With the annual Winter Meetings set to kick off on December 3, the rumor mill is about to shift into overdrive, and you don't want to be caught in the middle of the road when this thing gets going.
The meetings—designed to give each team's executives an opportunity to speak with not only each other, but some of the top free agents and their representation—have become a rumor bonanza over the last couple of seasons. The week leading up to the annual meetings is normally all about "laying the groundwork."
The Philadelphia Phillies are expected to be among the most active teams over the next couple weeks. They have a huge gap to fill in center field, and until they fill it, you can't count them 100 percent out on any given player.
They have the money. They have the need.
And that's only the biggest hole in this Phillies roster. They'll also be in the market for a third baseman and a setup man, as well as on other, smaller fronts, like the corner outfield market.
With the Winter Meetings quickly rounding into focus, you could call this the "calm before the storm," but if the rumor mill never takes on a single attribute, it's calm. Let this slide show serve as a tool of either debunking or confirming the hottest rumors coming out of Philly.
Each player will either be labeled fact (meaning the Phillies have a legitimate interest and an opportunity to acquire said player in a reasonable fashion) or fiction (bringing said player to town is outside the realm of possibility).