Phillies: 3 Rhys Hoskins trades that need to be considered
By Matt Rappa
Rhys Hoskins to the Seattle Mariners for Justus Sheffield
Another team that saw poor production out of their first basemen during the shortened 2020 season was the Seattle Mariners — with a league-worst .176/.252/.346 slash line.
The Mariners have three first basemen listed on their depth chart: Evan White, Ty France, and Jose Marmolejos. Combined in 2020, the three produced 16 home runs, 41 runs scored, and 57 RBI spanning 411 plate appearances.
Hoskins, alone, slugged 10 home runs, 35 runs scored, and 26 RBI in just 185 plate appearances in 2020.
Perhaps dealing Hoskins to Seattle, pairing him with former Phillies top hitting prospect J.P. Crawford, would benefit both clubs.
With the Phillies set to lose Jake Arrieta to free agency, their starting rotation continues to have question marks outside of Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler. The Phillies should target 24-year-old Mariners left-hander Justus Sheffield to sure up the top half of their rotation for years to come.
The Cleveland Indians drafted Sheffield in the first round, 31st overall, in the 2014 draft. During the July 2016 trade deadline, he was dealt to the New York Yankees in a five-play deal that was headlined with Clint Frazier and Andrew Miller.
Prior to the 2019 season, the Yankees sent Sheffield to the Mariners in the blockbuster that brought fellow left-hander James Paxton to the Bronx.
While Sheffield posted a 5.82 career ERA across his first 11 appearances (seven starts) with the Yankees and Mariners in 2018 and 2019, he considerably improved in 2020. Spanning 10 starts, he went 4-3 with a 3.58 ERA, 48-20 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and 1.301 WHIP in 55 1/3 innings.
Over his last four starts to wrap up the 2020 slate, the lefty went 2-0 with a 2.16 ERA; he struck out 19 of his 100 batters faced, while allowing only six runs in 25 innings.
The Phillies arguably have not had a reliable left-handed starting pitcher since the days of Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. Sheffield’s addition would be long overdue.