Phillies

Who else could be available this month the way Kevin Gausman was for Reds?

usa_kevin_gausman_braves.jpg
USA Today Images/Eric Hartline

Who else could be available this month the way Kevin Gausman was for Reds?

Starting pitcher Kevin Gausman reportedly moved from the Braves to the Reds on Monday. 

Wait, aren’t August trades no more?

Gausman’s changing teams is an example of the one big way a team can acquire a potential difference-maker this month with August trades a thing of the past. Gausman was placed on waivers by Atlanta and claimed by Cincinnati, which absorbed his remaining contract. The Braves get nothing in return other than cash savings, and in this case an open rotation spot to bring back Mike Foltynewicz from the minors. 

In the past, teams would place most of their high-priced veterans or non-core-pieces on waivers in August because there was no risk. If the player was claimed, the original team had a brief, 48-hour window to work out a trade with the claiming team, or simply pull the player back off of waivers if no deal could be reached. These were referred to as “revocable waivers” because the player’s availability could be revoked by his original team if no deal was reached. 

Revocable waivers are no more because the August trade is no longer an option. Now, if a player is placed on waivers by a team in August and claimed by another, he goes to that new team. This is what happened with Gausman. 

It will likely happen more throughout the month of August. It won’t happen with someone like Zack Wheeler, for example, because he has more value to the Mets as a player than the cost savings of letting him go to another team. 

It could happen, though, with players still owed a chunk of change by teams with no shot at making the playoffs. 

The Pirates, for example, would probably let another team claim and absorb the salaries of Jung-Ho Kang and Francisco Liriano. Maybe they’d do it with Melky Cabrera, as well. 

The Blue Jays would let another team take Justin Smoak, a switch-hitting first baseman owed a few million dollars the rest of the season. Smoak could help the bench of several contending teams. 

The Tigers would obviously let someone claim the remaining contracts of Jordan Zimmermann and Miguel Cabrera, but there’s no chance any team would. Josh Harrison is a more realistically claimable player. 

The Mariners would probably love to get out from under the Dee Gordon, Kyle Seager and Felix Hernandez contracts, but no team will be assuming those salaries either. 

The Royals would likely let another team just take Billy Hamilton. 

The players to keep the closest eye on are those owed more than $1 million the rest of the season for bad teams before reaching free agency. 

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Which of these Phillies batting orders do you like better?

Which of these Phillies batting orders do you like better?

The Phillies have 32 spring training games to figure out which infield alignment makes the most sense, who the opening day centerfielder will be and how the batting order shakes out. 

On yesterday’s Phillies Talk podcast, Ricky Bottalico and I discussed how much batting order flexibility the addition of Didi Gregorius gives Joe Girardi. Gregorius can really bat anywhere between first and fifth. 

This was Ricky’s batting order:

  1. Andrew McCutchen, LF
  2. Didi Gregorius, SS (L)
  3. Bryce Harper, RF (L)
  4. Rhys Hoskins, 1B
  5. J.T. Realmuto, C
  6. Jean Segura, 2B
  7. Scott Kingery, 3B
  8. Adam Haseley, CF (L)

And here was mine:

  1. Andrew McCutchen, LF
  2. Bryce Harper, RF (L)
  3. J.T. Realmuto, C
  4. Rhys Hoskins, 1B
  5. Didi Gregorius, SS (L)
  6. Jean Segura, 2B
  7. Scott Kingery, 3B
  8. Adam Haseley, CF (L)

We will have to wait and see how much the new three-batter rule for relievers affects lineup construction, if at all. It could prompt managers to focus more on splitting up their lefties, which was the idea behind my splitting up Harper and Didi. 

Another option the Phils could go with is McCutchen and Segura at the top, where they were early last season. Forgotten in the totality of Segura’s disappointing first season as a Phillie is that he was hitting .330 in mid-May and his production didn’t crater until right around the time he didn’t hustle out the ball in San Diego, leading to the rundown in which McCutchen tore his ACL. Segura spoke this week about how much that ordeal weighed on him last summer. 

What’s your ideal Phillies batting order?

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Bryce Harper's headband collection continues to grow with latest design for his son

Bryce Harper's headband collection continues to grow with latest design for his son

Since his time in Philadelphia began just shy of one year ago, Bryce Harper has embraced the city with open arms from the moment he arrived.

One thing that Harper is known for, outside of crushing dingers and having a monster arm in right field, is his vast headband collection that was seen throughout the season.

It’s something that he carried over from his time in Washington, but let’s be honest — the ones that he has worn here have been way cooler.

Who can forget the iconic Phanatic one, that had just about every fan running to the closest team store or taking to their phones to place an order for their own.


(Image credit: USA Today Images)

Harper truly took a liking to the Phanatic (who wouldn’t?) and even embraced the mascot via socks and cleats. Notice the details in the laces? They’re fuzzy. Seriously, who designed those? Give that person a raise.



(Credit for Images: USA Today Images)

And let’s just hope the whole Phanatic ordeal gets settled before the start of the season, so Harper can continue repping his biggest supporter.

Let’s get back to the main reason for this post — headbands.

There were many other ways he sported his new team last season, including a headband in army green, one to match the Phillies’ home uniforms and even one with stars.



(Credit for images: USA Today Images)

His latest one though, looks to be a custom design from JunkBrands.com. It’s personalized with Harper’s number but more importantly, his son’s name, Krew.


(Image credit: John Clark/Twitter)

We’re not sure how Harper is going to top last year’s lineup … but he’s off to a pretty great start.

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