Open Discussion: Week of November 11th

The GM meetings are being held this week in Scottsdale, AZ.

In Phillies’ baseball news this week, the Phillies hired Juan Castro as their new infield coach, replacing recently departed Bobby Dickerson who accepted the job as the Padres’ bench coach.  And, catcher J.T. Realmuto added the National League’s Silver Slugger Award fo catchers to his collection of post-season awards.  Not bad for a guy the fans left off the NL starting All Star team.

Castro served as the Phillies’ minor league infield coordinator in 2019.  He played with the Phillies briefly in 2010, but was released mid-season.  He was a member of the 2009 Dodgers team the Phillies eliminated in the 2009 NLCS.

Castro was signed by the Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 1991.  He made his MLB debut in 1995.  His career slash was .229/268/.327/.595, but it was his fielding that kept him in the majors for 17 years.  Castro played for 5 different clubs (Dodgers, Reds, Twins, Orioles, and Phillies).  He was re-signed by the Dodgers 3 times in his career.  He was also signed by the Rockies, but was traded to the Orioles before playing for Colorado.

Castro had a career .977 fielding percentage at 5 positions, all 4 infield positions plus left field.  He was primarily a shortstop but racked up substantial time at second and third bases.

Castro worked in several different roles with the Dodgers and the Tijuana Toros (of the Mexican League) before joining the Phillies in 2019.

Winter leagues in Mexico and the Dominican Republic began their seasons.  We have no one in the Mexican Winter League and one active player in the Dominican – Deivy Grullon has played in just 4 games and hasn’t played since October 20th (.143/.143/.143/.286).

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 … 371 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.
11/04/2019 – Phillies activated LHP Adam Morgan from the 60-day IL
11/04/2019 – Phillies activated RHP Seranthony Dominguez from the 60-day IL
11/04/2019 – Phillies activated RHP Victor Arano from the 60-day IL
11/04/2019 – Phillies activated RHP David Robertson from the 60-day IL
11/04/2019 – Phillies activated LF Andrew McCutchen from the 60-day IL
11/04/2019 – Phillies activated RHP Jake Arrieta from the 60-day IL
11/04/2019 – RHP Pat Neshek elected free agency
11/04/2019 – LHP Jason Vargas elected free agency
11/04/2019 – RHP Jared Hughes elected free agency
11/04/2019 – Phillies sent RHP Edubray Ramos outright to Lehigh Valley
11/04/2019 – RHP Edubray Ramos elected free agency
11/04/2019 – Phillies sent RHP Mike Morin outright to Lehigh Valley
11/04/2019 – RHP Mike Morin elected free agency
11/04/2019 – Phillies sent RHP Jerad Eickhoff outright to Lehigh Valley
11/04/2019 – RHP Jerad Eickhoff elected free agency
11/04/2019 – Phillies sent RHP Blake Parker outright to Lehigh Valley
11/04/2019 – RHP Blake Parker elected free agency
11/04/2019 – Phillies sent LF Phil Gosselin outright to Lehigh Valley
11/04/2019 – SS Malquin Canelo elected free agency
11/04/2019 – 3B Ali Castillo elected free agency
11/04/2019 – OF Jan Hernandez elected free agency
11/04/2019 – RHP Alexis Rivero elected free agency
11/04/2019 – LF Shane Robinson elected free agency
11/04/2019 – SS Andrew Romine elected free agency
11/04/2019 – 3B Mitch Walding elected free agency
11/04/2019 – C Matt McBride elected free agency
11/04/2019 – RHP Tyler Viza elected free agency
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

391 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of November 11th

  1. Question….of the 6 players who were activated tomorrow from the 60 day IL, David Robertson and Seranthony Dominguez will both likely start 2020 back on the shelf. However, doesn’t their off season reactivation tie up 2 spots on the 40man roster? And so, the Phillies have two less spots to maneuver in off season transactions. Is that correct?

    On another note, we should be anticipating the hiring of Joe Dillon as new hitting coach this week. I’m sure Bryce is on board with that since he’s familiar with him from his DC days.

    Finally, I’m conflicted about the Gerrit Cole situation. I both want him AND I want the Phillies to acquire multiple starting pitchers and relievers. One way to relieve the dilemma is if Johnny Cigars has already decided that they are blowing through the luxury tax threshold. To that I say YES and AMEN!

    1. About the Phillies luxury tax situation: Middleton is definitely going over the threshold in 2020. Here’s why …

      Next year’s cap is 208 million (MLB uses AAV to calculate clubs’ salaries).

      Harper (25.4 million AAV)
      McCutchen (16.6 million AAV)
      Bruce (1.5 million AAV because Seattle is eating most of his money)
      Haseley (550 thousand AAV)
      Quinn (550 thousand AAV)

      Realmuto (22 million AAV *estimate after a LTX this winter)
      Knapp (550 thousand AAV)

      Hoskins (600 thousand AAV)

      Kingery (4 million AAV)

      Segura (14 million AAV)

      Miller (3 million AAV *estimate)
      Bohm at some point (550 thousand AAV)

      Nola (11 million AAV)
      Wheeler (20 million AAV *estimate)
      Arrieta (25 million AAV)
      Eflin (3 million AAV *estimate)
      Smyly (7 million AAV *estimate)

      Velasquez (4 million AAV *estimate)
      Pivetta (600 thousand AAV)
      Neris (4.5 million AAV *estimate)
      Alvarez (3 million AAV *estimate)
      Morgan (1.5 million AAV *estimate)
      Arano (550 thousand AAV)
      Dellin Betances (7 million AAV *estimate)
      Drew Pomerantz (8 million AAV *estimate)

      Robertson (11.5 million AAV)
      Odubel (6.1 million AAV – Phils will probably have to eat this money)
      Vargas (2 million buyout)
      Neshek (750 thousand buyout)
      Hughes (250 thousand buyout)

      40-man roster players in MiLB (2.2 million *estimate)
      Estimated player benefits to be paid (15 million)

      That totals ~222 million dollars. The cap for 2019 is 208 million. If you swap Mike Moustakas for Brad Miller (could happen) and/or Cole Hammels for Drew Smyly (might likely happen), or a veteran backup catcher instead of Andrew Knapp that would run up their payroll even more, or it could mean Middleton/Klentak go with a younger/less proven/cheaper BP.
      I think the number to watch is 228 million dollars. That marks the next level of penalty (a surtax) for club’s ignoring the cap in 2019. The absolute stopping point is 248 million. At that mark, MLB begins docking you draft pick spots.

      1. Hinkie, plus Arrieta’s $25M comes off the books in 2021. That’s huge. There will be a few uppages in salary among arb eligible players and what not, but getting back down to the threshold next winter should still be manageable.

      2. Starting to wonder about the Realmuto situation.
        I am sure they want to keep him for the long term.
        And I assumed that it would have been accomplished before this coming February, but if not, then not sure what the plan is.
        I think the finances will then drive their plan of action.

        1. I’d give the odds of them re-signing him long-term at like 85-90 percent. I’m not exactly sure when it will happen, but probably before the end of May and as soon as prior to the end of this year. They want him, he appears to want to be here and they are willing to spend the money.

          1. I do think his last arb year…2020….will not be the $22M suggested AAV…..I think to save them some leverage vs the lux tax they may giv him in the neighborhood of 15/17M, then the last four years a higher AAV than $22M….since in 2021 Arrieta comes off the books.
            Rendon got $19M his arb4….so think the Phillies will try to see if he would be willing to take that amount or a little less.

        2. His agent is waiting to see what the free agent catcher gets first. That’s all, nothing to worry about. It will get get done.

      3. This is stellar work by you Hinkie.

        For me there is not enough there to keep Quinn and if no deal is possible to move Herrera and his contract then I will just keep him. He has enough talent to warrant a second chance at redeeming his character. I may be in the minority there.

        If the plan is to have JT start much fewer games behind the dish I think a veteran back-up is a must.

        1. Both Girardi and Klentak separately spoke about how good Quinn was when healthy. Try notice him. He’s not going anywhere.

        1. v1 … your right. I agree with you. I’m just pointing out the Phillies’ luxury tax situation (they’re going over) with those mid level additions. Middleton could break the bank for Gerrit Cole and/or one of Rendon/Donaldson, but I doubt it. It just makes more sense to spread the money around to build depth and avoid losing two draft picks and one million dollars in J2 dollars.

    2. 8mark….once the WS is completed and the subsequent minimal waiting period afterwards of approx. a week or so is completed….there can be no players on a 60 day IL status..they are on the 40 or not..

  2. I was on a site that list top 25 free agents, not one was picked to go here, I don’t see Middleton missing out on a starter, Unless those top starters don’t want to come here, I believe the money here will be the best offer

    1. Sites like MLBTR make predictions on where players will land without regard to how many any particular team is expected to sign. They even admit that which probably explains that their accuracy rate is about %10-%15. Their focus is really on projecting the players’ individual market deal, years/dollars.

    2. That’s silly – Middleton will almost certainly land one of the top 3 starters and definitely one of the top 5. The real issue is whether they go over the top for Cole or go with a plan 1A where they get a guy like Wheeler and spread the money around some. I think Wheeler will be a lot cheaper, command many few years and is really a fine pitcher with great upside, so if he’s the top starter they acquire and they spread the rest of the money around, I’m okay with that.

      1. And, assuming Wheeler is fully healthy (and I have no reason to believe otherwise), he has as much tread on his tires as any upper tier 30 year old pitcher (next year will be his age 30 year). He’s pitched 749 professional innings – he’s missed most the wear and tear other top pitchers experience during their 20s and I like that a lot about him. But the risks (among others) are the TJ surgery and the fact that he’s never pitched the way Cole has these last few years – not even close – so much of the acquisition would be about projection and the Phillies have not done well recently coaching up players to their projectable peaks.

        1. I think that’s what is most intriguing about Bryan Price — he has a long track record of getting the most out of his pitchers. Cole wasn’t the pitcher he is now until he got to Houston.

          Wheeler has it in him to pitch like a front line starter as he has shown in the last two second halves.

          Spreading the money around makes a lot of sense for this team.

          1. I agree on Wheeler – every time I saw him I was amazed that his record and ERA weren’t at least a bit better and probably a lot better – his stuff is elite or near-elite. If you’re going to gamble a little, he’s the guy you would be on.

            FYI – I love what I hear about Price, especially his focus on fastball command, which is huge. This focus tells me that, unlike Chris Young, he is not going to force pitchers with good fastballs to pitch backwards (breaking stuff setting up FBs, rather than the other way around). This was a huge problem last year, especially for Aaron Nola. Except a huge bounce back year from Nola next year, at the very least.

      2. MLB predicting Bumgarner going to Braves. I would hate that unless we get Cole or Strasburg or Hamels/Wheeler.

  3. Having Klentak representing the Team at the GM meetings feels like having a 6′ 2″ center in your basketball starting lineup.

    1. I don’t know about that – if they get one or two good starting pitchers and a few really good relievers, which I expect will happen, that’s a great off season.

      1. I guess more quiet than last year 🙂 I get the sense that they won’t forfeit draft picks again. Guess we will see.
        I know the knock against them is a fairly weak far system due to bad drafting, but they have hit on the 2nd and 3rd rounders that they have been giving up.

        1. They will have to forfeit a 2nd rounder again this year if they intend on signing a TOR arm like a Cole or Wheeler.
          But claiming that as an excuse for a middling farm system , IMO, is a little lame.
          The majority of 2nd/3rd round picks thru the league by every team, do not end up as impact players.
          Just look at the history of WAR for those slots.
          Phillies may have been very fortunate with Kingery and hopefully Howard and Seabold.

          1. Romus … for me, Klentak using the loss/lack of draft picks to excuse the middling farm system is the height of hypocrisy. He’s responsible for losing 2nd and 3rd round picks for one year of Carlos Santana and the complete over payment of the aging Jake Arrieta. He’s also the one who failed to ever use the club’s financial might to buy a competitive balance pick for the price of eating another team’s bad contract.
            And yes … they’re going to have to give up another 2nd round pick in next year’s draft (which is going to be loaded with top shelf college pitchers) because they need to come away with either Cole, Stasburg, MadBum, or Wheeler this winter.

          2. Using the loss of 2nd and 3rd round picks as the reason for a mediocre farm system is more than a little lame, particularly when recent top picks include Randolph, Moniak, and Gowdy (not his fault he got hurt, but still). You could throw in Larry Greene Jr (never made it past A- ball) as well, though I believe that pick is from the previous regime. Also, part of the reason the Phillies felt compelled to sign the free agents that cost the draft picks – because the farm system wasn’t helping much.

            1. Not that it matters much, but I think Randolph was Ruben’s last 1st round pick. Moniak in ’16 was Klentak’s first.

        2. I’d bet my house they are going to forfeit picks – it’s not even a question. They are going to sign a big arm or two.

          1. If Klentak would only trade for supplemental picks….that would at least offset some of the pain of losing regular picks.

            1. His failure to do this – to think out of the box when it comes to replenishing the farm has been maddening. Why not do this? There’s no good response – it’s careless and odd.

    2. Matt Klentak is always good for one big trade in the off-season…in the next 3/4 weeks. My guess Pivetta will be involved in the transaction somehow..

        1. Oh yes……and more…Franco also….maybe Herrera , and there will be GMs who will gamble on him at a low price to pay
          If Klentak is able to move Herrera, I sure hope he at least gets $750K international dollars or maybe a 2nd round pick if they institute an international draft.
          That is about as low as it gets without just releasing him…a 10WAR player over a little four years of service…what a shame.
          I still think he has one more option, so they could also send him to LHV and let him light it up down there and improve his value.

          1. Romus, there are no secrets in major league baseball. Franco is what he is, everybody knows it, and hopefully some team sees him as worthy of being a change of scenery candidate.

            As for this off season, I think the Phillies will be very active. And MLB in general will be seeing an uptick in activity, both trades and free agent spending. Player agents are wising up to the recent trend of owners/GMs. The big issue is how the union and owners begin to breach the next CBA.

      1. Romus … I agree that Pivetta makes the most sense as a trade chip, even though I still have an addiction to him, and secretly want to see what Bryan Price can unlock in the lanky Canadian.
        I’ve previously mentioned Pivetta could bring back BP help. IMO, Toronto would deal Ken Giles for Pivetta (although, I’m not sure I’d give up 4 years of Pivetta for one year of Giles). A trade with Baltimore could make more sense. Phillies give up Pivetta for (2 years of) Mychal Givens and Tanner Scott.

        1. Hinkie…..that Baltimore trade would be a nice exchange.
          Tanner Scott has tons of potential….same with Pivetta.
          Time for them to move on.

  4. I think it has to be busy. Klentak said that, “no question, it is time to win now.” I think they get one of the SPs, my opinion is Cole or Wheeler, and that will cost the 2d rd pick. I think they start early with a BP arm, and there is so much talk about the maneuverability of Kingery, that I believe an additional IF is added, like Didi or Moose. So, 2 SPs, 2 BP arms, an IF, a backup C and bench help should make for a fairly busy off season. With so many tradeable pieces, even if by themselves they bring very little back, in combo, there could very well be a trade, like Romus said.

    1. Yes, I believe 8-10 of last season’s final 25 man roster (becoming 26 in 2020) will have changed. That will require an especially busy off season. The urgency to win is too great for Middleton and Klentak to back peddle there public statements.

  5. Over the weekend, the subject of Odubel Herrera came up (and I see Romus mentioned him this morning in an above post here).
    It sure feels like the Phillies would rather not have him on the team in 2020. What can they do about that?

    They cannot just cut him. That would violate the CBA.

    They can trade him, but he has negative trade value. Therefore, Middleton/Klentak would either have to eat most/all of his money, include a prospect, or swap him for another unwanted contract (or some combination of two or all three).
    Herrera is owed 20.2 million through 2021, but only counts 6.1 million AAV against the luxury tax threshold.
    I don’t think the Phillies would want to give up a (meaningful) prospect to save just 6.1 million AAV. There’s a good chance Middleton/Klentak find Odubel a new home by eating most of his money and getting back a non-prospect. That would leave the Phillies on the hook for most of his 6.1 million AAV (for luxury tax penalty purposes).
    However … what about door #3 (exchange him for another team’s unwanted contract)? I spent some time researching options:

    * Remember Odubel is owed 20.2 million through 2021 (at a 6.1 million AAV cap hit) + comes with two team options.

    A) Ian Desmond. Colorado owes him 25 million through 2021 (14 mil AAV cap hit) so the total money owed is very similar, but the cap hit is more than doubled. The Rockies can use a CF’er (Charlie Blackmon spends most of his time in RF). Desmond can play (negative) defense everywhere. Hard to imagine the Phillies would do this because of Desmond’s cap hit.

    B) Matt Carpenter (nearly 34 YO) saw his offensive numbers take a precipitous hit in 2019. OTOH, he plays all over the infield (including 3B), and it’s not impossible to envision his numbers ticking back up some next season. Carpenter is owed 37 million through 2021, including 19.5 mil AAV cap hit (WOW!). That cap hit would probably doom the Carpenter option.

    C) Alex Cobb. The Orioles owe him 29 million through 2021. He comes with a 13.25 million AAV cap hit. Cobb missed most of 2019 with a torn labrum/hip surgery. When he was healthy in 2018, he under-performed his salary in Baltimore. This could work for the Phillies, they need pitching depth. However, the O’s might just prefer to hold on to Cobb, and hope he pitches well enough to fetch them a useful prospect at the deadline this summer (or next winter).

    D) Wei-Yin Chen. Miami could use a CF’er (Lewis Brinson has been horrendous). Chen was relegated to BP duties in 2019. He wasn’t very good as a reliever (1.537 WHIP, 5.23 FIP). The good news for the Phillies is Chen is under contract for just one more year @ 22 million dollars (very similar to what Odubel is owed). The bad news is … he has a 16 million dollar AAV/cap hit. For the glass half full crowd, that would mean the Phillies would shed 41 million dollars in AAV from their books after 2020 between Chen and Arrieta.

    Here’s where (IMO) things could get more interesting …

    E) Yusei Kikuchi is a LHSP who had a very bad first year (1.51 WHIP, 6.5 K/9 IP, 5.71 FIP) with Seattle after many great seasons in Japan, and (importantly) is represented by Scott Boras. I was hoping the Phillies would take a run at him last winter as a FA (what do I know?) so I believe he’s better than what he showed in 2019. Kikuchi is owed 46 million through 2022 (14 million AAV) + comes with 3 team options.

    F) Wil Myers and a prospect. Myers has been bad in San Diego the past two seasons (.763 OPS in 2018 and .739 OPS in 2019), and he’s owed 68.5 mil through 2022. That’s three and a half times the amount on the books for Odubel. Myers cap hit is only 13.8 million AAV (so there’s that). The Phillies would only consider this if they could gain a prospect (or useful MLB ready player) in the deal. I’ve always liked Matt Strahm and Cal Quantril. Maybe Klentak could even get AJ Preller to fork over Adrian Morejon.

    G) NY Mets BLOCKBUSTER! Most of you are probably going to kill me for even suggesting this one.
    Q: Who has one of the two worst team killer contracts in all of MLB? A: Robinson Cano. What would the Mets give John Middleton for taking some/most of Cano’s money? I guess it depends on how much Middleton would take. Cano was pretty brutal this season (.256/.307/.428), and he’s still owed 96 million over the next four seasons at 24 million AAV.
    The chance this happens is infinitesimal … but … what if the Phillies could flip Odubel for Brandon Nimmo and Edwin Diaz (IMO his 2019 season was an aberration)? Or … what if the Phillies could flip Odubel for Jeff McNeil or Michael Conforto by accepting some/most/all of Cano’s contract? Like I said … this is where things would get interesting.

    In the end … the Odubel situation will probably come to a close in the dullest of ways. Klentak will probably find a team to take a very small piece of his contract for a non-prospect.

    1. Absorbing big contracts is a mistake. The current FA has good enough talent to fix whatever the Phillies need. Just use the $$ in signing FAs rather than take a dance and absorb a massive contract like Robinson Cano.

      The possible scenario I can see is the Alex Cobb situation. The Orioles will be in the bottom of the standings so Doobie will not get a lot of attention there.

      I will be happy if Klentak can flip Doobie for Kikuchi. But I doubt SEA wants to do that.

  6. I think Odubel is perfect for the cheap marlins. we eat most of his contract, and get some non a ball prospect. Marlins like those kinds of deals

  7. It seems like Matthew Boyd is available this winter. His value should be fairly low coming off a dreadful second half. Obviously Bohm and Howard are off the table but would Haseley be? That is about the best I would give up for him. I’d prefer a Moniak/Medina led package but I’m not sure that is enough to get him.

    1. Boyd is a LHSP (who totaled 11.6 K/9 IP this season) under team control for three more years. If the Tigers don’t like what they’re offered they can wait to deal him any time during the next two seasons. IMO … Boyd would cost the Phillies Haseley, Stott, and a pitcher (could be JoJo Romero or Erik Miller or Damon Jones or Kyle Dohy or someone like that).

      1. Hinkie, if I’m trading Stott and/or Miller, I want no less than a bonafide #2 SP in return. Not sure if Boyd is a “bonafide” #2.

  8. Hinkie, I think the latter, the dull, virtual non-prospect with us eating most of the contract. I would be shocked if Odubel is back. Cole at the top of Phils wish list is the caption I got on BR. There will be a hundred rumors.

  9. Gerrit Cole is on the top of the Phillies offseason target!! Whether it’s Gerrit Cole or something else like Stras, Wheeler, etc — SP should be the main priority this offseason. I feel that Klentak got some flak from Middleton by not fixing the rotation last year which cost the Phillies a lot of games. The Phillies will sign a top arm this offseason —- book that!

    I don’t like to trade for Matt Boyd who I think is a back end starter. Boyd’s penchant to HR and low GB rate will be a disaster in the CBP. Trading for Boyd should be avoided especially if Hamels is available for a short term contract.

    1. Dan Norris ilo of Matt Boyd may be an alternative.
      –Norris…43% GB rate vs Boyd’s 36%
      –HR/9…Norris@ 1.56,…Boyd @ 1.89
      Other metrics however favor Boyd…..Boyd’s-xFIP is 3.88 and Norris’@ 4.55

      And your favorite metric of measurement:
      Boyd @ fWAR 3.3
      Norris@ fWAR 1.9

      1. yeah, i don’t like those WAR because its misleading.

        I prefer Norris because he has better stuff than Boyd. And in pitching, I like to see the K/9, GB% and DMAR’s KWHIP metric and match them with the pitcher’s quality of pitches and pitching repertoire. I watched Boyd 2-3 times in MLB Tv and his stuff is nothing special. Matt Boyd is like a glorified David Parkinson.

        1. Haha Kuko I was running the KWHIP on both guys probably as you typed this

          Boyd last season 9.43 against his career of 6.66 (a huge leap forward)
          Norris last season 5.86 against his career of 5.75 (very pedestrian)

          So in my opinion I think Boyd would be the better all around get but you’d have to first tell me who I have to give up to get him.

          1. DMAR – some metrics looks good for Boyd but the stuff is not. That’s why I’m concerned about Boyd. Boyd likes to give up those fly balls and some of them can turn into HRs in CBP.

            Boyd’s missing bats is mostly in his ability to locate the pitches not because of pure stuff. Like what you said, Boyd’s prior year’s are very pedestrian so Boyd doesn’t really have the track record of being a good pitcher.

        2. There is the other matter with Norris…his velo has dipped the last few years on his 4Smr….but as a lefty it may not be as detrimental if he were a RHP
          Boyd has that plus change-up and that is one of the reasons he has the better Kratio.
          But Norris is two years younger and will cost a lot less..



      2. Honestly I’d just re-up with Smyly he made 12 starts with us and was seemingly better with each one.

          1. Um I’m not looking to slot him behind Nola and I am not making this my only move to upgrade the rotation. I’m getting a Wheeler or a Madbum etc…

            Smyly is the perfect low risk high reward guy (again and as so many others have said this years version of Mike Minor possibly)

            I mean my gosh he last pitched in 2016 at age 27 this was his first year back from injury. I’ll bet on a lefty going into his age 31 season who had the track record he had prior to his arm troubles.

            The Dodgers took a chance on a 36 y/o by the name of Rich Hill and were quite pleasantly surprised by the low cost production they got out of him.

            1. agree DMAR, i like to bring back Smyly as a secondary move making him a swingman/longman type.

            2. DMAR…I am not opposed to Smyly coming back.
              As long as it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
              if he is willing to take a two year or less deal at a reasonable salary….and with an additional year of healing …things could be different.

    2. I’m no big fan of MK but even I can see he may have been working last off season with one hand tied behind his back. I mean if JM was hell bent on signing Harper and all his bandwidth was tied up in that one transaction I can see why the starting pitching situation became what it was.

      I’m leaving open the possibility that we may have gone from one dysfunctional situation to another less egregious yet equally damaging one.

      Which is an owner who thinks he knows better how to GM than his GM does.

      1. The root cause of all of these series of bad decision making is the hiring of McPhail which led to the hiring of Matt Klentak by default and the domino effect of Klentak’s decision making.

