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The Good Phight Mailbag!

Let’s chat

Philadelphia Phillies v Detroit Tigers Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

We love getting mail. Tell me your heart doesn’t quicken a little bit whenever you see that Amazon truck coming down your street, knowing there is probably something in there for you. If you’re anything like me, you immediately ask your significant other what they ordered because you have no idea if you ordered anything or not.

So, in that spirit, I asked for some mail and some of you delivered in fine fashion. Away we go!

Let’s start with the first one.

We’ve seen all offseason about how the team doesn’t have money to spend. It’s beating a dead horse at this point. Without knowing their final budget though, we can only speculate as to whether they can find a little uncomfortable wiggle room in the finances or if they’re going to hold firm with what they have if/when they do sign J.T. Realmuto. Lately, once Dombrowski took over as president, you could almost feel him trying to pry open that checkbook a little more, surveying the market and seeing that there are still quality players that could be had.

Knowing that, let’s go ahead and assume that Realmuto is re-signed. My guess is that of the options mentioned, re-signing Didi Gregorius becomes the next priority. I’d like to think that he’d be amenable to coming back, but he’s also going to want to see how his own market plays out. Next year’s class of shortstops available is going to be historic, so Gregorius may not want to take a one-year deal and have to compete with younger, better players. Perhaps that’s the hold up that he’s looking for something multi-year. If the team is able to get him on a, say, 2/$22 million contract, they should jump at that. The guaranteed money is still greater than the qualifying offer would be and the team wouldn’t necessarily put themselves out of position to snatch up one of those shortstops next year. Position changes might be warranted, but if Gregorius is in the fold, they won’t have to run the risk of not getting anything next year.

With the second question, Realmuto is looking to either get the biggest AAV for a catcher (surpassing Buster Posey’s $23 million) or the largest guaranteed (surpassing Mauer). The second one is out - he’s not getting that much guaranteed money anymore. That leaves him with hoping to beat $23 million in AAV, something that could be accomplished with a 5 year, $120 million deal. Seems fair for all involved. Let’s get it done.

We saw the other day that the Braves are circling Realmuto.


Seriously though, we haven’t heard a peep about an offer from anyone else other than the Phillies. We’ve heard “interest”, “circling”, “checked in on”, but nothing about an offer. Here are the teams that supposedly had interest, or were assumed to have interest.

Astros - signed Jason Castro
Angels - signed Kurt Suzuki
Blue Jays - signed George Springer
Braves - have Travis d’Arnaud
Mets - signed James McCann
Nationals - signed Kyle Schwarber, traded for Josh Bell
Yankees - signed D.J. LeMahieu

It’s not a matter of other teams not having interest, it’s that they have moved on. The Phillies, outside of a mystery team that hasn’t revealed themselves yet, are the last team standing.

I’ve never really been a big fan of Hammer. The glasses were cool, but the stuff was actually really middling. In a not large sample size in 2019, he struck out 13 and walked 12. I also found it pretty telling that with all the issues the team had with their bullpen in 2020, he wasn’t even considered as a reinforcement. There were 40-man roster issues there, but I just don’t see a future with the team. He’ll get a spring invite probably, but his chances of making it are pretty close to zero.

Ah, center field.

The last big question on the team.

We’re off course assuming that Realmuto signs with the team. As mentioned before, they could go get Gregorius, but at least Jean Segura can handle the position if they have to open the season with him there. The pitching staff, outside of a possible low salaried and/or minor league deal, is probably set. That leaves the biggest question mark as center field. Does the team try and sign someone else or roll with that they have?

What they have are a brittle speedster that still hasn’t been healthy for an entire season platooning with a young left-handed hitter that the manager doesn’t seem to trust batting against left-handed pitchers. While Adam Haseley still might have some upside left, he looks like at most he’ll be an eighth place hitter that can man center field well enough to get by. Roman Quinn can be a terror on the basepaths....but he has trouble getting on said basepaths. These are two flawed players that combined still don’t make Frankenstein-esque center fielder you would put your trust in.

So, first of all, David Dahl is in Texas. He’s not going anywhere since he just signed a guaranteed one year deal. That leaves Albert Almora.

Defensively, Almora would be a great fit between Andrew McCutchen and Bryce Harper He’s got enough range to cover the ground that would need to be covered due to the lack of success they both have going left and right. It’s at the plate where Almora would be an issue. Last year, he was a disaster at the plate, a .465 OPS not worth much of anything. He lost playing time, then lost his job, then lost a roster spot. Not exactly a great year.

However, he’d come cheap, possibly on a minor league deal, and would provide decent enough depth should the team continue to refuse to promote Odubel Herrera. While he’ll give you almost nothing power wise (a career .398 slugging), he’d provide a nice defensive replacement for late innings, a decent enough bench bat, and enough playing chops to handle an outfield position if someone had to miss time because of injury. To me, he’s a worthwhile gamble to make.

As always, feel free to ask anymore questions in the comments below! We can talk about that or any of the answers up above.