Just one month ago, the Phillies were the toast of Major League Baseball. The scrappy overachievers were within striking distance of the NL East summit, and contemplating buying at the trade deadline. Now, however, Philadelphia sits more than a dozen games back of Washington in the division. Reality is starting to set in for the upstart Phillies, and in all likelihood they will be sellers after the All-Star break. Here is a look at who Philadelphia is most likely to deal:
MLB insider Jon Heyman speculated that a possible Galvis trade is on the horizon. This may come as a surprise to Philadelphia fans, who have seen Galvis become a staple at shortstop in the wake of Jimmy Rollins’ departure. However, even Galvis’ Gold Glove-caliber defense will not keep top prospect J.P. Crawford from supplanting him in the near future. The writing is on the wall, and Galvis’ ability to play multiple positions will make him easy to trade. If general manager Matt Klentak can exchange Galvis for a young pitching prospect, he likely will.
Similarly, Heyman hears that Blanco may be another trade piece for Philadelphia. The journeyman infielder is 32, and in the last year of his current deal, so he will not bring back as much in a trade as Galvis, who is 26. But the Phillies could easily deal Blanco to a contending team starving for versatility. Blanco is a switch-hitter who has played at four different positions for the Phillies in 2016, and hit .292 with seven home-runs, and 25 RBI just a season ago. In the MLB today, positional flexibility is a desired commodity, and Philadelphia should capitalize on that.
Hellickson has been viewed as trade bait by both the front office and the fan base ever since the Phillies dealt for him in the offseason. Both Hellickson and Charlie Morton were acquired in the hope that Philadelphia could use the two veteran right-handers until their young arms were ready, and ultimately flip them at the deadline. While Hellickson has struggled in his last two starts, the 29-year-old went six consecutive starts, between May 7 and June 4, without allowing more than three runs in a start. A reliable fifth starter is always marketable and Hellickson should be an easy sell despite his recent struggles.
Unlike Hellickson, Gomez was not predicted to have such trade value. The 28-year-old had been mostly average in parts of six different seasons until this year. Gomez has emerged in 2016, with a 3.00 ERA and 19 saves, and that will benefit Philadelphia as playoff teams look to shore up the back of their bullpen. An effective reliever with one year of arbitration left makes for a perfect trade chip.