Happy birthday to Sandy Koufax, as the legendary Dodgers southpaw turns 82 years old today. Arm injuries forced Koufax into an early retirement after his age-30 season, bringing an end to arguably the most dominant four-year stretch of pitching in baseball history. From 1963-66, Koufax posted a 1.86 ERA, 9.3 K/9, and 4.74 K/BB rate over 1192 2/3 innings, capturing three Cy Young Awards and the 1963 NL MVP Award.
Some items from around the National League…
- Nick Williams seems to be the likeliest of the Phillies outfielders to be used as a trade chip, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News writes, though there’s also a case to be made for the team to move one of Odubel Herrera or Aaron Altherr. (Rhys Hoskins almost surely is staying put.) Given that all three outfielders, and even Hoskins, have their share of question marks and can’t be entirely counted on as sure things going into 2018, Murphy notes that the Phillies might indeed stick to their stated plan of keeping all four players and juggling playing time based on matchups and situations. Plans could change, of course, if the Phils are required to include one of the players in a trade for a young and controllable starting pitcher.
- The Phillies are known to be looking for pitching, though NBCSports.com Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury writes that the team could wait until the July trade deadline to make a big addition to the rotation. Asking prices could be lower for some pitchers by July, or the Phillies could have a better idea of what young players they’d be more comfortable giving up in a trade. Interestingly, Salisbury notes that Cole Hamels could be targeted by the Phils if the Rangers fall out of contention, as both Hamels and the Phillies would have interest in the 2008 World Series hero returning to Philadelphia.
- The Nationals rejected trade offers for Wilmer Difo last offseason, and now the young infielder is a key part of the team’s bench and potentially its second baseman of the future, the Washington Post’s Jorge Castillo writes. Difo held his own filling in for Trea Turner at shortstop last season, and if Difo continues to progress at the plate, the Nats might consider him as a possible second base option if Daniel Murphy leaves in free agency next winter. If Murphy’s recovery from offseason knee surgery lingers past Opening Day, Difo could get an early audition at the keystone in April.
- Since Theo Epstein took over the Cubs front office, pitchers drafted by the team have delivered just 30 innings in a Cubs uniform, The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma reports (subscription required and recommended). While Chicago has obviously excelled at acquiring undervalued starting pitching assets in trades, that hasn’t stopped the club from looking to improve on its development of young pitchers, which was one reason Jim Benedict was recently hired as a special assistant within the baseball ops department.
Hamels isn’t really worth his salary anymore. Don’t think anyone would give big prospects for him.
If they take on the salary, they’d give up less in prospects. There is also a buyout in his contract after 2018 if it blows up on them.
hes not worth the salary to begin with, let alone the money plus prospects.
Player A: 4.16 ERA, 108 ERA+, 4.67 FIP, 9.1 H/9, 1.4 HR/9, 6.7 K/9, 2.9 BB/9
Player B: 4.20 ERA, 112 ERA+, 4.62 FIP, 7.6 H/9, 1.1 HR/9, 6.4 K/9, 3.2 BB/9
One of those players cost 30M + prospects, the other one can probably be had for 2/22M or something (Its Jason Vargas). It’s really not even worth the trouble.
great comparison here brixton
You’re comparing Hamels worst season to Vargas’ best.
Plus Texas plays in a hitter friendly park, while Kaufmann is more neutral.
And the article is still talking down the line and in-season, if the Phils\Rangers become buyers\sellers. There’s no reason both can’t happen. If they add a starter this offseason,and they’re in the hunt at the deadline, Hamels would be great to add. Depending on the prospect cost, ofcourse.
Those are basically Vargas’ career norms, and Hamels is steady declining. His peripherals the last two years havent been good
Hamels was 33 last year and declined. Most players who decline at that age continue to decline. Roy Halladay went from 8.9 WAR to 0.9 WAR. The next year, his last, he had negative WAR. I’d guess that less than 25% of players in their mid-30s have a good season after their first down season.
Hamels’ 2017 is a big red flag. He’d have to bounce back and show he’s still a good pitcher for him to be worth anything.
Who is player B and are u just taking one year?
You realize Hamels had an injury last year?
which so happens to be last year
33 is mid 30s?
Thank you Johnny Superscout
That is getting so old!
Phillies will be in a postion to take on salary, while Texas, if out of it, will want to dump salary as part of a rebuild. Hamels has done very well in Texas since the trade (look at the stats). A homecoming would add to bringing relevance back to the Phillies.
Why would you want to reacquire a declining has-been in Hamels? And when you’re not in contention for anything?
because they hope that a reconfigured lineup, much improved bullpen and rotation help will put them in WC contention. Plus at his salary, shouldnt cost much more than a few B level prospects… plus hes a draw in Philly
If the Hamels personal intrest is based off speculation i would say its false. He would probably want to go to a contending team this late in his career.
Already has a ring and he has been to the World Series twice. So, why does he need to go to a contending team?
Because players like to win, whether they have already done so or not.
I’d prefer to say…….”Especially if they have Won Before!”
Hamels praised the Phillies rebuild like 3 months ago, said we’ll be the next Astros soon.
How polite of him.
Phillies, the next Astros? Yeah, I’m not seeing that. What am I missing?
Please note that I said these are words that Hamels spoke,not me.
I don’t look at the Phillies like they can be the next Astros or Cubs. And I don’t look at their rebuild as if it’s off of their blueprints. Phillies are building a team the same way they built the 08 team. And people can sleep on them all they want. But the players they’re relying on to make up their next contending roster have all reached,or are close to the majors. And after you get past the Nat’s,Cubs,and Dodgers, the rest of the nl is a crapshot.
And the Hamels comment was in response to the guy saying Hamels wouldn’t wanna come back to Philly. There wasn’t ever any ill will there. He didn’t get traded on bad terms,and he still speaks highly of the team and city.
Its probably based off the fact that the Hamels’ still live in Philly in the offseason. Plus their charity is based in Philly. I also believe he said he wanted to finish his career there.
Nick Williams straight up for Luis Perdomo. Who says no?
probably both lol.
Padres don’t NEED another OFer (which is why the Hosmer rumors are so weird)
and Perdomo isn’t much better than the 10 guys the Phillies already soured on
Phillies should say no.
Even. Altough the necessity seems greatly lacking.
“ the Nats might consider him as a possible second base option if Daniel Murphy leaves in free agency next winter.”
If the Nats choose to go with Turner and Difo they would derive more value from playing Difo at SS, where he excelled defensively, and Turner at 2B.
What do you see as Turner’s deficiency at short? I watched every game he’s played at six and he’s been stellar.
Hey Mark: If my memory serves, Sandy Koufax won three Cy Young awards, not just for the National League, but for all of baseball. I think they only awarded one for the entire major leagues at that time.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Rangers be major sellers at the deadline. Hamels, Beltre, Andrus, etc… The Rangers desperately need to replenish their farm system. For the right players I wouldn’t be shocked to see Texas pay down a lot of Hamels salary.
I did think it was extremely cool that Hamels gave his Home to a charity that takes care of sick children. Pretty classy of him.
The cubs haven’t had great pitching prospects since Kerry wood, Mark Prior. Big Z was bipolar. He was great one game then horrible the next. If he wasn’t a hothead he might have played longer.
The Big Z era was so fun
With the Nats window possibility closing and the rest of the division in flux…if the Phillies grab one decent starter this off-season…they could take advantage of the division’s weird state this year and find themselves in the wild card hunt… Trading for both Hamels AND Beltre might make sense….especially if Franco flops again. Isn’t Beltre on an expiring contract this year?
No chance. This year the Nats will still have Harper. Trading for Hamels and Beltre makes no sense. Even if they somehow get them it doesn’t make them a fringe wild card team
The nats trading for beltre or any one available who plays third is a major upgrade. It doesn’t matter. Rendon is more overrated than David Wright. And he’ll never play again. I’m surprised the Mets haven’t upgrades at 3rd. They need help just about every where but SS. 3rd,2nd,1st CF ,C.
lol. love jealous trolls
” I’m surprised the Mets haven’t upgrades at 3rd.”
Jealous of first round playoff exits? Silliness.
Yes. Absolutely. You might have noticed no team gets a bye straight to the WS. Can’t be the winner if you don’t make the playoffs.
Anthony Rendon is overrated? On what planet? If anything, he’s underrated. As a Phillies fan I can’t stand the guy, but he’s an excellent player.
