4 moves the Phillies should make to replace Taijuan Walker before Opening Day

Taijuan Walker will not be ready for Opening Day, and the Phillies need to fill the hole in the rotation. While there are external options at play, there is enough talent on the roster to bandage the wound to start the season

Mar 15, 2024; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull
Mar 15, 2024; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull / Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
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Sign free agent starter Jordan Montgomery

Most Phillies fans eyes just lit up.

An obvious answer to a self-inflicted problem would be to sign the best pitcher remaining in free agency, Jordan Montgomery. This pitcher also isn't just what the scraps left over from the rest of the league's pickings, it is a guy with a career 3.68 ERA coming off an impressive postseason run that ended up putting a ring on his finger.

The storyline makes sense. The 31-year-old has been sitting in free agency waiting for a deal all offseason. The Phillies are coming off two deep postseason runs and are in the prime of their championship window, where they don't want to roll over on any seasons.

During the latter parts of the offseason, there seemed to be interest in a short-term or even one-year deal between the Phillies and Montgomery, but nothing has come of that.

With the team's reluctance to go over the third luxury tax threshold, it is unlikely that the longtime Yankee will end up in red pinstripes. It also doesn't make sense as a response move to the Walker injury.

Without a spring training, Montgomery would likely take two to three weeks to ramp up and have the ability to pitch in major league games. Even at that point, it's unlikely that he would be able to give more than four to five innings for the first month.

On that timeline, Walker would be back in the rotation ready to go, as he will be able to start throwing again sometime next week. If the Phillies were going to sign Montgomery, it would be something that is done on its own, not as a replacement or fill-in for Walker.

That being said, it's never bad to add a World Series winner to a team with World Series aspirations. The final verdict will be if the front office thinks this move will put the team over the top and get them closer to the ultimate goal of bringing a title back to Philadelphia.