Thursday, December 01, 2016

Baseball labor peace for 5 years as players feared International Draft


Owners and players agreed last night in labor peace, good for them, the fans were watching and waiting



Interesting times for baseball labor negotiations, as last night sealed the deal for labor peace in the US MLB for 5 years.

Many stumbling points of the contract had people thinking that this might not go as smoothly as planned to get a deal past.

Read all about the finer points of what happened with the new contract here in an article in the Chicago Tribune.

It came down to the wire almost, just 3 and a half hours until what was described as a player lockout which may have had an impact on the 2017 season. With each labor issue that baseball has had, they have lost fans, many of whom have never looked back. So, it's great that this didn't happen.

Interestingly, the player seemed to be very fearful of baseball opening the draft up to an international pool, I think that could have only helped salaries go higher. If teams speculated on international players that didn't pan out, there would have been plenty of money to go around for those players still in the regular draft.

This labor agreement could've had a significant impact in the future of baseball, had a lockout occurred, there would have been fans to close the book on the game. A generation perhaps? In this day and age of easy TV money, this agreement was a no-brainer. I am waiting on the day when the fans will speak to baseball a little. The high ticket prices passed on to fans with a myriad of other fees until you get in your seat at a ballpark is at an all-time high. Baseball is entertainment, a luxury, an item that people can choose to attend.

Monday, November 28, 2016

New Phillies Talk Podcast edition: Cyber Monday Phillies Musings


It's time for another edition of Phillies Talk Podcast, talking about the latest news surrounding the Phillies baseball team on the longest running independent show that talks Phils baseball. 
Join Rich Baxter on this edition as the subjects are:
Cyber Monday deals for Phillies gear
Hot Stove Phillies Talk
Phillies Home Run records in each month as a team and high for player in that month
all of this and more!
Stay tuned for the new Phillies Talk Podcast Youtube Channel, coming soon and of course a whole lot of shows in the offseason.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Shopping deals for the holidays for the Phillies fan

Here's some shopping deals for 2016 for the Phillies fan you know!
























Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Speculation of Trout signing somewhere else circulates like turkey during hot stove Thanksgiving season


Mike Trout enjoying an Eagles game in Philadelphia. Could this be the start of a long affair with the city of Philadelphia and the Phillies?



There was talk yesterday on MLB Network and it mentioned the marketability of Mike Trout.

There were pros and cons talked about the path that Mike Trout may want to take if he gets frustrated with the finishing place of the Anaheim Angels, like they finished this year. Yes, Trout signed a whopping $144.5M extension to stay with the Angels for 6 years which runs through 2020.

Plenty of reasons were thrown around where Angels management probably would never make a decision to want to trade a player like Trout. He's simply the best player in baseball, but the Angels haven't gone anywhere because of this. One real strong indicator that baseball is a team sport, it takes a lot more than one player to make a good team.

I think the Angels could someday want to test the waters to see what they could get. The bulk of his contract comes due in the years following 2017.

Matt Klentak used to get with the Angels organization, he knows Mike Trout personally, and that could be some sort of blue chip that the Phillies may hold. Another reason the Phillies have an edge is that Trout is from South Jersey, he could be close to his home for most of the baseball season. Of course with the millions that he'll make this season, anywhere could feel like home, and very comfortable at that for him. His roots though are in South Jersey.

Trout holds the keys to his future in regards to trades, he has a full 'no trade' contract. He must approve any trade, and if and when that day comes, it may be tough for him to make a decision. As he gets older, he may want to start be on a winning team. He may stay in that 'small market' bubble. We've seem plenty of good players stay in that mode, and quietly go home when it comes time for playoffs.

He'll probably want to play out the contract with Anaheim, taking him another 4 seasons down the road. Just think though at the contract he would have gotten after this year, he would have been a free agent and with the kind of money that was thrown at Giancarlo Stanton, $325M  for 13 years, the money for Trout would have possibly been more per season.

Of course there are a lot of teams that would rush to get the services of a Mike Trout, he's a player that doesn't seem all impressed by teams that would throw money at him, but for now that dream of landing Trout is just that, a dream. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Phillies not spending on salaries like they did a few years ago






The New York Yankees have made some bold moves over the offseason so far. They've catapulted themselves back up the spending ladder (estimated at $173M for '17), but still are below the free wheeling Boston Red Sox who almost have a $191M payroll for the 2017 season.

The Phillies have jettisoned salary but really haven't gone on any spending sprees of late. The Phils have added two players that will tack a $27M amount onto the payroll for just one year, but still have a payroll that is estimated to be well under $100M for 2017 so far.

The Phillies haven't been this low in salary since before the success of the 2008 World Series team. In fact, the team is at a level it was in 2006 or before. This is well off of all-time records set by the Phils in salary spending in the 2012 and 2014 seasons when the team spent more than it ever did in salaries for one season of baseball.

In 2012, the Phillies spent a record $172M for their Opening Day 25-man roster, culminating the big salaries they handed out after winning the World Series in 2008. They should have been making moves in the few years after the win, but never did. The Phils management led by Ruben Amaro Jr. was very reluctant to break up the success that they perceived was still capable of making it to the playoffs and winning again. After a dip in spending in 2013, the team then went out and set the all-time spending record for the Phils for their Opening Day payroll in 2014 of $177M, and ended up paying out about $183M by the end of the season. Again, no success on the field by that team and Ruben was headed out the door by Phillies management.

As of now, Jeremy Hellickson will be the highest paid on the Phillies at $17.2M for one season, somehow, I don't think the Phillies are done adding for 2017 yet. The hot stove season hasn't really got to a boil yet, and there are plenty of moves that the Phillies can still make.


Friday, November 18, 2016

Optimism on rebuild for Phils takes a turn down for 2017







A lot of the Phillies moves up to this point have made sense for the team. Have the aging veterans that were an important piece of the Phillies past success leave the team to pave the way for the next wave of success for the team. One by one we bid goodbye to important pieces of the 2008 World Series victory.

Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Chooch, all gone now and the team got a lot younger in the process.

We needed something to build on in 2017, but so far all we have to show for the hot stove is the pickup with Howie Kendrick who himself is an aging veteran that just happened to have a really bad year last year, and we've offered a $17.5M contract to a pitcher who we liked, but really only wanted to offer him that huge one year deal on the premise that he would refuse it and go to free agency.

Jeremy Hellickson wanted to test the waters of free agency. He couldn't lose in this scenario. The Phillies offer him a huge chunk of change to stay with the team for 1 season, meanwhile he can get his 'super agent', Scott Boras, to find him a new team for a multi-year deal. Well, no team was real interested in Hellickson for a multi-year deal, so he keeps the Phillies overpayment for 2017. Somehow that doesn't seem right, how can the player lose in that situation? The Phillies should get a 20-30 percent discount off the original offer.

A post in the baseball website, Fangraphs.com, says that Hellickson didn't really improve all that much last year.  How does a mediocre pitcher command such a high salary of $17.5M? Up to this point in his career, Hellickson hadn't even earned $17M in his total career salary. I know it's free agent baseball, but this is kind of ridiculous and the fact that no other team was willing to pay for mediocrity for a multi-year deal is proof of that.

Matt Klentak, Phillies GM, said he was happy either way. If Hellickson stayed and took the huge one-year deal from the Phils, or he left and the Phils got a draft pick for him. That doesn't sound like a strategist to me, and this last two weeks in the Phillies off-season feels like they have taken a couple steps back in the rebuild process.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Phillies make a puzzling Hot Stove pickup with Kendrick




The Phillies finally made a hot stove move yesterday, and what they came up with is an aged outfielder who earned $10M last year with the Dodgers and didn't deliver much in return for it.

Howie Kendrick is now a Phillie, he'll be patrolling out in the field for the team in 2017 or he may be in the infield. What the Phillies gave up for Kendrick is quite a bit. The Phils traded Darnell Sweeney and Darin Ruf to the LA Dodgers in the deal.

Sweeney looked like he had a lot of promise with the Phillies. He is young, and he had a very good swing, hitting 3 HR and driving in 11 RBI in his brief stint with the Phillies. Sweeney was drafted by the Dodgers in 2012, but found his way to the Phillies and now back to the team that originally paved his path to the big leagues. Darin Ruf is another player that is an example of how the Phillies really messed up a career of a ballplayer by keeping him in the minors too long.

Is this the kind of moves that the Phillies management feel that are really upgrading this team? Matt Klentak used to be an assistant GM with the Angels prior to getting the GM job with the Phillies, so he is familiar with Kendrick as Howie played there from the age of 23 to 30.

Kendrick will be making $10M from the Phillies this year. Last year, he had low offensive production with the Dodgers, he wanted to be traded. Maybe the change in teams will be a good thing for him, and the fact that 2017 will be coming up for another contract after next year,

All in all, I think I'd have rather seen Sweeney have a chance at left field, the few times we saw him, he looked like he had a whole lot of potential.  

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Phillies not rushing into Hot Stove mode


Fowler is available, should the Phillies make a play for him?



We've seen some areas that the Phillies really need to improve at during the past couple seasons. If this was a building that the Phillies were 'rebuilding', we would have to say that there is a long way to go before this building could be declared ready for occupancy.

The Phils have tiptoed into the Hot Stove area of free agents and have barely made a peep. The salaries that have been shaved off of this team have been many, and now what we are left with is a bunch of younger players that most of are due a little more than league minimum for their services for 2017. The team lacked leadership in 2016, there was many games that could have been wins that weren't and the need for better hitters on this team is a glaring one that hasn't been addressed yet by ownership in the form of getting people on the team who can really hit the ball.

