Despite a disappointing end to 2023, losing two straight games at home to an inferior Arizona Diamondbacks team, MLB analysts still have faith in the powerful Philadelphia Phillies squad heading into 2024.
Will Leitch of MLB.com released his inaugural 2024 power rankings at the start of the New Year, slotting the Phillies into the fifth spot, only behind some of the best teams in baseball. They trail the Atlanta Braves (1), Los Angeles Dodgers (2), defending World Series Champion Texas Rangers (3), and Baltimore Orioles (4).
The 2023 Phillies were one of the final four teams remaining in the postseason and have shown their playoff prowess over the past two years. Entering 2024, they are ranked ahead of the team who ended their season just a few months ago in the Diamondbacks. However, they're also behind teams like the Atlanta Braves, who they took care of in the National League Division Series for the second year in a row.
The other top 10 teams include the Houston Astros (6), Tampa Bay Rays (7), New York Yankees (8), Diamondbacks (9), and Toronto Blue Jays (10).
Even though there has not been much action for the Phillies and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski since the signing of Aaron Nola in November, it's not surprising to see this squad break the top five for 2024. A team that won 90 games in 2023 while definitely not living up to their full potential, could easily fall into a 95-win season in 2024.
With players like Bryce Harper, Ranger Suárez, and José Alvarado missing significant amounts of time in 2023, as well as solid slumps from Trea Turner and Aaron Nola, a fresh start points to a more successful season for the upcoming year. A full year of a healthy Harper and bounce-back seasons for All-Star-caliber players such as Nola and Turner could easily add a handful of wins come the end of the year.
Other teams in a similar scenario are making major moves to bolster their roster in an attempt to find the key to success in October. The Los Angeles Dodgers have made moves on both sides of the ball in a major way. The Atlanta Braves have made a multitude of moves, including adding former top-level starter Chris Sale, showing that they are not satisfied with the end product either.
The biggest question will be how the offseason finishes for the Phillies. There are holes in the roster. For a team with championship aspirations, guys like Johan Rojas, Cristopher Sánchez, and Jake Cave might not be enough to push them toward the ultimate goal of a World Series.
As of right now, the Phillies sit as a top-five team on paper. To reach that final rung on the ladder, moves will need to be made to be able to stack up against the giants across the National League.