Open Discussion: Week of October 26th

I went to the Complex Saturday to watch my second Instructional League game between the Phillies and Blue Jays.  I was one of SIX people in attendance – my friend Steve Potter and his wife and daughter, my friend and photo contributor Mark Wylie, me, and Mike from Harrisburg.  Mike read last week’s account of the game and flew in Friday to join us Saturday behind the left center field fence on Roberts Field.  Sort of a Clearwater branch of the Phandemic Krew.

The game was held on Roberts Field.  I must have seen 60 people  enjoying the walking and bike path.  Only two people wore masks, a walker who arrived when I did and a bike rider who thanked me for wearing one.  No one else (outside of my group) wore a mask.  Not even those walking in groups of two or more.  Florida.  SMH.

The Phillies fielded the following starting line up –

  • 6, Jamari Baylor
  • 3, Herbert Iser
  • 2, Edgar Cabral
  • 9, Johan Rojas
  • 8, Matt Vierling
  • 5, Guarner Dipre
  • DH Jose Tortolero
  • 4, Luis Garcia
  • DH, Jonathan Guzman
  • DH, Nicolas Torres
  • 7, Marcus Lee Sang (did not bat but pinch ran, his thumb is wrapped)
  • 1, Dominic Pipkin

We go t to see eight Phillies’ pitchers including a couple of rehabbers and a few of the new guys.  Mixed results on all but Bailey Falter.

Photos provided by Mark Wylie.

First Inning.  Pipkin opened with a walk.  The runner was erased on a steal attempt, but Pipkin walked the next batter, too.  He finished the inning with a strike out and a fly out to right.

In the bottom of the first, Baylor and Iser struck out swinging.  Cabral popped out to the catcher.

Second inning.  Pipkin gave up a ground rule double that bounced over the fence to our right.  The ball seemed like it was in the air for a long time.  We noticed then that the Phillies shift every batter and they position the center fielder on the non-pull side of second base.  ALL. THE. TIME.  EVERY. BATTER.  Didn’t make any sense to us.

After a pop up to second, a walk, and a wild pitch, another right-handed batter lifted a ground rule double to the same spot as the lead off batter.  SAME. SHIFT.   Two runs scored.  After another walk, the Phillies rolled the inning railing 0-2.

In the bottom of the second, Rojas grounded out to short, Vierling struck out looking, and Dipre flew out to right.

Third Inning.  Jhordany Mezquita pitching.  Mezquita started the inning with a strike out.  The next batter lined a single to right.  The runner advanced when Mezquita threw a pickoff attempt past Iser at first.  He walked the next batter then retired the next two batters on strike outs.

In the bottom of the third, the Phillies finally got a base runner when Tortolero walked.  He was caught stealing.  Garcia grounded out to second, Baylor walked, and Torres struck out looking.

Fourth inning.  NDFA Blake Brown pitching.  Rough outing.  Single to the second baseman, walk, wild pitch, walk, RBI single.  The Phillies rolled the inning trailing 0-3.

In the bottom of the fourth, Baylor got the Phillies first hit on a ground single.  Iser popped up to short, Cabral flied out to left (the same spot where two Jays’ fly balls bounced over the fence), and Rojas grounded out to third.

Fifth inning.  NDFA Billy Sullivan pitching.  Sullivan hit his first batter and walked his second.  The next batter lined a single to center.  The runner on second hesitated and took third.  The runner on first didn’t hesitate and rounded second in a big way.  Garcia took the throw in a relay position and walked in to apply the tag to the runner hung up between bases.  Sullivan settled down and got the next two batters on a pop up to first and a strike out.

In the bottom of the fifth, Vierling led off with a strike out.  Dipre doubled down the left field line and scored on Tortolero’s line drive single to center with the aid of a fielding error by the center fielder.  Garcia walked and the Jays rolled the inning after Guzman struck out.  Phillies close within 1-3.

Changes: Guzman to short, Edgar Made to third, Abraham Gutierrez to first, Iser to catcher, Torres to left, and Vierling and Rojas switched positions.

Sixth inning.  Nick Fanti pitching.  Fanti gave up a leadoff single.  That runner was erased on a 6-4 fielder’s choice.  The new runner stole second while Fanti recorded a strike out.  A walk and a double into the left field corner plated two runs before the inning was rolled with two outs and the Jays ahead 1-5.

In the bottom of the sixth, Torres struck out swinging and Made grounded out back to the pitcher.  Cabral added a run with a blast to left.  Rojas struck out swinging to end the inning.  Phillies trailing 2-5.

Seventh inning.  Fanti came out again which was encouraging.  I haven’t seen him pitch since June 2018.  He seemed to be rebounding from some early season injury when he was pulled from a game in Bradenton and placed on the DL on the 20th.  Fanti pitched much better in the seventh.  He induced a ground out, walked a batter and got the final two batters to strike out swinging.

In the bottom of the seventh, Vierling struck out looking, Dipre grounded out to short, and Tortolero struck out swinging.

Eighth inning.  Bailey Falter pitching.  Falter was dominant.  He commanded the strike zone and overwhelmed the Jays batters.  He had been shut down in July of 2019, but looked like his old self Saturday.  He retired the Jays in order on a strike out looking, strike out swinging, and a two-strike ground out to short.  Here are a few photos.  The final one is for his aunt who may still follow us here.  He seems to look directly at the camera and has let his hair grow out.

In the bottom of the eighth, Garcia, Guzman, and Torres all struck out.

Ninth inning.  Fourth round pick Carson Ragsdale pitching.  The 6’8 righty out of USF (located in Tampa), induced a comebacker, single to center, pop up to third, walk, and pop up to first.

In the bottom of the ninth, Iser led off with a double to right.  Oskar Gonzalez pinch hit and grounded out to short.  Cesar Rodriguez also pinch hit and struck out.  I missed the other out in the inning.

Tenth inning.  NDFA Braden Zarbnisky pitching.  Zarbnisky pitched to four batter to get his work.  He got a pop up that he caught in foul territory when the fielder tripped.  He struck out the second batter and gave up a single to the third.  The runner was caught stealing and the at bat continued until Zarbnisky recorded a strike out for the fourth out.

The series of pictures below show how Guzman deked the runner with a late catch and tag.  Note the indifferent stance in the first photo and the flight of the ball.

Here are a couple more random at bats by Garcia and Rojas.

One more game next week, maybe.  The Phillies may break camp Saturday.  Hope it’s after a game.

In other news, the Phillies didn’t renew the contracts of seven scouts including Pete Mackanin and Dave Hollins.  Five of the seven, including Mackanin and Hollins scouted professional teams.  Only two were involved in amateur scouting.  However, that doesn’t mean that more cuts aren’t coming.

Here’s a thought for your GM search.  What if Girardi has a “Joe Maddon” clause?  What if he gets to walk if he doesn’t like the next GM or doesn’t like the interim situation?  What if the White Sox job looks better to him?  What if?

No transactions this week, but expect them to begin in the days and weeks after game seven (or six).  Now that MLB’s plans to streamline the minor leagues seems like a fait accompli, look for a lot of players to be released by all organizations.  Assuming that the majors return to 26 players on their rosters; and that AAA, AA, A+, A and the Complex teams are permitted to remain at 35 players on their reserve rosters that’s 201 players in an organization.  Thirty-five for a DSL team would bump that number up to 236 players.  The Phillies have over 300 players in their organization.  A second GCL and DSL team would salvage another 70 players (that’s not guaranteed, yet), but the 30 or so players on futures contracts have to placed on rosters (or released after a 2-week invitation to spring training) within a season of having been signed.

The discussion on whom to protect from the Rule 5 Draft should heat up.  Here’s a thought.  If the Phillies don’t put Bailey Falter on the 40-man roster, they will lose him to another team.  I’d hate to see this happen.  But, if the Phillies aren’t interested, I’m sure other teams are.



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 October 26th … 333 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)

10/15/2020 – 2B Ronald Torreyes elected free agency
10/14/2020 – RHP Deolis Guerra elected free agency
10/06/2020 – DSL Phillies Red released RHP Jhostyn Marin
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

215 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of October 26th

  1. Looking forward to following Billy Sullivan. They’ll probably initially send him out as a starter, but because of control issues I believe he’ll end up a power arm out of the pen. Sullivan hit 100 before TJ, and K’ed 105 in 77 IP at Delaware.

    1. Right. It was only one inning, but his mechanics looked a little loose-goosey and he appeared to throw pitches out of different arm slots. If so, then tightening everything up should help his control/command. Hopefully without affecting his velocity. But, who’s going to be around to help him? More Driveline instructors? Looks like there might be a lot of turnover at the Complex.

  2. Some teams are actually post a box score for their instruct games… I wish the Phillies would also as an informational tool…

    1. Yeah. Here’s a worrisome line for you. Of pitchers not named Falter (who threw the only clean inning) – 9 innings started, 7.1 IP, 41 batters faced, 5 R, 5 ER, 10 H, 11 BB, 1 HBP, 10 K, 2WP, 1 error on a pick off throw, 1 stolen base and three outs on the base paths on 2 caught stealing and the base running mistake that resulted in an 8-4. Not pretty. Plus we rolled three innings one with 2 outs, one with one out, and one with no outs. But we did give the Jays 4 outs in the last inning.

      Our offense scored 2 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks and struck out 14 times. So, while I thought our pitchers were being squeezed (from 400 feet away), it looks like I can’t blame the umpires without revealing that I’m a true “homer”. But, I did start complaining about ball/strike calls in the first inning.

    1. You’re welcome! I almost didn’t recognize him with his flowing locks. But then I remembered the man bun he reported to spring training with in 2019. That lasted about a day before he went full crew cut (or buzz cut).

    1. Romus we should do this, My girl is on a diet but in a yeae when she loses 129 lbs, We can have dinner,

      1. ……she’ll just be a wisp of her old self, so to speak! Romus, I wouldn’t cut back on your meals because your going out, might just be a weight watcher shake.

  3. It will be a very sad day when Realmuto signs with the Mets, Romus. I won’t pretend I am hopeful. I sense a bad off season, followed by another losing 2021 season. I wish l didn’t.

    1. Thanks for sharing that, Romus.
      Matt … I sense Middleton holds on to JTR. I’ve always felt 5 years/120 million (in a COVID market) gets it done. Realmuto may be looking/hoping for something closer to 200 million, but that’s unrealistic IMO.

      1. I tend to agree with Hinkie. A deal will get done. The pessimism that has been reported by Todd Zolecki is posturing, IMO. If JTR wants to explore the market, that’s his prerogative. I also doubt it’s anywhere nearly as flush as he hopes. 5/$125M just might get it done. ($24M AAV w/$5M signing bonus), which means he would get $29M the 1st year of the deal.

          1. rocco..7 yrs?
            He may have to take a lower AAV to cover the the last few years.
            Also I would think the Philies would want to have a club option in the last year and maybe a mutual in the 6th.

            1. If Cohen wants to make sure Middleton cannot match…he could offer JTR 7 years…depends on how bad he wants him and how much he wants to hurt a division rival..
              He is the unknown in all of this.

    1. What a joke 3 billion to man who have tons of money, take the 30 teams and divide it up not going to break them, Like romus losing 100 thousand dollars at the casino, guys like him make that every day,

  4. Good stuff Jim! From a mutual friend on the Phillies staff I heard that Mick Abel has looked really good. He struck out six in two innings in his last intrasquad outing. Have you heard or seen anything on Abel or Francisco Morales? Can’t wait to watch those two develop over the next few years.

    1. I’ve seen Abel in practice early on but not in an intrasquad game. They are in Spectrum Field with no fans. Same for Morales.

      Six K in two innings is great! But, my enthusiasm is tempered by the fact that he’s facing the same guys who struck out 14 times against Jays pitchers on Saturday.

  5. In 2009 the Yankees won the WS against the Phillies. Since that time they haven’t even participated in a WS.

    That being the case, what is the attraction to their coaching staff and to their FO execs who have unlimited resources to outbid other teams for FA’s?

    Are they really doing that great a job? After-sight says the Stanton type deals haven’t given a good ROI. Enlighten me, why is Middleton attracted to NY?

    1. I know the Marlins paid a chunk of the contract but it pales in comparison to what they are on the hook for. Signed to a 13-year, $325 million deal in 2014, Stanton will make $77 million guaranteed from 2018 through 2020. Once the 2020 season comes to a close, Stanton has a player option every year from 2021 to 2027, with payouts that reach as much as $32 million from 2023 to 2025

      I don’t know about you guys but that will end up being a pretty big miss considering Stanton is oft injured.

      Jeter did well to make that move. He got Castro in return and a little known SS prospect named Jose Devers now just 20 plus Jorge Guzman likely a hard throwing BP arm.

      So yes I agree with you the Yankees model has some warts.

  6. John Middleton wants to be known as the George Steinbrenner of the National League. Yankees may not win the World Series or have been back since 2009, but they seem to draft better and have better luck in the J2 department than the Phillies.

    1. When you look at their current roster construction the ones that were pure Yankee selections/signings:

      Judge, Brett Gardner, Sanchez, Andujar, Tyler Wade, pitchers Jordan Montgomery. Loaisiga, and D. Garcia ( Luis Severino is on IL) were either drafted or signed as international kids, and I suppose you can put Masa Tanaka out of Japan in that category but he was a free agent so to speak.

      Judge and Gardner were hits….Sanchez and Andujar started out great but have plummeted ..the rest the jury is still out.

    2. Actually the Yankees haven’t drafted that well at all. In 2013 they had 3 1st round picks: Eric Jagielo, Aaron Judge, Ian Clarkin, their 2nd Rnd Pick was Gosuke Katoh. Sure Judge was a big hit but he has really hard time staying healthy.

      2014 they didn’t have a 1st but they did get Jordan Montgomery in the 4th Rnd

      2015 they had 2 1sts: Kyle Holder and Jame Kaprielian were taken. 2nd Rnd Jeff Dagano

      2016 Blake Rutherford in the 1st and Nick Solak in the 2nd

      2017 they took Clark Schmidt 1st Rnd Matt Sauer 2nd Rnd and Trevor Stephan.

      Jury has to still be out on 2018-2019-2020. I glanced at 2011-2012 as well and those were pretty bad too.

      What they have been good at is value trades. Flipping Chapman and Miller really helped them fill their talent deficit in their Minors. And value signs like LeMahieu and Urshela have paid off.

      So while they might not scout amateur talent that well they are pretty good at knowing what other systems have in their pools.

  7. Who do you want…keep Andy McPahil for probably one more year….or go with Dave Dombrowski?

    Scott Lauber of The Philly Inquirer reports that the 64-year-old is interested in leading the Phillies baseball operations, but it would require another shake-up in addition to former GM Matt Klentak’s reassignment: “Dave Dombrowski, architect of two World Series winners, is more interested in the Phillies job than the Los Angeles Angels’ GM vacancy, according to two sources, but only if he has complete autonomy. That wouldn’t be the case with Andy MacPhail in the role of team president.“

    1. McPhail is just a placeholder. He wouldn’t prevent them from hiring a new President. He would just become an advisor for a year. I think Dombroski would be a solid old school choice. I’d rather they go with a younger new school guy (from Tampa) though.

    2. Romus, the lesser of two evils – Dombrowski. None of us are getting any younger. A championship run in short order beats the indefinite slog of piecing together a contender and being 3 years away from only being 3 years away.

    3. Not a Dombo fan. He does get you to the playoffs and WS but he tears town an org to do it.

      I’d rather see something more sustainable

        1. Utter nonsense. It has nothing to do with Philadelphia. It has to do with stupid owners hiring ineffective general managers and presidents. There’s no reason – zero – why Philadelphia can’t have several dynastic teams. It’s a really big market with rapid sports fans who watch games and spend money at the park/stadium. The city is there for the taking by whoever achieves excellence.

      1. Dave Dombrowski would be a desperation hire made by a desperate owner.
        That guy would trade any prospect not nailed to the floor in an effort to win in 2021. Mick Abel … gone. Francisco Morales … gone. Rafael Marchan … gone. Bryson Stott … gone. By 2023, we’ll have an old team with a payroll ripping at the seams. Middleton will be searching for a new GM to start Rebuild 2.0. The new GM’s job will be next to impossible because to get rid of some of the bloated contracts, he’ll need to include a prospect(s) … but … we won’t have any.

        I’d rather Middleton give Andy MacPhail “the talk”, and make Erik Neander an offer he can’t refuse. If Neander loves Tampa too much to accept one of the richest deals in MLB, maybe look into Michael Hill.

          1. I think Hill is flying under the radar. He’s got a helluva track record of mining talent in the draft. He’s really excelled in picking high ceiling prep (and JUCO) players. Check out this list:

            * Giancarlo Stanton
            * Steve Cishek
            * Brad Hand
            * Christian Yelich
            * JT Realmuto
            * Jose Fernandez
            * Josh Naylor
            * Chris Paddack

            He’s also drafted these college players:

            * Blake Treinen
            * Andrew Heaney
            * Austin Barnes
            * Austin Nola
            * Colin Moran
            * Brian Anderson


            The Phillies could have five of the top 90 picks in next year’s draft.

            ROUND 1 – pick 13
            ROUND 2 – pick 50
            compensation pick (JTR) as early as 73
            compensation pick (Didi) as early as 74
            ROUND 3 – ~pick 90

            The next GM/President of Baseball Ops needs to have an excellent track record of procuring and developing talent. Neander and Hill have done it.

            1. And he has the history with JTR that could get him to re-sign with the Phillies…at a reasonable dollar amount.

  8. Romus, No interest from me on Dombrowski. And, I do not like a single thing that Andy MacPhail has done here related to team building. But, I want someone who can evaluate talent, and develop talent. Dombrowski will trade every prospect we have for a short term gain, and that is exactly what I don’t want. I don’t get the whole Middleton approach that he hopes MacPhail takes an advisory role. Just fire him. Pay him his year that is left, and tell him to go away. No one, worth anything, is coming here without the President of Baseball Operations title.

  9. Well it looks like most people do not want to see Dave Dombrowski working in Philly…can’t say I blame them. I hope Middleton does not go into that direction.

    1. Please, no Dombrowski, no rebuild groundhog day. As for MacPhail, it’s bad enough that he’s effectively done nothing but keep a seat warm and collect a paycheck, but his arrogance (over what?) and condescension is what takes it over the edge. I hate him almost as much as I hate Brian Colangelo and, let me tell you, that takes some doing!

      1. So far I got on your Philly sports “hate list’
        …Dave Dombrowski
        ….Bryan Colangelo
        ….Ruben Amaro
        ….Chip Kelly
        …Gabe Kapler (??..not quite hate…..loathe))
        …Chris Young (??….not quite hate….loathe)

        ..anymore to be added?

          1. Not sure he was around long enough for people to really draw a hatred for him…..and I think he did later apologize after that remark he made.

      2. Catch, Don’t hate anyone. Life is too short.

        Having said that, I do think MacPhail should be sent into retirement.

  10. I agree with Hinkie and catch, Michael Hill is a fine choice, and a hard NO to Dombrowski. catch is exactly correct about this market, its fanbase and the potential here that is as good as anyone’s.The failures have been in Ownership’s choices to run the team.

  11. Time for the Phillies to break the trend of hiring “has been” and hire someone who is qualified based on proven skill and not someone who is known because of name. If Middleton doesn’t know who are the qualified people because he is just new to the baseball business — just start with organizations that made the Final 4 of the WS and raid their FO.

    It is really disappointing that Middleton takes sooooooo mucccchhhhh time thinking and then he will just screw it up at the end.

    1. KK, agree. Let’s not hired Dombrowski and trade our future for a quick-fix that might not work. And Mid, please be more decisive more quickly.

  12. Jim Gott is gone as BP Coach, after 3 years. Does anyone know who fired him? Is it a Joe Girardi thing? Ned Rice? Can anyone read anything into this?

    1. I think it’s a worst bullpen since 1930 thing. No more complicated than that, regardless of who handed him the news.

      1. I think I have this right, really trying to understand. The GM hires a bunch of flunkies for the bullpen, the GM quits (had his arm twisted to do so).

        The pitching coach resigns because the bulk of the pitchers are not coachable or do not have the ability or he’s getting fired or he wants out of “Dodge” before the gunfight.

        Next up fire the bullpen coach because he can’t make “Cinderella” out of the “ugly duckling”!

        Appears the next step up is to open the pen door and release the “ugly ducklings” or send them to another market.

        I think I got it now.

    2. Matt, Gott didn’t get fired with time left on his contract. His contract expired and he wasn’t rehired. Could be to hire someone for less money. Could be the Phillies are going to redefine and restructure the staff. Could be they want to invest in more Driveline guys. Or, maybe they want to hire more former college coaches. I’m guessing all four.

      1. Thanks Jim, all 4 are probably a good idea. I re-read the story and saw his contract was up and not renewed.

  13. MLB owners are expected to approve Steve Cohen as Mets owner this Friday, but Mayor deBlasio may delay the inevitable long enough for NYM to miss out on the free agent and trade market this off season. Shame, ain’t it?

    1. The three big free agents could be on the market until December sometime I would think…taking bids and weighing offers.
      Many of the lesser free agents may jump on board with their new teams in the next two/three weeks

  14. The Phillies did not renew their bullpen coach Gott’s contract. I guess that’s not a shocker although he may have took the fall for the GM’s. Mgr’s and Pitching Coaches horrible personnel decisions this year. The Phillies did not renew their bullpen coach Gott’s contract. I guess that’s not a shocker although he may have took the fall for the GM’s. Mgr’s and Pitching Coaches horrible personnel decisions for pitching this year.

  15. Bleacher Report…..a trade possibility:
    Phillies and Dodgers Swap Controllable Assets

    The Proposal:
    To LAD: IF/OF Scott Kingery……………….To PHI: C Keibert Ruiz
    “If the Philadelphia Phillies are unable to come to terms on a new deal with All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto this offseason, there will be a massive void to fill behind the plate.
    Keibert Ruiz has been one of baseball’s top catching prospects for multiple years now, but he’s blocked by Will Smith in Los Angeles, and the Dodgers have another top-tier catching prospect rising the ranks in Diego Cartaya. In exchange, the Dodgers bring back Scott Kingery, who would be the perfect super-utility replacement for Enrique Hernandez, who will be a free agent for the first time this offseason.”

