Recent Philadelphia Phillies rumors have them going into the market for a starting pitcher. We learned yesterday that Cleveland Guardians starter Zach Plesac was on their radar. As Jim Salisbury revealed, the team could look at two far more productive younger arms on the trade market.
The two names Salisbury mentions are Pablo Lopez of the Miami Marlins and José Urquidy of the Houston Astros. Each is having a pretty good year, at least more so than many of the options the Phillies have with Zach Eflin out.
Moving on from Lopez would make sense for the Marlins only if they can get something in return to bolster their lackluster offense. For Houston, trading Urquidy has to do with sacrificing something they already have plenty of: starting pitching. Which would make more sense for Philadelphia?
Rumors linking the Philadelphia Phillies to younger, controllable starting pitchers are a promising sign.
It’s a bit of a shock to see these recent Phillies rumors linking them to more than this year’s Kyle Gibson. Because the Phillies don’t have a stacked farm system, their options are somewhat limited as to what they can or cannot do. Dave Dombrowski seems to at least have some confidence that they can get something done with catching prospect Logan O’Hoppe, as Salisbury notes, as the likeliest casualty in any win-now move the team could make.
This season, Lopez has gone 7-5 with a 3.03 ERA in 20 starts for the Marlins. It’s near to the 5-5 record and 3.07 ERA he had in just as many starts last season. Now 26, he won’t reach free agency until after the 2024 season. Because it is a trade within the division, it might cost a little more. The Marlins aren’t exactly forced into trading him for a low bid.
Urquidy might be easier to obtain even without the benefit of having double-agent Ed Wade in Houston. He has gone 9-4 with a 3.86 ERA in 19 starts for the Astros. Strikeouts have been hard to come by, fanning only 6.7 per 9 innings this year. Still an improvement over Bailey Falter or anyone else the Phillies might try to replace Eflin’s roster spot with, he’d be someone to heavily consider. Urquidy won’t reach free agency until after the 2025 season.
It’s certainly interesting to see two of these three trade candidates (including Plesac) come from teams in the playoff hunt. The other, on a division rival, might still be the hardest to snatch up.
However, it’s done; the Phillies need to add a starting pitcher. Choose wisely, Indiana Dombrowski.