No untouchables for Phils as Deadline looms

Neshek, Kendrick top trade candidates, but MacPhail says all players are in play

June 30th, 2017

NEW YORK -- The Phillies are open for business, and they are willing to talk trade about anybody.

It should surprise nobody that there are no untouchables on the big league roster. The Phillies are on pace to lose 107 games, and no player has established himself as a future cornerstone of the franchise.

"I would say that's pretty safe," Phillies president Andy MacPhail said before Friday night's game against the Mets at Citi Field.

Right-hander Pat Neshek and infielder/outfielder are the most likely Phillies to be traded before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Neshek entered the night 2-1 with a 0.59 ERA in 33 appearances. Kendrick, whom the Phillies just placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring, has hit .349 with eight doubles, one triple, two home runs, 14 RBIs and an .879 OPS in 139 plate appearances.

Both will be free agents after the season.

"I don't know how he can throw any better," MacPhail said about Neshek. "Also, the one thing that he brings you is a different look. I've been with enough managers to know that they're always looking for that different look in the bullpen over the course of the year."

Kendrick is on the DL for the second time this season. Asked if he would have any hesitation acquiring a player like that, if he was the GM of a contender, MacPhail said, "If I wanted a professional hitter, I sure wouldn't have any pause.

"Again, clubs are pretty stingy with their prospects, though. The best way to make a good trade is to find a motivated buyer, so that's going to be [general manager] Matt [Klentak]'s job. Find a motivated buyer."

MacPhail said Klentak is going to be open-minded about everything as the Trade Deadline approaches. That includes listening about some of the young players on the big league roster.

"He needs to keep a wide spectrum, wide horizon, and any opportunity that makes sense for us going forward, he should explore," MacPhail said.

Second baseman Scott Kingery just got promoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. ranks him as the 11th-best player in the club's system. is perhaps the Phillies' best overall player. He also plays second base. Rhys Hoskins has put up monster numbers at Triple-A, but first baseman Tommy Joseph currently has him blocked at first.

Perhaps the Phillies listen on Hernandez and Joseph, if there is interest.

Looking further down the road, MacPhail was asked if he sees the Phillies trying to acquire a big-ticket player in free agency or via trade in the offseason.

"I think we are right now," he said. "If Matt sees something he thinks is part of the long-term picture and feels it's a hole we need to fill or that we don't have internal answers, I absolutely see that. The interesting thing to me, again, is that we've got so many guys that are well thought of at the upper levels of the farm system, you're almost obligated to let them come up here and see how close they are. You've got [Nick] Williams and [Roman] Quinn, [Dylan] Cozens, Kingery, Hoskins, [J.P.] Crawford, [Jorge] Alfaro. [Thomas] Eshelman is throwing well at Triple-A. To find out what you need, that's why you've had nine guys that have made their debut this year. You need to let them play and sort out who's who going forward and then try to fill in those things you don't have internally externally."