from TJ, but is throwing on flat ground.  A few other guys are in town for rehab, but they report to the Complex in the afternoon and haven’t done any outside work, yet.

Former Phillies’ prospect Cord Sandberg and Haley Gray were married over the weekend.  Among his groomsmen were former teammates Rhys Hoskins, Drew Stankiewicz, and Derek Campbell.  Have a great life together, Haley and Cord!

Friday, I tweeted that Gabe Kapler joined the players and coaches in Clearwater.  Coincidentally, several pitchers took ground balls at second and short.  Here’s 7’1, left-handed Kyle young getting ready to field a ball at shortstop.

Embedded video

And here’s the continuation of the still photo.

And finally, it was only February 1st, but the sound of the ball coming off the bat of Odubel Herrera  was the sweetest I’ve heard.  He teed off on a LOT of pitches.  Hard.  Loud.  Solid.  Not the the usual thwack I hear during BP.  Maybe he was showing off for Gabe.

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)
1/31/2019 – Phillies signed international free agent RHP Jhongel Malaver, assigned to GCL West
1/25/2019 – Seth McGarry transferred from Lehigh Valley to Reading
1/25/2019 – Nerluis Martinez transferred from Lakewood to Williamsport
1/25/2019 – Francisco Morales transferred from Williamsport to Lakewood
1/25/2019 – Ben Pelletier transferred from Williamsport to Lakewood
1/25/2019 – Edwin Rodriguez transferred from Williamsport to Lakewood
1/25/2019 – Austin Ross transferred from Williamsport to Lakewood
1/25/2019 – Victor Santos transferred from Williamsport to Lakewood
1/25/2019 – Manuel Silva transferred from Williamsport to Lakewood
1/25/2019 – D.J. Stewart transferred from Williamsport to Lakewood
1/24/2019 – Aaron Brown transferred from Lehigh Valley to Reading
1/24/2019 – Bailey Falter transferred from Clearwater to Reading
1/24/2019 – Jonathan Hennigan transferred from Clearwater to Reading
1/24/2019 – Jakob Hernandez transferred from Clearwater to Reading
1/24/2019 – Kevin Markham transferred from Clearwater to Reading
1/24/2019 – Kyle Martin transferred from Clearwater to Reading
1/24/2019 – David Parkinson transferred from Clearwater to Reading
1/24/2019 – Ramon Rosso transferred from Clearwater to Reading
1/24/2019 – Addison Russ transferred from Clearwater to Reading
1/24/2019 – Ben Aklinski transferred from Williamsport to Lakewood
1/24/2019 – Keudy Bocio transferred from Williamsport to Lakewood
1/24/2019 – Tyler Carr transferred from Williamsport to Lakewood
1/24/2019 – Jonathan Guzman transferred from Williamsport to Lakewood
1/24/2019 – Jake Holmes transferred from Williamsport to Lakewood
1/24/2019 – Jose Jimenez transferred from Williamsport to Lakewood
1/24/2019 – Seth Lancaster transferred from Williamsport to Lakewood
1/24/2019 – Ethan Lindow transferred from Williamsport to Lakewood
1/24/2019 – Nerluis Martinez transferred from Williamsport to Lakewood
1/24/2019 – Robinson Martinez transferred from Williamsport to Lakewood
1/24/2019 – Danny Mayer transferred from Williamsport to Lakewood
1/24/2019 – Jhordany Mezquita transferred from Williamsport to Lakewood
1/23/2019 – Gregori Rivero transferred from Lehigh Valley to Lakewood
1/23/2019 – Garrett Cleavinger transferred from Reading to Clearwater
1/23/2019 – Jose Gomez transferred from Reading to Clearwater
1/23/2019 – Adam Haseley transferred from Reading to Lehigh Valley
1/23/2019 – Will Hibbs transferred from Reading to Clearwater
1/23/2019 – Cole Irvin transferred from Reading to Lehigh Valley
1/23/2019 – Blake Quinn transferred from Reading to Clearwater
1/23/2019 – Alejandro Requena transferred from Reading to Clearwater
1/23/2019 – JoJo Romero transferred from Reading to Lehigh Valley
1/23/2019 – Jeff Singer transferred from Reading to Lehigh Valley
1/23/2019 – Josh Tols transferred from Reading to Lehigh Valley
1/23/2019 – Connor Brogdon transferred from Lakewood to Clearwater
1/23/2019 – Andrew Brown transferred from Lakewood to Clearwater
1/23/2019 – Tyler Fallwell transferred from Lakewood to Clearwater
1/23/2019 – Colby Fitch transferred from Lakewood to Clearwater
1/23/2019 – Julian Garcia transferred from Lakewood to Clearwater
1/23/2019 – Dalton Guthrie transferred from Lakewood to Clearwater
1/23/2019 – Spencer Howard transferred from Lakewood to Clearwater
1/23/2019 – Damon Jones transferred from Lakewood to Clearwater
1/23/2019 – Keylan Killgore transferred from Lakewood to Clearwater
1/23/2019 – Oscar Marcelino transferred from Lakewood to Williamsport
1/23/2019 – Simon Muzziotti transferred from Lakewood to Clearwater
1/23/2019 – Lenin Rodriguez transferred from Lakewood to Williamsport
1/23/2019 – Sandro Rosario transferred from Lakewood to Williamsport
1/23/2019 – Victor Sobil transferred from Lakewood to Williamsport
1/23/2019 – Josh Stephen transferred from Lakewood to Clearwater
1/23/2019 – Will Stewart transferred from Lakewood to Clearwater
1/23/2019 – Matt Vierling transferred from Lakewood to Clearwater
1/23/2019 – Zach Warren transferred from Lakewood to Clearwater
1/23/2019 – Kyle Young transferred from Lakewood to Clearwater
1/21/2019 – Lenin Rodriguez transferred from Lehigh Valley to Lakewood
1/21/2019 – Sandro Rosario transferred from Lehigh Valley to Lakewood
1/21/2019 – Victor Sobil transferred from Lehigh Valley to Lakewood
1/15/2019 – Jesus Alastre transferred from Lehigh Valley to Clearwater
1/15/2019 – Randy Alcantara transferred from Lehigh Valley to Lakewood
1/15/2019 – Jose Antequera transferred from Lehigh Valley to Reading
1/15/2019 – Gustavo Armas transferred from Lehigh Valley to Clearwater
1/15/2019 – Ismael Cabrera transferred from Lehigh Valley to Clearwater
1/15/2019 – Luis Carrasco transferred from Lehigh Valley to Clearwater
1/15/2019 – Luis Cedeno transferred from Lehigh Valley to Clearwater
1/15/2019 – Jesus Henriquez transferred from Lehigh Valley to Lakewood
1/15/2019 –  CF Lane Adams assigned Lehigh Valley
1/14/19 – Phillies signed FA OF Lane Adams to an MiLB contract w/ST invite
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

877 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of February 4, 2019

  1. I was wondering about what regimens or programs the Phillies have towards strength and flexibility. I remember this being a big thing some years ago with the goal of reducing soft muscle injuries as well as muscle soreness. Of course maybe now it is less of a spigot-on thing with Spring training vs. maybe a ramp-up of the 365 days training schedule but still… Anyone know?

  2. This is very well written article on how the Phillies system used technology to turn around Mickey Moniak’s season (and maybe career) last year. Tl;dr they used a technology on his bat that measures several aspects of his swing, including on plane percentage. They found that his bat was not on the pitch plane long enough. This is often caused by players trying to hit home runs rather than hit line drives. They create more of an uppercut swing, which causes issues with contact. The good news is that he made the adjustment, and started hitting line drives. The open question is how this adjustment impacts his power potential, and thus his ceiling. But it is a very good article!

    https://theathletic.com/780870/2019/01/31/data-down-on-the-farm-how-a-minor-league-information-coordinator-works-with-players-in-the-phillies-system/

    1. Does he have to hit homeruns?……………….would you take a Rod Carew, .328 lifetime average, Hrs., 92 over 19 years, Avg less than 5 a year.

      1. yes jim…i would absolutely take Rod Carew’s career line for Mickey. of course, as a 21 yo Rod had a stat line of .292/.341/.409 in the majors and was an all-star.

    2. V1again,

      The good news, I believe, is that the two new hitting instructors hired from Driveline come from an environment that uses Blast Motion and Diamond Kinetics to collect and analyze swing data to help hitters understand – Attack Angle, Bat Speed, and
      Quickness.

  3. Nothing has changed. Phillies are still set to sign either BH or MM.

      1. But does anyone know what Harper is tweeting with “Loading…” late last evening after the less-than-Super Bowl?

        And the commercials were an all time bad, too. A Harper announcement would have easily been the best ad, even if it was for MLB The Show.

  4. And 19 days until we are sitting in the stands and watching baseball again. Can’t wait to hear the “crack of the bat” and watching Dylan Cozens hitting those longballs like Aaron Judge. Also his contract is a luttle lower than Harper’s this year.

    1. Denny…..you mentioned….DC “….He is working on getting his hands higher and being more aggressive on the pitch.”….i hope that means choking up with two strikes and just as they say, choke, stroke and poke. Tell him to get video on Cubs Rizzo and Reds Votto and see what they do.

  5. I have said to everyone who will listen that they will sign one, of course which player that is has changed multiple times. I have also said Harper signs after NBA trade deadline because media window will be completely open for business at that time.

  6. Jim mentioned (and correctly) to watch for the beat guys to spill the news. Normally I would think so too. But with the corporate tie in with MLB The Show, this may be the exception. Not quite as theatrical as LeBron’s “decision”, it is still theatrical because Boras is involved plus social media is ten times more pervasive than it was ten years ago.

    I say it happens by tomorrow at the latest.

    1. …I suggest this may be so also because the Phillies may have been asked to agree to seal any leaks until the official promotional announcement.

    2. Well fellas … one of us is going to be right soon enough … mentally we should be prepared for another 2 months of this shenanigans … anything sooner will be welcomed. Honestly I could see it dragging close to the season opener, don’t think it will but won’t be surprised

      I’m hoping you’re right 8mark, it makes sense that it could happen soon. SB hype is over, and to me the MLb has always avoided the nfl spotlight when it can … and Spring training is within 10days. Now, not that is a hard deadline, but I’m sure themplayers would like to get cracking in their new facility … or for Harper, start the road to the ws with the Nats. The team dishes out the dough would like the extra hype of the signing. Either way, logic says it SHOULD happen over the next few days… but common sense ain’t so common anymore.

  7. Kimberl can’t feel to good. I’m sure part of his market needs the big guys to sign first, have teams take a final look at their rosters, and to add more of a final piece to their playoff hopes like Kimberl.

    Even still, pretty usual for a talent like Kimberl to be unsigned this late … it’s pitching … his ASK would have to drop soon imo. I’m wondering if he could be added and if it would be smart on a 3 yr deal, 4 at max. I can’t see him getting 5 at this point. It’s crickets on his asking price so far … or rather the whole offseason

    1. Tac3……the talk is how these past two off-seasons have dragged on and on to the detriment of the players and baseball…I see one common denominator,,,,Scott Boras…the owners need to find a way to get him less involved, a more tactful way outside of collusion.

      1. If the players need any suggestions for representation other than Boras … I know just the person (whistling) Lol basically do it all day anyway. Hmmm could be a nice career transition away from cheap penny pinching purchasing managers

      2. I’m no fan of Boras but can’t pin the slow pace of signings over the last couple of years on him. I just think that the market is changing and the players haven’t yet come to realize it yet.

        With the end of the steroid era, players are no longer able to remain stars into the late 30’s and teams are reacting accordingly. Teams are not interested in giving long-term contracts to players that run into their mid to late 30’s anymore.

        1. good point. on top of that, it seems to me that the long contracts of the past were being handed out with the ENTERTAINMENT industry at the forefront: get the BIG star, excite the fanbase, and put butts in those seats. Yeah, after that we hope we can, you know, win baseball games, but let’s make sure we get that sexy name first. Now, however, advanced analytics have given us a better understanding how to calculate WINS, and teams have simultaneously started to come to the seemingly-obvious conclusion that WINNING puts butts in the seats, and the sexy name doesnt necessarily lead to this outcome (think Pujols, Cano…). yes, teams of course still want these stars, of course, but i think it’s finally taking a back seat to the other avenues of building an entertaining team.

  8. I’m not worried about either of Harper and Machado. They will choose a team and I’m still optimistic (as it was since Day 1 of the offseason) that the Phillies will land one (if not both) superstar that most expect (and I predicted).

    As Jim P. mentioned, the Phillies have a lot of players and some of these players (i think both majors and minors) will have to go. While I knack Klentak for lack of creativity in flipping some of the expendable players, Klentak has been good in converting “spare parts” for IFA.

    The majors team currently stand at 39 —- preferably, I like the Phillies to sign both Harper and Machado and acquire another SP. The 40-man should not be a deterrent since the Phillies have a bunch of fungible players in the roster. If Harper is signed, one (or two) of Nick-Doobie and Altherr will probably have to go. If Machado is signed, Franco and Walding will be gone.

    The tricky part is the rotation arm since the Phillies have a stack of young arms that needs to see MLB experience and have nothing to prove in AAA anymore – Nola, Arrieta and Pivetta appears to be lock as 1-2-3 and Vinny-Eick-Eflin-Enyel will fight for the last rotation spot is a SP is acquired.

    The FA current market in the past few years appears to dictate that GMs value young and cost controlled players a lot as this them flexibility in their roster construction. This should fall into Klentak hands since Vinny-Eflin-Enyel-Franco-Nick are young and cost controlled. Klentak should be able to arrange a package of the about players for a decent arm and/or bench player and free up some roster spots for Harper and/or Machado.

    1. I was looking that up today, looks like it’s in March 26th however that’s when the game is released, looks like the cover is out now however they will update when he signs.

    2. I know there has been a ton of mentioning about Harper and the MLB the Show being dropped together. It just seems crazy to lump the two together.

    3. Vegas does not “think” one way or the other. They set the line/odds based on getting an equal spread of bets across the various options. With all of the recent “news” about BH and the Phillies, Vegas likely reacted by lowering the odds for the Phillies, not because they thought he was going there, but because they feared that too many people would bet on the Phillies and therefore increase their risk of loss should BH actually go to the Phils.

      1. Good point. Vegas odds are an example of the concept of “the wisdom of crowds”. They set and move odds based on where the money is being placed, not based on what they think will happen.

        The casino’s and betting books don’t make their money gambling, they make their money on other people gambling..

        1. The idea that “Vegas knows” is true in the sense that they have their finger on the pulse of high rolling expert opinion, simply by watching who bets how much on what. So inside information does enter the equation.

        2. The ‘opening line’ is based on the interpretation of a forum of informed personnel of the relevant facts, inherent to a specific sporting game or event.
          ie….players participating or not due to injury, latest trends of the team, personal conflicts et al
          Once that is set…the line will move up or down based on the money

          1. Thank you Romus, was just about to say something similar. Vegas doesn’t set the line due to the crowd or the common person opinion, a TON goes into it. And they absolutely have insiders.

            1. Eric…..yeah, they use a variety of methods to calculate their idea of the point spread. Some use complicated computer programs that factor in recent performance, injuries, player match-ups, weather, team morale,,,believe it or not, latest trends etc. I guess some use those power ratings or some derivation of it…..they involve assigning each team a numerical value based on performance and than comparing the ratings to generate a point spread to set that opening line.
              It is a science….then it is onto make sure they get half-and -half the money on either side of that last line.

            2. Yes, they set the initial line base on the input of industry “experts” but where the line ends is determined by which side is getting the most action.

  9. When they finally do sign … I wonder if I will actually believe it. I’ll probably put if habit keep refreshing my screen looking for updates … this has been way too long of a process. I truly hope the MLB feels the pain of the wait too, and corrects it.

    It will be interesting to hear leaks about the negotiations after it’s done. Curious if the extra 3 months of waiting actually increased the overall offer and by how much? From what we know from this site, it went down and was counterproductive in terms of dollars. 9/360…. vs 10/300 …. not good for team Bryce. Even 335/10 vs 9/360 … not good. That opt out clause will be key to the deal

  10. 8mark and Troll mentioned above the tweet from Bryce Harper last night. Here it is:

    And here is the best explanation of it that I have found:

    I guess the biggest takes from this is …

    1. Harper is retweeting something Hoskins put on his Instagram account about a month ago.
    2. Harper has changed his location from Washington to USA

    1. It just seems like Hoskins and Harper have developed a “teammate” kind of relationship.

      And … while rumors of mystery teams continue to swirl, it more seems to be opportunistic clubs sniffing around for a bargain in case the Phillies (with their stooopid money) sign Machado instead of Harper.

      Or … maybe the mystery teams are being floated by Scott Boras to squeeze a few extra dollars out of John Middleton before Harper finally puts pen to paper.

      1. Here is the best explanation of the Harper tweet. Sorry, I forgot to place in it my post above.

  11. Funny how all the focus now is on Bryce. Meanwhile, I wonder what Bobby Dickerson and Manny have been texting back and forth.

