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Phillies trade rumors - MacPhail says Phils have no untouchables, plus a case for Andrew McCutchen
by Scott Butler 7/5/17

Philadelphia Phillies Trade Rumors

MLB Trade Rumors is a site which describes themselves as "a clearinghouse for relevant, legitimate baseball rumors." Each week at Phils Baseball, we grab their latest Phillies rumors and put them all together in one weekly post.

Here are the latest Phillies rumors:

July 2

A Case For Phillies To Pursue Andrew McCutchen

Sticking with the McCutchen theme, Ryan Lawrence of PhillyVoice.com opines that the in-state rival Phillies should pursue a deal for the 30-year-old. Given that the Phillies have the majors’ worst record (27-53), McCutchen wouldn’t help them vie for a playoff berth this year, but Lawrence argues that he’d still be a worthwhile addition. Philadelphia could acquire McCutchen with the goal of extending him past next season, when his team control expires. If they fail to reach a multiyear agreement by next summer and the Phillies aren’t in the playoff hunt, they’d potentially be able to flip McCutchen, contends Lawrence.

July 2

NL International Signings: 7/2/17

The Phillies reached agreement with Dominican shortstop Luis Garcia on a deal with a $2.5MM bonus.

July 1

Howie Kendrick To Undergo MRI

Phillies outfielder/infielder Howie Kendrick, who went on the DL on Friday with an injured left hamstring, will probably miss longer than 10 days, writes Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Kendrick will undergo an MRI in Philadelphia during the upcoming week, and the team’s bigwigs are undoubtedly hoping nothing serious crops up to prevent them from fetching a decent return at the trade deadline for the impending free agent. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail suggested Friday that there should be plenty of interest in the 33-year-old Kendrick, saying, “If I wanted a professional hitter, I sure wouldn’t have any pause.”

July 1

Phillies Don't Have Any Untouchables At Major League Level

While the Phillies will shop players with expiring contracts leading up to the trade deadline, team president Andy MacPhail also suggested Friday that general manager Matt Klentak would at least listen to offers for all of their big leaguers, writes Todd Zolecki of MLB.com“He needs to keep a wide spectrum, wide horizon, and any opportunity that makes sense for us going forward, he should explore,” MacPhail said of Klentak. The Phillies own the majors’ worst record (26-52), but they’re not devoid of intriguing, controllable players who might pique teams’ interest in the next month. Outfielders Aaron Altherr and Odubel Herrera stand out in their group of position players, while Aaron NolaJerad EickhoffVince Velasquez and Hector Neris are among their cheap pitchers who could be on clubs’ radars.

July 1

MacPhail On Phillies' Deadline Plans

In a lengthy chat with the media that’s well worth a full read, Phillies president Andy MacPhail addressed the frustrating first half of the year for his organization. (Via CSNPhilly.com.) Generally, he expressed an inclination to continue staying the course, noting that the team is focused on evaluating its internal options and has maintained a mostly open balance sheet for future campaigns. As regards the coming deadline, MacPhail suggested that righty Pat Neshek and outfielder/infielder Howie Kendrick ought to draw significant interest, saying that it will be GM Matt Klentak’s “job” to “find a motivated buyer” for Neshek, in particular. He also said the organization does not see any untouchable players in its system. Klentak’s boss said that the GM “needs to keep a wide spectrum, wide horizon and any opportunity that makes sense for us going forward, he should explore.”

June 30

Phillies To Place Howie Kendrick On DL, Promote Nick Williams

The Phillies are set to promote outfield prospect Nick Williams to the Majors, reports Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com (via Twitter). The move means that left fielder Howie Kendrick will land on the 10-day disabled list due to an injured left hamstring, tweetsMLB.com’s Todd Zolecki.

Williams, 23, rated as a consensus top 100 prospect headed into the 2016 season but saw his stock dip following an awful year with Philadelphia’s Triple-A affiliate last year (.258/.287/.427, 26% strikeout rate). Those struggles dipped him off most prospect lists this season, though Baseball Prospectus still ranked him 51st headed into the year, and MLB.com currently rates him fourth among Phillies prospects.

Thus far in 2017, Williams has demonstrated a large number of the skills that made him such a touted prospect and a key piece to the 2015 Cole Hamels blockbuster, though there’s still some work to be done. Through 302 plate appearances, he’s hitting a much-improved .277/.326/.511 with 15 homers, 16 doubles and two triples. He’s upped his walk rate a bit, but the boost from 3.6 percent to a still-modest 5.3 percent and Williams’ actually elevated 29.8 percent strikeout rate still indicate room for improvement.

That said, Williams has the potential to provide power and speed with solid defense in an outfield corner for years to come if he can manage to refine his approach at the plate. Whether he remains on the roster to stay or is only up in the big leagues for a brief period is unclear, though certainly one would imagine that a strong first showing could force Williams into the mix with Kendrick on the shelf and veteran Michael Saunders now back with the Blue Jays organization following his release.

As for Kendrick, his second trip to the disabled list saps some of the trade value he’d built up over the past month. Kendrick missed roughly six weeks of the season with an abdominal injury, but he returned swinging a blazing bat. In 96 plate appearances following his most recent activation from the DL, Kendrick slashed a ridiculous .356/.406/.471 with a pair of homers, four doubles and seven stolen bases.

It remains to be seen how long he’ll miss, but the injury seems minor enough that he’ll be back with time to spare before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. However, with a pair of DL stints under his belt, roughly $4-5MM remaining on his contract and his status as a rental player, Kendrick doesn’t figure to fetch a premium return, even though a number of teams will be intrigued by the thought of adding a well-respected veteran with some defensive versatility.

July 1

NL East Notes: Bartolo, Kendrick, Nationals

The Phillies could be facing a trip to the disabled list for Howie Kendrickwrites CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury. Kendrick has been bothered lately by a sore hamstring, and while he was in the lineup as a DH on Tuesday this week, he told manager Pete Mackanin that he didn’t feel good enough to go on Wednesday. Mackanin acknowledged that the Phils have to consider a DL stint for Kendrick, which would be a disappointing development for the organization, as Kendrick’s hot bat has elevated his trade candidacy since returning from a lengthy six-week stint on the DL earlier this year. Salisbury wonders whether the Phils would bring up a prospect such as Nick Williams or Dylan Cozens and give him regular playing time in lieu of Kendrick, though that suggestion appears to be made somewhat speculatively.

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