This could be a busy week for the Phillies.
The team remains in negotiations to re-sign All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto and it would like to lock down a shortstop sooner rather than later.
The Phillies have monitored the market for free agent shortstops all winter, checking in with the agents who represent Didi Gregorius, Andrelton Simmons, Marcus Semien and Freddy Galvis. The Phils had appeared to be moving toward a reunion with Gregorius, but lately, according to multiple sources have ramped up interest in Simmons, a top defender.
The Phils would also like to add starting pitching and bullpen depth before spring training is scheduled to open in three weeks. It’s important to use the word “scheduled” because it’s possible the opening of camps could be pushed back because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Government officials in the Phoenix, Arizona area have asked Major League Baseball officials to consider delaying the start of camps in that area for two weeks.
The market for top free agents has started to move over the last week or so. DJ LeMahieu re-signed with the Yankees and George Springer signed with the Blue Jays.
Could Realmuto be next? And who will he sign with? The Phillies in recent weeks have appeared to be the clear frontrunner, but other teams continue to remain in mix, according to sources. One of those teams may or may not be the Braves. We covered that here.
If Realmuto returns to the Phillies, he will become the latest big name to join – or in his case re-join – the National League East.
The Mets missed out on Springer but did trade for superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor and sign catcher James McCann. They remain in the hunt for 2020 NL Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer, as well.
The Nationals signed a pair of former World Series-winning Cubs in left-handed starter Jon Lester and slugger Kyle Schwarber. They also signed a top late-game reliever in Brad Hand.
The Braves landed pitchers Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly.
The Phillies previously signed reliever Archie Bradley.
The Marlins have worked around the edges, but they did add an impact player in center fielder Starling Marte in a trade last summer.