July 23, 2018
After losing out on shortstop Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Philadelphia Phillies returned to action over the weekend and took two of three to the San Diego Padres. On Monday, they'll welcome Machado and the Dodgers to town for a three-game series, but the almost-Phillie's appearance will play second fiddle to the return of a man, the man, who spent 13 seasons in red pinstripes and helped deliver the city's first championship in 25 years — Chase Utley (who will likely be playing in his final games at Citizens Bank Park).
And then, of course, there's the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, which is rapidly approaching as the Phillies look to potentially add to their roster ahead of a stretch run with serious playoff aspirations, something many didn't think would happen so soon.
Defensively, there have been rumors regarding potential pitching upgrades, like former Phillies starters Cole Hamels and J.A. Happ, as well as relievers, like Orioles closer Zach Britton. As for their struggling lineup, there have been plenty of names floating around, like Royals' third baseman Mike Moustakas, Twins infielder Eduardo Escobar or Mets shortstop Asdrubel Cabrera.
And, on Monday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic dropped another name for Phillies fans to mull over, most likely as depth off the bench: Curtis Granderson.
#Phillies talking to #BlueJays about Granderson, sources tell The Athletic. PHI looking for left-handed bat off bench and occasional starter in OF. Demoted fourth outfielder Altherr to AAA last night. Granderson .230/.337/.417 in 274 plate appearances this season.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 23, 2018
Other bench bats #Phillies figure to explore in addition to Granderson: Asdrubal Cabrera, Derek Dietrich, possibly Eduardo Escobar in more of an everyday role. @MattGelb noted interest in Cabrera last week.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 23, 2018
Granderson, who is hitting just .230 on the season, obviously wouldn't be the kind of offensive upgrade the Phillies were hoping for when they aggressively pursued Machado, nor would he help address the struggling left side of their infield. That being said, it would another veteran bat to have off the bench — as well as possibly make some spot starts down the stretch.
The problem for Matt Klentak and the Phillies is that their young outfielders have really been turning it on recently.
Nick Williams is batting .321 since the start of July (17 games) and has nearly as many RBI (9) as he does strikeouts (10) over that span. Rhys Hoskins is hitting .276 since start of June and homered in each of his last two games. And Odubel Herrera is batting .304 over his last 13 games (12 starts).
Granderson obviously brings a level of experience none of these players can match, but does the 37-year-old outfielder have enough left in the tank to make a meaningful contribution to the Phillies down the stretch? And is that worth whatever prospects it would cost to acquire him in the first place?
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