Christmas time is finally here and the Phillies are in desperate need of a few gifts. Having yet to award a single major-league contract, the team largely carries the same weaknesses that they did last year and run the risk of getting even worse heading into next season.
With such an abundance of roster holes, the Phillies seemingly need a miracle (or two) if they are to re-establish themselves as playoff contenders in a highly-competitive NL East division.
Today, let’s take a look at a few things that should be on their Christmas wishlist to Santa.
A Big Ole J.T Realmuto Extension
Let’s start with the obvious. Frustratingly, the Phillies STILL have yet to extend star catcher J.T Realmuto. Despite the clear need for his services, despite franchise player, Bryce Harper’s constant pining for his return, and despite Realmuto’s impressive, proven track record, the talented backstop remains unsigned.
I’ve discussed the massive ramifications of his potential departure at length, and I’ll say it again. The Phillies NEED J.T Realmuto. Without him, they will no doubt plunge further down the totem pole in the NL East.
Since Phillies team owner John Middleton doesn’t seem to care, here’s hoping that Santa can throw the team a bone.
New Bullpen Pieces for the Phillies
Last season, the Phillies bullpen wasn’t just bad, they were historically horrendous. En route to blowing eight separate three-run leads, as well as many other games, the bullpen recorded a putrid 7.06 ERA. The embarrassing figure stands as the second-worst in MLB history, trailing only the…1930 Phillies (8.01 ERA). They were also the first bullpen since the expansion era to post an ERA above 7.00. Yikes.
Simply put, the bullpen was flat out dreadful last season and an encore performance is the absolute last thing the Phils need.
I’d expect freshly-minted President of Baseball ops, Dave Dombrowski, to put a major emphasis on revamping his relievers heading into next season.
Bohm SZN Continues
Not sure how much Santa can help with this one, but if the Phillies are to be competitive in 2021, they will need Bohm to take the next step in his sophomore season.
Nearly taking home the ROY honors, Bohm was nothing short of sensational in his rookie campaign.
Finishing the season on a five-game hitting streak, including four multi-hit games, the Phillies are hoping that the talented third baseman is just scratching the surface of his massive potential.
MVP Harper breaks out for the Phillies
As I stated earlier, the Phillies need a LOT to bounce right for them to compete next year. One of the easiest routes back to the postseason would be on the wings of an MVP-caliber year from their $330M man Bryce Harper.
A perennial all-star, Harper is a threat to break out and take home the MVP honors just about every year. Having already won one in 2015 as a National, hopefully, he can do so again while donning the red pinstripes.
A 50+ HR and 100+ RBI season would be just what the doctor ordered in Philly.
Admittedly, this one is wishful thinking to the highest degree. Not so much because the team doesn’t have a need for the reigning NL Cy Young winner, but because Middleton and co. seem hellbent on spending as little as possible. If there was ever a player to empty the vault for, though, it’s Trevor Bauer.
Bauer, 29, led the NL in ERA (1.73), WHIP (0.795), opponents’ batting average (.159), opponents’ BABIP (.215), adjusted ERA+ (276), hits per nine innings (5.1), shutouts (two) and complete games (two). He ranked second in strikeouts (100) and strikeouts per nine innings (12.3). As the kids say these days, not bad.
If acquired, Bauer would make for a tremendous running mate alongside Nola and Wheeler and would quickly change a pedestrian starting rotation to one of the tops in the majors.
Landing him would be nothing short of a Christmas miracle. Hopefully, Santa isn’t still sour at Philly for the whole snowball ordeal..
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire