Open Discussion: Week of December 5, 2021

As threatened, Rob Manfred initiated a lockout at 12:01 AM on December 2, 2021, 2 minutes after the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement expired.  He claimed that the lockout was necessary to move the talks with the Players’ Association forward.  On the final day of the CBA, the belligerents met twice.  The second meeting lasted about 7 minutes before the owners’ group walked out and left the premises.  Sounds like a “lock in” might have been more effective.

MLBPA’s executive director Tony Clark responded, “This drastic and unnecessary measure will not affect the Players’ resolve to reach a fair contract. We remain committed to negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement that enhances competition, improves the product for our fans, and advances the rights and benefits of our membership.”

This is all well and good.  But, enhancing competition and improving the product both fall outside the parameters of a collective bargaining agreement.  We should not expect them to negotiate the rules by which they play.  Rather, we should hope they can come to an agreement on what this is really all about – an equitable division of revenue and length of time before young players can start cashing in on their real value.

In a childish move, the teams removed the likenesses of players from their websites.  They also removed all stories about current players from said sites.  However, they are still selling stuff from their team stores with the players’ names.  Hypocrites.

You may have noticed that I altered the banner to Phuture Phillies.  It will remain this way until both sides reach an agreement.

The Phillies made a few around the fringe moves signing a couple pitchers to minor league contracts and claimed another pitcher off waivers.  They finally made an important move late on Tuesday when they signed free agent reliever Corey Knebel to bolster the bullpen.  Later, before the lockout, they signed free agent 3B Johan Carmago.  In addition, they agreed to a contract with Seranthony Dominguez avoiding a pre-arbitration tender.  They also tendered contracts to arbitration eligible Rhys Hoskins, Zach Eflin, and Jose Alvarado.

The Phillies also non-tendered and resigned Kyle Dohy to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training (our first non-roster invite to a spring training that has no start date), non-tendered Roman Quinn before he elected free agency, and designated Adonis Medina for assignment.  The late timing of Medina’s transaction has left him in “lockout limbo”.  Until there’s a new CBA or some other resolution, Medina will be unable to elect free agency and sign with another team (or even sign a minor league deal).

Camargo posted a solid second-year in 2018 at third base for Atlanta.  He posted a .272/.349/.457/.806 with 19 HR, 76 RBI, 51 BB, and 108 K in 134 plate appearances and 134 games (3.2 rWAR, 115 OPS+).  He committed 10 errors at third base (.959 Fld%) and was moved to a bench role in 2019 when Atlanta signed Josh Donaldson in the offseason.

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

Rosters and Stuff

Key Dates:

  • December 1, 2021: CBA expires
  • December 2, 2021: Manfred locks out players
  • December 6-9, 2021: 2021 Minor League Meetings in Orlando, Florida.
  • December 8, 2021: Rule 5 Draft, minor league portion
  • December 15, 2021: Close of the 2020-21 international signing period
  • January 28,2022: Caribbean Series
  • TBA: Minor League spring training reporting date (probably late February)
  • April 5, 2022: Lehigh Valley season opener at home v. Columbus
  • 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


12/01/2021 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Corey Knebel
12/01/2021 – Phillies signed free agent 3B Johan Camargo
12/01/2021 – Phillies designated RHP Adonis Medina for assignment
11/30/2021 – Phillies tender contracts to Rhys Hoskins, Zach Eflin, and Jose Alvarado
11/30/2021 – Phillies re-sign LHP Kyle Dohy to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
11/30/2021 – OF Roman Quinn elected free agency
11/30/2021 – Phillies non-tender OF Roman Quinn
11/30/2021 – LHP Kyle Dohy elected free agency
11/30/2021 – Phillies non-tender LHP Kyle Dohy
11/30/2021 – RHP Seranthony Dominguez signs a 1-year/$725K contract, avoids arbitration
11/29/2021 – Phillies claimed RHP Yoan Lopez off waivers from Atlanta
11/29/2021 – Phillies designated OF Roman Quinn for assignment
11/29/2021 – RHP Michael Kelly assigned to Lehigh Valley
11/28/2021 – Phillies signed FA RHP Michael Kelly to a minor league contract
11/19/2021 – RHP Andrew Bellatti assigned to Lehigh Valley
11/19/2021 – Phillies signed FA RHP Andrew Bellatti to a minor league contract

197 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of December 5, 2021

  1. Still, no Dick Allen in the HOF. Yet players who had decent yet unremarkable careers are in because of their longevity, or they played in a high profile city, or they were liked by the corporate media as squeaky clean ambassadors, all speak of how little on field merit actually plays into the voting except for obvious hands down cases. Cooperstown has steadily lost both its luster and relevance. Sad how the bar has been lowered yet one truly deserving like “Crash” gets marginalized by time tainted, apathetic perceptions of people who can’t recognize greatness through the biases of worn out standards.

  2. No baseball is pretty irritating, especially when things were starting to heat up for your team. If you’re a fan of one of the early big spenders, you probably don’t mind as much. For those waiting on deals to happen, the players and owners need to hash it out.

  3. No baseball is pretty irritating, especially when things were starting to heat up for your team. If you’re a fan of one of the early big spenders, you probably don’t mind as much. For those waiting on deals to happen, the players and owners need to hash it out.

        1. I’m still a believer that players using PEDs should not be in the HOF but I think the philosophy of drugs and such is changing so there is about a 60% chance each will be voted in. IMO.

          1. I think they miss it. Here is why. Baseball isn’t going to police itself the way it should, which is exactly why the steroid era existed. The only way to hold the MLB accountable, is to keep these guys out. Right or wrong, whether I agree with it or not, I believe they will be made an example of, and kept out.

            I would consider voting them in, if their numbers were good enough without their known steroid years, or significantly reducing their stat totals for their known steroid years. I know Bonds was taking a steroid that helped maintain eyesight, which IMHO, certainly impacts totals. Now if he hits 455 ft hr, I’m sure if he was off steroids, he would still hit a 425 ft hr. So this is all the stuff that is debatable.

            Lesson: Don’t do things that make your stats debatable

            1. “Lesson: Don’t do things that make your stats debatable”

              Is this why the Rockies never sign anyone? They don’t want to impact their HoF chances?

  4. Have to imagine this lockout will go up until spring training and then when lost revenue plays more of a roll both sides will get motivated. Next two months likely will suck. And yes, the Phillies need to start making a public stink about Dick Allen getting glossed over again.

  5. I wish the HoF voters had to justify WHY they vote yes or no on each individual player. Make them put into words why Allen isn’t worthy. Best case scenario, they can convince some people that there’s valid reasons to keep someone like him out. Worst case, we can see which voters are horribly biased and remove them from their position.

    Ideally, I’d also like it to be public knowledge who voted what (along with their explanations). But I understand that could lead to harassment from fans. So the ballots and explanations can be anonymous.

    1. Too many voters tend to yield to the prevailing narrative of a HoF candidate, without much beyond the back of their baseball card or WAR numbers. Leadership, charisma, clutch play, etc are often a deciding factor in whether a player is worthy. JRoll isn’t hands down a HoFer but certain qualities force a credible voter to consider him a little more than a Harold Baines.

      1. Even the claim that “charisma” et al. is often the deciding factor (which is silly; being likable doesn’t make them any better of a player) seems dubious. Clutch plays I can see having an impact (people tend to think a HR in the post season is worth more than the ones that got them to the post season). The problem is… every player for consideration for the HoF has a LOT of clutch plays on their resume. So the issue is the voters are biased towards the ones that they, personally, remember.

        As for “leadership,” are we now pretending that the voters are intimately familiar with every team these players have been on? If leadership is a quality that gets you into the HoF, then teammates should be the ones voting (and Allen would be in, because the people who know about his leadership voted yes).

        We can’t use intangibles to decide a player’s worthiness because… they’re intangible. Often times they’re just explicitly made-up to push a narrative. Baseball stats aren’t all-knowing, but they’re at least standardized. Some exceptions can (and have been) made for things like a premature death at the height of an incredible career, or a World War breaking out during their prime. But exceptions should NOT be made the other way around; if a player’s stats are deserving, they should be enshrined (with the exception of those banned from baseball). We are far too late to claim the HoF is the moral arbiter of baseball. There are a LOT of really terrible people in Cooperstown. So the precedent is already there: whether you like them or not, vote them in if they were one of the greatest to play the game. And Dick Allen was one of the greatest.

        1. Different professional sport Hall of Fames have many things in common, but one different criteria. MLB has that character clause
          …,,the ‘good’ character clause….
          Character, Sportsmanship, Integrity Long Included in Formal Rules for Election

          From the first formalization of rules for Hall of Fame election proposed in 1944 and adopted in 1945, the National Baseball Hall of Fame has always called for “sportsmanship” and “character” as part of the necessary criteria needed to earn a spot in Cooperstown.

          1. I’m aware it exists, but it exists in theory only. Either they need to set clear rules on what is and isn’t acceptable, or do away with it. Because they have not been consistent. There are dozens of unabashed racists in, hundreds of drug abusers (not necessarily PEDs, mind you), too many alcoholics to count, womanizers, wife beaters, and otherwise just not-nice people.

            And that’s fine, in my opinion, because all people are flawed. The HoF isn’t about how exemplary they were off the field. It’s about what they were able to do in regards to baseball. I believe in separating art from the artist, and the way some people play baseball is art in motion.

            But what isn’t fine is picking and choosing which players are allowed to be flawed and which aren’t. So either the HoF needs to set up a proper “code of conduct” and rules on what precludes players from enshrinement, or they need to stop pretending to be the morality police. And if they DO decide to make it clear what actions would prevent enshrinement, it needs to be retroactive; which means they would need to kick people out.

            1. Yep…….they need t do something to make the criteria more straightforward and transparent.

              The next big debate on Hall selection will center soon around Bonds, Clemens and Schilling.
              On Bonds and Clemens that debate has run its course IMO.
              However I noticed concerning Schilling….33 position players, and 24 pitching players who are currently Hall members have WAR higher than his……of course the two non-members….Bonds, and Clemens.
              I will like to see how that voting transpires…..his off-the-field candor has severely affected his selection so far.

              Position players:

              Pitching Players:

        1. Rollins is such an interesting case for the HoF and I’ll be interested to see whether he ultimately makes it or not. He’s basically right on the cusp of enshrinement, and I personally think he SHOULD be in. But as a Phillies fan, I’m likely biased in his favor. So it’ll be interesting to see what narrative unfolds there.

        2. Look, I love Jimmy Rollins, but in my view, he’s just not quite a HOFer. If you asked me if JImmy was among the greatest Phillies of all time, there’s no doubt about that. But is he among the greatest players of all time? Sorry, he was a super player, but he’s not a Hall of Famer and it’s more than a tiny gap. There’s no shame in being a Wall of Famer, however and he’s a Philadelphia legend forever. There’s some consolation in that.

    2. Dan K…of the 16 below, do you have the list of the 5 who voted nay for Allen?

      The Golden Days Era Committee:
      Rod Carew, Fergie Jenkins, Mike Schmidt, John Schuerholz, Bud Selig, Ozzie Smith and Joe Torre;
      Major League executives Al Avila, Bill DeWitt, Ken Kendrick, Kim Ng and Tony Reagins;
      and veteran media members/historians Adrian Burgos Jr., Steve Hirdt, Jaime Jarrin and Jack O’Connell.

      1. I’m not sure who left him off the ballot; as far as I know no one who left him off has admitted it. But another reason I’d like to know reasoning behind the voters is they can only choose 4. So if all 5 of those people (or even just some of them) only left him off because they thought he was a lock to get in and wanted to help someone else deserving, I’d at least understand it.

        But then that just brings up the question of why voting is limited. If a player deserves it, he deserves it. Stop punishing players for being on loaded ballots.

        1. Ok…….it may come out…MLB Network will sometimes provide that information…..but I think the voter has to volunteer that information….and thereasoning behind their voting.

  6. IMO season ticket holders should start canceling their tickets. That will send a clear message to owners on the feelings about the lockouts.

    1. Well, we can’t really cancel something that doesn’t exist. You can’t currently buy tickets for any MLB team as far as I know. And my family definitely hasn’t been contacted about renewing our season tickets for the Phils, specifically.

      So the best we could do is contact the ticketing department (are they even staffed at the moment?) and tell them our INTENT to cancel. Which I doubt would even get reported to the higher-ups.

      Unless you mean when the lockout ends. Then yes, I think that would send a message.

      1. Unfortunately, I’ve already ordered my season ticket to spring training. I won’t be billed until January. Just my luck, the first time I get a season ticket, ST is in jeopardy. Maybe if I hadn’t ordered a ticket, they would have settled by now. Feel free to blame this all on me.

        1. I wasn’t blaming fans for buying tickets. Just thought it would send a message to owners. Didn’t know season tickets didnt get sold yet lol Was just trying to figure out owners would get the message. Maybe I am the minority here but if there’s a strike, I am done with MLB. Lived through one strike already.

          1. I didn’t take your comment as blame. Just referring to the old story that when you do something different (me in this instance) anything bad that happens is because of that action.

            I would cancel, but MBL isn’t set up to give refunds yet, since games aren’t close to being lost yet. The only thing I could do to express my frustration was change the banner and my avatar.

            1. Definitely get it. It’s a shame it has even come to this. why wait until the final hour to try and negotiate.

              Anyways, at least there will be MiLB I’d hope.

    2. Cancel? I understand the sentiment.

      But, this is the year the Phillies win it all…

      provided they have a season.

        1. Yeah Larry…remember that…Ruben had to renoegotiate his bonus since a shoulder ailment came up at the last moments. Shame he never materialized into the pitcher that Ruben envisioned. In any case, may he RIP

      1. We’re starting to accumulate Cubans. Gutierrez makes 4 in the organization.

        Recent waiver pickup, Yoan Lopez is a 29-year-old Cuban and is on the 40-man roster.

        Nineteen-year-old OF Derek Escobar was an international free agent signed in November 2018. Looks like he played his age 15 season in Elizabethtown, NJ.

        And, 19-year-old SS Luis Pelegrin was just signed this past September. His brother Carlos signed with Detroit last January.

        1. Maybe that is a good sign, or at least a different sign, with the new guys running the basebal operations.

  7. On the ticket issue – I have already bought and paid for a 6-pack of games at CBP in 2022. Have the dates if there are any games to be played. Meanwhile, I had done the same thing in 2019 ( paid for the tickets in the late fall) only to receive a credit good for a 6 pack at CBP during the 2021 season. No refunds etc. were offered for 2020. I know for a fact that Mets and Yankees ticket holders were treated the same way – for all plans including 81 games !!

    In the meantime – I am familiar with spring training season tickets to the Orioles in Sarasota, FL. Trust me – there is no way anybody would turn those tickets back for any reason because they could sell them out 5 times over. The owners of those tickets usually keep them for decades – despite being senior citizens like me. While only 21 games they are cherished despite a miserable team. Methinks there is little room for the common fan to express his disgust for the lockout.

  8. My take on the Hall of Fame is a little different from most.

    I think fewer people should be elected, that it should be the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Excellence.

    My standard, will people be talking about these players 50 and 100 years from now?

    By that standard, the HOF should be limited to the very greatest players — Henry Aaron, Willie Mays, Mike Schmidt.

    Obviously, all judgments are subjective, despite the best efforts to to make them objective.

    On this basis, I don’t think that Dick Allen and Jimmy Rollins belong. But since we aren’t going to purge members and because we are going to continue electing people who will not be of “fame” generations out, we might as well put Dick Allen and JRoll in.

    1. I think your version of the hall would only work if players enshrined could be replaced. Which is fine if that’s how they want to operate it, honestly. But as the number of great players increase, so do the number of great players who are forgotten.

      Obviously you have exceptions like Babe Ruth, but what about someone like Carl Yastrzemski? Yaz is easily a top-50 player of all-time, but outside of Boston most fans under the age of 40 wouldn’t know who he is. And he “just” retired in the ’80s. So do you keep him out because human memory is fickle, or do you let him in because he’s one of the greatest ever?

      And if Yaz would make the cut in that system, so would Allen. They played at the same time, and Allen still gets talked about in the Philly area just like Yaz does in Boston. The differentiation would then come from statistics, which if we’re going that route anyway why not just say the HoF is restricted to the top X number of players all time. I’d be fine with that system, too. But again, it would require replacing players over time.

      1. Dan – if you look at the HOF, there are, as a general rule, fairly good measures for enshrinement. With the exception of first basemen and DHs (WAR, in my view, unfairly diminishes their accomplishments), relief pitchers (just don’t pitch enough innings to generate a lot of WAR), catchers (the position cuts their careers short), or players with unusually short but brilliant careers (the Koufax-type player), the standards of enshrinement have been consistent although not traditionally measured as I am about to do (through WAR). Players with around 80 or more WAR are essentially guaranteed enshrinement (Schilling isn’t, but he should be at some point), with some very rare exceptions (I’m not included tainted players – they are in their own purgatory having nothing to do with the merits of their career statistic). Players with around 70-80 WAR are nearly guaranteed enshrinement, but there are exceptions. 60-70 WAR – again, likely to gain enshrinement at some point but there are more exceptions (Rick Reuschel had 69 WAR but I don’t think anybody believes he belongs in the HOF). 50-60 WAR – it’s a mix, but usually a player that gets close to 60 WAR has a decent chance of getting in. But if you have less than 50 WAR, unless you fall within one of those narrow exceptions, you shouldn’t be a HOFer. So, yeah, I have a problem with Hodges and Oliva – both fine players but not HOFers on their playing merits alone (they have 43 and 43.9 WAR). If you combine playing and managing, I think Hodges deserves to go in, but that’s not currently an option.

        As for Yastrzemski, he had 96 WAR – he is among the greatest players of all time without any doubt – he went into the HOF and richly deserved that honor.

    2. Frank, while you’re free to believe that the HOF should only be for the most elite players ever, I don’t think any other sport has a set of HOF parameters that are so restricting. If you used your standard, you’d only elect about 5 or so guys a decade, which is not what most fans or baseball people want.

      However, it still should be for the greatest players, not just excellent players.

      My problem with Oliva and Hodges, is that they are far below the normal HOF standard. Allen is not below the standard – he’s right there. He was among the 2 or 3 most dangerous hitters in baseball for a decade. He produced 58 WAR even though he was a bad fielder. His life OPS plus is 155, ahead of Aaron, Mays, DiMaggio and Ott. Yeah, wow! He was among the most elite hitters who ever lived. Vote him in people!

      1. Not sure how many voters take into consideration the more advanced metrics.
        The older guys did their basic BA, HRs, RBIs evaluations of the nominees…along with Wins/Losses, Shut-outs, complet games and ERA for pitchers
        All now passe with the way is played anymore.
        The newer scribes and voters…now take into consdieration the WAR, OPS+, FIP et al.
        Agree….bottom-line vote Allen in….on his reference page….18 or so offensive categories that he led his league or the majors in…that is dominance during that time-frame.

        1. I think the thing that confuses me most is that the old school voters probably should have liked Allen even MORE than the modern ones. The old school guys wouldn’t have dinged him for his defense when they looked at how often he led the league in various offensive stats.

          And what’s more, he’s #195 all-time in OBP, #204 in RBIs, #352 in BA, and #45 (!!!) in Slugging%. There are a TON of HoF players below him in all of those stats. The dude just straight up killed the ball for over a decade. It’s baffling.

          1. There’s more to it than that. I think he is view by some of the “old guys” to have been a bad guy who was anti-establishment. Some of these sentiments may have been partially valid (I’ve heard stories of him going to the track and carousing – something that is, for some weird reason, romanticized when you’re Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle, but is viewed negatively when you’re black), but a lot of it was old time prejudice and racism. He was something of a polarizing personality at the time, and his “bad guy” attitude has, I think, resulted in some people refusing to vote for him.

            1. I should say his “perceived bad guy attitude” – I am not saying or suggesting I know anything about Dick Allen’s attitude and whether it was bad or good. I’m just talking about his reputation and the fact that there are some really negative racist overtones there that are unsettling.

  9. On the subject of Dick Allen the only time Jim had to delete a comment of mine was when Dick Allen passed and a lot of words in my post rhymed with ‘hit.’ The HOF is a personality contest. As was posted earlier, Ron Santo is in but Dick Allen isn’t?

  10. I am hoping that Buck Showstopper (came up for Showalter in my autocorrect and I think it is a good substitute) gets the Mets job. Will not be a positive experience for them.

  11. I don’t feel a thing for owners even though I would typically lean a little more to their side. I tend to admire people that take risks, people that have the passion to build things. Buying a ball club requires a certain amount of risk and that you have a @#$% ton of money to do so.

    I’m not sure how many silver spoon owners are still around but in general most of the current owners built companies or portfolios, or invested well etc…

    Beyond the ball players on the field they also gainfully employ an enormous amount of people.

    Being a ball player requires very little risk. It does require a lot of hard work and perseverance but the underlying basis is natural or genetic given gifts for those more comfortable with god given ok….you get what I am saying.

    So players are always going to bear the brunt of the fan anger in these CBA’s. They should resolve to understand that. They should resolve to understand what the average family makes in a year and that their minimum salary might be as much as 10X that. They should resolve to understand that they don’t employ anyone but themselves and that many in their sport will create generations of wealth so vast their great grandchildren wouldn’t have to worry.

    I’m not ignoring what players sacrifice to make it but again sacrifice is relevant no one forces them to skip the movies with their friends to go and hit the cage for an hour. No one forces them to be on these long bus rides with only PB&J sandwiches. Try being in the military…voluntary at first but once you’re in you are in. This isn’t SEPTA fellas where you have a bus driver trying to get from 50K a year to 60k.

    Yes the amount of the money matters…

    So as each side embarks on their propaganda leaks I will largely tune them out.

    1. DMAR … concerning your comment, “Buying a ball club requires a certain amount of risk” … I’m trying to remember the last time an owner lost money buying a MLB team.
      I’m pretty certain owning a team is a very safe (and extremely profitable) investment.
      Owning a restaurant or small business is risky. Owning a MLB team is more like planting a money tree in your backyard. LOL.

      1. For instance … Fred Wilpon (and a partner) bought the Mets for 81M in 1987. The Wilpon Family sold the team to Steve Cohen for 2.4B a year ago. That’s an incredible ROI.
        Jeffrey Lurie paid Norman Braman 195M for the Eagles in 1994. The team is now valued at >3B!
        It goes on and on and on. There’s just not a whole lot of risk involved in buying a sports franchise. Even in a very rare down year (like the once in a lifetime COVID pandemic), the franchise increases in value.

        1. Yep….that is why virtualy all professional team owners…rarely sell….keep the tem in the family.
          Wilpons probably would have kept it in their family for life, where it not for Bernie Madoff.
          Tose selling to Braman for $65M in 1985 turned into a nonanza for Braman less than 10 yeasr later…poor Leonard had his own issues and had to sell after having the Eagles for 15 or 16 years.

          1. When you play black jack 7 hands at a time for 10,000 a hand it happens, i saw him. i gambled one time with Gallagher his buddy he told me a lot of stories, how he lost the team over his addiction to gambling

            1. I remember Crash and Chuck Tanner both liked to play the ponies. Allen was AWOL for a game when they supposedly went to the track. Not sure the accuracy of the details. That was a blemish on his career. But he hadn’t allegedly murdered anyone like the spike wielding terror on the basepaths who haled from Georgia and shined with the Tigers.

            2. And, rocco, even a terrific blackjack player is not nearly as good when he is playing drunk. A sad story.

            3. Yeah rocco…his daughter Susan had to run the team near the end…..Leonard was very giving….he would tip almost everyone $100
              Sad how it all turned out for him. I think Pete Rozelle, the commisioner then, may have been a little concerned over one of his owners.

      2. I agree Hinkie, Pro sports has become almost idiot proof as there is always another Billionaire who wants the glory of team ownership. Not too many Owners around like Bill Giles, who cobbled together about 10 investors and bought the team with no money of his own, but became the Managing partner. And, if KC and Oakland and Pittsburgh can’t keep up without imposing salary restrictions on the players, then they can sell their teams, at enormous profits, and go invest that money. And Baltimore is owned by a rich guy who chooses not to compete. That does not mean I am totally on the players’ side. The entity that deserves the bigger slice of the pie is the one that made the initial investment. But, you can’t tell me that letting the players get to FA a year earlier puts any team out of business. There is a deal to be made if the 2 sides really cared to. But why do that when there may be another dollar or 2 to be had by waiting until the last minute?

      3. I also don’t understand how being a player can be seen as low risk. The vast majority of these players spend years in poverty just for the hope of making it to the major. Not every minor leaguer gets over a million signing bonus. In fact, the vast majority do not. And we all know that minor leaguers aren’t paid a livable wage.

        In addition, the majority of these guys forgo any kind of significant education. So if it doesn’t work out for them, they likely have no real back-up plan to speak of. Can you name any job that a former player that DIDN’T make the majors currently has? If you can, I bet it’s a baseball related job (like a coach or scout). And those jobs are extremely limited, so what about the other thousands of guys who will never sniff an MLB salary?

        Think about it this way: minor leaguers are told they can’t go to school while playing, they can’t get another full-time job to fall back on, and the average minor leaguer will spend at least, what, 3-4 years in the system (I know many are only 1 year, but there’s also plenty who stay for 8+ years)? So these young men are given a .01% chance of being a millionaire, and a 99.99% chance of having a later start at a “normal” life, but with no education, no applicable skills, and no money saved. That’s a LOT of risk. And a lot aren’t even really in it for the money (hence why many keep going into their late 20s with basically no shot of having any meaningful career in the majors). It’s just their passion and all they know.

        So yeah. When given the option between being an owner (I’ve found valuations as far back as 2002, and a team’s value has NEVER gone down, by the way) or a minor leaguer (even a top-100 prospect), I’m choosing owner 100% of the time. And it’s not even a consideration.

        All that said, if you want to ignore the propaganda from both sides, that’s fine.

  12. There’s not a ton easiness in buying a minor league club. I know that is apples and oranges but those buyers are not risk free.

    1. Minor League teams are basically the individual franchises of a chain restaurant (say a McDonald’s or Chick-fil-a). You “own” the store, but you don’t own the brand. And the brand is what team owners pay for. The store owners run risk because they have no control of the supply and they are limited by location. The CEOs have complete control of supply and the best locations.

      Put another way, minor league owners don’t actually own a team; they own a stadium. Those players on the field at Lehigh Valley? Those are Phillies players, they aren’t Lehigh players. If they do too well, the Phils will call them up. If they do too poorly, the Phils will release them. Which makes it exceedingly difficult to market players (because you never know who will still be on your team a month, or even week, later). And that’s the rub; minor league owners aren’t really selling baseball. They can’t control the product on the field really, even within the variance of performance day-to-day. They can’t go out and sign a free agent all star, nor can they make a trade for someone to help the team. What they’re selling is the experience at the park. So really, they’re closer to amusement park owners than baseball club owners. And amusement parks are much more likely to fail than baseball teams.

      I’d also like to point out, this is nothing against minor league owners. A lot of them are seemingly super passionate about baseball, and a lot of minor league teams work very hard to create a fun environment for their fans (especially children). If you live near a minor league park, I encourage you to patronize them. Take your kids/grand kids. There are a lot of options in the Philly/Del-Mar-Va area. I’m just saying that they aren’t the same thing, because the major sports have a (government allowed) monopoly.

      1. Really interesting commentary.

        Of course, it wasn’t always this way. About 100 years ago, some minor league teams or teams in certain important leagues, owned rights to the players, as the Japanese teams do now with Japanese players. Several great players – particularly Lefty Grove (probably the most underrated pitcher in baseball history) – were late to the majors because their teams didn’t want to sell their contracts.

          1. And there was the Pacific Coast League before WWII…Joe DiMaggio and his brothers started in that league….and that was a big time league…but still considered a minor league.
            If they counted his stast from that league Joe Di would have had over 400 HRs

      2. What in the world are you talking about, Dan?

        Most minor league team owners actually do own their teams. Why do you think they were so worried about contraction when the agreement between MLB and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL, the Minor Leagues) expired last year?

        Some teams, like the Reading Phillies, are owned by their parent club. And some have MLB organizations as minority partners. But, most affiliates were sold by their major league owners back in the 60s and 70s when they weren’t profitable.

        The ability of the minor league owners to draw fans to a night out no matter who the players, is what eventually irritated the former major league owners. The minor league owners discovered a formula to make money. In the 80s and 90s the MLB owners cut back support to force expenses back on the minor league owners.

        Still, affiliation with a major league organization is necessary for the minor league teams to be profitable. In fact, the loss of affiliation would drive down the value of a minor league team. Those ten-year PDC’s (or whatever they are called now) are all important to minor league owners.

        And, most ballparks are owned by the municipalities, not the minor league owners nor MLB. For instance, ALL work on the stadium (and Complex) in Clearwater, whether repair or expansion, has to be approved and funded by the city and county. Same goes for Reading.

        1. I think it’s just an error on my part to explain what I mean by, “team” in this case. Essentially I mean the literal team; the players, managers, coaches, and all other personnel related to the players.

