The Phillies have all the motivation of a cat in a sunbeam at the trade deadline, but we can follow the action as it happens around them here!
There’s a lot of things the 2019 Phillies could use, but it just sort of feels like they’re going to stay on the outside of a lot of potential improvements. Part of that is because they said that was what they were going to do. Despite this, they’ve been looped into a couple of standard rumor churns anyway from unexciting sources: Here they are blinking at the idea of deals for Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray, Trevor Bauer, Tanner Roark, and Buck Farmer.
But will they do something? A Matthew Boyd, perhaps? My guess: No!
Well, that’s not true—they’ve already done some things: They got themselves a Drew Smyly, who will make his second start in the coming days. They nailed down deals for Mike Morin and Jose Pirela, as well. Who are these men? One is a six-year veteran reliever with a career ERA of 4.46, and the other is a utility all-fielder who has played a small, unimpactful role on mostly the Padres since 2014. Depth!
Andy MacPhail said he plans on being “judicious” at this juncture, which is an Andy MacPhail word that means “I do what I want, and what I want seems to be nothing.” But that hasn’t stopped other teams that could closely impact the Phillies from doing things, such as:
7/31: Phillies making a trade for Corey Dickerson??
Whoa now, okay, Phillies.
Outfielder Corey Dickerson has been traded to the Philadelphia Phillies, source tells ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2019
Potential Phillies-Nationals brawl scheduled for September 23
With Hunter Strickland going from the Mariners to the Nationals—feels like the Nats are swapping out their entire bullpen around this time every year—it reintroduces the Bryce Harper vs. Hunter Strickland dynamic that once defined an entire afternoon.
The Nationals and Phillies will play each other again on September 23, as part of five games in four days. It will be the last time they see each other this season and will possibly involve a Harper AB vs. Strickland. Hopefully Strickland has gotten over whatever transgression he feels the victimized by in the time since last they met. If not, hopefully Harper has used that time to become more accurate at helmet-throwing.
#Athletics acquiring RHP Tanner Roark from #Reds, source tells The Athletic. Agreement in place, pending medical review.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2019
Names are flying off the board
Well, Yasiel Puig was never coming here, but now he’s definitely not, after being traded from the Reds to the Indians last night while the outfielder jumped into a benches-clearing brawl in Cincinnati. And for those of us who assumed Trevor Bauer wasn’t being traded at all, well, he was, apparently, as he’s going to the Reds as part of the same three-team deal as Puig that also includes the Padres.
But that was last night, and barely involved the Phillies at all, besides a few previous whispers in the dark.
Today, though; a lunchtime burst of deals that for the Phillies may have only been coulda’s and shoulda’s are going down: utility man Tony Kemp is headed from the Astros to Cubs for Martin Maldonado; and it sounds like the Braves’ interest in Shane Green has eclipsed all others. Unrelated to this, Jesus Aguilar is going from Milwaukee to Tampa.
So now, we wait.
7/30: Phillies are third team mentioned in tweet about Justin Smoak
Here’s the tweet.
The Justin Smoak market is starting to smoke. In addition to the Indians, @bnicholsonsmith mentions Rays. They are indeed interested as are the Phillies and 1 or 2 others. He’ll likely move.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 30, 2019
At least the Phillies were mentioned by name, and not just listed as “1 or 2 others“ not important enough to even specify. Wait, what am I doing, congratulating the Phillies for being mentioned nearby a potential bench bat’s name who is hitting .221/.370/.497 vs. right-handed pitching this year.
Phillies sign Blake Parker and put Zach Eflin in the bullpen
Whoa now, something happened. The Phillies brought in some more pitching, according to that crew over at The Athletic. Parker has a 4.21 ERA after 37 relief appearances for the Twins this season. He opted for free agency after the Twins tried to put him in triple A.
Meanwhile, Meghan Montemurro says that Zach Eflin is listed as no longer a starter, at least for tonight.
Anthony Rendon and the Nationals aren’t talking
Anthony Rendon tells @granthpaulsen & @funnydanny it's been "maybe a month" since he's heard from the #Nats front office about a possible extension, says it's more and more likely he becomes a free agent. https://t.co/C6pvHq6fp6— 106.7 The Fan (@1067theFan) July 30, 2019
Just something fun to note. Eager to see how Nationals fans reach the “he wasn’t even that good anyway” space they burrowed into when Bryce Harper left.
Things are... quiet
For now. Obviously the Phillies have been shuffling around the country at the various locations where you’ll find representatives of contending teams right now. One of those places has been Kansas City, which has already dealt Homer Bailey and Jake Diekman to better teams. But they’ve still got a trade-able asset or two lying around...
Less than 27 hours to the Trade Deadline. One expiring contract to go. Cubs and Yankees scouts were here last night. Braves, Phillies and Dodgers have hovered around the Royals for weeks. Who needs speed off the bench?— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) July 30, 2019
That’s right, Billy Hamilton. Are the Phillies heavily invested? I guess? Speed is always appealing and the Phillies have been suffering from bench depth issues all year. But Hamilton’s, you know. Got his flaws. At this point, how seriously are we taking any Phillies moves?
7/29: Phillies make a trade for Jason Vargas
C’mon, man... Vargas? What about all the...
Eh, screw it. Another half-step, only this one lets the Phillies, uh... more closely resemble the Mets. Awesome.
Yasiel Puig plays baseball and the Phillies are a baseball team
I’m honestly just trying to post things in here that verified writers are saying happened, even if it’s just “due diligence” or “checked in on” stuff, and avoid the “this guy would be a good fit, even though there’s absolutely no talk about it right now” stuff. But this one I’m throwing in here.
Richard Justice wrote on MLB.com this morning—well, he didn’t write as much as he mentioned off-handedly—that the Phillies were a “potential landing spot” for Puig. I don’t even really think that’s an accurate statement, but it’s too fun not to imagine. Puig would drive this town crazy, for all of the horrible and hilarious reasons you’re already imagining. And what would he be doing here? To fill some outfield space, I guess, with Andrew McCutchen out for the season and Scott Kingery needed elsewhere from time to time.
He’s been putting up some real Puigian numbers this season, except that OBP is a little lower than it’s been in recent years. And coming to Philadelphia would mean a lot less time in shirts with sleeves, which is honestly just a waste.
This is what the deadline is all about—turning pure speculation into sweet, sweet content. And Puig to the Phillies is just that, in the best way.
Phillies poking around Alex Colome
Hey, a relief pitcher! Alex Colome plays for the White Sox, and led the league in saves in 2017 with 47. This year, he’s got a 2.27 ERA and 2.58 SO/W through 40 games.
The first response to Jon Morosi’s tweet on the Phillies’ interest is someone suggesting the Phillies would have to give up Alec Bohm. So, here we are. Trade season: I love it!!
7/28: Mets trade for Marcus Stroman
When the Blue Jays pulled Bo Bichette out of a game last night, people twitched a bit involuntarily. Word that the Mets had just traded for Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman was entering baseball circles, and if Bichette was part of a deal, that twitch was going to develop into a full-on spasm. Turns out that no, he was just getting promoted. In exchange for Stroman heading to New York, the Mets sent prospects Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson—ranked fourth and sixth among New York’s prospects—to Toronto.
This is the wildest move of the trade deadline thus far, and that it was the Mets has struck quite the bell. However, word is that the Mets plan to deal Noah Syndergaard, or Steven Matx, or Zack Wheeler, or everybody, so they I guess need a guy in there to make it look like they still plan on being a baseball team. It’s the Mets, so get ready to find out what tropical disease Stroman has been stricken with upon entering the clubhouse in just a few hours!
7/27: Marlins send Sergio Romo to Twins
A very exhausted veteran reliever is joining Minnesota’s push for the AL Central in a deal that increased the anonymity of the Phillies’ least intimidating NL East rival.
Sergio Romo went to sleep at 2 a.m. and was on a flight by 6 a.m. from Miami to Chicago.— Betsy Helfand (@betsyhelfand) July 28, 2019
"There’s no waiting," he said. "...I noticed that they lost yesterday and the lead went down to one. Yeah, we can’t keep letting that happen so we’ve got to try to win so all hands on deck."
Royals trade Jake Diekman to A’s
Everybody’s always looking for bullpen help. The Royals, who are going nowhere, sent former Phillies reliever Diekman to Oakland to help out the A’s efforts in the AL West. Diekman has posted a 4.75 ERA and 1.344 WHIP through 48 appearances this year. Pitching! Wish the Phillies had some of that.