Ideal 2022-23 Offseason for Philadelphia Phillies
The 2021-22 MLB season has come and gone in what felt like a blur. Now, we are almost two weeks removed from the conclusion of the World Series, the offseason can truly begin. For a Phillies team that was just two wins away from its first championship since 2008, there are still some holes within this roster that need to be filled. This is a team which won 87 games and limped into the playoffs as the last seed.
So, what do the Phillies need to do to ensure that this run wasn’t some fluke that will be forgotten in history? Well, let’s find out.
Bring in an elite shortstop
The shortstop position has been an Achilles’ heel for this Phillies team pretty much since Jimmy Rollins left. In a free-agent class that boasts the likes of Trea Turner, Dansby Swanson and Carlos Correa, the time to fill that void is now.
The Phillies have already been linked to Turner and currently hold the best odds to land him. He has close ties to Bryce Harper from their days in Washington and its no secret that the Phillies would jump at the opportunity to sign him.
Turner is widely considered the best shortstop on the market right now and for good reason. Last season, he posted a slash line of .298/.343/.466 with 21 homers, 101 RBIs and earned an OPS+ of 121. Turner also has great versatility being able to play second base and centerfield, too — something this Phillies team is in dire need of.
Still, Turner is going to be one of the most sought after players in the sport and it’s very possible he doesn’t end up in Philadelphia.
While Bogaerts isn’t quite on the level of Turner, he would still be a welcomed addition for a team in desperate need of a shortstop. Bringing in the likes of Swanson or even Correa would go a long way to improving the shortstop position for the future.
While Turner would be the ideal candidate, bringing in any of these elite shortstops is a must if this Phillies team wants to repeat their success.
Bring in another top-end pitcher
The Phillies boasted one of the best 1-2 punches in the MLB at the top of their rotation with Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler. Behind them is the extremely underrated Ranger Suarez. After that is where the problems arise, though.
The Phillies relied on the likes of Kyle Gibson, Noah Syndergaard and even Bailey Falter to get them through the year. While the trio are great depth pieces, especially in the regular season, it was clear come playoff time that more firepower was needed at the top of this rotation.
Much like the shortstop position, this starting pitching free agent class is filled with talent, including Jacob deGrom, Carlos Rodon and Justin Verlander all hitting the market. There’s some great guys down the list as well including Nathan Eovaldi and even Chris Bassitt. Ultimately, the Phillies have the ability to go out and strengthen this pitching staff.
The No. 1 name the Phillies should go after is Rodon. He posted a record of 14-8 with a 2.88 ERA and a career-high 237 strikeouts. He would slot in perfectly between Wheeler and Nola and should take a significant load off both of their shoulders throwing for 178 innings this past year.
If the Phillies don’t want to shell the big bucks on a shortstop and a starting pitcher, then there are some lower-end guys that would still give this rotation some much-needed depth. Guys like Eovaldi or even Bassitt could be a cheaper alternative, plus both boast playoff experience.
Trust in the young guys
For the first time in forever, the Phillies have some youth in both their lineup right now and within the farm system. Bryson Stott showed a lot of promise during his first year with the team and in the playoffs. With Jean Segura no longer on the team, he should be able to settle into an everyday position at second.
Alec Bohm also had a bounce-back season — offensively at least. While fans are still waiting for that power stroke to develop, the pure talent Bohm shows as a hitter is too much to ignore as he looks to be the third baseman of the future.
The Phillies also have some talent in their farm system, especially at pitcher with the likes of Andrew Painter and Mick Abel. These are two kids with the potential to be aces in a rotation if given the time to develop.
Painter’s domination through the minors and selection as Pipeline pitching prospect of the year has led to many Phillies fans calling for him to be called up as early as this next season. Though I would love to see Painter in a Phillies uniform, I think it’s more important to let him develop in the minors as he is still only 19.
There is no real need to fast-track these kids, especially if moves are made in free agency. I wouldn’t hate maybe seeing Painter come up to get some innings as a reliever if he continues to impress but I think I would just rather not rush his development and let him hone his skills at the minor league level.
Right now, the Phillies have a nice mix of veteran talent and leadership, plus a youth core that gives this team the spark its needs. Fresh off a World Series appearance, moves still need to be made to ensure there is a possibility of returning in the near future.
Dombrowski has already come out and said that he wouldn’t mind spending over the luxury tax for only the second time in franchise history.
It’s good as a fan to see ownership have that desire to spend money and bring in the guys needed to make a run. Harper was promised wins and a team that would be built around him — it finally looks like that is starting to happen.
With all this in mind, let’s take a look at the ideal starting lineup for this Phillies team going into next season.
Lineup: Turner (6); Realmuto (2); Harper (DH); Hoskins (3); Schwarber (7); Castellanos (9); Bohm (5); Stott (4); Marsh(8)
Rotation: Wheeler; Rodon; Nola; Suarez; Falter
Bullpen: Alvarado, Dominguez, Brogdon, Painter, Veteran arms for depth
So there you have it, the ideal offseason for the Phillies — in my opinion at least. I believe these moves would go a long way in bringing the Phillies their first World Series since 2009.
I’d love to hear your thoughts down below though. Maybe you have a better outline for the Phillies to follow or maybe you just disagree with some of my potential moves. Only time will tell, but it seems like Dombrowski and this Phillies team are all in and I, for one, love to see it.
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