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June 19, 2019

Players Phillies traded away are crushing it with new teams

Phillies MLB
JT-Realmuto-Jorge-Alfaro-Phillies_062319_USAT Steve Mitchell | Jake Roth /USA Today Sports

The Phillies swapped Jorge Alfaro for J.T. Realmuto this offseason.

The Phillies made a big splash this past offseason, stockpiling players through free agency and trades to give them an enviable line up and a good chance of winning the NL East for the first time since 2011. They were contenders on paper, and contenders through the first two months of the regular season.

If you've been watching the Phillies lately, they don't exactly look like contenders right now.

After yet another embarrassing loss Saturday, the Phillies are a season-high 5.5 games out of first place in the division. There are no shortage of storylines to depress Phillies fans. We'll take a look at one today, just for fun (or for some added Philly-fatalistic torture).

Adding insult to injury, a lot of the moves the Phillies made which seemed to be enormous upgrades seem not to have panned out very well, at least through the first 75 or so games of the season. And while it would be silly to pass definitive judgement this soon, there is still some insight to be gained from comparing the players they acquired to those they traded.

Take a look:

Jean Segura for J.P. Crawford and Carlos Santana

Whether Jean Segura's lack of hustle directly led to Andrew McCutchen's season-ending injury is a matter for debate, and really unprovable. What is provable is that the two pieces the Phillies jettisoned to Seattle in exchange for one of the league's best hitters are playing enviably well.

Crawford has a better on-base percentage than Segura, and while his power numbers are lacking, he seems to be producing at a much better level than he did in his short time as a Phillie.

Santana, who was dreadful with the bat — at least in terms of batting average — when he was in Philly could be an All-Star this July.

  BAPowerOBP
 Jean Segura.2697 HR, 28 RBI.318
J.P. Crawford.2711 HR, 12 RBI.358
Carlos Santana.29215 HR, 44 RBI.416


Did both players require the change of scenery to be better with their bats? Perhaps. But if Segura doesn't find his stroke again soon, it may be the M's who won this deal, not Klentak and the Phillies. 

J.T. Realmuto for Jorge Alfaro (and Sixto Sanchez)

It's still clear that Realmuto is the better catcher — as his defense has been impressive as Phillies backstop thus far. However, he hasn't appeared to be the massive upgrade many expected he would be — begging the question: were the Phillies better off with top pitching prospect Sanchez and slightly worse catcher Alfaro?

  BAPowerOBP
J.T Realmuto.26110 HR, 36 RBI.318
Jorge Alfaro.2619 HR, 27 RBI.312


Sanchez has a 3.60 ERA in eight Double-A starts and looks like he is right on track to be a big part of the Marlins' pitching rotation a year from now. Meanwhile, the Phillies can barely scrape five starters together.

Wilson Ramos, left as free agent

This one is a bit of a stretch, but bear with us. The Phillies bench has been god-awful in almost every pinch hitting situation, and their back up catcher Knapp leaves much to be desired. Ramos was a Phillie last season, one they did not retain after the Realmuto trade. Here's how he is performing in New York with the Mets, while Knapp continues to struggle as the back up in Philly:

  BAPowerOBP
Andrew Knapp.1721 HR, 2 RBI.314
Wilson Ramos.2718 HR, 40 RBI.347


And for what it's worth 

The Phillies chose Harper and not Machado this past winter after a seemingly endless free agency. Whether the team had a legitimate crack at nabbing Machado, we'll never know, but we do know that nearing the halfway point in the season, the Padres seem to have a slightly better player on their hands.

  BAPowerOBP
Bryce Harper.24613 HR, 52 RBI.360
Manny Machado.27316 HR, 45 RBI.351

Harper is on track for a career high in both strikeouts and walks, but has been fun to watch in the outfield and certainly has been a lightning rod for fans. This signing, unlike the other trade/free agent situations mentioned above, will ultimately be judged by history. It's premature, but still worth acknowledging.

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