Phillies eyeing 3 veterans for potential bench upgrade

Brad Miller #33 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Brad Miller #33 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

As the Philadelphia Phillies roster currently stands with two weeks until spring training, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski likes what he sees.

However, the two-time World Series champion told reporters on Wednesday that the club will continue to look to improve, particularly by possibly adding more pitching depth and bench pieces.

The Phillies have three names in mind as possible bench additions.

Three veterans have already been identified who could fulfill the latter. Along with switch-hitting utility player Marwin Gonzalez — first linked to the Phillies on Tuesday, the club reportedly has also talked to outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and infielder Brad Miller, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

Gonzalez, who will turn 32 next month, has played nine seasons in the majors — including the past two with the Minnesota Twins — slashing .261/.317/.413 with 162 doubles, eight triples, and 96 home runs. He helped the Houston Astros to a World Series championship in 2017.

Choo, 38, has played 16 seasons in the majors, his best in 2010, when in 144 games he slashed .300/401/.484 with 31 doubles, 22 home runs, and 90 RBI, while stealing 22 bases in 29 attempts. As recently as the 2019 season, playing for the Texas Rangers, the left-handed-hitting Choo slugged 31 doubles, 24 home runs, and 61 RBI. Through 33 games in 2020, the South Korea native slashed just .236/.323/.400 with three doubles, five home runs, 15 RBI, 13 walks, and 33 strikeouts.

Fellow lefty Miller, 31, quickly became popular among Phillies fans ever since he joined the Phillies mid-season in 2019. Known as “Bamboo Brad,” the eight-year veteran slashed .263/.331/.610 with 12 home runs and 21 RBI while wearing red pinstripes. Miller was not retained for the 2020 season, when with the St. Louis Cardinals he slugged eight doubles, seven home runs, and 25 RBI in 48 games.

The Phillies 40-man roster is filled, so each addition requires a difficult subtraction. Already, a corresponding move has to be made for their Wednesday reported signing of right-handed starting pitcher Chase Anderson. Because of this, the Phillies will be selective moving forward as far as any new roster additions — however, they are poised to make at least one bench signing as the offseason winds down.

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