BOSTON — While the Phillies got ready to test themselves against the best team in baseball Monday night at Fenway Park, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak was hunkered down at Citizens Bank Park trying to pull off a move to improve his club before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline.
Klentak traded for switch-hitting infielder Asdrubal Cabrera on Friday and best guess is he will make another move before the deadline. The focus remains adding a bat to the outfield/bench mix and a reliever, possibly a lefty.
The Phillies have continued to monitor the starting pitching market. They are always interested in top-tier starters under team control — i.e., Chris Archer, Michael Fulmer, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler — but the prices are high on those pitchers and there’s no guarantee they will be moved. Adding a starting pitcher could allow the Phillies to move Nick Pivetta to the bullpen, where his strikeout arm could be a weapon. If the Phils were to look for more of a mid-rotation starter or swingman, they could consider someone like Texas Rangers lefty Mike Minor, who is signed through 2020. The Rangers are listening on pretty much everyone.
Possible outfield/bench bats include Curtis Granderson. The Phillies made an offer to Baltimore that would have netted them Adam Jones. But Jones is not ready to waive his no-trade rights. Sometimes minds can change closer to the deadline.
Before Monday night’s game against Boston, manager Gabe Kapler was asked if he believed a trade was coming.
“My feel is that up until the last moment, Matt is going to be working his fingers to the bone and that has been what he’s been doing to this point, looking to upgrade either marginally or making a significant impact,” Kapler said. “He’ll continue to do that to the finish line and anything he needs from me in the way of support or how something that he’s identifying will fit our group, I’m going to be there for him.
“But I will reiterate what I’ve said for the last 10 days: Everything that we need to be successful going forward is in that [clubhouse]. We are here in first place because of the men in that room, and, again, if they take a small step forward, continue their development and get a little better, we win a lot of games from here on out.”