Open Discussion: Week of December 27th

I hope you all enjoyed your holiday.  May we all have a happy and healthy new year.

All was quiet on the baseball front.  No trades or free agent signings.  Not even a waiver claim.

There was some action in the front office.  Dave Dombrowski named Sam Fuld as his General Manager.  He also promoted Jorge Velandia to Assistant General Manager and Terry Ryan to Special Assistant to the General Manager.

Fuld had been Integrative Baseball Performance Director.  Velandia , Special Assistant to the General Manager.  Ryan, a special assignment scout.

For those wondering who is doing what, here are some thumbnails –

  • Dombrowski, PoBO – sole responsibility for ALL baseball operations, the decision maker for ALL transactions
  • Fuld, GM – ASSIST PoBO with the day-to-day operations of the Major League team, as well as player development and player acquisitions
  • Velandia, AGM – ASSIST with all facets of Baseball Operations, with primary focus on the Major League team, player development, and all of the scouting departments
  • Ryan, SA to the GM – evaluate the minor league system, provide professional and special assignment scouting, and offer input re:player acquisitions

These assignments came as a surprise.  There was no indication that Dombrowski was even considering making these moves.  No leaks, no media rumors.  And yet, they occurred. So, let me reiterate –

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.)

Regarding the Salisbury trade rumor, I can say this.  The Phillies were hot for a closer at the deadline last season.  When I heard about the discussion, we had five names on the table.  I’m not going to mention the names since the trade didn’t happen and I don’t know the conditions (like, was it 5 for 1, pick 4 for 1, 5 for 2, …).  However, the Phillies are still hot for the closer.  Those are probably the trade talks Salisbury referenced.  That might also explain some of the Rule 5 protections since you wouldn’t want to lose a player via the Rule 5 draft who might be part of a trade.

So, I guess. the lesson (?) here is, don’t sweat the free agent closers.  It looks like obtaining one via trade is the Phillies’ plan.  BTW, I don’t think you guys would have been upset if all 5 names I heard were included in the trade.  Even if it happened tomorrow.  Although, I would.

Regarding Freddie Galvis, and this is just my opinion, I agree that his glove doesn’t make up for the loss of Gregorious’ bat.  It also doesn’t make up for Galvis’ bat.  I do not wish to endure the countless bad at bats he has.

Regarding Phillies’ players and their availability for trades, there is one and only one untouchable player in the organization – Mick Abel.  He hasn’t played in over a year and the Phillies don’t know his value yet.  Their expectation is that he becomes a top of rotation guy.  At his point in his career, no team will compensate as such.  The Phillies will not risk selling low, and no team will overpay.

So, any made up trades should avoid including Abel.  Any rumors that include him can be ignored.

Which brings us to the rumor mill.  I do NOT want to see every Realmuto rumor in the comments section.  You know who you are.  After I debunked the last rumor, you linked a story (written by a college student) that used Heyman’s tweet as his source.  I’m not going to live through another off season you of dredging up every rumor for discussion.  I’ll just block you until opening day if I have to.

Don’t like the Fuld promotion?  Fine.  State it once and move on.  Don’t keep repeating it until you get a reaction.  You want to fight, take it to another site or call WIP.

Reminder, we don’t substitute fail for phail.

And, please be careful with your abbreviations for Dombrowski.  I typed Dombro and auto correct changed it to Dumbo.  When you start hating him, that will not do.

Now that the holidays are almost over, we should brace for a round of releases as early as next month.  With a limit of 180 players (190 during the off season) in the minor league system, some players will have to be let go.  The 14 minor leaguers on the 40-man roster don’t count until the season starts.  So, there will be another round of releases before the start of the season.

So see, there are worse things than not knowing when the Phillies are going to sign a free agent or trade for a player.

Winter League Baseball

A lot of work for this.  I don’t know if I’m going to keep it up.  Puerto Rico and Australia are particularly difficult to find stats.  And some players have reached their innings limits or fulfilled their contracts – Rosso, Hall, Listi.

Happy New Year!  I’ll restart the Amateur Draft discussions next year.

This is the Phuture Phillies Open Discussion for Phillies and other baseball topics.

Key Dates:

  • 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 27th … 318 players in the org

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

216 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of December 27th

    1. I think it’s pretty clear they shouldn’t re-sign him. He is a below-average starter and I don’t he’s a great clubhouse influence. The bigger question is – why would you even consider keeping him around?

    2. For a long time now, the Phillies have been counting the days until Arrietta’s contract would expire and come off the books.

      The only way the Phillies would even consider resigning Arrietta is if he agrees to a VERY team friendly deal, and probably a 1 year deal at that.

  1. Not sure if I’m missing something, but are the trade rumor(s) regarding Josh Hader? I recall the deadline chatter but nothing recently. My guess is that Milwaukee would at minimum ask for a young OF (Moniak or Muzziotti?) and a few young arms (Howard? Medina? Miller? Morales?).

    A closer is the only roster spot which I’m pretty confident Dombrowski will fill from last season’s deficiencies, be it via free agency or as Jim asserts, the trade market.

  2. We see what a loaded farm system can do as it looks like the Padres are in the final stages of trading some very, very good prospects to the Rays for Blake Snell. Again the Rays sell high on a player and reap a whirlwind of future MLB pitchers and position players… If the Padres didn’t get the Dodgers attention last year they will this year with the addition of Snell.

  3. I too wanted to post about the Snell deal. The Phillies equivalent would be:
    – Spencer Howard
    – Marchan
    – Morales
    – I guess we could swap Kingery for Mejia

    Imo you do that deal in a second. Easy yes for me. Your top 4 in rotation is maybe the best in MLB. Then you add pieces to the Pen and re-sign JTR and that is a legitimate playoff team.

        1. Not to beat a dead horse … but … SD’s deal for Blake Snell reinforces the difference between a rebuild (Phillies) and an exceptional rebuild (Padres). AJ Preller ran circles around Matt Klentak. He procured so many high end prospects that the Padres didn’t even have to give up either of their top two minor leaguers (MacKenzie Gore or CJ Abrams) for 3 years of one of the top pitchers in MLB on an extremely club friendly contract. In addition, they surrendered two good young catchers (a position of need for Tampa), but held on to their #1 catching prospect (Luis Campusano).

          BTW … this was a no-brainer for AJ Preller, and Preller is getting universal praise for the trade. However, I have a feeling, when all is said and done, Erik Neander is going to come out looking really smart again (remember the infamous Chris Archer to Pittsburgh for Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows, and Shane Baz deal that cost Neil Huntington his job?). Nobody loves Blake Snell’s stuff more than me, but I believe there is some serious risk for injury in that left arm.

          … and one last thing … speaking of Chris Archer: he could be a helluva “buy low” FA signing this winter for Dave Dombrowski. I’ll take a shot on just about any pitcher who failed in the Pirates’ organization (Jameson Taillon is another dude I’d look into). Pittsburgh has been one of the worst organizations at working with/bringing along arms.

          1. “Pittsburgh has been one of the worst organizations at working with/bringing along arms.”…at one time awhile back, with Ray Searage there, the Pirates were considered a very good team developing pitchers, especially retreads….but he was let go a few years ago after they fired Clint Hurdle.

  4. Football is over and my first thoughts went to the Phillies and how I am getting excited about the New Year.
    I am excited about Dombrowski, Fuld and Velandia. This triumphant will lead us finally in the right direction.

    Nola, Wheeler & Eflin a very good top three of the rotation.

    Harper, Bohm & Hoskins will drive in the runs and if we resign JT all the better.

    Sprinkle in a little Howard, Cutch, Kingery and others, I am set to forget 2020.

    Here is to an exciting run in 2021!

  5. I still don’t get the reason to not have claimed Brad Hand. 1 year, zero loss of prospects. It does not matter how anyone feels about who we lose in a trade, they are still prospects that may be used to make a trade for another spot we need to fill. There are plenty.

    1. He is still out there and there is time. The fact no team claimed him says something about this off season. Once the JT situation is resolved I would expect DD to have all guns aimed at the bp.

    2. matt13…Brad Hand is a dilemma….in 2020 his basic metrics were excellent.
      But the ‘yellow light’ is blinking.
      – Velo dropped 3 mph from 94 to 91
      – Sldr down to 80 from 82…that was his out pitch
      – GB%….from a good 47% to a rather poor 28%
      – Swing and miss…..dropped from 31% to 26%
      – Barreling below average in limitation to batters.
      – Innings pitched over last 5 years…320..near the top of the list for relievers/closers

      So you can see why teams are reluctant in dishing out a contract for him right now…..some team will sign him, they always do….but the price tag may not be what he wants.

  6. Jim, you are probably referencing my response to Hinkie‘s post on Blake Snell last week when mentioning about people posting until they get a response. That was purely unintentional, as my original response wouldn’t post, and not knowing what was going on, I rewrote the post and then saw that both posted at the same time. I always state my opinion and then move on, unless there is a response to my post. I was in no way trying to troll Hinkie or show any disrespect to anyone on this site.

    1. Tom … pretty sure Jim wasn’t referring to you. I think he was talking about someone else who (more than once) posted his displeasure with the Sam Fuld promotion.
      BTW … I have no problem with you (or anyone) disagreeing with me. The difference in opinions is what makes the world/this site go ’round. And Happy Holidays.

    2. No, Tom. You were okay. Double posts are often my fault. When i find comments in the Pending Folder, I release them without checking if the author re-posted.

      I was trying to drive home a point to new poster who was fishing for a fight over the Fuld promotion.

  7. Romus, I understand that $10M was a high number for Hand. And, we have been burnt a lot with Relievers. But, we still have to take some risks. Maybe we get the BP straightened out. I believe Dombrowski can fix it. I was more concerned with the trade rumors. Maybe the target is Hader, and he makes 4.1M this year, and, I believe, 2 Arb years, so there is some team control. But, are we getting him for the infamous pu pu platter? I will believe it when I see it. Hader was the only rumor I remember from last year. I know jim keeps telling us not to worry about the lack of movement, but I didn’t even get the 1 BP arm I wanted for Christmas.

    1. matt13…well one thing is for sure….when it comes to risk, reliever’s are at the top of the shelf.
      Look at the Cubs and Craig Kimbrel….close to a bust for them….except for the last month of his contract…Sept 2020….and at one time just a few years ago, he was considered top of the line when it came to relievers.
      I think the GM will get the relief arm he needs to get this BP straightened out….they cannot be as bad as they were in 2020…..just plain inconceivable.
      Plus I do think the kids will step up and really perfrom…JoJo and Connor Brogdon, along with Dohy and maybe Warren showing up later.

      1. I believe they will fix it, also, Romus. I do think we need a minimum of 2 new arms, one being a Closer. I believe in the young guys stepping up, but just 1 Veteran arm will not be enough.

  8. MLTBR reports Padres are deep in to talks to acquire Darvish.

    May have to jump on the Padres bandwagon, they’re about to be damn good for years to come.

    All jokes aside, I hope DD can bring this excitement back to the Phillies.

    Intrigued by the potential deal for a closer. Truth is, Phillies weren’t that bad last year if you take away that bullpen.

    Problem is no JT and no DiDi and this offense is now just blah. No guarantee Hoskins will be healthy to start the season. Kingery has been eh (I’ll give him a free pass as it’s hard to gauge if it was due to lingering covid issues). Cutch regressed, Harper’s back worries me. So pretty much they have Bohm.

    Need JT and didi back.

    1. FWIW, Kingery suffered though a particularly difficult bout with COVID. There’s concern that he’ll be one of those with lingering lung problems. I knew how serious his COVID experience was and noticed how short of breath he was in the dugout when he was caught on camera. I’m sure that COVID effected his season in 2020. I hope he recovers completely and is able to improve in 2021. We’ll see.

  9. What San Diego is trying to do sounds exciting but in my opinion, they got fleeced in the Snell trade. I think his better years are behind him. And his profile as a 5 or 6 inning pitcher doesn’t impress me. I could be wrong. Preller is acting like a man with his pants on fire and his job on the line in 2021. Sure, it’s fun to track the Padres off season, but we’ll see how it pans out. Darvish is a high risk arm as well.

    1. mark8:29…..they really did not give up their top prospects…Gore and Abrams.
      The catching prospects are risky also that the Rays are getting….but the best is still in the Padres system…Campusano.
      Patino and Wiicox are good arms it seems, but may take them a year or two before they break out.
      Plus the Padres will be in a three horse race in the West…the Dodgers and I assume the Giants with their pitching, will be there right along with the Padres.
      Snell can be the difference maker….add Paddock and the new kid D.L. and they can be a formidable foe for the Dodgers.

      And yes, Preller may be feeling the pinch to get over the hump, so maybe you are correct and he needs to make it happen in 2021….just as Klentak had to do this past season.

        1. — probably any 2 of these four pitchers….Howard, Morales, Medina or Miller
          — catcher Marchan…and why the Rays wanted two catchers puzzles me with Hernandez almost MLB ready
          — but if another catcher…judging by Meija and Hunt…I’d say Duran or Gutierrez ….but not O’Hoppe.

          I see the Rays also now want to move Kiermaier their defensive CFer….I’d rather the Phillies acquire JBJr ilo of Kevin K. …may be cheaper in the long run.

        2. V1again posted a pretty good comp above – Howard, Morales, Marchan, and maybe Kingery. I don’t think it’s enough considering that the Padres are supposed to have one of the top systems in the minors. I’m afraid the Rays would insist on Abel (who I stated above is a non-starter in trade talks). I think a sweetener would have to have been included to match the Padres offer, like maybe Rojas, Lindow, Simmons, or Baylor?

          1. I agree on not trading Abel. But I do that deal with your “sweetener” too.

            The next 4-5 years are Harper’s prime. We HAVE to maximize these years before that 13 year deal starts to work against us.

  10. If the Cubs unload Darvish’s contract along with a catcher, does anyone on the PP site believe there would be a chance of Realmuto going to Chicago?

    1. It’s not an outlandish idea.

      Phillies made splashy FO move but I think splashy moves stop there. I felt better about JT coming back but today I’m not so sure lol

      1. Once they trade Darvish, I believe they’ll be in rebuild mode. Jed Hoyer will probably look to deal other veterans (including Kris Bryant and Javy Baez) instead of signing FA’s like JTR.

    2. Chicago trading Darvish is a straight up salary dump. The Cubs are one of the teams that are very reliant on fan revenue, probably in the top 3 and likely in the top 5. They are not spending money on JT. I’m not sure why they picked up Rizzo’s option.

  11. Saw that the Cubs would be getting the Padres young catcher Campusano so there would be no need to sign Realmuto, especially if they’re not wanting to add to the payroll.

    I would imagine that MacKenzie Gore would have to be part of the package. The Padres don’t have much more in the pipeline to send to Chicago.

    1. ciada….IMO, Gore is an Elliot Ness, an untouchable
      Padres could give up LHP Weathers , plus Campusano and probably Wil Myers to rid them finally of his contract, which has ’21 and ’22 to go. .especially if they are taking on Darvish’s contract which has three more years..

  12. I have to agree with Hinkie. I think Cubs are in full tear down mode. Too many free agents next year (Baez ++), even after Schwarber non tendered. No real pitching that is young and Romus reminds us – above – their bullpen is shaky with bad Kimbrel contract. Why pay JT a ransom when the rest of the team is likely to change in a year+ ?? Is it any wonder the GM left ?

  13. I know that AJ Preller has been aggressive before, and it didn’t work out, Hosmer, Myers. But, he hasn’t been afraid tp regroup, and he has put together a farm system that is better than ours. These trades may not work out. Darvish could tip pitches again, and Snell’s arm could fall off, and it all blows up in Preller’s face. I prefer what they have done in rebuilding a lot more than what we have gone through here for 5 years. I am hoping DD has the green light to build us into a contender, and I would just like to see that first move. I still do not believe that the only team that is able to keep everything quiet is us. Things leak, always. Well, almost always. Because aside from jim’s telling us we were in on Trevor May, and a report that we lost out to the Tigers for Jose Urena, the Mossad could take lessons from the Phils’ Front Office.

    1. Matt, You ever buy wine at a restaurant (or bar)? That glass is half-empty, not half-full. I’m a firm believer in the glass being half-empty. I also always expect the worse, so that way I am never disappointed. However, I think that when the Phillies finally make a move, the dam will break. I believe that Dombrowski has a plan, is getting his ducks in a row, and when he announces his first signing/deal, there will be others announced in quick succession. Like, maybe 3-4 in a 10-14 day period.

      When this happens, we’ll be left wondering how he pulled it off without any leaks (maybe all potential leaks were plugged when the Phillies released 130+ employees at the end of the year) and what if any moves are left. See, I have hopes and wishes too. I stay off the ledge by looking at the moves the other teams make and convincing myself that it was a bad move or an expensive move or anything that takes my mind off the inactivity. Heyman’s stupid, useless tweets also distract me too. Now, if we’re still waiting in February, and JT is still on the market, I’ll convince myself that he’s 100% signing with the Phillies.

      1. Low expectations mean you’ll never be disappointed. I applied that to my dating life and man, I’m was on a few stinkers but enjoyed them more bc I expected them to suck. Baseball meets life

  14. The Cubs are living by the baseball rule that “it’s better to sell a year early than a year too late.” I would think Bryant is gone by the trading deadline to a contender for prospects. Baez; not sure of his value. Rizzo can’t be happy. He’ll have to play through about three-four down years at the back end of his career. Not what he envisioned when the Cubs won the WS in 16.’

  15. Padres get Yu Darvish and Victor Caratini and give the Cubs none of their top 10 prospects. The moral of this story: If you’re willing to take on money, your team can acquire some pretty good players on the cheap from teams looking to shed salary.
    Earlier in this thread, there was some speculation that the Phillies are/have been interested in Josh Hader. Hader is scheduled to make ~5.6M through arb2 next season. It may cost the Phillies (or any other club) a lot less to land the LHR than what I originally thought. Would you give up Simon Muzziotti, Casey Martin, Eric Miller, and JoJo Romero for three years of Josh Hader?

