A Phillies trade rumor most fans could get behind would be the acquisition of Trevor Bauer from Cleveland.
Cleveland Indians starter Trevor Bauer has been the subject of trade rumors all year, and while there is no direct Phillies trade rumor connecting Philadelphia and Bauer, the match makes sense.
First, examine the Indians’ position during the All-Star break, sitting five and a half games out of the American League Central, a division many picked them to win overwhelmingly.
Cleveland is flush with starters despite losing former Phillies prospect Carlos Carrasco indefinitely while he battles leukemia. The Indians rotation of Bauer, Corey Kluber (on IL), Shane Bieber, Mike Clevenger, and Zach Plesac is manageable, though not fantastic. For a team on the brink of a playoff spot it seems unlikely that they trade their best, healthiest pitcher.
Bauer is also Cleveland’s most valuable asset, and with one year remaining on his deal, the Indians will be “aggressive listeners” according to Ken Rosenthal.
Rosenthal notes that a major league outfielder and pitcher would “tempt” the Indians to move Bauer.
If you’re the Phillies, there isn’t necessarily a big league outfielder they could move without losing a big bat in the lineup. Is Nick Williams, a former top prospect now getting regular at-bats in Lehigh Valley, someone the Indians could consider?
Williams is hitting .376 for the ‘Pigs this year after the acquisitions of Andrew McCutchen and Bryce Harper pushed him to the big league bench. In need of regular at-bats, Williams belongs in Lehigh Valley after the Phillies promoted Roman Quinn and Adam Haseley over him earlier in the year.
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Philadelphia would likely have to send more than Williams and Suarez in a deal for Bauer, especially if a team such as the Yankees offers back Clint Frazier, who was traded by Cleveland for Andrew Miller in 2016.
While the Phillies farm system isn’t as strong as it was a couple of years ago, they still have plenty to offer, especially for a top of the rotation pitcher signed through the 2020 season. Several prospects such as Arquimedes Gamboa, Jhaylin Ortiz, and Simon Muzziotti are a ways away from making the big leagues but are among the organization’s top prospects.
If you want to stretch a potential Bauer deal even further, would Cesar Hernandez catch their interest? A low-budget team like Cleveland could welcome a player with one year of arbitration remaining who’d play over an aging Jason Kipnis.
Should the Phillies acquire a center fielder and be able to move Scott Kingery to his natural position at second, Hernandez makes some sense for Cleveland.
That would be a major stretch to acquire Bauer and a center fielder such as Starling Marte, but it’s Phillies trade rumor season and we’re all for it.