PHILADELPIA — Team president Andy MacPhail says the Phillies are right where they planned to be this summer — in contention for a playoff spot.
But MacPhail also says Philadelphia is not one player away from a World Series berth, so don’t expect the team to deal any of its top minor league prospects for a player such as San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner by the July 31 deadline.
“If you think that you are close to the ultimate prize, and you’re one piece away, then your appetite for giving up something big to acquire that piece is pretty substantial,” MacPhail said. “It’s hard for us to make the judgment now that we’re one trade away from the World Series. We don’t believe that. I don’t believe that. So, as a result, you’re going to have to be more judicious with your playing talent. I think you start to be protective of your crown jewels in the system.”
MacPhail spoke to reporters before Philadelphia returned from the All-Star break with a 4-0 loss to the Washington Nationals on Friday night.
Despite the defeat, if the season had ended Friday, Philadelphia (47-44) would have been in the playoffs with one of the National League’s two wild-card spots. The Phillies trailed the first-place Atlanta Braves by 7.5 games in the NL East.
MacPhail said the team’s goal was to make the playoffs four years into a rebuild that began midway through 2015.
“We wanted to have the quickest turnaround from a rebuild under a new regime to a postseason,” MacPhail said. “If the season ended today, we would’ve had our goal. We would be in the postseason in our fourth year.”
What if the Phillies don’t make the postseason this year?
“I’m saying then we’re not going to be the quickest turnaround,” MacPhail said. “We’re just going to have to settle for doing it later than we wanted to, which is as quick as anybody’s done it.”
Even though the Phillies are in playoff contention, MacPhail isn’t carried away with the team’s success. He described the Phillies’ play this season as uneven and said it must become much more consistent for Philadelphia to make a deep playoff run this October.
MacPhail endorsed the job manager Gabe Kapler and his coaches have done.
“I hate to even dignify that question with an answer,” MacPhail said when asked if the right manager and coaches were in place. “We’re in the postseason today, if the season was over. When this group came over, most of them, we won 66 games the year before (in 2017).”