The MLB Winter Meetings are in full swing and the Phillies look to be a wheeling and dealing force. Well, potentially.
Their list of needs includes a starting pitcher, pullpen arm and middle of the order bat. Here are the latest pieces of news from Orlando on three players connected to Philadelphia in recent days.
Manny Machado, 3B
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The Phillies and Orioles appear to have mutual interst in potentially making a deal for the slugging third baseman who could help the youthful Phils inch closer to contending. Machado would presumably block Maikel Franco, forcing Philly to figure out their infield alignment. But having too many good players is never a problem. As far as compensation, reports say Baltimore is very interested in 19-year-old speedballer Sixto Sanchez (who can break 100 mph but is not quite big league ready). They also are looking at 23-year-old second baseman Scott Kingery (rated as the second best 2B prospect in baseball) and Freddy Galvis, a defense first shortstop.
Source confirms the Orioles are indeed shopping Manny Machado. Machado, who will be a free agent after the 2018 season, wants to move back to shortstop. @Ken_Rosenthal had it first.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) December 12, 2017
Any more made would probably require Philly to sign Machado — who has collected 70 homers and almost 200 RBI over his last two seasons with the O's — to a contract extension.
Reliever Zach Britton is another name connected to trade rumors and could potentially be involved in a Phillies deal.
Jake Arrieta, SP
The former Cubs ace is reportedly seeking $200 million, and at 31 he is on the tail end of his prime but still with a lot of solid innings left in him. He is the second best pitcher available in the free agent market after Yu Darvish and the Phillies have plenty of dough to spend. According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, Philadelphia is interested.
Phillies are considering Jake Arrieta. Not perfect match since they are a year from possible contention but many of their execs know him well from when they were with the Orioles.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 12, 2017
Pat Neshek, RP
Neshek was the Phillies lone All-Star last summer before being moved to the Rockies at the trade deadline for three prospects. He appears to be heading back to Philadelphia, where he will once again serve as a set up man and locker room leader for the Phillies youthful bullpen. He reportedly is signing a two-year, $16 million contract to come back.
Phillies GM Matt Klentak, according to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki, said of a signing: "I think we are on the goal line with one."