After taking over the Phillies’ baseball operations last December, Dave Dombrowski had only 69 days to fill out the roster before spring training began.
Given a full offseason, he’s plotting more comprehensive changes.
“It’s not the star factor. We’ve got some stars,” Dombrowski said last week, citing Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Jean Segura, and Rhys Hoskins. “We need to make sure that supporting cast, we need to figure it out to put that puzzle together.”
Dombrowski could end up overhauling half the 40-man roster. Inquirer baseball writers Scott Lauber and Matt Breen have some thoughts on who will stay or go.
J.T. Realmuto, C
Lauber: He slugged .345 on off-speed pitches compared with .492 in 2019 and .427 in 2018, partially because of a sore right shoulder. The toll of catching won’t get easier over the next four years, but at least it explains this year’s dip in offense. STAY.
Breen: In a down season, Realmuto, 30, still accrued the fourth-most WAR (4.4 per FanGraphs) among all catchers and played in the third-most games. He may not be the “Best Catcher In Baseball,” but he’s still one of the best and the Phils have him for four more years. STAY.
Andrew Knapp, C
Lauber: His .152 average was the lowest ever by a Phillies non-pitcher with 150 plate appearances in a season. It’s no wonder banged-up Realmuto played the third-most innings of any NL catcher. GO.
Breen: If not Knapp, then who? His offensive production was terrible in 2021, but it’s going to be hard to acquire an upgrade when the player knows he’ll be sitting behind on of the most-used starting catchers. Knapp, 29, works well with the pitching staff and is one of the most popular players in the clubhouse. His projected salary for 2022, per MLB Trade Rumors, is just $1.2 million. STAY.
Rafael Marchán, C
Lauber: A popular Dombrowski philosophy is to deal from a positional surplus. With Realmuto signed through 2025 and prospect Logan O’Hoppe rising, Marchán’s greatest value to the Phillies may be in a trade. GO.
Breen: Marchán, 22, is a premier defender, but Dombrowski said this month that his bat is not quite ready yet for the majors. Perhaps another team thinks he’s ready and the Phillies can trade him for a prospect who doesn’t play a position they already have secured through 2025. GO.
Rhys Hoskins, 1B
Lauber: When his season ended on Aug. 25 because of a lower-abdominal injury that required surgery, Hoskins was slugging .530, tied for eighth in the NL. He’s part of the solution. STAY.
Breen: Would the Phillies have been a playoff team had Hoskins stayed healthy? Maybe. It’s hard to chart a path to next October without the 28-year-old Hoskins, whose absence left Harper without much of a supporting cast. STAY.
Jean Segura, 2B
Lauber: A .292 average with runners in scoring position, the NL’s sixth-lowest strikeout rate (13.8%), and one year and $15.25 million left on his contract should make him a trade-high candidate. If only Scott Kingery didn’t flame out. STAY.
Breen: Segura, 31, raised his contact rate and spiked his batting average and slugging percentage while still maintaining his on-base percentage to be one of the Phillies’ steadiest hitters. But that wasn’t enough to snap the second-longest playoff drought among active players. Maybe Year No. 11 can finish in the postseason. STAY.
Alec Bohm, 3B
Lauber: How does the best young hitter in the organization go from slugging .505 against fastballs one year to .264 the next? He will be new hitting coach Kevin Long’s primary pupil. STAY.
Breen: His defensive limitations would have been easier to digest had Bohm hit the way he did as a rookie (.338/.400/.481). The Phils still see the 25-year-old as a third baseman and are penciling him in as the starter in 2022. STAY.
Didi Gregorius, SS
Lauber: If you’re going to improve the infield defense, you can’t bring back the shortstop with the third-fewest runs saved since 2018, even if he’s owed more than $20 million, including deferrals, with one year left on his contract. GO.
Breen: It’s hard to imagine the Phillies being able to trade Gregorius, 31, this winter after the season he had ,so why not bring him to spring training and see how he looks? The Phillies can see if Gregorius has a place in 2022, audition him for another team, or simply decide to release him. Either way, their offseason will be affected by the $14 million he’ll cost them against the competitive-balance tax. STAY.
Freddy Galvis, INF
Lauber: Re-sign him for a couple of million bucks as a placeholder for future shortstop Bryson Stott. Or slide him (and eventually Stott) to second, trade Segura, and sign, say, Marcus Semien to play short. Either way, there’s a spot. STAY.
Breen: He’ll be 32 on opening day and is probably best suited as a reserve who can play multiple positions while providing the clubhouse intangibles he brought to the Phillies this summer. It shouldn’t cost much to bring back Galvis, as his one-year deal with Baltimore paid him less than $2 million. STAY.
Ronald Torreyes, INF
Lauber: With each clutch hit and sure-handed play, it was easy to understand why Girardi loves him like a son. Just don’t play him every day. STAY.
Breen: He started 36 of the final 50 games, assuming an almost everyday role despite hitting .204 with a .511 OPS over that stretch. Girardi trusted Torreyes, 29, from his Yankees days, but they need to look internally at players like Luke Williams and Nick Maton to fill their bench. GO.
Brad Miller, INF/OF
Lauber: What you see (lots of strikeouts, big lefty power) is what you get. Miller, 31, is also popular in the clubhouse. It’s nice to have a 20-homer threat off the bench, but how much will his 2021 salary ($3.5 million) rise in free agency? STAY.
Breen: The Phillies made a rare investment in their bench last season by signing Miller, their highest-paid reserve in a decade. It paid off as he was more than just a bench player and was in the lineup for the final two months. He gives Girardi left-handed pop off the bench but also provides depth at multiple positions if a need arises. STAY.
Andrew McCutchen, LF
Lauber: He slashed .293/.405/.622 vs. lefties but .186/.298/.352 against righties. If a team pays him as a 35-year-old everyday player, it won’t be the Phillies, who will likely decline his $15 million option. GO.
Breen: He didn’t look like an everyday player in 2021, and it’s doubtful that a team will sign him to be one in 2022. Perhaps he can be a designated hitter or a valuable bench player for a World Series contender. He’s done pretty much everything in baseball except win in October. He deserves the chance. GO.
Odúbel Herrera, CF
Lauber: His salary will be similar regardless of whether the Phillies pick up his $11.5 million option or decline it and leave him eligible for arbitration. Could they non-tender Herrera, 29, and try to re-sign him for less? Only if they can’t do better in center field. GO.
Breen: His .287 on-base percentage from the leadoff spot was the eight-lowest in the majors among leadoff hitters, yet he still hit first in 24 of the team’s final 30 games. The Phillies need a new leadoff hitter for 2022 and Herrera’s $11.5 million option is an easy one to decline. GO.
Bryce Harper, RF
Lauber: The 28-year-old Harper is under contract for 10 more years. But after the season he just had, it feels like the Phillies should sign him to an extension. Just kidding. Sort of. STAY.
Breen: Harper has an OPS+ of 151 over his first three seasons with the Phillies and is the favorite next month to win the NL’s MVP Award. It’s not his fault the Phillies have failed to make the playoffs during his time here. STAY.
Matt Vierling, OF
Lauber: His hard-hit rate (batted balls with an exit velocity of at least 95 mph) was 38.5%. For context, Harper’s was 43.3%. Scouts always caution against drawing conclusions in September, but Vierling, 25, merits a longer look. STAY.
Breen: Credit Vierling for going home after a rough 2019 minor-league season and retooling his swing to find the stroke that put him on the radar this season. He impressed in September. There’s a job for him on the opening day roster as an extra outfielder. STAY.
Adam Haseley, OF
Lauber: It seems like forever since he was the opening-day center fielder. But Haseley, 25, never gained Girardi’s trust. After a leave of absence and a .224/.282/.295 slash line in 170 triple-A plate appearances, a change of scenery may be best for everyone. GO.
Breen: He never returned to the majors after leaving the team in April for personal reasons. He finished the season in triple A and should have a chance in spring training to win a job as a left-handed bench bat and extra outfielder. STAY.
Mickey Moniak, OF
Lauber: Overmatched at the plate in a nine-game center-field audition in April, Moniak got nine plate appearances the rest of the way. But he slugged .446 vs. righties in triple A. At 23, he’s still too young to give up on. STAY.
Breen: This seems like the offseason that the Phillies trade the 2016 first overall pick, who didn’t start a major-league game after April 25. The decision makers who drafted him are no longer making decisions and those who are didn’t seem ready to trust Moniak despite an obvious need in center. Perhaps another team will. GO.
Travis Jankowski, OF
Lauber: He had his moments as a midseason fill-in. MLB Trade Rumors projects his 2022 salary at $900,000 in arbitration, more than most fifth outfielders. If the Phillies could count on Haseley or Moniak, they wouldn’t need him. STAY.
