Weekly Discussion (11/27/22)

The baseball offseason continues.


I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday and the endless hours of football all weekend long.  I have no vested interest in the teams that played, but all three I rooted for lost.  Then there was the weekend slate of rivalry games.  The Big Ten is still trying to sell PSU-MSU as a big rivalry.  I remember when their big Thanksgiving rivalry game was Pitt.  I sat in the snow for a couple of those games.  Saw some guy named Dorsett punish the Nittany Lions.  I particularly enjoyed the 4 top ten upsets.  Love to see those monkey wrenches thrown at the committee.


We (I) had to endure this because the baseball news outlets have nothing to report.  So they are giving us proposed deals for players who are not on the trade block (Brian Reynolds).  Or, they hint at deadline deals that did not happen (Joey Gallo).

But, that’s what we have to live with until free agents start signing.


News

Dave Dombrowski was extended for three years thru the 2027 season.  I know some of you think he might have a “Nashville Opt Out”.  I, on the other hand, took this as an indication that expansion into US cities has been tabled and MLB is looking at expansion into Canada and Mexico first.  Like maybe Montreal and Mexico City.

Bryce Harper had his surgery and the Phillies announced that he could be hitting competitively by mid-May, I think.  The timeline was somewhat ambiguous.  I took the full announcement to mean that he would face live pitching at the Complex or with the Threshers in May and be in the major league lineup before the All-Star break.  I’m sure it will be much discussed over the coming months.  We’ll have a clearer picture soon.


Hot Stove

Not much is happening.  The few players who have signed have had no real impact on the Phillies’ intentions.  I would hope they lock up Correa before the winter meetings.  Or Turner.  Or Bogaerts.  Or some relievers.  Or a RF for one year, just in case (doesn’t have to be a big name).

The Phillies signed another minor league free agent.


Key Dates

  • December 4-7, 2022: The 2022 Winter Meetings will take place in San Diego.
    • December 7, 2022: Rule 5 Draft
  • December 15, 2022: Close of the 2021-2022 international signing period.
  • January 13, 2023: Deadline for teams and players to submit salary figures for arbitration.
  • January 15, 2023: Opening of the 2022-2023 international signing period.
  • February 25, 2023: Phillies First Spring Training Game (split squad)
  • March 30, 2023: Season Opener at Texas Rangers
  • April 6, 2023: Home Opener v. Cincinnati Reds
  • July 2023: Rule 4 Amateur Draft
  • December 15, 2023: Close of the 2022-2023 international signing period.

Transactions

11/23/2022 – SS Shervyen Newton assigned to Reading
11/22/2022 – Phillies signed free agent SS Shervyen Newton to a minor league contract
11/09/2022 – LHP Wesley Moore assigned to FCL Phillies
11/08/2022 – Jersey Shore activated RHP Chase Antle from the Full Season IL
11/08/2022 – Jersey Shore activated RHP Christian McGowan from the 60-day injured list
11/08/2022 – Jersey Shore activated RHP Tom Sutera from the 60-day injured list
11/08/2022 – Clearwater activated RHP Buddy Hayward from the 60-day injured list
11/08/2022 – Clearwater activated CF Jefferson Encarnacion from the 60-day injured list
11/08/2022 – FCL Phillies activated LHP Danny Wilkinson from the 60-day injured list
11/08/2022 – DSL Phillies White activated SS Kilwer Colmenares from the 60-day injured list

These older transactions hadn’t been posted until this week.  They have cleared the injury list for all of our teams.  The only players not in active status are a handful on the restricted list – Reading’s David Parkinson and Chris Cornelius, the FCL’s Jake McKenna and Scott Parker, and DSL White’s Joalbert Angulo.  The RL isn’t always used for drug-related offenses.  One of its uses is to act as a placeholder for guys who have voluntarily retired or who just didn’t show up in the spring.  I think that is more likely the case for the stateside players.

You may have noticed that the new free agents are assigned to Reading.  I think that indicates that the minor league players they are protecting from the Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 Draft have already been placed on the Lehigh Valley roster.  We haven’t seen these transactions the past few years.  Lehigh has 16 players on their roster.  The Phillies can elect to protect up to another 22 players, 23 if they reassign Scott Kingery to Reading.  There’s little chance he is selected with his contract.

Eligible players were listed in the October 15, 2022 article, Phillies’ Rule 5 Class, 2022.  Those in the article include – 

  • LHP: Damon Jones, Jakob Hernandez, Jhordany Mezquita, David Parkinson, Zach Warren, Keylan Killgore, Taylor Lehman, Ethan Lindow, Gabriel Yanez, Erubiel Armenta, Gabriel Cotto, Maikel Garrido, Josh Hendrickson, Brian Marconi, Rafael Marcano, Jordi Martinez, Erik Miller, Spencer Van Scoyoc,
  • RHP: Matt Seelinger, Hans Crouse, Carlos Betancourt, Colton Eastman, Luis Gomez, Cristian Hernandez, Tyler McKay, Jack Perkins, Tom Sutera, Victor Vargas, Aidan Anderson, Albertus Barber, Starlyn Castillo, Carlos A. Francisco, Kyle Glogoski, Adam Leverett, McKinley Moore, Nicoly Pina, Dominic Pipkin, Carlo Reyes, Andrew Schultz, Brett Schulze, Eduar Segovia, Manuel Urias, Wilson  Valdez,
    Catchers: Jack Conley, Nick Matera, Arturo De Freitas, Vito Friscia, Herbert Iser,
    Infielder: Will Toffey, Matt Kroon, Madison Stokes,  Chris Cornelius, Wilfredo Flores, Sal Gozzo, Kendall Simmons, McCarthy Tatum, Rixon Wingrove,
    Outfielders: Carlos De La Cruz, Jeff Encarnacion.

Any player eligible for the draft can be selected and placed on any affiliated team.  He doesn’t have to be placed on the Triple-A squad.

289 thoughts on “Weekly Discussion (11/27/22)

  1. I think it is fair to say that after Bryce Harper, Dave Dombrowski has been the Phillies’ most important acquisition over the past decade. IMO, it’s:

    Harper #1
    Dombrowski #2
    Realmuto #3
    Wheeler #4
    Brian Barber #5

    The club’s POBO is smart, savvy, and bold (and an excellent communicator). Love the contract extension. It shows John Middleton is “all in”. The past five WS runner-ups have all made it back to the postseason the following year. One club won the title (Astros this fall). Another lost the WS a second year in a row (2018 LADs).
    It’s pretty obvious the Phillies will sign a top SS (gotta believe Turner has the edge because he’s Harper’s choice). But I also believe Dombrowski is going to monitor the starting pitching market, and will pounce on an impact arm when nobody is expecting it. I can’t see him wasting his time on a Marco Gonzales (or any other SP5). The Phils need pitching depth, but … more importantly … they need a guy who can do some damage in the playoffs, not an innings eater.
    Finally … I still think Dombrowski will find an impactful arm or two for the BP. Alex Reyes (who got non-tendered) should be a top target (assuming his shoulder is on the mend). And they’re going to have to land a lefty. I’d like Taylor Rogers. Matt Straham is a solid backup plan. And I’d check in with David Forst on AJ Puk. What would it cost to land him? Maybe Dombrowski can even expand the deal to include Domingo Acevedo. Would you trade Hao Yu Lee and Christian McGowan for Puk and Acevedo?

    1. I do that trade every time. Acevedo has shown glimpses of having better strikeout stuff than his MLB numbers indicate, and even if he doesn’t progress he’s still a decent middle innings reliever. Puk has the stuff to be a closer with a realistic floor as a 7th inning guy. Neither are even in their arb years yet.

      Lee and McGowan are intriguing (especially Lee), but they’re so far away and their tools aren’t so loud as to make me think of them as anything even approaching untouchable. Unless other teams really covet Lee, this would be a really good use of prospect capital.

      1. Would you surrender Johan Rojas in a package for Puk and Acevedo? I think Rojas is a candidate to be dealt now that Brandon Marsh is here and under team control for 5 more seasons.

        1. Rojas I would hold onto, if only because he’s much closer to the majors and may have a chance to increase his stock with a brief MLB showing in the near future.

          Basically I don’t think his value is particularly high right now, but could shoot up after (or during) this season. So I keep him for a potential deadline deal (as well as injury/defensive replacement depth).

          In general I don’t like trading for relievers using anything other than prospects that are far away/lottery tickets.

          1. Yeah, I have a feeling Rojas will be moved in the next year or so unless he looks like he’s going to be a major league star. I have no idea what he will be worth at that time, but there’s no room for Rojas and Marsh at the major league level. One of them will almost certainly be dealt.

  2. Hard to know exactly why the Phils left Miller unprotected when they need bullpen arms and a rookie contact is always very valuable. I guess they just don’t think that he will be able to throw enough strikes. A career 5.9 BB/9 is really high. Personally, I would have kept him and seen what he could do. But they must have conviction that he won’t be a quality MLB pitcher.

    1. I compare Miller to another high upside pitcher that just could not sustain control nor their highest velo over the length of multiple innings, IMO, it would be Sean Newcomb.
      Both with plus stuff but BB/9 was the central issue with both.
      I am sure a team will draft him and try to correct whatever effects his control.
      If that should happen, I can also see a scenario of him being offered back to the Phillies at the end of spring training…..and the Phillies have to make a decision of keeping him or letting him become a minor league free agent.

  3. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Holiday and I’m thankful to Jim for this site with his tireless work ethic!
    I am worried that Carlos DeLaCruz gets picked up. Can’t wait for the GM meetings, need some movement.

    1. I am more concerned about De la Cruz than Miller. Miller is a lefty reliever with solid velocity but real strike zone problems. His upside is probably as a 7th inning reliever, but he might not be a productive bullpen member for at least another year or two. When I saw Miller pitch, I wasn’t blown away by the stuff at all, but it was a limited view of the player. De la Cruz, could be a starting outfielder down the road and is an ascending player. The question is whether a team like Pittsburgh or Kansas City or even Tampa wants to waste a roster spot on him for a year or two. Maybe, but I have no idea.

  4. v1, what I found confusing besides the fact that I like Miller, is that Sam Fuld had just before that mentioned him as a BP option to help the team this season. Then left him unprotected. I don’t know what could have changed in such a short time without Miller throwing an additional pitch, but maybe they have an idea of how they are going to fill the roster spot. Some non-contending team would have to take a flyer on him, wouldn’t they?

  5. What about a revisit with Ken Giles on an incentive minor league contract to see if he can find the old magic ? Don’t know where he stands with his multi year recovery from TJ + other maladies but It would seem to be a good place to throw a dart and see. He did pitch a small amount in ’22 – having been reinjured on July 8 and has not been heard from yet.

    1. RU…..not sure he will be able to get his hi- velo back . Relievers need that added margin. Maybe his recovery, now after two years, he may be able to reclaim what he use to have. Teams may not want to wait too long however.
      Velo-4Smr
      2014…97.89
      2015…97.32
      2016…98
      2017…98
      2018…97.47
      2019…96.96
      2020…94.63
      2021…TJ
      2022…93.89

      1. That would be a nice story as well. Giles and Appel in the bullpen. Obviously they have to perform, but that would be awesome for a lot of reasons as
        Phillies phans

        Abreu is off the board, Astros.

          1. Rats … thanks Jim. Wish him well. That’s a tough road he’s taken. Hopefully this is his year, but craps out vs the Phils

  6. Yes, it is possible, even likely that Rojas is traded. But, to think he has little value is incorrect. Rojas is an elite defender. He has elite speed. He impressed in all facets of the game in a prospects league in the AFL. His value may never be higher. Especially with the new pickoff rules that might reward players who can turn walks and singles into doubles by stealing a base.

    There is even an outside chance that Rojas makes the team coming out of spring training as a fourth outfielder. His ability to back up centerfield should not be overlooked.

    1. Also he hits quite a few batted balls on the ground (virtually 50%)….without a shift, and with his speed, he may be able to pad his BA and OBP.
      Though his speed has not reflected as high a BABIP as I would have expected.

        1. I don’t think there’s a chance Rojas would get traded before Marsh shows whether his offensive improvement is sustaining. They also want to see whether Muzzioti might be a long term major league option.

  7. I think MLB wants to expand into Montreal, but the economics won’t get it done. There’s no Quebec owner that would be willing to foot the monstrous bill for a new stadium without public funding. And the Quebec government already stated that there would be no public funds for a new stadium.

    Rogers Centre is the 7th oldest ballpark in baseball. Instead of building a new one, they are doing a $300M renovation (I think it’s in CAD dollars which matters). Rogers is flush with cash and if he doesn’t want to build a new one, there’s certainly no Quebec owner who would do it.

    1. For Montreal to get a team with the new stadium, it will also have to be dome/retractable roof ballpark.
      Moving the Rays up there, as the talk has been for the last 3/4 years or longer, it may not be expansion, but it gets the team there as the owners would like.
      Perhaps MLB should foot the majority of the bill for the ballpark.

      1. I’m hoping they don’t add a team as I’d much rather see them relocate a team that either A. doesn’t spend money or B. Doesn’t draw much of a fanbase

        but then potentially you get into that chicken/egg thing

        Of all the cities proposed however I like the idea of baseball in Nashville the best.

        Some say Portland has the best chance for sustainable success and the type of population and wealth required to offer such sustainability. It just sux to have another team out on the west coast that no one will ever get to see.

        1. First of all, Manfred said he wants a 32-team league. And he is also aware that some teams (Oakland, perhaps Tampa) may need to relocate.

          As for alternative markets- 3 stand out right away.

          1. Montreal. Montreal is clearly big enough to sustain a major league team apart from and in addition to Toronto. Aside from all the history, there are 4 million people in the Montreal metro area. If they build a proper stadium with a retractable dome and natural grass field, I think it’s very easy. And there is the history. I think second time around, it could be a very big success.

          2. Nashville. It’s not the biggest in terms of population, but it’s decent – around 2 million metro, but they will also draw tourists and people from Memphis and Knoxville. They could easily make a go of it in Nashville, although it will obviously be a smaller-market team (not true of Montreal – that’s a big market).

          3. Las Vegas. In the summer, it will be a big draw for visitors and locals (2.2 million in metro area and always growing). With a retractable roof – a clear must have – it should be a fine place for baseball and more attractive than Oakland. The NFL has already paved the way and I could easily see this move happening sooner rather than later. The A’s lease on the Oakland Coliseum expires in 2024 – they could go to a shorter term lease after that.

          4. I mean, I guess Portland, has 2.5 million in the metro area. One place they also want to grow is Mexico City. The language is a non-issue – and it’s an enormous market and the stadium would be filled constantly – there’s a lot of money to be made here (currency – the official language of all major league sports). But it’s not the safest place in the world to say the least, so you would need to take extreme measures to ensure player and staff safety. Sooner or later, I think this is going to happen with the MLB (with the NFL to follow within several years thereafter – or perhaps vice versa), but it’s going to be quite an experiment at the beginning.

          1. Vegas appears the one for the A’s relocation.
            The nomadic NFL Raiders org. paved the way for that likely move.

          2. No on Montrel, they didn’t’ support the Expos when they had them earlier. So why a second chance? Portland is a crime infested crap hole that no business feels comfortable downtown.. So no, and I man no on Portland. It’s Nashville and Vegas for me..

        2. DMAR……Nashville would be a good market.
          I can think of 4 or 5 more places also that would put their bid in for a team….San Antonio, Indianapolis, Salt Lake City and maybe even New Orleans.
          Tampa says they do not want the Rays to go anywhere after 2027, but who knows.
          If they ever decide to relocate, Florida should try to keep them within the state…say Orlando locale.

          1. I would go along with these moves/expansion if only to bring some balance to the schedule…

            Oakland seems forever to be San Francisco’s armpit…move them to Vegas.

            Tampa to Montreal…why not? Can they draw any less people through the turnstiles?

            Then I like Nashville and Louisville as eventual NL division rivals?

          2. Add Charlotte NC area to that list. I would also think Puerto Rico would be an interesting fit if it wasn’t in such an economic disaster.

            1. Any thoughts on rawleigh/durham/chapel hill, which would draw from Charlotte, South Carolina and Charlotte North Carolina as well as perhaps Western North Carolina and even Eastern Tennessee and Kentucky along with some from as far north as Roanoke and the rural areas of Northern Georgia.

          3. Romus…Word around here is that Indy has no chance because of the proximity to Chicago and Cincinnati. But that was years ago so who knows at this time. I live about 45 minutes from the AAA stadium.
            Colts draw fairly well. Pacers are up and down in attendance. The county just north of Indy where I live is one of the fastest growing in the country.

            1. Don……..Indy would have to have concessions from the Cubs/WSox and Reds. of course, the expansion fee to get into the MLB ‘boys club’ could make them happy if it were to happen.

          4. When talking expansion/relocation the size of the TV market is probably more important than the population size. Local TV revenue is what matters most to a potential owner.

            That’s what would bring in locations like Portland (#22 market) and Charlotte (#24). Tampa is #13 and Miami #16 which is why those teams are where they are. Just don’t have the fan interest.

            Nashville is #29 and Indy is #25 as potential other locations.

            1. Interestingly enough, Harrisburg is considered #41 so maybe the Harrisburg Rays are in the future 🙂

            2. I think Indy would have quite a bit of interest at this time on the fan front.
              Grand Park draws kids from all over the country all Summer. Think if they could play during the day and go to a MLB game that evening. Lots of kids. Lots of parents. Lots of grandparents. Indy would only be less than a half hour or so from GP.
              As I mentioned to Romus above, I had been told the issue with Indy is the proximity of Cincy and Chicago. They are in the 100-to-150-mile radius.

          5. Any thoughts on rawleigh/durham/chapel hill, which would draw from Charlotte, South Carolina and Charlotte North Carolina as well as perhaps Western North Carolina and even Eastern Tennessee and Kentucky along with some from as far north as Roanoke and the rural areas of Northern Georgia.

  8. I’m going to predict Dombrowski signs Turner sometime next week.

    1. Any thoughts on rawleigh/durham/chapel hill, which would draw from Charlotte, South Carolina and Charlotte North Carolina as well as perhaps Western North Carolina and even Eastern Tennessee and Kentucky along with some from as far north as Roanoke and the rural areas of Northern Georgia.

    2. Question is, does he follow players on other teams who are potential suitors? Whoever that might be? He probably follows most of his teammates already on the Dodgers?

    3. One of those predictor sites this morning is saying Philles are big favorites for Turner at the moment. FWIW.

  9. Agree, Hinkie. My prediction was Dec. 5, the first full day of the Winter Meetings. I know Bogaerts and DD have history, but there is an even greater connection with Turner and the whole team, locale, need on our part, and the ability to pay.

  10. If he can still ramp the FB up to 92 or 93, I’d love to see the Phillies sign Cole Hamels to a dual contract. If he could do that, man would he be valuable at the back end of this rotation – and what a great #5/6 he could be – and what a homecoming story.

    1. No thanks on Cole…time to move on rather than waste a few million dollars better spent elsewhere. Let’s not spoil his Philly legacy with a clunker return. Instead, put him on the Wall of Fame already.

      1. I understand the sentiment, that’s why I put conditions on the deal. Obviously, you don’t sign him if he can’t keep hitters honest with a decent FB. Also, it would be dual contract – where the team signs him to a minor league deal for ST and have no obligation to bring him north if it looks like he can’t perform well enough. But, still, yes, I get the concerns – they are legitimate, especially where the team does not have a ton of dollars to spare with the salary tax issues.

        1. Yeah, something the previous regime would have done, but Dave Dombrowski isn’t known for playing heart strings for the nostalgic fan.

          1. Understood, but, personally, I am not proposing it for sentimental reasons (that’s just a nice cherry on the dessert). I am proposing it because, in the right situation, it could be an excellent value for the team, particularly if there is little risk on the front (opt out) or back (very low salary) side. Agreed that DD isn’t thinking sentimentally at all when it comes to these things – and that’s the right way to think.

      2. If he is willing, there would be great intrigue and much upside to sign him to a minor league/AAA contract.

  11. Taking DD at his word – that Harper’s recovery timeline won’t factor in off season plans – I have to think he’ll still acquire (or promote) a legit 4th OF. Agree with Jim that we shouldn’t sleep on the possibility that Rojas is up north on opening day, or soon after. Today, Castellanos would be penciled in as DH for most games. Nobody seems to know if and when Yoshida gets posted. That may still be something DD does and can later say that he couldn’t anticipate that happening…and he’d be telling the truth. Otherwise I don’t see Vierling or other internal options as getting a significant amount of playing time in RF.

    1. mark…..kind of think Yoshida will sign with a MLB on the west coast….and a team he knows he will start and remain in LF.
      Probably no room here in Philly to get him 140 games to start.

      1. Well, Romus – there is a way, but I can no longer speak the name of one sacred cow currently on the Phillies roster who’s been discussed at length to the frustration of a few friends here on PP. So, I will cease and desist…

  12. Having trouble posting (what’s new – it’s on my end)

    Of the 4 SS, I say pay Turner. His TB is the most. He will basically avg 85-90 xtra base hits, due to his stolen bases. His peak years should fit the title window, and he has positional flexibility as the teams needs change.

    Rojas is intriguing, almost like a Quinn bench player. I can see him making the team out of ST with Schwarber & Castellanos roaming the OF. With the DH, and the teams heavy offense… not a bad strategy to have defensive minded bench. Much different than the pre-DH days

    On Hamels, I think that ship has sailed … 2 seasons ago. Trust me, I’d love him back too, but …. That’s the reality.

    1. Perhaps you’re right on Hamels. If it’s a low risk contract, it couldn’t hurt, but who knows?

      On Turner, yeah, it could happen but there are few bad choices with the candidates we have. One of those guys will probably be a bust, but it’s hard to know now who that will be (I’m guessing Swanson, fyi).

      But the problem with Rojas is the similarity to Quinn. Where is he? Oh yeah, released. There is no way I sacrifice Rojas’s considerable upside to stick him on the bench and arrest his development because he isn’t nearly a major league hitter right now. He needs to start in AA and go from there. We do him and ourselves no favors by promoting him a year to a year and a half before he is ready.

  13. I don’t understand the thinking that Rojas could make the opening 26. I see zero chance that he makes it. He’s absolutely not ready to hit major league pitching and there’s no way they’d make him a bench player as he needs lots of at bats. I expect he’ll start back at Reading and have to earn his way to AAA. I think Hall and Vierling will be on the 26 with Maton or Guthrie and Sosa. That’s it, that’s the bench with the catcher.

  14. If Nashville and Charlotte were made expansion teams, and Vegas and Montreal were transports from Oakland and Tampa, respectively, then I would like MLB to realign divisions geographically, erase the irrelevant National and American league misnomers (since the DH is universal) and start fresh with four 8-team divisions and two conferences – west and east. Each division winner gets a first round playoff bye, and the 2nd and 3rd place teams would play a best of 3 wild card series to see who faces the #1 seed. Then whoever comes out of each division faces off in conference series, deciding who plays in the World Series.

    WESTERN CONFERENCE

    PACIFIC division
    Las Vegas (Aces?)
    Los Angeles Angels
    Los Angeles Dodgers
    Milwaukee Brewers
    Minnesota Twins
    San Diego Padres
    San Francisco Giants
    Seattle Mariners

    MIDWEST division
    Arizona Diamondbacks
    Chicago Cubs
    Chicago White Sox
    Colorado Rockies
    Houston Astros
    Kansas City Royals
    St Louis Cardinals
    Texas Rangers

    EASTERN CONFERENCE

    NORTH division
    Boston Red Sox
    Cincinnati Reds
    Cleveland Guardians
    Detroit Tigers
    Montreal Oddballs (in honor of Donald Sutherland’s role in Kelly’s Heroes…big Expos fan back in the day, if some of you remember.)
    New York Yankees
    Pittsburgh Pirates
    Toronto Blue Jays

    ATLANTIC DIVISION
    Atlanta Braves
    Baltimore Orioles
    Carolina (expansion)
    Miami Marlins
    Nashville (expansion)
    New York Mets
    Philadelphia Phillies
    Washington Nationals

    1. Well done. I have too much time on my hands, so, of course, I have a few suggestions.

      First, I don’t know that I (or baseball) am ready to chuck the American and National Leagues. They could remain the names of the conferences much the same as the NFL incorporated AFL and NFL into their conference names. But, I’m not ready to die on this hill, so East/West is okay.

      Second, Arizona, Colorado, Houston, and Texas are all further west than Minnesota and Milwaukee. Heck, Milwaukee and Chicago share the same longitude (87.9 and 87.6). And, Houston and Texas are already in a western division. I’m sure Minnesota and Milwaukee would balk at the added travel miles and the expense attached. So, I suggest Arizona and Colorado go into the western division (your Pacific). And, move Milwaukee and Minnesota into the midwest division (your Midwest). Houston and Texas will land elsewhere.

      Third, continuing geographically, I use the Mason-Dixon line as the deciding factor for the teams in the northeast division (your North). I would replace Cincinnati and Detroit with Philadelphia and the New York Mets.

      Fourth, Cincinnati and Detroit move to the midwest.

      And, finally, Houston and Texas to a south division (your Atlantic).

      My alignment would look like this –

      National League
      West Division – Las Vegas (Aces?), Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies.

      Midwest Division – Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers.

      American League
      Northeast Division – Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Guardians, Montreal Oddballs, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies.

      South Division – Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Carolina (expansion), Miami Marlins, Nashville (expansion), Washington Nationals, Houston Astros, Texas Rangers.

      I assigned the league names by counting the teams from the old leagues. Nationals outnumbered Americans 9-7 in the one league and Americans outnumbered Nationals 8-6 with two expansion teams in the other. Afterward, I saw that the Dodgers and Giants remained in the National and the Yankees and Red Sox remained in the American. That was just random.

      Flaws? Of course. The South Division has both expansion teams plus some traditionally weak teams like Baltimore, Washington, Miami, and Texas.

      The Phillies are in what could be a brutally difficult division with Montreal (the former Tampa Bay team), both New York teams, Boston, and Toronto. I do think the Mets and Yankees should be in the same division though..

      For the playoffs, I think I would prefer a crossover after the first round so that a division winner doesn’t face a team from its division until the league championship series.

      Sorry this is so long. I need another hobby.

      1. I would have finished reading your post last night, Jim, but I had to go to bed. I thought I had too much time on my hands. But interesting discussion nonetheless. As Buddy B suggested below, I wouldn’t mind 8 4-team divisions too…just split these bigger ones in half.

        1. mark…it is easy to plug different cities and their teams into the MLB puzzle map… ….but shared revenue becomes an issue from 30 to 32 teams….and then there is the large/small market considerations that will surface.
          That may be one reason Manfred wants to start the bidding …when the day comes…at $2.2B entry fee…..and that is the start…..next comes a approx $2B stadium build that may come at the expense of the taxpayer in that city and area.
          So a consortium group of buyers , with the city/state, also will need to come up with probably $8B to start.

  15. Don and all,

    Every city, town, and village in the country falls into some team’s territorial rights.

    MLB’s territorial rights are an abstract construct that only exists in the minds of the owners and the commissioner. It is not defensible in a capitalist market without the antitrust exemption.

    I believe that their mythical rights include site rights of 18-20 miles. Broadcast rights are 50 miles but based on a now outdated VHF signal. Actual broadcasting rights for regional providers create a lot of shared territory.

    A move or expansion to Las Vegas involves “ownership rights” by five or six teams – the two bay area teams, the two LA teams, San Diego, and Arizona.

    Portland falls in Seattle’s territory.

    Nashville is in Atlanta’s and Cincinnati’s territories.

    Indianapolis is in the shared territories of Cincinnati and both Chicago teams.

    Pick a city and it probably infringes somebodies territory.

    MLB even had the balls to extend rights into another sovereign nation. All of Canada goes to Toronto. Two provinces each go to Seattle, Minnesota, and Boston to share with Toronto.

    Any fight over these territory maps makes little or no sense until you consider that they determine where teams can have a monopoly or shared monopoly acquiring advertising dollars.

    1. Well stated…….those expansion fees then will look very enticing to the teams holding the territorial rights.
      Those teams, like say an Atlanta and Cinncy, get more and a bigger slice of the expansion fee pie than say the Phillies would, if Nashville came into existence.

        1. That is crazy. I’m in Raleigh NC and we can’t watch Phillies and Nats on MLB.TV. Washington is a hard 5 hour drive to the stadium, unless 95 becomes a parking lot.

          1. Yep and we don’t get their tv stations even if you have cable. We should not in central/east NC have any teams blacked out as nothing is an easy drive or within the reach of the teams local sports networks.

          2. Denny…purchase MLB Extra Innings. I tell all my friends it is the best $160 or so that I spend all year. You get every game almost. I have never figured out the announcing thing, but the Phillies games are almost always on each night.

            1. I think that is what I have and it gives you 5 email addresses so my 4 boys and I share, but still black outs for Washington & Baltimore.

            2. Denny…mine is through Direct TV. I am not sure if other outlets offer it or not. I have had it so long that it is like $120. The only time I get a black out is if the game is on Fox or one of the other national outlets. I think mine is still on even if MLB has it, but I am not sure on that. Either way I get the game. You might look into it. It is the best $$$s I spend.

    2. Good job Jim. All I knew is I had always heard Indy would never get a MLB team because of those 2 cities. Plus, last talk on that was many yeas ago.

  16. Regarding Montreal:

    Sixty percent of Quebecois did not want to pay for a stadium. In a poll of only 1000 people.

    Three minority parties banded together to defeat the measure introduced by the plurality party.

    Government support for stadiums in Canada is provided by three governing bodies – the city, the province, and the national government. So far, only the province has said no to government funding.

    So, if MLB wants to expand into Canada they can pay off a few Quebec politicians.

    Or, pivot to another Canadian city. Say, Ottawa. It’s in Ontario. The same province as Toronto. It’s about 400 KM (250 miles) from Toronto and about 200 KM (125 miles) from Montreal. Ottawa is the sixth largest metropolitan area in Canada behind Toronto Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton. In 2021, it was only about 700K people behind Montreal. All six are the only municipalities over 1.0M.

    Ottawa is in the population corridor between Montreal and Toronto. They are close enough to Montreal to garner some fans and attendance from Montreal as well as some advertising dollars. Oh, and Ottawa is the capital of the country.

    Maybe, just the wooing of Ottawa brings Quebec and Montreal back to the table. Maybe even starts a bidding war to the benefit of MLB.

    1. Ottawa is another non-starter for different reasons. There’s no room in the downtown core for a stadium, so the stadium would have to be in the suburbs (much like the Ottawa Senator’s arena). The population is spread out across a large area and the public transportation to the suburbs stinks. Ottawa citizens are willing to travel for hockey, baseball not so much. Remember the Ottawa Lynx, the one time minor league affiliate of the Expos, Orioles AND Phillies? The stadium wasn’t that far from the downtown core and they still couldn’t draw enough fans.

      No one in Canada would believe that Ottawa is in the mix for a franchise. It’s either Montreal or bust.

        1. I guess it really does not matter at this point…..I cannot see expansion for at least another 5/7 years……Oakland and Tampa issues need first to be resolve, and maybe I am wrong on this, but the Rays are locked into Tampa until 2027 from what I understand.

  17. I am voting no on expansion. Talent will be diluted, chances of any team winning it all reduced, too many players to follow reducing the sport ‘s identity. Teams playing to half empty stadiums and living of TV money is no way to present America’s greatest sport to new fans. Chasing money for a short-term gain is a trap

  18. I would like to see 8 four team divisions, with one being Phils, orioles, Pirates, and Nationals.

    1. I don’t think they are going to restructure the leagues so significantly – fans and teams value their league affiliations. Any league changes would be the exception. But changes within the league and a restructuring of divisions would be very possible. In a league with 4 divisions, the NL East (or NL North) should have NY, Philly, Pittsburgh and Washington if these are four-team divisions. There’s no geographic reason the Marlins and Braves should be in our division.

        1. It would be cool if the Montreal team were the Expos and they wore the same uniforms and caps. The Expos had just awesome uniforms and a great cap. Loved the clean look, colors and numerals. The uni/cap combination was a consistent top 5 in the MLB.

          1. There is no doubt that if Montreal got a team, the Expos would be back. The cap is just flat out amazing.

            The nostalgia and demand for Montreal baseball is real, but unfortunately, there’s no Quebec billionaire willing to foot the bill.

  19. I propose any of the following cities/towns:
    Ding Dong, Texas
    Good Grief, Idaho (Charlie Brown will be the mascot)
    Hot Coffee, Mississippi
    Knockemstiff, Ohio (cool name)
    No Name, Colorado (for those who are offended by names)
    Nothing, Arizona
    Poverty, Kentucky (I doubt they ever win a game)
    Romance, Arkansas (Hallmark Channel will air all their games)
    Zzyzx, California (leave it to California)
    Bacon Level, Alabama (Bacon!)

    1. I knew the cousin of a neighbor of my daughter’s best friend’s uncle that came from Bacon Level, AL. Lol.

      1. If you want a real rivalry then add Democrat, Kentucky and Republican City, Nebraska. Both teams will frisk you and take all your money as you enter.

    2. Bob…I do not see Arcadia, Indiana as a site. We have a thriving metropolis of around 1,000 people or so. I live in the suburbs so do not count into that number. LOL

      1. Don53, where I was from Arcadia was a nursing home. But hey we could field a team like the 1983 “Wheeze Kids” Phillies

        1. Bob…very funny. There is a nursing home on the West side of town. I like the Wheeze Kids. The growth spurt in the Northern part of the county has not taken place like it has in the Southern part. I was born in the Southern part and now there are people, people and more people there.

  20. Those were some funny posts, guys! Thank You! Meanwhile, we have done nothing yet in FA, and the Dodgers and Astros have! I am, however, anxiously awaiting the Winter Meetings, which I believe/hope will be busy.

    1. But Matt…we have time. It is still November. You are forgetting that the Phillies were playing earlier this month. This is going to be a short offseason for them. I think you will see some big moves fairly soon and that will open the gates for the 2nd tier guys as well once the market is kind of set.

  21. Looks like the Mets will be rolling out the red carpet for Carlos Rodon.
    Surely the Mets cannot pay the three combined of Scherzer, deGrom and Rodon $120M.

    1. I think Steve Cohen cares almost not at all about losing money – at least in the short term. It wouldn’t surprise me very much if they paid those three guys in that range. What’s really going to happen if Cohen blows through the luxury tax restrictions in the same fashion every year is that the other owners are going to change the luxury tax structure in a significant way to prevent him (or much more strongly discourage him) from doing that. I don’t see a cap being put in place, but the changes could be so punitive that it could act like a de facto cap. Trust me, the owners absolutely hate what Steve Cohen is doing right now. He’s raising salaries for everybody. The MLB players should be sending him thank you notes.

      1. Yes…….the other owners will probably make their recommendations to the
        commissioner’s office about some sort of action limiting his spending…..and the Mets also lose draft positioning by signing QO players every year.
        But that doesn’t seem to bother him either.

        1. I think there’s little the other owners can do until the next CBA, but if he keeps on like this it is definitely going to be addressed. They will not let one owner be a game changer for the entire league salary structure. With a tax rather than a hard cap, this was bound to happen sooner or later. FYI, the Phillies will likely also suffer for Cohen’s excesses.

        2. Cohen will eventually learn the lesson of the Yankees or Dodgers etc. etc.

          You can spend all you want and have no assurances of WS Rings. The Braves payroll was what half that of the Mets and they ran them down for the division with little trouble and then the Padres dismantled them in the playoffs.

          Not to mention that I don’t care how much money you have it has to be tough to stomach all those $$$ on the IL.

          So from the other owners perspective I don’t think they mind at all if he continues to bloat his payroll. There are a limited amount of seats in the game of MLB roster musical chairs.

  22. correct me if I am wrong, but the CBA is locked in for a few years, so the CBT can’t be changed. I ask that because if I was Steve Cohen, and had $25Billion, I would have bought the team to win. So, the Tax punishments would mean nothing to me. Can’t stand the Mets, so hate saying this, but after they got bounced from the Playoffs like they did, after blowing a big Division lead like they did, why wouldn’t he use his $ advantage? There are Owners in the League not even trying, who just pocket the revenue sharing. I feel the same way about our team. No, John Middleton does not have Cohen’s $, but he has plenty, the team’s revenues are large, and we came so close to winning the WS, I want him to do whatever it takes to get Trea Turner, a SP of some substance, and a legit BP arm. And, I honestly think he will.

    1. Yes…..you are correct…..cannot change the threshold until the next CBA.
      Also, the owners always wanted a hard cap…like the NFL…but MLBPA fights against that for obvious reasons.

      1. As the great Mr. Miyagi SAID balance is the key. A team should always have a balanced structure of production that comes from both the guys getting fat checks and those that are on a mission to get fat checks (at some point down the road.)

    2. You nailed it. Cohen is worth like $20-30 billion. Having an extra $100-150 million on the payroll in a given year means essentially nothing to him if it gives him a better chance of winning. For the current CBA, he is presenting a nightmare scenario for the other owners.

      1. Cohen can spend as much money as he wants, but you can’t buy a championship team, perhaps only a contender. The Mets once again proved this in 2022. Great talent, payroll out the yingyang, and what to show for it? He’s only disrupting the salary scale for the rest of MLB but it has nothing to do with winning. Good organizations build rosters that will ultimately finish at or on top. Let him go knock himself out.

        1. Yes, that’s the standard refrain and it’s generally true, especially where there is a salary cap. But, in baseball, where there is no cap and where you’re a team like the Mets who have a decent farm system, some productive young players and a virtually unlimited budget, the ability to pay extreme salaries can pretty much get you over the top. And, yes, the Mets didn’t win it last year, but that’s because so much in baseball is random. They spent money and it made a big difference. They easily could have won it last year and with a lot more spending, could easily win it – or make it to the WS – next year. The lack of a salary cap makes a big difference if you’re willing to pay the piper – and Cohen is willing to do that.

          1. The addition of another wild card team – as we well know has completely changed the baseball world. As we all experienced – if you have the components, 3 home run bats, 2/3 strong starters, and 3 flame throwers++ in the bullpen – and you get the MOJO you can go a very long way. Cohen can have a $500 million payroll but that is no guarantee for anything but alot of season wins. You still have to face the teams that get hot at the right time in these playoffs and you are at their mercy. Spending money goes a long way but it is not the key to being in the WS. It takes talent, grit, and persistence -and alot of luck too.

  23. Positive rumors swirling about Turner to the Phillies. I’ll calm my excitement, I just hope it doesn’t drag out the whole off-season. That’s brutal for phans.

    Still looking to hear word on the Pen upgrades. Wondering is Brogdon & Bellati can make the jump to 7th inning. Plus, it is intriguing to have McGarry as a possible big boost. That said, can’t count on it.

    Who’s for Roberston making another tour? I know many of us of looking for the SP add, but I’m comfortable with internal options and signing a low end holdover until the young guns bump him out. I’d rather have
    Additional bullpen arms .

    1. No thanks on Robertson. Gone to that well twice now. So so results, he’s aging, let’s find some young bullpen blood…plus he’s too expensive.

    2. On Turner, this is that time of the year when agents start planting rumors. Turner may very well be the priority but I haven’t written off Bogaerts yet.

      1. Mark, I agree on the planting rumors. One thing I found interesting was on ESPN various predictions were made on the 4 SS and Phillies got 6 for Turner. They had none for the other 3 guys. There were teams who were listed for all 4 guys.

  24. Morosi is saying that Phillies are definitely the favorite for Turner. Another prediction is he signs with Phillies during Winter Meetings.

    1. My hope, if it were to come to fruition, it is a few years less than 8 and maybe give him a higher than normal AAV in the first part of the contract.

      1. My guess is there will be a signing bonus. Say $10M, with possibly a higher AAV through 6 years, maybe $37M. That would total the offer at $232M. Interested teams may have already established that they’re not going longer in years, so yes, bump up the AAV. With the signing bonus that averages out to just under $39M.

  25. The article said it will be in the 30M AAV range. It did not specify years though most have been in the 8-to-10-year range. Most think it will be Turner who lands biggest deal.

    1. Yeah. I think the Phillies will look more to keep the AAV down … even at the cost of adding more negative value years down the road. That would allow them to add more talent in their current window (next two or three years). They’re going to do anything/everything possible to win in Harper’s prime. I’d guess Dombrowski will attempt to keep Turner’s AAV under 30M.

      1. I don’t think that number is going to play. CAA are Turner’s agents and they are one of the elite agencies in the business. You don’t stay that way by taking below market deals. Seager’s AAV ($32.5M) is the minimum target.

        What people need to understand is that each year a handful of free agents with enormous future value control the negotiating leverage because of their intense demand. Turner is in this position. He and CAA are going to get what they want.

        Additionally, the MLBPA is acutely aware of Turner’s value and will want him to exceed Seager’s AAV because that’s the goal each year for their top free agents.

        I’ll remind everyone that two years ago JT Realmuto broke the AAV record for catchers with similar leverage. His agents – CAA.

        1. I agree current free agents are expected to raise the bar for other union members/future free agents. But contracts aren’t measured only by AAV. They are also measured by total money. For JTR, he set a new standard by AAV. Meanwhile, Harper & Boras were satisfied with the total money. Harper agreed to spread the 330M out over 13 years to help the club add other pieces.

          1. I negotiated contracts, so I know what and how it’s measured. I referenced AAV in this situation because Turner’s total contractual value won’t equal Seager’s yet his AAV will be scrutinized. Harper’s situation is not germane to this discussion because Harper sought something entirely different to what Turner is seeking.

            1. I’m aware of your background. We discussed it in one of the draft threads this summer. I respect your opinions/knowledge. I always look forward to reading your posts. I usually agree with your thoughts. However, I don’t necessarily see eye to eye with you on this. Not saying you can’t end up being right. Just saying I think Turner has a number (total money) in mind. And I think he may be open-minded to how he gets there if it means he ends up on a team with Bryce Harper and Kevin Long, and just 50 minutes from his wife’s home town (in NJ).

              Here’s a question for you:
              If Turner were offered two deals⤵️
              Contract #1 … 3/100M
              Contract #2 … 9/269M
              Which do you think he’d take?

            2. There is negative factors to consider on long term deals. Remember Ryan Howard’s last two yrs and Scott kingery for just 2 quick reminders.

              If you lock someone up long term, you better be quite confident that the player will perform consistently at a high level over the course of those years and be at the top tier of his position in war or whatever standard you wish to use for comparison. You also had better be confident that another player of better caliber will not develop through your farm or become available in a year or 2.

              Even castellanos is questionable in that regard, though with the trades of moniack, heasely and others there doesn’t seem to be much extremely better potential on the farm in the near future.

              Harper himself due to being avg range defender could fall into a replaceable category if he continues to get hurt or his body starts breaking down early as he ages. He may be relinquished to perpetual dh even after healing from surgery due to injury proneness due to his all out style of play.

              Turner and bogartz both fall into the class which one would want to have at ss for several/ many yrs but due to a little better fielding stats, batting avg, and lower k rate, I’d favor bogartz, But I’d personally think 5 yrs with a couple option yrs might be better.

            3. After reviewing some “other” stats such as sprint speed and avg exit velocity, I’m seeing the advantage of Turner over bogartz thogh either would be acceptable. Turner has elite speed, being in the top 5 of burst speed even among part time players.

              And Stott might even develop to push either to second base eventually.

              But a couple other gleanings from reviewing those stats;. Matt Vierling has elite speed also ranking #16 in burst speed. He is also 3rd on the team in avg exit velocity (last yr) behind Schwarber and Harper and #33 overall. Sosa also has better than avg speed.

              To introduce myself a little, many yrs ago I participated and contributed to the group and even participated as a guest fill in writer for what I think was this group. That was back when each Phillies game, or most of them, were reviewed. Been a long time… I visit the information and posts quite often as keeping up with info on farm development has been a hobby for quite awhile.

              With the pennant race this year and the desire to field perennial playoff participants, the hot stove time period is always interesting to review and participate.

            4. Hinkie,

              Thanks for your response. It appears we’re talking past each other because we have different expectations for Turner’s contract. Your question is non sequitur because I don’t believe those are Turner’s options. In fact, I would be very surprised if he doesn’t already have four offers beyond $30M AAV (perhaps well beyond) at this time and likely a fifth next week if Judge signs with either the Yankees or Giants.

