Phillies facing tough decisions as trade deadline nears
With the trade deadline drawing closer by the day, the Phillies still need to decide what to do to prepare for the final two months of the year.
June changed how Phillies fans and the media view the team for the rest of the season. They were riding high with a 33-24 record entering the month but ended it at 44-40 after going 11-16 in June. They are now 5.5 games back in the division and tied for the second wild-card spot.
According to Fangraphs, Philadelphia ended May with 57.6% odds of making the playoffs. Those odds have since dropped to 24.6%. The team’s June swoon now leaves them in a significant hole trying to make the playoffs.
With that in mind, the Phillies will face some tough decisions heading into the trade deadline. They have to decide by the end of July how much they want to invest in this team as there is no August trade period anymore.
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Where the team stands now, it wouldn’t make much sense for the team to push all the chips in to win this season. Even if the team burns what’s left of their prospect pool to pick up a high-tier rental like Madison Bumgarner, it may not be enough to propel them to the playoffs. Then, they would be in a worse position than when they started.
Trading for a player with another year or two under contract would make more sense than a rental like Bumgarner. That way, even if you have to give up someone like Alec Bohm or Adonis Medina, you get more than two months of the player you acquire. Robbie Ray, Zack Greinke, and Mike Minor all fit this mold.
Of course, don’t be surprised if Philadelphia picks up some bargain-bin rental options similar to Brad Miller and Jay Bruce as long as they remain even remotely in the playoff hunt. They won’t make as large of impacts, but the team wouldn’t be giving up any considerable assets.
Ultimately, the next two to three weeks will set the tone for the rest of the season. If the team rattles off some wins and brings themselves closer in the division race, expect a few moves. However, if they fall even further behind, they may be forced to stand pat for the rest of the year.