Everything is quiet on the Phillies home front lately. After the few splashy moves at the beginning of the offseason with the hiring of new skipper Joe Girardi, new starting pitcher Zack Wheeler to a five-year deal worth $118 million, and new shortstop Didi Gregorius to a one-year, $14 million deal it has been crickets from the Phillies organization.
If anyone was holding out hope that another big free agent move is coming, that is most likely not going to happen. The Phillies front office is apparently quite satisfied with the current roster, especially since the payroll is a few million dollars underneath the luxury tax. I do not believe they will exceed the luxury tax limit unless it is for the right player.
The current state of the Phils pitching is a large question mark. Reports indicate that right-hander, Seranthony Domínguez started his throwing program recently. If he can stay healthy it will be a boost to the bullpen. They will also need Adam Morgan and Victor Arano to return from elbow injuries and contribute immediately. They will also need Pivetta or Velasquez (if one of them does not make the rotation) to take to a bullpen role. It is also time for a few bullpen prospects to step up this spring. Some of those names include Connor Brogdon, Damon Jones, Zach Warren, Addison Russ, Ramon Rosso, and Garret Cleavinger.
The starting pitching includes the Ace, Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Jake Arrieta, possibly Zack Eflin, and Pivetta or Velasquez. Drew Smyly signed with the Giants and Gabe Kapler on Thursday.
The position players include J.T. Realmuto (backup Andrew Knapp) at the catcher’s position, Rhys Hoskins at 1st base, Scott Kingery (hopefully) or Jean Segura at 2nd base, Alex Bohm (or Scott Kingery) at 3rd base, Bryce Harper at right field, Adam Haseley in center field, and the returning Andrew McCutchen at left field. Bench pieces include Jay Bruce (OF), Roman Quinn (OF), Josh Harrison (UTIL).
Many of the big-name free agents are off the list. Maybe a trade but the chances seem slim.
Possible Moves Could Include:
Detroit Tigers, Matthew Boyd (LHP) would be a welcomed addition to the Phillies. He posted a 4.56 ERA in 2019 but averaged an impressive 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings. Boyd (29 years-old) is under club control through 2022. He avoided arbitration and will earn $5.3 million in 2020. Boyd might be the best available option left. The Tigers’ asking price most likely will be high, but they’re rebuilding, a prospect or two may be enough. This could be tough due to a lack of options in the farm system.
Pittsburg Pirates, Starling Marte is a two-time Gold Glove winner who hit 23 home runs, stole 25 bases and posted a .845 OPS in 2019. He’s played all three outfield positions in his major league career and can still play center field. Marte signed an $11.5 million in 2020 with a $12.5 million club option and $1 million buyout for 2021. The Pirates have been quiet and are unlikely to compete in the NL Central. He can add fielding and a decent bat for a reasonable cost.
Chicago Cubs’ third baseman Kris Bryan is the 2015 NL Rookie of the Year, 2016 NL MVP and was an All-Star in 2019. He has also dealt with injuries and occasional inconsistency and will earn $18.6 million in 2020 after avoiding arbitration with the Cubs. He’s a 28-year-old with a multitude of accomplishments and he won’t reach free agency until after the 2021 season.
Free Agents That Are Off the List:
- The Angels landed Anthony Rendon (3B), agreeing to a seven-year, $245 million contract.
- Steven Strasburg (RHP) has agreed to a seven-year, $245 million deal with the Nationals
- Madison Bumgarner (LHP) agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract with the Diamondbacks.
- Hyun-Jin Ryu (LHP) agreed to a four-year, $80 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays
- Josh Donaldson (3B) has agreed to a four-year deal with the Minnesota Twins.
- Dallas Keuchel (LHP) signed a three-year deal worth $55 million with the Chicago White Sox.
- Mike Moustakas (3B) has agreed to a four-year, $64 million contract with the Reds.
- Cole Hamels (LHP) agreed to a one-year, $18M deal with the Braves.
- Wade Miley (LHP) agreed to a 2-year, $15M deal with the Reds
Do you feel the Phillies are poised to make any more moves? How do you feel about the Phillies’ current roster?
Written by: Al “Big Al” Zaffiri