A good look at the Phillies of the last decade. Unlike a lot of articles, there’s not one great “pull quote” to highlight. It’s well worth reading in its entirety.

The Phillies, still without a winning season since 2011, have reached the point where the proverbial final pieces — the expensive veteran stars — have not only been added but are leaving: catcher J.T. Realmuto is a free agent; starter Jake Arrieta’s three-year contract is spent; closer David Robertson’s two-year deal — remember that? — just expired; and infielder Jean Segura is reportedly coming up in trade talks. The Phillies might still get good, but they’re no longer:

young, as their hitters and pitchers were both older than league average in 2020;

cheap, as their payroll is back in the league’s top 10, where it was before they stripped down;

rich in prospects, as their farm system ranked in the bottom 10 last year;

clearly contenders, as (way premature) ZiPS projections for next year see the Phillies as currently constituted winning around 76 games.

Source: Sam Miller, ESPN

2 comments on “How the Philadelphia Phillies botched their rebuild — and what it tells us about tanking

  • Brian Joura

    It took awhile for the tanking of the 76ers to pay off. But the Phillies will have to tank again, it looks like. Nine straight years without a winning record. The longest ever by the Mets was seven seasons, done twice. First was ’62-’68 and second was ’77-’83.

    But old time Philly fans are used to this. From 1918-1948 they finished under .500 30 times in 31 seasons. Only the 1932 squad, which went 78-76, had a winning record.

  • Name

    To spoil the conclusion for those who don’t want to read the full article.

    “Tanking to win later isn’t a very fun strategy to cheer on in the first place, but it would be even more obnoxious if its success were inevitable.”

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