Phillies Mailbag: Trade Deadline, Prospects to Trade, and a Hamels Return?
It's time for another edition of the 97.3 ESPN Phillies Mailbag. Each week we take your questions and answer them on the Sports Bash with Mike Gill, Tuesday afternoons at 2:40. Send your questions anytime to @FrankKlose on Twitter.
This is a tough question, as there are clear directions: what could the club use, and whawt are realistic acquisitions. There are two factors that will greatly affect what kind of business the Phillies will do. According to SporTrac, the Phillies have just over $4 million available under the Competitive Balance Tax treshhold. The Phillies also don't have a lot of prospects to trade (more on that in a moment).
The Phillies appear to be interested in upgrading center field. They have been linked in recent days to Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins and Starling Marte of the Miami Marlins.
The bullpen of course would be a place the Phillies would like to add, too. I really think that the season's relief prize, Craig Kimbrel, might be out of reach for the Phillies, on both fronts. The contract itself would put the Phillies into the luxury tax level, if the Phillies cannot get the Cubs to eat some money. Plus, there might be other teams who have prospects to spare, such as the San Francisco Giants.
I am thinking the Phillies might get veterans like Daniel Bard of the Colorado Rockies and Joakim Soria of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Phillies could also use another starting pitcher. Last week's COVID-19 protocols showed us that at any time, should Aaron Nola bump into the wrong person, he could be held out. That's a real competitive disadvantage when the team is already giving starts to Matt Moore and Vince Velasquez, neither pitcher giving the Phillies innings.
Again - many challenges to adding to this Phillies team. Dave Dombrowski will have to be very creative in making these deals.
What do the Phillies have in the farm system of value in the trade market outside of the untouchables?
Beyond that, there's not a lot. Their one-time number two prospect, Adonis Medina, is injured and appears to have lost a lot of his prospect status. Francisco Morales has been really rough at Double-A Reading.
Next on the list is Rafael Marchan, ranked the number four prospect, but the Phillies really could use a third catcher that can come back and forth between the Phillies and Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Beyond that, most prospects are Class A or lower.
I think the trade pieces the Phillies have are the ones who were once more promising and have failed to launch. Think Mickey Moniak, Adam Haseley, and maybe even possibly Spencer Howard, though I think the Phillies would prefer to hold onto them.
So really, there's nothing that would blow people out of the water in a deal. And that might mean a tame trade deadline.
The Phillies have Alec Bohm on the COVID-19 Injured List, with Bohm having tested positive. This has meant that the bulk of the playing time has gone to Ronald Torreyes. Torreyes has had some big hits - like the three-run home run off of Nick Pivetta that propelled the Phillies to a big series win - but more than that has been his glove.
Bohm has made 11 errors in his 85 games so far. Many of them have been costly, and many of them seemed to affect Bohm at the plate, too.
So I do believe that Torreyes getting more time is most certainly warranted. The Phillies would be wise to play Torreyes more.
I would especially play Torreyes during Zach Eflin's starts. Eflin induces a lot of ground balls to the left side, and he seems to have been particularly hurt by the Phillies defense this season. Eflin has a FIP of just 3.68. That means some of his 4.17 ERA could be due to the defense behind him.
At least, the Phillies could play Torreyes in the late innings to protect a lead.
Will the Phillies sign Cole Hamels?
This is a really interesting question. Buster Olney of ESPN Tweeted that former Phillies ace Cole Hamels was throwing fastballs between 88 and 90 miles per hour, and the sense is that he could help a MLB team. Olney thinks a team Hamels could help would be the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Do the Phillies need a starter? Yes. Does Hamels want to pitch this season? Yes.
My guess is that Hamels really wants to win. If the reigning World Series Champions did offer Hamels a deal and it was the best deal, I can see him taking it. I am not sure sentimentality alone would get Hamels back to Philadephia.
20 teams attended the Hamels showcase. The Phillies are one of them. What would set the Phillies apart from other teams who might make an offer? That's a big question.
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