The Major League Baseball trade deadline is quickly approaching and the Philadelphia Phillies have some holes to fill. At this point, it seems more likely than not that they make small moves to help the team rather than a big splash. Phillies general manager Matt Klentak alluded to the team’s core players needing to produce over everything to be successful.
“We have to recognize where we are and we have to make moves that are appropriate,” Klentak told NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury. “We’re going to continue to push. We’re going to continue to try. […] for this team to get where we want to go, the core players on this roster need to perform well.”
That being said, there are a number of smaller moves that could help improve the Phillies as they head into a big series against the Atlanta Braves in Philadelphia over the weekend. They have been mentioned in a number of reports with regard to starting pitching. One name to keep an eye on, according to Jon Heyman, is Reds right-hander Tanner Roark.
Phillies are among teams looking at Tanner Roark. As always they prefer pitchers with team control beyond 2019, but there are few of those available.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 26, 2019
The 32-year-old native of Wilmington, IL, is under contract for $10 million this season and will be a free agent in the offseason. After spending the first six seasons of his career with the Washington Nationals, Roark was dealt to the Cincinnati Reds on December 12, 2018, for Tanner Rainey.
Roark has started 20 games for the sub-.500 Reds, posting a 3.95 ERA in 107 innings of work. He has appeared in 12 games (11 starts) at Citizens Bank Park over his career, going 3-7 with a 5.46 ERA. 2019 has been a good one for Roark when it comes to strikeout rate. His 8.9 strikeouts per 9 innings that he’s sporting is the best of his seven-year career. Roark’s recent outings have been uneven to say the least. He’s allowed two runs over five innings in each of his last two starts. He’s allowed four runs or more in five of his last nine starts sdating back to June 1.
In addition to Roark, the Phillies have also been linked to Reds outfielder Yasiel Puig dating back to the end of May. Puig, 28, is slashing .260/.310/.492 with 14 doubles and 22 home runs this season for the Reds.
Philadelphia could potentially package a deal to acquire both Puig and Roark from Cincinnati, but with both players on expiring contracts, it will be interesting to see how far the Phillies would go in terms of prospects to add Puig and Roark into the mix.