The Philadelphia Phillies haven’t yet made any upgrades, but the perception around the sport is that Dave Dombrowski, Sam Fuld and company will do so in the next week.
Jon Heyman of Audacy Sports reports that “rivals are expecting the Phillies to be aggressive” in advance of the July 30 trade deadline. He notes that the organization could go over the $210 million luxury tax threshold, and are looking to add a starting pitcher, multiple relievers and “perhaps a center fielder.” This is in line with what Jayson Stark and Matt Gelb of The Athletic reported earlier this week.
Though the Phillies entered play Friday evening one game under .500, they are also just four games behind the New York Mets in the National League East. With uncertainty about when Francisco Lindor and Jacob deGrom will return for the Mets, it appears that the Phillies see an opportunity to pounce and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
Heyman opined that eight-time All-Star Craig Kimbrel would be a great fit for the Phillies, and he certainly would. Remember, Dombrowski acquired Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres when he was leading the Boston Red Sox front office in November of 2015. Kimbrel was an All-Star in each of his three seasons with the Red Sox, helping the team to win the 2018 World Series.
The problem that the Phillies may run into as they attempt to acquire any star player — Kimbrel, Byron Buxton, Starling Marte — is a lack of impact prospects in their system. Dombrowski has suggested that the team doesn’t plan to trade their top prospect, right-hander Mick Abel. Perhaps with a potentially historic shortstop class looming in free agency next offseason the Phillies would be willing to consider parting with Bryson Stott, their 2019 first-round pick. Beyond him, though, there’s not a ton to deal.
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