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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

12/21/21 : Just Sayin or Just Field a Dreamin 🤷‍♂️

As the lockout continues with no immediate end in sight there’s little “officially” that can be done to address roster configuration. That doesn’t mean that teams can’t talk to one another during the lockout, in fact trade discussions have very likely continued - just can’t bring them to conclusion till a new CBA ( Collective Bargaining Agreement ) has been signed.

It’s my humble opinion that a new agreement will be reached in early January - there’s simply too much money at stake for both sides to delay the upcoming season. While spring training “officially” starts in mid February many players often arrive at spring camps weeks before with informal workouts beginning as early as mid to late January. Most if not all of the pitchers will have already thrown multiple bullpen sessions prior to “official” pitchers and catchers report day. Spring training games are scheduled for the last week of February ( the Phillies start on 2/26 ) - simply put a Pitchers and Catcher’s report date of 2/15 or so doesn’t allow enough time to have the arms ramped up in time for late February games. It’s why the pitchers are in “pre-camp” workouts at the complexes or at their own home sites at the least by the beginning of February - in fact in years past during the last week of January we have seen quite a few at the complex. Players coming back from rehab years are also often early reports - minor leaguers included.

That being said - if the two sides don’t want to lose any spring training revenue or preparation time they have to agree to a deal by no later than mid January to remain on schedule. While players in big league camps are not “officially” paid for spring training they are compensated with weekly per diems. It’s not necessarily the money consideration for ST that effects the players but the time to get ready for the coming season that’s needed - despite what some may say - there is absolute value to ST work. The owners on the other hand do earn relatively significant income from Spring Training. As a season ticket holder for Phillies ST games I can attest that game tickets aren’t cheap albeit not yet aligned to the regular season ticket costs. Merchandising revenue from spring training also comes into play and the impacts on the local economies that host the camps in both Florida and Arizona are quite significant. It’s not throwaway money by any stretch of the imagination.

It will get done …

On that note here’s a name to perhaps keep in mind as a potential trade acquisition for the Phillies. OF/C Daulton Varsho made his big league debut for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2021 playing both center field ( 30 games ) and behind the dish ( 41 games ) - he also saw time in both corner outfield spots. Varsho hit .246 with 11 home runs and 46 RBIs in 284 AB’s - he’s a left handed batter with very good wheels and is a steady if unspectacular defender in both the outfield and as a catcher - he’s a bit better as an outfielder at present. He is the son of former Phillie Gary Varsho and is named after Phillies great Darren Daulton.

Varsho has a career .302 minor league batting average in 985 AB’s - he’s hit 46 home runs as well. He’s more than capable of holding down the center field position on a regular or semi-regular basis and could also spot at the Catcher position. The Diamondbacks may be receptive to a trade as outfielders are one of their system strengths - Varsho could be part of the answer to the Phillies 2022 center field question and given his defensive versatility would be a valuable asset long term. Just sayin 🤔

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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