ESPN’s Bowden Lists Phillies Top Offseason Priority
It’s been just over a year since the Phillies hired Matt Klentak as general manager, but it's the moves he makes this offseason that could shed some light on what direction he sees the Phillies moving towards.
Trading Darnell Sweeney and Darin Ruf in exchange for Howie Kendrick from the Dodgers was about finding a candidate to be flipped at the trade deadline, assuming the Phillies aren't in contention.
But as winter meetings near, there’s much work to be done for an Phillies team that, despite having a lot of young talent and a deep farm system, remains in rebuilding mode at the big league level.
The Phillies are staying on course with an eye on their long-term future, and each of their transactions will be made with that in mind. That doesn't mean they won't sign a veteran who could serve as a stopgap option and/or could be flipped at the trade deadline. However, they would like to trade for young hitters either at the high minor league level or who are not arbitration-eligible at the major league level. Don’t look for an active winter meetings from them because they’re probably a year away from making a big splash.
The Phillies tried to add guys like Jeremy Hellickson and Charlie Morton last season to flip at the deadline, Morton got hurt and Hellickson drove his price up and ended up back with the Phillies. Now they're going with a veteran guy like Kendrick to see if they can get more young depth if he performs.