July 31, 2018
The Phillies have already added some depth to their lineup by acquiring Asdrubal Cabrera from the Mets ahead of Tuesday's MLB trade deadline. And as the clock ticks down to 4 p.m., it appears the Phillies are looking to add a little more help, this time in the outfield.
Actually, it could be A LOT of help, depending on which player, if any, they land. Let's take a quick look at the four big outfield names currently linked to the Phillies.
Remember when Manny Machado was far and away the biggest prize of the MLB trade deadline? Well, the former Oriole has been Los Angeles for almost two weeks now, and a new name has emerged that could de-throne Machado as the biggest name to be dealt this July: Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.
Here's more from Mark Feinsand of MLB.com:
According to a source, the Nationals have let it be known that All-Star Bryce Harper is indeed available via trade, setting up what could be a wild race for the superstar with the 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline just hours away.
To be clear, this by no means indicates that the Nationals are committed to trading Harper today, though their willingness to listen to offers is a clear indication that general manager Mike Rizzo could become a major seller in the final hours leading up to the Deadline. [mlb.com]
Per USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale, however, the Nats are simply listening to offers, and likely wouldn't move Harper unless they were forced to do so.
Most intriguing teams to watch at today’s non-waiver trade deadline: #Nats, #Phillies, #Dodgers #Cubs. All expected to make moves, although no one believes Bryce Harper will be traded unless mandated by ownership.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 31, 2018
Trading Harper, who has 25 homers but is hitting just .220, well below his career average of .277, to the division rival Phillies would be an interesting for the Nationals, to say the least, but that doesn't mean it can't happen. Despite his struggles this season, Harper, a former MVP and six-time MLB All Star, will still clearly be the best outfielder on the team, and it would put the Phils in the driver seat when it comes to trying to re-sign Harper this offseason.
After all, the Phils are already expected to make a major push for Harper (and Machado) this winter in free agency.
Harper still seems unlikely to be traded, but some rivals suggest the team to go for it should be Philly: 1. they have the $, threshold space. 2. they tried for Adam jones and other OF. 3. they are in 1st place. 4. they're expected to go hard for harper and/or machado this winter— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 31, 2018
And although Heyman still believes Harper is a long shot to be moved by the end of the day, ESPN's Buster Olney disagrees...
Stay tuned on this one, as the MLB Trade Deadline is at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
Speaking of former National League MVPs, the Phillies are also reportedly interested in 31-year-old Giants outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
McCutchen, who made five straight All-Star appearances from 2011-15 (a stretch in which he average 25 home runs/year with a plus-.300 average) and was named MVP in 2013, has struggled in recent years. Over the last three seasons, McCutchen is hitting just .265. That being said, he's rocking a .350 OBP, so the analytic-minded Phillies have to be loving that.
Mets talking to Phillies about Jose Bautista, but nothing close yet. They've also been on Granderson, as are Yanks.— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) July 31, 2018
The Phillies have previously been linked to both these guys. And the fact that they still are could suggest that the interest is real, especially if the Nationals decide to keep Harper.
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