Over the next several weeks we’ll unveil a list of potential free agents and trade targets the Phillies could pursue this offseason, one in which they’ll need to plug holes behind the plate, in the corner outfield and, most importantly, on the pitching staff.
Today, we look at two right-handed hitting potential trade targets.
2011-2013 statistics: .267, averaged 32 home runs, 78 RBIs, .361 on-base percentage, .542 slugging percentage
Most recent contract: Made $537,000 in 2013
Miami Marlins general manager Dan Jennings made a strong pronouncement earlier this week regarding highly coveted slugger Giancarlo Stanton.
“Mr. Stanton is not available,” Jennings told SiriusXM radio’s MLB channel. “He is going to be in right field at Marlins Park next season.”
OK, move on, nothing to see here. Mr. Stanton isn’t going anywhere. He shouldn’t even appear on a list of potential Phillies’ targets, right?
One of the things we’ve learned about Ruben Amaro Jr. over the years is that he can be unrelenting in his pursuit of player that he really wants. Witness his stalking of Roy Halladay years ago. Amaro was still the Phillies’ assistant GM when he started plotting ways to get Halladay from Toronto. He became GM after the 2008 season and started a full-court press on Halladay in the summer of 2009. He finally landed him in December 2009.
This is why Stanton has to be on the list of potential targets. Amaro has admitted to continually checking in with Marlins officials to gauge the slugger’s availability.
In short, Stanton is Amaro’s new White Whale.
The Marlins say he’s not going anywhere. They say they intend to build around him.
But the Phillies have to be ready to take their best shot if the Marlins change their mind. (They’ve never done that before, right?)
Stanton made $537,000 in 2013. He could jump to as much as $5 million in arbitration for the coming season. Even the financially pinched Marlins should be able to afford that. It’s his down-the-road salary that has some baseball observers thinking the team will at least keep an open ear to attractive trade proposals.
The Phillies have long desired a right-handed bat of Stanton’s quality. His power stroke could light up Citizens Bank Park’s cozy power alleys, and it could do so for years to come, as he is just 24.
But here’s the rub. The competition would be intense for Stanton if the Marlins ever made him available. Prospect-rich teams would line up to get him and the Phillies, with their thin farm system, would be hard-pressed to put together a winning package. And if somehow they did, it would probably have to begin with top prospect Maikel Franco.
It’s not likely that the Phillies can get Giancarlo Stanton anytime soon. But he has to be on this list because he is a target, a pie-in-the-sky target, but a target nonetheless.
Age: 27, turns 28 in January
2011-2013 stats: .251, averaged 32 homers, 94 RBIs, .300 on-base percentage, .473 slugging percentage
Most recent contract: Made $540,000 in 2013
Like Stanton, Trumbo is a right-handed power bat who is three seasons away from free agency. The Angels could look to deal him not so much for financial reasons, but because they are desperate to add pitching.
The Angels’ need for pitching could be a problem because the Phillies lack organizational pitching depth. Teams such as San Diego or Tampa Bay could be better fits because of their pitching depth.
One to watch: Kyle Kendrick. He has been connected to the Angels in the past, though most often as a potential return for outfielder Peter Bourjos. A package that includes Kendrick could be of some interest to the Angels.
Trumbo is a corner outfielder and first baseman. On the plus side, he’d bring big power to the lineup. On the down side, he strikes out a lot and has a career on-base percentage under .300. He is not a top defender.
In Darin Ruf, the Phillies might already have a player who, with the right opportunity, could one day be comparable to Trumbo. But Trumbo is more proven. He is definitely a consideration for the Phillies as they look for a right-handed power bat in their outfield.
Tomorrow: Jim Salisbury looks at free-agent relievers Edward Mujica and Joaquin Benoit.