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) /
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Cole Hamels #35 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /

The Phillies are among many MLB teams interested in Cole Hamels.

Former Phillies World Series MVP Cole Hamels recently threw in front of several teams at his Texas showcase late last week. Heyman says the southpaw threw about 90 miles per hour, and with his great changeup, he surely could help someone.

“There were 20 teams [attending], so I wouldn’t count on that a likelihood for Philly,” Heyman said. “Obviously, [the Phillies] are familiar with him and know him better than most. They definitely need pitching. It doesn’t have to be Hamels or former World Series MVPs. They need pitching, particularly in the bullpen.”

It is worth noting that Hamels was seen in the Philadelphia area on Monday.

The biggest ‘bang’ for the Phillies’ buck will be improving the bullpen.

Heyman said that he believes the bullpen is the Phillies’ “obvious” area of need, and that is more likely they focus on that and get pieces over anything else.

“That may just be enough because their bullpen is very improvable. There’s a lot of room for improvement. there, so it makes the most sense,” he said. “Their bullpen is easier to improve than their defense … they are not good defensively. Their infielders are all good hitters, but they’re really not great defenders, generally speaking. I think centerfield is an obvious area where they can improve offensively and defensively with one player.”

The Phillies might finally go over the luxury tax threshold.

Any move the Phillies make in the coming days will put them dangerously close, if not past the luxury tax threshold for the first time in franchise history. Heyman gives the Phillies front office and ownership credit for spending on marquee free-agents — such as Bryce Harper, Zack Wheeler, and Andrew McCutchen — in recent offseasons to win.

“They really got out there and spent. I give them credit, so I’m not going to rip them on this like I would other teams — let’s say the Cubs and Yankees, who have even more money to spend,” continued Heyman, who noted he does not necessarily view it as a “negative” if the Phillies do not go over the threshold.

“Many other teams, I think it’s ridiculous they are adhering so strictly to that threshold. I see nothing wrong going over the threshold,” Heyman noted. “We’re talking about pennies for teams that are worth billions.”

For Dombrowski, getting the Phillies difference-making players — thus putting them over the threshold for a potential division-clinching run — would surely be worth the extra millions.

“Even if it means just winning the division and not really being a World Series contender, there is nothing wrong with that,” Heyman said. “A couple of million bucks should be nothing for a team that spent $330 million on one player.”

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