Phillies: MLB Insider Expects They’ll Be ‘Aggressive’ at Trade Deadline

Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports) /
1 of 3

With the Philadelphia Phillies having the fifth-best postseason odds among National League teams, according to Baseball-Reference — and the 2021 Major League Baseball Trade Deadline less than two weeks away — the Dave Dombrowski-led organization has positioned itself to being buyers rather than sellers.

MLB insider Jon Heyman joined SportsRadio 94 WIP Monday afternoon to discussing rumors regarding the team, which has won 11 of its last 15 games and four consecutive series for the first time since 2018. The baseball scribe expects Dombrowski and his baseball operations department to be busy in the coming days.

“They are going to make moves. They’re in it to win it,” Heyman said. “You don’t hire Dave Dombrowski if you’re rebuilding, so I expect them to be aggressive.”

Heyman identified the team’s “obvious” needs, include improving the bullpen, acquiring another starting pitcher (Cole Hamels, perhaps?), and somehow improving the defense. With Jean Segura, Didi Gregorius, and Rhys Hoskins as all-but-locks in the infield, Heyman notes landing a “very good centerfielder” as one way to bolster the defense.

“We know they have inquired on [Starling] Marte and certainly would love [Byron] Buxton if he’s out there,” Heyman said. “A great centerfielder would help. It still wouldn’t make their infield defense great, but in that division, anybody can win at this point.”

Jon Heyman thinks the Phillies have a ‘decent’ chance to win the NL East.

The Phillies have drastically improved their postseason outlook in recent weeks — not just because of their improved play against contenders such as the New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, and Boston Red Sox, but also because of obstacles their division competition has faced.

"“I don’t think Washington is going to be good enough. They have too many problems with [Kyle] Schwarber and [Stephen] Strasburg out. Atlanta seems jinxed this year. They lost [Mike] Soroka for the year; [Marcell] Ozuna, obviously, that’s a mess. Beyond injury, he has domestic violence issues. I don’t think we’re going to see him anytime soon. [Travis] d’Arnaud has been out. They have too many problems. … The Mets have had a lot of issues and injuries. You give them credit for resiliency, but how long can that go on? For a while, they were without [Michael] Conforto, [Jeff] McNeil, and [Brandon] Nimmo. Now, they are without [Jacob] deGrom and [Francisco] Lindor. I don’t think that’s a great ‘trade’ for them. I thought the Mets were going to hang on, but I’m not so sure now."

Heyman believes the Phillies “certainly have a shot,” and he gives them a “pretty decent chance” to get back to the postseason for the first time since 2011 — especially if they acquire pitching help.

“The defense is going to be tough to fix,” he says, “but the pitching … there are enough good pitchers out there — particularly relievers, where I think they can make some significant improvements.”