          For MLB, the players, coaches, FO, etc. all fall within their “ownership.” The owner pays their agreed-to salary, and thus has full, exclusive rights to their work. A player cannot play for any other team while under contract with one; same for a coach, GM, etc. (I know you know all this, just trying to be more clear in what I mean.)

          For MiLB owners, though, they have none of that (they have their own FO personnel, but it’s a different job than an MLB FO, essentially). They basically borrow players and coaches from major league owners. So when I say minor league owners don’t “own their team” what I mean is they essentially have no say in the on-field product (that is, the game being played. They have free reign to have mascots and such entertain on the field between innings and before/after games). I’m sure there are exceptions (a minor owner may ask their affiliate to replace a coach, for example), but the final say on all baseball personnel falls on the major league owner or their proxy. If a minor league owner wants a player gone because he doesn’t like his attitude; too bad, suck it up. If a major league owner wants a player gone, that player will either be traded or cut.

          So that’s why I likened minor league owners to amusement park owners; they have no real control of their contention year-to-year, and they have even LESS control of the players. Whereas MLB teams focus on those two things to market their team, a minor league team can’t count on that strategy. So rather than market those very baseball-specific things, they usually market the EXPERIENCE at the park. So in some ways, it’s less about baseball specifically and more about general entertainment, whereas MLB is the other way around.

          As for the affiliation, that’s where the other analogy I made comes in (chain restaurants). MiLB owners borrow the brand (Phillies, for example) to help gain attention, and borrow the players/staff (the supplies/recipe) to fulfill demands. Like how someone who owns one specific McDonald’s doesn’t own the Big Mac (the rights, name, or recipe), but they ARE responsible for the customer service and property upkeep. It’s an imperfect analogy and may have muddied my point.

          As for the parks, I knew some where municipality-owned, but I couldn’t find numbers on how many and the MiLB website worded it in such a way that made me think most were owned privately (it’s ambiguous wording that could have applied to either the franchise itself, or the stadium). So I stand corrected if it’s rare that they own their stadiums/parks.

          Anyways, again this is nothing against MiLB owners. Many of them are incredible business people, as evidenced by their ability to profit consistently. But as you mentioned, they basically need affiliation with the MLB. It’s a mutually beneficial partnership, to be sure. But MiLB teams aren’t and cannot be compared to MLB teams. Neither can buying a MiLB team be compared to buying a MLB team. The MLB, as I mentioned, has a government-allowed monopoly, so just owning one increases its value over time.

          Sorry for the long response, but hopefully it helps clear up my point.

          1. Okay. You have to be careful what you say when it is not an opinion. I can’t have people trying to provide “expert” information and making incorrect statements of fact. Please be careful. Thank you.

  13. CBS is predicting best fits for remaining free agents.
    They have Phillies for Kris Bryant and Michael Conforto.
    Those 2 would definitely help.
    I still think pitching, pitching and more pitching needed to get over the top.

    1. I’d be pretty shocked if they got Bryant and Conforto. Conforto could be very good, depending on contract years and price, although I’d rather have Schwarber for what I expect his contract to be. I view Bryant as a declining player, but if he wants to do a pillow contract to increase his value, he’d be a great addition.

      1. Likelihood of LF in 2022…
        Schwarber 3-1
        Conforto 4-1
        Bryant 6-1

        Likelihood of CF in 2022…
        Kiermaier 2-1
        The field 8-1

        1. I’m pretty much in line with the LF prediction. I also am not far off CF – definitely think Kiermaier is most likely to end up there among available names. Nice odds-making!

        2. mark…I cannot seem to find those odds on any Vegas line…..which sport book are they from?
          Harper’s Casino and Resorts?

    2. Hard to ever argue with getting more pitching …. But adding Bryant & Schwarber would be a pretty intense lineup. Might be the way to go, to beat the pitching heavy teams.

      Add Bryant/ Schwarber or Schwarber & Conforto
      Either way they should trade for TB’s CFer. Those runs saved would look nice in the OF.
      Lineup shuffling in terms of positions but it all works if the DH is approved for the NL

      Biggest area of concern, is if the Phillies go past the LTT ceiling. They have roughly 28 million to spend before maxing out as currently stands. Trading didi helps add some

      1. They still need pitching. Unless Middleton is ready to break through the luxury tax, which I don’t see happening, there’s no way they are getting Schwarber/Conforto and Bryant – at a minimum – that’s $35-40 million and, again, money is needed for more pitching. I still say Schwarber as a FA, Kiermaier, and some money spread around for pitching. Didi might be moved if they absorb half the salary – which they might.

        1. I think Middleton goes past the LTT, for a few reasons:

          1- the Mets owner basically called him out, they are 65 million past the LTT
          2- Time to strike after an MVP season from Harper, and what essentially was a CY for Wheeler. You are splitting hairs on the CY award
          3- right players are available – take your pick
          4- the limit is likely to be raised, THEREFORE, you have minimal penalty

          Ballz to the wall Middleton! LET’s GOOOOOOOO!!!!

          1. MLBPA wants the Lux Tax to be $240M
            It willl not be that high …owners are not stupid.
            But could be in the $215/220M range after all agenda negotiations are completed.
            And penaltes could be more lenient….so JM may then take a chance and go over.

            1. Romus, a few things are floating around, but essentiallly I think everyone agrees it will increase. Part of the catch is if a deal is down to increase the league minimum salary per player. Ive read it possibly being raised to 1 million. If so, that changes the Way most teams would need to look at the cushion they have. If the update CBA does both, increase the min salary & raise the LTT it’s essentially a wash. Will see. Ultimately i believe the cards fall where Middleton goes over for a 2-3 year period and then back under to upkeep that Phillies wholesome image of a baseball team – minus the -1993 team.

          2. I hope you’re right that the Phillies exceed the luxury tax threshold (I’m confident they will pay up to that amount), but the next time they do that will be the first time, so I’m not holding my breath.

            1. I hear you. Well will see how bad he wants to win. He doesn’t seem like a person who wants a “tainted” victory. I can see him getting upset if one of the other owners said to him “way to buy that last championship John”
              I don’t truly know that, but that’s the sense I get from all the goodie tushes rule following moves they make. Will see, but I think the increase gives him cover to go over and not feel like a championship would be tainted. I can also see him going right up to
              The threshold … as per the rule followers the Phillies have been over the DECADES 🙂

          3. Tac3, DD won’t be signing BOTH Schwarber AND Conforto. Either/or. And one big free agent bat is all I see. Any other additions will come via trade…closer, CF…

            And as for Cohen “calling out” Middleton? Cohen is an unproven owner who’s a spoiled kid with a brand new toy which he’s never played with before. With all his warts, Johnny Cigars isn’t gauging his weight as an owner based on anything the New York Mess are doing. I think Middleton is thinking, “go ahead and knock yourself out of future viability, Steve!”

            1. Pure guess on my part……but when JTR was a free agent, and Cohen was up for the vote from the other league owners for the Mets ownership…..I would not put it pass JM and SC having a gentlemen’s agreement…..Mets will back off JTR, and in turn, the Phillies and Middleton say ‘yea’ to his ownership of the Mets..
              If I recall there were a few owners who did not want Cohen in the ‘club’…because of his repuatation and what ever character flaws he may have had.
              So there may be a little glue bewteen Cohen and JM

  14. I’d really like to see the team play the long odds and make a strong push for Suzuki. He would come cheaper than the other LF options, he’s still fairly young. Sure there is risk but there is with any of these guys. But it changes the dynamic and the narrative of bringing in these FA’S that feels like dating your buddies ex girlfriend. And it’s a win in itself to bring on board an Asian-born player.

  15. CBS thinks Schwarber back to Red Sox is best fit.
    I think I would take him and Bryant if I could land 2 of the 4.
    Phillies need to find a way to get over the hump while some of these guys are in their prime years. Each year passed is a year wasted.

    1. Don53….if Schwarber does go back to the Sox…then maybe Conforto will be in play for the Phillies….even maybe Suzuki for LF.

      1. I would certainly enjoy the Phillies’ signing Suzuki but I think they have a better chance of playing pickup sticks with their butt cheeks. (Couldn’t resist….trivia question: from what 1987 comedy classic was this line and who said it?)

        1. Incorrect….I meant what movie?

          (Paul Lynde…that’s hilarious…has half of our PP community even heard of him?)

        2. I can tell you were all waiting for the answer😶Planes, Trains and Automobiles, John Candy as shower curtain ring salesman Del Griffith.

          1. Oh yeah…..that was a hoot of a movie.
            Where’s your hand …. between two pillows…..those aren’t pillows.

      2. If Schwarber goes back to the Sox, could some one remind me, do both leagues have the Designated hitter next year? If not, where does J. D. Martinez play when the Sox are playing NL teams? Isn’t Martinez committed to the Sox through 2022 (at the bargain price of 22 Million/year), and now they have Bradley along with Verdugo?

        1. IHPP, No news on DH until the new CBA is agreed to. As of now it’s just guesswork. Both sides want it, but take the position that if the other side wants it, we can pretend we don’t and try to get something back. It’s a pretty good overview of the entire negotiations.

          1. Remember the 1973 movie “Bang the Drum Slowly” with DeNiro as the dying catcher and Michael Moriarty as the star pitcher? The scam card game called TEGWAR – The Exciting Game Without Any Rules…I feel like the fans are the “mark” while the owners and players union are making up words and rules, then changing them as they go. It’s hilarious. But not very fun or funny to the oblivious. And once again, the fans are marginalized because they’ve proven that eventually, they’ll return.

  16. Sorry if this post is on the wrong stream but there are so many going now I just hooked on to the latest post.

    MiLB Draft this afternoon, note from last tear’s draft,

    Of the 56 players selected in last year’s MiLB Rule 5 draft, 54 played for their new clubs, five reached the major leagues and 16 played in Triple-A.

    1. Also, when you consider that D-backs’ MiLB Rule 5 pick Tyler Gilbert was one of the best picks in the entirety of last year’s Rule 5 draft, it’s not as absurd as it may appear at first glance.

  17. Some J2 news. It’s been widely reported for some time now the Phillies will sign William Bergolla Jr next month. The 16 YO SS is one of the top ranked players in the next class according to every list (BA, Fangraphs, MLB Pipeline). Here is the FG scouting report:
    “Bergolla is a twitchy, slick-fielding shortstop with pro ball bloodlines, as his father played for over a decade and got a cup of coffee with the Reds in 2005. The younger Bergolla is a polished player with a smaller frame, but he’s got advanced feel for contact and is explosive enough that his size may not be a problem. He has a well-rounded skill set and a chance to move quickly because of his precocious baseball feel and instincts.”


    The new name to know is Jesus Starlyn Caba. Caba is just 15 YO, and will be a part of the Phillies 2023 class. Fangraphs has Caba ranked even higher than Bergolla as international prospects available over the next few years. Here’s the FG report:
    “Caba is an electric infield athlete with plus-plus footwork, hands, and a plus arm. His swing will likely refine as he adds strength through maturation, but he’s shown promising hand-eye coordination to this point.”

  18. I think Schwarber is headed back to Boston and the Red Sox know this or they wouldn’t have made that last minute deal o Renfroe for JBJ. They basically choreographed their move by bringing in an outstanding defensive CFer so the defensively mediocre Schwarber would have a place to play [either LF or RF.]

    Here’s what I think happened. I believe the Phils were the front runners for Schwarber early on but couldn’t reach a financial deal. Boston then indicated they would like to have him back and made an offer that was closer to what Schwarber wanted and the Phils moved on. In fact, I predict Schwarber back to Boston will be one of the first free agent deals announced after the lockout. I wouldn’t be surprised if they already have a deal in place.

    By the way, count me as one who does not think Bryant is on the decline and i think he would fit the Phils like a glove. Heck, he is everything the Phils tried to turn Kingery into…a guy who can play everywhere and hit well enough in any spot. I think he would be a wonderful elixir hitting behind Harper and would flourish hitting at Citizens Bank Park.

    He is also a great clubhouse guy, something that Bill James almost demolished when he turned sabermetrics into the law of the land but is very underrated by those who have never been in a clubhouse. Bryant and Harper would be a fantastic duo in Philadelphia. Just my two cents worth.

    1. That’s an interesting take, CD. My proverbial money has been on Schwarber signing with the Phillies but more recently I’ve gradually lowered my bet. Conforto seems to fit the role in LF but the Kris Bryant market may quite simply come down to how his contract demands meeting somewhere in the middle with his desire to play with his longtime Vegas pal Bryce….whom, btw, he may have told NOT to campaign for him (notice Harper has NOT said a peep about getting KB here). Or Boras told him, either way. I think 6/$120M would get it done. Over time, Bryant could shift to either 1b or LF more and more. But his flexibility is most certainly a desirable trait in today’s climate.

  19. It’s not even fun speculating where remaining FAs will go because who knows when the CBA gets figured out. It’s almost like torment dreaming of which FA signs with the Phillies lol

    What’s the chances a club signs a top FA to a massive MiLB deal? I’m kidding but still funny to think about.

    LHV signs Kris Bryant to a deal that becomes $25mil if he makes the big league roster

    1. Calm down. Not remotely likely to happen. The writer doesn’t have any inside info, just rumors. Each of the free agents mentioned has 6-7 suitors according to the rumor mill. The Phillies are among them for a couple of these guys. He just took the worst-case scenario for each and spun a story. Remember, negative stories get more clicks than positive ones. That is especially true in Philadelphia.

      From the site, “Nathan is an intern at Phillies Nation. He is a senior studying journalism at the University of Southern California and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.”

  20. Phils only took 1 player in Milb rule 5. A pitcher from SF. Braves and Nationals made 4 picks and Marlins made 5. Don’t understand if are system is worse than their’s why we don’t make more picks?

  21. CD, that is an excellent post. I worried as soon as I saw the Renfroe trade. Schwarber replaces his power and Bradley increases the BiSox D. It’s similar to what I would have liked for us with Kiermaier in CF. Hinkie loves Conforto and I value his opinion, I am just not completely sold. I would be very happy with Bryant.

    1. Wow! So Boston is paying Bradley 12 million dollars to be a defensive replacement. THAT is an emphasis on late-inning defense!!! I wonder if Moniak is as good for a LOT less.

    2. matt… mark mentioned and inferred above…..I believe Bryant may be their target.Conspicuous by the silence is Bryce on this matter.
      With their friendship and Boros as both heir agents, well…..
      If Bryant is the guy, then Dave D will probably go out and trade for the CFer

  22. The current left field scenario is similar to a few years past when we had the possibility to make a run after Brantley but chose McCutchen….At the time I felt we settled for a lesser player. No disrespect to McCutchen who played better than I expected and a person to be admired. Currently the best hitter available is Castellanos and we need his bat in the line up. We might settle for Schwarber or Conforto and both could be good additions but not the best addition.

    1. Would be nice if Dombrowski’s connection to Castellanos going back to when he drafted him counted along with a fair offer. His hit tool is clearly head and shoulders over the others. Conforto offers a better rounded profile than either Schwarber or Castellanos. Bryant offers versatility. All are worthy targets of acquisition. If DD gets nary a one, then this off season would be a serious clunker. I’m confident he signs one.

  23. Yes. It seems pretty certain Dave Dombrowski will have to take a trip through trade aisle for next year’s starting CFer. The most likely candidates, and my order of preference are:

    1. Ramon Laureano … here’s under team control for three seasons, and may be the best bang for your buck. He’s about two-thirds of the way through an 80-game PED suspension, and Oakland is planning a sell off for financial reasons).

    2. Bryan Reynolds … is a better offensive player than Laureano, but less of a defensive player. Love the fact that Reynolds is a switch-hitter, and is under team control for FOUR YEARS. He’s going to cost more than anyone on this list (and that’s the reason he’s not #1 on my ranking).

    3. Kevin Kiermairer … would be another great fit for the Phillies. Kiermairer still has an exceptional glove, and one of the best OF arms in the game. The Rays CFer is also a tremendous clubhouse guy (a serious under-the-radar Phillies’ need). Kiermairer is under contract for 2022, and comes w/a club option for 2023. It’s possible DD could expand this deal to include Tyler Glasnow, who is going to make 6M in 2022, despite not throwing because of TJ. Glasnow is under control through 2023.

    4. Bradley Zimmer … would be a fall back/break glass in case of emergency option. Zimmer is a former 1st round pick, who has been terrible offensively (primarily because he Ks way too much), but is still a good defender. He’s under team control for three seasons, and it’s possible Kevin Long could help this kid unlock some of his potential w/the bat.

    When it comes to LF, I think Kyle Schwarber would be a nice fit in the Phillies’ LU, but I’d still make Michael Conforto my #1 choice. He’s a great candidate for a bounce back season.
    I guess I’m going to be the contrarian when it comes to Kris Bryant. Most of you seem to like the idea of signing the former Cub to a LTC. For me, I see red flags. If you believe Farhan Zaidi is one of the game’s sharpest FO minds (I do), you have to wonder why the SFGs haven’t seemed interested in bring back Bryant. The Giants need a difference making bat, they have lots of payroll space, and they got an up close and personal look at him for three months this year.
    One last thing … it doesn’t sound like DD is in on Seiya Suzuki. Don’t understand why he wouldn’t (at least) make an offer.

    1. I think Ramon laureano fits many aspects of what the Phillies could use….the financial bit, the talent and the age.
      The concern is the PED issue, and whether or not that inflated his past offensive production.

      He should not cost much in trade…….IMO, Haseley and a Double A or AAAr minor league pitcher.
      But just hope he can rebound at the plate.

      1. Yeah. I think the PED bust/suspension will lower his price, but I think the A’s will do a lot better than Haseley and a MiLB pitcher. I gotta’ believe Oakland would ask for (and probably get) Johan Rojas in the deal. So … you’d be looking at something like Haseley, Rojas, Bailey Falter (and maybe a lottery ticket). Would anyone give that up for Ramon Laureano?

        1. No I would not give up 4 assets…..even superstars do not get more than three assets most trades.
          I do not think Dombrowski will give into that…knowing the risk for Lauerano and his PED issue..

          1. Fair enough (even though the A’s got four assets back from Toronto in the Josh Donaldson trade). So if you didn’t have to include the lottery ticket, would you do the deal?
            For me, I’m not going to let a 17 or 18 YO lottery ticket get in the way of landing three years of Ramon Laureano (at very reasonable salaries).
            I mean I understand your concerns over the PED bust. But, Oakland doesn’t have to give Laureano away either. They can hold on to him, and look to swap him out some other time over the next couple of seasons.

      2. Romus, Laureano will cost MUCH more in return than a young project prospect/suspect and a lottery ticket or two. It’s not like he’s got leprosy.

  24. Romus – That would be a great deal to get Laureano. The Phils could send Haseley and Cole Irvin to the A’s. Oh, wait. They already sent Irvin to Oakland,,,,for a box of balls.

    Hal – I think the Phillies were so certain that they were going to sign Harper, that they wanted McCutchen over Brantley because they wanted a RH bat to compliment Herrera and Harper.

  25. Let’s put this out there. The Phillies need a CFer. They’re going to have to get a guy through trade. Pick one of the following:

    Phillies get: (3 years of) Ramon Laureano
    As get: Adam Haseley, Bailey Falter, Johan Rojas, and Erubiel Armenta

    Phillies get: (4 years of) Bryan Reynolds
    Pirates get: Alec Bohm, Logan O’Hoppe, Andrew Painter, and Jose Pena Jr

    Phillies get: (1 year + an option of) Kevin Kiermairer
    Rays get: Griff McGarry, Andrew Baker, and Alexeis Azuaje

    None of the above. I’ll take my chances with a platoon of Haseley/Vierling

    1. In order of preference:

      (1) I’ll take Kiermaier IF the Phillies sign either Castellanos or Schwarber.

      (2) I’ll take Reynolds if the Phillies sign Bryant to play either LF or 3b.

      (3) I’ll take Laureano if the Phillies sign Conforto.

      (4) I’ll pass on 2022 should Haseley/Vierling be our CF platoon, regardless of who DD signs.

    2. My preference was Semien & Reynolds, while keeping stott by adding more players. Loved the idea of the Total bases these additions plus Harper would bring. Now that Semien is off the board, preference is now:

      1)kiermaier & Glasnow – for defense and a high percentage lottery ticket on a pitcher
      2) Reynolds – high price for a low level system but … potential star player cheap. Also … time for the scrounging dept to pony up, they’ve been off the last 10+ years
      3)kiermaier only – his defense is exactly what this team needs. Pretty sure Nola will appreciate it

      I don’t want the A’s steroid player, our boyscout owner doesn’t let players take roids. Rather roll with Veirling & Moniak

      I want almost any combo of Schwarber, Bryant, or Conforto in LF. I think they all push the team forward. Whoever has the best value based on $/years to expect production.
      Lastly, if they have Kiermaier in CF, I’d expect or hope for another SS/3B trade or signing to give the team the offense it needs. I believe Carmago is a Utility/bench add vs a full time player.

      On SF/Bryant – I wonder if Bryant may have given them last chance to match rights and that’s why you don’t hear the rumblings… we are going to have to wait.

      Btw, I’m liking DD’s bullpen pickups, they seem like dented can discounts but the bullpen is where all the value is every season. Those guys ping pong so much you need to do what DD is doing. That said, I still want another supposedly proven arm added.

    3. Not that CF salary is the be all and end all of determining DD’s course of action, but Kiermaier’s luxury tax hit is only $8.9M, Reynolds is projected to be under $5M, while Laureano will make about $2.8M. Those are significant differences when it comes to how much they can offer free agent bats.

    4. Original answer didn’t post, maybe dublicate:

      1) Kermarier & Glasnow – 18 runs saved … probably be 30 on the Phillies. I’ll take that with high % lottery ticket of Glasnow

      2) Reynolds – but need to keep Stott by giving more prospects

      3) keirmarier – paired with a big bat in LF or even a compromise like Conforto over Castellanos

      4) I’ll take a chance on verling & Moniak after those top 3. I want no part of the A’s ped player. To risky to give up for known tainted performance. Those stats could bottom put to the point that make Moniak& veirling the preference

      Excuse the SP errors.

  26. I’d love for them to give Vierling a shot in CF but even though he played most of his career in CF at Notre Dame, I don’t know if he can play the position well enough at the MLB level. We already know that Haseley is a bit shaky out there. I believe the FO is going to need to make the trade. I’d go with option 3 and hope that one of the Latinos develops into a major league CF.

    1. Not only is he a question mark defensively, but also offensively. While I was positively flabbergasted that Joe wouldn’t play him while he was scorching hot, it’s absolutely not sustainable to keep up his offense with a .420 BABIP, 26% K rate, and 5.2% BB rate.

      It was obviously a very small sample, so any (or all) of those numbers could change in ways that are sustainable but maintain his success, but we can’t really gamble on both offense AND defense at such an important position. I don’t mind letting him man LF (or maybe even 3B? He played a handful of games there in AAA) to see what we have in him.

      As for the trades Hinkie posted, I’d go Laureano. Losing Rojas hurts, and Falter could easily become a solid pitcher. But Haseley by all accounts won’t be playing in Philly. So using him to get a starting CF is ideal.

      I would say Kiermaier but a) we’d need to find another CF when he inevitably gets hurt, and b) if we trade McGarry to the Rays, you just know he’s going to best the best reliever in baseball 2 years from now.

      1. I do not iinitiate any trade talks with the Rays…..they would have to take the initiative and want a Phillies player or rid themselves of a financial expense……the Phillies have the leverage under those circumtamces.
        If there is no desire own their part to trade with the Phillies , so be it.

        Kiermaier is their one asset that is expensive for them…bottom-line, returning not much at all offensively, so he is a defensive specialist at a sizable financial investment.
        If they approach the Phillies, to lessen that fiscal responsibilty, by taking Kiermaier off their hands, then the Philies need to make the demands.

        1. You dirty dog Romus! Might need to get you near Middleton, rub off some of that snake oil. We need some rule benders in the FO

          1. Hah Tac…….Rays have a repiutation of coming out on top on trades,
            They are very keem and astute evaluators of player projections, as their track record indicates.
            Now we have one of their own in the Phillies’ org…, might as well use him to the Phillies’ advantage.

  27. I think the loss of a draft pick for signing a FA with a QO and the Luxury Tax, whatever it is, are both part of whatever we are able to do. I am still not convinced that Middleton goes past the LT, regardless of the guy in NY with the Mets, or whatever anybody else does. I still need to see it to believe it. Conforto still gets a big contract regardless of his less than stellar season, so I am still on Schwarber and Kiermaier. I agree with Romus, Taking on the contract gives us a little leverage vs the Rays. Stott, Painter and Abel are still the 3 I don’t trade, and Rojas may be our CF in a couple of years.

    1. matt13….signing Bryant affords the Phillies the opportunity of keeping the draft pick.
      Plus makes one Bryce Harper happy.
      I do believe Dave D when he says….he prefers to keep the 2nd round pick.
      He cannot do that when signing Castellanos or Conforto.

      He can with Schwarber, but have to think the Sox would not have traded Renfroe before the lock-out without knowing that Schwarber would be coming back to them with the offer they intend to extend to him. I am sure both parties know the numbers.
      Bradley also gives them that defense to help Schwarber in LF, if Verdugo moves to RF.
      They do have Kike for one more year so he is also in the OF mix…still cannot believe he played to a 5WAR player last year.

  28. I agree with you on Schwarber, Romus, and someone, it may have been you, brought it up the other day. I worried as soon as I read the Renfroe trade. He hit 31 HRs last season, and the BoSox need to replace his power. Bradley just gives them D, albeit, terrific D, so they need power from LF. Not that I don’t think we are capable of outbidding anyone for a player, I just think that hurts our position. Castellanos has a QO, and plays even worse LF than Schwarber. Bryant is the best pick because he can play some 3B if Bohm doesn’t quite make it, LF, some CF, and, of course, $ and length matter, but I would love to get Bryant.

    1. Harper’s silence is deafening.
      Lends me to believe he knows Bryant, Boras , Middleton and Dave D. have had very fruitful discussions prior to Dec 1st…..and did not have the time to get into the weeds with the negotiations…but were on their way.
      I hope if so…..the lockdown does not change anything…unless the new CBA puts a wrinkle into new contracts or luxury tax thresholds..

      1. I agree, on the silence part. It’s pretty damn “suspicious” IMO. Harper, with his contract, has stated he would be recruiting fort the Phillies … yet he is not recruiting Bryant … who also happens to play multiple positions of need? It’s not like Bryant is a Catcher, and they’d have to move realmuto for him. Also, his contract allows for him to make a push for Bryant – he has no trade clause, he spread out his money, etc … it’s literally setup to happen. It’s now or basically never if they want to chase a WS title together. I can’t imagine Harper is like … no it’s cool, sign x over Bryant after I took less and committed to this franchise John.
        Book it. In addition … it makes perfect sense for the team that can’t draft a bat boy, to sign the FA to hedge the odds that their prospects will develop. Hopefully the prospects get the instruction they need and the scouts pick the right players to bring in for instruction going forward

        1. Well;we really do not know what the two friends are saying to each other…..they are near you in Vegas….look them up at the local gym and find out what is going on. 🙂

          My uneducated guess, Bryant and Boras are leaning Phillies.

  29. Have any of you experienced when you sign in or bring up PP General Discussion that it brings you up in GD week Nov. 14? I can always manipulate it to get me to the current week, but thought it would bring me into the current week of discussion as matter of course.

    Anyway I thought I’d ask as little is happening and probably won’t be til after the holidays when the two parties MLPA and MLB get into the serious throat cutting exercises.

    1. Skeet….have you tried refreshing…if that would make any difference?
      Go to the top …blackened banner players ……and click before you exit out.

        1. Maybe clear cookies. Or, maybe search history, especially for November 14th. If you don’t power off your device periodically, like since November 14th, maybe try that.

  30. .

    This is an awesome idea and story by (probably the best of all time) Jayson Stark.
    He proposes a “Tanks, But No Tanks” MLB draft lottery. Under his system, teams would be rewarded for trying to win, instead of rewarding teams for trying to lose. Stark proposes giving the top 5 draft picks to the first five clubs that just missed the playoffs. The teams who finished with the five worst records would get the draft slots of the teams who moved to the top of the draft. For instance, next summer’s draft order would be:

    Pick No. 1 – Blue Jays (91-71)
    Pick No. 2 – Mariners (90-72)
    Pick No. 3 – Athletics (86-76)
    Pick No. 4 – Reds (83-79)
    Pick No. 5 – Phillies (82-80)

    Pick No. 20 – Orioles (52-110)
    Pick No. 19 – Diamondbacks (52-110)
    Pick No. 18 – Rangers (60-102)
    Pick No. 17 – Pirates (61-101)
    Pick No. 16 – Nationals (65-97)

    The players should push for this plan because it would incentivize all clubs to win.

    1. I like the concept. However, wild card teams which do not advance past the wild card round should also be ooh included among the teams awarded the early picks, especially if MLB sticks with the stupid one game playoff.

    2. I like that a lot. I’d maybe make that into a lottery type situation though with a reveal TV show to generate interest not unlike the NBA.

