The Phillies were right to bring back Seranthony Dominguez

MLB: SEP 21 Phillies at Braves
ATLANTA, GA Ð SEPTEMBER 21: Philadelphia relief pitcher Seranthony Dominguez (58) throws a pitch to the plate during the game between Atlanta and Philadelphia on September 21st, 2018 at SunTrust Park in Atlanta, GA. The Atlanta Braves came from behind to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 6 to 5. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire)

The Phillies have agreed to a one-year, $727,500 contract with Seranthony Dominguez.

According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Phillies have avoided arbitration with reliever Seranthony Dominguez. The two sides agreed to a one-year, $727,500 contract on Monday. This won’t have much impact on the team next year, because Dominguez will be out recovering from Tommy John surgery for most, if not all, of the season. However, this means that the team believes Dominguez will be a valuable piece in 2022 and beyond.

Dominguez is still a powerful young arm, but many reporters, such as Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, considered him a likely candidate to be non-tendered this offseason. Not only is he recovering from surgery, but even when he was healthy, Dominguez struggled in 2019. With the Phillies looking to cut costs, Dominguez could easily have found himself non-tendered. 

Luckily for Dominguez, the Phillies clearly realized that offering him a contract was the smart thing to do. First and foremost, it would be scummy to cut a player after he injured himself pitching for your team. Non-tendering Dominguez would have made the Phillies look bad in front of the entire league. They really don’t need bad press like that this offseason. Considering the direction this team is going in, they’ll need all the help they can get to convince free agents that Philadephia is a good place to sign.

Secondly, Dominguez won’t be a free agent until 2025. It’s worth paying $700k for one year of nothing in exchange for three more seasons of team control over a player like him. On the one hand, we have no idea how Dominguez will perform when he finally returns to the mound. Many pitchers are never the same following Tommy John surgery. In addition, if he returns on opening day 2022, he’ll have gone almost three years without pitching in the majors. Even if he is healthy to start 2022, he’s going to be pretty rusty. 

On the other hand, it would be ridiculous to throw away all of Seranthony Dominguez’s potential just to save $700k. He was incredible in 2018 (2.95 ERA, 2.85 FIP, 1.3 fWAR and 2.3 bWAR), and if he can be even half that good going forward, he’ll be worth millions. Even if he ends up pitching like he did in 2019 (4.01 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 0.2 fWAR and 0.0 bWAR), he’d still be a valuable middle reliever in the Phillies bullpen.

Seranthony Dominguez is one of the few homegrown success stories this team has had in recent years. If he returns at full force in 2022, he could be a star reliever on the next great Phillies team. That’s far from a sure thing, but it’s not worth throwing away that chance just to save a little cash.

Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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