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Philadelphia Phillies Trade Possibilities

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Monday July.29, 2013

The year started with the struggles of one of their ace pitchers, followed by injuries off and on to other key players.  With Halladay potentially coming back at the end of the year, plus talk of possibly signing him to an incentive laden contract for 2014, added with a new deal for Chase Utley, the Phils are hoping to extend their chance of a contender for one more year.  Improved play from Domonic Brown and Ben Revere (before being hurt) - has cause for optimism in 2014.  They will need to find a 3B, Catcher and 3rd OF, however that won't require the farm being spent.  Today we examine the possible moves by Ruben Amaro Jr.  at the Trade Deadline

The year started with the struggles of two of their three ace pitchers, followed by injuries off and on to other key players – including Doc Halladaay. With their former ‘CY Young Winner’ potentially coming back at the end of the year, plus talk of possibly signing him to an incentive laden contract for 2014, added with a new deal for Chase Utley, the Phils are hoping to extend their chance of a contender for at least one more year ‘next campaign’. Improved play from Domonic Brown and Ben Revere (before being hurt) – also has cause for optimism in 2014. They will need to find a 3B, a Catcher, a new Closer and a 3rd OF, however that won’t require the farm being spent. Today we examine the possible moves by Ruben Amaro Jr. at the Trade Deadline this year before we get to that point.

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via http://www.warrroomphilly.com – visit the website here

The time has come, Phillies fans. Make no mistake about what you’re seeing on the field and reading in the papers, sell mode has now become a reality.

Perhaps I may be channeling my inner Captain Obvious, but for the sake of those still holding out hope, change is a-comin’.

After the ugliest road trip in recent memory mercifully came to an end, the Philadelphia Sports Media pulled no punches welcoming several Phillies players to Seller-dome.

Carlos Ruiz Highlights 2012 – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance Is Advised

Over the next three days, Ruben Amaro Jr. will be feverishly finagling the phones in an effort to receive as much as he can in return for some of his aging and/or moderately overpaid stars. Amaro Jr. entered the year with a $60 MIL Infield and a $60 MIL top 3 Starting Pitcher Salary Base, while talking a absolute beating over the $2 MIL or so invested on the OF. Can you imagine the peril of the team without a coming party from Domonic Brown?

Over the next three days, Ruben Amaro Jr. will be feverishly finagling the phones in an effort to receive as much as he can in return for some of his aging and/or moderately overpaid stars. RAJ entered the year with a $60 MIL Infield and a $60 MIL top 3 Starting Pitcher Salary Base, while taking an absolute beating over the $2 MIL or so invested on the OF. Can you imagine the peril of the team without a coming party from Domonic Brown?

With the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline rapidly approaching, the painful process of making the hard decisions to deal perennial fan-favorites looms large in the offices at One Citizens Bank Way.

But this isn’t at all new territory for the Phillies General Manager as he’s made several bold moves during his five year tenure as the big boss man, just not so many in the role of seller.

Amaro will face these decisions head-on this week, but he has to know that he can only pull the trigger when the answer is an emphatic “yes” to this question.

It certainly wouldn’t hurt for him to hang a few pictures of Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and J.C. Ramirez around his desk as a reminder of the notoriously nasty Cliff Lee trade to Seattle in 2010. Fool me once…

Ironically, Lee will find himself once again right in the thick of the hundreds of rumors that will swirl until 4pm Wednesday.

In addition to Lee, there will be several other usual suspects along with a few newcomers whose names will be tossed about between the MLB brass.

Let’s review their trade potential:

Papelbon was brought in to eradicate the horrific job that previous World Series Closer Brad Lidge after winning the title in 2008.  Instead, he is having his worst statistical year - and has continuously spouted off at the mouth throughout the whole process.

Papelbon was brought in to eradicate the horrific job that previous World Series Closer Brad Lidge after winning the title in 2008. Instead, he is having his worst statistical year – and has continuously spouted off at the mouth throughout the whole process.

Jonathan Papelbon – 80%: We’ve all had that roommate. It began so well, it was perfect, right? Good credentials, likes to party, but inevitably, the crazy gets old.

So much, in this case, that Amaro will need to front Pap’s first and last months’ rent and security to his next landlord just to get rid of him.

Papelbon tried his best yesterday to further alienate himself from the fan base yesterday–the same fans he never really connected with anyway–when he said, “I definitely didn’t come here for this.”.

Classic case of forcing-the-hand of his superiors.

I get that the philosophy and team direction was definitely different when he inked his large deal, but comments like this from the outspoken, Kramer-eque closer will never go well in Philadelphia. Crazy like a fox, Papelbon knew fully well what he was doing.

Word on the street is that the Texas Rangers are shopping Joe Nathan, which may soften the market for Papelbon.

Closing the Deal: Papelbon’s contract is THE bugaboo here and any trade partner will undoubtedly ask for the Phillies to eat a large portion of his $13 million per season.

. With a TV deal coming to Philadelphia, it may be the saving grace towards a possible trade.

Trading Cliff Lee is not as easy at it sounds.  He is guaranteed a minimum of $62.5 MIL over the next 2 years, or - $77.5 MIL if he reaches IP for his 2016 Vesting Option

Trading Cliff Lee is not as easy at it sounds. He is guaranteed a minimum of $62.5 MIL over the next 2 years (2014 – 2015), or – $77.5 MIL for 3 Years (2014 – 2016)  – if he reaches IP for his 2016 Vesting Option.

Potential Suitors: Boston, Pittsburgh (Grilli out 6-8 weeks), Cleveland and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Cliff Lee – 10%: If the team won’t choose to commit to a complete team rebuild, the tandem of at least Hamels and Lee will need to be intact heading into 2014.

Trade Lee now and find out that the old Roy Halladay returns later this season? It’s a scenario that has got to be weighing on the minds of Phillies upper management.

