PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said last month that the team's play after a grueling 42-game stretch would dictate how it acts before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, assuming it continues to play well against weaker competition in July.The Phillies went 21-21 in that stretch, playing 36
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said last month that the team's play after a grueling 42-game stretch would dictate how it acts before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, assuming it continues to play well against weaker competition in July.
The Phillies went 21-21 in that stretch, playing 36 games against teams currently with winning records. They play 20 of their next 23 against teams with losing records.
"We've got to keep playing good ball and put ourselves in a position to potentially do something later in the month," Klentak said Tuesday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.
• Catch up on the latest Trade Talk
Expect the Phillies to do something, although on what scale remains to be seen. Everybody wants to know if they will make a blockbuster trade for Orioles shortstop Manny Machado. Sources have told MLB.com that a deal is unlikely, despite continued speculation that the Phillies and Orioles match up well.
Machado will be a free agent after the season, and the Phillies seem less inclined to give up the farm for a two-month rental when they can try to sign him as a free agent in the offseason.
But that does not mean the Phillies will stand pat. They could use some help on the left side of the infield. Plenty of third basemen will be available, including Kansas City's Mike Moustakas. Another reliable bullpen arm could move Seranthony Dominguez into the closer's role full-time, if Phillies manager Gabe Kapler wanted to do that.
"Any time you're looking to upgrade your club, whether it's for the short term or the long term, you're trying to identify where you can make the biggest jump, how you can create the largest delta," Klentak said. "There's a few areas on our club that we can upgrade. The challenge that we have right now is, we're at a point where the player development is intersecting with contention, and we have to understand how we got here and why we got here, and it's because of our young players developing not only in the Minor Leagues, but at the Major League level. And that's what's putting us in this position. We have to respect that and make sure that we continue to do everything we can to allow players to develop at the Major League level.
"Now, at the same time, if there are opportunities for us to upgrade the team in the short term or long term via trade, we have to explore those, too. But we're going to pursue a lot of different avenues, maybe offensively and maybe on the pitching side, and balance that against what our current group of players brings and make the appropriate decisions."
Klentak reiterated that the Phillies will consider short-term acquisitions, if the price is right. It might be right for somebody like the 29-year-old Moustakas. It might not be right for somebody like Machado. Klentak said Phillies' ownership, president Andy MacPhail and the baseball operations department are on the same page in their thinking.
"Any trade we're going to make is going to cost us some talent," Klentak said. "We understand that. But we are hopeful that we are just now opening a contention window that's going to last for a long time. Our goal is not to peak one year and then fade the next. Our goal is to open up a window and be good for a long, long time. So, we just have to make sure that whatever trades we're contemplating are appropriately balancing now with the future."
• Triple-A outfielder Roman Quinn could be playing before the end of the month. He has been sidelined since May following surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right middle finger.
• Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (nerve issue in fingers) is scheduled to throw another live batting practice Wednesday in Clearwater, Fla.
• Right-hander Edubray Ramos (right shoulder impingement) threw a "successful" bullpen session Tuesday. He could be activated as early as Friday.
• Right-hander Luis Garcia (strained right wrist) continues to throw off flat ground. He has been on the DL since June 13. His recovery seems to be taking longer than expected, but Kapler said he is not concerned.
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.