Open Discussion: Week of March 29th

Baseball passed an important bottleneck last Friday when the owners agreed to accept an agreement reached by MLB and the players’ association.  The deal covered many concerns of both groups.  Foremost were player salaries, liability, and service time.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan and Kiley McDaniel provide a very good breakdown of many of the negotiated deal’s larger points in their March 28th article.  While the date for the return of baseball is still uncertain, the groundwork for restarting the season has been agreed upon.

Of the many topics discussed, the treatment of minor leaguers and amateurs is worth noting.  The MLBPA once again negotiates away the rights of players they don’t represent.  It might even be perceived that the union has helped grease the skids for minor league contraction, smaller drafts, smaller draft polls, and an international draft.

Another interesting topic is the minor league season.  One suggestion by two player development directors that minor league baseball could become “a complex-only operation — lots of back-field and intrasquad games among the lower-level minor leaguers and perhaps games at spring sites between organizations’ Triple-A and Double-A teams”, would make for a very busy summer for me and my writing friend, Steve Potter.  I can imagine AAA or AA games at Spectrum Field each night and A+, A, A-, and rookie level games at the Complex each afternoon.

I disagree with the contention that short-season ball has to be dead.  The Phillies could field teams at all levels with the players in their organization right now.  Maybe they would cut back to one GCL team, but they have anywhere from 370 to 382 players in the organization.  And, many other organizations carry a lot of players at the lower levels.  Short season may not be a priority, but it doesn’t have to be at risk.

One last thought before I get on to the transactions, there has been no mention of any insurance that MLB and the owners were to receive if the season were not played in full or not at all.  The owners had the forethought to include the wording in “Paragraph 11” that gave the commissioner the power to suspend contracts in a national emergency.  Seems to me that somebody that smart would also have insurance for a lost season as a fall back.  Kudos to them if they paid premiums for just such an occurrence and now stand to collect.

But, I wonder, if such a policy exists, would the number of games played have an affect on the monies owed the owners?  With or without fans, is there a calculated number of games that have to be played before it is in the owners best interest to just scrap the season altogether?  MLB has already crippled the draft and international free agency, lessened the expected contract value for free agency this off season, pushed player development onto the NCAA, and probably ween the start of contraction.  Why should they want to play ball?

The Phillies optioned 6 more players to Lehigh Valley, RHP Edgar Garcia, RF Kyle Garlick, RHP Reggie McClain, LF Nick Williams, LHP Austin Davis, LHP Cole Irvin.  Forty-nine players remain on the spring training roster.

In other transactions before rosters were frozen as part of the “deal”, RHP Carlos Bustamante was assigned to Reading.  He had previously been unassigned.  LHP Bailey Falter was assigned from Lehigh Valley to Reading. He had been assigned to Lehigh Valley back in December to protect him from the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft.  And, C Edgar Cabral was assigned to Reading from Clearwater.  This transaction had transpired on March 9th but only recently turned up on any log.

This is the Phuture Phillies Open Discussion for Phillies and other baseball topics.

Key Dates:

  • March 17, 2020 – Start date for minor league spring training games
  • 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
  • TBD, 2020 – Tentative restart of spring training
  • TBD, 2020 – Tentative opening of 2020 MLB season
  • TBD, 2020 – Tentative opening of MiLB season
  • 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 March 29th … 382 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)
3/29/2020 – RHP Carlos Bustamante assigned to Reading
3/26/2020 – Phillies optioned RHP Edgar Garcia to Lehigh Valley
3/26/2020 – Phillies optioned RF Kyle Garlick to Lehigh Valley
3/26/2020 – Phillies optioned RHP Reggie McClain to Lehigh Valley
3/26/2020 – Phillies optioned LF Nick Williams to Lehigh Valley
3/26/2020 – Phillies optioned LHP Austin Davis to Lehigh Valley
3/26/2020 – Phillies optioned LHP Cole Irvin to Lehigh Valley
3/25/2020 – LHP Bailey Falter assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
3/22/2020 – RHP Anthony Swarzak assigned to Lehigh Valley
3/22/2020 – 3B Ali Castillo assigned to Lehigh Valley
3/22/2020 – RHP Blake Parker assigned to Lehigh Valley
3/22/2020 – 2B Logan Forsythe assigned to Lehigh Valley
3/22/2020 – 3B T.J. Rivera assigned to Lehigh Valley
3/16/2020 – CF Yhoswar Garcia assigned to DSL Phillies White
3/14/2020 – Phillies signed international FA CF Yhoswar Garcia to an MiLB contract
3/11/2020 – Phillies signed international FA OF Felix Reyes to an MiLB contract (2/22/20)
3/10/2020 – Phillies optioned Garrett Cleavinger to Lehigh Valley
3/10/2020 – Phillies optioned Mauricio Llovera to Lehigh Valley
3/10/2020 – Phillies assigned Darick Hall to minor league camp
3/09/2020 – C Edgar Cabral assigned to Reading from Clearwater
3/09/2020 – Phillies optioned Deivy Grullon to Lehigh Valley
3/09/2020 – Phillies optioned Arquimedes Gamboa to Reading
3/09/2020 – Phillies assigned Austin Listi to minor league camp
3/07/2020 – Phillies optioned JoJo Romero to Lehigh Valley
3/07/2020 – Phillies optioned Adonis Medina to Reading
3/07/2020 – Phillies optioned Cristopher Sanchez to Reading
3/07/2020 – Phillies assigned Kyle Dohy to minor league camp
3/07/2020 – Phillies assigned Damon Jones to minor league camp
3/07/2020 – Phillies assigned Zach Warren to minor league camp
3/04/2020 – Phillies signed OF Jordan McArdle to a minor league contract
3/04/2020 – Phillies signed RHP Jason Lott to minor league contract

96 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of March 29th

  1. I think klentack not signing JT immediately to a long term deal at like 6 years 120 will be his epitaph. His comment at the time was date before getting married. Now it looks like a trade deadline deal. I can’t name one good thing that he has accomplished

    1. Klentak didn’t “date” Scott Kingery before locking him up at the get go. I didn’t have a problem with that. But for the GM to say what he said smacks of inconsistency in the team’s philosophy. Realmuto’s dollars will far exceed Kingery’s, yes. But what exactly is Klentak expecting to find out about JTR through the “dating” game? This is another misstep made by MacPhail’s protege. Now, Klentak has no choice but to wait. And this could turn out to be the final nail in his coffin. Especially after trading away their top pitching prospect (at the time).

    2. If Klentak could have gotten Realmuto to sign a 6yr/$120M contract he would have been a hero. But, Realmuto wants a contract that exceeds Joe Mauer’s $23M AAV.

      Realmuto wants to do what is best for the rank and file, and doesn’t want to take a step backward from Mauer’s gain. The Phillies want to do similar for MLB and slow free agent dollars.

      Under normal circumstances, the two would have come to an agreement before the All Star break for 6/$144 or 5/$125 or something like that, giving Realmuto his “win” for the union. But, losing all or part of a season is going to affect free agency this off season. I don’t think it will be an advantage for the players.

    3. If Klentak could have gotten Realmuto to sign a 6yr/$120M contract he would have been a hero. But, Realmuto wants a contract that exceeds Joe Mauer’s $23M AAV.

      Realmuto wants to do what is best for the rank and file, and doesn’t want to take a step backward from Mauer’s gain. The Phillies want to do similar for MLB and slow free agent dollars.

      Under normal circumstances, the two would have come to an agreement before the All Star break for 6/$144 or 5/$125 or something like that, giving Realmuto his “win” for the union. But, losing all or part of a season is going to affect free agency this off season. I don’t think it will be an advantage for the players.

  2. I’ve done some more research into the whole situaton concerning the MLB draft. The more I learn, the more bleak the situation is for amateur players. In these uncertain times of COVID-19, MLB, the MLBPA, and the NCAA have all decided to do what’s best for themselves, and ignore the consequences to college and HS players. The league and the union agreed upon a pact that will guarantee current MLB players no loss of service time, meaning all players will remain on schedule to reach free agency at their pre-corona virus timeline (JTR and Jean Segura will hit the open market next winter) whether MLB plays a whole season, part season, or no season at all in 2020. In return, MLB will be allowed to totally screw all college and HS players.

    * MLB can limit the 2020 draft to as few as five rounds. MLB can shorten the 2021 draft to 20 rounds (as Jim poinyed out, this will also allow MLB to make a stronger case to contract MiLB teams [sucks for Williamsport]).
    * Signing bonus slots will not increase in 2020 and 2021. They will remain unchanged from 2019’s figures. They previously increased about ~4 % annually.
    * Drafted players will only collect a small portion (100 thousand dollars) of their signing bonus this summer. The rest of it will spread out over the next two years. The same deferral rules will apply to the 2021 draft, as well.
    * A $20,000 bonus cap has been placed on any player who wishes to sign as an undrafted FA.

    In addition, it was widely reported when the college baseball season was cancelled that the NCAA was going to grant an additional year of eligibility to all spring sport athletes. That is now up in the air. College presidents may vote on that as early as today (though, they may put the vote off to June). Schools are now worried that the college football season could be in jeopardy. That would put a major dent into their fiscal budgets. College presidents may now not be ok with additional scholarships to baseball players. The additional year of eligibility for baseball players is now TBD.

    1. Speaking of the draft … here’s a mock from Perfect Game. This one has the Phillies taking one of the top prep pitchers in the class (Mick Abel). There is really no reason to believe Matt Klentak would take a HS arm at 1-15.

        1. Hinkie:
          Yeah…..understand that annoyance….have the same problem.

          BTW….when your said your backed hurt a few weeks ago…was it upper back around or behind the shoulder blades?

          1. It was the middle of my back. It would sometimes radiate up. There were some nights it felt like someone was twisting my back like someone wringing out a wet washcloth.

            Also … I put together a Phillies only 5 round mock draft:

            ROUND 1: Austin Wells C Univ of Arizona … I’ve posted a few times already that Austin Wells makes a ton of sense for the Phillies at 1-15. Matt Klentak is most comfortable taking proven college bats in round one. Wells slashed .353/.462/.552 as a freshman and .375/.527/.589 as a soph this year. In addition, the LH hitting catcher was one of the top two offensive performers on the Cape last summer (.308/.389/.526, 7 HR, 8 SB line with a wood bat there). Wells also has the same roots as Bryce Harper and Bryson Stott. He’s a former Las Vegas HS star. To top it all off, Brian Barber selected Wells in the 35th round of the 2018 draft as part of the NYY’s FO/scouting department.

            ROUND 2: Zack Wheeler (Phillies actually forfeited this pick for the former NYM RHP)

            1. ROUND 3: Seth Lonsway LHP Ohio State … Lonsway is a 21 YO sophomore who has some of the best “stuff” in college baseball, but has been plagued by inconsistency (velo and control). At his best, the 6’3″, 195 lb southpaw throws a mid 90’s FB (lots of life) and a high-spin, plus-plus CB. This season the Buckeye “ace” totaled 18 IP, 11 H, 18 BB, 42 K(!).

              ROUND 4: Nick Frasso RHP Loyola Marymount … Frasso bounced between the rotation and the BP his first two seasons in college and put up impressive numbers (116.2 IP, 82 H, 34 BB, 147 K). This season, he made two starts as LMU’s Friday night starter. His numbers dipped just a little (8.2 IP, 12, 3 BB, 11 K), but the big (6’5″, 200 lb) RHP has displayed a quality FB (up to 97) and an aboove average SL and developing CH.

            2. ROUND 5: Carson Ragsdale RHP Univ of South Florida …. Ragsdale is a long and lean (6’8″, 225 lb) thrower right in the backyard (Tampa) of the Phillies Clearwater complex. He creates a steep downplane with his 91-94 mph fastball, and also pounds the zone with a 78-80 mph hammer curveball. Ragsdale missed some of the 2018 season and all of the 2019 season with TJ. He made four starts this year (19 IP, 12 H, 7 BB, 37 K). His final start (maybe of his career) was his best ever. He came this close (holding my thumb and index finger together) to upsetting Florida (#1 team in the nation) by going 4 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 10 K.

  3. “I disagree with the contention that short-season ball has to be dead. The Phillies could field teams at all levels with the players in their organization right now. ”

    …….I also agree….Phillies do sign UDFAs every year….they have approx. 10/11 or so already in the system. There should be plenty of players available that could sign….the issue is I heard that there is a $20K ceiling on those signing bonuses… 30 teams will be vying for quite a few players….and many probably not going to reach their dreams

  4. There was no reason, except the fake salary cap, to not sign JTR before Arbitration. They wanted to get this year’s number down for an artificial reason, and now risk losing him for next to nothing. Yes, the comparative value of the comp pick vs the best C in Baseball, is next to nothing. His signing should have been a priority. Yes, no one could envision this pandemic, but there was no reason to be so worried about how much he would make this year. And, it could still have been structured to kick in big money starting next year. I hope I am worried for nothing, but the premise they operated under was faulty.

    1. FYI – For the first time, I am really seeing the problems that Middleton is helping create. Middleton put his foot down a couple of years ago and demanded that they sign players and make trades to become competitive (which cost them picks and cost them prospects) and, on the back end, he put his foot down and pretty much demanded that they not go over the luxury tax limit. Klentak has not been fully up to the challenge as the GM but ownership has really not done the best job either. I don’t view Middleton to be a problem per se, but, truly, he hasn’t been a big help here and has done a lot of harm in addition to the good he has done.

      1. The strategies don’t mix imo. It seems to have worked for the Flyers and not necessarily the Phillies and Sixers. The flyers found talent, a fair amount in the draft, where as the Phillies have not. Sixers are debatable, and more about missteps. Keeping it to baseball, the Phillies needed to be more patient. For instance … it can be argued that getting Realmuto was a bad move for this team, the way it is constructed. Yes, he’s a great catcher, arguably best in the game, but would thr phillies be better off with Sixto, Alfaro as a backup, pushed out by the emerging catching prospects .. and used Realmuto,s eventual money elsewhere? I think some good arguments can be made. we won’t know for sure, but is the team better with Bryant at 3rd than Relamuto at C? It’s very debatable imo. While the trade was great, I think a better move was to be made.

    2. Yes, there was a reason. You can disagree with the reason but continuing to ignore that reason doesn’t make it go away.

      The penalties for going over the cap grow each year a team is over. Why would the Phillies take the penalty for the calendar year by extending JTR before the fiscal season started when they did everything they could to stay under.

      Baseball is in an unusual situation with the Covid-19 situation but there is little reason to think they have less of a chance to get a deal done with JTR now then there was 2 months ago.

      Structuring the contract to kick in the big money next season doesn’t help when calculating AAV against the tax threshold.

  5. I miss baseball! So today Spencer, Aaron Nola and Nick Pivetta played catch on a tennis court. This is what the 2020 season has come to. Hopefully this will end soon and life (and baseball) will get back to normal. Everyone stay safe and healthy!

    1. Mr. H … if there is a silver lining to this COVID-19 situation, it might be the fact that your son could be available for an entire abridged 2020 season. I think the team is aiming to cap his IP’s to maybe 140-150. With a 120-ish game season, Spencer could make 25 starts (averaging 6 IP).

      1. Who are you telling a parent what the team’s plans for his son are? So cringeworthy.

        1. Cringe worthy? That’s a little dramatic.

          LOL !!! Do you think I make this stuff up? The Phillies, themselves, have said it.

          All teams limit the progression of IP’s from one year to the next for young pitchers. Studies have shown it’s the best way to protect their health.

            1. Romus … How are you feeling? Still having back aches? Any fever or respiratory problems? Stay healthy.

            2. Hinkie….feeling better…..they could have been muscular.
              Also started a modified version of the Arm and Hammer baking soda Spanish flu protocol…..which I had heard about many years ago, and then someone brought it up again just recently…so doing once a day with it.
              Thanks for asking.

        2. Brock Stassi Dad… January on the Phillies Reading caravan that was mentioned….Joe G. was thinking more innings….Scott Proefrock jumped in and mentioned that Howard’s 2020 innings will be limited to less than what Joe G had originally said for safety/injury over-usage concerns.

  6. Anyone else heard rumblings if Florida is not through its Coronavirus surge by May that all ST will be done in AZ? Teams will double up at existing sites and others will utilize AZ college sites. I thought this was crazy but I guess I’m still thinking “normal baseball.” AZ due to the heat and other conditions have dampened the spread in that state, so I guess that makes it an option..

    1. Agree. The Phillies should try to find a facility where Ser-Ant’ny can have TJ ASAP. Like Noah Syndergaard, Dominguez could make it back for some of the 2021 season.

      BTW … Romus … are you not feeling well? Having body aches/back aches? I’m asking because of your question above.

      1. yeah……no overall body aches, nor fever…just the slight ache behind and a little below and back of my right should blade.
        Not sure what it is all about …comes and goes…maybe muscular….maybe pleurisy.
        If it should wake me at night…like it did with you, then I will call the doc.
        Though here in PA, I guess like everywhere else nowadays, .. they will not see anybody, and just prescribe an antibiotic..

  7. I don’t know what Pleuisy means but, The pain you describe could be a disc in your back the nerves run to side too, I had those pains and had a mri ,they found a hernidated disc in my spine

    1. rocco…..I do have that age related herniated disc, also down low ..L4/5…but would that cause issues further up to the side of the back?
      Pleurisy is basically an inflammation of the lining of the lungs…had it when I was a teenager…and different grades of severity.

        1. rocco..yes ..but the last MRI I had a way back when, showed age related degeneration in L4/5….nothing it appeared in T1-thru 12…just the lower lumbar.
          But who knows now…that MRI was about 20 years ago or so

  8. Feel Better, Romus! I hope it’s something minor! Rocco? Are you needing surgery or dealing with the disc through therapy? Hoping everyone is healthy. WIP replaying game 1 of 2009 WS. Cliff Lee was fantastic, Utley hit 2. It was a pretty amazing series. Hamels struggled, Lee and Utley almost won it by themselves! Brad Lidge really struggled. The whole “holding runners on” was a huge problem.

    1. That’s a 5 year FA contract? I wonder why the author didn’t go to 6 or 7 years…

  9. Toronto has banned public events until July 1st. There’s no way MLB will restart the season without the Blue Jays. At that point, MLB has already lost almost half the regular season.

    1. Well, there would be options. The Blue Jays could play their home games at a US site. Or, they could spend the start of the season playing their home games at the opponents park. Or, MLB could schedule them for away games until July 1st. I’m sure there are other options, both better and silly.

      1. It would be way too difficult for the Blue Jays to play their home games at a US site. The planning for that would be immense, and if they’re not planning for it now, it won’t get done if the season restarts in short notice. And let’s face it, planning where the Blue Jays will play is the last thing those employees are thinking about.

        And there’s already whispers in the media that Canada will leave social distancing in place well into July.

  10. The Phillies followed Dr. Andrews’ recommendation of a platelet-rich plasma injection when Dominguez suffered an elbow injury last season. Looks like TJ surgery might have been the better option. Fortunately, some pitchers opted against the injections and for the more aggressive TJ surgery. The suspension of baseball activities means that they will lose less time to rehabilitation when/if the season starts. Of course, second guessing after the fact is almost always 100% right.

    1. And now Dr Andrews has suspended all TJ surgeries ( considered elective) in compliance with the current medical guidelines under this pandemic
      So Seranthony may not be able to have his surgery until possibly May or June….tack on 13/15 months of rehab/throwing and looks like late 2021 season for a possible return …if all goes well..

  11. The NCAA has voted to give all spring sport athletes/college baseball players another year of eligibility. Rosters will also be allowed to exceed the 35 man limit by the amount of seniors returning. For instance, if UCLA has five seniors returning for a fifth year, their roster can top out at 40 players.
    However, schools won’t be allowed to exceed the 11.7 scholarships the NCAA currently allows. This pretty much means if seniors are coming back to school, they will probably do so on their own dime because college coaches have promised their scholarships to incoming freshmen.

    This gives juniors leverage for this summer’s draft. They can now return to school and come out as juniors again for the 2021 draft. The 2021 draft, as I originally thought, should be a beast of an event. These groups will all be available next spring/summer:

    * 2021 HS seniors
    * 2020 HS seniors who may choose JUCO to give themselves the option of a quicker trip back to the draft (I think a lot of kids may choose this)
    * current college juniors returning for another junior season
    * current college sophs who will be returning as sophs, but will be of age to get drafted
    * current JUCO players who wiill either remain in JUCO next season or who will transfer to a 4 year college for 2021

    This should be the winter for the Phillies to avoid signing a FA with a QO (and losing a second round draft pick [again]).

  12. MLBTR reports that it’s becoming more likely that the baseball season will begin without crowds.

    1. Whether the entire season is played sans fans or not, a 102 game season would allow for an enjoyable product. My proposal is to limit travel by only having divisional play (4 teams × 18 games [9 home, 9 away] subtotalling 72 games, plus interleague games vs the corresponding division, ie NL EAST vs AL EAST (5 teams × 6 games [3 home, 3 away]) subtotalling 30 games, with a total of 102 games. Naturally this would require rescheduling by MLB, all 3 game series, with 17 weeks of regular season schedule. If play began Monday June 1, even with a week’s break at some point, the regular season would be over by the end of September.

    2. I always sort of expected this to be the case. I think the same will happen in the NBA and the NHL.

      1. Whenever the NBA or NHL comes back, they should go directly into some sort of abbreviated playoffs. That shouldn’t be a problem playing in arenas. And they can take their time to come back. If they wanted to come back in August, they should be able to do it.

        1. Well, they can’t wait too long because the sport has to have an off season before it starts again – even if it’s just 30 days or so. You can’t have a championship and then play the first game of the regular season the next week.

          1. There will be no baseball in December. That’s beyond absurd. Mid-November at the latest for a World Series. If they can manage to play somewhere around 100 games, they will have a 2020 season.

            1. At some point before November MLB has to relax this dead period for no transactions……thought it would be once spring training resumes again.
              At that point the Phillies can sign JTR.

  13. Hinkie, I am hoping that whatever form this season takes, one of the results is Spencer Howard established as a Major League SP. Nola, Wheeler and Howard then form a really good top 3. Bohm shows he is a Major League 3B and the need to spend a draft pick on a QO FA is non existent. I don’t think that is too much of a fantasy to hope for? Are you fully recovered?

    1. Matt … I agree with you. I like the Nola/Wheeler/Howard trio as the future top half of the rotation going forward. I also believe the addition of Bryan Price ups the odds of better outcomes for (at least some of) Pivetta/Velasquez/Eflin/Suarez/Irvin/Medina/Romero.

      Also … I’m fully recovered. Thanks for asking.
      Here’s hoping for the best of health to you, and everyone else … especially Jim and those in Florida. It looks like that might end up being a real hot spot for COVID-19 (because of the lack of mandated social distancing).

  14. Travel for teams will be less difficult than it would be for the rest of us. They can just charter multiple planes and observe distancing protocols. There are ways for the leagues to play without fans that would be fairly safe. I would assume that, prior to starting training camps, players would need to be in something approximating a quarantine (so they are safe to resume practicing) and then they would need to keep that distancing going forward. Of course, it would also be very easy for this all to go haywire if one team has several players with the virus.

    1. Of course the govt can always have Novartis, Mylan, Bayer and Teva manufacturer a billion or so pills of chloroquine and put everyone on it.
      Kind of like the medicinal ‘sugar’ cubes for polio in the 50s

  15. I dont get the Siranthony stuff….dude has pitched like 80 innings with a mid 3 era out of the pen. Every team has 5 of these guys. Who cares about his TJ as it relates to the Phil’s. Like most teams, they are hoping for random lighting in a bottle in the pen…

    1. Do you actually see Seranthony’s stuff or just looking at his stats? I think the Phillies is partially to blame is the mismanagement of Seranthony’s injury.

      I’ve been following Seranthony since his low minors days. His stuff is very good. Seranthony is not the flame thrower who cannot control his pitches. Seranthony can do both — his main issue has been his health. When healthy – Seranthony is lights out! He’s not one of the fungible pen arms that you have in mind.

        1. When he was healthy in 2018, Ser-Ant’nu was throwing 97-99 and featured a power SL at 90-91. That season, opponents hit just .157 against him. IMO, he’s as dominant/important as any arm in the Phillies BP.

          1. I just didnt expect much from him this year. Easy to do it one time (2 years ago) maybe in 2022 when he returns he will be great. Guy throwing 97 out of the pen is good I guess. But when ur system has zero high end pitching talent I suppose middle relievers with “stuff” is all we have to get excited about.

            1. A young arm with Serantony’s stuff is something to be optimistic about regardless if the farm lacks power arms or not. People are excited about Seranthony because we’ve seen him as a dominant arm when 100% healthy. He’s no Roman Quinn, but I think that the Phillies could have a better job in managing his health. Maybe the Phillies should not be in denial and shut down Seranthony sooner than later, thus, not imploding his stats.

            2. I don’t blame the Phillies for how they handled Seranthony. They tried to give him rest and relied on advice from the best elbow surgeon around. Look, for all they’ve done wrong these last few years, they did a great job handling elbow problems with Nola and Velasquez without surgery. It’s not always going to go the way you want, but I think they tried to do the right thing, the right way – but every case, and every body is different – that’s not their fault.

            3. There are protocols that are used these days.
              First….unless it is a complete UCL tear, then it is PRP…..a small sample of your own blood is taken…. then it is centrifuged spinning at high speeds, in less than 15 minutes, separating the platelets from other components of the blood.. They are the concentrated platelet rich plasma (PRP) which are injected into and around the ligament injury, and away it goes as the body heals itself over 10/12 weeks. But it does not always work for everyone….did work however for Nola, VV, Tanaka , Zack Greinke……but Dylan Bundy , and Jonny Venters are recent examples of pitchers who have had injections during their rehabs, but in both cases, they ended up needing surgery.
              And then of course second is the TJ surgery

  16. Good to see a 3rd tier star veteran like Shin Soo Choo donate $1K to each minor league player in the Rangers organization. Sets a fine example that perhaps others will follow throughout MLB. That would go a long way to sustain a lot of these kids with hopes of keeping on the path of development and their uncertain futures. Maybe top dollar players will consider a similar gesture as a measure of good faith toward the next generation.

  17. Your points are fair. I suppose bullpen only arms dont excite me. I’d be excited if his stuff was coming out of the rotation. Pitching an inning or so 2 or 3 times a week, in the 7th inning, in mid june or whatever it is whatever to me. You got a team that’s legit I’ll be excited about bringing in a Chapman or Harder, maybe Sir Ant is that type….Its a joke that bullpen only arms are even considered real prospects. I glance over them in our MLB top 30 list as there value is tied up in actual everyday players being studs . They are icing on the cake

  18. Certainly, if you want to make the argument that Ser-Ant’ny has been fragile, or even when healthy, he hasn’t proven the ability to be effective on back-to-back nights … I’ll buy that.
    I’m just saying that other than Zack Wheeler and maybe Spencer Howard (fingers crossed), the Phillies have nobody with his 97-99 FB with plenty of life (I disagree that it is flat) and his power SL (91-92). Hopefully, he has successful TJ and returns with the same repertoire he showed in 2018.

  19. I dig it Hinkie. I do like his slider more than his fastball. His arm slot kind makes his fastball look like a rise ball in softball to an extent seems to always end up in belt region…imho…..anyway, I really hope Howard works out…let’s see if he can get AAA hitters out efficiently….he looks mid rotation to me at best but will see

  20. MLBTR is running a series on GMs trade history. Today, Klentak. Very unimpressive. To date, his best trade acquisition, value wise, may be Jay Bruce…unless JTR re-signs. A few good players he’s picked up – Howie Kendrick, Corey Dickerson and Brad Miller – are gone with nothing to show for their departure. Jean Segura needs to have a very good year to make that deal worthwhile. After 5 years, Klentak’s clock is loudly ticking.

    1. Klentak is smart in a very narrow, conventional sense, but he hasn’t shown a lot of creativity and most importantly, he has not proven to be a very shrewd judge of talent which can be most obviously shown by his inability to scout his own players. He gets credit for finding Morton and Kendrick and Dickerson and Miller, but loses that credit when the player is traded or allowed to go elsewhere. He made a few more interesting low-key moves this offseason – let’s see how those work out, but, sure, he’s on a much shorter string. Andy McPhail said that a GM gets one maybe two managerial hires. Klentak is on his second managerial hire (third manager) – unless he starts having consistent postseason success very soon, next time the ax will fall on him.

      1. I always said that Johnny A would go first (he did), the manager (it turned out to be Kapler) would go next and, after that, it’s the GM. FYI – as much as most of us don’t really like him too much (many seems to hate him), there’s nothing to suggest that Andy MacPhail is going anywhere, anytime soon. If he leaves, it’s as likely because he wants to retire not because he is being told to step down. MacPhail, I believe, is pretty well entrenched (again, I’m not endorsing that, just observing).

        1. I think you are correct…Andy M. will retire after this gig, which actualy could extend for another 2/3 years. He turns 67 real soon and has been in the game for 34 years. He may just do what others before him have been work for clubs, like Pat Gillick does now. Work when the feeling strikes.

  21. This sucks. The kid was just 30 YO.

    Stay safe out there.

    1. This is so scary – people have to realize how dangerous this ailment is for people of all age groups. Stay safe everyone – stay distant – save some lives!!!!

  22. There is not one damm reason the Coronavirus Cocktail for the Covid-19 virus isn’t being distributed right now. There are now 136 million doses in the U.S. Chloroquin (sp) has been around since 1945 for Malaria and it’s main negative side effect is a skin rash. The FDA needs to get off they’re ass and authorize it for off label applications. We don’t need 18-month clinical trials. Just accept we had a very good initial drug available to cure people now and keep working on better drugs for the future..

    1. The magic number to re-sign JT Realmuto is 7/$161M ($23M AAV). This would satisfy his aim at setting the total $$ and AAV marks for a C.

      Is it overpayment? Yes.
      Will the final 2-3 years see a decline?
      More than likely.
      Can the Phillies afford NOT to re-sign him? No.
      Will they eventually? Yes.

      Aside from seeking the most for himself and family, part of JTR’s mission is to set the bar for the Adley Rutschman’s of the new world.

      Matt Klentak’s mission is (1) to not make the Sixto trade an obfuscation, and (2) to avoid making himself and John Middleton the targets of fanbase contempt and hostility.

      1. I wouldn’t give JT Realmuto a contract that long. I find it interesting that the contract that everyone says is the comp for Realmuto’s contract is the Mauer contract which, frankly, was a disaster – a massive overpay. The Sixto trade is over, it’s sunk assets – you don’t save that trade by giving Realmuto a bad contract. I’d give him $25 or 26 million a year for 5 years with a very nice 6th option year at $23 million with a good buyout clause ($10-15 million).

    2. Hawkeye, the French doctor who treated the virus using hydrochloroquine and erythromycin z packs saw results in all his cases. Within 2 days there was very little of the virus remaining. But I have blisters on my fingers from refraining to post my views since this is a baseball site.

      1. Out of respect for Jim, I have pretty much kept my fingers to myself/away from the keyboard when it comes to the whole hydroxychloroquine debate. I’m no scientist so I’ll trust Dr. Fauci. According to him, there is no evidence (yet) to prove hydroxychloroquine works, or is even safe in the fight against COVID-19.

        Back to baseball … I’d be shocked if any team offers JT Realmuto a seven year contract. IMO, something like 5 years @ 115 million is more realistic.

        And my hope for MLB to finally allow teams to trade draft picks (especially for the soon to be loaded 2021 draft) is a no-go. As a matter of fact, the league has now even outlawed clubs from trading competitive balance picks for 2020 and 2021. Those selections used to be allowed to be dealt.

        1. Yep, Hinkie. That’s my last post on non-baseball topic other than to say, if only the true experts – doctors and biologists -were the ones to make the call. Jim has my respect as the proprietor of Phuture Phillies. It’s too easy to go on tangents so I regress.

          Here’s to a 2020 baseball season!

        2. 5 years, $115M is a very fair offer. If the Phillies offer 6 years, that 6th year has to have a buyout of say $10M. So at the minimum, he gets 5 years, $125M (including the buyout). If Realmuto beats the odds and plays well all 6 years, he can get say 6 years, $140M.

          1. Jim Salisbury was indicating he wants Mauer minimum or more AAV to do his part in keeping the union and the fellow rank and file comparably satisfied… I do think the Phillies will have no issues offering $24M AAV….the years are what I think they will negotiate with and be the issue.

          2. I’m right with you – above I recommended something almost identical. I think that would get it done – if not, offer him arbitration, get a pick, use the money elsewhere. It’s a lot of cash – you’re not going to do as badly as you think if you bypass that huge contract for a catcher.

      2. i hear ya’ and I promised Jim I would be good; so I’ll censure myself.. I heard yesterday now the summer college baseball leagues may be in doubt and I just threw up my hands..

  23. From Eric Longenhagen’s chat today …

    Cliff S
    22 days in a full quarantine. Glad to have some baseball to discuss. Who is your favorite under the radar prospect?
    Eric A Longenhagen
    Depends on you radar. Let me check my internal DB very quickly and see if a name I didn’t write up catches my eye….
    I’ll give you a few. I like Josh Tols from Philly. Soft-tossing reliever with a 70 curveball.
    Daniel Cope with the Rockies. Polished catcher from Fullerton, above-average arm and glove, doubles power.


    I’ve always been spellbound by Josh Tol’s CB. As a matter of fact, my wild prediction (on Phuture Phillies) before last season was that Tols would throw out of the Phillies BP at some point in 2019. That (obviously) didn’t happen, and with all the young LHRP’s on the way up through the system, he may never get the opportunity with the Phillies … but I still believe a MLB team will give him a shot some day.

      1. He does have a real loopy CB with plenty of spin action….reminiscent of another lefty a few years ago R. J. Swindle with his 55 mph CB…and built like Mike Zags.

  24. All the talk about contract money,needs to be put on hold.The amount in the total pot,I believe is going to be significantly lower.

    1. That is quite possibly true. J.T. Realmuto easily could have blown his best opportunity and since he’s a catcher, every season counts in a big way. People don’t sign 31 year-old catchers to big, long-term contracts (big AAV yes for a few years, long-term, no way) so it’s not like a “pillow contract” next year (after which, he would be going into his age 31 season) is going to restore his market value – either he signs with the Phillies or he hits a very uncertain free market next winter. Frankly, I suspect that, one way or another, he is likely to come back here.

      1. When I say “blown” I am not implying it’s his fault – nobody could have predicted any of this – but nonetheless the market value for free agents may significantly decline this coming offseason.

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