The big bucks have already been spent in MLB free agency, but several interesting and viable options for the Philadelphia Phillies remain on the market even as 2019 draws to a close.
In reading an article by former MLB general manager Jim Bowden about baseball’s 30 best remaining free agents, I was struck by the amount of names that looked like they could still make sense for the Philadelphia Phillies.
True, the big shopping is done for the Phils. Maybe. We’ll get to that. But sometimes valuable pieces can be found even at this late hour. So let’s take a quick look at a handful of players who are available for nothing more than cold, hard cash.
More from Philadelphia Phillies
An interesting option here as a depth outfielder/speed demon off the bench. Dyson has never really been suited to full-time duty, although his .247 career average sure doesn’t look as bad as it used to. The Phillies could do worse than having him as the proverbial “last man” on the roster.
The former all-star has fallen off the cliff in recent years, but he might still be productive in a lineup where he was only expected to bat 7th or 8th. He won’t kill you in the field and still gets on base at a decent rate.
At 27 years old, the talented Walker is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, so he comes with risk. He wouldn’t be available otherwise. But is he worth the gamble after missing almost all of the last two years? He authored a 3.49 ERA for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017, his last full season. The history of pitchers coming back from TJ says it can be done. Someone will take the plunge, and the Phils should be in on him.
Would fit if: The Phillies believe in their bullpen enough to ease Walker into the rotation with short starts, which will tax the ‘pen a bit every fifth day. Also, the Phillies have to finally decide to put either Nick Pivetta or Vince Velasquez in the bullpen full time.
See my previous article for why this makes perfect sense for the Phillies. Next!
There are several reliable, veteran relievers still available, with Harris and Hudson headlining the group. Do the Phillies believe enough in the relievers they already have, or will the allure be too great? Another morsel to chew on: Do they bite on one of these guys with the ulterior motive of keeping them away from division rivals?
Would fit if: The Phillies could sign either for a reasonable rate while also completely forgetting how the David Robertson contract blew up in their faces last year.
We come to the biggest ticket item of all. After all this time has passed, do the Phillies still have enough cash flow to make a play for the former MVP? Again, it would be nice to keep him away from the competition like the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals. But the money and domino effect might be too great to overcome.
Would fit if: The Phillies unloaded Segura and also made a decision on Alec Bohm, namely either trading him or deciding that his future will be at a position other than third base, assuming that Donaldson’s deal is for at least three or four years.
The coming days and weeks will tell if the Phillies see the need to add any of these players. And of course they will be looking at others who weren’t mentioned here. It will be intriguing to see if they curtail their shopping or decide that a few more roster adjustments are in order as Opening Day 2020 looms just over 90 days away.