Phillies: Rhys Hoskins, Aaron Nola drawing trade interest

Rhys Hoskins #17 and Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Rhys Hoskins #17 and Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Two more Phillies stars are reportedly drawing trade interest, right-hander Aaron Nola and first baseman Rhys Hoskins.

Sunday’s headlines surrounding Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler caught everyone by surprise, even team owner John Middleton — who publicly responded that he would not trade the veteran, even for Babe Ruth.

The ESPN-originated trade rumor suggested the Phillies were in a “financial crunch” and looking to shed their second-highest paid player’s contract (Wheeler’s). But, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Middleton has not given his front office any direction to shed existing contracts, nor authorized anyone to engage in trade conversations regarding Wheeler. Last offseason, the former New York Mets pitcher signed to a five-year, $118 million contract to don red pinstripes.

And while the Phillies Managing Partner denied all aspects of the rumor, Rosenthal reported Monday morning that the Phillies “indeed were talking quietly with clubs about Wheeler,” and have also “received inquires” on fellow right-handed starting pitcher Aaron Nola, as well as first baseman Rhys Hoskins.

Still, that does not mean the Phillies will entertain offers and eventually trade any of the three All-Star-caliber players. The annual MLB Winter Meetings are taking place this week, albeit in a virtual format, leading up to Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft.

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Rosenthal continues that any talks regarding Wheeler did not reach the point where interim general manager Ned Rice may have felt it was required to inform Middleton or team president Andy MacPhail. “Perhaps the owner did not know of the Wheeler discussions and was upset to learn of them from ESPN,” Rosenthal writes. “But if [Rice] was acting in the manner of most of his peers, he likely told other teams he was open to anything and would bring any serious proposals to Middleton and [MacPhail].”

Sure, Wheeler, Nola, and Hoskins may be drawing trade interest from other teams, but, again, that does not mean a two-way street exists. The Phillies seem to be in no hurry to want to start from scratch.

Barring the organization receives an offer it cannot refuse, expect all three to be on the team’s Opening Day 2021 roster.

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