Open Discussion: Week of December 2nd

As we turn the page on the calendar to December, we move closer to spring training and real baseball.  During a slow week, the Phillies announced the signing of former all-star Josh Harrison to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training.  The 32-year-old infielder/outfielder was a teammate of the Phillies’ Andrew McCutchen.

Over the weekend, the Phillies found themselves with another coaching vacancy when receiving coach/bullpen catcher, Craig Driver, accepted an upgraded position with the Cubs where he will be their first base and catching coach.  He joins former Phillies’ pitching coach, Chris Young, whom the Cubs signed as their bullpen coach.

I did not mean to mislead you last week when when I posted, “… if the Phillies sign a pitcher this week, you didn’t hear it here first”.  I was not hinting at any potential signing.  I am not playing the rumors game this season.  I’ve muted or stopped following the national guys who are only interested in “clicks”.

The next important date is December 2nd, the last day for teams to offer 2020 contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters.

That said, let me remind you that the Phillies were among the last to announce the addition of 4 pitchers to their 40-man roster before the deadline as they completed a last-minute trade.  (Actually, I believe the hold up was contacting Curtis Mead before the deal went public.  Bit of a time difference between Philadelphia and Adelaide, Australia.)

This week is the week before the Winter Meetings.  Let me also remind you that the Phillies made two deals prior to the 2018 meetings – the Segura and Alvarez deals.

  • 12/3/2018 – Mariners traded SS Jean Segura, RHP Juan Nicasio and LHP James Pazos to the Phillies for 1B Carlos Santana and SS J.P. Crawford
  • 12/6/2018 – Phillies traded RHP Luis Garcia to the Angels for LHP Jose Alvarez

And, the Phillies signed Andrew McCutchen at the 2018 meetings.  Of course, then they did very little until mid-January when they signed a bunch of guys to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training, reached contract agreements with eight of their arbitration guys, and extended non-roster invitations to spring training to eight of their minor leaguers (January 11th was a busy day).  Then, there were a bunch of player transfers among the minor league affiliates for the rest of the month.  The next big thing was the  J.T. Realmuto deal during the first week of February.

So, if nothing happens during the next two weeks, buckle up.  It’s going to be a long winter.

Until then, rehabbers will probably be at the Complex in early December.  The kids who co-op with the City of Clearwater will return in January.  They will start working out at the Complex and be joined by the early reports who come on their own.  Last year, Alec Bohm was here during the first week of January.  I expect he’ll show up early this year, but his national team obligations may cause some adjustment.  McCutchen was early last year,  I expect that he’ll be around early a few times each week too.  Orientation for young players will be held at CBP in January.  Invitations have gone out.  Usually 11-12 players are invited, those closest to an MLB arrival.  I would expect Bohm to be among that group, as well as the pitchers added to the “40” if they haven’t already attended (Llovera and Romero HAVE already attended), and anyone who the Phillies feel they might have slighted when the 40-man announcements came out.

In winter ball –

  • Australian Baseball League
  • Aklinski – .214/.290/.464/.755, 6-28, 4 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 11 K
  • Stobbe – .111/.188/.111/.299, 3-27, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 10 K, 1 SB
  • O’Hoppe – .286/.412/.357/.769, 4-14, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 BB, 5 K
  • Edwards – .348/.348/.391/.739, 8-23, 2 R, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K
  • Wingrove – .200/.333/.320/.653, 5-25, 3 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 5 BB, 12 K, 1 SB
  • Glogoski (0-1, 1.93) – 4.2 IP, 4 H, 1 HR, 1 ER, 5 BB, 7 K
  • Hendrickson (0-1, 4.50) – 4.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 5 K
  • Tols (0-1, 2.25) – 8.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 HR, 6 BB, 12 K
  • Dominican Winter League
  • Grullon – .143/.143/.143/.286, 2-14, 1 R, 2 RBI, 5 K (last played 10/20)
  • E. Garcia (0-0, 27.00) – 2 G, 1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
  • C. Sanchez (0-0, 10.13) – 5 G, 2.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K (last pitched 10/27)
  • Puerto Rican Winter League
  • Singer (1-0, 5.40) – 4 G, 3.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 HR, 5 BB, 3 K

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 December 1st … 367 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)  The 2019 transactions have been archived and can be accessed off the Transactions drop down menu.
11/26/2019 – Phillies signed IF/OF Josh Harrison to a MiLB contract with an invite to ST
11/20/2019 – Tampa Bay traded LHP Cristopher Sanchez to Phillies for 2B Curtis Mead
11/20/2019 – Phillies selected the contract of LHP Garrett Cleavinger from Reading
11/20/2019 – Phillies selected the contract of RHP Mauricio Llovera from Reading
11/20/2019 – Phillies selected the contract of LHP Cristopher Sanchez from Reading
11/20/2019 – Phillies selected the contract of LHP JoJo Romero from Lehigh Valley
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
11/08/2019 – Phillies signed international FA RHP Jaydenn Estanista to an MiLB contract
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

200 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of December 2nd

  1. I suppose today the fate of Phillies Maikel and Cesar will be decided……or maybe it will be adios amigos.

      1. Cesar will find a home somewhere, if not here.
        Turns 30 in May, and a 9bWAR player over the last 4 years…some team will definitely take a chance with him at the right price.

  2. I don’t think it can be quiet as there is so much to be addressed on this team. I mean ATL won the division and the Nats won the WS they can’t sit on their hands and do nothing especially after adding a manager with the profile of Girardi

    Realmuto must be extended

    Franco/CeHe should both be moved

    Bruce should be moved as he just doesn’t do enough offensively or defensively. He’s cheap so this shouldn’t be hard to do.

    Back-up Catcher-As much as i like Knapp and had hoped he would develop an offensive game it just doesn’t appear likely to me that it will happen here his OPS+ of 64/68 last 2 seasons is really bad. Austin Romine’s 93/97 would be a lot better.

    And that’s all before you get to 4/5ths of the rotation needs significant improvement and your everyday LU is a very mediocre OPS team.

    Oh yeah there is also the issue of the BP.

  3. Stobbe is batting .111 in the Australian Baseball League? He might be better served taking time off and re-tool his swing…

  4. Player A: 29 yo 238/276/441 for a .718 OPS and 87 OPS+.
    Player B: 29 yo 260/296/438 for a .734 OPS and 92 OPS+

    Player A is Didi
    Player B is Freddy Galvis

    Neither player should be on our 2020 team in any capacity. But if we had to choose one, the choice is easily Freddy. Comparable hitter and much better defensively.

    1. Why do you only look at one year? After an achillies repair. That’s silly. Look at the three years prior. It’s no comparison. Didi is the much better player, and I’m sure that our new manager agrees. No offense but I trust that he knows more than any of us.

        1. So are you saying that Hoskins is technical a scrub because of a subpar 2019? It will take more than just 1 year performance to fairly evaluate a player.

          1. Hoskins at 26 still managed an OPS+ of 110. That’s not really a scrub Kuko

            Didi at 29 coming off of an injury at 29 managed an OPS+ of 87. But I’m not even calling Didi a scrub. He’s ok but he’s clearly benefited from a really short porch in RF at Yankee Stadium

            and then there is this guy named Segura also age 30 who is under contract for 3/$45 basically the same player by WAR and Career OPS+.

            By what metric is Didi clearly better than Segura? Also how do you excuse his last year because of injury and then not account for it going forward. An achillies none the less. Chances of him getting back to a 100+ OPS guy in our park are slim to none. He doesn’t walk enough, doesn’t hit for a high enough average and as a defender even before the injury he really isn’t that good there either.

            I mean I’m no big Segura fan so if you’re telling me you can move him and his money sign Didi for less have at it.

            But if you’re intent is to sign Didi move Segura to another position and try to play some shell game with Kingery it ain’t gonna improve this team.

            1. @DMAR – people can slice and dice stats to prove a point. But I’m not going there. My point is, just what Murray said – using a one year stat to determine who is the better player is misleading – that’s all.

              I know you don’t like Didi and I get that. As I replied to Romus earlier, Didi is not even my in preferred To Do list this offseason.

              This Didi thing is starting to become a Cesar debate last year where people start to take things out of context.

            2. It is actually pretty mediocre for a first baseman with little defensive value though. If the league has figured Hoskins out then it is a problem for the Phillies.

          2. I never said Rhys was a scrub. I have no idea where you got that but I never said it.

            Rhys’ OPS+ by year:
            – 2017: 162
            – 2018: 125
            – 2019: 110

            110 does NOT make him a “scrub.” He is above league average. With a downward trend. That seems about right for an evaluation of his hitting. Can he turn it around? Maybe. Hopefully.

    2. If the Phillies will need an everyday SS, it will be Didi. But I prefer to put that $$ to pitching and sign Galvis as the super UTIL player.

      I agree with Murray, that using 1 year is misleading.

      1. KuKo… say it will be Didi if they need an everyday SS… that because of Joe Girardi’s past affiliation with him or because he may be considered better than other alternatives?

        1. @romus – “If the Phillies will need an everyday SS” is hypothetical (i.e. Segura got traded, Cesar out Kingery to 2B) and if the choice is just between Didi and Galvis.

          Honestly, signing Didi is not even in my preferred laundry list this offseason and my “Must Dos” is heavy on pitching and locking JTR.

            1. If I have to choose who to sign between Didi and Galvis, I might go Galvis because of the following reasons:

              1) Galvis will be cheaper (thus more $$ to pitching)
              2) Galvis can provide positional flexibility (3B, SS, 2B and CF)
              3) Galvis will not be blocking Bohm (Galvis is fine as a super UTIL)

  5. Would you do this trade for Betts assuming he is willing to sign the exact same deal as Harper.

    Kingery, Stott and Howard + two B prospects

    1. An alternative that I would prefer but doubt the Sox would: Kingery, Stott and Rhys + two B prospects. But doubt they would take Rhys over Howard.

      1. If you are willing to give up all that potential talent just to strengthen your OF, why not just sign Dickerson. Then you don’t have replace those you traded away.

        1. Well, there is the small point that Betts is far superior player than Dickerson in every aspect. Besides that point, I agree, just signing a journeyman makes a lot of sense.

    2. No to either. Betts is a better bet for a team like LAD. One year of Betts for a boatload of prospects makes no sense at all.

      1. v1again did mention that Betts would sign and agree for the same money, (assume AAV) as Harper…so there is that caveat in that trade proposal.

      2. As Romus said, this is not for a 1 year rental. This comes with the stipulation that he signs a mega deal. So you have two elite players at 26.

        1. But he won’t sign. No chance. He wants to be a FA and get a better deal than Harper got. Do you do your deal now? I hope not

    3. I like Betts I really do. He is a perennial MVP candidate. Chances Kingery and Stott would ever match his WAR even if you combine them is minimal but Howard is just a guy that I cannot bring myself to part with.

      My question back to you is why not sign Rendon? He too was a 6.3 WAR player in 2019. Plus defender at a position of need for us.

      That move however would require a subsequent move of either Bohm or Hoskins.

      Lastly I think Betts gets more money than Harper

      1. Agree with you on this aspect…Betts will want and command a higher AAV ($30M+) than Harper……but may be for 7/8 years max.

      2. I’d would go this route vs trading for & signing Betts. Saves a lot resources. Rendon + kingery + Howard + Stott vs Betts
        You just eat money with Rendon, but you’d have to do the same for Betts, likely more. You run the risk that he doesn’t resign either. He seems willing to test the market even after being traded.

