Latest information on Phillies pitching search

Latest information on Phillies pitching search

The Phillies want to join The Athletic’s Jayson Stark (Twitter connections) write that the Phils “want a starter who can start a playoff game.” To that end, the club has been associated with guns like the Reds. Tyler MahleThe angel’ Noah Syndergardand the pirates Jose Quintana – three of the most prominent starting pitchers remaining in the trade market.

Mahle will be controlled until the 2023 season, while Syndergaard and Quintana would be loan-only as players earmarked for free agency this winter. As such, Mahle would certainly cost the most in a trade and Syndergaard carries a small financial hit as he is still owed around $7.2 million for the remainder of the season. In contrast, Quintana is only owed around $675,000 for the remainder of 2022, but Quintana has also had a shaky track record over the past few seasons before bouncing back up in Pittsburgh this year.

Dave Dombrowski, Philadelphia’s president of baseball operations, hinted earlier this week that his team hoped to bolster the rotation, but the Phils were also reluctant to deal with one of their top prospects. Stark supports this claim, noting that the Phillies were unwilling to postpone anything Mike Abel, Andrew Painter or Logan O’Hoppe (the Phils’ consensus top 3 prospects as seen by Baseball America and MLB Pipeline) or right-handed pitching prospects Grip McGarry or Ben Brown. BA ranks McGarry fourth and Brown seventh in their ranking of prospective Phillies, while Pipeline is slightly less optimistic, ranking McGarry eighth and Brown 26th.

Since the Phillies’ system isn’t viewed as too deep overall, it’s no surprise that the front office isn’t interested in parting with one of the relatively few premium names that exist in the Minors. However, as Stark notes, unless they are open to prospective trades, the Phils will have a hard time getting higher-ranked pitches. Given the huge interest Mahle has received from across the league and given what the Reds just received from the Mariners in the Luis Castillo Deal, it seems almost impossible for the Phillies to land Mahle without at least one of the blue-chip prospects.

Syndergaard and Quintana would come at a lower price on loan, but Stark notes that Dombrowski also favors controllable starters. That was Philadelphia’s strategy on landing Kyle Gibson by the Rangers as of last year’s deadline, and landing a starter controlled until at least 2023 would give the Phillies some cover since Gibson Zach Eflin could both be free agents this winter.

Rotation seems to be Philadelphia’s top priority at this point, as Stark says the Phillies aren’t focused on bullpen moves right now. This is a little surprising given the Phils’ long-standing needs in the Auxiliary Corps, but it might be that Dombrowski is exploring his options with the starter market first before moving on to the (relatively) easier route of adding Auxiliaries. Also, virtually every contender in baseball is currently looking for helpers, so Dombrowski may opt for some late shots after completing the first or second wave of bullpen trades.