Bravo, Matt Klentak.
The Phillies’ young general manager made a move before the non-waiver trade deadline this season. It was a bit of a contrast from last year, when he stood pat.
Ironically, it was a “Pat” that he dealt this time around, sending reliever Pat Neshek and cash to the Colorado Rockies for three A-Level prospects. Either one of them could pan out considering their youth. Neither of them could blossom into a big league player based on the difficulty to do so.
However, it was better that Klentak got something for the 36-year-old Neshek than nothing. Even though the right-handed pitcher gave up runs in only two innings this season and absolutely deserves a new contract next year, taking a risk on someone his age doesn’t fit what the Phils are trying to do for the future.
That’s why Klentak should absolutely also trade Howie Kendrick, Daniel Nava and Jeremy Hellickson no matter what, even though Kendrick and Nava are dealing with injuries.
Truth is though, Klentak should avoid conundrums like this going forward. Even though the Phils are in rebuild mode, it serves them best to stop signing or trading for one-year commodities in the off-season with the hopes of flipping them come the deadline, because the mindset from here on out should be “build a winnner now” rather than “rebuild” into one over time.
With the worst record in baseball, interest in the Phillies dwindled before Memorial Day Weekend. The only times they were talk show worthy when people craved for Triple-A prospects or Odubel Herrera made an eye opening mistake. Citizens Bank Park is almost empty with great weather in July.
That should never be case and shouldn’t have been over the past handful of years.
This town breathes football, which dominates every other sport regardless of Joel Embiid’s level of entertainment. However, it also loves baseball, but hasn’t been able to love it to its full ability because of the product on the field and mindset in the front office.
I’m not saying the Phils need to hand players massive contracts next season for a quick fix. But, they should change of their thinking of what type of player to acquire. Instead of trading for or signing a rental to flip, add someone to build around. Bring in somebody who will put people in the seats and make Phils game a hot ticket again.
Neshek deserves all the credit for performing at a high level this season, but he should have never been on this team to start.
Before I forget….
-Odubel Herrera is at it again. As I mentioned before, he remains must-watch television during a Phillies season that sometimes is nearly impossible to follow without wanting to blow out your vocal chords, or maybe Herrera will take care of that for you. In Tuesday’s loss to the Astros, he flipped his bat after a first inning fly out, prompting the Houston dugout to mock him. Then, he didn’t run hard on a dropped third strike in the sixth, his last play of the game because Pete Mackanin double switched the center fielder. Herrera dodged the media after the game and left his pregame session Wednesday right after he was asked why these mistakes keep happening. There isn’t enough accountability from the talented, yet puzzling, $30 million outfielder. I have the solution though, and it’s option him to Triple-A. Not that he’s struggling, because he might be the team’s hottest hitter lately, but he needs a wake up call, a punishment that isn’t a night out of the lineup or a fine. He needs to be humbled and unfortunately at this point, the only way to do that is send him to a place he skipped due to the Rule 5 Draft, Lehigh Valley.
-The reason the Eagles last playoff win was in 2008-09 is because Carson Wentz is their first franchise quarterback since Donovan McNabb. Yet, a very close second is drafting, something that has been a huge problem for the Birds since Howie Roseman took over the first time. Possibly the biggest mistake of them all was finally let go this week, Marcus Smith. The morning after Smith was taken way too early at No. 26 overall in 2014, Roseman called into WIP unsolicited to explain the selection. That never happens. Roseman has since performed better in these moments with the trades made to land Wentz and there’s many indications Derek Barnett will be worth it as well. But, picks like Smith can’t happen. They set franchises back years. It’s why Barnett needed to be taken this year instead of a more glaring need, such as corner or linebacker. It comes off as a do over for the epic Smith blunder.
-The Cowboys released Lucky Whitehead after was accused of shoplifting a Wawa in Virginia. Turns out Whitehead was misidentified, but Dallas stood by its decision and didn’t bring him back, basically citing football reasons. The timing is bad optics though, as other Cowboys players, including Ezekiel Elliot, aren’t getting disciplined by the team. Why should anyone be surprised?
-I know many think the Cavaliers on the downslide. I disagree. Until LeBron James jettisons for another team and the supporting cast around him changes, Cleveland is still the team to beat in the East. Then, why in the world should Kyrie Irving want to go somewhere else to be the franchise player, as reported? Irving should play at least one more year with James to give himself the best chance to defeat the Warriors. I hate to break it to Irving, as good as he is, he needs LeBron to take down Golden State.