Analysis

Winter Meeting Wrap, Presents Anyone?

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As the dust settles on the final day of the week in which the Winter Meetings and Rule 5 draft took place, and in what we thought would be a quiet off-season, I will look to review the first moves under new management in Holiday fashion.

Sticking with a rebuilding theme for the 2016 season, and looking forward to the future of the Phillies, management has made some trades and acquisitions so far this off-season that could land them on the Naughty OR Nice list.  And, with the Holidays here (or right around the corner), there’s no better time to bring to you the Phillies Management, Naughty or Nice list, Winter Meeting Wrap.

Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentak have kept with the script for the off-season thus far, evaluating players in the Phillies system that had trade value, and evaluating those available in the market for low-risk, high reward deals.  They have made a few moves in the weeks leading to, and including, the Winter Meetings, so lets get right to the list!

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Let’s see if these moves will improve the Phillies chances to win the World Series. There are lots of options out there, but here are the best sport betting sites. Make your picks wisely!

NAUGHTY:  Topping the news for the week is a trade being finalized today, Ken Giles for 5 prospect pitchers, including the 2013 #1 overall draft pick, Mark Appel.  Giles had the potential to be in Philadelphia for the long haul, being on a low grade contract that didn’t cost the Phillies much, I personally would have loved to have seen Ken Giles be the cornerstone of a winning Phillies bullpen, on a World Series Phillies team.  Sadly, with such high netting trades and demands for closers this off-season, it seems there was no better time than now to trade him.  Craig Kimbrel got the ball rolling with his trade from the Padres to the Red Sox, Joakim Soria was traded to the other side of the state from Detroit, and closer Aroldis Chapman was reportedly in a deal with the Dodgers.  If things pan out with some of the prospects the Phillies received in the deal, this move could be changed to the Nice list, but for now, I am keeping this on the Naughty list due to Ken Giles’ high rate of success in a Phillies uniform.

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NICE:  Also happening today in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Phillies have traded minor league prospect, David Whitehead, for veteran pitcher, Charlie Morton.  The veteran presence Morton brings should have a positive impact on players such as Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Adam Morgan, who currently make up the Phillies young top pitching prospects with the Major League club.  Morton will do the job of filling some innings and could always end up being trade-bait by the mid-season trade deadline, landing the move on the Nice list.

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NICE:  Tyler Goeddel was the first pick of the Rule 5 draft, making him an absolute spot in the outfield this year.  The Phillies are not exactly on the Nice list for getting top choice in the draft in the first place, but Goeddel has shown his capabilities this past year during a Spring Training game, where he knocked a two-run triple against the Phillies.  Goeddel is a .262 average player over his career in the minors, with a .337 on base percentage.  He has shown positive improvement year-to-year in his stats, and will finally get his first chance in the Majors (if he still makes it).  Verdict is still out on him, but for who was available in the Rule 5 draft, Goeddel was considered by some to be the best choice, therefore putting the move on the Nice list.

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NICE:  In a low-risk, high reward move, the Phillies selected Daniel Stumpf as a second player drafted out of the Rule 5 draft.  Stumpf has no playing time in the Major Leagues, but has made his way up the ladder in the past 4 years in the Kansas City Royals’ farm system, most recently pitching 70.2 innings of relief in double-A.   Stumpf is a 3.21 ERA pitcher with a 1.18 career WHIP.  Stumpf is a ground-out pitcher who sported a 2.0 GO/FO average last year in double-A, and had the second most strikeouts on his affiliate team by only 17 less strikeouts, while pitching 68 less innings.  Since there is not much cost at risk, and only a roster spot being held with no immediate decision, this move deems a place on the Nice list and may end up being Managements’ best move.

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NAUGHTY:  David Hernandez was signed to a one-year deal to be placed in a bullpen that is hurting for experience.  Hernandez pitched in 40 games for the 2015 season on the Arizona Diamondbacks, pitching 33.2 innings with 33 strikeouts and 11 walks, with a 4.28 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.  While this could end up being a great move by management, Hernandez comes with a little risk as he is coming into his first full season after Tommy John surgery.  Sure, he could end up being a low-cost, high reward player and solidify the ailing bullpen that couldn’t stay consistent on a daily basis, but he isn’t a low-risk, high reward player.  Although this is another enlistment by me that could be changed after some time, this move just barely makes the Naughty list, only due to the risky injury business.

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NICE:  Jeremy Hellickson is another veteran who was  picked up by the Phillies earlier in the year for minor league prospect player, Sam McWilliams, in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks.  McWilliams was said to be a moderate prospect from the Gulf Coast League affiliate, but after the moves the D-backs have made, it’s apparent this move was likely to clear starting pitching space and make way for other acquisitions.  Hellickson will do a good job at eating time in the rotation, and again, possibly drumming up some trade interest by the middle of the year.  His veteran presence will also help the young bucks that make up the biggest portion of the rotation, giving this a spot on the Nice list.

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NAUGHTY:  In an attempt to originally sure up the outfield, the Phillies picked Peter Bourjos off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals.  Bourjos played in 117 games last year with the Cards, batting .200 with 39 hits in 195 at bats.  Bourjos is known more for his defensive skills in the outfield, after all, his finest season at the plate was in 2011 when he hit .271 and logged 43 RBIs and 72 runs as an everyday starter.  The chance that he gets back to that form is slim, and it seems like he will end up being the replacement of fan favorite, Jeff Francoeur, although nothing has been finalized with him yet.  With the likes of Aaron Altherr, and Darnell Sweeney, not to mention Nick Williams and Roman Quinn still knocking on the doorstep, this move looks like a nostalgia move by Klentak from his Los Angeles Angels days, landing this on the Naughty list.

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NICE:  In November, the Phillies had picked up right-handed pitcher, A.J. Achter, off waivers from the Minnesota Twins, and just today designated him for assignment to make room for Charlie Morton on the MLB roster.  Although this was not as planned, this could still work out in the Phillies’ favor by creating some competition during Spring Training, while also helping to bolster the minor league pitching staff, even though they just acquired almost a full rotation from Houston.  Achter pitched the bulk of his year in Triple-A for 2015, holding a 2.63 ERA in 48 innings.  In the Majors  last year, he pitched in 13.1 innings for the Twins, acquiring a 6.75 ERA over 11 games.  With the state of the pitching for the Phillies, any warm bodies they can get for little cost is a positive one, landing this on the Nice list, even though he may not even land in the majors next year.

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Is the Phillies management on your Naughty or Nice list?

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

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