In an alternate reality, the Philadelphia Phillies have the prospect capital to land a major piece at the 2022 trade deadline. The fact of the matter is, the Phillies do not have a plethora of highly regarded prospects. It is incredibly unlikely they drain an already thin farm system in order to make a splash. Mick Abel and Andrew Painter sit near the middle of MLB.com’s top 100 prospect list and are not expected to be moved anytime soon.
With Zach Eflin on the shelf for an unknown amount of time, a starter should be top priority before time runs out. Luis Castillo and Frankie Montas are two options fans would certainly love to see call Citizens Bank Park home.
However, there are more likely candidates to be a Phillie than those two. With Bailey Falter continually faltering in the starter role, it’s time for the Phillies to add one of these arms.
Option #1) José Quintana
2022 with Pittsburgh: 97.1 IP, 3.70 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 20.7 K%, 7.1 BB%, 3.26 FIP, 2.0 fWar
The 33-year-old southpaw José Quintana has had his name surface in trade talks amidst a career resurgence. After a couple of porous years as a Cub, he floated around a couple teams in 2021 sporting a 6.43 ERA in 63 IP.
After signing a one-year deal with the Pirates in the offseason, Quintana has enjoyed his best season since 2016. This is thanks in part to a tremendous walk percentage of just 7.1, the lowest he has posted since 2020. José’s batting average against of .253 is the lowest since the 2018.
Although the eleven-year vet’s strike out numbers are down a bit, he’s walking far less hitters and inducing more weak contact than ever.
The stat that sticks out the most is his HR/9 of 0.65, the second lowest of Quintana’s career. His command has been steady all season and he is keeping the ball down in the zone. Citizen’s Bank Park has a reputation for being a hitters’ ballpark, but the low HR/9 makes Quintana a good fit to pitch for the Phillies.
It would not likely cost much to acquire the former White Sox ace, and if he can continue to post similar numbers in the second half of the season, he would be a significant upgrade to the rotation.
Option #2) Martín Pérez
2022 with Texas: 118 IP, 2.59 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 20.8 K%, 6.8 BB%, 3.12 FIP, 2.6 fWar
Another veteran enjoying a career resurgence is southpaw Martín Pérez of the Texas Rangers. Pérez signed with Texas this offseason after a couple of average years with the Boston Red Sox. The 31-year-old was also a 2022 All Star and tossed a scoreless inning in the showdown in LA.
The former Twin has steadied the Rangers and pitched deep into ballgames, including going seven or more innings in seven of nineteen starts.
Similar to Quintana, Pérez’s success has been due to a lowered walk rate and a minuscule 0.53 HR/9. In year’s past, the veteran lefty has been troubled by the long ball and extra base hits. 2022 has been the complete opposite, as evident by a near-career low BABIP of .290.
Perez’s ground ball rate is hovering around his career average but his K% has been the highest of his eleven year career.
It may cost a bit more to lure Pérez away from Texas, where he has spent a majority of his career. With the Rangers torpedoing out of contention and Pérez on an expiring contract, a deal to the Phillies could be in the foreseeable future.
There is not the same amount of back-end of the rotation starters available at this year's deadline, so the cost for Pérez may be higher than some expect.
Option #3) Nathan Eovaldi
2022 with Boston: 75.1 IP, 4.30 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 24.9 K%, 4.4 BB%, 4.73 FIP, 0.3 fWar
Another starter on an expiring deal is Red Sox righty Nate Eovaldi. What the Red Sox will do at this year’s deadline is a mystery. Recent reports expect them to be somewhere between buyers and sellers and it would make sense to sell an expiring contract like Eovaldi’s.
This may be the most unlikely of the three, but it would also be more likely than a deal for Luis Castillo. Eovaldi is certainly more talented than many pitcher’s on the market but he has not been his sharpest in 2022, which has dropped his value.
The Red Sox need some starting pitching depth to help them stumble through 2022 and even fill a couple rotation spots. Bailey Falter and Cristopher Sanchez make good candidates for a deal with Boston, as they could step in and give the Sox innings down the stretch. A third name would be needed to complete the deal, but how big of a name will it need to be?
Nate’s numbers in 2022 hover right around his career averages. He is a guy who does not walk many, but has been torched by the long ball this season.
A HR/9 of 2.15 is certainly higher than expected for such a talented pitcher, which makes him pitching at CBP an uneasy thought.
This year's deadline is the most unpredictable in recent memory, with the expanded playoff’s in effect, more teams are buying than ever before.
Only time will tell how aggressive Dave Dombrowski and company choose to be in just a couple of days.