        I’d offer Medina (or seabold), Stott, and one of the catchers. It’s likely not enough, but the Phillies are not in position to add a player like Betts, and having their resources depleted or tied up (prospects & payroll)

        If this is the plan, add Rendon, even over pay vs trading for Betts. To complicate the matter, you could make the trade, empty the farm, and he could get hurt in the 1 year that you do have him under contract… that would be unbearable after all this time. Not worth the risk with other “close” options on the table. Bonus: it’ll piss off the Nats

      3. Good point on Rendon. He is 3 years older than Betts. But less cost in terms of players.

        I also think that you can do both. Because any Betts extension doesn’t kick in until 2021. And we have a ton of space in 2021. Basically a $25m AAV player would replace Jake’s contract. So we get Betts for low salary in 2020 and then replace Jake’s salary for his in 2021. Point is, I don’t think this impacts signing Rendon. We should do both.

    4. If Betts is signing a Harper contract, it means that there’s 2-3 teams who can afford that. If that’s the case, I’ll keep the prospects and wait another year and sign Betts.

  6. At the end of the day I always fall back to Mike Trout is the best player in baseball and has been almost since he arrived. His teams have only made the playoffs once.

    That tells me you are better off building a team in aggregate as opposed to depleting all your resources whether they be prospect resources or payroll resources.

    1. Angels did surround him with quality MLB hitters…Upton, Pujols, Simmons, Ohtani, Calhoun…..but failed to adequately address pitching.

    2. There is no doubt that it requires a lot of talent. The Nats has 5 regulars with an OPS+ greater than 100. 5 out of 8. Amazing. And also three elite SPs. We are very far from matching that. Very far.

  7. With the imminent departure of Franco and the emergence of Bohm, a standing question remains – who will be the 3b of the future? The fact that Bohm has played barely half of his pro career at the hot corner tells me that the Phillies are not convinced he’s the future there. A hunch on my part is that Kris Bryant may eventually be there one day. Based partly on the fact that he shares his best friend Bryce Harper’s agent, Scott Boras. I doubt the Phillies will trade for him, and I can’t argue that he may be slightly overrated, or that he’s even an average 3b, but he is a steady offensive producer. This winter may only tell us who will be the stopgap until that question is answered.

    1. 8mark, at somepoint the Phillies are going to have to roll the dice with their prospects. If Rhys regresses, and turns out to be more like Franco than a core piece, then they still need to roll the dice with Bohm, Kingery, & Stott. Likely even Garcia. At some point these prospects need to develop into stars, if they don’t, they’ll be looking up at the Marlins eventually. Bohm needs to be the 3B, if not him, then kingery or Stott. Harper and Bryant will have to wait until he is a FA. This team is not setup to be able to make such a trade and continue to close the gap on teams like LAD,ATL, WAS, MIL,STL, and soon SD. The Phillies need to be beefing up that SR and BP. The SR can cover for a weaker offense, they should be signing Cole or Wheeler, and hamels, and developing Howard, Seabold, Medina, Pivetta, VV, Efflin, etc.

      1. With regard to Rhys I think last season was his floor. I don’t see him being any worse than that and he definitely has the upside to be closer to a 900 OPS player than he does a sub 800 OPS player.

        Point is he’s a much better hitter than Franco his BB rate tells us that.

        But overall I think V1 is right as my mantra has always been OPS is King pitching is Queen or if you want to liken it to chess OPS is Queen and Pitching is King.

        1. DMAR – I’m also a believer of OPS but you cannot be King in OPS but pawn in Pitching. Like in NFL, a successful NFL team should be above average in at least 2 of offense, defense and special teams — so in MLB a team needs to be above average in 2 of hitting, pitching and defense.

          Right now, pitching is terrible and farthest from optimal so resources should be put there to move the need to at least average level. Hitting is way ahead of pitching, although improvement still needed in hitting it should not be to the level that it sucks a significant portion of the resources to address pitching.

          1. Kuko I contend that the hitting is not way ahead of the pitching they are actually dead even in rank. both 17…perception is sometimes greater than reality.

            Funny thing the Twins as an example were 22nd in pitching last year. They had basically the same rotation this year but added a 4th and 5th Martin Perez and Pineda.

            they improved their pitching rank to 9th but the real improvement came from their OPS rank 18 up to 2 Nelly Cruz was the major move.

            It’s surprising how much better your pitching staff can be when your offense scores runs. Our run diff last year -20.

            1. @DMAR – I’ve always said that while “numbers don’t lie, they can deceive”…. while both hitting and pitching ranked 17th (ERA and OPS) – it doesn’t mean they have the same quality issues….Ranking (and differentials) tend to smooth some of the good/bad games so I will need more just league rankings and differentials to evaluate a situation.

              Eye test alone will tell you how bad pitching was last season, I can easily say that SP alone cost the Phillies at least 10-15 games!! If if you replace Pivetta with Charlie Morton, the Phillies will probably in the wild card mix.

  8. OPS+ > 100 players:
    – Nationals: 5. Best player 153
    – Dodgers: 8. Best player: 169
    – Braves: 4. Best player: 136
    – Brewers: 6. Best player: 179
    – Cardinals: 4. Best player 120
    – Phillies: 3. Best player: 125

    I get that we need to improve the SP and Bullpen. But our lineup also needs a lot of improvement if we are going to really compete. We are lacking depth and tip end talent in our lineup.

    1. I’m assuming the 3 are (Harper, Realmuto, and kingery?) Reasonable to see the Phillies getting to 5, possibly 6 if:

      McCutchen is healthy
      Rhys rebounds
      And if the Phillies made a crazy signing with Rendon. If not, then hopefully Bohm can be that player to give them 5 or 6 in this category. 8 is not happening with the way this rebuild has gone.

        1. I see your point. I agree the offense needs upgrading, but for me, I’d go all in on the pitching upgrades.

          I can see McCutchen, Segura, and Kingery, and possibly Bohm in a year or so making headway in the OPS numbers for the Phillies. 2 of which were MVP candidates. If not, having Cole & Nola going multiple times in a playoff series can cover some of that lag on the offensive side of things. Ideally they could upgrade both in the same offseason, but the missteps of the rebuild has them in a position to pick between them. My vote is pitching, but both need upgrading. Going to take more than 1 offseason to correct

      1. McCutchen was at 115. And he’s never been below 100 in any season in his career. He’s not being counted because he missed half the season, but I agree if he is healthy that gives the Phillies likely 4 (assuming no regression from Bryce, Rhys, and JT) and 5 if Kingery slightly improves.

    1. Someone (I think it may have been you, Hinkie) suggested that the Phillies will go with 3 catchers since the 26 man roster takes effect in 2020. Romine is a strong bet to be the backup with Knapp as #3, or he could start in Lehigh as depth if they don’t.

  9. The Phillies need a number of productive cost controlled players in the team to make a sustainable run of success. Middleton might have deep pockets, but it is not unlimited.

    The Phillies do not have a lot of productive cost controlled players and if the Phillies trade them for a soon to be expensive player, that financial $$ will strapped the Phillies for a long time.

    The best approach for the Phillies will be:

    1) Use $$ in FA
    2) Keep top end close to MLB prospects
    3) Trade some young cost controlled players for productive (but not elite level) MLB players
    4) Use prospect equity (not Top 10) for productive (but not elite level) MLB players
    5) and most importantly, put resources to improve scouting and player development

    So basically, just use $$ in acquiring elite MLB players, keep the top prospects and trade excess young cost controlled players and Top 11-30 prospects for quality MLB players.

  10. v1, I can’t disagree with you on the need to improve the every day lineup as well as the Pitching. I have faith in Rhys and think he is going to do well this year with a new HC. Likewise, I have faith in Kingery. I add another player. I don’t see them in on Betts, because I don’t see them emptying the Farm. Not an argument about whether they should or not, just a feeling of what the FO will do. Maybe they keep Cesar, although I certainly would not, and move Kingery to 3rd and get a CF. Maybe they add an IF. But not Betts, and I don’t believe they will be in on Rendon, either. I am not even sure they go high end for a SP, either. I am not overwhelmed with faith in Klentak. I am just simply hoping for the best.

    1. Tying up a ton of money in two players, With all the holes this team has is imo, the wrong way to go, We need a Howard ,Bohm to be good players so we have money to improve the bullpen, and starting pitching. I love betts, but the money would kill us

    1. Apparently Cesar will not be headed to the Padres if non-tendered..

      Robert Murray


      Sources: #Padres acquire Jurickson Profar.
      1:45 PM – Dec 2, 2019

  11. Sounds like more than a few of us are deciding what camp to be in: Pitching vs Hitting, and then how far to go on the top FA for that subgroup.

    For My case, and food for thought, I’m all in on the pitching side. Wheeler sounds great at times, but if Cole will sign with the Phillies, I say allocate the extra payroll money to him. Come playoff time, the difference is going to matter, between a Cole be Wheeler. Look at the Phillies top 10
    Games From the last decade (posted on A good amount of them are from Doc Halladay. Reminds me of how important that top tier Ace is come playoff time. Without an ace of that caliber, you are looking at a lot of meaningless games to fill out your top 10. My 2 cents for what it’s worth.

  12. The Phillies just claimed a sidearmer Trevor Kelley — the bullpen carousel continues!

  13. Phillies got Trevor Kelley. Sidearm righty from the Red Sox. Great minor league numbers but poor limited MLB numbers.

  14. Really doubt the Phillies keep Cesar now. Reds are non-tendering Peraza.The 2B Market is flooded with equivalent-type talent as Hernandez.

    1. Nooooo…Ahhh man. I wanted him bad. A lot of Didi talk on this site, but I much prefer the Moose. 64 million, though? Wow. Good for him. He deserves it after getting stiffed the last two off seasons. But that price tag makes it slightly more palatable that the Phils passed; I’d love that lefty pop to go with Harper, but that 64 million is likely better invested in the rotation. I thought he’d cost 40 max. Good for him.

      1. This is an overpay to get him to sign with Cinn. No way I would have been happy with us signing him to this deal. He hits 35 homers while hitting 255. He’s not worth 4/$64 to us. I think we’ll sign Didi and then let Kingery bounce back and forth between 3b and CF possibly letting Harrison and Haseley platoon, until Bohm gets called up.

      1. Can understand that…..he would block either Bohm (3rd) or Kingery (2nd) for a few more years.
        Assume Klentak was probably interested in only a two year deal with him…if it came down to it.

      2. The Moose might hit 45-50 dingers in that park. I thought the Braves were going to nab him on a 2-3 year deal so in that sense I’m glad Cincy got him instead.

        All of a sudden the Reds have a pretty decent team on paper. A good line-up and a quality 1-2-3 in their rotation.

        Watching MLB Network last night and Kenney’s show MLBNOW which featured John Hart, Jason Stark and some other guy the consensus was Cole is going to get 7/$240

        The kicker was 3/4 of the panel agreed it would be a bad move for most clubs but there will always be a club who talks themselves into such a deal.

        1. I wonder how they would feel about WS-MVP Strasburg resigning back with the Nats @ $30M AAV for the next 5 years.
          That would be how I would decide if they think a Cole deal at 7/$240M was really a bad move.

          Everyone knows the last few years of a LTC for most players , especially pitchers, are not good productive years…an over-payment.
          But until baseball adopts the NFL contract policies, which the union will never let happen because they have a gravy train going now…..that is they will it will have to be.

    2. Well well well, looks like the Reds are starting to make a push out of the heap pile.
      They have some decent SP’s. Interesting he is off the board so soon. Wonder how last offseaonnhas made an impact on the players mindset to push offers to the side and/or trying to squeeze owners for more of the pie?

      Ok, well more the reason to let Bohm sink or swim. If it’s a minimal upgrade, becomes less of a priority to fill imo.

      Wish Dickerson could play 2nd….

  15. I liked Mous also but not 4/$64’ worth. I want Klentak aggressive but not dumb. Bohm needs a shot and 4 years is too long. We have done a good job for LHV, adding 2 RPs and Josh Harrison! There is a lot of Didi talk here and nationally. I know v1 doesn’t like him but I have a feeling that the FO does.

