Phillies Linked to Veteran Infielders in Free Agency

Aug 27, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins third baseman Martin Prado (14) connects for a base hit during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 27, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins third baseman Martin Prado (14) connects for a base hit during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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Even though the regular season is still underway, the Phillies are already looking towards free agency this winter

The Phillies are continuing their rebuild, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be looking into signing free agents.

Baseball insider Jon Heyman linked the Phillies to veteran infielders Martin Prado and Ian Desmond going into the winter.

Martin Prado will be 33-years-old by the end of this season, and is in the final year of a four-year contract. Prado has played for five teams since 2012, including two teams within the National League East.

Prado started his 11-year-career with the Atlanta Braves, but has since played for the Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees, and Miami Marlins.

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He’s started at every position (with the exception of center field, catcher, and pitcher) in his career and could fill multiple roles for the Phillies. The majority of his starts have come at third base, but he’s also played nearly 300 games at second base.

Second is a position the Phillies have very little depth at, with Scott Kingery the only legit prospect projected for that position. Cesar Hernandez has been the primary second baseman for the Phillies, playing 132 games at the position. Hernandez has impressed with his ability to get on base this season, flashing a .289 batting average and a career-high 49 walks.

Prado could replace Andres Blanco as the Phillies primary utility player, while also bringing his experience to a young locker room. He’s a career .293 hitter, and is currently third in all of baseball with 124 singles.

Having a mentor for players such as Freddy Galvis, Hernandez, and J.P. Crawford would be huge for their development.

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Ian Desmond on the other-hand seems less likely considering his success in Texas this season. After turning-down a deal with the Washington Nationals, the shortstop went through much of the offseason as a free agent. He as eventually picked-up by the Rangers as a luxury, but he’s been a key for their offense with a .289 average and 21 home runs.

Where Desmond would play is a big question. Philadelphia has enough depth in centerfield with Odubel Herrera, Aaron Altherr, and several prospects in the minors. Same can be said for shortstop.

Desmond would take a large chunk of the Phillies payroll, but money isn’t an issue for the Phillies at this point. The contracts of Ryan Howard, Jeremy Hellickson, and David Hernandez will be off the books, and only six players will be arbitration eligible.

I doubt Desmond would join a rebuilding team after having a strong year with a contender in Texas. However, money talks.

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Ultimately I believe Martin Prado would be a great addition for the Phillies. He provides versatility, experience, and a quality right-handed bat that can play across the line-up. Prado knows the NL East just as well as any active player, and could eventually be a valuable trade chip at the trade deadline next summer.

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