        Middleton had a chance of fixing this root cause by moving on from McPhail this year but failed to do so.

        So yeah, the Phillies will be operating with an less competent Front Office whose arms are being twisted by the owner who is blind to his own faults.

        1. I think it was likely the wrong move too, but those guys are now on a very short leash. If it doesn’t go well this year, I think he either kicks McPhail to a ceremonial position or hires the next GM himself. He won’t let this drag on for years – I feel confident in that.

  10. I don’t blame Middleton. He was convinced by his FO that the analytics showed that betting on VV, Pivetta and Eflin was a good bet. He didn’t interfere. I wish he had, and signed Corbin. It wasn’t a smart move. But, he allowed his FO to make that decision. He only was involved with Bryce because of the money. Every owner would be involved in a deal like that. And, he felt his team needed a Star player. I am very happy with Harper. We can say he interfered with the Manager’s firing, but I don’t think anyone quarrels with a change being necessary. I think any dispute is over why MacPhail and Klentak remained. I want him involved this off season, so when the price for a SP goes beyond MacPhail’s comfort level, Middleton can say to get it done.

  11. Matt Gelb’s recent piece on the Phillies two off season scenarios – one where they sign Gerrit Cole, the other where they don’t – has me wondering that as we discuss who’s worth giving up a second round draft pick, the answer could be that they deem Cole and Cole alone as worthy. I am doubtful that the Phillies would be willing to sign anyone other than Cole to a long term contract and surrender their 2020 2nd round rule 4 pick. Zach Wheeler? Perhaps. But the non-Cole scenario may in fact involve trading for a TOR, and then signing a non-QO free agent arm(s), like Hamels and/or Ryu.

    Teams who might match with a decent fit? How about Tampa’s Blake Snell or Cleveland’s Corey Kluber, both trying to rebound from off seasons or injury. Colorado’s Jon Gray or the Dbacks’ Robby Ray or Houston’s Lance McCullers? Or maybe Klentak revisits Mike Minor with Texas, in which case I don’t think it would necessarily have to be a long term commitment either – meaning the cost in outgoing young talent wouldn’t be as severe. Just a thought….

    1. Snell has 4 more years of control, he will cost all Top 5 prospects easy – Bohm, Howard, Stott, Medina and Morales. Considering how close Bohm, Howard and Medina will be to the majors, just keep them and sign a top arm FA.

      Kluber will probably not cost Bohm and or Howard but it might cause a young players like Haseley or Eflin plus a prospect or 2.

      Gray, Ray and McCullers, will cost at least a Bohm or a Howard plus 2-3 top 10 prospects.

      1. Well, Kuko – if the Phillies are in fact in the hunt for an established 3b, then perhaps Bohm becomes a trade chip when all along Hoskins’ name has been bantered around.

        1. @8mark – i don’t think 3B will be the main focus this offseason. Most of the $$ will be in the rotation. If Middleton lose out on some of the top arms and still have some $$ to spare, look for Didi Gregorious signing if he is still available

      2. I’d be willing to bet that no team in the history of baseball has given up their top 5 prospects in a single deal.

        1. Agree….have not seen that yet.
          Closest to home I saw was the Lee trade of 2009…. for four prospects: RHP Carlos Carrasco, IF Jason Donald, C Lou Marson, and RHP Jason Knapp. ….Carrasco, Donald, and Marson were all pre-season top five prospects in the Phillies’ system, and Knapp was ranked a midseason top 50 prospect by BA.

  12. He is going to start by extending JTR. I don’t think there is any doubt that we spend $. And, I don’t think that losing a 2d rd pick for Wheeler is a big deal. I want Cole #1, but not getting Wheeler or MadBum or Strasburg in the event of losing out on Cole won’t give us good enough SP. We can concoct trade scenarios, but how is trading multiple of our top prospects a better idea than losing the 2d rd pick? I don’t understand that. And, if the SP is not as good as Wheeler or MadBum, then what help does that provide anyway? I will take Wheeler and the prospects that we don’t trade, over Jon Gray and the 2d rd pick, and it is not a contest.

    1. I agree with you Matt but I think some would say its not just the pick that you lose its the bonus pool money as well which has a downstream affect on signing guys in the later rounds with the hopes of going over slot on them.

    2. Well said, I agree with you. One 2nd rd pick for Wheeler is much better than losing multiple prospects for a pitcher not as good as Wheeler. Saving free agent money is the only reason to make the trade. They will try to spend and sign initially.

  13. I get that guys, so tell me if that is worth giving up actual prospects. And, who is the SP we are getting so that we save that? Hamels is free, and I take him over Mike Minor, and I would take him over Robbie Ray. Blake Snell takes every top guy we have, so that is a non-starter. I don’t think that highly of Boyd, and Norris is a guy I take a flyer on in addition to anything else that we do. So, I look at it like this. To get a TOR, if there is one that is gettable, I have to lose Bohm and Howard, at least. I don’t trade them. So, the QO punishments I take for any of Cole, Strasburg, Wheeler and MadBum, in that order. I back off Will Smith because I don’t give up the 3rd, also. So, I go the non-QO route for my BP, even though Smith is probably the best one out there. But, I don’t make the same choice for a TOR guy because they are too hard to get.

    1. matt13…..your rational on Will Smith, may also be the same as most GMs…ie Kimbrel of 2019.
      They do not want to give up a 2nd round pick for a reliever.
      IMO, he stays unsigned until June…..and Klentak cannot afford to not to try to sign him at that time if the team is in contention.
      So with you, I am willing to pass on him inI the off-season, but kick the tires for sure in June.

      Hamels….his situation is different than a Norris/Ray/Boyd/Minor scenario.
      He is only on a one, maybe two year contract that will cost mre against the lux tax threshold than any of the other pitchers.
      So there will be limitations o further spending.
      That would be something Matt Klentak will need to navigate, especially come mid-summer trade deadline time..

      1. Romus, I’m hoping that the FO sees how large a hole the SR is, and does a little roster reconstruction. Unless Middleton is going to blow through the 208 million mark,’which to me is doubtful/unwise with how far off this team is, I’d hope one of Mccutchen or Segura is tradebait this offseason, a salary dump
        If need be. Reallocate the 10 mil+ savings to A 2nd FA pitcher. Then count on Bohm or Haseley to step up enough for the departed player that the overall gain is greater with Bohm/Haslely & FA pitcher vs “last years #6” starter … Build a team good enough to make the playoffs, but essentially be really built for the playoffs. You need 2 Aces these days with a 3rd darn close….sometimes 3 aces with a solid. #2.

        1. Tac3….unless a team inquires about the availability of Cutch….I do not think the Phillies will market him.
          Segura on the other hand could be involved in a swap of some sort.
          I think Kingery is someone they like to play there…or third, or second…or CF.

          I think it was pretty obvious…come play-offs pitching becomes the most important factor. The Yankees with all their firepower, did not have the horses as pitchers.
          Even the Dodgers succumbed to the Nats and their pitching did not measure up.

  14. $100 bucks says Sean Rodriguez lands with Giants if Kapler gets the nod. Any takers? Didn’t think so … 🙂

  15. Go get Wheeler or Keuchel/Hamels then get some pen arms.. That’s it.. We can move on to 2020 and quit churning about Klentak…

  16. Joe Dillon, Matt Stairs and Chili Davis are the 3 finalists for the HC job. I would think that Dillon is the favorite, but a decision should be soon.

  17. Phillies 2020 payroll is about $138M.

    Cut loose Cesar and Maikel.
    Sign JT to 6/$110M
    Sign Hamels 1/$15M
    Sign Bumgarner 5/$87.5M
    Sign Moustakas 2/$26M
    Sign Howie Kendrick 1/$6M

    For luxury tax purposes, payroll will be at $208M

    Trade Arrieta, Herrera, and pick as many as you want (de los Santos, Velasquez, Gruillon, Nick Williams, Quinn, JoJo, etc.,.) for Ian Kennedy and Danny Duffy. This will knock off a little more than $4M off of the $208M projected payroll.

    I expect the Phillies to go over the luxury tax because with Hamels, Kennedy, and Kendrick on 1-year deals, that will $37M coming off the books for 2021.

    Kingery can share CF with Hasely. Kingery can play half his games at 2B to keep Kendrick fresh.

    Rotation is not the sexiest, but it should be a fine upgrade over last years.


    Sadly, because this is a huge deal now, we lose 1 draft pick. However, I fully expect to QO Hamels barring a terrible year.

    1. There are some red flag, do not pass go, free agents that are coming up this year and chief among them is Bumgarner. He’s been on a downward track for a few years now – whoever signs him will likely regret it. I know he’s a winner, but he’s just not that great of pitcher anymore and will be paid more on reputation than on projected performance. Hard pass on that one.

    1. Welp, that’s kind of where the scouting department has to do their job. With bullpens being so volatile, I always feel like it’s a crap shoot. And hopefully, with a starting 5 that seems to be able to go more than 4 innings, I would hope the bullpen wouldn’t need too much more than health over last year.

      I feel like Arrieta would accept a trade. He’s not particularly liked in Philly and if he goes to KC, there’s a good chance, come July, he will be on playoff bound team.

      1. “Trade Arrieta, Herrera, and pick as many as you want (de los Santos, Velasquez, Gruillon, Nick Williams, Quinn, JoJo, etc.,.) for Ian Kennedy and Danny Duffy”
        …….besides the Arrieta no trade clause,
        ….Dayton Moore will have to absorb too many 40 roster players within the next eight days……not sure they will agree to do that, especially if they intend to draft in the Rule 5.
        Now you may be forced to sub a few of the A prospects for some of the 40 roster guys listed.

  18. Looking at the free agent pitching market, it would stand to reason that Zach Wheeler will have a broader market than Gerrit Cole (or Strasburg, who I wouldn’t characterize as a likely target for PHL). And if so, I would think that the Phillies would have to overpay more for Wheeler than Cole, relative to their respective value. The consensus estimate for Wheeler seems to be around 5/$100M. The club that signs him will probably have to exceed that figure. With all the teams in on him, by how much? Of course, Cole is in the next stratosphere.

    My point is that the Phillies may have a better shot at Gerrit Cole than Zach Wheeler. Then they set their sites on Hamels or Ryu or Keuchel (who I personally don’t prefer), or a trade target.

    The big talk has begun already. The Nats have also inquired about Donaldson. Texas has declared that they’re throwing their hat in the sweepstakes, perhaps snagging homeboy Rendon. Talk doesn’t equal action, but it’s shaping up to be a very intriguing off season, with Lindor, Betts and other prime trade targets dotting the market. Let’s go Phillies!

    1. I think Hamels, Moustakas/Donaldson, etc those are all moves you make before signing Gerrit Cole. Cole probably isn’t signing until the winter meetings at the earliest, February more likely. There’s too many holes to wait on a decision from him.

      With Hamels saying he’d take a 1 year deal I think you go make that move right now and check mid rotation starter off the list.

      1. Yea, thats why I think they will work their way up from the bottom end of the top 50 FA by first signing guys with talent and potential and not weighed down by the loss of a draft pick. Porcello and Hamels are my picks for this category. They provide the depth and experience this team needs without breaking the bank nor jeopardizing their pursuit of Cole/Wheeler. But yea, point being–you mentioned it– can’t wait around for Cole. Gotta have that contingency plan that enables you to fill the holes regardless of Cole. You know there will be bargain deals for SP coming outta this relatively deep middle-class (ala Lance Lynn last year), so get out and get active and hit one. Then, even if the Phils do get outbid on Wheeler (the Angels will push hard for him, I think, if they miss on Cole), I’d give up the second rounder for Odorizzi, who quietly put up a career year in MIN. Not gonna give you a TON of innings but has a solid mix of pitches and no injury history. I usually like to kick around trade ideas but for this off season, with the middle class of FA starters being so deep, I say just sign two guys from there (plus one QO arm) and be done with it. I dont see the Rox trading away Gray even if we absorb one of their terrible contracts in McGee/Shaw and kick in two prospects, and I dont think the Phils send Hoskins to TB for arms, so just use your money and take what’s there.

    1. Just when you think the Mets are really close to getting all of their ducks lined up (not that I want this mind you), they do dumb ass stuff like this – making ill-advised trades, taking on dumb contracts, trading away good prospects for guys they may only have for a year or two. That team was set up so well by the former GM and the farm director and the new GM and the owners are pissing it all away. Thank goodness!

  19. JL26, I agree with you. Hamels wants to come back here, and will take a 1 year deal. Get that done early. Get a BP arm like Betances, who has a Girardi connection, or Drew Pomeranz. We need to get those things done early. If we have a chance to sign Cole, then Middleton has to make the call on the $. But, with or without him, we have other needs that can’t be ignored while waiting for something that may not happen until March.

    1. Where is the “Hamels will take a one year deal” stuff coming from? Did Hamels say that or is this just a guess on your part? I’m not being critical, I just haven’t heard Cole or his agent say that (maybe I missed it) and don’t know where this is coming from.

          1. I read that article and honestly I practically shed a tear – which is something I rarely feel about athletes and their big contracts. Hamels is such a good dude and loves the team and the city so much – he’s bending over backwards to try to make this happen. They should sign him to a one year deal with a second year option and a buy-out – he’ll work with them on the salary and if he’s healthy it’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t be worth it. Wow – what a neat guy.

            1. What would that take – 2 years, $26-30 million? $2 million buy-out? I think that sounds like the right balance. Thoughts?

        1. I think this gets done, and Chase Utley should start sweating, his top dog status might be challenged if Cole can bring another title back to Philly.

      1. catch, I read that from Hamels. Even a one yr/option yr deal is worth doing. I think he wants to play here again. If that is the case, I sign him today.

  20. Nobody has talked about it, but if we get a good pitching coach in here and Arrieta can come back at full strength, I think he’s a really good bounce-back candidate. As disappointing as he has been (and he certainly has been), for the most part, his stuff has still been pretty good. I think he could pitch like a solid 3 this year, which would be a gift from God, and then the Phils can still opt out of his last contract year. But it all depends on his stuff.

    1. I thought Arrietta was set to have a rebound year in 2019. The hype for me came after his last ST start, his pitches were doing tornado type movement :). Didn’t turnout to mean much last year, but I wouldn’t count it out from happening, just that you can’t count on it. It has to be a “pleasant surprise”’if it does.

      I still sign Hamels, bring him back, as I’d expect a nice personal win streak from him at some point in the season, and then have him go Hollywood in the playoffs

      Hamels and Arrietta are your wildcards, need 1 to come through with Nola and FA leading the way. Howard should be properly seasoned pretty early in the baseball year imo, to bump someone from the rotation. Likely Efflin, but Arrietta could deserve it more if he struggles again. Will see. Good problem to have if so.

      1. If they added a solid reliever, a long shot reliever, Hamels and Wheeler, that would be a big upgrade with Howard expected sometime by late spring (I don’t think it will take long – I think he’s a major league pitcher right now) – with those three guys Nola and Arrieta, suddenly it’s a pretty impressive staff.

        I think there is also a unique opportunity to make Vinny a vanguard reliever – a guy who pitches a couple of innings (4th through 7th innings) every second or third day. He’d be great at it (he’s not a one trick pony with his stuff) and there’s a real need that could be filled. Vinny has a lot of ability and sometimes it takes a few years for guys like that to get traction when they go from the rotation to the pen (see Andrew Miller, among others).

        1. I can agree with a lot of this, just not my first preference. I want Cole, and I want him to be a spirit crushing 1-2 punch with Nola in a playoff series. I want him going 2 gms a series with the potential to come out of pen or even dare I say 3 gms. Put Nola in for 2 as well. I like wheeler, believe he will be a good pickup l, but come playoff time, Cole vs Wheeler, I’m taking my chances with Cole.

          I think both Hamels and Wheeler will have nice seasons, and can see Hamels stepping up in the playoffs. I really hope they sign him, not because of nostalgia, but because the dude can flat out pitch.

          While I’m my positive train, I can see both VV and Pivetta helping this teams pen out, especially with a new PC. I don’t give up on either yet, but you have to make moves beleiving they are both pen Arms of tradebait.

          Sir A,Neris,Giles (bring him back
          Too!), Pivetta, Vasquez & Morgan. I think that could be could. Beef it up at the deadline if not. I expect 1 of VV or Pivetta to be a big pen contributor this year. Once VV knows he doesn’t have to go 6, I think he’ll excel, and Pivetta issues seems to stem from immaturity & the old PC. So will see

  21. No problem, at all, with Wheeler and Hamels. Hamels and Arrieta are 3/4 in the Rotation, with Eflin #5. I have hope that a healthy Arrieta does the job as a #4. I still try for Cole, but we have to get 1 of the guys that comes with a QO. That’s Cole, Strasburg, Wheeler and MadBum, in that order. I know, we lose that 2d rd pick, plus the International $ and slot $. I just don’t see a way to build a good enough SR without 1 of those guys.

  22. Astros have always liked Wheeler … even more reason for the Phillies to sign him!

    1. I’m sure they view Wheeler as the guy than can most likely mold in the image of Gerrit Cole and I think they’re right.

      1. They’re another team that’ll have to blow past lux tax to get him, in a similar boat with Yanks, Sox, Cubs, but can’t rule it out, of course. That was the question I was asking myself when I was doing that MLBTR prediction contest–yeah, the Yanks want Wheeler I’m sure, but do they consider him that necessary to blow past the second threshold? With Cole, seems the answer is yes. Wheeler, though? I do think Phils are favorites for Wheeler.

    2. That’s what makes this off season so different from last….there were no big difference makers out there beside Harper and Machado, and NO arms. This time around, the market is much deeper, and if there is no urgency for front offices to take action then there is something really, really wrong here.

      1. There will be a ton of urgency by many teams – all of them saw the same thing. The team with the best starting pitching kicked everyone’s tail and the team with the second best starting pitching took the winner to a WS game 7. It’s a the same old story in the postseason especially – so some pitchers will definitely get paid.

    1. That “last team standing” thing is a terrible idea. While they’re waiting on Gerrit Cole, guys like Strasburg and Wheeler (an excellent option) will be signing elsewhere. If the Phillies are left w/o a chair when the Cole music stops, they’re screwed.
      Better to be aggressive with Wheeler early.

      1. Yea I dont think he necessarily meant “Cole or bust” or “putting all your eggs in one basket” strategy–I think he just means the Phils will be hanging around till the end, but will have already made moves to fill holes. Have to be prudent enough to expect that you wont land him. Moreno is gonna be arguably as aggressive as Middleton.

      2. I think they are going to operate as if they aren’t going to sign Gerrit Cole and if he happens to be available after they fill all their holes then that is great. It’s definitely the smart thing to do. They have the budget to go after him if they need to even if they were to add 2 other starters via trade/FA. Eflin could easily be optioned or sent to the pen.

    2. Wonder if Jason is aware of Dellin Betances injuries thru this past season.
      He was diagnosed with an impingement in his pitching shoulder in spring training around mid-March….then he was in rehab and it was stopped when he had strained his right latissimus dorsi muscle around mid-June…., and Betances did not start a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment until September.
      Then the partial left Achilles tear in September after pitching to two batters vs the Jays.
      He is risky business..

  23. Hinkie, I took the “one big, multi year deal to refer to Wheeler or MadBum, while staying in the mix on Cole. I can’t see any way that Cole doesn’t get the huge contract everyone thinks he gets. No comparison to Arrieta. I am a big Jayson Stark fan but I don’t think he is correct about not tendering Cesar.

    1. matt13……I think Reddick was correct on Cole…he will be playing somewhere west of Nevada.
      Middelton should put his best offer out there to Boras and Cole……give a 2/3 week window to decide, if no decision is forthcoming from the Cole camp…..then go after Wheeler ASAP.

    2. I’d be super surprised if Cole doesn’t at least match Scherzer’s contract at this point – and it will probably be quite a bit richer.

    1. I don’t know, Romus….this reporter has Boras as Machado’s agent. Very careless with details. Grain of salt.

    2. I don’t know, Romus….this reporter has Boras as Machado’s agent. Very careless with details. Grain of salt.

      1. Andy Martino needs to be more meticulous…..some guys just let the minute details escape them.
        But the gist seems to be there in conveying Boras’ plan of attack.

    3. The biggest name on the market and Boras as an agent? I’d be surprised if it gets done before ST starts – Boras will eek out every last penny from this deal.

    1. Romus, if that’s the case, Preller will shortly be priced out of Wheeler’s range, too. Twenty teams will drive his price up. Boras needs to be careful that two of the three big market would be suitors for Cole – Angels, Yankees, Phillies – sign Strasburg and Wheeler instead, leaving him with one team to minimize his leverage.

      1. Yes 8mark….that may be a concern for Boras.
        He has the big three this off-season, so he will need to be a very astute mutli-tasker.
        That may be a reason for him to speed things up for the first two he deices he can close a deal with right away.

  24. Looks like Betts will be gone from Boston. It will garner Boston a lot of top prospects for two years of service to the trading team. I don’t realistically think the Phillies are in the market for Betts but who knows with two or three teams getting together..

    1. v1again’s proposal last week about the Sox dealing and dangling Price and maybe a Bogaerts out there, could be a reality.
      Bloom senses the need for Betts to be their icon in Boston and may do anything to get the money to keep him there.
      He is mandated to cut payroll from $235M to under $208M
      Betts in arb4 may get anywhere between $25M and $30M this season.
      JD Mart messed them up by accepting his last year of his contract.
      Price is owed $32M for the next three years ,,,,and Bogaerts is owed $20M for the next seven years.

      Will not cost much to get both players in player capital….but Sox would need to pick up some of Price’s AAV

      1. That may be the most fascinating situation of the off season. If Bloom can pull it off and keep Betts in Boston, I will be banging my head against the wall over Middleton hiring MacPhail who hired Klentak instead of Bloom. Ugh!

  25. Romus, I think you and v1 both make sense, but I don’t believe they go in that direction. If we get Boegarts and the cost is eating Price’s salary, yes Boegarts is a great player. But, now we have no room to get SP, which is the priority. I have no interest in Price as a SP. He doesn’t make the SR better. I just don’t see the FO doing that. They seem much more straight forward. There may be a trade for a SP, but that Boston deal doesn’t sound like Matt Klentak to me.

    1. Acquiring Boegarts to eat David Price’s salary is a big mistake. Both Boegart’s and Price’s salary is about $236M! I predict that Gerrit Cole could be had for $190M/6 yrs guaranteed with 2 option years with a total contract price of $230M-$240M. I rather have Gerrit Cole (and keep the prospects) than Boegarts and Price.

      Also, the Phillies could have Wheeler, Hamels and another 1-2 solid player(s) for that $236M contact that the Phillies will absorb from Boegarts and Price.

      If Middleton wants a solid SS/3B, just sign Didi Gregorious. Avoid the BOS salary dump.

      1. For Bloom to move Price…..he will not expect the receiving team to incur the full Price salary…just will not happen, no team will make that trade with the Sox.
        Bloom knows that.
        It then will come down to, how much the Sox will eat of that total amount.
        And if it is enough to help them sign Betts and still stay under the threshold then they probably would be receptive to that part of an agreement.

        As for Bogaerts…I believe last week’s proposal was ss Segura’s $14M is traded for ss Bogaerts’ $20M…and net savings for Boston of $6M for the next 2 years and $100M over the following five.

        Phillies could still make that deal and sign Wheeler.
        Sox pick up 1/3 of Prices’ salary.
        And when Price is healthy for 30 starts….he is a 3 to 4WAR pitcher not 5/6 in like in his hey day, but still a reliable lefty with the experience …..further, not facing a DH every start, but NL lineups

        1. @romus – if Segura will be flipped and BOS will absorb 1/3 of Price contract, the total $$ to be absorbed is around $159M. At that $$, the Phillies can have Gregorious and Hamels and some and Klentak can flip Segura for some mid-level prospects. Or at $159M, the Phillies can sign Wheeler and Hamels! So it will be down to the following options:

          1) Get Boegarts + Price and pay $159M for Segura
          2) Sign Gregorioius ($60M/4 yrs) + Hamels ($30M/2 yrs) for only $90M and flip Segura for 2 mid-level prospects
          3) Sign Wheeler ($120M/5 yrs) + Hamels ($30M/2 yrs) and keep Segura.

          IMO, option #3 is still best as the Phillies got 2 needed arms for less $ they will absorb from BOS and they can keep or flip Segura for another player or prospects.

          I don’t care about Price previous and current WAR. Looking at his performance, Price is no better than Cole Hamels.

          1. For me, the 27-year old Bogarts is the critical piece.
            Three years younger than Didi and is above him most all offensive metrics…plus a RHP
            He would have to be integral in the trade
            His bat and glove at shortstop are superlative.
            As for Price and Hamels….almost a wash except for their price tag.

            1. @romus – Boegarts is a critical piece but he is not addressing the biggest weakness. Boegarts contract alone is about $140M – that $ is probably enough to get 2 of Wheeler, Hamels, MadBum and Keuchel.

              Pitching both rotation and bullpen is the biggest weakness of this team as pitching is the one that sunk the Phillies ship. Boegarts might be a good 3B but the Phillies have internal options to fill that need in Kingery, Bohm and Stott.

            2. KuKo…fair points.
              But a trade like that would still intrigue me.
              And….may close the gap between the Braves/Nats and Phillies in the win column.

          2. Didi is not worth 4/$60 Kuko. Didi is a product of Yankee stadium. Take him out of that park and his numbers are mediocre at best. He’s a nice player don’t get me wrong but he’s not what you think he is.

            Call me intrigued as well provided we’re keeping our better prospects.

            1. DMAR – i maxed out Didi and Hamels $$ to show that even at the higher end of the $ spectrum, both Didi and Hamels are cheaper alternatives than to absorb Boegarts and Price contracts. Realistically, Didi will probably get around $40-45M and Hamels is ok with a 1 year deal.

            2. Fair enough but all I’m saying is Bogaerts and his 939 OPS on the open market as a 27 y/o would command a helluva lot more than $20 million.

              Price and his 3 years remaining becomes less scary to me (especially knowing we wouldn’t be absorbing all $96)

            3. Look Bloom is trying to save money in any way possible….Betts is his goal…..maybe ilo of him taking a portion of Price’s contract off the sale….maybe Philies swap to them both Segura and Arrieta, for Bogaerts and Price with also a boatload of international money which does not affect their luxury tax threshold..
              Phillies will have to bite the bullet on Price’s contract for two added years…but with him in the rotation along with say a Wheeler and another pitcher via a trade, the starting staff looks formidable.

          3. Kuko I think you need to extrapolate option 1 beyond saying we absorb $159M. AAV is what’s important…

            Even if we pick up half of Price the net AAV effect to us in the next 3 seasons is just $24M if my math is correct factoring in Segura’s $14M is gone. Using Hinkie’s work above where he arrives at $222M this puts us at about $225M for 2020.

            From the purview of the RedSox they gain $22 million in AAV over the next 3 seasons.

            After that Price and Segura’s deals are gone so we pick up an additional $16 million (Price) they pick up an additional $30M (Segura/Price)

            If Wheeler is your guy you can still get him.

            1. I am confident that we will sign one of the top 3 free agent arms, according to likelihood….

              1 – Wheeler
              2 – Cole
              and a distant 3 – Strasburg

              ….because the Phillies have both the capacity and willingness to spend, and even break the luxury tax threshold if necessary without hesitation. I’m not anxious about that. It’s the construction of the rest of the roster that Klentak needs to be creative and opportunistic.

            2. my contention 8mark is this…OPS is king. And sure we can all agree the pitching needs to be improved but I can tell you this if you don’t improve your OPS rank from 17 up into the top 10 you’re not a championship caliber team.

              I don’t care how good your pitching is.

            3. @DMAR – Gerrit Cole + Alex Wood (and/or Cole Hamels) is my preference. I agree with you about the value of OPS. However, the Phillies have enough offensive capability especially if Rhys Hoskins played withing his normal ability. The current line up should be able to produce an average of 3-5 runs, good enough to win most games with good pitching.

              And speaking of pitching, this is where the Phillies should put their resources.

            4. DMAR, I can’t argue your point but I do believe that Girardi pushing the buttons now instead of the Happy Cyborg will account for a significant uptick in runs produced. I also hold OPS in high regard for individual performance but the team has to score runs, move runners, take the extra base, etc. Girardi won’t wait around for the 3run HR.

  26. I agree with KuKo. And, I have read a number of times from analysts when they are asked about our off season “it depends on how serious Matt Klentak was when he stated last week that we have to stop punting draft picks.” Two things, I don’t think they are going to pass on one of the SPs that require a draft pick compensation. It may effect additional signings of QO players, like I believe with Will Smith.But, it will not dissuade them from one of the top 4. Second, I still don’t agree that parting with top prospects is the lesser evil than losing a 2d rd, or 3rd rd pick and the $ that goes with it. We are not getting very good pitching for guys we are happy to dump. Take Bohm and Howard out of the equation. We have Stott and Morales and Miller and Medina, just for argument’s sake. We drafted/signed them, have put time into their development, and we believe they will be future Major League contributors. How is trading any one of them, let alone more than one, not worse than giving up a draft pick? Our financial might is the best weapon we have in our arsenal. Use it, spend the money, keep the prospects.

  27. Posted a tweet by Jayson Stark regarding their offseason plans. Not sure if it went through but it makes a ton of sense

  28. Gabe Kapler … Come on down !!!

  29. Kapler gets Giants job! I think a lot of shine is off Astros organization. Reporter screw up, lose WS at home, stealing signals with illegal electronics. Not a good month. It will be interesting to see Kap in SF.

    1. Kapler is better fit with the SFG who are not expected to be a contender for the next couple of years. Even if the SFG made a run, I still believe that the Phillies did not err in letting him go since the Phillies, with aspiration of contending, cannot wait for Kapler to figure things out while wasting the peak years of Harper, JTR and Gerrit Cole/Zach Wheeler.

      Even if Kaplers becomes a good skipper in the future, it doesn’t mean that he could have taken the Phillies to the WS in 2020.

      Kapler has a good potential but he is still raw and not just a good fit for an organizations who are in the win now mode.

      1. I’m good with the outcome. I mean, the hope for Kapler is that one day he becomes as good and experienced as Girardi who we now have. No regrets here.

            1. Well hold on – I think Mallee and Young were his choices – he’s not blameless in this ordeal at all.

      1. Mark Twain once said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” Gabe’s hottest summer came in Philadelphia…twice🥵. Good luck to him. I wish him well.

  30. Sounds like Chili Davis may be re-upping with the Mets as hitting coach, according to a Jon Heyman tweet. That leaves Joe Dillon and Matt Stairs as the Phillies remaining candidates. I loved Stairs in his brief time here pre-Gabe. Wish I was more familiar with Dillon but he seems to come from good stock. Either way, we seem to be in fine shape once the decision is made. Perhaps within the next couple days?

    1. Stairs’ interview was reportedly over the phone. Not sure if that was merely perfunctory or not.

      1. PERFUNCTORY MEANS carried out with little effort. Sounds like my wife and what she does for me

  31. The TX Rangers could be a dark horse in the FA sweepstakes. They have roughly $110 million in free space to go shopping this winter and they are opening a new ballpark.

    And they will get another $21 next season when Choo’s money comes off the books.

    I expect them to go hard after Rendon and one of the other big time starting pitchers. Also a great landing spot for someone like Cehe.

      1. Color me crazy but I still believe in Odubel’s talent. I believe in 2nd chances not 3rd and 4th chances but 2nd chances.

        I believe this whole experience would be quite humbling to Herrera. This is a town that took on Michael Vick after all.

        And under no circumstance would I write his name in the opening day line-up but what I wouldn’t do is write him off from ever playing for us again. He’s the perfect insurance plan for Cutch and Haseley.

        1. It’s so frustrating. He has about as much talent as anyone but his head has become progressively unscrewed since his second year. If he arrives in shape and with the right attitude, he could make an all-star team so I guess we’ll see.

            1. True – but his need to turn things around is even more pressing now and what are you going to lose? He has negative market value now – there’s nowhere to go but up with him. If he tanks, you’re exactly where you are now. I’d bring him to ST and see what happens.

            2. Perhaps we’ve nothing to lose but I don’t care for him taking reps away from other more promising options. Haseley needs to play or be moved in a package for a position of need. We can’t ride both horses with one ass.

            3. It’s a fair point, but shouldn’t be an issue during Spring Training – once the season begins, however, it would certainly create some type of issue if it has been resolved before that time.

          1. 8mark straight and narrow from what exactly? He had no prior DV incidents. Straight and narrow from not hustling, making dumb base running mistakes? I hardly see that as a maleficent.

            I would NOT start him over Haseley. I likely wouldn’t let him start a game in the first 10-15 games. He’d be my 4th OF and at some point likely on the road I’d give him a start in LF for McCutchen.

            And that’s how I’d use him for the first couple of months. He’d be on a very short leash.

            I see no down side trying to redeem him first as a human being and second as a ball player.

            1. DMAR, I’m all for second chances. My gut tells (especially when we are in win now mode) that Odubel would be a luxury trial basis for a team on the rebuild. We’ve passed that point. Talented, yes. And I give anyone the benefit of the doubt at his age. My perspective in this case is baseball oriented. I’m not that cold hearted😍

            2. I respect that 8mark but Hinkie is telling us he has “negative trade value” so well there’s that gospel…

  32. Australia beat the U.S. 2-1 in the Olympic qualifier. The path for the U.S. to the 2020 Olympics just got a lot harder… All tournament long RISP issues for Team America have been present.

  33. Daniels always said regretted letting him go. A fresh start in Texas. The State already welcomed Roberto Osuna. Yes, that was with some sarcasm, but the point remains that Texas could be a landing spot for Doobie.

    1. Like to see if they would give up a young arm like RHP Owen White….coming off TJ, like it seems most pitchers these days, but does have a high ceiling…though 3/4 years away.

      1. Odubel Herrera has negative trade value.
        The question isn’t “who would the Rangers give up for Odubel?”.
        The more realistic question should be “how much of Odubel’s money would the Rangers be willing to take on?”

        1. Not sure where everyone thinks Herrera has negative trade value.
          If the Phillies released him right now…having to foot the bill for his contract…he would be signed tomorrow by some team.

          Also Herrera’s contract is very club friendly, with the two club option years after 2021……and if he recaptures that production of 2015 thru 2017, then the Rangers should have no problem incurring that contract for the next two years…after 2021 it is club options.

          1. Romus … there is a difference between picking up/taking a flyer on a guy who’s been released for minimum wage vs actually giving away something of value to obtain him.
            Here’s the facts about Odubel:

            * He totaled a -0.3 WAR over the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
            * He’s guaranteed 20 million dollars for 2020 and 2021.
            * He missed half of the last season serving a suspension for domestic violence.

            Nobody is giving the Phillies anything of value for this. Odubel will almost certainly not be playing for the Phillies next year. As I’ve mentioned a few times, the only question is how much of his money will this team be stuck paying?.

    1. Romus, Cole is no dummy. His public statement about taking a 1 year deal was a marketing stroke of genius by him or his agent John Boggs, who from all accounts is a good guy to deal with.

  34. Bowden on Phillies offseason plans:

    “The Phillies did an excellent job in hiring Joe Girardi as their next manager. Now they need to focus on improving the starting rotation, bullpen and team defense. Run prevention needs to be the offseason priority for this team. I am expecting them to make a run at the top starting pitchers in this class and also wouldn’t be surprised if they consider signing Didi Gregorius to play shortstop and move Jean Segura to third base while they wait for Alec Bohm to develop. Maikel Franco’s opportunities have expired and it would not surprise me if Scott Kingery becomes their everyday second baseman and César Hernández is used as trade bait to improve their bullpen.”

    1. Improving team defense would certainly involve moving Cesar to make room for Kingery. Didi would be an upgrade at SS over Segura, who could probably be adequate at 3b until that position is settled. IMO, Segura also stands to be a deadline chip in this scenario. But bringing up Alec Bohm to play 3b will not improve team defense. So much remains to be seen. I can’t remember an off season where the possible routes of change were so numerous.

      1. I do like the Didi Gregorius idea. He’s not anchored with a QO, and he’s projected to get a reasonable contract (3 years/~45 million). In a perfect Phillies universe …
        Gregorius would handle SS for the next three seasons.
        Jean Segura swings between 3B/2B.
        Scott Kingery swings between 2B/CF.
        Alec Bohm can handle 3B for (at least) his first couple of years in MLB.
        NL adopts DH in 2022 (with new CBA), and Hoskins/Bohm split 1B/DH.
        Bryson Stott takes over 3B for Phillies in 2022.
        When Gregorius contract expires after 2022, Luis Garcia is ready to handle SS.

        Again … all this happens in a perfect world for the Phillies, but how often does that happen?

        1. It’s a sound theory, Hinkie. Everything you said makes sense. Injuries are always and forever the X factor. Then comes underperformance from players we expected to excel.

        2. I like the Didi Gregorious signing. $42-45M for 3 years sounds reasonable for me. Other alternative that is being suggested is the Bogaerts plus David Price is I less prefer due to the total $ committed.

          1. Kuko I think you’ve gone kukoo for way too many coconuts on that figure. He’ll be lucky to get a deal that pays him $8M AAV let alone $14M

            Didi’s OPS+ last year was 87 the year before 124 and for his career 99. He’s a great fit for a team rebuilding or one in need of a stop gap because they have something nearby in the minors.

