Open Discussion: Week of November 4th

In Phillies’ baseball news this week, the Phillies hired former Reds’ manager Bryan Price as the their Pitching Coach.   And, catcher J.T. Realmuto won the National League’s Gold Glove Award for his position.

Price  had served 14 successful seasons as a  pitching coach for three different franchises.  He was much sought after before finally signing with the Phillies.

The Phillies are still seeking a hitting coach.  And now must find a replacement for infield coach Bobby Dickerson.  The former Phillies coach had success in his only season with the Phillies, but negotiated a 3-year contract with the Padres.

In addition to these two vacancies, the Phillies may have to fill a couple more coaching spots.  Former Phillies’ manager Gabe Kapler has reached the final stage in the Giants managerial search.  If selected for the position, Kapler may ask some of his former coaches relocate with him –  maybe guys like assistant hitting coach Pedro Guerrero, first base coach Paco Figueroa, and bullpen coach Jim Gott.

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/.286).

Team USA won its first game in the Premier12, 9-0.  The Phillies Alec Bohm went 0-4.

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

Key Dates:

  • October 31, 2019 – (day after the last game of the World Series)
    • trading among teams resumed
    • start of “quiet period” 
    • eligible players officially file for major/minor league free agency
  • 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 (9-0 win)
  • November 4, 2019 – (fifth day after the last game of the WS)
    • end of “quiet period”
    • deadline for teams to make qualifying offers 
    • deadline to exercise/decline options and opt-outs (unless sooner per individual contract) 
  • November 11-14, 2019 – GM Meetings in Scottsdale
  • November 14, 2019 – Deadline for free agents to accept qualifying offers (15th day after the last game of the WS)
  • November 15, 2019 – Opener for Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente
  • November 19-21, 2019 – Owners’ Meetings in Arlington
  • November 20, 2019 – Deadline for adding Rule 5 eligible players to the 40-man roster
  • 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 12, 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 November 3rd … 386 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.
11/01/2019 – Phillies released Jose Pirela
10/31/2019 – Phillies declined $7M club option on RHP Pat Neshek
10/31/2019 – Phillies activated CF Odubel Herrera from the restricted list
10/31/2019 – 1B Logan Morrison elected free agency
10/31/2019 – 2B Brad Miller elected free agency
10/31/2019 – RHP Nick Vincent elected free agency
10/31/2019 – LF Corey Dickerson elected free agency
10/31/2019 – LHP Drew Smyly elected free agency
10/31/2019 – RHP Tommy Hunter elected free agency
10/31/2019 – 3B Sean Rodriguez elected free agency
10/31/2019 – RHP Juan Nicasio elected free agency
10/30/2019 – Phillies claimed RHP Robert Stock off waivers from the Padres
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

380 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of November 4th

  1. I would like to start the thread by saying the Phillies will not make a crappy move because Alec Bohm will be ready to take over at some point in 2020. For example, if Josh Donaldson is looking like he could sign in Philly, they are not going to pass and hope Bohm comes up and somehow is better.

    1. I agree. The Yankees (hate ’em as I do) do not NOT make an acquisition if it would markedly improve a ball club. Figure out the roster “problem” later. I am excited about Alec Bohm. BUT I do not hold up the works in a WIN NOW situation because I’m afraid a prospect will be blocked. I am on record saying that, as much as I would rather it be to the contrary, Bohm is not the long term 3b. Instead of Josh Donaldson, however, I would target Mike Moustakas who may be cheaper. Then – after his 3 year contract (I would suppose) – we go after another Scott Boras client in free agent Kris Bryant following the 2022 season. In this scenario, Rhys Hoskins could increase his value and fetch us a nice return at the next trade deadline. Klentak needs to be thinking 2-3 years down the road just like the Cashmans of the world.

      1. I don’t agree with you. I don’t believe you block the future starter at 3b, money is not unlimited and they’ll have more flexibility in who plays 3b. It could very well be Kingery or Starlin Castro guys who could play elsewhere once Bohm comes up. I still think they’ll pursue Didi

        1. I like the idea of looking into Starlin Castro for 3b or anywhere in the infield as a utilityman eventually
          Turns 30 for next season.
          He will not cost much and with 6000 MLB PAs has plenty experience and does make contact though does not draw many walks (17% K rate-5% BB rate) .

        2. I’m with 8mark. You juggle the pieces later. Moustakas showed he can stand at 2B. Bohm could get time in LF or at 1B.

          Bohm, Kingery, Moustakas (I would stay away from Donaldson as I’m only giving up picks for pitchers), or Hoskins could go down with a season ending injury. Hoskins second half struggles could continue into next year, etc. Bohm could struggle at AAA.

          If Bohm comes up and plays 3-4-games a week at 1B, LF, and 3B I’m fine with that until he’s a proven commodity. Personally I think the Phillies need to go into this offseason pretending Howard and Bohm aren’t available for next year. The biggest problem for this team last year was depth.

          Look at the Dodgers. Having too many good players isn’t a bad thing.

          1. The Dodgers only gave 1 FA contract to a position player last season: AJ Pollock. And they gave it to him because Verdugo had 706 OPS in 2018 in 37 games. The jury was still out on him. If Verdugo hit better last season, Pollock wouldn’t have been signed.

            As for Bohm coming up and playing multiple positions, didn’t we talk about this all season with Scott Kingery? Don’t block Bohm. We need to give him the chance to star for us at 3B.

            1. I don’t see it as a problem for a season and a half. The jury is out on Bohm’s ability to stick at 3rd base and on Rhys Hoskins. Give me a proven middle of the order bat and let Hoskins and Bohm cement themselves as regulars.

              If Hoskins’ second half struggles continue and Bohm is raking at AAA with Moustakas playing a solid 3B you make a move at 1B

              If an outfielder goes down to injury you slide Kingery into the outfield and play Moustakas at 2B and play Bohm at 3B or if it’s a corner spot you look at Bohm at LF

              If Hoskins and Moustakas are producing and Bohm is producing at AAA he refines his defense and comes up as a bench bat in August/September and you make a move in the offseason for 2021. For me Moustakas would be a 2-3 year acquisition. If the DH comes to the NL for 2021/2022 the problem is solved.

            2. I’m not totally against the stop gap option as I really like the idea of resigning Brad Miller and platooning him with a strong RH bench bat. I just don’t like the idea of leaving holes for prospects and assuming they will hit the ground running.

              I want to go into next year with a rotation 5-6 pitchers deep before Howard and Seabold are even mentioned as options. I’d like to be confident that 3B is locked down if Bohm isn’t ready or is needed at 1B.

            3. @JL26,you can’t block spots for prospects and then hope that they can deliver in spot starts. If he gets 50 ABs and stinks, are you going to base your decision on that? Get a stopgap at 3B, let Bohm go to Lehigh and see what happens. Bohm could be a difference maker with his bat. And if you’re signing Moustakas to play 3B, he’s there full time. Moving him to 2B is likely not in the cards unless you make it clear when you sign him that he’s willing to do it. And all of this is just adding to the cost of the payroll. I know, you’re not the one paying their salaries, but salaries are important. Moustakas had a really good year. It would not surprise me that he gets something like 3 years, $33M from somebody.

            4. Since it’s more than likely that Bohm starts the 2020 season in Lehigh, AND the Phillies are acting with a sense of urgency because 1)Middleton wants to win now and 2)Klentak and MacPhail are doing whatever it takes to save their asses, I find it difficult to believe that they will begin the season with somebody like Brad Miller or Starling Castro at 3b as “stop gaps” (although I would welcome either one as a bench option). So, Mike Moustakas becomes the best value for what the Phillies can realistically spend. Plus he’d come without a QO pick hanging over him. An offer of 2-3yrs/$30M-$36M would be a fair effort by Klentak to solidify the infield. Moose also swings left with power, which plays well in CBP and balances an already righty heavy lineup.

        3. When youre a billionaire with $100M coming in from comcast a year of a team that has NEVER surpassed the luxury tax, money is pretty much unlimited. And it is not guaranteed that Bohm will be our starting 3b in the future.

      2. I’m not sure why you think it’s so easy for the GM to trade away their “problem/underperforming” players. Because if you think they are not good, odds are very high that they know it also. If you want to trade Hoskins for lotto tickets, that’s fine. But thinking that Hoskins/Odubel will fetch you anything significant is a pipe dream. And BTW, every team has these type of players, even the good ones.

        1. I’m not suggesting it’s “easy” for a GM, especially OUR GM. But it comes down to supply and demand. The Rays clearly need an affordable and controllable 1b since they are a small market club. They have a very good if not elite pitching prospect in LHP Liberatore. Both teams are in WIN NOW mode looking to boost their chances. I don’t see what’s so prohibitive about the idea. Hoskins, Velasquez and Romero for Liberatore and international bonus pool money. Perhaps it wouldn’t happen until the deadline but it’s plausible.

          1. You’re talking about trading 3 players who have not lived up to expectations and to be honest, not very good. Not only that, VV is already in arbitration and Hoskins will enter it in 2021 so cost is an issue with the stingy Rays. These 3 guys for Liberatore, who’s 19 and already a top 50 prospect? If I was the Rays GM, I would laugh and then hang up the phone.

            1. if Liberatore is that highly rated and probably not attainable , I would shoot for their other pitching prospects…the two Shanes…Baz and/or McClanahan.
              Their other top pitching prospect, outside of the aforementioned and MacKay, Brett Honeywell, I would avoid…throws a plus screwball….but that may have been the reason he had to have TJ surgery.

      3. Are the Phillies in “win now” mode? I think it is debatable. You can make a argument either way, I’m more concerned with what way is best for the title run.

        I voted to count on Pivetta, VV, and efflin last offseason. It was a mistake, as they didn’t perform. This offseason, I will say,
        The same but for Bohm & and Howard. To me, at some point in this rebuild/title window, you NEED to have cheap young productive players. Signing Donaldson while great, blocks the possible talent and clogs the payroll. At some point, you need to believe in the scouts and coaches in the minors, that they have developed these players. If you can’t do that, you’re spinning you’re wheels. To me, you need to take that risk, sign Cole or Wheeler and another. Spread the money or get creative and sign rendon with trades that make the team better.
        My point is, the payroll value needs to align along with the talent or the team
        Is set for failure. I just don’t know if klentak can take that Risk! That is a part of the problem. I don’t need another mccutchen logjam. Klentak needs to pony up.

        1. Tac, Remember, Klentak himself said in the Girardi press conference that the time to win is now. So he’s publicly committed.

          1. I missed that presser, but thank you for the report 🙂 I know they say it, but that doesn’t mean the team is really in position to “win now”. I’d wager the smarter move is to trust the kids, let them develop, and then go out and add big pieces in 2020 offseason (excluding pitchers, take them when you can get them at this point Cole/Wheeler) . Tying the payroll up on a 3B/OF- etc is not a smart move imo. Are these 1 year deals? Then oK, if not, it’s a mistake imo. This team
            Is not ready to win, no matter how bad klentak wants it so to keep his job. They are another season away, maybe more. For the record, I’m usually the optimist of the group. You need 3/5 of a rotation and basically an entire bullpen this offseason & tradedealine to realistically be in “win now” mode. They better not sell the farm for bandaids either, or so aklentak can look better for his year end review.

            My ears hear “win now” but my eyes see a hover .500 team.

  2. Hi Everyone – I am a long-time reader, but I seldom post. There is an article in the Athletic by Jim Bowden in which he gives contract predictions for the top 35 free agents. Given what he expects Cole and Strasburg to sign for, I wonder if people here believe it makes sense.

    Cole 8 yrs, $36MM AAV, $288MM total
    Strasburg: 7 yrs., $34MM AAV, $238MM total

    A name that I do not believe has been discussed here is Jake Odorizzi. His contract is predicted to be

    Odorizzi 3 yrs., $10MM AAV, $30MM total

    What do you think about signing Odorizzi and one of

    MadBum 4 yrs $21MM AAV, $84MM total
    Wheeler 4 yrs $18.5MM AAV $74MM total
    Hyun-Jin Ryu 3 yrs $18.5MM AAV $55.5MM total

    1. I’ve seen analysis from credible insiders who see Odorizzi on the uptick. He would definitely be on my list as a 2nd get after Wheeler or MadBum, who IMO may head to Atlanta.

    2. I wonder if Jim Bowden tends to go a little higher than the normal.
      The way the last two years have gone….most predictions have fallen less than the experts predicted…or in some cases with pitchers with QOs……late signings into June.

      I think he may be a tad high for Cole and Strasburg.
      I really do not think the Nats can handle under the lux. tax both Strasburg’s $34M AAV and Rendon’s projected over $25M approaching $30M AAV. But they seem to like to break the bank and endure the penalties, so maybe they will bite the bullet on Strasburg and match Bowden’s projection.

      Odorizzi would be a nice get……but in his case that $10M AAV may be a little lower than what I expect him to get.
      I think he gets between Lynn and Cobb money or close to Cobb…..$14M AAV for 3 years…$42M
      IMO…not sure about MadBum or Ryu…though Wheeler looks about right on.

      1. Romus, I tend to agree with you on Bowden’s high projections. I do believe Cole will blow by David Price’s record for total value, and the years will be a minimum of 7. I doubt 8. That’s a long time for any pitcher’s contract, no matter how great he’s been. Say, 7/$250M. I think Middleton would certainly authorize those figures. Big question is, will Arte Moreno? Middleton might have to exceed the top rival offer by up to 10%, especially if it comes down to either LAA or PHL.

        1. As for Cole…IMO, it will be an eventual battle between Moreno and Middleton.
          Boras will love it.
          We will probably know by the Ides of March who he signs with.

          1. But that is the problem – waiting to March to see when Cole signs. We need to get this team locked and loaded by Feb 15. The money that Cole will command is the equivalent of a #2/3 plus 1-2 relievers of quality.

    3. No team will sign Gerrit Cole and Stras with that kind of contract. Max total contract they can get is probably within $220-240M range.

      The Wheeler contract at $74M/4 years is very cheap and big market teams will jump on that contract easy.

      My 1st target will still be Gerrit Cole is he’s available for $190-$220M contract. If not, the next top SP available to be signed should be the priority.

      I’m not in favor of signing a 3B FA like Mous or whoever. The $$ needs to be spent on rotation and bullpen help. I don’t see Hoskins being worst that he was in 2019. The current offense will not be the Barrel-delphia that we envisioned it to be but it will be adequate to score an average of 4-5 runs so pitching will be key.

  3. May well be old news, or may not have officially happened yet but I read somewhere that Arrietta picked up his $20M option for next year

    1. That is correct. And why wouldn’t he? Can’t wait for that albatross to be off the payroll. One silver lining – he may be motivated to perform well in his walk year….if he can stay healthy.

      1. That’s an albatross? Clearly you don’t remember Ryan Howard’s 5 year, $125M contract that netted the Philies -4.6 WAR. Arrieta at least gave 3.8 WAR in 2 seasons which is not ideal but not egregious by any stretch of the imagination.

  4. How about this – just saw a report that a Washington Nationals championship decorated bus (from their parade on Saturday) made a trip through Philadelphia, supposedly as a rub in our faces. That should be motivation, if we even need more.

    1. I hate to admit it, but that Is kinda of funny. I like the rivalry brewing, just need the Phillies to be on the winning side 🙂

  5. I’m still thinking they should sign Wheeler, Hamels, Didi, and Starlin Castro and then sign Betances and another reliever. I wouldn’t mind signing Gomes as a backup catcher either but that’s low down the list. I’m sure this is too much for Klentak to do in one off season but it’s what we need.

    1. Saw a rumor that Braves are looking long at Moustakas and Cole Hamels. I could not go through a year with Hamels pitching for Atlanta.

  6. I think Bowden is high on Cole and Strasburg and low on Wheeler. However, if we don’t get Cole, I would take Odorizzi and Wheeler. I believe the Nats rework a Strasburg deal, and I never believed we are on MadBum’s radar. Will Smith and Will Harris are definitely on my list for the BP, as is Drew Pomeranz. Thanks for the post, spinRate, happy to hear from you.

  7. Here arre the Fangraphs’ FA projections.


    For me … Zack Wheeler is the slam dunk top target for the Phillies at 4 years/68 million (17 million AAV).
    After that, I think the team should strongly consider Dellin Betances (1 year/12 million), Drew Pomerantz (2 years/16 million), and Drew Smyly (not listed on Fangraphs), Sergio Romo (not listed on Fangraphs). Betances has strong ties to Joe Girardi. Pomerantz could start or be used as a reliever. After his trade to Milwaukee, the big LHP worked out of the pen, and averaged 15.4 K/9 IP (really want the Phillies to sign him).
    The other bullpen option the Phillies could/should look into is Blake Treinen. He was great in 2018 as a closer. He was not good in 2019, and Oakland could non-tender or trade him.

    The Phillies also need to find a bench piece who can handle SS (as well as other positions [3B and 2B]). The Starlyn Castillo idea sounds good to me if/when he’s non-tendered.

    1. @Hinkie – don’t you think that the projected salary for Wheeler seems to low? Wheeler will be gone in Day 1 if that’s his buy in salary. I expect at least $100M/4 year for Wheeler.

      Also, anything about Alex Wood?

      1. KuKo … I have been projecting Wheeler to get a 5 year/100 million dollar deal. I guess there are some health questions that could anchor his contract.

        1. … and Alex Wood is not on either the Fangraph or Bowden (The Athletic) list. I think he’ll probably get a one year deal for ~5 million dollars.

    2. I could easily see the Phillies signing Wheeler (7 years w/opt out after year 4), Hamels (2 years plus vesting option) and Moustakas (1 year slight overpay) and non-tendering Cesar and finally moving Kingery to second – that would work for me.

      1. It sounds tempting, but are you good With

        Nola,Wheeler, Hamels, Arrietta
        Scherzer, Strasburg, Corbin, Sanchez?
        Cole, Verlander, Morton, etc

        I know those rotations might not be still intact but, likely the WS and playoff Opponents will be running out something similar. Sounds OK I’m the offseason, not so much (to me) when in the playoffs

        1. Here’s the real question – do you have any better solutions? You can’t just wish for the best rotation in baseball and make it happen. FYI – of the last group you mentioned, probably only Verlander will be back for Houston next year and Morton wasn’t even there this year. Remember also that at some point this year I expect Spencer Howard to join the rotation and he could be a pretty solid mid rotation guy from the moment he is promoted with more upside down the road. And I still haven’t given up on VV or Pivetta – they were guided by a horrendous pitching coach this year (who, by the way, is responsible for Nola slipping as well in my view – he changed Nola’s pitch sequences because, you know, the 10 rWAR he put up in 2018 wasn’t good enough). One of them could still turn it around.

          1. Catch22, I hear you. At this point in the rebuild (yes no playoffs still rebuilding to me), I’d rather shape the team around being “built for the playoffs” vs best overall team (more regular season wins). My suggestion, is to bite the bullet on Cole’s asking price, since the arms have not developed as expectedZ. I’ll take my chances with a Cole/Realmuto combo for 2 gms in a playoff series, followed by Nola for 2 more. Hopefully Howard develops to take that 3rd spot. I’d ride them with our offense. I’d would forgo signing a 3B, let Franco or Cehe do it until Bohm is ready. Count on your scouts/coaches etc to develop these low cost high production players so that it allows mccutchens/Arrietta/Robinson’s etc contracts to fall off and retool. That said, Unless you know that bohm cant play 3rd at the majors. If that’s the case, again, it proves that this team is really not in “win now” mode, other than just saying it. lastly, fill out the back end of the bullpen with SO pitchers and count on the offense to outscore your opponents enough to make the playoffs, and then finally enough to win each series.

            This team should’ve be further along in the rebuild than it is, it should have more low cost high production players already on the team. They really shouldn’t have been looking for much this offseason than to add Cole as their top pitcher and strengthen their bullpen, but that’s how the cookie crumbled

          2. Catch, I’d not pretend the team is ready to win, but make moves and that push the needle forward. I take the chance on Cole, bite the bullet, and pay his asking price. I structure the team around a team that is “built for the playoffs” vs the best overall team. I’d go to battle with Cole&realmutonbehind the plate for 2 gms every playoff series, followed by Nola for 2gms every series. I hope Howard can be the #3 he is projected to be, hopefully higher. I don’t sign rendon, I wait for bohm, tread water until he is ready. If you sign Cole, you need young productive cheap talent. The only way to get the payroll back on track is to trust the youn players and put them in the fire, not throw, but put them in with a core of Cole, Nola, Harper, Realmuto, McCutchen, Etc. Last thing I’d do is sign backend of the bullpen guys with SO stuff. I’d take my chances with those moves until some old contracts fall off, more prospects come through the system, and i dip back into FA to boost the team’s holes.

  8. Hinkie, you first mentioned Pomeranz before, and I completely agree with you. I would love him as a Reliever. And, being a lefty does not hurt. At 2 years and $16M, I would sign him immediately, notwithstanding the fact that the rules prohibit that for a few more days! I mentioned Treinen also, and would like to give him a shot; he is a good target for a bounce back season. I don’t know the physical status of Betances. Isn’t he coming off a significant injury? An Achilles, and would want a multi year deal which would worry me. Are you opposed to Cole? Too much for one guy, or some other reason?

    1. matt … it’s not that I’m opposed to Gerrit Cole. It’s more about being opposed to an “all eggs in one basket” approach to upgrading the pitching staff this winter.

      1. hinkie – i don’t see Middleton going all in for Gerrit Cole like what he did for Bryce Harper so it will not be all eggs in one basket thing. it will be malpractice not to check it and at least make a strong effort to signing Gerrit Cole.

        1. If Middleton shells out 30+ million AAV for Gerrit Cole, I don’t think he’s going to be able/willing to put out much/any more dollars on additional pitching. I’d rather see him spread that money around on three pitchers. The rotation and bullpen need depth (in addition to more talent).

          1. Non-tendering or trading (for low minors, PTBNL or cash) Cesar and Maikel can help in proving $ flexibility in acquiring some secondary pitching help.

            1. I expect this to happen this year – Cesar has not thrived in recent years and he’s going to be paid as much or more than he is inherently worth – he’s not a bargain and might be a drain. Maikel and Cesar are gone – some of the good arms in the rotation get a second (or third) chance.

      2. Tough call….we have a better shot at signing Cole than I originally thought. From what I read and hear, neither the NYY GM Cashman or owner Hal Steinbrenner don’t seem bent on spending huge money on starting pitching despite what many people say. I really think Middleton would go balls to the wall again BUT is it the best play for the Phillies this off season? I certainly wouldn’t protest his acquisition, but it would depend primarily on who else they acquired as well. I don’t want a rotation of Cole, Nola and a whole lot of nothing. Let’s deepen the roster instead of making it top heavy.

  9. Cesar’s money will offset the new contract that JTR gets, and congrats to him for the Gold Glove. I think we add a SP and BP help then wait for the market on Cole to develop. If we can get him then Middleton has to be ready to exceed the Luxury Tax. I don’t think they wait all off season, count on Cole, don’t get him, then be stuck nowhere.

  10. I’m with Hinkie on this one. While I do think the Phils will be in on Cole [ heck, Boras almost NEEDS the Phils to be in on him!] I think it makes more sense to try and corral Wheeler and Hamels and bring in 2-3 solid relievers. I also like the idea of Castro, though Moustakas would not be the worst guy to bring in on a 1 year deal.

    Given their “new best buddy” status, I am sure the Phils will sign at least one Boras client and I am fascinated by this report that I have read in several places [think Salisbury was one of them] that Boras has basically given a wink wink to Harper/Middleton that he will insure that both have a great chance at success going forward by steering at least one of his best clients Philadelphia’s way in the off season.

    I believe this to be true. As a long time Boras watcher [why not, we live in the same area and I have seen him several times at the airport] I have witnessed first hand his choice of owners to try and help out when said owner tends to be entering a period of spending money on free agents. Middleton is now that owner, one of the few big market leaders who has money to spend and wants to do so!

    My view is that the Phils aren’t as far away as many have suggested, they simply need to have a solid off season and ride the Girardi Credibility train going forward. He will attract top talent because he is a top talent manager who will not allow players to ever run a clubhouse again.

    I think it is soon going to be fun to be a Phillie phan again!

    1. CalDream, I agree. It can’t be underscored enough that Boras does in fact need the Phillies. Rendon may be off the table since Moustakas is now available. A big ticket Cole/discount ticket Moustakas package from Boras might be the way to go. Not that Moose would be a pushover to sign. Boras works for him, right? But Boras could strongly persuade his “lesser” 3b client that Philly is an attractive destination especially if Cole is jumping on board, short of any collusion, of course….wink wink😉😉

    2. Agree the phillies only need two bench players, third basemen, centerfielder, three starting pitchers, three bullpen guys, hitting coach, backup catcher, Your right California we are really close

    3. Cal Dreamin – I agree with all you said. Hope you are fairing as well as possible being in CA !

      Today – Jason Stark on a radio show (MLB) stated that Girardi is indeed a person who attracts “good baseball free agents.” His demeanor etc. are admired by many players – particularly pitchers.He is entirely credible to players.

      Wheeler is the best pitcher available – for the $$$. Cole is great but he is the entire off season expense. Moustakis for me is a better $$/value player than Rendon because he won’t cost a ton – he is more than an adequate fielder, provides the same pop. Rendon – despite being an outstanding player – does not love baseball – it is a living to him. He is not interested in being a baseball lifer – according to numerous articles I have read – in fact, he finds baseball boring. Frankly, despite his outstanding credentials – he is not a player I want on my team. When you can replace 75% of his value in Moustakis for 1/15th of the cost ?

      Boras is on the Phillies side – because it is smart for him to do that. Clearly he will do whatever he can to move players towards the Phils if they are willing to flash the cash.

  11. Not sure who will get top dollar between Cole and Rendon, however cannot get much closer than this, in the past two years, Cole produced a 13.4 fWAR. Rendon’s was 13.2 fWAR.
    This year Boras will definitely stand to make the most he has ever made in any off-season with Strasburg, Cole, Rendon and also Moustakis all under his umbrella.

  12. The Braves declined Julio Teheran’s option. I was never a big fan but he seemed to pitch pretty well this season. He wouldn’t be my prime target on the free agent market but might he be worth getting as a secondary arm as a #4 starter?

    1. Twins QOed Jake Odorizzi… he will cost a 2nd round draft pick and some international coin for the Phillies if they sign him.
      Corey Seidman thinks he is not a fit with the Phillies.

  13. BVW has said they will QO Wheeler. I don’t know about the Cubs and Cole Hamels. I don’t know who we would want from the next tier that wouldn’t come with one. Maybe Alex Wood? I think the FO is prepared to lose a couple of draft picks. Maybe this is the off season we pick up a competitive balance pick or 2? Romus has been asking for that for years now. I don’t think Cesar, at $11.8M gets us much, but maybe one of the teams sees something in Franco that they want to take a chance on?

  14. Phillies announced these moves: goodbye to Jared Hughes, Jerad Eickhoff, Mike Morin, Edubray Ramos, Jason Vargas, Phil Gosselin, and Blake Parker, along with the aforementioned Pat Neshek.

    1. Neither Didi Gregorius nor Cole Hamels received QO’s. That’ll make them more attractive on the FA market. All the likely candidates received them. JD Martinez did not opt out which means Mookie may well be on his way out of Boston.

      1. 8mark…Didi for sure.
        Cole, I am not sure he will get many offers, at the price he wants….he may have to take a very large pay cut.

        And Bloom already faces a testy decision with Mookie now.
        Welcome to the bright lights.
        With the Rays you just trade them or let them walk….Mookie is a folk hero for a WS team….trading him for value , with a year left, will be difficult.
        And he will already be at close to $25M AAv for 2020.

  15. Phils cleared the roster today of many below average players. Good job! 5 spots now open on the 40 for FA signings.

  16. I think guys coming off the 60 will eat up a few of those 40 spots.

    Watched Pomerantz with the Sox many (too many) games. I’d

    stay away from him. Poor control and lots of injuries over the years.

  17. matt3….I know you fancied reliever Will Smith….now not sure the Phillies will sacrifice a 2nd rounder to sign him, since he recd a QO from the Giants.
    Odd….one of the few relievers to receive a QO since the inception of that course of action 6/7 years ago.

  18. Romus, you are correct. I like Will Smith, and I know we are getting a SP, whether Cole or not, who will cost us a draft pick. So, I don’t love the idea of giving up more, and I think the FO looks elsewhere. There are other BP arms out there that also look like good pickups, maybe not as good as Will Smith, but who would help us, like Hinkie’s choice, Drew Pomeranz. I would take a shot at Blake Treinen after he gets non-tendered, and Will Harris, I also like. I think, at least, 2 get added. Also, does anyone know when Robertson can go back on the 60 day IL, so we can add a player? He, most likely, will miss the entire season.

  19. .

    Among their predictions:

    Zack Wheeler – Phillies. Five years, $100MM
    Chris Martin – Phillies. Two years, $14MM

    Gerrit Cole – Angels. Eight years, $256MM

    Stephen Strasburg – Nationals. Six years, $180MM

    Cole Hamels – Braves. Two years, $30MM
    Mike Moustakas – Braves. Two years, $20MM

    Drew Pomeranz – Dodgers. Two years, $16MM

    Corey Dickerson – Padres. Two years, $15MM

    Alex Wood – Mariners. One year, $8MM

    Dellin Betances – Rays. One year, $7MM

    Drew Smyly – Pirates. One year, $3MM

    1. Chris Martin is interesting … but … I’d much rather the Phillies sign Drew Pomerantz. Wheeler and Pomerantz are my two top targets for the Phils. I like Betances (if their medical staff gives the green light) and Smyly, also.

      1. The Phillies BP is in dire need of a few guys who can strike batters out. Pomerantz and Betances could provide that. Pomerantz registered 15.4 K/9 IP as a reliever when he was dealt to the Brewers this summer. Betances owns a career 14.6 K/9 IP.

        1. Yeah. It is interesting that people want to put all of our money into a single starter. The team that I saw had dire bullpen needs.

          1. I’d like to spread the money/talent around too, but at this point in the rebuild the FO should seriously be considering shaping a team “built for the playoffs” vs the most well
            Rounded team. I’m leaning towards the FO putting a team together that can get into the playoffs, then rolling with a combo of Cole/Realmuto & Nola/Relamuto for 2 gms per series. I would not sign a 3B, unless it is a 1 year deal. Due to the failures of the rebuild, to me they need to lean on the prospects more than they should. If the team fails, it is easier to reset by not having those extra contracts, pivot in a different direction and bring in new prospects.

            A combo of wheeler, hamels (similar) Moustakas or Donaldson sounds great, but I’d imagine the Phillies will be out gunned in the playoffs. Need to take Cole now, if he will sign.

            Cole,Nola, FA, Howard (need to lean on him) or Efflin/Arrietta is what I’d go
            To war with over a more water downed TOR. If the Phillies had rebuilt better, then signing Cole would be a no brainer, the final piece, minus bullpen trades at the deadline. It’s where they are at.

      2. I still prefer Gerrit Cole but a haul of Wheeler, Pomeranz, Wood and Harris works for me then see who will fall in the cracks by February and sign 2 more FAs.

    2. MLBTR has both Strasburg and Rendon staying put in DC. Yeesh! If so, Nats would have to pay that piper at some point. No way they can maintain such a payroll over the long haul.

      Despite the recent market downturn, I’m surprised by some of their low yr/$$$ projections like Moustakas and Smyly.

    3. Hinkie, do you really think the Nationals can afford Strasburg @ 6 years, 180 mill while also paying Rendon @ Seven years, $235MM ? They like to defer money and I don’t know if both will be ok with that. Not to mention the money that Max Scherzer is making while also in the future they’ll have to worry about locking up both Soto and Turner.

      1. bishopx026 … I posted something over the weekend (in last week’s Open Discussion Thread) detailing the luxury tax implications facing the Nationals if they re-sign both Strasburg and Rendon.
        In a nutshell … Washington was over the cap in 2017 and 2018. They did everything they could to stay under the threshold in 2019 because going over three consecutive years puts your team into the highest tax bracket (50%).
        Despite their efforts to stay below the 206 million dollar threshold this season, it appears (from everything I’ve read) Washington will end up going over that mark because of bonuses they must pay to guys like Strasburg, Anibal Sanchez, Jeremy Hellickson, and Howie Kendrick. If this is correct, the Nationals will pay a 50% tax on every dollar over next season’s 208 million dollar cap.
        Re-signing Strasburg and Rendon IMO will almost certainly push the Nats over the cap in 2020 so (at least part of) their salaries will cost the Lerners an additional 50% more. In addition, if the Nationals payroll exceeds 228 million in 2020, they’ll be hit with a second tax (an additional 12%) on salary above that 228 million mark.
        Are the Lerners willing to spend like that? Are they OK with shelling out that tax money? I’m not sure. If I were them, I would prioritize Rendon. However, my gut tells me Strasburg returns for something like 135 million over 5 years, and Rendon signs somewhere else.

  20. Just finished reading it Hinkie. I think we get more than Chris Martin from the list for the BP. I don’t see Cole Hamels to the Braves, and I would offer more than what they have the Rays getting Betances for.

  21. Phillies 40-man has now been trimmed to 34 (happy to see they cleaned house in the bullpen). The 34 includes Cesar Hernandez, Maikel Franco, and Odubel Herrera. All three are in serious danger of being given their walking papers (through non-tender, release, or trade).
    At the same time, the team will need to add JoJo Romero, Mauricio Llovera, and (Romus has his fingers crossed for …) Darick Hall (I’d be a little surprised if he is added).
    That spells a busy winter. Middleton and Klentak will be very active in free agency and possibly the trade market.

    Here’s the current list:


    Jose Alvarez
    Victor Arano
    Jake Arrieta
    Austin Davis
    Enyel De Los Santos
    Seranthony Dominguez
    Zach Eflin
    Edgar Garcia
    JD Hammer
    Cole Irvin
    Adonis Medina
    Adam Morgan
    Hector Neris
    Aaron Nola
    Nick Pivetta
    David Robertson
    Robert Stock
    Ranger Suarez
    Vince Velasquez


    Deivy Grullon
    Andrew Knapp
    J.T. Realmuto


    Maikel Franco
    Arquimedes Gamboa
    Cesar Hernandez
    Rhys Hoskins
    Jean Segura


    Jay Bruce
    Bryce Harper
    Adam Haseley
    Odubel Herrera
    Scott Kingery
    Roman Quinn
    Nick Williams

    1. DFA: Hammer, Knapp, Gamboa
      Trade: Irvin, Medina, Franco, Herrera, Quinn, Williams
      Non-tender: Cesar
      Back on 60-day IL come Spring: Robertson

      There’s 11 more for ya, which leaves them at 23. That’s 16 slots to fill (not including Robertson who would have to stay on until opening day) on the 2020 40 man roster between now and spring training.

    2. Hinkie….if Hall can pass thru the Rule 5, then he comes back like Grullon did.
      I would also be surprised if the Phillies protect him.

  22. Finally catching up on the offseason chatter…

    I’m strongly with Hinkie, Catch, Romus, others re: spreading the $. I rarely like the long, high-dollar contracts to pay players for their past performance elsewhere and hopefully a couple great years here. Other than kicking the tires for Cole, move on.

    I’m definitely down with Wheeler & Smyly/Hamels. While I love Hamels, I prefer Smyly’s upside. I like Odorizzi but less now with a QO. (If giving up 2nd Rd, I like Wheeler more.)

    DMAR, I also have been a fan of Jordan Lyles and would be happy to sign him.

      1. rocco…let me refresh your dementia…..if Robert Stack can find his control, that is one unsolved mystery the Phillies need not worrying about solving.

    1. Jordan Lyles is the type of guy Houston will sign and watch him take off 🙂

      I’d of course prefer that to be us. Hinkie says his FB is too straight and I can’t disagree with that but he still has some good zip on it and a plus CB. He’s worth a flier IMO

    2. If you believe in Smyly, he’s the better value buy – I think he gets something like 2 years and $10-14 million (total, not annual) – he will be very affordable and if all goes well, he could provide production similar to Hamels who, having watched him pitch this year, I am concerned could be headed down in a big way, but it’s difficult to tell.

      1. I’m on board with Smyly and I like the idea of Wheeler or Lyles as well and move Arrieta down to the 4/5 slot and you have a very competitive rotation when Howard gets added.

        Move on from Pivetta and move VV to the pen. Grab Didi Grab Pomeranz

      2. I tend to agree. Smyly should certainly get much more than the 1/$3M that MLBTR projects. 30 MLB teams would offer that as a base. Maybe not 2/$12 as you suggest.

  23. I can only see a 10% chance the Nats bring Rendon back. As I’ve said they have Carter Kieboom waiting in the wings….known at $300 plus million vs. the unknown. Hard to imagine Kieboom turning into the player Rendon is but as was stated the payroll implications are huge

    And you have to take the emotion out of a decision like that.

    1. DMAR …tend to agree. Strasburg returns and Rendon exits.
      Rendon should be looking at an Arenado similar contract:
      $35M Base AAV, but $32.5M vs the lux tax….with that 3 year option out.
      Not many teams will be in play for him.
      Of the four Boras will be concentrating on this off-season….Cole, Strasburg, Moustakas and Rendon….Rendon could be the hardest sell.
      That’s scares me when it comes to John Middleton, because Boras is a good fisherman and he will have tempting bait on the line

    2. Funny, Rizzo and the Nats were so envious of the ’07-’11 Phillies that now they have reached the pinnacle, they’re in danger of becoming the Phillies AFTER the run as well, overburdened with contracts that have turned brown.

    3. Stinking Kieboom is the guy Romus Wanted us to draft, he went pick before us, and is a stud

  24. I know he had a good year but Strasburg’s velocity has been trending down each year which concerns me for a guy who is only 31. I think whoever gives him a big, long contract will regret it by the time the contract is over – like REALLY regret it.

    1. That will probably be Rizzo’s main worry in Washington.
      But he needs to resign him to keep the DC faithful happy.
      Add in MadMax’s age and something similar can happen to them, that happened to the Phillies with Halladay and Lee.

  25. I still love the thought of adding Castellanos as our LF. He’s a professional hitter with thump to all fields and loves to go right center and would inject some serious OPS into our line-up. And he’s still young as far as FA’s go won’t turn 28 until March.

    1. And what happens to Cutch, Bruce, Haseley et al?
      Not to mention that Dickerson looks to be a goner in that case for sure, if not already.
      Some will need to be moved.
      The onus will be on Klentak to purge.

      1. I can almost promise you that the Phillies will not be pursuing Nicky Castles or any other high priced bat unless they decide to pivot to Rendon. Moustakas will be the highest $$ target they aim. Maybe Didi if he’s within a comparable price range. Otherwise they are all about adding arms.

      2. Haseley is my everyday CF for now. I don’t get the concern for Bruce and McCutchen. Do what you have to with them. Bruce is so limited defensively he’s not worth keeping on the roster unless you want him as your primary PH off the bench and the occasional start in LF or 1B.

        Cutch is everyone’s emotional rah rah guy. But let’s face it he’s gonna be 33 coming off an ACL. For me I’m happy to keep him on as my 4th OF but he wasn’t good in CF before the injury I can’t expect him to be good there after the injury.

        So everyone will say then he has to be our LF. OK but again he’s just a Meh offensive player at this point. Even if he gave you the 834 OPS he gave you last year that’s not good enough in a corner OF spot. IMO. Yeah he could be our version of a Howie Kendrick as an OF but the money he’s making shouldn’t preclude us from making the roster better.

        If I can put a potential 900+ OPS proven track record in LF I’m doing it.

        1. DMAR, I get what you’re saying in theory, but neither the Phillies nor any other team is paying Cutch $20M a year as a 4th OF. I could see them possibly (but unlikely) paying down his salary in a trade for young pitching talent. But the offset in salary would probably be negligible depending on who they acquired to replace him in LF. I guess what I’m saying is that he’s virtually untradeable unless he becomes a deadline dangle in 2021.

    2. I think Dickerson is next year’s Michael Brantley. I think we could have found a way to work a guy like Brantley into the lineup even with some other outfielders, don’t you?

  26. DMAR, I can’t argue about Castellanos’ bat, but his D is brutal. I love what McCutchen brings to the team, both batting lead off, and his leadership qualities. Moving him to CF weakens the D in both positions. I am not totally opposed to that, but it is really sacrificing D for offense.

    1. Bohm is the bomb.
      Phillies need his bat to play at third.
      Perhaps with more intensive work this off-season at third at the Complex he will prove his more than capable manning that position.

  27. Why do you all like Smyly so much? I don’t see it. I’ll be surprised if he gets a major league deal. We need two pitchers much better than him. Did you all see who was in the World Series and the pitching they had? Smyly is not good enough.
    As for corner OFs, we already have 3 including Bruce so I don’t see us adding anyone there.

    1. I’m not sure how much “so much” is, but nobody here wants him as a TOR. A back of the rotation guy who may turn the corner after TJ surgery. That’s all. He would still fall in after 2 other arms are signed.

    2. I’d like him brought back like you said on a minor league deal or as a mop-up guy/swing man capable of spot starting or eating up innings.

  28. Anybody want to target a different Twins FA SP than Odorizzi now that he has the QO attached to him? Gibson anyone? 26 on active roster in parentheses:

    -I would look at him, (1) Wheeler, (2) Pomeranz & (3) Betances from the pitching side.
    -Sign (4) Moustakas only if they move on from both Franco and Cesar and rotate him with (5) Kingery (at 2nd and 3rd) and (6) Hoskins (1b) before Bohm is ready. Spot start Kingery at SS for (7) Segura with (8) JT behind the plate to round out IF starters/platoons.
    -Come July, have Bohm and Howard ready to come up.
    (9) Cutch, (10) Haseley, (11) Harper and (12) Quinn in the OF.
    -Re-sign (13) Brad Miller for bench with (14) Bruce and (15) Grullon.
    -Give (16) VV, (17) Pivetta and (18) Eflin one last chance to start after (19) Nola, Wheeler, (20) Gibson and (21) Arrieta.
    -Put the other 2 in the BP with (22) Neris, Pomeranz and Betances.
    -Fill the other 3 BP spots from (23, 24 & 25) Alvarez, Garcia, Hammer, Morgan, Stock, EDLS, Romero and Suarez.
    -With the extra spot either add a 4th name from the RP roulette above or resign (26) Smyly for starter insurance or a multi-positional backup like Sogard or Zobrist.
    -Jettison 2 or account for 2 injuries to the active roster to make room for Bohm and Howard when they’re ready.
    -Consider anything from Seranthony, Arano and/or Robertson gravy.

  29. Here’s my MLBTR FA contest predictions of players of interest to most of us:
    (*These aren’t necessarily what I agree with, especially regarding the Phillies but this is what I think will go down, with a few surprises always likely….)

    RHP Gerrit Cole – Philadelphia Phillies
    3b Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals
    RHP Stephen Strasburg – San Diego Padres
    RHP Zach Wheeler – Los Angeles Dodgers
    3b Josh Donaldson – Atlanta Braves
    LHP Madison Bumgarner – Atlanta Braves
    C Yasmani Grandal – St Louis Cardinals
    OF Nicholas Castellanos – Chicago White Sox
    LHP Hyun Jin Ryu – San Francisco Giants
    RHP Jake Odorizzi – Minnesota Twins
    SS Didi Gregorius – Cincinnati Reds
    LHP Will Smith – Minnesota Twins
    LHP Dallas Keuchel – Toronto Blue Jays
    LHP Cole Hamels – San Diego Padres
    3b Mike Moustakas – Philadelphia Phillies
    RHP Tanner Roark – Washington Nationals
    RHP Will Harris – New York Mets
    LHP Drew Pomeranz – Los Angeles Angels
    OF Corey Dickerson – San Francisco Giants
    LHP Alex Wood – Philadelphia Phillies
    RHP Dellin Betances – Philadelphia Phillies
    LHP Drew Smyly – Philadelphia Phillies

    In summary, I think the Phillies will spend a lot of money. But they will spend relatively little UNTIL they realize that G Cole is there for the taking once it’s established that his market is much more limited and narrower than many expect. That’s simply my hunch. I do believe that the Phillies will also trade for a TOR. Smyly may be asked to work out of the pen, but receive a more lucrative offer from the Phillies.

    1. Again, I am of the mind with others here to target Wheeler and spread the money. I just don’t think it’ll happen that way.

    2. We should also keep in mind that when it comes to their bullpen pursuits, Joe Girardi likes his multiple innings arms.

    3. @8mark – it looks like I wrote this one….KuKo wants them all FAs. Lol

      Gerrit Cole + Alex Wood + Drew Smyly is Phase I of the plan attack then add another arm if there’s a good arm that fell of the cracks.

  30. Colin, not bad at all. I still want Cole, but if not him, Wheeler is a Plan B and I am off Odorizzi now that a QO is attached. Gibson and Alex Wood are good picks to fill out the SR. I am on Betances and Pomeranz. I may look at Didi instead of Moose to take one of the IF spots. 8mark, I don’t think the FO allows itself to be shut out. If Cole/Boras take forever to decide, I think they sign BP arms, and a SP like Wood. Then, if Cole is available, they make the decision to pay the price, or get another arm. Wheeler may still be out there. But, all the other spots need to be filled without waiting on Cole. Not doing anything until Cole picks a spot and us being left out is my big fear.

  31. well…this is interesting…”If the Red Sox are truly gung ho about dipping beneath the threshold, as two executives posited, they could do something truly wild, like a 2.0 version of the Adrian Gonzalez trade. If there were a team that wanted an elite shortstop, might the Red Sox be willing to deal Xander Bogaerts and send along Price and Eovaldi and the $147 million remaining on their deals?”

    Let’s assume that we don’t give up much of value given the salary that we are taking back.

    Xander goes to SS. Segura to 3rd. Kingery to second.

    Question is, what do we have with Price and Eovaldi for the next 3 years? Too big of a risk? What if it was just one of those pitchers. So Xander and Price or Eovaldi for middling prospects?

    Would you do either trade?

    1. I would consider Xander and Price.
      But I would give up little to nothing.
      Price has only made 63 starts over the last three years, so at age34 he will be very questionable for any durability.
      Bogaerts at $20M AAV for the next 5/6 seasons could be a bargain.
      Assume Bohm will be at first soon…Stott at third and Kingery to 2nd.

      So Hoskins gets moved…as 8mark says…maybe the Rays for one of their top tier pitching prospects.

      1. A top pitching prospect for a DH/1B hitter who has two years in a row of second half slumps? Keep dreaming.

        1. Yep…but those trades have happen in the past.
          .Bobby Abreu to even the Phillies…Aramis Ramirez to the Cubs….Max Scherzer to the Tigers….Jose Bautista to the Blue Jays….Paul Konerko to the W Sox…Francisco Liriano and Joe Nathan to the Twins….Kyle Hendricks to the Cubs
          Adam Wainwright to the Cardinals…Vernon Wells to the Angels
          ….so dreams can come true.

          1. It probably won’t happen this winter, but I’ll keep suggesting Hoskins, Velasquez, and JoJo for Matt Liberatore and international bonus pool money. If the Phillies have to add another piece, like Jhailyn(?) who’s a lottery ticket at this point. The Rays are in WIN NOW mode. Liberatore is at least 2 years away from becoming an impact major league pitcher, albeit a promising one. And Tampa needs a righty power bat at 1b/DH.

            Speaking of Rhys, has anyone seen the pics Kingery posted of his bachelor party? Dressed as Princess Peach alongside his pals dressed as the Mario Brothers. (I’m sure Bryce is glad he’s touring Italy right now.)

            1. I don’t agree that the Rays are in win now mode. They have one mode and its the same every year. Throw a bunch of you know what at the wall (as long as its cheap) and see what happens.

              Once it looks like a piece is going to cost them some real dough they flip him and re-stock then start all over again. I mean who would have thought Archer would return Meadows/Glasnow/Baz


              In any event I started the trade Rhys chatter merely as a possibility contingent upon Rendon being interested in coming to Philly. Most of the crowd here seems to say Rhys has no value or Rhys is going to be really good now that Girardi is here. And you may be right.

              But again to argue that Rendon/Bohm isn’t a significant upgrade over Hoskins/Bohm is a little brash or illicit drugs.

              Many sit here and criticize MK for a lack of creativity. It’s not good to put yourself in a box and get tunnel vision or close your mind to possibilities or say its not possible we could get anything of value in return.

              Yes Rhys had an off year. Yes he is limited defensively and might not be more than a DH but he still has value. If you have conviction in this Barber guy as a scout take a shot if its there.

              And isn’t the statement “win now mode” a sad state of affairs for us fans. I mean how did we get here. Shouldn’t fans always expect their teams to try and win.

            2. DMAR, I do think Tampa’s WIN NOW mode is quite different from the Phillies WIN NOW mode. The latter is feeling the urgency because the FO is under the gun whereas yes, the Rays never operate under such duress. All the same, smart creative GMs find value no matter what the stakes are. Tampa has Neander who has worked under Bloom’s direction. Klentak has MacPhail. HUGE difference.

            3. not being a homer or anything, but come on–Rhys, even with his down year, has got to be worth more than ONE highly-touted 19 year old kid and some international cash. I’ve been thinking about the Rays-Rhys swap for quite some time now so I’m in agreement with you, but if Klentak can’t get a Yarbrough and Chirinos (MLB ready NOW arms) duo back for Hoskins then he should hang up the phone and keep Rhys at first.

            4. Trade Rhys to the Rays, then we can reunite the new Bash Brothers Cozens and Hoskins hitting 60-80 homers a year back to back.

          1. Hoskins is worth Brett Honeywell and McClanahan. He’s probably worth Honeywell and Shane Baz.
            That said … the Phillies aren’t going to do any of these deals because:

            A) They’d be selling low on Hoskins
            B) They’re in win now mode and Hoskins is part of the core
            C) Hoskins (and Harper) is/are the guy(s) the team markets the most

            1. Hoskins is very accessible, great teammate, but with the arrival of Harper, Realmuto, even Kingery….and with the emergence and proximity of Bohm, the shine on Hoskins’ brand isn’t as brilliant as it was a year ago. Love the guy but this is a business. I’ve fallen in love with my last young player. Winning is the best marketing strategy and if that means moving Kingery or Hoskins or Howard or Bohm, so be it.

            2. @hinkie – I agree with all 3 points especially letter A. Middleton is in win now mode so he will be keeping this young core and sign FA for reinforcements.

  32. When you think about it, we really got hosed on the Cole Hamels trade. If you look just at WAR you might think we did okay, but we didn’t. That was an opportunity to acquire a franchise-changing type of player or two and I’ll ask you this, did any of those guys come close to changing the franchise? No, of course they didn’t. The Yankees obtained Gleyber Torres for a few months of Aroldis Chapman and now we’ve got . . . oh yeah, nobody (you could say that Alfaro helped get Realmuto, but let’s keep it real, that trade was about Sixto Sanchez).

    1. No. I don’t think that trade for Realmuto gets made if the Marlins don’t get not just Sixto (on whom the Jury at best is still out) but what they view as a good catcher back. On a marginally different topic, I don’t also think Phillies fans consider the catastrophic deals other teams, e.g. the Yankees make and only cherry pick the successes. Measuring against the successes only is a high bar indeed to reach. Perhaps one of the advantages of being the Phils and not the Rays is that you can afford to make a few mistakes and still end up well.

    2. Remembering back to this trade, I remember how the prospect values changed just in time for the Phillies to make this trade. Teams wouldn’t give up too prospects for proven mlb talent. It was pretty ridiculous, still is. If you want to win, you need to give up something to get something, apparently no GMs got the memo. They went will quantity over quality. None of those Texas prospects really planned out – Brinson, profane, Gaello … whatever. Alfaro turned out the best of the bunch. Thompson sucked. In comparison to the rumored dodger request of Bellinger, Pederson,& Urias… what a coop that would’ve been. Eventually it was 2 of the 3, then lmao none of that 3. You know what … maybe LA gets their WS if they paid up, rolling out Kershaw,Greinke, and Hamels … when they were all good. Fast forward 5+ years, they are still choking in playoffs and we have to live with the Nats as champs …

      1. Tac3, remember the arguments on here about the value of a SP? LarryM was forefront on the “Hamels brings back not very much” side. We heard a dozen BoSox rumors, all for guys they eventually dumped.Their C was a prominent name. Where is he? Blake Swihart? Anyway, we ended up with very little. And you are correct, Hamels would have probably helped the Dodgers win a WS

        1. GMs in all sports value prospects, along with draft choices as gold.
          It is the lifeline of their organizations, even though the failure rate for prospects and draft choices is high.
          The Rays, for example, are one team of late that will trade…the majority of their starters were all trade acquisitions.
          But that was when Bloom was running the show for them…interested in seeing how they fare from here on out.

        2. I loved LarryM’s commentary, which was extremely advanced and analytic-based – he’s sorely missed around here and I wish he would come back. However, LarryM consistently said that many star players would not command much in a trade and often, he was just dead wrong.

          What he wasn’t wrong about was what those players were objectively worth – he typically nailed that. What he was wrong about was the human factor. When a team feels it needs one more player to win a championship or a GM who is close to losing his job feels he needs his team to improve immediately, suddenly that team starts giving up way more than it should for a give player. The forward-thinking GMs around the league use these situations to extract premium value from a desperate team – just as Cashman has.

  33. catch, you are absolutely correct. We should still be enjoying watching the All Star that we got for Cliff Lee in 2010, but that was an even bigger waste. There are examples like Torres around the league. We just didn’t make a deal like that here.

    1. matt13….exactly, plenty to choose from….Jays donating Thor to the Mets for Dickey, Smoltz to the Braves for Doyle Alexander……Pedro to the Red Sox…..the list goes on and on.

  34. Posting difficulties… here is my overall take on what way the Phillies should allocate finances this offseason:
    Get Cole
    Sign bullpen arms with SO ability
    Sign a #4/5
    No offensive help, save the money for next year
    Go to battle, as a team “built for the playoffs”, that has holes vs best well rounded team
    Count heavily on the rookies to come through,
    To bid time, then put final touches on rebuild in 2020 offseason
    This team is not ready to win, it needs another year of seasoning, and imho should act accordingly.

    Not a popular viewpoint, but the team needs to still be patient, and see what prospects will make the current players expendable. I’d rather not get saddled with redundant talents on high cost 3 year deals when a younger cheaper similar productive player is 3-6 months away. I’d rather wait. For instance, would you replace McCutchen with Haslely and Wheeler? Cole for Arrietta plus 10mil? Bohm and bullpen help over Moustakas? You get the point.

    This team needs to gamble that Cole,Nola,and Howard will be similar to Scherzer,Strasburg, and Corbin. If they can add Wheeler as well, I’d ok that, and reshape the offense to fit him. The bullpen needs addressed as well, so that takes precedence over offensive help as the last $ allocation for this offseason. Ultimately I’d want to save payroll space for next offseason, to make a better push then, as the all the pieces should be in place through FA or trades.

  35. Corey Seidman breaks down the 9 arb eligible Phillies today on My Teams app…

    No brainers…
    JTR figures to get an extension.
    Eflin will get $3M in arbitration.
    Jose Alvarez – ditto.
    Adam Morgan figures well into Joe Girardi’s bullpen plans at about $2M.
    Hector should come in at approximately $5M even if he’s only a set up guy (unless he’s traded).

    Vinny Velo at $4M as a reliever after 5 years still trying to find himself? That remains to be seen….
    Andrew Knapp may very well be optioned and kept as a depth piece while they find another backup C not named Deivy Grullon who they don’t seem keen on.

    The probably nots….for obviou$$ rea$on$.
    Cesar has virtually no trade value, either.
    Franco’s power bat might make him a trade chip.

  36. Here are my thoughts on the offseason direction:

    Overall, the rebuild has failed in ways, and as a result I would not label this team as “in win now mode”. They can say it, doesn’t make it true, and certainly not the wisest decision to act as if it really is the case. This team needs a lot of pieces imho.

    I’d plan for 2 more offseasons of rebuilding, with a sense of patience vs urgency.

    This offseason, I focus on pitching, both SP & BP, and round out the roster with trust in the upcoming prospects. I sign Cole if he will oblige, and I try to also add wheeler. If I can get both, I trade pieces of the offense away. Then go for bullpen pieces. Fill out the roster with the upcoming prospects (haslely, bohm, Howard)
    I go into the season with team built for the playoffs. Rolling out Cole,Nola, Wheeler, and Howard. Arrieta can be traded or moved to the pen for all I care.

