Through the early stages of the offseason, it is abundantly clear that the Philadelphia Phillies will be making a full court press to acquire a starting pitcher and arms in the bullpen.
Earlier this month, it was reported by various outlets that they are interested in the likes of southpaw Patrick Corbin, Japanese star Yusei Kikuchi, and hard-throwing closer Craig Kimbrel. However, you can now add two more names into the fray that Phillies fans should keep their eyes on going forward.
Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com reported on Monday night that the San Francisco Giants are willing to engage with other teams to discuss a possible trade involving ace Madison Bumgarner. Among the teams interested in Bumgarner’s services is none other than the Phillies, who had a preliminary dialogue with San Fran.
The MLB scribe also added in his report that the Atlanta Braves checked in with the Giants earlier this offseason about Bumgarner, but the talks really did not go anywhere. San Francisco recently hired Farhan Zaidi as their new president of baseball operations and it appears that he could move the star pitcher to replenish their farm system.
According to Morosi, sources tell him that Zaidi is likely to ask for at least one high-end prospect in exchange for MadBum. If this is the case, then the Phillies are a perfect option for San Fran as they are loaded with top pitching prospects in the minors.
Two of the Phils’ top pitching prospects that are highly coveted by other teams is 20-year-old Sixto Sanchez and 21-year-old Adonis Medina. During the MLB trade deadline back in July, the Phillies were not willing to part ways with Sanchez, who has top-tier stuff in his arsenal.
However, Philly was willing to give up Medina, whom they included in a potential package for Manny Machado. And then there is also right-handed pitcher Zach Elfin, who did a solid job this past season for the Phillies and could be a potential candidate in a Bumgarner trade.
Jayson Stark of The Athletic reported on Monday that Elfin was dangled in a possible deal for Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
Nevertheless, if the Phillies could somehow get Bumgarner, it would give them one of the best starting rotations in the National League. The 29-year-old ace has helped the Giants win three World Series (2010, 2012, 2014) and been named an All-star four times over his 10-year career.
The 6-foot-4 starter has been hurt by injuries over the last two seasons, but still is one of more dominating pitchers on the mound in baseball. In 21 starts last season, Bumgarner had a record of 6-7 to go along with an ERA of 3.26, plus 109 strikeouts in 129.2 innings pitched.
However, when he is healthy, his numbers are astronomical. Between 2013-2016, Bumgarner racked up 64 wins with an ERA of 2.86 and averaged 226 strikeouts a year.
Along with Bumgarner, the Phillies are among numerous teams interested in reliever Andrew Miller per Morosi. Despite having a down year with the Cleveland Indians this past season due to a shoulder injury, Miller is still one of the top bullpen arms in the majors.
The 33-year-old reliever posted an ERA of under 2.00 in the previous two seasons with an incredible 218 strikeouts and a SO/9 average of 14.3. Even though the Phils are interested in Kimbrel, Miller might be the better option to help out a young bullpen that allowed 4.49 runs per game (11th in the National League) this past season.
According to Spotrac.com, Miller’s calculated market value is a three-year deal worth $53.9 million with an average annual salary of $17.9 million.
Would Phillies GM Matt Klentak be willing to dish out that much money for an older reliever? It is possible because right now the only sure option they have at the backend is youngster Seranthony Dominguez.