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September 24, 2019

MLB Rumors: Phillies 'doubtful' to extend Rhys Hoskins, could dangle him in pitching trades

Once considered an untouchable asset, the Phillies' first baseman suddenly sounds... movable?

The Phillies were eliminated from playoff contention this afternoon, but that was a foregone conclusion after a miserable September.

The bigger news, it seems, came Tuesday afternoon from NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury, the most plugged-in Phillies beat writer in the city, who has some eye-catching rumblings on first baseman Rhys Hoskins' future in Philadelphia.

Here's what Salisbury had to say:

"Back in spring training, it at least seemed possible that the Phillies would try to lock up Hoskins with a long-term contract this winter. That is highly doubtful now. It might even be more plausible that the Phillies shop him in a trade for pitching."

Yowza! That's a bit of a sharp left turn. Salisbury isn't out-and-out reporting this as "sources say the Phillies are going to shop Hoskins," so we shouldn't go crazy speculating that Hoskins will get dealt immediately. But Salisbury also doesn't go tossing out hypotheticals for no reason, meaning there are probably some legs to the idea.

Hoskins, who will turn 27 years old before the Phillies begin their 2020 campaign, began this season with fireworks — in the team's first month he had 24 RBI and an OPS over 1.000, and after 50 games he had 12 homers and 39 RBI.

But since the start of July, a frustrated Hoskins has been swinging at pitches with his eyes closed. He has just 28 RBI in his last 72 games, with an OPS below .750, and has struck out in 30% of his at-bats over that span.

Whether Hoskins still has a future with the Phillies, who clearly need to make some big changes after a staggeringly disappointing season, is unclear, an idea that would've seemed unconscionable back in early April. But time waits for no man, and baseball waits for no man to find his swing.

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