Open Discussion: Week of October 31, 2021

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

It appears the Phillies signed an international free agent out of Cuba.  Luis Pelegrin is a middle infielder and younger brother of Tigers’ outfield prospect, Carlos Pelegrin.  I say “appears” because there is some mixed reporting.  An earlier report said that Pelegrin was prepared to sign when the next international signing period starts in January 2022.  However, this recent report by Francys Romero (Baseball Writer/Reporter. Editor LasMayores, the official Spanish Twitter account for MLB and BBWAA member.)  The bonus is in question.  The earlier report had him receiving far more than he is reported to be receiving in this agreement.  Maybe the threat of an international draft has hastened the 18-year-old’s desire to sign.  I wonder if the Tigers signed his brother with the hope of signing Luis.  In any event, here’s the tweet with signing photos and a video.

The prospects’ project is almost complete.  Most of the player profiles are complete.  I have come up with a menu design that should make the presentation clearer.  It should look like this unless I come up with a better idea from your comments.  Subject to Change.

  • Prospect Profiles
    • Catchers
      • Catcher Only
      • Catcher/First Base
    • Infielders
      • First Base Only
      • Second Base
      • Shortstop
      • Third Base
      • Corners
      • Utility/Multi-Position
    • Outfielders
      • Center Fielders
      • Right Fielders
      • Left Fielders
    • Left-Handed Pitchers
      • LHP Starters (AAA and AA)
      • LHP Relievers (AAA and AA)
      • LHP Starters (A and Rookie)
      • LHP Relievers (A and Rookie)
    • Right-Handed Pitchers
      • Right Starters (AAA and AA)
      • Right Relievers (AAA and AA)
      • Right Starters (A and Rookie)
      • Right Relievers (A and Rookie)
    • DSL Players
      • DSL Players at Instructs
      • DSL Catchers
      • DSL Infielders
      • DSL Outfielders
      • DSL Pitchers
        • DSL Starters
        • DSL Relievers

Those of you who kept Steve Dull (a blogger you may know as Baseball Ross) in your thoughts, may want to continue.  Steve was doing well early last week after suffering a heart attack last weekend.  According to his wife’s FB posts, he was responding well to treatment and had even started walking a little.  Then, he had a relapse mid-week.  It appears the doctors have things under control again.  I believe a pacemaker is being installed this week.  Maybe as early as tomorrow.  Let’s hope things go well.

Well, as far as some of us are concerned, all that happened with the world series this weekend is that some of the dates that are contingent on the end of the series have been narrowed down.  Specifically, the resumption of trading, the start of FA signings, the deadline for teams to make QOs (or not), and the deadline for players to accept (or reject) QOs.

Well, with regard to that popular Gelb article.  I have taken issue with some parts of it.  Not all.  Some of the communication problems are real.  But, they are not so much the fault of the guys who were let go.  They can really be traced to Dombrowski who permitted Minniti to continue to run player development but didn’t force the restructuring that would have put all parts of player development under one manager.  When you have two separate lines of communication going to coaches and players that’s how confusion arises.  And, Driveline is not the big problem that a lot of people wish it to be.  If you’ve been watching, the Driveline guys have survived so far and a lot of older, more traditional types are being let go.  Hinkie, that person we spoke of may decide to follow someone to Texas.  Does that tell us anything about the state of the organization?  It’s my understanding that some people whose contracts are up may leave because they are getting better offers.  All through baseball money talks.  Oh, and the guy I believe was Gelb’s source wasn’t part of player development or baseball operations.  I say “was” because he’s gone now.  But, once again, you shouldn’t believe me any more than you should believe national and beat writers.  They all need “clicks” and negative reporting generates clicks.  I don’t need the clicks. I’m just ornery and like taking the other side of discussions and arguments.

For you guys who like prospect rankings, Mitch Rupert has taken over Mike Drago’s end-of-season prospect poll.  Mitch was the beat writer for the Williamsport Crosscutters.  Mike was the beat writer at the Reading Eagle.  Mitch stepped in to continue the end-of-season tradition.

Eighteen people responded.  Submissions were received from those who covered the minor leagues for various media outlets, podcasters, and various Phillies’ social media personalities.  Frankly, I’ve never read anything from a Phillies’ social media personality that would lead me to believe they knew anything about Phillies’ prospects.

Here are the results.

1. Bryson Stott (8 first-place votes)
2. Mick Abel (10 first-place votes)
3. Andrew Painter
4. Johan Rojas
5. Logan O’Hoppe
6. Francisco Morales
7. Hans Crouse
8. Erik Miller
9. Matt Vierling
10. Jhailyn Ortiz
11. Ethan Wilson
12. Luis Garcia
13. Mickey Moniak
14. Simon Muzziotti
15. Yhoswar Garcia
16. Griff McGarry
17. Casey Martin
18. Rickardo Perez
19. Jordan Viars
20. Jamari Baylor
21. JoJo Romero
22. Christopher Sanchez
23. Adonis Medina
24. Cristian Hernandez
25. Micah Ottenbreit
Some notes on the totals:
– 48 players received votes
– Only Bryson Stott and Mick Abel received first-place votes
– Johan Rojas, Andrew Painter, and JoJo Romero each received a second-place vote
– Bryson Stott was ranked first or second on 17 of 18 ballots
– Mick Abel was ranked first or second on 16 of 18 ballots
– Only Bryson Stott, Mick Abel, Andrew Painter, Johan Rojas, and Logan O’Hoppe appeared on all 18 ballots
– Francisco Morales, Hans Crouse, Erik Miller, Matt Vierling, Jhailyn Ortiz, Ethan Wilson, and Mickey Moniak appeared on 17 of the 18 ballots
– The biggest discrepancy in voting was for JoJo Romero, who twice appeared in the Top 5, but was left off of 13 ballots.
– Jean Cabrera, who won the Paul Owens Award as the system’s top pitcher, appeared on only three ballots, coming in as high as 15th.
I’ll post my submission later this week in a separate article.  Mitch released his on Twitter.

As I was prepared to press Publish, I sat back and rested my eyes.  My mind is always racing, and I can’t always get my thoughts on paper or a computer screen fast enough.  In this case, I could because it was rather a short thought.  And, one that fits well into a mind that always sees possible conspiracy theories.  The random thought is regarding the player development mess.  Wouldn’t it be devious if a person with a little forethought eliminated an AGM and a Player Development guy who might be seen as competition for a POBO position that will be open in about four years?  There’s a thought that makes me go, “Hmm”.  Oh, how devious if this were true.  (Note the subjunctive case of the verb “were”.  We were taught in parochial school that a parenthetical “but it’s not” follows the object “true” when the subjunctive case is used.)

Rosters and Stuff

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

  • October 5, 2021: Opening Day for the Mexican Pacific League (thru December 23, 2021)
  • October 13, 2021: Opening Day for the Arizona Fall League
  • October 23, 2021: Opening Day for the Venezuelan Winter League (thru December 22, 2021)
  • October 26, 2021: World Series begins
  • October 27, 2021: Opening Day for Dominican Winter League (thru December 17, 2022)
  • November 3-4, 2021: Trading resumes, day after the World Series ends
  • November 7-8, 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 2021: Start of the Colombian Winter League (The season begins the first week of November and ends the penultimate week of January.)
  • November 6, 2021: Opening Day for the Roberto Clemente’ Puerto Rico Professional Baseball League (thru January 22, 2022)
  • November 17-18, 2021: fifteen days after the conclusion of the World Series – Deadline for free agents to accept qualifying offers
  • November 9, 2021: Start of GM Meetings 
  • November TBA: Owners meetings (Nov. 19-21, Arlington, TX in 2019)
  • November 19, 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 1, 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.  Non-tendered players become free agents.
  • December 5-9, 2021: The 2021 Baseball Winter Meetings will take place at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin in Orlando, Florida.
  • December 9, 2021: Rule 5 Draft
  • December 9, 2021: Opening Day for the Panamanian Baseball League (thru (January)
  • December 2021: The 2021-22 Australian Baseball League season was was cancelled in an announcement on October 20th.
  • 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 14, 2022: Deadline for teams and arb eligible players to submit salary figures to arbiter
  • January 28,2022: Start of the Caribbean Series (thru February 3, 2022, with one team from each league – Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Panama)
  • 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

Transactions (2021 has been archived, 2022 began on October 5th)

9/14/2021 – Phillies signed free agent SS Luis Pelegrin to a minor league contract.

290 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of October 31, 2021

  1. I love the prospect set up with pitching being divided between upper/lower minors. The upper minors is where we can actually start to see how they may or may not be able to handle the majors.

  2. Layout is looking good, Jim. Thanks for all your work. I’m (ironically) here at the moment taking a break from working on a website myself, hah.

    In regards to Steve Dull, I hope everyone is at least in high spirits. If it’s any consolation, the use of pacemakers has come an absurdly long way in recent years. My grandmother has had hers for over 20 years now. She likes to joke that she’s only still alive because her doctor wants to set the world record for longest functioning pacemaker. I can only imagine how much more effective they are today.

  3. Stott is having a tremendous AFL season hitting over .400, O’hoppe is sound, Muzziotti is coming on lately, and Hans Crouse has been getting starting opportunities but looks like he might be more of a bullpen arm at this point.

    1. Denny, I think Crouse’s best path is as a starter. He really doesn’t appear to have the upper end velocity to make an impact in the bullpen and he does throw multiple pitches that grade at least average. HIs ceiling, as I see it, is as a 3/4 in the rotation, which isn’t bad. But he has command issues and has an odd, max-velocity approach on the mound, so I do worry about his arm health.

      1. Yeah you’re probably right but hopefully not about the arm issues. But he does have a violent arm action which might have some consequences.

  4. Thanks for info on Pelegrín, Jim. 147 Cuban born players in the Phillies system… they got hit on 1 of them 🙂
    Prayers for a successful procedure for your friend, keep us updated.

  5. I suppose if I were in Dave D’s shoe….at the onset of taking over and unfamiliar with the organizational personalities and the dynamics in their exchanges, I may have done the same.
    Matt K had to be moved aside…..his assistant probably kept in his position for some continuity until Sam Fuld was completely up to speed..

    (Note the subjunctive case of the verb “were”. We were taught in parochial school that a parenthetical “but it’s not” follows the object “true” when the subjunctive case is used.)……, you can remember that after all these years! 🙂

  6. Sending positive thoughts Baseball Ross’ way. Jim, based on what you have heard, is there hope for a better developmental process going forward, or is this just another set of names and the results won’t change? I can’t tell if you are positive or negative about the system going forward?

    1. I’m always positive … except when it comes to a glass being half full or half empty. It’s always half empty.

      Change is good. The Phillies are proud to refer to their organization as a family. That may be good on the business side, but not so good on the baseball side. Continually hiring like-minded people stunts new ideas. The longer people are entrenched in a position, the less likely they may be to accept new ideas. I know people don’t like Klentak, but I think his hands were tied a little. For instance, he wasn’t allowed to hire his own manager until 2018. And, even that came with an ominous warning from above. I think if he had implemented the change to analytics better (maybe firing those that stood in the way, if allowed) maybe we would have a better idea today if it is going to work in the organization.

      Mattingly talked about mixing contemporary and traditional. I think that is the way to go. Unfortunately, it is my experience (I worked in IT) that old-school doesn’t always grasp new ideas. If you can’t teach them to understand, they have to be removed (not necessarily fired) from the process and replaced with people who do understand (but who also understand and can blend the traditional ways).

      It’s difficult because people are involved and affected. I hope the new guy has the authority to make all the changes necessary to steer what up until now has appeared to be a rudderless ship.

      1. Wasn’t it Klentak’s decision to sign Santana with the thinking Rhys could play LF? Wasn’t Klentak the person who thought our bullpen would be ok going into 2020 when in fact it was historically awful, thus causing us to miss the postseason and further cement him losing his job? Didnt Klentak have a role in dismissing Kranitz and going with Chris Young? Didnt Klentak bring in Segura even though he was a very productive player but always getting moved? Didn’t sign McCutchen instead of Michael Brantley? And give him more years and $?

        1. The problem with dysfunctional organizations is, while we can lay ultimate blame at the owner’s feet, and hold his underlings culpable as well, there’s probably lots of blame to go around. Let’s just say this front office (pre-Dombrowski) has historically been penny wise and dollar foolish, even after Johnny Cigars took the reins.

  7. Thoughts and prayers to Baseball Ross (and Baseball Betsy).

    Thanks for the update/info on the club’s development branch. I got the impression the person we had discussed might look for opportunities elsewhere. I hope they stick out here (as long as they feel welcomed/wanted).

  8. V1, I meant to include this in the Open Discussion but forgot.

    Thanks for the video about ERA and other stats you posted in the comments last week. I found it very informative. Had I seen it a month or two ago, I would have included BB% and K% in the profiles I’m doing now. Gathering the data and determining those numbers was easy. But, I’m too far along to go back and manually change all that I’ve completed so far.

    Maybe, I’ll scrub the file (delete position players, delete guys no longer with the org, remove the major leaguers, etc) and post the data in separate articles. and stick them on the menu somewhere.

    BTW, what do you think the benchmarks would/should be on K%, BB%, Strike%? Is there an acceptable number where higher and lower is good or bad? I’ve always thought that 2/3 was a good measuring point for Strike%, but that was just an arbitrary number I grabbed one day.

    1. This is a chart I got from Fangraphs many years ago.:
      You may have to figuree out the ratio/correlation bewteen the two raw metrics

      Rating….. K%………BB%

      Great…… 12.5%……12.5%
      Above Ave….16.0% …10.0%
      Below Ave…..22.0%.7.0%

      1. Oops…..this is for hitters, not pitchers…sorry.
        I have to dig to see what I had for pitchers.
        I am guessing it was more of the ‘ERA to FIP’ correlation.

    2. So your question led me to start digging into it myself.

      From preliminary results based on the small random samples of pitchers I chose, it seems like in AA and AAA the magic number for pitchers that end up being successful in the majors is somewhere around 65-69% strikes. So your hunch appears to be correct.

      K% and BB% vary (the two are intertwined, as you might expect), but it looks like the magic number for sustained success in MLB is having a K% that is ~22 points higher than BB% (So 28% K vs 6% BB, for example) in AA and/or AAA. The number for being a serviceable, albeit forgettable, major leaguer seems to be around 16.

      Now none of this is final, obviously. I’ve only just begun to compile names. But that’s the trend I’ve noticed thus far. I’ll try to report back when I have more substantial numbers to draw from.

    3. Yes, it was a very insightful video. Candidly, I rarely looked at K% or BB%. I have always had a laser focus on K/9 and BB/9 and talk about that frequently here. But they make a good point that % is a better approach than /9.

      I will keep a closer look at it right now, but a quick analysis at the MLB level:
      – 29 of the 30 MLB pitchers with a K% higher than 20% had a FIP below 4.00 (the one exception is Hyun-Jin Ryu with a K% of 20.4% and a FIP of 4.02). Basically, if your K% is greater than 20%, your FIP will be under 4.00.
      – The same can not be said with BB%. Of the top 30 lowest BB% (7.3% or lower), there were 6 (20%) who had a FIP higher than 4.0
      – Only 1 of the 27 pitchers with a K% – BB% of 15%+ had a FIP above 4 (again Hyun).
      – So the elite benchmarks seems to be:
      * K% > 20%
      * K% – BB% > 15%

      To me, the video shows how the common fan thinks that Nola had a bad season, but MLB GMs realize he was elite again. Nola had the 12th best FIP in baseball at 3.37, which was better than his career FIP. His K% was the second highest of his career at 29.8% (well above his career average of 27.2%) and his K% – BB% was also the second best of his career at 24.6% (dominating his career average of 20.1%). The the advanced baseball person, Nola simply was done in by terrible defense. So throwing him away this off-season would be a terrible mistake.

  9. Back to this coming off season…I’m of a mind that Stott will be up fairly early in 2022. To sign a free agent SS or not is the lynchpin IMO. A CF will be acquired, be he a free agent or trade acquisition. And a power bat in LF is likely. It’s highly unlikely that the Phillies will acquire TWO left side IFs, BUT equally unlikely that they have Bohm and Stott both starting on the left side, especially early in the ’22 season.

    So, I anticipate 2 OF acquisitions – 1 FA, 1 via trade (CF the more likely) and 1 IF. The two free agents which seem to fit the variability of the situation are Kris Bryant (who can play OF, 3b or even 1b, I suppose) or Marcus Semien (who is versatile enough to play ss, 2b or 3b) should Stott arrive as expected and the Boras-repped Semien can be pried away from Toronto.

    Schwarber is my bet among the big LF/DH boppers.

    1. Mark8:29, you have a good point there. If the team acquires one of the big FA SS it will likely be someone with position flexibility. Play 3B if Bohm bombs, SS until Stott arrives unless he moves position, or moves to 2B down the road to replace Segura at 2B.
      Maybe the Phils should take note from the Braves: they needed 3 OFs and went and traded for 4. Why not have 3 people to play SS/3B instead of just 2? Why not add a SP to the five we already have and go into the season with 6? 3 OF’ers for the 2 remaining spots and so on…

      1. BobD…one reason why the Braves went with 4 OFers…..2 LHBs and 2 RHBs…..the lefties..Pedersen and Risario do not have good career splts vs LHPs.
        Rosario hits them better than Pederson but overall just not that great.
        So mixing them with Soler and Duvall gave them more flexibility in structuring the lineup and matches vs the opponents starting pitchers.

  10. In a perfect world, mark, it would be great if Bohm improves his D and Stott is a genuine SS, but I don’t know that either or both are true. I know that they won’t start the season with the 2 young guys on the left side. Kris Bryant is an ideal pickup, but there very well may be a plan to acquire a few FAs instead of 1 very high priced one, which Bryant will be. And, as anxious as I am to see whatever the Plan is unfold, I am very pessimistic that there will be a new CBA without a work stoppage.

    1. On the impending work stoppage, I really hope they’re not that out of touch with reality. Baseball was dying before the pandemic or at least no one can argue that it is essentially declining with new younger fans year over year or generation over generation, I can’t imagine that they would be stupid enough to cause a work stoppage based on the size of the pie that they’re getting. If they do have a work stoppage I got a believe that the next time they have a CBA, they will be arguing over a smaller total pie to split between them. Too many people have lost their jobs, had pay reductions etc. it may not be your or my scenario but it’s certainly plausible for many Americans. I just really hope they’re not dumb enough to push the envelope of the peoples patience ….if they do, they could very well start trending to the days where the average large salary was 3 to $5 million a year.

    2. matt13……if Luis Garcia produces at Reading next season, and shows the hitting promise he is reported to have had, , Stott will more than likely move over to 2B.
      Garcia without a doubt is a better overall fielding shortstop.

  11. What Spotrac predicts for the five FA shortstops AAV:

    …how they have Story more than Correa puzzles me.

    1. Without seeing their specific numbers for the contracts, I’d assume they peg Correa as getting more total money and years, while Story gets the shorter contract with higher AAV.

      That would also track with what I expect; Correa is almost 2 years younger with a better track record. I can easily see Story getting a 5 year contract, whereas Correa could get 7 or 8 (I imagine both will have options after those initial years).

    2. Romus, Semien looks much better now. He has that great defense at any position and flexibility to play 2B (down the road to replace Segura if needed), SS (right now till Stott gets promoted), and 3B (if Bohm falters). Plus if Gregorious rebounds they have an extra IF.

    1. I am all over right now.

      Initially wanted to sign Story…5 years ( but not at Sptrac’s price)..thought he come cheaper than Correa and Seager.
      And if Stott was ready to step into short…slide Story to third and Bohm out to LF.
      And have Dave D trade for a a Marte.

      Now…not so sure that would be a good plan signing Story…Correa and Seager are too expensive, Baez too many Ks….Semien is interesting.

      I want to see what dave D’s first move is.

  12. Romus it is great you have it all figured out here on November 1st.
    Lets hope things improve. One thing that always comes back to me is the 34 blown saves.
    On the 2nd to last Saturday of season the Red Sox blew either their 9th or 10th save.
    Announcers said that was the 3rd worst in MLB. Are you kidding. If the Phillies had simply saved half of the games they blew the team would have won the division going away.
    Even with all the other short comings this team has to address the bullpen and find some guys who can get 3 or 6 outs late in a game when the team is leading. Until then it really does not matter where all the other positions are filled in.
    You win and lose with pitching and defense. Areas that were lacking greatly in 2021.

    1. The bullpen was bad, but those numbers are misleading. It’s been said on here before but those numbers are misleading. Many of those blown saves were double blown saves, or didn’t result in a loss. I believe real number is closer to 15. I’m sure someone will chime in. My point is, the bullpen needs fixing but let’s not count on more than 11 wins out of 15 for roughly 70%. Half of 15 doesn’t do us enough to catch the braves at full strength. Probably the same for the WC as well. The Phillies need more than just
      Bullpen help

          1. Yikes…did not even see that…..Phillies again near the bottom….Blue Jays is a real surprise being last in the majors and seeing they hab over 90 wins.

            I can see how the Phillies with the worst DRS in the majors, can help contribute to the pretty bad bullpen metrics.

          2. We blew the saves early enough to not get the holds. It is not great to have so few holds, but I do think part of the reason is our starters went deeper and our middle relievers were mediocre.

            1. That’s probably a smaller part of it than you’re imagining. In inning 9 and later, our pitchers combined for a 5.85 FIP. If you’re wondering just how bad that is, we managed to beat the Nationals by 0.01 to not be last. Yep, second to last by 0.01…

              Why were we so bad? Well.. we were tied for 21st in K/BB, we were 20th in both K% and BB%, 27th in opponent BA, and best of all we were the ONLY team in MLB to have a HR/9 OVER 2 (ours was 2.3, next worst was Nats at 1.9. League average in those innings was 1.2). And that’s all on the backs of who should be our high-leverage relievers.

              Also, our bullpen as a whole was second worst in MLB in inherited runner scoring percentage (Phils had 42%, Twins had 44%).

              So yeah. It wasn’t just our middle relievers…

            2. Dan K …sounds like the Phillies could use a real life closer.
              After 4 or 5 years of this futility, maybe the odds are in their favor.

        1. I added up the median BS totals for the league, came out to 24.9 games (749 total BS divided by 30 teams) I posted a longer response on what was more of a guess on how much the team could improve, but if the Phillies had an “average” bullpen, then they could reasonably expect to add 9.1 wins, assuming they have the same number of comeback wins, etc. It’s a good level of expectation. That gets them to 91 wins. Still not good enough for the division or WC2 imho. DD has his work cut out for him, luckily there seems to be room for a lot of improvements

  13. Tac3 is correct. We were bad, I am not disputing that at all. But, some were double and some were won later on. We were still bad, and it still must be addressed, but I don’t know that with a better BP we would have won the Division. I also believe it will be addressed by DD, and Don, even with that, how do you propose we fix the poor Defense if it doesn’t come from a new SS and a new CF?

    1. Some insight on this from me. The Phillies “phinished” the season with 82 wins. They had a lot of blown saves but also felt like they have a good run on comeback wins that pushed them over .500 (need to confirm with stats). The argument of converting half of the blown saves into wins is a good way to fix the team. The issue is identifying what was realistic. You’re not going to have a brad lidge season ever again, so .. I would think 40% low end to 70% high end to account for overestimating the size of the problem. Some of the losses could have been prevented with better defense as well, which would overlap the blown save corrections. Now do we use the 15 blown saves number or the 25? I’ll go with Romus figure, he probably looked it up. 40% of 25 games takes the Phillies from 82 to 92 wins. Which “could” be WC territory. I don’t think it catches a health braves. 70% gets the Phillies to 99 wins, rounding down. Fixing the bullpen is a major boost to win column, if they can also improve the defense & keeping the Offense in the same regard. This team has a big gap as of now between them and the braves/dodgers. If they can correct the bullpen, it should close it considerably. Now if they can make the correct move offednsivly as well, I’ll feel a lot better about catching rhe braves in 2023. Personally, I don’t see anything short of a miracle of the Phillies catching the braves in 2022. It’s more a
      Question of how much they can close the gap. Hopefully, the young kids we cheer on here are part of that answer, it just makes the enjoyment of watching the mlb club that much better.

    2. I agree Matt those are 2 areas of major concern.
      Seems they wasted the first month or so in CF trying everyone.
      Didi was just not very good.
      Segura by far the best infielder.
      I do agree that defense can help in a major way for the pitchers.
      Does Bohm have a resurgence back to rookie year. That is a huge question.
      Some do and some never get it back.
      Lots of times during the Summer I would get in late and catch the last couple innings. My comment on BP guys is they just did not throw enough strikes on a consistent basis. They threw much harder this year but lots of balls and lots of getting behind in counts. Plus several 0-2 HR balls by all pitchers. No excuse for that.

    1. I think this would be pretty awesome. Annnnddddd… it might make it easier to trade Harper near the tail end of his career when the money starts out weighing the production … at least as an option.

      1. Yeah Harper’s no trade clasue will definetly not include Vegas.
        Though, not even sure he has one.
        Probably be the same someday with Stott,
        and who knows about Bryannt and Gallo.

          1. I’m not sure where you heard that, mark. Every outlet reported otherwise. I’m pretty sure I had also seen interviews with Harper and Boras that indicated the same.

            1. Could have sworn I heard/read from a credible source but don’t recall who/where. Either way, I consider it a moot point since if it ever comes into play, I’m sure both sides will amicably come to terms.

            2. Perhaps it was the opt out I’m thinking of….which Bryce emphatically said was never a consideration for him.

          2. From Harper’s contract:

            Bryce Harper rf
            13 years/$330M (2019-31)

            13 years/$330M (2019-31)
            signed by Philadelphia as a free agent 2/28/19
            $20M signing bonus paid in two equal installments, 6/1 and 11/1/19
            19:$10M, 20-28:$26M, 29-31:$22M
            full no-trade protection
            award bonuses:
            $500,000 for MVP ($50,000 for second place, $25,000 for third)
            $100,000 for WS MVP
            $50,000 each for All Star, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, LCS MVP
            perks: hotel suite on road, right to purchase suite for home games
            at signing, most lucrative contract in MLB history

            1. And while we’re at it, Segura’s contract:

              Jean Segura ss
              5 years/$70M (2018-22), plus 2023 option

              5 years/$70M (2018-22), plus 2023 club option
              signed extension with Seattle 6/7/17
              $3M signing bonus
              18:$9M, 19:$14.25M, 20:$14.25M, 21:$14.25M, 22:$14.25M, 23:$17M club option ($1M buyout)
              full no-trade protection
              assignment bonus: $1M with trade
              acquired by Philadelphia in trade from Seattle 12/3/18

  14. This is interesting. Frankly, I’m not sure how well a MLB team would do in Las Vegas. It’s very much unlike football (football in a gambling Mecca) and even hockey (small arena, fewer games).

    Baseball success is dependent on regular attendance and viewership. Las Vegas has a very small TV market. They are around 39th, smaller than Cincinnati and the Greenville/Ashville market. The population isn’t that big either – less than 700,000.

    I guess the question is – how many tourists would be going to the Las Vegas baseball games? I think there’s a good chance a lot would, but it’s hard to know and what happens if they are bad? Would you rather be in a casino or watch a bad big league team play?

    I might be more interested in moving the team to a place like Charlotte than Las Vegas.

    1. Could draw fans for the visiting teams. Husband and wife discuss going to Vegas. Baseball-loving husband looks at schedule and suggests a week when his Yankees/Cubs/Phillies/Mariners/… are in town.

    1. Cade Doughty, 3b from LSU at #20 catches my eye. Reminds me a little of David Bell. Sounds like a solid, safe, high floor pick.

      Whattaya got, Hinkie?

      1. I love Connor Prielip (#45). I also really like Hunter Barco (#46), and Reggie Crwford (#110). You can see I’ve got a whole LHP theme going. Any of those guys would be the third jewel of a Phillies triple crown of young, sky high ceiling arms.
        Nate Savino is another LHP who I loved as a prepster. He hasn’t been been very good at UVA, but he’s very young for the class, and I think he could have a break out 2022 season. Cooper Hjerpe (Oregon State) is another southpaw I like maybe as a second rounder.

        I’m a little surprised Brock Jones is ranked so low (#29). Tyler Locklear (#54) is another dude to watch.

        Jayson Jones (#64) and Sal Stewart (#65) are two prepsters (both 3Bmen) who I think the Phillies could consider at 1-17.

        Zach Maxwell (#165) is a mountain of a kid. He hits triplke digits, and would make an interesting 3rd-5th round pick as a future closer (if he can be taught to throw more strikes).

        Last, but not least … I suspect you’ll hear some Kumar Rocker ➡ Phillies @ 1-17 (as an overpay) talk because of the Scott Boras connection.

  15. Very SSS and early on, but hope they can keep it up.
    And of course take it with a grain of salt, however other past MLB stars did well in the AFL before embarking on their MLB careers..

    Bryson Stott……….367/.492/.523….63-PAs…22%-BB…16%-K
    Logan O’Hoppe…..318/.483/5.23…58-PAs….24%-BB…17%-K
    Simon Muzzotti…..293/.431/.317….51-PAs….20%-BB…16%-K

    1. The Logan O’Hoppe performance is eye-popping. Stott is doing what I expected him to do based on the end of his season last year, although it is fantastic as well.

      But O’Hoppe – man, he is approaching untouchable territory. The amazing thing about him is that he supposedly is excellent defensively. And before it starts, let me say again, that he is NOT blocked by Realmuto. First, he’s going to spend the next year, at least, in the minors. Second, if you think he’s a first division regular catcher, you need to find a way to move Realmuto (unless he falls flat on his face next year, they will be able to move him), but that’s an issue for another day and probably for 2023, at the earliest.

      Muzziotti’s performance is also encouraging.

      But O’Hoppe . . . wow.

        1. And coaches are amazed at his leadership behind the plate and command of the pitchers.
          In two months I wil be interested in seeing where he is among all the catcher in the minors when BA, and Fangraphs come out with their pre-season rankings.
          There are a dozen or more quality cathcers in the minors…Mets have an outstanding one in 20-year old Francisco Alvarez.

  16. Very true Romus. Lots of guys have used the AFL as a spring board to a solid career.
    I agree as well that it is probably a little past due that the Phillies sign a legitimate closer.
    One look at the numbers some of the real closers posted and you can only wish.

  17. I don’t necessarily endorse this trade proposal Joe Giglio posted on but it’s at least an interesting topic for discussion….

    Aaron Nola to the Yankees for Joey Gallo

    Gallo makes $9.5M in 2022 before entering free agency next winter. He’s the ultimate 3 result player. His career RISP numbers aren’t good but since he walks as much as anybody and would probably lead off quite a few games giving his team a quick lead. He plays excellent D in any OF position, plus he can hold down 3b.

    I would only consider this deal should Schwarber slip through DD’s fingers this off season. The Yankees may see Nola as a bounce back candidate like many of us here, and they never seem to have enough starting pitching. Perhaps they might include a young prospect which would make this exchange more appetizing. I could be wrong but my sense is that Nola isn’t thrilled about being here. Not that you should make a trade based on someone’s contentment level but it’s worth talking about.

  18. My grandson made a interesting comment the other night at the beginning of the World Series.
    He referenced that after Charlie Morton left the Phillies he has been one of the top pitchers in baseball.
    Maybe a reason to hold onto Nola. You just never know when they are going to be great with a few exceptions.

    1. This is why Joe Giglio works on the radio and does not run a major league baseball franchise.

      There’s no way I would trade Nola for Gallo – and I like Gallo (I defended him on here a few weeks ago as being a lot more than just another Dave Kingman). On the surface, it looks like it’s a fair deal, but it isn’t. Nola is a top or near top of the rotation starter who just had a down year even though his peripherals were very good. I fully believe that Nola could still win or contend for a Cy Young or two. Gallo is a decent player, for now, but he’s a strikeout machine and he could just as easily crash as he could maintain what he did last year. This trade would be a serious rip off and I’m sure trader Dave will steer clear of such a deal.

      1. And another thing, with his option, the team has two years of control over Nola – Gallo will be a FA after 2022 – this would not be a good deal. If anything, the team should be looking to extend Nola while it’s still not cost prohibitive.

        1. Of course if they could find some other way to get Gallo here I’d like that! He and Harper can reenact their little picture (yeah, they were on the same team as kids – crazy, huh?).

          1. If Dave Dombrowski decides to make Aaron Nola available, I would bet my house (again) he could do better than Joey Gallo.
            #1) He should be able to attach Didi Gregorius (and his $14M) to any Nola deal
            #2) I believe the Phillies would only swap Nola (or Hoskins or Saurez) to fill multiple needs. For example, the proposal I posted a few weeks ago: Nola & Didi to the Cardinals for Jack Flaherty, Jordan Hicks, and Nolan Gorman.

            1. Why would the Cardinals do that deal? Let’s start with first things first. Didi is a liability, so he doesn’t bring value. So, basically you’re asking the Cardinals to take Nola and a liability and give you Jack Flaherty, who may be as good as Nola or close to it, Jordan Hicks, who throws really hard, and a super young potential first division regular who plays third? Why would they do that trade?

            2. Yeah. I went over this with v1 last week (or two weeks ago, I’ve lost track of time). You guys drastically underrate Nola’s value on the open market. You can go to Baseball Trade for a pretty good idea of what a player’s worth is. They use an algorithm (you can read about it on the site) that determines a guy’s value. I ran that deal through the site’s trade simulator. That deal actually brings the Phillies back less value (by a small amount) than they give up.
              BTW … Flaherty’s value not even close to Nola’s value.

      2. Agree…Gallo’s RISP is horrific, especially with two outs ( 182/.357/.402), though, he gets more than his share of walks, but 38% K rate …so he goes ‘frustated fishing’ O-swing when they pitch around him ….and to me that is a metric measuring the reliablity of a player in critical situations..

  19. Question

    Are we allowed to post Phillies minor league information from another site that is also free?

  20. Sorry catch – Gallo is nothing but the reincarnation of Dave Kingman – albeit – he can catch the ball. Baseball Reference sites that the player most like Kingman– from ages 23 through 27 ages — is Gallo for every one of his campaigns to date – barring one season. when Schwarber was most like Kong . Nola for Gallo + Urshela and 2 of their AA miinor leaguers might be fair. Why on earth trade Nola who could bounce back and win the CY . What makes him any different than Gausman of SF who was spectacular after being mediocre for years ? Gallo is a lost cause and the Crankees know it – I submit they can’t wait till he can walk away in ’22.

    1. No, he’s not. Gallo has some surface similarities to Kingman, but he’s a MUCH better fielder – perhaps 1.5-2 WAR per year better than Kingman (who had a lot of physical talent, but couldn’t give a damn and was a butcher in the field), an enormous difference- and he walks at a much higher rate than Kingman. Gallo has about as much WAR through his age 27 season as Kingman had for his career. Gallo is a superior player to Kingman and I can guarantee you that he’s a much better teammate – Kingman was universally disliked by his teammates and the media (I watched Kingman ever day for about 5 or 6 years – in two different goes with the Mets and nobody was sad to see him go either time).

      As for the trade, yeah, if you throw in Urshela and 2 good minor leaguers on top of Gallo, that’s an entirely different trade and one I would probably make, but it’s close.
      And as for generally keeping Nola – yeah, I get it – that was my entire point, unless another team makes you an offer you can’t refuse and Nola for Gallo is a terrible offer which I would reject.

    2. Sorry, RU – you’re wrong, and not just by a little bit.

      While there are some surface similarities between Gallo and Kingman, Gallo is the superior player for a couple of reasons. First, Gallo is a MUCH better fielder – like a 1.5 WAR per year better fielder. Second, Gallo has superior plate discipline – he walks at a much higher rate than Kingman ever did. Third, and this is not quantifiable, Gallo seems to be a good teammate while Kingman was a world class jerk.

      Look, Gallo has huge issues, but he hit .199 last year and was still a 4.5 bWAR player. Do you realize how good you have to be at everything else to hit for that average and still be a borderline star? To give you a comparison of how much better Gallo is than Kingman, even in Kingman’s best year with the Cubs, when he hit for an decent average and slugged 48 homers, he was still a 4.1 bWAR player (not as good as Gallo last year) and that was a momentary high water mark for him – he had many years where he couldn’t even generate a single WAR, which means he was below replacement value those years. Therefore, not surprisingly, Gallo has generated almost as much career WAR through his age 27 season (14.3 bWAR/13.3 fWAR) to as Kingman did in his whole career (17.3bWAR/20.3 fWAR). He’s a much better player than Kingman, at least so far in his career.

  21. Congratulations to Freddie Freeman on being a world champion. I’m not a Braves fan, but I am a Freeman fan. Excellent player. Even better father, husband, and son.

    BTW … can’t ignore John Coppolella’s role in this WS title. Coppolella is Atlanta’s former GM who was banned for life for cheating to help put that team together.

    And … ratings for Braves-Astros WS have been the second lowest ever.

    Now let the offseason begin. Looking forward to seeing Dave Dombrowski in action.

    1. Also congrats to Morton. If being a Jersey boy and late bloomer weren’t compelling enough reasons already, the fact that he threw 16 pitches on a broken leg, and then apologized for not throwing more, is the makings of an instant legend.

      I’m very indifferent, even even slightly disdainful, of the Braves players other than those two.

    2. Hinke I agree, the more I watch Freemen the more I admire the guy. I can’t see the Braves letting him walk.

  22. Lose a starting pitcher and your best player and you still win it all. Those Tomahawks are gonna be tuff for years. See you guys next year. God Bless all. Jim thanks for everything and all you do. Take care Rocco, wherever you are!🤔👍

    1. The good news is … (even though the Braves are young and talented) teams who win the WS almost always immediately begin a backwards slide.

      1. Hinkie, I don’t see that with this braves team, and it pains me to admit it. I have a friend who Is a braves fan, so Ive had more talk on the braves than I’d like …. But if they are able to resign Freeman … lookout. This team is built to last, even without money. They locked up Acuna & albies for pennies on the dollar. Their pitching is now coming around. They are in a 3-5 year window of serious contention IMO.

        1. Tac … I agree. The Braves look built to last. But something seems to happen. Maybe they begin smelling themselves, Maybe they get fat on the banquet circuit. Maybe it’s just bad luck. But it’s been two decades since any club repeated. Maybe the Braves are the next Giants (3 titles in 5 years), but more than likely they are the Phillies (their entire core was in their 20s in 2008), who took one step backwards each year post WS.

          1. I swore the Cubs were going to win 3-4 titles after they won in Cleveland, never got back. Thats the funny thing about baseball, especially with the way pitching is managed nowadays. It was nice to see a SP perform the way a SP has performed for the past 150 years.

            1. Hinkie/ Eagleeye – fair enough points … but I’ll say they are the new “Houston Astros”. They will have a serious chance to be in the WS for the next 3-5 years. They are just built very well. They probably can let guys go and have replacements. That’s the issue. Anyways, DD has his work cut of for him. He can do it, but I bet it takes more than 2022. The braves/Phillies are going to have to grow into East’s version of dodgers/giants lf not, Phillies will be looking up at the braves during Harper’s/Wheeler’s prime

  23. Congrats to the Braves. Let the off-season begin! DD, please do your thing. But a lock out could back everything up for months.

  24. They deserve credit for not quitting when they lost Acuna. Every one of the 4 OF acquisitions helped them win this, at different times. It’s not just luck. It’s not just luck that they found 3 impactful LH BP arms, and we have employed about 56 over the last few years, with much less success. Most of us, me definitely included, have a lot of faith in DD. I don’t think he was allowed to really operate last season. So, it’s on his shoulders to fix this team. I wish him luck, and want him to start in 5 days, I think that is the waiting period, then be aggressive regardless of any threatened lockout.

    1. About the fact that all four of the OFers AA traded for played well/excellent after they were acquired: it helps when you are surrounded in the lineup by great hitters. Duvall/Rosario/Pederson/Soler saw more pitches over the plate because opposing pitchers didn’t want to walk them with Freeman/Albies/Riley/Swanson/d’Arnaud behind them.

  25. If they weren’t the division rival I’d be really happy for the Braves and as I say that I’m not that unhappy for them either especially Freeman and Snitker.

    So as the page turns to 2022 I’m somewhat excited to see DD’s approach to making this Phillies team over. Most interesting will be does he shoot for immediate and short term success or does he make moves that seemingly accomplish both short term improvement without sacrificing long term sustainable success.

    It was mentioned last night and I was unaware that Fried was acquired in the Justin Upton to San Diego trade many moons ago. He surely came into his own last night!

    1. DMAR…many Padre pitching prospects dot the MLB landscape…..besides Fried, Cal Quantrill, Eric Lauer, Joe Ross , Wade LeBlanc, Corey Kluber, Joey Lucchessi and even Phillies’ Eflin.
      …and yet AJ Preller keeps searching for pitchers.

  26. Braves almost traded Riley before this season…..but decided against the temptations of acquiring Arenado………”from June onward Riley finished the regular season hitting .303 with 33 HRs, 107 RBI’s and 91 runs scored……. safe to say that the Braves might not be in the WS without Riley’s performance.”

    1. Romus – Phillies desperately need one .. or likely more of a Bohm,Stott, …. Even Kingery to “show up” like that. The braves aren’t missing on their prospects the way the Phillies are. When was the last time the Phillies grew a .275/30hr+/.875+ OPS bat who can respectably field? Hoskins is the only one… for over a decade I’d say. The braves grew – Acuna, Albies, Riley, Swanson, & Freeman in that time. That’s the difference. Plus they grew 2 Top tier pitchers. Count our blessings they don’t have the Middleton war chest. Even with all that… if the Phillies had a reasonable bullpen… they stop the braves from getting into the playofffs in my mind. It’s reasonable to assume the Phillies could have finished at 90 wins with a league average bullpen based off the 25 BS totals mentioned yesterday. Not good enough for when the braves are full Strength, but this year… it could have been. Phillies need get a bullpen that is top 10
      I’m the league, maybe pushing top 5

      1. Tac3….yeah, you make good points.
        Braves developmental program over the last decade has been outstanding.
        Great scouting and minor league teachers go a long way.
        Especially when the money is frugally managed.

    2. If you believe in O’Hoppe maybe you explore a JT for Yelich trade. Yelly is about to have a 7 year extension kick in beginning with his age 30 season or $182 million.

      He’s coming off 2 bad seasons for him but he is a career 292/379/857 OPS player above average defender in LF and can probably play a decent CF in spurts. Also has good splits against lefties.

      You’d be saving the brew crew a good chunk of change so it may allow DD to swipe another player of need out of their depth. For those of you that love Hader maybe he’s available as they also have Ashby and Small in their system and he’s about to incur a big arb number.

      1. DMAR, problem is DD is in win now mode and trading JTR while O’Hoppe is 2 yrs away leaves a big hole behind the plate…unless you acquired Zunino and KK from Tampa.

      2. I’d be very interested in Yelich if the Brewers want to get rid of his salary to play LF for us. Seems like the kind of guy Kevin Long has helped restore in the past. I don’t think I would do a JT swap though I don’t really have any rush or desire to get out of JT’s contract.

      3. I thought about entertaining the idea of trading realmuto earlier today. I’m not crazy about the idea, but i believe the net gain is ultimately greater if they did it correctly. Trading for yelich is intriguing but some can’t miss prospects who are cheap and under control, would be my preference. I’m not sure realmuto has that trade value anymore. Realmuto seemed to fall down the top catchers list this year. so yelich wouldn’t be so bad a swap, I think there is a few good years left for him. Ultimately, it’s like a net gain in offense if we get a decent catcher. KNapp and Marchan are fine until ohoppe can push them out

        1. Two things:
          (1) JTR’s value is greater staying put; the Phillies will NOT trade him.
          (2) No team aiming to contend next season will trade a high paid veteran who still figures to be a core piece at a premium defensive position, regardless of whether he’s the “best” catcher in baseball or not.

        2. Tac3……”KNapp and Marchan are fine until ohoppe can push them out”…oh boy, if O’Hoppe does not materialize into at least a minimum 3WAR player for 3 or 4 more years, then what.
          There are no guarantees he will be a qualioty major league player.
          I rather be on the safe side and keep JTR.

          1. Correct, there is risk but I’m proposing the overall net gain. Im Saying you can likely get a net gain in offense if you trade JTR, and find some combo of a FA,trade, or prospect that is a big time OF bat plus and replace JTR with slight below avg hitting catcher vs JTR & and an average OF … like Herrera. Moves gotta be made, I’d have it on the table but it’s not my first route. I’d rather keep him, but I’m
            Not married to him. He’s available to me.

            Breaking News: Posey to retire! Looks like DD has a trading partner.

            5 catchers finished with a better OPS, 15 OF finished with a better OPS. My point is it there maybe a better value in the OF for the money spent. Ideally the Phillies sign and OF to get the uncommon boost from a
            Top OF & C production. Will see what DD does

  27. Great point Romus, and I am very hopeful that Bohm’s bat is real. I don’t know about his Defense, and I don’t feel all that optimistic about it, but I do about his hitting. And, he will get his chance. That is more reason why a top Defensive SS is a necessity. As is a legit lead off hitter.

    1. Phillies need to seriously consider throwing a major wrench in the braves plans, by prying away Freeman with dirty cash :). By that, I mean … send him some money that’s not “on the payroll”. Now he’s got his ring, might be time to get paid. Do that, the braves are presumably weaker, Phillies can then trade either of Hoskins or Bohm, and take it from there

      1. Tac3….Freddy ,like Chipper before him…will probably never leave….the $$$ will not sway him. I think the Braves will give him an offer he will like.

        1. The Braves will offer him 10@$200M and he’ll take it. No other MLB team will commit that kind of length.

          1. mark8:29…that is how I see it. The AAV may be a litlle lower than someone of his stature, but the length is probably what he would like anyway….to finish as one of the all-time Braves, with the likes of Murphy, Chipper Jones, Smoltz, Glavine et al..

    2. If Bohm can hit with more power, his defense suddenly becomes irrelevant. A good bat will find a place in a major league lineup. Lack of power is what’s stunting his advancement at this point. Anyone able to project his future power numbers? Please chime in now…

  28. Braves need to decide what to do with Soler who is a FA, Joc Pedersen who has a $10M option, Adam Duvall who has another arb year, and Eddie Rosario who is a FA. They could make Acuna the permanent CF and surround him with 3 of those guys and Pache.

    1. Well, they aren’t taking Pedersen’s option – he’s not worth $10. They might take a flier on Duvall, but for all his homers, he’s barely a replacement level player. Oh, don’t get me wrong, he hits a lot of homers and he’s useful at the bottom of a line-up, but he’s really not that good.

      Soler and Rosario are interesting – they might keep one of those guys, but I’m not entirely sure which guy. Or they might just surprise everyone and go out and sign Conforto, who may be better than either guy and who will likely be a bargain.

      1. Mets may QO Conforto… if the CBA remains the same, the Braves would have to relinquish a 2nd round draft slot.
        But it would still make good sense to sign him.

  29. The high wire balancing act Dombrowski may attempt this winter could be to trade from redundant depth (i.e. Hoskins/Bohm) to fill current major league roster needs while also adding farm talent to replenish the inevitable loss from moving top prospects like Rojas.

    Let’s assume for now that DD won’t exceed the luxury tax threshold, mainly because who knows what that will even be. So, spending on FAs will be aggressive but not THE biggest fish. Semien, Schwarber, and Knebel are my best guesses. I also think Dombrowski trades for another SP to augment a rotation sans Eflin for up to half of ’22. Add a backup C and a bench player and he’s set.

    1. mark8:29….”bench player”?
      Are Ronald Torreyes, Luke Willaims, Nick Maton, Matt Vierling chop liver?

  30. About the Phillies offseason … the questions you need to answer are these:
    A) Do you believe DD when he says the team views Bryson Stott as a SS?
    B) Do you believe DD when he says the team will go over the LTT for the right player?

    If you answer “yes”, then you can eliminate the Phillies from the historic FA SS class.
    You can narrow the team’s needs to CF, LF, closer, and SP depth, and you can dream big on at least one big buy.

    You could look at something like this:

    CLOSER: Corey Knebel (3 yrs/24M) Dombrowski liked him enough to draft him (1st round) eight years ago. Strong peripherals this season (2.90 FIP, 29.7 K%, 8.9 BB%).


    ANOTHER OPTION: David Bednar via trade. He hasn’t had a whole lot of experience closing, but he’s got the arsenal to be a future stud (2.69 FIP, 32.5 K%, 8.0 BB% this season).
    Pirates get: (6 years of) Bailey Falter, Francisco Morales, Ethan Wilson, and Eduar Segovia
    Phillies get: (5 years of) David Bednar

    1. SP: Noah Syndergaard (4 yrs/80M) Dombrowski loves him some power arms. Thor is electric when healthy. After a long and winding recovery road from TJ, he finally made it back to the mound for a couple of appearances at the end of the season. Yeah, he’s a bit of a medical risk, but he probably wouldn’t be available (and at this price) if he wasn’t coming back from arm injury. The reward is worth the risk IMO.


      ANOTHER OPTION: Sean Manea via trade. He’s set to make 10M in his final trip through arbitration. He’s a proven lefty who is dominant at times, and does a good job of controlling the strike zone (3.62 FIP, 25.7 K%, 5.4 BB% in 2021).
      A’s get: (6 years of) Bailey Falter (if he’s not dealt for Bednar), Erik Miller, (6 years of) Nick Maton, and (6 years of) Mickey Moniak
      Phillies get: (1 year of Sean Manea @~10M)

      1. ANOTHER OPTION: Michael Fulmer is another guy going through his final arb year (set to make 5M). He’s had success as both a starter and closer. Fulmer has dealt with TJ and a back issue (had him out for a month this year, but when he returned, he pitched to a 2.75 FIP out of the pen). Dombrowski liked him enough to trade for him while with the Tigers.

        GOTTA HAVE A DIFFERENT LOOK/FUNKY ARM IN THE PEN: Gimme Sergio Romo (1 yr/2.5M) as a FA.

        1. LF: If Dombo is right, and the Phils are willing to jump the cap for the right player, that guy could be Michael Conforto (7 yrs/154M). He’s still just 28 YO, and fits the teams’ window. His 2021 season was not up to snuff (a .729 OPS may supress his next contract), but I think he’s an excellent buy low/bounce back candidate. Conforto’s hard hit % was fine (third highest of his career). However, his BABIP took a dip (second lowest of his career) because he hit more GBs (highest % of his career). I’ve looked at his swing, and I see no difference in his launch angle. IMO, it’s entirely reasonable to expect Conforto to return to his career avg slash (.255/.356/.468), and stay there for the next four or five years (Phillies window). BTW … Conforto is a Scott Boras client 👀.


          CF: Jackie Bradley Jr (via trade) makes the most sense for me as the team’s next CFer. DD has a relationship with him from their time together in Boston. Bradley is a GG defender, but his bat went MIA this season. His OPS was miserable (.497), but he’s just a year removed from an .814 OPS (2020). He’s another guy who suffered from a career worst BABIP this season. Milwaukee owes JBJ 9.5M next year. They are a cost conscious franchise, and have Lorenzo Cain as a CF replacement. It won’t cost a whole lot to land Bradley Jr.
          Brewers get: (5 years of) JD Hammer and Ben Brown … and out of JBJ’s contract
          Phillies get: (1 year of JBJ) & $1.5M

          1. ANOTHER THING: MiLB FAs. Murray mentioned Gregory Polanco last week. Good idea. The Phils would also have nothing to lose by offering a MiLB deal to former 1st rounder Jesse Biddle. The Braves have made a habit of giving former high draft picks second chances after they’ve been discarded by their original teams. Biddle had a pretty good year for them out of their pen a few seasons ago. Atlanta most recently struck gold with Tyler Matzek (former Rockies 1-11 pick).
            And … Nathan Kirby is another guy I’d watch for. The Brewers traded him to the Pirates in an obscure deal this summer. Kirby was a high pick in the 2015 draft (was teammates with Adam Haseley at UVA). He’s pitched very little since being drafted due to multiple arm injuries. If Pittsburgh doesn’t add Kirby to their 40-man, he can opt to become a MiLB FA. I’d take a flier on him.

            LAST, BUT NOT LEAST …
            DO NOT sign any FA with a QO before the current CBA runs out (Dec 1). The new CBA may lessen the penalty for signing one of those guys. The Phillies/RAJ got burnt a decade ago when they inked Jonathan Papelbon in November 2011. The next/new CBA switched the sanction for signing a type A FA from a 1st round draft pick to a 2nd rounder. However, the Phils got docked their 1st round selection (instead of their 2nd) because they signed Papelbon before the old CBA expired.

    2. Hinkie, regarding team needs….Dombrowski will not risk his reputation and the Phillies aims at contending by having both Bohm AND Stott on the left side of the infield. Not happening. Therein lies another need….

  31. Reports today that Kevin Kiermeier recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and his recovery period is expected to be 4-6 weeks, but the uncertainty of his readiness for spring training may affect his value on this winter’s trade market. He’s never played more than 130 games in a season because of his all out style of play in CF. That’s an appealing trait. So, DD and rival suitors may have some leverage with Tampa at the negotiating point. Haseley, Marchan and Medina sound likes a good package for KK and Mike Zunino. No?

    1. If the Cardinals can wait for Harriosn Bader to develop into a fine MLB CFer, or the Braves wait on Riley at third, when both players struggles in their first 2/3 years, ..why not give Haseley that opportunity…..if he wants to stay a Phillie that is…he may want out for all I know now.

  32. Okayed by Baseball Trade Values site….

    Phillies get:

    A’s get:

    1. with due respect to whomever created the Baseball Trade Values site, there is absolutely NO way that either:
      1. Oakland would do that deal
      2. That’s the best package that they can get if they make Chapman available

      Alec Bohm is a damaged asset. Right now, he has no defensive position and has demonstrated zero power. I am not saying that we should throw him away. But in no scenario is he the headliner for an All-start player. Stott has more value than Bohm right now. O’Hoppe probably does too.

      1. … and Matt Chapman will be 30 YO next season, and is coming off a season where he slashed .210/.314/.403 (and had a 32.5% K-rate). He’s under team control for just 2 more years & is set to make ~10M in 2022. Oakland is looking to cut payroll.
        I don’t know what kind of offers they’ll get for Chapman, but I’d bet they’d have interest in a deal where they could swap out 2 years of Chapman (at uncomfortable money for them) for 5 years (two of them pre-arb) of Alec Bohm and another piece or two.

        1. I can even live with Chapman’s low slash line if he brings power and excellent glove work. This is where you solidify the defense while stacking other positions with better slash lines…SS, CF, LF. How’s Semien, Kiermeier and Schwarber? And that would provide some lefthanded thump having Harper, Chapman and Schwarber in the lineup.

          1. Also … about Baseball Trade … it’s all done through an algorithm. Most/all MLB clubs use similar algorithms to determine value. Some formulas may differ (probably slightly), but what you see on that site is realistic.

            1. You don’t know, you can’t know if “most/all clubs use similar algorithms”. Similar being the keyword here.

              Please don’t use this site to “win” discussions about trades.

        2. 1. I don’t know what you mean by “will be 30yo next season” but if you mean that he is in his prime years then we agree. That is a great plus for Chapman
          2. With a .272 babip he had a league average wRC+. Along with gold glove defense. He has 20 WAR in 5 seasons. That is an elite player.
          3. Bohm on the other hand doesn’t have a clear defensive position entering his age 26 season. We are still hoping, hoping that he can magically develop range and agility because we have no good fallback option. Also he has no power and more than 50% of his balls in play are ground balls.
          4. there is no way that an MLB club is trading Chapman for Bohm as the centerpiece. Any website who says opposite is wrong.

      2. I agree V1. And, I’ll go a step further. This Trade site is not some respected baseball site like Baseball Savant or FanGraphs. It was created by two accountants who “love” baseball who came up with an algorithm to compare the relative value of players AS THEY SEE THEIR VALUE.

        I was worried that people would start quoting this site when it was first introduced. I hope this stops.

  33. The Phillies connection of Stott/Miller did all they could today for Peoria.. Stott brakes 2022 ST camp with the big boys and Miller sometime after is a call up.. All predicated of course on no MLB strike..

    1. Romus … trade realmuto to SF for prospects, and sign a top tier FA with the 20 mil that opened up. Say Correra, do
      You do it? I do, Correra knows who to cheat, and not get caught .. until after they’ve bought home the trophy!

      1. Tac3….well you do see a opportunity……but what do they do with Joey Bart?
        Not sure I would move JTR….who replaces his offense would be an issue.

      2. SF already have two catchers in Bart and Casali. The storyline going into next year was already going to be how to get time for both Posey and Bart. Can’t imagine they’re interested in trading assets to create a logjam situation.

        1. If I’m not mistaken with Buster’s retirement they have roughly $148 mil of cap space…or more

          Zaidi will be spending a lot of dough this winter. He’ll have his hands full to fill the roster with players that can overcome his court jester Kapler.

    2. Gotta imagine he’s headed to Cooperstown, yeah.

      His career WAR puts him ahead of 8 catchers already enshrined. And his WAR/162 puts him 6th all time. So that combined with the fact that he’s got an MVP, a gold glove, 7 All Star appearances, and 3 rings means he should check enough boxes for both old school and new school voters.

      On a related note, between Posey, Mauer, and Yadi, the 2000s already have 3 likely HoF catchers. Depending on how Salvador Perez and J.T. age, there could even be two more (doubtful on those two, but we’ll see). As of this moment, there’s only 16 catchers in the Hall. I wonder if teams have kind of figured out how to properly develop catchers, or if we’re just in the silver age of catching (the golden age being the 70s/80s with Bench, Carter, Fisk, et al.).

  34. I believe the team will exceed the LT and I believe they hope Stott is a SS, but I don’t think they have Bohm and Stott play next to each other to start the season. So, I look for Semien, who can play elsewhere or a stop gap, Simmons? I do believe we are a trade partner with Oakland, but not for Chapman. We also need some luck. Why can’t we make a trade like the one that got Atlanta Dansby Swanson?

    1. I’m not 100% sure they go over the LT this year but … I think that really depends on how the CBA and FA signings go. If they are hitting on who they want to sign, and the can doesn’t interfere, I think they go over. If they don’t, missing out on FA signings, and no trade partners, definitely next year. Would be nice to weaken the braves by getting Freeman but I’m not counting on it.

    2. matt13…”Why can’t we make a trade like the one that got Atlanta Dansby Swanson?”….probably because Dave Stewart is not a GM anymore.

      Semien for 3 yrs may be a doable deal….but he may get offers for 4 or more.
      Do not think Dave D will go that long for a guy his age.

