Phillies Rumors: Star could hit trade block if results don’t improve

Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Phillies continue to perform well below expectations. Could that lead to one star getting dealt at the trade deadline? 

The August 1st trade deadline looms large for every MLB team, but especially those that are underperforming. The Philadelphia Phillies entered the season with sky-high expectations, fresh off a World Series appearance and the blockbuster acquisition of star shortstop Trea Turner. The results so far? Not great.

The Phils are currently 25-31, which places them fourth in the NL East. Bryce Harper is back from injury and batting well, but the struggles of lineup mainstays like Turner and Kyle Schwarber have left the team floundering in mediocrity.

According to ESPN baseball guru Jeff Passan, the Phillies are very much a team to watch ahead of the trade deadline.

Aaron Nola could be on the move if Phillies can’t turn season around

Passan highlights RHP Aaron Nola as a potential deadline mover if the Phillies remain “stuck in neutral.” Just last season Philadelphia dug itself out of an early-season hole to win the National League, so not all hope is lost. That being said, the energy around the team is severely negative and the fandom harbors more angst than ever given the recent hardships in the world of Philly sports.

Nola is an excellent pitcher, but he currently boasts a 4.70 ERA and a mediocre 4-4 record on the season. He is also on an expiring contract. As Passan notes, a Nola exit in free agency would only net the Phillies a draft pick after the fourth round — not exactly great compensation for a franchise-defining talent.

The Phillies could get a more prominent return on the trade market; there will contenders galore eager to add a pitcher of Nola’s caliber to their rotation. If the Phillies arrive at August’s doorstep and there’s no clear path to contention, it might be time to kick the proverbial can down the road and send Nola off before he can leave of his own accord.

That would obviously mean a seismic shift in the Phillies organization. Nola has spent his entire nine-year career in Philadelphia, including an All-Star appearance in 2018. A trade would signal the end of an era, and potentially the end of the Phillies’ postseason aspirations. We haven’t quite arrived at that point, but it’s a possibility to monitor if the Phils continue to lose ballgames.

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