Open Discussion: Week of November 28, 2021

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


Another busy week for the Phillies.  They claimed LHP Scott Moss off waivers from Cleveland.  And, … well … that was it.  Meanwhile, many of last season’s other losers have been shelling out money like it was stoopid.  Even the Mets rebounded from Cohen’s hurt feelings over Matz’ signing elsewhere to sign a handful of free agents.  They may have signed their white whale when they offered Max Sherzer 3 years/$120M.


The Phillies have maybe the most holes to fill this offseason.  We know (think) the Phillies need a left fielder, center fielder, a shortstop (if not Gregorius or Stott), a decision on Bohm, a middle of the order bat (hopefully one of the outfielders), a leadoff hitter (hopefully the other outfielder), a backup catcher (may have been taken care of by one of the trades last week, maybe), a bench that is more than Sands/Stubbs, Gregorius/Maton/Williams, Quinn/Vierling/Haseley/Moniak, a closer, a couple 7th-8th inning relievers, and a starter/long man to compete for Eflin’s spot at the start of the season.  I hope the pitchers they’ve acquired through waivers aren’t their bullpen solutions.

That’s a lot of needs to be sitting on our hands while free agents are signing.


Trader Dave has historically struck early in the offseason.  So, why this year when the Phillies have a lot of needs is he sitting on the sidelines as other teams grab free agents.  Realistically, only Marte and several free agent pitchers were of interest to the Phillies.  But Marte was the only true CF on the market.  Buxton’s extension takes him off the market unless his full no-trade clause means nothing.  Bryant wants to play CF, but he announced that he wouldn’t make a decision until after the lockout.  The pitchers signing deals are setting the market for starters and relievers.  The Phillies will have to move a couple aisles closer to the bargain aisle and settle for the pitchers similar to the junk they’ve signed in past years.

Remember a few years ago, maybe during the Harper/Machado free agency, when one team told their fans that they were in on every free agent and had the second-best offer on several?  Hope that’s not us this year.


So, now what?  I had an elaborate plan for filling out the roster that involved signing guys I really don’t want to sign.  So, I scrapped those paragraphs and will sit idly by waiting impatiently for Trader Dave to do something with the rest of you.


Rosters and Stuff


Key Dates: Most dates have been confirmed.

  • November 3, 2021: Trading resumes, start of the “quiet period” before free agency
  • November 7, 2021: Deadline for teams to offer QOs to their free agents
  • November 17, 2021: Deadline for free agents to accept qualifying offers
  • November 8-11, 2021: GM Meetings (Carlsbad, CA)
  • November 19, 2021: Deadline to submit 40-man rosters before Rule 5 Draft
  • November 30, 2021: “New” Non-tender Deadline for 2021
  • December 1, 2021: CBA expires
  • December 2, 2021: Non-tender Deadline – last day for teams to offer contracts to unsigned players.  Non-tendered players become free agents.  Moved up to 11/30.
  • December 6-9, 2021: 2021 Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida.
  • December 8, 2021: Rule 5 Draft
  • December 15, 2021: Close of the 2020-21 international signing period
  • January TBA – Rookie Career Development Program
  • January 14, 2022: Deadline for teams and arb eligible players to submit salary figures
  • January 15, 2022 – Start of the 2021-22 international signing period (thru 12/15)
  • January 28,2022: Caribbean Series (thru 2/3, with one team from each winter 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: at New York Yankees (Tampa), Time TBA
    • February 27, 2022: v. Minnesota Twins (Clearwater) (SS) 1:05 PM
  • March 31, 2022: Opening Day for 2022 season
  • March 31, 2022: Phillies season opener at Houston Astros
  • April 5, 2022: Lehigh Valley season opener at home v. Columbus
  • April 8, 2022: Phillies home opener v. Oakland A’s at 3:05 PM
  • April 8, 2022:  Clearwater season opener at home v. Fort Myers
  • April 8, 2022:  Jersey Shore season opener at home v. Aberdeen
  • April 8, 2022:  Reading season opener at home v. Somerset
  • July 2022: Rule 4 Amateur Draft

Transactions

11/24/2021 – Phillies claimed LHP Scott Moss off waivers from Cleveland

611 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of November 28, 2021

  1. So the Mets just added three position players (to multi year contracts) who will all be 33 YO next season. They’re reportedly about to sign 37 YO Max Scherzer for three years. And 39 YO Robinson Cano will be back in the fold for 2022 & 2023. What could go wrong?
    They’ll be celebrating Old Timers Day every game at Citi Field.

    1. … and the Mets 2022 payroll, with these moves, is now at 270+M. The current CBA stipulates clubs with a payroll $40 million or more above the Tax Threshold shall have their highest selection in the next Rule 4 Draft moved back 10 places. That means the Mets are probably going to see their 1-11 pick fall to 1-21. That would also mean the Phillies 1-17 pick would jump to 1-16.

      1. After further review … the Mets first round draft pick would be docked 10 spots, not their 2022 pick. My bad.

    2. I agree. My take on the Mets signings is…yawn. Not worried about them. We need to fill our lineup and RP holes. But nothing the Mets did concerns me.

        1. Absolutely. But only in father time and/or injuries don’t have something to say about it.

          DeGrom is a monster. However, they need him for more than 92 innings. And I’d love to have Scherzer in Philly. But not on that contract. The move reeks of a team that’s desperate. 40M for one year for a HoF pitcher? Sure. For two years? That’s a gamble.

          But 43.3/year for THREE years for a pitcher that will turn 38 in the first year? NOPE.

          It could work out for them, but the Mets are now one injury away from their playoff chances being crippled for potentially 3 years straight.

  2. Matthew Boyd going to get non-tendered. I could see the Phillies going after him since he’s probably going to be a bargain.

    This offseason has been a joke for the Phillies. I don’t see the DD love but I’ll sit back and wait for him to do something worthwhile.

  3. At least two dozen players were signed, traded, or even signed extensions over the weekend, none by the Phillies. Last 2 days – before a possible lockout that may last an unknown amount of time. In the division Mets and Marlins have made multiple moves along with some other teams making multiple moves.

    1. It’s definitely frustrating.

      I did just read on MLBTR that Bryant wont sign until after lockout.

      Either way, if DD and Middleton are looking for bargains and try to fill the holes that way, I hope there are plenty of holes in the seats. 10 years without a playoff berth and the last 3-4 seasons have ended with a collapse.

      You’d think with this rate of failure the organization would strike quick and want to prove to the fans they want to win. Waiting.

    1. MadMax at 37 yrs of age entering a 3 yr deal @$42M AAV is simply a bad contract made by bad organizations like umm…let’s see….OH, THE NEW YORK METS! Let’s instead discuss the over/under of when Scherzer’s back flares up and disables him for 2 or 3 months.

      The Rangers are also spending (as in OVERPAYING) big bucks. Semien, who I like but won’t even be a shell of the player he is today when he’s 38 at the end of that deal. Trevor Story must be asking for 8 yrs/$200M, minimum.

      Looking more and more like a trade is on DD’s to do list. Signing Schwarber (with this market figure on 4/$70M) followed by a centerfielder and a closer via trade (JBJ and Hader? Segura for Kimbrel? 2nd tier prospects for Kiermaier?) and sticking with Stott at SS may be the Plan.

  4. I wonder if the new agreement, whenever it’s signed, might remove the penalty to teams signing players offered the QOs. The team losing a player might still be rewarded with a pick but the team signing the player wouldn’t lose a pick. The players will fight for this change and it would open up the possibility to sign the QO guys and be worth waiting for.

    1. Yes. Agree with Murray. This is why it is smart to wait for the new CBA before signing a QO FA. You know for certain your club is losing it’s second highest draft pick if you ink one of them right now. There’s a chance the new CBA will either lessen the penalty or eliminate it altogether. I know it’s hard, but you’ve got to be patient. Dave Dombrowski is a really sharp baseball guy. He’s aggressive. He’s going to make big moves. That’s what he does. That’s why he’s here.
      And I like the idea of supplementing the team losing a QO FA with a pick after the first round, but not punishing (or at least lowering the punishment for) the franchise that signs the FA.

      1. I think there’s a good chance that something like that is going to happen. MLB is going to want some changes – DH, a more orderly arb system, etc. . . and there are going to be some things the union wants, including this type of change to encourage teams to sign free agents without punishing the signing team – it greatly increases the market for all free agents, especially borderline ones. This, to me, is a pretty easy give-up by the owners as part of a larger deal.

  5. Hinkie beat me to it. He’s right. The Mets signings are quite questionable given age, years, AAV. And as awesome as Max is, the contract rumors are way too high. (It’s also why the favorites – Dodgers, giants, Angels – won’t match.)

    The Mets have done this before. And it hasn’t worked out. It would not be wise for our aim to be to outspend the Mets. Let’s stay focused more on the Braves model. We’ve got work to do but more large contracts of mid/late 30s are not the answer.

    1. Totally agree. The overreaction to what bad teams are doing is just that…an overreaction. Haven’t seen the Dodgers, Rays, Red Sox, Yankees and Braves go hog wild on anyone yet. The Mets and Rangers will remain also rans so long as they scratch their itch to make big splashes that make headlines and nothing more to strengthen their organization depth.

      1. Absolutely. For the most
        Part of the signings going on, the Phillies really lost out on Marte, Semien, and loop. The rest of the players are noise (mostly). The mess signed Mad Max? For how much? How long? At what age? Yeah … I wonder if degrom is hurt or demanding a trade. That is a crazy price any way you cut it. Some positives to take out of it …
        Maybe Cohen lights a fire under Middleton 🙂

        I’m going to remain calm, but it is getting slightly uncomfortable.

        1. Well, yeah, I guess you can say the Phillies lost out on them, but the contracts are unreasonable (especially Semien at that cost for 7 years! No way!), so I think the Phillies did the right thing in these instances.

  6. I bet Verlander has a hop in his step today after hearing the contract mad max is getting. Every sip of his morning coffee is followed by a “cha Ching” noise.

      1. My bad, I think you’re right. So
        I’m this case, he’s probably pissed he signed already 🙂 you know what they say about patience’s!

        1. I think Verlander has an opt out so he still might like that Mad Max upped the ante for a pitcher of that age range…

  7. “Remember a few years ago, maybe during the Harper/Machado free agency, when one team told their fans that they were in on every free agent and had the second-best offer on several? Hope that’s not us this year.”,
    ….hah..remember that well…also DMAR must remember that as well…it was Williams or Hahn who said that…..and those White Sox now rule the AL- Central.

    Let’s hope the Phillies fate can produce the same results whoever they can bring in..

    1. Haha yes I remember…

      I was watching Ken Burns Basbeball most of the weekend and every time I saw one of these signings announced on the ticker my eyebrows raised. Mostly because it seemed to wreak of desperation.

      Mainly I’ve been watching to see what Farhan and the Giants do. They obviously have a ton of money to spend (if they want) and the motivation (100+ wins) So if Farhan is laying low on these moves its probably for good reason.

      The other nice move I saw was the Pads trading Frazier a guy they traded for down the stretch. They got a really nice pitcher in Kerr and an ok lotter ticket in Rosier for a 30 y/o player who is about to be a FA.

      Finally 2 seasons ago I thought the Rangers would be a team to spend big to fill their new ballpark with a Rendon and other signings. Instead this is the season they determined would be the one to get back on the map.

  8. In truth I think the Phillies missed on Marte and Neris – BECAUSE the money got a little silly. I don’t think they were in on any other players who have signed so far. Note that DD said it was a case of spreading the $$ around rather than one big splash – he said this due to the number of holes he needed to fill.

    Moreover, I take some comfort, as mentioned above, we haven’t seen the really smart teams do much of anything yet – where is Anthopolous, Dodgers, Farhan Zeidi, ok Tampa signs a reclamation project in Kluber, but the smarter guys aren’t doing anything. Boras is beating up those weaker insecure teams with fistfuls of cash.

    1. But, RU, those really smart teams do not have the number of holes to fill that we do. I admit I lack patience, and would like some, any, signing, and I agree that the moves need to be smart. But, we have a lot to do, and those teams you mentioned do not.

      1. Zaidi won manager of the I mean (cough cough) sorry Kapler did and has more holes to fill than any 100+ team ever has…

        he could have used Semien a native North Californian he passed. He damn sure could have used Gausman back…passed again. Marte would have been good…passed.

        Posey retired….Bryant FA

        Instead what does he do? Reups with Belt, Desclafani and Wood on shorter term deals. Smart GMs won’t confine themselves to windows of contention they will simply operate in the moment and operate for sustainable success.

        1. DMAR….yep, and Belt and Crawford may regress to their age equivalency expectations, along with Longoria..
          Wood and Desclafani are middle or back of the rotation guys.
          If they win 90 games next season I will be surprised.

    2. My prize would still be Taylor because he allows you to solve multiple problems with one signing. He could be our everyday CF until we find one. he could be everyday SS until we find one and keep going with that all around the diamond because of all the needs we have he can fill them.

      Once DD has him in the fold you can wait out the market or make trades on your terms. You can allow Stott to unfold into a position which best suits him

      That said I think the Semien money was really good for Chris and we won’t get him LOL

      1. DMAR…after Wednesday the money may change….or the expectations may change.
        If the luxury tax remains the same or goes higher….then the Phillies can be spenders……..if the tax threshold goes down, then many teams will have to adjust.

  9. A lot of smoke around Story to Phils. On a prior thread, WestCoastPhan made a great point that he is a 2.5+ WAR defensive player alone. My concerns with Story is that we over pay for his bat. I want to put some stats and a comp behind my concerns about his bat.

    Here are the park factors for Coors and CBP the past few years:
    Coors CBP
    2021 1.268 0.962
    2020 1.397 0.971
    2019 1.394 1.047
    2018 1.271 1.042
    2017 1.332 1.073

    For those who don’t understand Park Factors, the calculation is baselined to 1.0. It literally means that a specific team that would score 1 run on the road, would score the PF at home. In the above example, the Rockies score 26.8% more runs at home than they would on the road in 2021. Same for any team that plays at Coors. CBP on the other hand plays pretty true. It got the reputation as a bambox from that initial season, but really it plays true.

    How does this impact players, let’s look at Nolan Arenado, who everyone agrees is a stud hitter. The first number in the below stats is Arendado’s away stats prior to 2021 (I.e. when he played at Coors). The second number is his 2021 total stats. The third number is his career stat line.

    BA: 0.263 / 0.255 / 0.288
    OB%: 0.330 / 0.312 / 0.345
    OPS: 0.801 / 0.807 / 0.880

    As you can see, his 2021 season (which he played outside of Coors) looked a lot like his Away stat line and NOTHING like his career stat line, which had the inflated stats from Coors. Now St. Louis has a PF of 0.820, so it is definitely a pitcher’s park. But the difference between a .807 OPS and an .880 OPS is massive.

    None of this is to suggest that Arenado isn’t a stud. he is! I am using him as a comp to prove that when looking at Story’s offensive ability, you should look at his career away stat line, which is .241/.310/.442/.752 with a wRC+ of 98. That’s the offensive player that we would be getting if we sign him. You know who that looks like? That’s Dansby Swanson. Dansby is a good player, but not an elite player. Last year, the Braves got Dansby for $6m. Great value. If we pay $125+ mil for that level of player, we need other players like Bohm and Stott to really step up. I am not necessarily against it if we have a real plan. But, we should all set expectations on what type of impact Story can have. He is a very good defensive player. But nothing special with the bat.

    1. I’ve seen zero reputable smoke regarding Story, would you mind sharing links or tweets?

      He has a QO attached to him, so I doubt he is signed by the Phillies as of now

    2. I remember pointing this out after the Cards traded for Arenado and mostly because Tom Verducci did an extensive piece on why this occurs at Coors Field.

      Most think its because of the thin air but its not. It’s because of spin rate and less movement on pitches.

  10. The Phillies are in touch with Nick Castellanos, according to Jon Morosi just minutes ago. I haven’t given him much thought since we’ve paid more attention to Kyle Schwarber. However, Castellanos can flat out rake!

    1. Castellanos wants a 7 or 8 year deal, which means maybe he gets 6. If I’m the Phillies, I wait this out and see if I can do better with Schwarber. I think we would regret a 6 year deal for Castellanos in years 4 through 6, which is a loooooong time.

        1. Nothing against Castellanos, but he’s strictly a DH IMO. Give me a LH bat for LF. Conforto has gotta’ be DD’s top target. Schwarber is the other option. Schwarber’s not great (defensively) in LF either, but he’s better than Castellanos (he’s also got a strong arm). And Schwarber is most likely going to sign for less years. And there is also the Schwarber/Kevin Long connection.

          1. Agreed – I much prefer Schwarber, who I believe has turned a corner, versus Castellanos who, while a very good hitter, is really bad in the field and, I believe, is coming off a high-water mark for his hitting. I don’t hate Conforto, but much prefer Schwarber – and this is a “fit” issue as much as anything else. I just think he’s the right guy for the line-up and the clubhouse.

            1. I guess it will depend on how mich influnece Bryce Harper has, he came out and said a RHB is his preference in the middle of the lineup.
              Now if they had a CFer with some pop from the right-side that should fulfill his wishes.

      1. I kick the tires on Nick if I know the DH is coming. I would liken him to other notable FA’s like JD Martinez, Nelson Cruz, Ortiz in that if all they do is DH they can be very productive run producers into their late 30’s

  11. ….Tigers drafted him in 2010 when someone by the name of Dave Dombrowski was in charge. This would make my day. Then trade for a glove first CF like Kiermaier, a couple prospects for Kimbrel and I’m good.

    1. Why not just trade for Laureano of the As….glove and more of a bat…and younger?
      I’d avoid trading with the Rays……they skunk too many teams.

  12. Chris Taylor apparently back on the Phillies radar again. Nats and Marlins also reportedly interested.

  13. Great comment Murray I always love your opinion. It is concerning will the Phils spend money in the right places and make good trades? Or will they continue to sputter around??? I also agree with Jim they have many holes to fill. I do have an concern about Laureano and his PED use. Is that use the reason he performed at a high level???? Just a question. Would hate to give up value for him and find that out. Thanks again Jim for all your hard work.

  14. My preference was Buxton in a trade….I guess the Twins liked him too. He can hit and field so that would have been perfect. Now I’m hoping for Castellanos with the caveat of a strong defensive center fielder (Laureano I hope or Kiermaier ) . We all know we need more impact players in this line up and Nick would be one for sure.

  15. Mad Max up to $43 Million per year BUT he has to play for the Mets. Probably negotiating monthly opt outs.

    1. As I watch what the Mets are doing – crazy overpaying almost every free agent they have signed – I begin to wonder if Steve Cohen will be the first major league owner who really does not care about the luxury tax or merely views it as a minor inconvenience. No franchise has been that cavalier with the tax up to this point -not even the Yankees or Dodgers. I can tell you one thing – the agents are LOVING Steve Cohen – he is almost single-handedly changing market dynamics.

  16. Not interested in Castellanos for 6 years, let alone 7 or 8. I would sign Schwarber for 4. He can also bat leadoff, although not your traditional lead off hitter, if whoever the CF is cannot bat there. Now the rumor is Scherzer getting $43M a year for 3 years. Wow! I also like Chris Taylor because he can hit and his hitting doesn’t fall off when he switches positions. But, doesn’t he have a QO? Which means we may be waiting a long time. The “being in touch with” doesn’t do it for me anymore. I want a “Phils are finalizing a deal with…”, and anything would satisfy me for now.

    1. I don’t worry about years for Nicky Sticks its the AAV I’d be concerned about. The next year or two he’s passable in LF but if the DH comes and we all pretty much agree it will then having him through his age 36-37 season is fine

      I would not pay him an AAV above $20 on anything 5 years or more. As much as I like the guy even I would admit he is a very volatile performer from year to year…even in season he can disappear at times.

  17. For the new CBA I see the following

    An increase in minimum player salaries however slight

    An international draft

    No Salary Floor however a possible lottery for the top pick to deter tanking

    A slight increase in Luxury tax

    The removal of (or the reduction of) the penalty for a team signing an FA however the losing FA team will still get a compensatory pick. A higher comp pick if they make the QO or a lesser comp pick if they don’t.

    The DH

    and all else will remain relatively the same. I don’t see much movement on the service time issue for the players. The owners will point to the Tatis Jr and Wander Franco deals as evidence they intend to operate in good faith to pay younger players

    A possible caveat to that is that a team will have the same number of years control or a players age say 29 which ever comes first will grant free agency.

    And I think this gets wrapped up by mid-January the latest. At the end of the day players are making money like they’ve never made before. I don’t think there will be much support from those players to have any interruptions to those bank deposits.

    1. The service time reduction is priority one with the MLBPA. If there is one issue that triggers a strike it’s this one..

      1. If I am not mistaken, it is technically a lock-out until March 31st….then it becomes a strike once the first sheduled game is postponed/cancelled. Purely semantics.

        1. Good post, DMAR. The one thing missing, though, is probably the owners biggest “want”. They gotta’ have expanded playoffs. That’s where they’re going to increase revenue.
          I’d also like to see the universal DH with the caveat that teams can use the DH as long as their SP remains in the game. In addition, I hope they ban the shift.
          And the other thing I would love is a new rule allowing clubs to trade draft picks. It would add a whole lot more drama to the draft, and make it more relevant.

          1. Agree on the importance of expanded playoffs to owners and agree on the universal DH – it would be very disappointing if this did not happen, but it’s a bargaining chip for the players (secretly, I think they want it too, but it’s still a bargaining chip and one that will almost certainly be dealt to reach a deal). Both of those things should happen in the next CBA, although I’m not sure when an agreement will be reached. If you told me there would be a short strike, it wouldn’t shock me.

            I wonder if the pitch clock will be something negotiated in the CBA. I suspect not, which is very unfortunate for the sport. They are so worried about their little turf wars and dividing up the huge pot of cash that they are missing one critical fact. Slowly, their sport is becoming more and more irrelevant and, by the time they realize this and decide to cooperate to address these issue, it may be too late to recover.

            BTW – I still don’t see them allowing teams to trade draft picks due to their fairly bizarre draft salary cap structure. Maybe for the next CBA or the one after that.

          2. Yes I did overlook that playoffs would be a likely evolution to the sport and that’s probably something they both want. If they do that I hope they shorten the regular season though…

  18. Guessing the Phillies are planting the message that they’re interested in or talking to certain FAs to make it appear they’ll do something. Then we will hear the QO excuse or too pricey excuse.

    1. That’s silly, the Phils aren’t saying a word to these talking heads. Agents are the only ones talking.

    2. When was the last time the Phils DIDN’T spend in free agency? This isn’t 2005.

      JT, Harper, Didi, and Wheeler were all FA signings. JT and Didi were re-signings, but we still had to out-bid all other teams. Bryce and Zack both cost us a draft pick.

      We’ve also signed players like Cutch, Howie Kendrick, Arrieta, and Carlos Santana. And as much-maligned as our ‘pen has been in recent years, it’s not through lack of funding: Neshek, Hunter, and Robertson are just a few of the guys we’ve brought in for reinforcements.

      I love this website for prospect discussions, but in recent years the FA discussions have become unbearable. We cannot sign every free agent; nor should we. Some players don’t fit, some players cost too much for what they bring to the table. We are not in trouble just because other teams have signed a player that could have conceivably helped us. Nor are we in trouble because we haven’t signed anybody THREE WEEKS into free agency. Striking early CAN be helpful, but it can also be hurtful. We’ve been on both sides of that philosophy in the past.

      So take a deep breath. We still have MONTHS of this to go. We aren’t out of options. We aren’t rudderless. We aren’t blindly swinging. Let the team do their job. Negotiations take time.

      1. All good points, Dan K., but let me say this. For a lot of us, after witnessing 10 years without a Playoff team, the off season represents our hopes for the team. So, naturally, we want the team to be aggressive and get anxious when moves are made and we don’t do anything. Also, I speak only for me, but I have a real concern that the Luxury Tax is an impediment to signing players. I hope I am wrong, but I need to see what we do to believe it’s not. I don’t want to deplete the farm, so vies FA as the way for us to improve. I’m on this site all day because I feel better when others also lack the patience that I lack, and I know there is ample time, but with a lock out looming, and the chance of a prolonged one at that, if there is nothing by tomorrow, then there may be no good Baseball/Phillies news for months. That adds to my lack of patience.

        1. I would advise those who are eager for aggressive moves to ask themselves this: Is being aggressive in free agency a good thing?

          The answer to that question could very well help you remain patient. How often do mega contracts in free agency work out for the team? Not often. And how many free agents push their team over the top (in regards to winning a championship)? Again, not many.

          And even if thinking about that doesn’t help, I’m not upset at anyone for being anxious (or even for being bored or annoyed). Those are just human emotions. But you don’t need to act on everything you feel. I don’t mind people wanting the FO to make some moves. I absolutely do mind every other comment being a condemnation of the team for not signing someone THREE WEEKS INTO FREE AGENCY. Suggesting a signing or trade is great; it leads to discussion. Complaining that the Phils didn’t sign one specific player (and not even suggesting a new target to acquire) is not great; especially when there are still multitudes of options available.

  19. Castellanos is a beast. I’ve seen him play in person a few times. Would love to have him at 6 years or less. Anymore is asking for a bad deal. I could maybe entertain 7 years, “IF” other deals are in place for this to be a collection of final pieces. 8 years? Not a chance, as long as Schwarber and Bryant are available. The asterisk with Castellanos is that you really need a top Defensive CF to help cover ground for him until he can be slotted into the expected DH. I will say this, Nick’s numbers were impressive … and realistically they should’ve been better. He recovered from a hand injury during the season. Those are some eye popping numbers regardless.

    I will say there seems to be a safety net. If teams act crazy, Correra could come into play, but I honestly hope they spread out the talent

    Plenty of time & players left to fix the teams problems.

  20. I think signing Andrelton Simmons for SS is the way to go at this point. He would bring improved defense to the mix and he won’t cost much because he can’t hit much. Let him compete with Didi, who I still think will bounce back offensively and who I don’t think will be traded. They just have to improve the SS defense.

    1. Then where does Bryson Stott play?

      There’s no doubt that Simmons is a truly great fielding shortstop, but he can’t hit a lick anymore (or hasn’t recently) and he has no positional flexibility, which is what we will need with Stott coming up.

      I still say the most sensible option to cover all base is to re-sign Freddy Galvis, who has a great glove, can field multiple positions and can still hit it out on occasion. He’s the swiss army knife they need in the infield right now.

      1. They wouldn’t pay him enough for him to hold the job if Stott earns a call up. Stott won’t be rushed and will start in AAA. The thought of Stott and Bohm on the same side of the field is scary if Stott is as mediocre as I read at SS. I see him as our 2b in 2023.

      2. Freddy Galvis HAD a great glove. Can anyone provide metrics on the last couple years. The eye test is that it has gotten worse, but don’t know how to evaluate things like range

        1. For Baseball Reference’s Defensive Gradings….
          Go to ‘Standard Fielding”
          Column…Rtot..that gives yuo one metric encompassing many range factors
          …………….Rdrs………..Defensive Runs Saved is another metric
          Of course there is always the FLD% and RF/G

          Fangraphs also has their version of DRS…..dWAR
          https://www.fangraphs.com/players/freddy-galvis/6609/stats?position=SS

          Bottom line you are correct…as he aged he has not been at the same level he once was…however, he still is good.

  21. The way things stand, Phillies are a third or 4th place team.

    Braves are always strong, Mets have improved in a major way, Marlins can draft and develop young talent…nationals are a wild card

    1. We are all jumping to premature conclusions.

      The jury is still out on the Mets, I think the Nationals are horrible, the Marlins are not close to being a good team in my view, and the Phillies’ moves have yet to occur, but trust me, they will happen.

      If they make the right moves, Nola has a reasonable bounce-back year, and Suarez turns out to be the real deal by that, I mean a guy who can pitch with an ERA under or around 3.5), this team could win 87-90 games and be in contention for a wild card spot (I don’t see them overtaking the Braves for the division title next year).

      1. Too many ifs and things needing to fall in the right place. That’s pretty much been the MO for the last few seasons.

  22. Which is why they need to change their ways and sign more FAs to fill holes. Sitting idle ain’t gonna get them to the playoffs.

  23. For those chomping at the bit for a signing:

    On March 2, 2019, the Phillies starting RF was Nick WIlliams (or Altherr, if you prefer). On opening day, March 28, 2019, Bryce Harper was manning the position.

    Are you all really suggesting we would have been better off signing Michael Brantley or AJ Pollock early on instead?

    I’ll also point out that it wasn’t until February of that same year that we traded for JT.

    So at this point in the offseason of 2019, we had Alfaro and Nick Williams. On opening day we had the best catcher in baseball and two-time-MVP Bryce Harper in the OF.

    Will we be able to improve our team enough to make the playoffs? No idea. But there’s plenty of time to do so.

    1. IMO that offseason does not compare to that. We all knew Phillies would resign JT and it would take time. Problem was there werent other moves to help move the needle.

      They should have signed Brantley along with Harper. Brantley outperformed Cutch.

      Phillies have said multiple times they are looking for deals. Tell me why I should think otherwise? Phillies have said they wont sign a FA w/a QO. Tell me why I should think otherwise?

      What has DD done to move this needle since starting last offseason? I have heard all of the right things about DD but he hasn’t made any moves that get me excited for the future of this team. Sure there were personnel shake ups etc but where are the top FAs that Dave is supposed to get?

      1. Well it would help if you would start by not incorrectly revising history.

        We re-signed JT in 2020 (technically 2021); we absolutely did NOT know we would TRADE for him in 2019 and then sign Harper a month later. And even if we strongly suspected we would re-sign him, that also was not guaranteed. I distinctly remember the finger-nail chewing going on until the deal was official (because so many teams coveted him).

        It would also help if you didn’t just make things up. DD never said he wouldn’t sign anyone with a QO attached; he said he would prefer not to give up a pick. Which isn’t even quote, because why would a team WANT to surrender a pick? It doesn’t mean they won’t for the right player, it just means it comes into the equation AS IT SHOULD.

        And why WOULDN’T you want the Phils to look for a deal? That still doesn’t prevent them from getting a premier FA. All it does it help fill some holes for cheap. You know, what good teams do.

        Also, DD still doesn’t have a full offseason with the Phils. As in, his entire time here combined. It’s still not a full offseason. And you’re wondering where the free agent signings are? Well here you go: Torreyes, Bradley, and JT. All in his first month with the team. Torreyes has been a nice bench piece, Bradley was fine, and JT has been one of our best players. Maybe we should give him more than a month to sign people.

        As for Brantley, we couldn’t have signed him instead of Cutch; he signed after Cutch. Because we moved early (like you want) to sign Cutch. And if we signed both him and Cutch, why would we get a third corner OF? We wouldn’t have. So again, would you really rather Brantley than Harper?

        1. I did not mention JT getting signed originally as FA

          and dont accuse me of making things up. DD’s preference is to not sign a FA w/a QO.

          1. “IMO (this) offseason does not compare to that. We all knew Phillies would resign JT and it would take time. “.

            The offseason I mentioned was 2019 when we traded for him.

            You did make things up. A preference is not the same thing as a rule. You said, “Phillies have said they wont sign a FA w/a QO.” That is blatantly false. They have never said that. Teams ALWAYS prefer not to give up a draft pick, but they still do. All things being equal, DD would rather sign players with no QO attached. But things are NOT equal. Most of the best FA have a QO attached, so if they can get them to agree to a deal that the Phils like, they’ll give up the draft pick for that player. But the draft pick compensation is part of the equation, so the QO player will have to take less money than he would otherwise.

            Maybe it’s just a misunderstanding on your part, which is fine. But you absolutely put words in the team’s mouth.

          2. My advice Troll is to not conflate the prior FO with DD….

            I think Dan K’s counters to your points is spot on…

  24. The knee jerk comments above speaking to how the Phillies front office has historically operated seem ignorant of the fact that Dave Dombrowski was hired not even a year ago. The man rolls his own way, irrelevant of the ineptitude of prior regimes. He has an actual track record of competence and success. PLEASE STOP the boorish remarks that add nothing but impatience and overreaction to this thread.

    1. ….and the Mets are still a bad organization which agrees to stupid contracts. The Curse of Bobby Bonilla hasn’t been cast out of Flushing, NY, apparently. Yet we’re supposed to be shaking in our booties because the Mess are ” “better”? Better at what?

        1. In all seriousness, Mad Max may have already ran out of bullets. Does anyone question his request to skip a short rest playoff appearance? He said he had dead arm. I’m going to say you “could” realistically see a Doc like decline. You only get so many bullets, and he has fired a lot of them. The counter is Nolan Ryan, but that is the outlier. Will see. My bet is he has 1 year left in him at the 43 million talent… then it’s… “EVERYBODY HITS WOOOOOOOO!”
          (For the record, that’s not me)

  25. Completely agree on the Mets, they have a well chronicled history of horrible moves. Cohen and Eppler look to be buying “a team”. I guess we will wait and see how it works out for them. With so many variables and needs to fill, it only makes sense to me that the Phil’s are bidding their time. We have somewhat limited free agent $$ to spend. To me it makes sense to spend that money on a bat (most likely LF/DH type) considering the market. Agree or disagree? With the remainder I look for pitching depth, maybe a closer if you like any of K Jensen, Knebel, types.
    I think the other gaps are filled via trade, which is Trader Dave’s MO right? Strengthen the left side D, and find an upgrade in CF. I lean more towards defense than offense at this position. The unknown is what the Luxury tax looks like post DEC 1 and what happens with the QO. And for me the premier SS market. How many teams need a SS and how many teams can afford to pay the Kings ransom? Does one fall to us? What does that contract look like and then does Stott become a tradeable asset to gain even more assistance if he hasn’t already been flipped. I’m not disappointed with who has come off the board so far at the length and costs of the contracts. I believe there will be quite a few moving parts, that there is a plan and once the first shoe drops, it will start to happen quickly. But….it will take time. And probably a considerable amount of it considering we will probably be locked out on Friday. Stay strong. Go Phils’. %&$#% the Mets.

  26. …And we’re not going to pass on Castellanos or Conforto because they have a QO attached to them. Maybe we never get to see what’s behind curtain number 2 but that prospect is likely 4 years away. It only makes sense to see what happens after the new CBA is agreed to and see if the penalty is less severe anyway. Have any free agents with a QO signed yet other than who was it Brandon Belt (somebody from SF)?

    1. Syndergaard, Semien, and Eduardo Rodriguez all signed elsewhere with QO attachments thus far.

      Belt accepted the QO, and Verlander declined but re-signed with the Astros anyways.

      Interestingly, those who have signed can all be considered part of the “second tier” of QO free agents (Thor and Verlander because of injury, Semien because he’s not Correa/Seager, and ERod because he’s somewhat of a MOR pitcher rather than ace). I imagine those players wanted to strike fast in case the new CBA negatively impacted their earning potential. The other players who are basically guaranteed large bags of money seem more likely to wait out those negotiations.

  27. I wonder how many of the teams that had the resources to sign Scherzer took into account that he could not pitch at the end of the playoffs because he had a “tired arm”. If any pitcher in baseball could be deemed a warrior, it’s Max Scherzer.

    The guy has been magnificent for the past 7-8 years but he is older now and he has a gimpy back. I’d love to have him on my team as a die hard Phillies fan but is he worth $43M a year (yikes, the number alone freaks me out) for THREE years?

    1. Yeah, I mentioned further up that I’d take that shot for a year. He’s a HoF pitcher and he very well could have another year in the tank. I’d balk at (but MAYBE accept) two years. It seems more likely that he’ll have an injury that he just can’t quite get back from by then, but maybe not. And if he just gradually declines, he’d be close to worth the money.

      But that third year just screams desperation to me (on the side of the signing team). If he gets hurt, that contract CRIPPLES the Mets for the remainder. Imagine if he gets hurt early this year and they basically have to punt three years of playoff opportunities. And he even gets an opt out and full no-trade. Very scary.

      1. Have to give Billy Eppler credit….goes from a West Coast ‘throw- the -money -around tycoon’ in Arte Moreno…to the East Coast version so far, in Steve Cohen.
        Must be pretty nice to be a GM with few budgetary limitations.

  28. I was a big Roman Quinn guy, and really dreamed on him as our long time leadoff hitter, and GG CF, but he could never stay healthy, and probably wasn’t nearly as good as I imagined him to be. We seem to be loading up on fringe Relievers, maybe 1 actually hits? Going through our 40 Man Roster indicates there may be plenty of changes to it between now and Opening Day.

  29. Jeff Passan
    @JeffPassan
    Estimated current opening day payrolls, per
    @baseballpro

    Seattle Mariners: $57 million
    Cleveland Guardians: $46.7 million
    Max Scherzer: $43.3 million
    Pittsburgh Pirates: $40.2 million
    Baltimore Orioles: $37 million

      1. The MLBPA, taking a cue from Scott Boras, likes to refer that to as ‘tanking’.
        Which they say is not good for baseball
        So there could be a floor threshold to the ‘luxury tax’ coming out of the CBA.
        Large market teams want to see that, small markets do not.
        Players want to see that also.
        The trade-off…..large market owners, except maybe Cohen I assume, want to see a lowering of the luxury tax theshold at some point.

        Owners want added teams to an extended play-offs…..more revenue for them.
        Players want it also…..more key games and an opportunity for a ring
        MLBPA wants more of a percent of the play-off revenue if the play-off format is expanded..

  30. Count me as one who believes these Mets move will come back to haunt them, and sooner rather than later. This team, as I wrote on another site, reminds me of the current Laker team, a team put together by putting names on a dart board and then tossing darts on said board and simply signing whatever name the dart happened to land on. These are not Mets, they are ex-Cubs, ex-Dodgers, ex-Dodgers or worse yet, carpetbaggers in search of that one final big contract before they depart into the abyss of former failed free agents. Conforto was a Met, Syndergaard was a Met, these players are not….and that matters over the course of a 162 game schedule.