Breen: Jankowski, 30, is a strong defender and was productive at the plate before he was overexposed as an everyday player. His role — left-handed, extra outfielder — should be filled internally by a player like Haseley. The Phillies could try to bring him back on a minors deal instead of carrying him all winter on their 40-man roster. GO.
Roman Quinn, OF
Lauber: The star-crossed speedster ruptured his left Achilles tendon in May. Quinn, 28, barely made major-league minimum this year and wouldn’t get a huge bump in arbitration. But a change of scenery may be best for everyone. GO.
Breen: It’s a shame Quinn’s talents were never able to be fully displayed because he couldn’t avoid injuries. It’s unclear if he’ll be ready for the start of the season and it’s hard to justify holding a 40-man roster spot for him. The second-round pick in 2011 may have played his final game for the Phils. GO.
Zack Wheeler, SP
Lauber: Since the 2019 All-Star break, he has a 2.82 ERA, third among all starters behind Walker Buehler (2.71) and Gerrit Cole (2.75). He’s elite. The only question is, will he be affected by a career-high workload (213⅓ innings). STAY.
Breen: How good was Wheeler in 2021? He led the National League in strikeouts and generated the lowest exit velocity (84.6) among all qualified pitchers. Wheeler, 31, wasn’t just a ground ball pitcher or a strikeout pitcher. He was a complete pitcher, and he could win the Cy Young Award next month. He’s blossomed into an elite pitcher since signing in Philly. STAY.
Aaron Nola, SP
Lauber: The peripheral stats, such as fielding independent pitching (3.37) and expected ERA (3.39), indicate he was unlucky. But he also wasn’t very good. If the choices are trade low or bet on a bounce-back season, you pick Door No. 2. STAY.
Breen: There’s already been plenty of discourse this month about trading Nola. And that’s all it should be: discourse. There’s nothing harder to produce in baseball than starting pitching, and Nola, 28, is earning just $11.25 million per season. It would be crazy to trade him, especially since a package will not be a king’s ransom. The Phillies need him to bounce back, they don’t need to dump him. STAY.
Ranger Suárez, SP
Lauber: He did it all, from long relief and setting up to closing and starting. His 1.36 ERA was the lowest by a pitcher with at least 100 innings and 10 starts since Bob Gibson in 1968. He should get a few down-ballot Cy Young votes. STAY.
Breen: Harper might win the MVP next month, but where would the Phillies be without Suarez? His performance in the rotation for the final two months allows them to approach the offseason much differently. Suárez, 26, will be one of the five they break camp with. STAY.
Kyle Gibson, SP
Lauber: With the Rangers, he had a 2.87 ERA and 3.76 FIP. With the Phillies, he had a 4.59 ERA and 3.80 FIP. Guess which team caught the ball and which team didn’t? STAY.
Breen: Improving the infield defense will be a priority this winter for the Phillies, which is music to Gibson’s ears. His ground-ball rate (53.2%) and fly-ball rate (30.2%) actually improved after leaving Texas yet his results worsened. The ground-ball pitcher didn’t get much help from his defense and that could change in 2022. Gibson, 33, has one year left on his deal. STAY.
Zach Eflin, SP
Lauber: He pitched 102 innings before the All-Star break, 3⅔ innings after it. Right knee surgery KO’d him in August and could keep him out until late April or May. It amplifies the lack of depth beyond the top five starters. STAY.
Breen: Eflin, 27, likely won’t be ready until May, but the Phillies were already going to add starting pitching depth this winter. Having Suárez and Gibson eases that burden, but they should still sign two low-cost starters, with one holding Eflin’s place and the other moving to the bullpen because they’ll need more than five or six starters to navigate the season. STAY.
Matt Moore, SP
Lauber: It was a nice idea, taking a $3 million flier on the veteran lefty after a solid season in Japan. But among 190 pitchers who made at least 10 starts, Moore, 32, ranked 175th with a 6.29 ERA. GO.
Breen: The Phillies will have to try again this winter to add rotation depth, and they’ll have to do better than Moore and Chase Anderson, who combined to make $7 million and a 6.47 ERA. GO.
Ian Kennedy, RP
Lauber: He took over the ninth inning and brought order to the ranks after the deadline trade with Texas. But he also allowed seven homers in 24 innings and blew three saves in 13 chances. Dombrowski said the Phillies need a closer. They’ll sign a big-name one. GO.
