Let’s face facts and admit that without a miracle, the Philadelphia Phillies will not compete in 2018. That also holds true to 2019. Most likely the development of their rookies and the needs for this team outweighs the projection of success for this franchise. There are just way to many holes to fill and with the disappointing start to the 2017 season, the hope for success in 2018 might not be reachable. The Phillies have needs basically in every position on the team. Rhys Hoskins did have a great start to his Major league career but he even cooled off and have many wondering if it was just beginner’s luck or was it actually raw talent? This team has too many questions and not enough answers.
However, the franchise and their fan base should remain patient as the 2017 free agent class would not be great answers to those questions. The Phillies should take a page out of the Houston Astros book and build their team around the draft and key acquisitions. The Astros just won the World Series with a young core of players, who were developed through their farm system and now the franchise is built for the long haul. Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer are still in their prime and as long as they all stay healthy Houston should remain in the World Series discussion for years to come. The Phillies should use the Houston model as an example of how successful drafting and scouting takes priority in the modern era for baseball.
Rumors are also circulating that Giancarlo Stanton will be traded sooner rather than later. If that is the case the Phillies should not partake in those discussions as Stanton’s contract would be too astronomical for this franchise to accept. He is owed 77 million dollars over the next three years and has an opt out clause after the 2020 season. If the Phillies traded for him a few of their prospects would have to be on the table in order for a trade to be completed and that would put the rebuilding process for this franchise at risk. Sure Stanton would make this team better in the short term and he most certainly would draw fans in the seats at Citizens Bank Park, his presence would not be valuable for this team in the long run.
As the Phillies shown this past off season it is smarter and more financially stable for this organization to sign players to short term deals. Veteran players who often have something left to prove, should look at Philadelphia as their home while they try to hang on to their careers for a few more years. Jeremy Hellickson did just that and was able to continue his career at least through 2017 and possibly further. The Phillies in return traded him at the deadline and hopefully received some vital assets to their rebuilding process. The front office should just continue their rebuilding process and stay patient because a big free agent signing will not make or break the upcoming season. The Phillies need to stay intelligent and patient as this would be the only way they can recreate the way Houston has built themselves into a perennial contender. This off season will not be impactful for the franchise in 2018 but it sure can be impactful for the 2020 season as long as the front office stays true to themselves.
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