Klen­tak still shop­ping af­ter deal he couldn’t seal

The Review - - SPORTS - Rob Par­ent Colum­nist

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-

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