Phillies’ hot stove plan: Sign everyone now and Mike Trout later

Don’t worry about the gas-less hot stove that has dragged all offseason. The Phillies want you to believe they’re striking the match and burning it all down.

Philadelphia is being linked to just about every free agent out there, just a few months after owner John Middleton pledged to be “even a little bit stupid” with his money to fill out a promising roster that finished 80-82 last season.

Various reports have sprouted out in the last few days that the Phillies, while not confident they can land both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, are sure they will land one of the two prized free agents. And they don’t think it’ll stop with one star who could command $300 million.

USA Today reported Tuesday that Philadelphia executives envision signing Harper, former Astros starter Dallas Keuchel and former Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel. For reference, that’s The Post’s Ken Davidoff’s Nos. 1, 4 and 5 best free agents of the offseason. Philadelphia already brought in ex-Yankee David Robertson for $23 million over two years and Andrew McCutchen for $50 million over three years (while trading for Seattle’s All-Star shortstop Jean Segura). The Phillies could be looking at an offseason haul that closes in on a half-billion dollars.

(Suddenly Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Wilson Ramos, Jed Lowrie and Keon Broxton look quite a bit smaller.)

The Phillies’ plan appears to begin with Harper — and seemingly not Machado, whom Philadelphia met with last month in the same week the Yankees and White Sox talked with the slugger. Harper and Phillies representatives met for five hours Saturday in Las Vegas, a meeting that reportedly left the team encouraged he would be theirs. The Phillies were expected to officially offer the six-time All-Star a contract this week.

The Phillies have dominated the talk (if not the action just yet) of the offseason — and not just this one. For good measure, they’re already being linked to Mike Trout, who won’t be free until after the 2020 season. And they probably are after Aaron Judge, Jacob deGrom and your first born, too.

Source: Read Full Article