5 Phillies bullpen trade candidates from clubs already falling out of contention

Here are some top options that could be available if the Phillies decide to bolster the bullpen at the trade deadline.
St. Louis Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley is a potential Phillies' trade target
St. Louis Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley is a potential Phillies' trade target / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
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Ryan Helsley, STL

Ryan Helsley of the St. Louis Cardinals is off to an exceptional start through the first two months of the season. He has been one of the best closers in baseball in 2024, and his 20 saves lead the majors.

The Cardinals' season was in trouble when they were 18-25 in mid-May. Despite now being 29-31, they still sit 6.0 games back in the NL Central but just 0.5 games out of the final Wild Card spot. If they falter again and drop out of the race, Helsley will be a valuable trade chip.

The right-hander primarily relies on a four-seam fastball and a slider and throws a curveball on occasion. He has a 2.33 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP in 27 innings of work.

Several playoff-bound clubs will inquire if Helsley is available if the Cardinals fall out of the postseason race by mid-July or sooner. St. Louis could receive a lot in a trade for him, as he's under club control through 2025. They'll be looking to improve their 23rd-ranked farm system.

Philadelphia could be one of those teams especially if they are dealing with multiple injuries to relievers when the deadline is near.

While Thomson hasn't named a closer, José Alvarado leads Philly with 11 saves in 12 chances. Jeff Hoffman has five saves in eight opportunities, while Gregory Soto has converted each of his two save opportunities. Adding Helsley to the mix would undoubtedly help the bullpen.