11 Free-agent deals the Philadelphia Phillies wish fell through

Jonathan Papelbon #58 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Jonathan Papelbon #58 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Phillies
Adam Eaton of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Michael Zagaris/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

A Slew of Right-Handed Pitchers

Some quick hits from a 12-year period that saw the Phillies make mistake after mistake in this category …

Adam Eaton — All you need to know is that the guy was booed at a World Series parade and ring ceremony. These things happen when you pay someone $24 million for three years of service and then watch him produce a 6.10 ERA over two seasons before you’re forced to release him.

Jonathan Papelbon — While acknowledging that he is the club’s all-time saves leader and put up good stats during his three and a half years, Papelbon is the kind of headache that the franchise never needed. Everyone said at the time that committing more than $50 million to a closer was not an efficient use of resources, and they weren’t wrong.

A.J. Burnett — Probably still enamored by the way that he beat them in the 2009 World Series, the Phillies gave Burnett $15 million so that he could put up a 4.59 ERA and lead the National League with 18 losses in 2014.

Aaron Harang — A bargain at only $5 million, Harang at least ate up a bunch of innings for a putrid Phillies squad in 2015. But he was as washed up as it gets, and maybe the team would have been better served to let the young guys get some work.

Chad Billingsley — He was worth a shot at a low salary, but coming off multiple arm surgeries and after a two-year layoff between starts, Billingsley’s 5.84 ERA in seven starts as a Phillie in 2015 should have come as a surprise to no one. Neither should the fact that he suffered two new arm injuries and then never pitched again.

Tommy Hunter — Hunter wasn’t bad in 2018 after signing a two-year contract, but he went down with an injury after just five appearances in 2019, and that should have been the end of it. But the Phillies threw him another cheap contract for 2020. He was fine during the bogus 60-game, COVID-shortened season, but was not any kind of difference-maker.