The Phillies missed a great opportunity to break the playoff drought.
The franchise has not made the postseason since 2011 and 2020 seemed to provide the perfect opportunity with the expanded playoff format. The Phillies even had life with a losing record heading into Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. The result was a 5-0 defeat and another year below .500.
Fans have to be wondering if all the spending is worth it for a roster that can’t seem to even get above the .500 mark. There is no doubt the Phillies were the biggest disappointment in all of baseball this season and the team now enters the offseason with a ton of questions.
Phillies have major decisions to make
Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen, and Zack Wheeler are all set to earn at least $20 million next season. Jake Arrieta has a club option worth $20 million and Jean Segura has a nice salary of $14.85 million coming his way. But this core has yet to accomplish much.
Then there is the fact J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius are now free agents. The main focus here is Realmuto, who was acquired in a trade from the Miami Marlins in 2019. The Phillies took on his final two years of team control, added Harper, and likely expected at least a postseason berth by now. The reality is the team may not want to pay the catcher his market value after a disappointing season.
The final stretch of the season was a total disaster and Phillies fans could see this ending coming. Taking one of four against a last-place Washington Nationals team was a bad sign. A matchup against the dominant Rays did not look promising and that proved to be true. Not scoring a run in a must-win game proved the Phillies just weren’t worthy of a spot in the October festivities.
Philly fans have not seen the team finish above .500 since the last playoff season in 2011. That was also the last time the team finished above third place in the division. The sad reality? The Marlins took second overall in the National League East and got to the playoffs without Realmuto on the roster. That team may have had the lowest expectations in all of baseball.
Is Harper going to lead the team to a title? Or is he a waste of money? Can the team retain Realmuto? What about Gregorius? There are countless questions to answer at a time when 16 teams are competing for the World Series.