One quick look at the Detroit Tigers roster and their current win-loss record should tell you all you need to know about their stance at this year's trade deadline. At 46-56, they are going to be sellers.
Multiple players on the big league roster, primarily pitchers, feel like strong candidates to be moved including Alex Lange, Michael Lorenzen, Eduardo Rodríguez and José Cisnero. One of these players in particular is heavily featured in trade rumors with the Phillies being named as the latest club to be pursuing his services.
Phillies rumors: Phillies targeting Eduardo Rodríguez ahead of the trade deadline
Per a report from MLB insider Mark Feinsand, the Phillies are one of many teams that are considering making a run at Rodríguez. They join clubs like the Rangers, Diamondbacks, Reds and Rays as ones that are "keeping a close eye" on the left-hander.
Feinsand continues by saying that one National League executive says, "he's not the best starter available, but he's been pretty good this year. He would help a lot of rotations out there."
The 30-year-old doesn't need to be the best starter available, because he has already done more than enough to boost his value at the deadline. In 15 starts, the eight-year veteran is 6-5 with a shiny 2.95 ERA, 3.18 FIP and an ERA+ of 147, which suggests that he's been 47 percent above league-average this year on the mound. That'll play. Rodríguez is striking out a lot of batters (by his standards), allowing less hits than he has in years past and is barely allowing the opposition to hit home runs off of him. An arm like this would be a great fit on the Phillies.
Admittedly, the whole "the Phillies need another starter at the deadline" spiel has been a bit confusing, but not impossible to see. The starting five is filled with household names (and Cristopher Sánchez) who are all capable of being star-caliber arms, so why the need for new blood?
This is purely speculation, but Aaron Nola's inconsistencies and Sánchez's short track record are likely reasons 1A and 1B as to why the Phillies are exploring trades for another starter. Nola, the club's long-time ace, has a 4.25 ERA this year and has either been really good or really hard to watch. Sánchez, 26, has a sub-3.00 ERA and has been a strikeout machine, but prior to this season he has never done anything noteworthy in the big leagues. Once these factors are taken into account, the need for another starter starts to make a bit more sense.