Closer to top of Dombrowski, Phillies’ offseason wishlist – NBC10 Philadelphia


After too many nervous 9th innings, the closest to the top of Dombrowski’s long Phillies wishlist was originally on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski started the offseason five weeks ago by listing the team’s needs.

Central gardener.

Left fielder (preferably a big bat.)

Head man.

Closer.

Maybe the shortstop.

On the first day of the CEOs meetings Monday, Dombrowski was asked what tops the list.

“We have to have someone to play left field,” he said. “We need to have someone to play in the middle of the field. These are total necessities. We need someone to close a game for us. These are probably our biggest areas.”

Dombrowski then paused and pondered the matter for a while.

“If I had to say one thing, I would probably say that I would like to have someone who can close a game for us and rely on him,” he added.

Dombrowski’s list of closest as the team’s No.1 need comes as no surprise. In the previous four stops he’s always been a guy who likes to have a closer lockdown. He saw the Phillies tie a major league record with 34 missed saves – not all of them in the ninth inning – in 2021 and knows all about the team’s poor reliever box in 2020, the season before he arrived.

Dombrowski’s work in the bullpen will not stop closer this winter.

“Ideally you would like to have a few guys in the back,” he said.

There are several closures in the free agent market that may be of interest to the Phillies. Raisel Iglesias is one of them. The catch is, he got a qualifying offer from the Anaheim Angels. By signing him, the Phillies would lose a second-round draft pick. It’s not a complete dealbreaker, but Dombrowski, speaking of the free agent market in general, said: “My preference is not to give up on a draft pick.” Mark Melancon and Kenley Jansen are also free agents and Craig Kimbrel, a guy who has long been interested in the Phillies, including this summer at the trade deadline, could strike a deal with the Chicago White Sox.

As for the installation men, the Phillies have maintained a line of communication with Hector Neris, who performed well in the role in 2021. Neris is now a free agent.

Dombrowski mentioned that returning relievers Sam Coonrod, Connor Brogdon, Jose Alvarado and Seranthony Dominguez are in the squad’s plans for 2022. Others, including Bailey Falter and new Ryan Sherriff, will also be in the game.

Fourteen free agents received qualifying offers of $ 18.4 million from their starting teams. If these players sign with other clubs, the signing club will lose a draft pick.

Outfielder Nick Castellanos, Chris Taylor and Michael Conforto would all fit the bat description Dombrowski would like to add to the outfield. However, all three received a qualifying offer, which could impact their pursuit by the Phils.

Shortstops Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Trevor Story also received qualifying offers. The Phils are looking for a shortstop upgrade. It could come in the form of an improved Didi Gregorius, who underwent surgical cleaning of his hesitant right elbow last month. He could also come in the form of rookie Bryson Stott. Dombrowski got excited about Stott’s development and said he would have a chance to land the job in spring training. Given their confidence in Stott, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Phils move on in pursuit of a better free agent shortstop and spend their resources elsewhere.

Speaking of resources, Dombrowski said he received a budget from managing partner John Middleton. He didn’t want to divulge the number, but said, “I don’t find it restrictive.” The Phillies had a payroll of $ 205 million in 2021, sixth highest in the majors.

The threat of a lockout when the collective agreement expires on December 1 has not affected the way Dombrowski approaches the offseason. He will look to be active in the free agent market and has said he is open to anything, even trading a player from the 26-man roster if that makes sense.

“It’s only just getting started,” he said of the offseason puzzle. “I wouldn’t belittle anything.”

Regarding the club’s secondary needs, Dombrowski said he would like to upgrade the backup capture position, which has been held by Andrew Knapp, who is now a free agent, since 2017.

Dombrowski wasn’t hired until December 11, two months after the start of last year’s offseason, so he was forced to catch up all last winter. After a full season at work, he knows the organization, its staff and especially its needs.

Central field. Left field.

And, of course, closer.

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