Leading up to baseball’s winter meetings, we will take a daily look at some of the game’s top free agents and how they could potentially impact the Phillies.
Today, we check in on outfielder Corey Dickerson, who made a positive impact in a brief stay with the Phillies in 2019.
The Phillies were criticized for not doing enough to upgrade their pitching at last summer’s trade deadline, but they did make a difference-making lineup acquisition when they acquired Dickerson in a cash deal from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Dickerson played in 34 games for the Phillies and belted eight homers and drove in 34 runs. He suffered a broken foot in September and the Phillies really missed his bat down the stretch.
The lefty-swinging Dickerson turns 31 in May. He is one of those proverbial “professional hitters.” He sports a career batting average of .286 and an OPS of .832. He’s made an All-Star team, won a Gold Glove and hit .300 three times.
Why he fits
Dickerson is a high-character, team-first guy who was well liked and much respected in the Phillies’ clubhouse last season. He can hit — he crushes right-handed pitching — and his bat would be a nice addition to the roster.
Why he doesn’t fit
Dickerson proved valuable in left field for the Phillies in the second half of 2019. However, he lacks positional versatility and is limited to just the corner outfield spots. With left fielder Andrew McCutchen set to return from knee surgery and Bryce Harper locked in in right field, there really isn’t a spot for Dickerson to get regular reps. It is not clear what the Phillies will do in center field in 2020. They have a number of options. If one of them includes giving McCutchen some time there they could more seriously consider a reunion with Dickerson, but that seems to be a decision that will come down the road, after other options have been exhausted, and Dickerson could be elsewhere by then.
Jay Bruce's return further complicates a potential reunion with Dickerson. The Phillies aren’t paying Bruce much — they took on just $2.75 million of his remaining $21 million last season — and he’s also a lefty bat who plays only the corners.
The price tag
Dickerson signed a one-year, $8.5 million contract with the Pirates last year. The first-time free agent could be looking at a two-year deal in the neighborhood of $15 million.
“After Tampa Bay DFA’d him (in February 2018), he went to Pittsburgh and made some good adjustments, especially on getting to high fastballs, and that’s made him a more well-rounded hitter. He really produced in a short time in Philly, but with McCutchen and Harper there, where’s he going to play? He’s more than a bench bat. He’ll be somewhere.”
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.