    As for Scherzer, and it was mentioned earlier in a post, his contract is likely to go down as possibly the worst of all of them because of his age/health concerns. Yes, he is the absolute warrior, so was Halladay. But as much a warrior as he was, Scherzer could not start a key late game against the Giants in the playoffs because he claimed to have not a “tired” arm but a “dead” arm. In October, when it mattered the most. Pitchers do not get “dead” arms in October, they get them in the spring, March or April.

    What Scherzer had was an injured arm and it is telling that he was pulled after 4 innings in a couple of key playoff games. I will be very surprised if he makes it through the 2022 season unscathed, and almost guarantee he is not a 40 million dollar hurler in 2023. Heck, for that money they should have kept Wheeler and Syndergaard.

    One more thing about Scherzer. Yes, he is the ultimate competitor, but part of being competitive is having incentive to push through tough times. What incentive does he have now when he has so many boxes already checked? World Series champ? Check. Hall of Famer career? Check. Monstrous end of career contract and likely his last one? Check. Finish his career in his beloved West Coast? Oh, oh, last time I looked New York was as far from the West Coast as SoCal was to Oahu.

    Cohen is like the spoiled brat who must have every toy, regardless of price or interest. Spoiled brats are rarely satisfied and never happy. my guess is that Cohen will remain unsatisfied and very unhappy.

  31. Phillies could get that RHB in Bryant …but may taek a little longer.
    Jon Morosi
    @jonmorosi
    The #Mariners and #Phillies are among the teams I’ve heard linked to Kris Bryant in the last several days.
    @MLBNetwork

    @MLB

    1. Bryant makes a ton of sense for many reasons, but probably the best reason imo is that he is insurance in case Bohm can’t cut it at 3B. And if Bohm makes a comeback, then Bryant just slides to LF

      1. Yep……Bryant does give them more flexibilty.
        And no QO attached, so they keep their 2nd round pick.

    2. Romus, would be fun to watch those two play together . I’m thinking Bryant is more on a decline, but I believe playing with one of best friends, will keep you more focused longer. Decent gaMBLE imo. Will be interesting to see where Bryant would fit in LF,3B,CF, DH over time …. “iF” it gets done. If it’s down to the Phillies & Mariners. That check is as good as cashed IMHO

        1. Well we gotta see if the finalists truly are the Phillies & Mariners. I’d expect the Giants to make a late push, they did on Harper. Vegas was a quick 1-1/2 hr flight to Vegas from SF. Really, when you are flying in a private jet , does it really matter if your living the life for a few extra hours. Probably get a better workout in lol

        2. Agree with Romus. I thought Bryant was a lock to remain in San Fran. They had all kinds of payroll flexibility. The fact that Farhan Zaidi (a really sharp exec) doesn’t seem too interested in bringing him back is not a good look Bryant IMO. I’d be careful of signing the former Cub.

          1. Bryant might be a good addition to a roster constructed differently than the Phillies current iteration. A lefthanded power bat takes priority IMO, then your leadoff/catalyst bat can be L, R or a switch hitter. Other than being BFFs with Harper and under Boras’ representation, I don’t see the best fit here.

  32. Phillies linked to 2 big stars today – Bryant & Castellanos (sp). In addition to Trevor Story yesterday.
    If Harper is good friends with Bryant, you’d figure his intensity is somewhere near his. I could see that being pretty darn infectious for the rest of the clubhouse.

    Also noted was story and Bryant playing CF…. Not that this is the best idea but it was apparently being discussed.

    Should be enough in the budget to sign 2 of the 3 from Bryant story and schwarber. To get all 3, Middleton would need to give the green light. si Probably not without saying goodbye to Didi & segura, that’s been discussed.

  33. I was not enthusiastic about Bryant because I view him as a declining player. But on the right deal, there’s no question he slots in perfectly with this team’s needs. My concern is that, in addition to the general bullpen help, they need another big bat and a centefielder along with a closer. If you sign Bryant, there won’t be enough money left to sign Schwarber and a legit closer. But DD is much like Pat Gillick – he’s extremely creative, so you really won’t be able to judge what he’s done until the middle/end of ST (he could be wheeling and dealing or signing FAs at that time).

    1. FYI – Roman Quinn was designated for assignment today, so my suspicions about him being released were accurate.

    1. This is a staggering contract for a player who is so often injured and, while very good, is not quite a superstar when healthy (although, admittedly, he’s damned close).

      Either there are a lot of dumb contracts being offered or the goal posts have shifted for all teams.

      One thing we can be sure of, the owners have an insane cash cow – more lucrative than we could have ever imagined. If COVID had crushed them (as they were falsely suggesting it did), teams like the Rangers wouldn’t be handing out contracts like this. This is a staggering contract for this type of player. I still can’t believe it.

  34. 10 years/$325M to Corey Seager from the Rangers! Wow! I did not envision the same team, regardless of the team, signing both Seager and Semien. I am not saying we should have signed either one, but something other than waiver claims for mediocre/fringe RPs would be nice. Again, a lot of time left, but I am not thinking the lockout is going to be a short one.

    1. Rangers said we have money and we want to be competitive.

      If Phillies signed Seager to that contract people would be rejoicing.

      I want to see something besides waiver pickups from the Phillies. But yes be patient while other teams get stronger and spend money. My point of frustration is other teams are trying to get better. Who cares if they are overpaying, they are at least trying!

        1. Don’t forget Josh Jung who they took 8th overall in 2019. The Rangers now will be formidable in the turn of an off season

          I think Daniels sees his opportunity and he’s seizing it. Good for them

        1. Nola is still TOR, Eflin is good when healthy, Gibson is fine for a back-end starter. We’re getting Seranthony back, Brogdon was surprisingly pretty good, and Falter had much better peripherals than his ERA suggests.

          Our bullpen surely needs work, but suggesting we have little pitching beyond Wheeler and Ranger is silly. Especially when we’re comparing them to the Rangers… whose best pitcher last season was, in fact, Gibson. Their best pitcher was our worst (starting) pitcher.

        1. RU…yep…Gray…but he is not an ace at this point of is career….but he may have to be their numero uno.

          1. They just drafted Jack Leiter he should come quick. He’s as polished a college pitcher as you’re going to find.

            As well Cole Winn was phenomenal in AA last year and finished with a few starts at AAA

  35. Jacob Stallings to the Marlins. A nice pick up for them. Nate Thompson and a couple of prospect Pitchers back to the Bucs.

    1. Interestingly, that leaves the Pirates at ZERO catchers on their 40 man.

      I’m sure they’re fine just signing whatever scraps they get for cheap in FA, but it’s pretty funny that they would trade their only catcher.

      1. Wonder if they did that because they have a deal lined up that includes an inexpensive major league ready catcher with upside as part of the return for a certain outfielder?

        1. More likely they just thought this was the best deal they’d ever get for Stallings, but it certainly could be the case that they expect to get a young catcher in a trade soon.

  36. Free Agents signing in rapid succession. 3 and 4 top free agents in a day? Never seen it before.We’re gonna get a couple. C’mon DD. Sign Castellanos.

  37. Poor Trout, they are looking up at the Astros, they may or may not lose Correra.
    They have the Mariners coming in at 90 wins last year, just adding the AL CYoung, and still looking to add
    Their is the A’s who could fire sale but will see
    The one team you finished a head of, has now just signed Seager, Semien, and About to add Gray (Rockies)

    I wonder if he goes into Art’s office and says … it’s time, trade me to the Phillies! For segura, straight up. Don’t do me dirty 🙂

    Okay I’m dreaming there but … I will enjoy watching Trout vs Neris highlights. Something tells me Trout will be padding his HOF numbers

  38. From today’s Ben Clemens chat on Fangraphs:

    ALBY: If you ran the Phillies, would you rather spend on a SS or 3B? Seems like they need both in addition to a CF.

    BEN CLEMENS: Shortstop, just because there’s a higher likelihood that there’s someone they think is for them is on the market

    If they’re super into Kris Bryant or Matt Chapman then nevermind?

    But generally speaking I think short is a harder spot to fill for them (I kind of think Bryson Stott will end up at third)

    Btw, saw Stott in Fall League and he looked powerful

    His homer numbers haven’t jumped off the page in the minors, but I kind of think he’ll hit for more power than he has shown so far

  39. I think with 30 hours to go until the transection freeze kicks in the Phillies are in the wait and see post-CBA environment. I never bought into the Phillies would blow past the spending MLB cap..I know it counters the trader DD meme that we see nearly hourly here and it may still happen but wow; the contracts…

  40. All the signings to date have been overpays. However look at the teams making these overpays. None of the good organizations. The Rangers will be paying $57M per year for 7 years for their MI duo! And they’re not as good as Chase and JRoll were and they still won’t win. Mets have invested insane money but what happens when DeGrom and/or Scherzer gets hurt?
    Phils and others waiting to see if rule changes regarding signing QO players. Castellanos, Taylor, Conforto and Iglesias are players to chase. The prices could come down after the lockout. The cap could even be lower. Lots of FAs and trades being considered by Phils. It’s a chess game though because available money is not unlimited. We all need patience. DD has done this before, we can’t judge him until April

  41. Teams like the Mets and Rangers are not building or even rebuilding, but buying top heavy rosters. Big sexy overpayments of players who won’t perform past half their contracts accounting for half the club’s payroll. None of the highly esteemed teams have made big splashes thus far. Yankees, Dodgers, Giants, Braves, Red Sox, etc all standing by, watching, waiting for better value than guys like Cohen who just want to show off their newly detailed classic automobile, with a clunker of an engine underneath

    1. Which will price the Phillies out. No way do they spend that type of money and lose a draft pick

    2. MLBTR has him at …..5 yrs/ $115MM….AAV- $23M
      They have been pretty close of late…they did miss on M’s Robbie Ray by $3M AAV

    1. matt….agree, that is a good number, less than $18M AAV…..maybe that will be the Phillies offering…they could go a million higher AAV to seal the deal.

  42. Castellanos went to the Reds because they pretty much guaranteed him that he would play the field. I imagine that he wants to go to a team that will let him play the outfield. If the Phillies sign him, they probably would have to live with that. And we all know that Nick is a butcher out there. Schwarber is a little better in the outfield but Conforto is easily the best of the three defensively.

    1. Hudson for $7M one year. The Phils probably offered about this same amount to Neris before he got 2/$17M.
      Dodgers replaced one of Jansen/Knebel and will try to sign one. Phils might want the other one.

  43. Yates gets $1M for this season, so the Braves have an option on him for 2023. That is a gamble I would have made. May miss a lot of next season, but buying the chance to have him a year later is certainly worth the small investment. I think it’s a smart move on Atlanta’s part.

    1. It’s definitely a good gamble, but it’s also one we’re not in position to make unfortunately. Our bullpen isn’t good, or deep, enough to let us gamble like that. Especially when he needs a 40 man spot until he can be put on the 60 day.

      The Phils are better off on the other type of gamble: healthy pitchers coming off a down year and hope for the bounce back.

      Or just healthy pitchers coming off multiple good years and pay full price. That would also be nice.

  44. Are some of these deals negotiating tools by the owners? After the last few FA years being slow the owners are spending like sailers entering port after 9 months at sea. I love it since it pushes back on the Neanderthals who try and day it’s a dying sport. Btw I have no problem with the Phillies waiting. Their payroll has been the top 3rd in the game the last 3 years. Problem is the scouting and development aspects of the organization. All the loogeys we’ve signed is trying to find value at the margins. We have to get lucky sometime.

  45. We could out crazy the Mets. Sign 4 or 5 premium free agents. It’s only money. And add the mid level guys too.

    And that could create a monster. Like the Dodgers or Yankees.

  46. I’m of the mind that while certain free agent signings are less unreasonable than others, acquiring a top controllable talent like Bryan Reynolds is worth the cost in young potential. Tonight I would offer Abel, Rojas, Miller and Marchan for him. If another 2nd level prospect is necessary, then make it so. We shouldn’t have to spend so much money for what amounts to little more than the privelege of boasting, “hey look at what we spent crazy money on for a lotta years! Yay!” I’ll take Schwarber, Castellanos or Bryant as the big bat. But getting a Reynolds anchors an improved lineup.

  47. Ciada, looks like $1.5 M buyout of 2023 option year, so $2.5M risk on Atlanta’s part. I would have still risked it, what about you?

    1. You are correct, ciada. I believe the first report I read had it differently, but it is a 2 year guarantee and I would have passed.

  48. I was trying to put together a line up of what could be our starting 9 come 2022 and realized this, who is our lead off hitter next year? Assuming it’s going to be one of our FA pick ups (if we make somewhat of a splash) Taylor? Would love 3 of Story, Schwarber and Taylor/Conforto.

    1. That’s not going to happen as far as I can tell. That takes them way above what the luxury tax is likely to be and doesn’t address the bullpen.

      1. Segura (R) 348 OBP
        Realmuto (R) 343 OBP
        Harper (L) 429 OBP
        Hoskins (R) 334 OBP
        Schwarber (L) 374 OBP
        Bohm (R) 305 OBP
        Gregorius (L) 270 OBP
        CF
        or
        Schwarber (L) 374 OBP
        Segura (R) 348 OBP
        Harper (L) 429 OBP
        Hoskins (R) 334 OBP
        Realmuto (R) 343 OBP
        Gregorius (L) 270 OBP
        Bohm (R) 305 OBP
        CF

        yes Schwarber would look good as leadoff with enormous power

        1. By mid-May to early June, Stott will be the starting shortstop unless the Phillies have moved Segura (always possible, but not likely IMO).

  49. Baez about to sign with the Tigers

    One more day to go before lockup.

    Will Phillies:
    1. Sign a bargain from bargain bin? Guaranteed
    2. Sign an impact bat? Hopeful
    3. Sign a solid closer/BP arm? If less than $5mil

  50. Schwarber and Knebel? Maybe the Phillies have interest. Go ahead and sign them. But I still want Castellanos, Taylor, Bryant, Story, Iglesias, Jansen. Let’s go DD. Spend the big money.

    1. Remember the Stones……you can’t always get what you want…………..but if you try sometime, you’ll find…….you get what you need

    2. I doubt they will go over the luxury tax level before the season starts (it’s not DD’s call – Middleton decides), but they will probably wait on the last big acquisition to see where the luxury tax is set before they pull the trigger on that. But they can get Schwarber and Knebel and stay well below the tax, so that’s not an issue.

      My guess is that, unless the perfect deal (in their mind) becomes available, the team will not consider going above the tax until mid-season trades occur.

  51. I would be very happy with Schwarber and Knebel, especially since they and SMarte were my pre-FA guesses. But I think they represent a big help to the team. Schwarber can bat lead off and plays a better LF, although the bar is very low, than Castellanos. I am guessing Knebel gets in the $7-8M range with some incentives in case he ends up as the Closer. And, if one or both can get done before the lockout, I would be even happier.

    1. I would be happy with anything showing a pulse lol

      Just as i expected , we’ve seen the kicking the tire reports as other teams sign players. DD was quoted as saying they’re trying and he’s optimistic.

        1. That’s the sad part – they won’t be competitive for most if any of those 4 years.

          Unless you’re a team like apparently the Mets, that does not care at all about paying the luxury tax, as a general matter, overpaying a player is unwise as it limits your ability to do other things. Overpaying Didi and Cutch really hurt the Phillies last year.

  52. Once Jim Salisbury reports something, the odds are favorable that it’ll happen. Knebel and Schwarber make sense, leaving room for a closer and a CF – both of which may come via trade. When Dombrowski says he’s optimistic, I would interpret that as being ready to pull the trigger once he’s explored all options.

  53. Thoughts on the proposed CBA?
    14 playoff teams
    Top seed in each league gets a bye with the other division winners picking their opponent.

    Every non playoff team has chance at number one pick too.

    Intriguing

    1. Dislike 14 teams in the playoffs. You are telling 4 of the 6 division winners they have to win a wild card series.

      And the draft really is only a tiny piece of tanking. The much more important piece is trading all your players for prospects.

      These are all MLB distractions so they sound reasonable to fans that don’t know better and reporters that should know better.

      1. Top teams deserve some advantage. There has to be a bye or 2 in there somewhere. I honor teams in WS prior to playoffs. Best 2 teams or best in each league earn the opportunity in WS.

        1. It’ll never change this CBA but the whole divisional structure needs to be overhauled. Scrap the AL and NL, make divisions strictly geographical, 8 divisions, 4 in the east, 4 in the west. 8 division winners make the playoffs…no more free for all in October. Teams that earn it from April through September get in…

            1. You want to expand!
              , and two cities are dying on the vine…..Oakland and Tampa..over stadium issues.
              That could be a hard sell with those two franchises having their own financial concenrs for the future..
              I however can see some opportunities for another team in Texas…San Antonio perhaps…..or in Lousiana, New Orleans, or Nashvile, Tenn… or Raleigh, NC
              There would appear to be several good locations….but need buyers and current market MLB teams approval for infringing on theue TV market share..

      2. And something I forgot, the one game wild card has got to go. It’s not reasonable or fair. Baseball is way too random to have one game decide who goes to the next round. It, at the very least, needs to be 3 games long. It sounded like a cool idea when it was proposed, but it’s way too much like a dice game.

        1. Agree on the 1 game wild card game…that’s as stupid and randomly luck ridden as the All Star game deciding which WS team has home field advantage. Another instance of how baseball execs are SO out of touch, it’s like they’re making decisions from Mars.

          1. I thought the commish had said in the spring, if the expanded play-offs do go thru….they would go to a three game play-off series to start the WC…..all in the better record team’s home field.

    1. These are all sensible (possible) transactions.
      Knebel has always made sense. He has a strong pedigree as a closer (was an all-star in Milwaukee), will come at a more reasonable price, and has strong ties to DD (drafted him [in 1st round] when he ran the Tigers.
      I like Conforto, but Schwarber makes a whole lot of sense too. Can leadoff (high OBP), or slot into the middle of the order (32 HRs this season), and works well with Kevin Long (career best OPS+ 145 w/Nats & Long).

      I also like Kiermairer (but not as much as Laureano). Kiermairer is an excellent defender (Phillies absolutely need that), he’s got a tremendous arm, and (maybe the most under-the-radar need for this club) he’s a dominant clubhouse guy.
      BTW … if I’m Dombrowski, I would look to expand that deal to include Tyler Glasnow. Tampa (probably the most cost conscious team in MLB) is probably going to be very open to trading Glasnow instead of paying him 6M in 2022 (a season he’ll miss while recovering from TJ). Glasnow will be under team control one last time in 2023. The Phils could then hit him with a QO after 2023. You know me. I’ve always loved those TJ rehab deals.

