How The Phillies Can Go From Playoff Contender to Title Contender

The Phillies are sitting atop the NL East through the early part of the season, while the rest of the division is struggling. The stars are hot, but the weak spots of this team are holding them back. Dave Dombrowski, President of Baseball Operations, has shown in the past that he is willing to go all in for a title. In the coming weeks and months leading up to the trade deadline, the Phillies should look to fill some of these holes. They should do it sooner rather than later. Below are some trade possibilities:

Center Field

There isn’t a bigger hole on this roster than Center Field. Roman Quinn and Adam Haseley are both disappointments in the field and at the plate. The Phillies could call up former number 1 overall pick Mickey Moniak, but he is also an unknown who hasn’t produced to his expectations in the minor leagues. Odubel Herrera is another option to be called up, but after the electric spring he had, the Phillies seem hesitant to want him on the MLB roster because of his off the field issues in the past. If the Phillies want to compete, CF needs to be their top priority in the trade market.

CF Starling Marte, Marlins

After the strange 2020 season where the Marlins somehow made the playoffs, they seem to have come back to Earth here in 2021. FanGraphs gives the Marlins a 0.2% chance to make the playoffs this season. Marte is 32 years old, and the Marlins need to build for the future. He is posting a stat line of .323 AVG, .389 OBP, .452 SLG, and .840 OPS through 9 games this season, which are all relatively close to his career averages. Unlike McCutchen, Marte doesn’t seem to have lost a step. He would be an immediate help in the field, and he could serve as the lead off hitter the Phillies desperately need.

CF Ramon Laureano, Athletics

Laureano is much younger than Marte at just 26 years old. He has blossomed into one of the better CF in baseball over the past few seasons. He struggled a bit at the plate last season, but he has bounced back so far this year posting a stat line of .296 AVG, .367 OBP, .556 SLG, and .992 OPS. He is one of those tough minded players who would quickly become a fan favorite in Philadelphia. Laureano is a bit of a pipe dream, and a lot less likely than Marte, but if the Phillies could find a way to get the deal done with the struggling Athletics, then they could solidify the CF position for the next 5+ years. Like Marte, he could be an instant plug into the top half of the lineup and provide more base runners for the middle of the order.

Starting Pitching

The thing that held the Phillies back last season was the inconsistency from the Starting Pitching, and the historically bad bullpen. The bullpen has added some nice pieces, but the starting pitching is missing 1-2 more pieces to set this team over the top.