July 30, 2019
UPDATE [3:53 p.m.] — The Phillies have reportedly signed free agent reliever Blake Parker, according to Ken Rosenthal and Matt Gelb of The Athletic.
Parker was signed by the Twins back in January, but after refusing his outright assignment was granted free agency just a few days ago. The 34-year-old righty has bounced around after spending the first three years of his career with the Cubs, playing with the Yankees and Mariners for a half season each back in 2016, then with the Angels for two seasons before joining the Twins this winter.
This season with Minnesota, Parker has a 4.21 ERA and a 1.376 WHIP in 37 appearances, including 10 saves.
UPDATE [4:08 p.m.] — Additionally, Gabe Kapler informed the media prior to Tuesday night's game that Zach Eflin will be moved to the bullpen to make room for new addition Jason Vargas.
Jason Vargas will start Friday night. Zach Eflin has been moved to the bullpen.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) July 30, 2019
Eflin, who was the Phillies best pitcher to start the season, has struggled of late, allowing 31 runs in 26.2 innings (10.46 ERA) over his last six starts — compared to a 2.83 ERA through his first 14 starts — and just a few weeks ago was complaining about his body feeling "heavy." Maybe this move is to get him some rest until he feels himself again.
On Monday evening, the Phillies made a deal with the
devil Mets to acquire lefty starter Jason Vargas and cash considerations for a Double-A catcher. In other words, the Phillies got Vargas for essentially nothing, as the cash the Mets sent over will reportedly cover Vargas' salary for the remainder of the season. That leaves the Phillies solidly under the luxury tax with just over 24 hours remaining until the trade deadline, should they need to take on any salary in order to make a deal work.
While they still have needs across the board, especially on the pitching staff, one area the Phillies could look to add depth is in their outfield — they're already missing Andrew McCutchen (knee) and Odubel Herrera (suspension) for the remainder of the season. But one potential trade partner has emerged who could help the Phillies address both the outfield and their need for pitching: the Cincinnati Reds.
The Phillies have already been linked to Reds starter Tanner Roark and were reportedly on hand to scout the Reds and Pirates on Monday night, presumably to get a look at Roark and Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias. They could also have been there to scout Pittsburgh closer Felipe Vasquez.
But if the Phillies were to work out a deal with the Reds, it could include another name that would provide a nice upgrade to the Phillies outfield heading down the stretch: outfielder Yasiel Puig.
Over at MLB.com, Richard Justice took a look at the seven players most likely to be dealt at the deadline, and Puig was No. 4 on his list. He was also the only player Justice linked to the Phillies. Here's what he had to say:
4. Yasiel Puig, Reds OF
His OPS is over 1.032 since June 11. He also has 11 homers and 10 doubles in his last 39 games, and with offensive production in demand, the Reds will have options even with Puig entering free agency after the season.
Potential landing spots: Indians, Phillies, Rays [mlb.com]
Could the Phillies try to put together a package that could net them both Roark (or Iglesias) and Puig, thus addressing two of their needs in one move?
That remains to be seen as Matt Klentak and Andy MacPhail have preached patience to the fanbase at the deadline — they don't plan on making any big, splashy moves. Furthermore, both Puig and Roark are set to hit free agency this offseason and would be rental players, making this the kind of deal the Phillies brass has already said they'd be hesitant to make, especially if it would cost them top prospects. After all, the playoffs are hardly guaranteed at this point, even with a potential move like this.
And, just Monday afternoon, it was reported that the Phillies would likely only be making "marginal moves" to upgrade their roster.
Where this could entice the Phillies a little more would be if the deal were to include Raisel Iglesias, who is 29 years old and under team control until 2022. Unfortunately, the other numbers for Iglesias aren't great. In 43 appearances this year (45 innings), he has a career-worst 4.40 ERA and a 1.378 WHIP to go along with 19 saves.
With only a day remaining before the deadline, it's now of never for the Phillies, so stay tuned for all the latest developments in our live MLB trade deadline tracker:
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