What mistakes have the Philadelphia Phillies already made this offseason?
The Philadelphia Phillies were having quite a quiet offseason before the MLB lockout began on December 2.
Unlike their NL East rival New York Mets, the Phillies were not throwing around hundreds of millions on big-name free agents, nor had they shocked the world with a blockbuster trade. Much of what they did was trimming the fat, freeing up roster and payroll space, and ‘expressing interest’ in numerous players. None of those moves were a waste of time, so to speak, but with the lockout looming, MLB teams were under a time crunch not seen in years. Some clubs kicked it into high gear, like the Mets, and others decided to wait it out.
It’s unclear yet if that was the right move for the Phillies, but here are four things that already feel like mistakes…
1. Signing Corey Knebel
In fairness to Corey Knebel, this isn’t exactly a mistake… yet. However, $10M is a lot to pay a reliever for one season when he’s got a long injury history and
Knebel is coming off a strong, albeit truncated 2021 campaign, in which he posted a 2.45 ERA over 27 games. However, he has pitched a combined 42 games over the last two seasons, totaling 39 innings of work. Compare that to his 2015-2018 run, when he pitched 48+ games and 50+ innings in three of four seasons and putting so many of the Phillies’ financial eggs in his basket for one year feels like a big risk.
Phillies fans are also dealing with a lot of bullpen trauma after the last few years, so it’s hard to envision a time when the bullpen doesn’t ruin games. Hopefully, Knebel will be part of a new kind of bullpen, an effective kind.