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MLB GM Meetings: Phillies recap, Day One

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Giancarlo Stanton rumors are the least crazy thing the Phillies have going on as the GMs gear up for a wacky week in Orlando.

MLB: General Managers Meetings Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Every year, one team gets to experience the singular elation of winning the World Series. The other 29 are left to recover their lost hats without the help of an entire parking garage and have nothing to look forward to, except the rumors and results of several days worth of meetings in November.

That started Monday, with the MLB GM Meetings. Our favorite execs put on their best polo shirts and stood near enough to each other for rumors to swirl about exchanges between the franchises they represent. You know as well as I and John Stolnis that the Phillies have a lot to do this winter, and that—whether it’s ground-laying or straight up trades—starts now.

Why, what’s that over there—is it Matt Klentak and Derek Jeter meeting discreetly behind a palm tree?

Yes, the Giancarlo Stanton rumors are back, and more infectious than ever! Will the Phillies finally land the slugger they’ve been chasing since one entire GM ago? Experts are saying that no, they will not. In fact, an ESPN poll of 40 GMs (wait, how many teams are there again?) showed that only two felt the Phillies were Stanton’s most likely destination, with ten of them believing he’d be a Cardinal by next spring. Of course.

No matter. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Phillies have been staring right through Stanton this whole time anyway, with Christian Yelich the true object of their affection. Well, Yelich, or other outfielders exactly like him. And in the end, all of these trades are just placeholders until the Phillies kick in the door of the 2018 free agent class and proceed to throw “f***-you” money at whoever they want.

Why an outfielder, you ask? The Aaron Altherr-Odubel Herrera-Nick Williams situation seems so nice and fun. Well, the truth is, nobody knows what the hell is going on this early in the chaos. Take for example this mysterious tweet from Jon Heyman early on Monday afternoon that sent certain people into a tizzy over just what exactly the Phillies’ priorities are at the moment.

Yep. The Phillies are listed—along with eight other teams, mind you—as “considering” first base options, something that, if you watched the team this year, specifically in September, specifically Rhys Hoskins, makes you wonder, hey now, just what in the heck are they doing? Perhaps Hoskins is viewed by the organization as more valuable in left field, leaving first base an option to acquire some established power. Of course, that would mean an outfield spot down the drain, making the potential arrival of a Stanton or a Yelich or a Yelich-type all the more precarious, and meaning that multiple members of the current set-up could be out of a job.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves! Here, that was a lot to take in so fast; I apologize. Stabilize yourself with some rumors that make sense, because they sync up with what we’ve been hearing for months now:

“A trade is possible. The Angels have filled infield vacancies in each of the last two seasons via deals with Washington, and they extensively examined Philadelphia’s Cesar Hernandez this season.”

Cesar Hernandez, a prime member of the middle infield logjam that also factors in Freddy Galvis, J.P. Crawford, and Scott Kingery, has been linked to the Angels in theory and reality for weeks. Reportedly, the Phillies really think that he is a good baseball player, because he is one, so despite the fact that he’s not a hot young prospect, he may not be the one to take his leave, despite the Angels’ interest—one hold-up on a deal with Anaheim, however, is that it’s not clear if the Phillies value any of their assets enough to make a swap. Keep in mind that this is the organization that birthed Matt Klentak, so he likely is all too familiar with it.

This is all just day one! We haven’t even mentioned starting pitching, the glaring red spot on the Phillies roster right now—And you don’t even want to know what Nick Cafardo was saying (Jake Arrieta, anyone...?)

The Phillies won’t be dawdling in the breakfast line this year. Matt Klentak and Andy MacPhail have come to play. Whether or not they get an offer they like and actually pull the trigger on something remains to be seen, but they will be in the middle of a lot of conversations.

And that’s what we’re all here for, right? Receiving third party information on conversations for which we were not in the room? It sure is!

Baseball: this is as close as they’ll get to playing it for a long time.