For Phillies fans, it is officially beyond the point of sulking in what could have been this October. After watching the Braves barely steal one game at home (thanks to a grand slam from the probable NL Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuna Jr.) to the NL Pennant Champion Dodgers, it would have been interesting to see what the Phillies could have done against them in a five-game series.
Although it is nice to speculate and think in our heads what could have been as we watch the World Series, it is now time for David Montgomery, Bill Giles, and the entire front office to start discussing what needs to be done to boost this team to be a championship contender. And with this loaded free agency class of 2019, the Phillies could be the perfect home for one, or multiple, big names.
When hearing about free agents for the upcoming season, there are probably two names that everyone knows will be signing somewhere for big bucks: Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. These two young phenoms can certainly make any good team great, but will the Phillies be the best fit for either of them?
Regarding Machado, who was just dealt from the Orioles to the Dodgers on July 19, he is a huge question mark for this winter. He was traded for prospects at the end of the regular season as he was in his final season under his contract, so truly anyone, including the Dodgers, could be a landing spot for the shortstop. After satisfying years from both a youthful talent Scott Kingery and a newly acquired Asdrubal Cabrera, the Phillies will at most feel out Machado’s interest with coming to Philadelphia, and not fall into the fishing trap that many other teams will be apart of this year.
For Harper’s sake, he made it very clear to Washington that he is most likely never playing in a Nationals jersey again. After bowing to the crowd in their last home game of the season, in the finale of yet another disappointing season, it is safe to say that Harper will be at least listening to offers. And we can only hope that one of them comes from this Phillies team. He would be a much better fit on this team than Machado and could be just the superstar needed to join the team filled with young talent. It may sound like a dream scenario to have a starting outfield of Herrera, Hoskins, and Harper, but it may be closer than first imagined.
The list of free agents stretches to more than just these two, as some of the biggest names here are from the position that needed improvement most in 2018: pitching.
Whether it is starters or bullpen guys, the Phillies should actively look at this list. There are all sorts of categories on this list, from the superstars like Kershaw, Price, Gonzales and Keuchel, to lower, yet still great arms like Happ, Lynn, Eovaldi, Ryu, and Morton, or the cheaper signings who can still produce like Sabathia, Wainwright, Liriano, Harvey, and even Colon. There are plenty of names out there for starters that the Phillies should seriously pursue.
From the bullpen arms, there is no shortage of names either. Whether its situational guys like Tyler Clippard, Joe Kelly, Jesse Chavez, David Robertson, or Zach Duke; or a plethora of closers like Jeurys Familia, Craig Kimbrel, Sergio Romo, Andrew Miller, Greg Holland, or Zach Britton. Whether a starter or closer, most fans will agree that the area of adjustment should be for the players sent to the mound above all else.
It is always fun to image a top star in a new setting, especially for your favorite team. The Philadelphia Phillies need to make this happen and be aggressive customers. Because they know that this team only need a few more significant names on an already impressive lineup to push them over the hump for a postseason birth.
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