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Phillies ‘interested bystanders’ in markets for Rendon, Donaldson

Anthony Rendon is a free agent. (Keith Allison)

According to a report from NBC Sports Philadelphia‘s Jim Salisbury, the Philadelphia Phillies are interested in but are not actively pursuing top free agents Anthony Rendon and Josh Donaldson.

On Friday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the Phillies were “planning to pursue” Rendon, and, if they miss out on him, considered Josh Donaldson another option to fill their need for a starting-caliber infielder.

Salisbury paints things differently, saying that while the team is monitoring the markets for the two stars, they are not currently in pursuit of either. Signing either player would certainly put the team into the luxury tax penalty, and it is unclear how Phillies ownership is approaching the tax this offseason.

Entering the MLB Winter Meetings this week, the Phillies are in need of a starting-caliber infielder in addition to help in both the rotation and bullpen. Salisbury notes that the team was in on third baseman Mike Moustakas prior to his signing a $64 million deal with the Cincinnati Reds last week, but that they may instead sign shortstop Didi Gregorius and keep the hot corner open for top prospect Alec Bohm.

Signing Gregorius clearly makes sense for the team considering his position and relationship with manager Joe Girardi. Based on how inflated contracts have been to this point of the offseason, though, it will be interesting to see what else the Phillies would be able to do to address their other needs if they add him.


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