July 23, 2019
The Phillies are in contention. Not in the way they had hoped — they're 7.5 games behind the Braves in the NL East — but they are just a half a game out of a Wild Card spot in a tightly packed National League.
The actions made by the Phils front office this past offseason show they are looking to make playoff appearances this season and beyond: signing Bryce Harper to a 13-year contract, trading for Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto, signing Andrew McCutchen.
And so, it sort of makes sense that the Phillies, while likely to be buyers before next week's trade deadline, are likely to be a specific kind of buyers.
The team is still in contention despite a ridiculous burden of injuries and a pitching staff that is thin and unreliable. Philadelphia needs to improve this season, and beyond. They will not buy rental players.
“I do not get the sense they’ll do that (big trade)," Hall of Fame baseball writer Jayson Stark said on 97.5 Tuesday morning. "I got the sense that there’s frustrations but this is a shopping opportunity and they know the bet they made on their young rotation was wrong and they need to fix that. Anyone with control is on their shopping list.”
"Anyone with control," of course, refers to players under contract for more than just the rest of 2019. So who does that eliminate and who does that include?
Here's a pretty comprehensive, but not complete list of the pitchers currently rumored to be on the trade block who fit the Phillies wish list:
Stroman has a year of arbitration left, meaning he'd be a Phillie in 2020 as well. The team has been scouting him for the last few weeks. He's 6-10 with a 3.06 ERA this season.
The Indians are still in the hunt for a Wild Card spot but have said they would listen to offers for Bauer, who has an arbitration year left in 2020. The Cleveland ace is 9-7 with a 3.67 ERA.
Boyd is everything the Phillies could possibly want in a trade. He's a lefty, he's under team control until 2022 with three more arbitration years, and he's a young veteran at 28. Philly and GM Matt Klentak will see him pitch first hand in Detroit this week. The only issue is he's struggled a little, posting a 4.13 ERA and 6-8 record in 2019.
Also in Detroit, Greene has a year of arbitration ahead and has a tantalizing 1.25 ERA and 22 saves in 32 innings.
Yates has two years of arbitration and is pitching lights out in the San Diego pen, with a 1.05 ERA and 31 saves in 43 innings. Due to his team control and excellent stats, he may be an expensive get.
Minor is another aspirational slam dunk for the Phillies. He's a left-hander with a proven track record in MLB and is 8-5 with a 2.86 ERA in Texas. He is under team control through 2020.
Watson has a player option in 2020, and has a 2.88 ERA in 40.2 innings.
The former Phillie has a mutual option in 2020 and 59 strikeouts in 39.2 innings.
Colome has a 2.33 ERA in 39 games for Chicago and is under team control until 2021.
Givens has two years of arbitration and a 3.26 career ERA over five seasons.
Duffy is under contract through the 2020 season and is a lefty who may be cheap due to his down year at 4-5 with a 4.52 ERA.
His $18 million next season is a lot, but if the Giants eat some salary he maybe a low risk starter to acquire. He's 7-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 2019.
Melancon has a 3.83 ERA in 40 games this season and is under team control for another full year.
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