Open Discussion: Week of October 3, 2021

This is the courtesy thread for comments and discussion about the Phillies and other BASEBALL topics.

The Phillies (82-80) played pitifully this past week and lost the games they needed to win in order to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2011.  They went 1-5 getting swept by Atlanta in the biggest series they’ve had in ten years.  Then they lost 2 out of 3 to Miami.  They did post their first winning season since the aforementioned 2011 season.  Yay.

Dombrowski gave Girardi a vote of confidence over the weekend.  So, the manager responsible for one of the worst bullpen ERAs in history (2020) and the most blown saves in a season (2021) gets another chance next season.  Yay.

You probably noticed that I lost interest in posting the Recaps.  I had planned on posting a Recap on Saturday to recognize the winning seasons and the division win by the two DSL squads.  But, a family emergency arose and changed plans.  So, let me recognize them today.

The DSL Phillies White finished in first place in the San Pedro Division with a 36-20 record and the fourth best winning percentage (.643) among the league’s 6 divisions and 46 teams.  The DSL Phillies Red finished in second place in the South Division with a 33-24 (.579) record, 3.0 games (2 losses) behind the first place team.

White finished the season with a 2-1 win over Red. giving them bragging rights with a 5-4 edge in the nine games they played head-to-head.  They also threw a perfect game at the DSL Brewers1 team on Friday.  Pedro Reyes (2-2, 2.93) and Jaydenn Estanista (3.23) pitched five and two innings respectively in the seven-inning affair.

A couple weeks ago the FCL Phillies finished with a 26-14 record.  Because of a COVID shutdown, they played far fewer games than many other teams, but their .650 winning percentage was fourth best in the 18-team league.

Those three teams were the only teams in the organization to post winning records.  Sunday, Lehigh Valley closed out their season with a 10-1 loss at the hands of Connor Seabold.  David Paulino held the Sox to 3 runs in six innings, but the bullpen imploded again.

The IronPigs finished with a 53-75 record.  They lost their final 9 games, 12 of their final 13, and finished 7-20 after September 1st.

The team honored their “Pigs Pitcher and Player of the Year” Sunday.  LHP Jeff Singer (3-3, 4.74 in 44 games, 53.0 innings, 67 strikeouts) and CF Mickey Moniak (.238) in a season where he was yoyoed back and forth between Triple-A and the majors (recalled and optioned 7 times).  He led the team with 8 triples, 15 HR, 65 RBI, was second with 15 doubles, 87 hits, and 46 runs.  He also led the team with 101 strikeouts.

I was also going to report on Friday’s Instructs intrasquad game and Saturday action in a single report, but …   Ethan Wilson homered off Cristian Hernandez in the first inning on an 0-2 slider.  Freddy Francisco homered later in the seventh inning on a blast into the LF bleachers.  Jordan Viars hit the ball hard.  Lee Hao Yu reached base twice on hard hit balls.  He beat a successful pickoff throw with a swim move back to first base that the umpire missed (Roly De Armas).

Fourteen different pitchers threw in the 7-inning game.  Most looked good.  We watched from outside the South Gate.  I’ll be inside for games on Monday and Tuesday against the Blue Jays this week.  Watch it rain.

Well, Harper’s MVP candidacy is in the hands of the voters.  I think it could come down to how important RBIs are.  Older voters are still married to the old stats.  Younger voters have a different, lower opinion on the importance of RBIs when comparing players.

Wheeler’s Cy Young candidacy may have lost traction with those 23 earned runs in 43.0 innings in August.

Hector Neris set the team record for strikeouts by a reliever with his 520th for the second out in the fifth inning.  He surpassed the 519 by Ron Reed (1976-83).  Neris did it in far fewer innings (407.2 v. over 750.0).

It’s a little early for me to start speculating about what will happen in the offseason.  Give me a week or two.  But, two things of note.

  1. I think I would resign Neris.  He was very effective as a setup guy and will always take the ball.  He is never unavailable in his own mind.
  2. I think Dombrowski has to address Girardi’s contract situation.  Yeah, he said Joe would be back next season.  But, how effective can a lame duck manager be when there is a GM on the active roster?  Dombrowski is only on a 5-year contract.  Is he really going to spend 40% of that time with a manager he didn’t pick?  I think he should fire or extend the manager.  Does it not matter because he still has an eye on Nashville?  Hmm.

The Phillies fired two coaches before the game – hitting coach Joe Dillon and fielding coach Juan Castro.  The assistant hitting coach is unlikely to be back (the new hitting coach will likely hire his own assistant).  Well, at least we know whose fault it was for the poor hitting and poor fielding.

Key Dates: most are guesstimates based on previous years.  Italics are those dates that will be dependent on the new CBA,

  • September 27, 2021: First day of Fall Instructs
  • October 3, 2021: Regular season concludes
  • October 5, 2021: Postseason begins – AL Wild Card Game
  • October 6, 2021: NL Wild Card Game
  • October 7, 2021: AL Division Series begins
  • October 8, 2021: NL Division Series begins
  • October 13, 2021: Opening day for the Arizona Fall League
  • October 15, 2021: AL Championship Series begins
  • October 16, 2021: NL Championship Series begins
  • October 26, 2021: World Series begins
  • October 30 – November 3, 2021: Trading resumes, day after the World Series ends
  • October 31 – November 4, 2021: five days after the conclusion of the World Series – Deadline for teams to make qualifying offers to their eligible former players who became free agents
  • November 14-19, 2021: fifteen days after the conclusion of the World Series – Deadline for free agents to accept qualifying offers
  • November TBA: GM Meetings (Nov. 11-14, Scottsdale, AZ in 2019)
  • November TBA: Owners meetings (Nov. 19-21, Arlington, TX in 2019)
  • November 20, 2021: Deadline to submit 40-man rosters before Rule 5 Draft
  • November TBA: MLBPA executive board meeting (Nov. 26-29 in Irving, TX in 2018)
  • December 1, 2021: CBA expires
  • December 2, 2021 – Non-tender Deadline – last day for teams to offer 2022 contracts to unsigned players (pre-arb and arb eligible) on their 40-man rosters
  • December 2021: Winter Meetings in Nashville
  • December 2021: Rule 5 Draft
  • December 15, 2021: Close of the 2020 international signing period
  • January TBA – Rookie Career Development Program
  • January 15, 2022, 9:00 AM EST – Start of the 2021 international signing period (I gotta check this)
  • January 2022: Deadline for teams and arb eligible players to submit salary figures to arbiter
  • February 16, 2022 – Voluntary spring training reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and players recovering from injuries
  • February 21, 2022 – Voluntary spring training reporting date for position players
  • February 23, 2022 – Mandatory spring training reporting date
  • February 26, 2022: First spring training games
  • February 26, 2022: at New York Yankees (Tampa), Time TBA
  • February 27, 2022: v. Minnesota Twins (Clearwater) (SS) 1:05 PM
  • February 27, 2022: at Toronto Blue Jays (Dunedin) (SS) Time TBA
  • February 28, 2022: at Boston Red Sox (Fort Myers) Time TBA
  • March 1, 2022: v. Detroit Tigers (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
  • March 2, 2022: v. New York Yankees (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
  • March 3, 2022: at Baltimore Orioles (Sarasota) Time TBA
  • March 4, 2022: v. Atlanta Braves (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
  • March 5, 2022: at Tampa Bay Rays (Port Charlotte) Time TBA
  • March 6, 2022: v. Pittsburgh Pirates (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
  • March 7, 2022: OFF DAY
  • March 8, 2022: v. Toronto Blue Jays (Clearwater) (SS) 1:05 PM
  • March 8, 2022: at Detroit Tigers (Lakeland) (SS) Time TBA
  • March 9, 2022: at Minnesota Twins (Fort Myers) Time TBA
  • March 10, 2022: v. New York Yankees (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
  • March 11, 2022: at Toronto Blue Jays (Dunedin) Time TBA
  • March 12, 2022: v. Baltimore Orioles (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
  • March 13, 2022: at Tampa Bay Rays (Port Charlotte) Time TBA
  • March 14, 2022: v. Boston Red Sox (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
  • March 15, 2022: OFF DAY
  • March 16, 2022: v. Toronto Blue Jays (Clearwater) (SS) 1:05 PM
  • March 16, 2022: at New York Yankees (Tampa) (SS) Time TBA
  • March 17, 2022: v. Baltimore Orioles (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
  • March 18, 2022: at Detroit Tigers (Lakeland) Time TBA
  • March 19, 2022: v. Pittsburgh Pirates (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
  • March 20, 2022: at Toronto Blue Jays (Dunedin) Time TBA
  • March 21, 2022: at Atlanta Braves (North Port) Time TBA
  • March 22, 2022: v. New York Yankees (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
  • March 23, 2022: v. Detroit Tigers (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
  • March 24, 2022: at Baltimore Orioles (Sarasota) Time TBA
  • March 25, 2022: v. Toronto Blue Jays (Clearwater) (SS) 1:05 PM
  • March 25, 2022: at Pittsburgh Pirates (Bradenton) (SS) Time TBA
  • March 26, 2022: at New York Yankees (Tampa) Time TBA
  • March 27, 2022: v. Tampa Bay Rays (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
  • March 28, 2022: at Toronto Blue Jays (Dunedin) Time TBA
  • March 29, 2022: at Tampa Bay Rays (Tropicana Field) Time TBA
  • March 30, 2022: OFF DAY
  • March 31, 2022: Opening Day for 2022 season
  • March 31, 2022: at Houston Astros Time TBA Season Opener
  • April 8, 2022: v. Oakland A’s 3:05 PM Home Opener
  • July 2022: 2022 Rule 4 Amateur Draft


10/2/2021 – Phillies placed RHP Connor Brogdon on the 10-day IL, right groin tightness
10/2/2021 – Phillies recalled RHP Seranthony Dominguez from Lehigh Valley
9/30/2021 – Phillies sent CF Roman Quinn on a rehab assignment to Phillies Organization
9/28/2021 – Phillies recalled 3B Alec Bohm from Lehigh Valley
9/28/2021 – Phillies activated RHP Connor Brogdon
9/28/2021 – Phillies optioned RHP Ramon Rosso to Lehigh Valley
9/28/2021 – Phillies optioned 2B Luke Williams to Lehigh Valley

304 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of October 3, 2021

  1. FWIW gameday during yesterday’s ESPN stream of the game listed Neris’ Fastball at up to 95mph. That doesn’t seem shabby. Of course it may also not seem accurate.

    1. It probably was accurate. Hector is going to pitch in the big leagues until he’s in his late 30s. He’s perfectly fine as a set up man.

    1. Thanks for asking, v1.

      In a dream scenario, Druw Jones falls to 1-17. But that’s almost certainly not going to happen.
      Realistically, I’m hoping for Connor Prielipp.
      Here’s what I wrote after this year’s draft for my Waaaay Too Early Phillies 2022 Mock:

      ROUND 1: Connor Prielipp … is a 6’3″/205 lb LHP who throws for Alabama. He’s most likely going to miss all of the 2022 college season recovering from TJ. When healthy, Prielipp is one of (if not THE) best rising junior pitcher in the college game. The southpaw throws a well commanded 92-96 MPH FB, a devastating, high spinning SL (up to 90 MPH), and a not too shabby CH. He’s totaled 28 IP, 13 H, 7 BB, 47 K, 0.96 ERA in his two seasons with the Crimson Tide. The Wisconsin native was a Red Sox’ day three pick in 2019. If Prielipp wasn’t coming off surgery, he’d be a slam dunk top five pick. Missing the 2022 season could push him closer to the middle of the first round next summer.

      I think the Mets and the Padres could be the two clubs most likely to pluck Prielipp prior to the Phillies pick (hope you enjoyed the alliteration!). The Mets have two selections (11 & 14), and can gamble with one. AJ Preller has a history with this sort of thing. He took Cal Quantrill at 1-8 in 2016. Quantrill was a top college arm at Stanford who missed the entire 2016 season recovering from TJ.

      A few other names I like (at this point) are (Florida Gators LHP) Hunter Barco, and two prep 3Bmen: Sal Stewart and Jayson Jones. Both are sluggers. Stewart reminds me a lot of Austin Riley. He led all prepsters throughout the country with 17 homers last season as a junior (and also had a .534 BA).

      1. Hinkie….who do you have for anywhere between approx. 140 and 155 selection……5h round?
        We pretty much know they will be wearing Phillies red at the Bank.

        1. Romus … also from that Hinkie Waaay Too Early Phillies 2022 Mock (that I referred to above):

          ROUND 5: Jimmy Crooks … is a 6’0″/215 LHH C who just completed his first season at Oklahoma after beginning his career at McLennan JUCO in Texas. Crooks is a quality defender who can handle the bat as well. The Sooner backstop slashed .287/.385/.502 for Oklahoma in 2021 after registering a .319/.467/.458 line in his one JUCO season. Crooks (aka Jimmy Barrels) is a younger prospect. He won’t turn 21 until July 2022.

          1. Hinkie..I am in on Crooks.
            i have a retired police buddy who’s last name is Crooks…go figure.
            His Philies connection, .pulled over Mike Schmidt in his Porsche… speeding on I95 southbound around exit 8, back in the late 70s heading back from a Sunday afternoon double-header….Schmidt struck out with the bases full to end the second game. He had Schmidt sign the citation…..but let him go….but kept the signature citation…memorabilia. .

      2. Hinkie, I really tried looking on my own before asking, but….. do you know what the relationship, if any, is between the team Druw Jones was on, “FTB Phillies Scout Team 2022”, and the Philadelphia Phillies major league organization? Does it give them additional scouting opportunities?

