The Phillies allowing a quite decent bench player to be signed by another team points to potential problems for a team that’s used up their money on Plan A.
Noting that the Philadelphia Phillies recently eschewed re-signing Corey Dickerson, an outfielder who played well for them last season, their fans should have had a question or two about the coming season for the club arise in their minds. One hopes these questions have already occurred to the Phillies front office.
Since the Fightin’s seem thoroughly spooked by a competitive balance tax, questions about Plan B – or more accurately, several Plans B – should be asked.
All of these questions fall into the What If category, and four immediately leap to mind, the first two having to do with the outfield, universally assumed to be Andrew McCutchen (returning from an ACL tear and repair), Adam Haseley (returning from a surprisingly good rookie year), and Bryce Harper (who has a mere 12 years remaining on his very costly contract).
Let’s get all of the questions out of the way first, though:
- What if McCutchen is greatly diminished as a player after his surgery? After all, he is entering his 12th MLB and age-33 season.
- What if Haseley has a sophomore slump? It’s been known to happen; it’s why we have the phrase.
- What if the Three Failing Amigos – Zach Eflin, Vince Velasquez, and Nick Pivetta – continue to fail as starters? Well, one can, but no more.
- What if Mr. Fastest Ever to – Um – 18 Homers, Rhys Hoskins, hits .226 again? Those quick 18 bombs seemed so important at the beginning of his career, all of two years ago.
The general point here is that if any one of these things happens, the Phillies may well have a significant problem on their hands that may not be solvable until the midseason trade deadline.