Will Philly Land Bryce Harper?
The Phillies have been very active this offseason, and have already added Andrew McCutchen and Jean Segura. While solid acquisitions, we know who the fans want to see, and that is Bryce Harper. The big lefty power bat would fit in very nicely with the Phillies, and especially playing at Citizens Bank Park. The asking price is going to be hefty from the Harper side, but Philadelphia has not been shy about spending in the past. It is tough to say Philly will land him or not, but it seems to be on the positive side with teams dropping off in his market. Adding Harper would make the Phillies a team to be afraid of, especially with an offense that is now mixed with seasoned veterans and young talent. Harper offers up great on-base skills and can also run quite a bit too. We say a deal gets done, but at the time of writing this he is still a free agent. Manny Machado being out on the market still is also a reason they might be delaying a bit.
Does The Rotation Hinge On Aaron Nola?
Aaron Nola has leaped into ace status, coming off a stellar season. The Phillies rotation has Jake Arrieta who is trending downwards a bit, and Vince Velasquez who has some consistency and health issues at times. At their peaks this is a very good rotation, but we are looking at some arms that will need Nola to pick up where he left off and lead them yet again. If Nola goes down or shows a major slump this season, the rotation is going to be in trouble. Nick Pivetta and Zach Eflin have made positive strides, but they have yet to consistently perform at a high level, which is why they are backend arms. The upside of this rotation is there, but there are a lot of question marks. Nola performing at his best would help take some of the pressure of the rest of these names not have to perform at their ceiling.
How Big Are The McCutchen And Segura Acquisitions?
Andrew McCutchen and Jean Segura both found their way into a Phillies uniform, and they filled holes from last season. A consistent average and power bat like McCutchen will be huge, as well as his veteran presence around the club house. Shortstop was a wasteland for the Phillies last season, and Segura can flirt hitting around .300 with some stolen bases added in as well. This takes an up and coming lineup and pushes them into what should be a top half lineup when the season is all said and done. Cutch isn’t a prime bat anymore, but a park upgrade and positive batted ball stats are very encouraging for Cutch to bounce back and show a youthful bat again.