Do you think the Phils can have a legit plan for building a team [with so much upheaval in the front office]? -- @murray_fein
The Phillies can have a plan. Truth be told, they are probably following the same one they made months ago.
Little in the front office has changed since the end of the season. Yes, Matt Klentak is not the general manager anymore, but he remains with the organization as an advisor. Some combination of Phillies managing partner John Middleton, president Andy MacPhail, interim general manager Ned Rice and Klentak will be making the offseason decisions. Rice was Klentak’s most trusted advisor the past five years, and MacPhail supported their methods and decisions along the way. (Remember, Middleton is the one that decided to reassign Klentak, fire former manager Gabe Kapler and former hitting coach John Mallee, etc.) So, in a sense, it is business as usual at Citizens Bank Park.
Really, though, the question is this: Wouldn’t the Phillies be better served bringing fresh blood into the front office sooner than later? While the Phillies do not expect much action taking place over the next several weeks, lost time is lost time. Perhaps the new leader of baseball operations would see an opportunity to improve the ballclub where the current regime does not. Those little decisions can make a big difference.
What are the chances the Phillies sign J.T. Realmuto? -- @trunfio_ben
They are a contender, but their odds certainly have diminished over the past several months. New Mets owner Steve Cohen received high marks for his introductory press conference earlier this week. He seems ready to strike and take advantage of a depressed market. The Phillies still believe that Realmuto will not find the deal he wants. Maybe they are right, but they only need one team out of the other 29 to prove them wrong.
Will the Phillies be able to sign Realmuto and Didi Gregorius? -- @debbie_hacker
It is difficult to see the Phillies bringing back both.
Do you believe there is any way out of this mess through the pretty decent free-agent pool?
Talent should be flooding the market early next month, when teams non-tender players eligible for salary arbitration. A savvy front office should be able to identify the best bargain buys.
But MacPhail acknowledged last month that the Phillies’ analytics department has not done a good job finding those diamonds in the rough. Again, it is just another reason why it makes sense to find a new head of baseball operations sooner than later. Signing free agents like Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler and trading for talents like Realmuto are relative no-brainers, if you have the money or talent to acquire them. The more difficult job is finding complementary pieces to round out the 26-man roster: the fourth and fifth starters, the middle-inning relievers, the eight-hole hitter, the fourth outfielder, the bench bats.
Do you think the Phillies will sign a high-quality starting pitcher to put alongside Wheeler and Aaron Nola? -- @mattcookies2313
In seasons past, I might say the Phillies could take a run at Trevor Bauer, but I just don’t see it happening. Honestly, the top of the Phillies’ rotation pitched well last season. I think the Phillies would be better served filling out the bottom of the rotation behind Nola, Wheeler and Zach Eflin.
What happened to that “stadium safety” video they used to play at the Vet? I cannot find it online for the life of me and it drives me insane. It was like a cartoon, I think? God kicked someone out at one point, maybe? Please, Todd, PLEASE! -- @SeanRice
I vaguely remember this. Got to think somebody with the Phillies has this somewhere. Anybody?
Todd, why? -- @zoowithroy
It is a question that everybody is asking these days.