    Manny: “So dude, why did they hire you?”
    Bobby D: “They just told me they think highly of me as an infield coach.”
    Manny: “And my name never came up?”
    Bobby D: “No…why do you ask?”
    They both chuckle and send each other 😆

  12. According to Forbes Magazine on line article, regarding the MLB The Show impending announcement:

    “The official announcement concerning Harper’s free agent decision is supposed to be made by Sony San Diego Studios. It was part of the agreement when Harper was named the cover athlete for the game. Rumors are swirling and point to Harper electing to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies…At this point, it would be a shock if that’s not the result.

      1. It’s also possible, according to the writer, that the announcement could be made as part of the trailer for the video game.

    1. Thanks for contributing that, 8mark. Everything points to a Phillies lineup featuring a Harper-Hoskins duo at CBP this summer.

  13. Keith Law has released his rankings of MLB’s farm systems. He has the Phillies at #10 (he had them at #5 last year). Here are the top ten:

    1. Padres
    2. Rays
    3. Braves
    4. Twins
    5. Dodgers
    6. Reds
    7. Angels
    8. DBacks
    9. Blue Jays
    10. Phillies

    And this is what he had to say about the Phillies’ system:

    The Phillies’ system had a down year by all accounts, with many of their most vaunted players coming into 2018 struggling with performance and/or injuries, and both scouts and execs reporting back that the Phillies’ biggest names had lost value in their eyes. They had two big breakouts from Spencer Howard and Luis Garcia (the shortstop), but their track record of poor results on high first-round selections — they’ve hit on just one first-round pick, Aaron Nola, since taking Cole Hamels in 2002 — has absolutely hurt their system’s value as a whole.

    1. Amazing how the Dodgers are up so high

      Sounds like farm system has a good chance to bounce up a few slots if Moniak and Haseley can get going. A good year for Bohm will help a lot too. Heck … if they can get a gem this year too, it wouldn’t hurt

        1. Well, for a while they sucked – that helped. They make excellent trades and are forward-looking and progressive in their moves – that helps. They have a world-class international program and spot the best talent outside of the US – that helps. And they cheated a little and that helps too.

        2. @Denny – what the Braves did is what I advocated for Johnny A. to do in the Rule 4 raft. The Braves invested on power arms and they are made some shrewd trades to pick up good upside prospects. Fortunately for the Phillies, Aaron Nola developed into a legit TOR arm (despite of the lack of FB velocity) and Pivetta is showing glimpses of a solid #3 to he slightly ahead of the “arms race” for now. But the Braves are catching up fast so the Phillies need Sixto, Medina, Howard, Gowdy and JoJo to keep pace.

            1. I’m not high on Esh and Ranger and I see DLS more as a bullpen guy.

              I like Cole Irvin although I see him more as a Eickhoff type, a reliable arm but with limited upside. Cole Irvin will not move a need in the “arms war” unless he suddenly developed a plus pitch and/or a Cliff Lee-like command of his pitches.

            2. The hidden gems of power arms are really coming from Sal A.’s minefield just like Seranthony, Edgar Garcia, Sixto and Medina and potentially Morales and Castillo. Victor Santos and Manuel Siva are under the radar arms that can breakout in 2019.

          1. LGJ, Encarnacion, Ortiz, Moniak, Randolph, Haseley, and I guess you could go back to Hewitt: the Phillies have bet a ton of $ and primo picks on finding an OF, especially an OF with power, and have thus far come up empty, as none of the above has stepped forward. It is bordering on the obsession and incompetence of chasing the Great White Whale. This is what has held the Phillies system back. They do well with pitchers, although most of the successes have been development, rather than large $. Where they have focused, they have come up dry. It is sort of systemic. The organization has been very bad at identifying the right OFs to drop big international $ and high draft picks on. Burrell was a 1-1 and he was really a 1B moved to the OF — it showed. Getting OFs from the amateur ranks has been the Phillies Achilles heal. Time to give up and just spend the money on pitchers, catchers, and IFs and trade for OFs or sign as FAs.

            1. Don’t forget Dylan Cozens. It was s good draft with power. I was reviewing Pat Burrell’s carrer and I do believe DC could match his numbers.

              Based on 162 game average he would need 29 HRs, 95 RBIs, .254 average and about 160 Ks.

            2. Of all the corner outfielders you could pick from and Rob Deer is the best comp you can come up with. A .220 career BA. led the AL in strike outs 4 seasons, and projects out to 198 strike outs over a 162 game season. The 23-26 HRs Deer averaged in his productive years could easily be plucked from free agency without having to worry about Cozens’ 50% K rate in the majors.

            3. Just saying that if Rob Deer can play multiple years as a starter in ghe major lwagues why is Dylan Cozens such a pipe dream?

            4. Patricia,
              …I cannot answer for anyone else, but as to DC playing in the majors, with another team other than the Phillies…… is a possibility.
              The Phillie OF is too crowded with young players that have already proven more at the MLB level than DC has…ie Williams, Quinn, Herrera…then you have Harper maybe, there is Cutch and finally Altherr.
              Getting him to learn to play first base is an alternative for him for flexibility.

              I just see him with another team soon.
              Like I posted before…the DBacks or Giants would be a fit for him or a number of AL teams.
              In any event come Nov, and he is not protected on the 40, he is free to go anywhere he wishes.

    2. I’m surprised at how high they are given the failure (so far) of high draft picks as discussed in the article. Spencer Howard is a pretty big kick save for them.

    3. Top 10 farm is nice, although I see the Phillies farm more on the Top 12 -15 range.

      Sixto’s absence really hurt the farm since if he played at normal capacity, he can be Top 3 RHP prospect and a Top 15-20 prospect nationally.

      I like Adonis Medina a lot and his stuff is better than his numbers. Unfortunately, some outlets cannot see him as much, thus, rely on his average-ish numbers to grade him. I believe that Adonis Medina is a Top 50 prospectand at least at par (if not better) with someone like Triston McKenzie.

    4. Very accurate description by Law. I’m actually very pleased with #10, it could have been worse. We really need a better season in the minors this year. That would include good years by Sixto, JoJo, Medina, Bohm, Haseley and Moniak as well as some lower guys like Young, Ortiz, Gamboa, and Brito. Haseley is the only one on my list who had a good season 2018. It’s a lot to expect though to see all these guys push through. Let’s hope.

  14. Can we have any quarrel with that? Until Haseley shows he can continue his performance from last year, Mickey duplicates his finish and adds a little power in AA, and Alec Bohm shows he can stay at 3B and actually hit the ball with power, then the system has been hurt by the lack of a difference maker with those 1st Rd picks. I hope all 3 play great, and when they do, our ranking goes up.

    1. If Sixto (TOR), Medina (TOR) and Luis Garcia (GG, All-Star) continued to progress based on projection, the Phillies farm will see a big jump in the national prospect rankings since these 3 prospects are legit Top 25 caliber.

      On the domestic scouting front (Johnny A./Rule 4), Howard and Gowdy will need to have a solid 2019 to get noticed. JoJo Romero has a making of a bullpen profile so he doesn’t appeal that much to national outlet.

      Amongst the Johnny A. Rule 4 draftee (except Howard and Gowdy), probably it is Logan O’Hoppe who can turn heads in the national rankings.

  15. No need to overthink the Harper and Machado situation. Both will sign to the highest bidder. Harper could be a Dodger and Machado a Yankee if Middleton is not willing to open his wallet. The fact that the financial giants like the Dodgers and the Yankees balk at playing the bidding war with Middleton, I doubt any other teams will. I 100% believe that Harper will be a Phillie – right fit (LH bat, RF), potent offensive weapon in CBP, face of the team and marketing agent and snatching it away from a division rival. IMO, there’s already an agreement in principle between Harper’s team and the Phillies management. The question now is Middleton thinking of signing both since the market value declined from the initial projection.

    1. Kuko, I tend to agree that an agreement is in place. All a matter of how, when and where the announcement is made, as per my posts above regarding MLB The Show, which btw I’m thoroughly tired of mentioning.

      1. Assuming that Harpen agreed in principle with the Phillies, it will be smart for Klentak to start to trade Nick Williams who is projected to be a starter with Doobie and Cutch. Once the Harper news becomes office and kick Nicky Dubs to the bench, Klentak’s leverage will go down.

        I’ve suggested a package of Eflin + NIcky Dubs + others (i.e. Gamboa, Ranger, Parkinson) for a rotation arm (CLE as the initial target and Robbie Ray as the secondary choice).

        I agree with you, I’m also tired of talking about Harper and Machado. I already know the end game and that what’s matter most to me.

        1. Interesting point you make. If Phillies were about to ink Harper, wouldnt we start to hear some rumors regarding Williams?

  16. FWIW Dept….Phillie phan 702, who posts on another site and, as I have previously mentioned, lives in Las Vegas and is a friend of Harper’s believes its going to be announced this week. Also, as I have previously mentioned, he is considered quite reputable on a site that, like this one, doesn’t suffer fools easily. He was the poster who said that Bryce and his wife had decided to sign with the Phillies almost immediately after the LV meeting with Middleton but then “Boras doing Boras things” has held up the signing.

    He has never wavered in his belief that Harper was coming to Philadelphia and even felt, as I do, that the meeting with the Padres, the “rumored” circle back with the Cubs, the talk of a mystery team, all the tweets and speculation coming from Mssrs. Heyman, Bowden, Nightengale, Morosi and Edgar Allan Poe were meant as a devise to get Middleton to up his offer and I do suspect it will work.

    Look, I am not Nostradamus, though I did stay at a Holiday Inn recently, and I am curious to see how this all comes out also but while the tea leaves all look good right now, this still is Scott Boras orchestrating this and it will be imperative for the Phils to top that $325 million that Stanton got. I am sure Boras has been promising this to Harper for a couple of years now and will not agree to any deal that doesn’t exceed, even by 1 dollar the $325 that Stanton got.

    This is simply my surmise here…but if you are of the belief that the Nats never truly intended to re-sign Harper but needed to make it look like they did for all Nats fans, the reported $300 million offer would be a legitimate reason to believe this. The Nats, who know Boras and Harper better than any team out there, undoubtedly knew Boras’s goal and what better way to A] look legit but B] still get turned down is to offer an amount that looks impressive but doesn’t quite hit the goal.

    I will also surmise this…Middleton knew of this goal also and basically wanted to cut through all the suspense and red tape and get this over with with his original 9/360 offer. Middleton is also a good business man and probably knew Boras would say no and was probably surprised when it was Harper who said no. He then pulled the offer off the table and began circulating, via Salisbury, that Machado was still the team’s main interest, probably because he figured if Harper would turn this down he really didn’t want to come to Philadelphia.

    Boras, through back channels, probably let Middleton know this was not the case and encouraged him to come to Las Vegas and meet Harper and his wife. I believe it was at that meeting that the Phils decided they would shift back to Harper as Preferred Player #1, but were prepared to sign Machado if he indicated a desire to sign.

    After the meeting, it was Harper who changed his mind, loved his meeting with the Phils, and indicated a desire to sign. Boras then, as wily agents always do, decided since he had both Harper’s and the Phillies attention that he would endeavor to try and get Middleton to revise that 9/360 offer, something I suspect Middleton feels he has no reason to do now. BUT, he does know about the $325 million floor, understands it, and will likely offer it soon, if he hasn’t already.

    Again, I don’t know IF Harper signs, though I think he does, but I am quite confident that if he does A] it will be for more than $325 but less than $360, B] Harper will say he always thought Philly was an enticing place to play and C] Boras and Middleton will praise each other for their ability to negotiate fairly, honestly…and quietly.

    1. @CD – I agree that the Stanton contract is the threshold to beat to get Machado and Harper’s attention. Both players know that the Phillies are the only ones stupid enough to shell out that kind of $$ —- so the FA turned out to be a Phillies sweepstakes since only 1 player will win that Middleton cash.

      1. Great commentary, CD!
        I am a little hesitant to hedge my hopes on someone who claims to be friends with Harper but as you mention, they are friends. His comments also lines up with MLB The Show trailer dropping and some other promising rumblings I have seen (won’t share as I dont want to post rumors).

    1. TrollU…thanks for that update.
      I assume the Bryce camp told MLB they will not wait until March to announce …so netter reschedule their programming.

      1. Dropped similar time last year, however, it didn’t have the same fanfare as this year’s. It does kind of line up with CDs source.

        I think it’s time for Tac3 to hit up his Phillies’ buddy 🙂

  17. CD, I agree with you completely, and I believe that the scenario you laid out is exactly what happened. I think the last issue was Boras doing his due diligence, realizing the Dodgers and Cubs are not making competitive offers, and closes the deal with us at a number higher than $325. I think the first 2 years exceed what Greinke got as a per year salary, currently the highest, and exceeds Stanton’s total, so Boras gets bragging rights on both fronts.

  18. The beauty of the Phillies’ negotiating strategy is that they have never let it be known who was their main target between Harper and Machado. Amazing that they could contain such information with all the “leaks” to reporters nowadays. Now, they’re in a position to “scoop the whole pot”. I’m not predicting anything. I’ve decided to ignore the rest of the hot stove season and focus on upcoming spring training.

  19. If you didn’t see my tweets this morning –

  20. Gabe Kapler arrived Friday. He came over and spoke to us after practice. One fan asked if there was any one thing the team hoped to focus on during spring training. His quick response was “base running”.

  21. If tomorrow is the day, I can see where Harper may have told Boras that he had until today (Mon) to find a better offer from another club. If not, he makes it official with the Phillies and Sony on Tuesday. That’s why we’re still seeing reports of as many as 8 teams interested in Bryce. Yeah right, Scott. The question remains – will Boras get that record breaking deal? Not sure how much Harper cares if it’s AAV or total guaranteed. Romus’ figure @9/333($37M AAV) sounds like a win-win. But who knows, it may not be quite that high.

    1. Like you posted the other day…probably higher AAV early on, with an opt-out or two after 4/5 years. I think Boras would be satisfied with something along those lines.

      1. It really is surprising how few teams have come courting for both BH and MM.
        Last July , the Phillies were one of a dozen teams combined that were suppose to go after these two guys.
        i suppose he could come to the Phillies….but I still see Harper on the longer length contract if they both end up here.

            1. Well it’s not like he and Boras need to talk to each other. And in any case, Machado’s value was determined by Machado and his persona more than his actual skill set. But can you imagine this lineup with both players? This becomes a 90-92 win team by virtue of the jacked up offense, improved defense (especially the left side of the infield) and more experienced young arms, both in the rotation and in the bullpen. Better bat to ball skills throughout the roster.

  22. I was really sick of baseball by the end of last season (actually, really, sick of watching no offense and boring games for 8 years), but I’m finally getting ready for a little hardball. Batter up!!

          1. Took a trip down memory lane …

            Charlie Hayes … Dickie Thon, Tom herr … Pat Combs.

            I can still hear Harry and whiteys voices … lol as was too young and stupid to realize just how bad these teams were.

            Man those were some lean years.

  23. ‘Assume’ Harper is the guy, and he will sign. Are we ok with Franco at 3B, or is it Machado? or even Moose? Moose being a Boras client would be nice. That would free Franco to Padres.

    1. If not Machado, Moose is the 3B. If they can at least entertain the idea of signing Machado and fall short, they can certainly overpay enough to secure Moustakas’ services. Franco’s value is primarily in the return he can get back in a trade. Please, no Harrison.

      1. 8mark – If the Phillies sign Harper and Moustakas, they take themselves out of a possible Arenado deal at the deadline.

        1. Wawa, perhaps. Depending on Moose’s deal, and whether Colorado is in the playoff race. I doubt the Rox will be out of contention in another tight NL playoff picture in 2019. If it’s a one or two year deal, the Phillies may be able to move Moustakas if Arenado was placed on the trading block. I don’t see Moose getting more than $10M AAV, which should be manageable in trying to shed payroll at the deadline. But I doubt the Phillies would be players for Arenado before he enters free agency unless Moustakas’ performance was dreadful. In which case, they might simply release him once they acquired Arenado. But I don’t ‘not’ go for Moustakas now because I ‘might’ want Arenado IF he’s available later. Franco? I’m convinced that the FO has moved on from him whether you or I agree or not.

        2. @Wawa – Phillies is never been in the Arenado sweepstakes. They either sign Machado or wait for Mike Trout/.

          As most book one of Harper/Machado as a Phillie, I book Arenado as a Dodger when he hits the FA.

    2. @SoCal – if Middleton will not sign Machado, I think Klentak’s play is to gauge what return will Franco have in the trade market. If the return is good (i.e. Strahm or alike) Klentak will trade Franco and sign Moose and/or MarGo. If GMs lowball Klentak on Franco, Klentak keeps him for another year and use the remaining $$ to improve the bench or look for a fallen SP.

  24. At the beginning of the free agency season, I believed the Phillies/John Middleton would pay whatever it took to land either Manny Machado or Bryce Harper as their face of the franchise superstar. We’ve now hit February, and I still believe the Phillies/John Middleton will pay whatever it takes to land their face of the franchise superstar FA. The only difference between now and the beginning of the free agency season is that it now appears very likely Manny Machado or Bryce Harper aren’t going to cost the Phillies/John Middleton nearly as much as I first thought.
    Many are posting Scott Boras won’t let Harper sign for less than Giancarlo Stanton’s 325 million guaranteed dollars. As of tonight, I haven’t seen any credible reporting to suggest any other team is offering anything close to 325 million dollars. If that’s the case (and I suspect the Phillies FO knows where the bidding stands), why is everyone so certain this team is going to have to go that high?
    I was told (and I believe) the Phillies end game is Mike Trout. They want one of Harper or Machado now, and still leave themselves ready to land Trout after 2020. It looks like the team has it’s mind set on Harper. IMO, the compromise deal is a front loaded 10 year/~310 million dollar pact that would allow Harper to opt out halfway through, just when the yearly values begin to decrease. The example I’ve offered would look something like this:

    year 1 … 38 million
    year 2 … 38 million
    year 3 … 38 million
    year 4 … 38 million
    year 5 … 38 million
    opt out
    year 6 … 30 million
    year 7 … 30 million
    opt out
    year 8 … 20 million
    year 9 … 20 million
    year 10 . 20 million

    This would guarantee Harper 190 million over 5 years. Boras would claim a record breaking 38 million AAV. The lower yearly salaries over the second half of the offer would allow the Phillies to keep the cap hit to 31 million AAV against the luxury tax threshold. That would help leave the club with more cap space to fit Mike Trout if/when he becomes available.

    Having said all this, the eventual contract will probably be much more complicated than this. However, until another team steps up and offers Harper more guaranteed money, I just don’t see Middleton feeling the need to bid against himself.

  25. Gentlemen … another day closer to knowing the answer.

    8mark is on the clock today, feel free to turn the dial up on him! Don’t be alarmed, The hot seat starts out lukewarm at first bud.

    Let today be the day…

      1. Let’s hope, At this point im more excited for the follow up moves to go along with one of the star signings … and of course … anticipation of the Phillies signing both – realistic or not.

    1. Tac3, I’m on the edge of my electric chair. Biggest reason that I want this to get done is really about all the subsequent moves that still haven’t been made. Who plays 3b? How are we acquiring a LHP? Which OF gets traded?(my guess is Nicky Dubs)

      Jim alluded to other things happening once Harper is inked. Perhaps deals have been already agreed to, contingent on Harper/Machado…??

      1. Same here. We are all excited for one of the stars to sign, but overall it’s the final roster configuration I think most of us are waiting to see the most. I’m going to be judging the payroll as well, the maneuvering they allow themselves down the line. Right now, I see abut 36-44mil in movable/removable salary over the early portion of the competing window. Personally I don’t want the “cap” maxed so early on. Let’s see how the team gels before maxing out the payroll. This is why I’m wearing of Mous vs Franco. If the bloated payroll at 3B worth the improvement? Also, if BH – do they trade Herrera? Unlikely but they could go Harper McCutch, Williams/Altherr until Haseley is ready? With Quinn mixed in when healthy … does that make Herrera worth trading. I see Herrera here, But im not going to be surprised if he is moved. From JimP’s comments, sounds like They are counting on Herrera this year. His salary is up to 6mil, so if he streaky again… might not be so far out there to see him moved.

        So many questions based off one domino falling … can’t remember a time like this in Phillies history .

      2. 8mark…for sure Klentak will need to make multiple moves, especially clearing 40 space, only because I count approx 14-16 minor leaguers who will need to be added to the 40 later this year.
        And as to pitchers alone ….four pitchers of note Sixto, JoJo, Llovera and Cole Irvin, then the bubble guys like Falter, JD Hammer, Will Stewart, Grant Dyer, Manuel Silva and Fanti

  26. Kyle Young has grown three inches since the Phillies drafted him in 2016.
    Have to assume he will be listed at 7’1″ at some point in his professional career vs the current 6’10” draft height listing.

  27. Help me out here guys:

    Phillies Payroll – Stands at 115mil or 150mil?

    You need to count benies, bonuses,Minor league payroll, correct?

    I believe it sits at 150millionish, with 44mil in removable salaries in (Hunter, neshek, niascio, Herrera, Franco, and Cehe) Not that they’ll get rid of them all but, looks like some flexibility to sign the big targets and lean on the minor league pitching to keep salary low.

    Still interested to see how this plays out, waiting for the next show to drop like everyone else

        1. This year, the luxury tax is set at 206 million dollars. If you stay under that mark, you’re fine. If you go over, your team is penalized. The penalties (taxes and surtaxes) vary depending on how many years in a row you’ve been over, and by how much you are over.

          If you go over the first time, you pay a 20% tax on every dollar you spend above the luxury tax limit (206 million in 2019). If you’re over two years in a row, that tax increases to 30%. And if you’re over at least three years in a row, you’re hit with a 50% tax.

          In addition, teams incur a surtax. That surtax is calculated by how much you go over the cap/threshold. If your club is 20-40 million dollars over the cap, you get hit with a 12% surtax (no matter how many years in a row you’ve been over). If your team exceeds the cap by more than 40 million dollars, you’re slapped with a 42.5% surtax. If you go over the threshold by more than 40 million two or more years in a row, your franchise suffers a 45% surtax. In addition to the surtax, if your team goes over by more than 40 million dollars, your rule 4 draft pick is penalized by ten spots.

          1. Also … Mike Trout could become a FA after the 2020 season. The Phillies currently have 58.5 million dollars on the books for 2021. The luxury tax threshold that season will be 210 million. Even if the team signs Harper at a 31 million AAV contract (as I proposed earlier in this thread), the Phillies would have just 89.5 million dollars on the books for 2021.

            1. So Hinkie, can I then persuade you to allow that the Phillies may now be legitimately entertaining the idea of signing both Machado and Harper?

      1. Thanks for clarifying. I believed it was 156mil vs 115mil. Have to factor more things in than just player salaries. I can see this being one way to appease the players. Take out bonuses and benies from the calculation.

        To clear up for Denny, the pentalty is applied to the dollar amounts over the luxury tax ceiling.

  28. Off topic…
    The Phillies wall of Fame fan ballot is out. Pick top 3. Mine – 1 Shake n Bake McBride (he won a WS)
    2 – Bobby Abreu (great talent with impressive career numbers if not a winning player) and 3 Scott Rolen, another great talent who didn’t endear himself to too many people, including Larry Bowa and even Tony LaRussa who despised him in St Louis.

    1. Honorable mention goes to Manny Trillo, one of my all time favorites. Didn’t have big numbers but was a great guy, had a great glove, whip like arm and also was a WS winner.

    1. “checking in” is already old news. Most GMs check in with top players as part of due diligence. The take away from that Rosenthal reporting is that there’s no indication that a deal is close.

    1. moves like this always feel like youre doing something just so you can say youre doing something
      its like when you sign a multitude of veterans middle infielders to minor league contracts

    2. I expect the Phillies not to roster him and Butera will opt out by March 21. Part of the Spring Training NRI carousel.

      Deivi Grullon is also a SP invitee, I hope Deivi blast some bombs on his way to the 40-man roster (sorry Knappy boy – you’re out!!)

  29. I had him at 13, and we voted for him at 15. Maybe we were too low? I hope Bowa is right! On Wall of fame, I vote for Manny Trillo.

    1. I have to admit, I thought 15 was to high, but then again with such an emphasis on power at the corner positions and defensive skills in center, not sure where Haseley fits with the Phils moving forward. Especially if they get Harper.

      1. Son of a biii…….!!!!

        I was hoping 8mark, sounds like they missed a marketing opportunity there. They had video gamers attention and baseball fans that don’t usuallg go down that road.

        Like I said, we should be mentally prepared for another 2 months, opening day …. ridiculous

  30. Harper & Realmuto
    Machado and Realmuto
    Harper and Machado

    What tandem do you prefer? Obviously Realmuto will have some pain in the prospect category, but should allow more financial flexibility to add FA to improve team. I’m assuming he’ll make less than MM or BH.

      1. He is a bargain at $5.9mil for the next 2 years. That kinda of production would be pretty nice to insert into the lineup

        Herrera
        Segura
        Harper
        Hoskins
        Realmuto
        McCutchen
        Moustakis
        Cehe/Kingery

        Lol and if we want to get real crazy … add in Machado for Mous.

        If they could pull
        That off without having to massively overpay the Marlins, it would be worth the overpay

        Efflin or VV, Alfaro, And sixto or medina… with a fringe prospect – Close enough for Realmuto?

            1. I mean that’s tempting Romus but yeah I still pass. I’m not a fan of spending on catchers they get banged up too much and when you have one that your depending on for a boat load of the offense even worse.

              Just give me the steady backstop that can catch and throw and hit a little and get on base. I’ll invest in other areas of the diamond.

          1. @DMAR – I agree. Jeter is a smarter GM now. As I mentioned below, it will take at least a package of Alfaro-Bohm-Sixto-Medina-Garcia to be at par if not go ahead of what SD, ATL and HOU can offer.

            HOU will Whitley alone can trump what Klentak can offer similar to what BAL did for Machado at the deadline.

            1. “it will take at least a package of Alfaro-Bohm-Sixto-Medina-Garcia “….Jeter will not get that from either Padres or Atlanta…….rarely does a trade anymore bring back more than 3 , maybe 4 at the most, pieces.

            2. Machado was traded for 5 players and Hamels brought 6 players back.

              If you limit the players 3 to 4, then it’s more likely that the Phillies will have no chance to acquire JTR.

            3. KuKo….got me there……but how many were considered top 100 talents by BA/Fangraphs…..Alf and Williams….Thompson was back end….Eickhoff and Asher were not close.
              Machado as a rental no less……the five players, outside of Diaz and Kremer, were lottery tix for the most part.

            4. @romus – i think we both love and agree that JTR is exactly what the Phillies need. Our disagreement is on how much value will it take for the Phillies to acquire JTR.

              Unless Jeter really likes some of the prospects and MLB ready players that the Phillies have, acquiring JTR will come at a very steep price.

        1. McCutcheon
          Machado
          Harper
          Hoskins
          Moustakis
          Realmuto
          Herrera
          Segura

          I want to see Yankees 98 (99?) like Middleton did now. Screw Klentak for tempering expectations.

          This is definitely possible.

          Alf, Elfin, Howard, and Romero for Realmuto. Macharper Mouse is a free agent. Still would have VV, Williams, Franco, and Ramos or Arano to trade for a starter or get some pieces for minors.

  31. i think the frustrating part is we don’t really know what the holdup is. are teams lowballing?, do the players/agents have unrealistic expectations.? are they waiting for a specifc team/teams to hopefully jump in? etc

    1. Exactly, my suspicion is that not much has changed from 2 months ago. I sense the players camps are unhappy about what they consider low ball offers.Machado more so than BH. For Machado, It was stated as so, and I can easily seeing anti-Johnny hustle complaining. I bet he is kicking himself for not busting it down the line now … not such a big deal is it?.. especially when you could get an extra 30 million or so. Imo, no way his behavior did t cost him at least 30 mil. He was projected to make more than BH before the trade to the dodgers. His offers have been the same since eight before Christmas. I suspect the teams have called his bluff, and are correct. That offer sheet probably has dust on it by now.

      For BH, turning away 9/360 probably felt great at the time, expecting more or at least multiple offers in that range from his preferred list…. I can see Boras doing everything he can to inch his way back there. I suspect he falls short at around 330mil
      For 9 or 10 years. Opt outs at 4 and 6.

      Let this be a lessson kids…. always bust it down the line…. lol especially if you’re a major leaguer. Smh … at least make it look like your trying to bust it

  32. Disappointing, but not surprising. I have been attempting to prepare everyone for “Boras doing Boras things”. While today seemed a wonderful opportunity to introduce Harper as a Phillie, Boras couldn’t care less about these things, just like he didn’t care about Harper signing in Las Vegas at the GM meetings, wouldn’t have been stymied by this weekend’s Super Bowl, and is unlikely to care that Spring Training starts next week.

    With all due respect to Hinkie, whose arguments are logical, informative and thorough, I remain convinced that Boras will accept no deal that doesn’t surpass the $325 million that Stanton got. With lesser clients he would suffice with a AAV number that is higher than anyone else but not with Harper. Look, this is his Mona Lisa moment, a case can be made that Boras will never again have this perfect storm event…26 year old player that he views as a “generational talent”, one last chance to get a player a 10 year deal, and a promise that I believe he made to Harper as far back as two years ago.

    He doesn’t represent Trout or Betts so he can’t count on using them to get the largest contract ever and he is a master and knowing which way the baseball winds blow…and right now they are blowing in the direction of less years, less long term deals, and greater emphasis on players who can play multiple positions as opposed to the guys who are more specialists with 1-2 strong traits.

    Add to this the notion that he simply will not allow his client to sign before Machado does and we are looking at a situation that I am unsure we will ever see again…two mega talented 26 year old future HOFers who are still unemployed in February.

    I suspect as Phillies phans the one thing I can say optimistically is that the Phils seem to be showing incredible patient here, no small feat when you consider all the other things they need to do before the season starts in about 7 weeks. I suspect at least 15 major league organizations would have moved on by now. Boras is no fool, he KNOWS how we as Phillies phans feel and he will attempt to use this to his advantage.

    Oh, one more thing worth noting. Reports that Machado is unhappy with his offers and the threat to possibly revisit the Yankees sounded to me like a direct message to the Phillies. This tells me the White Sox and Padres offers are not impressive enough and with reports that Arenado is looking at possibly signing an extension at about $200-$220 million it seems Machado may be seeing his market become clear. He is younger and better than Arenado so a deal in the $240 range may be what MM will get.

    He may want $300 million but Harper is the only one who is going to get to the level.

    1. I think the holdup is now the Arenado extension. At the start of the offseason it was a non factor, but not At this point. The Rockies Player and Agent seeing how the fA market is changing, probably gives them some nice motivation to sign an extension. Nothing will happen before then for MM or BH. Will be waiting some more for sure.

      1. Tac3…Arenado just won his arb case for over $25M…..though the owner says what he is suppose to say….it is pure speculation they would try to extend right now two weeks before ST…..more than likely after the mid-way point of the season the talks could start to heat up.

    1. Mr. Dreamer … I agree with you that Boras/Harper are aiming to break Stanton’s record for the most guaranteed money (325 million dolars). However, as we sit here today, there is no evidence to show any team is offering that kind of money. The Nationals may have offered 300 million four months ago. I read about 30 million of that was deferred money. Also, since that offer may have been made, Washington has bought Patrick Corbin, Anibal Sanchez, Yan Gomes, Brian Dozier, Kurt Suzuki, etc. They are now right up against the cap threshold. Since they’ve been over the cap for at least the previous two seasons, a Harper contract would not only cost the Nationals the real dollars in the contract, but would also cost the team a 50% tax on almost Harper’s entire 2019 salary, and an additional 42.5% surtax on part of his 2019 salary. At this point, Harper would be so costly to Washington, Bob Nightengale reports that original offer from the Nats no longer exists.

      If no team in MLB is willing to come close to Stanton’s 325 million guaranteed dollars, what are Boras/Harper going to do? Does anybody believe Harper sits out the 2019 season? Absolutely not. The Phillies will outbid any other team for either Harper or Machado. However, they are not going to bid against themselves.

      Maybe something changes, and another team (LAA ?) jumps in offering at least 325 million, but time is running out for that to happen. As things stand today, Boras/Harper are probably going to have to settle for a front loaded deal that allows Harper to opt out halfway through. Boras will claim a record breaking AAV for the pre-opt out years. At least, that’s the way I see it.

      1. BTW … just looking at the numbers … if Washington agreed to give Harper that 10 year/300 million dollar contract today. Harper would actually cost the Nats 46.25 million dollars in 2019 because of the taxes and surtaxes the team would incur.

        1. Hinkie…..they would be in that penalty for many years……and that is not adding in the $25M plus they will need to pay Rendon, if they plan on keeping him, after next season for 5 more years.
          Cannot understand all the national guys still saying the Nats are still heavily in on Harper…..does Boras give home town discounts? Hah.

      2. I like your thinking, but something tells me Phillies are at a number and not budging and will not care about losing MM or BH. I heard some podcast from a Phillies guy and he was referencing an article which basically states the last ten FA 95% have been bust or not living up to standards! The article spoke about Darvish, Hosmer, Arrietta (didn’t live up to money in my opinion) Santana (horrible production for money) and others, so its interesting times for sure, but I like your thinking. Yes, JD Martinez is a great hitter and solid FA year and lived up to the money.

        1. Harper and Machado are not the normal FA (players who hits FA at the wrong side of 30). Any team who signs Harper and Machado will have a good change to see about 4-5 peaks years from elite talent.

          Machado and Harper are a different FA class by themselves. Both Arenado and Trout will be 29 when they hit FAs — Machado and Harper are 3 years younger!

        2. You can’t put them in the same category as those other players for a slew of different reasons. They just aren’t comparable.

        3. I think each contract has to be viewed on its own merits. Many free agent contracts turn out great, like the Scherzer deal or the Dodger’s Greinke deal. But the issue is the risk when you give a guy top dollar and many years – there’s just a lot of risk so you have to try hard to get it right.

          It’s funny. The Carlos Santana deal wasn’t great but his OPS+ was about what it normally was – so yeah, he was overpaid a bit, but really by not that much. The problem with that deal was that Hoskins couldn’t play left field and they lost a draft pick as they have now shipped off the contract so no lingering financial effects.

    1. Your post is misleading. Tim Brown is just speculating saying “could” gain traction. Probably bored waiting for Machado and Harper decision.

      Jeter is looking for high end prospects. With ATL, SD and CIN involved, Klentak has no shot in landing JTR unless he acquired bad contracts with JTR —- I’ve recommended this approach last year and unfortunately this ship had sailed away from the Phillies.

      1. Kuko, JTR does make sense in this regard – the Phillies have excess in young talent to include in such a trade. Granted, Alfaro would be a central figure in a return, but there are several good but non-elite players who should be of interest to Miami. We won’t hold our breath but Brown’s tweet is the 2nd separate one today.

        1. @8mark – if you remember, I’m very hard in pushing for JTR last year when Jeter is new. likes to bring down costs and and no animosity against NL East rival — a ripe opportunity for Klentak to get JTR possibly at a bargain price similar to how MIL acquired Yelich. Jeter is smarter now and JTR had another year.

          Does it makes sense to acquire, yeah he’s a position of need and a very good one —- and most of the GMs are thinking of the same too. With SD and ATL bidding, Klentak will need to empty to top end of the farm — no thanks!!

          I normally evaluate trade and FA based on the current market not historical and teams fit and preferences. The Phillies has the edge in the Harper-Machado market but behind in the JTR trade market. If no teams can overbid the Phillies for Harper-Machado, the Phillies cannot overbid SD and ATL or HOU for JTR,

          If I have to make a prediction, i will give HOU as the team to acquire JTR. HOU is in win now, have top end talent and has been in big trades recently.

          If I will play my GM hat, I considered to trade Alfaro to CWS for Carlon Rondon and signed James McCann as the C. With Harper/Machado-Segura-Cutch-Hoskins-Doobie in the top of the line up, there will not be a high demand to produce at C position in the bottom of the order.

      2. KuKo…..Phillies could offer Medina or Sixto as part of the return package.
        Now that sweetens the pot considerably. Alf will go for sure. Then it comes down to another high end prospect or current Phillie on the 25.

        1. If the Phillies will trade their top arm, it should be for a top arm in return i.e. Hinkie’s Blake Snell proposal. With the Phillies acquire some good bats in Harper/Machado-Segura-Cutch, there’s no pressure to produce at C position. Behind Aaron Nola, all rotation arms are still work in progress. The Phillies need to keep their top arms to ensure that the rotation will have enough reinforcement when some of the work in progress arms did not work out.

          The current roster is thin is reliable top arms —- if Klentak cannot get a top arm, then don’t give away one.

          1. “there’s no pressure to produce at C position.”..depends.
            if you want to get to the WS it helps….defensively and offensively.
            They touch the ball more than any other player in a game…plus they QB the pitching staff.
            He is arguably the best catcher in the majors now.

            1. you are also speculating about this. Yeah it helps, but it will not guarantee a WS, If the Phillies just sign Harper and Machado (which is possible to happen) – this should give them a good chance to win the WS and they keep their top arm to make a sustainable run.

              Do I want JTR – yes!! I’ve been saying this trade since last year!! But the market have changed with SD, ATL and HOU joining. I just recognize that the Phillies don’t have enough trade assets to watch with those teams unless their want to mortgage part of their future.

        2. It’s a bit tough on which is more valuable. Sixto or Medina. When both healthy, it’s sixto, but … we are left wondering. If sixto is hurt, it would be a great way to cash in on him or if the Phillies truly believes he is more of a bullpen pitcher. There was
          Speculation on that so, don’t shoot the messenger.

          A tough call. Tougher than it probably should be do to unknown injury potential of Sixto.

        3. SD and ATL have a stack of power arms. Klentak cannot overbid those teams unless he will empty the whole cup (Sixto, Medina, Howard, Jojo) and that may not be enough/

          HOU can offer a package headlined by Whitley, ATL with Soroka, Wright plus a Top 100 position player and SD with a combo of Morejon, Paddack, Baez Allen, Weathers and can throw in Mejia —- Klentak is no match!

            1. another player I recommended to be traded a year ago. Good luck in finding a GM that values Doobie better than a Top 100 player.

              To match what ATL, SD and HOU can offer for JTR – Klentak should be ready to give up Alfaro, Bohm, Sixto, Medina and Luis Garcia as a minimum. Jeter possibly value Haseley more than Doobie.

            2. My thought process is simple
              Phillies are silent on transactions. As soon as we hear they’re interested, etc, it always seems to come to fruition pretty quickly.
              Ie Cutch

              I think Phillies have a real chance for Realmuto

            3. I’m a little disappointed in this news. I’m a huge fan of offensive catchers, they are rare, and usually only a few of them in then league at a time. realmuto would be really nice to have …. but … I would have resigned Ramos instead, and Mix him with Alfaro. Yes realmuto is better and cheaper but this way I keep Alfaro and my top pitching prospect

              For hypothetical purposes … if the Phillies are serious about realmuto, does Kingery hold enough value to lessen the cupboard fleecing?

              VV or Efflin, Alfaro, Kingery, Medina?

              Again I would have rather resigned Ramos, thought it was a smart move to hedge against alfaros development

            4. Tac3…all GMs are looking for offense in catchers…..but they also want defense first…Buster Poseys just do not grow on trees.
              JTR is cheap and controlled……making the Trout get in a few years even more attainable.

            5. I wouldn’t overly focus on Realmuto as the future C but rather as an elite bat for whom you would need to find a position, perhaps the DH is adopted by the NL within the next few years. If he is still taking by then, and he re-signs, we’re in great shape.

            6. @tac3 – the issue with the Phillies right now is that they don’t have a top talent that beats what HOU (Whitley, Tucker), SD (Gore, Mejia) and ATL (Soroka, Wirhgt) can offer. Sixto is the top prospect that the Phillies can offer but his 2018 season bring more questions than answers. The Top 100 prospect is littered with SD and ATL talents so these teams can sweeten the deal and the Phillies cannot match.

              I love JTR and I recommend the trade since last year. But given the current market (SD, ATL, HOU and include LAD, CIN, etc) — the Phillies just doesn’t have enough trade assets to match up with the other teams,

              Kingery (and possibly Doobie) could have moved the needed last year, but not this year.

              People can be intrigued to have JTR in the line up, but Klentak doesn’t like complications. Klentak will just use the stupid $$ to acquire Harper/Machado, MarGo and Mous.

            7. @Kurdt
              Agree. The Phillies cant match prospects. The only way I could see it is If the Miami valued our recent grads more but that is unlikely. Best hope is that klentak checked into see if those teams aren’t willing to offer the prospects they want, and the Phils top offer beats ATl, hou, SD’s 2nd best offer. Doubtful but that would be doing due diligence imo

              @romus – Ramos was signed fairly cheaply, seems the Phillies could’ve made
              That offer but went with Alfaro instead. Who knows maybe he didn’t like it here and went NYC
              . I hope alfaro takes the next step this year, the one we have waited for.
              No big deal missing on either the bigger names if he develops.

    2. I still am puzzled by their decision not to sign Wilson Ramos – BIG mistake in my view because as much as I like Alfaro’s raw talent and personality (he seems like an awesome team player), he is still very much a high risk young player. We shall see.

      1. Mets are taking a little risk on Ramos, who is turning 32 this season, and the last two years has incurred some lost time to injuries.
        They have him for two years at about $20M ($10M AAV), so the money is not a great risk.
        But when healthy he does provide that solid hit tool.

  33. I am not in the Realmuto camp given what he would cost. Under no circumstances would I offer the # 1 through # 5 prospects and Herrera, Williams, VV, Eflin et. al. for a catcher – who is excellent, but mans a position subject to inordinate injury—- daily. See Buster Posey for the picture of a great offensive catcher who is now a shadow of his former hitting self. This is customary. I see every reason to stay with Alf and give him a solid shot – get Maldonado or another backup defensive specialist – but do not trade the future for one player – and a catcher apt to be put out of commission at any moment.

    Notwithstanding – the comments above regarding other team’s potential trade offerings is valid. No way Phillies can compete with the top 2-3 systems offering their players for Realmuto which only magnifies the actual cost. San Diego – alone – owns 10 of the top 100 prospects !

    1. Perhaps, but nobody seems willing to offer the talent Miami is asking. If those teams remain “stingy” in who they’re willing to give up, then that lowers the bar for the opportunistic Phillies. I am seeing tweets from reporters saying the Marlins like the Phillies youth, if only for being in the same division. I also read words like ‘traction’ and ‘progress’ when the market for JTR has been slow to develop. I love Alfaro. But JTR may make as big an impact as either BH or MM, at least in the time that he’d be here.

      1. Many argue….Realmuto (880 games as a catcher) may have limited hi-WAR time as a catcher due to the arduous task of the position. Then again , Alf is only two years younger than Realmuto with over 650 games caught as a catcher…so stands to reason his time is also limited…..and he does not even come close to Realmuto now offensively or defensively….and please do not want to here his great framing skills.

        The other aspect…..the Phillies farm system may have the most high ceiling catching prospects than most teams….and in 3/4 years the hope there will be a few of them will reach their premier prospect potential.

  34. Buster Olney was just on ESPN radio and said that the Phillies currently have the highest bids for both Machado and Harper. Given what we know and what we have been hearing lately, Machado is still not content with the Phils offer since yesterday it was indicated that he was disappointed in his offers, and the Phils offer must be a bit north of 10/300 since that is what Washington offered.

    Olney also indicated that what is happening is that the Phils are playing one off of the other, not a bad strategy but certainly a dangerous one. This re-confirms what Hinkie and others on this site have been suggesting…that if the Phils pull out on either player their market collapses.

    Also, yesterday on the Washington Posts National’s chatline it was mentioned that the Nats have asked Boras/Harper to delay any signing till they have completed their arbitration hearings. Now, I did not hear this but read the report from someone who did. Seems bizarre to me, is Rendon or Zimmerman arbitration eligible?

    I keep circling back to what Jim said yesterday when he indicated that the Phils have played this well and could “swoop” both of them up but if they are really serious about acquiring Realmuto then I cannot see them affording all three.

    Realmuto will be a free agent in two years and it seems to me that if the Phils do acquire him they will pay a ransoms worth of prospect gold and if this happens, do you really want to lose all that for two seasons of play? Probably not, which means the Phils would end up having to pay Realmuto a ransom’s worth of gold to keep him.

    Look, I know its stupid money but Machado, Harper, Realmuto and then maybe Trout in 2 years? Come on, even Middleton has limits.

    1. Rendon is $19M this year….this was his last year of arb.. he is a free agent next year. Now they may be trying to extend him.
      Zimmerman….not eligible for anymore ….$18M this year….team option next year @$20M

    2. Here is Buster Olney, Mr. Dreamer. He says the Phillies are in a commanding position because they are the only team willing to give out a big contract. Also says the team is playing Harper and Machado off of one another.

      As I posted about a month ago … it’s like a game of musical chairs. You don’t want to be left standing after the Phillies spend their stoopid money on their face of the franchise superstar FA.

      1. Also backs early offseason rumors of the Phillies bidding against themselves…. you know … right about the timeframe everyone thought they’d have signed by now … 3 months ago.

    3. About the WaPo chat stuff … Steve Adams (MLB Trade Rumors) shot down those pie in the sky Nationals plans to shift around money to resign Harper in today’s chat.

      Natitude
      Saw this in a WaPo chat yesterday – interested to hear your thoughts:
      “Boras and Harper are waiting for the Nats’ final offer, which can’t come until the last arbitration case is determined. No, they can’t fit Harper’s AAV under their current cap, but they can reduce their cap by beating Barraclough in arbitration, trading Eaton, and (here’s the trick!) extending Zimmerman for two more years at $5m per, thus reducing his AAV for cap purposes from $18m to a mere $9.3m. Your ruling?”

      Steve Adams
      The math on the Zimmerman thing is wrong, for starters.
      His current contract is six years and $100MM, meaning the new deal would become $110MM over eight years. That comes out to $13.75MM for luxury tax purposes.
      That suggestion is just taking this year’s $18MM, turning it into 3/28, and taking that AAV, which isn’t how it’d work.
      Generally, I think they’d be better off just taking the 2019 hit in terms of luxury tax rather than extending Zimmerman just to save a little money up front on the luxury penalty. Maintaining the long-term roster flexibility is more important and more valuable. And Zim is the kind of guy who they can’t really cut a year from now if he’s not even a $5MM player, because of everything he’s meant to the team.

  35. Corey Seidman makes a valid point on Realmuto. His impressive if not great numbers at Miami’s large ballpark may have been negatively impacted. CBP would provide a much more productive venue for 81 home games. Just sayin’…

    1. The numbers don’t lie.

      However, I’d still be reluctant to trade Alfaro, Nick Williams, and Adonis Medina for JTR.

      1. Meant to say … However, I’d still be reluctant to trade Alfaro, Nick Williams, and Adonis Medina for “2 years of” JTR.

      2. I would not. Nobody in that package offsets what JTR can provide for the opening window of contention that the Phillies are now climbing through.

        1. JTR, with Harper puts the Phillies in contention immediately.
          Williams will have to go with harper here anyway….Alf is not a back-up and Medina is two years away and who knows.
          I would also add Dylan Cozens to the deal , sorry Denny, with everyone’s high ranking Gamboa.

        2. There is also the theory that Bryce Harper has always been a vocal JTR fan.

      3. Actually, that’s a deal I’d consider if you could combine it with a contract extension buying out a few years of free agency. But if Medina became Sixto or Howard or Bohm, I wouldn’t do it. I like Medina, but not as much as those other players (we don’t know what we have in Bohm yet, but can we really ignore the possibility that he could be a first division regular third baseman?)

  36. I saw that Hinkie. The WaPo article was wrong on their valuation of an extension for Zimmerman, and how that would save the calculation for AAV, also included winning vs. Barraclough in Arbitration, and trading Adam Eaton. This sounds to me like another smokescreen aimed at getting a higher # from us. I think the Nats ownership knows exactly what they would pay Harper, and even if there is another # forthcoming, they can’t beat us in total amount. So, we are back to Harper taking less to go back to Washington. I don’t think that he and Boras are waiting this long to take the second highest offer.

      1. But Adam Eaton’s cap hit, with a Harper return, would not be the biggest issue….it is the crowded OF…Soto, Harper, Eaton, Taylor, Robles…they would be forced to trade one….most likely Eaton or Taylor, and forced to sell low.

    1. Didn’t read the whole thing. Is this Nick Francona as in Terry’s son? If so I’m surprised, played on a team w him in HS, he was a decent pitcher and good kid.

  37. With regard to JTR, you can keep him for two years at a way under market salary. If he doesn’t want to extend, you can give him a QO and get a 1st round pick.

    1. Again you don’t get 1st round picks for putting a QO on a player anymore. You get that teams next highest pick after the 1st round.

  38. Well, by Jim’s standards, the Realmuto talks are now something with weight as local beat writer Jim Salisbury is reporting sources confirming talks have been taking place.

    1. And imagine this opening day lineup:

      Jean Segura ss
      Bryce Harper lf
      Rhys Hoskins 1b
      Mike Moustakas 3b
      JT Realmuto 6
      Odubel Herrera cf
      Andrew McCutchen rf
      Cesar Hernandez/Scott Kingery 2b
      Aaron Nola p

      It’s a distinct possibility.

      1. So we’ve been waiting and watching this rebuild for years just to sign/trade for 5 new hitters (out of 8)? Couldn’t we have done this in 2015? or 2017? lol
        (To be sure, this is just rhetorical.)

        1. yea, while that above lineup does intrigue me, i highly doubt there will be a 63% turnover in the starting 8 position players in one year. I’m all for keeping Franco over signing Moustakas as i see that as a lateral move and don’t envision him bringing much back in a trade anyway. i like the steps Maikel took last year in his development as a hitter, and i think there is more left before he reaches his ceiling, but yea it’s more than possible that I’m just overly-optimistic. I would, though, like to see what the Rangers/Padres would offer us for Franco (and others?) if Machado does come on board, but other than a MM signing I don’t think the Phils move on from Franco this offseason

  39. I don’t know how shrewd Jeter is when it comes to evaluating players. But Alfaro’s potential with improving defensive capabilities will be Klentak’s best ace for him to land JTR. I predict that HOU will get JTR but SD have the best cards to offer — Mejia and combo of power arms.

    If Jeter prefers MLB ready young talent, then the Phillies can have a shot especially if Jeter want to jettison some bad contract like Chen.

    A package of cost controlled MLB ready players like Eflin-Alfaro-Williams-delos Santos is a solid package — is that enough and appealing to Jeter is another story.

    1. For our sake I hope Jeter is the one trying to be GM but I think they have a GM in Mike Hill although they precariously do not have anyone who holds that official title.

      Jeter is listed as CEO.

  40. The early reports grew from 15 on Friday, to 24 on Monday, and to over 45 on Tuesday.

    Nola and Eflin arrived Monday and were throwing off the mound on Tuesday.

    It was hard to identify all the new faces. Here are some of them – Aparicio, Guttierez, Marchan, Lenin Rodriguez, Matt McBride, Eickhoff, Muzziotti, Brito, Llovera, Gonzalez, …

    Hopefully they’ll make them wear shirts with their names on them soon.

  41. The gridlock on FA route 19 is mind numbing. Rumors of trade talks heating up, new teams suddenly and supposedly interested (now SF is meeting with Harper?), holdups with arbitration hearings. I’ve had gall stones on a few occasions, and I’m told that’s the closest a male will come to experiencing labor pains. This off season is like a pregnancy in its 10th month, and the doctor keeps dropping in to say, “it’s not quite time yet.”

    Manfred! Fix this freakin’ mess!

    1. But on a more encouraging front, Jeff Passan reported that among things being discussed between the players union and MLB – a 3 batter minimum for pitchers, universal DH and a single trade deadline. The fact that they are talking at all amid tension between the sides is a good sign well in advance of the next CBA negotiations.

    2. I’m sure new teams are checking in because they think the offers are so low they can jump in and get a steal but I don’t think the offers are really that low.
      the agents are just attempting to squeeze every last dollar out of the situation.

  42. Hold the phone … new CBA talks. A universal DH …. that would change the thinking on a lot of moves for the Phillies imo.

    Would you still have traded Santana?
    Looks like Quinn and Cozens become more viable
    Does it now make more sense to sign both BH & MM in anticipation of 2020’s DH. I think it is very unfair to FOs who have been active this offseason. Really changes the moves you’d make, in not only roster spots, but dollar allocations. To me, I can’t see it happening this season, but I believe 2020
    Is the year for the hot button topic.

    On the 3 minimum batter rule … I can’t see that passing. A better compromise is possible. The rule imo would eliminate jobs on the roster. I can see a minimum of 2, as then it could make sense to still carry a lefty specialist or just have a rule that you can bring in 1 pitcher a game to face 1 batter.

    I think they should also eliminate the INT walks … sure you can pitch around, but nothing is more hurtful to the game than having a Barry aaBonds standing with the bat on his shoulders … imagine getting trout and he just gets walked twice, to 3 times a game. Can’t happen imo. Need to make a rule that each int walk on a specific batter adds an extra base.

    Let the players hit. One ofThe best aspect of the game to me is the pitcher batter matchups within the game, ex Nola vs Harper. Don’t ruin it with INT.

      1. An immediate implementation of the DH in the NL as pushed for by the union would spur some activity to sign more FA bats more suited for that role. However, Nelson Cruz signed with MIN without the benefit of having 15 more teams to potentially pursue him.

        1. From my understanding it will not be immediate …..butfor 2020.
          NL teams have not had adequate time in the off-season to adjust their rosters for that change, which makes sense.

        2. I hear that. It think it will be 2020 vs 2019. A fair counter move to this is to bump the luxury tax up some. For years roster spots/roster allocations in the NL are different than AL for obvious reasons

          In any event, this should make Dylan Cozens, Williams, Altheer,Quinn, and Haseley smile. Seems it could give one of them a better chance of catching on. With the DH news and the bump to a 26 man roster, could really help those guys. I’m sure the logjam at SP is happy too.

          Overall, interesting tweaks to the game, minus the controversial DH topic. I’ve submitted though. I don’t want to see a 25mil-30mil Ace type pitcher get plunked on the hand or pull a hammy running the bases. I love the strategy but I think for baseball to grow, more offense is better to draw in more fans…. before we all die off

    1. sr, I have been a long time purist. But you are right, the days when pitchers took pride in their swing are long gone. Why bother with the charade anymore?

      1. Yes the days of Mitch Williams and his 0.0 WAR rating are over … winning games with his bat and blowing leads with his arm cancel each other out lol

  43. On the Slow play from the FO with these 2 guys…

    The cat and mouse game has ramped up. On one hand we have reports that the Phillies are back in the Realmuto offers … with the stars countering with new interest SF coupled with SD/AZ/LA. Now the push is to think about a massive 1 year deal to push your value, with the Phillies showing that other options exist, much cheaper.

    It’s getting dicey, but Middleton can just say fine, here it is 9/360, sign the stupid thing. IF these guys sign 1 year deals, baseball FA has changed by leaps and bounds and so has our sanity.

    I’m a be one really pissed off phillies fan if this bounces the wrong way for them. It does sound like Boras being Boras, but the longer this drags on it gives time for them to find other solutions than the Phillies.

    Well… baseballs are on the table, will see how this ends

  44. This just in : St. Louis Browns declare interest in Bryce Harper sweepstakes. Rumor has it that Seattle Pilots may also be interested…….details to follow.

    1. The little sisters of the poor are also interested in him but on a low AAV deal, very short term. Word is he likes their uniforms.

  45. One big wrinkle in this unending Machado/Harper situation – Arenado, and whether he signs an extension with COL, which may be plausible due to the trend of free agency and the fact that he’s soon to be 30 years old. For two significant reasons – one being his (and theirs as well) value would be given a range in years and dollars, AND the second being that he would be one less star player on the market next winter. Problem is, who knows if or when he would sign anytime soon. This is worse than that leaky faucet in the middle of the night.

    1. 8mark – If Arenado were to be traded either now or at the deadline, he would be a fool to NOT sign an extension with his new team. As they say, “A bird in the hand …

      1. I’m inclined to agree with you, Wawa. These players and especially their agents had better sober to the new reality. Owners have turned the reins of their ball clubs over to savvy, analytical minds with new math and their regret of past misjudgments in paying for past performance has finally caught up with the players. No man. Now both sides need to come to the table and agree to allow for the right allocation of big money to the younger players who shouldn’t have to wait years before their talents are awarded.

    2. Not sure what you meant for a minute /………. “which may be plausible due the END of free agency……./ i had to reread that….because “end” may be the operative word. I can’t imagine any player not wanting to sign an extension at this point – it just is not worth it.

  46. Even though I’m an Alfaro fan, I’m also a realist. Alfaro will never match Realmuto’s numbers on offense, so I’d be willing to trade Alfaro, Williams, Miami’s choice of Medina or Sixto, and Miami’s choice of Haseley or Moniak to open the conversation.

  47. Put a final offer on the table for both Harper and Machado.

    Tell the players/agent to take it or leave it by Monday.

    Then, move on to the other trades that are being held up.

  48. TrollU, I don’t think they are finished at all. Regardless of Harper/Machado, I think they add a SP, and there is at least one trade. I don’t think Moustakas is out of the question because I have believed all along that Franco is being traded, as well as one of the RPs, like Hunter. This is not the team for next year, and even if we lose out on Harper/Machado, there will be more moves. At this point, Harper signing a 1 year/$40 Million contract would not surprise me. I am surprised that the Machado rumors are non existent.

    1. Everyone said the same thing about JD Martinez last yr and he signed long term with outs. that’s the way boras works. I’d be surprised on a one yr deal because nothing to suggest a bigger deal is coming next yr unless he’s willing to go short term to short term
      eventually they will both have to pick a best offer and sign

  49. My one prevailing consolation is that one morning, I will wake up, go to MLBTR and see the headline PHILLIES REACH AGREEMENT WITH __________!

  50. Miami beat writer Joe Frisaro just tweeted 10 minutes ago that he will have a JTR update shortly. Stay tuned, Marlins and Phillies fans….

      1. That’s fine with me. Sixto is high risk. Not taking anything away from his talent but red flags all over him for my comfort. If the Phillies say ‘no’, Sixto damn well better become something close to Pedro 2.0

      2. If Realmuto had 4 or 5 years until FA, I’d consider it. Sixto makes the deal a no go for me and so would Howard or Bohm (and MAYBE Garcia). I’d tell give them Medina and add any current reliever other than Seranthony.

            1. I would think so but the report also mentions that while Alfaro would be his reasonable replacement, that tidbit hasn’t been confirmed yet.

            2. Now if for some reason Alfaro wasn’t included in the deal, wow that would put a feather in Klentak’s cap.

      3. So Medina stays…along with Howard i hope.
        So two of the pieces will be Alf and Sixto…..the next one or maybe two wlil be interesting….assume one will be an OFer 40 already or maybe hi-A or above, the last piece I hope…just four total…….maybe an infielder.
        I think Jeter/Hill got burned on the Yelich deal and may look to make up for it.

          1. Not sure if this link will work, but check this out on Alfaro vs Realmuto

            1. Actually the ages are as of….2019..Alf is 26 and JTR is 28
              Also 81 home game Park Factor would likely favor JTR if he hits in CBP.

            2. But has anyone looked at the defensive upgrade JTR provides vs Alf….not a lot but maybe enough to get a few more wins.

              Player Team SDI
              Buster Posey SFG 6.4
              Manny Piña MIL 6.1
              Willson Contreras CHC 4.1
              Yasmani Grandal LAD 3.7
              Austin Hedges SDP 3.6
              Yadier Molina STL 2.0
              J.T. Realmuto MIA -0.1 **************************
              Tucker Barnhart CIN -1.1
              Francisco Cervelli PIT -1.2
              Jorge Alfaro PHI -2.1 ***************************
              Kurt Suzuki ATL -4.1
              Chris Iannetta COL -5.5

            3. Whatever is holding up Harper’s Bizarre (no, not ‘bazaar’ – at this point it’s bizarre…thanks, Scott) getting Realmuto may be the cherry on top in directing Harper’s attention back east. I’m not suggesting one player would make all the difference but BH was clearly impressed by the Real Deal when he beat the Nats one night last season. Get it done, Matt!

            4. wRC+ 117 for Alfaro. Of course, no mention of the 34% k rate. Alfaro could take a BIG step foward this year. The important part is COULD.

              When the Phils sign Harper, you trade for the more certain player in JTR. To me Harper puts them at 84 wins. JTR puts them at 87. I sure hope that is the way they are looking at it and not as a fallback if they don’t sign Harper. Now… How do they get them last 3 wins?

              For the real in depth stat guys, how crazy is what Alfaro did? It’s crazy to me the decent numbers he put up with a 36% k rate. How close does he get to what looks like 26% k rate once he made adjustments in the minors?

    1. TrollU….Giants are committed right now at $178M for 2019 and $128M for 2020.
      So Farhan Z will be cutting it close unless he can dump Johnny Cueto and his $22M.

  51. And Harper’s going to play for a washed up team with a ton of bad contracts, old players, and no farm system ? On top of that they are so close to the penalty – does the new GM want to start off in the penalty box ?? They better offer him an awful lot of $$$ – and I can’t imagine how many HR’s he will hit in that park ??? Not the recipe for “generational” stats for a generational star ! I guess the Kansas City Monarchs will be the next entrant to pull that Harper lottery ticket ?

    1. Old and washed up? If managed properly, the team will not be old. The only concern I see would be finding a #2 starter in the next couple of years. I think Hall can definitely be a 2 WAR player. DH is coming.

      2021= Herrera lf, Segura 2b, Trout cf, Harper rf, McCutcheon dh, Hall 1b, Bohm 3b, pre arb catcher, pre arb ss.

      That would be all but the same WAR in the lineup to me as this year if they get Harper and JTR. Crazy the amount of flexibility a player like Trout allows you as a 6/7 WAR player

  52. Sounding more and more like JTR could happen. Scott Lauber’s latest tweet minutes ago says MIA is in a hurry to move him and they also believe the Phillies have what it takes to get it done, provided Alfaro and Sixto are in the deal.

  53. Include sixto. What are the real odds that he will become a TOR? 5%, 10%? A chance to get a player of JTR caliber does not cone along every day.

      1. Two years and he will be 30….so the FA market for 30 year old catchers with about 1000 games caught may not be as lucrative as it would appear if the market stays like these past two off-seasons.
        Of course the Phillies would QO him so a draft pick comes back if he does leave..
        Or he may be willing to sign an extension.
        My concern…his future position if he cannot stay at catcher as it wears on him.

      2. A lot can happen in 2 years, Murray. The greener pastures of free agency are not as plush as they used to be. JTR may like it here, be open to re-signing, and even when our young catching crop of Marchan, Duran, etc arrive, the DH will provide another opportunity for the Phillies to spread their wealth.

  54. What’s the consensus? Trade Sixto and Alfaro?? I’m against it but I see the reasons to do it. Sixto becoming a #1 is far from a certainty.

    1. Yes. Honestly, Jeter could get a dud in Sixto with the potential of his arm injury/hx. Of course he could turn out to be an ace as well. We are all waiting to see.

      I’ve mentioned this before, but there were rumblings sixto was more of a bullpen guy, and if so, this would be trading high on him.
      Lastly, this potential trade goes back to a point I’ve mentioned before, the FO needs to navigate the prospects correctly, trading a sixto and being wrong about his ace potential … won’t be good for the rebuild.

      Would you still trade for Realmuto if Sixto does become
      Near an Ace pitcher, say a 1b/-2A and Alfaro who hits near Realmuto but defense stinks still. The catch for us is Realmuto resigned a 4 year deal. That is not out of questions here

  55. The serious interest in JTR is an indication that the Phillies are now seriously considering a Plan B i.e no MM or BH.

    JTR is an upgrade over Alfaro and Sixto is a high risk prospect. I would add Franco to the deal, if you can sign Moose immediately. If Harper doesn’t sign, Haseley, Moniak, and Cozens’ development will be crucial to the Phillies’ future.

    Franco, Alfaro and Sixto should get JTR and a Marlins prospect.

    1. I like the idea of expanding the trade. The principals of course would be JTR for Sixto and Alfaro. But if SD isn’t keen on giving up Strahm or a good (not top) prospect for Franco, I act to offer him to Miami if they would be willing to include Jose Urena and we might consider taking on lefty Wei Yin Chen’s money. Then yes, sign Moustakas, tell Lozano and Manny good luck finding stupid money elsewhere. Our focus is, and should still be, on signing Harper. With BH, JTR, Moose, Segura, Cutch and Robertson added this winter, we would be head and shoulders the most improved team in MLB. And that’s without adding a LHP to the rotation. (Chen is disposable IMO, maybe a bullpen option but whatever…)

    2. I think the Phils want JTR because they know Harper is signing the more I think about it. Harper and JTR adds 6 wins. How do the Phils get the last 3 wins to get to their goal of 90?

      I trade Sixto and Alfaro for him. Especially if they decide to get crazy and sign Machado too.

  56. Trading Sixto is risky….Dodgers traded Pedro in ’93…Dodgers have not won a WS since the late 80s.
    Then again….. high ceiling minor league Phillies pitching prospects traded of late…Kyle Drabek….Jason Knapp…Jarred Coasrt…..Trevor May….Carlos Carassco…..Gio Gonzalez…..Gavin Floyd
    The last three have had success…Floyd for the five years in Chicago.
    So the risk is something Klentak needs to embrace and decide when way or another .
    Sitting on the fence and keeping the status quo is not always the best alternative.

    1. Elton Brand has let Klentak know … your move.

      This is pretty nuts. Realmuto would be a great get but … like Mous over Franco … how much of an uograde is he from what Alfaro could be this year?

      Not an easy call… but I wonder if the DH rumors have an impact on the Phillies willing to give up sixto and Alfaro.

      Haseley, Moniak, and Bohm are going to play important roles in the prolong run of this team. At somepoint they have to tap into
      That prospects for MlB production. Buying an entire FA class doesn’t usually work.

      But …

      Herrera
      Segura
      Harper
      Realmuto
      Hoskins
      McCutcen
      Mous/Franco
      Cehe/Kingery
      Quinn/Haseley/Cozens – DH

      How much better is that lineup than last or swap RealMuto for Alfaro?

      I’ve been an alfaro fan, but his swing and miss rates on fat meatballs down the plate are concerning
      This trade proposal is worth really considering selling Sixto for .. heck if they sign Kuechel …. does that make it better?

      Then you’d have
      Nola
      Arrietta
      Kuechel
      Pivetta
      Efflin/VV/Eichoff
      With Medina,Howard, JoJo, Irvin to follow.

  57. Matt Klentak cannot let Elton Brand upstage him…then there will come Chuck Fletcher ready to deal.
    Carousel of wheeling and dealing in the Philadelphia sports scene.

    1. It’s heating up for sure. Even Roseman might send a message to Klentak … if he goes big and franchise tags Foles to get draft picks. Risky move. Is trading Sixto and Alfaro more risky?

      1. I think that if the Phillies put Sixto off limits, we would have heard by now, if only from the Marlins side. Probably coming down to extra pieces…

  58. At this stage, when you hear about another team or mystery team meeting with BH or MM, it’s just noise. Clubs like the Padres and Giants are no threat to the Phillies landing BH/MM. I just read the latest from Buster Olney. http://www.espn.com/mlb/insider/story/_/id/25936519/why-suitors-upper-hand-bryce-harper-manny-machado-chase
    If you’re not an Insider, here are the highlights:

    * Agents and executives not involved believe the Phillies are in a position of strength. “If you’re the Phillies and you don’t believe you have [serious] competition for both of them, you’re just sitting and waiting,” said one agent. “Even if one of them signs [with another team], the other guy probably needs you, at your number.”

    * Some of the executives and agents not involved in the talks also wonder about whether the public entrant of a supposed bidder could be read by the Phillies and White Sox and any other team serious involved as a sign of weakness, rather than strength. In recent days, public reports have linked Harper and Machado to the San Diego Padres, a franchise that doesn’t seem close to contention; Harper met with the Padres. “If I’m in [Boras’] position, I’m working like crazy to make sure that doesn’t [leak] out,” said one club official, “because it smells desperate. It makes it seem like you don’t have as much as you thought you would.”

    Look … there is nothing out there to make anyone worry that the Phillies will not get one of Harper or Machado.

        1. Just my opinion. It’s a Cali team.
          I’m not bashing you for your opinions. I thought you all weren’t supposed to make fun of others for their opinions? Must feel good knowing you make fun of others.

    1. This is just a hunch, but I find plausible the explanation that Harper is waiting until after the Nats arbitration cases to get their final offer

      1. It gives him cover, and a good explaination for boras to use for the extreme wait, but I think that is all that it is. A tactic. Nats are going the STL/Pulujos treatment to easy the fanbase of his departure.

  59. So my opinion – Sixto has GREAT potential but some health concerns.
    We know JT is a sure thing. If Sixto HAS to be included for JT, I say add him. Prospects don’t always pan out and Sixto has tremendous risk. JT is a known performer who could be a game changer especially if Harper comes (per CDs sources) or Machado. Either Phillies get neither, JT would still be a great addition. Alfaro is a good player with potential but I’d rather have someone consistent like JT

    1. …and then imagine the 100+ dominos falling rapidly afterwards, including Moustakas to the Phillies as a fringe benefit of negotiating with Boras all this time. It’s more than likely Moose’s deal is no more than 2 years, maybe an option for year 3.

      The Phillies will not only have to keep Trout in mind as they budget for 2021 and beyond, but JTR as well. And with the DH likely in the NL next year, I wonder if that also affects the luxury tax threshold since their would be 15 new starting lineup positions to consider, along with each team’s 26th roster spot which is also being discussed.

      1. the key is to keep the back of rotation and bullpen cheap from the minor league system
        avoid overpaying for 4th and 5th starters and 6th and 7th inning relievers
        and have a few low priced starters in positions
        ex haseley replace mccutch
        kingery replaced hernandez
        Garcia replaces seugura over time

        sr

  60. C. JTR
    1b. Hoskins
    2b. Kingery/ Hernandez
    So seguira
    38. Moose
    Of. Mccutch
    Cf. Herrera
    Rf Harper

    Trade Franco , Williams, sp to diamnbacks for ray

    Alfaro/sixto/ small 3rd piece to marlins

    Sp
    Nola
    Arietta
    Ray
    Pivetta
    Efflin

    How sweet is that.

    1. If Kingery develops, that becomes a pretty deep lineup. If McCutchen falls off a cliff? They have cheap replacements that should produce in the minors to replace him with. Heck might even seelll him off to replenish farm system depth and free up luxury tax space. I’ll take my chances that 1 of the OF prospects is an every player

    1. More than likely 2020. Players union is pushing for 2019 but nothing in baseball moves fast enough for that to happen, does it?

      1. I am so ready for this. More scoring means less boredom and I think the strategy that results from having pitchers hit (double moves, etc. . . ) is overrated. I’d rather not watch an automatic out every 9 batters – it’s not that intriguing.

        1. And, by the way, the DH, to my mind, unquestionably gives the AL an advantage in the WS (and interleague games) because AL teams are always carrying an extra premium hitter that can’t be kept on an NL roster. On the NL roster, that player is typically an extra reliever, utility player or 4th/5th outfielder (a player who has much less value than the DH), so the advantage definitely goes to the AL.

            1. I think you are agreeing with me. In any event, historically, the AL has a .526 winning percentage in interleague play – and half of those games are played with NL rules.

              And this confirms the eye test. Every time we play an AL team away, it’s like we’re playing with one hand tied behind our backs because some dude like David Ortiz helps gang up and beat the living daylights out of the Phillies – it’s entirely unfair because, again, a good DH, when he can DH, is way more valuable the corresponding player on the NL roster (extra reliever or utility player).

      1. No they wouldn’t – both of those players would be low-performing DHs – at least if they continued their current performance.

    1. LOL at Randy Miller of NJ.com. He’s just miffed that the SFG’s won’t take Jacoby Ellsbury (and his albatros of a contract) off the hands of the NYY’s.

      Here’s a line from his story today:

      “With spring training beginning for pitchers and catchers next week, all parties would prefer a quick resolution and recent rumors suggest Harper may be willing to take a three-year contract …”

      He later states:

      “Harper hasn’t had much success there – he’s hit .164 with two homers in 19 games at AT&T Park.”

      Listen to what he is basing his reporting on … “recent rumors suggest”.
      Also, Harper is going to take the most guaranteed money offered. Why would he take a three year deal to rehabilitate his market and choose to play those three years in a cavernous park he has had little to no success in (.164 BA & 2 HR’s in 19 games)?

      Come on.

  61. I am really against including Sixto or Howard in a trade to acquire Realmuto. I don’t care if they include a guy like Medina or Haseley in that deal, but Sixto has the ability to be an ace for the better part of a decade. You don’t throw that away for a catcher who is locked in for only two more years. Bad idea. Bad value play. And yet another reason why not signing Wilson Ramos was dumb as heck.

    1. It makes it interesting catch. On one hand you see ilhis potential, and it’s not a homer view point as man pundits agree. Currently ranked in the top 15 by BA. on the other hand, he could be truly hurt…. if so … then Medina is really your #1 pitching prospect until Howard jumps him.

      It’s tough, if they do trade him, I’d have to feel the front office believes he may have a future of injures that squash his potential and believe they can extend Realmuto’s contract.

      Ramos is still a head scratcher to me, especially what he wind up getting. Made sense to start him 100-120times with Alfaro the rest.

      1. Let’s put it this way. The differential between Realmuto and a Ramos/Alfaro tandem (which, by the way, has the benefit of allowing the hot hand to play more because both guys have starters ability) is much smaller than the massive value it will take to acquire Realmuto. It’s a terrible value play by comparison.

        1. At the end of the season, I was pushing for the Phillies to resign Ramos. With Alfaro and Knapp, to cover disabled list time, it was a good play imo.
          Those against thought he’d get more years and money than he did, almost double. The Mets got a steal on him imo. It makes the price for Realmuto nauseating, I think that was a missed opportunity by the FO, much like Hamels at last years deadline.
          Sounds like the FO has a plan and buy their way out of the mistakes, so I won’t whine too much.

          1. “The Mets got a steal on him imo. It makes the price for Realmuto nauseating, I think that was a missed opportunity by the FO, much like Hamels at last years deadline.”

            Agree completely. And, fyi, I was pushing for the Hamels deal all last year.

          2. thought i read that Ramos didnt want to be in a position where he was mentoring a young catcher or possibly splitting time with him, so signing Ramos with Alfaro here might not have been an option

  62. As the Phillies now get to the point where they are trading away young players and prospects, keep in mind that the great franchises – teams that are great and stay great – virtually always identify the young players that are going to be stars and hold onto them for dear life. If you think that Sixto has a legitimate shot of being an ace – and I do – you don’t trade him for a very good player two years from free agency in a package that includes several other players with significant value.

    1. I would be okay with the following package for Realmuto: Alfaro, Williams, Medina, Lllovera, and either Haseley or Moniak (of the two, I think more highly of Haseley – I think he has an MLB bat).

      1. catch … I don’t see the Phillies giving up Sixto Sanchez in a package for 2 years of JT Realmuto. And they shouldn’t have to. No team (Reds, Padres, Braves, Dodgers, etc) has been willing to surrender one of their top 3 prospects to Miami for JTR. The Nationals wouldn’t even give up one of their top 2 prospects last year when Realmuto was under team control for three years.
        Two years of Realmuto (IMO) just isn’t that great a need for the Phillies for them to sacrifice one of their top young arms (Sanchez, Medina, Romero, Howard).

        1. Hinkie – you and I are agreeing WAY too much these days (LOL). I love Realmuto, but yeah, he’s not worth an elite prospect and that includes Bohm and maybe Garcia (getting rid of that potential upside scares the hell out of me). Depending on the package I’d consider Medina and Romero.

            1. Denny, that would be the crime of the century. Question is who would get locked up – Klentak for grand theft or Mike Hill and Derek Jeter for administrative malpractice?

    2. It’s true. Alfaro is not Realmuto, but he could progress to the point that He is well above avg, not quite Allstar level. Combine that potential with Sixto and the financial savings to add elsewhere, makes the argumaent for Realmuto almost one sided.

      Best arguement for Real, is boost. 2019&2020 chances, can potentially extend him, and it might help convince Trout to not sign an extension, seeing what the Phillies are doing

      1. The opportunity to acquire the best player at a premium position, especially one with JTR’s hit tool, is worth giving up a top prospect with significant red flags, even for just two years – 2 PRIME years btw. Plus it is certainly a possibility that Realmuto may re-sign. Howard and Medina hold more value in my eyes than Sixto does today.

          1. Will see. It is a gut check move. If they truly can have Realmuto for sixto & Alfaro, plus “lower tier prospect … and decide to pass. To me it is a defining moment. If the Phillies FO decides to pull that trigger or pass, they need to win that decision. They need to be right because if they pass, sixtos value could plummet if hurt, so they better be right about that too

            1. Interesting point, Tac3. My belief/philosophy is that GMs need to win deals when they are rebuilding, and get the necessary pieces when the window of contention opens – which is NOW for the Phillies – even if a guy like Sixto goes on to have great success as a major league SP. Do what it takes to win NOW if now is the time. 2 or 3 years ago, I would say no don’t do that deal. Today, I say yes and amen!

            2. Suppose the Phillies make the deal (Alf/Sixto/Williams)…and JTR agrees to a LTC buying out arb 2 and 3, plus 3/4 more years..
              Then is it alright?

            3. Long term contract has value so, yes, it would enhance the deal and would justify a better package but still not an elite prospect. Just another good prospect.

            4. I mentioned this yesterday. The free agent market in 2019/20 and onward will not look as green to FAs as it has in the past. Players will be more open to the idea of re-signing with a club if it’s heading in the right direction. The Phillies are known for taking good care of their players. And the are flush with cash these days. So….

            5. 8mark: another side to this potential deal is that hypothetically if the trade is done, and Sanchez flourishes … those are division wins he’d be posting against the Phillies. In other words if Sanchez is a 16 game winner or more you can add much more value to the wins that come against the Phillies … could be 3.

              Again … if they make that trade, they better be correct.

    3. Sixto is a phenomenal talent, but he has equally if not more a chance of flaming out than he does becoming an ace. I’m not sure I’d give up Medina > Sixto, Medina has very high potential as well and is much closer to the Majors than Sanchez.

      1. I hear you, but here’s the thing. The Phillies can replace a #3 in the rotation (that’s Medina’s current projection – roughly). The cannot easily replace an ace, especially one who will be cheap for 6 or 7 seasons. You cannot overstate the value that Sanchez might bring. Unless the team thinks his health is extremely tenuous, you don’t move him for a non-franchise player who is creeping up on free agency. Again, it’s a really bad value play, especially since Sanchez will be one piece of many.

        1. Amen, Catch. Sanchez has much more potential in my eyes than Medina. To be frank, I think Howard is now the #1 prospect because he has stayed healthy.

          Here is the thing nobody knows about Sanchez. Have the Phillies been babying him because he is such a top notch prospect? Maybe he could have been pitching but the Phillies don’t even want to take a 1% chance on his health. Maybe if Sanchez’s name was Will Stewart he would have been pitching. The Phillies hopefully know if these injuries were minor or the precursor to something more serious.

  63. i think the key is do you trust in the development and health or sixto.?
    if you think he can stay health and pitch 150+ innings a year as a starter. you keep him

    given his elbow pain with limited use. its just hard to imagine him not having TJ surgery on the horizon. I’m in favor of selling high on him. I’m just not convinced he pitches 150-200 innings at the big league level.
    howard , I think , has the frame to do that
    just my feeling

    1. sr…I lean with you. I have seen plenty of premier Phillies arms falter or traded and not pan out well…..of all them over the last 15/20 years the only ones who have succeeded to any degree at the MLB level were Carassco, Gio and Gavin Floyd.
      JA Happ I do not count since he was already pitching at the MLB level for a few years as a Phillie before being traded to Houston.
      Look at all the others….the Jason Knapp, Kyle Drabek, Scott Mathieson, Trevor May, Jarred Cosart and a few others of lesser perdigree….even ones that stayed in the org….fell off the radr due to arm or shoulder ailments Jon Pettibone, Nick Hernandez, and others i cannot recall at this moment.

      1. sr………plus look at the Phillies pitchers lately who have succeeded….Hamels, Myers, Nola and even Kendrick….soft-tossers …….they rarely hit 94 in the minors on the velo scale….mostly all sat somewhere between 90-93…with other secondary pitchers that were plus.
        The true hi-velo guys work 95 and above now.
        Sixto could be a risk to trade…..but that arm issue is also risky…and if Jeter wants to take that risk, so be it.

      2. But, guys, here’s where you are wrong. Sixto is a much better prospect than any of those other Phillies pitchers, including Carrasco. The only Phillies minor leaguer in the last 40 years who was Sixto’s equal as a pitching prospect was Hamels and that’s a short list if ever there was one.

        1. That is an opinion that you have….I do not want to argue that point on the merits of a prospect since it is very subjective and different years have different quality of skilled prospects.
          However…Carassco was rated for three straight years in the top 100 of BA FWIW:
          Baseball America….-2007-41…2008-54….2009-52

          1. Okay, so the references you’ve cited would, rather than cutting against my argument support the assertion that Sixto is, by industry rakings, the best pitching prospect they’ve had in the last 40 years.

            Frankly, Hamels’ went down because, like Sanchez, he suffered injuries and effecitvely just wasn’t pitching at all for two years, but when he was pitching, he was like a house afire.

            Carrasco was a very good prospect to be sure (and he’s become an even better major leaguer) but he was NEVER ranked as highly as Sanchez.

            I stand by my assertion and believe it is correct. Sanchez is either the best or second best pitching prospect the Phillies have had in a couple of generations. You don’t trade a guy like that easily.

            1. Bear this in mind…Sixto comes up lame this summer and needs TJ…he is on the shelf thru 2020 until 2021…..Jim has him listed as Rule 5 protection on the 40 2019, but I think it is 2020.
              But that means protecting an injured pitcher on a slot, who you have no knowledge of how it turns out.
              Al a matter of risk.
              In any event…..we agree to disagee that is all.

            2. Phillies signed Sanchez on March 2, 2015 at the age of 16. He is Rule 5 eligible at the fifth R5 Draft after his signing – 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.

            3. Okay….i wasn’t positive…..I also didn’t think it would count for 2015 since it was the Dom summer league and not stateside.
              So Marlins have to protect him this November..

    2. Unless you’re a doctor and know his medical records, I wouldn’t reach the conclusion that he will need TJ surgery. How soon we forget. The Phillies have had several good young pitchers recently who they shut down for elbow soreness and then rehabbed those players properly and had them return to full health for extended periods of time. This happened with both Velasquez and Nola. Remember? I think the Phillies are extremely attuned to what is going on with their young pitchers and urge them to let the team know the moment they feel any elbow pain. Until we know more bad stuff, I would not assume he has lingering elbow problems and, in fact, I’d assume the opposite.

      1. VV had TJ in 2013…..his innings post-TJ shelf life according to the experts is approaching soon.
        Nola had PRP…and it worked….him and Tanaka are about the only two so far that have went on to better pitching days than prior.

      2. agreed, its not a sure thing about TJ surgery ( LOL, I AM actually a doctor but obviously have not seen his records) but I am really concerned about his long term health

  64. I am only guessing at what the injury to Sixto really was. Then he had the collarbone problem that kept him out of the Arizona Fall League. But, he is our best prospect, a true potential Ace SP. I don’t trade him. I think JTR is a terrific C, and I give up a lot to get him, but not Sixto. He may never pan out, very true. But, he is worth the risk. Medina, Williams, Alfaro and another prospect not Haseley or Bohm or Howard. Maybe I am not valuing JTR enough, but that is a lot to offer.

    1. Matt13…..but the consensus is that Sixto is the only pitcher Jeter wants as to Phillies pitching prospects….if it were Medina I’d agree.

      Depends on how bad Klentak NEEDS to win now…his 5-year contract is up after 2020….and Sixto will not help them this year and will be a rookie if he at all makes it next year.

      1. Part of Sixto’s importance is that he has the chance to provide high quality starting pitching as a pre-arbitration range salary for a number of years. That kind of flexibility when Harper/Machado as well as others are earning “stupid money” is vital.

        1. He has not pitched over 95 inning in one season yet……I am not sure the Phillies will have him up any time before 2021, when he turns 21, and also have him throw 150 plus innings.
          They just do not seem to work that way with young arms…that now have had some issues.

          1. If he’s healthy, he’ll be up long before 2021. Hamels pitched fewer minor league innings than Sanchez already has before being called up to the majors. The Phillies moved Cole quickly once he was healthy because he was ready for big league hitters.

            1. I do not see this year at all ….maybe 2020 as a reliever or emergency starter…and after also after June for service time considerations….I guess that is long before 2021.

      2. If the Angels want Sixto and Hoskins and others for Trout I’m in…Sixto for Realamuto not as much. Of course I am assuming like most we will sign MM or BH.

      3. Romus, that is a good point. I don’t know the pressure that Klentak is under from Middleton. I know the pressure he is under from us, but that doesn’t count. If we don’t get either Machado or Harper, how much does JTR help our chances? I know he is good, and I certainly like him. But, I don’t know where his acquisition puts us relative to the other teams in our Division. Right now, I have us 4th. That is not being negative, simply that the Nats and Braves are better, and I think we can be equal, on paper, with the Mets, but we can’t seem to beat them. I don’t want to trade Sixto unless the return is a player that makes us the Division’s best team. A young SP, under team control, is probably, short of a Trout miracle, the only return I feel is acceptable for Sixto.

    2. Again, when we have entered playoff relevance, there’s a danger in overvaluing our own talent at the cost of not acquiring game changing talent. The FO has to know the moment.

  65. Kyle Drabek was projected as having a #2 ceiling, the others 3, 4, 5 Pitchers. Sixto is projected as a #1. That is the difference to me. And, I agree, we should have Ramos and Hamels. Jeff Passan had a nice quote on the whole Harper/Machado offseason. “Intrigue has evolved into annoyance.” That is how I feel. I was pessimistic, as you all know. Always expecting the worse to happen to the Phils. Then I trusted you guys who are positive that we are getting one. Now, I am sick and tired of the whole thing. I just want it to be over, and I will deal with whatever happens. The system is clearly broken, when the other sports make trades and do signings in a way that is exciting, not in a way that sucks all the fun out of it.

    1. Yup, I’ve been positive, now I am in the extreme annoyed category.

      Going to throw my conspiracy hat out there for fun… maybe Realmuto isn’t real 🙂 it’s a bone klentak is throwing us fans to hold us over as we wait to hear on BH/MM. at least a distraction. Very thoughtful klentak!

      Another day closer, but I wish it was yesterday. This is getting very old. Realmuto has injected some life into the Phils fan base lol and just more annoying rumors for all the rest.

      Can’t wait til the season starts

  66. I also think it needs to be JTR with harper or MM
    that puts together a strong positional player array
    if they are not getting MM or harper, then they probably will not be a world series contender now so keep sixto

  67. To all of you, regardless of which side you take, this has been an awesome and good spirited debate. Enjoying it thoroughly and thanks to everyone who has contributed thoughtful comments, even if we don’t agree.

  68. FWIW, last night on 94WIP, MLB/Miami beat writer Joe Frisaro mentioned something I wasn’t aware of – Realmuto really runs well, forget just for a C. He’s fast.

    1. Fastest runner of all a catchers outside of…believe it or not ROX catcher Murphy.
      Alf comes in 6th….after Nats’ Severino, Cubs’Contreras, and Jays’ Jansen

  69. I previously stated that the Phillies won’t match the competition when it comes to bidding for JTR. Anbd if the competition do not want to give up their top talent and drive JTR trade market down, I will not also give up Sixto Sanchez for that matter. I don’t even want to give up Medina or Howard as well.

    I don’t speak highly of Alfaro but I don’t view him lowly (like I view Cesar and Franco) either so an Alfaro and Enyel (of Eflin) package plus a couple of Top 30ish prospects (Parkinson, Maton) for JTR is the package I will offer to MIA.

    If Klentak wants to add offensive production on top of Seguara, Cutch and a superstar (Harper) they expected to sign —- just sign both Harper and Machado and keep Alfaro and use the prospects to acquire a top arm, I understand that Mike Trout is the ultimate target, but having both Harper and Machado is a good fallback if Mike Trout cannot be had.

    1. It’s sounding like you may be wrong about the Phillies getting him and what they are going to pay which, I fear, will be painfully huge.

      1. i don’t understand why you are trying to say. Basically, what I’m saying is that the rumored Sixto and Alfaro (and possibly plus) is an overpayment for JTR. The reasonable package I can offer is Alfaro and Enyel (of Eflin) package plus a couple of Top 30ish prospects (Parkinson, Maton) for JTR.

            1. You are right but it is like Nick Foles playing for the Giants. Better opportunity for him but you can’t cheer for opposition.

  70. For the Realmuto fans… I’ll throw a curve ball. Realmutos OPS was lower than I thought Its be but … what if the Phils switched gears from Harper and Realmuto to:

    Machado and Haniger (SEA OF). So instead of giving up sixto to MIA, they pivot and go with MM/Haniger.

    Which team would you want? Either way you can have sixto but you get to keep Alfaro on the SEA trade: Sixto,Haseley,Franco for Haniger (just humor it)

    1. No Sixto to JTR so No Sixto to Hanger as well. Having Machado and Haniger will make the Phillies to RH heavy. Rather than trade Sixto, Haseley and Franco for a RH, just sign both Harper and Machado and keep Alfaro at C (trade Knapp for J2 $$, promote and develop Grullon as the defensive backstop).

      1. Alfaro is under control for 5 years.

        Even before Klentak think of a JTR trade, the first order of business is to secure one (if not both) of Harper and Machado. Because if Klentak will miss in acquiring one (if not both) of these elite bats, JTR trade will be useless as JTR (less losing Alfaro) cannot move the needle that much.

        1. I can agree with the OPS, because Realmuto was already facing WAS and NYM pitching, plus Nola. So you’d expect it to increase at CBP. Very fair point. Same for Harper. Machado was in the AL east, fair enough.

          The counter to that is that Alfaro is having growing pains against some top level pitching. Of course, if he’s in the game. I’d be interested to see his splits vs teams without 2 to 3 aces on them. Need to factor that in whendeterming how much a difference real will be over Alfaro… and how the DH will play out . I have to believe with the speculation of the DH may make the Phils jump at offering prospects vs sitting back. Every NL
          Team will now need a starting everyday player

  71. Jon Morosi says JTR to Phillies is “gaining momentum” while Craig Mish (cited by MLBTR) tweeted that he expects JTR to be dealt today. To whom isn’t clear.

  72. Of course, if I am against this trade, it will probably happen. But, I also like Alfaro, and I would not do the deal. Just want to get on the record before it actually happens. I would vote No

    1. To soon for me, lol I need more time. Also if I was on the inside track of Sixto’s health, I’d be more confident in my decision. That said … Gun to head I do the deal, and work like hell for an extension. Harper or MM better becoming as well… and not on no short term deal.

  73. Joel Sherman says its down to physicals and 3rd piece beyond Sixto/Alf. Seems like an overpay. Realmuto is good, but he’s clearly not going to move the dial on his own. I guess we’ll have to hope for the best.

    1. I’m not sure I’d say it’s an overpay. Realmuto is the best catcher in baseball, bar none. And he’s in his prime. He’s also extremely balanced; he’s an excellent hitter and a good defender.

      That being said, and I acknowledge there’s bias here because I’m a fan, I wouldn’t include Sixto for him. If it takes Medina, Alfaro, Haseley, and some more, I bite the bullet. But Sixto is where I hang up. The front office knows more than we do, though. So I guess we’re at the same place we always are: wait and see.

    2. it feels like a bit of an overpay- but keys on just what the Phils really feel Alfaro can be.
      it would be tough for me on some level- these are first two minor leaguers that really got my son excited watching- seeing Alfaro throw a laser and meet him after the game, standing next to Sixto watching him warm up with that effortless motion.

      but as mentioned above, Sixto has thrown so few innings, needing to build up his innings and stay injury free to really become a stud starter- how high are those percentages at this point?

      certainly wouldnt want to throw in a significant third piece- but if you do this, the Bryce thing should follow, and then probably adding Keuchel to be a veteran third starter should happen, though i really dont love that idea, but seems like it would need to happen to truly go for it now.

      1. they could have come close to and possibly surpassed realmuto’s production by letting Alfaro continue to play and enter his prime. I would be 0% shocked if within 3 years Alfaro is widely considered to be a better player than Realmuto

        1. Salisbury says Alfaro wasn’t on field in Clearwater, yet was yesterday.

          Sounds very close. JTR is a solid player, but he isn’t Pudge in his prime. Hope another Marlin is coming back with him.

          1. The length of this trade has given me significant amount of time to think and now I don’t approve. I would like to keep Alfaro.

        2. I was an alfaro fan from the onset of the Hamels trade. At this point, I think Realmuto has another level that Alfaro can’t reach. RealmutO got his stats from roughly 120 games. If he plays some more, kicks it up a notch due to CBP and star studded lineup, what if he hits .290 40 doubles 30 hrs and an OPS in the .875 range? With much bettter defense than Alfaro, and speed on the base paths.

          I’ve been high Alfaro, but I don’t see him hitting those stats, maybe the hrs, but it will come with a ton of SO, and missed sacrifice flys.

          Lastly, I’ll say, Realmuto could have two seasons like Mike Lieberthals .300 avg 30hr seasons. That is hope I believe, and that would be worth hedging on sixto possibly.

          This lineup could get nuts soon… so nuts that maybe even kapler stops making in game subs!

          1. Agree with the trade or not, THIS IS A STATEMENT deal to all of MLB and those indecisive FAs waiting for something to tilt their minds.

          2. This trade isn’t about Alfaro it’s about Sixto and how many other elite prospects we have to surrender. If it’s Sixto and Medina – ugh!!!

        3. I’m not that high on Alfaro – he’s fine and will hit with power, but has big holes in his swing and plate discipline and receiving issues – and apparently neither are the Phillies or they wouldn’t be considering this big overpay.

      2. Yes, this was my point. I’m pretty disappointed if Sixto is included. Guys like Sixto don’t come down the pike every day, or every year or even every decade.

          1. Sounds like one of Moniak, Haseley or Medina will join Sixto and Alf. Unless we take on bad salary like Chen, Prado or Castro.

            1. That’s sounds way too much. Not like I have a say but … again … could’ve resigned Ramos. I think it would have been more than good enough. Not to be a buzz kill.

              Maybe Klentak is bored waiting for Harper and MM to make up their minds.

              Herrera
              Segura
              Machado
              Harper
              Hoskins
              Realmuto
              McCutchen
              Kingery

              Doesn’t sound so crazy today. Even swapping MM out for Franco is crazy good lineup.

            2. Word is Marlins want 4 players in return. Lot of haggling going on. I’m ok with 4 players so long as top prospects are not included, like Garcia and Howard.

  74. A lot has been written about the DH in the NL lately. I don’t think it will happen for this season. If they announced it during the Winter meetings, teams would have altered their signings/trades. Presumably, the Phillies will carry a 4 man bench again. Since the back-up catcher rarely plays, it’s technically a 3 man bench, With a DH would the Phillies be more inclined to go with a 7 man bullpen and a 5 man bench?

    1. One of the proposals was also to increase roster size to 26. But with a DH, you can shorten the pen. There’s no late game maneuverings to consider, it’s just put the pitcher on the mound that you want. So NL clubs can definitely get away with one fewer pitcher than they traditionally carry.

      I’m still morally opposed to the DH, though.

  75. Question of the day. The Phillies will be loading up the truck for Spring Training in the next day or two. Why don’t they just buy most of that stuff (plastic cups, Gatorade, etc.) in Florida?

  76. I’m fine with Sixto being in the deal (As long as he’s not paired w Medina or Howard). I’d prefer he wasn’t however he hasn’t proved anything yet, including staying healthy. JTR has already proven at the highest of levels that he’s AN ALL STAR!!!! The odds of Sixto even being league average are prob below 40%, just a random number but prob true.

    1. Yeah, but what you say is always true when you trade an established player for a prospect. Sixto isn’t just any prospect.

      1. Yes but JTR isn’t just an established player. He’s one of the best at his position in all of baseball. And you have him for 2 years, more than enough time to extend (or attempt to). Also if they can get Harper or Machado while using Sixto towards another all star, their deadline will look a lot better.

  77. Matt Breen heard that Sixto had recently fallen out of favor with the front office, not due to injury bug but due to conditioning or lack thereof. Might be telling of his work habits as well, IMO.

    1. Yeah, his medical reports and personal habits are things we simply don’t know. I think Howard coming on is a big factor in this too.

      1. I agree. Will know early on if Howard should jump to the top of the untouchable list.

        This is a much much better deal than earlier reported. Very surprised the bleeding stopped after Alfaro from tracking the reports. If a fish fan, I’d be upset based off those reports. Keeping Howard, Haseley, Medina, Bohm, Moniak, JoJo, and Garcia is a big win for the FO

        I wonder if the Phils are high enough on Irvin and Medina breakthrough soon, to let go of sixto

  78. I’ll go on the record as not being a fan of a deal that includes Sixto and Alfaro but I’m really not a fan of the deal if the 3rd piece of the deal includes some of the other names being mentioned (Medina, Haseley, Moniak, Garcia, Howard, Bohm).

    Giving up a young ML caliber catcher, their #1 pitching prospect, and another top-10 prospect would be a significant fail…

    1. If giving up Sixto, I believe you gotta keep Howard. Fits the timeline

      If signing Harper, trading 1 of Moniak,Haseley,Cornelius … is doable… to me it really hurts, which means it probably can get it done. They are now saying 4 players, better be something coming back past Realmuto is that’s the case.

      I’m wondering if the team has seen Eickhoff and others (Irvin, efflin, VV, eschelmen, etc) and feel they’ll be ok with giving up Sixto.
      It’ll hurt but … there is already a log jam for a team
      Looking to compete now,
      Especially if they sign Kuechel

  79. I think one that is being overlooked by everyone is Realmoto’s Home/Away splits. Right off the bat he is a .310 career hitter out of the marlins stadium. He also had 16 homeruns total the last 3 years at home as opposed to 33 on the road. There is a reason all these marlins hitters are doing well after they leave. Here’s a link to the splits for anyone who want’s to view them. https://www.fangraphs.com/statsplits.aspx?playerid=11739&position=C&season=0

  80. Like mostly everyone else here, I’m holding my breath on 3rd and 4th pieces in the trade. But my takeaway is that regardless, this is Klentak saying that the Phillies are all in for 2019. This is his 4th year under contract and this may be the hill he lives or dies on. Signing Harper isn’t the litmus test for him. Deals like these, however, are. But acquiring JTR at a painful cost in young talent is saying “we are no longer rebuilding…we are contending”. And this deal doesn’t happen unless Macharper is the next order of business.

  81. Per Jon Heyman – the big new proposed rules changes – DH in the NL, 3-batter min – very unlikely to be implemented soon.

    That echoes several people on here who estimated 2020 for the the start of these rules.

  82. Trading for Realmuto screams “win now”. So I assume that Klentak is on the hot seat and there is some pressure for the Phillies to make the playoffs.

    Realmuto will turn 28 in March, and he’s coming off a 4.3 WAR season. He’s under control for 2 more years. He can flat out hit.

    Sixto is a talent, but he only pitched in 8 games last year and there’s always talk about a person his size throwing that hard. If he stayed in the system, he would likely spend at least 2 more years in the minors. If the Phillies have soured on him, this is a classic example of selling high. Note that when Ruben was trading all our prospects to keep the window open, most of the them busted out. And Carlos Carrasco only got good at age 27, 6 years after the Phillies traded him.

    So I’m ok with Sixto and Alfaro for JT. The other players better be filler.

    1. If Klentak is in “WIN NOW” mode – he should just sign Harper and Machado.

      Checking is on JTR is just Klentak doing his due diligence considering that other top bidder are not overpaying and the JTR price is trending down.

      1. I have said previously that there’s a difference between spending money and spending crazy money. Or maybe his interpretation of crazy money is a lot different than ours.

        I do think it’s an overpay, but not as much as you think since we’re getting 2 years of JT. And I have serious doubts about Sixto’s health.

        1. The Harper and Machado trade significantly declined already so the crazy money as initially projected is not that crazy anymore. Middleton possibly doesn’t know baseball as much but he knows how to be savvy when in comes to money and market.

          Cole Hamels was deemed to be “injuy prone” during his minor years (only 226.2 IP) but he turned out to be one of the most durable SP with the Phillies and entire. If Sixto is a 23-24, then I will be concerned with his health. But Sixto is only 20 yo and he throws almost without effort.

  83. Well, it sounds as if the deal is happening today. There is a major leaker in the Marlins FO. It makes a lot of sense for them to get player names out there. Howard, Garcia, have apparently been discussed as a 3rd or 4th prospect. So have Haseley and Moniak. If they are going up a package of sixto, Alfaro, Moniak, and Howard … first I’ll flip, it sounds like a tremendous overpay. If this is the case, Realmuto better come with an extension.
    I’m just going to wait to see the final details before overreact.

    Hopefully will know tonight.

    1. I’d be fine with Alfaro/Sixto/Moniak/Williams.
      I don’t think Moniak will ever amount to anything. Williams in my opinion will end up being a 4th OFer (Ben fransisco ish).
      I might ask for something else w Realmuto . . . Maybe a prospect that they’ve soured on who the Phillies like. Or even money.

      1. That proposal sounds pretty painful to me. I’m tying not to overvalue the prospects for a proven Allstar catcher in his prime … but that still seems like an overpay.

        Will just have to wait and hold our breathe. I’m not going to check back in until 7pm, so hopefully then the final deal is confirmed. I almost get the feeling thdi could fall through becaus the ask from the Marlins feels high

  84. I just heard word that it’s Alfaro, Sanchez, Stewart and international bonus slot. If Realmuto becomes an all-star and Sanchez becomes less than an ace, it’s a reasonable deal. If Sanchez becomes Pedro-like, it’s a disaster. We shall see.

    1. I think Medina is Sixto’s replacement. Will Stewart is replaceable with about 8 other pitchers in organization. Alfaro might be Ozzie Virgil.

    1. While I initially said that including Sixto is an overpayment, the Phillies management knows more than I do. Maybe the health issues with Sixto has some weight into it that’s why the Phillies management is willing to move him.

      Sixto is the only one that stings, the rest of the trade package is acceptable.

        1. Amen……Alf let 70 runners reach RISP indirectly thru PBs errors, and WPs that he could not block…Arrieta and Seranthony oevr 15 between them…they will miss him as a friend I am sure…..but as a catcher……they hope he does well in Miami.

      1. Agreed, but this happens a lot imo. Teams ask too much, and eventually pass on the 2nd tier best offers to the 1st tier of a lower level farm

    1. To ask the question is to answer it – he’s a lower level prospect with a glimmer of upside. No big deal in a trade like this.

  85. Now that they’ve committed these resources, the Phillies should extend Realmuto now. Give him a raise, buy out three years of free agency, and move on to the next thing. As sad as I am about losing Sixto (and I am!) Realmuto is a very good player and may have star potential.

    1. i agree. If Middleton doesn’t intend to sign both Harper and Machado, make a play to have JTR at least 5 years under control.

      I may not like giving up Sixto to acquire JTR, he is now a Phillie – I support and root for anybody who plays for the red pin stripes!

    1. jeffkelly…..exactly. And if by June he needs TJ, that means the Marlins will be in a little pickle with their 40 with him come 2020.
      Will Stewart could be a very serviceable rotation piece in 3/4 years with his control and GB%….a lot like Kuechel but with a lot better velo.

        1. Guru/catch……perhaps….but then again I saw that take before….when Moyer had little chance coming out of St Joe as a 6th round from a no name baseball college back in the 80s..

            1. The old “innings burner”. Everyone of these pitchers with this notation have Phillies on their baseball cards.

    2. Well yea, the odds are always in favor of the prospect not making it since most prospects fail. he other side of that coin is the potential loss of cheap, young star players in exchange for 2-years.

      Time will tell which way this deal goes but for now, the Phillies are better.

  86. Hate seeing Sixto go, but I have already said my piece. I am now rooting for JTR to make the All Star team again. I don’t think they make this trade unless they know we are getting one of the big 2. However, I have a friend who is as big a fan as I am, and his sense is that this is to modify the disappointment of not getting one of them. 2 different readings of the same situation.

  87. Sign Harper and this is the lineup:

    1. Segura SS
    2. Realmuto C
    3. Harper RF
    4. Hoskins 1B
    5. Hererra CF
    6. Franco 3B
    7. McCutchen LF
    8. Pitcher
    9. Hernandez/Kingery 2B

  88. I’m now genuinely excited about having JT in the lineup!

    Especially in this new normal, players might be more inclined to take a long term deal now than wait for FA. I would definitely give him 4 years, $70M and see if he bites. It doesn’t sound like much but note that best case, he’s making $14M in his last year of arbitration.

    1. Well, now it’s done and having looked at Realmuto’s offensive and defensive numbers (especially defensive numbers and hitting away from Miami) and having been impressed with him every time I’ve seen him play, I’m going to be pulling for him like crazy because he may have some true big star potential that remains untapped.

      Was this an overpay? Yeah, I think it was to an extent. Was it a crazy, reckless Amaro-like overpay? Time will tell, but I don’t think it was. They traded two big prospects this winter – Crawford and Sanchez – and got two really, really good, prime of their career major league players (Realmuto and Segura). How can I really complain about that – especially if they also sign a guy like Harper or Machado? I can’t – on paper at least it’s a good outcome and they didn’t gut the entire farm system – far from it. I can live with this risk although I do hate losing Sixto.

      1. Didn’t you just say last week or earlier this week ….you were tired of seven years of futility.
        Well looks like it may come to an end.

        1. Yeah, it’s a bit of an overpay, but I just said I’m fine with the trade if you read my post. They’ve improved this team a ton without gutting the system. It’s a fair trade off.

          1. Understand….comes down to Sixto’s reaching his potential.
            And if Alf can ever better his defense and make more contact.
            That is the risky part of it.

            Though if you were in Klentak’s shoes….no risk….his contract is up next year…..he cannot afford any more of the losing….or he is gone.
            He still has Kapler’s dark smoke surrounding him lately…so he needs to make moves now.

      2. In many ways, I think the emergence of Howard, and to a lesser extent Medina, made this trade possible. They could sacrifice Sixto knowing they had other high end farms in the pipeline.

  89. jeffkelly, your statement is correct that all of those traded prospects did not amount to much. And Sixto may very well fail. But, we have to believe in some prospects some time, or why care about Phuture Phillies?

  90. Not sure if this has been posted but Matt Gelb says that JTR is expected to entertain extension talks. That is huge. Smart guidance would suggest he explore that in light of the trending free agent market.

    1. ;That would leave us with around 750k’…only for another 5 months, then it goes up….but will still lose some with the Harper signing as a QO.

  91. God Damn this line up is gonna be fun to watch!! ESP after adding Harper or Machado. Let’s hope this pushes Harper to us sooner, he’s a HUGE JTR fan. I don’t see this as an overpay at all. Hate to lose Sixto but the odds are just against him, cash him in for one of, if not the best catcher in baseball.

      1. Haven’t been this excited since Jroll labeled them the team to beat as their run started. What’s crazy is the big fish (or fish) still hasn’t been caught and there will also be trades after that. It’s weird to say but the team today could look really different than the team on opening day. Could still add 2 more positional starters (3B and OF).

  92. Great trade! As soon as I heard the Phillies were back in the talks, I knew it would happen. Go get Harper.

    What strikes me as odd – williams wasnt included. I read Marlins were high on him. Do Phillies not trade him because they know Harper isnt coming? Or is there another deal around Williams in the works?

  93. Wow …. blanking wow. KLENTAK just raised Elton Brand, Roseman, and Fletcher.

    Huge move, i sense it will workout for them.
    I haven’t checked yet …. but I’m very curious to see Realmutos numbers against the Mets&Nats aces. Hopefully he rakes against a few of them, if so, losing Sixto isnt as bad. Now we need to root against Alfaro developing further and Sixto moving to the pen. Sorry, That’s the way my fandom runs

    UTroll – how does that make you feel about getting Harper now? Should be checking Harpers twitter feed for reaction.

    Harper be dumb as hell to sign elsewhere

    1. makes me think if they have Harper in lineup that that their starting lineup will hit at least 170 HRs. NUTS.
      Thats not counting their bench.

      1. Yeah, I think 170 might be a bit low… probably 190 minimum

        Going to be a fun year. With the team ramped up, out of the rebuild phase and the division competition as high as I’ve ever seen it, I’ll be watching a lot of baseball this year

    1. Tim….Phillies are not going to give any disparaging reasons why Sixto was included, that stays in house…if there are actually any detractions..

  94. I’m all about the known vs the unknown. Losing Sixto hurts, but we really don’t know what his potential is. Alfaro is a work in progress. JTR is the best catcher in MLB and is in his prime. If they work out an extension, then this is a serious win for the Phils

    1. As I take the long view, the Phillies did this very deliberately and their plan continues to be a good one. Their biggest issue is whether their talent evaluation is good enough, but their plan is good and it’s always been good.

      On Elton Brand – we still have no idea if he knows what he is doing or not in terms of the long term health of the franchise. I’m never a fan of sell low trades and that’s just what they did with Markelle Fultz. We may not know for a couple of years if Brand is any good or not. It’s easy to shake Sam Hinkie’s asset piggy bank dry (although he had a healthy assist from Eddie Muenster – a/k/a Brian Colangelo) and spend Josh Harris’s money.

      1. True, but FA should now be bwtttee attracted to Philly. Hopefully Reddick stays and they add. All Philly teams are up and running, that includes the flyers. They finally have a goaltender!!!

    1. who says you need to develop a core of good young players to be competitive? Only need a Hoskins and a Nola and then trade for or pay for everyone else haha. But, dang, whatever works, right? Fired up to see JTR surrounded by solid hitters up and down this re-vamped lineup; he’s been getting better in each of the past two seasons and could really be lining up to bust out with a career year, hitting in and around Hoskins and (hopefully) Harper. the season’s almost here boys! just that last big addition to make!

  95. Fair trade IMO although I would not have done it. An extension of course would make it a lot better. That said if they don’t get one of the big two we’ll all be scratching our heads.

    Who knows maybe they shock the world and get us both MM and BH at which point we are an immediate WS contender.

    1. Hell, signing both will make us a freakin’ juggernaut, and Klentak will be MLB executive of the year before one pitch has been thrown in anger.

      1. Sign harper to a long term deal. Give MM a 2 year pillow contract. In 2 years will be ready for Trout and our new #1 prospect will be ready to man 3rd … (Hopefully)

  96. Hinkie has been strangely quiet today. Must be working on the Harper deal. He mentioned last night that Bryce should sign by next week. Maybe today’s activity moved that up some?

  97. Before I get to the trade, let me bring you up to date on the past two days down here.

    First, the most recent sign that ST is just a week away

    Then this announcement yesterday (Wednesday)

    Larry Bowa arrived in Clearwater this week. During a conversation on the field with Andrew McCutchen, he was heard to ask, “Do you prefer left or right field?”. It sounded like McCutchen’s deadpan response was, “I’m a center fielder”.

    9:00 AM this morning

    Cole Irvin’s in town too.

    By 11:00AM, after noticing that somebody was absent.

    I also noticed that Gabe Kapler was on the phone during the morning. Listening, not speaking. When the players split up for BP, he took Alec Bohm aside and spoke with him as he walked him over to Schmidt Field for BP. A field where fan access is at the lowest. I think he was letting the kid know that his name came up in trade talks.

    1. I hope McCutchen”s comment was in jest. He moped when the Pirates took him out of centerfield. I would assume his position was made clear during negotiations.

  98. Hope this trade works out. I’ll be rooting for JTR.
    I was never against trading Sixto, I just was more willing to deal him for a younger, longer controlled player (I proposed sending Sixto and a few other prospects to Tampa for Blake Snell last offseason). Hopefully, the team feels confident in their ability to extend Realmuto’s contract.
    The guy I’m really going to miss is Jorge Alfaro. I believe he’s going to continue to grow into a premier defensive catcher, and I think the Phillies could have become a championship team with him behind the plate.

    That said, there’s no question JTR can be an offense force in the Phillies lineup. Just as importantly, Bryce Harper is on record as saying he’d like to play with Realmuto. It’s hard to imagine Harper turning down stupid money, and the chance to play with Rhys Hoskins, JTR, and eventually Mike Trout.

    1. @HInkie, I agree with you. While I initially said that I’m cold on the Snell trade scenario, I did said a numbers of times that if Sixto will be traded, it should be for a arm.

      I can see Pivetta having a breakout in 2019 and some arms (i.e. Gowdy, Pipkin, Morales) in the farm will take a step forward to lessen the impact of losing Sixto Sanchez.

      Will Stewart is expendable since there are a lot of prospects in the low minors with profile similar to Stewart.

  99. JTR happened! Harper next week. Then Moustakis. Machado to White Sox but Phils say here’s 15% more to play for us plus we are now favorites and you get to play ss for 2 years.

    DH next year. Sign Cerevelli. Assign JTR 3 SP and 2 SP to Cerevelli. They alternate DH/ c

  100. I don’t honestly believe this but one scout compare Stewart to a young Chris Sale…..

  101. And now the trade.

    It is not uncommon for fans to overvalue their prospects. It becomes increasingly difficult to gauge value when they don’t have all the pertinent facts. Let me help.

    I like the trade. Two years of JT Realmuto is enticing. It only makes sense that Jorge Alfaro would be included in the trade – catcher for catcher plus. Now, the two years is a drawback and JTR was unwilling to sign an extension with the Marlins, who can blame him. But, as we learned afterward, and I’m sure the Phillies new beforehand, JTR is willing to an extension now.

    The Plus is what we all were worried about. Sixto’s name was part of the trade from the get-go it seems. We already know that the Phillies were open to dealing him to Seattle in a deal that would have included Diaz. But why would they be willing to move their top pitching prospect?

    Maybe because he wasn’t going to remain that for long. I believe they were unhappy with the condition in which he arrived last spring. Perhaps that had something to do with the elbow problem that sidelined him. He appeared to get thick around the middle during his rehab. His secondary pitches weren’t progressing along a developmental path that they had expected. With a poorer pitch repertoire they were seriously considering moving him to the bullpen. Seriously. The collarbone that kept him out of the AFL was probably fiction to maintain the myth of his TOR status. I believe that they may have planned on trade high as early as last summer. A #1 prospect who moves to the bullpen loses value quickly.

    I think they may have sold high.

    Stewart is a ground ball machine. He had A 3.07 go/fo in 2017 and a 2.42 in 2018. He has a low 90s FB that he can get up to 93-94 mph. I was looking forward to seeing him with the Threshers this season. He probably has a ceiling of a #4 though.

    The $250K in international money is the lowest amount that you can trade, I believe. And, I think it has to be moved in $250K chunks. (I’m not 100% on this.)

    I think the Phillies may have done well here. if JTR extends, then I’m sure they did. Note that JTR has an Arb year in 2020 and is a FA in 2021, his age 30 season. Difficult for a catcher to get a good contract at that age. I think he will be open to signing an extension.

    Other names under consideration were Kingery, Medina, Haseley, Bohm, Romero, Howard, Young …

    Personally, I like all the players involved, but Stewart and some international $$ instead of one of the guys in the paragraph above? Well done, Matt.

    1. @Jim – appreciate the insight . I was wondering about the whispers of Sixto to the bullpen. That make greases the trade differently for me.

      I’m looking forward to a lot of your player update this spring, for me, any early news on Eickhoff’s velocity returning/early impressions is very much welcomed.

      Love this site.

    2. I agree. I am fine with the trade. But the one thing that I don’t understand is that they continue to break the “grow the arms, buy the bats” mantra with their #1 draft picks and trades. I would much rather have given Bohm, Moniak or Haseley. Actually, I would have given 2 of those 3 instead of Sixto.

      But I do also think that this trade only makes sense if they get Harper or Machado. This team as it stands now is not going to the playoffs. They need another elite bat and another good (not elite, but good) starting pitcher IMO.

  102. We now have three new professional quality hitters in the starting lineup. Harper would make four. The swing and miss parade should come to a halt,

  103. I liked Alfaro, and wish him well. I didn’t believe that catcher was a major need to upgrade, but Klentak has anyway. Realmuto’s offense is where I’d hoped that Alfaro’s would be in a couple of years. As for Sixto, I worried about the injuries, and feared that he could be a Tommy John candidate in the future. It’s a good day to be a Phillies fan. PLAY BALL!

    1. Catcher is very important to the pitching staff and I think our pitching staff is doing the mummers strutt since they heard sbout the trade.