The Philadelphia Phillies are making all the headlines, signing Bryce Harper to a 13 year, $330 million deal to play through 2032. Everyone is excited for the signing of Harper. Jersey sales are through the roof, especially the famous Phillies power blue uniforms. Even though the Philadelphia Phillies have a great offensive lineup, the pitching is god awful behind the two aces, Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta. This is where things need to change. There are a few names out there, via trade and free agency, they should target.
The current Phillies rotation will be Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, Nick Pivetta, Vince Velazquez and Zach Eflin, along with Jerad Eickhoff. The rotation is meh. Fans have said to this writer, that they are excited to see Pivetta’s 2019. However, for a team that has World Series aspirations, things need to change here and soon. The rotation behind Nola and Arrieta has no experience in the postseason (neither does Nola). The Phillies need to fix this.
The first name is one who is available through free agency, and this is Gio Gonzalez. The former Washington Nationals, Milwaukee Brewers and Oakland Athletics hurler is still a free agent. He is working out in Miami, waiting for a suitor to sign him. Gonzalez is a career 3.69 ERA pitcher and at age 33 is coming off a 4.21 ERA in 32 game season. It would be a good pickup for the Phillies, who also have the Mets as a rival. Gonzalez’s ERA at Citi Field is a low 1.75 with a 1.000 WHIP in 108 innings. If you want to neutralize a rival with a better rotation, Gonzalez will help.
Why not Keuchel in this situation? The Phillies only seem interested in Dallas Keuchel if he takes a short term deal, which is always possible. However, Keuchel and reliever Craig Kimbrel are both interested in getting the deals they’re worth. Keuchel, in a normal market, would have gotten a four year deal, but it seems unlikely that it will happen. Kimbrel would be pocketing over six years. So, while Keuchel is probably a better signing than Gonzalez, it seems unlikely.
The other option is on the trade market. Now that the Giants lost out on Harper, it is really time to get busy on the teardown. The embattled front office seems inconsistent on whether or not they want to rebuild, they haven’t moved ace Madison Bumgarner, and star catcher Buster Posey is still on the team. It would be heartbreaking for San Francisco to lose either player, but at some point, hemorrhaging time is not helping either. Bumgarner is not in the 2014 form anymore, but he should provide good depth for a postseason rotation if the Phillies make it. The prospect haul to get Bumgarner would not be as severe as it would have been even three years ago.
The Phillies are in need of a rotation that will get them to the World Series. The one they have currently, is at most is Wild Card eligible. There’s no way it would stand up to a lot of other rotations, even those in their own division.
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