The month of June has reared its head, which means it’s time to start talking trades.
It is irrefutable that the Phillies, prior to the July 31st deadline, will be executing quite a few moves in order to bolster their roster come playoff time.
Below, you’ll find a comprehensive list of players who could end up in red pinstripes by the end of July. Said list will be updated weekly, letting you know who’s hot, who’s not, and otherwise.
*Note: I will be grading the relative “expensiveness” of a player by a simple scale; Low, Medium, and High.
Low = A throw in, nothing of consequence. Think Jacob Waguespack for Aaron Loup deal.
Medium = A relatively substantial prospect and/or package, includes one or multiple mid-level prospects.
High = A top system prospect and/or package.
Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants, LHP, 29 years old, UFA 2020:
Bumgarner is likely the top prize this trade season. He has a swath of playoff experience, and is known for his dominant postseason numbers. Madison has been seen as a regression candidate for quite some time now, but his knowledge of high-pressure scenarios offsets any negative value that has previously been assigned to him.
It should also be noted, as silly as it sounds, that Bumgarner is a brilliant hitter. His bat is no simple liability in the 9-hole.
6/11/19 update: Bumgarner has placed himself into some hot water of late, after some controversy between himself and Max Muncy of the Dodgers came to light this past week. This particular situation has Phillie fans second guessing their appreciation for Bumgarner as a person, as well as a trade candidate.
Cost: High Last Start: Vs. LA Dodgers: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Season Stats: 87 IP, 3.83 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 108 ERA+, 3.88 FIP, 8.7 K/9, 1.8 BB/9
Mike Minor, Texas Rangers, LHP, 31 years old, UFA 2021:
Minor, to me, makes the most sense as the Phillies top trade target. He’s in the midst of a career season, and has shown that he can slot well into the starting rotation as well as any bullpen, which bodes well for him long-term. Minor also just happens to be on a steal of a contract, and is only owed $9.5 Million next year.
The Phillies were interested in Minor over the Summer, and the Rangers were, at the time, looking for a substantial piece in order to move him. The price is undoubtably a bit higher now, but, given Minor’s injury history, age, and lack of track record, I can’t see said price being too high.
6/11/19 Update: Minor’s stock continues to rise as his success proliferates over the weeks. He is still one of the best likely-available arms this year — if he is available, that is.
Cost: High Last Start: Vs. Baltimore: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
Season Stats: 81.1 IP, 2.55 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 193 ERA+, 3.39 FIP, 9.6 K/9, 2.9 BB/9
Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays, RHP, 28 years old, UFA 2021:
After an abysmal 2018 campaign, Stroman seems to have righted the ship, and is flourishing in 2019. Marcus is a great fit for the Phillies clubhouse, as he is extremely active on social media, and is a known favorite of baseball players around the league. He’s known for his affinity for messing with a hitter’s timing, as well as his workhorse mentality — he’s always working to get better.
Stroman has one remaining year of arbitration after this one, and is due to hit Free Agency in 2021. Monetary values aside, he is likely the Blue Jays blue-chip trade piece — they won’t let him go cheap.
6/11/19 Update: Stroman had a lackluster start against Arizona this past week, and is beginning to regress from a stellar start. That said, he will surely be available, and remains a dependable arm.
Cost: Mid-High Last Start: Vs. Arizona: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Season Stats: 81.2 IP, 3.31 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 134 ERA+, 3.75 FIP, 6.9 K/9, 3.1 BB/9
Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks, RHP, 35 years old, UFA 2022:
This 35 year old workhorse has pitched to a brilliant career that has somewhat passed under the radar these last few years — and he continues to thrive in his advanced age.
There are, however, a few caveats when it comes to acquiring Greinke, the first being that he has a near full No-Trade Clause, one which the Phillies are a part of. Normally, players will use their NTCs to leverage a trade to a desired club, but Greinke is no normal guy. For whatever reason, Zack hates pitching in big cities like New York, Philadelphia, and the like. He’s a strange guy.
If the Phillies are able to bypass his NTC, they’ll have to get through his monster salary. Greinke signed a 6-year, $206 Million contract in 2016, and, the more the Diamondbacks eat, the more the Phillies pay.
Much like Bumgarner, it’s worth a note that Greinke is also no slouch with a bat.
