We now know what the 2022 Phillies are going to look like, and it’s better than we were expecting.
With the additions of free agents Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos to the team, we can at least say Dave Dombrowski has established an identity for this group.
They are going to try to blot out the sun with dingers and hope everything else comes to plan.
Frankly, it’s not a bad idea and, at the very least, it should be a lot of fun. By signing Schwarber and Castellanos for a combined $179 million ($3 million less than the $182 million deal Kris Bryant signed with Colorado), the Phillies got themselves a left fielder and a designated hitter who were the best left-handed and right-handed sluggers on the open market, two players who combined for 46 HRs, with .554 and .576 slugging percentages, respectively.
They were not acquired for their defense and, let’s be honest, there was really no way to fix the defense this off-season anyway. Not with Didi Gregorius likely getting first crack at shortstop, a still uncertain presence with Alec Bohm at third, and a center field solution that is built on a wing and a prayer. So yes, leaning into the offense and bringing on two offensive difference makers was the plan, and it’s at least nice to see the Phils have a specific plan in place for this season.
Not only that, the Phillies went over the luxury tax for the first time in order to do it. Make no mistake. Ownership has cleared a significant psychological hurdle by doing this, and now the expectation among fans will be that the team will continue to go over the tax when needed.
Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why they were reluctant to do it in the first place.
Join me, Justin Klugh and Liz Roscher on the latest edition of Hittin’ Season as we break down the Castellanos signing from all sides, as well as news on Zack Wheeler’s progression and some other big moves from around MLB that caught our eyes. Also, check out the show’s new logo!!!