    1. I can’t see that package getting the Brewers to make the deal, unless they think Miller has a high upside. Any deal for Hader might need Morales or Stott as the headliner. Quality over quantity since other teams like the Braves will be in on Hader too.

        1. Murray … after the Snell and Darvish trades, I’m convinced the cost for Hader is going to be a lot lighter than I (and apparently you) originally thought. Hader has less value than either of Snell or Darvish. Hader is a reliever. Snell and Darvish are starters. All are/were property of teams looking to unload payroll. In the case of Tampa and Milwaukee, those clubs are revenue sharing clubs, meaning they normally receive about 40M from the profits big market clubs make at the end of each season. This year, those small market clubs are getting no revenue share money because the big market franchises didn’t turn profits because of COVID. Teams like the Rays, the Reds (who dealt Raisel Iglesias for next to nothing), the Indians (who declined a 10M option on Brad Hand), and Brewers (and others) are serious about shedding payroll. Hader is in arb2. He’s projected to make 5.6M in 2021. He’ll probably go to 10M in 2022, and maybe 16M in 2023. I think Milwaukee would do best to wait until the trade deadline to deal Hader, but if they do send him elsewhere this winter, I think the deal may look something like the one I proposed above (at best). We’ll have to wait and see.

  16. mark8, I’m with you in thinking the Rays may win the Snell deal in the long run. Even a Snell-fan like Hinkie acknowledges the possible signs of regression. I’m a Patino fan and believe his 2022-2025 will tip the scales to another Neander win! He’s no fool and did not give away Snell with a very-very-team-friendly contract for another 3 years without a strong gut feel he’s selling high. We’ll see. Hopefully they both win as I have respect for both the orgs (and GMs).

  17. Looks like Theo got out of the windy city before the storm hit.
    The strategy looks to be long term for Ned Hoyer..
    Cubs recd the MLB. com Padres No. 11 (ss-Preciado), No. 13 (OFer-Caissie), No. 15 (OFer-Mena) and No. 16 (ss-Santana) prospects ……..seems like Cubs are looking long range…….they all are young …Davis is the only older player and the pitcher to supplant Yu Darvish….and Davies is only 27.
    I think this is a marvelous trade for the Cubs.
    And the Padres still keep Gore , and Abrams and Weathers.

  18. jim, terrific post. I start to think about my next glass of Wine as soon as it gets half empty. And, I do think DD makes moves, and good ones. I am, clearly, patience challenged! On the Padres deals. I am always reminded of our very poor decision to trade Cliff Lee and our allegedly re-stocking the farm. Not that the Cubs are in the position we were in after ’09, Romus. But, I always believe that the team that gets the best player, wins the deal. There is just as strong a chance that prospects do not pan out as there are that Darvish collapses or Snell really can’t pitch much longer. I am not, in any way, knocking the Rays brain trust. I clearly was on the Neander bandwagon. But, they have to operate under a different set of rules. The current situation notwithstanding, we are still a big market club with a Billionaire owner, and aggressive is how we should approach team building. I still need to be shown that winning, not cost-cutting, is the goal for 2021.

    1. matt13……those ‘superstar for a gaggle of prospects’ do favor the superstar gaining team…..instantly in most cases….however, in the long run I am not so sure.
      Preller and the Padres are in a win now mode….plus they have the youthful resources to extend that for a longer period of time.
      Cubs otoh, have their recent WS ring ..2016…and now begin their rebuild.
      Going into their 5th year post-WS champions
      Perhaps not waiting to see how it turns out, like the Phillies outcome post their 2008 WS.

      I am not quite sure why the prevailing thought is that the Phillies are a team that needs to be in a ‘cost-cutting’ mode…or frugal or thrifty.
      Their payroll is still in the top ten….I thought it was 6th or 7th last year.

      They do spend…just seem not to be wise about it.

  19. I think one of the challenges for trades is that many of our best prospects (MLB Top-10) are within two years of their draft and with no minor league season last year the evaluation of the talent is difficult… It’s effecting all 30 major league clubs and not just the Phillies… Stott finished strong in 2019 but never made it out of Williamsport Rookie ball. Abel is a high school kid without one-inning of pro ball. Martin needs to show in pro ball he can dramatically cut down his K rate. Miller went up four levels his draft year but teams want to be sure he’s made the corrections to keep the BB rate down. The Garcia kid has been down in Venezuela for two years and also has not had an inning of pro ball. This year when it comes to trades that involve prospects GM’s and PoBO are really going to earn their money…

  20. We have spent, Romus, until last season, when Middleton got cold feet before the pandemic hit. He capped the team at $207M. That not only restricted any ability to add significantly to the BP, but hampered negotiations with Realmuto. That is what I believe. All reports during the season, and up until this very moment, indicate that cutting payroll is the mandate. That could be wrong. It could be misdirection by the team that is going to result in all of us being thrilled with our chances going into 2021. But, if we are to contend, with Dombrowski or Joe Smith running the show, unless we are going to rebuild, again, money needs to be spent. A lot of money. I am still pessimistic that the money gets spent this off season. Maybe there are terrific trades coming, and they don’t include Stott and Abel or anyone not in our top 10, and we trade #18 and #22 and get a nice return. I wait to see.

  21. I’m sure the team sees what we see. the real issue is who they get and then how they perform. I mean we can all make educated guesses and maybe be better but the fact is can Dom and company do better than the previous leadership over the past 10 years. Only time will tell.

    I am relatively certain we will get a catcher beyond Knapp and company.

    We will get another closer beyond Neris.

    We will get a couple of outside bullpen folks.

    Another outfielder, and infielder.

    The 2 billion dollar question is will they be better then last years additions and then will the team gel enough to make a few long runs and reach the playoffs. Probably won’t have the answer to most of those questions until August.

    So happy Phillies New a year everyone!

  22. So, the latest from Jim Salisbury is that the Phillies have never actually made a firm offer to Realmuto, despite the ongoing discussions with his agent. If so, then I assume the earlier suggested notion that the Phillies have informed the JTR camp that they will make their offer based on market value, i.e. come back to us with your best offer and we’ll match it.

  23. I know they talk a lot about not being one player away, but they can’t think this is a long rebuild if they hired DD. Jim am I being correct with that? Especially at his age. I’m with everyone here I just want them to make a move. I like the front office hires. I can’t believe people were upset with the DD hire? All he ever does is win. Is there anything brewing at least?

  24. I think I should clarify my position on Blake Snell. I don’t doubt his talent, my only concern was he got treated as nothing more than a 5 inning pitcher by the Rays. And that was troubling to me, because we had just gone through two pitchers in the last 2 years that could barely get through 4-5 innings per start, Jake Arrieta and Vince Velasquez. And with this bullpen, that is asking for trouble. I know that Dave Dombrowski will address the pen, but Matt Klentak did the same thing last year. Of the three relievers he aquired mid season, two were having very good seasons. But when they got to the Phillies, their pitching reminded me of Jim Kern and Stan Bahnsen when the Phillies signed them during the 1984 season. There are no guarantees about the relievers a team brings in performing at their previous high level, hence the need for your starters capable of going 7 innings on a consistent basis.

  25. How ironic is it that the big market Cubs did a salary dump of Darvish with the small market Padres.

    1. There are approximately 16 million people in the metro San Diego area. In the past the Padres have had a payroll reflective of a small market team with a fan base equal to the top five payrolls in the MLB.

  26. In line with Jim’s take on Dombrowski, I expect any or all of the following to go down once the off season bough breaks…

    Re-sign Realmuto.

    Sign Jackie Bradley Jr.

    Trade Jean Segura. (And don’t be shocked if DD somehow moves Cutch.)

    Acquire a closer…there are plenty of options, either free agent or trade market. Then the rest of the BP is addressed from the back end up.

    Acquire a glove first SS. Sign Simmons, perhaps?

    Acquire a SP, probably a 3 or 4.

    Then the winter doldrums will have been melted by the eternal hopes of spring. Go Phillies! Go Dealer Dave!

  27. He’s baaaackk……Phils involved in 3 team trade with Rays/Dodgers acquiring Jose Alvarado, lefty bullpen operative from Rays -details to be revealed.

    1. Trades like this is where you really have a chance to obtain value. DD’s biggest potential value-added is in winning trades like this one, so here’s to hoping that we just got a really solid 7th inning arm, something we desperately need.

      1. Although I always feel wary of doing trades with teams like the Dodgers, Rays and Yankees – they usually win their trades, but, of course, not always.

          1. The Dodgers might beg to differ. They got three excellent cost-controlled years out of Yasmani Grandal. The Dodgers and the Phillies won that trade and San Diego lost.

    1. Excellent trade. We gave up a 26 year old minor league RP who might contribute to a major league ‘pen next year for a 25 year old strike out artist who has already had success in the back end of a MLB bullpen.

      Cleavinger looked like he had a chance to be a middle reliever, and he’s a guy we got from the Orioles so we’re not even as attached to him as many of our other minor leaguers (which is not to say we’re not still rooting for him to succeed). He’s had very middling numbers in the minors (good K/9, but high walk rate as well and not great bottom line numbers in AA), but there was some talk of him turning a corner this past year. Although he did give up a HR in his only .2 IP. Could be something, could be nothing.

      Alvarado has had a rough past couple of years due to injury, but even at his worst he still strikes out a LOT of people. And this is at the major league level. His stuff is incredible. There’s obviously risk here, but if all it costs is an uncertain, older RP prospect, you take that shot ten times out of ten. The upside is an all-star closer with multiple years of team control, and the downside is basically that we’re at the same place we started.

    2. Excellent trade. We gave up a 26 year old minor league RP who might contribute to a major league ‘pen next year for a 25 year old strike out artist who has already had success in the back end of a MLB bullpen.

      Cleavinger looked like he had a chance to be a middle reliever, and he’s a guy we got from the Orioles so we’re not even as attached to him as many of our other minor leaguers (which is not to say we’re not still rooting for him to succeed). He’s had very middling numbers in the minors (good K/9, but high walk rate as well and not great bottom line numbers in AA), but there was some talk of him turning a corner this past year. Although he did give up a HR in his only .2 IP. Could be something, could be nothing.

      Alvarado has had a rough past couple of years due to injury, but even at his worst he still strikes out a LOT of people. And this is at the major league level. His stuff is incredible. There’s obviously risk here, but if all it costs is an uncertain, older RP prospect, you take that shot ten times out of ten. The upside is an all-star closer with multiple years of team control, and the downside is basically that we’re at the same place we started.

      1. Dan K……why do you think Alvarado came so inexpensive?
        My guess his shoulder is 50-50 according to Rays medical people, and they decided not to take the chance and probably also the Arb year costs….and the Phillies were willing to take the risk with only giving up Cleavinger.
        I do not have the same confidence others may have that he will return fully healed.
        Shoulder inflammation or tendinitis can be chronic…the cuff muscle and bicep tendons can also be affected.
        If the Phillies can get him healthy and keep him that way….then it is a steal.

        1. I think his price tag was so low for multiple reasons. For one, he’s expendable to the Rays. He’ll start to be more expensive soon, and they mill out pitchers every year. So he’s the exact type of player they trade away. Also worth noting, they needed a 40 man spot after the Snell trade, and this opens one up for them.

          So they were looking to get value out of a player they needed to get rid of, and they chose him because of injury history combined with cost. However, the timing wasn’t ideal for them seeing as the FA market is still flooded with high end BP pieces. So their options were essentially get nothing for a player like Richards or Banda, or sell low on someone like Alvarado. And, as we know, the Rays value prospect capital more than most, so I imagine just making cuts is very unappealing to them.

          So it’s a calculated risk, but one that fits their business model better than the alternatives. It’s also possible they value one of the pieces they’re getting from the Dodgers a lot more than the Dodgers do. It really wouldn’t surprise me if the PTBNL ends up being a valuable piece 3 years from now. And if that’s the case, what this really comes down to is what do the Dodgers see in Cleavinger that we (and the Rays) don’t?

          As for the health aspect, the beauty of this trade is we don’t actually need him to be 100%. Even if he’s only as good as his 2019-2020 self, he’s still murder on lefties. In 2019, he held southpaws to a .194 BA, .222 SLG, and .256 wOBA. It came with too many walks, but he was essentially 2008 J.C. Romero. I’m definitely willing to trade Cleavinger for that.

          1. Bo matter how you slice the bread, he was shut down in mid-August for a specific reason.
            And even two months of rest and rehab later, they still did not have confidence in his recovery to activate him for the ALCS vs the ‘Stros or the WS.
            Right now he is a question mark,
            …..and I would think Neander and their medical staff know not to go down that road of uncertainty.
            For Dombrowski it is high reward-hi-risk.

            1. True. But, the Phillies are going to have to start releasing players next month. Guys on the 40 will have to be guys that Girardi will actually use when they are activated.

            2. I don’t see it as high risk at all. It cost us Cleavinger and a small amount of money. Despite Middleton’s hemming and hawing, his salary will be a drop in the bucket for them. So unless you believe Cleavinger has a shot at being a difference maker, this is pretty much a no-brainer. If he’s hurt, stow him away on the IL and sign/promote someone else. If he never gets healthy the whole year, oh well. He’s not blocking us from other moves because of his salary.

              The absolute worst case scenario is Cleavinger turns into a bonafide RP ace and Alvarado never takes the field for us. The more realistic bad scenario is Cleavinger is a serviceable middle reliever and Alvarado gives us 10 innings of high K, high BB pitching, while missing a lot of time to injury. I’d put the first scenario at less than .01%, and the second at around 15% (pitching in the MLB is hard and Cleavinger hasn’t shown that he can do it yet).

              The best case scenario is that we get an all-star closer at 25 years of age with 3 more years of team control. I’d put those odds at around 10%. Maybe I should put that even higher because, unlike Garrett, Alvarado has already shown he’s capable of that.

              The most likely scenario by a wide margin is that we get something in between; a young pitcher who gives us some good innings and some bad innings with some injury thrown in.

              So yeah, I take that gamble for a couple million. Every time. The reason the Rays don’t is because they have more options in the minors than we do and salary constraints are much more strict for them. We want to stay below the luxury threshold. They want to stay below $60M. The equivalent gamble for us would be a player that costs a little under 7M, and we’re constantly advocating for the Phils to spend that kind of money on a rehabbing player

              In short, there’s a small chance this costs us a couple mil and less than 2 WAR. But there’s also a chance this nets us 2+ WAR pitcher for 3 years on the cheap.

            3. Well I am with you there as far as the positive outcome if he is able to come back and pitch like he did in ’18 and ’19.
              I you are correct…there actually is no risk for the Phillies…only a 40 spot and if he is unable to pitch, then he goes on the 60 day IL and the 40 spot is open again.

  28. Garrett Cleavinger goes to the Dodgers. Ok, who is Jose Alverado? A Lefty reliever who had a good 2018, 80 Ks in 64 innings. Managed 9 innings last year. Why did we want him?

    1. matt13…..the other positive…he is not a FA until 2024…so control for awhile and $$$$$ savings.

  29. We didn’t give up anyone with much long-term potential. The Phillies were smart enough to hang on to LHP Miller…

  30. Mr. HInkie had continuously praised Alverado and wanted the Phillies to acquire him for many seasons. But, is it too late for the lefty? What does he have left in the tank? Have we seen the best of him (2018) already?

    Losing Cleavinger, I guess, is not that big a deal. He was said to have improved a lot this past season and if the Dodgers wanted him, there’s a good chance he’ll turn into a beneficial piece for them. He throws hard which is a plus.

    Who is the player to be added to the deal? Seems like he will go from the Phillies to the Rays.

  31. Alvarado is the kind of small move that sometimes works out. Low risk since Cleavinger is totally unproven and if he gets back to good health, Alvarado could become a valuable piece of the pen. He at least had a great year in 2018 so it’s possible to do it again since he’s still young and is protected for a few more years. This is a Gillick type of move to me.


      As ciada mentioned, I have been all about Jose Alvarado for three years now. Power armed lefty who makes the ball move (ridiculously!), and racks up the K’s (an absolute need for the Phillies BP) when he’s healthy.
      Watch this and enjoy your new setup man or closer.

      Keep ’em coming, Dave !

      1. Looks like he has just begun.
        Preller probably got him going.
        Hope this guy stays healthy and is what the Phillies need from a lefty BP arm.

      2. I think with Soto and Freeman in your division this makes a ton of sense. That said they still need to make up a ton of ground offensively.

        Even if JT comes back.

      3. Have to assume the Phillies doctors already checked the imaging on his shoulder from this past season and given the A-OK.
        Left shoulder inflammation can be tricky…and chronic.
        After rest and some rehabbing hopefully it is ready to go come April….like Spencer Howard….will have to see how the shoulder responds after some extensve work..

      4. I am a glass half full person, and I like Dombrowski. But the probability that we outsmarted the Dodgers and Rays is nil in my opinion. I hope to eat my words. But I think that we took on an injured player as a salary dump.

        That tweet was from 2019. Long time ago.

        1. Don’t know if it necessarily has to be framed as “outsmarting” or not; Rays just picked up a haul of guys from SD that will need to go on the 40-man, so they simply dealt from a position of strength (their bullpen) to make room on the roster. They are selling low on Alvarado for sure, but this is an excellent risk-reward move on the part of the DD.

  32. I do not question Hinkie, so if he likes him, great. He was injured in 2019 after struggling with control. I think he walked 27 in 30 innings. But, I rely on Hinkie for info on guys I don’t know much about.

    1. Dombrowski gave up Garrett Cleavinger for this.

      I know he comes with health risks, but this kind of upside is unreal. He’s a much better option to face Freddie Freeman or Juan Soto or Michael Conforto late in a game than anything else out of the Phillies BP the last few seasons.

      1. No. Not that my friend. That was 2019. The 2020 version had arm problems. The Rays are a very smart franchise. They know exactly what they are doing.

          1. I hope that you and DD are right. But answer me this…why would the Rays and Dodgers give up on a hard throwing reliever getting paid only $1 million? They know exactly what they were getting in return.

            1. Not sure if you’ve had the chance to read Eric Longenhagen’s take on the trade. He echos a lot of what I’ve heard/read from other reporters/analysts: this deal (for the Rays) was just an extension of their earlier Blake Snell trade. They needed to clear a spot on their 40man. They were able to get some value for Alvarado, and save themselves a little bit of money.

              Again … I agree with you that Eric Neander is a really smart exec. In fact, I believe he may come out smelling like a rose in the aftermath of the Snell deal. Nobody loves Snell’s stuff more than me, but I think Snell (like Alvarado) carries a significant risk for arm injury. The difference between Dave Dombrowski and AJ Preller is DD gave away a 26 YO borderline prospect (Garrett Cleavinger) who probably was ranked behind JoJo Romero, Damon Jones, Kyle Dohy, and maybe Zach Warren as LHRP’s by the Phillies’ development staff. Preller has gambled away multiple high end prospects.

              Once again … I can’t promise Jose Alvardo stays healthy … but … his talent is real, and the risk in this deal is more than worth the possible reward!

  33. When he’s healthy Alvarado is filthy… if he’s still injured we will see.. We gave up very little for this guy so that raises a few flags with me…

  34. Also – part of this was the result of Alvarado being arb eligible and Rays would have had to pay him more than $ 1 mill. So it was something of a “salary dump.”

    1. RU…….my guess, they did not want to take the chance and have to pay a guy $1M while on the IL

    1. If Adam Morgan could hit 100 MPH and had absolutely ridiculous movement on his secondary pitch, then yeah. Basically the same person.

      Oh, but also younger. And cheaper. And fewer surgeries.

      But they throw from the same side of their body, so yeah, same guy for sure.

      1. I was wondering if anyone would respond to this xxxxxx observation. I was going to tell him to go check their Baseball Reference pages, and get back to us. But, didn’t want to waste the keystrokes. You’re a better man than I.

        1. Yeah, you know, they are both lefties, so they are the same, just as Ferguson Jenkins and Larry Walker were quite similar due to their both being Canadian.

  35. In my mind the most impressive aspect of this deal from the DD perspective was that he was able to pull off a 3 team deal! I know this sounds trite but it really isn’t. Klentak seemed absolutely incapable of pulling off a 3 team deal, which is not an easy task since you are having to satisfy two teams and not just one.

    From a player standpoint I like the deal IF Alvarado is healthy and even if he isn’t this is the kind of low risk, high reward deal that will slowly, almost inexorably move the Phils speedometer forward. Gillick was famous for these moves, Wade and Klentak not so much.

    Jim mentioned that DD was getting his ducks in a row and once he made deal #1, 2-3 more might follow shortly thereafter. Gentlemen, start your engines…

    1. I said, ” I believe …”. More wishful thinking than a real prediction. 😉

      However, another move without a leak. And TWO other teams involved. But, the national hack still tweets fake news about the big name free agent.

  36. An owner claiming he lost money while not providing proof does not make it so. A baseball writer parroting the owner’s claims without doing investigative reporting does not make it so. Fans believing the owner and baseball writer does not make it so.

    Owners were doing salary dumps before the claims of lost revenue due to COVID.

    How do they explain a small market team spending after suffering “losses” during the same COVID season?

    1. 100% agree with Jim when he says, “An owner claiming he lost money while not providing proof does not make it so.” And yes there are reporters who are too quick to act as the owners’ mouth piece in order to maybe later get some inside info down the road.

      And yes, the Padres and Royals are a couple of small market clubs who are spending this winter, despite the fact that they will not be receiving as much (any?) revenue sharing dollars this offseason.

  37. I think you look at this trade and it’s hard to knock it in any way. They took little risk for a high upside arm. Unless you think Cleavinger is going to turn into a dominant arm (which seems very unlikely), it’s a very strong deal.

  38. Part of the deal from the Rays side was that they needed to open a 40 man spot to complete the Blake Snell deal. You guys are correct, Alvarado’s stuff is filthy. Hopefully he is healthy. I now remember Hinkie touting him. He had a terrific 2018. And, jim is correct. Despite my skepticism, this was done without leaks, and 3 teams were involved. So, kudos, and I hope jim is also correct, and 3 or 4 more of these trades/signings happen soon.

    1. good point- and seems like Rays are looking more at 2022 and beyond-
      i like the trade, but curious why the Dodgers just didnt do a 2 team deal with the Rays and keep Alvarado- maybe its the Cleavinger has minor league options?

      1. Believe it or not, Alvarado has as many MiLB options as Cleavinger (2). Maybe it was Dave Dombrowski who was in pursuit of Jose Alvarado (he mentioned his affinity for power arms during his introductory presser), and pulled the Dodgers into the deal. Dombrowski saw Alvardo up close and personal a lot while he was running the Red Sox.

        1. Bottom-line on Alvarado is his shoulder.
          If it is just inflammation or tendinitis and no cuff muscle or biceps issues then he should be ready to go come spring.
          He came back and pitched vs the Stros in two games for two innings thru Oct 16…then they did not go to him at all in the WS which started four days later…and facing a team with LHBs like Bellinger, Muncy, Seager and Peterson.
          That is what I question….why not go back to him vs the Dodgers
          They gave no clue…unless Cash did not want the lack of Jose’s control to be a factor.
          Until Alvarado says something himself how he feels, if he is allowed, we will not know until March or April.

        2. Bottom line; what is Clevinger? Probably nothing more than Kyle Davies, Adam Morgan, etc. Basically a minor deal and if get one more win in the end, trade is worth it. Meh until Alvardo pitches and impresses.

  39. The most exciting part of the Alvarado acquisition isn’t about acquiring a legit young lefty pen arm (even with health risks) but that we have a POBO who knows his way around the MLB rodeo. Klentak gave us the impression that every day was his first on the job. However this trade turns out, it signals a shrewd operator at the controls who ain’t afraid to pull the trigger with rivals of better organizations. With Klentak, it was “ready…aim…ready…aim…”

    Fire, for crying out loud! But now we have a new sheriff in town🎲🎲🎲

  40. Klentak was way too cautious for a GM with those purse strings and never fielding a winning team during his tenure.

  41. I know that I said it earlier but I will repeat it. You all should really read The Extra 2% book on the Rays. It really helps you understand the moves they are making. This is not a fire sale. They are not making trades out of weakness. Every trade is about maximizing asset values. They are a brilliant franchise.

    1. I’m not going to argue the point that Eric Neander is one of the brightest execs in MLB (BTW … DD has a pretty good track record, himself). I love the way Neander goes about his business. That said, the guy is not perfect. AJ Preller got the better of him last winter when he swapped Hunter Renfroe and Xavier Edwards for Tommy Pham and Jake Cronenworth.

      When it comes to this trade (DD’s first as Phillies POBO), the bottom line is this: Dombrowski risked very little (26 YO Garrett Cleavinger) for a 25 YO power armed lefty. Yes, Alvarado has had some arm and control issues, but as recently as two months ago (in the ALCS vs the Astros) he was throwing 97-98 and flashing a plus SL. He’ll only cost 1M in 2021, and can be kept thru arbitration through the 2023 season. This was a deal full of value for the Phillies. I give Dave Dombrowski an A+ on his initial Phillie trade.

    2. If you’re not first you’re last~Ricky Bobby

      This notion that we should applaud FO’s and GMs in pro sports for being good at not winning championships is lost on me. Maybe I’m old but as Billy Beane once said if you don’t win the last game of the season none of it matters

      And that’s not to dismiss those that get turned on by GMing or furries or whatever their thing is.

      the fan-o-sphere is big enough for all types to enjoy the sport however they see fit.

      1. I have no idea what any of that means.

        It is a false choice to be really smart and methodical about valuing assets and also trying to win. If you call losing in 6 games in the World Series to the Dodgers (who had a $227m payroll) a failure of a season then we can just agree to disagree. I think that is pretty silly logic tbh. Rickey Bobby is a fictional character. That’s not how the real world works.

        The reality of baseball is that it is an unfair structure. Big market teams have an Unfair advantage. It is that way because big market clubs don’t want to share revenue evenly like in the NFL.

        So for the Rays to consistently win against teams with 5x – 10x payroll is absolutely amazing to me. To suggest that we can’t learn from their excellence because they lost in the World Series is silly to me.

  42. Guys, our Leadership includes… Dombrowski, Fuld, Barber, Bonifay, and Girardi! (plus Cotham) All within last 2 years. We’ve watched an overhaul of decision makers, talent assessors and developers, and on-field leaders. And finally have a strong analytical dept now.

    Most of us agree these are critical to an org’s l/t success.

    We also GOT Harper and for lower AAV than most said to give him.

    Let’s give the Phillies a little credit and let’s all be patient this off-season. There’s no doubt there’ll be more good news to come! 🙂

  43. More bad news for the JTR camp. Rumored now that Cubs have put Contreras on the market – with 2 years of arbitration at approx 7 million salary per. Strong offensive/defensive performer for those teams looking for no. 1 catcher – so say national reporters. Just say’in…

  44. Ok. So you criticized me Jim, for commenting about naming Sam Fuld as GM, and stating that he had no GM experience.
    Then I asked about a comparison between Adam Morgan and Alvarado, which some feel is a major upgrade over Morgan. And you put me down for that. But that is OK. You must enjoy seeing the same people commenting over and over again on the same issue, but you are fine with that. Sorry, you know a lot more than me I guess, so you made yourself feel better by taking your shot at me. Sorry for the inconvenience and my comments. You won’t be hearing from me again here. You sure took the fun right out of trying to talk baseball here for me. See ya.

    1. Asking for a comparison between Morgan and Alvarado was fine (even though the big difference is pretty obvious – Alvarado (when healthy) throws considerably harder and has better stuff, but also has control issues). It was the rather obtuse comment that the two appeared to “be the same pitcher” that drew the semi-snarky responses. But you probably already know this.

    2. Stick around Snakeman this is a great site and forum. Most of us have taken some heat from time to time on things we’ve posted.

      I see nothing wrong with a little snark from time to time. We all have different personalities but that’s a good thing. I don’t think/believe Jim wants an echo chamber just a certain decorum of how we go about dissenting.

      Most of all you need thick skin and if you dish it you have to be able to take it.

      1. DMAR….you nailed it.

        Look how many times rocco has been banned….2, 3 times over the last 8/9 years.
        Its a good thing Middleton dishes out big money to superstar free agents…and Jim lets him back in a celebratory fashion….or else rocco would never get back. 🙂

    3. It’s like getting the board of education in school. Stick around snake man,…. learn where the line of demarcation is, I think you’ll like it here.

  45. Blake Snell on Trade:
    “I never wanted out of Tampa,” Snell said. “I’m not going to be the guy that gets mad or talks crap about anybody, because they’re doing their job to the best of their ability. I respect the front office, I respect Kevin Cash, and I know people want to get on him about a lot of stuff, but he’s a good manager.”

    …he needs to read the book, not personal kid, just the MO business.

    1. Haha true that Romus. As stated above this world requires a somewhat thicker skin.

      That said I do respect his statement on the matter

  46. To me, both deals are well worth the risk for the Padres. They have shown the ability to draft and develop prospects. If we were in that position, I would make aggressive moves like that with our prospects. But, we need to get there again. So, I am more reluctant to trade a Morales or Miller, not to mention Stott or Abel, who should be untouchable. The Padres getting 2 guys like Darvish and Snell reminds me of us getting Cliff Lee in 2009 and how we should have also gotten Doc. The same trade that we made in the off season was available at the deadline, and what would that 2009 WS have looked like with Lee and Doc?

    1. matt13…….many posters assume a team like the Padres and Rays are great drafting teams.
      When picking in the top ten numerous years a team is odds on favorites to hit once in awhile.
      Look at the Padres first round picks over their last 10/15/20 years.
      Turner is on the Nats…Fried is a Brave…Renfroe is gone…Eflin is a Philly.
      They drafted them but they really did not develop them except Renfroe

      Can be said with the Rays picks in the first round….over their last 13/14 years two dozen r so first rounders…..maybe 3/4 hits…Snell was the 52nd pick…Price and Longoria were top 5 picks…Beckham could not even bend it and he was a top five pick. Upton, Hamilton and Baldelli were top ten picks.

      1. In that span the Phitin Phillies have been to two WS and won one how many do those clubs have 0 snark intended lol

        Oh and the Yankees and Dodgers have just as many…

        Remember months ago I proposed the Phillies should trade Nola to return a package similar to what the Rays received for Snell.

        Our needs being different I would have gone Pitino and Abrams and offered to take back Myers for a swap of McCutchen. Which saves them $25 mil or so.

        1. DMAR…. the Nola trade was your baby..
          I know Gore is considered an untouchable…..but Nola may have pushed the needle a little to get him.
          And Myers would be perfect….heard Preller say they decided to make trades and give up farm capital rather the free agent market, since it may not be what they wanted to go when it came to $$$ long term for the value of the players involved.

  47. But, Romus, haven’t they both been successful in getting back talent when they make trades? We have not. VV, Nick Williams, even Alfaro, who a lot of folks like, but I wasn’t all that high on. That is the high end of our returns in trades. Eflin is the outlier, and the PC tried to ruin him. International signings are another shortcoming. So wherever the talent comes from, one of the necessary improvements the organization needs is procuring young talent by any means.

    1. matt13….correct…they have the scouts with vision …Tatis in the Shields trade for example.
      Rays also have built a team around trades and good evaluation thru their scouts.

      And the Phillies GM has in the past garnered beneficial return value in many of his trades. And hopefully it can continue.

  48. Jim Salisbury reports that the Phillies have signed 6’7 RHP Michael Ynoa to a minor league deal with the obligatory invite to spring training, as potential bullpen depth.

    Hinkie, talk to us…

    1. Looks like he’s got some good SO numbers but that’s about it.
      Hasn’t pitched in MLB in 3 years and it was minimal experience

      I bet they’re hoping the new PC can tap some potential on these guys

      1. Billy Beane spilled the beans on Ynoa almost 13 years ago….gave him one of the highest, at the time, signing bonuses…over $4M for a 16 year old…never really materialized into the pitcher they expected.
        With Jhailyn Ortiz and Ynoa now….Phillies have maybe two of the three highest international bonus signings for 16-year olds ….Yankees dropped about $6M on Jasson Dominguez two years ago.

  49. posted their top ten starting rotations. The Nationals, Braves, and Mets were in the top six. The Phillies were mentioned as possibly the tenth best.

    With that kind of starting pitching in the NL East, if you don’t have a good bullpen to compliment the starters, you’re probably not going to make the playoffs (as the Phillies proved last season).

    1. The Phillies were top 5 in runs scored last year without really having anyone overperform. With a top 10 rotation we can easily be a world series contender if the bullpen is respectable.

  50. But Bossss, last year we had Realmuto and Didi, 2 of our best offensive players. They also happen to be our best defensively as well. Without them, there is no Plan B. So, we need a BP plus other areas to make up for the loss of them. We can’t look at last year’s run production, add BP help but lose Realmuto and DiDi and be anything but a sub .500 team again.

    1. matt13…..would you do this trade.
      Cubs trying to move Wilson Contreras and go in another direction,
      ……Rafael Marchan, Francisco Morales and Simon Muzziotti for him?
      Then let JTR go.

      1. If it’s a three prospect for one swap my guess they’ll want two pitchers and position player…

    2. Yeah Matt but we could still sign both or spend money elsewhere to improve somewhere else. I was just trying to point out there is still a lot to look forward to especially if driveline starts to pay dividends.

  51. Romus, remember when your plan was McCann and Bauer? Andrew Knapp for Realmuto isn’t Plan B, it’s more like Plan Q. And, I am not expecting Bauer. Bosss was suggesting, at least I took it as, adding a BP that wasn’t the worst in history would make us a Playoff team based on last year’s run production. So, assuming we lose our C and SS, we need to find their run production elsewhere, add a BP and make up for the fact that 8 teams aren’t making the Playoffs again.

    1. matt13…..I really do not expect JTR to go anywhere, but will re-sign and remain in Philly.

      Does that alone move the needle any towards a play-off berth…..probably not, did not these last two years.

      Still need a defensive shortstop who will help matters and more importantly an improved BP.

  52. I believe that re-signing Realmuto, adding to the BP, getting a #5 SP, a defensive excellent Ss, and a platoon partner for LF makes us a contender. That is not a ton of money, butI believe that the key is Realmuto. There will be lots of bargains for the other spots.

    1. matt13…well the BP right now with Feliz, Alvarado and Ynoa as recent acquisition low-risk/hi-reward guys is a start.
      It would be great if both Feliz and Alvarado recapture some past magic.

  53. Regarding the bullpen wrt Alvarado, can we just admit that NOBODY knows what this guy is going to do in 2021? To say this is a brilliant or terrible trade is highly subjective and much too early to assess. Here are my thoughts:

    1. When is the last time the Rays gave up a low cost player for next to nothing that went on to produce for another team? They are smart, very smart, let’s not overlook that.
    2. The Dodgers could’ve more easily acquired him directly from TB, let’s consider the fact that the really smart Dodgers didn’t acquire him.
    3. It’s my understanding he’ll earn $1.05M this year and then head to arbitration. If Tampa thought he had a chance of a good spring and start to the season, why wouldn’t they keep him, boost his trade value, and trade him for much more before the deadline?

    Let’s take this trade for what it’s worth – we didn’t give up much at all to obtain a high reward, high risk arm that is far more likely to be impacted negatively by injuries but could be a star if he stays healthy and figures out his command. Having said that, do I like what DD did here? Yes, very much so. But do I look at Alvarado as somebody we should assume is a part of the bullpen next year? I wouldn’t bet any of my money on it.

    Just remember the people here that swore obtaining Edwin Diaz from Seattle two years ago was the smartest move the Mets ever made? How did he do in 2019?

    1. Yes, BUT, the trades you mentioned aren’t comparable. The Meta gave up a ton to get Diaz and assumed a huge contract of an old player. You really can’t compare these deals.

      1. Not comparing the deal catch, just stating that even “reliable” bullpen arms, aren’t that reliable most times.

  54. HAPPY NEW YEAR to all, Romus i hope this new year, You get the money to get your new teeth ,

    1. rocco….LOL.
      Happy New Year to you and your family……teeth look good…though from NY and a a big Yankee and occasional Met fan, Dr Rose did a good job.

  55. Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year! Be safe, and let’s hope our Phils give us reason for hope for the new season. I appreciate all of you, and am grateful for the hard work jim does to keep this site running as the best there is for Phillies and Phuture phillies discussions.

  56. A Happy New Year to All of You! Wish you all the best in 2021 and a parade down Broad Street. Rocco (Uncle) …….get your legs in shape for that sprint “in the buff” wouldn’t want you to go down early. First responders have had a bad enough year in 2020.

  57. Still providing my BFF from childhood info on all 1964 Phillies. Completed all non-pitchers and now pitchers.
    Starting with relievers. First pitchers with the least amount of appearances.

    Dave Bennett 1st, one game, 1 inning at 18 years old and that was it. He spent 12 years in the minors and was gone.

    Today was Ryne Duren. 20/70 in left eye & 20/200 in right along with being an alcoholic, he was scary batting against.
    He pitched in 1963, did okay but then 3 innings in ’64 then sold to Reds. Back to Phil in ’65 for a couple months then sold to Senators. The drink affected him. After baseball he tried to commit suicide then almost burned down home while drinking and smoking in bed, divorced and then committed to mental hospital. Finally sobered up and became a substance abuse counselor. Straightened up.

    Next Gary Kroll.

    1. I remember that his eyeglass lenses were like coke bottles and he threw very hard. Some batters said it scared the heck out of them because no one was quite sure where the pitch was going. Glad to hear he got his life straightened out. Love your stuff, Denny.

        1. Thats funny.
          I think the character that Charlie Sheen played …Ricky the ‘Wild Thing’ Vaughn in Major League may have been modeled after Ryne Duren.

        2. He traditionally threw his 1st warmup pitch back to the screen. Truly a scary proposition for batters.

  58. Romus and Denny…actually Ricky the Wild Thing was modeled after a minor league legend named Steve Dalkowski, a wild lefty in the Orioles organization. His reputation and statistical numbers almost defy belief. In several of his minor league seasons he AVERAGED almost 2 walks and 2 strikeouts an inning and he too, like Duren, wore thick glasses.

    Dalkowski is a legendary figure who never made it to the big leagues and eventually died a broken man. However, I suspect any Who’s Who of the Most Legendary minor league characters of all time would have to include Dalkowski!

    1. California D……I heard about him…..understand since he was in the Baltimore system and they were near Ft Aberdeen, Maryland…they decided to use some military equipment to see how fast he could really throw…..and it was over 100……but they measured his pitch from when it crossed the plate not his release point…so they estimated it was over 110 mph when it left his hand, as they do it nowadays.

  59. Denny…as for Duren, he had a pretty successful major league career, mostly with the Yankees. And his 1963 season with the Phillies was very successful, he actually contributed greatly to the Phils second half record of 56-35, including a season ending 3 game sweep of the eventual World Champion Dodgers.

    He was an occasional starter and consistent long reliever for that team and was counted on to be a contributor in 1964, something that didn’t happen. A couple of Duren highlights in ’63 included a game in August against the San Francisco Giants when he threw one right under Willie Mays chin early in the game and they say it was the only time Mays ever looked intimidated by a pitcher for the rest of the game. Duren beat the Giants that day 4-3 and he also contributed an outstanding 4 inning save that final weekend of the year against the Dodgers when he struck out 7 in a 5-3 win on the last Friday of the season.

    It was after that weekend series that Dodgers GM Buzzi Bavasi said that “the National League night as well send the Phillies to the World Series since right now they are the best team in the league.”

    Of course this portended well for 1964 and Duren was supposed to be a big part of it. Ironically no less than 4 KEY members of the ’63 season who were counted on in 1964 ended up failing miserably and all were eventually traded or released…ace reliever Johnny Klippstein, starting hurler Cal McLish, slugging first baseman Roy Sievers and the aforementioned Duren.

    In fact, if Gene Mauch had been told before the season that he would get almost nothing out of the 4 he probably would have figured ’64 was going to be a huge struggle. History would show otherwise, till the final two weeks of the season.

    Oh, one more thing…it is true that Duren would always throw his first pitch to the backstop and then squint repeatedly as if he couldn’t see well. This had to be most scary for a hitter since Duren reportedly threw almost 100 MPH fastballs!

  60. Great stuff CD! Didn’t McLish have about 6 middle names? I almost forgot about him. I remember Sievers and Klippstein very well.

  61. Your stories CD, sent me back looking at transactions for the ’64 season. Except for purchasing the contract of Bobby Shantz from the Cubs, we did nothing at the trade deadline. Does anyone remember if anything was written back then about not bolstering the team at the deadline? I don’t remember if the trade deadline was anything close back then to what it is now.

  62. Yes, that ’63-64 Phillie mini era had so many sub plots and interesting story lines. I mentioned one of them, the number of key ’63 contributors [didn’t even mention Dallas Green] who gave the Phils almost nothing in ’64. You could add ’63 Rookie of the Year Ray Culp to the list, though he did win 8 games.

    Another interesting tidbit is that the ’64 Phillies 25 man roster had no less than 6 rookies the entire year, Allen, Herrnstein, Cater, Wise, Briggs and Johnson and also carried a few others at various points of the season [Shockley, Bennett, Kroll.] Think about that…an upstart pennant contender with 1/4 of their roster being rookies. Amazing.

    One more interesting fact worth noting for those phans who remember ’63-64. I mentioned that the ’63 Phillies finished 56-35 and of course the ’64 Phils were 90-60 pre collapse. So, for the better part of 8 baseball months the Phils were the best team record wise in baseball at 146-95 , a .606 winning percentage.

    Charles Dickens wasn’t a Phillies phan but he might well have been when he coined the famous line, “these were the best of times, these were the worst of times.” Only Phillie phans from that era could possibly relate to two years where ostensibly the Phils were the best team in the NL and yet never won a pennant.

  63. matt13…well, there was a trade deadline, June 15 and one team did make a deal which played a small part [I am waxing sarcasm!] in the race. Fellow named Lou Brock was dealt from the Cubs to the Cards only minutes before the midnight deadline…and we know the rest.

    To be fair to the Phillies they did make an August waiver deal which was would have been more significant to the ’64 race than the Brock deal had he not gotten injured. Phils picked up Frank Thomas from the Mets on August 7 and for a month [he was injured on Sept 8] the Phils went 21-12 and were dominating the NL. Bunning insisted that had Thomas not been injured the Phils would have won the pennant by 10 games and I tend to agree.

  64. I remember one of Ryne Duren’s first appearances for the Phillies. It might have been his very first. He had the reputation of being a nearly blind fireballer with no control. He started off throwing pitches everywhere but the strike zone. He then stepped off of the mound, took off his glasses and cleaned them. Very funny, or scary, depending if you’re an observer or the guy in the batter’s box.

    Let’s also remember that Ryne Sandberg was named after him. The story I remember reading a few years ago was when Ryne Sandberg was a youngster and he met Ryne Duren and nervously approached him to tell Duren he was named after him. Years later, when Sandberg was an all-star player and Duren was an alcoholic has-been, Duren approached Sandberg nervously hoping he would remember him.

  65. To Denny – and to Cal Dream’in — I can’t thank you enough for you both reviving history in the way that you have. I had a fraternity brother who shared a wonderful love of this season and when we weren’t trying to find a hill in Ohio ( ??????) to catch the games on the radio – we had gone to the park in the summer/ fall.. What you have done is provided written history – and rehumanize those memories in the “recesses” of one’s mind that we have long forgotten – those little quirks etc. that made the season what it was/is. Just the memory of peering around those damn poles….what I wouldn’t give for one them now !!!!

    Mostly – THANK YOU !

  66. RU…you are most welcome and I believe any Phillies phan who was part of that ’64 experience would agree with me that it was/still is unlike any Phillie experience since. Oh, we recall the way the 77 team blasted their opponents from late June on and we ALL remember where we were during that terrible 10 minutes that defined Black Friday.

    We enjoyed 1980, 93 and the wonderful run from ’07-11, great and lasting memories all. But to have been a young boy and likely discovering the Phillies as the first team you had ever rooted for, likely collecting baseball cards for the first time and living through the Summer of ’64 when Bunning pitched a perfect game, Callison won the All Star game with a home run, and then watch come August when a team we dared to hope might actually play meaningful games in September not only looked to be doing that…but looked for all the world as if they would actually win the pennant…was a season full of memories that I knew even then probably would never be repeated. To this day, I think I was correct.

    I’ve often wondered if the collapse made the year even more meaningful, in an almost macabre sort of way. What if the Phils had won the pennant and then lost to the powerful Yankees, would ’64 be more of a memorable footnote that a lasting imprint in our minds? I don’t have an answer for that and never will.

    But I do know this much. For those of us young enough to be a phan for the first time yet old enough to appreciate all that was taking place, it is a memory that never fades, never gets old and never will be repeated again.

