We’re almost midway through September, and unfortunately the Phillies once again have been out of the playoff picture for some time. While other teams are fighting for wild card spots or division crowns, for the Phillies it might be time to start mapping out some moves for next season.
I don’t think this will be the offseason where Matt Klentak will really break out the checkbook, but there are still some intriguing names to keep an eye on as winter begins to creep upon us. Let’s take a look at some possibilities :
Jake Arrieta: The Phillies more than anything else are in desperate need of pitching. Arrieta has been a dominant pitcher for the Chicago Cubs since 2014 and played a huge role in delivering the first world series in 108 seasons to Chicago. Signing Arrieta would not be cheap, and it’s unclear whether he would want to leave Chicago, especially to join a rebuilding team. However, the Phillies would have the money to do so if they desired, and I don’t think anyone would be against a top of the rotation pitcher joining the staff next year.
J.D. Martinez: I know what you’re thinking, in an outfield already jammed with young talent, why would the Phillies consider Martinez? I’m with you there, however I include him because the Phillies have been linked to the outfielder in past trade rumors and free agent speculation. The 30-year-old power hitter was moved to the Arizona Diamondbacks this season and has been a great addition thus far, highlighted by his four home run performance earlier this month. Citizens Bank Park would set up well for him, and the Phillies could use another power threat to go with Rhys Hoskins. I think Klentak stays with the youthful outfield, but don’t be shocked if the Phillies make a play for Martinez.
Jaime Garcia: Once a promising young pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, Garcia has had an up and down couple of seasons. If the name looks familiar, it’s because Garcia was a member of the Atlanta Braves to start the year, before being shipped to the Minnesota Twins and almost immediately to the New York Yankees. While he has had his struggles this year, if the Phillies don’t feel comfortable with guys like Ben Lively or Nick Pivetta taking permanent spots in the rotation, Garcia could be a low cost potentially high reward option.
Bullpen: There are numerous bullpen arms that should be available for the Phillies to take a shot at. Names like Drew Storen and Addison Reed are out there, and I wouldn’t rule anyone out as the Phillies look to bolster their bullpen.
While I think the Phillies will wait until after the 2018 season to make a big splash in free agency (Bryce Harper, Dallas Kuechel, Manny Machado, Andrew McCutchen amongst others), don’t count out Klentak making a move or two to shake things up going into next season. A couple good free agent signings and the continued development of our promising young prospects could make next season a lot of fun to watch.
Image: Jim Goff (via Flickr)