Phillies Rumors: Jeff Passan connects PHI to massive trade deadline outfield upgrades

Trade season is officially here with the MLB insider providing a sneak peek at the Phillies' potential plans.
Houston Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker could on the Phillies' trade deadline radar
Houston Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker could on the Phillies' trade deadline radar / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

With less than two months until the July 30 MLB trade deadline, the wheels are in motion and rumors are starting to swirl. As the top team in baseball, there's no question that the Philadelphia Phillies will be buyers with eyes set squarely on a trip to the World Series.

Now, thanks to ESPN's Jeff Passan, we have a better idea of what the team's plans may look like leading up to the end of July. On Tuesday, Passan released his early 2024 MLB trade deadline preview and outlined what the Phillies will be looking for.

While the well-respected MLB insider mentions the possibility of adding another bullpen arm, he focuses on another area, saying that the Phillies will "be all over the outfield market."

Phillies Rumors: Jeff Passan connects PHI to massive trade deadline outfield upgrades

To our delight, Passan named names.

So, who does he think president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and general manager Sam Fuld will be targeting to add to an already deep roster for a run to the World Series?

Given that Dombrowski likes to go big or go home with trades, he mentions the Chicago White Sox's Luis Robert Jr., the Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena and the Houston Astros' Kyle Tucker as possible deadline acquisitions.

How do these outfielders stack up as upgrades for the Phillies outfield?

Luis Robert Jr. is exciting but injury-prone

Robert Jr. has a tantalizing power and speed combination. The problem is he can't stay healthy enough to utilize his tools for an entire season. The 26-year-old has only played seven games this year after going on the IL early on with a strained hip flexor.

Last year was the only full season he has played since playing all of his debut season in the shortened 2020 campaign. In 145 games in 2023, he hit .264 with 38 home runs and 20 stolen bases — undoubtedly impressive numbers that come with tremendous risk.

Randy Arozarena is intriguing in a down season

Arozarena is having his worst season, slashing .162/.263/.310 with eight home runs and seven steals in 58 games. Now in his sixth year in the league, he's a career .254 hitter, which is what he hit last season with 23 home runs and 22 swiped bags.

The 29-year-old Rays outfielder can be a dynamic force on the field. He's arbitration-eligible and under team control through the 2026 season.

Kyle Tucker would be a massive addition for Phillies' World Series aspirations

Tucker would be a welcome addition to the Phillies outfield. He's a complete player, slashing .266/.395/.584 with 19 home runs and 10 stolen bases in 60 games this year. The 27-year-old is under contract through 2025 and would easily be the biggest fish of the group.

He would be a massive upgrade in right field over Nick Castellanos or as an everyday left fielder. While landing a player of Tucker's caliber seems like a pipe dream, as Passan says, the Phillies have "the minor league system to convince an on-the-fence team to deal a true impact outfielder."

How much Dombrowski will be willing to part with from the improved farm system remains to be seen. But with the Phillies' start, their goal of bringing a World Series title to Philadelphia seems more real by the day, and the front office will want to make sure it makes the necessary upgrades to put this team over the top.