With Rhys Hoskins out for the rest of 2021, this trade could help the Phillies rebound.
The Philadelphia Phillies almost have nothing to lose at this point in the season. Five games behind the Atlanta Braves with 36 games to go, the Joe Girardi-led team would half to finish 23-13 just to tie them — assuming the division leaders go .500 at best the rest of the way.
While the days of August and September waiver trades have come and gone, the team could get creative in another way to try and upgrade the roster for one last push to their first postseason berth in a decade.
As 97.3 ESPN’s Frank Klose suggests, the Phillies could still trade for a non-40-man roster player — which is permissible even beyond the July 30, 2021, trade deadline. One player Klose called out in particular is Aderlin Rodriguez, a 29-year-old Triple-A corner infield prospect of the Detroit Tigers.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Rodriguez has never reached the majors. Through 88 games this season at Triple-A Toledo, the long-time minor-leaguer has slashed .302/.380/.589 with 19 doubles, 23 home runs, and 67 RBI.
The Tigers probably would be willing to trade Rodriguez for the right price, considering they are 12 games back in the standings. Before being a part of the American League Central organization, Rodriguez previously was with the New York Mets (2009-15), Seattle Mariners (2015), Baltimore Orioles (2016-18), and San Diego Padres (2019).
With noticeable power, Rodriguez would immediately help fill the lineup and first base void left by the injured Rhys Hoskins, who was again placed on the injured list on Thursday and later announced he would undergo season-ending surgery on his abdomen, per MLB.com.
This season alone, Rodriguez has fielded 358 2/3 innings at first base and has only committed five errors through 366 chances. Also logging 215 innings at the hot corner, Rodriguez has a less-than-ideal 85.7 percent fielding percentage across 70 chances.
If the Phillies somehow find magic and make the postseason, the Phillies would have to acquire Rodriguez before 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 31 for him to be eligible for the postseason roster. Even if they fall short once again of Red October, Rodriguez would be an interesting (and cheap) 2022 season option for the Phillies and President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski to consider.