It's definitely worth a read as we move into the Week of The Winter Meetings.
This note about Mackanin is just fantastic as we embark on a week that is guaranteed to include a
"The hundreds of players Mackanin has encountered in the three decades since occasionally has rendered it difficult for him to remember the root of all his relationships. When he runs into a former player he knows - which will happen often from Monday to Thursday at baseball's annual convention - it might take him a moment to recall whether he played with him or against him, managed him, coached him, or scouted him."
Anything can happen this week. Anything often does.
It's likely some of the players Mackanin has coached in Philly will be on the move. Or new names will arrive with new faces to learn.
I'm going to put brief updates on this page with my reactions to the news coming out of Nashville.
Editors' note: I reorganized this with the most recent posts at the top.
The Phillie and Astros talks are heating up. this haul better be nice.
It looks like the Mets and Pirates have swapped players in a deal that could help both teams. The Mets get Neil Walker and the Pirates get Jon Niese.
It's by no means a blockbuster, but Walker's offense will help the Mets, who will lose David Murphy.
The Phils and 'Stros are apparently in heated discussions for Ken Giles.
The Giles talk reminds me of something about prospects.
He's pretty good, right?
Well, he was a seventh rounder who never came close to hitting anyone's top 100 list. In fact, he didn't make Baseball Prospectus' Top 10 Phillies prospects in 2014 and barely made the cut on John Sickels' list, where he was given a C-plus grade.
So, while we can all love on Nick Williams and J.P. Crawford and Ben Lively and whomever comes over in this deal, there's a really good chance some unheralded prospect comes through the system to become one of the most valuable members of the team.
I'm talking to you, Kyle Martin.
Well, the Phillies made a move. All right, they'd already made a minor move with regards to Joely Rodriguez, but that was as insignificant as could be.
This, comparibly, is earth shattering: The Phillies signed David Hernandez, who previously pitched in Andy MacPhail's Orioles organization.
Hernandez is a big strike out guy - 414 in 414 innings - who is rebounding from Tommy John surgery.
He'll be 30 next year and he once saved 11 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
On the plus side, he still throws hard, though his velocity dropped a bit and his other numbers went up. Last year saw him have his best control, 2.9 walks per nine. If he can maintain a 3-plus, strikeout-to-walk ratio in the 'pen, he should help.
But he's a year removed from TJ, so he's an injury risk. He also got hit decently hard in 33 innings last season, giving up six home runs and 33 hits. If he can get those numbers back down, he could be very effective. How effective?
From 2011-12, he had a 2.94 ERA, 1.082 WHIP and 2.51 FIP with 3.37 strikeouts-per-walk and 11.4 strikeouts-per-nine-innings.
I'll take this signing, but the day could get more interesting.
Jon Heyman says the Houston Astros continue to gun for Ken Giles.
WHOA! There has been a crazy amount of activity this evening.
This is one of those deals that affects a ton of team.Source: Ben Zobrist has at least one 4-year contract offer in hand. Decision could come in next several hours.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 8, 2015
Obviously, the Cubs come first. The two-time All Star brings a World Series pedigree to the Cubs. It's been quite some time since he put up an astounding 8.7 WAR, but is still a valuable and versatile player.
Next up, the Mets: He closes the door on someone who would have been a capable replacement for Daniel Murphy. Now the Mets are behind the eight ball as they try to defend a National League Pennant with a very weakened offense.
They're lucky they have such a deep rotation.
Next up, the St. Louis Cardinals: The Best Organization in Professional Sports loses some of the competition for Jason Heyward. That's good for them, particularly after they jettisoned John Jay.
Lastly, the New York Yankees: More on them later
This Braves/Diamondbacks trade is fascinating.
I'll start by saying Dave Stewart was one of my favorite pitchers growing up. Just a bulldog. But if you asked me to chose between Dave Stewart and Ruben Amaro to run my favorite team, I'll take Amaro."Lunch between baseball executives equals a trade for a right-hander?" #MLBTonight on a reported Shelby Miller deal https://t.co/OYqoVUpi7i— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) December 9, 2015
Stewart shocked baseball when he picked up Zack Greinke, a legitimate ace. Miller is a decent No. 2 pitcher.
