The Phillies are discussing a potential Curtis Granderson swap with the Blue Jays, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter links). Rosenthal notes that the Phils are looking to upgrade their bench after demoting struggling outfielder Aaron Altherr to Triple-A last night. Matt Gelb of The Athletic tweets that improving the offensive depth of the roster is the Phillies priority in the eight days leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline.
The 37-year-old Granderson is hitting .230/.337/.417 with nine homers, 15 doubles, a triple and a pair of stolen bases over the course of 274 plate appearances in a part-time role with Toronto this season. He’s only been allowed to face a left-handed pitcher 23 times, hitting just .111/.273/.167 in that small sample. In 251 PAs against right-handers, Granderson is hitting .240/.343/.438 with all nine of his homers and 14 of his 15 doubles.
Granderson is earning $5MM in 2018, with about $1.85MM of that sum still owed to him through season’s end. He’s not a perfect fit for the Phils’ roster, as he’d give the club an almost entirely left-handed-hitting outfield mix, with Rhys Hoskins serving as the main exception. Beyond that, the Phillies have been one of the worst teams in the game against left-handed pitching, making Granderson seem an even tougher fit. Collectively, Philadelphia hitters have posted a meager .229/.320/.356 slash against southpaws. Adding a bat that has been almost entirely shielded from facing lefties to the bench certainly wouldn’t do the team any favors in improving that clear deficiency.
That said, Granderson is an affordable and still reasonably productive veteran who’d deepen the team’s bench and bring postseason experience and a renowned clubhouse presence to a young Phillies roster. The cost of acquisition for the rental of a part-time outfielder would be minimal, as well, and the Phils could still stand to bring in another option to help bolster the bench and provide a boost against left-handed pitching.
The Phillies have also recently been linked to Mets infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, which would align with their goal of deepening the lineup, and Rosenthal echoes previous suggestions that the club could also pursue Twins infielder Eduardo Escobar for a more regular role. Rosenthal also suggests the Marlins utilityman Derek Dietrich could fit the Phillies’ needs as a potential bench piece that could fill in at multiple positions (though Dietrich, like Granderson, wouldn’t be much help against lefties).