Phillies offseason: Do any free agents return for the 2018 season?

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 06: Hyun Soo Kim
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 06: Hyun Soo Kim /

Will the Phillies re-sign any pending free agents after a dismal season?

Only five pending major league free agents reside on the Phillies roster going into the final month of the season: Clay Buchholz, Hyun-Soo Kim, Andres Blanco and Daniel Nava. There’s a real possibility none of them return next season.

Buchholz was acquired in a minor trade during the offseason but injured his pitching arm in his second start of the season. His injury paved the way for Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, and Mark Leiter Jr. to start this season, and his presence was faint.

It wouldn’t be shocking if Buchholz was forced to either sign a minor league deal this offseason or ultimately retire.

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Kim was essentially brought on as a financial assistant in the Jeremy Hellickson trade; allowing the Orioles to take less of a financial hit following the trade. It’s possible Philadelphia looks to bring the 29-year-old back despite the .233 batting average. They’ll look at his .302 average as a rookie with Baltimore and expect him to be a fourth outfielder and bat off the bench.

Nava could have been a valued trade piece if not for a back injury that limited his playing time late in the season. It’s unlikely he returns to Philadelphia, and will likely compete for a starting job elsewhere.

Blanco is the biggest question as one of the Phillies longest-tenured players, sticking with the club since 2014. Playing five positions this season Blanco is the ultimate utility player and a quiet veteran voice on a young team.

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Despite failing to make an impact at the plate with a career-low .192 batting average, Blanco is the likeliest free agent to return next season.