Open Discussion: Week of October 12th

MLB completed their scuttling of the Minor Leagues when they transferred the minor league offices to MLB headquarters in New York City.

The Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) between the two entities expired on September 30th.  The move effectively makes the minor leagues a branch of MLB.  They are already referring to minor league teams as “licensed affiliates”.

Nice not being restricted by antitrust laws.

The move probably put people in the St. Petersburg office of the MiLB out of work.

It’s not all sunshine and roses for MLB, however.  The Supreme Court ruled against MLB and granted class action status to minor league players in their law suit against MLB for violating minimum wage laws.  The suit could become costly for MLB as the original 29 plaintiffs can now be joined by every player who has been in the minors since February 7, 2009.

Instructs started last Sunday.  I went over to the Complex a couple times.  Can’t really see anything.  Scrimmages are starting today (or yesterday).  I expect they’ll be held inside Spectrum Field.  No admittance.  Thinking about camping out at the gate with a ladder, bullhorn, and drum.  Pandemic Krew South.  Roster discussion here.

Instructs approved for Dominican sites.

The 2019 International Signing Period closes on Thursday, October 15th.

The qualifying offer was set at $18.9 million.  Everyone expects that the Phillies will extend a QO to Realmuto.  It would represent a big increase over his 2020 $10M salary, but he’ll declins and test free agency.

A lot of people think the Phillies should also extend  QO to Didi Gregorious.  It would be an increase over his 2020 salary of $14M.  Going into his age 31 season, this is likely his last shot at a multi-year contract.  It’s tough to gauge the types offers he’ll get coming off a season where all teams lost tens of millions of dollars.  Maybe he takes a QO and tries free agency again next year when the market is healthier.

None of the other free agents is likely to be offered a QO.  Maybe in some alternate universe, a Phillies team could see its way to offering a QO to Jake Arrieta.  A QO would be cheaper than his 2020 $20M salary and $6M below his 3-year AAV from 2018 thru 2020.  He’d likely accept and given the state of the Phillies rotation, maybe that’s a hedge against finding a cheaper and better solution in free agency.  Not likely.  If they wanted to sign him they could probably get him for less as a free agent.

Adam Morgan (flexor tendon surgery) and Rhys Hoskins (Tommy John Surgery) were reported to have had surgery in the past week.  Morgan’s is on his throwing arm, Hoskins’ is on his non-throwing arm.  They join Seranthony Dominguez, who finally had Tommy John Surgery on July 30th, as players who had surgery for arm problems.  Minor leaguer, Nicoly Pina (mid-to-upper 90s FB) also had surgery on his throwing arm this summer.

Only one recent transaction, a DSL player was released.  I also found a transaction from June that assigned Casey Martin to one of the GCL teams.

I’ll be posting the results of the Pitchers’ Poll, as well as the Phillies’ Roster and Rule 5 Information this week.

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

Key Dates:

  • September 30, 2020 – Expiration of the Professional Baseball Agreement between MLB and MiLB
  • October 15, 2020, 5:00 PM EDT – Close of the 2019 international signing period
  • October 25-29, 2020 – Trading resumes, day after the World Series ends
  • October 30 – November 3, 2020, five days after the conclusion of the World Series – Deadline for teams to make qualifying offers to their eligible former players who became free agents
  • November 8-13, 2020, fifteen days after the conclusion of the World Series – Deadline for free agents to accept qualifying offers
  • November TBA – GM Meetings (Nov. 11-14, Scottsdale, AZ in 2019)
  • November TBA – Owners meetings (Nov. 19-21, Arlington, TX in 2019)
  • November 20, 2020 – Rosters set for Rule 5 Draft
  • November TBA – MLBPA executive board meeting (Nov. 26-29 in Irving, TX in 2018)
  • December 2, 2019 – Last day for teams to offer 2021 contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters
  • December 6-10, 2020 – Winter Meetings in Dallas, Texas, at the Omni Dallas Hotel and Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, held in conjunction with the Baseball Trade Show and PBEO Job Fair.
  • December 10, 2020 – Rule 5 Draft
  • January TBA – Rookie Career Development Program
  • January 15, 2021, 9:00 AM EST – Start of the 2020 international signing period

The rosters and lists are up to date as of September 20th … 335 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)

10/06/2020 – DSL Phillies Red released RHP Jhostyn Marin
6/26/2020 – SS Casey Martin assigned to GCL Phillies East
10/01/2020 – 3B Luke Williams assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – 2B Ronald Torreyes assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – LHP Jeff Singer assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – RHP Reggie McClain assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – RHP JD Hammer assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – RHP Deolis Guerra assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – RHP Enyel De Los Santos assigned to Lehigh Valley from Training Site
10/01/2020 – CF Mikie Mahtook assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – LF Nick Martini assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – C Jonathan Lucroy assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – SS Nick Maton assigned to Reading from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – RHP Joel Cesar assigned to Reading
10/01/2020 – LHP Damon Jones assigned to Reading from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – C Henri Lartigue assigned to Reading from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – 1B Austin Listi assigned to Reading from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – SS Bryson Stott assigned to Clearwater from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – C Logan O’Hoppe assigned to Lakewood from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – SS Raibently Mercalina assigned to DSL Red
9/28/2020 – Phillies activated 1B Rhys Hoskins from the 10-day IL
9/28/2020 – Phillies recalled LHP Cole Irvin from Alternate Training Site
9/28/2020 – Phillies recalled LHP Cristopher Sanchez from Alternate Training Site
9/28/2020 – Phillies recalled RHP Ramon Rosso from Alternate Training Site
9/28/2020 – Phillies recalled RHP Victor Arano from Alternate Training Site
9/28/2020 – Phillies recalled CF Mickey Moniak from Alternate Training Site
9/28/2020 – Phillies recalled RHP Mauricio Llovera from Alternate Training Site
9/28/2020 – Phillies activated RHP Heath Hembree from the 10-day IL
9/28/2020 – Phillies activated RHP Jake Arrieta from the 10-day IL
9/28/2020 – Phillies recalled RHP Adonis Medina from Alternate Training Site
9/28/2020 – Phillies activated RF Kyle Garlick from the 10-day IL
9/28/2020 – Phillies recalled LHP Garrett Cleavinger from Alternate Training Site

224 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of October 12th

  1. Realmuto wants to set the bar for contracts as a C. Once his market is determined, the Phillies will (IMO) match the best offer. I don’t think they would publicly admit that for the sake of appearing cheap but under the circumstances, it may be the best strategy from a business standpoint.

    Facilitating the re-signing of JTR and Didi, and maybe Bruce and Alvarez (I would let the other 5 journeyman eligible free agents walk) will be cutting loose the likes of Velasquez, Morgan (who won’t even be available until late 2021 if at all, due to rehab), Hembree, Neris (he’s run his course here and won’t be worth the arb figure he gets) unless he agrees to negotiate a new deal for much less. Eflin, Hoskins and Knapp are the only arb eligible players I would tender. Seranthony is a tough call under the circumstances. My gut tells me he will never return to anything close to what he was, but how much would he accept to stick around and rehab?

    Let’s cut away the moldy cheese from the pitching staff and acquire some high cheese.

    1. Not sure JTR will reach that mark now.
      As Klentak had mentioned the fiscal landscape has changed with the pandemic crisis, now add in the court ruling concerning MLB’s now fiduciary responsibility to minor leaguers, JTR may have to settle for something less than what his original desire was.
      I can see fewer suitors for his service….maybe Mets and Nats as the two biggest…maybe the Braves,
      Yankees appear out of it…and Dodgers, if they win the Series…do not see them now going after him with Bellinger, Beuhler and Seager coming due soon.
      My concern ..I hope the Phillies do not outbid themselves for his services.

      As for Didi….inking JTR make’s it that much more difficult signing Didi long term.
      He probably will entertain offers in the $16/18M AAV range for up to three years.

      If that means passing on an arm …a number 3….then where does it get the team!

      1. I agree that the Phillies should not bid against themselves, but bringing back Realmuto should be the top priority if this team is going to compete during Harper’s prime. I’d rather bring back JTR and let Didi walk (hopefully with a comp pick). Segura can play SS and hopefully Kingery can figure it out as a regular at 2B.

        Perhaps they could take a chance on Stroman?

        I’m also wondering whether it makes sense to fast-track Morales as a high-end reliever, based on his profile.

        1. Yeah…I think everyone wants to see JTR come back…at the right price.
          The wild card is that new owner in New York.
          Have to be wary of a frustrated passionate Mets fan now turned owner, with ‘stupid ‘ money to throw around, he could throw everything out of whack by some ridiculous offer.

          1. Romus – to me the greatest threat to losing JTR is Mets. They have no catcher in the pipeline and their existing catchers are either free agents or “make-do-withs.” I agree with your earlier theory the Yankees are troubled by an already high penalty tax which will only go higher and they still have no pitching behind Cole. I do not see the Braves as any threat because they have the great Travis d’Arneau for another full year at a low price. The Dodgers won’t spend the $$ after Mookie and unless a dark horse enters the field I think there could be limited but strong competition. As for Nats – they still have their pitchers albeit, Scherzer’s deal is close to ending which could free money – the trick is, how long is their window open ?

            1. RU…in a way, if the Phillies lose JTR to a NL-East team…I hope it is the Nats…Mark Lerner would probably see it as a little revenge for Harper’s departure to the Phillies.
              I think the Nats do not have all the pieces , as the Mets do, that could cause problems for the Phillies with a JTR in their lineup.
              The other side of the coin…if the Mets fail to get JTR….you can bet that Trevor Bauer will be following deGrom in their rotation.

  2. Excellent article from Matt Gelb on the Athletic web site yesterday running down Phillies roster decisions. Much of it makes a lot of sense. However, I believe Ser-Ant’ny is a slam dunk to be offered arbitration despite rehabbing from TJ.

  3. @Hinkie – it is a very information article and I agree about Eflin, Rhys and Knapp coming back. Morgan’s injury made him a strong non-tender candidate and Vinny’s inconsistencies doomed his stay with the Phillies. Although I think the Phillies can flip Viny to a team like the Orioles for some spare change.

    JTR’s QO is almost certain and slapping QO to Didi make sense for the Phillies as this will benefit the Phillies whether Didi accepts the QO or not.

    Neris and Alvarez are decisions to be made because of costs. Hopefully, the Phillies can flip both for some low minors prospects rather than losing them for nothing.

    The current team’s structure of top heavy is a sign that the GM failed of developing long term talents and identifying short term help. This seems to be a known fact since Day 1 that Klentak was hired.

    1. KuKo… do you let Vinny go now?
      …..knowing Howard’s shoulder may be a chronic issue or maybe something worst. And he will remain a question mark thru spring and into a good portion of 2021.
      Arrieta is gone from the rotation.
      They still will need to sign a FA starting pitcher to round out the rotation …..and that FA pitcher probably will go for a minimum $17AAV and up

      1. I have believed VV was a strong candidate for non-tender for a while now.
        I think it’s going to be a cold winter for FA’s, especially for the guys not named Realmuto and Bauer. Matt Gelb brought up a strategy that I think makes a lot of sense: clubs may offer guys 70% of what they might make in arbitration. Take it or leave it, and risk entering a COVID depressed market.

        I think there are going to be a whole lot of players (especially pitchers) signing one year contracts. The Phillies new GM (or hopefully Pres of Baseball Ops *Erik Neander) should be able to replace/improve on Velasquez with a guy like Jose Quintana or Drew Smyly or James Paxton or somebody like that on a one year deal. Or maybe they use the VV money to sign a reliever (I’ve been eyeing Trevor May … who had a 14.7 K-rate this season).

  4. All three……..Jose Quintana or Drew Smyly or James Paxton…injury plagued.
    This past year….and a little in the past.
    A big gamble…..if the money is right in signing them, I suppose it isn’t too costly of a gamble..

    1. That’s exactly why they (and others) may be had on one year deals/”prove it” contracts. Those guys IMO have higher 2021 ceilings than VV.

      And BTW … the Phillies should definitely slap Didi with a QO. A one year 18.7 million dollar contract is not outrageous for a guy whose LH bat really lengthens the lineup. It would also guarantee the club an extra draft pick if they lose him.

      I’ve previously posted the Phillies are in a bad situation. Barring injuries, they can’t reasonably be expected to beat Atlanta any time soon. The Braves have a better MLB roster, better farm system, and a more enviable payroll situation. If John Middleton really wants his Fu¢#ing trophy back, then he should bite the bullet and spend this winter while the Braves (and probably every other team) save.

      1. I don’t have an issue with prove it deals, but you make it sound like there’s no risk there. They can get injured (again) or just plain stink like say Tanner Roark. If that happens, what’s next? Blaming the FO for signing them? There’s a reason why they will be on 1 year deals.

        1. Every contract comes with some risk to teams. The beauty of a one year “prove it” deal is that it can only be a bad contract for nine months. There could be a pretty voluminous list of pitchers signing one year contracts because most of the FA arms are coming off either down seasons or injury marred seasons.

      2. I am on in on signing a free agent starting pitcher..preferably a LHP….and there are a few out there…on a one year prove it deal or maybe a 2 yr with a vesting option….. I just want one that has a history of a healthy track record.
        Once the the arm/shoulder issues start to surface on a pitcher, then there seems to be an avalanche to follow.

        Yes agree…QOs on Didi and IMO, also JTR.

      3. I’m all for QO for Didi. Makes sense all too much, Stott will be able to get another season in and the team may get a real idea of his prospects. Gives the team a big lefthanded bat in line up. And 2021 offseason should have a lot of top SS Free Agents available if they decide Stott is not the answer. Plus if Didi declines and goes elsewhere they get another draft pick. (Possible Phillies may have 3 to 5 picks in top 100)

  5. I agree with Hinkie, but I am not as sure of Middleton as I once was. I still have an issue with his allowing the narrative about the team be all about whether he would exceed the LT. Then he sat back and saw a BP that was truly historically awful cost us a Playoff spot. Now he wants us to accept that when fans are coming back will dictate what he does, when we all know we have a deep pockets owner who should be taking advantage of the financial issues the pandemic caused, not using them as an excuse to be inactive. Meanwhile, he is being advised by risk adverse Andy, and his interim GM is a guy who was in lock step with the GM he just fired. And, just to be clear, I understand the financial hit the virus caused. But, I believe we can see the not too distant future where fans will be back in droves, and any out of pocket costs Middleton suffers will be more than paid back. Also, it would be great if it really is Erik Neander.

  6. I know you all want JT back and I do too but not at $25M for 6 years. That’s stupid money for this guy. He’s a very good catcher, the best today but he’s not an all time great. Let’s not get carried away. His bat only plays as a catcher. The Braves took a swing at D’Arnaud in a 2 year deal and low and behind, he was the best offensive catcher this year, not JT. The Braves are certainly not in on JT. The Mets and maybe the Angels are the type of teams to watch on overpaying on JT. I want pitching. James McCann could be a decent catcher for us this year. I want to sign two bounce back candidates like 2 from Paxton, Minor, Walker and Otavino, guys who have prior success. I also want a legit closer and don’t want to pay Neris $7M. I would give Didi the QO and offer him a 2 year $35M deal an hope he takes it. A 2 year deal to him would be huge because next year’s FA SS class will hurt him if he takes a one year deal now. I also would sign Jackie Bradley if I can get him for cheap. We need an improved CF defense and he could hit 20 plus provide gold glove defense. I would trade Vinnie for sure and not bring Morgan back. Without a good GM, I’m not sure all of this can get done though.

    1. James McCann probably will command a two year deal minimum…he has already proved himself for something more than a one year deal….and there will be teams going after him offering two years or maybe three as he enters into his 31age season.
      If another team is willing to give JTR a 5 or 6 year $25/26M AAV contract, then Middleton has a big decision to make.

      1. I’d be fine with a 2 year deal with McCann, if we can’t get JT signed on a reasonable deal.

        1. I believe JTR is probably going to get a 5 year/120 million dollar contract. 200 million is this year’s market ain’t gonna’ happen.

    1. Thanks. The key comment is the one saying they think Stott can stick at SS. That’s a huge point in deciding who plays SS next season and on what length deal.

  7. You said much more eloquently than I could what I have been saying since the team’s narrative last off season was the self-imposed Salary Cap.

  8. At the opening of the Rays v Astros game today, they gave a story that the thing that changed Morton’s career was when he got to the Astros, they showed him video of Roy Halladay. They told him to watch how Roy keeps his head and core centered no matter which pitch he throws. He credits that video session with changing his game.
    As I thought about that story, I became enraged that the Astros thought to show them video of a Phillies pitcher but the Phillies didn’t think of that. Pure incompetence of player development by Phillies.

    1. A friend of mine who is from Pittsburgh told me 7/8 years ago that Charlie Morton was emulating how Halladay’s mechanics were back then….and he laughed…the results were not the same .
      I guess Charlie did not pay much attention to details of Doc’s mechanics when he was a Pirate.

  9. v1, when Morton was with Pittsburgh he talked about how he idolized Doc. I thought, when we got him, that was one of the reasons. The big mistake was not knowing what we had. He was out with a hamstring injury, not a shoulder or elbow. There was no reason not to bring him back. It was another poor evaluation by the team. I don’t think that any of us on this site really disagree about moving forward. We are all fans and want to win. Sure, if we accept another rebuild, maybe it takes 3-5 years, so don’t spend money. Pray that the next President of Baseball ops and the GM are much better team builders than the last group. But, if we want to try to make the Playoffs next year, we have no choice but to spend $. And, the money is there, pandemic or not. I am not very hopeful about re-signing Realmuto, and I know some of you don’t think we should. I am not arguing, I have stated my position enough. But, if we don’t sign him, I still want the team to spend that money elsewhere, and secure enough talent so that the decrease in talent at C is made up for elsewhere. Can they do that? Well, Ned Rice doesn’t fill me with optimism.

  10. Matt – Would you rather have had Morton with a rebuilt hamstring or Buchholtz? Come on, be honest.

    1. A better question might be “would you rather have had” Hellickson or Morton.

      Their careers through 2015 were –
      1.) 45-70, 4.54.ERA in 157 starts/1 relief, 875.1 IP (109.0 IP/year), 1.443.WHIP, 9.6 H9, 3.4 BB9, 6.3 K9
      2.) 49-48, 3.94 ERA, 135 starts/7 relief, 786,0 IP (131.0 IP/year), 1.274 WHIP, 8.6 H9, 2.9 BB9, 6.7 K9

      The Phillies acquired both and received the following in 2016 –
      Hellickson, in his age 29 season, went 12-10 with a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts and 189.0 innings with a 1.153 WHIP, 8.2 H9, 2.1 BB9, 7.3 K9.
      Morton, in his age 32 season, made 4 starts and threw 17.1 innings. He went on the DL on April 24th with a hamstring and was out the rest of the season.

      #1 above was Morton, #2 was Hellickson. I know it’s easy to “Monday morning quarterback” decisions, but based on their history through 2015 and their output in 2016, can anyone honestly blame the Phillies for tendering Hellickson a $17.2M QO and not Morton? Really?

      1. Yeah……Morton was terrible, could not find the strike zone …even his first 4/5 years in the Braves minor league system…..then they promoted him, traded him and remained mediocre to poor for another half-decade. or so with the Pirates.
        Really it has been only these last three years that he has surpassed all expectations…he had a career negative WAR until he was 33 years old.
        Astros’ 2017 season was his break-out year at age 33…who could have seen that coming!

        1. It’s true, Romus, “who could have seen that coming!”…and if it was one of only a few misjudgments by Klentak, we would seldom mention it here. But GMs get paid to make right decisions, proven one way or another in time.

      2. With regard to Morton lets not forget we had a club option on him for about $12M if I’m not mistaken…

        1. DMAR..thats correct…had a option that was declined.
          And he actually he signed for $7M AAV for two years with the Astros….within a week or two after the 2016 WS ended.
          Luhnow needed someone to replace Doug Fister in their rotation…a back end guy at the most.
          But he already had two hip surgeries, one TJ and a hamstring surgery just completed…..he was a risk….AND had proved nothing from the mound in the last decade, but Klentak did trade for him in Dec 2015. Actually Charlie was so erratic he led the majors in hits batters in 2014.

          I mean no one was complaining in Nov 2016 when he was let go.

          Look at the comments…mixed…when the Philies traded for Morton:

          Look at the comments when he was let go and Hellickson came back..basically crickets on the Morton leaving.

          1. Well, to be fair, comments by armchair GMs on a blog are not exactly the measuring stick for a MLB GM’s performance. It is literally his job to get these decisions right and not ours. The great orgs continually pick up discards for cheap and get huge value. Not random chance. It is skill

            1. But yet……we still hear the critiques of the GM from the bloggers, for not picking up the players’ option year four years earlier.
              And I am not defending Klentak, but merely stating the obvious…not exercising the option on Morton in Nov 2016 was not, at that time, considered a traumatic baseball decision. It even was not even given a second thought by the media.

              Okay I can agree the better orgs can pick up guys on the cheap and get the most out of them…..but didn’t the Phillies do that with Miller, Dickerson, Ramos, Howie Kendrick, Dan Nava….and maybe to some extent Jose Bautista…but of course struck out on Rodriguez, Cabrera and Bour and the bushel of relief arms.
              My point….no team gets it correct 100% of the time, and the Phillies in these last 6/7 years have got it incorrect more than the normal..and the results show.
              But a team keeps at it until they can get it right.

        2. Yes, which I begged them (on here) to exercise. If you watched him pitch that year when he was healthy he was lights-out. Incredible stuff. But they opted to decline that pick up Clay Buccholz who had horrible stuff.

          They can’t scout their own players properly.
          They can’t evaluate their own coaches properly.
          They don’t scout well at home or internationally.
          They don’t make effective out-of-the-box moves.
          They aren’t good at developing talent.
          They hire the wrong executives.

          Aside from that, this is a first class organization.

        3. When he was traded it became a mutual option. He had a $1M buyout. So, the Phillies saved $8.5M (2017 was for 9.5M) on a previously ineffective pitcher.

      3. Jim. It isn’t as simple as looking at stats and making roster decisions. If it was that simple, then everyone on this blog is qualified to be GM of the Phillies. The hard reality is that some organizations have elite talent evaluation and development teams. It is not a random coincidence that the Astros and Tampa continually hit on discarded players picked up on the cheap.

      4. I could be wrong, but didn’t the Phillies tender a QO to Hellickson expecting him to turn it down (and put the org in line for a comp pick)? Unless I’m confusing it with another player, I don’t think they wanted Hellickson back.

        1. Hellickson made $7M in 2016. I can’t imagine they expected him to turn down $17.2M in 2017. Raul Ibanez made that type of agreement with Ruben Amaro after the 2011 season. He turned down the Phillies offer so that they could receive supplemental pick. Ibanez had signed a 3-year, $31.5M contract with the Phillies in 2009 and went from making $12.1M in 2011 to signing with the Yankees for $1.1 in 2012.

  11. I wanted Morton back, Ciada. I wasn’t a big Buchholz fan. I always liked Morton. I’m a long way from a talent evaluator, I just loved Doc, so I liked that he wanted to be like him. But, I kept thinking Pivetta was so close to putting it all together, and I was flat out wrong.

    1. I think Pivetta WAS close – we were just really bad at coaching him. Don’t be surprised if he wins 15 games next year for the Red Sox.

      1. You make it sound like it’s all on the Phillies and not on Pivetta. Pivetta started 71 games for the Phillies. His career Philadelphia ERA is 5.50. It’s mostly on Pivetta.

        So the Phillies can coach Nola and Eflin and not Pivetta? Pivetta had his time here and needed a change of scenery. So all players who break out with their second team means that the first team can’t coach them?

        1. I didn’t make any of those sweeping statements you are attributing to me.

          I think Chris Young put the entire staff into full-throttle reverse. Nola got much worse. Arietta got worse. Velasquez didn’t improve. Pivetta went from promising to a disaster. Eflin got much worse UNTIL HE INTENTIONALLY IGNORED WHAT THE PITCHING COACH WAS TELLING HIM TO DO, which was the right move. So, yes, I think the Phillies’ coaching sent these guys backward and Pivetta couldn’t recover from what they put him through.

          I also find it interesting that Pivetta didn’t just go to the Red Sox, get into a new environment and thrive. Pivetta was traded, spent a month getting coached up by the Red Sox in their off-site location and then came in and pitched well.

          So, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that some, and maybe a significant portion, of Pivetta’s issues stemmed from poor instruction.

          1. Pivetta had 2 starts for the Red Sox and now he’s thriving? Give me a break.

            While I don’t doubt that Chris Young was a poor pitching coach, but it wasn’t like Pivetta was setting the world on fire the years when Chris Young WASN’t the pitching coach.

            I know that you’re unhappy with the state of the Phillies right now, but saying that the Phillies messed up Pivetta sounds like you’re letting Pivetta off the hook for his struggles. The player needs to take some of the blame here. In my opinion, he needs to take a lot of the blame.

            1. Of course he shares the blame – let’s leave it at that. Just saying that I think he got a strong assist from the coaching staff.

    1. Love to see Bohm hit – the bat control that let’s him punch the ball to right field – truly neat. In a wild and crazy world with spendthrift owner money – just imagine Bohm hitting in front of Michael Brantley and Yank’s LeMahieu in front of them – the latter are free agents.

      He was one of the real high lights of Phillies 2020.Thanks for posting.

    2. It’s so much fun to watch this guy hit. When I see his approach, it reminds me a lot of what Freddie Freeman tries to do. He keeps his swing simple and consistent, he never overswings, he hits the ball where it’s pitched and doesn’t swing at bad pitches. We kill the FO for their mistakes but drafting Bohm looks like a great move. Let’s hope the Stott and Able picks pan out as well.

  12. Is the twitter account run by the same people who run this site? Why is a phuture Phillies twitter account retweeting “political pundits”? Free speech of course, I just thought it was specifically for Phuture Phillies news and/or content. I believe political issues have been deleted when posted on here, no?

    1. No. The Twitter account named Phuture Phillies is not affiliated with Phuture Phillies in any way. I believe it is former contributor Greg’s account.

      You’re right that I delete political stuff. I just deleted a post that was linked to a story written by the poster that was lookin for subscribers to his political blog.

      1. Thank you for the reply. Didn’t want to say anything to harsh before I asked if it was the same ppl. And btw thank you for the service you provide.

        1. You’re welcome. I stopped following that account a few years ago due to the content of the tweets. I take some heat from parents at the Complex and have to explain that the account is not me.

  13. Billy Beane is leaving the A’s and joining forces with Tom Werner of the RedSox to, I believe, buy a soccer team in Europe? Did I read that correctly? I don’t know if the Braves can beat the Dodgers, but they sure outpitched them last night. They look real scary to me going forward, as a Phils fan. I sure hope Middleton is not as indecisive as he appears, and has a Plan. Because we need a lot of work.

    1. Billy Beane owns 25% of the A’s now he owns a 25% stake in John Henry’s conglomerate that owns the Red Sox as well as some soccer and sport franchises.

      MLB will see that as a conflict of interest so he will likely have to step away from the A’s.

  14. I don’t like this particular take of mine, and I’d love to hear a rebuttal, but I think it’s the truth.

    Realmuto is/was using Bryce.

    JT knew Bryce was leading the charge for the “Sign JT” movement, and was very vocal before and during the season. But if JT knew he had no intention of signing and was going to test the market, why didn’t he pull Bryce to the side and say, “Hey man, I’m going to test out free agency, and I hope the Phillies have the best offer. I want to stay, but I owe this to my colleagues at Catcher.” And then Bryce would have stopped.

    But he/his agent instead continued to let Bryce drive up the price and talk about him all season, so that at every point JT did something well, the fans were reminded that he hasn’t signed yet.

    The only alternative in my mind is that JT never received anywhere near a fair offer from the Phillies. That still contradicts all the reports that had him wanting to test free agency from day one.

    Like I said, I’d really like to be convinced this is not the case.

    1. I don’t think Harper has something to do with driving JTR market. All Harper can do is to make sure that Middleton will make a good effort to resign JTR without low balling him. Harper once said that he did not demand ridiculous amount of money when he signed so the Phillies will have enough payroll flexibility to sign other FAs. And I’m sure that Harper knows what’s the effect if 40% of the payroll will be tied up to only 3 players.

      At the end of the day, it will be the market (demand) who will dictate JTR’s contract. If no other GMs is willing to pay north of $125M then that will be the market regardless of what JTR wants.

    2. Not true, players do not discuss money or contracts, they just don’t. Plus JT didn’t decide to be a FA for sure until they came back after Covid. There was only a short season to go and it made no sense for him to sign then. Klentak could have signed him in the offseason and in spring training but JT wanted a lot of money and Klentak thought he had plenty of time. He didn’t! Big mistake. Now I think it will depend on whether the Mets, Angels or Padres offer him 6 years. If they do, he’s gone because the Phils won’t go to six on him. The per year money will all be around $23-$25M.

    3. JTR is doing the same thing Harper did to the Nats two years ago.
      So if anyone knows what it is all about…it should be Harper.
      The leaders of the Nats at the time, Zimmerman, Strasburg and Scherzer were not as vocal about re-signing Harper, as he is with the JTR situation, but they did measure their responses and said it would be great for him to return to the club
      From all reports, the Lerner family made Harper a very nice offer, however just like all teams, there is just so much in the pot and a threshold ceiling before penalties start mounting.
      If JTR comes back great….if some team offers him some really ‘stupid’ money and he walks….Harper should be the last guy to be critical of the Phillies.

    4. What’s a fair offer? If JT wants to set the benchmark for catchers, he wants as much money as he can. And the only way he’s going to do that is if he enters FA and have multiple bidders for his services.

      The Phillies don’t want to give him a crazy offer that no team will ever come close to matching. There’s only maybe 3-4 teams who can spend money like that. And even then, most contracts like that rarely work out for the team.

      The Phillies aren’t afraid to spend, but they have to be sensible about it. According to spotrac, here’s the Phillies payroll:

      2019 10th
      2020 5th
      2021 already 1st!

  15. Total opinion but on mlb network, Mad Dog Russo just agreed with the thought that Epstein will leave the Cubs after this, his 10th season there. Epstein has said in the past that he doesn’t like staying in one place more than 10 years. His contract is up when the season ends. Food for thought people!!!! What team in the East would be a better for him than Philly???

      1. You’re right I guess since the new owner didn’t hire the new GM but I doubt he’d hire him already.

  16. I know that jim has said that Realmuto’s people, and he, decided to go to FA. I don’t know if that was after the Pandemic or not. What I believe to be true is that the time to do the LTC was before Arbitration. Ownership, and I don’t know why, imposed the first level of the Luxury Tax as a salary cap. I maintain that the first level penalties are not a big problem, but they clearly feel otherwise. They wanted the number for this year to be the $10M figure. Once Arbitration happened Realmuto was going to FA. Now, jim will correct me if I am mistaken, but I believe that there were LTC negotiations prior to that. I think, and still do, that any long term deal was a John Middleton job, not Klentak. And, I think the whole self imposed salary cap is to blame for a lot of where things stand today.

    1. It may be that there was a gentlemen’s agreement in February or early March before Covid. After the season started, one side may have wanted to alter the agreement and add more years. The other side may have balked at renegotiating an agreement that may have already been agreed upon.

        1. I simply believe JT and his agency always had a number in mind that would keep them from going to FA and if that number wasn’t met then they were happy to take their chances in an open market.

          It likely was always cat and mouse or like playing a round of hold em.

          I honestly don’t think the pandemic had any effect on that. Oh and that number obviously was a number north of the Mauer number.

          That said these are smart people they have a really good idea that isn’t going to happen but there is no harm in opening the bidding up to all 30 clubs is there.

          1. I don’t disagree here. If the Phillies gave JT a $200M offer, that contract would have been signed by now.

            It’s the same reason why I think Mookie Betts signed that 12 year, $365M contract. It was the second largest baseball contract ever signed. Was Mookie going to get better than that? No way. Were the Dodgers bidding against themselves? Probably. Will the Dodgers eventually regret that contract? Very likely.

  17. Romus, back to the earlier discussion. You are correct, Dickerson and Kendrick, Miler and Jay Bruce, were all good pickups, inexpensive and helpful. You mentioned a few others. But, no Pitchers. The huge problem is no real equivalent in Pitching. Neshek, the first go around. But, there most have been more than 30 Relievers brought in.

  18. Matt – The reason why I brought up Buchholz in the Morton talk was because when the Phillies let Morton go, he signed a two year deal with Houston for 14mm (7 per year) and they turned around and gave Buchholz a one year deal for 13.5mm.

    Hinkie often talks/writes about giving a pitcher a 2 year contract while rehabbing to get a good second year out of the guy. Morton had already rehabbed so the Phillies may have gotten one, if not two good years out of him.

    1. Like Morton getting injured in April the year prior…. Buchholz had a partial tear in the flexor-pronator mass of his right arm in April also. And his two starts reflected a bad wing………….and it was just bad luck on the part of the Phillies.
      The next year Bucholz did pretty well with the DBacks after rehabbing.

      Look ….when it cane to arms…Klentak had no luck.
      His key arms seem to go down with some injury

      1. Romus m8 this is off subject but you wont believe what happen to me yesterday, Three weeks ago i bought an lincoln mkc, a week after the car wouldn’t move i had it towed to dealer, he said a rodent ate my wires, He fixed it, Yesterday i come out remember people i live in south philly, the car had a pile of leaves under it, I said what is going on so i took it to mechanic, cause i couldnt find out how to open hood, Here when they open the hood, i have a live Pregnant Possum living under my hood, i never saw a possum in my life, this only happens to me

        1. rocco…..A Lincoln Family of Possums…they picked the right home.
          ..that is strange in south philly…unless you park near a park with some overgrowth.
          Or maybe even a restaurant throwing out scraps in their back.
          I am sure the auto dealer reported to Mayor Kenney’s Rodent Control Office or perhaps I should actually say Marsupial Control Office. 🙂

        2. LOL this actually happened to a buddy of mine with a Ford Explorer. Apparently Lincoln and Ford both use soy based wiring coatings and squirrels and possums apparently love the taste of them.

            1. 🙂 Not sure about your neighborhood but the squirrel population in mine seems to have exploded. And they are jacked little effers too

            2. Yeah..DMAR same here…they are all over the place and getting fat.
              I do not want squirrels in my attic….you cannot kill them..they have to be captured…by buddy has those long rectangular squirrel traps and said anytime I need to use any of them, let him know.

          1. My buddy had it happen to his Hyundai. Had issues starting his car, opened his hood and saw branches and leaves everywhere. He took it to his dealer who cleaned it out, said it was a squirrel nest. Luckily, they didn’t go after any of the wires so the bill was minimal.

    1. Maybe they will go college arm….from this list RHP Hoglund and LHP MacLeod, both out of the SEC could be available. …high floor-lower ceiling than any of the HS arms.
      And from this list…if the Mets truly go after JTR and land him with some ridiculous long term offer, then why draft a college catcher like Adrian Del Castillo from the Hurricanes!

    2. Brian Barber hunted for high ceiling prospects in his first go-round (this June) as Phillies Amateur Scouting Director. If he’s allowed to continue to be a risk seeker, the Phillies could pick one of two prep players at 1-13:

      * Braylon Bishop is a tooled up CFer from Arkansas. He’s got a chance to be a plus glove, arm, speed, and power guy. He may be available at 1-13 because he had some contact problems at showcase events this summer.

      * Chase Petty is a RH power arm from near me (Somers Point). He’s got a Sixto Sanchez vibe: 6’1″, 190 lb 17 YO who throws upper 90’s (has hit 100).

      1. Come on Hinkie!
        …..Petty from Mainland HS….what good baseball players ever come out of the NJ Cape-Atlantic League! 🙂

        1. Romus didnt we draft a kid from Cape may a few years ago a catcher i think or was it the dodgers, but i seem to remember a kid from cape may getting drafted

  19. BTW … The Phillies could have five of the top 90 picks depending on what happens with JTR and Didi (does Gregorius get a QO and do either of the two come back).

    Those picks would be worth:

    ROUND 1 – pick 13 … 4.2 million
    ROUND 2 ………….. 1.51 million
    compensation pick (JTR) late 60’s … ~975 thousand
    compensation pick (Didi) late 60’s … ~950 thousand
    ROUND 3 ………….. 678 thousand

    1. Listening to the FAN 660 yesterday……up there, they are going thru the Yankee doldrums and what they need to do…..and one scenario had them moving Torres to 2nd base, since he struggles defensively at shortstop, and re-signing Didi to come back to play short.

  20. Don’t we have to offer Didi a QO? 1 year at $18.9M for a guy who really played well for us. Gives another development year for Bryson Stott. Keeps Segura at 2B and lets Kingery earn his way back. I would make the QO, and I would hope he takes it, but the consolation prize is a decent pick for Brian Barber to fins a pick with a high upside

    1. It’s a no brainer. Plus he does not want a one year deal because next year FA crop will outshine him. Get him signed to a 2 or 3 year deal.

        1. Romus who does Jim Peyton work for? i worry about you Romus, i hope the phillies keep you as Bat Boy you do a great job

  21. Middleton not having a great week on public relations front. IMO the owners in this town not good people when comes to fans. Phillies mostly stunk since current group bought from carpenters. Laurie one championship in 30 years and needs nerdy sidekick always. Forget sizers and flyers living off championships from early 70’s.

  22. As the reports leaked out that Middleton would prefer MacPhail to step down or aside from his post as team president, why and how would MacPhail continue in his responsibilities (if anyone can figure out what they are) with any self respect, except for collecting his final year’s salary. Is Middleton waiting for MacPhail to come and ask, “Hey John, would you keep me on as an adviser for 3 more years if I stepped aside now?” What is going on here?

    I would agree that the owners of Philadelphia sports teams are, and have been, very peculiar given their relatively limited success. As much as I want to like Johnny Cigars, I’m mystified by the apparent dual persona of a guy who, more than any other owner in town, has expressed the heart of a fan while inexplicably hiring his top brass and not firing them in due course. Disjointed is the word which comes to mind.

    Lurie is the elite, emotionally intelligent, intellectual diplomat who for some odd reason can’t or won’t dismiss Roseman, as if he’s a long lost nephew, and they promised each other one day long ago in a blood oath that they would run an NFL team together (except for that brief spell which Chip Kelly put the owner under)…unmercifully forever, regardless of how little Howie actually knew about football.

    Josh Harris and his carpetbagger associates are as advertised, and Sixers fans can only wait and plead for divine intervention to step in and change their doomed fate.

    And the Flyers….wait a minute…who owns the Flyers now that Fast Eddie is gone? Their recent emergence aside, no fan base has suffered so long and remained so blindly loyal throughout the rapid turnstiles of leadership change than the Flyers faithful.

    1. “no fan base has suffered so long and remained so blindly loyal throughout the rapid turnstiles of leadership change than the Flyers faithful.”………
      Cleveland fans may have a good argument.

  23. So, as Jim Jackson, a really good guy, gets fired, can someone explain to me this narrative that Middleton and the Bucks had to reach into their pockets for $100Million? A $207M payroll at less than 1/3 of a season is under $60M. The biggest cost, by all accounts, is payroll. The team did make TV money and Cable money, so who, exactly, is getting paid that is causing a $100Million loss? I don’t really care about lost profits, that is not a real loss. When the team made $392 Million last year, the profit, after whatever is allocated for owner salaries, and stadium expenses, and ST expenses, and the other costs, was $88Million. Profit, not increased team value. So, I have a big problem with the whole, “we can’t operate without knowing knowing how many fans will be in the stands in 2021” narrative. Fans will be back, at some point. If Middleton does not believe that, sell the team, while it is worth $2Billion. Does anyone believe he would not have buyers lined up? Sorry, I have soured on John Middleton, and everything he has done and said since the season ended, makes me feel that he has been full of hot air all along.

  24. Romus, that’s great! Literally, LOL. I can be disappointed in and even angry with ownership, but still root for the players. Meghan Montemurro has a good article in the Athletic about Fall Instructs, and I will be rooting for a few breakout stars. It is hard to believe that Simon Muzziotti is still only 21! It seems he has been around for so many years. He is a legitimate defensive stalwart in CF, and does not K a lot. Of course, he doesn’t have much power, but I still have hope for him. Erik Miller is another player I have hope in, and he is a Lefthander with power. We don’t get many like that. Jabari Baylor is on that same “hope for a breakout” list. An athlete, for sure, but one with bat to ball skills. So, along with the top guys like Stott and Abel, we have more hope than our low farm system ranking would indicate. Not saying we don’t need to be much better, and I am certainly not sold on our developmental programs, but hopeful.

    1. Yeah matt…Muzziotti can be a very good CFer. Sox scouts comp him to Jacoby Ellsbury and that was when they originally signed him 5 years ago as a 16 year old.
      He could eventually push the new GM to have to make a decision with Moniak and Haseley…all three are basically CFers that really do not have the high ISO bats to project for corner OFers.

  25. Here’s a pretty good analysis (written by a Mets beat writer) on JT Realmuto’s probable productivity going forward, and what he might be worth in free agency. It’s reasonable to believe JTR has two more excellent years left, followed by three avg to slightly above avg years. I still see a 5 year/120 million dollar contract in Realmuto’s future.

    1. The author used a sample of 12 catchers who have produced like JTR has in the wild card era. They averaged:

      age 30 season …. 4.2 WAR
      age 31 season …. 3.4 WAR
      age 32 season …. 2.4 WAR
      age 33 season …. 2.1 WAR
      age 34 season …. 1.9 WAR
      age 35 season …. 1.9 WAR

      Technically/by the numbers … this production is worth ~108 million dollars over six years (using Fangraphs 6.8 million per 1 WAR). I think JTR is worth more to Middleton because of what the team gave up for him.

      1. This is a good post because it gives a baseline of what JT’s next contract should be. Now obviously JT will want more than 6 years, $108M. Personally, I would err on the side of caution and not give him that 6th year.

        We need to treat JT’s future contract as a separate act from the trade. Even though I thought the trade was fair (essentially 2 years of JT for Sixto), there are those who don’t. But that’s done. The focus now is the FA deal that JT will get. For me, giving JT more than 5 years, $125M is a mistake. And if JT gets better than that, I would hope it’s NOT the Phillies giving him that.

        1. Guru…have to agree.
          With the landscaping changing due to COVID things are different.
          Plus. along those lines, the bidding will not be by many teams…some say Yankees and Dodgers…I do not see it that way…. since they have arb3/4 superstars who will get $20M plus AAV -LTCs, in the next 2 years or so.
          Mets are the one I see as the most competitive, maybe Braves, but with d”Arnaud right now and Shea Langs on the way…not so sure.
          I assume Cohen has his ‘stupid’ Benjamins in suitcases sitting on his table now, waiting for the WS to end.

          I just hope Middleton and the Phillies do not go overboard…in AAV and years.

      2. Hinkie….Fangraphs does have a pre-COVID range on that WAR value.

        Estimate of the Cost of a Win in Free Agency
        Offseason Cost of a Win in Free Agency
        2018 $9.3 M/WAR
        2019 $7.8 M/WAR
        2020 $9.1 M/WAR

        Non-Adjusted Cost of a Win in Free Agency
        Offseason Cost of a Win in Free Agency
        2018 $8.1 M/WAR
        2019 $6.8 M/WAR
        2020 $8.0 M/WAR

        You should factor each one into JTR’s contract future worth…low-to -high.

        1. Thnaks, Romus.
          I believe Realmuto will probably get a 5 year/120 million dollar contract. That would be 8.6 million per projected WAR (going by the avg #’s of the top 12 catchers during the wild card era used in the Athletic article). IMO that 8.6 million is more than fair in this COVID market.

  26. In December of 2018, the Cardinals traded for Paul Goldshmidt, who at the time was a 31 year old, 6 time all star, 4x Silver Slugger and 3x Gold Glover on the last year of his contract that paid him $14m. Before the season started the Cards gave him a $130/5 contract extension.

    This isn’t complicated. It is very simple really. Every star player knows what market value is. If you offer them market value, they will sign an extension early as that reduces risk. Betts, Trout, etc.

    Good organizations do not trade young, cheap, controllable assets for stars without full knowledge of the extension asking pice and full intentions from both parties to sign the extension at that asking price.

    The JTR trade was a good deal *ONLY* if we locked him up to an extension. Otherwise it was a massively costly failure.

  27. Rather than complaining about not having signed him already, which I have done often, and can’t change, and while I agree with v1 that not signing him makes the trade a huge mistake, what do we do if we lose him? Can anyone read where Middleton’s head is? Is he cutting back on expenditures period? If so, what a waste it was signing Harper. If he spends, is $207 the salary cap again? Trevor Bauer is not signing with us after we lose Realmuto. So, can someone build me a team that makes the Playoffs without Realmuto? Or, when can we be a Playoff team again?

    1. matt13…”Trevor Bauer is not signing with us after we lose Realmuto”…maybe not…. but if the Phillies sign James McCann, who knows!
      …both southern Cali guys, both graduated HS in 2008…both paths probably crossed since they were close proximity to each other and both the main star on their HS baseball teams. I mean plenty of AAU teams for the kids these days from local areas and kids cross paths a lot these days.. Mickey Moniak played against and with Blake Rutherford, now in the WSox org.
      Bauer probably has some inkling on McCann

  28. Maybe you are right, Romus, and I will be upset if we lose Realmuto, but will get over it, and still want the team to win. I can’t help myself. But, Bauer wants to get to the Playoffs. McCann may be a decent option, but he is still quite a bit away from Realmuto. Now, the counter to that is he doesn’t get $25M a year, so there is money to spend elsewhere. But, FA opens, JTR goes elsewhere, we do nothing else except maybe sign McCann to be the C, and we go to Bauer. Is he thinking that we are the Playoff opportunity he is waiting for? That is where I lose any belief in him coming here. And, I don’t see us adding enough other pieces to go to Bauer and convince him to sign here. I know there is always the “he will go to whoever the highest bidder is.” But, do we really think that applies to Bauer? Do we really think we are spending over $30M for him? I have a hard time buying into that.

    1. matt13…remember Bauer’s deal is only one year, which gives another year for Howard to become more MLB experienced and other farm arms to progress, like Erik Miller, Adonis Medina or Francisco Morales.
      I think Middleton would bite the bullet for a year a big time free agent…if JTR decides to walk to greener pastures.

      1. I read an interview where Bauer said he wasn’t adverse to signing a multi-year contract. When asked about one-year vs. multi-year contracts …

        2/27 “I mean, I don’t know how I’m going to react once free agency gets here,” Bauer stated. “I said what I said, but you can never know how it’s going to go until you actually get there.”

        9/18 Again, I think it comes back to I just want a chance to win every year. I want to be in a situation where I feel valued and I have the chance to conduct my career the way I want to conduct it. So, pitch every fourth day, and stuff like that. I want to challenge myself and have a chance to do those things. So if there’s a situation where it presents itself where it is a four-year or five-year deal, and I feel confident that’s going to be a situation that’s good for me, I would consider it. I do think that in order to do the things that I want to do, I think I’m going to have to take on a little more risk than normal in those long-term contracts. …I’m not afraid of the one-year deals. I’m not afraid of the longer deals. It’s just going to be a case-by-case basis, and we’ll see what the situations look like.

  29. Springer springer springer but his price might keep going up. Defensive catcher who handles pitchers.

    1. I’m sorry but I don’t understand your post, the connection between your first sentence and the second.

  30. 8mark, I think he wants to spend on Springer, and replace JTR with a defensive specialist as C, who is good at handling a Pitching staff. I don’t know if Patso also wants Bauer in that scenario, who is Romus’ guy.

  31. Romus, I think Middleton may go for 1 year for Bauer, I just don’t see him coming here, thinking that we are a contender. Even with McCann. We have a formidable Pitching staff, Bauer probably slotting at #1, then Nola, Wheeler and Eflin, and, hopefully, a healthy and in the groove, Spencer Howard. We have a question mark at 2B in Kingery, Segura at SS, where he is not nearly as good defensively as he is at 2B. McCann who is not as good as JTR at C. An aging Cutch in CF, without a real back up plan, our platoon in CF and Harper. Is that a Playoff team?

    1. Putting aside the fact that I want nothing to do with Trevor Bauer, I will be absolutely shocked if Bauer sticks to his word and only accepts one year deals. I mean I guess anything is possible in this depressed COVID market, but I just can’t see Bauer taking one year deals for the rest of his career. I think he made that statement because he was mad at the Indians.

      1. I want to add to your sentiment about Bauer… Why are we talking in the context of Middleton going for anything as if he were the GM?

        Middleton should not be making these types of decisions period.

        1. DMAR… did Harper get here?
          Middleton took his jet , flew out to Vegas, and sat down in Harper’s living room or kitchen or whatever…..face to face with him and the wife….along with Boras
          Matt Klentak escorted him…..and also read that the presentation to the Harper family was developed by Ned Rice.
          When it comes to potential ‘face of the franchise superstars’….owners get involved.
          After all……it is big money contracts.

          Now picture Bauer following deGrom in a three game series vs the Phillies…how comfortable are you with that? Then, add in Thor after the all-star break. Beause that owner will be doing the saem thing Middleton did with stupid money in March 2019.

          IMO, if Middleton cannot get JTR back…then go get Bauer…even if for one year.
          Bauer may be a kick-ass SOB…..with a very abrasive personality…..but on the field he is all business.
          Anyway….Rose, Utley, Werth, Schilling did not have great personalities….I want a junkyard pit-bull pitcher out there.

          1. I’m very comfortable with that Romus. Bauer is not a winner he is a cancerous player who loses everywhere he goes. Let the Mets have him.

            Money alone can’t buy championships Romus.

            The Rays and their $68 million payroll dispatched the Yankees $240 million and are taking it to the Astros and their $206 million.

            The Braves $158 mil vs. the Dodgers $191 mil.

            I’ll take a hard pass on pit-bulls they’re erratic and unpredictable but do give me some bulldogs who are stubborn and persistent.

            1. DMAR…..correct on that…money does not win rings…MLB ain’t the NBA.
              Though, I do like the chance to get into a play off series in some year in the not so distant future.

  32. Romus, I don’t know who gives Bauer the chance to pitch every 4th day, although there are teams who seem to be contenders every year. Unfortunately, we are not one of them, and I think we are out with Bauer. The Playoffs are a whole different animal, and it would have been good to see how our guys reacted to being in them. But, going on 10 years of losing, and I am looking for hope going forward. Not getting much watching the Braves play. And, 8 teams won’t make it again next year.

    1. matt13……this is the reality you may very well have to accept.
      The Mets new owner will get one of the three….JTR/Bauer/Springer….or maybe even two of the three…he has the $$$ to throw at the team salary structure is not as close to the luxury tax as the Phillies (only three big ticket guys…deGrom/Cano/Familia—total 72M in 2021)…though I do not think Cohen cares much about that right now.. he wants instant credibility for the Mets fan base.
      That will put that Mets club that much closer to the Braves…closer than the Phillies.

      How do the Phillies counter?

      BTW….Manfred already mentioned he wants to keep 16 teams in the play-offs next season….and only needs MLBPA’s approval.
      The one game….winner take all… wild card seems to be a thing of the past.


      1. I know Cohen is now the richest owner in MLB, and is a real threat for JTR … but … the Mets do face a busy offseason after 2021. Conforto, Syndergaard, Matz, and Familia will all be FA’s.

        1. Conforto and Thor will be their big ticket guys after 2021…..approx. $25M AAV
          I assume Thor will return healthy Familia they will let walk.
          Then there is still deGrom and Cano…..Cohen I can see adding at least one more big ticket player for sure….either JTR/Bauer or Springer.
          But he may be crazy enough to add another, who knows.
          Besides competing against the NL-East teams…he is competing in NY against Cashman and the Yankees for bragging rights.
          They also have half dozen quality players who are under control for 3/4 more years.
          Cohen is truly the wild card that Middleton needs to worry about.

          1. Will Cohen run the Mets like a fan and flex his money and sign big deals to get a title quickly? Or will he run the Mets like a business and try to win while keeping his eye on the bottom line? We’ll see what happens.

            1. Let’s hope not Romus 🙂

              All I’m saying is let’s build this thing from the ground up for the sake of our grandkids lol

  33. Can I just say Freddie Freeman is the best player in baseball nobody talks about. That guy is as clutch as they come. Time after time he comes up big in big moments.

    And Kranitz has done a really nice job with that staff of arms.

    1. I agree with you on both accounts. Freeman is a pleasure to watch and I love the way he conducts himself.

      While on the subject of postseason what is your opinion of Willy Adames? I love the Rays, Adames gets on my nerves for some reason. Must be his demeanor!

      1. LOL I haven’t paid much attention to him but my eyebrows raised when the Rays traded for Randy Arozarena. What a find that kid turned out to be.

        Liberatore was a highly touted lefty and no one had ever heard of Randy. He played 19 games in the MLB before the Rays acquired him from the Cards and wow at least for this year it paid off.

        Now who knows what becomes of him. The league has a way of figuring guys out but if they make it past the Astros and get to the WS they can call that a win.

    2. I hate Freddie Freeman because I know how good he is. His defense has slipped a bit but he can still rake.

      1. He’s just so damned good. His approach at the plate and the way he swings is so carefully studied and deliberate. He’s never off balance. He never overswings. He rarely swings at a bad pitch. He uses his hands and makes consistently excellent contact. He is a solid fielder. And he never acts like a jerk from what I can tell.

        Amazingly, Freeman, who has seemingly been around forever, is still in his age 30 year. If he can keep this up for at least another 5 years, he’s got a serious shot at the HOF.

        1. What will it take to get into the HOFer as a 1B? Obviously Pujols (100.6 WAR, 3 MVPs) is in. I think Votto (61.8 WAR, 1 MVP) is in.

          Here are the other 3 guys in contention:

          Goldschmidt (age 32, 44.9 WAR)
          Freeman (age 30, 38.5 WAR)
          Rizzo (age 30, 34.3 WAR)

          Are these 3 guys HOF type players? None of these 3 have MVP awards which will hurt their chances. Personally, I think they need to get close to 60 WAR to be locks. So I think Freeman needs to AVERAGE 4 WAR for the next 5 years. It’ll be tough to do into their 30s. Goldy and Rizzo are already declining. It won’t take much for Freeman to decline. Now I’m not saying that Freeman won’t be an effective player, but HOF level? It’s dicey.

            1. I’ve looked at the issue of WAR a lot and, basically, virtually all (but certainly not all) of the players who have 70 WAR get in (FYI, believe it or not, Scott Rolen has 70 WAR) and essentially every player who has 80 WAR gets in unless that player is marred by a scandal or some similar black mark.

              First basemen are hard because, frankly, it’s more difficult for them to generate positive oWAR (the offensive bar is higher) and dWAR (not entirely sure why this is, but most guys, even fairly athletic ones, are negative or just barely positive). So, in my view, 60 is a really high score for a first baseman. As for Helton, he’s on the borderline. One day I think he might get in. He had a 5 year run that was insane. Votto will probably get in too at some point, but it will be close if he doesn’t have a few bounce-back season left.

              What makes Freeman so amazing is that he seems to have just gotten to another level as a hitter and he is a hands-first hitter so there’s less to break down in my view – he has a simple, consistently, easily repeatable stroke. More than a lot of guys it’s easy to see him playing really well into his age 35 or 36 seasons or even past then. I hate the Braves but you can’t help but admire Freeman.

            2. Yeah…..I could never figure that out about first basemen and how dWAR is measured with them….two of the greatest Lou Gehrig and Keith Hernandez….Gehrig with a career negative 9 dWAR and Keith H …with about a dozen or so Gold Gloves has a minuscule 1.3dWAR for his career….Don Mattingly has a negative 6 dWAR
              Makes no sense to me…even with the lower positional value

            3. The bar is really high for 1B. You really have to rake because their defense doesn’t really add much to their value (although if you’re below average, it can really take away from your value).

              Helton *might* get in some day, because he seems to be a popular guy which is better than being not popular like say Curt Schilling. But I think the Coors Effect might be hurting Helton’s chances, although it didn’t hurt Larry Walker’s chances but he has also has a MVP to his name.

              I’m not saying that Freeman can’t do it, but the odds are against him. He needs to average at least 4 WAR for the next 5 years which is damn hard in your 30s. And it would help a lot if he snags a MVP along the way.

  34. Romus, I was looking for reasons not to be depressed about the team, and reminding me of the new Mets owner doesn’t help. Seriously though, we may be looking at another 3-4 year rebuild. I can’t disagree with Dmar about spending money not guaranteeing anything. My only argument to him is that if you don’t spend, you need to be really good at identifying and developing talent. We are not. We can complain about that all that we want, it doesn’t change anything. How long does it take to build a farm system from scratch? I don’t know. But, we have a few nice prospects. I still think, if we go the route of the Rays and Braves, we are a long way from a Playoff team. I believe, with the right President of Baseball operations, we can rebuild the farm system and still spend what we need to compete now. Yes, that puts the onus on Middleton. He needs to spend money because he has failed to put the people in charge to build it any other way.

    1. Matt you’re 100% correct you need to be really good at identifying talent. Because we haven’t been in the past doesn’t mean that we can’t be going forward.

      JM needs to go and get that guy

      I’m only 51 god willing I have a lot of baseball in front of me to watch. How fast did Luhnow turn around the Astro’s.

      If you want a jerk go get him at least you don’t have to watch him on the field. I know JM won’t he seems to have some fascination with the Yankees. The Yankees haven’t drafted well in years but you have to give them credit for pulling off some really nice trades for young players.

      Trading Chapman for Gleybar was a stroke of genius then signing him back. Luke Voight, Frazier and so on.

    2. Whether we like it or not, I think MIddleton is absolutely going to refuse to go back to square 1 and rebuild. If someone tells he him he should do that in a job interview, the person will definitely not get the job. So it’s going to have to be like it is in Boston or New York, they are going to have to try to compete and rebuild the infrastructure at the same time. It may not be ideal but it can be done.

  35. Kyle Lewis took rookie of year honors in the AL just throwing that out there….

    Now I’m done talking about all the misses of the MK era…

    1. I am not giving MK any credit here, but having Almaraz as the scouting director at the time MK started really put him behind the 8-ball. MK inherited him and, as a young GM, probably didn’t feel right in just displacing him, but make no mistake, JA made things much harder on Klentak and, pretty clearly, Klentak and the organization has adopted a (thankfully) much different draft philosophy since JA lost power in the organization.

  36. Can we discuss the Dodgers? And, how the Braves have turned 2 one year deals, for Donaldson and Ozuna, into huge plusses for their team, and continue to get young Pitchers to step up? Yes, Kyle Wright looked, the other night, like he came from our farm system, but he pitched very well in the prior round. The Dodgers, once again, went too long with Kershaw, who is simply not the same Pitcher in the Playoffs, and was throwing 89-91, have BP issues of their own, and have failed to show their great offense, except for the 1 game blow out. Over a much longer period of time, they remind me of the late 70’s Phils, who found new ways to lose in the Playoffs. I don’t know what the Dodgers will do if they lose this Series, but getting a new Manager may be on the horizon.

    1. Sure discuss the Dodgers I would take their problems over ours. I have no doubt that if they get bounced Dave Roberts will be gone. They have a platform for sustainable success even if they miss out on the WS.

      My dad used to say to me when I was a boy son do I have to hit you over the head with this 2×4 for you to figure out its going to hurt…

      Took me quite a few years to figure out what he was getting at.

    2. matt13….correct…Braves win the next game, Roberts is probably out.
      They have reached their limit with him
      Shame, Gabe took the Giants job last year….he would have been their logical choice in LA. (tic)

      If it is the Braves and Rays next week…to some people it could be said that the AL/NL East intermingling regional divisions could be considered the toughest of the other two regional divisions.

  37. Romus, I am still, and probably will remain that way, confused as to what I believe was cold feet on the part of Middleton. I would never call him cheap, the team has been mismanaged, not failed to spend. But, I also don’t believe he was full of baloney, I am being polite, when he said those things previously, “winning a WS or die trying”, and “if you are not in it to win a championship, you shouldn’t own a professional sports franchise.” I think if he repeated them today, he would be full of baloney, but I wonder why. This was pre-pandemic. Something happened. Maybe MacPhail got in his ear, or the Buck cousins, or he had some financial setback. Maybe he lost a Billion on pork belly futures? I don’t know. But something changed, and not for the good. He comes out and tells us that he would only have made the Realmuto trade if they signed him long term. Well, signing him long term was never on Matt Klentak, and was never on Andy MacPhail. It was, and remains, the province of the Managing Partner, just like the Bryce Harper signing. The decision to take Realmuto to Arbitration to stay under $207M was his decision. Maybe I give him too much credit and he only signed Harper to look good, and sell some tickets? Maybe he never cared about the bleeping trophy? But, you can see the salary cap he imposed continued through to the trade deadline, when we could have still made the Playoffs. Not that Phelps wasn’t having a good season with the Brewers, but in the fact that we gave up extra resources to limit our financial hit from who we took in, and stay Cap compliant.

    1. matt13….sorry dude…cannot relieve your frustrations.
      It has been, coming up now, on a long decade of phutility.
      Where’s rocco when you need him!
      He can be so depressed and down in the dumps…makes you feel like you are on cloud nine.

      1. Rocco’s on guard, looking for squirrels under the hood and nursing baby possums………can’t come now, the possums are teething!😎

      1. Never know….the way they keep adding names, he could be popping up on the next list. ESPN and BA has yet to put out their list.

  38. I remember going to a spring training game in Jupiter in 2010 when the Braves came in. They started Freeman at first and Hayward in RF. Hayward made the team and in his first game, he hit a home run on opening day to beat the Mets. Freeman came up in September for about 25 games. It was easy to see that they would be solid Major Leaguers.

    If the Braves win the World Series, that would be two consecutive years that the NL East had the champions. Chances are pretty strong that with the Marlins very improved, and the potential of the Mets spending lots of money, and with Strasburg coming back to the Nationals that the Phillies could end up in fifth place in the division next season.

  39. Astros about to send the ALCS to game 7. Lost Morton, then Gerrit Cole, Verlander To TJ. Rays have a whole team of players I never heard of. We have discussed the Braves endlessly. Our team building, talent evaluations, developmental programs have all been terrible. How else can we describe what we have seen for 10 years? A completely mismanaged organization. No wonder I am depressed.

  40. matt13…look at a player like 25-year old TB OFer Randy Arozarena.

    Signs with the Cardinals, in his first trip to AAA, after raking at AA, he slashes 232/.328/.348, with 19% K and 9% BB at an age of 23. First thought….okay he is athletic but probably cannot hit big league pitching and right now it is AAA pitching he is facing..
    Comes back a year later at age 24 to AA ball, then a quick promo to AAA ball…and rakes in AAA ball @358/.435/.593 with 17% K, 8% BB, in 283 PAs.

    TB scouts see the maturation, and the Cardinals surplus OF picture and trade for him and give up a highly touted prospect in LHP Liberatore. They took a risk, since Liberatore could go on and become another Blake Snell.

    Philies have a few players who need that maturation process to kick in…ie Moniak, Haseley, and maybe even Kingery. I think that is what they are counting upon

    1. rays traded for Joey Wendle after 110 mlb plate appearances through age 27 season and made him a regular.
      traded Brad Miller for Ji Man Choi, with 150 career at bats in his age 27 season and made him regular first baseman.
      drafted Brandon Lowe in 3rd round in 2015 (Kingery drafted round 2) though he had broken his leg two days before draft.
      Adames was 18 when acquired in the David Price trade.
      of course Glasnow, Meadows and Baz for Archer.
      highest paid position player is Kevin Kiermaier, and Tsutsogo is their second.

  41. 9 prospects that the Dodgers drafted in 2016 have already seen time in the Majors, and they believe that 4 more will. Included in that group are 2 pretty excellent prospects named Lux and May. That also includes last night’s hero, a Catcher named Will Smith. 1 year, small sample size, right? Or a pretty good indicator of one teams’ skills in evaluating, drafting and developing and another teams’ lack of such skills. And, BTW, the Dodgers were not drafting high in the draft, rather the opposite.

  42. Question for all of you. Scott Kingery was a pretty good hitter at Arizona, and in the Minors. A gap hitter, bat on ball, line drives, and successful enough to get a pretty nice contract. That stroke is now no longer there. I know he suffered from the Covid virus, but are his problems more the way he has been coached? Is a line drive, gap hitter no longer a good enough player? Does everyone have to be looking for HRs and launch angle? I think not, but I am old school. Was he simply over hyped? Or, is there still a good player there just waiting to come back out? And, what happened to his Defense?

    1. matt13……I think Reading messed him up.
      He really exploded with his ISO….HRs and doubles.
      He must have changed his batting approach.
      Then those two consecutive spring training burst outs..’18 and ’19,
      and everyone thought here we go,
      a stud middle infielder.
      You are correct…he needs to hit like he did when drafted…gap to gap.

      1. Romus was trying to stay positive, but last night, my new women, big lucy sang, so its all over

      2. Romus, …I’m sorry I told you wrong. I really thought he was tied up with possums and squirrels and here it was Big Lucy💃!

        I agree the coaching at Reading messed him up, suggesting that he should hit more home runs. His value is playing good defense at 2nd base and hitting the baseball to the gaps and using his speed on the base paths. The notion he should be the super utility player hopefully has passed with Klentak. Being able at all and master of none has never sat well with me. If he hits 6 to 12 hrs a year with a .270 to .285 average at 2b, I’m good with that!

    2. I would not discount the effect that Kingery’s Covid experience had on him this season. It’s my understanding that he had a particularly virulent strain. Maybe he was one of those who suffered some lung damage. I do recall when the camera was on him in the dugout, that he looked like he had labored breathing. Additionally, I heard that he played hurt with that sore back for a long time before he was put on the IL. A sore back might also explain the drop off in defense. Now, I don’t want to rain on the parade of people who want to blame coaching for everything, but at least in his case there are some extenuating circumstances that might be considered before writing him off completely. So, I believe there’s still hope.

      1. And his swing is too long and he needs to get back to being a line drive hitter, not a power hitter.

  43. what is everyone’s opinion of Josh Byrnes as the new head of Baseball Operations, or whatever title they are going to use?

  44. Thanks Jim! That is why I asked. I am a Kingery fan, and don’t want to believe the talent disappeared. I won’t give up on him, and look forward to a big bounce back season from him.

    1. hip-hip-hoo-RAYS !

      … and with Tampa on to the World Series, John Middleton will have to wait until the end of the MLB season for a chance to interview Erik Neander. In the meantime, Middleton should be having “the talk” with Andy MacPhail.

      1. Hinkie, while Middleton couldn’t announce a hiring, he can request permission to interview Neander or any other executive candidate before the end of the Series, or even before now, I believe.

      2. Personally, I would be happy if Theo or Neander were targeted by Middleton. However, my hunch is that the Yankees organization will be scoured first. The Phillies need fresh yet experienced (read: previously successful) blood, and not from the same well. I continue to think, however, that Joe Girardi will be as much of a determining factor as anyone or anything else in this hopefully brief process. I don’t want to sit under a pseudo-regime under Ned Rice.

  45. I, for one, am happy that the Astros were eliminated tonight for two reasons. First, the whole sign-stealing mess. Second, even with the oddities of the 2020 season, there is something very wrong in my mind with a sub-500 team winning the pennant and appearing in the WS.

  46. I have changed my mind. Forget free agents. Painfully obvious to make it to WS pitching that includes a gigantic stable of young power/live arms. Yankees probably would not have beaten Astros. Until Phil’s get stable of arms no chance to compete.

    1. Patso…saw a recent pix of Francisco Morales….looks like a real stud now….muscular and filled out. …just perhaps it his time to shine.

  47. Maybe Middleton wants to pay one guy to be pitching coach and bullpen coach,and clubhouse towel guy to save money?

    1. rocco……well, you are already down there doing security, might as well add a few more duties onto your job description! 🙂

  48. Royals asst GM JJ Piccolo is reportedly under consideration for the Phillies, according to Jon Morosi. He was also interviewed in 2015. Buyer’s remorse?

      1. Maybe they need a person with that background, but they need somebody who is exceptional. I do not believe that this candidate is anywhere close to being exceptional. If we hire him, expect more mediocrity down the line.

        1. I just saw a ad in the Daily News, Wanted pitching coach, some experience, 9 months work, must be able to sell cigars in off season, po box 4848 attention J,M

        2. They need someone with that background from an organization that is proven in developing talent. Tampa, LAD, STL, Oak….maybe a dozen other clubs more proficient than their own. I seriously doubt, but wonder how two Alpha males like Girardi and Theo would work together. Maybe Epstein’s reputation would draw greater interest from a more credible crop of GM candidates.

        3. And here’s the BIG hitch right now…how in the world can they hire a GM now, then hire MacPhail’s successor a year from now? That would make utterly no sense. If I was a betting man like Rocco, I would say Rice stays put unless MacPhail decides to retire early or passes away.

    1. Yeah, because, you know, the guy I want is the guy who develops talent for the team that has lost 100 games 2 out of the last 3 years. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but if we hire him, folks, it’s gonna be more of the same for the next 5-7 years. He’s such a classic “old school” pick. Hard pass. If he is the one who is hired, seriously, I’ll be furious.

  49. In 2021 we’ll see the 5th Phillies pitching coach in 5 seasons. So much for continuity. McClure (meh), Kranitz (who should still be here), Young (AAAAHHHH!!!!) and Price (huh…what?) showed another trace of instability in the organization.

    1. Next up…my guess one of two Davids…Eiland or Lundquist.
      One knows Joe well …….the other knows the Phillies pitchers well.

  50. Bryce voted for the guy from Vanderbilt. They certainly sign and develop Pitching talent down there.

    1. Excellent out of the box idea. He’s certainly done a great job there developing first rd talent.

    2. I’m not so sure the Vandy guy is the guy you want. He gets cream of the crop recruits to come there many of whom would likely go in the first round of the MLB draft if they opted to bypass their commitment.

      How much credit can he actually take for 1st round talent dominating in a league of non-professional baseball players.

      Also and I could be mistaken but haven’t a lot of highly touted Vandy pitchers flamed out once they got to the MLB?

  51. Well, we have a WS between the Tampa Rays, who are among the lowest payrolls in the league, and the LA Dodgers, with one of the highest. But, both teams were built by the same guy, following a similar process, forgive me for the use of the word. Andrew Friedman has done a terrific job with and without a large payroll. I think it would be a smart move for Mr. Middleton to talk to Mr. Sternberg, and ask permission to speak with Erik Neander.

    1. matt13…..Neander, working with his mentors formula, probably acquired the majority of the team…Freidman left in 2014…..he did however have a direct hand in three of their prominent players before he left in Oct 2014….drafting Blake Snell and Kevin Kiermaier and trading for Willy Adames.

  52. LAD, TB, ATL and HOU have been the gold standard for scouting and developing thru the farm. And these 4 teams made the final 4. I hope Middleton learns who to look for if he wants to build the team properly. Because the last time around, Middleton looked in the graveyard to find McPhail and McPhail has Klentak in his pocket.

    For a decision maker, Middleton appeared to be indecisive. In the workplace, indecisive people are the ones who have no clue in what they are doing.

  53. Scott Lauber mentions NYY bullpen coach Mike Harkey as a potential Girardi favorite for the new PC, while Matt Breen harkens back our old Rich Dubee, along with Rafael Chaves, Jim Gott, Dave Lundquist as all in the pool of possible candidates.

  54. If Pivetta and Seabold thrive as a reliable starter in BOS and Sixto continue to do a mini-Pedro impression, whoever is involved in those trades should be persona non-grata in Philly. Top teams have a stockpile of power arms in their arsenal.

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