Good morning! The weekend is near! We’re almost there!
Some news, Phillies and other:
- It was reported Wednesday that the Phillies have hired Terry Ryan to serve as a special assignment scout. Ryan previously served as general manager of the Minnesota Twins (1994-2007, 2011-16).
Ryan originally proceeded Andy MacPhail as Twins GM. MacPhail was responsible for the greatest Twins teams ever (1987, 1991), and it took Ryan a few years to get Minnesota back to respectability, but he did with four Central Division titles in four years. He recently oversaw a complete rebuild that nearly resulted in a playoff berth in 2015, before a disastrous 103-loss season in 2016 that cost him his job.
Ryan is a MacPhail disciple. He’ll be used, most likely, to scout players the Phils are highly interested in selecting in the draft and otherwise. That is to say Ryan probably won’t be sent out on random trips to backwater parts of America.
What it really means is that MacPhail is keeping his friends close in building a front office that uses as many tools and resources as necessary to find and develop talent. It’s a good hire. Ryan did good work in Minnesota.
- Meanwhile Zach Eflin revealed Wednesday that he wasn’t feeling pain in his first throwing session since a knee injury ended his 2016 season.
- In big news, owners and players came to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement good for the next five years. That means the winter meetings are on as scheduled.
What you need to know (via Matt Gelb): The all-star game will no longer determine World Series home field (best record will), and players will play for a “pot of money”; the 15-day DL is no more (replaced by the 10-day DL); a player is tethered to a qualifying offer only once in his career; and the 25-man roster … stays as is.
Then there’s the international talent, the biggest bugaboo of the CBA. The sides agreed to cap each team’s annual international spending at close to $5 million. That’s hard as hard can be. This means the Dodgers (or some other big-payroll team) can’t blow past the limit and soak up more talent. But it also means the worst team in baseball no longer has the biggest allotted bonus. Now it’s all equal. Hooray for egalitarianism.
Gelb also reports that the Phils already spent its $5.6 million international allotment for 2016 (through a team source).
(Terry Ryan photo by Bryan Green)