            But c’mon you take away that ridiculous short RF in Yankee stadium and he’s not what we want here. Just keep Segura. Oh and Didi’s DFRS pretty bad last season and not great the season before.

            1. DMAR…..have to agree.
              Didi, who will be 30 years old entering next season, had his best year as a Yankee…over 4bWAR in 2018.
              His splits home and away:
              Yankee stadium…………299/.372/.672
              Away from the Bronx….233/.292/.408

            2. Didi Gregorius predictions:

              Fangraphs … 3 years @ 48 million
              MLB Trade Rumors … 3 years @ 42 million
              Jim Bowden (The Athletic) … 1 year @ 12.5 million

        3. Put me in the Moose camp. I’d love to see the balanced attack of Harper-Hoskins-Moustakas-Realmuto in the middle of that order. I realize Didi also brings left-handed pop to the lineup, but I think Moose is the more valuable offensive player. He has handled his own at 2nd base, so there are some defensive options available there, too. I wouldn’t call the “need” to move Segura off SS a DIRE decision at this point, so I would just entrench Moose at 3rd, Segura at SS, and give Kingery a full season at 2nd base (we all want that, don’t we?).

  35. Ken Rosenthal says Phillies are checking in on MadBum. My guess is that they are merely trying to bump up his price for the Braves’. Nothing like some interdivision gamesmanship to stoke the hot stove.

    1. I’m sure the Phils are looking into every single SP who is available. It’s just normal due diligence. The agents always throw it out there to try and increase the price through higher demand.

  36. OPS is truly the perfect stat or prove me wrong. 8Mark said above OPS is important but you have to score runs and move runners etc…he ain’t lying. So for spits and giggles I looked at the top 5 ranked teams in OPS and guess what

    Yep you guessed it they are the same ranked teams in runs scored.

    And only 1 of those teams didn’t make the playoffs the Red Sox who happened to rank 5 in OPS and 4 in Runs Scored.

    Check it out for yourselves 🙂

    Also who on this team is capable of having an MVP season and if you give me Harper I’ll debunk that 6 ways to Sunday LOL.

    1. OPS:
      O…..On-base…BA plus BBs
      S…..Slugging…HRs plus, likely, doubles
      OPS…the perfect metric for production.

      Also….OPP.OPS for a pitcher.
      …Verlander and Cole….both.579…..only two AL Cy Young candidates

      1. I like WHIP just a little bit more Romus when selecting a Cy Young.

        1. Verlander .80
        2. Cole .89
        3. Flaherty .97
        4. Degrom .97
        5. Greinke .98

        So my picks are Verlander/DeGrom (recency bias)

    2. DMAR, you are proven correct👍
      The Phillies do need to hit more HRs in 2020 unless there is a negative effect on the baseball’s (re)construction? Still, CBP should easily boast of at least 6 players with 25+ dingers….but let’s not sit around waiting for them, is all I’m saying.

  37. I want Our G. M. to be like Romus is at the bar. seek and conquer. He looks over the room and strikes at the first big women he sees, Klentak don’t wait on Cole make your move on Wheeler come in high and get it done same with Hamels.

  38. MLBTR reports that according to a local LA beat reporter, the Dodgers are in on Josh Donaldson. They mention that he fits their type of FA pursuit – high end, high AAV, short term (3/4 yrs) as 35 yr old Justin Turner’s contract is up in 2020. Plus he could move to another position.

    1. And if so, might we be interested in trading for Justin Turner as our stop gap before Bohm arrives.

        1. Haha I do see the resemblance but what do you do with Turner once Bohm is called up. For me its a forgone conclusion that happens in may….

          I love Justin Turner

    2. Dodgers are also looking at pitchers…they are great at reclamation projects….maybe they would have some interest in Pivetta or Velasquez

    1. Some managers are just hired to be fired ( I call them bridge managers) The Giants know they are going into tank mode why waste those years on a guy that could actually be a pretty good manager

      I believe in the game chess these are called Pawns

      1. It’s a shame Klentak thought of Gabe as a bishop when actually he was a rook(ie).


      2. Gabe would have never got the Giants were it not for his friend, Farhan Zaidi hiring him based on their Dodgers past history together..
        Those fans out there know that.
        As for him being a bridge manager……I would think Zaidi was not thinking that way when he hired him….but realizes it will take some time
        Unless he does bump Gabe up in the organization after three years of managing as the Giants struggle in the NL -West.

    2. The best tweet I saw following Gabe’s intro press conference….”Hope Brandon Belt is working on his curve ball this off season…”

  39. Now the Rangers are reportedly being “aggressive” in striking an early deal for Josh Donaldson, which would remove them from the market for Texas homeboy Rendon. Interesting.

  40. I know everyone is hot on a 3B upgrade such as Rendon or Donaldson but our lineup should be strong enough to allow the Front Office to bring up Bohm. Why not just bring the kid up and play him. I always feel the Phils wait too long with prospects. Bring them up, let them play and see if they belong. If not, move on.

    1. Who have they waited too long to bring up in recent years? They are somewhat methodical with promotions throughout the minor leagues but Nola, Hoskins, and Kingery to name a few went through the system fairly quickly. Same with Spencer Howard.

      Why not just bring him up? Because he’s not ready defensively. Because you have question marks at both 1B and 3B that can be solved by bringing in a bat like Moustakas (who has shown he can also play 2B). You also have an aging LF who, when healthy plays at a high level but is coming off a major injury. You have an unproven CF. You could slide Bohm into LF and put Cutch in CF if Haseley shows he can’t play. You could slide Moustakas over to 2B and play Bohm at 3rd and Kingery in CF. If Hoskins falters you could play Bohm at 1B and Moustakas at 3B. Too many good players isn’t a problem.

    2. Agreed, tried to post this earlier. The Astros had the rookie of the year playing a key role in their playoff run. Bohm is ready enough, let him struggle for half a year, and he’ll be ready come playoff time. Get more bullpen help with that money instead. I don’t get it, unless you plan on having one as the future DH. Stop babying the prospects. Fake ones will sink, for real ones will

  41. Senator, I get the sense listening to Klentak that an IF is in their plans and they are not rushing Bohm. I think Moustakas rather than Rendon or Donaldson is their plan. What is the plan for a back up C that can spell JTR the 40 or so games JoeG wants to rest him?

    1. Matt13, acquiring a backup C is an important addition to the 2020 roster. 40 games is a quarter of the season. We can’t have Andrew Knapp back there that often. Transition him to a coaching career path. A veteran is a necessity for a team with playoff aspirations.

  42. Verlander finally gets it……after how many 2nd place finishes!
    I guess they feel Cole will have more chances down the road…Verlander is near the end of his career.

  43. According to Jim Salisbury, the Phillies have been in touch with Boras about Moustakas, Cole and Strasburg.

    1. As rocco would now say…a perfunctory gesture on their part…since every club probably touches bases with Boras in one form or another at the GM meetings in Arizona.

      1. Romus Boras is going to make a ton of money with these clients. I just wish we would offer Hamels a two year 26 million dollar contract today. I hate all the rumors, I think if we are close Hamels will sign here, Wonder what a package of Hopkins, Pivetta and segura would bring back.

  44. All kidding aside after the Kapler experience – and I think he genuinely tried – and after watching the 76ers uninspiring play of late – I don’t think Brett Brown is trying anything – I think a soft culture within any clubhouse or locker room is an automatic championship killer. Which gives me a lot of hope with Joe Girardi taking the reins. We may have to suffer some awkward and ugly drama initially. Egos may flare up but I think that a winning culture is formed through adversity, provided there’s legitimate leadership in place. Add Hamels, even the lesser version of him, to a core of Harper, JTR and Hoskins, perhaps a Moustakas, and we’ll have some solid pillars to be the foundation of the next run of success.

    1. The Sixers’ biggest problem was that they picked the wrong guy to give the max contract. They should have never traded for or re-signed Harris, kept Butler and kept Landry Shamet and things would have been much better. This team has no real pure scorer and, last time I checked, every great NBA these days has at least one of those guys and often two or more. Tobias Harris is okay – he’s not great. Butler is.

      1. Catch butler didn’t want to stay here. He wanted to be the guy, and here its embid team. Your right Harris was mistake and it is one we cant move for five years, I would have let him walked and gave Two year contract to Redick and brought in another shooter,

        1. One of my colleagues just said the same thing (Butler didn’t want to stay) – but they sunk way too much into Harris, both in trade value and salary – he’s okay, but he’s not the guy they are paying him to be – at least he’s not right now.

      2. As long as this Sixers’ ownership is in place, they will never win anything more than a few playoff series before they’re irrelevant again. Harris (the owner) is clueless.

  45. 8mark, I think the personality of this team fits with Girardi. Bryce, Rhys, Kingery, Nola, they are all guys that are good in the Clubhouse, and will buy in regardless of whether the Manager is tough or soft. I think some of the guys were trying too hard to buy into Gabe, that it took away from their game, not because they have difficult personalities. JoeG will blend the analytics with a feel for the game. And with a commitment to add Pitching, we will be a better team. The big problem we has the past 2 years was from Klentak, not Kapler. Middleton is giving Klentak a chance to fix things, and he has said the right things. I hope the actions back the words. I think the Middleton relationship with Boras is going to pay off. Or, maybe I am hoping so? Have we not discussed Ryu because we don’t think he is an option, or we don’t think he fits?

    1. matt13…..the consensus around baseball is that Ryu will end up back with the Dodgers, according to’s Mark Feinsand…but it should cost them at least at a minimum, $20M AAV.
      But again….he is another Boras client so who knows how long he will have to wait it out.

      1. Ryu might end up with Texas, which has had Asian players like Choo and Darvish. But I seriously doubt he would come to a non-Asian oriented organization like Philadelphia.

        1. Yeah that is what MLBTR predicts….based on their track record for prediction accuracy….that probably will not happen

          1. Romus, I think they do that for fun. Their better with contract projections than picking destinations.

          2. Romus, MLBTR just posted a report that Ryu is seeking a 3 or 4 year deal and they reference Shin Soo Choo as pushing the Rangers brass to sign him. Apparently the 2 are tight, Ryu stating that he’d be honored to play alongside his countryman.

            On another front, Jake Odorizzi is “strongly considering” the Twins QO. We’ll know by 5pm this afternoon. That would dramatically affect the pitching market, if one less SP comes off the board.

  46. These are great. I no longer have any respect for the Astro’s…A little sleazy on Fiers part that he didn’t blow the whistle while he was with the Astro’s but at least now its moved beyond just a conspiracy…

    I’m all for players looking for ways a pitcher might be tipping his pitches or if he’s a runner on second tipping his batter if he can. But when the stadium camera’s get involved its a bit much.

    1. I want Hinch to get a long suspension simply because of how arrogant he was when the Yankees called out his dugout this post season.

        1. Astros’ Bregman may oust Trout for the MVP award tonight…stay tuned.
          They both are one-two in most all offensive categories….Trout did miss the last three weeks of the season due to an injury…and no player has ever won the MVP missing the last three weeks….similar circumstance between the Yelich and

          Whether or not this latest turn of events will hurt Bregman remains to be seen.
          His 2019 splits would indicate not:

  47. They should consider overpaying Ryu on a short term deal to help change that perception. I think the exposure would be very helpful both in terms of building a worldwide brand and help attracting free agents.

  48. If they had followed Hinkie’s advice, and named Iron Chef Morimoto the Director of Food Services, we would have been a hotbed of Asian players. Having failed to do that, I don’t think our lack of Asian players will have a remedy anytime soon.

  49. Gents, I’m puzzled why the FO is looking towards Mous and Donaldson. Why? Don’t they see the holes in the SR & BP? Doesn’t the team get better results from beefing up the pen vs the offense? How much of an improvement is Mous or Donaldson over Bohm/Franco & additional bullpen arm? I don’t get the decision, and why we hold back the prospects so much. Both the nats and Astros had very young guys in the WS. … contributing. I don’t see the need for Mous over Franco/Bohm. I don’t see why the offense can’t support 1 bat that is learning on the job,that should be good after a half to full season. I’d rather spend the money on pitching. Donaldson I could see factoring in if bohm or Donaldson becomes the DH. Othewise, I don’t see the logic in blocking a young upcoming player who has done nothing but excel. At some point you need to throw a prospect in the deep end to see if they can swim. I can’t see bohm failing st this point. Save the money elsewhere. The time to make that move was last year

  50. I still want Didi because I want to move Segura to 2b and release Cesar. I’d also like Moustakas at 3b. Kingery can play cf plus back up the infield. I’ll be curious to see if Bohm takes any fly balls in LF in spring training. I’d go after Wheeler and Hamels but stay in on Cole until the end. I wouldn’t do a 7/8 year deal for a pitcher though, there’s too much risk. If we somehow also hit Cole, we could trade Arrieta. The deal they’re ready to do usually has no buzz though.

