The Philadelphia Phillies are one of the playoff-contending teams in the National League here as we move the calendar past the All-Star break. The team is entangled in a crowded NL Wild Card race with a gluttony of teams. Five teams contending for three Wild Card spots seems like an issue.
The trade deadline is fast approaching and all teams that believe they can clinch a postseason berth. Every year there are buyers and sellers. The Phillies are going to be looking for a way to improve their weaknesses. One way for the club to get their trade deadline started is to make a move that is not too newsworthy for the mainstream baseball fan but is an upgrade at a needed position.
Selling high on Jake Cave’s productive minor-league season should be a top priority for the team.
There are a couple of reasons for parting with Cave’s left-handed power bat in the outfield. The first is that the team’s outfield is too crowded for him. Even if Cave was producing at the wondrous level he has while playing for the AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Cave is raking as he has 29 doubles, 16 home runs, 48 runs batted in, 29 walks, and a slash line of .347/.429/.689 at the plate this season. Yes with those numbers the team’s outfield is too crowded for him. Among the outfield options are Nick Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber, Brandon Marsh, Cristian Pache, and Johan Rojas.
Now, you may be thinking that either Castellanos or Schwarber shouldn’t be playing in the outfield if there are better options. I agree and for the large majority of their time with the team, there hasn’t been any because of a lack of depth in the outfield and a lack of versatility amongst the entire roster to fully maximize the designated hitter spot. There’s no reason to have this asset go to waste, especially since as a club you gave him his second chance at the big leagues earlier on in the season.
The second reason would be to sell high on Cave. The team that would be buying into the “Caveman’s” power is a team looking for a bench power bat. Cave is in the midst of the best season of his professional baseball career. Selling high on Cave is a safe and smart play because who knows if he can replicate the hitting he displayed in the 2023 season. A trade that landed pitching help for the Phillies would be a smart play.