Tag Archives: MLB Trade Deadline

How Phillies GM Matt Klentak channeled "Hoosiers" at the trade deadline

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In the classic 1986 film “Hoosiers”, Gene Hackman stars as basketball coach Norman Dale, who takes the reigns of a rural Indiana high school team in the early-1950’s.

Hackman/Dale is an old-school coach, even for those long-ago days. He uses a number of tough-love methods, trying to mold his team into a winner despite a highly skeptical and passionate fan base in the local community.
In one such incident, Dale’s Hickory High School team begins a game with just six players. He benches one for disobeying his rules, and when another player fouls out, Dale refuses to allow the benched player to take the floor.
The referee approaches and says “Coach, ya need one more,‘ to which Dale replies “My team’s on the floor.
In this analogy, Phillies fans are the referee. Matt Klentak is Norman Dale.
Sure, leading up to Wednesday’s MLB trade deadline, Klentak had added lefties Drew Smyly and Jason Vargas, bumping both Nick Pivetta and Zach Eflin to the bullpen.
But Phillies fans wanted more. They wanted a co-ace to pair with Aaron Nola at the top of the rotation. Or at the very least, someone who would slot in as a legitimately talented, proven #2-type starting pitcher behind the right-hander.
Those Phillies fans wanted someone such as Zack GreinkeMadison BumgarnerRobbie Ray or Alex Wood.
And so, on trade deadline day, the fan base sat staring at their laptops, pads and phone screens thinking “Ya need one more.
But there would be no new ace added to the Phillies starting rotation on this day. And since are no longer waiver trades allowed during the month of August, there will be no new aces at all during the 2019 season.
Matt Gelb of The Athletic tweeted out that, in summary, Klentak’s position was that “We can’t trade our best prospects all the time. We weren’t willing to meet prices on better players.

 

 

Matt Klentak, summarized: We’ve been adding for the last two months. We can’t trade our best prospects all the time. We weren’t willing to meet prices on better players. Dickerson has a groin injury and will be “eased” into action.

 

 

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In other words, Klentak answered those Phillies fans as Dale answered the referee: “My team’s on the floor.
It remains to be seen what will happen over the final 8 1/2 week of the regular season. The Phillies rotation is certainly deeper, has more experienced arms in it, and now has a pair of southpaws. But will that be enough to help push the club to the postseason for the first time in eight years?
Dale’s methods worked. His team won the Indiana state high school basketball championship in the film, which was inspired by the real-life Milan High School team which had won the 1954 Indiana state basketball championship.
But Dale won thanks not only to his methods, but also to the return and excellence of a genuine great player to the team. Will any such player step up, stand out, and lead these Phillies to the promised land? Or at least into October baseball?

Pirates outfielder Corey Dickerson moving across state to Phillies

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Outfielder Corey Dickerson moving across the state

In a deal first reported by ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan, the Philadelphia Phillies have acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In exchange, the Phillies will be sending international slot money to Pittsburgh.

Dickerson is a 30-year-old left-handed hitter (fields right-handed) who was the eighth round choice of the Colorado Rockies in the 2010 MLB Draft out of Meridian Community College in his native Mississippi.
He debuted with the Rockies in the 2013 season, becoming their starting left fielder the following season. In January 2016, Dickerson was dealt to the Tampa Bay Rays along with a prospect for pitcher German Marquez and Jake McGee.
With the Rays, Dickerson became the starting left fielder and a 2017 American League All-Star, blasting 51 home runs over the 2016-17 campaigns.
In February 2018, Dickerson was dealt to the Pirates for Daniel Hudson and a prospect. Last season in Pittsburgh, Dickerson won the National League Gold Glove Award for left fielders.
have acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for international signing bonus money and a player to be named later.

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This year, Dickerson injured his should in the first week and ending up spending more than two months on the Injured List. He returned and had put together a .317/.376/.556 slash line with four home runs, 18 doubles, 25 RBIs, and 20 runs scored over 141 plate appearances.
He left the Pirates series opener with the New York Mets this past Friday with a groin injury. But returning to the lineup on Tuesday night in Cincinnati, Dickerson blasted two home runs and drove in five during the Pirates brawl-filled victory over the Reds.
It has also been reported that the Phillies may send a player to be named later to Pittsburgh to complete the deal at a later date. In order to make room on the 40-man roster for Dickerson, the Phillies have DFA’d outfielder Dylan Cozens, who was out for the season after foot surgery back in May. Cozens will not likely be back with the Phillies next year.
Assuming he is fully healthy, Dickerson could start nearly every day for the Phillies in left field for the rest of this season. A free agent when the season ends, he is likely a two-month rental as the club tries to bolster their overall depth for a postseason run.

As 2019 MLB trade deadline arrives the Phillies remain linked to arms

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Folks at the MLB Network will be busy on trade deadline day

The 2019 trade deadline has finally arrived in Major League Baseball, and the Philadelphia Phillies continue to be linked to a number of players.

Two pitchers with the same first name are among the more frequently mentioned when it comes to deadline deals for the Phillies: Alex Wood and Alex Colome.
Wood is a 28-year-old left-hander currently with the Cincinnati Reds. The North Carolina native was a second round choice of the Atlanta Braves in the 2012 MLB Draft out of the University of Georgia. He can become a free agent after this season, so would be a pure rental unless he can be signed to an extension.
Wood was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of a huge 12-player, three-team deal between the Braves, Dodgers and Miami Marlins at the 2015 trade deadline. He was then sent to the Reds along with Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig back in December.
The southpaw has a 52-40 career record over 173 games (130 starts) across parts of seven big-league seasons. Due to back issues, Wood did not make his 2019 season debut with Cincinnati until this past weekend. On Sunday, Wood allowed two earned runs on seven hits over 4.2 innings against the Colorado Rockies.
The Phillies have taken a very close look at Alex Wood and have discussed Tanner Roark, too. With Cincinnati’s acquisition of Trevor Bauer, figure one of those SP is on the move.

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Wood also would bring 16 games of postseason experience, including a pair of starts with the Dodgers, one each in the NLCS and World Series while with the Dodgers in 2017.
Wood is scheduled to make his next start on Friday. The Phillies have already announced that Jason Vargas will make his debut with the team that night, and Saturday is Aaron Nola‘s regular turn. Should Wood be acquired, he would most likely make his Phillies debut on Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park against the Chicago White Sox.
Colome is a 30-year-old reliever out of the Dominican Republic. He is under club control via arbitration for one more season, and can become a free agent following the 2020 campaign.
Currently the closer with the Chicago White Sox, who will be visiting Citizens Bank Park for a series beginning on Friday, Colome could theoretically pitch against the Chisox rather than for them this weekend.
There are plenty of teams who are pursuing closer Alex Colomé, who has 21 saves and is yielding an .079 batting average, but the Sox are currently planning to keep him in hopes of contending in 2020.

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Colome has a 3-1 record with 21 saves. He has a 2.21 ERA, 3.82 FIP and 0.762 WHIP, allowing just 19 hits over 40.2 innings with a 32/12 K:BB. Over the course of his career, Colome has done a good job keeping the ball in the park with just a 0.8 HR/9 ratio over 381.1 innings. He would likely become a co-closer in Philly with Hector Neris.
General manager Matt Klentak has already made a number of modest moves in an attempt to incrementally improve his ball club while not sacrificing top prospects. Here is a quick look back at the new players added to the mix in recent weeks:
July 13 – Logan Morrison: 9-year big-leaguer signed as a free agent. He is a lefty bat with 137 career home runs. Hit 38 homers as recently as two years ago with the Tampa Bay Rays. Has played mostly at first base and left field, but has no significant LF time since 2012. Currently with Triple-A Lehigh Valley but could be called to Philly at any time now.
July 19 – Mike Morin: 6-year veteran right-hander was purchased from the Minnesota Twins. Over parts of six big-league seasons has appeared in 211 games with five clubs, including now with the Phillies. Tossed two perfect shutout frames with two strikeouts in his last appearance vs Braves on July 26.
July 21 – Drew Smyly: 6-year big-league lefty has started and won his first two outings with the Phillies after signing as a free agent. Over 171 career appearances (96 starts) he has allowed 595 hits over 634.2 innings with a 617/198 K:BB.
July 27 – Jose Pirela: 6-year big-league veteran was purchased from the San Diego Padres and sent to Triple-A Lehigh Valley as infield depth insurance. had 10 homers and 40 RBIs with Padres in 2017 when he was given 344 plate appearances. Has appeared in 290 games in MLB, with 127 at second base and 110 in the outfield.
July 29 – Jason Vargas: 36-year old, 14-year big-league veteran left-hander was obtained in a trade from the New York Mets in exchange for minor league catcher Austin Bossart. Vargas has made 287 appearances in MLB (266 starts) and has a 98-95 record with a career 4.26 ERA, 4.42 FIP and 1.315 WHIP. He has allowed 1,604 hits over 1,587.2 IP with a 1,104/484 K:BB ratio. Won a career-high 18 games with the Kansas City Royals just two years ago.
July 30 – Blake Parker: 34-year-old, seven-year big-league veteran right-handed reliever began the season as the Minnesota Twins closer after spending the 2017-18 seasons as a key member of the Los Angeles Angels bullpen. Parker signed as a free agent with the Phillies. This season he had 10 saves and a 4.21 ERA, allowing 34 hits over 36.1 IP with a 34/16 K:BB and had pitched very well over more than a month before imploding in his final Twins appearance vs the New York Yankees.

Trevor Bauer is linked to Phillies as MLB trade deadline approaches

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Trevor Bauer linked to Phillies as trade deadline approaches

Per a report this morning from MLB insider Jon Morosi, the Philadelphia Phillies and Cleveland Indians have discussed parameters of a trade that would send starting pitcher Trevor Bauer to the Phillies.

Morosi based his report on what he called “sources“, the usual suspect when rumored discussions such as this are presented, particularly at the Winter Meetings and now, as the MLB trade deadline is approaching.
A deal for Bauer would seem to be a longshot, based on comments in recent days from Phillies general manager Matt Klentak, who seemed to be leaning towards a more conservative approach over the next week.
I feel like our organization has enough talent that we can bid on the top names on the market,” Klentak said per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Whether we choose to go down that road or not remains to be seen. It’s really about building an organization that can sustain its competitiveness for a long period of time. In order to do that, we have to preserve young talent. There are times when it makes sense to cash in young talent for veteran players. But you can’t do that too often or your well will run dry and you’ll be forced to tackle another rebuild at some point, and that’s not something that our owners or our front office have an appetite for.
Just days ago, I wrote a piece here at Phillies Nation in which I opined “There is no reasonable deal that you can expect at this deadline that will return enough to the Phillies that they should give up either of these two key pieces to their future. So, at this point, both Bohm and Howard would appear to be untouchable.
Would a package that does not include either of those young players be able to land you someone like Bauer, or any of the other top available arms such as Zack GreinkeMatthew BoydRobbie Ray or Marcus Stroman? Would including prospects such as Mickey Moniak or Adonis Medina, players such as Cesar Hernandez or Nick Williams, pitchers like Nick Pivettaget such a deal done? That remains to  be seen.
and have discussed a possible Trevor Bauer trade, sources say, as I reported on @MLBNetwork this morning. @MLB

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Bauer is a 28-year-old from California who was the Arizona Diamondbacks first round pick at third overall in the 2011 MLB Draft out of UCLA. He went to Cleveland as part of a three-team trade in December 2012 and has fashioned a career record of 68-54 with a 3.88 ERA, 3.87 FIP and 1.286 WHIP.
A first-time AL All-Star a year ago, Bauer finished sixth in the 2018 AL Cy Young Award voting. This season, the right-hander is 9-7 with a 3.49 ERA and 1.162 WHIP. He had allowed just 118 hits over 152.1 innings across 23 starts with a 179/59 K:BB ratio.
Some find Bauer’s training methods, social media practices, political positions and outspoken attitude to be controversial. Those issues were explored fully in a February 2019 piece titled “Trevor Bauer Is More Concerned With Being Right Than Being Liked” by Ben Reiter.
I always believed in my methods wholeheartedly, and that I would have success. Didn’t have any doubt at all. It’s mostly just a nice feeling, like: I did it my way—and f— you,” Bauer was quoted by Reiter.

Trevor Bauer would most certainly be entertaining. He would also be a boon to the Phillies starting pitching rotation. But he also will cost something. Just what that cost might be will be the rub, and not some perceived controversy regarding Twitter usage or politics.

Alec Bohm, Spencer Howard should be untouchable at the 2019 deadline

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2018 first rounder Alec Bohm is a Phillies trade untouchable

The 2019 Major League Baseball trade deadline arrives on July 31, now just over a week away. By all accounts, the Philadelphia Phillies intend to be buyers.

With this team still firmly in the National League Wildcard race and within striking distance of the NL East crown, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak is surely working the phones, trying to shore up his roster and fill the club’s needs.
Those needs include more talented bench options, as much help to upgrade the bullpen as Klentak can find, and possibly even an experienced everyday center fielder. Most of all, the GM is trying to plug one, maybe two arms into his starting pitching rotation.
Here at Phillies Nation, we’ve reported on all of the names being attached to the Phillies by the rumor mill. Those include pitchers such as Madison BumgarnerZack GreinkeRobbie RayMarcus Stroman and Matthew Boyd.
In order to acquire any of these pitchers, the Phillies are going to have to give up something of value. That could include outfielder Nick Williams, second baseman Cesar Hernandez, or third baseman Maikel Franco. It may also mean a pitcher such as Nick PivettaZach Eflin, or Vince Velasquez moving on.
Even more likely is that the Phillies are going to have to dip into their minor league system, surrendering prospects in a deal. Those names could include pitchers Adonis MedinaEnyel De Los SantosRanger SuarezJoJo Romero and Francisco Morales.

Position playing prospects who could be dealt include outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz and shortstop Luis Garcia. You might even see the club willing to move either Adam Haseley or Mickey Moniak in the right deal.

However, there are two prospects, one an arm, one a bat, who are likely considered untouchable over these next nine days. Those prospects would be third baseman Alec Bohm and starting pitcher Spencer Howard.
Bohm was the Phillies first round draft pick a year ago out of Wichita State. Since turning pro, Bohm has done nothing but rake. This season, split between Low-A Lakewood, High-A Clearwater and Double-A Reading, Bohm is slashing .323/.391/.547 with 14 home runs, 42 extra-base hits, 57 RBIs and 53 runs scored over 373 plate appearances in 86 games.
Howard was the Phillies second round draft pick a year earlier out of Cal-Poly University. The 6’3″ right-hander has gone 2-1 with a 1.79 ERA and 0.744 WHIP, allowing just 23 hits over 40.1 innings across nine starts at High-A Clearwater. He has a 56/7 K:BB ratio and has surrendered just two home runs. Howard was briefly on the IL with shoulder soreness, but has been so strong since returning that a promotion to Double-A is coming soon.
Right now, these have to be considered as the Phillies top two prospects. Both are 22 years of age. Each will turn 23 within the next two weeks. There is no reason to think they won’t be serious candidates to appear in red pinstripes with the Phillies by the 2020 season – at the latest.
No one is truly “untouchable”, of course. It all depends on what you receive back. Do you really believe the Phillies wouldn’t trade both of their top prospects, and likely 2-3 more, if they were getting Mike Trout in return? Of course they would.

Of course, that isn’t going to happen either. There is no reasonable deal that you can expect at this deadline that will return enough to the Phillies that they should give up either of these two key pieces to their future. So, at this point, both Bohm and Howard would appear to be untouchable.