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Klentak open-minded as Trade Deadline nears

GM expects to be active prior to non-waiver Deadline
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies general manager Matt Klentak is making and taking plenty of phone calls these days.

He has players to trade.

View Full Game Coverage

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies general manager Matt Klentak is making and taking plenty of phone calls these days.

He has players to trade.

View Full Game Coverage

He said Saturday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park that he expects to be active before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, well, certainly compared to last July when the Phillies held on to Jeremy Hellickson and traded Carlos Ruiz in August. But it would be stunning if the Phillies kept Pat Neshek past this July. They are motivated to move Howie Kendrick, Joaquin Benoit, Daniel Nava and Hellickson, too.

Tommy Joseph also could be traded to make room for Triple-A Lehigh Valley first baseman and No. 12 prospect Rhys Hoskins.

Video: PHI@NYM: Joseph hammers go-ahead three-run homer

"We'll make trades that make sense for this club," Klentak said. "But if we feel like there's not a fit, obviously as we demonstrated last year, we're not afraid to hang on to guys. We'll have to see. The activity has already started. I would say for the last week to 10 days, the contact with other clubs is a daily occurrence. Mostly feeling out at this point, but some teams are more active than others, and we'll see how it all plays out."

A potential trade involving Joseph or some of the other young players on the roster are the most intriguing. Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Friday that Joseph and Hoskins can't coexist on the same team because they are both right-handed hitters who play only first base.

"It's not ideal," Klentak of the logjam at first. "I don't ever say never because we might try that at some point, depending on how other circumstances play out. For the sake of individual development and for the sake of team, I think it makes sense to make sure both guys are getting regular playing time. But I don't want to be so rigid to say that could never happen. But it's obviously a challenge to try to make that work."

Video: Top Prospects: Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Phillies

Could the Phillies just put Joseph or Hoskins in left field? The organization tried and failed years ago while doing that with Ryan Howard. They also tried with Darin Ruf, who was a below-average outfielder.

"We haven't tried that, so you wouldn't know until you tried it," Klentak said. "But there's a reason both of them are playing first base right now."

It seems Cesar Hernandez and No. 11 prospect Scott Kingery are in a similar situation. Hernandez has been productive as a big league second baseman, but Kingery is a rising star in Triple-A.

"I don't think we're quite there yet," Klentak said. "With Rhys having had almost 3 1/2 months at Triple-A doing what he's doing, he's probably knocking on the door a little more than Kingery at this point. Kingery has done nothing wrong. He has 40 or 50 at-bats in Triple-A. We'd like to get him some more time there. We're not at that spot yet."

Klentak also doesn't see a logjam at second like he might see at first.

"My hope is that would be a little easier to figure that out, with middle infielders, one of whom is a switch-hitter," Klentak said. "You might be able to mix and match that a little better than with two corner guys in the National League. But these are the types of problems you'd love to have as an organization. You actually have to solve them; I'm not saying that we sit and do nothing about it. But when you have too many players that are playing well and competing for playing time and you want to give them playing time, those are the types of hard decisions we'd like to make as a front office."

EXTRA BASES

Klentak said Kendrick, Hernandez and Vince Velasquez could rejoin the team during the road trip immediately following the All-Star break. All three players are on the 10-day disabled list.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies