Category Archives: Philadelphia Phillies Shirts

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High School High Tech students at Port St. Joe High School had a fantastic time learning about career opportunities with music, sports, military, drones, dogs and more from local leaders.

Florida High School High Tech of Gulf County hosted a Career Fair for their students at Port St. Joe High School last week. The HSHT program is a career mentoring program facilitated by the Dyslexia Research Institute.

“Our goal is to expose our students to many varied career options to expand their possibilities,” said Dr. Patricia Hardman, director or Dyslexia Research Institute and HSHT.

During the Career Fair, nine businesses spent two hours with the students presenting information about their career field and answering questions. Students were able to spend 20 minutes or more with two of the businesses as well as listening to all of the presenters in their introduction.

The students learned about many varied careers from professional baseball outfielder, Roman Quinn, who plays for the Philadelphia Phillies. They heard about opportunities in the communications field and the development of drones with Skyborne Technologies, Mike Lawson presenting.

Students interested in nature and animals were treated to “Biscuits” a kitten brought by the staff of St. Joseph Bay Humane Society, Kylie Skoda and several others explain about careers with animals. Sophie Fonseca of the St. Joseph Buffer Preserve rounded out the nature lovers by explaining how a love of nature can transform into a career.

Those students interested in photography were treated to viewing Debbie Hooper’s portfolio and discussing ways to turn a hobby into a career. For our budding vocal artists, Lauren Springs, singer/songwriter explained the many different ways vocal artists work with each other to create art.

Heather Burris, a retired Air Force Pilot and now a reservist, talked about careers in the Air Force. Medical fields of study, particularly in the emergency medical field, were discussed by Houston Whitfield. And not forgetting the little guys, Vanesa Ryan from The Learning Center discussed careers in child care.

It was a busy and information packed day.

This is the 13th year that the Dyslexia Research Institute has facilitated the High School High Tech Club.

Students left the program excited about the possibilities in their future.

This program is funded by The Able Trust, Vocational Rehabilitation and The Alfred L. duPont Foundation. Robyn A. Rennick is the Activities Director. For more information call 527-4671.

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PITTSBURGH — Andrew McCutchen was sitting near the middle of a basketball court at the Kingsley Center last Thursday morning, talking to a room full of third-, fourth- and fifth-graders from nearby Lincoln Elementary School in the Larimer neighborhood of Pittsburgh. He was there to tell his story, to encourage the students to work hard and never give up on their dreams.

He told the children the story about how, when he was 12 years old living in Fort Meade, Fla., he was hoping to attend a baseball camp in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The cost of travel was simply too much for his family to afford, but people in his community — from business owners to the family’s church — chipped in to raise the necessary money. With their help, McCutchen made it to the Roberto Clemente Camp after all.

On the surface, McCutchen was giving the students an idea of how he became a successful Major League Baseball star — with a lot of hard work and plenty of help along the way. And in a way, he was also explaining why he was sitting there in front of them in that gym, nearing the end of a week-long charitable blitz all around Pittsburgh.

“I’m giving because there were times I needed it for myself. My family needed the help,” McCutchen said. “We had a lot of help. If it wasn’t for the help, there’s no telling where we would be.

“For me, it only feels right to do the same thing: Help others who can’t help themselves and do it any way, shape or form that I can.”

McCutchen has displayed that giving spirit throughout his career, one of the reasons he won MLB’s Roberto Clemente Award in 2015. But there was one more question from Howard Slaughter, the president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh, as he sat next to McCutchen: Why here?

McCutchen didn’t miss a beat.

“’Cause I love Pittsburgh,” he said.

‘Project Pittsburgh’
McCutchen spent a full week, from Nov. 16 through Saturday, taking part in a series of charitable events around the city he still calls home. It was all part of “Project Pittsburgh,” a volunteer initiative created by McCutchen and his wife, Maria, to assist and promote nonprofit organizations in the area.

“Cutch Charity Week” was a busy one and, as McCutchen put it, a “hands-on” undertaking.

McCutchen helped high schoolers pick out clothes for job interviews during Senior Development Day at the South Hills Village Mall Macy’s store, served meals with the Light of Life Rescue Mission in the North Side, visited patients at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, read with kids at Carnegie Library, packaged supplies for the Homeless Children’s Education Fund, spoke to students at the Kingsley Center, swung a hammer alongside Habitat for Humanity volunteers while remodeling a house in Larimer, delivered food with 412 Food Rescue and hosted a free baseball clinic for inner-city children.

“We’re hoping that it sheds a little bit of light on these organizations, what they’re about and what they’re doing,” McCutchen said. “Hopefully this continues, so whoever sees it can find ways to be able to give as well.”

McCutchen said he and Maria wanted to do something like this for a while, but it wasn’t so easy to organize over the last few years. They welcomed their first son, Steel, in November 2017. Then, suddenly, Pittsburgh was no longer McCutchen’s professional home. First came the January 2018 trade that sent McCutchen from the Pirates to the Giants, then another trade to the Yankees, then his first foray into free agency and then, finally, a three-year contract with the Phillies.

The McCutchens are expecting their second child, another boy, later this winter. But they decided the time was right to turn their brainstorming sessions into action. And they wanted to give back here in Pittsburgh, where they met, started their family and still reside in one of the city’s northern suburbs.

“We were ready. We were ready to get started, to work within the community,” McCutchen said. “No better place than where we live, being in Pittsburgh, to be able to give back to this city. … I haven’t been in the community, especially in Pittsburgh, the last few years. So just the hunger to want to do it and want to be a part of something like this, it’s something I really wanted to do.”

McCutchen could have just written a bunch of checks to charities, called it a day and spent the week at home with his son and pregnant wife. He did far more than that during “Cutch Charity Week.”

“Andrew’s support and help, just coming in and spending some time with us, it shows that he cares and that he’s committed,” Slaughter said. “Not everyone would be willing to come and roll up their sleeves and hammer nails and put up drywall and siding and things of that nature for somebody that they don’t know, for someone they may never know. That kind of work is sustaining, meaning that what we do today is going to benefit somebody for the next 40 or 50 years. That kind of impact is rare.”

McCutchen said it was important to see the programs in action and called it “eye-opening” to be a part of their daily work. He also set out to make “Project Pittsburgh” more of a grassroots movement than a photo opportunity, demonstrating just how many different ways people can get involved and help others within their community.

“I felt this was something I needed. There’s a lot of organizations that need a lot of help,” McCutchen said. “On top of that, it’s shedding light on all of these different organizations that you can work with — not just me and not just another athlete or celebrity, but the average person. … There’s all of these programs, all of these places where you can help, you can lend a helping hand, you can volunteer, you can donate. Just showing others that if you don’t necessarily know what you want to do, there are a lot of outlets where you can find something to do.”

Local connection
Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that McCutchen has worn three uniforms since he last donned his No. 22 jersey with the Pirates, because he was so inextricably linked to Pittsburgh from 2009-17. He was the face of the franchise, the National League’s Most Valuable Player and one of the Majors’ most recognizable stars when the Pirates snapped their 20-year streak and returned to the postseason in 2013.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember, though, simply because McCutchen is still so popular around here.

“People who aren’t from here, they wouldn’t realize it until they’re actually here. This city is unique,” McCutchen said. “They love their sports. They love their athletes. They love their celebrities. They don’t just treat you like an athlete. They treat you like a human being, like a person. It’s a very family-oriented place. It’s a big city, but it has a small-town feel to it. That’s the thing I love about it.”

When he visited the Habitat for Humanity home in Larimer, McCutchen found himself signing a block of wood, promising to autograph one volunteer’s hammer and talking on FaceTime with other volunteers’ family members. At a lunch with sponsors, he told a story about his first walk-off home run that left adults in the room as rapt as the kids were in the Kingsley Center gym — and that was a remarkably attentive group of elementary school students.

“For the kids today to see an athlete who lives in Pittsburgh, loves this community, comes back and spends time with the kids, they engage,” Slaughter said. “Those things will make a difference for those kids for the rest of their lives. They’ll remember today that they heard Andrew said, ‘You’ve got to work hard.’ They’ll remember Andrew saying not to give up. They’ll remember Andrew saying, ‘Yeah, I struck out over 100 times, but I hit a lot of home runs and made a lot of plays.’

“Those are the realistic kinds of things that we want to send a message to the kids about. We want them to know, no, it’s not always going to be easy, but you can overcome those obstacles if you keep working hard. That’s the kind of message Andrew can convey to kids, and they’ll remember that.”

Matt Davis, the manager of baseball and program development for the faith-based Urban Impact Foundation, came away from Saturday’s clinic with a similar impression. McCutchen provided free instruction for boys and girls who play baseball with Urban Impact, the Josh Gibson Foundation, the RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) Pittsburgh Program and the Boys & Girls Club. The camp was divided up into eight stations run by McCutchen, local college players and coaches.

“When we were calling kids and telling them about this, his name is still, ‘Whoa! Yeah, let’s go! I’m interested and I want to hang out with Andrew McCutchen,’” Davis said. “He’s still a big deal here, and I think this city still really loves him. For him to come back is really exciting. … There’s not a ton of African-Americans playing the game of baseball right now. It’s really cool for them to see that and see him as a role model. ‘Hey, I can achieve that if I work hard.’

“He does such an awesome job with the kids, interacting with them and building relationships. It doesn’t take more than a smile, saying hi and, man, he’s in. He’s not just a celebrity baseball player; he’s really down-to-earth and does a great job talking to kids and getting to know them.”

The initial response to “Project Pittsburgh,” McCutchen said, was everything they had hoped for. They called for volunteers to sign up for each stop, and every volunteer position was filled. When those opportunities were taken, McCutchen said, people asked for another way they could give back.

“It’s been overwhelming and humbling at the same time,” McCutchen said. “This city and the people here, they’re amazing and they’re doing amazing things around the city just trying to make it a better place.”

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.

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Pat Borders will return as manager of the Williamsport Crosscutters for the 2020 season, the team confirmed Monday. It will be the former World Series MVP’s sixth season at the helm of the Cutters, the longest tenure of any manager in franchise history.

Borders is scheduled to be in Williamsport on Jan. 15 for the Crosscutters’ annual Hot Stove Banquet. He will be appearing at the event along with ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian and former Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Greg Luzinski Kurkjian is returning to the banquet for a second consecutive season.

No other member of the Cutters’ coaching staff has been announced.

In five seasons leading the Philadelphia Phillies’ short-season Class A affiliate, Borders has accumulated a 191-185 record and is the franchise’s career leader in managerial wins. In 2019, Williamsport finished 32-43, but was tied for the league’s best record over the season’s final 38 games. The Cutters also finished third in the league in team ERA.

Five former Cutters under the tutelage of Borders have gone on to play Major League Baseball — Adam Haseley, Seranthony Dominguez, Cole Irvin, Ranger Suarez and Jacob Waguespack.

In his first season with Williamsport in 2015, he guided the Crosscutters to the league’s best regular-season record and a Pinckney Division championship. His 46-30 mark that season is the third-best record in club history. It was the team’s first division title since 2001.

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Leading up to baseball’s winter meetings, we will take a daily look at some of the game’s top free agents and how they could potentially impact the Phillies.

Our Phillies free-agent targets series continues today with Didi Gregorius, who has been connected to the Phils in recent days.
The vitals

Gregorius is a solid defensive shortstop who can hit for power and for average. From 2016-18 with the Yankees, he averaged 24 homers per season and hit .277 with an OPS eight percent above the league average.

He did benefit from the short porch at Yankee Stadium, but that short porch can work both ways, also playing tricks on homer-happy hitters. It stands to reason that in another park, Gregorius’ batting average and doubles would increase while the homer total would decrease slightly.

Gregorius will play the 2020 season at age 30. He underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2018 and missed half the season in 2019. He hit just .207 with a .250 on-base percentage after Aug. 1, but he did go 4 for 10 with a homer and six RBI in the ALDS win over the Twins.
Why he fits

The Phillies need a better defensive shortstop with more range. Jean Segura committed 20 errors last season, but beyond that, his waistline grew throughout the summer and it wasn’t a defensive season that could have inspired much confidence from the Phillies as he ages.

Gregorius is the best shortstop on the market. He could push Segura over to second base, thereby creating an everyday spot for Scott Kingery at either third base or center field. For all the hand-wringing the last two years at the Phillies’ use of Kingery all over the diamond, Kingery’s flexibility has created flexibility for the Phillies, who are not boxed in to upgrading a specific position.

Signing Gregorius could also make Segura a trade candidate, but how much value would the Phillies get for him? Segura has approximately $43 million remaining over the final three years of his contract and is coming off his worst season in five years. In this scenario, it probably would make more sense for the Phillies to hold on to Segura in hopes that he rebounds to hit over .300 as he did each season from 2016-18.

Gregorius’ left-handed bat would help balance out a Phillies lineup that has Bryce Harper but no other lefty power threat currently projected to start.
Why he doesn’t fit

Do the Phillies really need to sign a shortstop? Even if they’re skeptical Segura can handle the position moving forward, they could simply move Kingery to shortstop and find another starter to play third base or center field.

Josh Donaldson, for example, is a better hitter than Gregorius. Offensively, the Phillies would probably be better off (at least in 2020) with Donaldson at third and Kingery at short than with Gregorius at short and Kingery at third.

Mike Moustakas? The Moustakas vs. Didi comparison is pretty close, with Moustakas providing more power and less of an injury history and Didi holding the advantage in speed and athleticism.

There aren’t many worthwhile free-agent options in center field, the Phillies’ other position of need. Thus, you’d figure the position player upgrade will come at either third base or shortstop.
Scout’s take

“He’s a leader on and off the field and a quality player offensively and defensively. He looked more and more healthy as the season went on and his arm was almost back to full strength.”

Hitting the road this week, or wasting away on the couch in a food coma? The perfect time to binge your favorite NBC Sports Philadelphia podcast! Click here for more.

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The Phillies on Thursday announced that they had claimed reliever Robert Stock on waivers from the San Diego Padres.

Stock, 29, is a power-armed right-hander who has racked up some big strikeout totals in his career. He’s also allowed an abundance of hits, particularly in 2019.

Stock pitched 10 2/3 innings in the majors in 2019 and struck out 15. He walked eight.

He struck out 12.7 batters per nine innings in 28 1/3 innings at Triple A, but also allowed 11.4 hits per nine innings.

Stock has appeared in the majors the last two seasons with the Padres. He had a 2.50 ERA in 32 games with the Padres in 2018.

Stock missed time in 2019 with a biceps injury. He will compete for a spot in the Phillies’ bullpen in 2020 — if he stays with the club. The Phillies in recent seasons have made several waiver claims at this time of year only to lose the player on waivers a few weeks later.

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The Phillies announced that they’ve acquired lefty Cristopher Sanchez from the Rays in exchange for minor league infielder Curtis Mead. Sanchez has been selected to the 40-man roster, per the team, as have three other players: right-hander Mauricio Llovera and left-handers Garrett Cleavinger and JoJo Romero.

The 22-year-old Sanchez had been with the Rays since they signed him out of the Dominican Republic in 2013. He has pitched almost exclusively in the low minors since then, and is now coming off a season in which he threw 34 innings of 1.85 ERA ball with 9.53 K/9, 3.44 BB/9 and a 54.1 percent ground-ball rate at the Single-A level.

The Australian-born Mead, 19, signed with the Phillies since May 2018. He impressed over 175 plate appearances in 2019 at the rookie level, where he batted .285/.351/.462 and hit four home runs.

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal predicted that it would be the Phillies, not a West Coast team, that would ultimately land top free agent Gerrit Cole.
Gerrit Cole is the top free agent available this offseason. (Juan DeLeon/Icon Sportswire)

On MLB Network’s “MLB Now,” Rosenthal addressed the notion that Cole would ultimately end up in Los Angeles, saying, “The reason I’m predicting [Cole to the Phillies] is to make a larger point that the assumption that Gerrit Cole will go to a West Coast team is just an assumption. He’s going to go to the team that offers him the most money and the Phillies last year offered Bryce Harper the most money. They spread it out over 13 years, and that’s how they got Bryce Harper.”

Like Harper, Cole is a Scott Boras client and is reportedly seeking a contract north of $300 million, which would shatter the record for the biggest contract given to a starting pitcher. The Phillies would likely have to go over the tax for Cole, with roughly $42 million in room and plenty of other holes to fill. But he is the kind of player worth entering the tax for, and owner John Middleton said that they would have no problem entering the tax as long as it was to make the team a World Series contender.

Cole, 29, just narrowly missed out on the AL Cy Young Award in 2019 but is coming off an incredible season. In 33 games, Cole went 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA and struck 326 batters in 212.1 innings. He was absolutely dominant and is the best starting pitcher available in free agency in recent memory.

In 2019, the Phillies rotation ranked 23rd in baseball with a 7.6 fWAR. Cole alone had a 7.4 fWAR, and would serve as a massive upgrade. He and Aaron Nola would immediately become one of the best tandems in baseball, and the Phillies would instantly become a contender in the NL East for the years to come.

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Last offseason Philadelphia Phillies owner John Middleton famously said his team was planning to spend money, and “maybe even be a little bit stupid about it.” That led the Phillies to Bryce Harper, who inked a 13-year contract worth $330 million. The end result was an 81-81 season and an eighth consecutive October spent at home rather than in the postseason.

Harper did his part — he smacked 35 homers with approached 5 WAR — but ultimately the disappointing season cost manager Gabe Kapler his job. The Phillies replaced him with veteran skipper Joe Girardi, the surest sign the team is ready to win and win big. You don’t sign Harper or hire Girardi when you’re going through a rebuild. Those are win-now decisions.

“I am truly excited to be here. This is a special place,” Girardi said at his introductory press conference. “… I know the importance of winning here. This is what we all want to accomplish. We want to win here.”

The .500 record and fourth place finish suggest the Phillies need more than a few tweaks to contend for an NL East title next year, or even just a wild-card spot. They do have a strong core in pace though, and that’s a good start. Here’s a primer on Philadelphia’s upcoming offseason.
2020 Payroll Situation

Philadelphia is one of the largest markets in the sport and we know this team can support a high payroll because we’ve seen it happen. Their Opening Day payroll was in the $170 million range every year from 2011-14. Last year it was $140 million. Here’s what the Phillies currently have on the books for next season:

Guaranteed contracts (9 players): $109.275 million (via Cot’s Baseball Contracts)
Arbitration-eligibles (9 players): $46.8 million (via MLB Trade Rumors projections)

Jake Arrieta has already exercised his $20 million player option and there’s a good chance Cesar Hernandez (projected $11.8 million) and especially Maikel Franco (projected $6.7 million) will be non-tendered or traded this winter, freeing up even more cash.

Right now the Phillies have about $156 million tied up in 18 roster spots, Hernandez and Franco included. That has them well below the $208 luxury tax threshold and suggests they have real money to spend this offseason, even if they don’t push payroll right up to the threshold.
Biggest Needs
The Phillies have a new manager and lots of needs this offseason. USATSI

Truth be told, the offseason shopping list is longer than it probably should be for a would-be contender. First and foremost, the Phillies need pitching, both starters and relievers. Their current rotation and bullpen:

Aaron Nola
Jake Arrieta
Zach Eflin
Vince Velasquez
Nick Pivetta

Key relievers: Hector Neris, Adam Morgan, Jose Alvarez, Seranthony Dominguez

Not great! David Robertson, last offseason’s big free agent bullpen addition, will miss 2020 as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery. Dominguez rehabbed a ligament tear of his own and is trying to avoid Tommy John surgery, so he’s a bit of an uncertainty. Pivetta and Velasquez were both demoted to the bullpen this summer. There’s a clear need for multiple arms here.

The Phillies also need to figure out third base this offseason. Franco has played himself out of a job — since his 2015 breakout he’s hit .247/.299/.427 in more than 2,000 plate appearances with subpar defense — and Scott Kingery is best used as a super utility guy who plays all over. Finding an everyday third baseman should be on the agenda this winter. The Phillies may also need to bring in a second baseman depending on what happens with Hernandez.

GM Matt Klentak and his staff will focus this offseason on bolstering a pitching staff that needs at least one and likely two starters, and possibly as many as five relievers. Revamping the infield around first baseman Rhys Hoskins and shortstop Jean Segura may be in the cards as well. Lots to do. Lots and lots to do this offseason.
Trade Chips

Baseball America ranked Philadelphia’s farm system 25th in baseball following the trade deadline. Top prospects Alec Bohm and Spencer Howard are presumably off-limits — Bohm is the third baseman of the future and Howard could join the rotation at some point in 2020 — but others like righty Adonis Medina, shortstop Luis Garcia, 2019 first rounder Bryson Stott, and fading 2016 No. 1 overall pick Mickey Moniak are presumably in play.

Franco and Hernandez are non-tender candidates and that means their trade value isn’t all that high. Hernandez is a solid player and he might fetch a decent prospect or two, but teams know he’s a non-tender candidate, so they’ll want to see whether they can simply sign him as a free agent in a few weeks rather than trade a prospect(s) for him now. Franco? Forget it. No team is giving up anything of value for him at this point.

Kingery is part of the solution, I believe, but he’s also not someone who should be a dealbreaker in a potential trade for an impact piece. If there’s a chance to bring in, say, Kris Bryant, are you really going to say no to including Kingery? Of course not. Odubel Herrera has no value coming off his domestic violence suspension, and guys like Velasquez and Pivetta are change of scenery candidates more than trade headliners.

The best trade chip the Phillies have right now is money. They should be — and I’m sure they will be — very willing to trade some good ol’ American dollars for free agents. That allows them to keep their best prospects, Bohm and Howard specifically, while strengthening the roster.
Possible Targets
What about a possible Cole Hamels reunion in Philly? USATSI

Last year the Phillies chased after Harper and Manny Machado. They dived right into the deep end of the free agent pool. My guess is they will try to do it again this year. Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg are the top free agent starters, and beyond them there are other solid options like Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner, and Hyun-Jin Ryu. What about a Cole Hamels reunion? Giving him a one-year deal to be the third starter would be a perfectly fine move.

Give the Phillies a truth serum and this is what I think they would tell you want to do this winter:

Plan A: Sign Cole or Strasburg and one of Bumgarner, Ryu, Wheeler, and Jake Odorizzi.
Plan B: Sign two of Bumgarner, Odorizzi, Ryu, and Wheeler.
Plan C: Sign one Bumgarner, Odorizzi, Ryu, or Wheeler and either Hamels or Dallas Keuchel.
Plan D: Sign Hamels and Keuchel.

The Phillies need a second impact starter to pair with Nola. That’s what they thought they were getting with Arrieta, but that didn’t work out. They need someone who could slot in alongside Nola atop the rotation, and someone to push Arrieta and Eflin down into fourth and fifth spots, and Velasquez and Pivetta into depth roles.

As for the bullpen, even if the Phillies were willing to spend huge on a closer, there is no one to spend that money on. Will Smith is the best free agent reliever available and he’s not going to command Craig Kimbrel money. Rather than spend big on one reliever, the Phillies could spread the money around and sign multiple relievers to smaller contracts. Think Steve Cishek, Chris Martin, Craig Stammen, and Pedro Strop rather than Smith and Will Harris. Four $5 million relievers over two $10 million relievers.

On the infield, the two big names are Josh Donaldson and Anthony Rendon, and either would look spectacular at third base. May I present an alternative: Mike Moustakas and Didi Gregorius. Put Gregorius at short, slider Segura over to second (a position he’s played in the past), install Moustakas at third, and the infield defense improves tremendously. Also, it adds two low strikeout hitters to a lineup that had a little too much swing-and-miss at times last year. Consider the possible lineup:

LF Andrew McCutchen
C J.T. Realmuto
RF Bryce Harper
1B Rhys Hoskins
3B Mike Moustakas
2B Jean Segura
SS Didi Gregorius
CF Odubel Herrera

That’s a real deep lineup with power and left/right balance. Girardi knows Gregorius from their time with the Yankees and Sir Didi could be looking at a one-year prove yourself contract after missing half of 2019 with Tommy John surgery. Moustakas has taken one-year contracts the last two offseasons and I see no reason to think that will change. He’s the same player except older.

If the Phillies are willing to splurge for Rendon or Donaldson and the pitching they need, great. More power to them. That seems unlikely though. Gregorius and Moustakas would be affordable infield stopgaps — Moustakas on a one-year deal would leave third base open for Bohm long-term — and also ensure the Phillies have more than enough money to spend on pitching.

Beyond possible additions, the Phillies would also benefit greatly from their current players taking a step forward, something that didn’t really happen this past season. Kingery was good and Eflin was solid, but Velasquez and Pivetta becoming reliable would help, ditto some relievers having staying power in the bullpen. This should be another busy offseason for the Phillies. Girardi was only the start.

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Davis High once again is seeking candidates in an effort to fill its varsity baseball head-coaching position. A handful of other spring coaching vacancies also are there for the taking, according to DHS Athletic Director Jeff Lorenson.

In addition to baseball, varsity badminton, ninth-grade baseball and junior varsity girls lacrosse coaching positions are open and details can be accessed via the Davis Joint Unified School District’s job postings link at Postings are updated daily.

Stonegate takes 7th

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Finishing in the top 10 among all 18-under teams competing in this past week’s USTA Junior Nationals, Stonegate Tennis Academy’s 3-2 outing saw the team earn seventh place.

