September is when a number of MLB teams attempt to buckle down and play their best baseball, in hopes of rounding into form heading into the postseason.
But for others that are out of the playoff race, it’s all about the Hot Stove, and what moves they may make during the offseason to improve their roster.
That’s the situation the Phillies are now in, which is a bit surprising, as the team sat stop the NL East on Aug. 12. Since that time, however, the Phillies have lost 25 of their last 38 games, and the Braves officially clinched the division title with a 5-3 win on Saturday.
It was still a productive season for the Phillies, all things considered. Not only that, they have a talented young core, with only $69 million in contracts owed to players next season. They have plenty of money to spend, and are rumored to have interest in Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, with a possibility of landing both players.
The Phillies are also expected to make a play for a left-handed pitcher, which opens the door for a number of trade scenarios, given how much young talent they have on their roster. And every player on the team will be made available for trade in the offseason, aside from Rhys Hoskins and Aaron Nola, according to a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
Nola was drafted by the Phillies in the first round, and 2018 was his breakout year, as he even managed to put himself in the NL Cy Young Award discussion. It certainly makes sense that he’s off limits. As for Hoskins, he’s just entering his prime years, and is a leader in the clubhouse. Hoskins is a key piece that the Phillies should look to build around.
No matter what the Phillies end up doing, this particular piece of news has us already excited for the Hot Stove.