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August 31, 2020

MLB trade deadline: Phillies acquire reliever David Phelps from Brewers

A few big moves were made, but the Phillies went with more marginal bullpen help. Here's how deadline day played out...

UPDATE [4:33 p.m.] — In addition to trading for reliever David Phelps, the Phillies also made a slew of roster moves on Monday with outfielder Jay Bruce and reliever Ranger Suarez returning and utility man Scott Kingery heading to the injured list with back issues. The team also designated catcher Deivy Grullón and right-handed pitcher Reggie McClain for assignment to make room on the roster.

UPDATE [4:01 p.m.] — Well, that's it. The 2020 MLB trade deadline has officially passed, and unless a last-minute deal trickles in that hasn't been scooped yet, it appears the Phillies are done improving their team, making just one additional trade on Monday. Will it be enough?

You can read more about that below, as well as some of the other deals that got made on deadline day...

UPDATE [3:30 p.m.] — With just about a half hour left before the MLB trade deadline was set to pass, the Phillies added their fourth reliever of the month, reportedly acquiring righty David Phelps from the Brewers.

This season, Phelps, 33, is 2-3 with a 2.77 in 13 innings pitched for Milwaukee, but in Philly, he'll be reuniting with former manager Joe Girardi — the two were together from 2012-14 with the Yankees.

Phelps has bounced around a bit in recent years, and has now been traded two years in a row at the deadline. He also missed the entire 2018 season due to Tommy John surgery following a litany of elbow issues. Still, the veteran reliever has been consistent when on the hill, posting a sub-3.50 ERA in each of the last four seasons he pitched in the majors.

There's no word yet on what exactly the Phillies had to give up for Phelps, but it's reportedly "prospects," according to Jim Salisbury:

Per the Phillies, it's three players to be named later going to the Brewers, which is to say that it's three players currently not on the 60-man roster. 

More to come...

UPDATE [3:12 p.m.] — We're right up against the clock — there are about 45 minutes left to strike deals — on deadline day in Major League Baseball, but the Phillies still might have a move to make. According to Jayson Stark, they're looking to make some minor last-minute improvements down at Citizens Bank Park.

Stay tuned...

UPDATE [3:00 p.m.] — A division rival made a huge splash this afternoon, as the Marlins went the route of buyers and made a blockbuster trade for outfielder Starling Marte. They also paid a handsome price for him.

The offensive boost will certainly help Miami down the stretch, as they currently sit within reach of an NL playoff spot.

UPDATE [1:56 p.m.] — A few starting pitchers have already been dealt on deadline day, but according to Phillies beat writer Jim Salisbury, that's just fine. The team is looking to improve elsewhere.

It's no surprise that they would be looking to add more bullpen help, as their relievers have been far and away the worst in baseball. They've already added a trio of bullpen arms recently, but it appears they may not be done yet.

UPDATE [1:52 p.m.] — Another starting pitcher is off the board as the Blue Jays have reportedly traded for Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray, a guy the Phillies had been linked to in the past, including during the offseason. 

Ray has struggled this season in Arizona (1-4 with a 7.84 ERA), and perhaps a change of scenery is just what the doctor's ordered. The Phillies will now also get a first-hand look at Ray, as they're scheduled to play four games against Toronto starting on September 19. 

UPDATE [12:35 p.m.] — The Oakland Athletics have reportedly traded for Rangers starter Mike Minor as Texas looks ready to sell. 

Could the team also be preparing to trade fellow starter Lance Lynn, who is one of the top names expected to be available ahead of the deadline? The 33-year-old righty has had quite an impressive start to the season, going 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA in eight starts. 

The Phillies could be looking to add some starting depth before a final playoff push, and Lynn could be the guy to get them there. Unfortunately, they'll have plenty of competition for his services. After catching a lucky break earlier in Monday when the Padres, and not the Braves, acquired Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger, Atlanta appears to now be making a push for Lynn — and were apparently already engaged in talks long before Clevinger was dealt. 

Currently sitting three games behind the Braves for first place in the NL East, the Phillies could block the Braves by coming up with a deal of their own, but they're running out of time. 

UPDATE [1:05 p.m.] — Of course, just like with Clevinger, another team could swoop in and keep Lynn out of the NL East all together.

Either way, it's looking like there could be a big bidding war for Lynn's services.

UPDATE [11:15 a.m.] — With just under five hours left before the trade deadline, the San Diego Padres have made the first big splash of the day, reportedly acquiring starting pitcher Mike Clevinger from the Cleveland Indians.

If the Phillies are looking to add starting pitching help before the deadline, there's now one fewer name available to all those teams looking to improve before the postseason arrives. On the bright side, this keeps Clevinger away from the Braves, who had reportedly been showing interest prior to him being dealt to the Padres. 

Stay tuned for the latest, and you can follow all the top news and rumors in our live tracker below...


After taking two of three from the Atlanta Braves this weekend, fresh off a three-game sweep of the Nationals, the Phillies are right in the mix for the National League East title, and, more importantly, have climbed back into playoff position after a rough start to the season.

And that clarity, that this team is indeed a postseason-worthy team, couldn't have come at a better time, as there are just hours left for this team to make any last-minute improvements before the 4 p.m. MLB trade deadline. And despite it being a sellers market — and a unique deadline at that — there should be options if the Phillies wish to make some.

The Phillies, who now have the second best World Series odds (+3300) in the NL East behind the Braves and are 12th overall according to's consensus odds, have already acquired three relievers — and have parted ways with both prospects and a member of the major-league roster to get it done. The could still use some bullpen help. A starter might not be the worst idea. And even some outfield help — specifically in center field — might not be out of the question. 

But will GM Matt Klentak pull the trigger? Or will his team's recent hot streak leave him believing they have enough already to make a run at the playoffs and possible save his job?

Here's more on the state of the team at the deadline from Scott Lauber at, who says after acquiring that trio of receivers — Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree and David Hale — earlier this month, "there isn’t quite as much pressure to jump into a trade market that appears to be slanted heavily in favor of sellers."

Still, there are options... 

It’s possible that general manager Matt Klentak will pull off another deal before Monday’s 4 p.m. buzzer. The Phillies could add another reliever. Or they could enter the sweepstakes for a starter. Texas Rangers lefty Mike Minor and San Francisco Giants right-hander Kevin Gausman have piqued their interest in the past and might be available again as short-term rentals before reaching free agency after the season. [...]

The Phillies are determined to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Klentak’s job might even depend on it. And having won five consecutive games entering Sunday night’s series finale with the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park, it’s well within their capability with a month left in this sprint season to end that October drought.

Would the Phillies really part with another prospect — someone like outfielder Mickey Moniak, who was added to the satellite camp in Lehigh Valley on Sunday — for short-term pitching help? Would they give up young center fielder Adam Haseley in a deal for a more controllable pitcher, such as Cleveland Indians ace Mike Clevinger?

“Sometimes you can have a guy that you’re interested in, but the asking price is so great that it doesn’t make any sense,” manager Joe Girardi said before Sunday night’s game. “I think we always look to get better, and I think that’s what Matt and his staff is doing.”  []

Last week, we mentioned a rumor linking the Phillies to Diamondbacks outfielder Starling Marte, who it appears could still be on the move. And that's interesting, considering Lauber mentions the possibility of the Phillies, who already could use a boost over Roman Quinn and Adam Haseley in center, trading the latter, and even drops a Mickey Moniak nugget in there as well. If the Phillies were to deal one (or both) of those players, they could really wind up needing an upgrade at the position, especially given Quinn's injury history. 

Speaking of Moniak, Lauber isn't just pulling that name out of nowhere. Here's more from NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury:

The timing of the move is interesting because it comes a day before the trade deadline and only players in the 60-man pool are eligible to be immediately traded. A player can still be included in a deal down the road, as a player to be named later, but there are risks associated with that. With a month of season remaining, an acquiring team might want a player like Moniak in its camp at immediate disposal.

It's possible, however, that Moniak's being added to the 60-man pool has nothing to do with a trade. He had been rehabbing a minor knee injury in Clearwater and is simply ready to ramp up his activity at the Phillies' satellite camp in Lehigh Valley.  []

Another name for Phillies fans to watch is Cleveland pitcher Mike Clevinger, who has a 3.18 ERA in 22.2 innings this season. The 29-year-old starter is drawing interest from several teams, and the Phillies could be one of them ahead of the deadline. But if they want to make a move, they're going to need to act fast. 

Will Klentak make any deadline-day deals? Or will it be a quiet day for the Phillies? In a pandemic-shortened season, with expanded playoffs that make almost everyone a playoff contender and just a month left to go in the season, pretty much anything is on the table. (And, yes, that includes trading J.T. Realmuto, however that's a lot less likely now that the Phillies are winning.)

Keep it all locked right here as we'll have you covered with the latest news and rumors right here in our live MLB trade deadline tracker:

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