With Ahmed Out, What should the Back-up Shortstop Plan Be?
The reason the Phillies would be willing to part with Didi is they have a a quick rising superstar in Bryson Stott. They have a young controllable third baseman that they are seemingly loosing confidence in as well in Alec Bohm and they have Ronald Torreyes who spelled Alec late last season when they sent him to AAA. In 2020 in 180 plate appearances he slashed 338/400/481 and was runner-up for Rookie of the Year. Then 2021 came and so did the slash line of 247/305/342. He is not great defensively, but if the change of scenery can get him somewhere between 2020 and 2021 considering he will not become a free agent until the 2027 season, he would fit into the rebuilding window of when some of the other talented minor leagers would be ready as well.
The Phillies have a ton of interesting prospects at AAA and I would ask for two of them to complete the trade. Both of these prospects were also in the Arizona Fall League this past season and both looked and performed well. The first is a guy who can be either a starter or a reliever in Hans Crouse. He was acquired from Texas where Texas felt they got first round talent in a second round signee. He could be a starter because he has four legitimate pitches that all get high marks from scouts, but he has a wipe-out slider that got a 65 grade from MLB.com. That pitch could literally be a put away pitch for a reliever, especially a closer. Hans is ranked as the Phillies 6th best prospect. The other young AAA prospect I would target is catcher and 5th ranked ranked prospect Logan O'Hoppe. Logan has a great make-up and work ethic. He was selected in the 23rd round of the 2018 MLB Player Draft and has worked his way to a highly regarded prospect. He got his strikeout percentage to 17.4% and in the Arizona Fall League actually walked more than he struck out. He also won the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award while in the AFL for his work ethic and how much the AFL pitchers liked working with him.
I know both of these guys are great prospects and some of you may be shaking your head thinking I am asking for the moon, but they are desperate to unload Kingery's contract, they have a young high ceiling guy in Stott to take Didi's place and they get out from underneath his large contract. Plus, the Phillies rotation of Eflin, Gibson, Nola, Wheeler and top prospect Coonrod recovering from Tommy John and throwing ahead of schedule. The catcher position is going to be manned by J.T Realmuto with Sands and the Phillies have 4 catchers on their 40 man roster, none of them are O'Hoppe.