Open Discussion: Week of October 28th

In Phillies’ baseball news this week, the Phillies hired Brian Barber as their Director of Amateur Scouting.  He replaces Johnny Almarez who stepped down for personal reasons.  A few days later, the Phillies hired Joe Girardi to manage the ball club.  He replaces Gabe Kapler who stepped down because , well … he was fired.  Miller and Girardi both come from the Yankees organization.  If you missed it, I wrote about their backgrounds here.

Several former Phillies who met the rules that apply to certain players who were outrighted off their team’s 40-man rosters.  They include Aaron Altherr (NYM), Rob Brantly, JC Ramirez (LAA), Fernando Salas, Dan Straily, and Pat Venditte (SF).  (I had Brantly, Salas, and Straily declaring free agency last month.  I don’t know why this is only now being announced on MLBTR.)

Jake Arrieta decided to not take advantage of his opt-out clause.  As a result he will serve the third and final year of his 3-year, $75M contract with the Phillies.  He will make $20M  but count as $25M AAV.

The Scottsdale Scorpions finished the season on a 6-game losing streak with an overall record of 12-17.  They finished in last place in a three-team division, 5.5 games out behind eventual champion, Salt River.

Most of our did well.  Among position players, Alec Bohm slashed .361/.397/.528/.925 in 19 games and 72 at bats. He scored 6 runs, had 9 RBI, hit 6 doubles and 2 HR among his 26 hits.  He finished with the 2nd best batting average in the league, 7th OBP, 4th SLG and OPS, 4th in hits, and 6th in doubles.  Josh Stephen slashed .250/.308/.306/.613 in 11 games and 36 at bats.  He scored 4 runs, had 2 RBI, and a triple.  Nick Maton slashed .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 scored 1 run, had 2 RBI, and hit a double and HR.  Mickey Moniak slashed .186/.230/.300/.530 in 17 games and 70 at bats. He scored 5 runs, had 5 RBI, and hit 4 doubles and 2 triples.  Jose Gomez  went 3-25 in 7 games with 1 RBI.

Among pitchers, Connor Seabold posted a 1.06 ERA and 0.59 WHIP in 4 starts. In 17.0 innings, he walked 3 and struck out 22 batters.  I heard that he suffered some soreness and was shut down after his 4th start.  I wonder if this will effect his participation in Premier12.  JoJo Romero posted a 0.84 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in 8 appearances.  In 10.2 innings, he walked 4 and struck out 5 batters.  Spencer Howard posted a 2.11 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in 6 starts. In 21.1 innings, he walked 10 and struck out 27 batters.  Zach Warren posted a 3.86 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 5 appearances. In 4.2 innings, he walked 4 and struck out 7 batters.  Though the league started on September 18th, Warren sat and didn’t make his first appearance until October 4th.  He gave up 2 runs on 1 hit and 2 walks in that appearance.  He allowed just 2 walks in his next 4 no-hit/no-run appearances.

Seabold’s 1.06 ERA was tops among AFL starters, Howard’s 2.11 was 8th.  Seabold’s 3 walks were third best among starters.  Howard’s 27 strike outs were 4th in the league, Seabold’s 22 were 15th.  Seabold’s 0.59 WHIP was tops among starters, Howard’s 0.94 was 7th.  Romero’s 0.94 WHIP was 6th among relievers, his 0.84 ERA was 4th.

Winter leagues in Mexico and the Dominican Republic began their seasons.  We have no one in the Mexican Winter League and a handful in the Dominican – Deivy Grullon and Malquin Canelo are still off to slow starts (both are slashing .143/.143/.143).

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

Key Dates:

  • 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 TBA – Professional Baseball Agreement negotiations between MLB/MiLB
  • 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 27th … 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

386 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of October 28th

  1. Correction to Jim’s report above on the Phillies new amateur scouting director….his last name is Barber.

      1. Yeah, Jim – we all know you’re a hockey guy first and foremost😉. Cat’s out of the bag now….

  2. Any news on Odubel and winter league? It would be great if he goes and plays well to maybe get some trade value

    1. I would not hold your breath here. IF he gets traded, it will be for pennies on the dollar i.e. An A ball lottery ticket.

      1. A few teams may be intrigued by Odubel enough to take him in a larger package, perhaps the Phillies pay down some of his salary. Texas, Toronto, Seattle, Detroit, Arizona, Colorado….someplace where he wouldn’t be a high profile figure, sort of under the radar.

      2. Osuna was able to land Ken Giles. Someone in the league is likely to take a chance on him. Sure he won’t bring back another teams star boy scout but the talent should be commensurate.

        If another team has the enigmatic equivalent of Herrera a deal could get worked out is what I’m saying.

        1. Obubel has negative trade value/will bring back nothing of value. He’ll probably be playing for someone else next season and the Phillies will be paying most (if not all) of his money.

          1. Hinkie, true or not, it’s Klentak’s job to get something of value for Odubel – anything, instead of allowing him to be a stagnant commodity. Our luck, Odubel will get hurt in the off season, perhaps doing something dumb like bobsledding for Team Venezuela.

            1. 8mark … Odubel could slash .425/.500/.575 in the (name your favorite) winter league, and he would still have no value. I’m not a big Matt Klentak fan … but … I’m not going to hold it against him for failing to get something of value for him.
              If you want to blame Klentak for the Odubel extension in the first place, that’s one thing. However, I think that team friendly deal was pretty much universally praised at the time it was agreed to.

            2. The Phillies depressed Herrera’s value when they distanced themselves from him by removing his likeness from around the stadium and suspending him before due process. To expect Klentak to extract any value after those actions is unreasonable. (IMO)

              Regarding winter ball, I don’t think Herrera has ever played. Even if he had, MLB has prohibited all MLB and MiLB players from taking part in winter ball in the Venezuelan Winter League.

              I think he is in Miami with his fiance. (Yes, the same girl.)

        2. Osuna was effective for the Blue Jays when he got busted for DV issues. Odubel was not. And now Odubel is getting $7M+ playing at replacement level.

  3. Just a silly stat: Moniak had such a small sampling 70 ABs in the AZ league if he had 5 more hits his Avg would have been close to .260 and we would be feeling so much better about him.

    1. 5 more singles should NOT impact your view of any prospect. batting average over a small sample is one of the least important stats. even if his batting average was .330, it wouldn’t mean much. it just isn’t a valuable stat to look at over a small sample. this is not a comment on Mickey. It is a comment about all prospects.

      I think the most important stats are:
      – K rate
      – Walk rate
      – ISO
      – GB/FB rate
      – HR/FB
      – LD%
      – Pull %
      – P/PA
      – O swing %
      – Z contact %
      – Swinging Strike %

      and for MLB players…
      – Average exit velocity (available for MLB players only)
      – Barrels / Pa (available for MLB players only)
      – Hard hit % (available for MLB players only)

      1. You do have the LD% for minor league players…which can be somewhat morphed into the Hard hit/Barrel measurements

  4. “It’s hardly going out on a limb to predict that Cole will set the record for average annual value, surpassing Justin Verlander’s $33 million, and also for total value, beating David Price’s $217 million.

    So, what are we talking about, eight years at $35 million per season? That’s $280 million. Nice round number, but knowing Boras, not round enough. I’m calling Dec. 7 as the over-under date for the first report saying Boras is seeking $300 million.”

    1. I can’t see it going past 7 years. The AAV is less important than the years. I can easily see boras asking for 8, with the owners begging for 5, only to giveaway to largely 5 & 6 year contract offers. My prediction is that some team bites the bullet, goes 35mil p/y for 7 to get him signed. Not earth shattering, but Cole is defining the SP valuation, he is going to be the bar for sometime, especially with the new CBA coming down the line, which imo will pay players earlier, while under team control with the vets less likely to the big bucks as they have in the past. .

    2. With Boras, Cole will set the market record for pitchers. And like Harper, at least total value. Probable well north of $240M, minimum 7 years.

        1. I think he could get eventually $32/33M AAV…..but over 7 years.
          Opt -outs….a Boras specialty…could also be a factor.

  5. How funny is it that de facto GM John Middleton is not going to be at today’s presser introducing Joe Girardi as the Phillies new manager? It’s reportedly going to be just a two man show: Phillies (in name only) GM Matt Klentak and Joe G.
    Are we now supposed to believe this was Klentak’s hire?

  6. With Mickey Calloway (big miss for the Phillies) off to the LAA’s, looks like Larry Rothschild may be the next best available candidate for Joe G’s pitching coach.

  7. Yes, Hinkie, Andy MacPhail said that the most important relationship in the organization is Manager and GM, so he won’t be there to take the shine away from the new tight relationship. Seriously though, I am thrilled with the hire, can’t wait to see who the PC and HC are, and I will root for this past season’s learning experience to benefit Matt Klentak.

      1. I’d love to see Stairs return. As for Rothschild, I’m sure Joe G will be asked about him today.

        1. Matt Stairs certainly will enhance the launch angle if made hitting coach. He will show a montage of his at bats with the Dodgers playoff homerun as the finale.

        2. Surprised he hasn’t already been named the PC coach … just a matter of time at this point … talk about suspense.

  8. Girardi hits a grand slam at his introductory press conference! They needed that (especially) after their last one (announcing Kapler’s firing).

    Two things …

    1. Girardi did the same thing Harper did at his press conference in Clearwater: he failed to button his jersey correctly (couldn’t navigate the buttons).

    2. Girardi mentioned his son a couple of times. Dante Girardi is a top prep player, and will drafted next June. Maybe Brian Barber spends a 4th round pick (?) on him.

    1. Maybe if he has a big Spring. Right now he doesn’t project as a Top 10 round pick (e.g., Fangraphs has 559 players in their 2020 draft ranking, and he’s not in there; PerfectGame has him ranked as the 179th best high school player).

      Now if Barber can use a later pick and get him to sign because of the family connection, that would be a win.

  9. A few days ago, I responded snarkily on Twitter to an MLB article about five pitchers who stood out in the AFL. (One was Spencer Howard).

    “I don’t understand how this writer could overlook our Connor Seabold. He went 1-0 in 4 starts (17.0 IP) with a 1.06 ERA, 3 walks, 22 strike outs, and a 0.59 WHIP. He should be on our radar for a call up in 2020, too.”

    Today, MLB Pipeline and Jonathan Mayo ( posted a story on 20 Breakout Prospects in the AFL. Seabold was among the 10 pitchers he spoke about.

    “While he made just four AFL starts, Seabold showed his stuff and advanced feel for pitching will facing advanced hitters. He mixed his solid fastball with life, a slider with good depth and a very good changeup successfully across all of his outings.”

    1. They seem to over-look Seabold at times…..being out a good portion of this season did not help his case apparently in being noticed
      The silver lining in his extended absence….he developed and modified his change-up, to where he now thinks it is become a difference maker vs LHBs

  10. Hinkie, you are right. Girardi was great in the press conference. I am excited to see the rest of the staff. jim, I hope you are right on Seabold. His numbers look good. When do you plan to start the Top 30? Are you going to ask for lists ahead of time rather than vote as we go?

    1. Matt, I’ll start the Reader Top 30 some time after the Rule 5 Draft. I don’t know about individual top 30s. Last year, I got so few responses that the results were almost meaningless. I don’t think I even published the results. I did some research on Phuture Phillies. James tried this too. But he never published the promised follow up article. Probably didn’t get enough responses.

  11. G. Cole was great last night. A real bulldog type of guy. Not going to talk about signing him. We all have made our opinions known. But, he brought up something else. His 47 Ks tied the record with Cliff Lee’s 2010 performance. A real sore spot. The worst move the prior administration made was the Lee trade after the 2009 season. No reason to do it, a terrible trade, and cost us a 2d straight WS. From all perspectives, it was just an awful decision. I know he wasn’t great vs. the Cards in 2011, but he was sure great in 2010.

  12. In the press conference, Joe mentioned how great the Phillies were in the 90’s….aside from ’93, I must have slept through the rest of that decade.

    Fortunately, someone helped Joe with his buttons for the MLB Network interview afterward.

  13. Say what you want about Johnny Almaraz … but … his 2017 effort could end up being one of the most fruitful drafts in Phillies history:

    Round 1 … Adam Haseley
    Round 2 … Spencer Howard
    Round 3 … Connor Seabold
    Round 4 … Jake Sheiner (used to obtain Jay Bruce)
    Round 5 … Ethan Lindow (2019 Paul Owens award winner)
    Round 7 … Nick Maton
    Round 10 … Connor Brogdon
    Round 12 … David Parkinson
    Round 14 … Zach Warren
    Round 16 … Kyle Dohy
    Round 17 … Austin Listi
    Round 18 … Damon Jones
    Round 19 … Addison Russ
    Round 21 … Jakob Hernandez
    Round 33 … Ben Brown (recovering from TJ/authored a 16 K game in GCL in 2018)

    1. That list really does have lots of potential although I’m not sure what to make of Hassley.

    2. Hinkie…also don’t sell short LHP Jhordany Mezquita from that draft ..his stuff plays well, tough on hitters, just needs better control……former Blue Claws manager Mike Micucci liked what he saw from him.

  14. According to Jim Salisbury, Bryan Price is getting a lot of buzz for the PC job. Haseley did a nice job this year. He showed that he can play D and play it in CF. He needs to work on his pitch recognition, he needs to improve, for sure, but he was up a year early, and I, for one, am very hopeful about him. He has a very nice stroke, but let’s see what a good Hitting Coach can do for him. I think he is the starting CF. I think the upgrades are elsewhere, SP and the BP, maybe another back up C, a little more bench help. I don’t think a new CF is on the agenda.

    1. matt13….Haseley as expected coming into his first MLB year…struggled with lefties….which if you look at guys like JBJr/Gardner and other hitting types like him…also went thru that phase of development in their first year..I want to see how he adjusts to lefties in 2020.

      1. If you want a silver lining for Haseley (why wouldn’t we) he fared well against lefties in his minor’s PA’s. It’s a pain to look up but I think he was somewhere near 270/340 OBP.

        His MLB PA’s obviously show a different trend but I would chalk it up to comfort level and familiarity. Seeing them more and seeing a guy multiple times might allow improvement in that area.

        It’s also been a contention of mine that hitting in the 8 hole in the NL is one of the toughest spots in the batting order. With a pitcher behind you and virtually no protection its extremely difficult to get quality pitches to hit.

        That said no one is going to have pity for Adam. He’ll have to figure out a way to produce. He should have enough MLB data now to review and get in the cage to work on it.

        1. yes….his AA/AAA metrics vs LHP were above average for league levels.
          That is one of the reasons I think he will make the adjustment at the MBL level with more experience. And unfortunately, with the lineup the Philies have, he will , for now, be subjected to a bottom of the line-up hitter from 6th thru 8th.

    2. While Bryan Price, Larry Rothschild, Dave Lundquist, and Rafael Chavez were mentioned as PC candidates, the only name Salisbury suggested for hitting coach? Matt Stairs.

      1. What makes Matt Stairs a good choice?

        I hear his name often. Why did we hire him before and then why was he fired?

        1. Stairs wasn’t actually fired. In the transition from Mackanin to Gabe, several coaches were left in limbo as to whether they’d be invited back for 2018. Hence, Stairs took the San Diego hitting job since he didn’t want to risk not having an option. The fact that Salisbury and company keep mentioning his name must have some traction. Stairs helped young guys like Williams and Altherr when he was here. And they have since regressed.

          1. Thank you for the complete information. I am hoping we get a coach that can help the younger hitters.

            When you mentioned Williams, I’m wondering if some younger players get 2nd chances now that JG is here; i.e. Williams, Pivetta, DLS, etc.?

        2. What makes Stairs a good choice? His hitting philosophy is very similar to Charlie’s.

          Why was he hired/fired? He was hired because of his sound teaching approach. He wasn’t fired. He was not re-hired when his contract was finished. He wasn’t re-signed because of the shift toward launch angle. The Phillies wanted someone more in line with that thinking.

          Stairs was beginning to make progress with Altherr when his contract was up. Altherr imploded with the change in hitting coach. The Phillies have talked to Stairs. (This next part is completely off the wall.) I wonder if, since Middleton couldn’t talk Charlie into taking the manager’s job in August or the hitting coach position permanently, he is the driving force behind Stairs. Told you this was completely off the wall.

  15. No question Romus, he has to grow as a player and improve various aspects of his game. But I was pleased with what I did see, especially his D in CF. Looking forward to seeing how Kingery and Hoskins improve, as well, and what the new Hitting Coach does to help. I expect more from Jean Segura also.

  16. I like an OF of Dickerson, Haseley, and Harper — all LH. With solid instruction and guidance Bohm, Kingery and Hoskins can provide the RH punch. Add to that JT and Segura and the Phillies can be a serious offensive threat. Add Cole to a future rotation of Nola, Eflin, Howard and Seabold and you may have a playoff team, at least by 2021. It’s a hope and prayer, but not out of the question.

    1. As good as an acquisition Dickerson was keep in mind:

      1. McCutchen is the starting LF. If Dickerson is retained 1 of McCutchen or Dickerson is playing LF.

      2. Dickerson had a 3 walks to 33 strikeouts as a Phillie. That’s not a good ratio and goes against what the front office is looking for from an offensive player.

      I don’t see any realistic way he comes back. Coming into the offseason I was a big proponent of resigning him and would be open to it but the more I look at it it just doesn’t make sense to commit significant resources to him. It makes more sense to get a guy like Adam Jones or Cameron Maybin to fill the 4th/5th outfielder role to compliment Bruce as a RH bench bat capable of starting once or twice a week.

      1. Don’t sleep on a guy like George Springer (for those that don’t like the idea of going after Rendon)

        he can play any OF position at least for the near future. His numbers are as consistent as they come. Complete if not impact MVP caliber player and while I don’t like the idea of platooning Haseley I’m not going to let the fact that we have Cutch on the books deter me from upgrading my offensive profile.

        1. What you don’t understand is that this is not fantasy baseball. Players have egos. The Phillies signed Cutch to be the starting LF. He signed here to be the starting LF. He was playing well and then he got hurt. And now you’re going to platoon him with Dickerson? Cutch will be pissed, his agent will be pissed, and that sends a wrong message to other upcoming FAs. If you want to trade Cutch, fine. But don’t think that there won’t be some serious consequences if you tell Cutch that he’s going to be in a platoon. That’s drama that the Phillies can do without.

  17. Where does McCutchen fit in this scenario ? He was leading the league in walks when he got hurt and his leadership should not be undervalued. I really like Dickerson but we don’t have any room for him, especially with what he’ll command in FA…….we have more pressing needs.

    1. Good teams or should I say well run orgs don’t pass up good talent because they are worried about where they fit in. If they have an opportunity to upgrade their roster they do it.

  18. While the Phillies will be aggressively active this off season, I don’t think they will be able to move the needle unless they spread out the coin enough to upgrade several roster spots, not just one big fish like Gerrit Cole, who would in effect preclude them from acquiring multiple impact players. I still suggest that they will target Zach Wheeler, either Cole Hamels or Alex Wood, a free agent back end reliever (take your pick, it matters little to me) and possibly Didi Gregorius, due to his past relationship to Girardi. Should Wheeler sign elsewhere, my SP plan B would be MadBum and Jake Odorizzi. Of course, a 2nd starting pitching pursuit might instead be via trade. We’ve discussed the Mike Minor/Drew Smyly comps as well. I’m fine with whatever they decide in that regard.

    1. 8mark, I see this viewpoint and don’t think it’s a bad strategy. The counter to this, to me is for the FO to have conviction in there scouting dept, and get GCole signed, to go to battle in the near future with Cole, Nola, Howard, Efflin and fill in (Seabold?) Where I favor this path vs the spread out approach, is for the playoffs. Having Cole over Wheeler, twice in a playoff series, is what will win in the playoffs imo. Spreading the talent out is likely better in making the playoffs, but as we see with WAS, they are a team built for the playoffs. The Phils FO needs to find that balance. If they can sign Cole, they likely should, and really go for it in the next 4 years while the trio of Cole,Nola, and howard should be humming.

      The offense should be near set with a few tweaks, and better coaching/strategy. A hurdle to overcome will be how much money is left for the bullpen.

      With Arrietta coming off the books after next year, most of Cole’s future money Would be free’d up to fit Cole in the budget. Heavy this year but it would be expected to have a light FA offseason after spending heavily in 3 straight.

  19. No one talks about this guy. I’m just going to call him player A since his name seems NOT to mean much to most…

    He’ll be 29 next season a FA with no compensation attached to him. Last 11 starts 2.45 ERA 1.108 WHIP 8.6K/9 stellar run to push his team to the playoffs.

    Helluva lot cheaper than Cole or Wheeler too. Watch the smart teams be all over this guy

  20. I don’t know who you are referring to DMAR, but his numbers sound good. My question to you is this, is Player A your first choice, on your list, or as part of a tandem selection with another SP? Matt Gelb has another good article in The Athletic. The team to win is now, according to Matt Klentak. Let’s assume Spencer Howard’s projection is for later in the season. Where so you see us going to put together the team to start the season?

    1. DMAR has lots of love for Jordan Lyles. He’s ok: FB is too straight, but his CB is very good. I’m not sure what he’ll cost as a FA.
      DMAR … the other guy you keep mentioning for the Phillies is not a FA. George Springer is under team/Astros control thru 2020.

      1. LOL I do love me some Jordan Lyles. Matt to your ? I’d re-up with Smyly and I have a lot of faith that Howard will be along in May/June.

        And what the hay was I reading that said Springer was a FA….I’m sorry about that guys. I swore I saw him on a MLB FA list somewhere.

        Well there goes the air from that balloon and changes my whole outlook on what they should do.

        I think then I have to consider a Wheeler and a Dickerson scenario.

  21. You have certainly mentioned Lyles before, DMAR, I should have known the answer. Hinkie, your thoughts on Bryan Price? There seems to be a good deal of buzz around him coming here. He turned down Arizona. Price vs. Rothschild?

    1. matt … I’m not versed enough on Price (or Rothschild for that matter) to give you a solid opinion. I can tell you they both served as managers in addition to pitching coaches. Price is also 8 years younger than Rothschild (don’t know if that’s going to mean anything).
      For me … striking out out on Mickey Calloway was a big miss.

  22. This seems to be the most accurate AND complete FA list

    So allow me to now turn my affection toward Castellanos LOL. And honestly I’m not worried about Cutch’s ego that’s why we went and signed JG to manage. I’m gonna build a LU that mashes and find a starter or two that will keep us in games.

    A few BP pieces a utility guy that can handle some 3B until Bohm comes up and we’re all set.

    1. DMAR, I don’t think Cutch’s ego factors into the scheme of things as nearly as much as his salary, and then Dickerson’s should he re-sign. That’s a lot of coin going down on left field, brother. Unless Klentak were to orchestrate a trade of Cutch to loosen the purse strings in order to sign bigger arms.

      1. Dodgers could use a veteran player like Cutch, though have seen Lindor may be on their want list.

      2. There is a decent amount of payroll flexibility and frankly if we had to go into the lux tax for a year or two so be it. Cutch essentially is owed 2/$40

        Arrieta 1/$20
        Segura 3/$46

        1. McCutchen has a salary of $17M (’20), $20M (’21), and a $3M buyout, his AAV is $16,666,667
          Arrieta’s 2020 salary is $20M, his AAV is $25M
          Segura has 3 years at $14.85M each plus a $1M buyout, his AAV is $14M

    2. If you think Cutch is going to accept being in a platoon, then you’re out of touch with reality. And then Cutch’s agent will start directing his other clients AWAY from the Phillies. Cutch did nothing wrong but get hurt. If healthy, Cutch is the starting LF. End of story.

        1. If you’re not promising the LF job to Dickerson, he’s not re-signing in Philadelphia. He wants to be a starter, not in a platoon. Dickerson deserves to be a starter.

        1. This is not fantasy baseball. Tell me a starter who went into a platoon even though his numbers say that he should have been a starter. Cutch will get traded first before he gets put into a platoon.

          1. Didn’t the Yankees platoon him when they had him? In any event I loath fantasy sports especially fantasy baseball. Your point is noted but your objection is not sustained.

            The fact of the matter is simple Castellanos is a much more productive hitter than is McCutchen and that is even before the ACL.

            My opinion but anyone who thinks they can just stand pat with this line-up and add pitching and make the playoffs is going to be in for a rude awakening.

            1. And for the record Nick ops’d over a 1.000 with the Cubs after the trade. Cutch isn’t even going to sniff a 900 OPS in a month.

              In fact the only 2 Phillies managed to hit that 1.000 mark in a month was Harper in August Rhys in March/April.

            2. Those players got traded to those teams so anything goes. When you sign a veteran in FA, and you promise a starting job to somebody, and then you take it away from them because they got hurt (not because of performance), there will be hell to pay. But hey, don’t take my word for it. If the Phillies sign Dickerson into a platoon, I will be here to eat crow. If not, I’m standing by my assessment that Dickerson is headed elsewhere if Cutch is still on the team.

            3. Castellanos is not more productive than Cutch at all. Cutch has been a 135 wRC hitter for his career. Castellanos is at 112 wRC. You are living in fantasy land if you think Cutch isn’t a better hitter than Castellanos.

    3. I do not understand why you think the Phillies should find an upgrade over Cutch. There isn’t one out there. If they sign a corner outfielder McCutchen becomes your everyday CF. He had a solid .256/.378/.457 line at the time of his injury. He was also playing good LF defense.

      Frankly the outfield is the last spot I’m committing significant resources to. I focus on building depth to add to the current Harper/Haseley/McCutchen/Bruce/Quinn group to cover for injuries or under performance from Haseley.

      As of right now I see the outfield being some type of rotation of Bruce/McCutchen/Haseley in LF/CF with Harper locked in at RF. If you truly believe McCutchen or Dickerson can play CF then I’m all for bringing him back at a modest cost but he’s a slight downgrade over what McCutchen gave us last year. Castellanos would be a huge defensive downgrade in LF.

  23. A month ago, I felt like Gerrit Cole to the Phillies was a pipe dream. The Phillies FO has been totally risk averse when it comes to paying pitchers. However, now that John Middleton has appointed himself de facto GM, I think Cole becomes at least possible (though not likely). I believe Middleton met with Scott Boras when he was flying all over the country seeking opinions on Gabe Kapler. I also believe Boras may have a greater influence on Middleton than Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentak.
    Having said all that … I agree with 8mark and the other posters (you know who are) who would rather see the team spread their money out to build more depth to their pitching staff instead of the “all eggs in one basket” approach.
    Here are some names I’d watch/consider/like to see as Phillies in 2020. Not saying they should sign all of them. Just saying I would should shop from this list:

    * Zack Wheeler as the top target. He’s as young as Gerrit Cole (29 YO), and will come much cheaper (my estimate is 5 years @ 100 million). He’s got great pedigree (#6 overall pick in the 2009 draft), is the power pitcher the Phillies currently don’t have/are hoping Nick Pivetta could one day become, and has really come into his own (7.4 total bWAR and top 10 NL FIP’s) over the past two seasons (his second and third year out of TJ).

    * Drew Pomerantz IMO could be one of the big bargains on the open market. He really struggled for all of 2018 and the first half of 2019 while bouncing back and forth between the starting rotation and the bullpen. However, he really took off after being dealt to Milwaukee on the last day of July. The Brewers used the former first round draft pick (#5 overall) primarily out of the pen. The big LHP saw his velo spike to the upper 90’s (mostly 96-98). He’s always had a plus CB. That FB/CB combination allowed Pomerantz to put up eye-popping numbers for the Brew Crew: 15.4 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 0.911 WHIP.

    * Drew Smyly IMO is a good bet to return. I’ve posted numerous times Smyly of 2019 has a lot in common with Mike Minor of 2017. Minor was a spectacular signing for Texas that winter. Smyly could be similar for the Phillies.

    * Dellin Betances missed almost all of 2019 with injuries (lat, bone spurs in shoulder, and partially torn achilles). That’s not good. However, when healthy he’s as dominant a reliever as there is in MLB. Betances has an obvious connection to Joe Girardi.

    * Sergio Romo and Steve Cishek are a couple of older/cheaper relievers who would give the Phillies a different look out of the pen. I especially like Romo.

    * Josh Lindblom spent parts of five seasons pitching in MLB (mostly as a reliever). He threw for the Phillies in 2012 after he (and Ethan Martin) came here from the LAD’s for Shane Victorino. Lindblom has spent the past two years (2018 and 2019) in Korea. While there, the 32 YO RHP has picked up a splitter (to go along with his FB/CUT/CB/CH, and has been maybe the top pitcher in the KBO. He’s ready to return to MLB and shouldn’t cost a whole lot.

    * Cole Hamels is not a guy I’d sign … but … with de facto GM John Middleton calling the shots, there’s a very good chance Hamels is brought back for nostalgia sake.

    1. Hinkie….on Lindblom and his splitter.
      Have to remember, and this was from a few years ago….the size of the Japanese baseball is bigger than the American baseball and also the Japanese baseball is also harder than the American baseball.
      Not sure if the newer version of the American baseball still have those variations.
      I would think the hardness now may be equal to what the Japanese use.
      Just not sure anymore if this still applies.
      So also not sure how effective Lindblom’s splitter will be once he comes back.

      1. I also assumed the KBL were using the same baseballs as the NPL.
        Though they also made changes to their specs and offensive numbers really declined this past season.

        1. Romus … I can’t competently discuss physics. Does a bigger and heavier baseball make it easier to throw a nasty splitter? IDK.
          In any event … Lindblom isn’t going to cost a whole lot (maybe ~3 million AAV). If he can’t adjust to the MLB ball, it won’t be a major financial setback.

    2. Hinkie, DMAR, Romus, et al….on second thought, WHAT IF in the name of making salary space (be it for depth or signing big ticket talent) the Phillies entertain the idea of trading Cutch, which would likely require some absorption of his contract. But cutting loose the usual arbitration eligible suspects, saying goodbye to old reliever$, and leveraging every penny to deepen the roster. In other words, signing Dickerson does in fact make sense IF Cutch is on the trade block. I believe his AAV is around $20M, whereas CD might re-sign for $12M-$13M AAV over 3 years?

      1. ….but of course, it’s not cost effective if we pay down too much of Cutch’s money. Ok….I’m just thinking out loud here.

        1. It could be risky trading Cutch…, Girardi may not want him traded, and secondly, the team was winning with him in the line-up (33-26) last season.

            1. Denny….really?
              From the 40…the exodus will probably include Maikel, Odubel. Pivetta, Williams, Morrison, Gosselin, Pirela, Vargas, Vincent, Morin, Parker, Hughes…not counting others who could be traded or DFAed, like Roman.
              Not sure all of them are still on the 40…by Tuesday morning we will know for sure Matt Klentak has plenty to thin out.

  24. Since Arrieta, Nola and likely Eflin will hold 3 rotation spots, that leaves only 2 available. I have previously stated that the Phillies will go after 1 starter in FA but not 2. Why is that? The emergence of Spencer Howard. We need to keep a spot available for him. We can have an open competition in ST for the final spot (VV/DLS/Irvin/Pivetta). If any of them falters, Howard comes in. If they pitch well, then we have a cheap starter who has turned the corner (hopefully).

    If the Phillies sign 2 FA starters, to me, that means that Spencer Howard is pretty much going to spend 2020 in the minors, barring injuries or Eflin imploding. I don’t think that will happen. Howard is already 23, he’s been lights out, he needs to be in the rotation sooner rather than later.

    1. You’re not accounting for workload. Howard threw just 71.0 innings this season. His career high was 112.0 in 2018. It is unreasonable to expect Howard to start the season with the Phillies and throw 180-200 innings as a starter in the rotation. As a reference, look at how the young pitchers performed down the stretch in 2018 when all but Arrieta surpassed their career innings pitched.

      1. If Howard stays healthy….If guessing, I would think the Phillies will cap him at a 135/145 IP range for the 2020 season.
        I guess that will also depend on the number of ‘stress’ innings he would have pitched into…and they only know how to measure that stat.

        1. Looked at Nola’s early numbers.
          At age 21 (2014)…LSU and Phillies combined over 170 innings pitched.
          Second year… over 180 innings pitched.
          Third year 2016….he broke down and needed PRP injections after 111 IP.
          So I assume they will want to be safe then sorry.

      2. He won’t start the season with the Phillies. He will stay at Lehigh, and come up later to allow the Phillies that extra year of control. He’ll get max 20 starts and will likely be on an innings limit, similar to Chris Paddack of the Padres.

        1. And, he will be accumulating innings in Lehigh Valley. Whatever his innings/pitch cap is, those that he throws in Lehigh Valley will count against that cap.

          1. You are correct. I’m thinking now the Phillies will skip some starts to conserve his arm.

      3. I’m with Jim. They’re not going to have Spencer Howard throw more than ~140 innings in 2020. That includes MiLB innings. I’m expecting Howard to start the season in extended spring training for a few weeks. Then … he’ll head to LHV, where he’ll work up his pitch counts for a few weeks. IMO Howard won’t be throwing at CBP until probably the end of May/beginning of June.

    2. I’d like to see the Phillies throw caution into the wind, you know … Be Bold … and trust that Howard can handle and eventually thrive at the MLB level. I want to see them count on him to be able to lock down the 5th spot by early May, and eventually move into the 3rd spot by the end of the season. I’d like them to be able to also develop Pivetta,VV, DLS, and or Seabold into the SR. I guessing it’s the later. I’d be happy if the Phillies could nab Cole or Wheeler. I think they could go either way, though a team with Cole is more Built for the playoffs than a team with wheeler. Can’t downplay the significance of Cole starting 2 games in a 7 games series, possibly 3. Huge advantage. Going with wheeler is not wrong either, especially if it allows for a stronger bullpen. You have to make the playoffs first, and that roster would, my concern is the pitching matchups once they do make it.

      1. Yeah Tac NO not with Howard. Way to valuable to be pressing him into the rotation sooner rather than later.

        And I was a big proponent for him to be a Sept call up and take those AFL starts he had and perform them in the MLB. But I wouldn’t in a million years consider breaking camp with him in the Spring.

    1. I agree with cube. They should immediately acquire McCutchen, Franco, Herrera, and Nick Williams from the Phillies in exchange for Bellinger, Turner, Pederson, and Muncy.

  25. Romus; Ice Cube is allowed his opinion but he’s amazingly short on specifics other than the comments that throw racial dispersions on the Dodgers/MLB and get publicity. If Ice Cube wants to discuss what can be done to get more African-American boys to play baseball let’s sit down and talk.. Money, better facilities, equipment, coaching; I’m all ears..I just get sick of the drive-by cheap comments from multi-multi-multi millionaires like Ice Cube who COULD make a difference by sponsoring teams and upgrading inner city facilities.. talk is cheap..Walk the walk….

    1. True that Hawkye….

      Not sure how much more MLB can do. They invest a great deal in the RBI program and making baseball accessible to any kid who wants to play. If our black youth are more interested in other sports what else can be done.

      1. As an actual young-ish black person who played hs baseball not that long ago (i.e. until 2010) in the immediate suburbs of philadelphia, you have to understand that programs like the RBI program fall way outside the average black youth’s radar. Most of the towns where I grew up didn’t even have little leagues or legion ball, due to lack of demand and therefore, investment; there were a few kids like my friends and I who genuinely liked the sport, having come of age during the Rollins-Utley-Howard era, but we were definitely the exception at our school. Everyone knows the boilerplate reasons such as the sport being cost prohibitive and what not, but more generally the sense you get is that the sport just feels too slow/old/boring for most youths today, regardless of race. Baseball doesn’t really allow for that much self expression, individuality, or flashiness; players generally don’t exhibit too much personality on screen. This is huge because young sports fans today tend to follow the athlete more than the team itself: e.g. identifying yourself as “Team LeBron” or “Team KD” vs part of sports team’s “nation”.

        Tl;dr–for many (not all) black youth, baseball feels outdated and out-of-touch with present values. Costs and access is another factor, but if kids really wanted to play organized baseball, you’d see it.

        In DC, where I live, we have a really great black-majority little league team. But it only got that way because a couple parents/coaches made a deliberate, yearslong effort to introduce a generation of kids to the sport and develop their talents from there. My hunch is that, across the board, it would take such a purposeful and sustained effort by community members, not necessarily outside orgs like RBI, to foster a grassroots love of the sport in areas where there is virtually zero awareness of or appreciation for it.

    2. I just love a former drug dealer telling the dodgers you need more Africian American, what a croc, in Philadelphia they have the best fields, they love baskeball and football. its a faster way to get the money. Most of these kids are poor and they know the nfl and nba are faster ways to get big money,

      1. rocco….you have a point. The economic gain may be faster and to have the basic skill of baseball….hitting a ball thrown is something you need to start to develop at early ages.
        And many kids in America now start at age 4/5 in T-ball and work thru organized leagues up thru HS….and it is expensive…I know.
        Latin kids play all year round in the DR and Mexico….and play a lot more sandlot, but now they also have more organized leagues at certain leagues now than before.

      1. Black, white…whatever. Celebrities who assume expertise or representation of any specific community or cause by virtue of their celebrity is nauseating, especially when millionaires ask Joe Bagodonuts to financially support their cause. Get a real job.

  26. I don’t think that they go into this season planning on a spot for Spencer. No knock on him, in any way! I think he will be terrific for us, but they are going to get 2 SPs, and when Spencer is ready during the season, that will just be a good problem to have. .But, they won’t plan on him. One may not be Cole, and one may be bringing back Smyly. But, they will be in on Cole, Wheeler, Ryu, MadBum, and every other arm in descending order, according to what Klentak has prioritized. I don’t see a run at Rendon, at all. And, those of you who want to trade Cutch are missing how valuable he was hitting lead off, and how valuable his leadership was. We downright stunk out of the lead off spot after he went down. I see Pomeranz as a BP arm, and I have no problem going after him. And, money wise, to me, Cesar’s contract covers the raise to JTR. Maybe we get something for Cesar, and maybe not. But, I do not pay him 11.8M next year.

    1. matt13..on Cesar….unless Matt Klentak finds an old buddy out there somewhere, maybe somebody like Jerry Dipoto……he will probably just have to DFA Cesar (2.5bWAR)
      And the Phillies will not get the value of his total worth in return.
      Maybe a low A player or international money/draft if he can pull off a trade.
      And that would be a real kick in the pants.

