Open Discussion: Week of October 14th

The decision has been made to sever ties with manager Kapler and continue with the front office intact and most of Kapler’s staff in place.  Hopefully, we can start to focus on baseball and not suffer too much angst during the hunt for a new manager.  Based on comments during Friday’s news conference, I expect it to be a lengthy process.  In other news …

Our Scottsdale Scorpions have an 8-11 record and are 4.0 games behind the first place team.  Most of our guys are performing well.  Among position players, Alec Bohm is slashing .327/.345/.442/.788 in 13 games and 52 at bats. He has scored 3 runs, has 7 RBI, hit 3 doubles and a HR.  Josh Stephen is slashing .286/.375/.381/.756 in 7 and 21 at bats. He has scored 4 runs, has one RBI, and a triple.  Nick Maton is slashing .333/.385/.667/1.051 in 3 games and 12 at bats. He injured his hand and returned to Clearwater.  He was replaced by Jose Gomez.  Maton has scored 1 run, has 2 RBI, and hit a double and HR.  Mickey Moniak is slashing .208/.240/.313/.553 in 11 games and 48 at bats. He has scored 4 runs, 4 RBI, and hit 3 doubles and a triple.  Jose Gomez  is 1-10 in 3 games with 1 RBI.

Among pitchers, Connor Seabold has a 1.06 ERA and 0.59 WHIP in 4 starts. In 17.0 innings, he has walked 3 and struck out 22 batters.  JoJo Romero has a 1.08 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 6 appearances. In 8.1 innings, he has walked 4 and struck out 4 batters.  Spencer Howard has a 3.14 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 4 starts. In 14.1 innings, he has walked 6 and struck out 19 batters.  Zach Warren has improved to a 6.75 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 3 appearances. In 2.2 innings, he has walked 2 and struck out 3 batters.  Though the league started on September 18th, Warren sat and didn’t make his first appearance until October 4th.

Alec Bohm played in the Arizona Fall Stars Game.  He went 1-1 with a walk and 2 runs scored.  His East team won, 4-2.

USA Baseball announced its 28-man roster for WBSC Premier12, a 2020 Olympics Qualifier. Only non-40 man roster players are eligible.   Three Phillies were selected – 3B Alec Bohm, RHP Spencer Howard, and RHP Connor Seabold.  The complete roster is listed below:

  • Pitchers (15) – Clayton Andrews, LHP, Brewers; Brandon Dickson, RHP, Orix Buffalos; Parker Dunshee, RHP, Athletics; J.P Feyereisen, RHP, Brewers; Brian Flynn, LHP, Free Agent; Tanner Houck, RHP, Red Sox; Spencer Howard, RHP, Phillies; Tyler Johnson, RHP, White Sox; Wyatt Mills, RHP, Mariners; Brooks Pounders, RHP, Free Agent; Clayton Richard, LHP, Free Agent; Connor Seabold, RHP, Phillies; Noah Song, RHP, Red Sox; Caleb Thielbar, LHP, Braves; Daniel Tillo, LHP, Royals
  • Catchers (3) – Taylor Gushue, C, Nationals; Erik Kratz, C, Yankees; Daulton Varsho, C/DH, Diamondbacks
  • Infielders (7) – Brent Rooker, 1B/OF, Twins; Andrew Vaughn, 1B, White Sox; Xavier Edwards, 2B, Padres; C.J. Chatham, SS, Red Sox; Jake Cronenworth, SS/RHP, Rays;
    Alec Bohm, 3B, Phillies; Bobby Dalbec, 3B, Red Sox
  • Outfielders (3) – Jo Adell, OF, Angels; Mark Payton, OF, Athletics; Drew Waters, OF, Braves

There are six Olympic bids available.  The top American finisher from among a field that includes the United States, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic will earn an automatic bid.  Should the United States team fail to grab the Premier 12 berth, they will have a second chance to qualify at the Americas Qualifier held during March 2020 in Arizona.  That field will include the six teams who didn’t qualify at Premier 12 plus the top two finishers from the 2019 Pan America Games.  If they fail again, they have a final chance during an At-Large Qualifier held during March/April 2020 in Taiwan.  That field is a six-nation tournament made up of the runners-up from the previous qualifiers. The winner of that tournament will earn the final Olympic berth.

Winter leagues in Mexico and the Dominican Republic began their seasons.  We have no one in the Mexican Winter League and a handfull in the Dominican – Deivy Grullon and Malquin Canelo among others.

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

Key Dates:

  • October 11, 2019 – Opener for Liga Mexicana del Pacifico
  • October 12, 2019 – Arizona Fall Stars Game
  • October 12, 2019 – Opener for Liga de Beisbol Dominicano
  • October 26, 2019 – Arizona Fall League Championship Game
  • With the World Series scheduled to start on October 22, 2019, the expected end of the series can be no earlier than October 26th and no later than October 30th (barring postponements), so
    • October 27-31, 2019 – Trading resumes, day after the World Series ends
    • October 31 – November 4, 2019 – Deadline for teams to make qualifying offers to their eligible former players who became free agents, fifth day after WS
    • November 14-18, 2019 – Deadline for free agents to accept qualifying offers, 15th day after WS
  • November 2-17, 2019 – Premier 12 opener, 2020 Olympics Qualifier
  • November 2, 2019 – Group A: USA v. Netherlands
  • November 11-14, 2019 – GM Meetings in Scottsdale
  • November 15, 2019 – Opener for Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente
  • November 19-21, 2019 – Owners’ Meetings in Arlington
  • November 20, 2019 – Rosters set for Rule 5 Draft
  • November 21, 2019 – Opener for the Australian Baseball League
  • Nov. TBA – MLBPA executive board meeting (11/26-29 in Irving, TX last year)
  • December 2, 2019 – Last day for teams to offer 2020 contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters
  • December 9-12, 2019 – Winter Meetings in San Diego
  • December 13, 2019 – Rule 5 Draft
  • January TBA – Rookie Career Development Program (1/9-11 in Miami last year)
  • January 10, 2020  – Salary arbitration figures exchanged
  • February 3-21, 2020 – Salary arbitration hearings, Phoenix
  • February 11, 2020 – Voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers and injured players
  • February 16, 2020 – Voluntary reporting date for other players
  • February 21, 2020 –  Mandatory reporting date
  • February 22, 2020 – First spring training game at Tigers
  • February 23, 2020 – First spring training home game v. Pirates
  • March 2020 – Americas Qualifier in Arizona (2020 Olympics qualifier)
  • March 23, 2020 – Final spring training home game v. Rays
  • March 26, 2020 – Phillies’ opening day at Miami, active roster reduced to 26 players
  • March/April 2020 – At-Large Qualifier in Taiwan (2020 Olympics qualifier)
  • April 2, 2020 – Phillies’ home opener v. Milwaukee
  • June TBA – Amateur draft
  • June 15, 2020 – International amateur signing period closes
  • July 2, 2020 – International amateur signing period opens
  • July 10, 2020 – Deadline for drafted players to sign, except for players who have exhausted college eligibility
  • July 14,2020  – All-Star Game at Los Angeles
  • July 31, 2020 – Last day during the season to trade a player
  • August 31, 2020 – Last day to be contracted to an organization and be eligible for postseason roster
  • September 1, 2020 — Active rosters expand to 28 players

The rosters and lists are up to date as of October 6th … 395 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)
These transactions signal the beginning of the 2020 off season.  The 2019 transactions have been archived and can be accessed off the Transactions drop down menu.
10/09/2019 – Clearwater activated RHP Waylon Richardson from the 7-day IL
10/08/2019 – Clearwater activated C Willie Estrada from the 7-day IL
10/08/2019 – Clearwater activated RHP Tyler Hallead from the 7-day IL
10/08/2019 – Clearwater activated LHP Ethan Evanko from the 7-day IL
10/08/2019 – Clearwater activated C Gabriel Ojeda from the 7-day IL
10/08/2019 – Lakewood activated RHP Andrew Schultz from the 7-day IL
10/08/2019 – Lakewood activated RHP Dominic Pipkin from the 7-day IL
10/08/2019 – Lakewood activated RHP Ben Brown from the 7-day IL
10/08/2019 – Lakewood activated RHP Tyler McKay from the 7-day IL
10/08/2019 – Lakewood activated RHP Jonas De La Cruz from the 7-day IL
10/08/2019 – RHP Bailey Cummings assigned to Williamsport from GCL East
10/08/2019 – DSL White placed RHP Roger Parraga on the restricted list
10/03/2019 – GCL East activated RHP Bailey Cummings from the 60-day IL
10/03/2019 – GCL East activated RHP Yoan Antonac from the 60-day IL
10/03/2019 – GCL East activated RHP Brian Auerbach from the 60-day IL
10/03/2019 – GCL West activated RHP Eudiver Avendano from the 60-day IL
10/03/2019 – GCL West activated RHP Lizardo Herrera from the 60-day IL
10/03/2019 – GCL West activated RHP Sandro Rosario from the 60-day IL
10/03/2019 – DSL Red activated RHP Jose Perez from the 60-day IL
10/03/2019 – DSL Red activated LHP Daivin Perez from the 60-day IL
10/03/2019 – DSL Red activated RHP Joan Hernandez from the 60-day IL
10/03/2019 – DSL Red activated RHP Jeison Blanco from the 60-day IL
10/03/2019 – DSL White activated LHP Yefferson Mercedes from the 60-day IL
10/03/2019 – DSL White activated C Javier Vina from the 60-day IL
10/03/2019 – DSL White activated RHP Santy Prada from the 60-day IL
10/03/2019 – DSL White activated RHP Elias Liriano from the 60-day IL
10/03/2019 – Lehigh Valley activated LHP Brandon Leibrandt from the 60-day IL
10/03/2019 – Clearwater activated C Edgar Cabral from the 7-day IL
10/03/2019 – Clearwater activated C Rodolfo Duran from the 7-day injured IL
10/03/2019 – Clearwater activated LHP Kyle Young from the 7-day injured IL
10/03/2019 – Clearwater activated C Colby Fitch from the 7-day injured IL
10/03/2019 – Clearwater activated LHP Nick Fanti from the 7-day injured IL
10/02/2019 – Lehigh Valley activated OF Jan Hernandez from the 7-day IL
10/02/2019 – Lehigh Valley activated 3B Mitch Walding from the 7-day IL
10/02/2019 – Lehigh Valley activated RHP Alexis Rivero from the 7-day IL
10/02/2019 – Reading activated RHP Tyler Viza from the 7-day IL
10/02/2019 – Reading activated OF Grenny Cumana from the 7-day IL
10/02/2019 – Reading activated RHP Luke Leftwich from the 7-day IL
10/02/2019 – Reading activated RF Danny Mayer from the 7-day IL
10/02/2019 – Reading activated RHP Luis Carrasco from the 7-day IL
10/02/2019 – Reading activated RF Jose Pujols from the 7-day IL
10/02/2019 – Reading activated RHP Mauricio Llovera from the 7-day IL
10/02/2019 – Reading activated LHP Bailey Falter from the 7-day IL
10/02/2019 – Reading activated RHP Trevor Bettencourt from the 7-day IL
10/02/2019 – Reading activated C Nerluis Martinez from the 7-day IL
9/30/2019 – Phillies activated CF Roman Quinn from the 10-day IL
9/30/2019 – Phillies recalled SS Arquimedes Gamboa from Reading
9/30/2019 – Phillies recalled RHP JD Hammer from Lehigh Valley
9/30/2019 – RHP Dan Straily elected free agency
9/30/2019 – C Rob Brantly elected free agency
9/30/2019 – RHP Fernando Salas elected free agency

506 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of October 14th

  1. Now that the 2019 season autopsy is complete (ICYMI … Gabe Kapler and Scott Sheridan killed the team), I’d like to look ahead to the 2020 season. What needs to happen for the Phillies to get better/win the NL East?
    1. (Is not going to happen) Better/more competent people need to make baseball decisions. If Friday’s press conference taught us anything, it is this … John Middleton is the club’s de facto GM. In other words … Middleton is MLB’s version of Jerry Jones (NFL). This, in all liklihood, is going to be a disaster.
    2. Middleton needs to bring in the right pitching coach and the right manager. The pitching coach is the more important hire. Mickey Calloway is probably the top pitching coach candidate available. He successfully mentored Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, Ubaldo Jiménez, and Cody Allen (among others) in Cleveland. I’d be on the phone with Calloway a week ago, and then only hire a manager who’d be ok with Calloway on his staff.
    3. The new pitching coach must be able to straighten out Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, and Zach Eflin.
    4. The team is going to need to rely on/hit on a few of their prospects. Adam Haseley, Alec Bohm are going to have to contribute to the 2020 lineup (at some point). A few of Spencer Howard, Adonis Medina, Damon Jones, JoJo Romero, Connor Seabold, Edgar Garcia, Kyle Dohy, and Connor Brogdon are going to need to give the Phillies positive results as members of the club’s pitching staff.
    5. The team needs to buy at least one front line starter and at least one reliable reliever. I’ve always felt like Gerrit Cole was a pipe dream because this front office has been risk averse when it comes to arms. They have a history of not spending big money over many years on pitching. I’m not sure if that strategy will change now that John Middleton has appointed himself GM. I guess if the WIP mob becomes loud enough for or if twitter polls show popular support for Gerrit Cole, Middleton will likely spend whatever it takes to land him.

    1. What I would do….

      Manager – if it’s between the experienced veteran candidates, I hire Girardi. If they opt for a hot young name with good blood lines, I hire Phil Nevin.

      Free agency – while I wouldn’t be opposed to or surprised by the signing of G.Cole (which I doubt he’ll agree to come here, all things being equal), I would instead sign Rendon, move Bohm to 1b, and look to trade Hoskins in a package for a good young arm. Then, go after Zach Wheeler and a back end reliever. (I do strongly believe the Phillies will sign one of Boras’ clients….however, patience will be required once again.)

      Trade – aside from trading Hoskins, I would target most if not all of my trade activity to bringing in supplemental draft picks, international money, and high risk/high reward prospects in case a couple of them turn out.*

      *I agree with you, Hinkie – I have no trust in this front office to be able to accomplish anything that has to do with talent evaluation, drafting and development. Our only hope is that, just like a blind squirrel, the one or two young players who are worthwhile turn out to be absolute studs.

      If 2020 goes south early, we can hope that MacKlentak are relieved of their duties sooner than later. But Middleton hasn’t shown to be so astute himself, so Phillies fans may suffer what I call a “gridlock of ineptitude” at the head of this trainwreck.

      1. I’m on board with Calloway as PC, especially if the kid Snyder from Tampa is off limits.

        The hitting coach is a tougher call. I assume the new manager goes with his guy. Just so long as the “one swing fits all” philosophy goes away.

        1. 8mark:
          “I would target most if not all of my trade activity to bringing in supplemental draft picks, international money, and high risk/high reward prospects in case a couple of them turn out.*
          ….makes sense and what I would have done to a smaller degree 3 years ago…..but Klentak is now on probation so to speak next year….so he cannot afford to do that now. He does not have the time on his side to implement such a strategy
          He had the chance and did not take the fullest advantage of the opportunity..

      2. I like the idea of Phil Nevin and Jim Salisbury recently hyped him up as well. I’m pretty resigned to Buck Showalter being the next manager but Phil Nevin would be interesting.

        I also wanted to touch base on the trade point. I’ve been against the sign rendon -> move Bohm to first -> trade hoskins dialog that has broken out recently and largely still am more or less from a value stand point (I think Hoskins has none).

        However one aspect that I personally have overlooked and what is convincing me it isn’t the worst idea in the world -> it is a lot easier to find a stop gap 1st baseman and strike lightning in the bottle. Look at the Rays — they churn those guys out constantly. I’d prefer to have Justin Smoak or Mitch Moreland at 1st than I would any of the other free agents.

        Likewise Jay Bruce has some experience playing 1st base. Maybe Jay Bruce is your opening day 1st baseman and they acquire a right handed platoon bat like a Howie Kendrick or Logan Forsythe.

      3. Rendon is not leaving Washington. I don’t know any serious commentator who thinks he is. It doesn’t hurt anyone if you feel otherwise but the Nats’ success so far this off-season seals the deal.

        Phils have to look elsewhere for help.

        1. What about Strasburg if he decides to opt-out and go free agency?
          Will they bring them both back…..may be a combined AAV of $50M

          1. Strasburg will want close to Scherzer numbers or higher and he is younger
            Right now they all sit like this.
            .Scherzer- (7/$210MM)—AAV -$30M
            Corbin – (6/$140M)………AAV – $23M
            Strasburg- (7/$175M)…….AAV – $25M

      4. I think it is crazy that we are allowing this front office to select the next manager. The GM is going to be threatened by any strong leader like Girardi, which is the right choice. He wants someone that will be his puppy dog and follow his commands. Not cool!

        Also we just got rid of a pin up boy, Kap, and thinking about hiring a guy that got his nickname “Buck” from sitting around the club house naked. Just some grins.

    2. Hinkie, has anyone ever found out what taboo or transgressions Scott Sheridan committed in his duties as a trainer. Did he fail to apply the proper medical analytics to pulled hamstrings, strained obliques, cold compresses to bruises, were the ice baths to warm or the whirlpools to cold?

      1. Speculating a bit but I believe Andy MacPhail last year (or maybe the year before) spoke about attempting to create competitive advantages and two areas he mentioned were sports science and catching (specifically framing). It seems like there’s ample evidence they have created a competitive advantage with their major league catching instructors as they have made strides with Alfaro and Realmunto. Even Knapp made improvements as a framer.

        I wonder if this was a step towards implementing whatever they have been building in that arena and getting more people in line with that versus a more traditional philosophy because it seems like a lot of the beat writers expressed concern about Sheridan being let go.

      2. Jim I don’t know how true this is, but my sources said, He ironed Gabe underwear and used starch, Gabe was mad

    3. We had absentee ownership for so many years that I think people are jumping to unwarranted conclusions regarding Middelton’s involvement. He is not acting as the de facto GM – he’s carefully scrutinizing decision-makers who have done a very mediocre job since taking over, something that I know must drive him nuts, and rightfully so. Once his President and GM start doing a better job (whether it be the current group or replacement executives), I’m fairly confident he will have greater faith in their decisions but, right now, why should he have faith in them?

      1. catch … If John Middleton doesn’t think MacPhail and Klentak are doing a good job, he should have fired them. He kept them around to do the grunt work. Middleton is picking the next manager. He’s having final say on what FA’s to sign (except for middle relievers and bench pieces). And I don’t doubt that he’s even suggesting trades for Klentak to explore.
        You can call that what you want. For me … Middleton is the de facto GM.

        1. Middleton made his billions selling cigars. As much as I don’t like MacKlentak, I recognize they run laps around Middleton when it comes to the ability to analyze and make baseball decisions.
          Again … I would have replaced MacPhail with Chaim Bloom, and then let Bloom decide the fates of Klentak and Kapler. Middleton didn’t do that. He basically admitted (on Friday) that he’s not a potted plant, and he’s going to be making final calls on baseball decisions going forward.

          1. I guess I see it a little differently, but I understand your position. I mean, Jeffrey Lurie caused the firing of Chip Kelly before the 2015-6 season ended, but I never viewed him as the de fact GM of the Eagles. Is he an active owner? Yes he is and he wants to approve important decisions and I can understand that. Whether he’s crossed the line from involved owner to meddling owner/de facto GM is, I guess a matter of opinion. I don’t think he’s quite there yet, but he’s certainly farther along that spectrum than he once was.

          2. Hinkie…Middleton did not hire Bloom in 2015 when he interviewed, what makes you think he would hire him now?
            BTW….. he was rejected by Middleton in the fall of 2015, but he had already been promoted in 2014, when Andrew Friedman left the Rays org for LA, the Rays promoted Bloom to vice president of baseball operations.

            1. Romus … it was MacPhail (not Middleton) who interviewed and bypassed Bloom for Matt Klentak in 2015. I’ve been suggesting Middleton now replace MacPhail with Bloom as President of Baseball Ops. This is what the Dodgers did with Andrew Friedman. How’s that working out for the LAD’s? It’s very reasonable to expect Bloom to have success here.

            2. BTW … if the rays were to promote Bloom to President of Baseball Ops (even though they already have one), I’d look to hire Erik Neander from the Rays. He’s a rung below Bloom (VP/GM).

            3. Hinkie….I still do not see Middleton bringing him in now.
              Come next year if things do not change for the better……there may be the opportunity.
              Bloom was VP of baseball ops in 2014…and then promoted to Senior VP of baseball OPs in the fall of 2016

            4. I think what we’re seeing, for better or for worse (I’d submit that it’s much worse) is the Andy MacPhail influence. Klentak was his guy so he was hired by the team over Bloom in what is looking like a very significant miss. Now, if Andy has his way (and he might), he will probably push for Showalter. And ya know what? if Middelton hadn’t interceded, MacPhail probably would have taken Machado over Harper too, a move that would have become a disaster here. So don’t assume that Middleton being involved (to a point of course) is necessarily a bad thing, although I would prefer that involvement include firing upper management.

            5. I agree that it’s easy in the present to paint Middleton with the black hat here. While I have concerns with him, I don’t want to overreact to his intrusive behavior of late. Once he has settled down with what he more objectively sees in MacKlentak later on, he may act accordingly. Right now, his pride in holding Klentak up as his star GM may wane sooner than later, along with MacPhail. The next 9 months will be very decisive in how Middleton proceeds with this regime.

            6. Romus … agree that Middleton is not firing MacPhail or Klentak right now (even though it’s obvious he has no faith in them). I’m just saying this (replacing MacPhail with Bloom) is what I would do.

      2. I agree and I believe this is his approach. Reading between the lines of this exchange:

        “Nobody bats 1.000 in hiring decisions,” said Middleton, referring to Klentak’s hiring of Kapler two years ago. “I haven’t in my career. It’s early in (Klentak’s) career, but I would also point out he’s made lots and lots of really good hiring decisions, too. I think what this should be is a learning experience, candidly. What’s happened in other businesses we’ve run and gotten into this kind of situation, people learn from it. It gives me a chance to express my view about standards and the processes and making tough decisions and people generally learn from that.”

        It sounds like someone who isn’t pleased with the overall direction of the team but isn’t ready to get rid of the GM he hired after he just signed him to an extension and raved about him in Spring Training. I agree I think he’ll back off once they are steered back into the right direction.

    4. Hinkie, I would add one more position of importance- someone to replace Johnny A and run the draft. In fact, I was a big proponent of cleaning house in the development department. It’s a sad commentary that the last high school position draft pick to make an impact on the major league roster and do it for multiple years was Jimmy Rollins from the 96 draft. And on the pitching side, Cole Hamels from 02. I feel that the Phillies don’t have the personnel in place to develop the players they draft. And the guy who runs the draft can’t afford to keep missing on these picks. Because they are only so many free agents to plug the holes in the roster that should be filled from within.

      1. Thomas … a few weeks ago, I threw a few names out there as possible Johnny Almaraz replacements. They were all from the top drafting clubs in the league.

        * Zach Fitzpatrick (Dodgers Assistant Scouting Director)
        * Sam Ray (Padres Amateur Scouting Manager)
        * Charles Cook (Astros Manager of Amateur Scouting Analysis)
        * Aaron DelGiudice (Astros Scouting Analyst)
        * Brian Bridges (was released by the Braves in January of this year after serving as Atlanta’s Scouting Director since 2014)

        For me, Brian Bridges makes the most sense. He’s a former scouting director, and he has a strong track record, especially with drafting pitchers. Bridges was responsible for choosing Mike Soroka, Kyle Wright, and Ian Anderson in the first round. He also selected Austin Riley and Drew Waters with picks outside the top 40. Prior to ascending to Scouting Director, Bridges worked as a Braves’ scout and was responsible for finding/scouting/signing Jason Heyward, Craig Kimbrel, Mike Minor, and Alex Wood.

        In the end, though, I’m going to bet MacKlentak just promote Greg Schilz (the Phillies’ current Assistant Scouting Director) because Klentak wants to continue to be very hands on when it comes to the draft. Bridges probably won’t go for that.

        1. Hinkie, just posted today was a group of candidates, 3 in house guys (two being Shilz and former major league pitcher and local kid Mike Koplove) and several outside the organization (I believe none of which are among those you listed above). Sorry, they don’t seem to be listening to you. But don’t dismay – keep firing away on your suggestions, H!

  2. I don’t see Girardi coming here (my first choice) if Middleton is going to fill out the line-up card…

    1. The Mets are the other team vying for his services (and maybe Chicago but I was always under the impression they wanted David Ross to manage that team). Who’s ownership would you be more confident in as a Managerial Candidate?

      Girardi worked under the Steinbrenner’s in NYY I think he can handle John Middleton who thankfully is there to save us from Klentak/MacPhail’s lack of aggression. Seriously, could you imagine this team without Harper and with Kapler coming back next year had he not acted?

      1. JL26……bingo.
        Without Middleton’s meddling in getting Harper, the Marlins could have been in the 4th spot.

  3. I checked out the Yankee’s stats last night and found something interesting.

    The difference in WAR on starting pitching was only 3 WAR. Basically replacing Pivetta with Zach Wheeler or Madison Bumgarner and we would have had a better starting pitching staff than the Yankees.

    Our defense was materially better than theirs. To pick one stat, our UZR was 38.5, the Yankees was 18.3

    Their Relief pitching had a 7.5 WAR and ours had a 0.8 WAR. But if Robertson, Hunter and Neshak had their 2018 WAR that would have closed the gap materially to 4 wins.

    The big gap was their Offensive WAR. 130.8 vs. our negative 59.6 according to Fangraphs. Some of the big deltas:
    – 1B: Rhys 9.2 vs LeMahieu 29.2 (reminder LeMahieu was signed to a only 2/$24m contract last offseason) and Luke Voit 12.9 (reminder that Voit was acquired from the Cardinals for not much)
    – 2B: Cesar negative 5.5 vs. Gleybar 18.7 (reminder Gleybar was attained in a trade, he was not drafted by the Yankees)
    – Judge and Harper were basically a wash
    – 3B: Franco negative 20.3 vs. Urshela 16.4 (reminder Urshela was acquired this offseason from the Blue Jays for cash consideration as a 26 year old career minor leaguer)
    – Center Field: McCutchen had a 7.2 but then Haseley had a negative 2.4 offensive war for a total of 4.8. Brett Gardner had a 15.2 offensive war on fangraphs. (reminder Gardener is a 36 year old)

    Also the Yankees paid Stanton $25m for 18 games.

    As much as we all love rooting for stars, just signing a few stars is NOT how a team wins a lot of baseball games. Baseball is a testament to depth. The bottom of a roster is what kills teams. Bottom of a lineup. Bottom of a pitching staff. Bottom of a relief staff. Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint. Great teams get high level production from their entire team.
    Keep that in mind this offseason when everyone is going to go bonkers trying to get us to sign Cole to a contract that doesn’t make any financial sense.

    IMO, the far better approach is to stay away from Cole and try to sign Wheeler or Bumgarner for your #2 spot and then a guy like Odorizzi/Hammels/Keuchel for the #3 spot. Then try to upgrade 3B with a guy like Moustakis or Donaldson on a 1 or 2 year contract. Then add bull pen help. Stay away from the big sexy move and add high quality depth.

    1. This is spot on v1. Even when you think back to the 08 Phils, acquiring Feliz, Romero, Werth, Jenkins, Victorino, Blanton, and Moyer were all low profile moves but the difference makers.

    2. Agree with most of these points. It’s a great plan to get to the playoffs. The flip side is that once in, the team with GCole is likely to win over Wheeler. Not to mention if the AL team has GCole, their offense is likely more potent with the DH.

      This is the issue with “speeding” up the rebuild. Not enough core players producing on the cheap to fill out roster, for depth. Signing the big FA is great, until you realize you can’t stretch the payroll to fill out the entire roster. Lastly, when you have to compromise in FA or GCole vs Bumgardner & wheeler, imho your rebuild has significantly limited it chances to win. You absolutely need GCole to win playoff series.

      The only alternative I see is a stacked bullpen, dominate bullpen. To this FO credit, they tried it, but need to go very heavy on bullpen if they can’t sign GCole tonanreasonable deal … lol .. smh …

      For example … the WAS are built for the playoffs, they got in. The only weakness is the bullpen. That said, they are a legit threat to win it. I still think they lose to the AL champs but it will be close, and may just do it.

      Scherzer, Strasburg, Corbin
      Verlander, GCole, Grienke
      Nola, ???, ???

    3. Agree with most of these points. It’s a great plan to get to the playoffs. The flip side is that once in, the team with GCole is likely to win over Wheeler. Not to mention if the AL team has GCole, their offense is likely more potent with the DH.

      This is the issue with “speeding” up the rebuild. Not enough core players producing on the cheap to fill out roster, for depth. Signing the big FA is great, until you realize you can’t stretch the payroll to fill out the entire roster. Lastly, when you have to compromise in FA or GCole vs Bumgardner & wheeler, imho your rebuild has significantly limited it chances to win. You absolutely need GCole to win playoff series.

      The only alternative I see is a stacked bullpen, dominate bullpen. To this FO credit, they tried it, but need to go very heavy on bullpen if they can’t sign GCole tonanreasonable deal … lol .. smh …

      For example … the WAS are built for the playoffs, they got in. The only weakness is the bullpen. That said, they are a legit threat to win it. I still think they lose to the AL champs but it will be close, and may just do it.

      Scherzer, Strasburg, Corbin
      Nola, ???, ???

    4. If you don’t have the SR to go toe to toe with a crop of Scherzer/Strasburg/Corbin or Verlander/GCole/Grienke, you can possibly do it with a high powered offense, that can hit top level pitching, to go with a SR that Is more made of #2’s and a #3, with a top 3 bullpen

      If the Phillies can sign Strasburg or Wheeler, and a top bullpen arm to mix with Sir A and Neris… I’d be more inclined to think this rebuild hasn’t failed. That is if Pivetta and VV can embrace their bullpen roles and actually be dominate. They’ll need a cheap shut down bullpen to balance out their high priced FA signings… like McCutchen. He’s great, but if we are honest, he should’ve been neccessary when you drafted Cornelius, Moniak, and Haseley pushing Herrera, Williams, Altherr and Quinn. As luck would have it you also stumbled across Bruce and Dickerson

      1. How the Astros acquired their staff is a really interesting case study too.
        – Verlander was acquired for the #43 overall prospect Franklin Perez (who was signed as an international FA). Daz Cameron who was a CB first round pick but looks like a complete bust and had horrible stats at the time of the trade and a player that looks like a back-up catcher. This is akin to a package of Medina, Moniak and Grullon.
        – Cole was acquired for an MLB middle reliever, a #4 type starter and the Astros #5 and #15 best prospect. This is akin to a trade of Velasquez, Jose Alvarez, Medina and Maton.
        – Greinke got the best package.

        But we could have easily landed both Verlander and Cole and not missed anything that we gave up.

        1. Pirates package in return for Cole may be a little more productive than a Phillies package of VV/Alvarez/Medina and Maton.
          Musgrove has produced almost 3WAR in 50 starts or so, and he was a top 100 prospect at one time….Moran looks like a very capable third baseman with potential and an above average bat, Feliz does have plus swing and miss stuff for a reliever….and Martin, who knows what he will be as an OFer.
          IMO, the Phillies would have had to subtract one or two of that grouping….Alvarez and Maton…. and make another substitution for them.

          But to your point….it could have been done easily and Klentak either missed the opportunity or just chose not to do it.

        2. Klentak doesn’t seem to have the creativity and temperament to engage in high risk high reward trade situations like what the Astros did with Verlander, Cole and Greinke. And that’s also another setback having Klentak as GM. The Phillies cannot always operate in the middle of everything unless they will hit in most of their draft choices and IFAs.

    5. Very good analysis v1.
      Tend to agree on the suggested moves.
      Though do think Boras will again play his game with his big three…assuming Strasburg joins Cole and Rendon on the free agent market…..and with his extended negotiation techniques and high sales pricing of the three players….someone like Cole or Strasburg could fall into the Phillies lap at a reasonable, for Boras, price.
      I can see the market of teams dwindling to just a few for each player……and no team will try or could afford to sign two of the three.
      As Jim Salisbury said last week….Boras will be pushing Middleton hard on one of them.

    6. Very good summary, v1. I agree that the big sexy moves aren’t what ultimately wins championships. The ’08 Phillies, ’16 Cubs, several Red Sox and Giants WS teams, the Cardinals consistently, have all had depth to get them over the rainbow. Hence, let’s start spreading the resources into the mortar players. These AAAA players we’ve been subject to are killing us.

  4. My posts don’t seem to be making it

    To give some shade to the. FO duo, seemed like Middleton wanted to speed up the rebuild, commendable, but to V1’s point, you need an entire roster. It’s pretty hard to do when your roster is bloat from the first 2/3 on FA signings. Imo, this rebuild is vs close to failing. Too many FA, not enough home grown players producing on the cheap.

    They will fall
    Short somewhere. They’ll need to compromise on 3/5 a SR or an OK bullpen, and half a bench.

    A lot is riding on Bohm & Howard, and it’s likely not enough.

  5. Awesome post V1. Therein is the difference between a top front office and a mediocre one.

    As of now, I have mixed opinions on Middleton…My preference would’ve been that he would hire a front office that he can trust to make most of the decisions. However, I can appreciate that he does take control if things backfire and don’t go well. Make me wonder, if he was close to firing Klentax too?
    Time will tell if this front office system will work..

  6. The Yankees were hit as hard, if not harder, than we were by injuries. What happened after the injuries? Klentak went bargain basement hunting for BP help. When McCutchen got hurt, he got Bruce and Dickerson. Good moves. He didn’t do the same with the BP. Th big reason for the season’s failure was the SP evaluations.There were opportunities to help, but he didn’t. I think Cole is a whole level above MadBum and Wheeler. I don’t think MadBum comes here, and Wheeler is my Plan B if we don’t get Cole. I don’t see that signing Cole harms us financially, v1. I do all the things you suggest, and I sign Cole vs Wheeler and someone. The cost for 2 guys is the same as Cole. The difference is the length of term. I go for the best SP there is out there. I also agree on the importance of the PC. The HC, also, because I believe that there is a lot more to be gotten from Hoskins and Kingery that a good hitting coach helps with.

    1. Signing Cole and extending JTR really puts the Phillies up against the lux tax….and Middleton already alluded to not wanting to break it just for a WC berth.
      But knowing him….he will still try to get Cole with Boras’ persuasive nudging.
      As you can see from the below salary structure:

      There will players that will need to go to make it…..Cesar/Maikel and their expected $20M arb figure…….then the free agent pitchers are gone like Neshek, Hunter, Hughes, Vargas… another $20M or more.
      JTR…if he commands $22M AAV…is a jump of his expected $14/15M AAV in arb 4, though they have him for less at $10M….which is too conservative for sure.

      So going after Cole really could make it tight.
      Lets hope Strasburg declares….that way Boras will have his toughest off-season test ever….three superstars as free agents….he will need to make concessions at some point.

  7. Romus, I am using an AAV of $32 Million for G.Cole. And, another $12M for BP and bench help. Cesar goes, and his projected Salary covers the raise to JTR. I eat half of Herrera’s to get rid of him, and lose Franco’s money. Neshek and Vargas go, so do Morin and Parker. This puts me at $205 Million. So, doable, and if we can get Cole at $30, that gives us a little more room. Also, if JTR is closer to $20M vs. $22M, that is a little more as well. I am certainly not counting on all this happening, but the numbers work. There is no way, under any scenario, that I pay Cesar $11.8 Million next year. Using another example, and not getting Cole, any combination of Wheeler and “:someone else” is going to cost $30 Million or more. I would rather have Cole.

    1. It’s interesting to note that Segura could be the only Hispanic position player next year after years of us having so many. The bullpen could still have Neris and Suarez and maybe Seranthony and even DLS one day. Not sure if this hurts them, just an observation

      1. @Murray – I don’t really want to think or emphasize the team composition on race whether it’s white, black, brown, hispanic, asian or alien. The lack of “foreign” impact should only be viewed as an indicator or lack of success in IFA front. The Phillies big $ in the IFA from 2011-2016 has been underwhelming so far. But I have high hopes that the big $ IFA from 2017-2019 will develop into impact players in the future.

  8. I’d rather have Girardi, Nevin is intriguing but I think it will be Buck and I’d be ok with that. I also have been pushing the Callaway for PC plan. He’s had very good success with some pitchers.
    I like Wheeler but let’s not put him on a level he doesn’t belong. He would be a solid 3 with upside and I’d move to sign him. However we really need G Cole or Strasburg to sit as our 1/2 with Nola if we want to move towards becoming elite.
    I think Cesar and Franco will be gone and we’ll sign or trade for someone cheap to play 3b until Bohm is ready. I also think they’ll sign someone to play CF because Haseley won’t be the starter. If only Quinn could stay healthy but, he can’t… The bullpen will be the biggest challenge. With a new PC, I’d think long and hard about keeping Pivetta and Vinnie and making them relievers. I’d try to sign one veteran arm to be part of the late inning mix but relievers regress so much from year to year it’s hard to know what you’ll get. I think we have a few young arms getting closer. DLS should be a reliever full time as should Irvin.
    And please remove Gamboa from holding a 40 spot!

    1. I’m on board with you except I think Haseley could be the CFder. Your last sentence is a no-brainer and the guy who put em on there is too!

  9. I do not disagree with V1’s post because it sounds good with all of these WAR analysis he puts together. While numbers don’t lie, they can deceive especially if you don’t have the eye for it. WAR was not designed to predict future performance. WAR can fluctuate on a year to year basis and it is only intended to measure one and only one thing – player’s total contributions to their team. V1’s WAR analysis only indicates why the Yankees are successful this year — GM was able to find replacement players who played better than their actual abilities.

    IMO, a team needs to have these “3 factors” to make a sustainable run — 1) Talent; 2) Depth and 3) Find Replacement Players who can contribute. You don’t need to speak in analytical terms to understand that most, if not all, of the contending and WS teams have those 3 factors.

    To relate that to the Phillies, Klentak was unable to address those 3 factors. Poor scouting and player development, lack of creativity and poor eye in identifying replacement players resulted to a team that is constructed to be average —- and that’s who the Phillies are under Klentak.

    The only reason the Phillies should not pursue Gerrit Cole is if the bidding and the price becomes prohibitive. Gerrit Cole is the best player available in FA and a legitimate stud. Acquiring a stud and big time talent should always be Plan A.

    In 2020, the Phillies should really solidify the rotation and bullpen by acquiring the best SP and RP arm(s) available. On the hitting side, the Phillies just need to find players on a short term contracts that can play better than their original projection. My suggestions for the 2020 Phillies will be:

    1) Hire a legit Pitching Coach as suggested by Hinkie
    2) Sign Gerrit Cole – $190/6 years plus 2 option years worth $50M for a total contract value of $240M and $30 AAV
    3) Sign Alex Wood – $90/4 years plus 1 year option worth $25M
    4) Move Vinny and Pivetta to the pen full time.
    5) Sign Will Smith (and/or consider Delin Betances as fallback)
    6) Resgin Drew Smyly and move to the bullpen
    7) Consider signing Jordan Lyles or tony Cingrani as rotation depth
    8) Consider bring Freddy Galvis back as super UTIL player
    9) Sign replacement OF

    Rotation – SP#1 Gerrit Cole; SP#2 Aaron Nola; SP#3 Alex Wood (or Jordan Lyles); SP#4 Jake Arrieta; SP#5 Zac Eflin
    Bullpen – Will Smith, Vinny, Pivetta, Smyly, JD Hammer, Edgar Garcia, Neris
    Depth (SP): Spencer Howard, Jerad Eickhoff, Adonis Medina, Enyel delos Santos, Connor Seabold
    Depth (RP): Damon Jones, Connor Brogdon, JoJo Romero, Kyle Dohy

    Starters – 1) LF Cutch; 2) SS Segura; 3) C JTR; 4) RF Harper; 5) 1B Hoskins; 6) CF Haseley; 7) 2B Kingery; 8) 3B FA (bridge Bohm)
    Bench – 1B/LF Bruce, OF Quinn, C Grullon, INF Galvis (or Brad Miller), replacement OF
    Depth – OF Williams, 3B Bohm, RF/1B Listi, OF Moniak, INF Maton

    I don’t really like the idea of spreading the resources to Plan B and Plan C players. I prefer “Stars and Scrubs” approach – Stars means acquiring studs and Scrubs means acquiring replacement players who will play like Stars or regular players.

    1. If the Phillies will solidify the rotation and bullpen as I proposed, the will need to trade or non-tender certain players particularly Cesar and Maikel Franco. This will also means there will be no big $$ on the hitting side so signings will be mostly for replacement players. I have faith on Haseley and Bohm in 2020 and going forward. Both may not be answers to CF and 3B long term, but they can be valuable in CF and 3B for at least the next 3-4 years.

  10. KuKo, Alvarez pitched well,and he is back, I think. Also, Will Harris is a good BP piece if we can’t, or won’t pay for Will Smith. I think Brad Miller or Freddy Galvis can play 3B while we wait for Bohm I think a Moustakas or Donaldson will cost too much. And, I think Haseley is the CF to start next season.

    1. I will only consider Mous or Donaldson if its a short term contract. Alvarez will still make the team, but let’s be honest, Alvarez is not a stud LH and he is not a high leverage pen arm – Chapman might be too costly for a 32 yo so Will Smith is really a good option short term and long term. The group of Dohy-Jones-Singer-Warren might be better option than Alvarez next year. Haseley might be the one who will produce better than his normal projection. Haseley and Kingery in the bottom of the order has the potential to be productive.

  11. I don’t disagree with v1’s analysis, but my contention is that with the current drafting and player development, the Phillies will have to spend lots of money to be competitive.

    For example: 2019 Baseball-Reference WAR produced by homegrown position players:

    Kingery: 3.0
    Hernandez: 2.5
    Haseley: 1.7
    Hoskins: 1.5
    Quinn: -0.1
    Grullon: -0.2
    Altherr: -0.5
    Franco: -0.8
    Williams: -1.2

    Home-grown position players provided a grand total of 5.9 wins

    The top teams have WAY more productive farm systems. The Astros produced Bregman (8.4 WAR), Springer (6.2 WAR), Altuve (3.7 WAR), etc. The Yankees produced Judge (5.4 WAR) and Gardner (4.0 WAR), just to name two. The Dodgers produced Bellinger (9.0 WAR), Seager (4.0 WAR), etc., etc.

    When you add in — as detailed by v1 — that their front offices seem to do a better job of finding cheap talent, the advantage becomes gigantic. Perhaps, just possibly, the Yankees/Astros/Dodgers are better at player development?!???

    Given the current situation, I advocate for spending Middleton’s money, lol.

    1. Yes, the Astros, Yankees, Dodgers, Rays, etc have FO that can find talent whether domestically, internationally and even in the recycle bin. This is basically my biggest concern with Matt Klentak. Drafting in the Top 10 – 15 show produce high end talent.

  12. They are better at player development, WestCoast, as well as player talent evaluations. No question that v1 is correct. We need home grown Stars, and the ability to acquire talent on the fringes. Then the FA or big trade to supplement and push the team over the top. My position is that we are not very good at the home grown stars thing, so we need Middleton to spend more in FA. Werth, JC Romero, Scott Eyre, Matt Stairs, even Victorino were all under the radar signings at the time. All provided great value. We need some of that now, as well. v1, a lot of trade value also has to do with the perception of players by other teams. I am not positive, but I believe Cameron was a well regarded prospect at the time of the trade. He didn’t turn out very well. We probably could have gotten a really nice return for Dom Brown, and would have not ended up missing him either. I am perfectly happy to trade some of our prospects for good value. Just not ones named Bohm, Howard and Stott. We would all make the Verlander and Cole trades. Who do you think may be available now for a Medina/Moniak/VV, Maton package? it would sure save a lot of money to go that route. I just don’t have confidence that it happens.

