Phillies’ next extension candidate is a no-brainer

After the Phillies extended Cristopher Sánchez, the next player who should get an extension is fellow left-handed starter Ranger Suárez.
Philadelphia Phillies starter Ranger Suarez
Philadelphia Phillies starter Ranger Suarez / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The Philadelphia Phillies' starting pitching staff has been a strength for the club all season. In the offseason they re-signed Aaron Nola and, this past spring, inked Zack Wheeler to an extension to help keep the top of the rotation in red pinstripes for the foreseeable future.

On Saturday the Phillies announced that they extended Cristopher Sánchez to a four-year deal that includes some options to keep him through his arbitration years. With that news, the club has three of their best starters locked up to multi-year deals.

Phillies’ next extension candidate is a no-brainer

Ranger Suárez still has one more arbitration year left before he is eligible to test the free agent market. Given the season the left-hander has had, it would be wise for the Phillies to lock him up before he becomes a hot commodity as a free agent.

Suárez has been one of the top starters in all of Major League Baseball in 2024. Through his first 15 games this season, the 28-year-old has a 1.75 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP with 95 strikeouts through 92 1/3 innings pitched.

The front office has discussed their desire to get their other left-handed starter under contract to solidify the rotation for years to come. Earlier this month Dave Dombrowski noted that he would be thrilled to sign Suárez to an extension. Destiny Lugardo of Phillies Nation quoted the Phillies' president of baseball operations as saying:

“Of course you would love to have a Ranger Suarez in your organization for years to come. We usually do not discuss contract extensions during the season because you don’t want it to be a distraction. The one thing out of it is that we would definitely like to have Ranger with us for a long time.”

If the club doesn't like negotiating in-season, why the change of heart in working out a deal with Sánchez? According to Matt Gelb of The Athletic, the lefty and his agent approached the club (subscription required) about a long-term deal.

It appears that for any type of extension for Suárez, his representation would have to bring the offer to the Phillies, and that may not even guarantee a deal would be reached as Dombrowski remains hesitant to discuss contracts during a season.

Due to the season that Suárez is having, he may not be in a rush to sign long-term as his asking price will have increased. That isn't to say he wouldn't be willing to sign with the Phillies, but he's putting himself in a place to set a higher negotiation starting point.

Even if that is the case, the Phillies know what they have in their left-hander and should consider working out a deal sooner rather than later, even if it comes at the end of the 2024 campaign. The starting pitching market around the league is generally thin due to injuries, and it's likely that the Phillies' starter would command a much more lucrative deal as other teams bidding for his services enter the conversation.