Phillies Trade Deadline: Dave Dombrowski on Noah Sendergaard, David Robertson, and Brandon Marsh Trades

ATLANTA – In a spree of wild activity that began two and a half hours before Tuesday’s trading deadline, the Phillies addressed three stark needs as they backed their team late in the season hoping to end a 10-year drought.

“I think we’re better,” Chief Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said, summing up the day.

In order, the Phillies acquired Los Angeles Angels quarterback Brandon Marsh, loyalist David Robertson of the Chicago Cubs, and fired bowler Noah Sendergaard of the Angels.

The Syndergaard deal was forged just moments before the 6 PM deadline when the Angels walked away from a different potential deal and called the Phillies.

It made a good day to wheel and handle a lot better.

“That was big for us,” Dombrowski said. “I’m starting to think we’re not going to get a kickoff. The orders have been pretty high. So, we’re happy about that.

“We added a throw-in, stabilized and made the ball better, and strengthened our defense with a daily center player. We are in a tough division and there are tough teams in the race, but I think we are better.”

Phils parted ways with only two major potential clients on these deals. Catcher Logan Ohhope went to Angels for Marsh and pitcher Ben Brown to Cubs for Robertson.

Phils sent former top seed Mickey Muniak and junior league defensive back Jadiel Sanchez to the Angels for Sendergaard. Monac has never lived up to his bill with Velez and may benefit from a change of scenery.

Dombrowski said the Phils “loved” O’Hoppe but were comfortable letting him go because Marsh comes with five years of contractual control and has massive upside in a position, midfield, that’s been an annual problem for Phils. He added that JT Realmuto has been appointed to The Catcher for another three years.

“Brown is probably the hardest hit,” Dombrowski said of the 6-6, 22-year-old right-winger, who went to the Cubs in the Robertson deal. “We love him a lot, but you can’t protect everyone. If you’re trying to get into the post-season, David Robertson is as good a softener as there is and that was the price for us to get it.”

The Phils were able to hold on to their top three lead prospects – Mick Abel, Andrew Painter and Griff McGarry.

We never discussed them, Dombrowski said. “We just don’t want to trade with these guys.”

That hasn’t stopped other clubs from asking – constantly.

We couldn’t get people off those names, Dombrowski said of the interest in the trio ‘off the charts.’ From a regulatory perspective, we felt we couldn’t mortgage the future by trading one of these guys.”

While Dombrowski thinks the organization’s best days are on the way, he fully expects this team to still be in contention for the supplement berth. Phils lost 13-1 to Atlanta on Tuesday night and shared a 55-48 record with St. Louis. However, Phils controls the third and final NL wild card after winning the season series with St. Louis. Phils is taking the remainder of the Syndergaard contract — more than $7 million — and projecting to exceed the $230 million luxury tax threshold. The property desperately wants to make the playoffs and see what happens with Zach Wheeler and Aaron Nola at the top of the course. In addition to Tuesday’s improvements from the Trade Market, the Phils will have their top pure hitters in the coming weeks. Jan Segura (broken finger) is expected to be taken off the injured list on Thursday and Bryce Harper (broken thumb) has started swinging bats and could be back by about the end of the month.

As for the roles that the new players will occupy…

Sendergaard will move to the spin, taking the spot vacated by injured Zack Evelyn. The 6-6 year old right arm can’t throw 100mph anymore, but he still sits in his mid-90s drowning in a fastball.

“We think it can be effective in a five- or six-stroke role,” Dombrowski said. “We weren’t looking for the first guy. We weren’t in that market.”

Dombrowski praised the work of Billy Walter and Christopher Sanchez. They both have had time filling in Eflin and are still important to the team in terms of depth.

Marsh, 24, was previously a second-round draftee of the Angels and was at one point the organization’s biggest prospect. He didn’t strike consistently and his strike rate was as high as over 35 percent in his two seasons at major companies. Marsh, however, is an “excellent defender” in the middle of the field, to use Dombrowski’s description. He will have the bulk of his playing time in the center with Matt Ferling having time against the left.

Dombrowski and manager Rob Thompson said the Phillies batting staff led by batting coach Kevin Long spent hours reviewing Marsh’s left hand stroke and approach.

“We think there are some things we can do to help him,” Thompson said. “He’s one of the best defensive quarterbacks in baseball, so this is an upgrade.”

Robertson, 37, has been one of the best stories in baseball this season. He signed a two-year, $23 million contract with Velez ahead of the 2019 season, but made just seven appearances due to an elbow injury that required surgery. He did not play in 2020 and returned to the major leagues in 12 games with Tampa Bay last season. With the Cubs this season, Robertson has a 2.23 ERA and 14 saves in 40 1/3 innings. He hit 11.4 hits every nine runs.

Robertson has been a playoff test since his time with the Yankees – he was a member of the 2009 Yankees team that beat the Phillies for the world championship – and is excited to help the Phillies after breaking their first in town.

“He was very disappointed,” Thompson said. “I think he felt bad about it, I really do.”

Phillies are hoping Robertson will wear the uniform for Wednesday afternoon’s game in Atlanta. Marsh and Sendergaard, who are from the West Coast, are likely to join the team on Thursday in Philadelphia.

As Gene Hackman said in Hoosiers, “This is your team.” It’s better than it was a few days ago. Time will tell if it is good enough to break a post-season drought.

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