5 Transactions That Would Help the Phillies Return to the Playoffs

Tim Kelly
November 21, 2019 - 8:15 am

Despite one of the greatest on-paper offseasons in MLB history - general manager Matt Klentak called it "objectively great" - the Philadelphia Phillies won just 81 games in 2019.

The craziest part about what was perhaps the most disappointing season in franchise history is that the offseason's two biggest pickups - Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto - both had excellent 2019 seasons. Realmuto won both the National League Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger Award at catcher. Harper was a Gold Glove Award finalist in right field and drove in a career-high 114 runs.

But, a lot of other things didn't go the Phillies way in 2019.

Andrew McCutchen, who was having a season worthy of All-Star consideration, suffered a season-ending ACL tear in early June. That came days after former All-Star center fielder Odubel Herrera was arrested for a domestic incident, which ultimately led to him being suspended for the remainder of the season. Hector Neris and Jose Alvarez were the only two members of the team's Opening Day bullpen that had healthy, productive 2019 campaigns. And, most importantly, each of Nick Pivetta, Zach Eflin and Vince Velasquez had to be moved to the bullpen at some point during the season, with none of the trio taking the step forward that the Phillies needed to contend.

After manager Gabe Kapler was fired, the Phillies hired former Florida Marlins/New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi to lead the team. While Girardi is a former World Series winner that was 200 games over .500 in his 10 years as Yankees skipper, it's going to take a lot more than a managerial change for the Phillies to return to the postseason for the first time since 2011.

Here are five transactions that the Phillies could make this winter as they look to compete in a highly-competitive National League East: