With the top hitter (Shohei Ohtani) and top pitcher (Yoshinobu Yamamoto) both officially off the market, every MLB team can truly begin to fill the holes in their roster with hopes of dethroning the Texas Rangers next October.
The Phillies are coming off another appearance in the NLCS, and with the current roster they hope to make it back to the Fall Classic and do what they were unable to do in 2022 and win it all.
Dave Dombrowski's top priority this off-season was for the Phillies to resign Aaron Nola and were able to do so with a new 7-year contract for the longtime Phillie. With the off-season still far from being over and there still a lot of top players still available, the Phillies should not be done adding to their roster.
The Phillies have some holes in their lineup and bench as well as their pitching rotation that needs to be addressed if they want any chance at winning the 2024 World Series. Here are 3 pitchers and hitters that the team should look at bringing to Philadelphia.
Josh Hader- Relief Pitcher
This should be the biggest priority for the Phillies this off-season. The Phillies have one of the better bullpen's in major league baseball, but there is still a drop-off from their top arms (Alvarado and Dominguez) and the bottom half of the pen (Dylan Covey). With Craig Kimbrel signing with the Baltimore Orioles, the Phillies will need a new 9th inning guy. Josh Hader is at the top of the game for closers and would be an instant impact player. He finished 2023 with 33 saves which was 8th in the league. Hader has a strong strikeout rating and would be a great pick-up as the Phillies new 9th inning guy.
Alex Wood- Starting Pitcher
During his end of the season press conference, Dave Dombrowski said he liked the idea of a 6-man rotation during the regular season. Currently the Phillies' starting rotation is Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Ranger Saurez, Taijuan Walker, and Christopher Sanchez. With the only option in the minors being Mick Abel, the Phillies could look to add one more starting pitcher. Alex Wood would be a cheaper option if they look to add one more pitcher to the rotation. He finished 2023 5-5 with a 4.33 ERA for the Giants. He would not be an ace or close to that level, but by adding Wood it would add some much-needed depth for our starting pitching.
Hector Neris- Relief Pitcher
If the Phillies could snag Hader and Hector Neris that would be huge and a great 8th-9th inning punch for the bullpen. Phillies fans are very familiar with the former Phillie. He signed with the Phillies back in 2010 and eventually left Philadelphia in 2022 to join the Houston Astros, where he won a World Series. While in Philadelphia he was inconsistent, but once joining the Astros he become one of the game's best relief pitchers. He ended 2023 with 1.71 ERA and 77 strikeouts. The Phillies have no depth in the bullpen outside of 2-3 guys, re-adding Heris would add great depth and flexibility to the pen.
Kevin Kiermaier- Center Field
The Phillies acknowledged that Johan Rojas is not ready for the MLB offensively and there is a strong possibility he starts 2024 in AAA. If that is the case, this would open up a role in LF or CF. Kiermaier is coming off his 4th Gold Glove season and spent 2023 with Toronto. Offensively, Kiermaier hit .265 with 98 hits and 8 homeruns. Even though Kiermaier is a left-handed hitter, he hits left-handed pitchers well and has the potential to be an everyday hitter or provide depth behind Brandon Marsh and Christian Pache. By adding Kiermaier, the Phillies add one of the best defensive outfielders and a good bat to the depth charts.
Tommy Pham- Left Field
Phillies fans remember Tommy Pham and how he ended their season back in October. Pham is now a free agent, and could be a great bat for the Phillies. Defensively he would be an improvement to Kyle Schwarber. He would not be as strong as Brandon Marsh or Johan Rojas, but offensively he would be on the level of JT Realmuto and Alec Bohm.
Tim Anderson- Short Stop & Utility
Adding Tim Anderson would be simply a depth piece. He would not be brought in to replace any starting infielder. The Phillies biggest downfall with their lineup is their lack of depth. The Phillies cannot expect to win the World Series with their best infield replacement being Edmundo Sosa and Weston Wilson. Anderson is primarily a SS but has some experience at 3B and 2B. In the horrible case that the Phillies get hit with the injury bug, Anderson would be a great depth piece and could help fill the void. The other great quality Anderson brings is his speed. If the Phillies get stuck with Nick Castellanos or Kyle Schwarber on 2nd in the bottom of the 9th, Anderson would be a great pinch runner.
The Phillies should not be looking for these high prolific stars right now. We have an entire lineup of stars and future stars. The Phillies lack of depth in the field, lineup, and pitching has killed them the last 2 seasons. These 6 players are all players that can help contribute day 1 and help fill all the voids day 1.
The Phillies still have a championship caliber roster, but if they want to get over this hump, they need to keep adding depth pieces.
For your viewing pleasure, if you are upset about losing out on Yamamoto, here is a sneak preview of what he will look like pitching against the Phillies next year.
-Adam Mack (@adammackMLB)