Report: Philly targets Guardians’ Zach Plesac before deadline

MLB Network insider John Hyman says Plesac is on Philly’s radar as the NL wild card competitor seeks help with its spin.

Cleveland – Over the past decade, the Cleveland Guardians have been among the best in baseball in developing their starting method, and this pipeline has allowed them to be more open to trading such players that they feel they can improve the team. Even with the team in supplemental contention again, it’s entirely possible that at least one spinning piece is in motion.

Just days ago, ESPN’s Jeff Bassan reported that the Guards were “ready” to trade right-handers Zack Plisak and Aaron Seval and possibly listen to ace Shane Pepper performances. Now, MLB Network insider John Hyman says one team in particular, the Philadelphia Phillies, has emerged as a major competitor to Plissac.

Heyman writes that Philadelphia has Plissac ” [its] Radar” as it looks to add a head start in its effort to nab one of its three championship points in the National League. The team is also looking for outside help and perhaps a loyal one, but could tackle competition for Plisak’s services if they want to. Deal before the MLB trade deadline at 2 August.

Now in his fourth season with Cleveland, 27-year-old Plesak has a respectable 4.09 ERA in 2022, but his record is only 2-8 due in part to a lack of running support. He’s 24-22 years old with 3.97 ERA across 72 major league starts, and even bragged to 2.28 ERA in 2020, though he and then-teammate Mike Clevenger made headlines in August when they violated COVID-19 protocols in Chicago and were… Send them briefly to minor leagues as a penalty.

Clevinger was traded to San Diego shortly thereafter, one of several moves the Indians/Guardians have made in recent years. Separate deals involving Clevenger, Trevor Bauer, Cory Klopper and Carlos Carrasco netted Cleveland All-Stars targets Emmanuel Claes and Andres Jimenez as well as current shareholders Josh Naylor, Cal Quantrell, Franmel Reyes and Amed Rosario, among others.

After manager Joe Girardi was sacked in early June, Velez returned to the competition under interim captain Rob Thompson and currently hold the last position in the Premier League thanks to a head-to-head tiebreak with the St. Louis Cardinals. The starting squad is solid behind former All-Stars Aaron Nola and Zach Wheeler, but the squad may use some depth in the wake of Zach Evelyn’s knee injury, although club president Dave Dombrowski has indicated he will steer clear of “high-end” starters.

MLB’s trade deadline comes Tuesday at 6 p.m. Along with Plesac, putting current Civale on the damaged roster could complicate his trading position, while Passan says Bieber’s return should be “expensive” until a deal is struck.

The Guardians on Friday entered two games behind the Minnesota Twins for first place in the AL Central Division and a 2 1/2 of the final wild card slot.

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