Free agency officially starts today, but the question still remains if the Phillies will be players or not.
According to some insiders, the Phillies are in on some of the top tier names.
This is a very important offseason for the Phillies.
There are no more excuses left for Matt Klentak. The GM has his handpicked manager, and now he needs to start building this roster into a championship contender.
Klentak has a lot of work to do in the next few weeks/months.
I have compiled a checklist that I will refer to as the offseason goes on.
Acquire a top starting pitcher
Add a middle tier starting pitcher
Make a decision with Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez
What will they do with Maikel Franco?
Pitching has to be the number one priority for the Phillies this offseason.
Here is a list of free agent starting pitchers that the Phillies could target-
Yu Darvish, RHP, Dodgers (31)
I would highly doubt that the Phillies would go in this direction. Overpriced and didn’t pitch very well in the World Series
Jake Arrieta, RHP, Cubs (32)
There has been some chatter about Arrieta. He will be a guy who most likely won’t be worth the money toward the end of his contract. But if the Phillies were to bring in the former Cy Young award winner, it would cause a buzz and at least give them a top flight pitcher for a year or two.
Lance Lynn, RHP, Cardinals (31)
Lynn had a solid season in 2017. He went 11-8 with a 3.43 era while strikeing out 153 batters. Lynn isn’t a number one, but is reliable. He may be too pricey for the Phillies.
More realistic options...
Chris Tillman, RHP, Orioles (29)
I would think that the Phillies would be very interested in Tillman. Team president Andy MacPhail traded for him in Baltimore and knows him very well. In 2016 he went 16-6 with a 3.77 era, but really struggled last season going 1-7 with a brutal 7.84 era. Perhaps a move to the national league would be a good thing. He would come cheap and would have upside.
Tyler Chatwood, RHP, Rockies (27)
This is an intriguing name. Chatwood is still young and is a serviceable pitcher. He had a rough 2017 going 8-15 with a 4.69 era, but in 2016 he had a respectable 12-9 record with an era of 3.87. Coors field is tough on any pitcher; Chatwood could be a nice find for the Phillies as a number 3 or 4 starter.
Wade Davis, RHP, Cubs (32) – Highly doubt that the Phillies would be players for Davis.
Anthony Swarzak, RHP, Brewers (32) – Swarzak was really good last season posting a 2.33 era. He would help in a set up role.
Mike Minor, LHP, Royals (30) – Minor is a former starter turned set up man. He even recorded 6 saves last season for the Royals and showed he could be a solid late inning reliever. He may want to start again.
Luke Gregerson, RHP, Houston (33)
Addison Reed, RHP, Red Sox (29)
Bud Norris,RHP, Angles (33)
Brandon Morrow, RHP, Dodgers (33)
As of today my ideal lineup includes:
C: Jorge Alfaro
1B: Rhys Hoskins
2B: Scott Kingery
SS: J.P Crawford
3B: Maikel Franco
RF: Aaron Altherr
CF: Oduble Herrera
LF: Nick Williams
Not included are Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis.
If the Phillies were unable to acquire a top starting pitcher via free agency they could use either Hernandez or Galvis as a building block for a trade.
Scott Kingery will have to take over as the starting second baseman at some point during next season (ideally from the start) and J.P Crawford should be the everyday shortstop.
This makes either Hernandez or Galvis (or both) expendable.
If the Phillies were to deal Maikel Franco for a pitcher, that would open up third base for Crawford.
I see starting pitching as far more of an issue than the every day lineup. However, there are plenty of question marks heading into what is a very important offseason for the Philadelphia Phillies.