3 Moves I’d make for the Phillies if I was Dave Dombrowski
Major League Baseball has officially been in lockout for a month (though it feels much longer) and it’s hard to tell who’s going more stir crazy, the front offices or the fans.
So, with nothing real happening, let’s play pretend. Specifically, Pretend POBO.
The Philadelphia Phillies have a long way to go if they want a chance at contending in 2022. As evidenced by the past season, an NL MVP season from Bryce Harper and a should-be Cy Young season from Zack Wheeler aren’t enough to carry this team. They also bid farewell to quite a few players, making them even less season-ready than they were coming off last season.
1. The Phillies need to sign Kyle Schwarber
Schwarber is coming off a career year, in which he hit a combined .266/.374/.554 with a .928 OPS over 113 games between the Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox.
The slugger posted the highest home run percentage (6.8%) and the second-lowest strikeout percentage (27%) of his seven-year career. His 32-homer season included an outrageous stretch in June, during which he homered 16 times in 18 games.
In terms of Wins Above Replacement, the 3.1 WAR Schwarber accumulated between the two teams in 2021 is the most of any season of his career, and more than 50% of what he amassed over six seasons with the Cubs (5.8).
Schwarber also has invaluable postseason experience from his time in Chicago and Boston. The Phillies currently have the four players with the most career games played without appearing in the postseason, so they could definitely use some October veterans.
The cherry on top is hitting coach Kevin Long, whom the Phillies hired this fall to fix their lackluster lineup. Long’s name came to prominence during the season, because he worked with Schwarber last winter and the slugger proceeded to have a phenomenal season. Hopefully, he can work the same magic with current struggling Phillies like Alec Bohm, and reunite with Schwarber, as well.