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  • The news broke earlier today that the Angels and Mike Trout have agreed on a record-breaking contract extension. According to Jeff Passan, it is a 12-year deal worth $430 million. This breaks Bryce Harper’s record for the largest contract in professional sports history. A dream turned into a record-breaking deal There is no secret that Phillies’ fans wanted Trout. There is also no secret that Trout loves Philadelphia. The idea or dream for Phillies’ fans was that after the 2020 season, Harper and Trout would be playing in the same outfield. Well, we know for a fact that won’t happen. It was a nice dream while it lasted. I’ve written about this scenario before, both Harper and Trout together in the same outfield. I’ve also said that Harper would sign with Philadelphia before the 2018 season ended. Unfortunately, we will never get to see Trout hit free agency. Hitting free agency may have never been the goal for Trout. But, I don’t think to receive a record-breaking deal was the goal for him either. Trout has been a quick superstar who has been wildly mis-marketed by major league baseball. Popularity and money are things that Trout does not strive for. The Phillies just saved at least $430 Million I believe that the general consensus is that Trout is still worth more than this $430 million contract. I believe this, and everything you will see on twitter supports this. Not to mention the actual data that supports this. The question now becomes, who will the Phillies go after? They are no longer saving money for Trout or Nolan Arenado. There are two free agents that are still available; Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel. I don’t see why the Phillies shouldn’t take a chance on at least one, if not both of...
  • If you’ve been living under a rock for the last few days then I have some great news for you! Bryce Harper has signed a 13 year $330M contract with the Phillies. This contract includes a full no-trade clause as well as no opt-outs. For the people who have looked at their phones, the TV, or the newspaper in the last three days you knew this already. There have been many pictures today, but here is one of Harper in a Phillies’ jersey. This article is not a news breaking or informational article. Instead, I thought I would have some fun and write about my opinion. As I said, unless you’ve been under a rock, then you know everything about this contract already. With that being said, I’m going to tell you how I feel about this contract. The newest Phillie, Bryce Harper in his Phillies’ jersey Again, remember that this article is my opinion. This offseason has been an extremely long and frustrating ride. Both Harper and Manny Machado had been free agents for a long time. Pitchers and catchers reported and they were both still free agents. Then, the whole team reported and full team practices started and they were both still free agents. Finally, Machado signed a 10 year $300M contract with the San Diego Padres. Not too long after that, Harper signed with the Phillies. I’ve said for months now that I would rather have Harper over Machado. Although it was rumored that both players would sign with the Phillies, I never believed it. I thought it was possible, but I didn’t think it was going to happen. I wanted the Phillies to go after Harper because I believe he is the better fit for the city of Philadelphia and the fan-base. This video of Harper...
  • IT HAPPENED, it actually happened I can’t believe it! I actually can’t believe it, it happened! Bryce Harper signed with the Philadelphia Phillies! For some quick housekeeping, the contract details are 13 years and $330M with no opt-outs. Bryce Harper’s deal with the Phillies will be for 13 years and $330M, league sources tell ESPN. It will not include any opt-outs. — Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 28, 2019 To me, this isn’t too bad. I’ve been saying for most of this season that if I were Matt Klentak, I would offer him 10 years-$400 Million and pay him $40 million each year.  It may take some time for all of the contract details to come out, but here is what we know. 13 years and $330M  It turns out Vegas was right again. Updated odds for what team Bryce Harper will be on for the first game of the 2019 regular season (@BovadaOfficial): Phillies EVENCubs +300Nationals +400Giants +750Yankees +800Dodgers +850Red Sox +1500Angels +1500 — OddsShark (@OddsShark) October 29, 2018 What does this mean for the 2019 Phillies? Obviously, this signing pushes the Phillies to the top of the NL East and potentially an immediate contender. When you pair this with the additions of Andrew McCutchen, David Robertson, and Jean Segura it makes the 2019 Phillies World Series contenders. The one-two punch for the Phillies will be deadly. Rhys Hoskins and Harper hitting next to each other in the same lineup have to make Phillies fans excited. When you pair these two up with a Maikel Franco from the second half of last season, and an Odebul Herrera from the first half of last season, there are a lot of weapons for this offense. Before you say anything, yes I know that it is a big if, for both Franco and Herrera. I expect the...
