5 free agents who would significantly improve 2021 Phillies

Blake Treinen #49 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Blake Treinen #49 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

3. George Springer

George Springer is an excellent hitter who would fit very nicely into the middle of the Phillies lineup. However, there are some big “ifs” when it comes to signing Springer.

For starters, if Springer can handle center field defensively for one more season, then the Phillies should absolutely pursue him. The Phillies desperately need to improve at center field, and Springer would undoubtedly represent an improvement. Last season, Phillies center fielders hit .237/.294/.325 with two home runs. Springer hit .269/.359/.540 with 14 home runs.

While Springer is not as strong a defender as any of Roman Quinn, Adam Haseley, or Scott Kingery, he is so much better at the plate that his declining defense would not really matter. Plus, he would only need to play center for one year.  After Andrew McCutchen‘s contract expires at the end of the 2021 season, the Phillies could move Springer over to left.

However, Springer is already 31, which counts as old for a centerfielder. If the Phillies decide that Springer’s defense in center field is too much of a liability and he can only play a corner outfield spot, then they don’t have a position to offer him. Unless…

If the National League decides to adopt the DH in 2021, then McCutchen could play DH full time and Springer could take over in left field. Andrew McCutchen could certainly benefit from the extra rest. Ever since his knee injury in mid-2019, McCutchen hasn’t really looked like his old self.

Springer likely won’t have a place on the 2021 Phillies, but if everything breaks right, he could be a big difference-maker for the team.