The Philadelphia Phillies are currently looking like the third-best team in the NL East, and the latest rumor won’t do much to improve that standing.
According to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, the Phillies have been in contact with former centerfielder Odúbel Herrera.
Unsurprisingly, Phillies fans are not thrilled:
And they have good reason to be outraged.
If the Phillies reunite with Odúbel Herrera, they won’t contend in 2022.
The Phillies moved on from Herrera last fall, so why is this happening? Liken it to breaking up with an ex and going on some terrible first dates that lead you to consider getting back together with the ex simply because it’s easier than putting in the time and effort to find someone better for you. There’s competition for Kyle Schwarber, Nick Castellanos, Kris Bryant, Seiya Suzuki, and every other free-agent outfielder with a powerful bat, and apparently, the existence of competition is enough to send the Phillies back into the arms of their ex.
Bringing back Herrera is a bad idea based on what they’d be getting – which is mediocrity – and therefore, what they wouldn’t be getting, which is improved offense and defense, and ideally, a player without a domestic violence suspension on their record. He wasn’t enough for them before, so why go back to someone they know doesn’t do it for them?
And another thing, why spend a combined $16M on one-year contracts for Corey Knebel and Jeurys Familia if you’re not trying to win this year? Fill the bullpen with Cam Bedrosian and the other minor-league signings and call it a day. Another puzzling Phillies move.
The CBT is higher now, they have money to spend, and superstars to build around; the Phillies could do better if they really wanted to.
Considering Herrera is a clear sign they don’t, and that’s a serious problem for them. Bryce Harper wants to win, he’s made that abundantly clear. Fans have stuck with them through a decade-long postseason drought and some of the most appallingly bad bullpen pitching in baseball history – not an exaggeration – but after a 99-day lockout, patience is wearing thin.
Putting yourself out there is hard. Being alone or with the wrong person? Much worse.
Update: Phillies sign Odúbel Herrera for $1.5M plus incentives
Unfortunately, the Phillies made good – or rather, bad – on this rumor and have signed Herrera to a one-year deal for $1.75M plus $750K in incentive bonuses, per Matt Gelb.