Could the Phillies make another trade with their NL East rival, before Tuesday’s 4:00 p.m. ET trade deadline? It is a strong possibility that they could.
Last week, Philadelphia acquired second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera from the New York Mets and is now in the running for one of their starting pitchers.
Jon Heyman of FanCred reported on Monday that the Phillies along with the Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, and New York Yankees have shown a lot of interest in Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler.
Wheeler and ace pitcher Jacob deGrom have been the subject of trade rumors over the last month. This season has been a disappointment for the Mets, who are currently in last place in the National League East.
Heyman added in his report that no team has met the asking price for Wheeler and if that doesn’t change, then he will ultimately be staying in New York.
This season has been a revelation for the 23-year-old starting pitcher. Wheeler started out the year rough with a record of 2-4 and 5.32 ERA in eight starts.
He had also given up 26 earned runs, 17 walks, six home runs and racked up 47 strikeouts, over that span of time. It was not a good time for Wheeler, who was trying to figure things out, after missing a couple of seasons due to Tommy John surgery.
However, Wheeler reminded everybody this month why he was a first-round pick back in 2009. He has a record of 3-0 with an ERA of 3.13 in five starts.
The right-handed pitcher also limited his home runs (2) and walks (11), while compiling 30 strikeouts during this recent stretch of success.
On Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, he had a dominating performance leading the Mets to victory, striking out seven over six innings pitched and only gave up five hits.
What would it cost the Phillies to acquire Wheeler?
With all that being known, it is not a surprise to see teams are interested in Wheeler.
However, if you are the Phillies, how much are you willing to give up for the young arm?
When they acquired Cabrera last week, the Phillies sent minor league pitcher Franklyn Kilome to the Mets, who was their No. 10 rated prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.
If the Phillies wanted Wheeler, who is set for arbitration in 2019 and free agency the following year, it would probably cost them a few top-10 prospects.
Nevertheless, the potential addition of Wheeler would give the Phillies’ starting rotation a boost for the stretch run as Nick Pivetta has struggled recently. In his last five starts, the 25-year-old pitcher has a record of 2-3 with an ERA skyrocketing to 7.71.
The Phillies can’t afford to lose many games during these last two months of the season with the Braves right behind them in the NL East standings.
However, if the Phillies cannot afford Wheeler or do not want to restock the Mets’ farm system, then the Tampa Bay Rays might be a possible trade partner for them.
Over the weekend, Mark Topkins of the Tampa Bay Times reported that the Phillies along with nine others have expressed some sort of interest in 29-year-old starting pitcher Chris Archer.
Even though he has a 3-5 record and an ERA of 4.31, Archer could possibly help out a contending team that needs a starting pitcher.
Topkins also reported on Sunday that “there is a strong sense around the game that the Rays are more willing than ever before” to trade the 29-year-old Archer.
Unlike Wheeler, it would an utter surprise to the Phillies make a trade for Archer, due to the fact of the other teams in competition for him. While Philadelphia has expressed some interest, it seems as if the Braves, Yankees, and San Diego Padres are the clear front-runners.
Not to mention, no team has reportedly reached the required return for Archer’s services, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman.
With these potential trade scenarios or any deal that they do make, the Phillies must keep their eyes not only on the short-term but also the long-term goals.