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6 former Phillies who are still free agents and aren’t named Rhys Hoskins

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Brad Miller Philadelphia Phillies
Brad Miller was a fan. favorite in Philadelphia. (Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

This offseason at Phillies Nation, we’ve written extensively about the future of slugger Rhys Hoskins, whose time with the Philadelphia Phillies appears to be over with Bryce Harper shifting to first base on a full-time basis and Kyle Schwarber relatively entrenched at DH.

While there isn’t yet a resolution to the free agency of Hoskins, the fan-favorite has drawn interest from multiple contenders this offseason, and should have a new home relatively soon.

Additionally, we’ve also examined the free agencies of relievers Héctor Neris and David Robertson, wondering if either could be a fit to return to Philadelphia as president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski tries to replace the departed Craig Kimbrel and round out the bullpen.

But there are a slew of other notable Phillies who remain free agents beyond the trio of Hoskins, Neris and Robertson. While this is hardly a complete look at every remaining free agent with ties to the Phillies, here are six more former Phillies still looking for a home as Spring Training nears.

1B/DH Carlos Santana

Santana’s time in Philadelphia was short, but his MLB career has been anything but. Santana homered 24 times, drove in 86 runs and walked 118 times for the 2018 Phillies, before being traded back to Cleveland following the campaign so the aforementioned Hoskins could return from left field to first base. Santana has played in parts of 14 MLB seasons, and is 12th among active players with 301 career home runs. Set to turn 38 in April, Santana posted a .747 OPS between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers a year ago.

RHP Vince Velasquez

Velasquez landed a one-year/$3.15 million deal with the Pirates last offseason, and the low-budget club even put out a hype video for him. The former top prospect was actually pretty effective in eight starts, posting a 3.86 ERA and 3.87 FIP. However, he underwent season-ending elbow surgery in June, and the prognosis at the time was that the procedure would likely delay his ability to be ready for the start of 2024. Now 31, Velasquez will land somewhere when healthy, but someone that the Phillies once hoped would be an anchor in their starting rotation has instead turned out to be a frustrating journeyman.

IF/OF/DH Brad Miller

Miller revived his career in Philadelphia in 2019, harnessing the power of bamboo to become a favorite of Phillies fans. While he spent the pandemic-shortened 2020 season with the St. Louis Cardinals, Miller returned to the Phillies in 2021 and was effective, homering 20 times and posting a .774 OPS in 140 games. That earned Miller a two-year/$10 million deal with the Texas Rangers. Unfortunately for Miller, he was limited to just 108 games over two years, and was ultimately on the injured list during the team’s World Series run in 2023. The 34-year-old is an excellent clubhouse presence, and has tremendous power when healthy. But Miller is likely looking at a minor-league deal as he attempts to continue his career.

INF Jean Segura

Segura remains active on social media, but it’s been a quiet offseason in regards to discussion about his baseball future. Segura was a postseason hero for the Phillies in 2022, but departed in free agency once the Phillies signed Trea Turner in free agency, with it clear Bryson Stott would be shifting to second base. Segura landed a two-year/$17 million deal with the Miami Marlins, but didn’t finish the first season with the team. The two-time All-Star was traded to the Guardians in July, and released before ever playing in a game with the team. He finished the 2023 season with a meager .556 OPS. Whether he plays for any team in 2024 or not, the 33-year-old is still going to be paid for the second year of the contract he originally signed in Miami. One would think he could get a minor-league deal with an invite to Spring Training from a team that views him as a possible bench piece, but it’s unclear if such an opportunity would be appealing to a player with over 1,500 career hits.

Reliever Jake Diekman

A 30th-round draft pick by the Phillies in 2007, Diekman spent parts of four seasons in red pinstripes before being sent to the Rangers in the July 2015 Cole Hamels trade. He’s crafted a lengthy career as a lefty reliever, posting a 3.82 ERA and 3.65 FIP over 12 MLB seasons. Diekman struggled mightily to open the 2023 season with the Chicago White Sox, posting a 7.94 ERA in 13 games before being released. However, he caught on with the Tampa Bay Rays, and was excellent across 50 appearances for them, posting a 2.18 ERA and 3.21 FIP. Set to turn 37 soon, Diekman should get a Major League contract before the season begins.

Noah Syndergaard

The Phillies acquired Syndergaard in the August 2022 trade that sent outfielder Mickey Moniak to the Los Angeles Angels. He proved serviceable for the Phillies in their run to the World Series, but was nothing resembling the flamethrower that had electrified New York Mets fans before his March 2020 Tommy John surgery. The Los Angeles Dodgers bet that Syndergaard would be able to recapture the magic in 2023, signing him to a one-year/$13 million deal. Instead of getting a bargain on a star pitcher, the Dodgers got disastrous results, with Syndergaard’s average fastball velocity dropping to 92.3 mph, down noticeably even from the 94.5 he had average in 2022. Syndergaard was eventually traded to the Cleveland Guardians, and struggled there too. Across 18 total starts in 2023, Syndergaard posted a 5.40 ERA and 7.34 FIP. Some team may take a gamble on him thinking there’s nowhere to go but up in 2024, but 2023 dashed any remaining hopes of Syndergaard recapturing his star status.

 

 

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