August 2 has come and gone, and that means we have now officially passed the MLB trade deadline. The Phillies made several moves over the few days prior to Tuesday’s 6:00 p.m. cut-off, addressing several areas of need in the process.
The Phillies traded for starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard, relief pitcher David Robertson, center fielder Brandon Marsh, and utility infielder Edmundo Sosa. Philadelphia was able to address every obvious need without giving up their top three pitching prospects in Mick Abel, Griff McGarry, and Andrew Painter. General Manager Dave Dombrowski said “we never discussed them, we just didn’t want to trade those guys” when talking about keeping the next generation’s rotation. He also spoke about the interest in those three in talks:
“Off the charts. We couldn’t get people off those names. From an organizational perspective, we just felt we couldn’t mortgage the future by trading one of those guys.”
Trades made across the league, not just players coming and going in Philadelphia, will impact the Phillies the rest of the season. There are still 58 games remaining on their schedule, and every single one of those games is against a team that made some roster changes before the trade deadline. Let’s see how much of an impact those moves will have on the Phillies schedule.
Nationals – 11 games remaining
Unless you live under a rock – you have heard of the biggest move of the trade deadline. The Washington Nationals traded away phenom right fielder Juan Soto and first baseman Josh Bell. The two anchors of the Nats offense and their combined .266 batting average, 41 doubles, and 35 home runs will be with them in San Diego the rest of the season.
Philadelphia is already 6-2 against Washington with the middle of their lineup. Their pitching staff will essentially have a break against the Nationals lineup the rest of the way. This is a huge positive for the Phillies.
Miami Marlins – 9 games remaining
Bass and Pop were two strong contributors to the Marlins bullpen. They combined held the Phillies to a .190 batting average so far this season. Bass appeared six times against the Phils and was doing great overall, with a 1.41 ERA prior to the trade. Pop only appeared against the Fightin’s once this season. His ERA was a bit higher at 3.60 prior to the trade, but his FIP was almost a run lower at 2.82.
If the Phillies had to face these two on the backs of an already strong Miami rotation over those nine games, it would have been more of a challenge especially considering the way they have struggled against the Marlins as of late. Despite the rumors, the Marlins kept everyone in their rotation at the deadline.
Philadelphia is 6-4 against Miami this season.
New York Mets – 7 games remaining
- Mets trade for Daniel Vogelbach from Pirates
- Mets trade away J.D. Davis, receive Darin Ruf from Giants
- Mets trade for Mychal Givens from Cubs
- Mets trade for Tyler Naquin and Phillip Diehl from Reds
New York is atop the NL East, and they have the second best record in the National League so it is no surprise they were also active at the deadline. No big names, but the Metropolitans added depth across the board.
They acquired a combined 24 home runs in their new DH platoon with Vogelbach and Ruf, outfield depth with righty-masher Naquin, and bullpen depth with the electric Givens. The Mets were already a tough out, and will be even tougher the rest of the way. Philadelphia is 3-9 against New York so far this season.
Atlanta Braves – 7 games remaining
- Braves trade for Ehira Adrianza from Nationals
- Braves trade away Will Smith for Jake Odorizzi with Astros
- Braves trade for Raisel Iglesias from Angels
- Braves trade for Robbie Grossman from Tigers
Atlanta is hoping it can work deadline magic once again. They traded postseason hero Will Smith to solidify the rotation with Jake Odorizzi, and quickly replaced him in the bullpen with veteran closer Raisel Iglesias. Iglesias may be having a down year compared to his last two seasons, but he is used to late-game scenarios. Grossman is another addition to what now feels like a rotating door of outfielders.
The question is, will Grossman get hot like last year’s Braves deadline acquisitions did?
Overall, the Braves improved. The Phillies are 5-6 against them to this point, and it will be a challenge the rest of the way.
Pittsburgh Pirates – 3 games remaining
- Pirates trade away Daniel Vogelbach to Mets
- Pirates trade away Jose Quintana and Chris Stratton to Cardinals
The Phillies recently swept the Pirates in a four game series in Pittsburgh, not much was going to change in whether they were favored in these games or not. Philly missed Vogelbach entirely in their previous four games this season, but Quintana pitched a strong 5.2 innings allowing no runs and only four hits, two walks against them just a week ago.
Facing him again may not have proved fruitful for Philadelphia, so this is still a net positive against a team that will be looking to avenge that four-game sweep. The Phillies have done well against Stratton during his career, but replacing him with a minor leaguer should improve Philly’s odds against their cross-state rivals.
