The Phillies are a young team, and at times, it really shows.  Without a veteran presence in the lineup, the Phillies have repeatedly dipped into stretches where they struggle to score runs.   According to a report, the Phillies are poised to do something about it in this offseason's free agency.

Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball says that Ian Desmond and Martin Prado could catch the Phillies' eye:

The Philadelphia Phillies are going to target one or maybe two veteran hitters this winter, with Martin Prado and Ian Desmond two possible candidates.

The Phillies seek professionals who can bat near the top or middle of the order, veterans experienced enough to positively influence their ultra-young team but young enough where they could be there when the Phillies contend.

The acquisitions could mean the Phillies subtract some of their current offensive players.

Phillies fans are familiar with both players.   Desmond spent many years with the Washington Nationals, and Prado has been a presence in the National League East, both with the Braves and currently with the Miami Marlins.  Both players have versatility in their defense.

Desmond turned down a seven-year, $107 million contract from the Washington Nationals to be their shortstop long-term.  The move may have been a bad one for Desmond, who had to settle for a one-year, $8 million deal from the Texas Rangers to play the outfield, not his customary shortstop position.

The Phillies probably would view Desmond as an outfielder if they sign him, possibly displacing Odubel Herrera, who seems to have fallen out of manager Pete Mackanin's graces.  Herrera would still have some trade value this offseason should the Phillies look to move him.   Desmond was an American League All-Star in 2016.

As for Prado, the Phillies could use him at a number of positions.   The veteran has played at first base, second base, shortstop, third base, left field, and right field.   For the Phillies, Prado could play second base alongside rookie J.P. Crawford, occupy a corner outfield position, or move around the field as a super utility-type player that fills every hole.

The Phillies have few payroll commitments beyond the remainder of Matt Harrison's $13 million annual contract.   The contracts of veterans Carlos Ruiz and Ryan Howard will come off of the books at season's end, and no other player is signed to a Major League deal for big money.  If the young pitching continues to mature, the Phillies could make great strides in 2017.

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