While the MacHarper rumors swirled among the twitteratti, egged on by the visit by the Philadelphia Phillies with Bryce Harper, in Las Vegas on Saturday night, the team continued going about their off-season business. That included taking care of arbitration eligible players, save one, and adding more fodder to the Spring Training roster.
Arby Announcements: Then there was one
With the Friday deadline approaching to exchange arbitration offers with the nine eligible players, the Phillies announced on Thursday that they made their first agreement, Hector Neris for $1.8M.
Then on Friday we heard that Adam Morgan had agreed to a $1.1M deal.
That was quickly followed by this Phillies tweet noting all the signings, leaving only one exception:
That one exception was a big one, being Aaron Nola. It was reported that the Phils offered $4.5M, while Nola asked for $6.75M. This of course set off a plethora of #PayTheMan tweets among people who have little or no understanding of how arbitration works. This is a negotiating starting point and the two sides have until the hearings start on 2/1 to work this out, and even then until the actual hearing date. My best guess is they will split down the middle before the hearings start.
For the record the rest of the signing numbers were:
OF Aaron Altherr ($1.35M), LHP Jose Alvarez ($1.925M), RHPs Jerad Eickhoff ($975,000), and Vince Velasquez ($2.249M), 3B Maikel Franco ($5.2M) and 2B Cesar Hernandez ($7.75M).
More Spring Training Invitees:
On Thursday more names were released as invitees to spring training.
The following were offered MiLB contracts as non-roster invitees:
IF’s Gift Ngoepe, and Andrew Romine, as well as LHP Edward Paredes
The team also announced eight others who already were in the Phillies Milb system:
IF Malquin Canelo, IF/OF Austin Listi, OFs Adam Haseley and Mickey Moniak, C Deivi Grullón, and LHPs Tyler Gilbert, Cole Irvin, and JoJo Romero.
Of those eight, four are in the top ten list of Phillies prospects by MLB Pipeline, Haseley (4), Romero (5), Moniak (6), and Irvin (10).
As is my wont, I will not regurgitate the many rumors out there this week, except to say believe little of what you read. I.E. There was at least one instance of a well followed “expert” blogger deleting his account because of certainty posts pointing to a certain team, that pretty much look like will never happen.
I can report that, according to Todd Zolecki at Phillies.Com, the team, including Managing Partner John Middleton, GM Matt Klentak, President Andy MacPhail, assistant GM Ned Riceb, and Manager Gabe Kapler, met with Harper, his wife Kayla and his agent Scott Boras. It is not known at this time whether any contract offers were made.
It is believed that the Phillies have already made on offer to Manny Machado, and expected that now they have met with Harper as well, things should start moving along.
The team did hire a new IF coach Bobby Dickerson. Dickerson is known as a long time mentor to Machado, and was last in the Baltimore Orioles organization as a 3B coach. This certainly can’t hurt their chances with Manny, but is hardly a big factor. For instance the Chicago White Sox traded for his brother in law, Yonder Alonso, but that has not pushed them to the forefront in this battle.
Stay Tuned for any real news to come.
There is not much on the actual MLB calendar, but of course FA rolls on and we will have to see if the Phils and Nola have any contract discussions.
If nothing happens I will start to break down the non-roster invitees by position, as I have the last few off-seasons.
Across PattisonAve:End of the Title Defense
Kudos to that other outdoor team on Pattison Ave for extending their season farther than I, and I am sure many others thought, the way the season started, and then all the injuries. Even in this last game, losing one of their offensive linemen, and their best defensive player, Fletcher Cox, for many plays, they still kept the team in the game, holding the vaunted Saints offense to 20 points.
They showed how Heart and Team Work, can help overcome adversity and give an underdog it’s due, for awhile at least.