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Phillies not looking to deal Hernandez

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

LAS VEGAS -- It sounds like Scott Kingery will have another go at being the Phillies' super-utility player in 2019.

Second basemen have flooded the free-agent market, so even if the Phillies wanted to trade Cesar Hernandez, they might not get much in return. And it does not sound like Phillies general manager Matt Klentak wants to trade Hernandez, anyway. If that holds true, it leaves Kingery without a position.

LAS VEGAS -- It sounds like Scott Kingery will have another go at being the Phillies' super-utility player in 2019.

Second basemen have flooded the free-agent market, so even if the Phillies wanted to trade Cesar Hernandez, they might not get much in return. And it does not sound like Phillies general manager Matt Klentak wants to trade Hernandez, anyway. If that holds true, it leaves Kingery without a position.

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"I've never been that keen on trading Cesar," Klentak said Monday afternoon at the Winter Meetings. "We've been asked about him for the last couple years. I really like Cesar. I like the element that he brings to our team as a high-on-base, high-walk second baseman, table-setter type whose been very consistent over the last three years."

Hernandez fouled a ball off his right foot in early July, breaking the foot. He slashed .268/.379/.385 through July 6. He slashed .236/.329/.336 the rest of the way.

"I think on a healthy foot Cesar would have had a third straight year of numbers in that [2016-17] range," Klentak said. "He brings a dynamic to our team that we don't otherwise have. I'm not saying we'd never consider a trade of Cesar. We've been hit on him before, but he's not a guy that we're actively shopping by any stretch, no matter the market conditions."

If the Phillies do not sign Manny Machado to play third base, Maikel Franco could be the Phillies' third baseman in 2019, which means Kingery would have to move around the field, including the outfield.

"I think there's a lot of value in Scott Kingery playing multiple positions for us and taking down regular reps and continuing to grow as a Major League player," Klentak said. "At some point, he very well may gravitate toward one position for an extended period of time. It happened last year. We didn't go into last year expecting him to be our starting shortstop for most of the season, but it happened, and it made him a better player and it made us a better team.

"Our best lineup right now is with Franco playing third and Kingery moving around. I don't know exactly what our Opening Day 25 will look like this year, just like I didn't know exactly what it was going to look like last year. At this point, we certainly didn't think Scott Kingery was going to be on our Opening Day team last year. But the group that you break with and the group that you're putting on paper at the Winter Meetings is a nice starting point. It's a nice way of looking at things. But you know you're going to need depth to get through the year. You know you're going to have to make adjustments. And you have to construct your roster in a way that allows you to address the inevitable."

Outfield help
The Phillies remain in the hunt for Bryce Harper, but if they fall short, they could find help elsewhere. Currently, the Phillies have Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, Aaron Altherr, Roman Quinn and Kingery as outfielders.

"Look, the [Jean] Segura trade projects to add several wins to our ledger next year relative to what we got from shortstop this year," Klentak said. "Moving Rhys [Hoskins] from left to first maintains Rhys' bat in the lineup and creates a better defensive look for us. What that opens up is the opportunity to replace Carlos [Santana's] offense and put in a corner outfield spot. It's still very viable that we can and will add an additional outfielder."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Philadelphia Phillies, Cesar Hernandez