MLB free agent rumors live: Phillies interested in Kyle Schwarber, Corey Knebel

UPDATE [12:20 p.m.] –The Phillies are staying quiet as players like Javier Baez sign, and Kris Bryant is rumored with the Mariners, Blue Jays and Rockies, but the team has reached a minor deal so far Tuesday.

Philly hopes the return of Seranthony Dominguez for the 2022 season will play a big part in making the bullpen a strength, not a weakness, and they have avoided further negotiations with the reliever – who is returning from Tommy John surgery .

From just now…

Huge free agent offers are hit right and left and the Phillies continue to watch and weigh their options.

It could be for a variety of reasons, but with the CBA set to expire later this week and leave Major League Baseball without a labor agreement for the 2022 season and beyond, the team is understandably cautious. They continue to sit on the sidelines while teams like the Mets and Rangers continue to spend lavishly – hoping any subsequent deal will be supportive of their burgeoning payrolls.

Players seem eager to press to paper to get some sort of deal in writing before things potentially get dark for weeks or months, and so the rumor mill could dry up over the next few days.

But there is still a chance that something will happen first.

Each of these players fills a great need in Philadelphia. First, Knebel, who has only played 42 games over the past two seasons due to Tommy John’s surgery. His 2021 was impressive with the Dodgers, as he went 4-0 with a 2.45 ERA. He was an All-Star in 2017, appearing in a league-high 76 games and compiling 39 saves with a 1.78 ERA. At 30, he could be just what the Phillies need to anchor the back of their fragile bullpen — especially after Hector Neris left for the Astros.

Schwarber will be pricier but will provide some playoff experience while flexing a power shot to help the team try to take advantage of their batter-friendly park, something they haven’t done in quite a while. The 28-year-old right-hander slashed .266/.374/.554 last year split between the Nationals and Red Sox, hitting 32 homers (his 162-game average is 37).

Schwarber will command something north of $15 million a year, be able to play the corner outfield roles as well as first base, and position himself as a perfect DH if the NL adopts the position for 2022.

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Neal T. Doss