FILE - Philadelphia Phillies' J.T. Realmuto follows through after hitting a two-run home run off Atlanta Braves pitcher Robbie Erlin during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Philadelphia, in this Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, file photo. The Philadelphia Phillies and two-time All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto agreed on a $115.5 million, five-year contract, two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. Both people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, because Realmuto’s deal was pending a successful physical.(AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

Philadelphia Phillies Prepare for 2021 Baseball Season

In year two under Manager Joe Girardi, the Philadelphia Phillies head into the 2021 baseball season after an eventful offseason. The Phillies finished in third place in the NL East in the shortened 2020 season with a record of 28-32 but missed out on the postseason for a ninth consecutive year even with the expanded playoffs last season.

Offseason Moves

The two major moves for the Phillies were bringing back two of their top hitters. While J.T. Realmuto was the targeted free agent catcher in the market, Philadelphia signed their all-star to a five-year deal worth $115.5 million. They also brought back Didi Gregorius on two a two-year contract worth $28 million as the 31-year-old is expected to play shortstop this season.

The Phillies also made a handful of other moves as they signed Chase Anderson and Matt Moore to compete for a spot in the rotation while they bolstered their bullpen with the additions of Archie Bradley, Brandon Kintzler, and Tony Watson.

Philadelphia also recently signed Brad Miller to a one-year contract, as the veteran will provide the Phillies with a quality left-handed hitter off the bench.

Girardi is eager to get going with his new players and is thankful for management spending big to improve their team.

Pitching

Leading the way once again for the Phillies will be Aaron Nola. After finishing third in the national league for the CY Young in 2018, Nola struggled a bit in 2019 with an ERA near 4.00 and then went 5-5 in 12 starts last season.

Zack Wheeler will provide the Phillies with a second ace as he was dominant in his first season with Philadelphia after coming over from the New York Mets. He had a 4-2 record and pitched to an ERA of 2.92. Zach Eflin will likely be the third starter which would mean two spots up for grab. Spencer Howard has the upside to be a quality pitcher in the big leagues, while Anderson and Moore will likely go for the final two spots with the 24-year old.

Hector Neris and Bradley will compete for the closer role in the bullpen, while Jose Alvarado will provide the Phillies with a left-hander late in games.

Offense

The Phillies will always have a Bryce Harper manning the middle of the order, but are going to need big seasons from the players around him. Rhys Hoskins and Andrew McCutchen will both look to have bounce-back seasons, while the Phillies are hoping Alec Bohm can continue to progress after a great rookie season. Jean Segura, Realmuto, Gregorius should all provide Philadelphia with quality at-bats as Roman Quinn will give the Phillies tremendous speed and great defense in center field.

Also, Odubel Herrera was a non roster invitee to spring training. He was suspended at the end of the 2019 season for for violating the MLB Baseball Joint Domestic policy, but the Phillies are interested in giving him a second chance.

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