Phillies Mailbag: Haseley and Moniak, Veteran Returns, and Trading Prospects?
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How many more plate appearances will Adam Haseley have in the majors before Mickey Moniak gets his first?
This is a really good question. While right now 2017 first round draft pick Adam Haseley plays at Short Season Williamsport, 2016 first round pick Mickey Moniak is at Class A Lakewood. Indeed, due to their age, it would be very understandable that Haseley leaps over Moniak at some point soon.
Haseley was born April 21, 1996. Moniak was born May 13, 1998. Now that you are done feeling old (I sure am), let us consider the experience already under each player's belt. Haseley is not just older; he has three seasons of college ball under his belt. Moniak was drafted right out of high school. With three more years of advanced competition, Haseley should be on the fast track to the Major Leagues.
However, Moniak is very impressive in that he is already holding his own at Class-A Lakewood. During only 19 a month into the season, Moniak is batting .270 with three home runs and 29 runs batted in. Moniak jumped over Williamsport and got right to work in 2017.
While Haseley and Moniak are both center fielders, I think Haseley will join Moniak at Lakewood at some point this season. Moniak is not used to the length of a long season, and Haseley at the same level could give Moniak some reduced time down the stretch. For next year, I would not be shocked if Haseley jumps Moniak. But he may not stay so far ahead, given Moniak's impressive ability to adjust.
Perhaps Haseley and Moniak will begin 2018 at Clearwater and Lakewood, respectively. Once the draft takes place and players move through the system, maybe they end up at Reading and Clearwater instead. Since I think Haseley will essentially be a level ahead, I would put the number at 400-500 plate appearances, or a rookie season's worth.
What is the trade value for Pat Neshek, Freddy Galvis, Joaquin Benoit, and Tommy Joseph?
There are a couple categories of players among those you mentioned. So, I will separate them into categories for you. The first are those who are veteran, short-term rentals. The other would be longer-term assets that would help an acquiring club beyond 2017.
SHORT TERM ASSETS: Pat Neshek, Joaquin Benoit, Howie Kendrick, Jeremy Hellickson, Daniel Nava
All four players can be helpful to a contending team. The teams acquiring these players bear no commitment beyond 2017, thanks to an expiring contract. The Phillies are in a position to eat most of these players' large salaries, but what the Phillies get back depends upon perhaps how much the Phillies will eat.
The Phillies do not need to dump salary. They were one of the more profitable teams in 2016, and the Phillies added the likes of the above along with outfielder Michael Saunders and pitcher Clay Buchholz for either straight money, or for minimal compensation to the teams dumping the salaries. The Phillies will look to add talent.
Before fans get their hopes up too high, the above players are not likely to land the Phillies any team's best few prospects. Think back to a couple trades the Phillies made in their rebuild as to what the club might get. Marlon Byrd was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Ben Lively. Jonathan Papelbon went to the Nationals for Nick Pivetta. Ben Revere went to the Blue Jays for Jimmy Cordero and Alberto Tirado.
Former Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. did a fine job in these trades. What the common theme was that the players the Phillies got back at the time of the trade were essentially Class A players who still could go either way. Pivetta and Lively are current members of the Phillies rotation. Cordero ended up being designated for assignment before being handed to the Marlins, while Alberto Tirado remains a very live arm in the Phillies system, who could still go either way.
The Phillies have a full 40-man roster and they will need to add several players this offseason. So, expect the Phillies to try to get players like the above: younger players that might work out or might not. They will not be the types of prospects that need to go onto the 40-man roster just yet. That will give the Phillies time to develop them.
As we saw with Lively and Pivetta, they did a fine job developing them. The key may be sharp scouting along with acquiring quantity. With a larger quantity, the chances at least some of them working out increases.
LONG TERM ASSETS: Tommy Joseph, Cesar Hernandez, Maikel Franco, Freddy Galvis, Odubel Herrera
The players on this list may or may not be traded, but the Phillies would be willing to listen. At this point, the Phillies probably feel pretty good about Triple-A stars Rhys Hoskins and Scott Kingery. Both play positions in which they are blocked by the above. So, the Phillies just may be willing to make a trade.
The types of returns for these players will be higher. Prospects hold a lot of value to teams, and in some cases they would only give them up if they knew that they had a player under their control for years to come. Teams have said as much.
St. Louis Cardinals general manager (and soon to be president) John Mozeliak indicated that the Cardinals need two things: first base and a left-handed bat. However, Mozeliak also said that he does not see the Cardinals trading for any short-term players. That takes the likes of first baseman Yonder Alonso off the table. The Cardinals could be buyers, however, if the players will help beyond this year.
The Cardinals already started moving current first baseman Matt Carpenter back to his natural position of second base. Maybe the Phillies and Cardinals would be a match, where the Phillies could open up two positions by sending Tommy Joseph and Odubel Herrera to the Cardinals. But that assumes the Phillies will get something back. As complicated as this sounds - perhaps you'll get the idea that deals such as this one are better for the offseason.
Heading into next year, the Athletics could use a first baseman, as could the Kansas City Royals, if Alonso and Eric Hosmer depart, respectively. Joseph will be a low-cost, power bat that could help another team. There are teams like the Yankees who could use Alonso or Hosmer right now, so maybe there is a deal sooner for either team.
For the Phillies to move Hernandez or Franco, they probably need to be overwhelmed. I do not think the Phillies want to sell low on Franco or free that they absolutely have to move Hernandez, even with Kingery around. A leadoff hitter with an on base percentage that Hernandez provides is rare. A lot would depend who approaches the Phillies and what they have to offer. It may be a collection of lower-level prospects still, but perhaps those who have more upside or who could move through the system more quickly.
Obviously they are mostly sellers, but what is the likelihood that the Phillies could move prospect(s) at the deadline?
I would not rule it out, but there is indeed a chance the Phillies do something that actually means the Phillies trade some of their prospects. While the Phillies are in a position to accumulate young assets, the 2017 season has proven the club needs something badly: stability. Perhaps the Phillies can find someone who will provide that to the Phillies lineup or the starting rotation.
...if a mystery team (like the Phillies) comes along and offers a young, controllable, talented major leaguer, a top prospect at Triple-A, and a couple of lower-tier prospects, too, you’d have to consider it, too, wouldn’t you?
Would the Phillies lineup function much better if McCutchen was there to drive in runs from the left side of the plate? Of course. Instead of going big for someone like McCutchen, the Phillies instead took a gamble on Michael Saunders and ended up with the hole in their lineup that Saunders were supposed to fill.
If the Phillies say, traded Odubel Herrera, Dylan Cozens, Andrew Pullin, and Malquin Canelo for McCutchen, that would be a lot to trade. But the Phillies remain deep, even after subtracting those players. If Aaron Altherr can bat second instead of being forced to carry the lineup third, imagine how many runs he could score. Or, if Cesar Hernandez got on base to start the game and stole second base, what could McCutchen do for offensive production.
As for odds, I would say that this scenario is not the likely one. But, it could happen. The Phillies have a lot of assets that include multiple prospects at particular positions. Even if they traded some players, they would still have a stocked farm system. That really puts the Phillies in a position to do almost anything, should the opportunity fall into their lap.