According to the New York Posts’ George A. King III, the Phillies are interested in reliever Dellin Betances and catcher Austin Romine, both of whom played under manager Joe Girardi in New York.
Betances, who will be entering his age-32 season, fits the profile of the kind of relievers the Phillies will be searching for this offseason. Last month, Jayson Stark of The Athletic tweeted that they would be searching for a guy primed for a bounce back season and mentioned Betances, who is coming off a season that started late due to a shoulder injury and ended early after a partial Achilles tear.
Beyond the rotation:— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) November 12, 2019
*Phillies still trying to trade Maikel Franco. More likely to non-tender him.
*Ditto on Cesar Hernandez. Less likely to non-tender him.
*Add 3B, 2B and/or CF. Kingery bounces to spot they don't fill.
*Shop for bounceback relievers (e.g. a Betances type?)
Over the previous four years, Betances was one of the best relief pitchers in baseball. During that stretch, he ranked 1st among all relievers in K/9 (14.99), 3rd in fWAR (8.2), 5th in FIP (2.45), and top 10 in several other categories. He is expected to get a one-year deal this offseason, and makes sense for the Phillies as a potential high risk, high reward candidate.
Romine, 31, is coming off a season in which the Yankees relied on him heavily following injuries to Gary Sanchez. While Phillies general manager Matt Klentak recently spoke highly of Andrew Knapp, it is unclear whether the team may still be looking for an upgrade to back up star catcher J.T. Realmuto.
While the Phillies like Knapp, he has struggled greatly at the plate over the last two seasons and the team could certainly use an upgrade to help better manage Realmuto, who led all catchers in games started behind the plate last season. Romine presents an upgrade offensively and is solid defensively, so it makes sense that the Phillies would have interest.
The biggest question in the market for a backup catcher is going to be how expensive one may come. Travis d’Arnaud was designated for assignment in April, but he had a solid stretch for the Rays and got a two-year, $16 million contract from the Atlanta Braves in free agency. This could set the market higher than the Phillies would prefer to engage, especially considering Knapp will come at a much cheaper price if tendered a contract.