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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Spencer Turnbull: B+

One of the more low-risk, high-reward signings made by the Phillies this offseason was the inking of former Detroit Tigers standout Spencer Turnbull. This signing could potentially pay huge dividends for the Phillies.

Unlike Allard, Turnbull has proven to be an effective rotation piece based on his track record. Just three years ago, he put together the best season of his career by posting an impressive 2.88 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, with 12 walks and 44 strikeouts in 50 innings over nine starts for the Tigers. Unfortunately, his budding career was derailed halfway through 2021 as he went down to an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery and put him out of action for the rest of the 2021 and the entire 2022 season.

Turnbull finally made his return in 2023 but struggled immensely. In his first few weeks of the season, he amassed a gaudy 7.26 ERA and 1.68 WHIP, but that was expected since he needed some time to get back up to speed. However, he was caught by surprise when the Tigers optioned him to the minors in May due to his ineffectiveness. According to The Athletic's Cody Stavenhagen, that began a series of dramatic events (subscription required) between Turnbull and the Tigers for the rest of the season, which might have ultimately led to his departure from the team.

This spring, Turnbull showed signs that he may be back to his prior dominant form. In four games, he has pitched to a solid 2.25 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, giving up just two earned runs with two walks and a whopping 12 strikeouts in just eight innings of work.

With Taijuan Walker heading to the IL to start the regular season, Turnbull should have done enough to be inserted into the rotation. Regardless, he will serve a significant role this season either as the “sixth man” in the rotation or as a potential long man in the bullpen. This pickup was a great move by the Phillies for just $2 million, that’s for sure.