The 2020 season was a worrying one for the Philadelphia Phillies, as the team had one of the worst bullpens in the game. The team led the sport in blown saves and had one of the worst reliever ERAs in the league.
But the team did bring in a few new faces on the MLB free agency market to be more competitive. The club also ensured two of its top players would also stick around for the long run.
The club’s efforts during the MLB free agency season were about producing a team that can contend right now, but it is also about correcting many of the team’s issues.
Three more. pic.twitter.com/d5nSYRVH27
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) February 14, 2021
Additions of Value
The team brought in a few high-value relievers on the MLB free agency market. The team acquired Ian Hamilton from the Seattle Mariners, giving them a veteran pitcher who is expected to recover from recent injury issues.
Archie Bradley also joins the team from the Cincinnati Reds. He had six saves and a 2.95 ERA last season. The club also acquired Chase Anderson from the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Alvarado from the Tampa Bay Rays to fill out the bullpen.
Starting veteran Ivan Nova also signed a minor league deal after spending last season in the Detroit Tigers. Nova may be converted to being a long reliever very soon.
The team also expects to have top starting pitching prospect Spencer Howard on the roster later this season. Fellow pitching prospect Adonis Medina may also reach the roster, although whether this will happen remains unclear.
Bringing Back Players
The Phillies had a bit of drama this offseason over two of their more prominent free agents, but they managed to get new deals with those players.
The club landed a five-year contract with catcher J.T. Realmuto. The club doesn’t have much depth in the catcher position, so bringing back a valuable all-around catcher like Realmuto helps.
Shortstop Didi Gregorius is also back on a two-year deal. Gregorius has the potential to get thirty home runs a season.
Losses of Note
The club also opted against resigning a few of its pending free agents. Much of the Phillies’ work was about cleaning out some players who haven’t performed very well.
Outfielder Jay Bruce had a .198 average last season, while Jake Arrieta had a 5.08 ERA last season as a starting pitcher. The club does hope that reliever Tommy Hunter can resign, as he was one of the team’s better relievers last season with a 4.01 ERA.
The club also declined an option for reliever David Phelps after throwing a 6.53 ERA last season. The team also chose not to resign Brandon Workman, although he did have nine saves last season. Hector Neris is expected to be the team’s main closer, although Archie Bradley will likely put in some effort here.
A Final Note
The Philadelphia Phillies have hopes for contending this season, and they made plenty of changes to their roster to be more competitive.
Whether they can catch up with Atlanta or the New York Mets in the NL East remains uncertain, but the team will still be going after a playoff spot. The team has fixed its bullpen and retained a few of its best players, so there’s a hope they will be more exciting this season.
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