Do the Phillies Need to Make a Big Splash in ‘24?

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Philadelphia Phillies baseball team owner John Middletown looks on at the introductory press conference for pitcher Aaron Nola, Monday, Nov. 20, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

The Philadelphia Phillies have yet to make a move after signing Aaron Nola to his seven-year, $172 million contract back in November.

Dave Dombrowski said it was going to be a quiet offseason, not adding too much to a team that has been to the NLCS for the last two years. Still, with how aggressive the Phillies seemed to be in the Yoshinobu Yamamoto pursuit, it brought wonder into the minds of fans.

Some of them want another big move like Jordan Montgomery while others say the roster needs more depth. Both sides have their fair share of valid points.

Here are reasons why the Phillies do – or do not – need to make a move.

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery holds his hat after giving up a home run to Arizona Diamondbacks’ Gabriel Moreno during the fourth inning in Game 2 of the baseball World Series Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

Reasons The Phillies Should

The Phillies lost the NLCS for multiple reasons, but the bullpen down the stretch was a glaring issue. Craig Kimbrel blew saves in games three and four and after game five, everyone was unsure of who to go to for the final two games.

If the Phillies get another starter, whether it’s Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, or Shōta Imanaga, they have a lot to work with regarding the rest of the roster. They would have Cristopher Sànchez and Matt Strahm, two pitchers with starting experience that can go multiple innings. Having two pitchers that can do that instead of having Sànchez try out to be the fifth starter would greatly benefit this team down the stretch.

According to Jeff Passan, the Phillies offered NPB superstar Yoshinobu Yamamoto a contract north of $300 million and are in on the other three big-name pitchers. This shows they are still willing to spend big money on a player despite having Aaron Nola, Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, and JT Realmuto on big contracts while simultaneously working on a Wheeler extension.

If they want to catapult their opportunity to win the World Series in 2024, they should add one of Shōta Imanaga, Jordan Montgomery, or Blake Snell.

On the Flip Side

There is reason to believe the Phillies don’t need to make a big splash. They’ve made the NLCS the past two years and have two $300 million players. Rob Thomson refused to put in Taijuan Walker and only played Michael Lorenzen in two games where the score was already out of hand.

With Mick Abel potentially making his debut this coming season and Griff McGarry waiting, do they need to get another expensive pitcher? Not really.

What they can do with the money they save on not signing Yamamoto is extend Zack Wheeler and acquire depth pieces to build around a team that has been to the NLCS each of the last two years.

They can also wait to spend big money on next year’s free agent class, where there is a certain outfielder who has yet to be extended by his new team and is very familiar with some of the players already in Philadelphia (Juan Soto).

Phillies Michael Lorenzen
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Michael Lorenzen, left, and J.T. Realmuto celebrate after Lorenzen’s no-hitter during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

What This All Means

To put it simply, they have options. All of these rumors show that the Phillies are locked in on winning and will leave no stone unturned when attempting to do so. What the Phillies do depends on how they view Abel and McGarry. If they see Abel as a piece that can solidify their rotation, I don’t see why they’d get another big name.

Signing a big name every offseason is fun for everyone involved, but the Phillies can’t just do that every year, nor should they. As Dave Dombrowski said, they need players who aren’t making a bunch of money too.

No matter what side of the coin you’re on, we can all agree that being back into the mix of players is fun. It’s been a long time since the Phillies have been in the mix for the big-name players and ever since Bryce Harper and JT Realmuto’s arrivals in 2019, they’ve been in it every year.

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)