As the weather continues to get colder and days seem to get shorter, it may feel like Phillies’ baseball is far far away. In reality, we have just two months until pitchers and catchers are reporting to Spring Training.
Assuming that the lockout that has taken hold of the MLB can end without jeopardizing any baseball action, it is best to be optimistic that baseball is right around the corner. With that being said, there are still plenty of free agents available to be signed once baseball activities resume.
The market for trades might heat up as well, once the league has a better understanding of the new financial structure that looks to be changed. Once baseball can resume there is potential for the Phillies to go out and sign some of the better players on the market. One of those players that the Phillies should sign is Trevor Story.
Story Time In Philly
The Colorado Rockies might be the worst run organization in baseball. Letting future Hall of Famer Nolan Arenado leave the building and paying the Cardinals over 50 million dollars to do so is an absolute laughable offense. Once the season began and Arenado was gone, it was only a matter of time before experts felt that the club would trade star shortstop Trevor Story. They would be incorrect however as Colorado allowed for their prized possession to walk into Free Agency with nothing in return.
This is where the Phillies should strike. The Phils have had a need for a shortstop since Jimmy Rollins was traded back in 2014. The club has since tried Freddy Galvis, JP Crawford, Scott Kingery, Jean Segura, and Didi Gregorious in the role. While these players weren’t awful and well respected around the league, there is no denying that fans desire more.
Trevor Story is a career .272 hitter who has averaged 34 home runs and 98 runs batted in a season. He is a two-time All-Star and can absolutely rake in every ballpark. Story’s power could play well protecting Bryce Harper in the Phillies lineup and providing more offense to a team that struggled greatly in the second half of 2021.
Defense wins Championships
The Phillies have almost had an open hole at the shortstop position the last few seasons. The defense has gotten so bad in the Phillies infield that the team had to reacquire Freddy Galvis at the trade deadline this past season. An infield of Freddy Galvis and Ronald Torreyes leaves a lot for a lineup to desire.
The Phillies shortstop position combined for a total of 27 errors in 2021. Didi Gregorious accounted for most of them with 18 himself. In 2021 Trevor Story had 14 total. While 14 errors are still not the best in terms of defense it is half of the number of errors the Phillies had. Any improvement that the Phils can add to the position would be an upgrade. Story would be an upgrade on both sides of the ball in Philadelphia.
Not the Whole Story
There are some causes for concern with signing Trevor Story as well. Story strikes out a lot. After striking out 139 times in 2021, the shortstop now averages 188 strikeouts a season. Another factor to look for is the “Coors Field Factor”. Since Story played in Colorado, in a ballpark that explodes with offense, people feel as though playing a full season elsewhere would deflate his numbers.
Another element to consider is Phillies top prospect Bryson Stott. After having a fantastic 2021 campaign in the minors, some feel as though Stott has a chance to become the Phillies everyday shortstop in 2022. The kid has a lot of potentials and has gotten better and better with each promotion.
The Phillies also have Didi Gregorious under contract for the entire 2022 season. Didi is owed 14.5 million dollars for the rest of the season. If the Phillies were to ink Story to a long-term deal, they would need to find a way to shave off Gregorious’s contract and roster spot.
Trevor Story would come a lot cheaper than the Marcus Semien and Corey Seager contracts that were signed before the shutdown. While the Phillies have a need for the position, they could not afford the same amount of money the Rangers put out this offseason. Trevor Story finds himself in a lower price bracket than Seager and eventually, Carlos Correa will end up in. His deal will most likely look similar to the Javier Baez deal with Detroit. I can see the Phillies offering a 7 or 8-year contract for roughly 170-180 million dollars.
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire