NL East Links: Phillies, Colon, Cabrera, Braves’s Todd Zolecki runs down a number of decisions with which the Phillies are faced in the coming offseason and examines some of the perceived problems on the roster. Sources have indicated to Zolecki that despite manager Ryne Sandberg’s desire to play Darin Ruf more often at first base, the Phils feel they need to let Ryan Howard play if they have any hope of moving him to an AL club this winter. Zolecki adds that while Sandberg would like to learn more about Ruf via extra playing time, the organization feels it knows that Ruf is a platoon player — a view shared by other clubs as well.

Here’s more from the NL East…

  • Despite the common belief that the Mets should move Bartolo Colon this offseason, Ben Berkon of’s MetsBlog opines that the pitching-rich Mets should at least consider the possibility of moving a different starter such as Jon Niese. While Colon could potentially net some minor league pieces to help out in 2017-18, flipping Niese and his desirable contract (but oft-questionable health status) could bring the Mets more immediate help. Berkon speculates that Niese — perhaps paired with prospects Noah Syndergaard, Kevin Plawecki and/or Rafael Montero — could allow the Mets to land an impact bat that the Mets have been lacking despite strong seasons from Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda.
  • The acquisition of Asdrubal Cabrera has helped the Nationals not only on the field but in the clubhouse as well, writes James Wagner of the Washington Post. Manager Matt Williams offered nothing but praise for Cabrera’s professionalism, and shortstop Ian Desmond said he strives to live up to the clubhouse reputation and league-wide repsect that Cabrera has built.
  • Between top prospects Christian Bethancourt and Jose Peraza, only Bethancourt should expect a September callup, writes’s Mark Bowman. Peraza has very little experience above Class A to this point, whereas Bethancourt impressed the Braves in his handling of the pitching staff in a brief two-week audition this summer. Bowman feels that the Braves’ comfort level with Bethancourt’s glove increases reason to believe that Evan Gattis should be traded to an AL club this winter. That seems like a leap in my eyes, given Bethancourt’s modest production at Triple-A and struggles against MLB pitching. Of course, Bethancourt, 22, is quite young to have played a full season at Triple-A as well, making his pedestrian numbers more understandable.

33 Responses to NL East Links: Phillies, Colon, Cabrera, Braves Leave a Reply

  1. Eric Mack 11 months ago

    I highly doubt the Braves will trade Gattis to an AL team this winter.

    • Melvin Mendoza, Jr. 11 months ago

      They better not, after so willfully parting with Mac to hand over the job to him

      • Eric Mack 11 months ago

        I was one that thought we should have traded Mac.It was clear he was gone, and Gattis could take over the duties. I wish we had traded him, we probably could have gotten a nice package of talent in return for him.

        • Melvin Mendoza, Jr. 11 months ago

          We got a draft pick from him declining the QO, at least. Honestly, I had a gut feeling Gattis was going to be a total one hit wonder and that we should have tried harder to give Mac what he wanted to extend him. I’m glad I was wrong, but with that in mind it’d be a mistake to get rid of Gattis unless we got a premium package.

          • Eric Mack 11 months ago

            I know, but I think what we would have gotten for him in a trade would be better than a draft pick.

          • 14 Rocks 11 months ago

            The Braves were in the playoffs last year. They weren’t going to trade their starting catcher in a playoff season. It’s also doubtful that any team would have given up a prospect as good as the Braves draft pick, Braxton Davidson, for a 2 month rental.

          • rundmc1981 11 months ago

            The same team that benched him during the playoff game the season before, in lieu of David Ross. Albeit, they didn’t have Ross this time around (but did have Gattis).

          • rundmc1981 11 months ago

            Oh, then you haven’t seen Braxton Davidson. I hope he’s half as good as what he appears to be. Future corner OF, here’s hoping…

    • bravo_84 11 months ago

      Gattis is probably our third best bat, and could easily continue to develop with good health. Plus Heyward and Justin are both free agents after next year. This team can’t afford to trade offense for defense.

      • rundmc1981 11 months ago

        Factor in the fact that we’re getting Gattis’ prime years for a league-minimum rate (partially because he took a personal hiatus), and we literally can’t afford to get rid of him even if we’re hoping to try and re-sign one of (or both) of JUp (my choice) or JHey.

  2. depley 11 months ago

    Lets see, trade offense for what? The braves need the offense why would you trade a major part of that for just going younger. I would trade Bethancourt before I would trade Gattis

    • Melvin Mendoza, Jr. 11 months ago

      I’ve never really gotten the concept of trading established major league pieces for prospects, unless it’s at the deadline of their walk year and you know you’re not going to re sign them, and whatnot. I think they should keep Bethancourt out of the majors to avoid the risk of him not performing well and ruining his value, then move him this winter.

      • Matt Talbert 11 months ago

        Remember a young Yadi? Glove-first and no bat, but hte bat developed later when a lot of scouts said he’d only be a defensive first guy? That BJ anchor is what kills us the most from going out into FA and beefing up the pen, bench, or acquiring one of the premium starters that have been available and two or three will be in FA, but we won’t have nearly the funds to get anything done.

        • 14 Rocks 11 months ago

          Molina had a .278/.335/.372 line in the minors and was in the majors by the age of 21. Bethancourt has a line of .268/.298/.376 line in the minors. His numbers in AAA this year are close to his career stats. His walk rate this season in AAA is also only 3.6% which is awful. Until he learns pitch recognition he needs to stay in the minors at least for another year or two…..unless of course the Braves just want him to be the defense only backup.

