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The lockout between Major League Baseball and MLB Players Association is in full force. A lack of a new collective bargaining agreement has meant that the sport has come to a screeching halt, including any potential transactions. 

Ahead of the lockout, a spending frenzy occurred as teams tried to fulfill their entire offseason needs in just a short window of time. Over $1 billion was spent in free agency ahead of Dec. 1. However, the Philadelphia Phillies remained relatively quiet. 

Here are the transactions President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski made prior to the lockout:

  • Traded for RHP Nick Nelson and C Donny Sands from the New York Yankees for 3B T.J. Rumfield and LHP Joel Valdez.
  • Traded for C Garrett Stubbs from the Houston Astros for OF Logan Cerny.
  • Claimed RHP Yoan López, LHP Ryan Sherriff, LHP Scott Moss, and LHP Kent Emmanuel off of waivers.
  • Signed RHP Corey Knebel for one-year and $10 million, as well as INF Johan Camargo for one-year and $1.4 million. 

Outside of solidifying the system's depth at the catcher position, the signing of Knebel was the most high-profile of moves, perhaps the only one that caught the attention of fans. 

Knebel is a proven closer who faced injury struggles in 2019 and 2020, but regained form in 2021. If he can get back to his 2017 ways in which he pitched to the tune of a 1.78 ERA, 1.158 WHIP with 39 saves, then Philadelphia may have won out on the signing. 

However, many fans were clamoring for the singing of one of the high-profile free agents prior to the lockout. The fact of the matter is, the Phillies were never interested at playing in the top of the infielder market nor the starting pitching market. 

The only true potential Philadelphia target that was signed prior to the lockout was center fielder Starling Marte. He would have solidified a few needs for the club such as a leadoff hitter and a center fielder, but the Phillies were unwilling to meet the four-year, $78 million price tag. A potential wise decision considering Marte is 33. 

Yet, there are plenty of players still left on the market that, if they choose to, the Phillies could pursue to include Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant, or Nick Castellanos. 

However, this piece is about what Philadelphia has done so far this winter, not what they could do. Therefore, the Phillies found their potential closer, helped replace Freddy Galvis in Camargo, and solidified their catching depth in what could be a precursor to a trade. Overall, not terrible, but they haven't done enough to close the gap in the division.

Overall Grade: C+

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