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The Phillies have added a few veteran players as part of the next step of their rebuild. Key rotation member Jeremy Hellickson was retained on the qualifying offer, while second baseman Howie Kendrick and starting pitcher Clay Buchholz were added on deals for prospects Philadelphia won’t necessarily miss. The Phils might not be done adding pieces like this, either, as Ken Rosenthal reports that they’re looking to add a bat through either free agency or a trade. Some of the names aren’t that exciting, even if they’ll be useful — sorry, Michael Saunders and Brandon Moss — but then there is the potential for adding Jose Bautista.
A one-year deal to Bautista could make a ton of sense, given he could be flipped before the trade deadline or given the qualifying offer at season’s end. On the other hand, though, the Phillies are rebuilding, and they’d have to give up their second-round pick as compensation given Bautista received the qualifying offer from his former team, the Blue Jays. You can go back and forth on this, though, since a rejuvenated, healthy Bautista could bring in much more in a trade than what a second-round pick would likely become, so it all depends on how much the Phillies believe he can rebound.
There is also the possibility of keeping that draft pick and looking elsewhere, such as the Mets and Jay Bruce. The Mets are (always) looking to cut costs where they can, and Philadelphia would be happy to absorb his salary if they could get his production without giving up anything of substance besides dollars. They have plenty of room under the budget compared to last summer, and one more short-term player isn’t going to mess with their long-term flexibility at all. We’ll see what direction the Phils end up going in — someone like Moss might make the most sense in the end due to his ability to play first base and lack of associated costs — but maybe they’ve got a larger surprise in them before spring training.
- There is only one correct ballot for the Hall of Fame. If yours looks like Grant Brisbee’s, then yours is also correct.
- Two Chicago babies were born on New Year’s Eve and given Cubs-specific names they surely won’t be upset about someday.
- The Royals acquired Peter O’Brien, but before that, they were in talks with the Cardinals about Matt Adams.
- With Matt Carpenter at first base in St. Louis now, Adams is expendable, so expect more trade talks in the future.
- The A’s have reunited with Rajai Davis, which is mostly notable due to Oakland as a team only beating out Davis by seven steals in 2016.
- Jung-Ho Kang has had multiple run-ins with law enforcement, as he has three DUIs and was investigated for sexual assault last summer. South Korea cut him from their World Baseball Classic team in response to the above.
- Jason Hammel is still a free agent. Should the Cubs attempt to bring him back?
- The Braves’ farm system has seen some real evolution over the last five years. Thanks, rebuild!
- The Reds signed Drew Storen, which works for both sides since the Reds aren’t any good: Storen can’t blow any big games for them!
- Beyond the Box Score looks in on the Reds’ rebuild to see if it’s working.
- The Giants are still looking for power, and their search might take them to Korea and Jae-gyun Hwang.