Phillies rumors: Team could be eyeing left-handed starter at deadline
With the struggles of the rotation early on this season, the Phillies could be looking to add a left-handed starter at this year’s trade deadline.
The Phillies rotation was predicted to be a strength this year, but it has been anything but that. The starters’ 0.6 Fangraphs wins above replacements ranks 25th in the league. They have already sent down Nick Pivetta to the minors while Aaron Nola hasn’t pitched like the Cy Young contender he was last season.
With these struggles in mind, it’s likely that the team makes a move in July to solidify the starting rotation before the deadline.
Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic said on FOX Sports that Philadelphia could still add a left-handed starter at the trade deadline. He stated that there were several notable options, including Madison Bumgarner, Mike Minor, Robbie Ray, and Alex Wood (if he is healthy).
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Each of the first three starters listed has been on the club’s radar for some time now. They were interested in Bumgarner during the offseason and recently were already checking in on the Giants starter. He is the highest-profile option that will be available, so there will be some competition.
Minor was another player the club was interested in during the offseason, but nothing materialized. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported last week that the Mets and Phillies are both interested in Minor, but Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News stated that the Rangers have not any trade discussions about Minor.
Ray is yet another carryover from the offseason rumor mill. The Diamondbacks weren’t willing to trade him during the offseason but may be more inclined to do so depending on where they are in the standings.
Wood was traded to the Reds along with Yasiel Puig, Kyle Farmer, and Matt Kemp from the Dodgers in a salary dump move this offseason. Wood received Cy Young votes last year but has not pitched this season due to lower back soreness. If he comes back from this injury healthy, he will be an attractive rental option.
Rosenthal mentioned that Philadelphia is “lukewarm” on Dallas Keuchel, so it’s unlikely he wins up as the solution to this issue. Regardless, a left-handed starter would be a welcome addition to this righty-heavy struggling rotation.