As another failed season ends, it is time to look ahead and ask the question: who should stay on this Phillies roster for 2021? While this may depend greatly on whether Matt Klentak remains as the Phillies’ general manager, we can begin to speculate on which players have earned a spot for 2021.
The Phillies’ outfield has been crowded and yet somehow empty over the last few years. While Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen have essentially been locks in the corner slots, Cutch has had his injuries and center field has been a platoon on its’ best days.
Bryce Harper: STAYS
Harper hit a team-leading 13 home runs this year. That’s on-pace for a 35 home run season. Even with his struggles, Harper led the team with a 157 OPS+. He is the bona fide leader and face of the Phillies, and will enter year three of his 13-year contract. He’s here for the long run.
Andrew McCutchen: Stays… For Now
Cutch is entering what could be the final year of his three-year, $50 million contract with the Phillies. He does have a team option the Phillies can exercise for 2021, making him both a versatile contract to keep and an interesting potential trade piece. Unfortunately though, given that Cutch will earn $20 million in 2021, it is unlikely the Phillies could get much for the veteran in what will be his 34-year-old season.
2020 saw some overall regression in Cutch’s stats, but not by a concerning rate. His OPS dropped from .834 to .757, mostly due to his total walks being cut in half. Cutch played roughly the same amount of games in 2019 as 2020 due to his torn ACL. At this point in his career, McCutchen is an average outfielder at best, but he makes up for it in the experience and leadership he brings into the clubhouse. Not to mention the presence of everyone’s favorite Uncle Larry.
McCutchen stays, but if whoever the Phillies’ GM is this offseason wants to free up extra payroll, Uncle Larry just might have to move.
Roman Quinn: Gone
Roman Quinn is fast. That’s about it. He’s overly aggressive in the outfield and constantly makes poor judgement calls. He is incredibly injury-prone, and will most likely never play a full 162-game season in his career. And to top it all off, Quinn is a very underwhelming batter. In fact, he ended both 2019 and 2020 with a .213 batting average. Throughout his career, Quinn has always possessed a below-average OPS+ (54 in 2020).
Maybe the 27-year old can get it together, but the Phillies cannot afford to give him many more chances. It’s time for a change of scenery for Quinn.
Adam Haseley: Stays
Haseley and Quinn are like two peas in a pod. The only difference is Haseley is younger and has more time to mature. At age 24, Haseley failed to hit a home run in 92 plate appearances in 2020. He batted for a decent .278 average but yielded an over 87 OPS+. He is still a below-average outfielder but only has 107 career games under his belt. If he is given the starting centerfielder job for 2021, he may have the time and exposure needed to mature into a strong every day part of the Phillies’ outfield. If not, he is a serviceable bench player with a cheap contract.
Mickey Moniak: Stays (AAA)
One of the benefits of the odd 2020 season was that it gave the Phillies a chance to see former first-overall pick Mickey Moniak in the Majors. The 22-year old had only risen to AA Reading in 2019, and still has another year or two of development in the minors before being fully prepared to face all that the Majors has to offer.
We will see Moniak again, but he will likely begin the 2021 season in AAA Lehigh Valley.
Kyle Garlick: Stays (Minors)
Garlick owns a career .214 batting average in 42 games played. The 28-year old is only serviceable as a depth option in AAA and may find himself on the Phillies’ roster in 2021 in the case of multiple injuries to the Phillies’ outfield. Otherwise, Garlick seems to be trending towards a career in the Minor Leagues.
Jay Bruce: Gone
Bruce’s three-year, $39 million contract is up, allowing the 33-year old to face free agency. The outfielder has certainly seen better days, and only batted .198 in 32 games in 2020. Bruce spent a few stints on the Injured-list and mostly acted as DH while active. Considering the DH is currently leaving the NL for 2021, the Phillies have little need for a big bench bat at $13 million.
Bruce will most likely sign on with an AL team looking for a decent DH option.
Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire