Top 2021 free agents available for Phillies’ biggest needs

Liam Hendriks Phillies MLB
Liam Hendriks is the top free-agent reliever available this offseason.
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Regardless of their inability to find a general manager, the Phillies have an extensive checklist this offseason to address if they want to round out their roster into one that can legitimately challenge for the National League East title.

They’ll have to hit on multiple moves if they do want to keep up with the likes of the Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals, and potentially, the New York Mets in 2021.

As free agency began on Sunday, the Phillies’ needs are innumerable.

Legitimate starting pitching depth is needed to support Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler rather than relying on the likes of Zach Eflin or Vince Velasquez to finally turn a corner.

Granted, it didn’t really matter who started games in 2020 because of a bullpen that posted an ERA over 7.00. It was just the third time in MLB history that a team’s bullpen posted an ERA that high, insuring late-inning proceedings were always an adventure.

The Phillies have already made moves to blow up their ‘pen, leaving plenty of spots open to revamp the unit. Luckily for them, this year’s free-agent market is flush with relievers.

But Philadelphia also has a pair of positional free agents that could be on the move in shortstop Didi Gregorius and catcher JT Realmuto. Both will test the waters, meaning the Phillies’ front office would have to negotiate just to retain them. There are other options available, though one would be hard-pressed to find a replacement for Realmuto that would be better.

With a pivotal offseason underway, here are the top-five free agents available at each of the Phillies’ positions of need. Next to each name is their 2020 stats:

Starting Pitcher

1) Trevor Bauer: 73.0 IP, 5-4, 1.73 ERA, 0.795 WHIP, 100 K’s

2) Marcus Stroman: DNP (COVID-19 opt-out)

3) Charlie Morton: 38.0 IP, 2-2, 4.74 ERA, 1.395 WHIP, 42 K’s

4) Masahiro Tanaka: 48.0 IP, 3-3, 3.74 ERA, 1.167 WHIP, 44 K’s

5) Taijuan Walker: 53.1 IP, 4-3, 2.70 ERA, 1.163 WHIP, 50 K’s

 

Relief Pitcher

1) Liam Hendriks: 25.1 IP, 1.73 ERA, 37 K’s, 0.671 WHIP, 14 saves

2) Alex Colome: 22.1 IP, 0.81 ERA, 16 K’s, 0.940 WHIP, 12 saves

3) Brad Hand: 22.0 IP, 2.05 ERA, 29 K’s, 0.773 WHIP, 16 saves

4) Shane Greene: 27.2 IP, 2.60 ERA, 21 K’s, 1.120 WHIP

5) Trevor Rosenthal: 23.2 IP, 1.90 ERA, 38 K’s, 0.845 WHIP, 11 saves

 

Catcher

1) JT Realmuto: 47 games, .266/.349/.491, 11 HR, 32 RBI

2) James McCann: 31 games, .289/.360/.536, 7 HR, 15 RBI

3) Tyler Flowers: 22 games, .217/.325/.348, 1 HR, 5 RBI

4) Jason Castro: 27 games, .188/.293/.375, 2 HR, 9 RBI

5) Wilson Ramos: 45 games, .239/.297/.387, 5 HR, 15 RBI

 

Shortstop

1) Marcus Semian: 53 games, .233/.305/.374, 7 HR, 23 RBI

2) Didi Gregorius: 60 games, .284/.339/.488, 10 HR, 40 RBI

3) Andrelton Simmons: 30 games, .297/.346/.356, 0 HR, 10 RBI

4) Ha-Seong Kim (Korean Baseball): 137 games, .308/.399/.526, 30 HR, 109 RBI

5) Jurickson Profar: 56 games, .278/.343/.428, 7 HR, 25 RBI

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