Starting a promotion seems to be the top priority, although it’s unlikely that Phillies will shop at the top of a seller’s market.
Top expectations (read: righthanders Mick Abel and Andrew Painter) are all untouchable.
It is almost certain that Juan Soto will not be suitable for the red lines.
“We’re in the wild cards race. That’s where we are now,” Dombrowski said before the Phillies opened a pivotal three-game series against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park. “Who knows what happens next? But this is where we try to qualify for the post-season.”
In his second season as chief of baseball operations and saddled with the organization’s decade-long drought after the season ended, Dombrowski took on a realistic tone. He noted that Velez had 9-and-a-half games out of first place entered on Monday night. But they were also one game out of last in the National League, setting records for wins against the strong Dodgers (4-3), the competing Padres (4-3), Brewers (4-2) and Cardinals (4). 3).
So, despite sweeping the Velez family over the weekend with the rebuilding Cubs, Dombrowski is on the mend. To some extent.
At present, Al Velez plays without Bryce Harper (broken left thumb), Jan Segura (broken right index finger), and Zach Evelyn (broken right knee). Segura is set to start a minor league assignment Tuesday and could be back by next week. Harper and Evelyn will take longer.
But Dombrovsky distinguished between their schedules. While he said that Harper’s injury “is not one of those that are in it.” [going to be] Long enough that you can go out and trade for someone who will take the position,” he described Evelyn’s knee problem as a “slow healing process.”
“I would like it back, but I don’t know when,” Dombrowski said. “So I don’t think, from my point of view, I can say we’re going to wait for that to happen. I don’t think we can just sit here and wait and see what happens.”
The problem is that the commercial market for start-up shooters is shallow and competitive.
Luis Castillo Award for Reds player. But given his 2.37 ERA over his last 11 starts and the fact that he’s in control of the club for the next season, Cincinnati is believed to be looking for at least two potential elites in any deal. In the case of Velez, that would likely mean Abel or Pinter, as well as catcher Logan Ohoppe or midfielder Johan Rojas.
“In every position there are outstanding men, and then there are others who can be useful,” said Dombrovsky. “Well, great people will probably cost you great leads. I don’t think, as an organization, we’re in that position right now. I just don’t think we’re there.”
The promotion market falls after Castillo. Frankie Montas of Auckland has a 3.16 ERA but recently missed two weeks with a shoulder infection. Sure, Arizona would move Madison Baumgarner, but he owes $37 million over the next two years. The Diamondbacks are uncertain to deal with Merrill Kelly, who will make just $8.5 million each of the next two years.
A year ago, the Phillies ditched former potential Spencer Howard to get Kyle Gibson in part because they were getting Gibson for this season as well. This year, they may be more inclined to trade with a low-level prospect for a novice with an expiring contract, such as Angels’ Noah Syndergaard, Pittsburgh leftist Jose Quintana, or Colorado rightist Chad Cole, a Delaware native.
So far, though, the price even for a novice back-end is through the roof, according to Dombrowski. It will probably drop at 6 PM on August 2nd.
“You might ask for a No. 5 for starters and they might ask you for a No. 1 prospect. I mean, that’s where you are,” Dombrowski said. “We still have eight days. This is the eternal deadline for trade. Because if you talk to someone and you’re looking for a handyman, a backup assistant worker, “Oh, we’ll take your two best starting pitchers.” It’s like, “What?” But come on August 1, they won’t be looking at the same kind of thing.”
Across baseball, the biggest question is where Soto will play after August 1st. After he turned down a 15-year, $440 million extension offer, citizens are listening to potential offers.
Phillies will be a long shot for Soto due to the simple fact that Nationals are unlikely to trade him within NL East unless a competitor puts in a much better offer than they get elsewhere. But with payrolls approaching $240 million and a slate roster, Dombrowski suggested it’s not the time in Velez’s life cycle to pursue a “generational talent” like Soto.
“We have some generational talent with us here,” he said. “I don’t know we swim in this market. I love stars. I always have. I’ve got a lot of them. I know [owner] John Middleton loves it. But we have some stars. I think the problem we faced was the depth of talent in our organization. To strip the depth of our talent in order to add talent for generations, I don’t know that this is where we sit at this point.”
Where the Phillies, who entered Monday night, have been a one-off game that has eluded them since 2011, with Zach Wheeler and Aaron Nola on top of the starting rotation and Harper and Segura on the mend.
Even a modest boost to a deadline can make a difference.
“If you do the post-season, anything can happen,” Dombrowski said. “And I think if we’re on a short chain, like we are, we have a great short chain structure. We’re dangerous in this kind of situation. So, if we can get to that place, it’s very important to us.”