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May 28, 2019

MLB trade rumors: Phillies targeting a left-handed hitter to boost horrible bench

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Matt-Adams-Nationals_052819_USAT Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

Rumors have tied Matt Adams to the Phillies, as they search for help on their bench.

The Phillies had a well-deserved day off on Monday after going 4-3 during a roadtrip to the Midwest that included series against two of the NL's best. The players may have been off the field, enjoying Memorial Day, but the front office was looking at ways to help the team lengthen its 1.5 game lead in the division.

With the trade deadline about two months away, the team's biggest moves are likely still pretty far in the future. But according to FOX's Ken Rosenthal, there may be a more minor one in the cards sometime soon.

"Expect the Phillies to seek a left-handed hitter for their bench before the July 31st trade deadline, in addition to whatever pitching needs might arise. The ideal profile would be an experience player who is comfortable coming off the bench and can hit for power. Matt Adams is one of many players who fits that description and the way the Nationals are playing, he is one of many who might be available." [FOX SPORTS]

There are only two-left handed hitters on the 25-man roster right now in Bryce Harper and Odubel Herrera. Adding one makes perfect sense — though assuming a division rival would be willing to make a deal with them is a big assumption (especially as Washington is slowly improving). The Nats are, however, 9.5 games behind Philly and will probably be sellers at some point.

Adams has had just 85 at bats this season and has started 14 games at first base for Washington. He has four homers, 14 RBI and a .247 batting average. Last season he played more — 121 total games — and hit 21 homers. He is 30 years old and a career .265 hitter.

MLBTradeRumors.com has come up with a few other players the Phillies could target as lefty bench hitters.

This is merely speculation, but Jay Bruce (Mariners), Curtis Granderson and Neil Walker (Marlins), Yonder Alonso (White Sox) and Lucas Duda (Royals) stand out as lefty-capable hitters with some pop who could land on the Phillies’ radar in the next couple months. None of those veterans’ teams are in contention, meaning they’re all logical trade chips. Bruce and Walker are the only members of the group who have notched respectable overall production at the plate this season, though the revered Granderson has shown recent signs of life after a weeks-long slumber. [MLB Trade Rumors]

Phillies pinch hitters have a .153 batting average this season, the second lowest of all 30 MLB teams in 2019. Bench players in the role of pinch hitters have contributed just one home run and seven RBI in 85 at bats, the third most plate appearances of any team. 

The Phillies simply must do better, as they've been as easy an out as one can be pinch hitting this season. Keep an eye on the names mentioned above as this is an issue that could continue to cost the Phils until they do find someone who can contribute reliably off the bench.


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