With the Major League Baseball trade deadline less than two weeks out, Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski appeared on the Takeoff with John Clark podcast to discuss the state of the surging ballclub.
“We are in this. We are going to try to make our club better”
“In any short series, if you go in with Wheeler, Nola, Eflin throwing well… you can beat anybody”
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) July 19, 2021
Thanks to a 10-4 start in July and what has been an underperforming division across the board, the Phillies woke up this morning just two games behind the Mets for first place.
How the team proceeds ahead of the deadline is likely dependent upon four variables:
- how top decision-makers evaluate the overall talent of the current product
- ownership’s willingness to increase payroll and/or go over the luxury tax
- the organization’s willingness to part with prospects as it looks to rebuild its shaky minor league system
- market demand
So, how does Dombrowski view the current roster?
I think we’re better than a .500 team, personally. I think we’ve played much better here recently over the last 15, 20 games, so we’ve been playing better. We are contending. As we’re doing this interview, we’re 2.5 games out of first place. We have a chance to win. We legitimately have a chance to win. We have to do the little things right. We have to advance runners, get runners in from the third base. We have cut down our strikeouts a great deal. We have to make routine plays from a defensive perspective.
Dombrowski also provided some insight into the team’s higher level approach this month.
“We’re not selling. I mean, we’re not in a position where we’re looking to move players off our team. Now, anything can happen in 10 days or two weeks,” he said. “If all the sudden, and I don’t like to take this scenario, if you lose 10 games in a row, well, that might be one thing that’s a little bit different, or if you win 10 games in a row, that’s a little bit different. But we’re in a position where we’re in this and we’re going to try to make our club better over the next time period.”
Dombrowksi knows he oversees a flawed team that yet remains entirely capable of taking over a vulnerable division.
His comments seem to validate the widely-held belief that the Phillies will add ahead of the deadline, but they won’t go all-in by dealing significant prospects to do it.
Update: Good take here.
Well this is better than “if we don’t, we don’t” https://t.co/to3yCHoiU3
— Eric Hoeflich (@Eric_Hoeflichwx) July 19, 2021
You can listen to the full episode here: