Inbox: Are Phils shopping Franco, Herrera?

Beat reporter Todd Zolecki answers fans' questions

January 18th, 2019

Are the Phillies shopping and ? Does the possibility of them being traded increase if we sign Manny Machado or ?
-- Don B., Bradley Beach, N.J.

If the Phillies sign Machado, they will try to trade Franco, because there simply would be nowhere for him to play. Franco can play first base, but will play there almost every day. Franco is not a shortstop, second baseman or outfielder. It just makes sense to move him.
If the Phils sign Harper, I think or Herrera could be traded. Williams might be the first choice because he is a corner outfielder, and in this scenario, Harper and will have the majority of playing time at the corners. Herrera provides Philadelphia with depth in center field, so there are reasons to keep him. Plus, the Phillies seem to believe Herrera will bounce back after struggling much of last season.
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Would the Phillies be better off getting A.J. Pollock for the outfield and Mike Moustakas for third base, giving them more flexibility and depth? That might leave enough money for and make them a better all-around team.
-- Jay S., York, Pa.

Instead of letting superstars dictate mega-contracts, why not sign more players for the same money and impact your roster in a greater aggregate? You can also sign each for shorter contracts. Signing Machado or Harper is great, but they are only one batter and one fielder. Going after Pollock, J.T. Realmuto, Keuchel, and Moustakas would benefit the team more.
-- Bob B., Pottstown, Pa.

So there are folks out there that are not keen on Machado or Harper. I get it. It's a risk. But we are talking about two Hall of Fame-caliber talents that are just 26. Players like this are not available very often. In fact, they are almost never available in free agency. If the Phils can land a talent like this, I think it is the right play.
Hot Stove Action
When will the Phillies host an All-Star Game?
-- Gloria R., Turnersville, N.J.

I bet it happens in 2026, the 250th birthday of this fine nation.
What is the fuss about having a mixture of left-handed and right-handed pitchers? I realize that it's hypothetical, but suppose I could field a rotation that looked like this: 1. Curt Schilling; 2. Greg Maddux; 3. David Cone; 4. ; and 5. Roger Clemens; with Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Mariano Rivera in the bullpen. All right-handers. I'm just trying to make a point. The same goes for a starting lineup consisting of all left-handed or right-handed batters.
-- George S., Gloucester City, N.J.

Sure, but this is like saying, "Why is everybody so obsessed about centers in the NBA? I bet I could put Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird on the same team and win a title." Of course you could. But there are no perfect teams. In the real world, you want balance in a rotation, bullpen or lineup, if possible. It's not a requirement, but it's preferred. The Phillies have not had a left-handed starter in the rotation since 2016 because they have not had one they consider an upgrade over their right-handers. If they find one, they will. Otherwise they will stick with what they have.