As with every year at this time, the trade deadline rumors are flying. And the Phillies are right in the middle of a lot of them. Many times rumors are just that, rumors and they never actually amount to anything. Some of these projected trades are wish lists that are highly unlikely to happen and some don’t even seem like they are in the best interest of the team.
Let’s take a look at three players that the Phillies have been linked to that they should avoid.
1. Tommy Pham, LF, New York Mets
Tommy Pham is a defensive-minded, right-handed bat that, on paper, makes sense for the Phillies to go out and get. He is having a solid year at the plate hitting .271/.355/.827 and playing a strong defensive left field. That being said, if you dig deeper, it seems he is over performing this year in comparison to the last three years and the batting statistics are being held up by a very good month of June. In June he hit .349/.387/1.027 which is outstanding but has lifted his overall season stats as he hit .196 in March/April, .250 in May, and .214 in July. Over the last three years, dating back to 2020 he has hit for batting averages of .232 and OPS of .696. Not exactly a big upgrade the Phillies are looking for. Mets are looking to cash in on a solid year from their left fielder and the Phillies shouldn’t give them any prospects of value.
2. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals
There is no doubt that adding the reigning NL MVP, who happens to play a position of need and swing from the right side, would be a benefit to this Phillies team. Goldschmidt has been one of the best first basemen in the game for a number of years and he’s holding up that reputation this year as well. With a slash line of .283/.371/.837 from the right side he would add a dimension to the lineup that the team is sorely missing. Not to mention his plus defense at first base that the Phillies could use. With all that being said, he would cost A LOT in terms of prospect capital. They would likely ask for two of the three top pitching prospects (Painter, Abel, McGarry) and then position players as well, someone like Rojas, Crawford, etc. Also, while adding him to first would help the defense at the position, it would force Harper back in the DH spot and Schwarber back to Left Field. So, while making the defense better at one position, they would make the defense worse at another. The cost to add him does not out-weigh the negatives of bringing him in.
3. Josh Hader, RP, San Diego Padres
Similar to Goldschmidt, there is little doubt that Hader would be a welcomed addition to the bullpen and this team. The hard throwing lefty has a 0.97 era with 24 saves. In just 37 innings he has struck out 55 batters and walked just 19. Throwing from the left, he would add a layer to the Phillies bullpen that they could turn to in late game scenarios in high leverage situations. But the bullpen has been the Phillies most consistent and best group in the 2023 season. Hader would also require a decent haul of prospects in return. Although the Padres seem to be out of it this year, they don’t expect to be a rebuilding team and will want players that are major league ready, or close to. He is also signed just for 2023 and will be a free agent after the year making him a very expensive rental player.
While all three of these players are certainly upgrades to the Phillies roster and would add value to the team, it would make more sense to avoid them at the deadline. A mixture of the deeper numbers, cost they incur and the trickle-down effects to the team combine to scream “stay away” to Dombrowski and the front office.