Inbox: Should Phillies sign free-agent starter?

Inbox: Should Phillies sign free-agent starter?

I don't understand why the Phillies aren't going to spend money this offseason. What are they waiting for?
-- Milt K., Beloit, Wis.

I understand the desire to sign a big free agent. It's exciting. It's fun. It sells jerseys. But it really makes no sense right now, particularly when it comes to starting pitchers like Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, etc.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Phils to interview Tribe's pitching coach

Callaway joins list of candidates for open managerial job

Source: Phils to interview Tribe's pitching coach

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies plan to interview Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway as part of their managerial search.

A source Thursday confirmed the Phillies' intentions. Callaway could interview next week. The Cleveland Plain Dealer first reported that the Phillies asked the Indians for permission to meet with the coach.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bowa named senior advisor to GM

Former coach, manager, player has spent 33 of 52 years with Phillies

Bowa named senior advisor to GM

PHILADELPHIA -- Larry Bowa will continue his Phillies career in a front-office role.

Bowa was named a senior advisor to general manager Matt Klentak on Friday, and is most likely to use his expertise not only to work with the organization's infielders, but scout amateur infielders in advance of the Draft.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sources: Phils interview 3 manager candidates

Club meeting with trio of members of the organization

Sources: Phils interview 3 manager candidates

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies have stepped up their managerial search.

On Wednesday, sources said the Phillies are interviewing three internal candidates this week. Juan Samuel interviewed Tuesday, Jorge Velandia interviewed Wednesday and Dusty Wathan will interview before the weekend. The Phillies are expected to begin meeting with external candidates next week.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils eye vets to bolster rotation, 'pen, bench

Phils eye vets to bolster rotation, 'pen, bench

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies have spent the past two offseasons finding rentals to plug holes on their 25-man roster.

They wanted them for stability. But they also hoped to flip them to contenders in July.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stacked farm gives MacPhail offseason options

Integrating analytics part of the plan to compete

Stacked farm gives MacPhail offseason options

PHILADELPHIA -- This would have been late in the 1999 season, or maybe early the following season. Dave Dombrowski was general manager of a Marlins team that was loaded with great young pitching prospects.

So, one night before a game in the press box of Pro Player Stadium, he was asked which of the arms the franchise had stockpiled -- A.J. Burnett, Brad Penny, Josh Beckett, Wes Anderson, Jason Grilli, Gary Knotts, Terry Byron, Geoff Goetz, Nelson Lara -- would end up being the best of the group.

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Paul Hagen, a reporter for MLB.com, won the J.G. Taylor Spink Award in 2013 for a lifetime of excellence in baseball writing. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MacPhail, ownership content with club's formula

MacPhail, ownership content with club's formula

PHILADELPHIA -- Andy MacPhail's day planner for Wednesday, June 21, was almost completely blocked out by two notations. There was a game against the Cardinals that night at Citizens Bank Park. First, though, the Phillies' president would meet with the team's ownership group.

This is a routine, quarterly affair during which various department heads update the investors -- primarily managing general partner John Middleton and cousins Jim and Peter Buck -- on the state of the club.

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Paul Hagen, a reporter for MLB.com, won the J.G. Taylor Spink Award in 2013 for a lifetime of excellence in baseball writing. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MacPhail says Phillies to upgrade ballpark

Improvements to fan experience, security on agenda

MacPhail says Phillies to upgrade ballpark

PHILADELPHIA -- Changes are coming to Citizens Bank Park.

Phillies president Andy MacPhail pointed out Tuesday that it is the oldest ballpark in the National League East, opening in 2004 and preceding Nationals Park (2008), Citi Field (2009), Marlins Park (2012) and SunTrust Park (2017). Subjectively, it remains one of the better ballparks in baseball, particularly with sightlines for fans, but the Phillies are planning to invest millions to improve the fan experience, upgrade security and more.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Q&A: Lidge reflects on postseason experience

Former closer pitched in World Series with Astros, Phillies

Q&A: Lidge reflects on postseason experience

Brad Lidge was selected by the Astros in the first round of the 1998 MLB Draft. He later was part of the only two Houston teams to win a postseason series out of the 10 that have made it (not including this season).

