With the end of the 2019 championship season, baseball’s ever so interesting off-season begins. Baseball’s key dates that relied on the completion of the world series swept into effect. Trading between teams resumed on Wednesday, October 31st. The deadline for teams to make qualifying offers to their former players who elected free agency at the end of the season became November 4th (5 days after the end of the series). And the deadline for free agents to accept qualifying offers from their former teams became November 18th (15 days after the end of the series).
Another, important restriction was lifted – the unwritten rule that restricted the announcement of baseball moves during the world series. A foolish restriction that has been circumvented by teams making their announcements on off days. This is a silly anachronism of baseball. An attempt to see that these announcements don’t out shine their end of season show case. Silly because they can’t control the media generated by competing sports. Sports whose home town fans have shifted their focus from their eliminated baseball teams to their NFL, NBA, NHL, NCAAF, and maybe even the MLS.
So, today the Phillies finally announced that they signed Bryan Price as their new pitching coach. Todd Zolecki reported the hiring. Price had served as the Reds’ manager the last 5 years. But, he has a long and successful history as a pitching coach. He served in that role for the Mariners from 2000-05, the Diamondbacks from 2006-09, and the Reds from 2010-13. Former Phillies’ pitcher Jamie Moyer had good seasons under Price and speaks highly of him in Zolecki’s article.
Price was drafted by the Twins in the 21st round of the 1980 draft. He chose to attend college and was redrafted by the Orioles in the 7th round of the 1983 ddraft. He chose to return to school and was drafted and signed by the Angels in the 8th round of the 1984 draft out Cal-Berkeley.
Price never made the major leagues as a player. He played 5 years in the minors for the Angels (1984-86)and the Mariners (1988-89). He posted a 31-19 record with a 3.74 ERA in 90 games (75 starts). He posted a 1.493 WHIP, 4.7 BB9, and 7.8 K9.
Price was in high demand, turning down offers from the Diamondbacks and Padres. It’s nice to see that the Phillies got their man early and didn’t have to settle on what was left after other jobs were filled.
The Phillies are going to lose infield coach Bobby Dickerson to the Padres. It was thought that the Phillies signed Dickerson as a lure to Manny Machado during last off-season’s free agent sweepstakes. Now, he’s likely to join Machado in San Diego. Still, he was proved an efficient task master as the Phillies defense improved during the 2019 season.
A bunch of player transactions were announced. The Phillies have declined their 2020, $7M club option on pitcher Pat Neshek. This comes as no surprise. The 39-year-old RHP missed huge chunks of the previous seasons – he started 2018 on the DL and wasn’t activated until July 1st and in 2019 he was placed on the IL on May 25th missing all but 4 days of the rest of the season. In 2017-18, he pitched in just 50 games. He went 3-3, 3.61 in 42,1 innings. He walked 7 (1.5 BB9) and struck out 24 (5.1 K9) with a 1.252 WHIP.
On October 30th, the Phillies claimed RHP Robert Stock off waivers from the Padres (the PTBNL in the Dickerson trade???). He’s a RHP with a big arm. He was drafted by the Cardinals in the 2nd round of the 2009 Draft out of USC. He pitched in 42 career games the past two seasons. His average 4-seam fast ball is just under 98 mph.
On October 31st, the Phillies activated CF Odubel Herrera. They are actively trying to deal him to a NL team.
Also on the 31st, all eight, MLB free agents elected free agency, as expected – 1B Logan Morrison, 2B Brad Miller, RHP Nick Vincent, LF Corey Dickerson, LHP Drew Smyly, RHP Tommy Hunter, 3B Sean Rodriguez, and RHP Juan Nicasio .
The Phillies still have decisions on club option for Jason Vargas and Jared Hughes.
Oh, I learned that Jose Pujols has signed a minor league contract with the Phillies.
The 40-man roster stands at 35 players with Andrew McCutchen and 7 pitchers – RHP Victor Arano, RHP Jake Arrieta, RHP Seranthony Dominguez, RHP Jerad Eickhoff, RHP Tommy Hunter, LHP Adam Morgan, RHP David Robertson – on the 60-day IL.