Not for nothing, but even after acquiring three relievers, Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak may still be inquiring on one of the best relief pitchers in the game.
According to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, “there was a lot of buzz Sunday about the Phils being one of the teams involved with the Milwaukee for All-Star lefty reliever Josh Hader.”
Hader, 26, is already a two-time All-Star and is under team control through the 2023 season. Even if the Phillies feel that they have already improved their bullpen enough to reach the playoffs in 2020, Hader is the type of anchor that could solidify their bullpen both this season and in the coming years.
Robert Murray reported Sunday that while the San Diego Padres, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers have all checked in on Hader, the pricetag on the lefty “remains very high.” That said, if there is any relief pitcher in baseball worth paying a significant price for, Hader is seemingly it.
For what it’s worth, Bob Nightengale of USA Today said Sunday that there “is a growing sentiment among executives that Hader could be traded.” Murray hears differently, saying that “barring something completely unforeseen,” Hader will remain with the Brewers beyond Monday’s 4 p.m. ET trade deadline.
In any event, it’s fair to wonder if the Phillies have the type of pieces to outbid some of the other reported suitors. It’s hard to fathom them moving Spencer Howard or Alec Bohm, both of whom have recently graduated to the major league level. 2019 first-round pick Bryson Stott hasn’t played above the New York-Penn League, and is losing a year of development with a minor league season. 2020 first-round pick Mick Abel didn’t get to have a senior season of high school because of COVID-19, and is likely close to a half-decade away from being ready to debut at the major league level.
Perhaps the Phillies will move forward with the three arms they’ve already acquired this month – Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree and David Hale. Both Héctor Neris and Tommy Hunter have been excellent in their most recent outings, and the belief is that Ranger Suárez may be close to being ready to make his 2020 debut. Unfortunately for the Phillies, David Robertson will miss the entire season after suffering a setback in his return from Tommy John surgery.
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