Open Discussion: Week of November 23rd

The Phillies announced the signing of 33-year-old Caleb Cotham as their pitching coach.  As I mentioned last week Cotham is a Driveline type coach.  That would seem to cement Driveline in the organization from top to bottom.  There should be no disconnect as pitchers move up levels and eventually pitch for the Phillies.  It also appears that the more traditional pitching instructors will continue to be weeded out when their contracts are up or offered buyouts.

Apparently, the Phillies have interest in candidates who are actually interested in and actually available to become President of Baseball Operations and GM.  Prominent names, so far, are Mike Hill and Jeff Kingston.  In true Phillies fashion, they are interviewing a GM candidate before filing the PoBO.  I have to believe that a PoBO would want to sign his own GM and not some guy, no matter how reputable, that this clown posse would sign.

The Phillies announced the selecting of six players’ contracts and added them to the 40-man roster minutes before the deadline on November 20th.  I don’t want to say, “I told you so”, but I told you I thought Bailey Falter would be protected.  They were also assigned to Lehigh Valley before their selections.  The six are –

  1. LHP Kyle Dohy from Lehigh Valley
  2. LHP Damon Jones from Lehigh Valley
  3. SS Nick Maton from Lehigh Valley
  4. RHP Francisco Morales from Lehigh Valley
  5. CF Simon Muzziotti from Lehigh Valley
  6. LHP Bailey Falter from Lehigh Valley

They also added 15 additional players to the IronPigs roster to protect them from the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft.  They are –

  1. C Abrahan Gutierrez from Lakewood
  2. C Juan Aparicio from Lakewood
  3. LHP Jakob Hernandez from Reading
  4. 1B Austin Listi from Reading
  5. RF Jhailyn Ortiz from Clearwater
  6. LHP Manuel Silva from Clearwater
  7. LHP Jhordany Mezquita from Lakewood
  8. 2B Daniel Brito from Reading
  9. LHP Nick Fanti from Reading
  10. LHP Zach Warren from Clearwater
  11. RHP Joel Cesar from Reading
  12. LHP David Parkinson from Reading
  13. C Edgar Cabral from Reading
  14. C Rodolfo Duran from Clearwater
  15. SS Jonathan Guzman from Clearwater

This doesn’t mean they will start the season.  Some/most will be reassigned to affiliates during spring training.

Winter League Baseball

I spent hours Sunday gathering and confirming all the winter league information I could gather.  So far, MLB isn’t posting the stats for major or minor league players as they have in the past.  I’m not sure I’m going to troll through numerous pages online to try and post weekly updates.  Here’s what I have to date.

Liga de Beisbol Dominicano

The Domnican Winter League started last Sunday, November 15, 2020.  Between weather and COVID-19, six of the league’s first eighteen games were postponed or suspended thru Saturday, three due to DOVID-19.

The league uses the placement of a runner on second base in extra innings, but not until the 12th inning.

Six Phillies’ prospects are on five of the teams.  Only the Gigantes are without one of our guys.  The six are –

  • Ramon Rosso, Aguilas, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 5 K, 0.20 WHIP.
  • Jonathan Guzman, Leones, DNP (tough getting ABs behind Wander Franco)
  • Enyel De Los Santos, Tigres, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1.0 IP, 1 BB, 3 K, 1.00 WHIP
  • Adonis Medina, Tigres, DNP (active, no number assigned)
  • Cristopher Sanchez, Toros, 0-0, 27.00 ERA, 1 G, 0.1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3.00 WHIP
  • Rodolfo Duran, Estrellas, DNP, blocked by Christian Bethancourt and Francisco Mejia

Australian Baseball League

The ABL starts December 17, 2020 and runs through January 31, 2021. The playoff format has not been determined.

The Auckland Tuatara withdrew from competition for the 2021 season due to COVID-19 concerns. Their chairman Noel Davies stated, “The travel restrictions, additional costs associated with travel, quarantine costs, player availability, lack of commercial sponsorship in COVID times and the ongoing risk with committing to costs that cannot be recovered if we proceed any further formed the basis of the board’s decision.

Geelong-Korea will also sit out the 2020-21 season.  Baseball Australia chief executive Cam Vale confirmed that the league had made the decision for GK to sit out the upcoming season.

The Australian Government’s COVID-19 quarantine requirements proved the most challenging barrier with Geelong-Korea not able to complete the mandatory period in Queensland due to limited direct flights.  “The logistics and quarantine complexities are insurmountable,” Vale said.  “We, and Geelong-Korea’s ownership group, have given our all to have them compete this season but in the end the challenges were too great.

The ABL and GK were confident that variables created by COVID-19 could be resolved, but the Australian Governments’ restrictions have not been eased due to the ongoing global pandemic.  “There have been plenty of obstacles ahead of this season but getting 40-plus players and staff from Korea into Australia was always going to be a challenge,” he said.

Due to preparations based on an earlier plan, Adelaide and Brisbane won’t start their seasons until January 5th.  Adelaide and Brisbane will each host two-week long hubs at the start of their seasons.  A lot of double headers are on their schedules as the teams will complete a 24-game season in 27 days. The other four teams will conclude their 24-game seasons over a 7-week period.

Phillies’ players on ABL teams include –

Adelaide Giants (nee Bite)

The three Giants’ players playing in the Phillies organization –

  • RHP Kyle Glogoski,
  • C Mitchell Edwards,
  • 1B Rixon Wingrove

will be joined by nine “import players” from the Phillies –

  • LHP Jonathan Hennigan,
  • RHP Tyler Burch,
  • RHP Austin Ross,
  • LHP Taylor Lehman,
  • C Colby Fitch,
  • INF Luke Williams,
  • SS Kendall Simmons,
  • SS Jamari Baylor,
  • OF Cornelius Randolph.

The Giants head coach is Jersey Shore’s manager Chris Adamson who will be starting his 4th season as  Adelaide’s manager.

Giants RHP Jason Lott and OF Jordan McArdle were both invited to Phillies’ spring training in 2020.

Melbourne Aces

  • LHP Josh Tols and C Chris Burke will be joined by “import player” RHP Luke Leftwich.

Sydney Blue Sox

  • RHP Josh Gessner

Perth Heat

  • LHP Josh Hendrickson

Liga Mexicana del Pacifico

The Mexican League started on October 15, 2020.  Things went well until 3 cancellations on November due to COVID-19.  The league shutdown for ten days and a total of 40 games were cancelled due to COVID-19.

