Pat Gillick admits that the Phillies won’t contend in 2015 or 2016

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For years the Phillies have claimed that they’re winning now and, dadgummit, if things go just right, they can compete with the Jimmy Rollins/Chase Utley/Ryan Howard core. Team CEO Pat Gillick is not willing to whistle that tune. In fact, he’s pretty darn honest, saying that the Phillies are in rebuild mode, not reload mode:

“I think where we are right now, it’s probably a couple years,” Gillick told CSN’s John Clark in a 1-on-1 interview Thursday. “I wouldn’t think [2015] or [2016,] ’15 or ’16 I don’t think is in the cards. I think somewhere around 2017 or 2018.”

Check out his comments here, in his interview with CSNPhilly.com:

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.