Befitting the sort of carefully-plotted approach that Phillies owner John Middleton suggests, new GM Matt Klentak said yesterday that the team likely won’t make any big splashes in free agency, as Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News reports. “I think as a rule of thumb the free-agent market is not the best place to invest your money . . . that’s the last place we should focus,” Klentak said. “But I do think there’s a lot of good players in free agency every single year. The different stages of development will dictate that you take a different route in free agency every single year. The route we take this offseason may differ from the one we take next offseason and the one after that.” Of course, that’s not to say that the team will sit out the market; at the very least, notes Lawrence, it’ll need to look at adding starting pitching.
A few more Phillies notes as the Royals and Mets do battle in the World Series…
- The Phillies will look to add some innings to their rotation this winter, writes CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury in chronicling some of the key takeaways from Klentak’s introductory press conference. Top-of-the-market arms aren’t going to be a focus for Philadelphia, but the team will look to add some a veteran innings eater or two in order to support young arms like Aaron Nola. Klentak gave a bit of insight into his philosophy, noting that pitching “will absolutely become an organizational focus” for the Phillies. Klentak stressed that the team must focus on adding pitching in trades, in free agency, via waiver claims, on the international market and in the draft. “However we need to do it, we will add pitching, pitching, pitching,” said Klentak. “Because if you can pitch, you have a chance to win every night.”
- The Phillies announced that Larry Bowa and Juan Samuel have both agreed to contracts for 2016. Bowa will return as bench coach, while Samuel will move from first to third base coaching duties. Bowa, in particular, was a threat to leave after twice interviewing for the Marlins’ managerial vacancy.
- Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that the Phillies’ plan to increase emphasis on analytics is a good start, but the club also needs to aggressively spend money to turn the franchise around. However, Brookover’s not referring to an immediate free-agent spending spree; rather, he campaigns for Klentak and MacPhail to use the team’s considerable financial resources to go above and beyond in next year’s international spending pool. He also feels that the Phillies should be willing to pay top dollar (and then some) in order to lure the best scouts and player development executives possible.