As the reign of the 2008 champions reaches one month, we wait for the Phillies to make their first big splash. We could be waiting a while.
Aside from a few coaching changes, front office moves and the announcement that Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz will require surgery, it’s been a slow news month for the Philadelphia Phillies. As for the hot stove, last week, one report suggested the Phillies have some interest in Marlins outfielder Jeremy Hermida, a former first-round pick yet to blossom into the player Florida had hoped. Soon to be 25, there’s some thought that Hermida, entering his fourth full season, is what he is. The Phillies, who discovered that Jayson Werth, another former first-rounder, could grow into more than just a fifth outfielder, would appear to be a the type of club who would gamble on Hermida’s potential during his arbitration years, rather than lock into another expensive free agent deal with an aging outfielder, like Raul Ibanez.
It would be a good time to buy low on Hermida, as the Marlins, once again, are in full sell mode. Hermida, who bats from the left side, hit .249/.323/.406 (91 OPS+) with 17 homers in 559 plate appearances, a significant drop from the 125 OPS + he posted a year ago. One also wonders whether it’s a good time to sell high with some of the Phillies’ prospects. Guys like Jason Donald, Lou Marson, Michael Taylor and J.A. Happ finished with great seasons when they were previously considered solid, but second-tier, talents.
One wonders, too, if the outfield market extends beyond the players we’ve read about thus far. I continue to stare at an overly ambitious club like Toronto, a team that spent a ton of money recently only to finish in the middle of the pack as usual. The Jays are sitting on two talented outfielders in Vernon Wells and Alex Rios, both the recipients of lucrative extensions. Both have been linked to the Phils in previous rumors, and both represent the types of long-term, right-handed fits the Phils are truly seeking.