Author

Wrote

  • MLB Philadelphia Phillies 2016 represented one thing for the Philadelphia Phillies organization — Transition. With the trading of veteran catcher Carlos Ruiz and opting to move on from former NL MVP Ryan Howard, the Phils officially lopped off the remaining parts of a nucleus which saw major success; culminating in a World Series Championship in 2008. The club fully committed to showcasing young talent after re-energizing a depleted Minor League system, and adopting a more stingy spending strategy at the free agent superstore. One particular asset became center fielder Odubel Herrera (pronounced oh-DOO-bull, don’t come up in here with oh-duh-BELL)! The 2014 Rule 5 draft pick — with his jittery batting mannerisms, by-the-seat-of-your-pants ball tracking and plus speed — went on to establish himself as a fan-favorite and his praiseworthy play led to being named the Phillies’ lone All-star representative. Herrera’s development was clearly a bright spot in an otherwise mediocre 71–91 effort, finishing second-to-last in the NL East while missing out on postseason play for the fifth consecutive campaign. Off-Season Moves: Few on-lookers would say the Philadelphia Phillies markedly changed their fortunes for the upcoming season. There were no splashy moves. What they did, however was make some calculated low-risk acquisitions with an eye toward the near future, right in line with the game plan set forth by second-year General Manager Matt Klentak: “Every decision that we make will be measured against the short-term implications and the long-term implications,” Klentak said. “We want to do everything we can to field the most competitive team on the field that we possibly can. We also want to make sure we continue to provide opportunities to our young players to develop. That’s the fine line that we’ll have to tiptoe all offseason.” The aforementioned Odubel Herrera was signed to a five-year, $30.5 million extension including club options for 2022 and 2023, making the 25-year-old Venezuelan...