Phillies President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski and field manager Rob Thomson held their end of the season press conference on Thursday. Both Dombrowski and Thomson answered questions regarding the Phillies postseason performance from this past season as well as decisions that need to be made this offseason.
Dombrowski was first to address the press this afternoon. Here are the highlights from his press conference this afternoon.
Aaron Nola is a priority for the Phillies this offseason. Dombrowski had high praise for the impending free agent pitcher. Nola is the longest tenured Phillie and is set to hit free agency. Dombrowski would love to resign Nola, but is not confident due to how good Nola is. There is a possibility that Nola is back with the Phillies next season.
It is unclear what the Phillies plans are with Rhys Hoskins, who is also set to be a free agent this offseason. Dombrowski was still unsure if they were going to extend a qualifying offer to Hoskins. Dombrowski did not say if Hoskins would be back or not, but from this press conference, it seems that Hoskins is almost certainly going to be playing elsewhere next season.
Dombrowski had high praise for Bryce Harper's ability to play 1B this season. He said he plans on sitting down with Harper soon and having a "heart to heart" with Harper on his preference to play 1B or RF, but ultimately said it is not Harper's decision.
There are a lot of different questions with the OF heading into 2024. It seems one of the Phillies outfielders will be moved this offseason, but it also seems Johan Rojas will start 2024 in AAA. Dombrowski had high praise for Rojas but admitted that he has not solidified his role yet with the club. With the Phillies more than likely moving an OF this offseason, Dombrowksi wants Brandon Marsh to be an everyday player and is confident he can start to hit lefties better. He also said that 3rd overall prospect Justin Crawford has a strong chance to make the MLB roster at some point in 2024.
When it comes to pitching, Dombrowski likes the idea of using a 6-man rotation throughout the regular season to help preserve arms. He gave high praise to Christopher Sanchez and wants him to be included in the rotation, and top prospect Andrew Painter will more than likely not play in 2024. The Phillies also still have high confidence in Gregory Soto. He spoke briefly on Zack Wheeler and wants him part of the future. Wheeler is set to be a free agent at the end of the 2024 season.
Dombrowski made it clear that Nola is the top priority, and building a strong bullpen and bench are 2nd and 3rd top priorities.
The big question Dombrowski was asked was about Rob Thomson's future. He said Rob Thomson will be the manager for the Phillies in 2024 and had high praise for him on the success he has had in his first two season as the manager of the Phillies. He did not comment when asked about possibly signing Thomson to a contract extension.
The big question Thomson was going to be asked was regarding his decisions during the NLCS. He admits he needs to be held accountable and that he needs to be more adaptive in his lineup and bullpen decisions going forward.
Thomson was asked about the recent social media activity of Taijuan Walker and his thoughts on it. He said he loved Walker, but the two have not been in contact since the season ended. Thomson made it clear that he does not feel his relationship with Walker is fractured.
Topper is headed into the final year of his contract in 2024. Both Dombrowski and Thomson were asked. Dombrowski had no comment on the situation, and Thomson said he would love to stay here past 2024. He said the last two seasons have been his "best years of his life."
He had high praise for Bryce Harper's ability to transition to 1B, but also understands the future of where he plays is up to the front office. He also commented on Trea Turner's roller coaster of a 1st season. Thomson said he is confident that Turner will have a bounce back season in 2024 both at the plate and in the field.