June 17, 2021

Philadelphia Phillies’ Offseason Marginally Improves Their Ballclub (Baseball Essential)

The Philadelphia Phillies have missed the playoffs in each of the last eight seasons and have been rigorously spending in an attempt to get back on the map. They’ve continued that mentality this offseason, but their premier transactions do little to improve their 2020 outlook.

The Phillies’ two big moves this offseason are signing former New York Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler to a five-year, $118 million deal and former New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius to a one-year, $14 million deal.

Wheeler and Gregorius are proven commodities with the upside to perform at a higher level with the Phillies than they did with their respective teams in 2019.

There have been two versions of Wheeler over the last two seasons. From opening day to the midway point of the regular season, he has struggled with his command, surrendered a lot of baserunners, and pitched to a high ERA. On the other hand, he has pitched at an All-Star caliber level in the second half of both seasons.

Wheeler posted a 4.85 ERA across his first 14 starts and a 2.26 ERA across his ensuing 16 starts in 2018. Last season he posted a 4.94 ERA across his first 15 starts and a 3.04 ERA across his ensuing 16…

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