    If Mccutchen or Segura need to go beef up the pitching, so be it. I’d like to see some patience vs urgency to see which everyday players are pushed out by the upcoming prospects, and make the necessary moves next year during FA/tradedeadline. Not a popular view, but this team/roster construction needs more time.

  37. Guys, I just can’t get on board the trade Rhys bandwagon. I still like the guy, and I am giving partial blame to Kap and the hitting coach. I think he bounces back. I am not nearly ready to unload him and make Bohm the 1B. We are so much better if Rhys hits his stride and Bohm stays at 3B. I don’t even consider moving Bohm to 1B until he proves he is terrible at 3B. We are not getting Blake Snell for Rhys, or Thor or 2009 vintage Cliff Lee. Go spend money on a TOR, add to the BP, bring in someone to play 3B in the interim, build a bench, and win the Division. Bohm and Howard become key pieces down the stretch and into the Playoffs.That is my fantasy. I know a lot of you disagree.

    1. I agree with you. I’m confident that Hoskins will bounce back and be our legit #4 hitter again. He’s always been a good clutch hitter prior to the extended slump. He’ll get back to that. Also his personality is so perfect for a team leader. We want to keep him. Plus Bohm at 3b is so much more valuable than at 1b. He’s not a good fielder but he’s a worker and he’ll get better.

  38. Speaking of Hoskins…

    In last week’s thread, many supported a return of Matt Stairs. References were made to Altherr with and without Stairs as hitting coach.

    I’ll propose Hoskins should be the #1 reason to bring Stairs back. I recall reading that Matt spent significant time before every single game that Aug/Sep 2017 with Rhys. A major rebound by Hoskins would propel the Phillies to one of the best hitting teams in the league!

  39. Hinkie, I laughed and cringed at the same time. Another “gem” we received back in the worst trade in Phillies history. How about if we make a trade that the other team laments for decades to come? Even the Indians got a nice career from Carlos Carrasco!

    1. Funny how things come full circle. Carlos Beltran was traded from the Mets to the Giants for Wheeler. Now Beltran is the manager and Zach is likely to depart.

      I guess the only knock on Wheeler is his potential injury risk. He has been pretty healthy the last 2 seasons with 29 and 31 starts so I say go for it.

      1. DMAR…if the Phillies do sign Wheeler as many seem to predict, perhaps Klentak will be able to trade for another arm, preferably a lefty along the lines of Minor, Boyd or Norris, to give some balance to the rotation.
        I think Girardi would endorse that plan of attack.

        1. I’m on record for wanting no part of the “all eggs in one basket” (aka Gerrit Cole) approach to fixing the Phillies pitching problem. Spread the stoooopid money around. Zack Wheeler has got to be Middleton’s top target. I suspect Middleton will also have to be restrained (by Matt Klentak and Joe Girardi) from not signing Cole Hamels (for nostalgia sake). I’d rather bring back Drew Smyly. For the person who asked why yesterday … Smyly of 2019 is very similar to Mike Minor of 2017: same age, same pedigree, similar injuries, similar average yearly WAR’s. I also like the way Smyly throws. He has two above average breaking balls, and moves all three pitches around the strike zone. For me, Smyly is a good cost effective gamble to improve (just like Minor did) as he moves out from TJ.
          Not to be overlooked … the Phillies BP needs to be (almost) completely rebuilt. I was happy to see Klentak say goodbye to all the dumpster dive pick-up’s he brought in last summer. This team needs guys coming out of the pen who can strike guys out. I’d buy Drew Pomerantz (lefty) and Dellin Betances (righty). As a reliever, Pomerantz was throwing upper 90’s with a plus CB and totaled 15.4 K/9 IP in Milwaukee. If Betances is healthy he’s good for 14.5 K/9 IP. Sergio Romo is another guy (who won’t cost much) that I’d be interested in.

          The team also needs to decide if they think Bryan Price can unlock Nick Pivetta’s potential. If they’ve given up on the lanky Canadian RHP, Klentak could probably flip him to Toronto for Ken Giles, or to Baltimore for Mychal Givens and Tanner Scott. For the record … I’d bet on Price to unleash a better Pivetta.

          1. hinkie – it will only be “all eggs in one basket” if Middleton is committed to a certain $$. But it Middleton is really willing to go pass the luxury threshold and flex his financial muscle to make this team a WS contender next year – Gerrit Cole should be the target similar last year when Middleton fixed his eye on Bryce Harper.

      2. Whenever I saw Wheeler pitch, I was very impressed. He’s still young enough and has all the pitches – he still has room to grow. To me, on the right contract, he’s an awesome acquisition. He’s going to cost 3/5 of what Cole will cost and could be similarly productive over 4 or 5 years. I’d still like Cole if possible but Wheeler’s a very good second option.

        1. He could be to the Phillies, what Charlie Morton was for the Astros and Rays…and who the Phillies let slip thru their hands.

            1. for some reason, the Charlie Morton saga still leaves a bad taste on my mouth. If you need to be mad at Klentak, just think of Charlie Morton.

            2. Yeah, we may have been to the playoffs already had Klentak re-upped Morton when he had the chance. That set this rotation back at least a year if not 2 yrs. Seriously. Not that Morton alone would have been the difference but the 3 Amigos Experiment would have been less impactful and who knows….

            3. Agreed – he couldn’t scout his own player. He opted for Buchholz over Morton. So far he has proven himself a very poor judge of talent, not a good trait for a general manager.

  40. I don’t want to pretend the Phillies are actually in “win now mode”. They are not that much better off than the Angels. My take is the FO should practice more patience vs urgency. Depending on how FA shakes out this year, I focus heavily on pitching. To me, you bite the bullet and pay Cole what it takes for him to put on a phillies Jersey. Then go after Wheeler. Payroll will be tight, so either Middleton agrees to go over the “cap” or not. I’d then focus on adding SO bullpen arms. If the team can sign Cole & wheeler, then and only then would I consider adding a 3B. For me the team Is not ready, as much as we’d want them to be. I’d rather beef up the pitching, go to battle with Cole and Nola for a team that is built for that palyoffs than a more balanced spread out team. The FO needs to lean on the rookies this year at some point, and not block them with redundant high priced contracts. Tread water for a year, see what prospects make the current starting 8 expendable, and then put the finishing touches on the rebuild next year. If they do it this way, I’d be more comfortable that the team is setup better for a sustained run, vs getting a bloated payroll with declining players. Cole is the expection, you need to take that gamble if he will sign here

  41. Fellas, help me out here. I’m having a hellva time posting. I thought it wouldn’t happen to me, but I’ve been passed by technology, no longer can ignore it.

    I know it has been posted before on what can be done for posts to stop from going into a black hole, but the guidance is buried at this point. Can someone repost how to better use this word press/site. So frustrating when I post my most enlightening comments only to have them die in cyberspace. I can’t seem to stay logged in on my phone. Lol unless Jim has limited me to 1 post a day 🙂 (kidding for the record)

    1. Sounds like you have been infected by the ‘rocco’ virus…notoriously bad
      Still awaiting antidote.

    2. Tac … sometimes just closing the site, and reopening it in another window works. Also, last week I had a helluva time posting some Q&A’s from Keith Law’s chat. I eventually eliminated the first question, and that allowed me to post. Try rewording your thought(s), and then try posting again. If that doesn’t work, try rewording again. If that doesn’t work, IDK what to tell you.

  42. If you need help posting I can teach you. I will be available from 4p,m to 7 pm on Thursday,at my main line office,

  43. Hinkie, I have no explanation why, but your “lost” comments from last week went directly to the Trash Folder. Did you ever get them to post? I’ll cut and paste them in here if not.

    Tac3, Your “lost” comments went directly to the Spam Folder. Again, I have no explanation. I’ll read through them, delete duplicates, and mark the rest as “Not Spam” so that they post.

    1. Jim … they posted after I dropped the first Q&A from KLaw’s chat. It must have been something with that. Sorry for probably filling your trash folder. I tried posting multiple times.

  44. A guy named Alex Carr from SBNation (The Good Phight) recently participated in a simulated off season with “reps” from other local “teams”. Here are 3 trade proposals that were agreed to….likely? No but they present some interesting ideas.

    1 Nick Williams goes to SD for TJ recovery candidate RHP Garrett Richards (ya go, Hinkie) AND RHP Steven Wilson.

    2 Full salary dump Jake Arrieta (assuming his no trade waiver) and Rafael Marchan to Texas for cash. This frees up $25M(AAV) to sign a bigger ticket free agent.

    3 Pivetta, Arano and Gowdy to Pittsburgh for RHP Jameson Taillon (who won’t pitch in 2020 but poses as a potential TOR when he returns) and reliever RHP Kyle Crick.

    Again, none of these are likely but I appreciate the thought given to them. If only Matt Klentak had an ounce of such creativity….

    1. Marchan is being strongly considered for 40-man protection because there is interest in him from other teams, especially if he is left unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft. I question whether they would package him for cash in a salary dump.

      1. Baseball America lists Marchan as Phillies 6th best prospect, noting that guys of his defensive caliber make the Big Leagues, though as back ups. And, BA notes, some of them develop offensively to become regulars.

        1. SWFL Frank, has BA posted the Phillies top prospects yet? If so, can you or someone post the list for those of us without a subscription? Thanks

      2. Marchan makes a ton more sense on the 40 than Gamboa. I would not give him up for just a salary dump.

      3. Jim…….can you enlighten me from your vantage point on what the 40 man decision makers see in Gamboa. I view Reading frequently, and I’m not getting it.

      4. For me:

        1. YES on Garrett Richards. Better a year late than never,

        2. No. I would not give up Marchan for one year of Arrieta salary relief. There’s actually a realistic chance Arrieta gives the Phillies 2 – 3 WAR in 2020.

        3. Is a close call. It boils down to Taillon vs Pivetta. I don’t know enough about Taillon’s current injury to make an informed decision.

  45. 37 year old Russell Martin plans to play in 2020. His offensive production over the past 3 seasons has dropped like an anchor but with high marks for defensive skills and framing, plus his veteran presence, he might be an upgrade as a backup C on a 1-yr deal. Say $2M?

    1. Andrew Knapp is making peanuts and had zero WAR. You want to pay Russell Martin $2M to have poor offense? The difference in WAR between the 2 last season was 0.7 WAR which is pretty much negligible. They are both replacement level players.

      For me, it doesn’t matter because he’s just backup. But at this point, they’re pretty much the same player. You won’t get as much benefit as you think if JT is playing 135+ at catcher.

      1. Joe Girardi said JTR won’t start more than 120 games behind the plate. Which means we need somebody who can start 40 games behind the dish without embarrassing himself and infuriating the fans.

            1. Plenty of familiar faces of Phillies prospects should be over there, which is good for the Americans heading down under for the first time …..the local guys….Mead, Edwards, Glogo (NZ), and Rixon Wingrove should make them feel real welcomed.
              Not sure about this…but the different years Cozens, Hoskins, Fanti and Sandberg went they may have been the only Phillies prospects there..

            2. Josh Tols is also i the ABL with Melbourne. He’s also pitching for Australia in the Premier12. He threw one pitch and took the loss in a 10-inning game against Cuba. The tie-breaker rules place runners on first AND second in Premier12. Tols got a first pitch bunt but everybody was safe on a fielder’s choice that didn’t record an out. Tols was lifted for a pitcher who got two fly balls, the second was a sac fly.

              Australia was one-hit in their opener against host South Korea.

              They won the third game in their bracket against Canada. Tols pitched a scoreless inning. 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 28 pitches, 16 strikes. He entered in the second with 2 out, a run scored, and a runner on second. He struck out the batter stranding the runner. He got two outs in the third, one on a strike out, and then walked two batters. He was lifted after the second walk.

  46. Above V1 again mentions a somewhat plausible idea in that the BoSox need to shed some salary. Would they do a Bogaerts for Segura deal if we added Garcia?

    Essentially $140 million for $46 million AAV savings of roughly $6M a SS for the near future as well as one for the long term. And if needed offer to take back Evoldi and his 3/$51

    Not sure how desperate they are to get under the luxury tax but that sure would give them a bit of breathing room and us some pop from the SS position.

    1. DMAR…I do think Bloom is trying to move Price first and foremost, so if Bogearts is brought into the pix, Price may have to be tagged with him.
      Which is a hefty salary to absorb……after deciding to opt-in, Price solidified that he’d remain with the Red Sox for another four seasons. For the remainder of his time in Boston, he’d be earning $32 million per in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

      I do not think a Segura for Bogearts straight-up deal is what they would do without strings attached.

      1. I would have no inclination in bailing the RedSox out of their bad money, but I would be incentivized by their offering a star who played a position of need. I’m not entirely sure how bad we need a SS right now but the X-man is good and getting better from year to year. That’s a tough call. I might take on Eovaldi’s salary, but definitely not Price’s.

        1. Would taking on Price’s salary prevent the Phillies from taking on Wheeler’s FA demand?
          That would be my concern….if it would not, then I would do the Price and Bogaerts for maybe Segura and a prospect

        2. Agreed, not like the Phillies have the ability to take on their bad debt, that would basically mean the FO was also sold on Howard,Bohm,Hadley, Moniak,Seabold etc. The Braves could, if they had our payroll 😁, but they don’t. I say let the redsoxs do what we did … have to ride out Howard’s contract

  47. DMAR, they might give up Bogaerts but it would require us taking on Price’s deal, not Eovaldi, or maybe both. I also don’t think we need to dump salary. And let’s remember. There is no salary cap. This “luxury tax” penalty, for 1st time offenders, is a very modest tax on the overage, so we are talking a little bit of money. They should not be shy at this late date. 8mark, I have no idea what Nick Williams is worth. I have been contemplating the nothing returns for Franco and Cesar, and forgot that Nick is still here. It is hard to believe that looking at Doobie, Cesar, Franco and Nick, the best we have gotten is an “about average” performance from Cesar, with everyone else downhill from there. Not one gives us a good, young player, and all, combined, are worth very little, if anything. on the market. What a shame!

    1. I know you guys are right so since I want no parts of Price I have another deal down the tubes.

      They genuinely are fun to cook up though. Doesn’t every great deal start with a “what if”

      Dances were a big thing when I was a teenager in the 80’s. I was an average joe in the looks department and athletic enough to make the teams I tried out for. The thing with me was I was never afraid of the word no.

      1. That’s right, DMAR…no matter how many NO’s you hear, all it takes is one YES to make up for them.

  48. I would in no way even consider doing that Boegarts, Price, Evoaldi for Segura and a prospect deal. If I was that desperate for a SS, I’d just sign DiDi Gregorius as a FA.

    1. My deal said nothing about Price and again if you wouldn’t swap out Segura’s 7 something OPS for Bogaerts 9 something OPS….well you’re not thinking clearly.

      Now and of course if you want to say Bloom would never do my deal you’d probably be right

      1. v1again’s proposal from yesterday had the Price, plus Bogaerts, trade arrangement.
        But Segura would stay and move to 2nd , Kingery over to third.

        1. Yeah I kind of tweaked his proposal a little to make it more palatable for us. Besides this is the year Scotty Jetpax gets to go home 2B.

          And honestly if there was a way I could move on from Segura I would but not a pressing need in my eyes.

    2. It’s interesting from all the buzz about moving Segura off of SS, what premium the Phillies place on finding one. Jim Peyton has mentioned how Kingery is considered from within as the best option defensively at SS. How much will that factor into their plans? We’ll see….

  49. How tradeable/unmoveable are, with respects to paying half or less than half their contract

    Robertson (trade prospect for salary dump if allowable in MLb)

    I’m looking to shed payroll. I’d like to promote the youth, treadwater for the year offensively, but go all in on pitching. Rolling out a rotation of Cole,Nola,Wheeler, and Howard seems like the highest potential to get to a WS, with a Harper, realmuto, Hoskins, kingery, and bohm.

    Crazy idea of the day:
    hear me out – trade Realmuto for a top package, and sign Grandal, the 2nd best catcher in the league. Not sold on the idea 100%, but I’d at least like to explore it.

    1. I would sign seal and lock up JTR yesterday.

      IF you were to entertain the idea of trading him, you would have to either a)extend him first WITHOUT a limited trade or no trade clause (good luck with that), OR b)don’t expect to get full value for him since he’d be a 1 yr rental.

      In other words, I would forget that idea unless you’re in desperate rebuild mode like Miami was last off season. Right?

      1. I agree 8 you have to make that job one. That should be the first deal announced. Now if JTR and his agent are asking for the moon then I start pounding the pavement to see what type of return is available for him.

        1. Of course, if Klentak allowed the negotiating dialogue go this far without a good idea of what range Realmuto and his agent are targeting, then that would be another lapse on his part. Let’s hope they are merely dotting i’s and crossing t’s as we speak.

      2. Spitballing … it’s the offseason, so follow me. Part of the equation is you flipped Alfaro & Sixto for Grandal and realmutos return. What is you trade Reamluto for a SS or 3B. Maybe Senzel from the Reds. Hoskins could then be flipped for different pieces, and bohm is promoted. same with Segura. Beef up the SR with Cole and Wheeler, to pair with Nola & Howard. Grandal is more than good enough, add That 3B/Ss through trade. It starts reset the payroll, the prospects emerge, and then next FA you go all in. The young players in the lineup – Kingery, Bohm, Haseley, Senzel, Howard, Efflin, Sir A, given the payroll more buffer to sign FA.

        Would you trade Realmuto and sign Rendon with majority of his money, along with promote Grullon/Knapp? Not moves for me to make, but I hope our FO explores scenarios like this. I’d be real happy with the rotation i listed above

        1. The Phillies just need to remove scrubs and add legit talent to contend — Middleton might need to open his wallet to do it. Tearing this team apart might be counterproductive and might push the contention back later other than it is really hard by a simple minded GM like Klentak to make a series of complicated trades because some fans are disappointed with a down year by Hoskins and others.

          The Phillies just basically need a couple of reliable SP, 1-2 reliable bullpen arm and productive bench players. No need to trade some of the young pieces particularly JTR.

          1. This team basically finished .500. It was heavy offense little pitching and at times neither. I’m not saying to tear the team down, but reshift the talent to the SR, give the rookies and young guys a chance to displace the starting 8, then put the finishing touches on the offense next fa/trade deadline . Will see what they do, but what I’m worried about is a bloated payroll with contrasts that are hard to move. To top it off, the production from those players is on par with the rookies. For instance, Arrietta made 20+ million last year and this year… there is a good chance that Howard can provide similar production for a whole lot less money. I see something similar brewing with 3B. You want to sign dondaldson Or Moustakas, OK, but bohm can likely give similar production a lot cheaper. Now it’s a gamble, but I’d do it , and but the money into the SR. Educated guesses, not guaranteed but that’s the way I’d do it … from my couch

            1. Tac – here’s my thoughts on your post…

              “reshift the talent to the SR” – I’m sure that SR is the highest priority this offseason. Most expect that the Phillies will sign a couple of rotation arms and it is almost unanimous that Spencer Howard is expected to be called up at some point next year.

              “give the rookies and young guys a chance to displace the starting 8” – the top rookies who are MLB ready are Howard, Bohm and Medina. These trio will get their chance without trading Rhys and JTR as nobody is blocking them.

              “worried about is a bloated payroll” – this is cost for Middleton sticking with McPhail and Klentak – a duo who are unable to find and develop talent. I don’t worry about the payroll as long as Middleton is willing to pay.

              I don’t see Rhys become worst than he was in 2019. The good mechanics are still there. The Phillies finally got a young 2-way stud playing a premium position in JTR – it will be a mistake to trade him away since JTR is not easy to find.

              Don’t worry, Middleton will put his $$ on the rotation. It may not be Gerrit Cole (my preference), but the Phillies will sign one of the top arms available in FA.

            2. Kuko, I tend to agree. The key to me is whichever top FA arm we get (and therefore surrender a draft pick), Klentak must be acquiring supplemental picks all the while.

  50. Hinkie and others with accessible info, what can you share with us about Josh Lindblom? He’s had 2 remarkable seasons in Korea after a decent one in 2017. Some think he may be coming into his own and he’s contemplating a trip to the open market this off season. What say ye? Worth a look?

    1. I’d say two things to consider when looking at the situation:
      1. Korean hitters vs an experienced American pitcher
      2. KBO changed their baseballs…their overall offensive numbers dropped significantly.
      …………..BA..OBP .SLG…OPS…ISO…wOBA….HR%
      2018 .286 .352 .450 .802 .164 .349 3.03
      2019 .268 .340 .388 .728 .119 .335 1.83

  51. Didn’t we have Lindblom for a year? On the JTR idea. We have the best C in MLB. Why move him? There is no $ issue with this team. There is as much financial power as any team in the league. There just needs to be a willingness to use it. Get a good backup C to play 42 games and JTR is even more effective. We should be trying to get better at other positions , not C.

    1. matt13….yes, Lindblom came over from the Dodgers way back when….for Vic….we also got RHP Ethan Martin, prospect who had potential but….

      And agree…..JTR is too valuable to trade, but needs to be signed long termed.

  52. CBS Sports Take on Phillies 2020 Payroll Situation:

    “….. Their Opening Day payroll was in the $170 million range every year from 2011-14. Last year it was $140 million. Here’s what the Phillies currently have on the books for next season:

    Guaranteed contracts (9 players): $109.275 million (via Cot’s Baseball Contracts)

    Arbitration-eligibles (9 players): $46.8 million (via MLB Trade Rumors projections)
    Phillies (15)…Hernandez – $11.8MM….Realmuto – $10.3MM….Jose Alvarez – $3.0MM
    Maikel Franco – $6.7MM…..Vince Velasquez – $3.9MM….Hector Neris – $4.7MM
    ..Adam Morgan – $1.6MM….Edubray Ramos – $800K….Zach Eflin – $3.0MM
    ….Andrew Knapp – $800K

    Jake Arrieta has already exercised his $20 million player option and there’s a good chance Cesar Hernandez (projected $11.8 million) and especially Maikel Franco (projected $6.7 million) will be non-tendered or traded this winter, freeing up even more cash.

    Right now the Phillies have about $156 million tied up in 18 roster spots, Hernandez and Franco included. That has them well below the $208 luxury tax threshold and suggests they have real money to spend this offseason, even if they don’t push payroll right up to the threshold.

  53. Completely agree Romus. The financial situation is excellent . I won’t rehash the Cole vs spending $ elsewhere argument and I respect those of you who disagree with my interest in Cole. But, whatever they decide, they have the $ to put a Playoff team on the field. They just have to spend smartly.

  54. Per 8mark’s request, here’s BA Top 10 for Phillies:

    1. Spencer Howard, potential Number 2 could be in MLB second half of 2020
    2. Bohm, defensive questions could slow his arrival
    3. Stott, will leapfrog Luis Garcia this year
    4. Francisco Morales likely a two-pitch reliever, though some of best stuff in system
    5. Medina, fall back position as reliever
    6. Marchan, will play in MLB thanks to defense, but likely as back up
    7. Luis Garcia, 2018 GCL stats still relevant, but…
    8.De Los Santos, likely swing man
    9. Mickey Mo, most likely a back up who can play all 3 OF positions
    10. Nick Maton, likely versatile back up, but some say could be better

  55. From reading so much about the free agent and trade market this off season – be it slow developing or not – I think I am more intrigued by it than last year’s. It seems like a much deeper pool of talent. And there seems to be potential for big trades. Lindor, Betts, Thor, Marte, Boyd, lots of volatile roster shifting in the offing? Both the owners/GMs and players/agents should be all the wiser this time around after the recent trends of the overall market. I would hope there would not be any bigger name FAs allowing themselves to fall into what Keuchel and Kimbrel fell into in 2019.

  56. Does anyone have any ideas on why the Braves did not exercise Julio Teheran’s option? I believe it was worth $12MM. I do not understand why they would just let him walk. An opening day rotation of Nola, Wheeler, Teheran, Arrieta, and Eflin with Howard in the wings seems competitive and potentially leaves plenty of financial flexibility to fill out the pen and maybe go after a bat.

    I like Odorizzi but I would not be surprised if he takes the QO.

    1. Understand Braves may yet try re-negotiating…but letting Julio go they add $11 million (Atlanta pays him a $1 million buyout) to the budget to be able to go out and get a frontline starter or two this offseason.
      There is still yet a chance that Teheran is back in a Braves uniform. depending on how the offseason plays out, they could re-unite on a much smaller one-year deal.
      But I assume many teams will kick the tires with him now.

      1. I’d be interested as a back end starter. Shouldn’t cost much and would be a solid 2 win upgrade over what they were throwing out there last year. I’d prefer Cole Hamels in that #4 spot but Julio is intriguing even with the declining stuff.

      2. Wondering what kind of baseball he Aussie league is, Is it equal to say double a over here or better,?

        1. I’d say maybe hi-A ball level…somewhere below AA ball for sure and maybe a notch or two above hi-A ball.
          Rhys was there four year ago and slashed .301/.369/.508…after half seasons of a BA over .315 in LKW and CLW each.

          1. Of course, any GM that will trade for Betts will consider that. No decent GM will absorb big $$ contracts or give up a ransom of prospects without a good feel if Betts is a flight risk which most likely will happen if the team/GM is not ready to pay up Betts .

      3. Romus, I have a question about buyouts. Since they are considered like signing bonuses in the computation of salary and bonus tax evaluations, even though they aren’t paid out until the current year when the option is declined, the buyout money has already been applied to the previous contract years’ AAV. So, buyouts paid this year don’t count against the 2020 AAV. Right?

  57. Tehran’s KWHIP Index was pretty bad last year at 6.27 I would pass. For context Cole’s was 15.42 and Nola’s was 8.06.

    For those of you not familiar with this proprietary stat I developed the higher the better.

    Cole Hamels minors numbers for instance had him at an 12.71 Chris Sale 13.31

    Some historical tests that I did for some of today’s best pitchers still prove to be true. Roger Clemons during his minors stint had 11.80; Verlander 11.42, Jose Fernandez 11.13 and Scherzer 10.83.

    Spencer Howard is currently sitting at a 10.56.

    Zach Wheeler for his career in the MLB is 6.72 but last season saw that tick up just a bit to 7.15

  58. Does anyone know the philosophy of Bryan Price. Would taking a shot at a Dylan Bundy be something he would want to do. Or, was he a fan of Homer Bailey, and maybe without the big contract over his head, he could be a reclamation project? There always seems to be someone who has their career resurected by going somewhere new, and I am looking for one for us.

    1. Porcello. Not exactly reclamation because hes still only 31, but definitely a good bounce back candidate in my opinion. Hes always given up a decent amount of hits but this year his fly balls went up significantly and left the yard a lot more (thanks, Happy Fun Ball). Again, due to his age I wouldn’t tend to believe that this is the beginning of the decline for Porcello; instead, it is something that under the right tutelege he can get those fly balls back down. His spin rates are quite impressive so you know he would probably go down to Houston and perform well, so why can he do it here, too.

      1. Going to Houston and doing well…..I assume you are making reference to the success of Morton and Verlander going to Houston.
        Not sure Porcello has the basic FB velo to match up with those two guys.
        He is more of a tall soft tosser these last few years…low 90s


        …whereas Morton was mid-90s guy.|SI|FC|CU|SL|CS|KN|CH|FS|SB&time=year&minmax=ci&var=mph&s_type=2&startDate=03/30/2007&endDate=11/08/2019

        And Verlander was mid- 90s and above for awhile now.

        In the Phillies rotation, he may be that mid-rotation guy that will give you innings, 20 out guy, at least…and save the bullpen thru the season.

        1. Nah I wasnt necessarily thinking about those two, as they are clearly better pitchers than porcello, but more along the lines of Wade Mikey who had a bit of a nice resurgence in HOU. Again, I’m not saying Porcello is gonna be a TOR arm for us of course, but this team needs depth and I think he’d be great for the back end, especially since his contract demands may not be that high.

          1. Yeah…he is not a QO guy, so that is a plus……and he will eat innings,,,if the Phillies can sign Wheeler, Porcello would fall in the rotation as a 3 or 4.
            Coming off $20M AAV so he would need to take a cut in pay….he probably will get a few offers in the bidding, maybe in that $12/15M range..
            MLBTR ranks him as 31st among all the free agents this off-season….14th among all starters.

    1. Guys like Young and Kapler will readily find a job in today’s version of baseball simply because they are well versed in metrics. They’re a commodity, if only behind the scenes. I’m not sure Gabe has another shot at managing without his friend Zaidi in SF.

  59. I agree with Hinkie about the proposed David Price trade. Rather than absorbing the big contracts from washed up players that BOS likes to dump like hot potatoes, might as well commit the big $$ to sign Gerrit Cole and Didi Gregorious. I might reconsider if BOS will dangle Mooke Betts to shred those big contracts.

    1. Don’t think anything like that will materialize. We don’t even see too many 3-team trades anymore. The Phillies should value their salary space while they are still relatively flush and in WIN NOW mode….so they can keep on winning. With the condition of the farm, they should insist on good (if not top) prospects in return if they even consider such transactions.

    2. KuKo….Betts is a one year rental….so better not give up much for him….and then will Boston accept what the Phillies have to offer.

  60. Matt Klentak was on WIP a little while ago. I only caught the end. Did anyone hear it? I just got, from the after discussion, that he has a higher opinion of the farm system than the analysts. I did hear him say that our best defensive 2B, SS, 3B and CF is Scott Kingery. Seemed to leave open the idea of adding another bat, and the position doesn’t really matter because of Kingery’s versatility. I don’t want to misquote him or take anything out of context, so I would like to hear anyone else’s views.

    1. matt13:
      From what I heard.
      re: Hoskins:
      —-Hoskins was not happy how his season finished
      —-Klentak mentioned it was his second full season and is still learning
      —And of course they are still happy with him and will be here for awhile….values all aspects of his character, i.e. leadership.

      re: Odubel
      —In his absence Haseley stepped up and also Quinn when healthy
      —he must realize there will be competition
      —he was very non-committal

      re: Farm System
      —Matt is still bullish and they were not going to trade Bohm or Howard at the trade deadline for MLB players
      –Understands the pipeline must keep going, but when you enter into the FA market with high caliber QO free agents…you lose 2nd and 3rd round picks
      And that has hurt…gave Kinegery, Seabold and Howard as example of 2nd and 3rd picks that make a difference to a club
      —The system’s ranking suffers when prospects graduate…and prospects are traded as chips…ie Sixto, JPC, Will Stewart….part of the cycle.

  61. Romus I wouldnt listen to a word he says, He is lost as a G.M. Kingery is a nice player nothing special.

  62. Thanks Romus, I hope he is right about the farm system, but the main issue remains making the ball club better, so that this year is a Playoff year. I got no sense that he backed off the “win now” stance. I would be interested in bringing in Didi and moving the other pieces around. Maybe Segura at 2B and Kingery at 3B? Braves are very open about prioritizing MadBum. We need, desperately, to improve the SP in a significant way. And, add at least 2 quality arms to the BP.

    1. My first choice is to pay Cole’s ransom. If he chooses another path, I am still very intrigued by Wheeler. He’s had some good numbers, favorable to Nola in ways. I’d also like to bring back Hamels, since he is open to 1 year deal, makes it a no brainer AGAIN for Klentak.

      Nola, Wheeler, Hamels, Howard, and Efflin/Arrietta is pretty formidable. Again my true preference is to get both Cole & Wheeler. If it doesn’t pan out this way, I’ll be pretty happy with Wheeler and Hamels since hamels will take a 1 year deal.

      Hamels sounded injured/bounce back potential after oblique strain had him laboring down the stretch. I’d feel good about that gamble.

      1. Tac3….one issue that will probably evolve.
        Boras may and probably will extend the negotiations out with Cole for a long period, maybe again into March……the team may want to make moves faster to construct the roster the way they want it.
        So to pay a Cole’s ransom may not be decided until March and there are no guarantees he will want it….in the mean time Wheeler gets signed somewhere else.
        I do not think Klentak or even Middleton want to wait again until spring training starts before they finalize their roster…they prefer it done prior to spring training
        So it will be a gamble on Cole…Wheeler may be a quick deal…by the winter meetings..

        1. Right. Which is why I’d say jump out there and get the two best guys for the back end of the rotation– Hamels and Porcello. Rick is only 31, is crazy durable and has a great mix of pitches. He bet he will be this years Lance Lynn bargain signing, as many teams are down on him as a result of his pretty bad 2019. Love him as a bounce back guy. Offer him the Lance Lynn deal NOW and see if he bites early, like LL did. The dude is gonna put up close to 2WAR per year and is durable as anyone out there, so I hope the Phils can capitalize on the fact that he’ll come cheap. Lock in Hamels now at 2/25 and Porcello at 3/30-35 before anyone else gets to them. These would not prevent them from further pursuing Cole/Wheeler, and then if you dont come away with one of these top two, it won’t sting quite as bad because you’ve already made two bargain moves to add much needed depth and experience to this rotation.

        2. Certainly a factor, while it would be hella annoying again, it could push Cole to the Phillies if he is truly after top dollar. Will see, if will be interesting to see how boras past negotiations with Middleton factor into this years FAs.

          I see wheeler going fast, as Cole’s price and negotiation timeline willp
          Scare off some teams, thus putting more focus on wheeler

  63. Cole Hamels is open to a 1 year deal with a team that wants to win. He has no QO. I would sign him today. It will not impact any other moves.

      1. Frank…..always reminded of that expression..;’you can never go home again’
        Looking at Desean with the Eagles.
        Nostalgia aside….but I would avoid a reunion…life flows..

        1. Romus, Unfortunately, I agree. But Hollywood has become such a good Philadelphia guy, it would be great to see him back in some position, maybe post-playing career.

        2. You can never go home again but you can sure miss it….

          That said I can’t wait to see Hamels on the field at CBP collecting his wall of fame plaque.

  64. Here is the Klentak interview. The most amusing part happens at the 12:40 mark when he mentions the loss of draft picks as an excuse for the deficiency on the farm. I mentioned a month or two ago, Klentak (and maybe Middleton) is to blame for most of the lost draft picks. Losing a second rounder for Harper is fine. However, losing a second and third for one year of Carlos Santana and the bloated contract of Jake Arrieta was ridiculous. In addition, Klentak has never used the team’s financial clout to eat other team’s bad contracts in exchange for draft selections.

  65. Well, he says Pete was good at transitioning to the new ways during the rebuild. Kap was good with younger guys and now it is time to win, so Girardi is the guy for that. I am not going to knock Klentak. I hope he is right. Now it is his job to give Girardi enough pieces to win with. To come into another pennant race and not completely collapse. There is only so much anyone can say in a forum like that, so I will wait to see what he does. He is “poised for another good off season.” I sure hope so.

  66. I am excited about the possibility of Hamels signing here. A 1 year deal, no long term commitment, he still has stuff, as evidenced by his start to the season last year. Even having had difficulty with the oblique injury, he still had a 3.83 ERA. His change up is still a weapon, and last year he would have been our 2d best SP. Cole, Nola, Hamels, Arrieta, Eflin or Nola, Wheeler, Hamels, Arrieta, Eflin works for me. Odorizzi is out for me because of the QO, and Hamels works better than Alex Wood. Then, Pomeranz, and Harris or Martin or Hudson or even Lindblom, for the BP, and we look good.

    1. Hamels may nave had a 3.81 ERA for the 2020 season, but he had a 5.79 ERA in August and September. Do you want to take the chance that Hamels is closer to his second half version now?

      1. Yes I want to take that chance. He was hurt and wasn’t fully recovered. His first half was near elite. He won’t make 30 starts, I get that but he can add so much to the clubhouse. If he gets us 10-12 wins with 150 innings, that would be fine from the 3rd starter. Maybe we’ll get lucky with Arrieta posy his surgery. Hamels wants to be here and won’t break the bank. Sign him to a one year deal.

        1. He is projected at 2yrs/$30M….$15M AAV.
          Will the Phillies try to negotiate down from that or accept something like that?
          My guess Matt Klentak passes if that is the price.
          If he can get him at $10/12M AAV then maybe there is that possibility.

          1. Romus, He is open to a 1 year deal, so a 1 yr with option at less than $15M, and I think we get him, and I think he pitches well for us.

        2. I agree with Murray, jim. Hamels was injured, and that is always a possibility with an older guy. But, I would take the shot.

      2. He clearly rushed back from an injury and suffered from it. The stuff didn’t go anywhere he was bit by mechanics and location. He showed flashes in that last start against the Cardinals.

      3. @JimP – I like to have Hamels back especially if the AAV is below $15-$20M. Hamels will not anchor the rotation anymore, but he knows how to pitch is must win situations. Also, Hamels used to have one of the best CB and CU during his prime so he can share some knowledge to the younger arms in the organization.

  67. Assuming we release Franco and Cesar, anyone else think it’s worth trying Odubel at 2b in spring training? That’s where he played throughout the minors until the Rule 5 acquisition and he’s possibly an offensive upgrade over Hernandez for only $7mil. Infield of Hoskins, Herrera, Segura and Kingery. Outfield of Cutch, Hasely/Quinn and Harper. Another team will certainly give hi. A chance at only 28. Why not let the guy redeem himself here since we’re paying for him anyway and then increase his trade value and deal him when Bohm is ready?

  68. We’ve a very nostalgic fan base here in Philadelphia. That’s fine when it comes to honoring the past and leaving it there. The old notion of “you can’t go home” for former players isn’t the problem. It’s “you can’t go back in time” for us fans when it comes to wanting the heroes of our past to return us to our prior glories, which keeps us from moving on. Whatever Cole Hamels has left ain’t enough to spend $12M-$15M – even for one year – when every dollar needs to be spent judiciously.

    As for Odubel, it’s not a question of second chances in my mind. I went on record last winter giving my support to the FO’s decision to commit to him as the CF when there was justifiable talk of moving him. In the totality of his case both on AND off the field, now’s the time to move on.

    1. First choice is Cole&Wheeler. Just beef up the SR, and get a boost from Howard in the next yr/2. If Cole is not to be, then Wheeler and Hamels on a 1 yr deal, I do it. I can see Hamels being closer to his first half of the season than second due to his injury explanation. If not, all it cost is money and a roster spot. He can get hot, and id wager he’d be valuable
      In the playoffs.

      Nola, FA, Hamels, Howard, & Arrietta/Efflin vs

      Nola, FA, Howard, Arrieta, Efflin

      12 mil for 1 year … that’s a steal for a 3rd4th starter. 15 is less of a bargain but doable.

  69. BOLD move: Hoskins to Tampa for pitching talent, sign Nick Castellanos to play first. As a former 3rd baseman, he should be able to transition, right? Nicky C would be solid protection for Harper in this lineup.

    More feasible moves and ones that I want:
    1. Moose is showing a bit of versatility by holding his own at 2B, and simply continues to hit for decent power. Dude has deserved a multi year deal in each of the last two season but got squeezed, so I think hes getting his due this year. Lock him up for 3 years. Bohm will still get at-bats when the time comes, and this time around these at bats won’t be going to guys like sean rodriguez.
    2. Bring back Hamels. 2/25. Do it quick.
    3. Jump on Porcello early to see if he accepts 3 years, 30-35 mil. Hes going to be MLBs Lance Lynn bargain this year, I can feel it.
    4. Cole/Wheeler may be a bit more drawn out. If Coles really at 8 years as some are projecting, I say go the Wheeler route instead. Too many other areas to address on this team. Cole fits better on a team like LAD where they literally are one player away from winning it all.
    5. Extend JTR.
    6. Haven’t looked much at bullpen guys yet .. bit of a crap shoot here I think.

  70. Carlos Santana … earns silver slugger award, can’t make this stuff up. I have faith Hoskins can turn it around, but pretty frustrating to see this.

  71. Meanwhile, congrats, again, to JTR for his Silver Slugger award. He should be extended by the GM meetings next week. That is my first priority before we start our FA shopping.

        1. He’s an Okie not sure where he spends his offseason’s. He’s under club control for one more season so we’ll see.

  72. Measuring Haseley’s defensive metric against the current five best defensive NL-CFers,
    according to SABR -SDI/fdWAR:
    V. Robles….11.1….8.5…141-GP
    H. Bader…..9.3…14.5…122-GP
    M. Margot….4.1….7.5….135-GP
    R.Acuna Jr….3.4…1.5…..100-GP
    ..SDI- not enough games to qualify

      1. 4.0fdWAR in 40 games is plus…yes ’tis good..
        One factor in WAR is longevity….and if he were able to sustain that performance over a 140/150 game period he could have been nominated as a finalist for a GG, by the metrics….not by reputation or as an established MLB hitter..

  73. Baseball America top 10 prospects
    1 Spencer Howard rhp
    2 Alec Bohm 3b
    3 Bryson Stott ss
    4 Fransisco Morales rhp
    5 Adonis Medina rhp
    6 Rafael Marchan c
    7 Luis Garcia ss
    8 Enyel De Los Santos rhp
    9 Mickey Moniak of
    10 Nick Maton ss
    ………Marchan seems to be highly regarded.
    Why not use him as a catcher, as a valued trade chip at this point.
    Phillies are loaded at that position in the pipeline.

  74. Romus, did they add any comments re: Medina and why he had an off year? I see a big gap between 4 and the rest of the top 10, and I look forward to our poll here, because I think we have a different 5-10 than BA does.

    1. matt13……I just saw the list…did not read the write ups
      But yes….the gap is there in the middle.

    2. Matt13, I think we’ll be pushing for the lower level talent to emerge since we’ve relatively little to dream on at the higher levels. Erik Miller is one who may be a fast riser and be in our top 10.

    3. My take exactly – there’s the first two, then Stott at another tier (he could rise quite a lot this year, but he’s not there yet), then Morales on yet another tier, then everyone else.

      1. Honestly, I’d have Erik Miller at #5 for sure and I’m still holding out a lot of hope for Simmons and Rojas – both are significant boom or bust prospects.

  75. 8mark, Erik Miller is exactly who I was thinking about when I made that comment. I think he pushes for the Top 10. I don’t know how much of a prospect DLS still is. I hope he bounces back and lights up AAA, but last year was not very good.

    1. Yes, DLS is quickly becoming another generic middle innings arm (which Girardi actually favors, btw) who may later grow into a back of the rotation starter.

  76. We received permission to interview Joe Dillon, Kevin Long’s Asst HC with the Nats. Hinkie, everyone, what are your thoughts? Kevin Long has a terrific reputation and a Joe Girardi connection.

    1. matt … a few weeks ago, I mentioned Kevin Long as a candidate for the Phillies next hitting coach. After helping the Nationals capture their first WS title, he’s not going to be available. Dillon (Long’s assistant) seems like a reasonable 2nd option for the Phillies. Jim Salisbury reports Dillon “has gained recognition around the game for marrying new-age science with old-school principles in coaching hitters.”

  77. From what Klentak had to say yesterday, it doesn’t sound like they are married to Kingery at 2b, which opens up a bunch of possibilities for upgrades to the lineup. I’m becoming more convinced (as Jim P suggests) that Segura will be taking over at 2b. My personal longing to see Jetpax there permanently may likely have to die.

  78. 8mark, also from his conversation, I got the sense another bat may be in the offing. I want Kingery at 2B, but am increasingly of the belief something else is going to happen. How about Segura to 2B, Klentak at 3B, and Didi at SS? No QO attached, he brings a good glove and a good bat, and when Bohm is ready, there are possibilities for Kingery to move around. Klentak mentioned Ben Zobrist. Also, are they going to look at Haseley opening in CF, or look elsewhere? I am not certain, anymore, of that either.

      1. I think Klentak would have to convince Middleton of that. If I’m the owner, I tell my GM to spend the money and start rebuilding the farm by being creative and like I said, acquire some supplemental draft picks. Teams like Baltimore and Tampa and KC may be willing to oblige. In any case, I think we will sign one of the 5 top FA arms, with or without a QO.

    1. Thought this line was spot on: “if the team has any illusions that it’s going to fix these problems and stay under the luxury tax, well, it needs to disabuse itself of the notion it can afford to cap its spending at $150 million and succeed.”

      IMO, payroll needs to be north of $200 million. Because the drafting and player development failures have left them with little cost-controlled talent.

  79. I do think the Phillies should probably sign Realmuto for another 4 and perhaps 5 years (definitely not longer than that however) and I love him as a player, but there’s a good chance that he just had his career year. Catchers do not age well, next year he is 29 and he is having his first knee surgery. Hopefully, they won’t let him catch more than about 120-25 games a year moving forward – they can use him as DH and at first on occasion. There are exceptions but Buster Posey and Gary Carter are the typical career arc, where a catcher is essentially done as a productive offensive player by around age 33. There are exceptions, but it’s not a good bet paying a 33 year old catcher $22 m a year.

    1. I hear you, but Realmuto is a different body type/more athletic than Carter and Posey. They, along with Piazza (who was a significantly lesser C defensively than all of them) were good bats, but JTR stands to be much more durable. Girardi has already said that he won’t start more than 120 games behind the plate. DH a handful of games, 1b in a few more. I have no reservations about signing him at 5, perhaps 6 yrs. Besides, the DH will likely be a reality in the NL by then.

      1. Almost no great catchers were anything but average or worse after the age of 32 or 33 – ignore history at your peril. If you pay him $22 m after the age of 32, it’s highly likely he will be paid more than he will be worth for all of those years, perhaps dramatically more and I can almost guarantee that if you sign him for 6 years, it will likely be a contract you regret, at least for the last 2 or 3 years.

        1. I’m not letting him walk unless I have a comparable player to replace him. He’s the best catcher in baseball until he’s not. You pay more for the best of anything. If he was only the best 1b or best 2b or best LF, then yes I might think twice. I will pay more for 3 or 4 years of the best catcher in baseball NOW while I still have him.

          1. I’m just saying you really need to be careful on a long term catcher contract – just ask the Twins – who paid for years of Joe Mauer at top dollar on the mistaken notion that he’d be a catcher for all those years.

            1. Joe Mauer is virtually a generation ago. There’s no MLB team who will agree to that kind of deal, let alone offer it. JTR won’t find anything in free agency (which is another year from now) that will exceed 5 yrs. If I’m the Phillies, I offer him 6 now and be done with it.

            2. I’d rather overpay him for 5 years now than to give him a 6th year that could easily turn into a Ryan Howard salary dump.

        2. Yadier Molina would be the exception but the Molina’s boys have always been freaks when it comes to their knee’s holding up after all that squatting..

    2. So what you’re really saying is …Phillies better win in the next 4 years. With the way this team
      Needs to spend in FA to Cover up their drafting mistakes, I see it very hard for them to sustain a long championship window. It’ll be a run and done vs 7+ years of being in it.

      Again, from my view, they need to count on the rookies to come through, reevaluate what they have this year, then go all in.

  80. Can’t quarrel with the Fangraphs article. The SP is a priority and the BP is close behind. It is not getting fixed by low cost prospects filling the gaps. Another major off season spending approach is necessary. Howver, I fully expect them to do so. I don’t know where the money will be spent, but the payroll will be much closer to $200 Million than $150M.

  81. Former Phillies defensive stalwart and current infield coordinator Juan Castro has been hired by the Phillies as the new infield coach, replacing Bobby Dickerson.

  82. Is there any trade package for Lindor that doesn’t include Howard?

    Bohm, Medina, Morales, Haseley, Eflin and x prospect?

    As I type, I look above and think, yea, I’d do that if I were the Phillies. Probably means Cleveland wouldn’t

    1. Most teams will prefer quality over quantity. If Howard is deemed untoucheable, Bohm and Stott will highlight the package plus 2 high upside prospects most likely Morales and Erik Miller.

      I prefer not to go that route but instead sign Didi Gregorious.

    2. Look, everyone would like a player like Lindor, but the Phillies’ system is thin enough as it is. If we do these types of trades, we are going to be at 2024 and looking at another rebuild – no thank you. Great teams like the Dodgers who contend year after year after year hold onto their best prospects for dear life, not trade them away constantly. We did that before and our last winning season was almost a decade ago. Again, no thank you.

  83. According to Jeff Passan and Mark Feinsand, the Phillies and Rangers have expressed interest in Josh Donaldson. I’ll give it more credence when local beat reporters put it out there.

  84. We should have had him last year and moved on from Franco. Now it will take a multi year deal. Is that the smart move?

    1. Pass, at this point you tread water with Franco, and plug in bohm. If he has growing pains in year 1, but he starts his accent in year 2, I take that gamble at this point. Last offseason was the time to sogn him to a 2-3 year deal, not this year. It’s not sustainable, the Phillies needs to actually develop players or they will be spinning their wheels as a .500 ball club. Take the Chance on Bohm and Howard.

  85. Just goofing around, trying to piece together a plausible opening day lineup from the whispers we’ve been getting so far

    C Realmuto
    1b Hoskins (??)
    2b/ss Segura
    3b/2b Moustakas*
    ss Kingery/?????
    LF McCutchen
    CF Kingery/Haseley
    RF Harper
    (Bohm midseason….position TBD)

    *As for the Rangers/Phillies-for-Josh Donaldson connection, I have to think that his agent may have put that out there to motivate the Braves to lock him up sooner than later. If the Phillies are going to sign any player with a QO attached, it’s gonna be a SP (Zach Wheeler?) With Boras as Moose’s agent, I think he fits in with what the Phillies are targeting. Specifically, having no QO hanging on him.

    (Howard midseason)

    I predicted that the Phillies would sign GCole because of Boras’ relationship to Middleton + his market has been somewhat overstated, although he will still more than likely blow past the record contract for a pitcher. I only wonder if the Phillies will be willing to wait long enough into 2020 at the risk of not signing another TOR like Wheeler. I commented yesterday that I wouldn’t bring Hamels back….I retract that, an affordable 1-2 year, $12M-$20M deal might be ok. Atlanta and San Diego are also interested in him. I also think the Phillies may re-sign Smyly as a swing man. And an old Girardi connection like Betances fits here as a setup man.

    Make it so, Scotty!

  86. 8mark….”I commented yesterday that I wouldn’t bring Hamels back….I retract that, an affordable 1-2 year, $12M-$20M deal might be ok. Atlanta and San Diego are also interested in him.”

    That is how I feel…though heart says Hamels, head says maybe not.
    I’d prefer Klentak trade for a younger, under-control, lefty like a Norris, Minor or Freeland.

    1. Romus 1 yr 12 million I take a chance, but I really believe we need a Wheeler or someone like him, At least two good relief arms, I am also wondering if there are any good bench players we can grab cheap

      1. I would also re-sign Bamboo Brad and find a veteran backup catcher. Quinn and Bruce would round out the bench nicely.

  87. Will Hamels settle for only one year?
    If the Padres or Braves offer two year, he may just go to one of them.

    Bench players….agree like most…Brad Miller should be brought back…he has some versatility and did hit.
    Then there is always Sean Rodriguez….unless the Giants sign him first! 🙂

    1. Romus, perhaps we offer him 1 year guaranteed @$12M with a vested option should he reach 150 ip? (2nd year @$8M-$10M) Plus he may be inclined to agree to a hometown discount.

    2. It seems the Phillies and Braves have interest in some of the same free agents. Do you think it possible that the Braves interest in Hamels might be a ploy to get the Phillies to pull the trigger early on Hamels? That would have the effect of lowering our available money for other free agents in which both teams have interest.

      1. Their GM Anthopolous even admitted publicly that he was checking with other clubs to see who they were interested in, then he took it back. Yeah right…shady.

      2. Yes that could be a ploy on Anthopolous’ part.
        He already was signaled out by MLBPA,’s Tony Clark this week, and MLBPA wants an investigation….so I’d hope he would not have any of those ‘poker-played technique’ intentions right now, since he may be in the cross-hairs of both MLB and MLBPA…

  88. With the likelihood that Colorado might be trading 28 year old RHP starter Jon Gray this off season (MLBTR posted a piece on him last night), what w might it take to acquire him? He’s projected to make just under $6M in 2020 via arbitration, his final season before entering free agency. Would the Rox take Odubel along with a couple of 2nd tier minor league arms?

    1. 8mark … Odubel has negative trade value. In order for the Phillies to get him to another team, they are going to have to eat most (if not all) of his money, and might even have to give up a prospect. Or … maybe Klentak could look to flip Odubel for another club’s problem child who is owed similar money.

      1. They wouldn’t trade him with a prospect plus eat all his money. Zero chance of that happening. They would just cut him, based on poor performance. Another team has a pitcher in the same situation as Odubel. It might be a swap opportunity

        1. They can’t just cut Odubel. That would be a violation of the CBA. As I (and you) mentioned above, their best bet might be to swap him for another bad contract.

          1. Hasn’t Odubel done enough per his MiLB contract to trigger a clause allowing the Phillies to at least cut him without being in violation of his contract? Seems like a legal/morals clause breach… Would love to know how this works..

            1. The girlfriend wouldn’t cooperate. She’s still with him from what I read. I assume that ended the MLB investigation. So he’s the perfect citizen as far as they’re concerned.

            2. Well he wasn’t suspended from the MLB for chewing gum in class so their is sufficient cause no matter if the case was dismissed due to his girlfriend not wanting to press charges. Seems like enough to at least cut him…

            3. Hawkeye….the Philies can release Odubel….but his contract still stands against the luxury tax threshold and he still gets paid.
              He accomplished all the requirements for alleged DV violation of code of conduct issues,i.e. classes and training…even without prosecutorial actions from the US courts.
              So if the Phillies can find a taker in a trade …great.
              If not he can released or sent to the minors if he has an option left.

    2. For two years of a major league starter? You have to be more realistic. Gray would require two minor league medium prospects like Medina and Marchan. It would certainly be something to consider.

    3. 8mark…Gray was the 3rd pick in the 2013 draft, a little over a 4 year starter with almost a 12WAR career.
      They probably will want Eflin to start the talks, and then work your way down the prospect chart…Medina probably one of the other pitchers..

  89. Romus, 8mark, I think Hamels wants to pitch here. I think he takes a 1 yr/option deal, and I would definitely get him. I don’t see Donaldson. A QO attached, and Moose doesn’t have one, he will get a multi-year deal, and Moustakas is the better bet, I think. I don’t give up a pursuit of Cole, but a Hamels/Wheeler/Pomeranz/Martin/back up C/Bamboo Brad off season is doable and makes us a formidable team. Howard comes up late in the season and does the Marty Bystrom close to a season.

  90. Jim….option buy-outs as we discussed the other day.

    Click to access 30MajorClubs_K9831_060122.pdf

    (Page 121)
    (b) Option Buyouts
    (i) General Rule

    (B) If a Contract contains an Option Buyout relating to more than one Option Year, then only the Option Buyout that relates to the earliest Option Year in the Contract shall be deemed a Signing Bonus. If, however, the Player ultimately receives an Option Buyout that relates to an Option Year other than the earliest Option Year, that Option Buyout shall be included in Salary in the Contract Year covered by the option that was not exercised.

    1. Yes, I read that. My interpretation was what I posted when I asked the question. It seems the $3M in buyouts were all included in previous year’s AAV and even though paid this year, won’t have any affect on this year’s AAV. I hate legalese.

      1. What confuses me is how it (the buy-out amount) affects against the luxury tax threshold in the previous years….and whether or not the AAV is the figure that actually is computed against the threshold each year.

        For example,
        …on a 5 yr $100M contract ($20M AAV) with the 5th year being a club option buy-out for $4M…would the first four years be actually $21M AAV against the threshold?…Then if the club elects to honor the 5th year is that only $16M vs the lux tax?
        I always thought the club option was a benefit for them and to save money against the threshold if they wanted to buy-out the player and move on..

  91. Mlbtradetraderumors has a recent chat pretty heavy on the Phillies questions, here is a summary

    Believes Phillies will be in on just about every big name, to include trade candidates Lindor/Bryant. Lindor for Hoskins,Haselely,Scott was suggested by a fan, hard pass per chat lead, going to take a lot more.
    Believes Phil’s won’t wait for Bohm, will sign Donaldson for immediate 2 year improvement, and could use bohm as pitching trade chip (100% disagree here)
    Thinks Hamels signs with Phillies
    See Phil’s resigning for Relamuto, will take years to see if they won that trade. (Sixto/Alfaro)

  92. Romus take is the birthday of the Marines. TY ALL for your services. I thought I read that Donaldson wanted to stay in atlanta, maybe I am wrong.

    1. rocco…Semper Fi….Tun Tavern,
      …Cookies’ must be going strong right now down there at 10th and Oregon.
      Stay out of trouble.

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