July 10, 2018
As the Phillies simultaneously continue to both win and hit considerably worse than the MLB average, a bat upgrade seems to be just what the doctor ordered as they vie for an unexpected NL East crown.
Manny Machado is the prize of trade season, but reports seem to suggest that the Phillies are not willing to pay the high price the Orioles want for him as just a rental for a few months. Reports also say the Diamondbacks and now the Yankees seem to be top contenders for his services.
So if they can't get Machado, are there any other options to play on the left side of the infield and help the Phils improve their offense as the All-Star Break approaches?
The Royals are in rebuild mode and their infielder and slugger Moustakas is their top trade chip. Many surmise he could be had for Maikel Franco (who may benefit from a change of scenery anyway), and an upper but not elite level prospect from the high farm system. Moustakas has a mutual option to remain with the Royals (or the Phillies) in 2019 and has played the majority of his career at third base.
Beltre is the second most frequently cited name with regard to trade rumors and the Phillies and the veteran professional hitter makes sense. His experience level could be valuable during a pennant chase and the fact that he is an expiring contract might play into Philly's favor.
Gennett is making his first All-Star appearance and is under team control until the 2020 offseason — making him perhaps just as expensive as Machado. But he would be a Phillie for at least the next two seasons and is on a tear with the second best batting average in the NL. The fifth-place Reds will no doubt listen to any offer to help them acquire rebuilding assets.
Solarte can hit for power and can play nearly any position, making him a nice fit in the Gabe Kabler machine. Between Toronto's struggles and him being under team control for another season passed 2018, Solarte may be in the butter zone of affordability and reasonability for the Phils to make a bid for.
If Philly is looking for a hitter who knows how to get on base — and who can be had as a rental for relatively cheap — Detroit infielder Iglesias is a prime candidate. Though primarily a shortstop the former Red Sox has started 37 games at third base.
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