      My only concern would be teams may be reluctant to trade talent at the trade deadline which I would have to think drives a lot of traffic to MLB Network,, ESPN, the Athletic etc.

      1. Not ESPN. By the time the draft rolls around, ESPN is deep into NFL coverage.

        A TV reveal wouldn’t really benefit baseball. The other drafts have impact players who will help their teams next season. Skill position players have received all kinds of pre-draft coverage and, in the case of basketball and football, NCAA season and playoff coverage. Fans know who are the best players coming into the draft. The MBL draft doesn’t provide teams with impact players or well-known players. Most disappear into the minors and take a couple years to reach the bigs. An exception would be Aaron Nola (2014) who reached in 13 months and debuted in July 2015.

    3. Why not do a draft lottery like the NBA and NHL…….we try to re-invent the wheel……those two sports have already investigated everything else and came down to what they have now.
      They can change the weighted evaluation of the ping pong balls if they want the middle of the pack teams to have more chances.

  31. I love Jayson Stark’s plan. They are worried about competitive balance and can only come up with wats to make the burden fall on the players. If a team doesn’t try to win, they get no sympathy. If they are serious about eliminating tanking, this works. The teams in the last slots are penalized totally, they still get relatively high picks, but tanking for the best pick goes away. Can we start this now, please? Hinkie, who would you take at #5?

    1. OK, it is a very interesting point of discussion but I HATE this plan of putting the close losers to the playoffs at the top. Why? It puts first the blame the victim attitude that the worst teams are the worst because they are deliberately trying to lose. Can we be honest here? Bad teams are bad primarily due to lack of competence. The purpose of the draft shouldn’t be to help the owners it should be to help the fans in the cities that have had bad seasons, and teams that have bad seasons generally need the most help. Sure, it could be tanking in marginal ways, or it could be injuries, but I maintain that first of all unlike in some sports, the Baseball draft is not a magic elixir for success, and second that teams and owners have a huge financial incentive to win for purposes of selling tickets and concessions and merchandise, etc, and most of all pride! The topic of “tanking” is sour grapes for losers perhaps partially stimulated by outlier actions of creative genius’ like Sam Hinkie…. whose quick dismissal by the 76er, along with the dismissal of Doug Pederson are at the same time counterarguments to the idea that tanking is a preferred technique. Anyway, count me in the minority but that is MY perspective.

      1. Interesting point…my contention isn’t so much about tanking as it is the welfare state of mind owners of smaller town markets. Maybe have two leagues named the BIG BRA$$ BALL$ division and the CHEAPA$$ OWNER$ division.

      2. I think you underestimate how many losses are on account of tanking. Since 1900, 19 teams have posted 110 losses or more. Of those 19 teams, SEVEN of them are since 2000. Two of them were this past season.

        Now, there is actually another season with two 110 losers; 1969… when the two expansion teams (Padres and Expos) did it. Are we really comparing the O’s and D’Backs to EXPANSION teams? And regardless, this is now a trend. You don’t got 100 years with 12 of those historically bad seasons, and then in 20 years almost DOUBLE it by coincidence.

        By the way, one of those seasons was the 2013 Astros. The same FO in charge of that season (as well as the two prior 105+ loss seasons) were also in charge of their recent dominance, including their WS title. That’s not incompetence, it’s a plan of talent acquisition.

        Now I’m not saying there aren’t teams that try their best to put a good team on the field and just don’t succeed. But it is BLATANT that many of these teams aren’t trying. The freaking Pirates just recently traded away their only catcher on the roster (who was a gold glover and their second best player, by the way) and replaced him with a career back-up. This isn’t mid-season when you know your season is lost; this is the offseason when you’re supposed to be preparing to put the best team possible on the field

        Teams are no longer under the impression that losing is the worst thing to happen. They know they’ll turn a profit, and they know it’s better to be bad for a few years than to be mediocre for a decade. Active tanking isn’t just a theory, it’s the prevailing strategy for teams with no realistic championship aspirations.

      3. Why go outside baseball for tanking examples when we have the Astros and Cubs as examples of successful tankers?

        Players, coaches, managers don’t tank. Organizations tank. The draft exists for the orderly distribution (without competition for services mind you) of players into the league. It does not exist nor will it ever exist to help the fans.

        1. Jim, you are totally correct that the Astros and Cubs got some good players in the draft, and later transformed into winning clubs but perhaps we can just look at things in general. let’s say we go back 4 years to 2018 where the top draft picks went to teams like San Francisco, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and San Diego, all of which were competitive in that past year. Does that mean that these teams all tanked, or does it mean that drafting in inverse order of performance works the way it should? In contrast, here is a link to the Baltimore Orioles records since 2017. Surely they are not taking tanking to a new art form such that they are going to be the worst team in baseball for 10 years, while other teams are turning things around in 2or 3?

  32. So with our Bryant speculation…the scenario is making more sense to me. Kiermaier in CF, Stott at SS. Signing Bryant would allow the Phillies to start the 2022 season with Bohm at 3b and Vierling as 4th OF. I still have difficulty seeing Stott and Bohm together on the left side but there wouldn’t be the commitment to stick with Bohm when he can move to 1b while Hoskins is DH. KB is the one free agent who fits a roster of moving parts. If KK goes on the IL, Bryant can hold down CF until DD finds a suitable replacement at the deadline, for instance. But I don’t offer him more than 6 years or over $130M. Offer other creative incentives, fine.

    1. Bryant is a declining asset. If you give him a 6 year contract you need to expect the last 3 years to be a bad deal with large overpayments. It’s an option because he fits their immediate needs but unless he wants a pillow contract (unlikely), given the team’s LT constraints and his downward trajectory, he is like a Plan C or D for me.

      1. Yes the length of the contract isa big con….for most all players 29 or 30 years old signing LTCs.
        However, there are some advantages/pros to signing him
        1 His flexibilty to play muliple postions
        2. The potent RHB that Harper needs and says he wants in the middle.
        3.The Philies keep their 2nd round pick
        The Phillies and Dombrowski will choose to pick what they want…let’s hope they choose wisely.

        1. Again, Bryant isn’t my ideal but under the right circumstances….in isolation I prefer Castellanos, then Schwarber, then Bryant and then Conforto.

        2. I’m not talking about 29 and 30 year old generically, I’m talking about Bryant specifically – he Has all the look of a guy who may be a bad to mediocre player when he is 33 or 34. I really don’t want to give him a LTC.

          1. What do you mean?
            ……….’he Has all the look of a guy who may be a bad to mediocre player when he is 33 or 34.’…as opposed to a player who has the look that will be good at 33 or 34?

            How does one determine what the next 4 or.5 years will be for a particular player?

            To me it is a risk do matter what.

      1. Yes, I do and I would make “book” on it. I think Bohm is much more athletic than Rhys. Rhys is much more stiff in his movements and doesn’t react well to balls in the dirt or errant throws that require him to adjust his position to secure the throw.

        1. I don’t know about making “book” on it. All the questions about his slow first step, going to his left, going to his right, overcoming his tall frame to get down for balls, and the difficulties he seems to have on pop-ups are still going to exist at first base. Plus, now he would be expected to catch throws at first base – high, low, wide, in the dirt, designed one-hoppers plus handle pickoff throws from the pitcher and catcher.

          1. Jim, I’m not saying he’ll be Keith Hernandez over there, but I believe right now he can outfield Rhys on ground balls, his range while not great, is far better than Rhys who in my opinion has none. The difficulty with pop-ups is real, I agree, then again there is a group on here that want to put him in the outfield. I think some of the throws you mention would be an advantage for his tall frame, specifically high and wide. Certainly, he would need to learn to handle pick-offs from the pitcher and catcher and designed one-hoppers on a regular basis.

            I’ve watched Hoskins from Reading, Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia and he is the same guy in the field at every stop. Understand, I don’t hate Rhys, in fact I like him a lot, just looking to improve the 1b position in the field and I believe Bohm would be an improvement in the field.

            1. Not you’ve taken a net positive at first and turned it into a net negative. Bohm’s bat right now would make him a huge liability there. Rhys Hoskins is a true slugger and I think his best seasons are about to come. Rhys stays right where he is – we can live with the not so great defense there.

            2. If you look at my answer to the posed question. Do I think Bohm would be a better fielding 1rst basemen? I answered that question, never once did I mention slugging or the aspects of the bat.

  33. Keep in mind that Bryant is not that great at 3B. He’s better than Bohm but not by that much. He won’t make the spectacular plays but he’ll probably make most of the routine plays a 3Bman should make.

    Can someone tell me if the MLB network is on hiatus? I can only seem to get “classic games”.

    1. My guess… is under MLB ownership… as long as there is nothing going on due to the lock-out, I suppose this is what the TV audience will get.

  34. What to do about Didi? Phillies Nation’s Tim Kelly posted seven possibilities for whom Dave Dombrowski could trade Gregorius in what are essentially swaps in meh-to-bad salaries. These aren’t totally off the rails since each holds some practical benefits to both trade partners, if not a whole lot. Worth a read…

    Nick Ahmed (as discussed before)
    Josh Donaldson (although even less likely now that Buxton was extended)
    Paul deJong (solid glove, bat???)
    Lorenzo Cain (solid glove, declining bat with age)
    Wil Myers (productive bat)
    David Price (this would be the 3rd time DD is involved)
    Ha-seong Kim (Kelly suggests Kevin Long could help Kim at the plate, but good glove at 3 IF positions)

    1. I think we are stuck with Didi and I have a feeling he is going to have a bounce back season. Didi is playing for his next contract. Now whether he starts at third or short depends on Bohm.

  35. Schwarber-LF
    Harper -RF

    Trade Didi. I think this could make sense, with how the offseason has unfolded. if the DH actually happens for the NL. The lineup becomes real deep If Stott and Bohm can be the bats they are projected to be. Gives way to gathers comment that the team has to develop players CS buying everyone.

    With the schwarbers rumblings before the lockout, and Bryant/Harper silent, I give it a pretty good chance of it being the current plan. With Camargo, they could even decide to trade Segura for Kimbrel, move some of the lineup around. Will have to wait, but I can see this happening if LTT is increased as expected , JM signing off on Bryant as the right player or schwarber to go over LTT for.

    Team defense … will how to be late inning replacements, if this is the plan

    1. Bryant and Schwarber – almost certainly not happening due to LT issues. It’s one or the other.

      1. I think there is ways to make it happen – trade segura (not thrilled about this) Stott to 2nd, Didi stays at 3B. Sign the FA. Im more of the belief that Middleton will go over, up to the what we the new LTT is. That gives them the room, but I could be right with Boras’ demands I do have concerns that Bryant is declining but it’s also the price to pay when you don’t develop Players and you sign a superstar like Harper

  36. I would trade Didi, and eat half of his contract. I think there are teams who would like him at $7M and it gives us more money to play with. I am not looking to take on another bad contract in place of his. Unless we are trading for Chapman, I think the plan is to hope for improvement from Bohm, and SS will eventually be Stott’s to lose, maybe as soon as ST. I don’t think the team is giving up on the idea of that being the IF’s left side. If we sign Bryant, I think it would be to play LF, maybe some CF, and 3B only in an emergency. I think Knebel was signed to be the Closer, and we are not going to make a trade for Kimbrel or Hader. We probably need 2 more arms for the BP, at least one to fill the 7th/8th inning role that we lost with Neris going to Houston. I have expressed my concern about Schwarber going back to Boston, but I still give us a shot. Otherwise, Bryant or Conforto in LF, and Kiermaier or some other top defensive player for CF.

    1. Matt, I believe you can make arguments for both, but I believe boras is Schwarber’s agent as well? If so, such a common tactic of his to ask for the moon, and make the team nervous of losing him to a team willing to pay that moon price

      What you laid out as a counter… it’s not enough imo. Maybe if they expand the number of playoff teams… signing only 1 FA bat and trading for KK…. Not going to cut it. Mets will leapfrog us imo.

  37. IMO the best chance to trade Didi is throwing him into an Aaron Nola trade (if DD has that move up his sleeve). Otherwise, the list of potential landing spots is short.

    * Anaheim … needs a SS, but isn’t going to shell out the money for one of the big name FAs.

    * Minnesota … tried to sign Didi last winter.

    * New York … Yankees may be the most likely landing spot. They have a history with Didi. Their LU is desperate for LH bats. And they seem mostly interested in a short term option to bridge them to one of their top prospects (Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza).

      1. No. I was thinking Didi for an older minor leaguer …someone like former Phuture Phillie Addison Russ. Maybe the Yankees eat two-thirds of Didi’s money (9M). DD could use that 9M to re-sign Brad Miller and a BP arm. If Miller takes 5M again next season, Dombrowski could use the 4M left from Didi’s money to maybe include Ryan Yarbrough in a Kevin Kiermairer deal. Yarbrough is kind of the perfect arm for the Phillies. He’s a lefty who can be used as SP5 or out of the pen. He could begin the year in the rotation while waiting for Zach Eflin to get healthy, then transfer to the BP when Eflin is set to go.

        1. Hinkie…I was making light about Didi for Stanton.
          Though Russ would be a good get for the BP.
          As for Brad Miller….he may be going again to a higher bidder.

    1. Hinkie – I have long thought – as you point out – if Phils move Didi – he is most likely to end up in the Bronx. They need a short term fix due to Volpe and Peraza, left handed bats, and know him well. I even think he will do much better and have a bounce back year. My guess is DD trades him for one of the many relief pitchers Yankees use – not a name brand but a useful AAA arm.

  38. Tac, I can’t argue with you. That is not what I would do, I would spend over the LT, without question. I am just trying to gauge what they will do, and I still believe that the LT is a barrier to Middleton. Hoping I am wrong, but just my guess. And, I am still not as sure as Hinkie is that Conforto is going to bounce back. A candidate to do so, sure, but I have my doubts. And, something about us and Castellanos just doesn’t seem like what we will do.

    1. matt13…until the resolution of the CBA and also the Luxury Tax Threshold is set…pretty difficult determing the direction of Middleton and the Philies.
      MLBPA wants it at $240M….owners first suggested back in Sep or October at $180M ( with a floor around $100M)
      My guess it will be in that $220M area for the first year and work itself up each succeding year.

  39. OK, Hinkie, so your guess is Conforto in LF, KK in CF, I happen to like the Yarbrough addition, and who do you have at SS? Stott, or someone else? I agree with the prospect for Didi deal, and we eat what we need to. My guess was we eat half, your Yankees deal is even better.p

  40. And, Hinkie, I understand you would trade for Laureano or Reynolds. I am just asking your guess as to what they will do.

    1. matt … from Jim Salisbury’s reporting, it sounds like Dave Dombrowski zeroed in on Kyle Schwarber before the lockout. I believe the club needs an impactful LH bat. I just think they’re focusing on the second best choice. Schwarber makes sense. He’s a versatile offensive player. He can lead off, or hit in the middle of the LU (.374 OBP & 32 HRs in 2021). However, for me, Michael Conforto is the better player. He’s just coming off a down walk year, while Schwarber had a helluva platform season. But I think moving forward, Conforto will be the more productive bat, and a better defender. Conforto may have let the pressure of his impending free agency negatively affect him in 2021. There was also a little bit of bad luck involved. He put the ball in play more than ever (lowest K% in six seasons), he just hit the ball at defenders (second lowest BABIP of his career).
      If you zoom out a little, and compare Conforto to Schwarber over the four seasons prior to this one (2017-2020), Conforto has been the better/more consistent offensive weapon. During that time:

      Schwarber .229/.334/.480 110 OPS+
      Conforto .265/.369/.495 134 OPS+

      I feel there’s a pretty good chance the new CBA will lessen (maybe even do away with) the penalty for signing a QO FA. Even if it doesn’t, Conforto is worth the second round draft pick.

      About SS … It sounds like the Phillies believe Bryson Stott can play the position. I’ve always thought (even when watching him at UNLV) he was a future 3Bman. I recently read (may have been BA) Stott looks comfortable fielding the SS position, so maybe I’m wrong/Dombrowski is right. BTW … I wouldn’t be surprised if Stott begins the season at AAA (especially if there aren’t any changes to service time in the new CBA), and Nick Maton begins 2022 as the Phillies starting SS (if young Nick isn’t dealt to Oakland as part of a Laureano or Chapman or Manaea deal this winter).

      1. matt … almost forgot … about CF … with JBJ no longer available, I think DD will probably do a deal with Tampa (always dangerous) for Kevin Kiermairer and maybe a pitcher (either Glasnow or Yarbrough).
        I’d love Reynolds or Laureano, but Dombrowski may prefer to pay less (in draft capital) for KK.

      2. Yes, it’s interesting. This is a complex problem with a lot of variables.

        As for the hitting stats, your citation to their historical numbers is accurate but omits some very important recent statistics. Last year, Schwarber was, by a mile, the better hitter. Like much, much, much better. This is made all the more amazing by the fact that he had a slow start. Then something clicked and he was essentially a top 10-15 hitter in baseball – perhaps top 5-10. And it didn’t look like a fluke. It looked like he discovered himself. Furthermore, he came into the year incredibly fit and strong – almost like a different player who needed to re-establish himself after a horrid 2020. The thought here is that Schwarber has become a much better hitter and will retain most of the gains from last year over the next 4-5 years (maybe 3-4 years). And he should be cheaper because the historical stats will depress his value. The idea is that Schwarber on a 4 year deal will bring more value, and certainly more flexibility than Conforto on a 6 to 7 year deal, where the last few years are iffy. By contrast, I don’t expect any years of a 4 year contract to Schwarber to be consumed by age-related decline.

        And, you’re right, I expect Conforto to bounce back and he’s a better fielder. I like Conforto and if they sign him, I will be perfectly happy since I expect he would be a much better power hitter in CBP than he was in the cavernous stadium in New York. But for me, he’s the second option, although I certainly see your points.

        1. I read your post again and, you did point on their respective seasons last year – so my comments were not entirely fair, but I wanted to flesh it out a little more. Love your posts and input.

  41. Anyone else feel like neither side will pick up the phone to call the other side until after Jan. 1st 2022? I do think the owners are in a box canyon on one issue. They have a red-line on young plyers being available for FA before 29.5 years.. Claim it’s bad for baseball; especially for small market teams.The Boras Group which is essentially the defacto union has said “fine then we want higher minimum salaries for young players.” Boras’s opening offer to trade off an earlier 29,5 FA for players is a minimum $2 million dollar a year salary. So now the owners are fighting on two ideological fronts. No FA before 29.5, AND resisting a minimum salary for players. My prediction the minimum salary for players on the 26-man roster goes up from $580k to $1.5 million..

    1. Yep, I don’t feel either side is inclined to talk prior to the holidays, but either side will feel free to jump in to blame the other for not wanting to get this thing done.

      1. I suspect that during the last week of January or the first week of February things will start to move. If you forced me to predict, I think this thing will be resolved between February 20 and March 10. If it’s not resolved by March 10, we are potentially looking at a partial season and I think that’s quite possible this year. It has been about 26/27 years since the last disastrous strike – just long enough where people forget the pain it brought; just long enough where something approaching that disaster could happen again as these titans beat their chests and fight over massive amounts of money, although I hope it doesn’t of course.

    2. Hawkeye, shouldn’t any strict age limit for free agency be rejected? What a difference between international and USA players or college and non-college in terms of starting age, and thus track record/wear and tear/ by the time they reach age 29.5.

  42. Thanks, Hinkie, I always appreciate your perspective. I believe that one modification to the CBA is the elimination of the loss of a draft pick, and that will affect who we pursue.

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