FanSided Offseason Simulation: Phillies final move and wrap-up
By John Town
The biggest problem the Phils had heading into the offseason was in their pitching staff. The problem? They ran out of pitchers. By the end of the year, it was Aaron Nola, a bunch of rookies, and journeyman Henderson Alvarez in the rotation. The bullpen was much stronger than earlier in the season, but it still comprised almost entirely of young players.
The team set out to acquire some help in the offseason and did just that. Signing Cobb gives them a solid No. 2 starter behind Nola for the next few years. They also picked up rotation help via trade as Joseph and Rupp both brought back major-league starting pitchers in Ryan Merritt from the Indians and Steven Brault from the Pirates. While they aren’t top-level starters, they are better options than many of the starters Philadelphia employed in 2017.
The bullpen also got a veteran boost with the signing of Hunter, who should be a set-up man for Hector Neris. The added depth of starting pitchers also gives the team more flexibility if they decide to move Vince Velasquez (who they shopped a bit) to the bullpen.
With these acquisitions, the pitching staff is in better shape compared to the end of the season.