Dec. 12, 2018
Phillies Free Agent Targets
The Phillies have had a busy off-season and it is not quite over yet. As Spring Training approaches, they still feel the need to add another bat to the lineup. They have added a few bullpen pitchers with Joaquin Benoit and Pat Neshek and they have added another arm to the rotation by trading for Clay Buchholz, but they have only made one notable move in the lineup by trading for Howie Kendrick. Coming off a year in which they had one of the worst offenses in the league, the Phillies must improve at the plate in 2017. They relied on the young players too often to provide offense and they had to use their speed to even have a shot at scoring. The pitchers did their job often but were given no run support by an offense that scored 3.7 runs per game which is last in the MLB. Right field seems to be the biggest question as of right now. Aaron Altherr and Roman Quinn are expected to share time there this season. Altherr has played in parts of two seasons and played his first game in late July last year because he twisted his wrist in spring Spring Training. He had a strong start and showed potential in both seasons but has not finished strong. Quinn has killer speed and also has potential but he is known for his injuries in both the minor leagues and during his short stint with the Phils in September last year. This has led many to believe the Phillies will go after in outfielder very soon. They have expressed interest in adding a left-handed bat. Two left-handed betters who play outfield and are still free agents are Michael Saunders and Brandon Moss. Saunders, 30-years-old, is coming off his best season in the big leagues as he hit .253 with 24 home runs, 57 RBIs, 32 doubles, 59 walks, and an .815 OPS in 140 games and 490 at bats. He also earned a trip to the All Star Game. Despite his strong start to the year, he didn't finish that well but started hitting well again in the postseason as he hit a home run and a double while batting .381 in 8 games and 21 at bats with 2 runs scored. Brandon Moss could also be a helpful addition to the team. In 2016, the 33-year-old, only hit .225 but was able to hit 28 home runs, drive in 67 RBIs, and collect 19 doubles. Moss would have a lot of fun in a hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park and would have another productive season. In his career, he's made one All Star Game which was in 2014 and we have seen a trend that if he plays the majority of the season he doesn't hit for average but he is able to launch pitches over the fence and drive in runs often. Moss also has experience in the postseason having been there in 4 seasons which is a bonus. The Phillies would likely only sign one of these players to a one-year deal but either one would be key for the team to continue growing and rebuilding. And who knows maybe Phillies General Manager, Matt Klentak, will be able to pull off another great trade and get a left-handed batter in the outfield. The Phillies pitchers and catchers report on February 13th and they have their first Spring Training game on February 23rd so expect a contract or a trade before then.