Phillies Free Agency Update: Pitching Desperately Needed
There is no question that the pandemic has influenced the way Major League Baseball teams are spending money in Free Agency this offseason. With millions of dollars in revenue lost due to the lack of fans this past season, there doesn’t seem to be a rush to spend money – at least not yet.
Regardless, the Phillies have no choice but to spend money. Outside of arguably one of the best 1-2-3’s in the MLB with Nola, Wheeler, and Eflin, the Phillies rotation and bullpen currently only has 13-pitchers on their 40-man roster that pitched in a game last season.
The Phillies will need to sign pitchers in free agency. There’s no other way around it. You cannot enter this season with a bullpen filled with minor league talent. The result will be what we witnessed last season with a historically bad bullpen.
Here are the pitchers currently on the 40-man roster:
- Aaron Nola
- Zack Wheeler
- Zach Eflin
- Spencer Howard
- Connor Brogdon
- JoJo Romero
- Ranger Suarez
- Ramon Rosso
- Adonis Medina
- Garrett Cleavinger
- Cole Irvin
- Mauricio Llovera
- Johan Quezada
Jojo Romero and Connor Brogdon showed flashes of what they can offer in 2021. Ranger Suarez had a lost season dealing with COVID and barely took the mound. Adonis Medina was utilized as an emergency starter at one point but didn’t blow anyone away with his performance.
From there, you have Hector Neris hitting arbitration and will likely return. Vincent Velasquez could be non-tendered and isn’t worth the salary increase but the Phillies might not have a choice to bring him back as the 5th Starter or out of the bullpen.
Assuming Neris is back, the Phillies will still have to call up 3-5 bullpen arms from their depleted minor leagues or sign free agent arms to fill the gaps.
The offseason is off to an ugly start after terrible press conferences from John Middleton and Andy MacPhail. Unfortunately, the Phillies have a lot of work to do and no clear direction on how to get it done.
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