Phillies President of Baseball Ops Dave Dombrowski reiterated his Trade Deadline intentions.
On Saturday afternoon, Dombrowski spoke to reporters at Citizens Bank Park and reiterated the front office’s goals for the coming days.
The Phillies have been linked to superstar closer Craig Kimbrel as the Chicago Cubs host a fire sale (cue Arrested Development gif), and have been rumored to be going after outfielders Byron Buxton (Minnesota Twins) and Starling Marte (Miami Marlins). But Dombrowski says that his team isn’t ruling anybody out, and is playing the proverbial trade field:
"“We’ve been talking to everybody, all clubs.”"
"“The one thing I can safely say is we’re not in a position where we’re looking to move players. That is not where we are, we’re looking to add players to our club, if we can.”"
However, Dombrowski did note that while the Phillies want to be ‘aggressive’ this week, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that if the team completely falls apart, they would consider moving some players:
"“We’re kind of open to anything… I think you have to be nimble on your feet at this time. You have to have a lot of alternatives, you have to have a lot of choices, because if you can’t get this, what makes you better next? And we’re trying to get better.”"
The Phillies have never gone over the luxury-tax threshold before, but this might finally be the year that changes. Dombrowski confirmed, saying:
"“I know we’ll be aggressive in making it happen. We have ownership support in trying to make things happen.”"
When Dombrowski has been given a blank check before, he built a championship team in Boston that won a franchise-record 108 regular-season games. However, the Phillies are not going to spend willy-nilly or make any rash decisions that seriously impact the franchise’s future. The farm system is already one of the lowest-ranked in the game, and the Phillies plan to be extremely cautious when it comes to giving up any of their few top prospects:
"“…for a two-month rental player, I would not anticipate that we would give up premium prospects. I don’t think we’re there.”"
With his hiring, Dombrowski has been tasked with rebuilding a team that hasn’t been able to be rebuilt in nearly a decade, replenishing a low-ranked farm system, and getting the major-league club above .500 for the first time since 2011. How he proceeds at the deadline this week will be interesting, to say the least.