Cruising past the Northern Section squad, 5-0, Mika Hinton won STA’s female singles match (6-2, 6-5), while Connor Tang was tops at male singles (3-6, 6-2, 1-0). In doubles action, Robert Yang and Lingan won (6-3, 6-3) as did Lyna Jiang and Mei McConnell (6-5, 5-6, 1-0), while the mixed duo of Benin and Michaela Guenther also gutted out a mixed doubles win, 6-3, 5-6, 1-0.

Hinton was the lone victor for the locals in their second match. Against host club Austin Tennis Academy’s four-star recruit Alexandra Malysheva, she came out on top, 6-5, 6-5.

Ending things with to a two-set victory against Pennsylvania’s Radley Run in doubles play, Benin and Yang vanquished the representatives of the Middle States Section, 6-4, 6-1. Benin and Hinton’s mixed doubles pairing also topped Radley, 6-4, 6-4.

Coached by STA head pro Lukas Burger, the unit also received the USTA’s Best Banner Award. Each qualifying team designed a custom banner for the event’s opening ceremonies showcasing their section/region pride.

Turkey shoot

Ted Villanueva’s 69 captured the first-flight, low-gross title in the annual Davis Golf Club Turkey Shoot on Saturday. Sean Miller’s adjusted 61 won the net division.

Jorge Rivera, Randy Conner and Jim McCurry crowded the winner’s stand as all stood tall in the second-flight gross competition. Mike Pappa’s 64 took the the net prize.

Jerry Hallee continued his smart tournament golf, shooting a gross 78 for first place in the third flight. Dennis Silva and Dick Hale tied at 61 for that group’s 61.

For fourth-flight gross honors, Jon Adams held the gross trophy high after carding a 76. Dan Herrin, Glen Morris and John Rubio knotted in a first-place net tie.

Mario Landeros was first gross with a fifth-flight 81 while Dina Tinti returned a handicap 66 for the net victory.

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Another Phillies mock trade shakes up the roster

As the FanSided offseason simulation continues, the Phillies continue to spend stupid money in free agency to make this team a World Series contender.

After adding three high-priced players, who we’ll disclose in a future piece outlining the entire offseason, the Phillies needed to dump some salary.
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One of the biggest contracts Philadelphia could move is Jake Arrieta‘s, which has one guaranteed year remaining, plus two team option years, all three worth $20 million each.

We threw the idea out to the other general managers, and the San Diego Padres stepped up to help make a salary dump deal.
Phillies Get
LHP Joey Cantillo
Padres Get
RHP Jake Arrieta
OF Cornelius Randolph
$5M Cash Considerations

Trading Arrieta opens another spot in the starting rotation, but as we alluded to earlier, the Phillies spent big in our mock free agency, and the rotation will be just fine.

To get San Diego to take on Arrieta’s contract the Phillies sent 2010 first round pick Cornelius Randolph, who the Phillies did not protect from the Rule 5 Draft this week, and cash considerations.

Randolph was drafted 10th overall with a really good bat out of a Georgia high school, but he never materialized into a true prospect. He played in Double-A Reading last year hitting .247 with 15 doubles and 10 home runs.

Philadelphia got two 19-year-old prospects back for Arrieta, including the Padres 16th ranked prospect Joey Cantillo. San Diego drafted Cantillo 468th overall in 2017 out of Kailua High School in Honolulu and signed him away from the University of Kentucky.

Last season playing in Single and Advanced-A Cantillo won 10 games with a 2.26 ERA in 26 starts with 144 strikeouts. Baseball America (subscription required) says Cantillo has a “deceptive delivery and a promising 12-to-6 curveball” but still needs to fine tune his mechanics.

He’s only 19 and will have plenty of time to do that in the minor leagues with no pressure to hurry up the organization.

Efrain Contreras, a right-handed starter signed out of Mexico, turns 20 in January and also has a ways to go. Playing in the Dominican Summer League, Rookie Ball, and Short-A in 2018 he had a 2.11 ERA in 16 games, almost half of which were starts, with 76 strikeouts.

Last season Contreras made 23 starts and two relief apperances in Single-A with a 3.61 ERA and 121 strikeouts in 109.2 innings.

This mock deal is an unlikely one given the Phillies need for starting pitching, but it would boost the organization’s pitching prospect depth and clear them of Arrieta’s $20 million salary to sign better, more controllable players.