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Report: Phillies Plan to Have Another ‘Aggressive Offseason’

CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 2: John Middleton, Philadelphia Phillies managing parter, shakes hands with Bryce Harper as general manager Matt Klentak looks on during the press conference introducing Harper as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday March 2, 2019 at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB via Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 2: John Middleton, Philadelphia Phillies managing parter, shakes hands with Bryce Harper as general manager Matt Klentak looks on during the press conference introducing Harper as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday March 2, 2019 at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB via Getty Images) /
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The Philadelphia Phillies are poised to spend “stupid money” again this offseason.

Over the past two offseasons, the Phillies have spent more than half a billion dollars on free agents. This figure spans from right-hander Jake Arrieta‘s three-year $75 million pact, to Bryce Harper‘s 13-year, $330 million contract.

Yet, after seeing his team fail to qualify for postseason play for the eighth straight season following the 2019 season, and given the Thursday dismissal of Gabe Kapler as manager, Phillies Managing Partner John Middleton’s spending appears to be far from over.

When asked on SportsRadio 94 WIP on Thursday whether he thinks the club will take a “step back” in 2020, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki’s disagreed, adding:

“I was told late in the season by somebody that [the Phillies] plan to have another aggressive offseason … that they plan to spend money.”

https://twitter.com/SportsRadioWIP/status/1182376488215175177

Many names are among the list of the 2019-20 free agent class. The most appealing for the Phillies, needing to address their starting rotation and third base, would be Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon, respectively.

Zolecki says, “I don’t know if they’re going to be able to get Gerrit Cole or Anthony Rendon. That might be a stretch, but there’s enough other guys out there that they can fill some holes with. … Maybe they can get Madison Bumgarner.”

The Phillies’ interest in Bumgarner spans at least to last November, when the Phillies and San Francisco Giants engaged in “preliminary dialogue.”

Cole and Rendon have a combined four All-Star appearances and one Silver Slugger Award. The latter is already headed to the National League Championship Series with the Washington Nationals, while the former could be headed to the American League Championship Series Thursday evening with the Houston Astros. Both may not even be on the free agency board, assuming their teams re-sign them following a promising, deep playoff run.

Zolecki continues, “[The Phillies] obviously need to get some rotation help, there’s no doubt about it. They have to find a third baseman. They have to find some more bullpen help [as well].”

With Kapler gone, and Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentak set to return in 2020, the Phillies offseason will soon shift, once a new manager is hired, from addressing personnel and their coaching staff to acquiring players for next season.

Regardless whether they make trades or sign free agents, Zolecki says, “I was told they plan to have another aggressive offseason.”

“They plan to spend money.”