The main thing driving the Phillies news this past week was the Friday deadline for offering Arbitration salary numbers. The team also made another bit of news regarding their radio announcing crew.
Phillies New Voices on the Airwaves:
On Tuesday the team announced that three former players will rotate to take the place of Larry Anderson, who decided that after the 2017 season that he would no longer travel with the team. The three, Kevin Frandsen, Kevin Jordan and Kevin Stocker, will provide color for long time PBP guy Scott Franzke.
“There’s no doubt that replacing LA is a tough job,” said Executive Vice President David Buck. “His chemistry with Franzke has been outstanding and together they made listening to our games entertaining, but we believe that the unique personalities, knowledge of the game and familiarity with Phillies fans that each Kevin has, will complement Franzke’s role in the booth, making this new lineup of radio talent fun for our fans.”
Phillies Clear Out Arbitration Cases:
By the Friday deadline, multiple sources were reporting that the team has preempted all four salary arbitration cases, by agreeing to terms with 2B Cesar Hernandez ($5.1M), 3B Maikel Franco ($2.95), C. Cameron Rupp ($2.05), and RHP Luis Garcia ($1.2).
This brings the Phillies committed salaries for 2018 to around $55M to eight different players, while the balance of the squad will make near the league minimum of a bit over $.5M. They still have plenty of money to spend if they find the right deal for a SP, as their pen is pretty well set.
“I think a starter would help,” GM Matt Klentak said Thursday afternoon on MLB Network‘s High Heat. “We’ve been pretty up-front about our desire to add a starter, if possible, whether it be a trade or free agency. Because the starting pitching market has been slow to develop, we got somewhat aggressive in December on adding to the bullpen. We figured if we can shorten the game that way, kind of from the back to the front, that’s one way to improve our run prevention.”
Hernandez and Franco, barring trades, are pretty much inked in as the starting 2B and 3B, but Rupp while maybe having an edge, will have to battle with Andrew Knapp and Jorge Alfaro, for who will start. The team has already said that they could take all three catchers north.
With ST just under a month away, we will keep our eyes open for the finalizing of the invitees to Clearwater, and of course any trades or FA signings that could come at any time. When the ST group is finalized we will start to break down the non-roster invitees and their chances of making the MLB or MiLB clubs.
Meanwhile we are always looking for more Phillies writers in the off-season and going forward so we can expand our coverage to include game/and or series recaps and previews. If you think you have the write-stuff DM me on twitter @brett5355.
Until then now that we know who, Minnesota Vikings, and when, Sunday 1/21 6:40 PM at Lincoln Financial Field, that other outdoor team on Pattison Ave will play for a spot in a certain Big Game, I will once again leave you with: