The Philadelphia Phillies season is officially over, and the Twitter GMs are already coming out of the woodwork to suggest plans for their favorite (or least favorite) team this offseason.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term Twitter GM (or Fan GM), it’s a sports fan who thinks they could run a professional sports team better than an actual executive. For a long time during the Klentak era, that was actually plausible in Phillies Phandom, but Dombrowski wears a handful of World Series rings like a resumé. Things will get better.
Some fan ideas are great, and on par with what their team will eventually do themselves. But every once in a while, a proposed plan for a sports team comes along that is so absurdly and outrageously bad that you can only stare in amazement, shocked that someone would even dare suggest it.
Harper. And. Wheeler.
Harper is leading all of MLB in slugging percentage (.612), OPS (1.041), and OPS+ (179), as well as hitting over .300 for the first time since 2017. He’s hit 34 home runs, and a career-high 40 doubles, two more than he had in his MVP season in 2015.
Among National League batters, Harper is fourth in runs scored, second in doubles, tied for fifth in home runs, and is one of only two players with more than 85 walks. His batting average ranks fourth, and he’s one of only two players with an OBP above .400.
Wheeler leads all of MLB in innings pitched (213 1/3), strikeouts (247), and batters faced (849). In August, he became the first pitcher to strike out 200 batters, and this month, the first to throw 200 innings, two milestones he’d never reached before.
Among NL pitchers, his WHIP and ERA both rank fifth. He has only allowed 16 home runs all season. Personally, he is having the best season of his seven-year career.
Without Harper and Wheeler, the Phillies’ season would have been over in August.
The idea of trading a superstar having an MVP-caliber season or a pitcher having a Cy Young-caliber season is already outlandish, but trading them both? What the Phillies should be doing is building around Harper and Wheeler.