3 free agent relievers the Phillies need to sign, and 1 to avoid at all costs

Who should the Phillies target in free agency this offseason to upgrade their bullpen, and who should they stay away from?
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Jordan Hicks

If the Phillies want to include some younger blood in their relief corps, look no further than flamethrowing Jordan Hicks. Among one of the younger relief pitchers available in free agency, Hicks possesses a devastating fastball that constantly hits 100 mph on the radar gun, which he uses to blow hitters away. The 27-year-old also has the versatility to be extremely effective as both a setup man and a closer for any team he plays on.

Despite playing on a struggling St. Louis Cardinals team in 2023, Hicks still managed to save eight games for the ballclub while registering a respectable 3.67 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, and 59 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings pitched. However, his true dominance was on full display following his trade to the Toronto Blue Jays at the trade deadline. Down the stretch with the Blue Jays, Hicks picked up four saves and seven holds while pitching to a career-best 2.63 ERA, with a 1.08 WHIP, giving up only seven earned runs while striking out 22 in 24 innings of work.

Being a right-handed pitcher, Hicks would complement Alvarado perfectly, with the two paired together for lefty-righty matchups near the end of tight ball games. Unlike Hader, who would exclusively close games, and Moore, who would pitch more in the middle to late innings, Hicks could give the Phillies some situational advantages as he could be used interchangeably between the setup and closer role. He would give the Phillies an added dimension they didn't have before and could ultimately be the difference in putting the team over the top.