The Philadelphia Phillies are clearly seeking an upgrade at third base.
Their latest potential target, according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Philadelphia, is Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas, who is available on the trade market this summer. The Phillies have reportedly had preliminary discussions about a trade with the Royals, and Kansas City’s scouts have looked at Philadelphia’s minor league system for possible return pieces.
Moustakas is a cheaper trade option than Manny Machado, whom the Phillies would undoubtedly love to grab but would cost a huge haul in prospects for a player who’d possibly be a rental.
The Phillies are eyeing other third basemen as well, as struggling Maikel Franco has failed to make the position his own. It seems likely they’ll make a trade there.
At the end of July, Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline will be upon us, and contenders will be making aggressive moves to improve their chances of making a deep postseason run. You’d be hard-pressed to name a contender that can’t use an upgrade somewhere, even if it’s a small one. A few teams really need to go for it and address some very obvious needs before the deadline passes.
Here are ten teams who could really stand to make a deal before July 31 — some even more than others.
10) Atlanta Braves
The Braves are still early enough in a rebuild cycle that is already bearing fruit, so making a deal isn’t a total necessity. But if the right fit comes along that doesn’t involve them compromising their future too much, they should do it. While the top of the Atlanta rotation has been good, they lack that veteran ace they can rely on in a pennant race; it should be Julio Teheran, but his numbers this year aren’t quite up to his standards. Another arm there would really fortify the Braves to make a real run at the postseason.
The internet was having a lot of fun with the International House of Pancakes on Monday, and the Philadelphia Phillies decided to get in on the act.
IHOP announced that it was “changing” its name to the International House of Burgers to emphasize their lunch and dinner menus, complete with a video of their logo being flipped upside down.
— IHOb (@IHOb) June 11, 2018
Naturally, the internet reacted with equal parts scorn and amusement. So did the Phillies, who decided to get in on the viral craze with a letter flip of their own.
We have a big announcement. pic.twitter.com/zDIiBag48r
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) June 11, 2018
And you thought Rhys Hoskins’ new helmet was a meme before.
- Philadelphia Phillies
The fallout from the Philadelphia 76ers’ bizarre burner account scandal is already being felt far and wide.
Reports emerged on Tuesday that Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo had been using secret Twitter accounts to criticize players. In response, a “Trust the Process” chant broke out at Dodger Stadium during a game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Los Angeles Dodgers, per Matt Gelb of The Athletic.
A "Trust the Process!" chant has broken out at Dodger Stadium.
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) May 30, 2018
“Trust the Process” was, of course, the mantra of former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie, Colangelo’s predecessor. It has since become a rallying cry for the Sixers and for Philadelphia sports fans in general.
Colangelo, meanwhile, is already getting trolled on the Internet because of the allegations, and now even the baseball world is getting in on the fun as well.
The Denver Post made an embarrassing flub in the Friday edition of its newspaper, and the Philadelphia Phillies were quick to have some fun with it.
With the Colorado Rockies hosting their home opener on Friday, the Denver Post ran a feature entitled “The Ultimate Visitors Guide to Coors Field.” Notice anything a little off about the photo they used?
I’ve stared at this on my kitchen counter for five minutes. pic.twitter.com/I7eQUJPdpL
— Chris Chrisman (@chrischrisman) April 6, 2018
Unfortunately, that is Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia — not Coors Field. The mistake was brutal enough, but the person in charge of the Phillies’ Twitter account decided to sprinkle a little salt in the wound:
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) April 6, 2018
What a lovely photo of Citizens Bank Park.
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) April 6, 2018
As we know, newspaper mistakes happen. Some are bigger than others, which we saw about a year ago when MLB legend Keith Hernandez had his name come up in a very disturbing context. Needless to say, Opening Day 2018 for the Rockies is already a memorable one.
The Philadelphia Phillies are receiving a warning from MLB about their handling of a relief pitcher in Saturday’s game, according to a report.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reported on Sunday that MLB determined that umpire Jerry Layne handled a pitching change well and that the Phillies did not, leading to a warning.
Sources: MLB determines that umpire Jerry Layne handled Phillies' pitching change in the right way, given the circumstances; the Phillies will receive a formal warning letter from MLB.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) April 1, 2018
Rookie manager Gabe Kapler brought reliever Hoby Milner into the game during the third inning of a 15-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves. The problem is Milner wasn’t ready, so Kapler tried to stall to give Milner more time to warm up. The pitching change took about 90 seconds, leading Braves manager Brian Snitker to complain.
Milner was originally docked three warmup pitches, but Layne overruled to allow him all eight. Layne said the last thing he wanted was for the player to get hurt.
In the end, it seems Layne used the best judgment, while Kapler justifiably should be warned.
Gabe Kapler’s first turn as a manager has devolved into something of an amateur hour show in Philadelphia, but the manager isn’t losing confidence in his club.
After being pounded by the Braves 15-2 Saturday, Kapler guaranteed that the Phillies would make the playoffs.
Gabe Kapler then said the Phillies will make the playoffs in 2018. Inside the clubhouse, there was a great deal of sympathy for Hoby Milner, being put in an unfair position by staff.
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) April 1, 2018
Kapler has been hammered for his managerial style through three games. In the opener, he removed starter Aaron Nola with one out in the sixth despite him having thrown 68 pitches without allowing a run. He used six pitchers in all, and the bullpen blew a 5-0 lead in the 8-5 loss. The next day, he took out Nicholas Pivetta after four innings and ended up using nine pitchers because the game went 11 innings.
On Saturday, Kapler’s staff got rocked in the 15-2 loss. He turned to outfielder Pedro Floriman to pitch the last inning. But the worst part was Kapler’s handling of Hoby Milner. He brought the southpaw into the game despite not having any warmup pitches and then tried to stall, which led to the umpire docking warmup pitches.
The Phillies will not hold up well if Kapler continues to manage by making so many pitching changes. For him to make this guarantee takes a lot of cojones and coconut oil.