    1. With the Reds getting Moustakas, perhaps Didi does jump on a Phillies offer….I can see 3 yrs/$45M.

        1. Does seem the Phillies will act soon.
          If Cesar and Maikel are non-tendered, then tomorrow may be the time to make their push.

      1. @romus – Didi for $15AAV?!? — DMAR will unfriend you….LoL! I prefer to use the $45M for Hamels and/or Alex Wood.

        1. Hah…….yes I know.
          But if Joey G. really wants him, they may have to go higher than the other bidders,

        2. LOL never Kuko

          I admire all of your opinions more than you know even when I don’t agree. And quite honestly I’m wrong more than I am right.

  16. Klentak won’t do anything to handcuff us long term. He will also not do anything to get us over the hump. Sure, if EVERYBODY clicks, we can be a postseason team. But I don’t see him steering us too far away from mediocrity.

    1. I don’t know if I’d write him off just yet; let’s see how this offseason plays out. There is a TON of talent out there, especially on the pitching side, so I’d be very, very surprised if we went into Spring Training with a feeling that our rotation is “mediocre.”

    2. Klentak aims for mediocrity?

      Chasing Harper or MM for four months and signing Bryce doesn’t smell like steering towards mediocrity.
      And in same offseason he signed McCutchen, traded for Segura, and gave up a top mlb pitching prospect to snag the #1 C in baseball!

  17. And, FWIW, the Reds signed Moustakas to play 2B, not 3rd. I would not have signed him for 4 years, and I often knock Klentak, but I cannot this time.

  18. The Astros will non tender Aaron Sanchez!!! Klentak should contact Sanchez’s agent ASAP!!!

    1. I was excited about the possibility too until I read this: Sanchez underwent surgery in September to repair a torn capsule in his right shoulder, a procedure that carries a 12-to-14-month recovery time.

  19. On the earlier point about Freddy Galvis. Didn’t he have an option that the Reds picked up? I don’t think he is a FA, and would require a trade. So, there is not a Freddy/Didi option here. I think Klentak gets another IF, and I think there is a tie in with us because of the JoeG connection. I think this is one instance where there is a lot of talk that we sign him, because I think it is a distinct possibility.

      1. From CBSSports, “Galvis’ $5.5 million option in his contract for 2020 was picked up by the Reds on Thursday, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.”..This was written on Sept. 30.

  20. Blake Treinen is non-tendered. We are waiting until the last possible minute on Cesar and Franco.

  21. Cesar and Maikel are both non-tendered. It was expected, as Maikel is not even a league average player and Cesar would be too expensive for the money he would get in arbitration. Good luck to them both.

  22. any interest in Travis Shaw with Moose not an option and Franco/Cesar gone, and see if he can bounce back from a truly awful season? lefty bat with some pop and can play a little at second at first if needed too.

    1. Travis Shaw could be a possibility….the injury to his wrist really affected him last year….even by Sep he had lingering discomfort in his left hand…he may just have needed more time for healing.

  23. My hope is for signings of Didi, Starlin Castro, and Romine and then resign Miller. Then on to the pitching where Bettances and now Treinen reside. Add Hamels and I have a hunch they’re going big game hunting for Cole, who would cost them their only lost pick. The fall back for not getting Cole will be to make a trade for a SP. A bench of Castro, Miller, Romine, Quinn and Bruce. Not bad. A pen of Bettances, Treinen, VV, Neris, Morgan, Alvarez, Suarez, and Arano or pick somebody. A lineup of Cutch, JT, Harper, Hoskins, Didi, Segura, Kingery, Haseley (or Castro in a R/L platoon with Kingery bouncing). Or maybe out Segura back in the 2 hole and JT 5th with Didi 6th. It might all still depend on who the 1/2 SPs are though.

    1. That’s 8 free agent signings. A pretty aggressive winter. I like the names and the value. The Yankees reportedly have interest in Treinen. Klentak had better get rolling. Don’t forget the Phillies claimed Trevor Kelley from Boston. He may be a Bryan Price project.

  24. Didi Gregorius makes sense now, although I have reservations myself. But he won’t cost a draft pick, is a Girardi guy, and may be had for a reasonable price, probably less than Moustakas’ deal. Say 3/$40M with possibly a 4th option year.

  25. I wonder if the Phillies can attract Romine given the very limited playing time he knows he will get in Phila. Also, why do people believe (want?) the Phillies to carry 3 catchers in 2020? Since they signed Knapp, I would rather see them carry someone will greater positional flexibility over a third catcher.

  26. Yea to carry a 3rd catcher makes zero sense. The backup catcher is already going to play a small handful of games so why add a 3rd to the mix? That will be a waste of the extra roster spot.

    1. You guys may not like the idea of carrying three catchers, but that is an option (not a guarantee) the Phillies (and other teams) are considering. Whether they carry three for some, most, or all of the season remains to be seen.

  27. For those of you who are WAR believers what are you paying for WAR these days on a position player?

      1. Thanks Guru wondering what GM’s think these days is the best calculation for determining future WAR. Is it last years or a blend of the previous 2-3 seasons.

        Perhaps its the one dimension analytics will never solve a players deterministic future value.

        They can throw all the math they want at it but its still a coin flip.

        1. WAR measures historical data and it was not designed to measure future value. So I doubt GMs will rely heavily on a players’ WAR to hand out contracts. GM will probably analyze a bunch of important metrics to them (i.e. OPS+, OBP, etc) to determine a base contract adjusted by the market (bidding teams, similar player’s contracts, etc.).

          WAR is a stat of convenience and it’s only good to measure a players value to the team — other than that, it’s very misleading that’s why I never get on the WAR bandwagon.

          1. KuKo…..hate to break the news to you…but the new model of Ivy-league GMs know WAR and its rationale,and do utilize it……that is what I hear from them during interviews on the
            Now do they use it exclusive of wRC+, OPS+, xFIP, wOBA….do not think so, but their analytical departments surely use all of it to assess players and projection.

            1. “but the new model of Ivy-league GMs know WAR and its rationale,and do utilize it” — i’m not sure if this is a factual statement or just a speculation. The way to verify this is to identify those ivy-league GMs, see the contracts they handed to the players match the $7M per WAR formula.

              But I do believe that these modern GMs utilize a vast concept of advance statistics and analytics to establish a base contract —- but using a $7M per WAR to determine a contract – I don’t think so.

            2. @romus – don’t take me out of context, I do believe in advance statistics and analytics — it is the overuse and misuse of the WAR stat that I’m not buying into.

              I think a smart GM integrate scouting with analytics to make their decisions.

            3. Chris Russo and Brian Kenney interview GMs regularly on the
              Whenever they talk metrics it is mentioned, along with the other peripherals.
              Whether or not they use it to determine contract values is never brought up.
              However, if you want ….MLBTR, Tim Dierkes is virtually spot on with his projections on salaries….I will ask him to see if he uses WAR as one of he tools for measuring a contract’s value and his experience with clubs’ analytical depts. and how they use it for their GM usage.

          2. I don’t understand this argument. All statistics are forensic – showing performance in the past. WAR is no different. However, past performance is the primary indicator of future performance. So, yes, they look at a lot of things, but of course they look at WAR and of course it’s relevant to what they are willing to pay for a player.

            So, no, I don’t agree that WAR is a stat of convenience and it’s only good to measure a player’s value to the team – it’s quite the opposite, it’s designed to measure the player’s value against a generic AAAA player – in other words, it’s designed to measure the player’s inherent value to any team, not only the team for which he plays.

  28. Domingo Santana was non-tendered. I like the Phillies to take a shot of him even as a bench bat.

  29. I was under the belief the Phillies and Mike Moustakas made a lot of sense. However, Klentak did the absolute right thing to stay away from matching the deal (4 years/64 million) he got from Cincinnati. That was a complete overpay … especially when you consider the fact the Reds will be using Moustakas as a 2Bman. The market is flooded with 2Bmen.

    I’ve never believed Rendon and Donaldson were realistic targets for the Phillies, so not getting Moustakas does put more pressure on Klentak to land a Didi Gregorius/Brad Miller combo IMO.

    On the pitching front … I’m still confident Middleton will make a deal with Cole Hamels happen. The tricky thing is going to be staying in the Gerrit Cole and/or Stephen Strasburg sweepstakes while not ignoring/eventually missing out on the more attainable (and affordable) Zack Wheeler.

    1. Travis Shaw could be an option for third..
      His wrist and hand should be fully healed by now and he was a 11WAR guy for three years with the Brewers.

  30. How far is Seabold from the majors? Grasping at straws here, but thinking the Phils could swing an miss on a lot of the big FA SP. I’m counting on Howard to develop, but as others have pointed out, his innings pitched last year make it unlikely he’ll be able to help the big flub this year without being sat for periods of time etc

      1. Rocco, that’s good news, not that far at all. I say he’ll be up 5 days after the season starts! 7 if he drives a Tesla.

        1. The Tesla joke is funny. I can relate to that because everytime there’s a back up in a not busy road where I normally drive — there’s always a Tesla hugging the lane.

    1. The good news – his FB was 90-94 mph when I saw him, CH was 82-84. He was very effective, and posted a 2.25 ERA, 2.3 BB9 and 8.1 K9 at Reading. He threw a combined 20.0 innings in his final 3 starts (6.0, 7.0, 7.0) with game scores of 63, 72, 61 (all 3 victories). He also pitched well in Arizona in the fall (1.06, 1.6, 11.6) against better opposition.

      The bad news – he missed a substantial portion of the season with an injury and only threw 56.1 innings during the summer and 17.0 in Scottsdale in 4 starts before being shut down. He was chosen for the Premier12 roster but didn’t pitch. So, those factors have to be a concern.

      I would pay close attention to the NRI (non-roster invites) from within the organization. They will sometimes give a hint regarding a player’s proximity. Guys like Jones, Brogdon, Hernandez, Seabold, Warren, … make interesting invites if they occur. Maybe one in a million? So, I’m saying there’s a chance. 😉

      1. I saw this from Connor Seabold in an interview in late August.

        “Finding my changeup, just by throwing it in bullpens and playing around with it, that ended up being the best part of the whole injury,” Seabold said. “The way I use it, the way I throw it, it was just some subtle tweaks really. I started turning it over more and basically overpronating to get it to do what I want. The velocity was always there, but the action has been even better, and that’s what it needed. All of that mostly happened just by playing with it when I was hurt.”
        Connor Seabold via Sam Dykstra of

        So I guess the silver lining for him was the injury and extended time off to experiment and perfect a pitch..

      2. Appreciate the info Jim. I’m thinking they have another mini gem in him, maybe not that top tier pitching prospect everyone knows about in your system, but a very good young player who is going to contribute to the big league club. If there is space for him, maybe he can fill Arrietta’s spot, with Howard claiming the last rotation spot in the next 1.5 seasons. Now , that is asking a lot with the recent (20 year) history of developing SP, to have 2 so Back to back, but I got a “feeling”. To validate… Seabold has to be better than Kyle Kendrick! … maybe even JA HAAP? Will see.

        I’m going to assume Seabold will be a popular request this winter meetings, his performance in the AFL was top notch

  31. We don’t really do well in Japan, Romus. Also, Jake Diekman signs with the A’s. I would like us to do something, anything really, more than LHV players.

  32. Again pitching, pitching then go get more pitching… There will be bats available late into the off-season if the Phillies need/want one,,

  33. MLBTR………Phillies actively pursuing Wheeler, competition Reds, White Sox, Twins, Rangers and Angels……..excess of $100/5 years maybe 6.

