Stop us if you've heard this one before: A National League East contender should be shopping for both an arm and a bat ahead of the July 30 trade deadline.
Following Wednesday's afternoon MLB action, the Philadelphia Phillies trailed the first-place New York Mets by only three games in the division standings. On Tuesday, Phillies slugger and star Bryce Harper seemed to implore the club's front office to make more than just one big move before the deadline. Harper explained, per Todd Zolecki of the MLB website:
"We’re in striking distance. We’re in a spot where we’re really going to realize where we are in the next 10 days, right? We have a big series with the Yankees, a big series with Atlanta, and the Nationals come in town. These next couple days could really determine where we’re at. But also with that, you never want to just say, 'Hey, where are we? Could we have won a couple games here if we wouldn’t have waited?'"
"We want to put that pressure on [the front office] to hopefully go out there and get the guys that we need to get, if that’s bullpen, if that’s positions. As a team, I think we know where we can be. We know what kind of ball that we’re playing right now and how good we can be."
Zolecki linked the Phillies with Chicago Cubs slugger Kris Bryant and closer Craig Kimbrel. Ironically, the Mets could realistically pursue one or both of those assets, especially if New York closer Edwin Diaz is on the verge of a collapse following a strong first half of the season.