Philadelphia Phillies: Extending Scott Kingery is a risk worth taking

(Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /

After an incredibly promising spring training, the Philadelphia Phillies are betting big on 2015 second round pick Scott Kingery with a massive extension.

After an incredibly eventful free agency, one thing is clear: the Philadelphia Phillies aren’t messing around.

Whether it be signing a forward-thinking manager in 42-year-old former player Gabe Kapler, or dumping underperforming roleplayers like Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp and replacing them with quality veterans like Carlos Santana, Pat Neshek, and Jake Arrieta your Fightin’ Phils are clearly tired of losing 100 games a season, and appear primed to finally take a shot at the shaky National League East.

And on Sunday, March 25th, the team confirmed that speculation even further by signing Scott Kingery to a surprise six-year contract to remain with the team until 2023, with a trio of options that could keep the utility infielder in the red and white pinstripes through 2026.

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In a fairly unprecedented deal that could be worth as much as $63.5 million if each option is picked up, the Phillies are betting big on a player who hasn’t played a single Major League game, and honestly, it’s a risk worth taking.

It should come as no surprise that the Phillies have been a team starved for talent since the break up of their 2008 World Series roster and while they have found quality players like Odubel Herrera, Aaron Nola, and Rhys Hoskins throughout their rebuilding process, none of these players have the ceiling of Kingery. By locking him up now, the Phillies can ensure that Kingery will be given every opportunity to see the field early and often this season and build upon his promising 2017 campaign in the big league.

And most importantly for the Phillies, the deal really has no downside for the team.

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Over his core deal, only $21.5 million is guaranteed over six years, so if he fizzles out like, say Dom Brown, it will have little impact on their long-term cap space, but if he develops into an All-Star infielder like former-Phillies great Chase Utley, his $66 million over nine years will look like a total bargain when compared to recent record-breaking deals signed by players like Giancarlo Stanton.

And while only time will tell just how great he can become, one thing is clear: Philly fans have better get used to seeing Scott Kingery in Phillies pinstripes.

And it all starts on opening night.

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That’s right, after some serious speculation as to where he would start off the season, his new deal essentially guarantees that Kingery will be on the opening day roster on March 29th, when the Phillies take the show down to the Peach State to face off against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. And while it’s only the first of 152 games the team will play this year, for Kapler, Kingery and the rest of the 2018 squad, it makes the start of the next chapter in Philadelphia Phillies history. Get excited Philly Phanatics!