But, my god, Stewart has mortgaged his team's future. He traded the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft - Dansby Swanson - as part of a package for Miller, whom he'll control for
This means Atlanta now has the Diamonbacks two most recent first round picks. They got Touki Toussaint in that bizarre Bronson Arroyo deal earlier this year.
Now he's the New York Yankees big offseason acquisition.
It's a good move for the Yankees, who only had to jettison Adam Warren and Brendan Ryan in the deal.
This is going to be one of those trades we look back on in a few years, forget the circumstances, and think, "How did the Yankees pull that off.
Yeah, I did not see that coming in any way, shape or form.Cards send Jay to Padres for infielder Gyorko https://t.co/t5zA7wqTau— STL Cardinals News (@STLCardsNews) December 8, 2015
I guess the Cards are counting on Gyorko to be their Ben Zobrist, playing 30 games at second, 30 games at first and 30 games at third. Something like that. The Padres should enjoy John Jay, who will never see the postseason again, unless he's on a couch.
Sorry, I wanted to post last night, but, well, I got destroyed by a Turkey dinner and napped. It was worth napping over.
So there's this:
Breaking: Cubs' Kris Bryant, Phillies' Maikel Franco have filed grievances alleging service-time manipulation. News: https://t.co/DCv9Mg2XvI— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 7, 2015
I think we're going to see a lot of this in the coming months. I'm curious to see if this becomes an issue for the Major League Baseball Players Union come contract negotiations time.
As Carson points out in the comments, it's probably not likely that Franco will win.
But the evening's big news came from the left hand of God, which apparently did some bad things in October.
Well, that complicates matters. While I'm not a fan of the "trade Giles now" mentality, I'm not dead set against it. I just think the Phillies are further along on their rebuild than most people think they are. I also think that if we were a half season more into it, Giles wouldn't be considered a trade candidate. But, with Chapman probably off the market, Giles is probably going to garner a huge market. If Matt Klentak and co can get a haul for a guy who is likely to pitch fewer than 350 innings over the next five years, he should take it and run.ICYMI: Amidst trade talks, report surfaces -- girlfriend accused Chapman of choking her, firing off gun in garage https://t.co/CFSb740ACZ— Marais Jacon-Duffy (@Marais_JD) December 8, 2015
Jonathan Papelon, everyone's all-time favorite Phillie, filed a grievance against the Washington Nationals.
He just wants to be everyone's all-time favorite National too.
The Mariners are trying to get Adam Lind.
Adam Lind is one of those fascinating hard-swinging, left-handed batters who retires with better numbers than you think.
If you asked me what his career numbers looked like, I would say "100 homers, 30 of which came in one season, a .255 batting average, 310 on-base percentage and 200 doubles."
Entering his age 32 season, he's got a .274/.332/.466 line with 166 homers. He's his era's Candy Maldonado.
Well, he's a durable arm who has started 32 or more games for four straight years. I'm not sure it's really an impact move other than it solidifying Seattle's rotation a bit.The quick story on the Miley trade that nets reliever Carson Smith and upside lefty Roenis Elias for #RedSox: https://t.co/uXGKKbqZj2 …— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) December 7, 2015
Just a thought exercise: Which pitcher would you want more in the 2015 Phillies:' rotation? Wade Miley or Jeremy Hellickson
I think that's a tough one. Miley might look better pitching in the NL, but Hellickson probably has more potential for a strong season.
So the Dodgers got Chapman for two prospects not named Urias, DeLeon or Seagar. Not sure what that means to the market for Ken Giles. On the one hand, the Dodgers get just one expensive year from Chapman, compared to a cheap, long tenure from Giles. On the other hand, Chapman owns God's own left arm..@AChapman_105 to the @Dodgers? @Ken_Rosenthal has the latest on the reported deal, LIVE from the #WinterMeetings. https://t.co/7pH3mxXnhe— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) December 7, 2015