Phillies Mailbag: July Trade Targets; Could the Phillies Sell?
We are back once again with a 97.3 ESPN Phillies mailbag. Each week we take your questions and talk about them on the Sports Bash with Mike Gill every Tuesday. Send your questions anytime on Twitter to @FrankKlose or send a text to the text board at 609-403-0973.
Do the Phillies even realistically have enough to trade for a Bumgarner/Minor type of starter without trading Bohm or Haseley?
We are now in the month of July, so that meets the next several weeks will include a lot of discussion about the Phillies and how they will approach the July 4 trade deadline. This is a new situation for the Phillies and all teams, since this is the first year there is no fallback August trade option. Teams must decide if they are in or out, and then make trades accordingly with two full months to go.
Madison Bumgarner remains a trade candidate. I think the Phillies do have enough to make a trade. The question might be whether or not someone like Bumgarner is worth it or not. The no-trade clause that Bumgarner set up might be the key to this trade deadline.
Under the no-trade clause, Bumgarner can name eight teams to which he can block a trade. The Phillies are on the list. But so is every other team that might be interested a lefty starter at the deadline. That is by design by Bumgarner; it gives him leverage at the deadline.
Will he want money to approve a deal? An extension? Much of his is unknown and only further serves to lower his value. But all things equal, Bumgarner may actually prefer to be traded, since players with draft pick compensation attached lingered in free agency for months (see Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel).
I do not think that the Rangers are too motivated to move Mike Minor at the moment. Texas is 6.5 games out of the National League West race. However, they currently hold a Wild Card spot in the American League. Can a team in the position for a Wild Card really tell their fans they are going to sell?
I like a Matt Boyd-type more for the Phillies. Boyd is a decent pitcher from the left side and while he may cost them a high price, he is under club control The Phillies may give up a bigger name if the player is controllable. Keep an eye on All Star Tigers closer Shane Greene, too.
As for the specific names, I do not think that Alec Bohm will be traded in any deal. He could emerge as a starting third baseman for the club as soon as next season, and they need one badly. Adam Haseley could be expendable, as could Mickey Moniak. Both center fielders, the Phillies could feel comfortable trading one and keeping the other.
If the Phillies sell, who would they sell?
I really do not think that the Phillies will sell, even if they are under-performing at the July 31 trade deadline. The reason is that the club does not really have any assets with expiring contracts that would make up the traditional trade deadline deal. That said, I think they would move them if they could.
The Phillies have expiring contracts in the form of second baseman Cesar Hernandez, as well as relievers Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, and Juan Nicasio. That represents a cool $33 million of salary relief under the competitive balance tax threshold for next season. But in the immediate future - what would trading any of them bring to the club anyway?
So I think the Phillies will probably have to ride out who they have down the stretch. You could see center fielder Adam Haseley and even third baseman Alec Bohm play down the stretch if they are out of contention. But that might not be known until the end of August. I expect the Phillies to buy.
Do the Phillies re-sign Cesar Hernandez? If not, would you consider trading him and playing Scott Kingery at 2nd every day? Who would you replace Cesar with in the lineup in such a scenario and what do you think the Phillies could get in return for him?
My last answer seemed to put down the idea that the Phillies could trade Cesar Hernandez. The thing about the second base market - and we saw this in the offseason - is that it is rather filled with second base options. There were too many second base options in the offseason, so Hernandez was not traded then. There is a surplus now.
I think that Kingery will assume second base next season for sure. For now, he's been very good filling in wherever the team has needed him at any given moment. But the Phillies can let Hernandez walk as a free agent at season's end and I am pretty sure that they will.
Should someone happen to have a need for Hernandez this season, I am sure they are listen. If they are going to make a trade that adds an asset at center field or second base and the trade requires the other team to take some money back to keep under the competitive balance tax, I could see them including Hernandez in that way, not as an asset.
I'm not trying to minimize the value Hernandez can have for a team; it's more a matter of supply and demand. Rather than simply give him away, the might as well keep him. That's what happened in the offseason, and that should happen again.