    1. I can almost guarantee that they won’t sign both Moose and Didi. The rest of their available money will go toward pitching and maybe a backup C.

    2. Arrieta also has negative trade value (he’s not worth his salary), but you could move him if you paid part of the contract and perhaps took on a bad contract.

      1. I totally disagree, Didi has much better range at SS with a better arm and fewer errors. It’s not close

        1. In my mind, it’s not a matter of Didi vs Segura but rather Didi vs Moustakas. The latter is IMO the better value. Period. We already have Segura. He can handle 2b, 3b or SS more than adequately. No gold glove but his bat should rebound after a less than average 2019 for him offensively.

  51. Sounds like Sal Agostinelli really got punked by Yohswar Garcia. The Phillies were set to sign Garcia (Venezuelan CF’er) for 2.5 million dollars this J2 period. That fell through when it was discovered Garcia lied about his age. My question has been did he up-lie or down-lie about his age. Looks like Garcia was actually a whopping four years older than he let on.

    I’m certain Kiley McDaniel was referring to Garcia in this week’s chat:

    Vander: Any idea when you might add rankings for the 2020/21 international class to THE BOARD?

    Kiley McDaniel: Usually the winter before the sign

    Kiley McDaniel: We added a guy last Jan/Feb that eventually got busted for being 4 years older

    The good news for the Phillies is … they probably have the most/near the most J2 money left to spend, and there are a couple of young pitchers still available:

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

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

    1. Hinkie….hopefully they go for the pitchers.
      Another Cuban may be available Yiddi Cappe…though an infielder.

          1. Oh my God – Chris Farley was so damned funny!! I forgot how hilarious he really was. What a loss.

    1. DMAR….probably has to say that at this point.
      Nothing else to be said without a detrimental connotation since Herrera completed what MLB required for him to do in their conduct policy rehab protocol.

          1. …time is an invaluable resource,
            …you are lucky, I did not charge you for the flush.
            That was on the house.

  52. MLB has the Phillies as one of 4 possible (if improbable) destinations for Lindor. Would Bohm, Stott, Eflin, and any 3 minor league pitchers (beside Howard) get him? Lindor’s under control for 2 more years.

    1. If they mortgage the farm to get Lindor we’ll all be happy for a couple of years and then we’ll have another 5-8 of wandering through the wilderness – I wonder what’s like to be a Dodgers or Yankees or even Red Sox fan where your team competes year in and year out. Must be nice – but it’s not something I can relate to.

    1. I’m confused, Roc. Are you familiar with Matt Dillon from Gunsmoke played by James Arness, or The Outsiders, Crash and Drugstore Cowboy actor?

  53. matt13….oh no…Braves signing Will Smith….$13M AAV for three years…..check him off the list.

    1. Will Smith is a QO guy. ATL will lose their 2nd rd pick which is probably marginal for the Bravos since they have a deep farm. I like Will Smith but the QO tag is discouraging.

      1. KuKo…yeah, I think Klentak has made it clear….his preference, avoid losing both a 2nd and 3rd rounder….saving his 2nd round pick loss, for one of the three big fish pitchers….assume it will be Wheeler..

        1. Yup, losing a 2nd rd for a top SP makes more sense. I know that most here already given up on Pivetta, but I still believe that Pivetta can become a reliable high leverage arm. It’s all mental on him.

            1. I don’t intend to diminish the mental aspect of the game. I think that the robotic approach implemented by Chris Young screwed up Pivetta mentally and physically. Pivetta has shown me a good upside under the watch of Kranitz, so I would like to see Nick Pivetta under a different coach before I can totally write him off.

  54. Romus, I was just typing the same thing. We were right about the Phils not getting him, but we were wrong that he may last like KImbrel. A big addition for the Braves, who are already miles ahead of us. We need to be aggressive, also. I didn’t think we would give up 2 picks, so I am not changing my mind now, but I hate that Atlanta got him. We need to identify our needs and go get them. No sitting around, surveying the field.

  55. And, 2 points. First, a very good deal for Atlanta. I don’t think they over paid. It was right in line with projections. And second, we may see other RPs get picked now since the best one is off the board. What do you think it takes to get Pomeranz? I sign him by the end of the day.

  56. 7 QO-tagged FA’s:

    ….sign Wheeler quickly. Then sign Moose and Hamels, re-sign JTR. Trade any and all of Franco, Cesar, Pivetta, Williams, Gamboa and/or Irvin for J2 dollars or compensatory pick(s) to recoup the 2nd pick we lose for Wheeler.

    Clock has started running, Matt….

    1. You forgot to mention in that cast of trade players, the one guy that most GMs would be interested in, who right now is teetering somewhere between mediocrity and greatness….Vinny V.
      He is the one they would dream on, and may bring back the most in return.

    2. With you 100% 8mark. Wheeler, Hamels, and Moose are the top-3 on my wish list. I still think they get one more non-QO guy from this deep class of FA starters. I’ve mentioned Porcello as an interesting target mainly because of age, durability, and the likelihood of a very affordable contract, but his numbers the past few years don’t exactly jump off the page (hence the affordable contract). Still, though I see him as one of the better depth candidates available, a guy who I wouldn’t be surprised to see outperform Arrieta and Eflin next year. What other second-tier SP arms do you find intriguing?

      1. Well, I couldn’t think of one off the cuff, but I just took a peek at MLBTR (as I usually do a thousand and one times a day this time of year) and read about LAD’s Kenta Maeda being dissatisfied in his role as a tweener (rotation-bullpen). Maybe he’s a change of scenery candidate? Worth kicking the tires on….

  57. Thought this was interesting . . . has a top 50 MLB prospect article and has Spencer Howard (27th) above Sixto (35th). I know cbs sports isn’t exactly the MLB prospect go to however was scrolling thru expecting to see Sixto in the top 20 and was surprised to see Howard ranked above him. Is this a normal opinion in the prospect ranking world?

  58. Go figure Braves make a quick move to improve their already strong club. Meanwhile Klentak is sitting on his hands and will take his time.

    1. Keep in mind Will Smith lives in Atlanta. This contract is actually for 4 years. I guess you can go home again. Also – bad news front – the Braves are a revenue favored team so this cost them a 3rd round pick, not a 2nd.

  59. Word out that the reason Gabe Kapler got the SF job was because Joe Estrada was about to be named the manager until the Houston revelations may result in his suspension. Unreal!

  60. Article in the Athletic on MVP voting. Jayson Stark went with Yelich. He was questioned about the Brewers playing better after Yelich got hurt. He responded, “I laughed. If the measurement was your team’s play with and without you, the MVP was Andrew McCutchen.” A great line, I just wanted to share. It is true, though, that losing Cutch was a big blow to the team, and I hope he is fully recovered and ready for ST. I am a big fan, and I think he helps the team immensely. Let him play 140 games in LF, and worry about other positions.

  61. I hope I’m completely wrong … but … I am beginning to get a bad vibe around this whole Gerrit Cole thing. I just get the feeling that the Phillies pursuit of Cole is a long shot, and (more importantly) could lead to them missing out on a more realistic target like Zack Wheeler. I’d put the full court press on Wheeler like a week ago. Get that done, while also working on pitching depth. Hamels, Smyly, Betances, Pomerantz, and Romo are all FA possibilities. Blake Treinen, Mychal Givens, and Ken Giles are all trade possibilities.

    1. Hinkie, I agree on the urgency to act early and often. Let the Cole scenario play itself out. Wheeler and Hamels are better than attainable. Offer Wheeler 5/$110M without blinking an eye because there are enough rival suitors to drive it up later, especially with Odorizzi off the board now. Can’t allow Boras to hold up the works when there are more options this year than last.

      1. A rising tide lifts all boats and so I think it will be with Wheeler. The stratospheric contract Cole will get is going to raise the ante on Wheeler in a big way. All you need is one team to step up and give him 5 or 6 years at $25 m AAV – I’m not saying it will happen but it’s definitely possible.

        1. This is one time I hope MLBTR is right on the money with both destination and salary:
          Zack Wheeler – Phillies. Five years, $100MM.
          They usually get the money right…but destination they too many times have guessed wrong.

    2. Drew Pomeranz fits Girardi’s model reliever who can pitch multiple innings. I’m leery of Betances at this stage of his career. Reminds me a little too much of David Robertson. Pass….

      Smyly is fine if we strike out on Pomeranz or Hamels, either as a reliever or starter.

      The Giles trade market has reportedly been slow to get going. I’d rather not be the first to bite on him. Not feeling good enough about his value considering the potential return in talent.

  62. Hinkie…agree completely. I live in Orange County [Cole, Moreno and Boras Country] and I can attest to the fact that the Angels want Cole BADLY and he grew up an Angel fan and would love to come home. Boras goal here is to get the Angels to believe the Yankees AND Phillies are involved in the Cole hunt [two large market teams with loads of money], which he hopes will cause the Angels to offer a deal that Moreno normally wouldn’t be comfortable paying for a hurler.

    If I were the Phillies I would definitely set about their business of getting Wheeler done as soon as possible, then possibly pivot to Hamels and get him in. This guarantees that they have brought in 2 starting pitchers to occupy the #2 and #3 or 4 role in the rotation and if Cole somehow falls into their laps they can figure that out later.

    As someone who was an outspoken advocate for waiting on and pursuing Harper last year, I am equally outspoken in advocating precisely the opposite plan of attack when it comes to Cole. I simply do not think he has any intention of going to the Phillies, they would likely be 4-5th on his list of destinations behind the Angels, Yankees and Dodgers. Truth be told, I suspect Boras is a more outspoken advocate for the Phillies than is Cole.

    This is a very important off season for the Phillies, perhaps one of the most important since the year they signed Thome and Bell and brought in Milton and Millwood. That was the off season that transformed the Phils from the have not category into the have category and it lasted till probably 2013, a span of 10-11 years.

    MK risks losing the prime years of Harper, losing Realmuto to free agency and falling alarmingly behind the Braves and Nats in what is now a very tough NL East Division. Look, I have supreme confidence in Middleton’s desire to strike at the highest levels of talent, and lots of confidence in Girardi’s ability to put together a solid season based on the talent he is given.

    What I am still ambivalent about is Klentak’s ability to be aggressive enough to get things done quickly while these players who can help the team are still on the market.
    I have always thought Wheeler and Hamels made lots of sense, both on a physical and emotional level. Wheeler is a VERY good pitcher, a guy who once was considered to be a SF Giants #1 rotation hurler of the future. He knows the NL East and has always pitched well at CBP. As for Hamels, my concerns for his health were alleviated in his final start, a dominant one against the Cards IIRC.

    Let’s hope the Phils don’t make the mistake of casting such a wide net over potential hurler upgrades that they miss out on the truly Big Fish they can more easily fry.

    1. Mr. Dreamer … I believe Middleton met with Boras on his coast-to-coast “What To Do With Kapler Tour” after the season ended. I’m hoping Middleton may have agreed to pose as a serious bidder for Gerrit Cole (to drive the Angels/Yankees price up) in return for a better chance at Mike Moustakas quid pro quo (so proud of myself for finally getting to use that phrase). That (IMO) is a better scenario than Middleton getting played by Boras.

      1. I highly doubt that Boras or any agent would sell out one client to help another. First time any hint of that comes out, the Boras agency is finished and the collusion payout eventually made by MLB to the players union is enormous.

        Braves GM got life-time ban for cheating the system, what would the Phillies get for conspiring with player agents?

        1. Tony Clark’s head would explode.
          Look what he wants to do to Braves’ GM Alex Anthouplous for talking to a few other GMs about getting a ‘gauge’ on the free agent market
          I think the Braves signing WIll Smith right out of the chute………was their attempt to ease the union’s distaste for what he did.

        2. I cannot conceive of this ever happening. Scott Boras is not going to sacrifice his empire by conspiring with an owner and Middleton wouldn’t sacrifice his managerial or economic position in the Phillies by doing this. It’s not permitted, it’s not worth it and both men are far too smart and sophisticated to do something this tragically stupid.

      2. Trout and Cole… likely 65+ million tied up in 2 players. That’s a lot of dinero, but they should be productive together for a good period of time. The Angels will need their prospects to come through, to be able fill some other holes.

    2. Thome (free agent), Bell (free agent) and Millwood (trade) joined the Phils in the ’02-’03 offseason. Milton was traded to the Phils in the ’03-’04 offseason.

