NL East: A mid-term front office assessment of the 5 teams

Apr 11, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng looks on before the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 11, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng looks on before the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nick Castellanos. Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Castellanos. Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

Philadelphia Phillies front office, -1.9

The Dombrowski-Fuld front office was nearly as aggressive this winter in trying to keep up with the Mets as was New York’s front office. The two headline moves were the free agent signings of Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber for a total of nine years and $179 million.

Overall, the Phillies made 32 personnel moves, of which 12 have been positive, 15 negative and five neutral. Here are  the five most impactful.

March 22: Castellanos signed for five years and $100 million, and has not yet delivered the offensive spike Phillies fans hoped for. He’s only hitting .245, although that comes with eight homers and 40 RBI. His .680 OPS is below par for anyone, much less a $100 million player, saddling the Phillies with -1.8 WAA. Stuck in the outfield due to Bryce Harper’s thumb injury, Castellanos has already amassed -12 defensive runs saved, a pitiful performance at a season’s halfway point.

Nov. 3: The Phillies front office granted veteran Brad Miller free agency. It was a smart moves. Miller signed with Texas, where he has hit only .213 in 168 plate appearances. That adds up to -1.4 WAA. Dombrowski and Fuld can be glad they’re not burdened with that.

April 7: Making the opening day roster, rookie Bryson Stott had a poor debut, prompting his demotion to Lehigh Valley. He was recalled May 7 and has stuck, but the offense hasn’t come around. Stott is hitting just. .185 in 171 plate appearances, good for a -1.0 WAA. If Stott’s performance doesn’t pick up, another demotion could be in the middle infielder’s future.

March 30: Filler players can have significant impacts in short  stays. In late March the front office acquired journeyman pitcher James Norwood from San Diego for a minor leaguer. Norwood only worked 17 innings before the Phillies unloaded him to Boston in June. In those 17 innings he had an 8.31 ERA and -0.8 WAA.

March 20: Schwarber signed for four years and $79 million, and has become the one big Phillies pickup to deliver value. Still a modest defensive liability, he’s offset that with a league-leading 23 home runs and an .851 OPS. That works out to +0.6 WAA.