Philadelphia – The Phillies know they have to build on the momentum of the World Series.
President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski seems poised to do just that. You know that managing partner John Middleton is. So is director Rob Thompson.
“I look at seasons like this,” Thompson said Wednesday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. “If you’re on the .500 team, it’s a good year. If you make the playoffs, it’s a really good season. If you win the World Championship, it’s a great season. We’re not really looking for good. We’re looking for something great. And I think that’s going to be the focus.” For what I talk about with a lot of players – we want to be great. We don’t want to be really good. We don’t want to be just good. We want to be great.”
To take the next step, the Phillies will need to make upgrades. The greats, even.
The Phillies have rejected Jean Segura’s $17m option for the club for 2023, suggesting that They plan to take a deep dive into the talented free agent pool Among them are Trea Turner, Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts, and Dansby Swanson. Expect the Phillies to sign one. They have simply cleared a lot of payroll and have a lot of need for impact at bat.
The Phillies said they could move Bryson Stott to second base and have Edmundo Sosa play shortstop. They also said they could re-sign Segura. Sure, they can. But it will be difficult to market that vision to the masses, perhaps even Middleton, unless Philadelphia steps in elsewhere.
Besides, Dombrowski said Philadelphia has the means to add another star player to the payroll.
“I think we have flexibility,” he said. “I mean, we’ve lost some big-earning players. In fact, more than one this year. So we have some flexibility.”
The Phillies crossed the luxury tax threshold for the first time in franchise history in 2022. They would clearly prefer to stay below it. But they are ready to go through it again.
“We’re going to do everything we can to try and win,” Dombrowski said. “I mean, we’re close, right? We’ll try to win…. We’re open to having the best club we can and we’ll see where that takes us.”
Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, and Ranger Suárez will return to the starting squad in 2023, though there may be some concern about workloads long after the season is over.
“They are healthy,” Dombrowski said. They will be ready to go. I really don’t think that’s a problem.”
Phillies You will need at least two appetizers. Dombrowski said the club would place one for “youngsters” such as Billy Walter, Christopher Sanchez or Andrew Painter. Mick Abel and Griff McGarry will be at spring camp, too.
But what about this fifth place?
“He doesn’t have to be a first-class man,” said Dombrowski. “But we’ll find out [starting pitching] Market.”
Dombrowski said he’s personally heard criticism about Rhys Hoskins’ sloppy play and defense at first base, but the Phillies will offer him a contract before the Friday 8 p.m. EST deadline. Eligible for arbitration players.
How could they not? Since Philly’s debut on August 10, 2017, Hoskins is 12th in home runs (148) and 16th in RBIs (405). He is also tied for 53rd out of 527 eligible players in on-base percentage (. 353), tied for 43rd in slugging percentage (. 492) and tied for 38th in OPS (. 846).
This level of aggressive production is not easy to replace.
“Rhys Hoskins is wagging his tail,” Dombrowski said. “He works as hard as anyone can. And he does his best to try and make himself the best player he can be. … There is a lot of good in him.”
The Phillies exercised NOLA’s club option for 2023, which was a no-brainer. Asked about the possibility of starting contract extension negotiations, Dombrowski said, “I would say we’d like to have Aaron in our organization for a long time.”
The Phillies will retain Seranthon Dominguez, Jose Alvarado, Connor Brogdon and Andrew Pilati as high-impact relievers. David Robertson, Brad Hand and Corey Nebel are free agents. Zach Eflin and Noah Syndergaard fell out of the bullpen late in the year, but are expected to follow through with starting job offers.
Philadelphia will need to get or call a couple of relievers to block the returning group. Minor league pros worth watching in spring training and through the upcoming season include McKinley Moore, Andrew Schultz, and Eric Miller. Interestingly, Phyllis Those three were left unprotected from next month Article 5 draft.