The league uses the placement of a runner on second base in extra innings, but not until the 12th inning.  Double headers are seven innings.

The league restarted on November 17th.

Caneros de los Mochis

  • Erubiel Armenta, 0-0, 1.54 ERA, 8 G, 5 Saves, 11.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 HB, 5 BB, 5 K, 1.11 WHIP
  • Darick Hall, 1 G, 2 AB, 2 K, 1 HBP, .000/.333/.000/.333

Hall was struck on the wrist in his first game on Friday and had to leave the game.  He was back in the line up Sunday.

Aguilas de Mexicali

  • Fernando Lozano, 2-0, 1.86 ERA, 7 G, 1 GS, 9.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 HB, 4 BB, 3 K, 0.93 WHIP

Naranjeros de Hermosillo

  • Efrain Morales, DNP

Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente

The Puerto Rican Baseball League has not set a start date.  I located three players from the Phillies system on the same roster.


  • C Kevin Escalante
  • OF Jadiel Sanchez
  • LHP Gabriel Cotto

Liga Venezolana de Béisbol Profesional

The Venezuelan Winter League has not set a start date.  The Trump administration issued a ban on American companies and individuals doing business with President Maduro’s socialist government back in 2019.  MLB issued a statement preventing players with major or minor league contracts from playing in Venezuela.  (Don’t see how that is enforceable for Venezuelan players.)  Neither the presidential or MLB policy has been revoked.  So, I don’t know of any organization players are on rosters.

In recent years, players from the organization have been on rosters in winter leagues in Nicaragua and Colombia.  No word on the status of those leagues.  I’m not going to spend a lot of time checking.  They were difficult to follow when I was sure we had players down there.

Nobody offered any suggestions on conducting a Readers’ Top 30.  It would be difficult to rank players, but MLB and BA did it without any games being played and with many Alternate Training Sites and Instructs Sites conducted behind the curtain of a COVID-19 bubble.

But, we’ve added 4 new draft picks, added 12 new undrafted free agent pitchers, traded Seabold, lost Grullon to waivers, watched Howard, Moniak, Medina, Romero, Marchan, Brogdon perform at the major league level, watched Alec Bohm graduate to the majors and win the ROY vote I held in my living room, and now Kyle Young has announced his retirement.

There are at least 4 vacancies in our top 30.  If I don’t receive any suggestions, I will come up with a Phuture Phillies ranking on my own.  I’ll try to keep my personal feelings out of it and not gut the existing Top 30.

Here’s the type of personal feeling I won’t let taint the poll.  One of the national polls has Francisco Morales ranked as the Phillies fourth best prospect.  I’ve seen Francisco Morales pitch.  Three STs, 2 XSTs, and one GCL season.  I like him.  He has a great pitcher’s body.  He throws gas.  But, he hasn’t pitched above Lakewood.  His BB/9 went up from Williamsport to Lakewood.  He’s inconsistent.  I’ve seen it from one outing to the next, within a game, and even within an inning.  If he’s our #4 prospect, no wonder our system is ranked so low by evaluators.

I added some Key Dates below.

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 – Deadline to submit 40-man rosters before Rule 5 Draft
  • November TBA – MLBPA executive board meeting (Nov. 26-29 in Irving, TX in 2018)
  • December 2, 2020 – Non-tender Deadline – Last day for teams to offer 2021 contracts to unsigned players (pre-arb and arb eligible) 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 – Deadline for teams and arb eligible players to submit salary figures to arbiter
  • January 15, 2021, 9:00 AM EST – Start of the 2020 international signing period
  • February 17, 2021 – Voluntary spring training reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and players recovering from injuries
  • February 22, 2021 – Voluntary spring training reporting date for position players
  • February 24, 2021 – Mandatory spring training reporting date
  • February 27, 2021 – First spring training game v. Blue Jays
  • April 1, 2021 – Opening Day for ALL 30 teams
  • June 25, 2021 – Close of the 2020 international signing period
  • July 11-13, 2021 – 2021 Amateur Draft

The rosters and lists are up to date as of November 22nd … 318 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)

11/20/2020 – Phillies selected the contract of LHP Kyle Dohy from Lehigh Valley
11/20/2020 – Phillies selected the contract of LHP Damon Jones from Lehigh Valley
11/20/2020 – Phillies selected the contract of SS Nick Maton from Lehigh Valley
11/20/2020 – Phillies selected the contract of RHP Francisco Morales from Lehigh Valley
11/20/2020 – Phillies selected the contract of CF Simon Muzziotti from Lehigh Valley
11/20/2020 – Phillies selected the contract of LHP Bailey Falter from Lehigh Valley
11/19/2020 – C Abrahan Gutierrez assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Lakewood
11/19/2020 – C Juan Aparicio assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Lakewood
11/19/2020 – LHP Kyle Dohy assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Reading
11/19/2020 – LHP Jakob Hernandez assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Reading
11/19/2020 – 1B Austin Listi assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Reading
11/19/2020 – RHP Francisco Morales assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Clearwater
11/19/2020 – RF Jhailyn Ortiz assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Clearwater
11/19/2020 – LHP Manuel Silva assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Clearwater
11/19/2020 – LHP Jhordany Mezquita assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Lakewood
11/19/2020 – 2B Daniel Brito assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Reading
11/19/2020 – LHP Nick Fanti assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Reading
11/19/2020 – SS Nick Maton assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Reading
11/19/2020 – CF Simon Muzziotti assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Clearwater
11/19/2020 – LHP Zach Warren assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Clearwater
11/19/2020 – RHP Joel Cesar assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Reading
11/19/2020 – LHP Bailey Falter assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Reading
11/19/2020 – LHP Damon Jones assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Reading
11/19/2020 – LHP David Parkinson assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Reading
11/19/2020 – C Edgar Cabral assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Reading
11/19/2020 – C Rodolfo Duran assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Clearwater
11/19/2020 – SS Jonathan Guzman assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Clearwater
11/18/2020 -LHP Kyle Young retired
11/11/2020 – JT Realmuto declined Qualifying Offer
11/11/2020 – Reading released RHP Gilmael Troya

161 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of November 23rd

  1. Nice work on all this. Much appreciated.

    I just noticed that Kyle Young retired. Is that a shock?

    What players not protected on major league or minor league for Rule 5 is a surprise?

    1. I am surprised they would protect Manuel Silva over Enyel DLS – but likely the Phillies brass had good reasons for protecting this particular player who until a couple days ago had not been above Clearwater

      1. I have always been enamored with DLS but at the same time disappointed. One time I watch him I’m wondering why he is not in the rotation and the next I am surprised he is still on the roster.

      2. Both Enyel and Silva are exposed to the Rule 5 draft and I you mentioned, Silva not pitching above A+ make him close to being remoted to being drafted in Rule 5.

        The paper move to assign Silva to LHV is to protect him from the minor league version of the Rule 5. Enyel being in the LHV roster is protected as well.

        That’s my understanding but I’m happy to be corrected.

        1. You are absolutely correct. I guess “They also added 15 additional players to the IronPigs roster to protect them from the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft.” wasn’t clear enough. My bad.

        1. I’m so embarrassed by DLS. Clearly I don’t know what I am looking at when I watch a pitcher.

          The stuff was legit the command never materialized.

      3. The fact that the Phils DFA’d EDLS in August and no one claimed him on waivers says a lot about how the Phils, and other teams, see him. I know he’s hit 99 on the radar gun in the past- guessing he no longer has that kind of stuff?

    2. Yes, I was surprised that Kyle retired. I discussed with friends down here. We didn’t get to see the intrasquad games but he didn’t pitch in any of the Saturday games against the Blue Jays. Ben Brown did. They had surgery around the same time and both were throwing off flat ground in March. We surmised that Kyle had a setback during rehab. I reached out and while he didn’t come out and say that in his response, it did seem that might be the case. It’s a shame. I thought he had a good chance of advancing far. His height added the effect of velo to his FB and his unhittable slurve blossomed into and equally devastating slider.

      I’m not surprised at who was left unprotected because in recent the Phillies tend to value pitchers over position players when the push the envelope of protection out. Listi or Hall would have seemed like reasonable options as a backup plan in case Hoskins can’t match their timetable. Williams had a great spring training with the Phillies in 2020 and would seem like an alternative to Maton.

      I can’t criticize the actual selections. And Gosselin is available as a free agent who can play multiple positions and is a proven pinch hitter.

  2. Darick Hall…besides hitting Himalayan HRs…gets hit by more pitches than any Phillies in the org….90 since his senior year at DBU.

  3. Jim, is there any sense that if John Middleton makes a play for Theo Epstein that it would be as GM/ defacto President of Baseball Operations?

    1. Personally, I don’t think Epstein will come here unless Meddleton backs off getting involved with baseball operations. That goes for most of the qualified guys being considered for the position. And, if he did, he would be the actual PoBO. Andy MacPhail stated he would step down if Meddleton hired a replacement before his contract was up. I think any play for Epstein is just to satisfy the WIP listeners whose opinion he seems to value so much. Just like the pretend demotion of Klentak.

  4. Falter is a surprise move for me. It makes me happy because I love Falter but I hope that the reports that Falter is looking good is the basis behind the move to protect him.

    I’m not sure if the velocity will improve but Falter cannot afford to get hit around (his BB/9 is very good) in the major league level. Falter secondaries are better than Irvin so his ceiling will really depend on the improvement of his 88-92 FB.

    1. He’s a big guy with a very smooth motion so there was always the hope that he would find a little more velocity. He “looks” like a pitcher although that means little

      1. Falter for sure has the desirable SP frame. But if the velo did not spike for the last 4-5 years where physical development is at its best, so is there really a chance?

        If Nola developed additional mph in his heater at age 26-27 so there’s probably hope.

    2. Mitch Rupert told me that Falter touched 95 in Williamsport. Reports of Falter’s velocity during 2020 Instructs were greatly over 88-92. If he can’t sustain, say 93-95 over 5 innings, then bullpen? There was some heavy interest in Falter from trade partners this past August. At least one org has him as one of our top 3 or top 5 pitchers in the minors. Even if he’s not in their plans, I don’t think they can just let a valued commodity go in the Rule 5 draft. I like him too. For those who haven’t seen him, his classic over the top delivery is reminiscent of a different time and harkens back to the 60’s and 70’s when men were men and pitchers weren’t just pitchers. I hope to see him pitch in the majors, even if it’s with another team.

      1. Agree with what you said above and I hear the same from folks I normally talked to although most of us share the concern about the FB that can be the demise of Falter in the majors.

        I saw Falter in LWD and REA and his size (especially the upper body) is noticeable. Irvin looks more natural in the mound but Falter appears stronger and the sound of the ball hitting the mitt is crispier. I’ve watched the game where Falter’s CB and CU is working well so he wasn’t got hit around that night.

      2. falter’s delivery/mechanics reminded me of Hamels a few years back, plus the fact he is fairly tall and lean like Hamels was,….not sure if he has changed over the last year or so.

        1. Oh no, the Hollywood Hamels comparison – FB, CB and CU pitch mix….my buddy still stand up to that assessment even up to now. The only issue I can see is, the quality of Falter’s FB-CB-CU repertoire is way below Hamels. Hamels CB and CU are plus!

            1. I watched Hamels in his first spring training strike guys out with his insane CU. You immediately knew he would move thru the system quickly. Falter does not have that pitch. It’s really an unfair comparison

  5. Two pitchers, who just a last year were considered key rotation pieces, now could be non-tendered by their clubs….Rockies’ Jon Gray and Tigers’ LHP Matt Boyd.
    Both struggled in 2020 while, losing a tick or two off their previous year’s velo..

    1. Rocco, I’m not Jim, but I have seen Williams play numerous times. I think he’s a nice guy.

      He’s improved as he’s matured and may have a future; otherwise, he’s a nice guy.

    2. I am probably over-affected by the second half of his 2018 season in Clearwater. After 40 games, he was hitting .168/.279.216/.495 on June 7th. He had a solid second half hitting .281/.339/.418/.757 from June 8th thru the end of the season.

      I didn’t follow him closely in Reading where he had a so-so season in 2019.

      What caught everyone’s attention was his 2020 spring training with the Phillies – .391/.462/.565/1.027.

      I think he could be a utility guy. He has played 1B, 2B, 3B, LF, CF, RF in the ST and the minors and has played SS in the minors. He has more versatility than Roman Quinn. He doesn’t have Quinn’s 80 speed, but he can steal a base – he went 30-39 in Reading in 2019.

      Except for 2020 ST, he hasn’t hit as well as Nick Maton. But Maton is primarily a middle infielder (with 8 games at 3B) and is not as swift on the bases.

      If his 2020 ST hitting is real, he could be a bench guy.

  6. Joel Sherman writes this weekend that the Braves are the front-runner on a one-year deal with RHP Charlie Morton. Another hard pill to swallow.

    1. Romus my mom would give me a little applesauce with a pill, to make it easier to swallow, Try that mi8

    1. It will be really depend on what team(s) is(are) joining the bidding war. If LAD, ATL, SD or other teams with deeper farm then the Phillies will have no ammo to match up unless sending a blank check to TB is an option.

      Losing Sixto, the Phillies will be better of not giving up Howard so the best the Phillies can probably offer is Stott + Abel + Morales + Rojas.

      1. Please stop – trading the farm for almost any player is the road to endless mediocrity. That’s a move for a much better, deeper team with a better farm system. NOT the Phillies.

        1. Agreed. Our farm isn’t deep enough. We would be wiped out. But imagine that rotation…Would be insane. Three Aces locked in for 3 years.

        2. Actually, thinking about it more, if we could keep Bohm, I would do it. I would trade Howard, Stott, Abel and 2 others for Snell. This would be our window. Got to then re-sign JTR. Ugh. Then we have to build a bullpen. Damn. Not sure it would work given our weak our bullpen is.

        3. I have a better idea trade Nola…oh wait I had that idea weeks and weeks ago and was mocked. Not really but hyperbole ya know.

          I mean the Rays just went to a WS and everyone here wants Neander. Like I said trading Nola now is the kind of move a good GM makes so they can sustain future winning.

          Our difference is once we are in a championship window we can afford to hand out big warranted extensions.

          1. Something like this you have in mind?
            Nola for Lux, May and Ruiz……or Nola for Gore, Abrams and Morejon?

            1. Yeah something like that Romus although I’d be looking to walk away with at least one pitcher = to Nola plus

            2. DMAR…sorry that will never happen, “one pitcher = to Nola plus” in return….
              why would a team trade one of their stud pitchers for another team’s stud pitcher!.
              You will have to settle for TINSTAAPPs….that just so happens to be the nature of the business now.
              If Preller was willing to give up a Gore and also a Morejon….I would consider the deal.
              Plus there only a few teams contending for that WS ring, willing to take on Nola at a price tag that you may want.
              Two other teams in dire need of starting pitching…Yankees and Angels.

          2. What could possibly be your logic behind trading an elite pitcher, entering his prime years, under a team friendly contract for several more years? Seems like a horrible idea to me.

          3. The odds of you returning a player even close to as good as Aaron Nola is slim to none. Teams horde their prospects and won’t empty their farms, especially with the budgetary concerns around the league.

            The team has 3 solid pitchers in Nola/Wheeler/Eflin and a solid middle of the order in Hoskins/Harper/Bohm.

            The biggest weakness and what has held the Phillies back from the Wild Card has been the #4 and 5 spots in the rotation and their bullpen. Solidify those areas and continue to develop the next wave of talent. That’s why they collapsed this year, that’s why they collapsed last year, that’s why they collapsed in 2018. They run out of pitching.

            I’m happy to revisit trading Nola at the end of the 2022 season.

      2. Please stop – trading the farm for almost any player is the road to endless mediocrity. That’s a move for a much better, deeper team with a better farm system. NOT the Phillies.

        1. Agree.
          The perennial better teams normally will not trade their premier prospect assets for a veteran star approaching 30.
          Dodgers traded for a rental Manny a few years ago…but of the five….OFer Yusniel Diaz, RHP Dean Kremer, third baseman Rylan Bannon, RHP Zach Pop and third baseman Breyvic Valera…Diaz was top 100 at 70 something and 5th in the Dodgers own prospect top 30…the others not in the LAD’s top 30.

          Betts…Verdugo and who?….plus the Dodgers’ MLB OF was already overcrowded.
          So the better teams when they do trade prospects….they trade from surplus capital.

          1. Ha how do you become that team. First you have to scout well, draft well and trade well.

            Friedman hasn’t really made a lot of big trades before the Betts deal. He’s been said to be in on more big deals than he’s actually made but I expect him to be in on either Lindor or Snell.

            If for no other reason then driving up the cost for other teams. He’s not going to let the Mets have a free pass to the offseason.

  7. Until we have a trustworthy Front Office, we can’t do a thing. I know how frustrating it is. Tampa has traded guys because they couldn’t afford them. They then had more guys to come up to replace the ones they traded. When have we ever been in that situation? The Dodgers didn’t trade Walker Buehler for Betts, and still re-signed him. We traded our best Pitching Prospect, and are about to lose Realmuto. One good organization vs. one poorly run one. Who would we trust to trade Nola? Are we still reaping the rewards from those masterful Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels trades? We need to keep as much talent as we can, because we do rarely grow it. Hopefully, that is changing. But, we are a long way off. We cannot sustain winning until we actually start winning, and since we are entering year 10, and we have no light in sight, I am not trading what little top prospects we have. I am sorry, SWFLFrank, I can
    t share your dream scenario, although it was fun to imagine!

    1. Matt I get what you are saying but you can’t win until you’re not afraid to lose. What winning has this team done? What is it that we are sustaining?

      IMO it can’t get any worse lol

      I’m not talking about trading any of our prospects. Again the only asset I believe we have worth trading is Nola. Past performance is not indicative of future results positive or negative.

      The FO that traded those players have been gone for a very long time. Put another way whoever is currently in charge would be foolish not to pursue what deals might be out there for him.

    2. Matt, My dream scenario was written for fun. I have no more belief in it that you do.

      Ditto my nightmare scenario of the following day.

      My realistic view is that if almost everything goes right, the Phils can make the playoffs next year. But my greater concern is that, as you say, no real progress until we get a good front office.

      BTW, for the record, I do not expect everything to work out.

  8. DMAR, I get it. But, I am not having MacPhail and Ned Rice trade Vinny, let alone Nola. Can you only imagine how badly they would screw it up? Braves win the Division, add Smyly and now add Charlie Morton. Both 1 year deals. As I have said before, there are no bad 1 year deals. I know Hamels didn’t work out, but that didn’t make them afraid to try again. I bet both guys beat us. This is Atlanta. I bet the Nats add a big name player, the Marlins beat us with AAA players, so now that they have some talent, how do we beat them? The Mets are going to spend, and here we are paralyzed. Can’t hire anyone, can’t trust these guys, and I put us last in our Division. It’s a disgrace.

  9. The guys who are in charge are consistent and trustworthy because you know exactly what they are going to do, they are predictable, especially the results 😢☹️😒😟☹️😰!

    The problem we have is we seem to be in a quandary whether we are going to rebuild, trade our very limited resources for a top tier addition or exceed the cap and purchase the pieces. We are stuck in limbo and cannot seem to chart a strategic path to the Broad Street Parade.

  10. The Braves signed Charlie Morton to 1/$15M.

    Meanwhile in the Phillies executive suites

    1. Why would Charlie Morton or any player for that matter sign a 1-year deal with the Phillies if they have other offers from teams with WS ambitions? Has very little to do with $$$ unless your advocating they pay him significantly more than the Braves offered for 1 year.

      The team is a front office mess right now with no clear direction.

  11. With the Indians putting Lindor on the trade block and Tampa with Blake Snell, there’s something wrong with baseball. These type of players should not be on the trade block. These guys should be franchise lifers for their respective teams.

    With the Pirates and the Marlins content with not paying their players, baseball needs a salary cap more than ever. They know they can’t compete with the big spenders so why bother? I hope there’s a strike because baseball popularity is dying. There needs to be some major changes to save the sport. You see all the NBA transactions that have been going on recently, all the players moving around, all the money thrown around, that keeps the fans interested and engaged. What has baseball done? More options declined, more DFAs, and 3 major signings (Ray, Morton, Smyly)? It’s flat out embarrassing.

    1. Drew Smyly has made a little over $20 million in his career with a total of 35 wins. Now signs for another $11 million. He might end a career that will pay him more than $1 million per win.

      1. I like this one. Any pitcher ever make $100M with less than 100 wins? Hampton?
        Pitchers making $20M with less than 20 wins certainly isn’t that unusual anymore.

    2. Guru…you do know?
      ………..the NBA season starts in 28 days, camps start in 10/14 days……yes there is movement, they do not have the typical off-season length,
      MLB has almost three months before pitchers and catchers….what’s the rush.

    3. To get a salary floor for MLB teams they will want a pay scale with fixed salaries from the union.. The MLBPA corresponds they want the the teams to open the books for a forensic accounting on revenue and the owners won’t do it… There in lies the loggerhead..

    4. When Morton and Smyly were here, it was clear that they were good finds, even if they went on a did better elsewhere. You could clearly see they were on the verge of being quite good (we commented on both quite a bit in real time on the site).

      But the PHILLIES CAN’T EVEN SCOUT THEIR OWN PLAYERS, so they were allowed to leave without any fanfare and now they’re on the Braves where they can stick daggers in our hearts in 2021 (Morton is now pretty old, so I won’t kill the Phillies of not signing him this time – the last two times, however, was on them).

      Seriously, if you can’t scout your own freaking players, what chance do you have of scouting outside of your organization? It’s a damning fact indeed, but oh so true.

  12. Moffo – Like the rest of us, you ARE old. But I do understand the rush because we are getting even older.

  13. Not that there is a rush, Romus, but wouldn’t you like there to be a plan that you could have hope in? Maybe have a new Front Office in place, and an Owner who has attempted to rectify an absolutely horrible post-season Zoom press conference? Something, anything, to feel positive about the upcoming season. I don’t buy, at all, that the pandemic has rendered Middleton hopeless in his financial ability. If he is that scared, sell the team. But, this is such a mess, that I just want something to look forward to with the team.

    1. matt13…..sure I would like a guy hired and in place to move forward.
      And perhaps a signing of some sort…JTR/SP/SS… to indicate a sense of accomplishment and hope toward next season.
      But until something materializes we have no choice to wait and vent,…and age.

      1. You age if you want to, I’m not going to do that. Rocco, what was that Latin relievers name……Juan Ponce de Leon, right. He had that FB that touched 98 with good movement and CU that was a killer. Couldn’t master the curve, gave it all up to go hunting for some kind of a fountain in Florida.

        1. I love that kid Ponce, thought he had a chance, shame he drank from wrong fountain and turned to stone,

      2. Romus my dad told me you look the same today as you did, back in 1945 when you and he served in the army,

  14. You are right Romus. No choice but to vent because I care. It would be so easy to be apathetic towards them. They have given us more than enough reason to. But, they are my team, and I am a Baseball fan, so I am stuck. And keep hoping for anything to feel positive about

  15. Load up on as much 1 year pitching contracts as you can. Grab a didi type bat/contract. Hope young players on team get better. Really hope couple guys in minors start breaking out….don’t eat 125m over 5 years for JT. Guy was already here 2 years in his prime. Good on JT. Nice catcher who turned 30. Just because you make a atrocious trade for Sixto, does not mean you compound it for 100m plus. Just move on

  16. Happy early Thanksgiving to everyone. Wish we could be thankful for a new, competent FO leader from a winning organization. Or thankful for an owner who is willing to spend while most of the rest of the league is saving. Maybe Middleton will surprise me … but probably not.

  17. Easiest excuse to not spend now is to not have the person in place who u want to make those decisions. I assume number 1 goal of the rich is to make sure u stay rich. Happy thanksgiving

    1. Haha I’ll eat my sox if the Jays land Realmuto. Although I hear Alexis is a big Terrence and Phillip fan….

  18. Wishing all of you a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving. Thanks jim, for all you do to keep this site the best there is. I really appreciate the avenue to vent, as well as the place I come to where I learn so much.

  19. Been a while since I’ve posted, hope everyone is doing well.

    Braves making some moves
    Mets rumored to be on one of the big FA or trades
    Phillies…content with being crappy once again

    They’ve become a joke. Hoping they do something but sure doesn’t look that way. Excited about the new pitching coach but he’s an incompetent bullpen to work with and a decent starting rotation. JTR is definitely walking. Would be nice to have didi back.

    1. My predication.
      A new Pres of BusOps is selected….Ned Rice remains as GM for one more year (continuity reasons)….and then Andy MacPhail punches out………all before New Years.

      1. That stuff will help for 2022 season. It seems like the team is content on fielding a loser for 2021

  20. Thankful for Jim who works so hard for all of us on this site and all of you guys who post everyday to keep me enlightened. Hope you all have a nice 🦃 holiday tomorrow!

  21. Scott Rolen…probably one of the best ever third basemen in baseball, at least top 12/13…. has a shot for the Hall of Fame with a 70bWAR career..
    If selected….will he go in as a Phillie?

