April 21, 2021

The Phillies Sign Four Veterans Who Were Good Once (FanGraphs)

Building a competitive roster requires a lot of things from a major league club. Often it requires that the team spend a substantial amount of money, make smart trades, and draft well. But it also requires a decent bit of good luck when it comes to minor transactions. Ask a fan of the 2019 Yankees how they think the team might have fared without Mike Tauchman, Gio Urshela, and Cameron Maybin — three players acquired after the 2018 All-Star break for virtually nothing. There is, of course, skill involved in knowing which players to target in those low-risk moves and which tweaks to make to turn them from fringe 25-man players into legitimate starters. But there is a certain degree of guesswork, educated or not, involved in every step of that process. The odds of one of these small-scale pickups evolving into much of anything are always low, which is why teams make lots of them every winter.

The Philadelphia Phillies have already tried spending money and making smart trades. Last winter, they signed two starting outfielders and traded for a starting shortstop, a starting catcher, and a bullpen anchor. The math of their offseason worked out in theory — the players they…

Read “The Phillies Sign Four Veterans Who Were Good Once” at FanGraphs