Phillies' trade deadline options dwindle after Guardians ace goes under the knife

Shane Bieber is one of the many pitchers bitten by the injury bug recently, leaving the Phillies with even fewer options this summer.
Cleveland Guardians starter Shane Bieber
Cleveland Guardians starter Shane Bieber / Jason Miller/GettyImages

The Philadelphia Phillies have glaring holes that are difficult to ignore. There's uncertainty about the back end of the rotation with Taijuan Walker working his way back from the IL. The bullpen still could use another piece after doubling down in the offseason. Outfield offensive woes continue at an alarming rate.

One piece that is now certainly off the table is Cleveland Guardians 2020 Triple Crown winner Shane Bieber, as reported by Guardians beat reporter Mandy Bell. After what was looking to be a promising campaign after two starts, it was announced last Saturday that he will require reconstructive surgery on his ulnar collateral ligament.

The ace's injury effectively extinguished Cleveland's hope of cashing in at the deadline and possibly robbing Bieber of a lucrative deal as he's set to become a free agent after this year.

Bieber, in only two outings this year, had 20 strikeouts in only 12 innings, while not allowing a single run. He now joins the likes of Spencer Strider, Eury Pérez, Lucas Giolito and many others forced to go under the knife in the recent epidemic of Tommy John surgeries (subscription required).

The Phillies could pivot to Chicago White Sox starter Garrett Crochet, who has three years of team control left. The 24-year-old has posted a 2.00 ERA and 0.67 WHIP with a 10.50 K/9 in three starts this year. As a former first-round, 11th overall pick, he has the pedigree and is finally getting to show his stuff in his first stint in the starting rotation.

The Miami Marlins’ Jesús Luzardo might be another difference-making target for president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski at the trade deadline. With the Marlins off to a horrible 2-11 start, the 26-year-old could be a hot commodity as Aug. 1 approaches.

Trade deadline options the Phillies might consider to upgrade other parts of the roster

Bolstering the bullpen offers options but will come with a heftier price tag. Options could include Oakland Athletics fireballer Mason Miller, Milwaukee Brewers closer Devin Williams and the Guardians' Emmanuel Clase.

For outfield help, it could be go big or go home with another rehearsal of bringing Mike Trout home to Philadelphia. Could he don the red pinstripes once and for all after a little Trout fishing by the Phillies? But just in case that storybook fairytale never becomes reality, the Phillies could trade for Randy Arozarena from the Tampa Bay Rays. He would provide a consistent power bat while remaining under team control through 2026.

The Phillies were confident in bringing the band back together again from a year ago, with the only noteworthy addition being Whit Merrifield, per MLB's Todd Zolecki. Come the trade deadline, perhaps a different and more aggressive approach this time is best.