The Phillies have been in rebuild mode for some time, but the tide might begin to turn soon, with the team perhaps spending bigger in the free-agent market, GM Matt Klentak tells MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki. “That time is coming,” says Klentak. “I have no question whatsoever that our ownership group will make the necessary investments. … It’s a matter of whether it’s this coming offseason or the following year. It’s not limited to free agency. We could just as easily make an investment in the form of a trade acquiring a big contract.” The Phillies were active this winter, signing Michael Saunders and Joaquin Benoit, trading for Clay Buchholz, Howie Kendrick and Pat Neshek, and extending Jeremy Hellickson a qualifying offer that the righty ended up accepting. It sounds, though, like the team’s additions of talent could get more significant in the near future. Klentak adds that the Phillies could soon begin to see top prospects arrive in the Majors. He doesn’t name them, but top prospects the Phillies currently have at the Triple-A level include J.P. Crawford, Jorge Alfaro, Nick Williams, Roman Quinn and Dylan Cozens. Here’s more from the East divisions.
- The Yankees are alarmed by righty prospect James Kaprielian’s recent elbow troubles, George A. King III of the New York Post writes. Kaprielian had an MRI this week and will head to Los Angeles to visit Dr. Neil ElAttrache Tuesday. Kaprielian, the Yankees’ first-round pick in 2015, also missed much of last season with a right flexor tendon injury. He has pitched just 29 pro innings thus far in his career, plus 27 in last year’s Arizona Fall League. MLB.com currently ranks him the sixth-best prospect in a very good Yankees system.
- The Orioles’ recent minor-league signing of Edwin Jackson and acquisitions of Miguel Castro and Andrew Faulkner are part of a broad pattern of the team acquiring inexpensive pitching depth, Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com writes. Three pitchers the O’s acquired in minor deals — Gabriel Ynoa (acquired for cash in February), Jayson Aquino (acquired for cash last year) and Chris Lee (acquired for international bonus slots two years ago) — are candidates to start for the team next week. “I know when we first acquired (Jesus) Liranzo or Aquino or Chris (Lee), OK, minor league deal. But guess what? Here we sit. We’ll see,” says manager Buck Showalter. “There’s a long way from where they are now to contributing consistently, but where else are you gonna get them from? We haven’t been fortunate yet in some of the other programs that people are.” Connolly notes that the Orioles haven’t had much recent success with players acquired in the international market, which is one reason they’re supplementing their roster with players acquired in other ways.