The Phillies are in a state of flux. The National League had eight playoff teams and the Phillies weren’t be one of them as they missed the playoffs for the 9th consecutive season.
The Phillies President Andy MacPhail plans to leave after his contract expires at the end of the 2021 season, but he did say he would leave earlier if the Phillies find a way to replace him. They also claimed to have lost $2 billion dollars over the course of the 2020 season.
The Phillies need a new general manager following reassignment of Matt Klentak and for right now Ned Rice (Klentak’s right-hand man for the past five years) is running the show. The 76ers hired a president of baseball operations and the Angels are interviewing GM candidates, but the Phillies claim they cannot move forward due to the pandemic.
Regardless, whoever is calling the shots in both the short term and the long term will need to fix a flawed roster with numerous holes, despite a five-year rebuild and one of the highest payrolls in baseball in 2020.
JT Realmuto was the catcher last year, but he is one of the top free agents after the 2020 season. In February of 2019 the team gave up Sixto Sanchez to acquire Realmuto, but now after just two seasons the Phillies may lose him. The Phillies made Realmuto a one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer, so they would receive Draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere (though it would be a small consolation prize). If Philadelphia does not re-sign Realmuto, it will have to look at a free agent like James McCann or possibly look to make another trade for a catcher.
The Phillies bullpen was the second worst of the past 90 years. The good news is that almost all of the relievers are free agents after the 2020 season. The bad news is that Seranthony Dominguez underwent Tommy John surgery and will not pitch until late next season. There will be significant turnover, but the Phillies have not had a good track record at finding relievers in recent years, either of the big- or small-ticket variety. They will need to be much better.
With their collapse in September, the Phillies showed their lack of depth in starting pitching. Their top three Aaron Nola, Zach Wheeler, and Zach Elfin are solid. But they need another starter or two to compete in the NL East. Spenser Howard may be in the mix for a starting position but help is needed.
The Phillies did not make a qualifying offer to Didi Gregorius. If they look to fill the position internally they have Jean Segura and Scott Kingery. But free agents Marcus Semien and Andrelton Simmons are available if the Phils look externally.
Roman Quinn and Adam Haseley played in center most of last year, but an interesting option would be to bring back Odubel Herrera. Herrera was suspended for the 2019 season for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy and intentionally left of the 2020 roster.
Bryce Harper is the Phillies centerpiece even though he is overrated. But the 13 year contract is still in its infancy. How much will Andrew McCutchen play in left field next year? The Phils have some decisions to make.
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