Perhaps the most exciting time of the baseball season is here, the MLB trade deadline. There are many big names on the trade block this year, such as Trevor Story, Kris Bryant, and Max Scherzer, to name a few. The hometown Philadelphia Phillies are one team that has a ton of work to do before the deadline as they sit in second place in the NL East. So what names should Dave Dombrowski be looking to add to the Phillies roster?
- Robbie Grossman
Center Field has been a problem for the Phillies since the beginning of the year, and the situation has improved since opening day with Odubel Herrera and Luke Williams. But, with Herrera only batting .240 with an on-base percentage of .293 and Williams still finding his way in the big leagues, getting a consistent batter to play center field is a top priority at the deadline. After Oakland acquired Starling Marte, there aren’t a lot of options out there on the trade block. I think the Phillies’ best bet to address center field is Detroit’s, Robbie Grossman. His batting average isn’t impressive, only.231, but he has hit 16 home runs with a .357 on-base percentage. Compared to Herrera, that combination of getting on base and power would be an upgrade. The problem is, can Grossman play center field every day? He is primarily a left fielder but has minimal experience in center field, as, throughout nine seasons in the majors, he has played 39 games in center. If the Phillies believe he can hold it down in center, he is a cheap upgrade, something the Phillies need. He is under contract through 2022 as well, which means if Andrew McCutchen does not return to Philly after this season, Grossman could return to left field.
- Danny Duffy
Pitching remains a problem for the Phils, so we’ll start with the rotation. Zack Wheeler has been every bit of a Cy Young candidate this year as he anchors this staff. After that, the staff has really struggled, including Aaron Nola, who many expected to be the ace of the rotation. The Phillies need another reliable, consistent arm, preferably a lefty, in their starting rotation, and Danny Duffy would be a great fit. Yes, he is currently on the injured list, but with a 2.51 earned run average and an opponent’s batting average of .226, the Phils should still roll the dice. With numbers like that, you may be thinking the asking price would be high for Duffy, but that’s not entirely true as he will enter the free agent market after this season, making him a rest of the year rental. However, they will have to beat out the Dodgers and Giants, who are interested in the lefty as well.
UPDATE: Danny Duffy was traded to the Dodgers, Thursday evening.
- Craig Kimbrel
Now the bullpen, which once again, is a problem as they lead the league in blown saves. Craig Kimbrel, who has been arguably the best closer post-Mariano Rivera, is not as dominant as he was in his Atlanta Braves days, but he’s still reliable, something the Phillies’ pen lacks. Kimbrel has 23 saves for the Cubs this season, with only two blown saves, and has made the All-Star team. He will be a very sought-after arm this deadline, as teams are always looking to bulk up their bullpens, so the Phillies might have to give up quite a bit to go and finally get the closer they have needed for years.
The chances the Phillies land all three of these guys are not great, but for a team still in the race while only playing around .500 baseball, they have to be aggressive and understand they are not one piece away from being true contenders. The trade deadline will not be on July 31 this year as usual, and instead will be at 4 p.m. on July 30.