Dating back to last July, the Philadelphia Phillies were connected to the third baseman Mike Moustakas. But general manager Matt Klentak did not acquire the two-time All-Star before the expiration of the 2018 non-waiver trade, and it seems that, despite a certain level of interest, the Phillies can again broadcast the thirty-five.
This past Friday, Ken Rosenthal of L & # 39; Athletic reported that Moustakas returning to the Milwaukee Brewers, the team that acquired him last July, "seems inevitable." A.J. Cassavell of MLB.com He says that the San Diego fathers remain a suitor even for Moustakas. The Phillies, meanwhile, "seem unlikely" to sign Moustakas, for MLB.comTodd Zolecki, although Manny Machado eventually signs elsewhere.
If the Phillies attract Machado, a four-time All-Star, they will be the Phillies starting the third baseman presumably. This would complete a starting field that would have Rhys Hoskins at the first base, Cesar Hernandez at the second base and Jean Segura at the interbase. Scott Kingery, a second natural baseman who played mainly shortstop in his 2018 rookie season, would be a super-utility player.
While the Phillies welcomed Machado and his wife, Yainee, to the Citizens Bank Park on December 20th, he also visited the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. The Padres also have a certain level of interest for Machado. Machado could choose to sign with another team, or the Phillies could choose to sign Bryce Harper before Machado made a free decision.
Without Machado, Maikel Franco, at only 26, could be the first day of opening. That would have been seen as a minor shock at the start of the offseason, with Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reporting to November that Franco was "practically a safe bet" to face this offseason at some point. But the Phillies have acquired certain things in other positions; J.T. Realmuto al catcher, Andrew McCutchen in the field on the left and Segura a interbase. This perhaps gives them more chance to experiment with Franco, who has a high offensive margin but remains less secure.
Last July, Franco transported what at the time was a newcomer, the Phillies team, hitting 0.330 with seven home runs and 15 RBIs. Unfortunately, it has not been able to sustain an offensive production that is even more than a replacement level for a whole season. But still, he is only 26 years old. The trained eye noticed some incremental improvements that he made to the pot in 2018, for example a move away from a deficiency of the initial career of trying to pull everything. But despite a relative rebound in 2018 after a disappointing 2017 campaign, Franco also saw an increase in his ball percentage in the ground and a decrease in his hard contact rate in 2018, two trends that are not encouraging for a power beater. .
Fortunately for the Phillies, they are in possession of someone at Kingery who remain high despite -19.3 WAR offensive in his beginner's season, one of the 10 worst among all qualified hitters. This, however, followed a 2017 season in which Kingery hit .304 with 26 home runs and 65 RBIs between Double-A and Triple-A. There, of course, there is a difference between the upper levels of the minor leagues and the higher ones. There is a reason why Hernandez is likely to continue to receive a large amount of departures from the second base. It's also a reason why the Phillies bought all the years of Kingery's arbitration before they ever played at an important league level. Manager Gabe Kapler predicted last month that Kingery, 24, will be the best Phillies player in 2019. Depending on how things break out, we could see a lot of that improvement coming to the hot corner.
Until Moustakas does not sign elsewhere, probably the door on him that ends in red pinstripes is not closed. If the Phillies sign Machado, it will be, and probably Franco will be mistaken. But even if Machado does not end up with the Phillies, you can start to see how the Phillies might feel more comfortable with the younger and cheaper options of the third base of Franco and Kingery, instead of signing Moustakas on what will probably be a multi-year deal.
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