Phillies looking to upgrade their bench at the trade deadline

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 24: Curtis Granderson #18 of the Toronto Blue Jays is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on June 24, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 24: Curtis Granderson #18 of the Toronto Blue Jays is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on June 24, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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Four role players have been connected to the Phillies as the trade deadline approaches

Following the demotion of Aaron Altherr Sunday night the Phillies have been connected to several players to upgrade their bench and outfield with their pinch-hitters hitting .218 this season.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic connects four players to Philadelphia’s trade search as the season wears on. Most notably is Curtis Granderson of the Toronto Blue Jays, someone we highlighted as a potential addition earlier this month.

Miami’s Derek Dietrich, New York’s Asdrubal Cabrera, and Minnesota’s Eduardo Escobar were also named in Rosenthal’s tweet Monday morning as potential trade targets.

Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies /

Philadelphia Phillies

At 37-years-old Granderson wouldn’t be a dramatic upgrade over Altherr at the plate, hitting .230 compared to Altherr’s .171, but it’s an improvement none the less. His on-base percentage is also about 50 points higher than the demoted Altherr’s.

Granderson is on his third team in two seasons and has primarily played on east coast teams with two campaigns in New York and his current season in Toronto where he’s on a one-year deal.

I’d love to have Granderson on this team, but more importantly in the dugout and clubhouse. He’s had a productive 15-year career with no championship, something that could help drive the team going into the playoff hunt. He’s lost two World Series, one with Detroit and most recently with the Mets.

Dietrich is a potential long-term addition with two more years of arbitration eligibility, which likely raises the Marlins asking price. The 29-year-old lefty is having a career season hitting .289 with 13 home runs, and he’s played four positions this season in Miami.

With experience at second, third, first, and left field Dietrich becomes a super utility option for Philadelphia. He won’t be a cheap acquisition, but it could be an under the radar move that helps the Phillies bench and potentially the starting lineup.

Escobar has been linked to the Phillies for most of the trade season while leading baseball with 36 doubles. He’d move into a platoon role with Scott Kingery and a healthy J.P. Crawford, but ultimately would be the starting shortstop as a rental player.

He’s hitting just .272, which is an improvement over Kingery, but is Escobar worth the prospects and the diminished playing time for Kingery?

Perhaps the same can be said for Cabrera, who has emerged in trade conversations lately. The 32-yaer-old switch hitter is hitting .280 with 17 home runs for the Mets. Another rental option on the market, Cabrera has nearly 9,000 innings logged at shortstop in his 12 major league seasons.

Cabrera has some experience at second base and limited time at third, but he’d move into a platoon similar to Escobar.

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Out of those four players mentioned by Rosenthal, I’d favor Granderson in the short-term and Dietrich in the long-term. Granderson brings the experience and voice while filling a fourth outfielder role, while Dietrich is a long-term addition who fills in across the diamond with a left-handed bat.

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