Phillies trade deadline: Tarik Skubal could be the missing link for the 2022 rotation

Tigers Athletics Baseball
Detroit Tigers’ Tarik Skubal pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of the first baseball game of a doubleheader in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, July 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

With the trade deadline now less than a week away, the Phillies, along with all of the other buyers at the deadline, are scrambling to make their move and acquire the best talent they can find.

Yet, the Detroit Tigers stand out the most due to one major reason: their willingness to trade away just about anyone on their team. The Phillies need to capitalize on a team like this if they want to make the playoffs this season.

A Bold Move for the Phillies

Tarik Skubal is currently in his third major league season with Detroit after being drafted in 2017 by the Arizona Diamondbacks. And like a fine wine, he seems to continue to get better with age. His ERA has trended downward from 5.63 in the covid-shortened 2020 season to a cool 3.88 as of late. This statistic alone is better than the Phillies own Kyle Gibson and Zach Eflin’s with the latter being only three years older than Skubal.

The kid is an up-and-coming stud who only stands to benefit from being on a much better team rather than wasting his prime on a bottom-feeding one like Detroit.

It’s no surprise Eflin has struggled since his debut with Philadelphia in 2016, which is only emphasized by the fact that he has pitched under a 4.00 ERA in one season. ONE. SEASON. He’s had plenty of chances along with Gibson and now the time to act has come.

Adding more enticement to the conversation, Skubal also isn’t a free agent until 2026 so the Phils would control the starter for cheap until or if negotiations for a larger contract ensued.

I’d imagine a package for the Tiger’s liking would include, of course, a young starter (*cough* Eflin *cough*) and maybe some help on the offensive side of the ball as they currently rank towards the bottom in most team statistical categories. Bryson Stott and Alec Bohm aren’t even in the question here but a middle infielder like Johan Camargo or super slugger like Darick Hall could fit what they’re looking for.

Aside from the obvious, one can only start to question what goes through Al Avila’s mind on a seasonal basis. Detroit’s want and need to build a better team takes the spotlight every year but their GM continues to sink the team like the titanic.

Regardless, their losses are the Phillies’ gains if they ultimately decide to deal their best starter or change direction and look to their bullpen for trade pieces. Some have discussed the possibility of Gregory Soto or Andrew Chafin being dealt before the deadline as well.

Looking Forward

With a huge 7-2 victory against the Braves today, the Phillies have secured the series dub against their division rival. Their journey up the standings continues to be a laborious one as they currently sit third in the division and are tied with the Cardinals for the final Wild Card spot in the NL.

Since the All-Star break, they’ve posted a 2-4 record with three straight losses as well as a series loss to the Chicago Cubs. Not quite what you wanna see heading into the dog days of Summer.

The Phils will now pack up and head to Pittsburgh to face off against the Pirates in a four-game set beginning tomorrow at 7:05 PM EDT. Pittsburgh ranks 29th overall in team batting average and 26th overall in earned runs average aka an exposed Achilles heel for the Fightins.

The ace Zack Wheeler (8-5, 2.78) faces off against struggling starter Zach Thompson (3-7, 4.64) as both teams look to gain an early series win.

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Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu