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Trade deadline grades: Did the Phillies just crush that? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Phillies are firmly in the playoff hunt with less than 60 games to go, and President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski made it clear before Tuesday's trade deadline that he doesn't want another September flame-out.
If the Phils miss the postseason once again it won't be for a lack of Dombrowski's trying to improve the roster.
The Fightins shipped out a top prospect in exchange for a young, exciting fielder in Brandon Marsh; they sent another prospect away for a sturdy veteran reliever in David Robertson; and they jettisoned a former No. 1 overall pick to the West Coast for a back-end starter in Noah Syndergaard.
It was a busy day!
And if you're listening to the experts, it seems like Dombrowski and the Phils' front office basically nailed it. Let's swing around the baseball internet and see how the Phillies' trade deadline moves grade out...
"The Phillies didn’t have the luxury of time. They need someone who can capably man center field right now, and Marsh can do that. It’s a creative solution from the Phillies' front office. Marsh is a young player only 163 games into his MLB career — it’s surprising the Angels moved him — who will be more valuable playing center than he was flanking Mike Trout.
"[Syndergaard] doesn’t have the strikeout stuff of his earlier days — his fastball runs about 94 mph and his once-daunting slider is neutered at 84 mph — but he’s using his sinker and changeup to miss barrels and post some solid results. If I were the Phillies, I’d be worried that his 3.83 ERA won’t hold up amid regression and less pitcher-friendly confines."
Syndergaard Grade: B
"The 29-year-old has shifted his style, going from chasing strikeouts to chasing ground balls.
"Though this approach translated to a 3.83 ERA in Anaheim, Syndergaard will be pitching in a smaller stadium and in front of a shakier defense with the Phillies."
Robertson Grade: A
"Even at 37 years old, Robertson is still pumping mid-90s fastballs and snapping off nasty curveballs, all while putting up a 2.23 ERA for the Cubs.
"The Phillies did give up a prospect for Robertson, who's only signed for this year at $3.5 million. But since he's the biggest get in a series of moves meant to shore up the team's most glaring weaknesses, the price doesn't seem too high."
Marsh Grade: B
"The 24-year-old was one of baseball's top outfield prospects going into last season. He's since played 163 games in the majors and raised questions about his offensive profile in hitting just .239/.299/.354 with 10 home runs. Yet defense has indeed been Marsh's saving grace, as he has seven defensive runs saved in the outfield in 2022.
Far from a rental, Marsh is under team control through 2027. He thus works as both a near-term boost and a long-term upside play."
"None of their moves were particularly flashy on their own. But together, they added up, and the Phillies filled just about every hole they had. They now have a real centerfielder (Brandon Marsh). Another starter (Noah Syndergaard). More in the bullpen (David Robertson). A good defensive shortstop (Edmundo Sosa). Collectively, those moves leave this defense somewhat less of a liability and add some sorely needed pitching depth—all while allowing Philly to hold onto most of its top prospects."
Syndergaard Grade: B+
"Syndergaard has been slightly above average when healthy this year, and the Phillies needed another rotational arm. They didn't give up much to get one."
Robertson Grade: A
"The Cubs must have had their hand forced with regards to David Robertson. They're giving away a reliever having a very good year to the Phillies for one Double-A pitcher in [Ben] Brown."
Marsh Grade: A
"The Phillies are getting a legitimate centerfielder who has been forced out of position by sharing the field with Mike Trout."
"Shoutout to the Phillies for landing Brandon Marsh, David Robertson and Noah Syndergaard in sensible trades. They upgraded their roster considerably, and designating Odúbel Herrera and Jeurys Familia is addition by subtraction."
So, that's... pretty unanimous, huh? The Phillies kinda crushed it?
You can have your qualms about giving up a prospect like O'Hoppe, who was considered a pretty attractive trade piece, for someone of Brandon Marsh's talent level - but Marsh is a now-and-also-future move, a player who will be useful during this postseason push while also holding tons of potential for years to come.
You can also question whether Syndergaard has much left in the tank, but you can't question that it was time for the Mickey Moniak era to end - and if it had to end, getting a former All-Star with a 3.83 ERA to shore up the rotation isn't a bad return.
It wasn't a picture-perfect trade deadline, but there are 29 other teams complicating things for Dombrowski & Co. in real time, so when all's said and done it has to feel like a pretty victorious Tuesday for the organization.
Now it's time to put those pieces in place, let them work, and reach the dang playoffs.