MLB: Assessing the NL East GMs at the midway point

Jul 1, 2021; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves pinch hitter Ronald Acuna Jr. (13 reacts after getting a single against the New York Mets during the eight inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 1, 2021; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves pinch hitter Ronald Acuna Jr. (13 reacts after getting a single against the New York Mets during the eight inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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The re-signing of J.T. Realmuto was a plus for Dave Dombrowski. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
The re-signing of J.T. Realmuto was a plus for Dave Dombrowski. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Philadelphia Phillies, Dave Dombrowski, -0.7

The Phillies (along with the Mets) took their front office retro in 2021, hiring Dombrowski to run the team between collecting Social Security checks. As is often the case with Dombrowski, there has been a lot of churn – 21 player arrivals or re-signings, seven departures.

The problem is the sum total of that churn doesn’t amount to much.

Dombrowski’s two boldest moves were parallel ones: setting J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius adrift on the open market over the winter, then re-signing both of them.

Bringing back Realmuto (+0.8) has been decidedly the smarter move thus far. The All Star catcher is batting .260 with a .783 OPS.

Gregorius (-1.1) has proven a less successful gamble. He’s batting just .231, one reason why he’s made only 33 starts in 2021. Gregorius finds himself splitting time with journeyman Ronald Torreyes (-0.6), a less costly free agent signee.

Here are some of Dombrowski’s other personnel moves.

  • Signed veteran free agents infielder Brad Miller (-0.8), and outfielders Matt Joyce (-0.6) and Travis Jankowski (+0.4). Net impact: -1.0.
  •  Signed journeymen pitchers Brandon Kintzler (-0.8), Matt Moore (-0.3), Archie Bradley (-0.1) and Chase Anderson (-0.9). Net impact: -2.1.
  • Promoted nine first-year players, notably pitcher Ranger Suarez (+1.2) and outfielder Mickey Moniak (-0.3). Net impact of those promotions: +0.2.
  • Let Jake Arrieta (-2.1) walk on free agency to Chicago.