The Phillies are known to need some outfield help.  Even aside of the administrative leave given to outfielder Odubel Hererra after an arrest related to suspicion of domestic violence, the Phillies had no left-handed bats on their bench.   On Saturday, the Philllies were linked to one prominent left-handed bat.

Jay Bruce of the Seattle Mariners:

However, that report was quickly retracted by Passan, stating that the deal is "not far enough along to be imminent":

However, both Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia and Matt Gelb of The Athletic have confirmed the Phillies are at least talking about Bruce, though the deal itself may not be agreed upon.

Another name a source tells me the Phillies are "monitoring" is San Francisco Giants center fielder Steven Duggar.  Without a true center fielder (and they will still be without one even if the acquire Bruce), Duggar can be a left-handed hitting, natural center fielder.  The Giants play Duggar in center field, even after adding Kevin Pillar from the Toronto Blue Jays.

Duggar is batting .242 for the Giants so far, but has five years of control beyond 2018.  He might not be a long-term starter, but a long-term defensive bench option should the Phillies acquire him.   There are currently no published reports connecting the Phillies to Duggar, so the talks are not near the level that they are with the Mariners over Bruce.

Gelb noted that the Phillies were long interested in Bruce, even prior to his trade to Seattle.  Bruce signed a three-year, $39 million deal with the New York Mets prior to the 2018 season.  After a rough 2018 with the Mets, the club shipped him to Seattle as part of the trade that sent second baseman Robinson Cano to New York.  Bruce has the remainder of this season and next season left on his deal.

For the Mariners, Bruce has 14 home runs and an .282 OPS with the Mariners, though his batting average is currently at .212.

The Mariners and general manager "Dealing" Jerry Dipoto are known to make many trades.  The Mariners and Phillies connected on a trade this past offseason, when the Phillies acquired shortstop Jean Segura in a deal that included first baseman Carlos Santana.  Other deals the two have made have centered around ambidextrous reliever Pat Venditte and lefty reliever Zac Curtis.

While there is no fire with the Bruce trade, there certainly is smoke, so stay tuned.

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