To buy or not to buy, that is the question the Philadelphia Phillies face as the MLB trade deadline looms at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
After Monday’s win against the Miami Marlins, the Phillies are back up to second in the NL East, 11 games behind the division-leading Atlanta Braves and a half-game ahead of the Marlins. Philadelphia now sits a half-game clear in the second wild-card spot, trailing the San Francisco Giants but ahead of the Marlins and Milwaukee Brewers, who are tied for the final spot.
At $242.2 million, the Phillies boast the fifth-highest payroll in the league for 2023, according to Spotrac. However, to this point, their biggest offseason signing, shortstop Trea Turner, has struggled at the plate and in the field, leaving a right-handed hole in the lineup.
Not surprisingly, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported the Phillies are in the market for a right-handed bat:
Between the need to find a right-handed bat and the need to bolster a bullpen that has been hit by injuries to Seranthony Domínguez and José Alvarado this year, the team has needs to fill if it wants to mount a serious playoff push.
With the Marlins, Giants, Brewers and Atlanta all being active at the trade deadline, the question becomes whether the Phillies will be able to pull off a needle-moving trade to keep pace. If not, can the team still put enough pieces together to be a legitimate contender?
And let’s not forget: For large portions of the 2023 season, the Phillies daycare — mainly Bryson Stott, Alec Bohm and Brandon Marsh, all players who have made their major league debuts within the past four years — have led the way, setting the tone and pushing the team to its current 57-49 record.
So in lieu of a blockbuster trade to bring in yet another big-name, big-contract star to a ballclub that already has a staggering payroll, let’s explore some options already in the minor league system who could join the big league club and become the next key member to help the team power its way to a postseason return.