The Jimmy Rollins trade is now official. I posted my thoughts about the deal back when the players were first hinted at, and how Eflin and Windle will fit into the Phillies newly found pitching depth. I will start by saying I like this deal for the Phillies. As Amaro stated “This transaction is one that I believe benefits both Jimmy and the Phillies”. Rollins on the Phillies purely had sentimental value (a lot of sentimental value) and given his age, it was unlikely the Phillies would have extended a Qualifying Offer at the end of the season. In return the Phillies get two nice, but not elite prospects.
Everyone seems to rave about Eflin and it is easy to see why. He lacks the big time stuff to make you drool, but fastball at 90-92 up to 94 and a two seamer a little lower that has worked well to generate ground balls. I love changeups and everyone says Eflin as a plus one, and he has feel for a slider. There is upside here too, as Eflin is young enough and big enough that you can dream on the fastball at 92-94 touching 95-96 in his future. Overall Eflin seems to exist in the #3/#4 starter range with the ceiling a bit higher. He should start in AA and in terms of rankings I have him in the same grouping as Jesse Biddle and Yoel Mecias.
Windle can match Eflin in raw stuff, with a fastball at 89-93 touching 94. In addition to the plus velocity Windle has shown he can subtract some velocity to make the ball either run arm side or cut glove side. Some people love the slider, others think it is more of an average pitch, a lot of it has to do with his manipulation of the pitch where he can can lengthen or shorten the break, it will remain to be seen if the Phillies try and get him to stick to a single version of it. The changeup has good movement and deception but the fact that he can’t locate it makes it more of a fringy offering. Windle walked only 2.8 per 9 in the Cal League, but he is a guy with more control than command and leaves pitches in hittable spots in the zone. Some wonder if he fits better in the bullpen long term, but for now he likely fits in the #4 starter spot. He is more in the Matt Imhof/Victor Arano range of pitcher, than up with the second grouping.
Overall a good return for the talent Jimmy Rollins is now, but I can see if you feel a bit jaded based on what Jimmy Rollins was for the city and the team.
Other Phillies Notes and Thoughts:
- Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs mentioned the Phillies as a team (along with Yankees and Blue Jays) as a team the industry feels will “Almost Definitely” go over their international allotment next signing period. This would be a dramatic shift in policy for the Phillies, but they have excelled in scouting in Latin America, and as Kiley points out, the impending International draft makes now one of the last times to wield that talent. The Phillies should be able to weather the penalties based on their track record with low money signings (Yoel Mecias, Franklyn Kilome, Ricardo Pinto, Elniery Garcia, and Severino Gonzalez all signed for under $50,000 each). No indication on how this would affect a pursuit of Yoan Moncada.
- The moves of recent days have likely taken the Dodgers out of any pursuit of Cole Hamels, and the Red Sox continue to be reluctant to move top prospects. The Padres have climbed the list of potential suitors, and they still have the prospects to put forth a very good package.
- Odubel Herrera continues to rake in Venezuela and Willians Astudillo continues to play CF (this winter is a weird thing)
- I have no information or sources, but I find it hard to see Marlon Byrd not being traded, it feels like the Orioles are the natural fit. The Phillies have given a lot of indication they are going to give Domonic Brown a lot of run, and they like Herrera.