The Philadelphia Phillies are heading into the General Manager meetings, which begin on Monday, with a plan to improve their pitching staff.
They could look to add multiple starters, but Gerrit Cole is currently atop their wish list.
Cole is tied to draft pick compensation after receiving the one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer from the Houston Astros. The Phillies have surrendered picks recently in signing Carlos Santana, Bryce Harper and Jake Arrieta.
"One of the things we have to try to do, if we can, is to not forfeit Draft picks, and that's hard when you're fishing in the deep end of the free-agent pond," Matt Klentak said. "But we lost our second-round pick last year and our second and third the year before. That doesn't sound like a lot, but that's where Scott Kingery comes from, that's where Spencer Howard comes from, that's where Connor Seabold comes from. That's where some good players come from."
However, if the Phillies want to add a top starter they'll be forced to concede a pick again. In addition to Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner and Jake Odorizzi all received qualifying offers from their clubs.