The Phillies Are Going Star Hunting

The 2019 season presented Phillies fans with high hopes after what seemed like a productive offseason. As time went on though, it was clear that the team assembled just did not have enough to produce the quality season that so many were expecting. A lot of that could be due to the injuries they faced throughout the year or some managerial decisions made late in games but at the end of the day, the talent was just not up to par.

Now entering the offseason with a new manager in Joe Girardi, the Phillies will look to add the talent they need to get back to the promised land. Of course every move this winter isn’t going to be a blockbuster. Philadelphia needs to add some quality depth to their bullpen as well as the back end of their rotation. But I do expect Klentak and company to bring in another star like they did with Harper and Realmuto last season. And the great thing about this is, they’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

Free Agent Targets 
Gerrit Cole, SP
2019: 20-5 2.50 ERA 326 strikeouts

Arguably the most notable free agent this offseason, Gerrit Cole is just what the Phillies need. Cole, who was already having himself a phenomenal season, made himself some money with his performance in the postseason. Before the World Series, Cole allowed just 1 run in 3 starts against the Rays and Yankees.

It’s no secret that the Phillies rotation has been atrocious since the early half of the decade and it shows in the win column. Cole, who is expected to receive a similar payday as Harper, won’t be cheap but may be what this Phillies team needs to get back into the postseason and advance when they get there.

Stephen Strasburg, SP
2019: 18-6 3.32 ERA 251 strikeouts
or Anthony Rendon, 3B
2019: .319 BA 34 HRs 126 RBIs

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

We like Nationals players. Okay? Just like Gerrit Cole, Strasburg is what the Phillies want and essentially need in their starting rotation. The 31yr old is coming off of one of his best seasons while he led his team to a World Series title. Injury history might be something to consider here as Strasburg has seen his fair share over the length of his career and is coming off a season where he pitched 200+ innings, the most he has since 2014.

Signing Rendon on the other hand isn’t necessarily a need but would bolster this Phillies offense into something else. 3B has been a position that has lacked talent and consistency for awhile now in Philadelphia. Rendon would certainly fix that problem and then some.

Trade Targets
Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians
2019: .284BA 32HRs Gold Glove

The trade package would be hefty, just like any trade for a star player, but when you’re talking about a player of Francisco Lindor’s caliber, it may very well be worth it. The 26yr old has proven himself to be one of the games best. His glove alone is something to admire but when you add in his silver slugging ability at the plate, you’re left with a top of the line talent.

Adding Lindor would likely prompt the Phillies to move newly acquired SS Jean Segura to another team which would be good news for the development and playing time of Scott Kingery who had a breakout season in 2019. Lindor and Kingery could form a very talented young duo at SS and 2B, which wouldn’t be the first time Philadelphia has seen something of that nature.

Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs
2019: .282BA 31HRs 77RBIs

As mentioned before with Rendon, Bryant would instantly fix the issues the Phillies have been having at the hot corner. Coming onto the scene in 2015, Bryant has done nothing but impress, winning a MVP and a World Series title all before the age of 25.

Born in Las Vegas,  Bryant grew up playing against and with current Phillies star, Bryce Harper. The two are still friends to this day which would make for a pretty cool reunion right here in Philadelphia, PA.

Mookie Betts, OF, Boston Red Sox
2019: .295BA 29HR 135Rs

Adding talent to the outfield is the least of the Phillies worries heading into the offseason but when a player of this caliber hits the market, you’d be silly not to be even somewhat intrigued.

Mookie Betts is comparable to Lindor in terms of talent and youth. Not only will he bolster this Phillies lineup for the 2020 season but he’ll be able to grow with this Phillies core for years beyond that. Seeing an outfield consisting of McCutchen-Betts-Harper would be pretty neat considering they’ve all won a MVP in their careers.

Featured Image: Gary Landers/AP

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