The trading deadline is just three days away, and after a flurry of moves surfaced on Saturday, Inside the Phillies staff gathered to talk about their ideal deadline goals for the Philadelphia Phillies.
The task: choose a club, a starting pitcher and a reliver that would be ideal, REALISTIC goal for the Philadelphia Phillies (I’m watching you Juan Soto, Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout.)
Here’s what our staff said:
Ian Happ, Cubs (Amour & Carr) – Armed with an extra year of team control, Ian Happ is a name that has caused quite a stir around the Phillies. While he didn’t see much time in the center of the pitch this year, the 27-year-old has had a more than successful season in the outfield corners.
At the very least, Happ has proven that his glove plays firmly in the center in past seasons and is having a career year at the plate. He hits less, boasts a 126 wRC +, and has sacrificed some power for a large increase in contact.
It won’t be cheap, but Happ appears to be among the most impactful bats available to those with a vacancy in the center.
Bryan Reynolds (Morgenstern) – I admit, this is wishful thinking on my part. There hasn’t been much commercial excitement around Reynolds so far and Dombrowski has already hinted that he’s not in the market for top-tier talent.
Even so, I’m staying with Reynolds here because I don’t see a better option. The Phillies are placed in every diamond position, or at least they will be once Bryce Harper and Jean Segura return.
The center court is the only location where they have room for a big addition, and the commercial market in the center has reaped poorly this year. While a Reynolds operation may be unlikely, it still makes a lot more sense than any other option.
Joey Gallo, Yankees (Kistner) – I’ve talked extensively both in our podcast and in an article about how Gallo is an excellent rebound candidate. He was never culturally suited to New York, but a change of scenery would have been good for him. He plays Gold Glove caliber defense and has the ability to hit ball cover.
The best thing would be that it would come extremely cheap. It’s not child’s play to try. ‘
Enrique Hernandez, Red Sox (Silver) – The Red Sox are probably no longer in contention. They fell in last place, 50-51 in an extremely difficult American League East.
After all, Hernandez won’t be back from the IL for some time. He hasn’t played since June 7 and has regained his hip during a rehabilitation period in early July. As soon as possible, Hernandez will only be ready in mid-August.
The Phillies could use his flexibility though. Once back, he could play midfield and second base with conviction, and anywhere else on the diamond in a pinch. This move wouldn’t seem too dissimilar to the 2021 deadline move for Freddy Galvis. But unlike Galvis, Hernandez is ready for a rebound. ‘
Noah Syndergaard, Angeli (Amour & Kistner) – In 80.0 innings pitched this year, the right has amassed an ERA of 3.83 with a WHIP of 1.213. He’s out of the mark of his career, as is his speed, but he’s returning right now from Tommy John’s surgery this season.
Syndergaard would immediately strengthen the Phillies rotation, and seeing as it’s a rental, the prospect return to the Angels would be minimal.
Zach Plesac, Guardians (Silver) – Plesac appeared on the Phillies radar only recently, but with news that the Cleveland Guardians could sell, the 27-year-old instantly became a top prize in the commercial market.
With three years of team control remaining, Plesac will cost a lot more than its ERA 4.09 suggests, but the future is bright for the young right-handers. He has proven to be a very reliable Major League star, not too dissimilar to Ranger Suárez, with a low walk rate and low strikeout rate.
Scroll to Continue
Merrill Kelly, Diamondbacks (Carr) – The Phillies were linked to Merrill Kelly at last year’s deadline, and that interest certainly didn’t wane, as Kelly went on to launch a career season and signed a two-year, $ 18 million extension, giving 33 -year- three and a half years old of team control.
The most exciting part about Kelly this year is her peripherals. Her right isn’t generating a lot of puffs, but she’s getting her fair share of soft contact and is in the top 70% + in the league across xBA, xERA, and xSLG.
Remember Kyle Gibson, who the Phillies targeted last year as a guy who will eat precious innings for them along the way. With Gibson graduating from free agency this off-season, Kelly could be the perfect option to replace him.
José Quintana, Pirates (Morgenstern) – Dave Dombrowski has already made it clear that he will not pursue any of the “premium” guns on the market. This definitely includes Frankie Montas and probably Tyler Mahle as well.
With that in mind, the next best option is José Quintana. Quintana is not the All-Star pitcher he was in his heyday, but he has been a reliable contributor throughout the year. With an ERA of 3.70 in nearly 100 innings pitched, he would make a significant upgrade on Bailey Falter and a solid replacement for Zach Eflin.
David Robertson, Cubs (Morgenstern & Amour) – Yes, the Phillies have already been burned by David Robertson. But there was a good reason he liked him in the first place.
For the first ten years of his career, Robertson was one of the most consistent relievers in baseball. After missing most of the three seasons due to an elbow injury, Robertson is back and is as good as ever. Simply put, he’s the best reliever on the trading block, and so he should be Dombrowski’s best bullpen target.
Anthony Bass, Marlins (Carr) – For whatever reason, Anthony Bass is getting very little excitement from the commercial market. That’s shocking, because it’s arguably one of the best weapons available and comes with an extremely affordable squad option for the 2023 season.
He had an excellent year, recording an ERA of 1.41 with solid peripherals and 45 strikeouts in 44.2 innings. More importantly, Bass is walking batters with a 2.01 clip for nine innings, and the Phillies could use a guy with that kind of command.
Kudos to Marlins beat writer Craig Mish who pointed out: The Marlins’ limited payroll can’t necessarily afford to pay a $ 3 million team option no closer, strictly to the seventh inning, next year, when probably that money must be used elsewhere. Conversely, the Phillies would be thrilled to accept that tiny salary for a guy who fits exactly the role they’re looking for.
The Phillies’ closest seat is locked with Seranthony Domínguez, and it looks like Connor Brogdon, Jose Alvarado and Brad Hand will all share higher leveraged innings. Bass would act as an ideal seventh inning bridge for the Phillies this year, and he shouldn’t break the bank in terms of prospects.
Hirokazu Sawamura, Red Sox (Silver) – Sawamura is a recent arrival to the United States from Japanese NPB, but has been impressed at every stage. In 92.1 innings in the big league, the 34-year-old right has an ERA of 3.02, but that is perhaps due to some regression with a FIP of 4.41.
With a squad option for next season at $ 3 million, Sawamura is less of a rental and more of an investment for a healthy bullpen in 2023.
Joe Barlow, Rangers (Kistner) – Rangers will likely add to the deadline, but may also shift some peripheral pieces. Barlow is a good candidate to be sold.
When he launched this season in a no closer role, he was very good. With the trading history between the Rangers and Philadelphia, this is a deal that could be done.
Things will get interesting here in the last few days leading up to the trade deadline. Whatever happens, it’s safe to say that the entire Phillies fan base is eager to see what kind of moves Dave Dombrowski and his team come up with.
Three days to go. Hold on to your hats.
More from SI Inside the Phillies:
- How Mike Trout will join the Phillies
- Have the Philadelphia Phillies found their future midfielder?
- Andrew Painter has a historic beginning
- Could the Phillies be playing in Wawa Park soon?
- Phillies Prospect, 18, is making history
- How did Philadelphia end up with Citizens Bank Park?
- How Phillie Phanatic became America’s favorite sports mascot
- This unlikely draft pick could be the last piece of the Phillies’ next commercial success
- Phillies all-time single season lineup selection
- Making comparisons with Harper, Phillies Prospect Wilson is warming up
Be sure to follow Inside the Phillies on Under-warehouse And Twitter!