    2. This says to me that the cost for Reynolds, K Marte, and Mullins would be prohibitive. It also makes me think they might have Schwarber close to a deal. If there’s a DH next year, they’re not done yet. They’ve also talked to Castellonos but they’ll wait to see if the rules change or the money comes down. They’ve talked to Bryant too. DH would change things dramatically

      1. Closer and middle of the order bat are the biggest, and most difficult to replace, priorities, so I think Knebel and Schwarber get done by tomorrow evening and the other stuff (centerfield) DD will have to use his creativity after the CBA is resolved (and, no doubt, he will before the season opens).

        1. I think Knebel would be either around 2 years and $18m or 3 years and $27 million.

          Schwarber is going to be hot – I’m thinking 4 years and $72 million (would be surprised if it was as high as $80 million) with a fifth year team option at around $20 million with a $5 million buyout. If he hits as I think he could, the team might gladly exercise that option.

    3. Schwarber lf/DH
      Realmuto c
      Harper rf
      Hoskins 1b/DH
      Stott ss
      Segura 2b
      Kiermaier cf
      Bohm 3b (though I find it hard to think that he and Stott would play side by side)
      ….the top half of this lineup would carry some thump, but the left side of the IF is left unanswered…

    4. I don’t mind a Kiermaier trade in concept. The problem is that I always get a Danny Ainge, “wholly God we’re going to get fleeced” feeling whenever we do business with the Rays. I’d think long and hard before I do a deal with those thieves.

      1. Are they really thieves? Or are they simply better at recognizing young talent and using their competitive edge in trading for them? Either way, I would only be interested in improving the current Phillies roster instead of being occupied with who’s picking us clean. The only answer to that problem is hiring someone who can fleece another team…

        1. Of course, I use the word “thieves” euphemistically. They are smart and canny like foxes. I would say be very careful when you deal with those folks. And, yes, getting fleeced is always relevant, how could it not be? To that end, I’d rather deal with dopes like the Rangers than a team like the Rays – that’s for sure.

          1. I agree with you there……whoever they ask for …..offer someone else, if they refuse move on.
            They scouted Curtis Mead out very well….probably saw something there the Phillies overlooked in the player.

  54. It appears the Braves will have a situation on their hands as Ozuna received only a retro active 20 game suspension for his DV. He will be reinstated for 2022. Of course they don’t have to keep him on the roster but they do have to pay him

    1. What an ugly outcome for MLB?! They should have suspended him during 2021. They let him play and win World Series. Weak MLB discipline.

      1. ???????????? I think they did, 20 games, served while he was on administrative leave in 2021. I think MLB is limited to what they can do, after many of the charges in the case were dropped.

  55. TrollU, I think transactions can take place until 11:59 tomorrow evening. I am all for the expanded Playoffs and any way to put a damper on tanking. I agree with Hinkie that trading draft picks helps the game become more interesting

      1. We ALL like the idea of trading draft picks. But the owners despise the idea and I don’t think that’s a hill the player’s union wants to die on. So I seriously doubt it is going to happen in this CBA. In fact, if it did, I’d be shocked.

  56. How would you guys feel about Duvall for CF if he is non tendered vrs a trade for Keirmaier? Duvall – solid defense. All or nothing at the plate. But alot of ALL. Keirmaier has been discussed. Would the salaries be comparable?

    1. Duvall would be great (would love to have him), but there is no chance Alex Anthopolis non-tenders him again (second time in two years) IMO.

  57. By the way, I am not so sure I’d be super psyched if I were a Texas Rangers fan. This team is horrendous. Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy and Joey Gallo were the only three reasons this team didn’t lose 110 games last year and all three have been traded (for not that much I might add, although the Gallo return is promising). I hope Seager and Semien get a kick out of playing on 95-loss teams for at least the next 3 years.

  58. Is Correra falling to the Phillies? I’m sure he is likely to go to the Yankees but … there are not many teams left to sign him:

    NYY
    BOS?
    SF
    PHI?

    Turn around and trade for Reynolds 🤔

    1. They could come in at 222 Million with:

      Correra at 30 mil
      Schwarber at 18
      Knebel at 9
      Swap segura for Kimbrel

      Trade prospects for Reynolds. Bohm likely survives, is 3B or Galvis

      Okay, that’s my trade speculation for the day

  59. White Sox Sign Kendall Graveman. 3/$24 million..Would have liked to see him as a Philly…For a team that needs relief help I’m starting to go huh?

      1. Yeah, no kidding. You keep expecting them to blow through the expected luxury tax threshold. It’s highly unlike they will do that, whether we like it or not. So get used to the low expectations and hope they at least sign a real middle-of-the order bat and a real closer.

        1. Where did I say that?

          Phillies MO the last few years has been shopping the discount aisle for Bp help and rotation help. Why should i expect something different?

          1. “Where did I say that?”

            Over and over and over again, you indicate the Phillies are cheap and imply they should be spending more money.

            Maybe you don’t expect them to spend more, but you keeping saying they are cheap and should spend more – like paying Corey Seager on a horrible $325m deal that would pretty much doom their entire off season. I, for one, would not celebrate that deal. It would be a poor use of their resources.

            1. I didn’t say I wanted Seager, I’m simply saying other teams are making moves to try and be competitive.

              Phillies have year in and year out hit the bargain bin to try and fill holes. Yes they signed JT, Cutch, and Harper but they have done nothing to address the bullpen or massive holes in the offense. Well they try to fill them with bargains actually.

            2. Actually, you said the fans would be thrilled if they Phillies signed Corey Seager, but anyway. . . .

              But the Phillies aren’t cheap. They are routinely in the top 5-10 in spending. Rather, they have not developed enough young talent to fill a lot of positions that way (this is the real problem here, not the lack of spending). As a result, they are always up against the luxury tax and if that’s where you are and you don’t want to exceed that threshold, then you’re going to have to dole out money carefully.

              What you are really advocating is that they exceed the luxury tax threshold. Teams rarely do that. But, okay, you want them to spend a lot more money and basically be a top 2 or 3 team in spending. I don’t see that happening, but I get it.

          2. You sure are living up to your name these days.

            You can be upset with the Phils bullpen all you want. They deserve it. But it’s due to a lack of coaching and/or talent evaluation, not lack of spending. Have we forgotten about David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, and even Archie Bradley?

            When FAs didn’t solve the issue, they tried trading for RPs (both in the offseason and mid-season), like Alvarado, David Phelps, Workman, Hale, Coonrod, et al.

            They continue to try waiver claims (as they should, it’s basically free talent acquisition; albeit a lottery ticket). And most of their success has actually come from in the organization (Seranthony, Arano, Brogdon, Falter, Neris, etc.).

            As for SP… you can’t seriously be saying Wheeler was a bargain bin contract? Just because he’s been more than worth the money doesn’t mean that $26M is a small amount. We haven’t been linked to FA SP this year because we AREN’T IN THE MARKET FOR ONE. We have a fleshed-out rotation. A good one, in fact. All we realistically could want is depth, which won’t come from the top tier FAs since we would be better off spending that money on an actual area of need.

            I’m not sure you really watch baseball at this point. Spending money for the sake of it doesn’t win games. The Phils spend money. Consistently. We were 5th in opening day payroll last season. Outside of two years at the tail end of our “rebuild” (so after we traded away all of our vets), we haven’t had a payroll below $130M since 2009. That’s a decade of spending big bucks. How many championships did it get us?

            This isn’t 1935. Just throwing money at players doesn’t get you the best team anymore. You need to spend smart. And we historically haven’t done that. So I’d really appreciate it if the fan base would stop pressuring the FO to hand out dumb contracts just for the sake of it. We’ve been there, we’ve done that. It got us years of dead money on a hobbled-Howard contract, and the end of Halladay’s and Lee’s illustrious careers. It wasn’t good for wins, it was only good for sentiments.

            1. Lol Ok, Dan.

              Wheeler definitely wasn’t a bargain but they should really be acting like a big market team that wants to win. Not going to argue with you bullies. If someone doesn’t agree with you, you guys rip apart their ideas.

              I don’t diss on y’all’s ridiculous trade ideas.

              News flash – no one wants our second tier prospects!

            2. Troll – to be fair, what was said is true. How anyone can say we bargain shop is beyond me.

  60. Just read about Ven relief pitcher who has been pitching in Japan. Looks like he wants to come to the US. His name is Robert Suarez and he had 42 saves last year.

    1. Maybe they will have Ranger starting, and Robert saving it for him.
      Though do not think they are related…..Ranger has the virgulilla or tilde in his surname.

  61. I like Conforto over Schwarber but the draft pick pretty much squashes that. With Scharber you do get a guy who could lead off, hit for power, and play some first base. Just for fun where would you all rank Schwarber in left field with Burrell, Luzinski, Skates, and Hoskins?

      1. He’d be a great addition
        Imagine KS batting lead off
        Can’t pitch around him because they have Hoskins
        Can’t pitch around Hoskins because then you have Bryce and JTR and Segura

        Schwarber
        Hoskins
        Bryce
        JTR
        Segura
        Centerfield ?
        SS
        3B
        P

          1. Add Schwarber LF and Bryant CF to Harper in RF = 100 to 120 home runs, may not field a lick but will hit the ball a mile

        1. Schwarber not the ideal leadoff guy but until they get that guy he might be the best option. Thinking line-up looks like this

          Schwarber
          Segura (he’s really almost a perfect #2 hitter)
          Harper
          Hoskins
          JTR
          DH
          Bohm
          Galvis (and then Stott when he is promoted)
          Centerfielder

    1. Burrell, Schwarber, Luzinski, Skates and Hoskins. That is how bad the Rhys in LF experiment was!

  62. RAYS get:
    Rafael Marchan c
    Christian McGowan rhp
    Adonis Medina rhp
    Simon Muzziotti of

    PHILLIES get:
    Kevin Kiermaier cf
    Cole Wilcox rhp
    Mike Zunino c

    ….that’s my proposal for the day.

    1. Why would the Phillies trade real prospects for Kiermaier. At his age and salary he is really worth less than his contract. Medina would be more the price I’d be looking at (and Zunino probably has low interest for the Phillies given they just got their backup catcher in Stubbs).

    2. This is one of these trades that I think neither team would do.

      I do believe that Kiermaier has value. He is such a good defensive player that he can be almost neutral on offense and still provide value, something the Phillies will need given that their other outfielders don’t project to be very good.

      But the Phillies neither need, nor would Tampa want to depart with, Zunino. His value is behind the plate and he wouldn’t get enough at bats here.

      But I do think there’s a framework for a trade here.

      Trade either Medina and Muzziotti or Marchan and Muzziotti for Kiermaier, but get the Rays to absorb $3-4 million of his contract. It’s a farm loss the team can absorb given where they are with O’Hoppe and the new back-up catcher candidates. But they really need a solid glove in center and boy does Kiermaier ever give you that.

      1. I meant to say their other outfielders to do not project to be very good FIELDERS – the other outfielders will definitely hit.

      2. Ken Rosenthal says 3b Joey Wendle’s name is also involved in Kiermaier talks. 31 yr old lefty bat who Tampa is looking to make room with KK from their 40man roster which is currently maxed.

          1. Went to Avon Grove high school – he’s an area boy through and through.

            Very interesting. Wendle and Kiermaier solve a lot of problems between them. They are both very solid players that fill desperate needs on this team and they aren’t too expensive.

            But of course the Rays know all of this and will want to extract a serious pound of flesh for players who are good, but not great. I think this trade would require a Johan Rojas level talent, which would be painful, but would be a loss that could be absorbed depending on who else the Rays require.

            This is how the Rays survive and thrive, so you can pretty much be guaranteed that whoever they pilfer from you in this trade will make you feel angst and regret two or three years from now. But if you want to put together a good team now, these guys are really big gap fillers.

          1. Or 3 way deal with White Sox with Wendel going to Chicago and Kimbrel, Cash, and Keirmaier coming back to Philly.

          2. Honestly, I am almost never a fan of trading a good position player for a reliever. If you trade Segura for Kimbrel, you – maybe – solve one problem (or maybe not if you get the 2019 and 2020 version of KImbrel) and create another. Like plugging one hole in the dyke while the other one leaks. No thanks. Let’s get Knebel and not trade Segura for an old reliever.

            1. Now, I guess if you got Kimbrel, cash and Kiermaier for Segura that would be sustainable, but I don’t see someone giving you all that for Segura.

  63. Love the Wendle possibility – he is a good defender wherever they put him and he has fantastic wheels plus he plays with abandon.

          1. I don’t think they’re equal. Nick Maton and Luke Williams are fringe bench guys. Wendle is a proven MLB bat and glove.

  64. We all need to keep in mind that Kiermaier since 2016 has not played more than 125 games in any season. Great defender but if he’s not out there, he can’t catch the ball. He does have a history of being hurt a lot.

    I think Wendle would be a better fit than Brad Miller. They both make about the same money and Wendle can play 2B, 3B, SS (in a pinch) and actually field those positions. He struck out about 22% but walked only 5% on the time last season.

  65. Maybe the Phillies will make real moves after the non tender deadline. Maybe negotiating in house contracts first seeing what cash they can free up to shop clearance instead of the bargain bin 🙂

  66. Wendle – for what its worth – 2021 All Star ; in top of categories in fielding both 2B and 3B – range etc. ; 3.8 WAR in 2021 – doesn’t walk much (8%) and K’s at 22% in 2021 per Baseball Reference. Most like Tommy La Stella. Tampa stold him from Oakland 5 years ago – came in 4th in ROY for Rays – that figures.

  67. Rockie interested in Kris Bryant. Wouldn’t that be something if they swooped in and got him. Obviously as Jim mentioned, KB wants to sign after CBA if I understand correctly.

      1. No need to be rude….

        I could see Rockies making a splash. They screwed the pooch with Story and have a fairly low payroll for next week. So why not the Rockies?

        I personally think KB goes back to SF or goes to CO or LA.

        Schwarber is the Phillies’ best option but BoSox liked him a lot, as did the Nationals. Two teams that would blow past the Phillies offer.

        I also dont like the idea of KK from the Rays. Too much money for an oft injured player.

        Phillies have too many holes because they couldnt development and they have a top 10 payroll. While they arent “cheap” they need to spend more to offset their awful player development. Problem is they are not going to break the bank to be competitive for bats and pitching. Look at Jim’s paragraph on pitching and shopping for the same junk they have shopped for these past few years.

        My issue is that the FO (yes different leadership as thy savior DD), the MO seems to be the same. I read what everyone says about DD but I have yet to see anything of DD’s past behavoirs come to fruition. Is it early? Yes, it is. Am I being patient? Of course not. But to compete you need to sign top talent no matter the cost.

        I can guarantee if Phillies signed Seager or Mad Max, you all would be jumping for joy. Heck, I would be too.

        so as I have been saying, unless I see a solid signing by the Phillies, I will assume they are going to play the same old offseason song they have these past few years; bullpen junk and a veteran bat that seems to all apart with the rest of the team down the stretch.

      1. Would be cool but from what Jim mentioned and what I’ve read online, KB doesn’t plan on making a decision until new CBA in place.

  68. Bob D says he’d like to see Schwarber, Bryant, and Harper in the outfield and writes they’ll hit lots of homers but won’t field a lick. I could hear the announcers now, “And that one will split the gap”…..”And that one splits the gap”.

    1. At least they’ll score a lot of runs haha
      would be a fun offense, that is for sure!
      Unfortunately that would be a $65mil + outfield and would blow past the self imposed limit that Middleton has for DD.

  69. Wendle gives the Phillies solid depth behind Bohm at 3b, Segura at 2b, late inning D replacement, and energy aplomb. Kiermaier provides elite glove work in CF, and leadership in the clubhouse. I don’t think it would cost the Phillies any top 10 prospects, perhaps more in quantity so the Rays can pick and choose from the larger pool of lower level talent. Perhaps Moniak is included as a change of scenery candidate? Assuming Schwarber and Knebel are in process toward signing, Dombrowski can then wait until the spring, after the lockout, to see who’s left on the market for a better value. If Segura goes for Kimbrel, then we look for a SS since Stott likely slides to 2b. It’s all good🤗

    1. Would it be to crazy to take on Stanton and his contract, probably cost minimal in terms of return?

  70. I read Jim Salisbury’s article this morning about the Phils “hot pursuit”. That was 13 hours ago, so it wasn’t so “hot”! Maybe tomorrow? Even Knebel signing would be a positive. Anything, Dave, I am counting on you.

  71. Former consensus top 25 prospect Lewis Brinson was cut by the Marlins. He had a career .848 OPS in the minors. In the bigs it was .570 OPS.

    1. Guru…and to think Jon Daniels did not want to give him up or Nomar Mozara in the Hamels trade in ’15…..instead convinced Ruben to take Nick Williams.
      All three fell on hard times.

  72. Good thing this isn’t a Dodgers minor league site. If it were we would hear all of this complaining and gnashing of teeth how they lost Scherzer and Seager and how the world was going to end, as if Andrew Friedman didn’t have a plan.

    Calm down – DD – who I really doubted to begin with – has been around the block a few times. Just because it’s not happening as and when you want doesn’t mean things aren’t going to happen. They will. This guy knows what he’s doing.

    1. LOL…….listen to Dodgers beat writer today…Bill Plunkett…..said Andrew freidman is fretting….kershaw may head home to the Rangers……Bauer’s litigation issues and Bauer’s contract , is keeping him in suspended animation….Dusrin may will not be back until July or August. Dodgers have two starters ..Beuhler and Urias….Bellinger’s future and wheteher he can rebound……Lux’s development was slowed now questions are arising…Trea Turner set for shortstop, but contract has to be addressed soon. Chris Taylor …adios….Muncy UCL tear.
      Oh the humanity for the Dodger fans.
      So the Dodgers have their issues also.

      1. There’s a pretty big difference between the dodgers and Phillies. Dodgers were just competitive for the last how many years and were spending and could draft, etc.

        Now it does seem like they falling in to the same issues Phillies had in 2012, aging core and people leaving or injured.

        BUT they move been putting a winning product on the field.

        1. They need starting pitching.right now…..I want to see how they go about getting it.
          Bauer cannot be back…Kershaw may leave to be back in Texas with the family.
          Dustin May like I said is in his 7th month….8 months more or longer to go in rehabbing. Gosilin just was not the guy.
          Who knows……maybe he will make a play for Nola….that would set his roation up a ot better.

          1. Torn on a Nola trade.
            They’d be selling low after his dumpster fire season. If he can bounce back and if Eflin is healthy and ranger can do his thing again, phillies rotation can compete with anyone. Obviously Wheeler is lock to give 6-7 innings a game.

            But if Nola can bring back an impact bat and top or close to top prospects,…do it.

  73. Is the banning of the defensive shift going to be part of the MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement ?

    1. Sure hope so! Offense will pick up quite a bit. Is it possible that Harper would have an even higher BA?

    2. No. But they’re gonna ban bunts down the line when the shift is on. Because, that sheet needs to stop.

      1. I wanna say almost every time Harper laid a bunt down for a hit, he was driven in later in the inning. There was a segment on MLB network about it. It’s smart of Harper and unselfish as well.

  74. Phillies made some moves.
    Tendered contracts to Alvarado, Eflin, and Hoskins.

    Maybe they were wanting to complete these before doing something major

  75. I am making a comment against myself, since I don’t want to trade any of our top prospects, but Lewis Brinson was not too long ago the key player in the acquisition of Christian Yelich. That wasn’t such a great deal for the Marlins. I know how often “top prospects” don’t make it, but I still don’t want to move Stott, Painter or Abel.

  76. Idea…
    I’d ask the Mariners about Dylan Moore.

    With addition of Adam Frazier and with younger players/prospects penciled in across IF & OF, he may be expendable.

    I like him. He’s a super utility with average to above avg D all over the diamond.
    He’s got some pop and has good speed. He Ks a lot (28.3%) but he draws a lot of BBs (9.0%). In 2021 his BA dropped to .188 but his BABIP dropped to .229 (typically ~ .300) so I see him a buy low, bounce back candidate. …maybe with upside for a breakout at age 29. ?!

  77. Not a fan of this move. Good chance another team will take Dohy (who I like) in the rule 5 (whenever it finally takes place).

    1. Perhaps a precursor to a move to an acquisition of Kiermaier for non-40 man players or a free agent. Have to imagine a flurry of activity throughout MLB today leading up to 11:59pm.

      1. Very quiet this morning. DD still in his jammies. I imagine a call with Middleton… “ Yes, sir. More money… Right. Not sure. Maybe $30mil over the threshold? Okay. Got it. Thanks, boss. “

    2. Can he be taken in the Rule 5 since he is under a contract?
      He did not go thru waivers, like former Yankee Clint Frazier, and th Cubs signed him.
      Phillies got him under another contract and he could be on their AAA minor league reserve list and not designate him for Rule 5 selection eligibilty..

      1. Romus … Scott Kingery is also under contract, and he’s available to be picked. I’m almost certain any player can be taken as long as they are not on a 40-man roster, and were signed/drafted when they were 19 or older and have played in professional baseball for four years, or were signed/drafted as 18 YOs and have played for five years.

  78. Maybe it’s the spit for Knebel? Iglesias off the board/Angels, Cobb to SF and Daniel Hudson to Dodgers. Can anyone explain to me why the Owners, after today, have any incentive to make a CBA deal prior to whatever date they have penciled as the date that interferes with the start of the season? And, “the best interests of Baseball” does not count.

    1. Because they want to sell tickets. They need the show to go on. Hope to be rekindled. And fans to cough up their money.. They don’t want their tv money to be threatened.

      1. Are Phillies going to sell tickets if they put the current losing product on the field?

        Serious question – does a lockout screw with the MiLB season?

        1. Good question. In other years that there was a lockout (as far back as 1981, I remember following minor league baseball much more closely when there was a strike), it didn’t interfere with the minor league season, at least for players who did not have a major league contract. I wouldn’t think it would.

          1. Excellent. We have the Tulsa Drillers here and I’ll have no problem supporting minor league baseball if MLB drags this CBA out

  79. DD slow down we can’t keep up with all these moves….. Knebel must be the reliever hill the Phillies are going to die on because it’s nearly inexplicable to me for an area identified by DD as the off-season priority nothing has been done so far with relievers going off the board left-right… An argument can be made were worse off now than we were at the end of the season by losing Neris… If this changes today I will happily write a mea culpa on this one..

    1. They’re quietly working on something. That’s got to be it.

      Phillies are worse off right now. Definitely in short term as our rivals get stronger.

      Just have patience, they’ll do something more than a waiver wire bargain.

      On the flip side I saw where players want a $240mil cap I think. If that’s the case, maybe Phillies truly want to see if that comes to fruition. If it does, there’s a lot more money to spend.

      1. Is that a hard cap or a ‘luxury tax threshold’ ?
        Other pro sports have ‘ hard caps’….my understanding is that the MLBPA does not want that.
        The owners however want a hard cap.

        1. By the way, with Steve Cohen heading in the direction of almost entirely ignoring the luxury tax (he’s so, so rich – like $14 billion plus rich – he can absorb almost any hit without worrying about it), it wouldn’t surprise me if MLB imposes a hard cap AND a luxury tax. The hard cap, I would think, would be very high – perhaps 30 percent above the luxury tax level. The whole point is to avoid a scenario where a Steve Cohen type owner basically elects to sign anyone and everyone he wants, thus making a mockery of the free agent system and completely altering both the compensation levels and the competitive and developmental aspects of the game.

          Trust me, behind the scenes, the owners are really worried about Steve Cohen and I think it is more likely than not that a hard cap – and a very generous one to be sure so they can get it approved by the union – is imposed that puts some constraints on runaway spending. The price for the hard cap will likely be a somewhat higher luxury tax and, perhaps, moving the free agent goal post from 6 years service time to 5 years (although, with a delayed call-up, the owners will still be to essentially milk an extra year from each player), although the owners will fight that like crazy. I could see a concession for players who are a bit older. In other words, for example, if a player is 31 before the season ends, he would only need to have 4 or 5 years service time to become a free agent. It’s a pretty reasonable concession and wouldn’t affect most star players, who generally have 6 years of service time before they are that old.

          1. Good points….now get up to New York today and lay it out on the table.
            You still have a little more than 12 hours.

            Seriously, I think you are correct….many owners are freightened of Steve Cohen and the ‘Wolf of Queens”…especially all the small market team owners.
            One way to curb his enthsiaism…..start taking away Rule 4 high draft picks …like a numero uno or dos…and the money allocated to those slots, and limit international spending for a maverick like him.
            His farm system will suffer and if he wants to go the stupid money route…then let him.

    1. DMAR…..Padres, Matt Strahm, LHP, I really liked him 3 years ago….just never really came around, perhaps an injury or two derailed him.

  80. The TV revenue does not get affected until a regular season game is missed. That is when the leverage shifts to the players side. Until then, and whatever amount of time the Owners feel the teams need for an abbreviated ST, there is no incentive except to try and get what they want out of the next CBA. They do not live off of pre-sold ticket sales. Let’s assume an eleventh hour agreement, whatever that date is. Teams then have to scramble to fill holes, and players to get paid. No team that bills itself as a team trying to make the Playoffs this season has more holes to fill than us. Maybe the Mets before they spent last week. So, the team needing to do the most when scramble season starts is us. Wouldn’t it be smart to have 1 or 2 spots filled before then? You think the CBA may lessen the QO penalties? OK, I get that, but there are plenty of options available without QOs. It’s too much to want to see us with, maybe, a couple of BP arms?

    1. Matt the players never have leverage. These owners are mega rich beyond any of those TV contracts…

      Players OTOH especially the ones that just signed their big deals will want to start seeing those direct deposits hit their bank accounts.

      Perhaps this huge flurry of spending was accomplished for a purpose which was to subvert the will of a few key players. I mean imagine you are Wander Franco and you just signed your $200 million contract…

      Unless I’m mistaken he doesn’t see a dime of that until the regular season starts

      1. I wonder if the type of approach the NFL owners employed would work for the MLB owners. The NFL owner’s strategy was to provide lots of little concessions to the majority of players at the expense of the highly paid players. The NFL owners accurately determined that, by improving the lot of the majority of NFL players, they could negotiate a more favorable overall deal for themselves. If so, the MLB owners could offer things like a significantly higher minimum salary and earlier arbitration, along with a shorter free agency period for older players (would most directly affect situational relievers and late bloomers).

        1. The NFL hiowever does not have guaranteed’ contracts….just the upfront bonus
          to the player.
          MLB has those long term deals guaranted.
          MLBPA will not budge on guaranteed long term contracts, that is, they will not give them up….and rejected the NFL bonus system a long time ago….before Tony Clark became the president of the MLBPA.

          1. Yeah, I didn’t mention guaranteed contracts intentionally because they are a non-negotiable issue. the MLBPA will NEVER give that up. That may be their most important asset as a whole.

            What I was discussing was a structural approach to negotiating where the owners seek to make a deal by appealing primarily to the rank-and-file, not the most well-compensated players.

            1. The 1200 (40 x 30) players in the union…probably 10 or 15% are well-compensated thru their long term contracts and salary….they however are the stars of the game.
              It could be a hard sell for the owners to get the attention of the others…many of whom are really young players with only a few years in the league with really no influential say….then you have the almost 30% Latin foreign born players who seem to defer to their American counterparts in many instance when it comes to labor issues.
              That could be an owner plan…just not sure the owners would want to create any division between the players.

      2. I don’t know for sure, but I believe (the smart) agents brokered in some sort of signing bonus for most of these players who have signed recent deals to give those guys a little extra money in the bank while they wait for the lockout to end.

      3. Each contract has its own stipulation on when it will be paid out (some pay out monthly versus yearly, for example). We usually don’t hear about those details except when payments are deferred. Sometimes players get a chunk of it up front. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Franco specifically asked for some as a signing bonus (so he could buy a house and some other things to make him and his family more comfortable in the offseason).

        But you’re right that the vast majority of the money will be in limbo until the next baseball season starts.

  81. Check out this company the big market Phillies are in:

    1. I know he’s hurt constantly, but that is still a good deal for a player of Buxton’s ability. If the Twins had waited even a week or two, the price would have gone way up and perhaps a deal would not have been possible for them.

  82. If all you had to do to win championships was spend money explain the Yankees having as many as the Phillies since 08 or the Dodgers for that matter, and they were only able to do it in a covid shortened season.

    In the famous words of Ricky Bobby’s dad if you ain’t first you’re last…

    So I’m quite relaxed at the moment. Some of the best minds in baseball with the biggest holes to fill haven’t made a sound. That means DD is in good company lying in the weeds and downwind of the prey.

  83. It’s doubtful anything is going to happen today. If a club signs a FA or completes a trade, there probably isn’t enough time for the player to be seen by a club’s doctor(s) to pass a physical before midnight tonight.

  84. Maybe the 40 man roster spot was opened to sign a non-tendered player. There were trade talks, but the urgency has subsided as the Rays got down to 40. So no trade…for now, until after Rule V draft or later. Player signings? Maybe. To sign, players must Feel they are getting their max value in the market. And sometimes the market for players B C and D does not develop until player A signs and teams that missed out love to their next option. This takes time. And, maybe it doesn’t get done today.

  85. DMAR, I don’t know who you consider the best minds in Baseball, but the Dodgers, Giants, Rays, Blue Jays, Mariners, Astros, BoSox, WSox, have all made moves. Braves have their best player coming back from injury, and will most likely re-sign Freeman, plus they just won the WS. We can’t add a single BP arm that is not a Waiver claim, and have spent 0$ in FA, and we shouldn’t be even slightly concerned that our previously aggressive POBO has done nothing?

    1. Matt

      “Experience keeps a dear school, but Fools will learn in no other.”
      — Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack

    2. “Braves have their best player coming back from injury, and will most likely re-sign Freeman…”

      But a player returning from injury and probably going to sign someone aren’t moves. They haven’t filled their need at 1B yet because no one has been signed. Even if we’re all positive it will happen, it hasn’t happened until the contract is signed.

      The Dodgers haven’t filled their massive holes in their rotation, or Chris Taylor’s possible departure. The Rays need a DH (or at least someone to cover Cruz’s missing production). The BoSox have done nothing about Schwarber’s absence. The Yankees have done nothing period. The Astros have “replaced” Correa with Neris. And the Giants are looking for someone to cover Kris Bryant’s role, as well as some other minor areas of need.

      Most teams have made moves. But no team has filled their biggest need (arguably outside of the Rangers, who have so many needs that we could debate which one is the biggest). That’s what DMAR means. The best minds in baseball may have made a move or two, but their biggest transactions have yet to happen. Same with us. We’ve been working on the margins so far, but that’s not where the bulk of the offseason will be written.

      1. Yup Dan K….

        I like shiny new things as much as the next guy but I also have been around long enough to know winning the off season means so very little…

  86. Rule V Draft:
    Because DD has been hitting waiver wire for pitching prospects, There is a chance that the Phillies take a player in either the major league or minor league Rule V drafts.

    1. There will be no Rule 5 draft if the CBA agreement is not settled and accomplished and a lock-out continues for another 8 days.

      1. Time for Ami, our research guru, to sort through some data and select a pitcher in the Rule V draft, whenever it takes place.

          1. Teams draft in reverse order of finish. Phillies would draft 16th. Not all team draft. 3 teams ahead of spot 16 passed last year. 7 teams that would draft ahead of Phillies look like their 40 man roster is full. So Phillies may draft around slots 6-9. Give or take based on my primitive research tools. This calculus may have driven Phillies to open a roster spot.

  87. Anyone seen anything on Seiya Suzuki’s market? He’ll have @ 20 days to work something out whenever the gates are unlocked. Probably a longshot considering geography, but the sort of move I wouldn’t mind seeing to help change the narrative. I haven’t heard anything on him rumor wise.

    1. Probably too pricey for the Phillies considering the holes they have and the limit JM has imposed

      1. TrollU, I am still holding out hope that there is no salary cap on DD, and the delay in any movement so far is strictly because he is working multiple angles, and there is truly a plan here. I choose to be optimistic despite my lack of patience.

  88. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude…. 🙂

    This is brutal. I like the benefits of being patient, but I don’t like being patient. Will see if anything can get done.

    For the CBA, i am foreseeing a WIN for the players. The owners can’t cry poor. They just went through a league shutdown, and are still able to blow cash on FA, from all market sizes.
    I see the biggest chnage come in terms of the pendulum swinging from Owners paying for past performance back towards paying for current performance. It won’t be full, but these salaries are out of control … in terms of the teams being crippled by a bad contract. That needs to swing back. Teams can’t be paying 37 & 38 year olds over 10% of the LTT. I made a proposal earlier, that I believed was fair. Team should have to spend to get the benefits of profit sharing. Min floor should be 65 mil. That will boost players salaries too. The other option is to take a collective percentage of the teams at the bottom 15 total salary , and allow and increase or forgiveness to the LTT pentantly. For teams in the top 15 of the league, they should remove the MILB & benefits totals from the teams total salary counting towards the LTT. They should be rewarded for “going for it” and keeping the league competitive vs being a financial investment for some Billionaire. Forgive the amount for a 2 year period so they are not consistently ignoring the LTT. That or rewards teams for home grown players, by taking a portion of their salary, and removing it from the LTT total. This would allow teams to keep their home grown stars.

  89. Doubtful he leaves Atlanta but wouldn’t be a bad thing for Philly he left…

    1. Apparently, the Braves are in the market for Matt Olsen, so they are already considering their Plan “B” (or Plan “A” as far as we know).

      1. Hammer could be fun to watch, but he has to develop several breaking pitches. You just can’t sit 94-95 as a righty reliever and expect that you can live off that fastball in the modern major leagues. It doesn’t work.

    1. To bust ballz on the Phillies FO – are advanced talks better than “Serious” talks … or just the same?

      For the record, I’m not hearing any rumors … all I hear are my damn dogs barking all day!

      1. Tac – may be referencing this. Maybe talks were advancing? I’m wondering if there’s issues with the physical. And whatever happened to the Orioles reliever that Phillies were in talks with?

        1. By Orioles reliever do you mean Mychal Givens? It’s been relatively quiet on that front. Entirely possible the Phils (and other teams) have some contracts agreed to in principle with players and are just waiting for the new CBA to make it official. That would help explain why some FAs have had basically no chatter.

          1. I’ve wondered why, despite a freeze on actual transactions – by that we can agree that nothing can be announced publicly – wouldn’t execs find unofficial (“illegal”) ways to communicate with player agents or even rival GMs if they’ve been engaged in recent talks. Isn’t it naive to think that nothing will take place? So yes, I agree that frameworks and terms have already been agreed upon.

            (Meanwhile we fans sit waiting, oblivious of what’s really going on, right TrollU?)

        2. TrollU – word schematics. I don’t see a difference between serious talks and advances talks … for instance:

          Report: TrollU is in serious talks with his GF, terms unknown
          Report update: TrollU is in advanced talks with his GF, discussing till death do them part contract

          Poop or get off the pot TrollU! Are you getting serious with her … or are you getting advanced with her?

  90. Just noticed Matt Strahm was non-tendered by the Padres last night. I’ve always liked Straham. He’s a LHP. Phillies have been collecting them this offseason. He’s been out of action since April (knee surgery). He’s a guy I’d like to see DD go out and sign.

    1. Hinkie I remember you were the first to bring my attention to Strahm and Snell and now they are both on the same team. I remember you really liked that Felipe Vasquez kid too and then he went and got himself in all kinds of trouble

      🙂 you my friend have to be a little more reserved with your fondness for these LHPs LOL you keep kaboshing their careers

      (jesting of course)

      1. DMAR … maybe my dumbest idea ever: wanted to trade Zach Eflin and a couple of prospects to Pittsburgh for Felipe Velasquez a few years ago.

        1. Based soley on what we knew about him as a pitcher it would have been a really solid deal. No way any of us could have known he was into some bad things…

      1. The Padres did so much right for so long and then they went all Brian Colangelo and Elton Brand on the team. So ridiculously and foolishly impatient – as if they could press a few buttons and just beat the Dodgers.

        1. I think the Padres must be aware that there is more going on with his right knee and the risk is too high to keep him. Nine months after the durgery he was out again on the IL..

  91. According to their local beat guys, the Yankees don’t seem too interested in Correa, Story or Taylor. They’re now checking in on Andrelton Simmons and Kiner-Falefa. The top 3 remaining SS’s may see their markets tightening. The Phillies aren’t heading their way either…or anybody’s for that matter. Despite the QO, Taylor probably presents the best fit for the Phillies if Kiermaier can’t be had.

    With all the rumors rattling through the empty pipelines, watch DD go do something completely off the radar….what that might be, who knows.

    Funniest post I’ve seen came overnight…word is that they are thawing out Ted Williams for a comeback, and the Phillies are among 3 teams with interest. That’s probably no more ridiculous than many of the rumors floating around.

    1. Hey… Ted Williams is no less available that Quinn was

      Poor guy, has the availability of a frozen dude. I hope he takes off. He is really fun to watch, when available … with no rust. So for that 1.5 month stretch. 🙂

    2. Even with the Baez signing I think the Tigers are still in on Correa one of which would simply slide over to 2B

  92. So I’m counting…Correa, Story, Bryant, Schwarber, Taylor, Castellanos, Freeman, Suzuki, Conforto, Kershaw, Rizzo, Stroman and and a few other free agents remain unsigned on Lockout Eve. The Phillies have been “connected” to half of them with any realistic possibility of signing them. Why are we in panic mode. Bored? Yes. Impatient? Definitely. But why panic?

    1. Agreed. For us phans, this slow play is brutal. it’s like not being able to sleep on Christmas Eve. You know you getting something …. When you wake up and unwrap those presents … are you going to be “Harper style excited”. Or “Cehe Hernadez” excited

      Alright, I’m going to try to stay away until they actually sign someone …

    2. Looks like Atlanta are preparing to part ways with Freddie….which I find hard to believe….rumor has it they talked to Oakland on a possible trade for Matt Olson.
      Maybe they are thrwoing up a smokescreen to Freddie and his agent….but that would not be a nice thing to do as the next great Brave to have his number retired..

  93. Buster Olney tweeted that based on talking to a MLB exec, signing a free agent at this hour prior to a lockout would be virtually impossible, but a trade could still be agreed to.

  94. Ah so it begins. If they have a work stoppage, it’s almost guaranteed there will be a mass exodus of fans. 1994 was a tough pill to swallow for many.
    https://bleacherreport.com/articles/10017925-mlb-headed-for-lockout-after-cba-talks-between-players-owners-end-on-wednesday

    I was 9 so I didn’t know any better and remained loyal. My dad and others, not so much. The strike ruined it for a lot of people. Not saying this will turn in to a strike, but you never know.

    1. That is why Dohy was removed from roster and signed to minor league deal to make room for Knebel.

    2. Do you like it roasted or barbecued? Never had it myself, but I heard its stringy and tough. By the way, if they strike into the season I’m joining the others group.

  95. Glad the FO made a move on Knebel for $10M with no option year. I just hope the Phillies get more than 25 innings from him. Gotta believe he’s the new closer. Ten mill for a setup man?

    Yanks really can’t sign a big SS without going over the threshold. They are really in a bind money wise with all the enormous contracts. Bringing Gardner back will be their big move.

    1. DD spent $10mil on Knebel. What next?

      Anything else before midnight?

      How much more can we afford?

  96. Chris Taylor resigns with the Dodgers.. Would have loved him in Phillies uniform for his defensive diversity and playoff experience… I’m glad we seem to be close to signing Knebel…

  97. So, with Taylor back with LAD, the Phillies will have to trade for a CF. Kiermaier is the most likely. Ketel Marte woulb be a distant second, Reynolds and Mullins in another stratosphere. Good with Schwarber in LF…let’s nail that down tonight, DD! The shortstop situation remains the X factor. If say Segura is traded for Kimbrel, naturally Stott slides to 2b which opens up SS for an accomplished glove, at least. Or Bohm gets traded and then 3b belongs to ??? The former scenario seems more likely. If Dombrowski can fill those needs without giving up a single top 10 prospect, he get my 👍…he sounded confident earlier this afternoon about what’s happening, regardless of the lockout. Opening day is 4 months away.

  98. Mark – Ya gotta believe that DD is set with DDGG at SS. Doubt they can ship him out and with his huge contract, the Phillies will let him go as long as they can hoping he’ll have a comeback year.

    1. How’s this for an outside the box Dombrowski special….

      DODGERS get:
      Kyle Dohy lhp
      Didi Gregorius utility/dh
      Adonis Medina rhp
      Mickey Moniak of
      $ plus cash $

      PHILLIES get:
      Cody Bellinger 1b/of

      If Kiermaier is acquired, but eventually goes on the IL, CB serves as a nice versatile piece. And Hoskins can DH most of the time.

      1. I think Freidman wants MLB or MLB-ready starting pitching.
        Adonis just does not move the needle for him I would think…….subtract him and add either Ranger or Eflin, then he may consider the deal.

        1. Romus, I don’t think you realize how low Bellinger’s value is currently. LAD might be looking for some system depth, maybe a Hans Crouse in place of Medina, okay. But not a MOR arm.

          1. …on second thought, a half of a season of Eflin who turns FA next winter? Yeah, I would add him in place of Medina.

            1. Crouse or Miller also may interest Freidman, but Eflin would probably get him over…..Zach would be avaianble for him from July thru Sept and the play-offs.

            2. Miller, Viars, Rojas and Garcia are lower profile prospects that other teams will try to pilfer. O’Hoppe is now a major prospect – they will be extremely reluctant to deal him, and rightfully so.

  99. Hear me out. If I understand the Phillies contract situation for 2023 and beyond, Phillies are in pretty good shape at under $115mil in commitments. Let’s assume their MiLB development gets better and they get lucky, they will be able to have a lot of cheap contracts.

    Why not go over the luxury tax in the short term? It wouldn’t be for long. I’m sure I’m missing something but worth a discussion.

    Question for Jim – will you still have weekly forums while we wait for the married couple to settle their differences and figure out this CBA? Will you be able to update us on negotiations? Or does lockout also mean members of media are essentially in the dark?

  100. 7 minutes was the length of the “negotiations” today. I have a very bad feeling that there is a long lockout/strike coming. You cannot meet for 7 minutes a few hours from a lockout and call that good faith.

    1. Honestly both sides want a strike/lockout. Nothing will get done now until one side starts to lose money and the other sees some leverage. Fire Manfred. Worst Commissioner in any major sport.

      I’m not sure what the GM’s do this week at the meeting in San Diego? I guess they could trade minor league players or talk about future needs.

    2. I agree. 7 minutes? Why even bother to be there? We’ll see who blinks first (likely the players), but I can see games being lost. There’s some serious bad blood between the union and the league.

  101. Middleton will not go over the luxury cap. We know this. He plays by the rules amongst his billionaire buddies. However, I do believe the cap will raise. Maybe $220M? Maybe $230M? Whatever it is, I believe Middleton will allow DD to go up to it.

    We currently have approximately $30M to play around with. How much better shape would we be in if we had $40-$50M? At that point, I think the push for Correa begins. Didi will just have to be cut at that point. Correa, schwarber and Kiermaier could be all had plus room for some bullpen improvements if we have a $50M cushion.

    Maybe I’m overly optimistic. But I think there are still some big chips out there and the buyers are dwindling.

  102. Would it make sense to have the CBA include a cap on salaries and then raise the minimum. It would end these bidding wars in which a few players get a disproportionate share of the income. Corey Seager is an outstanding player, but the Ranger’s contract was absurd. After all the union is supposed to represent all its members.

  103. Cutch had has issue but he had some pop, who replaces that production? Same with the occasional CF production?

    1. Even his production was barely starter level with 2.1 oWar. If you add his poor defense, that’s why his WAR for 2021 was 1.4 i.e. replaceable. Matt Vierling can probably get you Cutch’s WAR at a fraction of the cost.

    1. Not a shocker. Adonis Medina was ranked in the top 100 at one point, but his numbers progressively got worse as he climbed the ranks. He’ll probably get a shot elsewhere as he’s going to be only 25 in a few weeks.

  104. Camargo is utility with decent glove. He produced well in debut in ‘17-18 but hasn’t done much ‘19-21. He was 0-16 in 2021. His AAA numbers were great but at 27 and with mlb experience they should be.

    While he appears a AAAA player the Phillies must like his upside.

    1. I thought the same thing when I looked up his stats…AAAA player. Similar to Torreyes imo. Maybe a little more upside as he did hit in the minors.

  105. JBJ back to the Red Sox along with a couple prospects for Hunter Renfroe. For those that didn’t want him, you got your wish.

  106. THE GOOD:

    .

    Really happy with Knebel.
    And love the Camargo signing. Ronald Torreyes is a nice utility player, but Camargo has a much higher ceiling. And he’s your Alec Bohm insurance.

    1. THE BAD (news for the Phillies):

      .

      Looks like it’s Kevin Kiermairer or bust (unless Dombrowski can pull off the miracle trade for Laureano[!!!]}.

        1. Hopefully, they get this resolved. Funny how the CBA was good enough 4 years ago to accept and play on and now we are so far apart on it. Get it done. Incremental steps. Leave much untouched. Make 2-3 changes. Agree for 2 years. The show must go on.

          And what a show it’s been. They should have a scheduled lockout every year. The flurry of free agent signing has been awesome. Riveting. Check for updates every 15 minutes.

          So much talent still in the board. Hopeful that we can get our fair share (and more) when the dealing gets done. DD, go ask for more money. Lots of holes to fill. Much more entertainment to come.

  107. A concession by the MLB was to stop service time manipulation and make it age based at 29.5 years before a player is eligible for free agency… Any guess what the average age is now under the current system for a player going into free agency? Per Boras 29.5 years…The MLB won’t substantively start to negotiate until they see a loss of revenue in 2022. And frankly that also goes for the players..

    1. The catch….the players who develop later than the stars…..say, come up at 24 or 25 or 26, like many college guys …..they will not be locked into control status until they are 30/31/ or 32.anymore. So they have a chance of cashing out on the nig money by 30 years old.
      Bryson Stott for example…now 24…under the old system the Phillies have him if he comes up at the start next season, until the year before his age31 season….now he become a free agent a year earlier..
      However…on the flip side…the future Harpers, Acunas, Sotos, Correas, Machados…all who come up at 19 or 20…may be with their teams for a bit longer…..however they will still get their money as they age each year under the arbitration system.

      1. Scherzer said the service time issue was one if not the major issue for the re-negotiated CBA. The MLB/owners and MLBPA made competing offers on a number of issues like revenue sharing and elimination of the penalty tax on team salaries which for me gave hope for a resolution. Yet The Athletic wrote once the MLB/owners listed 29.5 years as the age for free agency they would not entertain a counter offer by the MLBPA. That clarifies for me the thorniest issue to end the lock out.

        1. Yeah…have to see where it goes now.
          Its been 53 years since Marvin Miller and the first CBA…..you would think it would be pretty smooth sailing by now in contract negotiations.

    2. A pure age-based system for free agency, particularly one slotted at 29.5 years of age, is never going to work. Never. The union will not accept that and why should they? What you are saying is that the best, most talented players are going to hit free agency much LATER than they otherwise would. It’s a non-starter. The union will never accept that and they shouldn’t.

      What I expect will happen is that a player will be entitled to reach free agency if either the player reaches the threshold age or has a requisite amount of service time. However, I would further expect that a player would have to have at least 2-3 years of service time in any event to hit free agency (so a 29 year-old breakout rookie does not immediately become a free agent).

      So how would this work? I think some age between 28 and 30 (it would probably be 29 or 29.5) will be the “automatic” free agent age (again, provided the player has a minimum service time of 2 or 3 years) but players that have, say, 5.5 years of service time will be eligible regardless of how old they are. Depending on the age and service time variables, this would generally allow all players to reach free agency more quickly, rather than punishing the best players who come up at a relatively early age. I think it’s also possible that the arbitration system will be modified to allow older players to seek arbitration when they otherwise would not be permitted to do so.

      1. When I say a pure age based system won’t work, I mean if the age is set at something like age 28-30 or beyond. It might work if it was set at 25 or 26, but the owners would never agree to that.

  108. Torreyes has the advantage over Camargo because Torreyes plays a really steady SS and Camargo’s best position is 3B and he’s not really that good over there. In addition, Torreyes produced decently at the plate last season while Camargo batted zero.

  109. Don’t get me wrong. I like Ronald Torreyes, and appreciate what he’s done here. He’s a nice little utility player, but he’s limited. No doubt Torreyes had a better 2021 season, but Dombrowski is looking at the big picture. Camargo has a much higher ceiling. He’ll be a better long term answer at 3B if Bohm doesn’t have a bounce back season (and I think he will). And Camargo still has a MiLB option left, Torreyes doesn’t.

    1. Johan Camargo may not look like a headline move on December 1, but the list of non-tendered players (with a chip on their shoulder) to have really nice seasons/careers is long. Kyle Schwarber, Blake Treinen, Taijuan Walker, CJ Cron, Adam Duvall, Jonathan Schoop, and Cesar Hernandez are just a few dudes to pan out over the last couple of years. Not saying Camargo will give the Phillies what these players produced. Just saying it’s a nice under-the-radar acquisition with a chance for some upside. I like it a lot.
      And TBH … I’m kind of surprised Camargo agreed to join the Phillies. I figured if he was going to sign for one season, it would be with a club where he would have the best chance for the most playing time (Baltimore/Pittsburgh/etc).

      1. Hinkie.

        I completely agree. Moves like this are the kind that can help a team dramatically during the season. Just because the acquisition doesn’t get headlines doesn’t mean it’s not a really good move.

        Also, the last few years I spent time looking at the records of players who seemingly came out of nowhere to become late bloomers or sudden bloomers. What I found with nearly all the hitters I studied is that, as a general rule, they didn’t first achieve big success in the majors. Typically, their big league success was preceded by a seriously big minor league breakout year or part year. The Phillies are now focusing on these types of guys, including Camargo, who tore up AAA last year and could actually become a very solid supporting player or even a solid starter (you read that right) if Bohm cannot handle third.

  110. Ok wow I didn’t realize they take down banners and stuff during lockouts.

    My 4 year old acts more orderly than these greedy owners and players.Covid negotiations really showed the greed.

    Done with MLB if this ends up in a strike

    I do like yesterdays signings. Now for another RP and a big bat.

    Sounds like Knebel is closer btw

  111. Just a reminder as we head into the lockout: don’t be swayed by the mouthpieces of the owners (and this includes Manfred). They’re likely going to try their best to make the players association look bad. And while we won’t have all the facts, I urge everyone to err on the side of the players.

    I know it can be hard to have sympathy for millionaires, but at the end of the day the players are the product that we fans pay for. And they work extremely hard to live up to our expectations. The owners, on the other hand, are billionaires who almost exclusively did nothing to earn their money outside of being born to an already-rich family. In fact, some of them (*cough* Cohen *cough*) actively broke laws to get that money.

    And while I wish the MLBPA would do more to protect the interest of minor leaguers (who are far-and-away the most exploited people in this power dynamic), it’s still important to support them as much as you can realistically and morally do so. So basically treat this like any other labor strike: don’t cross the picket line, and support the workers who are fighting back against unfair working conditions.

    Sorry if this strays too far from traditional baseball talk. Hopefully it will be resolved quickly so we can get back to speculating on signings and trades.

    1. Well, good thing you’re not biased, Dan – “The owners, on the other hand, are billionaires who almost exclusively did nothing to earn their money outside of being born to an already-rich family. In fact, some of them (*cough* Cohen *cough*) actively broke laws to get that money.” I mean, come on.

      I view this differently. These are two very powerful economic parties. I don’t particularly side with the union because they have done better than any union in American sports and it’s not close. I don’t begrudge them their gains, but I also don’t think they need anyone to take a rooting interest in how much more these multi-millionaires (the players) can secure from the billionaires (owners). They can decide that amongst themselves.

      I am rooting for a few things. First, I’m rooting for the game and the fans. There are serious problems that the pie-eaters at the bargaining table aren’t focused on. Baseball is losing interest among fans. It’s slow as molasses – games should generally be 2:40 – not 3 plus to 4 hours – it’s riduculous. Fix the game and make the pie bigger for everyone. Second, I’m rooting for the long abused and neglected minor leaguers. I think some things are being done, but these folks should not live like serfs on a feudal manner. They should be paid and treated fairly.
      It’s beyond insulting.

      1. Agree. Let’s not use mile wide brushes to paint one side or the other in the name of taking sides with what you perceive as the “lesser of two evils”. I’m no fan of the owners since they back the empty suit and his corporate hacks in the league office. But to automatically lean with the players who, if they can’t make it to the Show, might have to go out and get a real job. They are privileged. They possess skills relatively few have, yes. But perspective tells me not to break out my violin for those who don’t. Life is hard. Nobody’s entitled or owed anything despite the popular take to the contrary these days.

      2. I mean, if it makes you feel better I also think it’s absurd that professional athletes make millions. But that, at least, is what society has decided they’re worth. Because we keep paying more money to watch them play. And that’s the key here: we pay to watch the players.

        So while I would rather athletes didn’t make such ludicrous sums of money, I at least acknowledge that the players are working for their income. Owners make money by… having… money. There’s no requirements to being an owner other than having money. And they don’t need to do any work outside of paying people to run the team they own. Some owners take a more active role in running the team (which can be either good or bad for the team itself, but that’s irrelevant). But the point remains; the owners’ primary contribution to the game is that they have large sums of money. And their reward for having large sums of money is that they are given even more large sums of money.

        As for my claims that most owners haven’t done anything to actually EARN their money, we can talk about that in depth elsewhere if you want to (it’s a pretty boring conversation, though, so don’t worry about it if you’d rather not). Cohen being a criminal is a matter of record, though. He’s been charged repeatedly, has settled multiple times, and has plead guilty in arguably the largest criminal case against a hedge fund ever.

        Where we seem to agree whole-heartedly is that minor leaguers are hilariously under-represented. But at least the MLBPA fighting for free agency rights can theoretically help them (although we both know that 99% of them will never make the majors, let alone free agency). My hope is that the players association will secure enough of their wants that they’ll turn their attention to the minor leagues. They’ve done so in the past with things like the Rule 5 draft, so maybe they can secure a guaranteed livable wage this time.

        1. Dan, your post is basically a long rant on capitalism. Not that I love the owners (trust me, no love lost there), but they provide the context, league, park, farm system, media contracts, coaches, concession and merchandising, and all the other things necessary to generate income to pay the players. So, yeah, they don’t do “nothing” and they didn’t get their clubs for nothing either – they mostly paid huge sums, so like any investor, they are looking for returns on their investment. As for money, nothing doing anything – let me know how you would feel if your 401k had a 0% return over a few years and when you complained, the fund manager said you were doing “nothing” for your money so you shouldn’t complain. Yeah, that wouldn’t go so well, would it?

          What you are saying about paying the players more and the owners “doing nothing” is a thinly-veiled attack on capitalism and would apply with equal force to not paying the equity owners in almost any business above labor, including, for example, performance businesses such as the entertainment business. I just don’t care to have a long debate here about the merits and problems with capitalism. But to suggest that baseball is generally different than almost any other business with equity ownership in a capitalist society is a little silly.

          But my view is that the players are hardly victims here. I don’t think it’s ludicrous they are paid so much money – it’s what the market provides – but they have arguably the most powerful union in the country and they use their might accordingly. These are two behemoths fighting over the spoils, and that’s fine, but there’s no need for me to feel sorry for either side.

          1. And I don’t mean to create the impression that I love the owners. They do what the owner of any business does – they try to create as much profit as possible and they have been unbelievably secretive in sharing their financial information because they know it’s been a cash cow and the players would go berserk if they saw how much money the owners make (even the massive COVID hit barely slowed them down – which is telling). The players’ job is to try to force them to share as much of that profit as possible. Good for them. Screw the owners a little bit (not too much, however, or all of our TV plans and seats prices will skyrocket). I have no love lost for the owners. But the players are unbelievably powerful in their own right and are extremely well represented with the best economic advisers, negotiators and attorneys. It’s a clash of the titans where they will all do well. So, really, I’m not invested in their petty nonsense except as it affects the season and the fans.

      3. Agree catch with you….if I have to lean any way…it would be with the owners.
        Maybe 51-49.
        Why…..players since ’68 have bargained for and received more than most any unions in the business world..especially when it comes to guranteed contracts.
        OTOH, the owners are well financed and many ball parks are built with a good portion from tax payer monies….and that ball park generates plenty of $$$$.
        Now I can see the Phillies’ FTE personnel…they are employees of the Phillies…players are contractors working from contract to contract, highest bidder gest their service …..the loyalty factor is missing there.
        The FTE personnle however are ‘working Joes’ trying to support themselevs and /or family, so I have sympathy for those 300 or so people
        And finally….the team and city’s fans…….they invest money and the emotional heart strings.

  112. Camargo is a nice pickup…

    Anyway, since there may not be too many on field matters to discuss in the next few weeks/months, the comments here may become fewer and far between. But there’s always the topic of how the powers that be have degraded this great game, both on the field and off. It’s no one person to blame, but a mindset of greed, power, and the ongoing pissing contest of who’s the “smartest man in the room” attempt to reinvent the game. Shame.

  113. And lots of folks have been throwing shade at Jackie Bradley Jr over the past month or so. But Chaim Bloom (one of the sharpest execs in MLB) looked past this season’s slash line (.163/.236/.261), and saw him for what he may probably look like in 2022: GG defender w/a very likely outcome for a bounce back season (offensively). JBJ hit into some ridiculously bad luck/had a historically low BABIP in 2021. He would have been a nice/reasonable answer to the Phillies CF problem. Unfortunately, Dombrowski didn’t have a Hunter Renfroe to offer Milwaukee.
    I’ll be very happy with an OF Harper/Keirmairer/Schwarber, but I’d be even more ecstatic with an OF of Harper/Laureano/Conforto in 2022. Either way … can’t wait for the CBA to get settled. Gonna’ get my popcorn ready for the Dombrowski show on steroids! 😎🍿🍺

    1. Hinkie…I also like Ramon L……PED aside.
      His age and contract status make him attreactive also.
      And his defense did not suffer like his bat recently …ranks 7th among CFers in the AL (11th in all baseball) according to SABR-SDI…..
      Michael A. Taylor…. 12.9
      Myles Straw………….8.2
      Kevin Kiermaier…. 6.2
      Adolis García…. 5.0
      Enrique Hernández ..4.7
      Ramón Laureano……1.8

      I do think a deal can be had for him without breaking the farm system.

        1. If the Phillies could sign Schwarber and acquire Laureano for Rojas and Marchan, then I think the offseason would have been a huge success where they addressed their needs, kept some payroll flexibility and didn’t gut the farm. I’m expecting some farm system pain this offseason – just hopefully not too much.

          1. I think if they got Laureano for Rojas and Marchan, that wins the offseason alone. The A’s would have to seriously covet Marchan, specifically, for those two to be the centerpieces. Rojas has some serious helium, but I have to imagine at least one team would be willing to surrender a top-50 prospect. So the A’s would definitely ask for O’Hoppe if they wanted a C prospect unless they really believe Marchan is better than Logan.

            I personally don’t see a way to get Laureano without two of Stott, Abel, Rojas, Painter, or O’Hoppe (with Rojas and O’Hoppe being prospects that the team feels strongly about if included). Realistically, it’s probably worth the price. But it is hard for me to pull the trigger when our farm system is already pretty weak.

            1. Laureano is quite a talented player but he screams “crash and burn” to me. The risk surrounding him would be worth taking provided stable pieces in the lineup are in place, but I don’t surrender Stott or O’Hoppe, who I consider future staples in the Phillies fortunes ahead. Rojas? Abel OR Painter? Okay…maybe even a low level eye opener like Alexeis Azuaje, but the kids within sight of their ETA, no thanks. That window needs to remain propped open with Stott and O’Hoppe on the horizon.

            2. ….but hey, while we’re at it, let’s go balls to the walls….

              ATHLETICS get:
              Alec Bohm 3b/1b
              Rafael Marchan c
              Aaron Nola rhp
              Johan Rojas cf

              PHILLIES get:
              Matt Chapman 3b
              Ramon Laureano cf
              Sean Manaea lhp

              The question is whether Oakland would take on Nola’s money…we could throw some cash their way. Manaea would be a step or 2 down from Nola but the overall value and improvement coming from Laureano and Chapman would IMO offset it.

            3. A’s may not want to take on Nola…he will be in that high pay grade soon…….gowever I can see the A’s doing a three way deal, and Nola’s return from the third team in the mix, for younger players, would satisfy Beane and his finance dept.

            4. I’m passing on this, although it’s not a crazy proposal. There’s nobody to truly take Nola’s place in the rotation and that’s a problem. If you want to build a team to compete in the playoffs then you either don’t trade Nola or you need to replace him with a comparable pitcher, which Manaea is not. They are better off getting their extra offense with Schwarber and then trying to get a good defensive replacement in centerfield without sacrificing so much young talent.

            5. Yes, I don’t see this trade going down with any probability. But I do believe that with a solid starting rotation intact, defense and the long ball will make the difference between merely making the playoffs and going deep into October. Harper, Hoskins and Schwarber give you so much thump, but Chapman’s 30+ HR power and his glove would have greater impact. I can live without Laureano. That was just a ‘what if’ proposal…and Manaea is fairly reliable and increasingly more expensive for the A’s, so…but Bohm and another piece for MC would make my day.

            6. mark … Aaron Nola fits just about every MLB club … with the probable exception of Oakland (and maybe Cincinnati). The A’s are trying to shed salary. Nola is banking north of 15M in each of the next two seasons. That’s a team friendly salary, unless you’re Billy Beane and David Forst.
              Your inclusion of Bohm, Rojas, Marchan work. The A’s would be replacing 2 years of Chapman for 5 of Bohm. I’ve read they could send Sean Murphy to the NYYs. So they could use Marchan to take over for Murphy, and Rojas to (eventually) follow Laureano. I just think you’d have to replace Nola with a cheaper pitcher. They’d probably want one of Ranger/Abel/Painter. Maybe Dombrowski could get away with Falter and McGarry instead. Or maybe the Phillies POBO can give up Abel, and get 2 years of Frankie Montas instead of 1 year of Sean Manaea.

            7. Hinkie, the A’s could always flip Nola, say to San Diego to join his battery mate brother Austin, for a nice haul surrounding CJ Abrams since he’s blocked by Machado and Tatis.

            8. mark … The Padres have Abrams getting ready to be their next CFer. AJ Preller has made him untouchable to this point. And IMO, the Padres are more in need of bats than arms. They’re loaded with pitchers. Their problem was health in 2021. That club desperately needs to lengthen their LU. After Cronenworth/Tatis/Machado, it gets pretty beatable.

  114. Also, given the Phillies’ needs at closer, leftfield (with a middle-of-the-order bat) and centerfield (plus fielder at the very least), if you had to pick one to need to satisfy before the lockout, the Phillies chose the right one. I say this not because the closer is necessarily more important than the other two needs, but because they had so few viable and affordable options at closer, whereas there will be multiple ways they can address the other needs.

    You never know how things will work out, but I give them a “A” grade for getting the Knebel deal done at that price.

    1. Agreed, catch.

      I wish there was a mutual option or something for year 2. what if he knocks it out of the park this year and then he’s priced out of our range? Then next offseason they are back in the same boat looking for a closer.

      But, if it doesnt work out, it’s only a one year deal.

      1. I think Knebel wanted a pillow contract to prove his worth – it makes sense given his injury history and limited rebound record. If the Phillies wanted a long deal, it likely would have been at the “already proven” price, so they did one year. I think it makes a lot of sense. Some of the team’s minor league and younger arms could develop in that time and if they have to go back to the market for a closer, they can do that too.

    2. Good they got Knebel done.

      My theory is that you can’t sign a player before they are ready to be signed. Player agent needs to field all offers to get full market value.

      If some teams are bidding for Castellanos then Schwarber, Bryant, Suzuki are not getting their full attention of competitive bidders yet.

      Maybe you can sign a player out of ranking order if the player feels they are being valued and have some urgency to sign.

      So, the Phillies could not will their way to signing more players. The Phillies could offer more, but can’t sign players that are not ready to sign.

      1. “Maybe you can sign a player out of ranking order if the player feels they are being valued and have some urgency to sign.”…Tigers just did that with Baez…and the Rangers with Semien.
        Seager…Rangers have the money and decided to go over the top for him…good luck to them.
        Whereas Corream who many feel is the top of the ss gree agency class and Story somewhere in the middle, depending on who is evaluating them….remained unsigned.

        1. I think the questions about Story’s home and away splits will factor into his market decline. Forget what Texas overpaid Semien and Seager. No team with sound budget constraints is going to offer Story more than 6/$150M…if that. Good player. Solid addition, but not an elite talent.

          …might he drop into DD’s wheelhouse?

          1. On Story….that was my first reaction in Sept….Story would get JTR $$$$….geusstimate of 5yrs/$120M range
            Then I saw MLBTR’s projection (Six yrs/, $126M.) and was a bit puzzled…and thought, no way for six years, unless the 6th was a mutal option.
            I though his age and splits may work against him.
            Then noticed those free agents who have since signed…all seem to be around the MLBTR projections.
            So it does look like he will eventually be in theat $20/22M AAV range.

            1. Not jonesing for him to sign here but I would offer 5/$115 ($23M AAV) and see if he bites.

            2. Yes…same offer. .
              Though have seen where one team…Mariners….may get him to sign there to play third….and keeping JPC at shortstop.

  115. More on JBJ: my best friend is a die-hard Red Sox fan and he tells me that the trade for JBJ was in order to get two Brewers prospects; they had to take the bad contract.

    1. My guess is that it was both. My belief is that the Brewers didn’t get very good hitting coaching last year and I’m sure Boston believe they can help him rebound and he probably will, but, yes, the prospects were probably the biggest portion of the deal.

  116. Anyway, I think we can all exhale for the next two months or more on MLB stuff, and it might be longer than that.

    1. Exhale!
      One of Phillies’ favs has signed on with the Reds…minor league deal…Andy Knapp.
      Minor league deals can still be made…..just the 1200 or so 40 roster members of the MLBPA are locked out.

  117. I agree, catch. I don’t see any reason for either side to negotiate for the next 2 months. Whatever date gives enough time to have an abbreviated ST, but one that is long enough to not impact the start of the season, is when they will decide it’s time to really work at it. And, I don’t like hearing from either side. It is like 2 people talking 2 different languages, and is all for posturing. They can interest me in Baseball again when they decide to go back to work.

        1. In 2019 he pitched 1 inning for Sugar Land Skeeters, Indy ball and struck out 3 and the Yankees signed him.

  118. Aaron altherr had a lot of success in the KBO the past couple years (homered 32 times with 84 RBIs and an .873 OPS across 142 games in 2021) and is looking to return to the mlb. Possible CF or LF?

    A trade I could see happening out of the blue is Bohm and Marchan for Kyle Lewis. Seattle is stacked with young OFers, need a 3rd baseman and aren’t afraid to trade.

    1. Seattle is the one team that I hope DD calls for our next CF/4th OF. He maybe able to lure Trammel out of Seattle.

  119. 8 Qualifying offered players have signed so far. Now after the lockout and with possible reduction of penalties DD may end up looking smart if he goes after one of the remaining: Nick Castellanos, Michael Conforto, Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman, and Trevor Story. I think it is doubtful they bring any of them aboard but all should be in play except Freeman who is all but guaranteed to stay in Atlanta.

    Interesting that minor league signings could still happen during lockout.

    1. MLBPA do not represent minor leaguers.
      Which will make for some interesting happenings come Jan/Feb/March time-frames and there is still a lockout.
      Assume minor league guys can workout at the facilities….and also can still go to a spring training of sorts, I assume.
      I am not sure how that will work.
      And ……that may not be what the MLBPA and 1200 or so baseball players would like to see.

      You know, no solidarity on the part of the minor leaguers.
      Stay tuned.

    1. ………heard his legs are fresh and he doesn’t have a lot of wear and tear on him. Might be a “good” replacement pickup. Way to scout, Denny!😎

  120. If you give an experienced baseball man like Dombrowski this much time to map out whatever remains of the off season, you have to think he’s got even more of an advantage in accomplishing his to do list. Again, the owners decided to lockout the players, but not the GMs and POBOs. No announced transactions, sure. But I highly doubt they haven’t found ways to subvert the “rules”, especially between rival execs if not player agents. C’mon man!

  121. As a few of you have pointed out, Dave Dombrowski may not be able to sign MLB FAs or make trades right now … but … he can still keep busy bringing in MiLB FAs. A few weeks ago, I mentioned three dudes I’d like to see the Phils bring to spring training. They are:

    * Nathan Kirby … is a former first round pick (Milwaukee in 2015). The LHP is a former college teammate with Adam Haseley at UVA. He’s only thrown 121 innings since being drafted because of a series of arm injuries. He was finally healthy in 2021, and threw 13.3 K/9 & 6.6 BB/9 as a reliever in the Brewers and Pirates systems.

    * Frecier Perez … is a former top 30 NYY prospect, and a top 100 guy overall (at least on KLaw’s 2018 list). The 6’8″/240 lb RHP (at his best) throws upper 90s, and adds a plus CH. Brian Barber and Joe Girardi have firsthand knowledge of the big “righty” from their time in NY.

    1. * Michael Gettys … is a former Padres second round pick. Preston Mattingly saw plenty of him while with the Padres. Gettys has always been a tooled up OFer. He’s got big power, plus wheels, and a big arm (he’s even done some work as a reliever this summer in the BoSox system). Gettys has just never hit enough (.257/.313/.425 MiLB career slash line), and Kd too much to make it to MLB.

  122. Another guy DD should look into is Carlos Martinez. St Louis declined his option. He missed most of 2021 with a torn ligament in his right thumb (throwing hand). But he’s a guy who can either start or be used out of the pen. Not sure he’s going to find a spot on a MLB roster this winter. I’d definitely take a flier on him as a MiLB FA.

      1. Headcase in that he can implode or headcase in that he’s a bad guy in the clubhouse. Because he’s not going to be a featured pitcher, we can work around the first issue (Hector Neris was a headcase for crying out loud – he always had huge melt downs as a closer), but not the other. You don’t want to bring a bad dude into your clubhouse.

  123. If you’ve got a few minutes, this Jayson Stark piece is worth reading to understand why there may be no rule changes coming in 2022.

  124. Denny – If the Phils need replacement players, Jerome Williams is available.

    How about DDGG and Marchan for Nick Ahmed. What do you say BBMark?

    1. Isolated in a vacuum, meh. But in the larger context of other moves, then maybe. If Segura goes to the Chisox for Kimbrel, and Stott becomes the imminent 2b, while Kiermaier is acquired and any one of Schwarber/Castellanos/Bryant are signed, then why not. However, I think Marchan will be part of a larger package for a greater impact player.

      1. …oh, and put me on record for a package surrounding Bohm to Oakland for gold glove power hitting 3b Matt Chapman.

      2. Ciada, like a machine, here goes…

        DIAMONDBACKS get:
        Mick Abel rhp
        Bailey Falter lhp
        Didi Gregorius ss
        Rafael Marchan c
        Johan Rojas cf

        PHILLIES get:
        Nick Ahmed ss
        Merrill Kelly rhp
        Ketel Marte cf/2b

        Gregorius and Ahmed basically cancel each other in terms of negative value except for Ahmed’s glove and Didi’s offensive bounce back possibility…so it would essentially be Marte and Kelly for our 4 young players.

        1. Correct me if I am wrong, however, isn’t this edition the same as your “Trade Edition” 29?

          1. That number probably will dwindle as the lockdown prolongs itself.

            Jim may start the Readers’ Top 30 or 40 soon..

  125. Just read that the state of Pa. just gave the Reading Phils $7.5 Million grant for stadium upgrades. Added to $9 million already raised, looks like team will be able to stay in Reading

  126. Read that Schwarber’s asking price is supposedly only 3y/$60mi. If that’s true, Phillies should pounce if the lockout ever ends.

    1. Surprised nobody pounced on that before the lockout, if so. $20M AAV is steep, but if he only wants 3 yrs, something to chew on.

      1. Steep for sure but are there any reasonable big bats for under $20mil?

        One that won’t cost prospects or a draft pick

        1. Schwarber does not have a QO against him….so no draft choices will be loss if a team signs him.

      2. It’s not that steep for a slugger in his prime – that’s 3 WAR per year. He’s a pretty solid bet to produce that.

  127. I hope this is NOT true, because if it is, the Phillies blew it.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/mlb-rumors-kyle-schwarber-s-contract-demands-revealed/ar-AARp0PS?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531

    Highlights (lowlights) of the article:

    Schwarber is just 28 years old, and seeking a contract worthy of his services. Unfortunately, talks between he and the Phillies broke down just a few short days ago.

    Schwarber’s contract demands are actually quite reasonable, given the market at his disposal. Per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Schwarber is seeking a three-year contract worth upwards of $60 million.

    1. Wonder at what point they broke down. Phillies probably tried to go less years and less dollars

      1. $20M for him is way too much and there’s a cap. My guess is they offered 3/$51M and yes that $3M make a difference is what else they can do. I also guess they wanted Kimbrel but only wanted to pay $8-$10M of the $16M and the White Sox said no. The Phils are stuck paying a lot to Didi and Segura and other teams only want them if the Phils pay some of it.
        If Schwarber holds to that demand, we won’t sign him. The Red Sox want him back and will pay him.
        Conforto or Castellanos and lose the pick or Bryant? We’re going to have lots of time to ponder this because this lockout won’t end before February.

    2. After 3 years of Schwarber averaging 20 homers, 70 RBIs and batting .248 with 140 ks, along with butchering the defense the comments here will be wondering why the Phillues spent $60 million instead of around $24million for Brad Miller.

  128. If that’s the case with a Schwarber deal, give Conforto 5 and $75. Looks like his chances for a big time contract don’t exist. It would cost a draft pick but in the long run he is probably worth it.

  129. I have seen the Schwarber contract demands higher than this 3 for 60 – I think this is an older number. Saw an article that said he had alot of suitors and his price was going higher – but for more years : 4 years for 70. That article also said that Phillies were among the most aggressive too.

    Also, Brad Lidge mentioned in passing – just Wednesday, late in day on radio – Phillies were also in on Bryant. He himself was enthused by that and said if it was a matter of having a physical the team would have a doctor in the air to meet him.

    Not that I am a huge Bryant fan – but he almost makes more sense because he can play OF and 3B. You might not get the HR pop of Schwarber but you get 75% of the power but more positional flexibility. The difference might be Bryant is viewed as a 5 year – $ 120 million player where Schwarber is a 4 year $ 70 etc. With a dh you minimize his positional issue.

  130. In the end – I wouldn’t be surprised if DD wants Conforto more than some of the other possible outfielders – and now he can wait to see what happens with the QO.

    1. RU…I would think the QO will be grandfathered for this season for the 8 teams who have QO free agengt players still unsigned.
      I assume the teams will still get their compensation in the upcoming draft….however, the teams signing the players…MAY NOT lose their 2nd round picks…with the Tigers, Angels, Rangers and Mariners situation still in question…since they already signed a QI free agent prior to the end of the 2017-2021 CBA.

      Personally…I think they should lose the picks…..just like what happened to Ruben witht the Papelbon situation in Nov 2011…prior to the 2012-2016 CBA.
      Phillies had to suck it up and lose the pick..

  131. If Stott is a slam dunk shortstop, wow, he’s a great prospect. From Longenhagen chat on Fangraphs today:

    Mrs Phanatic: What made Stott jump from a 45 to a 50?

