Will Hector Neris return to the Phillies in 2022?
The reunion of Neris? The Phillies’ plans for Moniak, Haseley and more originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
CARLSBAD, Calif .– Notes, quotes and observations after three days of baseball general managers’ meetings.
• Potential labor disputes loomed uncomfortably over the event, most tangibly as a group of busy lawyers and union negotiators walked through the hotel grounds on their way to a meeting on Wednesday.
The collective agreement between management and the players’ association expires on December 1 and a lockout could ensue. It would chill the hot stove, put a freeze on transactions (free agent signatures and trades) and no one knows how long that could last. Would that threaten the start of spring training? Who knows? But the potential for a condensed, frenzied and insane trading period later in the winter exists when both sides finally find something.
Meanwhile, the teams say they are going about their business as usual, at least for the next two weeks.
• It looks like a slam dunk for the designated hitter to come to the National League in the new CBA. Phillies chairman of baseball operations David Dombrowski believes it will happen and he will have no objections because his club are immersed in the types of DH who would benefit from an occasional defensive break. Rhys Hoskins, JT Realmuto, and even Bryce Harper may have reps at DH. Didi Gregorius could be an occasional possibility against righties if he’s not the full-time shortstop. The Phillies would like to improve their position. We covered the topic here.
• Dombrowski ranked closer in priority on a long list of needs and went on to say he would like to add at least two bullpen arms in the final innings. Is there any interest in reuniting with Hector Neris, who excelled in a setup role in the second half of 2021?
“Yes,” Dombrowski said. “He pitched well for us. We would rather bring him back as a non-ninth inning player. That would be our hope. He is open to that. Ideally he would like to come back but I know that once a player becomes a free agent, anything can happen. “
Dombrowski has hushed up speculation that Seranthony Dominguez, who has recovered from Tommy John’s surgery, will not be offered a contract. He will be. The Phillies are hoping he will be a major factor in their relieving box next season.
• Matt Vierling opened our eyes with his athleticism, versatility and impressive exit speeds in September. He can play three outfield positions and two corner infield positions. He’ll have a serious shot at making it into the big club in spring training and could be useful for slipping into training on days when Hoskins or Harper are used in DH.
• Word is Bob Stumpo, the former West Chester Golden Ram and Phillies Minor Leagues, will transition from Pen Receiver / Catch Instructor with the Big League Club and become the organization’s Minor League Catch Coordinator. . The capture is a strong point of the system with Rafael Marchan and Logan O’Hoppe on their way. Dombrowski listed the backup receiver as a need for the club – he said he wanted an upgrade from Andrew Knapp – and he prefers Marchan and O’Hoppe to play every day in minors and be on call. if a regular need arises in the majors.
• Speaking of O’Hoppe, Steve Potter, a dedicated observer / columnist of the Phillies minor league system, reports that O’Hoppe is the first player to hit a home run during spring practice in the big leagues, Single A, Double A, Triple A and the Arizona Fall League the same year. Not too bad.
• Dombrowski is looking for a big bat, left field being the most likely landing spot.
“Ideally, we would like to find a left-hander,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s a necessity. I think it’s fair if a guy can hit and drive races for us in the middle.”
• The Phillies find themselves chasing a left fielder and a center fielder because Odubel Herrera likely hit his expiration date in Philadelphia and three outfielders who were first-round picks in recent years. ‘haven’t all managed to show they can make an impact in the majors. Cornelius Randolph, famous compared to Tony Gwynn when he was drafted 10th overall in 2015, never made it to the majors and became a minor league free agent earlier this week. Mickey Moniak, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 Draft, and Adam Haseley, picked eighth overall in 2017, both reached the majors but failed to show they could stay, let alone make. the difference. Both remain on the 40-man roster but have things to prove.
“I’m not, per se, relying on any of them to be at our club next year to start,” Dombrowski said.
• Zach Eflin continues to recover from knee surgery without any setbacks. Although he approaches rehab with the intention of being ready for opening day, a return in May seems more likely. The right-hander will be a free agent around this time next year, so 2022 is a big season for him and the Phillies need a big contribution from him if they are to fight for the playoffs.
• Next week is important for the Phillies as Zack Wheeler and Bryce Harper are finalists for two of the game’s most prestigious awards. Wheeler is one of three finalists (along with Max Scherzer and Corbin Burnes) for the NL Cy Young Award and Harper is a finalist (along with Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr.) for the NL Most Valuable Player Award. The Cy Young will be announced Wednesday night, the MVP Thursday night.
Dombrowski was asked if having both the winner of Cy Young and the MVP would make the 2021 playoffs miss even more.
“No,” he said. “It stings anyway. So it doesn’t matter whether they win or don’t win. I think what that tells me is that there is a really good core here. Now what we have to do is to improve the surrounding cast.
“When I was in Detroit we had (Justin) Verlander, Scherzer, (David) Price, (Rick) Porcello, (Miguel) Cabrera, (Prince) Fielder and (Victor) Martinez and we never won the World Series. Shake your head. There are three Hall of Fame members to bet sure there, and we didn’t win the World Series. After going through that experience, and looking at the players that we had in those teams, you know how hard it is to win, I don’t know if I will ever have such a talented group of individuals and we haven’t won everything, so that puts it in perspective.
• The last guy we saw come out of GM meetings?
He’s fully set to be the NL’s manager of the year when he is announced on Tuesday night.