The Philadelphia Phillies have been one of, if not the league's biggest spender in the recent past. Some of the team's best players including Bryce Harper, Zack Wheeler, Kyle Schwarber, Nick Castellanos, and Trea Turner have all been added via free agency. While the Phillies haven't achieved their goal quite yet, they got very close last season and have a shot this season as well.
For the Phillies to remain competitive, we know that owner John Middleton is going to have to keep spending. The Phillies have a lengthy list of free agents including some players who will be really hard to replace. The Phillies will either have to spend a ton to retain those players or will have to spend a ton to acquire comparable players.
Certain spots on this Phillies roster we know the team won't have to improve. Trea Turner will be the team's shortstop and Bryson Stott will be the second baseman. Zack Wheeler will be the ace, and Taijuan Walker will be in the rotation as well. With that being said, there're plenty of other spots on the roster that we are unsure about, and the Phillies are going to have to spend to make sure those spots are filled appropriately.
1) The Philadelphia Phillies need to invest in starting pitching in free agency
Starting pitching is obviously the team's biggest concern heading into free agency. The Phillies do have Zack Wheeler for another year, but both Aaron Nola and Michael Lorenzen are set to hit free agency. Cristopher Sanchez's emergence helps the future outlook of the rotation as a whole, but the Phillies very clearly need another front-end starter to pair with Wheeler. Ranger Suarez and Taijuan Walker simply aren't good enough to be frontline starters.
What the Phillies end up doing with Aaron Nola remains a mystery. He hasn't been close to the pitcher Phillies fans had come to expect him to be, and that makes it a lot tougher to give him the nine-figure contract he's destined to get on the open market. Whether it's Blake Snell, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, or Sonny Gray, the Phillies need to get someone to be their number-two starter.
Michael Lorenzen is also an impending free agent, but the Phillies are fine with Suarez, Walker, and Sanchez rounding out the staff. Adding another starting pitcher for depth purposes wouldn't be a bad idea, but the Phillies do have a full rotation outside of that bonafide number two starter that Dave Dombrowski absolutely has to acquire.