Open Discussion: Week of November 18th

The GM meetings are over.  Nothing much happened or was announced.  This should not be a surprise.  Baseball moves at its own pace.  It doesn’t move at the pace that the fans want.  Unless you all want three to four games.  Haha, couldn’t resist that shot.

Last season with three big name players available (Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Patrick Corbin), baseball’s signing of free agents moved at a snail’s pace.  Corbin signed a couple days before the Winter meetings and a lot of second and third tier free agents began signing in early December.  But, the Big Two didn’t sign until late February and early March.

A couple big trades did occur in early December – the Segura deal for one.

So, don’t be alarmed by a perceived lack of action in November.  Last season, there were 49 transactions in November.  Most were roster moves, like activations, status changes, DFAs, free agency elections, outrights, waivers, MiLB signings (some with spring training invites), and contract selections.  Of course, there were 13 free agent signings and 22 trades.  Some “biggish” names were involved, like Rosenthal, Smyly, Sabathia, Donaldson, Suzuki, McCann, and Paxton.

In all, 13 free agents were signed and 46 players moved in 22 trades plus the ever popular 4 PTBNL, 4 cashes, and one future consideration.

I’ve broken down last year’s November transactions below – before the GM Meetings, during the GM Meetings, and after the GM Meetings.

I think these are ample evidence that you shouldn’t be concerned at the pace baseball moves in November, especially since the Phillies were one of the teams to NOT sign a free agent or make a trade in November.

Before the GM meetings (11/1-5), the 30 teams made 147 transactions –

  • activated 52 players
  • changed the roster status of 15 players
  • designated one player for assignment
  • saw 8 players elect free agency
  • signed one free agent
    1. Trevor Rosenthal by Nationals
  • signed 15 players to minor league contracts
  • outrighted 41 players
  • signed one player to an MiLB contract with a spring training invite
  • waived 10 players
  • completed 3 trades
    1. Padres traded C Raffy Lopez to Braves for cash;
    2. White Sox traded 3B Justin Yurchak to Dodgers for LHP Manny Banuelos;
    3. Cubs traded PTBNL and LHP Drew Smyly to Rangers for PTBNL

During the GM Meetings (11/6-8), the 30 teams made 18 transactions –

  • signed 2 free agents
    1. Jung Ho Kang by Pirates,
    2. CC Sabathia by Yankees
  • signed 11 players to minor league contracts
  • outrighted one player
  • signed 3 players to an MiLB contracts with spring training invites
  • completed one trade
    1. Mariners traded C Mike Zunino, CF Guillermo Heredia, and LHP Michael Plassmeyer to Rays for CF Mallex Smith and Jake Fraley

After the GM Meetings (11/9-30), the 30 teams made 329 transactions –

  • activated one player
  • assigned one player
  • changed the roster status of 2 players
  • designated 28 players for assignment
  • saw 44 players elect free agency
  • signed 10 free agents
    1. Rangers signed free agent RHP Jesse Chavez,
    2. Cubs signed free agent Kyle Ryan,
    3. Pirates signed free agent OF Lonnie Chisenhall,
    4. Braves signed free agent C Brian McCann,
    5. Braves signed free agent 3B Josh Donaldson,
    6. Nationals signed free agent C Kurt Suzuki,
    7. Rangers signed free agent C Jeff Mathis,
    8. Red Sox signed free agent 1B Steve Pearce,
    9. Mariners signed free agent R.J. Alaniz,
    10. Mariners signed free agent 3B Dylan Moore
  • signed 42 players to minor league contracts
  • extended 2 non-roster invites to spring training
  • outrighted 18 players
  • released 12 players
  • 97 players had their contracts selected
  • signed 44 players to MiLB contracts with spring training invites
  • waived 10 players
  • completed 18 trades
    1. Mariners traded RHP Alex Colome to White Sox for C Omar Narvaez;
    2. Indians traded C Yan Gomes to Nationals for RHP Jefry Rodriguez, RF Daniel Johnson and PTBNL;
    3. Cubs traded 2B Tommy La Stella to Angels for Future Considerations;
    4. Yankees traded 2B Ronald Torreyes to Cubs for PTBNL;
    5. Braves traded LHP Adam McCreery to Dodgers for cash;
    6. Braves traded LHP Ricardo Sanchez to Mariners for cash;
    7. Dodgers traded CF Tim Locastro to Yankees for cash and RHP Drew Finley;
    8. Marlins traded LHP Dillon Peters to Angels for RHP Tyler Stevens;
    9. Padres traded RHP Colten Brewer to Red Sox for 2B Esteban Quiroz;
    10. Padres traded RHP Walker Lockett to Indians for RHP Ignacio Feliz;
    11. Padres traded RHP Rowan Wick to Cubs for 3B Jason Vosler;
    12. Pirates traded RHP Tanner Anderson to Athletics for PTBNL;
    13. Twins traded RHP Nick Anderson to Marlins for 3B Brian Schales;
    14. Yankees traded RHP Jordan Foley to Rockies for RHP Jefry Valdez;
    15. Rays traded RHP Chih-Wei Hu to Indians for 2B Gionti Turner;
    16. Mariners traded LHP James Paxton to Yankees for LHP Justus Sheffield, RHP Erik Swanson and Dom Thompson-Williams;
    17. Astros traded RHP Trent Thornton to Blue Jays for SS Aledmys Diaz;
    18. Pirates traded RF Jordan Luplow and SS Max Moroff to Indians for RHP Dante Mendoza, 2B Erik Gonzalez and RHP Tahnaj Thomas

The USA team lost the bronze medal game in the Premier 12 and missed out on the automatic berth in the 6-team Olympic Field.  They had 1-0 and 2-1 leads late in the game (they entered the bottom of the ninth ahead).  Overtime in international play is even worse than in the minors – start the tenth inning with runners on first and second, nobody out.  USA couldn’t score, Mexico did.

The USA team gets another chance in March in the Americas qualifier in Arizona.  If they fail there, they’ll have one last chance in an at-large qualifier later that month (or April) in Taiwan.  Spencer Howard will be available by then, but I think I would rather he and Alec Bohm (and Connor Seabold if he’s healthy) concentrate on their professional careers.  But, that’s easy for me to say since it’s not my once in a lifetime opportunity to play on a national team in the Olympics.

Winter leagues in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico began their seasons.  We have no one in the Mexican Winter League.   Deivy Grullon has played just 4 games in the Dominican and hasn’t played since October 20th (.143/.143/.143/.286).  Jeff Singer pitched 0.2 innings in one appearance in Puerto Rico and gave up one run on 2 hits (13.50 ERA and 3.00 WHIP.

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 … 365 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.
11/13/2019 – Phillies released RHP Kyle Arjona
11/13/2019 – Phillies released RHP Luis Carrasco
11/13/2019 – Phillies released RHP Juan Escorcia
11/13/2019 – Phillies released 2B Brayan Gonzalez
11/13/2019 – Phillies released RHP Omar Maldonado
11/13/2019 – Phillies released OF Danny Mayer
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

369 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of November 18th

  1. Oh, and while you are discussing possible trades, keep this in mind. There are absolutely no untouchable players in the organization. None. Anyone can be traded in the right deal.

      1. Ahh, Buddy B – there’s one in every crowd 😆

        ….all kidding aside, the Phillies aren’t in any position to keep “untouchables” from the trade market. But that’s only IF Klentak and company can negotiate shrewdly and creatively. We all have our favorites, those “they can’t possibly think of trading him” types. But at the end of the day, it’ll be Middleton’s millions that shape the 2020 roster while hopefully, Klentak makes moves to improve the farm system for the next few years. Gonna be a very intriguing winter….

        1. Padres list two pitchers as untouchable……Paddock and Gore.
          I wonder if they would consider Spencer Howard as close to being on the same level as Gore?

          1. Agreed.
            I understand what Jim is saying. “In the right deal”, anyone could be dealt. However, you can see how the noose is beginning to tighten on the Phillies payroll. If they’re going to buy another top starting pitcher (or two) and give JTR a LTX this winter, they’ll need for some of their prospects to get promoted and succeed to help control their spending. Kingery, Hoskins, and Eflin already help. In 2020, some (not all) of Bohm, Haseley, Howard, Medina, Arano, Romero, Llovera, Saurez, Jones, Dohy, and Edgar Garcia also need to step up.

            1. “in the right deal” = “young stud”. If you Phillies will acquire a young stud with years of control then everybody is expendable.

              I agree with the cost control component. that’s why i don’t see the Phillies trading their close to MLB ready top prospects especially Bohm and Howard. If the Phillies can acquire a young legit MLB talent for Stott + Morales + Erik Miller, I can see them pulling the trigger.

            2. Hinkie…how could you!
              You forgot Vineland’s own and Hermit alumni Zach Warren in that reliever grouping…….sheeesh.
              He could get the call next summer sometime to the Bank…..his work in the AFL was good.

    1. Jim Bowden suggests that Bohm, Stott and Irvin might be enough to acquire Lindor. Segura would move to 3b. Takers? (“Buy” the bats, grow the arms?)

      Of course there’s strong sentiment against trading young talent, and for good reason, but if the time is now to contend and let’s face it -Klentak himself is on the clock – it may be something like this that’s on the table come the winter meetings.

      1. @8mark – it’s possible but it will still depend on who are the other teams willing to bid for Lindor. To be in play, the Phillies need to give up 2 of Bohm, Howard and Stott (with CLE most likely will ask for Howard) – the 3rd and (possibly) 4th prospect will depend on who are the other bidders.

        1. You could get Price and Bogaerts together from the Sox for a lot less than what you would have to pay for two years of Lindor…. and then he walks.
          Anyway, the Indians could get a lot for him come July and still be in the pennant race with the Twins or whoever in the AL-Central.
          Then again if Bloom decides to trade Betts now, while his value is at its peak….then Bogaerts comes off the table

          1. I prefer that the Phillies’ 1st strike will be a SP help – either strike early on Wheeler and Cole Hamels although my preference is still Gerrit Cole and Alex Wood.

            If the Phillies can keep Spencer Howard, the better. But I’m actually open to trade Bohm and Stott for a legit MLB starter.

      2. 8 mark, I know LIndor is a terrific player, but I am not trading the farm for him. Or the top part of the farm. And, until the actual “grow the arms” starts, we have to get SP. And, we have to spend $ and get that SP in FA. I see Moustakas to play 3B, and maybe, a CF if they don’t think Haseley is good enough, but it has to be pitching, pitching, and more pitching. And, if Middleton lets $ concerns stop him, then he loses a big part of the fan base. Forget how financial capability for a minute. How about those years from 2015 to last year when we saved $50 Million a year on payroll? When the luxury tax hit reaches the $50M mark, they can start worrying about it then.

        1. Agree. The Phillies are more than one good SP from being a team capable of a deep playoff run. It doesn’t make sense to give up guys like Bohm and Howard who are probably less than a year from joining the big club, for a guy like Lindor who will walk after two seasons. For any degree of sustained success, the Phillies need to capitalize on at least a few good young players who can exceed the value of their inexpensive contracts.

  2. What would it take to pry Alcántar away from Miami. Would kingery, Stott, and Medina get it done?

  3. Am I correct in my determination that the Rule 5 eligibility list is known from November 20 thru December 12? Is that a new process? Reason I am surprised or maybe confused is because in past years I didn’t know the availability of a player until just before the Rule 5 draft.

    1. Denny…the 40 has to be finalized for the 2020 season by Nov 20th.
      And it is not a new process….the list isusually publisj=hed by or BA/Fangraphs….normally they list their the top 30/40 players available

      And yes you are correct…the list of eligibles will be known immediately after the Nov 20th deadline is reached and all teams have submitted their 2020 40 list.

  4. The Brave’s have developed a November MO for identifying a guy they like and striking quickly on that guy. Will Smith on a 3/$39 deal was at least on paper a great move for them.

