ESPN Insider: Phillies Earn a C for Their Offseason
The Philadelphia Phillies look to take another step in the right direction after a 2016 season that saw them post a 71-91 record, under general manager Matt Klentak and manager Pete Mackanin.
Klentak, has put his imprint on the roster, staying patient, and targeting mid-level veteran that one short deals that could be potentially moved at the deadline. Highlighted by a deal that landed the Phillies former Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz.
With spring training less than one week away, the question now is have the Phillies done enough to take another step in the right direction.
In an ESPN Insider article handing out offseason grades for every team, Jim Bowden gave the Phillies a C.
Offseason goals: Time, patience, discipline and setup relief
Key acquisitions to date:Clay Buchholz, Joaquin Benoit, Howie Kendrick, Michael Saunders, Ryan Hanigan, Bryan Holaday, Cesar Ramos
The Phillies have shown great discipline by not getting involved in free agency and not trying to win before their time. They brought in several veteran players this offseason who are all signed to short-term deals and talented enough to help them get some wins. It also gives them trade bait for prospects come July.
The best moves were trading for Red Sox starter Buchholz (a deal in which they gave up a non-prospect), signing free agent Benoit, who will probably close for them, and trading utility players for Kendrick, who will improve their offensive production from left field. The downside to their offseason is the Phillies didn't acquire any top prospects for their future.
As noted, Buchholz is clearly the most interesting pick-up of the offseason. The 32-year-old posted a disappointing 4.78 ERA and 93/55 K/BB ratio over 139 1/3 innings this past season, but finished the season strong. The Phillies are certainly expecting the right-hander to slide right into their 2017 rotation, and hope to move the former all-star at the deadline if he pitches well.
Howie Kendrick, who also came to Philly in the trade, is a veteran who hit a disappointing .255 with eight homers for the Dodgers in 2016.
Another interesting addition was Michael Saunders, the 30-year-old had a 2016 that can really be thought of as two different seasons, making the American League All-Star team in 2016 before stumbling badly in the second half. He finished the season with 24 homers in 140 games last year with Toronto.
The Phillies also targeted the bullpen, adding a pair of arms that should compete at the back-end, including a pair of veterans, Joaquin Benoit and Pat Neshek.