MLB

Who’s out there? Assessing options for Phillies’ offseason needs

Starling Marte
Starling Marte
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies are facing yet another winter that features a lengthy checklist of needs for a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs for a decade now.

The foundation certainly seems to be set in terms of star power. Bryce Harper, JT Realmuto, and Rhys Hoskins can anchor a lineup that is a step or two away from being one of Major League Baseball’s best.

On the mound, Zack Wheeler is in the running for the National League Cy Young Award, but the Phillies don’t have much else to lean on in terms of consistency within the rotation. That’s a rather shocking conclusion to come to with Aaron Nola still very much present, but the righty continued to struggle in 2021.

Marcus StromanBrad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Naturally, pitching will be atop the Phillies’ offseason needs this winter, as reported by MLB insider Jon Heyman, but president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski — now in his second offseason heading the organization — sees the outfield as a major focal point, too.

“We have to have someone to play left field, we have to have someone play center field,” Dombrowski said Tuesday at MLB’s GM meetings. “So those are complete necessities.”

The Phillies declined the options of both Andrew McCutchen and Odubel Herrera to open such needs.

Dombrowski and Co. have options on the free-agent market, especially when it comes to starting pitching. But the options in center field and left field don’t immediately jump off the page — unless they want to try and take a big swing by landing a talent like Nick Castellanos and moving him from his natural spot in right field to left.

Here are some of the best options at three of the Phillies’ major positions of need:

Top Free-Agent Starting Pitchers

1. Marcus Stroman

  • Most recent team: New York Mets
  • Age: 30
  • 2021 stats: 33 starts, 179.0 IP, 10-13, 3.02 ERA, 158 K’s, 1.145 WHIP
  • Career stats: 173 starts, 61-60, 3.63 ERA, 7.5 K/9, 1.266 WHIP

2. Clayton Kershaw

  • Most recent team: Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Age: 33
  • 2021 stats: 22 starts, 121.2 IP, 10-8, 3.55 ERA, 144 K’s, 1.019 WHIP
  • Career stats: 376 starts, 185-84, 2.49 ERA, 9.8 K/9, 1.004 WHIP

3. Max Scherzer

  • Most recent team: Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Age: 37
  • 2021 stats: 30 starts, 179.1 IP, 15-4, 2.46 ERA, 236 K’s, 0.864 WHIP
  • Career stats: 398 starts, 190-97, 3.16 ERA, 10.7 K/9, 1.084 WHIP

 

Top Free-Agent Center Fielders

1. Starling Marte

  • Most recent team: Oakland Athletics
  • Age: 33
  • 2021 stats: 120 games, .310/.383/.458, .841 OPS, 132 OPS+, 12 HR, 55 RBI, 47 SB
  • Career stats: .289/.346/.451, .797 OPS, 116 OPS+, 126 HR, 502 RBI, 296 SB

2. Chris Taylor

  • Most recent team: Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Age: 31
  • 2021 stats: 148 games, .254/.344/.438, .782 OPS, 110 OPS+, 20 HR, 73 RBI
  • Career stats: .261/.337/.443, .779 OPS, 109 OPS+, 79 HR, 309 RBI

3. Kevin Pillar

  • Most recent team: New York Mets
  • Age: 32
  • 2021 stats: 124 games, .231/.277/.415, .692 OPS, 88 OPS+, 15 HR, 47 RBI
  • Career stats: .260/.297/.409, .705 OPS, 88 OPS+, 97 HR, 391 RBI

 

Top Free-Agent Left Fielders

1. Mark Canha

  • Most recent team: Oakland Athletics
  • Age: 32
  • 2021 stats: 141 games, .231/.358/.387, .746 OPS, 111 OPS+, 17 HR, 61 RBI
  • Career stats: .244/.344/.431, .776 OPS, 114 OPS+, 89 HR, 294 RBI

2. Kyle Schwarber

  • Most recent team: Boston Red Sox
  • Age: 28
  • 2021 stats: 113 games, .266/.374/.554, .928 OPS, 148 OPS+, 32 HR, 71 RBI
  • Career stats: .237/.343/.493, .835 OPS, 119 OPS+, 153 HR, 350 RBI

3. Eddie Rosario

  • Most recent team: Atlanta Braves
  • Age: 30
  • 2021 stats: 111 games, .259/.305/.435, .740 OPS, 98 OPS+, 14 HR, 62 RBI
  • Career stats: .275/.309/.473, .782 OPS, 108 OPS+, 133 HR, 450 RBI

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