The Philadelphia Phillies ended up where they hoped to be in 2022, but it was not an easy path.
They appeared to be dead in the water when Joe Girardi was fired. Rob Thomson was handed the reins to a flawed and injury riddled team, expected to hold down the fort until the end of the year. Instead, the Phillies responded to his leadership and even withstood their annual September collapse to go on an improbable run to the World Series. Although they came up short, the Phillies have to feel great about how the season ended.
Three players for Philadelphia Phillies to target
Now comes the hard part. The Phillies have to find a way to be able to prove that 2022 was not a perfect storm leading to a fluke result. It is time to get back to the postseason and finish the job. However, as they are still dealing with a flawed roster and the same questions they had at the beginning of last season, that may be easier said than done.
There will be a great deal of pressure on the Philadelphia Phillies to return to the postseason. Let’s look at three players they could target in that quest.
It is easy to connect the dots between Xander Bogaerts and the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Phillies have needed a shortstop since Didi Gregorius showed that he was not the answer. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski spent time in Boston while Bogaerts was part of the major league roster and had signed him to a seven year extension. And the Phillies have been clear that they will be shopping at the upper areas in free agency this offseason.
Bogaerts would make a tremendous difference in the lineup. He produced a .307/.377/.456 batting line in his 631 plate appearances, hitting 15 homers and 38 doubles. He also had one of his best seasons defensively, saving four runs at short last season.
That defense could make a difference as well. While Bogaerts may not be a Gold Glove shortstop, he would likely push Bryson Stott to second base. Stott cost the Phillies four runs at short last year, but was a positive at second base. The Phillies could, in one move, improve every aspect of the middle of their infield.
The Philadelphia Phillies have been connected to Xander Bogaerts since it was first reported that he was considering opting out. A move to Philadelphia makes perfect sense.