Weekly Discussion (1/1/23)

Happy New Year!  I hope you all enjoyed a safe and joyous holiday season.

I resolve to try and provide more and better minor league coverage in the manner this site deserves.


There have been reports that the Phillies have signed OF Garrett Whitley and 3B Jim Haley.  We’re still waiting for the actual transactions to be posted, as well as the official transactions for INF Nick Ward and big-league pitcher Craig Kimbrel.  Some offices may be shut down for the holidays.

RHP Starlyn Castillo, DH Anthony Quirion, and 2B Nick Ward were named Australian Baseball League All-Stars.  The Adelaide Giants are in first place in their Southeast division with a 19-9 record. They have a 4-game lead with 12 games in 3 remaining rounds (series).

The Phillies contingent is playing well, very well.

  • Jordan Fowler has a 2.22 ERA in 7 appearances, 4 starts.  In 24.1 innings, he has given up a little better than a hit per inning but just 6 walks and 22 strikeouts.
  • Starlyn Castillo has a 2.42 ERA in 7 starts.  In 26.0 innings, he has allowed 18 hits, 12 walks, and 23 strikeouts.
  • Jared Carr is playing some extremely solid CF and is slashing .273/.339/.434/.773 with 4 HR and 20 RBI in 28 games.  He has 9 BB and 26 K.
  • Arturo De Freitas has gotten 36 AB in 11 games and is slashing .278/.278/.366/.644 with 2 RBI and 4 BB and 5 K.
  • Nikau Pouka-Grego has only played in 4 games (I think he’s with the national team).  He’s got 1 hit in 13 AB.
  • Anthony Quirion is slashing .372/.443/.617/1.060 in 28 games and 94 AB.  He has 5 HR, 22 RBI, 9 BB, 13K.
  • Nick Ward has played well enough to get a contract offer from the Phillies.  In 28 games, he has 7 HR, 15 RBI, 12 BB, and 18 K with a .370/.443/.685/1.128 slash batting leadoff mostly.
  • Rixon Wingrove, in 24 games, has 3 HR, 17 RBI, 8 BB, and 21 K with a slash of .292/.354/.56/.860.

Hot Stove

Once the Kimbrel signing becomes official, the Phillies really are probably done.  Maybe they do sign another reliever or trade for one.  But, the reality is that the Phillies roster is probably set.  And, free agents and their clients know it.

The Phillies have signed fewer minor league players this season than in past seasons.  And, they have extended zero invitations to major league spring training.  At this point last year they had signed 11 minor league free agents and invited 8 of them to major league spring training.  It’s as though agents see no path to a roster spot for their clients with the Phils.

Forty-three days to pitchers and catchers.

The Noah Song Saga

I posted the following in a comment last night.  In case you missed it, here it is again.

The Phillies selected RHP Noah Song from the Red Sox during the Rule 5 Draft.

#1.) Boston is not happy with the Phillies. Song was put on the “wrong” military list, a military list where he would not accrue major league service time, and a clever Phillies exec caught it. Seems to me they should be angry with their own employee who screwed up and not the Phillies.

#2.) While on the Military List, Song does NOT count against the 40-man roster.

#3.) IF Song gets his waiver, the Phillies can keep him on a reserve list for up to 30 days (with a possible 30-day extension if they apply for one) while on a minor league assignment. During this period he would not count against the 40-man roster.  (editor’s correction: If Song gets his waiver the Phillies can keep him on a reserve list for THIRTY days, not the 60 days  I reported. Then, they can request a 30-day extension.)

#4.) When the Phillies have exhausted the above options (in #3), Rule 5 Draft selection rules take precedence and Song would have to be activated or returned to Boston. If activated he goes onto both the 40-man AND active rosters.

If I find out anything different, I’ll update and keep you posted.

Now, from a Phillies point of view, they should prefer a waiver, if it comes, to happen later in the season, so that they wouldn’t have to activate Song into a playoff race in August or September.

If no waiver materializes, the Phillies will have to make sure they have him on the correct military list come December and the next Rule 5 Draft.

Rumors, Facts, and Fiction

I know you guys like to make up different lineups.  But, no one has talked about the obvious, that Schwarber will continue to bat leadoff.

There is also very little chance that a second-year player bats second on this team.

The Phillies are far more likely to go with what got them there last season until Harper is activated.  And, then continue to go with what got them there.  Now, I can’t give you an exact order, but you’ll have Schwarber leadoff, Turner second, Hall/Cave cleanup, some combination of Realmuto, Hoskins, Castellanos 3-5-6, and another combination of Bohm, Stott, Marsh batting 7-8-9.  Oh, and until they prove they can’t, Marsh and Stott will face lefties.  No platoons to start the season.

Before discussions get too far out of hand, the Phillies will have a 5-man rotation.  Aside from the obvious that pitchers are creatures of habit and have become accustomed to a 5-man rotation, what kind of owner is going to be happy with paying pitchers millions of dollars under the expectation of 32 or more starts and then taking 5 starts from each of them for another starter who might soon expect a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract.  Plus, and probably more important, a sixth starter removes one arm from an already short bullpen.  Seven relievers will become responsible for the workload previously covered by eight pitchers,  Relievers will still have 3-4 innings to cover but one less pitcher to help.  So, in a 6-pitcher rotation, and starters only lasting 5-6 innings, 7 relievers could have to cover 18-24 innings one time through the rotation.

The Phillies petitioned for and received the reinstatement of an option for Cristopher Sanchez.  This will provide more flexibility with pitching decisions this spring.  The only players without options on the 40-man roster are Edmundo Sosa and Andrew Vasquez.

Key Dates

  • 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 14, 2023: Pitchers and catchers report.  This is the earliest reported date so far.  https://www.springtrainingcountdown.com/
  • 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:  no official transactions were made public.


278 thoughts on “Weekly Discussion (1/1/23)

  1. Happy new year all. What an amazing end to 2022 for the Phillies.

    I love the Song story. Reminds me of the Wes Chamberlain story. Love the pick and also that Boston is pissed. Lol. Good.

    As for the lineup, your proposal is fine with me. I prefer to have Schwarber bat 4th. But ok with leadoff. As you say, it worked last year.

    1. Not really my proposal, more of a prediction. Just playing the devil’s advocate and suggesting that the Phillies are usually slow to change and that I think Schwarber will leadoff.

      Personally, I prefer a traditional leadoff hitter. Ashburn in the old days, Dykstra in the 90s. Jimmy was our last decent leadoff hitter and even he was flawed.

      1. I agree with you. Imo the leadoff guy should be the highest OB% guy. And Schwarber had the 5th highest OB% last year. He did have the 2nd best wOBA, behind Harper and basically tied with JT.

        Schwarber has a career .339 OB% while Turner has a career .355 OB%. But Turner also has the benefit of being a major distraction on the base paths. I like that aspect too. Being a pain on the base paths while our big sluggers are in the box is a big benefit imo.

  2. If the Phillies paid the $$$ on Turner and then not bat him lead off it will be their first mistake of the 2023 season. A big part of his value is that he’s a legitimate lead off guy.

    Schwarber hit lead off last year because the had no better option. Not the case this year.

    1. You are wrong. The Phillies did not pay Turner to be their leadoff hitter. They paid him to be a premier hitter in their lineup. The big part of his value is that he hits, fields, AND runs well. If he’s such a great leadoff hitter, why didn’t he leadoff more for the Dodgers?

      Turner led off in 20-some games last season (I’m tired of looking it up because I always decide not to use it) and slashed .217/.217/.217/.435 in the first inning with no HR and like 11 K. (this I remember without looking it up, these numbers are memorable in a bad way)

      1. Didn’t say they paid him that much $$$ to be their leadoff hitter just that it would be a mistake to not do so. They didn’t pay Schwarber to be their leadoff hitter either but they batted him leadoff last year because he was the best option they had. Now Turner is the better option.

        He didn’t bat leadoff for the Dodgers because they had another option (Betts) with similar skill set.

        Also, might want to take another look at those stats. Turner hit .337 with an .892 OPS in 105 PAs hitting leadoff in 2022. Not sure about only looking at his 23 at-bats actually leading off a game is a good sample size.


  3. Happy New Year, everyone! I am with 3up. The new rules, bigger bases, limited pick off throws, favor Turner leading off. Schwarber does not benefit from those changes. Therefore, the team doesn’t. He has had success batting elsewhere so I don’t think it’s some psychological thing that makes him have to lead off. Turner is much better, and I frankly don’t see the value in not having him there. I know we had success with Schwarber leading off but we need to be better this season. Harper is out until June and we need to maximize the lineup.

    1. Hubris? Fiasco?

      Do you even understand what transpired? A newer exec who is familiar with lists, rules, rosters, and prospects spotted an opportunity and the organization took advantage of it. If Song pans out, it could be a major coup or maybe just a little coup. If not, no harm done.

      This is not the first time the Phillies took advantage of rules. In 2015, they drafted 16-year-old Ben Pelletier during the Amateur Draft. Pelletier was in the Canadian equivalent of high school and had one year remaining before graduation. Ben sat out a year while finishing school but spent some time at the Complex his first summer and attended spring training during his spring break. He didn’t pan out, but the Phillies did use the rules to their advantage. I’m not sure of the rule, but I think that finishing HS is an American requirement not a requirement for other participants in the draft like Canada and Puerto Rico.

      1. After graduating the military academy you must serve eight years. A service member may appeal that length of term and the decision I believe to relieve a soldier from their commitment is made by the Sec. of Defense. To my knowledge these are rarely if ever granted. A few years back the Cardinals had a pitcher who attended the Naval Academy and finally made the MLB team in his early 30’s. So anyone looking for a Noah Song in Philadelphia Philly MiLB/MLB uni anytime soon may be disappointed. This feels like a gotcha move by DD to his old club vs. a pitcher who will be unlikely to help the club for 5+ years.