  67. Happy New Year, everybody.

    For fun, I put together my new year Phillies’ Prospect List. Feel free to critique it, or post your own.

    1. Spencer Howard
    2. Mick Abel
    3. Bryson Stott
    4. Francisco Morales
    5. Rafael Marchan
    6. Luis Garcia
    7. Damon Jones
    8. Adonis Medina
    9. Johan Rojas
    10. Erik Miller
    11. Mickey Moniak
    12. Simon Muzzioti
    13. Casey Martin
    14. Kendall Simmons
    15. Nick Maton
    16. Dominic Pipkin
    17. Gunner Mayer
    18. Starlyn Castillo
    19. Yhoswar Garcia
    20. Logan O’Hoppe
    21. Alexeis Azuaje
    22. Andrick Nava
    23. Carlos De La Cruz
    24. Kyle Dohy
    25. Carson Ragsdale
    26. James McArthur
    27. Jamari Baylor
    28. Ben Brown
    29. Colton Eastman
    30. Cristopher Sanchez
    31. Brett Schulze
    32. Bailey Falter
    33. Jhailyn Ortiz
    34. Baron Radcliff
    35. Ethan Lindow
    36. Victor Santos
    37. Andrew Schultz
    38. Mauricio Llovera
    39. Austin Listi
    40. Zach Warren
    41. Jakob Hernandez
    42. David Parkinson
    43. Jonathan Guzman
    44. Darick Hall (sorry, Romus)
    45. Juan Aparicio
    46. Fernando Ortega
    47. Corbin Williams
    48. Nicoly Pina
    49. Joalbert Angulo
    50. Miguel Tejada Jr

    SLEEPER: Kevin Gowdy

    1. Hinkie…Happy new Year,
      ,…and no need to apologize for number 44…..once he gets to the majors….not with the Phillies, though I predict…he probably will make other ‘noted’ analyst from Fangraphs and another website wonder why and how he could have ever made it….since they could never see him ranked higher than 60 in the Phillies system.

      1. I was wondering why the Rays and Phillies needed the Dodgers for their trade. Wouldn’t Hall or Listi have been as good as the first baseman the Rays got from the Dodgers?

        1. Exactly…….Pillson turns 24 next season and his peripherals are not much better than Halls or Listi…some worst….Hall has a higher ISO…the power tool for a 1B
          Pillson is a year or so yuonger….if that makes a difference at this point of their careers.


          Unless the Phillies decided they will not trade him or Listi straight up to the Rays for Alvarado.

          1. Also possible that the Rays were after the PTBNL/lottery ticket and the Phils didn’t want to give up any of theirs that the Rays targeted.

            It’s a shame we basically never get to see/hear about the negotiations after the fact.

            1. That also is a possibility.
              Perhaps the new GM may have wanted a little more time to evaluate the players in the system, but at the same time could not afford the opportunity to lose out on a lefty BP arm that could be a bonanza acquisition if he remains healthy.
              Though…..he has to trust all his lieutenants….Fuld, Rice, Minniti, Proefrock, Klentak, Bonifay, Barber et al….they know the system inside and out.

    2. Good list. With no minor league season last year and at best a limited one this year (I expect) you can count on a lot of reshuffling of this list in a hurry (due to no fault of your own). For example, Kendall Simmons is properly placed between 10 and 15 but if he develops he has the ability to be an impact major league player – a first division regular, and not many of our prospects not named Rojas or Martin have that kind of upside

      But overall it’s a nice list. I would have O’Hoppe and Lindow higher. I would also have Howard at 2 or 3 – if he can’t hold the velocity into at least inning 4 or 5 he will end up as a reliever (this is not a criticism of Spencer just an objective observation based on events last year – I hope the velocity issue never resurfaces).

    3. Would it alter the back end of your 50 if you knew that the Phillies placed Gowdy on the Lehigh Valley roster to protect him from the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft after detecting interest in him by other teams? FWIW, I understand that when his velocity returned, they assigned him to Lakewood to work on his control rather than stay on rehab at the Complex. I also heard that he regained his control by the end of the season. If true, that might explain the interest of other teams. I’m not questioning your 50, just wondering if something like this would alter it.

      1. Jim … I did read (I think it may have been you who wrote it here) that Gowdy was added to the AAA roster. That’s what alerted me to the possibility that Gowdy may have put his injury behind him. Good luck to the young man. Hopefully, his arm is healthy. He’s still young enough to find a career in MLB.

        1. I am always interested in the minor leagues, “Hope springs eternal”.
          What are the projected starting rotations for all levels?

    4. From the upper ranks, Mick Abel and Johan Rojas are my highest ceiling prospects. Casey Martin and Yhoswar Garcia would be my second tier wild cards. I agree with Hawkeye that Miller should be ranked higher. Luis Garcia’s 2021 could propel him back into discussion again. Meanwhile, Bryson Stott will be a solid MLB player. The answer to these outcomes leans heavily on advancement of the player development department of the Phillies organization wide. While talent ID has historically been lacking, coaching kids up the ranks is the greater need.

        1. I think the list six months from now will look quite different. We will have hopefully had some prospects exposure at ST to review and two months of the minor league season to see where these guys have progressed. When do ST invites go out; Feb. 1st?

          1. ST invites for non-roster org players usually go out in January. However, there is no guarantee that this list will change in 6 months.

            Sure, if ST opens as scheduled and the season opens as scheduled, then we could see changes. However, even if schedules don’t change for major league ST, it is almost a given that minor league ST won’t start until the Phillies and Lehigh Valley break camp and go north. If that happens, then AA, A+, and A won’t start their ST until May 1st and their regular seasons until June 1st.

            If the start of the major league season is pushed back, there will probably be a short 3-week ST just prior. This or any similar delay will push back minor league ST until the big club goes north. (Unless they try to run ST in Philadelphia and Scranton.)

            Plus, they are planning to run both STs in that damn bubble. Staggered STs and a bubble are really going to cut down on any reports on prospects. (I have heard that beat writers might not be coming down since they won’t be allowed into the bubble and they can conduct their Zoom calls from home.)

            Just a bearer of all kinds of good news aren’t I?

            1. Jim; If the Phillies ST complex clears out for the start of the MLB season by April 1st why would the Phillies or MiLB as a whole wait another month to May 1st to start the minor league ST season? Did you mean April 1st?

  68. Great work Hinkie, no quarrels with your list. I am looking at Casey Martin and Kendall Simmons to make major strides this year. Does anyone know what Kevin Gowdy’s status? Is he ready to go?

  69. Sorry to say but nothing on that list that would excite me as a trading partner or major contributor to mlb team especially with Howard’s shoulder woes

    1. I see about 2 dozen guys who would generate interest in other teams. They may not be in Wander Franco’s class (Rays #1, Overall #1), but they are guys who other teams would like to get as throw-ins in a bigger trade.

  70. Congratulations to former Phuture Phillie Cord Sandberg. He got into Friday’s Citrus Bowl, and completed his only pass (for 8 yards). Sandberg (probably) ends his college football career going 7 for 9 (114 yards) for the Tigers.


    BTW … speaking of college football … Romus, James Franklin is making up for lost time over the past two recruiting cycles (when he lost a few highly ranked PA HS studs to other programs). I got an alert on my phone New Years day. PSU got it’s 8th 4-star commitment for the 2022 class. Franklin now has the #2 recruiting class for that 2022 cycle.

          1. Fingers crossed on White
            Plus they are getting some decent ‘transfer portal’ kids now.

          2. White isn’t THE key 2022 recruit for PSU, though he’s among them. But he is likely SEC bound.

            1. He’s a 5-star. If you want to end up among the top five classes, you’ve gotta land a 5-star or two. Do you know of another 5-star they have a legit chance to sign?

            2. Dani Dennis-Sutton, another DE, from Maryland. He’s a high 4-star right now, but could well become a 5-star in the future. He’s no lock by any means, but right now PSU has a better shot with Dennis-Sutton than with White. PSU is in a few other top uncommitted guys, including a DT from Georgia, but right now none are particularly realistic.

              And don’t get hung up on a top five class for 2022, which is unlikely for PSU. I’d be thrilled if they ended up in the top ten. At least they are off to a good start after what looks to be a somewhat disappointing 2021 class (though the book isn’t completely close yet for 2021).

            3. Top recruiting classes lead to the top teams in the country. Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State dominate the four team playoff each season. Those three schools almost always have top five recruiting classes. They bring in multiple 5-star players every year. If you want to compete/beat those schools, you’ve got to bring in top five recruiting classes.

  71. On PSU, the key remains who is the QB to lead them back into the top ranks? RB and WR and some defensive standouts are great, but a top QB and protecting him is vital.

    1. matt13…the kid from York, PA ..senior-to-be Beau Pribula could be close to a 5-star come next Dec…McCord and the Prep neutralized him last month ..but the Prep was the best HS team in the nation, with the best defense.
      He committed early, but hopefully he does not de-commit this year..

      1. Pribula is one of their 2022 class leaders. He’s leading the effort to recruit other kids to PSU. I would be shocked if they lose him.

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