MLB rumors: The Phillies are ready to go after Goldschmidt, Corbin and more before Harper and Machado decisions

As we sit here and wait ... and wait ... and wait for something meaningful in MLB free agency to happen, the rumor mill continues to churn. On nearly every player in free agency and on the trading block, we keep seeing one team pop up: the Philadelphia Phillies. We've previously discussed why this makes sense, particularly when the owner said they're ready to get "a little bit stupid" in terms of spending

Atop the list here are obviously shortstop Manny Machado and outfielder Bryce Harper, but there's more. Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports Monday that the Phillies are ready to sign multiple free agents before Harper and/or Machado make a decision. He mentions starters Patrick Corbin, Nathan Eovaldi and J.A. Happ along with outfielders A.J. Pollock and Michael Brantley and relievers Craig Kimbrel and Zach Britton

Perhaps the thought process would be that adding, say, Eovaldi and Kimbrel would make the destination more desirable for Harper and Machado. 

And then there's this: 

Santana has played one year of his three-year contract that is worth $60 million. The Phillies have very little money on the books moving forward, so shedding him is more about roster flexibility than payroll flexibility, but if they could move him it would surely help on both fronts. He hit .229/.352/.414 (105 OPS+) with 24 homers and 86 RBI last season. He really needs to be a DH and if he's only gonna OPS+ 105 -- given that all he's good for is hitting -- he's not a very good overall player to have on the roster, much less the starting lineup. 

Paul Goldschmidt only has one year left on his current deal before hitting free agency, so pursuing him is yet another sign that the Phillies are ready to push all their chips to the middle of the table for 2019. He's certainly a game-changer in the middle of a batting order, but it also feels like Rhys Hoskins needs to move to first base sooner rather than later. Remember, the Phillies defense was  historically awful last season

Still, the big takeaway from the rumor mill Monday should be that the Phillies are the biggest player for nearly everyone this offseason. Time will tell if it bears fruit, but it's reality right now. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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