Article Written by Michael Doctorovitz
Originally Published on July 13, 2023
With about two and a half weeks until the MLB Trade Deadline, the Philadelphia Phillies sit 0.5 game back from the third NL Wild Card spot at 48-41. What does that mean for them at the deadline? It means they will be buyers.
Coming into this season, the Phillies expected to have a starting rotation of Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Ranger Suarez, Taijuan Walker and Andrew Painter. However, an injury during spring training to Painter’s ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) has kept him sidelined but hopeful for a return this season.
The fifth starter position, for now, seems to be handled. In five starts this season, Christopher Sanchez has allowed a combined eight earned runs in 25.1 innings with four walks and 22 strikeouts. He has allowed only one earned run in each of his last two outings, going 6.0 strong innings in each.
With Sanchez rounding out the rotation, the Phillies are in the hunt for more offense. With Bryce Harper in a power struggle, Trea Turner being inconsistent, JT Realmuto having a down year, inconsistency at first base and Kyle Schwarber being in a slump the Phillies are looking for a spark.
Three names rumored to keep an eye on are: Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Juan Soto. This season, Arenado is batting .283 with 19 home runs and 62 RBI with an OPS of .850. Goldschmidt, the reigning NL MVP, is batting .284 with 15 home runs and 46 RBI with an OPS of .844.
Soto is the ideal candidate for the Phillies though. Soto, 24 years old, is batting .265 with 15 home runs and 47 RBI with an OPS of .898. Acquiring Soto would handle the defensive issues in left field and would provide another big bat in the lineup that can hit for power and average.
The problem with these trade scenarios is that the Phillies currently do not have the prospects to lure San Diego into a Soto trade and they don’t have enough financial flexibility to acquire Arenado.
Whatever happens, be prepared to feel some type of way about it.
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