The first day of the winter meetings brought some of the rumors we’re used to this time of year, a big free agent signing and an eyebrow raising quote.
This is the time of year when the craziness begins. You’ve heard about “interested”, “kicking the tires” and all the other cliched saying reporters use. This is when they go into overdrive. This is the one, though, for Phillies fans that kicked things up a notch.
Cubs have had talks with Phils on Bryant . Nothing there at the moment. Service time grievance still an issue .— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) December 9, 2019
Kris Bryant would be a great addition. Kris Bryant would also cost a lot. However, if the Cubs, thinking they’ll lose the grievance and would only have one year of control, asked for only Alec Bohm - would you do it?
If the Cubs asked for Alec Bohm straight up for Kris Bryant, knowing Bryant may only have one year of control, do you do it?— Ethan Witte (@ethan_witte) December 9, 2019
The first domino falls
The big news, of course, is that Stephen Strasburg will finish his career in Washington.
Can confirm the #Nats have agreed to a brand new 7-year, $245M with Stephen Strasburg. The contract will likely make the 2019 WS MVP a lifetime National.— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) December 9, 2019
Were the Phillies ever involved with him? Eh, maybe not, but if this amount of money is what Cole is near with his asking price, the team should absolutely be involved with him.
The general manager speaks
Since the team officially announced the Wheeler signing, that meant thatMatt Klentak talked.
Klentak referred to Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler as “as good a twosome as you’ll find” in NL.— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) December 9, 2019
“Right now,” Matt Klentak said, “our main focus is adding an infielder or infielders.” A few different mid-tier scenarios are in play.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) December 9, 2019
Listen, Aaron Nola and Wheeler are a good 1-2 punch. They aren’t better than Scherzer-Strasburg, and maybe not better than Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. It’s a fine quote to make, believing in what you’ve got, but not on a day when Strasburg came off the market and all he cost was money. Especially when the reports indicate the team doesn’t want to go over the luxury tax threshold, even if it meant adding one of the two aces available.
As far as what they aware focused on, adding infielders wouldn’t be the worst decision. Getting Cole would be wiser, but if they truly won’t swim in those waters, grabbing some offensive help wouldn’t be a bad idea. Their 91 wRC+ as a team last year was 21st in the game. So, adding a little bit of punch would help immensely.