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June 11, 2024

MLB trade rumors: Phillies 'have interest' in Luis Robert Jr.

With lackluster outfield production this season, the MLB-best Phillies are reportedly looking for an upgrade like Luis Robert Jr. or Tommy Pham.

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Phillies-rumors-outfield-Luis-Robert-White-Sox_061124_USAT Patrick Gorski/USA Today Sports

Could the Phillies make a splashy move for a Silver Slugging outfielder?

A month and a half remains until the MLB's trade deadline, and the Phillies are expected to be active participants — but also have so much talent on the team as it is, that waiting until the last possible moment might be the correct course of action.

There are fringe bullpen pieces to be evaluated, and an embarrassment of riches playing in the outfield. The Phils will be hunting for upgrades, and were included in Jim Bowden's 30 thoughts on the trade deadline.

According to The Athletic's insider (and not to Buster Olney's hacked X account) the Phillies could be making a pretty big deal with the lowly White Sox:

15. The Phillies have been the National League’s best team but aren’t resting on their laurels. They’re looking to improve their overall outfield and have interest in Luis Robert Jr. and Tommy Pham. The Phillies and White Sox do match up well on a blockbuster-type deal. Robert is under team control through 2027 on a club-friendly deal. The Phillies are in on outfielder Jake McCarthy of the Diamondbacks as well. It’s believed they could also add a reliever. [The Athletic]

Robert has already won a Silver Slugger, Gold Glove and made last year's All-Star Game — but he's struggled this season. He is hitting just .192, but he does have a pair of homers in his last three games. He's also missed time this season with a right hip flexor strain. How much of a discount will that get the Phillies on the 26-year-old under team control until 2027 is the big unknown here.

Pham is an older veteran who has shown throughout his 11-year big league career that he is a reliable professional hitter. He's currently on the White Sox's Injured List with an ankle injury.

McCarthy is a Scranton native who wields a pretty good bat in Arizona but has never been a full-time starter. If the Phils go by way of a marginal depth upgrade he might be the appealing option.

The issue for the Phillies is that they do have a lot of pieces in the outfield that they are relatively committed to, like Nick Castellanos (due $20 million a year until 2026), Johan Rojas (under team control until 2029) and Brandon Marsh (under team control through 2027). It will be interesting to see how aggressively they pursue an upgrade there — as it's basically their only offensive weak spot.

The trade deadline is a ways out, arriving on July 30 this summer.

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