MLB Trading Deadline: Phillies Face Exorbitant Prices in Launching the Pitching Market

The Phillies are going to great lengths in their bid to acquire a starting pitcher for the stretch drive.

Phillies officials remain in contact with several teams that have starting pitchers available, but the prices are said to be exorbitant.

Maybe prices will drop before Tuesday’s 6:00 PM trading deadline.

The Phillies weren’t chasing the two best starters on the market, Luis Castillo and Frankie Montas. The Cincinnati Reds sent Castillo to Seattle this weekend for a rich package of prospects and the Oakland A’s moved to the New York Yankees on Monday.

With Zach Eflin suffering a knee injury, the Phillies targeted pitchers who could fill a back-end rotation spot, arms like Noah Syndergaard of the Los Angeles Angels, Jordan Lyles of the Baltimore Orioles, Brad Keller of the Kansas City Royals and Tyler Mahle of the Reds, although it is believed in the industry that Mahle is now off the market.

Pittsburgh’s Jose Quintana was part of their search, but ESPN reports that the Cardinals are finalizing a transaction to take over the veteran southpaw.

Prices for these starters are said to be very high and the Phillies are determined to hold onto their top pitching prospects in the minor league, a group that includes Mick Abel and Andrew Painter. The Phils also protect pitcher Griff McGarry, a right-hander many teams covet. There has been indications all summer that the Phils would at least listen to pitcher Ben Brown and catcher Logan O’Hoppe, but probably not to a rental pitcher who represents only a modest upgrade from what they already have. The Phils would certainly be interested in a pitcher like Miami’s Pablo Lopez, who is under contractual control until 2024, but he would cost multiples of top prospects.

An interesting name to keep an eye on could be Nathan Eovaldi from Boston, who was due to pitch in Houston on Monday night. The Phillies will, of course, be keeping a close eye on that start. Eovaldi shone for the Red Sox when they won the World Series under Dave Dombrowski in 2018. Dombrowski now leads the Phillies. Eovaldi has an expiring contract. However, the 32-year old righthander has been tagged for 23 hits and 16 earned runs in 13 innings in his last three starts.

While their focus is on starting pitching, the Phillies also want to improve their defense in midfield. They were interested in Houston’s Jose Siri, but he was traded to Tampa Bay in a three-team deal.

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