Phillies: January’s big-ticket splash

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Keuchel’s holding out only improves the Phillies chances of signing him at a reduced price. Photo by Loren Elliott/MLB Photos via Getty Images.

The Phillies are a dangerous foe with stupid money for the most expensive talent, and general manager Matt Klentak proved last offseason he has the patience to handle even super agent Scott Boras to ink a star.


Acquisition targets:

As the Philadelphia Phillies enter the final month without on-field baseball, the stakes are the highest against deep-pocketed organizations. Yes, the top closer, one slugger from each side of the batter’s box, and a two-slot southpaw will probably be deciding their tomorrow in January.


“Our careers aren’t paths so much as landscapes that are navigated. We’re free agents, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs — each with our own unique brand.” – Keith Ferrazzi

Despite the bemoaning of their fan bases, GMs –who plan to keep their jobs– devise a time-extended strategy for costly free agents: Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel. This includes alternatives like Zach Britton, Mike Minor and Andrew McCutchen.

While money is negotiable in either direction, franchises exercise patience and backup plans. And most times the Jake Arrietas are last: The Boras Corporation’s starting point for the bearded moundsman had been $210 million over seven campaigns, but they settled for $75 million over three summers.

Who is Klentak bidding against? The New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs are the top clubs in the three largest markets. Additionally, their fans expect more than a league pennant.

While the faithful detest this lengthy process, the stars have their lives on hold: a new city, a new home address and new schools to name a few. In fact, today’s media broadcasts their landing spot within a few hours of them knowing it. However, teams reward them handsomely.

Rumors have many fathers. To illustrate, a national writer can interpret information correctly to reach the right answer or anticipate a long shot in error. Of course, some organizations and/or agents use the media to increase the price or the competition for their player. Devious? No, just human.

While Kimbrel and Machado will sign in January, Keuchel and Harper will only be possibilities to ink a contract before February. Yes, Keuchel and Harper are –good guess!– Boras clients like Arrieta.

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