    1. “Who do you think may be available now for a Medina/Moniak/VV, Maton package?”…that’s easy…Rox Kyle Freeland would be available.
      He was a TOR Cy Young 4th place finisgher in 2018….and a complete bust in 2019.

      A risk…..but that is what it is all about…..tough to win anything of importance playing it safe.

  13. Not a bad suggestion Romus. I am not opposed to taking a chance on him. I don’t know why he regressed so much, but worth taking a look at. The question remains. Who do you trust to make a judgment call like that?

    1. Home splits were horrific…he needs to be out of Coors.
      Velo tick down a little and he went more with a cut FB….which did not serve him well.
      Away splits were below average-mediocre at best, but a lot better than home splits….but their team was lousy hitters on the road anyway so offensive support was not there for him.

    2. “Who do you trust to make a judgment call like that?”…well therein lies the issue. Not sure Matt K. would ever go down that road.

      Since next year will be hiss turn on the hot seat….he may play it safe.

  14. .

    I’m on board with Joe Girardi.
    If it’s Buck Showalter, I;m going to bang my head against a wall (repeatedly).

    1. I want to throw McPhail under a bus, but if I’m going to go on the pro-McPhail side… I can give him credit for building a team to beat out the NYY and BOS at one point. Unfortunately that is in the past, it doesn’t help this Phillies team.

      I’m guessing this is the last year/chance
      For him and klentak to prove themselves.

      I’m somewhat concerned what they might do to try and save their gigs… like bloating the payroll and dealing with it later.

      The only other thing I’ll add, is maybe Middleton should’ve been more patient. Realmuto, Harper, and Robertson should’ve been enough. I love having Mccutchen, just think it was too soon and overpriced. How does that money look this year? Not spent as well as I’d like.

    2. I like Joe Girardi but this whole narrative irks me. Organizations without direction take their next step not based on whether it is right or not but as a reaction to their last failed step. Here, hiring a younger manager with an emphasis on analytics has pointed them in the direction of an older more traditional manager. Not impressed.

  15. Managers don’t really make much difference in outcome. This team is what it is because the players aren’t good enough.

    1. Perfect! People crying over who’s in the dugout. Gonna bang their heads against a wall and such is nonsense. We need 4 starting pitchers. Let’s get those before we start crying about who the manager will be.

      1. So it sounds like you agree with me. This was not a Gabe Kapler problem. This was a “who does Kapler have to work with” problem.

  16. On the topic of Middleton and him being a GM and what the team’s leadership structure should look like…..

    I completely disagree with Middleton’s assessment of what his “CEO” role should be and is. What he did several years back was he hired a baseball president to then pick a GM to then pick a manager, which is very traditional and can work well assuming you pick the right person at the top of that chain, which I think we all agree with now that he did not.

    The model I’d like to see him employ now, although it won’t happen at least this year, is for him to hire a young, cutting edge GM/Baseball President like Chaim Bloom or one of the other 2-3 candidates that I think bring a similar background to the table, and then hire someone in the “MacPhail job” to be the young kid’s advisor and confidant – someone like a Pat Gillick, who unlike MacPhail actually has a track record of success.

    Really what Middleton is doing now is he is playing the role of the Baseball President or advisor, but does anyone actually want John Middleton making specific baseball decisions or giving specific baseball advice over someone like Pat Gillick?

    I’m not suggesting Gillick be the new president, or that he’d even be able to do that, but hire someone like Bloom, give him 100% decision making authority on all personnel, minor league development and scouting hires, the manager, and working with the manager on the coaching staff. Then give him someone very experienced, like a Pat Gillick or Ed Wade, to simply serve as his advisor / consultant, so that John Middleton can just get the heck out of the way and let smart baseball people run the show.

    I feel like his involvement now is because he doesn’t fully trust those two and if that’s the case, move on. Hire someone new, like Bloom, that can tell you whether what these guys have done is the right path forward. We all know the Phils have a better data and analytics capability today than in 2015 but that doesn’t mean it is good enough to win in 2020 and beyond.

    It’s really scary that we know so much more now about what Middleton thinks and a) it’s not good, and b) he’s only getting more involved.

    1. I agree, Middleton is second guessing McPhail. I have to believe he was asking about them as well as Kapler at some point during the last 6 months. When you spend that money, and your team 4th best in your division, and arguably 4th best in the rebuild process, I expect him to be asking. They said at the start rebuilds can be done in 4 years, so they missed that goal. Likely 5 ain’t going to do
      It either. Technically you can add a year to
      The build as Amaro and Co kick started it then. Can thank them for Nola and Efflin. I believe Hoskins, and Herrera.

      1. I feel like 4th place is the least of the reasons he should be concerned about MacPhail and Klentak. I think the injuries, Gabe, and lack of depth certainly drove the 4th place finish. What I’d be most worried about is the state of the farm system and the complete and total lack of creativity to acquire undervalued assets.

  17. Could the 2008 Phillies best the Astros? Or Dodgers? I’m not sure. I think that is an issue for the phans. We are looking at a team and comparing them to 2008, when you really need a mix between 2011 pitchers, and 2008 hitters.

    If this team, wins I expect them to do it a total different way, with a shutdown bullpen, and a near top of the league offense. Hopefully one that can play both to the long ball but also small
    When appropriate. The SR will have its ace, followed by a band of misfits, if it doesn’t have to rebuild again. I can tell you that they won’t be going into the playoffs as the favorites, that’s for sure.

    1. If he didn’t have the personality traits associated with a lot of pos criminals, he’d stand a great shot. Seems to know the game when I’ve heard him go. I’ll tell you this … if was the manager, that series umpires would pull in some bank! If he is to be believed, apparently he would pay off the umps
      To give him the close calls 🙂

  18. I guess this doesn’t mean anything. But Buck is 34 games over 500 in 20 yr career. 3 manager of the year awards,

    1. And, averages 89 wins a year for 5 straight years (’12-’16) in the Al-East with an owner who penny pinches….except with Chris Davis

      1. Here’s the way I see Buck Showalter:

        * Showalter spent 20 years as a manager. As rocco stated (above), he had just 34 more wins than losses. That averages out to a (not quite) 82-80 record per season.

        * Showalter had more last place finishes (5) than first place finishes (3). He won only one division title in his last 14 seasons. And other than one WC game, he never won a playoff series. As a matter of fact, the last time he managed a postseason game, he blew an extra inning WC contest vs Toronto. In that game, he warmed up his best reliever (Zach Britton) three different times, but never used him.

        * All three of Middleton/MacPhail/Klentak mentioned Gabe Kapler’s record (20-36) in the two Septembers he managed here as the reason for his firing. What do you think Showalter’s record was during the last two Septembers he managed? How about 14-41.

        I’ve mentioned dozens of times … I am not a fan of all the former Orioles running the Phillies. What exactly did Andy MacPhail, Matt Klentak, Ned Rice, and Buck Showalter win in Baltimore? In general … the Orioles were a very average team.

        Also … Peter Angelos was not penny pinching. Between 2012-2016 the Orioles had mid level payrolls. They were as high as the 10th richest spender and as low as the 19th during the time span you cited, Romus.

        1. Hinkie, how do you feel about Koplove being scouting director? I think he’s an Angels guy before coming to the Phils. Why not someone from TB/Oak/Hou/LAD/NYY/StL?

          1. Buddy … It confirms for me that Klentak, Bryan Minniti, and the rest of the front office plan on being very hands on when it comes to picking players, and they want a guy who will accept that. To be fair, Klentak isn’t the only GM in MLB who takes an active role in the rule 4 draft.
            I would be more comfortable with a scouting director with a strong record of making good/excellent picks. I’ve previously mentioned Brian Bridges. He worked for the Braves for many years first as a scout and eventually as Atlanta’s Director of Amateur Scouting. He’s responsible for adding Jason Heyward, Mike Minor, Alex Wood, Mike Soroka, Ian Anderson, Kyle Wright, Austin Riley, and Drew Waters (and others) to the Braves farm system. He was let go by Braves new GM Alex Anthopoulos earlier this year.

  19. rocco, I have no objection to Showalter other than his relationship with MacPhail. If we intend to make the Playoffs next year, either he or Girardi are the ones to get.

    1. The MacPhail/Klentak relationship with Showalter doesn’t bother me as clearly Middleton is running this team. I just want this team to win so I hope they hire a good manager and pitching coaching while finding ways to improve the team through trades and FA’s. I don’t care how they do it but I want to win the division next year while being one of the top teams in MLB. Maybe it’s 2 years away but it needs to happen or MacPhail/Klentak need to go and Middleton needs to take a hard look in the mirror if he’s doing the right thing by being so involved.

  20. Looks like the Pirates have interest in Sam Fuld as a manager……scheduled for a interview….Jays interviewed him last year….Phillies’ player information coordinator was a pitcher as a player and is into the analytics.

  21. rocco…south Philly guy Mike Koplove being considered for Phillies scouting director’s job.
    I remember him all the way back to his Little League days at DV in the late 80s…..he was a year ahead of my son and he was a darn good shortstop. Eventually he pitched in the WS for the DBacks as a reliever. His younger half brother was also drafted by the Phillies 4/5 years ago.
    Not sure what his credentials are but is being considered now for the position.

    1. He was from girald estate I believe, He played at dv as you said, I believe his father started the Travel teams who did really well. my son played against him too.I think we drafted his brother if I am not wrong.

      1. Yep….though they lived in the new housing developments at that time behind the CVS on Broad and Hartranft,,,adjacent to Packer Park.
        Father was an attorney and rented a warehouse on front street and had Mike work with batting instructors with batting cages and also had Mike improve his speed by having him run inside the warehouse with an open ‘parachute’ strapped to his back…..a Russian trainer was also hired to help him back then.

  22. Isn’t he part of the Scouting Department presently? I think he spent time with the Angels and came here last year. I remember him from Chestnut Hill Academy.

  23. A little snippet from MLBTR:

    “It’s never an easy thing to drop $5.1MM on one player, but he made it pretty easy,” Yankees international scouting director Donny Rowland told Baseball America’s Ben Badler (subscription required) about Dominican prospect Jasson Dominguez. The 16-year-old Dominguez’s $5.1MM payday matched the highest bonus given to any player in this year’s international draft class, and his stock has only continued to rise now that he has seen some action in the Dominican instructional league. Badler’s piece details how the Yankees’ international scouting staff first came across Dominguez, and how the youngster is already showing potential as a five-tool center fielder (not to mention a sixth tool of plate discipline).”

    ….so the Yankees get richer.
    Still waiting to hear the latest news on Phillies international expected signee,.highly regarded Ven OFer Yhoswar Garcia …word was he was suppose to receive a bonus in the $2.5M range

    1. Romus … I was also wondering about Garcia. As it stands now … the Phillies still have one of the biggest international bonus pools left for the 2019 J2 period. They are also in the mix for a couple of top international teenage pitchers.

      * Po-Yu Chen … is an 18 YO RHP from Taiwan . He competed in the U18 Basseball World Cup last month. During the tournament, he pitched in three games (2 starts and 1 out of the BP), and went 2-0, 1 save, 14 IP, 9 H, 3 BB, 12 K. The 6’2″, 190 lb RHP throws 90-92 FB, above avg CH, and present avg CB. He’s ranked the #22nd overall J2 prospect by Fangraphs.


      * Norge Carlos Vera … is a 19 YO RHP who defected from Cuba earlier this summer. He’s tall and thin (6’3″, 185 lbs) with lots of physical projection. According to Fangraphs, Vera has 4 average or better pitches: FB 91-94 T 96, CT, CH, SL. Fangraphs lists Vera as the top international pitcher for this year’s J2 class.

      1. Thanks Hinkie….good work.
        I was also hoping Garcia would have been signed by now with the other six big ticket guys:
        Jean Hernandez, RHP, DR- $300K
        Randy Vasquez, SS, DR – $350K
        Jehisbert Sevilla, SS/2B, Ven- $275K
        Jackie Pertuz, C, Col- $200K
        Jose Colmenarez, C, Ven- $350K
        Fernando Hernandez, SS, Ven- $350K
        Garcia was ranked top ten by Fangraphs and would have been the star of that class.

        1. Romus … I think Garcia is serving a suspension for testing positive for PED’s (pretty sure, but not not 100%). IIRC he can’t be signed until his suspension ends. Again … while not 100% certain … I believe his suspension ends sometime after the new year.
          It remains to be seen if the Phillies will get a discount from the original 2.5 million dollar price first agreed upon, or if the Phillies are even still interested (although I think I read they are). Could be another Miguel Tejeda jr situation. The CWS backed off their offer after he failed a PED test. The Phillies eventually moved in and signed him (earlier this year) at a discount.

          1. OK … I was wrong (in a bad way) for the reason Garcia was suspended. Thanks for that, Mark.
            I wonder if Garcia was lying about his age in an upwards direction or a downwards direction. If he’s really 15 YO instead of 16 YO, that would be a really good thing … as long as the Phillies still sign him. If he’s actually 17 YO instead of 16, that’s going to be concerning/take away some of his value.

    2. Kills me that we didn’t sign this kid. Future star. $5.1m is nothing on a kid with those tools. Think of all the money we wasted on Randolph and Moniak.

      1. A bigger stake to the heart for me is that the Dodgers drafted Walker Buehler after we selected Cornelius Randolph. That’s beyond painful.

        1. The other question is if we drafted Buehler, would he be Buehler or would he be Pivetta? And if the Dodgers drafted Randolph, would he be Randolph today or something much better?

          1. As far as Walker Buehler goes … the Phillies had strong interest in him. However, they backed off because of his arm woes while throwing for Vanderbilt. The Dodgers (to their credit) picked him, sent him in for TJ surgery the winter after they took him, and that paid off in a huge way.
            I’ve never been a big fan of avoiding pitchers because of TJ. I was disappointed when the Phillies didn’t draft Jesus Luzardo in 2016. The Nationals (who have a history of taking shots on pitchers recovering from TJ) picked Luzardo in the third round, despite the fact that the LHP missed his entire senior year of HS. The Nats did the same with Lucas Giolito in 2012.

            1. on….and also Giolito was taken by the Nats with the TJ issues…and finally used as a trade chip.

        2. That’s nothing compared to the 2016 draft. The Dodgers got three elite prospects from that draft. Lux, Smith and May would have been our top 3 prospects coming into 2019. They got all 3 drafting behind us in 2016. To be fair, we couldn’t have gotten all 3. Only Lux and May. But we got Moniak and Stobbe.

  24. Corey Dickerson has not dropped off the face of the earth.He should be in the conservation for 2020. He gave the Phillies an outstanding performance. Wouldn’t he be an upgrade in LF over Cutch. If Middleton is going to spend money, why not spend it on a proven ballplayer who added needed punch to the lineup. With the contract he signed Cutch should be satisfied with whatever role he is asked to play. I think he would be.

      1. I have seen a pretty good amount of Haseley,, I am usually able to have a option, based on what I see, This kid confuses me. I really don’t know what kind of player he will be. he can play some good Defense, if I had to guess based on his swing, I would say 250 18 hr guy. may 310 obp but his swing does stump me ,

        1. A .310 ob% with 18 homers is not a good mlb hitter. You can get that player any offseason (or via mid season trade) for very little.

      2. You may be right about 2020, but 2019 performance does not support your assertion:

        Dickerson: 279 PAs, 0.7 WAR
        Haseley: 242 PAs, 1.7 WAR

        That’s Baseball Reference; Fangraphs has them as virtually equal in 2019. What you seem to be forgetting is defense. Dickerson’s defense reduces his value considerably.

        1. Money alone may be the deciding factor between going with Haseley vs Dickerson. I would like both to be in the mix, but with the Phillies likely non-tendering guys like Franco and Cesar and looking to make room for high impact additions, maybe not.

        2. Be careful with SSS WAR projections. His first partial year in the big leagues had Aaron Altherr looking like a 6 WAR player on an annualized basis which, obviously, he wasn’t.

          Look, I like Haseley, but his outcome is very much in doubt.

          1. Agreed, Catch. Like I said, v1 might be right that Dickerson will be far better in 2020. But if so that probably means that Haseley isn’t a decent regular in 2020, because I would bet Dickerson is a less than 3 WAR player in 2020.

            In Haseley’s defense (vs Altherr), he was a top ten pick, so he has some pedigree, and he was 23 when he put up his partial season, so there is hope that he isn’t done developing.

  25. I’ll admit. When John Middleton fired Reuben Amaro, I thought, ok, this is an owner who will take the necessary steps to ensure that the Phillies get back to elite status. He is going to make sure that we have team president who will hire an GM to lead the rebuild. Boy, this press conference dealing with Gabe Kapler’s firing has left me with a knot in my stomach. Middleton fancies himself as some great mover and shaker, but okaying Kapler’s hiring was a bonehead move. The Phillies thought themselves ready to make the move to challenging for a playoff spot. But hiring a manager with one year experience in the Mexican league or low A and no track record of dealing with Major league egos, personalities, and different talents was strange. And it lead to questionable decisions and poor leadership by Kapler, and ultimately his dismissal. Middleton talks about analytics. But he doesn’t understand that sometimes the gut instinct is the correct choice, not a computer printout. I am watching these playoffs and seeing the supposed analytic trailblazers playing old-school, going to the opposite field if that is where the pitcher is pitching, hitting opposite the shifts being played, stating pitchers going 7-8 innings if they are in control, and sacrifice bunts, everything the Phillies didn’t do this year. I hope John Middleton is watching the same playoff games that I am watching.

  26. Looking at how the managerial searches are forming, it’s interesting to note that according to MLBTR, the Phillies have only lined up/had interviews with Showalter, Girardi and Baker. No other names are presently being considered. This may not take as long as some anticipate…the Phillies may want to show their suspicious fan base some decisiveness.

    I’ll take a stab at who lands where among the 8 openings:

    LA Angels – the word is Joe Maddon is a virtual lock. No reason to think otherwise.

    Chicago Cubs – David Ross is the in-house favorite, and mine. Don’t think Theo is comfortable with an alpha dog from the outside since his own seat is getting warm.

    SF Giants – from the list of names either having been interviewed or under consideration, I’ve got a gut feeling Gabe Kapler rebounds with his old friend from LAD, Farhan Zaidi.

    NY Mets – there’s a report that they don’t like the way Showalter dealt with the FO in Baltimore. If so, I would think Girardi would give them similar pause, plus he may be too rich for their blood. So, being that the Mets will still be the Mets, I predict Carlos Beltran will be their guy.

    SD Padres – since their GM AJ Preller is another exec under the gun for 2020, I think they go with a known commodity in Ron Washington.

    Pittsburgh Pirates – and another former Texas Ranger manager will come off the board in Jeff Bannister.

    KC Royals – from their short, lackluster list of names, it appears former failed Cardinals manager Mike Metheny is all but officially their next skipper.

    Philadelphia Phillies – I don’t see a 70 year old Dusty Baker taking on this fairly young group of players, and with MacKlentak supposedly feeling the heat to make the playoffs this year, my sense is they will hire Joe Girardi. If it was entirely up to MacKlentak, Showalter would get the gig BUT I doubt John Middleton would allow that move because in his heart of hearts, he doesn’t trust his two senior execs enough. I can see it now….”Mr Middleton, here are your choices – who do you want?”

    “Joe Girardi.”

      1. Only until he fires MacKlentak a year from now. I have no problem with him (in this case) “meddling” in order to keep them in check. Yes, he is grossly mistaken for not cleaning house, and I’ve lost respect for the man through this ordeal. But we can’t fire the owner. I only hope he sees the light when this team falls short again in 2020.

    1. Bohm hitting the ball hard…., a 105.7 mph lineout to center field. while both doubles exit velos of 106.9 and 105.1 mph.
      Phillies need him to step in 2020 in a really big way….hopefully at third, though presently he has been struggling at third down there

      1. If the Phillies enter 2020 relying on Bohm then they have made a massive mistake. Prospects like Pete Alonso are very rare. Most struggle initially.

        1. What do you mean by “If the Phillies enter 2020 relying on Bohm then they have made a massive mistake”. Want him to stay in minors forever? Can’t he be a piece of team that includes Harper, Realmuto, Hoskins? Just curious.

          1. That’s not his point (at least I don’t think it is). I think what he’s saying is that you can’t rely on a rookie to be a first division regular his first year, especially when he hasn’t played an inning of AAA ball yet. There are exceptions but we should expect it to take a little while for Bohm to become the player he can be.

          2. I agree with v1’s point. It’s like last year – the Phils relied on VV, Nick, and Eflin to ALL develop and deliver. They should have allowed those 3 to compete for one spot, and if another performed, his opportunity would come in due time. Same thing with Bohm – can’t assume he’ll be great, so plan otherwise and his opportunity will come if it’s warrsnted.

          3. If the starting 3rd baseman for a team with a championship aspiration is a rookie who has not had any at bats above AA, then that is an awful roster management decision.

        2. v1…I see your point…..but still they need him to make the club at third sometime in May/June and start his MLB progression. I realize he will need time to adjust to MLB pitching…..but then again they way many of the other college guys have done it would not surprise me if he hits the ground running .

          1. If he does then great. But it would be wise to have a back up plan for a team with playoff aspirations. Now maybe that backup plan is Kingery at 3rd. But then don’t expect Kingery to be somewhere else too.

            1. yes…..I really do not see them bringing up Bohm before EOM April or mid-May , even if he is raking at LHV…so they will need someone over there for the first 40 or so games.
              And hopefully that is it and Bohm will be playing well enough at LHV to be considered for promotion..
              Who knows what Kingery’s 2020 position will be at the startr or for that matter thru-out the season…..I am hoping the new manager has the opportunity to let him settle into one position full-time..

            2. Romus et al, (who’s Al?) Do not be surprised if Kingery begins the season playing just one position without all the changes from game to game … shortstop. The prevailing opinion is that he is their best shortstop. In this scenario, Segura moves to second and the Phillies acquire a third baseman to hold down the position until Bohm is ready to be promoted. There are many roster considerations that could affect or be affected by such a move, one of which is the non-tendering of Hernandez and Franco. Another scenario has Hernandez remaining to man second and Segura playing third (where he has never played). Kingery remains at short. This is less popular, but we’ll be able to guess at the direction they’re taking by January 10th, when arb figures are exchanged.

            3. Jim…..forgot about Kingery at shortstop…he handled it well. That is another strong possibility and Segura moves over to second or maybe even third.
              I wonder if they will pursue Freddy G…..he will be out there again, unless the Jays pick up his option….and he would be fairly cheap.

            4. Cole Hamels….Freddy Galvis…..we need to remember that Dave Montgomery and Reuben Amaro don’t run the Phillies anymore. Again, Klentak isn’t going back to the future. It’s great that we look fondly at our former Phillie players, but let’s not assume MacKlentak want anything to do with our nostalgic sentiments. Freddy might be a good utility player, but not for the money he’d make.

            5. I would take Freddy in a hearbeat….but just as a utility guy, if he is acceptable to that…sure as hell beats Sean Rodriguez.

  27. There seems to be a false narrative, pushed forward by Matt Klentak, that the fan base here is somehow not intelligent/sophisticated/aware enough to grasp the value of analytics. That’s utter rubbish. The issue has been the way the analytics are used. Thomas Wood highlighted a lot of it above. Nothing about analytics disputes the notion that a good hitter adjusts to situations, adjusts to where the pitch is thrown, or in any way, suggests that an inflexible approach is best. Houston, the Dodgers, the Yankees, all get players and see them improve. They hit HRs, and also hit the opposite way, move runners, attack the shift by going away from it. None of which we do here. Pitching is the same. Much has been made of Eflin’s improvement coming after he ditched Young’s approach. Has anyone heard that that is untrue? I haven’t. Our biggest problem with Gabe Kapler was not his use of analytics. It was his demeanor after losses, trying to sell us on grit and determination regardless of the failures we just watched. We wanted to see anger in losing, not Tony Robbins applauding the efforts in a failed attempt. I can’t stand when Klentak tries to blame us for lacking his intelligence. They failed to build a Playoff team. Own it, and tell us how you intend to do better. Not how you have to operate under the burden of Philly fans. Of course, MacPhail had to jump in and applaud the fan base. He heard the same thing from Klentak that I did.

    1. Matt13, I didn’t see where klentak said this, but I’m assuming this was from the recent presser. I think it’s a good take if so. I can argue how implementing analytics into baseball is good in theory, may provide great insight into the “why’s” of baseball … but it certainly doesn’t guarantee its predictive results from happening again. I see the value in the metrics, but also the faults. Some of the decision making I’ve seen, that is based off these metrics, are so close to the alternative decision, it is a minuscule difference that is argued by pro-analytic people to result in 2 more wins a season. OK, I see this side, the alternative view is that past performance (which the analytics are based off of) are poor indicators for future performance! What happened in the last 10,000 at bats doesn’t take into account so many factors that are happening right then and there, in that at bat. Is the player on the incline or decline? Healthy or injured? Rested or tired? Any family issues impacting their game? The list goes on and on. They just need better players period, it doesn’t take an analytics department to tell us this! So how do they get better? Adapt. Improve the coaching (pitching & hitting), grind 110% of the time, no plays off – which can make up some of the analytics gap, get players who actually hit with RISP! Harper was a freaking clutch monster this year … rest of the team, not so much. I got to say, that is the only batting analytics I care about right now. Why is Harper light years ahead of the rest of the team in this batting aspect? Find that out, and a lot of the other metrics become a lot less significant.

      Pitching wise, yeah I don’t even want to get started on, but Efflin is a great example of why things needed to change, coaching wise.

      I can trash analytics, but they do have their spot, don’t get me wrong on that, but there is the “feel” for the game that was lacking this year, and last. The “feel” game is what connects these metrics to improved results. Not having a feel for the game from the coaches & FO will decrease the data driven results imo. For example, there is Something to be said for a team that plays above their heads (2018) but also to a team that doesn’t seize the opportunity when presented. You can’t slide out of first/wc contention 2 years in a row and not address this. Something is a miss with the leadership/FO.

      Now of course, drafting better would make them all look like geniuses, maybe they should start there.

    2. Where did Klentak say this? That would cause me to lose all support I had left for him.

  28. I thought I heard on Wip that Baker was favorite for job They went to Harper for his approval.

  29. rei, it was during the press conference on Friday. He said “I think to be a forward-thinking organization, you have to be willing to take risks, and I know that is tougher in this market than almost anywhere else.:I know that.” “We have to push the envelope, even though we recognize the realities of our market.” Matt Gelb followed up. MacPhail said he didn’t understand any confusion, the market here in Philly is a great one. I was certainly not alone in understanding exactly what Klentak was trying to say. I understand the value of analytics, and I also understand and value the validity in having a feel for the game as it goes along. I know that when Klentak used analytics as his sole determining factor in deciding his Starting Rotation was a good one, he was wrong.

    1. Matt13, I think it’s a good take if so. I can argue how implementing analytics into baseball is good in theory, may provide great insight into the “why’s” of baseball … but it certainly doesn’t guarantee its predictive results from happening again. I see the value in the metrics, but also the faults. Some of the decision making I’ve seen, that is based off these metrics, are so close to the alternative decision, it is a minuscule difference that is argued by pro-analytic people to result in 2 more wins a season. OK, I see this side, the alternative view is that past performance (which the analytics are based off of) are poor indicators for future performance! What happened in the last 10,000 at bats doesn’t take into account so many factors that are happening right then and there, in that at bat. Is the player on the incline or decline? Healthy or injured? Rested or tired? Any family issues impacting their game? The list goes on and on. They just need better players period, it doesn’t take an analytics department to tell us this! So how do they get better? Adapting is a huge key, Improve the coaching (pitching & hitting), grind 110% of the time, no plays off (yes, which can make up some of the analytics gap),get players who actually hit with RISP! Harper was a freaking clutch monster this year … rest of the team, not so much. I got to say, that is the only batting analytics I care about right now. Why is Harper light years ahead of the rest of the team in this batting aspect? Find that out, and a lot of the other metrics become a lot less significant.

      Pitching wise, yeah I don’t even want to get started on, but Efflin is a great example of why things needed to change, coaching wise.

      I can trash analytics, but they do have their spot, don’t get me wrong on that, but there is the “feel” for the game that was lacking this year, and last. The “feel” game is what connects these metrics to improved results. Not having a feel for the game from the coaches & FO will decrease the data driven results imo. For example, there is Something to be said for a team that plays above their heads (2018) but also to a team that doesn’t seize the opportunity when presented. You can’t slide out of first/wc contention 2 years in a row and not address this. Something is a miss with the leadership/FO.

      Now of course, drafting better would make them all look like geniuses, maybe they should start there.

    2. Implementing Analytics without a feel for the game, is futile. It negates whatever advantage the metric predicts will happen. Better coaching, better adapting from the players will yield improved results. Acquiring better players will also continue to improve results 🙂
      Drafting better players will yield better results, and make everyone look like a genius!
      They really should triple their scouting department until they find a good mix. If the drafting results are poor, it hinders/hurts the rest of the organization on every level

  30. With the Phillies recent draft results coupled with high end FA pricing, they will be forced to make a financial decision between GCole vs Strasburg (assuming he opts out)
    The clear choice talent wise is Cole, but if Strasburg opts out, financially its likely that Strasburg is the better fit. I’d take Strasburg and hope Cole stays in the American League. This is the Penalty from failing to develop enough major league talent after 5+ years. Hopefully the drafting has been better recently and we are waiting for it to develop/arrive.

  31. Dan Connolly of The Athletic today threw some cold water on the potential Phillies-Showalter (or should we say Middleton-Showalter) partnership, which could eventually spell Klentak’s doom. Not that it won’t happen, or that it might pay off immediate dividends, but that it would end poorly based on how Buck circumvented his relationship with GM Dan Duquette in Baltimore to speak directly with owner Peter Angelos. So, with Johnny boy firmly entrenched as the Big Dog of the Phillies front office, let’s see if and how this all plays out.

    IMO, be it Dusty, Girardi or Buck – this may be Middleton’s end around to ultimately sack MacKlentak sometime in 2020. Just saying….

  32. Are there any reputable outfits that do evaluations on past MLB drafts? I know with 40 rounds it would be hard but evaluate teams based on their 1-15 rd. picks? The NFL and NBA have “winners and losers” draft analysis’s ad nauseum… Just don’t know if I’ve ever seen a MLB one..

    1. The problem with an MLB draft is it takes a minimum of 3-5 years to have any real sense of how it turned out as it takes forever for even talented HS draft picks to make the majors. By that time, the average fan just isn’t focused on what happened 4 or 5 years ago.

  33. In the FWIW department, although Moniak is not having a good run in the AFL, I think (1) his K rate has been OK — not great, but OK — at 22.2%, which is in line with his last two years (22.0% in 2019 and 21.5% in 2018); and (2) his BABIP is at .175, suggesting that he has been unlucky (it’s hard to be sure, since doesn’t give line drive rate, infield fly rate, etc.).

    If his BABIP were a more normal .325 (it was .344 and .307 for Moniak in 2018 and 2019) he would be batting .250 — that’s not setting the world on fire, but it wouldn’t look nearly as bad as his current .171 average.

    That said, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Moniak get 1000 PAs in 2020 and 2021 in AAA, with the hope that he is ready to contribute in 2022 (he will start that season as a 23 year old, though it will be his age 24 season)

    1. Look, I don’t want to be too critical because Mickey’s dad checks in on here from time to time, but Mickey is no longer a top prospect. I give him credit for hanging in there but his ultimate outcome is very hazy at best right now.

      1. Catch, has Mickey as the Phillies’ #8 prospect.

        Fangraphs has him at #10

        I get that this board and the Phillies weren’t hoping for that outcome with the #1 overall pick. But in my view he has a shot at being a regular. Sure, it’s hazy . . . but for the Phillies, only Bohm and Howard have non-hazy ultimate outcomes, IMO.

        1. Yeah, he’s the number 8 prospect on the Phillies, but their system is not strong at all. I was saying hazy to be polite – sure, he has a shot, but that’s about it which is significant damning with feint praise for a 1/1 pick to put it mildly.

        2. I’ve never been a big fan of drafting high school players with your #1 pick. It just doesn’t make sense to me, but I know it has worked and I know it hasn’t. Hinkie, V1, etc., any of you guys who love to delve into odds and stats…..what are the odds of a #1 high schooler making the majors in say 5 years or less? Rocco….I would have included you if the subject was equestrian!😎

            1. V1…..Yes, it is an interesting study on pitchers and position players as well, and his conclusion that it is worth the risk is interesting as well. Thanks for providing the analysis, I really appreciate it. Always felt that some of our high school picks were “wasted picks”, when compared to the availability of college players, especially in the first round. I’m conservative, so to my way of thinking my first rounder has to connect. Thanks again.

      2. I’m not willing to write off Moniak
        At this point. I get he is not lighting the world on fire, but he has time, and room
        To grow. Let’s see how he does this coming season. The AFL is a great test, and let’s hope he can put a string of good
        Games together before the end. I think sometimes we forget that progress is not linear and nor does everyone develop at the same age/rate. I see the concerns, but it’s
        Still early. He’ll make it.

        1. Tac3,,,agree with you to some degree. Eventually he will be at a level commiserate with his age grouping, but he will need to be productive.
          He seems to be a late bloomer at each level, so with that in mind…I can see Bonifay starting him at LHV in the spring….and coming out of the gates slowly,.but that may be the one level that he may need to repeat in 2021….if starting slowly in 2020 and picking it up but still has some issues in his peripherals at the conclusion., low BB rate , hi-K rate and other aspects like LD% vs GB%
          His confidence will need to be built up and that goes with a strong start that can be carried for a long period.
          No doubt he will eventually be in the majors…..but it is a matter of at what status of a player.

          1. I hear the notion that he will eventually be with his peers, age wise. The positive I look at, is that he had 52 extra base hits, of which 13 are triples. This tied him for most in the league. My guess is that some of those doubles and triples will turn into hrs, as he ages, gains strength. Hopefully he can decrease his SO, improve his walk ratio. I think it’s a reasonable assumption that this could happen, but if he could provide a stat line of:
            .270. 35 2B 10 3B 15 hrs and improve his SO/BB ratio, and hustle his rear off. I’m not going to knock the pic. He’ll provide salary relief and allow cutch or whoever to be expendable in a yr to 2 years. Should be a solid core player or support player. Which I know you expect more from a 1-1, but who really cares as
            Long as the pipeline is pumping out prospects! That’s the real problem, not Moniak. Sometimes the draft team gets lucky, and a hoskins or Howard come along in a lower round, balances it out. I just want the pipeline to keep flowing, to the point that each major leaguer has someone to look over their shoulder at.

    2. 1. A 22% minor league K rate for a prospect with little power is bad.
      2. Far worse is his walk rate. He has 2 walks in 56 PAs in Arizona.
      3. His profile is entirely dependent upon a hit tool. This are not the metrics of a player with a good hit tool. Good hitters take a lot of walks and put balls in play.
      4. He has hit a lot of ground balls to the left side. His babip has not been bad luck.

      I agree with Catch’s assessment. I don’t care where he is rated by other sites. He is not a good hitter.

  34. Middleton is spending big money on FAs. But, I am rude to ask: is it a good deal of his money or the Comcast contract money? Is there any transparency on these matters.

  35. The Angels are mess with the news Skaggs was getting drugs from an Angels PR person and the DEA is investigating. You think top line managers like Madden or Girardi want to manage under that duress? Very likely the MLB steps in after the DEA report and levels some stiff sanctions similar to what the Cardinals got after the cheating scandal.. This sounds cold but it can only help the Phillies chances to land the manager they want..

    1. I really don’t think the Skaggs situation at this point factors into which managerial candidates will back away. It’s a legal, off the field matter now. I doubt Maddon is affected by how the Angels handle the public relations part of it. The carry over players close to Skaggs, maybe. But I wouldn’t put too much into it. The Angels haven’t been a quality organization for some time now. That would impact Maddon more so. But they spend money, often foolishly. Those would be questions he should be asking, not how one bad apple employee has tainted the team’s long history.

      1. Though it will be on the mind of some free agents when it comes down to them deciding about an organization and its internal workings.
        Angels may need to do some cleaning up within their organization.

  36. Well Rob, I don’t think it is Middleton’s money at all, as in, he is not reaching into his pocket to fund FAs. The team has an income based on all the ticket sales, merchandise, concessions, etc., then the TV money from the National contract, and then the local TV/Cable and radio contracts. There is more than enough money coming in to support spending to, or above, the luxury tax. The question is what does Middleton and the other owners forgo in profits by spending what they do? Even at the luxury tax, the ownership still makes a profit. Sure, they could make a bigger profit by not spending as much, but Middleton has repeatedly said they are not looking to make a lot of money. They do not, however, have to reach into their pockets.

    1. matt13…Middleton’s share of the club is approx 48% as last reported a few years back…..the Bucks have the other 52% or so….the majority ownership I believe…..but they relinquished all of the baseball operational activities to John Middleton as managing partner.

  37. Romus, I believe that the Limited Partnership agreement limits anyone from having 50% or more. I believe you are correct in that Middleton has 48%. The Bucks have the next big chunk, maybe 47%. David Montgomery’s Estate has his 4 or 5%, which he accumulated over the years. When Bill Giles sold out his small share, and Clare Betz, or her Estate, prior to that sold hers, they were sold to Middleton and the Bucks. .Middleton is designated as the General Partner, so he is the decision maker. Unless he materially diminishes the value of the team, he is locked in.

        1. They’re 3-3 with the easiest part of their schedule up ahead, they will be just fine.

          1. The Eagles will win a minimum of 10 games, very possibly 11 with a handful of cupcake opponents down the final 5 or 6 game stretch. But they’re not the ’17 version by any stretch.

            1. Agree with the win total, but I wouldn’t rule out this team coming together and improving enough to have a shot. Doug has created a great culture, along with some great veteran leaders in the locker room, so anything is possible. They could very well win 5-6 straight to end the season. I think they’ll trade for a good CB and Darby and Mills should only get better as the season goes on. I see a division title in their future, the question is can they get a first round bye? That’s going to be tough.

  38. I guess the Phils could lose several draft picks for the next draft. Lots of the pitchers the Phils are interested in will get QOs. Strasburg is in a different situation I think. Will the Giants and Cubs offer arb to MadBum and Hamels? The Mets and Wheeler?

  39. I think yes on the last 3 Murray. And Cole will get one. We are going to lose a pick, as I think we will, for sure, get 1 of them. I don’t think any of the Relievers we may sign will get one, so maybe we only lose 1.

  40. 8mark, you don’t think Hamels gets a QO? Even if it drops to $15-16, rather than $17Million? I think the Cubs would want compensation, and I don’t think there is much chance he accepts. If he doesn’t get one, then I am interested in Hamels regardless of anything else that we do.

    1. Matt, not from the Cubs. Maybe a team with a little wiggle room but the Cubs are up against it with big contracts. Plus Hamels is no slam dunk to have a season worthy of a QO at age 36.

      1. Hamels would take a QO too-sweet…what is it $19M now?….he will not get that as a free agent.
        Cubs are probably not going to QO him……he will not get any offers until June if that were the case so clubs could avoid the penalty.

        And it would be to the Phillies advantage if the Cubs QOed him…..they could do an Atlanta ‘Keuchel’ deal with him next June.

      2. Klentak will not pursue Hamels if for only one reason – he doesn’t want to take this regime back in time as a nod to nostalgia. Unless, of course, Middleton orders him to….say 2/$25M?

        Just out of curiosity, what does the board think about some team using Hamels out of the bullpen? Would he be agreeable to channel Dennis Eckersley, ala lefty version?

  41. 8mark, there was some chatter about bringing Smyly back to do that. I don’t know if that is based in fact. I am sure some team signs Hamels, definitely if there is no QO attached. The more I look at what is available, or, at least, seems is going to be available, the more that G. Cole stands out. Even if the Astros have him throw 150 pitches today! Assuming he goes elsewhere for whatever reason, Wheeler and Alex Wood, as a combo, are next on my list.

  42. JA Happ got 2 years/34 million dollars plus a 17 million dollar vesting option last winter. Hamels can probably expect something similar (provided he avoids a QO from the Cubs).

    I think the Phillies sign:
    * one of Wheeler/Bumgarner (Wheeler more likely)
    * one LH Drew (Smyly or Pomeranz)
    * an affordable funky/different look reliever … Sergio Romo or Steve Cishek or Darren O’Day
    * Tommy Hunter on a minor league deal (if he can’t find any takers) would be a wise move.

    I also think GM Middleton could have Klentak look into trades for Ken Giles or Mychal Givens

  43. Cole just threw pitch # 108 at 100 MPH. I know what you are going to say Hinkie, you too, v1, his arm won’t last the 6 or 7 years of the contract. But, Wheeler is a very significant drop off from Cole. Cole becomes our #1, Nola is still # 1 if we get Wheeler. I agree with all of your other moves. I don’t think Bumgarner comes East. I could certainly be wrong. Do you see a Playoff team with what you just proposed Hinkie?

    1. matt … the Gerrit Cole you are watching now may not be the Gerrit Cole you see next season. It’s conceivable Cole gets three more starts this month. The Astros know they aren’t going to be able to re-sign him, and will continue to let him throw 110+ pitches (with heavy velo) per outing. Guys who are saddled with extra heavy post season workloads often times suffer down campaigns the following season (see Hamels, Cole 2009 and Eovaldi, Nathan 2019).

      1. not disagreeing with the concern…but Eovaldi only threw 22 innings over 3 playoff series last year, after 110 in the regular season.

        1. raef is correct in that Eovaldi threw only 22 innings last post season. However, he threw 324 pitches in those 22 innings. To top it off, he appeared in back-to-back-to-back games (3 in a row) in the WS, all out of the BP. That third time out, Eovaldi gave the Red Sox 97 pitches over 6 innings. He did this during his first year back from TJ surgery.

      2. Hinkie…also Sale from last year with the Sox, though he only threw a total of about 175 innings…..he went further into the season then normal….and he isn’t a big guy…tall, but not overly strong..

  44. in my head I know you are right Hinkie, and he is going to get $200 Million from someone. The smart approach may be exactly what you are suggesting. It will be interesting to see it play out.

  45. .

    Keith Law is a Spencer Howard fan:

    “Spencer Howard (Phillies) missed several months this season because of a tired shoulder, but he has pitched at a high level since his return, and his AFL outing on Thursday was the best I’ve seen so far from my preseason No. 52 prospect. Howard’s velocity sat at 96 mph in the first inning and held 94-98 into the fifth. He worked up effectively with the pitch, and showed a legitimate four-pitch mix with a tight two-plane curveball at 76-78 mph, above-average slider at 83-88, and fringe-average changeup at 81-84 that showed some power fade at times. He can overthrow the slider, and in the fifth inning his command started to slip enough that he came out of the game. He cuts himself off just a little bit when he lands, enough that getting to his glove side requires effort, but he still works to both sides of the plate. If healthy he’s a No. 2 starter, and he’s just about ready to help.”

    1. Besides the obvious physical similarities, he also appears to have some of Kris Bryant’s characteristics at the plate with his stance and load.

      1. Your comment made me look up stats between the two players in their first full season post draft (AA and AAA for Bryant and A and AA for Bohm)
        – Bryant had a lot more power at same age. He hit 43 homers. Bohm hit 21.
        – Bryant walker more but both had a very good walk rate. 14.5% for Bryant and ~10% for Bohm
        – K rate is HUGELY in Bohm’s favor. Bryant K’d over 26%. Bohm ~14%. I am a big believer in Minor league K rate as a predictor. This is a good sign for Bohm.
        – another huge advantage for Bohm, he can’t be shifted. He only pulls the ball about 1/3rd of the time. Bryant pulled it ~50%. The shift has really hurt Bryant in the majors. He is still great. But robs him of a lot of hits.
        – a stat hugely in Bryant’s favor, Bohm hits the ball on the ground about equal to in the air. Bryant heavily hit the ball in the air

        Net, net they are different type hitters. Bryant is a classic pull power hitter. Bohm likes to go oppo and is more of a high batting average hitter with pop. But this is at age 23 so who knows how he may change. The fact that we can put Bohm in the same conversation with a one time MVP is very positive.

        1. Loving Bohm and what he may bring as a major leaguer. If the Phillies like Kingery at shortstop after being projected as a 2b, that tells me they won’t think twice about moving Bohm to 1b if it makes any sense at all in the bigger picture. I often bring this up not because it’s my preference, but because the age of analytics has brought more dramatic change to how defense is aligned and assigned than any other part of the game, or so it seems to me.

          1. the value of a 3rd baseman has always been more than a first baseman. that has nothing to do with analytics. first base is where they put bad defenders.

        2. And neither will be confused for Arenado or Chapman at third base, though Bryant’s burst of speed gives him the flexibility to go out to the OF.

          1. yeah, I don’t see Bohm as an OF’er. Only 3rd or 1st. based on what I have read, he will end up at 1st in the not too distant future. I have not read good things about his defense.

            1. That is my take as well, so we will still be in the market for a 3rd basemen or have to shift some people around.

            2. We’ll see – we were always told Utley would be a bad fielding second baseman and then he turned out something like a career 18 WAR on defense which put him at around 66th all time among position players.

  46. If Bohm comes out raking in spring training, which could be the case…more or less like Kingery did his first two spring trainings, I am wondering if the Phillies will succumb to the pressure of the media and probably a large segment of the fan base, and activate him to the 40 and bring him north on the 25.
    Cubs let Bryant stay down for a few weeks, for the obvious baseball operational reasons, to the chagrin of the Cub faithful, before bringing him up after a tremendous spring training in Arizona in 2015.

  47. People keep tagging me about my comments on Cole. A few more thoughts:
    1. Obviously he is an elite, game changing pitcher in his age 29 season. As good as there is in the game. Dominant.
    2. To sign him, you are going to have to go 6 or likely 7 years @ $30m+ per year. Maybe even $35m.
    3. Hard throwing, high inning Starting Pitchers do not age well. There is a clear and consistent trend of pitchers losing velocity with age and a strong, negative correlation between velocity going down and era going up.
    4. Cole has been a workhorse. he has thrown 200+ IP per year for 3 straight years. which makes sense for age 27-29 seasons. This year he has already thrown 234 IP. Injuries happen when you throw when you are tired. If you sign him to a 7 year deal, you are paying a high price at the back end of the contract for what is unlikely to be a productive MLB pitcher. There are not many pitchers who throw 200+ IP for 10 straight seasons.
    5. We are not one SP away from being a good team. This team has several holes. Paying $35m will wipe out a lot of our cap space. Mostly we need depth. If we sign Cole to a mega deal and he goes down, our season is toast. We have ho SP depth.
    6. Lastly, this is not how great teams construct a roster. What the Astros paid to get Cole for his age 28-29 years is exactly how great teams build a roster.

    That’s my argument. However, clearly this organization is running itself based on fan sentiment, so I am sure they will give him a mega deal and of course I will be loudly cheering for him every start.

    1. If Gerrit Cole will command a $35M AAV with a long term contract, then its a pass. If Cole can be had for $190M/6 yo or $230M/8 yo including 2 option — it is manageable.

      The loophole in your argument is not necessary on Gerrit Cole but the alternative you are proposing – Zach Wheeler (or MadBum) and Cole Hamels (or Dallas Keuchel) —- also will also command high $$ and presents more risk injuries than Gerrit Cole. It is different if the Phillies will get Wheeler, MadBum, Hamels or Keuchel for $16M AAV each but they are not.

      I’m cold on Mous (or Donaldson) since I expect them to sign at least a 2-year contract. Bohm will not be a Peter Alonso in 2020 but he can be a productive bat in the bottom of the order.

      I haven’t run a number yet but your suggestion of Wheeler (or MadBum), Hamels (or Keuchel), Mous (or Donaldson) will probably approximate the AAV of a Gerrit Cole + Alex Wood + Will Smith signings. Cole is 29 yo, Wood is 28 yo and Smith is 30 yo. Not only the trio are younger they fill the void that the Phillies needs to be filled – TOR, LHP, rotation and bullpen.

    2. Right on about the rebuild. It is not going as smoothly as it should be. The Phillies should be at the point this offseason, that Cole was the final piece that pushed them into WS contenders.
      At this point, I have to hope that Strasburg opts out, and I go with him, not because I want to, but because that is the penalty in the rebuild for having poor draft results. Cole is the correct choice for the best pitcher, but now the FO has to compromise, and go with a Strasburg (or less) and possibly hamels or Wheeler. Have Howard bump out arrrietta next year. Reset some payroll flexibility, and start building up for the next

      The bill is coming due for Klentak and Mcphail. They won’t be able to hide when their payroll is near maxed, with a team that can’t get passed WC contention because it’s farm system’s pipeline is in the bottom 3rd of the league.

    3. While I love the Phillies to go hard on Gerrit Cole, I expect one crazy GM will pull the trigger and pay Cole his $35 AAV megadeal and push the Phillies out of the running.

      That being said, Wheeler + Hamels may not be the best option but it is the most likely option that the Phillies have.

      1. KuKo….do not need one crazy GM……I am sure the word around the league these days, there may be one owner.
        They do not call the City of Brotherly Love for nothing.

  48. v1, I am glad you posted this. You bring up very good points. I always respect your opinion. I certainly operate more on emotion and you on logic, so I can’t argue with the points you made. My view is this. I want to be in the Playoffs next year. We, as a fan base, have waited too long. I know that it is all not the fault of Mac/Klentak. The ownership and prior FO waited too long to start the rebuild. I wanted Corbin last year. My views are similar, although Cole is better, and the contract will be for more money. Corbin got 6 years. If the Nats get 4 years of pitching, similar to what they got this year, then they won that risk. I’ll eat the last 2 years for his production over 4. The same with Cole. If I believe that I get 4 years similar to what he gave the Astros this year, then it is worth the 6, or 6 plus option, year contract he gets at whatever the $ figure is.The financial power of the Phillies can absorb the rest of the contract. Maybe that is wrong. But, making the Playoffs gives us a chance to go further. I don’t just get Cole. We need bench help and 2 BP arms that are good ones. We need hitting and oitching coaches who actually coach our players to get better. But, going into a 5 game series with Cole and Nola to start games 1 and 2, gives us a heckuva shot, even if we got in as a WC team. Then, we are in the NLCS, and anything can happen. The Dodgers were unbeatable. They are home. Maybe going the route of Wheeler and someone else accomplishes the same thing. I just don’t feel that. Anyway, we are in this position because we have not done a very good job since 2012. Sad, but true. Drafting, International signings, team building, all have not been successful.

  49. Bohm and Hoskins, two key bats to the Phillies future. They both need to be legit. In Hoskins case, he needs to just get more back on track, with bohm proving he can do it at the major league level.

    I believe it will happen, but What scares me is the defensive metrics that could happen between the two. Little bit scary to think about a lot of errors between the two.

    1. The inevitable DH would go a long way to solve the defensive problem Bohm and Hoskins present in the long haul. 1b isn’t a big problem, but only as long as 3b is well manned. Bohm is a good, not great athlete, with an exceptional hit tool. Low K rate, sprays the ball with pop. But his gangly frame doesn’t translate into a hot corner glove. Perhaps adequate for a while, but that’s not what we need at 3b. This may become (or already is) a dilemma for the decision makers, bigger than the Cesar-Kingery debate we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last 2 years. (…tongue firmly in cheek)

  50. Tac3, You are correct. vi may be right on about Bohm. But, that doesn’t help much if Hoskins and Bohm can’t be on the team together. We need Bohm to stick at 3B. And, we need Hoskins to get better, and hit the way I believe he can. But if we have to trade one, then we have to pray that the return for either one is a top level player. How much faith do we have in that happening?

  51. My blunt opinion is signing Gerrit Cole would be a huge mistake…In fact there is not a FA Pitcher that comes tagged with the QO that I would sign. Not Wheeler, Not Hamels and not MadBum.

    Again my target is Jordan Lyles. He’s not sexy and many probably don’t believe in his numbers with the Brewers but I do to some degree. After that MK would do well to peruse the trades that might be available for a quality arm. Eat some money go into the lux tax for a couple years put up MM whatever…

    If I make any big FA signs and give up a pick its going to be for an Impact bat whether its Rendon or Springer I’m going to add length to the line-up.

    Something to consider is something Friedman said in an open interview when he was asked a series of questions mostly pertaining to Roberts status (which he said he is bringing him back) was how he would like to change/shake-up his roster construction.

    I took that to mean he might like to clear some salary from his books so a Kershaw or a Turner or a Jansen could be available. If he has eyes for Cole maybe you take Kershaw’s 2/$62 or Jansen’s 2/$38 and get them to include a Ryan Pepiot.

    The biggest thing for me is to deny adding an impact bat because we have Bohm and Hoskins (one of which we know is 1B only and the other probable 1B) is not how you run a franchise.

    1. I would like Jansen in a potential salary dump. I think the improvements are going to need to come via trade this offseason as there just aren’t enough free agent difference makes this year outside of Smith.

      As far as LA is concerned now that Lux is up and Kike Hernandez is in the last year of his deal that is a guy I’d like to bring in. He could lock down 3rd base for the first month or so of the season and if our Hernandez is non-tendered he could slide into Kingery’s role as a super utility guy.

    2. I’m struck by how many here on this board agree not to pursue G.Cole, including me. Question is between Middleton and MacKlentak, who will see that one Cole will not get them to the promised land? I’m inclined to think the owner would want him come hell or high water, unfortunately. Can MacKlentak convince him that 2 or 3 upgrades to the rotation instead of one would take them farther – and justify going over the tax threshold (can you say sign Rendon?) – in order to go deep into October?

      1. 8mark….tend to agree but….I see Boras making it very attractive to his newest BFF, John Middleton, to go for either Cole or Strasburg, assuming he opts-out.
        Middleton is on record saying you do not spend big just for a WC position…..but Boras has that way about him that can be very persuasive.

        1. Romus, Boras can sell Middleton on my preference, Rendon, as easily as he can Cole or Strasburg. Can the Nats pony up with all their deferred money? Maybe if Strasburg opts out they could re-sign Rendon. Not sure. Lots of moving parts and contingencies here….

          1. Rendon to the Phillies…..if that ever should happen… I will eat one of rocco’s homemade south philly raisin/walnut meatballs.

    3. Avoid the 32-year old Jansen…he may be cooked now from over-baking (230 games and 272 innings over last four years).
      Velo readings:
      4Smr and Cut FB

      2016….95.11… cutter-94.1

      1. Avoid Jansen AND Kershaw. Bad money or not, these 2 may both be shot. Plus, our goal to reach the postseason would be compromised by the fact that Clayton sucks in the playoffs. Plus injury history at advanced ages? NO THANKS!

        1. LOL how old do you think Kershaw is? He’s got 2 years left on his current deal.

          And say what you will about his post season’s they likely don’t get to quite a few of those without him. Even with his lower stuff he pitched to 3.03 ERA last year with a 1.043 WHIP

          Besides I’m not taking on all that money for nothing I’d tie him to a good young player from their system in an area where maybe they have some depth.

          Point is if you fear 7+ Years of $200+ million for Cole and you don’t have the depth or acumen to pull off a deal to get a young G Cole as the Astro’s did how do you improve your club?

          I’m not trying to be a smart a$$ we’re buds but you don’t even know who Ryan Pepiot is do you?

          And listen this might not even be possible if Kershaw has any type of no trade clause. It’s simply my imagination steeped in as much reality as I might muster up for both sides.

          1. Kershaw is old enough when you add up his mileage. 2 years left on his deal doesn’t make me salivate, sorry. I don’t want GCole either…I mean, I do, but not at the going rate. We may never sniff Rendon but I think deepening the rotation shouldn’t preclude us from trying to fill another position of need – yes, 3b being one.

  52. Also if we do see the DH come to the NL and Hoskins committed the off season to a Right Center approach he could become the next JD Martinez…

    1. Should be an outstanding opportunity to play for the country and get more innings. As a result though, it wouldn’t surprise me if both pitchers go slow in spring training and maybe don’t start their seasons until May.

  53. Hard to believe on May 23rd after 50 games into the season the Washington Nationals were 19-31 and their fans wanting to fire their manager…Phillies were 29-21 and coasting along looking every bit of a play-off team.

  54. I just don’t understand the Rendon talk. I don’t think that they even discuss signing Rendon. Not only does that take us out of the Pitching market, it requires the trade of Hoskins or Bohm. Sorry guys, I have no interest in that. We are not getting that TOR for either Hoskins or Bohm. The DH is not coming anytime soon. Pitching is the #1 need. Lyles, Odirizzi, Alex Wood, there are a number of guys out there. But, there is Cole. Then there are MadBum and Wheeler, then a grouping of guys. The grouping does not give us anyone good enough. And, DMAR, I appreciate you don’t want to give up a pick, but we do not have the trade capital to get a TOR. I know, I would clearly give up what Houston did to get a Gerrit Cole or a Justin Verlander. But, those teams had prospects, regardless of how they turned out, that are more highly regarded than what we have to offer. Medina, Moniak, Maton, whoever else you wnat to mention that are not named Bohm, Howard or Stott. We can get Cole and BP help without going into the luxury tax, so the argument Middleton made about not going there for a WC berth is moot.

    1. matt13….”We can get Cole and BP help without going into the luxury tax, so the argument Middleton made about not going there for a WC berth is moot.”…eeeek!

      Philies still have to do the JTR deal… you are getting on the edge for sure of the tax border.
      Arb year guys will need to be trimmed for virtually nothing… i.e. Cesar ($10-12M)..Maikel ($7/8M) and a few others….Dickerson will not be back I would assume also since he could command $12M or so..

    2. matt13…the combination of signing both Gerrut Cole and JTR, which I would like, may cost an estimate $55M AAV….that’s 26% of the lux tax threshold for just two players….38 more have to be included eventually
      So it will take a financial wizard to make the numbers fit..

      1. And there you go – you can’t use free agency as the most significant part of a rebuilding campaign. You still need cost-effective, cheaper talent. You get that talent from the minors or astute value-oriented trades. We’ve done poorly with both to be frank and that’s why we’ll be up against the cap.

        1. yes….Phillies will probably hope and need Howard, Bohm and Seabold to step up soon…and maybe players like Kingery, Hoskins and Haseley to further mature as quality players and hitters. Then maybe Stott in 2 more years.
          Lots of hope and finger- crossing.

  55. Canvasing the market – instead of signing G.Cole, or trading for Kershaw, I would take 2 of the following SP’s (one from group A, one from B)
    Jordan Lyles
    Zach Wheeler
    Madison Bumgarner
    Alex Wood

    Cole Hamels
    Jake Odorizzi
    Drew Smyly

    …and one of the following relievers:
    Dylan Betances
    Will Smith
    Drew Pomeranz

    Trading for pitching upgrades is doable but setting values on either side is too tricky for me to figure out.

    1. You may be able to get two from Group A.
      Wood and Lyles may be around the hi teens AAV..MadBum and Wheeler maybe $22/24M range each.
      Hard to say what this off-season market dictates right now.

      1. Don’t think MadBum or Wheeler command over $20M AAV. The other ‘A’s in the $12M-$15M range. All max years are 4, more likely 3 with option year.

        1. That is where I am getting confused…..remember Ian Kennedy and Mike Leake….6/7 years ago.
          But this off-season there was a definite belt tightening of the purses.
          I tend to think Lyles would be below $15M…Wood 17/18….but just not sure what the market will be now.
          As for MadBum/Wheeler…..look at Yu D and Arrieta.

          1. You may be a little high on Wood, Romus. I like him but the market is trending down for pitchers not named Gerrit Cole. Arrieta would never get what he got this off season if he were the same age when he signed here 2 years ago. Owners learned a hard lesson with Darvish and Jake in the ’17-’18 market. Fool me once…..

          2. This is where it’s going to get interesting. Last year, the market started to correct itself, and with the upcoming CBA, I really see that trend continuing, which is to stop paying for past performance. Players will get off rookie deals faster, bigger paydays are
            Coming for young stars. If the Phillies spend anywhere near as much as they did last year, they will be screwed when the baseball economics shift to younger players. They happened to them in 2011/2012
            As well, but more on unproven prospects being worth more than proven mlb talent on the trade market, especially Hamels. It’s going to happen to them again, they’ll need to reset the payroll, that’s the worst case but it could happen. A day late and a dollar short is what happens when you copy cAt everyone vs being a trend setter.

    2. @8mark – you miss 2 of my targets — I will still go Gerrit Cole ($240M/8 yrs $30AAV) + Alex Wood ($102M/6 yrs) + Will Smith.

      1. KuKo…factor in Will Smith at a minimum of $10M AAV….and add JTR at a min of $20M AAV, plus Coles’ $30M and Woods’ $17M…..tack on Arrieta/Cutch/Segura and Harper…..that may be close to $150M for the 8 in 2020.

        1. @romus – since the Phillies failed to infuse top notch talent from the farm, Middleton has no choice but to “buy” the talents to keep up with the contending teams. Whether it’s Cole-Wood-Smith or any group of FAs, the Phillies will cough up $50 AAV in FAs this offseason which will push term to or close to the luxury tax threshold.

  56. It doesn’t sound like Middleton/MacKlentak will be interviewing anyone other than Baker, Girardi and Showalter. Reports are that Girardi “badly” wants the Mets gig, but how bad do they want him? I really don’t get the vibe that Dusty is a match here other than the Harper connection. (Maybe he’s the one who suggested it?) I’m feeling more and more like it’s gonna be Buck for better or worse. In any case, an experienced alpha dog manager will be quite the test for Klentak. He may get lost in the shuffle between the dugout and the owner’s box.

  57. Trout resigning with LAA, May cause a ripple effect. I can see Maddon wanting to go to LAA over other locations because of Trout. I see GCole following. Good news for Philly, Harper&Realmuto will attract as well. Philly will grow to a destination team
    In the coming years … as long as they rebuild the pipeline.

      1. How about 7? 8? Lol. Insane why this scouting department can’t string successful drafts back to back… let alone year after year. It’s been this way for decades. Now I gotta watch a Nats team
        In the playoffs that should’ve never made it, if the Phillies could’ve rebuilt properly.

  58. Romus, JTR makes $10M now, and I pencil him in to double that, maybe a little more. That equals Cesar’s $11.8, so to me a wash. $32M for Cole. 2 SPs from those groups are going to cost $32M but for a shorter term. That’s why I want Cole. I think it’s doable without going over the Tax. Yes, Franco and Cesar go for International $, or lower level prospects, or maybe nothing. Doobie goes and it costs half his salary. I fit a bench and BP help in and that’s my team.

    1. Signing kingery to a big deal was stupid. Should’ve let him play it out, that is money that could’ve helped slide CGole in the payroll structure easier. To pile on Klentak, he blew that too.

          1. Lol … ok, egg on my face. Miss read his salary for 2020. Lol thought it was 14 mil. My eyes are failing me! I’m an idiot an klentak is a genius 🙂

      1. Wrong! His deal is so below market it’s crazy. It’s actually one the excellent things they have done. Make 7 or 8 moves that good and you’re in the championship mix.

  59. Just read on MLBTR that Joe Girardi has stepped down as manager of the USA team….

    Could it mean he got either the Mets job or the Phillies? Announcements probably won’t be made until the break between the ALCS and the world series, or right after….

    1. ….but that doesn’t mean somebody on the beat wouldn’t sniff it out before it’s official.

  60. G Cole average fastball velocity:

    2016: 95.93
    2017: 96.48
    2018: 97.11
    2019: 97.41

    (Source: Brooks Baseball)

    1. The question isn’t whether Cole is an elite SP this season. He clearly is.

      The questions are:
      1. How will his fastball velo hold from his age 30-36/37 seasons?
      2. Does adding one SP that will eat ~15% of the cap make the Phillies a contender? Or do we need a lot more? Is this the right roster construction approach?

      1. v1 – Cole is not only the best, but he is also the youngest arm available. Wheeler is probably the 2nd best option and he costs about 80% of Cole with 80% of the ability and 150% of the risk. MadBum and will probably cost about 75-80% of Cole and he is already on the decline and Hamels will also cost 75-80% and is no better than Cole, Wheeler and MadBum.

        Your suggestion of Wheeler + Hamels (or Keuchel) will cost about $52-54M AAV easy. Cole + Wood (or Lyles) will probably cost the same AAV and Cole, Wood (or Lyles) are younger and at the best years.

        All your concerns about Cole make sense, but it also applies to the alternatives that you are proposing.

        1. KuKo … If you’re talking about the total value of the contract, I’m pretty sure Wheeler doesn’t sniff 80% of what Cole gets. Here’s my guesstimate:

          * Cole gets 180 million (over 6 years)
          * Wheeler gets 100 million (over 5 years)

          Come to think of it, the AAV isn’t even close to 80%.

          I’m with v1. I’ll be very excited if Middleton buys Gerrit Cole. However, the smarter play is probably to spread that money around to build more depth to the pitching staff. Wheeler, Pomerantz, and a BP arm (Sergio Romo or Steve Cishek) IMO will cost no more than Cole. It also limits the risk.

