A historically quiet offseason could bode well for the Phillies
Outside of the Giancarlo Stanton trade the offseason has been relatively quiet for the world of baseball. The Phillies have been somewhat of an exception, signing three free agents and trading shortstop Freddy Galvis to San Diego.
General manager Matt Klentak has been particularly vocal in the organization’s search for stronger pitching. He’s accomplished that by re-signing Pat Neshek and adding Tommy Hunter to the back-end of the bullpen. Klentak would be remiss if he failed to add at least one starter, but it’s not as if he hasn’t tried.
After failing to sign Tyler Chatwood Klentak has likely exchanged figures with a number of free agents ranging from Jake Arrieta to minor league swing-men.
It’s unlikely a major name such as Arrieta joins the fray, but Klentak has enough money to sway him towards Philadelphia. Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb could be more likely candidates to sign a three-year deal with an option for a fourth.
Trade candidates are just as unlikely as a big name such as Arrieta, but Tigers ace Michael Fulmer has been mentioned if the team can piece together a package that likely includes Cesar Hernandez.
Speaking of Hernandez, the team would like to move the versatile infielder but it doesn’t appear Klentak is in a rush. Prospect Scott Kingery has high expectations and Hernandez would leave big shoes to fill.
Unless the team can swing a deal for a pitcher that includes Tommy Joseph, Aaron Altherr, or Nick Williams the roster should be set from an offensive perspective.
Klentak did add a veteran bat by signing Carlos Santana away from Cleveland with a hefty $60 million price tag over three years. Despite overpaying for the first baseman the Phillies got a quality bat and a much-needed voice in the clubhouse for Maikel Franco. If Santana can work with Franco on taking pitches and getting on base, Santana’s lack of batting average could be made up for through Franco’s unlocked potential.
Perhaps a bench piece similar to Andres Blanco would help Santana in managing the clubhouse. Chase Utley would be a welcomed addition for the fanbase and manager Gabe Kapler. Omar Infante or Kapler’s former teammate Reid Brignac are also cheap options the team could look towards on a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
Barring a blockbuster trade or surprise free agent signing Klentak has the roster in a good spot going into 2018. There will be some fine-tuning closer to spring training, but the Phillies have done a good job getting a core together through development, trades, and free agency.