Lidge was a member of the Astros in 2004 -- when they knocked off the Braves in the National League Division Series before losing to the Cardinals in the NL Championship Series -- and in '05 -- when they made it to the World Series before getting swept by the White Sox.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies optimistic after solid second half

Phillies optimistic after solid second half

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies' bright future didn't look so bright at the All-Star break.

They had the worst record in baseball, and were on pace to lose 108 games. Nothing seemed to be going right. But their outlook improved, as the Phillies played better in the second half.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MacPhail: GM-manager connection 'critical'

Phillies president discusses Klentak's decision to reassign Mackanin

MacPhail: GM-manager connection 'critical'

PHILADELPHIA -- The moment that Phillies general manager Matt Klentak told Pete Mackanin that he wanted a new manager next season, the expectations for the Phillies ratcheted up dramatically.

Ninety-plus losses in 2018 will not be viewed through same lens as they were in '16 or '17.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hoskins, Romero named Prospects of the Year

Hoskins, Romero named Prospects of the Year

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies had one of the best farm systems in baseball this season because they had some of the best prospects in baseball.

Rhys Hoskins and JoJo Romero are just two of them.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Sanchez growing without throwing at instructs

Sanchez growing without throwing at instructs

It's safe to say that the best way to develop pitching is to give prospects mound time. More innings and reps lead to improvement, the argument goes. While that's often the case, sometimes just talking about the craft, about game plans and pitches, can be a huge help as well.

That's largely what Sixto Sanchez, currently No. 47 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list and the No. 2 prospect on the Phillies' Top 30, is doing during instructional league play in Philadelphia. The right-hander, who turned 19 at the end of July, has leapt up prospect lists and is rapidly becoming known as one of the best pitching prospects in the game.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils give Ashburn Award to longtime employee

Phils give Ashburn Award to longtime employee

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies presented longtime employee Chris Pohl with its 2017 Richie Ashburn Achievement Award.

The award has been presented annually since 1998 in honor of Ashburn, who had a Hall of Fame playing career and a wildly popular broadcasting career with the Phillies. The Ashburn Award goes to a member of the Phillies who demonstrates the same loyalty, dedication and passion for the game of baseball as Ashburn.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bats erupt to lift Phils to shutout win in finale

Bats erupt to lift Phils to shutout win in finale

PHILADELPHIA -- Mets manager Terry Collins and Phillies manager Pete Mackanin exchanged lineup cards at home plate for the final time Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.

Both managed their final games for their respective teams on the final game of the 2017 season. Collins, who led the Mets to the 2015 National League pennant, resigned after an 11-0 loss to the Phillies. Mackanin, who led the Phillies' rebuild since June 2015, learned Thursday that he will not return as manager. Both will join their respective front offices and serve in advisory roles.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mackanin receives long ovation in final game

Mackanin receives long ovation in final game

PHILADELPHIA -- The Citizens Bank Park faithful lobbed more than their fair share of standing ovations upon worthy subjects in 2017, an odd thought as the Phillies occupied the lower reaches of the standings for the entirety of the season.

There were ovations for past stars -- when Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz returned to the grass on which they were crowned World Champions, and when their manager, Charlie Manuel, took the field during Alumni Weekend celebrations. There were ovations for future stars, after Rhys Hoskins' first hit and a number of his many majestic homers.

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Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bowa staying with Phillies, but unlikely as coach

Bowa staying with Phillies, but unlikely as coach

PHILADELPHIA -- Larry Bowa is staying with the Phillies.

A source confirmed on Monday that the Phillies have asked Bowa to remain in the organization, although he is unlikely to return as a member of the coaching staff. Philly.com first reported that Bowa has been asked back.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Draft order set; Phillies to pick No. 3

Giants, Phillies, White Sox and Reds follow Detroit in top five

Draft order set; Phillies to pick No. 3

Both the San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers had designs on the postseason in 2017. For a variety of reasons, things didn't work out as planned. The consolation prize? Getting to pick at the top of the 2018 Draft.

It came down to the final day of the season and both teams finished tied with 64-98 records. By virtue of the Tigers' .534 winning percentage in 2016 (the Giants finished that season at .537), they get the first pick. Detroit has had the No. 1 pick just once before, taking Matt Anderson in 1997.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Galvis faces uncertainty heading into offseason

Shortstop played in all 162 games for the Phillies in 2017

Galvis faces uncertainty heading into offseason

PHILADELPHIA -- Freddy Galvis and Larry Bowa posed for photos Sunday evening at Citizens Bank Park.

It could have been their final moment in a Phillies uniform.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mackanin looking forward to new role with Phils

Mackanin looking forward to new role with Phils

PHILADELPHIA -- Pete Mackanin is moving forward while looking back.

Mackanin, given an extension to stay with the team as special assistant to general manager Matt Klentak, will be spending his 50th season in baseball with the Phillies after all, just as he hoped.

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Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hoskins ties it, but Phillies fall to Mets in extras

Hoskins ties it, but Phillies fall to Mets in extras

PHILADELPHIA -- Mets third baseman Asdrubal Cabrera had a big Saturday night in the penultimate game of the 2017 season.

Cabrera ripped a three-run home run to left-center field in the 11th inning of a 7-4 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. He also doubled to score a run in the seventh, going 4-for-6 with four RBIs. It was his second four-hit game of the season and the 15th of his career. The Mets are likely to pick up the $8.5 million 2018 option on Cabrera's contract.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Alfaro exits after collision at home plate

Catcher was removed from game for precautionary reasons after blow to head

Alfaro exits after collision at home plate

PHILADELPHIA -- The sixth inning of Saturday's extra-inning 7-4 loss to the Mets at Citizens Bank Park was likely the last we'll see of Phillies catcher Jorge Alfaro in 2017 after the backstop took a heavy shot to the head in a collision at home plate.

Phillies right fielder Nick Williams settled under the one-out Travis d'Arnaud flyout to right, crow-hopping and firing home to nab Juan Lagares tagging from third. Alfaro ranged to his left up the third-base line, receiving the ball on a fly and applying the tag to Lagares as he passed.

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Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stairs hopes to stick around as hitting coach

GM Matt Klentak to give new manager license to switch up coaching staff

Stairs hopes to stick around as hitting coach

PHILADELPHIA -- Matt Stairs exited the batting cage early Saturday evening at Citizens Bank Park following a lengthy one-on-one conversation with Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins.

Stairs has had a lot of these conversations with his hitters this season. They like talking to him.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies shift Mackanin out of manager's seat

Agrees to contract extension to be special assistant to GM

Phillies shift Mackanin out of manager's seat

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies believe they have reached a turning point in their rebuild.

They will turn that corner with a new manager. Philadelphia announced Friday afternoon that Pete Mackanin will not return next season, less than five months after it signed him to a contract extension through 2018. He will manage the season's final three games, then move into a role as a special assistant to the general manager.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils muscle up behind strong Lively vs. Mets

Phils muscle up behind strong Lively vs. Mets

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies hope to finish a resurgent second half with a strong final weekend against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park.

Philadelphia certainly started the last series of the season off on the right foot, beating the Mets on Friday night, 6-2, to move to 36-37 since the All-Star break. It is no small accomplishment, considering the Phillies were just 29-58 at the break, which was the worst record in baseball at that point of the year.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils, Mets to play in MLB Little League Classic

Phils, Mets to play in MLB Little League Classic

The Mets and Phillies will play in the second iteration of the MLB Little League Classic at renovated Historic Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pa., on Aug. 19, 2018, the league and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced Friday.

"All of us at Major League Baseball are excited to return to Williamsport," said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. "This year's event in Williamsport was a special experience."

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils to begin managerial search immediately

Phils to begin managerial search immediately

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said Friday that the search for a new manager begins immediately.

They should find no shortage of candidates. The Phillies have a roster packed with young talent, one of the better farm systems in baseball and an ownership group ready to spend big money when the time is right.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Real deal? Phils have high hopes for Hoskins

Past, present insiders compare and contrast rookie slugger with Howard, Ruf

Real deal? Phils have high hopes for Hoskins

PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Howard. Darin Ruf. Rhys Hoskins.

Three Phillies sluggers who began as a faraway train whistle from the lower reaches of the farm system, a whisper of promise. Who created a buzz of anticipation by putting up huge numbers at Double-A Reading. Who made a quick impact upon arrival in the big leagues.

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Paul Hagen, a reporter for MLB.com, won the J.G. Taylor Spink Award in 2013 for a lifetime of excellence in baseball writing. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.