The Phillies will need to play well in the meantime, so that Harper finds himself in a postseason race when he returns. Players on the 26-man roster must step up, from the hitters in the lineup to the pitchers in the rotation and bullpen. Phils president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski must step up and find help, too.
It could mean a relief pitcher or two. It could mean a bat. The Phillies need to lengthen the lineup. Didi Gregorius hit cleanup Sunday in San Diego. He had not homered in 135 plate appearances. The last time a Phils player hit cleanup with that many plate appearances without a home run was Von Hayes on June 13, 1991, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Hayes entered that game with 242 homerless plate appearances. Beggars cannot be choosers, of course, but if Philadelphia found a right fielder or a center fielder, it would allow Nick Castellanos to spend more time at DH. Castellanos is -7 Outs Above Average, which is tied for last among 116 outfielders, according to Statcast.
Here are a few players who could help the Phillies:
Andrew Benintendi, Kansas City
He will be a free agent after the season, so there is no reason for the Royals to keep him. Benintendi, who hits left-handed, has a .757 OPS and a 115 OPS+. He won a Gold Glove in 2021, although he has spent most of his career in left field. In fact, Benintendi has never played right. But he seems like the perfect fit.
Joey Gallo, Yankees
Gallo, who hits left-handed, is having a poor year with the Yankees with a .618 OPS and a 79 OPS+, but he could benefit from a change of scenery. He has tons of raw power and has won a couple Gold Gloves in the outfield. He will be a free agent after the season.
Ian Happ, Cubs
He will cost more than others because he cannot become a free agent until after 2023, but Chicago is not afraid to trade its homegrown talent. Happ, who is a switch-hitter, has an .835 OPS and a 134 OPS+. He has played all three outfield positions, plus second, third and first base.
Ramón Laureano, A’s
If you play for the A’s, you are a perpetual trade candidate. Laureano, who hits right-handed, has a .681 OPS and a 101 OPS+. His production would likely improve leaving Oakland’s cavernous ballpark. He's under team control through 2025, so he would cost more than others on this list.
Trey Mancini, Orioles
He is a fan favorite, but if the Phillies can trade Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, the Orioles can trade Mancini. Mancini, who hits right-handed, has a .780 OPS and a 124 OPS+. He plays mostly first base and left field, but he has experience in right. He has a mutual option for 2023.
David Peralta, D-backs
He is a free agent after the season, so you figure Arizona will be motivated to move him. Peralta, who hits left-handed, has a .762 OPS and a 115 OPS+. He has experience in both left and right.
Bryan Reynolds, Pirates
He would be the most expensive player on this list because he is under team control through 2025. The Phillies would have to include top Minor League talent to make this happen. Double-A catcher Logan O’Hoppe would make sense, except the Pirates’ No. 2 prospect is catcher Henry Davis, whom they selected with the first overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. Reynolds, who is a switch-hitter, has played most of his career in center and left. He has a .761 OPS and a 114 OPS+.
Michael A. Taylor, Royals
Taylor has been a below-average hitter for the first eight years of his career, but he has a .767 OPS and a 118 OPS+ this season. He won a Gold Glove in center field last season with Kansas City. Taylor is signed through next season.