    1. He really is on the cusp of being a Hall of Famer. Essentially everyone who has 80 WAR goes in unless they are the subject of some type of scandal. The vast majority of those who have 70 WAR ultimately go in. I think Rolen is right on the edge and, if he goes in, I’ll bet he does so as a Cardinal.

      1. Yeah…..he was not too happy leaving here at the time as I recall.
        And with the Cardinals….he did win a WS and had 3 of his greatest years.

        Of all the third basemen in baseball’s history/Hall of Fame…he probably is in the top 15..
        Hall of Fame Third Basemen:
        Modern ERA
        Wade Boggs …George Brett…..Chipper Jones .
        Eddie Mathews……..Paul Molitor………Brooks Robinson .
        Ron Santo…….Mike Schmidt

        George Kell….Pie Traynor……..Deacon White .
        Freddie Lindstrom……Frank Baker……Jimmy Collins

      1. His Cardinals career is far more high profile. He made two WS appearances and won one of them. He had, by far, his best year as a Cardinal, with a 9.2 WAR. And he left here under pretty bad circumstances when he virtually forced a trade after playing for some bad and average teams. Why would he choose to go in as a Phillie? I don’t see it at all.

        1. Correct….Saw an interview with him a few days ago,
          …..he mentioned the person who helped him the most was Phillies coach John Vukovich. Assume if he does get selected, in his speech at Cooperstown, he will probably mention that fact as a youngster starting out on his baseball career…..but I am sure he will be wearing a Cardinals hat.
          I would also think he could say something about following Phillie great 3rd baseman Mike Schmidt in Philly just a few years later may have been a challenge as a 21-year old..
          Oddly…he had better career WAR years with the Phillies spending his longest time in Philly.

          Scott Rolen….career bWAR…..>70.
          Phillies……..6- 2/3 yrs……29.3bWAR
          Cardinals….5- 1/3 yrs……26bWAR
          Tor……………1- 2/3 yrs……7.3bWAR
          Cin……………3- 1/3 yrs……7.6bWAR

  22. Okay. I know you’re all aggravated by the Phillies’ inactivity. So, let me try and give you a little something for Thanksgiving. I heard a rumor week ago that the Phillies signed a free agent. If true, that would be nice. The lack of an announcement though is either discouraging or annoying or both.

    1. John Middleton is trying to figure out how to get a press release out during a pandemic. Three weeks lead time for the Phils’ FO to get a zoom call set up

    2. Significant FA or a minor league free agent or someone who will not move the needle? Probably one of last two

        1. Jim … when I read your post above, I first thought about the team agreeing to a LTX with Zach Eflin. However, after rereading your post, I see you specifically mentioned the team has signed a FA. My guess is they have agreed to a deal with a guy who played for them last season, but had their option declined: someone like David Robertson or David Phelps. Or even better … Didi Gregorius (someone who played for them last season, but is now a FA).
          Blink twice if I’m right.

    3. I still believe it’s quite plausible that the Phillies and JTR have a pending agreement in place….pending, that is, on whether he receives a better offer. The 5/$120M-$125M is a reasonable under all the uncertainty.

  23. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    This is by far the best Phillies site and it’s because Jim does a tremendous amount of excellent work in providing information and managing this herd of cats, and because of all the informed and intelligent posters here. I learn every day from you guys and appreciate you.

  24. Patso made a comment early today about John Middleton and said he guesses the number one goal of the rich is to remain rich.

    That reminded me of Warren Buffet’s two rules of investing:

    Rule Number One: Don’t lose money.

    Rule Number Two: Don’t forget Rule Number One.

  25. Happy turkey day all. I think the Phils would like to do something to get good press but not have it cost too much. How?? Signing Hamels would be a way to do that…

    1. I like Hamels in the rear view mirror. Appreciate all he accomplished with us, but nostalgia is not going to make this club any better for the near future.

  26. I really loved Hamels, and wish him well, but I have no interest in bringing him back. I would have brought in Smyly and/or Morton, and I would have claimed Hand when we had the chance for 1 year, but Cole would be strictly a “make the fans happy” move, and I pass.

    1. matt13…agree.
      Time to move on.
      Those nostalgia moves rarely work….it is a business.
      Hopefully they can add a lefty arm for the rotation …maybe a Paxton or Quintana.
      If Ray gets $8M, Smyly $11M and Morton $15M …all for a year……
      I would think the Phillies could get Paxton or Quintana for <$12M for a year.

      1. No interest here in veteran would-be’s and never-was’s in hopes that they finally come to fruition. If we can’t sign a bonafide major league arm with upside, then let’s give the young upside arms a shot…oh, wait a minute…

  27. While Steve Cohen is turning back payroll cuts to Mets’ employees (that the Wilpons had invoked), John Middleton (net worth 3.5B) and Andy MacPhail are counting nickles and have purged the organization of 80 employees. Is there anyone who believes fans won’t be back in the stands in 2021? Shame on John Middleton for acting like a small market owner. If he really wanted his trophy back, he’d be taking advantage of his fiscal might, and he’d be spending while most of the other clubs were saving. This guy has failed to give Phillies fans a playoff team since 2011 (Nine Years!). #FakeyFakeOwner

    1. Yea I’ll be thinking twice about supporting this organization. It’s clear that Middleton is all about the money (Ie Harper signing was a pure marketing move). Laying off employees and not showing a willingness to spend to vastly improve the team, I’m about done with the Phillies. Big market team? Yea right

        1. Romus … I understand the cuts are a league wide phenomenon. The difference between the Dodgers, Yankees, Nationals, Cubs, and the other big market teams is they have fielded winning teams for most of the last decade. The Phillies haven’t seen the postseason since 2011. They haven’t even had a winning record during that time. On top of that, this team is poorly constructed, lacks depth, and doesn’t have the kind of farm system to provide enough cheap talent to solve the situation. To make matters even more bleak, this club is in the same division as the MLB team (Braves) best built to dominate league for the next five seasons (at least).
          IMO, Middleton has reached the fork in the road. He needs to either continue to spend, or begin some type of rebuild. I don’t believe he has the stomach for another rebuild so he better spend. Otherwise this franchise is going to be stuck in the middle (sports purgatory) for the foreseeable future.