I agree, he’s a great player
Ya man the guy who finished 6th in MVP voting and led the NL in fwar with absolutely no one talking about him is overrated. The dumbest comment I have seen in a very long time.
I was implying that the window closes for the Nats after this season…it hasn’t closed….yet. Not until Harper joins the Phillies.
I was also implying that the Phillies would be trading for them…not the Nats.
Did the window close on St Louis when Pujols signed elsewhere?
Beltre has a FNTC and won’t waive it for anyone. He’s an extremely popular player for the Rangers and they certainly want him to retire as a Ranger. He may be playing his last year in 2018. He’s not going anywhere.
“Beltre has a FNTC and won’t waive it for anyone.”
The same has been said about countless players, and yet we’ve seen the majority of them wearing different uniforms. Beltre’s a HOF player, but has never been on a world series winning team. Given the right opportunity—and no, not the Phillies—he would likely waive it.
Why does the Nats window close after this year? They will still have a great rotation, decent bullpen, solid lineup AND if Bryce leaves they will have a lot of money to spend. Rendon, Turner, Robles, Eaton, Scherzer, Stras is a really good core to keep building around and contend with.
It’s not the Nats the philies have to worry about for a wild card, it’s the other teams in the NL. A lot would have to go wrong for the Philies to claim a spot.
If the Rangers fall out of contention, Phillies fans can wrongly think they can get Hamels back by taking his salary and giving up crappy prospects, but imagine if Hamels has a good season and *gasp* there might be other teams willing to take on his salary AND give up a top prospect or two to get a hot pitcher for the playoffs?
Then they either don’t get him and go after someone else in a similar situation or they give up the prospects and bring him back.
Good point. The trade deadline could be fascinating this year. With all the stars that are set to be free agents next year, there could be some major shakeups at the break.
This narrative that persists since the Phillies signed Santana that they somehow have an excess of outfielders. Really? Hoskins has played 30 professional games as an outfielder. Williams has played 83 total games, and Altherr just over 200, the latter of which has struggled with injuries the past two seasons. While all three look promising, none can lay claim to a full time spot in the outfield. With little in terms of major league ready depth behind Herrera, Hoskins, Altherr and Williams, and 10 games at AL parks in 2018, there will be plenty of ABs to go around.
There are too many OFers. The trade chip is Herrera…the all star. They would be making room for their free agent signings in the next off-season.
No team has only three outfielders. Hoskins is not an outfielder, he’s just out there for unknown reasons to those who understand baseball. Williams/Altherr are a solid platoon in a corner so Harper and Odubal are good fits for 2019.
Hoskins (in a very small sample size) was a better defensive OFer than Williams was last year, plus Altherr didn’t have platoon splits
@ Steve–exactly right. Having a glut of outfielders may only be an issue if all four candidates are uber-studs, and then talks about which one to trade can get a bit more serious. The Phils are not in this position. We haven’t seen enough of the Williams vs. Altherr show to declare one of them the clear favorite for the RF starting job and the other one a trade candidate. While it would be great to package one of them in a blockbuster deal for Archer, keeping both will give the Phils one more year to determine which one (if either) is a serious consideration for RF moving forward. Tampa Bay wouldn’t consider either one of these guys as the headliner in an Archer deal anyway; that would have to fall on Hernandez, I would imagine.
This’d make sense if the Phillies had a ton of financial commitments like other teams. They don’t. Hoskins is the left fielder all season. Herrera is established in center field. They can keep one of Williams and Altherr and trade the other.
The Phillies aren’t expected to contend this year. So if that blows up on them, they can go out and overpay a free agent the way they did with Carlos Santana. They keep saying they are going to have payrolls in the top 5 again and they can’t do that unless they sign more free agents to big money deals.
The Phillies have a big advantage over almost every other team. Those teams, even the Giants, Dodgers, and Yankees, want low cost players to keep their payrolls reasonable. The Yankees and Dodgers have pretty much only made deals to shed payroll. Of course they’ll add next year but they won’t be adding a bunch of high cost players.
The Phillies, on the other hand, could add $100 million in players to their 2019 payroll and still not be in the top 5 spenders. So cost controlled players aren’t worth much to them. Expensive players, even good ones, are valued less by other teams but won’t bother the Phillies.
Cost controlled players are more valuable to other teams than they are to the Phillies, while highly paid players are less valuable to those teams. So it makes sense for the Phillies to trade players that other teams value more than they do for players that other teams value less.
