David Phelps, RHP - Chat Thread
throws a fastball, a hard cutter and a curve


Mainframe grok of NL short man David Phelps later in the afternoon.  'Till then we start with some of the Denizens:


SABRMatt  Don't know who they are yet...this isn't the type of asset I'd want to give anything too close to the big leagues in terms of prospects for...so...let's see who it is. But Phelps will definitely help the Mariner bullpen find some stability and take the pressure off of badly-overused options like Vincent and Pazos.

Supposedly, one of the minor leaguers is a center fielder and the other three are pitchers.

Dang...FOUR players for Phelps?


Ya, which is the M's advertising Phelps for a high-leverage role in the 7th and 8th.  Last year Phelps had the #11 WAR in the National League among relievers, with the #10 FIP.  This year his K's are down from 12 to 10 per game but he's actually throwing harder.  So we're talking about a pitcher the M's see as a playoff factor.


Again SABRMatt:

A high upside, very high risk center fielder who is, at the very least, four years away from the big leagues...and three buckets of balls.



Might seem like three buckets of balls to us and that's cool.  :- )  Glad we didn't cough up Tyler O'Neill or similar for a relief pitcher.  But there was some reason the Marlins drew a line in the sand and wanted a handful of $2 lotto tickets back...


G sez


Brayan Hernandez - like you said, high-risk CFer several years away.  Problem is, if he shows out he can get back a lot more.  It's selling low on his value now rather than waiting a few more months.

Brandon Miller - one of the precious few starters the Ms had in the system prior to this draft who might have turned into anything. His velo isn't anything to write home about but he's got the frame and the pitches to be a sturdy starter, or get moved to the pen to get his fastball to play up.

Lucas Schiraldi - dreams of being a middle-reliever in another 3 years.

Pablo Lopez - a starter now but around the zone too much - I expect a move to the pen for him too.


So yeah, Dipoto is still trying to get the low-minors talent moved to the current squad.  I don't think Jerry is maximizing his prospects, and I don't think he cares.  He wants what he wants and he's willing to pay for it.  Whether that Gillicks the system by the time he's gone is a different question, but right now he's basically picking His Guys out of the minors and trading the rest.  That doesn't always work - Luis Gohara is up to AA now as a better pitcher than any still in the Ms system save maybe one, and the Ms got a broken pitcher in return who has thrown zero innings this year for us.

And again, Dipoto doesn't really care.  It's now or never for this group, so he's moving pieces up to try to make Now happen, regardless of getting "full value."  Gohara is a Paxton-level arm that Seattle could miss desperately in 2 years, just as Brayan Hernandez has a chance to be a multi-WAR CFer in 2021.  Jerry's not here in 2021 if this all doesn't work now, so plundering Seattle's lower talent makes sense for him.

I just hope it makes more sense for the team in hindsight than Bavasi's deals did.  Dipoto's way to restock is via trade, not by internal growth.  As long as the trades keep providing Seguras and Hanigers and Gamels, and he keeps the Moores and Lewises to be able to fill out the rest of the roster with at least some system promotions, then burning down the lower minors every 6 months seems like a valid option - for a while.


MLB.com gave it as our #6 prospect, #16, #22 and N/A.  That's a nice selection of prospects to give Miami but it still leaves us with #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #7, #8 ... #14, #15, #17, #18 ... #21, #23, #24  ;- )   and whichever three prospects now move into our top 30.

We assume this leaves the M's powder dry if they are going to angle for Sonny Gray-type action.

National pundit Bob Nightengale had said:

The thrilled by return for Phelps:CF Brayan Hernandez, 3 fringe pitching prospects Brandon Miller, Pablo Lopez, Lucas Schiraldi  Here is that Twitter feed in which some fans protest the quality the M's gave upa


Question is whether Phelps is going to break into the rotation that has been leading the majors in bullpen ERA for two months.  First game back from the All-Star Break we had a slim lead and needed the game, Servais going with 

7IP - Zych now feeling like back-to-back games

8IP - Vincent having a boggle season

9IP - Sugar

And that's kind of been the set, since.  James Pazos gets the 8th or 9th if there are two lefties impending or if somebody's tired.  Scrabble and Cishek are #5-6.  It was two months ago the Servais decided Vincent and Diaz were going to pitch with a lead, period, and since the roles were set the bullpen took off.  Is Phelps a de facto 8th-inning safety net for Vincent?

So where does Phelps fit in?  Hm.  Dipoto is on the record as believing that a 6.1 IP start from your rotation is all the difference in the world; does this give him the luxury to accept 5.2 IP from our two rookies and then carry the ball to the end zone for them?  And whence Guy Art Dough?

 Here is Dipoto's statement on Phelps thru the TNT.


Dr D




Flexible arm, good stuff and results, could start or relieve. He can still swing for Gray but if he misses the deadline still has a reward for this squad (and next years)


I'd be eager to see what Phelps could do in Gaviglio's slot.  Moving us from four or five K's per game to nine in that slot ...

The 94 MPH fastball might not hold up for him over 200 innings.  But it might hold up over the course of ten starts.  And if so it wouldn't be a shock to see him outpitch any SP we've got other than Zeus.


I'm OK with him spot starting, but if you put him in the rotation, our already exhausted bullpen just dies a horrible death.

A guy who is capable of starting should also be capable of throw 2-3 inning lockdowns when you hit the sixth inning up or down by 1 or 2 and your pen is too tired.

Just this week, the Mariners played six games and needed their best relievers in five of them for at least 2 innings and mostly 3-4 innings (and in one case...SEVEN innings).

They're exhausted...remember all those play-off runs that died in August for us when the bullpen got tired?

Just because he hasn't throw multiple innings for them doesn't mean he can't for us. Make him Mike Stanton/John Halama/Brett Tomko style inning muncher and reap the benefits of a stabilized pen.

Oh...and as for the return...

G, love your outlook man...the info you give on the prospects really helps give the proper perspective.


How many times have we done a deal like this in reverse...traded a valuable bullpen piece for three guys who might work out...ish...

How many of those guys worked out?

Just because it COULD happen that those guys work out doesn't mean it's particularly likely to happen. If they get good results from that group...good for them. I don't care. For me, those were never guys I was planning to need...and there is always more spaghetti in the pot.


Couldn't agree more Matt. This week reminded me that last year, we worked Diaz (and Cishek, for that matter) into an absolute lather down the stretch. Servais, and one can infer Jerry, are big proponents of getting Their Guys into winnable games, rest be damned. We're on an awesome streak right now, but it's partially the result of consciously overworking Sugar and Vincent. We needed to get another guy in there that we trust, preferably with a rubber arm, and pronto.  Otherwise we'd be trading wins this week for losses next week.

JeDi knows we're one week into a 2-3 week stretch that will determine the landscape of the final stretch. We needed reinforcements now, and at a cost that kept the powder dry in case he can land a real whale at the deadline. Going 4 fer 1, three no-name arms and one bonus baby, is all I could ever ask for. Maybe Hernandez is a kewl 2-3 WAR CF in 5 years. At this point, I trust Jerry to pull those out of the aether kind of at will. Seriously, we've found Martin (serviceable last year), Heredia, and Dyson, and they all cost us a bag of balls. Just like Pete Carrol can take any four 6th round CBs and find a solid starter out of them, I'm getting to where I figure Jerry can pull a 2 WAR position player out of any four readily available scrubs. If he wants to keep the blue chip stars and trade the filler for more Ben Gamels, that is Fine. With. Me.

It is so, so refreshing to watch a man who gets out in front of problems, preempts them and does so without acting shrill. He's a pleasure to watch. Sometimes I think Jerry Season is actually more entertaining than the regular season.


I didn't have any of those guys in my plans either.  Dipoto is capitalizing on uncertainty - guys in the upper minors have books, while guys in the low minors are preferences, draws at the deck as Doc would say. Front offices that liked Brayan 2 years ago should still like him - he hasn't had a chance to fail yet.  It's a little annoying to basically trade 4 players to get a Mike Montgomery type back, when what we got for Mike in the first place doesn't seem to have a place with the Mariners either, but that happens. 

My preferred way to grow starters in the minors is to seed the farm with a lot of them. Dipoto is just saying "keep the top 3 and trade the rest, unless one of the top three can get me a TOR starter who is about to blow his arm out, then do that."

If we do add Gray I'll just wish him better luck than Smyly had.


the Marlins accepted 2 of the minor leaguers last second I guess.  Whew.  I'm quite bullish on Povse - the pick of the litter after Moore.

shows you just what JeDi thinks of 1.5 years of Phelps.  Wow.


I have a feeling it wasn't as close as they claimed.  I think the Marlins wanted that (Hernandez and Povse) and the Mariners stayed at the table and said...eeehhhhh...we love Phelps but we need Povse in the near term...would you consider an alternative structure"...and that's how we got to here.

The Other Billy Zoom's picture

We need a starter.

We need a reliever.

Wild card poems.

Multi-year / and possibly multi-roles, the reliever is in the barn with a bunch of sweaty stablemates.

The wear and tear on relievers on the squad was certainly helped by time out over the break ... but it might be catching up with them.

When Guy Art Dough was called in late the other night I cringed until he got his first guy out.

He is not a set-up guy, but, Servais seemed to think he had to use him ... but he ain't goin' to that well too often as it could relate in incontinence or worse.

So, Phelps makes sense, as noted above by Gordo (win now has gotta be Jerry's tune) ... and Sabremat pointing out the bullpen, totally turned around from two months ago, can't be expected to hold up.

While Gaviglio is not inspiring of late, Phelps is not going to start, at least this year.

The asking price for Hand, payment by the Nats to the Orcs for two good relievers who both might be teetering, and still long list of wild card contenders for pen dragons, suggest that, once again, DePoet jumps the market to fill his needs but leave him the flexibility to pay for a starter.

While I appear to be a braindead basket case in suggesting his starter is going to be a non-established MLB starter ... but a top twenty overall prospect who is blocked from coming up at present, I'll stay with my thoughts that the M's trade a CF for such a root a begger. 

No "experts" (local and national) have even acknowledged such a possibility, yet they keep saying "Jerry might do something (but we have no idea what other than the same old established names starting with shades of Gray).

Northern League?  Australian Rules Football? Korean Kim Chee shocker?  Or maybe some cricket guy.

The M's GM is not getting shut out on either sonnet.



is the opposite of brain dead especially in Dipoto's win-now re tool ... I share your surprise that it's never connected to Dipoto but welcome to our world on the Beltway view of glamor assets and the Seattle Mariners :- )

what be the price on such a monster asset would be the only Q in Dr D's mind ...

The Other Billy Zoom's picture

Pick One:  Gamel, Heredtic, Hanginthere, Dyson

Most likely that gets us one of top Cards:  Flaherty or Weaver (possibly Pearce) or the DareYa Dogers: (Buehler or Alvarez or Stewart).

Dodgers do not like to trade top prospects, but, their OF is not solid,  Buehler their hottest arm, TOR potential ... and they probably will not trade him unless disaster strikes their OF.  Remember, they hear every day they have not bought their way to a World Series since 1988.

Stewart is relieving for Dodgers now coming up in early July.  Designated as reliever now, but long term prospect is as a starter.

All those guys in mid-season top 5 of respective organizations, but only Buehler in top 20 overall in prospect ratings (only 3 pitchers in top 15 overall, but 7 more in 16 - 30 according to Baseball America).

Yeah, M's would have to give up a lot, but, get an immediate starter.

Brewers have some decent starter prospects, but I doubt they will give them up ... and they don't need CF's like Cards and Dodgers.

While I doubt it would happen, possibility Marteen or Booger could be traded for a lesser light in those organizations, but I don't think that is direction DePoet will go.



I'm the one that thought Marco was a good add. I confess I didn't think it would cost Tank. I understand G's reservations, but I think he will surprise some of you. As he arm strength returns he's been getting better and better. Yes, Moore as a lefty is a good approximation. But Lance Painter has been outstanding in bringing out the best in these kids. A couple of starts in Tacoma, and let's see what we've got. But Tank could also get a grip on his K rate and make this look like a bad move. But my gut tells me we got quality for quality and it's going to be a good ole baseball trade.


Just to add to Tacoma's rundown -- Marco Gonzales' arm tightness required TJ and he's now on his way back, currently pitching at AAA Memphis. A cross between Vargas with 2-3 mph on the FB and Andrew Moore with the ++ pitchability. Word is his last couple of outings in Memphis have been MLB-quality.*

Although the Ms are already fixed for LHs with Paxton and Miranda, Gonzales is one of those heady, control-the-Zone players Dipoto likes. At one point before the TJ, he and Paxton were considered amongst the top prospect LHs, Paxton with more power, Gonzales with more craft. Because he's not yet 100% (but, as noted, still better than the Ms' alternatives), shifting Dyson for him with some balance pieces seems like a great stiffener for the rotation for 2017, with likely more to come.

Gonzales' dad is the Rockies MiLB pitching co-ordinator, so the kid has a lot of polish and a good head for the game.

* Some numbers from last 5 games at Memphis: 5W, 32IP, 34K, 7BB, 7R/ER, 22Hits,  2HR, 3HBP.  Seems to be doing alright after not pitching in April and having a mediocre May.

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