Breen: Kennedy, 36, was fine in the ninth after coming over at the trade deadline, but the Phillies know they need a shutdown closer in 2022. This seems like an area Dombrowski makes a splash in during free agency. GO.
Archie Bradley, RP
Lauber: He had a 6.75 ERA in his first nine appearances, a 6.75 ERA in his last 14, and a 1.74 ERA in 30 outings in between. There were also two stints on the injured list. Opponents slugged .404 against him. GO.
Breen: His velocity rose in July to 95 mph to coincide with his best month, but the results — and the velo — soon dipped. The Phillies signed Bradley, 29, last winter for $6 million, so it will be interesting to see what he earns this year. They’d be better off investing that money into the ninth inning and elevating someone like Brogdon into Bradley’s closer role. GO.
Héctor Neris, RP
Lauber: The franchise leader in strikeouts by a reliever wants to return. As a setup man, not a closer, perhaps for the Trevor May deal (two years and $15.5 million), he’s worth re-signing. STAY.
Breen: Another team will see Neris, 32, this winter and want to sign him to be their closer. It won’t be the Phillies. If so, he’ll be remembered for handling the down times with as much grace as the good times. GO.
José Alvarado, RP
Lauber: With an 18.7% walk rate, highest among 255 relievers who worked at least 30 innings this season, the lefty is a high-leverage adventure. But it’s tough to turn away from that 100-mph heater. STAY.
Breen: He was erratic, but his stuff is electric when he’s under control. Plus, he was the return from Dombrowski’s first trade, which surely buys him more time. Alvarado, 26, gives Girardi a high-leverage lefty who can handle both right- and left-handed batters. And he’s still cheap. STAY.
Sam Coonrod, RP
Lauber: Coonrod, 29, didn’t allow a homer in his final 17 appearances, 15 of which came after he missed two months with forearm tendinitis. His fastball averaged 98 mph. He’s in the bullpen mix. STAY.
Breen: It’s hard to compete today without having some hard throwers in the bullpen and Coonrod’s fastball was the 19th-hardest among all relievers. His strikeout rate increased while his walk rate decreased -- he throws hard but knows where it’s going. Slide him into the seventh or eighth. STAY.
Connor Brogdon, RP
Lauber: Good luck finding a more underrated Phillie. The 26-year-old Brogdon held opponents to a .644 OPS, including .617 for left-handed hitters, in 57⅔ innings. There’s future closer potential here. STAY.
Breen: The majority of his plate appearances (76%) were considered either low or medium leverage, according to Baseball Reference. That should change in 2022. He threw his changeup for 34.2% of his pitches, which ranked 38th among all relievers, and opponents hit just .153 against it, which ranked eight-most among relievers who threw changeups for at least 30% of their pitches. It’s a solid pitch that plays in key spots. STAY.
Seranthony Domínguez, RP
Lauber: The road back from Tommy John elbow surgery ended in the season finale with his first major-league appearance in 851 days. His velocity remains a few ticks below his pre-injury average (97.4 mph). Maybe by opening day? STAY.
Breen: Remember how electric he was as a rookie in 2018? Maybe the bullpen story is different the last two seasons had Dominguez, 26, not needed surgery, which didn’t actually take place until 14 months after the initial injury. If he gets back to where he was pre-injury, Dominguez can be a bullpen star. But there’s only one way to find out. STAY.
Cam Bedrosian, RP
Lauber: Son of the Phillies’ former Cy Young-winning closer, Bedrosian had a 4.35 ERA in 11 September games and pitched in some big spots in the final week of the season out of necessity. Can Bedrosian, 30, parlay that into a major-league contract? It’s debatable. GO.
Breen: He pitched in 2021 for the Reds and A’s before being claimed off waivers by the Phillies. He seems like a candidate to sign a minor-league deal with someone this winter and try to win a bullpen job in camp. He’s a solid, low-leverage bullpen arm. But that’s the type of role the Phillies should be filling internally. GO.
Not included: Players on the 40-man roster who don’t qualify for salary arbitration because they have less than three years of major-league service. (Pitchers Hans Crouse, Kyle Dohy, Bailey Falter, J.D. Hammer, Damon Jones, Adonis Medina, JoJo Romero, Ramón Rosso, and Cristopher Sánchez; infielders Nick Maton and Luke Williams.)