        1. You just never know what the Sec of Navy and what Austin will do.
          Depends on the world situation and current force level in the officers field.

        2. It’s 5 years active duty I believe and 3 years in the reserves, so, effectively, it would be 5 years unless he receives some type of a waiver. Nobody knows what will happen or has any real expectations but it seemed a chance worth taking. As far as sticking it to the Red Sox, I hardly think that thought process is relevant for selecting Rule 5 players. He was either worth the risk or he wasn’t. Here, they felt he was.

        3. “the Admiral” David Robinson? Brett Toth of the Eagles? There are definitely some.

    1. Nick Ward is from Kennett Square and he graduated from Unionville HS. He attended VCU his freshman year and only got 6 PA in 7 G. He went 3-5 with a sac and 2 RBI. He finished his college career at West Chester where he batted over .300 all 3 years and OPS-ed over 1.000 in his junior and senior years.

      He was drafted by Oakland in the 34th round of the 2018 draft. He slashed .273/.400/.429/.829 in rookie ball and somehow got 3 AB in Triple-A. He had similar numbers the following season in Low-A and was quickly promoted to Class-A where he slipped a little bit slashing a combined .237/.349/.343/.692.

      He was released on March 27, 2020, just before the COVID freeze went into effect I guess.

      Nick played independent ball for 18 games in 2020 and slashed .373/.482/.657/1.138. In a full season in 2021, he slashed .269/.420/.409/.829. This year he slashed .349/.478/.620/1.098 with 19 HR.

      Nick is currently tearing it up in Australia and is a member of the British WBC team.

        1. If you’re intrigued by Ward, take a look at Anthony Quirion. Ward will be playing at age 27 in 2023; he’s currently putting up a 1.128 OPS+ with Adelaide. Quirion is two years younger, and is posting a 1.060 OPS+ in the same lineup. Quirion is a catcher; Ward is an infielder (best at 2B, from what I’ve seen watching Adelaide games).
          I decided to watch (mostly on delay, given the typical 3am starts) the Giants this winter because I wanted to see Nikau Pouaka-Grego; but he went down (knee injury) after the first series. But watching most of the games since then, the guy who is both putting up the numbers, and who just looks like a ballplayer, is Quirion. Behind the plate, he seems agile enough, and he’s clearly in charge – it shows in everything he does. I don’t know what his ceiling is, but of the Phils position players on that roster (Ward, Carr, Wingrove, Quirion, De Freitas), Quirion is the one who just commands attention. I really can’t comment on Pouaka-Grego; he got into four games, looked good in the field, didn’t hit much.

            1. To see some of the action…not live however…the AuBL website has a large video menu and looked for ADELAIDE stuff.
              This year, I did not try to watch the games live, like in the past.

  4. Happy New Year to all. Hope it is prosperous for all and the Phillies as well.
    Matt… I tend to agree but I am sure Jim is much more in tune with the goings on than we are, so I am fine with it if the team wins. I like all the points you make. The issue I always had with Kyle and Rhys was if not a home rum you frequently then dealt with a base-to-base situation. Lots smarter minds than mine to make these decisions.
    Have a great 23 Phillies.

  5. Good to hear the news in Sanchez, the flexibility will help. Our manager has already said he might want Schwarber in more of an rbi situation without Harper but we’ll have to wait and see. As for Turner, he’s actually hit 2nd and 3rd more than leadoff recently so to say he has to bat leadoff is not true.

  6. Just finished watching the 2022 yearbook … what a ride. 2023 can’t start fast enough

    Now that Turner has been added for the team. Assuming the Mets end up getting Correra signed, rank the offenses with Harper being considered back from surgery as well:


  7. Okay, I guess it’s time to report this. We saw a big pitcher throwing during Instructs. He was on rehab and was just starting live BPs. He looked good, threw hard, kept the ball down, decent movement on the offspeed pitches they let him throw. He was happy with his performance and so were the coaches. His name is Tyler Phillips.

    Phillips was a waiver claim in 2021 who was eventually placed on the IL after pitching in just 5 games. He was released after the season and re-signed to a 2-year contract knowing he would be lost to rehab in 2022. So, we thought it best that we keep his performance out of our articles until after the Rule 5 Draft. We didn’t want other teams to know about Phillips’s progress before the draft. My friend talks to a lot of scouts. We know the scouts read his blog and worried that some of them might read here, too.

    So, anyway, if Phillips continues to have good workouts, he might be available for the bullpen this summer. Another arm can’t hurt.

    1. Love this comment, Jim. Is this part of the byproduct of the young man who was brought over from Tampa Bay who was the pitching expert ? Maybe he had seen him prior to injury ? I can never remember his name…..thanks !

    2. I think you’re right that scouts read this blog. It makes a lot of sense to do so; not to help them make decisions, obviously, but to crowd-source names of prospects to look into. It’s very useful to have a message board of people discussing players who are potentially flying under the radar and/or being undervalued.

      Plus they get to see what Hinkie is whispering into DD’s ear, so they’re prepared when he comes calling.

    1. Don….local guy….NJ…Bishop Eustace HS grad…across the Delaware river from Philly. Probably caught a few games at the Bank as a kid.

      1. Romus…it is nice to see Phillies with a local guy. It seems like a lot of Hoosiers migrate to Philly to help. LOL
        Also, nice to see that the new year has a dark horse, a duck flying backwards and some ducks on the pond as well. Here in Indiana, they would all be in the fog this morning. Hope your New Year went well.

        1. Don…it seem for many decades, maybe 60′ thru 80s or longer the Phillies org appear to avoid taking local kids in the draft or even signing UDFAs.
          I would hear local guys signing with other clubs and not the Phillies.
          Not sure why the Phillies were hesitant in signing them, they may have had their reasons in each circumstance. But Indiana did produce some good ones in Scott Rolen and Tommy Underwood, to name just two, that made it to the big leagues for the Phillies..
          But things may have changed.


    Here’s hoping 2023 is as magical as 2022.
    One last opportunity to relive the most exciting moment of last season (thank you to Larry Shenk for sharing)⬇


    BTW … I am the guy who has been forecasting the Phillies will use a 6 man rotation for parts of the upcoming season. I’m not sure if Jim is reporting information he has heard, or is expressing his belief. I have no inside information. This is simply my opinion, and Jim is not the first person to push back on it (Murray sees things the way Jim does).
    The reason(s) I expect the team to add an extra arm to the rotation for parts of the 2023 season is because I take Dave Dombrowski at his word when he says any of Painter/Abel/McGarry could make the club out of spring training. And I also am confident the Phillies POBO (and owner) is playing the long game, meaning he’s more worried about a WS title than he is about a division title.
    Painter/Abel/(probably) McGarry are likely going to be on innings restrictions (whether MiLB or MLB IPs). And 60% of the returning rotation was throwing into November. Aaron Nola and Ranger Suarez logged more innings than at any other time in their careers. I believe Nola has made more starts than any pitcher in baseball over the last 5 seasons. And Zack Wheeler is not too far behind Nola. Wheeler threw a league leading 213 innings in 2021, and then missed multiple starts with a dead arm in 2022.
    The BP question is valid, but other teams (like the Angels) have handled it. Your other point about owners expecting 32 starts from their SPs is also valid, but a decade ago (or more), those same owners expected 7+ innings from their starting pitchers. They now except 6 innings for the sake of nursing their multi million dollar investments into enough health to play out their contracts.
    Again … I could be 100% wrong, but a six man rotation for (at least) parts of 2023 just makes a whole lot of sense IMO.

    1. BTW … not being a homer, but Scott Franzke is absolutely THE BEST radio play-by-play guy in MLB. We’re lucky to have him. Hope to hear word that he has been re-signed to a new contract soon.

        1. It’s funny, I love Franzke and wondered why he wasn’t the TV guy too and then I saw him on TV and realized that, while he can certainly do a TV game, his talents are best suited for the radio as he paints a great word picture there, has a wonderful radio voice and has priceless moments with the color commentators, especially Larry Anderson.

          And you know what, after having some okay, but occasionally awkward years (the broadcasting teams with Wheels and Sarge were awful, just awful), Tom McCarthy has become a pretty darned good TV announcer. Once in a while he will do a baseball network game and he is quite good and is also good in other sports. He has grown into the role and good for him.

          1. Maybe a little off topic, but Merrill Reese and Mike Quick might be the best radio team of any sport.

            1. Reese is amazing – Mike Quick is okay, but nothing special.

              While we are at it, Tom McGinnis is a great basketball radio play-by-play man. Like Franzke, his type of broadcasting doesn’t fully translate to TV.

              And you know what, Kate Scott is pretty darned good.

            2. Kate Scott can head back West for all I care….give me a little older now, Dei Lynam anyday.

            3. Nah, Dei Lynam is a nice studio presence or color person, but she’s not a play-by-play announcer. No way.

            4. Never been a Merrill Reese fan…has always sounded like a 5 foot man impersonating a 6’6′ guy. I know, heresy in this town.

    2. Hinkie – further to your point – if the Phillies had signed Verlander who can pitch 180+ innings per year (when not recovering from tj) or another innings eater – none really available ? – it is possible to see a 5 man rotation. But by signing Walker while he is a great 3/4 he will give you only 160 innings max. It strikes me that if they stay with a 5 man rotation they will finesse it as much as possible (like they did down the stretch) to squeeze a pitcher in here and there so it becomes a 5 and half rotation. We know Falter is not likely to throw much more than 110 innings so they may couple Painter or Abel with him ? I also think we see McGarry first as a reliever – at some point during the year.

  9. Happy New Year Hinkie. Did you see my question about my friend’s nephew? He left OSU and is now going to Wabash Valley JC. My friend said he will be eligible for the draft after both seasons at Juco. Are they under different rules than D1 schools? Thanks.

    1. Hello, Don. Sorry … I didn’t see your question. I do remember speaking to you about your friend’s nephew last draft season. Sorry to hear things didn’t work out for him at OSU. The Buckeyes, BTW, have an OFer (Kade Kern) who will probably be a day two pick this summer.
      In regards to question about JUCO kids: yes, they are eligible for the draft after every/both season(s). And a lot of kids start off at 4Y colleges before transferring to JUCOs. Andrew Baker started off at Auburn before leaving for a JUCO. While at the JUCO, he was drafted twice (LADs & then the Phillies). Nick Maton is another kid who started his career at a 4Y school (Eastern Illinois) before heading off to a JUCO, and getting drafted by the Phillies as a 20 YO.
      Good luck to the young man at Wabash Valley.

      1. Thaks Hinkie. That seems like an advantage for them. At a D1 they have to stay 3 years if I am correct in thinking. Keaton Mahan is the kid. He was considered the top OF in Indiana last Spring. My friend said that Wabash Valley is ranked 2 in the preseason rankings of JC.
        I also mentioned that the new OSU coach did not endear himself to the higher ups at Grand Park running Mahan off. Guess he was at Pro-X at GP recently talking to Mike Shirley a scout for the White Sox who works in the winter with these kids. My grandson works with Shirley now. He was not too pleased when the guy said he wanted to get more Indiana kids to OSU.
        This sounds like maybe a better deal. You mentioned that Keaton might get drafted last Spring.

    1. Can’t really disagree with that assessment. Cole Irvin delivered the most WAR out of everybody and it was for the As. #1 pick Mickey Moniak delivered negative WAR. That draft was a total disaster for the Phillies.

      1. Add to that the 2015 draft which was just as bad and you can see why their system had a significant talent void for many years.

      2. Those years – 2015-17 were the ultimate in blow opportunities. Between having two many cooks in the kitchen for the 2016 draft and the disaster that was Johnny Almaraz combined with the incompetence of Matt Klentak – it’s hard to fathom how badly they screwed up. They had top 10 picks 3 years in a row and came out of it without a first division regular or even middle rotation starter. And it’s not like they were hitting on most of their other picks, although the 2017 draft was an improvement.

        1. The 2017 Phillies draft featured a positive development of the type that happens in baseball but rarely in other sports. In order to stay within their budget limitations for the first ten rounds of a draft, a team will often take a college player or players who receive(es) a very meager bonus. These are players that might otherwise be taken at the end of the draft. The player the Phillies took in the 10th round and who received a meager bonus ($5,000 – basically moving costs) was Connor Brogdon, who is the player who will most likely yield the most WAR for the Phillies of any player in that draft (and, in fact, he’s already in the lead and it doesn’t appear anyone drafted that year will catch him).

          1. Yeah…a reliever from a college in Idaho of all places.
            I still think Lindow, and maybe reliever Billy Sullivan have a shot at contributing at the MLB level at some point……and then there is of course now with the Cubs, RHP Ben Brown from that David Robertson trade…that could haunt for awhile.

            1. Yeah, losing Ben Brown could really hurt. For two months of David freaking Robertson (fyi- the Mets can have him). Ouch!

              As for people sort of whining about losing Cole Irvin – he was never going to have a spot in the rotation here. He’s a 4th starter – just another arm. I am not really upset about losing him.

            2. Yea, Cole Irvan is mostly a product of pitching in a pitcher’s park. Home/road splits are significantly different. Expect he’s more of the 5 ERA guy in Philly.

            3. As for Ben Brown, I don’t know that the Phillies make the playoffs without the Robertson trade. He struggled in the end but bridged a gap for multiple weeks while the Seranthony was out.

            4. Cole Irvin has delivered 2.8 WAR in his 4 year career, although he has been better lately. But make no mistake, he’s still a 4/5 pitcher. I had zero issues when the Phillies sold him off to the As.

            5. Ben Brown was a talent, but David Robertson did exactly what he needed to do for the Phillies. In 22 games, he gave the Phillies 0.7 WAR. That was spectacular.

            6. Fair points, but, damn, you’d hope that rental wasn’t so expensive. DD is quicker than some GMs to depart with value. To his credit, he gets his man, but sometimes you hope/wish he could strike a better deal.

  10. I want to play a little Devil’s Advocate in terms on baseball drafting in general. Baseball drafting is crazy hard, far harder than any of other major sports. Was it unfortunate that the Phillies blew the 2016 draft when they had the #1 pick? Yes. Was it also unfortunate that there wasn’t a generational talent available at the time (i.e. no Harper or Strasburg)? Yes. As much i hate to say this, this won’t be the last time the Phillies will blow a draft. And in any given year, any team will blow a draft. It’s just that hard and unpredictable. How unpredictable? We know the track record of success for RH HS pitchers. And now the Phillies have Abel and Painter. Is that luck or scouting? Probably a little of both, and yet both those pitchers haven’t done a single thing yet in the bigs.

    That said, I have zero issues with GMs/Scouting directors/scouts getting the ax when the Phillies don’t draft well. It’s a results oriented business, and they knew what they were getting into taking those jobs.

    1. It is certainly true that the year the Phillies picked 1/1 there was no generational player there for the taking. There was no Bryce Harper or Alex Rodriguez (or even Manny Machado) there at 1/1. That said, when you have a lot of high picks and year after year, they are blown, yes, that tells you something. One year might be bad luck, but three bad years with all those high picks (and not just the first round pick) is probably bad drafting and development. Somehow the Braves and Dodgers always seem to get “lucky”. Coincidence? Nah, I think not – they hit on draft picks way too frequently and develop them well enough where I think they are simply good at that. And now, at least with pitchers, the Phillies maybe are getting lucky, but I also think they are getting better at identifying and developing that talent.

      1. And one more thing.

        With Almaraz, we knew immediately about his draft philosophy. In fact, he told us what it was and, from the get go, we knew it was highly flawed. In fact, when I read what he said about drafting I was pretty damned angry.

        He was looking for pitchers with good control and hitters with a good hit tool. The idea of primarily looking for pitchers with good control was a philosophy that, in my view, was doomed from day 1. Control pitchers that are excellent major leaguers are like unicorns these days. The major leagues are dominated by hard throwers (even Aaron Nola throws pretty hard). DD knows that. I LOVE that about him. Also, while hit tool is very important, the majors are mostly about power and on base percentage. But what made Almaraz bad on that front was that not only was he not focused on all the right things, he and his staff were not good at identifying the hit tool he prioritized. So they would draft guys who had a very narrow window for success that was entirely contingent on them being very good contact hitters and they couldn’t even do that – case in point was tool-deprived Cornelius Randolph who never should have been drafted in the first round unless you thought he was going to be the next Tony Gwynn. Spoiler alert – he wasn’t.

  11. ESPN has an interesting article about a number that will define all 15 NL teams. For the Phillies, it’s 23.9 WAR: Aaron Nola is 3rd among starting pitchers in WAR since 2018. The last sentence sums it up: If the Phillies want to lock him up long term, it’s going to be expensive.

    1. As long as Aaron does not change agents and employ Scott Borus as his agent, I am quite confident it will be a very fair contract for both sides.

      1. I think they will too, but they shouldn’t futz around. They should get that extension done this off season as it gets more expensive every day they wait. He and Ranger are the bridges between the older Phillies pitchers and the new guard. I would do absolutely nothing with Wheeler right now. His contract is the perfect length. Two more years. He struggled with inconsistent velocity last year (and might in the future) and his replacements might be in our system. Let him pitch out that contract and then assess where we are when it’s over. But Nola should be extended now.

  12. I made a correction to the Song Saga in this week’s article. In #3, I stated that “If Song gets his waiver the Phillies can keep him on a reserve list for 60 days then request a 30-day extension”.

    I have received an update (correction). Song can stay on the initial reserve list for THIRTY days, not 60 days. Then, the Phillies can request a 30-day extension.)

  13. Excellent point, Guru. I remember before the 2016 Draft. There was no consensus, there was Senzel and Lewis talk. I remember on this site, there wat the Pint vs Puk vs Groome debate. I liked Groome because he was a local kid, hardly an expert opinion. Hinkie liked Cal Quantrill. Our pick of Micky M was partly based on saving extra $ for Gowdy in Rd 2, who, unfortunately, got hurt. Maybe we look at the whole draft differently if Gowdy had worked out? The “experts” said RH HS Pitchers are a risk, but I love having Painter and Abel even though they have not pitched in the Majors yet. It’s a really hard thing to do. I just ask that they don’t make movers with no sense behind them. I still don’t get any reason we drafted Anthony Hewitt, or Larry Greene.

    1. Moniak & Gowdy … I was on board. Still am. I believe Moniak is a late bloomer, I believe he eventually carves out a role for himself, just not up to the hype of #1 but that’s OKAY. Not this year, he’s likely to be traded again. I always liked Gowdy’s stuff, and where it projected too. I believed he had the height & speed changes to keep hitters from teeing off on him. He had flashes, and I still follow him, seabold, & Moniak.
      Missing on those drafts as badly as the Phillies did.. really crushed this team’s trajectory but they did the next best thing, they outspent their drafting flaws/misses. I am okay with what happened back then because
      Of Daddy War bucks Middleton doing what needed to be done – When you sign Harper, Realmuto, Wheeler, Schwarber, Castellanos, Turner etc … you can miss on a few picks. The silver lining, is NOW the prospects seem to be coming in bohm, stott, marsh, Ranger, Brogdon and others… with the big 3 to push them over the edge. Not bad, considering how poorly 2016&2017 drafts turned out. They basically did it backwards to right the ship. Awesome ride, and definitely NOT what I was expecting.

