Phillies: Three things they need to add this offseason
Philadelphia thought they put themselves in a good place last season by signing David Robertson and adding Jose Alvarez from the Angels. Robertson, unfortunately, was hurt from the jump and may never pitch for the Phillies again after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Alvarez has quietly held his own for Philadelphia this year with a 3.28 ERA in 65 games, but it wasn’t enough to support the injuries to Robertson, Victor Arano, Seranthony Dominguez, Pat Neshek, Tommy Hunter, and Juan Nicasio.
Neshek has a player option worth $7 million for next season, but the Phillies will likely cut bait with the 39-year-old after two tours through Philadelphia.
Hunter and Jared Hughes are also free agents who will likely walk after rollercoaster careers with the Phillies.
So where does that leave Matt Klentak this offseason when searching for relievers and hoping to break the free agent reliever curse?
Sean Doolittle and David Phelps are two notable relievers with club options that’ll likely get picked up.
Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, and Tony Watson each have player options they could opt to exercise or decide to enter the free agent market. Chapman would be the best reliever available in recent memory with 273 career saves over 10 years.
There’d be little reason for Chapman or Jansen to leave their respective teams (Yankees and Dodgers) unless they’re overpaid. Philadelphia could spend stupid money, but they’ve proven to be frugal when it comes to adding relievers.
Giants lefty Will Smith projects to be the best unrestricted free agent reliever available at this point with a 2.80 ERA and 34 saves in 62 games. The Phillies could use a dominant lefty/closer, making Smith a prime target.
After Smith there aren’t many other notable relievers hitting the free agent market. Daniel Hudson and Will Harris are in the backend of their careers and Tyler Clippard, Francisco Liriano, Collin McHugh, nor Sergio Romo will excite fans.
Look for the Phillies to make a push for Smith or one of the big name relievers who might exercise options while also dipping into the trade market. Alex Colome, Ken Giles, and Jake McGee are potential trade targets Klentak could explore.