July 30, 2019
In the standings, the Phillies remain on the outside of the National League playoff picture. But they're not far behind — just a game out of the second wild card spot — meaning a few upgrades between now and the MLB trade deadline could be the push they need to get into the postseason.
We're now less than 24 hours from the deadline, which will pass at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, so it's do or die time for Matt Klentak and the Phillies, who traded for Jason Vargas on Monday and added free agent reliever Blake Parker on Tuesday. Those moves aren't likely to get fans excited, but they didn't cost the Phillies much of anything so it's hard to be disappointed in them as well.
Are fans still hoping for something bigger? Probably, although that's not likely to happen — unless, of course, Klentak and Andy MacPhail change course after sounding hesitant to deal away top prospects in recent weeks.
You can follow all the latest news and rumors in our live trade deadline tracker. In the meantime, let's take a look at where the Phillies stack up in the power rankings prior to the deadline, because the trades made this week will likely cause a shakeup in the rankings one way or another moving forward.
|WHAT THEY'RE SAYING...|
|16 (+3)||The Phillies spent most of the first two months of the season in first place, only to tumble through the standings in late June and July. After the All-Star break, they sat 9 1/2 games back of first, their worst position all season… which has since been partially remedied, though not enough to offer them any real form of security. But if they manage to snag some pitching help at the deadline, their situation might start looking much more competitive.|
|13 (-1)||I know the Giants are surging but I fully expect it to end soon. If that happens right now, the Phillies have a relatively soft schedule the next two weeks that includes seven against those Giants, three against the White Sox and three in Arizona.|
|14 (--)||You wonder what the standings look like if they'd beaten Atlanta to Dallas Keuchel.|
|14 (--)||The Phillies added a piece to their starting rotation on Monday evening, acquiring veteran left-hander Jason Vargas from the Mets in exchange for minor league catcher Austin Bossart. It's not the big-name pitching addition that many Phillies fans have been clamoring for, but Vargas has quietly posted a 3.34 ERA across his last 12 starts. He should be an upgrade over Zach Eflin, who has surrendered 27 runs -- 22 earned -- in 15 2/3 innings (four starts) this month. Philly seems certain to grab a reliever or two before Wednesday's 4pm ET trade deadline. White Sox closer Alex Colome is said to be a target.|
|16 (--)||The Phillies presumed they were getting a significant catching upgrade when they traded Jorge Alfaro and top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez to Miami in February for J.T. Realmuto. While Realmuto played in his second consecutive All-Star Game and has been a defensive stalwart, the offensive production between him and Alfaro is a bit too similar. The Phillies need more offense and Realmuto might fail to reach his numbers from last season, when he played half his games in a renowned pitchers' park.|
[NOTE: Some of these rankings may have come out a day or two ago, and may not be taking the most recent game(s) into account.]