It’s been a while for the Philadelphia Phillies, but the hot stove season comes quicker when you play this far into the postseason. Teams are able to have unofficial —let’s call it what it is, legal tampering— with potential free agents beginning now. Free agency official begins Thursday, November 10 at 5 PM/Eastern.
On that note, the Phillies are reportedly linked to a handful of major free agent shortstops as they look to improve the lineup.
Here’s the latest.
The former Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop is likely to generate the most interest and receive the largest contract of the potential A-level free agent shortstops. Baseball insider Jon Heyman ranks Turner as the 5th best free agent in the 2022-23 cycle. Heyman used what he termed an “outside expert” to determine a potential contract. The expert believes Turner gets a 9-year/$275MM deal ($30.5 AAV).
Tuner makes a ton of sense for the Phillies. The 30-year old has a career slash of .302/.355/.487 with 124 HR, 434 RBI, and a .842 OPS. A five-tool player, Turner has a career .980 fielding percentage, a career DRS of 9, he also led the NL in stolen bases twice and won the batting title in 2021. He’s the total package.
Oh, he also came up with the Washington Nationals and a guy named Bryce Harper. Turner played in DC from 2015-2021 before signing with LA. There’s a belief that he may want to return to the East Coast.
The 30-year old Bogaerts is expected to opt-out of his 6-year/$120MM deal with the Boston Red Sox and test free agency. According to Heyman, the belief is Bogaerts will command an 8-year/$275MM ($34.3 AAV).
Bogaerts is a four-time All-Star and a four-time Silver Slugger. He has a career average of .292 with 156 homers and 683 RBI. He has a career fielding percentage of .979 and is generally considered a middle of the road defender.
He has been tied to the Phillies since the early Fall when it became known that he was likely opting out of his contract.
The 28-year old Swanson is the most defensive player of the top level free agent shortstops. Swanson won his first Gold Glove this past season with the Braves. He also had his best offensive season slashing .277/.329/.447 with 25 homers, 96 RBI, and a .776 OPS.
Atlanta reportedly made Swanson an extension offer during the season worth around $100MM which he rejected. Heyman and his “guy” expect Swanson to garner a 7-year/$175MM ($25 AAV) deal.
Any of the three would be an immediate upgrade to the lineup. What remains unknown is what the Phillies value more, offense or defense. Another unknown is the Phils willingness to add another massive salary.
The answer to the later is likely a yes. John Middleton and Dave Dombrowski likely recognize the continued financial investment it will take to return to the postseason. Especially in the pressure cooker that is the NL East.
These questions and more will be answered over the next few months. Buckle up!