Could Philadelphia Phillies replace Odúbel Herrera with this free-agent slugger?

Trevor Story #27 of the Colorado Rockies (Photo by Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images)
Trevor Story #27 of the Colorado Rockies (Photo by Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images) /

The top Phillies blockbuster signing this offseason could be Trevor Story

The Philadelphia Phillies watched their division-rival New York Mets make multiple splashes in free agency on Friday, signing outfielders Starling Marte and Mark Canha, as well as infielder Eduardo Escobar, each to multi-year deals.

There is no secret that the Phillies have more than a few holes to fill this offseason, among the most glaring is two of three spots in the outfield. Reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper is the only current outfield “lock” for the team heading into spring training.

Shortly after the Mets’ late Marte signing, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Jessica Kleinschmidt shared an intriguing rumor: the Phillies were reported to be in on the two-time Gold Glove Award winner and could now shift their attention to another need. Kleinschmidt says the Phillies’ interest in shortstop slugger Trevor Story has “gained some traction” — but with a current infield logjam, what if Dave Dombrowski is eyeing the free-agent slugger to fill the centerfield void instead?

Around this past July’s trade deadline, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the San Diego Padres internally talked about acquiring Story from the Colorado Rockies and “putting him in center field.” Another verified report said that the New York Yankees considered Story for the position as well.

Where there is smoke, there is fire.

The Phillies currently have Didi Gregorius and Jean Segura as middle infield options, but there is also rising top hitting prospect Bryson Stott, who is waiting in the wings. Even if the Phillies trade one of Gregorius or Segura heading into the 2022 season, and with Stott potentially taking over a starting role, that still does not leave much room for a free-agent signee.

Story would right away replace and if not improve upon the power that Andrew McCutchen gave the Phillies as an outfielder in 2021; also the power of Odúbel Herrera, who hit 13 home runs and 51 RBI in 124 games. Both McCutchen and Herrera are now free-agents.

A six-year veteran, the 29-year-old has slugged 180 doubles, 158 home runs, and 450 RBI, while slashing .272/.340/.523 through 745 games. Not to mention, the former first-round draft pick is also a two-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner. He additionally finished in the top 12 for National League MVP in three straight seasons (2018-2020).

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