Open Discussion: Week of November 9th

It’s always nice to read good reports on our prospects.  Or, is it?

Within the past 10 days, two articles have been published about our prospects who attended Instructs.  One by Jim Salisbury for NBC Sports on October 29th and one by Jonathan Mayo for MLB Pipeline on November 6th.


Now, I’m not saying that we should ignore what these two sport writers have quoted in their articles.  What I’m suggesting is that we take what they wrote with a grain of salt.  maybe a couple grains.  This is my semi-annual plea to let hyperbole shape your expectations regarding players.

First, neither writer saw the players they wrote about in person.  They haven’t even seen any video of the players more recent than 2019.  The Phillies alternate training site in Allentown was closed to scouts and media this summer.  The Phillies chose to keep scouts and media out of Instructs.

So, where are they getting their information?

Second, both received quotes on players from Josh Bonifay, Director, Player Development.  Bonifay heads up player development for a minor league system that is rated in the back end of the bottom third in baseball.  He has also heard his owner criticize player development in an interview several weeks ago.

So, any glowing comments about prospects can be seen as a little self-serving.

Salisbury wrote about pitchers Mick Abel, Blake Brown, Billy Sullivan, Carson Ragsdale, infielders Kendal Simmons, Luis Garcia, Casey Martin, and outfielders Simon Muzziotti, Johan Rojas, and Baron Radcliff.

He published quotes from Bonifay about Abel, Brown, Muzziotti, Rojas, and Radcliff.

Mayo wrote about pitchers Mick Abel, Francisco Morales, James McArthur, catchers Rodolfo Duran, Edgar Cabral, Casey Martin, Kendal Simmons, Jonathan Guzman, Luis Garcia, and outfielders Matt Vierling, Baron Radcliff, and Johan Rojas.

He had extensive quotes by Bonifay on Abel, Morales, McArthur, Duran, Cabral, Garcia, and Rojas.

It’s all nice, but Mayo is a national writer and doesn’t follow the Phillies closely.  He made a mistake when he referred to Cabral as a non-drafted free agent after the 2015 draft.  Cabral was the Phillies 11th round pick and received a $100,000 bonus, the max before dollars were accrued against the draft allotment.

Most of the quotes are effusive.  But, I caution against buying into the hyperbole.  Otherwise, you’ll likely be disappointed at some point down the road.  Much the same as most of you were when Luis Garcia didn’t live up to everyone’s inflated expectations after his GCL season.

For example, based on Bonifay’s statement about Mick Abel, we should expect him in the Phillies’ rotation next season, “Super impressive.  He came in ready to compete.  He’s been electric, up to 98 (mph) with his fastball, and his changeup and slider are both excellent.”

It’s going to take time for any of these players and others to progress through the system.  Most will not live up to expectations.

So, please take reports like these with a grain of salt.  Don’t let them skew your expectations.


The Phillies received RHP Rodofo Sanchez from Tampa as the PTBNL in the Edgar Garcia trade.  He was assigned to Williamsport.  For now.  By my calculations, he was signed to a future services contract during the summer of 2016 and wasn’t placed on a roster until 2017.  He becomes Rule 5 eligible in 2021.


The rumors are true.  I learned a couple weeks ago that the minor league changes we heard of were going to happen.  I waited for the formal announcement.  When the Yankees announced their affiliates for next season, that verified what I had heard.

The Phillies will have six affiliates –

  1. Triple-A: Lehigh Valley,
  2. Double-A: Reading,
  3. Advanced-A: Jersey Shore (formerly Lakewood) switching with Clearwater into a new geographically better 10-team league,
  4. Single-A: Clearwater,
  5. Complex League: Gulf Coast League Phillies, and
  6. International: Dominican Summer League Phillies.

The Phillies would still like to have two entries in the GCL and DSL and haven’t ruled that out completely, yet.

Swapping the Jersey Shore (Lakewood) and Clearwater franchises makes sense.  Young players can spend their first couple seasons at and near the Complex, rather than leaving the cozy confines of Clearwater as they have in the past for Williamsport and Lakewood (Jersey Shore).

Another reason this makes sense is because the Phillies will soon have a dormitory built on the Complex grounds.  The Phillies are curtailing the host family program that provided rooms for players in Williamsport and Lakewood (Jersey Shore).


Nine free agency eligible minor leaguers elected to exercise their option and declared free agency –

  1. CF Mikie Mahtook (LHV),
  2. C Jonathan Lucroy (LHV),
  3. LF Nick Martini (LHV),
  4. C Christian Bethancourt (LHV),
  5. OF Grenny Cumana (REA),
  6. 3B Jose Gomez (REA),
  7. 3B Jose Antequera (REA),
  8. RHP Gustavo Armas (REA), and
  9. RHP Alejandro Requena (REA).

 

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 28, 2020 – Trading resumes, day after the World Series ends
  • November 1, 2020 – Deadline for teams to make qualifying offers to their eligible former players who became free agents
  • November 11, 2020 – 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 November 8th … 323 players in the org


Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)

11/05/2020 – Tampa Bay traded RHP Rodolfo Sanchez to Phillies
11/05/2020 – RHP Rodolfo Sanchez assigned to Williamsport
11/02/2020 – Phillies activated RHP Seranthony Dominguez from the 60-day IL
11/02/2020 – CF Mikie Mahtook elected free agency
11/02/2020 – C Jonathan Lucroy elected free agency
11/02/2020 – LF Nick Martini elected free agency
11/02/2020 – C Christian Bethancourt elected free agency
11/02/2020 – OF Grenny Cumana elected free agency
11/02/2020 – 3B Jose Gomez elected free agency
11/02/2020 – 3B Jose Antequera elected free agency
11/02/2020 – RHP Gustavo Armas elected free agency
11/02/2020 – RHP Alejandro Requena elected free agency
11/01/2020 –  Phillies extend Qualifying Offer to JT Realmuto
10/30/2020 – RHP Heath Hembree elected free agency
10/30/2020 – 2B Phil Gosselin elected free agency
10/30/2020 – LHP Adam Morgan elected free agency
10/30/2020 – RHP Blake Parker elected free agency
10/30/2020 – Phillies activated RHP David Robertson from the 60-day IL
10/30/2020 – Phillies claimed RHP Johan Quezada off waivers from Miami Marlins
10/30/2020 – RHP David Phelps elected free agency
10/30/2020 – RHP David Robertson elected free agency
10/30/2020 – Hector Neris becomes eligible for salary arbitration
10/30/2020 – Phillies decline club option for David Robertson
10/30/2020 – Phillies decline club option for David Phelps
10/30/2020 – Phillies decline club option for Hector Heris
10/30/2020 – Phillies sent 2B Phil Gosselin outright to Lehigh Valley
10/30/2020 – Phillies sent RHP Heath Hembree outright to Lehigh Valley
10/30/2020 – Phillies sent RHP Blake Parker outright to Lehigh Valley
10/30/2020 – Phillies sent LHP Adam Morgan outright to Lehigh Valley
10/28/2020 – Phillies activated LHP Jose Alvarez from the 60-day IL
10/28/2020 – SS Didi Gregorius elected free agency
10/28/2020 – RF Jay Bruce elected free agency
10/28/2020 – C JT Realmuto elected free agency
10/28/2020 – LHP Jose Alvarez elected free agency
10/28/2020 – RHP Jake Arrieta elected free agency
10/28/2020 – RHP Brandon Workman elected free agency
10/28/2020 – RHP Tommy Hunter elected free agency

229 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of November 9th

  1. Not sure if this was mentioned in the last discussion but cbs sports has their picks for MLB Awards, Nola received a 1st place vote for NL Cy Young . . . Mistake?

    1. They also had Cronenworth as the ROY with Bohn in second place. I just don’t get in what world Cronenworth beats out Bohm. Hopefully the BBWAA comes out differently.

      1. I agree Bohm beats out Cronenworth but in 2019 I remember C playing for the Durham Bulls. He was a great hitter, played SS and pitched occasionally. He wasn’t just a mop up pitcher he would be a starter for an inning or two/three like the Ray’s system likes to do. He wasn’t bad as a pitcher either.

        1. I think Bohm should beat out Cronenworth on the merits, but I think Cronenworth likely wins because: (a) he got most of the ROY publicity because he played the whole season (what their was of it) and got off to a fast start; and (b) the Padres were a better and more high profile team. But Bohm was really impressive and is likely to be a much better player long-term. Also, I think they will try to keep Bohm at third and he’ll stay there as long as he can handle the position somewhat competently. If he can’t I bet he ends up in leftfield in a year or two (not 2021 unless he crashes and burns at third).

        2. Denny…I just find it hard awarding it to a guy who will be 27 years old in two months.
          He had over 500 games and 2200 PA in the minors.
          And he did fade the last month of the season, last 25 games ….247/319/432
          whereas Bohm continued strong..

          But then again I am bias

  2. Thanks for your efforts to provide reliable information, Jim. It’s so difficult to believe much of anything we hear or read anymore. I guess it’s easier to accept what we’re told and not question the objectivity.

    NOTICE: This is the poster formerly known as 8mark…I’ve decided to slightly change my handle.

    …and yes, Rocco…my real first name is Mark🤪

    1. Thanks. I’m not saying that Abel isn’t everything that Bonifay says he is. I didn’t see him either. But, he didn’t pitch in any of the three Jays games I watched from behind the center field fence. It appears that a good portion of Bonifay’s judgement comes from daily drills and intrasquad games. Practice! So, we’re talkin about practice! Practice? Practice! (Yeah, tryin to remember the Iverson interview.)

      1. Abel pitched 6 innings total (2 vs. Pirates, 4 intrasquad). Pirates gun had him touch 100 mph, Phillies 99. He struck out 3 vs. the Pirates, including two of their better prospects (N. Gonzales, S. Siani.). Struck out another 6-7 in instrasquad games and gave up one hit and a couple of BB’s while in Clearwater. Looked healthy and bigger than he was on the circuit a year earlier. It will take him a few years, but he’s a very bright spot in the Phillies system.

    2. @8mark – so you’re birthday is Aug 29th? might as well put your passport photo so I can give you a bro hug when we cross our paths.

  3. As we all look at our system’s position players, who will be the next player to actually help the big club? Stott is 2 years away, at best. Marchan is at least a year away plus I’m not sure he projects as a starter in the majors. After that? We really can’t expect ANY help in 2021 from our system in terms of position players. The team has to spend lots of money, which they might not do, to help this team gain more talent and depth. It’s a terrible situation to be in.

    1. IMO, there is a long shot that Stott could be ready next season after the all-star break…he had the opportunity to face MLB caliber pitching at LHV’s Alternate Site……plus he did have the experience of three years of college ball….one cannot discount that. Not sure if he will be playing anywhere this winter.

      He may not be ready in March 2021, but by August he could be.

      1. Sorry but I just don’t think that’s realistic. I hope you’re right but I don’t expect him until Sept 2022, at the earliest. There were no reports out of Lehigh Valley on him. He’ll start at High A next year probably (now Jersey Shore) and hope to get to Reading mid season. Also, just a reminder that he didn’t have wild success in his initial short season. He was ok.

  4. I know that their is a Union involved but not sure how binding it is to the minor leaguers. I am concerned that the minor leaguers need more work and scouting, pandemic providing.

    Is there anyway that Spring Training can be modified that minor leagues report in January and have a full ST schedule of games similar to the major leaguers so they can get in the work they missed along with MLB teams having more time to “scout” them?

    1. If MLB were allowed to bring in minor league players as you suggest, I’m sure the Phillies would. However, the COVID precautions necessary would be overwhelming. The Phillies brought in more than the 53 players listed on their Instructs roster. Players had to agree to stay within the “bubble” of the hotel, Complex, and bus transportation to and from the Complex. They could not step outside the bubble. Doing so would cost them their spring training invite in 2021. MLB and the Phillies took their Covid precautions very seriously. (I heard that during Instructs, the Phillies rented out an entire hotel and gave each player his own room.)

      Now, imagine doing that on a much larger scale. Say three times the number of players, coaches, and support personnel. Add in the daily and twice weekly testing and you have a logistical nightmare.

      Remember, MLB is not sure that they won’t have to bubble next season.

      And regarding scouting, I don’t think the Phillies give a hoot about other teams scouting their players. If they did, they would have allowed scouts during Instructs. But, they opted out. I think the Phillies like operating behind the curtain. They seem to like the secrecy of working behind closed, locked, shuttered, blinded, curtained, windowless doors.

      BTW, your idea makes perfect sense. Bonifay did say they were trying to get as many players into winter ball as possible but that there was a lot of competition for the few available spaces. (I did hear that we’ve got eight guys going to Adelaide. I know of three contracted players – C Mitchell Edwards, 1B Rixon Wingrove, and RHP Kyle Glogoski) Their spring training started Saturday, November 7th.)

      1. Jim you’re right of course but I think we should expect fewer players than in previous years without the short season Wsport or Penn Del league teams to fill. Let’s see if they can get a 2nd GCL team added, it’s not a given. However, having CWater now as the Low A team might really impact how they and the GCL team(s) swap players.

        1. I would be okay with condensed teams. I would like to have equally talented teams/players playing each other. It isn’t prudent to have players hitting below the Mendoza line or having ERA’s over 6.00 weighing down the competitiveness in games unless hurt/rehabbing.  We wouldn’t get false hope’s of a Dominic Brown hitting in AAA against pitchers with A or AA level abilities. I encourage more equality in leagues. Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

        2. I would be okay with condensed teams. I would like to have equally talented teams/players playing each other. It isn’t prudent to have players hitting below the Mendoza line or having ERA’s over 6.00 weighing down the competitiveness in games unless hurt/rehabbing.  We wouldn’t get false hope’s of a Dominic Brown hitting in AAA against pitchers with A or AA level abilities. I encourage more equality in leagues. 

      2. “I heard that during Instructs, the Phillies rented out an entire hotel and gave each player his own room.”

        Jim they were two to a room..

  5. Time to give Odubel Herrera a second chance……from reports he is remorseful and is suffering a worst fate then WS hero Julio Urias, Chapman, Yankees’ Domingo German even Phillies own Brett Myers from that summer June day on the streets of Boston with his wife and one time Phillies prospect Jesmuel Valentin.

    Perhaps his goof-ball, knuckled-head clownish antics from his previous years paints a different negative perception of him…but it should not.
    He deserves every opportunity for a second chance.

      1. Agreed. Even though he generally seems to be an okay person, I thought that Matt Klentak had and has a bit of cruel and passive aggressive side to him that manifested itself at times.

        First, the way they buried (let’s face it, punished) Odubel, was, to my mind, downright cruel (and probably stupid because Odubel has as much raw talent on the team as virtually anyone). Not only didn’t they give him a real chance to compete, they didn’t allow him to go elsewhere and compete. Odubel deserved his punishment, but he also deserved a chance to redeem himself. His time in LhV this year assured he could do neither and would pay the penalty for incurring Kletak’s wrath. Sorry, but it was not right.

        Second, he set up Pete Mackanin to fail. We all know the team wanted to emphasize OBP and line-up construction. Pete did weird stuff like bat Freddy Galvis as a leadoff hitter, which we obviously know Klentak must have hated. Klentak and his team should have discussed this with Pete and asked him to work to maximize run production. But I’ll bet he never did that and I have a very hard time believing that team-oriented Pete would have bristled at that suggestion. Instead, I believe he wanted Pete to fail so he would have a better excuse to fire and replace him. I thought that was really a passive aggressive and nasty thing to do.

        1. Agree…..outwardly it would appear to be a travesty what he has had to endure compared to the numerous other baseball players who did something similar and did their ‘rehab’…..and all have been welcomed back to baseball.

    1. I’m perfectly fine with giving Odubel a second chance. My issue with him wasn’t his legal matter, innocent or guilty. He suffered the consequences. My concern is his baseball acumen vs his numerous mental lapses. Let him prove that he’s both matured and able to produce at the big league level. He’s got until the end of his current contract to do that. Hey, it’s not like our options in CF are overwhelming.

      1. I agree, he has served his punishment and it is time to move on. Just like society we want to allow people have 2nd chances. Anyway he could help push the battle for CF.

        1. He would have to be re-instated onto the 40 within 9 days when it has to be finalized prior to the Rule 5.
          He has already cleared waivers one time after he was DFAed in January.so….not sure what happens next.

          I really was disappointed in Matt K’s handling of the 40 construction over the last 4 years….Herrera, Gamboa, Ben Lively…multiple fungible relief pitchers between the 2016 and 2018 seasons.
          He did not maximize the worth of those slots…each slot is extremely valuable.

    2. I’m with you as well on the 2nd chance. He’s done everything hes supposed to do after the incident. I’d argue that hes done more than the players listed above. I’m not saying give him his starting spot back bc he wasn’t playing well when he was suspended but give him a real chance to earn a spot on the team.

  6. If they only keep one team in the GCL it will mean a combination of a massive unworkable roster and huge cuts of young kids. This is why they decided on a second GCL team. The alternative I guess is to sign far fewer draft picks, UDFA’s and Latin kids. No Williamsport team makes that a given.

  7. I get why Bonifay was pumping up the 2020 guys. They had no PR exposure for 2020..I agree with Jim; throwing 98 in practice is honestly not that big a deal to players… the 2020 kids need the GCL and A ball to see where their at. The 2019 draftees are also in limbo and it would make sense if the higher upside guys like Stott and Miller are invited to ST.

    On a medical note that I think we can all cheer for it looks like a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is very close to being available for public use… I in no way think 2021 won’t be COVID effected but the vaccine will go a long way in how the MLB/MiLB lays out the 2021 seasons for fans which will be a huge financial boost for baseball even if were only at 50% capacity in stadiums..

    1. Lots of things to cheer about in the last few days….
      A quick comment though, if we legitimately have pitchers throwing 98 in practice, I’m sorry, that is a really big deal. As we all know, we don’t have many guys in the system who can throw 98.

      1. I won’t downgrade it’s worth but some scouts think the Dodgers pitcher May’s pitches at 98-100 were flat and therefore that’s why he was hit so much in the playoffs. An agent I know who is a former MLB pitcher says May would be better at 95-97 with movement than 98-100 flat. Gotta, gotta have movement..

          1. I agree that movement is what separates pitchers from PITCHERS. Not sure what those scouts are seeing in Dustin May. Every time I’ve seen him throw, his ball has been pretty lively (even at 98-100).

  8. Very interesting commentary from Jim. I guess my only question would be is this; does Mick Abel have the talent to overcome the Phillies minor league development staff?

  9. I want to see the prospects with my own eyes before I start believing. I agree that national writers do not have good handle of the prospects especially the ones who are outside the MLB Top 100.

    I’m frequent in Lakewood, although I love to see the prospects before they become a household name, the switch in levels between LWD and CLW does make a lot of sense.

    REA might be the better place to watch prospects as Morales, O’Hoppe, Miller, Lindow, Eastman, Maton, Stott and Muzziotti will be AA bound.

    1. I knew the first time I saw Rhys, Pinto, Ramos at Williamsport they had a great chance to make it. I will miss Williamsport. Rhys caught my eye right away, and I had not heard anyone say much about him at that point.

    2. I got to see Sixto pitch at Lakewood in 2017, pitching against Kyle Cody, who was drafted by the Phils but never signed and was eventually drafted by the Rangers. And John Middleton was also at the game. With MLB shedding minor league teams, how big is development leash with players, and how do the handle playing time for the players that do remain?

      1. I was in LWD that day too and had a picture with Buster. It was a pitching match up between Sixto and Cody and Sixto is throwing upper 90s to 100s in the 5th inning! I think LWD won the game and I might some pictures of certain players.

  10. With Clearwater dropping down to the A level, does that mean the entire Florida State league has also done that?

    And I agree with the other posters on this site that Hererra deserves a chance to earn his money.

    1. ciada…yes, and the league went from 12 teams to 10.
      Bradenton Marauders…………Pirates
      Charlotte Stone Crabs………..Rays….
      Clearwater Threshers………..Phillies
      Dunedin………………………… Blue Jays
      Fort Myers Mighty Mussels…..Twins
      Jupiter Hammerheads……..Marlins
      Lakeland Flying ……………Tigers
      Palm Beach ………………..Cardinals
      St. Lucie……………………. Mets
      Tampa Tarpons……………Yankees
      ………gone/elimnated:
      Daytona Tortugas…Reds
      Florida Fire Frogs…Braves

        1. In the short term, it’s a bit of a disappointment. I’m going to miss seeing some players when the switch goes into effect. Bryson Stott for instance. He was going to make the jump from Low-A in 2019 to Advanced -A in 2020. Whether he starts 2021 in Advanced-A or Double-A, I’ll have missed out on watching him play a level in Clearwater.

          Long term, it won’t matter too much. I’ll have to change the way I’ve followed prospects. In the past, I’ve had a pretty good idea where a player fits into the Phillies plans when the left Clearwater. I didn’t have to closely follow all the guys at Reading.

          Now, when they leave Clearwater, for Jersey Shore, I won’t expect to have reached many conclusions. I’ll have to follow Advanced-A closely from afar.

          But, my small concerns aside, I think it is a brilliant move, creating a better developmental path through the system.

      1. Wow Jim I’m just learning the Yankees have dismissed their partnership with Trenton as their AA affiliate. Being that park is only 15 minutes from my home if that I will miss seeing Reading their a couple of times each year.

        Grrrr…..A big miscalculation on their part IMO.

          1. About the same Romus. Lakewood was probably an hour and a nice drive. Somerset might night be as far but the traffic going that way is insane any week night.

        1. DMAR – I’m about 10 mins from the park (Ewing) and remember going to their first game as a kid. During the 90’s and early 2000’s Waterfront was always packed and so much fun to go to. Sad stuff. Hopefully another team picks up the affiliation.

    1. v1 … Davis is impressive, but I’m just not a fan of picking catchers in the 1st round.
      I like Chase Petty and Braylon Bishop as high ceiling prepsters at 1-13. I’m also a fan of Eric Cerantola as a college arm for the Phillies in round one.

        1. Because of the numbers. The success rate for catchers picked in the first round isn’t good. When I get time, I’ll research it to give you more specific information, but I’m nearly certain the rate of success is poor.

          1. From Baseball Prospect Journal … “Over the last 10 years, teams haven’t had success drafting catchers in the first round. In that time span, there have been 16 college and 15 prep players drafted as catchers in the first round. Of those 31 players, only Yasmani Grandal, who attended the University of Miami, has developed into an all-star catcher after being a first-round pick.”

            1. That’s a great tool Romus. Thanks.

              And yes, you should include players who didn’t stick as catchers but became productive MLB players. If a kid is drafted and is a good Mlb player it matters.

            2. Hinkie the analysis below from Hinkie shows:
              – 35 catchers drafted from 2005 to 2014 (note, I chose these because recent draftees is too soon to tell)
              – 5 (14%) of them have a career war greater than 10
              – 7 (20%) of them have a career war greater than 5

              all players still playing so still accumulating WAR. some have moved on to different positions, but still count as a great draft pick. my point is, I don’t think those stats prove that drafting catchers in the first round is a guarantee of a bad outcome.

    1. Williams’ numbers were unreal, but he only threw 27 innings. It’s hard for me to see him beat out Alec Bohm (.338/.400/.481 in 160 AB’s)

        1. Hinkie…..Bohm was solid voting at first and second.
          Him and Cron may have cancelled each other out.
          But agree…….think it shuold have been Bohm…but I am bias.

          Williams, …… 14 (1st place), 6 (2nd), 7 (3rd) — 95 points
          Bohm, ………… 9 (1st), 8 (2nd), 5 (3rd) — 74 points
          Cronenworth,..: 6 (1st), 12 (2nd), 8 (3rd) — 74 points

  11. So is Clearwater now a short season team? Did the Brewers still have a team in Viera? And finally, Jim, how does it feel now following a team at a lower level?

    1. Brew Crew:
      Looks like no.
      San Antonio Missions (AAA)
      Biloxi Shuckers (AA)
      Carolina Mudcats (A Adv.)
      Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (A)
      Rocky Mountain Vibes (R)
      AZL Brewers (R)
      DSL Brewers (R)
      ….and their rookie Vibes team go away I think.

    2. No, full season. Clearwater and Lakewood (now called Jersey Shore) simply swapped low and high A levels. The GCL team will remain as a short season team.

      1. From a selfish standpoint, I’m sorry for the Clearwater-New Jersey switch. I liked seeing players at the transition point — having done well in the lower levels and now at the level where, if they advance from High A, they might become serious prospects. Also sorry to see Braves drop out of the Florida State League. Now, just Ft Myers and Charlotte are convenient drives.

        Oh, well. Maybe I’ll become a fan of kids who don’t shave yet.

    3. Ciada, the only short season teams are the Compex Leagues – GCL, AZL, DSL.

      I’ve followed the GCL team since 2013. I have enjoyed watching extended spring training and the GCL Phillies more than any other. So I have no problem watching a Single-A team.

  12. As far as mock draft which is probably 80% wrong if a catcher has suspect receiving skills then he probably won’t be a catcher. Arm smarm if he can’t help pitchers be better I don’t want him

    1. Agree……most mocks get blown up, after the first 6/7 picks..in almost all the sports it seems anymore….some team decides to go out n a limb and pick a player that most pundits had rated lower.

      DMAR….his guy won the AL ROY.., M’s OFer Kyle Lewis….remember back 4 years ago he was your guy the Phillies should have given more consideration about.

      1. I saw that Romus congrats to him he worked hard to get back. It’s a tough sport one season does not make a career I know. One abbreviated season even more so.

  13. If Ray was in play for a 1 year deal I’m surprised we weren’t in on that for $8 even $10 million. I didn’t see much of him with the Jays but a lefty is something we haven’t had in a long time.

    1. There’s no question that Ray has tremendous potential. Cy Young potential. But he’s often a mess and the bottom line results have not been good recently. So, to get the most out of Ray you’re going to need to coach him up in a big way. That’s no problem because we have [INSERT NAME HERE] as our pitching coach and he’s some kind of awesome.

    1. Will be interesting to see how the WSox spin this……………pressure from MADD will probably force them to renege on his hiring….or he will just decide in the best interest of public relations to just not accept the position now.

  14. DMAR, I don’t think we are going to be in on anyone until January, when the FO hopes a slow market drives salaries way down. And, without a new FO, who there can be trusted to make any personnel decisions? And, I am not being sarcastic or overly negative. I think the Klentak demotion was a sham, and he and Ned Rice are there with MacPhail, and our team is looking at another failure of a season.

      1. Meaning if Ned Rice and MK flipped roles it might be better. Probably not but like a sadist I choose to be optimistic again…

  15. DMAR, we are both masochists, punishing ourselves. I believe one thing, but hope I am wrong, and wait to be proven wrong, and then disappointed all over again when they let me down.

  16. JFK had a “beard” (or three) so he could be with Marilyn Monroe and a few others. So you guys are telling me that Ned Rice is Matt Klentek’s beard?

  17. It’s almost mid-November and the only big signing is Robbie Ray (1 year, $8M) for the Blue Jays. Even with this signing, the Blue Jays team salary is projected to be $97M, which will be less than their 2019 payroll of $114M. The only other news I see are teams (including the Red Sox) who are sniffing around a 34 year old Matt Shoemaker. Looks like money is going to be seriously tight for FA. Soon to be 37 year old Charlie Morton is also drawing interest.

    1. This is usually about the time the Phillies sign a guy – when he’s 37 and they’ve already missed the boat twice and his arm is about to fall off. I’m not really joking.

        1. Haha – I am happy, but I have Phillies battle fatigue. Not much has gone right here since 2012 – that’s becoming a really long time.

  18. Oy vey…optics not good for Tony…he may have to alter his plans.

    Jeff Passan
    @JeffPassan
    ESPN obtained the full arrest report for Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa’s DUI charge.
    “Do you see my ring?” La Russa said to the arresting officer. “I’m a Hall of Famer baseball person. I’m legit. I’m a Hall of Famer, brother.”

    1. He’s a real winner, Romus.
      That was a horrible hire the minute the White Sox made it. What gave them a reason to believe a guy from the stone age would gel with a young club.

  19. This was Jerry Reinsdorf hiring his buddy over the objections of his Baseball people. Probably the exact opposite hire from what the ChiSox needed. Reinsdorf is a guy who probably couldn’t get the votes to buy a team if he was looking for one today.

  20. I know we have beat this to death. But, listening to Sandy Alderson, who expressed regret that the Mets’ sale was not closed sooner, so he could have claimed Brad Hand, vs. listening to Andy MacPhail is about as depressing as it can get for a Phillies fan. I know talk is cheap, and we had an Owner, not too long ago, who said optimistic words, and he then seemed to quit and go off hiding somewhere, but the contrast is really remarkable. I have the feeling of dread that Steve Cohen is not bluffing, and intends to put his money where his mouth is.

    1. matt13….but also…
      “Cohen put the ball in Alderson’s court when it comes to baseball decisions, Alderson passed it along to his as-of-yet un-hired president of baseball ops, saying “I am not going to make the baseball decisions. I expect a seat at the table, but not the head of the table,”

      ..ala MacPhail….Alderson will be basically the head of the consultant department.

  21. True, Romus, but MacPhail is the President of Baseball Ops, and which tone offered to the fans sounded hopeful, and gave a sense to the fanbase that they really have something to look forward to, vs. which tone was bleak and gave us no hope?

    1. matt13…..understand the need to build enthusiasm and hope….but we already heard those ‘tones’ a few years ago during the off-season prior to the Harper signing.
      Mets are just hearing something different from the newest people in town……wait until they miss the play-offs a few years in a row, or make it in an expanded play-off system, and get knocked out early.. those tones change.

  22. I want to believe that the Front Office wants to win as much as we do, Romus. The Mets could very well spend money on the wrong players. They can repeat the Cano/Diaz trade, and screw up in any number of ways. I sure hope so. But, can you tell me you are very hopeful about this upcoming season, or are you, like me, hoping that what you really feel is wrong?

    1. matt13…I see a light at the end of the tunnel, and no it ain’t rocco’s HO train set.
      I can envision re-signing JTR at a reasonable contract, new arms for the bullpen to bolster it between a mix of vets and the young guys we saw …and the maturation of players like Haseley, Moniak, and Howard.
      And a rebound season from Kingery, and also Cutch with a fully healed knee and better conditioned to prove something in his final year.

      Heck we were tied for second in blown saves with 13…Angels were first with 14..
      We get the bullpen corrected and who knows!

      1. Romus well put. Matt13 – I have to agree with rocco’s favorite poster.

        Phils starters were among the best ; the offense was good, yes, I know it will be seriously compromised if JT and Didi are lost – but I think their replacements will provide 70% of their input. As Romus says – a whole year of Bohm, a healthy Kingery, and some growth from the younger guys + maybe a few lucky pickups and I think the team can score runs. If whoever Middleton can get to acquire relief pitching + one more reliable workhorse starter / even keeping Vince too – I think they will be more than competitive. This environment could be good to pick up some hungry players on the other side of February. I too would like to see the existing FO jettisoned immediately – but the team, and the MANAGER, are good in many respects. Don’t turn in your pinstripes yet.

      2. Romus while true that was last season. Things are now different substantially. Not only do you have a BP to fix you need to replace Didi’s production and Realmuto’s production (assuming he’s not resigned)

        They didn’t get much out of LF or CF so that needs an upgrade. Harper while good tends to disappear for pretty long stretches and we all know Hoskins struggles to do damage when its needed.

        A pretty long list of things to fix without even mentioning the rotation has holes for a full 162 game season.

        Hopefully Ned enjoys a challenge!

  23. Then I am with you, Romus. I hope you are correct, I really do. I also happen to believe that Hoskins is a good player. I hope for all the things you just stated. I don’t have another Baseball team to root for, and I love Baseball.

  24. As a Phillies fan, I’m not sure what is more concerning – an Andy MacPhail press conference or the Cohen Mets presser today. Considering the trajectory of these two franchises, the next 8 years might look more like the last 8 years than any of us want to admit.

  25. Phillies are a dumpster fire. What are they doing? They have no pitching coach or bullpen coach. I have not interviewed GM or President Candidates and now there is a rumor around that they might look at Jim Hendry!?

  26. The problem starts with not removing MacPhail from his position, and having Klentak hanging around. There is something wrong from the top on down, and it starts with John Middleton. The whole “who wants to move during a Pandemic ” was utter nonsense. MacPhail should have zero role in anything moving forward, and I am concerned that there is something wrong with Middleton. What happened to the guy who would die to win again? Our team, considering the Major League team, the minor league system and the people running the team, is dead last in our Division. Yes, I am a big Joe G fan, but he must be wondering what he got himself into. Yes, we have some Major League talent, but are about to lose 2 key pieces. Thinking we can easily get 70% of that production, with this crew running things, is a tad optimistic. I will always remain a fan, but there are serious problems, and not just in evaluating talent.

    1. Agree with everything Matt said above.
      Middleton is one of the wealthiest owners in MLB (all of sports). If he really wants to win, he’d say the heck with the one year hit we took from COVID. I’m going to spend (on a new progressive front office and available players) while most other teams tighten their budgets.

      1. This is absolutely correct! Now, right NOW, is the time that he can gain the most by being a little bold and thinking out of the box and risking a little capital. But what do we get? We get something that looks every bit like what 1987 Bill Giles would give us. Penny-wise, cost-conscious, careful, conservative, income-statement driven and utterly foolish. I don’t think I’ve ever been as angry at the team and its ownership as I am right now.

        I get that they wouldn’t want to risk a lot right now on huge free agent contracts. Sure, that makes sense. But to fire scouts en masse? How is that a smart decision long-term? How will not improving the farm system help them become more cost-effective or better? And failing to interview new executives when they’ve already let the GM go the President is looking to leave? Why? The pandemic? Are you kidding me? That’s not stopping the Sixers or Steve Cohen.

        Our ownership has failed us in the most profound way this winter.

  27. Happy Veterans day to all of you who served. this great country, Even m8 Romus who was a cook at ft. Hood in texas, He can make a mean omelet

    1. Thank you snakeman
      And to all the vets…I also want to thank them for their service and a humbling and reverent remembrance to those who have given unto themselves with their ultimate sacrifice..

      1. USAF I had a cushy job that never really felt like service. I was proud for sure to serve my country but I’m always uncomfortable when anyone lumps me in with those that made the front line sacrifices.

        Don’t forget their families either…

        Those vets are my heroes. I always make two donations on this day. One to the USO and one to Wounded Warriors.

  28. We all owe a debt of gratitude to our Veterans, and I was remiss in not saying that earlier. Our freedoms are because of their sacrifices, and I thank all of you on this Veteran’s Day.

    1. Yes, to all who served and risked everything for the betterment, safety and freedom of others, my heart-felt thanks goes to you.

  29. Looks like Ruben did not make the final cut with the Angels
    Angels down to five GM finalists:
    1. Cubs Sr.VP Jason McLeod
    2. Mariners Asst GM Justin Hollander
    3/4. D-backs Asst GMs Jared Porter and Amiel Sawdaye
    5.. Braves Asst GM Perry Minasian

    I wonder if MacPhail and MIddleton will interview any of these candidates…well at least four of them.

