Bryce Harper urges Phillies front office to be aggressive at trade deadline
Bryce Harper urges Phillies front office, ownership to upgrade roster at trade deadline
Bryce Harper may be sitting on the sidelines for the next 6-8 weeks, but he’s still got his eyes on the prize.
Speaking to reporters for the first time after his surgery, Harper called for the Philadelphia Phillies to go big at the trade deadline.
"“I would think if we’re in that third spot of the wild card after this [upcoming] trip, I mean, I don’t see why we wouldn’t go out and do it. I don’t ever doubt Dombrowski to go and do what he needs to do. Same with [owner John] Middleton. They want to win more than anybody. It should be a good deadline if we do our job in here and get to where we need to be.”"
This is far from the first time Harper has publicly talked about team needs. The ever-growing list includes bemoaning the state of the farm system, urging for upgrades ahead of last summer’s deadline, pushing for big free-agent signings during the offseason, and maybe subtly hinting that the Phillies should target Trea Turner in the near future.
The Phillies’ commitment to winning is clear in their spending. Unfortunately, the results haven’t always matched the effort. They’ve consistently had one of the highest payrolls in baseball with nothing to show for it. Their last postseason appearance was back in 2011, making them the longest playoff drought in the National League.
Coming into this season, the Phillies spent over $20M on relief pitching after the debacle that was the 2021 bullpen, and gave four and five-year contracts to Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos, respectively. For the first time in franchise history, they constructed a roster that exceeds the luxury tax threshold, a clear sign that they’ll do anything to end the longest postseason drought in the National League.
So, what do the Phillies need at this year’s trade deadline? Better defense for the outfield if they can find it, definitely another bullpen arm, and maybe another starting pitcher now that Zach Eflin and Ranger Suárez are on the Injured List. President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski has his work cut out for him once again, but as of right now, this team looks like it’s worth the effort.