    3. Matt its funny how a single series and one or two big moments changes the perception of a player like Swanson. He’s a career 249/319/760 OPS and 89 OPS+
      I’m not knocking him he is a player who’s value is greater than his stats.

      My opinion the only time to exceed the LT is if you’ve made the playoffs the past few seasons and you’re just not getting over the hump…

      Hate to steal a phrase from the former numbskulls but this off season DD will have to win on the margins with so many wholes to fill and not much internally to fill them.

  35. THIS JUST IN : N Y Mets after interviewing David Stearns, Billy Beane, Theo Epstein, All Tampa Bay front office personnel, and Branch Rickey — were AGAIN turned down by yet another stalwart – Hinkie of the highly regarded Phuturephillies website ! Details at 11:00.

    I couldn’t resist – but this is meant more as a poke at the Mets who apparently are intent on interviewing every well known person who knows about baseball – yet, can’t seem to find anybody who is interested in taking the top job in Queens ??

    Notwithstanding – thanks for your potential trades and desirable acquisitions, Hinkie. Always a good and thoughtful read. Much appreciated. And – if the Mets read this site, they would no doubt give Hinkie a call !!!!

    1. I can’t imagine people with genuine prospects in the industry are particularly excited about the possibility of a job that has seen 3 separate people in 3 years. Not to mention the fact the owner is not only outspoken, but seems to think it’s part of his job to be the team social media. AND the players have a very big problem with the fans.

      From the outside looking in, it seems like the Mets as an organization is where careers go to die.

    2. RU … LOL.
      Not sure why nobody wants that job: richest owner in sports, talented roster, and a pretty good farm system.

      1. It is an odd circumstance….seems everything is in place for the team to make a run in the NL-East for awhile.
        Maybe people just do not want to work and live in the big Apple….one city that never sleeps.

        1. …or perhaps many qualified candidates simply don’t want to live in NYC, as well as deal with the immediate dysfunction of that front office. It could be like the guy dating Marilyn Munster for the first time and meeting her family. “Uh…no thanks….I forgot I’ve gotta go get a root canal…

  36. Cutch and Herrera’s options declined. No surprise there! Some money to play with. I will be interested to see where each lands. I could see Herrera back to Texas. Cutch could be a valuable platoon partner for a team with a good lefty hitter.

      1. All the best to Doobie and Cutch. Actually, it’s under $30M going by AAV. But nonetheless that money alone in free agency could get us Semien (4/$80M) and Knebel (3/$27M).

  37. Stupid question, I think, and I appreciate Jim always providing dates for upcoming events but when is the exact 1st day we can sign a free agent?

    1. But when does it all break loose…..Dec. 6-9:….winter meetings in Orlando, Florida this year.
      And usually will comeout with their ‘best of Rule 5’ draftable players about a week to 10 days prior to Dec 9th’s draft.

      1. Any thoughts on the first FA signed and by whom that will open the “flood gates”? Or water hose?

          1. The Braves usually target a player(s) they like, and make an early short term offer. They signed Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly in November last year. They signed Will Smith in November 2019.
            So my guess would be the Braves to strike first in free agency by signing Kyle Schwarber.

            1. … or the Braves could target Nelson Cruz on a one year deal to be their DH. Either way, I’d pick them to strike first this offseason.

          2. Yep….they strike early.
            Wonder what they will do with Soler….he was one of their heroes in the play-offs.
            He does have power with plenty swing and miss…27% K

  38. Romus, maybe the next Shane Victorino will be available, and we can sign him. I think we are going to need some luck as well as smart moves by DD. A Rule V, a player coming back from injury like Jayson Werth, a trade that ends up lopsided in our favor, all those things plus FA and the trades we can come up with are going to be needed to take care of everything that we need. And, the unexpected much quicker development and Major League appearance of one of our prospects. That would help, as well. DD has been here a year, and I am certain has a comprehensive plan. He was not able, for whatever reason, or reasons, to do much last season. I expect a lot from him now.

    1. The rule 5 draft is a good idea to allow other teams to select players deserving (perhaps) of 40man roster status who are otherwise blocked, but holding hopes that we find another Victorino or Herrera isn’t a sound base to build. And it’s certainly not Dombrowski’s M.O.

      1. mark, I did not mean to infer that hoping on a Rule V player is a sound base. Hitting on another Victorino is my idea of getting lucky. If we are to become a contending team, a bit of luck will be needed. That was just 1 example.

    2. matt13…always that possibility of getting a real productive player in the Rule 5….a long shot but ……
      We could know more about what the Phillies will do on Nov 19th….if they protect 40 players, then they coul pass on the draft, unless they trade someone off the 40 before Dec 9th… have to have open slot(s) off your 40 before you can draft.

      1. An unprotected pitcher who throws gas is a typical Rule V draft pick, and a lot of times from the left side. Only costs $50K to at least take a look in spring training

  39. Its possible there may be a high number of trades before the winter meetings this year. The Tigers and Reds have already made a trade involving catcher Barnhart. This is likely since the CBA is only valid until Dec 1 which could result in a shut down. Not sure if that would affect the owner & GM meetings or not but I could see a number of teams to start making trades right away.

    Players with qualifying offer will not likely sign until after a new CBA since the cost of signing them may be lower afterwards.

    Also the Phils should look towards teams like the Reds who made this trade to cut payroll. They could make major league additions without giving up too much but take on salary.

    1. Good point. This is why Oakland, Pittsburgh, Tampa etc. may be active trade partners early since increasing arb salary players will already be pretty much set.

  40. 3 more days… looking forward to the “answers.”

    I really hope that 2 things happen
    1) Phillies have a block buster trade at the winter meetings
    2) their FA signings don’t drag out like it did with Harper
    3) The CBA negotiations don’t put a drag on the off-season or screw the Phillies.

    Other than that, I’m ready for whatever is going to happen, as long as it ultimately improves the Phillies

    1. Tac3….also in three days….Roman may be a former Phil…there is that possibility he could be DFAed….Eflin, Hoskins and JoJo Romero will come off their 60-day IL status, and be placed on the 40.

      1. The Phillies may want to hold onto him just in case MLB makes a new rule that batters can steal 1B. Otherwise, fare thee well, Roman.

    1. This is crazy info – particularly on Kris Bryant. Baseball salary is now only a small part of his compensation. Wild.

      1. If Posey, say for example put in a $2M investment 8 yrs ago…at age 26….he could stand to get back $135M.

  41. When Posey said he was retiring I thought he might be a little shy of HOF player but a deeper dive into his stats and it’s clear he is a HOF player. Depending on the class maybe first vote but if he misses it would be a 2nd year call.

    1. Sure if Harold Baines can get in….Posey should….but when youo look at catchers…..his bWAR of 45, falls short for modern day selectiuon….same with Yadier who is at 42 bWAR.
      A bWAR of 60 or better seems to be the cut-off lately….except Baines, who was at 39bWAR

    2. Look at the WAR for these ‘modern’ day catching selections, post 1950…other than Simmons ,,,Posey would have some obstacles to hurdle getting selected.
      Johnny Bench.
      Yogi Berra
      Roy Campanella
      Gary Carter .
      Carlton Fisk
      Mike Piazza
      Ivan Rodriguez
      Ted Simmons

      1. Where is Mike Lieberthal on this list? 🙂 He has a few awesome seasons for the Phillies, obviously not enough, but he peak years were fun to watch

  42. .

    A couple of different early 2022 power rankings have been published post WS. They offer a very different opinion of the Phillies.
    ESPN (David Schoenfeld) ranks the Phils #22 (behind Braves/Mets/Marlins). Meanwhile, Bleacher Report (Joel Reuter) have the Phillies at #13 (in front of Mets/Marlins).

    From ESPN:
    Too low? Well, think of everything that went right for the Phillies in 2021: Bryce Harper will probably win NL MVP; Zack Wheeler has a strong case for NL Cy Young; Ranger Suarez had a ridiculous 1.36 ERA over 106 innings. The last pitcher to throw that many innings with a lower ERA was Bruce Sutter in 1977.
    Still, the same problems persist: Bad bullpen, bad defense, lack of depth on the 40-man roster and a weak farm system. As of now, they would enter 2022 with Didi Gregorius (minus-0.8 WAR) at shortstop and Alec Bohm (minus-1.3 WAR) at third base. The payroll is already high, but it will be interesting to see if they pursue one of the shortstops.

    FROM Bleacher Report:
    The Phillies have a long to-do list this offseason, from shoring up the back of their starting rotation to sorting out the left side of the infield to figuring out who plays center field, but they also have a lot of talent to build around. A full season of Ranger Suarez in the starting rotation, top prospect Bryson Stott getting a shot at the shortstop job and Alec Bohm returning to form could provide an in-house solution to several of those problems.

    1. The trouble is, both opinions could be easily be correct … but the 22nd ranking is not factoring in the amount of changes that can be made to correct the known issues. It’s not a secret that fixing their bullpen, to a league average likely gets them in the 88-90 win range. They don’t even need to be great … just an average bullpen will give a big boost to the win Column. After 3 seasons in in a row , I think they get it this time. Then add in a big trade, a prospect maturing. This team should be in the WC hunt, while closing the gap between Atl. I do worry about the Marlins, they always seem to have the Phillies number for whatever reason

      1. To play devil’s advocate, the 22nd ranking could absolutely be factoring in the options to fix our issues.

        Or, to be more blunt about it, how long has the bullpen been a weakness of ours? We’ve tried multiple times to fix it and failed every time. At this point, it’s reasonable to assume they WON’T fix it (because they don’t know how to).

        1. Fair point, but I’ll say the bullpen is usually hit or miss by the year. Bullpen arms are inconsistent from year to year. I saw Diekman is available, now his HR rate is going up, but … he’s a candidate to bounce back and have a good year. Kimbrel is going to command a lot, and that’s a risky as heck contract imo. He doesn’t seem to be lights out the way he was. I bet he sits a long. Time on the market because his demands are for past performance, not present/future

  43. Just saw that Nick Castellanos 3b from Reds; 34-100-.309, is a Free Agent. Would be a nice addition.

    1. DH, Denny….the man can’t catch a cold.

      As for Hinkie’s power rankings…how do you set 2022 rankings when MLB rosters will look nothing like they do now on opening day?

    2. His numbers are likely better than that, he had a injury this year. A few posters wanted him signed when he was available before, he’d be a good pick up but The pitchers aren’t going to love his Defense. He’s need a late game replacement, but his offense should be .280+/40hrs/above league OPS. He was a third basemen before … his bat found him a spot. maybe the Phillies should
      Take note, and just move Bohm to the OF and call it a day 🙂 assuming Bohm can hit

    3. I’m a big Castellanos fan was the last time he was on the market. Despite his defensive woes the dude can flat out rake. He’s likely looking at a 6/$150+ and if you’re pretty certain the DH is going to be in place for the NL it might even creep higher

      Think along the lines of what Nelson Cruz has produced through age 41. Crazy to think Cruz has never made more than $14.250.000 in a season

      Nick also has an edginess about him that I like and think this team needs.

      1. Dombrowski will sign either Nicky Castles or Schwarber…I lean toward the latter since he’s a newly minted Boras guy with a connection to our brand spanking new hitting coach Kevin Long.

        1. …and Schwarber just declined his mutual option with Boston, as has Joc Pederson with Atlanta.

        2. mark … where did you hear/read that Schwarber has hired Scott Boras?
          Not saying it isn’t correct. Just saying I haven’t read it.

          But yes … if you’re a Phillies fan, you should definitely keep an eye on Scott Boras clients. He’s become (almost) part of the family. Boras reps Harper & Hoskins. He has a very good relationship with Middleton (spent plenty of stooopid money on his clients) and Dombrowski (has done plenty of business with Boras’ biggest clients).

          The other day, I mentioned I see Michael Conforto (another Boras guy) as the Phillies sleeper top FA target this winter. I’d also think Boras and Middleton/Dombrowski will at least discuss a few other players he reps: JD Martinez, Carlos Rodon, Trevor Rosenthal, and to a lesser extent Corey Seager and Kris Bryant. The Phillies could also be involved with Sean Manaea and Cody Bellinger through trades.

          1. Hinkie, I stand corrected….you’re right. Schwarber is with Excel Sports Mgt. I mixed up the news this past week that Semien joined Boras Corp. He’s another on my preferred acquisitions.

          2. Conforto and Bellinger are intriguing possibilities. Not sure either have the glove to solidify CF but flexibility to shift to other positions…i.e. Bellinger can play 1b should Hoskins assume the primary DH role. Conforto can play LF, so an elite CF can be acquired…say JBJ or KK for relatively cheap. But DD talked about the big bat which we assume would be a corner player.

            1. msrk8:29…Bellinger would have to be a trade…..the Dodgers would want pitching I assume.
              -Bauer was a bust for them
              -Kershaw is aging and also a free agent
              -May had TJ
              -Gonsolin has not panned out as expected for them
              -MadMax is a free agent.
              They basically have two arms to count on for 2022….Buehler and Urias

              For Bellinger Friedman may ask for Ranger.

            2. That’s a no go, Romus.

              Hey, if Rocco is anywhere to be found, Cesar Hernandez’s option was declined by the Chisox.

        3. I’m not a big Schwarber fan he’s another player that tends to disappear for long stretches…

          Just look at his by month splits from last season. We already have that guy in Hoskins.

          1. DMAR…..he does not hit LHP well….though this season was the sole exception….but some claim it could be BABIP-driven since it was >,370.
            But his power bat does play.
            I know you like Castellanos….Sox may be going hard for him I saw.

            1. Actually Kyle’s OBP against lefties is pretty good if not good enough but his OPS against them is pretty low. He’s that guy. He gets big hits every once in a while and tends to make himself appear better than he is. Same withy Joc Pederson.

              As much as I like Nicky Sticks I don’t think DD has much of a shot. There will be rumors because of their ties DD and his in Detroit but yeah I think he ends up somewhere like Boston or maybe even Houston.

              And depending on what happens in ATL with Freeman

            2. Granted Kevin Long has a very good reputation as a hitting coach, but there are no guarantees with the players under him .

          2. But, DMAR, if we could arrange for his hot streaks to coincide with Rhys’ cold streaks, and vice versa, that would be great!

  44. I agree with Tac3. I think that a decent, not great BP, and an upgrade defensively at SS, plus a nice trade and a FA signing for one of the open spots, plus the return of Hoskins, who, despite his faults, was a key loss last August, add a spark from a prospect being ready sooner rather than later, and we are a Playoff caliber team. Of course, the trade and FA/FAs have to be the right ones, but I have some optimism based on Dombrowski. We just saw an 88 win team, who was under .500 for longer than any Playoff team, get hot at the right time and win the WS. I want to get to the Playoffs.

    1. If DD does this right, there is reasonable expectations that the Phillies can be a playoff team. Likely a WC team but they just need to get in. Their SP could really take over in the playoffs. Wheeler & Nola when on, could be all you need in a 7 game series …. Plus a real closer. They can win you 4 games

        1. Oh man….you had to go and say that!
          ……..”he’s got a chance to be very, very good.”
          You just jinxed him.

          1. Maybe – somehow I don’t think his performance will be affected by my post – just guessing lol

  45. You may be correct, mark, but if we sign Castellano or Schwarber, there is an even bigger need for defensive standouts at SS and in CF. And, less $ to pay for them. Where do you see those upgrades coming from?

    1. Absent an out-of -the-blue blockbuster trade (always possible), I see the team punting at SS, signing Galvis to hold down the fort (he’s underrated – he’s a 2-3 WAR player and he’ll probably come cheap) until Stott comes up. I do think they are going to try to find someone to jettison Didi – I don’t see him on the team for very long here. The big money will go to a slugging corner outfielder, closer and perhaps another starter.

      1. I like the idea of a stopgap at SS, particularly w Stott confirming his prospect status at every stop. I would think Galvis would be in the conversation. I also suspect Andrelton Simmons, who is a FA again and was someone the Phillies were looking at last year.

        Even if that improves your defense at SS though, you still have Gregorious. Trading him won’t be easy unless part of a bigger package. I think we align very nicely with the Twins provided they are in fact looking to move salary.

        1. Hoping Cashman takes Didi back for a year, until Volpe or Peraza come up.
          May have to throw in Marchan in the deal and take back Sanchez and his salary of $8M
          Of course, the wrench in the works, is whether or not they pursue Seager, as rumors have had it.

  46. Recalling a couple things Dombrowski discussed at his presser….first, the idea of spreading the FA money around to meet certain needs. That tells me he won’t be signing a Castellanos or Bryant or any SS who’ll exceed 5 yrs or $100M.

    He also mentioned SS being a position of need while Didi is still under contract, which tells me he’ll be moved one way or another.

  47. Romus, that depends on the SS situation, so I was following the scenario where Freddy is the stop gap SS, Now, if Kiermaier or JBJ is the CF, then I go for one of the top guys for SS. I don’t think they are going to be able to do both. My personal opinion is that it is easier to get offense and defense from SS than CF, but preparing for the opposite to happen. To me, getting Schwarber, for argument’s sake as the bat, then a JBL/Kiermaier and a Freddy combo for CF and SS is not enough.

    1. matt13…what about this with the Buccos, if they would even do it?
      Bohm, Haseley and Ranger for …. Bryan Reynolds, Charlie Hayes’ son. Ke’Bryan and Mitch Keller

      1. I don’t see the Pirates sending us prospects if we’re sending them prospects. That package plus another piece might get Reynolds alone, although I would have interest in LHRP Chasen Shreve as well. Adding Abel and Rojas instead of Haseley would be a must to get Reynolds. So that would be Abel, Ranger, Rojas and Bohm to get Reynolds. But I seriously doubt DD would trade Ranger BUT stranger things….

    2. Schwarber seems to be clutch. I’d welcome him. Castellanos is the better bat by the stats, higher OPS for multiple seasons. I’ll happily take schwarber, if It means spreading the money around –
      Probably too much but I can dream . I have a gut feeling Bryant signs with the Phillies, can see Bryce getting that done

      1. Bryant resigns with the Giants is my bet. They have tons of cash to throw at him and a significant need with Posey retiring. I believe Belt is an FA as well so they’ll want to replace his offense if he doesn’t come back.

        Giants actually could be poised to land 2 or more major FA’s.

        Again look at their projected payroll for 2022 they figure to be a major player

  48. In no particular order of priority, these are the to-do’s for Dombrowski this winter:

    • acquire a CF, preferably an elite glove but a balance of good glove and better bat are preferred;

    • stabilize the left side of the infield with a solid glove at either SS and/or 3B;

    • acquire a legitimate closer, *though not necessarily Iglesias;

    • a big bat in LF or 3B or SS;

    • a 4th or 5th starting pitcher to augment the staff until Eflin returns (and since injuries are inevitable);

    *The bullpen should improve by virtue of getting the closer, shifting arms to suitable roles – 7th and 8th inning setup, middle relief, etc…along with getting a healthy Seranthony back, and also Jojo at some point. When Eflin returns, that should also deepen the pen if someone like Falter can be effective as a swing man.

  49. Phillies fill one of their recently vacated 40-man roster spots by claiming LHP Ryan Sherriff off waivers from the Rays. He’s a 31-year-old reliever with questionable 2021 stats.

        1. All I see is one less roster spot (34) with November 19th just 2 weeks away. A couple spots will be filled by guys coming off the 60-day IL, though probably not all four of Eflin, Romero, Hoskins, and Quinn. With new Rule 5 eligibles plus Ortiz and Muzziotti probably needing protection, things could be tight by the 19th.

          1. Sherriff may be a temporary add only to be put through waivers later in offseason (happens often)

          2. I suspect the Phillies themselves, may try to pass Sheriff through waivers. He’s nothing more than a LOOGY.

    1. Herrera, Knapp, Torreyes, and Jankowski were due to go to arbitration.

      Only six guys remain arb eligible – Hoskins, Eflin, Dominguez, Alvarado, Haseley, and Quinn. The Phillies still might decide to non-tender a couple more.

      40-man roster stands at 26 with Eflin, Romero, Hoskins, and Quinn still on the 60-day IL and not counting against the 40.

      1. I wonder if the Phils would try to trade Haseley before or after arbitration.

        Not saying I want him traded, but that seems the likely scenario (and if it’s what HE wants, then I’m in favor of it. He seems like a good kid; no point subjecting him to mental torture).

        1. Just the beginning of a roster upheaval. Dombrowski didn’t let go of anybody he can’t improve on. I still expect the POBO will also look to trade a guy that will shock people (one of Hoskins/Bohm/Nola/Saurez/Gibson/(and a small chance it could be)Wheeler).

          Here’s a clip of Sherriff.

          Looks like a LOOGY. LHH slashed just .214/.324/.250 vs him this season. I’m guessing DD thinks the “3 batter rule” may be near extinction.
          IMO (from the little I’ve seen of him), Kyle Dohy & Damon Jones > Ryan Sherriff.

          In addition to Simon Muzziotti and Jhailyn Ortiz, I gotta believe the Phils will add Braeden Ogle and James McArthur to the 40-man in the next few weeks.

          1. Would anyone trade Aaron Nola (plus cash) and Johan Rojas to Pittsburgh for Bryan Reynolds?

            Then package Bohm, Muzziotti, Miller, Martin and Morales to Oakland for Chapman and Manaea.

            Then Medina and Marchan to Tampa for Mike Zunino.

            1. mark – I think that would be selling low on Nola and buying high on Reynolds. Nola is a Top 20 pitcher in baseball. His FIP this year was 3.36. His peripherals are fine, or have even improved from prior seasons.

              I’m open to moving Bohm but not Nola.

        2. Dan K…Haseley still may have upside with many GMs….a high pick, who has above average to good minor league metrics…..his 2019 season may be what other GMs will want to recapture.
          I cannot help thinking what an org like the Cardinals woudl do…..they stayed with Harrison Bader for a few years and he has come around…..Phillies apparently do not have that luxury with Haseley. he hmself may want to move onto another club.
          I suspect he will be part of a larger package.

      2. Between now and sometime fairly soon, I think we can also subtract the following from the opening day 40 man roster:

        •Quinn – either 60 day IL come spring training because…well, you know…or DFA
        •Haseley – trade for low level prospect with high ceiling
        •Gregorius – trade for 2nd tier near major league ready prospect and include +/- $10M to pay down
        •Marchan – trade in package for CF, 3B or SP •Medina – ditto.

        I also tend to agree with Hinkie that one of Hoskins or Nola are on the table, but not Ranger unless it’s an uber-blockbuster trade.

      3. My guess is they bring Eflin, Romero, and Hoskins back off the 60 day and drop Quinn, which would put them at 29?

    1. 35 years old not far removed from TJ surgery who’s barely pitched in the last 3 seasons? I’m sure his peripherals look great…pass.

    1. Yes, Riverhorse. You would deal one of those type of players to fill multiple holes, and add a prospect or two.

  50. LOL. It’s an invitation to spring training. What would the team have to lose? The guy is a former 1-1 pick (albeit a long time ago). It’s never a bad idea to gamble (and in this case, you’re playing with house money) on arm talent. You kiss enough frogs, and one day you might find yourself making out with a prince. Braves struck gold with Tyler Matzek. These are the type of guys who you hope become low cost (unexpected) contributors.

