The Phillies early free agent splashes figure to play a big role in 2020.
The Phillies have been serious players thus far into the free agency period, as they are attempting to put the finishing touches on a roster that has the potential to contend for a 2020 World Series title.
With new management in the clubhouse and new faces added to the 25-man roster, what does each major signing mean for the 2020 Phillies?
The most high-profile addition to the Phils thus far into the offseason is Zack Wheeler, who’s coming off an excellent campaign and entered free agency at 30 years old. His contract is for five years and he’ll likely play out all five in Phillies uniform barring something catastrophic.
In signing Wheeler, the Phillies have secured themselves at least a No.2 starter in their rotation, if not more of a 1A-type of arm. Wheeler’s explosive stuff and emerging command make him a must-start every five days, but that means someone must go.
Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta will obviously be featured, Zach Eflin likely will likely emerge as the four, and the No.5 spot in the rotation is up for grabs.
Nick Pivetta, Ranger Suarez, Cole Irvin etc. are all potential options, but don’t be surprised If rising stud prospect Spencer Howard sneaks into that rotation.
Another free agent pick-up might be warranted, but if Howard is the real deal, whoever takes that No. 5 spot is just keeping the seat warm for Howard.
Aided by Joe Girardi’s ties to the Yankees organization, the signing of Didi Gregorious was a wonderful move by Phillies management.
By adding Didi on a one-year contract and allowing Maikel Franco to walk, the Phillies have added an above average infielder with a solid bat, while also clearing the way for top prospect Alec Bohm to potentially make a splash in the big leagues this season.
Gregorious can play any infield position, and will slide in likely at third with Scott Kingery likely moving back to second base in the absence of Cesar Hernandez.
This move signifies that the Phillies have finally picked a direction, moving away from the once-promising core and into a new generation of talent. And lest we forget, Gregorious is no slouch, and he could provide trade value should the Phils move Bohm up quickly.
While he’ll never take the field or swing a bat in a Phillies uniform, Joe Girardi was a best-case scenario choice to manage the Phillies for the future. It was never truly understood why the Yankees let Girardi go, but from we have seen in the past, Girardi is a perfect fit.
Working and previously playing in the New York market, he understands how to manage expectations and put the right product out on the field. He’s a fiery personality, which should help with some of the Phillies effort issues under Gabe Kapler.
Girardi has been known to be a solid manager of personalities, which might prove to be a key factor considering the Phillies payroll.