    …i guess Rafael Marchan is not a suitable prospect according to Bleacher Report.

    1. Blasphemy, Romus! Jetpax gone?!? Marchan relegated to chopped liver?!? What next? CeHe returns to play 2b?

      1. Now that would make rocco happy with Cesar coming home.
        I guess 24-year old Nick Maton then becomes the most immediate 2nd base prospect….and maybe Luis Garcia becomes the 3 /4 year guy down the road…don’t know, is Brito still consider a prospect?
        There is also Casey Martin from the draft.

      2. No………we are going after Sean Rodriguez as he can play multiple positions and could be a real sleeper!

      1. As much as I would like to see Kingery rebound from 2020, I would have to sign off on that deal, assuming JTR walks…

    2. LOL they have no idea what they are watching when they watch Marchan. I believe he is so good I don’t sign JT how’s that…

      1. Is he MLB ready for 120 games behind the plate in 2021?
        Or even 40 to 50 as a back-up?
        He may need a little more minor league work…from the hitting aspect.

        1. Marchan had 86 plate appearances at Clearwater in 2019 then 9 PA with the Phillies in 2020. Of course he starts in the minors in 2021. Just a question of whether he is in Reading or Lehigh Valley.

          1. Yeah agree….Girardi of course likes his defensive game, being a defensive catcher himself as a player, so that goes to reason he sang his praises in March.

            But he needs those high minor league ABs vs almost ready MLB pitchers, and if it is another venue like this season, with COVID protocols again in place….then he should get as many as possible of those ABs against the Alternate Site pitchers in their simulated games up in LHV.

            Though I would hope if they have to go to another Alternate Site next season, maybe they should consider the Complex , it would be better suited for overall development.

            I mean, at this point of the virus landscape, a 2 hr flight up from CLW to Philly should be just as safe as the 90 minute drive down from LHV

            1. Jim’s probably right and I’m over my skis again. He probably starts in AA and moves to AAA next season then we’ll see what happens.

              I guess what I’m saying is that he makes me comfortable enough not to outbid ourselves for JT. I’m just not feeling that kind of AAV tied up in a 30 y/o catcher.

              I’m not part of that “he’s the best catcher in baseball” crowd. What does that even mean as its such a low bar.

            2. yeah DMAR…love to have JTR back….but not at a record high for catcher AAV…of say $25M plus….and for more than 5 years.
              Maybe live with a 5yr/$140M….and maybe in this current fiscal landscape that could be the best he gets.
              Just another end -of- contract -nightmare waiting to happen that is anything longer and higher..

  16. Random thought: The Phillies are my home team and I will always root for and follow them. But, over the years, I’ve become more and more enamored with the Dodgers. Appreciation for Kershaw’s prime/greatness started it. Even though I’ve never lived in LA, I regularly wear my Dodgers cap in rotation with my Eagles and Phillies ones.

    As of right now, it’s the top of the 9th, and they look primed to win it all. Assuming they do, I’ll be a very happy camper.

  17. Congratulations to the LAD’s. They have been the best drafting team in MLB over the last half decade, and it all paid off for them in 2020.

    And shame on Kevin Cash for pulling a Gabe Kapler. I don’t care what he’s done all year. It’s an elimination game, and he pulls maybe the best LHSP in baseball (Blake Snell) after just 73 pitches and only two hits.

    Let the offseason begin. Time for John Middleton to get to work. If he’s serious about winning, he should be spending (at least on a progressive FO leader) this winter while almost everyone else is cutting costs.

    1. No sugar coating that at all that was a bad hook on Snell. He had it going last last. At the end of the day it was a tale of two extremes. Two good drafting teams. Two teams good at value trades

      But only one had the funds to keep the veterans you need to win a WS. The other did not.

      Let’s get on with the odd season I mean off…

    2. Hinkie – I agree with you on Kevin Cash over managing = pulling a Kapler. Bad bad decision to remove Snell and Nick Adams has gone down the tubes with allowing runs in almost every single outing post season.

      1. RU … you are right. Handing the ball off to Nick Anderson made the move (from Snell) even more egregious. Anderson has been leaking oil throughout the post season. He had allowed an earned run in six straight appearances (7 now after last night). I’ve always loved Snell. He looked as good as I’ve ever seen him last night.

    3. Not surprising that Kevin Cash pulled Blake Snell when he did. Tampa has always done that with Snell. When he won the Cy Young in 2018 he averaged less than six innings per start.

  18. I hate Los Angeles, Been there and hate it, so Hinkie i cant share you view, Middleton wake up please

  19. Congrats to the Dodgers..I’m one who felt the playoffs this year were even more of a test than unusual.. The Dodgers are a worthy champion… They were the best team all year and I like the way they run their organization. Great drafts… First class farm system and continuity in the coaching staffs.. Pretty much everything the Phillies aren’t right now..

  20. This morning starts the process of the bidding/offers/meetings now for the free agents.
    This next five-day period, will serve as something of an exclusive negotiating window for teams with departing free agents…hint hint John Middleton. Usually you don’t see too many deals struck at this time, but it does happen occasionally.
    And QOs have to be put out this week.

    1. The Phillies are obviously tagging JTR. I’ve read different things about what they will do with Gregorius. Let me make this perfectly clear: under no circumstance can John Middleton not slap a QO on Didi. His LH bat lengthens the Phillies lineup, he’s a solid defender, and a great presence in the clubhouse. Nothing wrong with a 1 year/18.9 million dollar Didi deal. If he leaves for a better contract, the Phillies could really use the extra draft pick. No team has had fewer draft selections than the Phillies over the last three years.

      1. He would be a little overpriced but Didi is a really good team player, a glue player. Agreed they really should extend the QO.

  21. On the Blake Snell move, which I opposed, my feeling is this. All the analytics are great tools, but this is the WS, lose and go home. There are no pitch counts. The numbers do not tell you when a Pitcher, or player for that matter, is in a zone. Snell was last night. They dream of this since they were little kids. The adrenaline is in overdrive. Certain guys raise their level at moments like this. Kirk Gibson would never have been allowed to get to the plate by the numbers. The WS, and other Championship moments make the extraordinary happen all the time. Congrats to the Dodgers, whose drafting and “finding talent in the margins” has been the best. On our team, there is a lot of work to do in just the coming week. A good thing that Ned Rice is in charge to handle it all!

    1. matt13…I detect a bit of sarcasm in your last sentence. 🙂

      …something rocco is very skilled at.

  22. Reports today say that the city of NY is expected to okay the Cohen decision within the next few days. So much for our hopes that the JTR market would be constrained. Either way, keep him or lose him, I’m prepared to reload the organization while hopefully remaining within aim of playoff relevance. $65M-$73M freed up, plus a couple extra draft picks should go a long way, provided there’s at least one brain in a decision making capacity to make the most of it. I still think JTR re-signs, but it’s hardly a slam dunk. Meanwhile, let’s add a solid #3, a couple relievers including a legit closer, a CF and bring a few kids come up to either sink or swim. We know who they are.

  23. Justin Turner was pulled from game freaking 6 of the Series due to a covid positive. Well, that begs serious questions regarding the protocol in place by MLB. He refused to leave the field upon his return to celebrate with his teammates after years of finally winning the championship. He was ridiculed by some for not wearing a mask and kissing his wife on the lips in one of the most significantly joyful moments in his life (beside wedding day and birth of a first born, a World Series ring is pretty huge, no?)

    I don’t know…

    1. Dodgers will probably just pay the fine, if it is found out they violated the protocol.
      Turner was a Tier 1 person so he was subject to a test every other day.
      They will make some excuse results were not in…..but then that will beg the question what about the other 25/30 teammates’ results.!

      The protocol does state at arrival to the park:
      “……….. Everyone gets two more temperature checks and completes another symptom questionnaire at a screening station; in another area, some will be tested for COVID-19 (all Tier 1 individuals will be subject to testing every other day. ………”

  24. Today has the potential to be such a great day if the 76ers officially hire Daryl Morey to run basketball ops. For the love of earth, Mr Middleton, could you please show MacPhail the door and go hire the baseball equivalent of Morey to oversee your organization?

    The teams in this city now have 4 highly accomplished head coaches / manager in AV, Doug, Doc, and Girardi. I can’t think of a 4 team city that can match that horsepower right now. With Morey and Fletcher, the FOs of the Flyers and Sixers will be in great hands. I think the Eagles could get Howie a little more help but he is a Champion and probably takes more heat than he deserves. The Phillies – this is our last frontier!!!!

    1. Hiring Morey is fete fate accompli from reports within the last few minutes. That would put the Sixers second behind the Flyers in the local pro sports landscape. Sadly Mr Middleton is still looking for his front office front man. And there is virtually no identity with this team moving forward. Limbo.

  25. We have a ton of moves to make, 8mark, and none will matter unless the right guy is leading the team. Why MacPhail is still here, I cannot possibly understand. But there will be a lot of movement, I think, despite the uncertain financial times, and there will be early opportunities to add talent at reasonable prices, because players, other than JTR and Bauer, don’t want to be left out, so will take 1 year, or short deals. and a smart team will benefit. How about if we be the smart team, Mr. Middleton?

        1. Former Phuture Phillie Trevor May is the power arm this team needs for the BP.
          They should be able to sign a SP to a short term (probably one year) deal. I like Drew Smyly, but Jose Quintana, Mike Minor, Jon Lester, James Paxton, Alex Wood, Cole Hamels, and JA Happ are all coming off down or injury plagued seasons and entering a cold COVID market.

          1. Jose Quintana, Mike Minor, Jon Lester, James Paxton, Alex Wood, Cole Hamels,….each can be had relatively inexpensive.
            The risk factor involved, ….age and injury for guys like Cole Hamels, Jon Lester and James Paxton.
            I am with you on Smyly…..he has been in Philly and knows the people….so why not try to get him back.
            Girardi I believe prefers a lefty or two in his rotation.

      1. Perhaps not…he is also a free agent….and a 10 game or so suspension , at the start of next season could be an annoyance to him.

  26. Something I cannot understand is CSNPhilly’s hate for Andrew McCutcheon. Last month they do an article about how other free agents that the Phillies could have signed instead have out performed him. And today, an article about what he needs to do in the last year of his contract to live up to the deal. I will say this, numbers do not tell the whole story. There is not one player in that locker room I would rather have as a veteran presence/ role model for the younger players than Andrew McCutcheon. He is a true professional, always available to the media and fans, and always plays with passion. I just don’t understand.

  27. According to Jim Salisbury, a person close to JTR says he’s not “keen” on playing in NYC. Of course, money talks loudest but at least it’s encouraging to hear this as the off season begins 5pm Sunday. (I wonder if that person’s initials are BH😎)

    1. Not even sure if/when Mets sale will go through.


      I’m standing by my 5 year/120 million dollar prediction for JTR.

      1. Of all the multitudes of issues NYC has right now and this is what DeBlasio spends his time on…Needless to say New Yorkers from all persuasions can’t wait for DeBlasio to be gone..

  28. Reference – Didi – he should definitely get the QO – however, he may look for a 2/3 year deal for – say 12 – 14 per year because if he plays on another one year he will be only one of, I believe, 5 shortstops in the following 2022 class – including Seager, Lindor, Story, Baez, and Correa + others who due to Didi’s age etc. would be far more appealing – albeit, alot more expensive ! So it behooves him to find a multi year deal to end his career.

    1. I’m not so sure the QO will be handed out like it has in years past. Obviously JT is going to get it but this is expected to be a really depressed market coming off of a $3.1 Billion loss.

      I think you’ll see quite a few teams look to take advantage of that market and I think you’ll see agents advising their players to take the QO if they get it reference guys like Didi.

      Watch to see what happens with LaMahieu and the Yankees.

      Oakland is going to be interesting also with Hendricks and Semien. They thrive on those extra picks but they don’t thrive on those $18 plus AAVs.

  29. John i think the Mets Sale goes thru, once they grease the mayors hands, Its the New York way

    1. Knowing the cunning but openly devious deBlasio….he will will draw on the ARod/JLo popularity in NY to try to sway the people against Cohen.
      I think he wants ARod to get the reign of the Mets….ala Jeter with the Marlins.

  30. A nice report by Jim Salisbury on Instructional camp, and highlighted how good Mick Abel and Kendall Simmons have looked, along with a few others. I will take good news whenever I can, but Abel’s stuff seems really good, not just his FB, and Bonifay raved about Simmons’ bat speed. I have such a pessimistic view of the Major League team that I need good news from the Farm.

    1. I liked what I saw from Abel, the few clips. Obviously need to see more, but the velo is there, the early hype train is taking passengers

    2. If you want to look at a guy who has an outside chance to be the most all-around electric player on the team since Mike Schmidt, look at Simmons. He has a tremendous range of tools. The odds of him succeeding to that level are very low, but his ceiling is as high as anyone’s in the organization.

  31. Adam Morgan and Heath Hembree were outrighted. They would have cost too much in arbitration anyway so open up some spots for better value in the pen.

  32. Keith Law did his top 40 FA story in the Athletic today, and I noticed an omission who I would really like, and Hinkie loves. That is Trevor May. There are 3 or 4 Relievers on the list that I would have behind May, so surprised about that. He has Springer as #!, and JTR as #2, although says that Realmuto will be the most coveted. I actually believe Springer gets more suitors than JTR. I have a hard time understanding how we are moving forward this off season with Ned Rice in charge. Demoting Klentak was just a bone to the fanbase, but not a thing has changed.

    1. I agree, seems like you should have your real GM in place. I was always under the impression that when you can someone, in a position like this, you had already started conducting interviews. Basically you should have people asking for the job before you demote Klentak. Feels like they demoted/fired him, and put “hire new GM” far down on the to do list. Odd, but ill hold out hope on Middleton, though my faith is wavering.

        1. If they hire him you can almost guarantee that the organization will not have sustained success probably into the 2030s (5-6 years of a short boom then bust cycle culminating with the Dombrowski being fired, then a new hire and more years in the basement trying to dig out of that hole) – that’s so short-sighted and stupid.

          1. Agree.
            I remember 5 years ago when Middleton hired Klentak…..he said ….I want the now to happen and also 5 years from now…or something of that nature.
            Meaning…not the Dombrowski way of Detroit and now he Red Sox….though Sox to get another title out of him…..Tigers came up short in the WS.
            But now both teams are struggling to stay into contention….and that was also the same way with the marlins if I recall after their WS runs….although Dombrowski built a sound minor league system, the Marlins achieved their first great success—the NL pennant and 1997 World Series title—with a team composed of many high-salaried players signed as free agents.

  33. Basically, the Phillies need to hire a President of operations like Daryl Morey, someone who runs the organization and knows what he is doing. I have blasted the Sixers like crazy for being pressured (one might say lured) into hiring Colangelo and then replacing him with Elton Brand, who literally had (and still probably has) no idea what he was doing while those two incompetent GMs spent three years pissing away all their assets with nothing to show for that.

    But give them credit. They saw the ship sinking and made the right hire for now and the future. The fact that the Phillies do nothing while knowing that their organization is rudderless, is incomprehensible and inexcusable.

      1. Kinda weird that you know my first name Roc, but I’ll try not to think too much about that and what lengths you had to go to figure that out (not that I mind if people know who I am, but I don’t believe I’ve ever used my real name on this site).

  34. I agree with catch. Overnight, the Sixers went from a joke to a team with genuine hope. Right now, our Baseball team is stuck in the middle. Not good enough to be a Playoff team, and not bad enough to get a top prospect, I fully understand the difference in drafting between the NBA and MLB, but the point I am making is that in the middle is a bad place to be. Can we get to be a Playoff team this off season? I believe yes, but not unless there is someone brought in who knows what they are doing. Aside from The JTR signing/non-signing, there are opportunities for a smart team that will be available. Otherwise, it is another lost season.

  35. I just read that Cleveland outrighted Brad Hand. Is the $10MM club option too high for the Phillies to consider him? He’d certainly be a great addition to any BP.

    1. The Indians are cutting salary and even trying to avoid paying Brad Hand’s $1M buyout. He had a really good season (almost 2 WAR across a full season), but $10M for a reliever is pricey now.

      1. As a note, I believe 2/3 of the teams will try to reduce team salaries for 2021. Any team who’s willing to pay Brad Hand $10M will likely be one of the few who are willing to spend.

  36. Tony LaRussa named as Chisox manager. Reports are that Reinsdorf made that call while others in the front office had reservations about him being unable to connect with their young roster.

    Another case of an owner doing someone else’s job.

    1. Hall of Fame committee not happy.
      They do not like guys going back after being inducted and assumed retired.
      Russo said Yogi had to let Lasorda know that 20 years ago…and Lasorda acquiesced and decided against taking the Dodgers’ managerial job again .

    1. A good time to be pro-active, I would think. But, can we be Johnny on the spot? Not likely, I would think! Difficult to understand who is calling the shots in this organization. Is it Ned, Andy or John or is it by committee?

  37. Its an undeniably brutal year for free agents..Even though JTR and Springer lead the class my forecast, take 50% of what you thought you were going to get… It’s that bad…

  38. Wouldn’t Brad Hand be a good pick up? Only a 1 year deal, yes for $10M, but a quality Reliever, and as Pat Gillick said, “there is no such thing as a bad 1 year deal.” Not coming off injury or a bad season, but I don’t know who would even be making that decision.

    1. Under normal circumstances, Hand’s option would be picked up by the Indians.

      If the Phillies can afford it, they should do it. But in these times, not sure what’s going to happen.

  39. Hembree, Morgan, Gosselin, Parker have been put on outright waivers.

    Note that Zach Britton’s 2022 option was picked up by the Yankees ($14M for 2022) which means that Britton cannot opt out after this season. He’s now under salary to the Yankees for 2021 at $13M.

  40. Sign of the times…..Yankees Brett Gardner out there now along with Brewers’ Ryan Braun.
    The fiscal crunch is now rearing its head…..or is it an excuse for teams to cut loose of aging expensive veterans!
    Nats may have to make a decision now on Super Two Soto…..seems he would like an Acuna/Albies contract…but in any event he may command and AAV of close to $15M entering only in his 22age season..

    1. I have to believe Soto gets a $100+ extension maybe even a 7 $140

      One thing is for sure we need some lefties to deal with him and Freeman

      Lastly at what point in this offseason will we know if the DH is staying or not?

      1. This will be twice that Rizzo and the Nats got hot prospects s up a little earlier than fiscal management would dictate.
        Harper and Soto….if he held out for another 6/8 weeks in their 19age seasons, they may have been better serve in the long run.
        Theo did it with Bryant and it would have seem to work out, where it not for COVID happening.
        At least the Braves were smart to get Acuna/Albies to take that LTC

  41. Yanks committed to the 2022 option for Britton, so have him for 2 more years at $13 and $14M per. Isn’t Hand worth a 1 year deal at $10Million? I know I sarcastically ask if anyone is running the team, but someone really is, aren’t they?Our favorite executive, Andy MacPhail is having a 3″00 press conference. Is it too much to hope that it is to retire?

    1. matt13…agree…a bird in the Hand ,is worth two in the bush.
      Grab him up.
      And get May at a little more than half of $10M..

      And MacPhail may indeed announce his retirement…..or his new GM.

  42. Wouldn’t we have heard some leaks about a GM? I am hoping it is to announce his retirement, so Middleton can offer President of Baseball Ops to the next guy. At least I am keeping my fingers crossed! And, Romus, I am all in on Trevor May. May and Hand and fill in from there is a big step up. Regardless of what happens with Realmuto, we have to, at least, pretend we are trying to field a competitive team.

  43. Has there a final decision on how many rounds the draft will be next year? If MLB is determined to do away with some minor league teams, I can’t see it being more than 20-25 rounds.

  44. I posted this last week, but with teams releasing/declining the options of good players it feels like the right time to reiterate it.
    The Phillies lack the organizational depth to realistically compete with the Braves, Dodgers, and even Padres. Those clubs have better MLB rosters, better farm systems, and (for Atlanta & SD) more payroll flexibility.
    If John Middleton is serious about winning, he needs to spend while almost every other team is cutting payroll (because of COVID). Middleton is one of the richest owners in sports (worth 3.5 Billion dollars). The franchise may have lost money in 2020, but it’s value increases annually. I know it’s not my money, but Middleton is the one who emphatically claimed, “I want my Fu¢%ing trophy back!” If the Phillies owner wants to gain a competitive advantage on those three clubs, he needs to spend in 2021.
    And … for God’s sake … please do not stick us with Ned Rice and Andy MacPhail as the team’s masterminds this winter.

    1. @Hinkie – i agree with you about spending. From the time Middleton signed Harper and double down with Wheeler — the train to WS left the station. Too bad that Middleton handed to control to a FO who is not up to the task.

      I understand that the farm needs to be strengthened, but this does mean that the Phillies need to trade Nola and other cheap players under control. This can be done by hiring a top notch FO and scouting teams that can identify talents domestic and international.

      The Phillies will not be Top 5 and possibly not even Top 10 but the key pieces in place (Harper, Wheeler, Nola) are good enough to make a run if they get hot at the right time. The Phillies just need sufficient “depth” especially the players who can be signed via one-year or short term deals. Klentak miserably in this area.

  45. The biggest surprise buyout was Kolten Wong. His WAR for 2020 would be 2+ over a full season. He had 5.2 WAR in 2019. He’s only 30 and for the Cardinals not to pay him $12.5M for 2021 is shocking. It’s not like like their payroll is that much.

    1. I was envisioning a LHSP (maybe Paxton, or Quintana, or Smyly), but Morton makes a lot of sense. His in-laws are in Delaware. His wife would love to be close by.

  46. All of these option decisions is proving one thing – going to be a bad winter for most players with TONS of great value on the market for a team willing to spend. My thoughts on the Phils:

    1) If they give QO to Didi, he will accept it.
    2) JTR is not getting $175M+ from anyone.
    3) Phils, due to needing a lot of pieces and lacking depth, should strongly consider letting JTR walk at a certain price and going to get quantity and depth up to the luxury threshold. Rather than pay JTR $25M next year, they might be able to get 4-5 key pieces on shorter deals that would allow better payroll flexibility next offseason as well.
    4) Zunino / Knapp anyone?

    1. @Buddy – I agree with #1-3 but not necessary in #4. The key “hire” for Middleton this offseason is the new FO. The Phillies do not fill a MLB type roster to win — they just need to find those cheap complimentary players (that most winning teams have) and build good depth across major and minor levels.

      It is easy to hire good talent but it comes with a heavy price tag. Middleton justified Klentak’s success by pointing to the Harper signing — that’s baloney. Any GM can sign good players if the ownership is willing to pay — that’s economics and not eye for talent.

      So it is really important that the Phillies hired a FO who knows how to identify talent — because if they can’t the will wasting $$ again for players who don’t contribute.

  47. I agree 100% with you, Hinkie. This is exactly when the rich get richer. In real life, and in sports. Forget the argument about Realmuto for a minute. My opinion has been stated way too many times. Even without him, Middleton said how much he wants to win. I didn’t force him to. He wanted to let the fans know how committed he was to win Now he can prove whether or not he was being honest. There are already opportunities out there and there will be many more. We need to be ina position to take advantage. But, we are nowhere if Ned Rice and Andy MacPhail are making the decisions. But, I am afraid that Middleton is just full of hot air.

    1. I think Middleton wants to win but I think he has no idea what that takes or looks like as an owner in 2020.

      He talks about managing the Phillies as if he’s teaching a business 101 course. The comments last year about firing Gabe because he was telling the FO who to sign was Ludacris.

      Just poach someone from a smart, forward thinking small market franchise and give him autonomy.

      If we pair a smart Team President with a smart GM and Brian Barber this team will run the NL East depending on how the Mets structure their front office.

  48. That is a big if, JL26. The options are out there, and we need Middleton to act. From the day the season ended, we all said that we need a President of Baseball Ops, and he can hire the GM. Nothing else would work. I would like to see that starting at 3:00 today. Denny, what I had read was that if the Rays won the WS, Morton would seriously consider retiring. I bet he would not turn down a 1 year deal to come here. We should already be talking to Agents, and it’s only a day and a half. Trevor May on a 2 year deal, Hand and Morton on 1 year deals, and we are already better, even if we lose JTR.

  49. With all the relatively higher priced options being dropped like flies, it would seem to me that JTR might entertain the idea of accepting the QO and reentering the market next year without the QO hanging on him. Or at least negotiate with the Phillies for a one year deal over the $18.9 QO.

    1. That is a real possibility that JTR could accept the QO…especially when he and his agent see what is happening now and will continue to occur over the next few weeks around baseball.
      Many very good veterans are being let go.

      Now just waiting for Scott Boras to chime in….owners using pandemic loss revenue as a collusive tactic to lower team salaries.

    2. That’s a huge risk on JT’s part. Even in this climate, he’ll easily get $100M from somebody. If he takes a 1 year QO or even negotiates it to 1 year $25M and he gets seriously hurt or he just plain stinks, he may lose out big time.

      This reminds me of when the Giants tried to give Lincecum 5 years, $100M but Lincecum turned it down because he wanted more money. So Lincecum bet on himself with smaller deals and it blew up in his face because he fell off a cliff at age 28. It cost Lincecum $22.5M and it should have been more if Sabean (the Giants GM) didn’t give him a $35M extension that made no sense since he was in full blow decline.

  50. John Middleton chaired the executive council that voted to let Steve Cohen take ownership of the Mets. Bill de Blasio however is putting up a legal fight.
    And Jerry Reinsdorf, WSox owner , a ‘no’ vote, evidently wants ARod as the owner.

  51. Scott Lauber
    Andy MacPhail made clear that a) he won’t remain with the #Phillies beyond next year, b) the hiring of a new GM isn’t imminent, c) he doesn’t expect any big moves in free agency until later in the process. Club’s focus is internal for now, in terms of staff reductions, etc.

    1. a). Hope it is no later then the Rose Bowl on January 1.
      b). It should be, but a snail moves as a snail moves.
      c). The early bird gets the worm, the late birds get the stench bugs & bag worms.

      The clubs focus is on eliminating the little guys who make your visit to the ballpark such a pleasant experience.

      Thanks Andy, SSDD!

    2. Those are, collectively, the worst messages
      the team could send to it’s fans. The guy in charge of this mess is hanging around, we are not bringing in someone to turn this this around and, oh yeah, we are cutting costs not investing in the future.

      On behalf of Phillies fans everywhere: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  52. It’s amazing that Middleton lets him speak! There cannot be a fan anywhere who has hope for this coming season. Just cut costs, do nothing, but make sure you are arrogant while doing nothing but failing. What is the point of him being here for another year doing nothing but increasing the fan bases’s animosity?

  53. Andy MacPhail apparently was ready to step aside and be happy about it, but I can only assume John Middleton asked him to remain on board until he gets the next President.
    From my gut feeling…..Andy does not relish the thought of being here much longer….he did not accomplish what he set out to accomplish five years ago, and now is willing to retire.

  54. Wow, nobody claimed Brad Hand. The Indians will pay the $1M buyout. That’ll tell you all you need to know about whether or not teams will spend.

    1. Considering that a lot of teams are buying out players, there doesn’t seem to be money left for FA, especially for non elite players. I don’t think he’s going to get 1 year, $14M like what the Phillies offered him this past season.

      And yes, I don’t think the Phillies will offer a QO to Didi. Didi might accept it.

  55. The market for relief pitchers got a little deeper as the Marlins declined their $4MM option over Brandon Kintzler, which I almost find more surprising than the Indians’ decision regarding Hand. Given Kintzler’s age, can he expect to get more than a two-year deal?

  56. Well that WS glow didn’t last long.. Between The Athletic and Baseball America, both are predicting a very dark and ugly winter for MLB baseball. With the existing CBA set to expire next year, the MLB and MLBPA should be starting their negotiations due to the complexity of the agreement… That isn’t set to happen..For one everyone is so focused on what 2021 will look like there is no emphasis to start negotiations.. Two, some agents and front office people suggest pushing the existing CBA back a year to 2023… The MLBPA has flatly rejected that idea… The MLBPA’s hatred for the current CBA is palpable yet their in no hurry to start new CBA negotiations.. The owners are in full cost cut mode where everyone from the organist to the head of of player development is being axed.. I think were in for three or four years of really choppy times for MLB..

      1. I know that was a ‘Debbie Downer’ of a post. Let’s all enjoy college football on this beautiful Saturday.

    1. Scott Boras will chime in soon…..collusion is his favorite word…or he will ask the owners, just open the books for verification.
      Interested in hearing Clark’s take from the MLBPA side of it.

      1. Owners won’t open the books until the players agree to a salary cap. Per BA , of the major sports leagues the MLB is least financially set-up to withstand the economic effects of the pandemic..

  57. The Mets have a lot of money to play with. They were at $202MM this past year. If they let go of 12 players coming up, they will be just over $100MM. Now, that includes Syndergaard (10), Matz (5), and Betances (3). So, let the bidding begin.

    1. Cohen and the Mets will go extreme high on JTR, and maybe Bauer or Springer.
      Will Middleton want to match and outrageous offer to JTR?
      As much as i would hate to see JTR gone and still yet catching for the Mets, but matching something ridiculous could be detrimental to the Phillies in the long run, unless the minor league kids all prosper into MLB impactful or at least contributing MLB players..

  58. According to MacPhail, they have tried to engage JTR in LTC talks on 3 different occasions, and could not reach a common ground. I don’t know if that means really far apart, slightly far apart, or impossible to see one position from the other. So, I remain pessimistic. Clearly, Middleton is happy beginning the off season with what is in place. I think the unwillingness to move during a pandemic is just an excuse. They are not planning to be active early in FA, and according to MacPhail, most decisions are about internal personnel, so can be handled by who is presently here, Ned Rice. Nothing he said gives me anything to be optimistic about. He expressed his disappointment in the 5 years he has been here, and can’t understand why the last 3 Septembers the team failed. We all know why, and we, as fans, are a lot more than disappointed with him. A new regime cannot start soon enough.

