Re-grading the Philadelphia Phillies’ 2023 trade deadline

Looking back at the trade deadline, did the Phillies do enough to give themselves the best chance to succeed in the playoffs?
Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies
Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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The Phillies acquired pitcher Michael Lorenzen from the Detroit Tigers for infield prospect Hao-Yu Lee

The Phillies made a bigger splash with this trade as they believed that adding solid depth to their starting pitching heading into the stretch run and playoffs would give them the upper hand when it came down to matchups later on. After all, Lorenzen was having a strong season with the Tigers that eventually led to him being named a first-time All-Star in his career.

He actually started off his tenure with the Phillies in impressive fashion. In just his second start, he tossed a no-hitter against the Washington Nationals on Aug. 9. Unfortunately, that turned out to be his only highlight with the ballclub, as he struggled mightily down the stretch and ended up losing his role as a starter in the process. Because of that, Lorenzen would only make two appearances for the Phillies during the postseason, with both times being just mop-up duty.

Lee was actually ranked fifth in the Phillies’ MLB top prospects list prior to the trade despite only playing in High-A at the time. That spoke volumes of the massive potential that he possessed. Lee was hindered by an injury following the trade that saw him see limited action with the Tigers’ minor league High-A affiliate for the rest of the 2023 season. However, he has since started to hit his stride once again in the Arizona Fall League and can only grow from there.

So the Phillies took a chance by sacrificing one of their top prospects for a potential game-changer for their rotation, but it failed miserably. With Lorenzen not likely to be re-signed by the Phillies this offseason as he heads into free agency, losing a top prospect for almost zero impact on their playoff run is a big loss for the ballclub.

So for this trade, the Phillies deserve an F.

Overall, their playoff failure wasn’t just completely the result of an underwhelming trade deadline, but their missed opportunity to upgrade the ballclub may have unfortunately played some role in their downfall.

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