The 2018 Winter Meetings have come and gone and the Phillies were very quiet for a team that’s been plastered all over MLB free agency news. General manager Matt Klentak has his hands full as they were expected to go into the meetings to fill some of the many holes the team has. Oh and maybe sign one of Bryce Harper or Manny Machado?
For much of the offseason there hasn’t been a team more mentioned than the Phillies. Seemingly ever free agent out there has been linked to the team mainly because owner John Middleton has come out and said they were willing to spend “stupid” money. What free agent wouldn’t at least check in? Especially Harper and Machado.
As we all waited for the “big” signing, one under radar free agent checked in on that “stupid” money and it was the one guy that no one really expected. Andrew McCutchen inked a 3-year deal worth $50 million with a club option on a fourth year. McCutchen brings a level of veteran leadership and low strike out rate, something they did a lot of last year. Overall, he adds to the depth of the outfield and gives the Phillies the flexibility to deal other outfielders like Nick Williams or Odubel Herrera to acquire a starting pitcher. It was a good move but it wasn’t the earth shattering move most Phillies fans wanted or expected.
Aside from that, the Phillies still posses a very real need for a starting pitcher and a relieving pitcher. Rumors seemed to have the club coming close to bringing back starting pitcher JA Happ, but he ultimately chose the Yankees as the Phillies were not willing to offer a third year. Similarly, it seemed as though the Phillies might land Zach Britton late Tuesday night but nothing came to fruition. Britton remains a free agent so there is still a chance they can land him.
And so we sit here with the Winter Meetings in the rear view mirror with that being the only move the Phillies made this week. No Machado. No Harper. Now, those two were unlikely sign at the Winter Meetings so the Phillies still remain “in” but the meetings didn’t seem to them bring any closer to inking either of two generational stars. Other teams, like the White Sox, are pursuing Harper and are also willing to pay big to get him. Then there’s the Yankees who seem to have a good fit for Machado and have the advantage of Machado’s strong desire to dawn the Pinstripes. The Phillies are going to have to give either of them enough money that they can’t turn down because it doesn’t appear the Phillies are their first choice.
In the end, the biggest question remains, could the Phillies miss out on both? It definitely remains to be seen. However, if not, Middleton will have to explain to the Phillies fans because after all his “stupid” money comment may have been the thing that has hyped fans up the most.
[Featured Image: Michael Bryant – Philly.com]
Throughout the last few years, I have been writing for several different websites, eagerly trying to get my articles out there. I began covering a variety of sports at The Sports Haven and then eventually landed a writing position covering the PGA Tour on Fansided’s ProGolfNow. Although both great experiences, my passion lies with the Philadelphia Phillies. I am grateful to Sports Are Philly for the opportunity to share my thoughts on the Phillies.
You can also catch me on ForTheGloryOfOldState.com covering Penn State football.