Five questions the Phillies need to answer this offseason

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 30: Maikel Franco #7 of the Philadelphia Phillies is congratulated by Odubel Herrera #37 after he hit a home run during the second inning of a game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on September 30, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 30: Maikel Franco #7 of the Philadelphia Phillies is congratulated by Odubel Herrera #37 after he hit a home run during the second inning of a game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on September 30, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 25: Cesar Hernandez #16 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws to first base after forcing out Victor Robles #14 of the Washington Nationals in the top of the eighth inning at Citizens Bank Park on September 25, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Nationals defeated the Phillies 3-1. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Should the Phillies trade Cesar Hernandez?

This question goes hand-in-hand with the previous one as what the Phillies do with Maikel Franco could directly influence what they do with Cesar Hernandez.

Hernandez has been among Philadelphia’s best players the last two years, leading their hitters in fWAR in both 2016 and 2017 while ranking among the top two in bWAR in that same timeframe. He has been a consistent leadoff hitter, posting an on-base percentage above .370 in each of the last two years.

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The idea of trading Hernandez makes sense when you put in context with the rest of the questions the Phillies face this offseason. He could be a centerpiece in a trade that brings in a high-end starter and trading him would help clear up the infield logjam. Every trade rumor involving the Phillies will likely involve Hernandez in one way or another; it almost makes too much sense.

Be that as it may, the club is certainly not forced to trade Hernandez this offseason. If they decide to move on from Maikel Franco, J.P. Crawford could start the year at third base rather than second and Hernandez would still have a place in the lineup. This leaves open the possibility of a midseason Hernandez trade when teams are far more desperate, allowing Scott Kingery to be promoted at midseason.

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