Offseason

The Winter Meetings: 5 things to know

4a4ctgffThe Winter Meetings are here!

From now until Thursday, the hot stove will be turned up to 11. Every major league team – and many baseball writers and media personnel – will be in the Washington, D.C., area, which means plenty of offseason buzz and, maybe, quite a few moves. The Phillies may have some moves in them still, so it’s possible they’ll suss some things out at the Winter Meetings.

Here’s what we’re looking at most of all:

1. One more outfield bat

Sure the Phils nabbed Howie Kendrick in a trade earlier this offseason, but rumors are the team still wants one more bat, preferably in the outfield. A trade could be the most likely pathway. J.D. Martinez was a name rumored on the Phils’ wishlist, and other names out there might include Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Carlos Gonzalez, Jarrod Dyson and Khris Davis. Free agents include Michael Saunders and Steve Pearce.

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2. Utility infield

Currently the Phils 40-man roster lacks infield depth beyond the four starters and prospect Jesmuel Valentin. The Phils may look for another utility-style bat to shore up the infield for 2017; free agent ideas include Erick Aybar and Daniel Descalso. The Phils could also use the Rule 5 Draft to grab infield depth; Phillip Evans of the Mets is the best option available.

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3. Bullpen depth

The bullpen wasn’t very strong in 2016, and with plenty of question marks still on the roster, the Phils may look to grab an arm or two during the Winter Meetings. Again, the Rule 5 is a good place for this – arms like Yimmi Brasoban (Padres) and Julian Fernandez (Rockies) offer intriguing possibilities from the mound.

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4. A big trade?

General Manager Matt Klentak didn’t shy from making a trade at last year’s Winter Meetings, dealing Ken Giles to Houston for a bounty of arms. A deal isn’t as likely this year, but if a team offers a king’s ransom for someone like Hector Neris, Cameron Rupp, Cesar Hernandez, or even Odubel Herrera or Vince Velasquez, Klentak will definitely listen. In any deal the Phils should try to bring back either a top prospect (or two) or major league talent that can contribute at an everyday level.

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5. The wild rumors

There are so many wild rumors at the Winter Meetings (watch for fake Twitter accounts). We’ll be tweeting out only reputable news and rumors, but certainly we’ll be watching to see what happens to names like Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates and Chris Sale of the White Sox. There’s an outside shot the Phils could be interested in the former, but to be honest, I’d be less surprised if the Phils make a mammoth trade for the latter.

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