The Phillies were on national TV Sunday night, facing a starting pitcher the Braves acquired just a few hours earlier. They faced veteran lefty Tommy Milone, who was traded from Baltimore to Atlanta Sunday afternoon for two players to be named later.
Milone is a mediocre 33-year-old southpaw who was off to a strong start in 2020. In six starts with the Orioles, he had a 3.99 ERA with 31 strikeouts and four walks in 29⅓ innings. He’s a No. 5 starter, 51-51 in his career with a 4.45 ERA. The Braves needed bodies in their rotation.
Padres acting aggressively
The most active team this weekend has been the San Diego Padres, who are in good shape to end a 14-year playoff drought. On Sunday, they acquired first baseman/DH Mitch Moreland from the Red Sox and catcher Jason Castro from the Angels. On Saturday, they traded for hard-throwing Royals reliever Trevor Rosenthal.
San Diego is also reportedly after Rangers right-hander Lance Lynn, the top starting pitcher and probably the best overall player on the trade market. He has been connected to the Blue Jays and Athletics. More on Lynn here.
The Padres could be a player for Mike Clevinger, as well. Clevinger fell out of favor in Cleveland after violating team rules by leaving the team hotel and going out with a group of people after a game in Chicago. On the field, he’s been money for four straight years, going 39-19 with a 2.97 ERA in 470 innings with 534 K’s. Cleveland’s asking price is understandably high for the 29-year-old.
Could Joey Gallo move?
One of the best power bats in baseball, Joey Gallo, has been discussed in potential trades, according to ESPN. Gallo, 26, is the kind of hitter who will attract most teams because of his power, age and the two years of club control he’s under beyond 2020. Even non-contenders would make sense.
Since 2017, Gallo has hit .215/.336/.525 with 110 home runs. He’s averaged 46 homers per 162 games over that span. He’s also versatile defensively, capable of playing all three outfield spots along with first base.
The asking price will be huge.
Same for Josh Hader
The Brewers‘ lefty has been the best reliever in baseball since his debut in 2017. In those four seasons, he has a 2.39 ERA and 0.86 WHIP with 363 strikeouts in 214 innings.
Hader can close, set up and pitch multiple innings. He is the grim reaper for left-handed hitters, who have hit .116 off of him lifetime.
There has been some buzz connecting the Phillies to Hader but the cost would be exorbitant. Hader comes with three years of team control beyond this one.
From the Phillies’ perspective, Hader would probably cost even more than Bryston Stott, Mickey Moniak and Adonis Medina.
Mets seeking a catcher
The Mets are looking for a catcher, according to the New York Post. They will also be looking for a catcher this winter, perhaps under new ownership, and that could be terrible news for the Phillies with free-agent-to-be J.T. Realmuto.
“The Mets view catching as the one position that they could upgrade, not counting pitching,” Joel Sherman wrote. “Wilson Ramos has struggled offensively. Tomas Nido has been on the injured list for undisclosed reasons.”
The catching market is thin, especially with Castro headed to San Diego. Boston’s Christian Vazquez is a possibility. He has been one of the better catchers in the majors since 2019.
Austin Nola, Aaron’s older brother, is another catcher to keep an eye on. He’s been a strong major-league hitter in 377 plate appearances, batting .280 with 15 homers, 50 RBI and an .827 OPS.