The red-hot Phillies are just two games behind the first-place Mets in the NL East, and Phillies players are suddenly imploring their front office to act as buyers come the July 30 trade deadline.
“Hopefully, we’re making the right case,” All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto said on Sunday after the Phillies tallied a pair of victories over the Marlins. “We would have liked to not have to make the case this late. We would have liked to have played better earlier in the season. But now that we’ve got everyone back on the field and playing well, we’re doing all we can to try to convince them to go out and get what we need.
“We’re here to compete and we want to get to the postseason. We have to keep playing well and keep winning series to put pressure on them to get us some help.”
Just three weeks ago, the Phillies saw their playoff odds reach a nadir, falling to a season-low 6.7% on June 30, per Fangraphs. Since, Philadelphia has gone 10-4 in July, tied with the Dodgers for the best mark in the majors over that span. Their playoff odds have climbed to 27.8%.
Meanwhile, the Mets have stumbled out of the All-Star Break, dropping two of three to the last-place Pirates, including a nightmarish loss on Saturday in which they blew a 6-0 eighth-inning lead. To make matters worse, New York lost both Francisco Lindor and Jacob deGrom to injury.
With the Mets seemingly vulnerable, the race for the division crown appears wide-open.
“We’ve got to prove that we can win,” Phillies ace and former Met Zack Wheeler said. “It’s as simple as that. They’re not going to buy if we’re not consistent. To be able to go out there and win some games and show that we’re serious and show the front office that we’re serious, that definitely helps.”
Should the Phillies seek to acquire talent at the deadline, they would almost certainly look to bolster their bullpen, which has blown a league-leading 23 saves. They could also seek a starter to replace Matt Moore and his 5.25 ERA at the back end of the rotation.