Phillies president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail met with media members (including Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic, Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Todd Zolecki of MLB.com) on Friday to discuss some of the key issues surrounding the club. For one, MacPhail had to address his own future with the franchise. The longtime executive confirmed that 2021 will be his last year in the majors, adding that it’s possible he’ll step down before the season ends.
For now, MacPhail is part of the Phillies’ search for a new front office leader. He doesn’t object to hiring a different president of baseball ops, though it may be quite some time before the Phillies bring in a new general manager to replace the reassigned Matt Klentak. In fact, it’s “likely” that interim GM Ned Rice will remain in the role in 2021, Zolecki relays.
No matter who holds the GM spot next year, Phillies fans surely want to see improvement after a ninth straight season without a playoff berth. They may be able to bolster their roster this winter via the open market, but MacPhail indicated that “he doesn’t expect any big moves in free agency until later in the process,” Lauber tweets. That could bode poorly for the Phillies’ chances of re-signing their No. 1 free agent, catcher J.T. Realmuto, who’s arguably the best position player available and someone who could sign one of the richest deals ever for someone at his position. Philadelphia does still have interest in bringing back, as you’d expect, though it seems unlikely to happen should the team avoid an aggressive offseason.
id sell him for a ton then make a stacked lineup of free agents
Realmuto is a free agent. He’s no longer theirs to sell.
Sell a free agent? Makes sense
Tell you what. Any GM that can trade a free agent for a stacked line up should be declared manager of the year for the next 10 years!!!
they let a lot of bullpen arms go , plenty of arms on the market to fix that terrible bullpen. Their first order of business is to get JT back.
Realmuto is not resigning, he said he hated it there and dislike Bryce Harper’s diva attitude.
Realmuto never said that. In fact, he said the opposite.
Harper and Realmuto’s families just went on vacation together. Harper doesn’t have a diva attitude. Realmuto wants to play in Philly or wherever else he can get paid. This is a trade rumors site. Not a blatantly false gossip site.
What comes first? Chicken or the egg? Realmuto or GM?
Sounds like the Phillies won’t be spending. I get that no one saw the pandemic coming, but you can’t shift gears now. You have to compete while Harper, Wheeler and Nola are in their prime. They aren’t that far away, but if they put on the breaks now, they’ll waste their top talent. It’s hard to swallow, especially after the “stupid money” comment. Eagles, Sixers and Phillies are slowly becoming infamous for letting incredible talent walk (assuming Realmuto gets signed elsewhere).
The Phillies missed the playoffs with 8 teams making it in each league. They aren’t close to really contending and probably won’t be with this core. Just not enough cheap and cost controlled talent to fill out the kind of roster you need to win.
I mean, they still have really good top-end talent. They only have two problems: complete lack of a bullpen, and not much starting pitching behind Nola and Wheeler.
Luckily for the Phillies, there are going to be a lot of really good relievers available this year, and they could pick up a couple decent starting pitchers. With the right GM, they could definitely be a playoff team next year.
The majority of the season they were competing, but they had another epic collapse thanks to injuries and a horrific bullpen. A mediocre bullpen makes them a playoff team. They have some money off the books thanks to Arrieta and Robertson, but at the same time they’re losing Didi and Realmuto. They’re in a real tough spot, but I think they can fix it. That being said, it doesn’t sound like they’re going to. More rebuilds from the franchise that has had poor drafting and scouting for the majority of its existence.
They can fix it. They don’t need top end guys and there are plenty of quality veterans out on the market to be had for a lot less than it would have cost in the past. Every team is feeling the crunch and everyone will be tightening the belt. The Phillies direction has been clear and if there was ever an off-season to fix a bullpen this is it.
No team is going to spend “big” compared to previous offseasons but it’s not like all these guys on the market will go unsigned. They can improve without breaking the bank
Didn’t anyone ask him specifically about JTR? Sounds like speculation based on the statement that FA moves will be later. Maybe he doesnt even sign until later in the process anyway. Even during “normal” years, top FAs sometimes signed late, such as Harper.
Just because they sign late, doesn’t mean offers aren’t made earlier. I think the assumption is, if the Phillies are cutting down spending, they won’t even be making offers.
JTR is going to get offers on Day 1 of free agency. If what JTR says is true (he’d prefer to stay in Philly if the money is comparable) then Philly fans better hope there is a handshake deal in place with his agent that they will come back to the Phillies with all other offers and give them a chance to match it. If not, JTR could be gone before Election Day if he is blown away by an offer.
It’s not looking good for the Phillies to be honest.
I know he’s only been there 2 seasons, but I like to think of JT as a Philly. Spent 20 years in Philly (yes, that included the Von Hayes years). Still have a soft spot for it.
So 2021 will be his last, but he might not even finish the season. What a joke, just fire him. He just stealing money
The word dysfunctional is commonly used to describe problematic organizations. But that’s not the right word for the Phillies. Nonfunctional would be more accurate.
There’s no functional General Manager. The President is leaving (not that anyone cares, mind you. An appropriate retirement gift would be a busted watch made of pyrite.) And there’s an owner who did a lovely job signing Bryce Harper, and then promptly got stingy. They’ve got no team culture, no direction, and apparently no interest in trying to mend those shortcomings.
It’s not so much that this team does everything wrong, that’s not true. They just don’t TRY to do enough right. Somehow they thought adding Wheeler and Girardi and a new pitching coach was going to solve all the problems the team had in 2019.
Now what about the problems from 2020?
They’ve got a rotation that’s half formed at best, no bullpen at all, no pitching coach, their second best offensive player, who’s also their best defensive player, is going to be the most sought after free agent in the game–and they traded away an ace with all star talent to get him, remember–and to deal with all these problems they have a lame duck president and an interim General Manager?
I honestly feel for Joe Girardi. He’d have been better off with the Mets.
And as for us Phillies fans, we’d be better off if there’s no season in 2021.
I’d be encouraged by this statement actually. They don’t need to be spending on top tier free agents they’ve got a number of those. What they need to do is round out the roster and there will be no shortage of capable arms at a reasonable price on the market. They have top of the rotation guys they need back end starters and a bullpen overhaul. Overhaul sounds bad but there are so many bullpen arms out there in a depressed market it can absolutely be done. If anything hopefully they are seeing what they obviously missed these past 2-3 off-seasons. They spent too much at the top and not enough at the bottom. Let Realmuto go. Not because he isn’t a great catcher but because you’d be better off signing a capable catcher and spreading out the money saved on the rotation and bullpen. The bullpen seems to be where other teams are looking to shed payroll that could play right into Phillies needs.
I have to pity towards the Phillies whatsoever, but I feel bad for any team that is ran by a guy with the name “Phail”…
right, because this means no JT whatsoever. you all do realize that not everything a FO member says is binding right? He didnt say that they weren’t going to be in play for JT, and this coulf just be gamesmanship or just empty words.
You’re right, but Middleton and now McPhail have both made comments implying they won’t be spending. Sure. None of this is binding, but it also sounds like they’re telling the truth.
JT is gone.
can i take a look at your crystal ball then?
Middleton is becoming an embarrassment. He is too cheap to outright fire McPhail and Klentak. He will stick with an unqualified Rice, to avoid paying more money to bring a quality GM in. If they were smart, they would pay top dollar to try and bring in Neander, with hopes of fixing their absolutely putrid scouting and player development staffs. I get there is a lot of uncertainty, but Middleton can’t run his mouth about “stupid money” only to cheap out in the long run. He needs to be all in, or sell the team.
Maybe MacPhail is out of the loop. I live in PA & it has been reported on the Philly stations that Phillies owner John Middleton plans on meeting with Realmuto’s agent this week. Middleton is calling all the shots, not MacPhail
What’s the best 3 or 4 year deal the Phillies offer JT, given where the FA market is headed today? And what is the best deal he’ll be offered?
