While all of Phandom was waiting for new on the #MacHarper front, the Philadelphia Phillies made one of the biggest off-season trades, somewhat under the radar. They also announced a few more Non Roster Invitees (NRI) as well as alumni help at Spring Training which officially begins in two days.
The Real Deal:
With rumors running rampant for just a few days before, on Thursday the Phillies and the Miami Marlins, stole all the off-season headlines with the trade of arguably the best catcher in MLB, J. T. Realmuto to the Phillies for C. Jorge Alfaro, RHP Sixto Sanchez, LHP Will Stewart and international bonus money.
While it is always a gamble trading away your team’s top pitching prospect in Sanchez, there is no denying the Phillies have acquired their best overall player behind the dish since Darren Daulton.
Besides his veteran presence behind the plate, keep in mind he has seen the same NL East batters the Phillies have, and the offensive resume’ we have all pored over since the trade was rumored, I find the offensive potential at Citizens Bank Park the most exciting aspect.
These were the slash differences between his home and away at bats in 2018.
I could envision Realmuto topping 30 HR, and 90 RBIs, playing 70 some games at CBP.
If you still don’t think he may be at least among the best hitting catchers in MLB, check out this tweet from the venerable Jayson Stark.
Maybe more than any new addition to the team, having J. T. in camp just as pitchers and catchers officially report on Wednesday, is really important. How will he meld in with his new teammates? Maybe this tweet from a fellow NKOTB to the team, Andrew McCutchen, will give us a clue.
Ironically, two days before, just as the rumors started for the above, the Phillies announced that they have signed veteran catcher Drew Butera to a Milb contract, as well as an invite to spring training.
Then on Friday they did the same with Super Utility veteran Sean Rodriguez. He has played every position except the battery.
We will get more into those players in the coming weeks.
Alumni Spring Training Instructors:
As they have done in the past the Phils invited alumni to help out as instructors in spring training. This year’s eight includes Bobby Abreu, Larry Bowa, Chad Durbin, Jim Eisenreich, Charlie Manuel, Dan Plesac, Jimmy Rollins and Mike Schmidt. Bowa and Manuel are already part of the Phillies FO as advisors, and Rollins joined them this season.
Phillies Wall Of Fame Voting Begins:
Speaking of Alumni, the Phillies began the phan balloting portion of their Wall of Fame voting process.
As listed on the Phillies site, in alphabetical order by last name, these are the candidates:
- Bobby Abreu, OF, 1998-2006
- Steve Bedrosian, RHP, 1986-89
- Rich Dubee, CH, 2005-13
- Jim Fregosi, MGR, 1991-96
- Gene Garber, RHP, 1974-78
- Doug Glanville, OF, 1998-2002, 2004
- Bake McBride, OF, 1977-81
- Placido Polanco, INF, 2002-05, 2010-12
- Scott Rolen, 3B, 1996-2002
- Manny Trillo, 2B, 1979-82
While he is last on this list, anybody that has followed me for any period of time knows my preference is for 1980 NLCS MVP Manny Trillo. He belongs on there before any other member of the ’08 team is elected.
Bedrosian and Abreu are my second and third choices.
The top 5 choices by the fans, on points (fans choose their top three, a first place vote is worth five points, second place three points and third place one point) will go to the selection committee.
You have until 5 PM on 2/28/19 to vote here.
Though many of the players are already there, Pitchers and Catchers are to report to Clearwater FLA, officially on Wednesday and the full squad is due on Monday the 18th.
Other than that we are all just still waiting for
While we wait I will give you a few scenes of the aforementioned early arrivals courtesy of Frank Berlingis.