The Phillies are expected to be big players in the free agent market again this winter.
Jim Bowden, the former Reds and Nationals general manager who now works for Sirius XM and The Athletic, has linked the Phillies to 10 of his top 35 free agents available this offseason.
On Monday morning Bowden released his list of the top 35 free agents available with contract and team projections on The Athletic (subscription required).
Here are the 10 players Bowden projects to draw interest from the Phillies: Madison Bumgarner, Zack Wheeler, Cole Hamels, Dallas Keuchel, Didi Gregorius, Will Harris, Michael Pineda, Kyle Gibson, Joe Smith, and Rich Hill.
All but one of those players are pitchers, with shortstop Didi Gregorius being the lone bat. Philadelphia has major holes to fill in their starting rotation and bullpen, especially after declining the options of Pat Neshek, Jason Vargas, and Jared Hughes among others.
Bumgarner, Wheeler, Keuchel, and Hamels are among the second tier of free agent pitchers who would either fit in as the Phillies number two or three starter behind Aaron Nola. Bowden projects Bumgarner to get four years and $84 million this offseason, and mentioned the Braves, Nationals, Astros, and Giants as the other potential suitors.
The Phillies have been connected to Bumgarner since last offseason as potential trade partners.
Wheeler projects to make $74 million over four years after a strong year for the Mets, winning 11 games and striking out nearly 200 batters.
Hamels could give the Phillies a hometown discount to return to where it all began. Bowden thinks Hamels will only get a two-year deal worth $36 million as he enters his age 36 season, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he got a third year tacked on as an option year.
Keuchel projects to get 3 yr/$42M, but I’d be surprised to see the Phillies go after him after what happened last offseason and Keuchel’s public comments after joining the Braves.
Will Harris, who had a 1.50 ERA in 68 appearances, is the first reliever Bowden linked to the Phillies. He turned 35 last season, but has only eight years of wear on his arm. He could replace Tommy Hunter and Pat Neshek as the veteran setup men in the rotation.
Another veteran linked to Philadelphia was Joe Smith, who had a 1.80 ERA in his 13th big league season. Smith ony appeared in 25 innings, but allowed just two home runs with 22 strikeouts for Houston.
Pineda has missed a lot of time due to injuries and suspensions, but he did win 11 games for the Twin this year. He projects to make $8 million over one year, making him a potential fifth starter option for Philadelphia.
Pineda’s teammate in Minnesota Kyle Gibson was also linked to the Phillies, but he struggled late last season for the Twins, damaging his value on the open market.
Finally, there’s Rich Hill, a 39-year-old starting pitcher we highlighted as a player to stay away from this offseason. He turns 40 this offseason and was limited to 13 appearances due to injury.
Gregorius is an intriguing option, but only if they Phillies move Jean Segura to second or third base.