Phillies Mailbag: Trade Possibilities and When Will Stars Return?
We are back once again with the 97.3 ESPN Phillies Mailbag. We take your questions and answer them on The Sports Bash with Mike Gill each and every week. Tune in Tuesday afternoons to hear your questions answered.
When might Bryce Harper return? Jean Segura returns when, and will he be traded or kept for the playoff run?
From the sounds of things, the Phillies are closer to getting Jean Segura back more quickly than Bryce Harper. Both players required surgery to reset their breaks. However, the road still continues. But as we get towards the end of July, the end might be in sight.
Segura should be ready sooner. He has been out and about working on the field, testing the finger as much as possible. There was some thought he could be ready maybe at the start of August, which is not too far away.
Harper I tend to think would be late August, if not September. But the Phillies were careful not to put a date on when he might return. Bones are tricky; they heal at different paces. So I think fingers are crossed.
As for a potential trade, I still think there is a hole at second base. While Bryson Stott has shown improvement as of late, Segura was one of the club's more consistent hitters before going down. Lately they've played Yairo Muñoz and even Matt Vierling at second base to get at bats from the right side.
Segura will be a big boost to the lineup when healthy.
With any trade possibilities, it feels like Logan O'Hoppe will need to be moved if they want a splash. Painter and Abel seem untouchable so is he the odd man out?
The Phillies are very lucky in that they have both Rafael Marchan and Donny Sands as catching depth at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. I think that it's fair to say that if they were going to trade from their catching depth, their preference would be to trade them first. But I would not rule out a Logan O'Hoppe trade.
That's not to say the Phillies would want to trade him, but if O'Hoppe can net the Phillies a long-term piece they would at least need to think about it. The starting pitching market being what it is might warrant an O'Hoppe trade.
There is no rental ace available right now, but if the Phillies can get a starting pitcher that can help them beyond 2022 and into 2023 and 2024, they will have rotation holes to fill. Mick Abel and Andrew Painter might help down the line. But there is going to be time in between and the Phillies will want to compete.
The catching depth they have might allow for O'Hoppe to be traded.
Who is a realistic starting pitching target in this trade market, given the Phillies likely reluctance to part with their top prospects?
I think the Phillies will do one of two things: A low-priced short-term rental, or as I just mentioned a longer-term piece. Of the two, I think the latter might be more important to the Phillies. But they would consider short-term.
Short-term the names are those that have been mentioned a lot throughout baseball. Martin Perez could be a short-term rental. The All-Star lefty probably will be moved by the Texas Rangers. And then there's Pittsburgh Pirates starter Jose Quintana, who is not an All-Star but a serviceable starter on a one-year deal.
The names beyond that might include the likes of Merrill Kelly, signed to two years beyond this one. Perhaps German Marquez of the Colorado Rockies who has a year beyond this one. Either player would be a good sub for Zach Eflin and a potential replacement for next year.
But Dave Dombrowski always seems to find names we don't think of.