Rumors

Klentak: ‘Our main focus is adding an infielder or infielders’


Day One of the winter meetings is almost in the books and it looks like the Phillies have an agenda. General manager Matt Klentak met with reporters in San Diego and said that the team’s “…main focus is adding an infielder or infielders,” per Matt Gelb of The Athletic.  

Matt Klentak has been the Phillies general manager since October of 2015. (Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

It’s also important to note that Klentak said the club expects Alec Bohm to reach the big leagues as a third baseman at some point during the 2020 season. When manager Joe Girardi was asked about the possibility of a new addition to the infield, Girardi echoed the same sentiment, calling the need for an infielder “ [our] number one priority.”

It’s no secret that the team is in need of infield help after Maikel Franco and César Hernández were non-tendered. Former Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius seems to be the most likely fit. Radio.com’s Jon Heyman reported earlier today that Gregorius is likely to get a multi-year offer in the range of 14 to 15 million dollars a year, but could opt to take a one-year deal in order to reset his value. The 29-year-old didn’t play a regular-season game until June 7 after spending time on the IL recovering from a torn ulnar collateral ligament.

Heyman also said that the 14-15 million dollar average annual value could price out the Cincinnati Reds, who were reported to be interested. The Brewers are another team interested in Gregorius’ services.

When it comes to both Josh Donaldson and Anthony Rendon, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury says the Phillies are interested, but are not actively pursuing either of them. This contradicts USA Today’s Bob Nightengale’s initial report, which said that the Phillies “plan to strongly pursue Rendon, with third baseman Josh Donaldson as a potential fall-back plan.”

The Phillies also reportedly had talks with the Chicago Cubs on third baseman Kris Bryant. He could be an interesting trade target and a package for Bryant will surely include either Bohm or Howard. A trade should not come anytime soon as Bryant and the Cubs are currently in the middle of a grievance case regarding his service time.

Girardi also called Zack Wheeler, “…our huge splash.” When asked a follow-up question on whether or not the team will pull off a bigger deal than the Wheeler signing, Girardi said, “That’s probably more of a question for Matt [Klentak]… There are areas we are trying to address: the infield, [the] bullpen. When you add a starter, you have the ability to take one of the starters that you have and make then a bullpen piece. And I think their stuff is going to have an [uptick].”

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