With the Mets trading for Chris Bassitt and the Braves acquiring Matt Olson recently, it’s easy for the Phillies to get lost in the National League East news cycle. Their two main rivals have made a multitude of significant improvements this winter, and Phillies fans have had nothing but rumors to hang their hats on. However, general manager Dave Dombrowski has made a handful of important bullpen additions and seems primed for more.
One of the driving factors of the Phillies’ mediocrity in 2021 was a rollercoaster bullpen. There were a few bright spots in Hector Neris, Connor Brogdon and Archie Bradley, but the vast majority of their relief corps simply dropped the ball. Journeymen Chase Anderson and Brandon Kintzler seemed to be a bit too long in the tooth, while youngsters Bailey Falter, Christopher Sanchez and JoJo Romero were inconsistent at best. As a result, the Phillies racked up a horrifying 34 blown saves as a team. Clearly, relief pitching was at the top of Dombrowski’s to-do list.
The Phillies had been quiet for the most part this offseason, but that changed on Saturday when they inked former Mets closer Jeurys Familia to a one year $6 million pact. Dombrowski followed that up on Monday by agreeing to the same contract with southpaw Brad Hand, most recently of the Mets. While both hurlers had up and down 2021 campaigns, they are both former All-Stars who will go a long way towards evening out a Phillies pen that is prone to catastrophe.
While even more pitching additions are clearly needed, Dombrowski hasn’t forgotten about the offense, as he brought back center fielder Odúbel Herrera on a one-year $1.75 million accord.
Additionally, the Phillies brass has been keen to sure up the third base position. Former top prospect Alec Bohm bottomed out last year, and while at age 25 he has plenty of time to right the ship, the Phillies may not have time to wait around in a newly competitive NL East.