MLB free agent primer: Phils' potential targets

MLB free agent primer: Phils' potential targets

Salisbury on Phillies' potential targets

November 1, 2013, 2:45 pm
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Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit 40 doubles in the regular season with the Red Sox. (AP)

With free agency set to kick off on Tuesday, our Phillies Insider Jim Salisbury will preview what figures to be an intriguing winter for Ruben Amaro Jr. with his full offseason outlook on Sunday. On Monday, we'll begin a series looking at potential targets for the Phillies.

In the meantime, HardballTalk has comprised a list of its top 150 free agents about to hit the open market.

Three Phillies make the cut (see story). Here are three players from the list the Phillies may be interested in this offseason:

3. Shin Soo-Choo, OF
For the OBP-challenged Phillies, Choo seems like a perfect fit. The lefty led NL-qualifying outfielders in on-base percentage with a .423 mark, which was second to only Mike Trout among MLB outfielders.

But, Choo hit .215 against left-handed pitching in 2013. An already lefty-heavy Phils lineup could use a lift in OBP, but a right-handed power bat is the team’s major need.

12. Nelson Cruz, OF
Despite a 50-game steroid suspension, Cruz still hit 27 home runs and knocked in 76 in 109 games last season.

The 33-year-old has hit 20-plus homers in each of his last five seasons -- right-handed pop the Phillies could certainly use.

17. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
The 28-year-old is coming of a World Series title with the Red Sox after a regular season in which he hit .273 with 14 home runs, 65 RBIs, 40 doubles in 121 games.

The switch-hitting catcher is known much more for his offense than defense -- he gave up an MLB-most 89 stolen bases in 2013.

The Phillies have said they’d like to re-sign Carlos Ruiz, but if not, Saltalamacchia could be an option -- albeit a pricey one. With three other catchers in the system, signing a vet like Saltalamacchia would be a bit of a surprise.

For the full list of HBT's top 150, click here.

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