Yesterday marked the MLB Trade Deadline, and it was nothing short of spectacular for fans of the sport everywhere. One of the biggest deadline moves ever happened as the Padres made a move for the Nationals’ Juan Soto and Josh Bell, and every team except for the Colorado Rockies were involved in some sort of trade. Some teams went all in, like the aforementioned Padres, the Yankees, and the Dodgers, while other teams like the Reds and the Orioles sold off some players to rebuild. And your Philadelphia Phillies? Well, they were one of the teams caught dead in the middle, which can put a front office in a difficult position.
You see, the Phillies are not in the same league as the Yankees, Dodgers, Padres, Astros, or those top tier World Series contenders… at least not yet. However, they are a large market team, with a ravenous fan base, that has inexplicably not made the playoffs for over a decade now. It’s not a situation to go all in, but it’s also not the time to be stagnant or sell players off for prospects. That created a tough spot for President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski, who had to find a way to balance between contending and containing young talent. By the time the 6pm deadline rolled around, he had done it perfectly.
This isn’t Dombrowski’s first rodeo; he has experience with multiple Major League front offices, and made some huge moves for the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox in his past couple positions. He’s a well-respected and highly trusted baseball exec, and he proved why this deadline. With the acquisition of OF Brandon Marsh from the Angels, the Phillies got a 24 year old player under team control until 2028. That is a huge window for Marsh to develop, and it fills a need defensively in center for a long time. Getting 37 year old reliever David Robertson from the Cubs, on the other hand, is a short term move that pushes the Phillies closer to the playoffs in the current season. Finally, Noah Syndergaard is both a win now move, and perhaps a chance to fill a back end of the rotation need for a couple years to come.
So, to recap, the Phillies moved some prospects (Logan Ohoppe, Ben Brown, Mickey Moniak), but not their top guys, and brought in a young player who is under team control and fills a need, a starting pitcher with some gas left in the tank, and an aging reliever who can help the team compete this season. Tight rope, walked. There’s no guarantee that this ends up in a playoff appearance for the Phillies this year, and we don’t know what the future holds. But as far as positioning, Dave Dombrowski did a superb job yesterday for baseball in Philadelphia.