The Phillies are now winners of four series in a row, the momentum is moving in the right direction for the Phillies. So the Phillies appear to be actively monitoring the trade market. In particular, the Phillies might be eyeing a big upgrade in center field.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported that the Phillies are keeping an eye on Minnesota Twins center fielder Bryon Buxton, who could be traded if the Twins feel as if they cannot come to terms on an extension:
The Phillies would be at or near the front of the line if Byron Buxton became available. As @Ken_Rosenthal said the Twins are first attempting to lock him up. Tricky negotiation tough: superstar who’s been hurt a lot.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 16, 2021
Buxton would remain under club control in 2022 as well. Another big name emerged Sunday: Miami Marlins center fielder Starling Marte. Heyman reported that the Phillies have "checked in" on Marte, who, like Buxton, could be moved if an extension cannot be reached:
Phillies, Astros and Yanks are among teams to check in on Starling Marte who seems likely to be traded. A sizable gap remains in contract talks with the Marlins as @BNightengale said. Miami’s offer is for more than the reported $30M for 3 years but extension hopes are fading. — Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 18, 2021
If the Phillies were able to acquire Marte, he would be reunited with an old friend.
Marte and Andrew McCutchen made up two-thirds of the Pittsburgh Pirates' outfield in their most recent playoff run. Marte has been traded twice since the 2019 season, once to the Arizona Diamondbacks two offseasons ago, and mid-season last year as the Marlins made a playoff push.
Marte will be a free agent after 2021.
The Phillies have strugged to find consistency in center field. Adam Haseley opened the season as the starting center fielder, splitting time with Roman Quinn. Haseley missed two months for personal reasons, returned and was optioned to Triple-A, where he was injured and sits on the injured list. Quinn suffered a season-ending injuury.
Neither Scott Kingery or Mickey Moniak successfully claimed the position either, and the job has mostly been held by Odubel Herrera, currently on the injured list. Herrera is expected to return from the injured list soon, but was batting just .241 with an OPS of .682 in 228 at bats.
The Phillies have received stellar play from Travis Jankowski, who is batting .375 through 48 at bats. But adding a star player such as Buxton or Marte would be a big boost to the Phillies offense and allow Jankowski to fill in at other outfield positions as the fourth outfielder.
The trade deadline is set for July 30 at 4:00 p.m.