Phillies tender contracts to five arbitration-eligible players, including Rhys Hoskins
Ranger Suárez, José Alvarado, Seranthony Domínguez, and Edmundo Sosa also received 2023 contracts. The Phillies have until Jan. 13 to work out deals with the players before exchanging salary figures.
It’s reasonable to question Rhys Hoskins’ long-term future with the Phillies. But the lightning-rod slugger is virtually a lock to be back at first base on opening day next season.
The Phillies met a deadline Friday night by predictably tendering 2023 contracts to Hoskins and four others who are eligible for salary arbitration: lefty starter Ranger Suárez, late-inning relievers José Alvarado and Seranthony Domínguez, and slick-fielding infielder Edmundo Sosa.
Additionally, the Phillies avoided arbitration with reliever Sam Coonrod by agreeing on a one-year contract that will be worth $775,000, according to a major league source.
Other than Coonrod, who strained his right shoulder in spring training and missed much of the season, the Phillies didn’t have any difficult decisions. Hoskins, Suárez, Alvarado, and Domínguez are core players, while Sosa impressed after being acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals at the trade deadline.
Hoskins’ critics have clamored for the Phillies to trade him, citing his defensive limitations and penchant for dramatic streaks and slumps at the plate. But there are two problems with that idea:
1. He’s under club control for one more season before reaching free agency, a status that drives down his value on the trade market.
2. Hoskins’ production — an average of 30 homers and a .485 slugging percentage in the last four full seasons — is nearly impossible to replace.
“There’s a lot of good things about him,” president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said this week, noting Hoskins’ on-field performance and leadership in the clubhouse. “But he’s not the perfect player, right? It’s just the way it is.”
Hoskins’ annual salary could rise from $7.7 million this year to $12.6 million, according to MLB Trade Rumors’ arbitration projections. After posting a 3.65 ERA in a career-high 155⅓ innings, Suárez also may be in line for a big raise, from $730,000 to a projected $3.5 million salary.
Domínguez is projected to make $2 million (up from $727,500), while Alvarado could make $3.2 million after making $1.9 million this year. Sosa, due to go through the arbitration process for the first time, is estimated at $1 million.
The Phillies have until Jan. 13 to work out a deal with those players before exchanging salary figures. Arbitration hearings will be scheduled in February. The sides can continue to negotiate up until a hearing.
Cody Bellinger was the biggest name to not get tendered a contract before Friday’s deadline. The 27-year-old former National League MVP batted .193/.256/.355 with 29 homers over the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He made $17 million this year and was projected to make $18.1 million in arbitration.
Aaron Nola finished fourth in the NL Cy Young Award voting, while J.T. Realmuto came in seventh in the NL MVP balloting. Rob Thomson finished fifth for Manager of the Year, which was won by Buck Showalter of the New York Mets. ... The Phillies hired David Chadd as a special assignment scout to assist in talent evaluation at all levels. Chadd was a longtime scouting director for the Detroit Tigers under Dombrowski, including in 2010, when they drafted Nick Castellanos.