While Max Scherzer could technically be considered a division rival pickup since he pitched for Nationals for half of 2021, there’s a popsicle’s chance in hell he signs with the Phillies.
Instead, be realistic and take a flyer on shortstop Jordy Mercer. His last season making over a million was 2019, so we know he’s affordable. He hasn’t played in more than 74 games in a season since 2018, but if the Phillies decide to add a low-cost supplement to Didi Gregorius while they wait for Bryson Stott to debut, Mercer could provide a low-budget assist.
The thing to be wary of is that Mercer has had a few leg injuries and he’s bounced around since becoming a free agent for the first time.
The Marlins only have two free agents hitting the market: catcher Sandy León and infielder Joe Panik. Seeing as the Phillies already have former Marlin J.T. Realmuto, one of the best catchers in baseball, Panik would be the move here.
Eight years into his big-league career, Panik isn’t the same rookie who hit .305 in his debut season in 2014. He struggled to a .208 season between the Blue Jays and Marlins in 2021, putting up some of the worst numbers of his career.
The good news is that means he’ll come cheap, and could help out pretty much anywhere on the infield. He’s not a bad bench player to have in the back pocket, and the wordplay that comes from his last name makes for fun baseball content.