              Let me back up and go through what I think his agents are planning. When JT was a free agent, he and his agents (CAA, same agents as Turner) knew he wasn’t going to get the highest total dollar contract ever for a catcher because he was a couple years older than Mauer when he signed his extension. Instead, they pivoted and focused on getting the highest AAV ever for a catcher. Do you think it was a coincidence that JT ended up with a $23.1 AAV and Mauer had a $23.0 AAV? Of course not. This is how agents with leverage (best catcher in baseball) operate.

              As previously stated, I think they’re going to attempt something similar with Turner, as he’s in a similar situation to JT and holds similar leverage. He’s a couple years older than Seager when he signed, so the gameplan to focus on AAV will be the likely outcome. Will he exceed Seager’s $32.5M? I think so.

              To provide further context, numbers like this matter very much to agents. CAA doesn’t want to deliver a bad AAV, as well as a lower overall contract to someone that held similar leverage (albeit Seager was younger and had more contract length flexibility) and was represented by a competitor. You’re kidding yourself if you don’t think this doesn’t enter the equation because it does. Elite free agents that hold undeniable leverage like Turner work with the very best agencies for this reason. That’s why I’m saying your proposed AAV doesn’t work.

              I don’t know who Turner is going to sign with but I think he wants to play with the Phillies and I believe Dombrowski thinks the world of him. In fact, I believe DD stayed out of the SS market last year because he preferred Turner to those in the market last year. All that said, his agents are still going to want a better AAV than Seager. Realmuto said over and over that he wanted to stay in Philadelphia, yet still got the AAV record for catchers.

              Is it possible a team like the Mariners or Giants come up with a filthy contract number and AAV that blows everyone else away? Yes, it’s possible. Is it possible that Turner instructs his agents to take a “lesser deal” to sign with a team that he prefers? Again, yes it’s possible, although it would still have to be a strong number. Remember, Wheeler took slightly less money to sign with the Phillies instead of the White Sox, so it occasionally happens. But the situation here is a little different than Wheeler’s because there are different leverages and union pressures involved with Turner.

              Look, it’s okay to have a difference of opinion on this matter and I respect yours and everyone else. I’m just giving you my opinion based on industry experience. I also think that everyone is a little brainwashed or overly concerned about the luxury tax implications. I can assure you that the club has moved beyond those concerns. Everyone has a breaking point and they won’t give him a blank check but to get a player of this caliber they’ll go to great lengths because they like him that much.

            5. Tony G.,

              Hope you’re doing well.

              Agreed, there are certainly negative factors to consider with long-term contracts. But to get the best players teams are oftentimes forced to go beyond their comfort level. Your proposal of five year contracts with options won’t be competitive enough to sign elite players. There are too many clubs competing to sign guys like Judge, Turner, Correa, etc., and in order to win the bid you have to separate yourself from the rest and that happens by offering a longer contract.

              Each club has their own proprietary way of valuing players by year and it’s not linear, which is different than how fans (like on this site) typically measure it. They know that players on the back end of a long contract will have less value and deal with it accordingly. But they also know that the same player will likely have a much higher value at the front of the contract.

              The Phillies are going for it, which means that they’re largely focusing on free agent value over the next 3-4 years. They’ll deal with the consequences later on the back end. This is what competitive clubs do.

              Some clubs opt to be more conservative (like your proposal). Those clubs typically aren’t as competitive, although you occasionally get outliers. For the most part, the clubs competing for championships are spending a lot of money. It doesn’t always makes sense or would be how the rest of us would handle things but that’s the way of the world.

            6. An addendum to my previous note regarding Turner and then I need to leave, as I have a full day’s work ahead.

              While I believe he and his agents will focus on AAV, it doesn’t mean he’s going to take a relatively short term contract to achieve it. Given the demand for him, I don’t think he’ll take less than an eight year contract. It’s possible a club will stretch beyond eight years to win the bid but we’ll see.

              Have a great day, everyone.

            7. Howard … thanks for the response/explanation. It all makes sense. There’s probably been a little pollyanna thinking on my part. If Turner was in the process of negotiating with a different team (other than the Phils), I may have seen things differently. We’ll see what happens (if Turner agrees to a Harper like deal to end up here) when Dombrowski announces the signing maybe sometime next week.

            8. Tony G…welcome to the board. Many here can attest to the fact that I have absolutely no qualifications whatsoever. Just enjoy talking Phillies baseball.

  26. I share Hinkie’s opinion. I don’t think they will worry about years if they can create more flexibility. They want a Championship in the next 2-3 years. I also thin Correa gets the top contract of the SSs.

  27. Matt, the guys on ESPN felt Correa’s past injury history will keep him lower than Turner. Segment on Turner and Bogaerts as well tonight.

  28. MLB guys had Zolecki on. Olney said that a big agent says Phillies will have one of the SS. Turner seems to be the favorite. MLB guys also looked at other fits. The two they gave were Twins and Cardinals. Said if Twins keep saying they have money for Correa they have money for Turner. Also put Turner with the Cards. Said he would make their lineup dynamite.

  29. Zolecki did say that he feels Middleton wants to win NOW. He did not feel the LT will be an issue as to the construction of the 23 team. He feels DD has the ability to go get who he wants if he can. I am sure there is a limit somewhere. MLB guys are still talking 6 to 8 years on most of these guys. We will find out fairly soon.

  30. Forgot. Zolecki does not feel any addition will be made for RF while Harper heals.
    Thinks they will stay with what they have now.

      1. Nick C is likely the DH (on most days) until Harper returns then he will be the RF until end of year or Harper can throw

      2. With Castellanos DH and Harper on the mend, who will play RF? Dombrowski downplayed the need, and it wouldn’t be a season long issue, but 90 games without your biggest impact player in the lineup is significant. Anybody?

        1. mark….IMO, Harper will not be in RF until late in the season, maybe Sept, if they let him do it at all this season …..I think they will play it safe. He may even be hesitant about it himself going out there and having to let the ball fly to the plate or third base..

          1. Romus…you’re right…SO WHO WILL PLAY RIGHT FIELD IF CASTELLANOS IS DH?!?! OR IF CASTELLANOS IS IN RF, WHO WILL DH?!?!

            1. I think Hall will be playing the DH role at times….as Dave D says..’mix and match’ with the others…JTR/Schwarber/castellanos/Hoskins.
              RF…..primarily Castellanos again and when he DHs….then you have the crew of Vierling/Maton/Guthrie…..they have already did it this past year at times.

            2. I think that Sosa will play 3b against LH pitching with Bohm at 1b and Hoskins DH. Vs. RH it will be some combination of Hall at DH an Maton in RF with Castellanos at DH.

              Only chance I see of them signing someone to play RF would be once camp opens and a FA is still sitting out there that has yet to sign. Someone they could get on a 1-year deal.

  31. trea will sell enough merch to make the expenditure worth it.. still a high ROI even if the wins/championships/war don’t equate.. it’s what the people want

  32. Guys there were no questions to Zolecki last night about SP or BP arms. I still think those are two very key areas that need some addressing. Everything was on position players and thoughts on LT. One other thing. Morossi is usually pretty clued in and he has hinted Philles are pretty far out front in the battle for Turner. So we just have to wait and see a few days or a week or so. Some things will start breaking pretty soon.

  33. I agree, Don, but I think the SS situation gets resolved first. I appreciate all of the comments about the contract, it’s length and AAV, and I don’t claim to know what is in Turner’s head, but I do believe that I cannot put a monetary value on what this past season’s Playoff run meant to the fanbase, the organization, the players on the team, and the whole area. Baseball was reborn here, and it had been fairly dormant for years, and the excitement was palpable. That is the reason I believe we sign Turner. Will it be $30M a year? Probably, how many years?, we don’t know. But, I believe John Middleton wants that feeling back. Trea Turner does a lot to help us get there, so I think he plays SS for us this coming season. I don’t think that $ will be an issue.

    1. Matt, I do as well. I was just letting it be known that Zolecki was not asked any questions by the MLB Tonight guys on any pitching. Turner is probably going to wait till Judge signs. That in itself might open a couple more players for him and boost the $$$S.
      I do think the Phillies are all in and will do whatever they can to get back and win 2 more games. But it is really hard to win the WS now. Everything has to come together at the correct time. Even though they fell 2 games short they were right there in both with a lucky bounce the games might have gone their way instead of the Astros. It was very close.

      1. Don…not pretending to know what the Phillies and Dombrowski will do, but who knows, the Phillies could sign both Turners from the Dodgers.
        Justin, though 38 now, could come relatively cheaper at $12M AAV over two years.
        I mean….why not get another DH!

        1. Not only that Romus but Justin won the Roberto Clemente Award this season. So, he is a really good guy as well. There is always room for ONE more DH on the Phillies. LOL Justin has always been a very good dependable player for years. I like him a lot. I think he stays with Dodgers.

  34. The posts made by TonyG are by the same person as Tony Graybill.
    One is made while logged in to WordPress and one made just through an email registration. Sorry bout that, If my participation in this stint continues for any period, I will likely resolve the issue.

    Thanks for letting me in briefly, and thanks for all the writips and information, even in the dry years.

  35. And I thought it was because you were a phan of former Phillie Tony Gonzalez, just like the Tony Curry on this site is a phan of that former Phillie. As a young tike I had both of those players rookie cards though I never saw Curry play. I saw Gonzalez play several times.

    Anyways, here is something worth considering, given the fact that the Phils are likely to sign either Turner or Boegarts. It might just be my opinion based on everything I read and hear from my Phillie friends who live in Philadelphia, but I sense that the phanbase SO wants Turner, it will become almost a letdown if Boegarts is signed instead. I know I will be letdown. Of course Boegarts is a very good player, one of the better players in the American League.

    But living here in SoCal I have been fortunate to watch Turner on a regular basis and he is not merely one of the better players in the National League, he is likely one of the 10 best players in baseball, and given the Phils lineup and Turner’s influence on it, I suspect he could elevate himself into Top 6-8 players in the game as a Phillie, especially during the next 3-4 years. He is simply one of the most dynamic players I have witnessed in the past decade.

    There is literally nothing Turner can’t do on the baseball diamond, nothing. He is one of the 3-4 fastest right handed hitters out of the batters box, and of course that speed translates well on the basepaths. He is a great hitter, has solid power [something that Boegarts seems to be losing], plays shortstop competently [and on the Phillies he would be considered on of the 3 best defensive players in the lineup along with JT and Marsh] and is a great leader.

    To sum up, he fits the Phils almost perfectly and most Phillie phans realize it. I compare it very closely to the Machado vs Harper situation a few years ago. We liked Machado but LOVED Harper. We thought Machado would fit adequately but felt Harper would fit SPECTACULARLY! I hope Turner realizes how instantly popular he will become in Philadelphia.

    I could be wrong but I think it comes down to the Giants or Phillies. And it will be the Giants only if they don’t sign Judge. So, ultimately, he will need to make the choice…do I sign as the secondary piece in San Francisco [because they all want Judge in the Bay Area, Turner is an afterthought] or do I sign as the primary piece in Philadelphia? While I agree that Turner won’t want to settle for a penny less than he feels he is worth, he also should consider how popular he is likely to become during what are likely to be the final 7-8 years of his career.

    1. Very interesting post, CD…and plausible that Turner’s market is contingent on Judge/SFG/NYY. Hmmm….

  36. CD, terrific post! Maybe he signs for a penny less, LOL!. Anyway, I think the Harpers, Mr. and Mrs., have made it very clear to Trea and Mrs. Turner how much he will enjoy playing here, and how much Harper wants him here. And, I am not saying that anyone of you is wrong. Maybe Sosa at SS and spending 2/$90M on Verlander, or trading Hoskins, and getting whoever, and moving guys around to be better defensively, or any of the suggestions may be a better or more cost efficient plan, or one that may have better results than what I think. I just know what it felt like watching the whole Playoff Series, and I believe the Front Office believes that a SS is the #1 priority, and Turner is the top choice, and the SP depth comes from a mid-tier FA, not Verlander or Rodon or deGrom. If that is the plan, I hope they successfully execute it, and I hope it works. This was a great time for us Phillies fans, even falling 2 games short, and I want us back there next year.

    1. Matt, just look at the SS in the WS. Stott played really well. But Pena played beyond outstanding. All things being equal that one position determined the winner of the World Series. And that is no knock-on Bryson. Two young kids and one just shined really bright. It seemed he was always at bat in the key moment, and he came through.
      BTW Turner had 100 rbis.

  37. Judge:
    Balls in Farhan’s court now…..heard Yanks have offered 8yrs/$300M.
    Farhan said weeks ago, they will not be under bid.
    Once Judge signs, probably at the Winter Meetings in SD next week, the domino for free agents gets rolling.

  38. Romus, I am glad to see the bids are now getting into your stratosphere financially. LOL I think Judge has to go first for all these other top guys to see where the landscape is for them.

  39. Gaylord Perry passed.
    I know he would chuckle at this, and I don’t want to offend, but I hope they check all the pall bearers hands for any foreign substances so they don’t drop him.

    1. Denny…Gaylord never used foreign substances, as he once said, ….they were all made in America.

      1. That is the funniest Gaylord Perry Quote I have ever heard!!! Gaylord was so good in his day that even when he didn’t have any substance. The opposing team keep thinking “he’s cheating “
        Next thing g u knew there were three outs and he walking back to the dug out

        1. Just think if the umpires had to inspect him after an inning like they do today. They would need to get a contract with Jiffy Lube for that.

          1. Orlando Cepeda said, after a throw over to first base one time, after he threw the ball back to Gaylord , his fingers were wet and gooey.

  40. Sorry, comments were closed accidentally. I’ve been closing comments on old articles to try and combat spam. Guess I closed this unintentionally.

    1. So, if knowing the price would be 49M for 3 years, who thinks that would have been good for the Phillies? Who if anyone might be equivalent or better value now that a comparison level is made?

      1. $40M. Good for Eflin. We certainly didn’t want to see the Phillies commit to that many years for that kind of money. I certainly hope he stays healthy and pitches well. But, I would hope to get a pitcher with healthier knees.

          1. Good luck to Zach, a really good dude with a couple shaky knees.
            IMO … this is a sign DD feels pretty good about his chances of landing a #2 or #3 type SP via either free agency or trade. Still think Nathan Eovaldi could be on Dombrowski’s radar.

        1. I predicted 3 years and $39 million for Eflin on here a few weeks ago, so feeling good about that. Happy for Eflin, but it made sense for the Phillies to allow him to move on. Starting pitching is the team’s organizational strength, with the big three coming, starting this year, they need to save money on the back of the rotation so they can spread it elsewhere.

          1. Yes…….Eflin needs to get a break on his health….the salary looks good for sure for him.
            Interested in seeing what Dave d has in mind for the back end of the rotation.
            The big three are getting closer, but like to see another tier two guy, like a Falter type, step up unexpectedly and be a part of the staff at times.
            I had hoped Ethan Lindow, Hans Crouse or a Michael Plassmeyer would be that type of a starting pitcher.

          2. Still remembering sitting with Zach’s grandmother at spring training in 2016 watching him pitch – such a nice lady – she asked me if one of my sons was at spring training as a player (uh, yeah, no – not even close). She also sent me an email when he was called up – how nice was that? He seems like a really nice and decent guy – so I’m very happy for him and the entire Eflin family. Zach’s dad, a former Temple football player, was super, super hard core and locked in on his son. At spring training, he was in no mood for chatting with other fans. He was there on serious family business. Not that I blame him – but good for him too.

    2. Cool, living in Raleigh/Durham area. We will be able to see him pitch for the Rays’ AAA team, Durham Bulls, for his rehab appearances during the year.

  41. I guess we know what a # 4 pitcher is going to make – roughly $ 39 – 40 million for 3 years. Wishing Eflin luck but have to wonder what Tampa has in mind for a pitcher who only once in 4 years (excluding 2020 mini season) pitched more than 130 innings. Compared to others his health history would suggest he was overpaid – yet reports say other teams were willing to pay the same amount. This for a pitcher who allows more hits than innings pitched and will likely have to be handled with kid gloves – unless, of course, you have a 6 man rotation ? Seems to me his best Phillies work was the relief pitching he did this year. Godspeed….

    1. I think Eflin has upside yet if he can remain healthy. His best asset is limited walks. But I don’t see him getting much below 3.50 era unless he would develop a new pitch like a splitter, screwball or knuckle curve. Maybe the rays are hoping for that.

      But right now, Bailey Falter can fill those shoes as a #5. He has nothing more to prove at AAA other than consistency in the long term.

      I think they are best to take the 13 mill, add 10 mill and grab another #1-#3 if they can.

      There were times when Kyle Gibson was very good, going deep in the games and times they let him take one for the team. I’m not recommending him as a #4 but I also don’t understand why he didn’t start game 4 against the stros to give Nola an extra day. He had a few good games against them while pitching for Texas.

      1. Before Sept 2 Gibson’s ERA was 3.78. During Sept/Oct he sported a 9+ era giving up 31 earned runs in 28.2 innings. It seemed that he might have been pitching hurt or had other issues.

        1. He had a 4.08 ERA heading into September. I don’t think he had any issues other than the fact that he’s a back-end starter pitching in front of a mediocre defense. It also didn’t help that two of those six final starts were against the Braves and Jays.

          1. Gibson always seemed to have 1 bad inning an outing. I wonder what his ERA was, overall, if we take out that 1 bad inning each game?

          2. Yes, 4.08/09; I stand corrected. Mistake on subtracting innings.

            Yes, braves and jays, but through the year he handled the Mets a few times, and other top tier teams and struggled with nationals once or twice. Don’t think there was rhyme or reason.

            Might be bad scouting or poor command on his blowout games. Or might be a few unlucky breaks.,

            I’ve got to wonder though if there wasn’t an undisclosed injury since he only got 2 innings in the entire postseason.

    2. RU, yes there were other teams interested in Eflin. Boston actually offered 3/$40 first and Tampa was given the opportunity to match and he would sign. I wouldn’t say Tampa got a hometown advantage, (Oviedo HS is on the eastern side of Orlando), but Boston wasn’t given an opportunity to counter.

  42. Romus i been really busy, can you email me what i missed so far, I know you are busy with pickleball, but if you get some time, can you fill me in ty

    1. rocco….sorry dude,
      ….also busy, do not have much time on my hands these days, working on my serve in pickleball for the upcoming championships.

      1. Romus…you are such a busy guy. I have a question since I see Rocco mentioned email. Would Jim give you and Matt13 my email so I could kind of fill you in on how grandson is doing now in basketball? I know he mentioned not to put things not related on here. Thanks. Maybe this is for Jim. Thanks, either way.

      2. Romus …….make sure you use a helmet, pads, etc. A friend’s daughter graduated with a degree in occupational therapy and went to a new practice where she told her dad things were really slow at first………then the Pickelball casualties started showing up………everything is fine now and very prosperous too.

  43. Eflin pitched out of the BP very well for us, and he has earned my well wishes for his future. I am hoping we can upgrade the SP with that $. I think we are going to see some really crazy contracts. The market is already robust for Walker, one of the guys on my list to get.

  44. Okay, so with the winter meetings starting Sun, here’s my final mock for notable free agent signings…beginning with the first domino…

    Aaron Judge – NYY
    Carlos Correa – CHC
    Trea Turner – SFG(!)
    Xander Bogaerts – PHI
    Dansby Swanson – ATL
    Carlos Rodon – NYM
    Jacob deGrom – TEX
    Justin Verlander – LAD
    Brandon Nimmo – NYM
    Willson Contreras – STL
    Koudi Senga – BOS
    Josh Bell – SFG
    Chris Bassitt – NYY
    Jonathan Taillon – BAL
    Andrew Benintendi – MIA
    Taijuan Walker – PHI
    Sean Manaea – BAL
    Andrew Heaney – NYM
    Mitch Haniger – BOS
    Noah Syndergaard – CHC
    Nathan Eovaldi – BOS
    Taylor Rogers – PHI
    JD Martinez – CLE
    Jose Quintana – NYM
    Brandon Drury – LAA
    Michael Conforto – CIN
    Jean Segura – CHW

    1. mark, I am going with Turner, and Rogers, and with so much interest in Walker, who I was on earlier, I am going Jose Quintana on a short term deal.

  45. Looks like Eflin had multiple suitors which gives an indication at how expensive pitching will be in the future. Giving $40M to Eflin who has started 31 games the last 2 years is an eye opener.

    Personally, I don’t understand what Justin Verlander is doing. He has already made $300M in his career, he came off a Cy Young and a ring with the Astros, and he’s now playing hardball with the Astros because he wants Max Scherzer money?

    1. Look, almost all of these guys are mercenaries, to some degree. Verlander is especially hard core, which is his right, although, yeah, it comes off as a little pigish given that he has achieved so much with Houston and they believed in him. Oh well.

      In any event, the Phillies were extremely lucky that Harper wanted a very long contract with no opt-out right. He is the exception and not the rule. There is no doubt that, had he wanted to do that, he would be opting out one of these years and could re-negotiate going forward with negative consequences for the team.

    2. Verlander could be headed for Southern Cal…to join a rotation with Ohtani.
      Could also help Moreno in upping the value in the sale of the club.

      1. Nimmo and Turner at top of lineup, trade Cast, can we afford it with signing a pitcher too?

        1. “…..trade Cast…..”
          sorry roc, …….probably no trade partners after his last year’s production, and then to go along with a millstone of a contract.
          bWAR…..-0.1
          fWAR……-0.7
          $20M -AAV

  46. Rays and Eflin’s contract…highest for them for a pitcher.
    Believe it was Rays beat writer Marc Topkin, who said contract was(’23)- $11M + (’24)-$11M+ (’25)-$18M….3yrs total $40M.
    Said he had other offers, RSox as one, but Zach preferred Florida.

  47. We are not trading for Kolten Wong and keeping stott at DS. He went to Seattle. We are meeting with all 4 SS at Winter Meetings per Jayson Stark.

    1. What a waste. 30 year old CF, limited contact, 5 SB caught 4 times in 335 MLB games, 33 homers. Why?

      1. Maybe the keep him or maybe he doesn’t make in past March. He’s an insurance CF and might signal a trade in the works.

  48. MLBTR reports Padres are in on the four shortstops…Turner being one of course.
    I have to wonder are they truly in it, or is it spin from the agents.
    Seems Padres have other pressing needs bigger than a high AAV shortstop.
    Maybe it drives up the price for them.
    Ben Clemens of Fangraphs has Turner on one of his lower projections at 7 yrs/$210M

  49. Wow!! DeGrom to Rangers, 5yrs/$185M. Crazy to give him 5 years when he is injured so often. Rangers hope to win in the next 2, and don’t care about the rest is the only explanation.

      1. Don’t totally disagree with your basic point, but, Degrom is not THAT old, 3up, nor has that many innings pitched. Contrasted to the contract for example that the Phillies gave to Roy Halladay who wasn’t much younger, and Halladay gave the Phils 3 great years…. including a playoff no-hitter. Plus Degrom must have pitched at least 500 less innings than Halladay. Halladay also had pitched over 250 innings several years while Degrom hasn’t. Though Halladay declined rapidly at the end, that wasn’t a terrible deal for the org, was it?

        1. I0Heart)…IMO deGrom’s arm is figuratively hanging on a UCL thread.
          A second tear could possibly happen…there may be a short shelf life after his first TJ now…its been 12 years and he has got his money’s worth out of it for sure.
          The shoulder was also an issue…but then again there is a physical correlation between all the structures there in his right arm..
          I am sure the Ranger docs reviewed his medicals but you never know with hi-velo arms with his age and amount of innings under his belt.

          1. Romus, I wonder about pitchers such as Nolan Ryan and The Big Unit, Roger Clemens – all those innings – but no UCL problems! And then about the research on the ever-increasing number of pitchers who underwent UCL surgery. The most recent study I saw is from 2019 but it continues the results of this older article – that the number of innings after recovery from UCL surgery has no adverse impact on health or performance. https://www.drdavidgeier.com/statistics-pitching-tommy-john-surgery/
            Seems a bit hard to believe, doesn’t it?

          1. “I have been told my UCL is perfectly fine,” deGrom said, referring to his ulnar collateral ligament, the Tommy John ligament. …Mar 14, 2022.
            He had TJ surgery in 2010, however last year’s ..2021…injuries were of the variety that indicated ligament trouble..

    1. Texas has proven they don’t fare well with big contracts. I could see 3 years, maybe…but 5 yeesh! If he starts 100 games over 5 years, I’ll be surprised.

      Well, now let the dominoes fall…what a market for SPs!

    2. Nola needs to give thanks to deGrom, because this contract just boosted the cost for an elite pitcher.

      The Rangers are going for it, but I think it’s not going to end well for them. Giving multiple big money long term contracts is a huge mistake.

      1. Wait, the Phillies have multiple long term contracts. Which also 5 years down the road could be a hindrance. I expect the Phils will pay Nola some time in 2023 to stay longer

        1. These are the long term contracts remaining for the Phillies (4+ years left):

          Harper, 9 years, $236M
          Castellanos, 4 years, $80M

          Rangers have:

          deGrom, 5 years, $185M
          Semien, 6 years, $156M
          Seager, 9 years, $298M

          Now obviously Nola and whichever SS the Phillies will sign will add to this. Hopefully, the contracts will be 6 years max.

  50. What does Verlander get from the Mets? 3/$135? The numbers are crazier than I thought and I thought they would be out there.

    1. Mets are in a bind. You figure that their rotation would be Scherzer, Carrasco, Megill, and Peterson so far which doesn’t scare anybody. Mets might have no choice but to give Verlander what he wants.

  51. Matt, deGrom did not pitch 70 innings last season.
    Really kind of stupid.
    Most think Verlander goes to the Dodgers.
    I think you are probably right on the $$$ and yrs.
    The Mets do not have very many pitchers coming back now.

  52. I got the under on deGrom even making 60 starts over this contract. He is – from a stamina and longevity standpoint – washed up. Does not mean he can’t throw 5 shutouts in a row – but may not pitch for 3++ months after that. Texas trying to make a playoff appearance, any way, some how. Our problem – Mets could have really shot themselves in the foot and helped the Phillies by competing with this crazy offer. Now, maybe Mets reload, save the cash, rethink their position, and really add to that rotation or power part of the lineup. I don’t see how they miss on Rodon, among others. Its the best thing that could have happened to the Mets. And by his subtraction, hurt the Phillies.

    1. deGrom might already be a pitcher from the past. Last year, his ERA and ERA+ were his worst since 2017. His WAR and RAR were the worst of his career.

      He had great WHIP and K and BB rates, but he also gave up home runs at the highest rate of his career.

      And he only pitched 64.1 innings, fewer even than in COVID-shortened 2020.

      Finally, he’ll be 35 in June.

  53. I think it’s a shrewd move for Dombrowski to have it out there that he’s meeting with ALL four top SSs, in order to mitigate the demand these star players are making. There’s only a handful of clubs fishing in this tank…Yankees, Cubs, RedSox, Dodgers, Phillies, Mets, Giants…the Padres and Blue Jays often seem to feign interest even if they aren’t legitimately going for the biggest names. But most of MLB is standing by watching which of the big market teams will close the deal.

    1. When it’s all said and done…
      Correa 9/$288M ($32M AAV)
      Turner 8/$264M ($33M AAV)
      Bogaerts 6/$180M ($30M AAV)
      Swanson 5/$110M ($22M AAV, perhaps with an option year)

      1. mark…..all seem to think Swanson will be way down on the AAV ladder…..$22M does seem low, but have seen many who believe that.
        I think he gets closer to $25M on a shorter in length contract.
        I can see the three of Cubs, RSox and Giants dishing out for him if they lose out on their primary targets……Correa, Boagerts and Judge respectively.

  54. Think about this. Last season deGrom pitched 67 innings.
    He will earn slightly over half a million if he does the same this year per inning.

  55. I expect the Mets to chase Verlander and Rodon now but I think Verlander will sign with the Dodgers and Rodon with the Mets. Mets will then sign Bassitt.
    Jake Cave signing is a small one but he could compete with Hall in spring training for a spot (if Cave is still here then). I want Turner but would be happy with Bogaerts also. Turner could be a huge star in Philly.

  56. Here is an out of the box trade idea. Similar to a trade that DD for Sale:

    Abel, Rojas and Lee (or McGarry) to Milwaukee for Woodruff.

    Would you do that deal?

    Would you rather do that than go 5/$130m for Rodon?

          1. I don’t see why Arizona would trade Gallen. He is exactly what they need. Milwaukee on the other hand seems to be rebuilding.

            Milwaukee might want to get out of Yelich’s contract too.

            1. Woodruff may not be as expensive in player return as you would think.
              His Raynaud’s condition in his right hand could be a very serious condition, career ending, if the meds begin to wane and blood flow to the arm becomes less prominent over time. There is no cure, just treatment and pitching in a dome/enclosed facility in April and May is good for him…..just a little chill can cause a feeling of numbness in the fingers and hand.
              I think many GMs may see this as a caution flag when he is discussed in a trade.

            2. If the day of reckoning should ever come for him…..he could be a very reliable reliever with the two basic pitches…..Fastball…4Smr/2Smr and cutter varieties all off the fastball and the changeup…….breaking balls (slider and curveball) probably are too difficult to control because the index/middle, and ring finger have to have a good firm grip and feel, and this disease effects the blood flow to these three fingers..

      1. Did not realize Zac Gallen was a local Jersey guy…Bishop Eustace’s HS.
        Probably a Phillies fan and a regular CBP attendee as a teenager when the Phillies were ruling their division.

        1. I can’t figure out that acquisition either? I think they are hoping cave accepts a AAA assignment as backup in case of one or more injuries. But Maton and Gunthrie both have experience as infielders. So they may not have confidence in their outfield play.

          Caves range is average and his k rate is swarberish. So either they think they can work with him or picked him up quick, to later make an evaluated decision and for AAA fodder. I read where his contract he had just made before the Phillies picked him up included options for AAA at bats

          1. Cave is basically a depth acquisition that has upside to work way into a more prominent role. Possible fill in candidate to compete with Hall while Harper is out.

        2. If your thinking of gullen, get Alec manoah while you are at it.

          Enrique De Los Santos had a phenomenal year.

          If looking for bp help, TBR is loaded with guys with low whip.

          I’d guess that is what they like about Eflin.

  57. Hey, FWIW, Topper canceled his appearance at the Philadelphia Sports Memorabilia show this weekend because of last minute travel changes…wasn’t originally expected to attend the winter meetings…connect…dots…

    1. Nice… I’ll say that’s something – let’s hope it’s a SS signing followed by a nice SP addition or trade

    2. Topper is likely one of, if not the top recruiters the Phils have this off-season. Last year’s success, the team chemistry, the electricity at the Bank, and Middleton’s smart money all help, but Topper might be the best salesman just by being him.

  58. I am very confident that we see us make some moves at the Winter Meetings. My prediction was Turner on Monday, but that may be a little optimistic. We will do something, however.

  59. I just looked at Zolecki’s article previewing the Winter Meetings.
    In it he mentions that the Phillies will hold one of the rotation spots for one of the young guys. Falter, Sanchez and Painter most obvious. I had not seen this before but says DD compares Painter to Josh Beckett. If he turns out like that it would be great.
    Seems SS, SP and BP of some sort are the shopping lists.

  60. Reynolds has officially requested a trade from the Pirates. Any interest in a Hoskins, Rojas and Abel for Reynolds and Bedard. I know it would probably take more just throwing the idea out there

  61. Bdinella, I am of the belief that the team thinks Brandon Marsh is the full time CF, and that working with Kevin Long will see long term improvements, like we saw in a small sample after the trade. Also, I think he can improve his D. So, I don’t think the team is looking to trade for a CF. So, if any of the players you mentioned are part of a trade, I think it would be for a controllable SP. I would be surprised to see any of those 3 traded. Rojas still has some time to go in the Minors, giving us a chance to see if Marsh does earn that CF time long term or Rojas forces his way into it instead.

    1. I agree it probably won’t happen but Reynolds in Cf and Marsh in left would dramatically upgrade the OF D. with Turner and Reynolds at the top lineup that would put so much pressure on the bases with Harper, Jt and Schwarber coming up. Not to mention we would finally have a closer in Bedard with Dominguez and Alvarez in the 8th. Obviously still need another too SP but damn can a man dream

  62. Mets turning eyes onto Verlander…..looks like minimum starting price $40M AAV for 3 yrs.
    Unless Hinkie’s persuasiveness directs Dave D to jump right in there and pull the rug from right under Steve Cohen.

  63. Romus, last night Sherman and MLB guys were saying probably in the 3 yr, 130M range for Verlander and the Dodgers being the favorite. Of course, things can and do change. Look currently at the two teams. Mets have a lot more holes at the moment.

    1. Don….I think the Mets will push it high for Verlander…….better MadMax’s contract…..3 @ $135M
      It will force Friedman to go higher if he wants him at there in LA.
      Then there is also Moreno and the Angels who could jump into the fray.

  64. So, the Guggenheim Billions vs the Steve Cohen Billions for Verlander. That will be something to see! Bdinella, that would certainly upgrade the D. I don’t think Schwarber likes playing or wants to play 1B. Bohm can move to 1B, Sosa to 3B, and Schwarber the full time DH, but I don’t think that is what they are planning. When Harper comes back, then Schwarber doesn’t have a spot, and that is not happening. It’s easy to say just tell Schwarber he has to play 1B, but I don’t think they want to do that. He isn’t playing RF with Castellanos at 1B, so as good as your proposal sounds, I don’t believe DD is looking to do that.

  65. I don’t like our off season pitching moves so far. Lose Eflin. Gibson and the idiotic decision to leave Miller unprotected?

  66. A couple thoughts while we wait for the winter meetings:

    1) Jake Cave – This was a clever move by the Phillies and I’ll tell you why. Actually, the Orioles get the credit. They signed Cave to a 2023 split contract (don’t have the terms) but apparently the major league portion is good enough for him not to refuse an outright assignment. Cave has enough service time to refuse an assignment, so it was necessary to incentivize him with this contract. They recently DFA’d him to effectively stash him in the minors without using a 40-man spot but the Phillies messed it up for them.

    The Phillies will now try to do the same thing, as they likely have no intention of keeping him on the 40-man roster. I wouldn’t be surprised if they DFA Cave next week during the winter meetings while clubs are a little distracted and trying to keep 40-man spots open for transactions. There’s no downside, so why not try to do what the Orioles just did? If they lose him, they lose him. If he sneaks through then he plays at Lehigh Valley next season until there’s a reason to bring him up.

    2) Aaron Judge – When it’s gotten to the point that Ken Rosenthal (who’s not prone to conjecture) is projecting a specific contract length (nine years), you know that things are getting close to being done. If Judge is getting nine years, then his total contract will be well beyond $300M.

    3) Shortstops – The demand for the big four (Turner, Correa, Bogaerts, and Swanson) is so intense that I don’t see any of them taking less than six years. I wouldn’t be surprised if three of the four sign for a minimum of seven years. I see Turner’s market possibly going to nine years with eight years at the minimum.

    Remember, last year the big four (Seager, Semien, Baez, and Correa) got 10 years, 7 years, 6 years, and 3 years (with an opt out after one), respectively. Story got six years but moved to 2B. Correa had the unusual circumstance with switching agents during free agency, which screwed up his negotiations. Overall, I think this year’s group of SS’s are better than last year with a more robust market.

    Knowing how Boras operates, he’ll try to clear the decks of the other shortstops and have Correa sign last. He has a different market than Turner and Boras will want all the motivated clubs remaining that missed out on Turner, Bogaerts, and Swanson, and to a lesser degree, Judge. Correa could get 10 years this year but we’ll see.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the trades next week. There should be some interesting ones.

    1. Howard – thanks, that was a great writeup. Liked you reference to last year’s activity. Gave alot of transparency, if there is such a thing right now ???
      Thanks again.

  67. A little out there but … I’ll throw it out and see what you guys think …

    Swanson is saying that he is leaning towards the Phillies. Could this be another Schwarber & Castellanos type outcome?

    Turner to SS, Swanson to 3rd? Or 2B, Stott to 3B?
    Hoskins traded for a BP piece

    1. Tac…I seriously doubt the Phillies sign both Turner and Swanson…probably together it would be a $57/58M AAV between them both for the left side of the infield, I would assume….and then trying to trade Hoskins and his last arb year with free agency after 2023 to help clear some lux tax space.
      And Dombrowski already has said they will look to back end of the rotation starters….at least one externally.
      However, Swanson could be the Phillies solo choice for shortstop at a little less then $25M AAV for 5/6 years.
      I can see that.

      1. I take Swanson at 5 yr 25 in a minute, that might get us a better arm for rotation, Even though, i believe the Phillies are super high on Painter and will not go crazy for long term deal for top rotation starter like Verlander,

  68. Haven’t been this jacked up for a winter meetings in many years. Whomever Dombrowski fetches on the free agent market – Turner or Bogaerts? Taillon or Taijuan? Late inning reliever? – I am most intrigued by what he pulls off in a trade…

    It’s 6:06 a.m. in San Diego. Someone sound the rooster!

  69. Mark – I admire your enthusiasm but did you really need to be so snarky to Hawkeye’s post? Retorts like that might keep guys from posting in the future because they may think they are going to be attacked or ridiculed. We need to be better than that on this site.

    1. The sarcastic comment was fine. I had more of a problem with the Hawkeye comment. He’s been awfully critical of the Miller decision ever since it was made. I cut him a break since his name is also Miller and he might be family.

  70. Something to remember is that this team was a winning team though some would consider them squeaking into the playoffs as not a dominant team. But under Thompson they had a 600 winning percentage which theoretically would have been good for a 97 wins had they had him and the improved Bullpen all year.

    And this was partially without one Segura and sometimes with the week hitting former Yankees shortstop.

    They are trying to replace and upgrade jean Segura. But they won with him and with the expected continued improvements of Stott , the airline, marsh and their third baseman , and better production from Castellanos, they will likely fare better in April and May than they did this year of 2022.

    I think what I’m saying is that rather than overpay for someone they aren’t really desirous of such as Swanson, they might be just as far or further ahead to have Sosa or Maton in the infield and to continue to upgrade the pitching Department. Los Angeles and Houston’s team era were 2.8 and 2.9 respectively Phillies team era was a respectable 3.9. But it is a full run difference from the two Elite teams.

    I’m wondering how great of an improvement Swanson would be over Sosa and if it would be worth 25 million knowing that you’d be committed for 5 to 7 years? I think if they can’t get Turner or Bogart’s, they might be inclined to consider other options then Swanson.

    There are several free agents

    I’m not seen Guthrie play infield but I’m wondering if he or maton would be anything close to Segurus offensive and defensive output.

    1. Swanson is gold Glove Shortstop with a 280 avg, 25 hr, and you think Sosa or Guthrie; can come close to that, plus 5.7 War, really?

      1. I’m not trying to compare Swanson with Sosa or Guthrie but Guthrie, Sosa or Matan with Segura.

        Swanson’s career average is $
        .255 with a 162 game average of 20 home runs. Admittedly his home run rate is trending upwards but so is his strikeout rate. 182 strikeouts for 25 home runs? And is Ops is a basic 735?

        But if the greater need on the team is a fourth starter capable of having a sub 3.25 era and a couple relievers with whips around 1.1 and eras around 2, and the salary cap is at least a factor in your decisions, then my thoughts would be to not overpay for another strikeout prone Slugger.

        I think that third base and shortstop could easily increase from a dozen home runs this year to at least 20 and maybe 25 home runs this coming year. And we expect Castellanos to have a rebound year
        I’d also be more inclined to try to resign Segura for 2 to 3 years rather than watch the strikeout row and occasional solo home run with Swanson added.

        just my opinion. Nothing worth arguing about on a Sunday morning.

        Another topic that could be addressed is whether or not stubs would be an adequate starter in the case that JT would have a prolonged injury. I do believe he did very well subbing on occasional instances and even pinching a few times. And he might do okay for a few months if needed. And they have a Donny Sands as a third or fourth string backup.

        1. There is no way I want a very average and expensive and rapidly aging Jean Segura back on this team. The choice isn’t Swanson or Segura – they have a lot better options than Swanson and The other three all hit for an average and more. And they have money for that and good 3/4 starter and back end reliever.

  71. Tonyg- I think for sheer athleticism and all around ability Stubby is probably among the better second string catchers in baseball. He is a little small and doesn’t frame that well but he is a fast runner, capable hitter, has some pop, and is a real smart team player. From what I’ve read, the pitchers like throwing to him also. Is he a capable first string catcher should J T get injured – no. He would need help in a likely platoon – as you point out, maybe Sands or even Marchand. This is not likely an area the Phillies work on – in my opinion.

    1. I’d like to think that Stubb’s would do well as a fill in should jt get injured. And yes, I didn’t think of a platoon with a right handed batter.

      I don’t know how his stamina would be catching six days a week, several weeks or months on end. Maybe a couple more protein shakes and Gatorades in the hot weather. But a platoon situation would be a better answer.

      I did think that he should have caught at least a few innings if not a whole game in either the blowout 5 HR game or the no hitter game.

      Having been a backup catcher, I know the need to keep a reserve in case of injury, but if they only have two capable catchers then training a 3rd (other than schwarbers knees) could be on the list of spring training objectives. Was Sosa 3rd catcher?

      But I agree, seeking out a better 2nd stringer doesn’t need to be on the agenda.

  72. Tonyg – In my opinion, two really good posts. Like how you defended your opinions with plenty of data.

  73. Anybody interested in us taking a shot on Zach Britton? Only looking for a 1 year deal, some distance between TJ surgery and ST, and was really good before the injury.

  74. Matt, I mentioned a few days ago that Britton and I think Walker were mentioned by one of the guys as pitchers who could help the Phillies. Britton was really good when he was good.
    I also just saw that Nightengale says the Phillies biggest competitor of Turner is SD.

    1. Don53 – just heard on Sirius radio Ken Rosenthal saying Padres Preller hard on Turner – he recalls he traded him originally and would like to have back, Turner strong friends with Soto – he allowed Phillies have some good connections – but he doesn’t know where any of the 4 shortstops will go. Right now he doesn’t see much of anything definitive including, Judge, Rodin, et al.

  75. Romus – I understand – but Rosenthal pointed that out and said Preller is just crazy enough and the owners are willing to write even more checks if they thought it would let them beat the Dodgers. That nut Preller – I could see him signing Turner and then trading Tatis and other players to get rid of salary cap numbers. Note -they won the wildcard and Tatis never played a game !! Yet they could get alot of players for him and remove a huge cap problem. Not saying I think it might be a bait and switch trick, but Preller is such an egomaniac he could do anything.

    1. Not sure Tatis has much value right now. He has a massive contract, is coming off a ped suspension, and has shoulder issues. Might be a different contract to move.

    2. I listened to the same show (The award winning Front Office Show with Jim Bowden, Dan Duquette, and [today only] Steve Phillips). RU is correct. Rosenthal mentioned the Padres and Phillies (someone else mentioned the Angels) for Turner. Steve Phillips wasn’t buying it, but the thought by Rosenthal and Bowden was Padres ownership feels ready to overtake the LADs, and is willing to spend. Manny Machado can opt out next year, and the club may not sign Soto when his arb years run out.
      In the end, all three of Bowden/Duquette/Phillips picked the Phillies to sign Turner. Bowden predicted Dombrowski would give Turner a 8/264M deal.

      1. Thanks for backstopping me, Hinkie. I didn’t hear the numbers because Rosenthal left the conversation and they kept talking and I had to exit the car. I think Preller has a well earned reputation of having to be in on any and all free agents – particularly the bigger ones. So it is easy for him to redirect the traffic by just saying he has a “passing interest.” I frankly feel Tatis is overrated – and they could get rid of him – and for what its worth, Soto – given his ’22 performance is not worth a $500 mill contract. I could almost see Judge signing elsewhere (not likely I believe) and Yankees buying up Soto’s contract in 2 years no matter what. Crazy conjecture.

        1. RU … they gave their predictions at the end of the show, probably well after you left your car. And… yeah, I don’t put anything psst AJ Preller. But I think Dombrowski is just as aggressive, and Turner’s connections to Harper/Long/Schwarber run deeper than even his relationship with Soto. Also the fact that Turner’s wife is from NJ (50 minutes outside of Philly) are all signs pointing to Turner wearing red pinstripes next season.

  76. Kudos to the Crime Dog on his HoF selection. Getting ready for the action to start, I hope we do something quickly. I am still predicting it’s Turner, Quintana and Rogers.

Comments are closed.