3. Philadelphia Phillies
The ship has surely sailed on the Phillies winning the NL East this year, 12 games back of the Atlanta Braves at the break. But they are only a 0.5-game back of the last Wild Card spot in the NL, spurred by a 23-11 record since June 1.
First baseman Rhys Hoskins tore an ACL in spring training, then his replacement Darick Hall was injured early in the season. So the Phillies have been piecing it together there (Alec Bohm, Kody Clemens, Bryce Harper), with the residual piecing it together at third base sometimes with Bohm moving over to the other corner. If they think a now-healthy Hall can hold down the fort at first base, then Bohm goes back to third primarily with Clemens as a primary backup to both.
With some level of pressure, do the Phillies want to rely on an unproven young player down the stretch? Maybe a deal for Candelario makes sense if they aren’t all in on Hall.
2. Arizona Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks are one of the biggest surprise teams of the 2023 season so far, in a practical tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers for first in the NL West at the break. They also haven’t gotten much production out of the third base spot, though Evan Longoria does have an .828 OPS and 122 OPS+ over 155 plate appearances thus far.
On that note, the switch-hitting Candelario could become Arizona’s primary third baseman and mix in as a DH while Longoria gets lined up to primarily face left-handers.
Not that it would take parting with one of their top prospects to get Candelario, but the Diamondbacks have a highly-rated farm system to pluck a prospect from. As offers the Nationals may (will) get go, Arizona can offer a good prospect to get Candelario as a rental.