The trade deadline has come and past and the Phillies did a nice job addressing their overall needs. A defensive minded CF’er with upside, a quality and possibly second best bullpen piece on the market and a starting pitcher with some pedigree. It took until the final hours of the deadline to squeeze it all in and even came right up against the 6pm deadline. The first move came in acquiring 24 year old CF’er Brandon Marsh from the Angels. Just two years ago, he was the Angels #1 prospect in their system and made his rise to the big leagues rather quickly, which is an encouraging sign. He played LF recently with Mike Trout in CF for the majority of this year but played CF last year with Trout’s injury and is a defensive upgrade for the Phillies at the position. He was most likely a target of the club because of his control. He’s pre-arbitration eligible and under control until 2028. It’s an inconsistent but promising bat. He hit very well in the minor leagues and still has plenty of time to bring his bat around to a higher MLB ceiling. Some around the game think he has the potential of a Charlie Blackmon type player if it all clicks. The Phillies sent one of their top prospects (#3 overall) and one of MLB’s “Top 100” prospects in catcher Logan O’Hoppe to the Angels in exchange for Marsh. The reality is with JT Realmuto here and a decent backup in Garrett Stubbs and Rafael Marchand and Rickardo Perez all in the system, they probably feel pretty good about the catching position. They used their prospect for someone that can potentially be a long term answer at center field, a more premiere position. Plus, if Marsh’s bat comes around, it’s an absolute home run. He’ll have a good chance to do that playing in his new hitter friendly park, Citizens Bank Park.
Next up, they gave up pitching prospect Ben Brown for former Phillies bullpen arm, David Robertson. Robertson was having an excellent season for the Chicago Cubs and you can make the case that he was the second best bullpen arm on the market at the deadline. For a team who’s bullpen has really come around as of late, adding Robertson to it could make it one of the National Leagues best bullpens now. That is a weird sentence to write as a Phillies fan. The past two years were historically bad and they’ve come a long way under Dombrowski and his staff. Ben Brown was the 7th overall prospect in the Phillies system and one two days earlier, GM Dave Dombrowski said was preferred not to be moved. Well, one of the best relievers on the market I guess changed things. When you see the Braves move for Igelsias and the Mets move for Michael Givens, a bullpen race was one in their division. David Robertson returns to the Phillies after a disappointing two year stint here where he was injured 98% of the time. He’s been very good this year and has a chance to make things right.
Lastly was the move closet to 6pm yesterday deadline and that was the acquisition of SP Noah Syndergaard. It appears the Phillies were making a push for San Francisco Giants pitcher Carlos Rondon but because of a player opt out clause after this season, the Phillies didn’t want to pay the price-tag for a two time all-star pitcher for maybe 12-14 games. Hence, backup plan, plan B, Noah Syndergaard. He’s not the Syndergaard of his Mets glory days but he’s an improvement to this rotation. He has a 3.80 ERA currently and most importantly won’t have the team relying on the return of Zack Eflin. Now with Wheeler, Nola, Syndergaard, Suarez and Gibson, the Phillies enter the final two months of the season with a credible starting rotation and bullpen. The Phillies are better than they were yesterday and Dave Dombrowski and his staff in my opinon get a STRONG B+ which can turn into an A if Marsh realizes his full bat potential and the Phillies have a CF’er of the future until 2028.
It’s coming down to the Phillies and Cardinals for the final third wild-card spot and the Cardinals had two additions to their rotation. Should be a great race down the stretch here and meaningful September baseball is going to be enjoyable.