    Eric A Longenhagen: best shape he’s ever been in, bending and moving and throwing with a more athletic look than in college. basically looks like a slam dunk SS now

    1. Coming from Eric L, that’s as credible a report you’re gonna find. If he and DD think Stott will hold down SS, that’s good enough for me.

      Which then leads to my next question….Bohm at 3b. I would rather he move across the infield and Hoskins simply be the DH the vast majority of games. As much as I’m willing to let Stott own the SS position, having he and Bohm side by side gives me pause. Forcing this round peg in a square hole doesn’t seem Dombrowskiesque. What to do? Bohm, Marchan and Erik Miller for Matt Chapman.

      1. mark…..’Bohm, Marchan and Erik Miller for Matt Chapman’….the As and Beane could bite, or maybe nibble, on that…after all $$$$ is one of their main concerns, and they will save plenty on that deal…..and of course their other worry is a new stadium.

        Also they saw how the Phillies just let go of a Cole irvin….why not take the chance on another big West Coast kid LHP like Erik Miller.

        1. Miller would be by far the toughest to let go of, for me. But pain must be felt to upgrade a win now roster…

          1. Can understand losing Miller would be a difficult pill to swallow, though I think the emergence of Ranger may over-ride a loss of Miller.
            Also, I am not totally sold on Miller’s ability to consistently master his control issues…..I see some of Sean Newcomb or AJ Puk in him.

          2. I would do this trade. Sure, Miller is a bit of a risk, but the rest of the compensation is perfectly replaceable. Chapman replaces Bohm and is a big upgrade. Marchan is never going to start for the Phillies because he’s been eclipsed by O’Hoppe. This would be a really helpful trade combined with the signing of a power-hitting left fielder. It’s a really good team with a strong line-up.

            1. With the Phillies’ current situation (not enough farm depth – but, actually, more high end talent than most people think – not a ton of flexibility under the luxury tax), they are going to have to sacrifice some farm system talents if they want to put a team on the field that could make the playoffs. But you just don’t want to be in a position where you give up too much. This trade would be a reasonable compromise. Chapman brings so much to your infield defense and I expect a huge bounce-back season with the bat. If you signed Schwarber or Conforto, and added Chapman, by June, you’re looking at a line-up like this.

              Schwarber
              Segura
              Harper
              Hoskins
              Realmuto
              Chapman
              DH/Brad Miller/Didi Gregorious
              Stott/Gregorious
              Centerfielder/Kiermaier (call it gut instinct, I think they will get Kiermaier)

              That’s a formidable line-up and, if you get a guy like Kiermaier, a much better fielding team.

      2. Moving Bohm to first solves one problem (his defense at third) and creates potentially a bigger problem. Right now, Bohm would project as the worst hitting first baseman in the big leagues and once you move him there, he’s at the bottom of the defensive spectrum, further limiting his options. If Bohm doesn’t cut it at third, he’s probably headed to left field, which, again, raises the bar offensively. I like Bohm, but, if this team wants to compete for the playoffs asap, he’s probably the odd man out.

  132. Thats great news on Stott, apparently DD wasn’t just blowing smoke when he was talking about him being their SS. So if we are looking at him being a mid season call up, I believe this takes us out the SS market.

  133. If Manfred says the FA year at 29.5 is a red line that seems the MLB is willing to lose season games over, would the MLB consider an increase in the minimum salary from it’s approximate $580k/yr. to $2 million a year? MLBPA wants their younger players paid more while in their prime and proposed the earlier FA time frame to achieve that goal.. Manfred says it’s bad for small market teams and baseball in general to lose players to FA in under six years.. OK, under this scenario both sides win..

    1. Yes. Agree with Hawkeye. I think, in the end, raising the minimum to maybe 1M for rookies, 2M for second year guys, and 3M for 3rd year players is “part” of the solution.

      1. Sounds good but the problem is, wouldn’t teams like Pittsburgh, Oakland, KC and Tampa simply bring up more first year players each year to avoid paying 2nd and 3rd year guys which may only be serviceable supplemental pieces?

        1. mark…..small market teame that operate within those frameworks…..will always be cellar dwellers, with poor attendance since fans will see the forest for the trees.
          Plus they contiune to avoid the arb1-3 years…..which though may go away or be modified once this CBA is finalized

    1. That depends on whether your friend is a Phillies insider, Jim🤣

      ….but yes I would do that despite the pangs of losing O’Hoppe.

    2. I think it will further gut the organization. If we keep making trades like that, we are going to have a lot of years that look like the garbage the Padres produced last year. They should not make this trade. We have better paths forward.

        1. Probably a very fair trade. It really depends on what you think Painter will become and what you think you options in centerfield might be.

          1. Well, I never like trading prospects especially top prospects. In a small sample, Painter looked to be much better than the competition he faced. But, he’s far enough away from the majors to be considered a high to extreme risk. Reynolds on the other hand is already performing at the major league level.

            What I find interesting is that if a B-P-M offer is countered with B-P-O and negotiations break off, it indicates (to me at least) the tipping point in negotiations and that both sides prefer O over M. It could also just as easily be that the lockout arrived too soon to complete negotiations.

            I’m glad I don’t have to decide on such a trade. But, if we are going to part with prospects for a CF, I would rather have four years of a healthy Reynolds than most of the other alternatives.

    3. Personally I would pass.
      But why would the Pirates want Bohm and O’Hoppe…unless they plan on moving them off their psotions.
      Harry Ford and Charlie Hayes’ son were first round picks and are penciled in as their future catcher and thrid baseman respectively.

      If Reynold is that important to have in CFer…..the two of Ranger and Haseley may just get him. But another hole in the rotation and the future has to be filled.

      1. I would do that trade with Pittsburgh w/o even thinking about it twice.
        I’d hate to lose Painter (my #1 Phillies prospect), but it’s going to hurt to land 4 years of Bryan Reynolds.
        I’m happy for what Logan O’Hoppe has done this year. But I would not hesitate to trade him at what may end up being his absolute highest value. IMO, Marchan still > O’Hoppe.
        Agree with Romus. Not sure about Cherington’s interest in Bohm. But if he wants Bohm (who I believe will bounce back), I’d give him up in this swap.
        BTW … if possible, I’d love to see DD expand this deal to include David Bednar (like him an awful lot).

        1. Yup, disagree on this one in a big way and see O’Hoppe as the clear catcher of the future. Marchan’s defense may be better, but he’ll probably never be more than a marginal hitter. He screams second division regular, good back-up to me. O’Hoppe has a chance to be a first division regular and even occasional all-star. He’s the dude in the minors at catcher in my view. As for the other players, I think I’d feel differently if this system was loaded, but it isn’t, so I’m taking a pass on this and definitely not including O’Hoppe in any trade unless it’s an offer I literally can’t refuse. I can refuse this offer.

            1. If O’Hoppe and Painter (Abel?) got me the modern equivalent of Roy Halladay in his prime (Gerritt Cole?), I’d be alright with that. Of course, then we’d probably trade Wheeler just to re-sign him a couple years later…

              Jokes aside, I have the distinct feeling O’Hoppe’s value will be higher at the trade deadline than right now, so I’d personally hold onto him unless including him saves two of our other top prospects (so if a team wanted O’Hoppe instead of, say, Painter AND Rojas). Or if his inclusion gets us someone that we thought was untouchable (like a Vlad, Jr., just as a random example).

            2. Offensive numbers don’t always translate from MiLB to MLB. See Knapp, Andrew (.360/.419/.631 @ Reading in 2015). BTW … Knapp had a .274/.349/.419 MiLB slash. O’Hoppe has a 273/.329/.458 slash. Not saying Logan O’Hoppe is the next coming of Andrew Knapp. Just making the point that offensive numbers in the minors don’t always/usually portend what the player may hit in the majors.
              OTOH, defensive chops do translate from the minors to the majors. Marchan is (at least) a plus defender. I’m with DMAR. Marchan is going to have a long career in MLB, and I believe he’ll win multiple GGs. And offensively, Marchan is a switch hitter who has displayed excellent contact rates. I believe, as he gets older/bigger, he’ll make harder contact. Harder contact leads to > BABIP.

              I don’t want to sound like I don’t like Logan O’Hoppe (I’m sorry if it comes off that way). I just think he’s behind Marchan as a prospect. And I’d have no problem swapping him out in a package for FOUR YEARS of Bryan Reynolds.

            3. Concerning minor league metrics transferring over to MLB real-time.

              That is true, there are no gurantees that good minor league metrics will translate to a MLB plus career for a player..
              ….however on the flip side…rarely does poor minor league metrics ever translate to plus MLB numbers for a player,
              Now I have seen those players…..who take a longer time, and who late in their careers after many years at the minor league level, or even in the Asian leagues…..finallyy break through…for their ’15 minutes’ of fame.

              But if you look at the young stars…under 24 or so….they all have had plus minor league metrics.

        2. Painter over Abel? Wow. Abel’s a future #1. Painter, the jury is still out as in at lunch and maybe taking the rest of the day off.

          1. IMO Painter and Abel have the same pedigree, and ceiling. For me, Painter probably has a bit more projection, and is the more consistent strike thrower. That’s why I put him at #1.
            1. Painter
            2. Abel
            3. Rojas
            4. Stott

    4. I would do that. Then go sign Bryant to play third and we got ourselves a really good ball club. Adding Schwarber to play LF would be a dream. But Reynolds and Bryant would be a great addition.

      1. Yes, v1.
        Listen, I love Painter. I like O’Hoppe. And I still believe in Bohm. But this club needs to field it’s best team over the next couple of seasons. You don’t invest stooopid money in Harper/Realmuto/Wheeler, and not do everything possible to take advantage of their prime years. Bryan Reynolds is a switch hitting all-star CFer that a dozen other clubs are slobbering over. He’d make the Phillies a much better team immediately. End of story.

        1. Hinkie,

          I was never a believer in Knapp as a hitter. He has a sweet-looking swing, but the only place he ever hit was Hitter Happy Reading.

          O’Hoppe has hit well at numerous stops and he’s very young and appears to be improving. Put me in the camp of don’t trade the guy.

          I like the idea of Chapman if Stott really is the shortstop. An infield of Hoskins/Bohm, Segura, Stott, Chapman is appealing. Put JT behind the plate, Kiermaier in CF and Harper in right and you have a pretty good defensive team and can afford to take a chance on a slugger in left field.

        2. See, this is how I view windows of opportunity a bit differently than you do.

          Yes, the Phillies have a window with the stars they have right now, but, to me, the big concern about windows is where you have: (a) an inexpensive player that is about to get expensive (happens with every, good young player), or (b) an expensive player that has a contract that is too long where you will be stuck with expensive years for a bad or steeply declining player (the Ryan Howard problem). Otherwise, if your window is for an expensive player, when that player is done, you replace one contract for another or you free up money for good contracts for pre-free agent players on your team.

          To me, with Bryce Harper, yes, he’s at the peak of his career, but with his skills and body and position, I think we can expect at least 5-6 more years of premium production (with added risk of injury), so, sure, he’s got a window, but I’d rather have them put an excellent team with strong young players on the way next year, than trade the future for some fleeting chance of the playoffs this year – you’re just sacrificing your long-term success if you trade too many of the prospects.

          As for Realmuto and Wheeler, sure, they have a prime and you want to capitalize, but they are expensive players, so when their contracts are up, you’ll have that money to spend again. Now, granted, Wheeler is a little different because he’s a bargain, but he’s still not cheap. By the way, this expense and window is why you DON’T trade a guy like O’Hoppe if you think he could be a first division regular. If you think, two years from now, he could replace Realmuto, that gives you a new, longer window at that position AND it frees up free agent money.

          1. Very good points for sure.
            The philosphy of Middleton and Dave D have to take those points into consideration.
            The one reference….”an inexpensive player that is about to get expensive (happens with every, good young player)”,…… that will play itself out soon with Nola and Hoskins, no matter how anyone feels about a first baseman and a hitter like Hoskins, he will surely be negotiating for a top AAV dollar with Boras at his side.

            And I hope you are correct on Harper’s long term productivity.

            1. Have you seen the quality of young players the Marlins have coming through their system? The Phillies are behind the Braves right now, but Miami seems to be the next big thing in the NL East. What makes you think the Phillies will be in a better position waiting a couple/few years for their young prospects to develop?
              I’ll admit there is no guarantee this team is going to win anything by going “all in” right now. But this franchise has been absent from the postseason for a decade. John Middleton has a fan base he needs to keep interested. They’ve got to do everything possible to supplement Harper/JTR/Wheeler.

              Having said all this, I can certainly understand your POV. I look at the Flyers. They went for it every year. Every Flyers’ GM traded lots of young players/prospects/draft picks for veterans to compete for Stanley Cups. It never worked. The team came up short every season.
              When Ron Hextall was hired as GM, he shifted strategy. Hextall played the long game. He held on to every draft pick/prospect/young player (he even eventually was fired for refusing to deal any of them). Bottom line is … that strategy produced the same results: no Cups.

              I just expect John Middleton to do whatever it takes to make the Phillies relevant again. That’s why Dombrowski is here. BTW … this is also why I think the team will not obey the LTT.

  134. Catch – Ditto for me. Wasn’t it just a couple months back when MVP Harper said that the Phillies minor league system had very few players to come up and help? Some said he was throwing the entire system under the bus but if the Phils make trades like some of the those mentioned, he’ll be totally correct.

    1. To me, I think Harper was giving some insight of how the FO will go about this. In my humble, nothing on the line opinion, I believe the plan was leverage Middleton’s stupid money, to save the prospects from trades, and see which option wins out. With the CBA under negotiations, I believe the next layer is to wait to see how much, or if the LTT ceiling is raised. If it is, I believe it makes the most sense to sign the FA, regardless of how crazy a contract is (within baseball salary reason). If the FA performs to near expectations, you can then trade the prospect for help in other areas – likely as a deadline addition to push the team over. If the prospect takes off, you then have a Thome/Howard scenario if “Thome” is producing. It’s easier to trade if the FA player is playing near expectations. If they are not, and they have to eat salary to get a trade done. No big deal.. as long as the prospect is performing. The crAp sceranio is if they over spend for a FA, and their prospect craps out. To me, it makes sense to sign Correra. With Stott. Correra should be good to bet on, you then move Stott to 2nd. Possible Segura to 3B or a trade. You also have Bohm. If he takes off, you are in a great position.

      I hope DD is thinking a long these lines. Spend middletons money. I think he is waiting to see what the LTT limit is.

      For the bullpen, I almost feel the absolutely best screnario is to have enough talent in pipeline to trade for bullpen help EVERY year. Bullpen pitchers are so off and on from year to year, catching them in an on year by trading for them is a great way to do it. Obviously you aren’t trading your top prospects for them. Again, all
      Within reason.

      I’ll wait to see DD’s final off-season plan before grading, it’s going well enough so far IMO. Let’s see what the opening day roster looks like, and then how it performs for the season before hanging him to the cross

  135. Camargo was a good pick up for at least a backup to 2B, SS, 3B at the least. He would improve defense at any of those spots except maybe 2B. Stott would improve SS defense if and when he make the team (a strong spring may equal immediate promotion). However, the team defense issue has not been addressed.
    The best I see is a top rated CF defender being added. The only two other practical way I see would be trade for a 3B or sign a top SS, which both scenarios are not highly likely.
    At the start of offseason I thought that Story could be the best fit to improve IF defense. I could foresee him as future 3B or even Stott moving to 3B instead.
    Unfortunately I don’t see Bohm as 3B long term unless good coaching can make his defense adequate (its possible)

  136. BobD…..after over 400 games at third base in the last 5 years, (college and professional ranks), plus the laborious countless hours of instruction and practice at third, regretably, I think what you see from Alec Bohm is what you will get.
    He can make the spectacular play….then misplay or drop a fly ball.
    Better to get a super defender at shortstop to help mitigate the left side inadequacies.

  137. Surprised no one has mentioned that today is a potentially very good and long overdue day for many Phillies phans. The Veterans Committee is voting on the Hall of Fame inductees today and Dick Allen [aka Richie Allen when I saw him coming up] is on the ballot and seems to have a decent chance of finally getting in. Not going to state his case here, as those who think he should be in the Hall don’t need my pontificating and those who don’t think he should be regaled have long ago dug their heels into the dirt in that direction.

    All I will say is this. I was blessed to begin my baseball phan adventure in the early 60’s, at the height of the talent base led by Aaron, Mays, Clemente, Banks, Mantle, Kaline and Robinson. Oh, and Richie Allen in 1964. To this day he is the best player I ever witnessed in action. Better than all the players I mentioned above and better than even Mike Schmidt, who I certainly revered. The Richie Allen I saw play from 1964-66 was the most feared hitter in baseball. And one has to wonder just how good he would have become if not for A] all the booing he received early in his career and B] the ill conceived fight with Frank Thomas in 1965.

    Let’s hope we are toasting to Dick Allen tonight. Unfortunately he is no longer alive to celebrate with us.

    1. “And one has to wonder just how good he would have become if not for A] all the booing he received early in his career and B] the ill conceived fight with Frank Thomas in 1965.”
      ………C)…Severe cutting of his hand, Aug ’67, when pushing the broken down car and his hand went thru those old headlights….three hour surgery at Temple Univ Hospital followed.

  138. With regards to the Marlins young talent, at this point I honestly think of them in the same vein as the Mets except with prospects: I look at their talent every year and think they might be a problem, and then they just aren’t.

    We haven’t quite reached their 20th season yet, but they have only 2 seasons with 90+ wins (to their credit, they won the WS in both of those years). Heck, if we lower the number to 85+ wins, that only increases it to 3 seasons. And that third season was all the way back in 2009 (87 wins). So its no surprise that they’ve never won the division and they only get 2nd (with the exception of those 3 previously mentioned seasons) when the rest of the division just falls on its face. Since 2010 they’ve been 2nd in the NL East twice, in 2020 with a record of 31-29 (thanks to a Phillies collapse), and in 2017 with a record of 77-85. So both times it was less that they deserved to be the 2nd best team, and more that they were just the least un-deserving team.

    They always have great prospects, but the good ones get traded (because they get expensive), or they flame out/get hurt (Brinson, Sixto, Kolek, etc.). I know new ownership could mean holding onto the expensive players (Alcantara could be proof of that, but they’ve extended players just to trade them within a year before). And I know that they only need to get lucky a couple times to get a core like we had in 2008. But until they show results, I’m not thinking about them. The Braves are our measuring stick. If we can catch up to them, the other teams don’t matter. Not until they show me that we need to consider them, at least.

    1. Agreed – WAR isn’t always fully accurate but Allen (58.5 WAR) was a much better player than Hodges although he clearly never had the Dodger mystique combined with the 69 Mets mystique on his side. And, yeah, he was also much better than Oliva – same type of WAR differential. Very unfair.

    2. Old reputations and stereotypes die hard. He should be in the HOF, but so should a bunch of other guys. Hopefully it happens in he future

  139. I agree with the last 3 comments – completely. However sad this is – let’s take some solace in that before he passed away, Dick knew that the Phillies honored him and retired # 15. That may be the most important part of his recognition. RIP, Mr. Allen – you will never be forgotten.

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