The Philadelphia Phillies have made some noise in the front office during the past couple weeks, but they have not made any moves of significance in free agency.
The pace of offseason transactions has slowed down in recent years, but this year appears to be lagging even further behind, extenuated by the pandemic and lack of in-person Winter Meetings.
However, for as slow as the offseason has been to this point, quite a few former Phillies have signed with teams already.
Charlie Morton, who suffered a season-ending injury early in his lone season in Philadelphia, signed a one-year, $15 million contract with the division rival Atlanta Braves. The Braves also inked Drew Smyly – he of the Gabe Kapler-led Cliff Lee comparisons – to a one-year/$11 million deal.
Carlos Santana, who spent one season with the Phillies before an offseason trade, signed with the Kansas City Royals on a two-year, $17.5 million contract.
Former Phillies prospect Trevor May, who was traded as part of the package that landed Ben Revere, signed with the New York Mets on a two-year, $15.5 million deal.
While Dylan Cozens and Hoby Milner weren’t able to land guaranteed major league deals, the duo of former Phillies has already secured minor-league deals with invites to major league spring training from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Still, several former Phillies remain free agents, some of whom could provide above-average production at the major league level in 2021:
Freddy Galvis, SS
Galvis spent the first six seasons of his major league career with the Phillies before heading to the San Diego Padres in a trade prior to the 2018 season. Since then, Galvis’ hit tool has improved slightly, and he had career highs in OPS (.734) and home runs (23) in 2019 with the Toronto Blue Jays and Cincinnati Reds.
The defensive-minded shortstop stands as a fallback options for teams that miss out on the top players available at the position in Didi Gregorius, Marcus Semien and Andrelton Simmons.
Cesar Hernandez, 2B
Hernandez, who was arguably the Phillies best homegrown player for a period of time, had a good 2020 in Cleveland. After being non-tendered by the Phillies, Hernandez slashed .283/.355/.408 and won the American League Gold Glove Award at second base.
A return to Cleveland makes sense for Hernandez in 2021, but for now, he remains a free agent. He makes sense for any team in need of help at second base, and remains a relatively low-cost option.
Maikel Franco, 3B
The Phillies non-tendered the former top prospect following the 2019 season. While Franco had a solid season with the Royals in which he slashed .278/.321/.457, he was non-tendered for the second straight year.
Franco, still only 28, stands as a cheap option for a team in need of help at third base.
Brad Miller, IF
Miller became a folk hero for the Phillies in 2019 when he brought a bamboo plant into the clubhouse during a tough stretch for the team. He also finished the season with three multi-home run games in a nine-game stretch, but the Phillies decided to move on in the offseason.
The infielder hit relatively well for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2020, slashing .232/.357/.451 and spending much of his time as the team’s designated hitter.
Ken Giles, RP
Giles was up and down after the Phillies traded him to the Houston Astros following the 2015 season, but had an excellent 2019 in which he posted an ERA of 1.87 in 53 games with the Toronto Blue Jays. The 30-year-old, who is the best homegrown reliever in recent Phillies history, is recovering from Tommy John surgery and is unlikely to pitch in 2021.
Given this, he is likely to get a two-year deal from a team that is willing to bank on him being the same pitcher in 2022 that he was pre-injury.
Asdrubel Cabrera, IF
The Phillies acquired Cabrera from the Mets during the 2018 trade deadline. The infielder struggled at the plate with a .678 OPS and was a liability at shortstop, a position he probably should not have been playing.
Cabrera had a nice 2019 season for the Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals, slashing .260/.342/.441 and driving in 91 runs. Cabrera spent most of 2020 at first base, and is optimal as a 1B/DH option in free agency this offseason.
Jonathan Villar, IF
The Phillies sent Villar to the Houston Astros in the Roy Oswalt trade in 2010. While it took a few years for the 29-year-old to breakout, Villar has shown the ability to be an everyday infielder who can play multiple positions.
Villar had his best year in 2019, when he slashed .274/.339/.453 in 162 games with the Baltimore Orioles. But he took a step back in 2020, and is a low-cost option for a team that is looking for a versatile infielder.
Cole Hamels, SP
Hamels, the former World Series MVP, appeared in just one game with the Atlanta Braves in 2020 after struggling with multiple injuries. The season before that with the Chicago Cubs, he had an excellent first half and finished with a solid 3.81 ERA over 141 2/3 innings pitched.
It seems likely that the soon to be 37-year-old will have to take a deal worth much less than the $18 million dollar contract he signed last offseason. His age combined with injury history make him a risk, but he still could have something to offer.
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