Why the Phillies Can’t Contend No Matter How the Offseason Shakes Out

When the Red Sox went from 69 wins to the World Series last year, it wasn’t the craziest thing in the world to ask if that blueprint–not tearing the team down, but just making a few shrewd free agent signings–could be replicated. Particularly, if the Phillies could do it. The Phillies have some payroll flexibility, and their farm system isn’t as bad as it was 18 months ago, but they can’t just go out and buy a championship team right now, and most of their internal help is still at least a year away.

But why can’t they improve like the Red Sox did, by signing mid-level free agents?

Well, a few reasons:

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