According to the latest from CBS Sports Jon Heyman, the Phillies are well aware of their outfield woes and are preparing to make runs at outfielders Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Curtis Granderson. Of that group, only Cruz is right handed.
According to FanGraphs, Choo, 31, should expect a five year deal around $15-16.5 million a year, Cruz, 33, around $9-10 million a year for two to three years, Ellsbury, 30, around a five year deal for between $17-18 million per year, and Granderson, 32, a three or four year deal for $12-14 million per year. All four are expected to be offered qualifying offers but none are expected to accept.
Of note in the Heyman piece is Heyman’s source’s claim that indicates the Phillies were prepared to offer Hunter Pence a contract had he reached free agency. Heyman also says that Amaro won’t yet address specific players but instead referred to the Phillies needs as “catching, pitching, outfield.”
Analysis: To me, what is incredibly surprising are the caliber of players listed among the Phillies targets. As I found out while researching for this article, the Phillies will be at almost exactly their Opening Day salary of 2013 even after Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz come off the books. Where is the money coming from? Is the new TV deal set? Or is Amaro bluffing?