Monday, November 6, 2023

The Offseason Begins - Early November Notes

2023 Topps Now #962
2023 Topps Allen & Ginter #263
2023 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs #37
2023 Chachi #74

Free Agents:
 Drew Ellis (inf) became the first official ex-Phillie of the 2023-24 offseason when he became a minor league free agent on October 13th.  Ellis appeared in 12 games for the Phillies, including the game on June 4th when he hit a pair of home runs.

The bigger free agents departed the Phillies upon the conclusion of the World Series.  Aaron Nola (rhp) and Rhys Hoskins (1b) headline this list, and I'd love to see both of these long-time Phillies back in 2024.  I'll have much more to say about each if they end up signing elsewhere.  Craig Kimbrel (rhp) and Michael Lorenzen (rhp) will likely not return.  Kimbrel saved 23 games and was an All-Star, but I'll remember him most for the two NLCS losses in Phoenix.  Lorenzen threw a no-hitter on August 9th in his Phillies home debut, and then completely fell apart for the rest of the season.

Coaching Changes:  The Phillies parted ways with two coaches following the end of the NLCS.  Bullpen coach Dave Lundquist and assistant hitting coach Jason Camilli will not return for the 2024 season.  They had been with the club since 2019 and 2022, respectively.  Cesar Ramos was named the team's new bullpen coach.  Ramos was a Phillies non-roster inivitee to spring training in 2017, and he appeared in 40 games that season for the IronPigs.  He had been the pitching coach for the IronPigs since 2022.  The club is still searching for an assistant hitting coach.

Gold Glove:  Zack Wheeler won his first Gold Glove award on Sunday night, becoming the first Phillies pitcher to win the award since Steve Carlton in 1981.  Taijuan Walker was also a finalist for the pitcher's award.  J.T. Realmuto at catcher and Bryson Stott at second base were finalists as well but both came up short.

2021 Topps #526
2018 Bowman Chrome
Prospects #BCP16
2023 Choice Reading
Fightin Phils #8

First Transactions:  On Monday afternoon, the Phillies claimed Josh Fleming (lhp) off waivers from the the Tampa Bay Rays.  Michael Plassmeyer (lhp) and Erich Uelmen (rhp) were outrighted to Lehigh Valley.  In parts of four seasons with the Rays, Fleming has appeared in 55 games, making 22 starts.  He's 19-13 lifetime with a 4.88 ERA.  In 12 games in 2023, including three starts, he was 2-0 with a 4.70 ERA in 51 2/3 innings pitched.  He's got a bunch of baseball cards in various Panini sets and his last mainstream baseball card appearance came in the 2021 Topps set.

First Trade:  Also on Monday afternoon, the Phillies acquired Michael Mercado (rhp) from the Tampa Bay Rays for Adam Leverett (rhp) and cash.  The Phillies 40-man roster is now at 38 players.  Mercado has yet to pitch in the majors, and was 4-3 in 52 games last season with a 4.79 ERA at two minor league levels.  He showed up in Bowman sets in 2018 and 2020.  Leverett has been in the Phillies system since 2019 and he was 0-6 with a 3.94 ERA in 35 games last season for the Double-A Fightin Phils.

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