PHOENIX -- There are five weeks to go before the non-waiver trade deadline and the Phillies have already received at least one offer for one of their players.
The club has a "standing offer" on the table for veteran reliever Pat Neshek, according to a source. The right-hander is having a strong season. Entering Saturday night's game, he'd allowed just two runs in 29 2/3 innings.
The Phillies acquired Neshek and his $6.5 million salary from Houston last fall. Phillies management hoped Neshek would do just what he has done — provide several months of stability to the bullpen while becoming a July trade chip. It's unclear what the return would be on Neshek — a low-level prospect would be a good bet but clearly Phillies management believes the pitcher can build more value in the coming weeks, otherwise it would have pulled the trigger on a deal already.
Neshek recently said he expects to be traded.
The Phillies had hoped veterans Michael Saunders and Jeanmar Gomez would also build some trade value, but both were designated for assignment last week and will be released Sunday.
Infielder Howie Kendrick could have some value to a team looking for a versatile bat. He was not in the Phillies' lineup for the third day in a row Saturday. He is battling some hamstring tightness, but it is not serious and should not keep him out long.
Starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson and reliever Joaquin Benoit are also trade chips. Both have had up-and-down seasons and that will impact the Phillies' return. Hellickson will be owed about $6 million at the trade deadline, but the Phillies will subsidize some of that to strike a deal.
Basically, there are no untouchables on the roster, but it's too early to tell what will happen.
"I think we have some players who are desirable, but it's too hard to predict because we're still a month away," manager Pete Mackanin said.