  • This is the first edition of the Phillies mailbag. The mailbag has become a popular thing recently, and I wanted to do my own for the Phillies. Unfortunately, I only had a couple of questions for this week. Although there is just a couple of question, I will answer them. Also, if you read this article and have other Phillies’ questions for me, feel free to send them my way. First-edition, Question 1: Firstly, I want to thank Bill or @AvatarJohnson for the question for the first edition of the Phillies mailbag. If you don’t understand the question, he is talking about Bryce Harper. There has been much talk about the contract that Harper will get. I’ve written before that I would give Harper 10 years worth $400M. I would give him $40M a year for all 10 years. I’m not a fan of back-loading contracts because it eventually hurts the organization in the long run. This was during the 2018 season when there was talk of him getting that much. As we’ve seen with the free agent market this year, teams are not handing out these types of contracts anymore. This could be because of the lack of production from guys like Albert Pujols. To try and answer Bill’s question of how much Harper’s production is worth in terms of years and money, it’s tough to say. If you look at Harper’s 162 game average, he is hitting .279 with 32 home runs and 91 RBIs. Right there is a bat that you build your team around. When you pair his production with his personality and marketability, he is worth even more. My final prediction for what the Phillies will offer Harper is still a 10-year contract. However, depending on where the other interested teams are money-wise, I would...
  • The news broke yesterday that ESPN will not be bringing back Baseball Tonight for the 2019 season. This comes as a bit of a surprise to many fans, including me. The 2018 season was a success for ESPN in terms of viewership because of the addition of Alex Rodriguez in the booth for Sunday Night Baseball. With all of that, the network decided to cancel Baseball Tonight. Does this really matter? Maybe? Honestly, this probably doesn’t matter to a lot of people. Maybe it will surprise me with the number of people who actually care as I do. It could just be a nostalgia factor, but Baseball Tonight was one of my favorite shows. Show? I guess you could call it a show. It’s as much of a show as SportsCenter is. As far as the show itself, there are a couple of things that I will miss. First and foremost is Tim Kurkjian. A great baseball guy who’s passion and charisma warmed the hearts of so many. The next thing that comes to mind is Web Gems. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love some Web Gems? Baseball Tonight is dead, is this the end of a baseball-centered show on ESPN? Unlike the NFL and the NBA, the MLB doesn’t have much representation on ESPN. This is a bit odd considering all four major sports have their own network. Still, ESPN continues to promote the NFL and NBA at a much higher rate. I feel like I can be honest with you guys because I really don’t care about the lack of coverage. It was something I used to get mad about it, but now I just watch MLB network more often than ESPN. I don’t see ESPN producing a baseball-centered show in the near future. If a show...
  • There is no doubt about it, Craig Kimbrel is a top-five closer in baseball, and he has been since he entered the league. The question becomes, why is he still a free agent? I can understand why some position players like Mike Moustakas are not signed yet. Position players are not signed because they are waiting for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado to sign. However, there is no explanation for Kimbrel to still be unsigned. With a closer of Kimbrel’s caliber, shouldn’t the Phillies go after him? Kimbrel’s career Since coming into the league in 2010, Kimbrel has amassed 333 career saves. This is in addition to his career 20.2 WAR and 1.91 ERA. He has also struck out 868 batters in just 532.2 innings. As you can see from the graphic, he ranks up with the best of them. In his nine-year career, Kimbrel has been the full-time closer for eight of those seasons. In each of those eight seasons, he has never saved less than 31 games. He also has four seasons over 40 saves, and one season with 50. The seven-time all-star is one of the best closers in the last two decades, but he still remains unsigned. Is the price too high for Kimbrel? Jayson Stark reported in December that Kimbrel was looking for a six-year deal worth $100M. Although he is just 30 years old, a six-year deal for Kimbrel is not something I would like to see. I don’t think a contract like that would benefit the Phillies. With that being said, if the Phillies can get him for a cheaper price, it seems like a no brainer. Adding him to a bullpen with Seranthony Domínguez and David Robertson would most certainly give the Phillies the best bullpen in the NL East. This brings...
  • Here it is, the long-awaited (at least for some of you) article on Dallas Keuchel. I’ve been teasing this piece for a few weeks now, and I think it’s time to finally put the words down. The thought/idea of this article is simple, why haven’t the Phillies signed Keuchel yet? I’ve made my bed on the Keuchel train and I plan to sleep there. Whether that is the place to be doesn’t matter, I’m there. Is Keuchel the best available starting pitcher? There is no debate about it, Keuchel is the best available starting pitcher on the market. He is a former Cy Young winner, a World Series champion, and I haven’t even mentioned the fact that he is left-handed. The addition of a left-handed starter would enhance the Phillies’ rotation. Keuchel was just 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA in 34 starts during the 2018 season. However, he did break the 200 inning barrier and finished the season with 204.2 innings. Perhaps the most interesting or intriguing part of Keuchel is his ground ball rate (52.7% in 2018). However, this was down from 66.8% in 2017. If you put a ground ball pitcher inside of Citizens Bank Park, good results should follow. Does it really matter that he is left-handed? Yes, it really matters that Keuchel is left-handed. The last time a team won the World Series without a left-handed starting pitcher was the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Before you say anything, I AM NOT SAYING THAT THE PHILLIES WILL WIN THE WORLD SERIES IN 2019 IF THEY SIGN KEUCHEL. However, it is pretty eye-opening that every World Series winning team has had at least one left-hander in their rotation. Look at the 2008 Phillies, they had Cole Hamels. The addition of a left-hander within the rotation creates chaos for...
  • For the second year in a row, a former Phillies’ player has been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Last year it was Jim Thome and this year it is Roy Halladay. Although neither player will be wearing a Phillies’ hat in Cooperstown, both played an important part in Phillies’ history. Let’s take a quick look at Halladay’s career and some of his best moments. 1st Ballot Hall of Fame for Halladay There have been 47 players selected into the Hall of Fame on their first ballot. After this year’s class, that number goes up to 49 with the additions of Mariano Rivera and Halladay. Halladay is nothing short of deserving, and that should be clear to everyone who watched him pitch. I don’t think there is any doubt that Halladay deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and I would even go as far to say that he deserves to be a 1st ballot Best Halladay moments? We could sit here all night and dive into Halladay’s entire career. I’ve done that before, and you can read it here. During the span of his career, he led all of major league baseball in complete games and shutouts. Without a doubt, these are stats that we may never see again. If I had to pick one moment of Halladay’s career, I think I would go with the postseason no-hitter. I understand that he threw a perfect game against the Marlins, but the postseason no-hitter was just the second no-hitter in postseason history. He was dominant in that postseason game against the Cincinnati Reds. Every single pitch and every single inning. Therefore you knew something special was happening. Every single time Halladay took the mound, you just assumed that he was going to throw a complete game. I understand that...
  • I want to start this article by saying that Mike Trout is not a free agent until after the 2020 season. But I’m sure everyone already knew that. I mean it seems like all the news surrounding the Phillies are either Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Trout. Whether or not the Phillies sign all three or none, the constant conversation is great. This brings me to the point or this article which is, does signing Harper help or hurt the Phillies’ chances of signing Trout? Why have one if you could have both? I think the thing to remember here is that the Phillies want to spend money. John Middleton has been extremely public about that desire, and with that being said, it all starts now for the Phillies. I’ve been pretty vocal about my opinion on the Harper vs. Machado debate. I’m team Harper, and the reason for this is simple, I think he is a better fit for the city of Philadelphia and it’s fans. The Phillies main goal, if it isn’t already, should be to do everything in their power to sign Harper. It’s like running in a race or a marathon. You can’t get to the end without taking the first step, and signing Harper is the first step. You may be sitting there and thinking where are the Phillies trying to go? To me, this should be simple. The goal of 2019 should be to make the playoffs. The goal of 2020 should be to compete for a World Series. And finally, the goal after the 2020 season should be to sign Trout. Again, the first step for all of this is to sign Harper now. Does Harper and Trout make sense for everyone? You might be sitting there and thinking that I’m stupid for even...
  • I want to start this article with the fact that neither Bryce Harper or Manny Machado have signed. I also want to start this article by saying this is my opinion on what would happen to Gabe Kapler and the Phillies if the MLB added the designated hitter (DH) to the national league. For anyone who doesn’t know, the DH is a position where a play only hits. It is currently a rule for only American league teams in their ballparks. The DH is a position player who will hit for the pitcher. Is a universal DH coming to the MLB? There was a lot of talks this offseason about making the DH a constant throughout the MLB. Personally, I love that the National league doesn’t have the DH. I think it allows for more strategy throughout the entire game. No DH means that the manager needs to think about when to bring in a reliever, when do they pull their starting pitcher, a double-switch is in play because there is no DH. These are just a few of the variables or options that a National league manager has. As far as changing the current state of baseball, I don’t think it will happen in the near future. However, there are reasons for the shift to a full DH game. By having both leagues use a DH, it eliminates the chance of a pitcher getting hurt while hitting. It will also add more offense to games. The Commissioner’s office understands that the average age of baseball fans is in the 40s. They believe that adding more offense will help to bring in a younger fan base. How would the DH change Gabe Kapler? Again, I want to make sure that everyone knows this is all opinion. I feel like that...