Phillies hope to avoid trading for a starting pitcher at the deadline
Strong words from the Phillies general manager hints at where they’re looking at the trade deadline
In his first public comments after the All-Star break, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said he would bet the organization makes a move with only 11 days until the non-waiver deadline.
Klentak says he hopes the organization can avoid dipping into the starting pitcher market “because if you can avoid that, that is definitely a market to avoid.”
Those comments would suggest the organization is not in play to reunite themselves with J.A. Happ or Cole Hamels, despite multiple reports.
Klentak said he’s “very encouraged” with the five starters in the major league rotation (Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, Vince Velasquez, Nick Pivetta, Zach Eflin) and that the depth in Triple-A should keep them out of the market for a starting pitcher.
Eflin is coming back from a blister and is scheduled to start on Monday against Manny Machado and the Dodgers.
Enyel De Los Santos has already made two major league starts, and Cole Irvin is another promotion candidate should the Phillies need an arm.
Klentak also acknowledged the organization made a strong push for Machado, who was dealt to the Dodgers this week. Jayson Stark reported that the team was willing to include last years first round pick Adam Haseley, who was recently promoted to Double-A, in a deal for Machado.
Adding a rental player is something the organization sounds confident about, and Klentak acknowledged that notion on Friday saying “there’s a good chance we could add a rental here in the next couple of weeks.”
Infielders Eduardo Escobar and Mike Moustakas, both on the final guaranteed years of their contracts, have been linked to Philadelphia as either platoon or starters at third base or shortstop.
Adding to the bullpen would also be something the organization has likely explored with issues throughout the first half of the season.
Kyle Barraclough is a name to watch, as is Zach Britton as the July 31 deadline approaches.