How the Phillies’ Offseason Moves Signal the DH is on It’s Way to the National League

MLB: Winter Meetings
Dec 9, 2019; San Diego, CA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi speaks to the media during the MLB Winter Meetings at Manchester Grand Hyatt. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Sure, the Phillies show interest in Madison Bumgarner. Despite the rumblings over the two-time Silver Slugger pitcher though, the Phillies are going “all-in” on a handful of players to fill positions they already have. In fact, it almost seems like they’re pursuing any free agent possible. Could this mean the DH is making its way into the National League?

In their farm system, the Phillies hold the rights to profound prospects Bryson Stott, Alec Bohm, and Mickey Moniak. This large pool of minor league talent is the talk of the city, and most fans are excited for the Phillies to finally utilize their talent.

However, the Phillies farm system has been notably bad over the past decade or so. After the Utley/Howard/ Hamels era, not much has come from the Phillies’ drafts to help the team anytime soon. Whether that falls on coaching, the players, or on the organization as a whole, no one truly knows.

2019 Offseason

As mentioned above, the Phillies seem to be linked to any free agent or trade possible. For an organization with a lot of money, it makes a lot of sense. Why worry about scouting when you can essentially utilize other team’s proven MLB talent and just buy the player?

Moving away from the lack of scouting ability of recent years, it’s quite evident that the Phillies are willing to upgrade any position possible. However, it seems odd that they are pursuing players in the same position. With Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery, Alec Bohm, and Jean Segura already planned to run the infield, it seems unusual to add more than two infielders. The reality, though, is the Phillies’ ambitions to grab any talent possible.

The DH

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has been clearly against changing tradition and adding the DH to the NL. The MLBPA has suggested it time and time again, but Manfred refuses to budge. However, organizations tend to know the inside scoop before fans. Based on the Phillies’ offseason plans so far, it wouldn’t be surprising that they know something fans don’t.

Rhys Hoskins has clearly shown his ability to hit 20-30 home runs a year, but his defensive deficiencies take away from his bat. Alec Bohm, planning on cracking the majors this season with Maikel Franco gone, may “not have the build” of an MLB third baseman.

The Phillies clearly do not see Hoskins and Bohm cornering their infield for years to come. By offering these long term contracts to players such as Harper, Rendon, Moustakas, Donaldson, and trade talks about Bryant, the red pinstripes are evidently planning for these players to play well into their 30’s. Heck, I mean Bryce Harper is signed until he’s 39 years old.

With the new Collective Bargaining Agreement ending in 2021, the Phillies are definitely planning for some changes in the CBA. Whether it be the DH or not, it’s something to keep an eye out for with their current offseason plans.

Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

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