With the 2018 World Series now in the rearview mirror, it is time for the Philadelphia Phillies to cash out during free agency.
This year’s free agency class is particularly loaded with talented players such as Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Dallas Keuchel and Patrick Corbin.
After fading down the stretch in August and September, the Phillies are expected to make an enormous splash in free agency. Philly has been rumored to be involved in both the Harper and Machado sweepstakes, which would be a huge power move for the organization if they can get one or both them.
However, before they can fully turn their attention onto the top prizes, they have their own free agents to evaluate about re-signing. Those players are Jose Bautista, Asdrubal Cabrera, Aaron Loup, and Wilson Ramos.
Who should Philly bring back next season to make a postseason run? Let’s discuss what each player brings to the table and if they deserve to come back.
1. Jose Bautista – Go
The Phillies acquired Bautista in August off of revocable waivers from the New York Mets. The acquisition of Bautista was just one of many moves that the Phillies made in August to provide a spark on offense.
However, the veteran outfielder did not bring any spark to the Phillies’ lineup in his short stint. In 27 games, Bautista had a triple-slash line of .244/.404/.467 with two home runs and six RBI.
Those are not earth-shattering statistics by any means, which makes this an easy decision. Also not to mention, the Phillies have a few younger options in the outfield with Roman Quinn and Nick Williams.
2. Asdrubal Cabrera – Go
Before the Phillies traded for Bautista in August from the Mets, a couple of weeks prior, they acquired second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera.
The veteran infielder was receiving considerable interest on the trade market from various teams. However, the Phillies stepped up to the plate and gave the Mets minor league starting pitcher Franklyn Kilome, who was once a top-tier prospect.
In 49 games with the Phillies, the 32-year-old Cabrera had a triple-slash line of .228/.286/.392 with five home runs and 17 RBI. Again, these are not outstanding numbers but he gave the Phillies more than what they got from both Cesar Hernandez and Scott Kingery.
However, just like in the outfield, the Phillies have a couple of young players in Kingery and J.P. Crawford, where they need to figure out what their roles will be going forward. This means that Cabrera would be better suited playing elsewhere in 2019.
3. Aaron Loup – Go
Loup was acquired in July during the non-waiver trade deadline from the Toronto Blue Jays as the Phillies needed a left-handed arm in the bullpen. The 30-year-old relief pitcher did not make that many appearances for the Phillies down the stretch due to an injury.
In nine games, Loup had an ERA of 4.50 and only pitched four innings.
4. Wilson Ramos – Stay
Last, but not least, Ramos is the only player that deserves to return next season. The veteran catcher was highly coveted at the trade deadline and at the last minute, Philly scooped him up from the Tampa Bay Rays.
Before being traded to the Phillies, the All-star catcher was hitting the ball well in Tampa Bay with a triple-slash line of .297/.346/.388, 14 home runs and 53 RBI. Outside of his bat, the other reason why teams wanted Ramos at the deadline was because of his defense behind the plate.
Over his nine-year career, Ramos only has 41 passed balls, which is impressive. Last season between Tampa and Philly, he only had a combined eight passed balls. He was the perfect backup for youngster Jorge Alfaro, who had an issue with blocking baseballs at the plate.