PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies general manager Matt Klentak spoke Thursday at Citizens Bank Park about the organization's offseason plans as well as the futures of Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz, who remain under contract through next season.
Klentak also discussed other topics:
1. We're No. 1.
The Phillies have the first pick in the 2016 Draft. It is believed they will select a pitcher, possibly Florida left-hander A.J. Puk. Fans also should keep an eye on Oklahoma right-hander Alec Hansen, IMG Academy (Lakeland, Fla.) left-hander Jason Groome and St. Thomas Aquinas (Overland Park, Kan.) right-hander Riley Pint.
"We will take the best player," Klentak said. "High school, college, position player, pitcher. I think the history of the Draft suggests that the drop-off in value from pick No. 1 to pick No. 2 is the largest delta among any picks in the Draft."
2. Cody Asche
Asche struggled offensively this past season and moved defensively from third base to left field. He will need to produce in 2016 to remain a part of the organization's future.
"He knows this and we know this, it's a performance league and he's going to have to perform," Klentak said. "But I've liked Cody from 3,000 miles away for several years now. I've always thought highly of him and I don't see why he wouldn't have every chance to establish himself on this club. But having said that, and this is the case for all players, this is a performance-based league and he, like everybody else, is going to have to perform to sort of hold down a role."
3. Dan Otero
The Phils claimed the former A's reliever off waivers on Wednesday.
"I have probably seen Otero more than most people in the organization, just from being in the American League West," Klentak said. "We all talked about it and we viewed it as a guy that had a really tough year in 2015. But prior to that, [he] had been a really reliable bullpen piece, ground-ball guy on a really good team. And as a bounce-back candidate and a guy that throws strikes and keeps the ball on the ground, we felt that that was a worthwhile claim for us."
4. Jake Thompson
Thompson is ranked No. 51 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list. He pitched well with Double-A Reading. Knowing that the Phillies need pitching, is it possible Thompson could skip Triple-A in 2016?
"The players will dictate their own timelines," Klentak said. "When they are ready, we will allow them to reach the big leagues and achieve whatever their ceilings may be. But I do believe that we want players to be ready to stick here. I don't know if developmentally, it does any player a service to flip them up and down throughout the course of a year, if it can be avoided. If it can be avoided, we want the player to be ready the moment he gets started."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.