On the first substantive day of the MLB Winter Meetings, the Philadelphia Phillies may have become very relevant on the trade front.
According to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan, the Phillies there is a belief that the Phillies could part with outfielder Odubel Herrera:
Rangers ongoing talks with Reds about Billy Hamilton...some say Phillies might be willing to deal Odubel Herrera— TR Sullivan (@Sullivan_Ranger) December 5, 2016
Sullivan covers the Rangers, who originally had Herrera but ultimately lost him when the Phillies selected him in the 2014 MLB Rule 5 Draft. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels noted last season that Herrera was among the prospects that his organization had lost recently that he wished the team could 'have back'.
Herrera posted a 4.0 WAR in his rookie season of 2015, batting .297, while posting a top five UZR for a center fielder in his first season playing the position. While Herrera finished fifth in UZR in 2016 again, his dWAR slipped from 11.7 to 6.1, while his overall WAR was 3.8 in a season that became difficult to assess.
At times in 2016, Herrera felt like a franchise cornerstone that provided a nice spark on a young team, while at others he felt like someone who may have reached his ceiling and was in the doghouse of manager Pete Mackanin.
Despite much speculation, this may be the first concrete rumor pertaining to Herrera actually being available. The Phillies are likely to have a high price-tag on Herrera, who is under team control through 2020. However, for the right price (probably pitching) general manager Matt Klentak may be willing to part with the 24-year-old, knowing that the team has two potential internal replacements in Roman Quinn and Aaron Altherr.