Report: Phillies have interest in acquiring Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier

The Phillies have had trade discussions with the Tampa Bay Rays regarding center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, according to Matt Gelb of The Athletic.

The Phillies have interest in trading for Kevin Kiermaier of the Tampa Bay Rays. (All-Pro Reels Photography)

Kiermaier, 31, is a a three-time Gold Glove Award winner and would represent an upgrade defensively in center field. The acquisition makes sense considering that the Phillies are reportedly pursuing Kyle Schwarber, a power bat who isn’t the best defender in left field. Bryce Harper also struggled in right field over the past two seasons.

The free agent market is thin on starting options in center field after Starling Marte signed a four-year deal with the Mets. While Kris Bryant and Chris Taylor, two players the Phillies have reportedly shown interest in, can play center field, the market lacks a tantalizing alternative to Marte whose primary position is center fielder.

The Rays could be looking to move Kiermaier’s salary. He’s owed $12 million in 2022 plus a $2.5 million buyout if the team that employs him does not pick up his $13,000,000 club option for 2023. Kiermaier’s 2022 luxury tax hit is $8,916,667, according to Spotrac.

Kiermaier’s .707 OPS since 2020 ranks 22nd among center fielders with at least 500 plate appearances. If the Phillies acquire him, he’ll slot in the bottom of the order. Last season, the Phillies ranked 25th in defensive runs saved at -18, so it makes sense for the Phillies to prioritize defense at one of the three outfield positions.

It’s unclear if a deal can get done before the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement on Dec. 1. Some notable trades made this offseason include the Mariners acquiring second baseman Adam Frazier from the Padres and the Marlins landing starting catcher Jacob Stallings from the Pirates.


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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jim Payton

    December 10, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    We don’t need him. I know we don’t we have Mickey Moniak he is a real stud. MM is what we need he is the best. Will be the next Mike Trout. I know I have a lot of friends

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