Phillies

Phillies

Like the July trade deadline, the Winter Meetings bring us so many rumors. The trick is sifting through the B.S. and the posturing from agents or front office execs to find something close to the truth. 

But if you’re a Phillies fan, this is the offseason and the winter meetings you’ve been waiting for. So all week, make sure to check back here for the latest Phils-related rumblings. 

TUESDAY

Phillies in on Realmuto?

Just when you thought the Phillies were done for the day …

Realmuto is one of the best catchers in baseball and just entering his prime. The price would be high but it has come down, per Joel Sherman. From the Phillies, a logical offer might be Jorge Alfaro and a starting pitcher like Zach Eflin, or Alfaro with one of the Phillies’ young starting outfielders. Probably still need an intriguing third piece from the minors as well. 

Phils add McCutchen


Watch out for the Yankees with Machado

The Yankees' interest in Bryce Harper seems even lower than the Phillies' lukewarm interest in the top free-agent outfielder, but both teams really want Manny Machado.

The Bronx has long been viewed as where Machado wants to be. And the Yankees have a fit for him right now at shortstop with Didi Gregorius out until some time between June-August after undergoing Tommy John surgery during the ALDS.

Rumors have swirled over the last 24 hours that the Yankees and Mets could be involved in their first trade in 14 years. Joel Sherman and others have discussed a potential three-team trade that could send J.T. Realmuto to the Mets, Noah Syndergaard to the Yankees and perhaps young third baseman Miguel Andujar to the Marlins. It's not imminent, and plenty of blockbusters get discussed but never completed. But this one would be juicy.

Andujar, in many other years that haven't included a unique player like Shohei Ohtani, would have won Rookie of the Year. Instead, he was the runner-up after hitting .297/.328/.527 with 47 doubles, 27 homers and 92 RBI. Yankee Stadium did play a big role in Andujar's power numbers, which would surely decline in Miami. 

Whether or not it lands them Syndergaard, if the Yankees do move Andujar, it would be a logical precursor or follow-up to a signing of Machado.

The Yankees are by far the Phillies' biggest competition for Machado. Couple Machado's perceived preference for New York with Phillies owner John Middleton's well-publicized desire to spend big this offseason and you might see the Phils go overboard just to outbid the Yankees.

MONDAY

Nick Castellanos on the block

The rebuilding Tigers are “determined to move on” from corner outfielder Nick Castellanos, one of the most productive hitters in the American League.

Castellanos, 26, is coming off a career year in which he hit .298/.354/.500 with 46 doubles and 23 home runs. In 2017, he drove in 101. His OPS has been higher than .810 three seasons in a row as he’s entered his prime. 

The Tigers want to get value for Castellanos before he inevitably walks in free agency. He’s due a projected $11-11.5 million through the arbitration process this season before becoming a free agent. 

Yankees out on Harper?

The Yankees haven’t been seen as a legitimate landing spot for Bryce Harper this offseason because they have a full outfield, just acquired Giancarlo Stanton’s gargantuan contract a year ago, and simply have bigger needs. They are still the Phillies’ top competition for Manny Machado. 

Yankees GM Brian Cashman, asked Monday about Harper, told reporters that he’s “surprised you’re still asking.”

Asking price for Realmuto

The Marlins have lowered the sky-high asking price for J.T. Realmuto, according to Joel Sherman. Last week, there was a report out that the Marlins wanted both Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo from the Mets — two good, young, inexpensive outfielders. 

 

Realmuto might be the best catcher in baseball, and he’s under contract for two more seasons. Miami is right to ask for a lot. Half the league wants Realmuto. It will be a bidding war and the Marlins can find a good offer outside the division as well. 

No market for Cesar?

No surprise here, but it sounds as if the Phillies are struggling to find a trade fit for second baseman Cesar Hernandez after his worst big-league season. He’s still a competent second baseman many teams would like for his OBP, but the Phillies may have to package him with another player — Vince Velasquez? Maikel Franco? — to get a meaningful return. 

Twins interested in Ramos reunion

Wilson Ramos began his career with the Twins, who made an awful trade in 2010, sending him to Washington for mediocre closer Matt Capps because they needed bullpen help and thought Joe Mauer would be behind the plate a while longer. In less than three years, Capps was done in the majors and Mauer was done as a catcher. 

The Twins are interested in bringing Ramos back, according to ESPN Radio’s Darren Wolfson.

The Phillies have not seemed to prioritize bringing back Ramos, who was awesome at the plate in the second half but missed too much time and struggled to, well, move.

Keep checking back for the latest. 

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