Phillies expected to bring back a popular player before spring training


Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has made it clear over the past couple of weeks that he'd like to improve the team's bench before spring training.

How does a reunion with Brad Miller sound?

The Phillies are expected to sign the versatile Miller before spring training begins next week, according to sources. The Phils had pursued both Miller and Marwin Gonzalez, but the latter agreed to a deal with Boston on Thursday.

Miller is expected to get a big-league contract. The Phillies' 40-man roster is currently full, but they could open a spot by placing Seranthony Dominguez on the 60-day injured list once spring training officially opens. Dominguez is recovering from Tommy John surgery and is expected to miss all of 2021.

Miller, 31, spent part of the 2019 season with the Phillies and impressed with his left-handed bat. In 66 games, he hit .263 with a .941 OPS, 12 homers and 21 RBIs in 130 plate appearances. He spent the shortened 2020 season with St. Louis and hit .232 with an .807 OPS, seven homers and 27 RBIs in 171 plate appearances, the bulk of which came as a designated hitter.

With Miller and possibly Matt Joyce, Joe Girardi could have a couple of left-handed bats on his bench. Joyce signed a minor-league contract with the club earlier this week. The Phils could still keep their eyes open for a right-handed bat off the bench as opening day approaches.

Miller, a former ACC Player of the Year at Clemson, came to the majors as a shortstop and can play anywhere in the infield, including first base. The Phils don't have a player dedicated to backing up Rhys Hoskins at that position. Third baseman Alec Bohm and catcher J.T. Realmuto, of course, can both play there if need be.

We talked about Miller and his fit on the Phillies roster in our most recent Phillies Talk podcast. We also touched on the bullpen and how it might shape up in camp as well as Scott Kingery's importance on the roster. Give it a listen here.

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