It started out as a quiet week. The Winter Meetings were relegated to a bunch of zoom sessions, the Phillies had lost all but one candidate for their vacant front office position, an unexciting Rule 5 Draft was on the horizon, and a former Phillies’ great player(and shoulda-been-hall-of-famer) passed.
Then all heck broke loose.
Dick Allen’s passing before he could be voted into the hall of fame is a terrible shame. Rather than comment on the continued ineptitude of a voting system that should be replaced, I will comment on a different Allen topic – his name change from Richie to Dick.
I was an 8-year-old in third grade when Richie Allen displace Johnny Callison as my favorite Phillie. (Callison had replaced my first favorite Phillie, Don Demeter, in 1962.) I have vague recollections of the media reporting negatively about Allen. One story had to do with his cutting his hand while pushing a stalled car. I didn’t understand why the papers would “attack” a local sports hero that way.
In a few years, Richie Allen would be traded and become Dick Allen with other teams. In my mind, he has always been Richie. And, I always referred to him as Richie Allen. That’s how I remembered him in spite of his brief stint back in Philadelphia in ’75-76. Until this week.
Among the many articles about Allen that surfaced this week was one that explained why he changed from Richie to Dick. Turns out he always went by Dick. He lamented the fact that the local media ignored him and continued to refer to him by what he considered a child’s name, a boy’s name.
So, here’s to you Dick Allen. Sorry for my continued ignorance all those years.
The Rule 5 Draft was held Thursday. The Phillies claimed SS Kyle Holder from the Yankees during the major league portion. Holder will provide some depth at the utility infielder position, a place where the Phillies are particularly thin. This may preclude them having to pay more to fill this position through free agency. This acquisition brought their 40-man roster to 39 players.
The Phillies made no selection during the minor league portion, but did lose RHP Reggie McClain to the Yankees. McClain was listed as being on the Lehigh Valley roster and should have been protected from selection. However, when selected, it was stated that he was with AA Reading. Turns out the roster on the IronPigs site is not 100% accurate. McClain had been removed and others were added. One such addition we didn’t know about was Kevin Gowdy.
And then, Jayson Stark (one of a few local beat writers for the Athletic) broke the biggest Phillies’ story of the offseason – the Phillies were very close to reaching agreement with David Dombrowski as their President of Baseball Operations.
Within 24 hours, the Phillies had announced his signing and Dombrowski was talking to local reporters in a zoom conference. I’m still very much amazed that this was conducted with such secrecy when so many other stories get reported.
Like some here, I was a little skeptical about the hiring. I value my prospects more than I should. However, I was very impressed with his answers to the media’s questions. I had also read an article by a Boston writer (written some months ago) that depicted a much different Dombrowski tenure in Boston than the popular depiction of him as a sell the future for a championship guy.
I don’t know what he might do in the coming weeks. I think he’s savvy enough to NOT tell the media what he’s up to. I expect that rumors by the national media will abound now that trader Dave is back. I also expect that when a deal is announced we will be surprised.
I don’t expect a Realmuto signing, but agree that Dombrowski’s presence makes the Phillies a more attractive landing spot. And with the Mets out of the picture, who knows, maybe.
I’m on the fence regarding Realmuto. I would like to have him back, but don’t want to mortgage the future. If the Phillies are really going to ratchet back on spending, I think I would rather address as many gaps as possible rather than one gap and use duct tape on the rest.
The Phillies lost two bats with the free agencies of Didi Gregorious and Realmuto (the second and fourth best WAR on the 2020 team). So, along with replacing these two players, Dombrowski has a lot of work ahead of him – bullpen, 5th/6th starter, closer at the very minimum.
However, this projection by Eno Sarris of the Athletic would make me sick if it happened. (https://theathletic.com/2247353/2020/12/10/mlb-free-agents-top-10-fits/)
Contenders for Realmuto: Astros, Rays, Mets, Cardinals, Phillies. The Cardinals will likely drop out of the running once they commit to signing Yadier Molina. The Rays are a dark horse, but would likely only enter the picture on a one-year deal due to the prohibitive cost of a longer term contract. The Phillies are crying poor and they are only on this list because they are the incumbent.
Finalists: Astros, Mets.
Projection: The Astros sign JT Realmuto to a 4/$85M contract with a $15M option/$5M buyout. Puke. It’s JT’s choice, but IO would like to think that the Phillies would be willing to do such a deal.
Winter League Baseball
Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente, Liga Mexicana del Pacifico, Liga de Beisbol Dominicano, and Liga Venezolana de Béisbol Profesional have all begun play.
Ramon Rosso continues to impress. Darick Hall is still hitting well. Victor Arano pitched in 3 games. Jonathan Guzman is getting more reps with Wander Franco on the IL. Daniel Brito is holding his own. A handful of young pitchers are doing well – Joel Cesar, Fernando Lozano, Erubiel Armenta, Carlos Betancourt, and Leonel Aponte. Note that the kids playing in Puerto Rico are playing against much older players – Cotto, Escalante, J. Sanchez.
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Australian Baseball League
The four of the six ABL teams start December 17, 2020. Adelaide and Brisbane won’t start their seasons until January 5th. The season runs through January 31, 2021.
- RHP Kyle Glogoski
- C Mitchell Edwards
- 1B Rixon Wingrove
- 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
- LHP Josh Tols
- C Chris Burke
- RHP Luke Leftwich
- RHP Josh Gessner
- LHP Josh Hendrickson
This is the Phuture Phillies Open Discussion for Phillies and other baseball topics.
- 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 December 13th … 318 players in the org
12/10/2020 – Phillies claimed SS Kyle Holder off waivers from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
12/10/2020 – Scranton/Wilkes-Barre claimed RHP Reggie McClain off waivers from Lehigh Valley
12/07/2020 – Phillies claimed RHP Ian Hamilton off waivers from Seattle
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