6/11/19 Update: Greinke is still having a stellar 2019, and is as good a veteran as you’ll find this trade season.
Cost: Varies (likely high) Last Start: Vs. Toronto: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
Season Stats: 87.2 IP, 2.87 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 153 ERA+, 3.38 FIP, 8.4 K/9, 1.4 BB/9
Robbie Ray, Arizona Diamondbacks, LHP, 27 years old, UFA 2021:
Ray is not the ideal target for a playoff run, but he’s certainly an option. The 27 year old hurler is known for his erratic command, as well as his filthy stuff, and ability to strike guys out. He walks an inane amount of batters, and is his own worst enemy when it comes to letting the offense run away with the game.
Robbie is under club control for an additional year after this one, upping his already substantial price point.
6/11/19 Update: Ray had an excellent last start where he flashed durability AND strikeout ability — two things that don’t typically come together in tandem for the lefty. He is a very real option that the Phillies have previously been connected to.
Cost: Medium Last Start: Vs. Colorado: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K
Season Stats: 76.1 IP, 3.54 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 124 ERA+, 3.18 FIP, 11.9 K/9, 4.4 BB/9
Will Smith, San Francisco Giants, LHP, 29 years old, UFA 2020:
The secret weapon of the Giants bullpen, Smith has been dominant from the back end of the pen for years on end now. He’s heavily experienced in high-pressure scenarios, as well as save situations, and, much like David Robertson, will pitch anywhere you ask him to.
This year, he’s served as the Giants’ closer, and, given his name, would fit right in with the city of Philadelphia.
Smith is due to become a Free Agent at the end of the 2019 season.
6/11/19 Update: Smith continues to prove his status as an elite back end arm with a brilliant week, and would be a boon to any team to acquire him.
Cost: Medium Season Stats: 24.2 IP, 2.19 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 191 ERA+, 1.97 FIP, 12.8 K/9, 1.8 BB/9
Alex Colome, Chicago White Sox, RHP, 30 years old, UFA 2021:
Colome, despite a rough start to 2018, has been a premiere backend reliever for some time now. He’s racked up 107 saves over his 7-year career thus far, and has some pretty nasty stuff, as represented by his ridiculously low WHIP.
The righty has an additional year of control after this year, but will surely be asking for a hefty wage given the year he’s having.
6/11/19 Update: Colome stuttered a bit this week, but has remained dominant for a primary chunk of the season.
Cost: Medium Season Stats: 24.2 IP, 2.19 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, 208 ERA+, 3.51 FIP, 8.8 K/9, 2.2 BB/9
Shane Greene, Detroit Tigers, RHP, 30 years old, UFA 2021:
This 30 year old closer is having an absolute monster of a season, and has seemingly rebounded from his disappointing 2018 campaign.
Since being converted to a backend bullpen role, Greene has been, for the most part, relatively solid. Currently, he leads baseball in saves, and sports a shockingly low ERA. Should he keep up this magnificent progress, he’ll be quite the trade chip at the deadline for Detroit.
6/11/19 Update: Greene continues to be unstoppable as the weeks roll by. Somehow, he managed to lower his ERA further, and raise his ridiculous ERA+.
Cost: Medium Season Stats: 26.0 IP, 1.04 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 455 ERA+, 3.41 FIP, 9.7 K/9, 2.4 BB/9
Ken Giles, Toronto Blue Jays, RHP, 28 years old, UFA 2021:
Yeah, that’s right, the Phillies’ old friend is back at it again; 100-Miles Giles is having an absolute killer season. After floundering to find his place in Houston, Giles has put an end to his days of punching himself in the face, and has instead turned to punching guys out.
Yes, he’s a tad bit insane, but it’s worth mentioning that Giles might actually be the most valuable relief piece on the Phillies’ radar. He sports exceptionally solid peripherals, and has been racking up the saves thus far.
The Giles renaissance is nigh.
6/11/19 Update: Giles seems to be a Phillie fan favorite in terms of bullpen pieces to add — and you can’t blame them, as he’s having a ridiculous 2019. His K/9, FIP, and ERA+ are all supremely promising. He looks to be one of, if not the best ‘pen target on the market.
Cost: Mid-High Season Stats: 25 IP, 1.08 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 413 ERA+, 1.14 FIP, 15.1 K/9, 2.5 BB/9
Sean Doolittle, Washington Nationals, LHP, 32 years old, UFA 2021:
While there is little to no chance of the Nationals doing business with a division rival, Sean Doolittle would be the perfect fit for the Phillies oft-injured bullpen.
Doolittle has been extremely effective ever since his transfer to Washington in late 2017. He has vast experience as a closer, but would likely pitch anywhere you put him, as he’s dabbled in the setup and filler roles before.
6/11/19 Update: Doolittle has continued to somewhat struggle over this first half of the season, boasting a high standard ERA, but less concerning peripherals. He remains a questionable target for the Phillies.
Cost: Mid-High Season Stats: 27.2.0 IP, 3.58 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 127 ERA+, 2.89 FIP, 11.4 K/9, 2.3 BB/9
Hunter Pence, Texas Rangers, RHH, OF, 36 years old, UFA 2020:
Hunter Pence is one of the greatest stories of this entire season. Prior to the season’s start, Pence signed a Minor League deal with the Rangers, and made the Major League roster out of Spring Training. He then proceeded to absolutely rake, and is on a tear currently.
A reunion with the Ex-Phillie outfielder is a very viable option.
6/11/19 Update: Pence has seen a bit of a skid this week, but continues to hit for power, for what it’s worth. Would still prove an excellent bench bat.
Cost: Low Last 7 Games: 29 AB, .172/.250/.414, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 6 R
Season Stats: 198 PA, .282/.333/.569, 13 HR, .902 OPS, 128 OPS+, 41 RBI, 39 R
Neil Walker, Miami Marlins, Switch, INF, 33 years old, UFA 2020:
Walker was always underrated as a hitter in his years with Pittsburgh, but he’ll surely be picked up as a cheap rental option by a competitive squad.
Walker was recently placed on the 10-Day Injured List with a right quad strain, but that shouldn’t exactly effect his long term value.
6/11/19 Update: Walker remained on the 10-Day IL this week.
Cost: Low Last 7 Games: N/A
Season Stats: 168 PA, .295/.375/.443, 4 HR, .818 OPS, 126 OPS+, 14 RBI, 12 R
Billy Hamilton, Kansas City Royals, Switch, OF, 28 years old, UFA 2021:
This speedster, after being DFA’d by the Reds, would end up with Kansas City as their everyday center fielder.
While he’s not the perfect candidate to take over the job in center, Hamilton is an excellent rental piece that could serve as a bench asset once the Phillies are ready to graduate one of their many talented center field prospects.
6/11/19 Update: Hamilton remains a pure bench target, as his starting numbers are nothing at all to write home about.
Cost: Low Last 7 Games: 22 AB, .227/.320/.273, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 R
Season Stats: 194 PA, .228/.307/.281, 0 HR, .588 OPS, 60 OPS+, 6 RBI, 24 R
Kevin Pillar, San Francisco Giants, RHH, OF, 30 years old, UFA 2021:
While he may not be the nicest person, Pillar is certainly an option in center field for the Phillies.
He’s a brilliant defender, has speed off the bench, and has hit for good contact in the past. He’s certainly someone to keep an eye on as the season progresses.
6/11/19 Update: Pillar’s bat is struggling, and it certainly doesn’t help that he’s stuck in Oracle Park with San Francisco.
Cost: Mid-Low Last 7 Games: 28 AB, .179/.179/.250, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R
Season Stats: 247 PA, .215/.243/.343, 6 HR, .586 OPS, 57 OPS+, 28 RBI, 26 R
Jay Bruce, Seattle Mariners, LHH, OF/1B, 32 years old, UFA 2021: ACQUIRED 6/2/19
Bruce is the most recent addition to this list, as rumors have surfaced that the Phillies were nearing a deal to acquire him earlier today.
Bruce is on a hefty contract, one that the Mariners will likely eat the entirety of, and then some.
Matt Klentak has been on Jay Bruce since his early days with the Mets, as he has a brilliant career slash in Citizens Bank Park of .294/.354/.559 and 10 Home Runs in 158 plate appearances.
Should the Phillies acquire Jay Bruce, he will serve as an excellent bench bat, as well as a backup at first base, and occasional starter in left field.
6/11/19 Update: Oh, you mean Phillies legend Jay Bruce? Yeah, he’s been doing ok.