If history has taught us one thing, it’s that the Phillies will act quickly
Entering perhaps the biggest offseason in Phillies history, general manager Matt Klentak has an envious role of pitching the city and club to some of the best players in baseball. Baseball fans know the names available this year, and while it’s not as star studded as one predicted, this year’s class remains one of the best in recent memory.
This week Klentak is surrounded by all the movers and shakers in baseball at the annual general manager meetings. While the primary goal of the meetings is to help regulate new rules and solve some of baseball’s issues, trade talks are inevitable with front office executives from every team on hand.
Klentak is no stranger to using these meetings to initiate trades, whether they happen at the meetings or down the line. We’ve already heard chatter regarding starting pitchers Robbie Ray and James Paxton being on the trade block and the Phillies being potential fits.
After Klentak’s first full season as the general manager in 2016 he came out of the GM meetings with two deals done. The club sent cash or a player to be named later to Houston for veteran reliever Pat Neshek, who pulled out an All-Star season and was traded to Colorado for several promising prospects.
The original Neshek deal as announced on Nov. 4, the first Friday of the month.
Exactly one week later Klentak completed a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers to send bench players Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney out west for Howie Kendrick.
While Philadelphia didn’t make any trades early last year, they were one of the first teams to strike in a laggy free agent market. They signed both Neshek and Tommy Hunter to two-year deals on December 15 at the winter meetings in an offseason where stars waited until spring training started to ink their deals.
Also on that day the Phillies traded shortstop Freddy Galvis to the San Diego Padres for prospect Enyel De Los Santos, who made his major league debut last season.
If history tells us anything, Klentak will strike early this offseason and be one of the more aggressive executives in free agency.