      1. Romus, if the Phillies don’t tender Hernandez, he becomes a free agent, doesn’t he? They don’t have the right to DFA him. Besides, he’s out of options.

        1. Jim….that’s right forgot about that….this is his last abr year so you are correct.
          Matt K will need to make a tough decision….if he tenders him at $11/12M, he probably has to start him at 2nd again.
          If not…Cesar is free as a bird.
          Which would be a shame since I liked what Cesar has done for the team over these last few years.

            1. Hah……. not really.
              These last 4 years, overall, he has played very well.
              A total combined 11fWAR…though each year he has declined.
              I suppose Klentak will non-tender him and let him walk… it would be ironic if the Phillies decide to bring back Freddy G as a utility guy, at half Cesar’s salary
              Kind of like a Marwin Gonzo or Cubs’ Ben Zobrist

          1. Is it an option to give CeHe something like a 3/$18 contract? I’m not saying that would make him more marketable in a trade or would it?

            1. Cesar is the poster child of the mediocrity that defined these last 8 years. Not a bad player per se, but it’s time to move on….

            2. DMAR…..the reality of it all, Cesar’s last arb year may be the largest AAV he will ever get again in his career as he is 31 when he enters true free agency.

              Granted he is probably an average to a notch below player at this point as he ages going forward however your idea on a 3 year contract like that may make him more marketable in the trade arena, especially a team who gets an injury at second base and needs a replacement..
              Would he take it….I think he may since as a free agent he probably is looking at $2/3M AAV for the next 3 maybe 4 years.

          2. It’s tough being the guy replacing a legend like Utley. For years, I disliked McCarthy for replacing Kalas, and Manuel for replacing Bowa. I’ve always quietly been in the Hernandez camp. But, that’s a lot of money for a second base only guy with little power. I understand replacing him for the right reason(s), I just don’t understand the hatred.

            1. Jim, my “hatred” of him isn’t personal. Seems like a quiet, unassuming kid who just wants to play baseball. It is really about how he has lasted this long as a non-impact player with a very limited skill set. I do admit he’s made the most of what he’s got to work with. The last couple of years remind me of when I was a kid sitting at the dinner table, complaining to my mom, “Aww, meatloaf AGAIN?!” Cesar is that menu item that nobody orders or can understand why it’s even on the menu. Except for Rocco, of course.

            2. I don’t understand the hatred either. Cesar has been a solid (albeit unspectacular) player. He has worked his butt off to have a MLB career. He’s not Chase Utley, and I don’t fault Cesar for not being Chase Utley. Cesar has not been the problem during his entire tenure with the Phillies. Other than the occasional brain cramp, I have zero issues with Cesar.

  27. But, Romus, I look at this a little differently. And, I am not trying to ignite more Cesar debate. I simply think that Kingery is our best option at second base. I think his bat continues to grow and his D is far superior. Cesar will make $11.8M, too much to pay him for what he brings. Whatever we get is a bonus, because Kingery moves to his natural position, and it frees up money, specifically to pay the raise for JTR. Two things come to mind, not necessarily exactly the same, but close enough. Gillick trading Bobby Abreu, for nothing, to give the next generation ownership of the club. He was a much better player than Cesar, despite the fact that he had a phobia about the OF wall in RF. Second, we traded Polly Polanco, a much better player than Cesar, to make room for Chase. I am, in no way, comparing Kingery to Utley, but the point, to me, is the same. Kingery gives us a chance to have a future All Star at 2b, or, at least, an above average player, at less money than Cesar, who won’t get better than what he is. And, doesn’t the fact that we have spent 2 years talking about how little value he brings back show that he is not viewed as a very good player?

    1. Oh I am not disagreeing ….I get the whole core/long term plan.
      And Gillick did do something like that…to move on.
      Kingery has to go back to his natural position as you say.
      Whether or not Klentak has the fortitude to make those changes is the question.
      He seems to be risk averse in certain areas..

    2. Kingery is also our best option at shortstop. Don’t be surprised …

      We cannot trade Hernandez if we don’t tender him a contract. If we tender, he either signs or goes to arbitration. Arbitration seems to be determined by service time more than production. He’s going to get a lot of money based on comps. This will make him too expensive to trade unless we eat a large portion of his salary. This defeats the purpose of trying to clear salary. Plus, I think there are restrictions on how quickly you can flip a guy who goes to arbitration. Like maybe opening day or soon after. Comes down to tendering him or not and letting him become a free agent. I say, not. If Kingery plays SS, Segura moves to 2B.

  28. Doesn’t anyone think Strasburg will opt out or he’s just not an option for the Phillies? I could be wrong but I believe a trio of Strasburg, Wheeler and Smyly will almost equal to what Cole would cost us. I for one would prefer the latter.

    1. bishop, sounds nice but I think the trio you mentioned likely exceeds 40mil per year in salary. Strasburg is likely to top 28-30mil, he already has an option of 3 years @ 25mil a piece. Wheeler, I’d imagine is closer to a 15mil a year pitcher, possibly more. Signing both is not a bad way to go. Strasburg can dominate, and it would really hurt WAS to take him away, along with Harper lol.

      Hoping tonight the Astros can pull this out, putting the dagger in WAS fan’s hearts 🙂 GM7 losses are brutal!

    2. After the performance yesterday, Strasburg is going to opt out. And the Nationals will have no choice but to pay up.

      1. Strasburg has been a beast. But at this stage of his career, I’m not comfortable with his age, injury history and the amount of bullets he actually has left. That’s just me. But I could be persuaded….

  29. With Klentak declaring, “No questions asked: it is time to win right now” – I have a few questions.

    How long into a drawn out Boras led free agent market will the Phillies wait to sign a Cole…or a Strasburg….or whoever, before committing the necessary dollars to other necessary pieces?

    If Jim’s suggestion that Kingery/Segura could be our keystone combination, who plays 3b with such a WIN NOW urgency? Trade? Free agent? Is Bohm close enough to bite the bullet for a month or two with the Bamboo Bambino?

    If they aren’t trading their top prospects, who from the major league roster would be trade bait? And if the trade market isn’t the way, how much salary space is there really?

    Whatever the answers, Klentak will have to show some creativity. And some guys. This will be a gun fight, Matt. Leave the pocket knife home.

    1. I’m not going to pay all that much attention to GM statements. I prefer to watch what they do.

      As best you can you have to run your franchise with little emotion

    2. Worst case scenario? Franco, until Bohm is ready to come up. He’s cheaper than Hernandez. Best case, other than Bohm being ready to move up? A free agent who won’t mind being a place holder for Bohm. Like, maybe, Brad Miller. Actually, I guess the real worst case would be Segura with Hernandez retained to play second. Then Segura moves to second when Bohm comes up and Hernandez goes to the bench (or gets traded, good luck with that salary).

      1. If the Phillies don’t feel that Cesar is worth that salary, then he’s gone. No need to give him all that money and then try to trade him later.

        As for finding a stop gap for 3B, it’s easy to get those off the street. Brad Miller, if nobody gives him a starter job. I’m sure Freddy Galvis would do it.

  30. Hinkie, what can you tell us about Japanese CF Shogo Akiyama? (other than he’s a 31 year old left handed bat, .301 career BA with decent pop and very good glove.) He’s just entered the MLB free agent market without any posting fee or strings attached. Mariners, Dbacks, Padres and Cubs are known to have scouted him.

    And will the Phillies ever catch some big Asian fish with your sushi chef plan? Are Asian players too squeamish to settle in the City of Brotherly Love?

  31. Bishop, I believe Strasburg opts out. I just don’t think the Nats lose both him and Rendon, and I think they keep Strasburg with a re-configured contract. If he is available, and I can get Strasburg, then he definitely becomes high on my list. But, there is no way that Strasburg, Wheeler and Smyly cost what Cole does. If you figure Cole at $35M, then Strasburg will push 30 and Wheeler will push $20M. So, Cole is still my choice, by far, although I know the chances of getting him are not great.,

      1. Romus, Smyly might get $10M on a 1 yr prove it deal…maybe. But he’s more likely to accept $8M-$10M. Don’t think many teams are ready to risk giving him multiple years with even a lower AAV. The Phillies may be one if they can sign one of the big ticket SPs.

        1. He is at $7M now on a post-TJ contract
          He will get a few sheckles more than that I am sure since he did pitch in 2019 and is still in his prime as a lefty, who command a little more than a RHP counterpart of the same age and circumstances..
          I am sure he will have offers to choose from and will take the best.
          Theo got him cheap because of the TJ issue, then used him in the Hamels trade to the Rangers..

        2. Personally regardless of what the Phillies do I bring Smyly in on a 1 year $5-10 million deal and have him and Eflin compete for the 5th starters job if they sign 2 starters and the loser fill a swingman type role OR he can be the #5 guy if they bring in Cole.

          He could be improved with another year away from TJ surgery and showed some improvement with the Phillies last year.

  32. Romus – I would hope Miller plays 3B for a very short time because he is less than adequate at the hot corner.

    Moffo – Love reading your comments and almost always agree with them. Ice Cube was never a drug dealer.

    1. ciada…..Miller would definitely have to be short term…..but we still do not know if Bohm will actually be much of a defensive upgrade at third also.
      I suppose Walding will still be around if he decides to sign a minor league contract with the Phillies.

      It stills ,mystifies me why Gamboa was put on the 40….that spot now could be used for another MLB infielder.

      1. “Bohm, whose ability to stick at third base has previously been questioned, made a number of sharp plays at the hot corner and showed he was more than up to the task at the position.” This is from Kyle Glaser (Baseball America) in a report on the US team practicing in AZ. link –

        The article also speaks well of his in-game power. SP is a problem. Neither Howard or Seabold are in the 4-man rotation at this point.

        1. All the good news on Bohm’s defense is welcomed for sure.
          Since he was drafted the constant theme was not how good his bat would play in the majors, but where he would play.
          I am sure he is tired from hearing all that chatter about his defense.

  33. As we head into another off season I’d like to remind MK that OPS matters and it matters a lot.

    The Astros had 8 regulars at 850+; 2 1000+ and 3 900+ players Ranked 1 in all of baseball

    The Nats had 5 regulars at 850+; 1 1000+ and 3 900+ Ranked 6 in all of baseball

    The Phillies by contrast had Harper at 882; Dickerson at 886 and Miller 941 (both SSS I even hesitate to mention them); everyone else was sub 850 and only 3 were in the 800’s. Rank 17.

    The Twins went from 18th in OPS in 2018 to 2nd in 2019. How you ask? They added 1 player with a track record of high OPS Nelly Cruz and he gave them 1000+.

    Yeah OPS alone isn’t going to win you a WS or even get you there but its the strongest indicator of a playoff team and winning your division.

    1. Totally agree with you, DMAR. Give me a player’s OPS from month to month and year to year over WAR any day. It’s a real measure of the player’s productivity than a statistic which is relative to that of a largely watered down field.

      1. Qualifying comment – WAR of truly great players like Mike Trout isn’t revelation. It’s the lower WAR figures of lesser talent that isn’t as reliable.

        1. So again Rendon should be a guy we back the truck up for….

          At least make it difficult for any other team that wants to sign him especially the Nats.

          1. If we (Klentak and Middleton) are balancing between the likelihood of signing EITHER Cole OR Rendon, my argument is that we can reasonably assume that Rendon is a likelier target to aim for and hit.

            Do we need pitching much more than bats? Certainly. But what a jolt to the lineup if we sign Rendon and Wheeler. I’m more inclined to accept Hinkie’s suggestion that Drew Smyly might become the next Mike Minor without giving up the talent capital by re-signing him. And our collective chips seem to be on Howard at some point in 2020. The bullpen may get more attention than the rotation since relievers are more available and accessible.

            We can afford either Cole or Rendon. The FO must first determine which is more likely to sign with the Phillies and GO GET HIM! Time will be of the essence. They can’t afford to wait to play Boras’ clients against each other. Aim, shoot and sign. It may require blowing rival suitors like NYY, WSH, LAA, or TEX out of the water, and early in the off season.

      2. I disagree. OPS is important but it needs to be compared to what the other players are doing. By itself, if you look at Rhys Hoskins, his OPS in 2019 was 819 which I think a lot of players would kill for. From the starters, only Harper and Realmuto was higher. But then you compare him to other 1B and you realize that it blows when compared to the likes of Freddie Freeman (938 OPS) or Anthony Rizzo (924 OPS). And their oWar will reflect it: Hoskins has a 1.9 oWar. If it seems low, you will probably wonder why and you’ll find out when you look at other 1B. There’s your value of WAR.

        1. I think Hoskins OPS is skewed due to the fact he was fairly solid pre ASB. Sure he racked up some walks after the ASB, but that is all he really did. He disappeared when the Phillies needed him most.

          1. His RISP was abysmal…..28% IFFB was one of the worst in the league…league averages below 10% most years.
            His BA was only .219…with a 19% BB rate

            1. I think Joe Girardi will stand up to FO and their one size fits all philosophy. This will help Hoskins, Kingery, Eflin, Pivetta, and others.

              Maybe that is why they jettisoned Mackanin because they needed to manipulate field personnel so Kapler was the figurehead.

  34. I think Hoskins gets much better than what we saw post All Star break last season. I just believe in him, his ability, and his work ethic. I think with a good coach he bounces back. Which ties in to my next point. I want Bohm and Hoskins to both be on the team. They cannot both play 1B. So, SP is a much bigger need for me than Rendon, as good as he is. We can’t get Rendon and Cole, and we can’t get Rendon and Wheeler and another SP. And, we don’t get Rendon and a TOR by trading Bohm. It would cost much more, and I can’t think of the SP I would package Bohm to get, who is available. I don’t trade Bohm period, until he proves he cannot play 3B.

    1. I would not be disappointed if they traded Hoskins. He is good for about two months of the season.

      1. As much as I have blamed Hoskins for his performance this year, you are not going to get value for Hoskins if you trade him. And if that’s the case, then just keep him. He’s making peanuts and he’s not blocking anybody.

        1. But he is blocking somebody he’s blocking Bohm.

          Is anyone here really going to make the argument that Hoskins/Bohm is better than Anthony Rendon?

          or that Cole can someone how have a bigger net affect on wins pitching once every 5th day for this atrocious line-up.

          and which is it Hoskins is too good so we can’t give him up or he is so bad that he’s not worth anything? I’m so confused.

            1. I am not hitting coach but he needs to learn to be aggressive. I saw way too many ABs where he’d look at a meatball right down the middle for the first pitch.

            2. TrollU….agree.
              Seems he took too many in the zone strikes.
              He may be a guess hitter early in the count.

            3. Romus – seems like it was always with runners on. Pitchers knew they could just throw one down the middle and he’d let it go. If he ever changed his philosophy, we’d maybe see a considerable uptick in his numbers

          1. As of right now, he’s not blocking anybody including Bohm. We need to give Bohm every chance to stick at 3B. That is where his value is. If Bohm needs to be moved off 3B, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

            As for your last question about Hoskins, he’s somewhere in the middle. He had a subpar year (for a 1B). Since he’s not going to bring back anything significant in a trade, keep him and hope for a rebound. After 2020, the Phillies can re-evaluate keeping him or not.

  35. Bryan Price is reportedly the favorite to become the next pitching coach of the Phillies, according to Matt Breen.

  36. Don’t know what Missanelli heard but he just had Joe G on. Brought up Dante Bichette’s name as possible hitting coach candidate. Girardi didn’t bite, nor could he. Only said that PC is the focus now and later in the week they will turn to address the HC opening.

  37. Corey Seidman today:
    “At the much-discussed press conference earlier this month with the Phillies’ top three decision-makers, Andy MacPhail referenced lost draft picks when the topic of drafting/player development failures came up. He pointed out that in the 2018 draft, the Phillies did not have a second- or third-round pick because of the signings of Carlos Santana and Jake Arrieta the prior offseason. They lost their second-rounder in 2019 with the Bryce Harper signing”

    ……hope this is not an excuse. First round picks have to be the HRs…not 2nd or 3rd rounders.

  38. DMAR, my view is Hoskins Bohm and a TOR is better than Rendon. We do bot get Rendon and a top SP. To me, you have a good argument that the Hoskins we saw post All Star break isn’t worth much. I don’t believe that is him. Now, I may be totally wrong, but I believe Hoskins will be a very productive hitter for us for years. I am betting on him. Time will tell, but I don’t think about trading him. And, I don’t believe Rendon is on our radar, at all.

  39. Rhys clearly takes too many first pitches down the middle. Maybe having a clear thinker as manager will help, as in, “Rhys, the object is to hit the ball, not to take pitches. Running up the pitch count is a consolation prize. It isn’t the goal.”

    1. It’s still a business decision for both the players and the organization. Odds are the Nats keep one but definitely not both. The championship won’t decide for either case. It’s about the money.

      1. That makes sense because he will by far cost the Nats WAY more than Strasburg who solidifies their rotation. I wouldn’t be surprised if Boras and the Lerners have already ironed out that scenario, especially when Rendon is a completely different situation, and Boras is his agent as well.

      2. Probably correct….looks like they may hope Carter Kieboom can step up next season….maybe at third or second with Kendrick headed over to third..

        1. Oops…Kendrick is a FA….so he may be gone.
          Nats have decisions to make…Dozier, Zimmerman , Kendrick, Eaton all could be gone with Rendon. They will need to pick up options on many of them if they want them to stay.

  40. Okay….on to the off season!

    I’d like to hear what some folks think about Matt Gelb’s piece on the Phillies and their two alternate plans – one where they sign Gerrit Cole, and the other where they don’t. It doesn’t sound like they’re going to be content leaving 3b to Brad Miller.

    If they sign Cole, they would still look at signing either Josh Donaldson or Mike Moustakas.

    If they don’t sign Cole, they would try to sign Anthony Rendon and pursue 2 SPs.

    Don’t ask me how the team’s salary structure would be broken down or whether they would have to breach the luxury tax threshold. But Gelb has been tuned in to these dynamics before. I’m looking forward to THE most important Phillies off season in quite some time.

    1. I prefer option 1 as we’ll be getting the best pitcher in the game and then a very good place holder until Bohm is ready. On that note, I would take option 2 as well because prospects are just that and you can never have enough good players. Either way I’m confident something will be done that will really help out our team

  41. Joe Girardi rang the bell before last night’s 76ers game, and then got to watch JoJo ring KAT’s bell during the game.

    1. Girardi did not ring the bell. Miles Sanders did as there was a host of Eagles attending the game. I bet they loved the fight and loved the crowd reaction to it. Philly Tough! Let’s go Phillies, get us a team we can rally behind!!!

  42. Can you imagine if it was Gabe Kapler who pulled Greinke last night? Hinch must be taking some heat down in Houston…

    Anyway, speaking of the bullpen, something to keep in mind is that Joe Girardi likes multiple innings relievers. That may give guys like Velasquez and Pivetta a shot under the new pitching coach Bryan Price, who will probably be announced today or tomorrow.

  43. Congrats to the Nats.
    Martinez’s move has to be applauded… saving Scherzer for the 7th game…and trusting Strasburg to get them there.
    And again that July 2017 trade….now who did we get for Howie Kendrick?….oh that’s right McKenzie Mills. Give Rizzo back a checkmark on that trade…makes up for the one he lost on the Paps/Pivetta trade..

      1. I look at it this way….Paps is done with a negative bWAR with the Nats…Piv has a positive bWAR with the Phillies and still has a future…and if moved he becomes a trade chip asset.

    1. Got Mills but then traded him for Justin Bour and then got nothing when he left as a free agent.

      1. Rizzo should invite Matt Klentak to ride on the FO float down Pennsy Ave on Saturday…..without Kendrick there is some doubt if the Nats would have even made it to the WS.
        Such an innocuous trade at the time…who would ever thought it would be pivotal in bringing a championship to the Nats.

        And Bryce must feel some bitter-sweet emotions today.

        1. true that Romus. As odd and sometimes negative as it sounds a superstar player can often suck all the air out of room. In some ways we saw that with Bobby Abreu’s exit.

          And again why did Hinch pitch to Soto with 1B open. That’s a fire-able offense in my view.

          At the end of the day I can’t say I am happy for Nats fans but I am happy that a team that still believes in old school scouting edged out the team that fired virtually off of theirs

      2. but Dodgers had salary dumped Kendrick on us for Ruf and Sweeney, then Kendrick took them down in the NLCS.

    2. Don’t think he “saved” Scherzer for game 7. He was scratched from game 5 with a neck issue and got a cortisone shot. Wasn’t available until game 7…

      Sometimes you just get lucky..

      1. 3up…..maybe it was lucky….but I still remain skeptical that Scherzer actually woke up with a ‘neck cramp’ so bad he could not pitch on his scheduled day.
        If he had pitched on Sunday he would not be available for the 7th game…unless like Cole it was in a relief role

        1. Having gone through it Romus I believe it. What Scherzer described has happened to me a few times. I’m not a looney Chiropractic guy but I do have one and when I’ve had those episodes seeing him has been very effective.

          to the point where after 2 adjustments I can’t believe just a couple days ago I couldn’t even stand up straight

        2. @romus – I don’t think that the Nat’s intentionally reserved Scherzer for Game 7 especially Game 5 was pivotal and the Nats will prefer to have the 3-2 advantage going back to HOU. None of this matters now since WAS beats HOU in the road, but I do believe that Scherzer is not medically cleared to pitch in Game 5.

      1. I wanted the Stros to win,
        …but give the Nats their due,
        …and just hope it is one and done.

  44. Losing last night should make a coke really want to win that last game of the playoffs next year. Yankees v Phillies for Cole!

  45. I rooted for the Astros, although their response to the situation with the SI writer made them look terrible. The Nats deserve kudos. They were 12 games under .500 on May 23! 2 lessons for our Front Office: Making the Playoffs DOES matter, even as a Wild Card team, and no one in DC or any of their fans cares one bit about the 6th year on Patrick Corbin’s contract. Go get the best SP on the market, sign a stop gap to play 3B, build a Bullpen, and go make the Playoffs.

    1. Matt I don’t think the Nats were a WC team in the sense that they usually are. An argument can be made they were the best team in baseball from June on.

      Rendon ends up as the NL MVP IMO and they had lost him for how many games early in the season.

      Otherwise I agree with you. A few teams are looking a little silly right now for not getting Corbin the Yankees more so in my view.

      1. DMAR…they lost Turner after the Phillies pitcher clipped him on the thumb and fractured it. When he returned they reversed that 19-31 start, and took off.

        1. That’s right Romus so you made the point even further we were never the same caliber of team that they were…

  46. I’m always glad when playoffs end when Phillies aren’t in it so we can immediately get to the off season. What is next? Trade season opens now. Let’s look forward.

  47. Jimmy proposed yesterday that the stop gap for 3B is already on the team in Franco and after thinking about it he is right. Gives him all of ST and maybe a month into the season to build some value then you trade him and promote Bohm.

    Franco isn’t going to cost much in ARB and CeHe is likely gone. Or they could go to Cesar with a 3/$11 offer to bring his AAV way down then trade him.

    The first news we should hear this off season is JT’s extension. If that doesn’t get done you have to consider trading him.

  48. The Phils didn’t get much for Kendrick is correct. If I’m not mistaken, I think they even paid part of his salary (2 M?) for this past season.

    1. No you’re wrong. Kendrick signed with the Nationals as a FA after the Phillies traded him there in 2017.

    2. We could cry over the Kendricks and Mortons all day every day, but the only way to wash away those sour grapes is by doing what’s necessary to challenge for the NL East. And Bryce Harper’s exit from DC had nothing to do with them winning it all. He had the 3rd most productive season of his career in 2019. It was their time, nothing more. Good for them. Let’s move on….

  49. DMAR, I agree with you that the Nats were better than a typical WC team. But, I still maintain that making the Playoffs matters, and they were not the first WC team to win it all. The first objective, though, is to make the Playoffs. And a good Starting Rotation keeps you in games, and anything can happen, even a little bit of luck. I really can’t wait to see what unfolds. How about Todd Frazier as a stop gap?

    1. Sure Matt it does matter we don’t disagree there. The Phillies would have had to mortgage too much to get there is what I am saying during the season.

      I also agree that they could have been more aggressive with pitching last off season e.g. either Corbin or Morton for sure.

      But once the season got underway they weren’t likely to trade there way into the playoffs.

      1. DMAR, I don’t object to not trading high value prospects to try to get into the Playoffs last year. My problem was that there were BP options available without a high price tag, and we didn’t get any. DFAs or outright releases was our avenue to improve. We could have and should have done better. I never got the sense of trying very hard, and I had a big problem with that. Anyway, I am over the Corbin/Morton mistakes, and looking forward to this year. And, although maybe not a major piece, but an important one, is back up C. Girardi mentioned 120 games as optimal for JTR. That means we need to upgrade from Knapp’s terrible performance last year. We can’t have 200 ABs at those numbers. His numbers were simply not nearly good enough, and he does not make up for it with stellar D play. The whole bench needs an upgrade.

    2. I like Frazier but I think if you’re going to go outside for the stop gap 3B he needs to be able to play other positions adequately and that’s not the Todd father 🙂

    3. I understand that you want the Phillies to sign a good stop gap player but you will have to convince the player to agree to that situation. Let’s face it, players want to start (and get paid). If a player thinks he’s still starter material, he will not sign to be a stop gap or in a platoon. Now obviously, there will be some veterans who sign to be part of a winning team, but from all my years watching baseball, that stuff rarely happens. And you will still have to pay that player above average money to be a backup. Usually stop gaps come from players who are trying to stay on a MLB roster, like Brad Miller.

      I think Todd Frazier can still start somewhere. If the Phillies can convince him to be a stopgap, I’m all for it.

    4. @matt – I agree with you that a good starting rotation keeps you in games. And I want to add — that having a legit stud in the matters a lot. Hamels did that in the 2008 run, MadBum in their 3 WS run and Strasburg proved that this year.

      That’s why I like to reiterate my pursuit of a top arm like Gerrit Cole over a Zach Wheeler or alternatives.

      With a Chris Young gone, I believe that Aaron Nola (if Bryan Price will not mess him up) can pitch like the 2018 Nola and provide that 1-2 punch with Gerrit Cole and Spencer Howard has the stuff to make the Big 3 that can match any Big 3 SP in the MLB.

  50. Watching the world series as a fan, which one is worst…knowing that your team is a small market team with limited financial resources that may never be able to fairly compete with the large market teams…or being a fan of a large market team with good financial resources, but just doesn’t seem to get it together to consistently play in the postseason/ world series?

    1. The first one. When you wake up in the morning in Februrary, ST has started, a new season is right around the corner, and you know that your team just can’t compete with the big boys. The season is over before it has even started. That blows.

  51. Bryan Price is the new Pitching Coach! Hinkie, your thoughts, please? He turned down offers frrom SD and Arizona. I know he was a Manger, but I don’t know much about his career as a PC.

    1. I hope Bryan Price is a Girardi pick not the FO. Why not Rothschild? I want this team to be a Joe G Team.

      1. Denny, Price was tabbed to be Girardi’s PC with Team USA. So, there already is a relationship. He may want to go with a younger, fresh voice after so many years with Rothschild with NYY.

  52. Barf, also the latter. Robert Stock added off SD roster. High 90’s stuff, a good debut in 2018, but a mediocre 2019, and a biceps injury ended his season on the 60 day IL. A shot, and as you can see, I will be excited about any news, no matter how minor.

  53. For me, it is the second one by far…knowing that your team is what, in the fourth largest marketplace, has all those financial resources, but just doesn’t seem to know how to hire the best talent evaluators, coaches, managers, etc.

    Oh well, hopefully, next year is the dawn of a new era!

    1. resident Reds fan in my office didnt like the way Price handled his pitchers as a manager, but probably fine as just pitching coach.
      this is the only thing that comes to mind when i think of Price

      1. I like his style lol He dropped more f bombs in that one answer than in all of WWII. Told it like it is. That reporter was pissed, put in his place … as candidly as he could 🙂

  54. I think striking out on Mickey Calloway was a big miss. I don’t have a feel for Bryan Price as a pitching coach. His experience should be a plus. I suspect (having been a manager) he has very good people/communication skills. A new/mature/accomplished pitching coach could/should have a positive impact on the younger guys (Pivetta/Eflin/Velasquez).

    As far as Robert Stock goes …. Heck Yeah !!! Why not? He throws in the upper 90’s. It’s like finding a Mega Millions ticket on the sidewalk. You pick it up (for nothing but a 40 man spot). It could turn out to be a winner.
    The Phillies should be on the hunt for bullpen arms with premium stuff. I think they could be in play for a couple of other high ceiling, bounce back candidates for the ‘pen:
    Dellin Betances was hurt for practically all of 2019. He’s elite if he can regain his health. He’s a FA, and has (obviously) worked for Joe Girardi in NY.
    Blake Treinen was excellent in 2018. He had a bad 2019. He’s projected to get ~8 million thru arbitration this winter. The A’s may non-tender (or trade) him.

    1. Agreed. I think the Phillies need to focus on upside in potential bullpen acquisitons. In that vein I’d like to throw this name into the mix:

      Raisel Iglesias

      Price worked with him in CIN and he seemed to fall out of favor with management over there. He and Neris would be a good 1-2 punch at the back end of games.

  55. With the WS over, the fun starts. I don’t necessary agree with how the Phillies team is being built, but anything that takes less of McPhail and Klentak influence to the team is a good move. Joe Girardi is a killer move. Calloway as a pitching coach should be a slam dunk but I’ll take Bryan Price is still a nice pick. Net piece to fall is the hitting coach and I’m OK with a reunion with Matt Stairs.

    The Phillies has so much garbage in their 40-man which can make the waiver claim of Robert Stock an instant hit.

  56. The Nats is arguably not the best MLB team but what the Nats front office proved is —- if you continue to find home grown talent (i.e. Soto, Rendon), takes care of your own talent (Strasburg) and have guts to spend to acquire more talent (Scherzer, Corbin) — breaks will eventually fall into your hands as long as you keep a competitive team.

    Also, one common factor I noticed in WAS and HOU – both teams bought their arms (Cole, Verlander, Greinke, Sherzer, Corbin) and grow their bats.

    With a 5-0 postseason record and a WS ring, Strasburg should opt out and test the market.

    1. As much as I don’t want to admit it, because a strong part of me says the nats got hella lucky, that aside, they are built for the postseason. If you can roll out 3 aces like that, with a strong lineup, you’re set. Having those 3 top guys, minimized their bullpen weakness, keeping the scubs on the bench. I’ll
      Give’em credit, their record since June is the best in baseball (*asterisk is the schedules), which i was very surprised at. Maybe the Phillies are farther along than I thought if the Braves and Nats are that good. The nats will likely lose significant pieces this offseason, but they got their ring in before, kudos to them for that.

      Astros missed Morton too!

      1. who knows, if Yelich is healthy the Nats might go down in the wildcard game- but they earned and deserved this championship fully. i thought the bullpen would be their downfall- ironic that is was the Astros bullpen instead.

        1. In the playoffs, it really helps a lot if a team will have a stud SP that can hold any team down (i.e. Hamels and MadBum, etc). Strasburg’s 5-0 in the playoffs is key in the Nats winning the WS.

      2. I don’t hate the Nats as much as I have the Braves and the Muts. But I really like their FO’s aggressive mindset of building a competitive team either via trade or FA. It helps big time that the Nats are finding talents which some of them they used in trades.

        It is really hard to build a perfect team unless your scouting hits a lot with their local and international picks. But finding and adding talent (easier said than done) is always be the backbone of a winning team — this is where Matt Klentak is really, really bad. Lucky for Phillies fan, Middleton is willing to open his wallet to cover the weaknesses that this current FO have.

        1. Finishing low in the standings and gaving Harper, Strasburg, Rendon and others would help staying high in competition over the years.

          They tanked years before Sixers. Trust the process.

          1. Denny…maybe?
            “Harper, Strasburg, Rendon” …Nat
            Harper, Nola, Bohm……Philies
            Now the Phillies could use the equivalent, or maybe just a close facsimile, of a Soto or Acuna to step up from their farm.

          2. Yes, the Nats are unbelievably to have the shot on drafting Stras and Harper (who is not is the WS winning team) as consensus 1.1 pick. Stars and Rendon are low hanging fruits – the Nats used their prospect equity to trade for Trea Turner, Adam Eaton and Howie Kendrick who helped with the WS run and there’s Juan Soto, Victor Robles and some R4 and IFA picks that are doing well in their farm.

            I don’t want to spend more time discussing what the Nats did, but if you look at their recent R4 drafts, IFA, trades and FA signings — the FO swings hard and hits in some of them. Something that you cannot say with McPhail and Klentak.

        2. How cool would it be if both Cole and Strasburg ended up on the Angels LOL It could happen. I don’t think either come here being Southern CA guys and who wouldn’t want to play with the best player in baseball.

          If Strasburg does anything on the East Coast it would probably be a re-up with the Nats.

          I mean after seeing how the Harper drama unfolded I’m not sure Stras has the stomach for that.

          Rendon is going to break the bank and they have Carter Kieboom who at 21 hit 301/409/902 in AAA this season.

          Lots of story lines to follow….

          1. DMAR…just think about that payroll…..Trout, Pujols, Upton. Simmons, Cozart Cole and Strasburg….$160M plus for 7 players…..the other 33 on Moreno’s 40, better be rookies.

      3. Tac3…..yeah…..some down there in ‘Stros country are wondering why did they let Morton ever walk….then have to go and get and pay Greinke later in the season.
        Same as we were saying for years now.
        Stros now will be counting on hi-velo/hi-walk Whitley to make his mark in that rotation in 2020.

        1. Astro’s had to know when they traded for Greinke they weren’t going to be in the sweepstakes for Cole.

          The AZ do send the following money back in the deal

          Trade Assignment Bonus: $2M (paid by Arizona – 2019)
          Arizona pays additional $3.3M in 2019, $10.3M in 2020, & $10.3M in 2021

          Not sure how that works in terms of which team absorbs salary cap implications. Does the money AZ is paying for 2020 and 2021 stay on their books or does it all shift to the Astro’s?

          1. I think there’s a strong belief in HOU that Gerrit Cole will pitch for a different team starting next season. I will not be surprised if HOU will reset (not necessarily tank and rebuild) by trading Verlander, Greinke, etc and come back strong again in 2 years time.

            1. Luhnow will have to be some sort of a David Copperfield if he is able to trade either or both Verlander and Greinke.
              I suppose it is possible if he is willing to pick up the bulk of their remaining salary, but still the Stros will need to replace the value of the two arms on the field…along with LHP 33-year old Wade Miley who may move on as a FA.
              McCullers comes back for them along with their top prospect…but they are both questionable in their value in their first year back and as a rookie in Whitley’s case..

            2. @romus – both Verlander and Greinke have 2 years left, $66M and $70M, respectively. 2 years commitment may not be that bad so contending teams to absorb. Of course, no team will pay a king’s ransom anymore for 36 yo pitchers.

              Since it will not be rebuild, HOU might ask for a MLB ready pitchers rather than top prospects. For discussion purposes, will a Verlander (or Greinke) for Zac Eflin (or Nick Pivetta) + JoJo Romero + David Parkinson trade viable for both teams?

              It is also possible that HOU will only move one or Verlander or Greinke to anchor a young rotation of Whitley, Aaron Sanchez, Peacock, McCullers, Martes.

            3. Those proposals may work, though have been hearing that Pivetta will be on the block, and Eflin looks to be staying, along with VV.
              The others JoJo and Dave Parkinson..I have no clue.
              But IMO, they will look for a starting LHP for the rotation.
              Girardi likes to have his share of them
              That is why my guess is MK makes a play for either Minor or Boyd…I personally would also see if Freeland would be moving from the Rox..

          2. DMAR….Dback’s are still on the hook …it appears for $10.3M per year under the cap restrictions.
            “Dumping Greinke’s salary should allow the Diamondbacks to spend the savings in a variety of ways in the future, but Hazen said it was far from the only consideration”

            Astros would have to account under the cap for aprox the other $50M or so.

    1. Neshek is 39 and pitched in only 50 games over 2 years, with a brutal 5.00 ERA this season. He might have to settle for a minor league deal with an invite to ST.

  57. I can see the Phillies dropping 12-15 players from the current 40 man roster over the next few days. But then I count 6 players who will be returning from the 60 day IL. So there should be a net of 6-9 openings before the rule 5 roster is set.

  58. So this on Price’s pitching philosophy before managing the Reds:

    “I think pitchers need to throw more on the side,” Price said. “We have pitchers that come through our system that throw bullpen sides of 25 to 30 pitches when we get them, and I would like to see them have a bigger workload on their side days. I would like to see some pitchers throw twice between starts and I would like to see us build our starting pitchers into being able to carry a heavier workload in the minor leagues.”

    Price’s reasoning is this: Being overprotective of pitchers has not stemmed the tide of arm injuries. He figures it makes more sense to train their arms to handle the rigors of pitching a big-league workload rather than limit their growth potential with artificial pitch counts and overly regimented schedules.

    He points out that starter Anthony DeSclafani never threw a complete game at any point in the minors or majors until August of this past season. Reliever Caleb Cotham never pitched in back-to-back games before landing in Cincinnati via trade before the 2016 season.

    “And we have always used our common sense in this game,” he added. “If you’ve got a minor-league pitcher that goes out and throws a 120-pitch complete game, I’m not going to throw him another 120-pitch complete game the next time out. I might cut him back to five or six innings and 80 or 85 pitches. But we pay these guys a lot of money to play baseball and as a starting pitcher, you’re going to make eight or ten or twelve or twenty million (dollars). You better be out in the game a lot.”

    1. Sounds like cuddle time is over in philly. Good, and I agree with him. Prepare the body for The rigors of The season (with smart rest/scale back points) vs babying the body to get injured

    2. Having a sound pitching philosophy is nice to have. IMO, the biggest failure from Chris Young is the implementation of one-size fits all approach. Not all arms (pitchers) are created the same way. I like pitching coaches who apply philosophies to maximize strengths and fix weakness rather than developing pitchers for something they are not.

      With Johnny A. gone, and Girardi and Price on board, it will be interesting to see what will be the draft strategy next Rule 4 draft. Will the Phillies finally draft a high ceiling arm in Rd 1?

      1. At 15 you would think an arm would be the first priority.
        Stros got Whitley, a HS arm at 17….high risk /high reward.

        1. Agree. Unless a legit MLB ready (OF) bat falls at 1.15, the Phillies should be looking to draft and develop a potential TOR at pick 1.15. The starting position players are starting to shape like —- C JTR, 1B Rhys, 2B Kingery, 3B Bohm, SS Segura/Stott, OF – Harper, Haseley and FA.

          1. It’s funny. As disappointing as this team was and as many times as they have missed the mark with draft picks and free agents, they really do have the base to become something. They aren’t that far away, but they need a lot more pitching and they need their younger players to progress overall.

  59. Daaanmmnnn how about Cole wearing a “boras” hat out of the GM7 loss… basically like, I don’t need to stay for any mandatory interviews, I’m a free agent. That’s a few notches below driving a brinks truck to training camp, but it’s up there

    1. Very good sign for the Phillies. Eliminates any doubt he will go anywhere than to the highest bidder IMO.

      1. He may have been turned off by something about the culture of the Houston organization. He was certainly pitching like it was his walk year….or should we say K year?

    2. He always had a little edge about him, even as a Pirate….he is not a Nola/Eflin temperament….more on the lines of Jake and Verlander.

  60. Chris Young was hired because they fell in love with his knowledge of analytics. He never had coaching experience, clearly was not great at the actual “coaching” part. It was one of those “experiments” that didn’t work out. This is not knocking the analytics part. You have to be able to relate to players, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and be able to help them achieve their potential. One size fits all doesn’t work. I would love Price to unlock what is there with Eflin, Pivetta and Vinny. But, that is as they are fighting for the # 5 spot in the Rotation, not as SPs 3, 4 and 5. Speaking of reclamation projects, how about Blake Treinen?

    1. Padres are in a Rule 5 Dump.
      LHP relief pitcher Robbie Erlin s now out there as a bullpen candidate for someone…..IMO, he would be less than a $3 or 4M AAV signing……high ERA but decent FIP

    2. I normally sound like an anti-analytics here but I like to echo what you said — analytics plays an important role but it shouldn’t be the “end all, be all” thing. Data analytics with sound logical reasoning in the hands of an experienced decision maker is the balance that FO should look for.

      Eflin is possibly the easier fix amongst the trio. Eflin had shown how effective of a pitch he can be but his ceiling is closer to a #4, #3 if his CU becomes reliable.

      Pivetta and Vinny are prototypical stuff vs command case. Some pitchers develop late, but I’m not really sure if there’s enough development or projection left with Pivetta and Vinny. My sense is that Price should just enhance Pivetta’s and Vinny’s strengths and minimizing their weakness – ergo both need to be developed as high leverage pen arms.

      1. KuKo….Sam Fuld is the ‘interpreter’ and ‘guidance counselor’ between the players and the analytical data…players seem to like his skills in that regard..

      2. For me analytics in tandem with a solid coaching staff and scouting department should lead you to be able to identify diamonds in the rough. It should play a role in game playing.

        1. game planning*

          But you can’t be a slave to it. I personally think there may be a competitive advantage to having some more old school guys come back into the game. Seems like there’s a lot of group think across baseball. Need people thinking differently.

  61. Both Ben Davis and Jamie Moyer raved about Price. They found him to be a great teacher, able to break things down so they can be understood, and a coach who really cares about his players. He will pick up flaws in mechanics very quickly. Does not believe one style fits all, but insists on FB command. Girardi mentioned Pivetta specifically. He’s another guy intrigued by what appears to be a lot of talent. Maybe Price can unlock it. I wasn’t joking when I suggested during the season that what Pivetta needs most is time with Doc’s sports therapist Harvey Dorfner. None of the attempts to elevate any of the young Pitchers will stop the acquisition of more pitching this off season.

  62. My bad, Romus, I should have looked him up. Then Pivetta needs someone similar. I think his problems problems are mostly mental. A lot of baseball people saw him, and predicted a break out season. He certainly has the stuff. I thought he would really step up this past season. We were all wrong. I don’t want to just give up on him. That’s is why I made the sports therapist comment.

    1. He definitely helped our middle infielders, specifically with stolen base tags. That actually contributed to many of JT’s caught stealing numbers.

    2. Rejoining his old pal Manny. Dickerson will be missed. Hopefully the defense doesn’t regress and guys like Segura and Kingery absorbed his schooling enough to keep it up. Whatever Bohm may need to improve could have been helped by Bobby D once he arrived in the bigs, but oh well.

      1. I Really don’t know anything about our new Pitching Coach, What pitchers has he helped, how good were the staffs he coached? ty

        1. rocco…I guess every pitcher who has pitched for the Reds in the last 10 years, since he began as their PC in 2009 and ended up as their manager in the end.

          Some of the guys are Castillo, DeSlcafni, Bailey, , Cueto, Lorenzen, Leake, Finnegan, BP fames like Chapman and Iglesias lately. Then the older guys like Arroyo, Edinson Volquez and even Travis Wood. I do not know how many or all the bullpen arms he tutored..

  63. We meed to find an infield coach to replace him that continues the fine work he did. I am certain Girardi has a list of guys he knows. No rumors on hitting coach that I’ve seen. And, whatever we get for Odubel is fine. I care more about how much of his contract we have to eat.

    1. matt13……..I begin to wonder why a MLB infielder still needs an infield coach…especially after the season begins, since there are relatively few days of actual intense infield practice and if so, they are done sporadically.
      If they cannot field their position by the time they reach the majors….then there is some concern.
      Larry Bowa and others work with all the minor leaguers at the Complex… Bohm.
      In theory….there is no reason for an infielder to come up and not know the intricacies of fielding their position.
      In reality….it seems to happen with the chosen few, ie Cesar a few years back, but JRoll and Freddy had no issues when they arrived.

      1. Speaking of Freddy, the Reds have picked up his 2020 option. So much for the Galvis back to Philly talk.

        1. I guess they know what they are doing.
          Freddy would have been a good ‘Marwin Gonzo/Ben Zobrist’ type player.

            1. I would be SHOCKED if Sean Rodriguez ever appeared in a game for the Phillies again. He’s not good enough to withstanding being Philly tone deaf.

          1. Freddy Galvis is a backup. If the Reds are paying him to be a starter, they will eventually regret it.

            As a backup, he’s great. He can play multiple positions, he has a a good glove, he has some pop with the bat, and from what I hear, an excellent teammate.

      2. Romus, I think that the infield coach works on game situations, learning hitters’ tendencies, moving guys around a step or two, that kind of stuff. From all accounts, Dickerson was good at his job. I think that differs from Bowa and Schmitty working with young guys in ST. I think there is someone Girardi has in his mind.

  64. i may be in a minority here but i think the phillies should give odubel a second chance. he has served out his punishment. this entire sad episode could be the thing that kicks him into maturity. personally, i cringe when i remember some of the dumb things i did of the when i was young.

    not to minimize the seriousness of his behavior but today s atmosphere of wokeness seems to me to be somewhat overheated.

    1. Guess I don’t look at is as a second chance but rather as a final straw. Certainly the domestic violence issue was much bigger that the others but he’s has had past on-field issues with attitude, effort, etc.

      At this point, Haseley has shown enough to handle the job in the short-term and if his offense can’t sustain him there then they move on.

      They still own Odubel around $20 million. If they can recoup 1/2 of that in a trade it’s a bonus.

  65. jimhg, I mentioned on the other thread that I don’t want the team to deal with the distraction. There is a new Manager, a mandate to make the Playoffs, and while I believe in second chances, I don’t want Odubel’s to occur here. Yes, we all did dumb things as kids, but he is not a kid, and his was a little more than dumb. Let him do his growing up elsewhere.

  66. More on new Phillies reliever Robert Stock:

    * He’ll turn 30 YO in three weeks
    * Once upon a time … BA named him the Top 13 YO Player In America, the Top 14 YO Player In America, and then The Top 15 YO Player In America.
    * He was the youngest kid (14 YO) to ever play for the US National Junior Team.
    * He entered college (USC) when he was just 16 YO, and was a two way player there (pitcher & catcher)
    * He was a 2nd round pick by the Cardinals in 2009, and spent the first three seasons in MiLB as a catcher. He was part of a really good St Louis draft class: Shelby Miller (1st round), Joe Kelly (3rd round), Matt Carpenter (13th round), Trevor Rosenthal (21st round), and Matt Adams (23rd round).
    * His girlfriend/now wife convinced him to put together a you tube video of him working out/throwing a baseball to get rediscovered by MLB in 2016. That led to a tryout with the Reds, who signed him after the tryout.


    Good luck to the kid.

    1. Well now I want this guy to succeed. What a great video and may I say his wife is a keeper for pushing him and her help… Great job…

    2. Hinkie – many thanks !!! Wonderful introduction and a great job by both he and his wife. Good stuff !

  67. Hitting coach time. I really want someone who can teach two strike hitting. We need to cut down on the Ks and put the ball in play.

      1. Phil Plantier was on Giardi’s Team USA staff. Mentioned as an early adopter of analytics, previously worked with San Diego.

  68. With Aroldis Chapman possibly opting out tomorrow, and with Girardi familiarity, might he be a fit with the Phillies?

    1. I don’t see a fit. I’m not giving up a 2nd or 3rd (assuming they sign Cole) for a 32 year old reliever entering the downward slope of his career.

      Not to mention I don’t want Odubel on the team because of his off the field stuff. No on Chapman even if I was confident he’d be worth the money.

    2. According to a report this week by Mark Feinsand of, an unnamed major league executive predicted Chapman would land a four-year, $60-million contract on the open market that would double the years and cash remaining on his current pact.

  69. I had heard Hensley Meulens last week. Good for Mrs. Stock pushing him like that. Price was the Reds’ Manager in 2016 when he was signed, so should know him pretty well. We are overdue for a signing like this to pay off.

  70. Jim Callis of MLB ranked the top prospects out of the AFL….
    #6 Spencer Howard (2nd top pitcher behind only Astros’ Whitley who was #5)
    #7 Alec Bohm (whom Callis also sees eventually moving to 1b)

    1. Phillies should try to pry number 10 away from the Royals…tall and lanky Lynch pitched in Wilmington with the Blue Rocks this past season and has the potential to be a TOR. It would be a steep price but he could be a special lefty.

      1. Start with Rhys, Romus?
        If not, what would Hoskins get us?
        Reason I ask is, many people object to trading him while others claim his value isn’t all that, or he’s too affordable to let go of. I’m not sure what to think.

        1. Most GMs will normally not trade a pitcher…unless one is also included coming back to them.
          So with a Rhys package, would have to be another player, most likely a young pitcher or prospect…and no way IMO would it be Howard.

        2. Romus, how about Rhys to the Rays ( also in win now mode who could stand an upgrade at 1b/DH) in a package for 19 year old LHP Matt Liberatore? The Rays could opt for older FA’s like Abreu or Encarnacion but they tend to be more dollar conscious as a small market club.

          1. Now that is interesting…if both sides agree to that.
            That is really tempting…the potential of a TOR lefty and then Bohm slides to first I assume you are thinking.
            Then there is the TINSTAAPP theory that rears its head on occasion.
            Like to see what others on the board think of your proposal.

            1. We could also ask for some J2 money in return as well. The farm needs to be replenished with some real prospects. Liberatore would be a start. And yes, IMO it is inevitable that Bohm is a 1b despite all the protests to the contrary.

          2. I brought up the Rhys-to-the-Rays trade scenario a couple times before, so yea, I think that’s GM Middleton’s best way to get Klentak to get creative and add depth to this rotation. Honestly, TB is one of the few teams that have the SP depth to pull off a trade like this while still keeping a formidable rotation in tact–Morton, Snell, Glasnow, Honeywell, McKay, etc. They need an upgrade at 1B and, while the Rays normally value a brand of defensive versatility that Rhys may lack (see, LF experiment, 2018), he would be an upgrade over the Aguilar/Choi combo they ran out there up to and including the playoffs. They are likely to lose their RH power bat in Garcia as well, so that could be another push in the direction of a trade for a RH hitting 1st baseman. Yarbrough, Chirinos, and Baz for Rhys Hoskins. Right now we have ONE good pitcher, and I don’t think the Phils will land Cole. We gotta get a second-tier guy (Wheeler) and make a big trade in order to get Nola the help he needs. Rhys brings value offensively, for sure, but in my opinion it would be best to convert that value as efficiently as possible into pitching value.

  71. Strasburg has until noon tomorrow to opt-out of his Nats contract…..the parade starts at 2PM.
    I wonder if he will be wearing a Boras cap on his float?

