Writer’s Roundtable: Buying or Selling at the Deadline? – Phillies Nation

Writer’s Roundtable: Buying or Selling at the Deadline?

It might seem a bit early, but the MLB trade market will start developing soon, so imagine for a moment that you are the Phillies General Manager. Which players are you actively shopping at this year’s trade deadline? Are there any players in the organization that you would consider “unavailable” if another team came calling? Or are you waiting until a certain date, or a certain “games behind” point in the standings to determine your team’s fate?

Alex Lee: Assuming the Phillies are still in the mix for a playoff spot, the obvious name to look at is Michael Young. While M.Y. has no doubt been solid for the Phils, he is replaceable between Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis, especially if he can bring you a bullpen piece for the stretch run. If the Phils fade out of the playoff race come July, I would make everyone on the major league roster available except for Cole Hamels and Domonic Brown. Even if this team somehow makes the playoffs, this offense is putrid and needs a complete overhaul.

Jon Nisula: I think that it would be in the Phillies best interest to get value for some of their best players at the trade deadline this year. I would shop Cliff Lee, Jonathan Papelbon, Michael Young, and anyone else that a contender might be looking for to fill the farm system with some good prospects.

Pat Gallen: It’s hard to pinpoint just one name, but I’m probably shopping Jonathan Papelbon. He can get you a decent haul in return and while the team will likely have to eat a little bit of money on his deal, it shouldn’t be too much. Now, it’s all about finding the right match. Only a handful of teams are in a position to take on big money at the closer spot. Where would that be? Detroit? Could Pap go back to Boston? Would Texas bolster an already strong bullpen? It may not be easy to unload him, but if the Phillies can find a match, he’s the first guy you have to look to move.

Don McGettigan: Regardless of where the Phillies are in the standings in July, I think it’s time to face the reality that this is not a World Series caliber team. Being that they likely can’t win a championship with this current roster, it’s easy to see that it’s time for a complete overhaul. So if I was the GM, I’d be on the phone yesterday letting teams know that any player in the last year of their deal (Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz, Michael Young, Delmon Young, and Laynce Nix) are readily available at this year’s trade deadline. And I would gauge the interest in anyone on the roster not named Cole Hamels.

Trades my be tough for the Phillies to make though, as I don’t think any team would take on Ryan Howard’s salary, nor do I think that Jimmy Rollins would waive his 10-and-5 no-trade rights (a player with 10 years in Majors, the last 5 with his current team) for any teams other than select few in Southern California (specifically Oakland or San Francisco). Interesting names to follow this July are Jonathan Papelbon and Cliff Lee. Lee is potentially the top starting pitcher available, and Papelbon would likely be the best reliever on the market. The fact that both players are under contract past this season would likely make them more desirable than “rental” players, however, due to their high salaries the Phillies would likely have to eat a hefty portion of their contracts to make any deal work. The other thing to note is that even though a team would have these players for half-a-season less, it might serve the Phillies better to trade Lee and/or Papelbon in the offseason, when their trading partner might be more willing to send MLB-ready talent in return, as opposed to lower-level prospects at the deadline.

If the Phillies are willing to swallow their pride, they might be able to turn this organization into a young, up-and-coming team again in the next few years, but that process needs to starts now.



  1. bacardipr

    May 23, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    A question in all of these trade scenarios here and other blogs. Has anyone consider possibility of a straight swap not for prospects for but for a MLB player?

  2. Cs

    May 23, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Or they stay in it and keep the best pitcher, closer, and make this run.

    • Brian

      May 24, 2013 at 3:19 pm

      I don’t know if that’s a plausible option. If you’re going to trade the guys with 1 year left on their contract, you’re basically punting the season. So, the way I see it, you either keep everyone a go for it 1 more time (aka the Boston Celtics route) or you trade everyone. I really don’t think there can be much of an in-between (aside from maybe dealing only M Young).

      If you do decide to keep everyone, there’s a giant opportunity cost from all the prospects you could have picked up, but can’t anymore because Utley, Young, Ruiz and Halladay are FAs at year’s end. You can get a draft pick from Utley and MAYBE Halladay as well, but, even so, is it worth it?

      Put another way, is the EXPECTED return of not trading anyone greater than the return of the prospects? I don’t think it is when you factor in the fairly sizable probably that we STILL miss the playoffs after we’ve decided to hold.

  3. SoCalPhilsPhan

    May 23, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Umm, guys, Oakland and San Francisco are as close to Southern California as Boston is to Philly.
    A Phillies fan from LA who used to live in San Francisco

  4. Glutenous

    May 23, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    I can’t see Lee going. He loves Philly and still has two years left on his deal after this season. Why not keep him and tout a rotation led by he and Hamels?

    • Brian

      May 24, 2013 at 3:23 pm

      Because its a waste. What’s the difference between winning 81 games next year with Lee, and 73 games without him? This team isn’t going to the playoffs next year regardless of where Lee is pitching.

      By the time this team is ready to be a legitimate contender again, Lee will either be retired on his last legs. Whereas whatever prospect(s) we trade him for will (hopefully) be part of the future core.

  5. Rob h

    May 24, 2013 at 2:10 am

    I still think there is some sort of run left with this team it may not be enough. I’d trade lee, papelbon and young, maybe Kendrick if he’s still pitching well for as many prospects as possible. Not blue chippers but as many guys that could hit as possible. Keep Rollins, let utley go in the offseason unless Ws willing to take less cash and years. Nobody will give up blue chippers anyway unless you trade lee tomorrow so why not flood the miners with potential players even if they are not studs. Even if te team is in playoff contention there is no reason to be a buying at the deadline short of cargo, Stanton or any other top outfield guy which should be out of reach anyway.

    • G7

      May 24, 2013 at 3:25 am

      Unfortunately the only real attractive trade contracts are probably Rollins and Kendrick.

  6. Don M

    May 24, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Yeeeea my bad on the SoCal reference I always think of them all together but really thats jus LA and SD in terms of sports teams… Point is, Rollins can be picky about where he would accept a trade.

    Cs, I think that’s what everyone is uncertain about.. That they could still make a run here with this team, but reality is they’ve been getting more wins than they should, and I don’t think they can keep that up for an entire season

  7. JMills

    May 24, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Rollins and both Youngs are the ones I would shop with Rollins the only one worth much. I am keeping Cliff Lee. Papelbon maybe but we don’t have a replacement.

  8. Don M

    May 24, 2013 at 9:26 am

    The thing with Lee and Papelbon is… if you aren’t going to win now.. and we’re not… than why be paying two guys $35 M combined or whatever it is, when other teams would both A) relieve you of some of that salary.. and B) send you prospects in return.

    Then again, this is the team that just called up Mini Mart to replace Chase Utley… so i’d imagine they’ll keep everyone currently on the roster come the trade deadline

  9. Tom in South Philly

    May 24, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Who would have thought things would change so fast? In 2011, the Phillies had the best record in baseball. In 2012 I kinda wrote it off to one of those snake-bit, anything-that could-go-wrong, did-go-wrong years. This year, I thougt they had a chance at the playoffs. I still do, but I admit its a longshot.

    Still regardless of what happenson the field this year, I think the Phillies are facing big changes, either at the trade deadline or off-season. I tend to agree with Alex, that other than Hamels and Brown, almsot anyone could be traded for the right price. You may want to add Lee and Howard to that list, since their contracts maybe too difficult to move.

    I’m not sure what’s gong to happen the rest of the sesaon (and off-season), but its not going to be boring!

  10. USC

    May 24, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    You absolutely blow up the team! I don’t think that this club is as far away as others claim, but I might just be overly bullish, but with the right moves, the club can be an 85 win team next year. The problem is that I don’t see the Phillies actually making said right moves.

    I’d like to see the following trades:

    Lee and Rollins to Dodgers for Zach Lee, Joc Pederson, Zach Bird, and James Baldwin
    Papelbon to Red Sox for Bryce Brentz and Jose Vinicio
    Howard + a lot of his contract to Baltimore for Nick Delmonico

  11. matt

    May 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    i really hope they dont trade at all, because we see how well they do at that(shane /Hunter). Im so sick of hearing they might shop Lee. Yeah that makes sense,NOT, hes tghe best pitcher the phillies have.

  12. Brian

    May 24, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    The one thing that wasn’t mentioned in the round table is the upcoming TV contract.

    If the Phillies blow it up, does that mean they get less money from the networks? If it does (and I think it might), how does that factor into their plans?

    What I could see happening is the FO realizing/recognizing that the team isn’t going anywhere next year, but still refusing to blow it up so as to squeeze every dime out of the TV deal.

  13. Psujoe

    May 24, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Phil’s are right there. They’re playing better baseball. They’ll have like $50. Million next year. To try for a power RH RF which is their biggest need. I’m bullish on Phil’s.

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