The problem with your theory is that the Phillies would still have 1 LH bat who is a legitimate threat in the lineup. You don’t need McCann, Knapp/Marchan would be a better combination than McCann/Knapp. I like JT, but you have to go all in if your keeping him. So, if the Phillies trade for Francisco Lindor, who’s 26 & 1 of Cleveland’s plethora of good young pitchers (Z.Plesac?)- you would have to give up some good players/prospects, ie: Segura, Haseley,Francisco Morales, Adonis Medina, Mickey Moniak, & Simon Muzziotti. Then lock up Lindor long term, you’re on the right path. Sign Michael Brantley 3/24M. Trade Andrew McCutchen,Enyel De Los Santos and Luis Garcia to SF for Dereck Rodriguez. Trade Casey Martin, Daniel Brito, and Rudolpho Duran for Kris Bryant. Sign Sean Doolittle 2/12M,w/3rd year option. Sign Jake Mcgee, 1-4M, and Liam Hendriks 3-30M. Sign Billy Hamilton 1-2M
I interpret this as the Phillies actually understanding what needs to be done. He didn’t rule it out I think he’s simply stating that they need to fill out the rotation and rebuild a god awful bullpen before they spend big on one free agent. The Phillies don’t lack in star power they lack in quality arms. They have a solid 1-2 in the rotation. I see this offseason playing into the Phillies hands. Teams are cutting in all areas but a ton of bullpen arms are out there and you’re sure to see more become available as the days pass. They could conceivably fix their biggest need from 2020 without spending big money on any one player. Replace guys like Arrietta with a Charlie Mortan type starter. If they don’t fix the bullpen and get a couple of capable starters Realmuto would be a waste.
Agreed. Don’t get me wrong, Realmuto is my favorite Phillie, but it seems wasteful to blow all of their budget on a catcher when they could sign McCann and 2 or 3 bullpen arms for the same price.
my thoughts exactly
Big Phillies fan. Watching the post season, what team had an elite C. The Dodgers rotate Smith & Barnes, the Rays started Zunino. Instead of spending 25million on JT, I would rather improve 2 or 3 positions. Inquire on Springer, he solves CF, add a SP (some names being declined options) FA (Bauer, Stroman, Lester, for example), add 2 BP arms (Hand, Trienen, Colome, Baez, etc), keep Didi, inquire on McCann- FA-C (White Sox) they aren’t going to keep him, they have Grandal
With Mccutch in his last year, we can spend on Springer, play him in CF, LF, DH. We also have close to 70 million coming off the books.
3. FA add (Stroman, Bauer, Lester)
Set-Up- Trienen or Baez
Closer- Hand, Colome
I know most of you won’t like this, but this will be a much improved team, and have a better chance at the post season, the. Signing JT, a 30yr old catcher.
None of which will happen.
Yea. I mean if you could guarantee me that roster, I’d be cool with it, but that seems doubtful given recent comments. Lineup looks significantly worse without JT and Knapp may very well be our starting catcher.
just axe Springer, add a cheaper SP, and add only one of those BP arms but a larger ammount of cheaper guys and you still havw a much improved team in theory for relatively little given what that sort of roster turnover could cost.
That’s interesting thinking but what do you think that’d be payroll-wise, in terms of luxury threshold?
I do agree that you can win without a name catcher, but honestly, there are only a couple of elite catchers in baseball right now. Teams don’t have much of a choice. Realmuto is the pinnacle, then it’s a sharp dropoff.
Last place team in 2021
sure. they still finished 3rd with the worst pen in recent memory and a lack of ability to play when they needed it. Nats dont know their direction and the Mets are banking on Cohen emptying his pockets and a competent GM calling the shots.
Honestly, McPhail needs to not be involved AT ALL. He’s cooked. He was a savvy baseball mind some 30 years ago. Meander needs to be occupying that presidency. The sooner the better.
McPhail screwed Middleton over when he said he would be retiring next year. now it looks bad to fire the guy so youre stuck with him and a placeholder GM for a year. easy to say swallow your pride and send him packing but i dont think its as easy for Middleton.
He’s a Met.
To me, trying to buy your way into the playoffs is a bad idea. If you re-sign JT and two premier BP arms, you should be good. Let Quinn, Haseley, and Moniak have their opportunity to be everyday CF and part time LF if Cutch needs a day. Segura back to SS. Leave Kingery at 2B. Bohm and Hoskins. Maybe a depth INF. I really think VV needs to go to the BP or just go in general. He is not a starter. If you need something at the deadline, work on it then. Didn’t the Phillies have the lead in 42 of 60 games? I’m more worried about the BP and resigning JT than bringing in big name bats.
Phillies went from 1993-2007 without making playoffs and before that 1983-1993. Now they are 2011-2020+ nothing new if this is your team
It all stems for their lack of ability to draft, scout and develop talent.
Fans have been especially vocal about re-signing JT. If this is the attitude the front office is going to have going forward into 2021, and JT signs with the Mets or Braves, then they can expect revenue to decline even further beyond next season regardless of whether or not there is still a pandemic. They went all in by signing Bryce Harper and trading one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. To put the breaks on now is not an option.