You’ve heard all the names by now: Kris Bryant, Craig Kimbrel, Max Scherzer, Richard Rodriguez... the core of established big league players that team president Dave Dombrowski could or should be looking to add ahead of Friday’s 4pm ET trade deadline.
But if you’re skeptical (and why wouldn’t you be with this club?), then that course of action doesn’t make sense. On Episode 491 of Hittin’ Season, lead prospect analyst for Fangraphs Eric Longenhagen said he would approach the deadline differently.
“The standings say what they do, and that everyone’s instincts are to buy, and I fear that Dave Dombrowski’s will be, too because they always seem to be.”
“As a lot of teams, like the Rays, the Twins especially now that they added two pieces in the [Nelson] Cruz deal, the Brewers, the Dodgers, there are a bunch of teams that have an overage of guys, their 40-man [roster] is full of good players already and there are a bunch of prospects whose timelines are coming due. The Phillies are in position to take some of those guys on, and you’re still helping the team in the short term in 2022 and you’re not selling any pieces away. I just don’t think the Phillies are actual contenders.”
So instead of adding the big-name stars and giving up the few prospects the Phils have for a two-month stretch in 2021, Longenhagen believes it’s in the team’s short and long-term interests to try and poach some players from clubs like those mentioned above who will have to trade away some players now or over the winter or else leave them unprotected in the upcoming Rule 5 draft.
However, there are two issues with this philosophy.
- The Phillies have largely been terrible at trying to poach young players and prospects from other teams.
- The Phillies have largely been terrible at developing young players.
Make sure to check out the rest of Episode 491 as Eric and I discuss the team’s issues with player development and for his breakdown on the Phillies’ draft haul from two weeks ago. Also, stick around for the latest, sure-not-to-be-dated trade news and rumors!