If you see anybody in the stands, shiftily peaking out from behind a newspaper at a Phillies game over the next few days, don’t call security because they’re being weird. Call security because it’s probably a scout from the San Francisco Giants, checking out certain members of the Phillies bullpen. And don’t take "But they’re not doing anything illegal" as an answer.
As one astute reply to Jerry Crasnick’s tweet pointed out, David Hernandez "stinks." And yeah, the 4.43 ERA a doesn’t look good. But you’re forgetting how ravenous for pitching some of these teams are - they’ll give anybody a chance, especially in San Francisco, where all the players get sprinkled with magical underdog fairy dust every other year anyway. If Hernandez went to the Giants, he’d probably somehow become their ace.
This is exactly the situation we’d hoped to find ourselves in with Gomez earlier in the season, when he became the official closer after Pete Mackanin forgot to name one in spring training. Gomez’s success sealing wins was part of the Phillies’ incredible run of one-run victories that isn’t happening anymore. The 28-year-old has finished 38 games, logged 25 saves, and only blown three.
But what about Hector Neris? He’s been, you know. Good.
Well well well, look at the Phillies, feeling like they don't need to convert every player of value into some kind of prospects package. This pleases me; it makes it seem that the part of rebuilding in which you gather the materials is closer to over.
Which isn't to say the Phillies are finished acquiring assets; we are talking about them making trades, literally right now. The Giants have a bottom half farm system that doesn't seem to have a lot of stars-in-the-making, but they do tend to somehow get results out of average to below average players who suddenly figure out how to hit or pitch the ball. The Phillies... have not had the same luck. Their bad prospects tend to stay bad.
Anyways, the Giants love to trade at the deadline, for everyone from Carlos Beltran to Mike Leake. The relief market starts in New York with Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman, but the Giants have never had a default setting of taking the most expensive and high profile option. They're also peaking at Milwaukee's Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith, because apparently you can't just like one reliever on a single team anymore.
But, this is the "bullpen help" market; everybody seems like a better option than what you have. And when Miller and Chapman get moved, and people start panicking because the relievers they were targeting are no longer available, somebody's going to freak out and accidentally sign some adequate Phillies pitcher. The Giants, it seems, could be that team.