Report: Phillies, Rays discussed Kiermaier trade

Mitchell Layton / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Philadelphia Phillies are on the hunt for a center fielder, and it looks like they have their sights set on one of baseball's best defenders.

Philadelphia's front office has had trade discussions with the Tampa Bay Rays about Kevin Kiermaier, sources told The Athletic's Matt Gelb.

The Phillies deployed a handful of players in center field last season, including Odubel Herrera, Roman Quinn, and Travis Jankowski. None of those three were close to Kiermaier's equal from a defensive perspective.

2021 center field stats

PLAYER INN DRS UZR
Kevin Kiermaier 894.2 13 7.3
Odubel Herrera 819.1 2 -1.2
Roman Quinn 106 2 1.4
Travis Jankowski 248 -4 -1.6

The 31-year-old Kiermaier's $12.1-million salary wouldn't significantly constrain the Phillies' budget, allowing them to explore other areas of need, specifically the bullpen and bench. Gelb reports the Phillies are looking into these areas and have shown interest in reliever Corey Knebel.

Over his nine-year career, Kiermaier has won three Gold Gloves while slashing .249/.310/.410 with 75 home runs and 294 RBIs.

The New York Yankees are also interested in Kiermaier, though discussions aren't in the advanced stages, according to The Athletic's Lindsey Adler.

In addition to Kiermaier, the Rays are discussing trades with clubs involving infielder Joey Wendle, sources told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.

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Report: Phillies, Rays discussed Kiermaier trade
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