Given their prospects and resources, the Phillies are in position to make at least one big offseason splash, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal observes (video link). “It’s no secret” the Phillies have interest in Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, and teammate Giancarlo Stanton could also be on their radar, Rosenthal says. Elsewhere, they’ll “actively” seek starting pitching, with Rosenthal naming impending free agent Rays right-hander Alex Cobb as a logical target, and may dangle shortstop Freddy Galvis to address a need in another area. (Earlier Saturday on MLBTR, Mark Polishuk broke down the Phillies’ three biggest needs heading into the offseason.)
More from Rosenthal:
- Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun wouldn’t have been minded going to the Dodgers had the teams’ talks last summer led to a trade, per Rosenthal. Now, Braun’s happier than ever in Milwaukee, which has unexpectedly turned into a playoff contender this season. “I do love it here. If I didn’t, I probably would have been out of here a long time ago,” Braun told Rosenthal. Playing his age-33 season, in which injuries have limited him to 394 plate appearances, Braun has slashed .274/.345/.503 – somewhat modest production by his standards. With $57MM left on his contract, including a $4MM buyout in 2021, he’d be a difficult player for the low-payroll Brewers to move even if they wanted to part with him. Braun also has a full no-trade clause and 10-and-5 rights, further decreasing the likelihood of a trade.
- Speaking of potential Brewers trades, they weren’t willing to deal rookie left-hander Josh Hader in a package for White Sox southpaw Jose Quintana back in July, Rosenthal reports. The Sox ended up sending Quintana to one of the Brewers’ NL Central rivals, the Cubs, for a return including outfielder Eloy Jimenez and right-hander Dylan Cease. Milwaukee might not have topped that in the White Sox’s eyes even if it offered outfielder Lewis Brinson and righty Luis Ortiz, as the South Siders were bent on landing Jimenez, Rosenthal suggests. As for Hader, the 23-year-old has turned in 44 relief innings of 1.64 ERA ball, with 12.48 K/9 against 4.3 BB/9, making him one of the Brewers’ best players this season.
- At 69-85, the Padres have fared better than expected in the win-loss department this year (though their minus-182 run differential ranks last in the majors). In hopes of making more progress next season, they’ll look to the trade and free agent markets over the winter for “complementary” starting pitchers, help at shortstop and a veteran lineup stabilizer, according to Rosenthal.