Phillies make their move
Like a lot of Phils fans, I had Kris Bryant at the top of my free agent wish list. But I would have been more than fine with outfielder Kyle Schwarber, 29, as a consolation prize. So I was happy with the news that he was signing with Philadelphia – even more so when I learned Bryant would be getting an insane amount of money from Colorado. The Phillies couldn’t have been able to compete with that.
Then just when it looked they were done with free agency, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski struck again.
First there were the reports the team was in serious pursuit of Nick Castellanos. That was quickly followed by confirmation the 30-year-old outfielder was inking a five-year, $100 million deal with the Phils. That, combined with Schwarber’s four-year, $79 million contract, puts the club over Major League Baseball’s luxury tax threshold for the first time.
Dombrowski’s patience pays off
The consensus seems to be that Dombrowski got these guys at a reasonable price. Actually, their deals combined are less than what Bryant received from the Rockies.
Dombrowski knew there would be quality free agents left after the initial frenzy, at which point he was competing against fewer teams. I also think the Castellanos deal happened quickly, because just recently it had been reported that Philly wouldn’t exceed the luxury tax limit. Something changed; I’m guessing it was Castellanos’ still being available.
The addition of the DH in the National League also gives the Phillies more lineup flexibility with Schwarber and Castellanos.
So the Phils should score a lot of runs, on top of their strong starting pitching. Whether shoddy defense and bullpen inconsistency will ruin the chance to end their playoff drought is the big question.