Dave Dombrowski says Phillies aren’t in a position to give up top prospects at trade deadline
The Philadelphia Phillies are going to be buyers at the upcoming trade deadline, but they’ll have to get creative if they want to get what they need.
Ahead of the August 2 deadline, the Phillies are looking to add a starting pitcher, upgrade their outfield, and possibly bolster the bullpen. That’s a hefty to-do list for a team with not a lot to offer in return. And earlier this week, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski essentially ruled out the possibility of parting with any of their top prospects:
"“Every position there’s premium guys out there, and then there’s other guys that could be helpful.Well, the premium guys are probably going to cost you your top prospects. I don’t think, as an organization, we’re in that position right now. I just don’t think we’re there.”"
That rigidity won’t make it any easier for them to compete with other upgrade-hungry teams.
However, ‘top prospects’ is a somewhat vague umbrella statement. The Phillies have four players in Baseball America‘s Top 100 (subscription required): Andrew Painter (37), Mick Abel (64), Logan O’Hoppe (90), and Griff McGarry (97). Painter and Abel, their 2021 and 2020 first-round picks and top-two prospects in the system, are likely untouchable, as they’re slated to be the starting pitchers of the Phillies’ hopefully-bright future.
O’Hoppe, the organization’s Breakout Prospect of the Year in 2021, is hitting .269/.386/.506 with a .893 OPS at Double-A this year. The 22-year-old catcher could debut as early as next season, but the Phillies have J.T. Realmuto signed through 2025 and Garrett Stubbs won’t hit free agency until 2027. Still, if the Phillies aren’t willing to trade O’Hoppe next week, they might consider putting Rafael Marchan in a trade package, instead. Several teams need catchers, and Marchan has some big-league experience.
Johan Rojas, their top outfield prospect, is likely safe, but Mickey Moniak could also be on the move, as he’s struggled to find success at the big-league level since debuting in 2020. His promising spring training ended in a heartbreaking hit-by-pitch, and though recovered, he hasn’t found his form again.
The Phillies have options on the farm and the big-league roster. But if they’re serious about ending their postseason drought, the front office will have to make some tough decisions this week about sacrificing long-term possibilities for short-term success.