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What free agents would the Phillies have to surrender draft compensation to sign?


Marcus Semien had a tremendous season with the Blue Jays. (Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire)

In addition to what will likely be massive contracts, some of the top names on Philadelphia Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski’s potential free agency list this offseason could come with an extra price.

Sunday at 5 p.m. ET was the deadline for teams to issue qualifying offers to players. 14 players received these one-year/$18.4 million offers. Players who received the offer have until Nov. 17 to accept or decline it.

Since the Phillies are one of 15 teams not over the luxury tax threshold and not a revenue sharing recipient, they’ll have to cough up a second round pick and $500,000 of international signing bonus money if they want to sign one of these players, as noted by Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors.

The Phillies have gone 10 consecutive years without reaching the postseason, a streak that they are desperate to snap. However, when you have a bigger picture goal of overhauling your farm system, giving up draft compensation isn’t ideal. It will be a ticky balance for the front office this winter.

Here are the 14 players that received offers:

Brandon Belt, 1B

Belt was a key piece in the surprise 107-win San Francisco Giants team this year. The 33-year old first baseman hit .274 this season with 29 home runs. With Rhys Hoskins coming back next season, Belt is unlikely to be a target of the Phillies.

Nick Castellanos, LF

As outlined on Phillies Nation last week, Castellanos could be an option for the Phillies this offseason, as they look to replace Andrew McCutchen in left field. The nine-year veteran was one of the better hitters in the National League in 2021, homering 34 times, driving in 100 runs and posting a .939 OPS.

Michael Conforto, OF

Despite having a .729 OPS in 2021 –– his worst since 2016 –– Conforto remains a viable option for the Phillies in left field. Before a disappointing contract year, Conforto slashed .274/.376/.499 with an .875 OPS in 205 games between 2019 and 2020. If the Phillies could snag him from the division-rival New York Mets, it would benefit them.

Carlos Correa, SS

Arguably the most coveted free agent this offseason, Correa would be well worth the extra cost. His 148 games in 2021 was the most he’s played since 2016, and in addition to his offensive prowess, he had 21 defensive runs saved this past season.

Freddie Freeman, 1B

This is probably the least likely to happen, but Freeman, now a World Series champion, is technically an option for all teams this offseason. Over the last nine campaigns, the former National League MVP hasn’t had an OPS lower than .841 in any season.

Raisel Iglesias, RP

Ah, the bullpen. The unit that the Phillies struggled with the most in 2021. Iglesias had a fWAR of 2.0 for the Angels this season and a 2.57 ERA. He would be a welcome addition to the inconsistent bullpen.

Robbie Ray, LHP

If Philadelphia is serious about bolstering their starting rotation this offseason, Ray would be a great pickup. He went 13-7 for Toronto in 2021 with a 2.84 ERA and a 6.7 bWAR. 

Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP

Like Ray, Rodriguez is another American League East pitcher that could help boost the starting pitching for the Phillies. In his first season back since 2019 following Tommy John surgery, Rodriguez went 13-8 with a 4.74 ERA and a 1.389 WHIP.

Corey Seager can become a free agent this offseason. (Kyusung Gong/Icon Sportswire)

Corey Seager, SS

In terms of free agent hierarchy, Seager is close to Correa in value. He has a 132 wRC+ since 2015, which is the best among all shortstops. With the Dodgers having acquired Trea Turner this past summer, they could very well let Seager walk.

Marcus Semien, SS/2B

45 home runs and a 6.6 fWAR. That’s what Semien did in 2021. A versatile player, Semien would be a tremendous addition to the Phillies’ lineup in 2022, though he will play next season at age 31.

Trevor Story, SS

The Phillies need a drastic improvement from what they got at shortstop a year ago. Story would be a great solution. He had 24 home runs and drove in 75 runs in 2021. It would be beneficial for Dombrowski to give Story’s agent a call –– even with the extra cost.

Noah Syndergaard, RHP

Tommy John surgery and the subsequent recovery process has limited Syndergaard to just two MLB innings in the past two seasons. He’s probably best suited to accept the qualifying offer from the Mets and try his luck in free agency next offseason.

Chris Taylor, IF/OF

Taylor would be a great super-utility player for the Phillies to add. His versatility speaks for itself and he was an All-Star in 2021. He could see extended time at shortstop, center field or left field.

Justin Verlander, RHP

This is unlikely, but you never know. He missed all of 2021 recovering from Tommy John, but Verlander is a two-time American League Cy Young Award winner and one of the era’s best pitchers. Oh, and Dombrowski was leading the Detroit Tigers front office when they selected Verlander with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2004 MLB Draft, so there’s a history there.

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