Although the Phillies struck out on Machado, and other big names outside of Ramos, Phillies fans should feel extremely optimistic moving forward.
The rebuild is finally over for the Phillies. After some terrible seasons, the team is in first place, and the organization is starting a shift from rebuilding mode to win now mode.
For years, Phillies fans have wanted the team to add pieces, and they began to become impatient with Phillies GM Matt Klentak after he worked on his own version of the “Process.”
If the days and weeks leading up to the 2018 trade deadline are any indications of things to come for the organization, Phillies fans should be feeling very optimistic.
No matter the name that came up as available, the Phillies were linked to them one way or another.
While the Phillies added an all-star catcher in Wilson Ramos which will improve the team, along with Asdrubal Cabrera who is another fairly well-known player, they struck out on all the major pieces.
Manny Machado was rumored to be close to done until the Dodgers upped their offer, and the Phillies were not willing to up theirs by adding top prospect Sixto Sanchez.
The team was rumored to be in contact with the Padres for Brad Hand and Orioles for Zach Britton among countless other top of the line relievers that were dealt at the deadline. Ultimately the team lost out on Hand when the Indians gave up a top prospect and lost out on Zach Britton to the Yankees.
The team explored the Rangers slugging lefty Joey Gallo, Orioles veteran center fielder Adam Jones, and had a deal in place before Jones exercised his no-trade clause. They spoke to the Royal about Whit Merrifield, explored the option of the Twins Eduardo Escobar.
Given the team did not acquire a huge impact name like Machado or Archer, what is important is the aggressiveness the team had leading up to this deadline.
No matter the name that came up as available, the Phillies were linked to them one way or another. It felt like in the Howard, Utley, Rollins and Hamels era where every deadline the team was involved in talks for the biggest pieces available.
This is the kind of aggressiveness that a fan base can get behind and support. It makes fans feel that their team will explore all options to win, and shows a change of thinking within the organization that started with the signings of Carlos Santana and Jake Arietta in the offseason.
The young pieces are in place, now is the time to fill in the holes around them with impact players, and that was the team has shown they are willing to pursue.
The addition of Wilson Ramos also signals a major change in the organizations thinking of players. Jorge Alfaro was the main piece in the Cole Hamels trade. The organization wanted to see him develop, and see what kind of player he could become.
While he has shown flashes, he has not lived up to the major hype that surrounded him. The Phillies in the past couple years would have let him keep playing, and see what can happen. Now they seem to have adopted a produce or you will be replaced mentality that will only help the team improve.
Alfaro has had some struggles, so rather than let him try to figure it out, the team brought in an all-star catcher who will take over behind the plate and improve the team once he returns from injury or perhaps mentor Alfaro to help him become the star he’s been projected as.
Another positive leading up to the deadline as strange as it sounds is that the team did not acquire Machado or Archer given the price tags. While the team has been very aggressive, they have also been smart. To include Sanchez for a player who is not guaranteed to stay could have been devastating to the organization if Machado walked at the end of the year.
It felt like in the Howard, Utley, Rollins and Hamels era where every deadline the team was involved in talks for the biggest available pieces.
With Archer, the Pirates gave up to major young pieces in outfielder Austin Meadows and pitcher Tyler Glasnow for Chris Archer who while has shown flashes of an ace, he has also struggled in the past couple seasons.
The ability to not get caught up in the moment and overpay grossly which could affect the future is what could separate this front office from the front offices of the past who acquired the big names at any cost necessary.
While at the time it seemed like a great choice, it caused the team to have to go through a longer rebuild than fans would have liked due to a depleted farm system.
If this deadline is any indication of the attitude and aggressiveness of the front office moving forward, then fans can be confident that the team is in for a very successful future.