The Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly interested in a pair of New York Yankees free agents.
After an offseason where they spent “crazy money,” the Philadelphia Phillies find themselves in roughly the same spot as they were last year. Yes, they managed to win one more game, but they still have the same questions on the roster – the bullpen is a mess, the rotation has 1.5 viable starters, and the bench needs some help. At least there is a new manager in town in Joe Girardi.
Girardi may not be the only former member of the New York Yankees to make the trek to Philadelphia. According to reports, the Phillies are interested in reliever Dellin Betances and catcher Austin Romine.
If healthy, Betances could be a bargain in free agency. He was an All Star from 2014 through 2017, establishing himself as one of the top setup men in the game. However, his 2019 season was derailed by injury, as he missed most of the season with a right shoulder impingement and oblique issues. Betances came back to face two batters in September, striking both out before suffering a partial tear in his Achilles tendon.
Betances would certainly be an upgrade to the Phillies bullpen. Although the front office has thrown money at the relief corps in recent years, signing Pat Neshek, David Robertson, and Tommy Hunter, the bullpen was still a sore spot for Philadelphia last season, as they were 16th in ERA and 24th in batting average against.
Romine, meanwhile, has established himself as one of the top backup catchers in the game. In his 240 plate appearances last season, he produced a respectable .281/.310/.439 batting line, hitting eight homers and 12 doubles. He also proved to be solid defensively, throwing out 30% of would-be base stealers and showing solid range behind the plate.
However, Romine would be a bit of a luxury for the Phillies. J.T. Realmuto has established himself as arguably the best catcher in the game, and has averaged 135 games per season over his last three years. The Phillies also have promising catcher Deivy Grullon waiting in the wings, who would be a more cost effective option to backup Realmuto.
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The Philadelphia Phillies still have plenty of holes to fill on their roster. In doing so, they could have a decidedly Bronx feel in 2020.