Phillies better off to stay the course at the trade deadline

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 22: General manager Matt Klentak of the Philadelphia Phillies talks to the media before a game against of the Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Park on May 22, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 22: General manager Matt Klentak of the Philadelphia Phillies talks to the media before a game against of the Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Park on May 22, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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What’s left for the Phillies after losing Manny Machado?

Despite the denial, the Phillies appear to have lost the Manny Machado sweepstakes to Los Angeles, leaving them with few options to improve their offense at the trade deadline.

At this point, there are no real upgrades worth the Phillies prospects or time going into the second half of the seasons. Machado was the only position player worth going all-in with.

This season was never about winning, it was about finding out what you had in the young players, and if a wild card game presented itself, then you’d take it and enjoy the run.

There’s no definitive answer about what J.P. Crawford is, and while the .194 batting average is far from impressive, there’s got to be more in his bat after just 57 career games to toss away a former number one prospect.

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Scott Kingery has done an admirable job filling in at shortstop, and wasting time acquiring Eduardo Escobar or Whit Merrifield only hinders Kingery’s development. His batting average has gotten better through the summer months, and surely focusing on one position helps.

I’ll take developing Kingery over trading a prospect for 60 games of Escobar’s .271 batting average.

Unless there’s a third baseman who creates an immediate upgrade over Maikel Franco, you might as well ride out of the season with him and hope his bat stays warm. Mike Moustakas and Josh Donaldson have done nothing to prove they’re better than Franco this year.

The Phillies WAR for third basemen is -1.3, the third-worst in baseball over Baltimore and Boston. Their shortstop WAR is the fourth-worst at -1.7 over the Mets, Pirates, and Royals. This team will need upgrades over the long-term, but if acquiring Machado this offseason is the goal then you can’t sink yourself into a veteran player at the trade deadline.

Second base is the only non-pitcher position with a WAR above 0.0, while catcher and center field are at an even 0.0 WAR.

Philadelphia is the youngest offense in baseball at 26.3 years old scoring 4.33 runs per game, slightly below the major league average 4.42. The trade deadline should focus on securing the team’s position of strength, that being pitching, with long-term help in the bullpen.

If anything improves with the offense, stock the bench beyond Jesmuel Valentin and the scraps left behind.

Next: Phillies: Power Ranking Players from 2008

Stay the course, and wait for the offseason after you’ve learned more about your young players. Don’t waste the future on Eduardo Escobar-type players to win a wild card series then get swept in the first round.

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