Phillies face tough decisions with 9 eligible free agents
By Matt Rappa
The Phillies have tough roster decisions ahead of them, particularly as it relates to free agency
The Philadelphia Phillies will soon have to face tough decisions regarding their nine eligible free agents. And, the frenzy will begin just as the World Series concludes later this month.
The Phillies’ options, other than to simply re-sign these free agents, could either be to propose one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offers (if eligible) — no later than five days after the World Series ends — exercise a club option or buy them out if a part of their contract agreement, or, let them test free agency in perhaps the most uncertain offseason in MLB history amid the COVID-19 crisis. Of course, the Phillies might only be willing to issue a qualifying offer to only one of their nine eligible free agents — perennial All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto.
The Phillies also have 11 players eligible for salary arbitration; some might be non-tendered, creating even more free agents. However, for now, we look at the team’s nine current veteran players that could soon test the open market.
9. Jose Alvarez
Ever since left-hander Jose Alvarez joined the Phillies via trade from the Los Angeles Angels in December 2018 — in exchange for fellow reliever RHP Luis Garcia — he arguably has been one of the team’s most reliable bullpen arms.
Alvarez posted a 3.36 ERA in 67 appearances in 2019, and in 2020, posted a 1.42 ERA across eight appearances. His limited action was due to a groin injury after being struck by a comebacker against the Toronto Blue Jays in Buffalo.
In January, the Phillies and Alvarez avoided arbitration in his final year of eligibility by agreeing to a one-year, $2.95 million contract. Expect Alvarez to receive a decent pay raise for 2021, regardless of the team for which he pitches.