Report: Phillies Looking for Some Defense in Center Field
The Phillies have a long history of struggling to fill center field. While Matt Vierling has given them some nice at bats and has been adequate in center field, the Phillies still could use a more permanent solution. While the Phillies are reportedly looking for starting pitching as their priority, even over bullpen help, they may also be interested in shoring up center field, too.
These three names would not provide much offense, but would be solid in center field.
Here is a rundown of the names mentioned and how they might help the Phillies in 2022:
Michael A. Taylor is familiar to Phillies fans. A member of the Washington Nationals between 2014 and 2020, Taylor was primarily known for his glove. His .278 batting average however, is the higher than any of his previous season's final number. But Taylor's defense is superb:
The Atlanta Braves have been rumored to have interest in Taylor, down Adam Duvall for the rest of the season.
Jackie Bradley, Jr. is indeed a strong glove in center field, best known for winning a World Series with Dave Dombrowski's 2018 World Series. Bradley was traded back to the Red Sox this past offseason after a disappointing offensive season in Milwaukee. The struggling Red Sox could move him.
Jose Siri has been somewhat under the radar, as he is in just his second season in the major leagues with the Houston Astros. He has been optioned to the minor leagues twice so far, and is blocked in the Houston outfield. The Houston Astros could use catching help (Rafael Marchan a match?) so maybe this would be an old-fashioned trade of matching pieces if the Phillies can make this deal. The Phillies would have him under control for five more seasons.
As Heyman notes, Ramon Laureano is a desired piece that the Oakland Athletics probably would prefer not to trade, despite being active this deadline. Laureano is a mainstay in the Athletics outfield, though his bat has cooled since his best season of 2019. He could be a name worth watching, nonetheless.
With Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos in the corners, even when Bryce Harper returns from a broken hand, since he must occupy the designated hitter spot in the lineup. In recent days, the Phillies have used Matt Vierling in left field multiple times looking for some defense, as Schwarber took on the designated hitter role. A center fielder might make the Phillies feel better.
But with the cupboard bare, is center field a priority? Frank Klose and Geoff Mosher break it down in the latest Powder Blue Podcast: