Earlier today, Buster Olney suggested that the Phillies might add some pieces instead of subtracting. The Phillies apparently are looking to add, paving the way for some subtraction later, if necessary. According to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, the Phillies are looking at three back-end relievers: Addison Reed of the Chicago White Sox, John Axford of the Milwaukee Brewers, and Steve Cishek of the Miami Marlins.
Morosi suggests that the reliever could help the team in the eighth inning now, but still clear the way for a Papelbon trade later:
If the Phillies remain in the race, they must upgrade their bullpen. Their relievers have combined for a 4.65 ERA this season, second-worst in the majors.
But even if the Phillies slip in the standings and sell at the deadline, it makes sense for them to add a reliever. One of the aforementioned pitchers could close for the Phillies in 2014, if not this year. And that’s a significant statement because Papelbon — the current closer, with a contract through at least 2015 — may become available if Amaro decides to sell.
So Amaro could essentially buy and sell at the same time. Of those three names, Axford worries me some, as he is up and down. But should this be the case, it would show an out-of-the-box, crafty approach to the trade deadline. I like it.