    1. This is an organization clearly characterized by a spirit of fear and timidity. That head needs to be chopped off.

      1. Very disappointed in Middleton, 8mark. I understood, although didn’t agree with it, when Bill Giles owned the team. He had only the money that his share of the team was worth. He was the Astrodome scoreboard guy, whose Father was the NL President, and he was brought here to increase fan support through extra activities like Hot Dog eating contests and the Flying Wallendas. but never had a lot of money, and did not come from money. So, when he got cold feet, it was a little understandable. John Middleton is a Billionaire, without counting his ownership stake in the team, which adds another Billion to his worth. Even if there are not full stadiums for 2021, there will be again. This is when he should be taking advantage of the financial climate the pandemic caused, not run and hide. If he is afraid that all is lost, sell the team. There are Philly area purchasers out there, just like Steve Cohen who bought the Mets. How he can write off another season, making it #10, is beyond me.

  59. From what I’ve read, George Springer will not be signing with the Astros. Seems that Houston and Springer did not talk contract all summer long.

    The Mets seem like the place he could end up going. They need a CF and New York is close to his home town of New Britain, Connecticut.

    1. ciada…I would think the Mets will need a catcher before they look for a replacement for Nimmo in CF….look for JTR to be numero uno on Cohen’s wish list….folowed by Bauer, then Springer.
      And if he is willing to give JTR that $180M plus contract over 6 +1 yrs…..let him help himself.

    2. Springer is just posturing. He wants a big check. Having said that, I could see Cohen going after JT, Springer and Bauer to make a huge splash.

  60. I will be upset if Didi is not given a QO to try and save a couple million bukcs. That would leave Segura at SS which is not acceptable to me plus no comp pick if Didi walks. They Phillies would deserve zero fan support if that happens. They will essentially be throwing in the towel.

    I don’t post much but I posted 2-3 months ago that Middelton is a medicore owner because the franschise is mediocre. That is how I judge an owner of a pro sports team. Absolutely nothing else matters. Events since then just show how completely mediocre Middelton is.

  61. Tommy Kahnle was outrighted by the Yankees and has elected free agency. He had Tommy John surgery in August and won’t likely pitch until May at the earliest. If the Phillies want to add a low AAV contract to the pen, what do people think of signing him on say a two-year deal? They could possibly get away with offering him an incentive-laden contract starting with a league minimum salary in 2021 with incentives kicking in 2022.

    According to MLBTR, Kahnle is “… a 31-year-old righty with a 3.82 ERA, 2.61 K/BB rate, 46.6% grounder rate, and 11.2 K/9 over 227 2/3 career relief innings with the Yankees, White Sox, and Rockies. Though injuries plagued him in 2018, Kahnle has shown that he can be a bullpen workhorse when healthy, tossing 62 2/3 innings over 69 appearances in 2017 and 61 1/3 innings over 72 appearances in 2019.”

  62. A lot of you know i am Mr, Positive, but i am laying here in bed, thinking of what Middleton will do, I am so tried of losing, My Penn state team is terrible, sixers are locked into bad contracts, Not a hockey fan, My eagles are bad and have a GM who cant draft, and the virus, it gets to you, i hope Middleton seizes the opportunity and signs one good starter and two bullpen guys at least, QO to DIDI, AT least, I dont know if i will be posting for a while, i tried to carry my women into the room, and i now cant walk, have to see doctor Monday, have a great Sunday,

    1. Mr. Positive………why didn’t you wait til she lost that 129 # before attempting that feat? ……..or you could have waited til we have a GM, which would have bought you 6 or 8 months. See what I mean Romus, he’s about to disappear again for awhile.

      1. So true i think she is going to leave me, sports is my only outlet so please Middleton do something postive

  63. Good luck with the Dr., Rocco! I hope you are not out of commission too long. I was a believer in Middleton, but he has made it very difficult. Why he sends out MacPhail to just make any hope disappear, is beyond me. He knows he had a lousy post season press conference. Why not have another and remedy that? I think it is because he is financially worried despite being a Billionaire, and he is going forward with a payroll $40 Million less than this year, and MacPhail is here to get the brunt of the fanbases’s disdain.

  64. Another candidate for the LAA GM job….Ruben Amaro Jr., along with 3 other guys from the KC Royals. Since when should Kansas City be a magnet for MLB teams looking for a new GM?

  65. As for MacPhail and Middleton….I am baffled. First comes word that Middleton prefers Andy to resign. Then MacPhail says he would but who wants to make changes under the current covid circumstances?

    ANSWER: WE DO!!!!!!!
    I’ve never heard such malarkey in my life. And here I thought for so long that the Phillies were more in touch with their fan base than the other city sports teams. I’ve been mistaken.

      1. QOs Extended:
        Mark Feinsand
        · 48m
        The following players will be extended $18.9M qualifying offers before the 5pm ET deadline, per source:

        Trevor Bauer, Reds
        Kevin Gausman, Giants
        DJ LeMahieu, Yankees
        JT Realmuto, Phillies
        George Springer, Astros
        Marcus Stroman, Mets

  66. Another mistake Romus, but in keeping with a payroll of $170M. Didi would be great on a 1 yr deal, or we get a comp pick if he declines. That’s why MacPhail is still here. Can’t bring in someone good if he knows he has no $ to spend.

    1. Only six offered matt……one of the lowest.
      Teams are feeling the fiscal crunch.
      Other teams are letting go of their key free agents..Siemen, Hendricks, Brantley et al
      Didi could be back if he doesn’t get what he wants from other clubs like the Angels for one.
      If the Mets pounce on JTR….maybe the Phillies ought to go after Springer and try to move one of the other OFers in a trade.

  67. Romus, I am anticipating losing Realmuto but still want to compete. Trying to figure out moves knowing the financial picture. I believe Springer and Realmuto get paid. I thought Didi would be good on a 1 year deal. I also would have claimed Hand. I know no one did but when push comes to shove certain teams will be. Ble to take advantage and add talent without breaking the bank. I just don’t have a lot of faith that one of those teams will be us.

    1. matt…there could be a quite a few one year deals this off-season…pillow contracts to prove a recovery from an injury or poor prior performance in 2020….and pandemic contracts.
      And many may not come until January or early February.

  68. There will be Romus. I am just waiting for some sign that the goal is to win this coming season, not cut payroll. I don’t think there is anyone making decisions who is smart enough to do both.

  69. I can almost tell you the conversation that happened among Middleton, MacPhail and Rice as to whether they should tender Didi.

    Middleton: So what are we doing with Didi?

    MacPhail: Ned, what do you think?

    Rice: We should tender him.

    Middleton: How much will that cost?

    Rice:: Nothing if someone else signs him – and it will net us a high comp pick.

    Middleton: No, I mean if he accepts the tender.

    MacPhail: $18.9 million. Ned, given the present situation do you think that’s a risk worth taking?

    Middleton: Andy, with all due respect, that’s not a risk worth taking. Let me be clear, Didi is a good player, but I’m not paying him $19 million this year. Hard stop.

    Rice: But he’s likely to sign with someone else.

    Middleton: Ned, you can’t guarantee that.

    Rice: Well, no.

    Middleton: We’re not doing that.

  70. To no one’s surprise, Giancarlo Stanton does not opt out of his contract. Also, Nick Castellanos does not opt out either.

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