June 15, 2024

The Philadelphia Phillies hold the best record in MLB as of May 20. According to David Murphy of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies are gearing up to add ‘reinforcements’ at the trade deadline. In his article, “Ten potential Phillies (rental) trade targets to monitor before the MLB deadline,” Murphy listed the Pittsburgh Pirates’ David Bednar as a target.

Murphy pointed out that four teams who made the postseason in 2023 were at least four games below .500 on May 19. This underperformance by teams expected to succeed in 2024 suggests a strong rental market leading up to the July 30 deadline, Murphy wrote.

“This is good news for the Phillies, who might be looking for short-term additions in the corner outfield, backup catcher, and bullpen,” Murphy added.

Bednar Would Bring an Elite Closer to the Phillies

Why I Don't Believe the Pittsburgh Pirates Will Trade David Bednar

“Tough early going for the Pirates closer, but he has a 2.04 FIP (fielding independent pitching) in his last seven outings, including four saves,” Murphy wrote about Bednar. “His rough start might make Pittsburgh more open to trading him if he improves over the next month and a half.”

The Phillies bullpen currently has the ninth-highest ERA in the majors. Despite some strong individual performances, the group as a whole has struggled. Bednar could potentially provide an elite closer to strengthen the bullpen.

The Phillies’ current closer is José Alvarado, supported by Jeff Hoffman, Orion Kerkering, and Matt Strahm. Alvarado has successfully converted all eight of his save opportunities in 2024. Adding Bednar would allow Alvarado to move to a setup role.

“Bednar is still in his physical prime and is coming off a three-year period during which he struck out 226 batters in 179⅔ innings, allowed just 12 home runs, and posted a 2.25 ERA,” Murphy wrote. “He has two more years of club control and is in his second year of arbitration with the notoriously frugal Pirates organization.”

Bednar has been named an All-Star for the past two seasons. Although he currently has a 7.85 ERA, he has managed to secure 10 saves this season and is beginning to regain his previous form. In his last seven outings, he has recorded a save in five of them and allowed only two runs.

 

 

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