Last weekend, the Phillies were officially eliminated from playoff contention as the Atlanta Braves swept them in four games. What was once a promising summer turned into a dreadful August and September of what could have been?
Also happening over the weekend, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that the Phillies are open to trading all players, but not outfielder/first baseman Rhys Hoskins and ace pitcher Aaron Nola.
The MLB scribe added it would be unlikely for Philly to move Carlos Santana, but realistically could deal Maikel Franco if they sign Manny Machado in free agency or trade Odubel Herrera.
With that being said, it brings up the question of who might not be on the Phillies next season. There are a lot of options on the table as this team fell flat on its face down the stretch. Could it be the players that Rosenthal mentioned or someone else?
Here are three players who may not be donning the red pinstripes in 2019:
1. Odubel Herrera
Sticking with what Rosenthal said, it would not be a surprise to see Herrera playing elsewhere next year. The young outfielder started out the regular season on fire with a 45-game on base streak.
During that stretch of games dating back to last season, Herrera had a ridiculous OPS of 1.004 against righties and an OPS of .913 against lefties. However, he has struggled since then and been in and out of the lineup.
This season, the 26-year-old outfielder is slashing .256/.313./424 with 22 home runs and 68 RBIs. It also doesn’t help that Roman Quinn, who has seen a considerable amount of time in centerfield is playing better than Herrera. Quinn is hitting for average, swiping bags, and is a defensive upgrade.
The only issue with Quinn is if he can stay healthy for a full season. If the Phillies believe that he can, then Herrera definitely might be on the trade block.
Then there is also that guy in Washington named Bryce Harper, who the Phillies will be interested in signing to a monster contract this winter.
With the potential addition of Harper in the right field, Quinn in center, Aaron Altherr maybe in left and Nick Williams as the fourth outfielder, there’s no need for Herrera.
2. Maikel Franco
Franco could be playing elsewhere too, but unlike Herrera, it is not for bad play. This season, the young third baseman is having a resurgence at plate slashing .270/.314/.467 with 22 home runs and 68 RBI.
He’s also only struck out 62 times, which is a drastic improvement from last season, where he had 95 strikeouts. Therefore, you would think that Franco has earned the opportunity to stay at least for another season.
However, that is not how it works in the mind of manager Gabe Kapler. Since the calendar turned to September, he has used Carlos Santana at third base, allowing Hoskins to go back to his natural position at first base.
While the move works for Hoskins, who did not look comfortable in left field, it does not work for Franco. 26-year-old third baseman has only played in nine games this month with only 20 plate appearances.
The Phillies do not want to move on from Santana yet because it would look bad since they just signed him to a three-year, $60 million deal last winter.
This means that Franco is the odd man out and could be dealt for a bullpen arm or some other position of need for the Phils.
3. J.P. Crawford
Sticking with the infield, shortstop J.P. Crawford could be the odd man out due to a couple of reasons.
The 23-year-old shortstop has missed a considerable amount of time this season with nagging and unfortunate injuries.
In only 136 plate appearances, Crawford is slashing .217/.323/.400 with three home runs and 12 RBI. That is not a lot of production coming from the highly touted prospect, which does not look good, especially when you factor in the play of Kingery.
Speaking of Kingery, he may be the reason why Crawford is expendable. Both players have seen time at shortstop, despite Kingery probably being best suited to play at second base.
Cesar Hernandez is currently occupying second base and it does not seem like the Phillies are ready to move him. This season, Kingery has not done much better at the plate than Crawford, slashing .226/.267/.337 with eight home runs and 34 RBI in 461 plate appearances.
But unlike Crawford, the Phillies made a long-term investment in Kingery, signing him to a six-year, $24 million deal out of spring training. The 23-year-old Crawford could be used to acquire more young prospects or potentially a starting pitcher this winter.