Phillies' offseason roster addition grades: One big signing stands out above the rest

The Phillies made plenty of depth moves this offseason, but one free agent signing stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Utilityman Whit Merrifield was the Philadelphia Phillies' biggest offseason addition
Utilityman Whit Merrifield was the Philadelphia Phillies' biggest offseason addition / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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After coming up short of a World Series title for the second consecutive year, the Philadelphia Phillies were active this offseason, making various moves and signings to bolster their roster for 2024. So how well did the Phillies do with their roster additions? What potential roles will the newest Phillies play in the upcoming season?

With Opening Day now pushed back to Friday, we have some extra time to review the offseason and evaluate how the front office did over the winter months.

Here, we will grade some of the more relevant roster additions and their expected impact on the ballclub for the 2024 season. For the sake of this article, we will focus only on those players on the Phillies’ 40-man roster.

Michael Mercado: C-

In one of the Phillies' first moves of the offseason, they acquired pitcher Michael Mercado from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for pitcher Adam Leverett and cash considerations. Mercado is a former second-round pick from the 2017 MLB Draft who hasn’t lived up to his potential and has yet to make his MLB debut. With underwhelming numbers for his career in the minors thus far, including a 4.81 ERA and 1.33 WHIP, Mercado will serve mainly as pitching depth for the Phillies’ organization.

This spring, Mercado has continued his failure to impress, as he compiled a dismal 6.35 ERA and 1.59 WHIP over 5 2/3 innings pitched. As a result, he was ultimately optioned back down to the minors quite early in spring training.

He did demonstrate one key strength in his pitching arsenal: his prolific strikeout ability. The right-hander has averaged 10.10 K/9 for his career and sat at 12.71 K/9 in Triple-A last season. If he can fine-tune the other aspects of his pitching, particularly his command and control, he could be a serviceable arm out of the pen for the Phillies down the road.