Phillies: focus on central ground for 2022

By Tal Venada, Contributor to Philly Sports Talk

If the Philadelphia Phillies and other big market organizations don’t fill all the gaps this offseason to their fans’ satisfaction, they’ll be responsible for not doing enough. It’s an annual ritual with rare reprieve from the devotees, and the last one here was in 2016. Yes, rebuild the first year!

Medium defense:

For many Phillies and MLB fans, their club still has shortcomings, unaddressed or ignored; but their divisional rival did this, this, and that right. Basically, here’s why the other team was or will be successful, and our locals won’t: They didn’t do anything wrong and we did.


“Alone of all the races on earth, they seem to be free from the ‘the grass is greener on the other side of the fence’ syndrome and bluntly proclaim that Australia is, in fact, on the other side of the fence. this fence. ” – Douglas Adams

With the roster as a priority, Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations, will focus primarily on midfield defense: catcher, key combo and center field. Wedges, however, are for adequate outfielders: one thing unchanged about baseball for many moons.

With second baseman Jean Segura and wide receiver JT Realmuto, the Fightins have half the pieces and hopefully Didi Gregorius’ problem was his hesitant elbow. Otherwise, its surprisingly rapid decline will be problematic, but the decision-maker may have medical data influencing their thinking.

While Gregorius doesn’t have a guaranteed spot, the Phillies allow him to win it, and they’re hoping he can buy them some time to get 24-year-old Bryson Stott ready for the big leagues. The young shortstop hit 0.301 at Double-A in 351 home plate appearances and 0.303 in 41 PA Triple-A, but could need three months with the Allentown affiliate.

Current predictions of the Phillies AAV:

(average annual value)



$ 143.9 million

7 stars and 14 MILB players on the 40 players and benefits list.

$ 19.8 million

* Arbitration screening for 7 players.

$ 4.6 million

** Pre-refereeing screening for 7 young people.

$ 9 million

First free agent screening for Hector Neris and Freddy Galvis.

$ 11.5 million

Accept Odubel Herrera’s club option.

$ 188.8 million

TOTAL for 24 locations

$ 24.2 million

Balance to be spent on a projected AAV of $ 212 million.

* Zach Eflin, Rhys Hoskins, Jose Alvarado, Andrew Knapp, Ronald Torreyes, Seranthony Dominguez and Roman Quinn (excluding options).

** Ranger Suarez, Alec Bohm, Connor Brogdon, Sam Coonrod, one outfielder and two relievers.

Potential acquisitions of the Phillies:



$ 14 million

Raisel Iglesias, closer

$ 14 million

Starling Marte, leading center fielder

$ 28 million

$ 29.2 million is $ 5 million out of 212 million AAV.

As Plan B, Galvis, who made $ 1.75 million in 2021, could be a one-year stopgap if Gregorius still struggles with the glove and the bat. Plus, the Red Stripes would have a solid defenseman for $ 2 million instead of a rushed rookie to the majors at around $ 600,000, and Galvis could help Bohm on the defensive end.

In the corners, Bryce Harper, Herrera and Hoskins are satisfactory or better, and Bohm at third base needs to produce to make the squad according to Dombrowski. Ergo, they’ll live with Bohm’s fielding if he offers an offense, and new batting coach Kevin Long is currently working with the third sacker at Clearwater.

Center field isn’t the primary position for most of the top free agents, so Marte will be at the top of many wish lists. Yes, his asking price was $ 50 million for 3-4 campaigns, but $ 70 million now reflects a lack of alternatives for him. Translation: It’s $ 17.5 million each for four summers or $ 14 million each for five seasons.

Competition for Marte includes the Washington Nationals for a big splash, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners as signing-type Jayson Worth. For the Phillies, a five-campaign pact at $ 14 million AAV is achievable.

Financially, the Phils have the resources for Marte and Iglesias by surpassing the CBT (competitive break-even point) of $ 3.8 million with a surplus of $ 5 million. But $ 1.2 million won’t be enough for a right-handed DH or quality installer.

While some finalized their beliefs on Herrera, POB Dombrowski did not. He wants a center fielder and a top hitter, but Herrera at bat in the 7-8 hole is acceptable. Plus, Andrew McCutchen’s club option is $ 15 million, and Herrera could slide there for $ 11.5 million.

Spending to ink a left fielder for stats like Herrera .260, 13 homers and 51 RBIs would be $ 12 million plus $ 2.5 million to buy out Herrera’s squad option. However, they could pay him the arbitrary estimate of $ 11.6 million plus $ 2.5 million. But keep in mind that he only made an enlarged handful of bad games for ’21 compared to none.

Dollars and common sense:

With unwavering expectations, MLB supporters believe you can win a World Series title with unlimited spending and only productive and successful trades. Unfortunately, the players suffer from injuries and have lost 162, while some regress after a year of career. But fans are quick to accuse the organization of mistakes, real or perceived.

A single championship:

2009-2021 New York Yankees:

  • Fell below the CBT of $ 210 in 21 to reset the luxury tax penalty from 50% to 20% for the first taxable level after paying around $ 600 million in penalties since the first year of the tax to do just that playoffs every year.

Los Angeles Dodgers 2018-2021:

  • Failing to win a second World Series title despite spending $ 275.4 million on AAV in 21: $ 65 million on the first CBT and $ 25 million on the third CBT of $ 250 million AAV (top tier ).

2018-2021 Boston Red Sox:

  • Failed to qualify for the 2019 playoffs because they failed to re-sign Craig Kimbrel and increase their then AAV by $ 242.4 million from $ 20-25 million AAV to 262, $ 4-267.4 million AAV despite a CBT of $ 206 million.

2008-2021 Philly:

  • Without Pat Gillick, this sure-fire winner didn’t parade a second trophy on Broad St.

Behind the front office doors, executives recognize the behavior of fans towards other franchises in the large market. To illustrate, the Red Sox fired Dombrowski for high AAV payroll and not making the playoffs; now their locals believe he had ruined the club. Many here think the same about Amaro. The answer fire him!


Realistically, the stats for 2020 – and 2021 – can be misleading due to interrupted preparation and a delayed 60-game season. Plus ’21 had increased the workloads of 102 contests. Ergo, many probably faltered in August and September: Starters gassed in the rotation and the everyday eight: many, not all.

Only two teams haven’t lost money in 21, and income is still a big spending factor for a summer to come. So November will continue to be slow, as it has been for the past two years. But the low offers won’t be so drastic this winter with a full campaign of paying customers coming.

With the current collective agreement ending on December 1, some will strike a deal before the rules change. However, most stars will not sign so quickly and will wait for the new collective agreement to take effect. But a delay extending to March could leave considerable work unfinished in building the list.

With the current class of free agents, center field is a secondary position for most of the top free agents. For example, third baseman Kris Bryant, corner fielder Mark Canha and center infielder Chris Taylor are the available players. The others are bench pieces and players with options including Herrera.

To summarize, a star can plug the central hole of the field and emerge. He’s tough with leather, can steal 50 bases, and hit .300. However, he’s 33 and might require a five-year pact, but what’s a trade in place of Marte? Alternative or incentive for?



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