The Philadelphia Phillies haven't made a major trade deadline acquisition since acquiring Hunter Pence from the Houston Astros in 2011. But even among the many major trades the Phillies made between 2007 and 2011 - Pence, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt - it's hard to think of a non-relief pitcher or bench piece that the Phillies have acquired in-season that was a true rental. Kyle Lohse, who the Phillies acquired from the Cincinnati Reds in July of 2007, may have been the last true rental piece that the organization traded for.
General manager Matt Klentak says that there's a possibility that changes this year.
"I think there's a chance that we will trade for a rental," Klentak told the collective media Tuesday, including MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. "What we've said all along is that if we can come out of June in a good position and get ourselves onto a roll in July, then that will hopefully put us into a position to make additions. That could come in the form of years of control or the form of rentals. If it's the rental type, we just have to make sure that we're maintaining the proper balance and perspective on that so that we're making this team better but also not mortgaging too much of our future."
The most obvious potential rental that the Phillies have been connected to is Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado. That seems pretty unlikely, however. Jon Heyman of FRS Sports reported earlier this month that while the Phillies had inquired on Machado, they viewed the Orioles asking price to be "too steep." Zolecki added that the Phillies aren't the favorites to acquire Machado before the non-waiver trade deadline.
Consider this: Heyman suggested in late May that shortstop Arquimedes Gamboa, who MLB Pipeline says is the Phillies No. 8 overall prospect, and pitcher Enyel De Los Santos, who the club acquired for Freddy Galvis this offseason, could headline a package. While that package doesn't include any of the more coveted prospects in the organization - Sixto Sanchez, Adonis Medina, Adam Haseley - it would still be quite a lot to give up if Machado ultimately left in free-agency. The possibility does exist that the Phillies could trade for and ultimately retain Machado, though given their financial might, it may just make sense to wait for Machado to reach free-agency and attempt to court him there.
A more realistic option could be Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas. Robert Murray of FRS Sports wrote last week that scouts are "buzzing about" the fit between the Phillies and Moustakas. Still, while the Phillies could trade for a piece like Moustakas knowing he can become a free-agent at the end of this year, it feels unlikely they would give up anything of note for the 29-year-old if they didn't plan to attempt to re-sign him at the end of the year.
While the Phillies may be content to ride out the 2018 season with their current starting rotation, it's conceivable they could trade for a bullpen piece that's a rental. Zach Britton of the Orioles, for example, is a high enough profile name that he would be considered a rental. The Phillies have a need for a traditional closer, so Britton, who made his season-debut last week, could be a potential fit if he puts together an impressive stretch over the next few weeks.