Phillies: 6 center fielder options for opening day
The Phillies don’t have too many holes to fill in the outfield except a big one up the middle.
The Phillies front office enters the offseason with several key areas to address through free agency and the trade market. Starting pitching and the bullpen will be the most important area to address after allowing nearly five runs per game in 2019.
Another key position they’ll take a hard look at upgrading is the center field job, where seven players started a game last year. All but one of those players (Aaron Altherr) finished the season either on the 40-man roster or under contract with Philadelphia.
There are slim pickings in the center field free agent market, so the Phillies could be forced to go with an in-house option to start the season.
Here are five potential options for Phillies manager Joe Girardi when he fills out the lineup card on opening day.
The Phillies will soon have to address the Odubel Herrera situation after he was suspended following an alleged incident in Atlantic City over Memorial Day weekend. Herrera missed most of the year and his likeness was removed around the ballpark following his arrest.
Philadelphia took a very hard stance on the situation, and it’s unlikely Herrera returns in 2020. He hit a reasonable .270 the first month of the season, but after that, he went into an all-out freefall at the plate.
Herrera has struggled to remain consistent and focused throughout his career, and unfortunately, the Phillies saw an All-Star season and power from Herrera that would net him a multi-year contract with guaranteed money through 2021.
Philadelphia can’t get out of the more than $21 million still guaranteed on Herrera’s contract between salaries and buyouts. They’ll either have to hold onto him and hope he improves (though unlikely), cut him and eat the money, or trade him for a minimum return while eating a large amount of the money.