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Phillies Beat with Destiny Lugardo

Previously on Phillies Baseball: Recapping the first half of the offseason


Welcome back to baseball, Phillies fans.

MLB and the MLBPA have finally agreed on a new CBA. In less than a month, the Philadelphia Phillies will open their regular season schedule against the Oakland Athletics at Citizens Bank Park. In less than a month, all will be right with the baseball world.

With labor talk dominating the sport for the last three months, it’s easy to forget that important moves were made before the lockout began in December. Some teams, like the division rival Mets, have a mostly complete roster. The same cannot be said for the Phillies.

Here’s a quick recap on what went down.

Free Agent Signings

  • RHP Corey Knebel: By far the biggest move of the Phillies offseason so far, the team inked former Tigers, Brewers and Dodgers relief pitcher Corey Knebel to a one-year, $10 million deal. He was not promised the closer’s role, but Dave Dombrowski told Phillies beat writers that the team is not exactly searching for another ninth-inning arm. Knebel has an injury history but also tremendous upside.
Corey Knebel signed with the Phillies before the lockout. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire)
  • INF Johan Camargo: One of the last moves to be announced before the lockout, former Braves infielder Johan Camargo signed a one-year, $1.4 million major league contract with the Phillies. Camargo, who can play shortstop, has minor league options remaining, but will likely open the season with the Phillies in a bench role. It’s possible that he could see somewhat regular playing time considering that the Phillies might allocate some DH at-bats to Didi Gregorius and Alec Bohm.

Trades

  • Astros trade C Garrett Stubbs to the Phillies for OF Logan Cerny: With few desirable options available on the free agent market at backup catcher, the Phillies picked up a defensive stalwart in Stubbs, 28, who was a casualty of Houston’s 40-man roster crunch. To get Stubbs, the Phillies surrendered 2021 10th-round pick Logan Cerny.
  • Yankees trade RHP Nick Nelson and C Donny Sands to the Phillies for 1B T.J. Rumfield and LHP Joel Valdez: Nelson, 26, has some big league experience and will compete for a spot in the Phillies’ Opening Day bullpen. Sands, 25, posted a .793 OPS across Double A and Triple A in 2021. While Stubbs has the upper hand when it comes to winning the Phillies’ backup catcher job, Sands should get a chance to compete. The Phillies, who now have four catchers on the 40-man roster, theoretically have the flexibility to move Rafael Marchan in a trade. T.J. Rumfield was the Phillies’ 12th-round pick in 2021. Joel Valdez spent last season on the Phillies’ Dominican Summer League team.

Waiver Claims

  • LHP Ryan Sherriff: Former Rays pitchers are always a popular get on waivers. Sherriff, 31, has a career 3.65 ERA in 44 career games.
  • LHP Kent Emanuel: Emanuel, 29, has a 2.55 ERA in 10 career outings with the Astros. It’s not a coincidence that many of the Phillies’ waiver claims before the lockout were left-handed relievers. There weren’t many to choose from on the free agent market. Both Sheriff and Emanuel have minor league options and should compete for a bullpen role in spring training.
  • RHP Yoan López: López, 29, has the most big league experience out of the group of waiver claims. In his first two big league seasons, López posted a 3.36 ERA in 80 games. Since 2020, López has a 6.19 ERA in 33 games.
  • LHP Scott Moss: Moss, 27, has a 3.45 career ERA in the minor leagues as a starter. With Ranger Suárez’s Opening Day status in question and Zach Eflin expected to miss games in the beginning of the season, don’t be too surprised if Moss spends some time in the big league rotation.

Notable Spring Training Invitees

  • RHP Cam Bedrosian: Bedrosian, the son of former Phillies Cy Young winner Steve Bedrosian, signed a minor league contract with the Phillies last July and was called up in September. He returns to the organization and will compete to get back the job he had in the final month of last season.
  • INF Yairo Muñoz: Muñoz, 27, spent most of last season in the minor leagues with the Red Sox. He’s a power bat who is the owner of the longest hitting streak in the history of the Red Sox franchise.
  • OF Justin Williams: Williams’ offensive stats in three seasons in the big leagues are brutal. Why would the Phillies even bother? If you look below the surface, Williams, 26, is a clear-cut potential breakout candidate.
  • RHP Aaron Barrett: Barrett, 34, has a 4.01 ERA in 95 career outings with the Washington Nationals. His story is incredible. The 2019 World Series champion suffered a horrific injury during a rehab appearance in 2016 and made it back to the big leagues three years later.

Rule 5 Protections

According to reports, this year’s Rule 5 draft has been canceled. Nevertheless, here are the players the Phillies decided to place on the 40-man roster ahead of the protection deadline in November.

  • RHP James McArthur: The 6-foot-7 pitcher has a 3.92 career ERA in the minors. In an ideal world, he’ll probably start in Triple A and serve as starting pitching depth. If he impresses in spring training and the Phillies forego adding depth via the free agent or trade market, maybe he’s in the rotation in April. General manager Sam Fuld told Jim Salisbury: “We feel like he could help us win games in the big leagues next year.”
  • INF Luis García: García, 21, was promoted to High-A Jersey Shore in September. He’s a terrific defender who needs to make strides offensively this season to gain traction as a prospect. Phillies Nation ranked García as the team’s 15th best prospect in September 2021. He’s likely years away from the majors, but the Phillies had to protect him as it had been five years since they signed him as an international free agent.
  • OF Jhailyn Ortiz: Ortiz, 23, has 71 career minor league home runs. The power bat was the main attraction when the Phillies gave him a $4 million signing bonus in 2015. Like McArthur, we could see Ortiz in the majors as early as this season.

Departing Free Agents

  • RHP Héctor Neris: The longest-tenured Phillie and the most polarizing, yet vital member of the team’s bullpen over the past few seasons, is now a Houston Astro. Neris signed a two-year, $17 million deal with the team before the lockout. Replacing him in the bullpen is a necessity for the Phillies.
  • C Andrew Knapp: Another longtime Phillie also departed the team in November. Knapp, the former Phillies second-round pick in 2013 and backup catcher, signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds.
  • CF Roman Quinn: Quinn was designated for assignment by the Phillies ahead of the non-tender deadline. The speedster is recovering from an Achilles injury suffered in May. Former top prospect Adonis Medina was also designated for assignment to make room for Camargo on the roster. Both players were in DFA limbo for nearly three months.
  • SS Freddy Galvis: The fan favorite opted against waiting on the lockout to end and signed a deal to play in Japan.
  • 2021 Phillies that are still on the free agent market: OF Andrew McCutchen, INF Brad Miller, RHP Archie Bradley, RHP Ian Kennedy, OF Travis Jankowski, INF Ronald Torreyes and LHP Matt Moore.

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