As the MLB season comes to a close, it now comes time for the most anticipated part of the MLB offseason: Hot Stove. The time of year where some key signings can turn your franchise from being down in the dumps from an unsuccessful season to competing in October baseball. After a disappointing season at 28-32, it is clear that the Phillies have to be active again this offseason and target key free agents. The Phillies have a lot of work to do if they want to compete in a very competitive National League.
Free Agent #1: Resign JT Realmuto
Resigning All-Star catcher, JT Realmuto should be priority number one on the Phillies free agent moves. He is the best catcher in baseball and is a very key player in Philadelphia’s lineup. In an article written by, Cole Raines, titled “J.T. Realmuto’s Most Likely Landing Spots”, he states “There are no superstars that will dominate the MLB Hot Stove this offseason, but when a catcher of J.T. Realmuto‘s value hits the open market, it will still be just as fun. The shortened 2020 season proved well for the veteran catcher, hitting .266 along with 11 home runs and 32 runs batted in.”
Realmuto is going to be valued as one of the most, if not the most, valuable free agents this offseason. Which means there will be a lot of teams that want Realmuto. If the Phillies want to have any shot at competing for years to come, they have to sign Realmuto and you have to do it fast.
Free Agent #2: Sign Brad Hand
The biggest issue this season for the Phillies was the bullpen. Philadelphia’s bullpen had one of the worst ERA’s in MLB history. The Phillies have to add good relievers to keep themselves in ball games.
Brad Hand would be someone who could be a great free agent signing for the Phillies. The 31-year-old could finally provide Philadelphia with a shut down closer. This season he posted 2.05 ERA, with 29 strikeouts and a 2-1 record in only 23 games. He can take the closer’s position while the Phillies could move Hector Neris to a relief or setup pitching role. Other viable free agent pitchers for the bullpen would include Liam Hendricks, Ken Giles, and/or Brandon Workman.
Free Agent #3: Resign Didi Gregorius
Didi Gregorious was one of the best free agent signings last offseason, and now they should do it again. The Phillies shortstop had a very impressive season in his first year in Philadelphia. He posted a .284 batting average with 10 home runs, 40 RBI’s, and a .339 OBP. In addition, he is one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball, and with Scott Kingery’s position in question, having that insurance such as Gregorious is important. Another key reason why the Phillies should prioritize re-signing Gregorious is that he won’t cost a lot of money compared to other free agent middle infielders.
Free Agent #4: Sign Marcus Stroman
Aaron Nola and newly signed Zack Wheeler were a good one-two punch for the Phillies starting rotation. However, after those two, the rest of the rotation really seems to struggle. Vince Velasquez and Zach Eflin were originally stated to have bright careers but they haven’t panned out and Jake Arrieta wasn’t worth the $75 million that he was signed for.
The Phillies need young quality starting pitchers and I believe Marcus Stroman should be on their radar. Stroman isn’t the top pitching free agent like Trevor Bauer, however, he is only 30 years old and he is better than any other starting pitchers they have that aren’t named Aaron Nola or Zack Wheeler.
Free Agent #5: Sign Jackie Bradley Jr.
The centerfield position is still in question for the Phillies. Adam Haesley’s future as the Phillies centerfielder is in question and Roman Quinn hasn’t been very reliable. I believe the Phillies should go out and sign young outfielder Jackie Bradley jr.
Bradley was an outstanding defender for the Red Sox and he has a solid bat. In 2020 he batted .283 with 7 home runs, 22 RBI’s, and a .364 OBP. Bradley isn’t a superstar batter like free-agent outfielder, George Springer, however, he can be very reliable for a young Phillies lineup.
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