3 top targets for Phillies ahead of 2022 MLB trade deadline

A 51.9 percent chance. That’s the percentage chance Baseball Reference gave the Philadelphia Phillies of making this year’s postseason. After a 10:29 start under manager Joe Girardi, the Phillies front office elected to show the former New York Yankees skipper the door and handed the reins to then-coach Rob Thomson.

The team clearly reacted to the move as Philadelphia have gone 20-9 since then. Currently 42-38. The Phillies are just 1.5 games behind a wild card spot. In other words, they are right. That means that when the MLB trade deadline ends on August 2, the front office will have to be there to win it too.

Philadelphia appear to be a competitive team lately, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have weaknesses. A strong lineup still has some holes, particularly with Bryce Harper injured, while a back-end starting pitcher wouldn’t be a bad idea to consider.

Most importantly, the Phillies need to address a bullpen that may have improved somewhat under Thomson but remains a weakness for the team. With those specific areas in mind, here are the top targets for the Phillies to trade into at the MLB close.

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Phillies Top 3 Targets at MLB Trade Deadline

3. Andreas Benintendi

The Phillies have been linked with Kansas City Royals outfielder Andrew Benintendi as MLB Network’s Jon Morosi mentioned the club as a possible candidate for the 27-year-old outfielder following the injury to last year’s National League MVP Bryce Harper.

While Harper’s injury is a good reason to pursue Benintendi, who is having a stellar season, there could be a better motivator for Philadelphia: Odubel Herrera just isn’t performing at the moment.

Herrera bats just .242 with a .685 OPS. The center fielder, who is typically a contact-oriented hitter, has seen his strikeout rate climb to 20.5 percent after making huge strides in that department last year.

Perhaps the only thing keeping him in the lineup is his glove as he continues to be an excellent defender. However, there’s no doubt the Phillies could use more offense from their midfielder.

Enter Benintendi. The left-swinging Royals outfielder is hitting a .374 OBP to .308 this season. He’s found himself time and time again on the base of a bad Kansas City team that predictably didn’t drive him in.

However, put the former Boston Red Sox outfielder in a lineup with the likes of Kyle Schwarber, Rhys Hoskins, Nick Castellanos and Harper when he’s healthy and the results would certainly be better.

As Morosi mentioned, Benintendi is linked to Phillies President Dave Dombrowski, who was his general manager with the Boston Red Sox.

A natural corner fielder, Benintendi played in the center earlier in his career. He would be far more productive at the plate than Herrera.

2.David Robertson

The Chicago Cubs appear to be heading into another MLB trade deadline as sellers. Perhaps her best trade chip right now is closer to David Robertson, who pitched to a 1.72 ERA in 31 1/3 innings.

While it might not be the best idea to add another right-hander to a Phillies bullpen filled with them, Robertson is tough on left-handers and right-handers alike. Along with Corey Knebel, Brad Hand and Seranthony Dominguez, the Cubs relief would give Thomson another late-inning arm to count on.

With experience as both a setup man and closer, Robertson could fit in whatever role the Phillies have in mind for him from the bullpen. His best quality might just be his postseason experience as he has appeared in 33 playoff games.

For a Phillies team looking to play into October, a battle-hardened reliever would be a welcome addition to the back end of the bullpen at the MLB trade deadline.

1. Frankie Montas

MLB trade deadline market numbers focus on Cincinnati Reds ace Luis Castillo. However, Oakland Athletics right-hander Frankie Montas could be a close second. Montas, 29, has one year left of arbitration and then becomes a free agent in 2024, making him a desirable trading target.

He’s also an excellent pitcher, having posted a 3.26 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP and 100 strikeouts in 96 2/3 innings. However, he has lost nine games for a basement A team.

Oakland must make the difficult decision and act Montas on time. While he won’t come cheap, the Phillies should be one of the first teams to pick up the phone and inquire about a deal for him.

Aaron Nola and Zach Wheeler have been brilliant for Philly this year, but after that the question marks begin. Zach Eflin was fairly reliable despite not being able to get over a sore knee which put him on the injured list.

Kyle Gibson and Ranger Suarez had their good and bad moments. It’s clear the Phillies could use a different starter.

Montas would immediately step in as the third hurler behind Nola and Wheeler, giving the Phillies an impressive trio. The Phillies should act for him by deadline.

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