Phillies get Francisco Lindor, catcher in hypothetical deal
By Matt Rappa
This blockbuster would send Francisco Lindor and Roberto Perez to the Phillies.
The Philadelphia Phillies seem poised to lose both catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Didi Gregorius in free agency. A recently hypothesized blockbuster by MLB.com scribe Thomas Harrigan would allow the Phillies to fill both position holes with comparable combined talent.
As part of the trade, the Phillies would acquire shortstop Francisco Lindor and catcher Roberto Perez from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for four top-20 ranked prospects in their organization — infielder Bryson Stott (No. 2-ranked), pitcher Francisco Morales (No. 4-ranked), catcher Rafael Marchan (No. 7-ranked), and outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz (No. 19-ranked).
Of course, this trade is nothing but a drawn-up concept; however, if it were ever close to becoming a reality, the Phillies should not hesitate to follow through and accept.
Losing Stott — the Phillies’ first-round selection in the 2019 draft — would be difficult. Combined between the Gulf Coast League and the Williamsport Crosscutters in 2019, the now-23-year-old slashed .295/.391/.494 with 18 extra-base hits and 27 RBI spanning 48 games and 193 plate appearances. However, in acquiring Lindor — who is just four years older than Stott — the Phillies would be receiving a four-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove Award winner, and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner.
Through 777 career games, Lindor has combined to slash .285/.346/.488 with 138 home runs and 411 RBI; and, through 25 career postseason games, the Puerto Rico native has a combined five home runs and 12 RBI. In other words, Lindor already has an impressive resume and is still in the early years of his prime seasons.
Marchan is another strong Phillies prospect, praised more so for his defense behind the plate — although who could forget him slugging his first-ever professional home run this past season? Perez is no offensive juggernaut, either; however, he has earned back-to-back Gold Glove Awards in each of the last two seasons. The 31-year-old has just committed three errors combined spanning his last 1,249 2/3 innings in the field; he was perfect in 2020 through 312 chances. Perez struggled at the plate in 2020, collecting only 16 hits in 110 plate appearances. The year prior, he had 24 home runs and 63 RBI.
Morales and Ortiz are far from being major league-ready, and losing them would not necessarily impact the Phillies farm system in one way or another. In 2019, Morales went just 1-8, albeit with a 3.82 ERA. Ortiz slashed only .200/.272/.381 in 2019, but did slug an impressive 19 home runs and 65 RBI; meanwhile, he struck out 149 times in 478 plate appearances, a 31.2 percent rate.
Perez is no Realmuto, but Lindor would be an upgrade over Gregorius. The Phillies could either attempt to re-sign their 2020 season stars, or explore other avenues, such as through trade, to replace them. Perhaps, this hypothetical blockbuster could be one way to do the latter.