MLB insider thinks Phillies are in on two top-end free agent starters

The Phillies still appear to be shopping for a starting pitcher in the free agent market.
Blake Snell is one of two top-end starting pitchers the Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly still interested in signing
Blake Snell is one of two top-end starting pitchers the Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly still interested in signing / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages

In a recent story from New York Post's MLB insider Jon Heyman, the Philadelphia Phillies are one of a small group of teams reportedly interested in free agent starters Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery. If these rumors are true, the Phillies are looking to add a left-handed starter to slide into the number two or number three spot in the rotation. And it makes perfect sense.

The Phillies rotation going into 2024 is pretty strong as it is, but looking at where the team is at in a competitive window to win a championship and the failure to do so the last two seasons, all signs point to adding another elite arm as the next logical step in the plan.

The Phillies already have a lot of money tied up in contracts to position players. Sure, the Phillies have expressed some interest in finding a right-handed hitter capable of platooning in center field and handling everyday duties in a corner outfield spot, but there are a bunch of those types of players still available on the free agent market. This is a market where one of those players won't cost very much.

A move for a Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery would create one of the best one-through-three starting rotations in all of the National League, and create a nightmare for opponents in a short playoff series. Adding another lefty would allow the Phillies to create some separation between Zach Wheeler and Aaron Nola, two right-handed starters with different pitch arsenals and velocity.

The Phillies' plans are starting to come into focus

The Phillies seemed poised to keep spending at a minimum this offseason following some of Dave Dombrowski's comments at the MLB Winter Meetings earlier this month. But in recent weeks, the team's efforts to land Yoshinobu Yamamoto revealed that to be a false flag. Jon Heyman reported the Phillies' efforts in signing Yamamoto were significant.

"The Phillies made a real attempt for Yamamoto," wrote Heyman. "Their [Phillies] presentation drew praise — and with a recent history of smart free-agency plays remain in play to sign another top free-agent starter, including Montgomery and Snell."

The last couple of weeks have finally tipped the Phillies plan for this offseason. Re-signing Aaron Nola to a $172 million contract extension was likely the start of a pivot toward investing more resources into the starting rotation. A contract extension for Zack Wheeler is also a possibility the Phillies might entertain, but adding another starter like Snell or Montgomery seems necessary if the team hopes to win a World Series in the next couple of years.

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