Brendan Donovan, UTIL, St. Louis Cardinals
One of the ideal trade candidates for the Phillies this offseason is Cardinals’ utilityman Brendan Donovan. The Phillies appear to be set in the outfield with Brandon Marsh, Johan Rojas and Nick Castellanos for the 2024 season.
However, Matt Gelb of The Athletic recently revealed that the Phillies don’t see both Rojas and Marsh (subscription required) as everyday players who will accumulate 600 plate appearances in 2024. But at the same time, they want to give them at least the opportunity to do so if they end up thriving.
Pursuing a versatile player who can play in the outfield and potentially other positions makes the most sense for the Phillies. They can move a player like Donovan around based on the team’s needs at the time.
Donovan would fit the bill exactly, as not only can he play all of the infield and outfield positions, but he can do so effectively as he won a Gold Glove in 2022 as a utility man. On top of that, his bat is MLB-ready and has great plate discipline. Over the past two seasons, Donovan has hit .283 with a .779 OPS with 112 runs scored, 31 doubles, 16 home runs, 79 RBI, 93 walks, and 123 strikeouts in 221 games.
An unfortunate flexor tendon injury ended his 2023 season early when he had to undergo season-ending surgery. However, he should be ready to go before Spring Training. As a result, with the true makings of the next Ben Zobrist, the Phillies should act fast to pry Donovan away from the Cardinals before other teams begin their hot pursuit of the highly-coveted utilityman.