The Philadelphia Phillies have already shown interest in Detroit Tigers lefthander Matthew Boyd this summer, and will get a firsthand look at the 28-year-old on Tuesday when they kick off a short two-game series at Comerica Park.
We can add Shane Greene to their watch list, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury, and maybe even Daniel Norris too. Salisbury’s report centers around Boyd, but notes that Philadelphia’s front office has “had conversations with the Tigers about all of their available players, particularly Boyd and Greene.”
As Brandon noted previously, the Phillies would have to gut the top of their farm system to put together a competitive offer for Boyd. Third baseman Alec Bohm is their only prospect on Baseball Prospectus’ midseason top 50 list, and righthander Spencer Howard is the only other player currently on Baseball America’s top 100. Other potential secondary pieces include righthander Adonis Medina, and a pair of interesting, if complementary players inside Philadelphia’s top five.
Other options could package Bohm with Triple-A center fielder Adam Haseley ($45.2 million total), or a teenage shortstop prospect like Luis Garcia ($44.1 million). Haseley is close enough to the major leagues that the Phillies would probably hate to part with both he and Bohm, while Garcia might be far enough away to feel less painful to the Phils’ front office.
Given the lack of premium talent in Philadelphia’s farm system, the names listed above are the same one should expect in a potential return for Greene. He may not warrant as many of those top players — and probably won’t fetch Bohm on his own — but a trade package that doesn’t include any of those players would be a disappointing return for the All-Star closer. Outfielder Mickey Moniak, the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, has enjoyed a solid season in Double-A, but has lost his luster as a top prospect after a couple of disappointing seasons in the lower minors (it’s also worth noting that Philadelphia’s Double-A affiliate plays in one of the most hitter-friendly venues in the Eastern League).
Philadelphia could use help in both their rotation and bullpen, as Salisbury notes, and would be gutting the top of their system in a deal for Boyd. A potentially cheaper option (I think?) would be Daniel Norris, who gets a cursory mention in Salisbury’s report as a player on Detroit’s trade block this summer.
We haven’t heard any other rumors about Norris being involved in trade talks so far, so this could just be Philadelphia doing their due diligence, but it’s worth exploring whether Norris could be dealt this summer.
Spoiler alert: no.
If the Tigers are worried about competing during the years Boyd is under club control, it makes sense to also look to deal Norris, who will reach free agency after the 2021 season (a year sooner than Boyd).
However, unlike Boyd, Norris’ trade value is not very high right now. He has not been able to stay healthy throughout his career, and has only twice eclipsed the 100-inning mark at the major league level. He has a solid strikeout-to-walk ratio, but his numbers are otherwise rather pedestrian for a player potentially on the trade block this summer. The Tigers would be better off hanging onto him and seeing if he takes a step forward in 2020, still only his age 27 season.
Oh, there’s also this Castellanos guy
The Phillies have also checked in on Nicholas Castellanos, who has started to heat up in July. He has a .924 OPS since the All-Star break, and is hitting a cool .306/.380/.500 since June 1 — numbers that, in his eyes, would be even better in a different ballpark.
Castellanos "this park is a joke. It's to the point where, how are we going to be compared to the rest of people in the league for power numbers, OPS, slugging and all this stuff when we got a yard out here that's 420 feet straight across to center field"— Jeff Riger (@riger1984) July 21, 2019
Meanwhile, the Phillies could use another outfielder. They have lost both Andrew McCutchen and Odubel Herrera for the remainder of the season (McCutchen due to injury, Herrera because of a domestic violence suspension) and are currently employing Adam Haseley and Jay Bruce in a platoon of sorts. Players further down Philadelphia’s prospect list — Arquimedes Gamboa and Jhordany Mezquita have fun names — would be in play for the one-dimensional outfielder.