Will Matt Klentak Pull the Trigger on a Deal to Help Phillies?
The Phillies are in an unexpected place right now - in the playoff conversation.
Just two games back of the wild card spot and three games behind in the National League East, the Phils find themselves in an unexpected spot at this stage of the season.
Outside of the Phillies pitching, both starting and bullpen, there hasn't been much to be excited about in regards to their offense. Sure Odubel Herrera is having a all-star type of season and Maikel Franco looks like a star, but the 3.2 runs per game they score just isn't going to get it done if they really want to remain in the race much longer.
The team has used a hot start, behind some solid pitching and a lot of one-run games to get people talking about the trade deadline, but Phillies GM Matt Klentak implied in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM that if the Phillies were in the thick of things they would do their best to try to help this years team.
If somehow the price was right to acquire a cheap rental that could help the Phillies Klentak will give it a look.
"We're always going to be open-minded to making improvements," Klentak said. "If we can maintain a level of defensive ability, and increase or improve or offensive ability at the same time - of course we would do that, I think every team would do that."
One things for sure, it appears as though the ebbs and flows of the Phillies’ place in the standings plays a very small role in Klentak’s thoughts on making a deal that would hurt the future of this team.
"One of my jobs as GM is making sure I am managing not only the current club day-to-day, but also making sure I am looking a year out, two years out, thee years out and so forth."
The biggest boost the team could get would be to have some of the current Phillies preform better. However, Klentak indicated that they could look to within the organization for help if some of the current players don't improve.
"We all feel comfortable internally that we have players within our system, in the minor leagues that can come up and help us." Klentak said.
"But we have to be patient and make sure we are promoting those guys at the right time. So of those promotions could take place this year, some of those might be a year or two down the road, but we are eager and excited to see some of the players continue to develop in our own organization."
So which players would the Phillies consider bring up that are in the minor league system this year?
The name at the top of the list most likely would be Nick Williams. Williams, an outfielder, was traded from the Rangers to the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade. He is currently hitting .276 with four home runs and 20 RBI, but over his last five games, Williams has started to get hot. During that span, the 22-year old is 8-15 (.533), and could be the first guy the team looks at if they make a call-up.
J.P Crawford just went from AA to AAA, would the Phillies consider bringing up the 21-year old shortstop up to the majors? Doubtful. Current shortstop Freddy Galvis is hitting just .246 but plays a very good shortstop. He would have to really start to struggle, and Crawford would really have to be ripping up AAA pitching for them to consider that.
Klentak could just be talking about Cody Asche, who is about ready to finish his rehab assignment, along with pitcher Mario Hollands who could help out the bullpen.