Phillies

Phillies-Mets observations: Adam Morgan finally cracks as 3-game win streak ends in extras

Phillies-Mets observations: Adam Morgan finally cracks as 3-game win streak ends in extras

BOX SCORE

Adam Morgan gave up a three-run home run to Asdrubal Cabrera in the 11th inning and the Phillies fell to the New York Mets, 7-4, Saturday night in the penultimate game of their season and manager Pete Mackanin’s tenure. 

Morgan (3-3) has been one of the Phillies’ top relievers of late, having allowed two runs in his last 26 innings with 32 strikeouts. 

But the lefty gave up a single to Phillip Evans and walked Nori Aoki with one out. After striking out Jose Reyes, Cabrera belted an 0-1 changeup just over the wall in left field for his 14th home run. 

Rhys Hoskins’ two-out single to left off Jamie Callahan capped a two-run seventh as the Phillies tied it. Hoskins nearly won it in the 10th, but his long drive to left got caught up in the wind and was caught at the edge of the wall. 

Maikel Franco hit his second home run in as many days, a solo shot in the second, as the Phillies’ three-game winning streak was snapped. 

• Phillies starter Henderson Alvarez was wild in his final audition for a 2018 job. Struggling with fastball command, Alvarez walked six, including five of the final 10 batters he faced on a chilly and windy night at Citizens Bank Park. In his third start following a two-year absence from the majors because of shoulder trouble, the former NL All-Star didn’t record a strikeout in 4 2/3 innings. 

• Alvarez allowed three runs and three hits, with the Mets going ahead 3-2 in the fifth on Brandon Nimmo’s first career triple, which drove in two.

• The Phillies (65-96) were eliminated in the “race” for the worst record in the majors and ensuing No. 1 pick in next June’s draft when San Francisco (63-98) lost to San Diego 3-2 earlier Saturday.  

• Jeurys Familia, the Mets’ ninth pitcher, worked a perfect 11th. 

• Hoskins has 48 RBIs in 49 games. 

• Alvarez finished with a 4.30 ERA in three starts. He’s a contact pitcher, with a fastball topping out at 93 mph, but once threw a no-hitter and is only 27. The Phillies may try to bring him to spring training with so many openings in the rotation. 

• Alvarez continued to occasionally throw an Eephus pitch. Switch-hitting Asdrubal Cabrera lined an opposite-field single on a 59.9 mph offering in the fourth. 

• After Franco’s homer, Jorge Alfaro doubled in the second and scored on Cesar Hernandez’s infield single as the Phillies built a 2-0 lead. 

• Franco’s difficult season is finishing on an upswing. He’s homered in three of his last four games and has 23 on the year, taking over the team lead from Tommy Joseph.  

• Alfaro took a shot to the head on that play at the plate and remained down for several moments before getting to his feet and walking off. He was replaced by Cameron Rupp in the seventh. 

• Hoskins made a nice scoop of catcher Rupp’s low throw to first in the seventh.

• The Mets went up 4-2 on Cabrera’s double off Zac Curtis in the seventh. 

• Rightfielder Nick Williams threw out Juan Lagares at the plate to complete a double play to end the sixth. 

• The stiff wind blowing in prevented at least three home runs: Hoskins’ drive to left in the 10th, Nimmo’s fly to center in the first and Alfaro’s drive to right in the fourth.

• Mackanin had J.P. Crawford batting second for the second time since his call-up “just to give him as many at-bats the next two days as I can.” He went 1 for 4 and made a fine snag, spin and throw to first to get Amed Rosario in the sixth. 

• Freddy Galvis drew a walk pinch-hitting to lead off the seventh in his 161st game. Galvis on Sunday can become the first Phillies player to appear in all 162 games since Ryan Howard in 2008. 

• Aaron Altherr hit third, played left field and hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the seventh to make it 4-3. While Altherr has come on late in the season, Mackanin said his durability is still a question. “I’d like to know that a guy can play every day,” he said.

• All major league games on the final day of the season Sunday will start at 3:05 p.m. RHP Nick Pivetta (7-10, 6.26 ERA) will face Noah Syndergaard (1-2, 3.18), who will throw only 20-25 pitches in his return from a lat muscle injury. It will be Mackanin’s final game before he moves into an advisor role next season (see story)

How many of MLB's $100 million men actually lived up to the contract?

How many of MLB's $100 million men actually lived up to the contract?

What percentage of baseball players who signed a contract of at least $100 million actually lived up to it?

Take a guess and remember the number you picked.

With J.T. Realmuto's arbitration hearing in the rearview mirror, the conversation shifts to his next contract. Barring some cataclysmic development, Realmuto's next deal will exceed $100 million.

Back in September, I predicted five years, $112.5 million.

Realmuto is expected to seek in the neighborhood of $23 million per season, matching Joe Mauer’s record salary for a catcher, over a five- or six-year deal. (Five years at $23 million a pop would be $115 million.)

In general, contracts this large miss more often than they hit. We went back through all the contracts of at least $100 million that were signed through 2017 to put an actual number on it. What is the success rate?

Excluded here are players who signed their contracts in 2018, '19 or '20. Too early to judge. You won't see Bryce Harper or Zack Wheeler below for that reason. The list runs through 2017 and includes 67 players.

A lot of these deals were memorably bad. That's the reality of a gargantuan contract that, for so long in baseball's history, went to a player for past performance more than future projection.

Recall the percentage you picked.

The number is 30%. Yep, 7 out of 10 deals of at least $100 million went south. Some of you might think that sounds high, some low. Here is the full list. A few are arguable.

Yes (20)

Mike Trout (2015-20)
Albert Pujols (2004-10)
Freddie Freeman
Miguel Cabrera (2008-15)
Derek Jeter
Max Scherzer
Clayton Kershaw
Justin Verlander
Felix Hernandez
Todd Helton
Kevin Brown
Buster Posey (?)
CC Sabathia
Carlos Beltran
Matt Holliday
Cole Hamels
Zack Greinke
Jon Lester (?)
Masahiro Tanaka
Manny Ramirez

Posey and Lester underperformed during long portions of their deals but they were also pivotal players on championship teams. Hamels and Holliday are right on the fringe.

No (47)

Kyle Seager
Evan Longoria
Ryan Zimmerman
Ryan Braun
Homer Bailey
Justin Upton
Jose Reyes
Yoenis Cespedes
Dustin Pedroia
Jordan Zimmermann
Ken Griffey Jr.
Cliff Lee
Elvis Andrus
Mike Hampton
CC Sabathia
Josh Hamilton
Ryan Howard
Yu Darvish
Jayson Werth
Vernon Wells
Barry Zito
Matt Cain
Johnny Cueto
Shin-Soo Choo
Alfonso Soriano
Johan Santana
David Wright
Carl Crawford
Eric Hosmer
Jacoby Ellsbury
Adrian Gonzalez
Troy Tulowitzki
Matt Kemp
Chris Davis
Mark Teixeira
Jason Heyward
Joe Mauer
Prince Fielder
David Price
Joey Votto
Jason Giambi
Robinson Cano
Albert Pujols (current deal)
Miguel Cabrera (current deal)
Alex Rodriguez
Giancarlo Stanton
Carlos Lee

Most of these deals were justifiable at the time. Some, like Chris Davis, Homer Bailey, Elvis Andrus and Vernon Wells were viewed immediately with skepticism.

A few — Votto, Teixeira — could go either way. Votto has been productive throughout his Reds career but the power has almost completely disappeared. Would the Reds have paid him $225 million if they knew that he'd miss as many All-Star games as he'd make throughout the deal and that by Year 6 he'd be a .280 singles hitter with a high OBP? He's been really good but this underscores how hard it is to live up to such a deal.

The two catchers above are Posey and Mauer. Posey, by 31, was a shell of himself offensively. This is the risk you run with elite catchers. The wear-and-tear catches up. Mauer didn't deliver either. He played well during his eight-year, $184 million contract but by Year 5, his catching days were over, and a lot of his value was tied to his position.

And as Phillies fans experienced with Cliff Lee and Ryan Howard, unpredictable injuries can ruin the party as well.

The Phillies still have to re-sign Realmuto. They traded their top prospect for him a year ago and he'd be impossible to replace during a win-now period. The Phillies did not trade for Realmuto to have him for two years. They did it to have him for closer to eight years.

Beyond that, Realmuto looks like a solid bet to deliver on his next contract because of his elite defense and an offensive skill set that is among the two or three best at his position. His well-roundedness should make the Phils feel better about the money they have to pay. It's not as if Realmuto's game is all about power, or all about defense, or all about speed, and slippage in one area would sap him of his effectiveness. He is valuable in every phase and that value is only enhanced by his intangibles.

Just don't ignore the precedent above. Three out of 10 is good enough to get you in the Hall of Fame, but it's definitely not a high hit rate when it comes to nine-figure deals.

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Phillies avoid arbitration, reach deal with Hector Neris

Phillies avoid arbitration, reach deal with Hector Neris

The Phillies have avoided a salary-arbitration hearing with Hector Neris, settling with the reliever for $4.6 million, according to a league source.

The deal includes a team option for $7 million in 2021, which would have been Neris’ final year of arbitration eligibility before free agency. The team option is a $7 million base salary but could rise with escalators.

The settlement with Neris comes days after the Phillies participated in their first arbitration hearing in 12 years, which went in their favor over J.T. Realmuto. 

Neris has a 3.29 ERA in his six seasons with the Phillies and last season set career bests in saves (28), WHIP (1.02) and opponents’ batting average (.186). 

The 30-year-old made $1.8 million in 2019. 

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