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July 31, 2023

MLB Trade Rumors: Could the Phillies make a move on Teoscar Hernández or Ty France?

The Mariners have made the right-handed hitters available, per USA Today.

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Teoscar-Hernandez-Mariners-Twins-At-Bat-7.20.2023-MLB.jpg Stephen Brashear/USA TODAY Sports

Could Teoscar Hernández be an answer to the Phillies' need for a right-handed bat?

The Phillies have been quiet as the countdown to the August 1 trade deadline enters its final 24 hours, but the need for a right-handed bat in the outfield and one more starting pitcher didn't go anywhere – definitely not after this weekend's series out in Pittsburgh. 

Options for pitching have grown limited though, and the Phillies may just be out of luck there, but as far as that right-handed bat is concerned, two intriguing options might have emerged in Seattle. 

Per USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Sunday:

The Seattle Mariners have informed teams that closer Paul Sewald, outfielder Teoscar Hernández and first baseman Ty France are available in trades. 

“Something’s going to happen, we just don’t know what it is," Mariners catcher Cal Raleigh says. “It’s out of our control. We want to be in this thing. We don’t want to be giving anybody away. 

“We want to be adding, not subtracting.’’ [USA Today]

An added MLB Network's Jon Morosi on Monday:

Hernández is slashing .238/.288/.408 on the year with 16 home runs, 17 doubles, and 58 runs batted in. 

France, meanwhile, has put up a line of .253/.324/.367 with seven homers, 24 doubles, and 39 RBIs. 

Either could be a potential fit for the Phillies as a right-handed hitter – Hernández a bit more so since he can play a corner outfield spot and brings a bat with a bit more pop – but both come with their drawbacks after each making the All-Star Game within the last two years and struggling ever since. 

Hernández, for example, leads the majors with a whopping 141 strikeouts, which is the last thing the Phillies need more of right now, especially since Kyle Schwarber is right behind him with 139 entering Monday night's series opener against Miami. 

France has also seen a notable decline in average and power this season compared to last, though perhaps a change of scenery from T-Mobile Park (formerly known as Safeco) to the hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park can remedy that. With that said, France being an infielder does make him a harder fit for the lineup and in turn a less appealing possibility. 

Despite a brutal series loss to the Pirates this past weekend, the Phillies are still in the thick of the NL Wild Card race entering Monday night, but longstanding flaws within the lineup and the starting rotation do leave them in need of some sort of shot in the arm as the season enters its last leg. 

But if club president Dave Dombrowski is going to make one, he needs to move quick, because time is running short. 

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