Phillies free agent signings

Top 5 Phillies Free Agent Signings of All Time

Established in 1883, the Philadelphia Phillies are one of the oldest and most well-known teams in the history of sports. Over the course of 141 years, the Phillies have employed some of the greatest players to play the game of baseball. Here is a look at the top five Phillies free agent signings of all time.

Top 5 Phillies Free Agent Signings of All Time


5. Jonathan Papelbon

Jonathan Papelbon left the Phillies in 2015 on bad terms, however, his tenure with the team was a memorable one. In four seasons in Philadelphia, Papelbon posted a record of 14-11 and compiled a total of 123 saves, the latter of which is the most in franchise history.

4. Cliff Lee

Cliff Lee’s second stint with the Phillies helped solidify one of the best rotations in baseball history. The Phillies paired Lee with the likes of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, and Joe Blanton, forming a solid foundation for a championship contender. While the Phillies only made the postseason once during his second tenure, Lee took the reins as the team’s ace, compiling 41 wins and a 2.89 ERA.

3. Zack Wheeler

While there were concerns upon his arrival in Philadelphia due to his injury history, Zack Wheeler has silenced the critics en route to becoming one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. Wheeler has been the anchor of the Phillies rotation, dominating in both the regular season and the postseason as the team’s number-one starter. The Phillies recently rewarded his performance with a lucrative three-year extension and Wheeler will be at the top of a dominant rotation that includes Aaron Nola and Ranger Suarez for years to come as the Phillies look for their first World Series title since 2008.

2. Pete Rose

Although he is known as a Cincinnati Red, Pete Rose was undoubtedly the missing piece for the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies. During his time in Philadelphia, Rose was named to four All-Star teams and compiled 826 hits in just 745 games. After years of regular season success and playoff struggles, Rose helped turn the tide for the Phillies, leading the team to two World Series appearances and the team’s first World Series title in 1980.

1 . Bryce Harper

The Phillies shocked the world in 2019 by signing six-time All-Star Bryce Harper to a 13-year $330 million contract. Six years later, Harper has turned into one of the greatest Phillies of all time and has helped transform the team into a perennial powerhouse. Since 2019, Harper has racked up an MVP, Hank Aaron Award, two Silver Slugger Awards, and helped lead the team to their first World Series since 2008. His presence in Philadelphia has helped attract top free agents including Trea Turner, Zack Wheeler, Kyle Schwarber, and Nick Castellanos over the course of the last five seasons. Not only has Harper been exceptional on the field, but he has also become a leader in the clubhouse and a class act to the Philadelphia fans. With seven years left on his contract, Harper has the potential to leave a lasting legacy here in Philadelphia en route to a potential induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

These five players are just a few of the many free-agent signings that have left a mark on Philadelphia since free agency originated in 1975.

Main Image: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

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George Waidelich

Papelbon ruined the dynasty. I know he’s the saves leader, but when he signed, they missed the playoffs for the next decade. I’d have Jayson Werth, higher on the list, and Id put Kyle Schwarber, Trea Turner , Lzance Parrish & Danny Tartabull over Papelbon!

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