The Philadelphia Phillies will have plenty of money to spend next offseason and are expected to be major players in the free-agency market that includes current Washington Nationals OF Bryce Harper.
However, if the club wants to entice big-name players to come to Philly, it needs to show a commitment to winning now.
Trading for Clay Buchholz and Howie Kendrick was a decent start, but the Phillies need to make a big move before the 2017 season to truly prove they’re ready to get back to the playoffs.
Philadelphia could use a power-hitting outfielder to add some potency to the lineup, so here are three players who could fit in with the Phillies:
Brandon Moss: Moss is a free agent and can play both corner outfield positions and first base, which would give the team some much-needed versatility. Most importantly, he likely won’t command a long-term deal or too much money.
Therefore, if the Phillies sign him to a two-year contract, they could still feel comfortable pursuing Harper next offseason and then decide if they want to keep Moss or set him free.
Moss adds some pop to a lineup that could use a little more and would be a good fit at the hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park.
Michael Saunders: All Saunders did last season was hit .253 with 24 home runs and 57 RBI for a team that reached the ALCS.
That may not seem like much production, but in a lineup with Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion, there weren’t too many RBI opportunities for Saunders.
If he moves to Philly, where he’ll be a bigger, more important part of the offense, he could thrive.
Jose Bautista: This is admittedly a long-shot, but imagining Bautista at Citizens Bank Park is a fantasy player’s dream.
However, at 36 years old, Bautista doesn’t exactly fit the bill as the type of player Philly is looking for. But, if the Phillies are targeting a return to the glory days by 2018 or 2019, Bautista could still be a crucial part of the equation.
Philly would have to give up its second-round pick if it signs Bautista, but that may be worth the risk if Bautista is going to stick around until the end of his career.