LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Now maybe things will start happening.Shohei Ohtani agreed to terms Friday with the Angels, and the Yankees and Marlins agreed Saturday to a blockbuster Giancarlo Stanton trade, according to multiple reports. The offseason has been relatively slow across baseball, but one theory is that Ohtani
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Now maybe things will start happening.
Shohei Ohtani agreed to terms Friday with the Angels, and the Yankees and Marlins agreed Saturday to a blockbuster Giancarlo Stanton trade, according to multiple reports. The offseason has been relatively slow across baseball, but one theory is that Ohtani and Stanton needed to be the first dominoes to fall in order to get the Hot Stove cooking.
"My expectation is that the market in general -- not so much the Phillies -- is going to open up over the next couple days or certainly next week," Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said Friday afternoon.
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But the Phillies think they could strike a deal this week at the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Follow MLB.com, Phillies.com and Twitter (@ToddZolecki) for daily updates and the latest news.
"Hopefully we'll be able to push something over the goal line this week," Klentak said.
It could be a pitcher. It is no secret the Phillies are focused on improving their pitching staff. If they cannot find a quality starter at what they consider a good price (i.e. forget about five-year deals or longer) they are likely to dive deep into the bullpen market.
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It also could be a deal to help them acquire pitching. The Phillies will trade shortstop Freddy Galvis or second baseman Cesar Hernandez to make room for J.P. Crawford and eventually Scott Kingery. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported last week that the Padres have expressed interest in Galvis, while the Angels have expressed interest in Hernandez. But sources told MLB.com that early interest in Galvis and Hernandez has only reinforced the idea that the Phillies might have to open next season with a glut of infielders.
While it remains unclear as to how next season's infield will look, it is likely that Odubel Herrera, Aaron Altherr and Nick Williams will be in the Opening Day outfield.
But will the trio be there in 2019? Now that the Yankees have Stanton and Aaron Judge in their outfield, they seem less likely to pursue Bryce Harper, who can become a free agent following next season.
That would be good news for the Phillies, who have been targeting the 2018-19 free-agent class for years.
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While it is true the Yankees might have enough financial flexibility to still sign Harper and not exceed the luxury tax threshold next winter, it might make more sense for them to target third baseman Manny Machado, who also can become a free agent following next season. The Yankees don't have a top third-base prospect in the system and Chase Headley becomes a free agent next year.
The Yankees also are unlikely to consider Harper as an everyday center fielder, meaning he would be another corner outfielder. Sure, the Yankees have the DH, so they could rotate Harper, Stanton and Judge there, but does it make sense? Just the possibility that Harper no longer fits into the Yankees' plans is something for Phillies fans to think about.
In the meantime, the Phils need to make enough good moves this offseason to make Philadelphia a more desirable place for Harper and others to play.
The Phillies could make some of those moves this week.
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.