The Phillies have entered the final 12 hours of the trade deadline being 6 games out of first place in the National League East. They’re also tied or the second wildcard spot. But the Phillies front office came into the trading deadline with a gameplan. To give the team more depth without giving up the organizations biggest assets. And Phillies trade deadline deals have done exactly that. Was not flashy by any means. But they added both pitching and hitting to give the team a boost in the final months of the season.
Starting Pitcher Done Deals
The Phillies didn’t waste any time wheeling and dealing for starting pitchers. The additions were not the big fish on the market. But the Phillies were able to acquire Drew Smyly. Who opted out of his minor league contract with the Brewers to pursue free agency. And the Phillies also traded with their rival New York Mets to acquire Jason Vargas for Austin Bossart help give the starting rotation an instant new look.
With these two additions the Phillies starting rotation immedietly gets a new look. The signing of Smyly sent struggling Nick Pivetta to the bullpen. And after the Vargas trade the Phillies elected to skip Zach Eflins next start. This moves lands him in the bullpen for now. Eflin has had the most upside out of the bottom three starters. But with him in the middle of a rough stretch, the Phillies might bring him back into the rotation if he is able to get his stuff together.
Smyly has already been able to make a positive impact on the Phillies team in his first two starts going 1 – 0 with a 0.69 era. Smyly is a pitcher that reliess on contract from hitters. He has effectively been able to do so even with pitching in hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park. In Smyly’s last start he became the first left-handed pitcher for the Phillies to pitch 7 plus innings without giving up a run since Cole Hamels in 2015. Jason Vargas is set to make his Phillies debut on Friday, August 2nd. And he will go against the Chicago White Sox at Citizens Bank Park.
Bullpen Done Deals
The Bullpen for the Phillies was lightly addressed despite all the problems this year. The Phillies traded for right-handed pitcher Mike Morin from the Twins for cash considerations. Morin is a solid pickup for the Phillies. He became available as a result of Twins activation of Eddie Rosario and C.J. Cron and the Phillies took advantage. In 2019 for the Twins, Morin had a solid 3.18 era. The Phillies also signed Blake Parker from the Minnesota Twins. Parker was designated for an assignment from the Twins as he opted for free agency. This will help give the Phillies bullpen depth along with reuniting the two former Twins.
Just before the conclusion of the 4 pm est time trading deadline the Phillies also agreed to terms with the Baltimore Orioles for Dan Straily. Straily has had his struggles this year with a 9.82 era. But for the Phillies, they’re hoping they can bring back some of his good years he had in the previous 3 seasons. The Phillies acquired Straily for cash considerations.
Hitting and Fielding Done Deals
On June 2nd the Phillies got a jump start on adding outfield depth by trading for Jay Bruce from the Seattle Mariners. The trade at the time was supposed to give the Phillies a boost to the bench but evolved into having a starting outfielder since Andrew McCutchen had his season-ending injury. In a Phillies uniform, Bruce has hit a solid .256/.273/.564 and hitting 10 home runs in just 33 games. Unfortunately for the Phillies on July 16 Bruce left the game against the Dodgers with a rib injury also sending him on the IL on a short term basis.
Given the multiple injuries in the outfield plus Roman Quinn and Nick Williams struggles off of the bench the Phillies needed more depth. So the team was able to land outfielder Corey Dickerson from the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Phillies acquired Dickerson for International signing money and a player to be named later. Dickerson is 30 years old and the 2018 gold glove winner with the ability to play multiple outfield positions. He is a much-needed uplift for the Phillies. In 2019 Dickerson has been hitting .317/.376/.556.
The Phillies also acquired Jose Pirela from the San Diego Padres for cash considerations. Pirela has had his struggles at the Major League level. This move is similar to the trade of acquiring Brad Miller from the Yankees back in middle June. Hoping for a positive impact and a staticital turnaround from both players to help the Phillies make a push for the playoffs.
Phillies trade deadine deals summary
The Phillies trade deadline deals were not flashy. But the moves accomplished what the front office thought was appropriate for the team’s circumstances and future. They have added depth to the rotation and also outfield depth which should also help the bench once Jay Bruce comes off of the IL. And the bullpen which has been one of the weakest links to the Phillies going into the deadline now has a small boost with Blake Parker, Mike Morin, Dan Straily and the demotions of Nick Pivetta and Zach Eflin to the bullpen. Sadly for the Phillies, the news of David Robertson confirmed that he will need season-ending surgery.
With the Phillies already having a thin farm system. And having multiple holes to fill to contend with the strongest teams in baseball the Phillies were not able to fix everything in one season. The Phillies trade deadline deals did give the team some help without wagering the future which is big for the club. But the Phillies are trending in the right direction. Just not at a rapid pace.
Feature image by Elaine Kucharski
Stats via Baseball-Reference
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