This offseason for the Phillies has been different from what we’ve grown accustomed to. Sure it started with a bang with the resigning of Aaron Nola to a 7-year deal worth $172 million, but since then…nothing. The only guy they’ve signed since is 26-year-old left-hander Kolby Allard. He was a former 1st round pick but hasn’t lived up to his potential. After the disappointing NLCS loss to the underdog Diamondbacks, many fans expected the Phillies to make another splash. Maybe for a big bat, a star bullpen arm, or another starter not named Aaron Nola. This has not happened and with pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training as early as February 13th, fans are getting impatient, but should they?
The Phillies have certainly tried to land some big names in free agency, most notably Japanese Phenom Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The Phillies reportedly offered him a deal over $300 million but he wasn’t interested in coming to Philadelphia and ended up signing with the Dodgers instead. Josh Hader was available and the Phillies were at times linked but his asking price was too high and he went to the Astros. Jordan Hicks and the Phillies had "mutual interest" but the Giants offered him $44 million over 4 years and promised him a role as a starter, something the Phillies didn’t. They wanted Robert Stevenson, but he signed somewhere else just like every other name here. In his case, the Angels.
The Dodgers as mentioned earlier have been massive spenders this offseason with not only Yamamoto, but also the consensus best player in baseball, Shohei Ohtani, Teoscar Hernandez, and others. The Atlanta Braves, no matter how much the Phillies beat them in the playoffs, are a strong team on paper. The Padres and Mets will be looking for bounce-back seasons as well as teams like the Cubs who are looking to take the next leap in their rebuild by making the playoffs. You also cannot forget about the team that beat the Phillies in the first place in the Diamondbacks. They will be looking to repeat as NL champs too. With all of this competition, should the Phillies be doing more?
In my opinion, the Phillies need to be doing more. But also, I do not think it is time to panic. There are still plenty of free agents out there. Bats like Cody Bellinger, Whit Merrifield, Brandon Belt, Matt Chapman, and even guys like Tim Anderson. Now I do not expect the Phillies to land Bellinger or Chapman but Merrifield is a possibility . There are still enough names out there to be a solid platoon option or a nice bench bat. On the pitching side, reigning NL Cy Young winning Blake Snell, postseason star Jordan Montgomery, and relievers such as Jakob Junis and Ryne Stanek. It has been reported that the Phillies will not be going after Snell or Montgomery unless a total market collapse happens but crazier things have happened. I do not expect them to sign either of them but we also never expected Nick Castellanos after signing Kyle Schwarber and look what happened.
If the Phillies can sign another reliever or two, add another bench bat, and maybe a starter if there is a market collapse, that would be a good offseason. This offseason was never supposed to be an offseason of splashes like the previous few seasons. Things did get interesting with Yamamoto but outside of that and resigning Nola, it was never going to be like the previous few.
I understand where the panic comes from. The feeling that the Phillies are being "complacent". But there is still some time before Opening Day and plenty of players for them to sign.