The Phillies are about to head into the All-star break in playoff contention. Yes, you read that correct. The Phillies season is halfway through, and it is not over! The Phillies should almost certainly be buyers at the trade deadline this year. The Phillies have some major concerns they need to address.
The biggest need for the Phillies is in the outfield. With MVP Bryce Harper still sidelined for the foreseeable future, Kyle Schwarber has been forced to play LF and Nick Castellanos has been playing RF. Schwarber's bat is incredible, but his glove is a liability. Finding a way to get Schwarber into the DH slot is a priority. Another area of concern in the outfield is our center fielder. Odubel Herrera should not be our everyday starter in center. His bat is inconsistent and when he is in the field he looks like a little leaguer.
Here are 3 trade candidates to help out in the outfield.
Andrew Benintendi Kansas City
It is no rumor that Benintendi is going to get moved at the deadline. He is a free agent at the end of the season and the Royals are not contending this season for a playoff spot. Benintendi's primary position is in left. This would help getting Schwarber to the DH spot but would keep Herrera in center. However, Benintendi in center is a massive upgrade. I would rather have his growing pains in center than to see #37 play another inning in center. His bat has been great this year as he is batting .314.
Ian Happ Chicago
The Cubs are in full rebuild. Last year they traded the core of their 2016 World Series team and it is expected they move on from their last key player Willson Contreras. Ian Happ is an interesting player. His bat is not as consistent as it should. He is a high strikeout high walk type of player. However, him being a switch hitter would benefit our lineup. His biggest asset is his fielding. He is one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball and that would help solve our defensive struggles very much.
Ramon Laureno Oakland
Another popular name on the trade market this season. He does not have a strong bat, but he is an incredible defender. Here is the best thing ever...he plays CF. We can completely take Herrera out of our lineup. Schwarber still has to play LF, but Darick Hall has held his ground as the interim DH. Of all the CF moves we can make, this should be a priority for the Phillies.
The other area of concern for the Phillies is in the bullpen. Our current bullpen has two reliable players and a whole lot of players who are red flags. The Phillies need to add an extra arm into the pen. If we want to make a run in the playoffs, a bullpen will make or break the series. Here is a player that would a great addition.
Joe Mantiply Arizona
We could add an All-Star caliber player with one quick trade. He has the second lowest ERA amongst qualified relievers this season. He would be the best reliever we have and would help a huge amount. He has a connection with Dave Dombrowski while they were both in Detroit. This is a sneaky move the Phillies could make.
The last area is not a huge concern, but seeing how the injuries keep hitting us, infield depth would be something to look at during the deadline. Jean Segura is still out, Alec Bohm will be out for a little bit, and there is no depth without those guys. Adding a veteran bat and utility player in the infield could help long term in the season.
Brad Miller Texas
Lets bring back a familiar face. He played very well last season with the Phillies. He smashed home 20 homeruns. If the Phillies want to add depth this is a name you need to keep an eye out for.
The Phillies head into the all-star break as true contenders for a playoff spot. We finally have a manager who we can rely on. We have an offense that is finally living up to the hype we gave them all off-season. The dominos are all in line for the Phillies.
I do not expect them to pick up all 5 players at the deadline. However, the Phillies need to land one of these players at the deadline. We need to fix some holes if we want a wildcard spot or compete for the division. Getting Schwarber out of the field and getting Herrera out of the lineup would be beautiful. I am excited to see what the Phillies do. I kept saying Dave Dombrowski needs to step up with small but big moves, and this is exactly his time to do so.