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    Phillies could acquire Rockies All-Star in unexpected blockbuster

    By Jackson Roberts,

    25 days ago

    The Philadelphia Phillies are the talk of the Major League Baseball trade deadline among the obvious buyers.

    But while everyone is focusing on their need in center field and a potential deal for the Chicago White Sox's Luis Robert Jr., there's another 2023 All-Star the Phillies can deal for that won't cost as much and may end up being just as impactful.

    The Phillies need to give serious consideration to acquiring Colorado Rockies catcher Elias Díaz. The 2023 All-Star Game MVP is having his best offensive and defensive season and fits a need the Phillies didn't originally see coming, but is becoming more apparent by the day.

    Longtime catcher J.T. Realmuto, who has been out since June 9 after having knee surgery, has said he expects to be back around the All-Star break. But there's no guarantee Realmuto regains his usual elite form.

    Furthermore, Realmuto has been surprisingly mediocre on defense when healthy this season. His -6 blocks above average and -1 framing runs place him in the 37th percentile of catching run value, while Díaz sits in the 90th.

    Having two quality catchers is a proven recipe for a championship. The 2022 Houston Astros rode Martín Maldonado and Christian Vázquez to an eventual World Series ring, while the 2023 Texas Rangers started Jonah Heim behind the plate with Mitch Garver as their everyday designated hitter in October.

    The Rockies are one of the most difficult teams to prognosticate at the trade deadline because they often hold on to players when the entire industry agrees they should cash them in.

    In 2021, Colorado passed on trading shortstop Trevor Story, an impending free agent who promptly signed with the Boston Red Sox. Last season, they held off on dealing Díaz when he'd just won All-Star Game MVP. And this year, they're reportedly not expected to deal Ryan McMahon despite his career year on offense.

    With all that said, it would be malpractice not to trade Díaz, a 33-year-old rental on a last-place team. And because of the importance of capitalizing on their championship window, Philadelphia needs the added insurance of a second catcher who can hit.

    When the Bryce Harper era in Philly ends, there will either be a statue of No. 3 outside Citizens Bank Park or lament that a championship never came to fruition. The Phillies can't allow Realmuto's injury to derail perhaps their best chance at winning that elusive ring slip away.

    More MLB: Phillies could acquire All-Star Slugger, Gold Glove winner at trade deadline

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