Philadelphia Phillies: Tommy Joseph should be on the trade block

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 07: Odubel Herrera
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 07: Odubel Herrera /

With the MLB trade deadline looming, the Philadelphia Phillies should look to move on from second-year first baseman, Tommy Joseph.

The Phillies are in a unique position, they have two quality first basemen under the age of 26. Given the small logjam, the Phillies should look to move on from the incumbent first baseman and shuffle in the Rhys Hoskins era.

I know, Tommy Joseph has only been the starter for about a year now, but what you see is what you get from number 19. Through 84 games this season, he is slashing .245/.307/.454/.761 with 15 home runs and 43 RBIs. To compare, last season he played 107 games and slashed .257/.308/.505/.813 with 21 home runs and 47 RBIs. Last season he struck out 75 times, this season he has 80 and counting. Those aren’t bad numbers for a second-year first baseman, but when there’s a younger guy knocking on the door in AAA, you should make room for him. *Insert “Ryan Howard was held back by Jim Thome” rant here.*

I don’t necessarily know what the market for a player like Joseph is, but I know for certain he won’t fetch a top prospect. If I were a member of the Philadelphia Phillies front office I would be shopping Joseph actively, especially to American League teams. While he doesn’t boast eye popping numbers at the plate, he is still a threat to go yard every time he steps up. I think he has a future as a DH on an AL team.

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Keeping with the AL theme, I would look to send Tommy Joseph to the Oakland Athletics. Rumors are swirling around the Bay that Oakland has their starting first baseman, Yonder Alonso, on the trade block. If he gets shipped to a contender they will need someone to fill the void.

Mark Feinsand of reported, “Oakland is also shopping first baseman Yonder Alonso, second baseman Jed Lowrie and several of its bullpen pieces”

Enter Matt Klentak and the Philadelphia Phillies front office. If the A’s send Alonso to a contender, they would be a perfect fit for Tommy Joseph. He can play first base or fit in as their DH. It would be a win-win as Joseph wouldn’t cost them much at all. If I’m Matt Klentak I’m asking for a solid relief pitcher, for obvious reasons. In particular, I would ask for Daniel Coulombe. While he only has two years of experience, he has been pretty effective so far this season. This season Coulombe has a 2.84 ERA over 37 games. He pitched 31.2 innings and has 25 strikeouts. He turns 28 on October 26 and would be an upgrade over everyone else in the bullpen with the exception of Pat Neshek, who should be gone at the deadline anyway.

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At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter who the Phillies get for Tommy Joseph because the real prize is getting to bring Rhys Hoskins into the big leagues. Hoskins has been a hot prospect since last season when he hit 38 home runs and collected 116 RBIs. This season at AAA Lehigh Valley he is slashing .285/.373/.525/898 with 20 home runs and 67 RBIs. More impressive is his walk to strikeout rate, with 47 base on balls compared to 56 strike outs. Hoskins, 24, is ready for the majors, there’s no doubt about that.

The Phillies are infamous for letting hitters waste away in AAA, whether it’s Darin Ruf or Ryan Howard, it seems they always find a way to call up players too late. I would hate to see the Phils do this again to such a young, talented prospect. The Phillies need a superstar, who’s to say it can’t be Rhys Hoskins?

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The Philadelphia Phillies need to be shopping Tommy Joseph. I wouldn’t sell him for a bag of balls, but they need to shuffle in the Rhys Hoskins era sooner than later. If nothing else, you know what you have with Tommy Joseph. What he is now is what he will be. Hoskins, however, is a wildcard. His floor at this point in time is a poor man’s Tommy Joseph. His ceiling is much higher than Tommy Joseph’s. It’s time for Matt Klentak to bring up the young guys. He could start by calling up our first baseman of the future, Rhys Hoskins.