Phillies Interested in Trade for 2023 All-Star Outfielder: Report

Luis Robert Jr.

Getty Luis Robert Jr. of the Chicago White Sox

The Philadelphia Phillies have established themselves as one of the best teams in baseball this season. Their 45-20 record leads all of baseball as they look to make it back to the World Series. Even with all of their success, they could still use upgrades in the outfield. The team has an interest in Chicago White Sox star Luis Robert Jr., according to the Athletic’s Jim Bowden.

“The Phillies have been the National League’s best team but aren’t resting on their laurels. They’re looking to improve their overall outfield and have interest in Luis Robert Jr. and Tommy Pham,” Bowden wrote on June 11. “The Phillies and White Sox do match up well on a blockbuster-type deal. Robert is under team control through 2027 on a club-friendly deal.”

Robert, an All-Star in 2023, has played in just 13 games this season, but when he’s healthy, he is one of the best players in the league.

Phillies’ Outfield Has Lacked Production

The Phillies have not seen the production they had hoped for from their primary outfielders. Nick Castellanos and Johan Rojas have struggled this season with batting averages of .215 and .237, respectively. Brandon Marsh has had a solid season with a 120 OPS+. However, he is currently on the injured list.

Castellanos has failed to match the numbers he put up as an All-Star in 2023. Rojas played in just 59 games last season but held a .302 average. The Phillies could definitely use an upgrade at either one of their spots.

Backup outfield Cristian Pache, who is batting .217 in 69 plate appearances, does not seem to be the answer, so it is not unlikely that the Phillies could strike a deal to solidify the group.

Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations, has shown he is not scared to make some big trades. This season may be another opportunity to add to that list of deals.

Injury Concerns for Robert

Robert has played over 100 games just once (2023) in the first four years of his career. This season, Robert went on the injured list on April 6 with a right hip flexor strain.

Robert returned on June 4 and has three home runs in six games since. He signed a six-year, $50 million contract extension with the White Sox in 2020 before making his big league debut. He has club options in 2026 and 2027.

In 2023, he slashed .264/.315/.542, hitting 38 home runs and winning his first career Silver Slugger. The main concern for Robert has been his health. He has been placed on the injured list seven times since making his MLB debut in 2020.

The 26-year-old showed what he can do when healthy in 2023. If he can stay on the field now that he has returned, the Phillies could use a bat like his in their lineup. Adding Robert to a lineup that already features Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, Brandon Marsh and Kyle Schwarber could be a move that would put the Phillies over the top.

The Phillies will also monitor other options, but a healthy Robert might be the best available outfielder at the deadline. The struggling White Sox might be ready to part ways with him, but not for cheap, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

“The White Sox are listening to offers on anybody and everybody, including center fielder Luis Robert, who’s under contract through 2027, and owed about $61 million if his two club options are picked up,” Nightengale wrote on June 9. “The White Sox would command a package greater than what the Padres gave up for Juan Soto at the 2022 deadline.”

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