Philadelphia Phillies has Less than a day remains for the to add players to a team they already believe is capable of winning a three-game Wild Card series in October.
They have that much faith in Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola as the rotation’s starters.
Will the Phillies, however, be able to find someone from outside the team to support them? Will they continue with Ranger Suárez, Kyle Gibson, and a combination of Bailey Falter, Christopher Sánchez, and Zach Eflin, or will they stand their ground? There is no estimated schedule for Eflin’s recovery from a right knee injury, and there is so much uncertainty around Falter, the current No. 5 starter, and Sánchez, who could fill the place if necessary, that the Phillies want to locate a starter before Tuesday’s 6 p.m. ET Trade Deadline.
The top two starting pitchers on the trade market have already been moved: Frankie Montas from the A’s to the Yankees and Luis Castillo from the Reds to the Mariners. The Mariners lost four players as a result of Castillo, including three of their top five prospects: Andrew Moore, Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo, and Levi Stoudt. The Yankees lost four prospects to Montas and Lou Trivino: Ken Waldichuk (No. 5 prospect in New York), Luis Medina (No. 10), JP Sears (No. 20), and Cooper Bowman (No. 21).
Castillo or Montas were never targets for the Phillies. Top talents like Andrew Painter, who is ranked No. 1, Mick Abel, Logan O’Hoppe, No. 3, Griff McGarry, and even Ben Brown haven’t shown any interest in leaving them thus far (No. 26). On the list of MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects, Painter, Abel, and O’Hoppe are ranked. McGarry and Brown are moving up the system quickly.
If the Phillies want to get a starter, they need to locate someone lower on the pecking order and more affordable. There are three people in it: Tyler Mahle, Noah Syndergaard, and Nathan Eovaldi. That group included José Quintana, but the Pirates sold Quintana, Chris Stratton, and Malcom Nuez to the Cardinals late on Monday night in exchange for reliever Johan Oviedo (No. 10 in Cardinals system).
Of course, pitchers of that calibre should not be discounted. Fans of the Phillies will recall how the front office acquired Kyle Lohse and Joe Blanton before the 2007 and 2008 trade deadlines, respectively. Both pitchers assisted the Phillies in reaching the postseason, albeit neither one really delighted Phillies fans at the time (recall that the Phillies pursued CC Sabathia of Cleveland in 2008 before the Brewers acquired him).
At least in the eyes of the Phillies, the asking price for those mid-level starters continues to be high. Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations, stated last week that such costs always decrease prior to the Deadline, which is typically true. However, there is a chance that if you wait too long for the prices to drop, those pitchers will find other jobs.
The Philadelphia Phillies don’t want to lose without a win. Moves at the Deadline, according to players, improve confidence. They claim to energise the group. When former Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. entered the visitors’ clubhouse in Arizona in July 2009, soon after they had acquired Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco from Cleveland, players literally up and cheered.
At this moment, it would be impossible to accept to leave without a starter. (The Phillies still have room to improve their bullpen and centre field.) Contrary to past Phillies teams in recent seasons that were unsuccessful, this one is a real contender. In the upcoming days and weeks, the offensive will see a lift.
This week, Jean Segura is most likely to re-join the squad. Due to a broken right index finger, he has been out since May 31. On Monday, Bryce Harper had the pins taken out of his left thumb, allowing him to quicken his recovery. Before the month is over, he might return to the lineup. He last performed on June 25.
Perhaps Dombrowski will relax his hold on his prized prospects as the Deadline draws near. Francisco Morales (No. 9) and Erik Miller, pitchers, are two more players he has that he can use to finalise a trade (No. 10).
Because of this, the wager that the Phillies will take some action before 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday is still valid.