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Zach Plesac “on radar” of Phillies

Presumably for a trade, not a tactical strike

Cleveland Guardians v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Zach Plesac has apparently caught the eye of the Phillies.

According to Jon Heyman, the Guardians’ right-hander is on the Phillies’ “radar” as they look to gain a foothold in the NL Wild Card race. Heyman also notes that several other teams, including some AL Central opponents, are also interested in starting pitchers, but he did not specifically mention that they’re after Plesac.

Plesac, in his fourth year as a Guardians starter, has a 4.09 ERA and 18.5% strikeout rate this season — the highest since the pandemic shortened 2020 season. As a solid middle-of-the-rotation arm under control through 2026, he should at least net something in return. And with the starting pitching market looking pretty thin Luis Castillo, the Guardians might be able to play up his value a bit.

While the Phillies are far from an awful pitching staff (their starters rank 10th in the majors with a 3.78 ERA), they could use a replacement for Zach Eflin, who has struggled with knee issues since last year and hasn’t pitched since June 25. Plesac would immediately be their fourth-best pitcher behind Aaron Nola, Zach Wheeler, and Ranger Suarez.

It was first reported by Jeff Passan on Wednesday that the Guardians were open to shopping some of their starters, even Shane Bieber at an “exorbitant” price, but this is the first we’re hearing of a team with concrete interest in a Cleveland starting pitcher.