          1. Hinkie….cannot argue with your assessment of the results of the last decade, and the future is not as rosy as we all like it to be…….but right now, I think what you need is some of rocco’s motivational juice.;)

    2. John Middleton is letting 80 employees go, and not one of them is named Matt Klentak or Andy McPhail. On a serious note, it seems that a overwhelming majority have spent most of their adult lives working for the Phillies. I can only hope that maybe John Middleton can see his way to undo these cuts, especially with the Holidays upon us.

  28. Stark says that train with Epstein on it isn’t stopping at Snyder, Oregon or NRG stations. Probably doesn’t want to work in an office devoid of people.😳

    1. I think Epstein winds up in Detroit next season. The Tigers offer him a blank slate to build a team the way he sees fit. The Phillies … not so much.

    2. LAD’s senior VP Josh Byrnes is today’s hot name. Stark says there are “strong indications” the Phillies met with him last week. Jeff Kingston, LAD’s asst GM was mentioned a few days ago. At this point, I’ll take anyone with a pulse from a winning organization. My greatest fear is that once these top candidates meet with our brain trust, each will scratch his head and ask himself, “why would I want to hitch my wagon to this train wreck?”

  29. Josh Byrnes added to the list. No one will succeed unless Middleton gives them full authority. Don’t forget, this started well before the pandemic. The LT being a salary cap, when the team has failed for 9 years, is on Middleton. The pandemic hit after his feet were already getting chilly. Now, they are frozen solid.

    1. Yeah…I have to admit that I never anticipated the day when I would reach the point of begging the Phillies ownership to sell the team. This whole saga of incompetence, incongruity and indecisiveness makes for bad drama or great comedy.

    2. Once Middleton and MacPhail decide on who they want, and an acceptance is made, I think MacPhail gives his 2-week notice and retires…..prior to New Years.

      1. Romus – couldn’t agree more. That last “face the fans talk” the guy was almost pleading for Middleton to get him out of his misery – after all he sits in a job where it is evident, “we failed.” Yes — you did Mr. McPhail – big time ! I bet he has his bobble heads and backpack already packed and his desk is looking mighty clean ! And he isn’t buying green bananas for the office fruit bowl.

        1. RU..yesiree Bob…..only thing he probably has left in his office now are photos of the family and his computer/ laptop…everything else packed and home.

  30. Big week for the minors next week… The MLB minor league reorg will be announced… Fresno was given The Godfather “we’ll make them an offer they can’t refuse” by either accepting the switch to A level from AAA or losing their MiLB team status all together..My guess Fresno takes the offer. It’s my understanding the Fresno facility is very nice which will make it one of the nicer A level facilities in all of the minor leagues..

  31. Let’s be honest Middleton has spent $. The problem is he trusted the wrong people, and unfortunately still trusts one of them. I would be willing to take a step or two back because this organization is not built to win. You may alienate Bryce and the fans that doesn’t matter. The major issue was that Klentak and MacPhail completely failed in building the system as we sucked. If we had then we would be able to supplement Bryce, JT, Wheeler with homegrown difference makers. Throw Johnny A in that pile of failures as well. It all comes back to the failure to draft, sign, and develop talent. I understand Middleton not wanting to spend. Look at the Rays, As, Marlins. I would go to my baseball people and raise hell. But again his inability to kick MacPhail(and Klentak) out the door points to the biggest issue. It’s not $. Our biggest issue is Middleton himself. So in the end we are screwed until he lucks into hiring the correct people. Monty hired Gillick and history was made, that didn’t mean I would trusted Monty in the future. Sometimes you just get lucky.

    1. Middleton has still made no front office changes in reality. Klentak is still doing the same job but without the title, to pacify the fan base. Ned Rice is a contract negotiator, not a baseball man.

  32. I am always amazed, That companies, will cut the little guy first, Why not ask Klentak and other top pay executives to take a pay cut, to keep the people in the office working, Always the little guy gets screwed, I know Romus will get mad cause he is CEO of Blue Cross, but The guys making big dollars should at least take a little cut for guys like me who make minimum wage

    1. rocco….you make a very excellent point….now, make sure you check in with HR before leaving and have them show you how easy it is to apply for your unemployment benefits. And before I forget, Happy Holidays..

  33. Eagleye, no question that Middleton has spent money. He has also presided over a failed operation that is going into its 10th season, with a Playoff run not looking very strong. Part of the reason that he has spent so much is the failure you mentioned in drafting and developing young, cost-controlled talent. I do not feel sorry for him. MacPhail, Klentak and Rice are still here. I have no interest in another rebuild. A good POBO can both build up the farm system and compete at the same time. It will take money. We do not ever have to be like the A’s and Marlins and Rays, who can’t do it both ways. Our owner is a Billionaire, who’s worth is not tied to the value of the team. Any continued failures are on him, and he should get no sympathy for his needing to keep spending.

  34. So the cuts were done via email the day before Thanksgiving. This may be an overreaction but what a trashy and classless thing to do, email and right before a holiday. Phillies deserve to be stuck in playoff purgatory forever.

    I hope and pray there is a minor league season. I’d rather follow those guys than short the big time.

    1. So perhaps the cuts should have been done around the 4th of July like the majority of the other teams did?
      The Phillies paid their employees thru Oct 31st.
      A generous buy-out was accepted by most of the employees.
      Apparently only a few teams, maybe only one now…the Mets…have kept their entire work force…..and guess what…Cohen at $14B and THE RICHEST owner now in MLB….better have done that, or else he would be labeled as the cheapest SOB by the New York media.
      If you claim to be the richest…you better own up.

      I am really tired of hearing how terrible the Phillies org is when treating their employees.
      They may have their issue concerning baseball business and results on the playing field, but rarely do i hear anyone complain who has worked in their org, that did not wear a Philies baseball uniform.

      1. My argument is that It was done the day before Thanksgiving via email. Idc if other orgs have done it too.

        I’ll support the businesses that didn’t screw over their employees during the pandemic. Ie southwest was one of the only airlines to not layoff employees or take handouts so I’ll be supporting them over other airlines.

        It’s not just losing the money during the pandemic, the Phillies have been putting a terrible product on the field for the last 8 years and there’s no end in site.

      2. Romus, I agree. It isn’t accurate to say employees were notified by email on the day before Thanksgiving as though that is the full story. If most of the departing employees accepted buy outs it means this was in the process long before Thanksgiving and that employees had choices. Maybe not good choices, but choices When you lose $150 million you have to do what is good for the financial health of the organization, which is another way of saying what is good for the well being of the remaining employees.

        Hopefully, life returns to normal next Spring and we can return to evaluating baseball decisions and performance.

  35. I was told just now in text that Middleton came out on Twitter and said that team lost 2$$ billion and THEY WILL NOT SIGN JT …..I cannot confirm and do not read/follow twitter but does that make any sense to anyone else ??? Just asking the question – do not mean to be inflammatory !!

  36. Here is a report on ESPN that team lost 145 $ million —– an that will effect its ability to sign free agents….

  37. I don’t believe the reports of losses because I don’t buy that a reduction in revenue equals out of pocket losses when the expenses are dramatically reduced. Let’s use 2 million fans and $50 per fan us a reasonable value for income, so $100Million. The major expense, payroll was reduced by 2/3, so expenses were $130Million less. TV money was there as was cable money. So, where is the $145Million shortfall getting paid to? There is not that much in expenses and I don’t count lost profits as losing money, requiring Middleton to reach into his pocket. This savings by reducing team employees saves $8Million, about the cost of a lousy Relief pitcher. Yes, the pandemic has hurt a lot of people, but way down on the list is John Middleton.

    1. It is probably like big business, we made $800 million net one year, next year we made $600 million net, so we “lost” $200 million.
      No you made $600 million!

      1. I don’t think that’s what he means, although nobody can be sure. I think he means that the team actually lost money last year, not that it’s net profit or net cash flow was diminished. It would make sense that the team lost money when its largest source of revenue – game income – disappeared.

  38. Reading that Middleton said due to financial losses they can’t re-sign JT. If true, that trade looks even worse. Phillies will get a draft pick that they’ll surely mess up.

  39. It’s hard to know what they mean by “losses” when MLB doesn’t open its books to anyone, including and especially the players.

    That said, operating losses are operating losses – meaning expenses exceed revenue. It wouldn’t surprise me if the team’s expenses last year greatly exceeded revenue, but by how much is unclear. That said, I hate to break it to you, but every business views their net income on a year by year basis and they are in the business of making money EVERY YEAR, so the fact that we think John Middleton should average things out is irrelevant (although the team probably will have net operating losses that it can carry forward, which are like assets). He doesn’t think that way and I suspect neither do the vast majority of owners.

  40. This whole quagmire of uncertainty will surely dissuade those so inclined to pursue ownership in professional sports teams in the future. Fear of any kind, be it a business owner or customer, destroys economic progress. And that is what this is all about.

    1. Though that could be the case….nevertheless, it certainly did not stop Cohen…..he plunged right into the bidding with and against the ARod/JLo consortium.

    2. The industry is in financial distress. But this is all temporary – in a few years it will be business as usual. But the smarter team will view this as an opportunity – of course not the Phillies – but others will use this to their advantage.

  41. I have no doubt that there were losses that occurred. Expenses that were more than revenue. It is the amount I do not believe, and the concept that John Middleton cannot easily absorb them, and the idea that this should debilitate an organization like the Phillies with a wealthy owner. If he really feels it will remain fan free for years then sell the team. Watch how many $2Billion offers come in.

  42. If ownership can’t handle a big market team during this crisis, then sell it. No JT and no big FA signings charts a path to losing attendance, viewers and more money. A billionaire claiming his pockets are empty will gain only contempt from fans, many of whom are without jobs and money.

    1. Fair points, Rob, if you don’t have the gusto to play with the “big boys” than pass it on to someone that will!

  43. Maybe I missed something here. I didn’t read what Middleton said so speaking a bit out of ignorance but I did read above “fan free for years”. Did he really say that? And why would anyone think so, I mean maybe I am missing something works wise as well but isn’t the vaccine coming out now and then, why would it not be like H1N1 where it’s part of our flu shot every year?

  44. That was sarcasm aimed at Middleton’s cold feet that have brought the team’s attempts to build a Playoff team to a halt. Clearly, there will not be no fans for years, it is a short term problem. No question it’s an unusual and financially harmful time. But, John Middleton should be one of the owners best able to handle this, and rather than cut back everywhere, take advantage of the marketplace. Instead he is using this as a cover to scale back payroll. The point is that he does not believe this will continue long term, but is acting like it will. So, if he does believe it’s long term, sell the team.

    1. Ok, or maybe like a lot of CEO’s and acertain President, he just likes to sling stuff and see what sticks. Could it be a market play?

  45. As it turned out – much of that 145 million loss / but more importantly, the 2B loss was retracted and the source denied and discredited. – let’s say nonsense, for now.

    Regardless – no matter how you read the tea leaves – the Phillies intend to use the pandemic as a reason to a) do nothing ; b) not sign JT c) not sign anyone other than a 30+ player for pennies on the dollar ;d) build bullpen via Rice and Klentak with cast offs etc. premised on a reduced budget etc.

    Frankly – at this point, being an optimist or a pessimist — one can take whatever fits the perspective – is it pretty, NO because as many have said before, a position of leadership dictates that you take advantage of a situation when it presents itself – spend $$$ to get ahead of others —–now, the Phillies have no GM, no real management, and consequently no real direction. Optimistic — Middleton is fooling us all…..

    I submit this reality, — no JT ; but some sort of signings in the middle to “complement” his loss – nontendered shortstops and catchers ????

    Some reshaping of the bullpen in a positve manner – heck, if Jim pitched rather than write this blog it would be better…..we didn’t have any management and missed a good pitcher in the kid Stephenson (Cincy) who went to Colorado – an ideal bullpen pitcher ???? Hinkie – I know you agree.

    Another backup/major league catcher to split time with our backup. McCann ? too much $$$

    Maybe a veteran pitcher ? and maybe not….Hamels on a “pay to play” basis ? I am not being sentimental, only what management might do to attract fans ????

    Some junk yard picking of a starting pitcher once VV gets non-tendered and somebody picks him up ??? There will be alot of uncut gems out there….

    Other retreads picked up as position players (bench) to make us more enthusiastic and to help Matt 13 from jumping off the nearest bridge. They will look good, but will not likely perform…..

    I am still waiting for any direction – other than rumors of interviews with the entire Dodger front office ?? how about the Tampa Bay Rays office ? even the Diamond back office ? how about the White Sox office who built the next juggernaut ? Oh well….thanks for reading if you even got this far – just frustrated, but not ready to jump in front of a train yet…..

  46. RU, Exactly what you just said. I read it twice, just because I felt better that my feelings on the team are not only mine. Waiting for any semblance of a direction and the MacPhail regime finally shown the door.

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