Philly Front Office

Even without Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, the Phillies offseason was a ginormous success

In an offseason where many fans had the mindset of “Harper/Machado or bust,” Matt Klentak and co. have made it nearly impossible to have that thinking.

When the offseason started, most people would have assumed Machado and Harper would be on a team right now. Obviously, they were wrong. The Phillies have proven those two mega free agents won’t dictate their offseason, and they have done everything they can to improve the team.

With additions of David Roberson, Jean Segura, Andrew McCutchen, J.T Realmuto, and possibly more coming, Matt Klentak has done one heck of a job.

David Robertson

Even with the rise of Seranthony Dominguez, the Phillies wanted a new closer. It was clear they didn’t want him to be in during clutch situations, and Robertson could not fit that mold better.

In 2018, Robertson faced 283 batters, had a 3.23 ERA, 2.97 FIP, and 91 strikeouts in 69.2 innings pitched.

Robertson can pitch in every inning, and it has been reported he will not have a set role. Gabe Kapler will love that, knowing that he doesn’t like to save the best pitcher for the 9th inning. If the game is on the line in the 6th inning, Kapler will not hesitate to plug Robertson in.

With a bullpen trio of Neshek/Dominguez/Robertson, a group that was a liability last season seems to be becoming a strength.

Andrew McCutchen

When the Phillies first signed ‘Cutch, many thought that this was a sign they would not be signing Harper. What it really meant was Nick Williams is on his way out.

With Harper still not signed, the Phillies outfield consists of Williams, Hererra and McCutchen. I think we can all agree Harper would make this group a lot scarier.

McCutchen is obviously not the player he used to be. Even with that, he is still an above average defender, a guy who can play 160 games in a season, and hit for a combo of power and average.

In 155 games last season, McCutchen hit .255 with 20 HRs and 65 RBIs splitting time between the White Sox and Yankees.

McCutchen will not be expected to be a star, but he is an upgrade over Williams and a solid bat in the 5-6-7 hole in the Phils’ lineup.

Some expect a platoon between him and Nick Williams, but even if they don’t land Harper, I envision the Phils shipping off Williams in a deal for a starting pitcher.

His contract of 3 years, $50M is expensive, but the Phillies have plenty of money to spend.

Jean Segura

The Phillies trade for Segura can be only described in one word: robbery. The Phillies gave up Carlos Santana and J.P. Crawford for a perennial .300 hitter and an incredible defensive player.

Santana would have been moved anyway with Hoskins heading to first, and Crawford really hasn’t shown any flashes of potential.

In 2018, Segura hit .304 with 10 HRs and 63 RBIs.

He is a huge upgrade on the defensive side, a place where J.P Crawford struggled last offseason.

Offensively, the dude just hits. With 178 hits in 2018, Segura is clearly worth giving up J.P. Crawford.

Crawford had a rough tenure in Philly. Even as the Phillies’ top prospect for a few seasons, J.P. never really even hit well in the minors. The Freddy Galvis trade meant the Phillies were confident Crawford was ready, but he clearly was not. 

I can guarantee you, however, that Segura will be.

Even though Gabe Kapler has said he expects Segura to hit in the 2-hole, I expect him to move Cesar Hernandez to 9th and have Jean lead off.

J.T. Realmuto

This trade just happened, but I have a lot to say.

Yes, the Phillies did give up their #1 prospect, but Realmuto is well worth it.

Realmuto has played in the least hitter-friendly ballpark his entire career, and his home/road splits show that:


Sixto is an incredible prospect, but his injuries are a huge concern. When you have the chance to get a player of Realmuto’s caliber, you do it.

As for Alfaro, he also has a ton of potential. His defense and hitting for contact need some work, but he has all the tools. He just needs to find a way to put them together.

Matt Klentak has called Realmuto “the best catcher in baseball,” so there’s that.

It very well could be true. Getting out of Marlins Park will be huge J.T. I could very well see him being an all star this season.

Realmuto is only two years older than Jorge Alfaro. The notion that the Phillies made a “win now deal” is accurate, but it doesn’t mean the Phillies sacrificed the future for a 30+ year old player.

Realmuto, as alluded to earlier, should help draw Harper to Philly. Realmuto solidifies the Phillies’ lineup, and with all these additions a playoff berth should be on the way.

Possible Lineups

With Realmuto, without Harper or Machado:

  1. Hernandez 2B
  2. Segura SS
  3. Hoskins 1B
  4. Realmuto C
  5. Hererra CF
  6. McCutchen LF
  7. Franco 3B
  8. Williams LF
  9. Pitcher


With Realmuto and Harper:

  1. Segura SS
  2. Realmuto C
  3. Hoskins 1B
  4. Harper RF
  5. Hererra CF
  6. McCutchen LF
  7. Franco 3B
  8. Pitcher
  9. Hernandez 2B

With Realmuto and Machado:

  1. Segura SS
  2. Realmuto C
  3. Machado 3B
  4. Hoskins 1B
  5. Hererra CF
  6. McCutchen LF
  7. Williams RF
  8. Pitcher
  9. Hernandez 2B

With Realmuto, with Harper and Machado:

  1. Segura SS
  2. Hosksins 1B
  3. Machado SS
  4. Harper RF
  5. Realmuto C
  6. Hererra CF
  7. McCutchen LF
  8. Pitcher
  9. 2B Hernandez

Matt Klentak has been incredible, and all these moves have come without Harper or Machado signings. The lineups, even without the two big guys, are awesome. Some people feel as if these moves are out of desperation, and I couldn’t disagree more. These moves show me the Phillies are extremely confident in their odds at landing Machado or Harper, and these deals are to surround them with talent. If the Phillies do get one of them, they could very well win the World Series in 2019 (never thought I’d type that). If they don’t get either, which seems unlikely, this team should at least have a playoff berth for the first time since 2012.


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Jack Margolin

Jack is a Phillies writer for Philly Front Office. He has been following Philly sports since day 1 and has always found a passion in sports journalism. Jack can be found on Twitter @JDM5335.

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