Wow, I thought this proposed trade was a joke or from a Fansided blog when I first saw on Twitter. Of course the premise (that they would rather give up talent than exceed the CBT threshold) is probably/hopefully wrong.
Philadelphia Phillies acquire OF Byron Buxton and P José Berríos from the Minnesota Twins for P Spencer Howard, SS Bryson Stott, P Francisco Morales, 1B Jhailyn Ortiz, and C Rafael Marchan
I’m lopping off the top of the Phillies’ farm system with this trade, but they’re in a bit of a bind. They need to add talent to the roster, but without being willing to go over the luxury tax threshold, their choices are either to wait for prospects to develop or to trade those prospects for established major leaguers. With the Mets ailing, the Braves losing Ronald Acuña Jr., and the Nationals thinner than a punchline in a Chuck Lorre CBS sitcom, right now is the opportunity.
The Phillies have what I think is the worst center field situation of any serious contender, and Zach Eflin just landed on the IL, so these are definite needs, not extra scoops of ice cream. And I’d give up even more if I could count on Buxton being healthy; this trade is made with the assumption that he’s a risk. Philadelphia has been given the rare opportunity to make up for simply reassembling last year’s .500 team this year. Audentes fortuna juvat.