The Philadelphia Phillies seemed dissatisfied with their rotation even after re-signing Aaron Nola at the start of the offseason. They pursued Yoshinobu Yamamoto and have been connected to other elite arms.
While Dave Dombrowski’s statement regarding the Phillies’ comfort level with their current starting rotation appears to be at odds with that, the team has demonstrated in recent years that they are not afraid to take risks.
While starters are currently making headlines in the market, ESPN Senior Writer David Schoenfield predicts they will focus on upgrading the bullpen and sign Jordan Hicks, one of the best available.
He writes, “Dombrowski and the Phillies have been all in on power relievers lately, and Hicks is a power arm.”
Fans of the Philadelphia Eagles would undoubtedly appreciate this.
Over the years, the bullpen has proven to be difficult to trust, even though it finished the previous regular season with a top-seven ERA (3.58).
It would be fantastic to add a player like Hicks, who had a fantastic career trajectory prior to injuries.
In 65 appearances, the 27-year-old posted a 3.29 ERA in 2023, marking a comeback year. After being traded from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Toronto Blue Jays, he became even more effective, finishing with an ERA+ of 164 and an ERA of 2.63 in 25 games.
Hicks possesses velocity in abundance, as mentioned by Schoenfield.
He’s among the game’s hardest throwers, and his construction of the Phillies bullpen would complement it well.
Josh Hader is the center of attention, but Hicks would be a far better financial fit for Philadelphia, with a projected market value AAV of slightly less than $3.5 million, according to Spotrac.
Given that he’s one of the best bullpen pieces available, the hard-throwing righty will probably get a contract worth more than that projection, but he wouldn’t bankrupt the Phillies the way Hader would.