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
Reading – LHP 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
- organization’s rosters (12/12/21)
- organization’s injury list (12/12/21)
- organization’s Rule 5 eligibility (12/12/21) (includes player info, assignments, …)
- 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