      1. “You kiss enough frogs, and one day you might find yourself making out with a prince…….or get trench mouth”…LOL

        1. “Some frogs have poisonous skin like the poison arrow frogs, so kissing could result in a painful or quick death. Other frogs have poison glands in their skin that can ooze a milky secretion that can cause irritation, but as long as you don’t kiss the white oozy stuff, you will probably be OK.” Kiss with caution folks

  51. The Phillies are not alone…Mets have their own orhanizational issues.

    Chili Davis…former hitting coach:
    “That organization needs a big turnaround, they need to clean house. Some of the people that have been there so long during those dismal years, they need to bring some fresh faces and baseball people in there. To be honest I don’t think Zack Scott was a baseball person. He was the head of analytics in Boston. He was an analytical guy. That’s where he belonged, in analytics.”

  52. After all the moves there maybe still more. Most Likely to lose a spot next:
    Quinn & Haseley, with unlikely Williams, Moniak, and Maton from the position players.
    Sherriff & Medina, with unlikely Morales, Sanchez, and Jones from the pitchers.
    This does not include trades etc… but the most likely players to lose a spot when an upgrade is available.

  53. 24 days left………the current CBA expires on December 1, and as it’s expected, a ‘failure to agree on a new CBA by then could result in a lockout and accompanying transactions freeze.’

    With that…expect more movement between teams…trades, releases and the like prior to Dec 1st.
    Not sure if the big free agent signings…the five shortstops currently on the market, and a few of the pitchers, will have been decided by then.

    1. Anyone with a qualifying offer will NOT be signed, because everyone will wait to see if penalties will be lessened

      1. You say that, but the Phils themselves are proof that sometimes a GM will take that gamble. Remember Papelbon? We signed him weeks before free agent signing compensation changed.

        Turns out it was a dumb decision, because we lost assets we wouldn’t have if we had just waited. But the point stands; it only takes one GM/owner wanting to get a jump on the competition.

        I’m not saying anyone (major) will sign before the new CBA. But it’s absolutely a possibility.

        1. Dan K, true. I guess if you wanted to be shrewd, a GM could jump the market and grab someone early to avoid being left behind.

    1. They picked up his option, but rumors a few weeks back indicated it was their intent to pickup the option then trade him. Though I’m not sure how tradeable he is with a $16mm salary in 2022.

    1. As with all players, I absolutely want us to be in on him at the right price. I don’t want us to be too reliant on a 37 year old reliever. But if he’s willing to take a relatively cheap contract? Yeah, sure.

  54. Chasen Shreve elects free agency. I’m in on him. Nice left handed compliment to any bullpen.

  55. Spitballing into the hot stove…here’s my (relatively) realistic hope for an opening day roster (assuming a 26 man roster):

    Zack Wheeler rhp
    Aaron Nola rhp
    Ranger Suarez lhp
    Kyle Gibson rhp
    Sean Manaea lhp – acquired via trade
    Bailey Falter (alternate/long relief) lhp
    IL – Zach Eflin rhp – possible midseason return

    BULLPEN (7)
    Jose Alvarado lhp (7th/8th inning LOOGY)
    Connor Brogdon rhp
    Sam Coonrod rhp
    Seranthony Dominguez rhp (8th inning setup)
    Hans Crouse rhp (long/middle relief)
    Chasen Shreve lhp – signed as a free agent 2/$14M
    Corey Knebel rhp (closer) – signed as a free agent 2/$18M
    IL – Jojo Romero lhp – possible midseason return

    CATCHERS (2)
    JT Realmuto
    Mike Zunino – acquired via trade unless TB club option declined (otherwise signed as a free agent 2/$15M)

    INFIELD (5)
    Matt Chapman 3b – acquired via trade
    Freddy Galvis utility – re-signed as a free agent 1/$5M
    Rhys Hoskins 1b/dh
    Jean Segura – 2b
    Bryson Stott ss – yes, he will be the opening day SS

    OUTFIELD (6)
    Mark Canha of/1b – signed as a free agent 2/$15M
    Bryce Harper rf
    Mickey Moniak lf/late inning D
    Kyle Schwarber dh/lf – signed as a free agent 4/$60M
    Chris Taylor cf/ss – signed as a free agent 3/$36M
    Matt Vierling of

    1. ….with these free agent signings, it would approximate a little over $60M in AAV. Is that a plausible figure within the current LTT minus Cutch, Doobie and Neris’ dollars?

      1. Hate to break the news to you…..but if the players get everything they want:
        — Increasing the minimum major league salary
        — eligible for arbitration after two years instead of three (or super two).
        —some players to become free agents earlier under certain circumstances
        — prevent teams from “tanking”… modifying the draft order to prevent that
        — service time calculation changed..and
        —increasing the Lux Tax Treshold….going higher….a no go for the owners.

        ….the MLBPA will have to give the owners the one major thing they want….the LTT will go down to $180M.
        So the MLBPA will have to decide how they want to compromise.

    2. What is the love for Moniak? There’s a zero percent chance he makes the opening day rister, unless there’s an injury in spring training. There’s also no way they spend all this money. Zero chance.

      1. Murray
        Hey please be careful someone was kicked off the site for not agreeing about Moniak. It is a little funny though lots of the comments I read sound like that persons view and are comments that was made. Yes I know spelling was a issue and claims about stats too. But it was that person was little too abrasive on responses. I am sure to get bashed now. Enjoy the rest of your weekend

        1. “… someone was kicked off the site for not agreeing about Moniak.”
          “… lots of the comments I read sound like that persons (sic) view…”

          You basically put it together at the end there. It literally has nothing to do with his opinion. It was all about how (and how often) that opinion was presented.

          Baseball is hard; if you bet on every single prospect not panning out, you’ll win 99% of your bets. The odds of any one specific player being a major league contributor is minuscule (which means MM already has a lot to be proud of). The odds of being a starting caliber player are even lower. Some believe because of bias, or a need to cheer for something. Others believe based on whatever stats/videos they’ve seen. But most people don’t believe. It’s not an uncommon thought that Mickey won’t have a long MLB career.

          The difference is, those people make their argument once and do it respectfully, and then leave it there. They might bring it back up if their points are relevant to a conversation at hand. But they don’t subject the readers of the site to a deluge of poorly stated, unsubstantiated, repeat of that same opinion day after day.

          Picking on a kid for not being in the top 0.01% of all players isn’t beneficial or conducive to useful discussions. It’s just rude. Believe in MM, or don’t believe in him. That’s up to you and has no impact on being allowed to post here. But how you behave certainly does.

  56. Jim … in response to your post from a few days ago/further above (sorry, I just read it) concerning my use of Baseball Trade

    Bill James was a security guard (and an “obsessive baseball fan”) when he began developing sabermetrics. David Appelman was a 20-something YO analyst for AOL who “wanted to win my fantasy baseball league” when he launched Fangraphs. So I’m not sure the fact that two accountants who “love” baseball should diminish the validity of the work they’ve done/the algorithm they’ve developed at Baseball Trade
    The way I became aware of the site is because I read a lot of blogs and sites across the internet, and Baseball Trade Values is referenced frequently.
    It’s similar to ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine (if you are a basketball fan). Writers/bloggers/fans use it when discussing potential NBA deals.
    Fangraphs (a site you reference as “respected”) does their own trade value ranking of players/prospects every year. Unfortunately, they only rank the top 50 (+ honorable mentions), and since those guys aren’t often actually traded for one another, the Fangraphs list isn’t as helpful.
    You’re right when you say I have no idea if the algorithm Baseball Trade Values uses is similar to the ones used by MLB clubs. I don’t have access to the alogithm the Phillies use to determine the value of players/prospects. However, I can look at some of the Phillies most recent trades and can compare them to the values assigned at Baseball Trade The value of the players involved in those deals (at the time they were made) make sense according to the site.

    Rangers get:
    Spencer Howard …. 20.9
    Josh Gessner …… 0.1
    Kevin Gowdy ……. 0.3
    21.3 total value
    Phillies get:
    Kyle Gibson ……. 7.7
    Ian Kennedy ……. 1.6
    Hans Crouse ……. 4.9
    cash ………….. 4M
    18.2 total value


    Giants get:
    Carson Ragsdale …. 0.7 value
    Phillies get:
    Sam Coonrod …….. 1.0 value


    Dodgers get:
    Garrett Cleavenger .. 0.1 value
    Rays get:
    Dillon Paulson …… 0.7 value
    Phillies get:
    Jose Alvarado ……. 1.6 value


    Red Sox get:
    Nick Pivetta …… 4.8
    Connor Seabold …. 0.3
    5.1 total value
    Phillies get:
    Heath Hembree …… 3.7
    Brandon Workman …. 2.3
    cash …………… 1M
    7.0 total value

    Finally, I’m sorry you think I’m using that site to try to “win” discussions about trades. I use it to supplement my POV. Other posters can ignore the information, or disagree with it. IMO, it’s no different from when I mention a certain draft prospect is ranked #whatever, according to D1 or Prospects Live. I mean no disrespect, and in the end, this is your site, so if you don’t want that other site referenced, I’ll respect your edict.

  57. Anyone else see yesterday the Peoria Javelinas (Phillies AFL affiliate) was involved in a benches clearing dust-up vs the Scottsdale Scorpions. A Scorpions pitcher came in high and tight on a Javelina and it was on..To my knowledge no Phillies player was involved in the fight or ejected… Some video on Twitter if there is any interest…Pretty rare I think for the AFL..

    1. On another AFL note…………of the approx. 105/110 position players in the AFL…O’Hoppe is one of the youngest….somewhere around mid-teens, so approx 90 or so position players are older than him.

  58. Mark – I thought your opening lineup would be a lot more surrealistic than realistic but it was pretty daring. The only thing you were way off with in my opinion was Zunino. I don’t think any team will pay 15M over two years for a back up catcher. Continue to keep everybody thinking about possible trades and signings.

  59. has us getting none of the SSs, but does have us signing Chris Taylor. I find that pretty interesting. He can play both SS and CF and can hit. Maybe Stott can win the SS job, or is ready in June. Taylor can move around to different positions and still hit, unlike what happened with Kingery. Do any of you subscribe to the spread the money around theory?

    1. Matt13, considering that they have Gregorious and Stott seems to be streaking for a promotion, then having someone with position flexibility makes sense. Chris Taylor could play there or move to CF or other spots as needed.

  60. I think one of the more interesting decisions coming up will be if Thor decides to accept the QO or not.

    I’m not sure how much better he could do than $18.4/1 year as a “bounce back” contract. But if he does decline, I wouldn’t mind picking the Mets’ pocket again, so to speak. Obviously most teams will be happy to offer him high AAV over a year or two, so I wonder how would he best fit in with us.

    We’d have to beat all bidders for him to accept a 1 year deal. I imagine we’d need to do something with player options if we wanted to keep it short term without doing something like 30+ per. 1 year at 24M with 2 player options at 30 each? Or maybe they just full on gamble and give him a 5 year pact?

    I expect he’ll accept the QO; and if he doesn’t, I doubt we’d actually be seriously in on him. But it’s fun to think about.

  61. Mets have decision to make concerning free agency and signing a QO guy..

    ” …… team would forfeit their second-highest pick and and have their international signing bonus pool reduced by $500K. The penalty is something of a middle ground. The Mets due to their failure to sign Kumar Rocker, they pick at both #11 and #14 in 2022, making that #14 pick subject to forfeiture.”

    So assume they will not be signing any of these players:
    Nick Castellanos,…..Carlos Correa,……….Freddie Freeman…….
    Robbie Ray, ………..Corey Seager,………….Marcus Semien,………Trevor Story.

    With Lindor and Alonso in place, and Cano returning ….assume, of that group Castellanos and Ray may be the two they would ordainarily target.

  62. I can’t see why Confaro wouldn’t take the QO. It’s the same as a “pillow contract” and he can sleep at his own house for another year and shore up his marketability.

    1. ciada…..what if a team offered 4 or 5 yrs @ an AAV of $17M……the added security in length may be something that would interest him.

  63. That’s what I should’ve written in the first place, Romus. I believe coming off of last season’s poor showing, no team is going to offer more than 3 and $30M. I may be totally wrong (but I’m a dancing fool)…..Got lost for a second with Frank Zappa.

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