Phillies

MLB trade deadline: Carlos Beltran, Jonathan Lucroy, Jay Bruce all move

MLB trade deadline: Carlos Beltran, Jonathan Lucroy, Jay Bruce all move

Jonathan Lucroy got a deal he liked, Carlos Beltran joined him in Texas and Jay Bruce and Rich Hill also moved Monday during an 18-swap frenzy at the trade deadline.

Matt Moore, Francisco Liriano and Joe Smith found new homes, too, as playoff contenders stocked up for the stretch.

"That's what we play for. Those are the moments we want to be in," Moore said after NL West-leading San Francisco got the lefty from last-place Tampa Bay. "For someone to reach out and come get me, it's a really good feeling."

Teams had until 4 p.m. EDT to make trades without waivers. From now, no player can be dealt unless he goes unclaimed by everyone else.

The AL West-leading Rangers made two major moves.

After Lucroy used his limited no-trade clause to block a deal to Cleveland, the All-Star catcher was sent to Texas.

"Now, moving on to the (at)Rangers let's take this bad boy to the `ship! Really excited and can't wait to get after it!" he posted on Twitter.

The 30-year-old Lucroy is batting .299 with 13 homers and 50 RBIs this season.

Texas also got Beltran, a proven postseason star, from the New York Yankees for righty Dillon Tate, the fourth overall pick in the 2015 amateur draft, and two other pitching prospects.

"I think as a player, you know that this moment could happen. But when it happens, it hits you," Beltran said.

Twice before in his career, Beltran was traded in midseason to a team with playoff hopes. Like the Rangers, Beltran has been to the World Series but never won the crown.

The Yankees kept reworking their roster, trying to turn the best parts of a .500 team into a bright future. They had already traded relief aces Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller leading up to the deadline.

"We're kind of in unfamiliar territory with the Yankees," first baseman Mark Teixeira said.

"That's life. I mean, we've had a nice run the last eight years," he said.

As always, relievers were in demand.

The Giants aimed to bolster a shaky bullpen by getting Will Smith from Milwaukee, Boston got Fernando Abad from Minnesota and the NL Central-leading Cubs obtained sidearming righty Joe Smith from the Angels.

The Cubs previously got lefties Chapman and Mike Montgomery for their bullpen.

"That was an area we thought we could make some changes," general manager Jed Hoyer said. "Adding a closer, a left-hander and then adding a guy like Smith who can be a right-handed specialist, we felt like those were areas that would improve our team and improve the mix of our bullpen."

The banged-up Mets acquired Bruce, the All-Star outfielder who leads the NL with 80 RBIs, from Cincinnati for infielder Dilson Herrera and minor league lefty Max Wotell.

The Mets also got pitcher Jon Niese, who spent his first eight years in New York, from Pittsburgh for reliever Antonio Bastardo.

The contending Los Angeles Dodgers fortified their rotation by getting Rich Hill along with outfielder Josh Reddick from Oakland for three pitching prospects.

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is on the disabled list with back trouble, and they don't know when he'll be back. The 36-year-old Hill is 9-3 with a 2.25 ERA in 14 starts and on the DL because of a blister on the middle finger of his throwing hand that hasn't healed.

Toronto was busy, making three deals. A day after falling out of the AL East lead, they got Liriano from Pittsburgh.

"Where he's been and what he's accomplished his entire career, we feel like gives us a chance to have someone who could be pitching in Game 2, 3 or 4 of a World Series run," Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said.

Phillies' ramped-up rebuild demands starting-pitching upgrade

Phillies' ramped-up rebuild demands starting-pitching upgrade

Let the record show that on a snowy Friday afternoon 10 days before Christmas 2017, the Phillies ramped up their rebuild.

Dramatically.

What other conclusion can be drawn after the club went out and signed Carlos Santana, one of the best offensive players on the free-agent market? With the signing, confirmed by multiple baseball sources, general manager Matt Klentak has attached a new level of importance to the 2018 season.

Just a couple of days ago at the winter meetings in Orlando, Klentak spoke of how 2018 was going to be a time to "find out" more about the team's young core of players. Who would continue to take a step forward? Who would fall by the wayside?

But now that Santana is here, 2018 doesn't feel like it's just a find-out season. It feels like a season in which the Phillies can continue to find out about players — separate the studs from the duds — and also start nibbling around that second National League wild-card spot.

