Buxton is an elite defender
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who follows the team, but the Philadelphia Phillies defense has been brutally bad this season. Outside of catcher and maybe(?) second base, the Phillies have found themselves in a position where pretty much every regular starter is a below average defender.
Adding Buxton – who has a career dWAR of 7.1 and 57 defensive runs saved above average – would seriously lessen the Phillies defensive woes.
Buxton has the speed, athleticism, and range to cover extra ground in the outfield, which inherently takes less pressure off the other two corner outfield positions. Both Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin have seriously been hurt by the team’s weak defense this year, I’m sure they’d appreciate the extra help back there.
Not only is center field one of the more important positions when it comes to building a serviceable defense, but the Phillies are really in the market for two defensive upgrades in the outfield moving forward. They obviously don’t have a longterm CF in the organization, and Andrew McCutchen is unlikely to return after this season.
Landing Buxton to solidify CF allows the team a little more flexibility when it comes to figuring out their LF position moving forward.