The deadline to tender contracts has now come and gone. While the Phillies either signed or have committed to tender contracts to all six of their eligible players other clubs decided to non tender some intriguing names.
There were some very good players who were allowed to become free agents last evening ... none would seem to require “bank breaking contracts”.
The Phillies seemingly are looking to be more prudent in shopping this offseason for roster additions. With the commitments made last night they now have 11 players under contract for approximately $109 million. Rhys Hoskins and Vince Velasquez are estimated to make around $ 10 million between them. There’s also a commitment to Odubel Herrera ( even if he’s not on the 40 man roster ) of $10.3 million. Given all that adds up to a commitment of a bit over $129 million for 14 players ... one of which is Seranthony Dominguez who won’t play next season due to injury.
So that being said here’s a look at some interesting players who became free agents last night that might perhaps fit into the Phillies 2021 budget 🤔.
INF Hanser Alberto - Orioles : the 28 year old can rake, especially against lefties ... he hit .398/.414/.534 in 227 PA vs LHP in 2019 and .390/.422/.627 in 64 PA vs LHP in 2020. He’s primarily a second baseman but has also played third base, shortstop and some outfield. I remember the Orioles three game series this past August against the Phillies where he went 5 for 14 and walked twice. He seemed to be on base the whole series and played really well defensively at second base. He also played with energy, enthusiasm and flat out joy ... at times this summer I thought our crew was flat ... having a guy like Alberto would “light up the room” so to speak. On top of that he’s hit .299 overall over the last two seasons of basically regular play for the Orioles. I’d sure like to have him.
Contract wise he was projected to receive around $4 million if Baltimore went to arbitration with him. Adding a guy like this who also has a bit of pop in the bat ( 36 doubles, 2 triples and 15 home runs in the last two seasons ) would seem to be a fit. I would be very interested in this player.
RHP Archie Bradley - Reds : the 28 year old power arm was traded to Cincinnati on August 31st from Arizona and appeared in six games for the Reds to finish the year. ( they gave up two prospects for 6 games 🤦♂️). He’s a high octane arm who struggled as a starting pitcher but has excelled in a reliever’s role. He became Arizona’s closer in 2019 and converted 18 saves in 66 appearances tossing 71.2 innings punching out 87 batters. His best season was 2017 as a multi inning capable reliever often used in the middle of games ... that season he recorded a 1.73 ERA in 63 games ( 73 IP ) with 79 K’s and 21 BB. A power arm out of the pen ... go figure 😳... I think we could use a few of those 🤓.
Contract wise he was projected to receive around $ 5.5 million if the Reds went to arbitration with him. Seems like a relatively cheap option to add a power arm to the bullpen that could even perhaps become the closer. Just sayin 🤷♂️
C Curt Casali - Reds : 32 years old - he platooned for the Reds and hit .310/.412/.655 against left handed pitching. He’s a good receiver and noted, similarly as Andrew Knapp, as a student of the game and an excellent pitch caller. If the Phillies don’t sign JT and choose instead to pair someone with Knapp then Casali would seemingly fit the bill.
Contract wise he was projected to receive around $ 2.4 million if the Reds went to arbitration with him. If the Phillies choose to go after him he would provide a solid defensive option. Most every team in the 2020 playoffs were defense first behind the plate.
LHP Carlos Rodon - White Sox : 27 years old - was the 3rd overall pick in the 2014 draft out of North Carolina State. He’s struggled with consistency as a major leaguer and has a 29-32 overall record in 97 games ( 536 IP ) with a career ERA of 4.14. His slider has always been considered elite as it has nasty break. The FB range is 93-96 however when in college he flashed 98. The tools are seemingly there ... could he be a guy that new pitching coach Caleb Cotham could reach to make the potential become a realization ? The Phillies need starting pitching depth ... certainly worth a shot at the right price eh 🧐
Contract wise he was projected to receive somewhere around $ 4.5 million if the White Sox went to arbitration with him. Seeing Drew Smyly get $ 11 million from the Braves with very similar numbers ( 4.13 career ERA in 710 IP - 35-35 record ) would seem to make Rodon a relative bargain ! Another just sayin 🤷♂️
OF/DH Kyle Schwarber - Cubs : 27 years old - the 4th overall pick of the 2014 draft out of the University of Indiana and one of the heroes of the Cubs 2016 WS championship team. He’s got power to spare as a LH hitter with 121 home runs in five years of play. He also strikes out a bunch ( every third AB per career numbers ) and doesn’t hit for average at all. The power element is his calling card. Defensively he’s limited to left field and is likely better suited as a DH. I’m not sold on going after him ... but certainly playing half his games in CBP might be intriguing in regards to HR potential.
Contract wise he was projected to receive $ 9.3 million if the Cubs went to arbitration with him. At that number I’d take a hard pass ... don’t think the Phillies would have interest at that rate either.
OF Albert Almora - Cubs : 26 years old - the 6th overall pick in the 2012 draft out of high school. He struggled offensively in 2020 and was optioned to alternate camp in August. Best seasons were 2017 and 2018 when he hit a combined .290 over 743 AB’s. He’s also noted as a very good defensive center fielder. Almora is a right handed batter that at a minimum could provide a possible center field platoon if the Phillies wanted to do so, he hit .342 against lefties in 2017. Might be worth a look, still a very young player with seemingly many years ahead of him.
Contract wise he was projected to receive $ 1.6 million if the Cubs went to arbitration with him. They have a very large payroll commitment but to me it’s still odd they couldn’t swing paying Almora 🤷♂️. Would seem to indicate he might be had on a minor league contract or at a max of $ 1 million on a big league deal ... that’s worth the “gamble” to me 😜.
OF Tyler Naquin - Indians : 29 years old - he was the Indians 1st round draft selection in the 2012 draft ( 15th overall ) out of Texas A&M. Naquin has battled the injury bug a lot during his career although when he’s been able to play consistently he’s put up decent numbers ... in 2016 he hit .296 with 14 homers in 321 AB’s and in 2019 he posted a .288 batting average with 10 home runs in 274 AB’s. Defensively he’s played all three outfield spots with 135 games in center, 158 in right and 20 in left. He’s a left handed hitter who’s noted as a line drive gap to gap guy. His game reminds me a lot of Adam Haseley and/or Mickey Moniak as a comparable. I’m not sure I’d be interested in bringing him here since we already have two comparable players. 🤷♂️
Contract wise he was projected to receive $ 2.4 million if the Indians went to arbitration with him.
That’s my take ... some perhaps more affordable free agent options now on the market.
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️