Which Phillies Reunion Makes the Most Sense?
After a slow start to the offseason, the Phillies are finally starting to make some moves. They have yet to address key free agents like J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorious, but they have made some moves in the margins, most notably by reliever pitcher Archie Bradley.
Recent reports have connected the Phillies to three free agents who have all worn Phillies’ pinstripes in the past. While all three could have a case to be signed by the Phillies, here is a breakdown as to which ones make the most sense for the team.
First up on the list is veteran infielder Freddy Galvis. The 30-year-old spent the better half of six seasons with the Phillies, suiting up in 642 games from 2012-2017.
Galvis is coming off a shortened season where he slashed .220/.308/.404 in 47 games for the Cincinnati Reds. He would also hit seven home runs, and drive in 16 runs.
Although Galvis would not be an upgrade from Gregorious, he still could provide value. He too could add some pop to the middle of the Phillies’ order if signed.
Not counting the 2020 season, Galvis has had four straight seasons of double-digit home runs and 60+ runs batted in. Including a 2019 campaign where he hit 23 homers and drove in 70 runs (both career-highs).
Another thing Galvis brings is flexibility. He is typically a middle infielder but has also seen some playing time in the outfield. This could come in handy if the Phillies were to go through injury woes.
Bringing back Gregorious to be the everyday shortstop should still be a primary focus for the Phillies this offseason. But if that doesn’t happen, Galvis wouldn’t be a bad fallback. He could provide a cost-friendly short-term option to fill the spot until top prospect Bryson Stott is ready for the Majors.
The biggest area the Phillies need to address is pitching, both in the starting rotation and the bullpen. With Jake Arrieta’s contract with the Phillies coming to an end, there is now an open spot in the starting rotation.
Adding a 37-year-old to the rotation doesn’t exactly fit the window of this team, but could be a solid pickup. Despite getting up there in years, Happ has still pitched a good level in recent years.
Not counting the shortened season last year, Happ finished with double-digit wins in four straight seasons. He is also just three years removed from winning 17 games and being named to the American League All-Star team.
Happ only pitched in nine games last season for the Yankees. He would finish with a 2-2 record and post an ERA of 3.47.
If the Phillies are continuing to look for team-friendly deals that can be beneficial, this might be the one. Happ will add a lefty to the rotation, bring playoff experience, and could potentially be a guy who could solidify the back end of the rotation.
We’ve seen in the past that having an elder statesman in the starting rotation can have some positive impact. Maybe we see the Phillies look for that type of move again.
Cole Hamels will always be a fan favorite in Philadelphia, and his return would be the biggest if it happened. Many fans wanted a move like this to happen after the 2019 season, but the veteran lefty would end up joining the Atlanta Braves on a one-year deal.
As we know Hamels was an electric young pitcher when he started his career with the Phillies. His play in 2008 played a major factor in the team hoisting the World Series trophy that season. Which makes it fitting that he could potentially return as the team looks to end their postseason drought.
Bringing back Hamels would be a heartfelt move, but is the most questionable reunion out of these three players. Like Happ, Hamels is getting up there in age and is coming off an injured season.
The former World Series MVP would appear in just one game for the Braves, pitching just three innings. He would then spend the rest of the season out with Shoulder fatigue. Now he has had a whole year to recover, this injury should still be a red flag.
After two seasons where Phillies have had endless injuries within their pitching staff, bringing in a pitcher who sat all last season doesn’t seem like the best move. The Phillies could probably get him for cheap because of last season, but it is a move they should proceed with caution.
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Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY