And now we hear from Andy.
It’s time for a daily news report …
El Presidente speaks
Andy MacPhail held a postmortem news conference Tuesday, offering his thoughts on the 2017 season and what to expect in the offseason.
- Don’t expect a big payroll in 2018. That didn’t excite ownership, but they at least want the front office to entertain something big, if it’s presented to them.
- The Phils will more likely trade and not use the free agent market to find worthy talent.
- Again the Phils might take on bad contracts from teams looking to shed.
- A new manager should be hired by early November.
- One place that needs a change: Pitch-framing.
I’ll have more on this soon, but look, what do you want them to do? The free agent market isn’t good this year (next year’s is the big one), so there’s no reason to expect the Phils to spend, spend, spend. They can get better while still spending little.
How? By continuing to play the guys that helped the team achieve a nearly .500 record in the second half. The Phils were better just by virtue of playing Nick Williams, Rhys Hoskins, Jorge Alfaro and J.P. Crawford. An improved Odubel Herrera and healthy Aaron Altherr and Cesar Hernandez didn’t hurt, either. I’d imagine next year’s Phils, with this core group mostly intact, plays better than a team with Cameron Rupp, Tommy Joseph, Freddy Galvis and Michael Saunders.
Also, there will be moves. I’d imagine the Phils make at least one pitching acquisition, and probably two to three. I’d also imagine a relatively major trade will bring a good pitcher to Philly, and we’ll have to wave goodbye to someone like Dylan Cozens or even Mickey Moniak.
Next year is about seeing this team develop into an emerging contender. We’ll want a team that approaches .500 and doesn’t run out of gas in August and September. As long as that happens, then they’ll get their big bat and big arm, or whatever the 2018-19 offseason brings.
Finally, glad to see the front office has pinpointed pitch framing as a concern. Sure the pitching talent wasn’t great this year, but little things like how Rupp and Knapp frame pitches are going to hurt. I still believe a veteran catcher with good framing skills will help Alfaro in 2018, but it looks as if the Phils are looking for coaching that’ll put a premium on data, communicating it to the players on a regular basis.
The Phillies Nation Podcast is live, and it features a bunch of stuff. You get general talk about 2017, player grades, Matt Breen going in depth on the big stories of the year, and a lot of looking forward to the offseason and beyond.
It’s a looooong one, but start today, come back later, enjoy for a couple weeks!