1 trade candidate from every AL West team the Phillies should consider

The AL West has been a favorite trade partner of the Phillies for a decade. Who will be the next star to head east to Philly?

Framber Valdez picked up two wins for the Astros in the 2022 World Series, but Houston may not be his forever home.
Framber Valdez picked up two wins for the Astros in the 2022 World Series, but Houston may not be his forever home. / Harry How/GettyImages
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Ken Waldichuk, Oakland Athletics

The tragedy of the Athletics franchise continues to be played out in just about every public forum possible, as ownership has committed to abandon a dedicated fanbase and Major League Baseball has approved a move to Las Vegas.

With the organization in such radical flux, it's fair to expect the unexpected from their front office. They gave up a promising youngster in Pache last year for next to nothing. They could be willing to even trade other youngsters and prospects in the coming months or the next two to three years as their future home, ownership, finances, and general direction are solidified.

As things stand, the front office doesn't have much to go on as far as planning for a competitive window and could be ready to deal any MLB-ready piece. 

Enter Ken Waldichuk, a 26-year-old acquired from the Yankees a few years ago and entering his third big league season in 2024. After putting up big numbers in the minors he's yet to break out in Oakland, and it could just be that the front office is willing to give him the Christian Pache treatment. 

Waldichuk has the stuff to be at least a mid-rotation starter, if not more, at the big league level, but he's spent time in the pen as he figures himself out in Oakland. His numbers are nothing eye-popping at the MLB level, but he was the A's top pitching prospect for a time, and he has a sub-3.00 ERA in nearly 200 innings across all minor league levels. 

Given the Phillies' struggles to find a veteran back-of-the-rotation guy — as Dombrowski has noted, the quality options don't see a lot of innings in a stacked front five in Philly — so the better play might be to go for an unproven youngster. Waldichuk has a higher ceiling than players like Dylan Covey or Nick Nelson, but he can also pitch out of the pen.

The Phillies have money and talented, very young players years away from the majors, both of which should appeal to the A's. And unlike the other players on this list, this deal could be swung at any time — it's not dependent on the Trade Deadline or the playoff race, neither of which really have anything to do with Oakland these days.