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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  1. Jaron B

    December 9, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Best if they sign the second starter first followed by some dark horse candidates for: bullpen, IF, CF, perhaps a back-up catcher if they can. Lots of options for long men in the bullpen. You’ll have more flexibility after Arietta, Robertson, and a few others come off the books after 2020. Also on the to-do list this off-season: arb, JT, and non-roster invitees

  2. James D

    December 9, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    We only have one option for a SP remaining – pray Spencer Howard is the real deal because there ain’t no options left folks after the crazy Strassburg signing. The “Cole Train” has left the station. With the Yankees swingIng around their considerable girth to sign him, and with Artie Moreno vowing to pay whatever it takes to make him a Halo, Cole’s price could be stratospheric. Spending “stupid money” on an arm two years removed from mediocrity and depending on it well into it’s thirties is like dancing in a minefield. No doubt the Phils need starters, but no SP that is available now beyond Cole is worth the money. They should sign Rendon. 3rd is solved for 5 years with a known all-star. That gives them time to develop Bohm. It gives them breathing room to answer the question that remains at first. If Hoskins can adjust, fantastic. NOW you have trade pieces for a quality starter. If not, Bohm slips into first which many say is his natural position anyway. Otherwise, the Phils will be stuck doing short term deals, praying players develop, and having nothing in the way of trade bait. Get Rendon, take the cap hit, let the Arrieta contract reach it’s expiration date, and extend Realmuto. The Phils will then have three perennial all stars locked up In their prime, and Klentak can spend the rest of the winter retooling the pen.

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