Arizona Diamondbacks – 3 games remaining
- Diamondbacks trade away David Peralta to Rays
- Diamondbacks trade away Luke Weaver for Emmanuel Rivera from Royals
The D-Backs are in an extremely tough division, so no surprise they traded away some players. Peralta was part of an outfield crew with a lot of young talent in Arizona, so he was easily expendable.
Philadelphia is 2-1 against Arizona so far this season, and Peralta is the only change of consequence. The corner outfielder may make an impact in Tampa, especially in a platoon situation. Peralta was 2-8 with a double against the Phillies earlier this season.
San Francisco Giants – 3 games remaining
- Giants trade away Darin Ruf for J.D. Davis from Mets
- Giants trade away Trevor Rosenthal to Brewers
- Giants trade away Curt Casali and Matthew Boyd to Mariners
- Giants trade away Jeremy Walker to Rays
- Giants trade for Dixon Machado from Cubs
The Giants had some bigger names involved in talks prior to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, but ultimately settled for moves in the margins. Leftie masher and former Phillie Darin Ruf rejoins the NL East while the Giants get younger with JD Davis. They traded away their backup catcher and a lot of bullpen depth. Not much has changed on San Fran’s roster.
The Phillies are 1-2 against the Giants this season and they should expect a similar result in their next three games. They could easily go 2-1 or 3-0 against the San Francisco with their own improvements.
Houston Astros – 3 games remaining
- Astros trade away Jake Odorizzi for Will Smith from Braves
- Astros trade away Jose Siri to Rays, receive Trey Mancini from Orioles in three-team deal
- Astros trade for Christian Vazquez from Red Sox
Houston was already considered one of the most complete teams in all of MLB. They addressed a few areas of need – adding catching depth, a 1B/DH/LF option from the right-side, and some bullpen help. Vazquez is having a strong offensive season, hitting .280 prior to the trade with 8 homers. They traded for feel-good story and a clubhouse leader in Trey Mancini who is good for 20+ HRs, maybe more with the short porch in Houston’s left field.
There was a lot of talk that the Astros may trade from their rotation depth in order to upgrade elsewhere and they swapped Odorizzi to get Will Smith, hero for the 2021 World Series champion Braves who actually recorded the last out against the ‘Stros in the fall classic. Houston was going to be a tough series regardless and they have improved before the only series with Philadelphia.
Chicago Cubs – 3 games remaining
- Traded away Mychal Givens to Mets
- Traded away David Robertson to Phillies
- Traded away Scott Effross to Yankees
- Traded away Dixon Machado to Giants
- Traded away Chris Martin for Zach McKinstry with Dodgers
The Cubs were earmarked as sellers pretty early this season and with good reason. After trading away their big names over the last few seasons, it was clear they were retooling. In fact, despite how active they were, the Cubs were expected to make even more moves with bigger names moving out of Chicago. That being said, the Phillies are thankful for Robertson and the depleted bullpen that they will face when they face the Cubs in September.
Chicago proverbially slapped the rust off of Philadelphia coming out of the all-star break with a three-game sweep, sending many fans into a spiral. The Phillies offense has woken up a bit since then, and a few of the struggling pitchers in that series (Romero, Familia) are no longer with the team. This series should go better for the Phils this time around.
Toronto Blue Jays – 2 games remaining
- Blue Jays trade for Zach Pop, Anthony Bass from Marlins
- Blue Jays trade for Mitch White from Dodgers
- Blue Jays trade for Whit Merrifield from Royals
- Blue Jays trade away Jeremy Beasley to Pirates
We already touched on the dominance that Bass and Pop showed against the Phillies during their time in Miami. The Jays didn’t need to improve much, but they bolstered an already strong bullpen and added multi-time all-star and utility man/speedster Whit Merrifield.
Merrifield gives Toronto flexibility as he has seen time everywhere on the field except shortstop and catcher. Merrifield has not played against the Phillies this season and is 6-for-24 against them in his career. White is a nice addition for them, but in limited action against Philadelphia this season, he gave up three earned runs in 2.1 innings pitched (11.57 ERA).
Blue Jays were a touch matchup regardless, and their improvements do make this two-game series a risk for the Phillies. After losing both contests in Toronto, Philly will be hopeful to at least split their last two if not get revenge with a two-game sweep – but it is now an even more challenging feat.
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire