Philadelphia Phillies’ trade target #4: Chris Flexen
Chris Flexen made his MLB debut in 2017 with the Mets, and it didn’t go well for him; after three bad seasons, he decided to play in Korea, and since coming back in 2021, he seems to have found his footing in the MLB.
Last year with the Mariners, Flexen posted an ERA of 3.73, an ERA+ of 99, a FIP of 4.49, and a WHIP of 1.329. These numbers were all down from his more impressive 2021 season, where he posted an ERA of 3.61, an ERA+ of 114, a FIP of 3.89, and a WHIP of 1.252.
Flexen will be 28 at the start of the 2023 season, so his career has a lot of life left. He will be a free agent at the end of the 2023 season, so he could be used as a bridge for Mick Abel or Andrew Painter if they aren’t ready to go for next year.
Philadelphia Phillies’ trade target #5: Shane Bieber
We saved the best for last with Shane Bieber, who has been rumored to be available though the Guardians would likely not let him go for cheap but getting Shane Bieber feels like the most Dave Dombrowski move out of all of these.
Bieber will be just 27 at the start of the 2023 season, and he’s under contract until the end of the 2025 season when he’d be 30.
Instead of giving you Bieber’s stats from just last year, I think it would be a better representation for me to give you his career stats to show you what kind of pitcher he is.
Bieber made his debut in 2018, and since then, he’s made 111 starts and has posted an ERA of 3.17, an ERA+ of 136, a FIP of 3.00, and a WHIP of 1.097 while having a SO/W rate of 5.43.
Bieber has been one of baseball’s best pitchers since making his debut, making 2 All-Star teams and winning the CY Young award in 2020. Obviously, getting a guy as good and young as Bieber would take a lot, and the question is if the Phillies’ farm system is good enough. The Phillies would most likely have to include one of Painter and Abel plus another mid-range prospect to get the ball rolling on a deal.
Given Dombrowski’s track record of trading for big-name pitchers and the comments he made earlier in the week, it wouldn’t shock me to see him pull the trigger on any one of these guys, They all have their advantages and disadvantages, but if the Phillies are serious about winning (Which is seems they are), they need to jump on the opportunity to solidify the rotation and make a splash this offseason.