    1. Romine is a definite possibility. He could even be part of a three catcher crew on the new 26 man roster for 2020.

      1. Klentak publicly gave Knapp a vote of confidence but that may have been merely GM-speak for an unresolved roster position. But I also don’t think there will be more than 2 catchers on the 26 man roster. Knapp may find himself optioned to AAA and serve as experienced depth to be called up when needed.

        1. Knapp has turned himself into quite a good catcher and particularly a great game caller. His offensive void leaves me flummoxed. He has a great swing and put up some good numbers in the minors – he just doesn’t make good contact. Maybe the new hitting coach can help him.

  63. JTR extension is in the works. I will be happy when that is done. I go to Hamels with our 1 yr/option year offer, which I think he takes. I believe he wants to be here. If he doesn’t, move on to the next SP on the list. I make sure I have a SP signed early, as I agree that the Cole signing is a long shot, and we can’t lose Wheeler while waiting around. Sign Hamels, or Smyly or someone in addition to whichever TOR we get. And ghet that signing done early.

    1. According to Jim Salisbury, the deal would be 4/5 years at $20+M AAV that wouldn’t kick in until 2021. It’s likely 2020 would be covered in a separate 1 yr deal, presumably more than what he might take through arbitration. Both sides are reportedly working on the extension quietly. However, nothing is imminent. The fact that they are talking is more than encouraging.

      1. 8mark….2020 is arb4, the reason the actual wording will reflect 2021 as the official beginning of the LTC.
        As a point of reference:
        Rendon’s arb4 was $19M in 2019 and Betts will probably be in the $26/28M range in 2020…but neither did or will sign the LTC.
        JTR’s arb3 was $10M this year …and Rendon’s arb3 was $13M
        I can see JTR for 2020 coming in at $17/19M…then the plus$20M AAV for the remaining life of the contract.

    1. I don’t think Stott has shown near enough for other teams to take him in a trade such as you propose especially for Lindor.. Still concerning to me that Stott never made it out of Low-A Williamsport with some pretty rough periods of AB’s..

    2. Isn’t that essentially Stott for Lindor? Cesar is a free agent after 2020. The 2 “B” level prospects had instead better be 2 fairly decent arms, maybe Jojo and Singer. Personally I do think Stott will be something special. Tough to call whether Cleveland thinks it’s enough or more than what they might get from another club’s deeper farm.

      1. 8mark….”Personally I do think Stott will be something special”……Cody Bellinger was drafted in the 4th round, 124, by the Dodgers.
        He had ONE HR in HS.
        Mixed opinions from their scouts…what the hell, what is there to lose in the 4th round!
        Their scout at that time, Logan White, though saw him quite a bit and did not waiver on him.
        Stott did come with some critical acclaim.

    3. With his service time a full 2 years I think it is a little light. I would imagine there would have to be Kingery, Stot, Morales, and a “B” prospect. You would have to compete against the Dodgers who will offer a strong catcher minor leaguer, Lux, and likely an A and a B prospects or Verdugo for him.

      1. I doubt very seriously that the Dodgers part with Lux. He is truly an exceptional prospect that will be basically free for the next 6 years.

    4. The Indians are not going to take a Stott as the tent pole for a trade for Lindor when he’s only had one short season of pro ball under his belt and even then never made it out of Low-A.

  64. Not even close to enough for Lindor. Cleveland could/will do much better.
    The Phillies would have to offer Howard + Stott to compete with other teams interested in Lindor.

    1. Hinkie, you may be right (….I may be crazy) but the Indians may very well have drafted Stott had they picked before the Phillies. It really depends on what their scouts think of Stott. But yes, Cleveland would rightly demand more….

      1. The Indians would not have to add Kluber. Two years of Lindor is worth (at least) Stott + Howard.

        1. Indians do not want to pay Kluber….it would be a dump for them.
          Heck, they are fearful of paying Lindor in two years.

          1. It’s not a matter of the Indians not wanting to pay Lindor and Kluber. It’s a matter of what would it take to outbid other clubs who would be able/willing to pay them. Kluber may be coming off a down/injury filled season, but one year of Kluber is probably still worth a couple of B level prospects.

            1. Oh yeah…agree there.
              Kluber is 34 with two team options coming up, and plenty of mileage, so a few B pitching prospects will probably work.

              I look what Jeter accepted for JTR last year…..besides Sixcto…..Will Stewart, who was not anyone’s top 30 list last year.

    2. Yeah, maybe you are right. that might be a light package.

      What would you think if it included Bohm instead of Stott? Still too light?

      1. Cesar is worth nothing in trade value so you’re basically offering Bohm + a couple of B prospects. Bohm is worth more than Stott, but he’s still not going to be enough. I’m pretty certain another team would offer a top 50 prospect + a top 100 prospect for two years of Francisco Lindor.

        1. @hinkie – i agree. to be at par with other teams bidding for Lindor, the Phillies will need to dangle 2 of Bohm-Howard-Stott with CLE most likely targeting Howard as one of the prospects. Morales plus another prospect like Muzziotti or Jojo Romero or Marchan will need to be added to be in front of the line.

          SP should still be the priority for the Phillies and keep close to MLB Spencer Howard at all cost.

      2. I can see the Mets making a blockbuster for Lindor. Saw an MLB writer suggest Rosario, Nimmo and Davis in the package. Plus they have 2 shortstops among their top 3 prospects, one of which they could include in a package to Boston.

  65. Chasing after G. Cole is a waste of time – other than to divert other teams away from your true interest. If Yankees experience Steinbrenner Christmas past they will blow everybody out of the water at 300 mill for 8 years and Cole will jump on it. Moreover – too many CA teams want him – Angels, Dodgers, Padres, and probably the San Francisco Seals. I say make it look like you are interested – to curry favor with Boras – and concentrate on spreading out this severe pitching deficiency over 3 to 4 arms – meaning, 2 starters and 2 relievers, at least. Hamels, Wheeler, Smyly, even Roark – then some of the Martin, Pomeranz (a reach on his own/2 years at 8 mill each most likely), Joe Smith etc. then try and trade for Giles.

    1. Phillies shouldve already signed hamels, Klentak needs to get it done… now. Not for nostalgia but for an upgrade

  66. Even Wheeler is going to pose a difficult “get” as he appears to be harvesting multiple team interest – I think it may end up being 4 at 23 plus an option in year 5.

    1. No doubt Bryant is a very good player. I tend to think that interested teams would try to pry him away on the cheap under the perception that he’s not happy in the Windy City. And that the Cubs may try to redeem his value sooner than later before he’s worth much less as he nears free agency in 2 years.

      As for Bohm and Stott, my guess is that one of them will be traded within the next 2 years. The need to bolster the pitching ranks will still be present. Bohm clearly has the greater hit tool. Stott figures to be a more dynamic, versatile player in my estimation. It depends on how each fits into the current construction of the roster.

      1. Cubs are more advanced in their talks with Javie Baez and his LTC…of course Bryant’s issue is Scott Boras…..very few of his top clients ever sign extension contracts.
        Theo and the Cubs better realize that.

      2. @8mark – decisions to be made regarding the SP will determine the fate of most of the prospects with the exception of Howard. Middleton wants to win now so it makes sense to burn $$ for proven MLB players and keep the close to MLB prospects (Bohm, Medina, Stott, Miller) intact to reinforce the MLB team.

        I have a sense that Middleton prefers to use $$ than prospect equity to improve the MLB team.

  67. Don’t think Hamels will sign a one year contract when he could probably get two years from some team.

    And please stay away from Pomerantz. Saw too much of him and Porcella on NESN the past few years.

  68. Ciada, normally I would agree that the $ rules the day, but I believe Hamels wants to pitch here. I offer him a 1 yr/option yr deal. If he indicates I’m wrong and his heart isn’t here, move on, but I would have had the conversation already. Pomeranz excelled when Milwaukee moved him to the BP, and I sign him as a RP.

  69. For those of you who enjoy a great nostalgic read, Jay Jaffe of Fangraphs posted a piece today on Dave “The Cobra” Parker’s compelling case for the Hall of Fame, his highs and lows both on and off the field, and just a very cool trip down memory lane through a great era of the game. I was a teenager and baseball was my favorite pastime back then.

    Before taking NL MVP honors in 1978, twice Parker finished 3rd in the NL MVP voting, once behind Joe Morgan and ?????? in 1975, and again behind George Foster and ?????? in 1977. Who was ?????? that finished 2nd both times? Greg Luzinski. I had nearly forgotten what an offensive force the Bull was in those seasons.

    In any case, I highly recommend the article for posterity’s sake, especially on the ides of November as we begin to warm by the hot stove.

    1. rocco…I think it was Willie Stargell who said that.

  70. Signed for $650, 000, he got shipped back to DR this summer for a little while which revealed thunder clouds approaching.

    1. Had Joe Espada not been connected in any way with the Houston Astros, who actually hired him after the 2017 season which is the focus of the MLB investigation, I wonder if Gabe would be the Giants manager today. Espada was at one point reportedly the favorite to get the job, only days before they finally announced Kapler. Things that make you go “hmmm”….

    2. Why don’t you wait, Buddy B, and after Kapler has actually coached for a couple of years In San Fran, then address his record as fraudulent – or exceptional? When the Giants hired Kapler’s predecessor the fans there weren’t happy, but three World Series championships later he is revered.

    3. I’m one of the folks who opined that Kapler should be fired after this season. I don’t honestly think that Kapler is incompetent, I just believe that Kapler is still raw and not yet ready to be WS contending team. SFG is in the downward trajectory to almost a rebuilding mode soon. Kapler is better fit in SFG than Phillies at this point in thime. Too bad for him that he will be in a lose-lose situation with SFG unless Kapler suddenly turn this non-WS contending team to become a NL West powerhouse.

    4. This is hilarious. People here said the same things about Terry Francona after he left. Who’s laughing now?

  71. Take a few minutes to read Bob Brookover’s piece on the Phillies pursuit (and failure) to find an international superstar.


    Maybe lost in the story … The Phillies still plan to sign Yhoswar Garcia (for 2 million dollars) despite the fact the Venezuelan CF’er reportedly lied that he was 15 YO when he was actually 19 YO.

    1. Hinkie…what is the money left available for this period?
      These are some of the players who have already signed.

      Jean Hernandez, RHP, DR- $300K
      Randy Vasquez, SS, DR-$350K
      Jehisbert Sevilla, SS/2B, Ven_ $275K.
      Jackie Pertuz, C, Col- $200K.
      Jose Colmenarez, C, Ven- $350K.
      Fernando Hernandez, SS, Ven- $350K.

      And the following I have no information on how much they signed for.

      Esteban Cabrera, RHP, Ven………Jesus Querales, RHP, Ven
      Raibiently Mercelina, SS, Aruba….Jose Leanez, CF, Ven
      Jean Cabrera, RHP, Ven……….Ricardo Rosario, LF, Ven.
      Enyer Graterol, 2b, Ven……..Santiago Torres, LF, Ven.
      Brahian Silva, C, Ven………Giuseppe Velasquez, RHP, Ven.
      Diego Gonzalez, SS, Ven

  72. Romus … I don’t know the exact amount. I did read the Phillies have one of the largest J2 bonus pools left, and are one of the favorites for Po-Yu Chen (the Taiwanese RHP).
    BTW … I’m still shocked Yohswar Garcia is worth 2 million dollars as a 19 YO (if Kiley McDaniel is correct).

    1. Agree…..Garcia, because of the circumstances, should be signed for a lot less than $2M…..the $250/300K range should be the max.
      Now maybe there are other bidders if the Phillies go low on him, but the agents out of the Ven are not quite as cunning and wily as the buscones out of the DR.
      Also, in the Bob Brookover article, Bryan Minnitti is quoted as saying specifically they are looking at Cuban players…there is the one who is, as of now, unsigned, Cappe.
      He would be a good signing if they can do it.

      1. Cappe reportedly has a 3.5 million deal with a team for the 2020 period so it will probably take that same money to buy him out of that deal, and get him in this cycle.

        1. I see it now…Marlins look to be the favorite for him:

          “Cuban SS Yiddi Cappe, has a commitment with the Marlins for $3.5 million. Cappe has not been shy about that commitment, at one point even having “ Professional Baseball Player of the Miami Marlins” on his Instagram bio. In fact, his MLB Pipeline profile picture features him wearing a Marlins cap.

          However, the Marlins cannot currently honor that commitment due to spending most of their slot on the aforementioned players. The plan is to sign Cappe at the start of the 2020-21 signing period instead. This does leave room for other teams with uncommitted 2019-20 funds to make a run for him, which could in turn force the Marlins to trade for additional slot to lock him in this signing period OR offer an even bigger bonus for the following year”.

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