3 under-the-radar free agents Phillies should sign
1. Jeremy Jeffress — 1-year, $725k, with incentives
The Phillies desperately need bullpen help; acquiring reliable relief pitchers should be among their top offseason priorities. The bullpen was historically awful in 2020, with an ERA north of 7.00 — not only the worst in the season but the second-worst in MLB history.
There are a few top-tier relievers pitchers on the market. Oakland Athletics All-Star closer Liam Hendriks has been linked to the Phillies on social media by many fans, but, unfortunately, I do not see them spending the money necessary to sign him — especially if they retain J.T. Realmuto. Other All-Stars include Alex Colome, Brad Hand, Roberto Osuna, Kirby Yates, as well as former Phillies, Ken Giles, who would make an awesome reunion. All of these guys have closing experience, and would provide a boost to the Phillies bullpen.
With those names likely garnering the most attention, some very solid relief pitchers fall under the radar, including Jeremy Jeffress.
The 2018 All-Star and once-Milwaukee Brewers has compiled 52 saves on a 3.08 ERA throughout his 11-year MLB career. After a rough 2019 season, Jeffress landed with Chicago Cubs for only $850,000 in 2020. He was well worth the money, pitching to a 1.54 ERA in 22 games, finishing 15 of those as the team’s primary closer.
Although Jeffress’ pitching velocity has dipped since 2018, his whiff percentage on his curveball and split-finger remained strong in 2020. With incentives, Jeffress could be enticed to become a closer again in Philadelphia — and a strong option to go to in the Phillies bullpen come 2021.