    1. ATL’s GM Alex A. has some gunslinger mentally so I’m not really surprised with the moves ATL made since Alex A. joined ATL. If ATL has some $$ to spare, Alex A. is probably very active in the big $$ FA market.

      The Phillies GM? Klentak is 2 levels below.

    1. There’s always pain that comes with any dramatic change. One thing that should be an MLB team’s prerogative is after the draft(s), they should be allowed to have local tryouts for any players not drafted in order to keep open opportunities for any diamonds in the rough or late blooming talent. You never know. But I personally don’t take issue with cutting down the minor league structures currently in place. (Hell, MLB could stand to lose a couple franchises for the sake of the quality of the game….but I digress.) As for Williamsport, some organization should adopt that location and ball park in place of a less desirable one. It doesn’t have to remain a short season operation, does it?

      1. Totally agree would love to see two or more teams gone. The quality of play I believe would be better. Why is there team in Miami?

        1. rocco…I like to see them add eventually six more teams….six divisions with six teams in each.
          A league with 36 teams….New Orleans…..Salt Lake….Portland….Indianapolis…Charlotte and a western Canada team…Vancouver or Edmonton or Calgary.

          1. The problem with expanding into Canada is the cost of the stadium. They don’t want public money to be used to finance most of the stadium. So you need an owner with seriously deep pockets who’s willing to use their own money to pay for everything. And that’s not even taking into the account the exchange rate which adds to the cost. There aren’t too many billionaires in Canada willing to do this.

            1. Chuck Canada…San Anton or Okie City will do instead….heck even Vegas would be an ideal spot for MLB baseball

        2. Or Tampa

          Agreed MLB ball in FL never made sense to me when so many teams had their Minor League operations there and the population was incredibly transient/less native.

      2. I’m surprised to hear you say that 8mark. If the end game is to create more baseball fans and the writer makes a strong point that many of these MiLB clubs fill a void for those that are too far or don’t have the means to attend a MLB game

        how does this proposal serve that greater goal?

        I am open to hearing the arguments for this proposal but so far one hasn’t been made that I can support.

        Now yes I can actually support contracting the pro teams before I can support it in the minors.

        True fans IMO the ones with stickiness are the ones who fall in love with the game at between 8-12 years of age. And IMO there are two ways to get a kid of that age to fall in love with baseball

        A. Take them to see a game live
        B. Get them playing the game

        and even better both

        1. DMAR, I am 100% behind making the game more accessible and appealing to the youth of America. Screen time is now the way to attract the younger audience. MLB should be more aggressively promoting and facilitating baseball on the ages 6 to 13 levels BUT I don’t think pouring resources into broader minor league operations is practical. The pro product is watered down from The Show on down. Until Manfred and the networks wise up in drawing the youthful viewers via the stream at earlier start times, having MORE minor league operations won’t have a positive impact. That’s my opinion, anyway.

          1. More and more the college scene is developing the prospects and future MLB players….let them do it like the NFL has done it…at little cost in development programs for the MLB clubs. You get players physically and emotionally more mature.
            The academies will still exist in the DR for every team, and they can house and develop 70/80 plus players.
            Phillies share their sprawling facility with the Boca Chica….85K sq foot….each team’s academy includes three full-sized fields, bullpen mounds, agility field, covered batting cages, dormitory space for as many as 78 prospects, dining hall, weight room, training room, video coaching room and three classrooms for English language and Spanish instruction in multiple high school-level topics. The teams share a kitchen, an auditorium and a maintenance building.
            So all the bases are covered when it comes to development.

  5. Hinkie, Yamaguchi coming over from Japan. Should I bother learning anything about him, or we will not be in on yet another Japanese player?

    1. If this guy is any good, he’ll go to one of the usual baseball teams.

      If he’s not, then perhaps he will go to the Phillies if they’re interested.

  6. I did not mean to imply that I know the Phillies are discussing any player in particular. Just that on a .500 team, everyone is in play. Certain guys will only be available under certain circumstances.

    I don’t know if anyone could come up with a deal where trading Howard makes sense, and I’m not as good at this as some of you, but what if …

    The Mets want to move Cano and his his $96M remaining contract ($24M AAV). Let’s say they are willing to move Syndegard with 2 arbitration years remaining (@$10M this season and another bump next season before hitting free agency).

    Suppose they are willing to take Herrera (and his remaining 2 years plus 2 options and a buyout) and want Howard as part of the deal. Plus whatever prospects/players from either team to balance the trade. I don’t know if adding Bohm or Stott is necessary for two years of Thor, but is this the framework of a deal that would pry Howard from the organization?

    This is all made up. I’m just trying to make up the type of deal that might involve Howard.

    1. If we were to take on Cano’s money, there is absolutely no way we should have to give up Howard, Bohm or Stott for 2 years of Thor. But I’m glad you’re joining in our little trade market, Jim.

    2. This is totally MLB 2K-esque, but hear me out.

      Reds give up: Luis Castillo, Joey Votto (salary dump)

      Phillies give up: Spencer Howard, Rhys Hoskins, Odubel Herrera

      Castillo might be untouchable and I also might be inflating Rhys’ value a bit, given his terrible 2nd half.

      However, from the Reds perspective, you’re trading away a terrible contract and a very valuable pitcher for a valuable pitching prospect, that terrible contract’s replacement/a potential 1B for the future and a high-upside controversial OF.

      From the Phillies perspective, you’re adding an elite, cost-controlled pitcher at the expense of also adding a solid 1st baseman at the end of his career, albeit his terrible contract, while giving up your top prospect (still less of a known entity than Castillo) your struggling 1B who has star potential, but will inevitably need to get paid a big contract and dead weight Odubel.

    3. I’m really opposed to acquiring albatross size salary dump considering there’s a robust FA market for what the Phillies need —- SP rotation help.

      If the Phillies will acquire Cano and his $96M + 2 years of injury risk Thor and possible $20-30M contact — is it better to just sign Wheeler for that amount of $$ ($96M+$30M) and keep Howard? I don’t really understand why the Phillies needs to absorb big $ contract, lose prospect just to acquire a good player where can just sign Gerrit Cole, Zach Wheeler, Anthony Rendon, etc, etc.

      The other teams’ scouting department are not blind. They only see Bohm, Howard and Stott as the prize if you want to make a deal with them.

      1. KuKo…how about this trade.
        Cutch to the Yanks for Giancarlo Stanton…..and Jasson Dominguez?
        The ultimate salary dump..

        1. Romus, I have always been on board with you in advocating the salary dump to acquire prospects. But, Klentak never agreed with us. I don’t see the need now. Let’s just go spend our $ in FA, and get what we need. one of the SPs that require a 2d rd pick, one that does not, and 2 BP arms that require only $. Another IF and we are set.

          1. matt13….I know…….I was pulling KuKo’s chain.

            Besides the FA SP signings…I like to see him make a trade for a pitcher…ie Norris, Boyd or Freeland.
            But with Wednesday coming up fast, not sure he will make any trades until December now, after all the teams finalize their 40s.

        2. @romus – assuming that trade is actually offered, I will still decline. That $234M tied up to Stanton’ salary is enough to sign Gerrit Cole and plus.

      2. Agree KuKo. This team is beyond eating bad money to get players. Just buy the players on the FA market instead.

    4. That’s a well laid out proposal Jimmy not one that I would do but definitely pretty good on the value exchange.

      I do agree with 8mark however that if you were to absorb Cano’s money you would not have to add Stott or Bohm to make it work. Howard would be enough.

      That said I’m not doing any deal that involves Bohm or Howard. These 2 guys are going to be the best prospects we’ve graduated to the big club in some time. Also both are coming into Spring very major league ready if that’s a thing.

    5. Howard is definitely moveable for me if a piece like Snell, Castillo, etc a controllable young starter we aren’t thinking of is available.

      I would strongly consider moving Bohm for Whit Merrifield. Merrifield would look great hitting behind Cutch and in front of Bryce. If you sign Moustakas the line up would look like:

      LF McCutchen
      CF Merrifield
      RF Harper
      C Realmunto
      3B Moustakas
      1B Hoskins

      Much deeper and improved from last year. You have a lot of flexibility with Merrifield, Kingery, and Moustakas. Stott would become the heir apparent for Moustakas after a theoretical 2 year deal is up.

      My package for Whitt would be Bohm + Haseley and some lower pieces with the potential to get creative and acquire Ian Kennedy as BP arm and include Herrera’s contract

      Bohm would be a better fit for an AL team with his questions on defense. Merrifield seems like a great offensive fit, is a guy who the FO has covetted, and is on a team friendly deal allowing the Phillies to continue to upgrade.

      1. I would love nothing more than to acquire Whit Merrifield BUT it would more than likely require the Phillies include our own Merrifield, namely Kingery, along with Bohm or Howard and whatever else is reasonable. Merrifield may be a more attainable trade target come the deadline.

      1. Yeah…I remember that…..bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer was using binoculars in Coors Field…and then was accused of something nefarious

  7. We’re all assuming that Cesar will be let go. There’s still a chance he returns. I think it will depend on whether they want to move Segura off SS. I think Moustakas is a real possibility for us with Didi or Kingery at SS. I also think they’ll talk to the Pirates about Marte. He would look awfully good in CF for us. Cost? Haseley and Morales? I no longer think Medina has trade value. Morales does however.

  8. I would rather have Wheeler and forfeit the 2d rd pick than Thor and have to give up Howard and eat Cano’s contract. Murray, I don’t know what they end up doing, but I sign Moustakas for 3B, move Kingery to 2B and non-tender Cesar and save his $11.8 Million. Moustakas is a much better hitter than Cesar, and Kingery at 2B is a much better defensive player. I see no value in keeping Cesar. He gets on base, I agree, but is not good as a lead off hitter, and does not give above average D. He has gotten to the point where he has out priced his value.A plan B could be Didi at SS, Segura at 3B and Kingery at 2B, but the Moose scenario is the one I prefer.

  9. There is ONE dependable SP arm on this team. ONE guy that you’d be comfortable pitching in a playoff game. That being said, the Phils will not sign/acquire four new arms to go along with Nola; that’s a bit of a stretch. I do, however, find it a real possibility that they take advantage of this deep FA class of starting pitcher to sign three of them, 1 QO guy and 2 guys not requiring the forfeiture of a draft pick. I’d be more than happy if this situation plays out, with our Opening Day five being Nola, Wheeler, Hamels, Arrieta, and Porcello. I’m still clinging to a thread of hope for Eflin, and he will get his innings; the Phils, like all other teams, will have at least 8 guys throw starting-pitcher innings next year, so acquiring 3 new arms is preparing for the inevitable 162 game grind. As for the trade talk, man I’d love to see what CLE wanted for Kluber. I know thats a huge risk and CLE doesn’t wanna sell low on him, but he likely won’t cost too much in terms of prospect capital, so he could be a sneaky-good get for some acquiring team, or the old Kluber could be long gone and the new team could be SOL. I have no idea what kind of return CLE would want, but I’m surely intrigued. Again, though… The SP needs can be addressed through FA, in my opinion, and I’d be surprised to see them make a huge trade this off season.

    1. I tend to agree. Any trades the Phillies make should bring back supplemental picks and international bonus pool money. This is how Klentak should begin to replenish the farm, along with Brian Barber and his new sets of eyes out in the field. The big ticket talent we need is gettable only by free agency. I like talking trade talk as a side bar but right now, it’s all about the Georges, Abes and Bennies.

  10. Would the cardinals do a deal sending Dakota Hudson here for Rhys, Kingery, and Reyes our Medina?

  11. The Phillies had better make sure of Wheeler’s market, and soon. He’s prime choice for the Yankees and comps very closely with Corbin’s numbers…which means that it’s become less likely he signs for 5/$100M (MLBTR’s projection). There’s been rumblings that he might come off the board before the winter meetings.

  12. With more than one team exploring getting OF help…and Ozuna being probably the best free agent out there

    ……now is the time to move Herrera and there may be a market for him.
    His value may have slipped….but getting substantial international dollars may be the best return…unless Klentak can work something out better which he seems to do fairly well..

    1. I’d rather bring back Dickerson than go after Ozuna. He’s such a 1 dimensional player and even that part of his game isn’t that good. He’s an 8 something OPS guy and that’s about it.

      He’s horrid defensively and we lament signing Castellano’s around here because we’re afraid of his defense. So you’re weekly reminder that OPS is king and we don’t have any.

      1. I am not advocating going after Ozuna…that’s someone’s else mission.
        But trying to move Herrera.
        I do think Klentak will be able to do it in within the next month
        With the pickings slim in the OF area…Herrera’s skill level stands out….all the other stuff aside

        1. IMO, the only OF we might acquire this winter is Marte. The focus will be starting pitching, 3b/IF and the bullpen. However, I really do think that if the right opportunity arises, Klentak will strike a deal for a relatively young and controllable starting pitcher, and anybody might move in that deal, except of course Harper, JTR and probably Nola.

            1. Haseley and Morales?
              Then sign Moustakas and your lineup could be
              with a bench of Bruce, Quinn, IF, C and IF. (Miller and Romine?)
              Pitching next!

  13. No question that Matt Gelb is an excellent writer, and puts a lot of thought into his stuff.
    He makes great points here. It makes sense for the Phillies to go over the luxury tax threshold at a time when almost every other club is seeking to stay under. There’s decent chance they could get back under in time for 2021. I’ve posted a couple of times over the past few weeks, I see no scenario where the Phillies do not exceed 208 million in 2020.

    1. On on board with going over the luxury tax threshold if necessary as long as we get value and readily shed extraneous salary to get back under next winter.

      1. 8mark, the reason I’ve been preaching patience is this, the money drop offs aren’t so easy
        Arrietta is gone next year, but you’re essentially replacing it with another FA starter + adding Realmuto.
        Sure you are dropping Cesar,Franco, likely this year, but everyone is suggesting plugging in high price FA. There goes the wiggle room.
        This team needs to look itself in the mirror, and find out why it is so handcuff in years down the line. Next deals to fall off are McCutchen and Segura .. but who will replace them if Bohm,Haslely, Moniak& Stott are
        Traded? It will be a short window
        Of opportunity if they do. Aging vets vs a team like the Braves.

        This team needs to hold on to MOST of Haseley, Bohm,Howard, Stott, and seabold. I’m willing to dangle Medina, Garcia, and possibly Stott, marchan/grullon.

        Team will need to decide if they want a 2 year window (or less) vs a 4+ year window.

        They will run out of firepower long before teams like Atl,LAD, Hou, SD, etc will .

  14. Non-tender Cesar and Franco, and eat half of Herrera’s contract, and we save $22 Million. Estimates have us $28 Million under. Sign Wheeler for $20M, Hamels for $12, 2 BP arms, maybe Pomeranz and Martin, for $13 total, and Moustakas for $10M. That puts us about $5M over, and a hit of $1M. Next year we lose Arrieta’s $25 Million, and JTR’s extension kicks in. Certainly possible to go under the Luxury Tax and re-set the scale. I see no reason not to go over it this year, and I see no way to build a Playoff team without exceeding it.

    1. Matt, are you accounting for the minor league player salaries? Staff, Bennies, & bonus money? I believe they need to be calculate In, so they team would be quite a bit over.

      Drop Mous, and trust Bohm, and it looks good.

      1. Tac3, I was going by the Gelb story, which, I believe, accounted for those extra items that the Luxury Tax includes. That is where the $28 illion starting oint came from. I think they are dead set on obtaining another IF, be it Moose or Didi, or someone else. I would love Bohm to be ready, but from everything I have read, I think they are going to let him grow more in the Minors.

      2. Tac3, I don’t trust Bohm’s glove at 3b. He may wind up in LF, 1B….or traded. Which to me means we need a serious upgrade at 3b. If the Phillies were rebuilding, then Bohm is worth a trial run at the hot corner. But they have declared publicly that now is the time to win. Besides, Klentak won’t risk his future as the Phillies GM by running an unproven prospect, albeit a promising bat, in 2020. Patience is good. But it’s not the rallying cry of this regime or the fan base this coming year. Moustakas is clearly the most sensible fit for the Phillies on every front.

        As for Gerrit Cole, John Middleton should sit down, decide on the maximum offer to submit to Boras and say, “Hey, Scotty old pal….take it or leave it because we can’t wait until February to find out where your boy wants to settle.” And if Boras says, “No thanks”, then we strike early for Wheeler, and if the Yankees beat us to him…then Strasburg….then MadBum. It’s time to be preemptive. There are only so many chairs while the music is still playing.

  15. Time for the FO to put there big boy pants on, and let their work speak for itself. Stop with the smokescreens. Don’t baby the prospects, they can grow the last leg of their development at the mlb level. Promote Bohm and Howard by the first two months. If they can’t cut it, then regroup next offseason, with Middleton reviewing scouts/Klentak.
    Pass on lineup grades for now, such as Mous. Resign Dickerson instead. Rotate Dickerson,Haseley, and Mccutchen, regularly.
    Keep a spot for Quinn, as a dynamic bench player 🙂 focus this offseason 85% on SR & bullpen. Sign Hamels, biggest no brainer that there has been in years.
    Sign Wheeler, stay in Cole race. If he happens to fall in our lap, either trade away Segura,McCutchen, Herrera, arrietta in salary dumps – or Middleton decides to pay the Penalty. Looks like he will, as All 3 should push this club over the hump

    This team needs to add, but assess at the same time. I want the ability to back track vs being handcuff by two many bad FA contracts because the FO/scouts misfired/misjudged the Minor league talent. We can’t be trading away Bohm, Howard, Stott etc for FA contracts and trades that make competing long term an issue. The time is too win, but I think they mean “make the playoffs” vs win the WS.

    1. Tac3….” Don’t baby the prospects, they can grow the last leg of their development at the mlb level.”, that is only part of it, that extra year of control has to be factored into the equation also.

      1. Agreed, that’s why I said 2 months in, so basically they give them both that Kris Bryant treatment

        1. You make it sound like it is punishment against the player… is good business practice and sound strategy IMO.
          As a fan I can live with it…..what I would be adverse to is starting Howard out of the gate in March every 5th day….and then shutting him down in September in a pennant drive due to over-usage.
          Nurse him along in April and May and limit innings at LHV

          1. I’d like them ramped up by the playoffs. Bohm shouldn’t be too much a problem, unless he starts off like Kingery did. Howard on the otherhand could be very challenging in this area. I don’t believe he’s ever really had a high inning season. It’s a fair point that I’ve overlooked a little bit. Slow roll him through the first half, possibly trade deadline. and then let’s get him up here.

            Bonus for 2020 season: here is hoping to Howard vs Sixto match near the end of the season.

            Nola,Wheeler, Hamels, Efflin and (fill in) should be enough to carry the team into playoff contention with Howard coming on late In the hire as the hired gun. First time through teams, advantage goes to the pitcher.

            Lastly, the more I’m reading about wheeler, he is starting to look the part of G. Cole and before his accent. The gamble is the injury history, and if the PC can help unlock him to another level. Get’em locked up or I’ll be throwing stones 🙂

            1. Yes…Wheeler is attracting plenty of attention….he will come a lot cheaper than Cole and 90% of the league will not want to deal with Boras and the price tag he will place on Cole…and the long-term drawn -out negotiation drama that seems to follow Boras around.
              Philies will need to act fast with Wheeler.

            2. I didn’t know Wheeler spoke with an accent….or did you mean he had an accident? Or is it Cole that has an accent….???

    2. But moose instantly upgrades this win-now team, and can be had for probably 2/24. Seems like a no-brainer. Worry about Bohm later; there will be at bats for him when the time comes, even with Moose in the fold. This is how the Dodgers operate, and they are perfectly positioned to weather the ups and downs of a long season. Just sign Moose already.

  16. Fair critic, in hindsight:

    If the Phillies are going to spend a ton this offseason, did the FO complete negligence in not signing both MM & BH last offseason? Yes, they waited for Trout, but both were available, now we got neither, and we are fishing again. Signing MM for 3rd would make Bohm available for a trade.

    Lots of hindsight, but should we hold the FO for this potential misstep?

    1. No. The Phillies waterloo last year was SP and Machado cannot help the rotation. With hindsight, Klentak’s biggest mistake is not signing Charlie Morton, not once but twice. And anybody can else make a point that the Phillies err in not pursuing for Patrick Corbin – a much needed lefty that can be Nola’s #2.

      Not signing Machado will not preclude the Phillies from trading Bohm (assuming there’s a legit reason to do so) since 3B can filled via FA or trade.

    2. I don’t think either the Phillies brass or we will be regretting not signing Machado. He wasn’t a fit then and he still isn’t for the money we can otherwise spend elsewhere. I haven’t given MM a thought since we signed Harper.

  17. Howard and Bohm have performed extremely well and give every indication of being top line players for the next ten years. Unless you receive young top flight talent with a proven Major League record that could give the Phillies 10 years of top performance, Howard and Bohm should not be moved. I don’t see the likelihood any such deal.

  18. Tomorrow (Wed 11/20) at 8pm is MLB’s rule 5/40man deadline. The Phillies are at 35. Besides making the consensus expected additions from the farm (ie Romero and Marchan), might the Phillies make any other moves to position themselves better for free agent and trade acquisitions to come?

  19. I know we’re all hot and heavy on this year’s FA class. Knowing that Arrieta drops off and likely JT commitment goes up, is there a core group of pitchers hitting the market next offseason? I know, I know, win now, at all cost but I think that consideration should definitely be taken into account. Christ, for years we were all on #troutwatch!

    1. Colin….the only pitchers that would half-way excite me are
      James Paxton
      Robbie Ray
      Trevor Bauer
      Jose Quintana
      Mike Minor
      Marcus Stroman

      1. Not necessarily a murderers row but certainly all would be considered upgrades on what is in the Rotation now (Nola notwithstanding). Given past interest by the ballclub in Ray, I would see him as the one they might target, should there still be an opening after this year’s FA signees.

        1. Asst GM Bryan Minniti is a believer and very familiar with Ray as he was out there in the desert with him for a few years when he worked with the DBacks.
          But he will be costly with his raw skills, young age and control status.

    1. In my opinion MM was never a possibility once he made that dumb hustle statement and probably even before that his antics had Middleton turned off.

      While I’ll never know for sure I believe Middleton had his sights set on Harper all along. He got tunnel vision and ultimately it was the right move. The only counter is could he have spread that money around more and went Corbin Brantley and Moose instead and produced a better finish.

      We’ll never know

  20. I’m a bit confused about the comments about the biggest error was not signing Charlie Morton. Isn’t this the same pitcher who the Phils did sign 3 years ago and pitched maybe 2 games before getting a season-ending injury? The same Charlie Morton who pitches perhaps 5 or 6 innings per start generally? How would the Phillies last year, or the year before, been a team where a pitcher like that could have thrived?

    1. That almost 11bWAR would have looked pretty good over the last three years.
      No need to have to get Arrieta two years ago.

    2. Not sure if you had the chance to watch Morton pitched the last 3 years post Phillies. Morton aged well for a pitcher. Morton’s FB reach mid to upper 90s and his CB is filthy. Morton is better and have better stuff than any pitcher in the Phillies rotation except for Aaron Nola.

      1. Kuko – “except for Aaron Nola”….

        Just a thought…as much as I like Nola’s makeup and repertoire (plus the fact that he snubbed Gabe in the dugout when Kapler was shaking hands with players heading up the tunnel following the last game of the season), I am concerned that he isn’t a true ace. 1a, maybe. Perhaps Wheeler would prove to be a #1 in time? Anyway, I really think the Phillies need to nail down that alpha dog before too long, if not this winter.

        1. @8mark – I still believe that CY screwed up Aaron Nola in 2019. Nola has 3 plus pitches that he can command — CY should just let Nola continue to develop his current repertoire that has been a success in 2018 rather than instill his computer generated idea of asking Nola to throw backwards. Nola normally used his CB as the out pitch to get batters out and not as the lead pitch as what CY wants him to do.

          The 2018 Aaron Nola is a legit #1 or TOR or Ace – and it is not a mirage since the stuff are still there and Nola’s FB velo is creeping up.

          1. Agreed – the Nola regression was a CY problem – 100 percent? Who on earth takes a 10 WAR pitcher and changes his pitch sequences? I’ll tell you who – a guy who doesn’t know what he’s doing and will get fired.

          2. I humbly defer to you guys on that. Valid point. I guess I still want to see another TOR added to the staff, though. Meanwhile let’s hope Bryan Price has answers for what failed these arms last year….or in Nola’s case, wisdom to let him return to what made him roll.

            1. I am very encouraged about Price, at least as it relates to Nola. In 2018, Nola used his plus FB command to always pitch ahead in the count and then put batters away with the curve or change-up. How CY could miss what made Nola successful when a moderately casual fan could see that is and was astonishing. And what’s more astonishing was his refusal to modify those pitch sequences once he saw that batters were adjusting to Nola pitching backwards.

  21. Wonder how many will who get protected tomorrow from this group from the first timer list.
    Jo Jo Romero
    Rodolfo Duran
    Rafael Marchan
    Bailey Falter
    M. Llovera
    Grant Dyer
    Luke Williams
    Nick Fanti
    Darick Hall
    Jeff Singer
    C. Randolph
    Jhailyn Ortiz
    Manuel Silva
    Malvin Matos
    Ben Pelletier

    1. I’ll take a crack and say Romero, Marchan, Llovera, and Singer….maybe Duran? But beyond that I can’t see any more taking up a roster spot unless they’re used as trade fodder.

      1. @8mark – i agree on Romero, Llovera and Singer since the trio are MLB ready. JimP mentioned before that there’s interest on Rafael Marchan which will force the Phillies to protect him.

        @romus – i love Bailey “Baby Hamels” Falter too. Falter was hurt in last year so that might discourage some teams to gamble on Falter in the Rule 5. I expect teams with deep farms like the Padres are the ones who will take a hit in Rule 5.

    2. Agreed Romero and Marchan should be protected. I could see someone taking a flier on a few other guys Randolph, Dyer and Llovera

      Not that I think they would have a shot at a 25 man Roster but some team might hope to hold them on their roster.

      I’m probably the only one on this board right now that still has a little faith in Randolph eeeking out an MLB career. He’s got a really sweet left handed swing and incredible bat speed.

      he just needs to make more contact (easier said than done right)

      Ortiz is interesting as well if only because of the $4 Million. If you’re a team say like the Pirates and Ben Cherington would you not try and steal someones $4 million bust for $50K and see what happens.

      1. “really sweet left handed swing and incredible bat speed” and “he just needs to make more contact” === sounds like Mitch Walding and Walding has pop that C doesn’t have.

        1. All the players hitting from the left side with great pretty swings…..Knapp, Asche, Walding and Randolph.
          Just give me a Ichiro Suzuki or Johnny Damon or Pablo Sandoval.

          1. I know I sound like an Anti-Cesar in this forum, but I honestly like Cesar’s swing on both sides of the plate. Cesar is 3 years younger, he’ll have a good trade value and possibly move Kingery out of 2B.

            Not selling high on Cesar is also one the missed opportunities for the McKlentak front office.

        2. Seen them both Walding doesn’t have nearly the bat speed that Randolph has and Walding has to sell out for his power. Walding’s swing is long and loopy. He was always out over his front leg on off speed too. He’s also 27 his WRC+ was 89 in AAA last year.

          C sits back in his stance much better allows the ball to travel and uses his hands to get to velocity. Rarely off balance and when he squares up a ball its loud. He was 22 in AA his WRC+ was 114 last year at AA.

          I mean yeah you got me grasping at straws lol but my point is Walding’s chances of turning into a big league hitter at this point are slim to none with a K% of 38%

          C is a little further ahead with just a 26.2% and that was the highest it had ever been for him. Before that he was right near 20%.

          1. C may eventually do well to go to Korea, get more seasoning on his kimchie, and then comeback.
            I do think he will get to the majors….as a late bloomer at a later date.

          2. DMAR don’t sweat too much, I’m just having fun. C is so irrelevant right now that it is hard to put time discussing about him. Not a big fan of both Walding and C, but Walding at least reached the majors. Let’s wait and see if C will get his chance.

  22. A good number on here like the idea of trying to get Starling Marte from the Pirates….and he can be had with Ben Cherington taking over now as Pres/GM .and going to transform the Pirates to a contender.
    But what happens after next season for the 32-year old OFer… the Phillie tender him since his contract calls for a $12.5MM club option with a $1MM buyout after 2020…. and then let him go after 2021?

    1. I’ll pass on Marte. Didn’t he get busted for PEDS in 2017? Not that its a big deal but I’m not giving up on Haseley for him…

      The one thing that surprises me here today is all the talk of trading our young formidable players for 30 something guys that are just ok players and not difference makers.

      But to each their own I suppose

      One guy I’d like to see us kick the tires on is Brock Holt. No power whatsoever but he can play all over the diamond and he grinds out an AB and is a good OBP guy. Am I allowed to say he plays with some grit and is a super human being.

    2. I’ll pass on Marte too. I think the offense is sufficient enough (especially if Hoskins bounce back) to win games if the rotation and bullpen do not implode most of the time. Also, as Haseley develops, I can see him having a knack in hitting those timely base hits even though they are mostly singles or doubles.

      1. I don’t agree. Haseley is not a starting CF for a legit contending team. We need an upgrade. Marte is a good option and there aren’t many CFs available. That’s why I think Kingery might end up there.

        1. And you’ve made that decision on a 23 year old’s 242 MLB PA’s. All hail Murray and his crystal ball LOL

          Of course you could be right but its a pretty bold statement to make on a kid that was very productive since turning pro 292/360/798 OPS over 1027 PA’s in the minors.

          1. Agree…..maybe some folk ought to do a little research before proclaiming a rookie with less than 250 MLB PAs is a bust.
            Compared to Jackie Bradley Jr and Brett Gardner’s age23 seasons/or rookie years….he has held his own admirably.
            Over a 2fWAR projection as a rookie over 160 games.
            Phillies and Klentak like him out there…so unless he bombs in ST, he is out there to start in 2020.

            1. Haseley looks to be a nice player in the long term. I’m not sure he’ll be in CF on opening day. He may be included in a package for a starting pitcher, which would likely mean acquiring an established major league CF. But yes, if he’s in red pinstripes, I expect him to be out there. We’ve said it before….if he’s our number 8 hitter in the lineup, we are in pretty good shape offensively.

        2. @Murray – “starting CF for a legit contending team” – this is very subjective. Looking at the 8 playoff teams from last year, these 8 teams strength is not the CF (I view Bellinger as RF not CF). Marte might be the better option short term so he’s like a band aid approach.

          I not overly high on Haseley and it looks like you regard Haseley lower than I view him so we’ll just and see.

  23. 8mark’s #1 move wearing the Phillies GM hat – Trade Alec Bohm and Adonis Medina for Whit Merrified. What say you!?!

      1. I know you would and I will not surprise if you drive them both to KC!!! Merrifield is unbelievably cheap but he’s on the downside of father time – so I rather flip Alec Bohm for somebody else. Adonis Medina for Whit Merrifield – possibly.

        1. How about we not trade all of our best prospects again? Unless you all want another repeat of the 2012-19 time period beginning in 2024.

          1. @catch – i agree with you. I’ve been in the position to use $$ and keep the top end of the prospect equity consider the top prospects are close to contributing to the MLB team – Bohm, Howard, Medina are ready to contribute next season and Erik Miller and Stott will be up there in a year or 2 later. However, i will not be oppose to trade the younger prospects like Morales, Muzziotti, Marchan, Ortiz, Luis Garcia as long as the Phillies will not sell them low.

          2. I hear you but IMO, the issue isn’t whether we trade our top young prospects for worthy targets or not. It’s not having sound scouting and development within the organization which is the biggest culprit of a poor organization. That’s what will help sustain a successful baseball team. It’s all about value. You trade value FOR value. If there’s a sense of urgency to win now, you trade some youth for established major league talent to reach that goal. If you are rebuilding, you don’t. I don’t see the point of holding on to what might be when you’ve the opportunity to advance your chances now. I’m not advocating any trade of Bohm or Howard unless there’s a promising opportunity to improve the current roster from playoff hopeful to league championship contender.

            1. Successful organizations are successful because they recognize which players in their organization are part of their future and which one’s are not. Trading away young players makes sense only if they are not part of the future.

              In the case of Howard, I would need to be blown away with an offer to give up a potential controllable top of the rotation starter. I haven’t seen Bohm play 3b enough to make a judgement but if they don’t think he can stay there, then either he or Hoskins become tradeable assets.

              However, many of the proposals being floated around here make little to no sense when the team can simply use their wallet to fix what they need. How does trading away talent for 1 year of a player like Marte or Merrifield help the team in 2021 or beyond. Those are the types of players you get to finish off the roster. Does anyone think the Phillies just need a final piece to be a WS contender?

              All of their focus and resources needs to be on building a sustainable pitching staff via FA, trade, cloning, or whatever they can do.

              Once the season is underway, guys like Marte can be had at the trade deadline if they are in a place where he could help..

            2. 3up, I HAVE seen Bohm play third base, and I KNOW he can stick there. I have spoken to people at our other affiliates (where he has played) who have seen him play and also think he can stick there. I do not understand why a question about his defense in college has to continue to follow him through his professional career. It’s like no one thinks he could get better, no one gives him credit for working on it during the off season. He was here the first week of January working on defense. I think he’ll be fine.

    1. A 23- year old top prospect Alec Bohm for the 31-year old Merrifield….and add in a pitching prospect.

      Now that is so Ruinish Tomorrow.
      KC throw in one of their four top pitching prospects then I would consider it.

    2. I’d say that someone got into their Makers Mark a little early today. I’m not trading Alec Bohm period

  24. By 11:59 PM EDT tomorrow all teams must finalize their 40 and for the handful or more of new 40 members the perks are pretty good.
    In addition to being considered a valuable asset to the org a player now becomes a member of one of the considered strongest unions in the US, the MLBPA.
    40 Man Benefits include but are not limited to:

    $89.5K minimum for a player signing a second major league contract without having at least one day of Major League service
    Enrolled in the MLB Health and Wellfare Plan
    There is no charge for coverage for active MLBPA members an their eligible dependents
    $450,000 Life Insurance coverage
    Players are entitled to first-class airfare for any travel that is required or directed by the Club
    Marijuana Use – Players are now covered by the Major League Joint Drug Program.
    MLB players are not subjected to random testing for any drugs of abuse, including marijuana. The discipline for testing positive of marijuana use does not result in game suspension unless the player (i) was determined to have flagrantly disregarded his treatment program, and (ii) the commissioner were to determine that the player’s drug use presents a threat to the safety of other players. In that case, the commissioner could suspend the player for his marijuana use.

  25. BASEBALL AMERICA reports from their Rule 40 draft expert that Ortiz and Randolph likely to be among those available. Both have sort of failed in producing predictable higher level batting expertise.

  26. Braves sign Chris Martin, another RP off the market. They seem to have an off season plan. I can’t wait to see our plan! Maybe it will start soon.

  27. I’d like to throw a little praise the Front Office’s way for not signing Kimbrel last year…..

  28. Whatever the plan, the Phillies should be making certain moves sooner. Bullpen piece, bench player, even sign Moustakas. Can’t see why they’d wait to do everything from the winter meetings on. The heavy lifting is always a longer process. Let’s get some glue for this roster first. I do expect them to make a fairly significant trade at or around the meetings, either CF or SP.

    1. If you recall last season, the Phillies made their first move on December 3rd, the Segura trade. On the 6th they traded for Alvarez. During the Winter Meetings, they signed FA Andrew McCutchen, on the 12th. They closed out the meetings selecting SS Drew Jackson from the Dodgers’ Tulsa affiliate on the 13th. Then they flipped him to Baltimore for future considerations. (The Orioles eventually returned him to the Dodgers’ system.) They signed some minor leaguers with ST invites, but were finished for the month before Christmas.

  29. I agree with you 8mark. I have said that I would have already signed Hamels, or know that we are not getting him, and I would have targeted a RP and signed him already. Not a chance they don’t have a pecking order, and maybe Smith wasn’t on it because of the QO, but they do have a list. Go down it, offer what you feel you want to spend, sign him or go to the next guy, and move on. Shopping at the dented can aisle very rarely works for this team. That is not referencing the top guys. I am afraid of them overpaying, in prospects, for Boyd, not a chance would I offer either Bohm or Howard or Stott for him. And the other perennial favorite, Robbie Ray, who had a pretty underwhelming 2d half. A Norris, Freeland, Chris Archer, without giving up much, I take a chance on. Basically, I go to the FA route.

        1. Very good. Picturing Klentak pushing his cart with one bad wheel in that aisle with his 3-ring binder coupon book.

    1. matt13…I always liked Freeland, he was an original Phillie draft choice out of HS.
      Finished 4th in the Cy Young award in 2018, but totally collapsed in 2019.
      May be due for a correction.
      Offer up Pivetta, Medina and Enyel and see if the Rox will take it.
      Freeland needs to get out of Coors.

  30. Phillies should’ve struck quick with Hamels. Leads me to believe they won’t go after him.
    They need to strike quick a make a statement. Show the fans their serious about contending. Braves have firmed up their bullpen which makes them even stronger and harder to beat.
    Guess Klentak is hoping the injured players bounce back.

  31. Is Muzziotti will be exposed to Rule 5 if not protected? Didn’t see him in Romus list. If he is, I think Muzziotti will be protected.

    Lock: JoJo Romero

    75/25: Muzziotti and Llovera (if Phillies deemed him 100% healthy)

    50/50: Marchan and Singer

    Potential casualty: Singer and Duran

    1. Muzziotti got the one year added exemption after the Phillies signed him off the Red Sox penalized list….next year he has to be protected.

        1. Yeah…not sure how he feels about it…but the Philies got that extra year…I do think MLB took into consideration the fact that Muzziotti was able to , in essence, collect two signing bonus checks ….one from the Sox, which he could keep from the year prior, and the second from the Phillies.
          I suppose that was the rational MLB used in making that determination.

          I think it was the same with Abrahan Gutierrez…he got to keep his $3M plus from the Braves and then able collect another bonus check from the Phillies.

          Did the Phillies get the extra year exemption with him also…..I do not recall what happened?

  32. Denny, you made me LOL. I can picture that! TrollU, Maybe SerAnthony can come back, but Robertson is done for the year, and I don’t think anybody wants Neshek or Hunter back. There has to be additions. Maybe they don’t pick the right ones, but they will add to the BP. When Hamels spoke publicly about his love for the city, and wanting to pitch here again, we should have met with his Agent immediately. There has been nothing indicating that happened, and these things aren’t secrets for very long.

    1. Of course they met. The Phillies don’t talk but you shouldn’t assume they’re not being aggressive. It would be foolish of Hamels’ agent to sign before hearing all of the offers. They’ll create leverage for them. I still think we’ll sign Hamels but I think it will now need to be a 2 year deal for $24M or so. Supply and demand. Phils won’t get a discount….
      Klentak is talking to everyone. The agents want things to move slow. They think it increases demand. They might be right. Plenty of moves will be coming. Will they be significant? We’ll have to wait and see.

  33. I would think 8mark’s comment about the 40 man being fixed will precipitate some activity. While we may all be anxious for something to happen – other than the Braves signings almost nothing else has happened. I think the market is slower than usual and don’t blame FO with the derelict shopping cart. I also think that Hamels will be sought by many teams – it could take weeks to hear all the offers.

  34. If anyone can attach today’s piece by 94’s Jack Fritz, he presents a rather thoughtful, detailed description of how the “perfect” Phillies off season should go down….some ideas we’ve bounced around here. I’d like to hear what some of you think about what’s worth a try and what’s not. Even though Fritz isn’t a regular personality on WIP, he’s one of the very few if any on their staff who actually have a clue about baseball, and the Phillies in particular. Good read in any case….

    1. This guy wants to decimate the farm for 2 years of Lindor then he wants to spend all kinds of money signing FA’s that come with QO’s and lose draft picks

      Sounds great where do I sign….

      again to each his own but that is asinine. Like Catch says its a big part of why we got into this mess in the first place.

      For now all you can do is spend. Lock up JT Get us a Wheeler or a MadBum, and a Hamels or Lyles; take another shot at a reliever or two McHugh, Hudson, Pomerantz any one of those guys will help stabilize the BP.

      look to bring Howard along in June Bohm in April/May

      and if some other moves should fall into your lap make them.

      Can we please stop with this “we need to win now” talk. That’s just silly. Run your franchise the right way and that will be a simple by product.

      1. DMAR, we can stop with the “win now” talk but that doesn’t mean that Klentak won’t be acting in a “win now” urgency, as opposed to last midseason when his chair wasn’t nearly as warm as it is today. Anyway, I don’t think we’re speaking different tongues.

    2. I don’t like the Lindor trade. It would require signing Lindor to a huge extension which might not be possible. If that’s the case, just go after Rendon. He’s better than Lindor and won’t cost you prospects other than a future 2nd. I would sign Didi and then I do like all of the other proposed moves. Castro, Moustakas, Harris, Bettances, Romine, Hamels and Wheeler are all solid signings. The Pirates trade for Taillon is interesting. I think they can do better in a trade. Plus I’d still like Marte in a trade with the Pirates. Plus I think the Reds closer Iglesias could be had in a trade after a bad year (for him, he still had 34 saves). Bryan Price could work with him again to get him back to being great.

    1. The complete disintegration of the Pioneer (8), New York-Penn (14), and Appalachian leagues(10)… part of the first phase…..32 teams.

      1. Looks that way now……Lakewood next year.
        I sure hope the rookie leagues are kept functional at the teams Complexes….and the owners will keep the Academies alive in the DR….they invested mucho dinero into those complexes.
        “…..this is the first wave of contraction,160 teams to 118, 118 to 90 [in the next five years]. They want a clean Single-A, Double-A, Triple-A with nothing in between. MLB’s five-year plan involves cutting baseball from 70 cities and towns across the country that have supported the game.”

  35. DMAR, I think what you outlined is also a “win now” approach but also preserves future years. I agree with you. Wheeler/Hamels or MadBum/Lyes or Pitcher X and 2 BP arms puts us in a position to make the Playoffs. We can still add a Moustakas. That requires spending $, syre, but is much preferable to trading what little top prospects we have. Lindor is a terrific player but we don’t need to spend what he would cost. There is no reason to trade any of our top guys and that is not just Bohm and Howard. I don’t trade Stott or Morales or Erick Miller for that matter. If an extra C or a lower ranked Pitcher gets us a flyer on someone, great, but it’s FA for me.

    1. matt13….hope you are not including Pivetta and Velasquez as in that top guys category
      Also guys like Medina, Romero, EDLS, and Cole Irvin should not be untouchables..

  36. Romus, I agree on all of the above. I don’t consider Pivetta and VV as prospects, but under performing Major Leaguers, and Howard, Morales, Miller are my top SP prospects so I consider anyone not them.

  37. we selected cleavinger, romero, and llovera and traded curtis mead to the rays for cristopher sanchez a reliever with ok numbers from advanced a

    1. The Phillies must be pretty certain that Rafael Marchan will not be selected in the rule 5 draft. He is still very young. I thought Singer might be up in 2020.

      Acquiring Sanchez from Tampa seems like a good move. He could be up next year. I wonder if he’s a multiple innings guy. He can’t be used as a lefty specialist due to the new 3-batter minimum.

  38. Brayan Gonzalez received almost a million dollar bonus in 2016 and is already released? That’s an indictment if Ive ever seen on their international scouting.

  39. .

    What is Klentak thinking?
    He adds two fringe (and that’s being polite) LHRP’s (Cleanenger and Sanchez), and ignores Rafael Marchan.
    You gotta’ remember MLB rosters expand to 26 next season. Hiding a prospect like Marchan on a tanking team’s roster won’t be too difficult.

    Here’s some video of Sanchez:

      1. @hinkie – Klentak loves to play the bullpen carousel. Both Cleavinger and Sanchez might be part of that carousel when the Phillies starts signing FAs.

        Also Cleavinger is an ex-Orioles farmhand but after Klentak. Not sure if there’s a connection there or not though.

      1. It is somewhat surprising…Grullon and/or Knapp they preferred to Marchan…right now.
        But Marchan has not even hit double A ball….teams rarely , if ever, if I can recall, select a position player below double A
        I think the Padres were the one team when they took Cardinals pitcher Luis Perdomo about 3/4 years ago….but AJ Preller was in the rebuild mode and they loaded up on Rule 5 guys for a few years in a row.

  40. I understand there’s a lot of frustration over the Braves early wheeling and dealing. But, what have they really done other than sign a FA reliever with a QO attached.

    They signed 4 guys who were on their roster last season – C Tyler Flowers (age 34) to a 1 year/$4M contract, RF Nick Markakis (age 36) to a 1 year/$4M contract, RH reliever Chris Martin (age 34) to a 2 year/$14M contract, and RH reliever Darren O’Day (age 37) to a 1 year/$2.25M contract.

    Yes, they signed free agent LH reliever Will Smith (age 30) to a 3 year/$40M ($13.3M AAV) contract.

    The 34-year-old Martin suffered an injury during the playoffs. They have invested $30.5M in AAV this season. That puts their 40-man estimated AAv around $135M, their third highest ever. Their estimate last season was $138M, highest ever. In 2018 it was $136M, second highest. They are probably out on any remaining FA of consequence unless they are going to blow past their previous highs.

    1. Jimmy my only counter to that is they won the division and had they had a better BP they possibly get to the NLCS. They are an attractive place to play for guys wanting a shot at a ring.

      I expect them to have an inside track on MadBum (given he is from the area) and I can see them being in play for another year of Donaldson or Moustakos.

      I can see them being willing to go up to $175MM….MadBum 4/$80 and Donaldson 1/$20 or Moose 2/$32

  41. I can see up to five spots possibly opening up on the 40 roster before mid-Dec from the position players portion…..Franco, Cesar, Gamboa, Williams and Herrera.
    Its obvious he tendered Franco and Cesar to move them, ilo of letting them walk free
    I think Matt K. has three or four ready to be moved in trades and replaced those spots with whoever he gets back in return in trades.

  42. Romus, I thought the deadline was December 2 for tendering contracts to Franco and Cesar? I hope Klentak has trades worked out for them, but they may still be non-tendered.

    1. Yes, December 2 is the non-tender deadline. That’s the Monday following Thanksgiving. The winter meetings are the following week.

    2. matt13…correct. Should have mentioned selected vs tendered.
      So if he plans on trading them after that date, they may have to eat a portion of their salary, which they seem reluctant to do in the past.

    3. With regard to Franco I see him as a Todd Frazier type without the Rah Rah enthusiasm. Low average, low OBP 20-25 HRS and pretty decent defense. Perfect for a club that has a really solid offensive club every where but 3B.

      The Nats if they lost Rendon would like a guy like Franco to bridge some time for Kieboom. The Pirates as well for some more time to bring Hayes along.

      Cehe whether you love him or hate him we’d all agree isn’t worth $11 million AAV however he would be attractive to some team at say $3-$4 AAV. I think if CeHe and his agent were smart and saw what the market is for 2Bs they’d be happy to take a 3/$11 deal.

      Point is you can find a home for both if you don’t expect a ton in return.

      1. This is funny. I’m sure you have ripped Franco in the past. Now you’re hyping him up in the 1% chance that you can trade him? Franco has no value. No team is going to trade for him if teams feel that the Phillies are going to not tender him. Not only that, I’m sure you can pick a player off the street to play 3B that will give you more WAR than Franco.

  43. I agree, there are options. I think someone takes a chance on Franco, and we may only get International $, but it is time to move on. Why wouldn’t someone take a flyer on Nick Williams? And, jim, my only point on Atlanta is that they finished 16 games ahead of us, have a better, rated at least, farm system, and addressed a big need right off the bat. I want us to be aggressive. I never thought Will Smith was on our radar because I only see us willing to lose 1 draft pick, but I still want Klentak to be aggressive. What I really wanted, if I am being honest, is to have signed Cole Hamels already.

    1. I think Klentak matches the speed of the owner, I don’t see him as aggressive either, and from what I have read the owner has a reputation of being a plodder.

  44. Middleton is a plodder????

    Only if you think the hare was a plodder because he lost his race with the tortoise. Middleton is many things but plodder is not one of them, had he had his way Harper would have been signed by December 1 last winter.

    Matt K…I agree with you that his perception is one of a bit of a plodder. McPhail? Perception of him is that he is almost sloth like in his desire to make moves.

    Herein lies in my mind one of the issues with the Phillies front office, they all travel at very different speeds. One can make a case for any of the three [though McPhail’s is the hardest to defend] but collectively this makes for an oft times frustrated phan base. My guess is that this winter Matt K will push the speed limit signs from 60 to 75 MPH as he knows the team is at a proverbial crossroads in terms of phans patience.

    Not to mention Middleton’s!

  45. There’s that old proverb if you get caught up listening to the fans you’ll soon be sitting with them. Not that it can ever apply to the owner but otherwise the point is relevant.

    One of my other favorites be careful what you wish for…We had always lamented the Giles, Montgomery way of running a FO with the likely hood that there were too many cooks in the kitchen and too many owners to answer to about the purse strings.

    Middleton while seemingly creating a more linear structure also appears to be a somewhat subversive presence a la George Steinbrenner.

    Neither is ideal!

  46. Time to clean off the crystal ball and refresh my hot stove predictions:

    Gerrit Cole to LAA….I understand the consensus among insiders but I actually think it’s unwise for Moreno to shoot his load on one guy. But he’s done it before and stupid is what stupid does.

    Anthony Rendon to TEX….makes so much sense and the Rangers are motivated by the new ball park. If not, he returns to DC.

    Stephen Strasburg back to WSH….I can see him go home to SD but I don’t think they are big in the free agent market this time.

    Josh Donaldson back to ATL….once Texas signs Rendon, JD’s best bet is to stay put.

    Madison Bumgarner to ATL….the Braves are aggressive to wipe the sour taste of the playoff disappointment from their mouths. 2 crusty veteran leaders make sense. Plus MadBum will be close to home.

    Zach Wheeler to NYY….after passing on Cole, the Bombers won’t miss on their next target.

    Mike Moustakas to PHL… brainer for all sides.

    Cole Hamels to PHL…although there may be pause on Klentak’s part, eventually he sees that Hamels is a very good fit here.

    I do believe that the Phillies will be very active in the trade market. They won’t be losing any draft picks due to the QO. Naturally they will acquire a TOR, perhaps a #2 behind Nola. Contrary to what many here think, it’s what I’m reading between the lines. I’m not advocating trading our top young talent but if it brings a substantial return that sets them up well for the foreseeable future, I won’t fight it. Cleveland, Detroit, Tampa, Miami, Boston, Colorado, Pittsburgh and San Diego are potential partners.

    Gonna be an intriguing off season.

    1. No matter what he wants people to believe, John Middleton is running the show.
      I’m not sure how hot Klentak is for Cole Hamels, but Middleton sees the former WS MVP as a “gotta’ have”. I’d be very surprised if he isn’t throwing for the Phillies in 2020.
      I also believe Moustakas is the Boras client most likely to end up a Phillie this winter.

      For me, Zack Wheeler is the best/most realistic option to add to their starting rotation.
      One/both of Dellin Bettances and Drew Pomerantz are worth spending money on to upgrade their BP. And (maybe it’s just me … but …) Sergio Romo is another under the radar/low cost addition I’d like to see in the pen.

      1. If you’re keen on Moustakas and I do like him as a player where is Bohm going to play and how does Bohm, Hoskins and Moose coexist?

        1. DMAR, I for one believe where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Somebody would get moved. Unless they have inside dirt on the DH coming in 2020, I have to think a trade is in the works. Question is, who goes? (The guy with more value.)

      2. @HInkie, you know that I prefer the road to Gerrit Cole but I have to agree with you that Middleton striking early and locking Wheeler for $100-120M contract will be a smart move. It is almost certain that Boras will marinate the Gerrit Cole market and Middleton doesn’t want to be in the position where the Gerrit Cole market is too hot and most of the good SP options are gone.

        While I will reiterate that acquiring the best arm is Plan A, settling with Plan B (Wheeler) is equally a good move.

          1. These 4 teams are probably thinking of the same thing – strike early and get the or #3 best option since #1 (Gerrit Cole) and #2 (Stras) options might become too hot (pricey) to handle.

            1. Though I think the Angels will shoot first for local boy Cole, then try Wheeler if Cole goes elsewhere.
              WSox are a team with good young players and now Grandal…they may be the team the Phillies need to out-bid.

            2. Since Gerrit Cole is probably not signing early, LAA might strike early (for Wheeler) as what I’m suggesting the Phillies should do. While I love Gerrit Cole to pitch in red pin stripes, Middleton will not be in a good situation in Feb or Mar where his choice is between paying $250M for Gerrit Cole or scrubs since Stras, Wheeler, Keuchel, Hamels, MadBum might be done by that time.

            3. This may truly play out like a round of musical chairs. There are enough top starting pitchers for the big spending clubs to pursue. Whoever is left waiting for Boras/Cole in Feb/March is screwed and likely bidding against themselves. The owners know this. The Angels may want Cole, but in order to facilitate their leverage in negotiations, they and other teams need to strike early for a Wheeler or a Bumgarner. Now, if I’m Boras, do I do what he did last year and risk the Phillies saying no thanks, we’re good without Bryce? Nobody else was going to pay what Middleton paid. And he did because he had to. But not as much as if there was a true rival suitor, right. Well, Cole has more competition on the market. Once Manny signed with SD, Harper had none. Boras can talk the talk but come January, he may have no interested teams but one…again.

    2. ….oh and I forgot….Yasmani Grandal to the White Sox @4/$73M….boy, I’m good😁. Good news for the Phillies who may now be able to get JTR to sign for 5/$100M-$110M.

  47. With all due respect to Franco, he in now way compares to Todd Frazier. Frazier has 26 career WAR in 4700 plate appearances; Franco has 1.8 career WAR in 2500 plate appearances.

    Comparing the two at the same age:

    Age 26 season: Frazier 2.3 WAR, Franco -0.8 WAR
    Age 27 season: Frazier 2.9 WAR, Franco ?
    Age 28 season: Frazier 5.2 WAR, Franco ?
    Age 29 season: Frazier: 4.0 WAR, Franco ?

    If the Phillies — or anyone — thought that Franco would approximate Frazier’s age 27-29 seasons, he would be highly valuable. Unfortunately, he has little value.

    1. True but we’re not talking about the Todd Father of yesterday we’re talking about available 3Bs in the market today.

      One is 27 and the other is 34. I don’t know what Franco’s arb number is going to be some have said $7 million Frazier played for $9 million last year.

      I clearly stated you won’t get much for Franco but you will get something.

      1. Fair enough, but I just am not a Franco fan, lol. I mean last year Frazier had 2.2 WAR, which is more than Franco’s CAREER WAR.

        I’d take a bag of baseballs for him.

  48. Joe Dillon is the new Hitting Coach. I did not read about anyone leaving to join Gabe in SF. So, we should have a full staff. Now, we can start making moves.

      1. Watch out for the south siders they are ready to party. Remember the deal they offered Manny last year had the potential to be $300 million…

        They have a really nice core blooming with more on the way. A few key veterans added to that mix and they could win that division.

        1. If they were to add say a Wheeler and Castellanos which I expect them to do at least the latter they are serious contenders…

          Many people don’t realize their park is a launching pad in the summer…

          Luis Robert, Kopech, Cease to add to Anderson’s breakout season. Very nice club.

    1. The Phillies play very close to the best and historically do not leak many things out. Agents are often the ones who put things out there to stir the market. The local beat reporters are usually the most reliable among all the outlets.

        1. Guess you bring a solid point.
          would just rather they wrap up their offseason sooner than later.

  49. Phillies are not among the rumored front-runners for Wheeler! Completely unacceptable!! Klentak should be fired immediately!!! And Mc Phail, too!!!!

  50. “I know there are some famous young names playing on TV right now and that we don’t have them,” Minniti said. “I know there are some famous young names playing on TV right now and that we don’t have them,” Minniti said. “But 25 other clubs don’t have them either.

    What a loser quote. Part of an Inquirer article. Justify your incompetence by saying others are just as incompetent if not more so.

    1. We all want a rock star 20 year old playing the outfield or left side of the infield on the major league roster. The biggest mountain the Phillies need to climb is scouting and development so that there is talent throughout the system which gets us all excited. The 2017 Reading Fightin’s had us aroused a bit…until we discovered that either the farm wasn’t as stacked as we thought OR the coaching staff wasn’t up to the task. Let’s hope they are introducing some fresh blood with better eyesight and an ability to speak millennial.

  51. Got to ask Keith Law his opinion of Brian Barber today. He likes him.

    Haven’t had a chance to ask your opinion on the Phillies hiring of Brian Barber as amateur scouting director. Good hire, or could they have done better? Yankees drafts haven’t been great lately.
    Keith Law
    Good hire. Yankees’ drafts have been pretty good – not sure why you say that – and their process is one of the best at integrating traditional scouting with analytics.

    1. Seriously…Yankee drafts have produced who in the last 10 years?
      Does KLaw even review their results.
      What pitchers have come about thru their drafts?
      Tom Kanhle….Mark Montgomery…James Pazos
      I really do not understand KLaw’s remarks.

      1. Agreed. Here are the facts on the NYY’s recent drafts:

        Since the Aaron Judge draft (2013), the Yankees have picked just two players who have accumulated any WAR as a MLB player (Jordan Montgomery 3.4 WAR and Nick Solak 0.5 WAR). During that same time, the Phillies have drafted Aaron Nola 20.3 WAR, Rhys Hoskins 3.9 WAR, Austin Davis 0.1 WAR, Scott Kingery 1.6 WAR, , and Adam Haseley 1.7 WAR (Cole Irvin has a negative WAR)
        In addition, none of the Yankees’ players picked after the Judge draft (2013) are top 100 prospects. The Phillies have three draftees in the top 100 (Bohm, Howard, and Stott).

      1. Not sure if Greg Bird was one of his but I remember saying to my Yankee’s friend over at Trenton one night that he was going to be a bust. Anyway he was just designated for assignment by the Yankee’s.

        In that same night I said of Judge he was going to be a star and if I were the Phillies I would trade Hamels straight up for him. It was around that time we were conceding it was time to move Cole.

        I’ll also say this. I saw nothing this year over at Trenton that I thought was a sure fire major leaguer except for pitching.

        1. He was there 18 years…..but the last 10 or so he was a crosschecker….and then finally their national crosschecker.
          Not sure what played into their drafts in their war room, and Cashman probably has last call on choices…so he may not have been the key and final decision maker in their drafting..
          Outside of Judge…their best draft class may have been 2006.mainly pitchers.

          1. Let’s not forget that Blake Rutherford same draft as Moniak I believe. Lots of talk back then about him being the 1:1 early on but then he faded.

