During a zoom call with reporters this afternoon (which was also streamed live on MLB.com), new Phillies president of baseball ops Dave Dombrowski spoke on a number of different topics, including the timeline of his hiring and some of the plans for the organization moving forward. Here are some highlights…
- On the timeline of this hiring: Team president and longtime friend Andy MacPhail reached out to Dombrowski on Saturday to try and connect him with Phillies managing partner John Middleton. The Phillies had been one of the clubs to contact Dombrowski early in the offseason, but he wasn’t interested at that time. What changed was that he was given some new information from the commissioner’s office, who recently told Dombrowski and the Nashville group that expansion wasn’t going to happen for a couple of years. With that timeline pushed back, Dombrowski decided to take Middleton’s call. They spoke on Tuesday, and by Wednesday they were coming to an agreement.
- On immediate plans for free agency: Dombrowski doesn’t anticipate making wholesale changes in the organization right now. He repeated that his preference is to get to know the people currently installed within the organization, gauge their roles and responsibilities, strengths and so on before making any significant changes. The organization does plan to cut payroll from last season, which pours water on the idea that Dombrowski would run right over to sign J.T. Realmuto or anyone else to a monster contract.
- On the whole, Dombrowski came across as very measured and patient in his approach. “I don’t think anyone thinks we’re a player away,” Dombrowski said of the Phillies, who are stuck in a nine-year playoff drought. When presented with the question of rebuild or retool, he unequivocally categorized the roster as a retooling situation.
- On his trading record: Asked about a trade from his rearview that he regrets, Dombrowski mentioned dealing former Tigers infield prospect Eugenio Suarez to the Reds for righty Alfredo Simon – a transaction that occurred six years ago today. The thinking was that the Tigers had depth in the infield, and they needed an affordable starter. He also made a point to say that he’s “a big believer in young players.”
- Clearly aware of his reputation as a wheeler and dealer, Dombrowski seemed to want to reset the record, at least to give him time to read reports, watch video, and get to know the organization. Trades made in the past, he noted, were more about matching value and team needs at the time, not as much about an inherent mistrust of young players. If he can trade for a player he likes, while giving up players he and the rest of his front office are less high on, that’s a given. But there are also times – like the Chris Sale trade in Boston – where Dombrowski knew he was giving up talented players. Sale, however, fit the timeline and scale of talent the Red Sox needed.
- On relocating to Philadelphia: Dombrowski said that he’s planning to stay where he is for now, as nobody from the organization is going into the office. He also noted that he contracted COVID-19 about a month ago, and while it was not an easy process, he is fully recovered.
- Lastly, to help build the GM profile, here are some quick-and-dirty strategic preferences Dombrowski noted. He’s on board with exit velocity and launch angles, but he still prefers hitters who use all fields. Dombrowski understands and agrees with the move away from stolen bases, but he’s not on the far end of that spectrum – he can still appreciate a stolen base or two. The closer mentality is not a myth, but nor is it unwise to use an arm in a high-leverage spot if that’s a manager’s preference. Dombrowski used to believe in building a bullpen around a closer and a setup man, but now depth is an important element. He has always believed in pitching and power arms. Don’t expect the Phillies to move to openers anytime soon, as he still aims for his starters to go seven innings, pitch count allowing.
I’d love to see an expansion team in Nashville but seeing how long it has taken manfred to do anything (figure out the minor leagues, NL DH, etc.) I’m not holding my breath that anything happens until he is inevitably replaced.
Would rather see tampa bay move to Nashville. No need to expand and water down the pitching more.
That’s a good point about the pitching, and one I haven’t thought of. Obviously an expansion team would help out the glut of position player free agents. Maybe if the Rays moved to Nashville and the A’s finally figured their stadium situation out they would stop crying poor. That would make the competitive balance a little more even.
The rays don’t need to leave Tampa to be competitive, and they don’t need to leave to have higher revenue.
When the expansion was granted, the team signed an overly municipality friendly stadium deal to get the ball rolling and have somewhere to play. Saying it was a BAD deal is an understatement. There are MASSIVE penalties in breaking it.
The rays media right deal was also signed without long term best interests of the team in mind. They’d outgrown it and it was a poor fit to their modern needs.
If the team was close to Tampa proper, with its new media rights deal, the organization would see greater attendance and more revenue overall to invest. Either way, they’ve been successful as is.
Maybe we stop worrying about Tampa and worry more about pittsburgh….
Fans show if Pittsburgh is good…
They’ve had four winning seasons since Barry Bonds left, and that was 28 years ago. In that same time span, they’ve had four seasons where they finished less than 13 games out of first. I’d say that without a doubt, the Pirates are MLB’s biggest competitive problem.
And all 4 of those winning seasons are in the last 8.
I agree if the rays were in Tampa they would draw but getting to the trop is not easy to get to. At least as a tourist with a lil time to catch a ballgame (was only in the area for work) but found it rough getting to the ballpark iirc there is only one major highway going to st. Pete. Also on that note if st. Pete wanted to keep the rays and not see them leave the area you’d think they build up ther area around the trop from what I remember that area look like a warehouse district than a place for a mlb team
Rays stadium is in a small city at the bottom of an extended peninsula. Build a new stadium on the right side of the bay and the Rays would draw 20k + a game. It’s a great franchise in a bad stadium deal located in a geographically challenged location.
Tampa Bay made it to the WS, and won the division that includes Boston and New York. I don’t watch the games to see the paychecks, so they seem to be spending just fine.
Tampa Bay should do what Philadelphia did and build a sports complex all near each other. Have Tropicana Field move next Raymond James Stadium.
And the last three times the Bucs made it to the post-season, it was a one-and-done game where they lost all three times. 486 regular season games over that span and their post-seasons’ euphoria lasted all of a combined 10 hours. Seems unfair.
For the record, this is incorrect. The Bucs won the wild card in 13 against the Reds and lost to the Cards in five.
@yankees500 its not the A’s “crying poor” its ONE man: multi-billionaire John Fisher, who is the one who cries poor, much like many billionaires do when they want to get tax cuts.
The Mariners want you to hold their beer.
Pittsburgh? I’ll toss my hat out to Oakland.
– 8th biggest media market in the US and they can’t get people to watch their games in person or on TV. Their radio broadcasts are listened to by dozens of people.
– Numerous attempts to get a stadium with zero results. For those who think they’ll get that Howard Terminal park… it still hasn’t gone past the Oakland government and if you think COVID isn’t going to put another huge dent in those plans I got a plot of land in Fremont to sell you.
– Their savior, Billy Beane, is going to leave soon. If the team starts floundering without his leadership, then they might stop circling the drain and finally fall through it.
I keep wondering when MLB will say enough is enough with waiting and allow Fisher to move to greener pastures.
Yes, the A’s play their games in the 8th biggest media market in the country. But, with that said, the market is split between them and the Giants. I’ve lived in the Bay Area for 30+ years, a conservative estimate would say Giants fans outnumber A’s fans 3 to 1, but it’s probably an even bigger gap. Cut the A’s market to account for that, and they’re down in the 40s for market size. That’s what drives me crazy about people saying the A’s don’t spend to their market, when in reality, they pretty much do. This is coming from someone who’s not even an A’s fan.
Howard Terminal is and always was a pipe dream. It could happen, but the logistics are just so tricky. To stay in Oakland for the long haul, if they still want to, would probably mean rebuilding at the Coliseum site unfortunately.
Market size in terms of spending doesn’t really matter though, because the Rays are in the 11th biggest market, and there’s only one team. So theoretically they should be drawing a lot more eyes and interest, but they don’t. People just don’t seem to care all that much. Maybe because of location of the stadium, but that shouldn’t preclude you as a fan from watching.
People don’t go to the games because trop field is a $hit hole & they don’t watch on tv because most of them are watching the Yankee game. Carry on.
“sgord0314 hours ago
Fans show if Pittsburgh is good…”
The Pirates are the only MLB team to never once draw 2.5 million fans.
Even on the rare occasions the bandwagon is full, it’s still pretty small.
All pretty much true.
Thing is – if you listen to those radio broadcasts – they’re gold. Ray Fosse is just a brilliant broadcaster & Dallas Braden adds value all across the call.
I hope – and I can only hope – that the Howard terminal comes to fruition.
But why is Billy Beane our saviour? He’s achieved a reasonable amount, but I really don’t understand why you guys buy into moneyball so much. If you’d drafted Mulder, Zito & Hudson you could put any spin on it you like.
Billy Beane is a savior because he manages to produce winning teams with a tight budget. Period. He also manages to win most of the risky trades he makes.
I thought Moneyball was great , but completely ignored the fact Oakland had Miguel Tejada and Eric Chavez in the heart of the lineup and a trio of aces in Mulder, Zito and Hudson, plus one of the best closers in the game.
Pittsburgh has an ownership problem, and that is something MLB has problems fixing. They can’t push for a new stadium – the Pirates have one of the best. The ownership won’t spend enough, and the team doesn’t invest in the appropriate scouting and international development to pull themselves out of their hole.
The Pirates and the Rays or A’ s opposite – great stadium, lousy plan.
Pirates fans filled the stands during the 1979 postseason singing “we Are Family,” but didn’t show up at the stadium very often during the regular season.
i think your on to something think mlb should try and work with st.pete on a compensation plan so they can move next to the bucs. then the rays and bucs work on making downtown hang out think it would improve overall economics in the area. this all depends on how stubborn st. pete wants to be it comes down to this either get a nice % of what your getting now for the remaining lease or in 3~5 get almost nothing because rays either folded up or there forced to relocate to like nashville or another market screaming for a mlb team
Mendoza Line 215
Kje-76 Cherington seems to understand the value of having a fine farm system and hopefully the Pirates develop one that is a leader as is absolutely necessary for the small market teams to be able to compete.
Nutting will spend to complement a good team but does not spend to improve a mediocre one.They will continue to trade their stars one or two years before they are going to leave unless they have a contending team or get a home team friendly deal.
@Perksy Pplease explain how is pitching “watered down” when 30 starting pitchers had ERAs between 1.42 and 3.02 this season?
that’s 1 per team…
You cannot expand at the MLB level and at the same time cut minor league teams… You need to expand both if you expand at all.
Agreed – expansion would bring with it two more teams at each level.
That doesn’t change what the MLB did with the minors in mandating only one team per level. They essentially did competitive balancing of the minors. Teams cannot choose to put more money into more minor league teams/players.
He’s gonna destroy the farm team Philly
What farm team?
Exactly! While Bohm looks to be a keeper, the Phils wasted more than a few 1st rounders this last decade.
I keep hearing this…but it’s hard to destroy something that’s been broken for decades.
I get the joke but it’s the biggest frustration with this hire. Anyone whose not delusional can see the Phillies are a lot more than 1-2 pieces away (DD even admitted that). During Middleton’s disaster of a press conference after they fir-I mean demoted Klentak, the one thing Phillies fans agreed with him on was the organization’s failure to develop talent.
This hire runs counter to every point Middleton made for replacing Klentak. What this hire says is that DD will be in Philly for 4 years and he will throw everything he can at the wall to try and win and then (as he has at every previous stop before) leave the team in shambles to wallow in another rebuild for years after.
This move screamed of desperation from an owner who doesn’t know what he’s doing. Also, it stinks of MacPhil, who nearly everyone in Philly wants gone and he handpicked one of his friends to succeed him. If the Phillies are not going to spend on free agents, at least spend on those selecting your talent. I know it’s easier said than done but instead of giving a blank check to Realmuto this winter, the Phillies could’ve given the president title and a blank check to someone like Erik Neander.
Outside of DD himself, the biggest winners of this deal are the Phils division rivals. He will gut the organization of most of its’ best youthful players to compete. Then the Phillies will likely be in the basement by 2025-26. By that time, Harper will start to exit his prime and their rebuild will have to start once again. I would love to be wrong but this has happened at every previous spot. The leopard doesn’t change his spots.
As a Tigers fan, you are so wrong. Ten years of contending weakened the farm. Mr I refusing to allow even a retool period (understandably), is what cost DD his job. Montreal and Florida worked with Modest budgets. Detroit and Boston were at the top in spending. To be successful at both styles, means this leopard knows how to change his spots.
Exactly right. DD is strategic in every way. The guy knows how to build a team and one can’t fault him if the owner says, “Here’s your budget, spend it.” He acknowledged the Suarez trade that backfired, and yes, it turned out to be a bad move. But here in Detroit, I don’t know that any of us were really upset Suarez was traded. He was projected to have modest power and be an average major leaguer. Beyond that, who did DD trade that has any relevance? Miller and Maybin for who? Miggy. I think Philly fans will be very satisfied in a couple years if they find themselves playing in the WS with a perennial contender. The guy knows what he is doing and he would be one of my top choices for a President or GM in the game. Mr. I used poor judgement in letting him go.
Yes. Someone like Theo has only shown he can win with a big-market team and budget, while DD has won in multiple scenarios. He worked with and built teams with big budgets and smaller budgets. He’s built UP farm systems, he’s also maximized farms in trades. I’m not a Phillies or Tigers fan, but teams that bring him in win.
You both nailed it, The smart fan in Detroit today would have him back gladly. Ilitch forced his hand some, but was such a great, well-intentioned owner that Dombrowski indulged him.
It was partly that indulging that led to DD’s painful truths not well-received as Ilitch neares the end of his life – otherwise Dombrowski is still in Detroit.
He is smart and can work things out positively while adhering to his owner’s marching orders. Nashville would have been a solid team in short order.
jett – I’m an Angels fan so I’m removed from the minutia of east coast baseball. However, I don’t think Dembrowski would be where he is at in his career if he was one dimensional in his approach. He did what he did in Boston and Miami based on the environment at the time and brought them both great success. He has a different environment in Philly and I’m sure he will adjust to it. Flexibility and adaptability are how guys like him become successful.
Fair points. However, the nature of his hire is what contributes to this frame of mind. DD has been hired for a four year deal. He has a home in Nashville and will most likely return to MCB after his contract runs out. Therefore, it’ll be a mad dash for him to win another title. This isn’t a possible grand, long-term plan or hire. Middleton and DD are going to try and shotgun what they can to expedite a title in only 4 years.
Secondly, DD and what is expected of him is similar to their last 2 GM’s. Ruben Amaro Jr. was expected to throw every piece at the wall to extend a contending window. RAJ’s FO was known for being anti-analytics and not valuing player development. He was then followed by Klentak who was expected to have one of the fastest rebuilds in the history of the sport. Klentak may have been more open to analytics than RAJ, but he wasn’t adept at identifying talent. Alec Bohm is the only one of his many first round picks that has had any success in the upper-minors or with the big club. The issue, again, is the Phillies have no cohesive, long-term plan to speak of. It’s been lacking for nearly a decade and ever since their last WS appearance.
Lastly, I haven’t said that DD was incompetent, regardless of what my tone was. He has made some shrewd moves. Where I feel he lacks is finding value at the margains. We know the Marlins situation when they were looking to trade him in 2008. For every one of these moves, I can give you moves such as signing Prince Fielder, signing David Price, trading a King’s Ransom from Chris Sale, or one of the worst trades in recent history, (as one of the articles mentioned), trading Eugenio Suarez for Alfredo Simon. That last deal is one of many examples he could search for when (in the modern MLB) he couldn’t get value in the small deals, where clubs like TB and OAK succeed when they have less financial leeway.
And while I’m at it, truly I want the DD signing to work out, I really do. However, I don’t give him the credit for that Red Sox World Series win.
1. 85% of that roster was already assembled when he got there. Yes, he made some moves, (like Chris Sale) which pushed them over the top. However, I feel you can argue, that the Red Sox we’re talented enough that they could’ve won without Sale (or at least acquired him for less than what they gave up).
2. While this doesn’t involve DD directly, can’t forget he was in charge during the time when Cora’s alleged sign-stealing was going on. Looking at the major drop-off in offensive efficiency shows there’s some smoke to that fire.
3. DD won a World Series as the GM of the Red Sox and was FIRED 11 months afterward. Are you kidding me?! How bad do you have to mess up that you don’t last a full 12 months after being the supposed architect of a title winner.
Lastly, don’t absolve DD for his misreads in moves. While he may have had intrusive owners who don’t know what they’re doing (like the Phillies have now), he decided to pay what he did for guys like Cabrera’s monstrous extension, the major deals he gave guys like Price and Fielder. If he was a better analytical mind or even a salesman, he could’ve been able to sell more prudent moves. Sometimes with GM’s it’s about the moves you don’t make. I will give it to DD, he doesn’t hold back. But that type of maverick decision-making is boom or bust. And looking at the deal he signed, DD won’t have to live with the long-term ramifications of his decisions. The fans and organization have to.
I get that. Maybe just to get some context, in Philly, the current President is Andy MacPhil. He’s hated throughout the city (like battery-throwing levels of hate), John Middleton has championing MacPhil and leaving him in charge of his “pedigree” during that presser when they relieved Klentak of his duties post-season. Andy has over 30 years in leadership positions and has won 2 World Series he said. Never mind that in all that time, MacPhil has only had 5 winning season, EVER, and none since 2003. Longevity isn’t a fair barometer in judging someone’s ability (all the time). After the news broke, what was the first thing the guys on MLB Network said, “Well he’s won 2 World Series titles” says Ron Darling. It’s the Pavlovian response in baseball circles, a title is a title regardless of the circumstances. Ignore Rome burning in the background, look at this title Dave helped us win 5 years ago! The point is Phillies fans want to be the Cardinals, the Dodgers, etc. they want a club that is sustainable in the long-term and has title aspirations of varying degrees for not just one window, but multiples. And when you see what DD has done before, especially working for intrusive owners (as you can attest to being an Angels fan) in Miami, Detroit, and Boston (which he will now have in Philly) I feel it’s completely justified to be worried about the same thing happening.
My point is that as Marty has commented below, DD has only shown himself (in the past) capable of improving a team by signing FA’s to massive deals or overpaying for star players in trades. While his moves for guys like Cabrera and Scherzer were prudent. They were made in a time before advanced-analytics, moneyball philosophies being rampant, and the recommodifying of prospects into some precious material. As seen with his Sale deal, teams are less willing to give up young, controllable assets now. Guys like Scherzer and Cabrera who fell through the cracks and become trade targets have less chance of becoming available now. He’s never shown himself to adapt to a new style of management. I think that’s fair to criticize.
You are spot on. My advice: watch the bullpen. DD’s bullpens are a sign of doom on the horizon. The downside of his wheeling and dealing ways is that he lacks prospects and money to staff his bullpen with reliable arms. His teams might look good on paper (typical to underachieve, but I digress) but disappointment will soon prevail when leads continuously get squandered.
Your points are all fair. I’m not justifying mistakes by any GM, and yet I don’t know any GM who hasn’t made questionable moves. Of course, I’m stating the obvious, but there is risk involved and you win some and lose some. If an organization’s goal is to win, I’d say DD comes out on top more often than not.
Your emphasis on the Suarez trade is greatly overexaggerated. As a Tigers fan, I can tell you that Suarez was not highly touted, nor was he expected to be anything close to what he has been. A GM needs to identify players like that, don’t get me wrong, but Suarez had plenty of chances to justify his worth before being traded. I don’t think Tiger fans hold DD accountable for that move. He came out of nowhere.
In terms of the marginal trades to which you refer, he pulled Carlos Guillen and Placido Polanco for virtually nothing – and both were significant factors in the early Tiger run. His moves for Fister and Sanchez were also significant wins – and again, he didn’t give anything up that resulted in regret. Even moving Jeff Weaver – who experienced some success – for Jeremy Bonderman proved to be an important trade in DD’s early tenure.
And while the Fielder signing proved to be a poor signing, health did become a factor there. Nonetheless, DD was able to turn Prince around for Kinsler, who also proved to be a significant contributor for the Tigers for a couple years toward the end of their competitive run..
Bill, these are all valid points, I do agree. However, I think there’s two factors that are crucial to the context of my argument regarding DD. That’s time….and time.
1. As a Tigers fan, you cited many deals but my point would be that most/all of those deals were during a different time of the games evolution from a front office standpoint. Every few years the game has evolved and the progressing of advanced metrics and service time, those deals you mentioned are less common now since more teams are willing to hold onto players. I think looking at DD’s most recent history (Red Sox) is a more fair barometer of what he can do in the “modern” MLB. I think the site did a retrospective on his deals so I won’t get into it too much but in a matter of 12 months, he traded 11 prospects for 4 relievers (Kimbrel, Pomeranz, Ziegler, Thornburg), the only impactful names he dealt were Manuel Margot and Travis Shaw while a couple others have had a cup of coffee here and there. Then that upcoming season, he dealt another 3 prospects for Addison Reed. While none of the players he traded came out to be impactful, you could maybe use that argument against him that maybe they were weak at developing talent in-house.
Then there’s the Sale trade and Price signing, both of which had or currently have the team hamstrung. Prospect capital is so valuable when it comes to making trades and DD has shown he doesn’t value that. Granted, he didn’t trade Devers or Benintendi but I would argue that those two guys were close enough to the majors when he joined the Red Sox that it fit his contention window.
2. About the other kind of time is that he has a 4 year deal. DD is on the older side of a sport that keeps getting younger and younger. This is probably his last stop before returning to MCB in Nashville. Unless he’s being hired to be one very expensive consultant, while we may take a year to evaluate the organization. Chances are he will slash at whatever will not contribute to a chance to win a title by 2024. He will most likely return home to Nashville after his 4 years are up regardless of if he has a title or not. You can not deny that the Tigers and Red Sox were in awful shape when he was fired from those jobs and the Phillies could likely be next.
I just feel that a short-sighted owner hired a president that has a short-sighted mindset when running a team. It feels kinda fitting.
You are not knowledgeable about the facts about some of the cantankerous owners that Dombrowski has successfully worked under and for.
1) No one knows how long Dombrowski says in Philly(if he has built a team ready to contend, he could be extended.
2)DD is a 1st ballot Hall of Fame Executive and not Ruben Amaro
3) Look at the Phillies press release and see a partial listing of all the stars Dombrowksi drafted and assembled in Montreal, Miami and Detroit.
4) Some of the contract moves in Detroit were made behind Dombrowski’s back by deceased owner Mike Illitch who took direct calls from some agents and players….Dombrowski did not want Fielder…He was signed by Illitch and dropped in his lap. Ditto with some of the other bad contracts.
5) Without Dombrowski, Red Sox do not win 2018 WS THAT IS A FACT. Red Sox would still be waiting for there “prospects” to gel.
6) Cabrera’s l;ast extension was owner Mike Illitch over paying..
Illitch treated players like “family” and did not mind “over paying” and/or paying for “past performance”…Detroit was not a destination for free agent players until deceased owner Mike Illitch started “overpaying” to attract marque talent.
In Boston, Ownership wanted a championship “damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead”. Dombrowski followed his bosses/owners orders and game plans in Montreal, Miami, Detroit and Boston and will do the same in Philly. Billionaire owners certainly have a huge say in the direction of the MLB franchise, budget, spending, timeline to win and compete etc….Pres’s and GM’s must be either “on the same page” or must get “on the same page” fast or look for a new gig…
So blaming Dombrowski for trading unproven prospects for All Star Talent(s) that wins your city a World Series is silly and ridiculous!!
How spoiled people get once they get a recent World Series trophy!
The article stated he wants to get to know personnel, then will try to trade members the team isn’t high on collaboratively if he makes trades. That’s not the definition of farm team sabotage.
If anything this forces him to make interesting trades and show us what he’s really made of, instead of just selling off the top 5 prospects for star players (his only move).
Dombrowski built top farm systems and made smart trades in Montreal and MIami building consistent winners in both citiesw, (both low budget teams)
Billionaire Owners in Detroit and Boston gave him 200M budgets and a “win now mantra”….
Dombrowski has won with low budget and high budget teams.
He has proven that he is not a “one trick pony”.
So much for the JTR reunion in Philly. That turned out to be a waste of a trade for them. I’m not sure how Philly plans to cut payroll when they need to add at least 3-4 pitchers just to fill out their bullpen roster. Maybe they go with cheaper options than what they had last year (I guess that reduces payroll a bit) but their bullpen needs a major retooling. It’s going to be a rough year for the Phillies…at least Dave won’t be able to drain the farm system for veteran players. Maybe he’ll do the opposite for them.
How was it a waste of a trade? JTR was every bit as advertised in Philly.
The only way you could justify it being a waste is if you only measure trade success on whether the team makes the playoffs/wins a WS during that players tenure. In the case of JTR, they gave up Sixto and others for a player that didn’t put them over the top in terms of contention, although Realmuto obviouslt isn’t to blame for that lack of team success
To further make the point. The Chris Sale trade hurt in terms of prospects, but it was a critical move that helped Boston win a championship. Had Boston not won in 2018, the perception of the Sale trade might be different
Agreed…JTR was/is/will be a stud…The Phillies were more than a catcher away from contention…
Sixto Sanchez pitched in a playoff game for the Marlins this year… and will for years to come. He will be a top of the rotation guy on an up and coming talented team. Realmuto on the other hand had two good years on an average team. Really did nothing to help advance their winning since they didn’t make the playoffs. And will now be moving on… So who exactly made out in this deal?
Time will tell. So far 2 seasons of JTR > a few good starts from Sixto.
The trade was fine, value for value. They just didn’t do enough around him imo
And yes, injuries are a big part of it. But that’s baseball
According to Middleton at the time, the plan was to get JTR to Philly and sign him to a long term deal. That’s why they gave up Sixto and a good catching prospect of their own. So while JTR was great for his two years there, the plan failed. They would have been better off keeping Sixto since they cannot afford to re-sign JTR. Of course no one saw COVID coming but Philly should have locked him up after year 1, buying out his last year of arbitration. So while the trade was fair, the overall plan failed.
Also, let’s not forget that the trade to Philly came out of nowhere. Go back on the page about the trade, no one saw the Phillies coming. The main reason….was it was a massive overpay for what the market was offering. No other team negotiating with the marlins offered nearly that much to them. 6+ years of an affordable young starter with Pedro Martinez comps is worth 2 years of a catcher, even someone like JT. Especially when that team wasn’t really a WS contender.
Klentak had the same issues in FA, look at the deals he handed out to Santana, McCutchen, Robertson, etc. all were deals signed early in the offseason where they overpaid. These three guys made nearly $50/year combined for what amounted to a -2.1 WAR over their combined tenures with the Phils.
That deal (as of now) was a complete failure on the Phillies end. They gave up a legitimate #1 starter on a minimum salary deal and a young (flawed but still talented) catcher (whose also on a cheap deal) for a catcher who will be hitting 30 and will cost $20M+/year. If they keep Sixto, maybe they don’t need to sign Wheeler and they have another $25+M to allocate elsewhere? JT is a heck of a talent but if you gave a Phillies fan a chance to do it over if they had to deal Sixto, I think 99% wouldn’t make the deal again.
Also, as it’s been stated before, JT always spoke (even in MIA) he wanted to rest free agency. That’s why other teams balked at the asking price. Klentak was either delusional enough to believe he could sweet talk him into signing an extension and/or he was feeling the pressure to put a winner out there and panicked in making the deal.
Jury is still out on if the kid is a “legitimate number 1 starter”
A half of a covid-shortened season does not a player make. While it may be right to doubt if he will be a #1, just watch any of his highlights and you’ll see the combination of both stuff and control. 3 potential plus pitches and easy 100 on the black with a great change-up. You’d be foolish not to at least believe he has #1 starter potential.
@Dorothy_Mantooth there was no formal (or even informal) agreement that JTR would stay in Philly past 2020. If their only goal was to sign him long-term the Phillies should have hammered out an extension before the trade was finalized. Not after.
@jett JT Realmuto is a perfect example of why I hate the “trade for a player so you can try to extend him” strategy. When you trade for a player you are trading for the amount of control he comes with and nothing more.
As soon as JT signs elder, Harper’s agents will start demanding a trade.
*elsewhere (not elder)
Harper isnt uprooting his whole family because of JT
They can’t force the other teams to take his contract
It is really hard to stomach when the team you love gives up young T allent for 2-3 years of a player. I’ve been watching John Mozeliak stumble all over himself since Oscar Taveres tragically passed away. Making bad trades, signing age 34+ players to block prospects who would have done better only to turn around and trade those prospects for other prospects who haven’t performed. Its painful, really painful. Hope Dave gets it figured out there in Philly. Sounds like a delicate mess to ve sorting out though. Not much money to spend and depleted farm from previous trades. Almost wonder if selling high and tearing it down would be the way to go now? Gonna be hard to find buyers for contracts though.
I have an absolute stud of a catcher making a fraction of what JT is asking for… it will only cost you Howard, Stott and Morales.
Looks like JT’s contract is gonna be hurting. He may want to sign a one-year pillow with the approach teams are taking this offseason, as all the big players seems set on reducing or maintaining payroll, except the Mets. And I don’t see Cohen being dumb enough to bid against himself.
4/80 million for realmuto, doubt anyone will go over that to sign him.
say good bye to your minor league system
How exactly do you “retool” when the farm has sputtered, to be nice, over the last half decade, there’s long term money all over the diamond, and many of those deals are un-tradeable?
I know this is harsh because the Phillies have some talent, but they really should blow it up, target AA/AAA tier prospects who can come up as a new core within 2 years, maybe sooner, and then let DD wheel and deal. Alas.
The good news for Phi fans is he understands how to fix weak spots on a team, when they show. I’m just not convinced he can properly value prospects
Good luck blowing it up!
Phillies: Dave, we’re somewhat close but not there. We don’t have a lot of farm to trade. We want to win, we likely won’t spend at the levels you’re used to. Wanna try? We’ll pay you a LOT of cash…
Dombrowski: Okay… Let’s give it a go.
This will be either Dombrowski’s greatest failure or arguably his greatest success, as the situation seems to be out of his comfort zone.
I wouldn’t go that far. DD inherited much worse in DET and turned it around, and arguably, while likely not worse than DET, he didn’t have established, above average MLB players in MON or FLA to the extent he has in Philly. It’ll take some time, but you do have a couple solid arms to build from with Nola and Wheeler.
The only legitimate cost cutting moves Philly can make would be to try and deal Segura & Cutch. In order to do that, Philly would need to retain about 50% of each player’s salary (Cutch – $20M for 2021 / Segura – $14M per year for 2 years). I’m not sure if they would get much in return prospect wise, even after eating half their costs but it would at least allow them to reduce their payroll even further if that is their primary goal. They are at $135M in salary right now and $150 against the CBT (~$15M in benefits gets added on).
Can’t help but think about Harper. He figured the Phillies were committed to winning and were gonna spend. The following season, Washington wins a championship. Now Philadelphia wants to scale back. I mean the money will always be there but players still wanna win and championships are harder to come by.
Oh poor Bryce Harper?
Leaving DC only to see them immediately win a World Series must have sting. However, I think the cut in payroll is only because of COVID. DD wasn’t brought here to rebuild. Harper will get more chances to get to the playoffs. Especially is the playoffs are expanded.
Due to the pandemic, EVERY team is scaling back.
Dombrowski is a win now GM. I would’ve thought he would be a good choice for the Mets as they make their push
While the Mets are in great shape financially, I’d argue they have as many holes as the Phillies. They’re not there yet, but will have much better finances to plug their holes. I think the general thinking is the Phillies will be in a much better financial position in 2022. They’re trying go recuperate from pandemic losses.
Any chance this team does not finish in last place next season? Somehow, they need to trade Bryce Harper. Send him to Baltimore for Chris Davis straight up.
@Bowadoyle – What???? How do you think that Chris Davis has any trade value? He will be an Oriole for life at this point. And to say that he could bring in Bryce Harper? Come on, man. Bryce Harper is one of the best outfielders in the game, and he is hitting well enough to justify his salary. Chris Davis has forgotten how to hit, and he has a contract that will go down in history as one of the worst of all time.
Appreciate your comments. @Dan55 I don’t think Harper is one of the best players in the game as what his contract tells me. I’d rather use the money to get Realmunto and another starting pitcher. As soon as I received Davis in the trade, I’d waive him. That would be our way of eating $50 million of the contract.
If they do, you’d have to admit that DD is improving the farm system.
Yes. They finished above the Mets and Nats last year, and weren’t far away from the Marlins. While the Mets will likely have a much improved roster, the only team way ahead of the Phillies are the Braves.
*is the Braves
why do people keep thinking trading a cash cow for a bad contract does anything for a team wanting to cut payroll?
exactly. makes no sense.
Almost every team truly trying to cut payroll (I dont believe the Phils are) will more often than not just give any contract away for free as long as another team takes on all the money. Why does everything have to be a trade argument on here for a trade that’s most likely going to be player+his contract for the right to not pay that player that money?
Start the bryce harper trade rumors.
I think concerns about Bryce are misplaced. He’s being well-paid to be a little bit patient and let this develop for a year or two at least. No opt-outs, anyway, but a full no-trade so he can pretty much control what DD can do with him
Leave that to Harper’s agents
Phillies’ fans will have a lot of opportunities to express themselves over the next four years. The ride should be entertaining …as long as it doesn’t go off the track at the end. Looking like a tough division to win out of tho.
Contract sets DD up to revisit the Nashville expansion project without skipping a beat. (Wonder if a release for that is a condition-of-hire …in case the timeline changes for some reason?) Pretty specific deadline he appears to be working with: It’s easy to expect him to be focused. You can question his methods but, if results are what matters, this is still an elite hire.
Alfredo Simon got a shout-out…. amazing
Some local Philly reporter chatter that he really like the top prospects in the Phillies organization with Abel, Morales, Marchan, Miller and Stott being his favorites…
Some good comments. As a Phillies fan and taking into account the current state of the franchise – which isn’t good – I’m not sure I find fault with a Dombrowski hiring. The 3-4 others guys I was interested in were not available for one reason or another. So Dombrowski’s our guy. I can deal with that.
For those who grew accustomed to Klentak, we can expect a much different approach to roster management. An organized one – as so many of Klentak’s player decisions appeared to be made in a vacuum, without consideration for the state or needs of the roster. No better illustration than the overpay to Santana when you already had a 1st Baseman in Hoskins. A move that later had added implications.
For Klentak’s part the Phillies – a large market baseball franchise – are arguably the 4th best team in their division despite have the 6th highest payroll in all of baseball. That’s a bad combination.
Now you tell me Dombrowski will gut the minor league system and bring the Phillies back to the World Series? Well good. Sign me up.
It will be interesting to see what he does with Rice and Klentak–Rice will see himself as working for Middleton–has DD been told to keep them—Does DD keep them in high profile roles? Or does DD shuffle them off to the side and eventually out? Their arrogance and egos have gotten the Phillies in this mess—Rice and Klentak were never qualified to be in the roles they were in. Their lack of qualifications shows the judgement of Andy MacPhail.
One cost cutting move could have been to non tender Vinny Velo, ya dumb JO’s, but this is the losingest franchise in sports for a reason folks.
With the pandemic the commissioner’s office should have been looking at expansion to inject some money into the league. If the season is delayed or restrictions continue, they will wish they did.
To counter watered down pitching you raise the mound back to 15 inches and request ballparks move their fences back in any area possible. The bigger issue with pitchers is more durability than talent. Allowing hitters to be more comfortable in the batters box will lead to better offense and shaky pitching.
This is a curious move. The Phillies seem to have indicated they are going to cut payroll. In fact, they even cut 80 people from their organization. Yet they brought in a guy who is more a go for it all guy rather then a builder. Talk about mixed signals. If they want Realmuto back where is the $100M plus money coming from? The baseball media types think he’s a big game hunter. Tough to go big game hunting when they want to cut payroll. Maybe the Phillies are blowing smoke about financial issues?
It’s been touched on here and I don’t want to sound like one of those “trade Trout” knuckleheads, but is it possible he talks with Harper about a trade possibility? There are contenders who would consider taking on his contract and the Phils could lower payroll and improve their pitching staff. I think Harper may feel a little deceived at the lack of commitment to put a winner on the field. A trip back to the Nats is a thought considering they are suddenly without Eaton. I’d like to see that as a Nats fan (Angels first of course!).
Angels would be a doable trade partner for Harper. Owner Artie Moreno has never seen an eight-digit contract he couldn’t wrap his arms around.
Lou Orlando – “(Angels first of course!)”
That last comment may have been deceiving. I wasn’t saying trade Harper to the Angels first. I was saying I am an Angels fans first before I am a Nats fan. Sorry for the confusion. We don’t need Harper. We need pitching.
In a year or two the Angels are going to have an OF of Harper-Trout-Judge, while some 9.50 ERA SP starts on the mound that day before bowing to a bullpen with a staff ERA of 6.00. They will finish 4th in the AL West.
Why do the Angels never “get” pitching?
Marty – I’m not into speculation on what the future holds by stating conjecture as though it’s fact. However, The Angels have needed pitching for years now. It seems Moreno values bats more than arms and he hasn’t let his GMs make the appropriate deals for pitchers. This off season is unique in the sense that we have a new manager with a great track record and new GM known in Atlanta for building a pitching staff. This has already manifested in an early dismissal of Bedrosian and more recently the dismissal of almost half the bullpen. Next was the acquisition of a true closer which we haven’t had in years.
So, as an annual Angels optimist, I think this is a perfect storm for filling the gaps in the pitching staff with guys who will make a difference. They have already shown signs of doing just that.
Yes, you definitely are an optimist! I think one year of Iglesias, an inconsistent closer you appear to have pinned hopes on – yeah, historically, that has not panned out for the Angels – just saying!
I just don’t understand why they don’t come out and say “Trevor Bauer is our #1 FA target this offseason”, just to appease long suffering fans like yourself. They need about half of a whole pitching staff this offseason. Canning, Sandoval and Barria aint it.
But no, as in many prior offseasons, the Angels will make a huge splash but it will probably be Realmuto for no damn reason, while the pitching staff continues to fail our lord and savior Mike Trout.
Thanks Marty. That has been the trend for sure. However, I think Manasian is a different breed of GM and has already shown signs (previously mentioned) of heading the team in the right direction to acquire pitching. Moreno has always played his strategies close to the vest so I’m not surprised we haven’t heard a declaration about Bauer or anyone else meaningful. I think that is a good business strategy in general.
For the record, although Trout is a stud, my Lord and Savior is Jesus Christ! 🙂
I’m okay with DD as the new sheriff in town, and especially if he’s in a win-now mind set. As a life long Phillies fan who has had to endure a lot of losing and bad teams since I started following them in the early ’50s, I’m not in the mood for another rebuild.
DD should do what he has to win a WS now. Don’t worry about the money. If the Phillies are winners in 2021, CBP will be rocking like it was back in 2008. Sold out every night and a fun place to be.
They can cut payroll from last year and still re-sign JT. They already had a lot of money leave through free agency and they can work out a backloaded deal for JT for when attendance starts to rise again.
Not a Phillies fan, but I think the arrival of DD increases the likelihood of signing Realmuto. He had to get some assurances for payroll and he has a history of big name signings.
Why? DD was connected with James McCann years ago – and would fit far better into what was said at the press conference than JTR. Indirectly, signing McCann also forces a division rival to pay possibly far more for a significant upgrade or less for a replacement (Yadi). It’d be quite a statement if he comes in and signs McCann before NYM does, putting them publicly/privately in a very precarious situation.
McCann was never a FA before this year though, big difference.
If he signs McCann, Mets would just get JTR to erase said statement. DD expressed that everyone in the Phillies’ organization has interest in bringing JTR back, but what else is he going to say? I don’t expect any major signings for the Phillies this year.
Would McCann be a major signing? If so – times have really changed in PHI.
The Chris Sale trade was great, the extension, a train wreck.
The only weakness that DD has is giving away the store on AAV and Term on extensions.
What I took from the press conference is that Dave Dombrowski is an elite executive and the Phillies are in good hands.
@lordd99 — DD’s arrival increases liklihood of Realmuto signing?
With DD’s past connection to James McCann and being the (much) cheaper alternative to JTR – NYM betta lock ’em up before DD figures out how to complete a call on his computer.
This is where DD and I disagree. I feel stolen bases are a huge factor. That’s what got us where we were in 08. Rollins, Utley, Werth and Victorino were great base stealers. To me baseball is too much into a guy has to hit 40 home runs over a guy that can do 30/30. George Springer had a 45 SB season a year before being promoted. 16 has been his highest in the Majors. Trout is an even better example. When you consider that Pujols hits behind him, iirc, Trout needs to steal a bag for Pujols to have any chance of driving him in.
I agree with him, though, that SPs need to to 6-7 innings a game. This 5 and pull stuff is ridiculous. It’s clear to me that if he can’t go longer he’s not ready for the big leagues.
Yep, small ball is important. I agree too that a game starter for the first inning isn’t a good trend. Starters should be able to go 6-7 innings with 90 to 100 pitches.
Dave Dombrowski and his staff and front office in Detroit Drafted catcher James McCann. Pivoting to sign McCann and save money for SP Trevor Bauer, Closer Brad Hand etc could be a great strategy. Add some bargain free agent relievers, OF and INF and the Phillies could be in the playoffs in 2021.
I expect at least one blockbuster trade from Dombrowski in 2021.
Justin Verlander is a free agent in 2022 and was a long term fixture for Dombrowski in Detroit…Reunion?!
Ditto with Max Scherzer.
Will Dombrowski bring some of his former top stars with him to Phillie on
short term deals?!
Phillies ownership will spend when the fans come back and revenues go up.
Say goodbye to your Farm System, Philly Fans.
What farm system?! Last time I checked, Phillies Farm was 20th?! or 25th?!.
For every Eugenio Suarez, Dombrowski has numerous deals/trades that he won:
Miguel Cabrera, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez, David Price, Carlos Guillen, Doug Fister etc the l;ist is very long…