Are the Phillies going to start locking up their young talent?
By John Town
Trying to figure out what kind of role Aaron Altherr will have is hard to do. He was a borderline All-Star candidate last year after taking over a starting role. On the other hand, injuries have limited him to 164 games over the last two seasons. He also has to jockey with Nick Williams for playing time in right field this year, which will hurt his overall value.
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Due to his injuries, there is skepticism he can be anything more than a fourth outfielder. If that is the case, he would certainly be one of the better ones in baseball as he could be a starter on plenty of other teams in the league.
Signing a fourth outfielder to a long-term extension is certainly a stretch. However, if Altherr stays healthy and winds up starting more times than not, there is a chance he gets locked up soon. He is arbitration-eligible after this year, and a strong 2018 would certainly give him a better case for more money. If Philadelphia wants to avoid this headache, they might wind up giving him an extension too.