The odd, slowly developing free agent market has the Phillies still waiting to make their move.
But a move will come, sources suggest.
With pitchers and catchers reporting in less than a week, the Phillies are running out of time to add a veteran starting pitcher. Most of the delay is due to the market, but after Yu Darvish became the first big name to drop yesterday with his big six-year deal to the Cubs, a few more dominoes could fall soon.
Another reason for the delay in Philly is their likely desire to sign a hurler to a short term deal. Pitchers like Jake Arrieta — the best available now — are looking to get some security. At 31-years-old, Arrietta wanted a longterm pact but may be forced to sign a shorter one due to the current climate. If the Phillies can somehow swoop in and get Arrieta on a one or two year contract they would be elated, but that situation is not expected to happen. This also makes Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb out of the Phils’ desired committment range.
More reasonably, the Phillies are eyeing some lesser-known vets.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand suggested a handful of names, including Andrew Cashner, Chris Tillman, Jaime Garcia and Jason Vargas.
Cashner is 31 and went 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA with the Rangers last year. Tillman is 29 and just a year removed from a 16-6, 3.77 ERA campaign with the Orioles (he went 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in limited time last year). Garcia had a down year playing for three teams last season, while Vargas posted 18 wins for the Royals in 2017.
All four are good fits in Philly.
The current rotation, should the Phillies find themselves standing pat has Aaron Nola as the ace with Vincent Velasquez, Nick Pivetta and Jerad Eickhoff more than likely in the rotation as well. Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Jake Thompson, Mark Leiter Jr. and Tom Eshelman are also candidates to start the year in the rotation with good spring training showings.