Phillies Receive Slightly Favorable Grade For Their Offseason

The Phillies had a specific offseason agenda to ensure they are back in the playoffs in 2024. But did they do enough?
Mar 7, 2024; Port Charlotte, Florida, USA;  Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27)
Mar 7, 2024; Port Charlotte, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 season ended in disappointment for the Philadelphia Phillies. They blew a 3-2 lead in the NLCS and lost two straight at home to hand the pennant to the Arizona Diamondbacks. They went into the offseason with pieces in place to do it again but needed one major thing in free agency.

That one thing was extending Aaron Nola and keeping him in Philadelphia, which they did. Nola re-signed with the Phillies for seven years with a contract worth $172 million. The only thing they needed to do got done quickly, but they were not finished.

Even after signing Nola, the Phillies were rumored to be in the Yoshinobu Yamamoto sweepstakes. Although they fell short, their pursuit made fans believe they were still scouring the market, looking to improve the roster. They did lose Rhys Hoskins in free agency to the Milwaukee Brewers, but he is superfluous now that Bryce Harper plans to be the everyday first baseman.

The Phillies also signed outfielder Whit Merrifield, and they were able to extend pitcher Zack Wheeler to a historic deal, keeping him in Philadelphia through 2027. They have taken a Wild Card bid deep into the playoffs two years in a row now. Will bringing mostly the same lineup back for a third year be enough to sustain a playoff spot?

Phillies Given Favorable Grade For Offseason Work

ESPN senior writer David Schoenfield graded each MLB team's offseason (subscription required) and gave the Phillies a B- for their efforts. The Nola deal is one thing he felt they needed to do, and that was the first thing they did. Although losing out on Yamamoto hurt, he says it's possible that missing out on him opened the door to extending Wheeler.

Schoenfield pointed out that this almost identical roster lost the division to the Atlanta Braves in the last two seasons, last year by fourteen games. But this roster also bounced the Braves from the playoffs in both years.

This team may not win the NL East, but they've proven to show up when it matters the most. A B- is a fair grade, considering it's the same team seeking to do the same thing, but they'll be looking for an A+ finish to redeem the last two years.

And they will be one of the favorites to do so. On FanDuel Sportsbook, they have the third-best odds (+800) to win the NL. Head over to FanDuel, claim your sign-up bonus, and take advantage of these odds.

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