All is Quiet on the Phillies Trade Front
With just a few hours left before the MLB non-waiver trade deadline, teams are making their final pushes to improve their teams for the playoffs. The big rumor of the moment is that the New York Mets are about to acquire Reds outfielder Jay Bruce. However, despite expectations the Phillies could move either Jeremy Hellickson or Jeanmar Gomez, the trade buzz surrounding the Phillies is relatively quiet.
First, the returns that teams are giving up for pitching this trade deadline season has been very high. With White Sox starter Chris Sale seemingly priced well beyond the means of most teams and the Marlins giving up their two best prospects for the struggling Andrew Cashner and back-end starter Collin Rea, Hellickson could be a more attractive piece given the price. But that should still be high.
If the Phillies extend a qualifying offer to Hellickson this offseason, they will receive a late first round draft pick as compensation. Any player that the team would get back should be at least of that quality. The $16.8 million qualifying offer might sound like a lot of money, but Hellickson likely would reject it to pursue a multi-year deal. Last offseason's five-year, $75 million deal for Mike Leake might be a good indication as to what someone like Hellickson could command.
The Phillies and Rangers reportedly discussed Vince Velasquez, but the Rangers have been linked to other players, such as catcher Jonathan Lucroy. One piece linked to Lucroy is outfielder/third baseman Joey Gallo. That was a name that the Phillies may have requested in a Velasquez trade.
There has been no trade buzz surrounding Jeanmar Gomez thus far. With big-name relievers Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, and Mark Melancon off the board, Gomez may be the next logical tier. Unless the Phillies are overwhelmed, they may prefer to keep Gomez. Gomez is under team control for one more season, and the team may prefer that their young starters not be demoralized by poor play.
Whether there is a trade or not, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin mentioned in his Sunday postgame press conference that there could be roster moves before the Phillies suit up again on Tuesday at Citizens Bank park against the San Francisco Giants. The Phillies still could make a trade; surprise moves have come at the last few minutes of the deadline. However, the Phillies may just stay the course.