The clock struck 4pm and the Phillies front office sent a message to their fans who have raised attendance on average by almost 8 thousand this season.
That message: “if we make the playoffs, we make the playoffs. If we don’t make the playoffs… there is always next year.”
The team has not been playing inspiring baseball, but the front office showed similar signs by making a few moves that at most could keep them in the hunt for a Wild Card spot. We will start with the trade for veteran left hander Jason Vargas. With the names of Zach Greinke, Robbie Ray, Marcus Stroman, Trevor Bauer, Matthew Boyd, Zach Wheeler, and many other starting pitchers available, the Phillies decided to trade for a 36 year old who is a number 4 or 5 in most rotations in baseball. The sad thing is… he is already better than 3/5ths if not 4/5ths of your rotation.
His season earned run average of 4.01 is lower than the likes of Jake Arrieta, Vince Velasquez, and both Zach Eflin and Nick PIvetta who are now in the bullpen. The big move the Phillies made was for outfielder Corey Dickerson of the Pittsburgh Pirates who is a former all-star and a gold glove award winner.
All the Phillies had to send was a player to be named later and some cash. Much like the move for Vargas, the Phillies didn’t have to send much, and got a player in return who does improve a significant spot.
These moves the Phillies made could help them make a push for a Wild Card spot, but that is the most we can hope for. The Atlanta Braves added closer Shane Greene who the Phillies had their eyes on for a while now.
Chalk today up as a win for the Braves because they got a top closer to replace their current closer who has blown 7 saves already this season. The Nationals have one of the worst bullpens in the league, but added three relievers that will improve their biggest weakness.
Don’t get it wrong, the Phillies did make improvements, but when looking at the teams around you in the NL East and the teams competing for a Wild Card spot, the Phillies were relatively quiet.