Thursday, January 05, 2017

Rumor: Phils still looking for a reliable bat

The Phillies are still in the hunt for a bat it appears. The team was mentioned in a post today by veteran Fox Sports MLB reporter, Ken Rosenthal. Usually when you read something from Ken, you can pretty well assume that it is accurate.

The article on Fox Sports had a picture of Jose Bautista included in the copy though, and I would be ecstatic if the Phils were actually chasing him, but I don't think they are going that high up on the food chain of hitters to sign Jose. Now on the flip side, Bautista is on the older side at 36 years old, so his time of an attractive free agent may well be past. He did have 22 HR and 69 RBI in 116 games last year.

It just wouldn't make much sense to pursue a player like Jose, unless the Phillies were thinking of moving someone at the same time. I would even encourage that to get a hitter like Bautista. But, I just don't think the Phils want to add an older hitter for a year or two unless they get a big bargain.

Other names in the article by Rosenthal didn't hardly seem that attractive. Namely a guy like Jay Bruce, I use to like him with Cincinnati, but I know a lot of Mets fans that would love to see him pack his bags especially to go to a division rival like the Phillies. Bruce has lost a lot of his punch that he used to have. Last year Bruce's numbers were 8 HR and 19 RBI with the Mets, he played in 50 games and batted .219 on the season.

The Phillies need offense desperately, last year, the team scored only 610 runs all season and that was last for the 30 teams in baseball. Even the Atlanta Braves, who finished miserably, scored more runs than the Phillies with 649 on the year. Curiously, the Rockies scored the most runs of any team (845), and the Cubs finished with the 2nd highest total (808) in runs scored.

We'll see if adding anyone like Bautista will increase the Phillies odds of making the playoffs for 2017, at this point it would even seem like a longshot for them finish 10 games above .500 or so if they don't do anything. This rebuild is a very slow process and the grooming of younger Phillies who have potential seems to take preference over the spot that this team occupied in 2008-2011 when they looked as if they would be one of the top teams in baseball for a long while.  

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