Yelich to the Phillies would not surprise me at all. One of the Miami writers (@ the Herald I think) tweeted just the other day that the Phillies had contacted Miami about him. They can easily add a #1 or #2 SP this year thru FA or trade as well as a more established controlled bat and still be in great financial shape for next year.
They will make a splash next year. I think more along the Machado line than Harper
If the Phils could get Archer,Stroman,or Fulmer, and the package had to include 1 of Altherr or Williams, they might have to bite the bullet sooner. Waiting for 1 to cement themselves as the clear starter could also mean the other 1 loses their value.
Yeah, baseball writers do this every offseason. Some team gets enough depth that they can’t neatly fit everyone into their depth chart so their only logical conclusion is that somebody has to go.
I get they need something to write about but it’s slightly irritating to read that every winter
Because having depth where everyone can’t get regular playing time at one position but a major weakness at another is an inefficient use of resources. When teams trade, they look to trade from depth, so that it’ll hurt them less.
Nick Williams for Dan Straily?? Marlins in desperate need of Stanton replacement in RF.
The Marlins are not in desperate need of anything other than a new owner who does not do as MLB wants him to do.
Hmmm. Hes 29 and controllable… But a) I’d be surprised if the Marlins traded him…simply for their need to eat innings this season and b) I really believe the Phils are trading Herrera in a package for a bigger name guy.
Beware of bigger names! Straily posted better numbers than G. Cole over the last two seasons. He’s cheaper, has more years of control, and yes, the Marlins will most definitely move him.
Don’t see them trading Herrera. The Phillies big weakness is the lack of established talent and Herrera is one of the few who is. They have too many question marks. Williams is a terrible CF and Altherr’s metrics the last two years have been bad. The fans just want to trade Herrera because he doesn’t always hustle. I doubt the team feels the same way.
Na,how about a package centered around Dylan Cozens instead.
I think the window closes for the Nats -if they re-sign Harper.You can’t build a great over-all team with ONE player taking up so much of the teams salary cap!I say let another team make that mistake.
I don’t think they resign him, They put all of their money into pitching, Harper is gonna be looking at 10-12 years around 275-400 million , and isn’t rendon a free agent after next season as well?
Rendon has one more year of control than Harper. I’d bet they try to extend Rendon during spring training. Not sure what an extension for him would look like. Guessing Kyle Seager/Justin Turner range plus a bit.
Where are the Mets the Wilpons are asleep as usual.
The phillies are going to be a sleeping giant next year, With the payroll space they have, I can deff seeing them going after Harper + Machado and Kershaw if he opts out.
I too see them making a big time run at Harper & Machado, and I’d be surprised if they don’t land one of them.
Kershaw, though, that’s not a good idea. He’s unlikely to leave LA in my opinion, but if he did that’s scary. Yes, he’s been the best pitcher in baseball for a decade, and one of the best of all-time, but he’s got a lot of miles on his arm, and a history of back problems. The only thing that’s worse for pitchers than shoulder problems are back problems; they do not age well, and his contract—which likely will average $40M per—is extremely likely to blow up in the team’s face.
While I agree with you about Kershaw I would still put a bid in just so the Dodgers have to pay more. I would bid them up so that they have a harder time chasing either Harper or Machado.
I think they could sign harper or machado , sign dallas keuchel and use that farm system and trade for chris archer or fulmer?
I doubt that resigning Kershaw will have any significant impact on the Dodgers’ pursuit of Harper/Machado. He’s already making $31M AAV now, so a new contract won’t significantly bump up their luxury tax commitments. So what would the Phillies really bid if they bid on Kershaw? It’s going to take 7 years most likely. And at a minimum it’ll require a $38M AAV. So you’re talking about making a fake contract offer in excess of $250M? Then what if he accepts? You either pay it or back out and look like jackasses, hurting their credibility. No reason to bid on a major player that it makes almost no sense to sign.
I think they should use that farm system and make a trade for Archer , Fulmer or Stroman then add a Dallas Keuchel to go with Nola.
Well Matt Kershaw is not leaving the Dodgers just for a “higher bid” from the Phillies and the Dodgers and everyone know they do not need to outbid your Phillies unless the Phillies go so much higher to make it worthwhile for Kershaw in which case you then wind up STUCK with Kershaw and his bloated contract ….
