The Phillies may not possess any top-flight trade deadline pieces, but the organization does have some worthwhile assets. As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki writes, GM Matt Klentak says trade talks have been “very active” of late. The Phils have “more confidence” in moving veterans with several top minor leaguers seemingly ready for an opportunity, said Klentak, who nevertheless stressed that he doesn’t feel compelled to make any deals. Reports have recently indicated that if (or when) right-hander Jeremy Hellickson is moved, another promising right-hander, Jake Thompson, will get a look in the rotation. Thompson, acquired in last summer’s Cole Hamels blockbuster, has a 0.58 ERA in his past 62 1/3 innings at Triple-A. His 37-to-17 K/BB ratio in that time is a bit more pedestrian, and he’s been aided by a .233 BABIP over that stretch, but he certainly seems ready for a call-up after impressing for much of the season.
A bit more on the Phillies and their division…
- Jeanmar Gomez has elevated his stock substantially in 2016, Zolecki writes, noting that he entered the season a a multi-inning middle reliever but has handled a move to the ninth inning with aplomb. Gomez isn’t a traditionally dominant power arm that is often associated with closing gigs, but he’s sporting a 2.76 ERA thanks in part to some of the strongest control and ground-ball rates he’s ever displayed. Gomez has averaged just 5.7 K/9 but is also yielding walks at a 2.2 per nine clip and has a 52.1 percent ground-ball rate in 45 2/3 innings. The Phillies have Hector Neris and Edubray Ramos serving as potential ninth-inning replacements in the event that Gomez is flipped.
- The Mets are monitoring right-handed relievers Joe Smith of the Angels, Chris Withrow of the Braves and Jeremy Jeffress of the Brewers, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post. Despite Bartolo Colon’s recent struggles and uncertainty surrounding the bone spurs of both Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, the Mets’ front office isn’t sure there’s a rotation upgrade to be had that would be worth the asking price. Notably, Puma also writes that a reunion with Tyler Clippard, whom Arizona GM Dave Stewart has said is available in trades, doesn’t seem likely. Smith’s asking price would be the lowest of the bunch, in my estimation, as he’s a pure rental. Jeffress and Withrow both have three years of club control remaining beyond this one, and Jeffress has had a better season than Withrow while emerging as Milwaukee’s closer this season, so he’s probably the toughest of the bunch to pry loose. As Puma pointed out earlier this week (on Twitter), Jim Henderson won’t be an option in the near future, as a hamstring injury suffered in the minors has forced him to restart his rehab assignment.
- The Marlins have yet to approach Martin Prado about a contract that would keep him in Miami beyond the 2016 season, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, though Jackson notes that he does fully expect Miami to attempt to re-sign the third baseman even if it waits until the offseason. A new deal for Prado would give the Marlins three players for second base and third base, leading Jackson to suggest that either Dee Gordon or Derek Dietrich could be moved for pitching this winter. Gordon’s 80-game PED suspension notwithstanding, it’s tough to imagine the Fish moving him this winter.