It’s on Matt Klentak now.
As the Philadelphia Phillies get set to enter the second half of the season, a 47-43 team is desperate need of rotation help to stay afloat in the postseason race.
Here’s where Phillies starters rank this season among all rotations in baseball:
It’s not a pretty picture, especially when considering how much Aaron Nola’s performance (3.74 ERA, 4.08 FIP, 10.1 SO/9, 1.8 fWAR) has propped up slop behind him on the mound.
So as the Phillies general manager prepares for his second trade deadline as a buyer, here’s a guess as which arms could be connected to Philadelphia in rumors over the next three weeks using a combination of swing-and-miss ability, FIP (something Klentak and manager Gabe Kapler have talked openly about valuing when evaluating pitchers) and cost.
Matthew Boyd, Tigers
2019 stats: 3.87 ERA, 11.9 SO/9, 3.56 FIP
Why he makes sense: Long-term play under team control through the 2022 season. Left-handed. Worth big-time prospects to pair with Nola atop the rotation for years to come. Adds a dimension (ability to miss bats) the current staff lacks.
Why it might not happen: Prospect cost. The Tigers will likely (and should) demand a top-tier hitting prospect in return.
Robbie Ray, Diamondbacks
2019 stats: 3.96 ERA, 11.8 SO/9, 4.05 FIP
Why he makes sense: Left-handed. Team control through 2020. Phillies were connected to Ray rumors last offseason. One of baseball’s top strikeout artists (11.8 per 9 innings) over the last four years.
Why it might not happen: Arizona currently resides just 1.5 games behind the Phillies for the second NL wild card and owns a plus-53 run differential. The Diamondbacks could be a buyer now, then sell Ray in the winter.
Zack Wheeler, Mets
2019 stats: 4.69 ERA, 9.8 SO/9, 3.65 FIP
Why he makes sense: With free agency on the horizon this fall, Wheeler will be in a contract drive.