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Sunday, December 06, 2020

Sources: Philadelphia Phillies open to trade offers for right-hander Zack Wheeler

The Philadelphia Phillies have communicated to other teams that they are facing a financial crunch and are open to offers for their second-highest-paid player, starting pitcher Zack Wheeler, according to sources.

Slugger Bryce Harper is the team’s highest-paid player, but there is no indication yet that the Phillies will look to deal him off their books.

Wheeler is only one year into the five-year, $118 million deal he signed with the Phillies last winter, as Philadelphia looked to progress beyond a frustrating 81-81 season in 2019. Wheeler, 30, pitched well for the Phillies in the truncated 2020 season, posting a 2.92 ERA in 11 starts, but as with a lot of professional franchises, much has changed for the team following the onset of the global pandemic.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 06, 2020 at 11:12 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: zack wheeler

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   1. asinwreck Posted: December 06, 2020 at 12:12 PM (#5992741)
Stupid money.
   2. depletion Posted: December 06, 2020 at 12:57 PM (#5992746)
He's still owed about $98.5M for 4 years. Maybe he and Arenado can join forces on the Boat Anchor contract Hall of the Above Average.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: December 06, 2020 at 03:40 PM (#5992792)
Has the pandemic worsened the financial inequalities in baseball? Or is this all smokescreen? It's plausible that teams near the bottom -- say Milwaukee in a small market but with a decent-sized payroll the last few competitive years -- would have difficulty navigating a one-time shock (still having aftershocks of course). But Philly shouldn't be in that boat. And if Philly is in that boat is there anybody but Yanks and Dodgers who aren't?

I'll go with "more smokescreen than not" until shown otherwise. And let's see where Wheeler lands and how much money the Phils eat to make it happen. I had my doubts about this contract when it was signed and his K-rate dropped by 25% in 2020's small sample (excellent HR rate though).
   4. The Duke Posted: December 06, 2020 at 04:39 PM (#5992799)
One only has to review the Braves financials to see what is going on. They are all hurting. It’s more of a question of future risk tolerance and the Phillies have come down on the side of minimal risk tolerance. They’ve already basically said they are out on Realmuto and now selling wheeler for pennies on the dollar.

I think the cardinals would be doing this too except that they have $60 million coming off next year so they don’t need to rush a re-set. Each team has slightly different economic situations so they are all adjusting based on that.

Now this is offset by the Braves and royals and a couple others doing some deals but all those deals are short term.

On balance, I think I will be surprised to see anything more than a 3 year deal and only a couple players will get 2019 money
   5. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: December 06, 2020 at 04:57 PM (#5992802)
Has the pandemic worsened the financial inequalities in baseball? Or is this all smokescreen? It's plausible that teams near the bottom -- say Milwaukee in a small market but with a decent-sized payroll the last few competitive years -- would have difficulty navigating a one-time shock (still having aftershocks of course). But Philly shouldn't be in that boat. And if Philly is in that boat is there anybody but Yanks and Dodgers who aren't?

the phillies have been spending beyond their means for the last 2-3 years. the owner saw it as "loss-leader", putting future money into the current teamon the hopes that winning would bring in more money long-term. but the winning never happened.

if they had won 90 games last year (or the 60-game equivalent), i suspect the owner would be willing to continue to eat some losses (possibly even going even deeper into his own pockets than he already is), but since they phillies are losing anyway, he's probably sick of paying a premium to do it.


the covid situation might be forcing this in a way that may not have happened under normal circumstances, but at some point, this was going to break. you can't have a payroll that's 800% higher than the marlins, as you're finishing below them in the standings.
   6. asinwreck Posted: December 06, 2020 at 05:22 PM (#5992808)
Jayson Stark looked at the non-tender patterns.
NON-TENDER SAVINGS BY DIVISION*

NL Central: $33 million
AL Central: $28 million
All other divisions combined: $22 million


He subdivided these teams up into three tiers (Cubs as their own tier, then the largest Central markets, then the smaller Central markets) and theorized those whith smaller local broadcast deals were particularly inclined to non-tender.
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: December 06, 2020 at 06:16 PM (#5992811)
Top Phillies officials on Sunday afternoon vehemently shot down a report that said they were open to trade offers for starting pitcher Zack Wheeler.

“There’s zero truth to this,” said managing partner John Middleton, deliberately enunciating every word.

Moments earlier, club president Andy MacPhail picked up his phone on the first ring.

“There’s no validity to it,” he said, anticipating the question. “Zack is very much in our plans going forward.”

   8. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: December 06, 2020 at 06:55 PM (#5992815)
Per a report from Buster Olney on Sunday, the Phillies are seeking offers for pitcher Zack Wheeler—who they signed to a 5-year, $118 million deal last offseason—as part of a way to cut payroll. The Phillies denied the report, but it’s not the first time they’ve looked poor this offseason. They recently laid off about 80 staffers. The Associated Press reported last week that the Phillies lost $145 million this season.
   9. The Duke Posted: December 06, 2020 at 06:56 PM (#5992816)
Is there a Ryan Thibs tracker thread yet ?
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 06, 2020 at 07:14 PM (#5992818)
One only has to review the Braves financials to see what is going on. They are all hurting.

The Braves revenue went down 50%, but they still made money. Operating income went from $46M to $6M. The fact that that is "hurting" shows what absolute cash cows MLB franchises are.
   11. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 06, 2020 at 08:13 PM (#5992828)
Is there a Ryan Thibs tracker thread yet ?


I submitted one this morning, I think earlier than this thread, but it hasn't shown up.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: December 06, 2020 at 11:30 PM (#5992843)
They are all hurting.

My question was whether it has exacerbated existing inequalities. They all had huge revenue drops in 2020 of course but that should be a relatively short-term issue. If the long-term pain will be (proportionally) equal then it didn't exacerbate the inequalities. That would also mean there's little for the Phils to gain here. If they are all hurting to the same extent then none of them will want to add Wheeler.

the phillies have been spending beyond their means for the last 2-3 years.

No they haven't. Each team receives about $210 M in common and shared revenue (in 2019). Their CBT payroll was under $200 M in 2019, actual payroll much lower according to Cots due to back-loading some contracts. B-R projects 2021 payroll at under $150 M right now. For 2019, Forbes estimated their revenue at $392 M and an operating income of $73. The Phils can run CBT-level payrolls (or their post-covid equivalents) for as long as they want.

Which is why I'm asking my question. If in fact revenue is (projected to be) so bad that even the Phils need to weasel out from under contracts then other teams must be hurting a ton. If this is just the Phils using the pandemic to cover their greed then it's not a big deal. If it is a mispaced rumor then carry on.

   13. stevegamer Posted: December 07, 2020 at 02:22 AM (#5992848)
It's the Phillies ownership covering their greed. They may have had an operating loss this past year, but in every other year up to this one, they've made a lot of money. As you note, most major pro sports franchises generally turn a profit just on the shared revenue, everything else is gravy. Hockey has a worse revenue stream, so it's different.

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