        1. I think the Phillies can gain some scouting advantages in the fact that (I believe) the FTB Phillies Scout Team 2022 played some games (and held some practices) at Spectrum Field (if that’s still the name). I’m pretty sure the field is equipped with trackman equipment (Jim can confirm or deny this). The Phillies would have access (actually own) the data collected from Druw Jones and the rest of that team.
          The AAC plays their conference tournament at Spectrum Field, and I’m pretty certain the Phillies collected exit velos, launch angles, arm strength, etc from Alec Bohm during Wichita State’s games.

  2. I hope everything is ok Jim. Larry Bowa and Brooks Robinson could have been the IF Coach, and the left side of the IF would still have given us poor defense. But let’s get new Coaches, it’s cheaper than new players. We need to address D in CF also.

    1. ……yeah, those coaches screw up everything, and Driveline is the up and coming organization that you can subcontract too to handle all phases of the game and you can marry analytics and have the computer make all your decisions.

      You are right, it’s so much easier just to fire the coaches. Like Milt Thompson, one year the best hitting coach ever…….the next year out. I did like Kruk’s recap yesterday though, all we need next year is a LF, CF, 1B, SS, 3B and a few relievers. I’ll add a BC. Oh yeah baby, we will be right in the mix next year!👍🤫

      1. Ah the curse of the Phils hitting coach continues. Given the history, who’d want the job? As L.A. told me years ago, don’t take a job, “they can’t fire you!” Kruk is a riot even speaking the truth. I wish Matt Stairs was mic’d up every day as hitting coach, that would be really funny. He seems in retrospect the best of the lot.

        1. Wonder what the shelf-life is for a hitting coach!
          Twenty teams fail to make the play-offs every year…and when the managers get let go, usually a portion of the staff goes out the door with him.

  3. I was out of town the second half of last week, and got to (happily) miss the Braves celebrate their 4th straight division championship Thursday night.

    There is literally nothing Dave Dombrowski can do to have the Phillies offense match the Braves (who are really good/really deep/really young). IMO, his best option for gaining ground on Atlanta is through the arms race. The Phillies POBO needs to better the Braves pitching. Atlanta’s rotation and BP are both good, but not great.
    Dombrowski must add depth to the rotation, find a proven closer, and improve the team’s defense to supplement their pitching.

  4. Thank you Jim for another season of Phuture Phillies. You and the cast of characters that contribute make following this team a lot less painful.

  5. It’s finally and officially and thankfully over. I anticipate Dave Dombrowski to be very active this winter, but I’m more and more convinced that he will spend more prospect capital than money.

    I definitely think he’ll sign a free agent infielder – either SS or 3B. A trade for a top of the order CF will be costly in terms of the farm, as would a trade for a closer, but Seranthony may give DD time to wait and see if one is needed at the trade deadline. There aren’t many good closers available otherwise. Scenario #2 would have DD trading for a 3B and signing Starling Marte, but there’ll be much competition for him…so I lean heavily on scenario #1.

    If Joe Girardi has anything to say, my concern is that he’ll plug for his favorite veteran (journeyman) players to fill out the roster. I hope that DD respectfully receives his input but at the end of the day, Joe G should be reined in since 2022 may very well be his last season in red pinstripes. My expectation is that Dombrowski and Girardi will discuss (if they haven’t already) an agreeable arrangement that would allow Girardi to bail out if things don’t progress next season. I think Dombrowski wants to shape the roster AND on field staff with his people.

    1. One pervasive question ….will Joe G push to keep Didi…..or will Dave D try to move him?
      There will not be many takers if Dave tries to market him…in the AL only see the Angels, unless a contending team lose a ss to free agency and are looking for a stopgap for a year….maybe like an Astros team.

      1. I think even JoeG recognizes that Didi had a poor year. But with his contract, it’ll be hard to trade him without eating a significant amount of money. I think if DD want to trade him, JoeG won’t complain too much.

        1. Yeah….eating salary is almost a given.
          At what percentage probably depends on any other facets of the deal
          Prospects could go along to ease the money outlay.
          Dave D probably has been down that road before.

  6. Another terrific Matt Gelb article. And, despite Bryce being close with Dillon, he understood something had to change. It seems evident that young players were mishandled, receiving instructions when they came op that they had never been asked to do in the Minors. Then, they go back down, and and get a 3rd set. Dillon spent endless time trying to get the team to correct their flaws with hitting FBs. Interestingly, guess who leads the majors in slugging vs the FB? That would be Harper. The worst? Alec Bohm. Near the bottom, Didi Gregorius. And, Cutch wasn’t much better vs. RH Pitchers. The team seems to still want Alec Bohm to play 3B, and Gelb speculates that he was the main reason for the Coaching changes. They still think he can learn to play an adequate 3B. Let’s add talent evaluation skills to the list of team flaws. Castro wasn’t going to make Didi better defensively, and I have no idea what the team’s plan is, but they clearly thought Bohm could be taught. Again, Mike Schmidt couldn’t make Bohm a better 3B, but they may still be going to try. Harper said “if Stott comes up next year, he needs to be trusted to do his job. Same with Bohmer. He needs to figure out who he wants to be and how he is going to get there. Then come in and be a big part of the Club.” From all that has occured, it seems clear that there has been zero consistency throughout the Organization. I think it is safe to say that DD intends to correct that. We need help from the Minors. Everyone knows that we can’t buy FAs for every spot. I think Matt Gelb has done a really good job.

      1. I promise I am not, Romus. I just think his last 2 articles on the team have shown a lot of effort on his part, and I found them really informative.

        1. Gelb has been outstanding ever since moving to the Athletic. He alone is worth the subscription imo.

          1. If Gelb has his finger on the pulse of the off season activity…especially if DD overturns half of the 40man roster…yeesh!! We got lots to look forward to…

    1. Yep, the very best organizations…Dodgers, Rays, Cardinals, Braves…have young talent which isn’t necessarily better than ours, but they are so much better developed and coached consistently through the system and remaining so once they reach the major leagues. If Dombrowski can get that ball rolling in the right direction, which should take a few years to reap some fruit, then the old Phillies culture will also have been broken and new blood in place.

    2. Thanks for the note on the Gelb article. I just read it.

      Honestly, I have never heard of MLB’ers being bad at hitting fastballs. Certainly, I have heard about challenges with off-speed pitches. That seems common. But not good at hitting fastballs? I don’t know how you fix that. That seems like the minimum requirement to being a major league regular. You have to be able to hit fastballs at the MLB level.

  7. Is it JUST me, or is anyone else thinking that by the time players get to the big leagues in MLB, they should not be having to be taught how to play their position, just perhaps recognize batting flaws and take advantage of tips on situations? Now, looking at who teaches fundamentals on the Farms is a different topic.

    1. There’s that old saying that if you can hit, teams will find a position for you. Every season you will find players who can hit but can’t field their position i.e Nick Castellanos.

      Batting flaws are another thing. It’s hard to convince a minor leaguer to change their stance when they’re having some measure of success. They’ll be more apt to change when they’re failing, and it’s entirely possible that minor league pitching won’t be able to exploit their flaws like big league pitching.

    2. If you make it into an MLB teams minor system it means you are naturally a really good baseball player in a really big pond of little fish. You stand out in that pond.

      As the pond starts to shrink its paramount that you get tips and coaching on what parts of your game need work to get you into that elite pond where you won’t be ate alive.

        1. Haha ok Romus I’m ok with that but on some measure I think you have to say we had/have MLB caliber talent come through the system since the rebuild begun

          For one reason or another many did not transition to take that step to become consistent performers or even above average regulars.

          Maybe some weren’t given enough of a chance. Maybe some got in their own way. Maybe some weren’t not receptive to change or coaching others may have been steered down a bad path…who knows.

          But we know some guys that have moved on from our system to find some success in other places

          even if just a bit better than when we had them here. Again I don’t need to revisit the past and prior regime’s hiccups. Its good enough for me right now to know DD who is a very experienced and capable FO guy has moved in a direction to attempt to fix some of those development problems.

          And the most recent hires and fires were likely just scratches on the surface of what is to come.

          1. I am with you there….hoping Dave D can move the org in the correct and a productive direction….the drought has been too long.

    3. I think you are right on that premise with the exception that, when you jerk people around at a late date to play different positions not accustomed too, you should expect results will be less than expected. A guy who has played one or two positions his entire baseball experience should be expected to perform I would think.

  8. This season saw the following

    100 losses or more 4 Teams
    100 Wins or more 3 Teams
    90 Losses or more 3 Teams
    90 Wins or more 7 Teams and the NL East didn’t have a single one of them. The Braves finished with 88 wins to take the division.

    That accounts for 17 roughly 57% of the league which means 43% of the league was caught in no man’s land the Phillies being one of them.

    Those teams all have a trajectory whether it be towards getting worse or getting better. It’s not out of the realm to say a player here or there can significantly improve a teams chances. Evaluation of where the holes are, how many and what the payroll/farm options might be to sure those up require a deeper dive and a good bit of speculation.

    But at a glance it appears DD would be between a rock and a hard place.

    1. You need to take into account that there are a number of those teams who only care about containing costs (Rays, Pirates, Marlins, KC, A’s) and those who really don’t want to spend too much (Cleveland, Baltimore, Rockies, DBacks, Mariners).

      We are lucky in that the Phillies have no issues being top 5 (or top 10) in payroll when they are in contention.

      1. I do Guru. There are teams on both ends of the spectrum of spending big payrolls and not. The Rays and A’s for example (neither of which has won a WS) always do a good job of putting high quality product on the field. As so the Indians

        Then there is the other group of typically big spenders that struggle to get it right.

        I think the Nationals will be one of the most interesting teams of the hot stove. As of 2 short seasons ago they were world champs with a big payroll and impending FA’s that would have bloated that figure even higher.

        Rizzo seemingly didn’t blink at the deadline. He trades off huge pieces of his team including a young controllable player in Trea Turner. They go on to lose 97 games.

        Their estimated tax space for 2022 125 million plus…

      2. Additionally I don’t believe Neander, Cherington, Ng, Moore and Forst care one bit about containing costs. Sure their owners do but they want to win and I’m sure they accept the challenge of winning in a cost controlled environment.

        They accept it because they know it is very doable. Moore has a WS Title next to his name with the Royals. Neander and Ng have been within a game of a title.

        In the same breadth I’m sure they are realist and know its hard to sustain without a budget to hold onto or acquire key FAs.

        1. Ng said the other day…they look to spend…Jeter echoed her sentiments also.
          ………after they extend Sandy Alcantara..

          1. The Marlins had a payroll of $56M for 2021. Sure they could spend up to $80M. Going to $100M+ is a whole different story. They’ve only done that twice since 2000.

  9. In their attempt to lure the better free agent talent, one thing that may go against the Phillies this off season is the revelation of dysfunction within the organization. Player agents may leverage that detail into negotiations with Dombrowski.

    One free agent who may not be influenced by this is Kris Bryant. His agent is Scott Boras who brokered the deal with Bryce Harper, KB’s close childhood friend. IF the Phillies were to sign him, that would most likely slide Alec Bohm over to 1B, with Hoskins filling the DH slot. Also, I do think DD will try to move Didi, and if Stott isn’t ready for opening day, then Joe G may platoon the shortstop position until Stott gets the call up.

    1. ….OR, Bryant’s flexibility might place him in LF part time, which makes the roster depth all the more important…and perhaps Bohm’s improvement at 3B as well.

      1. Mark 8+, Bryant would indeed seem like a dream come true. But, Kris Bryant’s estimated contract is 6 years (’til he reaches age 35) at over 20 million dollars per year. Were you thinking that this was going to be added to the current Phillies payroll of 183.8 million? You figure removing other players will make that manageable? Or do you think they will find other ways of staying enough under the cap of around 211 Million to have flexibility? Or do you think the fines and draft consequences for exceeding the cap are trifling compared to getting great players?

        1. I think DD not only turns over the 40man roster but that he turns over the salary structure as well….say goodbye to Cutch, Doobie, quite possibly 1/3 of Didi’s money, the extraneous contracts of guys like Bradley, Kennedy, and perhaps even Neris. I think the days of journeyman relievers will turn over to the untested youth. With the uncertainty of the CBA/LTT situation, GMs and POBOs who are aggressive early on in the off season may win the hot stove campaign…which doesn’t mean spending lots of money but shedding lots, while wheeling and dealing in the trade market.

    2. I expect a good fielding SS (likely with an above average bat) will be brought in. Someone who can be moved to 3B if Bohm doesn’t pan out or to 2B if Segura leaves, moved when Stott is ready unless Stott is the one who will be moved to another position. Story and Correa are the best fielding SS available who fits this mold.

      Herrera is ok in CF but if a better CF is brought in and slide Herrera to LF would improve defense in both spots.

  10. Gelb also said not to be surprised, if, of the 45 players on the 40 Man Roster, more than 20 are playing elsewhere next year. That seems like a pretty substantial turnover.

    1. Maybe you can learn to lose as much as you can learn to win so finding a few key pieces from winning programs and subtracting a few pieces that experienced too much losing would help.

  11. At the risk of hearing again all the transactions that took place in 1996 prior to the contract settlement, I do believe that this year significant changes will be on the way that will impact how we and other teams will approach the offseason. So without further ado here is my prognostication of the coming changes which is guaranteed to be wrong.

    Universal DH – Probability 99% – Impact on Phillies (IOP) Decide what we do with Rhys, are we going to keep him at 1b with his woeful defense or let him DH and find someone else to play there.

    Try to end tanking – Prob 90% – IOP If they try and do this by establishing a spending floor then the cost of FA will rise and the availability of players through trades will shrink. If they try just through the tinkering with draft choices then we will not be affected that much.

    Adjustments to the Qualifying Offer Structure. – Prob 80% -IOP This will be the olive branch to the Boras wing. It has never done what it was intended to do and in fact helped the high payroll teams more that the low. This should help us in what FA we will look at.

    Adjustments to pre-arb and arb salaries and service time to FA – Prob 80% – IOP This is the hill I believe the players union will die on. Rosters (except the Philies) now emphasize young cost controlled players and free agency is no longer the gold mine it once was. The players will be intent on getting their money sooner. This will impact what we have to spend and if and when we have to make contract offers.

    Roster size and # of pitchers carried. – Prob 50% – IOP available $$ to spend

    Luxury tax threshold and Luxury Tax amounts. Prob – depends – IOP the luxury tax cap will likely increase enough to offset any pre arb and arb salary adjustments but no more. The Phillies will still be up against it.

    Revenue sharing – Prob 0% – the Owners will not open their books but the ground work will be laid for future talks. The owners will also have to decide how to share revenue between each other first as the revenue streams have radically changed.

    Work Stoppage Prob 50% – It depends on the current state of the negotiations, if both parties feel comfortable that they know the shape of the final agreement then nothing will happen. If not, then the owners will suspend doing transactions because it costs them nothing and will pressure the players.

  12. I can see Bryant to PHI as almost a lock. Bryant and Harper, close childhood friends … I can see it being the deciding factor. Herrera is Gone, so
    Is cutch, and I’m putting out the prediction that Moniak takes over the CF position AT SOME POINT early next year. I think he matures more, and he gets after it , fixed enough of his weak spots to get it in there.
    Harper basically called him, bohm, and stott imo

    Moniak – CF
    Segura -2B
    Harper -RF
    Bryant – 3B
    Hoskins -DH
    Realmuto – C
    Bohm – 1B
    Stott – SS
    Vierling or Trade for renoylds

    No additions to SR
    Wheeler, Nola, Efflin, Suarez, & Gibson.

    Sir A, Bogdon, Falter, Dohy … Appel as long man /mop up
    Rest of resources go into bullpen
    I predict Galvis is back as well.

    1. Note, this is my early off-season prediction, so feel free to tell me I’m crazy as hell!
      I got cold feet on a full blowup of assets – trading top prospects & spending to the moon after harper’s recent comments. I think that’s a tell in a way.

      1. I get that Kris Bryant to the Phillies makes a lot of sense. He’s buddies with Harper, he shares the same agent, and the Phillies have a need for his bat in the lineup. However, this is the first time Bryant is entering FA and he’s looking to get paid. I seriously doubt that the Phillies will give him what he wants (around 6 years, $150M minimum). With Boras as his agent, I don’t think he’s going to take much of a discount. Not only that, he’s been declining a little. He’s at 3.3 WAR which is great but not elite. And you figure his average defense will only get worse as he ages.

        If people are screaming about the bullpen issues the last 2 years, it’s likely to get worse in 2022 if they don’t spend on it. Brogdon, Alvarado, Coonrod, Dominguez seems to be part of the reliever solution. Falter will likely start in the rotation while Eflin heals. Neris will likely re-sign. But no closer and we need at least 1 more reliable reliever. Dohy is a good story but he’s wild and he throws 90-91. Not sure the Phillies can count on him. Sanchez could be a multiple inning reliever (similar to what Falter was this year).

    2. I can’t imagine that DD would enter 2022 season with 3 rookies and Bohm (who was sent down to the minor leagues) in the lineup. That lineup would not be an upgrade overall, even with Bryant, unless you project significant breakouts from the rookies.

  13. I found an interesting stat…swinging strike rate at the AA/AAA levels is very consistent with the same rate at the major league level. Swinging strike rate basically never goes down but doesn’t often go up too much. Maybe a 1% or so. So if a prospect has a 10% swinging strike rate at AA/AAA, he will likely have a 10-11% swinging strike rate at the major league level. There are some exceptions but only for swinging strike rate to get worse. Rarely does it go down.

    A companion stat is that basically K% is 2x swinging strike rate. So that same prospect is likely to have a 20%-22% k rate in the majors. The standard deviation for that 2x metric is small. Most players bunch around 2.0x swinging strike rate.

    Fangraphs shows swinging strike rate for minor leaguers. So if you want to know if a minor leaguer will strike out a lot in the majors, just look at his swinging strike rate.

  14. Tac3, You are not crazy, but I don’t think Stott, #1, starts the season in the Majors, and #2, I don’t think he is a SS. I think he is our future 2B. He may make the team at some point next season, but I don’t think it is as a SS.

  15. I think the bell weather and canary in the coal mine is HInkie’s favorite stat – runs scored vs. runs surrendered ; 734 to 745 was the final tally. This team’s clear strength are the starting pitchers. DD needs to do whatever it takes to get that 745 runs allowed down by about 75 runs or more. Whether that means a much better bullpen, a closer, better defense, or even one other bonafide starter (an older pitcher who has one last year in him -see Lester, Happ etc. who performed so well in St.Loo). With the return of Hoskins and some freshening up and stress of OBP so Harper comes to bat with somebody on base the offense can remain static. But it seems to me they absolutely have to cut down on runs allowed – that is the way out of this continued morass.

    1. Defense could be the difference maker there …especially on the left side of the infield.

    2. I don’t have hard date to support it , but just on casual observation the teams even with good starters, that only require those starters to pitch 6 or 7 innings get better results at the end of the year and in the playoffs. Maybe the velocity is still there, but the control and movement aren’t. Perhaps that was part of the issue with Nola. Obviously that is not Girardi’s management style, but also the Phillies do not have the players to fill that mid to late inning relief role. It would be nice, as someone suggested, if Appel was able to be part of that solution but as yet he has not seemed to do that well going short innings in the minor leagues. Those mid-inning relief pitchers are at the top of my “wish list”.

      1. I hear you, but finding perennially legitimate closers are hard enough to find, let alone setup men. Finding middle inning relievers who can perform well will likely lead them on toward higher leverage situations. In other words, with a few scattered exceptions from generation to generation, relief pitchers are relief pitchers generally because they can’t cut it as starting pitchers. I mean, I don’t want to sound cold but stocking up on long relievers to fill the innings left by the guys “with the job” only shortens the rest of the bullpen and limits the manager’s options for later innings. Bottom line….we need our SPs to consistently go 6-7 innings or plead with the MLB office to expand rosters just to accommodate the need for relief pitchers. I don’t know what I just said but it seems like a cyclical dilemma. Or something like what Joe Pesce said in “JFK”…a riddle wrapped in a mystery hidden in a whatever…

        (somebody help me…)

    1. Sounds like our Phillies. If you can’t fit the square peg into the round hole, simply push harder. Double down.

      1. At the very least, they should cross-train him for left field. But, clearly, they won’t. They will get about a quarter or third through the season, it will be clear that Bohm simply cannot competently field his position at third and they will give Bohm an outfielders glove and attempt to train him on the fly. I’ve seen this bad movie before and, having now seen him for parts of two seasons, I cannot imagine Bohm ever growing to be anything better than a -1.5 dWAR player for a full season, which is not sustainable. Put the guy in a position to succeed for crying out loud. It will help with everything.

        1. Agree. Moving Hoskins to LF when Klentak acquired Santana was nearly as bad, although defensively it didn’t matter so much since Rhys has no glove wherever he plays. But yes, the persistence in keeping players where they don’t belong…or playing them everywhere EXCEPT where they DO belong (Kingery, for example) is something that perplexes the reasonable mind. How many times have we “novices” have proven the “experts” wrong, be it football (Andy Reid’s definition of insanity approach) or hockey (the Flyers ongoing hiring of organizational good guys who weren’t good in a suit and tie), etc….

          1. This should be no surprise. I’ve said (numerous times) Alec Bohm is a 3Bman. He’s been manning the position since HS. Alec has never played LF. You would just be screwing with his mind by throwing him to the LF at this point.
            Bohm is broke, but he can be fixed. IMO (and again I’ve posted this before), it’s as much mental as physical with him. One bad play in the field leads to a bad AB. He carries it to the next game, and he starts thinking too much (never a good thing) instead of just letting the game come to him, and performing instinctively. He (like Cole Hamels in 2009) is in desperate need of the offseason/a reboot/a chance to clear his mind.
            Will Bohm ever win a GG? No.
            Can he be an average defensive 3Bman? IMO yes.

            The question is does DD want to wait on Bohm? He’s still under team control for 5 more years (two of them at minimum salary). Or does Dombrowski flip Bohm for a more certain/more expensive/under fewer years of team control commodity. I could see a deal with Oakland where Bohm and Matt Chapman are the centerpieces of an exchange.

            I also like Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Would the Phils give up Bohm’s upside for a lower ceiling, but very stable 3Bman/SS? I think Dombrowski would consider it.

            1. The Chapman proposal is intriguing, Hinkie. And yes, if there was no win-now urgency to the 2022-2023 Philadelphia Phillies, they could bear with Bohm’s development at 3b (and at the plate, waiting for more power to come from his swing). But if Matt Gelb’s ears tell him that almost half of the 40man roster may undergo a relocation, it seems Dombrowski isn’t sitting idly by, tapping his fingers on his desk.

            2. I have been in on Chapman for awhile…well at least after hearing the Mets may try to pursue him.
              Good glove, good power, average hit tool.
              …,,,Bohm, Haseley and Erik Miller for Chapman and OFer Laureano.
              Beane has to be thrifty and that is about as thrifty as it can be.

            3. Yeah. I do believe Dave Dombrowski will be giving this team a facelift this winter. And I’m pretty sure Middleton/Dombrowski will spend past the cap. I just feel it will be spending on short term deals. Could see them chasing Justin Verlander, Nelson Cruz, or JD Martinez in free agency. Also shouldn’t rule them out on Cody Bellinger thru trade or pick him up if he’s non-tendered. Bellinger is the perfect gamble type player for the Phillies to take on. He’s going to be overpaid (20+M) thru arbitration, but he’ll be under team control for two seasons, and you have the option of cutting him after the 2022 season. Bellinger has the ability to put up eye popping offensive #s, and is a multi positional fit defensively. For the Phillies (who are in “win now” mode, and don’t have the farm most other teams do), Bellinger could be worth the short term financial risk.

            4. Wow. Romus….that trade would be quite economical for DD as well, killing two birds (3b & CF) with one trade. Question is, how legit is Laureano at this point…

            5. Romus … I love Laureano, but for the Phillies, I think it would be an either/or situation: Chapman or Laureano. I don’t think Dombrowski has enough to land both of them unless he wants to part with a top prospect. Dombrowski could lessen the package by eating Stephen Piscotty’s money, but he’d still have to do better than Bohm/Haseley/Miller.

            6. Hinkie, I have a ton of respect for your points of view, but I don’t buy your arguments.

              I watch Bohm and I don’t think he will ever be a passable third baseman and I’ve tried to have an open mind about it. He’s too awkward and his range is too limited. I very much hope I’m wrong, but I doubt it. I think he’s always going to remain a problem at third.

              As for outfield, good athletes and fast players can often make a quick adjustment and become decent outfielders even if they aren’t good at third. Ryan Braun did it quick as did Alex Gordon. Cross train him there and then make a decision, but don’t get halfway into next year and have no options. Bohm has a good arm, he’s actually pretty fast. I think there’s a good chance he could play left field capably and we know he can play first in a pinch, although you don’t want him to slide down there unless it’s absolutely necessary as the bat can’t justify that move right now.

        2. Agree, though I’m still hoping that their insistence on him being a 3B is just for show to give him a vote of confidence. I’d have already begun the process of evaluating him as a LF. I have doubts that he’ll have much of a big league career at 1B/DH; playing the OF at least lowers the offensive bar a little bit.

  16. I don’t know the answer, and I don’t know if the team is simply trying to pump his trade value. But, I do get the sense that they intend to try Bohm at 3B again. I have always believed that players can be coached to play better, to improve flaws and develop. I know we haven’t seen that very much as Phillies fans, but I believe in the concept. I believe Bohm can hit. I don’t know if another Coach can improve him defensively.. If Bohm is back at 3B, and Didi is the SS, I don’t see any improved defensive play. I have to believe one of them does not man his current position. And, if we platoon youngsters in LF, that leaves CF to get us a leadoff hitter and improve defensively. Who might that be? And, does anyone think that Simon Muzziotti can be a Major League player? I have always liked him.

    1. Matt, I agree that the Phillies CANNOT possibly return in 2022 with both Bohm and Didi on the left side, perhaps neither.

      I also believe pumping Bohm up as a legit future 3b is merely a market value strategy for prospective trade partners.

      And I also believe that Dombrowski will try to move Didi at the expense of eating 2/3 of his salary in hopes of getting a 2nd tier prospect in return.

      Either Bohm or Didi may be back, but my hunch is both will not.

      1. Best fielding SS are Story and Correra. They will cost but will improve team defense (& pitching).

        1. Baez is ranked fairly high also…Semien played 2B this year but prior he was not a bad fielder at ss with Oakland.
          Also Andrelton Simmons is outstanding defensively.
          Story this year had a down year from his past, but still better than Didi.

          Two that surprised me for SABR-SDI:
          .Dansby Swanson ATL -5.6
          Fernando Tatis Jr. SDP -8.5
          ….both large negatives.

  17. It’s not at all clear to me that Bohm can hit enough to be a first division regular at a power position like DH, 1B, or 3B. Other than 63 games with Reading in 2019 (in which he hit 14 homers) he hasn’t shown power. In 597 plate appearances in MLB he has 11 HR. In his minor league time (other than his 63 games with Reading) he has 496 plate appearances with 8 HR.

    Oh, and his great 2020 debut was fueled by a completely unsustainable BABIP of .410.

    He’s 25. The next three or four years should be his absolute prime — the best that he will ever be. We’ll see.

    P.S. — One last note: he hits lots of ground balls — 53.1% of his batted balls, compared to an MLB average of 42.7%. Maybe that can be changed with different coaching. Certainly, with his lack of speed, being an extreme ground ball hitter is not a good idea.

