3 bigger moves Phillies can make before Opening Day after signing Whit Merrifield

The Phillies made a smart move signing Whit Merrifield, but there are three more moves they can make to improve even more before Opening Day.

Sep 8, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Whit Merrifield (15) goes to
Sep 8, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Whit Merrifield (15) goes to / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
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1) The Phillies can make their bullpen a strength by trading for Emmanuel Clase

The biggest weakness this Phillies team has right now after improving their bench is probably their bullpen. Arms like Jose Alvarado, Jeff Hoffman, Gregory Soto, and Seranthony Dominguez are solid, but they lack the shutdown closer for Rob Thomson to turn to late in games.

Last season Craig Kimbrel operated out of the closer's spot, and the Phillies saw firsthand how valuable that spot is. Kimbrel blew a pair of games in the NLCS that wound up turning the series in Arizona's favor.

The Phillies making a trade for a closer of Emmanuel Clase's caliber can turn their bullpen from a possible weakness into a very clear strength. It'd cost a ton, making it less likely that they pull it off, but if they're able to find a way to land him, the entire National League will be put on notice.

Clase might've had a bit of a down year last season, but has still led the league in saves in each of the last two years and has a career ERA of 2.00. The fact that he'd come with five years of team control is just icing on the cake.

There are few closers who are more dominant than this 25-year-old. Adding a pitcher of his caliber to the back of the bullpen would give the Phillies the late-game arm they've been missing, and it'd do so for a very long time.

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