Ken Rosenthal, who used to write for Fox Sports but doesn’t anymore because Fox Sports is a useless, worthless, all-video venture, dropped an interesting post on Facebook about the Marlins and the Phillies, and a possible trade.
I’ll let Ken explain it.
The concept was this: Marlins outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich to the Phillies, with the Phillies absorbing the remainder of the two contracts — Stanton’s monster deal through 2027 (he can opt out after ‘20) and Yelich’s below-market deal through 2021.
So here are a few more details. Giancarlo Stanton is guaranteed nearly $300 million between next year and 2027, which is a huge amount of money, but it’s an amount the Phillies can afford. They’ve spent almost no money in the last few years, and they have less than four million committed in 2018 (to Odubel Herrera). But just because they can afford him doesn’t mean they want him.
But [the Phillies] have not — repeat, not — expressed interest in Stanton, according to high-ranking officials with both clubs.
Remember, Stanton was Ruben Amaro’s white whale. And Ruben Amaro isn’t with the Phillies anymore. Matt Klentak obviously wants to go in a different, less-muscley direction.
And according to Ken Rosenthal, that different, less-muscley direction is where Christian Yelich is. Because that’s who Klentak is apparently enamored with.
The Phillies, according to one source, have been “vocal” about their desire to land Yelich, even expressing an interest to assume “bad money” — say, reliever Junichi Tazawa’s $7 million in 2018, for starters — as part of the deal.
The Phillies have dealt with bad relievers and bad money before, and they have no fear about doing it again. To land Yelich, who at 25 has nearly five years of MLB experience and a lifetime triple slash of .291/.367/.426, the Phillies could afford to take on some bad money and even worse players.
Of course, Klentak isn’t alone. Rosenthal points out that Yelich’s insanely under-market deal (is attractive to nearly every other team out there. So the Phillies would have to ante up to win out, and that would involve parting ways with some players they love/need.
Beyond other teams wanting in on this, there are other roadblocks that Rosenthal points out. The Phillies have a metric crap ton of outfielders right now. Aaron Altherr, Nick Williams, Odubel Herrera, and in the minors they have Carlos Tocci, Roman Quinn, Adam Heasley, and possibly a billion other dudes I’ve forgotten about. Seriously, they have a lot of outfielders. But out of the Phillies control is the state of the Marlins’ sale. With things so uncertain, the Marlins might not want to start selling off pieces and making huge changes until the new owners are in place.
Rosenthal started the whole post by saying that he didn’t believe any of this when he started out, but after hearing it from three different sources, he started to really think about it. And there’s no one else in this business I trust more with trade rumors than Ken Rosenthal — when he publishes something, he believes it to be true.
But if you believe nothing else from this post, believe this: the Phillies are going to spend some money.
The Phillies are going to spend.
Oh, they are going to empty out that Scrooge McDuck vault they have and back up the Brinks truck. And they’re going to do it soon. Soon could be this offseason, or it could be the offseason after the 2018 season. (Do me a favor and imagine the Phillies signing both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado in the same offseason and giving a big middle finger to the luxury tax threshold.) But spending is going to happen. They will need to spend money to turn this team into a contender, and John Middleton has said that Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentak will have essentially unlimited resources to get it done.
But if this rumor is any indication, everyone should strap in/on (whatever you fancy) because it’s going to be a crazy trade deadline.