Open Discussion: Week of February 3rd

Congratulations to Big Red, former Eagles coach Andy Reid.

Free Agency

Yasiel Puig is the “best” free agent available.  He heads the list of “top” free agents still unsigned, he’s also the youngest at 29  – Brock Holt (32), Ben Zobrist (39), Hunter Pence (37), Nick Hundley (36), Jonathan Lucroy (34), and Russell Martin (37).

Of the 608 free agents I’ve been following, 91 remain unsigned.  But, 517 have –

  • 120 – Signed MLB contract
  •      2 – Accepted QO
  •      8 – Declined QO and signed
  •      6 – Retired
  •   22 – Signed overseas (China-1, Japan-13, Korea-8)
  • 359 – Signed MiLB contract

Winter Ball

The Adelaide Giants advanced to the final against Melbourne.  They dropped the first game in their best of three against the Canberra Cavalry, 7-6.  In game one at Canberra, the Giants blew a 5-run lead in a 6-run sixth inning.  They rallied to tie the game in the ninth inning but dropped the game in extra innings.  Logan O’Hoppe went 0-1 as a pinch hitter, Mitchell Edwards and Rixon Wingrove each went 1-5, and Ben Aklinski went 1-4 with a run scored.

The Giants returned home and won 6-2.  O’Hoppe went 2-3 with 2 runs scored and a walk.  Wingrove went 1-4 with an RBI.  Aklinski went 2-3 with a run scored and a walk.

The Giants clinched their berth in the final with a 6-3 win on Sunday.  O’Hoppe went 1-3 with a run scored and a walk.  Wingrove went 2-4 with 2 RBI.  Aklinski went 0-4.

The Giants never trailed after their first game loss.

Below are the final winter league stats (regular season).

  • Australian Baseball League 
  • Aklinski – .210/.289/.340/.629, 21-100, 11 R, 6 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 10 BB, 28 K, 1/1 SB
  • Edwards – .214/.275/.262/.537, 18-84, 5 R, 4 2B, 9 RBI, 6 BB, 15 K
  • O’Hoppe – .258/.389/.483/.872, 23-89, 17 R, 5 2B, 5 HR, 18 RBI, 18 BB, 23 K, 1/2 SB
  • Stobbe – .152/.225/.203/.427, 12-79, 8 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 5 RBI, 6 BB, 33 K, 1/1 SB
  • Wingrove – .232/.326/.348/.674, 26-112, 16 R, 4 2B, 3 HR, 23 RBI, 16 BB, 39 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
  • Taveras (0-0, 5.40) – 10.0 IP, 12 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 HR, 8 BB, 6 K, 2.00 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:

  • 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 1, 2020 – Reporting date for minor league spring training
  • 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 January 26th … 378 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)
2/02/2020 – Phillies signed INF Logan Forsythe to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
1/31/2020 – Phillies designated RHP Trevor Kelley for assignment
1/31/2020 – Phillies claimed RHP Reggie McClain off waivers from Seattle
1/23/2020 – 1B Neil Walker assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/23/2020 – LHP Francisco Liriano assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/23/2020 – RHP Drew Storen assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/23/2020 – RHP Bud Norris assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/22/2020 – Phillies signed FA 1B Neil Walker to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
1/22/2020 – Phillies signed FA RHP Drew Storen to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
1/22/2020 – Phillies signed FA RHP Bud Norris to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
1/22/2020 – Phillies signed FA LHP Francisco Liriano to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
1/17/2020 – C Christian Bethancourt assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/17/2020 – 2B Ronald Torreyes assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/16/2020 – Phillies sent CF Odubel Herrera outright to Lehigh Valley
1/14/2020 – Phillies designated CF Odubel Herrera for assignment
1/14/2020 – Phillies claimed LF Nick Martini off waivers from Cincinnati Reds
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster 3B Alec Bohm to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster 3B Luke Williams to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster LHP Kyle Dohy to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster 1B Austin Listi to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster LHP Tyler Gilbert to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster 1B Darick Hall to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Spencer Howard to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster LHP Damon Jones to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster C Henri Lartigue to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster SS Nick Maton to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster OF Mickey Moniak to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Ramon Rosso to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Addison Russ to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster LHP Zach Warren to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Connor Brogdon to spring training
1/10/2020 – Phillies agree to $2.65M contract w/RHP Zach Eflin, avoid arbitration
1/10/2020 – Phillies agree to $3.6M contract w/RHP Vince Velasquez, avoid arbitration
1/10/2020 – Phillies agree to $2.95M contract w/LHP Jose Alvarez, avoid arbitration
1/10/2020 – Phillies agree to $1.575M contract w/LHP Adam Morgan, avoid arbitration
1/02/2020 – Phillies signed INF Ronald Torreyes to an MiLB w/invite to ST
1/02/2020 – Phillies signed C Christian Bethancourt to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST

235 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of February 3rd

    1. Solid list… I’ve always felt in those Top-100 lists that 80-100 starts to be like the dart thrown on the wall and who it lands on gets listed..

    2. If we are allowed to have hunches I have no worries about Stott. I believe he follows the Bohm path LKW and CLW this year.

      Last season I boldly predicted Bohm would get to CLW by May and Reading by June. I won’t go that far with Stott. Something about left handed hitters gives me pause.

      1. i also have no concern about Stott. Stott may eventually move out of SS, thus, lowering his value but i think Stott is a legit MLB hitter that can go up the minors level quickly. Stott might be hovering in 80-120 range which is basically a similar group to me.

      2. I agree with Kuko. Stott may turn out to be a more athletic Moustakas. Don’t see him as a long term SS, but definitely 3b. His profile and personal makeup indicate to me that he will become an impact player at the MLB level. And the Phillies don’t have an ironclad lock for a future 3b at the moment.

        1. I don’t understand the Moustakas comp. he is a low OB% but 35+ homer guy. I don’t see that as Stott’s profile. He seems more like a .350 ob% and 15-20 homer guy at peak profile.

      1. v1, I am trying not be be negative, and so I choose to believe that all of the players that our new director of amateur scouting, Brian Barber, wanted to pick were good players, but he was overruled.

  1. Watching the game last night I realized I had finally got to a point where I could be happy for Big Red to win a Super Bowl.

    1. DMAR, I’m happy for the guy, he’s been through a lot, chasing the same goal for 21 years.

      I’ll root for him anytime the Eagles don’t face the chiefs. Its looking like if Wentz wants his SB, he’s likely going to have to go through Mahomes.

  2. Winter and post-season leagues statistics are notoriously difficult to translate to regular season minor or major league stats. That said, it’s very hard not to be impressed by what Logan O’Hoppe has done in Australia this winter with the power and the plate discipline. He put up a really impressive line for the season.

    1. Exactly …as a 19-year old, O’Hoppe finished in the top 25% in many offensive categories in he league….doing it mostly as a catcher no less…he did play some first base. Rhys was there as a 22-year old out of college, so O’Hoppe’s accomplishments down there are really noteworthy.
      Some former pro American players from there were quite impressed with him

      https://theabl.com.au/stats/

        1. This will be an interesting decision (assuming WIL will stay around in the minors). O’Hoppe’s age and 2019 results will probably result to XST, then a repeat in WIL before joining LKW by June. It will also depend on what the Phillies will do with Knapp-Grullon-Betancourt —- if the Phillies keep the trio, it will have a trickle effect downwards with Grullon and Betancourt catching in LHV, Duran and Cabral in REA, Marchan and Gutierrez in CLW. O’Hoppe can tag team with Aparicio in LKW but there are other catching prospects (Martinez, Conley, Fitch, etc) that might need some reps unless the Phillies decides to release them early in the season.

        2. DMAR…I see Lakewood for him. He still needs to get more PAs against low A pitchers……RHPs do give him some trouble. He can some improvement on his splits in that regards.

          1. I’ll be honest I don’t know a whole lot about XST even though I have been here 11+ years. With that said it seems strange to me that if you’re not assigned to LKW or above upon the completion of ST you just sit around for a few months until either short season starts up.

            How competitive are XST games I guess would be my question? Is the development of a player like O’Hoppe put on hold if he does stay behind?

            1. I’m not sure if a prospect’s (O’Hoppe in this case) development will be put on hold if he stays behind (i.e. XST). Actual play time is not the only way to develop a player. Although XST is like a baseball purgatory, I think there are drills, work outs that are being conducted. I think the prospects are not locked to stay the full 2 months if they are assigned in XST, so these prospects can still be assigned in full season minor leagues.

            2. After doing their drills….I do think they get their ABs in against pitchers in the system who are there also…I suppose like intra-squad games but with different set-ups then the traditional baseball game.
              And some umps in training school are used also.
              Jim once mentioned it awhile back…rolling at bats or something to that effect…cannot recall exactly how he put it.

  3. What’s with Grullon’s valuation? I feel like he is under rated, or are most putting him in the Knapp 2.0 camp? Surprised he doesn’t hold more value for a trade or backup

    1. He is underrated – perhaps markedly so. I don’t think his trade value is much, but he could end up being a reliable MLB back-up with power for many years.

    2. Knapp being 28 now and Grullon just 24 would suggest to me that Deivi has the higher upside. Therefore yes slightly under rated IMO.

      Hard to say why Knapps offensive profile never came to be in the MLB especially as a switch hitter. He is cheap though and good enough in a back-up role.

      When you currently have the best catcher in baseball I think all other catchers in your organization tend to get overlooked.

      If it were me I probably wouldn’t have re-upped with Knapp. I would have gone with one of the veterans out there or just handed that role to Grullon. Catchers wear down in this game quickly so they will need to find a way to keep JT fresh especially if they intend on giving him a LTC.

    3. Grullon is better and has a higher trade value than the current version of Knapp. Knapp’s value is tied to his hit tool which is not doing right now. Grullon projects as defensive catcher which can stay in that position long term (unlike Knapp who projects more as a DH).

      Grullon’s lack of MLB experience despite of a good AA/AAA stats limits his current value. But Grullon is only 23 yo, once he got some rmore reps in MLB and AAA and Grullon carried some of his offensive stats — his value will go up in a snap.

      I can see Grullon leans towards Chooch (but not Chooch 2.0) than Knapp — ability wise.

      1. I don’t think Knapp’s value is tied to his hit tool at all. Knapp’s hit tool has been terrible in the big leagues. His primary value is as a signal caller. I watched him carefully last year and he calls a superb game – I’d even say it’s nearly elite. His hitting has been horrible and what he has done at bat has been fueled mostly by a decent OBP compared with his average. But he’s there to call games in my view. I also believe they think perhaps his hitting can be turned around by a better hitting coach and it might.

        1. On the whole, however, Knapp, along with Asche and Domonic Brown have been the biggest disappointments as major league hitters that came from our minor league system that I can recall during the time I’ve been on this site, followed by Maikel Franco.

            1. He was, the book hasn’t yet been fully written on him. If he turns it around in Seattle, I can’t really qualify him as a full blow disappointment although, admittedly, here he was a disappointment to be sure.

            2. The stigma being one of the top MLB prospects put so much over expectation/under performance factor towards JPC and Domo. JPC’s biggest tool (plate discipline and defense) completely eroded — but a change of scenery and coaching can probably reverse that.

              The Domo love is startling to me. I get the upsides but the risks are too big that it blinded everybody’s eyes.

        2. @catch – Knapp’s is a terrible player and has negative trade value because his hitting and offensive productive is horrible. Ergo, his value is tied up to his hitting/offensive production.

          Knapp’s ability to call games is mainly due to his time working with the pitchers he worked while working up in the minors.

          The best Knapp’s attribute that I know is his positive influence in the dugout.

          1. Yeah, I still disagree. He has no trade value and little value due to the lack of hitting. The ONLY justification to keep him on is his game calling. Otherwise, it’s a totally ridiculous waste of time and they could just get someone else.

            1. JTR will play 80-85% of the time and it Knapp will be kept because of “game calling” that’s a waste use of a roster spot. Grullon’s “game calling” is probably not far behind than Knapp.

              If the Phillies starts working Grullon with Howard, Medina, Seabold and whoever will start in AAA — Grullon’s “game calling” will improve.

            2. You can argue whether he’s a roster spot waste or not, but they sure ain’t keeping him because of his hitting as it was putrid last year.

            3. And by the way, I disagree with your premise that all game callers are inherently the same and it’s just a matter of familiarity with the pitchers. I completely disagree. Knapp called better games last year than Realmuto – perhaps because he bypassed Chris Young’s advice.

            4. @catch – you’re premise is wrong so you are disagreeing with yourself. My statement is specifically to Knapp and not to “all pitchers” like the one you assume.

      2. Grullon does carry a little too much weight for a youngster like he is.
        He may be satisfy with where he is at, but not trimming down to something more reasonable for a 24 year old, will not be helpful for him in the long run.

  4. It appears Mookie Betts is going to get dealt to either the Padres or Dodgers within 24-48 HRS Rosenthal reports. This should be really interesting 🙂

    My bet is on the Dodgers they have the depth in both prospects and MLB players and the most pressure to win a WS.

    For the Padres just adding Betts probably doesn’t make them good enough to over take the Dodgers.

    1. Bloom is smart doing it now…..Verdugo alone is a good return for a one year rental.
      Dodgers still will give them more…pitcher or two, and probably another prospect…Jeter Downs it appears.

      Padres also have a good package…Margot going back to Boston, along with Quantrill or Lucchessi and that prospect catcher.

      Fans of Boston probably understand the situation …they have seen other icons traded out and they still survived.

      1. it’s amazing how the LAD can acquire a young stud without giving up any of their Top 3 prospects and/or young core.

        I like Bloom and I think his foresight is way ahead of Klentak. And Bloom is smart to deal with teams like LAD who have shown the ability to find and develop talents.

        1. Exactly….just look at Caleb Ferguson…a lefty drafted in the 30th something round out of an Ohio HS, and now is a desired asset by other teams……I thought the Phillies had a few nuggets in Young, Fanti and Brown….but alas, they all got hurt and development comes to a halt.

      2. I like Verdugo quite a bit for them and agree that would be a really good get for Boston especially if they can unload some of Price’s salary on them.

    1. It shows how deplorably teams have treated their minor leaguers. What these players get paid is a joke – it’s ridiculous.

  5. Blast from the past…I’ve just read 46 year old Desi Relaford has signed with French Div 1 club. Montpellier Barracudas

  6. Wow, read MLBTR article “assessing Scott Boras off-season for his clients”. Prediction $842 million, delivered $1,077,500,000.

    1. A little fun game.
      Take Sean Rodriguez and project his WAR over 705 PAs….1.5rWAR
      Rhys Hoskins WAR over 705 PAs……….1.5rWAR

  7. I know you are joking Romus. The more Sean Rodriguez would play the worse he would do. Rhys is actually the guy who I believe has a really good year. I am trusting his work ethic and the new HC, and the changes he makes to be a positive. And yes, believe equals hoe in this context.

      1. My question would be why he didn’t get it fixed earlier. Not like he was a key component and it obviously impacted his play. Playing through it didn’t help him or the Phillies.

  8. If Knapp going north as the back up catcher causes anyone angst, I strongly suggest that you get over it. Barring an injury, he’s a lock. The Phillies love him. He has grown into the position, has learned how to handle the pitching staff, is a clubhouse leader, as well as other intangibles.

    1. BTW, if an injury were to occur, Christian Bethancourt is the likely first recall from Lehigh Valley (assuming he accepts a minor league assignment, I don’t know if he has an opt out date).

      I don’t understand why this myth that Grullon is a good defensive catcher persists.
      Yes, he has a strong arm, but it hasn’t separated himself from others with a great caught stealing percentage. He doesn’t move particularly well behind the plate to prevent wild pitches. And, he didn’t have a particularly good catchers’ ERA when at Clearwater where his was worse than both Edgar Cabral and Austin Bossart.

      He’s a seven -year professional, and even though he started hitting two years ago, he has been passed over in the three Rule 5 drafts since he became eligible in 2017.

      1. Just cannot understand why he does not come into springs with some of that middle gone. A young man like that can lose it quickly if he tried. And it would probably help him behind the plate in lateral movement. Until the Twins forced the issue with Sano two years ago, he was continuing to balloon up the scales…and it hurt his effectiveness.
        You would think Grullon would realize how much better he could feel and be with being a little more svelte and sculpted

        1. There is a belief among some players that he is older than records indicate. I don’t know if it is true, but he does look older than other players his age.

    2. Knapp calls an elite game – it’s hard to quantify (at least right now), but, in my mind, if he hits even a little, it probably makes him worth it. It’s a damned shame he hasn’t hit because it always looked like he would.

  9. Extended Spring Training (XST) is exactly as the name implies, an extension of spring training. It is attended by the players who are not assigned to a full season team.

    When the Phillies break camp at the end of March and the IronPigs, Fightin’ Phils, Threshers, and BlueClaws follow suit a week later, the Complex will be filled with the 70 players who will fill the two GCL rosters, about 20 players who will be part of the Crosscutters, and a large collection of players who will wait for their assignments to the full season teams.

    The past couple seasons, the Phillies have made judicious use of the IL and transactions to shuttle players back and forth between Williamsport and XST and the full season teams. Most of these transactions involve pitchers. And, once the season starts, most are just paper transactions with the players not setting foot back in the Complex

    Their numbers will be augmented by a contingent of players from the baseball complex in the Dominican Republic, most of whom will return for the beginning of the Dominican Summer League. There will also be about 2 dozen players rehabbing from injury at any given time. Plus, there will be a few insurance policies for the Reading and Lehigh Valley. Last year Jose Taveras and Josh Tols were two of such a player.

    XST is run just like spring training. The players report early in the morning. They are served breakfast as part of the routine. They perform the same outdoor drills, indoor meetings, weight training, language classes (both English and Spanish), indoor batting, etc that they perform during regular spring training. After they are served lunch, they play a game. Usually, they play other organizations’ teams on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Wednesdays and Saturdays are “camp days” when they play intrasquad games.

    The games are the same as those during regular ST with as many as 2-3 DHs, rolled innings, the home team batting in the bottom of the final inning even if leading so that the other team’s pitcher can get his work. Extra innings are never played.

    Players’ development is not “put on hold” during XST. They still receive the attention they require to prepare for full season ball in the years to follow. Most are young and are still being taught how to play the game as professionals. It is amazing how many little things need to be corrected to lift an 18-year-old prep player to the next level. In XST you have the coaching and training staffs of three teams plus the resources and staff at the Complex.

    I hope this provides a rudimentary understanding of XST.

    1. Jim……if I recall, they did not get paid during that XST time, has that now changed and they get a paycheck, as little as it may be?

      1. That was true until last season. In the wake of the Blue Jays doubling the salaries of their minor leaguers, I was told by a parent that the Phillies were paying the guys in extended ST.

        1. Well I guess that will come in handy for those who did not receive large signing bonuses…. every little bit helps the young guys.

    2. Better than rudimentary Jim thanks for that. Seems my perception was distorted. I always got that they worked out and did drills and those are helpful but as a former player and coach I know we were always chomping at the bit to get that training into some game action.

  10. v1, your alter ego, Steve Cohen, is dropping out of the Mets purchase negotiations. Allegedly, the Wilpons changed the terms at the final hour. They are pretty terrible Owners, and I can’t stand the Mets, but most publications and analysts have them finishing ahead of us. I sure hope that they are all wrong. I can’t stand the thought of another non-winning season.

    1. Long time reader. Phil fan for 40 years. Loved listening to Kalas and Ashburn on radio. Thanks for this site.

        1. Seven days are up on Friday since he was DFAed on Jan 31st since Reggie McClain was signed. If no claims, they may re-sign him to a minor league contract.
          So will know for sure by the weekend if he stays within the system.

  11. Does anyone have an opinion on the merits of McClain vs. Kelley? They both seemed to be good throughout the Minor Leagues, and not so good in limited Major League appearances. Or, does it really not matter, and McClain will be replaced by another DFA soon?

  12. Chaim Bloom impressed me already in how he got Minnesota involved as the 3rd team to get the Betts trade across the finish line. And also dumped much of Price’s money. Brilliant! And we hired Klentak.

    1. Bloom seems to be on the right track…….Betts resigns with the Sox in December is my guess.
      With Price and JD Mart off the books…..they will be able to bring him back….and have an outfield of Betts again in RF….Verdugo in CF and ABen in LF…..Bradley probably goes to free agency.
      Forward thinking GMs like Bloom are most desirable

      1. Wow, that’s scary. And to think Middleton could have nabbed the local genius before MacPhail hired him. Let’s all scream together….ready? 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

        1. I’m going to give Klentak a little more leash, but yeah, I’m starting to have BLOOM envy at this point.
          Did they even kick the tires on an interview with him? As in Middleton? All I can say is maybe bloom would’ve mentioned a longer time table to contention and that is why only Kapler was replaced this offseason. I wanted Bloom, but am thankful that I don’t have to sit through Kapler’s position player turned reliever bullpen anymore. The new rule helps with that too

          Klentak has made some decent under the radar deadline deals, Dickerson for one. I give him tilll the end of the season before I start giving him the full “philly”’treatment. Clocks ticking bro

          1. Tac3….lets face it.
            If the Phillies make the play-offs ..even as a WC…Klentak probably comes back.
            If the Phillies do not make the play-offs…Matt Klentak is gone.
            This season is critical to his Phillies employment.

            1. Which is a huge factor as to why and to what extent he tries to acquire Bryant via trade now versus free agency in 2 years.

  13. Dodgers made themselves much better! Verdugo may be a future star but Dom Brown was supposed to be one also. Betts is a, for sure, one. Price can still Pitch, not at the level of his contract, but well enough. I know we were not going to be involved in this, I just don’t know why Klentak never used our financial resources to add talent in exchange for taking on a bad contract over this whole rebuild.

    1. I don’t think that we have a player comparable to Verdugo. Maybe Kingery is our closest comp but you have to believe in first half 2019 Kingery and ignore second half 2019 Kingery to get there. Boston also got a stud young pitcher who pitched in the majors as a 20yo last year. To get him, the Dodgers sold a very solid #3 starter who is under team control at a $3.1 AAV for 3 more seasons. I won’t go as far as calling Graterol a comp to Howard, but he isn’t far behind Howard (who is 2 years older). But given that Verdugo is better than Kingery, you probably have to give up Howard to beat the Dodgers offer. So our comparable deal is Kingery + Howard for 1 year of Betts and 3 more years of paying Price $31m.

      I don’t know man, doesn’t seem like a trade that I want to make.

  14. The Maeda for Graterol trade is very interesting. It provides a good comp to value Howard. Howard is better than Graterol but not by much and is 2 years older. But let’s say Howard is more valuable than Graterol.

    Maeda is a very solid #3 pitcher who is under an extremely team friendly deal for 3 more seasons at $3.1m AAV. That’s not a typo. Only $3.1m. Which means he has a ton of surplus value.

    I don’t think that we should trade Howard. Or Bohm for that matter. But it provides an interesting comp of what a trade could fetch.

    1. Graterol may go into the Sox starting rotation , if not in March , then probably by July. His whiff rate so far in the minors is plus-plus with that hi-velo FB.
      Twins only signed him for $150K…they hit on him and now he has become a useful trade chip for them.
      Bloom did well in Verdugo and Graterol…..they would probably be better than any player he would draft at 60 something in the 2921 Rule 4

      1. You nailed this Romus – Bloom did better than he if he lost Betts in free agency, he cleared the decks on salary (which can be given to other free agents or existing players) and he got medium to high upside young players.

        1. And the icing on the cake….Betts probably returns to Beantown in 2021.
          Bloom has now and will clear more payroll to make that push..he is no idiot.
          Price’s salary is reduced for them, Bradley becomes a free agent and he is gone after 2020, and JD Mart’s salary is rduced…by only $4M , but it all helps.

          When you look around the league….how many teams will be able to afford Betts’ $35M plus AAV for 8 years?
          Dodgers…sure…but Friedman is tight as a frog’s ass when it come to anything more than 5 years.
          Phillies probably not…..Yankees have moved on….Nats another big salary is not what they want.
          Cardinals would like him…but they are like the braves at time sand judiciously look for the cheaper priced player
          Padres…no way with many and Hosmer there
          Cubs…..Theo has made some wrong turn in Heyward and a few of those pitchers like Yu and Lester who are aging and costly

          So Boston is in the running for him.
          Bloom seems to have a plan in place to get him back in the fold.

          1. As Dan O’Dowd said last night you never know what is going on behind the scenes. Betts simply may not like living in Boston. He wouldn’t come out and say it necessarily as that would just be a dumb move on his part for leverage.

            But I wholeheartedly agree Bloom is 5 moves ahead of everybody else but probably Friedman.

            Watch within 3-5 years Bloom will have replenished Boston’s farm system, created payroll flexibility and all the while not experience a tanking season.

            1. No matter how much Friedman and his staff have made the Dodger into a premier org….on the field and on the farm…..with Betts there now…..if they do not win the WS this year….the natives out there will start to get restless.
              They could be the one-time Vikings and Bills of the NFL.

  15. From MLBTR overnight (albeit per Nightengale and Heyman) the Nats and Phillies have made at least exploratory inquiries about Bryant while the Braves haven’t engaged with the Cubs recently. My guess is he’s moved at the deadline when his market reconfigures.

    1. ….bearing in mind of course that both reporters are Scott Boras outlets….and Washington and Philly are his feeding grounds.

      1. I would be very surprised if the Phillies made a real push for Kris Bryant. They have a guy who has a legitimate chance to be a younger/cheaper version of Bryant, and he’s just about ready for MLB. They need to give Bohm the opportunity to take over 3B for at least a couple/few years until he may need to move to 1B or DH and allow Bryson Stott to (most likely) handle 3B.

        1. I tend to agree with you, Hinkie. The x factor here may be the urgency with which Klentak feels the need to win now. If Middleton has affirmed his job security no matter what, then no they most likely won’t pursue Bryant now. Since neither Bryant nor Bohm figure to be long term answers at 3b for any team, it really boils down to what they contribute offensively. Many people put forth the need to acquire pitching moving forward. My answer is ‘where?’. It’s more incumbent for the Phillies to grow the arms since the market ahead offers very little to dream on. Therefore, buying bats does seem the more viable option, especially the free agent variety.

        2. @Hinkie – agree on both (Bohm and Stott). The Phillies need the likes of Howard, Bohm, Stott and Haseley to help them keep the payroll in check and use the $$ wisely to plug holes in other positions.

          If Middleton really want to use that stupid $$ without the luxury tax implication, hire the very best FO, scouts and coaches that will help the Phillies infuse cost-controlled MLB players.

          Keeping Mcphail-Klentak duo only slows down this team.

        3. I’m really 50/50 on this.

          One one hand Bohm looks like an electric young talent and I would love to see the Phillies finally nail a home grown star 3B, which they haven’t had since Rolen. The team will need guys like him to help sustain a longer window.

          On the other hand Bryant is a game changer and I’m not 100% the foundation has been laid by this front office for a 10+ year winner. I don’t want to settle for continued mediocrity. Are we convinced the 2021, 2022, 2023 etc Phillies are going to be as good as they could be right now with:

          LF McCutchen
          Bryant
          Harper
          Hoskins
          Realmunto
          Gregorious
          Segura
          Kingery (or Haseley)

          When Bryant is a free agent after 2021 they’ll have money coming off the books in McCutchen, Odubel. Granted you’re still looking at being over the luxury tax with Realmunto factored in but they should be able to get under it after 2022. Even with those guys factored in.

          For me at this point like I said I don’t see them having a 10 year window and I don’t know how much longer you can wait to win with Nola and Harper. There isn’t a deep pipeline established yet (although as I said below they took some positive steps)

          Go for it, take the tax hit and trust your new scouting director and revamped player development to help you replace the aging vets. This is a chance to get a blue chip player which is very hard to do.

    2. I am usually not in favor of trading the prospects I watch grow within the organization. That would include ALL of them. However, I have heard that the Phillies are in on Bryant and have been hot for him since the GM meetings. I have nothing against Bryant, but now that he lost his grievance his price will go up because of the certainty of the second year. I’m talking Bohm, an MLB position player, an MLB ready pitcher, and a low A type prospect.

  16. v1, I didn’t mean to imply that we should have been in on Betts. I do not, and I am not trading Bohm or Howard. I meant that I believe Klentak should have acquired more young talent during this rebuild, since 2013, or whenever he took over, by taking on a team’s bad contract in exchange for prospect/s. Very similar to the Braves and Tooki Toussaint.

    1. To be fair, and I believe there are very reasonable criticisms to make of Klentak, he took over in the 2015 offseason. There were positives but the organization was very behind in the curve. I think the farm system under Klentak has shown flashes.

      Where he really messed up was that 2017 offseason. Giving up a 2nd and 3rd for Carlos Santana and Jake Arrieta was ill advised although made sense at the time (if you believe Hoskins was a wash at 1st and LF which they did) and Arrieta would at least be a 3.

      He’s given up a lot of draft picks but other than that 2016 draft with Moniak, Gowdy, Stobbe they haven’t drafted that poorly. Bohm and Howard are potential stars and Stott could develop into a good trade piece at the deadline.

  17. I like this trade for all sides actually. I think its good for baseball. I never got a long with my HS coach but he had a cliche I liked and use to this day which is you can’t win if you’re afraid to lose.

    But again the Phillies are not the Dodgers and should not make any moves that would move young controllable A tier players for older established players coming up on their walk years.

  18. Interesting article by Matt Breen in The Athletic about Dom Brown.

    He’s decided to retire and is working at a training academy in Delaware County, calling the Philadelphia area his home. He married an area girl.

    In the article, Brown is very introspective saying he realizes he’s a better coach than player and talking about the enjoyment he gets from helping kids improve. He also talks about becoming a more mature person and about his days with the Phillies.

    For a guy who was treated so rudely by so many Phillies fans he seems to not only have no grudges but to actually appreciate the people he played for. The story also mentions encouragement he is getting from local people now in his new role.

    I never had an opinion about Brown as a person, but certainly like him now based on this article.

    1. Frank…that training academy founded and owned by former big league pitcher and my old HS alma mater grad Jeff Randazzo… MSI Academy…..Maple Zone Institute, Garnet Valley, PA…..loads of area athletes looking to progress train their in their spacious complex…about 20 miles south of CBP..

      1. Romus, thanks. Given his comments, I wonder if Brown has a future as a MLB or MiLB coach and whether that could be with the Phillies who he appears to have some attachment to.

  19. We are not the Dodgers because we don’t find and develop talent as well as they do. We should not take a back seat, financially, to any team, and where we lack in the farm system is through mismanagement. The Dodgers trade a guy like Verdugo, who is very good, because they believe they can develop another one in the next couple of years. And thier belief is probably justified. A Betts, however, is a game changer. Meanwhile, we are still the 4th best team in our own Division, as we enter ST.

    1. Matt you sound frustrated I get it. At least now there is one person to point the finger at and its Middleton.

      He had the chance to clean house and hire a guy like Bloom and he didn’t. God willing you and I will be around for a long time time to watch the ebb and flow of our Phillies.

      We do have one thing the Dodgers haven’t had since 88. So in the words of the great Ricky Bobby if you’re not first you’re last.

      1. DMAR … you are absolutely 1000% correct. John Middleton gets all the glory or all the criticism going forward. He had the chance to clean house after last season. He fired Kapler, but astonishingly kept MacPhail and Klentak at a time when Chaim Bloom (a Philadelphia native) was available. I had been on record for months that Middleton needed to fire MacPhail and replace him with Bloom (who would then decide the fates of Klentak and Kapler). This FO (IMO) has been more vanilla than a three tier wedding cake. I no longer trust Middleton.

  20. You are both correct. It’s on Middleton, and he is the one calling the shots. The Buck brothers are part of the ownership group, but there is one General Partner. I understand that no one wants to waste money. And, it is a waste of time to keep complaining about what I can’t control. I will root, as always, and I hope they are right and I am wrong. And, if I am right, then I expect Middleton to do whatever is necessary at the deadline, or if we are really not good at all and there is nothing to fix that in July, then clean house at the Management level after the season. I am perfectly happy if we do well, and I have to say I was wrong.

  21. In the meantime, Pitchers and Catchers are reporting in 1 week, and we get to read about how ST is going, and how the guys actually look. I think the first Grapefruit League game is a week after that. So, I am looking forward to that, and, seriously, I am very much looking forward to how our new PC and HC approach ST, and who seems to be improving.

  22. I think the Cubs are going to move Bryant and I do think the Phils are interested, at the right price. Two years of Bryant makes him attractive to us. However, I don’t think the Phils trade Bohm or Howard for anyone so that doesn’t leave the Phils with too many tradeable assets. I could see the Phils offering something like Kingery, Stott and Medina. Is it enough? Probably not.

    1. Depends on what other teams have to offer…like the Nats or possibly the Braves.
      I think the Braves…if interested in acquiring Bryant….have the pitching prospects that the Cubs would desire.

      1. The biggest deterrent for the Braves to acquire Bryant is KEEPING Bryant. That’s a lotta coin for that market to absorb.

        1. Under normal circumstances:
          Freddie comes off their books in 2022….and he will probably stay at a cheaper rate or move on.
          They have great contracts with Acuna and Albies…..Swanson seems to be a player who is under control for awhile.
          They will have plenty under the CBT to sign him then.

          1. It’s hard to believe we have any real interest in Bryant unless MK some how steals him and that means not giving up any of Bohm Howard or Stott.

            Secondly you would have to likely move money back if you believe Middleton is serious about not going over the cap. That’s likely Segura or Cutch.

            Third he fits best for us in LF which means Cutch gets displaced. Cutch is owed $17 this year roughly the same as Bryant and $20 in 2021 with a $3M buy out for 2022.

            Lastly what does Bryant really do for this club as its currently built? If you’re swapping him out for Cutch its a decent upgrade in OPS. If you’re swapping him out for 6+ years of Bohm or Stott I think the net effect is negative.

            1. DMAR..I am with you.
              Bryant is a band-aid that will peel off after 2021 with that large contract and him aging….his play has trickled down the last two years and then there is that shoulder issue.
              He wil have to come off third…so it is LF or first base.
              Rather take my chance with Bohm and Stott over the next 2/3 years.

  23. Blake Parker back in the fold. Yay….
    And Deollis Guerra was claimed off waivers from Milwaukee. Bye to JD Hammertime. Trevor Kelley cleared waivers and was outrighted to AAA.

      1. Matt K. loves him some fungible relief arms.
        That has to be close to two dozen now over the last 5 years

        1. Seems like they’ve taken a page out of the Ray’s strategy book. Not a bad way to build a bullpen IMO given the high profile disasters they’ve had.

          1. Let hope so……so far the older arms have broken down …or just been ineffective.
            One of the better returns came on rookies…Seranthony and Arano …in 2018.

    1. It will be interesting to hear the rationale for DFA’ing a pitcher who had some success, and also has the ability to throw a 96mph fastball. It’s hard to conceptualize that it was because they preferred a reilef pitcher who had flamed out with 6 or 7 previous clubs never lasting more than a year with his last four MLB stops.

      1. Well I’ll tell ya, I’m not buying whatever he is selling … this move needs to come up
        Roses for him or it’s a big nail in the coffin for klentak, imo. Shows he can’t build a roster beyond dumping tons of cash at players feet

  24. Yankees will put James Paxton on 60 day IL….back surgery…they may be shopping for another starter now.

  25. Look, Kris Bryant is a very good player (FYI – he didn’t play like a star or even an all-star last year, just a very good player) but there are about 30 reasons why this would be a foolish move for this Phillies at this point in time and over the next 5 years. If they make this move, it’s a sure sign they have absolutely no idea how to run this franchise and, trust me, in the long run, it will likely be a move that they deeply regret.

    1. I hate giving up prospects (especially when the organization only has 2 top tier prospects), but interested why you think getting Bryant would be such a bad move. They will have to pay him obviously for it to make any sense but he can transition to 1st, LF, or DH.

      Bryant OPS+ last 3 years 131/121/142
      Harper OPS+ last 3 years 125/133/156

      This team does not have a young group of players knocking on the door…their window is in line with Harper’s and Realmuto’s prime…which Bryant’s prime fits into.

      1. Agree. I’m not eager to trade Bohm but neither am I eager to wait 3 more years of restocking the farm (an uncertainty anyway) only to hope that it doesn’t take another 3 years….or more.

        We all want sustainability. But that’s a status only a few organizations are able to manage. I have no plans to live indefinitely. If there’s an opportunity to strike now as a legitimate contender, I do it.

      2. Bryant is a very good player – but that’s beside the point.

        First, let’s consider where this team current is. It’s at the salary tax limit and you’ve got an owner who doesn’t want to go over that limit. If that’s the case, then Bryant would put you over the limit. That’s pretty much a gating problem, but let’s put that aside for a second.

        Second, your best hitting prospect is a third-baseman – why would you trade for a third baseman who will be expensive in terms of prospects and salary when you can keep your best hitting prospect and not trade those assets? Promoting and keeping cheap players like Bohm is the ticket for a franchise that can get good and stay good.

        Third, how have you enjoyed the last 8 years as a Phillies fan? Speaking for myself and others, I’ve HATED it. So, why are we here? Well, we’re here because we had a management group that traded away all the young talent and retained older expensive talent that it didn’t replace. So what happened was that the team was not balanced and didn’t generate new talent and when the old guys got too old we crashed and burned so hard and 8 freaking years later, we are still only an “ok” team – and that’s only because we’ve bought free agents – otherwise, this is like a 75 win team, which is pretty bad.

        I am done with limited windows of success (by the way, if you grew up as a Dodgers or Yankees or Red Sox fan, you would reject this concept – fans of those teams expect their team to be great every year and it’s a realistic sentiment). That’s how loser franchises operate. The great franchises reload with young talent again and again and again. Yeah, they don’t win every year, but they are rarely far away from another great season. I want to stop being like the loser franchises and start operating like a great one. The great franchises focus on value and hold onto their best prospects for dear life.

        If we trade Howard or Bohm for Bryant, will it make us better this year? Of course it will, but down the line not too far, the window will close and this team will go through another long bust cycle. I’m done with that. We need to be like the Dodgers or the Yankees or the Red Sox.

        1. This franchise hasn’t been great in nearly 140 years. What recent prospects in the last 20 years have we traded away that would be considered perennial all star caliber? You want a legacy to be filled here. I want memories of championship teams before I’m too old to remember them.

          1. With all due respects, until the late 60s, the Red Sox were, aside from the Babe Ruth era, viewed to be a horrible franchise incapable of redemption, but it changed. If we want to keep being horrible, we should just keep doing the same old dumb stuff we’ve always done – there’s always another Ferguson Jenkins around the corner to dump in a trade.

            1. The Dodgers won their last World Series in 1988. That’s 32 years ago. The RedSox have won a bunch of rings with an organization that isn’t as well run as LAD on a consistent basis. There is no magic dust to sprinkle on any team’s field or inside their executive suites. The Phillies front office is not among the top in MLB. Who knows when that changes? And who knows when the farm will be flush. I understand your point. My argument is that we can’t turn the Phillies brass into the Dodgers or any other perennial contender simply by talking about what they should or shouldn’t do. The decision makers have to change.

            2. There’s a lot of luck that goes with winning a title and the Dodgers have been close – there’s not much more they can do. But if you can’t watch that franchise and conclude that they are the class of major league baseball and miles and miles ahead of a franchise like the Phillies in virtually every way, I don’t know what to tell you. As for the Red Sox, they were run by a genius in Epstein, were able to piece things together for more WS success and are poised with Bloom to remain at the top. These are clearly among the elite franchises in baseball, along with the Yankees, Cardinals and Braves (who manage to create great teams without ever breaking the salary bank). I’ll reserve judgment on Houston.

            3. But I agree the Phillies should probably clean house at the executive level, but I think the ultimate gum in the works is going to be MacPhail, who will remain active and will hold the franchise back even if Klentak is dismissed.

          2. “This franchise hasn’t been great in nearly 140 years….”,
            ….come on, is this really rocco posting as 8mark?

        2. On point 1 — this team will have to go over luxury tax at some point to compete due to the fact that their farm system is so weak

          Point 2 — don’t necessarily have to trade Bohm and with DH coming, McCutchen here for 2 years…1B, LF, DH are all options for Bryant if keeping Bohm. Have to trade something to get something…just a shame there are no prospects to fill in behind…which leads into point 3

          Point 3 — having windows doesn’t mean you stop building for the future. Phillies are in this position because of how terribly they have drafted and not signed international talent. Trading for or not trading for Bryant doesn’t impact the necessity to improve in those areas. Trading for Bryant simply is continuing to invest in what they’ve already done with Harper and will do with Realmuto

          1. They probably will have to go over the luxury tax, but you don’t do it at a position where you’ve got your best prospect. It’s not a judicious use of resources. If they were going to spend, they were better off spending on a lefty starter.

            On your third point, I agree, which is precisely why you DON’T trade for Bryant. You need to plan and improve the system and get young players – you can’t burn the prospect and salary candle at both ends all the time – which is what they have already done. If they keep doing it, they won’t be building for the future, they will be sacrificing the future for the present.

            1. I meant consistently bringing along and bringing up impact players. Yes their top 2 prospects are very good. Neither has played an inning of major league ball to this point. Dom Brown was going to be a stud.

            2. The problem with that argument – so many prospects fail that you should always trade a prospect for an established player when you can – is that if you do this, your team will be doomed to failure. To have a great team and to stay great, you have to develop prospect. It’s not optional, it’s mandatory. And if you trade the best ones, you’re not going to do that and, at best, you’ll be on short boom and bust cycles and, at worst, you’ll end up chasing your tail forever. Not good.

            3. Who did the Phillies trade for Doc and Cliff? Carlos Carrasco eventually turned out to be a good pitcher in the long run. Otherwise a gaggle of nothing between the 2 trades.

              I know you don’t like windows, but if the Phillies don’t jump on the one that’s opening, who knows when we’ll see the next one.

            4. Guys – I cannot emphasize enough how much I disagree with your approach. Making trades like this is what losing and desperate franchises do. The really good franchises don’t squander their most valuable young talent – they build around it. That’s what we need to do. I cannot survive another 8 or 9 crappy seasons like the ones I’ve endured. This model you wish to pursue may improve us for a season, but it is the path to ruin ultimately.

            5. And think about the trades we DIDN’T make. I rip Ed Wade a lot, but Wade was understandably reluctant to depart with young talent. During the early to mid 2000s, when we were just finishing out of the wild card, Wade got lots of offers on Utley and Rollins and Hamels – thank God he didn’t give to temptation and bite on those.

  26. From the Scott Lauber article yesterday, it doesn’t sound like even Cutch himself is confident he’ll be ready to open the 2020 season, let alone spring training. Need we be concerned?

    1. I assume Bruce/Quinn will step in until Cutch is ready…..of course Mahtook and Scczur could fill in for a few weeks I guess if Bruce/Quinn need to be rested a game or two.
      But they need to come out strong because the season starts with a lot of road games.

      1. I voiced concern with my friends down here while watching McCutchen take BP. He was in camp early last year and this year. He is not striking the ball as well as he did at this time last year. Additionally, he has not taken part in any of the drills the other rehabbers are going through and hasn’t taken any fielding practice. At least, not at the Complex.

    2. Yep, I am. I never thought he would be ready to be competitive by the start of the season. If he is I’ll be surprised, but I hope I’m wrong about it.

  27. Matt Gelb has an interesting article in The Athletic, giving 69 thoughts on the 69 players with ST invites. The Pitching is absolutely depressing. It will take a Magician to make a good Bullpen out of the ingredients that Matt Klentak stocked the cupboard with this off season. That is not a pun directed at Robert Stock, who throws very hard with very little success.

    1. Let’s revisit the the rebuild, from start to finish – what players have been home grown from 8 years of slop 🙂

      Nola, is the brightest standout. Then Hoskins and Kingery. Still a toss up. The second best pitcher they’ve developed is pitching elsewhere (Ken Giles). Maybe my mind is failing me, but if Price and Girardi cant get Pivetta,VV, and Efflin turned around … and I’d argue Hoskins as well, they’ve developed very little over the last 8 years.

      1. As a benchmark, I’d say less than 3 players is futile level, an average club likely develops 6+, with a top tier over 10+, that’s likely even low. I hope Realmuto signs before this all comes into focus for him!

  28. This is depressing:

    “Adam Haseley in center? Whoops! Haseley might yet turn into the kind of prospect Philadelphia thought he was when they took him out of UVA, but he looks more likely to be a slap hitter without the plate discipline or speed to make that profile work. Ignore the power spike in Double-A; Reading’s stadium is the biggest bandbox in the minors, and our minor league stats don’t park-adjust.

    Haseley is a fine major leaguer — I’d just prefer to see him as a fourth outfielder or platoon bat rather than an everyday regular. There’s no harm in having him on your roster — but in a cutthroat NL East where four teams could win the division, Philly can ill afford a weak link.”

    https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-biggest-holes-on-contending-teams-part-three-the-outfield/

    1. If the Phils get a 4th outfielder or platoon bat with a top 10 pick, that’s not a win for its drafting/player development

      1. Baseball is hard. If there are 8 starters on each team (there aren’t, some teams run players that are not regulars out there), that’s 240 starter-level players. If the average career of a starting level player is, let’s say, 7 years, then there’s only an opening for ~34 new starters each year. Which means the draft would only produce, on average, 1.13 starting-caliber player per team each year. 1.13 starters and, what, 2-3 role players per year? With 40 picks per team.

        Now those are just educated guesses on the averages. And it doesn’t take into account development time, nor variations in years when there’s more talent or less talent in the league. But it also doesn’t account for other means of talent acquisition other than the draft.

        All this to say, even top 10 picks fail. A lot. Like more than half of the time. I think the statistic I saw on #1 draft picks was that they produce less than 1 WAR/year in their career about 60% of the time. You obviously want to see good players from that high in the draft, but realistically if he’s a 4th OFer, that’s ahead of the curve.

      1. Like to see him go to second…and Jean Segura traded for a quality relief pitcher around that time, for the stretch run.
        That is if all of Kingery, Haseley and Segura are all producing at a better pace than 2019.

        1. Yeah, me too, I’m getting weary of Kingery being penciled into every position except the one he is supposed to be at.

        2. Romus your funny. We all like the phillies, but you really think they will have a stretch run. I believe they will be 15 games out by September 1st. Two starters and no bullpen. funny m8

  29. Regarding the earlier comments on Middleton…

    I feel like owners are like umpires/referees, the less you notice them the better they are doing.

    We see and hear way too much of Middleton and the 76ers owners.

  30. Cutch not ready and the Phillies gave up on Dickerson — a big mistake. They had that 4th OF within reach. Can the Phillies get Bryant without giving up Bohm or Howard or Kingery? It’s worth a try. I listed a package in an earlier reply. Here is another one: Segura, VV, Medina, Bruce, and L.Garcia.

    1. The Phillies didn’t give up on Dickerson. His contract expired, and he became a free agent. He signed a 2-year deal with Miami where he is penciled in as their starting left fielder at a cost of $17.5M. ($8.75M/year AAV). The Phillies didn’t have room for that big a contract for a fourth outfielder.

    2. @rob – most GMs will prefer quality over quantity so it means one or two of Kingery or Bohm or Howard or Stott plus some complimentary pieces.

      The Phillies biggest mistake is still pitching – Morton, Hamels, Smyly and the list goes on.

  31. Rob, Why would the Cubs want any of them? And I don’t think they gave up on Dickerson, they imposed a salary cap and stuck under it. He wasn’t fitting in. It was much more of a mistake to not build a better BP, but we have gone over that endlessly. And, I agree with the idea that we cannot just trade, or sign, every position. We have to have young, talented players who aren’t making huge $s. We need Rhys and Kingery to be near All Star caliber, and Haseley to be productive. We need Bohm to be a bona fide 3B and Howard to be a TOR. We need to find Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino. This Management hasn’t done any of that. So, we are a 4th place Division team. Maybe, all, or most, of what we have, develops and we are better. But, trading Bohm and Howard to get Bryant is just not the way to go.

    1. matt13,,,,,who could foresee three years ago, Doobie crashing and burning in ’18 and ’19?
      I mean his first three years (2015-2017) ..he was a young skilled 11rWAR player.
      Or Franco starting out so well in ’15 and ’16 and then regressing every year thereafter.
      It just may be pure unluckiness.

      1. The irony is that he is probably the best option in center field. It won’t happen. The organization doesn’t have the balls to go against social media .

    2. There is POSSIBLY a scenario where you could get Bryant without giving up Bohm, Howard or Stott but it involves going over the cap.

      if you took back Darvish and his 4/$81 Theo would be really tempted.

      You could soften some of the blow by sending Cutch and/or Segura back along with one of Eflin, VV or Pivetta and who knows who else Theo and Jed might like other than the 3 names above but he is welcome to anyone of them.

      If he wants an additional player from our 25 man to make the deal work such as a Kingery or a Haseley then I don’t know. I would prefer it to be Haseley but then we don’t really have a CF (well we kind of do but Jimmy says they don’t have the balls)

      I honestly don’t think he gets dealt before the season. Probably around early July to the deadline.

      1. DMAR, should the Cubs hit a negotiating wall with teams like the Braves and Nats, who might refuse to part with their top prospects, this scenario you propose is quite plausible. Darvish is an expensive plan B to trading Bohm but if he’s healthy, we would have a formidable rotation even before Howard arrives.

        1. Phillies get: Kris Bryant and Yu Darvi$h
          Cubs get: Adam Haseley, Vince Velasquez, Zach Eflin, Luis Garcia, Erik Miller and Francisco Morales

          Fire away….

          1. Something like that 8mark and it might not even take that much but yeah I guess you can give them a pool of players to pick 3 from and not do too much damage to the farm.

            But you have to get some money back or have some money going the other way.

            Personally I wouldn’t acquire Bryant with the intention of giving him a long term deal right away. I’d kind of play it out between him Hoskins and Bohm to see who I might want to give the money to.

            1. DMAR, Velasquez is due approx $6M in 2020 via arbitration. That’s a nice chunk. I would like to get Segura’s salary paid down as well but I doubt the Cubs would bite…maybe if we took at least half?

          2. An over payment for a guy who will end up, more than likely, in LF or 3rd base in two years when you have to break the bank to keep him.
            This love for Bryant fascinates me….IMO, his best years could very well be behind him.
            If you are taking Yu and that aging contract….then might as well take Haseley and Eflin off the table.

            1. Romus, perhaps you’re right regarding Bryant’s future….but the shoulder injury doesn’t necessarily diminish his overall game. His on-base and baserunning acumen don’t suddenly disappear. With the DH coming soon, I don’t sweat his defensive deficiencies. Personally, I think the Phillies brass find his leadership and connection to Harper/Boras/Stott appealing and conducive to a harmonious clubhouse. I could be overstating it. But the Bryant-to-Phillies link has been lying under the weeds for a while until recently. And while he’ll cost a pretty penny come extension time, his won’t be a Harper/Betts/Trout contract by any stretch. Say, 6/$160M-ish following the ’21 season, when he’ll be 30.

            2. 8mark…..if they can get him at a relatively low prospect cost…..I could be swayed.
              As for his contract 2021 and out…it is Boras now….so I see at least him wanting 5 years to start at a minimum of $30M AAV.
              Phillies must be prepared to bust the CBT at some point.

  32. Romus, you are correct! Franco and Doobie were supposed to be much better. I agree that there is some luck involved. But, we knew from the start that Doobie had a quantity of knuckleheadness in him. I didn’t think he would fall off a cliff production wise, and then beat up his girlfriend. Franco never took coaching into an actual game. You have to have some luck. But, you need a lot of potentially good prospects to offset the fact that sometimes crap just happens. Our farm’s problem is that there is such a gulf between the top 2 prospects, and what’s next. Maybe some of the guys have seasons this year that bridge that gulf, but we have to see. I don’t think any analyst, anywhere, will say that we have done a really good job.

    1. matt13……agree, the farm will need to come around this season……specifically the position players.
      I am more optimistic on the pitching within the system, more so than the position players.

      1. I apologize jim, it will not happen again. I don’t know what he exactly did, only that he got in trouble off the field. Whatever really happened, I don’t think he ever plays for the Phils again. I should have known better than to post what I did.

      2. Jim I was under the impression. he did have a fight with his Girl friend . If not what did he do to get suspend?

        1. Rocco, He was suspended by the Phillies with pay during the police/DA investigation. He was suspended by MLB without pay after the DA decided not to prosecute. It’s an agreed upon stipulation in the CBA. MLB doesn’t need to go through due process.

          “a fight with …” Well, this may be cryptic, but IMO …
          If Pat and Terry throw punches at each other, that’s a fight.
          If Pat throws punches at Terry who blocks the punches, tries to grab the punches, and pushes Pat away, that’s a fight.
          If Terry throws punches at Pat who blocks the punches, tries to grab the punches, and pushes Terry away, that’s a fight.

          But those are different degrees of a fight one with combatants and the other two with aggressor/defender.

          I don’t think I’m soft on domestic violence. I come from a law enforcement family. Six women in my life have experienced violence (date rape, attempted rape, domestic violence). I’m not soft on domestic violence, but I’m not prepared to abandon due process. I was proud of the Phuture Phillies community for not turning our forum into the torch and pitchfork discussions that were going on elsewhere.

  33. Questions – will Nick Williams be retained and sent to the minors again? Will Odubel be given a chance to play in the minors or will he be cut? If sent to the minors, what if he goes there and rakes?

    1. IMO, I think Williams will likely start the season in Lehigh Valley. He’s not really an option in CF and hasn’t hit well as a pinch hitter. If the 26th man is required to just hit, Listi has a shot since he seems less likely to be affected by being in a bench role. However, the recent acquisition of Forsythe might alter that thinking.

      IMO, yes, Herrera will play in the minors. Their hope is that he hates it and walks so that they don’t have to pay him or that he rakes and they can trade him. In any event, I don’t think he sees the inside of Spectrum Field or CBP in a Phillies uniform ever again.

      1. LOL Odubel is due $7M this year and $10 the next so I’m not sure how much he will hate that Jim…

        I’d show up every day and shag balls on the back field for that coin but that’s just me. Heck I’ll even sweep up all the seed shells from the dugouts every night too.

        What’s that Matty K you want me to do the toilets you got it.

        1. DMAR….if Doobie has been watching the Baker Mayfield Progressive ads , he is already one step ahead of the learning curve.

          1. Romus those are some fantastic commercials even if he isn’t really a good QB he will have plenty of options after football 🙂

    2. My opinion may be wrong. Odubel Herrera was at the Complex this morning, participated in the exercises, ran with CDLC, shagged for the catchers, and took BP.
      He looks like he’s in great shape and stung the ball during BP. I don’t know if this signals a change in management’s thoughts (I doubt it) or if he just showed up on his own.

      1. Let’s hope it’s a change of heart on everyone’s part and that Odubel has had the traumatic experience some people need to make them grow up. Odubel playing as a mature man with discipline would solve our centerfield questions.

        Many years ago, a player named Ed Bouchee did worse than was Odubel reportedly did. He went through an absence and treatment to return to a chorus boos, but then all was mostly forgotten.

        I certainly am willing to give Odubel a second chance, though it would be a short leash.

        1. Did hear he has been working out more ardently than ever before this off-season.
          So hope he has changed for the better off and on the field.

        2. Yeah, I remember that, it was as you said it was mostly forgotten and so was he. Career was about 6 years with the last 2 years mostly in the minors. Played for Phil’s, Cubs and Mets. 1st year with the Phils, the year of the incident was his best. I believe the Met’s got him in the expansion draft.

      2. Well I’m rooting for him and hopeful he can turn his life around personally and professionally. I can’t speak to the off the field stuff as I have no clue what was going on behind the scenes but I saw what I saw on the field and the kid is a talent. Bone head stuff aside the kid can hit and field and that didn’t just go poof.

        The Phillies have every right to move slowly and cautiously with this young man but to simply write him off doesn’t seem to be in anyone’s best interest.

      3. jim, if it was your call, would you give Herrera another chance here? You, correctly, chastised me for my post yesterday, and I believe you know a lot more than I do about the situation, so I am interested to know if your comments indicate that you believe he is done in Philly, but you would do it differently. This is, in no way, a precursor for me arguing the point, I simply respect your opinion, and wonder how you view the whole situation.

        1. If it were my call, I would have acted differently earlier so that I would be able to allow a second chance if I felt one was warranted. As it is, I don’t think the Phillies are in a position to do anything that would bring their earlier actions/reactions into question.

  34. A word on ownership….

    Many years ago, I recall telling people that the Eagles would never win a championship under Jeffrey Lurie’s watch. He proved me wrong. It took some time but he eventually learned what didn’t work from his mistake in handing the reins to the wrong guy (Chip Kelly…ouch!) Who knows when the Flyers’ fortunes will turn now that the old culture is being transformed by time. We are currently watching the painful reality of a clueless ownership of the 76ers. I again will predict that no NBA championship will be enjoyed here until Joshua Harris sells the franchise. The permissive culture and absence of leadership is undermining any chance of Embiid and Simmons hoisting a trophy, along with their own immaturity.

    The jury is out on John Middleton. As a fan, I prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt. But there is an expiration date on that for me…sometime in 2020 if things don’t head north. Joe Girardi is a good start to legitimize the team culture. And the willingness to spend from these so-called coffers we’ve been hearing about. Let’s take advantage of the advantage ($$$$$) we do have at present, before there is no window to toss it out of.

  35. Here’s a did you know. Domingo Santana is still a FA at age 27 he could have been had for very cheap. It appears the Indians are about to sign him.

    If McCutchen is not likely to be ready to start the season would he have made a decent back-up plan? He hit 253/329/770 OPS and 21 HRS last season with the Mariners.

    1. Domingo Santana 27- years old!!!
      Man!.
      At Lakewood 7/8 years ago he looked 27 then….now he looks like he is pushing 31 or 32. That is one guy that seems to be aging faster than normal and more teams want to say good-bye to, faster than normal.

      1. That could very well be Romus. I mean we all know it was a thing they tried to do back then probably still do to a lesser extent but they do all they can in those countries to get these kids signed.

        For many they have nothing to lose

  36. More lists from Baseball America.

    Bohm top ranked 3B prospect and best bat among them, defense still a ?
    Howard 8th RHP. Seen as solid Number 2
    Stott 19th shortstop.

    Phillies Top 10:

    1. Howard
    2. Bohm
    3. Stott
    4. Francisco Morales
    5. Adonis Medina
    6. Rafael Marchan, defense rated 70, seen as sure MLB backup
    7. Luis Garcia, a lot has to go right for him to get there
    8. Enyl De Los Santos
    9. Mickey Mo, back up but added power gives hope he can be more
    10. Maton, heady player

  37. Posted this above. Meant to paste here.

    I’ve always believed this would/should happen. I don’t doubt he makes the team.

  38. According to a Meghan Montemurro piece in the Atlantic, she has Swarzak and Blake Parker as the favorites of the NRIs to make the BP. A healthy Tommy Hunter has a great chance of beating out either of them. I, however, am hopeful that Bryan Price helps a Sanchez or one of the Minor League guys and one of them makes the team, as well.

  39. There seems to be a number of mad owners, Agents and ballplayers over the hold up to the Betts trade. It seems to be pretty major as Boston is looking for a top prospect in addition to the Pitcher “to allay their concerns over the medicals”. Holding up the Joc to Angels deal as well. Tony Clark is and that medicals were leaked and Boras claims he has medicals that show the player is perfectly fine.

  40. What I don’t understand from Red Sox mgmt is that in Baseball America’s 2019-20 Prospect Review and other publications — it specifically states that B. Graterol – while displaying 100+ fb – was shoulder injured last year and was forced to move from a starter to the bullpen. There was notable concern that he “would be ok to continue pitching as a starter.” Its right there – in print, so it was a known fact long before the Prospect book went to print ! He is a Relief pitcher. Despite all the noise —- would you trade Betts for an OF with a back problem and a pitcher with a shoulder injury ???? This does not sound like the genius who ran the Rays ?

    1. I guess it just depends how bad the Twins want Kenta Maeda…..maybe they will just substitute Jordan Balazovic ( their next pitcher down on their prospect list) for Graterol , if the Sox are willing.

    2. RU,it sounds like a pretty good move if he rids the salary in the trade to be able to afford to resign Betts when he enters free agency one year later. Who cares about the deal return on the one hand. but on the other hand if you can get more,why not?

  41. Tommy Hunter on board the USS Fred Sanford (aka Matt Klentak’s refugee camp). 70 players now slated for Phillies big league spring training.

  42. I like the idea that Hunter comes back at a bottom bargain basement price. He owes it to the team. Same goes for Robertson next year.

    It would be great that he’d pay back the Phillies and the fans (us) by coming back for just a little money. After all, he will have been paid handsomely for just a few innings over two years.

    Okay, okay! I realize I must be living in La La Land but wouldn’t it be great if that’s the way it was???

    1. I don’t think Robertson owes us anything, really. He’s already donating a percentage of his salary to charity. It’s unfortunate that he got hurt, but that’s how it goes sometimes. He’s a good dude that gave us his best when he was able and then got hurt basically for the first time in his career.

  43. Just dropped Mickey off at the airport so you will see him tomorrow Jim! . …even though always a bit sad, I am excited for him. I think he is ready to roll this year. He’s coming in bigger and stronger than ever and has worked his ass off this offseason.. I watched him take batting practice quite a bit recently and he’s making the field look a lot smaller …. With a little bit of patience at the plate, I think It could be a really big year for him. . He is excited. I am really looking forward to getting down to spring training soon! Maybe see some of you guys down there…jim for sure

    1. That certainly is great news,
      He is one step closer to his ultimate goal,
      and here’s hoping that for 2020,
      Mickey has a very healthy and productive season.

    2. Best of luck! We’re all rooting for him to be successful and make a move up the prospect ladder. Start in Reading but then hit his way up to LHV. Good luck to you and Mickey!

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