Open Discussion: Week of January 17th

Finally, a little activity.  The Phillies signed a free agent reliever, Archie Bradley.  They opened the 2020 international signing period on Friday by signing thirteen free agents from Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.  They reached an agreement on salaries with Rhys Hoskins, Vince Velasquez, and Jose Alvarado and avoided arbitration.  And, a rumor leaked that they made a serious offer to JT Realmuto.


The Phillies added right-handed reliever Bradley to their bullpen mix at one year, $6 million.  They avoided arbitration by agreeing with their three final unsigned players – Hoskins for $4.8 million, Velasquez for $4 million, and Alvarado for $1 million.

This additional salary expense brings the Phillies’ running payroll to $137,015,962.  This includes fifteen players under contract plus an estimate for eleven players under team control with 0-3 years experience ($7.7M).


The Phillies’ salary against the competitive balance tax is $148,278,782 and includes estimates for the rest of the 40-man roster ($2.25M) and player benefits ($15.5M).  With a CBT threshold of $210M, the Phillies are around $61,721,218 under the tax threshold.  (see spreadsheet)


In any non-COVID year, $60 million would go a long way to filling the Phillies’ roster holes.  They could even re-sign JT and Didi and have enough left over to pick up a reliever (like a Shane Greene?) and a back-end starter (Anibal Sanchez?).  This would still leave them under the CBT by maybe as much as $10M.  But it would raise payroll to around $187M, quite a bit over the $170M limit we heard before Dave D was hired.

If the above happens (or something similar), I would hope they would NOT trade for Benintendi.  I’d rather see internal options in center.  Trades though are inevitable.  After signing Bradley, the Phillies will have to DFA a player,  Each free agent signing will require another DFA for each.  Trades are one way to open roster slots and get value in return without risking losing a player through the waiver process.


With the new minor league affiliations reduced to a certain number of teams, organizations will be limited to how many players they can have on their rosters.  They will be allowed 190 during the offseason and 180 when the season starts.  At some point, players will have to be released.  Players on the Dominican Summer League teams do NOT count against these limits.  So, don’t be surprised if fewer international prospects are brought stateside and at a slower rate than in past seasons.

In theory, if no allowances are made to another COVID-affected season, when the Phillies go north, up to ten players could be released before they even report to spring training.  That’s because Double-A and Single-A will not start spring training until after the major league season starts.


One key casualty to another Covid-affected season might be the GCL.  As organizations decide to not play formalized schedules, the GCL is likely to not exist this season.  The summer might become one extended spring training.

Could be another baseball-less summer for me.  The Complex will almost surely be in a bubble and the late-starting Threshers will be out-of-bounds for me if I can’t get my vaccine.  I might risk it myself, but Tracy is on chemo and has low antibodies.  Attending baseball games might be an activity that I won’t be able to enjoy.


This brings me to a personal request.  Tracy and I were very thankful for all your thoughts and prayers during her cancer scare.  She believes that everyone’s prayers and thoughts helped her through it.  Recently, during what was supposed to be her last visit to her last specialist, the doctor found something.  Might just be scar tissue, but the doctor wants a mammogram to be sure.  Well, this being Florida where the governor thinks there is no COVID problem, but testing facilities have been closed for about 6 weeks, Tracy can’t get in for a mammogram until mid-February.  Tracy very much believes your thoughts and prayers helped her before and we ask that if you are so inclined, please keep her in mind again.  Thank you.


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


Key Dates:

  • January 15, 2021 – Deadline for teams and arb eligible players to submit salary figures to an arbiter
  • January 15, 2021, 9:00 AM EST – Start of the 2020 international signing period
  • February 14, 2021 – Report date for major league ST
  • 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
  • April 2021 – ST for Double-A and Single-A begins
  • May 2021 – Opening day for Double-A and Single-A
  • 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 January 17th … 338 players in the org


Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)

1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA OF Yemal Flores
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA SS Yemil Rosario
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA RHP Daniel Mejia
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA OF Raylin Heredia
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA SS Julio Hereaux
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA C Rickardo Perez
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA SS Marco Soto.
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA SS Leonardo Rondon
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA C Dervin Andrade
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA RHP Juan Melendez
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA C/OF Solardo Rodriguez
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA SS Deivi Cabrera
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA RHP Joset Aparacio
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign FA RHP Archie Bradley
1/09/2021 – Phillies traded RHP Carson Ragsdale to Giants for RHP Sam Coonrod
1/04/2021 – Phillies sign FA C Christian Bethancourt to an MiLB contract with invite to ST
1/04/2021 – Phillies sign FA RHP Neftali Feliz to an MiLB contract with invite to ST
1/04/2021 – Phillies sign FA INF Ronald Torreyes to an MiLB contract with invite to ST
1/04/2021 – Phillies sign FA RHP Michael Ynoa to an MiLB contract with invite to ST
12/31/2020 – RHP Aneurys Zabala assigned to Clearwater
12/31/2020 – Phillies signed FA RHP Aneurys Zabala to an MiLB contract
12/29/2020 – Rays traded LHP Jose Alvarado to Phillies; Dodgers traded PTBNL and 1B Dillon Paulson to Rays; Phillies traded LHP Garrett Cleavinger to Dodgers
12/14/2020 – Cubs signed FA RHP Trevor Kelley to a minor league contract
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 LHV
12/07/2020 – Phillies claimed RHP Ian Hamilton off waivers from Seattle

331 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of January 17th

  1. My prayers for Tracy. Looks like I will miss seeing you at the Complex for the second year. I really miss my spring training trips. Thanks for all of your fine reporting. Stay safe and be well.

  2. Jim, a prayer for your wife and for you… Spouses mentally suffer when their loved ones are ill or fighting a disease… Without ever meeting you or your wife something tells me she’s one tough woman and the cancer has no chance..

    We appreciate with everything going your continued dedication to this site..

  3. I agree with your CF view on it. If DD adds Didi and JT to roster plus more pitching they can easily go with Haseley, Kingery, Quinn, Moniak, and Herrera and let the best man win the spot or platoon. I’d rather they spend on pitching help rather than another CF.
    I pray Jim, that God will calm your wife’s heart anxiety through this time.

  4. Jim, I pray God speaks quick reversal and complete healing over Tracy by the word of His power. May you both be comforted by His presence. If 2020 showed me anything, it’s faith over fear. “For He has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

    Be blessed!

  5. Prayers are with you and your wife during these times. Hopefully you will be able to receive the vaccine soon.

    My wife and I are going to UNC this week for ours. It opened up to 65+ just a week ago and we went on-line to sign up.

    It’s amazing how nothing happens then all of a sudden, it changes. Stay strong until y’all get the vaccine.

    Still will be very cautious even when we are vaccinated. Not traveling yet.

    1. Denny i had to register with the Black Doctors of Philadelphia who got me my shot, everyone else had no vaccine.. I will pray for your Wife Jim, i cant believe they closed testing sites, that is a disgrace

        1. That what i meant MRI and other tests, i had them done just last week on my back here in philly

  6. Best wishes to you both, Tracy and Jim. On a somewhat-related topic, let’s say you decided to take a road trip back to Philly but not even all the way back to Philly. Couldn’t you get a mammogram and perhaps more importantly good diagnosis, at one of the highly-related places in Atlanta, or in Cleveland? I know for sure Ohio is allowing most elective medical procedures and think Georgia is too.

  7. So, a baseball question: let’s say a player, for example Maikel Franco, is released by his previous team. Does a team that signs him still forfeit a draft pick?

    1. No….Franco iis a unrestricted free agent,
      ….he had to be tendered a ‘Qualifying Offer’…and a team that signs him loses some financial benefits and a pick, and the losing team gets a compensation pick in the Rule 4.
      ….the QO is around $19M this year….Stroman and Guasman …both pitchers took it from their offering teams.

  8. Jim…prayers for Tracy and yourself Can only tell you what one oncologist said….his Stage 4 CA patients seem to be avoiding COVID….many decided to max dose on D3. Who knows if that helps.

  9. Prayers to you and Tracy Jim. Hopefully just scar tissue like you said. She sounds like a strong woman so with her strength and the strength of prayer…she’s got this! God bless

  10. jim, My prayers go out to Tracy and you. Hoping it’s just a scare and only scar tissue, and mid-February gets here before you know it. I believe she is correct about the power of prayer, and we all will storm the heavens for her!

  11. Jim … my wife is also a breast cancer survivor (was diagnosed 11 years ago at age 42). She had a similar scare a few years later. It did turn out to be scar tissue. It was a frightening time for sure. If it helps … I remember the doctor saying scar tissue is not uncommon. Prayers to you both.

    1. Stay strong Jim, the whole PP community is sending your wife well wishes and comforting thoughts.
      And I hope you’re wrong about the GCL and your ability to see some low A ball in Clearwater this summer. I think things could start to look a bit better in July/August timeframe.
      Good bye Garlick? Who thought he was the next to go from the 40? I expect him to be claimed by someone, he has an option remaining.

  12. Garlick’s DFA reduces the 40-man roster to 14 position players – 2 catchers, 6 infielders, 6 outfielders – and includes maybe 5 guys who aren’t likely to start the season in the majors – Marchan, Holder, Maton, Moniak, Muzziotti.

    What does this mean? At some point, the Phillies are going to have to start cutting the dead wood from among the pitchers.

    1. Sure, I mean if they sign Realmuto or any others to the 40 man they will have to remove some pitchers.

  13. Dear Lord Jim, I missed that about your wife. I will definitely be praying; inverse Her body function to heal and be whole. Let the supposed scar tissue be just that. Amen!

  14. Prayers and best wishes to you, Jim, and your wife, Tracy. We will all be thinking about her progress forward !

  15. Jim, Let me add my voice and my prayers for Tracy and you. We are all indebted to you for your fine work and, I am sure, Tracy is essential to it all.

  16. During Bradley presser, Dave D, announced that the Phillies acquired minor league 2B CJ Chatham (2016, 2nd round pick when Dave D, was in Boston) for PTBNL. Victor Arano DFA.

    1. Nothing like waiting to the last minute from the Sox on that PTBNL.

      And dang…I liked Arano….he was doing fairly well in the Mexican winter league.
      Perhaps he will go unclaimed with most teams having their 40s close to set for ST.

  17. Jim – my heartfelt best wishes to your wife Tracy. She sounds like a strong and wonderful person and she is lucky to have your support. I’m sorry your family is going through this in what is already a very difficult time. I’ll be thinking about you both, and hoping you get peace of mind as soon as possible.

  18. Jim, Prayers to Tracy. Hinkie’s note above is encouraging.

    Baseball American has released its Top 100 prospects.

    Two are Phillies: Spencer Howard at 27 and Nick Abel at 99.

    Howard’s top pitch, fastball at 65 on 20-80 scale. Abel’s, fastball and slider, both at 60.

    On Howard, despite noting that he weakened last season, BA says he has the power to be a mid-rotation pitcher.

    Abel described as a combination of power and pitchability.

    Phils tied for 23d among 32 teams for having the fewest prospects in the Top 100. Nats last at zero.

      1. If DiDi comes back and this Chatham kid
        eventually makes the club as a super utility player. Stott may be blocked for some time in getting to the majors.

        1. Like to see what Harper has to say about Stott from this off-season Vegas work outs. If anyone has an idea how is looking coming to the last part of January….it would be Harper.

    1. It’s great to see Randolph have some success. He’s in the best shape of his entire time with the Phillies so he’s clearly focused.

  19. I think they are low on Abel, and I wonder what their feeling is about Stott. Maybe he is more highly regarded by us than the national analysts? I still think he is going to be a good player, maybe he isn’t ranked higher because they don’t feel he has a high ceiling? Anyway, have to love Archie Bradley adding the Liberty Bell logo and a sign JT hashtag!

    1. Who is low on Abel? Absolutely no one. However, he hasn’t pitched since 11th grade so let’s give him a chance to pitch before the ceiling game is played on him. Personally, I have very high expectations. We’ll see.

  20. Kyle Holder, Rule 5 draftee,
    ….now CJ Chatham, putting Nick Maton on the 40,
    Luke Williams selected for ABL winter ball and getting regular ABs down under
    with the Adelaide Giants,
    …….Dave Dombrowski may pull the trigger on Scott Kingery in a trade,
    especially if Segura does not get moved and ends up at 2B.

    1. Not necessarily, Kingery is a big value being able to play all over. Trading him now would really be trading low, never a good idea. I think Kingery will be on the bench with Holder or Chatham to save money plus Knapp and one more guy (Gosselin?). Kingery could also get some starts in CF. Just need to sign JT and one of the SSs available.

  21. I’m sending positive and healing energy to Stacy, She will be ok!!

    Be strong Jim, we love you.

  22. Prayers and good wishes to you and your wife. We went down a similar path seven years ago, fortunately things turned out well but it’s a scary time.

  23. Prayers for her, and you. Hoping it is just scar tissue but understand it must be incredibly scary for you both

  24. Joe Musgrave to Padres for some prospects. I am not sure who is going to the Pirates, but a good deal for the Padres. Isn’t there anyone on Pittsburgh trader Dave can get? I know I have been less than patient with our Phils, but can you imagine being a Pirates fan?

  25. That is Musgrove, and Pirates get 2 lefties, one I have heard of, Joey Lucchesi, and an OF named Head who, I believe, was ranked #7. So none of the top 5 Padres prospects. Pretty remarkable how deep their farm system was.

  26. Lucchesi to the Mets making them even better. Now they can trade Matz. When the Phillies traded Giles, I was hoping that Musgrove would be part of the deal instead of Velasquez. No such luck.

  27. May God bless you and hear these prayers of healing for you Tracy, may he touch you and make you whole!

  28. Jim, I’m praying for His Hand of healing on Tracy and a clean February mammogram. And for His Peace that surpasses understanding until then. Also praying for strength and trust for you as her rock.

    While I enjoy reading Phillies prospect info and opinion here, I also appreciate this forum for its heart! The outpouring of prayer and support for a brother in need, the encouragement of young players and the comfort of their family members to engage, the camaraderie and humor amongst many, is unlike other sports blogs. Thank you Jim and all the readers & contributors.

  29. Looks like Sandy Alderson and the Mets will be searching for another GM if reports are true.
    Mets seem to lose them faster than they can keep them….Wags, Beltran and now Porter look to be heading out.

    1. Romus; when I read the circumstances I was blown away… Since we keep a clean site here I’ll leave off the details but in what universe does anyone think 1). those pictures won’t re-surface 2). communicating with a woman like that 3). he was a high level baseball operations man; good Lord think of the organization and have some class..

      Unbelievable… Cohen should fire him today.

  30. Happened on Theo’s watch in Chicago. The Mets get the egg on the face but the Cubs should answer questions. Btw who thinks this was a one time only scenario?

    1. It definitely wasn’t one-time; he’s on record that he sent multiple messages to her.. Unless you mean one woman, in which case I also doubt that.

  31. Many thoughts and prayers to you and Tracy. Such a scary thing cancer. Hoping for the best outcome.

  32. His career is now over but was he highly thought of in the scouting/analytical world? Wasn’t someone on here disappointed the Mets landed him last month?

    1. .

      Bye-Bye, Jared. Hardly knew you. What a classless POS.

      1. The reporter probably did want to come out…….perhaps fearful of her employment future, who knows.

      2. Could be that the Cubs knew and never acted on it, could be the woman feared coming forward. Victim’s of harassment (and assault, rape, etc.) often struggle coming forward for fear of backlash.

  33. #1 Dombrowski was part of the Red Sox FO that drafted Chatham (2016 2nd round) out of FAU.

    #2 He plays all over the IF. Could beat out Kyle Holder and Nick Maton for Phillies’ utility IF’er (although I’m a Maton believer/fan).

    #3 Proves the lines of communication remain open between DD and Chaim Bloom. Andrew Benintendi next?

    #4 WTH happened to Victor Arano? Is his arm falling off? He gets DFA’ed before David Hale or Cole Irvin or Mauricio Llovera?

    1. Arano is pitching now in the Mexican League….and is doing fairly well….not sure why they let him go. However, I do not know his current velo readings down there.

      Is this a trade for CJ Chatham….or is CJ Chatham the PTBNL that the Phillies were to receive in the August trade of Pivetta/Seabold for Workman/Hembree?

      1. Arano has a 6.00 ERA in 9 IP in the Mexican Pacific League (unsure if there are additional playoff stats beyond that). Big thing with him is his stuff never recovered after his various injuries. RHP throwing 92-94 is just not special these days and he was never good enough to merit a recall last year when the bullpen imploded.

        He was never going to make it through the winter on the 40-man roster.

        1. Do me a favor and check his game logs,
          ….pitching an inning a game appearance …and one bad game will do that to an ERA……for example, last week one gamey,…. one inning-2 runs … 4 hits and one walk

          1. It is just a league that is AA quality at best though. He should be doing what Drew Anderson is doing in Australia to be excited about (knowing ABL is more Low A quality). The Phillies also have seen Arano’s lack of velocity and certainly have reports from Mexico. He just does not seem to be doing anything special there even if a majority of the outings have been decent.

    2. Hinkie, fwiw, I read the AB trade is doubtful. DD said that OF isn’t a priority. Couldn’t be smoking mirrors though.

  34. With the minor’s season being staggered, what’s the chances we see some of the better prospects at AAA for a bit?

    I’m just happy they’re coming back. We have the Tulsa Drillers here and they are exciting to watch.

    1. I can’t get a clear answer to the question if a minor leaguer isn’t on the AAA squad he has to wait until the second ST session? So as an example Wander Franco who is not on the Rays AAA squad but is considered 1/1 as the best prospect in baseball can’t be brought to ST with the major league Rays players? The Phillies can’t bring in Stott, Abel, Miller and a handful of our best prospects for the experience and learning? There may be a small amount of wiggle room outside of the AAA numbers but I can’t find it…

      1. No reason teams can’t do Spring Training invites to any minor leaguer as in the past. MLB may impose some sort of health-based player limit for the number of people in camp (60? 70?) but imagine most teams will only invite players that have some shot of making the major league roster OR players that would be the natural AAAA set of players at AAA so they have a pool of players to recall if needed. I doubt the AAA season will start till May with the other full season leagues, but you probably have a “taxi” squad of 10-15 players who will go to major league camp and then stay in shape through a second minor league camp in April.

        1. So far I’ve only seen those that are on the AAA roster can come to ST…That came down from MLB HDQ. Now some roster kabuki could happen and Stott could find himself on the Lehigh Valley roster until major league ST is over and then he gets re-assigned to wherever… I guess that’s one way to get your best prospects some experience..

  35. BTW … A+ trade for the Mets. They got involved in the Padres-Pirates deal, and ended up with Joey Lucchesi for a 20YO rookie ball prospect. Lucchesi would have looked great in a Phillies uniform.

      1. I think it was mostly a matter of Lucchesi losing his rotation spot to Adrian Morejon. Morejon has incredible stuff.

  36. Matt Gelb seems to think that we are going to spend a little, and add Pitching, and a SS after Realmuto signs, which he is more optimistic about than previously. He seems to be reading the pulse of the team. It will not be for Bauer or Springer, but won’t be bargain basement/lottery tickets either. And, he thinks that Lester for $5M to the Nats was a good move. Let’s assume that JTR signs, and we are not adding beyond an innings eater type SP, another BP arm and a SS. Where do you think we should go? I give 2years/$24M to Didi, sign Quintana or Archer, and add a Trevor Rosenthal or Shane Greene to the BP. I think Brad Hand will be higher than we want to go, although I would take him. I am trying to think more along what the team would do. That keeps us under $200M, but clearly higher than the $175M rumored to be the goal a couple of months ago. I am figuring on Dombrowski talking ownership into being a bit more flexible. Or, maybe this is wishful thinking.

    1. I agree with Gelb. When Middleton hired Dombrowski, that was a flashing neon sign that the club was moving forward (no rebuild, no re-tool).

      I’ve believed a JTR reunion was a slam dunk the minute DD was hired.
      I’m interested to see what Dombrowski does with SS. I believe Didi’s LH bat really lengthens the Phillies lineup, and would be a key addition (or re-sign) for 2021. However, I wonder if DD is only looking to hand out a one year deal so he can fish in next winter’s FA SS pond.

      The team needs a proven closer. Keone Kela is a guy I keep coming back to as the most cost effective proven commodity.

      Last … but … not least … rotation depth. I can understand their desire to find a dude with a history of eating innings. That’s why there’s been talk of Anibal Sanchez. A few of you (ciada, RU, DMAR) mentioned Rick Porcello last week. I’m with you. Porcello is the better option as an innings eater. That said, I’d rather see DD take a flyer on a pitcher with a higher upside: James Paxton, Chris Archer!!!, Garrett Richards, or even Carlos Rondon.

      1. It’s not off the mark to say if you brought the same club back with a much improved BP the result should be better especially with a full season of Bohm’s stick in the LU.

        However when I look at those that were the finalist for MVP and compare our position players to those line-ups I just don’t see it.

        Now that said every season it seems you get some surprises. Some teams that seemingly win the offseason on paper falter and some teams you didn’t think had enough of this or that come out of no where.

        Plenty of time and money left that to make some solid upgrades or maybe even a trade.

        1. DMAR…..I do think the GM will make the trades that will bring in a player or two that
          many want to see come to Philly, and at the same time, those specific trades that maybe a few players leaving, that people do not want to see go.
          That is how he works with him.

            1. DMAR:
              Catcher Mitch Edwards with a slam today
              Lehman pitching exceptional for the first four innings.
              Williams with some keen hitting.

  37. FWIW, Baseball America released a list of the 88 players who did not make the Top 100 but did receive at least one staff vote for the Top 150. No a Phillie among them.

    So, for those who wonder about Bryson Stott not being in the Top 100, he did not get even one vote for the Top 150.

    1. This is consistent with what I’ve read. The kid doesn’t have any elite skills. However, he’s a “ball player” so let’s just see how he does this season. I also would love to see Morales and Miller both take a giant step forward. It’s not impossible as both have high ceilings.

      1. Yes, described some places as a reserve. Other places, he’s Scotty Jet Pax. Of course, Scotty Jet Pax hasn’t proven to be Scotty Jet Pax yet.

  38. It’s now being reported, as I suspected, that the Phils were never in on a Benintendi trade. There’s not a position fir him to play. Plus, they don’t have money to spend on an OF as long as they wait to see if they can get JT and one of the SS.

  39. Archie Bradley, Brokem Arrow, thinks he was a better HS QB than JT Realmuto, Carl Albert, in Oklahoma…not so sure.

    JT Realmuto…QB….Champs 2009 Oklahoma

  40. We scouted Teheran and Sanchez in Miami today. I am sure both will come rather inexpensively. Any interest? I think there are a number of better options. But, better means more expensive.

    1. matt13….I am with Hinkie…..a lefty like Paxton, or Rodon….I do not think they will break the bank for a one year deal.
      Then there are also RHPs like Archer, Richards or Porcello who may not cost much on one year deals.
      Time is getting short now for many free agents and they may sign just to get going…

      1. I’ll take Vinnie V over Sanchez or Tehran. It’s a 5 inning starter generation, embrace it and set your expectations to it. Now rate VV accordingly and it will be fine.

        1. The problem with that is Vinny often can’t get out of the first two innings or at least that is my perception of him

        2. I hear you, Denny…but that’s 5 innings of physically painful pitching to endure. There’s a difference.

  41. I think it was Hinkie but if it was someone else I apologize, I like Rondon for a bounce back year. Still fairly young. Good stuff. Needs a PC like Cotham to get the kinks out.

  42. Sometimes I think it’s hard being and phillies fan, but then I realize it’s still better than being a Muts fan. What a piece of garbage, hope he never sniffs another job in the MLB.

  43. Springer and Jays closing in on a deal. If true…that should definitely mean JTR back to Philly unless there’s a mystery team.

  44. Copy/paste pitching below from my post a month ago. (Still hoping for Rodon. Without Hendriks or Treinen, I’m in for Brad Hand. Or check on Roberto Osuna’s elbow. …Btw, I also have interest in lhp, Justin Wilson as extra BP piece.)

    Sign Liam Hendricks: …or Treinen for less $.

    Sign Archie Bradley. 1 yr, $6m. …or Yates.

    Sign Carlos Rodon: 1 yr, $4m. LHP. …Suffered in 2020 from high BABIP and low LOB%.

  45. Apparently, the Springer deal is done. Toronto signs him for six years and $150MM according to Jon Heyman.

    Another notable signing announced tonight is Jose Quintana to the Angels for one year and $8MM according to Ken Rosenthal. So why would Smyly at $11MM get 35% more $$ than Quintana? Okay, he made only one start due to a hurt thumb and Smyly turned in a good 2020, but the contract disparity still surprises me.

    BTW, Jim, I am not a religious person so I am not inclined to pray, but I am sending positive vibes your way. I wish your wife a speedy recovery.

    1. Jays also signed Kirby Yates who I absolutely loved for us. Low risk high reward. His medical issue last season was only bone chips so he should have a really nice bounce back season.

      He’s the kind of guy that if you’re out of it you can flip for a really nice piece. Or with any luck he’s a proven shut down guy that ensures you win the games you should.

      Be interesting to see if the Jays now turn their sights on Bauer. Bauer/Cole head to heads would make for great theatre.

      1. DMAR, not sure what the Jays payroll situation is but I highly doubt they go after Bauer now that the signed the 31 yr old Springer to what is in my opinion an overpay in years. Bauer may go to a west coast team like the Angels or Giants, possibly the Padres. I wouldn’t be surprised if the White Sox jumped in and made one more big splash.

        1. Bauer is a wild card and very unpredictable. Before the Springer sign they had roughly $83 million in tax space so there is plenty of room if they want to push all the chips into the middle of the table.

          I watched 3 different MLB beat writers say anything is possible with him. None of them have a feel for where he ends up.

  46. So does the Springer signing increase or decrease the value of JT’s next contract with the Phillies?

    1. I think possibly but OTOH Toronto typically has to overpay to lure FAs there unless they are from Canada.

      That said they are essentially the same player in a lot of ways. Both play up the middle positions, Springer is 31 JT 30 albeit Springer’s career OPS sits 852 to JT’s 783.

      And I think you can ding the catcher position for chance of injury and games missed. Marks figures below are probably about right.

      1. Agreed that those figures are probably pretty close to what the deal looks like.

        As for measuring age, look, I love JTR and that deal would be fair. However, if you look at the position historically, catchers, as a group, tend to suffer huge regression around the ages of 32-34. If you’ve got an athletic power-hitting outfielder, he’s likely to be good for at least a couple of years longer than a typical catcher. The Phillies will likely expect 3 elite years, and the last two years are unknown, but hopefully he could be above average in at least year 4.

  47. I’ll make my JTR prediction:
    2021 $25M
    2022 $25M
    2023 $25M
    2024 $25M (opt out following ’24)
    2025 $20M
    TOTAL 5/$120M (AAV $24M)

    1. ….hence the reported $100M+ which circulated a few days ago. I think it’ll be structured this way.

      1. I’ve always felt 5/120M was the right number. However, now that the music has stopped and only the Phillies chair seems to be left (unless the Nationals get involved), JTR could see that figure dip to maybe 5/110M. Because of COVID, I think Realmuto will get less in year one, and make it up in years two through five.

    2. That is clsoe to how I saw it from the AAV …..but one difference…opt-out clause earlier, after the third year and also fourth year….and fifth and final year @$10M

      1. My view on the opt out clause is that if he wants the type of opt-out you suggest I’d give it to him in a heartbeat. If the Phillies could sign a 3 year deal with him right now, they’d prefer that over a longer deal so, in my view, the opt-out is a no brainer here.

        1. This is one instance where an opt-out clause if offered and accepted, may benefit the team in the long run.
          Probably the 4th year is probably the AAV he would want anyways.

    3. I think it will be 5 x $20M with a $5M option guarantee for year 5 at $20M. That would be 5/$105M guarantee. However I could see the Phils adding on another year to make the deal happen. I definitely don’t expect a $24M per year deal regardless of what JT wants. The market isn’t there and he’s not worth it as a 31 yr old catcher expected to decline

    4. I think it will be 5 x $20M with a $5M option guarantee for year 5 at $20M. That would be 5/$105M guarantee. However I could see the Phils adding on another year to make the deal happen. I definitely don’t expect a $24M per year deal regardless of what JT wants. The market isn’t there and he’s not worth it as a 31 yr old catcher expected to decline

      1. We will see, but as odd as it might seem, I don’t see him signing a long terms deal without an AAV that exceeds Mauer’s. If that’s the best he can get I think he signs a pillow contract. I don’t think that’s the smart move for him, but that’s what I think he would do.

        1. No way a catcher would skip a long term deal for a one year deal. Too much risk. Plus no one is offering it to him. He’s not as good as Maurer was when he got that deal. And look how that deal turned out for the team. The agent needs to be real with his client.

            1. True that. They’re now reporting the offer was $110 so that could be 5x $22M and getting closer. I expect he’ll take it within a few days. I’m sure it’s nice for him to hear many teammates talk about wanting him back. Let’s go JT! Then let’s get us a SS, a SP, and another RP.

            2. If it’s $110 m now it will probably go up to around $115-120m and he’ll have his much sought after highest AAV.

  48. Yates is guaranteed $5.5M, with the chance to make up to $10M. I would have liked him for us, but no way do I think that was the price range the team is looking at. $8M for Quintana doesn’t sound too onerous, but, again, I think we are looking at $5M and under for any further Pitching that we add. Rodon makes sense, and is worth a shot. I have very high hopes for our new Pitching Coach.

  49. If Realmuto takes less in 2021, but the average is $23/$24M, doesn’t the AAV count against the Luxury tax? So, if he takes $20M this year, and makes it up in years 2-5, does that help us stay under $208M? I thought not. Also, is Gio Gonzalez on anyone’s list? I haven’t heard his name mentioned. I think I stay away from Hamels and Happ, not sure what Paxton gets, and would like a Lefty to mix in.

    1. No it doesn’t help you with the cap!

      The AAV is what it is and calculated over the total value of the deal and number of years however the true cash outlay for the club is realized year to year.

      If they know they are cost heavy for 2021 and want to lighten that burden it would be wise for them to do so.

      If you look at the deal the Yankees did with LaMahieu the Yankees minimized the AAV which was what was important to them by giving DJ more years than they otherwise probably would.

      So DJ received the total guaranteed money ($90 million) he was after and the Yankees managed to stay under the cap. Comparatively Josh Donaldson got a 4/$92 deal or $23 AAV from the Twins just last year.

      LaMahieu got $2 mill less at $15 AAV. Nice maneuver by the Yankees in the near term.

  50. Been quiet after the rumor of contract offer by Phillies.

    It either didn’t happen or JTs camp wasn’t impressed or mulling it over.

    Just worried about a mystery team

  51. Jays now going after Brantley…..Springer, Yates and their young guns……looks like they are pushing the Yankees for the division. Though, both teams could use more pitching.

  52. This is a very cool story.
    The Phillies have signed a local kid (maybe a little older than a kid). 26 YO RHP Mike Adams from Egg Harbor Township (not too far from me) threw in a showcase event (attended by all 30 teams) Monday night. At the event, Adams hit 98 MPH. The Phillies offered him a contract Tuesday.
    The funny thing is Adams scouts for the Milwaukee Brewers. He also runs the Baseball Performance Center in Atlantic County. One of the kids he trains there is Jake McKenna, the 6’7″ LHP from Ocean City High School the Phillies signed as an undrafted FA last summer.

    1. Well if he doesn’t make it on the field…he may have already lined himself up with a job developing their prospect pitchers.

      1. They need to get Bauer if they want to stand a chance vs the Yankees……they need pitchers….do not think JT will get them over the top.
        Plus their two best catchers are 26 years old ..Jansen and McGuire…and they have that other young one.

  53. Phillies offer to JTR presumably for 5yr/$110m is a heck of an offer for a 5yr contract to a 30 yr C. Seems JTR is waiting for another suitor (or phils to increase) given his great desire to set new bar for AAV.

    So, just make it 4 yrs. The Phillies have a wealth of C talent in the minors and surely there’ll be an option come 2025 that is acceptable to move on from JTR at that age. So,if AAV is more important than total value of the deal then offer 4yr/$96m, or even 4yr/$100m. Win/Win.

  54. I’m sure you guys don’t want to consider this, but …

    What if the numbers you’re playing around with aren’t factual? What if the numbers cited in a recent story were made up and other writers are just expanding on them? What if the current drawback is the length of the contract? What if the AAV isn’t as important as it was before COVID? What if I believe all of the preceding “what ifs” and think I have good reason to believe? What if it took 7/$136-144 to get it done?

    1. Jim, it’s all certainly possible. Appreciate your thoughts. None of us really know.

      Btw, I would not like a 7 yr contract because it would basically wipe out pretty much ALL of our current C prospects from ever having a chance in Philly. Personally I am excited about a few of them and would like to see them have a chance at some point. Thus, I’d rather give high aav for just 4 years. (We could always extend or re-sign if really needed to.)

          1. Actually 7 yrs @$144M is not a bad deal from the AAV aspect.
            And , around the 4 or 5 year mark he may have to move from catching and go elsewhere on the field to maximize his production. He is athletic enough to handle other positions….namely LF and 1B.

            1. Don’t count on it. That didn’t work for Mauer or Posey – once most catchers lose it, it’s over. Let’s hope it’s a 5-year or fewer deal.

      1. Actually, Marchan and the other catchers at lower levels become trade bait if JTR re-signs, especially for 6 or 7 years. In light of Jim’s input, (informed, I suppose), I would revise my take as 6/$132 with an incentive laden 7th year, based on innings caught or something like that.

    2. There’s always some wise guy who has to shed some light on the situation.🤣 (NOW he tells us)

      1. Sorry. I was going to post yesterday but decided to pass. Now, Heyman is running with it saying 5/110. So, I figured I’d better post.

        Passan is a reputable national guy. He outed two false reports this week, the most recent being the Brantley to Toronto story. I thought Stark was a good national guy with local contacts. But, none of the beat writers had it. None could get a follow up from their sources, they’re just relying on his story. I went back to reread and he says, “…industry source familiar with the negotiations, the offer was for five years and slightly north of $100 million”. Not a club source, vague dollar amount. No wonder none of the regular beat writers could get a sniff from club sources. I checked further and realize this is a red herring.

          1. Yes. Absolutely. As well as the unnamed west coast teams. Any time a national columnist has a scoop from unnamed “league sources” it is 100% bankable.

            1. Seriously, these 9-figure rumors are all favorable to the Phillies. I remember a post-covid prediction of 5/85 (17 AAV), but I don’t remember where I read it. That would seem to bring in some other teams like the Braves and Cardinals. But, catchers have been signing and there have to be fewer serious suitors, especially at 9-figures. I recall hearing that the Phillies’ best offer had been 4/76 (19 AAV). That was a few weeks ago and I forget the source of that info. Since then I was led to believe that the Phillies hadn’t made an offer but were talking – hammering out other contract details other than dollars and years. I’m not even sure Stark’s report of an offer is accurate. Dombrowski was careful and really didn’t confirm or deny the report. My take, the higher the numbers leaked, the less likely any other team is involved.

  55. Hey, wait! The Phillies already signed Mike Adams. Remember? They gave him 12m for two years and got 44 innings for their troubles.

  56. Bohm is the future 1B of the Phillies if Hoskins gets traded or not re-signed in the next couple of years. Bohm can’t play 3B long-term. You can’t give JTR that kind of contract and jiust “assume” he will play 1B or LF in the future. His value goes way down at those other positions.

    1. Define ‘value’ as is normally used as an argument against moving a 4WAR player per year for the three years pre-COVID season from one position to another position…and his value goes down?

      1. His numbers do not play at 1B or LF as they do at catcher. Then you are assuming he can just play 1B or LF without a problem or that his numbers wouldn’t deteriorate with age at any position. Then if Bohm eventually plays 1B, which I believe is inevitable, it eliminates that position for JTR. Maybe there will be a DH in the NL but people have been anticipating that for years and it still hasn’t happened. I would be satisfied with a four year contract. Seven years is insane.

        1. Seven years is insane at $24M….but like the Yankees did with DJL…..an extended 7 yrs @$20M AAV affords the Phillies plenty of opportunity and flexibility long term when the luxury tax threshold will just keep climbing
          I do prefer 5 years….even 4…but that will not happen.
          I think for the next three years he will remain as a 4WAR player each season.

          And from what I have seen on MLB network, and heard from MLB writers…the DH is all but assured after the next CBA in 11 months…….some even think it gets carried over to this season if COVUD restrictions remain.

  57. Not that we live and breathe (or even care) what the folks at MLB have to say, but the consensus among their analysts is that the Phillies will re-sign both Realmuto AND Didi. It would be fine if Gregorius agreed to a 2/$26M deal, but I wouldn’t want more years.

    As for the OF, it seems they could either rotate LF/CF where Cutch plays LF/DH and Haseley and Moniak get the reps between LF and CF. Quinn will be the 5th OF if he’s not traded or DFA’d by opening day.

    I think Dombrowski signs a better option than VV as a #4 starter and eventually pulls the trigger on a trade for a closer. VV then slides to 5 if Howard doesn’t go north after spring training.

    1. Think Didi will be future 3b for Phil’s which enables phils to eventually sign Defensive SS. Won’t need 3b for few years which opens door to trade youngins for pitching. If phils are going to compete need great defense. I’d also consider Bradley for center.

  58. Think Didi will be future 3b for Phil’s which enables phils to eventually sign Defensive SS. Won’t need 3b for few years which opens door to trade youngins for pitching. If phils are going to compete need great defense. I’d also consider Bradley for center

  59. Think Didi will be future 3b for Phil’s which enables phils to eventually sign Defensive SS. Won’t need 3b for few years which opens door to trade youngins for pitching. If phils are going to compete need great defense. I’d also consider Bradley for center.

  60. I would imagine the Phils will sign or trade for a SP, RP, SS either Didi or Semien, and C JT. That would require 4 spots on 40 man roster. Most at risk is OF Quinn, P Sanchez, Quezada, Hamilton, Irvin, and Hale. Some of these guys would be exposed to waivers (Quinn) in hopes to trade for a prospect not requiring a 40 man spot. A trade could result in others being moved. Dombrowski seems to watch the waiver wire and for teams that have their own roster crunches very intently. So he may take advantage of that to fill spots.

    I also expect they will settle some of these FA signees in the very near future – the market has really picked up pace

  61. I took jim’s opinion as bad news, only because there is no way, IMO, that Realmuto gets 7 years from the Phils, unless it’s a $17-18M per contract. He has to come down a lot on the per annum and the extra years spreads out the $125M like the Yankees did with LeMahieu.As far as Bohm and 3B goes, we are best served if Bohm stays at 3B, Rhys Hoskins hits like I believe he can, and Stott or Martin or Simmons is the future SS. Stott then goes to 2B. I care what makes the team the best, and that is the scenario I think works. DiDi is best as the SS for the next 2 seasons. Eventually, some of the prospects need to make it. But, it all starts with resigning or losing JTR. Losing him, and I think they look to 2022.

  62. I am wondering what everyone’s thoughts are on how the team will use/view some of their pitchers who have made their MLB debuts but still either prospects or early in MLB careers:
    Romero, Rosso, Medina, Suarez, and Irvin. I would believe all but Irvin have potential as a starter but not sure if the team will use them that way. Suarez almost won a starting spot last year. Romero showed promise as a reliever but was always a starter in minors. Medina and Rosso both were minor league starters.

    1. It’s a long shot but if Rich Hill was able to reinvent himself at age 36 LOL

      In Medina I see an Anibal Sanchez type pitcher. Romero has the velo to dream on. I don’t see anything of value in Suarez and I have no opinion of Rosso.

      I saw an interesting interview on Joe Musgrove last night. He says for a couple of seasons I was throwing a lot of my pitches that I thought were my best when someone showed me some data that perception was greater than reality and I started trusting it things took off for me.

  63. If you overpay for offensive production from the C position you’re going to be in a heap of trouble. WS teams just aren’t built that way.

    Sure if you’re lucky enough to get it from a guy you brought through your system great. I hope DD doesn’t outbid himself. It will have down stream repercussions.

    We’re talking about a low 800 OPS player about to turn 30. And in the famous words of Ricky Watters “for who…for what” so you can feel good about having the best catcher in MLB for the next couple of years.

    If you can’t get it done for 5/$110-$120 walk away and start dealing.

    This club has very little in LF, probably nothing in CF, Good not great in RF, we’re still dreaming on a 28 y/o 1B. Segura at second and Didi at SS would be just meh and then Bohm is your only bright spot.

    Tell me what adding JT to that mess is going to get us for the next couple of years LOL.

    I know they didn’t hire DD to punt but my opinion is that is exactly what they should do. They just don’t have the balls.

    1. DMAR…..so in your estimation, what do you think is an ‘outbidding’ contract vs a ‘team friendly’ contract?
      IMO, anything that entails $20M AAV is team friendly….once it starts climbing to $25M AAV it becomes thin ice territory …unless JTR takes a shorter in length contract….something < 6 yrs…which is doubtful he would..

      1. Unless the Nationals suddenly get involved, there really is no reason for the Phillies to up their offer. Stand pat at 5 years/110-120M, and just wait JTR out.

        1. Rizzo is too smart. He’s likely to float a few rumors but he’s not going there. Case in point Harper….

        2. Hinkie…that is how I see it.
          Nats may be the only team out there….maybe the Angels…..who would do a bigger offer for JTR.
          But in both cases…it really would hinder their teams’ progress…because they would have to outbid the Phillies by a large amount, not just 1M or so….not just meet the Phillies offer.
          Similar to the Jays and Springer…vs the Mets….Jays had to outbid the Mets by a large margin.

      2. Hmmm…that’s an excellent question Romus which I hadn’t allowed my brain to think about. I suppose a 6/7 year deal that is sub $20 AAV is team friendly and one you have to consider.

        Personally and I’ve been saying this since the season ended I believe in Marchan. I believe Bohm Marchan are your pieces to build around.

        As it stands we’re being led down a path of mediocrity. Maybe a WC or two. But nothing meaningful or sustainable.

  64. Which player would you want on your prospect list?
    MLB.com scouting grades.

    Player A.
    Scouting Grades/Report (20-80 grading scale)
    HIT-55…PWR-45…RUN-55…ARM-55…FLD-55…OVERALL-55

    Player B.
    Scouting Grades/Report (20-80 grading scale)
    HIT-55…PWR-55…RUN-45…ARM-40…FLD-40….OVERALL-50

    A… is Bryson Stott….did not make BA’s top 150
    B….is Michael Bausch…Dodgers ….number 87 on BAs top 100.

    1. I no longer believe lists and probably haven’t since they told me Dom Brown was the #4 prospect in all of baseball and Buxton and Profar were 1/2 for how many years….

      1. DMAR…some tiimes yuo have to discern the lists’ valif=dity by how the data is processed.
        MLB.com …basically Mayo/Callis/Sanchez…..all get first hand scouting data….they all work for the same boss…MLB
        And when yuo listen to Mayo or Callis…they are very tactful in their projection of prospects….it amazes me how each Rule 4 draft they are practically on the money on the picks…sur eone team will go out of order….but fro the most part they hit it spot on…..hard for me to believe totally all skill, most likely ‘insider trading’

        1. My point is more about no one really knows until these guys hit the majors what type of player they are going to be.

          The league is full of guys that are really good and never made any lists and busts that made a ton of them.

      2. Plus … Busch is a 1Bman masquerading as a 2Bman. I don’t think Stott is a SS long term, but he can at least handle 2B and/or 3B.

        1. Hinkie….agree.
          Watching Stott swings…..his bat plays for me.
          Where in the field he plays is anyone’s guess….but 3B and 2B are good future bets

  65. I wish I knew how to create a baseball diamond image and plug in the last 4-5 WS teams 8 positions on the field. No names just the OPS+ or WRC+ for each of those teams by position

    That would be really cool to see from an analytics POV

  66. oh no . . . why am I seeing people on twitter saying JTR is close to signing with the Braves . . . talk about a bad turn of events (if there’s any truth to it) . . .

    1. Saw that as well. I just saw they are circling on him.

      That would be the most Phillies thing ever.

      Phillies messing around playing games and then lose their guy.

      The team will be in last place if they don’t re-sign JTR

  67. The Braves are not going to hand out a LT contract to JTR. They do short term/one year deals. Realmuto plays the most demanding position in baseball. He’s not looking for a one year deal (@ I don’t care how much money). He’s going to be looking for max money over multiple years.
    Maybe this was leaked by the agent, or maybe some random guy on the internet just made it up. If there is one club who I believe could swoop in, and offer a mega deal, it would be Washington (and I don’t think that is even likely).

  68. I don’t believe the Braves sign a 7 year deal. They are doing well with short term deals like Donaldson and Ozuna. But, I agree, I always worry about the “mystery” team. I disagree with DMAR. I think signing him, and Didi, an innings eater SP, and another 2 RPs makes us a contender for the Division. Last season’s horrific BP cost us 10 games. Another rebuild takes 5 years. It’s not like we are loaded in the farm. Does anyone have the interest in another rebuild? And, for sure, Dombrowski does not. So, we can trade Harper and Hoskins and Wheeler and Nola, and I have zero trust that the return players make us any better than what we have now. And, a very strong opinion that we will be much worse. Fans will fill the seats for a winning team. We have proven that. They may not fill the stands starting in April, but soon. This can be done while staying under the Luxury Tax, and there may not be one to worry about in the future.

    1. On the Braves. Forget about it – he’s not going there. First, the Braves have one of the most cost-effective catchers in the majors in d’Arnaud – so why mess with that? Second, a long-term deal for a 30 year-old catcher is precisely the deal that Braves would never do. They are about maximizing value and this type of deal would be way too risky for them. It wouldn’t even be on their radar.

      As for Realmuto, the Phillies are going to probably give him the best long-term deal and if he’s being rational, that’s what he would accept. The problem is that athletes are not always rational and this highest AAV thing is apparently a very big deal to him. As a result, if the Phillies don’t reach the highest AAV, there’s always a risk that Realmuto takes a shorter-term deal with a team that gives it to him. In most cases, I think this wouldn’t be a real risk. Here, I believe it would be due to his own set of priorities, so we will see how it plays out. Also, if he insists on a really long-term contract of like 6 years, I wouldn’t give it to him unless the team had a reasonable buy-out right.

  69. The guys on MLB radio on SiriusXM addressed this rumor and laughed it off. To them it sounded like the agent trying to get the Phillies to move off their last number. They said Phillies PoBA DD been around the block of few times and will dismiss the JTR/Braves rumor for what it is; baloney.

    1. Absolutely, Hawkeye. It’s blatantly obvious, totally uncharacteristic of Atlanta to even engage in such negotiations. Anyone really buying this nonsense? So Realmuto’s agent is playing his cards to extract every last dime and length of contract. Happens every day. Why some here melt down over it is beyond me.

        1. Romus following sports for a lot of years, I never heard a football coach called not that smart, That is what was said about new eagles coach,

          1. Rocco … he is fairly smart, just not super smart. 🙂

            1. He may not be super smart but I heard he follows Gabe Kapler on all his social media platforms. So, there’s that….

          2. Andy Reid was only a QB coach in the late 90s….and he had a HoF QB named Brett Favre to work with who was already there five years….same as Andy but Andy was not his QB coach for the first five years in Green Bay.
            Pederson was like an unknown in KC…we later learn, was not even Eagles first choice.
            Both brought teams to the Super Bowl.
            Perhaps…..the third is another and latest lucky charmm
            …….at least he is Italian , rocco!

  70. Get out your grains of salt, BP just published their Top 101 Prospect List. Mick Abel comes in at 54 and Spencer Howard at 65. Their top 10 are:

    1.) Wander Franco, SS, Tampa Bay Rays

    2.) Adley Rutschman, C, Baltimore Orioles

    3.) Julio Rodríguez, OF, Seattle Mariners

    4.) Sixto Sánchez, RHP, Miami Marlins

    5.) Ian Anderson, RHP, Atlanta Braves

    6.) Jarred Kelenic, OF, Seattle Mariners

    7.) Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates

    8.) Marco Luciano, SS, San Francisco Giants

    9.) Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Kansas City Royals

    10.) C.J. Abrams, SS, San Diego Padres

        1. Mark Feinsand MLB.com … @feinsand…. today:
          “The hiring of Dave Dombrowski reignited the perception that Philadelphia would find a way to bring Realmuto back. Multiple reports this week suggest that the Phillies have extended five-year offers in the $100-110 million range. Realmuto is said to be seeking a deal that would set a new standard for average annual value at his position, a mark currently held by Joe Mauer ($23 million). For a five-year deal, that means something just north of $115 million.The Phillies appear close enough that a final push will get the job done. Given the improvements throughout the rest of the NL East this offseason, retaining Realmuto would be a big step for the Phillies in terms of staying competitive. This feels like a deal that should — and ultimately will — get completed.”

  71. I find it interesting that the Braves were involved with Springer until the end. Length is what made them back away.

    I’m still leery of them in the JT sweepstakes. If they go lower years with higher annual salary, he could jump at it.

    Hoping 6/$140mil or less gets it done

    1. I guess anything is possible but I just don’t see this as anything more than click bait. They just don’t have a track record of spending that kind of money.

      Any smart GM and Alex is pretty smart will take a swing at driving up cost for a division rival. Not to mention they are paying D’Arnaud $8 million for this season.

      And I’m sure any involvement the Braves had with Springer was simply to ensure the Mets paid a premium to get him.

  72. Bauer……even with Springer , the Jays are projected to have a lower payroll/luxury tax threshold this year, than last in 2020. ….and they have no tax penalties staring them in the face The Jays could extend to the free agent Bauer a one-year deal worth $70M or $0M and still avoid penalty.

    1. Romus, the Blue Jays almost always have to overpay for players to cross the border, essentially bidding against themselves to land a top talent. And I don’t think it’s in their “budget” to approach the luxury tax threshold, anyway. Like Jim said a few days ago, they may only be willing to go so far so as to say, “look, we tried!” and go on their merry way. However, I will say that Bauer is probably one guy willing to go rogue in the free agent market, if for a one year deal.

      1. If Bauer takes a one year deal, I think it would be for the opportunity to play for the LAD’s.
        I know the guy is a little crazy, but I do doubt he’s nuts enough to take a one year contract … even to throw for his home town team.

      2. Case in point, Lemahieu. He signed a 6/90 (15 AAV) with the Yankees but the Blue Jays were reported to have offered a 4/78 (19.5 AAV). That’s a difference of 2 years and 12 million total dollars. Why be happy with finishing second? Why not counter with 5/90 (18 AAV) or 6/96 (16 AAV). They already showed an interest to overpay. So, overpay at a slightly lower rate and give the player a tougher decision or force the Yankees to raise their offer.

  73. If he gambles on himself…..and with that hot agent of his who will charm any owner…..he could get a record pay-out for one year (of course not $80M….but he could get between $40 and $50M somewhere form someone desperate enough)…..come back the next and get another record pay -out……and still have 4/5 years left of pitching.
    In those two years he could make what many front line pitchers make over a 4/5 year contract.
    The guy is no dummy.

    1. Wow you really think a club would dole out $40 million for 1 year? That would really amaze me.

      I could see 1/$30 maybe even 1/$35 but even that would shock me. I think there are a number of suitors for him including the Jays, Mets and Angels on 4-5 year deals. I keep hearing Giants also but he doesn’t seem to be Farhadi’s style.

      And surely the Dodgers are probably laying in the weeds for a 1/2 year high AAV deal. I think Hinkie is right in that he really wants to play with the Dodgers.

      You have to figure he gets offers of at least what Wheeler got. He’s not getting a Cole type offer that’s for sure.

  74. David Robertson is showcasing himself sometime in February. Any interest in bringing him back? I don’t see Atlanta as a spot for Realmuto, but until he signs, there is always the possibility of a team snatching him. I think we need him the most, but I know some of you disagree.

    1. Heck no. The failed David Robertson “era” is over in Philadelphia.

      As for Bauer, why would anyone be shocked if he took a one year contract? He has indicated before that he’s willing to play year to year. I think he’ll weigh his options and go with whatever he thinks will be the best for him financially and it might in fact be one year. It could be as high as $35 million, but I suspect, with the whole market being depressed, it would be around $30 million. I could also see him taking a 3 or 4 year deal at around $25-28 m AAV.

      1. It’s easy to say you want to pitch on one year contracts (especially when you’re upset the Indians won’t make you a solid LTX offer). However, when push comes to shove, he’s got to understand he’s one throw away from blowing out his arm. Like I said above … Bauer may be a bit looney, but he is not stupid. The Dodgers on a one year/40M deal would be tempting, but I’ll be floored if he doesn’t sign a multi year offer with the team offering him the most $$$.

        1. Bauer is far from stupid. That said the ego that drives some top-tier players is not to be believed. I highly doubt, based on his behavior and comments, that Bauer views himself in anything close to a rational manner. So, unless he gets a long-term deal that is acceptable to him, he may opt for a shorter, very big dollar deal. You and I wouldn’t think it was rational for the reasons you mention, but it’s possible he might still do that.

          Honestly, if he wasn’t such a jerk (and, my goodness, he certainly appears to be), he might actually get the deal he wants. I can tell you that if I were a big league team, I might consider giving him that one year $30/35 million deal, but there’s no way in hell I give that guy a long term contract. I don’t want to be married to that player – and I suspect many GMs feel that same.

          1. The guy really gets criticized for his opinionated frankness on so many subjects.
            Then again…..he is about one of only the few, maybe the only one, who actually doles out Benjamins’ in the bushels to charity.

            Project 69 Days of Giving::…three years ago.
            “Bauer donated $420.69 to a different charity every day for 68 straight days, taking suggestions from the public as to where to give. On the 69th day, he cap off the campaign by make one final donation of $69,420.69 to a charity of his choosing”.

            Now this left MLB in a conundrum……an extremely charitable person….but his own charity is in reference to a sexual position!
            The guy would seem to be the latest in baseball eccentrics

            1. Sorry, not buying it – this guy is a clubhouse cancer.

              I remember in 2017 when he and Corey Kluber were both having great years and Bauer just kept talking about how he was clearly the best pitcher in baseball and scoffed at comparison. Why the hell would you do that to your teammate?

              He is a class A jerk. The kind of guy who you would constantly roll your eyes at if he worked for your team or organization. He has no class at all. I cannot stand him. He is the opposite of a great man like Hank Aaron.

  75. To be clear, Robertson is a last resort type for me, on a low guarantee with incentives. I still want to spend a little more, and until they sign elsewhere, I want Hand or Rosenthal or Colome, maybe Shane Greene.

    1. Hell, Yes to Robertson on a MiLB contract. I don’t think he’s going to get a MLB deal. He’s got a good relationship with Joe Girardi. He might even feel he owes the Phillies after giving the team just 6.1 IP for 23M the past two seasons.

    2. Robertson might be similar to a lot of other relievers but I would like to get him, if he is serviceable, to recoup some of the money we invested in him.

  76. Hank Aaron passed away. I think this is the 9th or 10th HOF player to die since last March… Good Lord… I know the baseball ICONS won’t live forever but so many in such a short period of time..

    BTW, in my book Hank Aaron is still the all-time HR leader…

  77. Isn’t it amazing (and kind of alarming) that we are talking about athletes earning 30 and 40 million dollars for a year’s work? James Harden turned down a two year extension from the Rockets worth $102m. I mean this is all incredible to me. I know the players are going to try to get what the market offers and most, if not all, of the owners can pay it but am I alone when it comes to this thinking?

    I can remember back in 1966 when Koufax and Drysdale were holding out for something like $125K each and the Dodgers gave the $125K to Koufax and $110K to Drysdale. I know based on today’s numbers, that was a lot of money back then but hasn’t it all gotten so crazy and out of hand that we just throw these numbers about?

    While I’m at it, allow me to add one more story. Rod Carew was holding out for a big raise from Calvin Griffith and the Twins and threatened to sit out the season if he didn’t get his number. A reporter asked Griffith if he was concerned about Carew not playing. Griffith’s answer was something like, “No, what is going to do to make what I offered, become a doctor?”.

    1. I love basketball but the prices of tickets and what goes with it is insane, I wont sit up stairs and it cost me almost five hundred to go to a game with my two sons ,,nuts

    2. Mays’ $100K contract 58 years ago…………..
      $100,000 in 1963 is worth $851,222.22 today.

      1. Romus — Joe DiMaggio was baseball’s first $100,000 man (1949). $100,000 in 1949 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1,094,428.57 today.

        Baseball salaries accelerated in a manner similar to CEOs. In the 1950s, a typical CEO made 20 times the salary of his or her average worker. Last year, CEO pay at an S&P 500 Index firm soared to an average of 361 times more than the average rank-and-file worker. (Source: Forbes, 5/18/2018)

        1. Here’s a story for you. Some 8 or 9 years ago, I was helping out the head of our Expense Dept. We were trying to allocate Bonus expenses to all the parts and pieces of the organization. We found a pretty large pool of money for the rank and file bonuses. That was 30,000 people. Then we found another pool of money labled Bonus Top Earners. We found out that this was for the top 20 executives in the company. they got allocated separately because they went to the Holding Company and then trickled down to all the entities under it. When we looked at the 2 bonus pools side by side we found them to be nearly equal. So the top 20 execs had a bonus pool that was almost equal to the other 30,000 employee pool. Interestingly, the company lost 98% of it’s stock value between 2008 and 2009 and 3 years later, we had a different 20 execs who were able to buy islands in the Caribbean. The stock price had only rebounded to 25% of it’s former glory.

      1. Amen! Hank Aaron was one the best men and ambassadors that the game has ever had. World class human being. The Hammer lives on in our hearts and minds!

        1. A little background info – I was 9 and in Little League when Aaron broke the record.

          Within a few months I owned a Hank Aaron “715” branded baseball glove. I used to joke that it was nearly identical to the glove that Aaron used to hit the record-breaking home run.

          1. that’s great- i was just short of 7 and had that same glove.

            my older brothers were really into Aaron’s pursuit of the record and i followed- remember going to the store to buy newspapers to keep the articles of the homers leading up to and including 715. It was before the days of VCR, so my oldest brother was using a tape recorder to capture the sounds of #715- he was ticked off that the family ruined it with our reactions as we watched- he’s still got that tape today, with me yelling “he did it!” and my mom yelling that one of my brothers missed it because he was in the bathroom. a great family member.

            only as i got older did i really gain an appreciation for all Hank was dealing with while breaking that record.

            1. I loved that guy – and, on top of that, we shared the same first name! Very cool for a little boy who realized that there was a pretty cool alternative to the hard-to-handle name of Henry.

    1. Indeed…a true class gentleman and eminent ambassador for baseball.

      When I see footage of that Al Downing pitch and HR over LF…….still amazes me how two fans can get on the diamond, and were on the field running with him as he rounded the bases between 2nd and third base.

      1. On the Dan Patrick show, he said they had snipers at the game as well. How those 2 buffoons didn’t get shot is just as amazing.

    2. a little history for you hinkie. it wasn’t just blacks that they targeted. many years ago the kkk stormed into the italian section of vineland (chestnut avenue). the locals had been warned and were waiting for them. they got what they deserved and barely limped home. a victory for the good guys.

      by the way, i always enjoy your posts, particularly the ones on the draft.

      1. That’s an awesome story – a little like the Hell’s Angels scene in the bar in “A Bronx Tale”.

        1. a funny coda to that story is that the next week everyone in town could tell who the kkk guys were without their hoods because they were the ones with bruises broken noses, black eyes and limps.

          1. That is a great story, Jim. About what year did that happen. I’m sure it happened before I got to town (late 80’s) after college. BTW … I now live down the street from Chestnut Ave.

            1. growing up i heard a little about it from oldsters and there was a good article many years ago in the vineland times journal describing the event.

              looking forward to the season. i believe signing realmuto(high probability) and didi (good probability), a 4-5 starter and some bull pen arms, the phils could surprise. particularly now that they have adult leadership, dombrowski and girardi versus the opposite in klentak and kapler.

              i want to continue our annual trip to spring training (every year since 2000) even though attending games and visiting the minor league complex looks doubtful. but not until we get vaccinated and the vaccine situation where i live in virginia is an incoherent mess.

              on to the season, go phils.

            2. i believe it occurred in the 1920’s but i don’t know exactly. i do remember visiting the vineland historical society as a boy, seeing a clan robe on display and having to ask what it was.

  78. Hinkie…..looks like Jays are honing in on Paxton….if you can believe Jon Heyman

    Jon Heyman
    @JonHeyman
    ·The very active Blue Jays are looking at starting pitching now and have James Paxton among others on their radar

    1. Romus … I’ve had Paxton pegged for Toronto for months. The Blue Jays need pitching, and they love to have a cou[ple Canadians on their roster.

      1. Also sounds like the BoSox are close to a deal with Garrett Richards. Paxton and Richards were two of my four arms left for the Phillies. Hope DD is in talks with Chris Archer or Carlos Rondon.

  79. I remember seeing that HR hit, and how exciting it was. He was a true class act. May he rest in peace.

    1. matt14…last month he said of all his acconmplishemts..in almost 14,000 plate appearances, one of his best he was proud of, was his low strike-out numbers…..just under 10%
      They also measured his MLB leading total bases (TB)-6856….came to 12 miles.
      And Hank was the only hitter to hit .300 or better off both Sandy Koufax and Nolan Ryan.

        1. roco…one day I will tell you about the Babe having that auto accident on Rt 1 right past, now where the WaWa Dairy Headquarters is located…he was going home to Baltimore from NY.

  80. In less than one year of time we have lost 11 MLB Hall of Famers:

    – Tony Fernandez 2/15/2020

    – Al Kaline 4/6/2020

    – Tom Seaver 8/31/2020

    – Lou Brock 9/6/2020

    – Bob Gibson 10/2/2020

    – Whitey Ford 10/8/2020

    – Joe Morgan 10/11/2020

    – Phil Niekro 12/26/2020

    – Tommy Lasorda 1/7/2021

    – Don Sutton 1/19/2020

    – Hank Aaron 1/22/2021

    Not to mention another that should be in Dick Allen.

    1. yes, truly sad to see- my brother sent me over this list of the oldest HOF’ers now.

      Born Age-1-1-21
      Mays,Willie 1931- 89
      Aparicio,Luis 1934- 86
      Koufax,Sandy 1935- 85
      Robinson.Brooks 1937- 83
      Marichal,Juan 1938- 82
      Perry,Gaylord 1938- 82
      Williams,Billy 1938- 82
      Yastrzemski,Carl 1939- 81

      1. All these guys got old, I’m glad I didn’t. Lol. Still a kid watching Juan Marichal swinging a bat at John Roseboro or Bill Lee saying “I don’t know about Astroturf, I never smoked it”. Oh the 60’s & the 70’s.

        1. Denny…I do not think that was a Bill Lee quote …I think it was Tug McGraw…also the best from him was on his first large bonus from the Mets…..”Ninety percent I’ll spend on good times, women and Irish Whiskey. The other ten percent I’ll probably waste.”

  81. To reiterate Romus’ post about the two bozos who wouldn’t let Aaron enjoy his trip around the bases by running side by side with him. With all the death threats that he was getting, how could security be so lax?

    1. I hate when TV shows the clip of these 2 knuckleheads running next to Hank. There must be much footage of him running around the bases without them, why glorify them? Also get sick when I see this clip!

  82. Looks like Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos was intrigued with Victor Arano’s potential…they claimed him.

  83. Listening to Tom Goldman on NPR this morning. He said that one time Muhammad Ali stated that the only person he idolized more than himself was Hank Aaron.

  84. If Phillies blow it with JTR, I’d expect their remaining holes to be filled with AAAA types

        1. Won’t spend free agent dollars? Or won’t trade for legit major league players? I don’t see why they would have to be AAAA players elsewhere just because they won’t spend $20M-$25M on a catcher.

  85. mark, there was talk earlier, that Dombrowski has been told that if Realmuto signs he has more leeway to fill the remaining holes, but if he goes elsewhere that money is not being spent elsewhere. So, the holes will be filled by shopping at the famous dented can aisle. That might be what Phillies84 is referencing.

    1. Even if he’s not permitted to spend the JTR money elsewhere, he can still fill the holes with good MLB players. It’s a buyer’s market.

      The only thing DD can’t get cheap on this year’s FA market is catching, but if we don’t get JTR we’re either going with in-house options or making a trade, anyways.

      1. Giving JTR a $25M AAV , under the Fangraphs ( $8M per WAR) formula would indicate the Phillies can expect at least a min. of 3WAR per year.
        IMO, I can see that for each of his next three years, after that it really can be touch and go.

  86. Pirates reportedly shopping Jameson Taillon. Wouldn’t mind DD testing the trade waters there. What would folks here offer if so inclined?

    1. I think the question should be ….what will Cherington and the Pirates want?.
      Cherington would probably like to have to start:
      A. Spencer Howard
      B. Rafael Marchan

      And the next one or maybe even two can be tricky.
      Among the following grouping of Abel, Stott, Morales, Miller or Martin would be my guess.

      1. Romus … I think you’re going to be surprised at Taillon’s price.
        You have to look at what the Pirates took for Joe Musgrove. Musgrove and Taillon each have two years of team control remaining. Taillon has a higher ceiling, but Musgrove has been more consistent and has easily been more healthy. Musgrove holds at least as much (probably more) value.
        Pittsburgh gave up Musgrove for Hudson Head (decent toolsy IF/OF prospect), Omar Cruz (LHP w/avg stuff, but good MiLB #s), Endy Rodriguez (20 YO bat first catcher who’s never played above GCL), David Bednar (non-descript, fringy reliever), Drake Fellows (non-top 30 pitching prospect).
        Based on this, the Phillies would need to offer something like: Casey Martin, Ethan Lindow, Andrick Nava, Enyel De Los Santos, and Brett Schulze for Taillon.
        Or maybe the Pirates would want to tighten up the package: Casey Martin, Bailey Falter, James MacArthur, and Andrick Nava for Taillon.

        IMO … DD would never/should never give up Spencer Howard in a Jameson Taillon deal. Howard (5 years team control) holds more value than Taillon (2 years team control).

        1. Just read Ben Cherington is looking for higher ceiling prospects, even if it means taking guys from lower levels. Would you trade Casey Martin, Cristopher Sanchez, and Starlyn Castillo for Jameson Taillon?

          1. hard to believe Taillon is 29 already- will be interesting to see what he’s got after not pitching in so long, plus changing his mechanics while rehabbing to try to reduce chance of future injury- he shows some of that on his twitter page.
            im skeptical of Martin’s ability to make contact so I’d be up for that deal.

          2. Hinkie….yes I would do that for Taillon, however just realized he has had two TJs…prospects are not as good as just having one, on a comeback.
            So Cherington may have to lower his standards for return value before spring training…..but reading some Buc blogs and most feel Cherington should wait until July and gamble Taillon comes back strong for the first half of the season and try to get more of a return for him..

            1. When I started thinking about a possible Taillon trade, I realized the Phillies could definitely supply Pittsburgh with high ceiling lower level prospects. DD could let Ben Cherrington choose one of Yhoswar Garcia or Johan Rojas, one of Starlyn Castillo/Gunner Mayer/Dominic Pipkin, and throw in Andrick Nava.

              … or … save your prospects, and just sign another (former) Pirate pitcher returning from injury: Chris Archer as a FA. Archer has the same type of ceiling as Taillon. I’d chose the latter.

  87. Skeet, I completely agree with you. I was just relaying what has been reported before. If Realmuto signs, Middleton thinks the team has a better chance to compete. So, DD can, for instance, get a real closer and maybe sign DiDi. If Realmuto leaves why spend any money in a mediocre team? Again, not my approach. I have continued to believe they should spend to the LT threshold, approx. $210M. I know there are those who think we could trade for Wilson Contreras. I am not one. The level of prospects necessary is a lot more “expensive “ than dollars for Realmuto. But, that is only my opinion. Losing Realmuto, also in my opinion, makes it pretty much not feasible to contend.

  88. With the likelihood JTR’s agent floated the “Braves are interested” in JTR rumor to try and get the Phillies to up their offer. That tells me the JTR camp is in no hurry to sign. This could easily go into ST.

  89. Taillon to the Yankees. But, I am with Hinkie. Why trade prospects, even ones that are a few years away, when just money gets us Archer or Porcello or 1 of the dozen left out there. To me, keeping Casey Martin is worth a couple of Million dollars, so the “cost” of a trade is often much less than just writing a check.

  90. I would have liked to acquire Taillon as a low risk get. I wouldn’t be comfortable giving up Martin, Rojas or Howard, and most definitely not Abel. Should Dombrowski pull the trigger on the Hader deal, enough young talent will head to Milwaukee as it is, and the need for a closer is greater than that for a #5 with some ceiling.

    1. I’ll remind everybody of the deal (I think) I threw out there a couple of weeks ago.

      Brewers get: Simon Muzziotti, Francisco Morales, and Damon Jones
      Phillies get: (3 years of) Josh Hader

      Yes or No?

      1. Are we a playoff team with Hader? I’d only give up Morales if Hader makes us a legit playoff team with a chance to win it all. We’re certainly not at that point yet.

        1. In 2020 we were a playoff team if we had a bullpen that didn’t blow half the games it did. A legitimate closer is huge for this team, not Hector “Cardiac Kid” Neris and the like.

          1. Agreed but we’re not that team right now. Sign JT, sign Didi, sign a decent SP and then I’d agree that we should trade for Hader.

  91. I don’t know too much about the Yankees prospects, but despite giving up 4, the Yanks gave up very little quality in this deal. Pittsburgh is just dumping salary and getting very little back

    1. matt13….actually very little return value, but plenty of bodies, from what I gather.
      ……..MLB. com-RHP-Miguel Yajure (15),RHP- Roansy Contreras (19), ss Maikol Escotto and OFer Canaan Smith (No. 21)
      https://www.mlb.com/prospects/yankees/

      Taillon , of course comes with a big question mark after two TJ surgeries….track record for pitchers is unfortunately not good on that.
      Also Taillon joins Cole again in a rotation.

        1. Denny….my guess:
          …Mauricio Llovera,
          …Cristopher Sanchez or Parkinson
          ….,, Brito
          ….maybe Ortiz or Duran
          Looks like the Pirates did want two pitchers in the deal.

  92. MLB COVID attendance restrictions will not be a problem for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ this year..

  93. Hand to Washington, 1 year/$10.5M. Good signing for them. We are behind every team in the Division

    1. I think someone should call for an audit of Middleton’s financial books to see if he really does have the money we think he has.

      He might be teetering on negative net worth.

    2. Any team could of had him for $10M. Terrible decisions by some teams. Good for Hand to get $10.5M.

  94. You could say finance but has a lot more to do with organizational decisions that have set back organization for foreseeable future

  95. As these signings are taking place more and more division teams are hitting the upper reaches of the penalty cap. At this rate Phillies could be in upper third of all teams if they don’t jump in. I like seeing names come off the board because there will be less competition for still some good players left !

  96. Nationals get stronger with the signing of Hand.
    Meanwhile Middleton is swimming in his vault of cash instead of spending it on ways to improve the team.

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