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Klentak on contention: 'That time is coming'

GM confident rebuild will coalesce around prospects, outside talent soon
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- Perhaps the millionth time will be the charm.

Since Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentak officially became the Phillies president and general manager, respectively, in October 2015, they have been asked countless times when the Phillies expect to be through their rebuild and back into postseason contention in the National League. So far, they have not taken the bait and announced a date.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Perhaps the millionth time will be the charm.

Since Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentak officially became the Phillies president and general manager, respectively, in October 2015, they have been asked countless times when the Phillies expect to be through their rebuild and back into postseason contention in the National League. So far, they have not taken the bait and announced a date.

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After all, there are more than a few variables.

But as the Phillies prepared to play their home opener Friday afternoon against the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park, Klentak sat in the home dugout and answered questions about the team's future. Namely, when will the Phillies get aggressive in the free-agent market, and when will some of these prospects make the big leagues?

"That time is coming," Klentak said. "I have no question whatsoever that our ownership group will make the necessary investments. It's up to us as management to identify when the right time for that is. That time is coming. It's a matter of whether it's this coming offseason or the following year. It's not limited to free agency. We could just as easily make an investment in the form of a trade acquiring a big contract.

"Right now, it's the fourth game of the season. We've got some time to think about that this year."

Video: Klentak discusses the pressure on the Phillies

They have time to decide on the Phillies' top prospects, too.

"Some players, by virtue of their age and experience level in the Minor Leagues, are going to be closer to reaching the big leagues on Opening Day than others," Klentak said. "Some players are young and just experiencing Triple-A for the first time. They may be a bit further behind. Again, that's really going to be dictated by their growth and their performance and also what our needs are at the big league level.

"As I said earlier, my expectation is that a number of those players from our Minor League system will in fact come up this year and impact the Major League club. It's just a matter of when."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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