The Phillies may not have played as well as they’d hoped after an active first offseason under new front office leaders Dave Dombrowski and Sam Fuld, but they’re still a game over .500 and only three back from the lead in a division no one has run away with just yet. Given the context of their division and Dombrowski’s reputation as an aggressive, “win-now” type of executive, it should come as little surprise that he plainly indicated this week that he has no plans to trade away veteran pieces in the week-plus leading up to the July 30 trade deadline.
“We are contending,” Dombrowski told NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark on his podcast this week. “…We’re not selling. We’re not in a position where we’re looking to move players off our team.”
Dombrowski declined to tip his hand as to specific areas he could upgrade, though he did note that the bullpen has again been inconsistent and that the team’s defense “is not our strength.” The first-year Phillies president of baseball ops also pushed back on the narrative that his team doesn’t have the prospects to make substantial upgrades. Dombrowski suggested that 2020 first-rounder Mick Abel isn’t likely to be moved but generally sounded open-minded about making moves to improve his club. Phillies fans, in particular, will want to give the entire interview a listen.
While Dombrowski would only vaguely indicate that the club can “get better in a couple areas,” Jayson Stark and Matt Gelb of The Athletic report that the team is targeting fourth and fifth starters to round out the rotation, as well as back-end relievers who can help shore up the team’s late-inning relief corps.