Open Discussion: Week of January 24th

Another slow week for the Phillies.  They signed two more international free agents, signed a local kid, and saw the Braves claim two of their DFAs off waivers.

Now that Springer has signed, the Realmuto camp is probably hoping that contract somehow establishes a higher price tag for JT.  If that were true, it would eliminate most teams, except the Phillies.  If it’s not true, and it’s probably not, Realmuto will sign with the Phillies in a couple weeks.


No change here.  I’ll keep updating until opening day or the 26-man roster is set.

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 remains at $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)


The Phillies signed two kids from Panama – OF Jorge Garcia and SS Alfredo Alderete, bringing their total of signed ingternational free agents to fifteen.

South Jersey native, Mike Adams, impressed several teams at a pro day invitational, including the Phillies, and signed a minor league contract with the Phillies.  He’s a RHP with a mid-to-upper 90s fastball, slider, and change up.

The Braves claimed OF Kyle Garlick and RHP Victor Arano after the Phillies designated them for assignment to make roster space for Archie Bradley and CJ Chatham.


This week we should hopefully hear the end of conversation about this year’s HOF voting.  I don’t know how y’all feel, but I could care less about the hall of very good it has to become to satisfy all the analytics dudes out there.  But, I have a solution that might help.

  1. The BBWAA would most certainly hate to give up or share their franchise, but a more diversified voter pool would certainly be better than the current bunch of middle-aged white guys closely guarding the vote.
  2. A player is allowed ONE YEAR on the ballot.  It should not take voters 10 years (formerly 15) to decide if a player deserves to be in the HOF.  This would also neutralize that ridiculous argumeny of some that certain players don’t deserve to be elected on the first ballot.  If a player deserves to be in the HOF, one vote should do.
  3. NO LIMIT to the number of players a voter may select on any year’s ballot.  Of course, when coupled with #2 above, ballots should only include that year’s eligible players. If 15 players are eligible and 12 are hall worthy, then 12 can get in if they receive enough votes.
  4. SIMPLE MAJORITY of votes to get in. 75% is a joke. It only takes two-thirds to override a presidential veto. Wanna lower it to only 60 or 55%, fine, but lower it.
  5. You can still set up the various committees to “correct mistakes”, but don’t allow a repeat of what happened in 2019 when Jerry Reinsdorf got Harold Baines through the veteran’s committee.

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 17, 2021 – First ST workout
  • 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 24th … 339 players in the org


Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)

1/22/2021 – Braves claimed OF Kyle Garlick off waivers from Phillies
1/22/2021 – Braves claimed RHP Victor Arano off waivers from Phillies
1/18/2021 – Phillies sign FA RHP Archie Bradley
1/18/2021 – Phillies designate RF Kyle Garlick for assignment
1/18/2021 – Red Sox traded SS C.J. Chatham to the Phillies for a Player To Be Named Later
1/18/2021 – Phillies designate RHP Victor Arano for assignment
1/18/2021 – Phillies sign FA RHP David Paulino to an MiLB contract
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA OF Yemal Flores
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 OF Raylin Heredia
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA SS Yemil Rosario
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA C Dervin Andrade
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA RHP Daniel Mejia
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA RHP Juan Melendez
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA SS Julio Hereaux
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 IFA OF Jorge Garcia
1/15/2021 – Phillies sign IFA SS Alfredo Alderete
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

589 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of January 24th

  1. The Phillies have leverage in the Realmuto talks. A 6th year club option may be offset by say, a $10M signing bonus up front. 5/$120 total guaranteed would make for a AAV of $24M. Despite Jim’s report that JTR would prefer less AAV over 7 years, the best C in baseball really has no standing in the current market. And I agree with many who think years 4-5 would see JT at other positions on the field, and fewer games behind the plate. It’ll get done. He wants to stay, and the Phillies know they have no excuse not to.

  2. My guess the JTR dance drags out to ST for which I think hurts the Phillies.. One strategy to bring the negotiations to a close is to tell JTR’s agents the offer gets pulled by a certain date. Say February 6th as an example. If JTR’s agents are still floating rumors to the media that teams X, Y and Z are interested when everyone knows X, Y and Z are not possibly interested just to put pressure on the Phillies to up their offer. Pull the offer and redirect the money for a SS and starting pitcher. Trade for a catcher and move on..

    1. Not happening, that never works if the goal is to actually sign him. We all need to stay patient. We are still the most likely destination for JT and the three SS options are all still available as well as many SPs.

      1. Yeah, I don’t see why this team would play a “it’s now or never game” with JT. From what I’ve seen of his positions in the press, he is a person with a lot of pride and I think if they do that, it will offend him to the point where he might end negotiations then and there. Agree that they need to be patient and play it out and may need to take the risk that this negotiation goes into spring training. They need to talk and keep the lines of communication open and try to get this done. They want him, they are probably the team that is willing to offer him the most money and he likes being here. If they just keep working toward the end result this should get done.

        However, if he is looking for a 7-year contract, that should not happen (they shouldn’t go more than 5 years) unless the last two years are option years (like the last Chase Utley contract). And yes, if he wants an opt-out after year 3, they should do that without hesitation since a 3-year contract for him would be optimal given his age.

      2. Teams across all the major sports leagues use timelines or signing dates as negotiation points for contracts and it has worked.

    2. A prolonged negotiation with Realmuto hurts nobody but all the impatient fans.

      Look, the Phillies aren’t sitting around twiddling their thumbs. They are negotiating with multiple players. No one wants to blink first. If a player wants to accept the Phillies’ offer, he will. Until then, the Phillies will sit pat and play the market they’ve been dealt.

    3. And, I really believe that the Phillies’ Plan B is Knapp with a veteran backup. That’s the only way that waiting out Realmuto can make sense.

  3. I assume the Nats and Rizzo did not care about the red-analytical flags surrounding Hand that evidently scared off many other teams.
    —Hand’s FB went from 93-94 velo to 91 mph in 2020.
    —Slider, the signature pitch, down now to 79.6 from 82 mph.
    —Whiff-per-swing rate dropped…approx 30% to 24.8%, his lowest as a reliever…relievers have to miss bats.
    —GB%…went from 48% down to 27%’s ..BABIP thus went up
    Still 2020 could have been an anomaly…like it was for many MLB players

  4. Even if and when JT signs I’m still puzzled as to what the Phillies think they are in 2021 and beyond. Another somewhat obvious sign occurred when the Nats picked up Hand on a 1 year deal.

    There is still a plentiful amount of players out there that would improve this team at a low cost if not in dollars then in years. Eddie Rosario can be an impact LH bat while Simmons is an impact up the middle defender.

    I guess I still trust DD knows what he is doing, knows what he has in the current roster etc. but man its getting tough to see a path to greatness.

    I really like what Cherington did in his return for Taillon 1 major league ready starter and 3 high risk high reward lottery tickets. Doesn’t matter if you have a high or low payroll team you can’t play around in the middle.

    1. DMAR….understand Simmons may have some left ankle issues that have impacted his defense at shortstop this past season..two severe sprains..one i July and another in August…..if there is no permanent damage, then he would be a good defensive option….better than Didi who really was not up to his normal defenisve self this past season.

      Rosario….he is a LFer…..poor CFer….good bat..perhaps platoon with Cutch.

    2. Agree with the love for Ben Cherington. He got a really good return for a pitcher coming off his second TJ, and who hasn’t thrown a competitive pitch in almost two full calendar years. The Phillies equivalent to what the NYY’s gave up would have been something like JoJo Romero, Victor Santos, Johan Rojas, and Alexeis Azuaje. It makes more sense for Dave Dombrowski to shop for a FA arm. Sounds like he’s most interested in an innings eater. I think Rick Porcello would be the best candidate to make all of his starts, and go deep into games. He has the track record. Between 2014 and 2019, Porcello averaged 195 IP per season.
      I get the reasoning for an innings eater (guard against an injury/innings limit for Spencer Howard), but I’d prefer Dombrowski sign someone with a higher upside (even if he comes with more health risk). I’d love James Paxton or Chris Archer or Carlos Rodon (assuming they get two thumbs up from team doctors).

      … and about JT Realmuto: It’s all over (except for the fat lady singing). The Nationals were the only team I figured had even a remote chance of making a late push for him. Brad Hand now puts them within 15M of the LT cap. For Realmuto, it’s now either take the Phillies 5Y/110-120M, or sit out the season (and he’s not taking a pass on 2021).

      1. Archer is also an innings eater, so he fits both criteria. I feel like people forget part of the reason the Bucs traded for him (in addition to pitching well, in general) is that he was coming off three straight seasons of 200+ IP.

        If he’s deemed fixable by the coaching staff, then there’s no reason to think he can’t go back to being that guy. Paxton is my choice, personally, but I get that the injury risk is significant. But my real hope is that he gives us 100+ IP and Spencer fills in the rest. But that also leaves us at the mercy of both Spencer taking a step forward (or Paxton remaining healthy) AND VV being a passable SP. So maybe Porcello AND Paxton?

        1. DanK….Archer should be healthy enough to start throwing from his TOS surgery by now….surgery was in June
          How well he pitches remains to be seen…there are no guarantees
          Some struggle coming back….Matt Harvey, Ross, to name two.

    1. DMAR…….one easy reference….is the baseball Reference page of a player.
      They make it rather simple……the bold and italic categories that a player led his respective league (NL or AL) or all MLB…..that is a sign of dominance.
      As you can see picking out any player…and count the bolded and italic …most HoF are arrowing upwards above 20/25 count arena.
      Just look at Trout already….28…I do not count strikeouts (his in 2014) as a positive for a positional player.

      https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/troutmi01.shtml

      Then you look at Harold Baines…one 1983 SLG…sure longevity but…..
      :
      https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/baineha01.shtml

  5. Didi adds a lefthanded bat to the lineup, and he gave us a very good season. I believe he is significantly better at SS than Segura, and while not Simmons defensively, he is much better offensively. That does not take into consideration the money part, just the comparisons between the players. And, DMAR, I don’t believe there is a path to greatness. I think the hope is a plan to good. That is not sarcasm. Even if Realmuto signs, we still need a SS, a platoon partner for LF, another SP, and 2 more BP arms. One of whom should be a legitimate Closer.

    1. Seems to me Didi might get a 2 year deal where as Simmons and Rosario might be more likely to settle for 1 or 2 year deals at a much lower cost in AAV than Didi

      So that is the route I would lean towards. Rosario is the same LH production as Didi maybe a little better and while Simmons isn’t much of an offensive player he’s still half decent.

    2. .

      I would ignore the mention of Andrelton Simmons, but pay attention to the fact that DD wants to only hand out a one year deal to a SS. Why? Because IMO this is an early indication that Dombrowski may want to go fishing in next winter’s historic SS FA pond. I don’t believe Lindor will make it to the open market, and I think it’s likely the LAD’s extend Seager this season. However, Trevor Story, Carlos Correa, and Javy Baez are good bets to be available.
      I guess it’s also possible they think Bryson Stott can play SS in 2022, but I think they realize Stott is more likely a 2Bman or 3Bman.

  6. Jim, I appreciate all that you do, the effort, time and information; and I do agree with all but one item in your HOF analysis. It is about the old white guy statement, I know we want to keep this a “clean” site, but that is something that I am so hot about. I don’t have to say that I am not a racist, I live my life as not white or black, but we don’t need these statements. I think the HOF looks very colorblind, since 2009 (only as far as I did my research), the players inducted into the HOF have been about 50/50 white and of-color, leaving out the non-players or players before the integration. Also look at the players that have passed in the past year about 50/50. We mention Harold Baines as very good but got into the HOF, he is of-color. I’m sorry this is my biggest hot button, so I’m done for now. Thanks for listening.

    1. I think you focused way too much on the color instead of the sentiment; the voters are homogeneous. Their views are extremely likely to be aligned, and when it comes to debates you can’t have everyone with the same opinion. You need people with different points of view. Or else you get a room full of people who think Dick Allen isn’t a HoF player because of his interactions with the media, but Bill Mazeroski is a HoF for… reasons…

      1. I agree but lets not get too far with the homogeneous and diversity; if we want to make it fair in life then 18% of the voters should be Hispanic, 11% black and so on. But, let’s be like MLK Jr was striving for in our make up and our selections; it will be the character not the color of the skin that will be the main determinant in life.

        1. Again, you’re way too focused on the color of the skin here man. Also, your numbers are assuming baseball only exists in the US, which is unbelievably inaccurate. Even if we just took the MLB players, over 31% are Hispanic. But that also ignores the fact that Japan, Korea, Mexico, Cuba, and others have professional leagues. Now I’m not arguing that MLB isn’t the premier league. But there are a TON of qualified baseball people around the world who would bring valuable perspectives to the discussions of HoF players. Trying to mirror the US population chart (many of whom don’t even care about the sport) is disingenuous at best.

          And back to the main point; open up the voting to more people that are qualified. It’s currently an old boy’s club. THAT is the problem. No one cares what the color of their skin is, but dipping into the same pool of people over and over and over is silly. Our understanding of the game has changed drastically over the past couple of decades, and yet the people who vote on the highest honor in the sport change at a snail’s pace.

          1. DanK…..”open up the voting to more people that are qualified.”…..why not members of the Hall already, (currently 72 now are living), along with the 400 Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BWAA) writers…..and also each baseballs team’s current manager with one vote.
            But no fans.

          2. I guess I am just very sensitive to the white man stigma. I am open to having the voting board commensurate with the needs of the game but just let’s get off the color lines. Would everyone tell me not to be upset if I were a black or Hispanic and someone made a comment concerning my race. From now I would all races to leave out speaking about their own color and others. Let’s go colorblind from a guy whose father is Spanish and mother is Italian.

          3. Dan K….”open up the voting to more people that are qualified. ”
            …agree:…to the 400 writers of the BBWAA add
            A. …the Hall of Fame players/managers …currently 72
            B…..each team’s current manager.

    2. Denny…one issue that MLB is trying to focus in on…..is the decline in the numbers of Afro-American ballplayers….not the Latin blacks, but American blacks.
      Now seated around 7/8%….has declined over the decades.
      Probably at its lowest since the 70s.
      …..three teams – the Diamondbacks, Royals and Rays – that didn’t have a single Black player on their opening-day roster. And 14 of the 30 teams have two or fewer.
      The Mariners are an exception…they had 10 in 2020.
      In 1981, 19% were African Americans….by 2017, only 7%, however, the number of Latino players began to rise…ny the early 90s Latinos surpassed the American black….and by 2017…..they comprised 27% of the league.

      Bottom line…there will be fewer HoF black selections as time goes by now.

    3. Denny, you focused on my statement, then threw a whole lot of numbers that did nothing to disprove my statement. Most HOF voters are exactly what I said they are, plus they almost never played professional baseball.

      1. Listen, this whole cancel culture and racial accusations in society right now has everyone on edge. I took the “old white guy” statement to heart, even tho I am part Hispanic I still take this as a racial slur towards my declared race/color. Make sure that everyone out there thinks before they include any statements on any covered groups. I also don’t appreciate the other accusations in the latest response, because sitting in my seat I feel that I have been talking to a racist, which I know I’m not, but sure sounds it. Everyone think before they write for all peoples sake.

        1. As a hopefully continually evolving white male of privilege, the past many years have pained me greatly as I’ve learned so much about the struggles of others that I was so fortunate not to be subjected to due to the color of my skin but yet so ignorant to. I’m truly sorry that you’ve been so inconvenienced by “cancel culture”, but I’m more concerned with how many human beings have been truly impacted negatively by others just because they are different. I am sorry that you and so many others are on edge due to racial accusations in society, as you say, but I think many of us understand why it is important to address these issues for our greater society.

          1. BB you know nothing of my foster families, my 12 siblings, my poor adopted family of a steelworker and lunch lady then married into a family that lived in center city to a single mom that only had coal heat. On and on. Don’t generalize.

            But no more, let’s forget it and back to baseball.

  7. I know that the best sign of impending activity is hearing from the local guys, and Jim Salisbury is probably the best. He says that the Phils are about to get aggressive. He mentions that we seem to have pivoted to Simmons as a SS, and we still want a SP and BP help. So, maybe this week sees some activity?

      1. The less buzz, the better. If some other team were hot on his trail I think we would know.

  8. The headline switched from “Phillies ready to be aggressive” to “Are Phillies ready to make some noise?” Now, I am not in the media business, but I do know the Editor does the headlines and sometimes they are not exactly what is in the story, But Salisbury seems to be optimistic about JTR and the possible additional acquisitions. I think the first headline was a bit more optimistic.

  9. The MLBPA and the League failed, again, to agree on a Universal DH. The owners wanted expanded Playoffs, ST testing of an automated Strike Zone, something along the lines of a Pitch Clock, and something else. And, they were going to throw in a positive ruling on 2 players’ clock starting grievances. I am not by any means a Labor lawyer, but it seems the Owners want an awful lot for very little. I don’t even know how much the Union cares about the DH. It makes the upcoming CBA talks seem like they will take a very long time. I don’t see much of any ground in the middle between the 2 sides.

    1. matt13 …..owners will always push the envelope…once MLBPA rejected the ‘hard cap’ proposal many CBAs ago, a cap similar to the NFL/NBA/NHL, the owners then decided they will avoid bending in the future.

    2. Matt, essentially, the owners are saying “we’ll give something we want if you give us something we want”.

      This is all about playoff money from an extra round. The CBA will be about same.

      Follow @EugeneFreedman on Twitter. He’s a labor lawyer (for the air traffic controllers) who writes and tweets about baseball labor law.

  10. Saw one writer post a trade proposal: Lance McCullers Jr for Hoskins plus one of Moniak, Ortiz or Muzziotti. Bear in mind that McCullers (probably a #3 in Phillies rotation) is a free agent after 2021. Takers?

  11. Here is why I am a no. I am a Rhys Hoskins believer, and before I move him, I give him every opportunity to succeed. I still believe that going forward, our best team would have Hoskins at 1B and Bohm at 3B. I may be wrong on both counts, but I am not off of that plan yet.

  12. Why take one year of McCullers and give up two good pieces? If they want a one year pitcher, go with Archer, Rodon, etc, etc.

  13. I’m not sure why some of you throw out needing a LF platoon and Rosario’s name. In fact, the Phils will not platoon Cutch in LF. We will not have a NL DH so Cutch will play LF as the starter. He will sit once a week if he stays healthy but not more. His pride would be deeply effected if he didn’t play. Rosario is used to starting himself and won’t take a 4th OF job anywhere unless no starting jobs exist. I expect Haseley, Quinn, and Kingery to remain as our CF, 4th OF and bench utility guy like last year. We won’t have the money to sign a CF since it appears JT could be back and a SS, a SP, and another top RP could all be signed. There will be one bench spot left for someone who can play 1b and hopefully elsewhere. Bruce is a possibility I suppose if he can’t get an AL DH job. Gosselin could be a fall back but I’d like to put a power bat on the bench if we can.

    1. I’m not sure why we’d specifically need a bench piece for 1B. Give Bryce or JT a “day off” there when Rhys needs a break. They hate being out of the lineup, and it still lets them rest their legs/knees respectively. Plus any utility fielder can play 1B.

      But if you’re after power, specifically, the pickings will be fairly slim (relative to a lot of the market). We could give Jake Lamb a shot. Marwin Gonzalez has moderate power, but more positional flexibility. Schoop could be an interesting option. Maybe a flyer on Danny Santana? Or, if you’re really feeling adventurous, Puig?

      1. As DMAR suggested…if its power, then LHB Eddie Rosario fills the bill for that.
        He has played the infield in over 200 pro games in the past….2B….and can probably handle 1B.
        He may take a one year pillow deal just to keep current….still fairly yuong at 29…..plus can play both corners…..and if the DH issues gest resolved all the more better.

  14. Andrelton Simmons is a complete stiff. Hopefully we don’t sign that minor leauge bat. JTR. The love affair continues. And its because we traded sixto for him its the only thing I can think of. Again, why the bending over backwards for him instead of Springer or Bauer? Why him specifically. Do agree on archer Paxton and them. Prefer higher upside since we have 2 legit pitches (eflin is at best average)

    1. PR…last season Eflin was the 24th best pitcher…fWAR… in the majors.

      And his bWAR was the 4th best on the Phillies last season….behind Wheeler, Nola and Harper…and a tick ahead of Segura and JTR.

      I want to see how he will do with 30 starts vs the 10 starts of 2020.

      1. I’ve always been an Eflin fan and think theres more in him that we havent seen yet. Look for him to take an even bigger step forward this year.

    2. I would love Didi. He is good in the field, line drive hitter that makes contact and is a great team player. He would lead us.

  15. Hopefully his age 30 season will be the year the GREAT JT gets 90 RBI in a year! Maybe eclipses 25 HR for the first time in his career!

    1. Did JTR steal your high school sweetheart?

      We want him because he’s the undisputed best catcher in baseball. He produces on offense and defense; and exceptionally well, at that. And despite your constant claims otherwise, he’s not just a good hitter for his position; he’s a good hitter among all players. He had a 123 OPS+ last year. If you’re unfamiliar with the stat, it means he was roughly 23% above the league average. If you’re not a believer in that, wRC+ puts him at 125, so 25% better. Is this starting to paint a picture? He’s significantly above average as a hitter. And that’s not even getting into his position or his defensive prowess.

      Oh, and our pitchers like him. Which is a pretty good thing to have in a catcher.

      So sure, we’ll take Bauer. But he’d be an excess luxury because we already have what projects to be a good starting rotation (could use more depth, but the 1-2-3 is excellent, and we have upside after them). Catcher is a need. If we don’t sign JT, we need to get someone else, probably to be Knapp’s backup. So if we need a catcher anyways… why not get the best one in baseball? Especially if he’s already got ties to our organization? That would make sense, don’t you think?

      In summation, you are entitled to your opinions. But if your opinion is that JTR isn’t good, your opinion is objectively wrong. If you think money could be spent better elsewhere, feel free to make suggestions. But if it requires you to bad mouth an exceptional player, your points are not good enough to merit serious consideration.

      Normally I’d just ignore you, but you’ve consistently made the same poor arguments over and over, so apparently you won’t stop until you get some attention. So here you go.

  16. You are certainly entitled to not like Realmuto, Ricky. I want him on the team because I consider him to be the best C in the league, offensively and defensively. It is not because we traded Sixto to get him. He makes the Pitching Staff better, and there is not a replacement for him that is not a major downgrade. Springer is already elsewhere, but the team, I would wager, never even had a conversation with his Agent. CFs are available every year, and they want to give Quinn and Haseley and Kingery a shot. I take Realmuto over Springer every day. Realmuto and anyone in CF beats Springer in CF and anyone at C, IMO. Bauer, well, I try to keep my hopes at least somehow grounded in reality, so I never believed he was ever a consideration for the Phillies. Would I like him?, sure, but never thought he was a possibility. I take Freddy Galvis over Simmons on a 1 year deal, but I still want Didi. And, I think you underestimate Eflin. I think he is better than average. Now, if he was our #4, and we added a guy to slot ahead of him, well great. But, I don’t see that happening either.

    1. When you sit down in your easy chair and the Phillies have the bases loaded, you get excite and here comes Andrew Knapp, Freddie Galvis and the pitcher spot, ugh. So think how much better if would feel thinking about JT, Didi and the DH coming up.

  17. I like Phuture Phillies because the posters treat each other and the players with respect. A few guys were overly hard on Moniak awhile back and were told to cool it and they did. Andrelton Simmons is not a stiff. He is a good, solid major leaguer with excellent defensive skills so Pretty R, please show him and us some respect.

  18. I’m not overly interested in the HoF other then I pray Curt Schilling doesn’t make it. While he did some incredible things in multiple October’s, he was mostly underwhelming and oft-injured during the regular season. Additionally, he was a LOUSY teammate that everyone from Randy Johnson to Mitch Williams to Dutch Daulton to John Kruk, could not stand. The ketchup sock doesn’t help either.

    His post-baseball schtick is also highly disappointing. What he did in Rhode Island is an absolute disgrace and his truly hurtful and disturbing rhetoric for the past ~5 years should warrant immediate removal from the Phillies Wall of Fame if they care at all about their broader, diverse fan base and current and future employees. And before anyone calls it politics, his comments are not an issue of politics, they are issues of human decency or lack thereof towards our fellow man and woman.

    1. Ugh – Schilling is such a tough topic.

      He was difficult during his career to say the least and post-career he has been downright frightening and he cost Rhode Island like $75 million (paid back a small fraction) and it somehow gets worse from there. If it’s a character test – most likely he’s disqualified.

      But the pitcher was superb. Schilling pitched to a 80.5 bWAR during the regular season – which should qualify him by itself (essentially all non-tainted players who reach 80 WAR get in – check it out for yourself) and then was an elite and memorable postseason performer over a long span of time. Take away the insanity of what he has done as a person and he clearly gets in. He was a great player during the regular season and a greater player in the postseason. On the merits of his playing record alone his admission would be a no brainer. But the other significant non-baseball stuff may knock him out.

      1. Schilling has no shot at the hall of fame in 2021. Had he played in 1921, when Cobb and Ruth were living dubious lives off the field, and occasionally in the ball park, his chances would have fared much better. I don’t hear much campaigning to expunge their placement in the Hall. Yet.

      2. This is why I hate HOF discussion. The baseball HOF is full of characters who were just bad dudes. Omar Vizquel for instance is he HOF worthy just based on his career. I have no idea but its recently surfaced that he had domestic abuse issues.

        I guess it fills air time but for me its just silly banter.

        The HOF is a museum just put them in and tell the story the whole ugly story if necessary.

        1. That’s the NFL’s approach. If you look at the Hall primarily as a museum of baseball history, it’s easier to adopt that view.

    2. I get it. You don’t like the things he says. I probably wouldn’t like him either if I knew him personally. But we’ve had quite enough cancel culture already, along with stones being thrown by people living in glass houses.

      1. I think of cancel culture when a good person says or does something bad that is out of character and all the good is ignored. That is not the situation with Curt Schilling – he is an angry, hostile, mean, selfish person who has consistently acted that way throughout. So to me it’s not a cancel culture, he’s an awful human being.

      2. Oddly enough, I met him in person once – for a “back room” autograph signing prior to an ALS charity event – where he signed a ton of stuff for my son and was absolutely as nice as could be. I still appreciate what he did that day (it was a long time ago – when he was with the D-Backs) so I have a lot of mixed feelings.

        1. Brian Kenney did his show from the HOF last night. There was an interesting segment where he and the head curator were in Aaron’s room talking about the letters on the wall.

          The Hall wanted to know if Hank would give them some of the hate mail he received. He agreed on one condition that it also include the pieces of positive mail he received, which Hank said far outweighed the amount of disgusting crap and death threats he got.

          I thought that was very noble.

    3. I prefer not to talk about the HOF vote. But Curt Schilling. Hmm. I was willing to overlook his after baseball stuff, probably because I wasn’t aware of most of it.

      But, he recently came out in support of sedition. Hang him next to his plaque.

      1. Wow! How the pendulum swings. I remember as a young man when only staunch conservative stuffed shirts were perceived by liberals as the judges of human character and the arbiters of their sentence. Now? Who needs due process? We have the courts of public opinion and Big Tech censors to keep the dissenters silent. Covid-1984 is alive and well.

        1. Are we really pretending people who have been banned off of Twitter or Facebook or wherever are silenced? Because they’re generally the loudest people I’ve ever met anywhere. And I’ve literally been to every MLB stadium.

          I see a lot of people referencing 1984, but so far none of them have really grasped the point of the book. So it rings hollow every time. A hint: a private company enforcing their own rules ON THEIR WEBSITE is not the same thing as a government jailing and/or killing people who THINK about protesting. You don’t have to like how they’re handling it, but it is THEIR PROPERTY to do with as they see fit. If you disagree, go elsewhere. Despite what people say, they are not the only social media out there. There’s also nothing to prevent you from starting your own. Just be aware; you, like them, are RESPONSIBLE for what is shared on your site. So you are culpable for any damage your userbase causes. Good luck.

          Oh, also due process has never been necessary in the court of public opinion. Lynchings are a thing that happened. Often. There was no due process there. The treatment of minorities, women, homosexuals/bisexuals, etc. have rarely entered the scope of court proceedings. But now that it’s swung the other way, it’s more of a problem? Ridiculous. You just perceive it as potentially affecting you now, so now you care.

          Finally, your rights aren’t being infringed. It was never a right for the general public to like or agree with you. You are still free to protest, or write, or say whatever you want. You will face consequences for your actions, whether good or bad. And that’s what people never seem to understand about freedom of speech: it is NOT freedom of consequences. You are ALLOWED to say you will kill the president. But that doesn’t mean you are exempt from being arrested for it. You are ALLOWED to say racist, homophobic, sexist, or otherwise derogatory things. But that doesn’t mean you are exempt from people calling you out and determining you are a bad person.

          And just so we’re clear, if Jim deletes this comment, that’s fine. This is HIS platform that we use. If he deems it inappropriate or out of place, that is his prerogative. The same goes with any and all other comments made on this site.

          Thanks for putting up with us, Jim.

          1. Thanks for the civics lesson. Funny how you and I actually agree on most points you make. However, to assume that the terms you use are agreed upon by all concerned is presumptuous. Also, I haven’t seen such vitriolic hostility as I have from people I know personally who drink the koolaid of progressives, let alone those on socialist media. But NO I am NOT ALLOWED to say whatever I want when the goal posts of reason are moved by those with the power to do so…and corporate America is in lock step, including pro sports, for fear of losing their gainful profits. It’s ALL about money and control, my friend. It’s very little about social reform.

            1. The Progressives have been changing America for years and if the last Administration would not have been such a “speedbump” in their process they would have been satisfied with their progression. The past 4-years scared them and now they scrapped their drip-drip-drip changes to full pour because they are nervous that it might not happen.

            2. And I’ve seen many, MANY more toxic conservatives than liberals/progressives. But both of those points (yours and mine) are just anecdotal. They don’t necessarily mean anything, statistically. It’s in fact, much more likely that you’re just biased by the people who surround you. Of course people who agree with you aren’t going to stand out as hostile; they agree with you. The important thing is to consider if the people who ARE hostile to you represent the entire base you claim they do. And it’s also extremely important to remember that just because the people around you treat YOU well, that doesn’t mean they treat others the same way. “Evil” people aren’t generally seen as evil by the ones closest to them. Bundy’s mother called him to tell him she loved him on the day he received his death penalty. I believe she even told him, “you’ll always be my sweet baby boy” (I can find the exact quote if you’d like). Her perception of him was not of a killer, but that doesn’t change the fact that he kidnapped, raped, and murdered upwards of 30 people. And no, I am not equating conservatives with Ted Bundy. I think, in general, conservatives are good people who agree with me on most topics outside of a couple. A lot of people in my family are conservative, and I still have no problem seeing them and talking with them. But it does demonstrate the point; the people we know don’t necessarily treat everyone with the respect they treat us with. So which base is more “vitriolic”? I couldn’t tell you. But those hateful people aren’t the ones representing the majority, anyways. So its unimportant to the discussion at hand.

              Yes, you absolutely are allowed to say whatever you want. The only person stopping you from doing so is YOU. The reason you DON’T say whatever you want is because you fear the consequences. Which is exactly what I was saying before. It’s up to you to determine if what you have to say is important enough to face those consequences. Sometimes it will be. Kaepernick, love him or hate him (I personally don’t like him as a person, for what it’s worth), is still paying for what he said and did. He deemed the consequences acceptable for the message. Are we ignoring that he doesn’t quite fit your narrative? Despite all the backpedaling the NFL has done in the media since then, the man is still out of a job. Just because he’s not a conservative, him being “cancelled” doesn’t count? And he also demonstrates another point beautifully: just because his original platform was taken away, doesn’t mean he still can’t speak freely. He can’t kneel before NFL games anymore, but he can still get his message out there. Freedom of speech never included a platform upon which to speak. Trump got banned from Twitter, but he could have/can call a press conference whenever he wants to say his peace. So why didn’t he? And any average person who gets banned from Twitter is still free to march and protest out in public. Why don’t they? Why doesn’t that count as free speech. Because they don’t have a captive audience? You aren’t entitled to that. You can say whatever you want, but the rest of us aren’t required to listen.

            3. Well said, Dan K. I can’t argue those points. I just don’t see the narrative the same as you. There’s much more underlying these issues than free speech.

          2. 100 percent agree. Being called out on unpopular opinions does not equate to totalitarianism.

            1. Called out? If all this is was about being called out, I’ve no problem. If I say something offensive to someone, they have the legal right to sue me or simply call me a fool. This is about marginalizing, ignoring or shutting down the platforms of free speech…except the speech which aligns with the powers that be. That leads to totalitarianism.

              Thanks, Jim, for the opportunity to speak about important things. While we may disagree, what point is there in sharing differing views if all are in synch, ideologically.

              In any case, God bless all here with freedoms which were fought, bled, and died for.

            2. Agree. We should all be able to speak our thoughts and have dialogue with those that we agree with and with those that don’t agree. We should all do this with civility and respect for others’ ideas without threats.

            3. The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.” 2 Corinthians 13:8

              Only those who fear the truth are inclined to hide or suppress it. Otherwise, what is there to censure?

  19. Both Moderna and Pfizer acknowledged recently that their vaccines might require alterations and boosters to deal with the new variants of the COVID virus. Apparently, the virus is mutating and adapting more quickly than virologists thought it would. It makes me wonder to what degree will fans be in the stands this year. Club owners must be thinking the same.

    The last two mornings I caught a couple of innings of the Adelaide Giants games live on YouTube. I enjoyed (but was extremely envious of) watching baseball with fans in the seats. Of course, that is possible since Australia is averaging about seven new COVID cases per day!

    If you are interested, you can buy tickets to the Perth Heat game on the 27th in the first row directly behind home plate for 25 aussie dollars (about $19 US). Of course, you have to factor in about $2,000 for round trip airline tickets.

  20. Pretty Ricky. Your rhetoric is more suited in discussion groups on other sites. I think you would be happier on one of them. If you want to enjoy the privilege of commenting here, make intelligent statements and be able to support them with facts, especially when you are presenting a less popular opinion.

    1. Jim i really respect what you do , the hard work on this site, But if you want Intelligent Statement with facts, I am in trouble,

      1. It’s okay, we all agree to a Rocco amendment where if you’re pretty and/or funny, you’re exempt. Stay gold, Ponyboy.

    1. Career slashes:
      SImmons…..269/.317/.379
      Didi…………..265/.315/.433
      Galvis………..247/.291/.385

      …Phillies middle infield defense last season….horrific…negative DRS…only Segura was serviceable…and only at second. Simmons four GGs. Defense and bullpen have to be priorities.

      1. I’m starting to lean Phillies84 way that it is going to be Didi back on a 1-2 year deal…

        I haven’t changed my mind though that Simmons + Rosario makes the team better.

        1. Agree……especially on a bat like Rosario….but will he take a one year deal is the question?
          Also the same applies to Simmons, and Didi…they both need more than a year with next off-season shortstop saturated market.
          That is probably the hang up right now with both of them ….they would finish behind Story, Correa, et al next season.

          1. It’s about the AAV right. If Brantley got what 2/$32 and these players are not of his ilk Didi and Simmons could be looking at what 2-$24

            Rosario in line with Grossman a little better possibly so 2-$16 and Cutch comes off the books next season.

            With whatever JT gets that is really pushing up against the tax right so we’re probably just ending up with a SS

            1. Not sure what the limit will be…$210M as the CBT has been set….or the Phillies own limit, which could be $180M or maybe less.
              Just another factor to think about.

      2. Romus I like your take as usual – however, I do think phillies84 is right – I agree with him that the Simmons talk was a smokescreen and a way of telling Didi to get the pen out, “already.”

  21. The MLB and MLBPA couldn’t come to an agreement over the DH in the NL and expanded playoffs. I know the expanded playoffs added a March madness level of excitement that MLB dearly needs. Yet in 2021 it’s not going to happen. One side thought they were getting to little in return… The other though the additional revenue was worth it.. One side thought why renegotiate before the CBA has expired… Blah, blah blah… My question; did either party consider what’s best for the fans and the game? The answer is a resounding no..

    1. The irony…the rank and file, the players want expanded play-offs…..they want the added team or two in the play-offs, and the additional opportunity for that ring……but they have to tow the MLBPA line.

      1. What time is Romus bar mitzvah Saturday,”? I dont want to miss it, Will there be dancing girls and Pie?

    2. Hawkye this is an excellent point I was thinking to myself watching the MLB Network last night.

      The fan is never represented and seemingly always taken for granted by both parties.

    3. Actually, there was no need to come to an agreement on the DH and expanded playoffs. Both are already defined in the current CBA on which both parties agreed in 2017.

      One party is permitted to suggest a change or addendum to the CBA, but the other party is not required to a) negotiate or b} agree.

      The issue here is money. When a new CBA is negotiated, the universal DH (which both sides want) will be agreed upon. Playoff expansion will be a hot topic, maybe the hottest topic.

      The current CBA stipulates how playoff revenue is divided. The players get a portion of the gate with a guaranteed minimum. The owners get ALL of the TV revenue.

      I think this will be one of the more contentious topics during negotiations.

            1. One thing I hate seeing is “Braves and Realmuto” have mutual interest. Even if just a smoke screen….still makes my blood boil haha

    1. Semien is a fascinating risk. Two years ago he was one of the best players in baseball, including fabulous defense and grade A power hitting, but last year and other years he was below league average with the bat. If I can sign him for 2 years and $25 m or one year and $14-15 m, I might do it. If you get 2019 Semien, you’re getting something pretty close to a superstar. If you get the “normal” version, he’s still probably a 3-4 WAR player and definitely worth the cost. If you’re looking for ways this team could find ways to improve enough to compete for a playoff spot, this is one way.

        1. Perhaps not, but if they could get him down to $10-12 m on a one-year deal that would be very enticing.

          1. The three of them…Didi, Andrelton and Semien… may take pillow, lower AAV- two -year deals and come out in 2023 without a lot of shortstop competition on the free agent market…assuming Correa and Story get long term contracts….plus Lindor and Seager.re-sign with their current teams.

  22. There is news that Arizona wants MLB to delay the start of ST. I haven’t been certain it would start on time, and this seems to be something they will need to address. I don’t believe that half the league can start on time, in Florida, while the other half is delayed. I am not sure about that, but wouldn’t 2-3 weeks, or more, of ST give an advantage to the Florida teams? And, a delayed ST means even further delays in FA signings.

    1. The Cactus League group that sent that letter to MLB is a tourist group. They have no say about CL schedules in a state that is open to all other businesses and sports. Their fear is that ST starts on time in a bubble with no or limited fans.

  23. I have tried not to engage in the political debate, but, mark, I am not sure what truth you think is being suppressed. The former President of the United States lied to his base in an attempt to overthrow an election that was fairly held, and went against him. He was banned from Twitter because he continued to lie, and enflame an insurrection against the United States, for the sole purpose of his own power. People died, the Capitol was ransacked, and right in the middle were Trump supporters who are White Supremacists, neo- Nazis and racists. Those same people he continued not to disavow throughout his Presidency. Why? Because they are part of his base. This is not a Democratic vs Republican argument. There are plenty of Republicans equally as disgusted by what he did. I am not a Socialist, and believe those that caused violence and destruction in the name of Black Lives Matter are as criminal as the insurrectionists at the Capitol.

    1. Matt, I’ll end my participation in the political thread this morning by saying only this…you apparently followed the CNN-MSNBC-WAPO-NYT-Facebook-Twitter et al feed of the events of the past 11 months….anti-Trump outlets all. I won’t be sold the obvious bill of goods they propagate. It’s shameful, willful ignorance of what so many disenfranchised American citizens are now facing.

      Nonetheless, I wish you well.

      1. CNN and MSNBC, who can watch that garbage. At least Fox News doesn’t act like they aren’t right leaning. The former aren’t news channels, they are channels for activist.

        1. Exactly! I’ve heard CNN and MSNBC are “Fake News”, while Fox News is “fair and balanced”. Correct??? 🙂

          1. I wasn’t saying Fox News was fair and balanced, I was implying the exact opposite but they don’t act like they are down the middle. CNN and MSNBC poses as being down the middle when they aren’t.

        2. Mainstream media is, and has been for oh so long, merely an extension of corporate America. Objectivity in reporting news, especially politics, has absolutely nothing to do with their business model. It’s all about catering to a market, conservative or liberal. If only the pretensious self important talking heads would admit it, but then their “credibility” would be tainted.

    2. Matt, tone it back a notch and go into the wayback machine to view the last four years of lies and violence by your peaceful truthful party.

      1. OMG! … you guys live in an alternate universe. I hope someday you’ll re-recognize truth from conspiracies, and take a hard look at the guy/outlets/groups you have become cult members of.

        Look … the reality of the situation is nothing anyone here posts is going to change your opinions … and vise versa. So, I’m going to try to stay focused on baseball. God bless you all.

    3. I’m not a socialist either. I love the idea of free markets but there is an inherent flaw in capitalism which is monopolies.

      Monopolies left unchecked produce oligarchs

      Teddy Roosevelt feared this at the turn of the century. JP Morgan sought to take him out of play so they bought McKinley and told him to make Teddy VP basically rendering him powerless.

      They didn’t envision McKinley getting assassinated. He once said “My action on labor should always be considered in connection with my action as regards capital, and both are reducible to my favorite formula—a square deal for every man.”

    4. I would encourage everyone to watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix. It’s a non-partisan view of how the tech companies are manipulating all of us for clicks and driving us all to our different corners and encouraged to hate each other, because hate = ratings. Every movie needs a villain right?

      This board is a great example. When an idiot like me brings up Curt Schilling, we’re suddenly disagreeing very passionately, focusing on our differences. When we focus on our similarities, in this case our twisted dedication to this mostly frustrating baseball franchise, we all get along and have very good, civil debate about the game of baseball.

      The biggest problem our nation has right now is that we focus more on our differences and less on our similarities. We are fighting the wrong battles at this point in our history. The common enemies we should all be worried about are in no particular order – long term global health, climate change, and social media reform that places importance on truth and civility. Secondarily, we should worry about countries like China and Russia, that may not be so fond of us. As much as Fox News and MSNBC and the Facebook algorithms want the left to hate the right and vice versa, the truth is we are all Americans and human beings that have far more in common and are far better then what we’ve displayed recently as a society.

  24. rocco, your favorite, Cesar, has re-signed with Cleveland. A 1 year deal with a team option. He had a pretty good year for them. Does anyone know anything about our newest signing Bryan Mitchell, besides his familiarity with Joe G, and that he is a ground ball Pitcher? Is he a potential LHV arm? i did not read there was a ST invite along with the minor league deal?

  25. Read where the Mets have made a serious bid to Bauer with an AAV that approaches Cole’s but not the length. I’m not a Bauer fan but respect he has serious arm talent. I’m here for the entertainment value if they do get him.

    1. DMAR……if it is entertainment you want , you will get it from him.
      Bauer did describe himself at one time as a “socially liberal free-market capitalist”. So ,he covers all the bases it looks like. I kust want to see if he can throw the ball out of Citi Field from the mound.

  26. Curt Schilling is a HOF. I don’t care what he has said or what his beliefs are. No evidence he used steroids or cheated in any way on the baseball field. The HOF shouldn’t be a PC contest.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. Base this purely on the numbers unless there is cheating. No way Curt should be excused.

  27. Matt Winks reports that it appears Henri Lartigue has been let go by Reading.⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️All baseball from this point on, Hinkie😁

  28. It has begun. The releases I predicted are finally being announced.

    LHP Hunter Milam retired.

    DSL Phillies White released RHP Alexis Herrera
    GCL Phillies West released 3B Luis Rojas
    GCL Phillies East released SS Jose Mercado
    GCL Phillies West released 2B Jose Rivera
    GCL Phillies West released C Kevin Escalante
    GCL Phillies West released RHP Lizardo Herrera
    GCL Phillies East released 3B Jevi Hernandez
    GCL Phillies West released LHP Austin Crowson
    GCL Phillies East released RF Luis Matos
    Williamsport Crosscutters released RHP Jake Kinney
    Jersey Shore BlueClaws released OF Tucker Maxwell
    Jersey Shore BlueClaws released CF Yerwin Trejo
    Shore BlueClaws released C Jesse Wilkening
    Jersey Shore BlueClaws released RHP Seth McGarry
    Reading Fightin Phils released C Henri Lartigue

    1. Thanks Jim. No surprises but it’s a tough end for most of these guys. Every team is doing it too.

  29. I’m very surprised that we haven’t signed a SS yet. That tells me that we have very low one year offers out there and the three big names are all hoping someone offers more. The Reds and As are the two other teams most commonly mentioned as also wanting one of the three and both of them are also probably offering similar low numbers. Will some team offer more or a 2nd year?

  30. I know the consensus [and I understand it] is that most would like Didi back and for obvious reasons. His left handed bat plays well in the middle of an order that features a lot of right handed hitters and his relationship with Girardi, which appears strong. He is also a solid clubhouse presence, nothing to sneeze at.

    But if the Phils do sign Simmons you will be amazed at his defensive prowess, he is a wizard and likely the best defensive shortstop in Phillies history, and this is coming from someone who marveled at Wine, Amaro, Bowa and Rollins.

    He immediately makes Bohn a better 3rd sacker because he covers so much ground and the the pitchers will love him! Mauch had a saying when he was manager and it was the 9th inning, ” 3 more ground balls to Amaro and lets go home!” The Phils will be saying this with Simmons. He is a defensive marvel!

    1. Simmons came up with the Braves, we’re well-versed in his defensive acumen. The only issue is if his ankle injuries have taken that from him.

      1. Dan K…I think he opt out in Sept….third week or so…to make sure the two left ankle sprains…one in July and one in August…are fully healed and gives him more time before free agency. Only way he could opt out without adversely affecting his contract was to declare a ” COVID fear clause’ since he did play on the bad wheel in Sept.

  31. Actually, $115.5, so an AAV of $23.1M to break the $23M record. OK, Hinkie, who is next? Didi, Paxton, Rosenthal?

    1. I believe Dombrowski has a couple of pitchers loaded in the Phillies chamber, and he’ll have them signed this week. Hoping for Paxton, Archer, or even Rodon. I wouldn’t be upset with Porcello. And how about Keone Kela as a closer? (unless he really wants to be bold, and trade for Josh Hader.)

  32. I wasn’t trying to correct you, Hawkeye, just myself! Eric D., I thought, for sure, you had called today. I gave you credit. Who do you feel signs next?

    1. Matt13 buddy no worries. I didn’t take it that way. Remember I posted Monday a.m that the JTR dance with the Phillies might drag out until ST. Lately I’m almost a perfect barometer of opposite. So everyone chime in for your needs or wants and I’ll predict the opposite to make it happen.

  33. Also, it looks like $20M for this coming season, and the rest split evenly over the next 4. Helping John M. with some cash flow for 2021. I know it doesn’t help on the LT calculations because it is AAV. Something else that I think changes in the next CBA.

    1. Cutch’s $20 mil comes off the books next year. Not sure if there is a LF to spend it on but it should get you a decent player possibly.

      It’s one thing to have money another to have someone to spend it on

    1. Hah…use to live in Choctaw…few clicks east of Midwest City……JT played at Carl Albert…same as Matt Kemp. My sons, though were a few years behind AJ Hinch

  34. JT! My man! In all seriousness, the structure of the deal is pretty sound. On to the next…

    1. 5 years and $115 with an AAV slightly above Mauer’s – exactly what I predicted (it wasn’t that hard to project – he made it CLEAR he wanted the highest AAV and this number gets him there with a length the team could live with).

      1. This was an extremely reasonable deal – takes him through his age 34 season so, odds are, he will still be productive and the first three years are prime years anyway. It’s a good deal for the player and the team – and you can’t always say that.

        1. Yep……hopefully the Phillies will get many 4WAR years from him….will need a total of 14WAR to break even over the length of the contract…that should not be too difficult for him to achieve, if he stays healthy.

    1. I don’t know if Ivan Nova is Dombrowski’s answer for SP depth. If he is, then maybe the Phillies spend bigger on a closer. Maybe they take a flyer on Trevor Rosenthal (and hope his 2019 yips are behind him for good) to something like 2Y/18M.

  35. Nova had a great year 10 years ago with the Yankees. He wasn’t terrible in ’19 with the WSox, but nothing like that 2011 year. I wonder if the previous reports were accurate, and now that JT has signed, we may seem some more substantial signings?

  36. A week ago I posted that Semien would be the SS. But now my stronger sense is Simmons @1 year. Stabilize up the middle defensively, then go deep sea fishing for Story or Baez next winter. I want no parts of Correa, thank you very much.

    1. mark, are you not a believer in Stott as the future SS, or are you moving him to another position? If we could get Didi for 1 year, would that change your opinion regarding Simmons, or are you still on Simmons?

      1. Matt, 1 yr for Simmons, Stott to 3b (more likely) or 2b. Then Story would be my target next off season. Bohm is okay at 3b for now. His hit tool makes his defensive position virtually irrelevant.

    1. I would be perfectly happy with either Semien or Didi – less so with Simmons, as good as he is in the field, he’s pretty much a negative at the plate.

      1. The Phils had the absolute worst IF defense in all of baseball last year. With Bohm at 3b, and lots of ground ball pitchers, having a SS with great range becomes very important also. We’ll miss Didi’s bat obviously but we need to shore up the defense even more. With JT’s bat coming back, they’re pivoting for more defense, and a cheaper salary, at SS

      2. Career slash:
        SImmons…..269/.317/.379
        Didi…………..265/.315/.433
        Galvis………..247/.291/.385

        1. Romus, your research is awesome, as ususal, but mighten it be more relevant to have last 3 years’ or last 2 years’ slash vs. career?

      3. v1 made a point 5/6 months ago….play-off teams have low K rates……and this year , outside of the Rays, prove that point.
        Simmons has a 9% career K rate and 6% BB rate…that difference is plus.
        Didi , otoh, is good also, but at 14% K rate with also a 6% BB rate.

  37. The JT deal was fair for both sides. JT got his cash and set the mark for catchers. The Phillies probably gave him 1 more year than they would have liked but at least it wasn’t 6 years.

  38. Now that Realmuto is back in the fold for the next five years, what do the Phillies do with all the excess catching prospects in the minors? I was really looking forward to a couple of them being part of the not too distant future.

    1. None of them look like starters yet. Good chance one will replace Knapp when he gets more expensive

    2. I hope that Marchan stays in the fold. Maybe about midway through the JTR contract, he’s on the active roster spending 2 to 3 years as a backup before taking over behind the plate. Of course, that assumes he shows that he can handle being the primary backstop.

  39. Hopefully the Phillies can bring in a couple more solid bullpen guys. The Phillies lost so many games last year simply after being ahead after 7 innings. An above average bullpen would have easily put the Phillies into the playoffs last year.

    1. Wow….little more than I expected…but Jays have plenty of room under the CBT.
      Plus As did not QO him, so Jays get to keep a draft pick and international money.

    2. Phillies imo will need to sign A 3b. No one projects as 3b in their minors. I don’t know enough about cap but I would sign Didi for few years and rotate him to 3b next year. Bohm left if Hoskins figures out. Sign SS next year

  40. That sounds like a high number, even for 1 year. Even including the surcharge Toronto seems to have to pay. I had thought we could get DiDi on a 2 year/$24M deal. I may be well off. What do you think Simmons gets on a 1 year deal?

  41. Galvis to the Orioles for $1.5M. I think Semien was waiting on the Phils. Once they signed JT, Semien went to Toronto but not playing SS. And then there were two… (Simmons and Didi)

  42. I had picked Freddy over Simmons a couple of days ago because I thought he would get much less $. But, I never figured he would only get $1.5M. Should we have been in on him for that little?

  43. If anyone cares, nobody was voted into this year’s HOF class. Schilling came closest with 71%, short of the necessary 75%. Last year’s class with Jeter will have their ceremony in July, barring lockdowns…

    1. Guys on the list were good ML players, but I think the committee got it right! That statement will probably irk some of you, but the HOF is for the elite who are a credit to the game IMO.

      1. Schilling is one of the best 25 pitchers in MLB history….but that is only going by the numbers and measurable statistics.

          1. Just playing devil’s advocate here: Do you guys believe it’s ok that OJ Simpson is in the Football Hall Of Fame? I don’t.

            1. Thats a good question but I don’t think there’s really a comparison between OJ and Schilling. But I will say this, if we are going by our justice system, he was acquitted (even tho we all know he did it) so its hard to remove him bc of that. Good question tho.

            2. It’s arbitrary isn’t it. Warren Moon is in too. And of course Ty Cobb is well documented amongst scores of others.

              It’s too complex for many these days to distinguish between player and person. Personally I would have voted Bonds and Clemons in because I believe even without PEDs they were HOF worthy.

              Others like Sosa and McGuire not so much.

              The old adage never meet your heroes

            3. One of the reasons I heard today that Curt Schilling is a bad person is because he collects “Nazi Memorabilia”. That should not be a criteria, there are many blacks that collect racist and Confederate memorabilia, because of remembering the bad times or just because it is part of other collections, like someone that collects war memorabilia. Let that go.

              I would not hate a Liberal if they collected anything that I feel that culture finds despicable, only if they display it proudly as if they believe in it, and Schilling is not doing that act.

            4. When it comes to these conversations, it’s hard to avoid our own hypocrisy. Our standards are subjective. Who is worse? The murderer or the traitor? The cheater or the wife beater? We decide. How we qualify our judgements is based mainly on how we are personally affected by the misbehavior and lack of character of others, because we’re more familiar with the issue or because it’s simply more offensive to “me”. Athletic Halls of Fame are specific to the fields of play. Pete Rose deserves to be in the HOF every bit as much as Ty Cobb. We’ve learned over time what a not so nice guy Pete is/was, even though he’s a special place in the hearts of those who look back at the 1980 World Series celebration. The difference between Rose and Schilling, beside their worthiness of such honors? One was likable, one was not. That factors into our judgment more than we care to admit.

            5. DMAR said it very well. It is very hard to distinguish the person from the player. I don’t want to start up a political debate so I will say this. I do not like Curt Schilling, but I think he had a HoF career. I, personally, would not vote for him as an individual, or should I say, root for him to get in. If my job was to vote, then I would have to look at it differently. I couldn’t fail to vote for him, and think that I was doing my job correctly, and objectively. The “morals” or “character” clause is too nebulous to be any help. I think that OJ should have been stripped of his HoF credentials, but I don’t know the rules to vote him out, assuming I was a voter. On Bonds and Clemens, I personally believe that the league, the Commissioner, and the Owners, were complicit in the Steroid era. Starting with McGwire and Sosa, they turned a blind eye to what they were doing. I never heard of the stuff that was prominently displayed in their lockers during the HR chase, when they brought Baseball back from the Strike, and reinvigorated the game. Owners knew, and the Commissioner knew, and they enjoyed the renewed popularity of their Sport, and the resulting windfall of cash. So, I don’t know if Bonds and Clemens, who were clear HoF players without the drugs, should be in with their plaques noting their involvement in cheating, or if they should be punished by keeping them out. Yes, many players used steroids to enhance their abilities and that is cheating. I don’t know what happens with ARod next year. I would like the Owners and Bud Selig to also be tarnished somehow.

  44. Down to 2 SS left. Looks like it might take one year at 16 or two years at 26 to sign either one.

  45. So it was entirely true that JTR was laser-focused on setting new AAV bar for C. 23.1m > 23.0m!

    Patience my friends. I’ll keep saying it. 🙂

    It starts with leadership and we have DD, Girardi, Barber, Bonifay! I have confidence.

  46. Simmons to the Twins for 1 year 10.5 million. Now Didi is in the drivers seat being the last man standing.

    1. I offer Didi 2/$25M. Perhaps move him to 3b in ’22 when Story or Baez is signed next winter. Then Stott should be ready to play 3b in ’23.

  47. Gotta’ believe DD feels pretty good about Didi. Don’t think he would let Galvis go for 1.5M to the O’s (and I don’t think Freddy would sign with Baltimore) if Dombrowski didn’t have something lined up with Gregorius.

    1. DiDi wants 2 for $30mil.
      Pros and cons but Phillies need to lock that up. I actually thought he’d get about $16mil for one year.

  48. Jon Morosi reported that the Phillies are interested in Kolten Wong…..does anyone see a fit or is it a smoke screen to get Didd’s price down ?

  49. I wouldn’t pose this question if MacPhail and Klentak were running the show, but would Dealer Dave be so bold to try and acquire either Baez or Story via trade if Didi isn’t agreeable to a 1 year deal? If so, what would one year of either of those 2 cost in young talent? Granted, the overpay would be more severe than if the Rox or Cubs waited until the trade deadline this summer…but hey, just spitballing here.

  50. Dombrowski not a long termer. There is no 3b in system he sees as WS starter. SS and 3b need to be signed. In next 2 years. One more top line starter in next year or 2 then pitchers like Astros had that can either start and or pitch innings from bullpen in playoffsituations . Outfield easier to fill in

    1. Didi probably sign 3yrs at less $$ move 3rd in a year. Power lefty 3b. Sign top ss next year have good defensive infield.

  51. I had thought Didi could get 2/$24M so $30M seems a little high for us. Is there any thought that Holder, who we got in the Rule V, could be a sort of Simmons lite, with a very good glove? Not GG like a healthy Simmons, but much better defensively than Segura. I don’t know how far away we were with Simmons, but I agree that letting Freddy go for so little makes me think DD has a firm Plan B

    1. matt13….Kingery is a possibility at short again.
      While Segura does play a plus 2B defensively.
      Holder, Maton, Williams and Chatham….all seem to me as targeted for and competing for, that versatility guy.
      They all have the glove and defense….but will be exposed at the plate over the long run.

      1. Romus, playing Kingery anywhere but 2b is in my mind a square peg in a round hole. Give the kid 2021 to nail down the position. He may eventually turn into a Whit Merrifield as he ages, but for now let’s maximize his youth and stabilize the middle IF. Should he sink this season, then by all means move him on or deploy him accordingly.

        1. Look at Kingery’s 2019 shortstop metrics…..not spectacular but serviceable.
          But that would be a last resort however.

      2. Romus, I am concerned about putting Kingery there. I have been a fan, but he was terrible last season, not only at the plate, where he just looked lost, but defensively where I always thought he was a plus defender. And, 2B is his best position. My thought is that DD and the team want to improve defensively, which gave me the thought of Holder. Ideally, he is a utility guy, but there are no good options out there to play SS if we don’t sign Didi.

    2. Matt, I’m sure Simmons was the Phillies target. They hoped to get a FA SS for $8-10M. They went to the same $10.5M offer, Simmons chose the Twins.

      I think they backed off then because going higher takes them into DiDi range. I also don’t think that 2/$30 is in their plans, but I thought 1/$13 might be. I don’t know now.

      I also don’t know that DiDi is in the driver’s seat. He lost 2 teams that were definitely looking for a SS. Field is reduced to Phillies and Reds. I like the Phillies’ chances, if that is their plan, against one of the frugal teams from the NL Central.

  52. If the Phillies traded for Baez or Story, they would with the intention of signing either player to a long term contract. I do not believe they want 4 players with $100M+ contracts. MLBTR mentioned Jonathan Villar as a possibility to play SS. Jonathan Villar is NOT a major league SS.

  53. Whatever Dombrowski does from here, I think he’s got one big trade in the works. Maybe Hader? Maybe a #3 SP? Maybe a SS?

    1. Dombrowski will have to do some miraculous salesmanship and negotiations to get Stearns to come down on the asking price for Hader….or a price that Dombrowski can live with.

  54. I agree with mark that DD has a big trade up his sleeve. I don’t know who, but I see that somewhere. I don’t see a trade for Story or Baez without a LT agreement, and I don’t think they are already projecting to move Stott off SS.

  55. I’d be willing to bet that the first thing Adam Ottavino does as he leaves the Yankees and joins the Red Sox is grow his beard back.

    If the Phillies don’t get a “name” player to handle shortstop this coming season, they might as well put Rocco Moffo there.

  56. Wow is Trevor Story really making $18.5 mil for the upcoming season? Not sure what the Rockies are thinking at this point. Clearly they are behind the Dodgers and Padres.

    I’d like to find a way to get Story without giving up too much. Maybe swap Blackmon for Cutch which saves the Rockies $34 million.

    1. DMAR, I would offer Segura, plus pay down some of his salary, along with a couple good prospects. Since Story is tentatively a rental at least, it would serve the Rox to rid themselves of most of his money. Who do we offer along with Segura, which would open 2b for Kingery?

      1. GMs will always take pitchers……maybe one, or two, of the Ms….Medina, Morales, Miller, or McArthur.

      2. I was thinking Cutch & Kingery for Story Blackmon plus a couple of prospects in my dream scenarios.

        As much as I would hate to give him up Marchan and Morales maybe.

        But Dan K makes a good point. The Rockies might be content to stay put. Its a pretty good team as it stands. CO has become sort of a second home for me since my son moved out there and they love Arenado Story and Blackmon.

        Their fans don’t seem to get all torqued up about winning so long as they have great players to watch.

    2. If you think of them as an organization that’s trying to sell merchandise and tickets rather than truly compete, it makes a lot of sense. Selling off their best players would make them lose more games and lose profits, whereas keeping them allows them to keep making money.

  57. O’Day gets $1.75M from the Yankees. He is always a guy I liked, and who can be a key BP piece, because not only does he throw in an unorthodox style, he is effective with it. I know we are going to guys who throw heat, and that is good, but a guy like O’Day could have been a big help, and for very little. Another guy I like is Steve Cishek. And, we need some SP depth. I don’t know what Spencer can give us, and I hope a lot. But, we can’t count on 180 innings, and we sure can’t count on that from Vinny. We have bodies to throw out there, but we need a little more talent. Things seem to be picking up, and it is fine to wait for the bargains, but I consider what O’Day signed for to be a real bargain.

    1. If Phillies were runner up, I’d assume he wanted to go where he had the best chance to win.

    2. I loved Darren O’Day fro the Phillies as a “different look” guy. The guy consistently averages double digit K’s. Brian Cashman is really good at building BP’s.

      1. Apparently … DD also thought Darren O’Day would have looked good in a Phillies uniform.

  58. Dombrowski borrowing a page from Nats Mike Rizzo’s playbook on contract deferrals:
    J.T. Realmuto’s 5-year, $115.5M contract breakdown:
    2021: $10 million ($10 million deferred)
    2022: $23.875 million
    2023: $23.875 million
    2024: $23.875 million
    2025: $23.875 million
    2026: $5 million (half of the deferred payment)
    2027: $5 million (half of the deferred payment)

    1. Romus so unfair, How do you except Him to live on 5 million, total disgrace, Maybe Joe Biden who is giving each child 3000, and rasing ebt money can help him,

  59. I’m starting to think that Segura could be our SS next season. It’s not ideal but what if we signed Wong plus a good SP and a good RP with the savings vs Didi. Didi might want a 3 yr deal for $45M. The Phils only want to offer a one year deal. It’s tough to get all we need but stay under the salary level they’re aiming towards. Didi and bad pitching (or no pitching) vs Wong and good pitching?? Tough call.

    1. They have $30 million left – Didi might get $13-15 m – they have enough room to pay that and get some pitching too. 40/60 Hamels comes back on an incentive-laden deal. If not it might be Paxton – perfect buy low candidate for this team.

      1. Yes…that would be the CBT….but Middleton had said something back in Nov or Dec….he wanted to be a certain percentage figure below the CBT of $210M……I just do not know what that number will be and how much lower than the $210M threshold.
        Someone posted $180M last month….but that is where they are about now.
        Maybe Middleton changed his mind and will go to the limit or close to it with some wiggle room.

          1. I cannot find where Middleton said something about stopping lower than the CBT
            I think I recall he said something to that affect.

            1. Yes, Romus. Specifically, he wanted to lower payroll by a percentage. I think 10%, maybe 15%. I don’t remember where I heard/read this. I have a list of their 2020 payroll that comes out to about $189.8M for their 26-man roster, 11 minor leaguers who round out the top 40, and 3 sunk costs – Robertson, Dominguez, and Herrera.

              So, let’s do 10%. An $18.9M decrease would take payroll to $170.9M. So far, their running payroll for the 26-man roster is $146.3M (if I understand the deferment correctly), $148.5M with the rest of the 40-man roster figured in.

              If the Phillies have an internal soft cap around 10% below last season, they have $20-25M left to spend. These projections do NOT include about $15.5M in estimated player benefits.

              Looks like they have enough to sign DiDi, add a back of the rotation starter, and one or two bottom-shelf relievers. I think missing out on Simmons really upset their plans. May cost them one of the two relievers.

            2. A problem associated with this is that the AAV for most contracts is equal to or slightly lower than the players’ pay this year. Only two AAV are higher – Wheeler’s by $1.1M and Realmuto’s by $13.1M. That large disparity leaves the AAV about $6.5M higher than payroll.

  60. BREAKING….or that would be heart breaking to Romus – the Phillies have released minor league outfielder Miguel Tejada Jr. Sorry, pal.

    1. For me … Jean Segura > Amed Rosario … and then to give up prospects on top of that …
      That’s a “no” for me.

      There is another Amed/Ahmed I wouldn’t mind seeing DD bring in. Would you swap 6 years (including 3 options) of 27 YO Arizona native Scott Kingery (4M AAV) for 3 years of 31 YO Nick Ahmed (8M AAV)? That’s a “yes” for me.

      1. Somehow I think Segura gets traded, perhaps in a package for a #3. Dombrowski doesn’t strike me as a guy who cuts and pastes position players. As much as I like Segura’s bat, his roster/salary spot seems to be the most practical to move, even if the Phillies eat a portion. As for SS, I think Didi comes back for 2/$25M. Reds won’t exceed one year. And Didi can shift to 3b should a better option emerge at SS.

        1. Trading Segura has the added cost of buying out his no-trade clause. For a team crying poor at the beginning of the offseason, buying out a no-trade clause and eating a portion of the salary doesn’t sound like a move we can anticipate this season.

    1. I’ll be interested to see what this kid has on the field… I thought I read he’s been stuck in Venezuela for two years?

      1. He’s Dominican and was at Instructs this past fall. FWIW, the Venezuelan kids weren’t even stuck in Venezuela. Travel restrictions kept them in Clearwater. They worked out as a group every day at the Complex until MLB regs prevented the use of the Complex. They then took their workouts to Joe DiMaggio Field across the street from Spectrum Field. I believe they were allowed back into the Complex later for safety reasons. I had stopped driving by, by then.

    2. Glad to hear you say that Jim. I remember when I was excited about his GCL numbers and you tempered my enthusiasm for him.

      I think I remember you saying the average was inflated and not a lot of hard hit balls etc..

      Its hard to pinpoint what a lost year of development time is going to do to some of these young guys.

      1. Yes, I thought he was ranked too high, too young.

        His numbers weren’t good at Lakewood, but he gained experience at a higher level against better players in a full season league. The plan was to challenge him. If he needed to return to Lakewood, then nothing lost.

        I’m pretty sure that I reported that he looked physically better before everyone was sent home last March. He certainly looked stronger at Instructs. And, I’ve heard reports that his hitting is improved.

        One irony here is that instead of “returning” to A-ball in Lakewood, he may be promoted to Advanced A-ball in Jersey City (Lakewood).

        I would have liked to have seen him in Clearwater this season, but I expect that the Phillies’ top prospects may be treated as though they completed successful 2020 seasons and be challenged with an unexpected promotion

  61. Segura plays v good 2b and you know he will hit. Kingery looked lost against mid 90s heat. If I’m Dombrowski trying to win ASAP am I trading a solid piece for ?. I don’t think so. History says he is here to compete now

    1. LOL it worked for JT…

      Now that the musical chairs seats are down to 1 Didi looks to be the guy. I think the leverage falls to the Phillies. I think most of the contenders have their SS so he would just be depth for any of the bigger spenders.

      That said I’m just not able to get excited. Even if you brought back the exact same team you had last year, add a full season of Bohm and improve the BP its still doesn’t seem to me that you have a strong enough team to contend.

      The Braves if they don’t get Osuna back are losing a ton of OPS. Sure they are still really good top to bottom and improved their pitching with Morton.

      The Mets obviously are better and if they land Bauer we’re in for a tough season.

      On paper we’re 3rd in the division at best and the Nats are going to have something to say about that also. I don’t count the Marlins but then they are always a thorn in our side no matter how bad they are.

      Hoskins for me is the key. He has to bounce back and have a season of all seasons. It could happen.

      1. DMAR….if everything being equal to last season…..then comes down to Spencer.
        He has to take the next step up and fulfill the promise….even it is for only 20/22 starts or so. If someone like Shane Bieber can make the jump up in his second year in 2019, no reason not to believe Spencer Howard also can not do the same in 2021.

        1. If Spencer pitched like a #3 this year, that could be a night and day difference for this team. He has to maintain his velocity into the middle innings. We finally heard an explanation for what happened last year (lost weight during the layoff) and hopefully he will be primed this year to pitch with velocity deeper into games (5th or 6th inning would be fine!).

        2. I think that’s asking a lot of Spencer. So many health issues. If you’re telling me that is all behind him and he is 100% great

  62. Matt……….waiting for that big trade, know it’s coming, gotta be, just has to be, wouldn’t be an off season for DD without one. Romus…….condolences on Hall and now Tejada, Jr., so very solly1😢

    1. As rocco racoon would say……that is the way the cookie crumbles.
      Where’s my Gideon Bible, I need a revival.

  63. Luke Williams may push for a 26 roster spot this spring.
    A HR today and a few more hits down under.

    1. That swing by Williams was his perfect swing. He’s definitely put on some muscle and he’s showing over there he can play SS which is something he hasn’t had a chance to show before. It may not be in 2021 but I think he’s got a shot in 2022 if he can have a decent year in the upper minors.

      1. It’s worth watching just to hear the Australian play-by-play guy.

        Anyway, Williams really crushed that pitch. It would be fun to see him emerge as a big leaguer.

  64. Rosenthal, Melancon, Colome, Shane Greene still out there. Each should get 2 years and somewhere in the $5-$8M AAV. How doe you rank them for us? I go Rosenthal, Colome, Greene, Melancon. I want one of them.

    1. Not likely, not likely, not likely, and not likely if they expect $5-8M. Bradley was their big dollar ticket for the bullpen. I don’t “think” they are going to spend that much for another reliever. I think any future pickups are in the O’Day range.

  65. jim, when you say you “think” something, I tend to believe that it is based on some well informed source. So, I will set my sights on the next tier. Steve Cishek?

  66. How about Hinkie’s boy, Keone Kela ? or Jeremy Jeffries, Jose Alvarez, Pedro Strop, Chasen Schreve ??? Still waiting for DD to sign Porcello who I think would make a stellar innings eater. Back to BP – Doolittle ? Whatever happened to Ian Kennedy / bp and possible starter.

    1. RU … Yes on Keone Kela. I don’t know/don’t think that he’ll be ready for the start of the season. He missed most of last year with a forearm injury. I’m anticipating he should come at a pretty decent discount for those reasons. IMO … he’d be worth the gamble on some sort of incentive laden deal. Chasen Shreve is the other guy that makes a ton of sense: LHRP with a swing and miss “splitter” who played for Joe Girardi and was a teammate of Caleb Cotham in NY.
      I also expect there to be a pretty good chance the Phillies bring back David Robertson on a minor league deal. He’s another guy with a history with Joe Girardi. I also believe if he can’t find a MLB deal, he might feel some loyalty to the Phillies for producing only 6.2 IP @ 23M in 2019-20.

      Also believe Porcello may be the top candidate as a depth SP. He’s not only got a history with Dave Dombrowski, he’s got a track record of eating innings (averaged 195 IP from 2014-2019). Having said that, I’d prefer they take a shot on Paxton or Archer. The Phillies are going to need a lot of things to go right to compete with the Braves and Mets. Paxton and Archer are risky because of health concerns, but if they remain injury free, either one could be the X-factor to help the team make up ground on Atlanta and NY.

      1. I see Matt Gelb mentioned Justin Wilson (on maybe a 1Y/5M deal) for the Phillies. I’d be all for that in DD can get it done.

        1. And Hinkie….he did save games and closed for the Tigers at one time…so he has been there at the finish line.

          1. Typical relief pitcher; great one year, so-so another, then bad. Need to project the trajectory and sign if you feel it is going upward.

            Check his stock on Wall Street Bets.

  67. Romus – Thanks for the down under footage. Williams crushed that ball but need consider the pitcher throwing, too. I remember when Williams got drafted as a SS and was almost immediately moved to 3B and then, I think, to the OF. He struggled in the early years but has started to come along. Would love to see a draftee make the big team.

    Hinkie – I would love to see Nick Ahmed at shortstop but I don’t think the DBacks give him up unless it’s a big package from the Phillies. Got to see 3 seasons of Ahmed in Storrs on a team that included Springer, Barnes, and Oberg (all local kids). That team put UConn on the collegiate map and and Ahmed was the glue that held them together.

    1. The Indians now have an extra SS in Rosario. He could be the new plan b if Didi doesn’t sign.
      I’d be ok with any one of those BP names but they sure need one and maybe two more.

    2. ciada … you may be right about Nick Ahmed, but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility they trade him. Arizona is rebuilding, Ahmed has three years left of team control. It seems pretty unrealistic for them to think they could beat out either the LAD’s or SDP’s during that time frame.

      1. To be clear, Ahmed is Galvis light. He has a great glove with no bat. I still think we’ll bring Didi back after letting Simmons go for $10M

  68. RU, I don’t know why I keep forgetting Kela? Another good choice. And, depending on cost, I would take a shot on Doolittle. Maybe a small guarantee with Incentives? I was always a fan of his. Rumors are that Cinci is looking at Rosario from Cleveland in a trade rather than spend $ in FA, and Didi wants $15M. I don’t know where he gets that if Cinci is out, and I don’t think from us. 2/$24M I think would be the limit, but I don’t know that we go that high. Someone said earlier that DD is not much for moving guys to a position that they are less skillful at, and I would prefer that Segura stay at 2B, where he is much better than at SS. But, the options to play SS are slim.

  69. Keith Law, and I know he is just another analyst, put out his top 100. He still has Spencer eligible and has him at 64. No mention of Abel or Stott. And no “missed the cut” list. I think Washington is the only team with no one, and, of course, the Rays ranked #1 with about 8, I lost count. SD still has a bunch even after their off season trades. There is no question that we either need to do a much better job, or some players we have need to explode in their development. For a team without a Playoff in 10 years, and even if you don’t like KLaw at all, our farm needs a lot of work.

    1. Agree that the farm needs a lot of work but I will also say that evaluating minor leaguers for top 100 lists early this season is almost impossible.

      With no minor league season and very little ability to see the guys who were kept in camp for the season who knows which players have progress/regressed, etc.

      I read Law’s list and many of the players were guys who were top 100 the year before and/or had appeared in games with the big club.

      Doesn’t surprise that Abel or Stott weren’t listed since there was no opportunity to evaluate them in 2020.

      1. 3up….that is the spot on rationale.
        Difficult to make objective and accurate evaluations and projections without minor league ball in 2020.

  70. 3up, I agree completely. I have a higher level of optimism about some guys vs. the “National” viewpoint. Guys like Martin and Baylor and Simmons, and a P like Erik Miller, I am pretty high on. But, even if we had made the Playoffs half of the past 10 seasons instead of not making them, I would like to see us with a bit more high level talent. Especially from LA

  71. Barring any trades who are the best bets for Phillies at this point for a SP, 2 BP, and SS? I kind of like the Porcello option.

  72. Someone on another site posted this factoid:

    After First Seven Starts in the Majors.
    Player A: 38.0 IP, 35 H, 17 R, 17 ER, 14 BB, 38 K, ERA 2.70….Vinny Velo
    Player B: 39.0 IP, 36 H, 15 R, 15 ER, 11 BB, 33 K, ERA 3.46…..Sixto

    1. Romus … VV’s first game ever at CBP helped inflate some of his #s.

      .

      BTW … as I’ve mentioned here numerous times … I’ll usually bet on guys in their walk years. Playing/pitching for your next contract tends to bring out the best in them. I’m not predicting Vinny has an All-Star campaign, but I could see him racking up 2.5 – 3 WAR in 2021.

  73. Is it the Mets or what…if not the Wilpons…now its Cohen:
    Queens….drama center.

    Dave Portnoy
    @stoolpresidente
    ·Jan 28, 2021
    PRISON TIME. Dems and Republicans haven’t agreed on 1 issue till this. That’s how blatant, illegal, unfathomable today’s events are. It also shows how untouchable @RobinhoodApp @StevenACohen2C Citadel Point72 all think they are. Fines aren’t enough. Prison or bust

    TheStreet
    @TheStreet
    Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) called Robinhood’s trading restrictions ‘unacceptable.’ Sen. Cruz (R-Texas) responded: ‘Fully Agree.’
    https://thestreet.com/investing/ocasio-cortez-and-cruz-oppose-robinhood-trading-restrictions

    Steven Cohen
    @StevenACohen2
    Hey Dave , What’s your beef with me. I’m just trying to make a living just like you.Happy to take this offline
    1:45 PM · Jan 28, 2021

    1. Well … now we know how “we can all just get along”. Root against Steve Cohen and the Mets. #LockHimUp

      1. Hinkie……he is ‘just trying to make a living just like you.”!
        The 30th richest man in the US…..and just tryin to make a living…..LOL

        Sports is definitely entertaining.

  74. Romus, I think we all were high on Vinny way back then, and we have seen him since. He has terrific stuff, but lacks the command necessary to get through 5 innings, causing high pitch counts and that bad pitch at just the worst time. So, he has failed to deliver on what we hoped he would be. Can he unlock whatever has been missing, and get there? Well, the team is giving him another shot, and with a new, highly regarded PC.Wouldn’t it be great if it all clicks for him? Meanwhile, who knows how Sixto’s career pans out? He looked great, and we will see what a full season brings.

  75. Don53, Those are excellent questions, and at this point, we can only guess. We don’t know what the budget is. jim said earlier that he doesn’t think that anyone of the RPs who gets $5M or more will be an option. That still leaves, I think, Shreve, Cishek, maybe Jefferess, Kela, who may not be ready to start the season, Matt Gelb mentioned Wilson, so there will be some when the musical chairs stops that will come cheap. The same for SPs. Porcello, Rodon, Paxton, or a lesser priced Anibal Sanchez? And, at SS, the best best is Didi. I don’t know that there is a Plan B. I think we are looking to drop down to Plan Q without a trade, because that is the distance between Didi and whoever. To me, Segura at SS is something I don’t want, the team doesn’t want, and the player doesn’t want.

    1. Rox may look at trading Story …..or maybe they will hope for more of a return and wait until July from a contender.
      They are in a pinch as was the Indians with Lindor.
      The cost of prospect capital may not be as high as one would think….for Story as a one year rental or two-month rental..

      But then there is the revisited JTR drama again with him next off-season.
      Story does have some caution flags….the Coors Field Effect….his splits are not good at all away from Coors……but he did have to play 36 games a year in Petco, Dodger Stadium vs their pitchers, Chase Field and whatever the Giants currently call their ballpark.

      Perhaps Segura with one year remaining would be part of the package top offer.
      Probably have to give up one or two prospect pitchers.
      And another position player prospect.

      1. Romus … I think the Rockies would get a better return for Story by trading him this offseason instead of this summer. If you acquire the Colorado SS before the start of the season, you can slap a QO on him at season’s end, and collect a draft pick if you were unable to sign him to a LTX.

    2. I understand on Segura – so I guess it wasn’t an “objectively excellent” move after all.

      That said, and I don’t want him around either, he’s still a 3-4 WAR player and you still don’t have dependable back-up plan at second. The real question is – can you moving him without absorbing too much of his contract? If you could trade him for a young prospect or two and only absorb maybe $ 2 m per remaining contract year, then you could sign a guy like Jonathan Schoop to like a $7 m deal and let him compete with Kingery. Use the money saved to help sign Didi, a lefty starter and relief help. The key, however, is whether anyone wants Segura.

      1. Can’t help thinking of Tag Team in their new kitchen ice-cream Geico commercial.

        “Schoop there it is ”
        “Schoop there it is”

  76. MLB guys just now seem to think Phillies will get Didi back if they will go up to $15 million. They mentioned Yankees, Reds, and A’s but felt all were unlikely. So Didi may be making a decision soon.

  77. Realize that this site is basically about 4 to 6 guys who talk to each other about stats and contracts but why the rush to trade a second baseman who is gonna hit .270ish hit 15 or so homers hit in the clutch on occasion and play above avg second base for an expensive Colorado player whose numbers are Uber inflated because of the stadium and the way outfielders have to position themselves.

    1. What was the point of the way you opened your question/comment? This is by far the best site to talk phillies baseball, not sure about the jab.

    2. For the record I would not trade Segura as part of a package to get Story. It defeats the purpose. Get better at one spot just to weaken another does nothing to give them a chance to compete for the division.

      Yeah I no longer believe in Kingery

      1. DMAR….in the words of 46, come on man!
        Understand the frustration with Kingery…sheesh..too many Ks for a slap hitter….and does not seem to want to change his approach at the plate.
        However,
        ” Get better at one spot just to weaken another…”
        …..we now have CJ, Kyle, Nick or Luke to fill that 2b void if need be!

        Story makes this team a better NL play-off candidate..his defense is plus-plus…his speed is plus…his power is plus….and maybe DJ LeMa proved the Coors Field Effect as erroneous.

  78. Patso, I don’t think it is a rush, and I like Segura at 2B. I think that the thought is freeing up his salary so that the team can address SS, believing, IMO that Gregorius brings more at Ss and the replacement for Segura at 2B is more readily available, plus the drop off to that player is much less than the drop iff from Didi to the SS Plan B.

  79. I agree about best Phillies site. I have followed this site for years. I am not for sure how I even became aware of the site. I have been a Phillies fan for over 50 years. My first year was 1964. What a beginning. I have just read the posts for years but then decided to reply a little couple days ago. I respect all and hope they can simply relate to the Phillies.

  80. Trevor Story career slash at Coors Field: .304/.370/.624
    Trevor Story career slash at CBP: .310/.356/.586 (It’s a SSS, but it is what it is)

    BTW … Thanks for posting, Don53.

  81. I wonder how much Arrieta is going to get. I would give him $1-2M for a year and try him out as a setup reliever if he were open to the idea.

  82. This is an update/correction of an earlier comment.

    From the CBA, Addendum A – Calculation of Player Salary – “If a Uniform Player’s Contract contains compensation that is payable beyond the guaranteed term of the Contract, such compensation shall be considered “deferred compensation”. All deferred compensation shall be included in a Player’s Salary in the year in which it is earned at an amount equal to the discounted present value of such deferred amount”.

    So, that means that the $10M deferred in the first year of Realmuto’s contract is calculated in the 2021 payroll. There is no “extra $10M” to spend on FA contracts. The only benefit for the organization is that $10M isn’t due until 2026-27 in $5M increments.

    So, that means that after a 10% decrease in 2021 payroll, it would still be about $170.9M. But, the running payroll for the 26-man roster is $156.3M (if I understand the deferment correctly), and $158.5M with the rest of the 40-man roster figured in.

    If the Phillies do have an internal soft cap around 10% below last season, they have $10-15M left to spend. These projections do NOT include about $15.5M in estimated player benefits.

    This changes any projections based on a self-imposed payroll cap.

    Now, if they stick to their targeted payroll deduction, they figure to be under the luxury tax threshold by a fan-annoying $24.3M. And, there goes all the goodwill garnered with the fans when they re-signed JT.

    1. $24.3M….hell, Cigars can pocket the $4.3M for all I care, but you can still get quite a lot more talent with $20M.

      1. I guess they simply play to the mid-level fans. Let’s give the appearance we are trying to win and let the chips fall where they may…

        Hey we got JT back everyone get excited to come in 3rd

        1. DMAR….in horse racing we would ‘show’….if a betting man like rocco, then you can appreciate that.

  83. Some discussion the Arenado to the Cardinals may be happening. Since Arenado’s contract still has $200 million + yet to be paid my guess either the Rockies are picking up some of that deal or the return in prospects from the Cardinals will be pretty meek.

    1. Wonder if they would move on Story if that were to happen between them and the Cardinals on Arenado?
      BTW…another splits…home vs away… concerned guy

      1. Man that thin air dings a lot of players doesn’t it

        But surely that would signal a tear down

    2. That Cardinals Rumor surprises me some. Nolan Gorman is a top prospect in their system but he’s likely no Nolan Arenado.

      And Michael Jack just heaped high praise on Arenado saying he might now be the best 3B ever…

  84. Thanks ciada and Hinkie. I grew up and still live in central Indiana just north of Indy. Johnny Callison was my guy. I batted left handed and tried to emulate him. I was even able to get his model Louisville Slugger bats to use. I must have seen the Phillies on the Game of the Week with Dizzy and Pee Wee. Plus I was able at night to get the Phillies on radio. I also played growing up against a former Phillie Tommy Underwood. I told friends for years I thought I was the only Phillies fan in Indiana. That may have been true. I tell people now that the best $180 a year I spend is the MLB Extra Innings package. I watch the Phillies whenever I can. I know who Romus is the from the cardboard cutouts this past Summer. Hopefully you guys will be able to get to CBP this year. I still hope to sometime get to Spring Training in Clearwater sometime. I got there in 73. Only problem the players were on strike.

    1. Don53, You are a welcome addition to this site. A lot of us go back to the early 60’s. My first team to root for was the 1961 Phils, one of the worst teams ever! Keep posting and have a great day!

    2. Don53……..LOL, lets hope the cut outs area thing of the past.
      I do think that the Phillies were the first professional team to come up with the idea and implement it…I have to find that out.

      1. Romus, I think you are correct on the cut outs. I remember at first some thought it was kinda cheesy. But then I remember on MLB Extra Innings many stadiums followed suit. Think CBP had the most though. I did think it was cool to see the person replaced when one of the Phillies hit a home run. Announcers always had fun with that. I would always look for you on TV after some mentioned here you being behind home plate.

      1. Denny, When Realmuto signed, I gave EricD credit. I forgot, completely, all of the other days he predicted JTR was going to sign. I promise to do the same id Didi signs!

        1. Yes, do that. I also follow Matt on the Weather Channel site, it’s prediction are just as accurate.

  85. I hope you are right Eric D. I also want to give a huge thank you to Jim for all the hard work he does to make this site so enjoyable. And all the best for your wife Jim.

  86. Tonight’s game down under…Giants/Philies guys were pretty quiet tonight …Kendall Simmons swings hard and quick …just needs to make a little more contact.

    1. Simmons very well might have the highest ceiling of any prospect in the organization aside from Casey Martin. He may not make it to the big leagues at all, but if he does, he has a chance to be a very special player. He has a very high ceiling and I hope we can follow him in the minors this year.

      By the way, since it’s the entire point of the site, what IS the status of minor league baseball right now? Does anyone have a clue? We have discussed everything about the Phillies it seems except for this.

        1. Before he got hurt and the injury derailed his career, Matt Moore had some of the best stuff in the game. I thought he was going to be a perennial Cy Young contender and his minor league and early career stats supported that projection. But he got hurt and never regained his confidence although, he did retain most of his velocity.

          I love this signing. It might not work, but if it does, there is serious upside with Moore and he’s only 31 without a lot of wear and tear on the shoulder. Who knows? Perhaps he comes back and becomes a shut down reliever.

          This is the type of signing that Klentak seeming never made and that failure to escape the box is part of what doomed him.

          1. Now they need another lefty to compete for a place in the rotation. I’m fine with Hamels or Paxton – both I think can be had for between $5-10m, perhaps slightly more for Paxton. That said, if Paxton is healthy, he’s got a very good track record over the last 5 years and would be very much worth the risk.

            1. But looking at the situation from 30,000 feet, if the team wants to keep payroll down, sign a single lefty for the rotation and re-sign Gregorious, signing Matt Moore would be consistent with that approach.

      1. I’ll take it these guys often come back from Japan with a bounce in their step. I’m sure it will be worth the $3 mil to see…

      1. Very intrigued by the signing. Nice to have a lefty in the mix.

        Who gets booted from 40?
        Or do they get traded for Arenado;)?

  87. Jonathan mayo has Spencer at 42, and Mick Abel at 76. I know all of these lists mean virtually nothing, but I like to see our guys mentioned. I had just read the Salisbury story that we had interest in Matt Moore, and before I knew it, he signed. At least he is a Lefty!, and it appears he had some success in Japan last year. It is about time we had some luck from Japan. I think it is very significant that it is a Major League contract as opposed to a Minor league one, with a ST invite.

  88. So Phillies have roughly $7mil to $12mil left.
    I think they stretch for Didi
    If they don’t, I see someone like Schoop or Villar coming in for cheap.

  89. Phillies84 – Did you mean to type Story (instead of Arenado) when you wrote…”or do they get traded for”?

  90. This puts SP spots 4 & 5 to Moore, Velasquez, and Howard (has MiL option) all on roster. Suarez may get some attention there, plus minor league signees Nova and Mitchell should get a shot to break roster. Not sure what the plan is for prospects on 40 man roster but they include Rosso, Medina, Llovera, and Morales. They will likely end up in AAA or even AA but since they are on the 40 man roster there is always a chance to see them at some point during the season.

  91. I would like Didi. But Phillies need to add a couple quality BP arms badly. An average BP last year would have challenged the Braves for the division. I watched almost all of those 7th and 8th inning meltdowns. They also need to finally get some luck. Robertson had always been dependable. Six innings! Workman had saved like I think 34 of 38 for Red Sox the previous 2 years. He could get NO one out. If only 12 million left how do they fill all the holes?

    1. Don53, I don’t think Dombrowski is willing to go with Segura at SS. He’ll either play 2b or be traded. I’m still convinced that DD is lining up a deal, perhaps involving players needed to be moved off the 40man roster. I’m not so sure Didi Gregorius is a lock to be signed. I was once the JTR deal was done. But it seems to me that our POBO has reservations and wants to maximize the value of talent at his disposal. FWIW, my prediction is a trade goes down sooner than later. If Didi isn’t in the fold by the end of the weekend, my guess is he’s not returning. If it’s a matter of $12M-$15M AAV, it should be ironed out quickly for a guy with limited option(s).

      There’s a professional pride which Dombrowski takes in his craft, and that unsettles some people. But it’ll make for some excitement for those of us looking for someone to shake the tree of the Phillies organization. By now, Middleton has more than likely agreed to his top man’s vision, payroll reductions be damned.

      1. I agree on Segura regarding SS. I thought Segura did a good job at 2B. Thought he was ok at 3B other than the pop up at the mound where he called Rhys off and then stumbled over the mound and ball dropped. Two runs score and 10-9 Orioles final. That one play ended up keeping Phillies from playing Dodgers. I agree on payroll as well. You either have to be in or out. If you are in the middle you are no where. Good points.

        1. Don53….you are correct on Segura at 2B
          He ended up with a positive 3 DRS in 240 innings…if he qualified with enough innings there, he would have been 5th in the league defensively in that category….behind Cesar, Wong, Lopez and Frazier.
          IMO….if Dombrowski cannot move Segura, he very well may try to move Kingery….little surprised the Dodgers have not inquired since they lost a versatile [player like Kiki to the Sox.

          1. Just do not see that much value for Kingery. I root for him but it just seems something is missing for his success. He hit the one walk off last year but not much else either offensively of defensively. Thought he really struggled at 2B at times. Being able to play multiple positions has plusses but not sure he is going to be what Phillies hoped he would be couple years ago. Hope I am wrong.

  92. I think they sign Didi and move Segura. Depending on how much $ they are willing to eat on Segura and what they want it return, they might even have enough for a RP or take a flier on a SP.

  93. I was hoping for Paxton or Archer (for their upside), but thought Porcello made sense for his ability to eat innings. Dave Dombrowski may have compromised by signing Matt Moore. It looks like he proved he’s regained his health last season in Japan, and he comes with the upside of a former top draft pick. The fact that he’s LH is a plus for a team w/o a proven south paw in their rotation. At 3M $$, what have you got to lose? May leave more payroll space for a better/proven closer.

    Also … major props to DD for reeling in a pitcher from Japan w/o implementing the Hinkie plan of hiring Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto as Director Of Clubhouse Food Services! 🙂

    .

    For anyone fluent in Japanese, maybe you can translate this tweet for us.

    And here’s a 20 minute interview with Moore. Talks about his career, and his time in the NPB.

    1. I’m fluent in Google Translate:

      SMBC Japan Series 2020 [Daily Report]

      “No-hitter no-run” until two deaths in the ninth inning with a good throw by Moore and the relief team, Softbank wins three consecutive wins and is the best in Japan

      1. Great work by you, Mr, Honcho.
        I was looking for some video of Moore from this season, and discovered his Fukuoka Soft Bank Hawks team won the NPB Championship. He started and won one of the championship series games.

        Here’s some video from one of Moore’s starts this season. To see the best of Matt Moore, FF to the 7th inning (2:15 mark). Can’t judge his velo, but the FB looked straight. OTOH, the CB appears to be above avg (could be especially tough on LHH’s).

        BTW … while searching for this, I discovered the Soft Bank Hawks provide my absolute favorite ballpark entertainment (just edges out “Beat The Freeze”) . Check this out! Awesome … or as my daughter tells me, “It’s Lit!”

  94. Mr. Hinkie – Thanks a ton for putting that Matt Moore interview out there for us to watch. He sounds like a serious and articulate guy who has been around the block a few times. I’ll be rooting for him! Love that we finally have a lefty starter. One question to y’all: why didn’t the team sign him to a one year contract with an option for a second year? Is that something you think he did not want to do?

    1. Moore probably would have wanted a buyout of the second year option. Phillies probably didn’t want/need to add that. Just me guessing.

  95. Hinkie, Did you finds any RPs who might also be available while you were researching? And, jim, I did not know that Segura has a no-trade clause that triggers more money to give his ok. I think the chances of moving him are slim. And, I like him at 2B. Not giving up on Kingery, but he has a lot to prove. Let him earn his future spot. SS is a big concern if Didi and the team cannot agree. I read somewhere, that after the 2019 season, the team and Segura agreed that SS was not his best position. I don’t know if that is fact and/or if that is DD’s feeling as well. I see a trade for Hader as much more likely than a trade for Trevor Story. I know there have been a number of trades this off season where the team getting the better player did not seem to give up much at all. If it was one of those deals, great. But, I am leery of what it would cost. I just don’t have a good Plan B.

    1. matt13…..gaining teams are giving up, what seems less value for a more valued player, would obviously be due to the economics aspect.
      Lindor for example case in point…though Rosario and Jimenez are not slouches by any means….but they were surplus to the Mets with Lindor there. Indians , and other teams, like the Monforts’ Rox have financial concerns……Rox also have it with Arenado.
      I think a team can get Story with the right sell….and Dombrowski is one guy who can do that.
      Whether or not the Phillies want to go with 4 guys/$20M plus contracts going into 2022 is another concern.

      1. For me … the fact that the Phillies are (reportedly) only interested in Didi on a one year deal tells me DD has interest in at least shopping in next winter’s historic FA SS class. I’m certain Lindor won’t make it to the open market. You gotta’ believe the LAD’s will take care of Corey Seager at some point this season. But … Carlos Correa, Javier Baez, and Trevor Story could be available. Would the Phillies be able to pay 4 guys 20M+? Yes. The LT threshold will increase for 2022 (could go up by 10M or more). Look at the Mets. So far, they haven’t indicated they want to top the cap. Yet, next season, they’ll probably have at least five guys with AAV’s >20M: deGrom (21.8M), Cano (24M), Lindor (could cost 30M+), Conforto (probably ~25M), Syndergaard (at least 20M … if healthy). They also (reportedly) have a big AAV offer to Bauer right now (I’ve heard/read 4Y/120M). Obviously, there’s no way the Mets can stay under the threshold with that stable of contracts.
        The point is … I don’t doubt Middleton could fit Trevor Story (or Correa or Baez) on their 2022 payroll. Not saying they will. Just saying they could. Also saying, it seems like DD wants to keep the 2022 payroll as clear as he can to be a “possible” buyer next winter.

        1. Hinkie…that is it…will Middleton want to do that.
          The Phillies are not cheap…as many may think…their payroll has been very high these last few years.
          I would hope Middleton would go for a another large contract…and Nola’s is still good for another 3 years…so he will not be in that $20M plus until 2024, then Wheeler becomes a free agent the following year.
          it is doable for sure….just will he do it.
          I would shoot for one of the shortstops now in a trade.

      1. No problem, jim! It still makes it more difficult to trade him. I prefer he stays our 2B and we find a way to sign Didi.

        1. Let’s say they don’t sign Didi because of years (1 vs 3). Let’s also say neither Segura nor Kingery will be the SS in 2021. The free agent market is now barren. Dombrowski must make a trade. Who are reasonable targets?

          1. I don’t know if reasonable, but one year of Brandon Crawford and $$ to offset a $15M contract from Giants for …? CJ Chatham and Quinn? Gamboa and Quinn? Gamboa and Dohy?

  96. Romus, planning for the future, it is important to have young players step up, It makes for a well balanced team, and eases the need to go to FA for every position. We have Bohm, and I hope Hoskins. I root for Kingery, and hope he resolves whatever caused last year’s performance. We are going to need production out of CF, and after this season, a LF. Let’s say Spencer is the real deal, and a couple of the Pitching prospects flourish. After Stott, where are our high ceiling position players? Martin, Simmons, Baylor? Maybe Rojas?

    1. Catching seems to have some real potential in Marchan, Duran, O’Hoppe and Guiterrez….and also maybe even Mitchell Edwards
      Infielders….you forgot both Luis Garcia and Dan Brito (277/.329.438) who is doing well in the Ven winter league…and is one of the younger ones there
      OFers…also Muzziotti will be playing in the majors in 2/3 years….he already has a CF MLB glove.
      There are players that could blossom.

      I can only remember the low expectations for Cesar, Villar and Freddy on this site and in national publications…..they all seem to make their marks in the majors.

  97. Hope size and weight difference between the NPL balls and MLB balls are not going to adversely affect Moore’s pitching.
    Some Japanese pitchers have been known to struggle with the feel when initialing coming over to use the American baseballs.
    However, American pitchers may have an advantage going to Japan and using a smaller size and lighter baseball.
    Differences:
    Wt…….NPL 141.7 grams(4.99 ounces) ……….MLB- 148.8 grams(5.2 onces)
    Size….NPL- 22.9 cm………………………………..MLB-.23.5 cm

  98. Hinkie, just FYI Matt Moore was drafted in the 8th round out of high school. Tampa Bay does a good job developing prospects. Good signing by Phils, IMO.

  99. Didi many want 3 but no one will give him 3. Now what? Settle on 2??? That’s my hope/guess

    1. Didi at best would get 2 year with an option for a 3rd year. It is not a bad option for Phillies. Stott could push for a major league promotion by next year which he could move to 3rd and Bohm to 1st or DH if it comes around. Or if they decide to sign a SS free agent next year a few of them can play 3rd or even 2nd. By signing Didi, they improve the lineup from good to above average in the league.

  100. I don’t even care who goes to Rockies. Cards get a steal. Arenado is as good as it gets. A completely quiet off season, then re-sign Wainwright, Molina and get Arenado. Cards did a great job.

  101. He’s no Arenado, but does anyone have insight on the infielder, Chatham, that the Phils DFA’d Arano to make room for?

  102. Not getting Arenado as a salary dump was a massive, massive missed opportunity by Middleton/Dombrowski that could have completely changed the team and the narrative for the next 5-8 years.

    Imagine adding Arenado, moving Bohm to first and trading Rhys for relief pitching.

    We would have 3 top SPs
    A good bullpen post Rhys trade and a lineup of:
    1. Cutch
    2. Bohm
    3. Arenado
    4. Bryce
    5. JT
    6. Segura
    7. Kingery
    8. Haseley/Quinn

    That is a team that could seriously compete. Just a huge mistake not to take on Arenado’s contract. Ugh. So frustrating.

  103. v1again; to add insult to injury the Rockies are going to pay $50 million of the remaining $199 million on Arenado’s salary… The reported prospects going back to the Rockies from the Cardinals makes a massive steal… Rockies fans must be outraged…

    1. The pandemic created a once in a lifetime scenario in which Middleton could have spent and built a juggernaut. He missed it. Disappointing

      1. The reported package going back is two RHP’s who did pitch in the majors last year and an OF ranked 9th in the Cardinal system plus a MiLB 1st baseman.. The Phillies could have met this package without having to dive into the best prospects we have in our system…

        1. And that was the package with $50m thrown in by the Rockies. If Middletown agreed to take the entire package then the prospect package would be basically nothing. It was a salary dump on a future hall of fame 3rd baseman in his prime. And we didn’t step up

          1. that 50 mil is pretty amazing; they are essentially getting him at 25 mil per for the next 6 years-
            i guess the key is- was last year just a blip and is he truly going to be in his prime at age 30 and beyond.
            definitely get the point about the Phils- one concern would be a lot invested in 3 guys who should be very good but their best seasons likely behind them and when does the decline start- and you still have to figure out shortstop and 2/5th of your rotation and some bullpen,though as you mention Hoskins could be dealt, at least when he’s proven to be healthy.

    2. Hawk……massive steal?
      “In exchange for waiving his no-trade clause, Arenado will keep his opt-out clause in 2021 and gain a second opt-out after the 2022 season,”
      Arenado exercises his opt-out after this season or 2022, and heads to the West Coast….and the Rox make out like bandits.
      Cardinals are taking a risk on the 30- year old 3B that he stays for good.

      And what if one of the prospects is 3B Nolan Gorman…then the Rox look pretty good coming out of the deal.

      1. Gorman is not in the deal nor is any top prospect.

        The opt outs are simply a negotiating lever if he has a good experience with the Phils. Joining Bryce and JT, he would have a blast on our team. Sure he would use that leverage to extend his contract, but he wouldn’t want to leave.

        This was a massive miss by the Phils. Hall of famers in their prime do not often get traded in salary dumps.

        1. He did say, in 2019, he preferred to be on the West Coast.
          But yes, he can use the opt-out as leverage if he wants to.
          Nevertheless, I would, if Dombrowski, pursue Story…even if it means giving up some of the top ten Phillies prospects.

            1. I agree with v1. Not only should Middleton have allowed DD to hunt for salary dumps, he should have also hired some good really good scouts let go by clubs trying to save money because of the pandemic. This organization has never really been great at zagging when everyone else is zigging or thinking outside the box.

              BTW … I do disagree with you on Trevor Story. Despite Colorado trading Nolan Arenado, I find it hard to see them getting Story extended.

            2. Good question….not sure.
              Toss up…Moore had great numbers vs basically AAA hitters in Japan with a slightly smaller and lighter baseball to throw……Rodon certainly has his own a caution flags.

