NCPhillyFan Offseason Plan

This plan relies a lot on trades which obviously takes two to tango, but I've used Baseball Trade Value simulator and made sure the Phillies value given up exceeded the value received.

Trade 1: Brewers receive N Castellanos, M Abel, H Crouse, N Maton, and E Wilson. Phillies receive C Yelich, C Burnes, K Wong. This trade is all about payroll relief for the Brewers. While they take back Castellanos, they get huge savings from offloading Yelich. They likely won't be able to afford Burnes when he is up for free agency after 2024 either. They get a top 100 prospect, solid prospects in Crouse and Wilson. They get cheaper replacements for Yelich and Wong. The difference between Yelich and Castellanos contracts is $82.5 million over the next 6 years. Yelich remains a decent OF, so the Phillies actually pick up some WAR based on last year's season, but Castellanos probably has more upside than Yelich. Obviously, the big pickup here is Burnes.

Trade 2: Rays receive A. Bohm and D Sands. Phillies receive Y Diaz and G Cleavinger. Trade value simulator has this as a solid win for the Rays. I'm a little skeptical of that on a straight up player basis. I think it is close. But the Rays love salary relief and Diaz is getting up there. Diaz is not a good fielder at 3B, but the bat is clearly better than Bohm. Cleavinger gives the Phillies another power lefty reliever, while the Rays need catching help that Sands provides.

Free agent signing: C Kluber 1 year at $11 million.

Roster: Salary is first number, AAV for luxury tax purposes is second number.

C - J Realmuto ($23.9) ($23.1)

1B - R Hoskins ($12.6) ($12.6)

2B - K Wong ($10.0) ($10.0)

SS - B Stott ($0.8) ($0.8)

3B - Y Diaz ($5.4) ($5.4)

LF - C Yelich ($26.0) ($23.9)

CF - B Marsh ($0.8) ($0.8)

RF - B Harper ($27.5) ($25.4)

DH - K Schwarber ($20.0) ($20.0)

Bench - G Stubbs ($0.8) ($0.8)

Bench - E Sosa ($1.0) ($1.0)

Bench - M Vierling ($0.8) ($0.8)

Bench - D Guthrie ($0.8) ($0.8)

SP1 - Z Wheeler ($24.5) ($23.6)

SP2 - A Nola ($16.0) ($16.0)

SP3 - C Burnes ($11.4) ($11.4)

SP4 - R Suarez ($3.5) ($3.5)

SP5 - C Kluber ($11.0) ($11.0)

RP - S Dominguez ($2.0) ($2.0)

RP - J Alvarado ($3.2) ($3.2)

RP - C Brogdon ($0.8) ($0.8)

RP - S Coonrod ($0.8) ($0.8)

RP - A Bellatti ($0.8) ($0.8)

RP - G Cleavinger ($0.8) ($0.8)

RP - N Nelson ($0.8) ($0.8)

RP - F Morales ($0.8) ($0.8)

Falter needs to stay stretched out so will start at Lehigh Valley. Defensively, this team is not any better than last year. Yelich is a little better than Castellanos, Diaz is similar to Bohm, and Wong is worse than Segura (but has historically been pretty good until 2022). Offensively, it is much better. Diaz is an on base machine and a big upgrade over Bohm. Wong and Segura are a wash. Yelich had a much better year than Castellanos. Wong and Yelich are both good base stealers which should have added value next year. The rotation is the big upgrade. Burnes is a monster and Kluber is a very good fifth starter. This will be a huge advantage in the playoffs. Overall, the big 5 adds (Burnes, Wong, Kluber, Diaz, and Yelich) were worth 16.2 WAR in 2022. The guys they replaced (Eflin/Syndergaard, Gibson, Segura, Bohm, and Castellanos) were worth 6.8 WAR in 2022.

This is well under the $250 million budget and also is just slightly under the luxury tax threshold so we have a reset heading into 2024. Luxury tax total is $226.8 million ($200.9 above + $4.0 for Kingery + $1.2 for Segura/Eflin buyout + $2.5 for minors on 40 man roster + $16.5 for player benefits + $1.7 for pre-arb pool). There is a small cushion for potentials deals in 2023 should that be necessary. Some bullpen help will likely be necessary at some point, but relievers are a pure crapshoot so I would prefer to wait until mid-year to acquire what is needed versus handing out a big contract at beginning of year.

Finally, the team is set up for success in 2024 as well. We will need to extend Nola and find a 5th starter again but Burnes, Wheeler, and Suarez return. Painter will hopefully be ready by next year. Diaz can slide over to 1B, where he is a much better defender, when Hoskins becomes free agent. We would need to find a 2B and 3B next year, and I would have Devers high on the list of free agents with luxury tax reset giving a lot of flexibility. I hate the Yelich contract, but 2 years of Burnes in the Phllies "win now" mode is huge.

I'm not sure who else I would spend money on. I believe there is a lot of risk in long term contracts for 30 year old shortstops. The reliever market is insane right now. While Degrom or Verlander are fantastic pitchers, there is just too much injury risk for the type of dollars being thrown around for them.