Open Discussion: Week of December 12, 2021

Day 12 of Mister Manfred’s lockout.  No action on the negotiating front.  No likelihood of any for a few weeks, it seems.  The Phillies did sign a couple more international free agents (one from Cuba) and picked a RHP from the Giants organization during the Rule 5 draft. 

The Designated Hitter:  The longer the two sides fail to reach an agreement, the less likely it is that there will be a designated hitter in the National League next season.  Why?  The Basic Agreement is about economic issues.  Rule changes are not normally discussed during these negotiations.  They are handled separately by a rules committee.  And, Manfred already stated that those negotiations would not be held concurrently with the basic agreement negotiations.  So, figure on no DH this season.

Additionally, the DH would benefit both sides.  For some reason, the owners see it as a bargaining chip and want something in return for it.  The DH is not an additional player added to the 26-man roster.  He is the conversion of an existing player to a DH.  With a limit of 13 pitchers already on the books, teams seemingly committed to 8-man bullpens, and teams drifting away from DH-only type positions, the DH will likely become a hybrid corner infielder/outfielder who can hit with power and field his positions at a not quite so almost average skill level.

The MLB Portion of the Rule 5 Draft:  There was some discussion of this last week.  The question seemed to be, why not hold the draft and let the players just wait for the league and the association to reach an agreement that will then let them join their new teams.  I suggested that league rules wouldn’t allow this.  But, the question remained.  Why not hold the draft and let the players know where they would be playing next season.  They would just sit in a similar limbo to Adonis Medina (whose 11th hour DFA left him in a position where he can’t elect free agency and sign with another team) or Justin Verlander (whose new contract wasn’t ratified before the lockout).

Maybe, it’s as simple as the organizations don’t want to be without the potentially selected players if the lockout lasts into spring training.   Selected players would not be able to work out in spring training.  But, by delaying the Rule 5 draft, the players are available for spring training and the start of the minor league season.  And, also available to be used if the owners decide to use them on major league rosters made up of minor leaguers and scabs.  That’s assuming that the lockout lasts into the regular season.  I do not know if that is likely, but I do believe that the owners have thought this far ahead.

Trade Aaron Nola?  This depends on what you think of the 29-year-old pitcher.  If you think he is on the downside of his career, then you’re going to trade him at his lowest value.  Interested teams will see Nola for what he is, a talented pitching value who they can pick up for pennies on the dollar.  Lotsa pennies but still far less than his true value.  If you think he’s going to rebound, you sit tight and ride his arm into the postseason (we hope).  The biggest problem with trading Nola (other than not getting value) is that he can’t be replaced in the rotation from within the organization.  So, that leaves free agency.  A pitcher with Nola’s skills would likely cost more than the $31M he gets over the next two seasons.  And, some of the best have already come off the market.

He probably comes in between Eduardo Rodriguez (5 yr/$77M, $15.4M AAV) and Marcus Stroman (3 yr/$71M, $23.6M AAV).  There are 14 available pitchers in that age range.  Carlos Rodon looks like a very interesting direction to take, but he ran out of gas after coming off his TJ surgery.  The other 13 pitchers are – Zach Davies, Chad Kuhl, John Gant, Steven Brault, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Carlos Martinez, Jose Urena, Mike Foltynewicz, Yusei Kikuchi, Dietrich Enns, Martin Perez, Matt Boyd, and Julio Teheran.

I don’t think we are going to be able to package him with Didi Gregorius while he’s at his lowest value.  The return would be much worse than we think.

Next Year’s Rule 5 Draft:  Since the Rule 5 draft is over except for a possible Major League selection process sometime after the parties reach agreement on a new CBA, I updated my Rule 5 file.  We will have 52 players who will be first-time eligible for the major league portion of next season’s Rule 5 draft(barring any negotiated changes).  They are (bold text for interesting prospects, the # is MLB’s ranking):

Lehigh Valley – LHP Brian Marconi, #11 C Logan O’Hoppe, #2 SS Bryson Stott
ReadingLHP Erubiel Armenta, RHP Kyle Glogoski, LHP Josh Hendrickson, LHP Nick Lackney, RHP Adam Leverett, SS Chris Cornelius
Jersey Shore – RHP Aidan Anderson, RHP Albertus Barber, RHP Carlos A. Francisco, RHP Jonathan Hughes, #9 LHP Erik Miller, RHP Dominic Pipkin, RHP Carlo Reyes, RHP Andrew Schultz, RHP Brett Schulze, C Vito Friscia, C Herbert Iser, SS Nate Fassnacht, SS Sal Gozzo, 3B McCarthy Tatum, CF Hunter Markwardt, #6 CF Johan Rojas
Clearwater – RHP, Starlyn Castillo, LHP Gabriel Cotto, LHP Maikel Garrido, LHP Rafael Marcano, #28 LHP Jordi Martinez, RHP Nicoly Pina, RHP Eduar Segovia, RHP Jose Ulloa, LHP Spencer Van Scoyoc, C Arturo De Freitas, 2B Wilfredo Flores, SS Kendall Simmons, 1B Rixon Wingrove
FCL – LHP Tyler Adams, RHP Yoan Antonac, LHP Juan Miranda, LHP Jaylen Smith, LHP Riley Wilson, C Edward Barboza, C Freddy Francisco, SS Guarner Dipre, SS Albert Jerez, 3B Wilson Valdez, RF Jeff Encarnacion, OF Junior Ortega
DSR – LHP Sergio Sanchez, RHP Manuel Urias

At the Complex:  The Phillies are running a strength and conditioning camp for about a dozen players.  My buddy Steve Potter and I went over just to nose around and see what we could see.  The half-field outside of the ballpark has been resodded with new turf installed for the side pitching mounds.  It looked to us as though the infield dirt covered more area than it did in the past.  It led us to surmise if that would be a way for teams to extend their shifts (in the event that rules are applied to shifting in the future).  Deeper dirt would allow infielders to play deeper if the dirt is the limiting factor.

We went over to the Complex and watched a bunch of players workout way over on the foul line and right field on Schmidt Field.  It was easily over 350 feet to the players.  Still, we were able to identify several people.  I’m sure one of the people watching was Dana Parks.  I’m even more sure one of the players was Ben Brown.  I’m just as sure that Jamari Baylor was there.  And Jordan Viars.  And probably/maybe Ethan Wilson.

We knew that Preston Mattingly was at the Complex that day.  It was lunchtime and a car exited the Complex with Edwin Soto driving.  We know Edwin from around the Complex and waved to him.  Several minutes later he returned.  He had left the parking lot but when his passenger Preston Mattingly asked who waved, he wanted to come back to meet us.  Pretty cool.  We introduced ourselves and chatted briefly.  We found out that Yhoswar Garcia and Micah Ottenbreit were also attending the camp.

Mattingly spoke with us for a few minutes before continuing his journey to Orlando for the Winter Meetings.  I did a bad job of remembering what he said. He did talk about the players adding weight and getting stronger.  He was particularly happy about one of the skinnier guys adding weight.  I’m pretty sure he was talking about Ottenbreit who is tall and thin at 6’4, 190.

Cool.  Cool.  Cool.

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 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


12/08/2021 – Lehigh Valley selects RHP Matt Seelinger (SF) in Rule 5 draft
12/05/2021 – RHP Eliecer Bata assigned to DSL Red
12/05/2021 – Phillies signed IFA RHP Eliecer Bata to a minor league contract
12/05/2021 – OF Dariam Gutierrez assigned to DSL White
12/05/2021 – Phillies signed IFA OF Dariam Gutierrez to a minor league contract

100 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of December 12, 2021

  1. Are they feeding the minor league players? That would help.

    I think all the players should be striving to get into the best shape of their lives. More should be at the complex.

  2. Owners to the MLBPA on the possibility of the DH in the National League “Stop, or I’ll shoot myself in the foot.”

  3. MLB radio is trying to fill air time during the lockout and the announcers (the morning guys Duckett & Perez)) re-hash all the open issues going into 2022 and kind of look at the DH as a fate accompli for next season.. Let’s hope…

  4. The question of trading Nola….and getting value back.
    IMO, Friedman and the Dodgers are looking for two more additional quality starters…….Beuhler and Urias are it so far for them.
    Nola fills one of those slots.
    Dodgers have a loaded farm system and even a few players on their active roster that they may be willing to trade, ie Bellinger, for one (he is due a hefty raise in arb3 and then in 2023 who knows how much more).

    I think Dave D can pull off a trade with the Dodgers and still get quality MLB ready pitchers from the LAD farm…along with a CFer in the form of Bellinger..

    1. If we could get mlb ready arms from the Dodgers, why wouldn’t they? We’re not trading Nola and going backwards. Harper, JT and Wheeler get a year older each year. Phils need to win now, trading Nola won’t help that.

      1. ……..and how have they done with Nola so far these last 7 years… play-offs.
        Time for change….status quo gets you zilch.

        1. Status quo gets you zilch…. But having and keeping your good players puts you in a better position to achieve more than zilch.

          1. Dave D has been around long enough to let ‘good players’ go….and replace with good or better players, specifically in trade..
            I like to think this GM has a motto similar to ….fortuna eruditis favet…fortune favors the prepared mind.

      2. Nola pitches every 5th or 6th day. Bellinger would play almost every day. The assumption is that Nola of 2018 returns in 2022. The assumption that Bellinger returns to his MVP form is just as probable. The starting rotation may be weaker, but how much more potent would the starting lineup be. That’s the scale on which Dombrowski must weigh his decision, if trading Nola is even on the table, which who knows whether it is.

        1. The fact that Nola pitches every 5th or 6th day does not make him worth any less than a position player.

          As for Bellinger, right now, his value is nowhere near what Nola is worth. Let’s be frank. Last year, Bellinger was a liability – a negative 1.5 bWAR/negative .8 fWAR. Nola, in a down year, was a 2.7 bWAR/4.5 fWAR. So, even when Nola is off he’s a #3 starter, at worst. When he has a good year, he’s essentially an ace.

          Now, people believe Bellinger will bounce back to a degree, so he has some trade value as a former MVP and a young player, but his season last year and in 2020 were so bad, that value is way down. You definitely shouldn’t and don’t have to trade Nola to get Bellinger – something like Bailey Falter, Matt Vierling and a lower level prospect (10-20), should do it. And if they ask for Nola, you should laugh and walk away. No way.

          1. Disagree on one aspect… if by chance the Dodgers and Friedman should be the ones to inquiry on Nola’s availability….then make him pay dearly for him if he truly wants him.
            Dombrowski would have the leverage and assume he would exercise it.

            1. Yeah, of course. It goes without saying. But he’s no fool either. I was talking about a package without Nola for Bellinger. If they want Nola, it’s going to be a like a big Christmas wish list with very little room to negotiate.

  5. I read an article from a Chicago reporter looking at possible white Sox trade partners for a second baseman and Segura came up as the best match for value and need as a possible swap of contracts for Kimbrell as they seem to be pretty close. If Scott’s long term position is second base as I’ve read in some circles I think it’s pretty interesting and still allows DD to fill the other holes with the same payroll.

  6. I highly doubt the team would entertain trade proposals for Nola. Even if some think his value is low it still would be quite high with at least 1 blue chip prospect if not 2 to at least getting some interest back. My expectation is the rotation of Wheeler, Nola, Suarez, Gibson, Eflin, along with one more starter added to the pool/depth going into spring training. Crouse and Falter likely the first minor leaguers to get looks if needed. Some team would have to blow away the Phils with an offer for them to consider removing one of the top starters in baseball with this window of contention open for them.

  7. I think that DD looks at this like Nola will bounce back, and he is looking to field a Contender this coming season, and Nola is his #2 SP. I don’t think he wants to create another hole to be filled, and we would be trading Nola at the bottom of his value. SO, he is worth more to us. Just my opinion. I agree with Bob D in that they feel their SP is set, with the addition of a depth guy who can transition to the BP when Eflin is back in stride.

  8. I still think Tyler Anderson, who DD tried to acquire from Pirates, will be signed as a FA to slot into extra starter depth + bullpen aid.

  9. Just my thoughts

    Nola is one of my favorite Phillies of all time. He’s awesome. To me, he would be very hard to replace. I will say that I would entertain the idea of trading him … but I’m likely to baulk at the idea now. I would’ve last year but now, it’s a heard sell. Here is why:

    Less value on his contract
    He is at the lowest value trade wise IMO
    Howard didn’t materialize, and they didn’t add anyone

    I only entertain this idea because the Phillies can’t develop players on the regular .. or even semi inconsistently, thus trading Nola needs to be considered more than it should be

    If you believe Saurez is the real deal, a solid #2. Efflin is a solid 3, who plays like a #2 for a stretch, with Gibson being a reliable #4… and you are hanging onto Abel…. With carouse/falter filling in the meantime … then it’s much more pallitable. You better get a lock back in return. With good prospects too. Nola is no joke, when he is on, he is unhittable. He’s an ace. When he is off, he rarely plays below a #2 level starter. He generally matches up against the opponents best pitcher for a long stretch of games.
    Lastly if you do trade him, the team better be HEAVY on the offense. Like I want to be a top 5 offensive team to make up for the runs they are going to need. In the NL east, a lot of tough pitching. Abel better be the real deal too, for this to make
    Sense now.

  10. I like the idea of getting Anderson but I don’t think a Segura-Kimbrell trade is in the works. Segura might be making $14M this coming season but he is one of the top 3 hitters on the team and perhaps the best defender.

    1. It’s not impossible but the Sox would need to eat some of Kimbrel’s salary. Phils would only do this deal if they could save a few million to apply to a new 2B. Stott will start in AAA. They still need to figure out SS

  11. No to trading Nola – unless you believe Suarez is a legit #3 or better, with Efflin being your _#2 or at worst 3. I also need Abel to not then be traded, and to grab a SR in 2023. I also need the offense to be in the top 10 in the league, if not pushing the top 5.
    Nola is a top tier SP. he’s not always performing like an ace but he can. He’s really good IMO, id argue a top 30 pitcher in the league. Might not be the Phillies top SP, but he’s somebody’s. I’d trade him under right deal but I’d be happy to be reluctant. Someone like bellinger is tough, because now you have to get through Nola, and it won’t be easy.
    For what it is worth, i think he is gone jn FA, especially if they don’t get to the playoffs both years. He’ll have had enough of Philly by then

  12. By Fangraphs…Nola is ranked 11th among all MLB starters….if you want to go by their fWAR.
    I would think that Dombrowski, after decades of experience, has the wherewithal to extract value for Nola if he were to deal him.
    He will not give him away..

    Now one can argue based on his salary in line with his performance , Nola ‘s value could be mediocre….Spotrac has him at 68th, then again, MadMax was at 52, Gerit Cole is 60th and Braves’ Ian Anderson was at 29th.

  13. Aside from whatever value he brings, Romus, and despite his performance last season, for us to be a Playoff team, we need Nola, or someone else, to pitch like a #2 SP. Now, I believe he can be that guy, but, for argument’s sake, let’s pretend we trade him. Unless anyone believes that Eflin or Suarez is a #2, and I do not, where does that Pitcher come from? In your Dodgers proposal we get a Major League ready arm, but that is a far distance from a #2 on a Playoff team. I think, whatever the return is, and it may very well make us better in 2024 or 2025, I think keeping Nola and his rebounding to be the SP we thought he could be, is our best bet for success in 2022.

    1. matt13…therein lies risk either way.
      Trading Nola and not getting anything back of equal or better performance value
      or……….keeping Nola and he falls off the cliff

      Most people are risk averse and prefer to keep him hoping he regains or even surpasses his past excellence

      1. Romus, really, almost any pitcher could fall off a cliff. You have the same risks if you trade for a pitcher that you do if you retain your existing pitcher except you know much more about the pitcher you have.

        There’s almost no way I trade Nola. If this team is to contend, it needs a rotation with very good starters at least three deep. Nola gives you that. Also, we talk as if Nola were not good. He is good and the numbers tell you he’s more likely to rebound and return to being very good or excellent than he is to fall apart. You don’t strike out 10 consecutive batters without elite stuff. It simply does not happen. If this team trades him away for anything other than a real haul, I expect it could go down as being one of the worst trades in team history.

        1. Fortunately, I don’t think he’s a guy they are trying to trade so it would have to be a haul to prompt any interest from this FO. Odds are that it is very unlikely Nola will be traded absent some huge haul in a blockbuster deal. Nobody is buying Nola from the Phillies for pennies on the dollar – these folks are smarter than that.

            1. The package would have to be huge. Even though Nola seems to be miles away from his 2018 self (where he posted 10.2 WAR), he’s an experienced, talented starter who’s under control for a possible 2 more years at a modest salary. If the Phillies put him on the block, every team would be calling up the Phillies.

    2. Romus/Matt – at this point, I prefer to keep Nola. The time to trade him was last off-season imo. If DD does pull the trigger, I’d really hate it, but if the offense becomes the overwhelming strength of the team, I can signoff on that plan. Especially if the defense improves with its. So if they are ok’d to add multiple FA bats or get a bat back in the trade with FA signings, I’m more ok with it. Hard to trade way pitchers like him, as Even the crappy teams of yesteryear had a chance to win when schilling was on the mound. Nola is not schilling but he is close enough. Basically teams with major holes in them, can win with pitchers like Wheeler & Nola
      I say keep him

  14. I don’t see a Kimbrel deal, especially for Segura. Segura only has this year left on his contract, and hit pretty well for us. I am not accepting it as locked in stone that Stott is ready to play in the Majors out of ST, so I am not writing him in as Segura’s replacement, and I am not yet switching him to 2B. And, I think Knebel was signed, and he signed here for 1 year, to be a Closer, and that our BP addition will be a 7th/8th inning guy who might be able to Close in a pinch, but not a Closer like Kimbrel or Hader.

    1. Matt13, I agree. DD will likely look for 2 set up pitchers with 1 being a lefty. If Domiguez rebounds that would be icing on top and if Romero comes back the 2nd half of the season like he was pitching before that would put the cherry on top – but I doubt that DD is going to count on either and have a plan B

      1. Dominguez should be in ST looking for a high leverage role. Besides the fact that the Phillies can’t be throwing money at everything, Dominguez and other cheap options will definitely be in play for the bullpen. As for Romero, I doubt he’ll be in play for 2022. I mean, everybody was waiting for Dominguez this season and we know how that played out. With serious injuries like this, they need to recover AND be effective. That takes time for the most part.

        1. Thats why Romero would be the cherry on top. The earliest return I heard for him was August and that would be if everything goes perfect.

          I do have a question, what is the opinions on these new players added to roster in last month for possible bullpen roles? Emmanuel, Lopez, Moss, Nelson, Sheriff.

  15. What are the chances that a team will pick up Odubel Herrera and much do you think he would get for a one year contract? And, and, and,,,do you think the Phillies would bring him back if the cost was low enough?

    1. ciada….MLBTR has Jorge Soler projected at 3yrs/$36M and Eddie Rosario at 2 yrs/$15M…Mets signed Mark Canha for 2yr/$26M
      Doobie had a 1.8bWAR year last year.
      If I had to make a guess on strictly an AAV…$9M.
      Why…I do not think many of the large market teams with deep pockets will go after him, maybe just the Rangers.
      So maybe a small market team may be his chance ..and they tend to start lower on the AAV scale.

    1. The most interesting name on this list is Joey Gatto. He’s got a couple of things in common with Mike Trout: they both played HS ball in the Cape Atlantic League (South Jersey), and were high draft picks by the LAAs. That’s where the similarities end. Gatto was a big time prospect out of St Augustine Prep (near me). He was actually teammates with Zach Warren there. Gatto got picked in the second round in 2014. Johnny Almaraz selected Warren 21 rounds later that year.
      The Angels were never able to develop him. He threw in the Rangers system in 2021 (with Hans Crouse).


      Still hoping DD can sign Carlos Martinez and Nathan Kirby to MiLB deals this winter.

      1. Hinkie….I pass on Carlos Martinez…..all indications from some of those of the Cardinal fanbase……disruptive player, plus he claims to have many nagging injuries.
        However, because of their talent level, him and Trevor Bauer in the same rotation would make for fine daily reporting

        1. Romus … someone else (may have been Hawkeye) mentioned the same thing the last time I mentioned Martinez. He may have some issues (I don’t know), but it’s a MiLB contract. You’re not guaranteeing him anything. For me, Carlos Martinez is worth taking a flier/MiLB contract on.

          1. I suppose Hinkie when you put it that way…a minor league deal is relatively risk free, other than the small amount of $$$$ outlay for his signature.
            He also will have something to prove I would think.

  16. About JoJo Romero … I would stretch him out as he works his way back from TJ. He’s still got the three pitch mix to take another crack at a SP spot. If it doesn’t work out again, he can always return to the BP. But IMO there’s no better time to stretch him back out the this season. He’s got a new elbow, and his arm isn’t used to working in short stints (because he’s been out for months with TJ). Have him throw every fifth day in 2022.

  17. What a coup for the Phillies!!! Just read that they signed Joey Gallo to a contract. I didn’t even know that he was available……What? I’ve got it wrong? They signed Joe Gatto to a minor league contract? I guess I’ll have to read things a little more carefully.

    I really wouldn’t mind seeing Joey GaLLo in left field for the Phils. I know he strikes out a ton but he walks a lot, hits for power, and can play all outfield positions. He is a better player overall IMO than McCutchen was when he came over on a big contract 3 years ago.

      1. That’s the problem with letting someone like Baines in. It creates the illusion that anyone with better credentials should be going in, which is not the case.

        As for Abreu, my view of the HOF is that it’s a combination of statistics and observations regarding the player. Players between 60 and 70 WAR are not automatics – it’s entirely a judgment call. You have to take everything in context.

        I spent a lot of time watching Abreu during his entire Phillies’ career and, honestly, while I thought he was an excellent player, he never struck me as a Hall of Fame player, although I do understand the value he brought statistically. Abreu really lacked the “it” factor which I view as a real thing to a degree and it showed in the way he was reluctant to play an “all out” game in the outfield (pulling up before the fence at the Vet) and how he would do seemingly selfish things (like stealing an entirely unnecessary base in the 9th inning with the team down several runs) when the game was on the line. I don’t think he was a bad guy by any means, but he often seemed detached and was certainly never what I would describe as clutch.

        If you’re looking for guys with more than 60 WAR who should be in the HOF, start with Lou Whitaker and Bobby Grich and Curt Schilling (maybe people don’t like him personally, but he had almost 80 WAR in season plus tons of legendary postseason moments – it’s a crime he’s not in the HOF yet) and then get back to me. Perhaps my views will change over time, but Abreu is a guy who just doesn’t belong in the HOF – IMO he falls just short.

        As for Howard – he’s a mile away – forget about it. Rollins is also short by a significant degree, but much closer than Howard and not nearly as close as Abreu.

        1. Just to continue the thoughts. Chase Utley should definitely go into the HOF – he was an elite player for 5 or 6 years, played the way a great should play and was an iconic postseason performer. Hamels is close as well – he is within 1 career WAR of Abreu. To me, he’s even closer than Abreu, but I think he will likely fall just short as well. If he had won a Cy Young award or had just had two more good seasons, he would have been nearly automatic, but none of those things happened.

          Ultimately, however, if you had to choose between the two, I’d go with Hamels knowing, again, that it’s a Hall of FAME, not just a Hall of Excellence, so Hamels’ 2008 postseason is probably what nudges him just over the line. That said, I don’t think either Hamels or Abreu ever gets in.

          1. I think the fact that Kaat got in guarantees Hamels. Kaat did it for longer, but Hamels did it way better (and still a relatively long time). They have nearly identical career ERAs, but Cole did it during a time with much better offense. Plus, despite having almost 2000 fewer IP, Hamels has more K’s. So all that combined with one more AS appearance, more top-10 Cy votes, and the WS (and NLCS) MVP, gotta figure he gets in.

            Plus the fact that when he’s eligible, there will be even MORE proponents of advanced stats on the voting committee. Hamels currently has a career ERA+ of 123, which ties him with the likes of Greinke, Price, Juan Marichal, and Mike Mussina. And he’s ahead of quite a lot of notables, including Glavine, Bunning, Carlton, Roberts, Feller, and Drysdale. It’d be one thing if it was a 4 year window, but over 15 years it’d be insulting not to induct him.

            I hope it doesn’t take until he’s 80, but I’m fairly positive he makes it at some point.

          2. Yes….agree on Utley and his credentials for the Hall….and like I said , if Baines is in, then consideration must be given to Abreu. Hamels may fall short like you mention.
            IMO, the voting selection these late few years has warped the evaluation criteria.
            As the older voters begin to retire and leave the younger writers are more analytically inclined. And they may be more receptive to metrics, like for example WAR.

          3. Cole Hamels’ September in 2016 tanked his best chance at Cy Young 6.75 ERA from August 30 – September 28. Prior to that he was 14-4 with a 2.67 in a weak year. His poor September led to a 4.20 ERA the next year and a 4.77 the following year. If he’d stayed here or went to a more pitching friendly environment maybe he would’ve built a stronger case.

        2. I should add Todd Helton to the list. He was an insanely good hitter (more WAR than Abreu), but he suffers from the Coors Field reverse prejudice. Great hitting years in Coors field are waved away by most as if they don’t mean anything (although nobody waves away great years for pitchers like Kershaw, Seaver, Koufax and deGrom in difficult hitters parks like Dodger Stadium, Shea Stadium, or Citi Field – talk about a weird double-standard).

          1. In my opinion a player needs 10 elite years to get in. That eliminates Howard, Rollins, Utley and Hamels. I think there is exceptions, Schilling should be in, Howard would be if he had 2 or 3 more crazy years. Abreu is interesting but I have him falling just short.

            1. Yeah, agreed, usually HOFers have, at minimum, some combination of a 6 or 7 year period of elite performance plus another 4-6 very good years or a career of sustained near-excellence with some great years sprinkled in or some true iconic moments.

              But, again, it’s a HOF, the player really needs to shine in a major way for some part of his career. At least for some portion of the player’s career, when you watch him, you should think to yourself “man, this guy is great – he could make the Hall of Fame.” And this is why a guy like Rick Reuschel (68 WAR) should never make it.

              Just so everyone knows, Scott Rolen has 70 WAR – to me, he is a HOFer, but not by a whole lot. If he doesn’t get in, he will have one of the highest career WAR figures without admission. And while we are at it, I also think Kenny Lofton should get in. He was a superb player and generated 68 WAR. I am good with Graig Nettles (a fine power hitter and the closest thing you’d ever see to Brooks Robinson at third), and even Dwight Evans (a consistent offensive force in Boston for almost 20 years who put up 67 WAR). Kevin Brown (67 WAR) also has an interesting case – we forget about him, but at his peak, he was spectacular.

        3. I agree that a decade of dominance (meaning 8-12 years of allstar worthy or near-allstar worthy level of play) should be the plumbline of HoF consideration. None of the 2008 Phillies stalwarts are deserving IMO. Yes, Bobby Abreu didn’t have an ounce of the “it” factor despite a well rounded profile and numbers which made him great on paper but not on the diamond. Utley, Rollins, Howard and Hamels together made for an outstanding nucleus but individually lacked the longstanding merit to get in. Carlton’s and Schmidt’s careers stood alone as HoFers, regardless of the success of the team, although they were certainly integral in their teams’ success. The ’08 “greats” are so because of what they accomplished together for 5 seasons, plus the Piece’s ROY and MVP campaigns. With that, sadly Cooperstown is now too much of a collection of media favorites with watered down credentials and hypocritical standards held by subjective writers whose personal biases hold rank over on field excellence. Ty Cobb in…Pete Rose out. Both trainwrecks and immoral misfits in their private lives, both legendary winners between the lines. 75 years between eras of vastly different baseball coverage sure does make a difference.

            1. Absolutely, no doubt about it. He had nearly 80 WAR just during the regular season. Then he had 3 separate iconic WS performances. Shutout in game 5 of the 1993 WS (I was there – incredible!), teaming with Randy Johnson in 2001 to bring a WS title to Arizona and then the bloody sock in 2004. Not having him in on the merits of his career is, frankly, outrageous. If he had 2/3 the WAR and the same WS bona fides he should be in on that alone – but he did so much more. I loved Jack Morris, but he wasn’t nearly the pitcher Schilling was – not even close.

            2. mark…agree on Schilling.
              He even has admitted the prejudices that existed among the scribes, that kept him from selection.
              I do think he gets it this time.

            3. I’m not the greatest at thinning the heard on HOF players, but to me, out of Abreu, Schilling, Howard, utley & Rollins … no doubt, Schilling is a HOF player, unless you believe the steroids helped his stats. To me, getting into the hall is in context of your generation/decade of players. Schilling is the easiest pick of the bunch. If you asked all 700+ players, managers, FO executives … who they wanted to have the ball for a GM 7 World Series “. Schilling is going to get a lot those votes. It was between him and Randy Johnson. Add that to his regular and postseason stats. He won WS with 3 different teams … o wait NEvermidn … Joe carter you sum of a … Anyways .. no doubt he’s in. It’s all about the steroids that he’s not. As far as abreu …his numbers say he’s close but living through it, no. Then one of Ultey l,Rollins, Howard, & Hamels has got to be in … those are arguably 3 of the 4 best players in Phillies history … but none are HOF? To me, utley’s knee kept him out, plus his slide tackle won’t win him votes. Otherwise I believe he’s a HOFer. I want to say Howard is. His numbers where hurt because no one would pitch to him at times. That has to be factored. Hes close, but I can see giving it to Rollins or hamels. They both were amongst the top players at their postions. Again one of those 4 has to make it, those teams dominated for to long not to have a HOF player on them. That’s my biased take

            4. I do believe that 3000 should get you in, either hits for a position player or strikeouts for a pitcher. Also if Howard had gotten to 500 homers , he would get in.

    1. Ryan Howard had 14.7 WAR! The typical HOFer has between 50-80 WAR, particularly new HOFers. And, while I feel WAR diminishes the accomplishments of DHs and first basemen, and while there are rare occasions where players with about 40 WAR get in (mostly veterans/golden days committee selections), I am not aware of any position player with so little statistical value being admitted. Ryan Howard was a fine player and had a neat little run. He is not a Hall of Famer. Utley definitely is (or should be), Hamels might be and Rollins has an argument. Howard has no legitimate claim to that distinction.

  18. Kris Bryant. The Giants have indicated that they will not be in on any 9 figure free agents when the market reopens. The Mess don’t figure to spend THAT much more on big names after their spree earlier this fall. KB could be that default FA player who falls to the Phillies. While the Boras/Harper connection can be overplayed and oversimplified, in this case it’s making increasingly more sense. I don’t love the idea of signing Bryant alone, but with trading for Kevin Kiermaier and possibly Cody Bellinger, these moves would bring considerable depth and flexibility to the major league roster of position players without giving up the cream of the farm.

    JT Realmuto
    Garret Stubbs

    Alec Bohm 3b/1b
    Rhys Hoskins 1b /dh
    Nick Maton utility
    Brad Miller utility/dh/ph
    Jean Segura 2b/3b
    Bryson Stott ss/2b/3b

    Cody Bellinger of/1b
    Kris Bryant lf/3b/dh
    Bryce Harper rf
    Kevin Kiermeier cf
    Matt Vierling of

    1. mark….good GM maneuvering on your part.
      However, to get Bellinger out from LA…..Friedman will want a starting pitcher ..that is his primary need. Assume you are looking at Eflin or Gibson to the west coast…., Friedman probably is looking at others besides those two..

  19. I’m of the opinion that the HOF should be much smaller. Guys that just stand out are the ones that should be in. Mays…Mantle…Baines? Really, Harold Baines?!?! The HOF in any sport should be guys who you associate with baseball, they have to have that certain it factor. Any way, I don’t think abreu, or any player from the 08 team would get in based on my standards. In all honesty i think rollins and hamels have the best shots. And i do think Schilling should be in along with bonds and clemens.

    1. No, Utley, by far, has the best shot. He has the most aggregate WAR among those players and, more importantly, he had a 5-6 year run that was among the top 10 peak runs for any second baseman in baseball history, something Rollins and Hamels definitely do not have. He deserves to go in and, sooner or later, I am confident he will.

  20. In the meantime, the Owners and the MLBPA are not going to discuss the Core issues until sometime in January. They must be exhausted from the non-stop negotiations. I usually lean toward the player’s, side, especially when it comes to being able to reach Free Agency, but it’s hard to not blame both sides. I have no faith that ST starts on time.

    1. matt13…I lean management now, I leaned players decades ago…but now MLB players are well off and will always have their portion of that Red Velvet cake once they hit the 40 list…….minor league players not so much.

      Perhaps a beneficial spin off of the minor league contraction process, besides less expense for the MLB team, but maybe also more benefits going to the minor leaguer.

  21. No argument about the Minor Leaguers, Romus. They need better benefits, housing, per diems, etc. I am just aggravated with the whole CBA debacle. We should be talking about the moves we made or are working on, and I get no sense that they won’t even try to negotiate for real until they reach whatever date they have in their heads is the last second.

  22. I’ve been reading a lot, and listening to a number of smart people a lot. I’m to the point that I’m not anticipating a new CBA until the start of spring training. I think a reasonable compromise would look something like this:

    * Owners have to get expanded playoffs. They’ve got new deals ready to go with ESPN for big $$$. Players need to OK a 14-team postseason format.

    * MLBPA needs to do better for it’s younger/pre-FA eligible members. Owners need to up the minimum salaries to something like: 1M for rookies, 1.25M for 2nd year players, and 1.5M for third year players. Also raise the minimum for MiLB players on the 40-man to 200-thousand dollars.

    * The union needs to fix the service time manipulation problem. How? No changes to arbitration, or to the number of years to free agency. Still three years to arbitration, and six years to free agency … but … start a player’s service time the minute he’s added to the 40-man roster. Rules to the rule 5 draft wouldn’t change. So a player like Rafael Marchan (who was added to the 40-man prior to the 2020 season) would be arb eligible after the 2022 season, and become a FA after the 2025 season no matter how much time he spent on the MLB roster.

    * Raise the LTT to:
    2022 … 220M
    2023 … 225M
    2024 … 230M
    2025 … 235M
    2026 … 240M

    * Keep the QO. Compensate clubs losing a QO FA with a draft pick after round one. However, do away with the practice of penalizing teams (with a second round drfat pick) who sign the QO FAs.

    * Agree to allow the commissioner/owners to make changes to the game (universal DH/ban the shift/etc) that would improve the game.

    * The draft: every team that doesn’t make the playoffs, enters a draft lottery. All non-postseason participants get one ping pong ball, and picks 1 – 16 (in a 14 team playoff world) would be determined through the draft lottery.
    And … have one, all inclusive draft to include both domestic and foreign players (no more J2). And (PLEASE) allow franchises to trade draft picks (like every other sports league in this country does).

    1. These are some good aspirational goals, but here’s where I see some of this going:

      1. Agreed strike/lockout/situation won’t be settled before ST – in fact, it might go past opening day.

      2. Agreed minimum salaries will go up substantially. I believe arb rights for players will also be expanded.

      3. Agreed FA comp for teams losing players will go up and penalties will either be eliminated or severely diminished.

      4. Agreed playoffs will be expanded to 14 teams. There will also be a DH added to the NL – everyone wants this, so it should happen.

      5. Disagree that MLB owners will permit service time to run automatically for anyone on the 40 man roster, but agree service time manipulations will be restricted. What we see could be quite a bit different than what we have now. For example, I could see a rule that a player is automatically entitled to reach FA at the end of the 6th season from the player’s debut provided the player has, say, at least 3 or 4 years of service time. In other words, a team won’t be able to milk nearly 7 full seasons from a player the way the Cubs did from Bryant by delaying the initial call-up. I also think that players will be granted automatic FA if they have some minimal service time (2 years?) and they will reach a minimum age (30.5? 31?) before the start of the baseball season.

      6. Disagree the MLB owners will agree to the trading of draft picks. The owners will stick their heads in the sand and not permit draft picks to be traded because, you know, why increase interest in the sport?

      7. I could see a limited draft lottery but suspect it will be heavily weighted to favor poor performers rather than giving all teams missing the playoffs an equal chance. Also, the lottery may only be for the first 3-5 spots (after which teams will line up according to record).

      8. Disagree there will be one draft, although that’s how it should happen. Teams have invested too much time in developing leads to give that up. I think that process (international signings and spending limits) continues much as it has.

      1. I am sure the owners will say that trading draft picks is inconsistent with their practice of giving teams pre-set amounts of money for their top 10 picks based on their draft slots. Of course, all of this is a self-fulling prophecy. They could re-arrange the system in any way they want to accommodate at least some trading. But, again, my strong guess is that no trading will be permitted, although I hope I’m wrong about that.

      2. 8..International Draft.
        IMO, it will happen….maybe not on the grand scale of the Rule 4 with now 20 rounds, but something a little less….maybe 10 rounds.
        And ……to satisfy the the almost 30% of the Latin Caucus of MLB Players, and the foreign agents….slotted money similar to the Rule 4.

        1. Of the things I think won’t happen, this one is a very close call and if they instituted an International draft, it really would not surprise me.

          1. I think that FBI starting an investigation back in the fall of 2018…..with nothing ever coming out on it publicly…..highlighted some RICO violations that MLB may have been inadvertently involved with when it came to Cuban players…..with Puig’s case as pivotal.

            I remember Manfred as that was going on in 2019….started speaking about an international draft, and this time there were no objections from the Latin players nor the buscones of the DR…
            Then 10 months later COVID comes along and things get derailed somewhat..
            So I will be interested in seeing what happens over the next few months on that.

  23. .

    Druw Jones is #1. But look who lands at #18 … it’s the guy I’ve been hoping the Phillies land at 1-17: Connor Prielipp. Make that happen Brian Barber. Prielipp could have been a top-5 pick if he wasn’t going to miss the next season recovering from TJ. A prospect pitching stable of Mick Abel. Andrew Painter, and Connor Prielipp would be pretty awesome!

    #32 Reggie Crawford is another LHP w/incredible stuff who should be available at 1-17 only because he’s also out for the 2022 season rehabbing from TJ.

    … and how about Jurrangelo Cijntje, the ambidextrous 18 YO pitcher who checks in at #100?

  24. Hinkie and catch, you both should be doing the negotiating! We would have a new deal already. Whether or not a 14 team Playoff is too many is not even the point. It is a way for the Owners to make more money, and when the players feel that they have increased their cut enough, that will be the deal. The teams that don’t make the Playoffs should be in a lottery, just like Hinkie suggests. It gives the teams that would otherwise be tanking, incentive to try to make the Playoffs by adding at the trade deadline, and it penalizes those teams that do not try by making them hope the lottery ball falls their way instead of automatically getting the top pick. The league wants more competition, that certainly helps.

    1. I can promise you that Hinkie and I would sit down in good faith and iron something out! LOL.

      1. By the way, what I was talking about above, is not necessarily what I would like to see, but what I expect will happen.

  25. Matt Gelb had some interesting thought sin his latest Athletic mailbag. Our OBP from the first 2 hitters was our lowest since 1972. Pretty bad. I know we have spent a bunch of time speculating about a LF for the middle of the lineup, and, maybe, a defensive CF, but even assuming we can accomplish that, how do we fix, primarily, the lead off spot? I thought Segura had a pretty decent season, and his OBP was .348, so the lead off position was simply dreadful. Where is our lead off hitter coming from?

    1. matt13…many want Kevin Kiermaeir from the Rays as the CFer…..great defensively but below average offensively.
      CF seems to be the one position that will be filled… the lead-off hitter….assuming you do not want Harper, Segura or Hoskins in that lead-off spot.
      If Dombrowski is trading for a CFer…..who could be the lead-off hitter….someonelike Ramon Laureano may e more suitable than kevin K.

      1. I don’t think Kiermaier would lead off. He’s a bottom of the lineup bat. Schwarber has led off lots in recent years. His OBP merits the spot despite his cement shoes. If he’s not signed, which is totally uncertain at this point, then the leadoff spot remains a void. Ketel Marte or Bryan Reynolds would fit nicely but neither is a likely acquisition. So yeah…that’s a real question.

        1. I did not bring up Schwarber’s name, since I feel the Sox have already locked in on him, especially since they made that trade of Renfroe for JBJr.R
          But yes….I think he would be a good lead-off hitter based on what you say…his high BB rate (mid-teens) … supporting his higher OBP metric.

  26. My thought was Schwarber in LF and Kiermaier in CF, and that would make Schwarber a lead off hitter, not the middle of the order bat. Maybe not your traditional lead off hitter, but he gets on base.

  27. Today is the anniversary of the trade for Doc. Obviously, a great trade. But the whole decision that we had to trade Cliff Lee, and that it had to be done quickly to make it look contingent on getting Halladay was so totally dumb, from a Baseball and a Business perspective. I read a quote from Amaro that “there were people they had to answer to, and that his big regret was that they rushed into the trade, so the fanbase would be made to feel it was like a 3 way trade. We “had to replenish the farm,” if we were moving Drabek, D’Arnaud and Taylor they wanted that kind of return for Lee. So, worrying about how the fanbase would look at it, with Lee coming off a great WS vs the Yankees and only making $9M, they rushed into the Seattle trade and got nothing for Lee. Pretty much as poor a mismanaged transaction as you can make. We would have been better off keeping Lee at $9M and getting a draft pick if he left in FA, and we might have won the WS in 2010. But, instead we gave him away. Anyway, since we have no current trades to dissect, I thought we could revisit how such a great deal to get Doc resulted in a FO mistake, because some higher ups stuck their noses in. Middleton stepped up though and got Lee back as a FA and we got the 2011 team, but it could have been much more.

    1. Embarrassing for a big market club to make such a sequence of moves. It screamed, “WE’RE CHEEEEAP!!” and we can’t think and chew tobacco at the same time. Getting Cliff Lee back is still Middleton’s greatest moment…and he wasn’t even in charge yet.

    2. There were a few disaster trades the Phillies made of their stars over the recent decades, in which, they got nothing of substance back in return…Schilling, Abreu and Rolen are a few more.
      So when I mentioned the Nola trade…..and DMAR mentioned it back after the 2020 season and that off-season, there were many who remember the past ‘star for quantity of prospects’ trades that really did not pan out.
      FWIW, it appears from his past, Dombrowski seem to trade for the superstar and give up the multiple prospects

  28. MLBTR this morning posted retired local sports writer Marc Narducci’s HoF ballot at his willing submission. Interesting to hear how writers process their election picks, even though I don’t agree with everything he reasons. For instance, he selected Jeff Kent to finally get in by comparing him to other second basemen. Very impressive numbers, even compared with Rogers Hornsby who is the gold standard. But Jeff Kent was not IMO a HoF player. A very good player with exceptional power for typical 2bmen, but not a HoFer. Just because a particular field position (like 2b or especially 3b) isn’t well represented in the Hall, that doesn’t lower the bar for admission. Narducci also picked:

    David Ortiz (good bat who was primarily a DH and a favorite personality),

    Billy Wagner (who didn’t pitch 1000 major league innings),

    Todd Helton (a fine hitter who greatly benefitted from the Coors Field effect),

    Scott Rolen (a legitimate candidate, a well rounded player who should receive serious consideration but is by no means a slam dunk by what should be more stringent standards), and last but not least…

    Curt Schilling, who belongs hands down, if only for those voters who find him offensive to their sanctimonious ears.

    The lesson here is that what matters most isn’t who belongs in the HoF or not, but the totally subjective influence of people with the collective power to merely decide ‘yay’ or ‘nay’, regardless of onfield merits and off the field demerits.

    1. Actually, I’m fine with all of these guys going to the HOF. Kent is borderline, but he won the MVP and had about a 6 or 7 year stretch where he was an elite hitter. Also, he was a perfectly decent fielder even though he was a bigger and less mobile guy.

    2. mark………… far as Kent is concerned….17 seasons with a 56bWAR career……he truly is a Hall selective tweener.
      As far as dominance……only twice led his respective league (NL) in an offensive category…..Sacrifices..1998 and 2001. So he really never had a year where he was the most dominant in his league, other than, as compared to other second basemen.
      But then again…MVPs….the one in 2000, with 2 Silver Slugger Awards….a 5 times an all-star selection.
      I suppose I can understand his non-selection by some writers.

  29. Former Phillie pharm hands landing with other opportunities…Biddle and Waguespack in Japan, Mark Leiter Jr with Cubs system. Where oh where will Altherr?

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