The Philadelphia Phillies are looking to add to their rotation ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline, and one AL Central pitcher has piqued their interest.
Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Zach Plesac "is on the radar of the Phillies," according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.
Plesac, who has a $2 million salary this season, is under team control through the 2025 campaign with three more years of arbitration eligibility before he can become a free agent.
The 27-year-old has spent the first four years of his career with the Guardians and has been a decent mid-rotation pitcher for the franchise. In 18 starts this season, he is 2-8 with a 4.09 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 72 strikeouts in 99 innings.
However, it's unclear if the Guardians are interested in moving the righty this summer. Cleveland is second in the AL Central with a 50-48 record, just two games behind the first-place Minnesota Twins, and could reach the postseason.
Plesac would be a solid addition for the Phillies behind Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola.
It's no surprise Philadelphia is expressing interest in acquiring another starter ahead of the deadline as Zach Eflin is on the 15-day injured list with a right knee injury, and there's uncertainty about when he might return to the rotation.
In addition, it seems unlikely that the Phillies will exercise their half of a $15 million mutual option on Eflin for the 2023 season and could also lose Kyle Gibson in free agency. Adding Plesac, who has good terms on his deal, would be an attractive option.
The Phillies are third in the NL East with a 52-47 record and sit 9.5 games behind the first-place New York Mets. According to FanGraphs, the club currently has a 51.9 percent chance to make the playoffs, so it would make sense that they intend to buy at the deadline.