          1. @Hinkie – I want Gerrit Cole but I’m not “all in” with Gerrit Cole. $180-190M contract should be the threshold. Also, I’m talking about AAV not the contract value and Wheeler is most likely getting around $110-120M over 5 years.

            Spreading around the $$ for secondary pieces is good if the Phillies have a strong core of players that are cheap. This might happen if Bohm, Hasely and Howard becomes legit but not in 2020.

            Wheeler, Pomeranz and Romo/Cishek will not move the needle so that’s wasted $$ — similar to what happened to Arrieta and Santana signings. The Phillies burned $$ eventhough they know that Arrieta and Santana will not make the Phillies a contender.

            The Phillies are not Gerrit Cole away from the WS, but Gerrit Cole will give them chance to win more games especially in the playoffs.

      2. v1, my only points are these. I don’t know what the right roster construction is, but I think 2 SPs eat up the same salary space that Cole does, and I don’t think there are 2 that we can get that equal Cole. I need Cole to hold up 4 or 5 years on a 6-7 year deal, because I am understand, with Pitchers, you don’t get the value the last 2 years, and I am willing to risk that. Yes, Cole makes us a WC contender. How far do we go? Then I need to ask who we got for the BP, and whether Rhys and Kingery improved. What does the bench look like? I can see a scenario that we are as good as the Nationals, and they are in the WS this year. I add Cole, 2 BP arms and build a bench. I do it on 1/2 of Doobie’s, Franco’s, and the BP contracts that come off the books to pay for it. Cole is added money and the raise in JTR’s contract is covered by Cesar’s.

  61. Scouting report from a BP writer covering the Arizona Fall League

      1. Wow, this is worse than I thought. He can’t play 1B or 3B at anywhere near an average level. Can’t catch a pop up? That might make a move to LF hard too. And he can’t pull a fastball??

        1. This is more about where he is right now. It doesn’t say that he can’t improve. Just not a good defensive player right now. I wouldn’t worry about pulling more. He is hitting the hall hard. Good hitter. Just not a good defensive player. I don’t think this should be news to anyone who has looked for scouting reports on him.

  62. Word is that the Cubs job is down to 2 front runners. David Ross is still the favorite but Astros bench coach Joe Espada has reportedly closed the gap with his resume and strong interview. Joe Girardi was also interviewed but isn’t expected to get the job. A decision is expected to be announced by Monday, before MLB places its moratorium on any official announcements until after the Series.

    Nats 1b coach Tim Bogar is now reportedly in the mix for the Mets job, another opening which Girardi is said to “badly” want.

    On the scale of 1-10, my excitement level for Girardi is 8, for Showalter it’s a 5, and for Dusty it’s a 4.

    1. Can’t see Girardi succeeding in the Phils environment. Though it is hard to scoff at Baker’s record of success at several teams Philly native Scioscia would be my choice.

      1. Scioscia is old school.
        Baker is old period.
        It’s between Girardi and Showalter, according to Jim Salisbury per sources.

  63. If this is accurate and he really is poor at both positions then his value goes way down. DH isn’t coming anytime soon to the NL. So don’t go trading Hoskins so fast, hold on on Bohm being up in June. Farm system would then take a major hit.

    1. I’m not too worried about this – he can hit and he will work on his fielding – I’m excited about him!

      1. Yeah, he can hit and if you can hit there is always a spot in the lineup for you.

        here is him pulling a fastball for a homer

        I think the takeaway is not whether he will be an MLB player…he will. I think the point here is the people who are expecting him to be our 3rd baseman for the next decade are jumping the shark. He has a lot of development on the defensive side to get there. I am confident that he would be a better defensive 1B than Hoskins. I can’t imagine how he (or anyone) could be worse at first base than Rhys and I love Rhys. He is just an absolute butcher over there.

  64. I might be changing my mind on wanting to see the robo balls and strikes. The more I think about it the more I come to realize what the unintended consequences would be such as pitchers and hitters needing to account for and battle back from the human element.

    So while I can’t stand watching umps miss strikes right down the middle of the plate or punching out hitters on pitches clearly out of the zone I think that adds an element of excitement to the game I would miss.

    And clearly Robo Ump has its own issues

    1. It has worked effectively in tennis on line calls now for decades.
      I like to see how it will do in baseball.
      For sure, catcher’s framing becomes an obsolescence skill.

      1. C’mon you don’t miss a good McEnroe or Connors tirade? I could be in the minority but I think robo umps would create a sterile emotionless game and I don’t think I want that…

  65. Matt Breen believes it will be Girardi. I prefer Girard over Showalter. I don’t really understand why they didn’t interview other candidates, even for the sake of picking their brains. And, on Bohm, we need him to play 3B. I don’t want this group trading Bohm or Hoskins.

    1. Matt, I prefer Girardi as well but everything I hear and read says Buck.

      As for Bohm, I am excited about his projection as an MLB bat….but the fact that he’s playing about 50% of his time at 1b should tell you something. We fans think idealistically. The baseball people making that call can’t afford to.

    2. ….but apparently, Girardi seems to know something or he wouldn’t have stepped down as USA manager.

      1. It is interesting that the Mets are also considering Bogar and current TV analyst Eduardo Perez (son of HOF Tony Perez) for the manager’s job. Perhaps they are trying to posture in hopes of bringing Girardi’s asking price down. Or not….

  66. Interesting story on MLBTR….

    Back in late 90s, Angels FO wanted to match up Joe Madden to be Sparky Anderson’s bench coach (and to be his heir apparent). It would have happened if not for the lunch meeting Sparky had with the GM and team prez. The latter noticed how the 62 year old Sparky struggled to raise a soup spoon to his mouth, and nixed the arrangement immediately after the lunch. So if it wasn’t for Sparky’s apparent incontinence, Mike Scioscia may never have gotten his shot. And Joe Madden would have been even more before his time 20 years ago.

    You never know what will raise a red flag for a prospective managerial candidate.

    1. Interesting story……and who knows, if they hired Sparky they may have won more than one WS in their 58 year history…..and you have soup to thank.

  67. If anyone has a subscription to The Athletic, could you kindly post Meghan Montemurro’s “10 things we learned about the Phillies amid heightened expectations in 2019”? (#1 is ‘John Middleton is running the show.’) Without plagiarism of course, we would appreciate it, thanks.

    1. I recommend a subscription to the Athletic. Really good content.

      1. John Middleton is running the show
      2. Agreeing to a contract extension with catcher J.T. Realmuto is a must
      3. Rhys Hoskins had a solid season, but that won’t cut it
      4. Adam Haseley is capable of being their everyday center fielder
      5. Héctor Neris can be one of the best relievers in the league
      6. The Phillies learned from past mistakes and utilized better defensive positioning
      7. Bryce Harper proved he was worth the record contract
      8. Long-term questions about talent evaluation and development loom after Scott Kingery was one of the only young players who showed demonstrative improvement
      9. The Phillies need to build a better bench
      10. The front office should officially be on the clock

      1. My take:
        1. Clearly
        2. 100%. Top priority
        3. Agreed.
        4. Disagree. Think the offensive profile is really limited
        5. Neris is good, but don’t see him as “one of the best in the league.”
        6. Yes. As I said, the defense improved a lot this year.
        7. Hmm…certainly worth this year’s AAV. Question is productivity in year 12/13
        8. I have been pounding the table on this for years.
        9. Definitely. And why we should not entertain players like Galvis
        10. Agreed.

      2. Number 10..hah….apparently Meghan and the rest of the beat patrol are growing impatient.
        They will be tested once Boras starts to dangle one of his clients in front of Middleton again …thru March.

      3. @v1 – I like your high standards for hitting but I hope you are just blindly following numbers — numbers don’t lie but they can deceive. I was not actually high on Haseley when he was drafted because I see his profile as average on both ends – offensively and defensively. But watching him play this season, I think Haseley has some intangibles that makes him better than his actual profile. Haseley will not be an offensive stalwart, but he can be a productive 6-8 hitter that can provide some positional flexibility in the OF.

        I agree with you on Neris although I might be lower in Neris than most here. Neris has a high leverage arm but he is a choker. Neris as a closer is an indication of a lack in overall talent in the Phillies bullpen.

        1. KuKo….I said it before in Sept…in Haseley the Philies probably have the closest hitter to an Utley then they have had in the last 15 years.
          Even their age23 AAA numbers are similar….though Haseley is truncated due to the injury call-up to the majors.
          294/ .377 /.471 Haseley
          263/ .352 /.461 Utley

          What Haseley has going for him is his exceptional contact ability and being able to go to the opposite field.
          His delta between K and BB rate between AA/AAA ball is 5.
          With experience and getting a little stronger his hard hit rate shouldl improve.

          1. @romus – I will not put Haseley in the same line as Utley yet, but I agree with you about Haseley’s hitting ability although I like to see Haseley’s BB rate to up to his high minors’ level.

            I wouldn’t mind seeing Haseley as the full time CF in 2020.

            1. Haseley, Hoskins and Kingery must make strides in 2020 as controllable talent. Then Bohm and Howard later in the season. This would be a huge boost to the Phillies’ chances of playoff contention, next to solidifying the rotation.

          2. I won’t say with any amount of definity what Haseley can be. I saw reason for both optimism and concern.

            The good is he hits the ball hard to all fields and has enough bat control and hand eye to play at this level. Solid/plus defender. As he learns the league and how pitchers want to attack him the power could come. Not 30+ HRS IMO but 20-25.

            The negative and where I think him and Chase part ways is the stroke. Adam’s is a bit longer and a bit flatter. (that’s not bad always) he leaks to his front side way too much on soft and away. That could go away as he gets more comfortable and more familiar.

            Chase hardly ever leaked to his front side. His swing was so minimal so short and compact that he never had to cheat to catch up to velocity.

            I’d simply say to Adam you’re our CF next year we’re going to give you a full season 600+ PA’s to show us you’re an everyday player in this league. My hope is that will relax him and let him tap fully into his ceiling.

            I think his floor is high enough to live with if he’s surrounded with enough OPS in LF and RF.

  68. #4, she makes a case for Haseley defensive metrics boosting his overall value. I haven’t given up on him, but I understand v1’s viewpoint. I think the team thinks Haseley can play, and I expect to see Quinn back, or someone who can come off the bench and play CF. I don’t see them looking for a CF to play every day. And, Neris is not one of the best in the game. He can be part of a good BP, I will give him that.

  69. I get the concerns about starting pitchers’ fastballs declining as they age. I understand that fastball velocity typically peaks in the early 20s.

    What I found interesting about Cole is that his average fastball velocity has gone UP 1.5 mph from 2016 – 2019.

    Does that mean he will necessarily hold his velo from 30-36? Of course not. But I feel better about buying a pitcher whose average velo has not only NOT declined at all, it’s gone up every year from 2016-2019

  70. In the FWIW department, Ken Rosenthal says the Angels are “overwhelmed favorites” to sign Gerrit Cole. I think that’s the consensus thinking, what with Maddon added to the cast. The GM probably has the OK from Arte Moreno to match the highest offer, wise or not. They, like the Phillies, need SOOOO much more than one stud starting pitcher. Gonna be quite an intriguing off season.

    1. And people think Middleton is a meddling owner…Arte Moreno would give him a good run for his money.

  71. Even with Mike Trout, the Angels have much further to go than we do. I like Joe Maddon a lot. But, we are a better team. So, if there is reluctance on the part of some of you to go spend the $ on Cole, and much of the reason is we are more than Cole away, then how doesn’t Arte Moreno not have those same reservations? I know the talking heads think he goes to the Angels, but I don’t see them outbidding us. If we want him, then Middleton doesn’t get outbid. And, like Corbin with the Yankees, the same scenario can play out with Cole. That doesn’t mean Middleton wants him, or we get him, just that the “consensus” that has him going to the Angels is made up of the same folks that had Corbin to the Yankees as a no-brainer.

      1. Cole and his wife (who coincidentally is the sister of Brandon Crawford) met at UCLA and both are from California- just feels like that is where he ends up.

    1. Matt, I follow you but one thing you have to consider is that the Angels have not been a well run organization, are among the worst farm systems in baseball. Now the Phillies aren’t much better in that regard either. These are two organizations that could conceivably bid against themselves…or each other. Middleton may have learned a hard lesson with the Arrieta signing 2 years ago, overpaying for a pitcher with virtually no market. Cole’s market will certainly be wider but considering what monetary stratosphere he commands, only 3 teams are thought to be viable – NYY, PHL, and LAA. The Yankees are too smart to go all in for one guy when they can afford to fish in the next pool of talent – Wheeler, MadBum, et al – and keep themselves title relevant with the depth most teams would die for. Teams like the Phillies and Angels may salivate over the idea of making the big $plash acquisition, but let’s hope Middleton learned. MacPhail with all his warts is probably whispering to his boss that Cole isn’t worth the risk we’re talking about. A big bat? Maybe. But big arms anymore are another story altogether, especially beyond 3 or 4 years, and the ramifications it has on the rest of the payroll going forward.

      My point is, let Moreno keep making the same mistake. Neither the Phillies nor Angels are a Gerrit Cole away. Spread the resources out instead and gain ground on your division rivals. Build a deep pitching staff instead of Cole, Nola and a whole lot of nothing.

      1. @8mark – if Middleton will not put his $$ to Gerrit Cole if the Phillies end us signing him. Middleton will sign Gerrit Cole to a $$ where he can still sign another SP and pen arm. So it be Aaron Nola + Gerrit Cole + Alex (or Jordan Lyles) + Arrieta + Eflin/Howard/Medina combo.

  72. Here are my thoughts on Haseley’s hitting profile.

    I don’t see him as a hitter with more than 20 homers in a season. So his profile really depends on not striking out a lot and taking a lot of walks.

    Here is a complete list of hitters with an OPS+ of over 100 last year that hit under 20 Homers:
    – Corey Seager 113 OPS+
    – Trea Turner 113
    – Tim Anderson 129
    – Bryan Reynolds 131
    – Whit Merrifield 112
    – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 106
    – Amed Rosario 102
    – Adam Eaton 101
    – Wilson Ramos 107
    – Kevin Newman 111
    – Kolten Wong 106

    11 players did it. Although some were barely over 100, let’s keep them in the pool. Here is that list with players who had over a 20% K rate with their BABIP

    – Tim Anderson .399
    – Bryan Reynolds .387

    So to have an OPS+ over 100 while hitting under 20 homers and having a K rate above 20%, you have to have an unsustainable BABIP.

    Of the list who had a K rate under 20%, all of them had an OB% above .350 except 4 players. So it is possible, but it is rare

    For some reason, Haseley’s K rate spiked to 24.8% this last year. Let’s chalk it up to being a rookie because his K rates were not above 20% in the minors. But even if he brings it down under 20%, he needs to get his OB% above .350.

    Point is, his lack of power and K rate near the 20% range make it very difficult to be a league average hitter. In AA, he had a K rate of 11.9%. If he can somehow return to that level, then he should be a well above average hitter.

    1. That is about as accurate as it can be for him .
      If you could gather the data for all of the above …or any player’s first . lets say 250 PAs in the majors in their age23 or younger season, and make that comparison it would really be helpful.

      Nevertheless, IMO, and maybe this is in agreement with your last paragraph… will come down to his contact ability and keeping his K rate low which will determine how successful he will be.

      I really do not see him bringing the delta down, between BB and K, to that low 5 he had in AA/AAA over those 130 or so games, but what really killed him in the majors and his 250 or PAs, was his 57PA splits vs LHPs.

      He will have to make the adjustment to LHPs evetually….Aaron Judge was close to a bust in his first time up in his SSS in 2016 in his age24 season, but as everyone has seen,he made the adjustments.

      1. I am not saying that he can’t improve. He can. Just casting that he needs to make a lot of contact because there is little power. His bad exit velo last year means a low babip. So that has to improve too.

        1. Is that aggregate exit Velo? I ask because I have seen Haseley live up close and personal. I’m a big sound guy absent the technology in my hand to measure EV.

          I used to see a lot of Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge in Trenton and I can say unequivocally those two had some of the loudest contact I had ever heard in that park. And I saw a lot of greats there…easy 100+ games. My company had a box suite there for many years when it first opened.

          This past summer I went over to see Haseley and I can tell you he hit a ball to straight away center that rivaled the sound of the 2 aforementioned.

          So I have to disagree when you say there is little power. It’s there. Can he tap into it is the question.

          Small distinction/semantics I know and you’re still right he needs to improve.

    2. v1, where do Aaron Hicks and Brett Gardner fit in the profile that you did? I have seen Haseley along those lines. Quite possibly, I have only seen that in my fantasy world! I really appreciate the work you do compiling all of this information.

      1. Aaron Hicks proves my point. In 2018 he had a stellar year. 27 homers with a sub 20% K rate and an awesome 15.5% walk rate for an OB% of .366 and an OPS+ of 127.

        In 2019, his OPS+ dropped to 103 (i.e. 3% above league average) because his K rate spiked to 28%. He had 12 homers in 59 games. His ISO was similar in both years but in 2019 his K rate increased 8% and his walk rate decreased and even with very good power, he was barely better than league average.

        Brett Gardner also proves my point. He had an OPS+ of only 89 last year so he was below league average hitter. His K rate was 17.6% and he had a good walk rate of 10.7%, but he only had 12 homers.

        This year Gardner’s homers spiked to 28 and of course his OPS+ went to 117, even though his K rate went up to 19.6% and his walk rate went down to 9.5%.

        Point is, if the hitter only hits homers in the teens, then it is really hard to have an OPS+ over 100. you have to have great contact rate and a high walk rate and hit a lot of doubles.

        1. But, v1, they did that after 6-7 years in the league. Their numbers early on were much less, not better than Haseley this year with the exception of K rate. Maybe, as Haseley gets further along in his career, he gets stronger and the power comes like it did for Hicks and Gardner?

          1. sure. power always develops more as players age. if your point is are willing to deal with a below average hitter in our lineup for 6-7 years because his defense is really good, then that is a reasonable position to take.

            as I said above, if Haseley is our weakest position player, then we will be fine. our problem is that we have too many weaker hitters:
            – Cesar: 92 wRC+
            – Segura: 92 wRC+
            – Haseley: 88
            – Franco: 70

  73. 8mark, I hear you. And, I am certain that MacPhail will say exactly that. But, I don’t think MadBum comes here. I think he stays on the West Coast, and I am not in favor of overpaying for him. Wheeler then becomes the guy. He is a big drop off from Cole, but, we have to prepare a Plan B. He just doesn’t do a whole lot for me. Yes, he is better than Arrieta, but he, maybe, with BP additions and guys hitting what they should, makes us 3rd in our Division. So, we then have to add another SP. Maybe that is Lyles, who Hinkie loves, or Alex Wood or whoever. The cost of the 2 of them exceeds $30 Million, so we save no money. To me, we are not good enough. Cole, OTOH, becomes our #1, with Nola as #2. That is a whole different blue print. And, a much better team. I am hoping that is how Middleton looks at it.

  74. matt13…what many are failing to do, is ignoring the fact that Klentak can make trades for arms.
    Tigers; Boyd will be available….or Fulmer
    I like Rox Freeland…Coors Field did him in and he probably wants a fresh start away from home and Coors.
    KC has Duffy looking to move his salary…Rangers’ Minor may also be available at the right price.
    There are many other pitchers out there in the trade market , granted they may only move the needle inches, but maybe that is all you need if they can sign legit FA pitcher..

  75. No question Romus. I agree with you there. I don’t know how I feel about Boyd. Another guy who dropped off significantly in the second half. I would take a shot on Freeland. I like Minor, but Texas may think they are going to try to push for a WC slot next year. I like Duffy. They are secondary SPs, though, and we need to get another one a bit better. And, I trade modest prospects for them, certainly not any top guys. But, let’s say we get Wheeler and Duffy. Do you think that is better than getting Cole? Yes, it will save $. Keep in mind that I want the Playoffs next year. Maybe, I am wrong, and we are still rebuilding. But, I wouldn’t be happy with that, and I don’t think that Middleton would be.

    1. If they can get Cole at the right price…no overpayment…then I am in.
      But I still want Klentak to cull the roster and bring back minimal MLB players and more prospects or international picks if they can do that.
      Maybe another one or two pitchers of some note..starter and reliever
      He added all those players last year….half of all the position starters…and sometimes continuity and chemistry takes a little while before it all clicks for the team. ‘Dream’ teams do not always work in that first season together.
      So if they happen t get Cole…hopefully they can add other pitchers who will help.

  76. According to a tweet overnight by Andy Martino of SNY, “Phillies haven’t made a decision….but word [Thursday] is they have heavy interest in Girardi.”

    Todd Zolecki also said Thursday that in his opinion, Girardi makes the most sense.

    If John Middleton has his way, I think it’s Girardi as well. And I’ll be glad. MacKlentak are both on the clock, and they’ve both lost leverage in the decision making process. Clearly Middleton didn’t want to admit his mistake verbally at last Friday’s press conference by not firing them, but by his actions, it’s going to be loud and clear.

      1. Romus, we’ve discussed a lot about the pitching coach options. Who might be in line for hitting coach? Haven’t heard names…

        1. 8mark…no clue, there are many.
          Hinkie listed about half-dozen last week.
          For sure, Larry Rothchild will not be one.
          I really would not see Girardi doing that.

    1. I will be really annoyed if they hire Showalter. One indicator of poor management is the decision to simply hire old friends or people that management have worked with before – it’s lazy and it breeds collusion. We do not need to re-assemble the 2012 Orioles front office. No thanks.

      1. Good tidings – Jim Duquette was just on 94, thinks it’ll be Girardi, said that MacPhail tried to hire him in Baltimore before he hired Buck but Joe G wanted too much money. Don’t think it’ll be an issue here.

        Ok, I’m ready to say book it – Girardi will be the next Phillies manager. The Mets are too cheap and too scared of his cache, even though he probably prefers NYC.

        1. Girari and the Phillies are a really good match. And believe me, if he’s hired and does as well as I expect him to do, the next time John Middleton needs to bend someone’s ear about how things are going in the organization you can bet he’ll go to Girardi.

          1. Here’s the other thing that’s nice about hiring a guy like Girardi (although Showalter has this attribute too) is that he’s so experienced and has been so successful and has so many other career options available to him that I think he will be perfectly free to speak his mind and be frank in providing his assessment of the organization as a whole, which is absolutely essential. This team doesn’t just need a manager, and it doesn’t just need a bunch of new free agents, it needs a steady diet of cheap and good young talent – more than the farm and trades have yielded recently.

      2. Agree with Catch22 about Showalter – really don’t need more of the “good ole boy” network 8 or 10 years removed from the Orioles. Much prefer Geraldi, or most anyone to keep the Phillies from becoming an old croonie network from Baltimore.

        1. Yes, if the organization they came from was the Yankees or Dodgers or Houston or Tampa Bay I might feel differently. But they came from a very average organization and their performance thus far has, predictably, been no better than average.

          1. I like Joe over Buck as well but I’ll take either. I’m not going to detract from Buck because of his most recent association with the Orioles. That seems ludicrous to me. I guarantee that guy knows baseball better than McPhail Klentak or any other math nerd behind a spreadsheet does.

            it’s funny because someone here kills Showalter because he warmed up Briton a few times and didn’t use him in a playoff game but gives Girardi a pass for making very similar bull pen mismanagement decisions in his past.

            A bit of hypocrisy in my opinion to heap a bunch of praise on Girardi with the team payrolls he was granted compared to Buck’s isn’t it? In fact if there was a way to quantify wins per dollar spent my guess would be Buck comes out ahead there.

            And as far as standing up to the FO Buck flat out told Steinbrenner I quit rather than scapegoat my hitting coach. That’s pretty ballsy and certainly if you’re afraid of having a guy as manager that is going to stand up for his convictions you don’t want to hire him.

  77. Here are some interesting stats from last year:

    Top 5 teams on walk rate:
    1 Astros 10.1 %
    2 Brewers 10.0 %
    3 Braves 9.8 %
    4 Dodgers 9.7 %
    5 Mariners 9.5%

    Top 10 teams with lowest ground ball/fly ball rate:
    1 Twins 0.98
    2 Blue Jays 1.01
    3 Mariners 1.05
    4 Dodgers 1.07
    5 Athletics 1.08
    6 Astros 1.11
    7 Nationals 1.11
    8 Yankees 1.12
    9 Cardinals 1.13
    10 Braves 1.14

    Conclusion taking walks and hitting it in the air is not a flawed strategy.

    1. Not a flawed strategy especially if you have the talent to swing up and hard, and until they deaden the baseball.

      1. 8mark……concerning deadening the ball…these play-offs have seen a decline in HRs.….maybe the pitching is better, maybe the weather has something to do with it….then again, maybe MLB went back to the older manufactured balls….have not heard Verlander or Scherzer complaining any, so far.

        1. Yankees were brutal in the field last night 4 errors + 2 WPs. Weather had to have an effect on the play. Seemed like ground balls were staying down to me. Think cold weather might have a greater negative effect than the old one?

        2. verlander said during the season that the new ball felt like q ball. that would be even more so in the cold. more slippery and harder to spin.

  78. Has Girardi ever played or coached or manages in the NL? I could look it up, but I’m lazy today.

  79. The only valid reason I can see not to pursue Gerrit Cole is if the cost of the overall contract to the tune of $200M+++ guaranteed. If the bidding price is between $160-190M, Middleton should be fighting to get Cole in red pin stripes. Some argues that the back of the contract will be sunk costs — will that matter to Middleton if Gerrit Cole can push the Phillies to the playoffs and contending for the WS in the first 4-5 years of this contract probably costing $120-150M?

    Any duo from Wheeler-Keuchel-Hamels-MadBum will cost (AAV wise) the same as Gerrit Cole + Alex Wood (or Jordan Lyles) – so I prefer the duo that nets the Phillies the best player available.

    We keep whining about BPA is a lot of discussions here – Gerrit Cole is the BPA. And just like Harper, Gerrit Cole can contribute to additional $$ from tickets, marketing, merchandise, etc, etc that will help the Phillies recover some costs of the long term contract.

    My point is, if the Phillies will spend the same amount of $$, might as well get the BPA. I don’t like spreading the $$ because the alternatives are not that good anyway. Stars and Scrubs approach is what I prefer – Stars (high priced FA) and Scrubs (low-mid price FAs).

    Gerrit Cole + Alex Wood (or Jordan Lyle) and Will Smith is still my preference. Spencer Howard is due to be added to the 40-man next year and there will be a stockpile of young arms that can be added to the bullpen.

    1. Interesting.

      Well, here’s my take.

      1. I don’t see Cole signing a contract for less than $200 m. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

      2. I get the stars and scrubs approach and there’s some merit to it, but here’s some countervailing thoughts. First, if you’re going to scrub-dive, you better know what you’re doing and pick well. How has our front office done in picking such talent? Overall, I’d say not well and I don’t trust their talent evaluation. Second, if there’s one thing in baseball that’s worth paying for, it’s an ace. Time and again, aces are the difference in the post season so if you think Cole has an ace lifespan of another 3 or 4 years, man, that could be worth it even if the last years of the contract are so-so. FYI – once we get a new pitching coach who will undoubtedly convince Aaron Nola to pitch off his plus FB and not pitch backwards we will restore our second his to his rightful status (it was soooooooo dumb to change his approach this year. You have a 10 bWAR pitcher and you make him pitch differently? What?!!!!!!!)

      1. @catch – we are on the same page doubting Klentak’s ability to evaluate talent for internally and externally. Signing Gerrit Cole is taking away that inability since everyone knows that Gerrit Cole is a legit elite talent. On the scrubs side, Klentak will not be shopping in the recycle bin where he gets players for nothing – the Vargas, Smyly, Buccholz, Morton (the one who got away) types. Alex Wood, Jordan Lyles, Jake Oddi are not necessarily the recycle bin types that Klentak likes to get and will not demand the same cost as Wheeler-Hamels-MadBum-Kuechel.

        Like the Harper signing, Gerrit Cole signing will also lead to increase ticket sales, merchandise, etc that will help Middleton recover some cost of the contract. Gerrit Cole is only 29 and in his prime — 3-4 good years is reasonable to expect.

  80. Girardi was well regarded as a game caller when he was a C and thought of as a future Manager. He’s my choice. V1, can you tell me the difference between line drive hitting and focusing on launch angles and hitting fly balls? I agree about having a good BB %, but I go back to Ted Williams’ book. Hit it hard and hit line drives. We see way too many uppercuts result in IFFB. Thanks!

      1. I remember seeing Jackie Robinson, Rocco, but that pales in comparison to Romus. I think he saw Grover Cleveland Alexander. Romus, can you verify that for us?

    1. Ted Williams was so overrated. There’s no way he could ever hit .406 today. . . . it would probably be .397.

      Seriously, I think he really was the greatest hitter who ever lived (not that most productive hitter – that would be Babe Ruth or Bonds if you didn’t discount for steroids) and would have been in any era. And trust me, if he played today, nobody would use the stats or tape or science more than Williams – he lived to gain any incremental advantage in hitting.

      1. Hard to say how any of those guys would have done in today’s game. The velocity difference is dramatic. Most pitchers threw in the 80s back then and there wasn’t the bull pen use that there is today with guys coming in throwing 95+.

        When velocity increases, performance decreases. Maybe those guys adjust but impossible to know for sure. That is why I believe that Trout is the best player ever.

        1. I bet a lot of guys actually threw really hard. The biggest difference for the hitters was that the starters stayed in the game until their arms nearly fell off so the guy you face in the 6th inning on could be had even if he started the game well.

          That said, for the most part, the great players of virtually any era after around, say, 1920 or 25 would, I believe, be great today or at least very good today. With the rank and file players it might be different.

          Another thing is that the leagues were smaller and baseball had less competition. It was the king of professional sports so everyone was playing.

          I do agree, however, that Mike Trout could easily be the greatest player of all time.

          1. And if he showed up on a major league baseball field as a youngster today, Willie Mays would of course give the great Mike Trout a run for his money.

  81. As far as improving the pitching, the team’s biggest need, obviously upgrading talent is critical, but there are other steps the Phils can take.

    1. Hire a former catcher as your manager – Girardi. A good, experienced manager who always managed pitchers throughout his career could only help the pitching staff get better.

    2. Hire the right pitching coach.

    3. I think Girardi can really help JTR take a more active leadership role of that pitching staff. He can only get better calling games by having Girardi as his manager, and that will help him be even more of a leader with the staff in the future. (not saying he isn’t good now, but he can develop further.)

    4. Sign a veteran backup catcher that has a history of managing a pitching staff from the catching position. No offense to Knapp and Devy, but this is one area that I think they could really help the team with a position that doesn’t play much but could help in other ways off the field and through preparation.

    1. I agree with Hinkie that the decision who to hire as the Pitching Coach will have bigger impact that the decision to hire the skipper. I love Grullon but he still need time in AAA to continue to develop his defense and hitting. Knappy boy got to go! Veteran back up like Jason Castro, Alex Avila, Francisco Cervelli can be a target for a 1-2 year contract.

      1. Agreed that the pitching coach is likely to be as or more important than the manager. It’s amazing how bad of a pitching coach Chris Young was and he’s a big part of the reason that Kapler lost his job.

    2. Yes to Buddy. The Phillies #1 (and #2 and #3) thing to do this winter is to fix their pitching problem. Firing Chris Young was the obvious first move. I’ve said this ad nauseam … the team’s new pitching coach will have a greater impact on the 2020 win total than the new manager. Girardi is like having a second pitching coach. He made a living as a player/catcher for his ability to handle pitching staffs.
      Who would Girardi hire as his pitching coach? I’m not sure.
      * Dave Eiland worked for him with NYY’s. Eiland is on the open market after getting fired by the Mets this summer.
      * The Mets also fired my top choice for the Phillies job … Mickey Calloway. Calloway is now a FA. Middleton has enough stoooopid money to hire both MLB’s highest paid manager (Girardi) and MLB’s highest paid pitching coach (Calloway). On top of that … Girardi has a history of hiring former MLB managers to serve as his PC. He did it with the Yankees when he brought in Larry Rothschild.

      1. I like the Girardi-Calloway combo. Their experience and savvy should mitigate the ineptness of the McPhail-Klentak front office.

  82. Obviously the pitching is the broadest area in need of upgrades, both in talent and coaching.

    Whoever the Phillies (and Girardi) hire as hitting coach, there needs to be a focus on stabilizing Hoskins’ and Kingery’s approach at the plate. Whether that demands having a whispering guru type on the staff, or just a sound and simple, back to basics guy, time will tell.

  83. Ted Williams’ quotes (
    “The toughest thing is to pull the ball in the air. That’s the premium, par excellent hit.”
    “we’re going to hit it hard and we’re going to hit it in the air.”

    “Ted Williams wrote “The Science of Hitting” with John Underwood in 1970. Almost 50 years later, concepts articulated in that tome are getting a new audience that is embracing ever-more scientific demonstrations of its tenets.
    The Red Sox great believed that players should have a slight upper cut at the point of contact with the intention of launching the ball to the nether regions of the field. As ideas such as exit velocity and launch angle spread throughout the game, some players, hitting coaches, and even teams are starting to embrace some of Williams’s views as gospel.”

    1. Everything about Ted Williams’ career, from a hitting standpoint, was ridiculously great. On top of that, while he was in the midst of hitting 521 home runs, he spent a total of 5 years as a true war hero in TWO wars. Not a guy who played exhibition games for the service, but a fellow who flew the most dangerous bombing missions and did it for a long time. Bob Feller and others were similarly heroic.

  84. Williams in his book “The Science of Hitting” (pages 62-63):

    “If you get the ball into the air with power, you have the gift to produce the most important hit in baseball — the home run.””

    He would fit in perfectly today.

  85. If your take on Cole is…”I want him as long as we don’t sign him to a contract that is crazy.” then you might as well just forget it. He is going to get the richest contract given to a pitcher in MLB history.

    David Price signed a 7/$217 contract as a 29 year old and that is Boras’ benchmark.

    Another benchmark, Scherzer’s 7/$210 signed as a 30 year old.

    His AAV is going to be bigger than Harper’s for sure.

    1. v1, I think I’m the one who wants Cole regardless of the cost. I expect him to get more than Price. Again, I don’t know that I am right, and your position isn’t the right one. I just see the Rotations we have to beat, and don’t think that 2 guys from the “not G. Cole” list help as much. We know they will do something. Time will tell which way is the right one.

      1. @matt – whoever share’s v1 position believes that Gerrit Cole is too expensive (like $35 AAV or $245M/7 type) and Wheeler can be had for cheap ($100M/5). If both of this premise is true, then v1 and others correct to stay away from Gerrit Cole and sign Zach Wheeler.

        My position is different. I can see Gerrit Cole signing a $190M/6 yrs with 2 option years (vesting, team) worth $50M for a total contract of $240/8yrs but $190M guaranteed. I can see Wheeler for $110-120M/5 years but most likely settle for $130/6 yrs.

        The delta between what’s the perceive contact value of Gerrit Cole vs Zach Wheeler is what driving the pro vs anti Gerrit Cole signing debate.

        Let’s say if Gerrit Cole is ok to sign for $180M/6 yrs, I’m telling you a lot of the anti-Gerrit Cole will change their mind.

        1. KuKo……I think you could be correct in that Boras settling for 6/$190M?
          He seems to want to go that extra inch higher in AAV and/or total dollar…..I doubt 6/$180M will get Cole….unless teams drop out of the bidding.
          And the Angels seem to be in a good position to challenge the Phillies or Yankees, so it will be interesting.

          1. @romus – the $180M/6 yrs is Hinkie’s which I agree with you might be too low considering how dominant Gerrit Cole is right now. My suggestion of $190M/6 yo is the base rate and teams will try to out do one another with the extra years and how much will be guaranteed to Gerrit Cole.

            Phillies advantage over NY and LA is definitely taxes and cost of living. If the Cole family hates the cold weather, then Middleton will be screwed unless is willing to phony up extra $$.

            1. KuKo…..I would hope the Cole family has experienced the cold from their days in Pittsburgh, but who knows.
              Trying to determine what teams will be bidding for Cole at the premium offer, will be helpful for Middleton.
              The field may only be 5/6 teams max…I can see this gouing to march like Harper’s did.

            2. It will definitely be all about the Bennies, just like Harper, just like Corbin (who was definitely going to be a NYY close to home).

              How crazy will Arte Moreno get? He might try to outbid Middleton, and if so, Cole is an Angel. Don’t think this generation of Steinbrenners will get that deeply involved.

          2. Cole had a 7.4 WAR this year.

            Price the year before his FA: 6.7
            Scherzer the year before his FA: 5.6

            If you think that Boras will take a number below what those two got, you are kidding yourself.

            Also, Price’s contract looks AWFUL since he signed. His performance fell off a cliff. Scherzer has been dominant.

            Buyer beware

          1. @v1 – please don’t start the WAR arguments with me. WAR as the definition literally means is just to measure player’s total contributions to their team – that’s it. I don’t understand why people cannot use a stat for what it is intended to be used for. Gerrit Cole is hands down the better player than Zach Wheeler. And if you want to measure the $ for $ value of a contract, then how about Gerrit Cole’s impact to the ticket sales, merchandise, cable ratings, etc.

            1. Don’t tell me what stats I can and can not use. I make the argument that is logical to me. WAR is an industry standard stat that is now on the back of baseball cards.

            2. You are wrong. WAR is non-standardize stat. If it is standard, then why FG, BP have different calculation of WAR?

              Second, WAR was not even recognized as official stat by MLB. So if is like asking somebody to take a medicine that it is not approved by FDA.

              Most of the time, people used WAR to make them sound baseball smart.

            3. “Most of the time, people used WAR to make them sound baseball smart.” << if people who use WAR as a stat to make themselves sound smart, then what do people who gripe about the use of WAR as a stat sound like?

          2. And for the “The difference is 2.7 WAR. That is easily a AAV difference of $12 – $15m” — what is the reasonable industry practice to support this? Anybody can just make this up.

            1. there is also a governing body called MLB. You get back to me when MLB approved WAR as a stat.

            2. No I’m not. Even the definition said that WAR is not the most accurate metric by which to assess a player’s performance. You showed the Glossary. If WAR is a MLB stat, then you should see it in the Statistics section not Glossary.

            3. Do you honestly think that FO look at this in negotiating contracts? You know as well as I know that WAR is not a stat to determine a players abilities. WAR fluctuates for most players so it is not a good predictor of future performance.

            4. “If I look at acquisitions from the end of last year to this year, whether it happens in preseason or it happened in-season, and I try to evaluate us against all 30 clubs — I have to find a way to measure that, and there is no perfect way to measure, but for simplicity sake, let’s take Wins Above Replacement. The Philadelphia Phillies added 17.8 wins above replacement, that was the best in baseball. Our issues weren’t the acquisitions that were new for 2018-19, a lot of our issues were ‘carryover issues.’ You can say we didn’t do enough, but we were 1 out of 30.” – Andy MacPhail during end of season press conference.

            5. I find this interesting how the times have changed or for that matter the GMs evaluations of players’ values.
              “…….. if you go into the free agency you are going to have to pay more than you would to keep your players but this has come down over the last 5 years compared to the previous 5. I think the best evidence is that teams have gotten smarter about signing free agents from other teams, teams have more data about the opposition players than they ever have had before. Previously they would have lost out on 1 WAR for every 4 WAR that you bought where as now you would only lose out on 0.3 WAR.”

              Though probably will make no difference in Gerrit Cole’s expected value and what the demand will be for his services

            6. @romus – i agree. supply and demand affects the market value. if there’s only one legitimate ace and 6 teams are bidding with one team going all in (initial bidding of $220/6yo as example), then the contract will easily go up regardless if Gerrit Cole has 1 WAR, 10 WAR, 100 WAR.

    2. We’ll see. Harper and Machado are supposed to get $400M before the FA season starts – and everybody was dead wrong. Benchmarks are fine, but the market is fluid most of the time depending on how the players play. My point is, don’t get out of the market unless you’re certain the water is too hot for you to handle.

      1. I have to think Cole’s base bid will be 7/$225M, with possibly an 8th yr option. The back end regression will have to be an accepted reality by the buyer. But if he gives you 5 strong seasons with several pushes toward the trophy, he’s worth it. My only question is whether he alone is worth it NOW for the Phillies.

        1. 8mark…..but how many teams can afford to offer such a lengthy deal?
          The 8th year would have to be a player option, not club option, or else why offer it in the first place.

        2. The Phillies are not a Gerrit Cole away. But Wheeler + Hamels (or Keuchel) are probably not good enough to move the needle anyway. I have legit concern of downward spiral on Hamels, MadBum and Keuchel because of age. Charlie Morton (the one who got away) is the only SP i remember who gets better with age.

          Zach Wheeler is injury risk. Wheeler has good stuff but he is not dominant. I will take Corbin or Robbie Ray over Zach Wheeler.

          Gerrit Cole will give the Phillies a steady hand in must win situations especially in the playoffs. But the overall success will depend on player’s like Nola, Hoskins, Kingery, Howard and Bohm to be a reliable contributors to the big club. Without these young players contributions, the Phillies will not make it regardless who they sign.

          1. Right, Kuko. That is why I’m in the “no Cole at all costs” camp. Wheeler and Wood for me. Howard up by midseason. Eflin gets another year to show consistency. Sign Smyly as a swing man.

            1. And I reference Jim Peyton, who suggested from he heard that pursuing Rendon is not off the table. We need a bonafide 3b. There is too much uncertainty about Bohm’s future as a 3b.

              ….yeah I know, but that’s a problem you figure out later.

            2. 8mark…if you go for Rendon…you may not get both Wheeler and Wood and stay below the threshold..

            3. Romus, THIS IS WHERE MIDDLETON BLOWS BY THE THRESHOLD! With 2 less than Gerrit Cole (but still very good arms) and a Rendon – NOW YOU’RE TALKING.

            4. Middleton could have signed Harper and Machado last year but he didn’t. If Middleton decided to sign Rendon, it means goodbye to Gerrit Cole or Zach Wheeler.

          2. Maybe, Romus – but somewhere along the way Middleton needs to make a BOLD stupid statement to the fanbase to restore its trust and respect. Polling players with popularity contests isn’t it.

            1. That is one thing you need not worry about……John Middleton does make bold statements and takes bold actions.

    3. And also, how many times we see a trade or a FA signing that were completed with value below what every body expected that Klentak missed? Nobody thinks that Marcus Stroman can be had for non-Top 100 prospects and so on.

  86. Thanks WestCoastPhan, that is what I remember. Sorry rocco, never saw “The Splinter” play, but remember hearing about the book. Can’t argue with v1 about Trout, but I have a feeling that Ted Williams would have found a way to hit in today’s game. Anyway, I agree with what Hinkie has said all along. The PC will have a greater impact next season than the Manager. I am all on board with Girardi/Calloway. A perfect way for Middleton to spend his $ without incurring Luxury Tax implications. Pitching is the key. Look at these 2 Rotations who will, probably, be meeting in the WS. We are so far behind. The WS will be over before we know it. Hopefully, the Manager is on board by next week. I cannot wait to see what we do. I know, I convince myself all the time that the off season will be a success, and I hope this one brings the upgrades to the Pitching that last year’s did to the starting 8. I still think the Harper and JTR moves were terrific, and I am a big Cutch fan. I also think the Segura trade was a positive, and he will be even better under Girardi. I will be over my disappointment over last season as soon as the WS ends, and we can concentrate on real moves to bring more talent in. I think we will be active early and late this off season.

    1. matt13….as much as everyone likes Cutch and the value he brings…that contract may have been detrimental to the team’s being able to sign more than one starting pitcher….or even them trying to sign the big fish, Cole

  87. I know that I am going to get dumped on for this…but I am just the messenger.

    Here is what a scout following the AFL said about Moniak.

    1. More amused with your constant need to highlight people who agree with your opinion on him. We get it, you think he’s a bust. No need to keeping beating the horse..

      1. Would also add that I see no evidence that Jacob Zweiback is a scout of any kind.

        His LinkedIn profiles says he’s a Baseball prospect analyst & writer but doesn’t indicate he actually works for anyone. Last job listed was as an English teacher from DC.

        1. Fair. He writes for BP and ProspectsLive.

          But looking at Mickey’s AFL performance, hard to argue that he is way off base.

          You got other reports on Mickey, paste them here.

          1. Really? Talk about small sample size.

            Moniak needs to improve offensively if he’s going to become a major league player, I just don’t get the need to keep pounding the point.

      2. “More amused with your constant need to highlight people who agree with your opinion on him” << that’s not it at all. I look for feedback from scouts on all our prospects. I share everything that I get including good and bad. I have been unable to find good reports on him. If you have them then please share.

        “No need to keeping beating the horse..”
        << well, some people have been posting lately that they think that he can play in the majors next year. I think that gives the wrong impression on where he is.

      3. I think based on his numbers, he hasn’t shown top prospect numbers,V1 is only showing you scouts opinions, he is young but right now, we took the wrong guy

        1. I question the “scouts “ part but my point is that there’s nothing being advanced by continuing to belabor the point.

    2. v1….fortune favors you…no longer around is Tigranes.
      Comes up quick, but Phillies will need to decide within a year whether or not to protect Mickey on the 40…this time next year will be his time or he goes into the Rule 5 draft.
      He will have AAA experience by end of 2020 season, so if left unprotected he could be a goner.
      If the GM is busy in the trade market this off-season, it would surprise me if his name comes up by another GM for curiosity sake in a package or two

    3. Moniak might have been a missed opportunity to grab elite talent at pick 1.1. It is already a fact and no need to really belabor this all over and over again. I don’t think anybody here still think Moniak is the next coming of Yelich or the savior in CF. If Michael Martinez, Wilson Valdez, Dane Sardinah made it to the big leagues, I just hope that Moniak will make it to the big leagues as well whether as a regular, bench or journeyman, I don’t care anymore.

      1. Well said, Kuko. Do we really need more debates about individual players to establish whether the Phillies farm is subpar, at best a bottom 10 system?

        1. Day 1 picks Randolph, Moniak and Gowdy are looking like missed opportunities. We just need to get over it and hope that the Phillies hired good personnel to develop the other Day 1 picks in Haseley, Howard, Bohm and Stott. Signing Santana is another waster opportunity, not only $ spent, but the opportunity to draft another Top 100 prospect in 2018.

          Johnny A. got his share of flak in this site for missed opportunities and he is gone now. Let’s hope that the new set of people can provide different results so we don’t continue to whine about the lack of impact prospects in the farm.

      2. You worry about your posts and I will worry about mine. Will Moniak make it to the pros? Sure. Will he be an impact prospect? I think many still believe that he will.

        1. You are just probably assuming to support your position. I’ve been here as frequent as you and like what I said, I don’t think anybody here still think of Moniak as the same prospect when he was drafted. In fact, Moniak was only been discussed here because you keep bringing him up.

        2. “You worry about your posts and I will worry about mine.” — somebody that Free_AEC will say.

        3. Look, v1 – let’s be honest…we’re all somewhat biased here and not quite as objective as we would like to make ourselves out to be. What comes across from you sometimes is that, while you make some good points and support them with “data” and “facts”, you seem to posture yourself as just a guy presenting the cold truth with no agenda. We all get that you’re an educated man. But you have to accept that everything you post isn’t going down with a spoonful of honey. We all have our favorite players. We all have our least favorite players. And we all have topics of discussion that get old fast. Moniak is one.

          1. So only post positive comments?

            Look above in the thread. I posted a good catch by Moniak. That gets ignored. I post an opinion from someone paid to write scouting opinions and I get bashed.

          2. I want to understand your rules.

            If I see a positive comment from a scout on him can I post it?

            What if I see another negative comment? Post it? Or burry it?

            1. Is the question CAN YOU? or WILL YOU? Hey…I’m just a human being, dude. I’m not a cyborg or a bureaucrat. Post what you want and don’t be so defensive when your opinion is challenged. Fair?

            2. I am just asking. Let’s say that was a positive comment and I posted it…would you be upset with me? Obviously not. So I ask people who watch and rate prospects opinions. I post them. If he had good things to say I would have posted it. If you are saying, only post positive stuff, then that’s not how I work. I post all comments that I see from people employed to rate prospects.

            3. v1….I see nothing negative, or should say wrong, in what you post…videos or commentaries, your own or for that matter, someone else’s who is observing the subject matter first hand.. I appreciate you taking the time and doing the research in posting all the videos

            4. Here you go again. I admit that I bitch and complain about lots of things. Maybe more negative than positive. But that’s irrelevant to the argument. I don’t care whether you post positive or negative comments. But don’t insult our intelligence with…”I just present facts” and we’re going to bow to your expertise.

            5. 8Mark…question…do you think that I see positive posts and ignore them about certain prospects? And only post the negative ones? or that I ask open ended questions to different scouts and simply post whatever they say good or bad?

              Moniak came off his AA season which some people here felt he really improved and did well. He was rewarded with a trip to AFL. Is it not reasonable to ask a scout who gets paid to write about prospects in the AFL what he thinks? And is it not reasonable to just post it here?

              I am not insulting anyone’s intelligence. Far from it. I am supplying data. I am not cherry picking which comments from scouts to post. whenever I get a comment, I post it. I have posted about a dozen positive comments from that scout on both Bohm and Howard.

              Your frustration is misplaced.

              You are not upset with me for posting comments from this scout. You are upset with the content of this posts. Because no matter whom I ask, the feedback has been negative on that prospect.

            6. Nevermind….we’re obviously speaking 2 different languages. You’re probably right about Moniak. Forget Moniak. You’re not letting us forget about Moniak. He’s a 2nd round talent at best. Why do you give him 1-1 coverage after 3 years of evidence that he’s not? The secret is out. What are you trying to prove other than your vast understanding of WAR and the metric kingdom?

              I’m out….have a good evening.

  88. ok, im lost here. how could any player on the Phillies have an opinion on Buck Showalter, and why would anyone involved in the hiring care what that opinion was?

    Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that Phillies owner John Middleton is polling players on prospective manager Buck Showalter.

  89. From MLBTR, MLB is reportedly in the process of pursuing a radical revamping of the minor league system, including the elimination of certain levels in order to meet standards to develop future MLB worthy players, while also improving working and travel conditions and better accommodations. And if course increased compensation.

    Sounds like about time.

    1. I’ve been to some minor league parks that were worse than many high school fields. Get rid of Low-A teams.. It’s Rookie-ball then straight to A. Condense the draft from 40 rounds to 30..

    2. They will not eliminate all Triple A, Double A or Hi-A teams….but probably require upgrades to their facilities.
      Most all Hi-A ….FSL …Cali and Caroline Leagues ….have decent facilities and fields and many house the teams spring training complexes.
      I still see just low A being the leagues most vulnerable to redundancy or reduction.
      The only Phillies two teams, non-rookie, that could be affected probably will either be the Crosscutters in the NY-Penn or the Blue Claws in the SALLY…one of the two should survive.
      The GCL currently has two Phillies contingents….one may go in that rookie league.
      Phillies have two teams currently in their DR Academy in Boca, DR….not sure how the DSL will work.
      Yankees, and teams in the APP with also teams in the FSL or Carolina Leagues could lose two teams.

  90. I am one of the posters who have been supportive of Moniak. But I said (1) he probably needs 1000 PAs in AAA (2020 and 2021) before being ready to contribute in 2022, and (2) from here forward, if things go well, he’s an MLB regular, not a star.

    I haven’t noticed anyone on here suggesting he’ll contribute at the MLB level in 2020.

    1. 1. A MLB regular is a very high bar to cross
      2. Several people have said that they think that he will get called up in 2020.

      Anyway, all I did was ask a scout who gets paid to write about prospects in the AFL what his opinion is of Moniak. Then I posted it here.

      I post a lot of twitter content here. some positive. some negative. I don’t cherry pick. I don’t filter it. that would be insulting your intelligence. I just paste it here and let you decide.

      1. I appreciate your posts, V1, like you said, I can accept or reject them. You
        put opinions out there that from time to time change my thinking on a subject. Your posts often allow me to read something that I wouldn’t normally have access too. So, keep them coming!

        1. Thank you Jim. That is my goal. To challenge others by providing a different perspective. Makes it more interesting. No reason to always agree with me. I am often wrong.

      2. The guy is hitting .175 !!! How hard is it to see it’s not going well??? I hardly need any scouting report, that says it all! I myself hope to see some metamorphosis, as unlikely as that is. I refuse to beat a kid when he’s down.

        1. No one is “beating a kid when he is down”. This is a blog dedicated to discussing prospects. Scouting feedback from people who see him live is relevant information. Positive or negative it is relevant. Everyone who reads this blog should be mature enough to assess the information along with other information and make their own determination.

          Also batting average over a small sample is not a good indicator of whether a prospect is showing tools or playing well. A player can go 0-4 and have a much better hitting day than another player who went 3-4. Sometimes hitters drill the ball and it gets caught while others hit a dribbler that finds a hole. First hand feedback is important.

          1. V1, No worries from me on the posts, it’s good to see all sides. The phillies farm and their scouts are not without fail, which it pretty obvious :). On Moniak, personally I’d still give him time. I have a feeling he could be late bloomer, not out of the question, nor a guarantee . Anyways, here’s my thought on it, what’s your response? The kid is 6’2”,’188 pounds. To me, he should likely be closer to 205-210. I think he has more strength coming, is what I’m saying. Need to beef that minor league paycheck :). He had 52 extra base hits last year in AA, 13 of which were triples. Tied for lead league. Obviously we know he is young for the league too. Triples are hard to come by these days, almost as a lost are as the “bunt”. Personally i see that number coming down, and his hrs and doubles going up. His performance so far in the AFL is what it is, I consider it a tune up for next year at this point and hope he can string a few good games together in a row towards the end. He’s got time to develop more in AAA, as he is likely 2 years away from making a major league roster. Also, I think they protect him, as the 1:1 will give him more leash than not.

            1. My take is no one knows the future. Every opinion is based on probability. There are certain characteristics the project a higher probability than others. But if a body changes or a major mechanical change happens then you can see a new trajectory.

              My overall take is the people paid to review prospects don’t like him and his statistics are not good. But who knows. As a 1.1, he will be given every opportunity. And I am rooting for him.

  91. Moniak will be protected next year, if not traded before then, which I consider a real possibility. He will be a major league player at some point. He may even start for somebody for a while. He will never be what we thought he would be.

    I posted last summer when Moniak was on a hot streak that I wasn’t on his the bandwagon and got roasted for it. As has been said, we tend to overvalue Phillies prospects, and by a lot, because we are hoping they turn out to be solid major league players. Moniak will never hit enough to be a solid major league player. Trading Moniak now in a one-for-one trade will only get back a similar disappointing prospect.

      1. v1, for the record, I find your posts very informative, and your analyses and conclusions to be based on research and established patterns, not just opinions or feelings.

        I understand the sensitivity to young players who are pursuing their dreams and to their family members who visit this site, but it’s the real world as players try to advance and an honest assessment is no more fair or unfair than Howard’s slider in the dirt for strike three that you posted.

        1. Thank you. That’s how I feel.

          My opinion posted on this blog has ZERO impact on their ability to achieve their dreams. And I never, ever comment on the player’s personal attributes. I simply provide an opinion, data and scout’s views about the probability of them achieving an extremely rare level of playing a game.

          Every player at this point has achieved great things in the sport and works very hard. But the cold reality is that very few humans become impact MLB players. It is a very high bar filled with lots of failure.

  92. The Joe Girardi watch….

    With reports out of NY that the Mets aren’t likely to hire Girardi (hell, they are interviewing everyone but the security guards), and with Joe stepping down as the USA team’s manager (why would he do that at this time so close to the tourney unless he was confident, if not given verbal assurance) that the Phillies job is his.

    I don’t think John Middleton originally expected Girardi to be interested. And now they are biding their time until MLB allows them to make the announcement. I personally think that their “2nd interview” coming up is really a meeting to dot i’s and cross t’s. The Buck Showalter polling of the players is about as impactful as the same for Gabe’s fate. Zero.

    1. …the biggest coup would be Mickey Callaway getting hired as pitching coach. It’s believed that when the Phillies interviewed him 2 years ago before they hired Kapler, the Mets swooped in to hire him as manager, just like they rushed to trade for Diaz last winter before we did. Hopefully Callaway is on a very short list of PC candidates.

    2. You heard of the Super Bowl winning coaches curse?
      No head coach, who has won a Super Bowl has ever gone to another team and won another Super Bowl…..well baseball has something close.

      Only four managers have won titles with two different franchises:
      1.Bucky Harris 1924 Washington Senators, 1947 Yankees.
      2.Bill McKechnie 1925 Pittsburgh Pirates, 1940 Reds.
      3.Sparky Anderson 1975 & 1976 Cincinnati Reds, 1984 Tigers.
      4.Tony La Russa 1989 Oakland Athletics, 2006, ’11 Cardinals.

      Will Joe G. be the 5th?

      1. If Middleton is paying heed to public opinion, MLBTR ran a poll on whom the Phillies should hire:
        Girardi 60%
        Showalter 23%
        Baker 17%

        1. Yeah….Joe G is the favorite I would think…..however polls do not always reflect an accurate prediction.

    3. Do you get the “vibe” that “if” Girardi is hired that Klentak hands on the product is relegated to the acquisition of players, trades and farm system? I think Klentak has to restore his reputation with the owner in much the same manner as Roseman did. Trouble is Middleton, IMO, isn’t the same type of owner as Laurie.

      1. IMO, Klentak has already lost his juice. If he reconstructs the pitching staff with comparable talent to the lineup with which he did an “objectively excellent” job last winter, then I’m sure he’ll be back on solid ice instead of thin.

        1. Agreed. I really hope it’s Girardi. I enjoyed him as a player and I felt like he did a great job with the Yankees as a HC.
          Guess we will find out tomorrow or Tuesday!

      1. Dude….you only post the good videos ..I want to see the bad stuff! 🙂
        Just kidding.

        On Spencer….Phillies really could use a shot in the arm if he steps up next season and becomes our version of the Indians Bieber or Dodgers’ Beuhler.

        1. It’s basically a requirement that he does at this point, if the Phillies are going to move the needle in the right directioN. The FA safety lines have all about been used up, they need young cheap productive talent to start coming along, No pressure Spencer 😁. Fair or not, it’s what Is needed, even more so thN a GCole signing

      2. I know Howard had a short season due to injury but in approximately 90 days (mid-Jan.) a lot of these guys will head to Florida to start their workouts and I worry about time off for arm care and rest…My opinion, the AFL goes too long..

        1. What do you mean……..they are done next Saturday.
          Spencer has maybe one more game to pitch… Wednesday or Thursday.
          But then it is off to Mexico the first week in November and maybe one more game.
          And maybe then off to Tokyo, if the USA team qualifies from their grouping….and maybe at the most two games, one for sure, over there.
          So he will have maybe three more games to pitch before the mid-Nov break.

    1. rocco….he certainly has the stuff to be a legit number one.
      How about an ‘ace’?
      I guess that will come down to consistency, health and longevity.

        1. Just a pure guess…probably 130, but they could go 145 max I would think….spread over the whole season.
          he has been around the 110/115 mark on two occasions…senior year at CalPoly and Williamsport, and then Lakewood in 2018.
          He does turn 24 next summer, so it is not like he is a 19 or 20 breaking onto the scene and needs to be monitored more closely…plus he has good size and strength.

  93. According to Jim Salisbury, the Phillies are close to hiring NYY national crosschecker Brian Barber as their new amateur scouting director. FINALLY, a pick from an organization that knows what they’re doing.

      1. Lol!!! Nobody knows that and anyone can say it. Heck even some of our own scouts may have “pounded “ the table and not gotten their wishes

        1. Not sure what I said that was funny. But actually people do know that. It is known who is the lead scout on a prospect. And it is widely reported that he was the lead scout on Judge. Judge was a controversial prospect given his unique height. Many thought that he couldn’t succeed at mlb level due to large strike zone. But he was able to convince the Yankees otherwise and I think that is a positive.

      1. It’s possible Girardi may have mentioned Barber to the Phillies brass (or perhaps they asked him about Barber?) in his first interview but I don’t necessarily think one hire is contingent on the other.

  94. Jon Mayo’s write-up on Howard’s game last night:

    “Even when he’s working on stuff and without great command, Howard is extremely difficult to hit. The Phillies’ right-hander went four scoreless against Mesa on Friday night, allowing just one hit while striking out four. He did walk three, largely because he was trying some new things out in his fifth Fall League start.

    “I had a plan going in to work on changeups to righties and fastballs inside, just to start trying to implement that into my gameplan,” Howard said. “When you work on new stuff, you’re not always going to have feel for it. With eight righties in their lineup, it was a good time to work on it. Overall, I think it was productive and it’s a step in the right direction.”

    The outing brought Howard’s AFL ERA down to 2.45 and was much sharper than his previous two (five earned runs over 8 1/3 IP). He now leads the league with 23 K’s in 18 1/3 total innings. He’s given up just nine hits and walked seven for a 0.87 WHIP.”

    1. You can make a pretty convincing argument that Howard is our best prospect. I’ll go with the greater certainty of Bohm, but Howard’s a heck of a prospect.

      1. I guess you can label them 1 and 1A they are that close..
        Actually…..all four Phillies pitchers in the AFL are f=doing well….Seabold for sure, and I think he has one more start left…..and JoJo and Zach Warren are doing well in relief.
        Warren had that first bad outing but has been plus the last three.
        All of them should be in LHV to start next season….Warren probably in July

        Another reason for Matt Klentak to get on the ball and start to move out or up, some of the current LHV pitchers

  95. If Howard is the real deal, I’d love to see them try and get Cole, throw the 210M or so at him. A rotation of Cole Nola Howard Eflin Jake, could be deadly if Nola is closer to 2 years ago, Howard is legit, Eflin pitches to contact and Jake is healthy as he should be a solid #5 and then his bloated contract will come off the books next off-season.

    Cole would likely be a great mentor for Howard and would take the pressure of Nola, you would have to live with the likely drop in velo that would come on the back end of the deal but after going all in on Harper and I assume they are about to do the same with Realmuto, we are likely going to be in a bad spot down the road with expensive contracts on aging players anyway, now is the time to try and win imo.

    1. i rather sign good bullpen arms a wheeler and a centerfieldr with the money instead of all that money on one player

      1. Hmmmm – and you think our management knows how to spread that cash around? Followers of Tommy Hunter, David Robertson, Pat Neshek and Michael Saunders would beg to disagree.

        1. I hope they learned something from those signings, but I am just not in love with paying another buy a ton, and leaving all those holes we have,

  96. –Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole should square off on Tuesday
    –Stephen Strasburg and Justin Verlander maybe the second game.
    –Patrick Corbin and Zack Greinke in the third.

    An argument can be made, six of the top ten pitchers right now in baseball……oddly only one was ‘home-grown’….Nats’ Strasburg.

    1. ……, acquire the arms, buy the bats and compliment the team with those that make it through the gauntlet!

  97. I respect all pf your opinions. Mine is we need a TOR. We don’t have the farm to trade for one. I pay for Cole. And, if Bohm cannot play 3B, He loses value. Howard would be significantly higher in my rankings.

  98. I find it interesting, and somewhat amusing, that so many of the same phans [not necessarily here pray tell] who consider Middleton a meddlesome owner in one breath then advocate spending over $200 million for the signature of Cole on the dotted line.

    Because, truth be told, I doubt you can have one without the other. Does anyone truly believe that Klentak/McPhail wouldn’t refuse to go that high for a pitcher, even if he were Sandy Koufax in his prime? I believe they would. Its Middleton that is driving the money train right now and I for one am glad he is. Given the current state of baseball, where teams like the Red Sox, Cubs and Dodgers are openly talking about lower payrolls and avoiding luxury taxes it is a breath of fresh clean air to me to have an owner who is closer to a phan than a corporate business manager.

    Frankly, I had far too many years of the Giles/Monty era, where the Phils always towed the major league financial line and viewed the Phils more as a public trust than as a sports team responsible for winning not just occasionally but often.

    In fact, my guess is that Middleton finally realized that he had allowed McPhail/Klentak to talk him out of things his instincts told him the Phils should do for far too long and that he is now going to at least occasionally steer rather than merely monitor the very ship he is paying for.

    Good for him in my opinion. I doubt we get Cole but sure suspect our chances are better with Johnny Cigar negotiating with Boras than if Klentak/McPhail were doing it.

  99. So if I am getting this correct…MLB would like all baseball non-World Series news to be officially announce on days the World Series games are not scheduled.

    With that in mind…it appears this week Monday and Thursday are the first two days that game will not be scheduled to be played.

    So assuming if that is the case then, the Phillies should announce their new manager either tomorrow or on Thursday.

    1. If the Phillies are yet to meet with Girardi for the 2nd visit (I’ve read Monday), my guess is the official announcement comes Thursday, between games 2 and 3 of the Series.

  100. Joel Sherman of the NY Post already has the Yankees’ with their sites on Cole:

    “Scott Boras is the agent, he loves milestones and so the first pitcher to $300 million is probably in his sites and I would think eight years at $250 million is a minimum. As one top AL executive said, “With what we know now about stuff when it comes to spin, movement, velocity and his age (29) and his now great postseason resume, you can argue he is the greatest free agent pitcher ever.”

    8@$250M…$31M AAV minimum…..John Middleton may also have to think along those lines if he is in the Cole race..

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