When the Philadelphia Phillies made a huge splash at the Winter Meetings and agreed to an 11-year, $300 million contract with Trea Turner, it immediately strengthened their lineup.
There’s no one who would logically argue that fact.
With plenty of time between now and the start of the 2023 regular season, the Phillies could continue to tweak their roster.
They’ve already spent $72 million on starting pitcher Taijuan Walker and another $15 million for reliever Matt Strahm.
Take a look at the projected starting lineup for the Phillies this season:
1. Trea Turner
2. Bryce Harper (when returning from Tommy John surgery)
3. J.T. Realmuto
4. Kyle Schwarber
5. Nick Castellanos
6. Rhys Hoskins
7. Alec Bohm
8. Bryson Stott
9. Brandon Marsh
Will this roster be considered the greatest in franchise history? That’s a lot of years with a plethora of great players and teams.
There’s a case to be made in 1980. There’s another strong case in ’93.
For this specific comparison, let’s look specifically at the last lineup to secure a World Series title. That would be Oct. 27, 2008 when the Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 to win the World Series 4-1.
Here’s the lineup from that magical night:
1. Jimmy Rollins
2. Jayson Werth
3. Chase Utley
4. Ryan Howard
5. Pat Burrell
6. Shane Victorino
7. Pedro Feliz
8. Carlos Ruiz
9. Cole Hamels
We must keep in mind that there was no designated hitter rule so Hamels was inserted in the batting order.
Rollins, Utley and Howard are all worthy of Hall of Fame discussion even if none of them ultimately gets the official call.
On the current roster, Harper is likely to become a Hall of Famer, though he’s still very much in his prime and will likely be playing for another decade.
Turner, Realmuto and Schwarber are very good players but could wind up in the same situation as Rollins, Utley and Howard. Time will tell.
The ’08 lineup wound up with a parade down Broad Street.
The ’23 lineup is hoping for a repeat parade.
“It ranks up there, no question,” former Phillies standout shortstop Larry Bowa told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “You look at the two teams that won the World Series — the 1980 team and the 2008 team — and they were very deep, also. But this lineup could go head-to-head with those lineups, there’s no doubt about it.”
Without throwing a million numbers and statistics out, let’s wait and see how the season plays out.
Then the comparison will become much clearer.
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