The Phillies are expected to sign a top free-agent shortstop on the market.
The hot stove has started quite cool. Yet, many big-name free agents are still on the market and quite a few baseball sources have linked the Philadelphia Phillies to some of these players.
It is no secret that Phillies ownership and the front office have been open to spending big this offseason to improve the roster. This has become even more crucial now that Bryce Harper is likely to miss essentially half of the 2023 season.
With the abundance of big-name shortstops on the market this offseason, it should come as no surprise that the Phillies have been linked to these top talents. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, a “longtime agent” believes they will end up signing one.
Adding any of these players would be a major improvement to the Phillies’ roster. Perhaps the fan-favorite up until this point has been Trea Turner. Turner played in Los Angeles last season and is a multi-tool player who can hit for average and has above-average speed. In 2022, Turner slashed .298/.343/.809 and had 27 stolen bases. He also hit 21 home runs. All of these numbers are impressive and this production would be an asset to any Major League team. Turner is also Harper’s former teammate and longtime friend.
If the Phillies fail to land Turner, the backup options aren’t bad either. Carlos Correa opted out of his contract with the Minnesota Twins in early November. Correa is younger than Turner and would not cause the Phillies to lose a compensation pick, as he chose to opt out and did not receive a qualifying offer. Correa is also a consistent offensive player and is a solid defensive shortstop.
Xander Bogaerts has spent his whole career in Boston and has been a household name for years. While Bogaerts has always been an offensive threat, his defense has been suspect in the past. In 2022, however, Bogaerts played better. His age and defensive questions could force Bogaerts to transition to second or third base in the next few seasons.
Dansby Swanson is well-known to Phillies fans as an Atlanta Braves infielder. Swanson has played above-average defense in his career, but has been known to be a streaky hitter. The latter may place Swanson lowest on the Phillies’ list — as they already have some streaky offensive players on their roster.
If the rumors are true and the Phillies sign one of these free agents, it would undoubtedly improve their roster. While Turner may be the top and probably the best option, there are fallback choices.
The Phillies have money to spend, but also must factor in each player’s age, length of the contract, and overall dollar amount to make the best deal for 2023 and beyond. It will be interesting to see how and when these names start to sign.