May 25, 2019
The marquee name for the Phillies this July will probably still be Giants ace Madison Bumgarner — who recently listed the Phillies as one of his eight trade blocked teams (something he can waive if he wants). However, there are a bevy of other names out there that could be fits for Philadelphia.
Bleacher Report, always ahead of the curve, took an early look at 20 potential trade deadline deals and the Phils were buyers in two of them.
The first was for Athletics hurler Blake Treinen, a reliever who was so good he almost built a Cy Young case in 2018, posting a 0.78 ERA in 68 appearances. This season, for the exceptionally average A's he is crushing it once again, with a 2.70 ERA thus far with 25 strikeouts in 22.1 innings.
Having an ace reliever is a luxury a small market team that is not contending can usually not afford, putting him as a great potential piece for Philly's struggling bullpen. Here's what Zachary Rymer from BR.com suggested:
The Philadelphia Phillies might be game. Their mission to reclaim NL East supremacy is going well so far, but their bullpen would look better with a tried-and-true ace reliever.
Since the A's aren't in a position to rebuild, they would likely try to land some MLB-ready pieces for Treinen. The Phillies have a few standing by in 23-year-old righty Enyel De Los Santos (their No. 6 prospect) and 22-year-old lefty JoJo Romero (No. 7).
The Deal: Phillies get RHP Blake Treinen, A's get RHP Enyel De Los Santos and LHP JoJo Romero [Bleacher Report]
De Los Santos hasn't really shown he has big league stuff, but Romero is someone the team has high hopes in. Treinen is 30 and will be a free agent next season — the Phils will pounce if the price is right but they might not be willing to part with much for a bullpen rental.
A bigger name, Yasiel Puig, could provide some pop in the outfield in the case that Odubel Herrera continues to struggle with his bat. The Reds will no doubt be sellers come the summer, as they are mired in last place in baseball's best division. Puig has an expiring contract and they'll be content to get what they can for him.
The Phillies are a sneaky fit for Puig. They can trust that Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen will come around, but Odubel Herrera's ongoing offensive struggles are a legitimate concern. They might go for Puig and hope their new-look outfield's offensive strength would outweigh its lack of a true center fielder.
In exchange, the Phillies might offer the Reds a package headlined by nearly MLB-ready outfielder Adam Haseley (their No. 3 prospect) and 23-year-old righty Mauricio Llovera (No. 15). Such a deal would be an approximate facsimile of the 2017 J.D. Martinez trade.
The Deal: Phillies get RF Yasiel Puig, Reds get OF Adam Haseley, RHP Mauricio Llovera and a throw-in [Bleacher Report]
There is no way I would jettison Haseley, who was their first round pick a few years ago and playing his way to the big leagues, for a few months of the unpredictable Puig, who is hitting .206 with seven homers (he is a career .272 hitter with 115 HR) and in clear need of a change of scenery.
And finally, Madison Bumgarner — the Giants ace who has been one of the best playoff performers of all time (8-3, 2.11 ERA in postseason). According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, Phils scouts were there at his most recent start, a 6.1 inning, six strikeout winning effort.
There were several clubs, including the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies, scouting Bumgarner last weekend, with Bumgarner saying afterwards, “I feel like I threw the ball as well as I ever have.’’
Nightengale also offered some interesting insight into the impending deadline this July, mentioning that this year's singular deadline will create a sense of urgency to an unknown degree when it arrives.
There are 69 shopping days left before the July 31 trade deadline, and this time, there is no safety net. There is only one deadline, forcing teams to make a decision early. Oh sure, teams can still claim high-priced players, but with no trades, they would have to assume the entirety of the contract. If this rule was in place in 2017, Justin Verlander would never have been traded, and the Houston Astros would still be looking for their first World Series. [USA Today]
The Phillies front office has made some shrewd, savvy moves of late, and while they will be open to every possibility, expect them to maximize the return for anyone they part with from a stocked farm system.
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