MLB Trade Rumors is a site which describes themselves as "a clearinghouse for relevant, legitimate baseball rumors." Each week at Phils Baseball, we grab their latest Phillies rumors and put them all together in one weekly post.
Here are the latest Phillies rumors:
While we already know this through observation, Phillies GM Matt Klentak made clear again that his organization intends to remain patient in its blockbuster free agent pursuits, as Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia recently reported. Klentak says he won’t be rushed into a decision by the onset of camp, saying that there’s no “deadline” to get a deal done before Spring Training. Generally, he said, “The fans are well aware that we’re pursuing the top end of free agency. When that’s going to resolve itself, we don’t really know.”
As we wait for some movement at the top of the market — particularly, regarding reputed Phillies targets Bryce Harper and Manny Machado — let’s check in on a few other situations further down the priority list, all courtesy of MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (links to Twitter) …
The Yankees still want to boost their rotation depth, Heyman says, though it’s a bit unclear as of yet how they’ll go about doing so. He lists Gio Gonzalez and Ervin Santana as at-least-hypothetical targets, but it stands to reason that both will want to sign somewhere that they’ll be promised a rotation spot. Gonzalez is one of the best remaining starters and should have little trouble finding at least a clear rotation placement, if not a multi-year deal. Santana does seem to be an interesting bounceback candidate, but he’ll surely be seeking a chance to take the ball every fifth day, which the Yanks can’t promise.
Unsurprisingly, the Giants appear to be hunting for value on the market in their search for a new slate of outfielders. That seemed reasonable to suspect when last we checked in on the situation, as the San Francisco organization seemingly wants to remain competitive while also embarking upon an effort to get younger and enhance payroll efficiency. There could be some interesting free agent opportunities, though perhaps the most intriguing possibility would be for the Giants to pick up some pieces that become available after late-breaking signings.
The Rockies have some level of interest in yet again bringing back outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, Heyman adds. This particular item is frankly difficult to understand, as the Rox are working with a limited budget and still need to improve behind the dish, in the bullpen, and perhaps on the bench. Meanwhile, the team has a nice assortment of left-handed-hitting outfielders already on hand, making the veteran former star a tough fit on paper. In any event, other teams are also said to be interested in CarGo.
The Phillies announced today that former infielder Jimmy Rollins has joined the organization as a special advisor. He’ll return to the team that drafted him back in 1996 and with which he spent 15 of his 17 seasons in the majors.
Rollins, 40, has not formally announced an end to his playing career, though it had long seemed clear that he had hung up his spikes. He last played in 2016 and was already slated to participate in a retirement ceremony with the Philadelphia organization during the upcoming season.
Whether Rollins will ultimately launch a full-blown post-playing career in the game isn’t yet clear. For now, he’ll get started with a fairly typical slate of potential activities for a respected former star. Per the club, he will engaged in “spring training coaching, meeting with sponsors and suite holders, fan engagement and community outreach,” among other possible functions.
The Phillies and Aaron Nola have not had any “substantive” discussions regarding a long-term contract extension, writes Matt Gelb of The Athletic in a much broader exploration of Nola’s contractual status and pending arbitration case (subscription required). The two sides are facing a $2.25MM gap between the $4.5MM at which the Phillies filed and the $6.75MM at which Nola and Paragon Sports filed.
A hearing is set for Feb. 14, and with no real talks on a multi-year deal taking place to this point, it seems all the likelier that Nola’s case will be resolved in front of an arbitration panel. There’s no immediate urgency for the Phillies to lock Nola up to a long-term contract, and it’s certainly possible that the right-hander’s preference is simply to go year-to-year through arbitration until reaching free agency upon completion of the 2021 season. Both Nola and Yankees right-hander Luis Severino are important cases for future first-time-eligible starters in arbitration; with the exception of Dallas Keuchel (who is anomalous, having entered arbitration fresh off a Cy Young win), no first-time starter has topped the $4.35MM that Dontrelle Willis received way back in 2006. It’s a stunningly outdated number, and arb victories for Nola and/or Severino would help move the needle forward for future starting pitchers.comments powered by Disqus