Open Discussion: Week of May 25th

Happy Memorial Day!  I hope everyone continues to be well.  This is week eleven of my self-imposed quarantine.  I began “shelter-in-place” on Friday, March 13th.  Since then I have ventured out thrice.  Once to visit the local market, and twice to pick up prescriptions.  On all three occasions, I drove past the Carpenter Complex, stopping twice to talk to the security guard while maintaining proper social distancing.

I have grown less concerned about the impending announcement that baseball will begin, and more concerned with the resulting, expected spike in COVID-19 related deaths as all try to return to business as usual.  I hope that the rumors I’ve heard are true (and Jim Salisbury also reported last week), and baseball restarts Spring Training 2 in the home cities of each team.  I would hate to see the Phillies, Blue Jays, and Yankees return to the the Clearwater area for their short spring training.

I’m not too surprised that public sentiment seems to be mounting against the players.  After all, that’s why the owners have been negotiating through the media.  Both sides have looked/will look bad arguing over money when so many are struggling during the pandemic.  But, I have to side with the players.

Yes, players are well compensated for playing a game.  But, their lack of control over the early years and the back end of their individual careers leaves them maybe one shot at an equitable contract.  It’s not right for baseball fans to expect the players to give back what they have earned while suffering through their lean contract years.  The players are the reason fans go to the games.  Without the players, there would be no games.

Players don’t have the ability to recoup lost wages.  Owners can, have, and will make up any losses they incur this year.  Players, fans, advertisers, employees among others will make up for the owners’ perceived losses.

Other observations and guesses –

The minor league season won’t be cancelled until after MLB and the MLBPA are close to or have reached an agreement. (Bad news after good news)

Baseball purist.  A baseball fan who is too young to realize all the changes that have been made to baseball since it’s “invention” (as well as in the past 100 years).  Also, a baseball fan who doesn’t like the designated hitter or any other change that might expand the game’s appeal to other (read younger) fans.

Side bar on the DH.  Almost all the young pitchers I have spoken to at the Complex are in favor of the designated hitter.  When I was young and playing pony league ball for Crispin Gardens Boys Club (in NE Philly) up through high school, the all-around best player on the team was always the pitcher.  Nowadays, pitchers might not have batted since little league.  Certainly, if they weren’t also a position player, they haven’t batted since before high school.

Minor league double headers are 7-innings each when scheduled as part of a make up.  The first game is only nine innings if it has already started and is being restarted at the point it was stopped.  It has to be nine innings since it started as a 9-inning game.  But a rain out that is re-scheduled will cause both the regularly scheduled game and the make up game to be seven innings.

I’m sure that the players on the extended roster will be in the team’s home city.  I don’t expect the extra guys to be in Clearwater.  Since there will be some fluidity between the active roster and the extra players, it makes more sense for the Phillies to have them available in Philadelphia.  I wouldn’t be surprised if at least some of them accompanied the team on road trips.

Side bar on social distancing at the ball park.  The only guys in the dugout should be the ten players active in the game (9 batters and a pitcher), a manager, and a coach.  The manager and the coach can be the base coaches.  The coach should be the hitting coach.  The rest of the bench players can watch from the club house.  The trainer can be stationed close to the dugout, in the tunnel, to enter the field if needed.  Players can act as their own bat boys just like any amateur baseball/softball players.  Umpires can carry extra balls to be used as needed.  Four umpires should be able to carry more than a couple dozen balls.  The bullpens can be reduced to one coach (the pitching coach?), 2 catchers, and a few pitchers as needed.  Until strategies change, you don’t need your closer and set up man there during the first few innings.  (Okay, this is tongue in cheek)

An expanded roster is not likely to create situational hitters.  If an opposing manager brings in a same-handed pitcher to face a batter (say, a LHP to face Bryce Harper), the manager’s response isn’t going to be to pinch hit for the batter (Harper in this case).  And, since it is likely that the batter is going to have some bats behind him (say a Realmuto or a Hoskins in Harper’s case), he is unlikely to have a better righty-lefty matchup on the bench.

When the discussion turned to expansion, my first thought was Charlotte.  I can see Las Vegas, but am concerned that they may have difficulty with 81 home dates, mostly at night, with all the other entertainment options available.  As for Montreal, they already had a failed franchise.  What’s going to be different this time?

Regarding expansion, MLBTR is running a series where they are speculating who teams will protect.  They haven’t gotten to the Phillies yet.  So, which 15 players would you protect from the 40-man roster as it stands today?  Think about it.  I’ll run a column tomorrow with the rules for your opinions.

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

Key Dates:

  • May 26, 2020 – Owners present latest proposal to players
  • June 10-11, 2020 – Amateur Draft
  • June 14, 2020 – Beginning of signing non-drafted players
  • July 2, 2020  – January 15, 2021 – Start of the international signing period

The rosters and lists are up to date as of May 25th … 377 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)
  • 5/15/2020 – OF Felix Reyes assigned to DSL White
  • 5/15/2020 – RHP Edgar Zuniga assigned to DSL White
  • 5/15/2020 – SS Erick Barria assigned to DSL White
  • 5/15/2020 – DSL Red released LHP Jose Palacio released (2/18/20)
  • 5/15/2020 – DSL White released INF Victor Alfonso (2/17/20)
  • 5/15/2020 – DSL White released RHP Norman Anciani (2/18/20)
  • 5/15/2020 – DSL White released RHP Fausto Pediet (2/18/20)
  • 5/15/2020 – DSL White released RHP Luis Vegas (2/18/20)
  • 5/07/2020 – RHP Jason Lott assigned to GCL Phillies East

75 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of May 25th

  1. The absolute last thing baseball needs is expansion. Now contraction, that’s another story.
    Too many .200 hitters and not enough sub 4.00 ERA pitchers already. Game is more than sufficiently diluted of talent today.

  2. I also don’t think expansion should be a consideration.

    Also, with all this time to ponder, I now agree with Minor League contraction. Maybe we can decide who will be successful in MLB if best hitters are batting against the best pitchers and vice versa in the minors.
    One or two MLB prospects on each team cannot give best picture of future success.

  3. Unfortunately, expansion will have little to nothing to do with equitability/dilusion of talent and everything to do with money in profitable markets…be it right, wrong or indifferent.

    And Happy Memorial Day to all, and many thanks to all who have served our still embattled country through the years in making the ultimate sacrifice for our collective freedom.

  4. 15 Protected-Expansion,…..assuming after Nov 2020:
    Pitchers:
    -Zack Wheeler
    -Aaron Nola
    -Zach Eflin
    -Nick Pivetta
    -Vince Velasquez
    -Connor Seabold..Rule 5 elig- 2020
    -Damon Jones…Rule 5 elig -2020
    -Spencer Howard-Rule 5 elig-2020
    Position Players:
    -J.T. Realmuto..if signed to a LTC
    -Rhys Hoskins
    -Scott Kingery
    -Adam Haseley
    -Bryce Harper
    -Andrew McCutchen
    -Mickey Moniak-Rule 5 elig-2020

    On the bubble:
    Adonis Medina…( Seabold or Jones)

    1. My protected 15:
      PITCHERS
      (Seranthony Dominguez would probably be high risk for a team to claim)
      Zach Eflin
      Zack Wheeler
      Aaron Nola
      Spencer Howard
      Damon Jones
      Connor Seabold

      POSITION PLAYERS
      JT Realmuto
      Rafael Marchan (*I believe he’s ’20 rule 5 eligible?)
      Rhys Hoskins
      Jean Segura
      Scott Kingery
      Bryce Harper
      Alec Bohm (rule 5 or not, he’ll likely be on the major league roster in ’20)
      Adam Haseley
      Andrew McCutchen
      (Roman Quinn would be on the bubble, depending largely on how productive/healthy he is in ’20)
      *Mickey Moniak would normally be a consideration, yes, but how would his development in 2020 be evaluated by other teams if there’s little or no formal playing time for prospects in his situation…??

      1. I forgot about Bohm playing this year…even in a short season.
        So he definitely gets added.
        Not sure Jean Segura and his salary will get selected by an expansion team.
        This Nov 2020..Muzziotti, Morales and Gowdy are also eligible for the Rule 5 draft. though Marchan is another who could be protected….he already has been exposed last Dec to the Rule 5.
        .

    2. Segura has no trade protection. Gotta protect him. I just posted the article for expansion draft discussion. I spent most of the day preparing it and just completed it.

  5. Baseball cannot handle expansion right now. Not when the popularity of the sport is pretty much at an all time low.

    Now if the Tampa Rays want to relocate, I think Montreal is an obvious choice. Here are the pros and cons:

    Pros:
    Montreal has the population to support a team
    The sentiment to bring back baseball has never been higher
    There will be an an ownership group to bring back the Expos (not better than majority owner but better than nothing)
    A site has been selected to build a stadium

    Cons:
    No public money
    The site of the new stadium is south of the downtown core, which is problematic due to transportation (an issue with the Olympic Stadium was that it was far from the downtown core)
    An open air stadium is the design which is cheaper but will have issues with weather (note that Toronto’s Rogers Centre has a dome)
    The exchange rate issue (paying players in USD)
    Montrealers are a well known band wagon bunch (what will the attendance be if the team plays poorly)

  6. Great, great story about Dickie Noles – perhaps no greater story in Phillies history – detailed by Matt Breen in today’s Inquirer.

  7. The 15 have to have the most value. Segura and Cutch have only one year after this year plus JT will likely play out his contract now to free agency so they don’t have high value. Hoskins, Kingery, Bohm, Harper, Haseley, Wheeler, Nola, Howard, Eflin, Vinnie, Pivetta are 11. The next 4 will come from a group of Jones, Siebold, Quinn, Moniak, Marchan, and a few more of the relief arms

    1. Segura has no trade protection. Gotta protect him. He is also under contract thru 2022 with an option for 2023.

      I just posted the article for expansion draft discussion. I spent most of the day preparing it and just completed it.

      1. I would think the Phillies might consider exposing Segura. He is arguably not worth the salary he is being paid and they may want to extend Gregorius past this year and I don’t see them keep both players long term. I don’t hate Segura – he’s okay and I’m pretty sure he’s better than what we saw last year. But he’s being paid decent money. Under the circumstances, I don’t see how losing him would be a big deal.

          1. Oh, I thought folks were saying the opposite – that he did not have a no-trade clause. It’s interesting to wonder whether the no-trade clause would cover a situation where he was left exposed in an expansion draft. It probably would but it would all depend on how the clause was drafted. Thanks.

            1. He still could waive his rights. It will be his decision.
              He may feel a better opportunity awaits with a new team in a new city, who knows.

            2. Yeah, I guess you never know, but you’d think he would prefer not to be on an expansion team if he had a choice in the matter.

  8. When it comes to draft info, I find Kiley McDaniel and Keith Law to be two of the more clued in (I also trust Callis and Mayo) sources of info. McDaniel (now with ESPN) released his mock 2.0 today.

    Surprise! He has the Phillies taking local prep arm Nick Bitsko. Bitsko plays HS ball at Central Bucks East. He won’t turn 18 until July. McDaniel claims Bitsko is “the hottest name in the industry”. Most teams really like Bitsko (especially the Phillies, Padres, Orioles, and DBacks), but they haven’t been able to gathered enough scouting info on him because he was originally a 2021 prospect who reclassified to the 2020 draft last winter, and didn’t get to throw at all this spring because of the pandemic.
    Bitsko just released some instagram videos with some Rapsodo data over footage of a bullpen session. You can see Bitsko’s BP videos by clicking on Jonathan Mayo’s tweet below.

    1. Forgot to mention McDaniel also says Bitsko may have the highest upside in the draft other than the three top college players (Torkelson, Martin, and Lacy).

  9. Yikes, I saw some of the proposed player salary reductions and they are massive. So instead of making $10M, Realmuto would make around $3M? And instead of making $27.5M, Harper would make around $6M? This is brutal for the players.

    1. Brutal? I get your point, but let’s not overdo it. The players would be playing half the season, in front of no crowds. They’ll survive one year.

      1. The players should get their prorated salaries. Owners want them to take further deductions.

        * Players have a limited amount of years to earn money
        * Owners won’t open their books
        * Most importantly … players are the ones risking their (and their families) health (maybe even their lives) to help make the owners money this summer

        IMO … it’s the owners who will more easily survive not making the ridiculous amounts of money they normally take in for this one season.

      2. This is a labor dispute between owners and workers. The fact that fans want baseball at any cost should strengthen the players position. But, because fans like you want baseball at any cost, the owners are poisoning public opinion against the players.

        Now, the owners are trying to drive a wedge between the big salaried players and the lower salaried players.

        Just because the salaries are larger in sports doesn’t mean that labor should concede to the owners. As Hinkie points out the players have a limited career window to earn. That window has already been artificially shortened during the beginning years of their careers. Some have already paid their dues to get the contracts they have now.

        Unlike the players, the owners can and will recoup their losses in future seasons.

        And, players shouldn’t have to “survive one year”. Let the owners “survive one year”. That’s the risk that comes with being an owner.

        1. “baseball at any cost”? No, Jim. Sorry. I’m not taking sides in a pi$$ing contest between billionaires and millionaires. People want their lives back. Somebody is peeing on our shoes and telling us it’s raining. I’m siding with the millions upon millions of people who are unemployed. Ban me if you have to. I’m sick of the fear mongering and unnecessary bureaucracy that has plagued our country and hog tied our freedom.

          1. 8mark … I’ve enjoyed talking Philles/baseball, in general with you over the years … but … what are you even talking about when you say, “I’m sick of the fear mongering and unnecessary bureaucracy that has plagued our country and hog tied our freedom.” ???
            Are you talking about COVID-19? Fear mongering? Please don’t tell me you think 100-thousand people losing their lives (usually alone in a hospital) is a “hoax” or has been blown out of proportion.

            Back to baseball … how does any of that make the players the bad guys for holding their ground on salaries?

            1. Hinkie, 100 thousand deaths under any circumstances is tragic. So also is the escalating suicide rates, domestic issues, malnutrition and mental illness which are the collateral damage due to the pandemic, not to mention the economic fallout from closed businesses with little hope of reopening, along with livelihoods of countless more. Neither are those statistics a hoax.

              As for baseball, I am NOT making the players the “bad guys”. I was responding specifically to the reference by Guru above to how this is brutal for the players. I realize it’s all labor negotiating through the media. Shame on ownership for those tactics.

            2. Out of respect for Jim, I won’t get into a political debate with you … other than to say … maybe if the COVID-19 virus was taken more seriously early on by our leaders (I’m talking both the president and democratic governors Cuomo and Murphy [although the latter two at least eventually responded reasonably], the economy (and “escalating suicide rates, domestic issues, malnutrition and mental illness” as you mentioned) wouldn’t be in the shape it is in today. And maybe a greater portion of the baseball season could have been played (and certainly more safely).
              You were one of the posters on here downplaying the virus a couple of months ago so your current views aren’t really surprising. But … certainly I respect your right to those opinions.

              And … back to baseball again …

              Romus … one of your favorite draft prospects is on twitter throwing really, really hard.

            3. @8mark, the players have worked hard to get their salaries to where they are now. To ask employees to take the hit and ownership not to open their books is crap. Will the value of the baseball teams fall much during this time. Not really. Will the owners make up their losses in the future? Very easily: raising prices on tickets/food/parking/etc., going cheap with arbitration, not signing high priced FAs.

              Wait until you see what goes down in free agency for 2021.

            4. Hinkie, you and I – baseball lovers both – are clearly from separate ideologies. We could play the blame game all day. Unfortunately, separating politics from baseball or most things for that matter, is like picking fly crap out of pepper. I also understand that I’m in the minority on this site. Further dialogue would be fruitless for anyone, I suppose. So, I’ll just wish everyone the best.

          2. This is not millionaires v. billionaires. It is labor v. management. And people should get their lives back. But, baseball players shouldn’t be expected to sacrifice so that fans can watch baseball.

  10. Well, the owners saw the NFL owners due something similar and it worked and I think, after some tweaking (this isn’t the last offer I would suspect), this will probably work too. If not, oh well, no 2020 baseball season. Not that big of a deal – I’m already used to there being no baseball this year.

    In the battle between the owners and the players, I more side with the players, but I shed no tear for either side. They are virtually all well compensated and will take a temporary hit. I am sad for workers who owe their livelihoods to major or minor league baseball and I’m sad for the minor league players who generally barely make any money as it is. That’s who you should feel sad about – not warring millionaires and billionaires.

    1. Touche.
      FWIW…Middleton had decided to pay his employees thru May
      He had informed them that there would be no change to any full-time worker’s employment status through the month of May. No layoffs. No pay cuts.
      So the owners do have responsibilities to other people and employees in their organizations….more than just the guys on the diamond and grass..

        1. The A’s are thinly capitalized (they always have been) and are probably looking at every cost-cutting measure available given their inability to absorb huge losses. The Angels are just jerks.

          1. This is where the players, led by their agents, ie Borsa/Wasserman et al….should have formed a coalition of sorts ……and set up a fund thru their own contributions and fund raising efforts, for the employees of the teams to avoid layoffs and furloughs. Certain players helped personally….Trout, harper and a few more.
            But if they did this last month it could have gone a long way in the ‘court of public opinion’

  11. One of the critical issues for the N.E. and getting sports started back-up is the psychological effect COVID-19 has had on people due to all the deaths… I agree it would be a huge morale boost but initially people will be very tentative and for good reason. Nearly 35% of all U.S. COVID-19 deaths come from New York and New Jersey.. Cuomo and Murphy’s decisions on COVID-19 and nursing homes is a future topic for them and their maker. In the meantime, I’m still surprised that the Phillies are very open to ST-2 in Philadelphia. I thought Governor Wolf still had much of the state closed down? We’ll see.

    1. Hawkeye – you sound like a changed man!

      Anyway, it is scary, but I think the players much prefer going back and forth to ST in South Philly. If they only go between the ballpark to home, they can probably be just as safe as they would be in South Florida if reasonable precautions are taken.

    2. PA counties still under strict coronavirus restrictions — including hard-hit Philadelphia, its suburbs, and the Lehigh Valley — will move to the “yellow” reopening phase on Friday June 5th…so the Phillies could start monitored work-outs at the Bank that weekend.

  12. Contrary to my misconstrued comments above, and as a “fan who wants baseball at all costs”, I actually agree with the players in that their guaranteed contracts, prorated to the number of games played, should be honored by the owners. A player’s contract shouldn’t be based on the club’s (or MLB’s) revenue but rather his performance and market value relative to what happens on the field, which affects the team’s local attendance. If the owners determine the season isn’t worth playing, the bag 2020, by all means. But holding the revenue losses over the players’ heads is neither fair or legal, I believe, if such an issue was brought to court.

  13. Here’s Eric Longenhagen’s first mock draft.

    He says the Phillies are “casting a wide net”. He specifically mentions prepsters Nick Bitsko (Kiley McDaniel mocked him to the Phils yesterday) and Tyler Soderstrom and college arms who Klentak/Barber/Girardi could plug into their BP this summer (during the shortened season) and then groom as starting pitchers beginning next spring. Longenhagen lists Garrett Crochet (I posted video of him above) and Clayton Beeter as candidates with two plus pitches who could miss MLB bats right now. He has Crochet taken one spot ahead of the Phillies, and mocks Beeter to the Phils.

    Beeter is a guy I had been thinking a lot about lately. The stocky (6’2″, 220 lb) RHP missed the 2018 season with TJ. He served as Texas Tech’s closer in 2019. This season, he made four starts and totaled 21 IP, 13 H, 4 BB, 33 K. There’s a lot of tread left on the 21 YO RHP’s tire (only 41.2 IP in college). Most importantly, Beeter comes armed with a 94-97 MPH FB and one of the most devastating breaking balls (knuckle curve) in the entire draft.

    1. Hah:
      Clay Beeter =.Joe Blanton.2
      His scouting report is clsoe to big Joes as a Volunteer:
      .”….Blanton relied mostly on his FB in college, and it’s a good one, … 96 mph, ….the pitch has movement to go with velocity, and he is adept at working either corner of the plate with it. Blanton’s curve was decent in college, and he’s improved it as a pro. It is now a big-time strikeout pitch….”
      They are even built the same .

      1. Romus … that’s a great physical comparison. I hadn’t given that a thought.

        I’ve been imagining the Phillies drafting a handful of guys. Despite, Kiley McDaniel and Eric Longenhagen’s reporting that the club has serious interest in Nick Bitsko, It’s hard for me to see Matt Klentak shedding his skin and using a first round pick on a prep arm (especially in a draft loaded with so much high end college pitching, and while in the last year of his contract). I’m not saying I would be upset with the team taking a flier on a sky high 17 YO arm like Bitsko. I’d just be very surprised.

        The guy I have grown a lot of love for is Duke RHP Bryce Jarvis. Brian Barber was part of the NYY’s FO who drafted (and failed to sign) Jarvis last June. He spent the offseason working to get stronger, added about 15 pounds of good weight, and now features four above avg to plus pitches that he commands very well. He’s already 22 YO. He should be a fast mover, and will almost certainly come with a large slot bonus discount.

  14. Because there are only 5 rounds this year, any team that lost a draft pick due to a QO signing, should get no more than 1 back if they signed multiple players.

    Currently enjoying a KBO game on ESPN2.

    1. Braves signed two QOs…Will Smith and Marcel Ozuna…so they gave up their second-highest draft pick (their second-rounder) and $500K of international bonus money for Smith. In landing Ozuna, the Braves then had to also forfeit their third-round pick (their third-highest selection) and another $500K from their international bonus pool.

      1. The Yankees are also down two draft picks (a second and a fifth). They lost both of those picks for being over the salary cap in 2019 and signing one FA with a QO (Gerrit Cole). They also were docked 1 million bucks in J2 money.

      2. Or maybe return all picks.
        With such a short draft, there needs to be some compromise

  15. As for any college pitcher getting plugged into a MLB rotation/bullpen this year, I don’t see it… This years college arms are very good. Yet MLB rotation ready? Casey Mize was the best college pitcher I’ve seen in a long time… He was scheduled to make his pro debut this year after being drafted in 2018. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen under some weird extreme scenario. I believe the Royals in 14′ used a college WS reliver for the MLB WS.

    My guess the Phillies go for a bat in the draft with their first round pick. One thing I do believe will make for a fun conversation is all the college and high school kids not drafted this year…

    1. Using a pitcher in a playoff race the summer/fall they are drafted is uncommon, but Eric Longenhagen isn’t the only one reporting it as a possibility.

      .

      The CBS Sports story lists the Phillies as one of a handful teams it could work for:

      “One idea floated to CBS Sports by league insiders entails certain teams using their highly drafted pitchers in big-league contests this season, before they’ve had the chance to pitch in the minor leagues. The thinking goes like this: every team will have concerns about their pitching depth. The pitchers in question, meanwhile, will have shouldered lighter workloads than normal during the spring and will have no opportunity to report to the minors. That combination could tempt a team to entertain an unusual approach for an unusual season.

      To be clear, this play would be possible for only select teams: those who have playoff ambitions, yet who are drafting early enough to select a polished collegiate pitcher.

      It would be reasonable to say there are about five teams who could pull it off, and about four college pitchers who seem like realistic candidates to be hot-shotted to the majors. Those teams are the Los Angeles Angels (10th pick), Chicago White Sox (11), Cincinnati Reds (12), Philadelphia Phillies (15), and Chicago Cubs (16).”

      1. I feel this is highly unlikely. Yes there will be expanded rosters and flexibility. But on the other hand, even the most highly polished college prospects have not been playing the last 2 1/2 months. A college player without that consistent experience is probably not going to have their team wanting to start their service time clock to make a major league debut with zero minor league experience and no Junior season in college.

  16. .

    Jim Callis has published another mock draft. He has the Phillies using pick 1-15 on UCLA CFer Garrett Mitchell. He also says the Phillies are connected to the top three prep pitchers up for grabs next month: Nick Bitsko, Mick Abel, and Jarred Kelley.

    1. Hinkie:
      I suppose the logical question would be….who haven’t the Phillies been mocked to from the many experts.
      From my estimation there have been maybe a dozen different players that Matt K will go to with that first selection..

      1. Romus … add another name to the list. Keith Law just mocked Pete Crow-Armstrong to the Phillies. He’s a prep OFer (who I don’t see the Phillies taking) from California. He might be most known for having parents who are actors (starred on the TV show “Heroes”). He also has a HS teammate (Drew Bowser … a 6’4″ SS/3B who reminds me a little of Alec Bohm) who will probably be drafted after round one. .

        1. Oy vey!
          Just 12 more days….maybe 12 more different mocks with 12 more names.

          Maybe JIm will do a readers’ poll and have us submit our one and only selection for 1.15.

  17. In response to the owners’ proposal which was expected to be rejected by the MLBPA, the players are pushing for a longer schedule, perhaps as many as 110 games. I had projected that a 108 game regular season schedule would come about. The players won’t budge from prorated money, which in my opinion is reasonable, especially if the owners’ books aren’t open for public record. This may or may not have been the owners’ plan ultimately if they can recoup more TV money in the process. Just a thought…

    1. 8mark:
      Have you considered?
      Each team is probably an entity onto themselves, say their own company,
      or franchisee.
      So there may be 30 franchisees in this business field.
      All under a central organization….MLB…but each are autonomous in their business operations.
      But , like a franchisee, they must follow specific rules of the MLB for governance
      Now John Middleton is the managing partner of the Phillies franchise.
      Under his direction there are approx. over 300 FTEs…that is people who are on the payroll, with benefits, who perform at their skill or may be terminated if they do not.

      Now the baseball players…are they franchise/company employees…or are they contractors to that company?
      They each sign their own individual contract for a specific time frame to perform.
      They are unionized however their benefits do not come from the team, per se, but MLB via a bargaining agreement with their union.
      So ….in what realm does a team need to show their financial books to contractors?
      Do you know of any company that hires contractors and are required to open their books to those contractors?

      1. In baseball, all other sports, and all facets of the entertainment industry, the contractors are the reason people pay to watch them perform. No one pays to watch contractors build houses, hotels, arenas, or infrastructure of any kind. I don’t know if this addresses your question, but it emphasizes a major difference among types of contractors.

        1. yes I can understand the reason why people enjoy entertainment. I purchase my tixs to see Harper and the gang perform…..but I am considerate of the hundreds of people that give them the platform and opportunity to perform
          But it does not address what my point is.
          That is…baseball does not have to open their books to the public.
          .
          I see no reason why the Phillies , or for that matter any baseball team or even MLB has to open their books up to the public.
          They already abide by the IRS codes and pay their share of the tax revenue.
          Maybe some feel they do not pay enough under the guise of the 1922 ruling . 259 U.S. 200 which the SCOTUS ruled that the Sherman Antitrust Act did not apply to MLB, but still has there been a lot of chatter or discussion to ever seriously challenged that ruling , now that it has been over 97 years. Probably not.
          But getting back to what I initially wanted to address.
          If there were any discrepancies with a team’s accounting methods it would be addressed by the govt.in audits.
          And since the govt has no issue with teams or MLB having the need to open their books up for public scrutiny….then why does the MLBPA?

          1. “So ….in what realm does a team need to show their financial books to contractors?
            Do you know of any company that hires contractors and are required to open their books to those contractors?”

            I thought your point was that the players are contractors and that no business opens their books to contractors.

            1. Now, I obviously disagree that the players fall under the label contractor.

              Owners claim that they are losing money. We’ve heard anywhere from 30-70%. If that is the case, they should open their books to the MLBPA with whom they are negotiating. Opening their books to the public isn’t necessary during these negotiations even though MLB has been conducting them in the media for a couple months.

              However, I do think the public has a right to see the books whenever a team goes to a local or state government and wants the public to fund a stadium and/or provide tax breaks. But that opinion would fall outside this discussion.

            2. MLBPA uses this argument (open your books) as a talking point every CBA…..BUT…they do not challenge it in the judicial system…..just ask yourself why not?
              Maybe because they have no legal recourse.
              In America, free enterprise exists for a reason….and MLB, as an entity, hires and provides a service, be it entertainment….and it is done also for profit.
              And one by-product of profits is job creation..be it the FTEs in the org who keep the org in a ‘living and thriving capacity’ and then there are the ballplayers, who contract out their services, on an individual basis, to the teams.
              There is separate monies allocated to the contracted ballplayers…under the Luxury Tax Threshold…..and the team has other monies targeted for their FTEs
              Finally, the players provide the entertainment in order to generate the revenue for the org.

              Now when it comes to new ballpark construction …the teams petition the local govt for amenities towards that end.. …the local officials do put it out to a vote to the public.
              As is the case in Oakland and even in your area in Tampa.
              If the vote is a nay….the team can move to another receptive location.
              If the vote is yes…..then the team stays……but if there is no clause in the negotiation for the team to ‘open their books for review then they are not required to do so.

  18. I’m not sure “Black Thursday”
    Is appropriate but one hell of a lot of minor leaguers were cut today and estimates is a 1,000 will be cut before it’s done. Any news on who the Phillies have cut?

    1. ‘Team officials said a vast majority of the players likely would have been released toward the end of spring training even if baseball hadn’t been halted by the coronavirus pandemic, according to sources’

    2. If teams are cutting minor leaguers, I’m not surprised. In general, teams have a small list of top prospects, and a short list of players that may reach the bigs. I’m guessing those 2 lists combined are about 50 players and I’m being very generous. Every other player outside of those 2 lists are more or less filler and are replaceable.

  19. Much respect to David Price for giving $1K to every Dodgers minor leaguer. He can afford to do it, but he didn’t have to.

  20. With Scott Boras now taking up the fight…thru the media also, things can get more dicey:

    “Remember, games cannot be played without you,” Boras wrote in the email, which the AP obtained. “Players should not agree to further pay cuts to bail out the owners. Let owners take some of their record revenues and profits from the past several years and pay you the prorated salaries you agreed to accept or let them borrow against the asset values they created from the use of those profits players generated.”
    Boras urged his clients to “please share this concept with your teammates and fellow players when MLB requests further concessions or deferral of salaries.”

  21. I’ve seen a few articles speculating on teams 30-man roster and then what a 20 man taxi squad will look like… Anyone seen one done yet for the Phillies?

    1. I predict Phils will select Jarvis or someone they can save a little money on to use for later picks also unless a bunch of teams do the same and one of top pitchers/hitters fall into their lap.

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