  30. How I see Cohen and the mets headed:

    Cohen will not get all three biggies…maybe two…..I say Bauer and Springer.
    Stroman is back at $19M.
    Bauer, Stroman and deGrom makes that a pretty formidable staff…Thor is due back June/July, maybe sooner.
    Springer to center,,,,Nimmo, Rosario and prospect RHP Matt Allan to the Indians for one -year rental Lindor.
    Then go out and sign McCann as their catcher.

    Phillies will need life support next season in that division..

    1. Romus – I agree. As I have said before – Lindor is every bit as charismatic as Mookie Betts – just by the Mets acquiring him they would outshine the Yanks. Lindor dwarfs every other NYC player – even Judge who is constantly hurt. Cohen would be crazy not to acquire him first – and then sign him to a 300 mill + deal.

      1. Yeah….makes me want to upchuck if that happens.
        They sit now at $150M…..approx $60M below the cap tax.
        Cohen probably will go over the line …..not too often consecutively…but initially.

      2. My friend who is a big Mets fan thinks he can get Lindor for JD Davis, Nimmo and one of Rosario or Gimenez. I said good luck with that. Swap out Baty for Nimmo, make it Rosario and include one of Butto or Nunez and you might have a deal.

        I’m sure the only other two teams that would be in on Lindor would be the Dodgers and Yankees. From the standpoint that they each would have the depth to get a deal in place.

        1. Dodgers? Don’t they just want to keep Seager? I think so. Lindor will be a one year rental for sure. I don’t think the Indians will get much. Mets deal could do it.

          1. Seager could move to 3B I think Justin Turner’s time there may have come to an end or he could move to another position.

            Honestly though I could care less what the Indians do with Lindor but it is the offseason so we need to have some fun.

            If the Mets were to end up with them I hope it stings a bit for them.

        2. DMAR….I also heard Dom Smith’s name ina package.
          Bottom line…it is three for one if it is done
          Certain pieces:
          1.Rosario or Jimenez
          2.Another position player
          3. Chernoff and Indians will want a pitcher to be included.

    2. It does look like the Mets will pursue Springer and Bauer with a possible trade for Lindor. They will shoot past us but maybe we keep JT

      1. My gut feeling, no proof on this, but that Cohen and Middleton made a ‘gentlemen’s agreement ‘ on JTR in exchange for his yes vote last week.
        Maybe a reasonable competitive bid for JTR or whatever.
        WSox Reinsdorf was dead set against Cohen and may have been trying to get the other two/three votes to negate the transaction…..

  31. Marcus Stroman accepted the QO which was shocking. When he was with the Blue Jays, he wanted to get paid. This probably means that he felt he wasn’t even going to get the decent money he deserved.

  32. Reports say the Mets and Yankees are showing interest in Yadier Molina, which should be good news on the JTR front. I know that many here aren’t keen on overpaying him. But that might not have to be the case after all if his market doesn’t grow. 5/$120M may be his max take in this economic climate.

  33. Wishful thinking mark, JTR Isnt coming back Even at 5/ 120 we wont pay that, our owner has become the next Braman,

  34. Angels hire Asst. GM from Braves to be their new GM. Only those candidates for Phillies’ positions refuse to engage during a pandemic. I am not an Andy MacPhail fan at all, but I still find it hard to believe that someone with his experience can say such stupid things. “If we win, we win, if we don’t, we don’t” I wouldn’t have believed unless I heard it myself. Now, “no one uproots during a pandemic, so this may go on into 2021”, when the Sixers just hired one of the top GMs in the NBA, just a week before, not to mention a really good Coach And he is still here, presiding over a 5 year failure, with the same minions running around under different titles to fool those dumb fans, and Middleton does nothing.

    1. McPhail is an insult to the intelligence of every Philly sports fan. McPhail should be persona non-grata in the Philly after he leaves.

  35. Some of the MLB Owners Net Worth:

    Stuart Sternberg (Rays): $800M……..Mark Attanasio (Brewers): $700M
    Ron Fowler (Padres): $500M…………Bob Castellini (Reds): $400M
    Peter Angelos (Orioles) : $2B………John Fisher (Athletics): $2B
    Ray Davis (Rangers): $2B……………Ricketts Family (Cubs): $1.8B
    Jerry Reinsdorf (WSox): $1.8B………John Stanton (Mariners): $1.1B
    John Sherman (Royals): $1B………..Arturo and Carole Moreno (Angels): $3.3B
    John Middleton (Phillies): $3.3B
    Mark Walter (Dodgers): $3.1B………John Henry (Red Sox): $2.6B
    Jim Crane (Astros): $2.5B……….Larry Dolan and Family (Indians): $4.6B
    Charlie Johnson (Giants): $4B……..Ted and Mark Lerner (Nationals): $3.9B
    Hal Steinbrenner (Yankees): $3.8B………Jim Pohlad (Twins): $3.8B
    Ilitch Family (Tigers): $3.8B……Steve Cohen (Mets) $14B
    …..Reliable reports of net worth weren’t available for all team owners,
    which is why Ken Kendrick (Diamondbacks), Charlie Monfort (Rockies), Bruce Sherman (Miami), Robert Nutting (Pirates) and William DeWitt (Cardinals) aren’t on the list. In addition, the Braves and the Blue Jays are owned by corporations.

    1. For one year of Lindor without an extension, the Indians may try to persuade him to first accept an extension in order to extract more in return from the interested clubs. But I’m not sure how or if it could work that way.

      In any case, who would make up a compelling Phillies package considering the competition for his acquisition…even for 1 year?

      1. I would also add that the likelihood of these reported 5 teams to extend Lindor before OE after a trade would go:
        1 NYY, of course…they’re the old evil empire.
        2 NYM, the NEW evil empire.
        3 PHI, who knows when or if the owner decides how aggressive he’ll be, but perhaps the vaccine’s pending release will free up some cash.
        4 TOR, relatively small market, plus outside the USA.
        5 STL, smallest market, doubtful they try to rival the New York teams.

  36. Yeah…Indians will lean NL team……then it is the Mets/Cards or Phillies in this case.
    Mets have the most to offer in exchange…..without depleting their roster.

    But I wonder why would Middleton go thru another JTR scenario with Lindor…..he supposedly is not going to sign early, so it is JTR all over again…but for only one year this time.

    1. I remember a near consensus on this board that Trout would not sign an extension. Everyone has their price. Push the right number in front of him from a place he wants to be and he’ll sign.

        1. IIRC … I bet my house that Manny Machado would not pass on free agency when he was less than a year away from hitting the open market. No MLB player (not Machado, not Lindor, nobody) is going to agree to a sign and trade. The sign and trade only benefits management. The player always does better when there are multiple teams bidding for hm. Sign and trades work for NBA players because of the Bird rule that allows players to earn more money when signing with the team they’ve played for at least three seasons. Sign and trades just don’t work for MLB players.

            1. also … Mike Trout was not part of a sign and trade. He re-signed with the team he was playing for. This is not uncommon. Players usually re-sign with their current team when they are more than a year out from free agency … but not always. Cole Hamels re-signed with the Phillies in August (I think). He was was just ~2 months away fro hitting the open market.

          1. My stance from the Genesis was that Trout would re-sign with the Angels.
            His loyalties were never in question…as his father told him way back when…you are not a Philly, you are an Angel now….when the younger Trout started talking about the Phillies..
            Now the others…they want to go out into the market and sell themselves to the highest bidder. They have that right
            However, JTR may be an exception also…like Trout he may feel some allegiance to Middleton and will settle for a few millions less AAV to stay in Philly.

            1. My wife’s cousin is a teacher in Millville. He works with a couple of Mike Trout’s friends. Those friends had told my wife’s cousin that Trout felt loyalty to Arte Moreno, but … at the same time … would love to play at home (Philadelphia). It turned out, (I believe) Mike felt it was easier (less pressure) playing on the west coast for a fan base that he had already built a lifetime of goodwill with.

              There is a pretty long list of players who sign team friendly contracts a couple (even a few) years prior to free agency. They’re happy with the security of the guaranteed money, and (especially pitchers) don’t need to fear injuries sabotaging life changing money. Aaron Nola and Luis Severino passed on free agency. Nola (to this point) probably is going to cost himself money. Severino went down with TJ, and he probably saved himself some cash.

            2. Nola can still enter free agency at 31, assuming Phillies pick up his 2023 option….so the Phillies basically saved themselves one year of his free agency price (and possibly plenty of $$$$ in arbitration raises)…outside the arb4 demarcation line.
              So the Phillies have three year left with Nola under this current contract so they cannot afford to waste time getting into a deep play-off run.

  37. We would all love a Lindor, guys, but we are dreaming. First, that there is a Package that we could offer that wouldn’t deplete, totally, the farm system, and second, that Ownership is engaging Lindor in a LTC negotiation after failing to do so with Realmuto. There is no one in charge that is engaging in any forward thinking at all. They are in a “just survive until the fans can come back” mode, lead by the Owner, who has lost his nerve.

    1. Hinke my Doctor knows a guy, who knows a guy in trenton who delivers towels to miiiville, He told this guy, that Mike wanted to play here but the guy in trenton said, to the towel guy, why not, i am waiting to hear the rest of the story

  38. Phillies will need to empty their farm just to acquire Lindor and after the JTR-Sixto saga, I don’t think the Phillies can afford another disaster. The Phillies has a good ST and LT solution on SS — ST is Didi (which they should QO to begin with) or Andrelton Simmons and the LT (and riskier) is Stott, Garcia or Martin. Another option is to take a shot and sign Ha-seong Kim (if posted and eligible for signing).

    I’m still optimistic that JTR will be back as C and the farm will finally contribute to the major league team. My main concern in 2021 is the “dedication” of Middleton to do what’s necessary to win. I think behind the scenes, Middleton regretted the decision to rely on McPhail-Klentak so when he felt the burn of this decision – Middleton became gun shy to avoid another fatal mistake. Middleton worked so hard to force himself to be in his current position just to give it away with another blunder or big mistake.

    It’s fun to speculate on how the Phillies can build the team. But with Middleton currently non-committal — it will be up to the key players like Harper, Wheeler, Nola and others to overperform so the Phillies will have a chance to make the playoffs.

    1. Medina, Mickey Mo, Marchan and Maton for Lindor.

      Why not…they bit on Cliff Lee for pitchers Carlos Carrasco, and Jason Knapp, Lou Marson and shortstop Jason Donald at one time. 🙂

      1. @romus – I can sense the humor and sarcasm there my friend…LoL!!

        As my stand ever since – it will be the “market (buyers)” who will dictate the trade value of a player. Non of the 4 prospects you recommend are Top 100 MLB. If one team throws in a Top 50 prospect (which is reasonably fair) in a trade package – CLE will choose that.

        Lindor being a rental definitely lowers the value, but CLE will probably ask for Stott and at least Morales (if Howard and Abel are untouchables) a cheap MLB player like Haseley and/or another non top but high ceiling prospect like O’Hoppe or Baylor or Simmons.

  39. Romus, Wasn’t Andy MacPhail with Cleveland when we made that trade? Just kidding! I think this season will be about the rebound of Kingery, a consistent and effective season from Rhys and a determination of whether or not we need a CF going forward. Plus the establishment of a healthy Spencer Howard as a Rotation mainstay. I don’t think we will see much of any additions to the Major League roster that will be difference makers. I hope I am wrong, and we get, at least, one bona fide Reliever. And, we do have some prospects that will use this coming season to establish themselves, led by Stott.

  40. If there is anythong we should have learned in the post- Paul Owens era, it is “Don’t believe ANYTHING the Phillies tell you about their prospects.” They habitually overvalue and overhype their prospects. Do other teams do that too? I don’t know, but I don’t care about the other teams. What I do know is there are other teams cranking out good players while the Phillies typically do not.

    For example, how many times do we have to hear stories about “baby aces” before we tune them out? ( I already have.)

  41. Also, Congrats to Kim Ng, the first woman named GM in MLB. Signs with the Marlins. I am thinking that the pandemic is only affecting people who would be considering the Phillies jobs. She deserves a lot of credit.

    1. It’s funny. I was thinking about what happened to her. She is supposed to be awesome and I bet, in a few years, this looks like one of the smartest moves that has been made in the MLB in the 2020-21 off-season.

      So, why couldn’t we do this? Well, it involves: (a) our thinking outside the box (remember, the Phillies ARE the box); (b) hiring someone – a GIRL! – that Andy and JM wouldn’t generally be talking to at a cocktail party (sadly, I am somewhat serious about this bias, which I am sure is unconscious, but I believe, is very real); and (c) doing leg work and hiring someone during the pandemic (remember “nobody” wants to interview during a pandemic).

      At a time when we were told the organization would be forward-thinking and innovative, they are as slow and backwards and old-fashioned as ever. There is one person to blame for this and it’s John Middleton. All of these moves are a reflection of his preferences and biases. He has come up very, very small recently.

        1. Exactly. If we wait for someone who is superb, I’m fine.

          But do we really think that’s what’s going on . . . . ? I half expect Ned Rice to get the nod sometime in 2021. I hate what’s going on with the organization right now.

  42. Congrats to Kim Ng and the Marlins upon forging their partnership. If I recollect correctly, Ng was in the running the last time the Phillies hired a GM. She could not have done a worse job than Klentak.

      1. He’s right. Middleton needs to step up, and step back. Step up and offer Erik Neander a crap load of money. Then step back and let Neander run the organization unencumbered by Middleton, MacPhail, and the rest of the current gang that hasn’t been able to shoot straight.

        1. They bow to MacPhail because of his connection to Gillick, who still gets showered with praise for winning a World Series with a team built by Ed Wade and Mike Arbuckle. I’ve never understood it.

  43. We are on our second round with PC candidates. They can be interviewed, but GMs or Team Presidents cannot? How does this make any sense, other than there is no plan to do anything until 2021. Klentak and Rice are still doing whatever they do, and they, ujnder MacPhail’s guiding hand, lol, are making decisions, because there are no major decisions to be made. The Major one, doing nothing, has already been made. If jim is correct, and I have relied on his sources before, and they have been proven right, and Realmuto “laughed” at the last offer, and there was some type of “handshake” agreement that somehow fell apart, and there is any hard feelings, at all, on Realmuto’s part, then there is no chance we sign him. I thought the chances were slim anyway, watching this off season unfold. Could this team be doing a worse job? Short of firing Girardi, I don’t see how.

  44. Jayson Stark reports we are going to start looking at Candidates, next week, for the President of Baseball Ops and GM positions. Next week! And, they may halt the process and let MacPhail and Rice run things through 2021. Is this some Saturday Night Live skit? What an embarrassing story by one of the best Baseball writers there is.

  45. This article says we’re finally going to start interviewing. First it says we’re looking at lots of same candidates angels, Mets are. Then, the best news is this paragraph… (which maybe? gives us hope for Eric Neander! oft mentioned here by Hinkie and others!)

    Two executives that spoke to Stark said the Phillies are also looking at a contingent of candidates that are considered “rising stars” who might not have the lengthy resumé the team is looking for.

    https://www.philliesnation.com/2020/11/phillies-to-begin-interviewing-candidates-for-front-office-vacancy-per-report/

    1. This one statement says something indicative about the level of strength/weakness at the executive leadership tier.

      “I think John [Middleton] needs to be more hands-on early on,” MacPhail said. “I’ve told him that because I’m not going to be here in a year and it doesn’t matter who I pick. They need to be invested.”

      Now, before condemning anyone, Mets’ Sandy Alderson said more or less the same when he said earlier this week…”“I’m not gonna make the baseball decisions, I expect to have a seat at the table. But I don’t expect to be, you know, seated at the head of the table”

      Maybe it is just two old baseball cronies who do not want the pressures anymore of their past…….been there, done it,…..and want just to advise and fade into the sunset enjoying baseball as they once knew it.

      1. … and the saddest line from the story: “Back in 2015, MacPhail interviewed 14 candidates in Chicago and recommended three finalists for ownership to consider: Dan Kantrovitz, Chaim Bloom and Matt Klentak.

        Think about how much better this organization may have been/could be if MacPhail and Middleton had hired Bloom instead of Klentak. It all starts at the top. Until Middleton makes the correct front office decisions, it’s not going to matter how much money he spends on players.

        1. To make matters even more calamitous, consider this: The Red Sox swooped in and hired Chaim Bloom away from Tampa at the end of the 2019 season while Middleton decided to hold on to the gruesome twosome (MacKlentak). In so doing, the Phillies owner wasted another prime year of Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and (maybe the final season of) JT Realmuto.
          #DisasterOwner

        2. Hinkie’s last statement is the key for this org. Those who feel we HAVE to sign JTR, just like those who said we HAD to sign BH or MM, may be putting the cart before the horse.

          We need a) the right leadership in FO. And b) a farm system and development that churns out prospects. Until we have those two I have not been amongst those saying sign the biggest FA.

          The Dodgers had the first two and Betts was the exclamation point, not the foundation. The Braves had the first two and added Donaldson / then Ozuna (6th in mvp vote, btw). The Astros had the two and then added Verlander.

          The most important move this off-season is the right FO decision, not signing JTR.

          Here’s the good news. A President & GM should want to come to Philly! While the original rebuild has not succeeded I believe we could be considered already a couple years into the second. I believe the Phillies had strong drafts the past few years. And Barber and Bonifay are taking us in the right direction. Add in a strong manager in Girardi and some strong (and still young-ish) cornerstones in Harper, Nola, Wheeler, Bohm. I say the right FO can build off this and accelerate the plan so we can most effectively compete by 2022 or 2023 and be strong for years to come!

        3. ‘MacPhail interviewed 14 candidates in Chicago and recommended three finalists for ownership to consider: Dan Kantrovitz, Chaim Bloom and Matt Klentak.’

          as the Knight in Indian Jonse’ movie The Last Crusades’ said….”he chose poorly’

          1. I am confused why claire bloom?
            Claire Bloom – Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org › wiki › Claire_Bloom
            Claire Bloom CBE (born Patricia Claire Blume; 15 February 1931) is an English actress. She is known for leading roles in plays such as A Streetcar Named Desire, A Doll’s House, and Long Day’s Journey into Night, and has starred in nearly sixty films. After a childhood in England and the US, Bloom studied drama.
            Relatives: John Bloom (brother)‎
            Born: Patricia Claire Blume; 15 February 1931 …
            Years active: 1946–present
            Children: Anna Steiger
            ‎Leaving a Doll’s House · ‎John Bloom · ‎I Married a Communist · ‎Hillard Elkins
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  46. So, what does that mean, Romus. Middleton let MacPhail pick the GM last time, and he shouldn’t this time? Maybe, like we all believe, the team needs a new President and that is the guy who should be picking the GM, and that should have begun with the cleaning out of MacPhail and Klentak.

    1. Like Hinkie said….MacPhail recommended three ..Middleton picked
      IMO, MacPhail wants out as much as everyone wants him to go….but apparently he remains, out of loyalty to Middleton.

      1. The short list is just a process but the outcome is almost guaranteed that’s why almost everyone expects Klentak will be the pick (due to connection from McPhail) from the time McPhail was hired.

        Middleton (self admitted) that he is new in the baseball business so I doubt he makes the final determination on his own. Sign off, probably – but ultimately chose Klentak? I doubt. I’m sure that McPhail and Klentak had some conversations behild the scenes to prep Klentak so he looks and sounds good to Middleton when they talk.

        1. KuKo….John Middleton is many things….but he is NOT ‘new to the baseball business”
          His resume does read:
          Middleton..1994…purchased 15% stake in the Phillies for $18M….since 1998 chairman of the partners’ Advisory Board.
          So he knows more than where the rest rooms are in the Diamond Club.

          When it comes to trades/transactions/baseball ops stuff perhaps there is a level of uncertainty….but it is not rocket science…it is analytics.

          1. @romus – it came directly from Middleton (he said it last year I think) — he said that he is new to this baseball business and he is still learning so he needs to listen to baseball folks. That baseball folks is McPhail.

            1. KuKo…..yeah, I was not questioning you, I also heard what he said…..and I also was shaking my head.
              For almost 25 years he had been around the organization…..maybe not into the ‘weeds’ but he had to talk to baseball people at some point.
              After all…..he said he was a passionate fan……if yuo were in his shoes yuo sure as heck would keep yuor ears opn and observe.

              I know Dave Montgomery had said 6 years ago, that Middleton was there but had little to no input…..I remember, he kind of laughed a little when someone asked about Middleton’s influence in baseball matters.

              Still in all, he should have picked up something in over 20 years.

  47. Apparently, the new PC according to Jim Salisbury:

    “Cincinnati Reds assistant pitching coach Caleb Cotham has emerged as the clear frontrunner, according to multiple baseball sources.
    Cotham, 33, has been with the Reds for two seasons. He started off as their assistant pitching coach in 2019 and was elevated to assistant pitching coach and director of pitching entering the 2020 season.”

  48. When will the decision be made on using the DH in the NL in 2021? It will obviously have a huge impact on roster construction and the free agent market.

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