Six Things the Phillies need to accomplish during Winter Meetings this week
Baseball winter meetings kicked off yesterday and to say the Phillies have a list of things to accomplish would be an understatement. COVID-19 has cancelled the usual in-person, four-day event which was supposed to take place in Dallas. This year, annual meetings on policy and other matters will be held virtually.
The game’s 30 field managers will all be available to media members in a series of video conferences next week. Manager media sessions are a staple of the winter meetings and an acknowledgement by MLB of the importance of promoting the game during the offseason.
Top free agents this year include George Springer, Trevor Bauer, and the Phillies own JT Realmuto. Although free agents typically dominate the talks at winter meetings, I wouldn’t expect that to happen this year. MLB teams reported a combined $3 billion dollar loss in revenue during the 2020 season.
As we all know, the Phillies have said that re-signing JT Realmuto is a priority but only time will tell if it actually happens. The good news is, the New York Mets have reportedly shifted their focus to James McCann and the Yankees have prioritized bringing back Masahiro Tanaka and DJ LeMahieu. The Nationals are a dark horse to snag Realmuto but to date, haven’t made any real attempt in doing so.
Along with Realmuto, the Phillies desperately need to rebuild a bullpen that was historically bad this past season. They also need to address the shortstop position which was previous held by now free agent Didi Gregorius. There are way too many holes for the Phillies to fill this week and we currently don’t know much from the Phillies front office on what they plan to do. There’s also been talk of moving Jean Segura which could potentially free up some cash for the Phillies to focus on JT and Didi.
Zack Wheeler was brought up as a potential trade piece before John Middleton adamantly denied that being the case with this bizarre quote:
“If they offered me Babe Ruth, I wouldn’t trade him,” John Middleton said angrily in a phone conversation, adding Ted Williams and Mike Schmidt to Ruth’s name for good measure. “I have authorized no one to have a conversation about trading him.”
I’ll just ignore that and turn to the fact that the Phillies also need a Vice President of Baseball Operations and a General Manager. Josh Byrnes and Michael Hill were both mentioned as potential candidates and were reportedly brought back in for second interviews.
Phillies To-Do List
- Sign a Catcher (JT)
- Sign a Shortstop (Didi)
- Rebuild Bullpen
- Sign/Trade for a Starting Pitcher
- Find a VP of Baseball Operations
- Hire a GM
It really would be something after such a terrible start to the offseason if the Phillies left the winter meetings with half of these checked off. It might be the only shot at keeping this fanbase in tact heading into 2021.