The Phils sealed 11 wins out of its first 20 games to start out the year. The next 51 games they’ve played netted only 12 wins. They’re on pace for a 50-112 record. Only five other teams in major league history have lost more games. If I went on any longer, I’d be beating a dead horse.
The team doesn’t lack veteran presence, because Matt Klentak traded for utility man Howie Kendrick, who’s hitting a team-high .350, traded for Pat Neshek, and signed both Joaquin Benoit and Michael Saunders (who was DFA’d earlier this week) to round out the roster. He brought Jeremy Hellickson back, who was arguably the best pitcher on the roster last year, on a one-year qualifying offer. Some moves have been more effective than others, but what this team really lacks right now and the future — is a bonafide star.
There has been rumblings down south that the Marlins are dangling outfielder Giancarlo Stanton on the market. The 27-year-old is hitting .272/.351/.532 with 18 home runs and 47 RBI. As good as Stanton would be in Citizens Bank Park, the Phils would have to take on his monstrous contract. In 2015, Stanton signed a 13-year deal worth $325 million with an opt-out clause following the 2020 season. He’s the highest paid player in the league.
The Phils have a payroll of just over $100 million this year, and will come down significantly after all of the one-year contracts come off the books at season’s end. Stanton is slated to make $77 million until 2020. Seemingly, the Phils could afford the power-hitting outfielder.
For taking on the size Stanton’s contract, the Phils would “need” to aquire Christian Yelich in the deal, according to MLB Trade Rumors. That would be quite the trade, because Yelich is younger than Stanton by two years and is just beginning his prime. The Phils would easily have to send at minimum four players in a deal without Yelich, and five with. It’s unlikely Miami would include Yelich, but the Phils could still ask for a higher level prospect projected to be a good major league player.
Players that could be involved range the entire organization. The Marlins would want major league ready players, such as Aaron Altherr and Odubel Herrera, who at this point, is wearing out his welcome after his two latest baserunning blunders. Miami might opt to go after pitching, which has been sub-par the last few years. But if the Marlins snagged Altherr and Herrera, that likely would mean Aaron Nola and Vince Velasquez would be off the market.
Either way, the Phils have the assets in both respects to make this happen. They’d get one superstar, for sure.