The Phillies offseason started with hope and ended with hype. The motive for getting veteran pieces around the young core of homegrown Phillies was put into motion. Now General Manager Matt Klentak and the rest of management and ownership get to see the new group off Phillies develop. With the season just around the corner and what looks like the end to free agency, we give you the Phillies offseason review.
A quote that will go down in Phillies history from owner Jon Middleton with his goal to spend “stupid money”. This essentially got the Phillies offseason going with Manny Machado and Bryce Harper as main targets giving Phillies fans lots of hype. As the excitement level for fans immediately spiked giving Phillies management expectations to hit. Days turned into weeks then weeks turned into months. But the Phillies didn’t disappoint their fan base by being aggressive.
The Phillies became active in the trade market landing shortstop Jean Segura from the Mariners. Two months later acquiring catcher JT Realmuto from the Marlins. These two trades give the Phillies all-star caliber players at their respective positions. Segura will be under contract for the next four years with a fifth-year club option. While Realmuto is arbitration eligible next year giving the club control and a chance to sign him long term.
A glaring hole on the Phillies roster going into the offseason was the outfield. It took some time to get everything in place but on March 2nd the Phillies locked up Harper on a 13-year, $330 million deal including no opt-outs and all guaranteed money. As a result, this move will shift veteran Andrew McCutchen to
David Robertson signed a two-year, $23 million contract, with a club option for 2021. Robertson will likely split ninth-inning duties with Seranthony Dominguez. Furthermore, this combination will combine veteran leadership from Robertson who has 137 career saves with a career 2.88 era, along with young flamethrower Dominguez coming off of a 16 save, 2.95 era season in 2018. The Phillies were also able to acquire relievers Juan Nicasio and James Pazos to help bolster the bullpen.
The Phillies dominated late off-season news with the signing of Harper. This signing locks up right field. Left field position was also locked up this offseason with the 32-year-old McCutchen. The new Phillies left fielder will leadoff for the Phillies on opening day.
The Phillies were able to sign ace Aaron Nola to a four-year, $45 million contract extension. This deal will take Nola through his arbitration years and through his first year he would have been a free agent. The Phillies will then have a $16 million club option they can exercise.
Along with adding a lot of talent, the Phillies spent $403 million for three free agent players this offseason alone. The Phillies also have given themselves some room to make moves this season with approximately $17 million before hitting the luxury threshold.
Outfield Phillies offseason review
Talent and team chemistry however, do not always go hand in hand. The Phillies have loaded the team up with a lot of talent. In just a few days the season will start and team chemistry will start to show. Furthermore, the biggest holes in the Phillies team from 2018 were addressed this offseason. A team last year had Aaron Altheer and Nick Williams underachieving from their expectations and center fielder Odubel Herrera wasn’t too far behind only hitting .255/.310/.420.
The outfield for the Phillies in 2019 will now have established talent in right field with Harper and left
Infield Phillies offseason review
Along with the outfield, the Phillies infield has a completely different look this year. Jean Segura will be the infield captain at shortstop. Segura hit for an average over .300 in the last three major league seasons. Having Segura at shortstop will give the Phillies multiple options to fill second and third base. Franco looks to be the starting third baseman to start the season. While Kingery and Cesar Hernandez continue their battle for second base. Hoskins will return to his natural position at first base.
This infield group has a lot of potential talent. With the new additions to the team, Kapler will be able to drop Franco, Kingery, and Hernandez in the order to help take pressure off and help fulfill their talents.
Starting pitching Phillies offseason review
Starting pitchers might be the most disappointing this offseason. No moves have been made other than Nola’s extension. The starting rotation will be all right-handers. Nola will look to repeat his CY Young caliber type year from 2018. Nick Pivetta had a strong spring training and looks to be a candidate for the biggest turnaround. Jake Arrieta is now another year older at the age of 33. While Zach Eflin likely will be the number four starter as he continues to build in a positive direction.
The Phillies only need to bring four starters into the season with having three off days in the first eight days of the season. This could cause the Phillies to option Vince Velasquez to the minors for more time. Rotation hopeful Jerad Eickhoff has pitched well this spring but was sent back to the minors. In the Phillies offseason review if Eickhoff continues to pitch well in AAA he will likely return to the big league team.
Phillies bullpen offseason review
Unconventional reliever usage leaves unanswered questions going into the season. Phillies added veteran Robertson to the back end of the bullpen for possible save chances. Dominguez looms to be the main candidate for save opportunities if his stuff stays right through the season. Also used as a closer last year Hector Neris has been impressive this spring with 14:2 K
Jose Alvarez will join Adam Morgan as the teams’ left-hand relievers. For the teams, right-hand relievers look to be Pat Neshek, Juan Nicasio,
The Phillies bullpen is well balanced with both veteran and young pitchers. Giving the Phillies coaching a prime opportunity to plug and play pitchers in different situations and roles maximizing growth opportunities.
Phillies offseason review Team Summary
Philadelphia Phillies hype for the season is well deserved. Management has put the club in a great situation to win. As a result, now the pressure will be put on Kapler and his staff if this team falls short of expectations. The biggest downfall for this team is no left-handed pitcher in the Phillies starting five. Dallas Keuchel still remains a free agent but is unlikely with the Phillies now that they’re getting close to the luxury threshold.
The National League East will be a tough division for the Phillies to navigate through with every club making moves this offseason to get better with the exception of the Marlins. Finally, on March 28th, the Phillies open up their season against division rival the Atlanta Braves.
Feature Image by Smash Down Sports via Flickr
Stats via Baseball-Reference
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