Phillies agree to 1-year deals with four arbitration-eligible players
As the deadline to reach agreements with arbitration-eligible players ended Friday, the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to terms with Rhys Hoskins, Ranger Suárez, Edmundo Sosa, and newly acquired reliever Gregory Soto on one-year deals. The club did not reach deals, however, with relievers Seranthony Domínguez and José Alvarado.
The Phillies and the unsigned bullpen pieces have until a February hearing date to reach an agreement, otherwise, the players’ salaries will be determined by an arbitrator. It is always nice to have all arbitration-eligible players signed and avoid hearings, but they aren’t the end of the world.
The last time a Phillies player went to an arbitration hearing was J.T. Realmuto before the 2020 season. In the end, the arbitrators sided with the Phillies, but it didn’t spoil the relationship between the player and team. The following offseason, Realmuto signed a five-year deal to remain in Philadelphia.
Between now and the arbitration hearings — and even spring training — it would not be surprising to see the Phillies try to lock up some of these players. Hoskins and Alvarado are free agents after the 2023 season, and Domínguez has one more year of arbitration eligibility left.
There have already been rumors regarding the possibility of signing Hoskins into 2024 and beyond. The first baseman received $12 million in arbitration for 2023 and would sign for more than that next offseason, as it is a weak free-agent class and first base is a thin position around the league. Signing Hoskins to a multi-year deal would be in the team’s best interest. There are no immediate replacements to man first base.
Locking up Domínguez and Alvarado beyond 2023 should also be a priority. Both have shown that they can be relied on in big games and pitch in any situation. With Soto under team control for another two years after 2023, signing Domínguez and Alvarado could give the Phillies a solidified bullpen for the next few seasons at a relatively affordable price.
The Phillies have spent big of late, but locking up younger players now would help keep payroll manageable going forward, as they try to be a contender for years to come.