A major upgrade could come to the Phillies offense by the July trade deadline
It’s no secret the Phillies want to make an upgrade at third base, but the level of interest within the organization hasn’t been fully uncovered. That may have changed when former Major League general manager and Sirius XM analyst Jim Bowden broke down the third base market Friday afternoon.
According to Bowden, the report by J.P. Morosi regarding the Phillies having conversations with Texas surrounding future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre are true.
In addition, Bowden says the Phillies have had “conversations” regarding Orioles infielder Manny Machado, Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas, and Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson.
Bowden believes former top prospect Maikel Franco has hit his ceiling as a player who will have a .300 OBP, hit 25 home runs, and drive in 85 runs. As Bowden says, it’s simply not good enough anymore in today’s league.
Here’s the entirety of Bowden’s comments surrounding the Phillies and the third base market.
This market is unusual because all four of the players mentioned by Bowden and in other trade reports are free agents after this season. General manager Matt Klentak has publically stated the organization isn’t afraid to add a “rental” player, which would encompass all of the players mentioned.
Machado is viewed as the big fish in the market, but whether the Orioles ultimately get the green light to trade him is unknown. Reports suggest Machado won’t re-sign with any team before hitting the open market to get the most he can in a contract.
Philadelphia has heavy ties to Machado with Klentak and other members of the front office and scouting department having been in Baltimore when Machado was drafted.
Moustakas would be a much cheaper option who could potentially give you as much power as Machado. Through 73 games he’s hitting .263 with 14 home runs compared to Machado’s 18 home runs.
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Donaldson is having a down season with Toronto and is on the disabled list with tightness in his calf. Just a couple years removed from winning an MVP and reaching three consecutive All-Star games, Donaldson is hitting just .234 with five home runs, a downgrade from Franco.
Beltre has been mentioned multiple times, and he’d bring tremendous experience to one of the youngest clubhouses on baseball. Approaching 3,100 career hits, Beltre is still swinging a strong bat for the Rangers at the age of 39, hitting .302 in 45 games.
Conversations are one thing, but repeated connections to certain players at a certain position are a strong sign to where the Phillies are leaning with a month to go until the trade deadline.