Flames! Flames are flying EVERYWHERE from the hot stove. Man! I must say, I didn’t see this one coming:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 15, 2017
Oh, shit. You know what? Yes, I did. I actually wrote about it last month.
Why the fuck would the Phillies sign Santana, a guy who can only play first base at this point in his career, to a three-year deal worth $60 million when they already have a first baseman? Here’s what I wrote before. It still applies.
I don’t expect the Phillies to go out and make significant upgrades through free agency, and although I’ve long suspected the front office would like to increase power output of the lineup, the signing of Santana, who homered only 23 times in 667 plate appearances last season, wouldn’t necessarily move the needle in that regard. Still, the move would make some sense. His addition would give the Phillies a veteran hitter with a disciplined approach. He walked in 13.1% of his trips to the plate and struck out in less than 15% of them a year ago. Take notes, Maikel Franco. But the signing of Santana, more than anything, is about leverage and value. Such a move would also kick Hoskins to left field, which, in turn, would create a surplus of young and intriguing outfielders. Hoskins and Nick Williams aren’t going anywhere, which means the team could look to deal Aaron Altherr or Odubel Herrera in exchange for difference-making starting pitching, which is something they desperately need moving forward.
I suppose it’s foolish to definitively say Williams or Hoskins won’t be traded, but I find that doubtful. Herrera is a better overall player and will likely command a larger return, so I’ll go on record at this point and say that I think it’s quite possible his days in Philadelphia are numbered. A name that Anthony SanFilippo threw out in our Slack chat is Chris Archer, which would make a lot of sense. Tampa Bay won’t be able to pay Archer long-term, the Phillies need a legitimate top of the rotation arm, and a dynamic, cost-effective player like Herrera would be a near perfect fit with the Rays. At the very least, a subsequent move is coming. Stay tuned.