Amaro is apparently listening to offers for Lee, but unnamed executives across MLB have confirmed that the Phillies will need to be blown away. It’s still my contention that Lee will remain a Phillie after Wednesday.

After missing a start, Lee’s stiff neck over the weekend was confirmed legit by a teammate, so there also may be some hesitancy for any interested parties.

On the surface, it may seem minor, but ask Clay Buchholz how that has worked out for him. The Boston pitcher has been on the shelf since early June with a similar ailment.

Potential Suitors: Baltimore, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis (not on Lee’s no-trade list).

Michael Young – 90%: He will be traded either before the non-waiver deadline expires or after as a waiver pickup in August.

His 2013 debut with the Phillies hasn’t been bad, but it hasn’t been as productive as expected as we all thought he’d have more than 32 RBI on July 29th.

However, he is an experienced bat who can play either corner infield position but will be more attractive as a DH for an American League contender.

Potential Suitors: Baltimore, Texas, New York Yankees and possibly Tampa.

Chase Utley is one of most productive 2B in baseball when healthy. His is the franchise image - and it would crush the fanbase if he were dealt.

Chase Utley is one of most productive 2B in baseball when healthy. He is the franchise image – and it would crush the fanbase if he were dealt.

Chase Utley – 10%: Is arguably the most attractive player out there among potential targets, but I don’t see Amaro trading Utley unless he flips the team’s course to a complete overhaul.

You may have read my opinions on Utley here and my gut has not changed over the past 48 hours. Utley’s contract will be extended at some point before the end of this season.

However, this is not to say teams won’t be calling.

Potential Suitors: Baltimore, Oakland and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Being the only viable Catcher with extensive Post Season experience has to be a positive when trying to trade Chooch

Being the only viable Catcher with extensive Post Season experience has to be a positive when trying to trade Chooch.  He is not having a great season like in 2012, yet he has always seemed to come up big in the spotlight.  Ruiz is a bargain at a pro – rated $5 MIL for the rest of this year.

Carlos Ruiz  – 50/50%: It all comes down to whether or not teams will still believe Chooch’s last two seasons at the plate weren’t influenced by the banned substance(s) he ingested into his fireplug frame.

It’s that simple. His 46-game slash-line of .253/.301/.280 presents valid cause for concern, especially with his slugging percentage at such a dreadfully low level.

However, he is a top-3 MLB defender behind the plate and a proven ace whisperer as few backstops can handle a pitching staff as well as our beloved Chooch.

Ruiz’s pitch-calling and feel for opposing batters could be the difference in turning a good start into a dominant one in the playoffs.

If Amaro does send Ruiz packing, it will not be a very popular move as the Citizen Bank Park faithful have developed quite the love affair for the diminutive and soft-spoken catcher from Panama.

Potential Suitors: New York Yankees, Detroit and Tampa Bay should top the list as teams in desperate need for an offensive Catcher that can call a good game,

He was worth the low risk though - and brings a playoff pedigree to the table.  In the 2012 playoffs for Detroit, he hit 3 HRs, added 9 RBI and hit for an OPS of .907 with the AL Champion Tigers.

He may be  worth the low risk it would cost for his 750 K Salary w/incentives -and brings a playoff pedigree to the table. In the 2012 playoffs for Detroit, he hit 3 HRs, added 9 RBI and hit for an OPS of .907 with the AL Champion Tigers.

Delmon Young – 40%: Yes, please. The guy just doesn’t fit the future of the Phillies regardless of the direction.

Employed as a stop-gap project in right field, Delmon Young has brought his numbers to the level where teams will kick the tires on him, but will limit his attraction to American League teams only as a DH off the bench.

Either way, Young won’t return to the Phillies fold next year, so why not try to get something, anything in return?

Any party willing to invest won’t have to worry about salary since he’s riding a one year, $750k contract and would most certainly only be a rental.

The question is will there be a team willing to bank on a possible repeat of last year’s ALCS MVP and World Series performance? Low risk, high reward.

But therein lies the rub on Delmon Young; you never know what you are going to get in return night in, night out.

Potential Suitors: New York Yankees, Oakland and Texas (especially considering the Biogenesis threat).

In my opinion, we should be ready to say goodbye to at least two of the above-mentioned players.

My guess is that we won’t be too weepy after the dust settles as it is my prediction that only Papelbon and Michael Young will relocate. Safe, but necessary trades.

Michael Young has got to be 1st on the radar to trade.  He could help a lot of teams - that need a solid veteran - with a plethora of AB in his Post Season Career.  Texas and New York could be big suitors coming down the pike with the thought of A-Rod and Nelson Cruz to the Biogenesis Scandal

Michael Young has got to be 1st on the radar to trade. He could help a lot of teams – that need a solid veteran – with a plethora of AB in his Post Season Career. Texas and New York could be big suitors coming down the pike – with the thought of A-Rod and Nelson Cruz to the Biogenesis Scandal.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***

A big thank – you goes out to our Philadelphia Phillies Correspondent Chris Creighton for preparing today’s featured post.

Chris is a Phillies Phan, Baseball fan & player. He thinks that there is no better place for food and is a  proponent of the city of Philadelphia. Huge U2 fan. Phillies writer at  http://www.warroomphilly.com .

Chris says:  “Follow a Web Show covering everything in the Philadelphia Sports Scene. Sit back and enjoy from the hearts of two die-hard Philly guys here

You can follow Chris Creighton on Twitter or the WarRoomPhilly

a war room chris

Please e-mail me at: mlbreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker . In 2015, I watched 224 MLB Games, spanning all 30 MLB Parks in 183 Days. Read about that World Record Journey at https://mlbreports.com/183in2015/229sked2015/

Posted on July 29, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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