Open Discussion: Week of December 23rd

Happy Holidays to all as we enter Christmas week and the start of Hanukkah.

It’s been rather nice to be a sports fan in Philadelphia recently.  The Eagles fielded their taxi squad and were still able to soundly beat an overrated Cowboys team in what was essentially a playoff game for the division title.  Now, just beat the Giants.  The Sixers are fifth in the conference after losing three of their last four games. They’re still likely one of the top three teams in the conference.  The Flyers are coming off their best November, are sixth in the conference, and sitting in better position than in years past for their late season rush to qualify for the playoffs.  A ranked Villanova basketball team knocked off #1 Kansas in an upset over the weekend.  Penn State basketball entered the weekend ranked 23rd after upsetting a top ranked Maryland team a couple weeks ago.  The Temple and Penn State football squads are going “bowling” this week.  And, the Phillies bolstered their line up and rotation with the additions of Didi Gregorius and Zack Wheeler.

Sorry about the Top 30 article not allowing comments.  That was turned off on the template I copied.  WordPress Isn’t consistent with what comes over with a template.  For instance, it doesn’t carry over tags and categories.  It never occurred to me that a comment’s block wouldn’t carry over.

Big name free agents continue to fly off the board this off season.   Twenty of MLBTR’s top 25 free agents have signed or agreed to sign.  The five not signed are 4 position players (Donaldson, Castellanos, Ozuna, and Dickerson) and a relief pitcher (Will Harris).  The top 25 are listed below with MLBTR’s projection and the actual contract outlay/status.

  1. Gerrit Cole – LAA, 8/$256M. Signed with NYY for 9/$324M
  2. Anthony Rendon – WAS, 7/$235M. Signed with LAA for 7/$245M
  3. Stephen Strasburg – WAS, 6/$180M. Signed with WAS for 7/$245M
  4. Zack Wheeler – PHI, 5/$100M. Signed with PHI for 5/$118M
  5. Josh Donaldson – TEX, 3/$75M.
  6. Madison Bumgarner – MIN, 4/$72M. Signed with ARI for 5/$85M
  7. Yasmani Grandal – CIN, 4/$68M. Signed with CWS for 4/$73M
  8. Nicholas Castellanos – CWS, 4/$58M.
  9. HyunJin Ryu – TEX, 3/$54M. Signed with TOR for 4/$80M
  10. Jake Odorizzi – MIN, 3/$51M. Accepted 1/$17.8M QO from MIN
  11. Marcell Ozuna – SF, 3/$45M.
  12. Didi Gregorius – CIN, 3/$42M. Signed with PHI for 1/$14M
  13. Will Smith – MIN, 3/$42M. Signed with ATL for 3/$40M
  14. Dallas Keuchel – CWS, 3/$39M. Signed with CWS for 3/$55.5M
  15. Cole Hamels– ATL, 2/$30M. Signed with ATL for 1/$18M
  16. Jose Abreu – CWS, 2/$28M. Accepted 1/$17.8MM QO from CWS, reworked 3/$50M
  17. Michael Pineda – MIL, 2/$22M. Signed with MIN for 2/$20M
  18. Mike Moustakas – ATL, 2/$20M. Signed with CIN for 4/$64M
  19. Kyle Gibson – CHC, 2/$18M. Signed with TEX for 3/$30M
  20. Tanner Roark – TOR, 2/$18M. Signed with TOR for 2/$24M
  21. Julio Teheran – SEA, 2/$18M. Signed with LAA for 1/$9M
  22. Will Harris – CHC, 2/$18M.
  23. Drew Pomeranz – LAD, 2/$16M. Signed with SD for 4/$34M
  24. Wade Miley – LAA, 2/$16M. Signed with CIn for 2/$15M
  25. Corey Dickerson – SD, 2/$15M.

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the Phillies and their self-imposed spending cap.  I continue to believe that they won’t exceed the tax threshold unless it is for a player who can carry the team to the next level.  I believe that the players (pitchers) who could have done that are already off the board.  I think they may still exceed the threshold, but not in a manner we had anticipated.  We had expected TOR pitching as their goal.  But, they may conclude a deal with the Cubs for coveted Kris Bryant.  I do not think Bryant’s service time grievance is an impediment.  I think that everyone expects it to be turned down and Bryant to have two years remaining until free agency.  I think the Phillies would do a deal today, but that the Cubs are waiting to see if a Donaldson signing would add suitors.  If such a deal were to happen, Alec Bohm would certainly be part of the deal, and not much more since it’s a 2-year rental and Bohm carries a lot of value.  Maybe a pitcher like Pivetta or Velasquez (not an Eflin) plus a low minors prospect or two.

In winter ball, Josh Hendrickson continues to impress.  he leads the league with a 0.70 WHIP and 13.5K/9 innings pitched.  He’s second with 0.96BB/9 innings pitched.  He absorbed a loss this week although he allowed no ER in 4.0 IP.  Remember Delmon Young?  he leads the league with 7 HR.  Former GCL Phillie, Curtis Mead, leads Adelaide with four.

  • Australian Baseball League 
  • Aklinski – .186/.258/.322/.580, 11-59, 7 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 20 K
  • Edwards – .241/.281/.296/.577, 13-54, 4 R, 3 2B, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 10 K
  • O’Hoppe – .245/.373/.469/.842, 12-49, 9 R, 2 2B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 9 BB, 16 K, 1/1 SB
  • Stobbe – .152/.216/.197/.413, 10-66, 8 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 5 RBI, 5 BB, 26 K, 1/1 SB
  • Wingrove – .265/.359/.397/.756, 18-68, 9 R, 3 2B, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 10 BB, 27 K, 2/2 SB
  • Glogoski (0-2, 5.09) – 17.2 IP, 15 H, 10 R, 10 ER, 5 HR, 9 BB, 19 K, 1.36 WHIP
  • Hendrickson (1-2, 1.93) – 18.2 IP, 11 H, 9 R, 4 ER, 2 HR, 2 BB, 28 K, 0.70 WHIP
  • Tols (1-3, 2.84) – 19.0 IP, 14 H, 9 R, 6 ER, 2 HR, 11 BB, 22 K, 1.32 Whip
  • Dominican Winter League
  • Grullon – .143/.143/.143/.286, 2-14, 1 R, 2 RBI, 5 K (last played 10/20)
  • E. Garcia (0-0, 10.80) – 5 G, 3.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 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 (3-0, 2.38) – 11 G, 11.1 IP, 12 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 HR, 8 BB, 6 K
  • Mexican Winter League
  • Ross (0-0, 9.00) – 2 G, 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 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 TBA – Phillies Prospects Program (at CBP in mid-January)
  • January TBA – First reports (first week of January)
  • 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 10-12, 2021 – Amateur draft in Omaha, NE
  • 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 … 372 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)
12/21/2019 – CF Mikie Mahtook assigned to Lehigh Valley
12/21/2019 – 2B Josh Harrison assigned to Lehigh Valley
12/21/2019 – IF Phil Gosselin assigned to Lehigh Valley
12/21/2019 – CF Matt Szczur assigned to Lehigh Valley
12/20/2019 – Phillies signed FA CF Mikie Mahtook to an MiLB contract w/invite ST
12/20/2019 – Phillies signed FA CF Matt Szczur to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
12/20/2019 – Phillies signed FA IF Phil Goselin to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
12/20/2019 – Phillies signed FA 2B Josh Harrison to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
12/13/2019 – Phillies signed free agent SS Didi Gregorius
12/12/2019 – Phillies traded 2B Vimael Machin to Oakland for cash
12/12/2019 – Phillies claimed 2B Vimael Machin off waivers from Iowa Cubs
12/09/2019 – Phillies sign FA RHP Zack Wheeler
12/02/2019 – 3B Maikel Franco non-tendered, elected free agency
12/02/2019 – 2B Cesar Hernandez non-tendered, elected free agency
12/02/2019 – Phillies claimed RHP Trevor Kelley off waivers from Boston
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 recalled RHP Adonis Medina from Reading
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

108 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of December 23rd

  1. Jim’s perspective/speculation over crossing into the luxury tax is on line with what I’ve been anticipating. IMO, the stars are aligning for a Bryant trade with Bohm as the obvious centerpiece. Timing, relationship, need and money all point to the distinct possibility of a deal going down. Velasquez (or Pivetta), a lower level arm like Lindow, and maybe another OF like Muzziotti would get it done.

    Bohm’s bat is to dream on but it’s also the pain to be incurred for a steady, established talent like Kris Bryant, who’s defense isn’t great either but his flexibility to play the outfield fits….along with his agent (Boras) and long standing friendship with fellow Vegasian Harper. It stands to reason that in the current market climate of MLB, he could very well re-sign here as a free agent, IF he even reached the market. Personally, I hold out a lot of hope for another Vegas boy in Bryson Stott to anchor the left side of the Phuture Phillies infield.

      1. 8mark…actually. Bryant’s contract this year along with JTR’s for 2020 on his last arb year will probably total together for the two somewhere between $30/32M AAV for 2020.
        So you are correct they will cross the CBT threshold for a Bryant.
        I do really think that $227 will be the max they will go..which will incur them with an approx. $4M tax penalty.

      2. Will Arietta earn his money or is he dead money? The Arietta money and Odubel money will likely clear off the books, get traded away after this year. If I’m ownership, I’m not holding them back from the luxury threshold. We invested in Harper and we need players to complement him. Our pitching is not ready for prime time. It would be great to see a trade or a signing to help round out the team.

          1. Arrieta is owed $20M. The Phillies don’t have a history of cutting a guy mid season and eating that much money. Arrieta has to be positively atrocious for that to happen, and as bad as he was last season, he still delivered positive WAR. Expect Arrieta to be in the rotation all season.

            1. If you want a big bounce-back candidate, it’s Arrieta. He was hurt last year and his pitching coach was awful. His raw stuff when healthy, however, was pretty good. He could be horrible this year but he could just as easily be a really good pitcher and, if he is the latter, this team has a fighting chance at the playoffs.

  2. Whoever told me last week that Ryu was going to get as much as MadBum probably on a shorter deal was spot on…

    I think it was Kuko…

    In any event not sure that was a deal I would have done for us but hats off to the Jays for wanting to compete in 2020.

    1. Ryu to Toronto is another overpay by an organization (like the White Sox with Keuchel) that’s going nowhere fast.

      1. Nobody wants to go to Toronto so either they bottom feed for players desperate to stay in the bigs or they overpay.

        When you’re in a division with the Yankees and Red Sox, it’s tough to compete because you know you will NEVER spend as much as them. Not only that, the Blue Jays are owned by Rogers, a public company. Can’t go crazy spending since you still have to answer to shareholders.

  3. Mikie Mahtook might be a good addition to the team. I watched him in Durham with the Bulls and he was a great hitter and exciting player that played hard. Might be interesting.

    Merry Christmas y’all.

  4. Cesar signs with the Indians, about $6M for 1 year. I am happy for him. We can’t be finished, I just refuse to believe this is the Pitching staff we are going with. Anyway, my best to all of you and your loved ones. Have a wonderful Holiday!

    1. There’s no reason to think he can’t have a bounce back year like the other hitters who received poor instruction. If he’s a 3 WAR player this year (could easily happen), he’ll be a huge bargain.

    2. Glad to hear that….for awhile I thought Cesar would be left out in the cold.
      And have to head to Asia for employment.
      Although he took an approx. 20% pay cut from last season, however, as they say, “half a loaf..” and all.

      And a happy holidays to all the PhuturePhillies readers.

      1. Cesar is a starting MLB second baseman. There is a debate as to how much he should be paid, but it was always clear to me that he would be a value pick-up by a team that knows what it is doing and, to my mind, there the Indians are perhaps one of the best run teams in baseball. Good move by them.

    3. I’ve always sound like a Cesar hater which I’m not since I believed he’s a legit MLB player. I just believe more on Kingery as the future 2B than Cesar. Cesar is a good complimentary player and should contribute to any team he will play for. I just hope that the Phlllies got something from Cesar that’s why I kick the tires of trading him more than 2 years ago.

  5. Relevant to Jim’s and others’ comments above about Bryant. My son who has business dealings with the Cubs attended a PACKERS football game last week where there was considerable discussion with top executives about Bryant’s future team. My son – a Phillies fan too – sent me an offer that he “would bet that Bryant will be occupying 3B come spring training.” I took the other side but in this case – felt his bet was not reckless, but grounded in fact ?? We shall see……but my son also told me in July that Madden would be fired.

    1. If it is the Phillies Bryant will be at third… it will be the pitchers the Cubs are willing to accept in the exchange, and who the Phillies have to give up, that could become concerning.
      It is fairly obvious to the casual baseball observer the one pitcher the Cubs will ask for..

      1. Nah…even Jim said it would take Bohm for obvious reasons….then only a little more than Velasquez or Pivetta plus a couple of decent prospects….but no, not Spencer. The Phillies may get outbid for Bryant but they won’t be including Howard in the deal.

        1. That is what the hope is.
          However the Cubs may give Klentak an ultimatum on a Bryant deal..or else Bryant goes to the Braves.
          That would be my biggest concern….that Matt Klentak caves.

    2. I think I posted a similar package in a thread a week ago — if the Phillies will swing a trade package for Bryant w/o Spencer Howard – it might be something like this:

      Vinny (or Eflin if the Cubs prefers that)
      Erik MIller
      Alec Bohm

      and potentially another prospect like Rafael Marchan or Simo Muzziotti.

      If the Cubs-Bryant is already strained, I don’t see any team that will go all-out to Bryant since they know that Bryant will test FA eventually.

      ATL is the team that can drive the Phillies a run due to their depth of young arms and they can dangle Riley!

      1. KuKo….Cubs have to expect different returns based on whether or not Bryant wins or loses his case.

        If he wins, IMO, they will take a package from the Philies without Howard part of it.

        If he loses….and has to wait the two years for free agency…I think they will not take any package from the Phillies without Howard being a part of it. They will just go to a team like Atlanta, if they have not signed Donaldson, and take their best offer….which will have at least two pitchers from the top 100 prospects list it appears now to offer them or a Muller or Wilson, along with a player like Riley or Pache or Waters.

        1. But Romus, will the Braves be willing to cough up the requisite package when it’s unlikely they will be able to re-sign Bryant? Especially when the Phillies’ money may speak volumes to Boras’ clients?

          1. yes…..check out their outlying years…2021 and on.
            https://www.rosterresource.com/mlb-atlanta-braves-info/

            They will have plenty under the threshold to do a deal.
            Getting Acuna and Albies on those team friendlies was huge for them.
            Hamels is gone after next year…Freeman will probably stay at a reasonable rate.

            The only thig stopping them is whatever limit they self-impose n themselves…..but when it comes to the CBT tax …they have plenty of room.

      1. Extending a productive first baseman, signing one of the best catchers in the game, now in the hunt for a productive Edwin Encarnacion…. come on man.

        And if you read between the lines, Phillies should’ve been adding quality pieces to try and be relevant, rather than promising us big things for a free agent market 3 years down the road.

      2. Since we’re at it, how many Phillies pitchers put up better numbers than keuchel and gio Gonzalez last year? 3 years ago, the Phillies were signing Jeff francouer and delmon young…

  6. “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.” Matt 2:10

    May we all see it this year. Merry Christmas to all!

  7. I am not going to engage in all the Kris Bryant talk for the following reason – I think it’s highly, highly ill-advised for this team to be trading away its best young prospects for a player who will be too expensive in one or two years anyway. If they keep doing this type of thing, we will turn into another version of the Angels. NO THANK YOU!

    1. I agree 100% with your post Catch. I realize the reports on Bohm’s defense at 3rd aren’t good right now, but the reality is Bryant’s defense at 3rd isn’t good either.

  8. I am still trying to understand this Gregorious move without a corresponding move to trade Segura and with no moves to acquire more pitching, which they desperately need. I hope to God they are not done with their post-season moves. Right now this team still has so many holes that need to be addressed.

    1. Unless they’re playing poker, it sounds like they are done because they don’t want to pay the tax.
      Lots of holes on this team.
      Did they improve? Yes, but nationals and Braves are still stronger

  9. Jim ………….Thanks for Phuture Phillies! You give Christmas to us all year long, thank you! Wish you and your wife a Merry Christmas and a really good 2020.

    The same to all you posters, wish you the best too!

  10. Betances to the Mets

    Would’ve been great for the Phillies bullpen as they only have 2, maybe 3 solid starters (depending on how Jake and Elfin pitch)

    1. Essentially a 3 year deal for another reliever on the wrong side of 30. Let the Mets suffer through that one. Betances is a high risk investment for that long. We’ve had enough of those guys.

        1. Though that third year is a vesting option….he has to meet certain criteria …normally in pitcher’s cases, innings pitched, or games, or games finished et al before the guarantee kicks in.

        2. A bizarre contract. Betances is guaranteed $14.5M if he sucks or gets injured long term. If he’s effective, he’ll get at least $10.5M (likely more since he’ll hit some benchmarks) and go on the market again in 2021

  11. I only have my opinions and no idea of what the Phillies will or won’t do the balance of the off season. End of the day, what sense does it make to spend/trade like they have the past 3 winters only to hit the brakes now, regardless of the luxury tax threshold, especially when they are shedding significant salary next winter. I can’t wrap my brain around it. So here’s to some aggressive, creative decision making between now and spring training. HO!HO!HO!

    1. I’m still hoping for the exact situation you just mentioned. Makes no sense why they’d stop now unless there’s something in the works.
      If they are stopping…what message does that send other than wanting to keep $3mil?

  12. The Phillies are waiting for the prices to come down. That should happen in January. There is still some low end talent available that would help us. Alex Wood and Steve Cishek are the two guys I want and they shouldn’t cost that much. I’m also wondering about making Vinnie a closer, in the Papelbon, Bret Myers mold. If he could throw enough strikes, I think he could do it. Mentally I think he would love it.

  13. Merry Christmas to you all. I wish the best for you and your loved ones. I think Vinny should be in the BP. Let him build up to becoming a closer. Pivetta needs to start in LHV, and let him dominate there and earn him promotion. Wood/Smyly and another arm for the BP is what should be next. I agree with Murray. Save any prospect ammunition we have for the deadline in July.

  14. Good morning everyone. I hope your Christmas or any other Holiday celebrations were great. I wanted Betances, but not at that price. Again, I can’t, or won’t, believe this is it. I don’t believe that the FO really believes that Arrieta is a good #3, and that there are not better options than the VV/Pivetta do over at #5. And, we need someone, with some history of success, to add to the BP. The collection of castoffs just doesn’t fill me with a sense of optimism.

    1. matt13…can understand the frustration without any new and further additions, but still believe Matt Klentak will make the trades necessary to bolster the team.
      As for Betances…..at 32 he is about ready to go either way…healthwise .
      After Hy=unter, Robertson and Neshek….who canblame Klentak for passing over him.

      Every year all the MLB teams and GMs set their bullpens up in spring training….and virtually every year every MLB team has to re-work/tweek them come mid-season…rarely does the a 6/7 BP team stay healthy for an entire season
      And until the Nats got Hudson, their bullpen was horrible over the first three months of the season.

      So I am not too concerned over the BP additions now….but come July it could be another story.

      1. Adding a Smyly or Wood pushes VV along with Pivetta to the pen. I think both can be highly effective in pen roles with a fresh voice and Joe’s ability to manage a BP.

  15. Romus, you are right. And, additions for the BP are always there in July. And, if the plan was to bring in another SP, and put VV in the BP to start the season, I am ok with that. And, I believe, as you do, that Klentak will make a trade. I would just like it to have happened already. Obviously, I don’t have a great deal of patience regarding the team.

    1. That was what it was a few weeks ago…hasn’t changed.
      The other name was lefty pitcher Muller who had been a part of the mix of prospects the Cubs were entertaining.
      If Bryant loses his appeal….the Braves will have to give up three of those from that package of names…..if he wins it….IMO, it may be only two.

    2. I posted earlier that ATL is the biggest threat to land Bryant as they have a stable of young power arms and Riley to dangle which no teams can match.

      I wouldn’t mind ATL depleting their farm to acquire Bryant as I don’t see them going all out to resign Bryant when he hits FA.

      Acquiring Bryant will definitely push ATL as one of the WS favorites, but I think their rotation (while very good, but still untested) will probably need more time to get things done.

    3. It depends on how you define “good”. In the short run, it’s obviously not good. In the long run, it depletes the Braves of assets. I’ll go with the latter – on the whole, I think it’s good.

      1. Well it’s good and bad
        Bad because it distances the Braves from the Phillies even more than previously
        Good because it depletes the Braves system
        But Phillies aren’t exactly catching up with talent in their farm.

        If Bohm is Bryant Lite, perhaps things are fine

        1. Since Bryant and Bohm are hit first/field second players, and are definitely not Gold Gove candidates at third base…I prefer to roll the die on Bohm.
          For the next 5 maybe 6 years he would be a very good financial return on investment if hits anything like projected to hit by the scouts.

          1. I don’t disagree. I just have a feeling we won’t see Bohm until late summer.

            It should be fine.

            My concern is Bryant hitting against the Phillies and their pitching staff.

            Is Jake and Eflin going to produce solid results?
            Is VV going to be any good?
            Is Seranthony healed? Is Morgan healed? Is Neris going to be consistent? Will any of the AA/AAA arms step up?
            Is Howard going to pitch to his potential when he hopefully gets the call by mid summer?
            Just a lot of questions for me right now.

            I’m trying to find wins:
            Nola 16
            Wheeler 15
            Jake 13
            Eflin 12
            5th starter (revolving door) 12
            I’m just estimating on these and did not use any specific peripherals, etc
            So at minimum, Phillies need 19+ wins from bullpen. Is that doable?
            That’s saying 87 wins even is enough for a WC

            1. You certainly do have a lot of unanswered questions for the day after Christmas.
              Perhaps a doctor prescribed Xanax to relieve some of your worry.
              We still have awhile to go before spring training starts.
              You will drive yourself bonkers dwelling on what Matt K and the Phillies will be doing every week.

            2. Here’s the big problem.

              Even if they are pretty decent (87-89 wins, which is highly doubtful), the Phillies are going to have a heck of a time beating two of the top three teams in this division for a wild card. Right now, I think all of the Nationals, Braves and Mets are quite a bit better than this team. They NEED to add a solid lefty starting pitcher. It’s not optional if they want to compete for the division. I’d be okay if they added both Wood and Smyly, with the hope that one of the two would pan out. But right now, their failure to spend some change on Hamels is looking quite foolish. Frankly, I really think the GM doesn’t quite know what he is doing – he is neither bold nor inventive, he doesn’t have a good eye for talent (which is probably his biggest flaw) and he has an unfounded trust in the team’s pitching, which proved their undoing last year as well.

              They clearly and obviously do not have enough pitching to compete, even assuming their hitting turns out fine, which is also subject to debate.

              A LOT would need to go unexpectedly well for this team to make the playoffs next year. I’m certainly not counting on that.

              Anyway, here’s my real prediction – by the middle of July, if the Phillies are not at least 5-10 games over .500, Klentak will be fired.

  16. ESPN ranks the Phillies stating rotation the 12th best in MLB for 2020.
    The rest of the NL East:
    1. Nationals
    3. Mets
    14. Braves
    27. Marlins

    On the Phillies: “The Phillies figure to have a couple of No. 1s in Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler, but for this group to shine, it’ll need a bounce-back in health and effectiveness from Jake Arrieta.”

  17. Romus, I agree with you, and I go 1 step further. Even the addition of a #4/5 Lefthanded SP improves us. A #3 would be perfect, and we haven’t seen the trade yet that I feel is coming.

  18. As he did last year, I think Spencer Howard will force their hand by mastering AAA. He will be up sooner than later. The Phillies need a number three starter. Arrieta is not there. Another pitcher in a trade will make it possible for good prospects like Seabold and Jones to refine their deliveries in AAA. Adonis Medina needs to show consistency this year, maybe in AA, until he realizes what he is capable of. I can wait for Morales to mature and refine his control and command. He is potentially a 200 K pitcher, but not without improving his control. With patience and another good pitcher coming in a trade, I like the Phillies future on the mound and their present for this year.

    1. Howard won’t be up before July. He probably won’t even start the Minor league season until May. The team wants to control his innings next year. The team will sign another starter although it could be a minor league contract guy like Smyly but I’m holding out hope for Alex Wood. He’s capable of a comeback year

      1. I don’t see the team delaying the start of Howard’s AAA season – they want to promote him as soon as he is ready and perhaps as soon as early to mid-May. There is no reason to wait.

        1. I agree with Murray. Howard probably starts in XST to limit his innings. His IP’s will most likely be capped at ~140 (MiLB & MLB combined). The Phillies should do everything possible to make sure he’s available for a late season playoff push/run.

    1. (Troll, I know why this one was blocked by WordPress, too many links. The limit is three, but sometimes WordPress will block when fewer are present. To avoid delay in the future, you can try stacking posts with replies to your first post, putting 2-3 links in each posts. Hope this helps for days when I don’t see a comment flagged by WordPress as quickly as I did today.)

    2. Braves will want nothing to do with Arenado’s salary unless Colorado paid it down significantly in order to acquire a ton in top prospects, which is doubtful. Same with Kris Bryant.

      1. Just an interesting tweet is all. I’m sure they’ll be cheap (Braves) but it’s a little worrisome to know there’s a chance that Donaldson, Arenado and Bryant could be in Phillies division

  19. Being the optimistic guy, I agree that the current rotation (though still lacking punch) has the potential to be in the top half of the league. However, I don’t agree that Jake Arrieta is key. The key to the Phillies is always been a true breakout from one/any/all of Pivetta-Vinny-Eflin and the development of a top arm from the farm – Howard-Medina-delos Santos-Romero-Jones-Seabold.

    Jake Arrieta is a finished product who is already in the downside of his career. Jake Arrieta’s career progression is not similar with Morton who suddenly start pitching like an ace late in his career.

    1. Kuko, with all due respect, I will puke if I have to watch either Pivetta or Velasquez make another start in a Phillies uniform. That’s not to dismiss the possibility that either becomes a viable option for another ball club, but they’ve run their course as SPs here. I’m pretty certain one will be moved.

      1. Ouch 8mark….

        I have my doubts on those two as starters but I see great stuff in their arms and potential in them as multiple inning BP arms.

        1. DMAR, I can see VV transform into a quality reliever (closer? EH!)

          Pivetta needs to lose his deer-in-the-headlights mystique. Great arm. Very little from the neck up and apparently a bit immature for his age.

          1. 8mark…I think Matt Klentak does not want to get burned as the Os did with Arrieta back in 2013 when they traded him to the Cubs…he was already gone to the Angels the year before the trade, but he may be reluctant to see something like that with Velasquez or Pivetta.
            Comes down to the risk factor….and does he want to take it.

            1. rocco……Happy New Year to you also…..apparently you could not wait and started your Mummers celebration a few days early then normal.

  20. I’m hopeful that Jake with the bone spurs removed can be a pretty decent #3. I think back to how John Lackey managed to resurrect himself a few times late in his career. His age 37 season in 2016 with the Cubs was stellar.

    Castellanos is still out there and I know its highly unlikely we’re going over the cap and its highly unlikely we make a move like that with Cutch still on the books but my gosh would I love to swap Nick’s OPS production for Cutch’s.

    1. I agree. He was hurt and was getting about the worst pitching advice that money could buy. His raw stuff was still quite good, however. He could easily turn it around and be a solid 3.

  21. I am in the middle. I don’t think Arrieta is a good #3. I hope he is a good #4. And, I have no problem with Vinny in the BP and Pivetta in LHV. I am not giving up on them, but the idea that Klentak is counting on them, once again, and not adding SP help, is very troubling. They have earned nothing, I don’t like the idea that the plan is so flawed. But, we do have a BP that seems even more in need of help, and Klentak does not seem to find that a problem either.

    1. Romus, speaking of Wawa, we should come up with some sort of annual award after our dear departed Wawa Mike….

      1. Yeah…..funny I was just thinking about him….his brother, he once said, would send him Wawa coffee every Christmas.

  22. Looks like the Phillies are seriously attending to the 26th man roster slot. They just signed C/2B/OF/P Christian Betancourt to a minors deal with the obligatory spring training invite. He’s been around, including Korea. Interesting move. Let’s see how and if it affects other decisions….like Klentak trading from our pool of young catchers to address another position of need.

  23. Looking at my 2020 crystal ball, I see Josh Donaldson wearing a Nats uniform, Nolan Arenado staying at Coors Field and the following Phillies opening day lineup….

    Andrew McCutchen lf
    Kris Bryant 3b
    Bryce Harper rf
    Rhys Hoskins 1b
    JT Realmuto c
    Didi Gregorius ss
    Scott Kingery 2b
    Adam Haseley cf
    Aaron Nola p

    Yes, I believe Alec Bohm will be traded to the Cubs.
    I also believe Jean Segura will be packaged for a starting pitcher, maybe a 3 or 4. And yes, the Phillies will exceed the luxury tax threshold. Some here will oppose trading Bohm but because of the urgency to contend for the division, I think in early 2020 we will see some dramatic movement. Happy New Year!

    1. One issue with obtaining Bryant AND keeping him long term, is the sacrifice the team has to make in starting pitching.
      The combined salary…AAV… for just the four players of Bryant, Harper, Wheeler and JTR will be somewhere in the Mr Rogers’ neighborhood of $100/105M.
      So it will get dicey fast trying to add another big arm in the starting mix at $25M AAV plus…to go along with Nola/Kingery and Segura if he stays..

      1. That may be, Romus. But if Howard, Seabold and Miller produce fruit from the farm, they may not have to spend big bucks on SPs. “Grow the arms”, right?

        1. Swapping Bryant for Segura, is the main AAV on the books I see. Segura makes a pretty penny himself, so the bump isn’t that huge. If he could bring back a cheaper #3/4 in a trade, I think it is much easier to keep the Phillies under the limit on the starting 8 and SR. Where it is going to get tight is to add to the bench and bullpen, money wise. The Phillies would have to home grow them, or the SR pitchers that come up, need to be effective to be able to use their savings in other areas of needs, dump the Arriettas and whoever they trade for. To be honest the SR is kinda of set money wise – Nola/Wheeler & then 3 cheap young talent.

          I believe it can be done, but it will be very very tight money wise. The fact that the Phillies need to maneuver like this, while still “building” their team, shows to me that they had a significant failure in their rebuild attempt. Honestly, they should have a much closer payroll flexibility to that of the Braves/Padres, with the similar results. The Phillies should be sitting closer to 150mil at this point for the team salary. It is what it is. I will continue to be positive but critical. I’m seeing some major missteps in their latest rebuild. As much a I love Middleton’s willingness to bankroll the championship, he probably has hindered them by not allowing the prospects to develop more, before opening the full warchest. Harper was 100% correct. Not sure on the other signings so far.

          On the latest debate to improve (trade vs develop), 2 years of Bryant for Bohm who could have similar product is gamble of THE rebuild. The FO has to be right on this. If both players are good, the Phillies lose the trade, unless they win It all. You will need production of Bryant at this point, but at a cheap salary … which is potentially bohm. It’s a gamble to see if bohm will be close enough to Bryant, but so will be a tied up payroll when you still need to add 2 bullpen pieces! Here’s looking at you Klentak. Will see, at some point I just feel this rebuild comes up short in either talent or payroll space

  24. It is hard to imagine a Kris Bryant trade without a top arm involved in the package especially if Segura will be included. Will CHC accept a 8mark’s trade special package of Bohm-Medina-Haseley (plus another prospect like Francisco Morales)?

    The slam dunk offer without Howard will be something like Bohm-Kingery-Erik Miller-Damon Jones. This trade will give CHC the pieces they need to retool and contend immediately while the Phillies kept their top arms (Howard, Medina, Morales) and break the 2B-SS log jam.

    1. They don’t want Segura, they want cheap talent. That’s the point. What’s two years of a well paid Bryant worth? His arb numbers will be high. I could see it taking Bohm, Haseley and Morales. It’s a lot.

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