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Four Potential Phillies Contract Extension Candidates Other Than Zack Wheeler – Phillies Nation

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Brandon Marsh is entering his third season with the Phillies. (Don Otto/Phillies Nation)

The Phillies are prioritizing a Zack Wheeler extension, but that doesn’t preclude the team from locking up other players to long-term deals.

Last year’s prime extension candidate was Aaron Nola. As the two sides negotiated a potential deal in spring training that ultimately did not get done until the following offseason, the Phillies extended Seranthony Domínguez and José Alvarado.

The latter was a huge move. Alvarado’s three-year, $22 million deal with a 2026 club option prevented him from becoming a free agent after the 2023 season. Alvarado would have been one of the top free agent relievers on this year’s market and the Phillies would have had to find a way to replace their best reliever through free agency or trade.

All eyes will be on Wheeler as we get closer to pitchers and catchers reporting, but here are four other Phillies extension candidates.

Brandon Marsh

This is something worth diving into even further at a later time, but Brandon Marsh was awesome for the Phillies in 2023 and we don’t talk about that enough. He would have ranked ninth among National League hitters in on-base percentage at .372, but he fell 30 plate appearances short of qualifying for the batting title. The Phillies would like to see more power, fewer strikeouts and less streakiness out of Marsh moving forward, but he proved in 2023 that he’s a big part of the Phillies’ future. He’ll reach arbitration next season, which is usually around the time where both the player and team start to think about an extension.

Matt Strahm

An executive at this time last year complained to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal about the Phillies blowing up the market for left-handed relievers when they signed Matt Strahm to a two-year, $15 million deal. Now the “swingman” role is as popular as ever and every team is looking for their own version of Strahm. Like Marsh, Strahm was an underrated contributor. He kept the rotation afloat in the beginning of the season, was an effective innings eater in the back end of the bullpen and was one of the team’s best high leverage relievers in the postseason. The only thing that should give the Phillies pause on a possible Strahm extension is his history of knee injuries, but the team should recognize Strahm’s value and reward him by adding a year or two to his existing deal.

Ranger Suárez

Speaking of guys who can pitch in any role, a Suárez extension should probably be priority No. 2 if Wheeler is priority No. 1. Suárez’s 2023 season wasn’t great. He made only 22 starts and posted a 4.18 ERA. An elbow injury suffered in March delayed the start of his season and a hamstring injury kept him out for a few weeks in August. The Phillies can’t pencil him in for 30 starts a year, but they know how valuable he is in the postseason and it’s difficult to replace starters who are trustworthy in October. Suárez is two seasons away from free agency and could be looking at a huge payday if he waits to hit the market.

Jeff Hoffman

If the Phillies are confident that Jeff Hoffman’s 2023 season wasn’t a fluke, they should lock up him to an extension before Opening Day. Hoffman, who signed a minor league deal with the Phillies in March, posted a 2.41 ERA across 54 games and became the team’s go-to option out of the bullpen with runners on in close games. His arsenal, which features a high 90s fastball and a devastating splitter and slider combo, held up remarkably well throughout the year. There’s a lot to like about his arm and with Hoffman under contract for only one more year, signing him to an extension could be a shrewd move.

A notable exception

Bryson Stott may be the best position player extension candidate the Phillies have, but a deal is unlikely to happen. The 26-year-old Stott is represented by Scott Boras. Boras clients typically go through the arbitration process and wait to establish their value on the free agent market, so the chances of the Phillies extending Stott well before he reaches free agency are slim. Alec Bohm is also represented by Boras. Stott is under team control through 2027 while Bohm is a free agent after 2026.

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