Five things for Phillies fans to look forward to in 2019
New faces (and upgrades)
As mentioned previously, there is still much to be done during the rest of the offseason. With that being said, the Phillies have already made several additions who will help improve the team in 2019.
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The biggest move came when Philadelphia traded Carlos Santana and J.P. Crawford to the Mariners for shortstop Jean Segura and relievers James Pazos and Juan Nicasio. Segura may prove to be the biggest addition of the winter, providing a massive upgrade both offensively and defensively at shortstop. That position was a black hole of production for the team last year, but Segura will make sure that changes.
Nicasio, Pazos, and Jose Alvarez, who was acquired in exchange for Luis Garcia, will all help improve the bullpen significantly. Alvarez and Pazos are both better left-handed options than Adam Morgan. Nicasio was much better than his ERA indicated in 2018 and should serve as a better option than Garcia as a power arm in the bullpen.
While there were plenty of rumors circulating at the winter meetings, Andrew McCutchen became the team’s biggest acquisition while in Las Vegas. The 32-year-old outfielder signed a three-year, $50 million contract and should slot in Rhys Hoskins’ spot in left field. Even though he is not the MVP-caliber McCutchen from the first half of this decade, he remains a productive hitter.
Had you put McCutchen and Segura on the 2018 Phillies, they would have been the team’s second and third-best position players behind Hoskins. Adding them, plus a couple expected bounce-back seasons, could make a big difference, even without any further additions.