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July 25, 2019

MLB trade rumors: Is Zach Greinke the answer for the Phillies?

The Phillies are expect to be buyers before the July 31 trade deadline but there are a few conditions that seem to have been made clear by both GM Matt Klentak and Phils president Andy MacPhail.

  1. The player cannot be a rental
  2. The player cannot cost a lot by way of top prospects
  3. The player must address a need (starting pitching, bullpen, bench depth)

Philadelphia has been connected to nearly every starting pitcher available, from Madison Bumgarner (not expected to be traded) to Marcus Stroman (who they have scouted) to Trevor Bauer (who they have reportedly discussed trading for with Cleveland). Each of those players fall short of all three categories.

One player who might not is Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke. 

The Phillies have talked to Arizona but nothing looks imminent at the moment — though with the entire league waiting until the last possible moment, nothing looks particularly imminent anywhere.

Why would Greinke be such a good fit for the Phillies? Well the first two conditions we mentioned are met fairly obviously: he is a starting pitcher who is much better than the four pieces of mediocracy the Phillies march out after Aaron Nola each week, and he has a second  and third year of team control as he is under contract through 2021. However, he might fit condition No. 2: cheap prospects.

Here's an interesting take from's Mike Petriello, where he projects 20 players trade destinations:

While he's in his age-35 season and owed approximately $80 million over the next two-and-a-half seasons, the six-time All-Star is still pitching as effectively as ever (2.93 ERA), and they still are $16 million under the luxury tax and $75 million under next year's. Assuming most of the contract would limit the talent they'd need to send back to Arizona, and it would give them depth in the likely scenario that Arrieta requires surgery this winter -- if not sooner. Philly is reportedly on Greinke's 15-team no-trade list, but teams often work around such provisions, especially if the player is compensated in some form for doing so. []

Greinke is not in his 20s, like Detroit's Matt Boyd and he's not a lefty like Texas' Mike Minor. But his age and his big contract make it a deal the Phillies can pursue without needing to dangle a top prospect like Mickey Moniak, Adonis Medina or Adam Haseley to complete.

The deadline is now less than a week away, and at some point in the next six days the avalanche of trades will begin. Don't miss a single trade, rumor or piece of analysis by following our daily trade deadline open thread/live chat right here:

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