No big splashes, but Phillies address three priorities at the deadline
In the later afternoon, as the Phils’ trades were announced, most of the reaction on a fan site I frequent was negative. How could Dave Dombrowski give up catching prospect Logan O’Hoppe for an outfielder – Brandon Marsh – who can’t hit? Why is Dombrowski dealing a hard thrower like Ben Brown for 37-year-old closer David Robertson?
Then, when we learned the news about Noah Syndergaard coming to the Phils for Mickey Moniak and midlevel prospect Jadiel Sanchez, the narrative seemed to change. Looked at overall, trading O’Hoppe, Moniak and Sanchez for Marsh and Syndergaard seemed better. And even if they were skeptical of the Robertson transaction, the Phillies’ roster is now clearly in better shape. Robertson replaces Jeurys Familia and Marsh replaces Odubel Herrera.
I think Dombrowski originally sought a starting pitcher who would be under team control for at least one more season. But the Phils’ president of baseball operations found the price too high, so Syndergaard was the backup plan.
As for Marsh, Dombrowski’s priority was to improve defense in center field and this should do that. Granted, it would be nice if Marsh hit higher than the .220s, but that would be a bonus. Longer term, the Phils probably think they can fix Marsh’s swing. The potential is there.
Also, there’s some sort of poetic justice for Robertson to come back to Philly after he signed here a few years ago only to end up injured. I think he looks forward to taking care of some unfinished business.
And I love the bullpen depth right now. There’s not a single Phils reliever that makes me cringe (though Jose Alvarado still makes me a little nervous), and that hasn’t happened in I don’t know how long.