Sure, a lot has to go right for that to happen.

And one of the things that has to go right is Klentak has to land a starting pitcher to slot in around Aaron Nola and the rest of the staff, which has the look of a bunch of No. 4 and No. 5 starters — until someone steps forward.

Santana's deal is for three years and $60 million, according to sources. Three years is a nice get — i.e., it's not cripplingly long — for a 32-year-old (in April) who hits for power, produces runs and does what Klentak likes best: controls the strike zone. (You could say that Klentak added two players who control the strike zone to his lineup Friday as the trade of Freddy Galvis to San Diego for strike-throwing pitching prospect Enyel De Los Santos cleared the way for J.P. Crawford to be the regular shortstop.)

The Phillies need to do everything within reason to make sure that the first of Santana's three seasons with the club isn't about simply inching the rebuild forward. The Nationals are the class of the NL East, but the rest of the division ranges from ordinary to awful. The Phils, with an improved offense and bullpen (Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter), can play with Braves and Mets and clean up on the Marlins, the jewelry store that became a pawnshop, in agent Scott Boras' words.

It's just up to Klentak to get more starting pitching, and he's on the case. He admitted that at the winter meetings. He is particularly fond of young starters with years of control remaining on their contracts. Gerrit Cole, Chris Archer and Michael Fulmer fit this description. It takes talent to get pitchers like that. The Phillies have enough depth of prospects to get one of these guys and their reserves of expendable talent just grew with the Santana signing.

Santana, a switch-hitter who has averaged 25 homers, 85 RBIs and a .810 OPS in eight seasons, is going to be the team's primary first baseman. Rhys Hoskins is going to be the primary leftfielder. That means the Phillies suddenly have a young outfielder that they could deal. Maybe they try to capitalize on Nick Williams' strong half-season in the majors and package him for an arm. Or maybe it's Odubel Herrera or Aaron Altherr.

However it plays out, you can be sure that Klentak will be creative. You can rule nothing out with this guy. The other day, we poo-pooed the Phillies signing Jake Arrieta, who is looking for a long-term deal approaching $200 million. But if Arrieta lingers out there until February and is looking for a two-year landing spot, hey, maybe.

We wouldn't even put it past Klentak to entertain the idea of using Santana at third base a little bit — he did play 26 games there in 2014 — and trading Maikel Franco. The Giants were sniffing around, gathering intel on Franco at the winter meetings. There has to be a reason for that. Also at the meetings, an official from a rival club said the Phillies weren't as aggressive as he expected in trying to move Cesar Hernandez. Could it be that Hernandez would get some time at third if Franco were to be moved? Hernandez is still a trade chip, but he doesn't need to be cashed in until July and by that time Scott Kingery should be here.

There are a lot of ways this thing can go. And with the signing of Carlos Santana — which won't become official until he passes a physical next week — the Phillies have guaranteed that the remainder of this offseason will be a busy one.

It has to be.

The stakes have changed for 2018. The rebuild is still in place, but it has been ramped up. Matt Klentak has improved the bullpen and the offense. Now he has to attack that starting pitching and he has the trade weapons to do it.

Source: Phillies agree to $60 million deal with Carlos Santana

Source: Phillies agree to $60 million deal with Carlos Santana

The Phillies' busy Friday continued with a pricey free-agent signing.

The Phils have agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal with former Cleveland Indian Carlos Santana, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury.

It is by far the most expensive contract the Phillies have given out under the Matt Klentak-Andy MacPhail regime.

They had the money. When the offseason began, the only player the Phillies had signed to a multi-million dollar deal was Odubel Herrera.

Santana, 31, has always been a high-walk power hitter. From 2011 through 2017, he walked between 88 and 113 times each season, all while maintaining relatively low strikeout totals for a man with such power and plate selection.

In 2016, Santana set a career high with 34 home runs. Last season, he hit .259/.363/.455 with 37 doubles, 23 homers and 79 RBIs.

This addition provides the Phillies with much-needed pop to protect Rhys Hoskins and also gives the Phils added versatility. Santana is a switch-hitter who came up as a catcher, but he hasn't caught since 2014. The last three seasons, he has played primarily first base. In his eight seasons, Santana has also started 26 games at third base and seven in right field.

The move likely means Hoskins will play left field, and it could facilitate another Phillies trade of an outfielder such as Nick Williams, Aaron Altherr or Odubel Herrera.