Warming Up With the Hot Stove
We’re starting to see more articles about free agency and the Phillies because the Hot Stove League will be starting soon. The first article is by Jim Salisbury who mentions some players the Phillies are targeting through free agency and trade. One is still Giancarlo Stanton. That would only work if the Marlins are going to trade him, and it seems now that they are not. Their new GM recently said he will not be traded. Even if he were available, the Phillies probably do not have enough to trade for him. Moreover, I don’t think the Phillies are in a position to be trading away prospects when they have so many old players.
Two other outfielders the Phillies are interested in are Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos of the Angels. Trumbo is young and has power (34 HRs last year), but strikes out a lot and does not hit for average or get on base well at all. One bothers me about this is that you have this on your team already: Darin Ruf!! He would give you about the same amount of HRs and strikeouts over a full season, and would get on base more. This would cost you next to nothing. Why would Ruben trade for Trumbo, then?? Oh, because he doesn’t like Ruf. Bourjos doesn’t make much sense either. While young and a great defender, he doesn’t hit for power or average. So why make the trade?
Another name mentioned was Nelson Cruz. He has good numbers, but was also caught in the recent PED scandal. Salisbury and others reason that this means the next team could get him at a discount, but you also have to wonder how good he will be off the juice. Just take a look at Melky Cabrera. As for the top free agents, Shin-Soo Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury, Salisbury believes they will be too expensive for the Phillies, who have spent their money wisely, like on Jonathan Papelbon (dripping with sarcasm).
Salisbury mentions a few other, so you can read for yourself.
Here’s another article on the same topic by David Murphy. Murphy believes the Phillies have between $50-$65 million to spend this winter. He mentions some of the same names. Curtis Granderson is one that may be interesting, but again, he is getting up there in age. But, as Murphy writes, he’d be more in their price range. He’s coming off a bad year, and will be 33 next year. However, if they could keep it to a two or three year deal, it might be a good idea. As for pitching, Murphy believes Ricky Nolasco makes the most sense, but my goodness, his numbers are not good. He had a decent year last year, but his career ERA is well over 4.00. Ubaldo Jiminez had a nice year last year, but take a look at the few years before that. If you give him a 4-year deal, and he goes back to what he was, then you’re stuck. Ervin Santana is another guy that is just so-so. The reality is any pitcher the Phillies sign is probably going to be so-so.
The last thing that I will leave you with is mlbtraderumors.com’s top 50 free agent list and where they will end up. They have the Phillies getting Nelson Cruz, Ricky Nolasco, Edward Mujica (relief pitcher), and Carlos Ruiz (the Rockies are rumored to be interested, too). The list also includes descriptions, etc. And Roy Halladay…the NY Mets. How awful would it be if he signs with the Mets and pitches lights out?