Could the Philadelphia Phillies be looking toward the trade market to find some pitching?
Well, according to one report, they are exploring that avenue. Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Friday that the Phillies are pursuing a trade for Texas Rangers left-handed pitcher Mike Minor.
In addition to what Lauber reported, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com mentioned on Saturday that the Rangers would be willing to part ways with Minor, but only if the Phillies were willing to give up “at least a couple” of their top pitching prospects.
During the trade deadline in July, the Phillies were not willing to trade their top pitching prospect, Sixto Sanchez, but did include Adonis Medina in a potential package for Manny Machado.
Nevertheless, if the Phillies do not have to give up those two guys in a possible trade for Minor, then they might have to consider going through it.
Through the first few weeks of free agency, Philadelphia has struck out when it comes to landing a free-agent starting pitcher. Southpaw Patrick Corbin signed a six-year, $140 million with the Washington Nationals, while veteran J.A. Happ reportedly decided to stay with the New York Yankees.
Therefore, the best left-handed starting pitching options out there left for the Phillies are Dallas Keuchel and Yusei Kikuchi. But if they do end up acquiring Minor, who was Texas’ No. 1 starter this past season, he will not be a supreme upgrade in their starting rotation.
Last season with the Rangers, the 31-year-old starter posted a record of 12-8 with an ERA of 4.01, while racking up 132 strikeouts in 157 innings pitched. Minor signed a three-year deal last offseason with Texas, after coming over from the Kansas City Royals, where he was a relief pitcher.
He is owed $9.83 million next season and in 2020. Minor has been on the Phillies’ radar for some time as according to Lauber, they tried to acquire him at the trade deadline.
Even if the Phillies do come away with Minor, they still need a relief pitcher.
Over the last week or so, it has been reported that the Phils are aggressively pursuing both free agent relievers Andrew Miller and Zach Britton. Both players would be immediate upgrades to a Philadelphia bullpen that gave up 4.49 runs per game, which was higher than the National League average (4.34).
However, there are multiple teams in pursuit for those relievers, which means the price tag for both will be pretty high. If that is the case, then the Phillies might be inclined to go the trade route and call the San Francisco Giants.
According to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area, the Giants have received a lot of calls centered around closer Will Smith. The 29-year-old left-handed reliever posted a career-best 2.55 ERA, 14 saves, with 71 strikeouts over 53 innings pitched.
Pavlovic also added that San Fran is looking for young outfielders and cost-controlled starting pitchers.
With that being known, the Phillies could offer the Giants, either Odubel Herrera or Nick Williams, especially with the signing of veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen. And when it comes to a cost-controlled starting pitcher, maybe the Phils dangle Zach Eflin out there again.