The Philadelphia Phillies are really starting to make waves this offseason.
On Thursday, they were finally able to arrange a deal to acquire Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto in a trade for catcher Jorge Alfaro, pitching prospects Sixto Sanchez (who names their kid Sixto?) and Will Stewart, and an international bonus slot.
First of all, who are these Philadelphia Phillies?
I haven’t seen these guys in a while. They won a World Series in 2008, lost to the New York Yankees, 4-2, in 2009 and made a few small runs in 2010 and 2011. Ever since then, it seems like they have fallen off the map. I mean the last time they won 81 games or more was 2012.
Now, they seem to be coming out of nowhere this offseason in hopes of becoming the landing spot for at least one of the premium free agents in Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. They have had meetings with both Harper and Machado this offseason and it seemed like both went fairly well.
Manager Gabe Kapler came out and said that he thought he developed a great relationship with Harper. And when Machado showed up in Philly, he was addressed with a “Go Get That Money,” by a Philadelphia construction worker.
Oh the City of Brotherly Love.
Not only, are the Phillies a favorited landing spot for Harper and Machado, but the Phillies have been making other splashes this offseason. In the front office, they brought in Philly legend, Jimmy Rollins as a free agent. They agreed to terms with RHP David Robertson, who was a solid reliever last year with the Yankees.
They signed Andrew McCutchen to a three-year $50 million contract and also traded first-basemen Carlos Santana and infielder J.P Crawford to the Seattle Mariners for shortstop Jean Segura, left-handed pitcher James Pazos, and right-handed pitcher Juan Nicasio.
Adding Segura and McCutchen to a line-up that already includes, Rhys Hoskins, who hit 34 home runs and drove in 96 runs last season, Cesar Hernandez, the highly touted Maikel Franco, a 26-year-old third basemen, and others.
They have a young roster, with talented pitchers like Jake Arrieta and Aaron Nola, and an up and coming manager in Gabe Kapler. After trading Sixto, the Phillies now only have one prospect, third-basemen Alec Bohm at No. 59, in the Top 60 of MLB’s prospect watch list. They are in a win-now mod and after finishing 3rd in the NL East last year behind the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals.
But, it will only pay off if they can land Harper or Machado, either way the Phillies are making a push and are once again becoming a franchise, we haven’t seen in a while.