Coming off his first all-star season, Michael Saunders is an interesting case for the Phillies this offseason. A long-time member of the Mariners, Saunders struggled to consistently hit for power and average.
After missing most of his first season in Toronto due to injury, Saunders rebounded by hitting a career-high 24 games. Like Moss, the majority of Saunders’ home runs land in right field.
There are two disadvantages to signing Saunders if you’re the Phillies. First is the decreased versatility when comparing him to Moss. Saunders primarily plays in the outfield, and has never fielded a ball at first base. Concurrently, Saunders has a lot of experience playing all three outfield positions, logging 113 innings in right, 264 in center, and 284 in left.
Second is the injury history behind Saunders. A torn meniscus suffered in 2015 forced him to miss all but nine games the following season, most of which was due to repeated inflammation in the knee. Saunders’ career-high in games played came last year at 140, but he’s only played in 100 games three other times in his eight-year career.
Philadelphia is looking for some who can not only balance the line up, but produce consistently enough to become a trade chip in the summer. If Saunders can not stay on the field, that becomes an issue for Matt Klentak at the trade deadline.