2024 MLB Free Agency: Five Position Players the Phillies Could Target in Free Agency

2024 MLB Free Agency: Five Position Players the Phillies Could Target in Free Agency

One thing the 2023 Philadelphia Phillies season has shown is the teams’ need for a right-handed bat capable of hitting with some power.  For better or worse, first baseman Rhys Hoskins was that guy and the Phillies have been searching to replicate his production in the lineup.  The Phillies were rumored to be after such a player during the MLB trade deadline but ultimately ended up with Rodolfo Castro who’s not exactly a power threat.  

It’s believed that heading into the 2024 MLB free agency cycle the Phillies will be looking to fill that void.  Like during the 2023 MLB trade deadline, the Phillies will be searching for a right-handed power bat.  The belief is the Phillies will look for a player that can hit with some pop and play first base and/or the outfield.  

Following that criteria, here’s a look at five position players the Phillies could target during the 2024 MLB free agency cycle. 

Writers Note: Players with an opt-out clause were not included because they haven’t opted out yet! You know what happens when you assume!

John Geliebter, USA TODAY Sports

1B Rhys Hoskins | Philadelphia Phillies | Throws/Bats: R/R | Age: 31

Could absence make the heart grow fonder?  The Phillies have missed Rhys Hoskins’ presence in the lineup during the 2023 MLB regular season.  Despite 150-plus strikeouts in every season he’s played more than 150-games and questionable defense, Hoskins’ mere presence –he’s a right-handed power bat, afterall– changed the dynamic of the Phillies lineup.  Imagine the flexibility the 2023 Philadelphia Phillies could’ve had with a healthy Hoskins.  Hoskins averages 36 homers and 98 RBIs per 162-games and he’s a known commodity for the organization.  Spotrac plugs Hoskins’ market value at $18.3 million per season, that’s a pretty solid value for 148 career homers.  

Projected Contract: 4-years/$71.9 million | $17.9MM AAV

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

DH Shohei Ohtani | Los Angeles Angels | Throws/Bats: R/L | Age: 29

Well, duh! Of course, Shohei Ohtani is on the list of potential “position” players the Phillies could look at in free agency. And who caresi if he doesn’t fit the right-handed bat criteria! Every team in baseball –well, except the New York Mets– will likely be “in on” Ohtani.  Afterall, the 29-year-old is on pace to SURPASS Babe Ruth in many statistical categories.  Think about that for a second.  Ohtani reportedly wants to play for a winner and the Phillies are set up in a “win now” mode for the next three-to-five seasons.  The question with Ohtani is would the Phillies be willing to spend a half-a-billion dollars on potentially the greatest player of all-time?  It could be a moot point if Ohtani’s desire to play on the West Coast is true. 

Projected Contract: 9-year/$528 million | $58.67MM AAV

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

OF Adam Duvall | Boston Red Sox | Throws/Bats: R/R | Age: 35

The Phillies were connected to Duvall during the 2023 MLB trade deadline, so kicking the tires on Duvall in free agency makes a ton of sense. Duvall averages 32 homers and 93 RBIs per 162-games and is the ideal right-handed bat the Phillies seek for lineup stability.  The potential downside to Duvall in 2024 is certainly his age.  He will play the majority of the 2024 regular season at 35-years-old, turning 36-years-old in September.  Duvall also fits the Kyle Schwaber profile, a low average but big home runs numbers, which isn’t ideal for the Phillies lineup considering its current make up.  Offensive liabilities aside, Duvall is a former All-Star and Rawlings Gold Glove winner. So there’s that!  His market value sits a shade under $7 million according to Spotrac, that’s not horrible. 

Projected Contract: 2-years/$15.5MM | $7.7MM AAV

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

OF Teoscar Hernandez | Seattle Mariners | Throws/Bats: R/R | Age: 31

Like Adam Duvall, the Phillies were reportedly in hot pursuit of Seattle outfielder Teoscar Hernandez at the MLB trade deadline.  A career .259 hitter, Hernandez is having somewhat of a down year for Seattle in 2023.  He’s slashing .245/.292/.419 with 17 homers, 60 RBIs, and a whopping 148 strikeouts.  Hernandez’s strikeout out rate is the second highest in baseball and he will blow past his previous career high, 163 Ks in 2018, before the end of the season.  Hernandez has won two Louisville Silver Slugger Awards and was an All-Star in 2021.  However, Hernandez’s projected 5-year contract would likely be an albatross.

Projected Contract: 5-years/$100MM | $22MM AAV

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

OF Harrison Bader | New York Yankees | Throws/Bats: R/R | Age: 29

Similar to Adam Duvall and Teoscar Hernandez (sense a trend?!), Harrison Bader was tied to the Philadelphia Phillies –albeit briefly– at the 2023 MLB trade deadline.  Also similar to Hernandez, Bader will be coming off of his arbitration eligible years and hitting free agency for the first time.  Bader is having an okay season in the Bronx for a woeful New York Yankees club.  His .262 average is a few points off of his .265 career high, however his power numbers are way down. Bader’s 162-game average is .247 with 16 homers, 57 RBIS, and 23 doubles.  A former Rawlings Gold Glove winner (2021), Bader would be an immediate upgrade in the Phillies outfield whether it be in centerfield or left field.  His projected contract seems to be a bit on the high end.  

Projected Contract: 4-year/$88MM | $22MM AAV

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The 2024 MLB free agency cycle will officially begin five-days after the conclusion of the 2023 World Series.  Teams have the ability to negotiate with their free agent players immediately following the World Series up to the beginning of day five. 

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