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Phillies trade rumors - Gabe Kapler hire “may be the biggest gamble of the winter”
by Scott Butler 11/5/17

Philadelphia Phillies Trade Rumors

MLB Trade Rumors is a site which describes themselves as "a clearinghouse for relevant, legitimate baseball rumors." Each week at Phils Baseball, we grab their latest Phillies rumors and put them all together in one weekly post.

Here are the latest Phillies rumors:

November 4

Opinions Split On Phillies' Hire Of Gabe Kapler

The Phillies’ choice of Gabe Kapler as manager has drawn mixed reviews from around the game, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman writes, as Kapler’s unique approaches to baseball have brought him praise as an innovative thinker but also led to clashes with some players and personnel within the Dodgers organization.  It should be noted that this didn’t extend to Dodgers front office heads Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi, both of whom are big fans of Kapler and made calls to the Mets and Phillies recommending him for their managerial openings.  The Dodgers themselves almost hired Kapler as manager two years ago, though the fact that some players reportedly lobbied the team to instead go with Dave Roberts also stands out as a possible red flag.  The article is well worth a full read to get a sense of the criticisms lobbied against Kapler, and why the Phillies’ hire “may be the biggest gamble of the winter.”

November 3

Sam Fuld Retires, Joins Phillies Front Office

Outfielder Sam Fuld has announced his retirement after an eight-year MLB career. He’ll build upon his legend by joining the Phillies front office as the team’s major league player information coordinator.

Fuld, 35, is a Stanford graduate who has long been seen as a potential future front office member. He was most recently seen on the field in the World Baseball Classic, playing for Team Israel, which represents a nice bookend for his playing career after rotator cuff surgery kept him out for all of 2016.

In just over fifteen-hundred overall trips to the plate in the majors, Fuld managed only a .227/.307/.325 batting line with a dozen home runs. Yet the former tenth-round pick managed to compile an even 5 career fWAR, due to his highly-rated defensive work and baserunning (including 67 total stolen bases).

Fuld opened his MLB time with the Cubs but will likely be best remembered as a member of the Rays and A’s. He endeared himself to the fans of those two low-budget clubs with his motor and body-sacrificing dives in the field. Fuld ultimately spent the bulk of his time with those two organizations; he also played in part of the 2014 campaign with the Twins, where he enjoyed one of his most productive runs at the plate.

It sounds as if Fuld is already well on his way to making a mark in a non-playing capacity. In his new role, the club says, he’ll “help integrate the use of information in all areas of on-field performance and preparation and make recommendations regarding the most effective areas of future research and analysis.” Former Orioles staffer Ben Werthan will hold a similar position on the minor league side of the equation, the Phillies also announced.

It certainly sounds as if Fuld is being hired to help translate analytical knowledge to the field while hopefully inspiring new frontiers from a player’s perspective. That seems to mesh with the team’s decision to hire the youthful Gabe Kapler as its next manager, a move that many observers are framing as something of a bold gambit.

October 31

Wathan Could Still Land On Phillies' Big League Coaching Staff

Phillies Triple-A manager Dusty Wathan didn’t ultimately land the team’s managerial job but still could land on manager Gabe Kapler’s coaching staff, writes MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki. The 44-year-old Wathan will return to the organization in 2018 no matter what, as he’s currently under contract for next season as the Triple-A manager, Zolecki notes. Because Kapler is entering his first stint as an MLB manager, the Phils will likely have a couple of veteran coaches on his staff, Zolecki continues, but they’ll also likely bring in some younger coaches that are in the same vein as Kapler himself. Zolecki runs down a number of potential candidates, so Phils fans will want to check out the column in full.

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