Philadelphia Phillies: History says club can contend in 2021
By Colin Newby
The J.T. Realmuto saga ultimately benefited the overall landscape of the organization. The root of the problem in contract negotiations was purely financial for the Phils and Realmuto. Although the uncertainty of the situation put Phillies fans on edge, it also drove the star catcher’s price tag down to a more reasonable number. All indications from Realmuto have been positive since the signing, as he will still receive the highest average annual value of any catcher in MLB history.
While the NL East appears to be the best division in baseball on paper, competition within the division should not be a reason for an organization to hold a bleak outlook. This is especially prevalent given the possibility of an expanded postseason field in the coming years.
The Phillies can contend this year.
Dombrowski has brought additional, credible major-league talent into the organization, most notably reliever Archie Bradley to lead the charge in fixing the disastrous bullpen woes.
Key pieces on the roster, like Harper, Realmuto, pitchers Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler, and even first baseman Rhys Hoskins, have legitimate track records of big-league success that can’t be found on just any MLB roster.
Manager Joe Girardi brings undeniable clout as a former World Series champion manager, and the collection of talent on the roster is suitable enough to make fans believe he can recreate the success of Charlie Manuel after a slow start to his tenure.
Rising star Alec Bohm holds the talent to join the current franchise centerpieces during the potential rise of the Phils in a similar way that Chase Utley and Ryan Howard joined Jimmy Rollins during Manuel’s tenure.
Fans have plenty of reason to be optimistic about their team hanging with the competition in the National League East. The return to prominence as an elite MLB team might be closer than many people think.