    1. WestCoastPhan……..” Certainly, with his lack of speed, being an extreme ground ball hitter is not a good idea.”…that is what made his last years’ BABIP so remarkably puzzling, and as you say, unsustainable,
      …he has a slow quick-twitch time to first, bats from the right side, and hits plenty of GBs….he does not get a lot of infield leg out hits.

  18. I propose they go hard after a FA shortstop, start Didi at third, Stott and Bohm in Lehigh. I give Vierling a shot in left and find a starting CF either by trade or FA.

  19. .

    Stark reports MLB wants to curtail tanking. Among the steps under consideration:

    • Change the draft (lotteries, limits on how often teams can pick in the top five, awarding the top picks to the teams that just miss the playoffs instead of the worst teams, bumping up draft-bonus pools for wild card teams and the winningest teams that don’t make the playoffs, stop basing draft order on won-lost record alone, etc.).

    • Impose a “reverse” luxury tax to penalize teams that spend under, say, $90 million on payroll year after year.

    • Softening luxury-tax penalties at the top so the tax functions less like a salary cap.

    There were lots more like those. But here’s the bottom line, from one exec: “We have to be really creative — not just to incentivize trying to win but disincentivizing trying to lose. We need to do both at the same time.”


    Any/all of these steps would help the Phillies, who are stuck in the middle. These proposed rules would benefit clubs who “go for it”, and fail.

    1. I personally like what the NHL and NBA do for their drafts….lottery weighted system….teams not making the play-offs get some chance at the first pick, be it of course in the Phillies case this year…a very slim chance.

    2. I still want the shift gone … as an improvement to the game. I get the hit it where they ain’t but I’m not a fan of seeing the .300 vanish. A mere 15 players hit at or above .300 this year. It’s less and less every year, as the analytics take over. Male position players Have a defined starting point before the pitch, and be done with it. Let them work on their Ozzie smith skills

      I like having a penalty on the spending floor, but I think that can actually hurt the Phillies by not being able to drive players asking prices down. Letting them ride out FA. It’s boring for us but good for payroll management . For instance, the Phillies likely never sign Arrierta if that is the case, as teams needing to hit the min might have scoped him up vs arriwtta playing the waiting game. On second thought, if arrietta did sign elsewhere, that likely would have helped the Phillies as well!

      Changing up the draft position is very interesting, but that can back fire as well. I can

  20. Okay, now that we’ve complained a lot about a lot of things, and rightfully so, some cool things happened this year.

    Harper was a superstar – one of the best players in baseball. He did everything right at the plate and is probably as close to being Mickey Mantle as anyone is in this game. Damn he’s great.

    Zack Wheeler was superb as well. It’s hard to know how much the greatness will carry into next year, but he should be at the top of the rotation starter for at least several more years.

    Then there’s Ranger Suarez. Who on earth saw that coming? But, you know, it really wasn’t that much of a fluke. By that I mean, the performance was truly superb, not just lucky (although he had some good luck of course). If you watched the games he pitched closely a few things jumped out. First of all, the guy pitches completely without fear – he’s calm and he executes his pitches. He’s in complete control all the time. Second, while he’s not a flamethrower, he’s also not a soft tosser, especially for a lefty. He can rush it up there faster than you would think. Third, his command is exceptional. If you taped any of his starts, go back and watch them. His pitches live on the edges and corners of the electronic strike zone, all game, every game. This last attribute and his ability to conceal pitches well, gives him the type of stuff that should permit him to succeed over a long period of time. Go Ranger!

    1. If Saurez is for real, he is arguably the best thing to happen to the Phillies this year. It’s hard to say that Over Harper’s historic season, but if ranger is This good, he allows DD to not have to touch the SR.

      Wheeler, Nola (bounce back), Saurez, Efflin, and Gibson. That is playoff worthy IMO, but Nola has to bounce back and Saurez has to be for real. Personally I don’t get the same sense I get from watching Schilling, Hamels, Halliday, Lee, and Nola when he’s been on for the season. Not saying he’s not good, I just didn’t get the sense they were on the same level. More flukish than real. Almost a Kevin Stocker feel, it for the pitcher. I’ll have to review his season more , as I didn’t watch a lot of games, more like 15 minutes highlights of every at bat. Again I hope I’m wrong, it would be amazing if Saurez is a strong #2.

      1. To be clear, I didn’t mean to say Ranger is an ace, but his stats say he was. They were eye popping. I just didn’t the same feel of a top pitcher watching Ranger as I do other more established pitchers/on the upswing young talent

        1. Tac3…..i get your reluctance to jump on the Ranger bandwagon so soon…..I believe there are those who feel the same way….he has yet to get thru a whole season as a starter and he quite possibly has taken many teams by surprise.
          His metrics though are very good for guy who has over 170 innings pitched…all be it over 4 MLB seasons now.
          I want to see how he does next season when teams are preparing for him and have a better book on him.
          For now it looks promising.

      2. I would temper any enthusiasm for Eflin’s return, be it earlier than expected or his health and effectiveness. He’s a huge X factor in the rotation next year, and I’m not a big Falter guy at this point, if we’re looking for a #5.

    1. The Phillies are going to need to watch out for the Mets. Their new owner is looking to spend stupid money too. I fear they are the New … New York Yankees, Steinbrenner years. The owner has so much money he makes JM look poor. The Phillies need to start drafting better … like a decade ago!

      1. Spending stupid money hasn’t helped the Phils, and it didn’t help the Mets last year. He’s no longer a new owner; he’s made his mark and they still fell short. I’ll worry about the Mets when they prove that they’re better than the Braves. Until then, I’ll only think about them when we play them.

  21. So the big question seems to be whether Middleton gives Dombrowski the thumbs up on exceeding the LTT…whatever that might be pending the CBA. Whether or not it increases remains to be seen but I seriously doubt it will drop if the MLBPA have anything to say. But I can’t see the union opposing what Stark reported (via Hinkie above).

    So, let’s say it goes up slightly while the cheapo (…oh sorry – “small” market) teams are forced to meet a salary floor of $90M, that should theoretically create stiffer competition on both the free agent and trade-for-big-fish markets.

    The standing question for the Middleton and the Phillies is philosophical…can they spend what it takes, or manage to shed enough salary to still spend and yet stay under the penalty? Middleton may decide to wait until late winter/early spring if there’s still a big fish on the board that fits a void. In other words, I think he will IF he has to (this time) but won’t until it’s absolutely necessary…unless DD twists his arm long beforehand.

  22. So people seem to think we’re set at SP, and I hate to make everyone feel even worse… but you shouldn’t feel like we’re set at SP.

    Even assuming Nola bounces back (which I believe he will), we don’t yet know how Ranger’s extended time in the majors will play out. But even if we’re generous and say his xFIP of 3.37 is accurate (and it’d be disingenuous to assume he’ll maintain a pace better than that; technically possible, but ridiculously unlikely), that still leaves us with two other slots. And those two slots are the ones I worry about.

    For Eflin, it’s reasonable to expect he can produce at a rate better than the average #4… when he’s healthy. But he’s like Utley: he has a chronic condition that won’t get better. We need to expect he’ll miss time. And unlike Utley, he’s not an absolute monster when he’s healthy. So his replacement needs to be at least average for us to expect average production for that slot on the year.

    The biggest elephant in the room, though, is Gibson. It’s easy to look at his year-end stats and think he’s a lock to be a good-to-great option at the #5 spot. But that completely ignores all other context. Lest we forget, his ERA with the Phils was 5.09. Sure there’s some bad luck (and bad defense, but that hasn’t changed yet) at play. However, for his career he has an equal number of seasons with an ERA over 5 as with he does seasons with an ERA under 4.5. And that includes this season. He’s a pitcher that doesn’t strike out many, but also isn’t a control artist. He gets a good amount of grounders, but also inexplicably gives up more homers than average. This is basically a pitcher that lives and dies by the defense behind him. And, well… You’ve seen our defense.

    So basically, our depth is no better than it was last year (you know, when we had VV, Anderson, and Moore). And we just need to hope and pray that A) Wheeler stays healthy, B) Nola returns to form, and C) Ranger is at least mostly for real. And then even with all those conditions met, we’re still hoping and praying for luck and/or health.

    Now to keep everyone from looking for the nearest bottle of whiskey, here’s the good news: we’ve already got the hardest assets to acquire. We’ve got our bona fide ace. We’ve even potentially got two (or three if you wanna be really hopeful) depending on Nola and Ranger. So we’re actually not that far from being able to compete for the best rotation in the game. So my suggestion? Double down on it. We’ve been unable to hit our way past our defensive and bullpen woes. Stop trying. Focus on defense and starting pitching depth. That will help in two ways; first, a better defense increases our odds of Gibson and our bullpen succeeding. Second, the starting pitching depth can double as potentially effective relievers.

    Bryce, JT, and Hoskins will all have stretches where they’ll carry our offense regardless. Instead of taking a swing (and missing, pardon the pun) at surrounding them with more potent options, let’s focus on run prevention instead. That way we won’t be at the mercy of team-wide offensive swoons and bullpens blowing huge leads.

    1. “……….let’s focus on run prevention instead.”
      Exactly….become the DOD…Dept of Defense.
      Starting up the middle…ss and CF need to be plus DRS guys.

    1. Surgery was May 26th….depending on player/rehab … 10 to 13 months recovery
      Should be able to pitch in a MLB game probably mid- June 2022.

    2. There is a new procedure….but not a lot of data yet with it…so MLB pitchers are hesitant.

      “Traditional Tommy John surgery requires taking a tendon from somewhere else in the body to build a new ligament over the damaged UCL and serve as a tissue graft while the UCL heals, said David Lintner, M.D., chief of sports medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital and head team physician for the Houston Astros. “The downside to this approach is that the new ligament has no blood supply, and it can take the body months to rebuild the blood vessels,” he said.

      In this new surgical technique, Lintner anchors the UCL InternalBraceTM to the upper and lower arm bones over the damaged UCL instead of using a tendon from somewhere else in the body. Lintner says the UCL InternalBraceTM is like a thick suture material that can provide immediate strength to the elbow joint. He said the design of the brace attracts collagen, an essential building block of soft tissue in the body, and serves as scaffold where the collagen can grow. Instead of building a new ligament, this technique repairs and protects the patient’s own ligament while it heals allowing for faster rehabilitation.”

      1. In addition to limited data, as far as I understand it the new procedure can’t be used in all situations TJ would be used, either.

        Still, I hope it pans out and leads to healthier pitchers. The game is better when deGrom, Wheeler, Cole, Scherzer, et al., are healthy

  23. Looking forward to the Dave Dombrowski press conference this afternoon. I am impressed every time he speaks (especially after suffering through Andy MacPhail the last six years). I’ll be interested to see how specific he gets about the teams’ offseason plans.

    1. What time, Hinkie?

      And while I doubt he’ll reveal any particulars of the off season plans, I don’t anticipate him disingenuously insulting the fan base with references to stadium improvements and winning essentially being a crapshoot. I do think he’ll bring some clarity to whether exceeding the LTT is within his purview.

  24. Last night the Yankees yanked their $300 mil+ pitcher after 51 pitches in the 3rd or 4th inning let that sink in

    Evoldi was masterful after getting shelled by the bombers just a week ago. Devers 24 and Verdugo 25 played like 10 year veterans. Between them their cost is tad more than $5 mil

    It’s hard to give them much of a chance in a 5-7 games series but they are a great value team. Even their expensive guys aren’t really expensive (relative to their production) Bogearts $20 mil JD Martinez $20 Mil Evoldi $17 mil and Sale who hardly pitched $24 mil

    After those guys they don’t have a single guy making over $9 mil

    Bloom inherited a mess and I don’t blame DD for that he did his job and won a WS. But their payroll 26 man was $180 mil and their 40 man tax PR was $205 mil. $30.8 mil in dead money for Benintendi, Pedroia, and Price.

    1. Though DMAR, Devers going into arb2 will get a hefty pay increase…….or Bloom may even try to get him extended with a LTC and buy out the last two arb years…. like Acuna, Albies, Tatis et al as is the going thing to do these days.
      They may also QO Ed Rodriguez as he becomes a free agent.
      Schwarber may go back at $11M AAV.
      There are decisions for Bloom to make.

  25. Looks like Alfaro is in danger of being replaced, Mattingly according to MLBTR said it is an area they are looking to improve. Above 30% k-rate, league leading 13 PBS, has walked less every year since 2018. Too the good, his CSR is 43%. Article goes on to say he is in danger of being non-tendered.

    I wonder if we could pkg. a deal with the fish for our own backstop problem, the good clubhouse guy who every pitcher likes to throw to, the guy with the magical fWAR of -1.1. ………maybe like a fresh supply of Panama straw plantation hats for when we hit “taters”!🤭

    1. Skeet…you want Alf back?
      That could block Rafael and Logan….maybe 2022, NLT2023 are their ETAs.

      1. Nope, nay, nodda, not…….no mas…….just want a replacement for our fWAR -1.1. My contention was and is that Marchan should have had his job in 2021, but I imagine 1 of Rafael or Logan will be gone once the “trader” gets on a roll.

  26. I know everyone on here is a Sixto fan, but the JTR trade was a good one. He had an off season, and I expect to see a big rebound next year, and I also expect a better backup C, even if that is Marchan. Assuming he does not get traded. I do the Realmuto trade over and over. I was not a fan of Jorge as a C. A backup C is probably the least expensive of the additions that we need.

    1. Matt, true enough……….but, while you are out fishing for tuna or marlin and you run into a school of fluke, it’s ok to pick 1 or 2 up!

    2. Agreed, I think JT played through a lot of injuries (starting in ST when he got hurt trying to catch Alvarado). In a down year he was still a really good player.

  27. LOL1, Skeet. Wouldn’t we love to find another Shane Victorino or Jayson Werth? That production for not much money. That would fix a lot of problems.

  28. AFL roster announced:

    Bryson Stott, SS (No. 2/MLB No. 97); Hans Crouse, RHP (No. 4); Erik Miller, LHP (No. 9); Logan O’Hoppe, C (No. 11); Simon Muzziotti, OF (No. 16); Mickey Moniak, OF (No. 17); Damon Jones, LHP; James McArthur, RHP

    The Phillies’ Hitting Prospect of the Year, Stott played across three levels, getting stronger as he moved up and finishing with a .306/.398/.500 line as he started to knock on the big league door. Acquired at the Trade Deadline from the Rangers, Crouse pitched very well in six Double-A starts after the trade (2.73 ERA, 11.5 K/9), had a rougher go of it in one Triple-A outing and made his big league debut on Sept. 26 with a one-run, three-inning start for the Phillies.

    1. Little surprised Jhailyn Ortiz not going. Maybe he’s still hurt? Phillies need to add him to the 40-man this winter.

      1. It could be that Ortiz, Stott, Miller, Crouse, Muzziotti, and Moniak all get to contribute to the major league campaign at some point in 2022. Much will be determined this coming March, if they aren’t traded.

      2. Agree. Outside of Muzziotti and Miller I’m not sure who could benefit more than Ortiz from the AFL. Maybe it is injury related, as you said.

        1. MLB teams have to have a set number of pitchers and position players nominated to go…..maybe they felt OFers Muzz and Moniak needed the experience more….for Moniak it will be his second go around in the desert.
          Then again Ortiz may be playing in the Dominican winter league starting a month or two later.

      3. If Latin American players have a position lined up in their home country they have to play there instead of Arizona. It is an agreement between MLB and the Latin American leagues. I expect Ortiz will play in the Dominican. Phillies probably got a waiver for Muzziotti to play in Arizona because of the missed time and visa issues. Note he is also potentially playing for Zulia in Venezuela after the AFL season.

    1. What reporter asked that last question about Girardi’s contract and the club option?
      Was that Howard Eskin?
      …….Dombrowski kind of blew him off…..”..if it is, I don’t know about it”…hah

      1. Yeah. It was Eskin.
        I usually think Eskin is an idiot. But in this case, his point was valid. Dombrowski said Girardi had no club option. Eskin was able to find a tweet from the Phillies (when they originally signed Girardi) that said his contract included a club option.

        1. Eskin is an idiot. Harping on if Girardi has an option or not is really meaningless other than I expect Eskin is looking for a good fire the manager fodder for his show.

          I assume he brought it back up because he thought it was his chance to show-up the GM and be the smartest person in the room.

          If the Phillies want to get rid of Girardi sometime in 2022 they will.

        2. Hinkie.3up….yes I thought the question had no bearing…at least in that setting.

          Eskin , if he was really interested …could have easily aske how did Dave D think of Joe’s perfromance…and we all know the standard answer for that.
          Instead he tries a “I got you cross-examination question”

          Eskin is two different people when it comes to the Phillies and Eagles…..17 years ago he was ready to duke it out with Charlie Manual.

  29. I am racking my brain on how we can compete next year and thinking the main trading partner is probably Minny. Hoping maybe they want a complete rebuild and take Colome and Donaldson contract to get Buxton. This still doesn’t solve SS but don’t think you are going to move Didi, just hope he rebounds after a terrible year if not then rush Stott into that spot

    1. Dave Dombrowski may conduct a press conference more adeptly than anyone in the history of professional sports. He’s an excellent speaker. He’s open. Never gives the appearance that he’s trying to hide anything, And sits there until nobody has any more questions to ask.
      I feel good about what he said today.
      Among the highlights:

      * Payroll isn’t a problem for the Phillies. It’s more a matter of how they’re going to spend the money.

      * He again said he’s never been given any “stop at the LTT” mandate by Middleton & the Bucks. They would have eclipsed the cap at the deadline if the right deal came along.

      * When asked if the team could do another big signing, he said they could, but it might be better to spread that same money around on multiple players.

      * Alec Bohm can be an adequate defensive 3Bman (he’s been/will be working on that in Clearwater). He just needs to hit enough to compensate.

      * Did not sound very positive when it came to Didi. The club needs to do better at SS whether internally (including Didi) or from outside.

      * He sees Bryson Stott as a SS (lacks a little in range but has the arm). Other clubs who have asked about Stott in trade talks, also see him as a SS (BTW … I still don’t think he’s athletic enough to play SS).

      * Phillies need to be better at closing games. Will probably have to acquire one thru free agency or trade (doesn’t rule out the possibility that it could be a younger guy).

      1. I didn’t see the press conference, but the guy is about as competent and convincing as you could imagine. The only Phillies leader I’ve ever seen who could conduct a press conference with that level of authority was Pat Gillick. And both guys speak the truth – they tell you what’s going on and where the team stands and will be candid about the team’s deficiencies since the fans already obviously know what they are. It’s refreshing to hear him speak. He’s the opposite of Andy MacPhail. For the life of me, I don’t know what the hell Andy did other than hire the wrong guy to run the team and not provide any helpful advice or intervention. In fact, he made things much worse by my estimation and antagonized the fans for good measure.

      2. He punted the question on Odubel’s option which I expect is a good indication that they will not be picking up options on him, Cutch, etc.

        Talked about the need to get better complementary players which also doesn’t bode well for Didi, Knapp.

        Also noted that Moniak will not be playing Fall league due to a late season injury.

        1. Herrera is a hard guess. Excercise his option and pay him $11.5 million or buy him out for $2.5 million. Is he worth $9 million which is the difference between the two since he will get the $2.5 million anyway. He is at least average on defense in CF and would likely be above average in LF if he played there. His offense is at least acceptable.

      3. So, my takes are:
        *Dombrowski will spend, though not necessarily over the LTT, but rather targeting cheaper options to cover more holes.
        *I do think Stott will be expedited, if not opening day, early on in 2022. A new 3B will be a target, and yes, Alec Bohm may land elsewhere. That would take care of the left side of the infield. Farewell, Didi…no later than the trade deadline.
        *l am almost positive that DD trades for a CF and spends free agent dollars on a closer and maybe a couple supplemental pitching additions.
        *I think Castellanos or JDM can be had on high AAV/short term deals as a LF/DH.

        1. JDM is not a FA, he’s still under contract for 2022 at $19.375M.

          If Castellanos opts out, he’s leaving $34M on the table. This means he’s looking for a large payday, something like 5 years, $100M. But if there are no takers at that price, I’m sure he’ll go for 2 years, $45M.

          1. Yankees Gallo may be had for LF ina trade….one year left on his contract…but struggled in NY in Aug and Sep….another Vegas kid.
            The Yankees gave up four prospects (2B Ezequiel Duran, SS Josh Smith, 2B/OF Trevor Hauver and RHP Glenn Otto) other than Duran, not their top prospects at the time.

          2. JD Martinez can/will opt out of his deal. He has a history with DD, and IMO is one of the guys the Phillies will look into on a shorter term/high AAV contract.

            1. Almost forgot … JDM is also a Scott Boras client. Connect the dots.
              Not saying it’s a slam dunk. Am saying it makes a lot of sense/is a definite possibility.

        2. DD said we need another big bat in the middle of the line-up so I expect he’s going to do something to make that happen. Martinez and Castellanos are both under contract and are being paid roughly what they are worth. I could see him trading a few mid-level prospects for one of those guys. Either would be great in the middle of this line-up. Martinez is older, was less valuable, has a shorter contract and is being paid more, so that move may be more likely would but would probably have to come with salary relief. Still, boy oh boy, can he hit.

          I expect DD to upgrade in CF and leadoff – perhaps with the same guy.

          Rotation upgrades may come, but they will be strategic.

          Bullpen moves are inevitable but, unlike last year’s bullpen, which is the worst bullpen disaster baseball has ever seen, there are some players to work with this year. Brogdon, Coonrod, Falter and maybe Neris and Alvarado could be back. I expect Kennedy and Bradley will definitely be gone.

          Still listening to the presser. Damn, DD is good.

          1. And for what it’s worth, I don’t view Hammer, Dohy, Medina, Rosso or Llovera as viable bp options. One of those guys might surprise us, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Dominguez looked like he was rounding into form so I expect he will be in the bp as well, searching for a role as he works his way back into shape. And if it were me, if I could get him on a reasonable deal, I take Neris back and just keep him in his lane all year. He’s a very decent set-up guy and eats up a LOT of decent innings. He’s not a closer. Just let him do his job and he’ll be fine.

            1. If the Phillies could get Hector on, say, a one-year $6 m deal with an option at $7 m for the next year and a $1 m buyout, that would do it. If you keep him in his lane he will give you 1-2 WAR and pitch important innings. He always takes the ball. He’s the type of guy you don’t miss until he’s gone and you’re looking to guys like Llovera to bail you out. Good luck with that.

    1. Thanks for sharing. My takeaways:
      1. DD has reached the IDGAF (i.e. I Don’t Give A F**k) stage of his career, which I love. He has no fear. Straight shooter. He inspires confidence.
      2. Love that he is targeting bats and knows that we need big hitters, not just role players. He says a lot by saying, “we have 4 good position players.” Tells you exactly how he views the rest of the lineup. Also happy to hear that he wants a high OB% guy for lead-off
      3. Happy to hear that he is high on Stott and O’Hoppe.
      4. Sounds like Moniak is injured and thus won’t be at the AFL, which is a lost opportunity for him.
      5. Sounds like they believe that Bohm’s only real position is 3B. Not a candidate for OF. 1B is mostly as a fall back and seems like that is more of a platoon. It all comes down to can Bohm hit enough that they can live with mediocre defense? They seem to be sold that Bohm is a good hitter. And moving to another position isn’t a real option. They seem willing to give him many more chances to play 3B because they believe in the bat. I pray that they are right, because we really, really need young talent.
      6. Seems to me that the target for offensive upgrades is OF. They want to give Bohm a chance at 3B. Didi is clearly done at SS, but, DD seems to really like Stott as the SS of the near future. So I would expect them to go big on OFs.
      7. Clearly bullpen will be a huge investment area.

      1. If DD is going after OF upgrades and bullpen help (which to me really means a legit free agent closer, with Seranthony and hopefully Jojo returning at some point, and being high on Alvarado by his qualified praise yesterday) and Bohm will be given a real shot at 3b, then maybe they go glove first at SS (Andrelton Simmons?). Kris Bryant makes sense in this regard – let’s say he is slotted for LF, and Bohm struggles, then KB can move to 3b until a deadline move fills the vacancy in either LF or 3b….CF/leadoff man seems to me to be the big trade acquisition. IMO Johan Rojas appears to be the most likely trade piece among the top prospects for the new CF.

      2. It’s clear Dave Dombrowski is about to make major changes to this team. I’m sure he’ll do some FA shopping, but I bet he’ll make “at least” one big move in the trade market.
        Here’s the thing … the Phillies POBO has made upgrading the Phillies farm a point of emphasis. He just hired Preston Mattingly to make that happen. Knowing this, does Dombrowski really want to trade any of the club’s top prospects (Painter/Abel/Rojas/Stott)? IMO, Dombrowski is more likely looking to deal from the 40-man.
        Which Phillies players hold the most value in a trade scenario?
        The answer is Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Rhys Hoskins, JT Realmuto, Zach Eflin, Alec Bohm, and Kyle Gibson. DD probably isn’t going to move Wheeler or Realmuto. Eflin is untradable (for medical reasons). That leaves any of Nola, Hoskins, Bohm, or Gibson as the Phillies most likely to be dealt. Nola holds the most value, Gibson the least.

        My brain has been running wild conjuring up trade scenarios. When I get some time, I’ll post some of them.

        1. From the 40man roster, here’s my order of likely trade candidates:
          1) Rafael Marchan
          2) Alec Bohm
          3) Aaron Nola
          4) Rhys Hoskins
          5) Mickey Moniak
          6) Adam Haseley
          7) Kyle Gibson

        2. Why would he want to trade from the 40 man. Opening a new hole to Close another hole doesn’t make sense. Imo he is selling the farm this off-season.

          1. “Selling the farm” would fly in the face of everything DD has been saying/doing. He’s made rebuilding the farm a point of emphasis. He’s already replaced the former farm director (Josh Bonifay), and a handful of his underlings.
            I just don’t see him dealing any of Painter/Abel/Rojas/Stott unless they can land a guy like Bryan Reynolds (young all-star caliber player under team control for multiple seasons).
            If by selling the farm, you mean trading mid tier prospects, then … yeah maybe. However, those type of prospects (in a weak Phillies system) have limited value. I believe Dombrowski is set to really shake things up. I see a ‘Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler’ type deal in the works this winter. Dombrowski’s three biggest trade chips are Aaron Nola, Rhys Hoskins, and Alec Bohm. I’m not saying he’s going to trade all three, but I feel (at least) one of them will be used to fill multiple needs (remember this club has a lot of them). I also believe Middleton/Dombrowski won’t shy away from exceeding the cap. They’ll take on big money/short term contracts.

            So … maybe Dombrowski sends Rhys Hoskins to Milwaukee (who is flush with really good BP arms) for Josh Hader, and JBJ’s bloated contract (9.5M for 2022 after posting an OPS <.500 in 2021). You can add other pieces, but you get the gist of what I'm saying. The Phillies finally get their shutdown closer, and a GG caliber CFer. The Brewers have Devin Williams and Aaron Ashby (both pre-arb) who have the "stuff" to close. They need a RH power bat (1Bman/DH) to slot behind Christian Yellich. Dombrowski could then sign Nelson Cruz to a one year deal or JD Martinez to a three year deal.

            Or … maybe (if Hader is unavailable) Hoskins gets you Williams or Ashby and other pieces.

            Or … maybe Dombrowski sends Aaron Nola and Alec Bohm to Oakland for Matt Chapman, Ramon Laureano, and AJ Puk. That would fix 3B, CF, and add another late inning reliever (maybe Puk even transitions back to the starting rotation). Dombrowski would then look to sign someone like Justin Verlander (a guy he once drafted & won a lot of games with) to that big money/short term deal.

            I'm not predicting these specific deals. But these are the type of trades I'm expecting: using one player to fix multiple problems. He did this at the deadline when he sent Spencer Howard to Texas for a SP, a closer, and a prospect.

            1. Of those, Rhys makes the most sense. Lots of 1B types out there. But the problem with that is that Rhys is cheap. So trading him hurts our salary situation. He’s our best surplus value position player.

              Trading Nola makes no sense to me. Who is going to fill his spot in the rotation? He is in his prime age, relatively cheap. Locked up. And his peripheral stats were great. Perfect bounce back candidate.

              I don’t know how much trading Bohm gets you. My guess is the Phillies value Bohm more than any other club.

            2. Kiner-Falefa seems like a glove first option, Hinkie. OPS over 4 MLB seasons and less than 400 PAs is .670 with only occasional pop, although it looks like he could be a 3rd catcher. Nothing from his baseball reference info screams at me. What about him appeals to you?

            3. Kiner-Falefa odd prospect with the Rangers…never cracked their own top 20 list
              But he is MLB Gold Glove candidate every year….though not much bat yet, but good peripherals of K(15%)-to-BB(13%)

            4. Yeah, Romus. He’s a plus defender on the left side of the infield (3B or SS). His glove would immediately be a boost to the Phillies pitching staff. Also gives you a professional AB (stays in the Kzone), is one of the better base runners in MLB (by the peripherals), and is affordable. He’s the type of complimentary player DD was talking about during his press conference this week.

  30. I wonder how close to majors the Phils view Stott. He made it to AAA this year and is going to Arizona Fall League. Do they want to fast track him or give him a whole other year in minors? He should be an upgrade on defense and I could see him better than a 209 hitter. He has star potential and good upside, but there would be risk on promoting him. At the same time there are a number of star SS that should be available. Out of all those free agents the 2 that would be good with the bat and the best at defense are Story and Correra. I guess they could sign one of the FA SS and either move them or Stott to another position when he forces their hand for promotion. I guess they will be watching the AFL very closely to help decide their direction. If they can focus their spending power on other areas that would be great.

    1. Segura’s value is high with the year he had…plus one year left on his contract and just a $1M buy-out for 2023….may be able to move him and let Stott slide into 2B and sign a FA ss……Correa will want Lindor’s $$ and years……rather go for Story…though a little older at 29 vs Seager, 28 and Correa, 27.

  31. I don’t think a left side of the IF of Stott and Bohm does anything to improve our defense. I hate to disagree with DD but they are pushing the “Bohm is a 3B” more out of hope than anything he has done actually playing. And hoping he hits enough is just further proof his D isn’t good. I don’t think Stott is a SS, regardless of his arm strength. The lack of range is the issue and coupled with Bohm at 3B, that isn’t good. It would be great to have both play every day and play well, but that doesn’t seem like a great plan. Again, I hope I’m wrong.

    1. matt13…….Dave D. could not say anything different about Bohm…he had to say that for the players own confidence and self-assurance, plus also for other GMs who may have some interest..
      I do not think he is the long term solution at 3B

    2. Dombrowski will absolutely not have 2 young, yet to be established infielders together on the left side. If Stott is at SS, a new 3b will be acquired. Didi at 3b would merely be a concession that a better option wasn’t available. That’s not how Dombrowski operates. If the Phillies acquire a top of the market SS, Stott can slide to 2b and Segura to 3b before Didi gets the gig.

  32. Interesting he says the Phillies have four really good position players — Harper, Realmuto, Segura, and Hoskins.

    Catch, he has the same view of Hoskins that you and I have.

  33. If Stott’s bat carries through the AFL and Spring Training the Phillies will be forced with the hard decision of bringing him up or hedging his service time (**granted the CBA talks don’t change) by not placing him down in AAA or he can come up and take over 3rd base by Opening Day..

    1. I think because Stott is already 24 years old…a little older than those mega-20-year old stars coming on the scene, i e Tatis, Vladdy, Wander Franco, Soto, Acuna et al …..the service time issue is not as important.
      With six years of control…if CBA does not change in those regards, the Phillies will have him under control until he reaches 30/31 years old.

        1. Just when i was feeling good about Dave D and the Phillies’ off-season initiatives, and you have to bring that trade up!
          I do not want to be premature….but looks like another Phillies miscue.
          Maybe Sanchez will turn into the next Ranger.

  34. Who are some middle of the order bats that DD will be targeting? Free agency? Castellanos or JDM should they opt out? Or trade?

  35. For me … JD Martinez is at or near the top of the FA bat list for the Phillies. He’s already 34 YO, so he’s more likely to command a three year (plus an option) deal. That would fit perfectly into the Phillies window for contention. Martinez has a history with DD, and also has a championship pedigree (no other Phillie has that). He’s a RHH, and could slot right behind Harper in the LU to provide him protection.
    Kyle Schwarber is a mid tier FA option for that run producing middle of the order bat.

    1. Schwarber has indicated he wants to stay in Boston…..but isn’t that what they all say when their team is in the play-offs!

  36. Dream sequence? or possibility?

    Bryan Reynolds cf
    JT Realmuto c
    Bryce Harper rf
    JD Martinez dh
    Matt Chapman 3b
    Rhys Hoskins 1b
    Bryson Stott ss
    Jean Segura 2b
    Mickey Moniak/Matt Vierling lf

    Austin Romine c
    Ronald Torreyes if
    Brad Miller utility

    1. Lets hope the CBA brings the DH to the NL….if it doesn’t …cross JD Mart off your list….the Phillies do not need to find another position for a no field- but hit player in the lineup..

      1. Romus … you’re right. But I think the universal DH is pretty much a given.

        You’re also right about Schwarber/all players. They all say how much they’d like to return to their current team. It never hurts to say it. However, in the end … outside of near-retiring ring chasers (Schwarber is not), they all sign with the team offering the most money.

        1. Schwarber’s career stats are pretty bad, I say no thanks to him. Correa is my first choice.

          1. The Phillies will not be participating in any market for a player commanding $30M+ AAV. Correa is out. Plus I don’t trust him thanks to his participation in the 2017 scandal. Had he (they) come forward and humbly owned their guilt, took their medicine and moved forward.

        2. To me, Schwarber is a guy who has turned a corner and will likely put up ridiculous stats over the next 3-4 years. I think he works something out with the Sox, but if he doesn’t, defense be damned, I’m taking him at DH or in LF next year. That was such a great trade by the Sox – I wish we had gotten him.

          I’ve always though about Schwarber in the following way – what would a boy look like and be like if John Kruk and Jim Thome could have a baby? Kyle Schwarber – that’s what he’d look like!

  37. From Dombrowski’s comments yesterday, my hunch is that all exiting free agents will not be re-signed except for perhaps Brad Miller and Hector Neris. Personally, I’ve had enough of the latter’s rollercoaster performances but he’s now a veteran who may settle into a 7th or 8th inning role….just PLEASE NOT BOTH INNINGS!! Shedding Cutch’s, Doobie’s and hopefully $5M of Didi’s, along with Kennedy’s, Bradley’s and whoever else I’m missing, that’s some significant salary which will pay for upgrades, with a bump over the luxury tax threshold to boot. I’m especially looking forward to see how creative and prospect capital economical the POBO will be this winter.

    Let’s get it done, DD!!

    1. If it is about saving $$$$$$ for free agents:
      —Trade Rhys and put Darick Hall at first base….save $$$$$
      —Put Mickey Moniak in CF…save $$$$$
      —Trade Didi …….save $$$$
      …….if anything else…it improves the defense.

      1. That’s pretty creative, Romus…even if we keep Hoskins for DH, forego pursuing JDM, and bring up your boy Hall who intrigues me, as does the future of Viars with a similar profile.

        1. I do have doubts that DD and especially Joe G will commit to Moniak in CF, however. I agree that our new CF will fill the leadoff spot.

      2. Please tell me you’re kidding. The downgrade between Rhys and Hall is enormous. Hall is, at best, at or below replacement level right now, as is Mickey. Neither should be on a big league roster yet, let alone replace a good player such as Hoskins. No way.

    2. According to The Baseball Reference for 2022 the Phillies have $142 million in contract commitments and another $37 million in estimated Arb costs. That only leaves us about $30 mill to pay everyone else before the LT.

        1. I think you’re correct. $30M+ comes off the approx $150M+ once Cutch and Doobie’s options are declined, along with Didi if he’s traded to shed say $5M.

        2. Think Spotrac is a little too optimistic. Their luxury tax $$ don’t add up if you add the numbers that show in the tax column with the total they report.

          Even excluding the $15M for McCutchen they are still short.

          Bryce Harper  25,384,615
          Zack Wheeler 23,600,000
          J.T. Realmuto 23,100,000
          Aaron Nola 11,250,000
          Didi Gregorius 14,000,000
          A McCutchen 3,000,000
          Jean Segura  14,000,000
          Kyle Gibson 9,333,333
          O Herrera 2,500,000

          Add in $4m for Kingery and they are about $130M + $15m for benefits and another $2.5m for minor leagues.

          they should have about $60m before they hit the $210 mark.

        3. Harper $ 27.5, Wheeler $26, JT $23.8, Segura $14.8, Nola $15.5, Didi $15.2. Gibson $7.7, Kingery $6.3, Odubal buyout $2.5, McCutchen buyout $3 TOTAL $142 Million. Maybe we can trade Didi but would have to eat $10 mill or so of his salary. $37 mil is the estimate for all the arb costs Gets us to $180 mill

          Don’t like it but there is the math

          1. Those are their 2022 salaries but not their AAV amounts for tax purposes.

            zero chance they spend $37 million on arbitration cases. Hoskins and Eflin are the only significant arbitration cases they have.

            Rest of arbitration cases are Alvarado, Knapp, Jankowski, Torreyes, Dominguez, and Quinn.

            They spend $37 million to keep that group and DD should be fired on the spot.

            1. Considering Dombrowski’s aggressive reputation, both Eflin and Hoskins (from among the arb eligible players) could be included in a trade. Eflin might be attractive to a team in position to patiently wait for his recovery and bank on his future, while the Phillies are in win now mode, not wait for the IL to clear. The key with Hoskins may be whether they see him as a redundant player should they acquire an offensively comparable player with a glove.

            2. Well, let’s see.

              I think about $7.5 million for Hoskins, $6-7 m for Neris, and about $5-6 combined for that group, excluding Knapp, who I think should not be tendered. So you’re looking at about $ 20 million. Leaving another $40+ million to fill holes. Better than this year.

            3. This is a team that hemorrhages runs through their defense. I don’t get the want to rid the team of Roman Quinn. He is one of their best defenders, and is making the minimum. At the very least, he’s a late inning defensive replacement or pinch runner, and the perfect #9 hitter on the occasions he starts a game.

            4. Romus … I do like Quinn over Janko. But in 3up’s scenario, he’s non tendering both.

            5. And Quinn is available when? He’s fast but not a particularly good defensive player. Biggest problem, he can’t stay healthy and can’t hit.

            6. 3up … I respect your opinion, but I disagree with it. Roman Quinn is the team’s best defensive OFer. Again, you’re investing probably <1M for him to be a late game defensive replacement/pinch runner. 80-grade speed doesn't grow on trees. At the very least, Quinn would hold some sort of value as a trade chip instead of non-tendering him IMO.
              Whoever is hired as the team's new hitting coach should insist Quinn bunt for base hits more than he currently does. Put his wheels to use.

            7. That’s fine Hinkie, you don’t have to agree with me. :). Just think it’s time to quit chasing the Quinn unicorn and dreaming on what he could be vs accepting what he is.

            8. If Quinn is recovering well I’m 100% bringing him back. If there’s a DH next year he looks great in the #9 spot and could share time with Vierling at CF or LF depending on what they do in FA and trades. I do wonder if they could non-tender Quinn and bring him back on an MILB deal to open the 40 man a bit.

              I’m now dreaming about the Phillies acquiring Byron Buxton and he and Quinn playing side by side in the same OF… would be awesome to watch.

  38. Romus, yup …the estimated bennies … I dislike how this is added into the total, but it is. They should remove that , or maybe at least for teams actively looking to compete. 16 mil is a nice player to help fix this team

    1. i believe the owners want to lower the luxury tax threshold to around $180M….and just so happens that is approx the cost of the player benefit expense deducted from the current LuxTax.
      The average MLB salary dropped almost 5% to just under $4.17M on Opening Day from the start of the previous full season in 2019. The average has fallen 6.4% since the start of the 2017 season, when it peaked at $4.45M. The salary downturn is yet another sign baseball could be headed toward labor strife and a possible work stoppage in 2022. Baseball’s middle class has borne the brunt of the drop. The median salary is $1.15M, down 18% from $1.4M two years ago and a drop of 30% from the $1.65M record high at the start of 2015. Of 902 players on Opening Day rosters, 417 had salaries under $1M, including 316 under $600,000…….The 50 highest-paid players are getting 33% of all salaries, up from 29% in 2017, and the 100 highest-paid are receiving 52%, an increase from 43% in 2017….

  39. Who’s our CENTERFIELDER
    on opening day 2022?

    • Bryan Reynolds
    • Byron Buxton
    • Whit Merrifield
    • Ramon Laureano
    • Starling Marte
    • Ketel Marte
    • Jackie Bradley Jr

    1. Michael A. Taylor FA from KCR. Myles Straw would be great but that’s not happening. Luke Williams if they can’t sign Taylor

  40. Tac3, I agree with you. That is a great idea! Remove the player benefits from any CBT calculation. The size of the player’s contract does not change his health, pension or other benefits, and all teams have to pay those costs. Don’t include them and teams at the higher end, now have about $16M extra to spend. I think that is a fair plan, and certainly helps us. mark, I am just going to take a totally random guess, and say Jackie Bradley, Jr.

    1. matt13…no such luck,… you really think the MLBPA would agree to that!
      I may be wrong, but I think they are the ones who wanted it in the first place a few CBAs back.

  41. 2021 Opening Day Payrolls……Phillies 9th
    Dodgers $241M
    Yankees $201M
    Mets $186M
    Angels $181M
    Nationals $180M
    Red Sox $180M
    Astros $177M
    Padres $178M
    Phillies $175M
    Cardinals $165M
    Cubs $156M
    Giants $150M
    BJays $140M
    Braves $132M
    WSox $127M
    Twins $125M
    Reds $124M
    Rockies $110M
    Rangers $98M
    Dbacks $94M
    Brewers $94M
    Royals $89M
    Mariners $84M
    Athletics $83M
    Tigers $81M
    Rays $67M
    Marlins $57M
    Orioles $56M
    Indians $52M
    Pirates $46M

  42. Romus, you confused me. Why would the players object to the benefits not counting against the CBT? If there is a floor, a team has to spend more because they can’t count the benefit $ to reach their floor. And, the spenders now get more $ to spend on players. I wasn’t suggesting the players lose benefits, and I don’t think tac was, just that the cost of benefits not prohibit a team from spending more $ and staying LT compliant. What did I not understand?

    1. matt13……my mistake, I read the post incorrectly.
      I suppose the only drawback from what you are suggesting may not be to the liking of dozen or so of the small market teams…..a floor is not in their best interest. And those teams would incur a penalty if they do not spend up to that floor. And for them to maintain that floor may cost the large market teams each more money in the revenue sharing pot.

  43. No problem, Romus, perhaps a compromise is that the lower revenue teams can count the benefits costs towards any floor. I am just looking for, hoping for, any way we can spend some additional money that Middleton approves. This off season requires so much work, any benefits for us under a new CBA will be greatly appreciated.

    1. When it comes to the CBA agenda items, game plans and negotiations ….which are probably now starting amongst the owners… have three teams….large market owner group, small market owner group and then finally at the table in December there is the MLBPA.
      It is up to Commissioner Manfred to prevent a civil war between the two factions of owners……I am looking forward to see what the richest owner and newest owner in the room, Steve ‘v1again’ Cohen does. He is an impetuous guy to say the least and he may have new ideas that could rub some owners the wrong way.

  44. Middleton better tell DD to bust out the Flexseal reserves… because that’s the only way he’s going to plug all these holes this off-season!

    Because … the 2021 Phillies … is the only time I saw that flexseal couldnt fix something!

    (Ok I’m done, and yes … I waiting awhile to bust those “jokes” out)

  45. At this point who doesn’t want to see an Astros-Rays ALCS. I said way back I was pulling for either Billy Beane or Dusty Baker to win a WS. I also have an attachment to the White Sox but they just aren’t ready yet in my opinion.

    The Rays trade of Liberatore, Catching Prospect Rodriguez and a Comp B pick for Arozarena was bold at the time. But obviously paying huge dividends early. Liberatore is still just 21 and holding his own in AAA.

    When you guys mention of trading an Abel or a Painter you must be sure of getting a player of that ilk back.

    And really does any team trade as well as the Rays? Baz will toe the rubber in game 2 another part of that lopsided deal they made with the Pirates.

  46. The only NL team I could find myself rooting for would be the Brewers…

    the thing is when you watch these teams in the playoffs you have Neander and Bloom from the Friedman tree (if you want to call it that) and you have Farhan from the Beane Tree,

    Alex Anthopoulos is a very interesting character. Canadian Born he started as an unpaid intern in the Expos mail room. On his own he would scout games, write his notes and submit them. They eventually got him moved to the scouting dept as an intern.

    He eventually becomes GM of the Jays we all know that but he turns down a 5 year extension from them in 15 to go and work 2 years with the Dodgers and Friedman before taking the Braves position.

    I see a pattern

          1. He also seemed to have a lot of issues with the Phillies medical staff in that article about his elbow injury. At least that’s how I interpreted his comments in Breen’s article.

            1. That does not look good…so many spin-offs can occur…if he is traded, released or comes back—which is now probably out of the question if he has issues with the medical staff. Then there could be a legal issue arising if he is released.

            2. From Breen:

              “I couldn’t bend my elbow for at least two months, they didn’t want to do anything about it in the beginning. They told me it was just inflammation, but it wasn’t just inflammation. I was mad that I missed 50 games. It’s not a fair thing. I’m here to play. I’m not here to sit around and not do anything. It’s been frustrating basically the whole year with what’s going on. I didn’t get an answer until June.”

              “They tried to blame me and said it’s because you’re drinking. Everybody who knows me knows I don’t drink. That’s why it didn’t make sense. Those 50 days I was out, I was really ticked off because people told me I was doing something that I didn’t do.”

            3. Yeah….probably will be moved,
              ….now can understand Dave D somewhat evasiveness and vagueness when he addressed the shortstop position ….. and of course Didi.

          2. Dave D’s comments on shortstop:
            “We need to get better at shortstop. If it’s internally or externally, whatever it may be, we need to do that.”

            …I was wrong he is neither vague nor evasive……pretty much indicates a change is coming.

            1. Yeah, I can’t imagine Didi being brought back at this point under any circumstances. Dombrowski will have to sell him to a club looking for a DH option and clubhouse leadership, which thankfully still matters in some quarters.

        1. Interesting picks Mark…I do like the idea of a Rays Brewers series but no fondness of anyone on either of those clubs not in the sense that I can say I would like to see a particular person involved with those clubs win a WS.

  47. I don’t mind if we bring Freddy back to play SS and moving Didi if we only have to eat half his salary. I would love Bryant, and if Bohm plays well, great, Bryant can play LF. If not, Bryant is the 3B. After mark posted his list for CF, someone mentioned Michael Taylor. I believe he is an outstanding defensive CF, but I don’t know if he is a leadoff hitter.

    1. i haven’t actually seen him play recently, but judging from the stats,Galvis might not be the good defensive player he was during his original time with the Phillies. On the internet it is not easy for me to judge things like range, among other things….

    1. I’d rather play CF than bring Michael Taylor here. 🎵Put me in, Coach…I’m ready to play today…Look at me…I can be centerfield🎶

    2. I finally got one right 🙂

      I get anxiety thinking about all the holes needing to be filled

  48. Okay, I need to bounce this off you guys. I’ve been busy lately pulling together the information to create profile pages. Once I complete getting the DSL players data, I’ll have around 260 potential pages.

    They will look like this.

    Name: Jordan Viars
    Position: OF
    B/T: L/L
    Ht/Wt: 6’4″/215 lbs
    DOB: 7/18/2003
    2022 Age: 18
    Acquired: Signed as the 3rd round pick in the 2021 draft out of Reedy HS (TX) on July 5, 2021.

    2021 Statistics (These appear better on the page than they do in comments)

    Jordan Viars FCL 21 63 13 12 1 0 3 18 11 12 2 .261 .413 .478 .891

    Link to Baseball-Reference
    Link to MiLB

    I may add an Observations section.

    I was going to close the Comments section on these pages, but I think I’ll allow them. It is much easier to add video to the comments than it is to a WordPress document. I don’t think the comments section should be a place for discussion about a prospect, we have other places for that. I can address that later. I don’t want to delay going forward with these any longer. I want to have them available before the Readers’ Top Thirty.

    I think I’m going to change the menu. This is where I would like opinions. Breaking down by specific position no longer seems valid with the way players are playing multiple positions. I was thinking of this –

    Right-handed Pitchers
    Left-handed pitchers

    Breaking out middle infielders seems to lack necessity with so many playing third base in the low minors. Simiarily, outfielders are playing all three positions rather than just one.

    I was also toying with the idea of breaking the players into the affiliate they ended the season with because that’s the order in which I’m doing them. I also thought of an alphabetical list, but a 260-player long list just seems cumbersome.


  49. Like the idea of position groups myself. By affiliate might become confusing once they get into the next season and move around between levels.

    Alphabetically assumes I know all 260 players by name and also know how to spell.

    1. Take Bryson Stott for a good example….he ended the season with LHV… assume Jim would place him in that affiliate category…..not JS or Reading

  50. Jim … that sounds like an incredible amount of work. Thanks for all you do to make Phuture Phillies the best baseball site on the internet.
    And … I think breaking the players down by position sounds like a good idea.

  51. I agree! And thank you, as always jim, for this site. It is really, by far, the best Phillies site there is. I am looking forward to the top 30, and I think we are going to see some real talent break out next season.

    1. I’d take Story to at least get the most for my money. Correa will be overpriced in both dollars and years, Seager is too great of an injury risk, Baez? Eh…something about him doesn’t excite me.

      Now, the more thought I give to it, Marcus Semien would be my target, a little older but maybe a shorter commitment in years and less AAV, and flexible to play 2b or 3b as well, and the big bopper DD may have in his sights.

      “…and owner John Middleton wants to win”

      Well, spending much and spending smart are two completely different things. Dombrowski will put the smart into it, something this organization hasn’t been able to do since Gillick was at the wheel.

      Now, if Heyman’s sources (?) are credible, then 3b will be Bohm’s to lose or manned by a trade acquisition like Matt Chapman. Again, Kris Bryant makes more and more sense as a LF first, then 3b fallback should Bohm bomb.

      I don’t think DD can make TWO blockbuster trades this winter. He will deal either for a 3b (Chapman) or for a CF (Reynolds), and either will cost significant farm capital, but not prohibitively.

      Today, I say Dombrowski goes and signs Bryant, Semien, a free agent closer (I have no idea who), and deals for Reynolds.

      1. That would be an amazing haul if DD could pull that off. I guess Correa would cost too much, you make good points about Semien.

      2. Based on talent:



        Based on likelihood they become a Phillie:


        1. Hinkie…agree.
          Correa and Seager…too much $$$$ and length…though they are yuonger than the three below.
          Between Baez, Story and Semien,
          …leaning Story…tough call though, his career RISP (.249BA) is lower than what i expected, and 2021 dipped a little further south at (.238)..not sure if Coors Field effect was the issue or not……but defensively he does well and he has plenty speed..I think the Phillies can get him with the same contract as JTR’s.

        2. You guys are aware that Marcus Semien has two seasons out of 8 with a wRC+ over 100? Granted, the two were this year and 2019, so maybe this is his new normal. I’m not completely sold.

          Seager is a much better talent, imo, but is hurt a lot.

          Trevor Story… same old story (sorry). 125 wRC+ in Coors, 98 wRC+ away for his career. Also risky. And Baez seems like a guy who could be terrible all of a sudden without warning.

          1. The one aspect that intrigues me is ….of the group, three have been ‘thru the wars’ as they say, all the way to the WS (Correa, Seager and Baez).
            And all have produced in the play-offs and have taken leadership roles at one time or another during their runs to championships..
            And that means a lot for a Phillies team that gets themselves into a tizzy in September and cannot get out of their own way it seems.

            When Dave D takes everything into consideration it could be one of those three.

          2. Handzus … I get the trepidation over Trevor Story’s home/road splits. However, I will mention this (and I’ll probably post this more than once this offseason) … Story has felt right at home hitting in Philadelphia. It’s a SSS (53 PA), but Story owns a career .954 OPS @ CBP. That includes 4 HRs in 49 ABs.

      3. Bryan Reynolds cf
        Rhys Hoskins dh
        Bryce Harper rf
        Marcus Semien ss
        Kris Bryant 3b
        JT Realmuto c
        Alec Bohm 1b
        Mickey Moniak/Matt Vierling lf
        Jean Segura 2b

        It does leave this lineup rather right handed heavy. Chapman at 3b with Bryant in LF balances it out, depending on who’s in CF. And then there’s the arrival of Stott at some point…perhaps Semien or Segura moves to 3b to accommodate his promotion.

  52. Ok I’m back. I tuned the Phillies out for the last month+ and survived all possible medical conditions that would have resulted from following them closely. First time since I was 11 years old when I was so disappointed in ’64.

    I love the off-season and following this site. Jim is the greatest and you guys are good to great.

    I think the site Jim is putting together will be terrific and what a great effort, “thanks Jim”. I go for by position.

    Good to be back!

    1. 🖐😎🍿 Welcome back, Denny. And get your popcorn ready. Enjoy the Dave Dombrowski offseason fiesta!

      1. Hinkie,

        (1) If you can only do one, would you trade for Chapman or Reynolds?

        (2) Which big ticket FA do you think DD signs?

        1. Well Reynolds would be an incredible pick up. But that would be such a long shot. DD would have to give up Abel, Stott, and Rojas (at a time when he is trying to rebuild the farm). And that package isn’t even guaranteed to get Reynolds because a dozen other clubs (with better farms) would be bidding on him too. The Marlins, Braves, and Brewers were all interested this summer.
          Matt Chapman is much more realistic. You’d probably be looking at a Bohm for Chapman (maybe other pieces involved from either/each side) scenario.

          I’ve felt JD Martinez on a 3 year (plus an option) contract made sense.
          However, if Dombrowski is planning to wade into the SS pool, I think it’s a thing where he waits out the market to see if a guy(s) are still on the board late in the process, and he then offers the big money/short term deal (I’ve been talking about for weeks now).
          Semien is the oldest SS on the market. You would think he’d command the shortest commitment. However, IMO Baez and Story are the dudes most likely to get shut out of the mega deals, and willing to take the pillow contract. For me Story>Baez.

          1. Besides improving the left side of the infield, Dave Dombrowski also needs to upgrade CF, the closer, and find a leadoff hitter.

            Ramon Laureano would be my first choice. Maybe the PED suspension (which will sideline him thru the first month of 2022) makes him available. But it would still likely take some kind of crazy deal to get him. I’m talking a super complicated trade where the Phillies include Nola or Saurez. Maybe Chapman, AJ Puk, Alec Bohm, and Nick Maton are involved. Not saying Dombrowski is incapable of architecting something like that. Just saying a Laureano deal would really impress me.
            IMO, A Buxton/Donaldson deal seems a lot more likely.
            Kevin Kiermairer is worth asking about. He’s an excellent defender, and a stud clubhouse guy (Phillies need help there).
            Finally, I wouldn’t be surprised to see JBJ end up here. He’d cost very little (in terms of prospects). He was a complete bust for the Brewers this season (.497 OPS), and is owed 9.5M next season. However, he wears a gold glove, and is just a year removed from an .814 OPS in the shortened COVID 2020 season.

            Raisel Iglesias is the top FA target, but will cost the most.
            Kenley Jansen has rebounded in LA. He’s totaled 20.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 5 BB, 28 K over the last month and a half. He’ll be more reasonably priced.
            Daniel Hudson could probably be had on a one year deal.
            But my dark horse is Corey Knebel. Once upon a time ago … DD drafted him in the first round. He was more of a 7th inning guy for the Dodgers this year, but he’s been a successful closer in the past (in Milwaukee). His 96 MPH FB and swing and miss CB have earned him a career 12.6 K/9. Knebel could be the best cost effective closer available this winter.

            LEAD OFF HITTER
            There’s not a lot out there. I’d just save my money and hope Brandon Nimmo (one of my favorite players in all of MLB) makes it to the open market after next season.

            1. Hinkie – love your ideas and I more or less agree with you on them all :’

              Namely – Reynolds will be way too expensive ; Hudson as a closer is a good choice because he should be “cheaper, ” was effective recently, and is somewhat overlooked ; your idea of Donaldson is a great one – he still has a superior bat and is also a big clubhouse influence and winning player – his flaw – bad legs.

              As for the free agent SS ; Correa will stay with Stros for way too much $ ; Story is suspect due to Coors Field and will have a QO ; Semien will be the center piece of the Toronto pennant move and much $$$$$ ; Seager will go to Yankees, lefty hitter, and they desperately need a shortstop ; leaving Baez, who I agree will get a lesser contract for several reasons – but remains 1) an impact middle of the order bat – a DD requisite ; 2) outstanding fielder ; 3) some brashness but can be a fan favorite ; 4) hope that he can continue to walk as he did with Mutts and improve his overall batting stats. Baez glove and hr bat make him my preferred SS for the Phils. Saying that, I do not like his K’s – but he is one dynamic player., albeit, an occasional hot dawg. And, he can also run.

            2. Thanks, RU. Yeah … Donaldson, along with Kiermairer, are winning players & big time clubhouse guys. That’s an under-the-radar need for the Phillies. I don’t think either of those guys would have allowed homer hats being handed out in games the Phils were down by double digits.

            3. Me thinks Dombrowski will shy away from taking on JD type money to acquire a high injury risk albeit talented player like Buxton. Sounds sexy in concept, but may be a painful rue for all of us should both JD AND Buxton be on the mend more than on the field.

              If I’m trading top prospect capital in this case, which DD will most certainly, I am targeting Reynolds and have Chasen Shreve thrown in for Rojas, Abel, L.Garcia, another 10-15 ranked player, and Marchan.

            4. I know. The injury history of both players prohibits me from making that trade. Yes, the prospect capital we lose is not as painful but the odds we are stuck with THAT much added payroll AND the potential IL stints gives me pause.

            5. I’m not sure what type of prospect capital you’re envisioning it to take to make this deal. But I think it’s a lot less than you anticipate.

            6. I would imagine it would still take Rojas and a top 10 pitcher, maybe Morales. Throw in a 40 man player like Marchan since the Twins would be retooling rather than rebuilding. Their 2021 was a down year for a pretty decent roster.

      2. Thanks Hinkie.
        Got my Jiffy Pop and waiting for my friend to come over so we can shake the stove until the popcorn pops.

      1. Thanks. I’ll keep a look out but right now if he’s not fishing in Surf City, NC I won’t see him for awhile.

  53. Shortstops:
    By certain metrics…..may come down to how much $$$ and long John Middleton wants to go
    But Seager does look attractive under these circumstances..

    …RISP-.265 BA-2021…..277 BA-career

    …RISP -.338 BA-2021…319 BA-career

    …RISP- .268 BA-2021….257 BA-career

    …OPS+ -103-2021…..112-career
    …RISP- .238-BA-2021….249 BA- career

    …OPS+ 133-2021…..110-career
    …RISP -.239 BA-2021….264-BA- career

    1. These are the best offensive SS. Seager is the only one that has average or just below average defense while the rest are all viewed above average.

      1. Yes offensive measurements.
        However, in todays version of baseball…..shortstops could be playing second base half the time in the shift, or for that matter short-RF.
        Seager ,ay never be in the Lindor or Crawford category….but he should be at least be better than the 2021 version of the negatives of Swanson and Tatis….or Didi.
        SDI….thru Aug 2021
        Dansby Swanson ATL -5.6
        Fernando Tatis Jr. SDP -8.5

        1. Romus, yes I think Didi was dead last in defense at SS if I remember correctly. So anyone would be better there. I do think Didi would at the least improve a bit next year especially if healthy. My top picks at SS would be Correa, Story, Semien, Baez, and Seager in that order. It is a good choice for any of them – but I would prefer the best defense to help the pitching and also remembering Bohm may man 3B with subpar defense. Improving defense in LF & CF or 3B would mean SS improvement is not as critical. And Seager compared to these guys is the worst fielder of them, however he is considered average league wide which is acceptable and an improvement for the team

          1. I was big on Story….shorter contract/smaller AAV compared to Correa/Seager or Baez.
            Figured the Coors Fld effect would be a concern, then looked how DJ LeMahieu has done with the Yankees, and figured what the heck.
            But when I looked closer….his OPS+ and RISP give me concern.
            A middle of the order guy who seems to struggle with RISP.
            Maybe they pitched around him and walked him, who knows.
            Phillies already have a middle of the order guy who has issues with RISP..Rhys.
            You need a guy who will hit you at least at a .275 or higher BA in those situations.
            Seager is outstanding….2021 and career.
            It is his durability that comes into question.

            1. I agree on Rhys…he’s either a #2 or a #6 hitter. I hope he can regain his batting eye without the maddening looks at meatballs down the heart of the plate. He’s a power hitter but not necessarily a big run producer unless he walks a lot. He needs to score 80 runs per 162 games.

          2. When you look at all of the FA shortstops….one can find a flaw….minor in most instances.
            More than likely the Phillies will be out-priced in the Correa or Seager market.
            Yankees look to be a player in that market also….Seager would be a good fit for that right-handed lineup…..whether they want to go for number 4 high price player (Cole, Stanton, Judge soon , and Seager….excluding DJ Lemahieu) is their prerogative.

            Baez, Story and Semien all have their the plate and in the field… and noted flaws.

  54. These trade predictions seem way off to me. Recent trades have never included more than two top 10 prospects so I would think a deal with Rojas and Marchan would get us a lot. I don’t see the Phils taking Donaldson’s salary though. A good FA for us could be Duval.

    1. And I think they might chase Marte to a number. I think they’ll resign Galvis and let him fight with Didi for the job and hope that Stott starts off hot and wins the job mid year. I could see them chase Iglesias too and maybe sign Hudson as the set up and resign Neris as the 7th inning guy. I know this isn’t super sexy but it’s realistic. I still think they’ll trade two prospects for someone when they can’t just sign the FAs they want and can afford.

      1. Murray … I don’t think Duval is a FA. Pretty sure he has one more year of arbitration if either he or the Braves decline their mutual option (and almost certain Duval will decline the 7M option).

        1. Hinkie – you are right. Duval has a one year option (a second year in 2022) at 7 MM with a 3 MM buyout. No way the Braves let him go away again – so he is taken.

          1. Bummer, he would have been a good fit for us. Soler might work for us too since the Braves can’t keep them all. Joc Pedersen platooning with Vierling is a possibility too.

            1. If it wasn’t for Acuna, Albies, Freeman, Riley & Swanson along with the Braves’ pitching staff, these three OFers would be irrelevant. Can’t build a team with Duval, Soler & Peterson. These 3 are basically a little better Darrin Ruf, a little less Odubel and a Travis Jankowski.

            2. Denny….and the Braves youngsters , like a junk-yard dog, have tested the blood of the play-offs. So they now have the determination, confidence and the ‘eye- of-the- tiger’ will to win. Now that is hard to break once that ball gets rolling.

      2. In order to compete next year without going crazy over the LT level, the Phillies are going to need to get some value from lesser-paid players. In 2019, Freddy Galvis played to a 2.9 WAR in Toronto. Basically, he was worth around $15-20 million. I still think he’s pretty much the same player. He can also play any infield position very well, as can Ronald Torreyes. I like Torreyes a lot, and he is particularly clutch, but I’m not sure he can give you what Galvis gives you on offense, especially with the power.

        If you can sign Galvis to a $2-3 million contract, that would be a coup. You can play him anywhere, start him, spot him, put him in the outfield, whatever. He plays great in the field and if you gave him 450 ABs (exactly what he had in Toronto in 2019) and he could hit 15-20 homers in the 8 hole. And he wants to be in Philadelphia, That’s a valuable player and they will need a bunch of guys like that for things to go well next year. Given his skills and the uncertainty the team has in the infield, Galvis would be a very useful player.

  55. Murray – earlier I looked at the FA shortstops and considered Iglesias. However his fielding metrics were disastrous this year and I can’t see Phils signing him on that basis alone. Apparently he severely fell off the wagon….hit better, but fielded much worse than ever. I do agree with you that Marte will deserve special attention…but its about the suitors and the $.

      1. Hinkie – you’re right about Murray’s inference – but I was throwing in Jose Iglesias for the shortstop group….Thanks for the pickup….though…got stuck on the position.

  56. I’ve thought a lot about getting a guy like Donaldson and the more I think about it, the more concerned I become. He’s been a super player over his career – a legitimate MVP. But he’s on the downside of his career and he carries a big salary. Unless you can get him for a package of second tier prospects and get some salary relief from the Twins, I’d be careful. He’s entering his age 36 and 37 seasons – the age when even really great, durable players sustain extreme performance drop offs. He’s an old, declining player who has some injury history. We don’t need this to turn into a new Andrew McCutchen situation. In my view, he’s not projected to even be worth his salary the next two years, so there’s no way I’d give valuable prospects up for him. So, I’m not saying I’d write off the possibility of having him altogether, but I would be really careful.

  57. As for Kris Bryant – forget it, unless it’s a one-year pillow contract, which would be fine, within reason. I think Bryant will be not very good in his early 30s and will be done by the time he’s 34 or 35. Steer clear.

  58. I heard a rumor that Mickey M was disinvited to play in the AFL due to being an outspoken anti vaxxer. Mr Moniak, can you please confirm or deny this? If it’s not true, it’s an ugly rumor. Thanks

    1. Whether he is vocal or not, that’s his business. If there was an injury, as is the case with many minor league players, it may not be disclosed for a reason. Not sure what ugly has to do with it.

        1. BTW … at his press conference, DD said Moniak was originally going to go, but they pulled him back because of a late season (minor) injury.

          1. That’s certainly what they would have said if he wasn’t vaxxed and couldn’t play because of it.

  59. I still don’t expect the Phils to exceed the cap but based on some of the predictions I’m seeing, some of you obviously do. I think they’ll resign Galvis and start next year with Galvis, Didi and Bohm on the left side. I think they liked what Vierling brought and will look for a left handed bat to platoon with him. It won’t be Moniak but Joc Pedersen is a guy who would accept a platoon job and a one year deal to hit in our park. I think they’ll try to sign Marte but will look for a trade if they can’t get him. Also, if they don’t get Marte they might go bigger on their LF plans. DD wants a middle of the order bat but that might have to come from a DH if the NL goes that way.

    1. Schwarber is another left handed hitting option for LF and DH. He’s on a one year deal and was traded during the year so no draft pick lost to sign him. He would be an option if they can’t sign Marte.

          1. Still he has the $11M price tag minimum with the Sox on that mutual option …if Bloom wants him back, he may decide to give it a go for one more year.
            Not sure he can get much more than that from anyone else.
            I do not think he would leave for $12 or 13M AAV for one year….he would want a multi year deal and maybe something like a $15M AAV target.

        1. Yes. He’s about to explode. In fact I think the explosion has already started. Totally down with Schwarber.

    1. It doesn’t matter what Pivetta did/does. There is no way he would have done it in Phillies pin stripes. Give it up. His head was not in the game here. Let’s not forget that Torreyes buried him with a game winning HR in 2021. That wasn’t surprising either.

  60. Schwarber is a great fit anywhere. But he would be great here – he is the penultimate player/dh of the Soler/Duval (not available), Rosario, Cron (not available now), home run hitting OF/1B family who can put runs on the board quickly and efficiently with one swing. He will command a significant premium as he should – maybe even, 13 MM, 15MM each for a 2 year deal – or 50 MM for 4 years.. I am not sure once he has tasted those Boston beans he will leave though. Clearly – he is one of the primo free agents, top 10. With the NL dh rule he is the pre-eminent “get.”

    1. If Bloom wants him to stay…he will probably stay in Boston,
      ….however with the mutual option he could decline and decide to enter into free agency.
      Entering his age29 season, he and Excel will pursue a three year deal minimum…more than likely $14/15M AAV

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