The Philadelphia Phillies are in the mix for some outfield help. The move to first base for Bryce Harper opens up the door for Kyle Schwarber to find his rightful place at the DH spot. The Phillies now only have days to declare the position change a success or not. In the meantime, they need to look for a true outfielder.
They can definitely pay the full price in prospects to fill this need or the Phillies can add someone’s dead weight to lighten the blow. This equates to taking on a bad contract to pair with a nice-fitting outfielder for the roster.
Any of these three pairs of Phillies trade targets would fit this description.
1) Phillies trade for an outfielder and a bad contract: Tyler O’Neill and Steven Matz
Far more realistic than picking up Nolan Arenado or Paul Goldschmidt from the St. Louis Cardinals would be to acquire outfielder Tyler O’Neill. The Cardinals have had a plethora of young talent on their major league roster and high minors since the start of last season. Hesitant to part with too many of them, the club has missed out by putting a little too much faith in those young kids this season.
The Cardinals will be trade deadline sellers and right-handed hitting outfielder and two-time Gold Glove winner Tyler O’Neill is one of those players who could be on the move. A free agent after the 2024 campaign, he’d be a piece the Phillies get to enjoy now and for another year after this.
Paired with O’Neill in this trade would be taking on the contract of Steven Matz. Phillies fans will remember him most from his days with the New York Mets. His time with the Cardinals, which began last year, has been horrific. Now 6-10 with a 4.88 ERA in 36 starts and another 13 relief appearances, he’s a burden they’d probably prefer to move on from.
Matz is owed another $25 million after this season. It’s not an albatross contract yet a massive overpay for a guy who, at his best, would be a fifth starter. The Phillies could choose to dump him and pay the money. The other option is to see if a change of scenery helps at all.
Considering the .311/.415/.593 hitters have slashed against him at Citizens Bank Ballpark, he might not last long in a Phillies uniform.