Phillies rumor: Jake Arrieta, J.T. Realmuto linked to Astros
By Matt Rappa
The Astros may try to acquire Jake Arrieta and J.T. Realmuto from the Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies’ unprecedented 60-game season, set to begin at home on July 24, will be anything but predictable.
Just a five-to-seven-game losing streak — that normally would be shrugged off in a normal 162-game schedule — could sink a division contender to a Wild Card contender at best.
The best case scenario for the Phillies would be them thriving under their new manager Joe Girardi and returning to the postseason for the first time since 2011, just two years removed from losing to the skipper’s Yankees in the 2009 World Series.
The worst case scenario? The Phillies struggle out of the gate against the Miami Marlins and New York Yankees, and never find any stride to bounce back. Then, come the August 31 trade deadline, they just might have to think about parting with expiring contracts to try to replenish the team moving forward for the following season — one they hope returns to its usual 162-game format.
Among those expiring contracts could be catcher J.T. Realmuto and right-handed starting pitcher Jake Arrieta. And, as part of MLB.com reporter Richard Justice’s recent “7 wild predictions for a thrilling season,” he thinks both could be dealt before next month’s deadline to the American League West’s Houston Astros.
Justice predicts that the Astros will “rock the world” at the trade deadline. “No team is more motivated to win the World Series than the Astros,” he writes. “Team owner Jim Crane believes that would ease the sting of the sign-stealing scandal that has tainted the 2017 championship in the eyes of many, and he’ll give his baseball operations people the go-ahead to think big at the Aug. 31st Trade Deadline.”
According to Justice, Crane wants his team to “think big” and that “nothing will be off the table,” adding Arrieta and Mike Minor would be nice fits if the Phillies and Texas Rangers respectively fade. Justice continues that the Astros “could make a run” at Realmuto, or even the Cleveland Indians’ Francisco Lindor as well.
Arrieta is on the final year of his three-year pact with the Phillies; thus far through 55 starts in red pinstripes, he has gone 18-19 with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.369 WHIP ratio. Realmuto, meanwhile, is coming off of a career year, his first with the Phillies, in which he slugged 36 doubles, 25 home runs, and 83 RBI while slashing .275/.328/.493.
The Phillies have largely been buyers at the trade deadline in recent seasons (albeit minor acquisitions), a contrast to the mid 2010s when they dealt away pieces from their 2008 World Series championship run, including that of Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers.
A trade of Arrieta and Realmuto would surely change up dynamics on the Phillies’ MLB roster. Realmuto, of course, has been a recent topic of discussion as it relates to him seeking a record contract for catchers. Time will tell as to how the Phillies’ will fare in the 60-game sprint. If they fade, perhaps they will be sellers.