According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Philadelphia Phillies are nearing a deal with free agent outfielder Michael Saunders. The deal is reportedly worth $9 million for one year, plus an $11 million option that features many different incentives according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Saunders, 30, is a former 11th-round pick in the 2004 MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners, who debuted with the Mariners in 2009. Saunders spent six seasons in Seattle, before being dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays for pitcher J.A. Happ. Saunders had his most successful season last year with the Jays, earning his first All Star appearance, and hitting .253 with 24 home runs and 57 runs batted in during 140 games. Saunders set his personal best in doubles, home runs, runs batted in and games played.
Saunders market was slow to develop, thanks to more notable sluggers like Mark Trumbo, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista taking a long time to sign. Saunders will join a crowded outfield in Philadelphia that features the recently acquired Howie Kendrick, Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr. In addition, top prospect Roman Quinn appears poised to break out this year, and the team also has Tyler Goeddel and brought in Daniel Nava to compete for a role with the team.
The Toronto Blue Jays appear poised to re sign Jose Bautista, which effectively took them out of the race to re sign Saunders. Saunders could be an interesting stop gap in Philadelphia and if the team struggles, he could be dealt at the deadline for prospects.null