The Big Names, the Injured, and the Bench
The only properly termed Big Names on the Phillies at this point are Bryce Harper, Zack Wheeler, J.T. Realmuto, and Ranger Suarez. After last season, Jean Segura will probably be back as well although his contract is expensive at this point.
Suarez isn’t arbitration eligible yet, and no one would seriously consider cutting loose Harper, Wheeler, or Realmuto. Aaron Nola might also be on some “keep lists,” but a puzzling year of ineffective pitches and bad luck has likely stricken him from other rolls.
Breen and Lauber would keep Nola. However, with careful evaluation of what they might get in return, the Phillies might consider trading him at this point. Again, with very careful evaluation, and one of the players returned should be a starter who is MLB-ready.
The Inky writers have at least two double “stay” votes among their opinions that might be considered surprises. They would both keep Rhys Hoskins and Jose Alvarado.
Hoskins might not be as big a surprise as Alvarado, but few Phillies fans are now entirely sure Hoskins is a team cornerstone; unfortunately, this is because of injury time lost to an extent, but Hoskins is also likely to be a streaky player his whole career. Maybe that will smooth out. Free agent alternatives are wanting or too expensive (Freddie Freeman).
Alvarado is the team’s most obvious candidate for at least one “go” vote between not only any two fans, but also any two baseball writers. Neither Breen or Lauber want him gone, however. Go figure. It seems to me that there must be other set-up relievers available who throw as hard as or nearly as hard as the Phillies left-hander.
Finally, in terms of individual player discussion, Ronald Torreyes should be kept. The Inky writers split on that. However, no player besides Bryce Harper seemed to have as many big moments this past season as Torreyes. How many tweets from Phillies fans read simply, “Where would we be with Ronald Torreyes?”
The answer is below .500. He got key hits. His defense was the second best in the infield to Segura’s.
Any other member of the Phillies 40-man squad not designated a keeper here should be fighting for an MLB job in spring training. That’s why they’re paid, minimally, six-figure salaries – to perform under pressure.