With Bryce Harper now taking hold of first base and Kyle Schwarber moving into the DH role likely for the rest of the season, the Philadelphia Phillies should be looking at a potential upgrade to their outfield as the trade deadline rapidly approaches.
In terms of the ideal candidate, the Philly Sports Network recently named Washington Nationals’ outfielder Lane Thomas as a potential trade target for the Phillies to pursue. After all, Thomas has been having a stellar season despite the Nationals’ struggles in 2023. For the season, he has hit .290 with an .819 OPS, with 69 runs scored, 26 doubles, two triples, 16 home runs, 54 RBI, 12 stolen bases, 25 walks and 111 strikeouts, filling the stats sheet across the board.
Thomas was a former fifth round draft pick right out of high school by the Toronto Blue Jays back in the 2014 MLB Draft. After spending four sub-par years in their minor league system, he was eventually traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for international bonus slot money. Thomas would have brief major league stints with the Cardinals until he was traded once again, this time to the Nationals in exchange for Jon Lester at the 2021 trade deadline. It was only until then that Thomas began the upward progression in his career by having a solid 2022 campaign with the Nationals while becoming an everyday starter for the first time in his career.
Thomas could bring his flexibility in being able to play all three outfield positions, along with his power bat that the Phillies definitely need to add some thump to their lineup. He would definitely be a strong upgrade from what Johan Rojas and Jake Cave have been providing recently for the ballclub.
Since Thomas comes with term, he will probably demand quite a bit in terms of assets going the other way, so the Phillies most likely would need to part with a top prospect or two to get the deal done. Nevertheless, if the Phillies want to go for it this year, it may be a gamble that’s worth taking once and for all.