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Matt Klentak Is Embarking Into Uncharted Territory As Phillies Near Trade Deadline

matt klentak Phillies GM Matt Klentak. Photo | Phillies/Miles Kennedy

Since joining the Phillies near the end of October 2015, Matt Klentak has spent his tenure mostly making trades with the idea of bolstering the team’s future. He dealt Ken Giles, Pat Neshek, Carlos Ruiz, Howie Kendrick, Jeremy Hellickson, and Joaquin Benoit for future assets.

However, with the Phillies the current division leaders of the National League Eastern Division, Klentak is going to do something he has never done as a General Manager: become a buyer.

The Phillies were baseball’s most aggressive team in free agency this past offseason, inking four established big leaguers, including Carlos Santana and Jake Arrieta, however, there is a big difference between signing free agents and pulling off trades. Klentak has rarely parted with any of the Phillies’ major assets and does not have any track record (this is his first time as a big league GM).

The most pressing need for the Phillies is relief pitching. The Phillies bullpen ranks 18th in MLB with an ERA over 4.00. Lately, it has been lights-out, but it could still use a few more arms to help solidify the back-end (and ultimately, shift rookie phenom Seranthony Dominguez into the role of closer.) This trade deadline will feature a dearth of relievers being shopped, and it would not cost Klentak any of his top 10 prospects to acquire a reliever.

The Phillies are 11 games over .500 and have yet to play their best baseball. Klentak does not need to get crazy.

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