Could one more move make the Phillies playoff contenders next year?
The Philadelphia Phillies have had an eventful offseason so far. They started off the Winter Meetings by bringing back Pat Neshek, then improving the bullpen even more added Tommy Hunter a day later. Friday morning they traded one of the best defensive shortstops in franchise history, Freddy Galvis, to the Padres only to acquire free agent slugger Carlos Santana.
Coming into the offseason, the Phillies were set with infielders; Galvis and second basemen Cesar Hernandez made up a solid middle infield. However, with both Scott Kingery and J.P Crawford both emerging, Now with Galvis in San Diego, questions arise regarding Hernandez’s future.
Hernandez has proven to be a hot commodity having been one of the top second basemen in the National League, batting .294 in each of the two previous seasons all while stealing 32 bases with 82 extra base hits over that span.
One of the trade rumors surrounding Hernandez is that he would head west coast like his old teammate, but instead, he would go to the Dodgers, likely for some prospects. Hernandez would be a great piece for the reigning National League champs. However, the Phillies would not be as benefited by the deal as Los Angeles would. Shipping him to an NL East rival could make a lot more sense.
Matz is coming off an injured year. In just 13 starts Matz went 2-7 with a 6.08 ERA. However, his first two years in the league were great. He went a solid 13-8 with a 3.16 ERA and 163 strikeouts. Matz also finished sixth in rookie of the year voting in 2016.
Here is the projected rotation for the 2018 Phillies: Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, Ben Lively, Jake Thompson, and Vince Velasquez.
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Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta have been discussed as free agency signings, and the Phils have also been linked in trade talks to Michael Fulmer. What do all nine of these men have in common? All right handed. Matz would give Philadelphia a much-needed left-hander. Then imagine if Arrieta or Darvish were signed. Either one and Matz could replace Thompson and Lively.
Matt Klentak improved the bullpen, added a power bat and now have a chance to solidify the rotation.
Next season is starting to look a whole lot different for the city of brotherly love.