A DH free agent could now cost them much more

Prior to the MLB lockout, the Philadelphia Phillies had shown some interest in pursuing free agents Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos. Each could be an option for the club as a DH. The team currently has no notable options unless you want to move Rhys Hoskins there, which creates a hole at first base.

The official announcement of the DH joining the National League is great news for the health of players and teams with an extra bat on their roster. Philadelphia is not in that position. They lack talent.

Unless they’re planning on going with a lesser guy – like a Brad Miller reunion – whatever they’re paying to bring in a DH will suddenly cost a lot more.

The Philadelphia Phillies missed a chance to sign a DH free agent and it could cost them dearly

The free agent market is changing drastically with this change. Suddenly guys like Schwarber and Castellanos are a better fit for a lot more teams. Someone like Nelson Cruz has a reason to stick around for a few more years in his quest to hit 500 career homers.

Whichever direction the Phillies decide to go, the high-level DHs available can hold them hostage and demand a lot more than they could have in November.

It’s not the end of the world for the club in their quest for a better roster by signing a DH free agent. There should be a ceiling at any given time on the number of teams willing to pay top dollar to sign the best players available. For the Phillies, the only advantage they can get is to wait and see who stays after the top names find homes.

It’s not a winning strategy. The “wait and see” approach should not excite anyone, nor should it. Unfortunately, it’s a very likely scenario that would find the Phillies once the lockdown ends, free agency would resume and the rest of the remaining available players would start signing contracts.

Offensively, the Phillies should focus on finding at least one high-quality outfielder. They have a pair of holes: one in center field and the other to the left. There are several ways to approach the two. Far more important than handing out a big paycheck to one of the DH free agent candidates would be securing at least one of those positions with a reliable guy who can fill the job but also provide them with a good offense.

The Phillies should not be expected to rest comfortably with their current roster. While the core remains in place, the holes they have are far too large to ignore.

Christy J. Olson