5 potential free-agent bench fits for Phillies


Over the last few weeks, we’ve profiled individual free agents who might be fits for the Phillies.

You can read the whole series here.

The series has continued over the last few days with a look at some free agents who fall into the best of the rest category — and, notably, would not break the bank because the Phils, citing revenue losses during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, are, like many other clubs, on a tight budget.

We looked at some starting pitchers who might offer the Phillies some depth at the back end of the rotation here and some relievers who could compete for work out of the bullpen here.

Today, we look at a handful of players who might fit as semi-regular or bench players.

Freddy Galvis

Where has the time gone? Galvis signed with the Phillies in the summer of 2006, when he was just 16, and rose to the majors in 2012, spending three seasons as a utility man before succeeding Jimmy Rollins at shortstop in 2015. The Phillies' front office, citing poor on-base skills and some advanced defensive metrics, never warmed to Galvis and he was traded to San Diego for pitcher Enyel De Los Santos after the 2017 season. Galvis is 31 now. He’ll never be a high on-base guy, but he’s a switch-hitter who’ll come at you with sneaky power, the ability to get a big hit, great instincts and the ability to play strong defense at shortstop, second base and third base. On this roster, Galvis actually might be the Phillies’ best defensive middle infielder. 


Matt Joyce

Corner outfielder will play at 36 next season. He hits right-handed pitching well and would bring some left-side pop. He was 18 for 80 as a pinch-hitter the last two seasons with Atlanta and Miami. He’s one season removed from hitting .295 with an .858 OPS in 200 at-bats with the Braves in 2019. 

Daniel Murphy

If the NL adopts the DH full-time in 2021, the three-time all-star might be worth a look in spring training. A lefty stick, he’s a lifetime .296 hitter with extra-base pop. On the downside, Murphy will play at 36 next season and he showed serious signs of decline in 2020, hitting just .238 with a .608 OPS with the Rockies.

Phil Gosselin

He plays the infield and the corner outfield spots and gives a team a good at-bat off the bench, especially against lefty pitching. Gosselin has appeared in the majors with the Phillies the last two seasons and provided a number of big hits early in the 2020 season. We profiled his 2020 season here.

Jay Bruce

He’s a great teammate and clubhouse presence and a power threat the second he steps in the batter’s box. Bruce had 51 hits with the Phillies the last two seasons; 30 of them were for extra bases and 18 went over the wall. That lefty bat would be a nice weapon on any bench. The problem is, injuries have too often kept Bruce on the sidelines and reduced him to a defensive liability. He will play at 34 next season.

Kevin Pillar

This guy is a standout defensive center fielder and the Phillies could use one of those as a regular, never mind a guy off the bench. Pillar lingered on the free-agent market until February last winter before signing with the Red Sox and hitting .288 with six homers, 26 RBIs and a .798 OPS in 208 at-bats in a season split between Boston and Colorado. Pillar turns 32 in January and will be looking for a job as a regular. If he stays on the market deep into the winter again, and the Phillies have room in their budget, maybe he’d become a fit.

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