The Phillies scouted White Sox closer Alex Colome earlier this week, indicating he is a potential trade target for the upcoming deadline.
The MLB trade deadline is still two months away, but the Phillies and other contending teams aren’t wasting any time sizing up which players they want to target between now and July 31.
Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reported Thursday night that Philadelphia was one of several teams scouting White Sox closer Alex Colome during a series against the Royals earlier this week. Levine stated that scouts from the Cubs, Nationals, Mets, Diamondbacks, Yankees were also watching Colome.
Colome pitched in all three games of the series, throwing three scoreless innings with just one hit and no walks allowed. He picked up his tenth and 11th saves as well as his second win of the season against the Royals.
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Colome has pitched well out of the White Sox bullpen, recording a 1.59 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 4.20 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Opposing hitters are batting just .108 against Colome and he is leaving 88.2% of baserunners stranded. Among qualified relievers, Colome ranks first in WHIP, second in batting average against, and 17th in ERA. His 11 saves rank fifth among American League pitchers.
If Colome was traded to the Phillies, he wouldn’t have to fill the closer role as Hector Neris has returned to the dominant form he had in 2016 and 2017. However, if Neris falls off for whatever reason, Colome would be an adept replacement.
Considering how thin the bullpen is getting, adding a reliever should be a significant priority at the trade deadline. Adam Morgan joined the injured list Wednesday, making him the sixth reliever currently on it. Victor Arano underwent surgery this week and may not pitch again this season. Other relievers are hoping to return in June, but it’s no guarantee if they do.
With all these injuries, the Phillies have had to look further down the depth chart to fill in the gaps. Edgar Garcia, J.D. Hammer, and Yacksel Rios are now in the majors after starting the year buried under other relievers. Vince Velasquez has finally been moved to the bullpen, showing just how thin the relieving corps has become.
Considering the dearth of options in the bullpen, the Phillies will likely be very aggressive on the reliever trade market this year. Colome is at least one option the team could pursue a trade for this July.