The Phillies need to find some diamonds in the rough this offseason
Phillies fans are enamored by the possibilities presented this offseason, and rightfully so. A star-studded free agent class years in the making has finally arrived and the Phillies are favorites to land stars like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.
Beyond the superstars, Philadelphia needs to get some role players who can serve as the hidden stars on their team. It looked like the team was picking up those types of players last year when they acquired Justin Bour, but after the team waived him on Wednesday, the bench looks bare.
Bour was a legitimate power threat off the bench who some argued should have started over Carlos Santana. With Bour gone Gabe Kapler’s bench currently looks like this:
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- Mitch Walding
- Andrew Knapp
- J.P. Crawford
- Aaron Altherr
- Roman Quinn
- Dylan Cozens
That group of players is a pitiful bunch to bring off the bench for a team that hopes to contend in 2019.
There aren’t many attractive role players on the free agent market, but then again, how many role players look like attractive options?
Daniel Descalso, a utility player with nine years of service, might be someone to watch. He’s played every position except center field and catcher at least once, and that includes pitching. Descalso is primarily a second baseman but he has significant experience at third and short.
Several pure shortstops will be available, including Jose Iglesias, Jordy Mercer, and yes, Freddy Galvis. The former Phillie could find himself in a starting job somewhere, but Iglesias and Mercer might be decent bench players with experience.
The Phillies really need a veteran outfielder coming off the bench with Jose Bautista entering free agency, and possibly retirement. Adam Jones was a trade target last year, but he’s likely to want a starting job.
Jon Jay, Curtis Granderson, Austin Jackson, and Matt Joyce are options in free agency.
Of course, the Phillies could dip into the trade market for bench players like they did last summer when they added Bour, Bautista, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Wilson Ramos.
Martin Prado and Yangervis Solarte are two players with a lot of versatility who are also on the final year of their contracts.