As part of a series, various members of The Good Phight’s writing staff are going to give their thoughts on what would make the perfect Phillies’ offseason. We’ve applied some rules that we feel are close to what the actual organization will follow to help make it as plausible as possible.
Without further adieu, I’ve put together my ideal offseason plan. That aforementioned jerk Ethan only gave us $180 million to work with! How rude! It’s like he doesn’t want the Phillies to compete and want to win!
My budget: $180,000,000
My payroll: $180,909,282 (deal with it Ethan!)
Here are my arbitration decisions:
- Seranthony Dominguez – $900K - Nah
- Zach Eflin – $3.7MM - Yeah
- Rhys Hoskins – $3.4MM - Yeah
- Andrew Knapp – $1.0MM - Yeah
- Hector Neris – $5.3MM - Yeah
- Vince Velasquez – $4.0MM - Nah
- Heath Hembree – $1.8MM - Nah
I loved Seranthony’s big splash in 2018, but its been a struggle since then with injuries and now recovery from Tommy John Surgery which took place in July. You need the roster space and you can’t clog it up with a guy who isn’t going to contribute in 2021. Eflin, Hoskins and Knapp were all no-brainers in bringing back. Neris was back-and-forth for me, but I ultimately think he will settle back in to pre-2020 Neris. Vinny Velasquez, you’ve had enough time to “breakout” and prove it. We’re done, best of luck wherever you go.
- J.T. Realmuto - $25MM - This is where the offseason stops and ends for me. If JTR isn’t in red pinstripes, I’m rioting. The team has an opportunity and upperhand to sign to sign the best catcher in baseball to a long-term deal...they should do it. I can see Realmuto getting 5/125, possibly even a lower AAV with an extra year. For the sake of this exercise I’m gonna go on the high-end.
- Jurickson Profar - $5MM - It comes down to this: 1) I’m not comfortable and/or sold on Kingery having a full-time job. 2) I know Didi will be priced out of this exercises’ budget. 3) I’m not giving out a multi-year deals to guys like LaStella or Wong. Profar should be able to be had a one year deal and can serve as a stop gap in case the Phillies want to get in on the SS free agent market after the 2021 season.
- Matt Joyce - $1MM - Your new left-handed situational hitter who you can stick in LF to platoon with Andrew McCutchen.
- Corey Kluber - $10MM - If I lost you with the Profar contract, I surely will hear about this one in the comments. I get it, he’s an aging star well on the decline with lost velocity, blah blah blah. He missed practically all of 2020 with issues related to his shoulder. Huge red flags! With all that, he is two years removed from a Top 3 Cy Young finish and being rated among the best pitchers in the league. He is going to have to take a prove-it one year contract at age 34 and I’d take the gamble.
- Liam Hendriks - $10MM - I’m going with MLBTR’s contract suggestion here. He has been a high-quality arm the past two seasons and would be a huge building block for rebuilding that awful 2020 bullpen.
- Brad Hand - $7MM - Step-two in the rebuild! One of the best high-leverage lefties in the league.
- Jose Alvarez - $3MM - The man took it in the nards for the 2020 team. He was a bright spot in the horrific pen. Give him a modest raise and bring him back.
- Blake Parker - $1MM - He was good, but not good enough to get more than this.
I clearly don’t have any imagination or fun because I didn’t do one trade at all. Prospect cost might be at an all-time high and I don’t think many trades will be worth it.
SP1: Aaron Nola
SP2: Zack Wheeler
SP3: Zach Eflin
SP4: Corey Kluber
SP5: Spencer Howard
RP: Liam Hendriks
RP: Brad Hand
RP: Hector Neris
RP: Jose Alvarez
RP: Blake Parker
RP: Connor Brogdon
RP: Ranger Suarez
RP: Victor Arano
C: J.T. Realmuto
1B: Rhys Hoskins
2B: Jurickson Profar
SS: Jean Segura
3B: Alec Bohm
LF: Andrew McCutchen
CF: Adam Haseley
RF: Bryce Harper
Bench: Andrew Knapp
Bench: Roman Quinn
Bench: Scott Kingery
Bench: Matt Joyce
Bench: Phil Gosselin
Retained Salary: Odubel Herrera (sigh)
I think this team, as currently constructed above, competes for an NL East title. Call me crazy! The offense with a full season from a combo of Harper, Hoskins, Realmuto and Bohm should be dynamite. The latter could be a rising star at the plate. The offense would still have leadership (McCutchen) and flexibility in the infield (Profar, Segura, Kingery, Gosselin). I think Haseley takes a step forward as well. The backend of the starting rotation is certainly a gamble with Kluber and Howard. Kluber could essentially be shot and Howard could need more seasoning at AAA. Or they might not! It is impossible for the bullpen to be as bad as it was last year. The above plan is a near complete facelift and a new pitching and bullpen coach might be the thing it needs.
This isn’t a crazy plan with multi-team trades or unrealistic contracts. It stays within (the likely...) “budgetary constraints” the team will have for player payroll. Sadly, we have no idea what this team will do with no GM, a lame duck Team President and a billionaire owner crying poor. #VoteforJaypo