1 perfect MLB trade Philadelphia must make

The Philadelphia Phillies made it known they were going to be aggressive this offseason after making it all the way to the 2022 World Series before falling short against the Houston Astros. And sure enough, they have made some big moves that make it all the more likely that they could find their way back there in the 2023 season.

The Phillies big move this offseason involved shoring up the left side of their infield by signing star shortstop Trea Turner to a massive $300 million deal. Philadelphia has also shored up their pitching staff by bringing on guys like Taijuan Walker and Matt Strahm, and it sure looks like they will be contending for a championship again next season.

There’s still work to be done for the Phillies, though, and they could finish off their offseason to-do list by pulling off this massive trade. Let’s take a look at what this trade is and see why it would be so beneficial for Philadelphia in their quest to not just make it back to the World Series in 2023, but actually win it this time around.

Phillies perfect offseason trade

Acquire Pablo Lopez from the Miami Marlins

The Phillies pitching staff played a big role in their unexpected run to the World Series last season. Zach Wheeler and Aaron Nola were the most dominant duo in the league in October, and without them leading the way, Philadelphia would not have made it as far as they did. But the depth behind them was also just as crucial.

Ranger Suarez was the ever important third starter who came in behind these guys and managed to make his mark felt. Zach Eflin was also big in his do-it-all role, but he left to sign with the Tampa Bay Rays. Walker could realistically replace him in the starting rotation, but it does feel like the Phillies could use another starter to fill out their rotation.

They could technically sign a cheaper free agent to fill in that final spot, or they could hand it over to Bailey Falter, who was solid last season. But given all the upgrades that their division rival in the New York Mets have made, it feels like a big move needs to be made by Philadelphia to match it at this point. That’s why trading for Pablo Lopez would make a lot of sense for the Phillies.

Lopez sort of found himself stuck in the shadow of Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara last season, which makes sense based solely on how good Alcantara was in 2022. But Lopez is no slouch himself, and with most of the top starters off the free agent market , it makes Lopez an even more tantalizing trade target for Philadelphia.

Lopez turned in a complete 2022 campaign (10-10, 3.75 ERA, 174 K, 1.17 WHIP) showing that he can hold his own as a secondary starter throughout an entire season. Prior to 2022, Lopez had never made more than 21 starts in a season, so seeing him make 32 starts was particularly encouraging.

As more and more starters come off the free agent market, Lopez’s value continues to increase. The Marlins aren’t sure if they are going to trade him or not, but they are taking calls on him, and typically you don’t do that if you intend to hold onto a player. Lopez is going to be available for the right price, and that’s a price that Philadelphia should be more than willing to pay.

Lopez isn’t the star that his partner-in-crime Alcantara is, but he can hold his own as a second or third starter in a rotation. And truth be told, the Phillies really don’t need him to be an ace. As we mentioned earlier, the duo of Wheeler and Nola is one of the best in the league, and that would allow Lopez to easily slot in behind them.

Even then, Lopez has shown a ton of upside early in his career. He posted a 3.07 ERA in his 20 starts in the 2021 season, so there’s a chance he could improve on his 2022 numbers for the Phillies. And even if he doesn’t, Lopez is only going to be 27 years old next season, and is under team control through the 2024 season.

Lopez would be the perfect match for Philadelphia to New York’s spending spree this offseason. The Phillies were the last team standing in the crowded National League East division, but that doesn’t mean that they are automatically going to win the division in 2023. Philadelphia has already made some big moves to stay with or ahead of their competition, and adding Lopez could be the final piece to the puzzle for the Phillies in their quest to win a title next season.


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