Major League Baseball
Phillies-Braves preview
Major League Baseball

Phillies-Braves preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 12:06 p.m. ET

ATLANTA -- With the non-waiver trade deadline only a day away, Sunday may be the final game for the rosters as currently constructed for the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves.

Both teams are considered sellers on the trade market and may be willing to listen to all reasonable offers, particularly if they bring prospects in return.

"They always ask you, 'Will you trade this guy?" And I ask them, 'For who?'" Philadelphia manager Pete Mackanin said.

The teams conclude their four-game series at Turner Field. The Phillies start right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (6-12, 3.83 ERA) against Atlanta's Joel De La Cruz (0-3, 4.66).


Atlanta general manager John Coppolella said he would not trade first baseman Freddie Freeman or pitcher Julio Teheran. Otherwise, anyone else is considered fair game.

The Braves completed a trade Saturday, sending outfielder Hector Olivera to San Diego for outfielder and former NL MVP Matt Kemp, a right-handed hitter with 23 home runs.

"We've been trying to find right-handed power from the start," Coppolella said. "He's somebody who can help us. We need to get back to winning games here. We think this guy can hit right behind Freddie Freeman, give us some power that we sorely lack and that he'll be a good help to our team on the field and off the field."

Atlanta has already moved some of its most tradable players. Last week, the Braves sent pitchers Lucas Harrell and Dario Alvarez to Texas in exchange for slugging infield prospect Travis Demeritte. In June, the club traded utility man Kelly Johnson to the Mets.

The Braves may also be able to find a market from a contending team for right fielder Nick Markakis, infielder Gordon Beckham or right-handed reliever Jim Johnson. There appears to be little interest in catcher A.J. Pierzynski and shortstop Erick Aybar.

The Phillies had not yet pulled the trigger on a deal, but they had showcased a pair of pitchers they might be willing to trade in this series. Vince Velasquez pitched Friday and Jeremy Hellickson worked Saturday. It is likely the Phillies would demand three or four highly valued young players in return.

Texas is said to be particularly interested in Velasquez and had scouts on hand at Turner Field to watch him pitch Friday.

"Our whole goal is to get young pitchers because they're the most expensive commodity and if you can develop young pitchers like (Velasquez and Hellickson) and have four or five or those guys you're ahead of the game,'' Mackanin said. "But at the same time, I'll listen to any offers if you get three guys for him that are really good-looking prospects because pitching is such a commodity. You've got to consider it."

There were even rumors that Hellickson would be traded before Saturday's start.

"Who knows what's going to happen," Mackanin said. "It's out of my control. (Hellickson) is a free agent at the end of the year. He's a professional and he knows he's got to pitch well for the rest of the year no matter where he's at."


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