Phillies

Phillies

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 20: Nick Castellanos #8 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after hitting a foul ball against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the third inning during Game Four of the National League Championship Series at Chase Field on October 20, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.

The MLB season is finally over. In just a few days, the MLB Offseason will officially begin, and free agents will be free to sign with whatever team they choose. The MLB Offseason tends to move a bit slower than other leagues, but it is at least when teams will start shaping their roster for the 2024 season. And after the debacle of the NLCS, the Phillies have a lot of work to do.

There was good reason to be optimistic after the 2022 World Series. The Phillies were a team that needed help, but not one that had glaring issues. But seeing them fall apart vs the Diamondbacks, there are some decision that need to be made. The bullpen imploded, the lineup went ice cold, and Aaron Nola did what he has become known for, he fell apart in a big moment. Something has to change. You don’t go from up 2-0, to eliminated, and keep things exactly the same. And Dave Dombrowski is not a man known for resting on his laurels. Even after the Phillies fell two games short of a World Series, Dave went out and got Trea Turner and a ton of bullpen arms.

There will likely be at least a couple of big changes to the 26-man roster next season. Some guys we know will be back. But there are a few guys who could be out by the start of Spring Training. Will there be Phillies mainstays that get shipped out of the city? Should they keep things mostly the same? Is Aaron Nola going to leave in free agency? Let’s run through the roster and figure out who they should keep around, and whose time with the Phillies should probably be at an end.

Here the Phillies who should stay, and the ones who should go, this offseason:

  • Bryce Harper- Stay

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 24: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after flying out against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fifth inning in Game Seven of the Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 24, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    Bryce was disappointing in the final few games of the playoffs. But he is still one of the best hitters in the league and the primary reason the Phillies are competitive again after that long playoff drought. Even if for some reason you wanted to move on you can’t. He is under contract through 2031 and has a no-trade clause. Harper is in it for the long haul.

  • JT Realmuto - Stay

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 23: J.T. Realmuto #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after striking out in the third inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks during Game Six of the Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 23, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    There are real reasons to be concerned about JT moving forward. He took a huge step back this season at the plate. Maybe all the years having catching has caught up to him. If so, it is a major problem because they still have him for two years. Even his catching has taken a dip. We saw him struggle badly to protect the bases in the playoffs.

    But regardless of his issues, he will be here next year. They don’t have any better options at catcher, and no one will trade for a regressing catcher owed over $46 million in the next two seasons. Despite his faults, he is still at worst a decent hitter. Just have to hope he plays better next year.

  • Aaron Nola- Go

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 23: Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks during Game Six of the Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 23, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    Nola is a good pitcher. He is just not a trustworthy pitcher. There is way too much inconsistency in his game to give him Ace money. And with the state of the Starting Pitcher market in Free Agency, he is going to get Ace money. It’s great he is so reliable to pitch 200 innings, and that he is never hurt. But if you can’t trust the guy to come up big when it matters, how can you pay him like an Ace?

  • Bryson Stott- Stay

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 24: Bryson Stott #5 of the Philadelphia Phillies fields the ball on a single hit by Corbin Carroll #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks (not pictured) during the first inning in Game Seven of the Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 24, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    Stott fell apart a bit in the playoffs. After being one of their best hitters in the regular season, he struggled for most of the postseason. But he is a Gold Glove Caliber Second Baseman, and clearly a good hitter. He should still be seen as one of the main pieces to build a World Series roster around.

  • Trea Turner- Stay

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 23: Trea Turner #7 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after an out in the eighth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks during Game Six of the Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 23, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

    I would not blame anyone for having a little bit of buyer’s remorse for Trea Turner after the first season of his 11-year deal. He was awful in the first half, and awful in the NLCS. In the final two months of the season, and in the Wild Card Round/ NLDS, he was great. But he is a big reason why they lost to the Diamondbacks. Still, he is going to be here. We just have to hope he bounces back.

  • Nick Castellanos- Go

    PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 20: Nick Castellanos #8 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after hitting a foul ball against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the third inning during Game Four of the National League Championship Series at Chase Field on October 20, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.

    (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    Dave Dombrowski said something that stuck out to me. He said Castellanos struggled at the end of the year, and that he tends to do that. It was an odd thing to say about a guy on your team. Not untrue, but odd. I get the sense the Phillies are not entirely happy with Castellanos. Jayson Stark came on the station and said he could be a guy traded away. I could easily see them trading him, putting Harper back in RF, and resigning Rhys Hoskins to a one-year deal.

  • Zack Wheeler- Stay

    PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 21: Zack Wheeler #45 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning in Game Five of the National League Championship Series at Chase Field on October 21, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.

    (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

    This one is obvious. Wheeler has been one of the best pitchers in the league since he came to Philly. We saw that in the playoffs. The bigger question is do they give him an extension? It is the last year of his deal. The Phillies have some promising guys down in the minors, but trusting prospects can be a dangerous game. Giving a guy his age another contract is risky, but letting him leave would also be a major risk with no obvious Ace ready to replace him.

  • Ranger Suarez- Stay

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 24: Ranger Suarez #55 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning in Game Seven of the Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 24, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

    The Phillies have two more years with Ranger, and hopefully much more after that. Ranger has been one of the best lefties in baseball since he moved into the rotation. Ranger should be part of both the immediate and future plans. We know he is capable of pitching in the playoffs. Is he an Ace? No. But he is a damn good pitcher.

  • Alec Bohm- Stay

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 24: Alec Bohm #28 of the Philadelphia Phillies breaks his bat after striking out against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the eighth inning in Game Seven of the Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 24, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

    When he is on, Bohm looks like a guy who could be a star. But the total product has been underwhelming. 2023 was his best season yet, and he did reach 20 HRs, so it’s a move in the right direction. But outside of that final game, he was a major problem in the postseason. His defense on the other hand has improved greatly. It is still not time to question his future, but we need more good Alec Bohm than bad Alec Bohm moving forward. And there is no reason he should not have more power.

  • Kyle Schwarber- Stay

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 24: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a double against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fifth inning in Game Seven of the Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 24, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

    Say what you will about his batting average, he gets on base and has been among the elite power hitters in the game since he got here. Schwarber is not the problem with the Phillies. He wasn’t even a problem in the NLCS. It is a must that he remains at DH and out of the field, but other than that I have no concerns about Schwarber moving forward.

  • Rhys Hoskins- Stay

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 03: Rhys Hoskins #17 of the Philadelphia Phillies acknowledges fans before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Game One of the Wild Card Series between the Miami Marlins and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on October 03, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

    For most of the year, it felt like Rhys Hoskins time here was over. Not because he is not a good hitter. It is just because there was no space for him. But if Castellanos gets moved, and Harper moves back to LF, it opens up a spot for Hoskins again. If he is looking for a one-year prove-it deal off the back of his injury, the Phillies would make a ton of sense, and they could certainly have used his bat in the playoffs.

  • Johan Rojas- Go

    ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 09: Johan Rojas #18 of the Philadelphia Phillies prepares to take the field for Game Two of the Division Series against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on October 09, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia.

    (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    By go, I don’t mean he won’t be in the system. He just won’t be on the MLB roster to start the season. The playoffs exposed some issues in his swing. Dombrowski said in his exit interview that Rojas could start the year in the minors to work on his swing. And if Dave is putting that out there publicly, it feels like something that is going to happen. At some point, he may be back up. But no matter how great his defense is, if he can’t hit, he can’t play.

  • Brandon Marsh- Stay

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 24: Brandon Marsh #16 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after his single against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning in Game Seven of the Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 24, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

    The question is not if Marsh will be here, but what role he will have. Marsh will be on the 26-man roster next season, but will he be an everyday player? If not, and he is still a platoon player, he could eventually be the odd man out in an Outfield that could become very crowded. Justin Crawford could be here by 2025.

    I still really like Marsh, and think he deserves a chance to play every day. Statistically, he was one of their best hitters and was the most consistent guy in the playoffs. We won’t learn if he can hit lefties unless they give him a chance to sink or fall. Throw him into the deep end, and let him sink or swim.

  • Michael Lorenzen- Go

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 23: Michael Lorenzen #22 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches in the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks during Game Six of the Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 23, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    Lorenzen went from looking like an Ace in his first two starts here to being unusable. There is no reason to bring him back. Doing so would be a desperate move because they couldn’t go out and acquire another top-end pitcher. Unless it is a super cheap long relief option, let Lorenzen go somewhere else.

  • Taijuan Walker- Stay

    NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: Taijuan Walker #99 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the New York Mets during the first inning of game one of a doubleheader at Citi Field on September 30, 2023 in New York City.

    (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

    Is Walker great? No. But you need guys who eat innings in the regular season, and Walker can do that. They have him under contract for a few more seasons, and there are times when he looks great. They can’t bank on him being a main guy, but he makes for a decent 4th or 5th starter.

  • Cristopher Sanchez

    PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 20: Cristopher Sanchez #61 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks during Game Four of the National League Championship Series at Chase Field on October 20, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.

    (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    Not only will Sanchez be back, he should be one of the 5 starters. Dombrowski seemed confident he is capable of it. Will he be a top-of-the-rotation guy? No. Should they be planning on featuring him in the playoffs? Maybe not. But if he is your 4th or 5th starter, I feel great about that. Sanchez was perhaps their most consistent pitcher after joining the rotation mid-season.

