Addressing the two biggest Phillies’ rumors

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 04: Manny Machado /
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Santana will be the left-handed bat with power to protect Hoskins in the lineup. Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images. /

After the Phillies’ signings and the excitement since the Winter Meetings, fans are expecting more from general manager Matt Klentak, and the rumor mill only fuels their hopes for a winning 2018 campaign.

Rumor vs. substance:

While the Philadelphia Phillies have shown interest in two stars on east coast teams, understanding the level and scope of involvement is not a given. And it varies from the pessimist to the optimist, but missing information creates a void filled by the latest buzz.

"IN OTHER WORDS: “If something is true, no amount of wishful thinking will change it.” – Richard Dawkins"

When fans know the possible origins of the scuttlebutt, they realize specific motivations could be the driving force to benefit a particular party. Usually, the source is not apparent, but one fact can unmask the illusion.

Some agents are notorious for creating and spreading the word regarding talks between their client and particular franchises. Of course, the reason is not only to initiate a possible deal but also to raise the value and length of a contract.

Secondly, some organizations are not innocently conducting business either. They want to reap the biggest return for the player they are moving. On the other hand, the Phils’ approach is to keep their competitors in the dark.

As for writers, preconceived notions can color their beliefs because they can be victims of the current rumors as well. And their need to find material only compounds the situation if they can’t read between the lines.

When it came to the Winter Meetings, scribes in attendance sometimes relied on visual clues for their articles. And seeing two GMs exiting a powwow can in itself lead to speculation based on the needs of each club. Additionally, other writers can then build on those assumptions.

According to Klentak in an interview after the wheeling and dealing at the meetings, he had spoken with the other 29 decision-makers in the last month, but only the strongest possibilities continued during the December confabs. Ergo, due diligence.

On the other hand, interest going back to last July had a life of its own even if a franchise had changed their direction. But sometimes a writer being thorough can include every team since the trading deadline to have talked about an individual player.

Even though a stud remains available, a team could acquire a power hitter in another position and might not need the star still on the market. Or a promoted outfielder enjoying big league success could solve that pressing need. Situations change.

If a division rival adds to an embarrassment of riches, another front office can conclude their playoff chances are now slim. Ergo, they retool or rebuild their roster and adjust their projections accordingly. Another direction ensues.