It feels like it was just yesterday that MLB fans were watching the Philadelphia Phillies take on the Houston Astros in the World Series, in what ended up being arguably the best World Series we’ve seen in years. The Astros played incredibly all season and made it to the World Series without really even breaking a sweat; the Phillies however overcame significant struggles at the beginning of the season and pulled off multiple impressive upsets before rightfully earning the chance to match up against Houston for the title of World Series champions. While the Phillies fell short in the end they did hand Houston their only two losses of the post-season and have set themselves up beautifully for another title run next year with their latest signing, whereas in contrast Houston lost arguably one of their most important pieces this week. Let's take a look at the new deal Trea Turner inked with the Phillies earlier this week and how it’ll impact their World Series hopes next season, and, in contrast, the contract Justin Verlander signed in opting to leave Houston in favor of the New York Mets.
For those who aren’t already familiar, Trea Turner has spent the past eight seasons making his presence felt as one of the best shortstops in all of baseball. He spent the first six and a half seasons with the Washington Nationals, one of the Phillies division rivals, before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2021 and batting .298 with 21 home runs and 100 RBIs last season; for his career, he's a .302 batter with 124 total home runs and 434 RBIs to date. The Phillies weren’t short of offensive firepower prior to this signing with the likes of Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins in the starting lineup however shortstop was certainly their weakest position last season and they would have benefited tremendously from a more consistent lead-off hitter, and Trea Turner fills both of those needs better than almost any free agent the Phillies could have signed and they locked him up for 10 years in a deal valued at $300 million.
At the same time though the Phillies are also going to see some stiffer competition on the pitching mound next year as ace pitcher Justin Verlander signed with their long-time rival the New York Mets, a team that already won 101 games this past season. While the entire league benefits by taking Verlader away from the Astros, the Phillies play the Mets 19 times per season which virtually ensures four or five matchups against one of the best pitchers in all of baseball who amassed an 18-4 record last season with an ERA of just 1.75. To give you a better idea of just how good Verlander is, his deal with the Mets is just for two years but to the tune of $88 million meaning Verlander is set to earn $14 million more per year than Turner will next season despite being an entire decade older,. Between the Phillies, the Mets and the Atlanta Braves, who also won 101 games this past season, the NL East looks like its only going to heat up even more next season and should provide MLB fans with plenty of must-see baseball.
The MLB has evolved a fair amount over the past decade between new rules and new faces, both of which only seem to be making baseball even more exciting. With the Phillies pulling off what they did this past season despite how poorly the season began, it appears as though that every single game out of the 162 game season counts more than ever and teams will be fighting it out come the end of next season once again. Who you personally root for will determine how big of a fight that may be, but regardless fans can rest peacefully knowing that exciting baseball will be readily available across the entire league