          • Matt Talbert 11 months ago

            His walk rate is pretty meh, but numbers are similar. You never know I suppose.

  3. Rick Taylor 11 months ago

    Ryne Sandberg has his hands tied. RAJ wants to move Howard this winter. Sandberg wants to win games this summer. Sandberg can not manage this team the way he wants to because of the GM’s desire to move Howard. So Sandberg will probably wind up being the scape goat not this winter but in 2-3 winters from now for the way that he has utilized his players and there win loss record. It is a no win situation for Ryno. I hope that after Ryno gets fired from the phillys that Theo and Jed give him a role in chicago where he belongs.

    • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

      Sandberg has been average (at best) as a manager. I’m not talking about the product he puts on the field, because he has little to no control over that. I’m talking about his decision making. He’s been atrocious with the pitching staff (ranging from pulling a guy who was cruising at 85 pitches in the 6th inning to leaving a guy out for the 8th at 120 pitches even with a rested bullpen – by the way, they were the same pitcher). His use of the guys in the bullpen is baffling. For example, a couple of nights ago, he had a LH reliever pitch the 7th, and he got out of it (3 well hit balls, but only 1 fell for a hit). 8th inning comes around, and he has another LH pitcher warming in the pen – and he decides to stick with the guy who threw 20 pitches the inning before. Until he gives up a leadoff triple, then he brings in the other lefty. No sense not to bring in the second guy at the start of the 8th.
      Honestly, I think his name has overstated his actual managing ability.

      • Dylan 11 months ago

        Also, don’t forget about the rain delay game in which I believe he kept AJ Burnett in after the break.

        • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

          True…that was also the night he threw AJ up to 133 pitches (his most in like 10 years).

  4. 14 Rocks 11 months ago

    The Braves have a terrible offense. They cannot afford to replace Gattis with Bethancourt next season. That would give the Braves a no bat – all glove catcher, a no bat – all glove shortstop, a no glove – not much of a bat 3B, and a no glove – no bat CF. That would leave the entire offense to Justin, Jason, and Freddie and whoever plays 2B. Bowman is nuts!!!!

    • rundmc1981 11 months ago

      No bat Simmons? He might have his struggles, but he’s definitely more than “no bat”. A little more credit is due.

      • rundmc1981 11 months ago

        A HR tonight…maybe he saw your post on his cell. If so, thanks for the motivation.

  5. Metfan9876 11 months ago

    I don’t see the Mets trading Niese and Syndergaard in the same deal, especially if Plawecki/Montero are added.

    • Bob Smith 11 months ago

      If Niese and Syndergaard are involved in a trade the Mets better be getting a no brainer All Star bat out of it. Niese when he is on is a stud, he’s a lefty, he’s still relatively young and he’s under contract for a reasonable amount. Syndergaard is a top tier, potential top of the rotation starter.
      Add Plawecki/Montero to the mix and we’re talking Giancarlo Stanton territory here.

  6. Eric Lord 11 months ago

    I don’t know how the Phillies know that Ruf is nothing more than a platoon player considering they’ve never given him a chance to be an every day player. He may be a platoon player, but he could prove that he can play every day. You will never know unless you give him a run. This is the genius of Ruben Amaro. He is the one who is telling Sandberg to play Howard. He is the one who wants Brown to get more at bats. The Phillies aren’t going anywhere. Give Ruf a chance to play every day. If he does well, then you have an every day player. If not, he is just what you thought. What will it hurt to give him a run every day? It isn’t like the rest of the Phillies are lighting it up

  7. melvin brookes 11 months ago

    despite Howard’s awful WAR, he will still hit between 20 and 30 HRs and drive in between 80 and 100 RBIs this year. For having a horrible year, those are pretty good numbers. If I was Phils brass, I would enlist Theo Epstein and several other NL clubs and push for the enactment of the DH in the National League. That way, instead of trading Howard, one could simply move him over to DH, where he obviously belongs. Besides, with all the interleague play, DH in both leagues would standardize play, rosters, and take away the AL advantage in interleague play at their parks. NL rosters are constructed very differently. Since the Phils have an aging roster, the DH works for them.

  8. melvin brookes 11 months ago

    They should push for that now that there is a new commissioner open to new ideas.

  9. Danny Colston 11 months ago

    I think one of the things the Braves need to focus on over the winter is trying to find a way to dispose of BJ Upton…………

  10. FromDuke2Joc
    Sean Casey 11 months ago

    Good luck!

  11. Danny Colston 11 months ago

    Exactly. They will have to pull an Uggla on him, but that probably won’t happen until about the last year of the contract. So more years of misery…………

  12. bravo_84 11 months ago

    Quick dismissal on Heyward. Honestly don’t think he is a long term answer there either, but there is no way he’d be half as bad there as B.J.

  13. Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

    Would you consider trading one bad contract for another? How about Carlos Beltran and Brett Gardner for Jason Heyward and B.J. Upton?

    After he gets his elbow and knees fixed this offseason, Beltran can play LF for you with Gardner in CF and Justin Upton in RF. Upton can play LF for the Yankees with Jacoby Ellsbury in CF and Heyward in RF.


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