Phillies trade rumors: Time to swap Rhys Hoskins for pitching?

Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The Phillies may need to work out a trade to upgrade their starting rotation, and Rhys Hoskins may be the player to get a deal done.

This time last year, Rhys Hoskins was viewed as one of the Phillies‘ core pieces. However, a combination of factors makes the idea of trading him actually within the realm of possibility.

Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia stated that while a Hoskins contract extension seemed likely this offseason but it now seems more likely he will be traded this offseason to acquire pitching. This idea came up last month, and I was entirely against it, but the possibility remains.

Starting pitching should be the team’s No. 1 priority this offseason. Some quality pitchers will be available in free agency, but it’s never a guarantee that free agents will sign here. A trade is a more direct option and potentially could provide greater benefits, but involves giving up significant assets.

In the last year, the Phillies have shown they are willing to give up the young talent needed to make significant deals. They traded former No. 1 prospect J.P. Crawford in the Jean Segura deal, then dealt their then-top prospect Sixto Sanchez in the J.T. Realmuto trade.

On top of that, there is a theoretical replacement for Hoskins on the cusp of making the major leagues. Current top prospect Alec Bohm‘s future at third base is questionable, and he may need to move to first base in the future. Moving Hoskins would provide a convenient time to shift Bohm to first and get him to the major-leagues sooner, potentially at the beginning of the 2020 season.

While I argued that trading Bohm could do the same job, Hoskins is a more proven commodity. Since Hoskins entered the league in August 2017, only ten players have more home runs, and 13 have more runs batted in. He is tied for 25th among qualified players with a 127 wRC+ in this time. Another team would be more likely to bet on Hoskins’s resume as a major-leaguer compared to Bohm’s in the minors.

Next. Phillies will have to revamp bullpen - again. dark

Hoskins will likely be the center of some trade rumors this offseason until the team declares him safe from a deal; even then, it may not be enough to keep his name out of them.