            They ended up trading him for Todd Frazier, Dave Robertson and Tommy Kahnle

            1. Yes… another pick that is slow in developing….he did play in the AFL last month, but not sure he will crack the WSox OF anytime soon.

  52. That is the new philosophy that led to JoeG’s hiring. Marrying analytics with old school. I’m on board Hinkie.

  53. John Stolnis posted a piece on the Good Phight that’s worth consideration. He lists 5 free agents the Phillies might do well to check in on. Tanner Roark could be a very good value for a back of rotation arm. Jordan Lyles has already been mentioned here (Kuko?) And Eric Sogard could replace Brad Miller if the latter can’t be re-signed. Colin McHugh might be a rebound candidate as a long reliever after a strong 2018 followed by a rough 2019 in Houston.

    1. @8mark – i like Jordan Lyles as an option but there’s others (Matt I think) who suggested Lyles as well. It’s Alex Wood that’s I’m probably alone with the choice.

      1. Gosh at the trade deadline I was saying we should go out and get Jordan Lyles but no we didn’t. The Brewers got him and all he did was put up a 1.108 WHIP and 8.6 K/9 in 11 starts and go 7-1.

        They got him for Cody Ponce a 25 y/o RP with decent numbers in AA.

        And by no means do I believe this guy is some kind of an ace but he slots nicely into the 4/5 role and at just 29 there could be some upside there.

  54. Best wishes to Aaron Altherr who has signed on to join a team in Korea. Wow, 2017 seemed to hold some promise for him as a 4th outfielder at the very least but forget about his ceiling. His floor totally collapsed.

    1. I remember when Altherr got cut, there was a huge uproar on this site from certain individuals. Some even mentioned that the Phillies were going to to regret it, and that Altherr was going to rebound and post better stats than some OFs who were still on the Phillies.

  55. One More Florida MLB Team?

    Daren Stoltzfus (@DarenStoltzfus)

    BREAKING: Pat Williams announces the nickname for this potential #MLB team will the the Orlando Dreamers

      1. Could the MLB really be that time to try and put another pro franchise in FL…

        I like the one guys comment “horrible name I wonder what names they turned down”

          1. I like the Geriatrics myself. Think of all the retired folks. The season ticket plans would be monthly.

        1. Rays are ready to move out one day…and then next day they are staying.
          Is it Montreal or is it Tampa!

          This commissioner is really stirring up the pot from A to Z

          1. I understand that the commissioner’s job is an ongoing tap dance with corporate sponsors and finicky owners, all of whom have little to no regard for making the game more appealing to people who ACTUALLY LIKE BASEBALL. I don’t give a squat about attracting the marginal observer. Between the math geniuses who’ve invaded the internal ranks (and I’ve nothing at all against analytics as a strategic tool) and the marketing gurus who wouldn’t know a true baseball fan if their life depended on it, I am hopeful that the game comes full circle to its original design before one day whem I’m drooling in my hospice bed. Rant over.

            While I’m at it, here’s to our dear departed faithful fan, Wawa Mike.

            1. Oh yeah..Wawa Mike.
              Did love his Wawa coffee his brother would send his way to Vegas every holiday.

            2. Well Glass just completed his sale of the Royals to Sherman a minority owner of the Indians for roughly 1 Billion. Glass paid $98MM for the franchise in 2000.

              It really is absurd when you stop and think about it.

    1. This is crazy. Florida can’t support 2 MLB teams and they want another one? All the while Montreal is begging for a team to go there?

      1. I agree but think about it. Two of the biggest resort areas are Vegas and Disney World. It wouldn’t surprise me if these guys are trying to turn local baseball in these destination cities into tourist attractions. I don’t think it would have a prayer of working but I also put nothing past Corporate America.

        1. Vegas can handle….look at the hockey team…and the Raiders will draw next year.
          Plus one of the fastest rising population cities in the US…..only issue is drinking water.
          Just not sure why Florida teams have a hard tie with attendance.

          1. Florida is largely a transient population, Romus. Nobody is FROM Florida. They just migrate there.

            1. Yeah…I know that, but go to a Gators football game or a Seminole football game….they can not all be migrants tailgating

            2. So true I am moving there in two yrs I cant stand the cold, plus the houses in south philly are really going up

      2. The commissioner has gone bonkers.
        —Wants to cut minor leagues to bare minimum.
        —-Add teams in locations that seem dubious to support
        —-Speed up the game…..but try to increase revenue thru between innings advertisements
        —Investigate teams for electronic sign stealing…..and the penalty, the loss of a draft pick choice somewhere in the teams’ top ten picks, not their first round mind you…come on get serious

  56. The Cardinals rightfully got penalized by the Commissioner for electronic snooping/hacking the Astros data base a few years back… If proven true the same will happen to the Astros for electronically snooping on balls and strikes.

  57. I just don’t get how, after so many cases of cheating to gain a competitive advantage which have gone awry, teams persist in attempting to compromise the game. Plus there are so many people required to conspire AND keep their lips sealed. What risk is it possibly worth? Am I naive or is stupidity an epidemic?

    1. None of the above 8mark! its (for me) as simple as teams, players, scouts etc… will all try to find gray areas within which they can operate to get an advantage. I really don’t see this any different than I saw in the steroid era.

      What many also don’t talk about and what MLB doesn’t want you to know is the high degree of use of Adderall use among players. Remember its only illegal if you haven’t gone through the protocol to get diagnosed. And to get diagnosed is pretty simple as I have hears a first hand account of how its done.

      Boston got a slap on the wrist a few seasons back for the Apple Watch being in the dugout.

      That said the Astro’s got caught in the most classic of ways. They turned on people who knew their secrets. When you cheat you can’t keep that under wraps for long in this day and age.

      1. The penalty is too soft……if the Phillie could win a WS by cheating……get caught…and then lose a third round pick….guess what!
        The parade still goes on.

        1. The penalty is going to be stiff make no mistake. Crane is going to be hit with a pretty big fine for starters as Manfred is going to lump this in with the Asst. GM they fired.

          Plus some draft forfeitures is my guess. Some suspensions too!

  58. JP Morosi is reporting the 2 names to watch for the Phillies MadBum and Didi. I think I’ve made it known I want no parts of Didi but I would love to get Madison…

  59. If the A’s non-tender Blake Treinen, I make him an offer right away. I think he is a great bounce back candidate, and even if the A’s offer him a contract, I make a trade offer. I still like Pomeranz, and there are 3 or 4 other RPs I would be interested in. I have not seen a fit with MadBum but would be happy with him. I don’t understand why analysts see a better fit with him than Wheeler, but I have seen a number of projections where we are not a top landing spot for Wheeler. Don’t get it at all.

  60. I’ve seen Kris Bryant to Phillies in some articles with the recent one as part of a Heyward salary dump. I know that Harper and Bryant are good buddies, but acquiring Bryant will gut the farm so just wait for Bryant to become a FA and join here in Philly.

    1. Klentak cannot wait until 2022 for that to happen….he may be elsewhere.
      He has to strike while the iron is hot.

    2. Yeah that was one of the more outlandish proposals I saw from Joel Sherman. They must really be trying to stretch for on air content.

      Does nobody outside our org know Alec Bohm? Everyone and their brother’s sister was going off on Vlad Jr last year and this poor kid can’t get a snippet of a mention.

      And yeah I get there are some doubts about the kids ability to stick at 3B. That’s evident by the number of games they played him at 1B and DH and the fact that they didn’t try him at all in the OF but c’mon man.

    3. I’ve often wondered about Bryant’s future in Chicago….and if Harper might influence such a pursuit by the Phillies.

      1. Have to wonder if he had input into the new hitting coach… also word was he gave a good year end report to Middleton about Kapler … but .. he is gone so, have to wonder. That sort of thing happened a lot with the Flyers & their players … and they’d go through coaches like babies and diapers

  61. MLBTR reports that the Dbacks are open to trading Robbie Ray, more so now than before. They are looking for controllable major league talent. (VV?)

    1. The DBacks lacks depth in their OF so this is where the Phillies can sell high on Haseley. If the Phillies will hold on Bohm and Howard – maybe a package of Haseley + Eflin + delos Santos (or Medina) good enough? It depends on how far the Yankees will go to acquire Robbie Ray

      1. I can’t believe I’m saying this but you’re offering too much for Robbie Ray who’s a FA in 2021. Haseley + Medina should be enough.

        1. Yeah I think there’s a tendency here on the board with offers of much more for 1 year of control than is justifiable. Just my observation.

          1. IMO…I would pass on Ray for that one year and go for Freeland for three years of control…..Pivetta, Medina and Irvin.

        1. You need to give talent to get talent. Kuko has apparently learned this. It seems you have not.

          1. Guru:
            Many circumstances will surround a trade.
            If Hazen does not see signing Ray after one more year….and he still gives you another less than 2bWAR year, than Hazen may be tempted to take on players who are under control for more years, and/or players with team friendly contracts, like a young veteran Herrera and only entering his age28 season. But has proven abilities in the past.

            1. I’m probably the biggest Herrera supporter on this site, but he has too much baggage to trade for. He may have talent, but he hasn’t shown it in a while. If I was another team, I would just wait until Herrera gets cut. Or throw an A ball lottery ticket and see what happens.

            2. Romus … (sorry to be a broken record … but …) you are one of the smartest posters on this board. How can you continue to believe Odubel Herrera has any trade value? He has negative trade value. Klentak will have to give him away, and hope the other team will take on even a small portion of his contract.

              I do give you mad props on your sales pitch: “Young veteran, only entering his age 28 season with proven abilities in the past”.
              That’s like the realtor with a listing that reads: “Historic property with great views in need of a little TLC!”

              I’ve mentioned this already. The real facts about Odubel are these:

              * He’s totaled a -0.3 bWAR over the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
              * He’s owed more than 20 million dollars over the 2020/2021 seasons.
              * He just missed half of the last season serving a suspension for domestic abuse.

              Nobody is giving the Phillies anything for this.

            3. @romus – I’m with Hinkie in this one but I’ll buy some of you lemonade for old times sake. Doobie and Cesar (and Neris) have been in my “Sell High To Trade” list since 2 years ago (thus started by battle with the WAR discussions) – because I’ve always believe that they are only complimentary pieces that any good scouting teams can find/produce all the time.

              Unfortunately, both players lost their value which could have fetched the Phillies some prospects if traded while their trade values are high.

          2. How arrogant of you to say so. Talk to your students that way, professor. But not to me, no matter how brilliant you think you are.

            1. @8mark – how dare you talk to “my shadow” that way! LoL! Who knows, he might be Klentak’s burner account.

            2. I have pretty thick skin, Kuko. And I may be wrong more than I’m right. But high hat comments from certain individuals get under mine.

            3. @8mark – yeah, i know you. that post by the Guru is very condescending and an obvious shot on both us. it is not the first time he did that towards me and it will not be the last. just do the Hinkie way, take the high road and ignore shots like that.

            4. For me, I enjoy this site because I get to interact with Phillies fans and hopefully get some insider information and learn some things.

              I have a lot of patience, but when I see the same stuff get posted over and over again by the same individuals, I will get impatient. And if you’re going to post the same stuff over and over again, well, I reserve the right to call you out on it.

            5. @8mark – you’ve been warned. It looks like there’s a new sheriff in town that only calls out 2 people.

        1. Yup, I prefer the FA way this offseason. Although I’m ok with trades as long as it will not involve Bohm , Howard and Stott.

        2. You can still buy a FA….but you will need more from the rotation than Nola and a FA…..and there in lies the skills of Klentak to engineer a proven trade.

          1. @romus – it is almost a “must” now for Middleton to acquire at least 2 reliable rotation. I’ve been in the position that pitching (SP and pen) should be the top priority this offseason, thus, I’ve been lukewarm to any moves that are not related to pitching.

            Nola + 2 FAs (any 2 of Cole, Wheeler, Stras, Hamels, MadBum, Wood) + Arietta and Eflin with Howard and Medina in the sidelines is not a world beater, but it is significantly better than last year.

            Gerrit Cole is still my Plan A but I’m starting to be warm with striking early by signing Wheeler since I just want the Phillies to get one of the top 3 SP available.

  62. Phillies is having interest with DiDi — with Joey G. as skipper, there’s familiarity and connection there. If DiDi is signed, Segura and/or Haseley can be moved with Kingery filling the either the 2B/CF positions. It is almost a lock that Cesar will be playing for a different team next season.

    1. Not sure why the Phillies are interested in Didi, since him and Jean are very similar players. And the Phillies might have to eat cash to trade Jean. Jean obviously didn’t have a good year, but the Phillies have more pressing needs than spending money on another SS.

      1. Kuko said why the Phillies are interested in Didi in the comment above yours…and we can expect more connections to Girardi as time goes on.

        1. I can understand trying to sign players with connections to Girardi where there are open spots. In my opinion, SS is not open and Didi is not such a huge upgrade so why go through all this trouble? Also, I don’t think Didi is going to sign to be a backup and not for cheap either. He’ll get his $10M+ per year.

          1. SS is open because Segura had 20 errors and the Phils want a different SS next year. Kingery or Didi will be playing SS

  63. Cole Hamels with 14 interested teams:
    “Jayson Stark reports that Hamels is seeking either a one-year deal at a high salary or a two-year pact north of what New York Yankees lefty J.A. Happ has remaining on his deal (two years, $34 million).
    Stark mentions that the Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres have been linked to Hamels and also notes that the veteran has plenty of other logical fits.”

  64. Without looking, who had the highest OPS+ and wRC+ on the team?

    wait for it…

    wait for it…

    Brad Miller

    Only 130 PAs over 66 games, but the guy raked.

    Don’t think that he is a piece that you can count on to replicate it next year, but thought that was interesting.

    1. 1.1bWAR in those 130 PAs…..project that out to 500 plus PAs…wow.
      But he would probably get exposed over that length of time.
      Even the year he hit 30HRS in 2016….1.6bWAR.
      They could bring him back as an utility guy at bargain salary.

  65. High drama with the Yankees and long injured Jacoby Ellsbury. NYY has stated that they will withhold the remaining money on his contract due to allegations that he sought outside medical treatment without approval of his employers over an extended period of time. Claims include that the said treatment contributed to his ongoing inability to return to the field, even in rehab action. There is no precedent to such a case. It’ll be very interesting to see how it shakes out. Meanwhile the Yankees are looking for all the available salary space to stay under the luxury tax threshold. Stay tuned….

    1. ….oh, and Ellsbury’s agent? Scott Boras. Any pursuit of Gerrit Cole by NYY will make for some awkward negotiations, no?

      1. Correct…Boras will be taking legal action thru the MLBPA vs the Yankees on one early morning…that afternoon sitting down with Cashman and selling Gerrit Cole and how much marketing money he will bring to the club along with that arm.

    2. I think the Yankees are going to lose. Besides the fact that the MLB union is probably the strongest of all the major sports, I can’t remember any time where a player was denied his cash. I mean, even DV issues won’t stop the player from getting his cash. And he’s going to get denied because he sought outside medical treatment? Yankees are fishing hard.

      1. Agree…..and I am sure Cashman and the Yankees are quite aware of that fact, so wondering what is their ultimate end result they want to happen.

        Perhaps the Yankees want to drag it out and have Ellsbury just get tired of it all, and agree to half the settlement of the $26M or so left to be paid, so he can play ball again….that is if he has that intention.

        1. You’re right, not sure what their end game is. I can understand that they want to reduce their cap number for tax purposes, but the probability to win is low and you’re going to get Boras pissed. That said, if the Yankees give Gerrit Cole 7 years, $250M, all is forgiven.

  66. When Corey Dickerson joined the Phillies, there was a strong consensus among the TV commentators and many on this thread that he must be signed. Now, he seems to have vanished off the radar. Who fits better in LF Dickerson or Cutch? It seems to me it’s Dickerson easily. Dickerson, Haseley, and Harper could make a fine OF. With Herrera not in the picture, Quinn questionable, and Bruce of limited utility, who says we have too many outfielders. Letting Dickerson go without a serious effort to sign him would be a big mistake.

    1. I like Dickerson too but not in the expense of Cutch who is a very productive and value piece before he went down to injuries. I think both Cutch and Dickerson can be a steady producer in the OF, but Cutch adds more value with his leadership and his ability to be a steady lead off hitter.

      With Cesar expected to be good as gone, Quinn being unreliable – Cutch is the best option as a steady lead off hitter for the Phils.

  67. Dickerson is a good hitter, Rob, but you are not giving Cutch the credit he deserves. Not only was he a good player, and a team leader, but the lead off spot frankly sucked after he got hurt. I want Cutch, Dickerson’s money can go to Pitching.

  68. TBOH proposed the following trade with Pittsburgh:

    The Pirates get Adam Haseley, Adonis Medina, Deivy Grullon and Kendall Simmons

    The Phillies get Starling Marte, Keone Kela and $2M in cash considerations.

    What say y’all?

      1. @romus – it is still Adonis Medina as 8mark’s hottest potato. It will not have a 8mark stamp without Adonis Medina in the trade proposal. Haseley will be up there to kick Alec Bohm down to #3. LoL!

      2. Actually, Romus & Kuko – Cesar and Doobie have been my founding jettison club members…..but their trade value is non-existent anymore. My top value trade chip currently is either Bohm or Hoskins, although the latter would be a sell low so he’s after Haseley right now. Medina is merely a throw in at this point. Alone he might get you what Kilome got the Phillies last year – an Asdrubal Cabrera type. I’m conflicted about Haseley, to be honest. But in any case, the trade proposal wasn’t my brain child…it was the gang from TBOH.

        1. 8mark…..well two who could come off the list of tradeable….nine more days and Cesar and Franco are free birds, unless Matt Klentak can work out a trade.

    1. It’s a fair offer that I think the Pirates would take, but I’m going to pass on this one if I’m the Phillies. At worst, Hasely is Jackie Bradley Jr. and we need his cheap salary on the books. Kela will be a FA in 2021 and relievers are a mercurial bunch, you just don’t know who’s going to show up.

      1. Haseley is not Bradley. Bradley is a gold glove CF with power who strikes out a lot. Haseley is really more of a corner OF with 280/15 homer upside.

  69. Just my view but….if the Yankees are really going to push this Ellsbury thing to its natural conclusion, it tells me that they are not going to push hard to sign Cole and have already made that organizational decision. There is simply NO way they would knowingly irritate Boras [and THIS will!] if they had intentions of breaking bread with him on negotiations about the #1 free agent on the market, with apologies to Rendon who I think is going nowhere but back to the nation’s capital.

    Look, we have seen this first hand before…though our younger posters were likely not around then. But I was and remember it like it was yesterday. I am referring to the JD Drew non-negotiations when Bill Giles foolishly referred to Drew as a “kid” and then played hard ball with Boras. We all know how that turned out…Drew never signed, Boras was furious with the Phillies, who he called “cheap:” and that Boras-Phillies freeze actually lasted till Middleton became the head honcho. Yes, almost 20 years.

    We can talk all we want about how in the end its the player’s decision but this is oft times simply balderdash when it comes to Boras’s clients, they basically put their trust in him and end up going where he sends them. And I long ago stopped criticizing this because the proof is in the pudding…Boras gets great deals done [mostly] and very few of his clients have outwardly complained about their ultimate destination. Heck, even Nick Williams has been a good soldier in Philadelphia.

    A good buddy of mine from Philadelphia called me on Thursday and said he heard Brad Lidge on WIP that day say he was told by a Phillie official that the team was going to throw “a boatload” of money at Cole and asked for my thoughts. I told him then that if I were to handicap the Cole race it would be Angels, Yankees and then Phillies but we had to see how these teams really viewed the risks/rewards of sending so much money to one player. I mentioned to him that the Yankees seem a bit adverse to giving so much money to one player, heck Machado practically begged them to sign him yet they resisted.

    I also said I was unsure of the Artie Moreno/Boras relationship, there has been bad blood since the Jerred Weaver days and the Angels have few Boras clients on their team. I eliminated the Cubs, Red Sox and Dodgers because they are not spending $250 million on one guy either.

    My gut feeling…Cole probably signs with the Angels BUT if this goes into February the Phillie chances increase. And this Ellsbury nonsense only suggests to me that the Yankees much prefer Wheeler to Cole. And thats a potentially very good thing for the Phillies…

    1. Yankees issues have been the Ellsbury and Stanton contracts.
      For now probably the two worst contracts, as a pair, on any one team in MLB
      The results have been below average ….a combined 14.3bWAR over six total years @ an expense of $136M.
      And now there may be pressure to get something done long term with Judge…right now he is scheduled for $6M arb1, so signing Wheeler vs Cole may be the better alternative for them.

    2. CD – i agree. Like Machado and Corbin last year, Gerrit Cole is begging to sign his big $ with NYY but the Yankees will resist the big $ commitment but still sign some big $ FAs since some big $ contract commitments will off the books in 2021.

      I agree that LAA will be the most likely destination especially now that Mike Trout is vocally expressing his intention to be in the playoffs.

  70. Some posters have urged the Phillies to be super-aggreesive and sign Wheeler to a big contract immediately. But why shouldn’t Wheeler and his agent just sit back and see how the starting pitching market develops? Why sign now if there is a possible bigger payday in February or even March? If this were your first [and likely only] shot at a huge payday, wouldn’t you wait out the market?

    1. Wheeler is not in the same level as Gerrit Cole, Manny Machado, Bryce Harper and alike. Patrick Corbin understood that last year so when he got a decent deal with WAS, he accepted the $$ and not longer wait around.

      Wheeler is a good SP but not a stud SP. If he waits around and the big market got their SP, he will end up with less $.

    1. He’s a big dude. There’s a real chance we have something in him. Lakewood next year. Fingers crossed.

  71. Well as the Eagles look truly awful, I come here hoping our Baseball ream can cheer me up. Atlanta adds another piece. Now, I didn’t want D’Arnaud, don’t really regret not getting Chris Martin, and didn’t think we were in on Smith. But, Atlanta seems to have had an off season plan, went out and started executing it. We, OTOH, seem to be studying the landscape, thinking about things when we should have had our off season plan ready to go also. We want to change up IF, fine, we need to know already if we want Didi or Moose. Go out and make the deal. Neither got better after the season ended. You can’t start trying to make a plan now, it should have been in place a month before the season ended. Frustrated by the lack of aggressiveness by Klentak. Sorry for the rant.

    1. matt13…..a real odd quirk…..if the NFL draft order was selected right now…the Eagles would draft 15th….same as the Philies in the next draft.

      1. I believe watching the eagles. they could draft a lot higher. losing Joe Douglas was big, along with the Offensive coaches,

        1. rocco…..IMO, the four Philly disappointments from each sport based on their earlier career hype…not in any particular order:

    2. Daily reminder that the player has to agree to the contract. It’s not just a matter of, “we want that player, so he’s on our team now.”

      If you want the team to pay every FA way more than they’re worth just to sign them sooner, you’re being silly.

  72. Not my plan at all Dan, I don’t want every FA. I want a plan in place with a pecking order of objectives. I want them to then check off RP, IF, and get them off the board so we can concentrate on SP. Grandal didn’t get overpaid and neither did Will Smith. Now, the other side doesn’t agree to a deal if they were low balled. But you can tell me that we are aggressively going into this off season?

    1. Unless the Braves signed someone you specifically wanted, there’s literally no reason to complain right now. They aren’t dragging their feet. They’re just doing their jobs. We’re so ridiculously early into the offseason. The fact that they’re already connected to multiple free agents means they have a plan. No deal being done this early just means that people are considering their options; as they should.

  73. I hope you are correct. My faith isn’t the strongest, so I will wait and see. I really do hope you are right and the connections to players isn’t just Agents using the fact that we have money to drum up business.

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