The top fielders that the Phillies could be in the hunt for is a hitter, maybe a Dexter Fowler or a Jose Bautista? Jose is a little on the old side, but you never know, a two-year deal perhaps? A few questions stand in the way of that interest. Would a player even consider signing in a place that Philadelphia has become in the past few seasons, and would it make sense to add a player that the Phillies would have to spend a lot of money to land.

You have to start somewhere, you need a veteran, and he should be a leader of some sort with this younger group of players the Phillies have. You need a spark, a guy who can come through and inspire others to do the same.

Do you package up a guy like Maikel Franco and trade him for someone? How about Tommy Joseph, do you package him up with someone and make a trade for a bigger fish?

These are the things that management must come up with, so far, they have played a very conservative hand with this Phillies team. Almost like they are afraid to spend some money, or directed not to.

Something needs to happen with this Phillies team, the clock is ticking, and the hot stove is cooking!

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Awards season is upon us, to be announced on MLB Network!


2016 BBWAA AWARDS FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
Winners Will Be Announced November 14 – 17 Exclusively on MLB Network

November 7, 2016 – The Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) today announced the top three finalists in the American League and National League for the 2016 BBWAA Awards. Following is the complete list of finalists, along with the dates for each upcoming award announcement on MLB Network:

Monday, November 14, 6:00 p.m. ET:
AL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year: Michael FulmerTyler NaquinGary Sanchez

NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year: Kenta MaedaCorey SeagerTrea Turner

Tuesday, November 15, 6:00 p.m. ET:  
AL Manager of the Year: Jeff BanisterTerry FranconaBuck Showalter

NL Manager of the Year: Dusty BakerJoe MaddonDave Roberts

Wednesday, November 16, 6:00 p.m. ET:
AL Cy Young Award: Corey KluberRick PorcelloJustin Verlander

NL Cy Young Award: Kyle HendricksJon LesterMax Scherzer

Thursday, November 17, 6:00 p.m. ET:
AL Most Valuable Player: Jose AltuveMookie BettsMike Trout

NL Most Valuable Player: Kris BryantDaniel MurphyCorey Seager

Starting next Monday, November 14 through Thursday, November 17BBWAA Awards Week on MLB Network will feature the exclusive live announcements of the winners of each award in the American League and National League by BBWAA secretary-treasurer Jack O’Connell. Hosted by MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger, BBWAA Awards Week will feature live interviews with award finalists, winners and BBWAA members, plus insight from MLB Network’s Sean Casey, Ron DarlingBrian KennyDan O’Dowd, Dan PlesacHarold Reynolds, Ken Rosenthal, Christopher Russo and Tom Verducci.  MLB Network’s offseason programming will provide extensive coverage leading up to and following the daily award announcements, including on Hot StoveHigh Heat with Christopher RussoMLB NowIntentional Talk and MLB Network’s signature studio show,MLB Tonight.

About the BBWAA:
Founded in 1908, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America was established to assist journalists covering Major League Baseball for daily newspapers. Its purpose is to ensure proper working conditions in press boxes and clubhouses, and to ensure its members have access to players and others in the game so members’ reporting can be accurate, fair and complete. Today there are more than 700 active members of the BBWAA working for newspapers, magazines and major web sites.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Hellickson getting a $17 Million dollar deal, just say no



Let Hellickson walk, he's not worth a $17M deal for one season



Just after the season ended, I was thinking it could be good to have Jeremy Hellickson around for at least another year on this Phillies rotation. In the past week or so, my thoughts about that have changed. Hellickson, who is represented by Scott Boras, should be allowed to pursue his free agent dreams and land somewhere else.

The thought of even offering him a deal for one year and $17M is just absurd, he's not that good of a pitcher. That's a lot of money, I'd rather see the team spend that money in other ways on a decent outfielder.

How did it happen when a pitcher is just a .500 type of pitcher qualify for all of this money? Hellickson is 61-58 over 7 full seasons. That's hardly the type of numbers that should be getting you all those millions of dollars to pitch.

Hellickson had 4 games in which the Phillies scored only 1 run for him this past season, a lot of the other games though, they scored plenty when he was on the mound. At the least he should have won about 16 or more games on this Phillies team, but he didn't. He went out there and was giving up 4, 5, and more runs per game a lot of times. He ended up with a 3.71 ERA on the year. Those kind of numbers aren't magical.

Boras seems to think his clients are the best to ever play the game, let them go elsewhere and have another team shell out a lot of money and not get that much back in return for it. The Phils are in a tough spot though, they wouldn't get anything for him if they just let him walk, at least if they offered him the $17M and he refused, they would be getting a draft pick for him. Is he worth $17M for one season, not in my opinion.