Michael A. Taylor
Signing a player like Michael A. Taylor seems more like the Phillies' direction this offseason. Dave Dombrowski has hinted that is how the team is looking to construct the Major League roster heading into 2024.
Phillies fans are sure to be familiar with Taylor from his seven seasons playing for the National League East rival Washington Nationals. Former Nationals players seem to do pretty well in Philadelphia. Bryce Harper and Trea Turner, anyone?
Okay, we're clearly not talking about that caliber of player here, but let's take a look at Taylor's 2023 season.
In Taylor's one season with the Minnesota Twins, he posted a stat line of .220 with 21 home runs and 51 RBI across 129 games. The 21 home runs were a career-high for the 32-year-old, and he may be looking to capitalize on that milestone with a multi-year pact for a team that believes his 2023 power surge wasn't an aberration. A Gold Glove Award winner in 2021 as a member of the Kansas City Royals, Taylor is more than capable of handling the dimensions of Citizens Bank Park.
Another more unlikely option is free agent Whit Merrifield. A professional hitter with positional versatility, Merrifield has been an everyday player since he broke into the Majors with the Kansas City Royals in 2016.
In 2023 playing for the Toronto Blue Jays, the 34-year-old played second base (84 games), left field (81 games), and right field (6 games). A free agent for the first time, expect Merrifield to explore options to start for a rebuilding team in need of a veteran presence.
While Merrifield checks off the box as a right-handed hitter, his lack of playing time in center field since 2022 should make him a long shot for the Phillies to pursue in free agency. Coming off a season where he batted .272 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI, the bat is definitely there, but it's just too weird of a fit unless there's a belief that Bryson Stott will also need to sit against left-handed pitching. Whit Merrifield to the Phillies is unlikely.