  • Craig Kimbrel- Go

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 23: Craig Kimbrel #31 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches in the eighth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks during Game Six of the Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 23, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    Kimbrel is not the guy he used to be. He pitched great to open the season but faded badly down the stretch, and is a big reason why the Phillies were not in the World Series. They can’t go back to him. Let some other team deal with him next year. Dombrowksi’s priority this offseason is finding more bullpen arms, ones we can actually trust.

  • Jose Alvarado- Stay

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 24: Jose Alvarado #46 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning in Game Seven of the Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 24, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    Jose Alvarado will be one of their top guys again next year. Despite the many injuries, he continued to be a star out of the bullpen last season. He has live stuff, and now that he has more control. He is a perfect candidate to be the go-to guy in tough innings. But they definitely need another great Bullpen arm to go with him.

  • Jake Cave- Go

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 17: Jake Cave #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts to being tagged out at third bases while playing the Arizona Diamondbacks during Game Two of the Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 17, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

    We learned in the playoffs that the Phillies need a good pinch hitter. They hoped that would be Jake Cave, but Cave is not a good hitter at this level. He may kill the ball in AAA, but we have seen more than enough to know he is not going to be a dangerous hitter at this level. They can do better than Cave as their big bat off the bench.

  • Seranthony Dominguez- Stay

    PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 21: Seranthony Dominguez #58 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the ninth inning in Game Five of the National League Championship Series at Chase Field on October 21, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.

    (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    After a great 2022, Seranthony took a step back. Bullpen arms can be like that. Very few guys are great year to year. But Seranthony has good stuff, and I could easily see next year being a bounce-back. The Phillies have 2 more years of team control. If by then, he has not found consistency, it may be time to move on. But for now, there is no reason not to give him another chance next year.

  • Gregory Soto- Stay

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 23: Gregory Soto #30 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches in the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks during Game Six of the Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 23, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    I can’t say I trust Soto moving forward. If this was based solely on performance, he would be a go. But he is not a free agent until 2026 and is a relatively cheap option out of the bullpen for the next couple of seasons. He may not have as big of a role next season after disappointing last season, but there is no good reason to move on yet.

  • Jeff Hoffman- Stay

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 24: Jeff Hoffman #68 of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning in Game Seven of the Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 24, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    Hoffman was a great find. Maybe he shouldn’t be the guy they bring in with runners on anymore. But he should have some role in the bullpen. He became one of their most reliable guys last year. This is his final year of arbitration. After that, it may be a question if they want him long-term. But they don’t have to make that choice yet.

  • Matt Strahm- Stay

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 24: Matt Strahm #25 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the ninth inning in Game Seven of the Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 24, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    Strahm is going into the last year of the 2-year deal he signed with the Phillies last year. Is he a top-line bullpen arm? Not really. But he was fairly consistent for them. There is no reason at all to move on. He can’t be one of their main guys, but if you have Strahm as a middle-inning guy again I will feel good about it.

  • Garrett Stubbs- Go

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 27: Garrett Stubbs #21 of the Philadelphia Phillies in action during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citizens Bank Park on September 27, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

    We all love Stubbs. But our love for him has nothing to do with his play. He was awful at the plate this year, and his defense is not good enough to make up for it. A backup catcher needs to be good at one of those things and he isnt good at either. They can do better. I’m not sure who that would be, but given JT’s struggles, it may be time to give him more days off to keep him fresh. And if that is the case, you need a backup catcher you feel comfortable playing. Stubbs is not that guy.

  • Edmundo Sosa- Stay

    ST LOUIS, MISSOURI - SEPTEMBER 15: Edmundo Sosa #33 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws to first base against the against the St. Louis Cardinals in the fifth inning  at Busch Stadium on September 15, 2023 in St Louis, Missouri.

    (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

    Sosa is not a free agent until 2027. He can play anywhere in the infield, and in terms of bench bats, he is decent. Sosa is one of the few bench guys you don’t mind seeing in the lineup occasionally, so there is no reason to move on from him.

  • Orion Kerkering- Stay

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 23: Orion Kerkering #50 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches in the seventh inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks during Game Six of the Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 23, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    Kerekering’s playoffs did not go smoothly. Partly because for some odd reason they avoided his fastball. But the kid has the stuff to pitch at this level, they just need to let him use it and stop forcing the Slider. He is not ready to step into a big role like we maybe hoped, but he can be a middle-inning guy to start, and maybe expand his role if he succeeds there.

  • Christian Pache- Stay

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 04: Cristian Pache #19 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates scoring a run during the third inning against the Miami Marlins in Game Two of the Wild Card Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 04, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

    Is Pache a good player? No. Is he acceptable as a 4th outfielder? Probably. Pache isn’t a free agent until 2028, is cheap, and despite his issues at the plate is great in the Outfield. Pache is not part of their future, and should not be in the starting lineup very often. But as a backup, I am fine with him staying. if they can find a replacement, go for it. But that is not at the top of the priority list.

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