  34. The 2 bounce back candidate arms that I like the Phillies to pursue are:

    1) Blake Treinen – still throws hard (mid-90s) and have a very good GB%

    2) Kevin Gausman – can start, long arm or pen. Still throws hard, can miss bats and BB% looks ok.

      1. i think both are amenable to 1-year contracts of $4M for Treinen and $6-7M for Gausman. 2 year contract with year 2 as option years will probably be fair.

        Another under the radar arm I like is Wade Miley – I’ll offer a $16M/2years to Miley.

    1. Al Leiter did a nice break down on Treinen last night with some side by sides from 18 to 19. Clearly he or someone else talked him into getting away from his 2 seamer in lieu of his 4 seamer and to pitch at the top of the zone. It was an epic fail.

      We should be in on that guy. He should be an easy fix because his velo is still there. I’d say he’s probably a guy that gets a 2/$16

      1. DMAR….he lost his control…and his slider was not being bit upon by the hitters.
        When you fall behind in the count you go to the straight arrow 4 Smr and the cut FB.
        Turns 32 next season….he could be the next Tommy Hunter with over 400 relief innings pitched now.

          1. Yes, but probably not the $8AAV that you suggest. With the $16M, I’ll prefer Wade Miley or Alex Wood.

    2. Treinen hit the skids last year
      Take a look at his usage……less 2Smr and less slider, where previous years he excelled …more 4Smr and more cutter in 2019.
      You have to wonder why?|SI|FC|CU|SL|CS|KN|CH|FS|SB&time=year&startDate=03/30/2007&endDate=12/04/2019&s_type=2

      His velo seem to hold up like you say.|SI|FC|CU|SL|CS|KN|CH|FS|SB&time=year&startDate=03/30/2007&endDate=12/04/2019&s_type=2.

      1. Given Treinen age and experience, a sudden change in repertoire is possibly driven from the top — FO backed Pitching team similar to what happened in Philly with CY with Klentak and Kapler backing which basically force the hands of the pitchers like — (insert the names of all pitchers who pitched for the 2019 Philaldelhia Phillies).

        1. Not necessarily.
          He may have just lost it….first 15 innings pitched Mar/Apr… 11 walks, 12 hits.
          Do not think they would have made any changes to his pitch selection straight out of ST.

  35. Posted this in the wrong week

    Watch out for the White Sox. Not only do they have the money to drop on a few big ticket items they have the position players in place to take the division. It remains to be seen when they call up Madrigal and Robert and who knows if they will take off or struggle some when they hit the majors.

    Yeah players want their paydays but they also don’t want to suffer through losing seasons.

    I’ve been asking myself if I am a FA Pitcher and all things are equal why are the Phillies more attractive than the other clubs in play for my services.

    I guess what I am saying is the Phillies would have to overpay to get the FA they want and I’m ok with that.

    I hope our brass isn’t sitting at the table feeling all smug like they did last year thinking they hold all the cards.

  36. I’m feeling Wheeler and Didi happening this week. Bumgarner is a possibility if the brass is going balls to the wall….

          1. Good to hear that, Jim. I’ve always been on board with spreading the money around this winter. Wheeler, Hamels, Didi, and a BP arm (maybe Betances on a one year “prove it” deal).

  37. Here are two more random thoughts/observations –
    1.) Medina FINALLY moved to the Active Roster. Transaction was back-dated to September 30th, but only just happened.
    2.) With topics like the MiLB discussion (and contraction) and developing labor issues (most notably the way the free agent markets are being manipulated, dare I say collusion?), it is not out of the question for MLB to ask teams to either hold off on some FA/trade announcements until the Winter Meetings next week or to accelerate and complete FA/trade discussions to announce next week. Such announcements would divert attention from those other sore topics. And, if such a request were made by the commissioner, we know that the Phillies have a history of falling into lock-step with commissioner’s requests.

  38. This is some stunning news to me. I was certain Middleton would insist Klentak sign Hamels for whatever it would cost.

    1. I had a sense that Klentak (and perhaps Girardi) weren’t big Hamels guys. No surprise here. Maybe we sign MadBum along with Wheeler?

        1. I have a very bad feeling about Madison Bumgarner. I think he was pushed too hard and pitched too many innings as a younger player. I’d stay far away from a long term contract for him. I sense a swift decline that might already be underway.

          1. Four years plus an option seems to be the talk….naturally he will want more length.
            No way a team gives him Corbin length like the Nats did.
            But his velo has already declined a few ticks from his hey day…but that is expected with his age and high usage.

            Unless Klentak can trade for a lefty…Ray, Boyd, Norris, Minor or even Freeland…..Joe G may want a lefty in his rotation….he always stressed that in NY, even in the new stadium which is now more of a bandbox for RHBs than the old Yankee Stadium.

      1. I can see Middleton telling Klentak, “If you don’t sign Hamels, you better sign somebody better!”

  39. We lost Hamels to the Braves?! Clearly,, we didn’t want him. I can’t imagine why. 2 things, there are no bad 1 year deals, and say whatever you want about Hamels, he would be our #2 SP. braves continue to get better than us, by a wide margin, and Klentak is speaking to a lot of agents.

    1. Maybe Hamels didn’t want the Phillies?

      This idea that a player not signing with the Phillies is an indication that the team just didn’t try hard enough or want the player bad enough is just silly.

      Part of Free Agency is that the players have a say in where they want to go too..

  40. I think often that the sentimental feelings towards a player gets in the way of what the actual plan is in place to fill the many holes of this current team. Personally, I believe they are looking towards something much better on the pitching side of things and that it will come to fruition in the near future. My thought is 2 quality starters, both better than Hamels.

    1. 👍👍
      I would have liked Hamels BUT not as an “event” signing. Sentimentality gets overplayed in these parts. He’d be a nice back of the rotation piece, maybe a #3/4 but let Atlanta overpay him even for one year. He might be their #2.

      1. Sounds about what you might expect. They paid a premium most likely to limit it to 5 years. If he’s a solid 2 for about 4 years, it will be worth it.

        It’s a very good move from what I can tell. A very significant upgrade. The idea, I suppose, is that a year from now, he’ll cost about what Arrieta cost so it’s a revenue neutral upgrade. It makes sense.

    1. @Hinkie – told ya, Wheeler will be closer to $120M/5 years than $100M/5 years. The $100M/5 years matches Wheeler’s ability but signing teams will need to pay that extra “premium” to be in front of the line. $118M/5 yrs I think is fair.

  41. DMAR….Hahn and Sox had larger offer.

    Ken Rosenthal

    #WhiteSox’s offer to Wheeler was for MORE than the $118M he will receive from the #Phillies, sources tell The Athletic. As
    said, Wheeler’s wife is from New Jersey, and that proximity was an important consideration in his decision.

    1. Oh wow so sometimes location does play a role. Either way its a solid move for us but still more needs to be done.

      I’m confident Howard will be up at some point this year. I wonder how many innings they would like to see him throw this season. That of course will factor into when.

  42. Okay….so who’s next in our sites?
    Bumgarner? Or Ryu? Smyly? (Eh!) You know Girardi loves him some LHPs. Can’t begin 2020 without at least one in the rotation.

    1. My guess is that they sign Smyly and someone else. He’s a good buy low guy but you don’t want to rely on him. They should be able to sign him for like $3-6m – worth the risk.

      1. Yeah I don’t think that is the opening day rotation. I think Pivetta gets traded VV to the pen and Eflin stays as the 4th Smyly the 5th and at some point Howard.

        I give an outside chance that they get crazy and sign MadBum too which would eat the rest of their cap space but give them a very formidable rotation.

        If I had my druthers I’d go Smyly trade Cutch and get Castellanos

        1. DMAR…looks like MadBum could be going to the Southsiders since they lost out on Wheeler. He is on their wish list and have mucho dinero to throw his way..

          1. AL club, huh?….shame. He wouldn’t get much opportunity to swing the lumber as one of the better hitting pitchers in the game.

  43. MLBTR got the location right, but the amount was off a bit:
    “Zack Wheeler – Phillies. Five years, $100MM”

    1. Lol…yes, that is me. I am worth $13 billion and still comment on this blog. But as a Phillies fan, I am going to trade all of the Mets best players and prospects to the Phillies for a bag of balls. Go Phils!

      1. Really, ……………you are going to trade both of them? Does it matter if the balls have scuffs on them?

    1. That was the most detailed and well crafted article I’ve read in a long time….and it took quite a while to read…yet unfortunately, at the author’s own admission, it delivers no conclusion other than that WAR is so convoluted in its construction, and still very subjective in terms of which source is determining it. In any case, my brain hurts. Thanks for sharing.

      1. Whoa !!! That was an outstanding breakdown, and an outstanding article. Thanks for linking it, v1.

  44. When planning how to spend the Phillies money, you’ll need to know that Wheeler is likely the biggest expense of the Phillies off season.

    In fact, according to Matt Gelb, the FO is under orders to remain below the tax threshold. His estimate of about $20M remaining under the cap is very close to my $19.4M.

    Check out his article. It looks like all of the big ticket guys are off the Phillies radar.

  45. jim, I read that article, and another one where Matt Gelb says that we are going to need to go over the magic # to contend. I think Middleton, ultimately, relents on that self imposed Cap. I don’t see us being a contender within an additional $19M of additions. I think we need an IF, at least 1 BP arm, and an additional SP, a lefthanded one. I think we need to spend about $25M. I may be overestimating John Middleton.

  46. sorry jim, the second article I read was by Matt Breen, but my opinion on what we need to do still holds.

  47. With all the Zack Wheeler euphoria yesterday, I forgot to mention I got to ask Kiley McDaniel about the Phillies’ Yohswar Garcia situation:

    Are the Phillies still expected to sign Yhoswar Garcia despite the situation/suspension over his age? If so … will it be for less than the originally reported ~2 million dollar deal?
    Kiley McDaniel
    We were told it was 3-4 years difference on age, so it’s likely 100-200K max, using other similar instances as a guide. Haven’t heard who is on him since that’s below our level of interest for int’l amateurs.


    So this means the Phillies are sitting on one of (if not THE) biggest 2019 J2 war chests.
    Cuban SS Yiddi Cappe is available right now, but has a reported 3 million dollar deal in place with the Marlins if he waits until July 2020.
    19 YO Cuban RHP Norge Carlos Vera is another dude available right now, but he might also be willing to wait until July 2020 for bigger offers when teams renew their J2 budgets.
    The guy I expect the Phillies to sign sometime this winter/early spring is 18 YO Taiwanese RHP Po-Yu Chen. The NYY’s are also involved with him. I’ve posted this video of Chen before, but here it goes again for anyone who missed it the first time:


    The Phillies could also trade some of their J2 money, in lieu of prospects, for a player/a reliever who could help them in 2020.

  48. I mentioned (in one of the two threads currently open) MLB now allows teams to trade competitive balance draft picks during the offseason. The Brewers have become the first club to sell their pick. They surrendered their CB pick (after round two) to Seattle for catcher Omar Narvaez this afternoon. Here’s hoping Matt Klentak finds a way to deal for one to make up for the draft pick (2nd highest) the Phillies are losing (for the third year in a row) for signing Zack Wheeler.

  49. Next move is to highly consider signing Smyly, depending on his AAV and years.

    The FO needs to start counting on the young players, much like the flyers have. Youth doesn’t always work but it doesn’t always fail either. Take a chance and start planing to plug in Haseley,Stott, Medina, Seanold,
    DLS, Miller, Grullion, etc. Howard and bohm are a given to me.

    They need the flexibility to keep up
    With the Braves and Nats. Here is hoping thr Nats lose rendonnandnstraburg. The NL East is tough, and the FO is lucky the Braves don’t spend like the Yankees, and the Mets arenas dysfunctional as the WAS redskins.

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