“The teams that have gone through successful rebuilds have gone through periods much like we’re going through right now,” Klentak said last week in his office at Citizens Bank Park. “The Washington Nationals were the worst team in baseball for two straight years. The Houston Astros were the worst team in baseball for three straight years. The Chicago Cubs were among the worst teams for a handful of years. In all of those stretches, there were stretches very similar to what we’ve gone through in the last six weeks.”
He continued: “It doesn’t make it fun to go through. We’re trying everything we can to pull out of it. But we know this is one of the challenges of rebuilding. We owe it to our franchise, to our fans, to our ownership to make sure that we don’t deviate from what we know is the right thing for the future of the club.”
For this season, the Phillies believed that meant adding veteran placeholders who could, in theory, become trade targets for contenders. As a big-market team, the Phillies could offer to pay part of their salaries to get better prospects in return.
But starter Clay Buchholz got hurt;…