Phillies linked to Carlos Santana as rumor mill churns

The Phillies have been linked to Carlos Santana.
With the Winter Meetings set to kick off in a little less than three weeks, the rumor mill is already starting to churn with several national reports connecting with first baseman Carlos Santana.

True, Santana is an excellent player, but he's not what the Phillies need right now. He's hit 57 homers over the past two season while hitting .259 to anchor an Indians team that's made two significant runs at the World Series, but he's also going to command somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 million a year while seeking a three-year deal.

Similar to the situation surrounding Giancarlo Stanton, Santana simply isn't a match right now for the Phillies. He'll probably be a cheaper alternative than Eric Hosmer on the free agent market and could prove to be a bargain, but Rhys Hoskins is the future in Philadelphia at first base. Shifting him to the outfield longterm isn't a solution.

Rumors like these involving the Phillies and Santana are going to run wild over the coming weeks because the organization has more financial flexibility than any other team in baseball. General manager Matt Klentak said last week the club isn't interested in taking on a hefty contract, especially considering the amount of youth scattered around the roster.

Rather than look at offensive help, Klentak hinted last week his focus heading into the Winter Meetings is more on pitching and the starting rotation where too many unknowns exist behind young ace Aaron Nola. The organization is expected to ink one - if not two - veteran starters this offseason to alleviate some of the pressure from younger and unproven arms such as Jerad Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez, and Nick Pivetta.

Remember too, next year's free agency class includes players like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, all players that potentially could slide right into the Phillies lineup without displacing anyone.

The hoopla surrounding the Winter Meetings is always exciting, but rumors occasionally are void of reality. Baring a trade of some sort that also scores Klentak and Co. some starting pitching, it's difficult to see the club making a significant upgrade offensively this off-season.
____________________________________
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

No comments: