Trade Deadline Phillies: Dave Dombrowski on Trades for Noah Syndergaard, David Robertson, Brandon Marsh

ATLANTA – In a wild flurry of activity that began 2½ hours before Tuesday’s trading deadline, the Phillies met three glaring needs as they backed their team for a late-season nudge that they hope will end their 10 year-old playoff drought.

“I think we’re better,” said Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations, summing up the day.

In order, the Phillies cited center fielder Brandon Marsh of the Los Angeles Angels, reliever David Robertson of the Chicago Cubs and starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard of the Angels.

The Syndergaard deal was closed just before the 6 p.m. deadline when the Angels distanced themselves from another potential deal and called the Phillies.

It made a good day of riding and handling that much better.

“That was big for us,” Dombrowski said. “I started to think we wouldn’t get a starting pitcher. The questions were very high. So we’re excited about that.

“We’ve added a starting pitcher, we’ve stabilized and made the bullpen better, and we’ve bolstered our defense with an everyday positional player. We’re in a tough division and there are strong teams in the race, but I think we’re better.” .”

The Phils said goodbye to just two of their best prospects in these deals. Catcher Logan O’Hoppe went to the Angels for Marsh and pitcher Ben Brown to the Cubs for Robertson.

The Phils sent former No. 1 overall pick Mickey Moniak and minor-league outfielder Jadiel Sanchez to the Angels for Syndergaard. Moniak never lived up to his commitments to the Phillies and could benefit from a change of scenery.

Dombrowski said the Phils “loved” O’Hoppe but had no problem giving him up because Marsh has five years of contractual control and has a huge advantage in a position, midfield, that has been an annual problem for the Phils. He added that JT Realmuto was with catcher for three more years.

“Brown is probably the one that hurts the most,” Dombrowski said of the 6-6, 22-year-old, powerfully armed right-hander who went to the Cubs in the Robertson deal. “We like him very much, but you can’t protect everyone. If you’re trying to get into the postseason, David Robertson is as good a reliever as he is outside of it and that was the cost for us to get him.”

The Phils were able to hold onto their top three pitching prospects – Mick Abel, Andrew Painter and Griff McGarry.

“We never discussed them,” Dombrowski said. “We just didn’t want to trade those guys.”

That didn’t stop other clubs from asking constantly.

“Huge. Off the charts,” Dombrowski said of the trio’s interest. “We couldn’t get people off those names. From an organizational standpoint, we just felt we couldn’t pawn the future by trading one of those guys.

While Dombrowski believes the organization’s best days are ahead, he fully expects this team to remain in contention for a playoff spot. The Phils lost 13-1 to Atlanta on Tuesday night, sharing a 55-48 record with St. Louis. However, the Phils hold the third and final NL wildcard spot after winning the season’s run with St. Louis. The Phils will take over the remainder of Syndergaard’s contract — more than $7 million — and are expected to cross the $230 million luxury tax threshold. Ownership is really eager to make the playoffs and see what happens with Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola at the top of the rotation. In addition to Tuesday’s improvements in the trading market, the Phils will get their top two pure hitters back in the coming weeks. Jean Segura (broken finger) is expected to come off the injured list on Thursday and Bryce Harper (broken thumb) has started swinging a club and could be back around the end of the month.

As for the roles the new players will fill…

Syndergaard will take the rotation, taking the spot vacated by the injured Zach Eflin. The powerfully built 6-6 right-hander isn’t hitting 100 mph anymore, but he’s still sinking his fastball in the mid-’90s.

“We think he can be effective in a five or six innings role,” Dombrowski said. “We weren’t looking for a number 1 man. We were not in that market.”

Dombrowski praised the work of Bailey Falter and Cristopher Sanchez. Both have spent time filling in Eflin and continue to be valuable to the team in terms of depth.

Marsh, 24, is a former Angels second round roster and was once that organization’s top prospect. He has not batted consistently and his strikeout rate is high at over 35 percent in his two seasons in the majors. However, Marsh is “a premium defender” in the midfield, to use Dombrowski’s description. He gets most of the playing time in the position with Matt Vierling getting time against left-handers.

Both Dombrowski and manager Rob Thomson said the Phillies batting staff, led by batting coach Kevin Long, spent hours assessing Marsh’s left-handed shot and approach.

“We think there’s something we can do to help him,” Thomson said. “He’s one of the best defensive midfielders in baseball, so that’s an upgrade.”

Robertson, 37, has been one of the best stories in baseball this season. He signed a $23 million two-year contract with the Phillies for the 2019 season, but threw in just seven games due to an elbow injury that required surgery. He didn’t pitch in 2020 and returned to the big league last season for 12 games with Tampa Bay. With the Cubs this season, Robertson scored a 2.23 ERA and 14 saves in 40 1/3 innings. He struckout 11.4 batters per nine innings.

Robertson has been playoff tested since his time with the Yankees — he was on the 2009 Yankees team that beat the Phillies in the World Series — and he’s motivated to help the Phillies after busting his first time around town. gone.

“He was very disappointed that he was injured,” Thomson said. “I think he felt bad about it, really.”

The Phillies hope to have Robertson in uniform for Wednesday afternoon’s game in Atlanta. Marsh and Syndergaard, who are from the West Coast, are likely to join the team in Philadelphia on Thursday.

As Gene Hackman said in Hoosiers, “This is your team.” It’s better than a few days ago. Time will tell if it’s good enough to break the post-season drought.

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