Phillies bullpen in 2020 can be helped by former ace

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The Phillies have an alternative route for the rotation to signing Cole. Photo by Geoff Burke – Pool/Getty Images.

While Phillies coverage is on the acquisition of a rotation piece or two, general manager Matt Klentak must also consider having back-of-the-pen hurlers to protect slight edges in the final three frames.


Right price:   

Occasionally, something unexpected lands on the Philadelphia Phillies GM’s desk and is an opportunity to accomplish his goals and achieve positive results more easily. But Klentak can’t use it as a backup plan and risk forfeiting this chance to a rival, he must make moves with a critical eye — yet quickly!


“Right time, right place, right people equals success. Wrong time, wrong place, wrong people equals most of the real human history.” – Idries Shah

The hot stove league began with good news for the starting staff and the relief corps. Yes, one involves good health regarding a reliever who finished 2019 on the injured list, and the other concerns a reasonably priced hurler for a contending opportunity. Any guesses?

The importance of remaining below the CBT (competitive-balance threshold) is critical to the business end of major league baseball. Unfortunately, execs don’t advertise this long-term factor, plus many fans and writers are oblivious to this trend for parity due to thoughts directed elsewhere.

Rooting for teams and stars goes back to recruiting players, forming a club, creating a league, and charging admission. So, if your favorite fielder, catcher or pitcher doesn’t perform up to expectations, the Phils replace, cut, or swap him. But one role for two good regulars equals trading a strength for a weakness.

Employing hindsight primarily, some scribes individualize each deal not made, but combining their moves equals a GM’s dismissal even if two are contradictory. Yet, if a hitter consistently goes two for five, he’s an All-Star, while the decision-maker must go five for five to keep his job according to some locals, no?

While managing partner John S. Middleton’s approach of adding seasons and dollars to a free-agent signing lacks popularity, he’s lowering the AAV to avoid the Luxury Tax. But some faithful supporters prefer dramatically overpaying per 162 to limit the contract lengthwise, which raises the AAV they casually dismiss.

Imagine acquiring a mid-rotation arm for $10 million AAV. Yes, an extra $5 million AAV for a critical-inning fireman will help the pen shoulder the workload in the seventh, eighth and ninth. In other words, good fortune could be at hand after last summer’s plague of the walking wounded.

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