Open Discussion: Week of January 6th

While some are still in denial regarding the Phillies’ current intention to stay under the competitive balance tax, here’s a possible line up as proposed by one of the Phillies’ beat writers.  So, if it’s true, we can get used to what the opening day line up might look like.

  1. Andrew McCutchen, LF
  2. J.T. Realmuto, C
  3. Bryce Harper, RF
  4. Rhys Hoskins, 1B
  5. Didi Gregorius, SS
  6. Jean Segura, 2B
  7. Scott Kingery, 3B
  8. Adam Haseley, CF
  9. Aaron Nola, RHP

The Zolecki article can be found here.  He also suggests that Segura could hit second and that Segura and Kingery might switch fielding positions.  I think we should also, at the very least, consider Roman Quinn as a possibility as the opening day center fielder (batting ninth, maybe?).  If Quinn stays healthy (about which I have cast many a dispersion), it’s possible.

I would hope that this would generate discussion about the batting order.  But, I’m sure that a lot of responses will be about the belief in more spending.  And, that leads segues into what of any value is left among the top end of the free agent market.

Free agent activity among the top 50 remains slow over the new year.  Thirty-eight free agents have come off the board.  Twenty-four of MLBTR’s top 27 free agents have signed or agreed to sign.  The 3 not signed are position players (3 of the top 11) – Donaldson, Castellanos, and Ozuna).  The top 50 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.  Signed with WAS for 3/$24M
  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.  Signed with MIA for 2/$17.5M 
  26. Travis d’Arnaud – MIL, 2 yr/$14M. Signed with ATL for 2 yr/$16M
  27. Chris Martin – PHI, 2 yr/$14M. Signed with ATL for 2 yr/$14M
  28. Daniel Hudson – WAS, 2 yr/$12M.
  29. Avisail Garcia – MIA, 2 yr/$12M. Signed with ATL for 2 yr/$20M
  30. Howie Kendrick – MIN, 2 yr/$12M. Signed with WAS for 1 yr/$6.25M
  31. Rick Porcello – SF, 1 yr/$11M. Signed with NYM for 1 yr/$10M
  32. Brett Gardner – NYY, 1 yr/$10M. Signed with NYY for 1 yr/$12.5M
  33. Robinson Chirinos – HOU, 2 yr/$10M.
  34. Jason Castro – LAA, 2 yr/$10M. Signed with for 1 yr/$6.85M
  35. Craig Stammen – NYM, 2 yr/$10M. Signed with SD for 2 yr/$9M
  36. Steve Cishek – ARI, 2 yr/$10M.
  37. Yasiel Puig – DET, 1 yr/$8M.
  38. Edwin Encarnacion – TB, 1 yr/$8M. Signed with CHW for 1 yr/$12M
  39. Alex Wood – SEA, 1 yr/$8M.
  40. Adam Wainwright – STL, 1 yr/$8M. Signed with STL for 1 yr/$5M
  41. Brock Holt – ARI, 2 yr/$8M.
  42. Josh Lindblom – HOU, 2 yr/$8M. Signed with MIL for 3 yr/$9.125M
  43. Dellin Betances – TB, 1 yr/$7M. Signed with NYM for 1 yr/$10.5M
  44. Kole Calhoun – PIT, 1 yr/$6M. Signed with ARI for 2 yr/$16M
  45. Shogo Akiyama – ARI, 2 yr/$6M. Signed with CIN for 3 yr/$20M
  46. Rich Hill – LAD, 1 yr/$6M. Signed with MIN for 1 yr/$3M
  47. Michael Wacha – DET, 1 yr/$6M. Signed with NYM for 1 yr/$3M
  48. Ivan Nova – NYM, 1 yr/$6M. Signed with for
  49. Pedro Strop – BOS, 1 yr/$5M. Signed with for
  50. Drew Smyly – PIT, 1 yr/$3M. Signed with for

In winter ball, Adelaide’s 4-game series at the Canberra Calvary was cancelled due to air quality from smoke from the massive brush fires in the area.  None of our other players played in the ABL or any other winter league.  RHP Jose Taveras was just signed by Adelaide and joined the team.

  • Australian Baseball League 
  • Aklinski – .194/.257/.328/.585, 13-67, 7 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 21 K
  • Edwards – .233/.281/.283/.565, 14-60, 4 R, 3 2B, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 11 K
  • O’Hoppe – .258/.370/.452/.821, 16-62, 10 R, 3 2B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 10 BB, 19 K, 1/2 SB
  • Stobbe – .151/.220/.205/.425, 11-73, 8 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 5 RBI, 5 BB, 29 K, 1/1 SB
  • Wingrove – .228/.337/.342/.679, 18-79, 9 R, 3 2B, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 13 BB, 33 K, 2/3 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 … 370 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)
12/27/2019 – Phillies signed C Christian Bethancourt to an MiLB contract w/invite ST
12/22/2019 – Phillies signed T.J. Rivera to an MiLB contract
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
12/17/2019 – Phillies released RHP Eric White
12/17/2019 – Phillies released RHP Alexis Araujo
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

205 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of January 6th

  1. Am I the only person annoyed that Kingery is not slayed to play 3rd base. I think he’s got all-star potential, but is not a freaking full-time 3B. I get that they’re waiting on Bohm, and Didi is on a 1 year deal, but it’s just not a good fit positionally

    1. You’re not alone. I’ve been beating the Kingery @2B drum since he first arrived in the bigs.

  2. Surprised to see the Phillies released Alexeis Azuaje. He was only 17 and put up some decent stats in the DSL and I know a few on this site were following him. I couldn’t find out how much he received in a signing bonus, but I’m sure they had their reasons.

    1. Where did you read the Phillies released Alexeis Azuaje? This would be a shocker to me. In fact, he’s #40 on my Phillies prospect list.

  3. I have no problem with the lineup projected by Todd Z. That doesn’t mean I am not on the “Kingery should be at 2B” bandwagon. I am fully on board, but I don’t think there will be any more moves re: every day players. So where they are batting in the lineup seems the best combination to me. And, if my choice is Segura or Kingery at 2B, I go Kingery, only because I think he is better defensively. I will continue to want either Wood or Smyly. But, I am not very hopeful. There doesn’t seem to be much traction involving us in the trade market, so this may very well be the team until July. I will continue to think that is a poor decision by the team’s ownership.

  4. This is looking like the “winter of some discontent…” namely : why would front office/mgr play Kingery anywhere but 2b of CF on a switch off with Haseley ? Why wouldn’t Segura free of Kapler’s fantasy league mentality of putting names in a hat and pulling them for a batting order – bat him anywhere but second ? When the team clearly needs another experienced hand in the bullpen – particularly a funky delivery type, wait any longer to sign Cishek, salary cap or not ? Why would the team not continue to look for some starting pitching, lefthanded for sure, to add to the still highly questionable starting rotation ? Can you say Smyly ? Or the oft damaged Alex Wood ? And whatever did happen to that international free agent $$$ ??
    Questions abound ? Are they waiting for prices to drop ?

    1. If there is one underlying problem with this regime, it’s the lack of aggressive, opportunistic moves. Even the Segura trade was made out of the need to adjust to the Hoskins in LF mistake by unloading Santana’s contract. The Realmuto deal was solid, as far as I’m concerned, provided they don’t screw up his extension….which I for one am holding my breath on. Overall, Klentak has shown no creativity other than to be more inclined to force square pegs in round holes…if you want to call that creative. But I guess it’s problematic to be so when there’s a serious deficiency in talent evaluation and development throughout the system.

      Here’s hoping Joe Girardi and his new lieutenants can right the ship at the major league level, at least. That’s the only life line I can see right now.

  5. There’s so much had been said about Johnny A.’s underwhelming draft performance but 2020 might be the year where Johnny A. finally score a “WIN” in the domestic scouting:

    Rd 1 Haseley – reached MLB and showing good promise
    Rd 2 Howard – showing TOR potential expected to reach the bigs early in 2020
    Rd 3 Seabold – looking like a MLB player though as back end starter
    Rd 4 Scheiner – traded to acquire a Jay Bruce
    Rd 5 Lindow – showing success in the low minors. Jumping in the prospect rankings
    Rd 10 Brogdon – developing into a legit MLB pen arm
    Rd 12 Parkinson – have a shot to see some MLB play time though low ceiling
    Rd 14 Warren – developing into a legit MLB pen arm
    Rd 16 Dohy – developing into a legit MLB pen arm
    Rd 17 Listi – can be a bench bat or DH
    Rd 18 Jones – showing upside of #3 SP or a high leverage lefty pen arm
    Rd 19 Russ – developing into a legit MLB pen arm
    Rd 21 Hernandez – developing into a legit MLB pen arm
    Rd 33 Brown – projectable arm that can be exciting

    1. KuKo….that 2017 draft could be a real winner for sure.
      I also like Maton and Mezquita who both could see the majors at some point.

      1. I forgot about Maton but I need to see more on Mezquita. Howard will be the crown jewel of the 2017 Draft if he reached close to his ceiling but the pen arms (Brogdon, Warren, Dohy, Jones, Russ, Hernandez) might be the dark horse of that batch.

        1. to see how Mezquita does at CLW this season.
          His metrics indicate he has good swing and miss stuff, but he is wild.
          His April last year at Lakewood was poor, but he settled down as the weather got warmer and came around more.

          1. If anyone is going to be given credit for finding Mezquita, it should be the international scouts. They actually announced signing him as an international free agent but had to rescind the deal when he moved stateside (Hazelton, PA, I think) before the registration date cutoff and became draft eligible. The Phillies selected him in the 8th round (I think) and signed him for the already agreed upon $50K.

  6. If Segura ends up staying he makes more sense for me at 3B. As far as the line-up is concerned I guess that makes the most sense. I still contend if you’re looking to get the most out of Haseley hitting him 8th is counter intuitive to that end.

    Would be nice to hear an update on McCutchen and how his rehab has gone.

    1. @DMAR – if not sure how good defensively Segura will be in the hot corner. The best time to find out is during the ST — keep Kingery and his potential plus D at 2B and see if Segura’s D is manageable at 3B before thinking of shuffling Kingery out of his natural position again.

  7. Would make a couple of switches:

    1.Andrew McCutchen, LF
    2.Rhys Hoskins, 1b
    3.Bryce Harper, RF
    4.J.T. Realmuto, C
    5.Didi Gregorius, SS
    6.Scott Kingery, 3B
    7.Jean Segura, 2B
    8.Adam Haseley, CF
    9.Aaron Nola, RHP

    Prefer Hoskins and his patience/.OBP in the 2 spot and Realmuto’s more aggressive approach in the 4 spot. McCutchen and Hoskins hitting 1/2 will see a lot of pitches and create more base-runners for Harper/Realmuto.

    Also flip Kingery/Segura to take better advantage of Kingery’s speed/baserunning ahead of 2 hitters and not just 1. Would be tempted to switch Segura/Haseley but I’m not sure Segura has the patience to hit in front of the pitcher. Even as a young player, Haseley seems to better suited for that role.

    Defensive, would prefer Kingery at 2b but don’t think Segura can play 3b..

      1. Yes….IF Hoskins can receive instruction from Joe Dillon in balancing his disciplined eye with a pinch of aggressiveness. It would be a good idea to protect him between either Cutch and Harper OR Harper and Didi. I like JTR in the 2-hole but if Rhys gets locked in, he could be dangerous there, with the eye to draw walks or look to turn on that meatball early in the count.

    1. Hoskins is so slow, I like better base runners at the top. The lineup isn’t the problem as there’s only a few variables. The big issue is still whether they’ll bring in some more pitching and another bench bat. Right now the bench is only Harrison, Gosselin, Bruce, Quinn and Knapp. That’s not good enough. Compare it the Nats, it has to get better.

      1. Would you consider Aaron Judge a burner? When he first came up with the Yankees that is where Joe G loved to hit him in the #2 hole.

  8. 3..3… – I agree with you about having Kingery play 2B is a better option but Segura has NEVER played 3B in either MLB or MiLB. I don’t think it’s as easy for a SS-2B to move over to the hot corner.

    That is what makes Kingery so unique. He can play all of the positions on the diamond sans 1B and C. And if he was told to don the catcher’s equipment, he’d do it and probably would do a decent job.

    1. Kingery’s ability to play multiple positions at a high defensive level…..reminds me of how Freddie Galvis had that same ability.

    2. Ideally, we’d all love to see him firmly situated in his natural position, but seeing as how the Phillies DONT have an Arenado, a Lindor, or an Altuve-type player entrenched in one position long-term, kingery is forced to move around a bit. Think about it: As soon as Bohm AND Haseley show us that they are super-productive players (I’m optimistic :)), then Kingery will have his place at second (looking at 2021). For now, though, gotta value his flexibility. I’m really looking forward to this year, and I’m high on Haseley. Like really high. Like by the ASB, he will be batting leadoff. Thats my bold prediction… Did we do those yet for this year? Maybe I missed it. Haseley is our leadoff hitter at the all-star game, and Eflin finishes the year 3rd in our rotation in wins with 10 (the bullpen loses at least 4 of his quality starts). And my third bold prediction is that Harper smashes 40 bombs this year.

  9. If the ink isn’t try on any Donaldson contract, why not make him a 2-3 year offer, betting that the DH will arrive in 2021. Then trade Segura for BP help. That would ease the salary burden and put Kingery at 2b at long last.

    1. Read where Donaldson only wants four years……so Braves and Nats appear the two left in the bidding that will give him four years…Twins did also, but now looks like they may have dropped out.

  10. Joe Girardi finalized his coaching staff today with 28 year old (and former Phillie farmhand) Greg Brodzinski as catching coach, and 59 year old Bobby Meachem, who was with Joe G in Miami and the Bronx, as coaching assistant.

    1. Damn, they keep making good moves. Rizzo is so much better than Klentak. We are FAR behind the Braves and the Nats.

      1. While I agree, the teams had different needs on the infield, so you can’t really compare. Phils really only needed one guy and got him; Nats needed multiple pieces and yes, have done an excellent job addressing those needs. Bullpen, though, you’re spot on; Phils should 100% be making bullpen moves like the Nats. Braves and Mets made a bullpen move too. Dunno what’s the holdup here, but our bullpen scares me .

        1. Most every contending team has all-star bullpens in March….by July 1st they are scrambling to fill it out.
          I am not worried about the Phillies BP right now.

          1. You and Klentak apparently. As for the rest of us, yes it’s a worry because it requires so many things to go ideally for it to be good. I sure hope you’re right

  11. Just curious….anyone know when the Bryant service time decision will be rendered? And why is it taking so long? Mere bureaucracy? Oh, I know…

    1. Does seem to be taking the arbitrator a long time to release the decision.
      The hearings have been completed I assume, since they started the end of October.

  12. Todd Z. predicts the opening day roster. Our BP, Neris, SerAnthony, Morgan, Alvarez, Arano, Ranger, Pivetta and Stock. I have stated many times that I think Pivetta should be at LHV as a Starter, proving he can dominate there. SerAnthony is a gamble due to his arm. How confident are any of us that he will be fine after not getting surgery? Is this a BP that does not need a significant upgrade now? Is this a BP that anyone thinks won’t need a serious upgrade by July if we want to make the Playoffs?

    1. Don’t forget that Arano and Morgan are both coming off injuries. Odds that all three are healthy by April 1?? Very risky pen

    2. matt13….Seranthony had PRP therapy….sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
      It has worked for Price, Tanaka and Nola…Garrett Richards not so much.
      It is a gamble like you say, hopefully he has followed the protocol and comes in healthy.

  13. SHOCKING NEWS DEPARTMENT: The Boston Red Sox have apparently been found out….again – during their 2018 World Series championship campaign, they allegedly used the video replay room in their clubhouse to steal opponents’ signs. Some things never change. Could it just be the air up there? That whole town cheats!

    1. They should just make a little device, like a “beeper” for the pitcher &s catcher to communicate with. That way they can video tap all they want, they won’t be seeing nothing. Pretty simple fix, that even ancient technology can fix.

      Remember kids: if you ain’t cheatin … you ain’t tryin!

      1. Then the teams just need a radio frequency interceptor and there goes the communication process…

        The cheaters will always be ahead of the rule makers. Only way to stop is to make the penalties for getting caught so severe no one wants to take the risk..

        1. Agree….take a number one round Rule 4 draft pick away and you will see how fast it stops…or lower their CBT 10 or 15% from the current $208M for the large market teams who like to spend in free agency.

      2. Tac3…….you are allowed to steal signs thru a game the natural way…eyes, ears et al…and allowed to study video-but only before games….but once the first pitch is thrown, that is where the electronic live stealing is against MLB regulations. There are no in-game electronic aided methods allowed.

  14. I get the the philosophy of “Only going over the threshold for a difference making player” … but … sometimes/often it’s the secondary/less expensive guys who become difference makers. Howie Kendrick made 4 million dollars last season, Max Muncy pulled down less than a million dollars for the LAD’s in 2018, and Sergio Romo earned a grand total of 7 million dollars over the course of the SFG’s three WS championships. None of those teams would have won the WS/Pennant w/o those guys.
    This Phillies roster is top heavy. It needs greater balance. The BP could use a guy like Steve Cishek (who provides a different look and veteran leadership). The starting rotation lacks a veteran LHP. I’ve been calling for Klentak to re-sign Drew Smyly since September. Alex Wood is another option who shouldn’t cost all that much.
    The point I’m making is this … the mystique of the luxury tax threshold might be getting in the way of taking a good MLB roster ( ranked them the 10th best team for 2020 – see below) and turning it into a very good roster. IMO … the Phillies are more in need of quality depth than another superstar (with a big contract). Bring in our version of Howie Kendrick or Max Muncy or Sergio Romo even if takes the team just barely beyond the threshold. Start the season with a more complete squad, then re-assess where you stand at the trade deadline.

      1. Harrison, Bruce, Quinn, Knapp and hopefully Brad Miller will make up what should be a solid bench.

        1. As much as I want to see JTR back there for another thousand plus innings, I’m really thinking that we need to give him a few more breaks, especially looking towards his long term deal. One reason we can’t give him rest is because Knapp is so unproductive. I’d bring in a Lucroy or Martin or Castillo on the cheap, as all of these guys are backups by now anyway. Well, Castillo might start on a non-contending team, but you see where I’m going w this. Why go Knapp and Bethancourt when there are clearly better options for next to nothing? Again, I realize this may be at the bottom of the priorities list, but JTRs knees are important to me. He could spell Hoskins and take more reps at first if we had a better backup option…

          1. R, I included the suggestion that maybe Bethancourt could be the backup catcher on opening day in my first draft. But, after checking with my sources (to make sure I’m not reporting something that burns a source), I was reminded that the Phillies really, really like Knapp. I think we’re going to have to accept that he is going to be part of the 26-man roster. (BTW, the Bethancourt thing wasn’t a source burner, but other parts of that section were, so I deleted a couple paragraphs.)

    1. Hinkie, good point….plus, the Phillies will inevitably have to go over the luxury tax line once JTR is extended, no? He’s projected to get $10M via arbitration, or an additional $10M should he sign an LTC.

    2. I’d like to think they are looking to make in season moves to improve the team, once they see how the pieces fit, for what they have. I don’t see the Phils catching the Braves or Nats this year. I expect each team to get either Donaldson or Arenado from COL.

      Your point is fair, but the Phillies are not a finished product even with those moves imo. At least, I don’t see them being better than either the Nats or Braves. The FO has failed on a few fronts during this rebuild. they can’t out gun The Braves prospect pool, so they have to use their bullets wisely. Wait to see what they have, and then adjust.

      On the luxury tax, my understanding is that the penalties increase for each year the team is over, if you don’t think the team will leap over Braves/Nats – makes sense not to burn a year now vs saving it for later in the rebuild. Either way, depressing, looks like the FO could be showing their true colors on what their expectations are for the season, not just the lip service

      1. At this point, I would be fine with starting the season if they first re-signed both Brad Miller and Drew Smyly or signed Alex Wood. Then feel our way through the first half of the season and see what the trade deadline holds for us.

        1. I think this is the plan, to mop up the lower end FA, hoping to score a value contract. I would welcome Smyly back, I can see a significant bounce back
          From him, he showed signs of it down the stretch last season. I think others see it though as well, and he is a bargain at 10 mil or below on a 1 yr deal

  15. I am with 8mark and Hinkie. I think both Smyly and Wood are better than VV. I think Vinnie should be in the BP. Unless the plan is to make VV an opener, he belongs in the BP. And, I continue to think the whole salary cap situation, that is now constantly part of any Phillies discussion, was a huge mistake by John Middleton. The penalty is so small that a team like ours should not even consider it as some kind of barrier. $228M, and the much more severe penalties, yes, but the first level?. It is easily absorbed by the finances of the team. But, they were successful in one way. All of us who want some Pitching improvement are now happy with any small addition. We lament losing Cishek, and would consider adding a David Phelps to be a positive move. But it also shows that those who think we are currently a Playoff team, even after spending $204 Million, are few and far between.

    1. matt13….does an Ivan Nova (starter or reliever) or Pedro Strop move the needle for you in the bullpen?

      1. Not much Romus, If it was me, I would sign Smyly and Phelps. Low cost, low risk, I think Smyly can actually help us, and I believe a lefty in the Rotation helps. I think Vinny can be effective out of the BP. It isn’t just because I am tired of giving him chances, I really believe that he can do well there. I would take a shot on Phelps. Who have we taken a shot on? The two probably sneaks us over that pesky 208, but that is what I would do.

        1. matt13…agree on Smyly….three of his last five games in Sept were plus.
          He may be ready to regain the form he had 4/5 years ago .

  16. Ahh….been tooooo long – Carlos Tocci signed with the Nats to a minor league deal. That’s 3 days worth of discussion in this thread, aye,

    1. Very thorough analysis …but do not see how he can put Miller, Lindow and Seabold all in the 20s.
      He seems to like to take the low-A guys and pump them up…Rojas, Simmons, Santos.
      Not sure what to make of it.

        1. I’m not sure how can you say that whoever did the ranking did it “objectively”. Every prospect rankings has some sense of subjectivity due to various factors being considered. We don’t know how much time and resource this guys spent to get a good handle and knowledge about the Phillies prospects.

          His rankings closely resembles to mine – but seeing Gamboa and Stephen in his list raised some question marks with me.

            1. I like his list actually and can make full sense of his reasoning for each slot. Nice post!

        2. Just not a Phillies fan …but also not a Phillies employee…..since Klentak and Company seem to hold Lindow, Seabold and Miller in high regard.

          By rating many of the low-A guys higher than the older and in some cases close to MLB ready players….IMO, he is trying to stand out among all the crystal-gazers and prognosticators.

          1. I view all of this as a data point. Nothing is set in stone. Prospects pop. But you can’t just dismiss it because you don’t like/agree. I am not saying that you are doing that. Just saying

            1. Yeah I can understand that.
              For the most part, the majority of his rankings fall in line with ‘s rankings also….and when Eric Longerhagen and Fangraphs comes out I will look forward to seeing how they compare…also BA’s.

    2. Not sure I agree with many of their placements, but their synopsis on most of the prospects is compelling. Rojas at #12 is interesting, but I have Lindow and especially Miller way higher. Overall, a very good read and reasonable rankings. Sounds like Damon Jones might be the ultimate LOOGY, if not for the new 3 batter minimum rule in effect in 2020.

      1. Every system has multiple pitchers like Miller…good stuff and velo but poor command. He is a lottery ticket. Imo too many people on this blog give too high a probability that he finds command.

        1. I think the author used the aggregate BB/9 on Miller through college but from Freshman to Junior year his BB/9 dropped.. His first pro short season with the Phillies it dropped again and would have been much lower without the last start which I seem to recall nearly the whole Lakewood staff was tossed because teenage umps were calling the game and no strikes were being called without a batter swinging… To your point; it’s a data snap shot that Miller will have to improve on as every prospect on his list has things to improve on…

  17. v1, I usually take my understanding of Prospect rankings from you and others on this site. I don’t know how you feel about this ranking, but I believe they are way low on both Miller and Lindow, just like Romus said. Miller, for instance, was described as a left handed power pitcher, albeit with command issues. But that should make his upside high enough to raise his ranking considerably in our system. Lindow had actual success, which should make his floor higher, also raising his ranking. While much lower players in the development stages are ranked much higher. How can Garcia be so high when he had a really subpar season? They did quite a bit of analysis, I just am not on board with their conclusions.

    1. I liked their take on Muzziotti, though I’m not sure I agree with it.

      As for Luis Garcia, they seem to think that he was overhyped in ’18 at GCL vs lesser pitching, then he was physically overmatched at Lakewood in ’19. They aren’t taking away from his projection due to the aggressive way the organization was challenging him.

    2. I view these rankings as a data point. Not set in stone. I think that is fans way over value our own prospects. Reality is few in our system will be high impact players. Think about it. When was the last time someone from our system who wasn’t highly ranked by national scouts turned out to be an impact player? Rhys is one. But he wasn’t ranked because of being a 1B. Rhys had monster numbers in minors. Can you think of others where national scouts were clearly wrong?

      1. My best bet will be RPs – Ken Giles and potentially Seranthony comes to mind. If RPs are not included, I will blame the lack of impact player developed by the farm due to poor scouting and player development. The previous regime didn’t invest enough in IFAs and were addicted to draft toolsy players which turned out to be busts and the regime under Almaraz didn’t like high risk high upside prospects that could be impact players.

        1. Yes. RPs don’t get national attention. Giles is a shining example of an impact prospect that didn’t get national attention. But can you think of any position players or SPs?

          1. @v1again – as I said earlier, the lack of impact players developed from the farm is really more on the front office’s inability to pick and develop their players. This weakness for the last 15 years by the FO had been emphasize a lot of time everywhere in Phillies blog.

            The prospects that don’t get national attention are the ones drafted in Day 3 —- and the success from these prospects are really, really low.

            Michael Bourn and JA Happ (Day 2 draftees) are the ones I can think of.

  18. Unless Bryan Price is a miracle worker with young pitchers or a lot of the hitters improve significantly, I don’t see this team as being all that great and predict 84-85 wins unless some additional, serious moves are made. They ignored pitching last year and, after the dumpster fire that pitching staff was, they somehow ignored it in large part this again year (sure, Zack Wheeler is great- I love that move – but it’s not nearly enough). Why did they do this? And, no, they sure haven’t earned the benefit of any doubt.

      1. I have hope too – but I have no expectations. You cannot plan a playoff competitive rotation around them. That’s the problem.

  19. While I’m dreaming, here’s my Phuture Phillies in the 2023-2026 4 year frame….

    c JT Realmuto (trade)
    1b Alec Bohm (draft)
    2b Scott Kingery (draft)
    3b Bryson Stott (draft)
    ss Luis Garcia (int’l FA)
    lf Kris Bryant (free agent)
    cf Johan Rojas (int’l FA)
    rf Bryce Harper (free agent)
    dh Rhys Hoskins (draft)

    1 Aaron Nola (draft)
    2 Spencer Howard (draft)
    3 Ethan Lindow (draft)
    4 Zach Eflin (trade)
    5 Erik Miller (draft)
    closer Francisco Morales (int’l FA)

    I take much stock in the prospect of new and improved coaching and development in the years to come.

      1. He’ll be in his mid-30’s by then. And perhaps no longer in red pinstripes beyond his current contract.

  20. Regarding Josh Stephen, he put up an OPS of over .800 ON THE ROAD in 2019, as a 21-year-old in AA. I think he deserves to be in the Top 30, and can’t argue with this prospect writer’s placement of him at #29.

    1. Using one isolated stat is one the most subjective basis for a prospect ranking. 1B/LF only prospect who don’t hit for power and average like Stephen don’t get good grades before those profile doesn’t have a lot of value. Prospects like Deivi Grullon and Kyle Dohy can be ranked higher than Stephen since both have above ave to plus tools and are ready to help a MLB team. Ben Brown, Manuel Silva, Juan Aparicio are prospects with better projection also deserved to be ranked higher than Stephen.

      1. Wait, what?

        First of all, OPS is a stat that combines OBP and SLG, right? It’s pretty good shorthand for how well a player hit in a given season. The point I was making is that the prospect site linked to by v1 mentioned that Stephen’s 2019 was Reading-bandbox-driven. I was pointing out that his road stats in 2019 were very good for his age and level.

        Anyway, we’re talking about having him ranked as the 29th prospect in the system. And it’s not a strong system. You realize the vast majority of prospects ranked in the late 20s or early 30s never make the majors at all, right? And, yes, one legit major league average tool is enough to get ranked in the late 20s or early 30s

        To quote:

        “he’s got the upside to be a 50 hitter with 50 power. Unfortunately, because his defense is limited to left field only, he likely doesn’t even project as a big-league starter.

        Stephen will likely start the year in Triple-A and should get a chance to contribute in Philly at some point in 2020 as a bench bat.”

        If that writer’s opinion is accurate, and Stephen does indeed get some MLB ABs in 2020 as a 22-year-old . . . well, that sure justifies a 29th prospect ranking.

        1. I like OPS as a stat but Stephen is a career .713 OPS so that’s not even scary. Stephen is a bench player at most – there are at least 10 prospects that deserve a Top 30 ranking than him. That dude in Baseball 2020 is probably the only one who has Stephen in his Top 30.

            1. I’m not sure if you noticed that the mid-year ranking similar to the ranking posted by V1 — so I’m not sure if that dude that v1 made reference just used the FG rankings and adjust them players up and down or they are the same dudes who make the ranking. Nonetheless, Stephen will not sniff near the Top 30 of most Phillies prospect rankings.

  21. If you’re looking for objectivity, here’s a chat from a few weeks ago with Baseball America prospect writer J.J. Cooper:

    Some excerpts:

    Tyler S (Framingham, MA): Is there enough confidence in Alec Bohm at 3B for the Phillies not to be aggressive in free agency this winter for guys who are more than just a stop-gap like a Donaldson and Rendon? Besides his hit/power tool it seems Bohm leaves a lot to be desired on the field and bases, how safe is it to call him the starting 3B on the next 5+ as years as the Phillies look to contend?

    J.J. Cooper: I would not be confident that Bohm can play third base for five years. I struggle to find scouts for other organizations who view Bohm as a long-term third baseman. They believe he ends up at first base (or maybe in the outfield).

    Patrick (Philly):How close were 2 LH’s, Erik Miller & Damon Jones, from making list?

    J.J. Cooper: I’d be stunned if you don’t see them in the 11-15 range when our full Top 30 rolls out in the Prospect Handbook.

    1. This answer is terribly depressing:

      Snapper Bean (Greater Kensington):

      In a draft where they had the #1 overall and the resulting (pre-new CBA) bonus pool, the 2016 Phillies draft (Moniak, Gowdy, Stobbe, Romero, Irvin, etc.) looks to be about as big of a miss as one could possible fear. Convince me I’m wrong.

      J.J. Cooper: Well, let’s compare them to their peers. Some drafts are great. Some are awful. I think you summed up the Phillies draft class, so let’s look at who drafted right after them. OK, at No. 2 the Reds took Nick Senzel. They followed that up with Taylor Trammell. Nick Hanson, Chris Okey, Ryan Hendrix and Scott Moss were among other notable draftees. He’s had some injuries, but if you were offering Senzel and offered the Phillies top 5 picks in the 2016 draft right now in return, the Reds would undoubtedly say no. Trammell is more highly regarded now than Moniak as well. Each team had a HS arm who has been hurt a lot (Gowdy for the Phillies and Hanson for the Reds). So massive advantage Reds draft there. On to the Braves who picked third. They took Ian Anderson, Joey Wentz, Kyle Muller, Bryse Wilson and Jeremy Walker. Anderson is one of the better pitching prospects in baseball now. Muller is a power lefty prospect and Wilson is a Top 100 prospect who has pitched in the majors. Walker is a likely up-and-down reliever and Wentz still has a shot. You’d definitely take the Braves draft over the Phillies draft. OK, on to pick No. 4. The Rockies took Riley Pint with the fourth pick, and you’d much rather have Moniak than Pint now, so that’s a win for the Phillies. Robert Tyler (the Rockies’ second pick) is a college pitcher who has yet to make it out of hiA as a reliever, so again, advantage Phillies–I’d rather have Romero. Bowden does have a solid shot at being an MLB reliever, and J.D. Hammer has already made it to the majors as a pen arm (after being traded to the Phillies coincidentally). This seems to be shaping up as a win for the Phillies, but Garret Hampson (3rd round) is an MLB middle infielder and Colton Welker (4th round) is a still promising corner infield bat. This one is much closer, but I’d still take the Rockies draft over the Phillies. I’d also definitely take the A’s draft at No. 6 (A.J. Puk, Sean Murphy) and I’d take the Padres draft (they picked 8th) because of Joey Luchessi, Eric Lauer, Hudson Potts, Cal Quantrill, Mason Thompson and Reggie Lawson). I’d probably also take the Detroit Tigers’s draft at nine overall (Matt Manning). So I’d probably take 6 of the other 9 drafts of teams picking in the top 10. The Dodgers (Gavin Lux and Will Smith), Cardinals (Dylan Carlson and Dakota Hudson) and Astros (Forrest Whitley, Jake Rogers, Abraham Toro) all did better as well. So no, I can’t convince you you are wrong.

      1. V1……….depressing for sure! In your opinion, how many draft selections do you think you need to hit on to have a successful minor league program and keep the pipeline moving to the majors. I recognize there are tons of variables I haven’t laid out for you to answer the question, but try to ballpark it.

          1. Thanx, I read it real quick so I’m open to criticism on this. So, on the average of all your draft picks for the year 5 of them will make it. 73% of the 1st round will make it, 51% in the 2nd round, 40% in the 3rd round and then a large drop off in subsequent rounds. This is an average for all teams. The good teams do better than 5. That of course, means the bad teams do less than 5. You can’t miss on a #1, take your chances 4 through xx.

            1. IMO, the only thing that matters is how many star players your drafts produce. Replacement level players are easy to find. Question is, how many stars can you produce to get big surplus value.

            2. vi…exactly….you need to get that star impact player, and with your first pick especially…the Nats did that with Strasburg, Harper, Zimmerman, and Rendon.

            3. Agree but would include major league regular contributors. Drafting players who can be above average position players and mid-rotation starters saves a lot of $15-$18 AAV deals.

  22. Looking like Josh Donaldson may have overplayed his market. No interested team wants to bid against themselves. And he apparently doesn’t want to sign with Minnesota. He better take the Nats’ 4/$100M while it’s still on the table….with tons of deferred money, of course.

    1. The Nats estimated cap space under the Lux Tax is $12 million. I’m highly suspect that they are really in the Donaldson race beyond wanting to try and drive up the cost for the Braves.

      However if they are truly willing to go over hats off to the Learners for spending stupid money.

          1. Ok..I see Thames and Cabrera….but not Hudson’s $5.5M….which was only done yesterday of Monday evening, so they probably do not have uit updated as of yet.
            Nevertheless…..your point s correct…the Nats will go over by a lot with a Donaldson signing…….up to the first phase anyway….Lerner’s may just pay the $4M fine and be done with it.

            1. Which would be the sensible thing to do, IMO. I am somewhat surprised that the Nats have recovered nicely from the losses from last years ch. team. They are competitive for sure.

            2. The Nats offense is formidable, with or without Rendon or even Donaldson. What I’ll be watching is whether both MadMax and Stras can both avoid regression. Scherzer’s back issues at his age don’t bode well for sustained success or health over the long season. Strasburg isn’t likely to duplicate his performance of 2019, can he? And his injury history still poses as a risk considering his new contract. Nonetheless, they will be hard to overcome while Atlanta has unfinished business as their motivation in 2020.

            3. Nats offense isn’t formidable, their pitching staff is. On offense, they had 3 every-day players OPS over 800 (Rendon, Turner, and Soto). Two additional players that got significant playing time also were over .800 (Kendrick and Suzuki).

              Rendon is gone. Turner and Soto are still good and Kendrick and Suzuki are both 36 so don’t expect 500 PAs from either of them.

              They added Starlin Castro to the line-up which is a push with what they replaced (Dozier).

              I think that both the Braves and Nationals are still better than the Phillies overall right now but lets not pretend the gap has widened because it hasn’t.

              Even if they added Donaldson, the Nationals offense is still not as good as it was last season with Rendon…

        1. Watch out for Kieboom who could be the NL rookie of the year. Sure he had an inauspicious 43 PA’s last season in the MLB but his AAA line of 303/403/900 OPS was quite impressive.

          1. which league was that in? He was 66th in OPS in the PCL last season… JP Crawford was .319/.457/.877 in the same league.

            1. Should add that as a 20-year-old in Harrisburg (Eastern League), Keiboom was .262/.395/.721.

              At age 21 in Reading (Eastern League), Mickey Moniak was .252/.439/.741 and I’m told by many here he has little chance of being a major league contributor..

            2. It was the PCL 3Up…that said he was just 21

              Age 19 Sally he was 296/400/897 and if we do a full tally of his minors performance its 287/378/847

              Yeah his EL league performance at age 20 was just ok but he did 2 leagues that year his HI A stats were 298/386/880

            3. With regard to Moniak and what makes Kieboom so remarkable his BB/K ratio. MM has 355 K’s to only 94 BB. Kieboom 294 K’s to 170 BBs.

            4. Kieboom has a chance to be an ok player but I don’t see any evidence for ROY level performance.Playing in the PCL league dramatically skews a player’s stats. That fact that a 900 OPS doesn’t even get you into the top-50 in the league is telling.

  23. Guys, the Nats won the WS, and even though they lost Rendon, they still have a formidable team, and seem to be bolstering their BP every day. They are better than we are, is there an argument there? The Braves were 17 games better than us last year, and have gotten better. I sure hoped that JD went to the Twins, but it is looking like the Braves or the Nats. Terrible for us. We improved a good deal with Wheeler, and hopefully, DiDi, and I am a big Joe G. fan. Add in a new Hitting Coach and Bryan Price, and we have improved, but we are still quite a way behind either Atlanta or Washington. Having said that, and taking as a given that “winning” is the goal, I believe the WC is worth achieving. And, so I, again, find fault with the organization for allowing their self imposed Salary Cap to get in the way. I can’t wrap my head around letting such a minor penalty stop them from adding a clear need, Pitching, Fell free to disagree with me, but even Drew Smyly is an upgrade over what we have, and moving VV to the ‘pen makes us a little better. And “a little better” may be all we need to make the WC.

    1. matt13….do not disagree. The Braves and Nats are better on paper right now.
      I also hope Smyly is brought back…along with a trade bringing in another piece.

      1. I hate to break it to you, but so are the Mets – perhaps by quite a bit.

        This still looks like a 4th place team to me. It should be better and they might do more to improve, but right now, I’ve got them finishing 4th.

        1. Well if they finish 4th again…there are many who think Matt Klentak, who is the 12th GM since 1944, becomes a former Phillies GM in October, giving way to the next GM.
          So can understand when he said about ‘now is the time for winning’

          1. He can say it all he wants, but the team, on paper, is behind Atlanta, Washington and the Mets and I DO expect him to get fired. And, by the way, if he gets desperate and trades away a bunch of prospects to make the playoffs, that would be an even worse outcome. This isn’t a very good organization right now. They had a plan, and it was a good plan, butj, because they didn’t draft, find and develop talent well, they didn’t execute the plan the right way and now they are in or close to panic mode with an impatient owner who is or will soon be stamping his feet – another thing that isnt’ too good.

            1. Sorry for the typos, but the failure of the current management team is pretty disappointing. I’m sick and tired of watching bad or mediocre baseball. It’s been a decade of this and I’m not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel right now.

            2. The only redeeming factor could be that 5 of our top 10 prospects realize their respective ceilings. And those odds aren’t great.

    1. These defensive metrics give me a headache. How can he score so poorly in defensive fWAR and bWAR and excel with this? In any event, the old fashioned eye test tells me he’s fairly average – so I’ll go with that until I can be persuaded otherwise.

      1. Statcast capabilities have really opened up the ability to measure data with more accuracy …though the eye-test still remains with most all the normal fans.

    2. …… we replace a -4 shortstop with a -13 shortstop. Heh, heh I love when a plan comes together, of course maybe they missed an algorithm or two if Hoskins is the 4th best. Rocco…….lose no sleep 😴 over it!

      1. LOL…I know.
        Sometimes I have to wonder about the new innovative metric community always trying to come up with a better ‘mousetrap’.

  24. Bohm by the way has 96Ks/69BBs that’s outstanding…that’s over 698 PA’s. It’s quite possible he is the NL rookie of the year.

    1. Here’s a silver lining – I think both he and Howard are undervalued by the prospect graders. I think both have a chance to be special players. So there always that 🙂

  25. For the Phillies to be a playoff team they need all this to happen:
    Hoskins has a full season like his first half last year
    Harper has a full season like his 2nd half last year
    Nola has another season like 2018
    Wheeler has a full season like the 2nd half last year
    Arrieta is at least better than he’s been
    Eflin continues to improve
    Vinnie, Pivetta, or Smyly step up
    Kingery has a full season like the 1st half last year
    Bohm comes up and does well
    Dominguez stays healthy and does well
    Neris stays healthy and does well
    Morgan stays healthy and does well

    That’s a lot that has to go right. One might say impossible but that’s what it will take.

    1. This is all true but I’ll add it would also require some regression from the teams that finished ahead of them. I expect the Nats to have a classic WS hangover but still be pretty good.

      The Braves season hinges on replacing Donaldson’s production….

      I’ll give the Mets their due as well. Their pitching has a chance to be really special top to bottom.

    2. Looks like a few career years from some of the younger players and a bevy of better overall healthy arms, can go a long ways.

    3. Well, that may be true to a large extent, BUT there’s never ever accounting for the unexpected. The young player nobody saw coming. Or the journeyman minor leaguer who gets his shot and more than makes the most of it, if only for a season. Can we count on that? Of course not. But it’s also not so scientific. The confidence that teammates might instill in each other, an effective coaching staff, and buzz back in the ball park. These are immeasurable. And they are real.

  26. Granted, we still need to play the games, and anything can happen. I agree with the above post about the possibility that Bohm and Howard are under rated, and could be special players. It is certainly not out of the question that a player like Bohm can increase his defensive ability, and there seems to be little question that he can hit. Howard could be a TOR, and ready in June. Price may unlock the mysteries of Velasquez and Pivetta, All the young hitters could up their games. There is no punch line coming, this is not a sarcastic post, at all. They could all happen. I still want the FO to be prepared for all of that not happening. Smyly and BP help will not, I promise, bankrupt this team. There is never too much Pitching. Taking a gamble on Alex Wood doesn’t hurt the team’s ability to make a big trade in July. There are still things that can help, even if they don’t proclaim us “World Series favorites.” I exceed the $228M to win a WS. I exceed $208M to get the 2d WC. I want ownership to value winning as much as I do.

  27. @Murray – the baseball gods must be in the corner of the Phillies to make all you list to happen. IMO, the success of the Phillies in 2020 will be in the shoulders of 5-6 core players namely:

    1) Nola – needs to be the 2018 version
    2) Wheeler – needs to be a reliable #2
    3) Harper – do damage as Harper does and carry the team offensively
    4) Hoskins – needs the 2018 version
    5) JTR – two way player like 2019
    6) Closer – whoever is assigned in this role needs to be steady and reliable as the team needs to win close games to go deep. Neris is not that player.

    The FO and Joey G can slice and dice the supporting casts but the 5-6 players I listed above are achievable as they have the ability to do what they need to do within their powers.

      1. The top of the rotation (Nola-Wheeler) needs to be solid like Doc-Cliif Lee before…#3/#4/#5 can be filled in by whoever is having a good season from Arrieta, Eflin, Pivetta, Vinny, Howard, Medina, FA, etc.

        On the offensive side, the heart of the order (Harper-Hoskins-JTR) needs to be consistent offensively – no long drought or slumps. The rest of the crew (Cutch, Didi, Kingery, etc) will pick up when one of the middle of the order is down offensively.

        We are not looking for a 162-0 so we don’t need to have everything to happen in Phillies favor like what Murray listed. The team just needs to have a reliable “core group” and a “deep pipeline” to go deep in the playoffs. If there’s anything that we’ll ask the baseball gods — it is the injury risk which depleted the team in 2019.

      2. Regarding the pipeplin, I’m talking about Bohm, Howard, Medina, Jojo, Dohy Jones, Brogdon, Seabold, etc to be ready to contribute when called upon. These prospects have the tools and skills to be better than a replacement player.

          1. Break-out year for Medina…that would be really nice. For that to happen, he needs to quit doing what he did at times last year, because clearly that did not get good results.

          2. @8mark – what team? Hopefully not with the team in NL East … you never see Medina pitching in red pinstripes!!! LoL!!!

            1. Hah! The Marlins. He’d probably be in their rotation this year. And he’d baffle our bats while having an ERA over 6.00 versus the rest of the league. Ugh!

  28. For me a wildcard or second wildcard is nearly a lock with 90 wins.. If we go 50% in the NL East (which is shaping up to be the toughest) and then win 75% of everything else, I’m sure some of the big brains on this site can tell me if that gets us to 90…

    1. my math could be wrong but that would get us to like 95 wins
      if Phillies went .500 against NL East, they would have won 14 more games

  29. The Phillies cannot afford to lose to the freaking Marlins again over and over again. The Phillies need at to win 2/3 of their games vs Marlins – period. Second, they also need to win the series again non-contending teams.

    1. Beat me to it KK. If they had simply played better against 2 NL East opponents last year they are a 90 win team.

      Phillies were 9-10 against Miami and 5-14 vs Washington. Go 14-5 vs. Miami and 9-10 against the Nats and they win 90 games.

      Looking at Miami specifically, against the NL East:

      vs. Atl – 4-15
      vs. Was – 4-15
      vs NYM – 6-13
      vs PHI – 10-9.

      1. This is where the Didi signing can bring fruits — Haseley and Didi can bring that LH balance in the line up joining Harper against the top RHP’s in NL East.

    1. This is former Phillies farmhand Gabriel Lino behind the plate getting pummeled by the batter. Ex Phillies farmhand Willians Astudillo rushes in from 1B to join the melee. Both got thrown out, along with five other players in this Venezuela League game. I always like Lino and Astudillo has spirit.

  30. According to Jon Morosi, the Phillies continue to look for a right handed hitter to platoon with Haseley in CF.

    1. So much for him being the starting CF huh? Cameron Maybin is still out there at 32 y/o and probably pretty cheap. Internally you have the oft injured Quinn as a switch hitter to back up all 3 spots in the OF.

      I guess my point is if you don’t think Haseley can play everyday just trade him. His MiLB splits against LHP was pretty darn good.

      1. DMAR…I agree.
        Maybe it is just for 2020, however the GM did say last month, Haseley right now looks to be the starter as you alluded..
        Now his going for one of these RHBs CFers, may also be an indication they want them to be available for both corners when, or if needed.
        They are both defensive plus players.

      2. Quinn is a luxury. They can’t possibly plan on him being healthy for much of the season. Pillar would be good in the room, as they say. Veteran role player. I don’t think this removes Haseley from their long term plans necessarily. A torrid spring by AH would probably buy him half the season to lose the starting CF job.

        1. Well that’s kind of my point. I don’t think you get the best out of a young player like Adam planting seeds that he needs to be looking over his shoulder. I don’t need him pressing in ST he’s past that. He’s a mature college player you took 8th overall.

          It’s your job Adam go play. We’ll talk in June/July if you’re struggling.

  31. Last season there were 4 100+ loss teams 1 NL (MIA) 6 90+ Loss teams 3 NL (Rockies, Pirates, Padres). I expect the Padres to move closer to a 500 team with the rest still being pretty bad plus add the Giants to tank mode also.

    Surprise teams in the NL for me would be the D-Backs and the Reds with the Padres close behind. Of course you can throw the Phillies and Mets in there as well.

    Conversely there were 10 90+ teams last year but only 4 NL. If I am picking division winners today I go Dodgers-Cardinals-Braves

    Then there are a bevy of teams in play for the 2 WC’s just throw them into a hat.

  32. From today’s Keith Law chat:

    John: How much of the Phillies issues in the draft do you think are down to bad draft evaluation (ie, you didn’t love the picks at the start), poor player development after they drafted the guys, or just bad luck? The poor drafts have obviously really hindered their teardown/rebuild

    Keith Law: They’ve chosen poorly more than anything else.

    If accurate, the silver lining is that our player development isn’t horrific!!

  33. BREAKING….How about the Cardinals dealing with Tampa for top lefty prospect Matt Liberatore! STL is supposedly including one of their big league players in the trade, so why can’t Klentak package something for a worthy young prospect?

  34. I don’t know the specifics so not ready to knock Klentak, just a question. Where would Liberatore fit in our Prospect Rankings?

  35. ESPN published its power rankings:

    Just like Catch said, it has the Phillies as the 4th best team in the NL East. Overall rankings out of 30 teams: Nats 4th, Braves 9th, Mets 11th, Phillies 15th. Phillies blurb: “Hey, it’s not just me — the Phillies continue to land right smack in the middle of most projections this winter despite adding Zack Wheeler to the rotation and Didi Gregorius to the infield. The NL East is tough, but it’s not a hopeful outlook for the Phils. There are still a lot of good arms in the bullpen. Rhys Hoskins, Bryce Harper and Aaron Nola have had better seasons than they put up in 2019. Andrew McCutchen will return from injury. Further removed from surgery, Gregorius has a lot to prove in his make-good season for Philly. And this group gets a fresh start with new manager Joe Girardi.”

  36. It is nearly impossible to know where we fall, because almost every player on the team, maybe except for JTR and Bryce, has to improve on last year. “There are still a lot of good arms in the bullpen.” Where does that analysis come from?

    1. “There are still a lot of good arms in the bullpen.”….have to assume they believe all will return to full health.

    2. Few teams win the WS or even go far into the playoffs without an MVP type player in their starting 8.

      Bryce as good as he was was signed to be that player so he would have to improve for those things to happen.

  37. Early returns indicate that Cardinals did very well. I don’t know how you guys feel about Jose Martinez, but he seems to be a 4th OF/DH type. Cards won’t miss him, and Liberatore is pretty highly regarded. Cards make a nice move like this, and do nothing to impede their chances to make the Playoffs.

    1. It’s an odd trade by the Rays at first look. Liberatore is a young top 50 prospect, but he’s far from the bigs (in A ball). I know that the Rays want to win now and treat their prospects like currency, so either they don’t have that much faith in Liberatore or they see something in Randy Arozarena. Jose Martinez is already 31 but won’t be a FA until 2023.

      1. Agreed before now they have always been a grow the arms buy the bats franchise. Neander may now be of a different philosophy. At least for 2020 and a 96 win season.

        They did also improve their compensation draft position from 66 to 38. With their draft track record on pitchers that could end up being a college pitcher with the ilk of Liberatore and a quicker timeline to the MLB

        1. DMAR…..something has to be amiss with Liberatore.
          Could be his control was a factor…like a Jason Groome, Henry Owens, Trey Ball, et al….all tall rangy lefties who struggled with command and also control
          That trade appears so lopsided on the surface.

  38. Excellent article by Matt Gelb in The Athletic. He talks about the search for BP help internally, stating that the team “intends to throw numbers at the situation rather than multi year contracts.” It will be “a referendum on the team’s ability to unlock internal options through coaching, data, training and conditioning.” We will see, and hope, how this turns out, but he tiers the options into groups, using Victor Arano, Seranthony, and Ranger as the models. Arano, not considered a high prospect who became more confident with success out of the BP, Seranthony ad the plus/plus 1 pitch guy, and Ranger, a SP who was asked to relieve out of necessity who had success. We will also, according to Gelb, extend offers to veteran RPs, as a land of opportunity for anyone gambling on themselves to make the roster as a non-guaranteed invitee. Gelb does good stuff. My instinct is always to spend $, but unearthing one or 2 high leverage options this way is of tremendous benefit.

  39. Hmmmm.

    he team “intends to throw numbers at the situation rather than multi year contracts.” It will be “a referendum on the team’s ability to unlock internal options through coaching, data, training and conditioning.”

    This sort of an interesting approach for the bullpen and it might work, but who knows?

    My problem is that this the same approach they are taking for the back end of the rotation, which I find to be very foolish.

    Again, I go on record that unless they have seriously upgraded the coaching and those coaches can unlock a lot of hidden potential, they will regret these decisions. Someone said the other day that the team is not balanced and I think that is exactly the point – I agree entirely. This team is not constructed wisely in my view and I hope at least that another starter or two with upside is also signed – like Wood AND Smyly.

  40. Arb figures are due today. Any chance we get news on JTR’s situation. I assume they nail down a team friendly one year deal for 2020 before they actually go to arbitration, with an extension compensating him for taking “less” this year? Two separate contracts, but contingent on each other.

    1. I definitely think so 8mark in fact that would be the intelligent thing to do here for both sides.

  41. Betts gets a record 27M arb deal which isn’t really a surprise but definitely compounds for the record their Lux Tax consequences

    1. Bloom is placed in a real pickle….mostly due to his predecessor.
      Dombrowski got them a championship….but they look right now to be fighting to stay out of third place in the AL-East this season.

      1. While I would certainly prefer to have Bloom instead of Klentak, I’m not so sure I would rather be the RedSox than the Phillies at this point. The new influx of coaching and development personnel will have to make their impact felt to offset the lack of creativity and aggressiveness in our GM.

        1. Fingers crossed on that.
          What has come of somewhat of a surprise for me up to this point, is that Matt Klentak has not made a trade of any significance.
          It seems, the one area of creativity for him, has been that major off-season trade.

  42. Jim, I just saw your post that went back about 30 posts, “if they extend him” I know you get inside info, I don’t know if this is based on that. Just for the record. If we don’t re-sign JTR, then the trade was a disaster. And, just by itself, cause to fire the GM.

  43. Jim Salisbury says the JTR arb numbers are in….$12.4M vs $10M, which seems a tad light. I say they agree at $11.75M before it goes to the arbitrator. With so many teams avoiding arbitration with top talents before today’s deadline (like Lindor, Betts, Bauer and Bryant) the Phillies appear to me as nickel and dimers here. Not a good optic. I hope JT really wants to re-sign for the long term.

    1. I disagree. MLBTR predicted something like $10.4 for JT which makes the agents’s $12.4 look way out of line. I’m guessing they settle in the middle around $10.6. And they’ll have a extension announced during spring training.

  44. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Major League Baseball is expected to hit the Houston Astros with “one of the harshest penalties in the sport’s history” for sign stealing when their investigation is completed later this month.

    wow, looks like they are in some trouble.

  45. Looking at the current state of things, here’s what the 26 man might look like….

    SPs – Nola, Wheeler, Arrieta, Eflin, (Smyly?)
    BP – Alvarez, Arano, Dominguez, Morgan, Neris, Suarez, Pivetta, Velasquez
    C – JTR, Knapp
    IF – Gregorius, Harrison, Hoskins, Kingery, Segura
    OF – Bruce, Harper, Haseley, McCutchen, Quinn, (Miller?)

    A lot of things could go right, including the unexpected. Coaching will factor in a huge way. Then again….

  46. Has anyone read Mayo’s piece on MLB, “Pipeline Poll: Prospects Part 1 & 2”?

    In a survey of GMs, scouting directors and execs across all 30 teams, one of the questions asked was, Which pitching prospect is the best future closer?

    Tied for 3rd was Sixto Sanchez

    Another question was, Who is the most overrated prospect?

    Tied for 4th place was Adonis Medina.

  47. just finished it. No Phillies prospect made any list except for Medina as you stated. There is pretty much universal agreement, amongst the people who rank prospects, that we don’t have high end prospects. I hope that Bohm and Howard prove them all wrong.

    1. matt13:
      What the heck!

      Who is the most overrated prospect:

      T1. Hunter Greene, RHP, Reds (13%)
      T1. Taylor Trammell, OF, Padres (13%)
      T1. Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Royals (13%)
      T4. Jo Adell, OF, Angels (8%)
      T4. Adonis Medina, RHP, Phillies (8%)
      T4. Jesus Sanchez, OF, Marlins (8%)

      Also received votes: Joey Bart, C, Giants; Matt Manning, RHP, Tigers; Nick Madrigal, 2B, White Sox; Cristian Pache, OF, Braves; Luis Robert, OF, White Sox; Brendan Rodgers, 2B, Rockies; Keibert Ruiz, C, Dodgers; Sixto Sanchez, RHP, Marlins; Drew Waters, OF, Braves

      ….I think I take that as a plus for Medina to be in that company

  48. Apparently, per Steve Adams the Phillies have announced they have signed Ronald Torreyes as of Jan 7. i don’t disbelieve him but not sure where.

    1. matt13…..I could not make any sense in those ratings…the over-rated and under-rated coincided on some instances..
      And then the over-rated ‘honorable mentions receiving votes’ are practically all top 100 in many different publications…go figure.

  49. Alex Wood signed with his old club LAD on a low risk, high reward 1/$4M with incentives up to $10M. Sounds like the Phillies had no interest. Another potential log on the fire that may later heat up his GM’s seat, after allowing last winter and the 2019 trade deadline to pass without as much as a stopgap acquisition of a starting pitcher. Either his inactivity or his inability to make something happen is troubling. This being the guy who, if it were left to him, Gabe Kapler would still be the manager.

    1. Yes, I know….Wheeler isn’t chopped liver. But c’mon…the starting rotation continues to scream for depth, especially a southpaw.

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