Trea Turner, then with the Nationals, slides into first base protected by Rhys Hoskins in 2020

It may feel like whiplash after the Phillies deep postseason run, but the MLB offseason is about to get fully underway. The GM meetings are currently underway and free agency officially opens on November 10th. Philadelphia and President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski are once again expected to be major players in free agency this winter, much like last year when the team signed Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos. 

Here we’ll outline the Phillies’ offseason to-do list as well as give a very early peak at some free agents that make sense.

1. Sign a Big Free Agent Shortstop

Jean Segura was a solid player for the Phillies ever since being acquired from Seattle prior to 2019. In four years in Philadelphia, Segura hit .281 with a .755 OPS and 102 wRC+ while evolving into a plus defender. However, it’s very likely the team declines his $17M club option for 2023 and it’s very unlikely he returns as Segura will turn 33 next season. 

That leaves the Phillies with a hole in the middle infield. Luckily for them, four of the biggest free agents in this class all play shortstop. Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, and Dansby Swanson will all be available to the highest bidder. Expect the Phillies to make a run at one of them, with Turner and Bogaerts being the most likely. Turner is a former teammate of Bryce Harper and Bogaerts played for the Red Sox under Phillies President Dave Dombrowski. In the event of a signing, Bryson Stott would slide over and play second base. 

Player Age ’22 Batting Line Career Line ’22 fWAR Career fWAR
Trea Turner 29 .298/.343/.466 .302/.355/.487 6.3 31.6
Xander Bogaerts 29 .307/.377/.456 .292/.356/.458 6.1 34.2
Carlos Correa 27 .291/.366/.467 .279/.358/.479 4.4 31.3
Dansby Swanson 28 .277/.329/.447 .255/.321/.417 6.4 16.2

2. Extend Aaron Nola

Aaron Nola may have struggled in the World Series, but he was a major reason the Phillies were even there in the first place. Nola finally conquered his September demons and was dominant for the first two rounds of the postseason before his career high 230.2 innings caught up to him. In 8 starts from the start of September to the NLDS against the Braves, Nola pitched to a 1.72 ERA and 0.915 WHIP. Nola led all starting pitchers in fWAR (6.3) as well as walk percentage (3.6%) and was in the top five in innings pitched (205), strikeout percentage (29.1%), and WHIP (0.96). 

Nola has a no-brainer $16M club option for 2023 that the Phillies have already picked up. A potential extension could possibly look like 5 years for $125M. Nola will turn 30 this year and will turn 31 in the first year of a new deal in 2024. For reference, the Phillies signed Zack Wheeler to a 5 year, $118M contract at age 30 before the 2020 season. Nola signed a very team friendly deal last time he was extended. He will likely look to get paid this time around. 

3. Acquire Starting Pitching Depth

It will be very interesting to watch what the Phillies do with their two vacant spots in the rotation. Their rotation depth, or lack thereof, led to three bullpen games in the postseason. They went 2-1 in those games, but that is not something you want to do deep into October. Philadelphia’s two vacant spots are due to Kyle Gibson and Noah Syndergaard both becoming free agents. Gibson is a virtual lock to not return while Syndergaard is an option if the price is right. However, the Phillies will likely not want to give the years that Syndergaard may get elsewhere.

The Phillies do have exciting internal options to plug these holes. The trio of Andrew Painter, Mick Abel, and Griff McGarry are the team’s top three pitching prospects and in Painter’s case, their top overall. All three are knocking on the door to the Majors at various volumes. McGarry seems to be the favorite to enter 2023 as the Phillies fifth starter, but Painter could very well win the job with a dominant spring. If not, Painter would likely be in line for a call-up early in the year. Abel would likely be a mid to late season call-up. The Phillies will enter the spring with these three battling Bailey Falter for a spot in the rotation.

Outside the Organization Options

However, it would still be wise for the Phillies to sign a quality 3rd/4th starter option. This would allow them to ease some of the pressure off the kids to perform immediately and give them much needed depth. They could go for the big splash with Carlos Rodón or a big name on a short-term deal such as Justin Verlander or Clayton Kershaw. However, the feeling here is that the Phillies are confident that two of the big three pitching arms will be firmly in their rotation in 2024. So, a short-term, low-cost option for 2023 as insurance feels like the play.

Tyler Anderson is one to keep an eye on, as the Phillies almost acquired him at the 2021 deadline only for the deal to fall apart. Anderson had a career year with the Dodgers in 2022, pitching to a 15-5 record and 2.57 ERA while logging a career-high 178.2 innings. 

4. Acquire Bullpen Depth

The Phillies 2022 bullpen was a dramatic upgrade over its disastrous 2021 counterpart. Seranthony Dominguez and Jose Alvarado emerged as shut-down late inning relievers and Andrew Bellatti and later Connor Brogdon emerged as quality options as well. There won’t be as much work needed to be done here with a floor of those four in place for 2023, but it would still be wise to acquire 1-2 more quality late inning options. We saw how the Phillies bullpen was outstanding in the postseason, but the innings on Dominguez and especially Alvarado caught up to them. We also saw throughout the season how the Phillies lack of an established closer caused some tense moments in the ninth inning. 

A David Robertson or Corey Knebel reunion on short term contracts are not out of the question, but there will be plenty of choices. Brad Hand is almost surely gone, leaving the Phillies with a need for another lefty along with Alvarado. Rafael Montero, Andrew Chafin, Robert Suarez, Justin Wilson, and Chris Martin are all quality depth pieces. Kenley Jansen, Craig Kimbrel, and Taylor Rodgers would be names to watch for a closer. 

5. Find out the status of Bryce Harper’s elbow

Harper’s health will be looming over the Phillies entire offseason. He hasn’t played in the outfield since suffering an elbow strain on April 11th. The injury didn’t affect him at the plate as he was able to continue playing as the Phillies designated hitter. However, it forced Nick Castellanos to play in the field much more than either he or the Phillies probably envisioned before the season. 

If Harper requires Tommy John Surgery for his elbow, the estimated recovery timeline would be 6-9 months. That would mean Harper would likely miss all of April and potentially more. But it isn’t necessarily clear if he wouldn’t be able to still DH sooner than a return to right field. Regardless, getting a clear plan and timeline for Harper’s injury recovery will be a major storyline to watch this offseason.


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