Top 3 worst Phillies free-agent signings
There’s no way around it, the Philadelphia Phillies have not been the most successful of teams in terms of hitting on free-agents.
They are now entering a pivotal offseason. And, while the organization will surely explore free agency to improve the club for the 2021 season, their success in the market has been few and far between. Led for now by interim general manager Ned Rice, the Phils are poised to land at least one big name — whether that be re-signing catcher J.T. Realmuto and/or shortstop Didi Gregorius, or someone else.
Let’s look back at some of the more, shall we say, recent and unfortunate free-agent signings in Phillies history.
1. Jake Arrieta
One of the more recent busts, but not necessarily the most catastrophic despite the yearly salary, right-handed starting pitcher Jake Arrieta seems to be a case of a “reach” signing.
This move came at a time when the Phillies were beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and there’s little doubt in my mind that the front office didn’t see Arrieta as some “proof for the pudding.” That, and the fans were beginning to get resistant to the rebuilding “tag” that had been the Phillies for a few seasons.
Arrieta received a three-year, $75 million contract. Luckily, that contract was frontloaded, meaning the Phils had less to pay as Jake continues to regress in the twilight stage of his career.
In red pinstripes, Arrieta has gone 22-23 with a 4.36 ERA. Comparable to that production is Zach Eflin, who has more wins and a better ERA. Eflin made more than $3 million to Arrieta’s $75 million. That should be enough tangible evidence to see the Phillies could have found better value on the dollar.