As the Philadelphia Phillies work to revamp their pitching staff ahead of the 2024 MLB season, one area they will be looking to upgrade via free agency will be their relief corps.
During the 2023 season, José Alvarado, Matt Strahm, Jeff Hoffman, Craig Kimbrel, and Seranthony Domínguez (to some degree) helped form the main effective bullpen core for the ballclub, with other members having varying degrees of success throughout the year. As Kimbrel heads into free agency and will not likely be back, the Phillies will have a bit of work to do in re-establishing their strong core for the upcoming season.
Here, we look at three big-time relievers who the Phillies should do all they can to sign, and one they should avoid at all costs.
There's no question who the grand prize of this year’s crop of relievers in the free agent market is. Josh Hader has been one of the best relievers in the game ever since his debut with the Milwaukee Brewers back in 2017.
Aside from the past season, the five-time All-Star has helped lead his team successfully into the postseason every single year since 2018. Over the course of his seven-year MLB career, Hader has posted a stellar 2.50 ERA, 169 ERA+, 0.94 WHIP, with 165 saves and 648 strikeouts in just 388 2/3 innings pitched over 349 games.
Hader would more than make up for the loss of Kimbrel with an absolute dominance and consistency unmatched by others. The left-hander would form a strong one-two punch with Alvarado at the back end of the bullpen for the Phillies.
Rumors had already linked the Phillies to the bonafide closer even before the start of free agency. Most likely, the majority of teams will be competing for his services, but the Phillies definitely have the determination and money to get the job done in getting him to sign the papers.