Analysis

Friday Night Trade Show: Well that was fun, wasn’t it?

In case you went to bed after last night’s win over Atlanta, the Phillies have a slightly different look now.

First, they traded Howie Kendrick and cash to Washington for left-handed pitcher Mackenzie Mills and international pool money.

Then they traded Jeremy Hellickson (who was removed from his starting spot Friday) and cash to Baltimore for left-handed pitcher Garrett Cleavinger, outfielder Hyun Soo Kim and international pool money.

This after trading Pat Neshek to Colorado on Wednesday for infielder Jose Gomez and pitchers Alejandro Requena and RJ Hammer.

What does it mean?

It means the Phillies have done more than expected at the trade deadline. Popular opinion was the Phils would have to wait until the waiver deadline in August to deal an oft-injured Kendrick, while there wasn’t a ton of talk about a market for Hellickson, who has performed at a subpar level this season. But the Nationals sought an outfield bench bat, and the Orioles needed pitching depth despite being somewhat out of playoff contention. The Phils decided to eat salary for the rest of the year in order to get something back in return.

About the return

Prospects are always lottery tickets; the best prospects sometimes flame out (we’ve seen that one before) while under-the-radar talent often emerges into useful major leaguers. Here the Phils got a few lottery tickets, though one would surmise that Mills has the higher upside right now, compared to Cleavinger. Mills is a projectable lefty with good strikeout stuff and a few working pitches beyond his fastball. Cleavinger is older, and there are worries that he has hit his ceiling, but Orioles pitching prospects are hard to peg, and sometimes a change of scenery works. The bottom line is we don’t know if either Mills or Cleavinger will develop into effective major league arms. But they were both top-30 prospects in their respective organizations, and at least qualify as stellar depth in the Phils system.

The more interesting facet of the return is the international pool money, of which the Phils gained a reported $1 million. They now have a pot of approximately $5.7 million to spend over the next 11 months. The Phils have thrived in the international arena, especially in the Caribbean. This should help.

We’ll get to Kim in a moment.

As for the roster

The Hellickson trade means someone needs to step into the rotation. Maybe it’s Jake Thompson, who pitched well Friday. Then again, the Phils can bring Ben Lively up to Philly for the spot. Or Mark Leiter Jr. Regardless, the Phils would likely have to add a reliever, and maybe that means Ricardo Pinto comes back to the big leagues.

The Kendrick trade opened up an outfield spot for a moment, but the Kim acquisition in the Hellickson trade signals that the front office probably knows its gameplan for the rest of the year in the outfield. Aaron Altherr, Odubel Herrera and Nick Williams will get the starts out there, and Kim and Cam Perkins are your likely bench bats. Dylan Cozens is not coming yet (he’d need everyday time out there, and it just isn’t possible with this configuration), nor is Andrew Pullin.

Any more trades?

There doesn’t seem to be a healthy Tommy Joseph market, so don’t anticipate any move there. More likely, look for Joseph to stay at first until September, when Rhys Hoskins gets the call and a bunch of big league starts. That may not be optimal, but it’s the reality.

Also, unless there’s something wild regarding Maikel Franco, Cameron Rupp, Cesar Hernandez or Herrera, don’t expect any more moves at the moment. It’s possible the Phils will try to move Daniel Nava and Joaquin Benoit by the waiver deadline. The one wild card name on my list – Hector Neris – would be great deadline candidate, but the Phils may just want to hold onto some suitable relief pitching this year. Can’t blame ’em.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Mike Fassano

    July 29, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    I understand that Lively left the game last night after getting hit with a line drive. Any word on that?

    • Brian Michael

      July 29, 2017 at 8:20 pm

      Pigs manager Dusty Wathan said after the game it’s probably just a bruise on his left leg. Lively was carried off the field so it may looked worse than it was.

  2. denzen

    July 29, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    It kind of was fun. I am looking forward to following Mackenzie Mills, a big strong lefty, who is just learning how to pitch. I like the point about the Phils acquiring Zack Eflin, Ben Lively, and Nick Pivetta, for players near the end of their careers. I am not sure I understand the Hellickson trade. I hope/assume they tryed to resign him. I am not sure what Kim brings to the team, since his contract is also up. Maybe parlay him in a bigger trade, or resign him.? (But don’t they have other outfield options, on the farm?) I liked Daniel Nava as the last Ofer, but he is older and starting to break down. I guess the International Money has to go into the equation.

  3. Ken Bland

    July 29, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    I am very curious to see what the market has in store for Jeremy Hellickson as a free agent. What he essentially has done over the last few years (since a good career start) has reduced his marketability to where not one contender was interested in acquiring him. The winning player was a team in desperate need of starting pitching more to finish the year than contend. Even teams disguised as contenders, like the Royals and Twins didn’t seem very interested.

    Now, Hellickson faces the challenge of revving up for free agency against mostly, if not all AL (still considered superior) competition in his remaining 10 or so starts. He will get a contract somewhere despite this end of the year uphill challenge. After all, Kyle Kendrick found a home in Colorado. But the length and dollars, and number of bidders will be most interesting.

  4. Tuck Bucker

    July 30, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Hyun Soo Kim was a clutch hitter last year; he had the highest batting average among starters on the team (and the fewest strikeouts). The Orioles manager is horrible but I still don’t know why he didn’t start for them this year. With Kim the Phillies got a professional player out of the trade who can contribute immediately.

    • schmenkman

      July 30, 2017 at 9:10 pm

      It sounds like he’s not going to start for the Phillies, strictly a bench bat.

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