The Winter Meetings have come and gone, with the Philadelphia Phillies not making any free agent signings or trades. During Aaron Nola's re-signing press conference, Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations, commented that he liked the organization's starting rotation as currently constructed. The club's infield is set, and they appear unlikely to make any significant additions to the outfield.
However, the Phillies have some roster decisions to make before the beginning of Spring Training. They could benefit from adding another reliever as their new setup man or closer. Philadelphia has an opening for another outfielder to increase their depth. The organization also has a decision about whether or not to offer an extension to a key player who will be a free agent next offseason.
Here are three moves the Phillies still need to get done after not making any during the Winter Meetings.
The Phillies need to add a relief pitcher
The Phillies have questions about who their setup man and closer will be in 2024. Free agent closer Craig Kimbrel was not going to return and agreed to a deal with the Baltimore Orioles on Dec. 7. José Alvarado will either be the setup or closer for Philadelphia next season. Could youngster Orion Kerkering be considered for one of those roles during Spring Training?
Jordan Hicks is one of the top free agent relievers the Phillies should consider signing this winter. Closer Josh Hader will likely surpass Edwin Diaz's $102 million deal with the New York Mets. Philadelphia doesn't appear interested in signing the best relief pitcher on the market, which is why they should pivot to signing the former Blue Jays reliever.
Adding Hicks would give the Phillies two hard-throwing relievers in he and Alvarado. The free agent has some experience as a closer, as he has converted 32 of 44 save opportunities in his five years. Previously with the St. Louis Cardinals, he threw a 105 mph pitch against Philadelphia in 2018.
Besides Hicks, other free agent relievers Philadelphia could choose from are former Phillie Hector Neris, Keynan Middleton, and Aroldis Chapman.
Whoever they sign, the Phillies would benefit from having relievers who are their clear setup reliever and closer in 2024. Having manager Rob Thomson remain non-committal in determining a setup man and closer this postseason didn't benefit the club. The team will be better off if they know who they can turn to in those bullpen roles.