1. Defensive-minded left fielder
When the Phillies signed Kyle Schwarber before the 2022 season the intention was not to have him be a full time left fielder. The NL introduced the DH for the first time and it was perfect to to keep his bat in the lineup without exposing his very questionable defensive acumen. Well Bryce Harper tore his ulnar collateral ligament in May of 2022 and hasn’t appeared in the field since, forcing Schwarber to be the left fielder. Fast forward to July and according to ESPN, Kyle Schwarber ranks dead last at of 181 qualifying left fielders in dWAR accumulating a staggering -2.2 dWAR. In recent weeks it has looked worse and worse. Balls that an average, check that, even below average left fielder would make.
The left fielder who is a capable defender and still provides a spark to the lineup should be priority one for the Phillies, especially since reports are coming out Harper has made significant progress in playing first base allowing Schwarber to be DH.
High End Target:
Bryan Reynolds, Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates aren’t going to let go of the 28-year old cheaply. He is under team control for another three years and is one of the young, preeminent outfielders in the game. However, he has already expressed his displeasure to the team and desire to be traded. He is an above average defender and switch hitter that would provide versatile to lineup and a significant upgrade to the outfield defense. His slash line of .271/.343./.802 would fit in nicely. It would take a promising prospect or two to secure him but the Phillies should strongly consider it.
Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs
Bellinger has had a few down years at the plate since his 2019 MVP year but his glove has always stayed consistent. He currently man’s center field for the Cubs but if the Cubs fall further out of contention they may look to cash in on Bellinger’s comeback season. He is currently hitting .276 with a .786 OPS. He is owed $12 million for 2023 has a mutual option for 2024 so the price won’t be as high as someone like Reynolds.