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Rangers and Phillies may still be talking

Jake Diekman
ake Diekman of the Texas Rangers throws in the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on June 20, 2018. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

The Phillies had kicked the tires on Cole Hamels, considering a possible reunion with the lefty starter. When Hamels was dealt to the Cubs last week it was assumed that the Rangers and Phillies wouldn’t have any more reason to really chat other than to exchange pleasantries. That might not be the case.

The Phillies are still interested in adding a big bat to their bench and 24-year old outfielder Joey Gallo could be an option. The Phillies are also looking for bullpen arms and another former Phillie, left-hander Jake Diekman, might also be of interest. While both players are available the price for Gallo is much higher than that of Diekman according to a number of national writers, including Ken Rosenthal.

The Phillies currently have two left-handers – Austin Davis and Adam Morgan – in their bullpen. Morgan started the season strong but his ERA has been bumped up to 4.76 on the season and he’s got a 1.55 WHIP in 44 relief outings. Davis, who the Phillies drafted in the 12th round of the 2014 Draft, has been somewhat of an eye-opener for the team this season since arriving from Lehigh Valley a little over a month ago. Davis was hit hard in the series in Cincinnati but has been impressive in putting together a 3.44 ERA in 15 outings. He’s struck out 24 batters in 18 1/3 innings of work.

Improving the bullpen has been a stated goal of the Phillies front office as the trade deadline nears. They added infielder Asdrubal Cabrera from the Mets on Friday but are still reportedly shopping for other potential deals.

Among those names on Bowden’s list, that of Adam Conley is also interesting. Conley, a 28-year old left-hander, was a starter for the Marlins up until this season when they moved him to the bullpen. In 30 games, he’s assembled a 3.38 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings.

It’s worth noting that the Braves, who are currently 1 1/2 games behind the Phillies in the NL East, acquired reliever Brad Brach from Baltimore over the weekend.

Gallo is having a down season but his price remains relatively high since he’s still just 24 and is under team control until after the 2022 season. Coming into the 2018 season, Gallo was a career .201/.321/.498 hitter with 48 home runs in 66 games. While watching his average drop to .191 this season with the Rangers, he has still shown a penchant for power with 26 home runs in 101 games. He’s on a path that would see him strikeout over 200 times this season which would surpass his career-high of 106 strikeouts set in 2017. Gallo is a left-handed hitter.

In addition to inquiring with the Rangers on Hamels, the Phillies had also been thought to have an interest in Adrian Beltre, the 39-year old third baseman who is hitting .292 this season with Texas. With the emergence of Maikel Franco and the acquisition of Asdrubal Cabrera, the Phillies are now thought to be out of the market for infielders.

The non-waiver trade deadline is 4:00 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, July 31st.

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