Phillies winter meeting roundup: Where does team go from here?
The Phillies left the winter meetings with a new outfielder, but there is more work left to be done the rest of the offseason.
Despite all the rumors flying around Twitter, the Phillies left the MLB Winter Meetings largely in the shape they entered it. The team only made two moves while there: they signed former NL MVP Andrew McCutchen to a three-year, $50 million deal and traded infielder Drew Jackson to the Orioles after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft from the Dodgers for international signing bonus money.
McCutchen played right field for most of the season with the Giants and Yankees. Barring other moves (more on that later), that will be his spot next year. This allows the team to move one of Nick Williams or Aaron Altherr to left, where they both grade out better defensively. Meanwhile, McCutchen offers a significant boost to the offense despite his best years being behind him.
The team did not walk away with Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. Machado will meet with the team next week in Philadelphia, and Todd Zolecki of MLB.com maintains that Machado remains the preferred target.
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Meanwhile, as of Wednesday night, the team had not met with Harper, per Zolecki, despite being in his hometown. Zolecki said this was curious given the fact that Harper had already met with several teams and will meet with a few more before the winter meetings concluded. The team has already had discussions with Boras, who said Harper has Philadelphia on his list of possible destinations.
The possibility of the Phils completely missing out on Harper and Machado has been floated, but nothing is concrete. There is still plenty of time to negotiate with both players.
If the team cannot sign either, they could be interested in Mike Moustakas to play third base or Michael Brantley to play left field.
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Turning towards the rest of the market, the team missed out on another starting pitching target as J.A. Happ wound up with the Yankees. Philadelphia was unwilling to offer the 36-year-old Happ a guaranteed third year, but New York did, so that’s where he went. Dallas Keuchel and Yusei Kikuchi are now the best two left-handed starting pitching options remaining.
Meanwhile, the team remains active in the reliever market despite already picking up three relievers in trades this offseason. Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported that the team has been heavy in their pursuit of Andrew Miller and Zach Britton, especially given the possibility of not adding to their starting rotation.
The winter meetings may be over, but the team is by no means done with the offseason. If anything, things are just getting started.