The Phillies did not do much at the Winter Meetings, which ended Thursday with the Rule 5 Draft, but it was anything but a boring week.  They did make a Rule 5 pick that became a piece of a bigger pick-up of a free agent 1B, and then made some other interesting signings on Friday. Oh and they made a little trade as well 😉

Phillies Winter Meetings Notes:

On Monday the two players noted in last week’s post as being placed on Outright Waivers, OF Cameron Perkins and IF Engelb Vielma were both claimed by the Seattle Mariners and Pittsburgh Pirates, respectively. This officially lowered the 40 man roster to 38 players to give leeway for moves at the meetings.

The Rule 5 Draft took place on the last day of the meetings on Thursday. The Phillies selected RHP Nick Burdi for $100,000, then flipped him to the Pittsburgh Pirates for $500,000 international slot money.

More on that in $100 Million Dollar Men below.

On the winter meetings and future dealings Phillies GM Matt Klentak had this to say:

“We’ve spent the last day and a half meeting with most of the prominent agents in the industry,” Klentak said. “A lot of agents represent players we’re targeting and players we’re not targeting, and I can understand why sometimes the connection will get made. We’re very cognizant of the fact that we’re a large-market team that has carried large payrolls in the past and does not have a lot of future commitments. We know this about ourselves, the agents know this about us, the fans know this about us. I think it’s natural to connect the Phillies to players who are going to command a lot of money.

“I’ve said this before: There will come a time where those connections will be accurate and we will spend again.”

Final Phillies Coach:

While not a part of the meetings per se, on Thursday the Phils announced that Jose Flores would be the new 1B coach as well as IF/baserunning instructor.

Flores, 46, was the MiLB IF coordinator for the Cubs the last five years. His other experience is as a manager of the Puerto Rico National Team for two years, as well as 10 years coaching in the Puerto Rico Winter League. He coached Puerto Rico’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Philling the Pen:

To get the busy Friday rolling, the team signed contracts with two relievers:

RHP Pat Neshek, who started 2017 with the Phillies and was traded to the Colorado Rockies on 7/26, was 5-3 with one S and a 1.59 ERA in 71 combined games. He also was selected to the NL All-Star roster. This all came after earning a Gold Medal with Team USA in the World Baseball Classic before the start of the season, where he was 1-0 with 5.0 shutout innings. His  contract with the Phils is reported to be two years $16.25 million. $4 million signing bonus, $5.75 million in 2018, $5.75 million in 2019: $7 million or $750,000 buyout in 2020

RHP Tommy Hunter‘s deal is also reported to be a two-year deal for around $18 million.

Over the past 10 seasons with the Texas Rangers (2008-11), Baltimore Orioles (2011-15; 2016), Chicago Cubs (2015), Cleveland Indians (2016) and Tampa Bay Rays (2017), Hunter, 31, went 51-40 with 17 saves and a 4.13 ERA in 378 games (75 starts).  It was last year’s numbers, 3-5, 2.61 ERA, 58.2 IP, 64K, 9.8 SO/9.0 IP, .097 WHIP, while holding opposing hitters to a .202 BA, that intrigued the team. He could be a set-up or 7th inning option. His best pitch is an almost 94 MPH cutter.

He is not officially on the 25 or 40 Man rosters as of this posting.

Last Call for Yon Teens to #DoTheFreddy:

We all knew that the Phillies were going to have to do something with their crowded IF with J.P. CrawfordCesar HernandezMaikel Franco, as well as AAA prospect Scott Kingery, looming so it was not much of a surprise when they announced the trading of longest tenured Phillie, SS Freddy Galvis to the San Diego Padres for AA RHP Enyel De Los Santos.

Garcia’s career contributions to the Phillies need no elucidation here, so I will concentrate on what they received for him.

Enyel De Los Santos was the No. 13 prospect in one of the best farm systems in baseball, according to . He will be the No. 9 prospect in the Phillies’ system.

De Los Santos, 22 Christmas Day, averaged 8.3 K and 2.9 BB per 9 innings, on the way to a  10-6, 3.78 ERA, 1.193 WHIP line in 26 appearances (24 starts) at AA San Antonio. His 93-95-mph range FB, has sometimes been clocked as high as 97. He is known so far as a ground ball pitcher, certainly a plus for pitching at CBP, and projects as a back of the rotation guy.

On a personal note, anybody who follows me on twitter knows the affinity I have for Freddy, and my liberal use of Freddy And The Dreamers gifs to celebrate his achievements. While I will miss him, in the long run whatever the team does to improve the squad in the future, I am all for it.

Meanwhile, It’s the Last Dance to #DoTheFreddy

$100 Million Dollar Men:

Well more like $92M when you add up the two relievers noted above, and the deal below reported by sources Friday as well, but not made official yet pending physicals.

The bulk of the $92M is from the FA signing of Carlos Santana at a reported three-year, $60 million contract. It includes a $17.5 million club option for 2021.

Santana, 31, hit .259 with 23 HR, 79 RBIs and an .818 OPS in 2017 with the Cleveland Indians. He has a career .365 on-base percentage and an .810 OPS. This fits right in with the prevailing trend of this FO to field more guys who can get on base.

Now the tie in to the Rule 5 flipping, because the Indians made Santana a qualifying offer, the Phillies will lose their second-round pick in the 2018 Draft, plus that $500,000 in international slot money they got at the winter meetings.

This move will assumedly mean that Rhys Hoskins is now an almost full time LF and that one of the other OF’s may be expendable, even still in a deal including Hernandez and/or prospects for a mid-top tier SP.

What’s Ahead:

All of these moves show that this FO believes the team is just on the cusp of contending, and all the money they are still saving by the few long term contracts they have, as well as the Comcast pot they have yet to delve into, portend more aggressive moves soon and in the future.

The FA market is still in full swing and all the contacts they made last week, and their signs to FA’s and agents alike that the door is opening, may yet see some surprises by Klentak and Co in the coming weeks.


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