      2. One of Arenado’s complaints is the Rockies are not in it to win. With the Rockies playing against the Dodgers and now the Padres for the playoffs every years a long playoff drought was in the making for the Rockies… The NL Central is wide open right now with a Cardinal franchise that always seems to be in the playoffs or right there every year..

  104. The Cardinals are an interesting team when it comes to spending… They rarely over spend for players and claim poverty as it relates to the big market teams but still draw on average around 3.4 million fans a year and those somewhat familiar with Cardinals finances say in non-Covid years a river of cash runs through the organization. Twenty years ago the Dewitt’s bought surrounding property around the stadium including parking garages and developed a ballpark village of bars, hotels, condo’s and retail and all the revenue goes back to the Cardinals. So if you think you’re sticking it to the Cardinals by not paying $10 bucks for that beer inside the stadium but only $8 dollars outside of it at a “sports bar”, it’s still goes to the Cardinals..

    1. interesting- had been out there in ’19 with all that construction going on but didnt realize they owned it.

      1. And yet they still are considered a small market team, under the current CBA guide lines….because of their TV market size or Designated Market Area (DMA)….them and Pittsburgh are neck and neck in the mid-20s I believe in the US.
        Whereas the Pirates have to scramble financially and sell their stars , the Cardinals can buy stars….and still get the added draft pick in the Compensation Round of either the A or B.

          1. rooco…late getting back to you.
            Good question……..perhaps the revenue sharing teams rather let them have the picks vs giving them more money under the revenue sharing program.

  105. Think of the protection Bohm would get batting 2nd with Harper 3rd and Arenado 4th and JTR 5th or mix and match Harper, Arenado and JTR’s position in the batting lineup.. Wow…That’s a very, very uncomfortable middle of the lineup…

  106. Cardinals got an incredible deal! They lost no top prospect and got 50$! Agree that the opt outs are probably not a concern. Risk is minimal.

    Every time the Phillies don’t make someone else’s smart move doesn’t mean we’re a bad organization though.

    Last three off-season’s we’ve signed Harper, Wheeler, Realmuto!

    Need to do more for sure but I’m confident DD is not done yet.

    1. With Didi now signed, as currently constructed, the Phils are the 4th best team in the NL East. They need to make bold moves to improve. The Mets made two massive upgrades to their lineup. We are running it back with Archie Bradley.

  107. I don’t think Arenado would have waived his no trade to come to the Phillies. The Cardinals have a much better chance of “being in it” year after year in the NL Central. The Phillies don’t. Also, I think part of his deal is getting a year tacked on at the end of the contract. And the Cardinals have had their share of misses giving big contracts to Carpenter and Fowler. They get by money-wise by paying the rest of their team very little.

    1. Didi: two years at $28 million.

      Sounds like the perfect length of time and amount of money to me.

      Welcome back, Didi!

    2. 2Y/28M … and some money will be deferred. Wondering with Didi and JTR deferring money if DD can spend closer to the 210M cap this year. If so, the Phillies would still have the space to bring in a higher tier arm, either SP (maybe Paxton) or RP (Rosenthal).

      1. No. Deferred money still gets applied to the current year’s salary and AAV. The only benefit is not having to pay it this season. I covered deferred money per the CBA above somewhere.

        1. Jim … I understand the team’s payroll (in terms of the luxury tax) is calculated by AAV. The point I was trying to make (I probably should have asked it more clearly) isn’t Middleton more interested in real money being spent in 2021 on salaries? If so, JTR is actually beiing paid 10M this season instead of his 23M AAV. That’s a savings of 13M in terms of real money for 2021. I’m not yet sure yet of the specifics of Didi’d deal. Let’s say he’s agreed to defer 8M (just making that # up) of his contract. That would then mean Middleton is paying him 6M this season instead of 14M, and saves the club 8M (in terms of real money) for 2021.
          So my question is … would Johnny Cigars (that one is for you, mark) let Dombrowski use the 21M he’s saving in deferred money from JTR and Didi to buy James Paxton or Trevor Rosenthal on one year deals (as long as their contracts don’t push the Phillies AAV over 210M (this season’s cap)?

          1. To follow up … I just checked, and the team is actually shelling out an extra ~11M in real money (compared to AAV) in 2021 because of the contract structures for Harper, Wheeler, McCutchen, Segura, Nola, Kingery, and Odubel.
            So … if you take the projected 21M in savings (for 2021) because of JTR and Didi deferred money, but add the cost of the extra 11M for guys I mentioned above, the Phillies are actually at 185M in salaries and players benefits as opposed to the 195M in AAV (according to Roster Resource). Would Middleton let DD sign or trade for another pitcher at 8M. That would take their AAV to 203M, but the real money for this year to 193M.

            Or maybe Middleton says DD can spend more money at the deadline if the club is in contention.

  108. Ee got Didi back, 2years/$28M. Higher than I thought we would go, back very happy he is back. John K, we have signed Harper and Wheeler as FAs, re-signed JTR, but where is the trade where we are clearly ahead like Arenado to St.L or Lindor to the Mets? We haven’t made that deal. V1 is talking about taking advantage of other teams because of financial issues. We did not do that when we were spending little and still don’t do that.

    1. Exactly. When other teams get better and we run it back with a sub .500 team + Archie Bradley we are not doing what it will take to really be competitive. The Mets made two massive improvements to their lineup. They have definitely separated themselves from us.

      1. My point remains that we can’t judge this until it’s done. Two months ago people cried here that we had no quality GM. One month ago there were cries that we might do nothing this off-season and were losing JTR. Days ago it was similar worry of not signing Didi. Meanwhile I keep writing to remain patient. I’m not saying or promising there is a trade coming. In fact I’m not confident there is, especially one that compares to Arenado or Lindor, as you guys are comparing. We also need to be realistic though. Personally I feel the off-season has been strong so far.
        DD!!!
        JTR, Didi back!
        A.Bradley!
        And moves we’ve never made that may/not pan out: partaking in a 3-way trade for Alvarado. And signing Moore returning from Asia. Both possible upside risks!
        …And maybe more?

    2. and Matt, I;m just writing what I know you are thinking…. kudos to PP amazing predicter Eric D on Didi’s signing!

      1. ll(heart)PP, You are exactly right! Eric D must be preparing for the Sunday night snow, or I am sure he would have been here to claim the credit he is due. Now, I want him to predict a real good BP arm! And, maybe a big trade?

  109. The most anti-climactic transaction if ever there was one…with Didi in the fold and the Reds in need of a SS, how about trading Segura and cash to Cincinnati for Sonny Gray to solidify the starting rotation?

    1. reds would be better off just sticking Senzel at short and seeing if he can stay healthy and play the position.

    2. mark8….Reds probably will go with Garcia……and yet another….he of Cuba, Jose this time…. and 23-years old…they auditioned him last season.

  110. I mentioned this the other day. I think it was 14 games Phillies lost last year after leading after 7th inning. So team is now basically the same. I think there has to be a couple quality BP arms still added. Bradley cannot be the only one. Otherwise another sub 500 record is in store for 2021. I do not know who the 2 BP guys should be but there has to be a couple more.

    1. I want to take this moment to point out that prospects who dominate in minor leagues but have mediocre velo, mediocre stuff and mediocre K rates in the minors are not valuable prospects and rarely amount to much in the Major. I point this out because we have this debate endlessly. Cole Irvin was drafted as a 5th rounder as a college guy with mediocre stuff but great command. That never works.

      1. i wasnt so much that they drafted him round 5 but they gave him well above slot 800k, same as they did for JoJo in Round 4. not much success among the round 5 picks other then Cavan Biggio (300k, 25 picks after Irvin), but after JoJo in round 4, 5 picks later was Corbin Burnes for 536k, later on Joey Lucchesi (100k),Bobby Dalbec (650k),Shane Bieber (420k),

  111. Glad Didi is back. Just saw on ESPN that his defense since 2012 is 5th best overall. That is pretty good.

    1. Don53….last season however he was a negative DRS…….and 9th in the NL alone at a 0.0 rating under SABR-SDI
      Javier Báez….6.0
      Dansby Swanson-4.2
      Miguel Rojas-3.6
      Brandon Crawford-2.4
      Trevor Story-1.6
      Chris Taylor-1.0
      Nick Ahmed-1.0
      Corey Seager -0.0
      Didi Gregorius-0.0
      ………who knows, maybe the shifts were inadequately positioned.

      1. I agree Romus. I did not think he had a great year at SS. I just did not know he had been that good before. I am not a Yankees fan so really had not seen him play that much. Coming back from the shoulder surgery may have had some impact as well. Shifts might have affected. Shifts drive me nuts when a hitter cannot hit a ball to one side of the infield if it is completely open. No excuse for that.

        1. Funnily, coming up with the Reds (and then going over to the D’Backs), the general consensus was that he was a good defender at SS, but with questions about whether his bat would allow him to be a starter. He’s obviously come into his own offensively, but he didn’t hit particularly well in the minors or in his first few years in the majors. So his defense carried him here and his offense caught up later.

          I think he’ll do better defensively this year, personally. Just a hunch.

          1. Dan, Agree. That’s my hunch, too. But I think we need to know Eric D’s hunch before we bank it.

  112. We didn’t need cash considerations for Cole Irvin. Wasn’t there a low level prospect with some upside we could take a chance on?

      1. Don’t think teams are allowed to trade J2 money this year (just a stupid/nonsensical COVID rule implemented by MLB).

          1. I just double-checked. Teams cannot trade J2 money this year.
            The Phillies and Angels have the third lowest pools ($4,732,700) this season. That’s all they’ll be allowed to spend on international teens through Dec 15.
            So far, they’ve already used 3.425M of that on Yemal Flores (1.3M), Ricardo Perez (1M), Marco Soto (375-thousand), Leonardo Rondon (350-thousand), and Raylin Heredia (300-thousand).

      2. Romus Johnny Cigars needs that cash, Romus what time our you shoveling my pavement? i will give you 8 dollars this time,

  113. Hinkie. Phillies were 5th last year in runs scored in MLB. 16 teams made playoffs. Phillies not one of them. Who do you think Phillies may have a legit shot of adding to BP? Hader would be great but lots would have to be given up for him I think.

    1. Don53….as it stands now….this is basically the same 1-8 lineup that finished 2020…so the bull pen better pick it up this season….and having Hader definitely will enhance that effort.

      1. Zero chance?
        v1 … you’ve been away for awhile. Maybe you missed it. Dave Dombrowski is now running the show. 🙂

        1. 1. If Hader is traded, we don’t have the farm system to get him.
          2. I hope to eat these words. I really don’t think it is realistic. But I hope that you all can say “I told you so!”

  114. V1again…while I understand your rationale for wanting Arenado, I am not going to spend one minute speculating on the what ifs on a deal that we don’t know was even a consideration. Sure, writing his name on a Phillie lineup card looks impressive, but I suspect DD looked at the pluses and minuses on a deal and felt it would make this club wayyyyy too financially top heavy and reduce his opportunities to make a big deal in the future, maybe even the near future [Hader?]

    Not only that but here are some other considerations. One, you talk of trading Hoskins as if he is healthy and at his premium best when I would argue just the opposite, he is coming off a fairly significant shoulder surgery, just started hitting off a tee, and might now be at his LOWEST potential trade value. Two, since DiDi signed today, we have to assume those negotiations were not finished in a vacuum but were strung together over the course of several days and its likely DD would have had to end negotiations with DiDi right when an agreement was on the horizon, not exactly something that wins hearts and minds of players or agents.

    Three, we know DD is an amazing multi-tasker and we doubt yet know what his finished product will look like, we simply know that signing JT was going to be the move that would likely unlock all the future doors, doors that likely never included bringing in Arenado. Let’s allow his yet unfinished painting to be completed before second guessing of moves we aren’t sure could have been made.

    And four, and probably most important, a few months ago we were reading about the team letting McFail run the team for one more year and seeking trade partners for Wheeler. Forget JT, forget DiDi, heck Klentak was likely going to have a voice in future moves that Middleton made.

    Now? We brought in a guy who I believe is already, along with Gillick and Owens, the best Phillie GM EVER, and he in turn has brought back JT, DiDi, signed Moore and Bradley, and gives phans legitimate hopes that even more moves are on the horizon. And we know they are…Dombrowski didn’t take this job to rebuild, Middleton didn’t pursue him all the way to Antarctica to cut costs and JT and DiDi wouldn’t have re-signed to be part of a tear down campaign.

    I understand the ifs, ands and buts of an Arenado move, I get it. But I prefer to enjoy where we are today and where we are likely to be a year from now that wax poetic about where we could have been. Because I KNOW where we thought we would be back in October and the view looks an awful lot better going into February than it did leaving October.

    1. Enjoy where we are today? Where exactly do you think that we are relative to the NL East competitors?

      We have the same squad as last year (4 games under .500) + Archie Bradley.

      The Nats got a lot better. So did the Mets and the Cards.

      A Hall of Fame 3rd baseman in his prime just got traded in a salary dump.

      This team is the 4th best in the NL East. We are wasting Bryce’s prime. You can keep Dreamin (pun intended) if you want. But I have seen this movie before and I know the ending.

    2. Add also that Arenado had too waive his trade rights / given the bad feelings he had with mgmt, add ongoing chatter that Cardinals were the frequently talked apart destination- for at least 4 months now – I highly doubt – conjecture or not – that he would have ok’d a Philly connection.

      1. Why do you doubt that he would have agreed to come to Philly to play with Bryce and JTR and 3 really good SPs? That doesn’t seem logical to me. What would cause him to want to not come to Philly?

        1. v1, you are very insightful and a great addition to this site, so I hope I don’t seem like I am on your case when I just gently suggest that Philadelphia may have just a bit of a bad reputation among some ball players, even ones that DO like big cities. Perhaps because I’ve been under a rock – and feel free to correct -but have not heard about St. Louis fans being cited as “booing Santa Klaus”

          1. Well we just signed Bryce Harper, JT Realmuto and Zack Wheeler. All three extremely coveted FAs. So not sure I see data suggesting we can’t sign big names here. But thanks for the compliments. I like your comments as well.

  115. We have last year’s team, plus Archie Bradley and Matt Moore. Also, less teams make the Playoffs unless some new agreement is reached. And, Atlanta got better, and the Mets got a lot better. We always have trouble with the Marlins, and the Nats could be better than us as well. We need more Pitching. Despite the lottery tickets we acquired, we need a real Closer, and we could still use a 2d, legit, BP arm. I don’t know that the plan is to get those pieces through FA, but I am still hopeful that DD has a nice trade up his sleeve.

  116. We did not miss playoffs because of our lineup, with an AVERAGE bullpen we make 2020 postseason. Plus it was a 60 game sprint, I think we surprise folks and the Nats and Marlins dip. Without a doubt we play in the toughest division in baseball.

    1. We had one of the worst defenses in baseball. What team did you guys watch last year? Good grief. Can we be realistic? The Mets added two all stars to their lineup, both are gold glove caliber defenders too. The Nats, besides getting Strasberg and Scherzer back from injury added Josh Bell, Schwarber and Brad Hand.

      We have gone backwards.

      1. Why are you okay assuming Stras and Scherzer are healthy and better than last year, but not our injured guys? They’re not exactly young, either. I don’t particularly mind pessimism or optimism when it comes to health/bounce backs, but you should at least be consistent.

        Also no, we haven’t gone backwards. We’ve added more pieces to the bullpen (our glaring weakness last season), we get a full year of Bohm, we’ve added options for the rotation with upside, and we kept our important FAs. If your opinion is that we’re last in the division, it is what it is. But we have not gone backwards.

          1. I disagree. I think the Braves are still better than us, but we’re closer to them now than at the end of last season. Their big signings thus far have been Morton, Smyly, and Tomlin. All are gambles, and the former two they signed well-above market. They haven’t replaced Ozuna who was a monster offensive threat for them last year, their catching core is dubious (unless you think d’Arnaud continues at a .411 BABIP pace), and they are PRAYING that Pache works out.

            They’ve obviously got a killer core with Albies, Swanson, Acuna, and Freeman. And Fried and Anderson looked excellent, but their results were better than their underlying numbers suggest. So that team has more warts than we acknowledge. They have holes at LF, 3B, potentially C, and potentially CF, plus their pitching was middle of the pack last year. Their pitching has maybe improved, and their hitting has taken a step back (as of now). Our pitching has definitely improved, and our hitting is static (if we don’t count a full season of Bohm as an upgrade).

            As for the Nats, you don’t have to squint to see where they can run into problems. Again; nice core with Soto, Robles, and Turner. But their offense last year was not great. Schwarber will help with that, but they NEED Kieboom and one of Bell/Castro/Garcia to produce. So far, Kieboom has been bad in the majors (small sample, sure, but the only one we have). Castro will probably be okay, but he’s below average for his career. Bell; who knows? Terrible last year, one really good year, a couple mediocre years. This is a team that is meant to be carried by their pitching, and they’ve reached the point where their pitchers might not be able to carry them anymore. Hand was a good pickup, but Lester isn’t a substitute for a healthy Scherzer or Stras. And at this point you have to assume Stras will be out at least half the year. So you’re now praying that Scherzer stays healthy and gets back to form AND that Corbin stays healthy. Obviously, things could roll correctly for them and they’ll demolish us; but I’m not gonna be the one to bet money on a 36 year old pitcher staying healthy and being an ace. I’m looking at their numbers from last year and it’s amazing to me that they didn’t lose MORE games. So have they really added enough to make up the difference? I don’t think so.

            The Mets are the one team in the division that I think has a done a better job than us this offseason; they’ve added good pieces at areas of need. For them it’ll come down to health most likely. I won’t be surprised if they beat us in the division race, but then again they’re the Mets. So I won’t be surprised if injuries completely derail their pitching staff, either.

            And the Marlins… they’ve added nobody worth mentioning. So, as always, it comes down to whether you believe in their young players. Their success last year was an absolute mirage. Both their hitting and their pitching was mediocre on the whole. Obviously they have some legitimate bright spots, but they need their young pitchers to not regress AT ALL to have a shot at replicating last season. AND they need young guys to step up at the plate. I personally see them as more of a threat 2-3 years from now. Assuming they don’t just firesale again.

            1. Fair assessment Dan. Agree Phillies off-season is not the failure some keep saying it is. Plus, it’s not over.

  117. Jim – any good moves (trades or signings) coming? Or do you think it’s bargains from here on out?

    Bullpen is better. Offense should continue to improve. I like the chances of wild card run.

    Really being optimistic but seems like the bullpen is destined to be better. Can’t get worse than last year but they’ll have Archie and several others. Plus, with their being a minor league season (hopefully!) more options will be had to choose from.

    1. Bullpen must get better by a lot. It was as though our guys last year were placing the ball on a T for the hitter. There were several times our guys only made one pitch. Hopefully those guys are gone but I think some guys who gets outs are badly needed. I think Brogdon and maybe Rosso might contribute. Bradley will help. I have zero faith in Hector. When he comes in it seems if Phillies are ahead there is a very good chance when he leaves Phillies no longer are leading.

  118. I agree completely with Cal Dreaming about the Arenado situation. Claiming that Middleton/DD blew it by not trading for Arenado is pure, unadulterated speculation, nothing more. Among the many things we do not know and probably never will are: (1) whether Arenado would have waived his no trade clause to come to Philly; (2) what the cost would have been to obtain that waiver, even if he had agreed to do so; (3) what Colorado may have demanded from the Phillies in return for Arenado; and (4) whether the return demanded was a reasonable one. We also do not know the details of any negotiations which DD may have had with Colorado over Arenado, what DD may have offered to the Rockies and why they ultimately made a deal with the Cardinals. Bottom line, IMO there is simply too much we do not know about the situation to fairly criticize DD/Middleton because they failed to make a deal for Arenado.

    1. 1. It is just as much conjecture that he wouldn’t waive his no trade clause to come to Philly. But there is no logical reason that he wouldn’t waive it to come to Philly. Especially after we signed JTR.
      2. Again, no logical reason that the cost to come to Philly would have been more than the cost to go to St. Louis.
      3. This is not conjecture. They clearly had no leverage. They got very little in return and also had to kick in $50 million, which is not a trivial amount of dead money.
      4. Again, not conjecture. Colorado clearly had no leverage. There wasn’t much of a market for him given Covid’s impact on the team financials. If there was a big market, then Colorado wouldn’t have had to kick in money and would have gotten top prospects. This isn’t conjecture, it is basic logic.

      You are making this more complicated than it is in reality.
      1. Middleton started this off season complaining about money. Lowering expectations.
      2. A Hall of Famer in his prime was just traded for a salary dump return. No elite prospects and Colorado also had to kick in $50m.
      3. We could have easily beaten that offer if we wanted to eat the contract.
      4. The Nats and Mets have gotten much better in this offseason.
      5. We have the same team that was 4 games under .500, with the lone addition of Archie Bradley. Exactly how many wins do you think Bradley gets us?
      6. We had one of the worst defenses in the majors last year. we have done nothing to change that.

      It is true that the offseason isn’t over and we still have time to make upgrades. But pitchers and catchers report in 17 days. And we just missed out on an elite player.

  119. Signing JTR and Didi were the basic requirements to have a chance to compete. Having said that, the success of the ‘21 team will be all about the moves made in the margins. As much as we won a title because of stars like Cole, Jimmy, Chase, and Ryan, we would have never had that run without:

    1 Rule 5 Shane Victorino
    2 A long shot in Werth coming off a wrist injury
    3 Change of scenery candidate Brad Lidge
    4 Under the radar guys like Pedro Feliz, Joe Blanton, Scott Eyre, and JC Romero

    Klentak was never able to come close to making the moves in the margins that would take the team to the next level. If DD hits on just a few of his moves in the margins, this team can and will compete for a title. If he doesn’t, they can’t and won’t. We don’t need a great GM for Didi and JTR, that’s the easy part. I have more faith in DD to do better than any Phillies leader since Gillick.

    1. KK’s mistake was signing Santana and trying to fit a square peg into a round hole – good hitter but wrong position. In the end it cost us JP Crawford.

  120. Buddy, I agree completely with what you just said, The guys you mentioned were crucial to the success, even with the Stars we had. It would be nice, also, if we got a little more than replacement level play out of CF, and if Cutch stays healthy and gives us something decent. Maybe a trade for Josh Hader brings similar success to the Lidge trade, but we don’t have that Victorino/Werth player.

  121. You all Leo saying this is the same club as last year. However, how many games did the back to normal Hoskins, a healthy Harper, a healthy JT, and Bohm share last year. I’m pretty sure that number is close to zero if not zero. Add in that Kingery never bounced back from Covid and should be better. How much better, we have no idea. Also Cutch is another year past his surgery. The offense will be fine. Our defense has to get better though because it was terrible last year. The real improvement has to come from the pitching. Moore might be a pleasant surprise. I expect another minor league contract signing. Bradley is a nice upgrade and I expect another bullpen piece who can pitch in the 8/9 inning. That’s the final piece that we need. I wouldn’t be surprised by a Robertson return in a minor league deal either.

    1. Games played: (out of 60)
      – JTR: 47
      – Rhys: 41
      – Bryce: 58
      – Bohm: 44

      Considerably more than zero. That said, injuries happen. They happen to every team. That’s why you need depth.

      Cutch is 34 years old starting this season. Expecting him to be much better seems like wishful thinking to me.

      1. McCutchen played 57 games hit 253/324 (average-ish) with 10 homers (same as Didi & Rhys) and 34 RBIs (2nd on team). That is not bad at all, he was on pace to hit 25+ homers which is good for a LF.

  122. On the debate over Arrenado, isn’t the biggest issue the opt outs? In many ways, he’s a huge 2021 away from being a free agent next off-season. It has the chance of acquiring him as a one year rental and even with a lower prospect haul, the Phils farm is pretty empty. I also think moving Hoskins right now is not going to yield much bullpen help. He’s a 1B with not great offensive numbers, questionable defense, a growing salary, and coming off a serious injury. I’d be interested v1 in your thoughts on what teams would trade for him and what bullpen pieces you think they’d give up?

    1. He had a 140 WRC+ and an .887 OPS on a $4.8 mil contract. That is a good asset. If someone else doesn’t want him then we keep him and DH him. Either way, you don’t let that stop you from adding Arenado.

      1. Who do you believe would be interested in him and what would we acquire? Without that trade and paying Arrenado, where would Rhys play if a DH is not implemented? And how do we improve the bullpen with Arrenado basically taking up all remaining money?

        1. Anything I say would be a guess. But generally speaking players with a $4.8m contract and an .887 OPS are t hard to move. There are a lot of teams who need first basemen.

    2. As for the opt outs, I am not too worried. I think Bryce and JT can keep him happy to be on squad. The Cardinals gave up nothing of value. No reason to think that we couldn’t lock him up.

  123. Holder 26 yrs 1098 PAs 16 HRs 320 GMs at SS .973 fielding %
    Chatham 29 859 8 202 .959
    Maton 23 456 7 240 .964

    When looking for a backup infielder, you look at someone who could play a decent SS. Of the three, Holder filled that bill. However, to keep him the Phillies had to keep him on the 26 man roster for the entire year. That was a stretch.

    With Maton, he is only 23 and has to be on the 40 but he has all his options. Likewise for Chatham as for the options but he is not a true SS. It would have been nice to keep Holder but he has more of a chance to play the entire season with the Reds.

      1. Romus he cant hit, keep hoping, Williams is just a 220 hitter at best with some speed, dime a dozen type player. good field no hit player

        1. rocco….who needs for him to hit….utility guys need to play defense first, hit is second …starters need to hit first.
          Correct, dime a dozen but defense is paramount….think Terry Harmon or even, oh no, Mini Mart..

  124. I think that there is at least 1 more BP arm and quite possibly another SP. And a bench bat. So there will be, possibly, a need for 3 more spots. So, instead of giving guys away for cash considerations, which the team does not need, maybe a 3 for 1 trade? I just know DD has to make a trade. It is his nature!

    1. matt13…..what makes you think they will go for another SP…..signing Moore , plus they SP Ivan Nova under a minor league contract.
      I mean T Walker would be nice also, but Dombrowski may not be looking at any more starters on the free agent market.

      1. Romus, I had read in a Jim Salisbury article that some more SP depth was something we were looking at. I went with that. I remember how productive Jay Bruce was when we got him in 19, and I want a bench bat like that. And, we still meed more BP help.

      2. Romus, sadly Tom Terrific is definitely out of the picture, but I don’t thing The Freak ever officially retired. What do you think? There are quite a few older pitchers than 36 doing OK.

        1. Hah……sure, why not, give him a shot.
          Tthough think Gabe and the Giants would have already tried to persuade him to come back to AT$T or Oracle or whatever they call it now.. Seems the Giants are in on every aged pitcher this off-season.
          As much as it is a good story of nostalgia….Hamels could be returning.
          However, those things rarely work out for substantial gains…..as in the win column.

            1. I am willing to bet he has no agent or is not in contact with him….and does not know what the offical procedures are put in the retirement paperwork……he does not get his benefits….pension et al…until he does that.
              Technically he is a free agent ….in limbo.

    2. They have no trade value, none. Grouping them doesn’t help. DD has done this a few times….

    3. matt13…some relief help that is currently available…..-
      Soria….. Melcanon…. Petit….. Greene…….. McGee…….. Alvarez…. Colome…. Doolittle……. Clippard…….Rosenthal.
      …any with history with Joe?

    4. If a guy gets traded for cash, it’s because that’s better than just outright releasing him which was the only other option. So would you rather get money or nothing?

  125. When the Phils trade someone like Holder off the 40 man roster for cash considerations, does that cash help our luxury tax number or is it purely just cash and has no impact on our luxury tax threshold?

    1. The cash we get back is just cash, no luxury tax implications. But his contract comes off our books which helps the LTT (marginally).

  126. I think the key to improvement in the 2021 is going to be in improvement in howard, kingery, haseley, some of the younger bullpen arms ( romero etc) and continued growth in Bohn. thats where a .500 record could make improvement

    1. Let’s not forget what a full season of Hoskins hitting could be like. He got hot last year after Harper and JT cooled down and then got hurt. We never had all three hot with Bohm in the lineup at the same time. Plus I think Eflin can take the next step. With all that said, they still need another legit bullpen arm and another SP. Hamels is a rumor again…

      1. With all due respect to Cole Hamels, he’s done. Why invest even a pittance in his services when his durability alone is a major red flag. Yes, his veteran presence yadda yadda yadda….there is plenty of veteran leadership on the current pitching staff. And Caleb Cotham will hopefully be given the opportunity to establish his finger prints on this group. Signing Hamels would only be a tip of the hat to the good old days. Time to form a new era of success. Dombrowski doesn’t strike me as the sentimental type anyway.

        1. If Hamels is still out there in June…..and Phillies have pitching injuries….maybe in an emergency. Clemens did that with the Astros 15 years ago..

  127. It was surprising that the Rockies kicked in so much money. If he opts out next year, I would assume the Rockies would be off the hook for a big portion of that 50m, yes? Unless he has a terrible year, why would he NOT opt out?

    1. $35M reasons not to opt out……how many teams can afford to match or beat that for the next 4 years….his market will be very small if any at all..
      I can assume the Cardinals….with only having to pay him $25M because of the Rox kick in….see that and offered the ’21 and ’22 opt outs….they know not many teams will pony up that much money on a LTC.
      Arenado’s agent can also read the tea leaves and can see that also.

      1. I honestly didn’t realize how much he was making per year. Maybe with players getting upwards of 10 years deals he would trade his 5 for 164 if he could get 8 for 240m. Unless he is betting on another big contract at 36

  128. Chatham is a happy guy today. He just moved one step closer to major league time. Someone guessed Holder might be next man out. Good guess! Who is next??

  129. Imo dombrowski did about as well as he could have. Competitive offense so so inf defense. Pretty good top 3 of rotation needing luck at back end of rotation like many do.

    He has himself in position to maybe improve bullpen at halfway point and compete for playoff spot. You get in with a couple starters who have potential to be pitching well at that point who knows. At least there is some hope.

    Yeah some teams look better on paper but let’s see what happens.

    Could also improve following year because of Dombrowski

    1. Agree with Patso. A rebuild was out of the question. Dombrowski has done what he’s needed to do to keep the Phillies competitive. For me, the NL East currently goes like this:

      1. Braves
      2. Mets
      3. Phillies
      4. Nationals
      5. Marlins

      … and IMO … the Mets are closer to the Phillies than they are to the Braves (BTW … the Marlins could beat out the Nats).
      Yes. A lot of things will have to go right for the Phillies, and wrong for the Braves (and Mets). So the Phillies need to stay healthy, and some of their their young players have to make significant strides. The Braves and Mets will probably have to incur a decent amount of injuries.
      Also … unlike the previous couple of seasons, the Phillies now have a GM capable/with a history of making the deadline deal(s) to push the club across the finish line (he won’t be dumpster diving like Klentak).

      Remember … DD has won a division title in seven of the last nine seasons he’s run a team.

      1. Last season we were 4 games under .500. We have same squad except Bradley. How many more wins do you think that Bradley is worth to us?

  130. If the season started tomorrow, could this be the infield: Kingery 3B, Gregorius SS, Segura 2B, Bohm 1B?

        1. Rhys was interviewed this week…he says he is doing well and expects to meet the timetable for his return from non-throwing, left elbow TJ…….the first week of October the surgery was performed and the timetable was 4-6 months. The latest of the outlook looks like April 1st….and if ST is delayed a few weeks then he more than likely will be ready……heck it could be on the other hand, the optimistic four months and he could swing the bat against live pitching in two weeks if need be,

  131. What is the plan if there is a DH? I’d love to see a Jay Bruce reunion on a one year deal if so. Guessing we’ll
    see a CF platoon between 2 of Haseley, Quinn, and Kingery.

  132. ABL Stats:
    Rixon Wngrove tops the league in HRs with 7
    Luke Williams 16th in BA………slash-292/.299/361
    Simmons struggled but one of the youngest in the league….slash-.172/221/.219
    Randolph…..slash-.210/275/355
    Mitch Edwards……slash-.185/214/.296

    https://theabl.com.au/stats

  133. MLB has officially proposed a 154 game regular season to the players union who are mulling it over this weekend. Extended playoffs into November would also be part of the plan, along with delaying the start of the season by a month. There would also be NO prorated salaries. MLBTR reports that players may be agreeable to the offer. More fan interest with more teams involved in the playoff picture. I wonder if and how the DH is decided in this development. Stay tuned…

    1. Hope it includes a minor league season. Almost Feb 1 and this crap isn’t figured out yet. Shame.

    2. Let’s just let everybody in the playoffs. 154 game preseason to determine seeding and then a 1-and-done tournament, just like March Madness. It’ll be so exciting!

    3. Mark829….154 games….just like the old days…Mickey and Roger chasing the Babe’s record.

      1. Um, except that Maris and Mantle chased the record in the first 162 game season, which was the reason for the famous asterisk next to Maris’s record.

  134. MLBPA expected to reject proposal. Here we go again. Another pissing match between players and owners.

    Here’s an idea; cancel MLB season and let the kids in the minors play!!

    1. MLB is a joke. They were going to push the MiLB spring training until after MLB ST. Now they should send the Minor Leaguers to camp NOW and let them play intrasquad games all year at one site – no fans, no travel, just play ball and develop. If the public health situation improves, they could add fans etc in summer. But these kids need to play. FREE THE KIDS!!!

      1. A second year without cities having minor league baseball would crush the minors. There would be no minor leagues. Just a sea of bankruptcies..

  135. What was the reason for the rejection? I thought there was no pro rata salary, so players get paid 100%? I always support the players but this makes no sense. What am I missing?

    1. Players feel like it would give the commish the power to cancel games outright

      Makes no sense.

      Just start the season on time. By July they can have fans in the stands.

      I’m optimistic as there will be a 3rd vaccine approved within the next two weeks.

    2. wonder how they ensure MILB Health and Safety. Do they just bump down the age from 70 years old to 17 years old, somehow get vaccines for everyone (because they are “essential personnel”) then say the heck with everything else? Completely revamp all the locker, shower, training rooms etc? Provide everyone with daily oxygen meter testing?

  136. Geez, Romus, Randolph at .210 in Australia. He can’t hit. Not in the Western Hemisphere, not in the Eastern Hemisphere, not in the Northern Hemisphere, not in the Southern Hemisphere.

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