Open Discussion: Week of November 30th

Wednesday is the last day that teams can offer 2021 contracts to unsigned players, either pre-arbitration or arbitration eligible on their 40-man rosters.  A non-tender sends the player to free agency.

Speculation surrounds the Phillies’ Vince Velasquez, Seranthony Dominguez, and David Hale.


Last week former Marlins GM Mike Hill and Dodgers AGM Jeff Kingston surfaced as targets in the Phillies search for a GM.  This week Dodgers Senior VP of Baseball Operations Josh Byrnes joined the discussion along with Cardinals GM Michael Girsch.

Other names mentioned were Cubs POBO Theo Epstein whom  Meddleton reached out to and was turned down.  Earlier, Rays Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations/GM Eric Neander declined to be interviewed (as I told you he would weeks ago).

The Phillies have attempted to reach out to others and have asked the targets and their teams to keep the contacts confidential.  But, the names will out.  All offices have leaks.  The Phillies probably have about 50-60 right now.  Which brings us to …


The Phillies have downsized their non-baseball workforce.  I’ve seen local baseball writers and bloggers lament this action with descriptive words like “heart wrenching, awful, and other similar sentiments.  I’ve seen comments that criticize the timing of the “announcement”.  These are sentimental reactions, but also silly.

The Phillies kept more staff AND players on payroll during baseball’s reaction to the pandemic longer than a lot of teams.  They have also upgraded and expanded their front office over the past, recent years with no loss of jobs.  This is more of a business decision than the league’s dancing around whether to pay players for 40, 60, 75, 90, or 110 games.

Reactions to when the “announcement” went out on the day before Thanksgiving are ludicrous.  It was an internal email, letting all employees know that the matter was closed and who the 80 co-workers were who were leaving.  All are remaining until after the holidays if they choose.

This was NOT the first time the 80 people heard about it.  They had all been offered buyout packages as early as September (and, I heard of a couple receiving them in August).   Most accepted the buyout and were compensated.  I heard of one lower level employee who had another job lined up and accepted a 5-figure buyout and took the other job.

If you have to feel sorry for anybody, feel sorry for the few who opted to not take the buyout and guessed wrong, the employees who remained but took pay cuts of 10-30%, or those who were reassigned to different position (some of those also taking pay cuts).

I may sound cold, but I endured four reorgs in my final 15 years of employment.  I had enough seniority to survive, but had to take less prestigious jobs (in my mind) each time.  And, I was never offered a buyout.


Blake Snell would be a nice addition to the Phillies rotation.  He’s reported to be on the trading block.  What would it take?  Well, the Rays have immediate needs for a catcher (both of their major league catchers are free agents), a right fielder (they let him go), an opening in their rotation (Snell), everybody needs relievers, and a hole at first base (.200/.305/.371/.676, 7 HR).

So, how about a package with Rhys Hoskins as the centerpiece?  Their offense in right field produced even less than first base (.195/.281/.414/.695, 12 HR).  Maybe Roman Quinn or Adam Haseley are attractive additions (or Garlick?).  They won’t take on Vince Velasquez’ salary along with Hoskins’.  They will probably be able to fill their open rotation spot from within.  Maybe sweeten the pot with one of our young, near major league ready pitching prospects like Medina, Romero, Rosso, Falter, Hammer, Parkinson, Singer, Warren, … . Or, maybe catcher Rodolfo Duran who was a level ahead of Rafael Marchan when he went down with a leg injury?

The problem with Hoskins is that he can only play one position.  The Rays value flexibility.  The only first string players who played one position all season were shortstop Willy Adames and center fielder Kevin Kiermaier.  His production would be a welcome addition, especially with Randy Arozarena’s future now in question after he was detained and released in Mexico after an altercation that involved a former partner.  She declined to press charges.  Interested to see if he gets the Herrera treatment.

Winter League Baseball

I spent very little time rummaging through the winter league sites.  Old information is in italicsNew in bold regular text

Liga de Beisbol Dominicano

The Domnican Winter League started 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, 3 G, 1 GS, 9.0 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 9 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
  • Johan Quezada, Toros del Este

Odubel Herrera debuts Monday with Gigantes del Cibao. 

With Wander Franco sidelined due to injury, Jonathan Guzman has become the Leones starting shortstop.

Ramon Rosso threw 4.0 shutout innings, 1 H, 1 BB 4 K for Aguilas

RHP Johan Quezada has been added to the roster of Toros del Este.


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 and the Geelong-Korea will also sit out the 2020-21 season.  

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, 9 G, 5 Saves, 13.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 HB, 6 BB, 7 K, 1.11 WHIP
  • Darick Hall, 7 G, 25 AB, 9 H, 2B, 3 HR, 2 K, 2 BB, 1 HBP, .360/.467/.760/1.227

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, 3-0, 1.42 ERA, 8 G, 1 GS, 12.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 HB, 4 BB, 4 K, 0.95 WHIP

Naranjeros de Hermosillo

  • Efrain Morales, DNP

LHP Erubiel Armenta pitched 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K.  The ERA and WHIP listed above would have gone down.

Darick Hall had himself a week, collecting 7 hits in 12 PA in a 3-game stretch including 7 H, 3 HR, 2B, 10 RBI, 2 BB.


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.

RA12

  • 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.

Rosters were announced.

Aguilas de Zulia 

  • 2B Daniel Brito – 2 G, 7 AB, 2 H, 1 RBI
  • OF Simon Muzziotti 

Cardenales de Lara 

  • RHP Leonel Aponte – 

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.


Again, nobody offered any suggestions on conducting a Readers’ Top 30.  If I do one, I’ll do it my way, without outside input.


No Transactions.


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 29th … 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

284 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of November 30th

  1. I’ve got to be honest. I have lost all trust in John Middleton. Did the team lose money in 2020? Probably. Did he lose 2B dollars? Absolutely not. Did he lose 145 million? Maybe … or … maybe that number is also an exaggeration. The fact that he apparently used a friendly NY reporter to float the 2B figure is not only an embarrassment, but evidence that Middleton is playing the PR game. The Phillies’ Comcast money was cut/prorated, but their payroll was also prorated. IMO, John Middleton is more than likely counting the absence of the team’s normal profits as part of the club’s 2020 losses. Middleton/all MLB owners won’t open their books so why should we give them the benefit of the doubt?

    This was a one year financial hit. We don’t even know if the Phillies took government pandemic (PPP) CARES act loans. I’m not saying they did. I do know the LA Lakers originally got one. Some pharmaceutical companies got up to 10 million dollars. Even some news agencies got the loans.

    If Middleton uses the 2020 financial dent to affect his actions this offseason, then he can’t see the forest for the trees. Slashing the team’s payroll may line his pockets with extra money now, but it will also probably result in the organization’s tenth straight non-winning season, and complete a full decade since we’ve witnessed a playoff game. He’ll lose more fans, and cost the club future money. Middleton will also waste another year of Harper’s prime, Nola’s prime, and Wheeler’s prime.

    Like I mentioned last week, Middleton has now come to the fork in the road. He cannot stay on the same path that has this team stuck in the middle (roughly .500 team every season). He either needs to go all in, and spend while most of the rest of the league is cutting back, or he needs to begin some some sort of the next rebuild.

    1. I think there’s a difference between “losing” money and not making the money you were expecting to make. It’s apparent that Middleton is the problem. Either he makes poor choices when hiring, or he meddles, or he wants to be something he is incapable of being. You can’t go from “stupid money” to the poor house in 2 years. I will NOT be attending games this year. We are the laughing stock of baseball.

      1. Andrew we must support our team Even if they are the worst team in baseball, They need our support and money to hire guys who cant draft or make good trades

    2. Hink, Some facts to consider.

      – the NYDN writer did not write that the Phillies lost $2 Billion.
      – yes, it was in the original story, but it was added to the by the editorial staff.
      – they later removed it when they realized it was ridiculous.
      – there was NO staff meeting held between baseball operations and Meddleton
      – the author of the article was irritated and stated the paper “lied” in his article regarding the $2 billion statement
      – the editorial group saw a chance to spice up the story and gain reads … it worked.

      Now, I know you and others may question my facts. But, y’all blindly accepted the NYDN story as truth. I would love to believe that Meddleton was involved in a baseball ops meeting. But, in this case it just isn’t true.

      I have numerous sources that provide me with the information that I can and can’t share with you. Here’s a instance where I’m sharing.

      1. jim, I have always trusted your sources, and do on this occasion as well. I thought the story was bogus, although I do believe the overall premise that Middleton is cutting back on payroll. I also believe that he doesn’t have to. I have been pessimistic about re-signing Realmuto, and adding any top FA. My question for you is, regardless of an actual Baseball ops meeting with the Owner, If you can share, is the overall feeling from the team that same pessimism?

        1. I believe that they believe that they can and will resign him regardless of all the stuff being printed otherwise. I also believe that they are mistaken. Money can mend fences, but not necessarily relationships.

          1. Even if Middleton (and the Phillies) are currently hurting financially today because of the 2019 COVID season (and I don’t believe they are hurting any worse than the rest of the league), here’s a suggestion for the owner: back load contracts. Things are going to get back to near normal by early in the 2021 season. I’ve believed a JTR contract would end up at around 5 years/120 million dollars (24M AAV). Offer him 12M in 2021, and 27M in each of 2022, ’23, ’24, and ’25. Make Trevor May a 2 year/18M offer. Structure it so that the reliever gets 5M in 2021, and 13M in 2022. Bring Didi back on a two or three year back loaded deal also. This current financial hiccup shouldn’t be the end of the world for John Middleton (net worth 3.5B).
            And he absolutely needs to hire somebody soon (Michael Hill seems like the right guy) to navigate this offseason.

            1. I’ll see if I can find it but there was an article put out recently why back loading would hurt the phillies in the future and it’s not a good move to make in the case of JTR. I believe Middleton is also working off the premise that fans won’t be allowed next year as well, which seems like it’s more than likely going to be the case (even if theres scientific evidence that you can have fans at games).

            2. Eric … I would need to read the article you reference in order to understand what the downside of back-loading a JTR deal is for the Phillies. It won’t affect future cap considerations because MLB uses AAV when calculating luxury tax implications. Ordinarily, it’s the player who is anti-delayed money because he can’t invest it or collect any interest off of it.
              I believe Realmuto (players, in general) would be more open to it this winter because of the unusual (COVID) circumstances affecting MLB.

  2. Never did I think I could hate a FO member as much as I Amaro Jr, but then along came Klentak. Middleton is gradually becoming the Daniel Snyder of MLB, and that ain’t a good thing. What an absolute joke of an embarrassing vomit pile this organization has become.

  3. JIm….agree
    “Reactions to when the “announcement” went out on the day before Thanksgiving are ludicrous………….the employees who remained but took pay cuts of 10-30%, or those who were reassigned to different position (some of those also taking pay cuts).”

    The Phillies org. treats their employees as well or better than any organization out there.
    Before Monty…during Monty’s time, and thru now, they have been caring , compassionate and generous The few people who I have known, who have worked for them never had any complaints.

  4. Jim; The Athletic came up with five “fake” trades for Nola and one them involved the Phillies… They thought a Hoskins, Morales and Spencer Howard package would get it done. I would make that deal.

    I’m done complaining about the Phillies upper management. Subject wise that horse has been beat to death.

    1. Hawk, I had talked about the possibility of a trade between the Rays and Phillies with a friend last week. I told him I was going to post it in the weekly article. I saw the Meghan Montemuro article title for the possible trades and when I subscribed to the Athletic, but didn’t read it until after I typed up my version of a trade that featured Snell and Hoskins as the centerpieces of the trade.

      There was a Hoskins/Snell trade in the article. It featured Hoskins, Howard, Quinn, and Medina for Snell, Kiermaier, and Adames. The trade was submitted by a reader and graded by one of the Athletic writers (Enos Sarris). He thought this was close to being reasonable. I think he’s crazy. he offered a Hoskins, Howard, Quinn for Snell and Kiermaier trade as an even more reasonable deal.

      The first trade addresses three Phillies’ needs – SP, CF, SS but creates a need for a SP with the loss of Howard. The Rays’ return doesn’t fill any of their needs. Sure, they get to move Snell’s salary, but they have better options in their system that Howard and Medina to fill the rotation opening created by Snell’s departure.

      Taking on Kiermaier’s salary may be attractive to the Rays, but having also mlost their RF and not knowing Arozarena’s immediate future leaves two holes in the OF. Quinn may not be enough. (He wouldn’t be for me). And, including Adames creates another need for the Rays.

      The altered trade (Hoskins, Howard, Quinn for Snell and Kiermaier) is probably really close. I don’t like it because we need Howard more than the Rays. And, I don’t think we need to include him in a trade.

      If recent reports are even remotely correct, the Phillies can’t afford to take on an additional $16-17M in salary. LMFAO.

      I also don’t like the “fake” trade that has us giving up Howard and Morales. We’re giving them a premier bat to play everyday for a starter who will pitch in one-fifth of games. That should almost be enough when you consider the salary relief. A potential RF and a near-ready pitcher should be enough of a sweetener, IMHO.

  5. I feel like the Phillies have the worst PR team in the Majors. But, I have liked the more recent moves that they have made so I am hopeful that they will be able to hire a good President of Baseball Ops. Who do you guys think the Phillies hire? I would be okay with Michael Hill are Josh Byrnes

  6. In the good new department, there is an excellent Meghan Montemurro piece in the Athletic that is very highly complimentary towards our new PC, Caleb Cotham. He is really loved by the Reds’ Pitchers he worked with, the Reds’ had a lot of success last year with their Staff, and his approach is very much the “tailor the instruction to the individuals’ strengths”, rather than one approach fits all. Good news has been scarce so it was good to read.

    1. If there’s one thing the front office can be praised for they’ve done a really good job overhauling the coaching staff after the Gabe Kapler/Chris Young disaster. Looks like they have a winner at Manager, Hitting Coach, and Pitching Coach and I love the top-down driveline influence.

  7. One thing I see voiced here and in countless other places is that fans feel that billionaire owners can and should just pay players regardless of losses, real or not.

    First, losses can be calculated in several ways depending on how the organization views losses. I believe, as many of you, that they consider expected revenue not accrued as a loss.

    Second, whether or not we accept that they lost as much as they claim is irrelevant.

    Third, the fact that they did not accrue the revenue they expected is going to affect the money they have available to sign players during the offseason.

    Fourth, the fact that that they cannot predict the expected revenue of next season will continue to affect their ability to sign players.

    And finally, once a franchise is purchased, an owner does not use his own money to run the organization.

    1. Jim, I agree with all of your comments.

      But it still doesn’t mean that Middleton is exercising sound judgment or using whatever assets he has wisely. Nor does it mean he and his lieutenants can connect well with the public.

      It’s understandable that Middleton would scale back salaries and signing during this unprecedented time. I really can’t blame him for that.

      But he needs to have a solid FO in place, which he clearly does not have now. In addition, he should not be cutting essential baseball support people, like scouts and developmental people. They aren’t paid much relative to the players, but, if they are good, their value can be exceptional. Cutting these expenses seems to be foolhardy as is their stumbling around without an exceptional long term President or GM in place.

      1. No, it doesn’t. This recent mess started when he demoted Klentak to satisfy the WIP crowd without a plan in place to find a replacement. Actually, I think the “no one will relocate during a pandemic” was a poorly thought out smokescreen as they have been talking to available execs and the organizations of targets under contract all along. I wish he would stop wanting the shiny new toy (Epstein) and just hire a good baseball guy from a good organization. And I wish he would replace MacPhail first and let the replacement hire his own GM. Doing this in reverse seems stupid to me.

    2. “And finally, once a franchise is purchased, an owner does not use his own money to run the organization.”……I do think MLB has rules preventing this or restrictions have the owner wanted to loan some of his own personal wealth to his club.
      .
      Conflicts of Interest: Rule 20 c
      (c) LOANS TO CLUBS AND OTHER INDIVIDUALS. “No Club, or owner, stockholder, officer, director or employee (including manager or player) of a Club shall, directly or indirectly, loan money to or become surety or guarantor for any Club, officer, employee or umpire of its, his or her League, unless all facts of the transaction shall first have been fully disclosed to all other Clubs in that League, and also to the Commissioner, and the transaction has been approved by them.”

      1. You dont want the truth, deep down in the depth of ownership/ you dont talk about other teams. You need me to own the team, you use words like cheap, loyalty. you use these words as the backbone of your comments, whos going to own the team ? you Romus, i rather you just say thank you otherwise give up your tickets, Did you lose money, ? i did the job, did you lose money? No. you dam right i didnt lose my money, ,

        1. Best Rocco quip of all time, You are in line for an Oscar/Emmy on that response. I’m going to mail 10,000 ballots in for you right now!

      2. Romus, I believe that those rules are in place to prevent team employees, or any one in the league from receiving a benefit from a wealthy owner “helping” them out. That rule does not prevent an Owner from using his personal money to offset losses that a team incurs. Didn’t Middleton already tell us that he and the Buck cousins had to put $100Million into the team for this year? I still don’t believe they lost that much money, but the principle that they can, is a valid one. Please correct me if I am wrong, But I believe that I am correct. So, if Joe Smith buys the KC Royals, and they max their revenues by selling out the stadium, and their revenue is $250 Million, but Joe is worth $10Billion,and wants to win, he can spend in excess of $250Million, and cover it out of his own pocket.

        1. matt13…..you will need universal approval from what I take.
          There is also the issue of revenue sharing….small market vs large market.
          In your example….Royals are a small market lassified team, with a very wealthy owner who subsidizes the team with his own personal wealth……how then do they justify small market classification?
          There are approx 15 small market teams and they all have billionaire owners who could do just that.

          1. I can’t argue Romus, I don’t know for sure. But, I do know that John Middleton said they he and the Buck cousins were putting $100Million into the team. How could they do that? And, how about the other teams? The Phils clearly are not the most expensive team in the League to run. So, if all the teams lost money, requiring ownership to pony up from personal wealth, all the owners see the books of the other teams and have to vote on allowing personal money to offset losses? Does that really make sense? I think the rules you are referring to are to protect the rich owners of small market teams from having to pay from their pockets, but I could see if one wanted to, he simply doesn’t get the revenue sharing that year that they would have otherwise been entitled to. And, I don’t mean to act like you are a Middleton apologist, but what happened to those years where the team made money. What if the past 10 years, the team has made a $20Million profit each year, and have banked that $200Million into a “let’s save this for a rainy day” fund? Which is not sarcasm on my point, but what I think their financial picture really is. Where did that money go?

            1. matt13…I believe they put the money towards salaries for the non-baseball playing FTEs.
              A different ‘pot’ so to speak from the operational baseball side of the organization.
              Same as Cohen is doing with his FTEs in NY.

              Players are basically contracted out to the clubs…not employees.

      1. I’m guessing that it’s a pitcher who has had previous arm or shoulder or forearm trouble. There are obviously plenty who fall into that category. I won’t guess who…. at least not here…

        1. Speaking of previous arm trouble, I’d like to see them snatch up Taijuan Walker before too many teams start talking to him. I was really hoping they’d take a flier on him last year, as he was my favorite low-risk/high-reward, bounce-back candidate. Looking back, I think a handful of teams are kicking themselves for not giving him the 2 million that Seattle did. He’s near the top of my ‘realistic-moves-the-Phils-could-actually-make’ list.

      2. Two possibilities which come to mind are Garrett Richards or Cole Hamels.

        I believe Richards was MLBTR’s prediction for the Phillies on a 2/$16M deal. They also have us signing Liam Hendriks and James McCann. With whose money they speculate is anybody’s guess. McCann has reportedly 4 suitors currently, none of which are the Phillies who play tight to the best anyway.

  8. jim, I think there is a legitimate ceiling that any owner has, regardless of his overall worth. No argument. I can’t speak for everyone, but I believe that Middleton has brought this dissatisfaction on himself. He stated that there is no reason to own a team unless you are trying to win it all. I don’t expect him to pay, out of pocket, to run the team. But, I do believe, that during this unprecedented time, he can use his financial strength, on a one-time basis, to take advantage of the marketplace. That money isn’t thrown away. A contribution to the team by a Partner gets paid back first whenever a sale takes place, or from future profits. Just like a Private Equity investor who buys up undervalued properties during bad financial times. I can’t, I have to worry about the Mortgage, but the wealthy can, and do. Realmuto should have been signed, by Middleton, before the pandemic, but that is a different story. I don’t believe there is a FO in place that can make those smart decisions. Anyone can do nothing. Someone smart is needed to be shrewd. Middleton has done nothing, except have an awful after season press conference, followed by MacPhail’s, which was worse. So, my gripes with Middleton, I feel, are legitimate.

    1. George Steinbrenner probably used his own money. And Middleton wants to be Steinbrenner South, so……

    2. I’ve heard that Meddleton has already ponied up a considerable amount of his own money to see that payroll’s were met throughout the organization this year. Like $100K. (or 100M)

  9. Jim…I agree with you that mending relationships is very difficult and you have alluded in the past that the Phillies and Realmuto [or his agent] have a now somewhat acrimonious relationship. Without divulging more than you are able, does this have something to do with a deal the player and agent thought they had with management that changed after the pandemic hit?

    Realmuto has always said he appreciated the way the organization has treated him. Did this change? And one more thing…do you see this possible acrimonious relationship can be healed and if so, how? I don’t think Phillie phans realize how serious this situation could tun out to be. Realmuto is HIGHLY respected among his peers and if word gets out that the Phils organization either lies or disrespects their players this will have ramifications for years. Forget Boras ever bringing another client on board and Harper will soon wish to leave town.

    I still remember in 2010 when Boras called the Phils a Goliath of an organization. Since 2011 it has been such a frustrating time for us as phans but one thing remained stable…the respect the team had within the industry for the way it handled business and its players.

    Has this changed and if so, is Meddleton the reason? So many questions, Jim, could you answer the Realmuto ones and everyone else feel free to offer your thoughts.

    1. I don’t think the Phillies are viewed as bad guys, but they might be viewed as somewhat incompetent.

      As for Boras, the Phillies and Boras have had rough moments in the past and it’s never prevented Boras from trying to extract as much money as possible from the Phillies. Don’t worry about offending Boras or him not bringing another client to the team – if the Phillies are ready to spend, Boras will be happy to lead his clients to them.

    2. First of all, Boras forms his opinion of organizations based on the thickness of the wallet and the willingness to spend. Remember, he didn’t like the Phillies in 1997 when he represented JD Drew. He was certainly over it when Harper was a free agent.

      Whe MLB froze transactions, I believe an agreement of some sort had been reached. Salisbury reported as much recently. One side supposedly wanted to revisit the agreement during the season. I had heard that Realmuto’s people wanted to add 1-2 more years. I also heard that the Phillies wanted to discuss the money. I don’t know if either is accurate. Then, I heard that the Phillies made an offer after the season that JT’s people laughed at.

      Negotiations are held in such a way that a player can still like a city, team, teammates, coaches no matter how much animosity arises between his agent and the Phillies’ negotiator. In the past that was usually Ned Rice. Players will still come to Philadelphia as long as they are willing to pay for their services.

  10. Romus, is this like a Summer league similar to the Cape Cod league, but for only those players that are draft eligible?

    1. yes…..and also similar to the Northwest Collegiate Summer League…..juniors and 4-year seniors getting ready for the draft will participate.

      I was looking to see who will supply the coaching staff….will they have their own from within the league structure …or will MLB teams augment some of the staff.
      For scouts will be all over the place.
      About the only players who will not be there, will be those who’s teams are in the NCAA College World Series play-offs who will be playing in June

        1. I think we are saying the same thing….when I say juniors, I mean players eligible for the draft in the past……juniors who have finished their three years of college eligibility entering into their senior years..or 4th year.

    2. matt13……so it looks like the MLB teams will do scouting and Prep Baseball does most everything else………’PBR will provide support for the league’s staffing, player and coach recruitment, on-field operations, and administrative functions. PBR will also use their media and technology platforms to promote the league and its players throughout the season’.

    3. It is for college seniors and college graduated prospects. Sounds to me like the players are those who weren’t good enough to be drafted as juniors or out of high school (the seniors) or guys who weren’t good enough to be drafted as seniors. Just what is a college graduated prospect. Not a prospect, I say. This is the least attractive of the three wood bat leagues, IMO. One is for HS players. Another is for the Juniors and JUCO eligible kids. Both are more attractive as prospects than the league Williamsport got stuck in.

      1. Are you positive on that?…..”It is for college seniors and college graduated prospects ”
        I believe once a player finishes three years of college he is also eligible for the MLB Draft League…..according to the MLB article below I read it that way…that is, all eligible draft kids are allowed to play in it.
        Freshmen and sophmores will go to the leagues like the Appalachian League and will use wood bats.

        https://www.mlb.com/news/mlb-draft-league-to-begin-in-2021

        1. Not true, I just listened on mlb network radio to the guy in charge of the league. Anyone college kid eligible to be drafted will be able to play. The thinking is that guys not in teams still playing in the college World Series will otherwise not play ball for several months. They have delayed the draft date as well and will probably reduce the number of rounds. They were unclear as to whether high school kids will be playing. They still want the college Sophs playing in the Cape type leagues for guys not draft worthy. It sounds like it could be good baseball.

          1. That is what I said….all ‘eligible’ players from college will play.
            Those completed three years going into their fourth year of college.
            And those who naturally finished with 4 yars.
            Freshmen and Sophmores are not eligible …they go to the wooden bat leagues of cape Cod and Northwest.
            JUCO kids are also eligible from what i understand…….as they were in the past when they met the criteria for draft eligibility

            This is really not difficult to understand……it is the same as in the past for draft eligibility..

  11. A JT and a Didi signing would go beyond the $$. It would send a message that the team is serious about winning now. For the long run, Middleton must prove he is strengthening the scouting and development programs. Right now, the organization is stuck in neutral– no GM or team Pres. or strategic vision. If Middleton wants to sell tickets and bolster viewership, once the Covid-19 threat subsides, he must move very soon. There are serious rivals out there.

  12. Is it just them State College and Trenton playing a 68 game season? Or did the article I read simply mention only local area teams? How would a 3 team league work?

  13. Mahong Valley and West Virginia are in it, and they are looking at a 6th team. I couldn’t believe they were only having 3 teams, so found a better article.

  14. I will disagree with you Jim on Blake Snell. To me, he is overrated. I know that he won a Cy Young award, but he did it averaging just over 5 innings a start, and with this bullpen, you need your starters to pitch deep into games on a consistent basis.

    1. Yeah, because the Phillies will have the same, exact bullpen next season.

      The Rays are a unique organization. Snell averaged just under 15 outs per start. He was brought along slow pitching 2.0, 3.0, 3.0 innings in his first 3 starts. Afterward, he averaged over 15 outs per start. On some occasions, he was pulled with over 100 pitches. On others, just over 70. If yo think back to the last WS game, the Rays displayed their commitment to a plan rather than the feel of a game. There’s no reason to think that Snell could not pitch 6.0 or more inning in a different organization. Like a Driveline driven organization.

  15. With regards to the layoffs, my feeling is this- MLB still gets money from their network TV contract, teams still get money from their local TV contract, the majority of the newer stadiums have been financed with taxpayer money, and I am sure that the owners might be able to deduct some of their operating losses come tax time. It just rankles me that a multi billion dollar business with multi billion dollar owners would cry poor mouth, especially since they cut down on expenses with the subtraction of certain minor league levels.

    1. TV money was pro-rated on the number of games played.

      Contraction of the minor leagues won’t cut expenses until next season. They still plaid minor leaguers even though their seasons were cancelled. And, only a small portion of minor league revenue goes to the major league team.

  16. I’ll have to look for the articles where the wood bat leagues were defined. I think the Appy league was one that would be a wood bat league for lower grades of college players, like Frosh and Soph. I thought the Cape Cod remained in place for juniors.

  17. Mets make a deal with Trevor May, 2 years. He should have been at the top, or right close to it, on a competent Phillies list. Emphasis on competent, but functional works just as well. There BP was already better than ours before signing May.

    1. matt13…disheartening to say the least,
      ….now hope for Liam Hendriks.
      I still wonder if they ware waiting until after tomorrow’s 7PM ‘tendering’ deadline to make their moves on pitching.

      1. No. I don’t know. Phuck! This is the teaser I hinted at Thanksgiving. The deal was done. They waited for physical before announcing. Something came up. They either turned him away or more likely tried to dhick him out of money. And, he walked across the state to a competitor. Dammit!

        1. Ouch! Sounds like a klassic Klentak boondoggle with MacPhail’s personal touch if you ask me. I’m starting to feel like Kevin Bacon in Animal House…. “thank you sir, may I have another!”

        2. Good morning jim, I have never seen you this upset before. I hope this isn’t a dumb question, but how are these decisions being made? Did Ned Rice negotiate with May’s Agent or MacPhail? Is Klentak doing the work? I have seen players “fail” a physical in football, then immediately sign elsewhere, but not very often in Baseball. If that was the reason.

          1. Yeah, I’m in a dark mood. Keep in mind, that I am speculating what transpired after the physical. I think it’s a pretty good guess, but guesses aren’t facts.

            I don’t know who is to blame. It seemed that the Phillies were the only team in on May. He wanted to come here. I just don’t know how they screwed the pooch. I know they are hot for Hader. But, he’s going to cost prospects, and adding one closer isn’t going to fix an entire bullpen. There were other RP options before May, Hand for instance.

            I was on board with Knapp being the starting catcher. But, I thought they would make reasonable efforts to fill other needs with the $25M they saved on Realmuto. Apparently, I was mistaken. I can’t wait for the minor leagues to come back. Then I can return to a superficial caring for the parent club.

            I’m reminded of a not too recent process in Baltimore where they signed big name free agents and then escaped the contract when the player failed the physical administered by their doctors. Maybe we hired those doctors?

    2. If we couldn’t afford 2/$15M for a solid back of the bullpen reliever, then we can kiss the rest of this off season goodbye.

      1. I still think they are waiting until after tomorrow night.
        Last year at this time….. 53 players were nontendered, in 2018 there were 45 and that was up from an average of 32 between 2015 thru 2017…..and all in good economic times for the most part.
        And now….teams losing at least $100M as they say and the uncertainty over the start of next season and how many fans will be allowed to attend games in 2021 will indicate more financial straits for teams.
        This year’s non-tender pool could be close to 100 players.

        1. The two FA arms I wanted to see the Phillies sign this offseason, have joined NL East foes. Drew Smyly (1 year/11M) to the Braves, and Trevor May (2 year/15M) to the Mets. Meanwhile … Andy MacPhail, Ned Rice, and maybe even Matt Klentak are sitting in an office staring at one another. And John Middleton is on the phone checking in with his accountant twice an hour. #DisasterWinter

          1. Thanks for sharing that, Jim. That’s a helluva read by Craig Edwards.
            Just as I thought … looks like Middleton is laying it on thick. He most likely lost half of the 145M he’s claiming he lost, even less after tax breaks. As we’ve believed all along, this guy is counting the profits he didn’t make as revenue loss.
            Middleton (net worth 3.5B) needs to man up, put his big boy pants on, and start acting like the owner who wants his fu¢#ing trophy back. He’s heading a team w/o a winning record and no playoff appearances for nine consecutive seasons. The only way the Phillies can get better is to spend money this winter. Otherwise, start a rebuild with your new GM.

        2. I agree Romus and I also agree with everyone else. We should have made a few of these deals that our counterparts in the division made but there will be some good value on the non-tender market.

          A guy like Eddie Rosario would be a great platoon partner with McCutchen.

          Also if they do land Byrnes I have no doubt the Dodgers have scouted the league way better than we have.

  18. Romus, let’s assume that Realmuto is gone, not an outlandish notion. Knapp, for argument’s sake is the C, with a Vet backup. I know you like McCann, but I am assuming since multiple teams will be in on him, we pass. even with the plan to cut payroll, they have to, at least, try to do something in the BP. Can they possibly just go the dented can aisle again? And figure, by the law of averages, something may pop? I would have claimed Hand, only one year, and I certainly would have been in on May. At some point, fans are back. Doesn’t the team want to sell any tickets at all? I know the Mets leak whoever they are talking to, so the fans are engaged. But, there are crickets for rumors about us. They have to do something, right?

    1. matt13….tomorrow night there maybe plenty of ‘dented cans’ to pick over.
      New pitching coach’s old catcher, Curt Casali from the Reds, could be one.
      He could be non-tenderized.
      https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/casalcu01.shtml

      “I know the Mets leak whoever they are talking to, so the fans are engaged. But, there are crickets for rumors about us”….you know the old saying, ‘loose lips sink ships’ 🙂

      1. Casali would be a smart buy. Similar profile to Knapp and already has a relationship with the pitching coach. Doesn’t preclude a Realmunto signing if his market isn’t what he wants as they could carry 3 catchers and play Realmunto at 1st if Hoskins isn’t ready to start the season or needs to DH.

        1. Agree……good point, Hoskins situation is another matter that has to be taken into consideration. They claim he will be ready by spring training sometime…..but we all have heard that before.

  19. Josh Byrnes got another interview yesterday. I would take him, and be glad about it. Worked for Epstein and Friedman, and went to school locally. Maybe not Ivy League, but Haverford is a real good school. Hiring him tomorrow wouldn’t be soon enough!

      1. Take a look at his track record on NBC Sports Philadelphia. It’s only slightly above average (with a lot of bad moves too – including moving Scherzer). I don’t want slightly above average. I want elite.

        But his hiring would be perfectly in line with my theory that Middleton and MacPhail are always going to prefer a guy who they would enjoy chatting with at a cocktail party (I’m being cheeky, but I’m serious about their mindset). They want someone they feel “comfortable” with and not necessarily the best candidate to move the organization forward.

        Brynes has been let go by Arizona and the Padres. Why the hell would i want THAT guy? I don’t care if he’s smart. Klentak is smart (in the abstract). I want someone who is a supreme talent evaluator and routinely makes great trades and is a master organization builder. I want the baseball equivalent of Daryl Morey.

        Josh Byrnes is NOT the baseball equivalent of Daryl Morey from what I can tell. Not even close.

        1. But how do you know what is elite and what is mediocre?
          What criteria can you use?
          Was he let go by AZ and SD….or did he move on, of his own coalition to a career rung upward mobility position?
          This is tricky since we do not know what transpired behind the scenes with those two clubs and thier GMs……was it Dave Stewart in AZ and AJ Preller in SD?
          Bryan Minniti came out of AZ.
          John S. M.. may know more than we do on the guy.

          1. You never know for sure, but this guy actually has a track record.

            Past performance is the best indicator of future performance. His past performance is so-so. Why should we settle with so-so? We all deserve better.

            1. Yeah.
              Trying to get those elite types is difficult since they probably are already under long term contracts or are happy wherever they are at and do not want to move.

              I can remember when the Cubs hired Theo in 2011….the Cub fans were ecstatic ….then after the third year of his tenure they wanted him gone….almost 300 losses….then he hires Joe Maddon….get the good drafts with Bryant (’13) and Schwarber(’14) and then they turn it completely around in 2014 and win it all in 2015.

              Lets just hope Middleton selects a gem this time around.

          2. Well I kind of trust Andrew Friedman if he hired Josh there must be something there and the only reason the D-Backs fired him was because he refused to fire AJ Hinch as manager. Subsequently the following season Kennedy and Hudson led the DBacks to a division championship. So yeah ouch on giving up on Mad Max but you can’t say he didn’t get adequate value for what Max was at that time.

            And if I remember correctly the Padres changed hands and a new ownership group wanted their guy. Point is he’s at least been a part of winning a few championships and winning orgs.

            Is he my first choice if I could have any guy out there…no probably not. But he is a far better candidate than what we have. And having spent the better part of 6 seasons under Friedman I have to believe he’s learned a thing or two.

            Klentak never experienced winning on that level and never worked under GMs the caliber of what Byrnes had. I’ll take the flyer if I have no other choice.

            1. DMAR…..good points, you sold me…and probably John S.
              I know the Padres wanted Preller from the rangers…Byrnes’ was not really given much of a chance to succeed there.

        2. catch … sounds like you believe Middleton wants a guy who doesn’t mind the owner getting involved in decisions. Yeah. I agree.

          1. Byrnes may be another run of the mill baseball exec who’s been around. His biggest resume check is the time he’s been with LAD…perhaps by osmosis he gleaned something from Friedman and company. I wouldn’t bank on that in my search for a GM…but why the hell would they go this route when an inevitable new POBO would have to sign off and keep him. Makes no sense whatsoever.

            1. Actually Middleton could make him that offer…and MacPhail then goes ahead and retires. Byrnes was already a GM twice…DBAcks and Padres…being let go both times

  20. Dodgers front office executive Josh Byrnes is reportedly the frontrunner to become the next Phillies GM …

  21. In an offseason where the Phillies are acting as bystanders, I’m kind of looking forward to next Thursday’s rule 5 draft.
    As it stands now, there are only five teams (Rangers, Angels, Mets, Nats, and Mariners) who can pick before the Phillies in the rule 5 draft. The Phillies will be able to add one of the top six unprotected players. Here are six candidates (all pitchers) who should be in play for the Phils.

    * Alex Speas RHP Rangers … is the #1 “get” on my list. Speas was a hard throwing (mid 90’s), skinny (6’4″, 185 lb) prepster for the 2016 draft. Texas took him in the second round. After four years, forty pounds, TJ surgery, and a move to the BP, Speas is now up to 102 MPH (with movement). His impressive K-rates (13.4 per 9 IP) will attract a club early. That team will have to better Speas’ BB-rates (6.9 per 9 IP).

    * Brendon Little, LHP Cubs … is from Philly (Conestoga HS). He was a first round pick in 2017 based on his 97 MPH FB and plus CB. To date, he has not lived up to the hype. As a starter, Little has been mostly just 90-92. Maybe the Phillies can move him to the BP, and with the help of Caleb Cotham and the Driveline team, Little could blossom into JoJo Romero 2.0. Remember, the Philies developmental staff coaxed 97 (even 98) out of Romero this season after throwing mainly low 90’s as a starter the past couple of years.

    1. * Trevor Stephan RHP NYY … was a second round draft pick out of the U of Arkansas in 2017. He’s a big guy (6’5″, 225 lb) with a mid 90’s FB with good vert movement, a SL, and a CH. Brian Barber was part of the Yankees staff who scouted and drafted Stephan.

      * Brett de Geus RHP LAD’s … was a 33rd dound draft pick in 2017 out of a California JUCO. The Dodgers have moved him into the BP where his short-armed, three pitch mix has played up. de Geus’ 96-97 FB, cutter, and CB helped him to a 23 IP scoreless streak in high A last season. He followed that with a successful stint in AFL (9.1 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 11 K). If Josh Byrnes is hired as the Phillies new GM, he’d come with first hand knowledge of de Geus … and the next player on my list (below).

      1. * Melvin Jimenez RHP LAD … is another BP candidate. I’ve liked Jimenez for a few years now. The 6’0, 170 lb 21 YO has pitched almost exclusively against hitters older than him. The age difference has not slowed down Jimenez. He’s used an upper 90’s FB to K 11.8/9 IP (vs just 3.8 BB) in MiLB.

        Riley Pint RHP Rockies … could be the perfect “fixer upper” for Caleb Cotham. The kid was the fourth pick in the 2016 draft because he packed a 100+MPH FB and a hammer CB. He still throws really hard, he just can’t throw strikes (probably due to a serious head whack). His MiLB numbers have been pretty abysmal: 156 IP, 157 H, 124 BB, 146 K. Couldn’t hurt to give Cotham a few months to work with Pint. Pitchers with 100+MPH FB’s and hammer CB’s don’t grow on trees.

        1. Pint…I remember he was one of rocco’s favorites back then. loved his velo FB for a RHP, since any velo in the low 90s is not adequate to be a MLB starting pitcher.
          I think now the only Pint rocco likes, he rather consume.

      2. Nice piece Hinkie sure sign me up for any of these guys as they couldn’t be much worse in our BP than what we saw last season.

  22. Hinkey, there is a Thomas Burrows, a lefthanded Pitcher from the Braves, originally a Seattle draftee. Was Alabama’s All-time Saves leader. I thought he could be a lottery ticket for the BP, as it only costs $50,000. And, yes, I am looking for any kind of movement from the team. I would have liked Morton, even Smyly, but understand Smyly got a lot from the Braves, and I would have claimed Hand, but the Trevor May failed move really ticks me off. 2 years and $15M is not a lot, even for a small market team. And, him going to the Mets, when their BP is already much better than our disaster, is just that much worse.

  23. And, Hinkie, I apologize for the misspelling. I don’t know if it was spellcheck or my error, but I do how to spell your name!

  24. As Great White sang, “Once bitten twice shy”. The front office has made so many blunders on bullpen signings that they fear doing it again…and then again. With Robertson costing a ton with absolutely no results and a bunch of others, I can see (but not condone) the GM walking on eggshells and not taking the shot. If May does well, especially against our boys, it was a bad call. If he IS injured to some extent and and doesn’t perform, then the FO can say they dodged a bullet.

    1. I absolutely love Deivi Garcia and Frazier is very intriguing offensively. His D is pretty bad though and he’s had issues staying healthy. Don’t see how Andujar fits…

      The deal needs some work al beit minor.

      1. The Yankee fans’ comments indicate they hate the deal…..giving up too much for Nola….sheeesh!

    2. I can’t see the team trading away a SP. They have a very good core to build around. If they had multiple prospects near MLB ready then, maybe. Right now they have Eflin for 2 more years, Nola 3 years, Wheeler 4 years, and Howard (if he pans out) 5 years. So they need to sign another SP plus up to 2 others on minor league deals.

      1. Yeah……their top three, maybe four with Howard, starters right now look to be in good shape. Why mess with that!
        Now if guys like Morales, Miller, are whoever come along faster than expected, then maybe do something to gain better pieces where they are needed.

  25. Where are the Phillies going to play Andujar? He is not even as good defensively as Bohm at third base.

  26. At some point, this being afraid will have to stop. Trevor May got a very reasonable deal. and he would have helped us a lot. Hand was available for a 1 year trial. Anybody can get hurt, any season, and the whole paralysis by over analysis is getting more than tiresome. Maybe John Middleton and the Buck cousins should re-evaluate their participation in the Baseball business.

    1. There are sooo many names out there this year, especially with the recently non-tendered bullpen arms, that I’m not too worried that the Phils didn’t jump on May/Hand right away. If that means they are putting the money toward, say, 3 arms for the bullpen (which is the kind of turnover they need), then I’ll be okay with it. This is the year for the Phillies to really re-vamp that bullpen at a (relatively) decent bargain compared to previous years, so I hope they take advantage of it. From today’s NT list I think Archie Bradley, Ryan Tepera, and Hansel Robles all make some sense as Phillies targets. I don’t think they’ll splurge on Hendriks if they really are on a limited budget, but getting him, Kela, and say one of these three NT guys would be a great overhaul to the ‘pen.

  27. NYY will tender Gary Sanchez so maybe they are out on JTR? Meanwhile KCRoyals non-tender Maikel Franco, for those of you sentimentalists.

    1. Actually Maikel’s slash was not great, but not really all that bad…..278/.321/.457
      Fangraphs had him with a 1.3WAR (projected of a full season a 3WAR player) and a wRC+ 106….so he was an above average performer for 2020….and he lead the league in games played…all 60 of them.

  28. Rumors Phillies shopping Segura now, Morosi tweets. Possibly to Toronto ? for what ??? cash…..I suppose.

    1. 34-year old Tanner Roark I saw on another site someone posted….$12M AAV for one year…2021.
      Not sure how legit that is but the poster is pretty reliable in the past.

        1. The Good Phight……….’The Off-Season 12/2/2020″ thread

          Blue Jays linked to acquiring Jean Segura. I bet the Phillies would give him away for free to shed his salary. Posted by lorecore on Dec 2, 2020 | 2:58 PM reply rec flag

          id prefer ‘for free’ than ‘for Tanner Roark’. Posted by lorecore on Dec 2, 2020 | 3:01 PM up reply rec (1) flag

  29. Romus, Segura for Roark? To dump future salary? It’s a $2M savings for this year, but Segura has two more. So, we free up $ for 2022? Does that help anything?

    1. Probably to help in getting JTR for the full five years, is their train of thought on a trade with the Jays involving Segura.
      No one really knows what the plan is….at least those of us on the outside looking in.

  30. I don’t believe he is coming back Romus. I have felt the whole plan is to get the payroll down around $160M since I heard Middleton’s season end zoom conference, and I have seen nothing since to make me feel otherwise. I hope I am wrong.

    1. What if they trade Segura for nothing (a B prospect) but use that salary to sign Simmons and trade that same B prospect to Rays for Kiermier?

  31. Lots of interesting names being non tendered. Schwarber will be a DH for someone and Archie Bradley could be a decent pen arm.

      1. not a fan. VV’s 4 million could be/should be spent on an a different arm–someone with at least some sign of upside–Archie Bradley, Taijuan Walker, Keone Kela–just to name a few from the HUGE list of FA bullpen arms.

  32. I was off the mark…predicted at least 3 per team…about 90…only 56 out there…but still the highest ever at one time, beating last year’s mark of 53……..
    Some rather attractive bullpen arms…Philies should do their due diligence..
    Hansel Robles, RHP (1.7 fWAR)….John Brebbia, RHP (1.3 fWAR)….Matt Andriese, RHP (1.0 fWAR)…..Matt Wisler, RHP (1.0 fWAR)……..Ryne Stanek, RHP (0.5 fWAR)….Jonathan Holder, RHP (0.3 fWAR)…..Chasen Shreve, LHP (0.2 fWAR)……….Ryan Tepera, RHP (0.1 fWAR)……..Nick Tropeano, RHP (-0.1 fWAR)…..Jimmy Herget, RHP (-0.2 fWAR)…and even former Phillie prospect – Edgar Garcia, RHP (-1.0 fWAR)

    …..here is the complete list.

    https://www.mlb.com/news/list-of-non-tendered-free-agents-2020-21

    1. You’ve always liked Rodon and the ChiSox have finally given up on him. He’s still throwing hard and was coming off TJ this year so I’d take a 1 year flier on him.

      Still love Eddie Rosario and Robles or Bradley should be slam dunks.

      Also like Danny Santana who can play all over the field and is a year removed from 28 bombs and 21 SBs. Switch hitter too. Solid bench piece.

      Also like David Dahl a really good hitter but is coming off shoulder surgery. Only 27 he could be another LH platoon option for LF.

    2. Romus … three non-tendered arms I’d most like to see the Phillies bring in:

      #3. Keynan Middleton
      #2. Carlos Rodon
      #1. Chasen Shreve

      The Phillies are in desperate need of power arms with big K-rates coming out of their BP. Middleton is a power arm, but doesn’t K the amount hitters he should. He’s a TJ survivor, and is just 27 YO. He’s got the big FB and high spin rates, and won’t break the bank. And the owner will appreciate the name 🙂

      Rodon could be the LHSP that the Phillies almost never have. Whether it’s Rodon, James Paxton, or Jose Quintana, I think the rotation will be incomplete until they add a southpaw.

      Shreve makes a whole lot of sense for the Phillies. With Adam Morgan and Jose Alvarez “outta here”, the club is going to need at least one other lefty reliever to team with JoJo. Maybe one of the young arms (Jones, Cleavinger, Dohy,Ranger, Warren) contribues, but the Rice/MacPhail/Klentak/Middleton group can’t count on them. Shreve comes with impressive K-rates thanks to his splitter. He also threw for Girardi in New York, and was a teammate of Caleb Cotham with the Yankees.

      1. Hinkie…..Whew, glad I read your whole post. I saw you were advocating Middleton (Stoogie) and thought for a moment he was cutting costs and was going to come out of the bullpen himself!😰

  33. WHY tender Hale?! Each decisions is poor but cumulatively ingreasingly frustrating.
    Didn’t claim Hand.
    Didn’t finalize deal w/May.
    Tendered VV.
    Tendered Hale!

    I’m still an optimist because there’s always moves to make and a new GM may be bold to make some, but planning for light tossing Hale to be on your roster is just foolish!

    1. The whole Hale thing has me dumbfounded.
      Missing out on May was really unforgivable. He provided exactly what the Phillies needed: late inning power arm with big K-rates. The fact that he only cost 15 million over two years is even more depressing.

  34. Hale….@850K it is a relatively inexpensive tender.
    But then again…..what will he give the team in production in 2021!

    DMAR/Hinkie/Hawk…….Rodon seems to be an interesting pitcher…28-years old…some control issues…and his velo did pick up this year. If he can stay healthy might be a good gamble.
    The Phillies could always use a lefty in their rotation.

    http://www.brooksbaseball.net/velo.php?player=607074&time=&startDate=03/30/2007&endDate=12/03/2020&s_type=2

      1. To be fair, tendering him a contract doesn’t prevent us from cutting him if something better comes along. Placeholder contracts are definitely a thing.

        My concern is the Phils essentially said May isn’t worth 2.5M more than Neris. That is a ridiculously cheap, direct upgrade to our pen, and they didn’t pull the trigger. (This, of course, is assuming they decided they couldn’t afford both, which is also troubling)

  35. Guys, the lack of moves, and the ones they did make, fit perfectly into the plan, if the plan is to have a $160Million payroll. VV at $4M to be SP #5 is cheaper than the rebound candidates we want, like Quintana or Paxton, Neris is a cheap option at Closer, $7.5M for May is a luxury, for a team with no intention to compete. I wish I was apathetic, but every day they find a new way to p… me off. If they trade Segura for a prospect, can they actually start Bryson Stott at SS?

    1. Thanks for cheering me up, Matt 🙂
      Seriously, if John Middleton’s plan is to roll back the team’s payroll to 160 million dollars that means he’s fine with a 10th straight non-winning, no playoff season. YIPPEE!!! He’ll be wasting another prime year of Bryce Harper, Aaron Nola, and Zack Wheeer, and probably handing JTR over to a division rival (Mets or Nats).
      If this is Middleton’s plan, then just tear it down, and begin the next rebuild. This time hire a competent FO (people who can evaluate talent, can deliver top prospects thru trades, and can stand up to the owner when he wants to get involved in making over the team). The last rebuild was a disaster. Aaron Nola is worth a mint. Zach Eflin is another valuable trade piece. Zack Wheeler could be worth another couple of top 100 prospects (even if Middleton has to eat a little money). Rhys Hoskins is another guy with trade value.
      I’m not endorsing a second rebuild in less than a decade. I’d rather Middleton do the right thing: spend money (up to the cap) to seriously try to win with this group. But, if you’re right (about the roll back of the team’s payroll), the Phillies are going to stay stuck in the middle. And if they wait another season to trade the guys I listed above, they’re value will only decrease.

      1. I’m sorry, Hinkie, I and I trust you guys to cheer me up! I have had a bad feeling since the season ended. The 20% roll back is not something I made up, but what I had read somewhere, and that gets us in the $160M range, give or take. I agree with you. The only way to compete is to spend to the Cap. To me, that means the second level, but That sure isn’t happening. I think the lack of a POBO and a new GM, therefore, a new direction, is because he is planning to punt 2021. I don’t see any effort or desire, except bogus pronouncements, about wanting to win. So, ride out the rest of MacPhail’s contract, he is being paid anyway. He tried to give us some rationale, with MacPhail’s stupid comment about no one moving during a pandemic, and start the next regime next year. And, who is coming here, worth anything, if he is being told the plan is to cut payroll this year? I want to be wrong, and I wait, every day, checking here, and wherever I can find information, 10-15 times a day, for some glimmer of hope. I got excited about Josh Byrnes. I was waiting for the signing that jim intimated was happening, and the worst part is that I believe something good is coming soon. Only to be disappointed. Wouldn’t any sensible Front Office/Owner, knowing the mood out here is either angry or apathetic, want to give the fans something? Was there any attempt to rectify the awful zoom conference that Middleton had? Wouldn’t we have all bought into a Trevor May signing, even if they non-tendered Neris? or Vinny? I hope I am wrong.

  36. Maybe the Phillies think that the new pitching coach might be able to do something with Vinnie and will give it one last year. I think Girardi likes VV. I really hope they stay away from Robles. He had a great ’19 but in ’20 he went back to his old self. I’d love to see them work out something with Bradley and/or Roden.

  37. The beginning of the new look appears to be much the same as the old look. If Meddleton is going to use this same approach (bring out the clowns) then it doesn’t matter who the GM and POBO are.

    1. Middleton contributed to the team’s problems in a number of ways. The biggest mistake was hiring Andy MacPhail who gave us Klentak and more arrogance than you can cut with a knife. The second mistake was insisting in 2019 that the team needed to be ready to contend when it really wasn’t (and, no, that offseason wasn’t in retrospect, objectively excellent). This led to a premature trade of talented young players who should be on this team now and are not, especially Sixto. Combine that with a big increase in the payroll, and a bad farm system and you’ve got a difficult situation.

      1. When i look at the Phillies….I see teams right now , like the Angels, Red Sox, and maybe even the Cubs after 2021…large market teams that have holes and somehow have tried, and sill trying, to throw money at the holes to make it right.
        MacPhail needs to move aside as soon as the next guy is hired….hopefully that will be before the holidays.

  38. I’m not a doctor, although I play one on TV, but I strongly urge all our contributors here to have all guitar string and dental floss removed from within their reach asap. This off season may only get uglier…

  39. All I think on VV is that the new pitching coach must think he can dramatically improve with some Driveline training and additional coaching, otherwise, it’s a head scratcher. We’ve seen this show before.

    1. I have seen VV ‘throe’ right handed for five years now…I only seen the one throw left handed, and that from his knees to first base…….I think it is time he switch arms.

      1. Don’t forget he plays a mean left field and can throw a strike from there to the plate! It is just from the mound that he has trouble, he gets them there, but it takes 20+ pitches an inning.😎

  40. We’re alright now…Thomas Eshelman just ckeared waivers and declared free agency. That’ll take care of one hole.

    1. You know, I think we should be slow to bash Eshelman. You can time his FB on a sundial, but that dude knows what he is doing on the mound and pitched last year to a +117 ERA and a .60 WAR in not many innings. This style of pitcher is completely out of favor but he would be a perfectly fine pick-up thank you. If I were him, I’d be working on a nasty knuckler or splitter – he’s a guy who could sneak up on you and have a long major league career, especially if he develops an out pitch or trick pitch. He’s a real pitcher.

      1. Actually, Catch…….we need to be careful who we bash because they probably will be on our roster.

  41. Mets are reportedly in “active talks” with James McCann. A 4 year deal is supposedly on the table and possible. That would certainly narrow JTR’s market, would it not.

    1. I think this is pretty bad news for the Phillies. JTR is perhaps the most notable FA in the class. He is going to have options. McCann is a great plan B and you could argue he might even be better than plan A (signing JTR – because it would free up so much more money for other needs). I think there’s a good chance that if the Mets sign McCann, the Phillies still won’t sign JTR and they will be even further behind the 8-ball.

      But when you look at the offseason as a whole it’s clear the Mets have a game plan which is solid and which they are executing decisively and the Phillies are meandering, don’t know what to do, don’t know who is in charge, and have no clear path forward. It’s Fugly.

      1. I think it’s a very positive development for the Phillies if Steve Cohen signs James McCann. The Mets were the one team who could/maybe would throw “stoopid money” at JTR. The Nats, Yankees, and Angels will probably all make more reasonable offers, or offers similar to what the Phillies are making (something like 5 years/120 million).

        1. We will see. In my view, the Phillies would not be the favorites to land him, but perhaps I’ll be proven wrong.

  42. If Mets are in on McCann…then I believe some of my suspicions may be closer to the truth than I would have thought…..I had the hunch that Cohen, needing to get the 22 votes, may have had a gentlemen’s agreement with John S. on JTR…as long as John S. leaned Cohen’s way and not ChiSox owner Jerry Reindorf’s way.
    Purely speculation…but stranger things have happened in this world…lately.

    1. I think it’s more just a matter of teams being cautious about handing out big money/LT contracts to 30 YO catchers. Realmuto is most valuable to the Phillies because of what they gave up to get him in the first place. Plus, JTR is already a fan favorite/face of the franchise. That also adds value to Middleton.

      1. Perhaps.
        McCann probably gets his 4 years …maybe $11/13M range AAV.
        A lot less $$$ than JTR’s price tag.
        Will JTR match or exceed Mauer’s AAV?
        …that is the question that I am waiting to see.

      1. Yeah…I am sure nothing is ever put in writing to prove that they had an agreement if it were to ever happen……though still waiting for Scott Boras to come out with his annual off-season collusion conspiracy on why free agents are not getting signed at a pace he would like to see and at $$$ contracts he would also like to see.
        Trevor Bauer laid into him early this year when he told him to keep his thoughts and accusations to only issues pertaining to his own clients and not those of other agents..

  43. So Mets continue to be attached to FA while Phillies are looking to shed salary and bring back Vinny Velo lol

  44. Jim – any buzz on Stott on the big team next year?

    Just wondering as Bryce posted something about this is my SS and let’s go Phillies fans etc etc etc

    1. Stott may be the SS in a couple of years but let’s remember the highest level he’s been at is rookie ball Williamsport. I know he was at the Alt. Site but even Jim said something to the effect don’t get to excited about Alt Site practice games. I saw Stott at Williamsport and frankly he was underwhelming. He looked lost. At the time he was batting around .200 and facing so-so pitching. Likely a stretch for a college kid who turned pro who was playing in his 100th game and was tired. Stott needs at least a full year or a year and half of upper minor league ball before he’s ready.

      1. Batted .274 in Williamsport

        Either way, I just thought Bryce’s post was interesting. Would seem too soon for sure but never know.

    2. Stott hasn’t played above Williamsport. Probably would have started the 2020 season in Clearwater. Got reps at the Alt Site instead. He might start 2021 in Reading, but Jersey Shore is more likely. The only people talking about Stott playing in Philadelphia in 2021 are beat writers who need copy or dreamers on fan blogs.

  45. Was that recent Phillies84? With this season being a lost one, it is hard to know how close Stott may be. I would have thought he needed at least another year in the Minors, but if they are able to unload Segura, and I think “unload” is the proper term, as I don’t expect much of a return, there is a need for a SS. Kingery gets a full shot to rehabilitate his bat and his glove, Stott plays SS, and add a couple of BP arms, a veteran C, like the one released by Cinci, and they are done. That is not sarcasm, that is a real possibility, if Bryce knows something that we don’t re: Stott

    1. matt13…they have worked out together in Vegas in the past…..so he must think he may be ready. Assume they are hitting somewhere….besides lifting and cardio.
      Bryce did say the new hitting machine the Phillies Driveline guys got for the team this year in Clearwater, I think it was the I-Hack Attack 3-Wheel something or other which throws all different pitches, was the best he has seen…..he probably ended up buying one….hey what’s $6/7K to a guy making $300M.

      1. Regardless of my feelings about Middleton and MacPhail, I would love Stott to be the real deal, Romus

        1. Hey Matt, it was on Twitter today. He shared a post of Stott’s.

          With Segura on the trading block, who knows. Maybe Phillies will bring him up. Doubtful though.

        2. There are quite a few decent SSs on the market. Didi is still out there as well as Semien and Simmons.

          Dan O’Dowd said something very poignant last night which was related to the Reds off season “know who you are as a franchise, know your market, know your payroll, know your talent window”

          In fairness to the Reds they did make the playoffs and finished 14-3 down the stretch to make it in. Problem was they traded off a bunch of young players and will now likely lose Bauer. They swung and fouled it off.

          I see a lot of posts about wasting Harper’s prime years but TBH they were wasted the minute we signed him. I remember thinking they had to get both Harper and Manny or don’t bother because they still weren’t going to be good enough.

          I hate to cry over spilt milk but imagine if we signed Brantley instead of Cutch, LeMahieu, Corbin etc..and kept Sixto.

          I feel compelled to say I love Bryce he’s just not an elite player. Every team in the league realized that even the Nats the team that drafted him.

          So here we are 2 seasons removed from that and just now figuring it out.

    2. It feels like this year Stott is the new Spencer Howard. I also got ahead of myself in 2020 placing Howard in the rotation and being a ROY candidate. And we saw excluding the injuries that hampered him Howard’s pitches flashed excellence but mostly were very pedestrian. He needed AAA seasoning. For Stott I’m sure Harper has forgotten more about hitting than I know so I’m not disparaging his promotion of Stott I just have to believe there is not way Girardi would turn over the SS position to player who’s last organized game was in rookie ball. Maybe in 2022 but no way in 2021.

    1. Bottom line IMO,
      ….Klentak firing Mack, and then for two years listening to Kapler tell him what he wanted done.

    2. I don’t buy the failed rebuild narrative. The team has a really good core. 2020 they went 28-32 with around 15+ of those loses on the bullpen. With a good bullpen that could win even half of those games they would have won 35 games tying them with the Braves for 1st place. We would be speaking differently if they had made the playoffs.

      1. The historically poor bullpen in 2020 does present the front office with a clear area to address. I agree, the core is in place. It’s the nickel and diming, bargain hunting approach which must change in terms of player transactions BUT the talent evaluation and development have to be overhauled. To what extent Driveline will make inroads remains to be seen. As is the case with most bad organizations, the biggest problem rests at the very top. You can’t throw money at incompetence and indecisiveness and expect improvement.

      2. Rebuilds, and teams in general, aren’t judged on what-ifs. They built a good core… and failed to supplement it. It’s a team game. They don’t get points for having 4 exceptional players if the rest of the team drags them down. And that’s exactly what has happened. This core hasn’t been able to carry us to a winning record. It’s not the players’ fault, it’s the fault of the FO for not providing them the needed help, either through drafting and developing and/or more FA acquisitions.

        And speaking of FAs, it’s hard to give the FO any credit for paying premiums for known commodities. Nola is the only member of the core (unless you want to count Rhys or Eflin) that is cost-controlled. JT, Harper, and Wheeler aren’t here because the FO did a good job; they’re here because the owner decided he was willing to beat all offers for them.

        1. Granted, what ifs will not be seen in 10 years from now. And the bullpen is exactly where the 2020 team failed at. I believe they fell 3 relievers short of the playoffs. Now the FO has work to do: can they replace (the production) or bring back Didi, JT, & Arrietta plus overhaul the bullpen?

          1. Sorry to disagree with you, Bob (and anyone else who thinks this rebuild was anything other than very underwhelming). The Phillies went through their rebuild at the same time the Braves, Padres, White Sox, and Reds did. Atlanta, SD, and Chicago ran laps around us.
            You can run your own autopsy. Some may blame MacPhail. Some will blame Klentak. Others may even point their finger at Gabe Kapler. For me, it all starts with the owner. Middleton gets most of the blame for hiring the extremely vanilla FO that produced a very pedestrian rebuild.

            1. The Braves, Pades, and ChiSox have their payrolls under control because they stockpiled great young prospects. The Phillies … not so much.

            2. I don’t know that I would even call it a rebuild. We sold off our old core, then what? Agree to stink for a few years for higher draft picks? We’ve bought more mlb players than sold them during this “rebuild”.

            3. “Middleton gets most of the blame for hiring the extremely vanilla FO that produced a very pedestrian rebuild.”

              And it’s not like the outcome was a huge surprise. As it was going on, at almost every step it was like “geez, the Braves and the White Sox are killing it, but the Phillies not so much.” When the Braves insisted on one grade A prospect in a trade, the Phillies went with 5 grade B and C prospects and it seemed to happen again and again and again.

              The Phillies are now the baseball posterchildren for how to do a prototypically bad rebuild. How upsetting and depressing is that?

  46. Bob D. What you say is true regarding last year’s team. Why did the BP fail? An adherence to an artificial Salary Cap to start the season, which continued despite evidence that the BP was historically bad, and a failure, at the trade deadline, to properly evaluate the talent they were receiving. This season, 2 of the “core” players, Didi and JTR are most likely not going to be here. Kingery is a big question mark, Cutch on his last year, and we get mediocre performances from our CF tandem. So, a BP needs 3-4 arms, and we need a SS and a C. I have no expectation that those spots will be adequately filled, especially without spending $. So, if I am correct, and we fail to make the Playoffs for the 10th straight season, how is that not a failed rebuild?

    1. Just making the playoffs shouldn’t be the goal or focus. A seismic shift needs to occur with someone or someones at the top. Which is really simple. Build from the ground-up.

      Playoffs and Ships happen organically when you do that. Easier said than done of course. It’s a complex recipe of scouting, analytics and spending.

      Not everyone is good at it

  47. Speaking of the McCann to the Mets rumor, here is my take FWIW. I do not believe that McCann is the Mets first choice, I still believe JT is. The Mets in my opinion have floated the McCann to the Mets rumor specifically to Joel Sherman, who has a column in the NY Post in order to let JT know his time [and money] are not going to be around forever and he needs to make a decision soon. This seems precisely like the way a Cohen would do business, and its likely going to work if JT truly wants to join the Mets.

    If you read Sherman’s tweets he A] first mentions that the McCann to Mets rumors have legs and then B] says that they are still not close to a deal. This is to tell JT that we [Mets] are talking to McCann, are interested in him, but have not turned their backs on a Realmuto deal IF he and his agent act quickly.

    I simply think that unlike Springer or Bauer, who play positions that are valuable to almost all 30 teams, Realmuto, as talented as he is, really only has likely 3-4 suitors [Phils, Mets, Blue Jays, Nats] because of position need and money involved. This tells me that he is likely the first of the BIG 3 to sign…and I think it will be the Mets.

    Of course I hope I am wrong and that he stays in Philadelphia but most indicators do not look promising.

  48. Jim Salisbury says Phillies are looking to hire a baseball operations man first, and let him hire the new GM. Thad Levine, Michael Hill and Josh Byrnes all fit the bill for the POBO position.

    1. And when occurs, that means Andy retires in two weeks thereafter….I keep thinking he wants out by the holidays.

      1. I hope for his sake he can wrap it up before the holidays. I would hate to see Andy have to work his 12 hour per week schedule right through the holidays. This town has seen some gutty performances over the years – Iverson’s gutsy 2001 season carrying the sixers to the finals, Chase carrying the Phils through a nasty hip injury to the title in 08, Rowand’s sacrifice of his face to make that catch in CF, McCown playing last year with a torn hamstring, Ertz suiting up with a lacerated kidney – but none greater than the blood, sweat, and tears of Andrew Bowen MacPhail these past several years.

        1. If we do we do. If we don’t we don’t. A rallying cry for the ages. John Paul Jones had nothing on Andy.

  49. Second interviews scheduled with Hill and Byrnes. I look for any glimmer of hope, so here’s to one of them having such a great Interview that Middleton hires him immediately. I lean Byrnes but Hill works also.

  50. just to go back to the whole idea of a “rebuild” John Middleton hired MacPhail, who hired Klentak. Their mission as they stated was twofold: Bring the organization into the modern world of analytics and rebuild, “aiming for the quickest rebuild” we’ve seen. Their words, not mine. They sold off pieces, some with decent returns and others without. They drafted high, mostly missing. They implemented analytics, and attempted to change the way the team developed their prospects. All parts of a rebuild. That rebuild failed. The use of analytics, as implemented by Kapler, overtook any feel for the game or eye tests. Players did not develop. There was no young talent to build around, or certainly not enough. Players, Scott Kingery, Nick Pivetta, VV, were viewed as much better than they are. Maybe Kingery changes that, but Pivetta’s gone, and Vinny will be soon. Pitchers had their mechanics changed and hitters were only concerned with launch angles, causing regression. Eflin and Hoskins are my exhibits 1 and 2. I don’t have any idea what happened to Kingery, whose poor D was only overshadowed by his terrible ABs. And, I am a big fan of Kingery. So, here we are. No argument that $207Million should have provided a much better team. But by any measure, this rebuild has been a massive failure. I think a new FO can rebuild the farm, develop players better, and, at the same time, put a more competitive team on the field. The former 2 take talent evaluators and player development skills, the latter takes money, and spending that money in the right way.

      1. I’m interested in him as well. He’s been the Twins’ GM since 2016 and they have been doing an amazing job. And, hey, guess what? He’s another Haverford College grad (so is Brynes – in fact, he was Levine’s teammate in college!), which means he passes the Middleton/MacPhail “cocktail party” test too.

        1. The Twins would probably need to let him out of his contract – GM is a hugely important position and, until recently, was viewed as being the top job in an organization, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the Twins elected not to let him interview.

          1. Unless he is hired as the Pres of Baseball Ops….I guess it will come down to one or the other…..Brynes or Levine.
            Then again….not sure how that will work with both there together.

        1. Based on his background (obviously smart) and very strong track record from what I’ve seen, I would likely be very happy with that hire.

  51. I know FO hires are big but it would be nice to discuss FA signings. FA market has been quiet minus a few teams. Just sucks because Phillies seem to be hinting they won’t be doing much.
    If they had a booming farm system I wouldn’t be too worried but it’s pretty barren

  52. These 3 leading candidates for the POBO could all very well insist on a level of autonomy that Middleton isn’t quite comfortable with, but will have to become comfortable if he has any intention of moving this organization out of the old boy network way of doing business. The hiring of Joe Girardi was an apparent indication to me that Middleton was ready to hire a field general with cache. I’m sure since then that Joe got the message across that Klentak and Company were not up to the task. So here we are, MacPhail is passive aggressively begging to retreat to his role of do-nothing extraordinaire…I mean, senior advisor and color coordinator of the executive suites. Klentak will probably get to try to impress the POBO with his Ivy League argyle sweaters, and insist that it wasn’t his fault that JTR wouldn’t agree to an extension. And Ned Rice can stand by, saying “I’m just a contract negotiator. What’s a baseball?”

    Point is, Middleton has to clean house, or at least the top floor. The new chief of baseball operations isn’t going to arrive in Philadelphia with expectations of simply moving deck chairs around on this sinking ship. Paying him to do that for 3 to 5 years would be another waste of money…and on and on goes Middleton’s charade of doing whatever it takes to get that f¿€《¡^g trophy back.

    1. “……..and on and on goes Middleton’s charade of doing whatever it takes to get that f¿€《¡^g trophy back.”…………do you mean ‘Eflin trophy back’? 🙂

    2. Aye, aye matey………would someone start the pump and pass the hose down to the engine room so we can siphon the water out of here! Launch the skiff and put “Stogie” on it bound for Jamaica. We’ll call him when we get the good ship “Lollipop” afloat and underway again!

      1. Why would he want a lateral if his buddy Josh Brynes gets the Pres of Bus Ops in Philly?
        Sure he would probably get a nice pay raise from the Twins same position, but also stands to reason he may have a better shot at that PoBO with the Twins in a shorter period of time if Derek Falvey should want to move on from the Twins.

        1. It was my understanding that he was under consideration for POBO. I fully understand not making lateral moves if you like where you’re at, but saying no to a promotion is significant. That worries me. A lot.

          If he doesn’t know for a fact that a promotion is in his future in Minnesota, and/or if he’s not just one of the rare people that doesn’t care about money or title, that is extremely bad. That could indicate that Philadelphia is viewed as a place that ruins careers, and that would make it nigh impossible to get qualified candidates here over other teams.

          Could be nothing, but it’s not a good sign that he outright said no thanks. It’s very unusual for the candidate to be the one that declines instead of the team.

    1. I could be wrong, but my sense of this is that with a guy like Thad Levine off the market, we are back to grade B candidates to become President. If I’m the Phillies, I would rather anger and annoy the fans and wait for the right President than to just fill that role. That’s what the Sixers did and when they hired Elton Brand and it just set them back a couple of more years.

      This is the most important decision they will make in the next 5-7 years. If you pick a grade B president, you’re going to bet a lot of 82-80 and 86-76 teams here in the 2020s (and perhaps some 72-90 teams). Do you want that? I sure as hell don’t.

  53. We did sign Ronald Torreyes, so I was wrong that we are sitting out FA until March. Michael Hill and Josh Byrnes are taking 2d interviews. Either one would be good, though I prefer Byrnes. It cannot happen fast enough.

    1. matt13…..the Ben Franklin hot stove in Philly is heating up now.
      You do not want to be too close for fear of burning! 🙂

    2. I know I feel much better with Torr👀’s in the fold, things are definitely starting to look ⬆️. Well, maybe we will get some good news today🤞.

  54. LOL, Romus, MLB has us and the Giants in on Liam Hendriks. He would be a great move for us, but I would like to know if there is really someone from our FO talking to his Agent, or is that just put out there to get more $ from the other teams? Is Klentak talking to Agents? Is Ned Rice? It is most certainly not MacPhail. Is any team worried about being outbid by us?

    1. matt13….Ned has it covered…..money in the bank.

      Other notes…Steve Potter’s Fan View has it that Darick Hall is giving it a go in LF in the winter leagues, perhaps at the suggestion of the Phillies….and “now has 16 RBIs in 8 games ( 29 AB’s ) with 13 of those RBIs coming in his last four games played”…I am still holding at hope for him….if not with the Phillies but I am sure teams like the Dodgers or Yankees can see some potential value in these type of late-bloomers.

  55. With the now record 59 non-tendered in one year, the other day…..there are now more than 200 free agents on the open market.
    This is not good for baseball.
    Phillies could feel a pretty good team with Schwarber in LF, Rosario in CF….and Archie Bradley and Liam Hendriks in the pen……..maybe all four totaling < $32M for one year.

    1. Well, baseball is struggling financially for obvious reasons, but if I’m a GM, I think the number of players available is fantastic!!! I think it’s pretty good for baseball (the losses have to be passed, at some level, down to the players through lower salaries), although it’s clearly bad for players. But for the teams and fans, it’s a good thing as it will create more options and the sheer supply of available players will generally hold down costs. Why is that bad for baseball?

      1. “Why is that bad for baseball?”..from the players standpoint…..a flooded market
        of free agent players, or supply surplus, will stagnate player salaries.
        Sure it may be good for the fans …maybe slow down the rise of tix prices when the doors open again, but IMO it cannot be overall healthy for the sport.
        It also gives owners the perfect opportunity to lower the standard on salaries.
        I suppose if people like that I guess it is a good thing..

        1. Again, it’s bad for the players, but I disagree it’s bad for baseball. This is the most powerful sports union – perhaps the most powerful union anywhere – in the USA. They have guaranteed salaries, amazing benefits and so on and so forth. I don’t begrudge them what they’ve earned but I shed not a tear when they lose a little power and their salaries go down. If their salaries stayed as high while owners were losing money (and I definitely believe they are even if I’m not convinced it’s nearly as much as they say it is), then that would be bad for baseball. They should share the pain of these economic hardships and they will. That’s good for baseball and good for fans whose teams will now have more players to choose from.

    2. This is not good for the players. Marvin Miller successfully side-stepped Charlie Finley’s suggestion that every player become a free agent every year. It looks like the owners are trying to drive down contract length on the low and middle of the road players as a cost-cutting method. More supply lowers the demand. In addition to the large number of non-tenders, there were also a lot of contracts signed to avoid being non-tendered.

      1. Yes sir…..”there were also a lot of contracts signed to avoid being non-tendered”….and at very club friendly rates. Players would like to have ‘a bird in the hand, then two in the bush’

        And I guess I do not blame them…I would want something concrete now than try to figure out what the market will be like in an unknown future COVID fiscal environment.

  56. I don’t think Rosario can play center field at the major league level. The Twins were hiding him in left field.

    1. All the Phillies need is three, sometimes four ABs over 7 innings from him a game…..then put in a defensive specialist out there.

  57. Mets fans must feel good. Mets attached to every big FA yet here are the Phillies just hoping they can hire someone for the FO and save some money for Middleton

    1. Mets have their own issue attracting a ‘GM’ for Sandy Alderson.
      So far Trevor May is their biggest catch in the player market.

      1. But at least they have buzz. They are tied to FA. Clearly they are talking to people.

        Phillies had May and then must have screwed it up.

        Levine said no thanks.

        1. Phillies are very secretive, more so than the Mets are currently with their new boss.
          So we really do not know who they are talking to and how much is going on.

  58. Only 3 roster spots left on 40 man. They will likely bring in 3 relievers. My guess is they will bring in a catcher (JT is my guess) and that will cost Garlick his spot. A SP will likely cost Irvin his spot, and any additional SP and/or rule V pick will leave some of Hale, Quezada, Sanchez, and Llovera as possible roster casualties. If an outfielder is brought in look for trades to occur likely with Quinn or even Haseley. With Segura and Kingery as possible mismatches at SS defensively I could see a Segura trade to move salary and possibly fill a RP spot. His salary could be flipped into a resigning of Didi. A lot of public comments indicate they wont spend stupid money, so it is likely just a pipe dream.

    1. I guess the FO was unhappy that our SP were so much better than the rest of the team. Can’t have that.

    2. I’m incredibly shocked by this. But if this the route that they want to take, then they might as well strip it all down and put everybody that’s making money on the block. Losing Wheeler will just make the Phillies more of a non-playoff team. Harper is going to be pissed…

  59. It’s a disgrace and Middleton and the Buck cousins should simply sell the team. I blame myself for buying into Middleton’s desire to win. He’s a fraud.

    1. Most sports owners are business first and fans second. It’s rare that you will get owners who are not fiscally responsible when pursuing a title. Owners don’t become rich by making poor money choices.

  60. Listening to offers for Wheeler? Wow!!! This organization has truly become a joke.
    Bryce has to be regretting his decision to waste his talent in Philly.

    Middleton deserves a perennial loser. What a POS.

  61. I was going to post this yesterday, but I thought I would wait until the tomorrow’s new thread because a lot of this is a repeat of what I posted at the very top of this thread. I’ll post it this morning because of Buster Olney’s report.

    I understand the organization lost money in 2020. I don’t believe they lost as much (2B or even 145M) as the team’s owners are trying to sell. And I don’t buy the story that the phillies were hit any harder (financially) than the rest of the league.
    Yes, most MLB franchises are cutting payroll for 2021. If the Phillies occupied any other division, I would be less upset about John Middleton competing under the same financial strategy/restraints. The problem is two clubs in the NL East are apparently bucking the fiscal conservativity approach. The Braves (already a much better team than the Phillies) have already bought Drew Smyly and Charlie Morton. The Mets (already no worse a team than the Phillies) now sport MLB’s richest owner, have reeled in Trevor May (a guy the Phils desperately needed), and have the names of the games’ top FA’s on their shopping list this winter.
    This almost assuredly means … next season, the Phillies will be competing for third place. As I’ve posted numerous times, the 5-year rebuild has us stuck in the middle.
    Even if John Middleton’s plan is to get back to spending stoopid money next winter, it very well could be too little, too late. By the 2022 season Bryce Harper, JT Realmuto (if he’s still here), Aaron Nola, and Zack Wheeler could all be in the waning days of their primes. Does that mean they’ll all fall off the cliff at once? No. However, IMO it leaves the Phillies window (for WS contention) open a crack for about a minute. It’s going to be like trying to thread a sewing needle with yarn.
    Believe me when I say I’m the last guy to want to sit through another rebuild. But, realistically, if John Middleton is planning to sit this offseason out, wouldn’t it just be better to start selling (yes – rebuild again with a new, aggressive FO) before their most valuable trade pieces (Nola, Wheeler, Eflin, Hoskins) lose their market worth? If Middleton is willing to trade Wheeler, he’s got to keep on trading.

    1. This team is 4th or 5th place. They won’t even sniff 3rd place.
      Only going to get worse if they trade Wheeler.

      Guarantee they won’t get a top notch b ops or Gm because they’ll be too cheap to pony up the money.

      This franchise is going downhill and quick.

    2. I agree, if you are trading Wheeler you may as well keep on trading your highest value players

      1. Of course Bob….that all changes if the Dodgers send back Lux, May or Urias, and Chooch.2 for Wheeler.
        I mean how many teams can:
        A. afford Wheeler’s contract
        B. need starters like him
        C. have the prospects to return
        ……that combo probably narrows it down to the Dodgers, Yankees and WSox….maybe the Red Sox.

  62. When fans are allowed back, I hope not one person shows up as a way to stick it to the owners.
    Shaving costs amid financial concerns? This isn’t about trying to re-sign JT. They’re truly trying to cut costs. Why do you think they tender a contract to people like Vinny V? Going cheap.

    No one is going to support this team when they eventually compete in 15-20 years.

  63. And another thing, why tender contracts to Neris, Vinny, etc when you could dump them and just put league minimum MiLB on the roster. The FO is so clueless. Could’ve saved $12mil and not have to worry about now having an unhappy wheeler. Sorry if I’m spewing nonsense but as a fan of almost 30 years this has been to be the most disgusting thing I’ve seen from the franchise.

    1. Yes a bit weird to tender contracts to some if you are going to fire sale everything. Of course every year we hear all kinds of rumors and many have absolutely no factual base to it.

  64. My brother (a Mets fan) sends me a text with all 😂😂😂 and then the article. If this is true which I have no reason to doubt it, F Middleton and the whole front office. No wonder why Thad laughed his way all the way back to Minnesota.
    This franchise is a complete and total embarrassment.

  65. While Olney is not a typical sensationalistic writer I find this preposterous. If Middleton is a successful businessman – and by most accounts, he is – how in the the world do you 1) give a contract to a pitcher one year – despite all the pandemic’s surprises – such that you have to disgorge him into a market that barely exists in year 2 ? You have to run a business where you don’t spend the last dollar on any investment , surprising pandemic or not ?? I am certain Middleton /Bucks didn’t miss that point. 2) if you advertise that you are willing to sell off Segura and now Wheeler how can you possibly attract qualified meaningful candidates for the GM and Pres jobs you are actively trying to fill – who would want to come on board a sinking ship ?? That is just completely counter intuitive to what makes those jobs “good ones.” 3) by putting this out there what quality free agent player would find this team attractive when a)
    they are tearing the team down , but more importantly, b) if I sign there I am apt to be moved the very next year ??? Why should I go there then ?

    It seems to me that whoever put this out there – even if it is a front office operative – completely lost sight of basic human needs and positive organization spin. This action or news release is totally counter productive to both of the above in all regards. It is just further meandering through a minefield of awful and dispiriting news from the Phillies. Maybe they need to forget about the FO jobs and hire a good PR person(s).

    Lastly – if this was legitimate – why in the world would you not have cut VV, Hale, Neris, and anybody else that was on the margin ? If you are so broke you have to try and move quality players why did you resign any of those mediocre ones ? Just doesn’t add up ? Now if you want to get crazy – is it possible these owners are crying poverty in order to sign JT for less and have to sell off other parts to do so – because as slowly as this clock is moving it almost appears that the number of JT suiters is declining – Mets out, Yankees resign Sanchez/ out; Angels – really ? not unless he can pitch ; Toronto ? have you seen the tax structure there – unfavorable ; and so on. Whatever – its just bad form.

  66. I’m not surprised. These guys are all part of the ownership group that’s for the most part been cheapskates for majority of time. If ur love of baseball is strictly because ur a Phillies fan I guess ur stuck. If u like to watch baseball plenty of good college and junior college baseball nearby and usually free.

  67. And for any apologists for Middleton, you can make an argument not to sign Realmuto. I don’t but there is an argument. But the one thing we have is 3 good, young SOS in Nola, Wheeler and Eflin. You don’t worsen your Pitching. There was no reason to a ok end )10 Million on VV and Neris. Cut back, skip the season, spend next year. That’s the plan? But you keep your SP. and, seriously, they did not lose that much money, he is a multi Billionaire and he has the option to sell the team and pocket his % of 2 Billion. But running this team this way is a disgrace.

    1. Dang…I was hoping the Dodgers would jump all over it!
      Looks like Buster Olney struck out again.
      That guy, when it comes to sportswriter prognosticating, is hanging around the Mendoza Line.

  68. I don’t doubt Olney’s report. Middleton may be getting cold feet after the reaction from the fans and some media.

    1. Buster is not making this stuff up. He’s getting this info from teams the Phillies have spoken to – teams the Phillies think may be interested in Wheeler. Middleton is the guy mostly likely putting out fake news. He doesn’t want to upset Wheeler, Harper, and Girardi (in case a deal can’t be made).

        1. So if Josh Brynes gets interviewed for the job, as he was, ….and asks Middleton during the interview ….say my old team the Dodgers and old boss, Andrew Freidman were interested in Wheeler….what would a good return look like to you from the Dodgers?
          Does that constitute Wheeler is being shopped?

          Teams get calls all the time…GMs continually talk or text these days…..is it coincidence, but the winter meetings are happening this week..virtually of course….so the chatter will be big.

          I seriously doubt Middleton/Macphail/Rice put the word that Wheeler is on the block for the best offer.
          There would be other writers out there proclaiming that news..

          1. I think you’re giving Middleton too much credit. He’s been moaning about losing money this season. They’ve been trying to dump Segura’s contract. I definitely believe he’s putting out feelers on Wheeler.

            1. Good point, he has been moaning financial concerns…..but he has not been alone in those regards….the sole non-complainer right now is the guy up north, Cohen, who did not lose any money.
              But still has not done much so far…..Trevor May….and Stroman taking the QO.

      1. I think you’re barking treed, but there’s no fur up there. I’m not buying all this intrigue and conspiracy settings in negotiations and dealings for players. I think some manipulations and bargaining goes on, but not to the degree some of the posters on here imply.

  69. If they trade Wheeler, his value can’t be higher, I would like to see the return.

    What would you ask for Wheels?

    1. IMO:
      – Dodgers…..Wheeler and Kingery (they have to replace Kiki)….Lux, May, Ruiz and RHP Gray
      – Yankees…..Frazier, Jasson Dominguez, D.Garcia or L. Gil…they may also want to unload offensive catcher Sanchez for a defensive Marchan
      – WSox….Luis Robert, Kopech, RHP prospect Steiver and maybe a fourth since Kopech is an injury unknown.

  70. I believe Buster and Middleton, this could be simply the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

  71. I don’t trust Middleton. To me the strong denial means a deal is closer than we think.

  72. I don’t believe that everything is made up. Middleton has allowed the narrative of the team to be the salary cap prior to last season. Never did a thing to change it. He had a horrible post season zoom conference and hasn’t done a thing to lessen the damage.Now he gives us “if they offered us Babe Ruth,we wouldn’t trade him”! Seriously? He is trying to salvage the 10% of the fan base that doesn’t think he should sell the team. Where has he been?

Comments are closed.