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Sure, the idea of one year for a soon-to-be 31-year-old shortstop that plays average (at best) defense is the smart play. I’d prefer Gregorius for one year rather than two, but the Phillies need Gregorius for two years rather than none.
The Phillies can pretend that Jean Segura could move back to a more demanding defensive position one year after being moved off it, but it wouldn’t end well. Scott Kingery could likely hold his own defensively, but committing to his bat in the lineup everyday feels foolish. Plus, let’s not kid ourselves with the idea of the Phillies jumping into the high-end of next year’s free-agent shortstop class. Perhaps this franchise will one day sport four $100M-plus contracts at one time, but I highly doubt 2022 is that time.
Add an outfielder with pop and versatility
Here’s a list of outfielders currently on the Phillies 40-man roster: Harper, Andrew McCutchen, Adam Haseley, Mickey Moniak, Roman Quinn, Simon Muzziotti and Roman Quinn.
Harper will be Harper in right field. The Phillies franchise player is one of the surest offensive performers in the sport. Put him down for 30-plus home runs, a high on-base percentage and middle-of-the-order production.
But as far as the other two spots? There’s reason for real worry.
Andrew McCutchen is heading into his age-34 season, and coming off the worst OPS (.757) and OPS+ (102) of his career. Plus, his defense in the outfield was spotty, which is understandable off major knee surgery in 2019. We may have to accept that this is now an average offensive player that’s better suited to DH (if that’s a thing in the NL in 2021) half the time. McCutchen is no longer a sure bet for the everyday lineup.
Haseley (who I am still a big fan of) hasn’t proven worthy of being more than a platoon player, Quinn gets more frustrating as the years go on, and neither Moniak or Muzziotti should be considered ready to do anything substantial.