Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis
Dave Dombrowski of the Phillies
Dave Dombrowski stood in a ballroom at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort in Nashville last month at the Winter Meetings and spoke excitedly of the current Phillies roster. 

He also recognized the optics that go along with making - or not making - a splash-type free agent signing, admitting the Phillies will likely steer away from big names remaining on the market in favor of less expensive value additions to the roster. 

“I mean, we did sign Aaron Nola,” Dombrowski said with a smile, referencing the seven-year, $172 million deal inked in November.  

“That's pretty big. The one thing I think you always have to be careful about is, and I understand this, individuals are fascinated by star players. Right? We have a bunch of star players. Right? You’ve got two starting pitchers in [Zack] Wheeler and [Aaron] Nola, who are stars. We’ve got an All-Star catcher. We've got an All-Star first baseman now. We’ve got an All-Star shortstop, highly paid. DH, right fielder. That's seven, and that doesn't even include our young guys. The Stotts. The Bohms. The Marshes. The Walkers. The Su├írezes. It doesn’t include anybody from the bullpen. 

“You can only have so many stars. I think your better clubs have complementary players." 

It has been a month since Dombrowski's remarks, and he and the organization have stayed true to their word. Despite star pitchers Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery being available, sources indicate the club is not pursuing either, instead satisfied with a rotation comprising Nola, Zack Wheeler, Ranger Suarez, Taijuan Walker, and Cristopher Sanchez. 

The Phillies could use another bullpen piece, and All-Star Josh Hader is available, but his price tag likely sits north of $100 million, a figure not in the realm of interest for Dombrowski. 

One relief arm that could be a fit is flame-thrower Jordan Hicks. The 27-year-old right-hander throws a 100-mph sinker and, at times, looks like a mirror version of Jose Alvarado. He posted a 3.29 ERA last season to go along with 12 saves while splitting time between Toronto and Saint Louis. Because of his age, he could be a long-term addition to the bullpen. 

Offensively, the Phillies intend to have center fielder Johan Rojas open the season in the minors to work on his approach at the plate, meaning Brandon Marsh will likely slide back over to center. This potentially puts the club in the market for a veteran-type corner outfielder and a possible fit on a one-year deal could be 32-year-old Eddie Rosario. 

Rosario has never been an All-Star but has posted a 104 OPS+ over nine big league seasons. He hit .255 with 21 homers and 74 RBIs last season while playing in 142 games for Atlanta. He won the NLCS Most Valuable Player Award in 2021 and helped the Braves to a World Series win. 

Rosario is an above-average left fielder and was nominated for a Gold Glove in 2023. He could be a solid short-term solution until Rojas gets himself on track offensively and forces Marsh back to left field. 

Of course, the Phillies could also be interested in forgoing the market this year to conserve funds to entice Wheeler with a contract extension. 

It is a risky strategy but not out of the question, particularly for someone as tactical as Dombrowski.

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Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis