Good morning! Here’s what you need to know:
RUMOR CENTRAL: Ryan Lawrence of Philly Voice goes rumor milling, picking out three potential trade partners for the Phillies. Those partners: Texas, Milwaukee, Detroit.
The common theme here is the Phils can use one more impact bat, and trading a pitcher (Vince Velasquez) or decent-value young hitter (Cesar Hernandez) could net that bat. The bats he lists include Joey Gallo, Ryan Braun and J.D. Martinez.
Martinez we’ve gone over. He’d likely be here for a year (his free agent year is coming), and would provide the team some short-term help. Best idea? No. But he wouldn’t hurt the rebuild.
Gallo would be interesting, and is still young and full of potential, but that’s another question mark for a club with quite enough of them.
Then there’s Braun, the opposite of a Gallo play. He’s very proven, a known quantity. He’s also owed another $80 million in guaranteed money through the 2020 season. On one hand, why spend so much now when the Phils have been carefully rebuilding? On the other hand, they have the money, and Braun offers a capable middle-of-the-order bat, and on a meta level, a bridge to the next potential outfield superstar in red pinstripes (say, Mike Trout in 2021?).
But now we’re getting past the point. While Braun gives the Phils something sure FOR NOW, we can’t be confident – at least for $20 million a year – that he’ll give them something sure *three years from now*, which is when he’s either a necessary part of the team’s contending core, or he’s an albatross a la Ryan Howard.
That’s a big risk. And I don’t think the Phils should be taking it right now.
In short, the Phils are probably better off not trading young talent just yet.
GATHERING MOSS?: While there is no actual report of interest, rumors of the Phils being a match for free agent Brandon Moss are starting to increase.
Moss, as you may remember, had six plate appearances for the 2011 Phillies. He hit .000. That year he also hit 23 home runs for Lehigh Valley. Then the Phils let him go, and he immediately turned into one of the best lefty sluggers in baseball.
Moss gives you home runs (but with a lot of strikeouts and few walks). He also gives you outfield flexibility (though he’s not good with the glove). He’s not a good fit for the Phillies.