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Phillies Among Top Landing Spots for All-Star Outfielders

Sitting at the top of the National League, the Philadelphia Phillies are expected to be “all over the outfield market” as the trade deadline approaches. Philadelphia has a star-studded offense, but their outfield production is lacking. While outfielder Brandon Marsh returned from the injured list on Saturday, the Phillies are expected to be buyers ahead of the trade deadline, looking to add outfielders in particular.

Philadelphia has four outfielders that they have been rotating throughout the season: Marsh, Johan Rojas, Cristian Pache, and Nick Castellanos. But with Castellanos having a down year and Rojas struggling at the plate, Dave Dombrowski is exploring other options.

MLB insider Jim Bowden said earlier this month, “I’ve had 3 GMs tell me this week that the Phillies’ #1 priority is the outfield.”

Philadelphia has been linked to several outfielders expected to be on the trade block this year. But MLB insiders believe the Phillies are the favorites to trade for either Luis Robert Jr. or Taylor Ward.

Insiders Say Phillies are Looking to Trade for Star Outfielders

Given that the All-Star caliber outfielders both come with multiple years of club control, neither will be a cheap acquisition. 

Luis Robert Jr., Chicago White Sox

The rebuilding White Sox are reportedly seeking a significant trade package for their star center fielder. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported, “The White Sox would command a package greater than what the Padres gave up for Juan Soto at the 2022 deadline.”

The 26-year-old is batting .194/.270/.537 with a .808 OPS in 18 games this season. Robert was activated off the injured list on June 4th after a right hip flexor strain sidelined him in April. In his five big-league seasons, Robert has won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger, and made last year’s All-Star Game. He is a .274/.324/.502 career hitter with 47 steals, 81 homers, 220 RBI, and a .826 OPS. Chicago signed the Cuban-born slugger to a six-year, $50 million extension in 2020 with $20 million club options for both 2026 and 2027. With three extra seasons of club control, Robert would be an ideal trade and a long-term fit for Philadelphia. Bowden reports that “the Phillies and White Sox do match up well on a blockbuster-type deal.”

Taylor Ward, Los Angeles Angels

According to Jon Heyman of The New York Post, the Phillies could also give Angels outfielder Taylor Ward a look. The former first-round pick has been solid for the Angels throughout his seven-year career. Ward has a career slash line of .254/.333/.431 with 64 homers, 203 RBI, and an OPS+ of 110. The 30-year-old slugger is batting .243/.324/.434 with 12 homers, 36 RBI, and a .758 OPS through 68 games. He has started in all three outfield positions and could also be used as an offensive threat off the bench.

Taylor Ward is under team control through 2026 and could be a key part of the Phillies roster moving forward.

Phillies Linked to Several Blockbuster Trade Rumors

The Phillies are in an enviable position with no pressing trade needs to address before the deadline. They can afford to see how the market unfolds and which teams decide to sell. Philadelphia has shown a willingness to move promising prospects for “impact-type talent” that can help them win a World Series.

At the very least, the Phillies should pursue a better platoon partner for left fielder Brandon Marsh. Both Luis Robert and Taylor Ward bring the “impact-type talent” Philadelphia is seeking along with extra years of club control.


Photo Credit: © Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports


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