Phillies

Phillies' reported interest in Dee Gordon makes no sense

Phillies' reported interest in Dee Gordon makes no sense

The Phillies are in Miami this week, and if recent reports are any indication, some Marlins could soon be in Philly.

Dee Gordon is the latest Marlin connected to the Phillies.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Phillies and Blue Jays have "sincere interest" in Gordon.

Huh???

Gordon would be an extremely odd fit here. The Phillies already have two young second basemen they like in Cesar Hernandez and Scott Kingery. Positions aside, adding another speedy player who lacks power and doesn't walk much is not a great path to upgrading to your offense.

Here's my interpretation of this report: It seems to have come from the Marlins since the news about Gordon is accompanied by 10 teams' interest in reliever David Phelps. Seems like a team trying to drum up interest in its own guys.

The Phillies are interested in Christian Yelich and have reportedly kicked around the idea of assuming Giancarlo Stanton's contract as part of a trade with the Marlins (see story). If Gordon's name came up in one of those conversations, then technically he'd be a player the Phillies have shown interest in.

The Marlins are also probably trying to get out from under Gordon's contract. It's not enormous, but $37 million over the next three seasons for a decent player on a team that constantly reloads and fails to draw fans to the ballpark is a lot. Miami could accomplish that goal by attaching Gordon to a Yelich trade, though it would detract from the prospect package it receives in return.

Yelich talks 'heating up'
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported separately that the Phils' interest in Yelich is "heating up."

"A few weeks back we wrote about the resources the Phillies have to be active in trades or free agency," Cafardo wrote Sunday. "We mentioned the possibility of them taking on Giancarlo Stanton’s contract while also having interest in Christian Yelich. Well, the Yelich part is heating up. There are conflicting stories on whether the Marlins have the OK to trade away major talent as the franchise is being sold, but it looks like the Phillies will pursue this."

Yelich is a good player on a great contract who does a solid job of controlling the strike zone. But he's not exactly a game-changer. He's a .292 lifetime hitter, and last season he hit 21 homers and 38 doubles while slugging .483. But during the rest of his career, he's slugged just .407.

Really, the best thing about Yelich is his contract. He's owed $44.5 million from 2018-21 and has a 2022 club option worth $15 million. But a team with as little proven talent and as much open payroll space as the Phillies should be more concerned with adding the best players possible rather than seeking the most bang for their buck.

Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

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AP Images

Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

Gabe Kapler on Friday added to his coaching staff by naming Jim Gott the Phillies' bullpen coach.

Gott was the minor-league pitching coordinator for the Angels the last five seasons and the pitching coach for the Arizona League Angels the three years prior to that role.

He played for the Blue Jays, Giants, Pirates and Dodgers over 14 major-league seasons as a starter and reliever. Gott, now 58 years old, compiled a 3.87 ERA while making 96 starts and converting 91 saves.

Kapler and the Phillies still need to name a pitching coach and first-base coach. Last week, they named Dusty Wathan third-base coach and hired John Mallee as hitting coach, while retaining Rick Kranitz, who was the assistant pitching coach last season (see story). He could fill the main pitching coach vacancy, although his role is currently to be determined.

In 2017, Bob McClure served the Phillies as pitching coach and Mickey Morandini was first-base coach.

MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

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USA Today Images

MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

Houston Astros dynamo Jose Altuve has won the American League MVP award, towering over New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge by a wide margin.

The 5-foot-6 Altuve drew 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Altuve batted a major league-best .346. He hit 24 home runs with 81 RBIs, scored 112 times, stole 32 bases and showed a sharp glove at second base.

The 6-foot-7 Judge won the AL Rookie of the Year award Monday. He set a rookie record with 52 home runs.

Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians finished third. The award was announced Thursday.

Altuve helped lead the Astros to their first World Series championship. Voting for these honors was completed before the postseason began.

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton won the NL MVP award, barely edging Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds.

In the closest MVP vote since 1979, Stanton became only the sixth player to win from a losing team. Stanton led the big leagues with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs (see full story).

MLB: Manfred says pace changes will happen with or without union
Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

There are ongoing talks for a new posting system with Japan to replace the deal that expired Nov. 1, one that would allow star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani to leave the Pacific League's Nippon Ham Fighters to sign with a big league team (see full story).

Mariners: Team makes trade, raises available money for Japan's Otani​
The Seattle Mariners have gained more flexibility if they want to try to sign star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani.

They acquired an additional $500,000 for their international signing bonus pool from the Chicago White Sox in a trade for Brazilian right-hander Thyago Vieira.

Otani, a 23-year-old right-hander, would be limited to a minor league contract with a signing bonus under Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement. The trade announced Thursday increases the Mariners' available money for a signing bonus to $1,557,500. Seattle has spent $3,942,500 on bonuses in the signing year that started July 2 from a pool that rose to $5.5 million with the trade.

The 24-year-old Vieira made his major league debut with a scoreless inning against Baltimore on Aug. 14, his only big league appearance. He was 2-3 with two saves and a 3.72 ERA in 29 games this year for Double-A Arkansas and 0-1 with two saves and a 4.58 ERA in 12 games for Triple-A Tacoma.

Chicago is restricted to a maximum $300,000 signing bonus because it exceeded its pool in a previous year under the old labor contract.