2. Starting Pitcher
There’s a saying in baseball that you can never have enough good pitching. Well, I would venture to say that every team vying for a playoff spot is looking to make an upgrade to their pitching staff. The 5th starter around the league has been well below average with many teams throwing out “bullpen games” every 5th day or relying on a less than optimal starter. The same can be said for the Phillies. While they do have a number of prospects that are waiting in the wings, they just aren’t quite ready to make the Jim to the Show. The Phillies have trotted out Matt Strahm, Dylan Covey, Bailey Falter and, Christopher Sanchez in that fifth spot. An upgrade would definitely be nice. Then, of course, a top end starter is always desirable as well. Looking for a game changing arm that can start a playoff game is highly sought after at the deadline and can swing a playoff race. The Phillies have Wheeler and Nola at the top with Suarez and Walker right behind them but I don’t think Dombrowski would blink twice if he were able to add another top arm and a cost that doesn’t sell the farm.
High End Target:
Stroman is having a terrific season so far. You could say he’s having a bounce back year posting an ERA of 2.96 in the first half of the season. He will likely be highly sought after if the Cubs decide to sell this summer so the competition will be vast making any time that wins the sweepstakes give up top prospects. He is owed $25m for 2023 and has a $21m play-option for 2024. If the Phillies make a trade for a top end starter that they give up too prospects, it will have to be someone they envision starting at least game three of a playoff series and Stroman is that guy.
The White Sox came into the 2023 campaign with high expectations. They seemed to have the offense and the pitching to take them far. However, for one reason or another, they have not come close to meeting those expectations. At the time of this writing, the White Sox sit 11.5 games back from a Wild Card spot. Of anyone on the team, Giolito has definitely performed. Though his era is somewhat inflated, he currently sits at 3.50, he has held to his reputation of the strikeout pitcher, totaling 112 Ks through 18 starts. Would he start over Ranger Suarez in a playoff series? Probably not, but he will cost significantly less in trade capital and would be seen as an upgrade to the 5throtation spot.