The Philadelphia Phillies have had a nightmare beginning to their 2023 campaign. One that I don’t think even the most “Negadelphia” sports fans would conjure up in their imagination. It’s been the talk of all baseball conversations in the greater Philadelphia area. Rightfully so, especially after the success, triumphs, moments, and memories made during an improbable World Series run last year.
The Phillies are in the same dull, bleak position they were in last June. The month that spawned enough lousy play to get Joe Girardi fired and Rob Thomson hired. This time there’s no firing or scapegoat card to play. It’s time for the club to put up or shut up. In Craig Kimbrel, Aaron Nola, and Seranthony Dominguez, the Phillies have three players that could get traded if this team falls too far out of the playoff race.
Phillies trade candidate No. 1: closer Craig Kimbrel
Trade prospect number one for contenders is reliever Craig Kimbrel. As documented in the spring, Kimbrel has mainly been a closer but has recent experience in high-leverage spots in different innings. Kimbrel is an obvious but clear target for any team looking to contend in the postseason. Kimbrel is in his age-35 season on a one-year contract. Any team making the move for him would most likely be acquiring him as a rental.
As far as Kimbrel the pitcher goes, he is performing closer to being a serviceable reliever than his shutdown closer abilities. His numbers will sort of tell contenders to stay away. Kimbrel as of this writing has appeared in ten games, posted an 8.00 ERA, a 2-1 record, and 4 for 4 on save opportunities in nine innings pitched. The one fact about Kimbrel that is concerning is that out of the seven hits he’s allowed four of them have been home runs.
Despite those numbers, Kimbrel has looked revived in certain aspects. His fastball has somewhat returned to the form of his prime with a high velocity, movement, and break on the pitch. The fastball being reinvigorated makes his funky slider that drops off the table harder to hit. It would make sense for the Phillies to take what they can get in a trade for an expiring contract who is a reliever with closer experience in the postseason.