Tackling the trade deadline: Philadelphia Phillies

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Philadelphia Phillies
First-half record: 57-34
Standings: 3 games up on Braves in NL East

Needs

Bullpen: Ryan Madson should return to form after he comes back from a hand injury, but the Phillies can’t rely on either Brad Lidge (shoulder, elbow) and Jose Contreras (elbow).  Adding another late-game reliever should be this team’s priority.  Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be an experienced closer, not with the way that Madson has stepped up.

Outfield: I think the Phillies can pass on an adding an outfielder.  Rookie Domonic Brown is hitting .371/.436/.400 through 35 at-bats this month, and even when he has struggled at the major league level, he’s never looked overmatched.  It wouldn’t hurt to bring in another part-timer — preferably a backup center fielder who could also serve as a defensive replacement for Raul Ibanez in left — but Ben Francisco and John Mayberry Jr. make for a nice pair of backups as is.

Infield: I’d rather see the Phillies go get themselves a legitimate backup for Chase Utley and Placido Polanco.  Wilson Valdez is a nice defender, but he’d be an awfully weak option as a regular if either Utley or Polanco gets hurt at the wrong time.  Omar Infante would be a great pickup if the Marlins decide they’re out of it.  Jeff Keppinger and Mike Aviles would also work.

Target

Luke Gregerson (RHP Padres): Gregerson makes more sense for the Phillies than Heath Bell: he’s an extreme groundball pitcher and he wouldn’t stretch the team’s budget.  He certainly won’t come cheap, not when he’s under control through 2014, but the Padres figure to be open to moving him if the right offer comes along.  They have plenty of needs, and they’ve never been shy about trading relievers to fill them.

Proposed deal

Gregerson for RHP Brody Colvin

Colvin entered the year as the Phillies’ top pitching prospect, but he’s fallen behind Jarred Cosart while missing some time and amassing a 4.16 ERA and a 43/22 K/BB ratio in 62 2/3 innings for high-A Clearwater.  He’d still be a really nice get for the Padres here, and he could be part of a promising 2013 rotation that’d also potentially include Cory Luebke, Casey Kelly and maybe Simon Castro, with Keyvius Sampson and Joe Ross on the way up.

Fans allowed at NLCS, World Series in Texas

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Fans can take themselves out to the ball game for the first time this season during the NL Championship Series and World Series at new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Major League Baseball said Wednesday that about 11,500 tickets will be available for each game. That is about 28% of the 40,518-capacity, retractable-roof stadium of the Texas Rangers, which opened this year adjacent to old Globe Life Park, the team’s open-air home from 1994 through 2019.

The World Series is being played at a neutral site for the first time in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It will be played at one stadium for the first time since the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Browns at Sportsman’s Park in 1944.

Some of the seats will be included in presales for Texas Rangers season ticket holders on Friday and subscribers on Monday, and others are set aside for MLB and players.

Tickets are priced at $40-250 for the NLCS and $75-450 for the World Series, and 10,550 seats in the regular sections of the ballpark and 950 in suites will be sold in “pods” of four contiguous seats.

Each pod will be distanced by at least 6 feet and a checkerboard pattern will be used, with alternating rows of seats in the middle or rows and at the ends. Unsold seats will be tied back.

No seats will be sold in the first six rows within 20 feet of the field, dugouts or bullpen. Fans will not be allowed to the lowest level, which is reserved for MLB’s tier one personnel, such as players and managers.

Masks are mandatory for fans except while they are eating or drinking at their ticketed seats. Concessions and parking will be cashless, and the team’s concessionaire, Delaware North, is planning wrapped items.

The NLCS is scheduled on seven straight days from Oct. 12-18 and the World Series from Oct. 20-28, with traditional off days between Games 2 and 3 and Games 5 and 6, if the Series goes that far. The Division Series, League Championship Series and World Series all will be being played at neutral sites because of the coronavirus .pandemic.

MLB played the entire regular season without fans and also the first round of the playoffs with no fans. For the first time since spring training was interrupted on March 12, club employees and player families were allowed to attend games this week.

While Texas is allowing up to 50% capacity at venues, MLB did not anticipate having government permission for fans to attend postseason games at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles or Petco Park in San Diego, where AL playoff games are scheduled.

Globe Life Field has been the site of more than 50 graduations, but the Rangers played their home games in an empty ballpark.

The Rangers will recommend to MLB that the roof be kept open when possible, executive vice president of business operations Rob Matwick said, but the team understands it will be closed in the event of rain. Matwick said MLB made the decision not to sell seats for the Division Series.

Other than 1944, the only times the World Series was held at one site came in 1921 and 1922, when the New York Giants and Yankees both played home games at the Polo Grounds. Yankee Stadium opened in 1923.