And while you are executing this master plan and ignoring Machado and Harper …. guess what … BAM .. you are stuck with Kershaw …. You then set the Phillies back to almost where they were … stuck with bloated contracts with aging players ….. and
Guess what … now the Phillies cannot afford Harper and Machado who then wind up maybe with … the DODGERS who can afford it (and by the way can also afford Kershaw thus your bidding war argument is a joke) … so the Dodgers just outfoxed you!
Terrible plan to bid huge money on a player you DO NOT WANT. No real baseball executive would do anything so foolish.
The Phillies won’t go after Kershaw. In 2019 he’ll be 31 and a 7 year deal would take him through age 37. Most pitchers aren’t effective past ages 33 or 34, even the great ones. In 2011 the Phillies had Halladay, Lee, and Oswalt. None of them had an effective season after age 34.
Andy MacPhail has preached against such long deals calling them “chasing unicorns.” If he believes that they’d only get 3-4 good years out of Kershaw he won’t sign him to a 7 year deal.
In Baltimore and Philadelphia, Andy MacPhail has continually exhibited caution when spending money. He isn’t going to want to give out a 10 year deal to Machado or Harper, even if that only brings them through age 35. MacPhail might give out a 5 year $200 million contract but not a 10 year $350 million deal.
If it were left to MacPhail the Phillies would be outbid on either player. The Phillies will only sign one if ownership insists on it. That’s possible. I’m guessing that ownership pushed them to sign a big ticket free agent and Santana on a 3 year deal was the least objectionable to MacPhail.
If Kershaw makes roughly what he’s scheduled to make now, the Dodgers would have a 2019 payroll of $179 million. I don’t know what their budget is but I doubt they’ll have more money to spend. The Phillies right now are about $110 million below their budget for 2019.
I agree, its enough to worry about your own team rather then to try to bankrupt, so to speak another team, let alone a team with the Dodgers with the most money (with the Yankees). That was a terrible strategy suggested by Matt.
“Guess what … now the Phillies cannot afford Harper and Machado who then wind up maybe with … the DODGERS who can afford it (and by the way can also afford Kershaw thus your bidding war argument is a joke) … so the Dodgers just outfoxed you!”
You do not know the financial matters of either club, so it’s impossible to say what the Dodgers can afford and what the Phillies can’t. Since Guggenheim took over the Dodgers their payroll has been sky-high, but they’ve also shown restraint in the last few years. Could that be because they can’t sustain that high of a payroll long-term? Both teams have ridiculous TV deals (the Dodgers is higher, but the Phillies is $2.5B guaranteed, plus ad revenue, plus 25% of the network, so who knows how much exactly it pays them other than insiders). Also, Guggenheim has a couple billion dollars in debt from purchasing the club, and taxes in CA are much higher.
Overall the Dodgers likely have a higher spending capacity than the Phillies, but it’s not that different. If the Dodgers can spend at level 10, the Phillies are an 8.5. And they have been pocketing profits the last few years, something they could use to give them even better chance.
Never mind. I didn’t realize he was already making that much money. I don’t pay really pay attention to what non Phillies players make. The Dodger’s aren’t going to let anyone outbid them for Kershaw either way though.
I’m sorry I didn’t know that you were an expert on the Phillies finances. What makes you think that the Phillies couldn’t easily afford 2 of Kershaw, Harper and Machado? You do realize that before they started their rebuild that the Phillies had a top 5 payroll. And that was before their new $2.5 billion TV contract kicked in. Do you really think that Comcast will be happy sending them all that money if they don’t start investing in the team? The only thing that might hold them make is them wanting to save money for when Trout is a free agent so that they can bring him home.
You are kidding yourself if you think that the Dodgers will be the only team chancing Kershaw. Even if its not the Phillies I am sure that the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs and a few other teams will be. So don’t worry the only team that is going to be dealing with Kershaw’s bloated salary is the Dodgers because they are to PR conscious to let anyone else outbid them.
I think Middleton is getting impatient, While you are right about the 7 year deal to Kershaw I could see them offering a 3 or 4 year deal at say $40 million a year to try and get him to sign. I do think they will do whatever it takes to sign Machado though. Especially if Franco falters again this year.
Nick Williams for Daniel Mengden?