3 home run moves the Phillies must hit after missing out on Yoshinobu Yamamoto

The Philadelphia Phillies emerged as a surprising dark horse to sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but the Los Angeles Dodgers prevailed. Where can Dave Dombrowski's front office pivot?

Trea Turner, Dave Dombrowski, Philadelphia Phillies
Trea Turner, Dave Dombrowski, Philadelphia Phillies / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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2. Phillies can replace Craig Kimbrel with Josh Hader

Craig Kimbrel fell apart during the Phillies' postseason run. The all-time great closer ended up ceding his rotation spot to Jose Alvarado, assuming low-stakes middle and late relief duties during Philadelphia NLCS collapse. It was a tough end to the season for Kimbrel, whose historic résumé is tainted by playoffs failure. He left for Baltimore in free agency to minimal fanfare.

The Phillies are probably comfortable with Alvarado in the closing role. He managed well enough in the postseason and he's one of the best late relievers in baseball, complete with fastball velocity (98.7 MPH) in the 98th percentile. That said, there's no harm in multiple quality relievers to close games. Philadelphia can move Alvarado back to his set-up role and sign Josh Hader, who is arguably the best pound-for-pound, pitch-for-pitch arm left on the market.

Hader was absolute dynamite for the San Diego Padres in 2023, posting a 1.28 ERA and 1.101 WHIP en route to 33 saves in 61 appearances (56.1 innings pitched). He made his fifth All-Star appearance in the process. There isn't a better reliever on the market. Philadelphia is a deep, well-rounded bunch, but a couple innings of Hader could mean the difference between a World Series berth and another early exit. Kimbrel's struggles derailed Philadelphia's season. Why not re-stock with a more potent closer in the middle of his prime.

The 29-year-old Hader finished last season with a 36.8 strikeout percentage, in the 99th percentile. He also encourages soft contact (28.3 hard-hit percentage — 97th percentile) when he's not getting swings and misses. There's a mild walk problem, but Hader is one of the best closers in baseball. It's that simple. He would significantly boost the Phillies' bullpen.