Phillies: 5 lessons to learn from 2019 World Series
1. Don’t be afraid of players over 30
Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, Josh Reddick, Yuli Gurriel, Michael Brantley, Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, Sean Doolittle, Stephen Strasburg, Adam Eaton, and Ryan Zimmerman were all major players in the 2019 World Series.
What do they all have in common? They all played in their age-30 or older seasons this year. Granted, Strasburg played in his age-30 season, whereas Verlander was in his age-36 season. There’s a little variance in this sample size.
Major league clubs, in the embrace of analytics and player performance, seem to have a more keen eye for players in their early to mid-20s because of their ability to improve and salary control. Guys like Scherzer or Verlander (and in this offseason’s case, Gerrit Cole) don’t come cheaply.
Cole will likely be the highest-paid player on the entire free-agent market this year. Strasburg will command a healthy pay as well. Ditto for Anthony Rendon.
The Phillies, in recent years, have shown that same character that I described above. They were extremely wary to give Patrick Corbin that sixth year, which the Nationals did. No matter his performance going forward, that contract was worth it, and so was that sixth year, because they won the World Series. Perhaps that will change the Phillies mindset moving forward.
Comments from the Phillies brass, including both GM Matt Klentak and Managing Partner John Middleton, indicates the team will be aggressive again this offseason. But a tweet from Jayson Stark that highlighted the Phillies laundry-list of items for the offseason shows that fans could be in for a bevy of moves.