MLB Winter Meetings: Phillies looking to bring home a game-changing shortstop

Just a month after their goals of successful the World Series led to Houston, Phillies officers head to San Diego this weekend looking for the enhancements that they hope will gas one other deep postseason run in 2023.

Baseball’s winter conferences, killed by COVID in 2020 and a lockout in 2021, return this week after a two-year absence and there figures to be loads of motion to maintain the new range a-glow.

Slugger Aaron Judge is the centerpiece of the conferences and never only for his 6-7, 285-pound physique.

Judge clubbed an American League report 62 homers in 2022 and was the league’s MVP. Now, he is poised to parlay these accomplishments into a gargantuan free-agent payday.

The incumbent New York Yankees are looking to maintain Judge in pinstripes, however there’s competitors from the San Francisco Giants and presumably the Los Angeles Dodgers. It wouldn’t be a shock if the Judge signed earlier than the conferences ended on Thursday morning.

The Phillies will not be within the hunt to land Judge, however they’re paying consideration to his timetable for signing. A Judge signing may stimulate motion on the free-agent shortstop market and the Phillies are hell-bent on doing enterprise there.

Four excellent shortstops — Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson — are all there for the taking and it will be a shock if the Phillies do not find yourself with considered one of them. The crew is on report as saying it desires to enhance and “push the needle.” The Phils have the payroll area and infield opening to make a rating at shortstop.

Turner, in accordance to sources, is the Phillies’ No. 1 goal A gifted hitter, baserunner and defender, he was a teammate of Bryce Harper in Washington and the 2 are pals. Harper has not been shy along with his reward of Turner and he typically will get what he desires (see Messrs. Realmuto, Schwarber and Castellanos). But one other relationship might be simply as necessary in touchdown Turner. Kevin Long was Turner’s hitting coach in Washington and they’re additionally shut. Long has gained vital clout throughout his one yr in Philadelphia. He pushed for the crew to signal Kyle Schwarber final yr and is a large fan of Turner.

According to stories, Turner can be being pursued by San Diego. St. Louis can be stated to have curiosity. The Chicago Cubs, as properly. And the groups that lose out on Judge could have the payroll finances to get within the bidding.

Turner, 29, may include a price ticket of $30 million per season in a deal of at the least six years. Conveniently, the Phils freed up $30 million in payroll with the departures of center infielders Didi Gregorius and Jean Segura and the membership is greater than open to taking part in teen Bryson Stott at second base.

While the Phillies is perhaps the favorites to land Turner, they will need to have contingencies if he lands elsewhere. Bogaerts is perhaps second on the crew’s want checklist. According to a report in The Athletic, the Phils plan to meet with all 4 free-agent shortstops.

Offense is a power for all 4 of the highest free-agent shortstops. The addition of 1 will assist the Phillies take up the lack of Harper, whose restoration from Tommy John surgical procedure will maintain him out of the big-league lineup till at the least June.

In addition to a shortstop, the Phillies are looking to add bullpen assist and a mid-rotation starter, one with out a free-agent qualifying provide.

The free-agent market heated up Friday evening with a winter conferences appetizer. Two-time National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom signed a five-year, $185 contract with the Texas Rangers, leaving the New York Mets and the NL East. The Phillies will not be unhappy to see deGrom transfer on from the division, however the Mets, with excessive expectations and loads of cash, may now look to bring Carlos Rodon or Justin Verlander to Queens. Both free brokers will likely be sizzling names this week in San Diego.

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