It has been roughly 24 hours since the Phillies lost their first baseman to a torn ACL for the season. Rhys Hoskins will be out of commission for most, if not all, of the 2023 season. The Phillies slugger will need surgery to repair his knee, and barring a miracle, he probably won’t suit up for the Phils.
With that in mind, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski is going to have to get creative to fill the void left by Rhys. Dave spoke to the media this morning and mentioned that Darick Hall will be getting the majority of playing time at first base. This, however, does not prevent the Phillies from making a move before the season begins.
After searching over each team’s rosters and minor league system, here are three potential pickups that the Phillies can make to replace Rhys Hoskins.
3. Jesus Aguilar
Longtime big league first baseman Jesus Aguilar could be exactly what the Phillies need in regards to replacing Rhys Hoskins at 1B.
Aguilar is a right-handed, power-hitting first baseman that has had success playing at the big league level. Jesus is a 1-time All-Star who has hit 109 home runs in his career.
The former Marlin and current Athletic could play against left-handed starters, while Darick Hall plays against righties. Aguilar’s defense at first baseball is not great, but he isn’t necessarily a step down from what the Phillies currently have available to them
The chances that Oakland moves him before the season starts is probably low, but he will certainly be dealt by the trade deadline if he is having a decent season. If the Phillies can entice Oakland with a deal before the season begins, he could slot in as the 26th man on the roster.
2. Luke Voit
Another right-handed slugger that the Phillies could get for cheap would be Luke Voit.
Voit, another longtime MLB veteran, led all of Major League Baseball in home runs in 2020 and has bounced around in the years after. Currently with the Milwaukee Brewers, Voit spent last season in San Diego with the Padres and Washington with the Nationals. He hit 22 home runs on the year and drove in 69 RBIs.
The Phillies might not have to trade with the Brewers in order to acquire Luke Voit. The first baseman is currently projected to start the season in the minors for Milwaukee’s AAA team. He is blocked by Rowdy Tellez for the starting first base job, and if he doesn’t make the Brewers’ bench, he could very easily request his release.
If that were to be the case, the Phillies could sign Luke Voit to a minimum deal and add him to the roster. Voit would start against left-handed pitching and could come off the bench late in games as a pinch hitter.
1. Yandy Diaz
This would be the most expensive option for the Phillies, but one that could prove to be worth the cost.
Yandy Diaz is a first/third baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays, who had been mentioned in trade talks this past off-season. He is currently slated to lead off for Tampa and start every day at either position. Trading for a starter from the Rays would not be cheap, but the move could keep this Phillies lineup dangerous.
Diaz is not a power hitter, so he would not be replacing Rhys Hoskins’ 30 homerun potential. Yandy is more of a contact hitter, who hit .296 last year in Tampa. The 31-year-old infielder has a similar profile to Jean Segura, who the Phillies lost in Free Agency this past Winter.
Why would the Rays trade their leadoff hitter?
Yandy Diaz is the prototypical Tampa Bay trade peace. The Rays love flipping major league talent about a year early, and Diaz fits that mold. The Rays are always looking to get the most value possible out of their roster, and they currently have Curtis Mead, another infielder, sitting in the minors, ready to break out.
The Rays, of course, got Mead from the Phillies in a trade for Cristopher Sanchez a few seasons ago. The young slugger is the #2 prospect in their system, and there have been talks of him signing a similar deal to what Scott Kingery had with the Phillies back in 2018.
If the Rays want to promote their top-hitting prospect, Diaz would be the most likely player to get moved. The Phillies could bat him anywhere in the lineup and rotate him between first and third with Alec Bohm. Fans would enjoy his high-contact bat, and he would not be much of a step down from losing Rhys in terms of big league-caliber offense.
This is the biggest IF of the three options, but it is by far the best player the Phillies could potentially add before they head to Texas for Opening Day.
Who do you want to see replace Rhys Hoskins? Let us know in the comments!
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire