Phillies Quiet on the Trade Front As Mets Acquire Marcus Stroman
The Phillies lost this weekend's series to the Atlanta Braves and the Phillies had one clear deficiency: starting pitching. After poor starts from Jake Arrieta and Zach Eflin, the Phillies salvaged the finale, even though Aaron Nola allowed four runs in the seventh inning. As the Phillies were taking the third game, the New York Mets were busy making moves.
The Mets and Toronto Blue Jays announced a trade that sent Marcus Stroman to the Mets in exchange for two prospects. The Blue Jays get back two pitching prospects in Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson. The two prospects were ranked number 4 and 6, respectively, on MLB Pipeline.
The move will have some ramifications for the Phillies, who have yet to make a trade ahead of Wednesday's deadline.
The Mets have been heavily rumored to be talking trades for pitchers Zach Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard. It's very possible that the Mets acquired Stroman, signed through next season, to help mitigate the loss of one or both of these pitchers. Syndergaard had been rumored to be heading to San Diego, while Wheeler's name has come up in relation to the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
But if the Mets are just adding, it certainly changes the landscape for the Phillies.
Besides the Phillies, the aforementioned Yankees and Red Sox are looking for starting pitching. As are the Milwaukee Brewers. One name off the board to an unexpected team could make the trade market thinner for the Phillies.
The Phillies have said recently that they did not wish to trade prospects for starting pitching. But the Stroman trade, should it set a new standard for trade costs, should be within the Phillies means. Not a single Top 100 prospect was moved in the deal. The Phillies have two in third baseman Alec Bohm and pitcher Adonis Medina, though Spencer Howard could find himself on that list soon.
So the Phillies could probably find a way to make something happen if they wish. While it's true that the Phillies might not be able to catch up to the Atlanta Braves at this juncture, the Phillies are a single game out of the Wild Card race. If the Phillies can score seven runs and lose, one would think that adding starting pitching makes a one-win series two.
The Phillies have the means to acquire some pitching talent. The question is more whether or not the front office is too scared to assume some risk by trading prospects. Winning even the Wild Card would be helpful. The 2007 Phillies weren't pretty at times, but they started a five-year trend of playoff appearances.
Perhaps it's time to start another trend. 2011 was a long time ago. All eyes are on the Phillies front office.