    2. Matt… I was a big fan of A. J. Puk that year. I had watched him in the CWS and he sure seemed to have what it took. I forget but think there were some kind of injury concerns with him. But I really liked his toughness that he showed for Florida.

      1. Don…he was also my choice that year.
        But TJ and eventually a shoulder surgery will do any pitcher in eventually…..with biceps strains along the way.

        1. But has he not done well for KC? I am not a big follower but seems he has done fairly well there.

  14. Just for some thoughts. Just saw an article on Inside Phillies fan nation. I do not know the writer. But he made 3 bold predictions for Phillies in 23.
    1. Harper returns earlier than mid July.
    2. Wheeler contends for Cy Young.
    3. Turner proves to be the best FA signed for any team in 23.
    Those would be good things for Phillies if they came to fruition.

  15. So the big spenders in the NL-East remain the same:
    CBT Projected Payroll 2023 as Jan 2023:
    Mets: ….$390M

    2023 Philadelphia Phillies Payroll | RosterResource | FanGraphs Baseball

      1. Going to be interesting on the trajectory of the Braves & Phillies. Braves are being applauded for locking up younger talent LT, eliminating the bad contract years vs the Phillies who bought their way out of poor drafting. The Braves have traded prospect capital in exchange for salary stability … but imo, essentially swapped out great players for a tier lower, players. That won’t really show up until the playoffs. For instance … Do you want Freeman & Swanson batting for you or Olson & Murphy? Meanwhile the Phillies outspent the braves in FA, & have young talent coming in … which a payroll gap of 11mil? They will lose Fried imo, and do another swap out for less talent. While the Phillies move in Painter, Abel, and McGarry while deciding what to do on Nola. Interesting how no one is praising this for the Phillies. Mets are doing something similar to Phillies, just with more FA spending .

        1. Tac…to be frank, more than one way to skin a cat.
          The Braves have the most recent ring going for them, so they do have some leeway with their fans for the foreseeable future.
          So who knows, younger players like Olson, Murphy and Grissom do have the talent, both on the field and at the plate….and are cheaper.
          And we always knew the Brave modus operandi when it comes to structuring a team.
          Hopefully the Phillies will incorporate that same farm progression and results with their prospects..

          1. Teams that win have a core that bonds and competes with heart. Phils 2022 and Eagles 2017 prime examples. Braves lost Freeman and Swanson – two huge hearts. May replace with younger, even better talent – but where is the heart?

        2. If the Phillies extend Nola, it’ll happen before spring camp opens. Otherwise, he rides out the season, heads into free agency with a QO on his back. The Phillies at least gain a draft pick…but with what even 2nd tier arms are getting these days an extension will cost them 6/$180M.

          1. Remember when Hinkie and I had an argument about what the Nola extension would cost and how long it would be and he pegged 5 years and $110 million (the Musgrove contract) as the most likely comp/range. I cannot imagine that happening.

            Recant Hinkie. Recant!

            But if you’re right at a $22 million AAV (even if it’s a $23m AAV) and they do the deal before the season starts, I’ll buy you a beer and a plate of ribs at the CBP. I’m serious. I will!

            1. Romus – I love cats so please
              Refrain from proposing such tactics 🙂 – agreed, but I see Atlanta diluting their talent pool. Will see, eventually they have to have a bad draft or 2c that’s when it will really hurt with a maxed out payroll

              Catch- on Nola:
              I see the Phillies getting him locked up. I always wondered if he wanted out of PHI, but after last year, I think he’s going to want to resign. DD hands out the contracts sooooo. I see the Phillies balancing his contract with a cost controlled young gun. We shall see, if they don’t, there are
              Good alternatives on the market .. like Max Fried. I don’t see him getting the extension from ATL, plus he knows he can milk the market.

            2. Tac…the 29-year old Fried will probably end up in San Diego or LA…he is a southern Cali kid and more than likely wants to go back there. Two more years and he is a free agent, so the Braves if they trade will get a boat load of prospects or younger controlled pitchers.

            3. I was the one that initially mentioned that there was no way that Nola was going to take $110M.

              I asked my buddy, the Blue Jays fan, what an Aaron Nola FA deal might look next offseason. He mentioned 6 years, $200M if he stays healthy and productive. Rodon got $162M and he has an injury history. Nola has been durable his entire career.

            4. Catch …. FA spending went wild this winter, but I still stand by that projection ➡️ 5/110M. It’s possible inflation floats it up to 5/115M. These are numbers for a Nola extension a year before he hits free agency. If he wants more, he’ll have to play out the 2023 season and risk injury (or even a down year).

            5. No offense … but … your buddy the Blue Jay’s fan is off his rocker.
              Rodon (like every other comp you guys have brought up) got his 💰 as a FA. Nola is a year out from the open market. His comp is Joe Musgrove.

            6. My bad. Your buddy was predicting a FA deal. I misread, and thought he was predicting what he may get this offseason.

  16. My error…. An early look at 2023 FA pitching class:

    Resigning Nola is looking pretty good to me, unless the Big 3 produce to the point to make him expendable (unlikely given the timeframe)

    Looks like Alvarado is due a payday as well.

    Starting pitcher: Carlos Carrasco, Mike Clevinger (mutual option), Alex Cobb (club option), Yu Darvish, Jack Flaherty, Lucas Giolito, Sonny Gray, Andrew Heaney (opt-out), Kyle Hendricks (club option), Rich Hill, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber (club option), Lance Lynn (club option), Kenta Maeda, Tyler Mahle, Sean Manaea (opt-out), Germán Márquez (club option), Miles Mikolas, Frankie Montas, Jordan Montgomery, Charlie Morton (club option), Aaron Nola, Jake Odorizzi, Shohei Ohtani, Eduardo Rodriguez (opt-out), Hyun Jin Ryu, Max Scherzer (opt-out), Luis Severino, Blake Snell, Ross Stripling (opt-out), Marcus Stroman (opt-out), Noah Syndergaard, Julio Urías, Alex Wood

    Relief pitcher: José Alvarado, Matt Barnes (club option), Anthony Bass, Dylan Floro, Luis García, Yimi García (club option), Josh Hader, Liam Hendriks (club option), Jordan Hicks, Daniel Hudson (club option), Craig Kimbrel, José Leclerc (club option), Seth Lugo (player option), Mark Melancon (mutual option), Héctor Neris (club option), Adam Ottavino (player option), David Robertson, Ryne Stanek, Blake Treinen, Kirby Yates (club option)

  17. If Aaron Nola (or his agent) thinks that they can get close to a $200M FA deal, there’s no reason to take a crazy hometown discount. They’ll just roll the dice and play it out if the Phillies don’t want to pay him his number. Nola will be likely be the #2 FA pitcher next season (behind Ohtani of course).

    1. This past postseason run, IMO, helped give the Phils a strong chance to bring back Nola. I gotta believe if the money is close, he stays. The playoff atmosphere is worth giving up a few million for. If they didn’t make it this past year, I don’t think signs an extension before the season starts. Now there is a decent chance. If he hits FA, I’d worry about SD, as he may want to pitch to his brother on a pretty loaded team as well. Hope he goes to AL if he can’t be resigned, be hard to see him on a rival NL team

    2. The reason for a pitcher to give a hometown discount is always the threat of injury. I could see the extension getting close to $150 million though and that will be close enough for them to agree. Hopefully they do it before the season starts so they can wrap the 2023 option into it to lower the overall AAV.

      1. It’s going to be tense. If he hits the open market, he is arguably the best pitcher available… not named ohtani. Many teams can’t touch that 35mil-40mil asking price. So Nola, too many, will be the most realistic option. Teams will gun for him to try and weaken the Phils. The question will be if the young arms are ready to take over, and if so, does it make sense to use his money elsewhere. I resign him, to keep the SR strong for the playoff matchups . Hopefully Middleton can burn some more money

  18. Erich Uelman to us from the Cubbies for cash considerations. Anyone know him? Minor League assignment?

    1. matt13 – go to mlb trade rumors.com there is a very lengthy writeup about this transaction. He could either be additional pitching for AAA or another potential reliever dark horse. He has exceptional ground ball tendencies, but weaker K rates, and of course, a high walk rate.

  19. 6/$200 for Aaron IDK. Hard to imagine what he will look like at 35-36. He’s not exactly a power pitcher. I hope they can get a team friendly deal done.

    I have little to no doubt Painter will be a front line starter. Only a question of timing and when he will be physically read to log 170+ IP. Abel I hope is at least a solid 3. McGarry is a wild card but maybe a floor as a backend BP guy.

    I’m getting excited now that the calendar has turned to see the game as we haven’t in a long time. More pace, more action, more athleticism is what I’m predicting.

    1. I agree with you, DMAR. I can’t see Nola getting 6/200M on the open market. I just don’t think he’s seen as a #1 around the league. He’s more of a #2.
      As a FA, I believe Nola gets a little bit more than whAT Kevin Gausman and Robbie Ray got. He could get something like 5/140M or even 6/162M.
      As an extension candidate, Nola (again IMO) should get a bit more than Joe Musgrove.
      Remember … teams usually spend the most the first winter after a new CBA is agreed to. Spending will probably be a bit more moderate next offseason.

      1. I think he enters into an extension with the Phillies and I think it will be 5 years and between $135-140 m with a sixth year option for $25 million with a $10-12 m buyout.

        If he agrees to much less than that, he would seriously be selling himself short. He was a 6 WAR pitcher last year. He has almost 30 WAR through his age 29 season – which is considerable.

        Oddly enough, even though they are not alike as pitchers, in terms of value, Nola’s career trajectory is very similar to Cole Hamels. Hamels may finish his career at around 59 WAR – a couple of strong seasons short of HOF consideration. I bet Nola finishes his career above 50 WAR – probably between around 53-65. It wouldn’t shock me if he took another step forward, nor would it shock me if he stayed the same for another 5 or 6 years, which would put him in some pretty good company.

    2. DMAR……when it comes down to possibly a hometown discount and he prefers Philly….I do think Aaron will sign for $27M AAV…..maybe 6@$162M

      1. It’s area where DD tends to struggle if you judge his history of extensions. Hopefully if it does happen he gets it right…

        1. Agreed – DD can be reckless with extensions. If you can name a weakness it’s probably that. And it’s an issue because a stupid big contract or extension can hamper a club for years. Look at what he did to Detroit with Cabrera – gosh, that contract was a nightmare. Overall I like DD a lot but this is BIG flaw.

      1. No, it was for Kimbrel. Very surprising to me. I expected him in the mix for 2023 but I guess they don’t think so. Other teams will want him so I’m sure he’ll get traded now.

  20. Don’t understand the Morales move. He is only 23 and a power pitcher. Sure he has control issues but the Phillies have made a habit of drafting power pitchers with control issues. He did very well in the AFL. No reason to send anybody to the AFL if the organization knows the player is near the top of the list to be designated for assignment.

    1. I was puzzled at well. Is this precisely the type of guy you want to hold onto? Well, perhaps they know a lot we don’t and don’t view him as a viable big league arm. But the timing is sort of bizarre with his good AFL season.

        1. Well, yeah. I agree. I won’t be happy if he’s closing out games for the Astros or Rays in 2024, that’s for sure.

        2. In potential yes. For 2023 probably not. Morales only had 1 option left since they elevated him to the 40 way too early (2020 after he pitched in Lakewood in 2019). DD still cleaning up Klentak’s (or his people’s) mistakes.

      1. What can the Phillies expect to get for Morales in the 6 or 7 day trade window before he is subject to waiver claims? Can they trade for $100k of international bonus pool money or something like that?

        1. I think they are hoping he passes thru waivers unclaimed.
          After the holidays, the first couple of weeks in January may see a lot of free agent signings as GM prep for spring training….so teams may have to re-structure their 40s and not able to pick-up up another club’s DFA player.
          Plus Dombrowski, could see other DFA quality younger players come off other teams that happen to sign a free agent and could pick them up.

          1. Romus … I’ll be shocked if Francisco Morales passes through waivers. I hope he does. Still hard to believe they’d drop him before any of Plassmeyer, Ortiz (who was pushing 300 lbs the last time I saw him), Uelman, or even Donny Sands or Daulton Guthrie (who would have had a better chance of passing through waivers IMO).
            BTW … after studying video this morning, I may have undersold James McArthur last night. I like his secondaries, and think he could help as a 6th starter.

            In regards to Steven’s question (I was wondering the same thing), I gotta believe Dombrowski/Fuld can find an interesting prospect (who doesn’t have to be added to the 40-man in return for a 23 YO RHRP with 2 plus pitches. I’d target either a 3Bman (the Phillies system lacks any real prospects there) or an arm with the same type of high K/high BB #s.

            3B possibilities:
            * Aaron Schunk is a guy I’ve liked since his college days at Georgia. Colorado left him available for the rule 5 draft, and he went unselected.
            * Josh Hood is another kid I’ve been posting about since his prep career in Vineland(!). He was a Freshman All-American at UPenn, and finished his career at NC St. Seattle drafted him in the 6th round last summer.
            * Warming Bernabel, Addison Barger, and AJ Vukovich are all higher upside young players, but they may not be available for Morales.

            * Antoine Kelly is another guy I touted before December’s rule 5 draft. He’s left handed, has a big arm, and a swing-and-miss SL. He’ll also need to develop a better relationship with the K-zone.
            * Kevin Kopps and Jackson Wolfe are a couple of former college arms more recently drafted by the Padres. AJ Preller hunts high upside prospects/players so IMO he’d be very interested in Morales. Kopps has a Bugs Bunny like cutter that gets a ton of swing-and-misses. He also has a history of being able to throw multiple innings (on back-to-back nights) as a reliever.
            *Carson Palmquist is a LHRP & a 3rd round pick by the Rockies last summer. Not convinced Colorado would trade him this soon, but he might be a guy Dave Dombrowski would like because he reminds me/many people of Chris Sale (a Dombo favorite).

    1. Super -star position players are getting those double-digit year length contracts, with fairly decent AAVs in regards to the future CBT levels..
      GMs know the last 1/3rd of those contracts are probably going to be regrettable as to player production.

      1. Devers is just 26 so it makes sense to go him before Xander. Plus his bat is exceptional and will play for a long long time.

        I really like the move for them. The rest of their team is atrocious however and the luster on Bloom (for me) is starting to wear off. I say that because I had really wanted him to be here.

        Maybe be careful what you wish for.

        1. DMAR…to be fair to Bloom, he did walk in there with the Betts’ up-comng break the bank mega-contract trap waiting for him. And guess who he inherited that from…..Dave Dombrowski.
          Now only getting Alex Verdugo from the Dodgers’ essentially in the trade (Downs and Wong never materialized) has to be a big disappointment for him.

        2. It’s clear Bloom is playing some type of long game (he’s not stupid) – it’s just not clear precisely what that is and how much rope he has been given by upper management. Clearly, they must have signed off on his intent to field a subpar team at least this year and probably next. What the end game is, again, is not clear. Has he explained it to the fans? Imagine if we went back to that type of model here in Philly (yes, our team will stink this year – but we are rebuilding). The fans would be irate and, at the very least, would need a coherent and persuasive explanation – not an Andy MacFail (misspelling intentional) “if we don’t make the playoffs, we don’t make the playoffs” statement. My God, just writing that out makes me hate him all over again.

    1. Well, its obvious it wasn’t their top 10 prospect,huh! Actually, I don’t know why people are upset, his walk %’s were atrocious.

      1. Because pitchers with his stuff are known to turn the corner very quickly and become serious contributors at the major league level AND he seemed to make some progress at the AFL. You don’t like to give up on stuff like his too quickly, especially when he just turned 23. That’s why.

  21. I know as little about Jake Jewell as I do Uelman. And, I still do not understand the DFA’ing of Morales.

    1. The Morales DFA was perplexing, but we are just outside bystanders and knowing that there were other, more obvious, alternatives to clear room on the 40-man, I have to assume that they know more than we do and this was an informed choice. I feel more confident about the current administration than the previous, when it comes to these things.

      1. Agreed that they know more and this administration has earned more trust than the last one. Whether it’s the right call is anyone’s guess.

  22. I’ve seen a bunch of articles today about how the Red Sox chose Devers to keep in Boston instead of Betts or Bogaerts. And the only thing I can think is… are they actually keeping him around?

    They extended him, sure. But the fact it’s being reported that his contract doesn’t have a no-trade clause tells me they aren’t as committed to him as it looks on the surface. The contract makes him harder to move, yes, but certainly not impossible. This feels an awful lot like a Marlins move to me (see: Stanton, Giancarlo).

    Remind me two years from now about how committed they are to keeping Devers in town.

  23. I will not be surprised to have Jim tell us in another 2 weeks+ that there was an “internal” issue with Morales. Whatever, Jim knows more than we do. This just looks like something is awry.

    Secondly, I am just reporting – Bowden in the Athletic this morning states that Phillies still looking for closing type of pitchers – 7 – 9 inning appearances even after Kimbrel. I question that — if they are only 2 MM under the first threshold ? But you have to wonder why Chafin and Michael Fullmer, even Matt Moore (do not want him) are still out there ? Maybe Morales will get lost in the signings of these players ?

  24. It brings up a very interesting point, all of you. I know we can’t know, but it would really be eye opening, I bet, to know the internal prospect rankings that the team has. Clearly, Morales was not number 10, or someone else would have been DFA’d. We can tell from what they say that Painter, Abel and McGarry are at, or in the case of McGarry are close to, the top.

    1. I was in Korea in 1964, when a Korean national said you were #10, it meant you weren’t good.

  25. Sorry to hear that Jim Salisbury is leaving the Phillies beat. Trustworthy sources, good no nonsense reporter.

      1. Denny…maybe retiring…I know he has had some very difficult family concerns in the past…..Jim’s daughter, Mary, suffered a spinal stroke in the summer of 2017, just a few months after graduating from Temple. So that was a difficult period for him and the family.

          1. Denny……not sure. Corey does need him on there to make it what it is.
            Then again….maybe he will be a frequent guest, who knows.

    1. mark … Wow! I hadn’t heard that. It’s almost as shocking as Morales being dropped from the 40. Not sure if this has anything to do with it, but his 20-something YO daughter suffered a stroke a few years ago that left her in really bad shape. Not sure how she’s doing now, but maybe he wants to be closer to her. Just speculating.

    2. I always liked Jim but I really didn’t like his antagonism of Castellanos. I did side with Nick that it was stupid question to ask if he heard the boos.

      That was more akin to something Eskin would have done.

  26. There is nothing on the NBC Sports Philadelphia website about Salisbury. That company can be quite brutal in how it lets its better on-air talent go, if that’s what happened.

  27. What I read in The Inquirer is that it was his decision. You are correct, Robin. I still miss Leslie Gudel.

  28. Does anyone know where the Garrett Whitley rumor started? It’s been 11 days and no news regarding his signing has surfaced. He’s still listed as a Brewer farmhand with Biloxi.

    1. Not sure if this qualifies as “signed, sealed, and delivered”, but the Inquirer reported it as done⬇

  29. The move to designate Morales is a head scratcher for me. It got me thinking of who could put themselves on the radar for the Phillies bullpen this year. So not counting starters who could become relievers I scoured the pitchers they have in upper minors / or who should start out there I came up with the following list of those to keep an eye on in 2023. Most of these guys are flying under the radar but have legit promise to some degree to advance to the majors.

    Erubiel Armenta – 22 years old – LHP, Andrew Baker – 22 years old – RHP, Blake Brown – 24 years old – RHP, Orion Kekering – 21 years old – RHP, Taylor Lehman – 26 years old – LHP, James McArthur – 25 years old – RHP, Tommy McCollum – 23 years old – RHP, Erik Miller – 24 years old – LHP, McKinley Moore – 24 years old – RHP, Andrew Schultz – 25 years old – RHP, Brett Schulze – 25 years old – RHP, Billy Sullivan – 23 years old – RHP

    We only ranked Baker and Miller in top 20 rankings, but these guys are my top 12 RP prospects to appear in majors in 2023.

    1. What you have to remember……the above you mentioned, if not on the current 40, will need to be on it to play in the majors…meaning someone currently on the 40 will need to be DFAed and risked to be picked up by another team. So those above who are not on the 40 will have to be added.
      The list below is the current pitchers on it…a few can be dropped I would think, but the bulk are here to stay unless traded.
      Aaron Nola ….José Alvarado…. Luis Ortiz …..James McArthur
      Matt Strahm….Erich Uelmen….Nick Nelson…..Ranger Suárez
      Seranthony Domínguez…Craig Kimbrel…..Connor Brogdon….Taijuan Walker
      Zack Wheeler ….Andrew Vasquez….Andrew Bellatti….Bailey Falter
      Mike Plassmeyer…..Cris Sanchez…..Sam Coonrad

      1. Or once the season starts, a guy can be moved to the 60-day IL to open another spot on the 40-man … maybe for a dark horse like Jakob Hernandez (always been one of faves). Jake looks great. Seems to have worked really hard on losing weight & threw well in the Dominican Winter League (12.5 K/9 vs 3.5 BB/9 in a SSS).

        1. Yes Hinkie…he does look like he is ready for the majors…fingers crossed.
          He paid his dues

          1. Well, Jakob has good strikeout numbers but he’s never had an ERA below 4 in AAA, which isn’t good. I hope he can make another jump, but I don’t think paying due has anything to do with it, as much as that might make one feel better about his success.

            1. I remember conversations we had about Damon Jones and his strikeout numbers and blah, blah, blah . . . and the first time I saw him pitch in the big leagues (with no control and a mediocre fastball), he was all over the place and I thought “there’s no way this guy is anywhere close to being a major league pitcher.” I wonder if this is the same with Hernandez. He hasn’t been a good minor league pitcher recently.

      2. Romus, good point. If any of those relievers excel they will push for a roster move to be made to make room for a promotion.

  30. The Giants are not looking too foolish now that Correa is negotiating with other teams, and the Mets seemed to have hit a less than smooth bump with Mr. Boras. Turner was my #1 target, and I am very happy we got him. Are we only 5 weeks from Pitchers and Catchers to Clearwater? Wow!

      1. Well, to their credit, in seeking free agents, the Phillies have generally focused on low maintenance players. Turner, like Harper and Wheeler and Schwarber, is just a good guy grinder type. One thing I don’t ever expect him to be is a distraction – it’s not a small thing.

        1. I think Boras is playing hardball. Correa’s ankle sounds like it’s worse than expected and teams are looking for a shorter deal just in case. Considering that Correa plays SS, you figure his ankle is only to get worse as he ages.

          If both the Mets and Giants flagged his medical, your know there’s something serious going on.

          1. The Twins backed up the Brink’s truck with a 10-year, $285 million contract that would have gone down as the largest the franchise has ever put on its books……so they would know first hand his medicals…..I still think Cohen and the Mets will get him….but not past a decade length on the contract.

            1. If you’re Correa, why would you want to stay with the Twins?

              People in Minnesota are swell and all (my wife is a Minnesotan), but . . . it’s not a big market team and odds are they will rarely compete for anything while he’s there. Also, being there is not good for his marketing opportunities. Players can make a lot of money from endorsements – being in Minnesota isn’t conducive to maximizing that income. And then there’s the money – it’s probably less than he can get somewhere else, although that becomes less clear every day.

            2. At this point, what big market club is taking on the risk Cohen is balking at? I see Correa’s market under water right now, perhaps to the point that he settles for another 1-year prove it… (that he can stay healthy) …deal with the club willing to pay the most…maybe $35M? At what point is it worth it for him to merely accept a much, much lower AAV over a longer term?

  31. Still think Twins will end up with him. They had a deal at 285 for 10 and I’d bet they will take the prize as they are less risk avoidant than others. Stands to reason if you reopen negotiations into a shorter deal that even more teams jump into fray. So much for Mets lineup if that happens.

  32. MLBTR reports that the Mariners are looking for a right handed bat….

    …sorry, just having some fun. (Slow day)

  33. If Cohen wanted Correa it would have been done already despite the issues. If you change the terms Boras is smart enough to shop the deal again. As Hinkie says – show me the money and Correa would play in Idaho…..

    1. RU…..IMO, the prognosis long term for his ankle may only have a shelf-life of 4-6 years. I think Cohen would take that 6 year plus an option year and of course that goes with a higher AAV.
      Twins were going to almost $29M AAV for 10 years……Boras may want Cohen to go to a $33M/$35M range AAV for 6/7 years.

  34. I am asking Trea about Bauer and if any sense of an ok I am offering a 1 year incentive laden deal with a 2nd year team option.

      1. 💯 agree with Murray. Not even if he offered to work pro bono, would I allow Tevor Baurr to wear a Phillies uniform.

        1. I’d ask Trea Turner to confirm, but I think Bauer gets a bad wrap for the clubhouse cancer stuff. He’s a bit eccentric, but he’s also a CY Young winner … I can deal with his new age behavior in the clubhouse . It’s those who don’t want the unwritten rules of baseball to change. How did you like the Hoskins bat slam? All of that chance is part of why the postseason was so fun this year.
          He can be had (possibly) for the league minimum since the dodgers owe him 22 million. Part of the dodgers clubhouse wanted him back. I’d weight Rees’s opinion heavily over the media.

          I have a personal take on the off field Stuff. I’ve followed his YT channel since. He doesn’t seem to be the person portrayed by the media. I’d take the chance on him at his cost to value output. This town has taken in Micheal Vick and quite a few others, they could take in Bauer. Remeber Brett Myers? This was apparently consensual between Bauer & the female. I wouldnt let him date my daughter., but that’s not what we are talking about.

          Also, the Mets are likely to sign him now. Especially if Correra signing does fall through.

  35. Prospects1500 has posted their rankings of the Phillies top 50 prospects. Their system is based on 5 tiers of expected major league success. Only Painter is listed as a tier 1, a strong candidate to be an eventual ace.

    In tier 2, they have only two players:
    2. Mick Abel rhp
    3. William Bergolla ss

    From there, tiers 3-5 show less than impressive profiles on the rest of the higher ranked (4-20) prospects.

        1. Prospects1500 has a good way to label the tiers they use. Stars, solid contributors, down to keep an eye on. As prospects there are a bunch to keep an eye on. But they did miss some IMO such as Baker, Sullivan and others. 2023 is going to be a big year for the minors we could see the system move forward especially on offense or if they stay stagnant then they could slip down.

    1. The site does point out how #4 (tier 3) Hao Yu Lee can flat rake and run well, and a future keystone combo of him and Bergolla is an intriguing, if not likely, possibility.

      1. I wouldn’t put too much stock in their Tier evaluations…virtually all the team only have a max of two or less….Stros have none.
        LA Angels have two and numero uno is Logan O’Hoppe.
        Tier 1
        1. Logan O’Hoppe, C, 22, MLB
        O’Hoppe came over from the Phillies in the Brandon Marsh trade and excelled with the Trash Pandas, hitting .306/.473/.673 while walking more than he struck out. A good hit tool and power tool makes him very valuable in the fantasy realm, and he is looking like a top 20 MLB catcher for 2023 by most measures. He’s always been a good fielder and should stick behind the dish for much of his career. I expect him to break camp with the MLB club this spring.

        AND this is where he was this time last year within the Phillies org.
        Tier 3
        5. Logan O’Hoppe, C, 21, AAA
        No player in the organization this season raised his stock more than O’hoppe who started the year in A and ended it in AAA. He hit a combined 17 home runs across the three levels with a slashline of .270/.331/.458. He struggled a bit in AAA but came back strong in the Arizona Fall League batting .299/.440/.519. O’Hoppe has a great eye at the plate, hits with power, and does well defensively. He likely needs to spend a few months in AAA before hitting the majors and is seemingly blocked by J.T. Realmuto but those things usually work themselves out.

        1. Yes, I called the trade of O’Hoppe a mistake in judgment at the time. I stand by that statement. Let’s see how many WAR he and Marsh generate over the next 5 years and then we can see whether I was right or not. Would love to be wrong – but doubt I will be.

          1. The problem though, catch, is that O’Hoppe was not going to get a chance to generate any WAR in AAA. No question he is a good prospect, and no question that we still don’t know what we have in Marsh, but he was not supplanting JTR any time soon. O’Hoppe will get that chance with the Angels, and I wish him well, but he was only, maybe, going to be a backup here for the next few years, at least.

            1. Yes, I understand and I also think you can grade the trade on a curve (in favor of the Phillies) because Marsh plays a position of need and the team has the best catcher in baseball. But still, even if you think he needed to be traded, I think we sold low and perhaps several months too soon (yes, I know we needed a cf last year – I take that into account too). We shall see.

              FYI – love the prospects 1500 write-ups – especially on Bergolla and Lee, two extremely important prospects. My expectation, by the way, is that in about 3,4 years, Turner will be our third baseman.

            2. Remember with O’Hoppe; where is Jorge Alfaro, Tommy Joseph, Cameron Rupp, Andrew Knapp, Lou Marson, Johnny Estrada, Gary Bennett in the 21st century? Probably others that never made the MLB.

