The Philadelphia Phillies spent big last offseason, which led to playoff expectations. In the end, though, they managed a mere .500 record and a fourth-place finish in the NL East. As a consequence, manager ( Giants), and the front office realized further roster improvements were needed.
The good news — especially in an era when teams go to great lengths not to get better — is that the Phillies seem poised to make additional investments in the roster.
Elsewhere, the Phillies also have eyes for free agent starters Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole, Jon Heyman reports. Those are, of course, popular names this offseason, and depending on how the money plays out the Phillies probably aren’t among the frontrunners for either. The Phillies do indeed need additional help in the rotation, and that’s the case even after the addition of Wheeler. While the Phillies by most accounts are willing to go into CBT territory, it’s hard to imagine their landing one of the two top third basemen and one of the two top starting pitchers. First, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Phillies have interest in free agent third baseman Anthony Rendon, who’s the top position player on the market. Rendon is coming off an age-29 season in which he batted .319/.412/.598 with 80 extra-base hits, 80 walks, and a third place finish in the NL MVP balloting. Needless to say, Rendon is coveted and will command a large contract. Signing Rendon, as Nightengale notes, would put the Phillies over the threshold for the first time, but the penalties for first-time “offenders” aren’t particular steep, especially for a team with the Phillies’ resources. As a bonus, they’d be plucking Rendon from the roster of the defending world champs. Failing that, Nightengale reports the Phillies could turn to Josh Donaldson, the second-best free agent third baseman on the market. He’d of course be coming from the division champion Braves.