Day 1: Phillies have potential to be active at Winter Meetings

Freddy Galvis is one of the Phillies' trade chips at Winter Meetings
The big chips have fallen, so the focus is certainly going to shift as the Winter Meetings get underway at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The Shohei Otani sweepstakes ended Friday as he agreed to terms on a deal with the Angels while the Yankees and Marlins reportedly agreed to a blockbuster that sends Giancarlo Stanton to the Bronx.

"That all needed to happen for anything else to happen," said one American League executive late Sunday night. "Now the spotlight can turn somewhere else."

The Phillies are in an interesting position. The club has plenty of money to play around with, but general manager Matt Klentak and team President Andy MacPhail have consistently said the organization isn't interested in making a short-term splash through free agency with minimal long-term appeal.

“We get inundated with stories across the game about how everybody is looking for starting pitching,” MacPhail said back in October. “Just get two quality starters, and we'll be all set. Well, you might as well look for a unicorn at the same time. It's tough.”

Far too many questions exist in the starting rotation behind Aaron Nola, so it's certainly an area that organization needs to address and if not through free agency than through a trade. The Phillies have some chips available, particularly infielders Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis. Sources told the Philadelphia Baseball Review that interest from "several" clubs on the two is "real", but nothing is imminent.

Opposing general managers see the Phillies are in a position where the organization has five infielders available with just three open positions. New manager Gabe Kapler has hinted at rotating his infield, but that'll mean a decrease it at-bats for both Hernandez and Galvis and that could potentially decrease their trade value if the club decides to move either once the season begins.

Of note, Galvis will be a free agent following 2018 while Hernandez is under contract for three more years.

If forced to go the free agent route, the Phillies have made it clear their plan to avoid to the top-tier of hurlers that will command large long-term deals such as Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta. Instead, the club could look at lesser options that fall into the Jeremy Hellickson mold where they can ink a capable innings eater for something in the neighborhood of two-years for $12-million.

Plenty is possible right now for the Phillies and this is the week where things often begin to happen.
____________________________________
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

No comments: