Says the Bleacher Report:
The Phillies made moves that could allow them to jump to the top of the standings, but there could be trouble down the road.
First, the intangible that comes with signing free agent Bryce Harper. There is a school of thought that Harper is a me-first kind of player, which came to the surface in Washington and played out when he and Jonathan Papelbon went at it in the dugout, and the relief pitcher put him in a chokehold.
Harper slumped throughout the first half of the 2018 season with the Nationals (.214 AVG and .833 OPS), and he was often sullen during that period. He seemed to brighten up after winning the Home Run Derby and came back to life in the second half of the season (.300 AVG, .972 OPS), but consistency has not been a hallmark for Harper’s career (OPS over the past five seasons of .767, 1.109, .814, 1.008 and .889).
The biggest issue for the Phillies is their inability to field the baseball (minus-132 defensive runs saved). They struggled to catch the ball last year, and no team can win consistently without being strong defensively.
Andrew McCutchen may have had an impressive spring training, but he is a long way from the superb player he was during his prime years with the Pittsburgh Pirates. His combined 7.3 WAR over the past three seasons is less than the 7.4 he posted in 2014 alone.
Former Yankees reliever David Robertson can look brilliant one day and awful the next, as evidenced by his roller coaster monthly ERA splits in 2018 (3.29 in April, 5.56 in May, 1.69 in June, 4.09 in July, 0.00 in August and 5.06 in September).
Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto are impressive adds, however, and will be the keys to determining if Philly matches the hype in a tough division.