The Phillies will put in 2019 a superior team than one that finished’18.

However, how much better are they — and how much better should they be? The Phils upgraded in the outfield and at shortstop. They have also upgraded their shield. Just Rhys Hoskins (3.6 WAR) is projected as an improved ranking player than Philadelphia’s two most notable offseason acquisitions. But there might be (should be?) Bigger and better upgrades on the horizon. One of them would offer that the Phils’ main jump in gift.

The Phillies will put in 2019 a superior team than one that finished’18.

However, how much better are they — and how much better should they be? The Phils upgraded in the outfield and at shortstop. They have also upgraded their shield. Just Rhys Hoskins (3.6 WAR) is projected as an improved ranking player than Philadelphia’s two most notable offseason acquisitions. But there might be (should be?) Bigger and better upgrades on the horizon. One of them would offer that the Phils’ main jump in gift.

Machado seen the Phillies on Dec. 20. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman said Machado will not produce a choice to register with a team until after Jan. 1. If the Phillies miss on Machado, then there will be pressure to sign Harper.

Machado or maybe not, Harper or maybe not, the Phillies have work to do until Spring Training should they want to win the National League East. They have not made up grades for the pitching team that”move the needle” Here is a glance at their to-do record before reporting to Florida:

1. Get that superstar
Phillies fans are gearing up with this offseason for years, expecting the team to sign Harper or even Machado. Everyone anticipates the Phils to property a few of them. However, at this point, it would not be a entire stunner should they landed neither. The Phils favor Machado more than Harper, but lovers favor Harper. All these are difficult decisions. They are specially difficult when referring to a contract that may exceed $300 million.

Video: Manny Machado arrives for meeting with Phillies

2. A starter
The Phillies fell short in the pursuit of Patrick Corbin along with J.A. Happ. They do not seem interested in Dallas Keuchel and may possibly rather not pay the cost for Corey Kluber. It might leave them with someone just like Mike Minor — the Phils and Rangers have talked about a transaction between the lefty. However, if no deal is struck there or elsewhere, Philadelphia might open camp with the exact identical rotation that finished 2018: Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, Nick Pivetta, Zach Eflin along with Vince Velasquez. That group fought the final two weeks of the growing season, but the Phillies have confidence in the predictive powers of FIP — and it says they will be better in 2019. Still, placing that faith in FIP can be a risk.

3. A closer
Manager Gabe Kapler seemed okay navigating last season with no closer. However, the Phillies could give him one, if they sign someone like Zach Britton or even Craig Kimbrel — whose asking price would drop if he lingers on the market into late January. But if the Phils do not sign a true closer, they might add a few back-end depth to the’pen. It’d allow Kapler to combine and match Seranthony Dominguez, Hector Neris among many others in the late innings. Remember: A way to cancel the dearth of spinning enhancements is with bullpen enhancements.

4. Anything else?
The Phillies will be connected to just about everyone within the forthcoming weeks as everyone expects them to do something big. Therefore until Harper and Machado are signed; until Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto is exchanged; until Kluber is exchanged; until freeagent third-baseman Mike Moustakas is signed; Philadelphia will link to them.

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