            3. Denny…fair points.
              Catchers can be a tough future projection based on minor league evals/metrics.
              Look at some of the others around the league…Bart as an example.
              But you do have the hits….Os Rutschman and Dodgers’ Smith.
              Just can never tell.

            4. Marsh may can be our Tommy Agee, Cesar Geronimo, Paul Blair, Mickey Rivers, Gary Maddox, Shane Victorino, Johnny Damon, Willie Davis, Omar Merino, etc., basically the ballhawk amongst the big hitters.

            5. I can name a whole bunch of minor failed league catching prospects too, but none of them was ever close to being where O’Hoppe is now. These are night a day differences. It’s like comparing Painter with Vance Worley. Yeah both are righty starting pitchers – and the comparison ends there.

            6. Until O’Hoppe, we only had one really good (not great like Logan, but very good) catching prospect since the site started in 2006 and that’s Travis d’Arnaud and he turned out to be a good major league player. Ruiz was also a prospect and he was just a gigantic surprise – a complete best case scenario. But Logan is the only potential generational catching prospect we’ve had in the last 15 years or so – there’s nobody close to him as a catching prospect. Just saying.

            7. I think a big part of the grading of the trade depends on the assets received. Travis d’Arnold had a return of Doc; there were other pieces in the trade but the return was #1 & TA was a big piece going the other way. So Marsh iwill be a determinate of the transaction.

  36. We signed Jon Duplantier to a minor league contract. Another guywith control problems like Morales.

    1. Yes…..he does have a control issue hanging over his head…..five years ago, however, a top 100 prospects….70s/80s range.

  37. Skeet – Duplantier doesn’t need to go on the 40. The team needs filler for the AAA and AA teams. Somebody has to pitch.

    1. Unfortunately no minor league options though, for Duplantier according to the article I read so would have to be offered on waivers or maintained on roster. More optimistic about rumor of Gregory Soto trade, with his similar high strikeout capability and being left-handed.

  38. Salisbury is reporting a trade with Detroit’s Soto is in the works. Would be a nice addition

      1. I though that was a joke when I saw your response. But just saw that in a different website. Wow. Would be a steal. Don’t believe it

        1. If the trade is true, we get the wrong family member; son of Roger Clemens, lol. Remember Brett, Maddux, Bell, Drabek, Torre, DiMaggio, Bill Hubbell, Frank Torre, Jeremy Giambi, Mark Leiter,Juan Bell and Rich Surhoff.

    1. skeet………….Gregory Soto….another wild and crazy arm…..Clemens versatile infielder.

  39. Love this trade. Soto is exactly what we were missing. Our pen is going to be really good this year. Love that we are all in.

    1. Agreed, they picked up another legit arm (a lefty) for 3 bench players (Sands wasn’t making the squad). Cave and Guthrie now have a better chance of making the 26 although I expect a few minor league signings to compete with them.

    2. What do you think about adding McGarry and Falter to get Turnbull? I really hope the Phils attempted this.

    3. This trade makes a lot of sense. The bottom line when we played Houston was that our hitting was about as good but we couldn’t quite match up with their pitching – and it’s not just Houston. The best teams can just beat you to depth with pitching depth. With these moves and one or two of our young arms coming up we could be super competitive through the playoffs, if we can get there again. And it plays into one of our great underrated strengths – Caleb Cotham (seriously – how does everyone overlook what he’s done? He’s superb).

        1. I loved Maton and thought he would be something, now as an ex-Phillie I think he will be a marginal player with a short career. Lol.

  40. Vierling had what, over 300 ABs for the Phillies last year. That is a lot of ABs that will be switched out. And a lot of defensive replacement opps,

    1. Veirling became expendable when they got Marsh. Don’t think the Phillies see Marsh as a platoon player so Veirling wasn’t getting that many at-bats in 2023.

      Great deal.

  41. Gregory Soto adds to the bullpen, probably the final pitcher to the 40 man roster. Likely to be several minor league signings yet to come. He is controlled for 3 years meaning he can replace Alvarado as he can test free agency at years end if he choses. But now there are 3 leftys in the pen.

  42. Why didn’t the Phils get Turnbull also? This trade is the Tigers getting value for a bullpen piece that they didn’t feel was part of their future long term. Turnbull is not part of their long term plans either.

    I wonder if the Phils tried to add Mcgarry and Falter to get Turnbull too.

    They seem to really believe in their coaching with the value they gave up for Soto and Marsh.

  43. I like the move, and think Soto is a good addition to the BP. I liked Vierling and Maton, and wish them well, but this is a value trade, and gives a real shot to Cave to make the team. Won’t he take the Vierling role, and Guthrie replaces Maton?

  44. Soto is likely the player who the Phillies really wanted. He’s a lefty with closer experience and under control for 3 more years. His walk rate is pretty high though and really has had only 1 good year (2021, 1.4 WAR). Clemens is looking like a bench bat, and he’s going to be 27 in May.

    Sands was expendable (blocked by JT) and going to be 27 in May. Vierling couldn’t hit this past season and the Phillies traded for Marsh, so Vierling was going to be a bench player i.e. expendable. And Maton was expendable the second Trea Turner signed.

    It’s a good deal for both sides. The Phillies get Soto for 3 players that were expendable, and Soto is cost controlled. The Tigers, who are not contenders, get players who can step in immediately into their dreadful starting lineup and try to prove their worth. I’m high on Maton and I think he can be starter level for the Tigers.

    Good luck to those players in Detroit. They will all get plenty of playing time.

  45. Sands is a good catcher lost behind JTR, Stubbs, and Marchan with Rickardo Perez climbing the ranks. But the team can afford to trade from this depth.
    Vierling is a good hitting OF but still projects as a 4th OF and not highly likely to start – but maybe in Detroit he will.
    Maton is the one I really liked from this group. I viewed him as one of the best utility players out there. Good hitter with good walk rate, low strike out rate, high OB%, works counts, and hits a large amount of extra base hits. (With Guthrie around I believe he will take Maton’s spot)

    Good luck to them

    1. I also valued Maton, Bob D, of all the players in this deal, and regret he is most likely to be the modern day trade-equivalent of Rhyne Sandberg. But to use a mismatched metaphor, few omelets are made without breaking eggs.

  46. I didn’t realize the Braves got Jiminez from the Tigers. He was the Tigers reliever to overpay for. The Braves need to stop being so good at getting talent.

  47. Are the Phillies done with their bullpen?

    Dominguez, Kimbrel, Alvarado, Soto, Strahm, Brogdon are locks. You figure Bellatti has the edge for #7. Nick Nelson could easily be the long man for the final spot.

    Note that Kimbrel and Alvarado are FAs after this season.

    I hope that Sanchez becomes a full time reliever at Lehigh.

  48. Welp, there must be another move soon. 40 man roster full at 40 trade away 3 players for 2 players = one spot available. hmmmm

  49. I like the move for a couple reasons:

    1) Thomson is going to able to shorten the game, in the playoffs.
    Dominguez, Alvarado, Soto, strahm, Kimbrel, Brogdon, Bellati … and possibly McGarry at some point

    2) protection against Alavardo – though I think he resigns if the money is fair – seems to love Philly more than most

    3)Moves Rojas & Lee up the organizational charts sooner.

    4) Sosa gets more opportunities

    5) Phil’s get best player in the deal, imo – Maton is the 2nd best player

    6) controllable financially, for 3 years

    7) Just need to add Bauer 🙂 – I know he’s a hated by some on here, but we all really have to hope he doesn’t end up on the Mets. Hopefully Boston finds its competitor spirit again… and picks him up. Philly does have bauer’s pitching coach from his CY young season with the Reds. I’m sure it’s a no, but need to pray he goes to the AL

    1. If he isn’t moved or waived…..Jhailyn Ortiz could eventually be a 4th OFer by the end of the season….for a big guy, he is an excellent defender in the OF.

      1. Romus, I’d like to see Ortiz make it, but he K’s a third of his plate appearances and a 734 OPS for a power hitter in Reading, no less, is not encouraging.

        You did well cheering Hall along. Might want to quit while you’re ahead.

        1. Frank….LOL.
          Sometimes it comes later for some guys.
          I have to see where they start him this season..be it again at Reading or perhaps now at LHV. If in fact he stays within the org.
          Eventually he will get his cup of coffee.

          The other guy I have high expectations for …..may be considered a sleeper or diamond-in-the -rough, in some sense…is tall 19-year old…6’6″ now….. LHP Mavis Graves. Kid out of South Carolina. Increase his velo by 17 MPH from age 15 to 18. He sat in the low 90s at the time he was drafted last year.
          Like to see how the Phillies staff work with him.

          1. Oh you guys – Ortiz is a huge shot in the dark and is not on track to play in the majors let alone get a lot of good big league abs. The odds of him having a career as good as Duvall’s are probably 40 or 50-1.

          2. Romus, thanks for the heads up. Can’t find much about Graves, but will be looking out for him.

    2. Why would we need to hope he doesn’t go to the Mets? He’s 32, hasn’t played in over a year and a half, and has exactly 2 seasons of being exceptional against 5 seasons of being average.

      He’s talented, I’ll give you that. But he doesn’t profile as an ace currently, and you don’t risk that serious of a clubhouse risk on someone that’s not a bonafide star. We’re not talking about Curt Schilling here.

      Let the Mets take that gamble. They’re already boom-or-bust in their rotation with regards to injury concerns. I’d be glad if they added the possibility of a toxic personality torpedoing their season.

      1. Bauer has nice numbers. His CY is from the shortened season, likely the WHIP did it for him, and was helpful the reds playoff run the year before. SO,BB, WHIP all good. He’s going to produce for whoever gets him, and imo is likely worth the headache. Again, I’d ask turner to confirm how bad it really was or wasn’t. My gut is, it’s overblown in his clubhouse antics.
        Put it this way…imagine the dodgers are out of the playoff race, what do you think it would take to get Bauer? As of now, it’s just cash…. And likely not that much of it.
        I really hope they kick the tires hard on this, he’s could really push them over. Risk is minimized with the dodgers paying his salary. If he is a clubhouse cancer … release him.

  50. Last year in the minors he played 3 games at 2b, 2 SS, 1 3b, 1 lf, 59 cf, 29 rf & in the MLB 1 2b, 1 3b & 12 in rf.

  51. Looking at the Phillies updated 40 man roster, I find it difficult to believe that Dalton Guthrie and Jake Cave will vie for playing time in RF with Harper out until June. Granted it’s not a full season, maybe not even half if Bryce heals as quickly as Boras says, but 60-plus games is a significant chunk of the regular season in a highly competitive division playing two unproven players regularly, if not daily. Gotta think Dombrowski has another iron in the fire…he mentioned the possibility of a “smaller acquisition” to fill one of the spots vacated by Vierling and Maton.

    1. Yeah I feel like another trade for a bench bat is very possible; maybe dealing from the team’s now surplus of reliever candidates. I could see leaving one bench role open for competition between Guthrie, Clemens, Cave etc but not two.

    2. mark…is Nick Castellanos gone?
      He probably starts in RF until Harper returns.
      Guthrie/Cave/muzziotti, et al all are subs.
      Marsh is full-time in CF now according to Dombrowski yesterday

  52. As for the Soto trade itself, it’s a sound move. While Vierling and Maton were useful role players, neither of them is a 2-time all star who provides a late inning impact for the Phillies. Clemens is a utility guy who perhaps David Chadd has insight on, having been plucked out of the Detroit front office by Dombrowski.

  53. Guthrie will eventually platoon in CF and can play IF in a pinch. Cave probably will be the 5th OFer. I like Maton and Vierling a lot but I think Guthrie is better than either of them. The only thing lost here is a LH bat.

  54. Among several veteran free agent outfielders still available are Adam Duvall, AJ Pollock (no thanks), Tommy Pham (meh), Kole Calhoun (hmm), and Ben Gamel (if my memory serves me, he did well against the Phillies when with Seattle)…I would consider Duvall among these. But if Clemens is a sleeper in the Soto trade, he could be the ultimate steal in Dombrowski’s resume.

    1. Clemens was really quite good in AAA last year. If he comes through it’s a huge plus. Trade could easily be a big win for the Phillies.

      I actually think Vierling could be a good major leaguer, but I think it’s going to take a while. He needs to learn to pull the ball with authority.

  55. I love the trade for Soto!

    The Braves thrived in 2020 & 2021 by accumulating strong-armed, closer-experienced RPs. Now the Phillies bullpen has similar depth of experience!

    And we didn’t give up any big prospect but rather several players who have some value but were expendable. Plus Soto is stilll controlled for 3 years! Great great trade!

  56. I’m late to the party … but … I (like most here) give Dave Dombrowski two thumbs up (😃👍 😃👍) for yesterday’s trade. The depth of power arms in the Phillies BP is pretty impressive. I love the fact that the club will now feature three LHRPs. And a side note to this deal: it probably gives the Phils a longer leash with Griff McGarry as a SP. There’s now less chance the team will need McGarry in the BP @ CBP in 2023.
    This trade does not come w/o some risk though. Soto looks like an arm injury waiting to happen, and I still believe Nick Maton will turn out to be a valuable, every day, and versatile MLB infielder … maybe a Miguel Rojas type of career. It just wasn’t going to happen here for him.

    1. A little tough to see Maton move on…..assume Tigers preferred him…maybe even over Guthrie if he was ever offered.
      But maybe gives Nick more of an opportunity to play more or start.

      1. Agree, I think Maton can be a good major league player, but with the acquisition of Turner and the shift of Stott to 2nd, he wasn’t going to get the opportunity here.

  57. One of the grading sites guys gave the Phillies a B+ for the trade.
    Felt Sosa will do well in Philly. Felt Clemens is just a wait and see since only limited games so far.
    Guy gave Tigers a D+. Felt all three Phillies guys are just marginal players going forward but felt both Vierling and Maton would garner playing time this season for the Tigers. He was most high on Vierling. Felt he hit the ball hard last year and was somewhat unlucky. Romus and others who are into the stats can verify if that statement is true or not.

    1. Re: Vierling, he was ranked very high in avg exit velocity last yr. Was it #22?only Schwarber and Harper were higher. On the Phil’s.

      He is. Also extremely fast runner. His burst speed was also in top 20 if not top 10. I believe he (was) is fastest Phillies runner before Turner.

      I think he will be a solid ML OF with potential to hit . 300 without the shif and hit 15-20+ hr. Maton can probably be a starting 2b but Stott has better projectile power and avg. Matons 5 HR seemed to be an anomaly, but the power switch might have flipped.

      These were two guys who came up in the farm system.

      1. Slightly lower; tied for number 34 (min. 300 PA) at an average exit velocity of 91.2 (mlb average was 88.8). You’re right that he was third on the Phils behind Schwarber (93.3) and Harper (92.1), while being ahead of JT (90.3) and Bohm (90.2).

        However, that EV doesn’t tell the whole story. His barrel% was only 5% (#207, MLB average of 7.9%). And he isn’t a pull hitter (career 30.4% vs the mlb average of 40%), so we shouldn’t expect him to make much, if any, gains from the lack of shifts. Plus his plate discipline is nothing special (31.6% swings on pitches outside of the zone and 60.3% inside the zone, major league averages of 31.3% and 68.9%, respectively).

        He IS good at making contact, but expecting him to be a .300 hitter with 15+ HRs seems… unreasonable based on his current skill set. He’s never hit 15 HRs in a season, even if you add all of his HRs from all the different levels in ’21. And he’s only hit above .300 in samples below 150 PAs.

        More realistically, he’s a contact hitter who doesn’t walk enough, strikes out just below league average, and has marginal power to go along with okay defense. Could he take a step forward? Sure. But he wasn’t going to do it here.

        Personally, I think he’ll be a serviceable 4th OF for 5+ years. And there’s value in that. But I’m more worried about Maton coming back to bite us than Vierling. And I’m not particularly worried about that, either (Maton I believe will be a starter, but not as good as what we have already).

  58. Another article said one of the front office guys the Phillies brought in last year from the Tigers was also high on these two players. So, we will see how it plays out. I think you can never have too many guys late in games that can get guys out. That was one of the comments made by the Phillies. Said they felt they now have I think it was 5 guys who can protect a 1 run lead late in the game. All we have to do is go back the last few seasons to remember how many games were lost in the last couple innings when the Phillies entered with a lead. Romus where are you in a time of need? Maybe getting in shape for his tryout. LOL.

      1. Fangraphs has him tied at 34 among players with 300+ PAs.

        But also, his barrel% (5%) is just downright ugly. And his BABIP was .290. Even if you can expect him to hover more in the .330 range (which feels generous) because he’s decently fast, that still wouldn’t get him a .300 BA. In fact, I did the math. To hit .300 last year he would have needed 98 hits, and thus a BABIP of .354.

        Personally, I’m not expecting him to have a sustainable BABIP higher than Mike Trout. So I’m not thinking he’ll be much of an offensive threat for the Tigers. Not without some very real strides forward in other areas of his hitting.

        1. Yeah……with no shifts, he might just be a player to leg out a few additional hits with his plus speed to first…..and add on to that, by stealing second with larger bases.
          I always liked him out of ND…hope he gets a lot more opportunity with the Tigers.

          1. He’s also not a pull hitter, so it seems unlikely the ban of the shift will have any meaningful impact on him.

            I’m rooting for him, but his profile just screams bench player as of now.

  59. Soto has high whip of close to 1.4.but he is stringent with hr/9y. Seems like a middle of 7

  60. Romus you are too funny. I too lost count after several. LOL
    One of articles said Soto had like 30 saves and does have high walk rate but has shown ability to get out of situations he creates. I do not recall how many blown saves he had if they listed it.
    Tony you are correct on Vierling and the speed aspect.

    1. Don…two of a kind…Soto and Alvarado …when on….are unhittable.
      When off…still unhittable, but they will clog the bases with EZ passes.

    2. Don…in 2021, Soto ranked 89th by fWAR of all relievers in baseball….fWAR 0.4……his BB/9 was 5.65.
      In 2022…he improved …..88th….fWAR 0.6…BB/9 was 5.07.
      So when he comes in….might be wise to hold your breath

      1. Romus…that looks like improvement. Maybe minimal. Article just said he throws really hard, and one never knows for sure where it is going. That might be why only 2 HRs given up. Maybe not a lot of guys digging in too much. Holding your breath has kind of been the issue the last few years most of the time. No one has ever just claimed the role.

    3. The most important stat I’ve seen about Soto is his number of HRs given up. He gave up 2 last year. One against a righty and one against a lefty.

      That one against the lefty is the only time an MLB lefty has homered off him. Ever. 1 HR in 287 attempts (number of lefty hitters he’s faced in MLB action). He basically turned them into the power-hitting equivalent of Ben Revere (but don’t worry, he’s also held them to a .225 BA).

      If a power lefty comes up in a big spot against us, we have their literal kryptonite on the roster now.

  61. Soto and Alvarado are bookends. Two hardest throwing relievers in mlb and can walk a lot of hitters when not right. Also gives the team an out when dealing with Alvarado as a free agent as they will have Soto for years 2023-25.

  62. Maton was going to see less playing time with Trea Stott Rhys Bohm playing every day. Marsh is playing every day. Guthrie is kind of a combo of the 2 dealt. Love this deal, these are the deals Klentak never made. It’s about building out the back end of the roster.

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