MLB’s hot stove has been far from hot as the offseason has lumbered along. With the exception of a few big fish, namely Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the majority of the free agents have yet to sign. The Dodgers have been busy so far, spending more than $1.043 billion, with the Phillies the next closest at $172 million.
The Athletic's Jim Bowden released his midterm offseason grades (subscription required) for each team, and with the lack of moves around the league, the grades are, let’s say, lackluster.
The former GM gave the Phillies a B for their offseason so far, matching six other teams and being behind four others that received an A or B+.
Bowden clearly shows that making any move warrants a positive grade, and he obviously favors the Phillies re-signing Aaron Nola.
Do the Phillies deserve their B grade?
Bowden hit the nail on the head with his grading system for the Phillies. The entire league has been in a slog, and only a few high-profile players have moved. Right or wrong, Aaron Nola was one of those upper-tier players at the start of the offseason, and though he just returned to Philadelphia, it surely counts for something to retain him.
It would be hard to give them an A because of the lack of additional moves. They can’t be put on the same level as the Dodgers, who have spent over $1 billion on new free agents and trades, but they also shouldn’t be significantly downgraded just because Nola was on their team last season. There was definitely a possibility that they would lose him to another team and be left with a pretty barren starting rotation. Nola was one of the top arms on the market, and the Phillies did what they had to do to retain him.
It’s nothing new that the first half of the offseason has crept along with minimal signings, and there are plenty of free agents out there who can significantly help the Phillies.
So, what are some moves the Phillies could make to turn their B grade into an A?