  72. Jim Salisbury has some thoughts on a new hitting coach and possible destinations for Maikel Franco. He mentions Detroit was scouting him at the end of the season. For me … (and Salisbury didn’t suggest anyone from the Tigers) if de facto GM Middleton and assistant Klentak can flip Franco (and a middle tier prospect) for Daniel Norris, I’d be thrilled.

  73. Hinkie, correct me if I am wrong, but we heard the same thing about Franco last off season. In fact, Andy MacPhail actually said “maybe his next team will unlock what is in their.” Now, I think it is time for him to move on, but I will believe it when I see it. If Bohm is not ready for a while, and they don’t sign a Brad Miller as a stopgap/bench player, or a Todd Frazier, and I don’t think they even make an effort on Rendon, they may see Franco as a stopgap at 3B, and try to trade him later on.

    1. I will be absolutely shocked if Franco is back. However … I probably said the same after the 2018 season, too.

      1. Franco will have to be tendered @ approx. $7/8M if they plan on keeping him.
        They can still trade him and absorb some of that arb money he is owed for 2020.
        But if not tendered he is released and becomes a FA.
        I also think he is moved…and Detroit would be an ideal spot…add Vinny, Odubel, Cesar and Nick Williams and maybe get back both Norris and Boyd, along with another pitching prospect ..maybe a Faedo, since Manning, Mize, Skubal and Perez are probably untouchables.

        1. Wow! That’s some wishful thinking, Romus.
          Middleton wins Executive Of The Century if he somehow is able to flip Franco, Velasquez, CeHe, Odubel, and Nick Williams for Matthew Boyd, Daniel Norris and Alex Faedo! 🙂

  74. Tell me if I’m right/wrong. The Phils can tender Franco, bring him to ST, and try to trade him. If they can’t trade him, they can then release him at a fraction of his contract.

    1. ciada…the team still takes the hit on the ‘cap’, even if released.
      He gets his money.
      These are guaranteed agreements/contracts in baseball

    2. That is correct for contracts agreed to in arbitration.

      Arbitration deals are not guaranteed, meaning a team could still release a player and pay a percentage of the salary owed.

  75. Prediction: the Phillies will sign one of Anthony Rendon (less likely even if they don’t sign Cole), Josh Donaldson (if he doesn’t re-sign with Atlanta) or Mike Moustakas (suddenly my money is on him…just a hunch, don’t ask why). And unlike last winter, the Franco-Moose debate is no longer.

    1. I disagree, I think they won’t sign any of these three. Bohm is coming and he plays 3b and they won’t block him. I expect t them to play someone at 3b to start the year who can also play elsewhere once Bohm comes up. It could be Kingery of course. I think there’s a chance they move Segura to 2b and sign Didi which would leave Kingery at 3b initially and then playing all over or even CF after Bohm comes up.

      1. Starlin Castro is a much cheaper option than Didi and Castro also played some 3b this year. He could play there until Bohm comes up and then sub all over. That would allow Kingery to play 2b. It depends on whether they believe in Segura’s defense at SS.

      2. I would consider this before we dismiss signing a 3b FA – and I don’t take stock in much of what any front office executive says for our consumption – but behind Klentak’s “the time to win is now” is a do or die to make the post season mandate which he and MacPhail now find themselves under. Would you set your hopes on a rookie 3b, albeit a promising bat but with questionable defensive skill, to anchor the hot corner in this scenario. Let’s keep in mind WHO is making these decisions. And John Middleton would sanction any acquisition that improves the Phillies chances of going deep into October.

  76. KLaw took some relevant questions in this week’s chat. For whatever reason this site is giving me a hard time posting multiple Q&A’s so I’m going to try posting them one at a time:

    Jon Coleman: You like the Bloom hire in Boston? How extreme do you think the makeover will be?
    KLaw: Love the hire. He’ll be great. I expect small changes at first, and never a big makeover.

    Wamco: I cannot understand why people seem to hate Bryce Harper so much. Why do you think that is?
    KLaw: I think because he was so good so young, and was kind of unapologetic about it. And now because he makes so much money. Those are not good reasons.

    Jay: Do you think Kingery’s strong year will lead to regular playing time for a 20/20 in 2020? Pun mostly intended.
    KLaw: he has the speed for the SB’s, but I’ve had a hard time seeing how he’d get to 20 HR in the majors (Happy Fun Ball Aside).

    Brint: When do you think Spencer Howard joins the Phillies rotation full-time?
    KLaw: If healthy, by the end of summer.


    Paul: The Giants managerial search is “focused on” Joe Espada, Gabe Kapler, and Pedro Grifol. Who gets your voye?
    KLaw: Big Gabe Kapler. He was the scapegoat in Philly, and definitely not the reason the team didn’t get to the playoffs this year, Has strong developmental experience too, which is a good fit for the Giants going forward.

    Ryan: Hi Keith, you seem to be fairly high on Kapler as a managerial candidate. I am curious if his handling of abuse allegations in the minor leagues fro 2015 would concern you at all if you were a member of an organization considering hiring him. I’m sure you probably know more about the situation than I do, so wanted to get your thoughts on Kapler’s past and how i should view him from someone whose opinions I respect greatly and generally align with my values.
    KLaw: The public story on that is simply false. He didn’t cover anything up; from talking to multiple people involved, including Kapler, it sounds like he handled it appropriately, and the subsequent accusations, which come from an employee the Dodgers fired, are not accurate. If this were a story, I’d write it, and certainly wouldn’t support a candidate who’d mishandled such cases. I believe I have the facts, however, and that just isn’t what happened.

    … Here’s my favorite answer (100% truth in it) …

    Brent: What do you like about Kapler? Phillies fans were almost all happy to see him gone. Over the top positivity, not holding players accountable, horrendous game day decisions. Girardi isn’t an upgrade? Find that hard to believe.
    KLaw: Wait, positivity is bad? Only in Philly. The not holding players accountable thing is nonsense. BTW, that feels like a take distilled through the dirty filter of sports radio.

    1. I guess posting multiple Q&A’s wasn’t the problem. The first Q&A was the problem. In a nutshell, Law said the Phillies managerial job was better than the Mets opening.

  77. Amazing that a guy as negative and snarky as KLaw loves Kapler. And I know Kapler was the scapegoat. We didn’t win last year, and collapsed two ends of seasons in a row, because the SP was not competitive, and the BP injuries were not compensated for. That is the GM’s mistakes and miscalculations. But, the idea that Philly doesn’t like positive guys is a false narrative. We don’t like phony positivity. Not that Kapler wasn’t genuine, but his expressions of pride in being tough and gritty, and comments congratulating them for taking pitches when the results were failure, are not received well, and nor should they have been. Kapler, however, is not the reason the team was not good enough.

  78. Wonder how the fans of Detroit view this information.
    The 2014 Detroit Tigers starting rotation all have WS rings now….from other teams..
    Add now MadMax and Anibal with the Nats who join Justin Verlander, who was on the losing end of this year’s World Series with the Astros but a winner in 2017, Rick Porcello and David Price as winners last year on the Sox.

    Agree with Hinkie…we need to get Detroit Tiger pitcher Dan Norris and maybe Boyd, then maybe Michael Fulmer later.

    1. With Franco on the table, Romus, maybe a package is in the works – and before Nov 20 when the rule 5 40man roster must be set? I would take a shot at Norris here.

      1. 8mark…..Klentak has made three Pre-Rule 5 final 40 roster trades..between end of the WS and the final 40 .:
        1. Nov 14..2015: Jeremy Hellickson for Sam McWilliams.
        2.Nov 7:…2016 Pat Neshek from Astros in exchange for cash
        3. Nov 11…2016: Howie Kendrick from the Dodgers for Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney.
        …so he better get it into gear of sorts.

  79. Cole Odds Out:


    Which team will free agent pitcher Gerrit Cole sign with this offseason?
    Angels: +300
    Phillies: +400
    Yankees: +450
    Rangers: +600
    Dodgers: +800
    White Sox: +1500
    Padres: +1800
    Cardinals: +2000
    Astros: +2500

    1. Those are better odds than I would have thought. Not great, but not out of the realm of possibility.

  80. I don’t disagree with those odds Romus. I don’t know how committed Cole is to going back to SoCal. We have heard that before. I think we outbid the Yankees. What Arte Moreno really will pony up remains to be seen. We have a homegrown TOR in Nola. We have a good chance of another coming in Spencer Howard. You don’t build a SR without a major trade or a major FA signing. I don’t count Arrieta. I don’t see a major trade. That leaves getting 2 guys or the one elite guy. No sense repeating what I would do. We will know what the FO does in the next 2/3 months.

    1. matt13….Klentak seems to always make a major off-season trade…every year he seems to do one beginning with that Dec ’15 -Giles/Velasquez trade.
      I think 2016 was the only year he did not..Neshek, Howie Kendrick and Bucholtz may not have been too large..
      Trading Freddy in ’17 at that time for EDLS was not considered a biggie, but who knows.
      And now he has plenty of trade fodder to work with.
      I like Hinkie’s suggestion for Dan Norris….I also like him to kick the tires on Rox Freeland, or Rangers Minor.
      But I think he will make a large move very soon….before the ink dries on Girardi’s contract. 🙂

  81. Romus m8 do me a favor, Hinkie post are so long, can you do a brief summary for me. I hate reading novels

    1. rocco…sounds like you are a Cliff Notes guy….a regular, no-nonsense, down-to-earth sort….brevity is your forte. a KISS fella.

        1. Rocco … I’ll try to add some pictures and videos to help you get through my posts. Hope that makes it easier for you. 🙂

  82. Strasburg is opting out but only to renegotiate an extension. Meanwhile the NYY have extended Chapman. So there’s that….

    Next up for the Phillies:
    ☆Extend JT Realmuto
    ☆Sign Gerrit Cole (I suddenly like our chances better now than before)
    ☆Sign Mike Moustakas (call it a special Scott Boras combo pak)
    ☆Trade for Daniel Norris or re-sign Drew Smyly

    1. I agree Strasburg will probably stay with the Nats, if the Nats step up and pay him. It will take a six year deal with big dollars.
      Cole and Cole are in play for us. As I’ve said before, I think we’ll go after Didi or Castro and not one of the big 3b. Franco will get traded away for a relief pitcher and Cesar will get released. Odubel will also get traded for a relief pitcher. A bench of Bruce, Quinn, Brad Miller, Knapp, and a good defensive IF to start the year. Let’s get the FA season started.

      1. The Nats will try to do one of those deals that stretches over 10 yrs, I cant see them paying full value for 6 yrs.

    2. 8mark…interesting with Boras and Strasburg…add in Rendon and the Nats between the both, will have to pay at least a $55 to 60M AAV salary for awhile.

      1. Romus – they will defer parts of the payments to Stras and Rendon – stretching it out for 7-10 years. Kick the can down the road…..

          1. The Nationals were over the luxury tax threshold in 2017 and 2018. They were doing everything they could (including allowing Harper to walk) to stay under in 2019 because the penalties become the most severe when going over three years in a row.
            According to this report from MLB Trade Washington had pushed their payroll to almost 204 million dollars after acquiring three relievers (Daniel Hudson, Roenis Elias, and Hunter Strickland) at the trade deadline. The 2019 threshold was 206 million dollars. In theory, that leaves the Nationals just over 2 million dollars under this season’s threshold, and would allow them to avoid the most severe tax (50%) … until you add bonuses the club is going to be on the hook for.
            After doing some research, I found this article that spells out possible bonuses to Nationals’ players. If this info is correct, Washington would owe:

            * Stephen Strasburg 1 million dollars for reaching 180 IP.
            * Anibal Sanchez 2 million dollars for starting 30 games.
            * Jeremy Hellickson 600 thousand dollars for starting 8 games
            * Howie Kendrick ? money (up to 1.1 million dollars) for reaching 370 PA’s
            * Max Sherzer and Patrick Corbin could realistically earn smaller bonuses (~100 thousand dollars) for finishing in the top 5 of the Cy Young voting

            Those bonuses would push Washington over the threshold for the third year in a row.
            Having said all that (and I know that’s a lot to read, Rocco) … I’m certain the Lerner family is happy to pay the top tax rate for the result they got (World F@#&ing Champions!). The bigger question is: Are they willing to go over again in 2020, and continue to pay that top tax rate (50 %)? Every other MLB team (including the NYY’s [after 15 seasons] and LAD’s [after 4 seasons]) except the BoSox have gotten under the penalty. BTW … Boston is aiming to get back under this winter. Re-signing both Strasburg and Rendon would make it almost impossible for Washington to get below the threshold.

            1. Hinkie…good research and analysis.
              Rizzo and his boss, Lerner, will need to work some magic with Boras.

  83. I say bring back Vargas, sign Hellickson, and for good measure, have another go with Buchholtz. Round out the rotation with Nola and Arrieta.

  84. What’s everybody’s temperature on infielder (3b?) Jedd Gyorko whose option was declined by LAD today? Stop gap until Bohm arrives? (Not that I’m personally buying that scenario)

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