Klentak still shopping after deal he couldn’t seal
Rather than swing a deal for another New York elder slugger, Matt Klentak followed the money.
Multiple reports had the Phillies claiming the Mets’ Jose Bautista on revocable trade waivers Monday, a precursor to working out a deal for the veteran slugger who has seen better days.
Citing MLB keep-yeryap-shut rules, Klentak would neither confirm nor deny the report about Bautista, but did offer up a vague hint or two that he is trying to put together another trade to help a thin bench that he’s already spent the better part of the past seven weeks fortifying.
First, however, he wanted to be shown the money.
“I was working on a trade this afternoon, but it’s not the one you’re asking about,” Klentak said. He went on to say he’d traded minor leaguer Jack Zoellner to Baltimore for a batch of international pool money. Quite the splash.
“I know that’s not what you’re asking about,” Klentak said, “but that did take place today.”
In other “Phillies are flopping” news...
Actually, no one should complain about the lack of a more exciting move, since Klentak has made a few of them of late, with former Met Asdrubal Cabrera and new veteran catcher Wilson Ramos both in the starting lineup for this game against the Nationals, with Justin Bour’s bat having made a somewhat significant contribution since he was acquired in a waiver-trade deal Aug. 10.
But Bour is now on the shelf and could miss another few weeks with an oblique injury, reason enough for Klentak to try to acquire another bench bat, even if it’s another aging Met. At 37, Bautista is five years older than Cabrera. But the deal will likely get done before the Aug. 31 midnight waiver trade deadline, as the Phillies continue to seek help in trying to outslug the consequences of their ridiculously poor team defense and tiring pitching staff.
Klentak perhaps could have made a different kind of deal, back before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. That familiar Cole Hamels guy who for a time at mid-summer looked like a washed up ex-Series MVP? Since being traded to the Cubs a month ago, Hamels is 4-0 with an 0.79 ERA.
But the Klentak claim then is the same as it is now.
“I’m still not all that worried about our starters exceeding their workloads by a dangerous margin,” Klentak said. “I think we’re in pretty good shape there. I do think the fact that we’ve been able to carry an eight-man bull-