Happy Holidays everybody! No matter what you celebrate, I hope you all enjoy your seasonal holiday. And, if you don’t celebrate, then Happy Baseball!!!
No major activity by the Phillies on the trade or free agents markets, yet. But, that’s to be expected as their new President of Baseball Operations familiarizes himself with the organization.
Dave Dombrowski may have the reputation of a guy who mortgages the future for a world series. But, he has shown the ability to work within the guidelines set by the organization that hires him.
Yes, he traded prospects when with Boston. But, he acquired Chris Sale and won a world series.
During his brief stay with the Expos, he built up their farm system. He was recruited away by the expansion Marlins and not only built up their farm system but won a world series with a team comprised primarily of high-priced free agents. After he left, the 2003 Marlins won a world series with a line up comprised of a lot of the young players he acquired for their minor league system. With the Tigers, he inherited a bad team and made 5 playoff appearances and went to the world series in 2006 and 2012. In Boston, he was given the mandate to return to the world series. In 3 seasons he won 3 division titles and the 2018 world series.
Dombrowski has joined organizations at differing times in their development. It is probably very inaccurate to assume that the “win now at any cost” mandate in Boston defines the way he has and will perform his job.
However, it is that reputation that will lead to many of the trade and free agent rumors we will hear.
Take this gem from Jon Heyman. On December 19th, he tweeted this out.
I read this and since it runs counter to what I’ve been hearing, I researched it. I started with the credited journalist, Brittany Ghiroli. She’s a beat writer for the Nationals who writes for the Athletic. I started in Twitter and could find no tweets about the Nats and Realmuto. I did find a “read this” tweet on the 16th and 17th for a story she published in the Athletic on the 15th.
MLBTR gave Ghiroli a credit on this on the 17th.
The Nationals and the representative for free-agent catcher J.T. Realmuto “have had early discussions,” Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic writes. Despite that, Ghiroli casts doubt on the Nationals signing Realmuto because of general manager Mike Rizzo’s suggestion earlier this week that the club doesn’t have the catcher position atop its list of priorities. Rizzo indicated first base and the outfield are bigger needs for the Nationals, who have Yan Gomes coming off a bounce-back season (over just 30 games) as their starting backstop. Even if the Nats want to count on Gomes as their starter in 2021, they could at least re-sign Kurt Suzuki or add a backup to replace him. Tres Barrera, who has totaled two plate appearances in the majors, is the only catcher on their 40-man roster after Gomes.
The story by Ghiroli contained one paragraph regarding Realmuto and the Nationals intentions. I’ve included it below.
… “Ownership has given me marching orders to put a championship-caliber club on the field,” Rizzo said. “That’s my purpose. That’s my focus. And that’s our objective this offseason.”
Prying for details is an excruciating exercise, but a necessary one to add context. The Nationals have had early discussions with J.T. Realmuto’s agent, but the best — and most expensive — available catcher is an unlikely fit. Not in a winter where Washington’s main priority is a big bat, ideally at first base or a corner outfielder spot. Adding an expensive catcher seems to be decadence in a time of front office cuts, budget cuts and a roster with clear holes elsewhere. But Yan Gomes is on the team, he could catch 100 games and Realmuto — while Rizzo demurred comment on the extent of their interest — shares an agency with enough other players to make it silly for the Nats to not do their due diligence. Beyond a big bat — or in a dream world, two— the Nats need starting rotation depth, a lefty in the bullpen and much better infield defense around Turner.
So, four days later, Heyman feels it is important to report that “The Nats have interest in J.T. Realmuto.” The author he credits and MLBTR had already opined that the Nationals have other, more important goals. That’s “Click-bait” John for you. That’s why I constantly suggest that you consider the source when these rumors are reported. Sure, guys like Heyman will “break” news once in a while, but don’t let the misses upset you in between.
Sorry for being so long-winded. This was all written before my accident and I decided to leave it in this weeks article since I wouldn’t have much more.
I guess the “message” is –
Don’t let the inactivity bother you and don’t let the rumors upset you.
(FWIW. The guys in which I’ve heard the Phillies have interest are all still on the board.)
Winter League Baseball
I cut my finger pretty badly and can’t do all the keyboard work necessary to gather all the winter league updates. Funny how important a left index finger is.
There is this though. The Australian Baseball League is in jeopardy. Weekend games between Melbourne and Sydney were postponed as COVID-19 cases increased in Sydney. The team returned home before an anticipated border shutdown between states was ordered.
Also, Ramon Rosso reached his innings limit and has been shut down for the remember of the winter.
This is the Phuture Phillies Open Discussion for Phillies and other baseball topics.
- 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 20th … 318 players in the org
- organization’s rosters (12/20)
- organization’s injury list (12/20), as current as possible, MLB closed Updates
- organization’s Rule 5 eligibility (12/20) (includes player info, assignments, …)
Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)
Reports have surfaced that the Phillies have signed INF Ronald Torreyes, C Christian Bethancourt, and RHP Neftali Feliz to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training. They’ll be added to the Transactions List when the transactions actually appear somewhere.
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