Yes, the shock of the Phillies reportedly signing the, ahem, smooth Carlos Santana is still fresh in our minds the Monday after. It was such a bombshell of a signing that many of us here at The Good Phight are still trying to process it. It’s jumpstarted the return to prominence that we have waited for since 2011. It’s established where the team considers itself on the winning cycle. While it may have jumbled the roster for the time being, we can be fairly certain that this signing was not made to stand alone as the crown jewel of the front office’s winter moves. After all, as the other writers here have mentioned, the team can’t play four outfielders in the field.
With that in mind, we are beginning to hear whispers that the team surely isn’t done. Matt Gelb and Matt Breen are reporting that the team has been sniffing around some of the more prominent pitching options on the trade market. Names like Marcus Stroman (a favorite of John Stolnis), Chris Archer and Danny Duffy were mentioned as those that have been asked about in the course of the offseason.
The other scenario is a trade that includes Herrera or Altherr or Williams — maybe along with second baseman Cesar Hernandez and a few prospects — for a young, controllable pitcher. Three major-league sources said the Phillies have inquired on just about every young starter that could be traded this winter. That includes Kansas City’s Danny Duffy, Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer and Toronto’s Marcus Stroman.
This is really the first time we’ve seen it openly stated that the Phillies have been rumored to be asking about those pitchers specifically. It’s easy to see that these players would be on the to-do list still remaining ahead of Klentak and company. While they were reportedly in on Tyler Chatwood prior to his signing with the Cubs, most of the other options available to them don’t make too much sense. We’ve all read how signing Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn would be nice additions, but the cost in terms of international money and draft picks lost doesn’t justify adding them to the roster, especially now that the team will have already surrendered a pick for Santana. Besides, if the team were to spend money on a starter and be willing to lose the draft picks, why not go at the top of the market, like Jake Arrieta?
No, as we’ve always known, the best way to acquire the top flight pitcher the team requires is the trade for one with some control left. That’s why the names that were mentioned in the article make the most sense. They would cost a pretty penny, but it would be justified if those pitchers performed to their capability.
We as fans have to accept the fact that to get our hands on these pitchers, it’s going to have to hurt. Any of these names would require the team to part with prized prospect Sixto Sanchez. It’s especially true in the case of Toronto, since trading Stroman would be an acknowledgement that a rebuild is in the cards due to his three years of team control he still has remaining. We might assume the same with Tampa Bay in regards to Archer. Even though they are a small market team, Archer’s contract is formed in such a way that even they are able to easily afford it. Prying Archer loose would mean the team has to start with their best and work its way down. Getting Duffy from Kansas City might be a little different, since he has a more expensive deal than either of the other two pitchers. Klentak might be able to hang on to Sanchez in this case, but it still remain likely that the Royals would require the young pitcher in any deal.
We’ve all got ideas on how we think each trade would go, but unless we’re willing to surrender the likes of Sanchez or Scott Kingery, the likelihood of making such a bold trade will probably drop. It’ll be interesting to see if the team is willing to go all in on a pitcher of this type of caliber. They’ve got the trade chips at the minor league level. Now, with the acquistion of Santana, it seems they’ve got the chips at the major league level too.